December Family Letter

Given time constraints, it looks like this will be a shorter Chronicle submission than usual. I’ll start with a Jillian story.  Jillian had a wonderful 5th birthday party this year… once again held the day before Halloween.  As usual, Jillian was very excited when it came time to open her presents.  After the presents were open she excitedly played with as many presents as she could in as short a time possible as she could… until she started running towards the bathroom, stopping in front me on her way to tell me that she is peeing her pants!  Then I heard the distinct sound of water running down her leg and into the carpet.  This was not a little pee, but a puddle making pee.  She was in tears at the end of it all.  She then pointed out to everyone through her sobs that this is the first time in a long time that she has peed her pants. Another memorable birthday party!

Emily ran the RVM 1K kids run (along with Jillian and Matthew), and did very well. It was great to watch the younger kids zoom along almost effortlessly over the 1k distance.  1K is almost exactly two laps around our block, so it is a distance that the kids know well 😉  Emily is also maintaining her “money bar” callouses by working out on the monkey bars at school every chance she gets.  We haven’t done a family arm wresting tournament lately, but I think that I would put my money on Emily in the left handed matches.  Emily is continuing to get 100% on her spelling tests at school… she must take after her father 😉

It is with sadness that announce that Katie passed away peacefully in her sleep several weeks ago.  No, this is not Grandma Katie McCue, but Katie the gerbil, daughter of Mary (aka Fred), who was one of the three “miracle gerbils” born of Christmas day about three years ago. At Matthew’s request, she was buried underneath our plum tree near her mother Mary.  This was quite an ordeal for our sensitive little Matthew.  I suggested that he do some journaling about some of the things that he would miss about Katie, and it was quite moving to read the simple little things that he would miss now that she has passed on.   It was a good learning experience for most on the household.

One of the big events in Michael’s life recently is that he tied for 3rd place (in the 12 and under age group) in the 8k run at the Royal Victoria Marathon with a time of 37 minutes.  Much to his satisfaction he beat his cross country teacher from Gordon Head Middle School by 8 or 9 seconds.  He also participated in the  Bear Mountain 10K run with a time of 53 minutes. He also came in 3rd place in 15 & under category in that race (Michael is 11 years old).  It should be noted that the Bear Mountain 10K is touted as the most difficult 10K race in Canada because of all the hills on the course, including a steep 1.4K hill right a the beginning of the race (I guess they want to put any novices out of their misery early in the race). One odd thing happened to Michale recently is that he came down with the shingles.  We don’t know what the source was, but fortunately they were not as painful for him at his age as for an adult.

Ryan also did very well in his Royal Victoria Marathon 8k run with a time of 38 minutes, 14th place in the 13 – 15 category (he’s 13).  He did this in spite of feeling under the weather.  He came back with a vengeance in the Bear Mountain 10K and finished with a time of 48 minutes, and beat me (his Dad) by almost 2 minutes.   This was good enough for 2nd place in 15 and under category, and a very respectable showing in the men’s division overall.  Both Ryan and Michael are turning into very good distance runners.  Ryan is also becoming a Photoshop wizard, and is doing some amazing mashups and original work for colleagues of his on the internet.

Heather also participated in the 8K Royal Victoria Marathon, and was kind enough to let both of her boys beat her so that they wouldn’t have their delicate egos challenged by being beat by their mom.  I believe this is the first time that Heather has lost a race to any of her kids. It was a day or so after the race that she started having some odd asthmatic problems that demanded her attention. She went to the doctor and got some Ventolin. Since then, she has felt like a weight has been taken off her chest when she exercises.

In mid September I entered in, and finished the Sooke Triathlon Sprint (500m swim, 28k ride, 5k run).  I was last out of the lake, but finished respectably by the end of the race.  I enjoyed it enough, that I may enter in it again next fall.  In October after Heather, Ryan and Michael ran in the RVM 8K race together, I decided that I’d try to run a 1/2 marathon later that afternoon on my own (with out any training before hand –  I play lots of soccer, so what could go wrong?).  As Heather predicted, this turned out to be an unwise decision.  I was able to finish the 21K, but not without injuring my ham string and my IT bands.  I rested and did physio for a month, and then ran in the Bear Mountain 10K (another unwise decision), and re-injured myself in finishing the race.  It was very humbling to have Ryan beat me in the race… Both Ryan and Michael had great races.

I think that’s it for now!

Rich, Heather, Ryan, Michael, Matthew & Jillian

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