Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I can come up with some pretty good excuses for not exercising (as evidenced by my lack of forward movement in my weight loss journey). Most of them are true and real. But, let's be honest. We do what we really want to do. If exercise was a huge priority for me, I'd make a way.

::It's such a chore to try to secure breastes that are large enough to hold, say, a gallon of milk. and don't be mistaken. They must be secured before embarking upon jumping around the living room.

::The baby must be taken care of. I can ask Lindsay to do it. But, let's face it...she's only 10. She's a phenomenal 10 year old, but she is limited in how much she can handle.

::My allotted time for "myself" leaves me enough time to work out OR to shower and get ready for the day. So, I can either work on my figure and stink all day (and possibly be "mistaken" for a frumpy housewife) or I can get ready and keep this extra 30 pounds (and possibly be "mistaken" for an overweight trying not to look frumpy housewife). Not both.

::I get a headache when I exercise. I think I'm allergic to it. Really, I do. (However, if I drink a lot of water, that headache usually doesn't plague me. So, maybe I'm dehydrated, not allergic? Eh, allergic sounds better.)

::My dvd player's remote broke. It really did. And that stopped the whole thing for a few days. But then I figured out you can play dvds on your COMPUTER! So, I just have to face the opposite direction (back to the tv) to work out now.

::I messed up my knee. I don't know if I did it running or doing The Shred, but it hurts. And it kinda "locks up" on me (gets stiff) if I sit too long and then try to stand. This is a for real concern. So, I cannot run (the rare chance I get to run, I visualize "running away" sometimes) and I cannot do the Shred (very high impact) but you know what? I was loaned a very nice Elliptical! It works. And I can watch tv while I do it. So, there's one more excuse checked off my list.

So, you see...there is a solution for almost every excuse I can make. As far as the eating too much (junk) goes? I just like to eat. And not apples my friend. So, there you have it. There's the truth. When I get sick enough of being heavier than I should be....I'll do what it takes. Every minute of every day.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Baby Face!

Whether he's crying, laughing, covered in oatmeal or anything in between...doesn't he have the most adorable face? We think so! His little snort snoot face is one of my favorites right now.

Oh, and I don't think I told you that he can walk now. He really can. And it's sooo stinkin' cute! And wanna know what made him finally just do it? I was holding a donut and he wanted it. I don't know if that's a fat mama joke or a fat kid joke. But, he walked for a donut. (He's really not that fat anymore by the way. He lost a pound while he was sick and hasn't gained it back, but of course he's grown in length). I didn't take a picture of the walking. I was proud of myself for that. Weird, huh? The reason I'm proud is because it meant I enjoyed the moment rather than running for my camera and trying to make him do "tricks" for a picture. He walked to me and I caught him in my arms and hugged him so tight!!!! (6-7 steps by the way! and it was last Sunday-October 17th, 2010 He was exactly 10 1/2 months!)

There are so many things I could say about these pictures. I could call it the perfect date (I mean come on. He can't say anything stupid or insulting. He is ripped. She gets to drive the cute car and he can't tell her how to do it. He would never leave the seat up on the toilet like my toilet in the background...You get it? The other thing I could say is...my child doesn't notice or care that her Ken doll (actually that was my Ken doll-and was given to my daughters in perfect condition *scowls*) is headless and naked. She is happy to play with him that way. :)

About a month ago some really nice people at church offered us this dollhouse
-the Loving Family doll house. Their girls had outgrown it and they wanted a good home for it. (I guess they haven't been to my home so they can plead ignorance on the "good home" thing.) They said we could give it to her now or save it back for Christmas...it was up to us. Well, I could NOT see saving back something someone had given us (that was used) and giving Santa the credit for it. I just couldn't. In hindsight? I so can see it. I immediately knew I had made a mistake on this one. When I brought it into the house, Haley asked if Santa had brought it. Duh! Even in September with nary a Christmas tree in sight...the child thought this really cool dollhouse was from Santa. If I had saved it (and all of the really neat stuff that came with it-bicycles, pop-up camper, furniture, people....) Christmas for Haley would've been done. I had planned on getting her the newer version of it for Christmas anyway, so what's the diff? (For the record, this version is better because: A. It was free B. It has way more stuff with it than I could have ever afforded even if it were available, which I don't know that it is C. It doesn't make noises and lights-ergo it doesn't need BATTERIES. I detest toys that need batteries. They never get replaced in our house. So, there.

Three and a half years ago my kitchen was redone. Not completely, but on a shoe-string budget. My dad was able to really do a lot for the look of the kitchen with minimal out of pocket expense to us. I didn't change my light fixture over the table-it's nothing horrible, just builder's grade...gold and glass...something you'd see in an apartment. But I didn't find anything that really suited me enough to spend the money on it (especially when we plan on redoing the kitchen relatively soon anyway-for real redoing it. All the way!) And I didn't do anything about my window treatments. I finally, after looking and not finding any valances that suited me for all 3 1/2 years (well, okay, I looked while I wasn't homeschooling, gestating or giving birth) I bought some fabric and made a little valance. I really didn't make it "right" so don't look too close if you come to my house, but I think it looks perfectly cute. And it makes a huge difference from what it looked like all blank. It looks so much homier (not homlier...that would be totally different) now! And I'm so glad I did it. It was supposed to be a non pleated valance. Just plain. But to me (and Lindsay agreed) it looked like part of a sheet hanging in the window that way. So, I added a couple of gathers and 2 buttons I got on clearance:

And I've found that these plants fare the best in my pretty little flower pots in my kitchen window sill (ie I can't kill them):

My kids made the flowers/crafts. I do have a third pot but it's recovering from the moldy, ant infested plant that was in it. It will also receive a nice tissue paper (or other crafty) plant when it's better.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Our School Project

(Check out my little body of water...kind of a bath thing like I imagine-although I'm quite sure theirs was more sophisticated! I was pretty proud of my version)

Ok, like always, I think I had a different picture in my head about how this was going to look, and when it was going to be finished...and how much of it I would do and how much the kids would do. And I think most of those things didn't go together. But, we built the city of Pompeii. You know, the one buried by Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79? I didn't know that. No kidding. I really never knew that Mount Vesuvius was a volcanic mountain in Pompeii, Italy and that Pompeii and all of it's people and animals and buildings were buried for over 1,000 years under ash filled with poisonous gas when the volcano erupted (plinian eruption by the way). I've heard of Mount Vesuvius of course. It's the one that people compare huge zits to. Seriously. That's what I knew of Mt Vesuvius. That it was a huge (eruptive) volcano. Nothing else.
The day of the eruption, August 24, 79, people were bustling about as normal. Animals were grazing on the sides of the lush mountain. People were going about their daily lives. Taking care of their kids, working, going to the market, doing all that they normally do! Can you even imagine? It must have seemed like another earthquake (things rattling, rumbling) and there was a red cloud, like a mushroom, over the city and debris began falling. But, there wasn't really time to get out....the city was buried as the cloud plummeted to the ground. Anyone who survived the initial burial, would have instantly been killed by the intense, scorching heat and poisonous ash.
And did you know you could go there today? Of course you would have to have a lot of money to do that. And be okay with the thought of it erupting AGAIN! ;)
Here is our little version of Pompeii. I'm going to see if I can talk the kids into covering it in ash from the barbecue pit! Think they will? I don't know. They didn't even want to make it a "functioning" volcano. Because they didn't want to have to throw it away. We'll see.

Here's just a sampling of what else has been going on in our homeschool:
Wednesday we went to the Museum of Science and History. Columbus Day is this month so we toured the replica of the Nina!!!

It's not very big! I would DEFINITELY not want to cross the Atlantic (or any other body of water larger than a small lake) on a vessel like this! The only "below deck" option was for cargo. So, any sleeping, eating, etc was done on the deck-under some boards, but totally on the deck. Wow. And eating. They got one hot meal per day-cooked in what looked to me like a dutch oven. (Didn't hear what they called it as I was playing "uh-oh" with Nathan. Where he drops something over and over and says uh oh and I pick it up. It's a fun game.) Anyways, if there were high winds or any bad conditions, the hot meal was canceled because of the danger of the fire getting out of control. It was very interesting! Do you know where the term "knots" came from? (As in the speed of a ship traveling) They would let out a rope with knots tied in it at intervals. They would let that out somehow and measure it that way (honestly, the exact method escapes me. Prob'ly because I was playing "uh oh" again). And fathoms...they showed us the tool used to measure fathoms! Such a neat experience. :) And then the kids played in the exploring area of the museum-just for kids.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dog Days

Dog Chasing Its Tail
Did you ever have one of those days? One of those days when you feel like a dog chasing it's tail? Today was one of those days-or maybe it's been this year. The whole year has been spent chasing my tail. And it feels as stupid as it looks. I'm tired of running, running, running and never getting anywhere. I love my life as mommy and wife and all that, but I'd like to feel accomplished at the end of the day. Part of me knows all the sayings about reaping the rewards in 18 years or whatever, but I need some kind of paycheck now. Something that says I'm doing something that matters. That I'm not just wearing myself out and looking stupid for no reason.

It would be one thing if any one thing actually got accomplished in a day's time. But, our school work is not done (thinking we'll have to forego our first week-long break of the year at the end of October-I had it all planned out. What happened?), the house is a disaster. Every time I enter one of the bathrooms I think "As soon as I get {such and such} done or {so and so} settled I'm going to clean this bathroom." Well, it's been longer than I care to admit now. It's not done.

Where does all this tiny little stuff come from? All the stuff that litters the floor day after day? The stuff that the kids obviously don't care about-or it would be picked up, right? And even my husband seems content to just step over the stuff. To walk around it. Am I the only one bothered by it? I'm thinking so. If I don't do it, it don't get done! I walk through my house and think I'll surely find one room that has some semblance of order. Not one room is the way it's "supposed" to be. There are mommy-dos in every room. Waiting on me. And if you're wondering why I'm not doing it right now instead of complaining about it...I'll tell you. It's because all 4 of my cherubs are sleeping. And I'm not doing ANYthing that might wake them up.

And one would think that I'd be losing weight with all that tail chasing going on...

Well, it's late. I think I'll go turn around 3 or 4 times and lay down in my bed.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Do Unto Others

Today, we were sitting in the allergist's office waiting for Lindsay's turn to have her injection and there was an elderly lady that was called back for hers. As I watched her (hopefully inconspicuously) make her way back with her walker, my mind started turning. Her papery skin that was kind of drapey. Her hunched shoulders. Her gray (and not so thick) hair. Her shuffle with her helpmate (ie walker) in front of her...it all got me to thinking.
We will all be that someday (if we don't die prematurely). At one point, that woman was a young girl. With hopes and dreams. Never dreaming that she'd need a walker. Or that her skin would be less than smooth and creamy. Or that her eyes would trade in their clear bright color for a duller, rheumy cloud that only hints at color.
This was a woman who might have strutted. She prob'ly loved some young man and was loved back. She looked in the mirror and didn't think twice about what she would look like when she was 75 or 80. She got ready for dates. Went dancing. Got married-no doubt making a beautiful bride to her beloved. Probably carried a baby or two (or maybe even 4 like me) in her belly. And then rocked those babies and swung them at the park.
Now relegated to dependency on others to get her around. Her thin, dry skin no longer resembling the youthful plump with collagen skin of her yesterdays.

I think that maybe I'm a little more aware of these changes because I'm so close to my grandparents. Although my grandma has taken wonderful care of herself (her skin is like the softest velvet! very few wrinkles...and she's ummm, 78 I think!) there are other aspects of aging (knees that go useless on you and you have to have them replaced, heart valves that give you some trouble, etc) that you cannot deny. I've seen her high school pictures and even a few little girl pictures of her.

So much respect and honor is due these people (men and women) of the previous generations. And yet, they get relegated to nursing homes. Loneliness. We look away because we don't want to face what we will no doubt go through ourselves. If we treat them nicely and not like a disease we don't want to catch...maybe our children will pick up on that and we will reap the rewards of it ourselves. Because we'll be old one day. And if we haven't taught our kids not to disdain the elderly maybe they'll come see us a lot. And bring our grandchildren or our great grandchildren. And they won't notice that we smell a little like mothballs and medicine. (My grandma doesn't by the way...I don't know why, but I need to say that). That we repeat ourselves. That we live in the past more than the present. Or maybe they'll notice it and it won't matter to them. They'll love us anyways.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Did anyone ever see the episode of the Cosby Show where he is waiting in a dance studio (for one of his girls????) and has a "shallange" with an old man? A tap dancing challenge? Where every time one of them does a little jig, the other one ups the ante?? And they say "shallange" to each other? That's what comes to mind. I feel like every time I try to take on some kind of challenge (especially if it's one that is worthy) I hear that in the back of my mind.

It's amazing what happens when you're trying to work at being patient. Managing your time more wisely and things of that nature.

--> Haley has been very trying. Ok, so that's not new. But it's new for me to try to be more loving with her and less grumpy. (ie-not yell at her). Yesterday it was getting dressed and fixing her hair. Yes, I know that I should choose my battles. But I really think it's important that she is reasonably dressed when we go somewhere. Anywhere. I think that's teaching her the importance of taking time and respecting yourself and your family enough and looking feminine-on some level. And I don't care if she plays in the dirt in her clothes. But she should leave the house looking presentable. that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Today it was just the getting dressed part. I was fairly patient this morning (ok, not perfect, but not bad either--but before you think I'm a great mom, read on)

--> tonight we had a million places to be all at once. We had: baseball practice in the town where we live at 5:45 pm, American Heritage Girls at 6:00 pm 20 mins away. And then we had our Financial Peace University class at 6:30 (until 8:20-8:30 pm) in the town where we live. Meanwhile Lindsay needed to be picked up at 7:30--20 minutes away! and to top it all of I sabotaged the whole thing and gave myself 5 minutes to get myself and 2 little ones ready. Which led to impatience on my part (hellooooo, it was my fault we were in a rush, not theirs!?) and crankiness all around...which then led to Lindsay feeling bad that her activity makes me stressed. Took a moment to pray (cause I realized that satan was having a party at the cranky, disorganized, distracted mess that I was) and we got it all back under control. Tomorrow is a new day.

P.S. I can't wait to show you pictures of what we're working on for a History project. This is when I LOVVVVE homeschooling. I get to choose the projects and I get to help with them!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Making My Home

I was actually kind of formulating a post relating to this subject in my head-before I read Courtney's post at Women Living Well . But it was one of those ideas that I was just playing with in my head as I went about my duties. It might never have made it to my blog if it weren't for her challenge.

Courtney mentions two homes. Number 1 has a mom who is distant, distracted, crabby, discontent and doesn't pray. The woman of the home in number 2 is engaged (connected), manages her time wisely, pleasant, content and prays. As much as I hate to admit it-even to myself-I see more of myself in the description of the first woman.

I think (and this is more where my original thoughts would have taken me) that for a home to be happy and healthy the mother has to model (and purpose to teach as well) selfLESSness. The world tells us:
Take care of #1. Get time for yourself. You have to pamper yourself. You can't give and give and give...and never expect anything in return for yourself. You deserve {insert whatever it is that floats your boat}. And I have fallen into all of this thought process. And well-meaning people tell me this on a regular basis. Or that God understand when I'm crabby with my children, late for everything, distracted, and on and on. And yes, He does. BUT that doesn't mean I should not strive to do better.

Motherhood and wife-hood is all about putting others before yourself. It is counter-cultural to be sure. Proverbs 14:1 tells us "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." We are given the perfect instruction for having a happy home. I'm not talking about a perfect home, but happy. And I know that I can set the tone for that-or NOT. Much of it is my choice. My family really does often mirror me. If I'm mad at the kids when my hubby comes home from work, he's almost instantly irritated with them. If I use ugly tones to talk to my children (*gasp* talking down to them or using sarcasm) I hear it very quickly in my older children's tone with the younger ones (ok, Haley).

Being selfless is not martyrdom. It's not doing nothing for yourself (Jesus went off alone to pray and "refill"). It just means putting yourself at the bottom of the list when needed. The thing is, everything on the list is important and, even if you put yourself last, if you manage your time well, you will get to "you". I love to scrapbook and to occasionally go out with girlfriends for dinner. BUT, I can't do that if I haven't planned and provided dinner for my family FIRST. Or if someone is sick and needs me. Or if my husband has had a rough day at work. In the same way, if I want to exercise, I need to plan out how that is going to work and make sure that the children are cared for FIRST. And that should not involve heavy sighing (ok, I'm airing all my dirty laundry now), scowling and crabbiness.

I think we (as a culture) spend so much time thinking about ourselves that we don't give anyone else a chance to think about us. Do you follow that? It's kind of like how you feel sorrier for someone who is in pain and NOT complaining and feeling sorry for him or herself.

I must CHOOSE to be patient, kind, loving, diligent, respectful and selfLESS. They are watching. And so is my Heavenly Father. That is my goal for this week.

Now, I'd better get to bed, so I can take care of those I love without being crabby. :)

Blog Archive