Friday, June 24, 2011
I thought I would start back in with a weigh in. This has been SO helpful for me to have y'all along for the ride. Since I last posted I have lost another 5 pounds. That makes 20 so far. Can you believe it?! When I started it seemed like such a huge thing to do. Now, I only have 10 to go. I am consistently running 3 miles - slowly. But I am able to do it without stopping.
It has been very helpful to look at this as a lifestyle change instead of just wanting to obtain a certain size. After a while the look looses it's fun when people get used to you being skinny. But when I am trying to be healthy for life then I keep going.
Monday, June 6, 2011
The DH had a bout with the stomach flu over the weekend, the twins started today, and it looks like I am up to bat. Then who knows who is up next...
I am sorry to do this to you, but I am not going to post the rest of the week... Just wanted to give you a heads up so that you don't keep checking in and wondering what is going on.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Despite all of that, the morning was gorgeous and I ran 3 miles without stopping!! When I started all of this all I did was run down our street and walk back up it three times. Now I ran the whole development. Small and simple steps can take you long distances.
Also, I lost two pounds this week. So that makes 15 so far!! I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight and halfway to where I want to be.
The tip this week comes from my father-in-law -and he doesn't even know it. He and my MIL are avid runners. I asked him once how he got to LIKE running. To my surprise he told me he doesn't like it. He said it is like banging your head against a wall - it feels so good when you stop.
So today when it got hard, I thought, "It's like banging your head against the wall Jen, it will feel so good when you stop." And it did!!
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Thanks for posting to the Hum Drum post. You have given me topics that should keep me going for the next little while. What a relief for all of us! ;)
So first off I will tackle cheap teacher gifts since the end of school is just around the corner. (sob, sob.) Mags, I LOVE the vase idea. I can envision it and it is adorable. You are so crafty!
Another version is an empty soup can, covered with paper your child has decorated, filled with pencils. If you want to go a step further, you can order pencils with the teacher's name on them. This helps her/him not loose so many to borrowers. ;)
*I have given sticky notepads to teachers who send home lots of notes on them. (Not glamorous, but meaningful.)
*A gift card for an icecream/coffee shop. (Ten dollars at one of these places will cover the cost of whatever they want, vs. only covering a pittance of the tab at a resturant.)
*Wildflowers your child picked for them put in a vase decorated by them.
*DD1 is giving a clearance coffee mug to her teacher this year because the teacher kept breaking hers.
*Do a Google search using "cheap teacher gifts" as the key words. I hit the first link from betterbudgeting.com. There were a lot of fun cute ideas. (If you click on the title of this post it will take you to this website.)
Hope this helps!
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
This is where you come in....Do you have a great tip/idea to share? What do you want to know from me?
Please tell me so that I can get through this block...
Friday, May 27, 2011
This week I lost another pound. So far that makes 13. It seems like it is taking forever and I can feel that I am in a slump. The newness has worn off, and the workouts are becoming harder. I have found it helpful that we are signed up for a 5k. I really want to run it without stopping and that helps get me out the door.
The good news it that I can now run two miles without stopping. That is such a huge improvement over where I started. I am dedicated to making this a lifestyle which is helpful too. It's not just about the weight, it is about being healthy for our five kiddos and the sweet DH. Have a great weekend!!
Recently we were handed 8 bins of clothing. A wonderful blessing, but a mental nightmare for me. I made DH literally sit right by me to help me and this time I finally figured out a system!! So bring on the hand-me-downs because I can rock it now!!
First step: Sort into sizes. Don't worry about seasons, matching outfits, etc. at this point.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
DH was a super star through the whole thing, which I give him major points for. But he said that he appreciated the fact that I told him I had these feelings up front AND that I didn't like it. He said it would have been much different if I had been trying to hide it and he found out from someone else. Like I mentioned before he said that we all get tempted with these kinds of feelings, it's what we do with them that matters. Do you see now why I feel so strongly about being faithful to him?! He is AWESOME!!
Now for the Doc...First of all it was a totally awkward conversation for both of us, and he handled it well. He said that these situations are common and that I needed to go to someone I felt totally comfortable with. He thought I was talking about just my care, and said that he would see me at the twins' check-up. I just wanted to get off the phone at that point and didn't correct him. I think he'll get the picture when we don't schedule with him. ;)
DH thought it was pretty gutsy that I posted this. But I am so shocked with all the marriages I see failing around me - many due to affairs. I want to be a voice saying that these things don't "just happen". We may be tempted, but we also make conscious decisions and have control of both our feelings and actions. I hope that this post will give others the courage to tackle this head on, save their marriages, or at least make them stronger. Use it as a conversation starter. We need to fight for fidelity!!
Monday, May 23, 2011
If you want a really fast and good sloppy joe try this.
1 lb. brown hamburger drained
1 can condensed tomato soup
mix together, heat either on the stove or in the microwave.
serve on whole grain or whole wheat buns.
*Tip. Buy your meat in bulk and brown it with dried onion all at the same time. Drain, let cool, the divide into quart ziplocks putting one pound in each. Then freeze. When you need to use it, thaw in the microwave and it is ready to go. SO handy to make dinner go faster.
Friday, May 20, 2011
It is time for the Friday weigh in....I lost another pound! That makes 12 total so far and I am now only 8 away from what I was before I got pregnant with the twins! See small steps turn into big distances.
Last night I was able to run over a mile without stopping and then mostly ran another 2 miles. I never thought I would be able to do that!! Yeah baby.
*Tip. This comes from Dr. Phil's Weight Loss Solution. Don't have junk food in your house. If it's not there, you can't eat it. Make your environment healthy and then you don't have to have will power to say no to the junk food.
Once a week, we feed the kiddos an early dinner and have them in their room by 7 or 7:30. They can play or read, but they have to stay in their room. And then it is lights out at 8:30. They are in charge of this themselves. The older DDs are in charge of DD3. This has worked out nicely.
We get take-out and have a kid free dinner. Then we watch a movie, play a game or Wii. It isn't much, but it is time to just hangout and reconnect. We LOVE it and look forward to it every weekend.
I'd love to know, what do you and your significant other do to keep the flame burning brightly?
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
When I found myself in a similar situation I decided to douse it. I feel so strongly about being faithful (both physically and emotionally) to my sweet DH that I decided I was going to get rid of the emotions to make sure nothing of the physical would EVER happen. ALL affairs start with emotions.
What did I do? Well, DH and I had a very open discussion about how we both need to be careful. I told him about the struggle with my emotions with the doc and reiterated my determination to be faithful in all ways. I decided that I needed to remove the situation from my life and promised DH that I wouldn't schedule with that doctor anymore.
But I was still struggling. So I did the ultimate douser - I called the doc. I told him that I wasn't going to be scheduling with him anymore - not that he was a bad doc, but because I was too attracted to him. (Pretty gutsy huh? ;)
I did this so that he would know he needed to be careful around me. (He was starting to become more casual with me and had told me that he and his wife had just separated.) I also didn't want to change practices, and may have to see him again. I needed to make sure that we could have a good working relationship.
You know what? After that phone call, the internal struggle stopped. I had taken steps to make sure nothing COULD ever happen. It was over and I felt so peaceful. The fight to protect my emotions and my family was so worth it. I NEVER want to put my family through what affairs do and I will fight forever to be faithful!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
This week I lost another pound, but it was a hard fought fight. I must be really stressed because I haven't been as good with the food. (I am a stress eater.) It was also really hard to get to the grocery store, which meant I was out of fresh produce for a few days. NOT a good thing. To compensate, most days I did double workouts - in the morning with the girls and then the exercise bike at night. I need to figure out this stress though, because I can't keep up this schedule!
Tip for this week: Olive Garden Italian dressing. It has as many calories per serving as a fat free dressing. Only the fat comes from oils instead of extra sugars they put in the fat free stuff. You can buy a bottle from an Olive Garden restaurant, but I found a knock off recipe at www.TopSecretRecipes.com. This stuff is so good that I actually WANT to eat a big salad.
Our first race is tomorrow and we are really stoked about it. Also, we are training for our next race - 1 mile. I am so excited that we are sticking with it and getting better!
*True story. The other night DD2 was whining and flopping around because she was SO tired and just COULDN'T make it to her bed. I said, "Remember, just like with running, you need to take control - even if you're tired." She stopped, got a little smirk, and kissed me goodnight. Lovin' it.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I started with daisies. I gave each person a stem and we talked about the qualities of the flowers. What the stem was like, the flower qualities, there were many flowers on each stem, etc. Then we put them in a vase. I pointed out that there were many flowers that were all the same. They were beautiful, and enjoyable, but all the same.
Then I handed each person a rose and we talked about their qualities. One bud per stem, the stem was smooth with spikes- very different than the daisies. I put a rose in with all the daisies and it really stood out, and it was beautiful.
We talked about how our standards are different than many people's, but it is okay. We stand out sometimes, but we are beautiful. Then I had each person stick their rose in and we talked about how even if they felt alone, they always have people in the family who are the same.
It was a really great hands on lesson. I love it too because if they are having a hard time when they are older, I can deliver a bunch of daisies with one rose to their school and they will know exactly what I am saying. Beautiful.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
My family kept asking me what I wanted, and I kept thinking - time alone. That's what I want every year, but how do you say that when they are the reason you are a mother and want to be near you so badly? So this year I decided to change my expectations. I expected that things were NOT going to be what I wished, but I wanted to make it special for my kids. So EVERYTHING they did I tried to love and made a big deal about it.
So here is the funny story. DD3, who is four, really got into the spirit of things Saturday night and started to bring me all sorts of things, saying, "Happy Mother's Day!" I would say, "Oh, green dinosaurs are my favorite!" or "I LOVE Belle." She would beam and run to get me something else. She even started giving me other people's things. DH and I were totally laughing at it all. (Look above for the collection I was getting.)
Then Sunday she kept saying, "Happy Mother's Day" over, and over, and over. Once it came out as Happy Smothers Day and I started laughing so hard. That is the way I felt - smothered - but I was really trying to love it. And you know what, by the end of the day I did.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
So this week I lost 3 pounds!!! So that makes is ten so far - YEAH!! I'm 1/3rd of the way there.
My tip for this week? Sugarfree lifesavers. Whenever I crave a party in my mouth, I pop one of those super low calorie candies in and it satisfies my sweet tooth.
If you are looking for a fun, free, family activity. I highly recommend Cabella's sporting goods store. It is like a zoo for outdoor animals, has a live fish pond and tanks. There is also free fudge tasting, and a restaurant if you get really hungry. (However we opted for the dollar hamburgers at the nearby McDonald's.)
We had so much fun and made a lot of fun memories. Here is a fun clip from our trip. Enjoy!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
She takes the girls yard saling when they do enough extra jobs to earn $10. They learn how to negotiate, look for quality, walk away from a deal, help each other get the lowest prices, and other business techniques. Our girls LOVE her and love going saling with her.
I love her too and love that she is willing to take our girls out. Sometimes kids listen better to people who are NOT their parents. Also, Eileen is so much better at this art than I am. I love that they are learning from the best. I am excited that yard sale season is on again. I can't wait to see the girls get even better in their negotiating techniques.
*True story. After Halloween DD1 wanted more than just one piece of candy for movie night. I told her she could have three. She said, "mom, it is a special night. Can't we have six?" "SIX?! No way. Four." I said. She responded, "Fine, how about five." "Okay."
Then she says, "I didn't want six anyway. That would make me sick. But I knew I needed to over shoot so that I had room to come back down to five. That is how many I wanted in the first place. Eileen taught me that."
I couldn't believe that I had just been out negotiated by my eight year old. I had to admit - I loved it.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
It led to a lesson on leasing, subleasing, contracts, and other money management lessons. For a while the DDs were really into leasing AND subleasing their stuff to each other. We finally had to put an end to it because they wouldn't just share, it had to be a business deal.
I love it now when they hear people talking about leasing cars, or renting other things. They know exactly what that means, and they can ask me educated questions about it. I love the unexpected lessons.
Friday, April 29, 2011
So what happened this week? I LOST ANOTHER POUND!! Yeah!! I am down seven now. I am also noticing that my body is changing. If I try to eat as much as I used to, I feel sick now. I am laying off the carbs and eating more fruits and veggies.
Here is one of my diet tools. I found a Hunger Satisfaction drink at Wegmans. It is made by Crystal Light and is a powder mix-in. There are 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and only 30 calories. I drink one of these for my mid morning snack and my afternoon snack. They are super handy when I am in a rush or getting really munchy. Special K also makes something similar as does South Beach.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I love that it converts both sides of the dresser into usable space.
Monday, April 25, 2011
This recipe was super labor intensive and was so messy.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
It has given us time to chat about her life and makes her feel special because it is just "us" time. If this is a habit I can help her develop for her lifetime I will be happy. I am also hoping that when she becomes a teenager, and no longer wants to hang out with me, maybe she will at least still run with me.
And maybe, when I reach the end of my life and feel I am at my limit, Katelyn will be able to remind me that I need to take control of myself, stop whining, and push through. (Wouldn't that make a great movie?:)
**Some funny things she said this morning...
I saw a mom and dad duck. I pointed them out to her and said the more colorful one was the dad. She said, "I know. But you know, you don't need to be colorful in life to be noticed."
We saw a bus with a teenage boy on it. She thought she recognized him. It wasn't who she thought it was. I said that all teenage boys looked and acted the same. She smiled and said, "Yeah, just like six year olds, only they have more technology and like girls."
As we were walking home I said, "We are stinkin' awesome!!" She replied, "Emphasis on the stinkin'."
And best of all....
We were stretching out and I said, "Aren't you proud of yourself?! You did it!" She replied, "Yeah I guess I over reacted to how hard it would be. It wasn't that bad." Hooray!!! All my pushing and sometimes the moods I had to pull to keep her going payed off!!
To our 1/2, 1/2, 1/2, 1/2, 1/2 Marathon - HERE WE COME!!!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
However, through the years I have realized that the only difference between me and a professional is knowledge. And if I gather enough info and practice I can be a "professional" at most things.
With this said, most of my time is spent being an at-home-mom. So I decided that I wasn't going to be just any at-home-mom. I wanted to be a professional mom. After all, this is the career I have chosen.
How am I doing this? I watch other moms and am constantly asking about how they do things. I read many books/articles and go to classes. And I work on becoming better. I make many mistakes along the way, but overall it seems to being going well-so far.
Now, I tell myself that I am a professional mom - not just a stay-at-home-mom. I save our family HUGE amounts of money by being frugal and we don't have to pay for daycare. We are more healthy because I can cook things from scratch. My bonuses come in kisses and watching my kiddos become more independent. And I am already the CEO of our family so there are no more promotions needed.
This has completely changed my feelings toward my job and I am finding much more satisfaction from it. Lovin' it!
Friday, April 15, 2011
Also DD1 and I can almost run 1/2 mile with out stopping! I know it isn't that far, but it is a HUGE improvement over where we started and we are celebrating that! We are running our first race in a few weeks and are so excited!
I do need your help though. I am getting tired of eating the same foods. So I need your ideas. What do you eat that helps you either maintain or lose weight?! Do you have any other tips that would help? Please tell me!!!
Anyway, today I am going to review the Applesauce Muffins. For copyright reasons I don't feel I can write her recipe. However, I will tell you some shortcuts I found and how I made them even MORE healthy than dear Jessica did.
First of all instead of using all-purpose flour I substituted 2/3rds of the flour with bread flour and 1/3 with whole wheat flour. Bread flour has a higher protein content, and whole wheat more fiber. Also, I sprinkled in a few tablespoons of flax seed meal into the batter the second time around and no one could tell a difference.
To make things easier, I mixed the dry and wet ingredients separately the night before and baked in the morning. That worked out okay, except that the brown sugar hardened so that was a pain. But now I just make them at night. They stay fresh for at least 24 hours just sitting out covered with a towel, but they also freeze really well. So don't be afraid to double the recipe. And if you need a quick breakfast or snack, just pop in the microwave for 30 seconds and you're good to go.
When I was making these, my kids were giving me a seriously hard time about it. They were NOT going to eat muffins that had butternut squash in them. However, once they tried them, they were hooked. DD2 said things like, "You're my hero mom!" and, "These are magnificent!" In fact, when I brought home another butternut squash to puree, DD2 was so happy because that meant more muffins!!
Overall, I give these a 10 out of 10. They are super nutritious, low fat, are very filling, and my family LOVES them. I think this recipe will stick around for a long time. Stay tuned for more reviews.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
When I would try to do her hair she would fight and fight me. When I finally breathed enough threats she would sit still, only to take my hair do out, right after she walked away. What could I do except to raise the white flag on this one? I figured there would be many other fights that were much more important, and I wasn't going to go full out with this one.
After DD1 saw that I wasn't going to fight this, she jumped on the bandwagon too. So for the last 5 years I have had to bite my tongue while my girls have looked vagabond-ish. They however, have taken great pride in the fact that they CAN do their own hair. I took pride in the fact that they were building self-confidence and independence. (At least I could have that.)
Through the years, they have actually gotten much better and so now it isn't such a big deal. But now that they are getting older they want their hair to look really good. So finally they are starting to ASK me to do their hair. I think it is funny how it has come full circle. Some things that are not worth fighting about, you end up winning after all. When they see that mom actually does know best.
*This is a pic of DD2 all dressed up for a date with the DH. She thought she looked spectacular.
Monday, April 11, 2011
I don't know about you, but I get so tired of having to stop what I am doing to turn on/off a light for my kids. But it isn't really fair to make DD3 brush her teeth in the dark when she isn't tall enough to reach the light.
That is when we discovered the highly sophisticated Light Tool a.k.a. a children's clothes hanger. This tool has been awesome and has given DD3 a sense of independence and pride. This is still a new tool to her so as you watch the video, pay attention to how she uses it in different ways until she gets it. She is also demonstrating two different kinds of light switches - the kind that pokes out that you could flip and the other is the kind that is flatter that you push on.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
HOWEVER, I do have a few tools that I am finding super useful. The biggest is the food and fitness planner on WebMD. It is like Weight Watchers online, only I find it so much more useful and it is FREE to boot! Every morning, I log into my account and type in the foods I am going to eat that day. Their program counts the calories so that it is easy to configure a menu for the day that meets the caloric needs I have. Then I have a plan for the day - this has been key for me. It takes about 10 minutes. (Click on the title of this post to go to WebMD.)
I also log in my exercise for the day. I don't like how they make you count every little activity you do, but in some ways it makes doing the laundry feel more productive when you know you are burning 100 calories.
Another thing with the exercise is that I am doing it EVERYDAY. I started with the goal of getting out of bed. It has been a month now, and it has gotten so much easier! DD1 and I love spending the time together and are getting stronger. I like exercising first thing in the morning. Then it is just a distant memory for the rest of the day instead of doing it at night and dreading it all day.
I'd love to have you along for the ride. If you are interested, comment to this post. Maybe can can report our weight loss on a weekly basis. (Our own little Weight Watchers group). We won't say WHAT we weigh, just how much we've lost for the week. Let's see how many pounds we can lose together! I've already lost 4!!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Then it happened. The last time they cleaned their bathroom, they did it by themselves. No whining, no asking for help, and it didn't take all morning. I walked by it after they were done and I swear I heard angels singing. I was so impressed at how well it was done that I just kept saying, "Wow!" over and over. (DD1 thought that was pretty funny.)
So this is what it looked like. I didn't touch a thing for the pic! One of my big things is that they put everything away. Most of the time they leave stuff out and I am constantly saying, "If you're going to clean, it should look like you did." They did a pretty awesome job huh? Maybe they are getting it.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Our kids, however, don't always get excited about new foods. So what do we do? If there is a meal that they don't like, they are required to find ONE thing that they do like. We don't care if it is a pea, or the dessert, or the rice, etc. They have to find at least one thing that they can say they liked. This way they can truthfully tell the person that they, "really liked the peas in the dish," instead of, "I didn't like the meal you brought us."
It has been a wonderful tool for them to be able to look for and express real gratitude for the service others have given to them. And it has been good for them to try new foods - looking for something that they do like. And it has given them a way to be truthful without hurting other's feelings.
Friday, April 1, 2011
The lucky winner of the Giveaway is...Em! So Em, you know my email (or send me a message on FB), send me your new address and I will get these bag clips off to you! Thanks to Em and Crystal for entering, following, and Tweeting!
Have a great weekend everybody!
*The winner was chosen by writing the entries on paper pieces then DD1 chose from a hat. Totally scientific. :)
When she was about 1-4 years old, she was a TOUGH one. At 18 months old, she started saying things like, "You no talk to me like that mommy!" At 2 y.o. she would intentionally do things to make DD1 mad in the hopes that she would get chased. She LOVED the feeling of getting chased and didn't mind getting in trouble. One time she climbed up on the table and poured out a full pitcher of orange juice all over the floor. And then, as you can see from the pic above, she would find markers in their bedroom at night and color ALL over herself. Time outs were no big deal to her, so I started putting myself in time out so I wouldn't hurt her. :)
I would cry and cry, in frustration. All of my parenting, childhood development, and education classes did not prepare me for this and I just knew that someday, DD2 would end up in prison.
So what did we do? We were CONSISTENT with our consequences and praises. We asked other parents for advice. We prayed A LOT. We found her Achilles heel - she can't lie. And that helped us be consistent because she would fess up when she did something bad. Then we just hung on.
Finally, she grew up and out of that phase and is now so enjoyable. So if you have a kiddo like that, hang in there. It is HARD. But with God's help, a lot of work, and patience, you will get through. Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I tried this a few years ago with our indoor vac, but it didn't work so well. Then I borrowed my neighbor's Shop Vac, but the hose was too floppy and short of vacuuming on my hands and knees this did not work.
So this year I had a brilliant plan...DD3 would use the Shop Vac to vacuum the lawn. She was the perfect height after all. Well, you can guess how long that lasted for so this is how my "brilliant plan" played out... We sprinkled dried oatmeal all over the lawn. The oatmeal is light enough both in color and weight to stay on top of the lawn and make it possible for us to see where we had been and where we were going. DD3 thought this part was so fun!
Monday, March 28, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The ladies in my congregation were putting together an order for the K-tec grinder. I happen to own that grinder AND HATE IT! I said as much and before you know it the Great Grind-off was born. It was a very fun, informative night. To see pics of the actual grinders click on the title of this post (it is a link). I was busy running the event so I was only able to snap a few.
The results (winner stated first):
Coarse Grind: Hand grinder, church grinder, Nutrimill, Wondermill, K-tec
Fine Grind: Wondermill, Nutrimill, K-tec, church grinder, hand grinder
Noise (quietest): Hand grinder, Church grinder, Nutrimill and Wondermill tied, K-tec
Speed: Wondermill (this thing is FAST), Nutrimill, church grinder, K-tec, Hand grinder
Clean up: Nutrimill, Wondermill, Handgrinder, Church grinder, K-tec
It was a pretty close race between the Nutrimill and the Wondermill. However, I think I am going to buy the Nutrimill. The Wondermill is lightning fast, however, you CANNOT start with wheat berries in the grinder. Also, you can't stop it in mid grind. It also needs to be tended to during the grinding because you have to keep feeding it and emptying the flour holder. The Nutrimill will swallow a #10 can and you can walk away. Also you can turn it off mid grind and not have to worry about it jamming. Both of these run about $260.
So let's talk about my awful K-tec. There is really NO difference between the flour when on coarse or fine settings. It is the loudest and the biggest pain to operate. It was also the slowest by quite a bit. I DOUBLE HATE this grinder and can't wait to get rid of it. It was the cheapest of the electric grinders, $180, but in this case you get what you pay for. Save up the extra $80 and get something you'll love.
The hand grinder wasn't that hard to crank - however, it is hard to keep on the table and took two people to run it because of that. Also, it can't grind as finely as the other. But it won on the coarseness. It esencially broke the wheat kernels in half. It was also pretty messy because it was hard to load the wheat in the top. But it would be nice to have if you don't have power. ;) Cost $50.
The church grinder is a dinasour. It is old, HEAVY, and hard to clean. It is the same as the Wondermill in the fact that you can't put wheat into it unless it is on first, and you can't stop mid grind. There were a few times that it had technical difficulties and had to be tipped over and shook out. No small task given how heavy it is. You can buy these for about $300 on ebay, but it isn't worth it.
Here are some fun pics of the night.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Today I'm going to talk about piano practicing. Our kids do it on.their.own. You may think I'm not telling the truth. I am. I only take them and write the check. How? It was actually pretty simple.
I thought that when a child did piano the timer needed to be set for a certain time. So when DD1 started, that is what I did. It was only 15 min., but she would wine that she was already done, and why should she have to keep going? She was starting to get really upset and I could see the power struggle starting. So I backed off.
I said, "Fine, if you are ready for your lessons, you won't need a timer. BUT if you're not, I will micromanage you to make sure you are." It was a deal. And she made sure she was ready. (She knows how "Moody" I get when I micromanage. ;)
When DD2 started, we had the same deal. I knew that there would be a point where I would have to micromanage for a week so that she could feel the unpleasantness of it. It happened, she hated it, and now makes sure she is ready every week.
They are doing great and get superiors (the highest ranking) at all their festivals. Plus, they LOVE playing the piano. I find them playing it even when they are not officially practicing. I think it is because I didn't use it in a power struggle. It is their thing and they take great pride in what they can do now. (See how powerful it is when kids feel they are in control of their lives?)
*Side note, DD1 even gets up early to practice- on her own. Amazing huh? I didn't teach that, she decided it was better to get it done early so that she could get through the rest of her routine badge. Sometimes my kids amaze me!
Monday, March 21, 2011
My first hurdle was getting out of bed - love my bed. So I set my alarm clock and set it across the room - with my running clothes right by it. Once I am actually out of bed, the rest doesn't seem so difficult.
Next, I decided that DD1 was going to join me. She needs to find a sport and I wanted to spend one on one time with her. So this seemed perfect. I am so slow that I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for us to get stronger together.
I decided I couldn't expect to start by running five miles. I needed to ease into it. So I walk up our street and run back down three times. That's it. When we started a month ago, DD1 could walk as fast as I was jogging, but I was moving and that was the point! Now, she actually has to run with me. We are making progress!
One key thing I have noticed among avid runners is that they enter races to motivate them to keep working out. DD1 is so NOT competitive that she will shut down when the word race is even mentioned. So for now, we are just focusing on getting out and moving.
I'm excited that this time working out is actually working! Remember - baby steps are still steps in the right direction! Happy trails!
Friday, March 18, 2011
Since January, I have really focused on losing weight. For 15 years, I have wanted to lose weight. A HUGE energy drain, on my mind - and my middle - every day. Now, I am committed! Every Wed, I email a friend my weight. This accountability is key for me. It is taking a long time, but I am on the right path, and I will not quit! It is often hard to make good choices. With practice, it is getting easier. When (not if - but only once) I have 3 pieces of cake for dessert, I enjoy it. Then I resolve to do better the next day. I am happier with my weight now, but I am not at my goal. I will go all the way this time! I have lots of practice committing to losing weight and I am ready to follow through!
I also try very hard to be green. With these 2 priorities in mind, I have an easy snack recipe to share. SAVE THE CRUMBS FROM YOUR CEREAL BOXES! We don't like eating them, so I save them in a container, all different cereal bits mixed together. These are the basis for the bars. These bars are healthy, the kids like them, there are no granola bar wrappers to throw out, and you don't throw away your cereal dregs!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
To be quite honest, I am glad that you pulled away from the DF, finished the ice cream, and typed away. I am getting a little tired of reading my own ideas and am itching for some advice from some really amazing parents. There are many people I know that are very good at things I am not. So I am planning on inviting guest bloggers. (The next post will be from Maggie and we both know how awesome she is.) And if you want, you can be one too.
I, however, cannot let behavior like this just slide. This was "inappropriate" and for that, you get The Eye. I think you see what I am saying.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
So here it is. The Speed Cleaning clip I have been promising. Jeff Campbell is cleaning the kitchen, but the principles are basically the same for every room. This clip is from a full video that you buy from his website http://www.thecleanteam.com/. I own this video and found it very helpful since I am a visual learner.
They cut this clip a little short. Here are the things he missed.
Caked on things, like dried pancake batter, on the counter. Spray with red juice and use plastic scraper.
Stove top. Take off burner grates on the left side, placing them on top of the right side grates. Clean left part of stove. Then replace and switch, placing the right ones on top of the left ones.
Oven. If you have burned thing inside the oven, spray with red juice and use plastic scraper to scrape off. Also, you can clean the glass on the oven door with red juice, and the razor blade.
Floor. Do this last. Sweep/vacume the debris. Fill the sink with about two inches of hot water and cleaning solution. I use murphy's oil floor, but vinegar works fine too. Submurge the mop cloth into the sink. Ring out, place on mop and start to mop the floor at the farthest point away from the door. (You will be mopping yourself out of the room.)
If you come across something caked on like dried jam, pull out your plastic scraper and scrape it off. Once one side of the mop head is dirty, take it off and flip it to the other side. Once that side is dirty, get a new one, get wet in sink, ring out, and keep going.
Sink. The last time you get a new mop head, drain the sink and clean. Spray with cleaner, scrub with scrub brush. Polish crome with windex and rag. Then continue mopping yourself out of the room.
I am trying to make my own videos, but my equiptment is a little lacking (and so is my time right now :). I hope this helps at least get you started. Happy Cleaning!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
There is a Philly Pretzel Factory that is close by. I pull up parallel to the curb (that way they don't step foot in a parking lot), give the DD $3, tell her to buy as many pretzels as she can, open the door, and out she goes - alone. She goes into the store, hands them the money, and tells them she wants pretzels. Then out she comes - BEAMING - because she has done something so big - by herself!
Now, there is a training period. So that is where DD2 came into play. DD2 demonstrated to DD3 how to do it the first time. (Good teaching opportunity for DD2.) Now the next time we do it, DD3 will go solo. The people at the pretzel shop know us and the routine now. So I know that everytime will be a success.
I love this because they can start young DD3 is 4. We all get a snack, which is important for our moods, and it is really fun to see them stand on their tip toes to open the shop door. I love that they can be so independent so young!
*This skill was born out of desperation. With so many kiddos, it is hard to schlep everyone into any store, but especially for little errands like this. It is easier to send one kid in to get the goods. Happy Shopping!
Monday, March 7, 2011
*We are very determined to teach the kiddos that they have control over themselves. They like to say, "But I can't help it." We don't accept that answer. We do have control over how we act, take care of our bodies, treat others, etc. It is hard to do the work to change, but they need to know that they do have control of themselves.
We also help guide them to figure out how to control behaviors. That way they can decide if something will work for them. They will also be more likely to do it because it is what THEY decided - not what was imposed on them.