Tuesday, December 31, 2013

the annual birthday party

This year's party for Jesus was pretty much the same as the past few years'
except this year we had brownies and icecream,
the pickle was found so quickly
(by Jeremiah again)
that there was a torrent of tears by the youngest three
and harsh words hollered (for several minutes straight...) by the littlest.

We're re-thinking the whole pickle thing.
The kids earn extra money for Christmas giving (both for siblings and Jesus) by doing extra jobs around the house.
Problem was,
this year,
I wasn't on the ball
at all.
I offered up double the pay from previous years (which was generous already) until I got my chart made.
I never got my chart made.
So they ended up being compensated quite nicely for their work.

Next year - I'm getting a chart made up nice and early.

Amazingly enough,
even though it would have earned them a ton of money
(money could be earned daily for some jobs...)
not one time
washed the bathroom floor.
That is one hated job, I tell ya!


This year
we bought Jesus' gifts through Heifer International, World Vision, and Compassion.
I didn't keep track of each person's gifts - there was a lot of 'going in together' on things,
plus it was kinda fast and furious there for a little while.

We were especially happy to find that Heifer had bees, a hive, and training for only $30,
so we gave 2  gifts of bees
3 flocks of chickens
2 flocks of ducks and geese.
5 fruit trees
and a rabbit
(I'm really hoping somebody else gave a rabbit, too...).
We gave to 3 different clean water projects
a safe playground.
We gave a newborn care package that included a toy, as well as basic necessities,
and fed 2 mommas and their babies for a month.
We gave parasite protection for 3 children
a mosquito net.
We gave to an emergency fund to help mommas and babies survive,
to emergency food funds that will multiply 5 times
a nice chunk of money that will multiply ten times to an emergency clothes fund.

We still haven't found affordable safe heat to give,
but maybe next year...

Happy Birthday, Jesus.
We love you!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

frustrated and mad and sad and discouraged

I don't need the hormone that suppresses appetite.
Or makes you not binge-eat.
Or tells you when you are full.
Or makes you not want to eat carby things.

(can you tell I'm googling hormones and weight-loss again?)

I need the one(s) that will release the fat stored on my body
and the one(s) that will make me want to exercise.

And while I'm on the subject -
why are there photos of bony women in articles about hormones and weight loss?
And why
is always assumed that you are fat because you eat nothing but junk, and too much of it?
And why
do they tell you that these vital weight hormones will level off naturally,
once you've, you got it, lost weight?!
Today is my 4 week weight/size progress check in
and let me tell you 
it is not pretty.

And I am beyond discouraged.

The good news is, 
I was faithful to exercise every day except for Sundays.
I'm up to 90 squats and crunches.
I increased my weights whenever possible as I went through the 8 Minutes in the Morning book again.
I ate well.
I gave myself permission to eat whatever I want on special occasions
like Thanksgiving, Jeremiah's birthday, and various holiday related festivities.
Even so, I didn't go hog wild.

The bad news is - it didn't pay off.

I only lost .6 lbs.
In four weeks.
Your average joe could drop a big dooker and lose that in 8 seconds.
And inch-wise,
I lost a smidge in a few areas, but in several areas, I gained fractions of inches.

If I wasn't so stinking sick of being fat,
I'd just give up.
But I am,
so I'll keep plugging away like the stubborn fool that I am.
And maybe, like Tyler says, it'll all pay off...
But I'm kinda losing my optimism about that.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

a mug rug, with a whole lot of yammering

turned into not a coffee cup exchange - and just a small gift exchange.
But  here we were with a whole bunch of 'new' coffee cups...
so I wanted to go ahead and use them.
(another family did the same thing - so we still came home with 3 new cups :-)

Michelle will be so happy, because,
I finally made a mug rug!
I thought it was the perfect way to enhance my coffee cup
(along with some oreos, of course)
and it was nice to get to make a little something.
(both my crafting and reading time have been fairly nonexistent lately.
And I still have a few hours of secret sewing that I'm going to have to fit in
real quick here somehow....)

Of course, I prefer to hand sew bindings, but since things are a little busy these days
and it was an extra project, I went ahead and tried my hand at machine binding.
(I still prefer hand sewing.)

(I bought m&ms to go with Tyler's cup
and Brandon's we gave with a festive deck of cards,
cookie stick things,
a couple packets of hot chocolate mix 
and candy canes.)
The kids all got to keep the cup we'd bought for them to give
and since we had an extra,
Brandon kept the tall green one too,
that really is a sweet coffee cup!

Roberta chose my gift and seemed pretty pleased with both the mug and the rug,
so I let her keep it
and chose another gift.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to make a few more of these,
because the kids think they're swell.
Or better yet,
maybe they can make their own...
And then I can hand sew the bindings on for them :-)

linking up with Elizabeth's with needle and thREAD

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

tidbits on a Tuesday

Life is moving by at warp speed.
I cannot keep up.

Friday, the day's priority was to get packages in the mail.
I'm hoping I didn't give my sisters-in-law heart attacks.
I have never, ever, mailed their Christmas packages in such a timely manner.
the nieces and nephews got their Christmas money in June.
Having a son and daughter-in-law on the other side of the country put my butt in gear.

After the Post Office, we went thrift shopping.
We needed some cups for a coffee cup exchange.

We tried out a few of them that night - you know, to see if we wanted to make sure to get our own cups ;-)
I thought they looked pretty when I stuck 'em in the microwave to heat 'em up.
(what? you don't heat up your cups for your coffee? we are such snobs.)
(The yellow cup was not purchased for the exchange. It is too perfect for us.)

I don't even remember what we did Saturday.
Oh yes.
Tyler had to work for a few hours.
And then I beat him at backgammon time and time (and time) again.
Does anything else even matter?

On Sunday afternoon, after a quick lunch,
we went to the King Opera House for Earthen Vessel's production of A Christmas Carol.
We had several friends in it this year, and didn't want to miss it.
It was very well done and we all enjoyed it,
and enjoyed seeing our friends excel.
The kids enjoyed the cookies they had during intermission, too ;-)

After the show, we talked about going to Academy;
they had kettle bells on sale for $1.09/lb and they were on our list to buy for the gym.
If you've ever priced kettle bells, you know that is an excellent price!
Tyler took us to McD's for a burger snack
before we headed.
(During which time T and I texted back and forth about the pretty sky :-)
We ended up deciding not to drive into FSM,
and just have Tyler run over at lunch time on Monday.

So, we went to the Hodo's  Christmas light show instead.
Which, of course, meant a stop in at Dollar General for candy canes first.
Only, when we went to grab the candy canes, 
we saw those big plastic candy canes full of sixlets
and thought the kids would be tickled if we surprised them with those, instead.
So we did. :-)
(But just in case not keeping tradition exactly was going to be a problem with anybody, we bought a box of regular canes, too.)
This year's show was dedicated to those serving (or who have served) in the military,
so Tyler texted our Marine to share it with him.
(Of course, in person, it's much more enjoyable)

Last night the pastors had a dinner for the elders and their wives,
so Tyler and I went to that while Brandon stayed home with the kids.
(and fixed dinner, and dessert, and had them in bed when we got home!)
(thanks, Bud!!)
The food was delicious (I ate 1 1/2 rolls - oh they were so good!) and the fellowship was sweet.
We had to play a stupid game which really cut into our visiting time, though.
(and we didn't win! pooh)
Par for the course, we were among the last to leave.
Just following in my parents' footsteps... ;-)

Tonight is TaeKwanDo and grocery shopping
so I can get all the extra food stuffs I need for the 5 parties we have in the next 5 days.
Anybody want to place bets on how much I'll forget??

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

an evening with Ernst

Several years ago, my mother-in-law introduced me,
via the books on her coffee table,
to nature photographer, Tim Ernst.

Knowing of her affection for his work, 
for Christmas one year, we bought her an autographed copy of Arkansas Spring.
The book now lives with us, up high, so as not to get ruined by not careful hands.

We've periodically checked out more of Tim's books from the library,
but, up 'til last night,
we'd never purchased another.

Two months ago, I happened to see on facebook that he was doing a slideshow in FSM.
I knew Jeremiah would love to go,
I'd want to go,
and probably others, too,
so I made a mental note, and forwarded the info to Tyler.
Seeing that my 'mental notes' aren't always reliable,
I checked back periodically,
to make sure we didn't miss it.

We decided on Tuesday night that everyone wanted to go (except Lily. But I'm not entirely sure she wasn't just being a toot...)
so we figured out logistics
and by 7:00 last night, we were sitting in a room full of old people waiting for the show to begin.

It was fun listening to Tim share anecdotes about certain shots
(some of which he includes in his books)
and seeing his (crisp, clear) pictures on a big screen was neat.
I'll admit the q&a session afterwards went on a bit longer than I would have preferred, though.
It's not that I wasn't interested,
but the girls were getting antsy,
it was well past 8,
I hadn't eaten since noon,
and I still wanted to pick out some books :-)

The boys, of course wanted everything, once we finally got shop.
The books were a great price (I'd already checked Amazon, so I'd know ;-)
so we settled on 5 'coffee table' books and a couple of guide books, 
and as a special treat for the boys (mostly Josiah, actually, because he has kept up with marking off days all year)
a calendar for their room.
They're going to try to take extra good care of it, so we can frame the pictures later.
After we paid for our selections, we got everything autographed :-)

Looking at nature pictures
and book shopping 
might not be everyone's idea of a good time,
but it suits our family quite nicely.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

diamonds in the sky

breakfast by the boys

Yeah, we finally bought it for the kid ;-)

Lexi was just sure she wouldn't like them because they have onions in 'em.
(sound like anyone you know, Kacy? ;-)

She had to apologize to her brother;
it turns out that in spite of the onions,
the fritters were quite delicious.
Especially smothered in dill sauce.

...just because I had the camera out.

Thanks, Bran, for helping  your bubs cook.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

didn't make it to church this morning?

Turn your speakers up as loud as you like them. 
Then - trust me on this - crank it up a few more notches
and listen to this song.
On repeat.

For best results - dance clean while you listen.
(note - my computer can't get loud enough, I have to listen on my phone - with speakers)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

follow up

My post the other day sparked some discussion with Tyler
so I wanted to follow up with some thoughts.

I believe the two instances I mentioned
(measurement taking, and Brandon carrying Josiah to the mailbox and the lightbulb moment that followed)
were most definitely the catalysts for change.

I think the timing of Emily sharing THM was serendipitous.
The book was beneficial to me in a couple of ways:

It reinforced some of my already held ideas about nutrition.

It helped me to realize that it was okay for my kids 
- who expend more energy than I do, and have faster metabolisms - 
to eat some things that it isn't okay for me to eat, due to my slow metabolism,
namely foods that are higher on the Glycemic Index.
They are quite thrilled with this :-)

I never want to 'diet' (and THM says they are not a 'diet') I always say any sustainable weight loss requires real change.
But the reality, for me, is, I've made dietary changes. Lots of them over the years.
And they don't result in significant weight loss.
So - I need to diet if I'm going to lose weight.
As much as that pains me....
I'm fairly confident I will be able to keep the weight off,
but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
So, for a time,
I am okay with sometimes eating something other than what the family eats.
(most often, tuna, drained, straight out of the can, and a salad with pepperoncinis. I sound like 'Lish ;-)

The whole single fueling was new to me - and I do follow their guidelines on this, but not exactly.
(I'm sure this surprises absolutely no one ;-)
I can tell you, in great detail, my thoughts on it if you'd like ;-)

Most importantly,
(I think. I may change my mind on this...)
THM helped me believe I could actually 
really and truly
lose the weight.

Also, it inspired me to be more intentional and faithful with my exercise.
(which, as you  know, didn't really last that long before I got discouraged and quit...;-) I'm definitely a work in progress.)
And just so you know ~ I don't swallow everything in the book hook, line, and sinker.
But really, what book do I? ;-)

Tyler and I believe that my weight and size loss
has mostly been a result of the strength training.

But also
my diligence in eating carefully.
Even more carefully than I have in the past.
My ability to say "no" to foods I'd previously go ahead and indulge in 
is greater due to the fact that I really am tired of being fat.
(That said, when I buy chips for the kids, I buy BBQ potato chips, not Doritos. I'm not made of steel...)
(In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that some Oreos came into the house recently
and I ate 3.
And then the next day, I ate 2.
But ya'll, ordinarily when Oreos find their way into my cart, I eat waaaay more than that.
Like I said, no magic willpower here ;-)

those are my thoughts
just in case you were wondering...

Monday, December 2, 2013

brother love

Jeremiah is
by far
our most social child.

He wanted the McCs to come over to play for a few hours for his birthday today,
and they had planned to,
but after I told them that we've had sickness in the house,
they decided it would be best not to come;
several of the kids have worked months
to be in a production of A Christmas Carol this weekend
and they just couldn't risk a tummy bug.

Josiah (who had most recently puked) said,
"I can just stay in our room - that way, they could still come over."

I assured him that it wasn't just because of him - the girls or I could get sick at any moment
and there may be germs in the house still
and we'd feel just horrible if any of our friends got sick and had to miss their play!

Josiah ~  I am so proud of you
for being willing to not play with your friends,
so that your brother could!