Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Finding Time for Fitness

In a previous post, I mentioned something about exercising and was asked how I find time for it. Instead of replying to that post, I decided to answer the question in a new post because I think many people (especially moms) struggle with finding time to exercise.

Here's the deal.  I'm not going to pretend like it's easy or say "you have to make time for it and just do it."  The fact of the matter is it happens when it happens.  One daughter goes to gymnastics at the YMCA two days a week for two hours each day.  So, I'm already there.  Other times, I go swimming with kids and make sure I swim laps in the pool.  You know, the real laps that increase the heart rate!  Then, there are nights like tonight when the entire family went to the bike path and rode for more than an hour.  Some nights, we go for a walk in the neighborhood after dinner.

Do it when you can and incorporate exercise into some sort of family routine.  The kids love the time together as a family and they benefit from it too!  When you take the kids to the park, instead of sitting on the bench, join in on the action.  Believe it or not, swinging is exercise!  And if the park you go to happens to have a monster slide, have at it!  Climbing those stairs will do wonders for your muscles and your heart.  Try out the monkey bars (a huge weakness of mine - my poor arms!).

Speaking of arms, I'll leave you with something funny.  We have a big fitness ball, or whatever they are called.  I saw someone at the gym using it to do push-ups so I thought I'd give it a try tonight.  Ha!  The whole family was laughing at me.  Those were the three hardest push-ups I've ever done in my life!  I can't even count the forth one because that's when I fell off the ball!  At least I tried.

That ball is great for many things.  (I know I said I was "leaving" but this is good.)  Emily (the gymnast) showed me a great abdomenal exercise to do with the ball.  Here's where I wish I had a video to show you.....or maybe not!  Anyway, lay flat on the floor (I prefer to use a mat) with your hands above your head.  Place the ball between your hands and as you lift it above your head, bring your legs up to pass it to your feet.  Then, slowly bring the ball down to the floor with your feet, keeping your legs straight.  Lift the ball back up in the same manner passing it off to your hands and back down again.  It really is great and would be even better if I could actually do it!  You thought I was really good, right?!  Not so much.  She is though and does it beautifully.  So if I ever do video the exercise, you will see Emily doing it and not me!  But, I try.  And you should too!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's Playtime!!!

Emily ended up going to a friend's house for a few hours this evening. Hubs dropped her off before going to the driving range to hit golf balls and then picked her up when he was done.  That left Katie here with no one to play with but me. So guess what I did? I played! First I was a horse and Katie was riding on my back. That didn't last long!  Horsie got tired!!!  Then she decided we should be koala bears and snuggle with each other. Maggie (the princess dog) tried to join in and that's when we became monkeys! We ended as mice when the neighbor girl rang the doorbell. Then I was chopped liver! It worked out well though because I had to make dinner and was finished by the time she came back inside.  I just love one-on-one time with the kids!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

All I've wanted to do lately is nothing!  TV doesn't even interest me.  I sit down, realize I'm bored, but don't feel like doing anything about it.  Ok, I suppose cleaning counts for something and I have done quite a bit of that, but that comes and goes.  A day or two later (or sometimes even an hour or two later), it seems as though the cleaning never even happened!

But I'm not talking about cleaning.  I'm talking about fun stuff.  Like making cards (rubber stamping), scrapbooking, updating my photo albums, photography, sewing, learning how to use the serger sewing machine I recently got from my grandma.  That's the stuff I desire to do but when it comes to actually doing it, I don't.  Am I tired?  Sometimes.  Am I lazy?  Sometimes.  Am I tired of being lazy?  Yes!  I suppose part of it is that my craft room in the basement is a mess.  Truly.  It should be declared a disaster area!  It seems that I'm pressed for time every time I go in there to work on something so I don't take the time to put things away when I'm done.  Hummmm, don't we teach our kids to put things away when they're done?  Well, we're not perfect, are we?

What about the other things I listed that don't require entrance into a disaster area?  What about updating my photo albums?  Oh yeah, that would require lots of time since I have seven years of photos stored on my computer (don't worry, I have back-ups) that need to be printed!  Just imagine the time & money involved in that project!  I know, I know.  You might suggest that I do a little at a time and pace myself!  That certainly would be easier on the budget too.  But do I do it?  I haven't yet!  Maybe I will.  Soon.  I hope to.

Moving on to photography, which is one of my greatest passions.  I love capturing the beauty of God's creation in photographs.  This would require very little, except time.  So why don't I do it?  I wish I had an answer.  Sometimes I'll go out in my yard and snap a few photos.  But I'm talking about real photo shoots.  I need inspiration.  And energy!

There is one project I have been working on that I believe has zapped me of energy... momentarily.  Shedding some unwanted pounds.  I exercise, almost daily.  The employees at the YMCA and I are on a first-name basis.  I love going there.  Believe it or not, I like to sweat!  I enjoy a good workout.  But my eating habits are not great.  I eat healthy foods, but I eat too much.  My portions were beyond what my 5' 1" small-framed body needs.  So, I'm eating less now, which is a good thing.  But I often feel hungry even though I know I shouldn't be.  And I think that's making me tired.  My body probably just needs time to adjust to it's new fuel allotment.  I hope!  Don't worry, I'm following the Weight Watcher plan so I'm not starving myself.  And when I really do believe I'm hungry, I'll grab a light snack such as carrots, broccoli, a piece of fruit, or somthing of the sort.  Like I said, I believe my body just needs time to adjust.  And rest.

So on that note, I'm signing off to go to bed.  Maybe tomorrow will bring me some energy and motivation!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

To finish or not to finish.... that is my question!

We have just a few weeks left in ECC that we didn't get to at the end of the school year.  Do we finish or move on?  I hate leaving loose ends.  I know this may sound silly but the passport seems incomplete!  It's like our journey ended abruptly.  Any thoughts?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cooling Off - Heating Up

Yay!!!  The A/C is working now!  Turns out that it was an electrical problem that my dad (a retired electrician) fixed yesterday!  The unit is still ancient and probably costs more to use than the new energy efficient units, but it's working!

Now for the "heating up" part of my post.  Does anyone know anything about saunas?  A friend asked me to join her in the sauna after working out yesterday.  I declined because I couldn't imagine sitting in a sauna after Zumba & Spinning.  Ambitious, I know.  But the scale is not agreeing with me so I must do something!  Unfortunately for me, that's not enough.  I must also take control of my diet.  Yes, I said it.  The "d" word.  But "diet" and "dieting" are two different things.  I am not a dieter.  I do believe in Weight Watchers though, which helped me to shed 30 pounds a few years ago.  More importantly, I must believe in myself.  I must believe that I can do it and that I should do it.  And quit selling myself short, thinking that I'm weak and have no will power.  Ha!  All those things are lies that the enemy would like me to believe.  Every time I look in the mirror I should see myself as God sees me; a beautiful creation.  And then I should care for myself as He would.  Would God force too much food in my mouth?  Would He have me eat ice cream for lunch?  Or would He give me just enough healthy things to satisfy my hunger?

Back to saunas (sorry about that little rabbit trail).  Some things I've read say they are a good healthy way to cleanse the body of toxins, opening up the pores, and a good way to not only shed pounds but also to lose fat.  Because the body works harder to keep it cooled, it's actually burning fat calories, therefore the weight lossed is not just water.  Other articles say that overuse of saunas is not good because as the body sweats, it also releases minerals it needs to help build muscles.  Does anyone know more about this or have any input you might offer?  I'm considering trying it to see what happens and how I feel.  We'll see how long I last - I get hot easily!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Catching Up

Although there hasn't been a whole lot happening here, I will share that I'm able to see the good among the bad.  Our A/C quit working yesterday and we are approaching 95 degree temps today.  But, at least we have a nice cool finished basement to hang out in, a membership to the YMCA where there is an outdoor pool, a friend with a nice pool, and if there is not a budget-friendly fix, we'll save money on utilities!

Here is the problem...

The unit is older than dirt!  Well, maybe not but it looks like it!

And here are the wires that our dog
chewed through three or four years ago...

And this is the connection to the house...

So if you ask me...
which I know you didn't but I'll tell you anyway
...it all looks a little sketchy!

Blessings to all!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Busy Day

As I sit and write about the day, it almost seems like it never even happened.  The day went so fast.  It started with baking & decorating a cake for Emily's birthday party (for 3o people), going to a banquet for gymnastics, then having the birthday party this evening.  I'm waiting for that one birthday when I might be able to sit and relax almost the entire time.  Hum, I'm not sure that will ever happen!  I did manage to squeeze in a game of cornhole but completely forgot to do the water balloon toss.  We filled (when I say "we" I really mean mostly my hubby) so many balloons that never even came out of the box.  I guess we'll save them for the friend party next week.

I've seen the challenge for getting mom back in the picture and wish that could have happened today.  I feel weird giving someone my camera and saying "here, please take my picture!"  It would be nice for at least one of my family members to just grab it from me and take one!  The only thing that makes me feel a little better is that Katie had the video cam and I'm almost certain I'm in some of her footage.  Now that I think more about it, maybe that doesn't make me feel better after all!  At least I still have Emily's actual birthday yet to come so maybe someone who loves me and misses seeing me in pictures will read this and take control of the camera!

I'll post pictures of the party later.  I'm too tired to upload them now.

Today, I am thankful for... 
  • getting everything done.
  • not freaking out.
  • another great experience at the salon (this time with Emily).
  • seeing the smile on Emily's face as she opened her birthday gifts.
  • my husband for being incredibly helpful & for his grill mastery!  =)

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Hair Don't

My agenda today did not include a trip to the hair salon until I noticed that Katie had taken scissors to her beautiful locks right in front and center!  I couldn't believe it.  We are in the middle of preparing for a birthday party and was planning on making the cake today but this halted all those plans.

I agree, this is not the most flattering picture of my baby.  But after crying for an hour, what else might we expect?  Just after I took the picture, Katie laid down and took a nap.  She was exhausted from all that crying!

We woke her up to take her to the salon of miracles!  Damage control is what I called it.  Believe it or not, this was Katie's first professional haircut.  They trimmed, thinned, layered, and straightened.  And this is how it turned out...

It was well worth the $12 I paid since we were there for about 1-1/2 hours!  I'm still not sure if we should enforce discipline beyond our discussion this afternoon, or if the hour of crying was enough.

Today, I am thankful for...
  • the hair stylist that disguised Katie's short bang.
  • dinner out at a great restaurant.
  • compromises.
  • strawberry shortcake...YUM!
  • the rain we had today.

Night at the Museum - Katie's, that is...

Katie fell asleep on the couch while Emily and I were finishing up a game.  I helped her upstairs to her bed (the poor thing is always so confused when she does this and never remembers it).  When we got up there, she started crying; obviously she was still sleeping.  She was saying that we were moving too fast, although we were sitting down on her bed.  I finally convinced her that she was still sleeping (and she said "oh, I am?" ha-ha) and she laid down.  I laid with her for a little while and noticed that when she cleaned her room today, she put some of her favorite "finds" on display throughout her room.  I took pictures of some of them.  She has such a cute & creative imagination!  And I'd be willing to bet that she spoke to each of them as she carefully place them about her room!


This one cracks me up!  The Princess Poodle!

Don't do it doggie, don't jump!

"How can I possibly waddle through all this mess?"

"Who cares, just kick back & enjoy the music!"

Of course, I added the quotes!

Confessions of an Ant Killer

I'm sorry if this upsets someone, but there truly was no other way!  The ants invaded and we retaliated!  There weren't many and I suppose that we had the advantage, you know, with our size and large spray can of ant killer.  Yeah, yeah.  We tried the vinegar thing and it worked for a while but the little boogers came trailing back in and enough was enough!  Every Spring, we spray around our foundation and it usually prevents the ants from intruding in the first place.  But for some reason, this year has been more of a challenge and sometimes when it rains we find ants in the house again and end up having to spray outside again.  Sorry little ants, but humans rule this house!

Today, I am thankful for... 
  • ant killer.
  • going to the gym to work out.
  • taking the time to play a game with my daughter.
  • rain (even though the ants came with it!).
  • a good teeth cleaning at the dentist.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Today, I am thankful for...

  • watermelon - it's so refreshing on a hot summer day!
  • air conditioning - it's so refreshing on a hot summer day!  (hee hee)
  • the beauty that surrounds us - thank you God!
  • one-on-one time with my kids.
  • a nice comfy bed.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude

Today, I am thankful for...
  • lunch with friends.
  • accomplishments.
  • technology.
  • a somewhat peaceful day.
  • progress in decluttering the house.

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July

I'll write just a little and let the pictures fill in the rest!  Our day began with a great church service and followed with festivities in town that included food, games, parade, ice cream, and fireworks.  It was a fabulous day!

Today, I am thankful for...

quality time with my family.
not passing out after the parade today!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Clutter Be Gone!!!

These past two days have been fun but tiring.  We decided to continue the yard sale today which turned out to be wise since we got rid of so much more stuff.  I feel freeeeeee!!!  We donated most of what was left to our local thrift store, which is owned and operated by a Christian family who was very appreciative.  They were glad to get it and we were glad to give it!  I'll definitely donate more to them in the future.

Today, I am thankful for...
  • yummy donuts. :)
  • God teaching me more about generosity.
  • time with my husband.
  • shade.
  • do-overs.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Yard Sale!

That's right!  We had a yard sale today.  We had so much stuff, it was a beautiful day and several neighbors were having sales, so we decided to do one too.  I have a love/hate relationship with yard sales.  They are a pain to prepare for and very time consuming, but it's nice to make a little money.  We faired well today and are thinking that we'll do it again tomorrow; at least for a little while.

The kids were a big help.  Jason had already gone to work when set-up began but the kids were so helpful that he was hardly missed.  Maybe they can have a lemonade stand tomorrow =)

Today, I am thankful for...
  • waking up easily early this morning.
  • the nice weather.
  • meeting friendly people.
  • making some money.
  • dark chocolate!

Cleaning & Shopping

I slept in a little this morning but when I finally decided to vacate my comfy bed, I was motivated to clean the garage. Not only was I setting out to clean up, but also to scrub the concrete floor! Ambitios, I know! The "process" didn't begin until after lunch. I wanted to be sure that I had plenty of fuel to last a while, although I was sure I wouldn't be out there all day. Ha!

The girls were very helpful in the beginning. Then, their friend/neighbor came over. There went the help! That's alright though. They did everything I needed them too, and a little more. No complaints!

I was proud of myself, tossing things in the recycle bin, throwing stuff out, and organizing the rest. And even though my scrubbing on the floor didn't remove any of the stains, it did remove the surface dirt which made me feel better. By the time I finished, it was 6:00 and Hubby was pulling into the driveway just in time to see my effort.  So much for not being out there all day!

My friend called during my clean-up project and said she needed some girl time - dinner & shopping. So, I went! After all that cleaning, her suggestion couldn't have come at a better time. Jason didn't care, Emily had gymnastics for two hours and Katie was playing with the neighbors. We went to Chipotle for dinner (Yum!) and then to Ikea. We didn't have a whole lot of time to shop once we got there, but it was just enough for me to find a few things I couldn't live without. One thing I've been keeping an eye out for were boxes for storing artwork. You know that a small paper size box just isn't big enough for some of the papers. Well, I found some at Ikea that I think will be perfect! And best of all, they were only $2.99 for a pack of two!

I also got some batteries & light bulbs, since they are really cheap there, and a couple of simple frames for the kids' special artwork. Oh, and of course, I got some dark chocolate bars!

Today, I am thankful for...
  • yet another gorgeous day.
  • energy to clean the garage.
  • help from my children.
  • time with a good friend.
  • a supportive husband.