Monday, March 31, 2008

Weekly Fitness Goals

 Weekly Goal - 240 Minutes (40 minutes most days)
Totaly Weekly Minutes - 310 minutes

Annual Goal - 11,700 minutes (2900 by end of March)
Minutes to Date - 2,832

Monday - 65 Minutes (reccumbent bike)

Tuesday - 75 Minutes (40 min elliptical; 35 min recumbent bike)

Wednesday - 60 Minutes (21 elliptical; 39 recumbent bike)

Thursday - 35 minutes You Can Do Abs/Upper Body - this is a Leslie Sansone Stability Ball workout. I want to HURL!!!

Sunday - 75 minutes (35 min elliptical machine, 5 min sci fi thing that nearly strangled me, 35 min recumbent bike)

This week I need to continue to focus on what I can control - calorie intake, small regular meals, and work outs. I'm still not losing weight. Mike suggests adding strength training and I know it's time. I am going to try to add strength training in.....The gym has some machines that I might be able to use without out too much stress to my wrists. I need to find someone to show me how to use them. ::snort::
To read accounts from more participants - click here. To join us, click the icon above.....

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My New LOOK!

If you have been reading for a bit of time, you know that I like to change the way things look around here fairly often. I don't know WHY. I do not like change in general....hmmm.....I guess I do like change, but I don't like changes like "new email programs" or "new computers".....ANYWAY..... I have run through the majority of blogger templates. I then branched into other free templates on line...but none of them were just what I wanted.

I contacted an online friend, Amy, and asked what I'd need to do to make a custom blog....She designs beautiful blogs. I wanted to be sure I LOVED and wanted to keep the blog that I had designed for a long time (I'm frugal/cheap), and the first step was to decide what I wanted. This was OVERWHELMING TO ME. I couldn't figure out what I wanted. I have been checking out istock looking for the right photos et al, and really, I couldn't decide. BTW - I've been meaning to recommend Amy's tutorials on her blog. I've learned a lot from reading here. I hope to make some little post divider things in the future.

Then I noticed YOUR blog Holly. I loved it. You told me where you got it - and I went exploring.

Michelle at Shabby Creations designs blogs....but I loved some of her templates...and the price is right for a pre-made template - $8. Her prices are ala carte. I decided I would be happy with a pre-designed template, and maybe some buttons. I didn't care for the buttons she had used before with this template and asked if she could make some to match the header. She did. I love it. She even INSTALLS it and makes sure your widgets are in place for $8. This I can afford. I hadn't changed from my pink flowers because I was waiting to find TIME to put all my widgets back. SHE did it for me....and that was worth $8 alone. Michelle was QUICK. I had my blog within 24 hours of paying her. I figure at $8 I can change the template when I'm tired of it.

Michelle just put 3 new templates up - one or two of them are limited editions....go check them out if you are interested. If you decide to use her services, please tell her I sent you....I want her to know how happy I am with her work.

The funny thing is that *I* liked Stella best (though I think I may have chosen one of the new ones if I'd seen it first), my family unanimously - at different times chose this template - Agnes. I didn't think it said ME - I thouht Stella was ME - but they all thought THIS is me. Michelle agreed. What does that say about me? I'm not sure. I DO love it. I think it says "joy". I think it is simply elegant....and I like that.

SUNDAY Potluck

Today was a bit different from our typical Sunday. It began as usual with RE (Religious Education). We had two new boys - which was a lot of fun.
We had a Unity Service today. We do this on 5th Sundays. Instead of having 3 services, we all come together for one service and a potluck afterwards. It's always a fun time. A couple of random photos:
Notice the "dust pan". ::snort::
I was stressing about needing more time to feel comfortable teaching Tuesday's study. Mike suggested this a.m. that I take my books and gym bag with us. He brought all home, and I stayed and studied. Then I took a break and went to the gym. I'm feeling much more prepared.
We're watching The Caine Mutiny from Netflix. Tomorrow begins another busy week.

"nola" bars.....

I've been searching for a couple of years for a granola bar recipe that my family would like. A couple of us have been happy with Sarilyn's recipe below. I was sharing with Deja that I'd like to make rice krispy treats without marshmallows, and she said her granola bars were close, and I'm going to try it some day with just rice krispies. The first time I made these I baked them. I just had her list of ingredients and missed some key steps. I tried them again with full directions yesterday. There are none left - folks even liked them at the Potluck. I think I'd like them better with Rice Krispies, but you can't beat the ingredient list of the Puffed Rice (whole brown rice). We call them "nola bars" because that is what Stacia calls them.
Deja's NO BAKE CHEWY Granola Bars (like Krispy treats)
1/2 C Honey
1/2 C Rapidura (brown sugar)
1 tsp vanilla (I used 1 T)
3/4 C Peanut Butter
2 C Oats
2 1/2 C Puffed Rice (Rice Krispies)
1 T Flax Seeds
1/2 C Dried Fruit
1/2 C Chocolate Chips
1/4 C Cocunut

Combine dry ingredients. Heat honey & sugar to boil. Stir constantly. Turn off heat and add peanut butter and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Pour over oats - MIX WELL. Press into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Cool and cut into squares. (I skipped the fruit and coconut and added 1 C chocolate. In the future I will try some sunflower and pumpkin seeds - but I wanted to get the kids used to these first.)

A local friend, shared this one. It's now our second favorite.
Sarilyn's Granola Bars1/3 C brown sugar (rapadura)
2/3 C peanut butter
3/4 C honey
2 T hot water (opt)
2 tsp vanilla
~Mix all these together.
2 1/2 C oats
1 C whole wheat flour
1/4 C wheat germ
1/2 C sunfloewer seeds
1 T sesame seeds
1 C chocolate chips
1/2 C nuts, dried fruit, seeds whatever you like (I put in flax seeds and pumpkin seeds)
~Mix all thse together in a larege bowl, then combine bowls and stir well.

Press into greased 9 x 13 pan bake at 350* for 15 - 20 min. Cut into bars while semi-warm and let cool completely before removing from pan. Approx 24 bars

Saturday Stuff...

We used the day to get things done around here.
Mike and I worked on filing our AK PFD's online (YES - we DO REALLY plan to retire in AK)

Mike and Jared worked on the Honda

We also scrubbed concrete in the little boys' room and then moved enough furniture back into their room that they can LIVE and Arielle and Stacia can reach their bed. We're now thinking of putting the carpet back as it cleaned up nice. We're hoping for a SUNNY day so the UV rays will do some bleaching for us before we put it back.

While they worked outside, I made and BAKED 6 lbs of meatballs

And Nola Bars - I've been searching for a granola bar recipe that most will like....I'll share more about that later....

THIS is what greeted me this a.m. I think I've found "the" granola bar recipe for the family. It looks a bit silly for the potluck, however. LOL

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Thank you: to all who consistently modeled this discipline. My online friend, Laura, has shared for years how she reads the Bible through twice each year....and well my confession is below. But hearing her success encouraged me to continue trying. Thank you, Laura.
Confessions: I've written HERE to explain my thoughts on racing, walking, and crawling through the Word. I shared that it was my goal to read through the Bible, and I had been attempting it for years. What I didn't share is that I always bog down. In 2006 I began my "power walk" through the Word. The idea was to study my way all the way through the Bible. It carried into 2007....I haven't finished; it may be a life-long pursuit. My commitment to read the Bible through frequently remains. I just couldn't seem to reach the goal - 100%. I did race through the Bible year after year...but I always skipped things or bogged down in a gospel..... I limped along and comforted myself with the TRUTH that any time in the Word was better than none, and that I WAS in the Word (20 - 30 hours a week for study). About this time a friend of mine mentioned that her church was "reading the Bible in 90 Days." My thought, "WHAT? Good luck! Let me know how THAT works for you!" ::sigh::
Consider these facts from Barna and others: 42% of Americans say that reading the Bible is very important to them; less than 50% of Americans can name the first book of the Bible (Gallup), among those who say they read the Bible the average reader spends less than 7 minutes a day, but the average person spends almost 5 hours a day watching TV (Communications Industry Forecast & Reporting).
Time Management: I don't watch 5 hours of TV a day. We don't watch TV. In the interest of TRUTH, to be sure none have an unrealistic view of our family life, we do have a small VCR/TV that we watch cartoons et al on and a weekly family night. Rather than feeling smug that *I* am not in the group spending 7 minutes in the Word while watching TV 5 hours a day, I began to think about how I WAS spending my time. I don't know if it was 5 hours....but yahoo groups, reading blogs, personal blogging, reading books - there was a significant amount of time I could rearrange to harvest time for Bible Reading. I COULD make it through the Bible, prepare for weekly study and continue to homeschool....I thought. Then the need to make workouts a priority popped up, and I had to get really serious about managing my time.
My Experience: A few weeks after being told that my friend HAD read through the Bible in 90 days, I saw The Bible in 90 Days at our local Family Christian Bookstore. I hadn't realized it was a curriculum, program, movement that churches and small groups were doing. I debated. I LOVE my Bible. I didn't NEED a new Bible, but I immediately saw that there were some features that might be of help in my quest. It's hard bound, book size. I can take it with me as easily as I take books with me (everywhere I go) without the fear of destroying my REAL Bible. They say it has "large text", though it seemed small enough to me. ::snort:: NIV is not my translation of choice, but it is the one that makes the 90 day Bible. You read straight through the Bible in 12 pages a day. I couldn't get the marketing line, "Cover to Cover in 12 pages a day" out of my mind. The fact that I was regularly reading more than 12 pages a day on blogs and books, and yet couldn't find the time to totally read the Bible through in a year convicted me. I was challenged.
I originally felt the Bible in 90 Days was a marketing ploy, but there are some great reasons that this made it easier for me to finish. I STUDY with my study Bible. I could not resist the impulse to fill out CHARTS ::snort::, write notes, do word studies, but with this Bible, I read - I read and made arrows, jotted a few references as I went, but because my goal was the Bible in 90 Days - I was FORCED to plow on and not get side-tracked and bogged down. It made it easier for me to "read it like a novel." I have MANY "?" in the margins.....I noted that I'd LIKE to study this more, but I kept moving. I found that reading the Bible through in such a short amount of time caused me to make many new connections, to see how things related to each other (because it was all fresh in my mind), to understand context better than when I read through in a year. I finished reading all the way through this a.m. - ALL the way from Genesis to Rev. I told myself repeatedly, "You can do ANYTHING for 3 months".
Nuts and Bolts: How did I find the time? I made the time. This became my priority. Mike made exercise my priority - that gave me two priorities to accomplish each day, while I continued to homeschool and lead our weekly Bible Study. I cut time from other areas. I NEVER read ANY OTHER BOOK or BLOG or YAHOO list until my daily reading was done. In the beginning there were many days when I finished my reading before bed and, yes, that meant I hadn't read anything else except school books that day. I began naturally getting up 30 min earlier. I read that this could be done in 30 minutes. It consistently took me 45 minutes a day. God continually whispers to me about self-control and discipline since January. I began to fit in exercise. Do you need a clear picture of how it works? I wake up at 5:30 - 6:00 and read. By 7:00 I am helping the youngers get breakfast. I run to the gym while they clean up, do chores, get dressed and do their independent school. Most days we have an hour of couch school before lunch. Many days we do our couch school after lunch, but it is starting to fall into a routine. I've ALWAYS said if we didn't have couch school done before lunch it wouldn't happen now that I have 3 big daily priorities (Word, Workout, Homeschool) and 1 pretty big daily priority (blogging for family posterity) - I've simply MADE the changes that I needed to make in order to get things done. I'm still limping. This new schedule daily tests my commitment to live a disciplined life. There are days when I've stayed up far too late because I just WANTED badly to read and knew if I woke up tomorrow a.m., I'd not be able to get to that chapter, or blog that incident until I got my 12 pages of reading done. ::snort:: I'm still growing. There were days I was ahead in the plan, and days I was behind in the plan but overall I did finish by the end of March. I did deviate from the plan once. I read Matthew, Mark, and Luke...then I skipped to Acts and Romans and came back to John - finishing it the week of Easter.

My Plan: I'm doing what the creator of the 90 Day Bible suggests. I'm taking a month off (not from the Word but from the rapid-paced reading). I'll then begin to read through the Bible again in 90 days. My goal is to do this 2 more times this year. I thought of having a blog, creating a small group to read along, but God clearly impressed on me that the first time through was for ME. I was to develop this discipline not to lead others but to personally follow Him.

Reading Plans: "Into Thy Word" has many Bible reading plans for free. Click here to see plans for 10 minutes a day to go through Psalms and Proverbs in one month; 15 minutes a day to go through the New Testament in 90 days. "Bible" has 13 different reading plans and online translations of several Bibles available available in 15 different translations and 12 languages- check it out.
In the back of the Bible in 90 Days, there is a reading schedule for those who choose to read using a Bible other than the 90 Day Bible. (Yeah, I questioned the LOGIC of that too - if you don't want to use the NIV Bible why would you have the Bible to read the chart??? LOL - but I thought it was wonderful that they included it.) You can see that schedule online here in this PDF file.
THIS concludes my Winter Reading Challenge and yes this "book" will remain on my 2008 Reading List.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Need I say MORE?

Mike fixed the plumbing. They moved furniture, tore up carpet, took out padding, washed carpet...and no we have to decide what we're going to do. The concrete floor captured my imagination, but the reality is that it will be a HARD floor, and the boys wrestle, jump from their bunk beds etc. We could get new pad and put the carpet back. I think the carpet is going to be fine.
Lug the carpet to the fence
Heave Ho
It is WET
There are PEOPLE in this picture
After they hung it, Jared washed it with Odoban and the powerwasher....then rinsed well.
I am feeling REMARKABLY better. I do believe the mold was getting to me. We also had produce co-op, drama class, shopping, and start of April's United ordering process.
We watched "One Night with the King" for family night. That is a WRAP, and technically, it's Saturday - but I'm going to cheat and backdate the time. ::snort::

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Jared passed his PT test for Staff Sgt 2 weeks ago. Tonight they had him take a marching test and leadership test. He passed them both. He has to take a moral leadership class and he'll be done with the requirements to promote to Staff. His personal goal was to make Staff by his one year anniversary of membership.
Way to go Jared. Now go to bed, tomorrow you move furniture and rip up carpet! After produce co-op. LOL


First, thanks to all who took the time to call or email to see how I was. I didn't realize that I was having as rough a week as I have been having. LOL I've been sort of in a fever daze for a couple days of didn't phase me, but the gracious kindness of friends far and near did phase me - in a very good way. Thanks.
Today, I think that Mom is right. I think I'm allergic to the mold. It REALLY stinks! REALLY. Mike promises he will take his day off tomorrow, instead of going in to catch up on work.  He's going to fix the plumbing, and we are going to lug the carpet and furniture out of there.
We've been debating what to do with the floor underneath. We thought of painting a giant TWISTER on the ground. Jared suggested CHECKERS. I suggested a blackboard look with white random paintings, hopscotch etc. Mike suggested what I think will be the winning idea.
A RACETRACK! Their room is in a race track theme. The border is race cars, the curtains are black checked. The comforters are NASCAR. It will FIT, and they will enjoy it. We'll paint it some sort of solid color and then paint roads et al throughout the room. I think. Stay tuned.
I'm not an artist - but Mike seems to think I can do this....and we'll cover it with carpet in a year anyway. I love doing out-of-the-box things and Mike is a "white wall and beige carpet" type of guy - so this moldy carpet IS a chance to CREATE. LOL Of course, maybe we'll just paint the concrete a solid color and buy a carpet like this????



I knew that I would not have time for a trip to the gym today. I had a PAC meeting. I had the House of Faith run, I had to get Jamin to work and Jared to CAP 30 min early, but I wanted to do something.
I opened the Stability Ball that Mike gave me for Christmas. Pumping this thing up was sure to be the hardest part of the work out! I popped in You Can do Abs (and upper body) and prepared to learn how to use the ball for a workout.
I was pretty sure that the ball was too small when Leslie said, "Your legs should be at a 90 degree angle as you sit on the ball". Huh? Mine were certainly NOT. I persevered. 35 minutes. That was good. Heather had asked me earlier in the week what I was doing for strength training. I hadn't been doing anything - I had been focusing on getting the aerobics into the routine FIRST, BUT today was the perfect day to work in some strength training.
I liked that this dvd explained exactly what to do. I liked that she gave variations to use. I liked that she used weights for a good upper body workout.
I did not like feeling like I was going to PUKE for all the "on your stomach on the ball" exercises. Will this get better?
Heather dropped by while the children were enjoying my ball. She says I need a bigger one. This will be good because it will give THEM something to workout on and ME something to workout on. ::snort:: Today Stacia kept rolling the ball while I was trying to do various contortions....and I FELL OFF THE BALL when I "rolled up" right over the top. I also smashed my face with the pump trying to pull it out and "slip in the valve".
I'm willing to try it again. I could TELL that it did intensify the workout. It did hurt my neck though.....and the puking thing was bad.... (but that could still be the cold or the mold).

You've Destroyed My Rep-u-tation!

Oy vey. In an attempt to save the wet carpet, Jared and I lifted the carpet up so that we could dry it out and the pad beneath. Zander came unglued. Tears. Wailing. "You've destroyed my reputation!" Evidently, it's a terrible thing for a young boy to have "ripped up carpet". ::snort::
Jared taped off part of the room to keep them from walking on it. Zander was determined to get through the barrier. There are no toys over there. There are no clothes over there. WHY does he so desperately need past the taped off area?????? He woke up this a.m. still determined to get past it. It's a boundary.
I asked him, "Zander, WHY do you need over there?"
His answer? "When I come up to a barrier I must bash through it."
It looks like we are going to have to remove the carpet in the room. We are NOT putting new carpet down in the young boys room a year before we sell the house. I'm not sure what I will do - but it will be creative. ::snort:: The smell of mold is wafting through the house.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Of Colds, Plumbing, Taxes and Such...

I've not been blogging because it is no fun when others can't read. AND I don't FEEL GOOD ::whine::. I've not been sleeping because I have a nasty cough - now my diaphram, tummy muscles ache, my head hurts when I cough, and it's gross. I may go buy cough syrup tonight because I need to sleep.

We are getting school done, and I am going to the gym (and disinfecting the machines when I'm done). I washed my fancy new cell phone - you know the Christmas Gift.

Wait until you hear about my day yesterday!

I woke up and discovered the freezer door had been ajar overnight. The NEW freezer - the BIG one. I lost a few things but most was frozen enough that I shut the door and shuffled off.

I was cooking breakfast when Zander informed me that someone had gone potty in he and Nolan's closet. After lecturing all on how silly that would be I went into their room and discovered that their closet was flooded...and it had seeped out in the room. Now we have no working plumbing in the kitchen.....still today the carpet is wet. It stinks. I can't get it dry or get under it well.

Mike has been at a 3 day exercise, and I hope to really see him tonight. Poor man - no kitchen plumbing, molding carpet, computer woes, AK PFD's to file, and NOW a TAX PROBLEM too. I'm working on the tax problem. It seems the form the base filed was rejected.

Mom's Night Out was Monday night, and I missed it. I was too sick to go anyway. Tuesday night was Bible Study - and we survived. Betsy, a local friend, said SHE had cleaned her cell phone also. That made me feel immeasurably better. Always nice to know you aren't the ONLY ONE!

Here are a few photos from yesterday:

Look how much it cost to fill the tank yesterday!

This is their closet - carpet removed - toy/movie closet - got one bucket of water from here.

See the water in the main room - 3 buckets of water sucked up

Stuff everwhere

Preparing Beans in the bathroom

I hate being sick. I want to go to bed. I'm going to go have lit/Bible/history discussions with my rhetoric level boys....then maybe sleep.
OH HEY - I DID buy some Amy's organic freezer meals and some paper plates - that's a bright side to the wet...I don't feel like cooking this week anyway. ::snort::
AND - my new/used cell phone is working! Now everyone just needs to call me so I can harvest their numbers....

Monday, March 24, 2008

Weekly Fitness Goals

Weekly Goal - 240 Minutes (40 minutes most days)
Total Weekly Mins - 345 mins
Annual Goal - 11,700 minutes (2900 by end of March)
Minutes to Date - 2,522

MONDAY - 70 minutes (43 minutes - elliptical machine; 27 recumbent bike)
Tuesday - 75 Minutes

Wednesday - 50 Minutes (45 min recumbent bike, 5 minutes elliptical)

Thursday - 70 Minutes (45 minutes elliptical; 25 minutes recumbent bike)

Friday - 65 Minutes (recumbent bike)

I'm most excited about this week's totals because it represents 5 days of workouts. Still not 6 days but certainly better than 4 days of long work outs. I'm going to try to bump my cardio workouts to 60 minutes (most days of the week) because even with all this working out my weight is simply not budging. I've also upped the intensity on the machines as my cardio health has increased.
I also realized this week that I'm starting to like working out. I enjoy the gym with Fox News, shows I've never watched, time to read on the bike....AND I discovered that I CAN sweat. ::snort::
I have to focus on the fact that all this working out HAS to be helping cholesterol and my heart - regardless of the scale. LOL Click here to hear from more of this week's participants; click the icon at the top of the post to join the challenge yourself.Photobucket

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Big Family Myths

September 13, 2006, I promised to do a weekly "Big Family Myth" post; then life got busy. I am still considering creating a graphic and hosting a weekly carnival (or is it meme)...but for tonight....I wanted to get all the Big Family Myths on one page. Truly, according to MY perspective, I sought to clarify what was myth and fact in a large family.

If you are wondering if you may be a large family, I suggest you check out my very own list of litmus tests: You know you're a large family when.... (the different colored text are clickable links).

An idea is born - an explanation of big family myths

Myth 1 & 2 - Your washing machine never stops running; Someone always needs a bath.

Myth 3 - Individual needs cannot possibly be met in a large family

Myth 4 - Those with large families don't know "what causes that"

Myth 5 - Laundry spewing from all corners myth - Part 1

And there you have it. I WAS going to past date this and post it in the sidebar. I will still post it in the side bar, but I'm going to date it for tonight. That gives YOU an opportunity to leave a topic in the comment section that you'd like me to tackle....are YOU wondering if something you've observed or heard is fact or myth? Are you a large family and been asked repeatedly to answer some question that you think I should deal with her? Leave your comments....