Marathon Running and Fundraising

I always wish I'd do more, volunteer more, give more.  I'm a generally self-focused person.  I am introverted and enjoy focusing all my energies on my immediate family.  But God is calling me to more.  Matt & I have been making small changes as we feel God directing our lives and our family towards more outreach and giving.

Running the Chicago Half Marathon is another step in this process.  If it was just for me, I wouldn't do it. I don't have a big interest in running.  I don't enjoy sweating.  But, I have never raised money for a cause like this.  All the funds our team raises (last year it was $145K) will go to Rise International.  Rise uses all the proceeds to build schools in Angola.  Angola is a country in Africa that has been so ravaged by war they do not have any education system in place.  The government cannot afford to set one up, so the people just live uneducated and unable to prosper.

I actually know the people who run Rise International.  I know people who went to Africa and presented the school to the children in Africa.  It feels closer to home than any cause I've been a part of.

So, I'm running.  I'm getting out of bed early and training now for a race that is in September.  I'm starting very small, with 1 and 2 mile runs, with plans to build up to the 13.1 mile marathon.

I put a link to my fundraising on the header, please donate if you can.  If not, please remember me in your prayers (especially your early morning ones) and I'll keep you posted as to how I'm doing.  I'm posting all my training runs on Facebook, so be sure to follow me there!

Birthday Girl!

Claire had a super fun birthday party complete with 5 friends in pajamas, one little sister, pizza, games and Barbie movie while in sleeping bags!  It was a a blast.

She followed up her party by getting the flu the next day.

Then she got better in time to go to Colorado and celebrate her birthday a few more times.  It was a great time.

The girls decorated papers at Christmas and had no idea they would turn into plates!
Another party!  Yay!

Cat history was made