Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Weight Loss Results - Week 21



There's not much to say about my weight loss this last 3 weeks. It's been a very busy month & I haven't paid much attention to my eating habits nor have I run much.


 • EXERCISE •
I didn't do much running this month, but I did get plenty of outside exercise in the form of yard work.


I did run the Hippie Chick quarter marathon & ran in a time that I was happy with.

This month the kids & I ran/walked a 5K. They did great. Capt. N finished first, then Mr. T. Princess K & I finished in a little over 45 minutes.

I started the month with a goal of running at least a mile every day. Total Fail. I did a lot of yard work this month & honestly after hours in the yard I didn't have the energy to run.


I moved lots of rock to create a pond.

I also pulled a lot of weeds & planted many seeds.


 • RESULTS •
Obviously, I fluctuated a lot these last 3 weeks & I didn't weight myself everyday.

Weight Loss
Week 1: Starting Weight
Week 3: -5.2
Week 6: -3.4
Week 9:  -0.4
Week 12: -2.0
Week 15: -4.8
Week 18: -0.6
Week 21: -0.8
Total: -17.2 pounds

I have no complaints. Of course, I would have liked to have lost more weight. But, I really didn't try too hard. I also went camping & I'm so very happy I didn't gain a bunch of weight over those few days.

That being said, I've really been slacking the last month & a half.  It's time to take this more seriously again.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Japanese Art at the Portland Art Museum


One afternoon the kids & I toured the Portland Art Museum. The museum had quite a bit of Asian Art on display, but primarily from China. We were studying Japan, though, and found only a few pieces from that part of the world.



Kannon Bosatsu welcoming the faithful to paradise
unknown artist. Late 12th/13th Century. Wood with gesso, lacquer, and gold

Eight Views of Ōmi: Evening Bell at Mii Temple, Boats Returning to Yabase, and Geese Descending at Katata
Shiokawa Bunrin. 1867. Hanging Scrolls; ink and color on silk

Imari Ware Apothecary Jar with bird and flower design
Arita kilns, Saga prefecture. 1670's. Porcelain with underglaze blue painting.

Vase with Thistle Design
Kondo Yuzo. ca 1965.  Porcelain with underglaze blue painting.

Imari Ware Plate with Dragon Design
Edo Period, 19th Century. Porcelain with underglaze blue painting.

Flow #1
Fujikasa Satoko. 2011. Stoneware with matte white glaze

I'm not big into modern or abstract art, but I absolutely loved this.


The day we went to the museum was a great day to see a variety of Asian art, just not a great day to see artwork specifically from Japan. I was really hoping to see examples of woodblock printing, but we didn't. No complaints, though, it was a fabulous trip.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hippie Chick Quarter Marathon


Mother's Day weekend I ran a quarter marathon, or 6.55 miles.

Last February I started running. Last May was my first race & it was this one, the Hippie Chick. Last year my goal was just to finish the race. And, I did. I walked the first 4 miles with friends, then ran the last 2.5 miles.

I remember being so nervous last year & feeling out of my element. I'm still not fast, but now I realize I don't have to be. I was much more comfortable being there this year. The only nerves I had were from wanting to run a good race.


 :: Packet Pick-up ::
The swag I got at packet pick up included a shirt, a bag & a Luna bar.
I love the material & color of the shirt. But, I'm quite disappointed with the design. I loved last years design with the vw bug. Mostly I dislike that the Les Shwab logo was on the front. I paid a lot of money for this race & part of that money is for the shirt. I wanted a race shirt, not an advertisement for a tire company. The other sponsors were on the back of the shirt. Les Schwab was on the back, too. They should have only been on the back.
I will admit part of my grumpiness is that I have a sore spot for tires. We go through tires so quickly & they are so dang expensive. To go anywhere involves driving on gravel roads & many miles & it's terrible for the life of our tires. The last set we bought for my car were 50,000 mile tires. We barely got 25,000 miles out of them.
Not many material things make me grumpy, but the thought of tires definitely does. So, to have a tire company on the front of my shirt is driving me bonkers.
Enough of my tire rant & on to the race...

  :: Race Day ::

Starting line just minutes before the start time of 8:00am.
At the start line.
I ran this one solo. So, throughout the race I asked other runners to take my pic.

My goal for this run was to do the very best I could. I didn't train like I should have. But, I still wanted to finish strong. My ultimate goal is to run a Disney half marathon next year. I'm hoping my finish time from this race will bump me up at least one starting corral when I do run a Disney Half. For that reason, the only fun accessory I wore were wild colored bracelets. No wacky hair accessories, colorful tutu or crazy socks. Just good ol' running clothes.

My goal was to finish the race with a 13:00 minute pace per mile, so I began the race next to this pace runner. After the start, though, I never saw her again.

At the half way point.
This was just over a 5k distance. I ran that 5k at my fastest pace yet - 38:18.

Along the race course they handed out Clif gel shots. I had never tried one before, so I tried one this time. It was very sweet & definitely gel like.

I finished!

This 78 year old woman came in right after me. Amazing! She didn't even look out of breath.

Finisher's medal.

Last year I didn't partake in the pancake breakfast after the race. This year, I did.
Although, I didn't have the free beer I could have had. What is it with races & beer?

Finishers stretching after their run & receiving congratulations from their families.

There was a band playing after the race. They were good. I feel bad for them that nobody was down there supporting them. I was enjoying their music from afar, though.

After the race I also got muscle milk & a ghiradelli chocolate bar. I had never had muscle milk before, so I tried it. I didn't love it. I haven't eaten the chocolate bar yet, but I'm sure I will enjoy it.


 :: Results :: 
The Nike+ app logged this as my fastest 5k, fastest 10k, longest run, farthest run & most calories burned. If nothing else, that feels like an accomplishment.
For the most part, I ran a mile then walked a quarter mile. I have found that my finish time is better if I allow myself to walk throughout the race.
I ran the first half of the race quicker than the second half. But, I still finished with a 12:44 minute/mile pace. Awesome! My goal was 13:00 minute pace.

2013: Finish time = 1:47:08
2014: Finish time = 1:24:03

I feel good about my finish time. I'm not a fast runner. I probably never will be. But, I run. And, I finish the race.
I ran 23 minutes faster than last year & I wasn't near as tired. Last year I was absolutely exhausted at the end. This year, I was tired but felt ok.

I don't know if I can tell much in these photos, but I'm about 13 pounds lighter this year than last.

My confidence as a runner has improved since last year, as well. This year I was confident enough to run alone. I wasn't self conscience when I was walking, as opposed to running. And, I wore tighter pants. Last year I was too self conscience to wear the tighter pants. This year, I didn't care what people thought. Those pants are comfortable & easy to run in, so I wore them.

I've been running races now for an entire year. I don't plan on quitting anytime soon. Hopefully by this time next year I can even say I ran a half marathon.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Japanese Lapbook


Earlier this term, we worked on a mini unit about Japan. Much of our learning came from Japanese art.

Of course we needed a way to store all this art. I love lapbooks & That Artist Woman has a variation that I had not tried before. I read somewhere that all things micro in size are trendy right now in Japan. So, this smaller form of lapbook seemed to fit. The entire book is created from just one file folder.

:: The Front Cover ::
I folded the file folder according to That Artist Woman's directions, then sewed the sides. They were now ready for the kids to decorate.

The kids painted their front covers with watered down blue & white tempera paint.

While the blue background paint was drying, the kids colored a torii with oil pastels. The torii template was from Scholastic's Monthly Idea Book. While they colored, I explained the significance of the Japanese gate. For the most part, that's how this unit worked. They made a craft & I explained why it was important to Japanese culture.

For the tree, they did a slightly varied version of the cherry blossom craft they previously made. They used a straw to blow the ink onto the page. But this time they were making an entire tree, not just a branch. And, instead of a flower stamp they used the top of a pencil eraser to create the cherry blossoms.

They used foam stamps to create the word Japan.

It took a few steps to complete the cover. But each step was easily doable, even for my kindergartner. I love the way they turned out, especially because I just made it up as we went along.



:: The Back ::
There are 4 sections to the lapbook. There is also an inside and an outside to the book. One outside section was the front cover. The kids drew the Japanese flag on the remaining three outside sections.

Opened up completely, the outside looked like this.


:: The Inside ::
The inside of each of their lapbooks are similar, yet they could decorate them however they wanted. The only rule was that they had to have a pocket for the Japanese girl in a kimono they made, their origami, the haiku they wrote & the manga they drew.

They used leftover paint to color the inside. They also used foam stamps, stamps I made & clip art from Lapbook Lessons.

I found a fun mapping project at Ellen McHenry's Basement Workshop. We were running out of time so I traced the map onto watercolor paper and wrote the title. The kids then colored the islands with oil pastel trying to show the varying elevations. Next they took a wash of blue & white paint and went over the entire map. The oil pastel didn't resist like I was thinking it would, so they used a paper towel to soak up the wet paint from the land areas.

A completed map glued onto one section of the lapbook.

Their lady friend in the kimono went in the pocket with the map.

Another pocket was used for their Japanese Garden drawing & haiku.

On another section they glued a manga comic from Kids Web Japan. They placed their manga drawings in that pocket.

The 4th pocket was for their origami.


The lapbooks turned out well. & it seemed like the kids had fun learning in this way. I know I enjoyed teaching this way.


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