Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gift ideas

I have to say, I really like being crafty at the holidays. I really wish I thought of these things, oh, say November, instead of the week before Christmas. Here's what I've made so far:

The first 2 recipes come from Woman's Day.
Lemon Sugar Scrub
1 cup Epsom salts
1 cup sugar
zest of 2-4 lemons
1 tsp. lemon juice
6-10 Tbsp. oil
Mix together and store in tight lidded jar or bottle. I used Starbucks Frappuccino bottles and was able to get four jars out of double recipe.

Oatmeal Cookie Soak
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Blend together (I used a Magic Bullet) until a soft powder forms. This smells fabulous. The instructions are to put a spoonful under warm running water as you are drawing a bath. Then relax and enjoy the cookie-scented water.

Then, on tap for tomorrow is to make Cinnamon Toasted Almonds from Taste of Home, a basic spice rub from Tasty Kitchen, and some BBQ roasted nuts from Better Homes and Garden.

Another gift I've made this year are domino necklaces. So easy. I bought a tin of dominoes for $2.95 at Walmart. I think there were 28 of them. Then I cut scrapbook paper to 1"x2" to fit the domino. I tried to use a corner rounder, but it cut too much off. Instead, I just used my scissors to round the corners. For some, I put initial stickers on the paper. For some, the latest, I used glue and glitter to accent parts of the design on the paper. I used ModPodge to glue the paper on the dominoes. Once dry, I used some glossy clear paint (not sure on the name, but it's made to add a glossy effect) to coat the entire surface. While it was still wet, I dropped rhinestones in strategic places. After that dried, I superglued bails to the back of some and large beads to the top of others. I used ribbon on some of them and those steel ball necklaces on others. They really turned out nice.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I learned something new today!

You can make microwave popcorn using a brown paper sack! Oh, yes, you can! Talk about saving some money...and you know exactly what goes into it. No chemicals or preservatives or artificial flavors!

It's easy too...and the kids enjoyed helping. You just add 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels (which I got in a big bag for $1.48 at WM) into a brown paper sack ($1.00 for 50) with 1 tsp. oil and a little salt (or 2 tsp. sugar if you'd rather have kettle corn). I figure it's about $0.15 per bag, which is a savings of about 85% (if I have any clue how to do the math here). Plus, again, you've got the added benefit of no chemicals, flavorings, etc. It was really good too!

I'm really into this idea of making things at home now. Next up is those seasoning and dip mixes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Good day

Today has been a good day. Not all of it. But most of it.

This morning we weren't able to sleep in thanks to DS waking us up at 7 demanding food. But we were lazy and fixed a big breakfast and enjoyed it. Then we all crawled back into bed :) It was fun to spend some lazy, silly time with the kids.

Then we finally got up and going and got some Christmas decorating done. Tree 1 is up and the living room is mostly decorated. We'll get to the rest later. It was really cute watching the kids help decorate the tree this year. This was really the first year they've been able to do this, so it was neat.

I got to catch up with one of my best friends on the phone and somehow managed to wrangle a visit from her and her family tomorrow! Can't wait to see them!

Then we went to River Bend's ElectriCritters with the kids and my parents. It was cold, but not miserable. We enjoyed seeing Santa, hearing a story, seeing all the lights, having some cider and hot chocolate on the trail, and then having popcorn and s'mores at the end. Then we drove to a house that designs a lights and music show before heading to the house for snacks, cider, hot chocolate and more s'mores (made with French vanilla snowman marshmallows and mini choclate chips because that's what we had).

It was a really enjoyable day. There were parts I'd rather not have had, but that's ok. That's the way it is sometimes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thinking about gifts

I've recently found some recipes for soup, dip, drink or seasoning mixes and I'm thinking about using them as gift ideas. I've found these in a couple of places. One is Julie Garro on Facebook. The other is the Tasty Kitchen website, a spinoff of The Pioneer Woman's.

I like them for myself as well. I like knowing what the ingredients are and having control over what goes into the mix. I also like the idea of having these things already premixed to use.

I think others would like them as well. I was thinking of doing little gift baskets/bags of the dip mixes for small gifts (coworkers, etc.) and doing some larger ones, maybe in jars, for couples I know.

Now it's a matter of deciding which recipes to use and what ingredients I'll need. I'm thinking Sam's is my best choice here so that I get larger quantities of the ingredients.

Let's see. I have recipes for the following things:
Dill Dip
Onion Dip
Ranch Dip
Hot chocolate
Homemade popcorn
BBQ seasoning
Taco seasoning
Seasoned Salt
Cream of Anything Mix

I was thinking the dip mixes or the hot chocolate and popcorn idea for small gifts and the ohter mixes for a gift basket for a bigger gift. Hmmm...lots of planning to do, but the work itself should be easy...measure, mix and package.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

When the moon hits your eye....

Like a big pizza pie, that's when the kids go CRAZY! I don't care who says what about the moon and its cycles, but a full moon coupled with a weather change has turned all the kids into little own two included! They have been completely off their rockers this week with a huge meltdown tonight. And my kids at school haven't been much better. It's been like I'm speaking Swahili or Martian or wah-wah-wah of Charlie Brown's teacher. They haven't heard a word I've spoken or read a word I've written on the board. I'm hoping it's better tomorrow, but I'm guessing with possible thunderstorms tomorrow, we'll be doing it all over again.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

God is Good!

God has been so good to me this week...and not with the typical "things are going great" idea. This week has been trying. But God has been faithful. There were so many times I wanted to say something, held back, let go, and was rewarded, whether with a resolved situation, a phone call or message, or just plain peace. Wow. What a lesson to learn. And it's overflowed into all the areas of my life. Dealing with SB's meltdown this morning over a broken Silly Band was easier and calmer. I'm very happy right now. :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

That hit the spot!

The rice pudding was yummy! Here's what I did (after looking at tons of recipes):

I made brown rice last night.

Then, this morning, I peeled and chopped some apples and cooked them in a couple tablespoons of butter with a dash of cinnamon and a dash of pumpkin pie spice.

Once they were tender, I added 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 cups of milk, a large box of raisins (as opposed to the mini boxes) and 2 cups of the cooked brown rice. I brought this to a boil, reduced it to a simmer and let it cook for 15 minutes. I loved it! Ryan was sick this morning so he didn't even try it. Sarah Beth ate some of hers, but not as much as I'd hoped.

The only thing I'd do differently is add a little vanilla when I add the milk. I wish I'd thought of that sooner.

Estimated nutritional value- For 1/6 of the recipe: 190 calories, 5g of fat, 2g of fiber, 4g of protein.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Comfort food

I have never had rice pudding. However, a coworker had some this week at lunch, and it sounded good. So...I'm making it for breakfast in the morning. I've already made the rice, so I just have to add a few things after my run. I started looking for crockpot recipes, but got overwhelmed in the hunt. I figured an easy recipe was better for the first try. Of course, oatmeal...the real stuff...sounds good too. I wonder what that is saying about me. Rice, oatmeal...carbs in general. I've been snacking entirely too much here lately. I'm sure I need to ditch the sugar for a while. Anyway, we'll see how the rice pudding turns out in the morning...if I can wait that long :)

Friday, August 20, 2010


Ahh...tonight's like tonight make me smile...well, actually, the earlier part of this evening did...not so sure about trying to get three kids to sleep in the floor of one said kid's room. track. We took the kids, including the niece and nephew, to the local waterpark. I wasn't really looking forward to going and was starting to get a slight headache, but I wanted to take advantage of the last weekday before school starts and the free tickets we had. And I'm so glad we did. The kids were so excited and had so much fun. We spent most of the time in the kids' area and the lazy river, but we all loved it. The weather was great because we went after Hubby got off work. We didn't leave until almost 8 when the sun was starting to go down. We were even able to relax for a while and watch the kids play on their own. Of course, it helps to have a brother-in-law and an almost-grown niece who can help with the younger ones. I needed that kind of time.

I do not, however, need the battle we are having now at bedtime. We enjoyed a pizza picnic in the floor...but sleep is not coming as easily as those $5 pizzas do. It's temporary, I know. I am already so exhausted, and I'll be working again in my classroom tomorrow...yes, on a Saturday, to finish up everything for Monday.

Wow...just typing that made me to bed.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

So close

"So close" could mean so many things. So close to winning. So close to the right lottery numbers. So close to your best friends. Or so close to crazy. That would be where I am. This week has been a rough one...can't run outside because it's too dark or too hot when I can actually run. R has to go back to the eye doctor for the second time today. SB has puked more than once in the past week. My classroom is a mess. I have no lesson plans. And a sad day today for other reasons. I know it's all temporary. But it matters right now, and right now, it's hard. I'm ready for this week to be over, even if next week holds an equally hard one.

I know, I know...quit your complaining. And I should. And I will. I know it could be so much worse. I know we are lucky and blessed. And we are. Blessed to have two beautiful kids, of which glasses are the worst medical issue we have. Blessed to have a home with an a/c and comfy surroundings. Blessed to be able to run at all. Blessed to have a job. Blessed to have a big classroom and great classes. Blessed by a husband who handles my stress with ease. Blessed. I'll focus on that for now.

Monday, August 9, 2010


I finally (finally!) got around to making homemade granola bars with Sarah Beth...Ryan didn't want to help. They turned out really well...chewier than expected, but I like them that way.

I tweaked the Playgroup Granola Bar recipe off of and came up with this:

Dry Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar (fairly packed)
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 craisins (or more)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mixed nuts and seeds (I used pumpkin, sunflower, and slivered almonds)

Wet ingredients:
1 egg, beaten
1/2 canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients. Use a spatula to mix the best you can; then use your hands to finish mixing well.

Use waxed paper to pat into a sprayed 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. They'll be chewy when warm but will harden some as they cool. In other words, cut them into small rectangles before they cool.

Nutritional info if you cut this into 24 fairly small bars:
Calories: 160, Total fat: 15.5 g, Protein, 2.4 g

PLEASE NOTE: This makes 24 small bars. If you eat more than that, you'll have to adjust the calories.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Time is ticking away...tick, tick, ticking away...

I have no idea what song those lyrics are from...they get stuck in my head every so often. The words are so true now as I look at the last three days I have before I go back to school with training and inservice on Thursday and Friday. There's so much we didn't do this summer that I'd planned. But we did so much! Now, just to make the most of these last few. Of course, I think one of those days I'm going to spend with Sarah Beth for a little girl time before she starts school. And I think I'm going to spend one of them with my own mom for a little big girl time before we go back to school.

Of course, I'd like to spend today on a little retail therapy. We'll see what nap time holds :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Garage sales

Our nephew stayed the night last night (our kids are going there tonight), so this morning, we were looking for something to entertain them. There was a garage sale at a church down the street, so we took them there. The kids each picked out a toy, which a nice gentleman gave them for free. The nephew picked out a Scooby Doo, SB picked out a stuffed flower, and R found a toy level. Then a lady said they could have a book, but only R found one...a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle one that he dubbed "super cool." We also found SB some clothes for 50 cents a piece...can't beat that. I'm so amazed how little it takes to entertain them...proved further by another garage sale where the kids each got a 10 cent toy for free...a metallic Buzz Lightyear, a tiny toy gun, and a magnetic block toy. And I came away with three pairs of pants for $1.50...and they fit! Can't beat a cheap day of entertainment...especially with the promise of a kid-free night to come!

Friday, August 6, 2010

No Nap for You

What in the world is wrong with my kids??? Today, SB is asleep (and she rarely naps) and Ryan is awake (and he always takes good naps). And what's sad about this is I was all snug in my bed about to doze off when he woke up. I guess that's just my sign that I'm supposed to be doing the dishes and laundry, huh? Not my idea of an enjoyable last Friday off for the summer.

I am going to do a couple of things for me:
1. Figure out my Garmin so I can do more than hit Start and Stop.
2. Ok, that's really it. Wow, not much there.

The problem is the things I'd like to do require me to drag the kids out with me or find a sitter, neither of which is happening today. Those things are:
1. Replace my running shoes
2. Find some running socks that aren't cotton
3. Head to JCPenney's to use my gift card
4. Buy a housewarming gift for a friend

Oh, well...maybe next week when the grandparents return I'll get to these things.

I think I'm going to attempt making Playgroup Granola Bars since the nephew is coming over this evening. I'm thinking a little sprinkler time, pizza,a movie, popcorn and maybe they'll all crash. Wishful thinking, I know.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Let the training begin...

Tomorrow morning marks the beginning of another 8-week training period for a 10K I have planned September 25. My goal? Run the whole thing this time. That's it. Well, not really. I'd like to finish in less time than last, and considering I had to walk quite a bit of the last one, that should seem like a no-brainer. I'm hoping so.

But what the training means is that I have to a) stick with the plan, b) make a plan, and c) eat right. Ok, so maybe b should come before a, but I do have a basic plan...just have to figure out the strength training bit and work on stretching. Guess I'd better get on that, huh?

But the eating right part...driving me crazy. I know in my head what to's just the doing that's so hard. I'm hoping when school starts, eating right will be easier since I won't be here to snack all the time. I also plan meals more carefully because I know we have to have dinner in the house and ready to go. We'll see.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Picnic in a Jar

I'm trying something new today...I stole the idea from Melissa D'Arabian, but I didn't like the flavors she used. However, I loved the idea of a layered picnic in a jar, so I'm stealing the idea and making it my own. I'll be layering the following things in a jar...whether or not we actually picnic with it will be determined later:
1. veggie pasta spirals with Italian dressing
2. chickpeas, seasoned with garlic and onions
3. shrimp
4. veggies (zucchini, squash, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach)

I'm making this for us as well as Chad and Kayla. I think there's a concert in a park somewhere we could go to with this, but I don't know if we will. I'll give the verdict later on how this turns out.

***The Verdict: While I liked it, the rest of the family did I won't try it again, at least not this way. I'm thinking maybe a chicken/tomato sauce/veggie combo might be better...or maybe a bbq pulled pork/coleslaw/beans one?

Monday, July 26, 2010


I'm feeling restless in my own skin today. I don't know if it's because we had a long weekend out of town and there's lots to be done or if it's something else. We've got a lot going on in the next couple of weeks as summer comes to an end for me. Maybe that's it...summer's ending. And I always feel like I didn't do as much as I'd planned, wanted or could have. I'm making progress on the huge to-do list, but it just keeps getting longer.

Let's's what's floating around my mind:
1. I forgot to register SB for Cheer Camp and so I won't get that time to get things done or play with R and she won't get the experience.

2. Jessie...why, oh, why did we get a puppy?! She tore up a cushion on one of our outdoor chairs and we won't be able to replace it with a matching one. It's too expensive to replace all six chair cushions. Now what?

3. Zumbathon...I hope it's successful, but I'm not sure it will be. Just not enough PR. And it's hot. And it's summer.

4. The a mess. I know it's from a wonderful weekend away, but it clutters my mind. But I'm tired and don't want to get up to fix the problem.

5. hip hurt again this morning and I'm about to lose two toenails. I officially start an 8-week training plan to run another 10K in September. I'm excited but afraid.

6. Headaches...they're back. I've had one every couple of days now. Ibuprofen doesn't seem to work. Even the Excedrin migraine isn't working. Maybe it's sinus related...guess I should have picked up some more medicine.

7. Kids...SB starts school this year. I hope she's ready. I know she'll like it. I just want her to be happy there. And to have fun. And to learn, both academically and socially. R is growing up too. He's so much more talkative, has a funny sense of humor, and is so sweet. Change is hard, huh?

8. The never-ending to-do list...once again, I know I could be checking things off, but I'm wiped out. I guess it wouldn't kill me to write a couple of checks and fill out a couple of forms (one for my 10K and one for HHH, but again, just a 10K).

9. Health...ok, really, when I say health, I mean weight. Good grief, what happened. I blinked and gained a few pounds. And so I said, today is a new day...and I ate a donut for breakfast. And a Coke and burger for lunch. Yeah, new day, my foot. But, I'm going to make some yogurt this, really, I will. I've been saying it for two weeks, but today's the day. So breakfast tomorrow will be better. And I'm making a healthy dinner...stir fry. And tomorrow's is light and mostly healthy. See...maybe it is a new day after all.

10. School...I really haven't thought about it much, but there were a couple of projects I wanted to work on this summer. I've done bits and pieces here and there, but they aren't ready to hit the ground yet. One of them is a girls' group I want to start at school...a sort of mind, body, spirit type of group to teach girls to make healthy choices in all aspects of their lives. I've got a few things in the works for it, but not enough to implement the plan yet.

Ok, that's about all that's rattling around...there's still some sort of uneasiness in my bones today. I thought my run this morning would clear my head, but it didn't, at least, not as much as I'd hoped.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Crazy Me

What possessed me to plan two birthday parties, on the same day, back-to-back, in my house?! We are having a rock star party for will be her first "kid party." They are decorating some white, cardboard guitars to get things started, followed by karaoke (yes, I realize that 5-year-olds can't read and therefore karaoke is really pointless). Then we'll have cake (store-bought, thank goodness) and open presents and end with a guitar-shaped pinata.

Then, right after that, we've invited our families as well as a couple of our friends with boys R's age to stay for hotdogs and an all-star party as a way of celebrating his birthday. We're switching decorations to sports themed centerpieces, and to top it all off, I'm making baseball and football cake balls. The baseballs are funfetti cake with vanilla frosting. The footballs are devil's food cake with chocolate frosting. I've yet to dip or decorate them and I'm already regretting this idea. Why didn't I just book Jump for Joy or Chuck E. Cheese or Gymnastics Sport Center?!

But, for those that have never tried making cake balls, here are the steps. I had the passing thought to take pictures while I made them, but like I said, it was a passing thought, one that didn't even hang around long enough for me to find the camera. But...I will try to post pictures of the finished product.

Ok, back to the steps. Boy, these thoughts are passing like crazy.

1. Bake a cake, any flavor, according to the directions on the box. Yes, you can bake a cake from scratch. But why would you?
2. Let the cake cool for a few minutes and then crumble into a big mixing bowl.
3. Add 1/2 to 3/4 a can of frosting. Your choice in flavors. Make sure it goes with the cake though. I'm not to blame for your choices. It will be hard to mix. Use your hands if you want. A spatula will work though.
4. Let this chill for a while. Actually, don't. I tried cooling it today. It didn't work as well.
5. Form into balls, or in the case of the above-metioned footballs, weird pointy oval shapes. I use a cookie dough scoop, but you'll want to roll them a little to smooth them out. Place these on waxed paper and chill. This time, you really want to chill them.
6. Melt some almond bark or other coating, if you prefer, and then dip the balls to coat. I use two forks. It's messy no matter what you use. Put them back on the waxed paper. You can decorate with another color coating or sprinkles or icing. I'll be using icing to make the laces on the balls.
7. Enjoy. You'll want to hide at least half of them, or they'll be gone before you really meant to serve them.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

World's Worst Blogger

I must be the world's worst blogger...I have ideas I want to to post...but I forget to take the pictures...and then forget to blog.

I made zucchini bread again using my healthier recipe. Why didn't I take pictures? I have no idea. Maybe it's because the kids woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and I was just thrilled they were playing nicely at the table with Play-Doh that I didn't want to risk it by stopping to take pictures.

I'm making kebabs later to take to my brother, his wife and their new baby...well, obvioulsy, the new baby won't be eating any (at least not directly)...but it's because of the little Princess that I'm taking the meal in the first place. She's absolutely beautiful, and I am so excited and happy for the new family! I've somehow become Meal Coordinator for them...and I love it! I'm so amazed that people are so generous and thoughtful and want to help them out during this time of adjustment!

It's an overcast summer day, and while I should be taking advantage of it by getting outside with the little munchkins, I'd really like to be in the kitchen trying something PW's coffee bread recipe or baked French toast casserole. Of course, neither of those things are helping me get back on track with my healthy eating. I've got to get back to making healthy choices, both when it comes to food and exercise. I haven't run in a week, so I'm going to do that again starting tomorrow...just jumping right back into my training plan. And yes, I am training. For a 10K. Again. This one is Sept. 25, so I know I have to get started. And part of that is running...duh. But part of that is eating healthy foods. We have lots of fruit and veggies now, so it's just a matter of choices.

Isn't that really what everything is about...making choices? Making the choice to be happy. To not yell. To model good behavior instead of doing the whole "do as I say and not as I do" thing. To smile. To laugh. To find joy in the little things. To be generous. To help others. To love. Those are my choices today.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Oh, wow!

Now I know what it feels like to have 4 children...and let's just say, I don't know how you parents out there with 4 or more do it! It's quite the circus around, but crazy! We took all the kids swimming yesterday and are going back again in just a little while. Thank goodness for my in-laws who helped us out in the pool. We just don't have enough arms for four little one in the pool! The plan for today is to swim, come home and eat lunch, take baths, and watch a movie. That should get us to the evening, and then I have no idea what I'm going to do to entertain them...alone! Chad has to work! I'm hoping for an early bedtime :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Today's plan

We are headed to the Farmers Market. I just love that place. I can never decide what to get, but today, I know I want zucchini and squash! I'll let the kids each pick something as well, although they very rarely eat it :) I'm working on that! After that we have some errands to run and then it's back home for some cooking time. We're making pizza rolls for lunch, and they can help with that. Then I'm thinking a nap sounds good...for all of us! We'll have a healthy snack after that and off to a birthday party we go. Busy day...but that usually means a good bedtime.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hello again

It's been a while since I've been on does that.

I'm in a happy homemaking kind of mood today...I want to cook yummy things, like Pioneer Woman's Berries and Sweet Cream or her Lazy Chile Rellenos (with added ground beef for a meal). I want to make healthy snacks for the has already eaten homemade banana bread, carrots, string cheese and fruit snacks...the other has had fruit snacks, shredded cheese and a granola bar. I want to have a clean house. Please note: I did not say I wanted to clean house...just that I want one. I want to spend time outside...but it is so blessed hot out there! But I might not mind a little sweat if I was swaying in a hammock in the shade.

So, the snacks I have in mind for the next few weeks:
Tortilla wraps (ham and cheese, cream cheese and fruit, peanut butter and apples)
Quesadillas (same as above)
Yogurt parfaits
Trail mix
Dippers or skewers (meat, cheese, veggies, bread)
Pita pockets
Wonton chips (both sweet and savory)
Mini pizzas
Veggies and fruit with dips

We're headed to the Farmers Market tomorrow and I can't wait! I want some zucchinni and squash and anything else that looks good...tomatoes, beans, fruit. I have to be careful not to get too much since I will be out of town next week, and I know it will just go to waste if I'm not here to fix it.

What is it about summer that makes me want to eat healthy and light? Is it the heat, the lazy days, or the swimsuit I have to wear? I'm in the mood for some lemons to add to my water as well...just light and refreshing.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I did it! I finished the 5K in Ardmore this morning in 30:35...and my goal was just to finish under 33. As a whole the family did great
Mom 31st woman 3rd in age bracket
Carrie 32nd woman 8th in age bracket (but only b/c she finished with Mom)
Me 69th woman 15th in age bracket (out of 54!)
Dad 51st male 5th in age bracket
Rob 44th male 8th in age bracket
Chad 81st male 13th in age bracket

So now? On to my next goals...under 30 minutes for a 5K and running a 10K. After that(as eventual goals) 8-minute mile pace for a 5K and a half marathon!

But how to get there? I'm starting with strength training this week. My sweet sister has put together a training plan for me for the next three months. I'm going to add in interval training once a week and increase my incline on my runs. I'd like to add in one more run each week or a longer bike ride with the family.

Speaking of which...we took the bikes and trailer to Grammy and Big Daddy's tonight instead of driving. Probably not the best idea after the run this morning, but I'm not going to turn down the chance for a little family exercise and outdoor time. Even if the pollen count is through the roof.

I am so proud of my mother...running a 5K to celebrate her 50th birthday and placing 3rd in her age division! She is truly and inspiration to me...and so is my Dad. He ran the same pace...and he's 54!

I am so proud of my sister. She is so strong, mentally and physically! She is working to accomplish her goals of being a personal trainer and a Zumba instructor. Actually, she accomplished that last one this weekend!

I am so proud of my brother. He jumped right in and ran the race with no training. And he was really hurting. But he finished with a great time! He and his wife are working to create a wonderful life for themselves and their little Gabby. So awesome to be able to share in just a little of it.

And I am so proud of my hubby. He is the one who suggested taking the bikes to the in-laws tonight. I know that exercise is not his favorite thing, but he knows how important it is to me. Important enough that he stayed home with a sick kid this morning so I could get my run in. I am so blessed and lucky!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I am not feeling well at all today...and I can't figure out exactly what is wrong. Weird, I know. How do you "fix" something when you don't know what "it" is?! I wouldn't mind so much, but I'm running a 5K with my family in the morning to celebrate my mom's 50th birthday. And I really, really want to run a best time. I've been working so hard these past few weeks to improve my time. I do not need this right now! I'm hoping the next few hours bring a huge turnaround in the way I feel. I felt fine yesterday...and the day before...but not now. Aaarrgh!

Monday, March 22, 2010

What's next?

I've got a 5K in 5 days. I so want to do well, but I haven't been the best about my running. One of these days, I'll get it all together and get a real routine to increase my speed and distance and get some real strength. I so want to be that "fit" woman everyone wants to be...but more than that, I want to be the woman everyone wants to be because she has it all together.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Back to the Grind

I can't say I'm happy to go back to school tomorrow...but I can't say I'm not either. This week has been productive. But, it has also been trying. SB has thrown three huge fits in three days. I just can't handle this much more. I know, in my head, that it doesn't really reflect on me as a mother, but in my heart, I feel like I've failed at motherhood when she acts this way. I just don't know what else to do. I'm not the mom I want to be. I want to be so much more. I want to get it all together and keep the house clean, and put good food on the table, and be healthy, and play with the kids, and plan fun things for them, and be a Godly Proverbs 31 woman...but just when I get one thing going right, something else falls by the wayside. Oh, to be superwoman.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wannabe Hippie Chick

I'm pretty sure I could easily be a Hippie Chick...I'm not, but I could be. I made my own granola today. Tried it in the crockpot. Not so good. Switched to the oven...and delicious! Now I have yogurt started in the crockpot...hope it works out better than the granola, but I am really looking forward to a preservative-free, sugar-controlled parfait for breakfast in the morning. But I may have to go get some fresh blueberries tonight.

I've decided I want to cut out as much processed food as possible to monitor our preservative and sodium intake. We're really doing pretty good in this department, but I may try to make our own taco seasoning and seasoned salt soon. Eventually, we may try cutting out gluten. Sounds crazy for someone who doesn't have to, but I think it's something that is a problem for my crazy, messed-up body.

When I'm in this mode, I really wish I was a stay-at-home mom so I could do more from-scratch cooking. And right now, I'm a clutter kick, so I've been cleaning like crazy. At least it's spring break, so I'm not losing a ton of sleep while trying to get everything cleaned out and cleaned up. I know being a stay-at-home mom isn't a piece of cake, but at least I'd actually be here to try to clean it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Wow, I stink at this blogging thing. I'd really like to be a good blogger, but life just catches up with me. I have so much on my plate and so much I'd really like to share, but I get sidetracked so easily. Things I'd like my blog to focus on:
1. Cooking
2. Running/exercising
3. Crafting
4. Organizing

I love my crockpot. I started a Crockpot Cooker group on Facebook and have 550 members now. I love the recipes everyone is sharing. And I love using my crockpot.

I am working on decreasing my 5K time so that I don't get beaten by my almost 50-year-old mother and 54-year-old father in the 5K at the end of the month my mother wants to run for her 50th birthday. I'm down to 35.37 for 3.2 miles...which, by the way, is not a 5K as I learned Friday. A 5K is actually only 3.1. parents ran their last 5K in 30.45!!!

I also want to start some strength training to get toned up all over...abs, back, arms, name it. I just don't want to have to use fancy equipment to do it. And the information out there is overwhelming. I just can't get it all put together in a way that will work for me.

And long lost friend. Right now, I can't even see the table top in my craft closet...and haven't for months. I miss that outlet, but I dread the organizing I'm going to have to do to get caught up. And the photos alone...I am so behind on my picture printing. I don't think I've printed since last June, so I probably have 2000 pictures to print--seriously.

But organizing...that's where I'm at this week. Sarah Beth's room has already been rearranged. Ryan's was just done, so the big focus this month is going to be the garage. Which goes back to #2. Once we clear out the garage, it's becoming a home gym. I want to go full force with it and put down matting and put up a flat screen TV, get a weight bench and weights, and really...I'd love to hang a punching bag! Something about running on the treadmill surrounded by clutter is bad for my soul. I'd rather be running outside, but I run too early, alone and in the dark. Once summer gets here, I'm so out there!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Something I forgot

SB started preschool this past week! She's going 2 days a week for about 5 hours at a time. We procrastinated so long on this one, but I think it's a great thing for her. She's so excited about it...already learning and already making friends. Of course, it would have been helpful had someone told me the "All About Me" poster really was a parent's project. We let SB do hers on her own (with our help, of course) so it looks it. Apparently, the others at school do not. So far, she hasn't noticed. I hope she doesn't. I feel bad in some ways because hers is probably not as nice as the other kids' posters...but on the other hand (and I'm leaning this direction), she did hers just the way she wanted. That has to be a good lesson. Right?

I just can't believe she's old enough for fact, she'll start kindergarten next year. Wow. It goes by so fast. I know that's such a cliche...but it's so true. I have to say, though, that I'm pretty thankful she's not a baby anymore. I didn't mind the toddler stage, but those sleepless nights with a screaming baby just trying to figure out any way to get her to sleep and not cry or wake up...not for me.

Totally Random Stuff

I finally downloaded music to my iPod. I've had it for a while now, and I had some music on it, but a friend gave me some gift cards...and I just now used them. I just don't listen to lots of music, so I didn't have a clue what to get. And what I ended up with is totally random...a little Black Eyed Peas, Kutless, Hope for Haiti, etc. Strange mix...but that's me, I guess.

So what does that say about me? I guess I am a little random. Just read the rest of the post and you'll figure that out.

I started a Crockpot Cookers group on Facebook. It already has 76 members! I don't know why that excites me, but it does. I've been using my crockpot at least once a week and love coming home to homecooked food already done. It makes working out at the Y a lot easier knowing dinner isn't going to waste all my hard exercise.

Speaking of exercise, the song I'm listening to now is one we dance to in Zumba...makes me want to get up and dance. And I don't dance. Because I don't have rhythm. But I still want to.

My mom did give me one of those hip scarves they use in belly dancing to wear in Zumba. Too funny. Too fun.

The apple dumplings I made in the crockpot yesterday turned out so well. I impressed myself. And now I want some. I've got a yummy cup of decaf coffee with cinnamon and homemade whipped cream (thanks to that Magic Bullet thing). A warm bowl of apple dumplings would go so nicely, but that would require I go to the freezing cold garage to get some out of the fridge there.

I need another crockpot. The one I have is big, really big. I need a smaller one. I have a slightly smaller one, but it cooks way too hot. Boils soup even on low. I'm in a serious cooking mood. I want new knives too. Well, not knives. Just one. I want a chef's knife, but not a huge one. They had a 7 inch one at Target for cheap, but that's just too much knife for me. I'm not much of a knife person anyway. I also need some glass bowls to use for double boiling chocolate, and just for mixing stuff in general.

And I want one of those vidalia onion choppers where you chop onions in one hit. Very cool. One of these days I'll be one of these people that can prep all her veggies for the week at once and have cute little bowls of pre-prepped ingredients in her fridge. But not now. So I need to be able to chop and cut quickly...hence the Seen on TV Vidalia cutter and the chef's knife...and a bamboo cutting board while we're at it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

One Word

Wordle: One Word

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