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Showing posts from 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

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We're keeping a quiet holiday here.  John is on call for work (and spent most of the night at work!) and friends have invited us over for dinner.  I have a pumpkin spice bundt cake in the oven (much like the one in the above picture) and will frost it with a cinnamon glaze just before we head out the door in a bit.  Our plans for the rest of the weekend include lots of R&R - board games, movies, and throwing a miniature football around the back yard.  If we are really ambitious, there will be some work on a installing a closet system and cleaning out a filing cabinet, but that's on the back burner unless we just feel like it!

Whatever you holiday brings you, I hope you take a minute to think  about what you're thankful for. 

One of our Sunday sermons a while ago, talked about St. Paul's letter to the Philippians:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether we…

Work Home and Family - A Little Boy's Vision

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Starting in late September, Buddy complained almost daily of headaches.  Terrible headaches - the wake-me-up-at-night kind of headaches.  He would hold his head and sigh and sometimes cry and ask for us to "Please make them stop!"

Obviously, we were concerned.

They were in what we thought was a 'weird' place for a headache - not obviously a tension headache or a sinus headache or anything like that.  He was going through some issues at school with another child and we thought maybe stress was the cause.  But they kept getting worse.

So we took  him in to the doctor and had an exam and a head CT.  Nothing.

Except a call from the doctor's nurse telling us that we "needed to be better parents" and "manage his stress better".  Yes, she actually said that.  And she was nasty about it too. 

I was having a horrible day and it hit me really hard.  I mumbled something about Buddy wearing glasses for reading and wondering if maybe he needed his prescr…

Healthy Habits in 2011 - Certified!!!!

It's official!

I'm officially a certified Jazzercise instructor! 

Whoo hoo!!!!  (And I have the official microphone belt to prove it!) :)
Boy, can I tell you that it's been a process and one I am so glad that I've gone through.  And, my, has it been humbling, as well!

I have been "Jazzin'" for 11 years now.  I thought I knew what I was doing.  Boy, did I have a LOT to learn!

I learned that even though I have a small amount of dance background, I really needed to learn a fair amount about dance.
I learned that I really can push myself a little more than I thought.
I learned that I am stronger than I thought I was - physically and mentally.
I learned that I really and truly don't embarrass easily - that is a very good thing!
Interestingly enough, the thing I learned the most was this:  I'm not giving my life my "all".

At workshop, my trainer said "I really don't think you're giving this everything you've got."  She w…

In the Refiner's Fire - Don't Judge a Book by It's Cover

We've been so very busy here this season of our life. 

In the midst of all the house organizing, school starting (for all 4 of us), rearranging of plans, getting ready to certify as a Jazzercise instructor and the typical fall household and yard things that need to be done, I was assigned to work on a project with a woman that I would never, ever in a million years have wanted to work with.

I was so upset and frustrated by it.
I didn't want to meet with her, talk to her or spend the large amount of time together that we would have to work through for this project.

This woman really bothered me. 
She was snide and rude. 
She would scream at her teenage children over the phone (including swearing and calling them names) in front of other people and complain about every little aspect of their behavior. 
She would moan and complain about everyone and everything. 

I really didn't like her company and I couldn't even imagine working with this woman.  I consoled myself w…

Healthy Habits 2011 - Jazzercise Instructor Update!

I only have a few short weeks until I go through my "final" workshop as part of the Jazzercise Instructor certification process.  I'm a bit pumped, a bit scared, and just plain really excited about the whole thing.

The hardest part of this journey has been learning to do all the things I've been doing wrong right.

Yep, you read that right.

I had been doing several things wrong for years and just found out now.  In the last few weeks, I've been up on stage, behind the current instructor, practicing during class.  What I've noticed is that a lot of people are doing things wrong too - almost everyone in the room.

Can I offer some unsolicited advice to anyone doing aerobic exercise?  (If you don't want it, you can skip these next two paragraphs - you won't hurt my feelings.  Really.)

Good posture is really important and it will make your workout far more effective than if you don't have good posture.  Keep that tummy tucked in and that pelvis tucked u…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of October 2, 2011

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I can hardly believe how fast this year has flown by and how quickly we have entered fall.  The leaves on the trees are starting to turn crimson, gold and orange, and I'm lovin' almost every minute of it!  We have a giant pumpkin and a few smaller ones in our garden that the kids are way excited over and we still have some spaghetti squash to harvest too.  We've had an over-abundance of apples - all free from various friends and family.  I have plenty of applesauce in my freezer now!  Good thing we like it!

So, what are we eating now that the weather has turned cooler?  Well, here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, October 2:
     Breakfast: Oatmeal with Cranberries and Cinnamon
     Lunch: Out with Company
     Snack: Popcorn
     Dinner: BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches, Cole Slaw, Apple-Pear-Grape Salad

Monday, October 3:
    Breakfast: Sour Cream Raspberry Bread, Apples
    Lunch: Hot for the Kids; BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches, Apples, Carrots, and a Cookie …

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things - My Cousin Diane

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Earlier this spring, my cousin Diane did all of the frosting on this fabulous cake that we had for my kids' 6th birthday.

My cousin Diane is so special to me.  I'm the youngest cousin by almost 20 years on my Mom's side of the family.  I am an only child, Diane has two brothers and we had 2 other male cousins.  So, Diane and I are the only girls. 

Never mind that Diane is literally old enough to be my mother and her son is only 5 years younger than me.  Never mind that her two step-sons are my age and she has grandchildren.  Once I hit my teenage years, we've always been very close.

Diane lives about 3 hours away and it has never stopped her from being here for our kids birthdays, recitals and programs.  She comes a few times a year for the weekend - just to visit and spend time with us.  She and her husband, Bo, live on a very limited income and are so generous with their time and energy and what they do have.  She always shares apples, grapes and raspberries from t…

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - First Grade

My munchkins officially started first grade this fall - three whole weeks ago now.  It's hard for me to believe that my babies are six already - the time has gone by so fast and it just seems that they were teeny, tiny little babies just a short while ago.  Now they're reading, writing and, in Missy's case, doing multiplication in her head!

And I'm lovin' it.

I love watching my children head out the door each and every morning so excited about school.

I love having my children sound out a new word or read a simple sentence.

I love having my children clamor to tell me about something that happened at school today.

I love having my children share the things that others brought for show-and-tell.

I love having my children get excited about field trips.

I love the freshly pressed school uniforms hanging in their closets.

I love the excitement over their first spelling test (yes, they got excited about it!).

I love the clean white knee socks, and jumbles of lunch boxes…

Goals for the week of August 14th

Where, oh where, has the summer gone?

It seems like it just started yesterday and now we're in the middle of August.  The kiddos head into first grade on the 30th of this month and we are in a whirlwind of activities between now and then.   My mind continually races and I wish I wasn't so much like a magpie - jumping after the brightest thing in the room (in my case, the next thing on my to-do list) before I've even finished with what I have.

We've had 3 more trips to IKEA and 3 trips to Menards.  We've had several get-togethers, a conference, a trip out of town, and I took last week off from work and school to get some much-needed things done in the house.  My to-do list has barely shrunk because I have so many, many things partially done.

Today Crystal wrote out her goals for this week and I'm inclined to follow.  Here are mine:

Home:
* Get the rooms upstairs finished - this involved painting, moving several things and re-arranging some furniture.
* Get the k…

Work, Home and Family - Through the Eyes of a 6-year-old Boy

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Lately Buddy has gotten into taking photos with my little wimpy digital camera.  Since the camera was cheap, and I don't even pretend to be a photographer, I think it's pretty fun. He hasn't dropped it in water yet - that might make me take the camera away! In the meantime, I'm enjoying seeing the world through the eyes of a 6-year-old boy:















I think it's safe to say that my little guy likes nature and dinosaurs.  What do you think?
And just for a bonus: A conversation that took place tonight while I was trying to get a snarl out of Missy's hair before she washed it:
Me: Did you know that Grandpa used to just cut the snarls out of my hair? Missy: Did it hurt? Me: No, but I had pretty funny looking hair. Buddy:  Is that how Grandpa lost all his hair?
(My dad is completely bald!) He he. :)

Crazy, Drastic and Wildly Rewarding

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In the reflection and analysis of our life that John and I have been doing in the last month or two, we came to a conclusion...the way we had our home laid out just wasn't working for us and what God has called us to.

In some ways it never has. 

Our disaster of a home office, is a prime example. 

We have had a "home office" the entire 11 years we've owned our house.  We have only used it very sporadically during that time.  Most of the time, I work at the kitchen table and John works curled up on the living room sofa. 

So... part of the reason that I've been so quiet this month is that John and I decided to drastically cosmetically and organizationally "remodel" 4 rooms in our house:

The kids' room.
The office.
The family room.
My sewing/craft/scrapbooking room.

We're about halfway through and we've gotten rid of more junk stuff than I could have imagined.  We've bought several pieces of new furniture and made 4 trips to IKEA in the l…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of July 3rd, 2011

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One of our dinners from our camping trip last month - salmon and corn on the cob! Yum!
Does anyone else feel like summer just arrived and we're already halfway through it?  I am wondering where my June went here.  July is going to be very busy for us and I'm hoping to get several large things crossed off my do-to list.  We'll see!
In terms of menus, I'm loving the summer produce!  We have had a cold and very, very wet spring and early summer so the summer produce is just now coming into the Farmer's Market and the grocery stores.  I am really enjoying the strawberries and blackberries - and I'm eagerly awaiting our first crop of raspberries on our 'invading' bushes that crawled under the fence from next door.  It looks like we're going to get a good crop and I'm excited!
Here's what we're eating this holiday week:
July 3, 2011, Sunday:    Breakfast: Cereal and Milk    Lunch:  BLT's, Strawberries and Blackberries    Dinner:  Leftovers
July 4,…

Goals Update - A few little things that have arrived at our house...

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The stole and the cross are from Tanzania, a gift from my parents and their work in Tanzania - the purchase of the stole and the cross supports the school they work at there.  The robe with its tie and the shirts are part of the progress through seminary.  He needs both for the work he'll be doing this fall.

It has been so amazing and humbling to watch John as he travels this path. 

He has lead worship this summer and will be doing so again - wearing the shirts, the robe and its tie.  He cannot wear the stole until he is ordained.  He has done a wonderful job.  Even when being put on the spot to chant and come up with a children's sermon that he hadn't previously prepared. 

He is so humble and unassuming and yet definitely the leader.

The stole symbolizes the yoke we take on when we are equally yoked with Jesus, pulling with Him on His labor in life.  There are other things it symbolizes too, but that is the part that I like the best.

John is so very yoked with Jesus. 

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - June's Blessings

Way back when I started this blog, before it was even 'open to the public', I wrote a monthly review of blessings that God had given us over the previous month.  I decided that for my own reminder I needed to bring that back!

So, here are June 2011's Blessings:
* All the uniform pieces our kids need for school in the fall (including an awesome fleece sweatshirt for Missy!) for totally free via the uniform swap at the kids' school.  Yes, ALL of them.  About 22 pieces total.   I was beyond excited!

* A new black skirt and sweater for me for 25 cents each at a neighbor's garage sale.

* The repairs needed for our van that came up very suddenly only costing us $150 to repair!

* A chance to see Cars 2 for free!  (And it was an awesome movie too!)

* Two outdoor movies in a friend's backyard with great food (potluck style) and great conversations with great people.

* John not needing major medical treatment for his illness this month - just lots and lots and lots of re…

In the Refiner's Fire - Something We Keep Forgetting

I realized something earlier this week.  Something that has been bugging me for a while and I haven't been able to put a finger on it.

If we have a handle on peace, joy, love and patience and all the other fruits of the Spirit given to us by our faith in Jesus Christ, why do we have so many Christian "self-help" books?

Now, don't get me wrong, I have read and enjoyed and gleaned useful information from several of them.  Some of them have helped me to figure out something I was stuck on, or was just plain wondering about.  I have even kept some of them for my shelves because I found them so useful that I want to be able to reference them later. 

I just find it really odd that we as a community, who are supposed to have all these things that the worldly world doesn't have, would need books other than the Bible to tell us what we can do to get those things.

I think the reason is this:

We are taught that we need to be patient.
We are taught that we need to be loving…

Work Home and Family - Small Changes Make Big a Difference!

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We've been working on getting the to-do list around the house crossed off.

The cleaning out is going slowly, but steadily, and I'm okay with that.  Add to it that John and I had a very long talk and decided to really clean out and cut back on our possessions rather than just cleaning out.  I'm glad it's happening, and at the same time I want to fast-forward to "Done!"  I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels this way!

We also decided to tackle some projects that have been laying around for a while and not getting done.

Moving the stepping stones to a new place in the around-patio flower bed...


Rearranging the flower pots and other artifacts by our front door...





Hanging curtains in the kids' room that we've had for a month and never got around to hanging...



In the same vain, installing the curtain rods we've had for quite a while for our bedroom and never put them up (we were waiting to get new curtains, but the old rod that we'd inh…

Healthy Habits in 2011 - Coming up in July...

I hit a plateau with my weight loss these last few weeks.  The good news is that I haven't gained any weight back or any inches back.  The bad news is that I'm stuck.
So....
For July....

I'm planning on working out 4 or 5 times each week (which is fairly easy since I'm not teaching at night right now).
I'm planning on not eating seconds at dinner and not finishing the kids' breakfasts (bad habits that I've gotten into).

We also have a few parties coming up (a relatives retirement party, an off-to-the-military party, a reception lunch after John serves at a church out of town, and a couple of delayed graduation parties), so I'm planning on skipping the cake or only have cake and some veggies/fruit depending on the time of day of the party and making some wise choices about the other food there too.  I have found that if I have a glass of water in my hand I won't eat as much because I can take a sip of water if I feel I need to "eat".  So, …

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 26th, 2011

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Date Night Desert - Raspberry Cheese Cake and Hot Cocoa This photo was taken last fall, but it's still  a perfect desert for a cold, rainy "summer" day!
The last two weeks have been interesting - John got terribly sick and then we spent a week in the cold and rain camping.  Now, we're getting ready for company, a conference I'm attending in August, and then several weekend "trips" so that John can lead worship for some churches out of  the area.  We have company Wednesday this week and Monday and Tuesday next week - we're looking forwarding to visiting with friends!
What are we eating this week?
Sunday, June 26: Breakfast: Cereal and Milk Lunch: Pancakes and Sausage, Strawberries and Melon Dinner: Hamburger Gravy, Noodles, French Bread, Strawberry-Grape-Melon Salad
Monday, June 27: Breakfast: Oatmeal with Bananas Lunch: Leftovers Dinner: Pork Loin, Rice, Salad, Nectarine-Banana-Grape Salad
Tuesday, June 28: Breakfast: Oat Groats with Apples Lunch: Leftovers Dinne…

Healthy Habits in 2011 - Battling Chronic Illness

I have written before a little bit about how one of my main reasons for getting healthy is to keep these two chronic illnesses that I have in check.   One can be controlled very well through diet and exercise - and that works very well .  The other has fewer flare-ups if I eat right, exercise and get enough sleep. Sleep being the key point here.

I found out last week that I've been in a flare-up for about 12 weeks. 

This week (and for the next 3 weeks) that  means nasty-scary antibiotics, plenty of sleep and prayers that I don't have to go on something stronger and more invasive again.

I had just thought I was tired from all the end-of-semester chaos and everything else that's been going on in my life.  I totally didn't realize that the 4 1/2 -5 hours of sleep I was getting a night was not helping and that my fatigue was due to a flare-up rather than just being 'regularly tired.'

My problem is this - I don't know what my limits are anymore.

I have to re-le…

A New Why of Reaching My Cleaning Out Goal

I think clutter multiplies in my home.  Does it in yours?  I feel like I put thing away or even just set them down, come back later and the amount has doubled or tripled. * Sigh *

We're working really hard on cleaning out our home - getting rid of all that junk stuff that we just don't use or can't seem to find a home for.

I'm discovering that I keep cleaning out the same areas over and over again.  The areas that really need to be cleaned out, seem to get left behind and get more and more crowded with the things that don't have a home elsewhere.

My new goal is to look at the areas that don't get touched regularly and get rid of two things per day.

What have I gotten rid of this week:

* A hideous light-up Christmas tree topper angel that my aunt gave me
* An equally hideous doll that my aunt gave my daughter (which isn't meant to be played with either)
* A pair of matchstick blinds that I've had sitting in the corner of my bedroom for 4 years
* Recycled…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 12, 2011

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The thing I love the most about summer? All the salads!  The above photo is not really salad, but includes quite a bit of it!  Yum!
We have a fairly normal week this week for summer - school, work, and a few church events.  We're enjoying the slightly slower pace of summer.   Here's what we're eating this week:
Sunday, June 12: Breakfast: Cereal and Milk Lunch: Breakfast Tacos, Grapes Dinner: Pancakes with Strawberries
Monday, June 13: Breakfast: Cinnamon Breakfast Cake, Bananas Dinner: Mixed Green Salad with Salmon, French Bread, Strawberry-Melon-Grape Salad
Tuesday, June 14:  Missy and Buddy's Baptism Anniversary! Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal Dinner:  Pan Fried Tilapia, Sweet Potato Fries, French Bread, Strawberry-Grape-Apple Salad Baptism Anniversary Desert: Gingerbread
Wednesday, June 15: Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins with Bananas Dinner: At Church: Bring Tossed Salad
Thursday, June 16: Breakfast: Oat Groats with Apples Dinner: Easy Black Bean Soup, Cornbread, Grape-Apple-Pear Salad
F…

Healthy Habits in 2011 - John's Jumping on the Bandwagon!

One of the really fun things that is happening this summer is that John is taking the summer off from his Seminary classes.  Ideally, so that I can write on my dissertation.  In reality, since he needs a desperate break and needs to get some much-needed balance in his life.

After watching him struggle with full time and 2/3 time school and a schedule that leaves very little time for anything else, even my head aches.  His shoulders get tense, he starts craving junk food, and he feels very listless and lethargic.

One day in the last month we decided that we would work together on this goal of getting healthy.

We've always done pretty well in terms of eating meals. 
Snacking, not so much. 
Working out? I do okay. John's workout is non-existent.

We're both wearing pedometers now.
We're both keeping a food journal now.
And we're both reporting in to each other weekly about our progress now.

How cool is that? 

We've starting taking family walks again - something…

Goals - What do they really look like anyway?

As you've probably guessed from this blog, I'm very much a goals-oriented person. I make incessant to-do lists. I have daily, monthly, and yearly goals.  I love to have a very strict schedule.  I love to know what's going to happen next. 

What trips me up is that I always have more on my lists than time or my health or the general craziness of life will account for. 

Always.

It doesn't seem to matter if there is anything single thing on my do list more than sleep, eat and bathe and I will not complete it in some way, shape or form! 

Friday night, I had two baskets of laundry sitting in my living room waiting to be folded.  The same two baskets that had migrated from the laundry room to our bed, to the living room, back to our bed, to perching precariously on top of the hampers in our room, back to our bed and were back to the living room over the previous 4 days.  Buddy had dug underwear out of the baskets twice because there is none in the underwear basket in his c…

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - Birthday Parties!

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One of the things I so enjoy about having children is their birthday parties!  Excitement, fun, and way too much cake and noise. Who can beat that?

Missy and Buddy turned 6 years old the beginning of May and had 17 0-6 year olds at our house for a Princess and Knight themed party.  They got to decorate crowns and shields, "rescue" a "princess" in trouble, chase each other around and eat cake and cookies. 

Since their birthday was during finals week for me, I had to leave much of the planning and doing to my Mom.  Grandma's are great and we all had a blast - especially Grandma!

My Mom and my cousin, Diane, helped make this wonderful cake - isn't it cute (and yes, I do realize that the knights and princess are a wee bit out of scale!).

I loved watching the children decorate and be creative.

And I think we're still finding these in the flower bed!

Truly, birthday parties are one of my favorite things! 
What more can I ask for?


*Note*  I'm planning on be…

Goals Update - April 25, 2011

These last few weeks have been seriously busy!  I haven't had time to get more than about 4-5 hours of sleep many nights much less blog, clean or anything else that isn't absolutely vital for our existence and current deadlines.  Buddy had the flu (again), John had a major test, and I had a migraine yet again.  When I was putting together our menu plan for this week, John commented "I don't care what we eat this week, as long as it isn't soup!"  We had soup 5 out of 7 nights for the last two weeks (in spite of what the menu plan said!) and take out or leftovers the other two. *Sigh* 

God is very good. 

He placed someone in my life at the very right moment who knew exactly what I needed without my knowing. I am currently planning on writing about that on Thursday here so you can know too.  I was able to head into Easter with a clear head and no tension and a smile on my heart and soul. 

In terms of productivity, it's been the "crisis of the day"…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of April 24th, 2011

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Did you have a good Easter Sunday?  We sure did!  I am so very, very grateful for all of the Lord's blessings - this year especially. 

We are eating very well this week:

Easter Sunday, April 24:
   Breakfast: Easter Brunch at Church
   Lunch/Dinner: At a Friend's House: Bring Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
   Snack:  Strawberry Short Cake

Monday, April 25:
   Breakfast:  English Muffins with Peanut Butter, Bananas
   Lunch: Leftovers
   Dinner:  Crunchy Topped Tilappia, Golden Beats, Melon-Blackberry-Strawberry Salad

Tuesday, April 26:
  Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins with Bananas
  Dinner: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Sweet Potato Fries, Carrots or Tomatoes, Apple and Pear Wedges

Wednesday, April 27:
   Breakfast: English Muffins with Peanut Butter, Orange Wedges
   Bag Lunches:  Apples with Peanut Butter, Cheese Stick, Carrots or Tomatoes, Cookie
   Snack for Mom: Yogurt with Blueberries
   Dinner:  Oriental Chicken Wraps, Salad, Melon-Strawberry-Blackberry Salad

Thursda…

Goals Update - April 11, 2011

We've been busy, productive, ill and weary here at our house over the last few weeks.

I have had the terrible head cold that's been running around - it lingers.  And, given my lovely sinuses, it had to turn into a sinus infection too.  I'm on the mend, but it's been a long two weeks.

John's spend more of the last 4 days at the hospital (working) than at home.  He's frustrated with unnecessary tests, cranky patients, lack of sleep and unhelpful co-workers.

The kids have been cranky with endless appetites and not sleeping well - a sure sign they are growing yet again.  Missy's shoes don't fit her again and Buddy's pants seem to have shrunk overnight in the wash.  Buddy lost his glasses about a month ago and we have yet to find them.  We're pretty sure they were lost at school, it's just where at school that is the question!  Ugh.

In all of that, there have been lovely,  wonderful and good things too.

*Lots and lots of work done a two side proj…

Super Savings Saturday - $25.50 for kids' clothes

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Saturday at our house is "Errands Day" - we run all our errands including grocery stores, bank, post office, drug stores, and any clothes shopping that we need to do.  Today was the garage sale for our Community Education Family classes group, held at one of the local schools.  I didn't go right when it opened because I knew the crowds would be huge and I didn't want to fight them.  I arrived about an hour and a half after they opened and got several things:
For Missy:  Pink Pants, Teal long-sleeve T-shirt, Denim shorts, Navy knit shorts, a pair of red knit pants and matching top, and that really cute white denim skirt pictured on top.

For buddy: Brown Corduroys, Tan Pants, Star Wars Lego Pajama, and Spider Man Pajamas.

My find of the day!  For Buddy: A 100% Wool suit for $1

These three adorable baby outfits are a gift for a baby shower.
Total Spent at the Garage Sale for All of the Above:  $25.50




And the Groceries!  I took $60 out of my $80 for this two week period bec…

Healthy Habits in 2011 - 14 1/2 Inches Down!

The last couple of weeks haven't been so hot for working out. 

I pinched a nerve in my neck 2 week ago and last week only got in 2 workouts instead of 4. 
This week I have a colossal sinus infection, so I missed my weekend class since I was running a fever. 
Today I missed most of class since I did something to my ankle and it hurt to put any weight on it (I did do the arm and abdomen parts though and then went for a walk later today with my family when my ankle was feeling better). That means, unless I drag myself to class at 730am on Saturday, I'll have worked out once this week.  *Sigh* 

The good news?  I had to measure myself in order to cut out my Easter dress.

Here's what I found:

Waist: 3 inches down!
Hips: 6 inches down!
Left Thigh: 3 inches down!Right Thigh: 2 1/2 inches down!

That's a grand total of 14 1/2 inches down!  Whoo hoo!

I am so psyched about all of that! 
Who cares of the scale says only 5 lbs down (which I've managed to stay at in spite o…

Super Savings Saturday - $42.41 from a $43 budget!

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After my shopping trip this last week, I had $43 and a handful of change for groceries this week.  I spent $42.41 for the entire bounty you see above!  Four of the boxes of cereal are heading to the food shelf.  We've decided to spend roughly $5 each week to bless the food shelf. So this week, cereal it was!
Here's what we bought:
Store #1: 6 boxes Kellogg's Cereal @ $1.66 each = $9.96 - $1 - $1 - $1 = $6.96 ($1.16 per box) Apple Juice $1.88 2 Loaves white bread $3 2 Hormel Lunch Meal $5 Organic Pink Lady Apples (3lbs) $3.99 - $1 = $2.99 Total: $19.37 Saved: $9.28
Store #2: 20oz Mayonaise $2.99 Palmolive Ulta 23oz $2.00 - $0.50 - $0.50 = $1 State Fair Mini Corndogs $3 - $0.55 - $0.55 = $1.90 2.44 lbs Red Grapes @ $1.29/lb = $3.15 2lb Whole Carrots $0.98 1 gallon Skim Milk $2.69 2 blocks Cheese @ $1.66 = $3.32 - $1 - $1 = $1.32 5 boxes Nutrigrain Bars @ $1.88 ea = $9.40 - $1 - $1 - $0.75 - $0.75 = $5.90 ($1.18 per box) Total $20.04 Saved: $25.09
Store #3:
Purex Crystals $2.99 - $2 = $0.99 1 b…

Healthy Habits in 2011 - 5lbs and 2 Inches Down!

Soooo, how's that weight loss thing going, huh?

I'm down 5lbs.
I'm also down 2 inches on my waist!

I have a pair of pants that have been snug for the last several years and I had to wear a belt with them to work yesterday to keep them from falling down to my hips. 

I LOVE that!
I have also been able to work out an average of 4 times per week for the last month.

I am giving that extra working out the credit for not gaining back those 5lbs since I spent last week eating a ton of junk food - cheesecake, chocolate lava cake, hot soft pretzels, ice cream, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I probably shouldn't even mention on a healthy habits entry! 

We had several events where we needed to eat desert and, of course, I didn't plan ahead and went with a basically empty stomach each time.  (Or I did like I did today and forgot a spoon to eat my yogurt with! Opps!)

That meant lots of eating things I shouldn't have.

We have loads of fruit in the house this week an…

Goals Update - March 28, 2011

Some days I really feel like I'm scaling Mount Everest or something equally daunting.

Writing a dissertation and jumping through all the hoops necessary to gain a Ph.D. degree is far, far, far harder than I ever imagined it would be.  I have been making steady progress on things and spring break was particularly productive for me.  I can't cross things off my sidebar yet because everything has to signed and sealed by the graduate officers before I can "officially" say they are done.  *sigh*  I have made good enough progress that people are impressed - and the right people too!  :)

Emotionally and physically the last few months have been difficult. 

I have been bogged down by the emotional impact of too many deaths of people who are far too young to die. 
I have been bogged down by the physical demands of working part time, going to school full time, being a wife and a mama, and a daughter and a friend.
I have given myself a goose egg on my forehead, sliced open th…