Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Day Twenty-Five... Christmas

So, Christmas was great. I'm really slow getting this up and going again. We had a lot of fun with B's family. The boys had a great time too and Santa brought them both just what they wanted (with a few modifications for cost purposes). I've always kind of had this tradition of making a goal on Christmas. Something I can give to Jesus. This year I'm going with a scripture that always gets stuck in my head. I think it's when Nephi & Lehi (Helaman's sons) are in prison nevermind... I'll look it up! It's Helaman 5:30, "And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul-" I keep thinking that if I could just use a still voice of perfect mildness that maybe my boys would actually listen! I default to the voice of thunder way more than I should. So that's the gift this year. I'm really going to work on that one... Hope your holidays were all you wanted and more! Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Day Twenty-Four... Nativity

Tonight we acted out the Nativity. A&J's family played Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus. Little C had a hard time deciding what he wanted to be. In the end he had a shepherd's jacket and a wiseman's crown and he spent the entire story with his family. He was really cute! We also continued our family tradition of opening up a gift (a new Christmas book) and reading it before bed. This year it was Mr. Finnegan's Giving Chest. We listened to Dick Van Dyke read it. He is such a great reader. I'm glad we got the CD with it! After we got the little men to bed we did the last of the wrapping and finally made it to bed praying that they wouldn't be up too early! Enjoy the Journey!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Day Twenty-Three... More Family

We will be spending the next few days in Cedar. Today our activity will have to be listening to R & P's ward choir Christmas program. It was nice. I was sad to miss ours though. We also had an early Christmas dinner with K&M's family. I'm sure glad that we were able to see them and that our kids were able to play while they did. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Day Twenty-Two... Mick's Family Party

Really, this was a lot of fun! A&R were in charge and they did a super great job. We played a few really fun games... We had a gift wrapping race/contest but the twist was that we partnered up and each partner put a hand around the others back and we were tied together (i.e. three-legged race only minus the middle "leg"). Then we had to wrap the gift. Thankfully I was the right handed one and B had to use his left... I think we had an unfair advantage because his hands are so stinking big they covered the entire gift! We weren't quite the fastest, but we were the fastest pretty one. Next we had to hold a piece of paper above our heads and draw a Christmas picture as it was told to us... Draw a floor, now draw a Christmas tree on the floor, now draw a fireplace with a mantle, now put a fire in the fireplace, now draw a star on the tree... etc. Then we got points for things like, does your tree touch the floor? 2 points. Is the fire in the fireplace? 2 points. 1 bonus point for each decoration (besides the star) that you put on your tree... etc. Lastly, we divided up into two teams (boys against girls) and we had to line up in order tallest to shortest as fast as we could. Blindfolded. This was hilarious! It was so funny watching the guys all try to muscle everyone else around because they had a plan... they each had their own plan. There was no talking allowed. Boys against girls was smart since it would have been very uncomfortable for one of the guys to grope one of the girls! So, that + good food + cute kids + great family = fun times! Mom passed out the family yearbood that we all contributed to. It turned out awesome! Enjoying the Journey!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Day Twenty-One... A Little Wrapping

And I do mean a little... The little guys wrapped their gifts to each other and I wrapped the gifts to the Grandpas and Grandmas. It was a short and sweet project. Just getting ready for the bigger/fuller days ahead. Enjoy the Journey

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Day Twenty... Bah Humbug

Today the plan is to pick up my "neighbor" gifts. I am anti neighbor gifts so when I say neighbor I don't really mean it. Today I plan to pick up a bunch of suckers at Pebbles... they are my favorites and they only have them at Christmas time. The flavor? HUMBUG. That is how I feel about neighbor gifts... so, lucky ladies... you just might get a humbug sucker, if you've been really nice and if you remind me when I see you! I think I'm done with Christmas. I've been there for a while. All this fun stuff to get me in the spirit... it's not working. I think next year I'll take my "need a little Christmas" box and do it myself as needed. That would be more in the spirit of doing less, not more. Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Day Nineteen... Do Nothing

Tonight I fell asleep on the couch at 7:00 p.m. The boys wanted to watch Frosty the Snowman again... but the TV broke. At 7:30 p.m. Daddy came home from helping with tithing settlement and Mom went to bed. Yep, that's right... Mom went to bed at 7:30 p.m. and we did nothing Christmas related. Bummer! Enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Day Eighteen... Christmas Orange

Tonight we watched the story "The Christmas Orange". The boys really enjoyed it and of course it made me teary-eyed. Does that to me every time.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Day Seventeen... "Gingerbread" Houses

Tonight we got together with some friends and made "gingerbread" houses. We actually used graham crackers, not gingerbread, but the kids all loved it anyway. We hot glued the houses together because if you use frosting to "glue" them you have to start a few days ahead (honestly, who thinks that far in advance?). While I was looking for a recipe for royal icing at allrecipes I came across a comment that said you can melt sugar in a pan and it will act just like hot glue... so if any of you'd like to try it just click on this allrecipes link and it will take you to a recipe and the instructions (it's the first comment) for melting the sugar... or you can just hot glue them. As for the icing, I used a different recipe because our friend is pregnant so I skipped the recipe with raw egg whites and found one with meringue powder. Something important about the icing... I'm not sure if the five minutes of whipping is long enough. It should be until peaks form. Then the icing will be thick enough to hold the candy until it dries. When I made ours it took about 10 mins. of whipping at low speed. Also, I just noticed that the first recipe doesn't say anything about keeping the icing moist. It's important to keep a damp towel over your bowl so it doesn't dry out... especially if you make it ahead of time. Enough of the explainations... here are some pictures. I think it's fun how much the dads enjoyed the project too! Enjoy the Journey!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Day Sixteen... Santa Jar

Today we visited Norm and Lill. I had talked to Lill after choir practice... the boys had asked, "can we go visit Norm and Lill? We haven't seen them for a long time!" I laughed and said, "except for when you went over there yesterday, and the day before that, and all the days before that to beg for cookies!" So I talked to Lill and we went to visit. She had a Santa cookie jar filled with wafers to give to the boys. Jar and all. So, lucky me... today we had Santa come to visit and I didn't have to do a thing! Enjoy the Journey!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Day Fifteen... Nativity

Tonight we had our Ward Christmas party. The Primary did the Nativity story and the little men dressed up as Wisemen. They loved their costumes and I will try to get a picture of them to post later. I didn't take my camera since I was leading the music for the program... Little man #2 was funny. He just couldn't get it that he wasn't in the program, he was just dressed for fun. He sat down in front of the stage with me, "Mom, is it my turn yet?" approx. 1,000 times (only a slight exaggeration). I tried to tell him that he was just going to stay with me, but when the other three wisemen came on stage he said, "Mom, it's my turn!" and went up the stairs to join them. Cute little man! Oh well, I hope everyone else thought he was cute too. They also got to sit on Santa's lap and tell him they want Bumblebee and The Flash for Christmas. Hopefully he'll get that right! It was a good party. Yummy food, great company, and the program went well too. Can't complain about that! Enjoying the Journey!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Day Fourteen... Wow!

Seriously, a busy Christmas day, but the little men probably don't even know that we had a Christmas activity... I spent the day sewing a Wise Man costume for the ward Christmas party tomorrow night. LM#1 was originally assigned to be a shepherd (which would have been much easier... we have towels!) but then they changed him to a Wiseman. (we don't have little robes). So I decided to make life hard and "do more" (as opposed to the "do less" that I am supposed to be doing this year) I am making a costume that can be used by future generations! The trial run with muslin took approx. 30 minutes. I thought that was acceptable and started making one with a Chinese looking brocade cloth (shiny like a king should be). It didn't go as smoothly and ended up taking 2+ hours. Way too long. But, now I'm done and it's very cute. I don't know if I'd say worth it, but definitely cute. Later, *B* and I had his work Christmas party. It was fun. They played 1 vs. 20 (last year it was Deal or No Deal). We had to bring a bag of canned goods for Dixie Care and Share to be able to participate in the game. **Did you know that the food banks always need peanut butter? That is what they announced in our ward when they did a food drive. There is never enough peanut butter. Just in case you have a food drive coming up! So *B* and I both spent time as contestants in the Mob... I stayed through 3 different contestants (because I'm so smart and knew all the answers... and the lady who put the game together was behind us and kept helping), but no money for the mob. One time the person got the question wrong but there wasn't any money in the pot yet. That was too bad! It was fun though. The highest paid contestant went home with almost $375.00... I wish I had been a contestant! Enjoying the Journey!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Day Thirteen... The 12 Days of Christmas Lesson

The little men learned a hard lesson tonight and I didn't even plan it! We got a knock at our door about 7:30 p.m. tonight... when we opened the door there was a huge sack full of presents sitting on our door step. Little man #2 was asleep on the couch, but LM#1 was so excited he started digging all the stuff out. I noticed tags with numbers on each gift so I told him to stop and let me take a picture... learning about the Twelve Days of Christmas would make a good Advent activity (see how excited he is!). After the picture we lined up the gifts by day. When we got to the bottom of the bag there was a tag that said, "To the Barry Perkins family". I kid you not. Someone had delivered a huge bag of gifts to the wrong house!

Now I had to explain to LM#1 that these gifts were for someone else (he said that they brought them to us so they are ours). We know the Perkins Family so it helped being able to point to different things, like a box that obviously had clothes in it, and say, "see, this has clothes in it. The Perkins have a baby and a little girl. We don't have either so we can't use these clothes... but they can." We repacked the bag and loaded up in the van and went to play Santa for someone else. LM#1 was still having a hard time with the whole idea of giving up gifts that had just been delivered to them. I told them that it was very nice of them to take things to the people they belonged to so we would stop by the manger and they could put straw in the Baby Jesus bed for doing something so nice. That helped.

Enjoy the Journey

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Day Twelve... Homework

Hee-hee... I seriously took the easy road today. We have a monthly calendar with a homework assignment on each day. The kindergarten kids are supposed to choose 3 assignments to do each week. This months calendar has a whole bunch of Christmas'ish assignments on it. So... we did Christmas homework. They drew pictures of our family ice-skating, we made "hot chocolate with an adult", and Little Man #1 wrote our address (necessary for sending a letter to Santa and even for sending Christmas cards... which we haven't done). Not bad for a days work! The plan for the day was to clean up their room and have them pick a few toys/clothes to take to the D.I. it's one of the ideas in my "need a little Christmas box". We got their room cleaned, and we talked about them choosing things to take, but by the time we finally got done... Well, lets just say we really were done. I found some vintage Christmas postcards on Flickr and printed them out so I can get my J.O.Y pails done. Maybe by the end of the week I'll have something cute to share... Oh! Almost forgot... I got a special delivery today. My painting came with Lexi's drawing. I have to tell you, even the package is cute. I think it deserves a photo...

How can you not love a big brown envelope with a stamp that says, "hooray! Mail for you from the Black Apple"? I know, it's just too easy. The craziest things make me happy!

Enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Day Eleven... Candy Cane Stirring Sticks

Tonight I'm going to keep it simple and have hot chocolate with candy cane stirring sticks. It's been a very long day. Hopefully I can get the little men into bed early... and myself shortly there-after. I picked up some Christmas paper at Pebble's to make J.O.Y labels for my tin pails that I have on the counter. I'll post a picture when I get them done. I want the letters to be sparkly... I just can't decide what color will work best. It might take a few trys. Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Day Ten... Family Gifts

After FHE we decided that it would be a nice activity to get our family gift shopping done. We took a little trip to Target and divided up into teams. I took the boys first and railroaded guided them into an acceptable gift for Dad. Then, while Daddy took the two little men to shop for me, I wandered and found the gift LM#2 is requesting from the Jolly Old Elf (Ha ha... maybe we should start calling him Joe!). Then we divided into teams... LM#2 and I were really fast. I knew what big brother wanted and again railroaded guided the little man into a wise choice. Daddy didn't have so much luck. Big brother knows way too much what he wanted so of course little brother wanted it too. Poor Daddy got a huge dose of Little Man #1 on this trip. While they were shopping for me it was the same story. Too many things that he wanted. There was a pair of Transformer sunglasses... "Dad, how much is this?" "look on it... what does it say?" "$5.99" "So, it's six bucks plus tax." "Do you have that?" "You're not getting the glasses." "Fine, Mom's got money." "Isaac, you're not getting the glasses." "I'll tell you what Dad, you get me these glasses and I'll give you seven dollars when we get home." "You're not getting the glasses." "Fine then. I'll give you two dollars... that's it." Stinkin' kid thinks everything is a negotiation. Enjoying the Journey.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Day Nine... Battle of the Choirs

Yes, that's what I said... Battle of the Choirs. In our Stake every year they ask each ward to prepare a Christmas song for a fireside. It is "lovingly" known by some as "Battle of the Choirs". B was cracking up because the organist for the opening song had on a jacket that looked like a referee's shirt. Nice... The fireside is a nice idea it just brings back nightmares of eternal band and choir concerts from school. Every group has to get their two cents in and it just keeps going and going... It's just so... boring. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas music... even in great quantities, but... well, lets just say I don't love the fireside with two little boys and 12 wards singing songs that all sound the same. Enough said? Enjoy the Journey!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Day Eight... Gumdrops

Yes, we finally got it done! The boys loved it. It was fun to see how their personalities came out in their art. Both very intense. LM #1 changing his plan three time in process. LM #1 very focused and driven to get in as much as possible. He wanted all of the gumdrops. I was glad that *B* decided to join in the fun too. He said it was tedious and only covered half of his cone. That is totally his personality too. I made one as well... Yes, I am still too much of a perfectionist. I hated that we had ugly gumdrops (that is also the reason behind the black and white photos). I took a photo of them all lined up, but it just didn't do them justice. Instead you get the process...
  1. Gumdrops, toothpicks, and styrofoam cones.
  2. Stick 1/2 toothpick in gumdrop to create a "push-pin".
  3. Stick "pushpin" into styrofoam cone.
The hardest part of the project was getting to it! As you've probably guessed, the boys have already begun to dismantle their trees. Oh well, at least we did it... and I took pictures so they'll remember it.

Enjoy the journey!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Funny Story... Not Advent Related

On Wednesday the boys were outside chasing each other around the house. I could hear them circling. Then they stopped and spent an unusual amount of time in one place... I looked out the window to see them both absolutely naked and in a mud puddle they had created with the hose. My first reaction was to laugh. Second, beat them with a stick... it was freezing outside. How was I supposed to get them cleaned up enough to come in and take a bath? I went out and told them to turn the water off and get as much mud off as possible. I went back into the house (so as to avoid beating them with a stick). A few minutes later the 14 year old neighbor boy came over and told Little Man #1 to get in the house and get some clothes on or he was going to tell his mom. Little Man's response... "She already knows!" Smug little stinker. I had to laugh at the too. So, after I chilled out for a few minutes I decided that they were probably already popcicles and spraying them off with the hose might get the point across... by this time they were completely covered with mud. Poor little guys. I really felt bad for them. It was one of those, "this hurts me more than it hurts you" moments. But then again, I still wanted to beat them with a stick! I didn't take a picture... I wanted to, but I couldn't let them think I thought it was worthy. Enjoying the journey!

Day Seven... Frosty

So, I went with the simple and we counted Frosty the Snowman as our official activity for the day. I think it's funny that I'm the only one keeping track. I don't think the boys know they're participating in any kind of Christmas countdown. B is just smiling and along for the ride... participation optional. Maybe I'll have to stop worrying about them and just enjoy it all myself. I found these countdown boxes I put together for a Y.W. activity a few years ago and it has some really good "need a little Christmas" ideas. Most are too advanced for the boys, but they're great for me. Yesterday's gumdrops didn't go either. I never made it to the store. Day Six post has been modified. Gumdrops to be featured later. Someday when I have the patience to let my guys make a mess... I do have the gumdrops now. Enjoy the Journey!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Day Six... Gumdrops The Chipmunks

We'll see how this goes, I saw gumdrops on a blog I like... hula seventy her advent activity for the day was making gumdrop trees. I thought, "hmm... that sounds like fun and the boys would love it!" So, I think we'll give it a whirl. I'll add photos and some other notes when I have them. I also found felt Christmas trees. When we were watching Rudolph I couldn't get over how cute the Christmas trees were. Then the crazy black apple lady had felt trees on her blog and I thought, "hmm... the trees on Rudolph were a lot like that and cuter"... maybe we'll make felt Christmas trees some time too. The boys would love that as well. Just a thought. Go looking at the links if you'd like. I lied. I never made it to the store. No gumdrops today. Today we broke out the Christmas music and the boys rocked to The Chipmunk's, "Christmas, Christmas" they crack me up. Oh yes, and finally... a new quote!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Day Five... Shopping!

Well, not really... yes, really. But, I am going to do something else with the boys. Just don't know what yet. Little Man #1 wants to set up more decorations. I did do a little shopping. There's this crazy lady who sells paintings and drawings on Esty and I don't know why, but I get the biggest kick out of them (and I say she's crazy but I also get the biggest kick out of her blog. I think she is totally random and I love it!). Anyway, there's one that is a pen drawing and the ends of the girls hair says "I love everything in you that hurts". I know it sounds wierd, but take a look. When I saw it I knew Lexi had to have it. That was months ago, but I've finally gone and done it. I also got one for myself. Mysterious Genevieve. I wanted one just to remind me that it's okay to do what I want to do. My stuff doesn't have to be super great or anything. If I like it then that's good enough.
Well, tonight I've also got a R.S. Christmas party... and I get to sing with the other primary teachers, "When Joseph Went to Bethlehem". I've got a busy Christmas day ahead. Now... what to do with the boys? Enjoying the Journey!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Day Four... Rudolph

Yes, that's right. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. How many of you remember watching that on tv every Christmas? I grew up in the days when you couldn't buy it... only wait for Christmas to come around again. I loved it. Now that I'm older and know that it can be bought it doesn't seem like such a novelty... I don't love it so much anymore. I think that I will not be a purchaser or this movie or any of the others that came to be family traditions in my mind. I will let my boys anticipate the movies... one time per season. And, by the way... they loved it! Frosty will be playing on Friday I think... Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Day Three... Straw

So, I am a big liar, but I wanted the dates to correspond with the advent day. Anyway, tonight for FHE we talked about service and that doing nice things for people is like doing them for Jesus. A family in our ward puts out an empty manger box every year and the people in the ward/ community can put a straw in when they do something nice for someone else. Then on Christmas eve they put up the rest of the nativity scene with the baby Jesus in a hopefully nice and cushy bed of straw. The boys thought this was cool and spent some time thinking of something nice they had done that day then we went up to make our contributions. The manger wasn't there yet! The little men were so disappointed! I told them maybe they take it down at night so someone bad doesn't steal it or something. We'll check back later...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Day Two... Christmas Devotional

Today the plan was to watch the First Presidency Christmas message. It didn't come on at 6:00 like it was supposed to. I guess you had to go see the brodcast to get the 6:00 showing. I watched the 8:00 re-broadcast and little man #1 joined me for most of it. He really didn't want to go to bed tonight. I love Elder Eyring! He said something that really struck me during the devotional. I went looking for a piece of paper and pen so I could write it down but by the time I got that task completed it was gone. I was hoping to get transcripts off of lds.org but they don't have it. You can download the broadcast to watch though. I might do that later just so I can write down what he said... maybe it'll be my new quote. We all know it's time for a change! My little man #2 is insane! He is a true morning person and he wakes up ready to go at approx. 4:00 a.m. (did I mention insane?). He realizes it's really early so he comes in and wants to lay by me. That is unacceptable because he is so incredibly wiggly. Then he asks if it's morning yet. Not quite yet, bud. Then he says he'll just sit on the chair (we have one by our closet to take our shoes off and generally pile junk on) and wait for morning. At about 6:00 he starts asking for breakfast and we can't put him off any longer. Crazy little man. Cracks me up every time. Enjoy the journey!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Happy December

So, I'm a little crazy and think that it's important to do some "invite the spirit of Christmas" activity daily in December leading up to Christmas. Usually I plan a little in advance and fill up this awesome advent box I picked up a couple of years ago at Robert's... so far this year I've been shooting on the fly. Today we did an old stand-by and read The Polar Express. The boys love it. They're crazy about Santa Claus this year. Maybe I'll get with it and fill the box... then again, maybe I won't and every day will be an adventure. Who knows! Enjoy the Journey!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Past

I'm a couple of days slow, but Happy Thanksgiving anyway. We had a lot of fun... The boys enjoyed hanging out at Grandpa & Grandma's in Bunkerville. I snapped a few pictures for all to see the excitement. Grandpa Great gets my Mom and Dad a subscription to National Geographic every year for Christmas and Little Man #1 enjoyed them alot. Little man #2 ran around like a wild man and tried to stay away from all the dogs that seem to run rampant at Grandma's house (something I'll never understand... In fact, my sister called and asked mom if they could bring their new puppy, Sam, and mom said no. She had to call back and tell her it was okay because Benny and Precious would be coming and apparently there's nothing she can do about that even though it is her house... go figure). B and I learned to play Guitar Hero and thoroughly enjoyed that. If you ever get a chance definitely try it. It totally rocks! Literally! If you look closely you can see my left contact lens sitting on my cheek just below my eye. I didn't dare to blink so my contacts kept drying out and then one finally fell out...
Hope your Thanksgiving was fun too! Enjoy the Journey.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Blessed

I don't know how often you frequent the blogs of random people, but this woman inspires me. Her husband is dying. First of all, I can't even begin to fathom how that would feel. I think I would shut down completely. She, on the other hand, keeps a happy outlook and savors each moment. And she still creates. When I read her blog I am reminded about how blessed I am. That is a good thing. Count your blessings. Enjoy the Journey.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fun and Random

So, I took this quiz to see what my design style is. Any guesses? Usually when I take a quiz like this I think it's way off base, but this time I think they actually got it right. My design style is eccentric… “For you, it’s all about the mix. Any style is welcome in your world as long as it complements something else. You’re drawn to funky interiors and eye-catching color combinations (think red and blue, orange and turquoise, purple and gold). You like contrasting patterns and unconventional architecture. You enjoy furnishings that remind you of your travels mixed with modern pieces and offbeat antiques. Did you guess right? Unless you've walked around a store with me and had to smile politely and say, "oh, yeah!" when I show you something really random you probably wouldn't know this about me! Especially since my house has no decoration what so ever. And even the furniture has no personality... except for the olive green paisley chair. I love it's design and some day it will get new skin. Some day! So what's your design style? Click the link above and see it they get you right too (don't get stuck at the door bell... which ever one you listen to last is your choice). Enjoy the journey!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The List:

So, my friend Melissa took the boys for a few hours and I spent some time thinking/ working on this list. The first ten are inspired by this past General Conference talks. I'll link the articles where they apply...
  1. Do less.
  2. Attend the temple monthly.
  3. Study diligently.
  4. Pray earnestly.
  5. Serve willingly.
  6. Rejoice.
  7. Ponder daily the question, "Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch our family today?”
  8. Write it down .
  9. Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today .
  10. Embrace being a nurturer.
  11. Get rid of my clutter.
  12. Paint a picture.
  13. Frame it.
  14. Hang it in my house.
  15. Take a photograph every day.
  16. Display pictures of my family.
  17. Re-paint the upstairs bathroom.
  18. Run in the New Year midnight run.
  19. Take the boys to Sea World.
  20. Go to a Farmer’s Market.
  21. Make a collage/scrapbook page per week.
  22. Weekly Yoga class.
  23. Perfect a whole wheat waffle/pancake recipe.
  24. Make my own Pesto.
  25. Put up all of my Christmas trees before Dec. 1.
  26. Get our year supply caught up.
  27. Make out at the lake.
  28. Chalk paint on the sidewalk with the boys.
  29. Write down the stories of my life.
  30. Lose 31 lbs.
  31. Enjoy the journey.

I've had a birthday...

Yes it's true. I am getting older. The jury is still out on the wiser part, but hey... we all like me! I saw an idea a few months ago that I really liked and thought, "when it's my birthday I'm going to do that!" Well, I've had a birthday and now I feel like I "have to" do it because I've been waiting around to do it. Basically the idea was this: Make a list of ___ things to do before you turn ___. Since I turned 31 (sheesh!) I would make a list of 31 things to do before I turn 32. And now I've drawn a blank and nothing sounds fun enough to make a list about it! So... I've cheated. I checked out the list I saw to see if it would inspire me again. Click here if you'd like to check it out for your self. Some of her ideas I really like & will most likely steal. I think it would be a great idea to take at least one picture everyday. Then I think... yeah right! Who's going to do that? But... that's the point of a goal right? One I think I'll definitely add to the list... lose 31 more lbs. That's 1 for each year of my life. Do-able? Debatable. I think I'll have to put more thought into this list thing. Anyway, the birthday was spent being a mom and playing volleyball. The guys took me out for Pier 49 pizza (if you go get the Embarcadero with artichoke hearts... it's the BEST!). Then our ward played for placement at the regional tournament. We got slaughtered. That was it. Oh, except my cute neighbor Lill came over and tried to motivate me to clean up by asking what she could do for me while she proceeded to clean the breakfast and lunch off the table. I finally had to tell her to go home because I wanted to eat my fruit salad and read my book on my birthday... not clean off the table/ clean the house. I know, I'm borderline crazy. Do any of you have good soup recipes? I have been loving soup lately. Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Lesson Time

Well ladies, you've coaxed me out of the hole I've been hiding in for the past few days. I'll try to answer your question in a way that makes sense...
  1. When I upload my photos I always use "none" and "large" options.
  2. After they're loaded I move them around and resize them until they fit like I want them to. It usually takes a few edits, but it's worth it.
  3. When they're grouped like I want them I highlight the whole grouping and center them using the "align center" command in the tool bar.

Sounds easy? It is, but it will take a little time to get it just right. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.

Oh yes, something to keep in mind. I usually add my photos very last because when I tried putting them in the space I wanted while still typing it messed up my paragraph spacing (there wasn't any!). Adding the photos last seemed to fix that.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Good Mom

Today I spent a few hours running around town looking for "wellingtons" (aka rubber boots). When the guys put on their costumes for the Halloween party we had a little problem because Superman didn't have his boots. Mom hadn't really thought about that. She was just happy they had insignias on their chests. Truth told, Superman was lucky to have a cape. Batman wasn't so lucky! Today I thought, "heck... they would love superhero boots. They will definately get used. I think I'll find some." So, I went to the D.I., Kid-to-Kid, Target, IFA (where I ran into a rancher I know from home who told me they have them at Wal-Mart... go figure), then on to Wal-Mart where, yes, they did have them! Success! I also got a can of red spray paint. Superman's boots are red you know. Tomorrow is the big day (I'll take pictures). The school has a costume parade (think "Ramona the Pest") and then the classes each have a party, the Rec Center has a carnival which I am considering taking the boys to, and then of course... TRICK-OR-TREATING! Honestly, I seriously considered shutting all the lights off and not doing the trick-or-treating thing at all. B said that would be "Tricking" so I would technically be participating. Generally I love Halloween, but this year has not been so much fun. Maybe it's because I can already feel the results in my Levi's and it's not even here yet. Hmm.... Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Party

I'm still not sure if it was a great idea or not, but we ended up going to the halloween party. I figure that since Grandma told B that we were wanted regardless... anyway, I hope no one gets sick. The kids loved it. Ambree did a treasure hunt. That was a huge success. The kids sure love it when she does those. I can't believe how old she is getting. Not a little kid anymore. Grandma had bags with stickers etc. so the kids could each decorate a treat bag for the prize at the end of the hunt (Grandma had the last clue in her pocket so the kids would have to find her to get their treasure). We made creepy pizza faces for dinner and decorated creepy cupcakes for dessert. Uncle Scott and his friend Rachael made a fun fizzy drink (frappe) that the kids couldn't get enough of. If we were smart we'd give them bigger cups! All in all it was a fun night. The best part is getting to dress up! We had Buzz Lightyear, a little lion, Grandma's pumpkin, lots of ninja warriors, a ghost, Batman, Superman, and me only better... I had a cool platinum wig that I picked up in San Francisco (I had my wings there too, but never did get them on).
Enjoying the Journey!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Halloween as Promised

So I was thinking that it would be really fun to let the kids make their own personal pizza. Give them their own lump of pizza dough and let them shape it and layer on a crazy monster face. I'm sure they would love it. When I ran it past #1 he loved it and was really excited (now he's just really bummed since dad informed him that we won't be going). I also think it would be really fun to have a creepy cupcake/cookie contest. I found these really fun pictures and knew the little guys would love it. The cookies are from Elsie and the cupcakes are from Martha. B thought it would be fun to do one of those creepy feeling guessing games. He also thought a haunted house would be fun. I think the little men are still a bit too little for that one. Mostly, I think the plan was dinner and dessert with a lot of craziness in between. I think it would be fun. I am crazy and think that there would need to be some other kind of thing to keep people entertained, but have been a little preoccupied with enrichment and sickness etc. So... that's all I have... except for homemade rootbeer of course. Can't have pizza without homemade rootbeer. I have a big black plastic cauldron and it's fun with dry ice. I think we'll still do something with just us. Poor little guys! Enjoy the Journey! oh yes... the Ladies at enrichment loved all of the cheesy things we showed them. I learned I can't call them cheesy... they're "clever".

Still Pushing Along

Little man #2 is currently running around outside with stripey pajamas and bare feet. Good mom! He has a really watery cough and an occasional low grade fever but I can't stand them in the house whining at me! Oh, just kidding, he came in. Apparently he was outside in underwear and bare feet. Even better! I've got to finish up two more tags for my food storage gifts and then I'll be off. I guess I'd better get on that seeing as how it's in an hour. Hmmm. I really wanted to share some of the fun ideas I had/found for our annual Halloween Party this year. I'm a little bummed out that it will probably be something we just do at home by ourselves this year since we're carriers of the yuck and I'm sure no one wants us to share the love. I'll have to come back later...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Stuck at Home...

Can't go anywhere. I'm going insane! Little man #1 is feeling a lot better. He's been home from school all week now because he keeps having a random 103 temperature in the afternoon... right after I decide that he is for sure going to school tomorrow! Lucky me... Little man #2 has a fever today. I will continue to be stuck in the house for approx. 5 days for no apparent reason except for random fevers. Like I said... Lucky me! So, since I sold all of my scrapbooking/"crafty" stuff I had to go to Pebbles yesterday and buy paper and use their punches to make "fun and cute" gift tags for the food storage items I will be demonstrating to be given as gifts tomorrow night. I thought I might enjoy it, but I haven't. That is really too sad. Maybe it's the theme. Volleyball game tonight. We're going to region playoffs. We have a lady on our team who has discovered her love for volleyball and she is so excited to be on a good team. I am afraid she will be sorely disappointed when we go to the playoffs and get slaughtered because surely there are teams in the stake that have more than one person with some volleyball training... You know I love volleyball and love to play usually, but... well, I'm just not having a lot of fun trying to keep it all in (if you know what I mean!). Still trying to talk myself into working out again. The scale is maintaining my 20 lb. weight loss, which is exciting, but I need some exercise in my life for sanity and frustration purposes. Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Insanity

So much to say so little time! Seriously, for as much as I really enjoy doing this you'd think that I'd actually do it! Lot's going on. Lot's gone by...
  • Took a girls weekend with Erin. LOVED IT! Loved San Francisco. I could live there... the crazier the better (but I realize that I'd probably end up in trouble. Too much temptation. So, I'll keep my small town life and try to keep it simple). I'll post some pictures soon...
  • Child #1 has been sick... fever & sore throat (kept under control with Tylenol) for the whole time I was gone to SF. We took a trip to the InstaCare yesterday, the rapid strep was negative. We had given Tylenol about an hour before we went and wouldn't you know it: by the time the Tylenol wore off the kid was better. Typical. I think they only have to look at a doctor to be cured. Kept him home from school today just to be sure. We'll see what happens...
  • Super great hubby is putting the wood floor in the dining room and kitchen. He's almost finished thanks to Grandpa and Grandma for all their help getting it done (and especially for running the show here while I was gone)!
  • Primary Sacrament Meeting Program was a success. The kids sang wonderfully for me! I'm so glad it's over! None of my guys got to see it as little man #1 was sick. He didn't get to be in it either. He was sad to miss the treasure hunt I did as a reward so I had a special one for him after we went to the doctor.
  • Working on "cute" gift ideas for enrichment (this Thursday night)... Fun ways to give food storage as gifts. How would you like to get a bag of flour for Christmas? Sugar? Honey? Cans of beans? I've got ideas for all of them! Just need to make up the tags etc.
  • Trying to plan the Annual Halloween Party (tentatively scheduled for Saturday night). Still not really sure what to do. Still haven't finalized costumes ideas for the boys. Still need to make costumes etc. Lot's of stills...
  • Glad to be home. Need to get going again in 1,000 different ways. I'm really just wanting to veg and that isn't acceptable with all these things on my plate.

Do you think that's enough? I'm sure I could keep adding to that list but it started to get overwhelming! Maybe next time I post I'll have a few things crossed off the list!

Enjoy the Journey!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I'm Trying to Regroup

I took a huge step for me yesterday and again today (but today it was with a little more angst than yesterday)... Yesterday I cleaned what was formerly known as my craft room. The huge step came as I was going through a pile of papers, sorting them into smaller piles, and setting up a plan for me to revisit them throughout the next few months. I know, I know... I'm borderline insane! I just kept thinking that those notes from various women's conferences etc. held some profound knowledge for me then... so what was it? I was making a plan to find out! And then... drumroll please... I realized that there isn't anything new in those papers. No information I couldn't find if I wanted to seek. So, I tossed them! Wahoo! I did the same thing to a pile that perpetuates on my counter top. Three cheers for me. I've got a ways to go, but hopefully and can unload all of my trash. All this stuff that is weighing me down in every way shape and form. Enjoy the Journey!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Hello There! (this will be a long one)

It's been a while! I've been crazy busy in the mornings and I shut down in the afternoons. They just slip away from me. That's nothing new... I've always been a morning person, but this is ridiculous! Any thoughts on how to pull myself up in the afternoon? I don't get anything done these days. Maybe the Rec center job isn't the greatest thing for me. I can't keep giving up my best time of day... Just a thought. Yesterday I started doing my scrapbook pages for our family yearbook. I've got four pages done! I'm not sure how many I'll do. I definitely need one more each for the boys and a page for B & me. I think after that I'll call it done enough. The only other person that has any done did four for their whole family. I don't want the whole book to be about me! I'll be starting another BFL challenge on Monday. I've really slipped in my routine. I guess I need a challenge to keep me honest! If I don't have a reason to say no it must not be that important to me. Working on figuring out my new goals. They are always pretty much the same. I still want to lose 20-30 lbs. I'd like to see if I can be a size 8. I just want to be cute. to feel good about my body. I still see too much of me! I will get going on my over-all efficiency. The BFL program is very efficient. I need to work on clearing my clutter, cleaning my messes, etc. Like I said, it's always the same thing. B and me had a great chat the other day. We went on a lunch date and started talking about what I need to do. He said something to the effect of Satan knows that I have these incredible mood swings and get stuck in these ruts and he plays on that weakness. I get so frustrated! Is this psychological or physiological? Is this a trap from Satan or a "challenge" from the Lord? I told B that it doesn't really matter. If it's a challenge I'm supposed to overcome, I'm failing. If it's a trap from Satan, he's winning. Either way, I don't know what to do! No, I do know what to do... I just can't seem to do it and I beat myself up for that every stinking day! I can't do everything that is required of me. I'll just end the vent there. It's just going in circles anyway... Trying to enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Numbers are In...

Well, here they are. Before and after numbers and photos. I just wanted to tell you thank you for being such great cheerleaders! Seriously. With you continually validating my efforts and making me look realistically at what is happening to my body I can't help but smile and be proud of my efforts! Here are some measurements:
  • At belly button: B: 39 1/2 A: 35 1/8
  • Rear end/hips: B: 44 3/4 A: 41 3/8
  • Upper Thighs: B: 27 A: 25
  • Weight: B: 195 A: 170
  • Body Fat %: B: 31.7 A: 24.4

I feel really great about the results I've had! I am in a good starting place now to finally be where I've always dreamed of being. I need to put more thought and effort into this between/ down time. I thought after 12 weeks it would be second nature to not eat certain things, but... NOT TRUE! Just like an alcoholic, I am an addict. I'm going to have to actively deny myself of things. It won't be easy. I've totally let down these last couple of days. I've got to get back on that wagon!

Now, the pictures. I still can't believe it. I look at myself everyday. I didn't expect this when I put them side by side!

Starting another journey!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sneak Peek...

Tomorrow is the last day of my challenge. I've been thinking a lot as I've worked on my essay and "inner transformation" questions and Ali had links to things written by Anna Quindlen (a woman who is, I am sure, a feminist liberal (something I would probably be if it weren't so completely irrational) but I liked portions of what she had to say. She wrote: "look in the mirror tonight... Who is that woman? She is the work of your life. She is it's greatest glory." This resonated with me because one of my transformation goals was to be able to smile at myself in the mirror. Plus, in thinking about our selves being our greatest work... at first that felt really off. What about our children? Well, after much thought and deliberation, our children are not ours. They will ulitmately become what they will. I become what I will. So, "to smile at myself in the mirror" I seriously doubt that Anna Quindlen was talking about looking great... that is NOT feminism. But, I want that. I am learning to respect myself. I want to look like someone who knows she matters. Who cares about and respects herself. Someone who knows that her body is a temple. As I go along and see things that need to be edited from my life, things that are dragging me down (for example: the guilt that was associated with all of the scrapbooking supplies that I was collecting only) I feel better. Each time I say no and walk away from a handful of animal crackers, or get up at 5:45 a.m to work my body into the ground I feel more empowered. I am putting aside the natural woman and each time I do that the natural consequence is beauty without, strength within. I didn't mean to ramble. I just wanted to sort that quote out in my head and as you well know, for me that works best through my fingers! I just looked out the window and I've got two streakers out there. One in a Superman cape, the other completely naked. What is it with my boys thinking they need to naked? It's not like their two anymore either! FYI: They got their clothes wet in the irrigation water... of course they had to take them off! Well, I don't have final numbers to share yet, but I did go and get my after pictures taken... here's a sample:

Enjoying the Journey!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Twice in One Day!

So, I'm thinking of cutting my hair... Here are some thoughts:
  1. Really CHOP it off. A chin length bob'ish do.
  2. Leave it long but add a few more layers.
  3. Mix and Match
Here are some pictures. I'm looking for votes here ladies!

The "mix and match" option I was thinking something like having them take the top most layer of my hair (the part I dry/straighten last) and cutting it like they would a bob. Like the bottom right picture only with all the rest of my hair long or maybe the top right... maybe they're the same but the bottom right is just so outrageous in it's presentation... After much study I have learned that the look for thirty-somethings is long layers. I don't love tons of layers though...
Anyhow, that's what I'm thinking. What are you thinking?
Enjoy the Journey!

Optimal Experience

I fizzed on my cardio workout this morning. B & I were up until after midnight last night and I got up at 5:45 a.m. for the gym. This schedule seems to be a re-occuring theme for me, and while it's not great I've still been able to push through to have a great workout. Today that just didn't happen. I am so physically exhausted. I got half way through and honestly thought I was going to pass out. I backed down to a walk until I felt like I had it under control and then tried to finish up strong. I just couldn't make myself do it. Could I have physically done it? Probably, I think our bodies are stronger than we think. I am all around spent. In a way I think I took the easy out. In a way I think I have honestly run out of gas. I could have kept pushing this morning, but would that have ruined my day? I am just going to feel good about what I did accomplish and enjoy the insight I had while sitting on my front porch "meditating". Here's my daily something that resulted...

I will not beat myself up for today. I am still going to give myself a gold star!

Enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Making Friends

Well, we have friends. This is new for us... we've usually had family. We have made friends with the Kesterson family. They have three boys. The two oldest are in the same age groups as our boys and we've spent the last two days swapping boys. It's funny to watch them interact. They're not used to playing with other kids. It's crazy to be the mom that needs to make sure that they are playing nicely and don't offend... I'd hate to have to explain something terrible to a mom and hope that she doesn't abandon our family. It's a little strange to be in this place. It isn't just automatic that they're in our lives. They can choose never to interact with us again. Honestly, I really like their mom and keep hoping that the boys will play nice so we can all continue being friends.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Crunch Time

This is my final BFL week. Now is when I have to start really trying to figure out what to put in my essay. It's the essay that really clinches the winner, and writing an essay is something I know I can do. I've been looking through the questionairre that's in the packet. One of the questions is: WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO INSPIRE TO ENTER THE BFL CHALLENGE & WHY? I've been thinking about all of the questions a lot and today the answer came to this one... This is for all the SuperWomen out there who don't know they're super. The moms and grandmas and aunts and sisters and friends who do all and be all to everyone else, but put their own dreams on the back burner. I would like to inspire each of them... no, CHALLENGE each of them, to finally take some time for themselves. What do you think? Too cheesy? Do I sound like I want to be an ambassador? My body is spent. I am seriously glad this is the end for a while. I can't maintain this intensity for much longer. I keep telling myself, SIX MORE DAYS... you can do anything for six more days. I'm ready for lower intensity to come. Maybe I'll try spinning again. After all, I did buy a soft seat cover... Enjoy the Journey!

Friday, September 7, 2007

I {heart} Hand-Me-Downs

Really, I do love hand-me-downs. Such a blessing. I have been horrified at the thought of the women in my book group coming to my house and thinking that we're white trash. I realize that I'm probably overly sensitive. I jump to assumptions way to soon and make up people's minds for them. I do know that maybe one of them would understand what we've been through. One other actually knows. The rest... married in school, graduated to white collar jobs, moved into big houses. I want everyone to love my house in all of it's imperfect, unfinished, white-trash'ish glory! REALLY! It has such potential.
So, Greg Abbott (of the white Christmas lights house accross the street) mentioned to Aunt Lill that on occasion he would have nice furniture that his clients didn't want anymore, so if she knew anyone who needed furniture he was usually always looking to give some away. When Lill told me that I immediately raised my hand, "Oh, pick me! Pick me!" I bit down my pride and called him. He had a couch! It isn't the couch of my dreams, but it's 1,000,000+ times better than what we currently have on display. What we have has great bones. I still want to try to recover them in fabric that I love, but for now... they have seen their day and performed well beyond what anyone could expect. So, Yeah for us! We've got a new couch!
I was interrupted in the middle of my writing by a phone call. B's afternoon break. Can I just tell you how much I hate money? Honestly! Why does everything in the world come back to money? I was just having fun dreaming and then...BAM! Money. Yep, I hate it. Can't I even dream? What a total bummer.
Trying to remember to enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

WOW!

Eleven days to go. Can you believe it? Yesterday I had dinner with Cori @ the Pasta Factory. I love it that they have whole wheat pasta, pesto, grilled chicken, & steamed veggies... and that they offer 1/2 plates. I just eat half the pasta and all of the veggies and chicken. Plus a salad with lemon and salt. It's really great! I keep telling myself that I need to sprint to the finish line. I also keep telling myself that there is no stopping at the end. Yes, it will slow down. No, it will not stop. This will be an active "cool down" for a couple weeks. Then I think I will go at it again. I am feeling really great. Especially first thing in the morning when I first look in the mirror. That was one of my goals: To be able to smile at myself in the mirror in the morning. I think I can do that. This has been so great for me. THIS IS NOT THE END! I still have 11 days to get rid of as much of the extra fat as possible before my last photo shoot. GO ME!!! Enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Craziness

This is my attempt to fill you in after this crazy weekend. REALLY crazy! I need to go to Norm & Lill's and take a picture of our great neighbors. They deserve a minute in the spotlight. They have done so much for us. Today Lill washed, dried, and folded two loads of our dirty laundry. That is true service. She called me up the minute I walked in the door from a typical VERY busy Tuesday morning. Really, what great neighbors and friends. Maybe tomorrow I can tell you a little more about the weekend and what Lillian has done for me lately.
Enjoy the Journey!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Search for the U-Haul

As I watched the U-Haul pull away from our house this morning I realized that the moment had to be documented. I couldn't believe I didn't think of it sooner. I grabbed my camera, grateful that K & M needed to stop for gas. But they weren't where I thought they were going. So I did a round town checking at the more convenient gas stations... nothing! Sadly, I had to settle for this photo from Flickr. Oh well, it's the story that matters, right? And what can I say, really? I can't even begin to... They moved here in a time I really needed them. Saved me from myself. I'll be forever grateful that we have gotten to know this family so well. They are so much more that family. They are real friends. I know, that sounds a little backwards! I guess that what I mean is that they aren't just B's family. Now they are mine too. Yes, I think that says it better. So, here's to changes and moving and going forward.
Enjoy your journey and have a safe one!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Loving It

This was the sight that greeted me this morning! What a way to start my day off.
I ran out of shakes last night so I've officially switched over to a "South Beach'ish" menu for my last 2 1/2 weeks. I can't believe how fast this is all going by. I've also kicked up my workouts and honestly... I am sore all over! My upper body hurts from doing chin-up's (assisted of course), and my lower body hurts from doing weighted lunges. WOW! I am going to make my photo shoot appointment tomorrow and find a tanning place. I think the sunless was working but I don't have that kind of patience and dedication! At least not for a tan (I'll see what I think after laying in a tanning bed thinking about the cancer that is starting to grow!)
I just realized the date is wrong on that journaling art! I wonder how I'm going to fix that!
Enjoy the journey!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Nursery Rhymes

As the music lady in Primary I have the opportunity to go and sing with the Nursery children weekly (if I remember them). Today we learned, "The Wise Man and The Foolish Man" and sang it with some other favorites. At home my own little Nursery man has been singing, "the rains came up and the floods came down, the rains came up and the floods came down, it wasn't really so but it seemed to be, popcorn popping on the apricot tree." He is so cute. It makes it all worth it! Here is the page I had to do!
Enjoy the Journey!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Retro Chairs

I have been sucked into the e-bay world. It's a sad, sad day. I keep thinking that I want to find a chair like the avocado/aqua floral one we got from B's Mom & Dad's rental place when they bought it. I wish I could find one. I really want to recover it. It has so much spunk! I really love it. So I checked out retro chairs on e-bay this morning. This is what I found for the taking. What are your votes? Do you think the shipping would be outrageous? Would it be worth it if I only paid $5 for the chair itself? Am I insane?...
Yes, I realize that they are incredibly ugly as they are. They are so cute in my head though. Seriously, can you see them with linen colored, heavy duty covering and some cute/funky/ sassy pillows? For example, fabrics like these:
So, that is what has been on my mind lately. Also, I realize that there is no rhyme or reason to any of these fabric swatches. They just spoke to me today! Pillows are easy to change. Right?
Enjoy the Journey!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New Quote

I got this just today. I've been feeling especially craving... I'm not sure what. Anyway, Mike Harris posted a few "slogans" from 12 step programs. I really liked most of them. Nothing new, but the one I need to focus on is: NOTHING IS SO BAD THAT OVEREATING WON'T MAKE IT WORSE. Just because I keep having to check myself and busy myself with something that won't take me past the fridge or cupboard. Yes, sadly that means surfing. Isn't there some other way to ignore the kitchen? Why does it have to be right there in front of me? Why is it that nothing in the world sounds better than an not great granola bar or some wal-mart gummies? Could it be that I get asked, "can I have some gummies?" or "can I have a granilla bar?" at least 20 x's a day? Yes, I'm done. No I haven't caved. B will be home soon to save me! The new today quote is from an article Amy Krause Rosenthal did for Parenting magazine. I've been looking for info on her for our book club next month. We're doing "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life" and other work by Amy. I really like her style and we'll talk more about concept and record keeping I think than anything. Should be fun! enjoy the journey!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I Am Okay!

Yes, yesterday was a hard one for me. But... I will not take that lying down. I e-mailed Mike Harris and explained what I'd been doing did he have any ideas. He wrote back (which of course prompted a "daily something") and told me I'm okay. 15 lbs in an entire challenge is nothing to "sniff" at, so what if I lost it all the first 6 weeks. Then he gave me hope again. One of the featured challengers from the 2nd round said her most dramatic changes happened her last week. Mike had inside info on her last few weeks diet wise and he e-mailed them to me. Something that she did was dropping the starchy carbs in week 10 and cutting out fruits in week 11. Plus she increased her water consumption. Mike said that is a strategy long used by professional bodybuilders and fitness competitors. That it really helps to drive out the last few pounds of fat and water between the skin and abs. I don't really know where I am at realistically, but I love the hope he shared. So... Next week no more starches for 2 weeks! Hmm...do you think if I started that now? Maybe pull in a little SouthBeach Phase 1 for the last 3 1/2 weeks? I think I might! Here is my need to document the awesome support that is available (for free even!) in the BFL program:

And so... that is it. I'm just going to keep working my tail off! Cut out even more "stuff" and free days? What's that? Ha Ha Ha! (I know, I'm insane... 3 1/2 more weeks!) Enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Daily Something

Can I just tell you how much I am loving doing the Daily Somethings that Ali shared? It has turned into my quick/ no mess creative outlet. When I need to think of something good I find something, take a picture (or use a past one) and journal about it. This is what I did today: I needed something to smile about... I'm feeling a little rebuked right now. On the BFL guestbook there is a woman named Tara & she isn't seeing the results that she would like to and she's in the same place I am. Anyway, I shared some of the things I've found. An example being: I read @ hussman fitness that some of the past champions have lost weight prior to starting their challenge to put themselves more in a position to have the results they were looking for. I shared that with her and said something to the effect that we just keep working and waiting and if it doesn't happen this time, well then we'd be primed and ready for the next challenge. Well, today Mike Harris did his blog about the whole subject. That if we aren't seeing the results we want it's because we haven't truly given it our all. That we would be able to look back and see where we went wrong. I pulled this from the blog: "I know that everyone in their own mind thinks they are doing this the very best they can. But often those who are seeing little or no results will have the presence of mind to really go back and examine their program from top to bottom, and will see that they are not really being that careful or stringent." What really hit me hard though was this comment: Tracy HOUSTON, TX-- It’s ironic how you blogged this today. I was pondering about this after reading some posts from the GB yesterday regarding some challengers not seeing better results. Thanks for putting into perspective that we won’t witness the "8 week miracle" that we all so desire if it is not earned..." Sorry that I'm complaining... I seriously feel hurt. I think I have earned this! What could I have done more? Is this stalling period a result of stacking my weights? I just need to keep going. Even if I don't lose another pound I will finish this challenge! So grateful that I have two beautiful boys who love me anyway! Have I told you that my oldest understands that I don't eat anything with sugar? He thinks I have an allergy! So cute! enjoy the journey!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

De-Junking

This is what we did today. I had a list of things I wanted to get done & B had his. Unfortunately, his to-do list turned into my "have-to" do list because, sadly, his big dreams of de-junking the junk room meant I had to go through all of the stuff... it is after all, mine. So, I thought I'd catalog all of my stuff and keep it "continually before my face" so as not to forget what's there and what needs to be done. Plus, an added bonus... I realized something really great... IT'S ALMOST AUTUMN! I love autumn. The air gets cool, I can wear long sleeved t's, the leaves on our trees turn red. Plus, autumn means Halloween & Thanksgiving (and my Birthday!) I l-o-v-e, love pumpkin pie spice. Pumpkin pie too for that matter! So, the day wasn't a total loss. I have fun pictures of all of my fun things! Enjoy the Journey! *Please keep in mind this is just a small sampling of what is in the junk room. This is, in general, my AUTUMN collection only.

Friday, August 17, 2007

No. 4 {NEW}...finally!

Well, it took long enough, but a yesterday Mike Harris had the greatest blog. He had a quote from a 12 step program about being willing to go to any length to get what you want then you are ready to take certain steps. About being willing to let go of past behaviors and ideas. Then in his own comments he talked about not selling yourself short. That you could be the winner of this game as easily as anyone else. But it won't be easy. Do it right, do it with all you have, and don't let anyone tell you you can't get it done. I loved it. He was talking right to me. I can do this. I will have a new me. One who doesn't live at the mercy of my emotions showing "a little here and a little there!" So, here it is. No. 4 {NEW} a little random... I found some dresses that I liked online and blacked them out so I just had these great silhouettes. It was fun to try. Just trying a bunch of different things... Enjoy the journey!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

First Day Craziness

I can't believe it... he's actually going to school. It was a hectic day for us all. We loved it. After school we picked him up and went to get McDonald's then when and ate with Dad. It was, after all, his special day {and don't you forget it!}. You can go into shock if you'd like, but I really wanted to get a jump start. I was just going to do another daily something, but decided that I needed to start putting together pages for our family yearbook. So...what do you think?

I know, I must be crazy! Seriously though. I feel like creating lately. Something has inspired me. Maybe it's all the change in the air. (Maybe it was the elf that cleaned my house the other day!)

Enjoying the journey

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

In That Place Again...

I hate this place. The one where the hole isn't deep enough and there are too many people/ things around... I feel like a pathetic loser in this place. As a side bonus, my house is a disaster and I am not nice. That makes me look like a pathetic loser too! However, I had an epiphany on my way home from the gym. It had a little to do with some things B said to me last night and a lot to do with past experiences. Things I have forgotten. Basically, though it isn't anything new or profound, it reached into my hole this morning. Here it is: FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT. I know, I know. Sounds like a bunch of B.S! The truth of it is that I can either be a pathetic loser just because I feel like one, or I can pretend like I've got life together and have at least some of the pressure off. Besides, in trying to fake like I have it together I'll be keeping my mind off the fact that i'm in this deep dark place again. Does that make any sense at all? So, the two questions I really had to ask myself this morning:
  1. What does the greatest mom in the world do that makes her the greatest?
  2. What does the greatest housekeeper in the world do that makes her the greatest?
Those are my two biggest questions for now. The two biggest changes that need to be made. My first official act as the most together woman of the day is to limit my computer time to 15 min to document this. I have four minutes left so I'll share one more thing. I put together this collage yesterday for my "daily something" that Ali has challenged. Things that I found inspiring and happy...

Enjoy the Journey!

Friday, August 10, 2007

New Ideals

Tonight on the BFL guestbook someone mentioned Mike Harris' blog from 7/27 about diet. I went back and read it... I still have this nagging in the back of my mind that I'm just not doing everything I could be doing to win this thing. Anyway, I found it to be enlightning. He listed the things we should be eating and what, in his very educated & seasoned opinion are the best choices in those groups. This is what he said: PROTEIN:
  1. egg whites
  2. whey protein
  3. white fish
  4. water packed tuna
  5. turkey breast
  6. chicken breast
  7. no fat cottage cheese

CARBS:

  1. rolled or steel cut oats
  2. brown rice
  3. yams
  4. beans (i.e. pinto/black/garbanzo)
  5. non-tropical fruits and berries (limit to 1 serving/day)

RAW GREEN VEGGIES: eat these with 4 of your meals/day

MYOPLEX/ MYOPLEX LITE SHAKES: 2 x daily.

I see areas of change to be made. My go to protein (besides the whey) is cottage cheese or cheese sticks. My go to carb is an apple or cut up peach (in the cottage cheese) and my go to veggie has been sauteed spinach the last few days... I realize that this is even more restrictive than what I have been doing, but... I really think it's got to be done. Only five more weeks + a few days left. It's got to be all I can do to get rid of this excess fat! Don't want to be left thinking, "I could've done more."

I tried a new recipe for dinner. It was pretty good considering...

AWESOME PANCAKES 2 servings Combine together in blender: 1/2 cup Oats(can be instant or regular), 6 egg whites, 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 4 packets of Equal. Add cinnamon if desired. Cook in heated skillet coated with Pam, butter flavored, turning once. Unbelievably wonderful. Submitted to BFL website by: Jacque Bain

Actually, I did like them. I didn't put anything on them (still need to pick up some butter spray) and I did add the cinnamon. I put in 1/8 tsp but could've done more I think. What I liked most was that I was able to eat 4 pancakes! That just did a lot for my head I think!

Enjoy the Journey!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

For Your Information

I added a few links to check out. I know I've talked a bit about hussman fitness. You can go there from here now. I also added a like to Calorie King. You can go there and look up food you want to know the calorie count for... I have been wondering about mushrooms so I went looking for a place to tell me more. FYI: 1/2 cup fresh mushroom pieces has 8 calories, no fat (actually .1g), 1/2 g fiber, 1 g protein, 111 g potassium. So, it's a good place to go for questions about calorie foods. For fun I added a link to Keri Smith's blog. She promotes guerrilla art. I'm still not entirely sure what that means exactly, but I think she draws on sidewalks/buildings etc. with chalk. On her site is a list of 100 things to do to get your creative juices flowing. I think it was a fun list over all. Today, at playgroup, my friend Victoria had a shirt she had altered. She wanted a new, funkier, shirt than anything she had in her closet so she pulled out the bleach and wrote something in German on the front of her brown t-shirt. I loved it! I told her I was going to have to make myself one. I have to say that Victoria is someone I need to hang around with more... Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Inch By Inch

Here it is ladies...the official 6 week comparison. I'm still not conviced that visually there's a whole lot of change, but the numbers and my pants don't lie: week 1 to week 6

There may be a slight difference in the depth of the furrows. I can see a big change in my face. Here is the big change though...

  1. Weight: from 195 to 180
  2. Body fat: from 31.7% to 29.7%
  3. across belly button: lost just over 2 1/2"
  4. at true waist: lost nearly 2"
  5. rear: nearly 1 1/2" lost
  6. approx. 2" off each thigh
  7. lost a little off each calf
  8. biceps are growing

I am very excited. Still always questioning if I'm doing enough to win. I know, I know. I'm a winner regardless because I'll look awesome. We could really use that money to finish the house though. That's a worthy reason. Right?

Thanks for all of your support! YOU ROCK!

Enjoy the Journey

Monday, August 6, 2007

What's Up?

So...this is a hard post to write. I just finished week 6 and tested my body fat % again this a.m. It went up to 29.7...that is a huge bummer for me. I'm trying to figure out what's up. I'd like to just pass it off as a junky tester, but I don't know that the tester is the real problem. This is what I think the problem is...
  1. Last weekend I had my first "real" free day. It was all out too. Starting with a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie at 11:00 a.m. moving on to R.S type salads, and coffee cake, and more cookies, etc. etc.
  2. This weekend I had two smallish (but still 2) slices of pie, 2 pieces of fudge, approximately 5 serving of black licorice (nearly 700 calories by itself), and then a 3 scoop cup of rocky road with milk.
  3. I've started to feel like I've got a good grasp on things in general and basically stopped planning my meals/workouts. I'm sure it's not helping either. It's all about awareness and I'm just doing it automatically. That will be good when I'm maintaining, but not during the challenge.

So, what do I do about it? Here's what I think...

  1. Learn from this little set back. No more "free days" I will choose something - one thing - to treat myself to on free day.
  2. I will plan everything. My meals, my workouts, my sleep...that's another thing I forgot to mention, just plain still not getting enough sleep.
  3. As much as I despise it, I will be a calorie counter for no other reason than that it is a huge eye opener. It's amazing how fast a little here, a little there adds up.

Speaking of "a little here, a little there" did I ever tell you what B has to say about that? I was telling him how Ali Edwards says that things are easily done in baby steps, "a little here and a little there" he started using that against me. If I'm drooling over something or trying to talk myself into eating something questionable by saying it's just a little, he'll say, "a little here (pointing at his waist) and a little there (pointing at his rear)." He's really been great you know. Super supportive and not condescending. Definitely a cheerleader. I get into trouble when I project the feeling I'm having onto him. Then I start to think he's looking down his nose at me and I want to rebel. I'm doing it all to myself. I'm looking down my nose!

So, little set back. It's not going to stop me though. I've still got 6 more weeks of this and they'll be better than the first 6.

Enjoy the journey!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Five Weeks Down

Can you believe it? It really is going by pretty fast and in all truth, I'm getting pretty used to it. I had an all out free day on Sunday. The first all out so far. I was really worried about how Monday would go after that, but it was okay. Still trying to keep my calories down. I can tell I'm getting stronger. Today I did my 6 rep level bench press with 30 lbs dumbells...that's 60 stinkin lbs! Tomorrow I have to kick it into gear on the cardio. I'm still waiting/working towards the 8 week miracle. Everyday when I read on the BFL tracker I see another lady touting the 8 week miracle. I sure hope this all pays off. (Literally too!) Man, wouldn't that be awesome? Oh, by the by, I have reached the end of my sentence as Bruce puts it. So any of you who were still wondering if I might be prego and just not testing positive (again...as you may recall that happened with Isaac) I am bleeding profusely. Not to worry! Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ninjee's

Today as I was chatting on the phone I glanced out a crack in the blinds and saw a little guy streaking past with next to nothing on. When I opened the door to get him inside/insist he put his clothes back on he was gone. I tried to track him as he ran around the side of the house... then he burst in through the back door. I hollered for him to put his clothes back on, "we don't run around outside naked!" That, by the way, is my broken record phrase... Anyways, he opted to get into the bathtub. I went in there to inquire as to why he was running naked outside (this is my older 5 yr old guy we're talking about...the usual streaker is merely three and doesn't know any better). He said, "I was playing Ninjee Turtles." Oh, of course you were! Um, "Ninja Turtles aren't naked...they have shells." "I know, I was using my back pack for a shell!" And there you have it. It makes perfect sense! I tried really hard not to crack a smile! So, I just checked and word No. 6 is "Automatic" any thoughts on this? I'm wondering if I'm not having so much trouble with these newer words because I haven't thought them out/brainstormed them like I did the first couple. Maybe this is the one to use the recycle sign on... Some cycle that perpetuates with no thought...automatically. What do you think? enjoy the journey!

Monday, July 23, 2007

No. 5 {simplicity}

There was nothing "simple" about this word. Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself. Who knows. Anyhow. I skipped No. 4 {new}...it just wasn't clicking for me. The layout idea came from junk mail & I figured it was perfect for {simplicity} so I got moving on it. All I have to say about it is that it's done. I think that says enought itself!
Oh yes, if you can't read the quote (lower left corner) let me know...it's actually a really good one. I think if you click on the image it will enlarge it for you.
Enjoy the Journey!

The Test is In

So, I've finished week four...This morning I retested my body fat and tonight Bruce will take my picture and re-measure everything. Do you want a sneak preview? I am so excited! The previous fat test was 31.7% this morning (under the same conditions) it was...27.5! Yeah for me! Check back tomorrow for updated photos and measurements. I have been doing a lot of reading and found that I may be eating too many calories. I need to implement more Sugar Solution and lean more heavily on the protein side for better fat burning. Enjoying the Journey!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Efficiency

Well, it's day 26 and I feel great! I have found a few things that I can change...areas of improvement, things I was doing in ignorance, etc. but over all I'm feeling really good about what's going on with me. A couple of changes to make:
  1. In the BFL book Bill says to mix low-fat cottage cheese w/yogurt. Specifically mentioning Yoplait light. I noticed just yesterday that Yoplait light has 14 g sugar and the 2nd ingredient on the list is high fructose corn syrup. I understand that this book was written lots of years ago. I need to remember that and not take anything at face value. I need to optimize my performance and high fructose corn syrup is NOT the way to do it. Thankfully I still have 8 weeks to go!
  2. As efficient as I feel by speeding up my weight routine I can't do it. I keep reading that I will see optimum results by doing the weights just as Bill says, because if there's one thing Bill knows, it's weight training for optimum results. So...I will follow the plan and take the 1 min. rests between sets and do the whole set before moving on to the next lift/muscle group.
  3. A great quote from FLOW by: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi..."Getting control of life is never easy, and sometimes it can be definitely painful. But in the long run optimal experiences add up to a sense of mastery--or perhaps better, a sense of participation in determining the content of life--that comes as close to what is usually meant by happiness as anything else we can conceivable imagine."

So Ladies...Take control. Participate in determining the content of your life.

Enjoy the Journey.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

23 Gold Stars

Yeah for me! The past two weeks have been really hard for me. I've been craving something...not sure what. Thankfully, I've only been craving and not caving. Still loving my baja tuna... I eat it with 2 Wasa crackers...
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 or 1/8 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 can tuna
  • 1 tsp mayo (or more if you must!)
  • 1/2 chopped avocado (optional)

Started making mini pizzas on pita bread. I cut the pita in half so I have 2 pizzas. I tried topping it with a Tbsp of pesto but have found that it isn't necessary. Better, but not necessary. Slice a tomato thinly, lay on top of the bread. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried chives all ground up together. Grate a light mozzerella cheese stick on top then sprinkle with parmesan. Toast in oven until cheese is golden like you like it. Good Stuff! Just like my grilled cheese/tomato sandwiches.

Enjoy the Journey!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Six Gold Stars

I hung up a chart to give myself gold stars if the day is a BFL success. I have six gold stars so far! For a minute I just want to pat myself on the back...
  1. We had a birthday on Thursday and I just couldn't let the little guy go without a cake of some sort on his actual Birthday so I made cupcakes and put little black bats on them for play group and had enough left over to have a mini-cake. I didn't even lick a finger! Not one single taste! Plus, we had our now traditional dinner at Pier 49 and I really just enjoyed the smell.
  2. Last night during a late and intense game of Settlers Cities and Knights Pizza was ordered and tortilla chips were eaten by most...me not included!
  3. I have, sadly, already had opportunity to talk myself out of workouts, but no way!
  4. I have decided that maybe I will have a free day every other week. Or maybe just a free treat during date night movie...that one is still undecided.

Here are some picture of the cake we took it to Pier 49 so we could leave what we didn't eat in the trash...that's a new thing for me. I don't usually throw stuff like that away. Little Brother loved the cake. I don't think the birthday boy even took a bite. He was too busy playing with his new Batman toy!:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Day Two

Hey Ladies...It had to be done. I really am sorry that you have to look at it. Don't forget to keep bugging me about how it's going. Date: 6.25.2007 Ht: 5’9” Wt: 195 lbs Body Fat %: 31.7 BMI: 29.0: Yesterday went really smoothly. I need to get to bed earlier so I have the energy to really push myself at the gym. I ate well and wasn't hungry at all. I also created a new tuna salad that I love and was trying to figure out a name for it...tuna fresca or baja tuna salad. It is with cilantro, green onion, lime juice, tomato, garlic, and avocado. I ate 1/2 can plus the salad stuff on 2 fiber WASA crackers. Isaac had his in a whole wheat tortilla and said, "this is the best lunch ever!" at least three times. It was really good. Today my aerobic 20 mins. were definitely worth a 10 rating. It kicked my rear. Eating has been harder today. I feel munchy...too bad it had to start on day two! I fixed some fresh salsa with tomatoes from K & M's garden. It's pretty good...I should have looked at my recipe though. Something isn't quite right. Maybe it's the lack of jalapeno. I'm going to fix a turkey/veg/quinoa soup tonight. Hopefully it will fill my guys up! Enjoying the Journey!