Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
But, you know that whole business about the 85% helping the other 15% through positive peer pressure? Excuse me while I laugh my head off!!!!!!!
But, actually it's not funny. One of the girls who was caught vandalizing came into the restroom yesterday and ran in front of the 7 girls waiting because it was "an emergency". Not one of the girls said anything other than, sure, go ahead. I said to #1, "Did anyone, including you, stop to realize she is the reason you all can't use the restroom and were waiting with 7 people in line??!!". #1 said that this girl is "popular" and had told a mutual friend of theirs "I hate #1". We have no idea why other than this girl was running for mayor and #1 won. Since then, she ignores or pushes #1 out of the way when she wants to talk to someone or sharpen her pencil. So, I know that #1 just backs off to avoid a confrontation. She is also afraid of getting in trouble. That's hard for me, because we are called to be kind and loving, but not passive and intimidated. Part of me feels like she should stand up to this girl, even if she's the only one (a lot of girls apparently pretend to like this girl and when she walks away they make faces and say they can't stand her!). Then, I realize this is something that makes her uncomfortable and I think she needs to deal with it her own way. It's not like she is seeking this girl out as a friend and is getting rejected. And, don't I tell all of my kids that if everyone likes you all the time, then you probably aren't living sold out to Jesus because sometimes there are spiritual battles being waged that we can't even see?
But, as far as the theory of the 85% keeping the 15% in line I'm not seeing any evidence of that at all. In fact, I think the "bad girls" know just how much power they have and they aren't afraid to manipulate, even the teachers, to get the attention they want. We're talking sixth grade here.
You know that saying that girls are easier when they are younger, but as they enter adolescent age, boys are much easier. Yeah, I'm beginning to see why. I don't mean that #1 is difficult, I mean what she goes through is difficult. I feel so bad for the girls who have no one to turn to when they go through this junk. #1's hope is in knowing that she is fearfully and wonderfully made by our God who loves her and will never leave her.
My hope is in knowing that she does not belong to me, she belongs to our God, who fearfully and wonderfully made her, who loves her and will never leave her.
- I am watching another mom's kids and taking them to school with the rest of us this morning because she had to work out-of-town today. That meant getting #2 and #3 up much earlier than usual, but they didn't mind because they've been playing for the last hour. Oh, and her daughter's jeans were still wet, so I dried them!
- I made dinner for us and for a family that just had a baby.
- I started work for the day because I am going into #3's class to help with Kid Writing this morning.
- I made everyone breakfast, including an egg over medium and piece of toast for me (that is a fancy treat for a mid-week breakfast).
- I wrote out a check for lunch money and signed appropriate school forms.
- I emailed various teachers about school things.
- I read this and it made me cry.
- I did a load of laundry.
I hope your day is blessed and peaceful!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Here are some pics.....
Monday, January 28, 2008
After I calmed down I decided this needed to be addressed. I emailed all the team teachers (there are about 105 kids on the team), along with the principle and the assistant principle, who was the one who decided on this punishment. So, without including the entire correspondence here are some excerpts from my email:
I’m concerned with the restroom punishment because if the students are only allowed to use it during designated times, they will have no time to eat lunch and catch the bus because everyone will be going at the same time. If they have to go to the restroom I understand the students were told they are just going to have to learn to “hold it”. I have an 8-year old who gets frequent urinary tract infections as a result of “holding it”. What about girls during their menstrual cycle? Why not penalize the offenders, or if you feel this is a team problem, take their recess away? Going to the nurse only when they are “throwing up” or “bleeding” concerns me, also (our family was very sick for about 2 weeks and none of us were throwing up or bleeding). So much about this meeting concerns me! I’m not sure that humiliating a student into being obedient is the best course of action, particularly if the student hasn’t been causing any problems. And, what do you see this punishment accomplishing at the end of 2 weeks? Do you think the students who are to blame are going to have a change of heart? I can tell you that my daughter has enough on her mind trying to remember her new math concepts without having to be concerned with frantically needing to use the restroom. I also know part of the punishment is to not sign out for anything including yearbook activities and library. Again, isn’t this something that should be evaluated on an individual basis? I can’t help but think that it is so much better to deal with the students one-on-one, and if needed with a parent or counselor, than to punish the whole team.
This was part of the response from one of the teachers:
The “mean girl” bullying is NOT tolerable, the graffiti on the bathroom walls is unacceptable (much less the language), the exclusion of students for their lack of “MTV” wear and the negative attitude (“good girls gone bad”) is what we are addressing. The administration and teachers have not lost common sense approach to teaching the “whole child.” We are limiting temptation.
We are attempting to use positive peer pressure. I once attended an in-service with a renown school psychologist that stated 85% of the students will do what is expected, 5% with rebel and 10% is a swing crowd. How true this is with middle level education. If we the teachers error on the side of “looking the other way and giving the girls the go ahead” with their current behaviors and choices we will be setting them up for future failure. Where 15% of the negative bullies are limiting the 85% that want to learn, we will have failed our students.
#1's individual needs along with her peers will continue to be met. Please reinforce with her that “straight and narrow” is the path that leads to success and that we as a team have had to nip some of the wide boulevards up to our path to ensure that we all cross over confidently into the next phase of our development – young ladies and gentlemen of noble (successful) character. I know that she would want all of her classmates to make positive choices and not to continue to hurt each other with words and negative notes.
So, I'm just curious.....as a mom, what do you think about this? It sounds good in theory to "limit the temptations" and have the 85% influencing the 15%, but does it really work? And, does the outcome justify the means?
Friday, January 25, 2008
When we walked in it was difficult to find a cart without trash in it. And, I don't mean little "sample cup" trash, I'm talking empty bottles bags, trash. Yuck. I thought for a moment of cleaning the carts myself to protect Costco's pristine reputation, but then realized that was a little on the ridiculous side seeing as how the inside of my van looked much worse than the carts did.
When we got inside, the lines at the registers almost made me walk back out the door. Then there was the one lady yelling (to no one in particular), "Nobody ever came back to help me! Nobody! I've been waiting all this time!".
On the bright side, #3 tried and sort of liked eggplant ravioli. That's a vegetable serving, right? She also tried and LOVED fiery buffalo wings with a whopping 5 fats grams per piece....she licked the bone clean (that's my girl!).
I walked through Costco marveling at the fact that it looked as if locusts had devoured most of the items I came there to buy. There were no good flavor combinations of muffins (corn and chocolate? Ugh!). Only 3 "take and bake" pizzas were in the empty case and I wondered what is wrong with them that those were the 3 that were not chosen? I moved on and decided on frozen pizzas instead. I was starting to become afraid. Am I on some weird hidden camera reality show? I hope not, because I had my hideous puffy coat on to hide the stain on my white shirt.
Lastly, the little Clementine oranges were in utter disarray. That is because there were two brands of them and the brand on the top of the pile was rotten. There was an orange that was completely a white fuzzy deflated ball similar to what I used to grow in my own refrigerator when I was a younger, more food-wasting mom (sleep deprivation was the culprit for all the London broils I left in the car trunk for several days and all the fresh fruit I was too tired to peel). After I used strength the equivalent of 100 horses, I managed to grab a box of Clementines from the middle of the stack only to find many of them were slightly green.
Costco!!! Have you lost all sense of who you are??? I do not pay $100 a year to shop at Sharp Shopper and that's what you were starting to remind me of today.
Thank goodness, at the snack bar I had a delicious churro and a 58 cent fountain Diet Coke or I would've gone all postal on you today. Oh, and the fact that #3 ate something with eggplant in it. Those were your only saving graces, I'm afraid.
I hope for your sake it was a fluke. Tsk, tsk!
Seriously though, it would take some major life-altering circumstance to make me stop shopping there!
Thursday, January 24, 2008
I had an interesting day today. I was asked to join a district-wide PTO council meeting/luncheon for our school district. I got to meet the superintendent and her staff, as well as principles and PTO presidents from all of the schools in our district. One of our elementary co-presidents couldn't make it so they asked me to go in her place. Hmmmmm....I wondered, why me?
The luncheon was good and I was sort of intimidated and feeling a little insecure, especially when our president asked me to share about all the great things going on with our Talent Show. Thankfully, by the grace of God, I managed to sound like I speak at meetings like this ALL the time. And, I managed to speak for less than a minute (a supernatural miracle performed by God, Himself). Both the middle school and elementary principles said such nice things about me in front of everyone in the room and in the event I started to think I was "all that" I decided right from the start humility is best and this is just God setting things up. I left there thinking that it was funny that the last time I had been to that building was to turn in a portfolio when I homeschooled and was anti-public school (no child of mine will go to a public school!)!
If you know anything about Lance Wallnau teaching about taking the 7 mountains, I decided about 3 months ago what mountain I'm going to take. And, if you've been reading my blog for the last year you'll see me struggling to find the place outside the church where I'm supposed to make a difference for His Kingdom. I'm just glad He placed that desire in me and I want to be all He's called me to be.
I was told by one of the PTO president that they are "grooming me" for president next school year. So, apparently I don't just have a national election to pray about. The idea exhilarates me and terrifies me at the same time. I really, honestly don't want to do it for my personal agenda; I want to be Holy Spirit-led. But, am I tough enough for all the criticism that comes with that position? Hmmmm......
President or not, this is where I am called and I am excited to see where it leads!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
It will be over President's Day weekend (Saturday-Monday) and we don't have a lot of money. At first I thought Washington DC would be great because everything is free, but hotels and parking are outrageous (so, if you know any secrets about getting around this, please let me know). We do have enough reward points on a credit card to put about $150 towards lodging.
Any thoughts on Pittsburgh? Baltimore is out, we've done that before and I'm not sure I'm interested in the Jersey/Delaware beach in February (that's JUST WRONG!). I've toyed with the idea of NYC, but I'm a little scared to go there in the dead of winter.
So, if you know a great, affordable place in PA, MD, DE, or DC please let me know! The only requirement is an indoor pool and no stress!
I blew my top today because there has been stuff just building up and I feel as if I've been taken advantage of and forgotten. My words were true, but my execution was flawed.
I think this is the PMS talking, but I'm seriously dealing with some abandonment issues right now that I can't begin to get into on a blog post. I just wonder why I'm even writing about it other than to try and encourage someone else so that they know they are not alone. And, on top of that I made GAS cry today because I told her if she says she feels like a nuisance one more time I'm really going to get upset. I made her look at me as I spoke rather firmly (yelled) to her that she is loved, appreciated and she is part of this family. The enemy is the one telling her she is a nuisance. God placed her here and no one has ever told her she isn't wanted besides the devil. She has a very difficult time receiving words like that and it breaks my heart.
Ugh. It's been a crummy day. Thank the good Lord for The Husband and the girls. They think I'm pretty great (most days) and that is a source of comfort to me right now. I love the way they love me.
It's pretty cool when God knows exactly what we need. And, really when I think about Christ pursuing me all those years before I surrendered to Him, that blows my hurts and insecurities right out of the water. He never gave up on me and there isn't a moment that goes by when I'm not on His mind.
Well now, I feel better already!
Monday, January 21, 2008
In my quest to search for modest, teen girl bathing suits I found this site and I just know that I am going to order one for #1's birthday coming up in March. It is the only place I've found so far where there is something for juniors besides a string bikini or a standard Speedo one-piece for swim meets!
Yesterday we spent the day away from home doing a variety of things, including hanging out with one of my favorite families, who coincidentally were the first people to ever make hummus that I just could not get enough of! I severely disliked humus until yesterday, but I am a reformed woman....woo-hoo hummus! But, I digress.....
We came home to find GAS still hacking up a storm. For two weeks now her cough was not getting any better, but it wasn't getting any worse. Then she told me that she was scared because she felt something strain in her chest that morning and she had trouble breathing so I told her I would take her to the doctor in the morning. I later tucked all my girls into bed and as I was leaving #2's room GAS told me she had thrown up 4 times in the last hour.
SO, I called her doctor and she was concerned she could have collapsed her lung and said I should take her to the emergency room, and that she would even suggest calling an ambulance. Obviously, this doctor does not know my grandmother very well. She would have to be unconscious to get in an ambulance without kicking, screaming and gnashing of the teeth. So, I told the doctor I would take her. Cue the music for bitter thought #1......where are my aunt and my mom to help out with this problem? My mom basically wrote off GAS when she came to live here, being sure to tell me she would not take on any financial responsibility or care for her ever. She lives an hour away anyway so there wasn't much hope for anything to happen there. My parents have never been the kind of parents to drop everything and come help me. But, I'm not bitter......
My aunt who lives closer (Extreme Kitchen Makeover Aunt) is near and dear to me, but because they have been sick and it is taking a really long time to finish this kitchen remodel they haven't really been helping much with GAS other than to get her to a couple chiropractor appointments. I do have a cousin who I can't really blame for not helping because no one really asks her to.
So, anyhoo....I tell GAS to get dressed after she slightly protests and #1 hears what is going on and offers to go along to keep me company. Since there is no school today I let her join us. We got to the hospital sometime before 10pm, where I got to catch the last 35 seconds of the Giants/Packers game and this is the only time I will ever talk about football on my blog. It was a good game, but I was a little disappointed to see the Giants win, not because I have anything against them, but I don't think they can beat New England. Sorry, TCC. And, then I started wondering why I even wanted to see New England get beat. I mean these guys have been to 4 of the last 7 SuperBowls and I sort think they deserve to win the big one. If you build and sacrifice and represent excellence, then by all means "Go, Team, Go!".
I digress again....the game held my attention and then I read for awhile while GAS was taken back to get x-rayed and EKG'd. They were concerned she was showing some signs of another heart attack so they wanted to check her out to be sure. I was pretty excited because they took her back for those tests/x-rays within a half hour of being there so I figured this was going to be pretty quick (a miracle, God's favor shining down on me) .
Hahahahahahahaha!!!!! Seriously, I know that God's favor is still with us....He just had other plans last night!
Afterwards GAS came out and sat in the waiting room with us for about an hour and a half. #1 fell asleep on a bench we were sharing so I threw my coat over her and watched the 11:00 news. I learned all about sucking fat from your legs and injecting it into your breasts, replay after replay of the Giants winning the playoff game, and all about the evil taking place in the world. Around 11:50 they finally called for her, but I didn't want to leave #1 sleeping on a bench in the waiting room alone so GAS went back without us. I then settled in and stared at the fish tank that had this one fish in it that was bizarre. It would swim over to a plastic plant and bite it and shake it while all the other fish just stared at it. And, the night went on....
A rather graphic version of Seinfeld came on...of course, we are on the bench right in front of the TV. I am faced with the dilemma of waking #1 up and moving which she will then be awake and able to listen anyway or just letting her sleep and hope all references of things I don't plan to talk to her about for another 2-3 years are not being absorbed into her thoughts as she lays there sleeping innocently. So, I stood looked, around and went over to the TV and turned the volume almost all the way down expecting at any minute for a worker to come over and yell at me not to touch the TV. I was becoming numb and wondering how I would drive us home......
Then, I made friends with a young couple and a little boy. The little boy was sleeping and the dad was hovering over him, it was so sweet. He just sort of sat on the floor in front of him. So, I struck up a conversation, wondering if I would have the opportunity to pray for him. The little guy was throwing up all night and the pediatrician told them to come to the ER so he could have an IV and be hydrated. They confessed they waited until the end of the game as the dad lifted up his sweatshirt to reveal a Giants jersey underneath. I wanted to beg them to go home because there was no way he was going to be seen until the sun began to rise over something like that. I'm pretty experienced in the ER and in my professional opinion, throwing up will get you no less than a 6-hour wait in the waiting room with Seinfeld and Elaine talking about faking it. But, I did not offer my advise or my prayers because when I came back from checking on GAS they were all asleep.
Sleep started to sound like a good idea so I curled into a ball as best as I could with one foot still on the floor. I briefly entertained the thought of putting my feet up on #1 and realized my shoes had germy, hospital filth on them....what kind of mom would I be if I did that? So, instead I stole my coat back off of her and used it as a pillow. She stirred a couple of times and I was back to staring at the fish tank. The crazy fish was still chewing on the plants and I started to stress out about how my best laid plans for the next day were shot. I was going to get up early, go to the gym, work at home for 2 hours and then hang out with the kids the rest of the day.
I dozed off in my pretzel-like state and was startled when the doctor came out and tapped me. He explained the plans had changed (they were originally going to send her home) because her blood work came back with elevated levels of what ca-ma-call-it and they needed to make sure she did not have a blood clot in her lung or congestive heart failure. He suggested we go home and she'd be done in the morning. I was seriously so tired (or trusting God) that the words "congestive heart failure" did not even scare me. I was actually thinking I should be scared, but I just wanted to go home because now the TV was showing Sex in the City and #1 kept waking up because she was uncomfortable. Her and I agreed we could join the circus and be a mother/daughter contortionist act after trying to sleep together on the 3 foot bench.
We got home a few minutes before 2am and the phone woke me up at 7am. It was the hospital to tell me she was ready to be picked up. You're kidding, right? The Husband had already left for work and my aunt was on her way to work and didn't offer so I didn't ask. My only choice was to wake the kids (the hospital was too far to leave them sleeping without an adult home) and go pick her up myself. It was 12 degrees outside. My gas tank was on empty. I started to whimper and grow resentful again. I decided that I would never allow my children to take care of our mothers while they were trying to raise their own families. As soon as I thought it, I was convicted. This is what God has called me to do and trying to blame the rest of my family for not stepping up to the plate was not going to make my situation any better. It just made me feel more icky.
The girls were wonderful, understanding and quick to throw on their bathrobes, grab blankets and jump in the car (while I was spilling my coffee all down the front of me). I was only able to heat up the van a little bit because I was afraid I would run out of gas in the driveway. I stopped at Turkey Hill, pumped my gas and went inside to get the girls some donuts. I, by the way, did not get one. It felt like my only victory. While I was in Turkey Hill the power went out. If I believed in jinxs I would start to wonder if I was one. But, thankfully, I don't believe in that stuff. The credit card machine didn't work at first and I started worrying that GAS was thinking we weren't coming. Man, my ducks were being slammed out of their rows. God, what are you doing here???!!!
We went and got her and the rest was uneventful. I'm too tired to think straight and get any work done, #1 has a doctor appointment at 12:20 to get a bunch of splinters out of her foot she got from sliding across the hardwood floor yesterday and the idea of going to the gym makes me laugh (although, I do hope to get there tonight after The Husband gets home and I drink another 3 buckets of coffee).
I will say that I'm glad for all the scripture verses that seemed to run through my head over the last 12 hours. I think it was the only thing that kept my wits about me. Specifically, the one that goes something like "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.". Thank you, Lord!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
But, then I remembered that the main reason I started to blog was to make a journal for generations to come. I've always half heartily tried to journal, you know, on paper, but I'd start writing while I would be laying in bed one night and next thing you know I'm waking up with a big drool mark on the page that contains a lonely paragraph. So, this whole "blob" thing seems to be working for me. So, there. Now, I feel better admitting I'm okay with my random and sometimes shallow posts!
In fact, right now I'm actually watching #3 fish her Claritin pill out of her green plastic cup of Turkey Hill Diet Green Iced Tea. I think it is important to document that because none of my other kids could swallow a pill at the age of six. Never mind that she is supposed to be in bed and wanted to take her pill with juice. No way am I opening a whole entire juice box to swallow one little pill and she says it gets stuck with water. She needed allergy medicine because she was laying in #1's room where the cat that they are ALL allergic to lives most of the time. I certainly can't give the cat full run of the house or The Dog will turn her into something that resembles what I drive by regularly on the side of the road. Although, it's not like she was ever very friendly before The Dog came to live here. I can't bear to get rid of her, we've had her since she was a kitten and now she's almost 8 years old. No one even knows we have a cat. Seriously. I've had friends that I've known for years that ask me when I got a cat. It's sad. My only consolation is that she's getting old and hopefully, one day soon, she'll fall asleep and never wake up. Then, I don't have to feel so guilty that the kids are allergic to a pet that lives in a basement and ignores us except when she's hungry. Why oh why do I seem to completely mess up every animal I've ever had??!
How did I go off on that tangent? Now, #3 is standing on a counter stool getting an ice cube out of the freezer to put on her nose. See how helpful I am? I'm typing on my blog and The Husband is playing Xbox while the 6-year old roams the house trying to breathe at 9:56pm. I'd be lying if I told you this was the first time.
So, it's time to put my mommy hat back on (I really just wanted to zone out a bit and write about the $11 winter coat I bought for #1 at Boscov's today). But, as I remind myself again and again, I have the rest of my life to zone out and only a short time to wipe runny noses and sing my little ones to sleep!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
That was me! Everything fell almost perfectly into place. I have great volunteers and obedient, excited kids. We had a few snags (one CD player did not work), some kids who wanted to switch groups and some of the younger ones being off in la-la land, but overall when I saw what was accomplished in one rehearsal I was....
And, I was in need of an adult male who could play acoustic guitar and sing. I've been sending desperate pleas home for a dad, uncle, brother, neighbor, mailman anyone who could help and I prayed this morning and asked God to take this burden from me. A dad came to practice, who is a professional performer and said he "felt like he was supposed to come and tell me he will do this part". He said it was really strange the way he felt so compelled to do it! I told him he was literally an answer to prayer and it turns out he is a believer and he said this wasn't the first time this has happened to him! After we both admitted that the hair on the back of our necks was standing up, we talked more and he not only is performing, but he's got all sorts of sound equipment he is going to let us borrow.
I feel like His favor is just being poured out and excited does not begin to describe what I am feeling right now!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The Husband and I got to hang out today even though I was working from home and he reminded me our anniversary is coming up ( I can hardly believe that January is half over!). In less than two weeks he and I will celebrate 13 years of marriage. We, like most couples, have experienced the good, the bad and every mundane moment in between. It is actually the mundane moments that frighten me the most. The times when we start to treat each other unintentionally as roommates and before long I stop shaving my legs and he "won't bring me flowers any moooooooooore". I've heard that marriages go through seasons and I believe that to be true. However, even in the "winters" of our relationship I can't help but thank God for Him. My husband is a gift. I cannot begin to imagine how boring my life would be without him. I told him the other day "No offense, but you are so much sexier and smarter than when I met you. You are aging gracefully and I really like you. ALOT!". It's true (I mean look at this picture of him on this post....oo-la-la!)! Obviously I liked him when we got married, but now there is such a level of commitment and honor (I was lacking the honor part as a baby Christian and new wife). I've watched him grow into the amazing man he is today and the cool part is that there is even more to look forward to! Whoa, Baby! I married the "total package"!
We are a perfect match according to all the "relationship" specialists out there. A first born female marrying the baby of the family. That may lead you to believe that I am Miss Bossy Pants and he is a spoiled brat, but actually, we reverse those roles rather well sometimes! And, actually, the only one that wears the pants around here on a regular basis is covered in black fur and walks on all fours. Speaking of The Dog, the Husband and I have the learned the art of compromise (he got the dog he wanted and I get to use her as an excuse for all things that go wrong in my world). Not to mention we are slowly morphing into each other as the years pass by. Our extremes are not our own anymore. I used to be a total slob and now I am like a shrieking shrew if things are not put into their proper places. The Husband (former Marine) used to freak out if something spilled. Now, he just chuckles and grabs a paper towel.
There are so many things I love about this man. Those positive attributes far outweigh the things that drive me nuts about him (and, I would hope he would say the same about me). The biggest draw for me is how much he loves the Lord. He was the person who invited me to "his" church nearly 14 years ago, and as a result of that I discovered a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that changed my life. I could never love the dear, sweet man in my life they way he deserves to be loved without the guidance of the Holy Spirit telling me to "suck it up, this won't be important in 20 years".
One thing I've learned in all these married years is that we face choices every day, sometimes every hour, that can make or break a person. I admit I've not always made the best choices....who has? I tend to "overtalk" every disagreement until there is smoke coming out of both our ears, while at other times life is flying by so fast I vaguely look at him and wonder did I kiss him yet today? So, while at times he may feel like he is on the "back burner", the truth is that not a moment goes by when I'm not delighting in the fact that I am his wife. He is patient and he loves me, imperfections and all.
I am a blessed woman and if I had it to do all over again I'd choose him again and again.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
BUT, and I mean BUT.....
Dance Wars has captured my attention. Better than Dancing With the Stars and American Idol. Carrie Ann seriously reminds me of someone from my past that I enjoyed a friendship with that I just can't put my finger on. And, while her uncomfortable "rutching" (a little PA Dutch thrown in there) because of a too short skirt was mildly annoying (c'mon already) on the first show, she is still adorable. And her voice? Sounds just like me after cheering loud and long at a soccer game. All the little "cat fight" scenes between her and Bruno are so cheesy, but I like that in my TV shows! They are dancers, not actors and that just cracks me up when they try to act!
Of course I will make my predictions (and, you are welcome to do so also) that Bruno has the better team and the last man and woman left will be Zach (for sure) and either Elizabeth or Kelsey. Message to Kelsey - PUT SOME CLOTHES ON (stop dancing with your bra on because then I can't let my little girls watch the show). They are all crazy talented and I love that one of the girls is the choir director at her church and another one is the daughter of a Christian contemporary artist. They did not dance in their bras.
Any favorites out there?
Monday, January 14, 2008
While I refuse to share my weight with the Internet world (I'm still in denial) I will admit to my body fat being 34.6%. Oh, yeah. It should be around 21%. I'm not happy. I can't really use my six-year old as an excuse for my muffin top (oh boy, that pregnancy weight is sure hard to lose, it's only been over 6 years???!).
I finally figured out what is bugging me the most. I have failed. Over and over again with this area of my life. I'm not a person who likes to fail or lose. I can't let it just "roll off my back". I get so obsessed with it for a few weeks and then "life" happens and the next thing you know I haven't exercised because I'm too busy reading on the couch with a bowl of chips and pretzels. I seriously do not treat any other area of my life like this! I take my responsibilities seriously to the point of sacrificing what I enjoy doing for what needs to be done. And, I don't do it resentfully. It has become second nature. For example, I was so sick and missed so much work that instead of going to MIA tomorrow, I plan catch up on work. I would much rather go hang out with my friends and consume large quantities of coffee, but my conscience is not letting me off the hook. Now, would I miss MIA to exercise if I knew I needed to? Ha! The closest I would get would be to eat a plate of fruit to make up for skipping my workout!
So, here I am trying to think happy thoughts and be the little engine who could. Sadly, it feels as if this is about the 178th time I've tried to lose weight and keep it off. It's hard to keep starting over when the results have always been the same. But, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (at least that's what the Donut Man and my Bible says) so I keep plugging away one day at a time and hope that I finally want a healthy body more than I want that jelly donut.
But, we still saw (and smelled) the animals and got milkshakes. And, as a bonus, we met up with some good friends that we don't get to hang out with very often. Of course I have pictures....
Friday, January 11, 2008
Well, God smiled on me with this recipe from the Food Network because I could not keep my hands off the granola last night. It is absolutely delicious and I seriously doubt there will any left when everyone returns home from school/work today. I'm sharing the recipe, but I did make a modification. For the sake of making them more nutritious, I put dark chocolate chips in them instead of pumpkin seeds (dark chocolate is the new health food, it's true!). The recipe almost scared me off because I prefer to cook things that have about 3-4 ingredients and 2 steps, but it was easy! And, definitely worth the 3 pans it made dirty! I will make these again, and again and again.....
Emeril's Peanut Butter Granola Bars
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds (I used sliced)
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
1/4 cup hulled green pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8 by 8-inch baking dish and set aside.
In a small saucepan melt butter with honey over low heat, stirring.
In a large bowl stir together oats, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and salt. Pour butter mixture over oat mixture and stir until combined well.
On a large baking sheet, spread the granola evenly in a thin layer. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes to keep from sticking or burning, until golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. (Do not overcook; the granola will crisp more when cooled.)
Cool the granola in the pan on top of the stove and stir in the raisins. When the granola is completely cooled, place in a large bowl.
Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, and peanut butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is at a boil. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture over the granola, stirring to coat well. Cool slightly and press into the prepared baking dish and let cool completely and harden. Cut the mixture into ten 1 1/4 by 4-inch bars and serve at room temperature. (The bars may be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.)
Thursday, January 10, 2008
So, I have filled out an application to "Adopt A Platoon". I urge you to do it, also. Check out their website and make a difference in one other person's life. Pray for peace and an end to the "war", both oversees and the one here at home that is tearing our own country apart.
Is anyone else sick of the devil trying to destroy America? Well, let's make sure he knows that isn't going to happen on our watch! Let's intercede for our amazing country instead of complaining.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
- Humble, but not harmless
- Honorable, but not suck-ups
- Dependable, but not predictable
- Bold, but not brash
- Holy, but not hobbled
- Patient, but not passive
- Powerful, but not controlling (help me, Lord!)
- Encouraging, without flattering
- Gentle, but not timid
- Modest, but not docile
- Confident, but not cocky
- Steadfast, but not stubborn
- Teachable, but not tame
- Kind, but not benign
- Discerning, but not suspicious
- Confrontational, but not combative
- Tough, but not rigid
- Submissive, but not subdued
- Serious, but not somber
- Risky, yet wise
- Peaceful, but not careless
- Spontaneous, yet prepared
- Giving, yet able to receive
- Transparent, but able to keep a secret
- Extreme, yet balanced
- Spirit-led, but self-controlled
- Submitted to men, but following God
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Being the easily-intimidated person that I am (ha! ha!) I went straight to the "Ladies Only" workout room only to discover a senior had beat me to the treadmill. Oh well, I jumped on the elliptical (as I ignored my mental mocking that I have an elliptical at home) and smiled at the treadmill lady who ignored me. Oooh...these must be serious athletic older ladies I reasoned to myself...no time for friendliness. Or, not.
Another senior lady walked in and Mrs. Treadmill piped right up with friendly greetings and they talked on and on about dogs. About training dogs, crating dogs, and anything else having to do with dogs. Another gray haired lady entered as the other one left and she, too, began an identical conversation about dogs with Mrs. Treadmill. She basically repeated her previous conversation to this lady and on and on it went. I'm thinking to myself, "Man, have I got dog stories for you that will curl your toes" but, I dared not join their conversation. Maybe they have become used to people my age snubbing them. Or, maybe there was no evidence of dog hair on me so they didn't even bother.
I did get a good workout in and I shudder to think of what would happen if I beat the Dog Whisperers into that room and jumped on the treadmill ahead of them. I may have to venture out of my comfort zone where the super athletic men and women are (for heaven's sake) and jump on one of about 100 other treadmills. We'll just have to see how it goes....
Monday, January 7, 2008
I have had several changes take place in my life since "that occurrence I kept blogging about even though I promised I wouldn't blog about it anymore". Yes, The Oh My Word Plague is what I am referring to. But here is what happened....
1. I don't like coffee anymore. I look forward to it..pour a cup....drink half of it and then pour it down the drain. Even now that I'm feeling better I've lost my taste for it. The Husband assures me I will return to normal and like it again. I'm not so sure.
2. I lost all the weight I gained over the holidays. My appetite has decreased dramatically. I ate a scone yesterday and it took me as long as a 5-course steak dinner. I literally was stuffed when I got finished with it.
3. I started taking nutrients from Natures Sunshine. Many, many nutrients. Aunt Extreme Kitchen Makeover came over with baggies marked breakfast, lunch and dinner that contained at least 15-20 assorted capsules of things like veggie tabs, essential oils, eye of newt, etc.....At first I looked at her like she was crazy, but after taking them I felt remarkably stronger and healthy. She explained that my body was starved for nutrients (yeah, no kidding, jelly donuts and French toast aren't very nutritious) and I needed to drink lots of water to flush all the "poison" out of my system. Well, the next day the poison started to be "flushed" from my system all right. If I were to dedicate a post to it I would call it "The Thunder Rolled". Again, I wondered if I would live through the pain in my abdomen. I thanked the good Lord He didn't allow this ordeal to happen in a Target restroom. But, you'll all sleep better tonight knowing that my colon has been thoroughly cleansed. Hence, the five pound weight loss. But, all colon jokes aside, I like these nutrients so much I'm ordering daily vitamins to start and then we'll go from there.
I've also been thinking all about what I can do to serve the Lord in a fallen world. Where do you draw the line? We are to be salt and light, right? Does that mean I should grab a couple of Christian sisters and have dinner one night at Hooters? Because, seriously, I'm tired of acting like those places are "taboo" to us "good" folks. I would never send my husband in there to pray and care for someone, but what is stopping me? Maybe someone from church would see me.......I can't help but think if Christians don't start going into places like this how are the lost going to find their way home? What I don't condone; however, is participating in things that can ultimately harm us or others. We MUST be spirit-led in these en devours or they will be powerless if we just try to do something "nice". I've just had a lot of time on my hands this last week to think through some ideas.
Change is in the air. I'm not sure what it is going to be, but I think it is going to be very good. I read in my devotion this morning that it's okay if God doesn't give you what you pray for. It is only because He has something to give you that is bigger than what you prayed for!
Friday, January 4, 2008
#3 throwing up chocolate milkshake and cheese crackers all over my white sectional in a giant brown puddle (Thank you, Lord for microfiber and zip off covers).
As we frantically did damage control on the couch, #3 walked by the rest of the naughty chocolate shake on the coffee table and. spilled. it. all. on. the. rug.
The only rug we have in the entire house.
I just chugged the entire bottle of cough medicine with codeine. And, I wasn't even coughing.
Just kidding! Still smiling over here!
While I pledged my allegiance to the body re-healing itself and the evils of over-prescribed antibiotics I must retract. Please don't judge me!! I'm not of a right mind....if the decongestant at Giant was $43.00 a pack I would have gladly paid it and been grateful! I think half my brains have been blown into the mega-box of Kleenex with lotion I keep by my side 24/7.
Now the antibiotics are not for me, mind you; but, for my family who I can't stand to see suffer any longer. As much as I long to breathe through my nose again, I gave my prescription to The Husband who asked very little where it came from and what it was. Thank goodness I'm not interested in him for his life insurance policy! Since he's the breadwinner and all (and, the love of my life) I decided to give him the gift of my prescribed medication since I seem to have run the course of pretty much every common illness except diarrhea and a rash over the last 6 days. He, however, has just begun and when he says he feels like he's dying, he's not being a baby.
#1 and I echoed those same words several days this week.
Two of the three children have bronchitis just like their Mama! The third one is "viral" so there is no need to put anything prescription into her body just yet.
I thought for a moment of not admitting this on my blog, because you know, that would be a TAD embarrassing to take such a strong stand and then 24 hours later be issuing out doses of the controversial 5-pack (that's what we health care professionals refer to it, wink, wink). But, in the quest for honesty and for you to glimpse the "real me" (most of the time), I decided I could not in good conscious paint a picture that, as of an hour ago, is no longer accurate!
And, I promise you that THIS IS THE LAST POST ABOUT US BEING SICK. I'm sick of being sick.....
So, if there is anything interesting going on that you think I should know about please leave a comment. That's my desperate cry for conversation, even it is on a computer!
Thursday, January 3, 2008
This was pretty much how they spent New Year's Eve and New Year's Day!
I promised Susan I would not show any pictures of her trying on wedding gowns so this is what we all looked like when we watched her try on wedding gowns (Look! A link in this sentence! I am feeling better!).
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
The best part of the entire visit is that since I haven't been to the doctor's office in about 2 years, they have moved and now share a parking lot with Dunkin' Donuts! How perfect is that??! So, instead of filling my prescriptions, I hit the drive-thru for a vanilla chai latte and a jelly donut. Oh BABY! And, both items were only $2.68! That would not have even bought me half a grande white chocolate peppermint mocha at Starbucks. I love you, DD! Yes, never mind that I haven't used my new gym membership, yet...there is a little bit of freedom in that. I would (hopefully) never eat that garbage after working out for a good hour or so.
Now, here I am the anti-medication nutcase consuming chemically sweetened products. I even believe I've heard on more than one occasion that a donut is the worse thing you can eat. But, when I don't feel well it gives me the warm fuzzies just like codeine, but without the withdrawal.
Welcome to my mixed-up little world!
update: The more I thought about this, the more I realized I could offend someone with my comments about prescription medication. I never meant to discourage the use of medication; however, I encourage people to make their own decisions and not automatically take everything a doctor prescribes. I think the medical community is pressured to over-prescribe because as a society we want our "money's worth" and our problems fixed NOW (I actually had a conversation about this with our pediatrician, who agreed and is very careful about prescribing medication only when necessary).
Also, I may be passing on an antibiotic and cough syrup, but I've been taking Motrin every 4 hours like clockwork and you better believe if I had something like a urinary tract infection, Dunkin Donuts would have been the last thing on my mind as I drove directly to CVS to fill that prescription!
I am so completely bummed out that I joined a gym last week that I have been too sick to go to! I am going to be in Susan's (ie Speaking Freely and I'm too sick to bother to insert a link here) wedding this summer and the dress will show off every ounce of loose flesh on my arms. I could never understand when women complained about "loose arms". Since I turned 35, I now understand completely.
I also cannot talk on the phone for work in the event a coughing fit comes on (which it does approximately every 5-7 minutes) so I am relying completely on email today. For 6 hours. It's getting a little boring. So, that's why I'm blogging when I should be working. I wouldn't feel too bad about that if I hadn't taken the last 10 days off of work.
Oh, and did I mention we ran out of heating oil on New Year's Eve around 4pm? It has been about 50-something degrees in my house for the last 2 days. Thankfully, the oil guy just came about 10 minutes ago and I am so happy, even though at $3.19 per gallon I am going to choke when I see the bill. At least in a few hours I will be toasty warm as I fight this horrible sickness that is one of the worst I've had in years. I even made a doctor's appointment for tonight, which I do about every 2 years and only when I am certain I have strep throat or malaria or something.
I need to check on #1 who is also home sick and then get back to plugging away at another 40 emails. I know you're jealous, aren't you? Not everyone can be in a freezing cold house, sick as a dog with a sick kid and get to work from home!! Just kidding! I am a blessed woman!
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
I have this strange need to express my sincere desire of walking out an unconventional Christian lifestyle. I was reminded of what the church is here for by a guest speaker this past weekend and by a book I have been reading called The Debt by Angela Hunt (my new favorite author). Both of these occurrences (one being a pastor and the other being a fiction book) have stirred me to step out of my current comfort zone and obey the voice of Jesus one person at a time. I've often speculated about going into full-time ministry one day when the kids are grown, but I've come to realize I've been in full-time, 24/7 ministry all along. So have you. That just hasn't been my perspective. Some people have been called to be pastors; ALL of us have been called to follow Christ. Jesus didn't sit in a church and wait for people to come to Him. He went to the people who needed Him in the places most of us would never dream of stepping foot into. That convicts me and provokes me.
So, to demonstrate how random I tend to be, I've been asking God what He'll have me do with this new perspective. While I've been sick. While I've tried to keep the kids entertained. While I've put the house back to its pre-Christmas order. While I found out a best friend is getting married. While I am half-heartily trying to plan the school talent show. In summary, life continues to fly at me at the speed of light; however, does God really care about any of it? Of course, He does! I have an expectation that in each of those scenarios He will come and do a new thing! I plan to be healed of the terrible cough and headache, along with #1 and #3. And, in all the other situations, instead of just being "mission oriented", I'm going to try to have the mind of Christ and do things His way. While that may sound like an easy thing to do for some people, I'm not very accomplished at giving up the reins and going "where the Spirit leads".
Oddly enough, I am not as invigorated as I would like to be with this new way of thinking (my flesh seems to be winning that battle right now which makes me sad). I'm afraid I'll slip back into my old ways and comfortable patterns. And then, I'm concerned following through with this "revelation" will get messy sometimes. But, I must remember that this is not a lose-lose situation. If Jesus is leading then I know that I am gong to be alright. One day at a time, one person at a time. For His Glory.