Friday, February 26, 2010

Week 8

Bummer!  My loosing streak is done.  I gained .5 pounds.  I'm not going to say I hit my wall just yet.  In order to say that I would have to have had a week where I did everything right.  This week was not one of those weeks.  Last Friday after my weigh in I went on a date night with Jeff.  I had a three course meal.  I had a choice of dessert.  Instead of taking one tiny piece of cheese cake.  I took two little mini cupcake sized cheesecakes and a wineglass of chocolate mousse, strike one.  All week I have made courses that include veggies, so instead of filling my plate with half all veggies and the rest main dish, I filled my entire plate with the main dish, strike two.  One night I actually splurged and went back for a tiny second helping, strike three. battle plan is to get back on course and ration my plates with more veggies, NO SECONDS, and perhaps cut my chocolate intake to one tiny piece at night and no tiny pieces after lunch.  Drip, drip.  I love me some chocolate. 

Here's hoping I see the results I want to see next week.  I can't give up, I'm way to close to my goal.  It sucks to be this close and have a set back, but at least it wasn't a big one.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Do you have one?

My mother has what she calls a life verse.  Every time she mentions it, I think how wonderful it is to have such an attachment to a certain scripture of God's word that represents life to you. Although there are so many wonderful verses, I have never had one that really tugs at my heart and says "this is your life verse."  How does one find such a verse?  I have read the entire bible.  Never from beginning to end.  It took me awhile to realize I had actually done it.  One day I just started looking through the bible trying to figure out which book to read next and it seemed I had read it all.  In fact, this has made it challenging to go back and read it again.  I read it and sometimes struggle to find new and insightful things out of a reading a second time through.

Therefore, in order to try to change things up a bit and get back into the habit of soaking in God's word everyday, I have started reading a little online women's daily devotional.  This seems to fit me in my life right now.  It is a free resource to me. It is short, sweet, very insightful, and thought provoking.  Several of them have made me think and see some scripture in a new light.  It was just what I needed at this time.

It seemed wrong to go on a search for my life verse.  It seemed to me it should just stand out to me one day and I would know this is it.  Today I think I may have found it with the help of this online devotional.  I need to stew on it a little more, but the more I think about it, the more I think this really represents me and my life.  Actually it was a statement that was made referenced by a verse which I felt compelled to look up after I read this statement.  It was was the statement that spoke to me. I needed to make sure that the statement was an accurate interpretation of the scripture before I went declaring it my life verse.  The statement made me see this verse in a whole new way.    I stewed over it awhile.  At first I wondered if perhaps the author took too much liberty with the meaning of the verse, but after awhile I understood. 

The statement was, "No matter what you decide to do, he will still take care of you and he will accomplish his purpose for you."

The verse was Psalm 138:8, "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me: your love, O Lord endures forever- do not abandon the works of your hands."

I'm sure most of my Christian friends had heard this verse before.  I had heard it before, but it wasn't until I read this statement that it really spoke to me.  As with everyone who lives, my life is full of so many decisions.  Sometimes I feel like I am in a constant state of looking for "signs" in my life to make my decisions.  Sometimes I just have to go with my gut and hope that I am heeding the call of my Lord.  I worry that the decision I make will affect me adversely if they are not the right ones.  After, reading this verse, I had this peace about me.  How freeing to feel that no matter what I decide, God will take care of me; that he will still fulfill his purpose for me despite the decisions I make, wrong or right.  It is such a step of faith, this life. I wonder if people can have more than one life verse. I wonder if my life verse will change as my life moves on.  For now, I'm going to  commit this one to memory and see how it speaks to me in the days, weeks, and years to come.  For now, for today, and for days past, anyways, this one seems like a good fit for me.  Time will tell if it truly is my life verse.  It sure does seem time transcending. 

How about you?  Do you have a life verse?  I'd love to hear yours and what it means to you.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The search begins again.

Today I received words that Brennan's buddy will be with us for only two more weeks; for reasons that were no fault of my own (mostly logistical in nature).  I felt relieved and panicked all at the same time.  It has become very obvious that my passions for doing what I do really involve the preschool aged child.  Although, I love that Brennan has a pal her own age.  I could tell she really enjoys being around the little guy.  Therefore, his replacement is really in God's hands.  God knows I love being able to teach.  Preschoolers are the perfect age for learning in a more structured manner.  I really hope and pray that he finds more children ages 2-5 for me to care for and work with.  Since I will be advertising to find a replacement for the one year old, I figured I mine as well open up the other two spots I wanted to open.  Spring is just around the corner and Jeff needs one more good weekend to finish up the drywall project in the basement and then we will have more space to play and have fun.  
The panic that swept over me after today's news was that thought of, "Oh my what if we don't find a replacement? We need that income."  I get so frustrated with myself for thinking such things.  God has provided for us always.  We have never been without.  Why would he stop now?  I hate that I always fall victim to Satan's attacks with doubt, insecurity, and lack of faith.  I have given this over to God and am hoping in return he provides me the peace and security I seem to be missing today. We will be OK.  I am hoping that this door is being closed because an even better one is about to open. That thought did cross my mind right away when I was told my little guy would be leaving in two weeks.

So here's to new opportunities.  It will be interesting to see how God plays this one out.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Last night I had the pleasure of accompanying my husband to an annual Chamber of Commerce Area Awards Ceremony.  I haven't dressed up like that since I performed in someone's wedding.  I feel fortunate that I started my diet when I did or I would never have been able to fit in any of my formal gowns and I certainly would have hated spending money on something I would only wear once a year tops.

Anyhow it was a very pleasant evening.  I had a vegetarian dish called wild mushroom strudel (streusel maybe, I'm not sure exactly).  It was delicious.  The salad came out wrapped in a slice of cucumber.  It was delish too.  And they also had a big dessert island with lots of different kinds of cheese cakes, wine glasses filled with mousse, and chocolate covered strawberries. I had one of each (a huge huge splurge for me).  Hoping it doesn't sabatoge this weeks weigh in.

There was a dance afterwards which niether of us were up for.  The shoes I got for my gown were 1/2 a size to big and I am not very graceful in heels.  Turns out my feet shrunk the 1/2 size they grew during my last pregnancy.  Jeff was still coughing and sneezing away.  It just wasn't a good idea for us to boogie down last night.

The girls had a fab time at home with Jeff's assistant, his wife, and their 2.5 year old daughter.  We got a good report when we returned home.  They were "angels" while we were gone.  That was a big relief as I was a tad worried about Brennan since I rarely leave them with anyone else.

This week end I think we will be laying low as I think our entire family is getting sick.  One of the daycare kids was out yesterday with another round of croup.  Brennan has started coughing and her nose is starting to run.  Kadyn is starting to cough again too and I am feeing a heaviness in my chest.  We literally only had 2 weeks off from this.  I am so so sick of all the sickness.  Spring needs to come soon. 

Anyhow, it was a good evening, fun to get dressed up, and a nice break from the norm.  It was our third date since Brennan was born.  Our first was to the movies one night while the girls were sleeping and my parents were in town.  Our second was to attend Jeff's staff party and do a little Christmas shopping.  It is very rare that we have these opportunities because of lack of childcare.  We feel very blessed to get them.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A little of what we've done

I thought I'd show a little of what consumes a lot of my time lately.  I have been hitting counting and recognizing numbers one through ten pretty hard with my new preschooler for the past month.  I also have been teaching him colors.  His interest in this stuff is very minimal so his progress has been very very slow.  Therefore, I will no undoubtedly be looking up a thousand different ways to teach the same concept until he gets it.

This is all old news for Kadyn and it has been difficult to keep her stimulated through all of this.  She finds it difficult to not jump in and answer questions for my other preschooler because she already knows the answers.  Therefore, I have tried to differentiate our activities a little to help keep things relevant to her level of development as well.  For example, on days we work on the number 4, Kadyn is working on the number 44. First up we have pictures of numbers we decorated.

Next up we have a little file folder game that covers shapes, colors, matching, counting, and color recognition.  I found this idea on the web. I love it!  Those little pieces stick with velcro.

Then we have a face collage for the little toddlers.  I of course cut out the faces and stuck them to the paper, but the toddlers were able to help put glue on the backs of the faces with a glue stick.  We are working really hard on learning facial parts right now.


I think I have mentioned before that our library here stinks.  They have no books for beginning readers.  Therefore, I took it upon myself to make some.  They are pretty lame drawings, but they get the job done and Kadyn really enjoys them.

Here is a picture of a kite we made with 4 bows on the string and free art on the body.  We were working on the number four that day.

Then we have a picture of a sun with some glitter made on a paper plate for the day we worked on yellow.

This next one is a picture of a project Kadyn did at church.  I really liked it because it shows how well she's been doing writing her name.


The next picture fascinates me because it really show how Kadyn's coloring has developed. Instead of scribbling all over the picture she is taking thetime to pick different colors and try to stay in the lines. This observation of development fascinates and excites me.

The last picture I have is a Kadyn original.  It was completely her own doing.  I didn't have a hand in this (no pun intended) whatsoever.  She just got a sheet of paper, traced her hand and colored it.  Notice the finger nails she drew on there.  So proud of my girl.  

There is of course so much more, but this is a just a sample of what we've been up to at preschool times during daycare and free time on the weekends.  It's so fun!

Week 7 weigh in

Down another 1.5 pounds.  I was very tempted to weigh myself mid week but held off.  I didn't feel like  I lost anything so was surprised that I was right on track.  I was able to ration my chocolates from valentines so no falling off the band wagon, but it was tempting.

I am only three pounds away from my goal and I am way ahead of schedule.  However, my feelings about it all have surprised me.  At first I was so pleased to see my body shrinking that I felt I could be really happy with my goal weight.  For so long I saw my body grow and get bigger. It was easy to overlook the minor flaws that I still had as the weight started coming off.  Then I began to get used to the new image I saw in the mirror and I started to see those flaws again.  Suddenly, I began to think my goal weight would need to be adjusted.  Although my self image has improved drastically, I can't help but think I should keep going once I get there.  I feel fortunate this process for me has been relatively easy.  I refuse to let myself become obsessed with my weight, but I figure as long as I'm happy and the process remains relatively easy, there really is no reason I can't try to get the body I long for.  I wonder if it is actually possible to get back to that weight I loved back in the beginning of college.

I do think my wall is coming soon.  I think the only way for me to break it is to start adding exercise in my lifestyle.  This is so difficult, but spring is just around the corner, so I'm hoping I don't hit that wall until then.  Exercising will be so much easier when it's nice outside.

So anyhow, there's where I'm at with all of this at the moment.  I certainly hope I don't hit my wall before I reach my goal.  I think my perspective on this all might change quite a bit if that happens, but for now this is where my thoughts have been lately.  Praise God for helping me stay motivated and exercising self control.  For me, once I started seeing results it became easy to say no to over eating and sugar.  Go me!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Had to share

You know me, Miss Education.  Anyhoo.....I ran into the coolest website that has a gazillion ideas for activities for your toddlers and preschoolers.  There is a ton of free resources online for preschoolers.  However, when I come across educational activities to stimulate my one year old (budding toddler) I find them most lacking.  Usually I just read through them thinking, "I already do that.  I need something more."  The other day in my search for a new activity to help one of my daycare kids learn to count, I bumped into this great website that covers it all.  Finding free activities that we can do at home (especially during the cold winter months when we can't go outside) is just priceless.  I hope some of you can get as much use out of it as I think I might.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

For your husbands

To all my women friends who read this blog I wanted to share something with you.  I read a stranger's blog who often talks about how she is striving to be a better partner for her husband.  She shared a really great website with her readers.  It is basically 31 prayers that you can pray for your husband; they are short and simple but oh so wonderfully said.  What a great valentine's gift for your husbands.  Too often my prayers repeat themselves.  It was kind of refreshing to have new things to start praying for.  He doesn't even know I've been to doing this....until now I guess if he is reading this blog post.  I love him so much.  I have always prayed for him daily. I think prayer is the best gift a person can give another person.  To me, nothing says love more than caring for someone enough to be their spiritual partner in life.

During some of my trials I would discover complete strangers who had heard my story and found out that they were praying for me. It would bring me to tears to learn of such people.  Praying for a stranger is a true reflection of Christ's love.  I literally felt Christ's love enveloping me through learning of those people who were praying for me.  So.....I can think of no better love gift this valentine's day than a commitment to say these prayers for 31 days for my hubby.  Yes, I pray for him daily anyways, but this just seemed so much more powerful than the prayers I had been praying.  Hope some of you can take from this too.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A new craft idea

For some time I have been away from my sewing machine. I miss it terribly, but circumstances including the fact that everything is set up in my frigid basement and the fact that my very demanding toddler would never let me get anything done have prevented me from enjoying my hobby.  But alas, my toddler has started walking and has been so content ever since.  Spring is just around the corner, and the basement is soon to be a pleasant temperature again.

During my sewing break I have been thinking and thinking about what it is I would sew if given the chance.  I like sewing everyday things that I can use.  Sewing diapers before Brennan was born was one of my favorite projects.  For some reason there's just something rewarding about sewing your own useful items.  Then it came to me yesterday.  I have all kinds of bibs, velcro, ribbed neck pull overs, and one snap bib.  By far my favorite are the ribbed neck pull overs mostly because they are full coverage.  The older kids can put them on by themselves which is nice.  However, the babies are masters at taking off their bibs during the middle of a meal and you can't rationalize with a one year old about why we should leave them on.  They can also master the velcro bibs.  The only bib they can't master is the snap bib.  The problem, I only have one snap on bib and it isn't full coverage.  The solution, make full coverage snap bibs for the babes.  Everyday useful items.  Or...maybe make the ribbed ones with a little tighter neckline so they are harder for the babes to get off.  I might try both and see what works best.  I certainly like the idea of the kids getting them on and off by themselves when they are older.  The snaps are too hard for the older kids to do by  themselves.  Anyhow...I have a goal for when I am able to start sewing again.

My second sewing project will be a nice girly cover for Marie (my sewing machine, named after my sewing grandmother).  I have had a pattern for such a cover for a long time, but ran out of time to do the project when Brenann was born.

So I suppose the next few weeks I'll spend some time drawing up patterns until I come up with a couple winners and then have at it when the time presents itself. I can't wait!

Week 6 weigh in

Down another pound.  I suspect that since I am getting very close to my goal, the loss is going to start slowing down.  We'll see.  Anyhow....still can't complain as it still falls into my goals for loss total each week.  Go me!  For this entry I thought I'd share one of my favorite vegetarian recipes and a new one we tried last night that was very good as well.  I have several, and maybe you've had these before, but they were new to me.  So here they are:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Newest plans

Daycare has been going very good since everyone is well.  The kids are happy, content, and seem to have a good time while they are here.  My girls seem to enjoy having them here. In fact, Kadyn counts the minutes until Sean arrives and misses him each weekend.  This has made this experience for me very fun and enjoyable. I also, of course, love planning and executing all kinds of preschool learning and activities; our days seem to be a little more scheduled and planned out then they used to be.   Because of this I have decided to take on two more children (age 2 and up) within about a month.  The addition of this additional income will help us in numerous ways:

-we can save up to afford a wood burning fireplace for the basement by the time it gets cold again next year, thus making it usable year round (a big plus for the daycare as that basement is a wonderful large play area)

-we can start paying down our debt

-we can save up for another child. Yes, I just can't seem to get the idea of one more out of my head.  Thankfully, Jeff is willing to be supportive of me on this dream as long as we are able to afford it.

I am so thankful and grateful to God for opening this door for me even though I was very reluctant to do so.  It has put our finances in a much better place and fulfilled me unexpectedly.  The experience this time has been much more positive.  Unlike my last experience the kids rarely fight and are so content.  I think having two older children has made a huge difference.  Sometimes I can hardly believe I watched 4 children all under the age of two at one time.  No wonder I was going crazy.  Anyhow, I give God all the glory.  He truly does work in mysterious ways.  Now we wait until the weather warms up so we can open up the two extra spots (I want to be able to use that basement if I'm going to have 4 daycare children in my house daily and right now it's just too cold, warmer weather, means warmer basement until we can afford a fireplace).  Then we wait for God to pick the right children to come into my care.  He's done a fantastic job so far. 

So there's my plans.  Just wanted to share.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Overnight I..... a walker on my hands.  Brennan has been so scared for weeks now to attempt the feat on her own although I always knew she was capable long before now.  We had tried several different ways to encourage her to take the plunge, but the minute either of us let go she would drop to the floor like rocks.  Then last night we had the barbie desk in the middle of the floor between the couches.  She had this little tiny baby book that she took a liking too.  Jeff tossed it to the barbie desk (just the right size for her standing up) and she went from the couch to the barbie desk after that book.  She brought it back to Daddy and he tossed it again.  Back and forth they went.  Kadyn got in on the action and the rest of the evening was basically spent playing keep away

with this little book from Brennan to motivate her to keep walking from person to person, couch to desk, etc. etc.  We had plans to watch American Idol together, a family favorite, but a new walker totally trumped that.  I must admit, this is one of my favorite developments.  It's right up there with first words.  I'm so proud of my little lady for conquering her fears.  Way to go Brennan!  (click on the video to play it)

From Brennan walks

Friday, February 5, 2010

Week 5 weigh in

Dear Body,

I just want to thank you for boosting my self esteem.  Your slow but steady transformation has been fascinating to watch.  I apologize that I haven't been able to exercise you much.  I promise when spring arrives we will make a better effort.  Despite this you have managed to loose yet another 2 pounds leaving me with only 5.5 more pounds to go until I reach my goal and a total loss to date of 11.5 pounds.  At this rate, I expect that perhaps I may reach my goal well before my deadline.  Thankyou! 

I hope that you like that I haven't starved you.  In fact, it's very rare that I even get hungry.  I hope that you like that I have fed you lots and lots of vegetables and good healthy food.  I hope that you like that we no longer eat meat, although I have felt you crave it this last week a time or two (thankfully the cravings haven't been too bad).  I hope that you like that I have cut way back on my sweets intake (yet another craving you have thrown my way this week).  We have increased our caffeine intake, I hope that's OK.  I'm proud of you for coming through for me and hope you are proud of me for the changes I made for you.

At this point, I plan on sticking with the diet indefinitely.  I figure at some point you'll settle into a weight you want to be.  If it's above my goal we'll have to have revise the plan a little to keep moving forward.  If it's below my goal, awesome!  I know you can't get smaller forever right?  As a big reward for being so diligent for me, I would like to treat you to a nice new outfit or two.  My clothing all fits very nicely now and hopefully will fit nicely when I reach my goal.  I'm not sure I can afford an entire new wardrobe, but I do believe I have some skinnier jeans stowed away somewhere.  I can't wait to go to the pool this summer and not be embarassed.  I may actually fit in my suit this year. 

Anyhow, just a big thankyou letter from me, your owner.  We make a good team!

Monday, February 1, 2010

January pics

First up we have Jeff and the girls. This is how I found them one Saturday morning when Jeff was being kind enough to try to let me sleep in a little.
Here's Kadyn in one of her many dress up outfits.

Kadyn decided to put her barbies down for a nap with some of my home made wipes and read them a bedtime story (aka the book mommy made for Kadyn's beginning reading lessons)

Here is our house after Thursday's snow storm.  Jeff shoveled it twice.  Unfortunately, the girls were too sick to play in it.

I remember sitting on a stool to watch things bake in the oven and showed this wonderful childhood experience to Kadyn. She enjoys it too.

My little cutie pie waiting anxiously for the tub to fill. I  love naked baby butts. They are so adorable.

One of the little guys I get to babysit everyday sporting Kadyn's pink dress up hat.  It's so funny watching a beginning walker walk around sporting this "granny" hat.  
There's January folks!