Number one has to be what I did for my birthday: run 16 miles.
I have now reached the grand old age of 16. To celebrate I am starting a series here on the blog of 16 dreams that come true for me this year!
Number one has to be what I did for my birthday: run 16 miles.
Friday, the ninth, I had the privilege of spending the day with Bethany, the editor of the Clarksville Star and the Butler Country Tribune Journal. Yes, Bethany--my sister! I got to sort through photos and type out the traffic violations report. It was so fun to see who had been speeding and who had "forgotten" to wear their seat belts in the previous week! In addition to this, we put on a lot of miles on the road.
Here we are at the tiniest church in Iowa! It is located in the charming town of Bristow.
The church's caretaker, Sally, was very hospitable. After giving us some history on the church, she invited us inside her home to see "a few" of her teddy bears. She has a collection of almost 2,000! Everything was literally covered with teddy bears! They were so cute!
In the afternoon it was time for a spelling bee! My last spelling bee I came in last place. So I figured I couldn't go wrong today. Things couldn't turn out any worse from last time!
The words for us in the high school division ranged from cornucopia to memorabilia. None of us were good spellers. We just took turns getting word after word wrong. It was kind of funny! Finally, though, I somehow won. The adults had it just as hard, and Bethany ended up taking first in that division!
Below are the first and second place adults along with the retired teacher who gave out the spelling bee words.
We later covered a kiddie parade and took pictures of the carnival and the musicians. Here we snapped a photo of me with the Lone Ranger, Silver, and Tonto. Wait...I didn't know the Lone Ranger had a beard...or that Tonto wore flip flops?! But, oh well.
It was an interesting day!
April 29th was the day of the Drake Road Races in Des Moines! My mama and I were doing the 1/2 marathon and Bethany was doing the 5K. We arrived about an hour before race time, and began to warm up. It was a cool morning, and it was cloudy. I was very glad it wasn't raining. At 7:30, we 857 half-marathoners crowded around the starting line. We listened to a man sing the National Anthem. Then a shot rang through the air. The race had started. I was far enough back that it took a few moments for the crowd around me to begin flowing along.
This was the largest race I'd ever ran in. I was wearing my new Garmin watch, and my goal was to have around an 8-minute pace, at least for the first few miles. With so many runners, the first 3 miles went by quickly. The regular road traffic was controlled by police officers, and every other mile, helpful volunteers had water stations set up. At first, there was a lot of downhill. But what goes down must come up again. Around mile five, that began to happen. In all the excitement I guess I had taken off too fast, and now I was enervated. I was about ready to start walking, but I figured I'd try to hang in there awhile longer. The good point of a race with so many participants, there's always someone you're passing, or in my case, always someone who is passing me. I enjoyed the live music along the route. One man was out with his guitar; there was a whole group of musicians, and also there was a little girl with her cello. It made me smile to see all the friendly faces out watching the race. Slowly, but surely I made it to mile 10, and then had an extra burst of energy. There was only a 5K left. At last I found myself taking the final turn, where on the horizon lay the finish line. Oh, what a pleasant sight! The runners behind me were encouraged too, and I soon was passed five or six more times. With the last block, I decided I could manage a sprint after all, and I finished with a time of 1:45:03. I greeted my siblings who were there just to watch today. And we watched our mom finish. She met her goal of beating two hours. Bethany had enjoyed the 5K too. I learned the winning time for it was 15:12. And the winner of the 1/2 marathon was 1:08:56. All I can say is, wow!
Then we went and enjoyed delicious chocolate chip cookies and fruit too. There was more music from two musicians and then the award ceremony. There were very neat prizes. Overall, I thought it was an excellent race. There were nice t-shirts, plus all finishers received a medal! It was fun, and I hope we can go again next year. Here is the video my siblings filmed!
Last week I decided I'd like to do a food post here on the blog. I found a recipe for some chocolate cookies, and got started. They were fun to make, and looked so yummy! But the moment I tried to remove them from the cookie sheet, I knew I had a problem. The pretty- looking cookies completely fell apart. And they turned out to be so hard that my family had second thoughts on attempting to eat them. They might have to pay a visit to our dear dentist afterward.
"Why is it that everything turns out great, until I bring my camera out?" I thought. But not one to easily give up, the food blog-post-idea still lingered in my mind. When my mom suggested we make a streusel rhubarb dessert, I grabbed the camera. This recipe was tried and true, and I didn't see how we could go wrong. And...it turned out spectacularly. So here is the recipe!
First of all, prepare the CRUST:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup cold butter
Mix the flour and confectioners' sugar. Then cut in butter until crumbly. Press into a greased 9-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 F. for 15-18 minutes or until light brown around the edges.
Time to make the TOPPING:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup cold butter
Toss together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon, and cut in butter until crumbly. Now sprinkle over the filling.
Bake at 350 F. for 45-50 minutes, or until rhubarb is bubbly. Servings: 12 Total prep and bake time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Time to enjoy!
The dessert is excellent served simply plain...or with a glass of milk...or with ice cream...or whipped cream! For a family like us with a huge rhubarb patch, this is the perfect dessert to enjoy all year long, especially in the spring. It's easy to make and I definitely would recommend giving it a try!
I am enjoying spring immensely this year. With the trees coming to life, the flowers blooming, and warmth in the air, I can't help but find myself in an ebullient mood. I can be outside running in a t-shirt again. And I can be out in the dirt again, helping my parents plant broccoli, spinach, celery, lettuce, radishes, beets, bok choy, and all that great stuff. It is such a beautiful time of year. And really we have so much to be happy about.
God is good to us. Even in the bad times, we should be able to find something to be thankful for. Think of Job. Everything went wrong for him. But in the end, God blessed him with twice as much as before. If we never have problems, we never grow. But every difficult situation we survive, we will know how to handle it better the next time. In school, I would be happy if my teacher gave me all the easy math problems that I know how to do. But, no, I would never learn anything then. Instead, she gives me hard ones that I have no clue how to figure out, so that I can learn by them. Remember, our God has everything in control. He will work out everything for our good. We should rejoice on the sunny days, and on the rainy days too. Remember, April showers bring May flowers.
The Bible commands us to Rejoice evermore. According to Answers.com the word rejoice is found in the Bible 184 times. Just think about it. God wants us to be happy. Think of the beautiful world He put us in. Think of all He does for us. And besides, smiling is good for a person. Smiles use from 5 to 53 facial muscles. Studies show that facial exercises can improve and maintain skin and muscle tone. Smiling is a good exercise. Smiling can boost your immune system too--it relieves stress, and helps you to relax.
So, smile away friends, and enjoy your spring.
This is kind of late to do a post about my 15th birthday. Yes, I know, it was more than nine months ago. But I finally put together a video about it. I recently got my own YouTube channel, so I figured I would share it with you. Here it is:
Now, does anyone want to join me for my 16th birthday?! I'm already excited about it!
Have a marvelous afternoon!
Saturday morning, March 4, Papa, Mama, Bethany, and I packed our bags, bid farewell to Charity and Daniel, and took off towards Cedar Rapids. We enjoyed the beautiful sunrise, and arrived at our first destination--Iowa's Physicians Clinic--around 8:00. No, none of us broke any bones...there was to be a chess tournament held there! We dropped Bethany off, and the rest of us headed to a town called Garrison. We hadn't printed off any directions from Google Maps. Being less than 30 miles away, surely we could just look for the skyscrapers of the town. But, no, we didn't see any! So, my mother handed me an old-fashioned paper map, and told me I was in charge of getting us out of Cedar Rapids. Well, in 20 minutes, I had us out of Cedar Rapids alright--unto a gravel road in the middle of nowhere! But, to make a long story short, we did eventually get there. There were no skyscrapers...that's why we hadn't seen any. There was no thriving business community. There was no hotel. There was actually only a population of 360. What brought us to this town anyway? At first glance this town had nothing in it! Well, there was a library and a post office. And there was the Old Creamery Nature Trail. And that's what we were looking for! Today was the day for the Freezin' for a Reason 10K trail run hosted by Vinton's Pizza Hut!
The race started at 10 A.M. I had told myself not to take off too fast. But with all the excitement, I couldn't resist. I took off along side first place--another girl! Soon, of course, I was left behind. Then the first man passed me. I tried to keep up with him, but that didn't last long either. Then the next runner passed me, and then the next. There were only 17 of us--I couldn't let anyone else catch me! It was windy, but a nice day otherwise. I kept running, keeping an eye on my watch. I finally finished with a time of 50:59. I had come in fifth. The girl in first place had ended up winning the whole race, beating the first man by over 8 minutes! My papa came in sixth (51:22), and my mama, came in tenth (54:16). We all were happy.
Then it was time for the best part: the post-race breakfast. It was perfect--Pizza Hut's pizza, homemade cookies, candy bars, chocolate milk and bananas! The run, the food, and the people were amazing. And it was for a great cause--to fight world hunger. I hope to return next year, and I would highly recommend it to all of you other runners out there. Save the date: March 3, 2018!
Before long we were on our way to Cedar Rapids. I didn't give any directions to my parents this time, and we made it back quickly. I enjoyed playing in the final three rounds of the reserve section of the chess tournament. I won my games, though they all were very close. Bethany was playing in the Open (the section for the more advanced players) which lasted two whole days. So, after a long day, we retired to our hotel room at the DoubleTree by Hilton. Soon we were drifting to sleep.
The next morning, one by one, we slowly started waking up.
"Do you want to go for a run this morning?" my mother asked me.
"Only if you do," I sleepily replied.
"I do only if you do," she replied. Neither of us really wanted to, but we did anyway. We jogged out of our hotel into the streets of Cedar Rapids. The cool air was refreshing. It felt wonderful. After a 30 minute jog, we were back. We were greeted by Papa and Bethany, who had also come out to enjoy the beautiful morning. When it was time to go back to our hotel room, Mama got the idea to take the stairs instead of the elevator. And we did--we climbed all 16 stories of the Hilton. It was exhausting, but the view from the windows was rewarding. We cleaned up, and took Bethany back for her third round at the Cedar Rapids Leather Jackets chess tournament. The rest of us got some rest and relaxation in, spending the whole morning in our cozy hotel room. Checking out, we were handed our free DoubleTree by Hilton complementary chocolate chip cookies. They were still warm, and were simply delicious.
Everything was wonderful. We went back to the chess tournament. Bethany played her last game. While waiting, I played a game with another player just for fun. Soon it was time to head back to our home. We were glad to return to country life, and see our dog, cats, and, of course, Charity and Daniel again! We had an awesome weekend. God is good! Make sure to check out what Bethany thought of our trip at todaylibertyordeath.blogspot.com!
It's Presidents Day 2017! Forty-four men have held the title of Mr. President, from George Washington to JFK, and now President Trump. There were Thomas Jefferson, Buchanan, Roosevelt, Coolidge, and all the rest. We learned their names in history class, but really, how much do we know about them? It's now time for some fun facts about these men.
1. George Washington is the only president to have been elected unanimously.
2. John Adams was the first president to live in the White House. First Lady Abigail called it "the great castle".
3. Thomas Jefferson played the violin. He was the first president to introduce the custom of shaking hands with guests, rather than bowing.
4. James Madison was the shortest president, at 5' 4".
5. James Monroe served as a Lieutenant while 18.
6. John Quincy Adams owned a pet alligator. He kept it in the east room of the White House. He wasn't the only president to have one of these reptiles. Read on to find out who else had gators!
7. Andrew Jackson joined his local militia at age 13, during the Revolutionary War.
8. Martin Van Buren was the first American-born president.
9. William Henry Harrison gave the longest inaugural address in history--8,445 words. It was in the terrible, cold, winter weather. He died 32 days later.
10. John Tyler, Harrison's VP, found out the news while on the floor playing marbles with his sons. Tyler has the record for fathering the most children of any president--15!
11. James Polk and his wife Sarah started the tradition of the annual White House Thanksgiving dinner.
12. Zachary Taylor was nicknamed "Old Rough and Ready" due to the untidy way he dressed.
13. Millard Fillmore, Taylor's VP who became president at his death, was known for the immaculate way he dressed.
14. Franklin Pierce was made the Democratic nominee for president in 1852. His wife, Jane, fainted when she heard the news. Pierce was the first president to give his inaugural address by memory. It was over 3,000 words. He used no notes.
15. James Buchanan was the first president to wear blue jeans in the Oval Office.
16. Abraham Lincoln was the first president to wear a beard.
17. Andrew Johnson never received formal schooling. His parents were very poor. They sold young Andrew to a tailor when he was 14. The tailor treated him as an apprentice. Johnson eventually ran away and opened his own tailor shop. He married at age 18, and his wife, Eliza, taught him how to read.
18. Ulysses S. Grant was the first president to have both parents alive at the time of his inauguration. However, they did not attend.
19. Rutherford B. Hayes and his wife Lucy had prayer every day while in the White House. On Sunday evenings cabinet members and congressmen would often join them for hymn sings.
20. James Garfield was the last of the seven presidents who were born in log cabins.
21. Chester A. Arthur supposedly stayed up until at least 2 A.M. on most nights.
22. Grover Cleveland was both the 22nd and the 24th President.
23. Benjamin Harrison's grandfather was William Henry Harrison.
25. William McKinley had a pet parrot named "Washington Post." It had the special talent of whistling "Yankee Doodle."
26. Theodore Roosevelt did not like the nickname Teddy.
27. William Taft had milk cows grazing on the white house lawn.
28. Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother's Day as a National Holiday in 1914.
29. Warren Harding had a dog named "Laddie Boy". Each day he collected and delivered the president's newspaper. The dog even had its own chair for cabinet meetings!
30. Calvin Coolidge was nicknamed "Silent Cal". The Coolidge family had two pet raccoons "Rebecca" and "Rueben". They were occasionally allowed to run around inside the White House!
31. Herbert Hoover's son Allan had two pet alligators! They also were occasionally allowed to wander around the White House.
32. Franklin D. Roosevelt, as a young boy, met Grover Cleveland! The man patted the little boy on the head and told him he hoped he would never become president.
33. Harry Truman was known for several good quotes including: "You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog."
34. Dwight D. Eisenhower served in both WWI and WWII.
35. John F. Kennedy was the first former boy scout to become president.
36. Lyndon B. Johnson while in college, once told a fellow student, "Someday, I am going to be president of the United States."
37. Richard Nixon's daughter married Dwight Eisenhower's grandson.
38. Gerald Ford played football with the University of Michigan. In 1934 he was voted the Wolverine's Most Valuable Player!
39. Jimmy Carter, on October 1, 1924 became the first future president to be born at a hospital.
40. Ronald Reagan worked as a lifeguard while in college. He saved 77 lives!
41. And here's a quote from George H. W. Bush: "I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it - I am President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli."
42. And here's a quote from Bill Clinton: "Being president is like running a cemetery: you've got a lot of people under you and nobody's listening."
43. George W. Bush is the only president to have run a marathon. His best time was 3:44:52.
44. Barack Obama's dogs are Bo and Sunny.
45. Donald Trump at age 70, is the oldest president to be inaugurated for a first term.
"Together, we will make America strong. We will make America wealthy. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together, we will Make America Great Again!"
Have a great week y'all! Take care and God bless!
At seven o'clock this morning I was busy working on a school project. I expected a banal day. Nothing was planned in my schedule. Soon I would stop to eat breakfast. But then, suddenly a change of plans occured! I overheard a conversation in the next room. By commiting the peccadillo of eavesdropping, I learned that my parents were going to go for a pleasant hike at Pine Lake. They soon were inviting my siblings and me to come along! Without missing a beat, I was ready to go. I jumped into the van with my two siblings who were also up for the adventure, and before long we were on our way.
The temperature was around 20 degrees. It didn't take long for me to notice that it was incredibly slippery. We had a rain storm yesterday, and now all the water had frozen into a beautiful ice skating rink.
At first our hike was pretty fun. Soon, though, we found ourselves going through thorn bushes, and slipping and sliding up and down prodigious hills. There were really no trails through this part of the woods, and the ice on the ground seemed ubiquitous. More than once I found myself fallen in a supine position. Before long, I was feeling lugubrious. I was sure there were some benefits of going through this all, but at the time, the benefits, if any, were infinitesimal to me. We crossed through swamps (all my family escaped getting wet in the ice water--except me), and we even crossed a good size creek, by climbing over a fallen tree. It was an adventure, to say the least. My family thought it was thrilling; I had slightly heterodox views, however. I like hiking, but the incessant ice made things tough. I was glad to return home, and finally eat my breakfast--even if it was more like lunch by then! I was glad for the adventure with my dear family, though! And I learned a few lessons.
When treking through the treacherous thorn-filled swamp lands, it was important to watch the person in front of me. If they ran into a sticker bush or broke through the ice, I would know to take a different route. If they made it through easily, I would know I should follow them.
In our lives also, we can learn from the mistakes and successes others have had, while walking life's road before us. We may have several role models in our lives--our parents, older friends, grandparents, great people in history, or others. But there is only One, whom we can follow, knowing He never made any mistakes. That One is Jesus. First Peter 2:21 says, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:" In the story in John 13, after Jesus washed his disciples feet, He said, "For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." We can always follow Jesus, knowing He is the One we can always depend on--no matter what. He sees the whole picture of things. If we only will place our hand in His, He will lead us through life's swamps, and bring us in the end to a wonderful--a much better place--called heaven!
Pictures are courtesy of my dear sister Bethany! ( todaylibertyordeath.blogspot.com )
September 24th was the day of the Hardin Hill Run in Steamboat Rock, Iowa! My family had been vacillating whether we should run this race for months. For awhile we thought that it would be fun. Then we thought it might be too dangerous. Then we thought it would just be adventurous. Then we thought, no, we couldn't risk getting injured. But in the end we decided, yes, we would do it! The original race plans were for the runners to cross the Iowa River in canoes during the run. But we were having extreme flooding the week of the race! At the last minute plans were changed. We would use a bridge instead. We had practiced running at this place a couple times before, and we were able to draw some conclusions. We decided that whoever would be running this race had to either be tough, not so smart, or just didn't know what they were getting into.
At 9 A.M. about 16 of us 15K runners lined up at the starting line. Above is a picture of us as the race director explained the route. Don't we all look so excited?! Both my parents, my brother and I were running this. My one sister was running in the 5K.
We all got started. My brother always is fast starting out. He took off as the leader of the pack. Once the starting sprint was over, I was about in 6th place. As you can see in the above video, we took off running up a small hill. Well, it just got worse from there! We forged creeks and got all wet. Due to the flooding, at one point we had to run through water 3' high! One hill was so steep we had to use a rope to climb it. There were several mammoth, mountain-like hills that even the best of us were forced to walk up. Then there was the mud. One place was so bad it almost took my shoes off! Through all of this wonderful stuff, I ended up passing everyone except two runners. There was the 1st place fellow; then there was my brother! My brother is way faster than I of course, but we were running 9 miles. He had never ran more than 6 miles at a time before, up until then. With the last three miles to go, I started catching up with my dear brother. Then with less than a mile I caught him! I managed to finish second--nine minutes behind first place. My brother finished in third. There was another man in fourth. Fifth place was my papa. He crossed the finish line with mud, a little blood, and a torn shirt!
My mama was in sixth place. We all had made it, and actually survived!! My sister finished as second place female in the 5K, so we all were happy.
If you're looking for a lot of adventure, the Hardin Hill Run is for you! It was a great race, and I'm looking forward to next year's run!
Howdy! This page is filled with writings from the youngest one of the Carson family!