Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I NEVER make New Year's resolutions. What is the point...I won't keep them. However, two years ago I made a goal.

Just one, very simple...drink 8 glasses of water a day. I soon realized with 8 glasses of water came 472 trips to the bathroom while trying to homeschool. I quickly revised my goal to 6 glasses and as my bladder strength increased I worked my way up to eight glasses. I don't feel any different. Except about myself. I am proud of myself for setting a goal and reaching it, AND being consistent with it (okay, until the last month...but we won't go there).

So, this year, I am making some more goals. Goals I feel I can keep and maintain and that will benefit both me and my family long term. I am a pleaser, and an approval junkie, so to help me stay faithful to these goals, I am putting them here for all posterity. It is really more for me than anything else, but if you feel like checking up to see how I am doing, feel free, if I know someone can ask, I am more likely to do it.

I am making goals in 4 different areas which is a GIANT leap of my one goal of drinking water, still, I see these areas that need help IMMEDIATELY, so while I may take baby steps, there will be a lot of them!

SPIRITUALLY
I have become "lazy" this year about my personal quiet time. I have all kinds of excuses, like a baby who likes to get up with the sun, but the fact is, I NEED that time. So, I am making a goal to have my time every day regardless of when. I am famous for planning it in the morning, getting interrupted and never going back, so this year, no excuses, or bed, till I have had my time with God.

BODY AND SOUL
This one is kind of two fold. I want to continue working toward a healthier lifestyle. I have done pretty good this year at making time for exercise but I would like to be a little more consistent and work toward a healthier diet as well.

I also want to really want to accept who I am. I will never be Miss America or Mom of the Year. I will never run a marathon, decorate a show home, or be the most popular blogger on the block. These are things I struggle with. Comparing myself to everyone else out there and never measuring up. This year, I really want to work on being who God has created me to be and loving that person, not trying to mold myself into the person I think God should have made me be. HE is the potter, I am the clay...and boy is it tough when the clay starts trying to mold itself!

MYSELF
This year, I want to stop stressing out. About EVERYTHING! I want to get myself organized, use my household journal, make a menu plan and grocery list and shop with coupons. I want to make my home run smoother so that the time I have with my family is more pleasant and fun! AND, hopefully, this will translate into a little more time to do things that I love so I don't feel frustrated and resentful. (Yes, these are things I struggle with....I am not proud, just honest)!

MY MARRIAGE
Spend more time talking to and hanging out with Tigerfan...not just waving as we shoot out the door but actually talking about goals, dreams, etc.

Okay, there it is...not exactly an enthralling read, but hopefully it will hold me accountable! So, what are your goals for the new year?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Birthday, Tigercub!



1 surprise positive on THE test!

1 jaw dropping when the due date was Christmas Eve.

1 day of tears wondering what we would do.

1 shot per week for 4 months to prevent early labor.

1 due date missed.

1 office visit PLEADING to be induced.

1 night waiting for the drugs to work their magic.

1 BIG baby boy entered the world at 9 pounds 6 ounces.

1 year of gurgles, smiles, laughs and hugs that I wouldn't give up for anything!


Happy Birthday Tigercub!


Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Awful Truth

Hope everyone had a great Christmas! We are FINALLY coming out of our holiday fog. Tigercub was terribly sick for DAYS, running fever until Friday, but is finally back to his old self just in time for his birthday! Poor fellow is still popping up with hives every now and again but is feeling much better.

Unfortunately for me, the housecleaning fairy did not come...however, I feel the need to search the branches of the tree just one more time, in case I missed her, before boxing it up till next year!

Dancer is anxiously awaiting me to come and watch the Kit movie with her, so I must be brief, but I thought I would leave you with a little holiday story.

About two weeks before Christmas, when most all of the shopping had been done, Football boy suddenly decided to add something to his wish list. And this something...was an Itouch. Just a little something that would set us back another two hundred dollars or so. We were quick to inform him that he was a little late for a request like that and it wasn't gonna happen. He was quick to inform us that we didn't have to get it. He would just change his list for Santa.

We keep waiting for the whole Santa thing to come to light for F.B. and have frequently wondered if he is just playing along because he is afraid of what might (or might not) happen if he admits the truth.

Anyway, we wanted to let him know this was not even an option for the guy in red, so Tigerfan began an elaborate story. The effect was that every time a baby is born, when the hospital gives the parents all the parenting advice, books, forms, etc. they also give parents the secret number to Santa. Anytime that we need to report bad behavior or discuss gifts, we can just call him up! He then went on to tell them that we kept the number in a secret safe and that every time we wanted to access it, we just had to hold our hands up in the air and, with true Disney type magic, snowflakes and sparkles would appear from nowhere and we could just grab the key. When we were through, the key would disappear in the same way.

The younger kids were listening in amazement, and Baseball Boy made a comment of awe when F.B. rolled his eyes and in his grown up, knowing way informed him that Daddy was just kidding...about the key!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Cried Over Jelly Today

Yep, Jelly! And I am not even hormonal.

While I love this season and all that it stands for, it is stressful. In the best years, people can get...touchy!

This season has just about done me in. You may have noticed that I have not totally adjusted to life with four kiddos and this year has been a blur of chasing baby out of trees, presents, ribbons, tape, you name it.

Top it off with him getting sick and the last couple of days have been rough. My baking day turned into a day of waiting for Dr. calls and half of it didn't get done. Errands went out the window and to do's have piled up again.

Today, we returned to the Dr. to find out that Tigercub is allergic to penicillin and that the medicine he has been on for a week has not helped a bit! So, add to that another trip to Walmart (two days before Christmas, UGH) and then home to a baby on three drugs with 103 degree temperature. I cannot move without him crying, he screams in the bed and I really can't remember a night with decent sleep.

And then, I called my Momma. I LOVE my momma! She was shopping. With my two sisters. 2,000 miles away from me. I want to be shopping with my mom and my sisters.

Needless to say, I have been on the edge. And then, my precious grandma sent a package. Full of homemade grape jelly. She sends it every year. It is delicious. And THAT did it. I sat there, unwrapping little jars of jelly, sobbing. Over jelly.

So, I have a post all about holiday baking (most of which didn't get done) in my head. I have a post about Tigercub and a just a various holiday happenings post. But I am not sure you will ever get to read them. At least not before Christmas. I may be busy. Crying. Over Jelly.

Monday, December 22, 2008

So Much to Do

It is baking day here at the Tigerden! We will be cooking up a storm as well as doing school and hopefully finishing the last of our shopping. I will hopefully be posting real stuff soon but for today, in light of the busyness, thought you might enjoy this. I have seen it before but it is somehow still freakishly funny!


Martha Stewart's Holiday To-do List
December 1 - Blanch carcass from Thanksgiving turkey. Spray paint gold, turn upside down and use as a sleigh to hold Christmas Cards.
December 2 - Have Mormon Tabernacle Choir record outgoing Christmas message for answering machine.
December 3 - Using candlewick and hand gilded miniature pinecones, fashion cat-o-nine-tails. Flog Gardener.
December 4 - Repaint Sistine Chapel ceiling in ecru, with mocha trim.
December 5 - Get new eyeglasses. Grind lenses myself.
December 6 - Fax family Christmas newsletter to Pulitzer Committee for consideration.
December 7 - Debug Windows 2000
December 10 - Align carpets to adjust for curvature of Earth.
December 11 - Lay Faberge egg.
December 12 - Take Dog apart. Disinfect. Reassemble.
December 13 - Collect Dentures. They make excellent pastry cutters, particularly for decorative pie crusts.
December 14 - Install plumbing in gingerbread house.
December 15 - Replace air in mini-van tires with Glade "holiday scents" in case tires are shot out at mall.
December 17 - Child-proof the Christmas tree with garland of razor wire.
December 19 - Adjust legs of chairs so each Christmas dinner guest will be same height when sitting at his or her assigned seat.
December 20 - Dip sheep and cows in egg whites and roll in confectioner's sugar to add a festive sparkle to the pasture.
December 21 - Drain city reservoir; refill with mulled cider, orange slices and cinnamon sticks.
December 22 - Float votive candles in toilet tank.
December 23 - Seed clouds for white Christmas.
December 24 - Do my annual good deed. Go to several stores. Be seen engaged in last minute Christmas shopping, thus making many people feel less inadequate than they really are.
December 25 - Bear son. Swaddle. Lay in color-coordinated manger scented with homemade potpourri.
December 26 - Organize spice racks by genus and phylum.
December 27 - Build snowman in exact likeness of Jesus.
December 31 - New Year's Eve! Give staff their resolutions. Call a friend in each time zone of the world as the clock strikes midnight in that country.

I've really got to get busy if I am going to keep up!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I know this is a little late and you are totally busy this time of year so I will try to be brief. We have always kept the ole "Santa Thing" about the kids each year. And, I think our kids are pretty good! We try to stay in touch. We email you, vote for our favorite reindeer, sit in your lap, the whole bit. This year, we have even been reading your blog.

We try not to get greedy. The kids only ask for three gifts and they usually do a good job. Okay, I know that one request by B.B. a couple of years ago was a doosey--he explained the Star Wars game so thoroughly...we really thought it existed. We didn't know you were going to have to create a game just to make him happy. I'm really sorry about that. It was a hit, though!

Anyway, I know it is all about the kids and all, but just in case you have a little extra good will on hand, I wanted to put in a request for...well, me. You see, I could really use a few things this year. I'm not too picky, any of the following requests would be great on its own and if you happened to find a two for one sale, well...

Okay, so what I would really like is simple. A visit from one or more of the following. The housecleaning fairy, the home organization fairy, or even the PLEASE teach my kids how to clean up after themselves without talking back fairy. I have been really good this year. Okay, I have TRIED to be really good this year. I have eaten my veggies and fruit, I have gotten up at ridiculous hours of the morning to exercise. I have home schooled three children while taking care of the energizer bunny (A.K.A. Tigercub) and all of them are still living and will only require a few years of therapy I feel certain.

Well, I promised to keep this brief. We will have the usual boiled custard, sugar cookies and fudge waiting for you and the oatmeal and carrots for the reindeer. See you in a few days and if you can't get to this, I totally understand. There is always next year...right?

Sincerely,
One Mom in need of HELP!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I Hope My Pants Will Fit Friday!

My downward spiral continues, so I am thrilled to see we are taking a couple of weeks break. Thanks, Missy! Hopefully, I will use that time to get back on the band wagon and not fall further from it!

This week has been rough! Hubby and I have been up entirely too late too many nights. Tigercub has had two ear infections, Baseball boy had been sick, we have had threats of bad weather keeping us in the house and parties, etc. at tutorial, church....

Anyway, I have not exercised. Not one time. At least not officially. Chasing tigercub has GOT to count for something.

The fortunate thing is I have been so dad gum busy that I haven't had time to eat as much as I normally would so hopefully that is helping a bit. Today, I weighed AFTER I ate breakfast and I held steady at 133. Not the pound or two I would have liked to see gone, but no gain after a week of no exercise either!

Anyway, my little Fit Friday sisters, I'll miss checking in with ya'll for a couple of weeks! Have an awesome holiday and don't stress about the weight too much. In fact, I would like to highly encourage you to relax, kick your feet up and let me slide into the winning position to take that gift card! Cause that is the ONLY way I can win!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What I Did Right

It has been one of those days. One of those weeks. One of those months. I have spent more time fixing what I messed up and doing what I forgot than doing what should have been done to begin with.

I have sent Baseball Boy to bed in tears two nights in a row. Because I have failed to teach him how to clean a room and to keep his mouth shut and not talk back.

My house is a COMPLETE disaster because I am an organizational nightmare (but a professional organizer's dream, they could make a mint off of me!).

I was 30 minutes late to work today because I got half way there and realized we had left Dancer's Christmas party gift at home. We had to turn around and go back.

I have spent a ridiculous amount of money at the grocery store in the last two weeks, but we have NOTHING to eat!

I have enough coupons to fill a book or three because I have great plans to save major money, but I KEEP FORGETTING TO USE THEM!

I am publicly participating in Fit Friday but I haven't exercised in over a week and let's not EVEN get into what I have been putting into my body!

I fall into bed every night (or morning) at a ridiculous hour knowing I haven't accomplished 3/4 of what I needed to!

But today---I did one thing right. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of that one thing for proof, but let's not dwell on the negative.

You see, I am a teacher. And as a teacher, I have been the recipient of a lot of teacher gifts. And while I appreciate the love and thought behind every one, after awhile, you just stop getting excited about the World's Greatest Teacher ornament or the bracelet covered in apples. And so, my mission every year is to find affordable teacher gifts that they can actually use. I have done movie baskets, gift cards for bookstores and a cup of coffee, etc. but this year, I topped myself!

I purchased some really cute reusable bags from Pier One that looked similar to this only the patterns were great:

Then, I cooked and froze approximately 7 million (okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but that is totally what it felt like) meatballs. I put a box of whole wheat spaghetti, a can of sauce, the meatballs, a loaf of french bread and some homemade brownie mix in the bag and added a tag with some cute little poem fit for the occasion!


A Christmas blessing from our house to yours,
A pre-cooked meal to help with the chores.
Just a small little thing to tell you Thank you,
For teaching our children the things that you do!

Today, I brought those meals in a bag to tutorial and the teachers LOVED them! It is perfect for this time of year when things are crazy and you need something quick and easy!

So, I have done a lot wrong lately, but this, I did right! Thought I would share the idea...a little late, I know, but in case you need a gift idea at the last minute. It is one thing that won't go wrong!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Recipe Swap

Okay, in case anyone needs a quick, easy, delicious recipe for the holidays. This one has bailed me out twice already. It only has 5 ingredients all of which I almost always have on hand and it is really quick and simple. It also tastes awesome, if you like coconut, which I do!

Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients:
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
4 cups shredded coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup flour
1 ½ cup chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix milk, coconut and vanilla until blended. Add flour and blend well. Stir in chips. Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased foil-lined cookie sheets. Bake 8-9 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. Let cookies cool completely on the sheets. Carefully remove form the foil.

Enjoy and if you make 'em, let me know what you think!

Favorite Christmas Songs

Musings of a Housewife posted a top ten list of favorite Christmas Songs today. Since I can't concentrate long enough for an intelligible post about anything else, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon. So, here are mine:
1. O Holy Night- by just about anyone, I LOVE that song!
2. I Am You Are-by The Martins
3. Hand of Sweet Release-Gaither Vocal Band
4. Do You Hear What I Hear-Vince Gill
5. White Christmas-Bing Crosby (of course--however, I could probably go ahead and round out the list by adding the entire soundtrack to White Christmas which is THE BEST Christmas movie ever made, thank you very much!)
6. Joy to the World-Avalon
Okay, as I am typing this, I just realized a desperate need to update my Christmas music...because beyond music from the cd's previously mentioned, all we have are kids Christmas Music, I will henceforth be mentioning songs from the previous listed artist. Please feel free to leave recommendations for new Christmas albums.
7. Still the Greatest Story Ever Told-Gaither vocal Band
8. Heaven's Child-The Martins
9.Christmas Song-Avalon
10. Let There be Peace On Earth-Vince Gill
Okay, why did I start this? Quite embarrassing, my lack of updated music! So, what are your favorite Christmas songs and PLEASE let me know what my next Christmas music purchase should be...and if it has "for kids" in the title...please, save you typing fingers!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Look What the Diva Sent

Okay, we interrupt this Tour of Homes for an important weather alert! We are locking down, preparing for winter weather and a possible ice storm. Schools have closed, practices have been cancelled and Walmart is sold out of...just about everything!

In the event of the aforementioned bad weather, we could be out of power for a few days. So, just in case, I wanted to make sure to get this thank you in. The other night, Tigerfan stepped out the door to turn on Christmas lights and found a big box. It was a Christmas surprise from my bloggy friend, The Purple Diva. She is sooo sweet, ya'll! And she always has something funny or cute on her blog so go check her out! Anyway, here is what was inside the box:

Okay, I realize, my photography skills are right up there with my technology genius. but included in this box were two packages of Christmas cookies, a precious angel ornament and another little decoration. An ornament for each of the kids, a bag a candy for each of the kids, some bracelets for Dancer, cars for the big boys and the cutest little book for Tigercub! Is that not the sweetest thing. I told you, my bloggy friends make me happy, ya'll are too sweet.

On that note, I got in trouble this morning. Tigerfan got caught up on the ole blog and read things that make me happy post. I didn't mention him! Oops! This oversight was not intentional...it is inferred that he makes me happy, thus, I married him! Anyway, stay tuned, I must write a Terrific Tigerfan post soon to keep peace!

Have a great Monday and, weather permitting, I'll be back soon!

Please Join Me for a Little Christmas Tour

Welcome to the Tiger Den! I am so glad you stopped by! I have been trying to have a little Christmas "open house" for a couple of weeks now, but my technology challenges have left my lovely pictures trapped in my camera with no way out. Last night after much pleading and gnashing of teeth (okay, all I had to do was ask nicely) my sweet Tigerfan rescued the pictures and saved what would surely be my last chance to astound you with the lack of decorating talent in me!


Would you like a little snack? I can offer you a nice cold cup of chocolate milk, hot chocolate, of course Diet Coke or water. Unfortunately, I don't drink coffee. However, if you would care to bring some along I DO have a coffee pot and I LOVE how it smells, so feel to brew you a cup while you are here!


How about a little gingerbread man shaped chocolate chip cookie, decorated by my oldest three assistants?

We are nothing here, if not creative!

Now, for the tour. For those three of you who come around these parts regularly...you are FINALLY going to see some of the new furniture. We got our curtains on Wednesday so I retook the living room pictures to include them. Try to contain your excitement!


First, the tree:



Don't worry, we haven't lost any lights, they are just blinking...a little compromise so I can keep my pretty white lights but the kids get the joy of blinking! I realize now this picture doesn't show you a lot about the tree. It does, however, let you see my lovely new curtains! The top of the lovely, yet artificial and therefore not needle losing tree is bedecked with a plaid bow. The tree is encircled with wooden cranberries and covered in little apples left over from our first Christmas together when all we could afford was a couple packages of apple ornaments and a million ornaments from students saying "World's Greatest Teacher"! Those ornaments have since found there way to, ahem, other locations, but the apples remain. Most of the other ornaments are the yearly grandson, granddaughter Christmas ornaments from Hallmark that Nana gives the kids each year. The other remaining decoration from years gone by are the little bows gently placed all over the branches. Also left over from an early Christmas with no money when we bought fabric remnants and painstakingly cut them into strips and individually tied about 5 million bows to add as fillers! As for the rest of the living room, we have the mantle and the piano:


Please notice the stockings. They are all lovingly handmade by Tigerfan's grandmother. She makes them and then hand stitches a gazillion sequins to make Christmas pictures all over them. They are a treasure! You will also notice, however, that one of them is turned the wrong direction. She made Dancer's stocking the opposite way of everyone else's and, of course, you cannot remake a family heirloom.

Okay, for the last of the tour we have my little collection of snowmen,

And our nativity. I would like more nativities. If you are amazed at the lack of decorations, let me assure you, the children each have a tree and decorations in their rooms and the guest room has a lovely tree, unfortunately it is Christmas headquarters right now and cannot be photographed! I also purged A LOT this year in an effort to refocus on the real meaning of Christmas. So, if I didn't LOVE it or if it didn't reflect the meaning of Christmas, we donated it.



Each year as we set up the nativity, we read the Christmas story and the children place the pieces on the nativity as each character is mentioned, a tradition from my childhood.


Last stop, the front of the house. This was an afterthought, taken last night in the dark, but maybe you can get the idea:


Well, thanks for dropping by! Enjoy the rest of the houses on the tour and feel free to come anytime! I LOVE unexpected guests...especially if they have good housecleaning skills! ☺


For more homes, check out BooMama's Tour of Homes. You can also check out some homes at the homeschool blog page:




Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Throwing a Fit Friday

This is where you SHOULD find my fit Friday post. Hosted by the beautiful and getting fit Missy! However, I have officially given up trying to be a hottie for the holidays, I will resume efforts on January 1st. I will continue to do my best and try to exercise, but the fact of the matter is, I am worn slap out and when you never get into bed before midnight or 1 a.m. it is just too dang hard to drag your booty out of bed at 5 to exercise! I am trying. I made it three days this week (at least I hope...I am optimistically typing this Thursday night assuming I will get up Friday, which I need to do because when I am through typing I am going to go sit on the couch with Tigerfan, watch House Hunters, eat popcorn and peanut M&M's and drink a Diet Coke and there is NO SHAME!). I ate okay, I have no idea what I weigh. One day I weighed in at 133 and did the "happy dance" but let's face it, the scales lie, so if I stepped on it now, it could say 139 and I would slip into a desperate depression, so I won't look...sometimes it is just better that way. Anyway, the next two weeks are crazy with parties and party food, choir productions, tutorial activities, blah, blah, blah. So, I will do my best, but I am not going to beat myself up over it and when I make my annual tray of goodies to send to Tigerfan's office, I WILL sample! I mean, I have to make sure they taste right!



So, one of my good friends sent me this in an email because she knows about my weigh in woes. Thought my Hottie sitters might enjoy it! I would love to give credit to the original author, but I don't know who it is, surely a Hottie in Training like us!


HOLIDAY EATING TIPS:



1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.





2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!





3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.





4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.





5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?





6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do.This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.





7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.





8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?





9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.





10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.





Remember this motto to live by:"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO, what a ride!"Have a great holiday season.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tragedy at the Tiger Den

I still remember the highchair that all the kids used at my grandma's house. It was a little wooden chair with a tray that could be removed so when they outgrew the need for the actual highchair, the tray could be taken off and the chair just pulled up to the table like a booster seat. I assume it was the chair my mom and aunts used, although I guess I never really asked.


So, when we found out we were expecting our first little cub, we didn't purchase the practical plastic model. A friend having a garage sale was selling her Jenny Lynn Style highchair and with a little nostalgia and a lot of budget concerns, we purchased our own little wooden highchair.

I love that chair. All of my kids have sat there for their first time in a highchair. We have celebrated first birthdays and had countless snacks and meals there. It hasn't been as easy to clean or maintain as the modern day models. The wooden spindles get caked in food and it is hard to get it out. The straps have long since worn off and now the babies get "buckled in" with a handkerchief tied around their middle. There are lots of memories in that chair. It is cute, I have never minded how it looked sitting in the kitchen and I have always pictured my own grandkids coming to visit and sitting in that chair, pulling them up to the table to eat a snack or color a picture.

Until today when the unthinkable happened. Dancer was playing with Tigercub and leaned over on the tray...and it COMPLETELY split in half! We knew it was weak and had warned the kids, but it still surprised me. So now, my precious little highchair full of memories will soon be making a trip to the dump, I guess. :(

Even worse, tonight at supper, Tigercub had to sit in a booster seat. Oh my, he is too young for a booster seat! Although he thoroughly enjoyed having access to all the wonderful things on the table as well as sitting next to his "twin", baseball boy. At the end of the meal, he even reached over and grabbed B.B., hugged his neck, and started patting him on the back! Which made for a bright spot in what would otherwise be a very dark day...the day the highchair died.

Now, I need to figure out what my nostalgia item will be now. Can you pass down a blog to your grandchildren?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Six Things That Make Me Happy

A few days ago, The Mother Load mercifully tagged me for this meme. I was quite appreciative because I have been in a bit of a bloggy slump and can only think of things to whine about...so this helps!

First, let me tell you what brings me joy. Because happiness is fleeting, but joy is eternal and that I get from my assurance of my salvation through Christ and the knowledge that He has plans for my future, plans to prosper and not to harm me! So, even on the days where I left happiness at the tenth load of laundry or in the toilet that desperately needs scrubbing, I always have that joy to cling to. This has been important lately, because, truly, there haven't been a lot of "happy" days. I am struggling a bit right now but oh, the joy that this, too shall pass!

Okay, now on to business!

1. The feel of Tigercub's tiny little arms squeezing my neck when he first wakes up in the morning. I cannot even tell you what it does to this tired soul when that precious boy smiles, grins, hugs my neck and pats me on the back. It is so important to carry that feeling with me throughout the day when I am chasing him off the stairs, repairing broken ornaments, putting the pans back in the cabinet (again), and vacuuming up the soil from the houseplant he tried to eat (again).

2. The boys VOLUNTEERING to clean out their room and give away some toys and get it organized! Football boy has already cleaned out two cabinets and filled two garbage bags with things he is willing to part with! Oh, glory, I thought this day would never come!

3. Seeing the house all decorated up for Christmas! It is sooo pretty! This year I did something I have wanted to do for a long time! Most of our "decorations" were gifts from students over the years and many I put out because I remembered the student or I just felt guilty but I didn't LOVE them. This year, we are simplifying and focusing on the real meaning of the holiday, so if I don't love it, I did not put it out. Our church is trying to raise money to build a clean water well in Africa through Blood:Water Mission. We had a big yard sale this weekend, so everything I didn't use, I donated for the yard sale. I felt no guilt (totally unlike me) because it was for such a good cause! Wow, that is two for the price of one: happy decorations AND cleaning out!

4. My Momma and Daddy! I am so blessed to have such amazing parents! I do not get to see them as often as I like, but I am so grateful for them! On the same note, I really have amazing in-laws, too!

5. My bloggy friends. I tend to get a little isolated at home sometimes because of homeschooling and the sheer torture of getting out with all the children all the time, if I go, they go! So, when I get a comment or an email or a word of encouragement from someone I have never met but dearly love, it means the world to me!

6. CHOCOLATE! No explanation needed!

Okay, I am tired, Dancer is screaming for computer time and the boys need guidance in their room before the baby wakes up, so I am tagging anyone who wants to participate, if you do it, please leave me a comment so I can come check out your list!

Happy Monday

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fit Friday


My daddy used to say, "I am so far behind, I have to look forward to see backward!"


That is how I feel right now. About EVERYTHING. I am just struggling to keep my head above water! As a result, I have not been too successful in the weight loss efforts lately! I have million excuses. One of which is being gone for 10 days 6 of which were in DisneyWorld, not a good place to be watching your figure! I have been so busy and so darn tired, I just haven't exercised like I should. And, frankly, I am just too dad gum tired right now to even try very hard, I have slipped into my old patterns of eating the kids leftovers, getting my easy breakfast, blah, blah, blah. I should have maintained my "no fail environment" as Dr. Phil would say, but that would require effort and I just don't have it in me right now.


I know, you are all astounded at my wonderful attitude!


Anyway, in three weeks, I have lost about 1 pound. Considering my efforts, that should be good news and I should be grateful. frankly, I am just bitter that I can't lay around in bed eating bon bons and miraculously lose 10 pounds.


I really am going to try to do better. I will try to get back on board this week and get serious. No more excuses. Really.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Disney Details

Whew, what a week! We had such a great time spending Thanksgiving with the mouse! I highly recommend it...if you don't mind sharing the holiday with about a million of your closest strangers standing in 2 hour lines and eating mediocre food!

Seriously, the week was fun! It was so much better this time around, knowing what to expect, being familiar with the park, knowing what we could leave off! It was also EXHAUSTING! I now need another vacation to recuperate! That is the down side of Thanksgiving away...when you get back, the house is still a mess and in need of decorating, the laundry is out of sight, the refrigerator is bare, and life is still moving at light speed!

Anyway, here are a few pictures from the week:




We stayed at the Pop Century hotel which was loaded with items from the decades like this, the kids loved them!

Lunch day one was with the Playhouse Disney characters! Fun!


Nana and Papaw (who made this trip possible by paying for it!) with the grandkids.


Dream with Mickey show at the castle. I am sure it was wonderful, however, midway through the show Minnie simply disappeared and the show was abruptly ended with apologies and fireworks. I feel bad for Minnie, but I find it strangely amusing!


Hanging out with Turk at Animal Kingdom. The high points that day were the Nemo show, which was AMAZING, definitely a must see, and the Expedition Everest ride. Unless you ask Baseball boy who in a fit of bravery decided to ride. He will not make that mistake again. Yetti, B.B. will NOT be invading your territory again. Not ever. Really.

Tigerfan as the Elephant Leader in Lion King. He may have found his calling!


Breakfast with Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, and the Mad Hatter. So much fun and truly, I think Tigercub has found a future, He was scared of all the characters but LOVED the Mad Hatter. He was crazy, silly, goofy, he fit in very well with us!
Our favorite meal! Although we spent Thanksgiving eating at the Sci-Fi Cafe, our favorite place was probably this, the Whispering Canyon Cafe! I HIGHLY recommend it if you are ever in the park! The food was actually good and we had so much fun! Please notice all the ketchup bottles in the above picture. If you asked for ketchup they SCREAMED at the top of their lungs and whoever had ketchup brought it ALL to your table. This was a dream come true for B.B. who thinks ketchup is a food group in and of itself!

Our family in front of the Gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian. Okay, I realize you can't see the gingerbread house, but trust me, it is there and quite magnificent. However, it was more important to capture a decent picture of the family, okay, of me to post on the internet for the three of you who really care.
Okay, I really must go get on that to do list, but if you have enjoyed this little walk through our Disney Thanksgiving, there are 223 more pictures where these came from...just let me know and I'll send 'em your way! ☺







Friday, November 21, 2008

Fit Friday Week Something



This will be short and sweet. This week has been crazy busy but I have managed to keep up with my exercise and haven't completely blown my food consumption. I haven't been on a scale, but I am pretty sure I have just kept steady, which is okay considering the week.

We are leaving in about an hour headed to FL to spend Thanksgiving with Mickey. I am not sure if I will ever get a chance to check in or not and am pretty sure I will not be able to post next week...or diet...or stay with my exercise routine. But people, it's DISNEY! Give me a break!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We Now Take a Break From Our Regularly Scheduled Whine

I am not exactly sure how it happened. I know it is undeserved. It was DEFINITELY unsolicited...but I was given an award today!
I received this award from: My Compass Points South.



Here are the rules for this one:
1. Mention the blog that gave it to you and comment on their blog to let them know you’ve posted your award.
2. Publish these rules.
3. Share 6 values that are important to you and 6 things you do not support.
4. Grant the prize to 6 people.
5. Mention the blog that gave it to you and comment on their blog to let them know you’ve posted your award.


Here goes!Six important values/beliefs:
1. I believe I am a sinner saved by grace
2. I believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and offered me salvation not because of anything I had done myself but because of his love for me and for His purposes (John 3:16, 2 Timothy 1:9)
3. I believe that my purpose is to share that love of Christ to everyone I can and to live a life that Honors God and turns people toward him
4. I value my family, friends, and church as precious blessings and gifts from God
5. I value the freedom we have to worship and live in a free country and I NEVER want to take that freedom for granted
6. I value the privilege I have to stay home and homeschool my children. I don't always like it, but I do value the freedom to do it!

Six values/beliefs I do not support:
1. I do not believe in the overall good of mankind, there is none righteous, not even one! (Romans 3:10)
2. I do not believe I (or anyone else) can ever be good enough to make it to Heaven on our own, our salvation comes through Christ alone. ( I know that is not the popular opinion, but I believe it is the truth.)
3. I do not believe in hiding what I know to be true because it is unpopular
4. I do not value material possessions above my true blessings (like family, friends, and faith) or at the cost of peace in my home...I have found that often the desire to accumulate "wealth" often robs me of the peace and simplicity I really desire.
5. I do not believe our President Elect is the answer to all of the country's problems and we are in serious trouble if we put all our hopes and beliefs into the ability of one man.
6. I don't believe in Santa...although I love the idea of such a round and giving man bringing lovely treasures I otherwise could not afford. And so, if he really is out there, I would just like to throw out this suggestion: Wiifit!
Okay, that is far deeper than the usual quality posts you get around here! I am truly thankful for something to blog about besides my whining and business.

Six bloggers I pass it on to:

1. The Mother Load

2. Growing With It

3. Sewsensible

4. Happy Mommy

5. We Are That Family

6. Four Little Penguins

I know I have seen this award around and I was trying to think of people who haven't yet received it...if you have already, sorry...I second that motion and will not be at all offended if you totally ignore this post! Have a wonderful day!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Runaway Train


Ever feel like you were on one? Speeding by everything and unable to stop! That is life right now. I know, it is the same for everyone else out there, they just handle it better than me, but at this moment...I JUST WANT OFF!

I will do my darnedest to keep up with everyone this week, but things are CRAZY! We leave Friday to head to sunny (or not so sunny) Orlando, FL to spend Thanksgiving week with Mickey and Friends! Us, and about 3/4 of the rest of the country as far as I can tell!

Now, to all you laid back, easy going folks that sounds like loads of fun. But to an uptight, early Christmas shopper, it means.....AAAAAAAGH! I only have 3 days left to finish Christmas shopping so that I do not have to step foot in a retail establishment after Thanksgiving. And people, it just AIN'T gonna happen!

We are almost done with the kids and most of hubby's family. I have NOTHING for my family. Or for teachers. Or for the people who work for my husband. Or for my husband!

This week, we need to make a hygrometer, a barometer, and a weather vane for F.B.'s science fair project so we can begin as soon as we get home. One of my good friends is beginning to sell Premiere Jewelry and her first party is tonight. I have homeschool and tutorial (which I am behind on my grading by about 2 weeks). We have Angel practice on Tuesday and Thursday night, church on Wednesday, a birthday party and dance on Thursday. On Thursday B.B. also has his county fair day to end his Charlotte's Web unit. He must dress up, enter at least two contests, one of which must be the baking contest and we are signed up to bring...something, I can't remember what. The same day, Dancer has her Thanksgiving Feast. She must dress up as an Indian and bring napkins and rolls. Tigercub is supposed to bring toys and money to make a Christmas shoebox and F.B. has a Spanish presentation in which he must bring props and dress up like a pilgrim.

We leave Friday morning to begin the trek to the land of the mouse, so on top of all of that, I must pack, do laundry and try to find my house. Tigerfan wanted to get the Christmas tree set up as well. So it was done when we returned. Not going to happen! He also had a MARVELOUS idea last night that sometime in Dec. we should host a holiday Open house for our friends. I LOVE the idea, but all I can think of is How? When?

So, is anyone else already frazzled this early in the season? Any words of hope or advice? Or perhaps the number to a nice peaceful place with padded rooms and happy little pills? Either will do nicely.

I will try to be back this week with something profound or at least less whiny, hope everyone has a great week!

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Purple Diva. Your gift is supposed to be in the mail! I forgot it when I went into town, just to add to the wonderful day/weekend you already had!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fit Friday #4


Taking a little break from my bloggy break to check in with my Fit Friday Friends. My report is this: DON'T ASK!

My diet has severely suffered from the attack of the blahs not to mention the fact that, while I started the week off with a bang exercise wise, I ended it the last two days with nothing, NOTHING! I hope to get some in at some point today, but frankly, sleep has just won out for me. I have not stepped on a scale (too depressing!) so I do not know what the numbers say.

I will try to get back on track this week (sounds freakishly familiar, doesn't it!) because if I don't just get into a habit of healthy eating and exercise soon I think I am going to have to change my goal from "Hot for the Holidays" to "Slim in the Spring" or maybe "Sweet by the Summer" or, if I continue on my current trend "Fantastic for the Fall".

Good luck this week to all my Fit Friday friends, may you eat light, exercise hard and watch another pound slip away! For more Fit Friday go to It's Almost Naptime.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blah, Blah, Blah

I've got the blahs. It is probably directly related to a little monthly visitor I am entertaining right now (I know, WAY too much info.)but still, I am feeling blah.

My house is a mess. I don't care.

I have papers to grade and record overflowing. I don't care.

I have Christmas shopping that desperately needs to be done. Not even going there!

I don't want to play, I don't want to teach, I don't want to play mommy. I want to have a little pity party with lots of chocolate and Diet Coke and pouting.

But I can't. So, I am going to take a break from the bloggy world for a day or two until I can play nice!

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ramblings

I can't put together a meaningful post so I'll just let ya know in list form what is on my mind.


1. A week or so ago, we had watch day for Dancer's dance class. Her teacher thought she could give us some shopping advise by telling us what NOT to get. She said the two WORST things to get a child who wants to be a dancer or play sports are: 1. a mat-too dangerous and 2. a trampoline-because your child's muscles lose the ability to jump by themselves. Guess what we WERE getting our kids for Christmas this year? I'll give you a hint, it wasn't a dance mat!

2. If someone in your house buys a new pack of gum and that same person puts that pack of gum in their pocket and then does not check their pocket before putting those pants in the dirty clothes and does not check pockets (even though they KNOW they are supposed to) when they get clothes ready for the wash and you wash and DRY clothes with an entire pack of blue gum in them...there is hope! When you open the dryer and it is completely blue with huge sticky globs all over, do not panic! There is a not totally simple solution! Heat your dryer for about five minutes, then using a Magic Eraser pad, start scrubbing (the internets also recommended a moist dryer sheet, but of course, I did not have one of those). Scrub until the dryer cools. Stop. Reheat dryer. Go back. Stick your entire body into a 200 degree metal drum and scrub some more. Repeat for approximately 1- 1 1/2 hours until the gum is removed! No sweat (okay, in all honesty, there is a lot of sweat because the dryer is HOT people!) Anyone wondering how I know this? If you really want a challenge, include this on a Wednesday, the single busiest day of our homeschool week!

3. My oldest baby boy was in a church musical last night. It was the Middle Singers. Grades 6-8. Can I tell you what it did to my heart to see my baby up there with the BIG KIDS? I still remember dressing him in green tights, shorts, and a flower hat so he could join the preschool choir helping out in a children's musical. (I wonder if I can figure out how to get THAT picture on here...he would KILL me!) Next year he will be in the youth! Where did the time go?

4. Ramblings must end. I have chaos abounding and school must begin. So we are starting 45 minutes late...what's new?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fit Friday


After a VERY rough week last week, I was determined to do better...and I did!

I did not miss a single day of exercise (yeah, me! and yeah, kids!). Just that alone makes me feel so much better! I would like to get some different workout videos and I am trying to convince Tigerfan that I really NEED WiiFit for Christmas! But, regardless, I exercised! This morning I even did a little dance workout I found on YouTube...oh if you could have been a fly on my wall this morning...cause, people, this white girl cannot dance!!! But it was fun, so who cares?

I did better eating as well. This was quite an achievement considering the busy weekend, 3 sick children, dance lessons, angel practice for the boys, etc. It has been a wild week. Perhaps the most deadly thing to my diet was the extreme desire to drown my election woes in chocolate. And I did...to some extent...but overall, I did better than I have in two weeks.

The result...drum roll, please, NO LOSS! In fact, I may have even GAINED a pound back! I cannot remember what time I have been weighing in, so I weighed twice..once I was steady, once I had gained a pound.

I guess I shouldn't whine...I mean I do deserve it after the last two weeks...but, really! I think I'll chalk it up to water retention due to my increased exercise this week--I feel better that way. And, I should probably remove all signs of Halloween candy from my sight! By now the kids are sick of it (imagine that!) and so it just sits on the counter and mocks me! I think I probably gain a few tenths of a pound every time I walk into the kitchen!

Anyway, I am going to keep trying this week. Does anyone have any good low fat, low cal dinner suggestions? I do pretty good with breakfast and lunch but could really use some help with relatively quick and easy supper ideas.

Hope everyone's week went well! For more Fit Friday, check out It's Almost Naptime!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mom and Dad, Can We Talk?

Two days a week, I teach 5th gade at our Homeschool Tutorial. The past couple of weeks, we have been studying cells. So, today we began talking about passing on traits and how our genes help determine our characteristics.

Every year we do an activity where the kids gather data about their classmates: eye color, hair color, etc. Then we compile the info. and study the most common traits. This leads into a discussion about dominant and recessive genes.

Today we were doing that activity. I was explaining the meaning of dominant and recessive and how if Mom has blue eyes and Dad has brown eyes, you are more likely to have brown eyes.

All of the sudden, one of my kids said incredulously, "You mean if I am in my mom's tummy, I could get my dad's eyes!"

I began explaining that you could get the gene from the father. Then it began: "But how? If I am in my Mom's tummy...how do I get my Dad's genes?" In five years of teaching this curriculum NO ONE has ever gone here! I began searching for an answer.

Suddenly, another child joined in, "I think you get them from kissing. That is why our moms and dads kiss all the time! Is that how you get them?"

My response..."Ask your mom and dad tonight!" Oh, I would like to be a fly on the wall of some 5 th grade houses tonight!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Like an Ostrich

You may have noticed that I have not mentioned much about the election. Okay, I haven't mentioned anything. I have read many other blogs with political themes, I have even commented a few times. But, overall, I have kept quiet. I am not a political strategist or greatly knowledgeable in the running of our country. I have my opinions, other people have theirs.

I loved many blogs I read today and found this and this, both from the Mother Load to be great reads! But mostly today, I have been of the "stick your head in the sand" philosophy. I am so sad and so disheartened by the elections. I know the results were no surprise...I guess I was just hoping for a miracle. And so, I haven't watched T.V., haven't read the paper, haven't listened to the radio. I just can't take it. I don't want to see the celebrations, don't want to hear the liberal media's commentaries, don't want to hear interviews about how lucky we are!

I have even read comments today from people from other countries (obviously not on my blog) saying how lucky we are and basically we need to stop whining because we just don't know a good thing when we see it! Perhaps, however, the MOST alarming thing I have heard from both sides of a pitiful argument are that the moral issues really don't matter. Look at the real issues, the important issues!

Sadly, that is where we are in America today. But, America wasn't founded on a great economy. America didn't find her foundations in great healthcare or incredible foreign policy. America was founded by some who were seeking adventure, some who were seeking wealth, but mostly, America was the answer for those desperate for religious freedom. Freedom of religion, not freedom FROM religion. We have turned so far from our roots that no one seems to remember where or what we came from. That is what causes me so much sorrow!

I can't help but let my mind wander to so many stories in the Bible where God allowed His CHOSEN people to be taken into captivity, slavery, etc. because they had turned to other gods. His own people that he led out of captivity, his people that he spoke to,...His people! Are we so self assured in America that we think we are above that? Because while we are blessed, while we are included in His plan of salvation...we aren't, as a nation, his chosen ones! And I look and see a country that began willing to give their lives for Him, now serving the gods of wealth, fame, sports, beauty and so many other things.

I do not think this election took God by surprise. I know He is and always will be, in control! But I wonder, could He have just decided to allow us to live with the choices we have made this time? I do NOT think that one man can destroy this country. My god has the power to overcome a president, a congress, an army. He also has the power to let us alone. And while one man may not destroy our country, our country, most certainly, can destroy itself. I see the signs, a country more concerned with saving whales than saving babies, a country that takes prayer out of school and destroys the sanctity of marriage. A country that rewards "free thinking" yet condemns the ten commandments. What will it be next?

So, yes, I have faith that God can overcome. I believe that we can survive the next few years. I believe that this life is temporary and the eternal is so much more important. But I must tell you, I mourn today for where our country has been and where I fear it may go!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Belling the Baby

Remember the story about the mice who wanted to put a bell on the cat so they would always know where he was?




The boys have subscribed to that philosophy around here. They got tired of me freaking out because Tigercub would suddenly disappear and they would be forced into a man hunt. And so...they belled the baby!




Notice the little green band around his ankle? That is the wrist bells from their instrument kit! Surprisingly, he leaves it alone and we ALWAYS know where he is....until I have had all the jingling I can take! Hey, it works for us!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Decline Continues

I may have stated once or twice that I have been having a bit of trouble pulling myself together recently. What I once thought I had a grasp on, I now realize was always just a step from slipping out of my hand.

Friday I had a little bloggy rant and I had one person comment that indeed, I needed to be more organized. And while I TOTALLY appreciate the spirit in which that comment was offered, the comment is a little like telling someone who just had a limb removed that they need to get help or they will bleed to death. Or telling a drowning person that they should really swim to shore. Or commenting to a flunking student that they should really get their grades up. I KNOW I need to be more organized. I get that! I just don't know how.


Now, if you can help me out with that, feel free to just comment away. Or call. Or visit. Or send a little team of organizing fairies!


Anyway, My point is that I realize life has gotten a little out of control. BUT, just in case you do not believe me and in the interest of full disclosure an utter Internet honesty, I would like to present you with some after pictures. I didn't take before shots. These lovely little pictures are from Thursday. After I spent 2 1/2 hours cleaning. Remember...these are the AFTER pictures:






I would like you to notice the very clean table in the background! Martha Stewart should be calling any day now!
I cleaned again today! The whole floor has been vacuumed, the table is clear again, and the rest of the house? Well, it looks just about the same!

Halloween

Okay, in the interest of time and sanity...we are going with the brief, not at all amusing, but terribly cute, holiday in pictures. We always go to our church's Halloween alternative Fall Fun Fest. This year, Baseball boy was invited to a friend's to go trick or treating. We allowed him to go because he was sooo excited and had never been trick or treating before! Thus, I have no pictures of the little guy...don't judge me, I am doing the best I can!


Anywhoo...we went the route of cheapness on costumes. Baseball boy wore his LSU jersey and borrowed football pants and pads. Voila--football player!


Tigerfan reprised his role as LSU superfan adorning himself with as much purple and gold as he could find. Last year, Tigerfan even painted his face like a tiger...this year, no face paint, oh well!


Dancer was going as an LSU cheerleader (do you see a theme here?) until Thursday. Thursday, she had rodeo day at tutorial and loved being a cowgirl so much, she decided to go with that.


Tigercub suffered at the hands of a tired mommy and had no costume. Nothing.


So, Friday morning I had to go get a haircut and my "stylist" asked what the kids were wearing. She said I should dress Tigercub like a cowboy. I said I had considered that but all I had for Tigercub was bluejeans. When she was through with my hair, she volunteered to put Dancer's hair in some cowgirl braids and then told me to wait a minute. She disappeared upstairs and returned with tiny little boots, vest and chaps for Tigercub! What a blessing!

Okay, so here are the pictures...Halloween '08:


Please notice the lovely Halloween decoration (aka: dead fern) that is gracing my front porch!





The kids had loads of fun, and fortunately for me, decided riding horses, climbing rock walls and bouncing in hoppers was way more fun than playing "silly" games for candy...so, although we have plenty, we did not come home with the extreme amount of sugar that we have in the past! Which is another blessing considering my struggle with pre-holiday weight loss!

The final Halloween blessing, which, actually, was the first was a little surprise gift from CJ, the Purple Diva, she sent my kids a wonderful box of Halloween goodies (which they finally got once I convinced Tigerfan it wasn't a gift from a crazy person filled with anthrax) just because she is the absolute sweetest thing on earth! You really must go check her out if you don't already because she will make you laugh EVERY DAY!!! And her energy level, at least on her blog, is comparable to that of a two year old boy...need I say more?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hippo for the Holidays

As you can probably guess from the title, this has been another BAD week. Why is it that as soon as I PUBLICLY commit to weight loss, I go from doing okay to just blowing it constantly?

In my defense, and it is a pitiful defense, my life has just spiraled out of control. It has been right on the brink lately but I have managed to hold on to one tiny thread and keep going. Not this week.

I have posted in the past about my desperate need for a time management course. I even asked Tigerfan for a personal assistant for Christmas but he ignored me! Well, my lack of organizational skills has finally hit me smack in the face.

For several months now, my schedule has been something like this:
5:00 a.m. get up and do cardio for 30 minutes
5:30 a.m. breakfast and quiet time
6:00 a.m. shower and get ready
6:45 a.m. get the children up and begin the day, fix breakfast, do morning chores, etc. I also use this time as our "read aloud" time for school so while the children eat, I read to them from our current novel.
8:00 a.m. (hopefull) officially begin school. We usually begin by starting the laundry, doing pledges, learning a song for church choir, reciting our heart verses, and doing our Bible lesson. All of which I need to be present and involved in. Then, the children can choose what subject they work on next and we get started.

I assist with school where needed and try to keep laundry going. However, by keeping laundry going, I mean realizing one load is through, putting it in to dry and starting another...going to pull clothes I do not want to dry all the way...putting them in a basket to take upstairs to hang up to dry...getting distracted by a child needing assistance...realizing the dryer is through...putting clothes on the couch to fold...getting distracted by a fussy baby... by the days end, I usually have a basket of wet clothes weighing approximately 500 pounds and a couch so full of unfolded clothes that no one can use the living room!

11:30 a.m. we would break to fix lunch
12:00 eat with Daddy and then the kids take a break while I visit, clean, and probably find myself something to eat because in all likelihood, the baby needed to eat, then Tigerfan came home and needed lunch, and then the kids needed something, and soon everyone has eaten and left the table and I have a mess to clean and have not yet eaten, as a result in a frustrated and half starved craze...I grab whatever carbohydrate is close by and devour it. Most recently, that has been the Halloween candy stash! (this is not one of my prouder confessions)

Anyway...the rest of the day goes much like this. We often do not finish school until 4:00 at which time, it is time to fix supper, get baths, prepare for the next day, do night time activities...etc.

By the time the children go to bed, the house is a disaster, the laundry isn't done, I have not prepared for teaching at the tutorial, etc. So, I begin trudging through it all. Folding laundry, hanging wet clothes, ironing, ironing, ironing, cleaning the kitchen, preparing tutorial and on MWF doing my strength training. The result? Most weeknights, it is between 11:00p.m. and 1:00 a.m. before I go to bed and then it all starts over at 5.

I am not whining, I am not proud of this...it just is how it is. But this week, I have hit a wall. My body just physically can not take this much more. I am tired and cranky and stressed and my faith tends to waver a bit. The problem? What do I do? This week, I overslept 3 days! 3! That means no exercise and no quiet time and that means a scary mom! I know I am failing in certain things. I know the kids should have to help out more. But, usually, while I tell them they are helping that day, we get entrenched in school, and housework becomes undoable. By 4:00, they are tired, I am tired and the work involved in getting them to do chores then is just more than I can do!

So, here I am. The scale tells me I lost another pound (although one day this week it also told me I weighed 119 pounds). I do not see how that is true. Unless chocolate, muffins, and chips have become a healthy food group, I think there is a mistake! Regardless of my weight, however...I want to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle and I am not. I just do not know what to change or cut out to make life more manageable. And the busy season is just about to start!

I did not mean to make this post a whine fest, but I am REALLY frustrated. Any advice out there? I would love for it to include a weekend retreat with my husband and an unlimited amount of fat free, calorie free chocolate, so if you could incorporate that, it would be great! Hope all you other Hotties out there had a better week. And there is always next week, right? I'll get started on that...right after we celebrate the candy and calorie laden Fall Fun Fest at church tonight!

**I forgot to link to the host site! For more Fit Friday posts go to It's Almost Naptime!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Conviction

You may have noticed that I am not exactly a deep thinker. I am that one in Bible Study who actually writes down exactly what is in my Bible or on a particularly profound day in my Bible commentary. I am the one who sits in awe when someone who read the same exact thing I did comes up with this profound meaning while I begin checking to see if we are reading the same Bible...cause I just didn't get that! I am a true Beth Moore wannabe! But, I "ain't!"

I have never aspired to be a great theological blog or really an inspirational one. I just started blogging as a way to stay connected with my family and the outside world, a way to stay sane. I have tried to be true to my faith and occasionally have made mention of what God is doing in my life, but certainly have not been profound in what I have said.

You can probably continue to expect that same level of mediocrity, because, that is just who I am. But, yesterday we had a revival speaker at church, and ya'll, he NAILED me! We live in some scary times. The economy is SCARY, the elections are SCARY, our education system (at least locally) is SCARY, the international issues are SCARY, the threat of terrorism is SCARY! But, we have a God that is more powerful than all of those things and I am not sharing him with people. We have a hope that is far greater than a president or a great teacher or even a Nobel peace prize winner. We have the Author of Peace, the Creator of the World, the Great Physician! The One and Only True God, there is no other, not money, not fame, not political power, not a great prophet or and under god. Just One and HE is in control.

I think of reasons all the time why I don't share my faith. I am home with my kids, I don't know any lost people, I live in the Bible belt...everyone knows God around here. I have shared a bit with my next door neighbor and I teach S.S. and tell my tutorial kids. But I am not passionate about telling people or sharing my faith with people. Yesterday, our preacher said to turn to the person next to you and just ask, do you know Him? I will show you. I will go with you. I will lead you. Do you want me to go with you? I looked around and my family was all around and I know that they know. So, I sat quietly and did nothing. Last night, he talked about our apathy. We live in a world that just doesn't really care that much, we don't have a passion. He asked, what could make me stop loving, serving God. Of course, the right answer is nothing. But in the middle of the night last night, I woke up from a dream about my sweet Dancer. My first thought was, God, please not my little girl. I will serve you, I will honor you, but please NEVER take my little girl...I am not willing to give her up. Then I heard Tigercub, stuffy and struggling to breathe in his baby bed and I thought, "not the baby, please never the baby!"

And I realized, I am not sold out 100%. Am I really willing to serve Him in thick or thin? In good and bad? What if something happened to a child? Would I still be faithful? Because really, I am not faithful now. I am apathetic, I find excuses, I go through the motions. But I want to be sold out. I don't ever want anyone to wonder where I stand. I don't want to get so bogged down in day to day that I forget the eternal.

So, in case you are wondering, this is where I stand. I believe in God the creator. A God, who through His own amazing power created land and sea, heaven and earth, animal and man in six days and rested on the seventh. I believe in His one and only son, Jesus, who left the glory of heaven and was born in poverty on earth, who lived a perfect life, who died taking the punishment of MY sins and who raised again to overcome death for ME...and for you. I believe that we are separated from God because of our sin but that He loves us enough to forgive us for those sins if we will just confess those sins and ask for forgiveness and I believe He has eternal life for us in Heaven if we will accept this free gift!

One day soon, I hope to add a page sharing my testimony and sharing my beliefs for anyone who may wonder or question, but for now, this will have to do. My prayer is that if ANYONE reads this blog and doesn't know Jesus, they will begin to ask, begin to question, begin to read their Bible. And, if anyone wants to ask me, I will always be here to share my faith and scriptures to back it up. If you don't have a Bible...I will get you a Bible. If you have a question, I will TRY to answer a question or point you to someone who can. So, thank you for letting me let it all out today! I feel much better now, and you can too, if you will only trust Him! So, I must ask: Do you know Him? Would you like me to go with you and show you how you can?

And now, in keeping with the lighter side of things, as our speaker was talking about apathy last night he made this comment which, do to my love of all things amish, I found hilarious: Sometimes when he begins sharing about Jesus, he can just feel how little people care, Like a bunch of Amish men in Circuit City! I'll just leave you with that! :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Calling Flylady...Someone needs your help!

To those who had a wonderful first week for Hot For the Holidays...I curse you! Okay, not really. But my week, not so good!

Did you see the great ONE blog I posted? My blogging tells the tale of all success stories this week!

I did most get in my required exercise (according to Sparkpeople) by Wednesday, but have not done one bit since then, although I totally plan to today. Sometime.

Eating has not been so successful. I have found I just do not have the time to track my food through Sparkpeople. I guess I need to just do it the old fashioned way...with pen and ink (gasp!) I always do great at breakfast, but then things quickly decline. I think my problem is not having a lot of healthy choices around here. Which I would, if I would get them at the grocery store. Which I would, if I would make a list. Which I would if I could get my life organized and find time to sit down and write one instead of realizing that I cannot feed my children because there is NOTHING in the cabinets to feed them with and if I do not want a visit from Social Services, I must go to the store NOW! And I probably could get organized, if I could just get my house in order and find that darn household notebook I started 5 1/2 years ago! Which I could if Flylady would fly over here and homeschool my family, fix meals and give me life changing lessons until they all became a habit and we would all live happily ever after in a clean, well stocked home with lots of healthy food options and a skinny mommy everyone would be jealous of.

Thank you for letting me rant. We will now return to trying to do better this week. In all fairness, this week had been plagued with projects for tutorial, Extra stuff to do for church and I had a HORRENDOUS headache Wednesday that just sucked the life out of me. But, today is a new day!

Despite it all, the scale reads that I lost about 1 pound, although if I weighed at a less opportune time, it would probably have a sadder tale to tale. However, I did not gain any, so I guess I can't complain. Good luck fellow hotties and may this week find you eating right, exercising, and becoming your inner hottie (okay, when I first typed that, I accidentally typed hootie which leads to a whole new post subject about how the little weight I have lost seems to be coming from the "hooter" area, which is just wrong!!!)