Wednesday, December 31, 2008
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!
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!
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)!
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
Sunday, December 28, 2008
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
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
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
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?
One Mom in need of HELP!
Friday, December 19, 2008
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!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
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
Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
4 cups shredded coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup flour
1 ½ cup chocolate chips
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!
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
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
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!
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.
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! ☺
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
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
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
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!
Friday, December 5, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
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!
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.