Monday, February 28, 2011

Painting, Sewing, Reading Oh My





I feel as though I might need to make a personal update here. I've been posting a lot of photos, informational posts and such.

Sundays...we've been attempting to get to church more on time, with little avail, but there is a attempt. Solomon almost always cries as we round the corner and starts saying "I don't want to see my teachers" or "I don't want to dance to the songs." However, I've never caught him doing anything, but having a blast in there. Nation still walks to the beat of his own drum a bit in class I hear, but has been in less trouble. Moses, he's my third, so he's easy and never cries. He's moved up to big baby room since he's walking [when he wants to]. We use to go out for lunch, but usually just go home now---have lunch, nap and play.

Mondays...I usually should be attempting to grocery shop this day [or the previous day], but other than that it's our day to clean our weekend house and figure out week out. The shock of Charles gone slowly sets in. Last monday evening I met some other homeschool moms of prek/k kids for coffee. We had a great time and learned a lot from one another.

Tuesdays...sometimes we do playdates, sometimes [like last week] we do 10 loads of laundry. Thankfully we were invited over for dinner this past Tuesday so after all the folding I didn't have to make dinner too.

Wednesdays...pretty much over the last year [minus Ohio] the four of us head out at 9:15 am [in theory] to be at our church from 9:30-11:30 for the women's Beth Moore bible study. Currently we're doing the study of David. Afterwards the kids and I almost always grab our weekly Chick-fil-A. Followed by a little outside time, nap and later that evening my Weight Watchers meeting & weigh in.

Thursdays...tend to be a bit like Tuesdays. If there aren't too many dishes or clothes stacked up we leave the house to do something fun. Last Thursday night I went to Sips N Strokes with a friend and painted [photo above.]

Fridays...tend to be like Tuesdays & Thursdays, but this past Friday I had a three hour tutorial on an embroidery machine I recently inherited. I have this to show for is:


Also, we have small group Friday evenings from 7-10pm. We take our kids over to play with about 20+ other kids. Our small group is quickly growing into a small church. Always a great time of worship, sharing The Word, and praying for one another.

Saturdays...are usually full of "around the house" projects and birthday parties. This past week I hosted my monthly [in theory] Christian Homebirth Meeting while Charles took the kids to a birthday party. I believe I had about 14 women over. Either way, my midwife was there and I miss her so in between babies. We discussed all things birth, and watched two birth videos [one which was mine]. Afterwards, Charles & I went out to dinner with a few couples from church. I heart date nights. I ate salmon instead of pasta with no dessert. I'm really trying y'all!

Other things you could live without knowing...I'm making my way slowly through 1000 gifts. Have enjoyed using Prayers That Avail Much several times this week when praying through difficult situations. And am struggling to keep up with my Beth Moore homework from David. I love/hate the homework. One word: college. 

I'm also debating starting potty training [again] with Solomon.


What have you been up to? Whatcha readin'?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Funny Friday #4



Again, I don't make this stuff up.

I found this in the kitchen after I put the boys to bed. The dinosaur holding Woody upside down by one leg. How they managed to place his boot in that claw and it stay is genius alone.

I told Charles that Woody & Buzz are two toys I always feel like I have to put nicely in their room because some part of me feels bad if they are thrown into a pile upside down or something. I really imagine that when I shut the door they get up and talk to each other like in the movie...complaining about how I put them up wrong.

Things that happen to your brain when you are a mom for too long.

***

This week Nation got a little jealous of Solomon's potty chart and I noticed that Nation had flipped it over on the re fridge so none of the smiley faces could be seen anymore. Ha. I had to explain to him that it's good for his brother to succeed and not something for him to be jealous about. After all, if Solomon earns Chuck E Cheese night, so do you! Free ride Nation.

***

Did your kids do or say something funny this week?
[Dumb question]
Link up below.

***






Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten [#30]

hmm...what am I thankful for? [our friends daughter]


Thankful This Week For:
1. Having our family invited over for dinner [me not having to cook!]
2. Last minute dinner with my best friend who lives out of town [flight attendant]
3. The weather. The boys have been spending the majority of their days out back.
4. A four & two year old who can clean...when properly motivated.
5. A husband who can fix things...and is willing to. Our SUV keeps falling apart. This week...the AC again, driver seat only leans all the way back, and cruise control is broke.
6. That I get to go paint tonight with a friend. Hopefully scrapbooking makes its way back into my life this millennium too.
7. For more weight loss...even if it's turtle slow.
8. My pre-k/k new homeschool mommie friends who are so encouraging [and great!] 
9. Tom & Jerry. A cartoon I can stand hearing...classical music verses obnoxiously loud talking.
10. Our granola family finding favor with a last minute pediatric visit. It's always nice to be seen without being yelled at.

***


Every week I invite my friends in blogworld to...
 join me in being thankful

[1] write a blog post with 10 things you're thankful for this week
[2] mention this blog post [hyperlink my blog and/or grab my button]
[3] use McLinky below by clicking on "Click here to enter"

***







Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Weight Watchers Wednesday 3

199.2
I guess first we all need to do a round of applause for being back under 200! I'm thinking the last time was nearly two years ago. 
It wasn't as big of leap as week one and two, but in three weeks now I'm down 6.2 pounds. Two pounds a week is more of a loss than I originally expected. I know it's unlikely this 2 pounds a week will continue, but if it does that means in around 25 weeks I'd be down 50 pounds [my goal]. That means by the time school starts I'd be back to the weight when I got married. It keeps me motivated.
This week I fell off the band wagon a bit because I was a little lazy or otherwise occupied to write down all my points. I also was invited over for dinner last night and they served up some [amazing!] homemade fried chicken with a side of carb and another side of carb with a dessert that I may or may not have had 1.5 of. I didn't want to be rude ; )
But on the other hand, I went to a birthday dinner this week for a friend and had a burger [no bun] with a salad and ordered only water...even though all the fruity adult beverages looked amazing. We did go for dessert, who knows the points in the cake I got, but it was my "blow" points for the week. Also, instead of a heavy chocolate drink I got a coffee.
This Weeks Tips:
1. Make yourself finish a bottle of water before having a snack.
2. Get more sleep. The nights I go to bed on time, I naturally eat less for two reasons a] I'm not awake b] the next day I'm not eating because I'm sleepy
3. Go for light dressings...look it up, it's not always what you'd guess. Dip your fork instead of pouring over salad too.
4. If you're bored eating, tell yourself "do this project and then you can come back and have a snack" usually by the time I'm done with that project I forgot I was "hungry". 
5. Use the "Cheat Sheets" section on your mobile WW App. I did a lot this week.


Since I started WW I've "converted" 6 others to as well. I know y'all are out there and reading this. How did you do this week? Share in the comments!

Mystery Rash


Moses celebrated turning 11 months today with a mystery rash.

He woke up with a large rash on both legs yesterday morning. In 24 hours it has spread pretty much everywhere, but under his diaper and lightly on face.

That we know of...he's eaten nothing different, or be exposed to new products.

He's had no fever. Happy. Playing. Napping & Sleeping all night. Eats & Nurses.

I decided to take him [for the first time] to the Dr. because I was concerned maybe it was a skin infection or staph. He'd gotten a cut on his face on Sunday.

Thankfully, I ended up at a "granola" tolerate practice, but no one could figure out what the rash was from. We're just going to sit tight since he's feeling well and hope it was just an irritation from someones clothes or carpet, etc. However, they did discover he had a very bad ear infection [8 out of 10 bad]. Without insurance they very kindly only charge $50.

Third child. So easy. Never complains or cries...I had no idea. So he's on antibiotics for 10 days now for that. Thankfully Publix now offers free antibiotics!

Appreciate your prayers for complete healing and mystery solved.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Meal Planning for Those Who Hate It


Emealz - Easy Meals for Busy People!


Upon returning from our honeymoon, the thing I've cried over more than any other chore by far is meal planning. If I thought it was bad then...it got all the more stressful [and expensive] after having 1...2...3 kids. 

We love food, but going out all the time is no longer affordable or dare I say enjoyable with three high chairs! The alternative though, is one stressed out mommy who feels insecure and overwhelmed with only one meal she knows how to make [well]---spaghetti. 

We tried grilling a lot, with some rice & veggies, and that's great, but not for every day and certainly not as easy on rainy and cold days. I can't fathom women who actually enjoy it as a hobby or "love to cook". I know lots of y'all. Bless you.

I am not that woman.

I decided at the beginning of this year I had some family goals:

1. eat out at restaurants less
2. stop eating fast food so much
3. save money
4. me loose weight

Then I found Emealz. I'd tried other online meal planning, tried copying other peoples, and even making my own [oh that was the worst], but this for us has worked out the best so far. 

It's easy, inexpensive, gives me a plan, and helps me make dinners that stay within my Weight Watcher goals. 

My kids are eating so many more fruits & veggies now and the meals actually taste good! They are simple, quick and are easy to modify. For example, if I want to buy organic chicken vs. regular, or if I want to buy regular ranch dressing instead of fat free. I usually make 6 of the 7 dinners. They aren't all as good as others, but it's better than cereal, spaghetti [again] or *gasp* McDonald's.

I highly recommend this for those of you out there that are overwhelmed, without a plan, and spending way to much money eating out. They budget to help you make 7 dinners for around $80 a week for a family 4-6. I was easily spending triple this to just buy snacks and things to let spoil and throw away. Plus, you can always join for a few months, save your menus and repeat them until you want to sign up again.

They have 26 different plans:


I chose the Weight Watchers Plus Program for Publix. 
Here is a partial sample of what the menu & shopping list look like:



Every week they will include sale items in the meal planning:




I hope you'll give it a try.
And end up with less cry.

Click below to get started:
[it gives me credit for telling you]
SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH E-MEALZ MEAL PLANS

***

Do you meal plan? How? Tips?

Monday, February 21, 2011

What Tears Up My Heart



We've lived in this house since we got married. Our back porch screen has been broken and done away with, our sliding glass door replaced [Nation!], and I've lost track of how many times we've boughten new blinds for those windows that lead to the backyard. Seems like lately, the door & blinds have been holding up a little better. Could be that the boys are older now, could be that we were gone for 6 months. Either way, this tiny tear has been my favorite damage thus far. I don't know how or when it tore, but I love that it tore into the shape of a heart. When I walk in I look for it, and when we were away and would visit it welcomed me home.

People use the phrase..."it tears my heart up"

Lately, I've been meditating on what really tears my heart up in comparison to what tears His heart up. The gap between the two and my desire for them to be the same.

a few things that tear my heart up:


--a past that affects my present
--giving an account to God for how I spent my time & money
--a friendship wrecked in need of reconciliation
--the person I am and the person I hope to be one day
--the endless loads of laundry that are never put away
--children who have no mommy
--how quick I am to judge [& the reaping I face without repentance]
--the people at arms reach that need Him that I've overlooked
--children who are being abused right now
--breakthrough desperately for those who haven't seen it in too long


I'm so glad I'm not alone. I'm so glad my heart doesn't have to break alone. I'm so glad His heart was broken once and for all...for all. That more than I could even bare to imagine...He desperately wants unbroken hearts for those I know and those I'll never know. When I think of His heart broken...breaking..for us. I'm overwhelmed by His goodness. 



What is currently is tearing up your heart?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tres Lagos Ranch 2011

These are over a month late being posted, but being on the road for 30 days with all the car troubles [and lack of internet] contributed to this delay in processing over 400 photos. I narrowed these down to 20+ highlights for you, but feel free to check out the rest here.























Friday, February 18, 2011

Funny Friday #3


This happen a few years ago, but since house hunting has stolen time from picture taking. Have a good laugh at the time [Charles was watching them] when Nation covered Solomon with every toy we owned and somehow it relaxed him so much
...he fell asleep.

***

Me: "Nation what do you want to be when you grow up?"
Nation: [thinks a long time] "Can I be God?"

I'm going to take that as...he adores Him so much he desires to be "like" Him and not actually take His place, ha.

***

What funny thing happen to you this week?




Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten [#29] [Giveaway]



Thankful This Week For:

1. A thankful post that is late, but better late than never [it's still Thursday!]

2. A successful day at house hunting, after nearly 20 homes, we've made an offer!

3. A mother who has followed me to Weight Watchers & even the chiropractor to help with the kids

4. Wednesday 'date night' with my bestie Sarah to celebrate our both 2 lb loss

5. A embroidery machine that is finally ready for use [it was a gift...that for several months has been hibernating at my moms house]. I had it serviced this week and am about to start taking classes to learn how to properly use it.

6. A sweet husband who made this Valentine's extra special

7. A great church. This past weekend we attended a intro to [their] church ministry meeting and our hearts so lined up with what they believed. God is good. God is in a good mood. Jesus healed all who were oppressed by the Devil.

8. Transparency. There is nothing I admire more than a transparent person. I love the transparent people in my life and how we all sharpen one another. The more we confess our mess, the more we admit our great need for a big recusing God.

9. Words With Friends. Apparently, you can play a Scrabble-like game on your phone [or online] and Charles & I have been playing back and forth all week together. It's a cute way to say "hi". I, of course, am using scrabblecheat.com to help make moves because I: a] can't spell b] am not good at those type of games and c] am not as smart as Charles. He's still beating me. *sigh*

10. Another giveaway! Thanks for all of you who continue to vote for me daily at Top Mommy Blogs [or Top Baby Blogs or Picket Fence]. 

***

Giving Away: $30 credit to Frigidare's website 

1 entry per person
 by either:

a] commenting below [name & email]
or
b] participating in the thankful blog hop

---Ends next Thursday!---

***

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Black & White Wordless [#17]



This photo was taken 4 years ago of my oldest on his first Valentine's Day.

***
***



Weight Watchers Wednesday 2

200.6
Started my third week yesterday. Went in today to weigh in real quick since I'll most likely miss my meeting tonight since we're still looking at houses. I'm down exactly two pounds from last week. Which is a miracle seeing as how we celebrated Valentine's at least three times. I'm so thankful all the M&M's and cupcakes are now gone. 
There is a reason I don't keep sweets in my house!
***
This week's tips:
1. Try a lower point breakfast so you don't run out of points by dinner
2. Try a yogurt smoothie for in-between-meal-tide-you-over for around 4 points
3. Switch to skim milk
4. Avoid fries. If you gotta go through the drive-thru, ditch the coke & fries...keep the sandwich.
5. Don't buy so many treats...you're bound to eat them when you're not even hungry just because they taste good.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How We Celebrated Valentine's


The kids slept in. Thank you again kids. I went to Target the day before and decorated a little before they woke up. I heard Solomon say "It's a birthday party" when he woke up. 
Then I made [for the first time] pink pancakes. I remembered why I never attempt fancy breakfasts on busy days.
I got each of the boys a little present too.


Thankfully the weather was p-e-r-f-e-c-t so the kids played outside for 3 hours until lunch. Then we had pink cupcakes. I decided in efforts to keep the baby asleep I would make the cupcakes alone and let them just ice them after he woke up. So they did miss the cracking of three eggs, but no one got yelled out. 
A win-win. 

Nation got some fireman rain boots, Solomon got dinosaur bath toys, and Moses got some  balls. They also got some new sippy cups [that was really a gift to me.]


Against my better judgement I let Moses have a plain cupcake. He's a year next month...and well..I just thought it would be cute for pictures. And...it was! 


I can't be sure, but I think he is signing "I love you" [backwards]


I took this picture really quick before Charles left for work. Those $5 matching red shirts were worth every penny for this precious picture.  



Charles picked me up at 6 and we went to dinner. He choose to take me to Macaroni Grill [where we went for our first Valentine's 6 years ago]. In going with tradition, he had dropped off his guitar, flowers, and a gift ahead of time. When dinner came out, so did his guitar. He sang me the song he sang me years ago and surprised me with this...


I am not much of a jewelry person, but I do wear one ring, two earrings, and have been looking anxiously for a "pearl or great prize" ring. Something not too big, but a little fancy. He found the perfect ring, and it was even my size [which I myself, have even forgotten]. 

We were going to see a movie, but decided to hang out at the bookstore for a few hours instead. It's a rare treat to leisurely read [& shop] together.

Even if he didn't buy me a gift, or sing to me, it would have been the perfect night because I didn't count my points and ate lots of bread was with him!

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