Monday, September 29, 2014

Marching Band

"Band Day" at The University of Kentucky Football Game

Eighth Grade Band Night at The Scott County High School Football Game

It's football season again and that means one thing for the Manwaring family...Marching Band!
Eighth Grade Band Night is always a good time during football season. It is when the three middle school bands join the high school band as they play in the stand, march on the field during the half time show, and mingle while eating eating pizza afterwards.
Merinda (in the stands) was excited to be apart of that, especially since her brother is drum major.
But sadly, this is the first and last time she'll have the opportunity to be with Breck in the marching band since he will be graduating this year, and she won't be in marching band until next year. 
  Even Brad stayed home long enough to make it to 8th Grade Band Night.
As you can see, Brad has a little fan club of his own--kids from church.
In fact, this was the Georgetown Ward section, and most of their children are in the marching band.
Except for Randi, who we also enjoyed watching as she cheered.
The big half-time show finally came with the high-schoolers marching out first in blue t-shirts,
and then the 8th Graders lining up in front with grey t-shirts.
  Merinda, Nikara, and Julianna were three 8th grade flute players from the Georgetown Ward.
 The 8th graders mostly marched in place while playing, which still takes a little getting used to if you've never done it before. 
Breck then made the transformation to "Twisted Sister" (the wig) as the band played Come On Feel The Noise.
Merinda getting into the spirit of things.
Ethan (front left) and Luke (back right) are two more 8th grade band members from the Georgetown Ward.
 Merinda had a lot of fun visiting with all of her friends from the different middle schools. 
 And really that's why my kids have enjoyed band so much through the years - great friends, good fun, and lasting memories!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Air Force Marathon

U. S. Air Force Half Marathon Dayton, Ohio

We spent a wonderful weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio catching up with good old friends Cherie and Chris Thunhorst! The occasion was running the U.S. Air Force Half Marathon together. 
Of course the evening before a race it is very important to carb-up, so that is what we did at one of Thunhorst's favorite Italian restaurants,
and dessert place, called "12 Degrees". It is pretty much to die-for Italian Ice (which is great for me since I don't do dairy). I recommend you check it out the next time you are in Morrow, Ohio! 
Cherie and Chris's high school kids, Ian and Audrey, are also runners and on the cross-country team (in addition to hockey, basketball, and more).
It was fun to visit with the kids and see how much they have grown. Brooke, their middle-schooler, also plays sports. 
But the visiting had to end all too soon (even for the grown-ups), so that we would all be rested for our races and games in the morning.
And let's not forget their dog, Cheyenne, who is a lovey, but cried all night before the big race. Brad and I didn't hear a thing, but unfortunately Cherie and Chris didn't sleep too well).
After waking up at 4:30 am, we drove an hour to Dayton, and then traveled ever so slowly onto Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  
It was a picture-perfect morning!
My only complaint about the Air Force Marathon is the distance you have to walk from your vehicle to the starting gate.
But there is a contagious excitement in the air as you walk among the sea of runners.

Luckily, we were there early enough to get in some great pictures next to the planes.
And to stretch (yes, Brad is stretching pretty hard),
check up on our kids, use the porta-potties,
listen to the National Anthem, and pray (or maybe Brad is just trying to keep the sun out of his eyes).
 Praying or not, God blessed us with the perfect day, and we were ready to run!
 Fast forward 2 hours and 15 minuets as we come down the homestretch (unfortunately the last 0.5 miles in the Air Force Half feels like 2 miles!).
 You can see the focus and concentration on Brad's face as he makes the final turns (and I do mean turns--many of them!).
Finally the finish gate is in view, and the rest is history!

The Air Force Marathon is never short on good eats right after the race with plenty of LaRosa's Pizza, donuts, bagels, bananas, Gatorade, water, and more.
I love the feeling of accomplishment and camaraderie as you sit on the grass with fellow-runners after the race,
you can see it in our eyes...
okay, you can see it in mine! 

And I didn't eve mention the real medal that an Officer in the U.S. Air Force places around your neck as you cross the finish line!
But again, all good things must come to an end,
as we walk (what feels like miles) back to our vehicles, lined up in never-ending rows.
It always amazes me how many cars there are parked at the Air Force Marathon.
But I guess that would make sense with 15,000 runners, 15,000 spectators, and over 2,300 volunteers!
After driving back to the Thunhorst's, we just couldn't leave town without one last stop to 12 Degrees. It was a good day--Brad got his PR and Audrey also achieved a PR in cross-country. This time around the Italian Ice tasted a lot better, because we earned it!
We cannot thank the Thunhorst enough for such a wonderful weekend and race! Indianapolis Mini-Marathon here we come!