Thursday, January 31, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Mine -- obviously, you are already here....but it is the blog of a working mom, trying to lose weight, manage her household, and grow and develop herself as a Christian, mom, wife, social worker, etc. etc. etc.
My Hubby's -- over here you are likely to read about God or politics....but he is also an avid book and movie buff!
My Son's -- he's 12....almost 13. And he is very unpredictable. He loves video games, but you just nevah, evah know what you'll find here. I just wish he'd post more (hint, hint)! Note: He deleted his blog
My Daughter's -- she just turned 11. And she is sweet and adorable, which is very likely what you will find over at her blog....sweet and adorable....and all things animalish.
So now we are all officially Blog Nerds. I mean that in the best possible sense of the words. I have been quite careful in my posts to not give too much personal info. Although, I know some of you guys are so fearless....pictures, names, and such. I'm encouraging my kiddos to be extra careful in giving out too much identifying information. What do you all think? Am I being paranoid? What do you think about having kiddos blog?
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
(I am once again combining two posts into one for two different blog carnivals. If you would like to visit either of these challenges, click on either of the above images to encourage, visit, join others in these quests!)
Eleven years ago, when I was in labor with my second child, I had to push for two hours before she would make her appearance. After about an hour or so, I was so tired and didn't feel like I could do it anymore. I said so. I said, "I can't. I need to stop." Cut to me learning an incredible life lesson! A room full of people. People with degrees and experience and knowledge and information and skills. The daddy was there. The doctor. An anesthesiologist. At least one nurse. Maybe more folks than that...it seems like there were tons of folks. But one of these lovely souls said, "nobody can have this baby but you." And I pressed on and had that baby. I often remember back to this phrase. I have used it with clients. I have used it with my children. It is a metaphor for life in so many ways. Surround yourself with supportive folks, smart folks, skilled and capable folks...but when it comes down to it...how many things in your life are truly, at the heart of it all, up to you? NOBODY CAN HAVE THIS BABY BUT YOU!!
Apply this to my wellness lifestyle....and my weight loss pursuits! I can get lots of information and support, but nobody can exercise FOR ME....nobody can lose the weight FOR ME. I must continue to push, though I am tired, though I don't think I can do it anymore, though it seems like it isn't working, though I want to give up. Nobody can have this baby but me. So....I must keep trying to have this baby!! I know that at some point, there is a sweet reward in store for me. Eleven years ago, it was a pink, wrinkly, beautiful baby girl. When I lose the weight and get fit and live a life of wellness, I will feel better--physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. I will be more positive about food and my body. I will have more energy for my children and family....and myself. I will be healthier. I will be a better role model for my kiddos. And the list could go on.
Last week, I didn't post. I was depressed because I had gained 1.8 pounds. It seems like a see-saw for me. I go up. I go down. Seriously, it is not funny anymore!!! I lost 1.4 when I weighed in yesterday. After almost four months of going to Weight Watcher meetings, I have lost 3 pounds. That doesn't even count the weeks I was trying to do the WW plan without the meetings. So just like 11 years ago, when I had to find something within me to keep going, take a deep breath, and keep pushing. I must now find something within myself to keep going, take a breath and keep pushing.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
This is in one of my drawers in my bathroom and I can see everything at once. It is so nice to be able to look over everything and choose. And you can get additional organizers to stack or put around or however will fit in your space. Please note that I will someday very soon learn to put photos onto the computer. As it stands now, I can take the pictures but my dear husband has to download them onto the computer. Otherwise, I would have a picture of my jewelry space for you. I know it cannot be that difficult to do, I just don't know how and this was a last minute post for WFMW or I'd have had him download it ahead of time. I digress...
Anyway, this is what works for me. To see what works for others, head on over to Rocks in My Dryer.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I know that I am not as bad as some but that is only because of my limited time. Still, I love reading me some blogs (I am telling you--I am stalking so many who don't even know it!) I love leaving a comment here and there and thinking about blogging when I'm not blogging and ways to get away and blog or read blogs. It is certainly an addiction for me, so I am claiming this button, putting it on the side and see if I can get into the blogroll. So, I guess I am a blogaholic. Admitting it is the first step, right?
Sunday, January 13, 2008
So the one liner is: Borrow money from a pessimist--they don't expect it back!! If you didn't already know, my sweet hubby and I have been taking Financial Peace University. In fact, we are about to finish this coming Wednesday. The best part is that with our registration, we got some great material that will take us past the class. We will get to listen to the entire class on CD again if we wish, as well as review through a book and a workbook. This is good stuff, ya'll!! Dave Ramsey has a heart for helping us get a handle on our money. He says, "Debt is normal--Be Weird!!" I have learned so much from this class and one thing is that I don't plan to borrow any more money!! Problem is, we have some debt we are trying to get rid of...student loans, car notes, air conditioner unit, etc. But, it is our commitment to NEVER AGAIN borrow. This may sound unrealistic, but I believe we can do it. It is really exciting to fight this cultural norm. Imagine paying cash for a car or a computer or even a house. We are walking in financial peace, even though we still have debt to pay off...to know that we will do whatever it takes to live within our means.
Along those same lines, it is really sad to think about how spoiled we are in this country. In fact, if you happen to be reading this and live in a country other than the United States, please comment and let me know how you see this. I had a friend take a trip to Ireland over Christmas. She said we would be embarrassed to see the standard of living there--embarrassed at ourselves and what we take for granted. And Ireland isn't even a poor country!!! I was just emailing my brother about a new Bible he got for Christmas. It sounded interesting and I wanted to look into getting one. Then I thought to myself...."self, you have TWO Bibles open on your table where you have Quiet Time...do you really need ANOTHER Bible?" And then I took a look around my house, counting the Bibles, and we have at least eleven. There are so many who would love to have ONE. I mentioned the other day that as a family we are reading Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It is humbling to read. For Christmas, the kids got mittens and a stick of peppermint candy. One kiddo got a new doll (it happened to be Laura this time)--I think they took turns at Christmas allowing one child to get an extra gift. What did your kids get for Christmas this year? Comparing to several other households of folks I know, my children get a fairly "light" Christmas. But they still received a lot. How do we hang on to the simplistic life, yet appreciate the advances of science? When did our culture become so busy? Church this morning said that our culture has become "experience rich and relationship poor". The more I think about it, the more I see truth in that statement.
As I look back at this one liner, I am puzzled by where it led me and I am wondering if I sound pessimistic in this post. I really consider myself to be more of a glass half full kinda gal. I hope the tone of this post doesn't sound too depressing. Let me "re-tone" it real quick. I think a Far Side cartoon once said there are 4 kinds of people in this world: those who see the glass as half full, those who see the glass as half empty, those who see the glass as half full--no,wait--half empty--no wait--half full, and those who say, 'Hey! Didn't I order a burger with this?' I have noticed in my household there is one other type (I won't mention names here, but they have more testosterone): "It depends! Were you drinking it or pouring it?"
Thursday, January 10, 2008
It seems I don't have much time to watch movies much these days. Hubs does the Netflix thing (I guess we both do but he seems to be the one most in charge of it). It gets really frustrating to him when he gets a movie in that I want to watch but I have a hard time finding the 2 hours to watch it. Don't even get me started on going to the movie theater!!! Anyway, here are 13 movies that I'd watch even if I didn't have kids, but are definitely good for the kids to watch, too!
- Surf's Up -- this movie was pretty good. I wouldn't have gone to it if my son didn't pick it for our one on one time a few months back. It has a good lesson and some funny stuff!
- Finding Nemo -- Pixar is one of my favorites....I think you'll see a trend. This movie makes me laugh--Dory is my favorite!
- Elf -- a Christmas movie that I'd watch any time of the year. I just love Buddy's personality....but his diet kinda makes me sick
- Napolean Dynamite -- this may surprise you to see it on the list, but it doesn't have much language or adult dialog (I can't remember any at the moment). It is a cult classic and dumb, dumb, dumb. But I think it is pretty funny!
- Monster's Inc. -- Who didn't love this movie and little Boo?
- Chicken Little -- a good lesson for dads and sons, very cute, and Chicken Little reminds me (and many others) of my little boy!
- Evan Almighty -- pretty good movie without bad language, and it is funny, too!
- Toy Story -- Pixar being one of my favorites--I am pretty loyal to the FIRST feature film they put out--I really love thinking that toys come to life when no one is around
- Toy Story 2 -- and the sequel is cute, too
- The Incredibles -- another good lesson here!!
- March of the Penguins --this may not be geared towards just kids but because it has animals, they'll love it. This is really a very cool story....even better is that it is a true story!
- Cars -- yeah, Pixar did it again!! I think everyone loves Mater! I am kinda partial to Luigi!
- Night at the Museum -- I think this movie was ingenious!! Very funny--and the old men make me laugh!
So there's a quick list of great movies that seemed to be geared toward kiddos but are pretty fun for the grown ups, too. What would be on your list?
Check out other Thursday Thirteeners here!
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I haven't checked in with my Living Well commitment in a bit. I would like to say that things are going really well. I had an amazing few days toward the end of 2007 which has just broken through a wall I think, as far as my communication with God. At first, I was exhausted but on January 1st, I got such a burst of energy and moved more and ate well (with NO struggle). I have actually eaten well for a solid week and two days now.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
- I have been reading the first Laura Ingalls Wilder book to my kiddos at night. Have you read these? You really must. It is such an easy read and so interesting. Life was simple then....not easy....but definitely simple. There is such an appeal to me to live simply. My kids have tons and tons of toys....Laura had a doll made out of a corncob and a cloth until one Christmas when she got a doll. Wow! That is all the toys she had (except when she and her sister played with a pig bladder--no joke--read the book) We have definitely lost something over the years that I deep down want to regain! I watched the TV show, but the book is something a little different that I highly recommend!
- I hate that so much about my life is about losing weight and food, at least that would be how it appears if you read my blog. But this afternoon, I was catching up on Roni's Weight Watchen blog. She has some adorable videos on her food blog, Green Lite Bites. My favorite is the one with her 2 year old walking around and talking around her. These videos are homemade versions of something you would find on the Food Network. But they are great because they are homemade and with the 2 year old, you just feel like she's just like you! Head on over and check her out. Her blog is great because she has lots of food tips and recipes. She has encouraged me to try many new fruits and veggies that I would not have thought about. Incidentally, there is a contest going on now that has to do with Roni's blog and Orville Redenbacher popcorn. I wanted to link to Ms. Roni before I read about the contest, but now I NEED to because I just might win!! Note: Contest is over
- My cleaning lady quit. At least I think she did. She stopped showing up right before Thanksgiving. She didn't call, which is so out of her character. Hubs and I tried to track her down but she didn't answer her phone. I won't go into detail how we tried to track her down, but we at first were concerned she was sick or something had happened. Our "investigation" revealed nothing. So we decided she must have quit. Well a little over a week ago, I prayed about this. I asked God if He was wanting me to clean my own house and save the money....or if He had something else in mind? Then I said, no matter what happened, I asked Him to send someone into my life that either needed the money or would be a blessing to us or it would be for His glory. Well....He answered this today. Someone in Bible class mentioned cleaning someone's house and my ears perked up. I asked her about it after class and long story short....I talked to her on the phone for about 30 to 45 minutes and turns out, she knew someone that needed the services of me and my agency. I am a social worker and do in home services, counseling--parenting education--life skills--etc. Well, being part of a faith based organization and seeing my work as mission work, I know without a doubt that God used the circumstances for His purposes. Whether He had this planned from the beginning or not, it is just pure awesomeness (is that a word?), to see Him in motion!
- I weigh in tomorrow :-) I have counted points for 6 days straight and I hope the scale shows it. What I don't know is how much I gained over the holidays because I was afraid to weigh myself. So, I am trying not to focus on the number on the scale but on how good it feels to eat within my daily points. I just feel good about myself when I eat healthier and don't binge.
- My baby girl got braces a week ago. I wore braces, as did Hubs, when we were kids. There is something fun and exciting about seeing your kiddo in braces. But then you are reminded of the pain they cause....seeing your daughter in pain is NOT FUN!! I was told that she may look quite a bit differently when they change her bite to normal....I guess she will be even more beautiful!
- My daughter, as I just mentioned, is absolutely the most beautiful girl in the whole entire world!!!! So much so that "beautiful" is not a good enough word to describe her. So, I call her "Beautimous." That is her nickname....has been for several years. It just stuck, ya know?
- My son is about one of the most naturally funny people I've ever seen. He just makes me laugh with his comments that just come out of his mouth. He is a short fella, which he isn't too happy about. Happy about it or not, he deals with the situation with good humor. Today, we were in the store and an elderly lady asked Hubs for help getting something off the top shelf, saying "I'm just not quite tall enough"--my son smiled and said, "yeah, me neither!" He just makes me laugh!!!! Last night, I was wearing some soft, fuzzy socks. When we were all in my daughter's room reading, as I mentioned in the first bullet, he was playing with my socks and said in Napolean Dynamite fashion (which is kinda whiney), "I want some socks like that!" He is just a hoot!
Thursday, January 3, 2008
- I attended with Hubs a video conference on Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggrich. I learned so much about a man's need for respect (much like a woman's need for love). I also learned how society is not very "Respect Men"-friendly. I blogged some about this here. I am not 100% sure that I've been able to really cultivate actions that are always respectful at home, but I know that this was one of the paradigm shifts in my brain....and I am continually trying.
- Floppy Sleep Game. This is a book that helps get your kids to go to sleep and stay in their beds. My daughter had turned 10 years old and I had visions of her still coming to Mom & Dad's bed when she was 26....this clearly could not continue because it was getting crowded. So, we implemented this program and it was almost like magic. My daughter went from coming into our bedroom almost every single night....to coming very seldom (maybe 5 times in the past year) and the times are usually when she is sick. The transformation has been incredible. I blogged more about it here. It has a 4 week program and includes a CD. If you relate at all, you might consider giving this a go!
- The Grocery Game. Not only have I saved a bunch of money by following "the list." I stockpiled and have enjoyed shopping more than EVER BEFORE. I am in the "cherry picking" stage now and it is so fun to only get a few things here and there. You can read a more detailed post here.
- I started blogging! My very first blog post was on June 6, 2007. While I am not as fanatical as some who are able to blog every detail of their life. I am working on it. I have become more and more "brave" to include parts of my life with the world. I am always learning more and more about blogging and from blogging....and from blogging buds. I feel "connected" to some folks many miles away. Some of you probably don't even know that I have you on Google Reader....some of you do....and I think some of you may have ME on your reader. It was so cool the first time I ever noticed my blog on someone else's blogroll. I really need to update mine....but I digress....blogging really has changed my life. I feel accountable to folks through some of my carnivals that I participate in. I feel a sense of sharing of myself with others. I could go on and on, but if you are reading this and you blog....you probably know what I am trying to say but am having such a hard time putting into words.
- I started a new job. I wish that I could say I got my Master's....but that was in 2006....still that was a MAJOR accomplishment for me. And it was a springboard into this incredible job that I have now. I loved my jobs before, but for the first time....it is like everything I love about social work (ahem) all rolled into one. And yesterday, I learned about the raise I received. Pardon me for a moment while I brag--I got a 7.1% raise! YAHOO!! This agency recognizes me as a hard worker, dedicated to my mission. It is faith-based, so I can speak freely about God (the TRUE LIFE CHANGER of these families I work with) and my supervisor prays for me and with me. I have lots of autonomy, lots of support, and well...I can see myself here for 20 years. And one year later, I love it MORE than when I started!!
- While I didn't get my Master's this year, I did take my licensing exam and passed, which was HUGE. This was a scary test. It was multiple choice and had two (or more) right answers in the choices and I had to choose the better choice. It was a big, ugly, hairy test and when I hit the "finish" button, I visibly shook....but I passed and am now a Licensed Master Social Worker--woo hoo! And I plan to take on the Licensed Clinical Social Worker exam in the future.
- I gave up Diet Coke. Yeah, this may sound minor...but you need to really know how addicted to diet coke I was. It was so well known about me that it was part of my identity. Friends ordered Diet Coke for me without asking me if I wanted any. They knew a large Diet Coke from Sonic was ALWAYS appreciated, even if I just got one. I would drink them both without batting an eyelash. I even had an email address: dietcokegirl @whatever.com, which I have since cancelled. I may have switched the addiction to caffeine, as I now love tea--hot or iced, as well as coffee. But, I avoid aspartame (which I have learned was the true addiction I had). I still have a DC every once in a while, usually when I think the carbonation will settle my stomach or a friend buys me one because she doesn't know I gave them up. And I have tried the Diet Coke with Splenda and they are alright....especially with some frozen Fat Free Cool Whip scooped in for a "quasi float." You may wish to read more about this accomplishment of mine here.
- My marriage is stronger than ever. And when you have a good marriage to begin with, that is something truly to be considered an accomplishment. Bill Cosby was once on a talk show and said he had been married to his wife for 60-something years. The audience applauded and he kinda scolded them and said it shouldn't be such an extraordinary thing for marriages to last that long. He said that if more of us would take the commitment seriously and truly work on our marriage that 60+ years of marriage would be the norm. Well, Bill Cosby had some good advice, although scolding the audience seemed a bit extreme to me. In 2004, Hubs and I went through a 12 week program, Dynamic Marriage, and we were committed and did the homework (which included spending at least 45 minutes together every single day discussing the workbook and such, as well as praying together before we went to bed). This program was unbelievable!!! And I said at the end of that program that I had a "knock your socks off" kind of marriage. Now, our marriage has had some ups and downs since then....but this year was definitely good for our marriage. As I said in #1, we attended Love and Respect, but we also signed up for the VOW program and completed it with great success. This program allowed us access to a Spaghetti and Waffles Conference and an incredible weekend which I blogged about here. I love my husband like crazy. Just yesterday, he said he wanted us to book a Bed and Breakfast (something we would really like to do twice a year).
- Financial Peace University -- this was such a cool God thing!! We started this class in October and will finish it up in two more weeks. Hubs blogged about it here. He and I have already made some huge and amazing changes. When Hubs changed jobs, he took a bit of a pay cut. We knew that about the same time that our church announced it would be starting this class. Timing was impeccable, but isn't God always? Dave Ramsey has a heart to change the way we look at money. It is exciting. One of my favorite of his many quips: "Debt is normal--be weird!"
- I have picked my scrapbook back up. I attended a Megacrop back in September, and it was so much fun to have a girl's weekend and get back into my scrapbooking groove. At one time, I was so caught up on my family albums that it was a struggle for me to find something to work on. But....time took its toll and I got behinder and behinder. I enjoyed spending that weekend getting closer to being caught up again. I hope to continue this, of course, with the help of future Megacrops.
- In November, for work, I attended a training called Positive Parenting with a Plan that was just so exciting not just to be equipped to help families I work with but to implement it at home. It has been implemented at home, and we are learning and adjusting. But, I love that we have rules written down, not just floating around in mom and dad's head. I love that next to these rules are the # of cards to be pulled (the cards are good habit cards consisting of things to do ranging from specific extra chores to baking cookies to writing a letter to a missionary). I love that mom and dad are also held accountable to following rules and must pull cards if we make a mistake. I truly think this is an incredible program and that with consistency, the kiddos will learn a lot that will be helpful when they leave the nest.
- I love that Christmas was nice. We did not go into debt for Christmas. We did not have a miserly Christmas either. I felt good about the shopping bargains I found the day after Thanksgiving. I enjoyed the visits with extended family. I enjoyed the traditions--old and new. It was a great holiday and in many ways, it was an accomplishment.
- The best "accomplishment" in my life for 2007 was my relationship with God. Over the last 3 or so years, it had become very routine and dry and not so real. Back in the summer, I started having Quiet Times again and started using a new Bible, which I wrote some about here. But overall, the journey has been great. God has revealed to me so much, through my work, through friends, and just through personal communication with him. I blogged, right at the tail end of December about what might be considered the greatest gift from Him for me for 2007. It has been a great ride, where I have learned so much, gotten smacked in the stomach a few times (for my own good), but where I have learned that God is always present and He has plans for me and loves me more than I can ever understand!
Take a deep breath! Did you seriously read through this? You are a dedicated reader and I thank you for investing your time in seeing some incredible highlights in my life for the year 2007. Lots of this was repeated....hence the link to so many blog posts....and I am embarrassed to say that I have repeated myself quite a bit (another one of those buggers about getting older)! But, I must say WOW--What a year!!! And I can only imagine what's in store for 2008. I wish you all joy and peace in the new year.
If you like the idea of thirteen things for Thursday, head on over to the hub of them all and check out what others are listing thirteen of today!!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
January 2, 2008--I have no clue what I weigh right now. I have had good days and bad days with my eating and well, I won't stand on the scale. I haven't weighed myself since I went to my Weight Watchers meeting on December 17, 2007. I am scared of it what it will say. I am scared of a negative and scary feeling which could trigger me to eat my body weight in chocolate. So....I wait. I had a great day yesterday with my eating. I am writing it all down. I even moved some yesterday. But, I want the positive streak to continue without putting a number on it. We will see on Monday when I go back to the WW meeting. Until then, I hope you all had a great Christmas and are geared up to LOOK GREAT in 2008. For weightloss ideas and inspiration, click on the logo at the top.
About 5 or 6 years ago, Hubby and I started using the computer to do our checking account. And I think this is THE WAY to go. There are great programs out there that you enter check info in and they walk you through reconciliating the account when the statement comes in. At home, we use Microsoft Money (I think it came with the basic software package when we go the computer) and we have our upcoming bills and deposits scheduled to alert us. It is just groovy!! At work, I use Quicken which is also user friendly.
When we pay bills, we write the checks right there in front of the computer and enter them as we go. If we debit, we save the receipt (at least until it is entered in the computer) and on occasion when we write a check away from the computer, we write the info on the back of book and cross it out once it is entered. Easy peasy!! It did take a little adjusting at first, but it is second nature now and balancing the checkbook is WAY EASIER!! So...that is what works for me! If you want to see what works for everbody else this week, head on over to Shannon's Blog and have a Happy New Year!!!