The Ocelot

Allison loves to recite poetry while I video her. This is a poem she knows from school called, The Ocelot. (They've been learning about the rainforest this month). We have several other videos, but I won't overwhelm you by posting them all in one day!

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

Allison has been tying her shoes for over a month now. Problem is, she doesn't wear very many 'tie shoes'. She prefers shoes like this.....

Or this....
(I think this looks a bit like the legs stuck out under Dorothy's house once it touched down in Oz).

Or any of these....

However, she has done a great job practicing on mine.

Bicycle Pics


I Want to Ride My Bicycle

Update: No more training wheels are needed at the Huminsky household. Yesterday, Allison rode over a mile-and-a-half, on her two-wheeler, to and from the park.

She claims, '...this is the MOST FUNNEST thing I've ever done!'

Pictures to come.....


3-Day Thursday

Days Until Event: 128

Actual Miles Last Week: 31.5

Goal Miles This Week: 30


Wordless Wednesday

I had intended to post some recent pictures on here today. But, for some reason, I can't get to my shutterfly account. I'm hoping its a problem with the site as a whole, and not just my pictures. Anyway, I thought you might enjoy these from March 2004.


7 Daily Chores

Occasionally I visit the blog Totally Together Journal. The blog features tips on how you can organize your busy household. (Is that an oxymoron...?). The author has 7 Daily Chores for a Highly Successful Household. I've only posted the steps below, but she goes into a detailed outline on her site. I've found the list to be useful. Of course all these chores should be obvious to me, but for some reason I find them easier when they're in outline form.

Number 1: Make Beds Right Away
Number 2: Do One Complete Load of Laundry
Number 3: Empty All Garbage Cans
Number 4: Keep Your Kitchen Sink Empty
Number 5: Clean Up After Yourself and Help Children Do the Same
Number 6: Bathroom Wipe-Down
Number 7: Before Bed 10-Minute Clean Up

I'm still not sure your house will be completely organized, but I guarantee it will be less chaotic.


My mom is....

I had fun asking the kids the following questions.

1. What is something Mom always says to you?
Alex: After breakfast, go brush your teeth.
Allison: Go do something else instead of bothering everybody.

2. What makes Mom happy?
Alex: Clean rooms.
Allison: Us being good.

3. What makes Mom sad?
Alex: When she has to yell.
Allison: Us not listening.

4. How does Mom make you laugh?
Alex: Saying stuff that’s funny.
Allison: Tickling me.

5. How old is your Mom?
Alex: 34
Allison: 34

6. What is Mom’s favorite thing to do?
Alex: Running/Walking.
Allison: Sleeping…and laundry. (Hmmm....I'm not sure she understood the question. Sleeping, maybe. Laundry, definitely not).

7. What does Mom do when you’re not around?
Alex: Clean up the house.
Allison: Walk Sierra. Clean up the house and do the laundry.

8. What is Mom’s job?
Alex: Cleaning the house and working at my school.
Allison: Cleaning the house. (You would think for as much as my children think I clean, that our house would be a whole lot cleaner).

9. What is Mom’s favorite food?
Alex: Vegetables. (Poor Alex is fooled into thinking I clean, and eat vegetables, all day).
Allison: Pizza.

10. What do you and Mom do together?
Alex: Go to the dollar store. Walk the dog. Go to the park.
Allison: Read books. Go shopping. Go to the mall and the movie theatre.

11. Where is Mom’s favorite place to go?
Alex: Shopping.
Allison: To the Candy Land place.

I recently came across a similar interview that Alex did for Mother's Day in his very first preschool class. I posted it below.....

Mother's Day 2006

Alex's answers (in italics) from 3 years ago....

My mom is Anne.
Her favorite color is orange.
Her favorite food is almonds.
She is 32 years old.
She weighs 32 lbs.
She is 34 feet tall.
My mom likes to play books with me.
In her spare time she likes to lie down.



Three years ago Adam and I signed up for Facebook, and no one we knew was on it. I guess, now we all know what it it.....


3-Day Thursday

As many of you know by now, this summer I'll be participating in the Cleveland Breast Cancer 3-Day. The 3-Day is truly the greatest distance I can go in the fight against breast cancer - 60 inspirational miles, three heroic days of celebration and determination. Joining the ranks of the Breast Cancer 3-Day walkers, I've become part of something much bigger than a simple stroll down a stretch of road. I'm now part of a movement that is putting an end to breast cancer. (I've posted a quick video below for anyone who is unfamiliar with the 3-Day).

I'm 135 days away from my journey, but I've already begun my training. I figured I would use Thursdays to give you brief training updates. Honestly, for the first time in my life, I'm actually ahead of the training schedule. (To anyone who has ever followed a marathon/half-marathon plan, etc. you know what an accomplishment this is. Usually, we are all trying to 'catch up'). I'm only ahead because of our training for the Cincinnati marathon this May. The Breast Cancer training has me logging 17 miles this week, with a 6-mile walk being the longest. I'll really be logging about 30 miles this week, with a 16-miler being my longest. For once, it feels great to be ahead of the game. However, what's new to me this time, is I'll be logging two long walks back-to-back each weekend. One on Saturday, one on Sunday. It is going to take a little planning and organization on our part, but I'm looking forward to it!

3-Day Video


Cleveland's Irish Parade

Today, around 12:15pm I discovered that Cleveland not only has a St. Patty's Day Parade, but that its the fourth largest in the nation. The parade started at 1pm downtown, but most people arrive at the crack of dawn for parking. I decided, due to the time, not to check it out this year. Most parents take their kids out of school, and Adam said his classes were half empty. We'll check it out next year. Although, today, its been sunny and in the high 60s. It would have been a great day for a parade. Next year, it will most likely be snowing.

One Year Ago Today...

....we placed our Vancouver home on the market. It is easy to remember the date. A lot has happened in the past year. We're very grateful.


West Side Market

On Saturday we finally ventured over to the West Side Market. Impressive. We've heard about the Cleveland West Side Market since we arrived in town, and we have been meaning to check it out for awhile. This is how its always described by others...

"You've got to check out the market. The market is so cool. Its almost like the one in Seattle (Pike Place)....but I've never been to Seattle. That's just what I've heard."

Well, after moving here from the Northwest, we had high expectations. Portland had a wonderful Farmer's Market, and even Vancouver's was great in its own way. And, we have been to the Pike Place Market, so we could make a fair comparison. Cleveland definitely has a well put together market. I was amazed at the amount of meat vendors there. I will be eager to return when more produce and flowers are in season. However, what impressed me the most were the prices. I always found the prices at the markets in the Portland area a little higher than what one could find at the grocery store. Granted, the quality was better, but sometimes the price wouldn't allow us to partake. However, at the market, I found the prices to be, on average, either the same as the grocery store, or even lower. Quality, freshness and price! We'll definitely be returning with many more sacks to carry our purchases home.


Red Rock Half Marathon

Last weekend Adam and I traveled to our old stomping ground of Las Vegas, NV to participate in the Red Rock Half Marathon. We had a great time! The Red Rock National Conservation Area sits in the desert mountains to the west of Las Vegas. We always loved making daytrips out there when we lived in Las Vegas. The park has a 13-mile one way loop road that travels throughout the canyon. When we lived in Las Vegas we weren't the runners/walkers that we are now, and we have always regretted not traveling by foot along the 'loop' road. Fortunately, we had the opportunity last weekend.

The half marathon was one of the most difficult courses we have ever done. The starting elevation was around 3000 feet, and then we climbed another 1000 feet in the first few miles. Mile 4 was entirely uphill. I mentioned in an earlier post that we are training for the Cincinnati Marathon this spring. We've heard there are some 'killer hills' on that marathon course, but I guarantee you there is no hill in Cincinnati that compares with the mountains of the desert southwest. Despite the intensity of the course, we were both somewhat impressed with our performances.

We've been training throughout the winter here in Cleveland, and part of the reason we planned a trip to Las Vegas, is because we thought we'd log some weekend miles in warmer weather. However, Vegas had unseasonably cold weather last weekend, and I think it was warmer in Cleveland than it was in Vegas Saturday morning. But the sun was out, and the scenery was perfect, so we're not complaining. And, we're feeling even more prepared for our next Marathon in May.

We moved to the Portland area from Las Vegas in the spring of 2003. The city is probably twice as big now as when we left. During our time in Las Vegas we used to hear rumors that the city was running out of room to build. Well......they're still building.

Wild donkeys in the Canyon.

This is one of the things we miss the most about Las Vegas. The sky looks like this nearly 365 days a year!


Super Alex

Here are a few highlights from Alex's busy February....

Another Tae Kwon Do belt testing. This time it was for his Green Tip.

Alex had a science fair at his school a few weeks ago. He chose the 'tornado in the bottle' experiment. I've heard this is a very popular one, but fortunately there were only two (his included) this year.

And, once again, Alex was honored for his reading steps on the 100 Book Challenge. He was the first student in the entire school to reach 500 steps, so as a prize, he received a journal and a pen to begin writing his own stories. (Right now Alex is sitting on the couch across from me reading a children's version of King Arthur. He just reached step #700).


Where We've Been....

Ever since Alex and Allison were babies, we've kept track of their travel adventures. Recently, we were once again looking at the map and indicating the states they've visited. I thought you'd like to see.....

ALEX - 23
New Mexico
North Dakota
South Dakota
New York

Allison - 21
New Mexico
North Dakota
South Dakota
New York

We're planning a New England trip this summer, so that will add quite a few more. Those states are quick to pop in and out of in a day. That was not as easy with those giant western states.

FYI - I'm at 42, and I believe Adam is at 47 (but I need to double check).


Past Due...

I must admit, the reason I'm so far behind in posting is because, right now, there is over 700 photos on our camera. I'm slowly getting them off the camera, and as I do, I'll get some up here....

The Ballerina and her Baby....

More Snow...

Allison Reads!

This is waaaaaay past due......

You may remember a few years ago when we talked about teaching Alex to read using a great home teaching method. If not, you can read about it here. Well, of course, over last year we took Allison through the same curriculum. We began in early 2008, and had completed about 80% of the lessons by the time we made our move to Ohio in late June. By the time a child is to the point where Allison was at that time, they are reading at a very advanced first grade level. Because of that, sometimes it is difficult to finish the lessons, since the child now knows how to read. During and after our move, our lives became hectic, and since Allison was already reading, I shelved the book for awhile. However, it was important to us that she finish the lessons. Later in the fall, we revisited the book to finish the last 20 lessons. Allison had lost motivation by that point, and we had a few arguments during our lessons. In order to encourage her to keep with it, I bought her a new outfit and hung it in the kitchen. I told her she could have the outfit (in the picture) when we finished lesson #100. Well, she was motivated! We finished 20 lessons in about 6 days! This was close to 2 hours of reading per day for her. We completed our last lesson the Monday before Thanksgiving. She was eager to wear her new outfit to school before her Thanksgiving break!

Since then her reading has continued to improve greatly. It's quite impressive. She has a natural sing-songy tone to her voice, so her expression when she reads out loud is amazing, far above average for most primary students.

Way to go, Allison!

Happy 100th!

Adam's grandmother celebrated her 100th birthday in January. Fortunately, because of our relocation to Ohio, we were able to celebrate with her in Indiana. We made the trip along with the rest of Adam's family in mid-January. Happy Birthday Grandma!

Christmas Photos