Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Letter I

*Watched a video about insects and caught a spider in a jar.
*Watched 'Ice Age' and age ice cream
*Read 'God gave me eyes' and played 'I spy insects'
*Chisled ice cream cone out of ice block

*Caterpillar...with pom poms and googly eyes

*Painted ice cream cone with puffy paint...saving cream, glue, food coloring

Caterpillar blueberry muffins with pretzel antennas and raisin eyes

Mother may I
Don't break the ice

Itsy bitsy spider

Bible Stories:
Genesis 18-Isaac
Exodus 1-Isrealites

*Indoor ice skating!

Body toning weight workout

Need one set of light/medium weights.

Each set= 30 reps

Bicep curls
Tricep kickbacks
Bent over wide rows

Alternating lunges
Plie squats

*Plank-30 seconds

Hammer curls
Shoulder press
Tricep pushbacks

Ski squat
Static lunge

*Plank with hip dips-30 seconds

Push ups
Leg lifts
(on all 4's, weight held behind knee) Weighted sit-ups

Tricep push ups
Hip press

*Side plank-30 seconds each side

Overhead press
Lateral raise
Bent over pulls 

Calf raises
Dead lift
Side lunge

Repeat all the way through, without planks, 16 reps each.

~Is the larger font better?  I can't decide...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Perfect Pairing

I found this wine recently and I think it might be the perfect wine for me.
Love the name, the price and the taste.

I used it in our french onion soup this week.  We made our first sourdough boules and the soup was awesome in them.  I love recipes that call for a little bit of wine and then you get to drink it with dinner too.

Protein Bars

2 Cups Peanut Butter
1 3/4 Cups honey
2 1/4 Cups Protein Powder
3 Cups dried oatmeal or granola

In a microwave safe bowl combine peanut butter and honey for 70 -90 seconds. Add protein powder and oatmeal (I blend the oats first).  Mix all of this (it will be thick). Press it into 9X13 inch pan. Put it in the refrigerator to cool.  Once cooled, cut it into bars and put into snack size baggies.

Warning: these are not granola bars!  They are not to be simply snacks, but to be used as "fuel" for post lifting workouts.  Consume one within 30 minutes of your workout.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Throughout our 10 year marriage, Hubs and I have done lots of "hosting" people in our home.  Being in ministry and having all of our family live states away, it seems like there is a constant flow of people coming over.  We actually really enjoy having people in our home and there's a few things we've learned make a big difference.

*Clean the bathroom the guests will be using!  Make sure there is extra toilet paper handy and light a clean scent candle.  There's nothing that says "unwelcome" like walking into someones dirty bathroom.

*Plan a meal that can be prepped before guests arrive.  Having food ready, dishes cleaned up and the table set, tells guests that you were ready for them and enables you to really enjoy their company, instead of being stuck in the kitchen with your attention elsewhere.

*Have an easy appetizer out when guests arrive.  But please, please, please do not put out a veggie tray.  Try homemade hummus with some grilled pita bread or mutigrain tortilla chips with guacamole.

*Don't make excuses.  Be willing to have people over even if there's a mountain of laundry sitting on your bed and don't say, "Please excuse the mess" only brings attention to the mess and makes guests feel like they're intruding.  Just shut the door to that room or don't say anything at all. Remember, they have a pile of laundry sitting at their house too.

*If serving wine, have both red and white...and make sure the white is chilled.  Most people enjoy an occasional sip of wine, but will choose white if they're not regular wine drinkers.  If you yourself are not a wine drinker, a Chardonnay or Merlot would be a good option to have on hand.

*If guests are staying over night, place a basket of "might have forgotten" items in the bathroom.  Simple things like an extra tooth brush, mini lotion bottle and face wash, can help guests feel more at home.  If you are able, make a little basket of things they can take home in their room.  Trust me, they'll be talking about it for a long time.

*Have beds made (with extra bedding available) and meals planned for the duration of guests stay.  Let your guests know that you were looking forward to them coming and anticipated their arrival.

Those are my tips and I thought that would be the end of my post.  But God had bigger plans for my little post.  You see, I've been praying a lot about this idea of hospitality.  The past couple of times I've had people over, I've thought, "Man, I really nailed that!  The house was clean, the food was good and my kids were calm.  Check."  Then I had this little gnaw at my that really what it's all about?  Did they see Christ in my home tonight, just because it was clean?

In church on Sunday, we read 1 Peter 4:9.
"Show hospitality to one another without grumbling."  

It stirred me to continue learning about hospitality.
Romans 12:13
"Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality."
Hebrews 13:2
"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

Then this morning I read Genesis 18 to Bubby for school.  My intention was to read about Isaac, but I quickly saw how the story is a great example of biblical hospitality.  Abraham was sitting by his tent when he saw 3 men.  He hurried to them and asked them to stay for dinner.  Sarah cooked them a good dinner and the men shared with her God's promise to her...Isaac.  They were angels, sent by God.  Just let that simmer.  How easy would it have been for them to pass up this opportunity to serve.  I'm sure it was not easy cooking then and I can guarantee that it was a sacrifice of food and time for Sarah.  But she cooked for them right then and there.  She didn't ask them to come next week after she had planned an extravagant meal and deep cleaned her tent.

Yes, hospitality is more than simply inviting someone over for dinner.  It's more than having the right food, ready at the right time.  Perhaps it's more about being ready and willing to serve others when God nudges us to jump up. 

It's caused me to pray for open eyes and an open heart, to see who needs to come into my imperfect home for some fresh baked bread.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Letter H

I've hesitated on posting about school because I can't think of a "neat" way to share it.  So for now, it will basically be a list of what we did that week.  
Sorry.  I'll work on it, I promise.

We've started doing preschool one day a week with a friend.  It has immensely helped with motivation and social interaction for Bubby (he tends to be very quiet around other people).  It's so much more fun playing games and doing crafts with more than one kid.  Plus, my friend has a baby too, so we take turns teaching and watching the babies.

We jumped in with them at the letter H.
Here, they're learning about animal homes and habitats.  We talked about how God made the animals and gave them the instincts to know how to build their homes.
We also watched a short video about animal's homes.

We started a notebook full of letters to trace and color.

Then they look through magazines to find pictures of things that start with that letter and glue them in their folder.

build a horse
glued cheerios on a heart
traced hands
colored Cat and the Hat picture

hopped through hula hoops
Hungry Hungry Hippos
Build a house with block (match colored blocks)

heart apples and Ho Ho's (healthy/unhealthy food)
ham and cheese rolls (hot/cold food)

 Happy and you know it
Head, shoulders, knees and toes
Heaven is a wonderful place!
played the harmonica

Hop on Pop
Robert the Rose Horse
Cat and the Hat

Bible Stories: 
1 Samuel 16...David's good heart
1 Kings 1...Solomon's wise heart
Matthew 13...parable of seeds falling in good soil which is like God's love growing in our hearts
Revelation 1...heaven

Memory Verse:
Exodus 20:12
Honor your father and your mother

I tried to do a day around the Cat and the Hat.  My plan was to read the book, color a Cat and the Hat picture, count a pile of hats and stack them on our head to see how many we could balance and end with making our own hat.  However, Bubby seems to have a strange fear of hats recently and would not participate.  He's been grouchy lately...and he's 3.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Better with Age

Hubs and I ran in the annual local 5k last weekend.
It's fun to have traditions and to be able to look back at life.

Here's me running 4 years ago...I was 3 months pregnant with Bubby.

I have no idea why we decided to run that year.  I remember we signed up the morning of the race, pushed a large 2 year old Princess P in the stroller (which we later found out was "illegal") and had to stop several times along the course.  Then, shortly after the race, Princess P had her first accident since potty training and had to wear one of our race shirts the rest of the morning.

Good times.

2 years later, we ran again...this time I was unknowingly pregnant with Charlie.

We left the kids with some friends that year and ran much faster, placing 1st and 2nd place!
I remember wanting to quit the whole race because I was getting passed by little, tiny kids and old men.  Thankfully I didn't, or I wouldn't have gotten that really cool beer glass.

Hubs ran the following year with the Y's group and placed 2nd place again.
I was still in "just had a baby"stage of life and stayed home with the kids.
It was so hard to stay home...

This year we left the kids at the Y, ran with our church's group and were anxious to reclaim our titles.

We both ran personal best 5k's, but sadly there was some fast out of town competition and I only placed 3rd for my age group.  I'm still kinda mad Hubs didn't place...for crying out loud, he ran a 23 min 5k!

As I look back at our running journey, I'm simply proud of us.
Never would I have thought that we would get more in shape as we aged.
I thought we were in our "prime" in our 20's, but I was completely wrong.
"Prime" just keeps getting better and I can't wait to see where we are in 4 more years.

A Better Simmer

After my apple candle failure, I turned to an old friend for a fall scent to fill my house.
I found this idea last year on Pinterest.

I bought a small pot at the DAV to use just for simmers.
Throw an apple, cinnamon stick, a couple whole cloves and grate some fresh nutmeg in the pot with some water.
Turn the stove on low and enjoy the wonderful, fresh smell.

If I have an apple that is too bruised to eat, I'll throw it in there.
It also works with orange peels.

I'm loving the warmth of fall!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hubs' Fancy Schmancy Chili

Hubs makes the best chili.  It's way beyond a can of chili beans and's amazing!  We usually top it with Frito's and sour cream (healthy, I know) and the beer is optional :)
I tease Hubs that I have to document all of his cooking, so that if he dies first I can still eat all my favorite food.  I really do love him more than food, I promise.

1/2 a bag of black and pinto beans, soaked over night
1 can Rotelle-chili mix
4 roma tomatoes, diced
chicken broth
1/2 tsp. Ancho, chipotle and chili powder
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 lb hamburger
12 oz. Denver griller steak, seared 1 minute on each side.  let sit for 10 minutes before dicing
2 small onions, diced
2 mild peppers (ancho and pablo), diced
3 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cumin
3 cloves garlic
juice from 1/2 lime
1 cinnamon stick (remove before eating)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

We go through a lot of seasonings in this house and when I found this at Target this morning, I fell in love.  They're all so pretty and organized...made my heart go pitter-patter.  

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Did these as a warm up this morning...heard lots of groans, so they must have worked :)1001-t-pushup-483x300.jpg

Friday, October 11, 2013

If you have kids...

Hubs and I love Jim Gaffigan.  He's a great comedian and very clean.  If you have kids and need a smile, watch this...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Modified Drop Sets

Need 2 sets of weights...heavy and heavier!
Warm up: 30 seconds each, repeat 2x
jog in place
jumping jacks

Each set=
Heavier: 10 reps
Heavy: 20 reps

lateral raise

dead lifts
calf raises

hammer curls
wide rows

static lunges

bicep curls
tricep kickbacks

ski squat
plie squat

overhead press
forward lift

curtsy lunges
wall sit

In between each set=
30 second plank
10 push ups
10 weighted sit ups
10 boat rows

*mix up those planks!  Add hip dips, leg lifts and side planks.

Really Good

I was at the farm with a friend and our kids last week.  I asked her how she was doing and she said, "Actually, really good."  I felt the same...the past few weeks have been wonderful.  By the grace of God, I've felt on top of the laundry and cleaning and homeschooling and running and teaching and I've enjoyed it.

I find it odd that we often don't tell others when things are going really well?
We usually come up with something that is happening, maybe to relate to the other person or perhaps just in fear of making the other person feel bad?

After a blissful day, full of friends and laughter, my baby woke up with croup.  
I've never experience croup, but I immediately wanted to call all my momma friends who've gone through it to apologize for not being more sympathetic. 
 It stinks
And is flat out scary.
 I could hear him trying to breath from across the house.  He was working hard to get oxygen in and couldn't even babble or cry.  I tried all home remedies and made several phone calls to my nurse-sister.  I did everything I could to make it through the night, so I didn't have to wake up my other 2 sleeping kids.  But the second they woke up, we were in the car on the way to the hospital.
When we walked in I didn't have to say who we were there for or why...a nurse walking by stopped in her tracks, looked at Charlie and told us to follow her back.
She must be a mommy too.
In ER, waiting for meds to kick in
They gave him some oral steroids, a breathing treatment and took x-rays.  But as we waited for the meds to kick in, I realized that I had all my kids in the ER!  What was I thinking?!
Oh that's right, I didn't want to inconvenience anyone early in the morning.
 I wanted to have it all together and take care of everything by myself.

But I needed help.
I called the only contact in my phone who I knew could get on base and would have room in their car for my kids.  It was humbling making that phone call.
My friend was quick to come get my kids and took great care of them all day.

Finally resting after 12 hours of labored breathing

By the time we were all home, it was late afternoon.  Charlie needed fluids and we all needed dinner, so we headed to the grocery store.  I was feeling so guilty for what I had put the kids through that day, I let them buy whatever treat they wanted.

Clean eating out the door.

When I finally curled into bed that night there was nothing 'really good' about life.
There was vomit in my shower.  Did I forget to mention that part of the night involved vomit?
Towels were still sitting in the washer...wet.
Caprisun wrappers were strewn all over the living room and
My kids hadn't had a bath in 4 days!

Being a mom is hard.
But for some reason, we don't talk about it or want anyone to acknowledge it.
We are the ones who are up all night with little ones, who brush their teeth and make sure they have clothes to wear.  We are the ones who worry about them from the second they are created.
Don't get me wrong, daddies are fabulous.
But for some reason, the really hard things come when daddies are away from home.

None of us have it all together.  None of us are perfect.  None of our kids are perfect.
There are times that are wonderful and there are times that are flat out horrible.
It left me wondering why we don't share these things with one another.

For me, I think it's because of grace.
I don't give myself the grace to enjoy the 'really good'
 I'm always adding to the to-do list or comparing myself to another momma who is doing way more exciting things with her life.
I don't give myself the grace to sit in the 'not good at all'
I try to mask it or run from it.
I don't extend grace to other
  I'm quick to judge when someone shares the really good with me and brush it off as they're bragging.
I'm often not willing to accept grace from others
 I don't want inconvenience them or take up their time when it's likely I won't be able to pay them back.

The house is cleaned up and Charlie is almost better.  But it took me 2 days to share with my neighbors the events of the weekend.  Looks like I'm still working on those lessons of grace.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Ultra Plank Routine

I got this plank routine from a fitness blog.  This is a time when you can grab those 5lb weights, but I challenge to try 7.5's. 
So, grab a mat and a set of weights.  Place one weight on each side of your mat.

Hold plank the entire time...even if you drop to your knees, make sure your body is straight!  During this routine, it's important to make sure both hips are facing the floor.  It will be easy to turn to the side, but don't compromise your form.  If you feel yourself tilting, drop to your knees.
  • 20 alternate shoulder touches
  • 20 alternate leg lifts
  • 10 bicep curls...each arm
  • 10 tricep kickbacks...each arm
  • 10 elbow raise...each arm
*Repeat 3 times.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fall Decorating

We moved into a new house this summer...this is the third home we've rented.
Our last house was white.white.white.
And not a warm ivory white, just a cold and sterile white.
"They" wouldn't let us paint, so it took a lot to warm up all the white.

See?  All white.   
sorry for the random picture...just needed proof

  We lived in that house for 4 years and with each year I added decorations.
*I'm not a nick-knack decorator.  I like simple, clutter-free, kid-proof decorating*
I always LOVED getting out our tubs of fall decorations because it meant warmth and color were coming into the house.

I brought out the Fall tubs with the same excitement this year, in the new house.
But boy was it a let down.
In a white house, those few colorful things made me feel wonderful.
But in a house with lots of color on the wall, it just looks...normal.

I decorated our fireplace and the tub was empty.
I kept looking in it, hoping it would be like Mary Poppins' purse and produce more items.
Scratching my head, I thought "What happened to all my stuff?!"
Nope.  It was all there and out and I only had the fireplace done.
A neighbor told me that she only decorates her dining room for seasons/holidays, 
and it left me wondering if this was the norm.
Maybe just my fireplace was sufficient...

What rooms do you decorate seasonally?
Do you have "normal" decorations and just add seasonal accents or do you change everything?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Apple Candles

I love fall.  I love the smells, the colors and the all around "warmth" it brings to the house.  I pinned this on Pinterest:
apple candles

 I had a few apples that were too bruised to eat and lots of votives, so I gave it a whirl today.

I had to put the apple in a little jar to keep it from rolling around, catching everything on fire.  It was a fail!  I was waiting for the "baked apple smell" it promised to give, but I got nothing.

However, I could see this as a cute idea for a fall dinner just needs a platter, a better execution of drilling a hole and no expectations for aroma.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Holding closer

I'm holding these 3 precious little ones a little bit closer tonight;
I'm cherishing their giggles and smiles.
I'm soaking in their snuggles and memorizing their little hands.

A little girl was abducted from our town this morning, while waiting for the bus
...just moments before we headed out to our own bus stop.
Thankfully, the little girl is now safe, but not without lifetime scars.
The thought of someone taking my child scares me to pieces.

Simply reminds me that everyday is a gift.

The right weights

Here's my beef with weights:

It drives me crazy when I watch a work out video and see the instructors using 5 lb weights.  I know they did not get ripped using 5 lb weights!  And then they do 5 reps and expect us to "feel the burn"!

If you weight train on a regular basis and have been using 5 lb weights for more than a month...put them down and say good-bye.  Unless you are doing literally 100 reps or the overhead press routine in RIPPED, then you need to say hello to 7.5 lb weights.  And then after a month, say good-bye to those friends and say hello to 10's.

However, when increasing weights, it's easy to loose proper form.  Don't!  Once your form is compromised, you increase your risk of injury.  Do fewer reps with a higher weight.  If you want to build endurance, use your lighter weights for more will make those heavy weights seem a lot easier.

A friend once told me that she was afraid to go up in weight because she didn't want to get man arms.  Rest assure, you will not get man arms, but will be toned and strong. 

I use this website often:  bodybuilding
If you need to check your form or the proper way to lift, there's great video clips on here.

So grab a friend, a couple of sets of weights and encourage each other to increase those weights.  If you need some motivation, just click on that site...that could be you in a few months!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bosu Ball Workout Out

*For this workout, I use a plated bar and Bosu Ball.  However, you can still do the workout with just hand weights.

Turn on some music and warm up!

Warm up:
 30 second intervals, repeat 2x:
  • Run in place
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Mountain climbers
For added calorie burning, repeat the warm up half way through your work out.  The heart rate boost will help burn more calories as you lift. 
Pick up your weights and hold them in front of you.  Place your feet shoulder width apart and roll your shoulders down and back.

Dead lifts:  16 reps
-leave the last one hinged over and do 16 wide rows
*repeat 2x

Bicep curls:  8 reps
-hold the last one half way: forearm curls, 8 reps
Bicep curls: 8 reps, 3 count lift/ 1 count down
-forearm curls: 8 reps

Plie squat: right foot on Bosu (ball side up), 10 reps
-hold the last one down, pulse for 8 counts
Static lunges:right foot on Bosu (ball side up), 10 reps
-hold the last one down, pulse for 8 counts
*repeat for left side
*repeat 2x

Tricep push backs:  weights behind, resting on rear...push straight back, 16 reps
clean press:  10 reps
*repeat 2x

Release weights and flip Bosu over so ball in on the groundStand on top of Bosu and hold onto something if needed.

Squats: 16 reps
Calf raises:  16 reps
*repeat 2x

Flip Bosu over and get ready to go down to the floor

Chest press:  upper back resting on Bosu ball, hips lifted off ground, feet planted on ground shoulder width apart.  Weights at shoulders, press straight overhead.
8 single reps
8 reps, 3 count up/1count down

Sit on top of the ball

Overhead press: lift weights straight over head, 10 reps

*repeat chest press
8 single reps
8 reps, 1 count up/3 count down 

*repeat overhead press

One arm push ups: one hand on Bosu ball, one hand on floor.  12 reps each side

Hip presses: feet planted on Bosu ball, lay flat behind it, weight on hips.  Lift hips, keep shoulders firm on ground.
8 reps, both feet planted
8 reps, right foot across left knee
8 reps, left foot across right knee
8 reps, both feet planted
*hold last rep on all sets and pulse for 8 counts

Sit on top of the ball

V-ups: hands on floor behind you and feet lifted off ground.  Bring chest and knees together.  16 reps
Crunches: 20 reps
Boat rows:16 reps

Flip Bosu over, rest forearms on flat side

Plank-clock turns: hold plank, with arms on Bosu.  Push it forward, side, back and side.


Warning: You will be sore the next day.  Drink lots of water!

Meal Emergancy

Hubs' job has him in and out of port.
I'm making a meal plan for the next couple of weeks and my brain always goes blank for the nights it's just me and the kiddos.
I need some ideas.
What are your favorite "hubs-is-gone-must-feed-the-children-something-easy-and-healthy" meals?