Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

First of all. I want to say thank you to all the service men and women, past and present that have helped to make my life what it is today. Without all of you, I would not have the freedoms that I have today, my children would not be able to grow up and become what they really want to be.

I am proud to be an American and I realize that freedom is NOT free and I thank you for giving me and my family our freedoms. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day today!!!

Now, for my weight challenge. I lost 2 lbs. this week (for a total of 4.4 lbs.). I have to say that I am a little disappointed. I ate less sweets (almost none) and I drank fewer cokes (as we say in the South, sodas, pop, whatever you say where you are). I wasn't able to walk (this has been an extremely busy week - the last week of school, yaaaaaay!), but I didn't miss one day of my Daily Dozen Exercises, I only missed one day of my fidget-cisers, and I tried to jump rope some (since I couldn't walk).

This past Saturday, we had a birthday party here for Anthony and Champ (their b-days are about 10 days apart). So with school getting out and all the last minute stuff that comes with that (award ceremonies, Pre-K graduation, etc.), I was planning and implementing a party. That has come and gone, but it's not over yet. This coming weekend I am hosting our MOPS Steering Team Retreat. I am so excited!!!

The Retreat is where we plan our whole next MOPS year (all the meetings, activities, guest speakers, etc.). It is a lot of work in a short amount of time, but it is so worth it. I became our MOPS Coordinator in March of this year, so I have never planned or prepared a retreat before. I hope I can make it fun and productive at the same time for all the ladies that make our MOPS group what it is.

We have a fairly new MOPS group, we just finished our third year. And I am so excited to be a part of this group and a part of the planning process of the up and coming year. I am so nervous, but excited too. I just hope that the Steering Team has a great time and that they will be able to make memories and friendships that last a lifetime.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I feel better

You know the posts that I had about our snake? The venomous one? You know the copperhead on my back porch? (If not, you can read about it here and here.)

Well, after reading Pioneer Woman's post here, I feel better. (She's just great isn't she?)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rubber Ducky Cupcakes

I bought this book called 'What's new Cupcake?' And it is filled with so many cute ideas. There are lots of illustrations and step by step instructions.

So Anthony picked out the Rubber Ducky Cupcake from the book and we made them last night to take to school today (for an early birthday - his is Thursday and today, Monday, is the last day of Pre-K, except for graduation tomorrow, Tuesday).

Ours aren't as cute as the ones in the book and they were a little harder to make than I anticipated, but we learned along the way and I think the next time they will be easier and a little cuter.

Anthony likes them anyway (and at least you can tell what they are).

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Moment of Truth

O.k. I stepped on the scales this morning and I weighed 148.0 lbs. (I lost 2.4 lbs. this week).

I did pretty good, but I didn't get all of my walking in (no where near it). After a couple of days, I was curious as to how big my water glass really was (I thought is was a little bigger than 8 oz.) and I measured it. It was a 14 oz. glass! That means when I drank 6 1/2 glasses I was actually drinking 14 (8 oz.) glasses of water. I drank almost a gallon!!!!!

Saturday, my goal was to drink a gallon of water (and I reached my goal). I have been doing all of my daily dozen exercises and everyday (except yesterday) I did 8 or more fidget-cisers.

I have not totally given up my cokes yet, but I have cut waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy back! I have also, almost cut out my sweets (but not completely). So, I guess all in all 2.4 lbs. isn't bad.

Maybe this week I will set a goal to give up sweets or cokes (at least for this week) and see what happens. (Baby steps people, I don't want to cause my body to go into shock, or my family either for that matter.)

Did any of you set a personal goal? Did you reach it or get close? Good luck this week.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Plain Pursuit

Plain Pursuit
by Beth Wiseman
Thomas Nelson Publisher

Carley, a big city girl, needs to do some physical and mental healing after being in a car wreck that killed her mother. She calls on a previous 'big city' friend that has turned Amish. While staying with her friend, Lillian, for a month (without all the modern conveniences), Carley is faced with the dreaded hospital. Lillian's son becomes ill and Carley must face her fear of hospitals and doctors to help Lillian.

While at the hospital Carley meets a doctor that wants to help Lillian's son, but Lillian's husband refuses his help. Dr. Noah seems to know Lillian's husband, Samuel, but Samuel doesn't tell anyone (including his wife, Lillian). What is the secret between Dr. Noah and Samuel? Will Carley be able to convince Samuel to accept Dr. Noah's help (for his son's sake)? How can Carley help her friend Lillian when she herself needs help while trying to heal?

Carley is also faced with the strength of Lillian's faith. Carley feels deserted by God because of the car wreck that left her with a permanent physical problem and that took her mother from her. Carley doesn't understand how Lillian can be so comfortable with a God (especially when Lillian's son is so sick) that Carley herself feels is a stranger. Carley is amazed at how the whole Amish community pulls together and seems so happy with so little and yet she is torn at how they can shun one of their own.

This is an excellent book, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It kept me captivated all the way to the end. Carley faces so many problems with her faith, that a lot of people seem to be facing with their faith too. It will make you take a look at how you perceive things.

Iron Man Cake

I made an Iron Man Cake for a little boy's birthday!

On the sides, I just drizzled thin strings of icing.

This is a more direct picture of the top of the cake, but the color isn't right. The color in the other pictures is correct.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Boy Shorts

Very easy shorts. A couple of Saturdays ago we were having a family get together at the in-laws in the late afternoon. I decided that morning that I wanted the boys (the 2 little ones) to have a cute new outfit for that afternoon. So that morning I got busy and in about 1 1/2 hours I had 2 pair of shorts made. (That includes stopping and filling up sippy cups, kissing boo boos, breaking up fights, you know...all the stuff that goes with having boys.)

These shorts were made from Simplicity Pattern #5982. The shorts pattern is for boys or girls and it comes in 2 lengths (I chose the longer one). There are just 2 pieces: a front (which you cut 2 of) and a back (which you cut 2 of). Very easy.



I picked up the teal, white and brown plaid seersucker last summer (planning on making shorts and never got around to it until the other day) and after purchasing the fabric I went and purchased 2 brown T-shirts on clearance to go with the fabric.

I wait until patterns go on sale for $0.99 and then get all I am allowed (patterns generally run from $12.95 to $15.95). Then right before I use the pattern, I trace it onto tissue paper and use my tissue paper pattern to cut out the fabric. (That way, if a pattern is multi-sized, I can use it again when my boys are bigger.) Tissue paper is very inexpensive, it takes just a little more time, but not much (kids patterns are small). My cousin said she traces her patterns onto interfacing (it's sturdier than tissue paper and will last longer, but probably a little more expensive too, but I wouldn't think by much). If you were going to use a pattern over and over again, this would be a great idea.

I wish I had bought more of that fabric. I wouldn't mind having me a pair of shorts or capris made from it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Snake Update

It WAS a Copperhead Snake. Once my DH got home, he picked up the box that the snake had crawled into and took it out in the yard (where the sun was shining) and you could definitely see the "copper" colored head. I wasn't sure when it was in the shade of the porch (see here).

Another sign that it was a venomous snake, was that it had a triangular shaped head (there is a difference between the head and neck). I've also heard (but not sure if it is true or not) that venomous snakes have slits for pupils and non-venomous snakes have round pupils (this snake had slits).

It is not as big as it looks (I used the zoom on my camera). It was about 2 feet in length (which is about as big as an adult copperhead will get).

Frank came home and took care of it for me. (He's my knight in shining armor!). Thank you honey! I love you!

Monday, May 17, 2010

O.K. I'm Telling All...

I have been gradually getting bigger. My smallest clothes were beginning to get tight, so I started wearing my "loose" fitting clothes. Guess what, they started getting tighter and so on. Now, I'm wondering what happened. I really don't think I eat that much more (o.k., so I hate to waste food and I clean up the kids plates), but is it really that much more?

I'm getting older and everyone tells me it happens. Your metabolism slows down, so you don't have to change habits to put on weight. I am at my highest weight ever (except for when I was 9 months pregnant, and I'm not too far from that - sad, very sad). Especially since I weighed 98 lbs. when I got married 15 years ago (at that time, that was the most I had ever weighed).

Two years ago, I joined Weight Watchers and lost 20 pounds. I was very happy and kept it off for awhile, until my little habits started creeping back in. So now, 2 years later I gained my 20 and then some. YUCK!

Well, they say you have to first figure out what the problem is. My problem is that I like to eat (lots of sweets and sodas) and I don't like to exercise. That sounds simple, but changing those habits is not easy.

I have found something that I am going to try. It sounds do-able. It is Denise's Daily Dozen by Denise Austin.

I've been a fan of Denise's for several years now. She usually has exercises that I can do and they work. In her Daily Dozen Plan, you basically work out for 12 minutes a day (I can do that, I don't have the time or money to go to a gym, I don't have the time to do a long workout at home, but I can do 12 minutes). You have to eat 12 basic foods (no counting points, not too much to keep up with, I can do that).

So I started her plan today. Here's where I tell all. I will be 40 this year, I am 5'2" and as of this morning I weighed 150.4 lbs. I wear a size 8 - 10 in clothes. I measured everything that Denise recommends measuring (I wrote them down on my calendar, but I don't have them in front of me).

I will weigh again next Monday morning (and on Mondays from here on out) and she recommends taking measurements after 21 days. Let's see what happens.

Today, I did my Daily Dozen exercises (very intense, but not impossible), plus a few extra. I've eaten what I'm supposed to (I cheated a little bit I had two snacks, one morning and one afternoon - yes, they were sweets and I had 1/4 of a soda). So far I've had 6 1/2 glasses of water. (I should be able to get my 8 glasses of water in before bedtime.) I am about to go walk. I haven't done any fidget-cisers yet.

I am really excited about this. I hope it will work (and I truely expect it will). I will let you know my progress (and little failures - I am only human making my very best effort).

If you want to join me, please do. Let me know your progress (I don't expect you to tell your starting weight like I did, that was to keep myself motivated). Maybe we can inspire and encourage each other.

I did not follow her exact eating plan (that is laid out in the book) because I just purchased the book and did not have time to go to the grocery store. I hope to follow her exact plan soon. My results may not be what she says to expect because I am not following her exact eating plan. I am following her "general Daily Dozen" eating plan (3 veggies, 3 fruits, 3 proteins, 2 healthy grains, 1 healthy fat).

I made a weekly chart (she has daily charts in her book) on a spreadsheet, printed it off and I put it in a clear protective sleeve. Then hung it on the fridge with a magnet. I am using a dry erase marker and keeping up with what I eat and drink. Wish me luck!

Thanks Denise for motivating me.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Copper Head or Something Else?

In the area where I live there are only 2 venomous snakes: the Timber Rattler and the Copperhead.

Champ went to feed his chickens and came back in and told Lee that they couldn't feed them because of a snake. I told him to stay inside and went to check it out (thinking it was a chicken snake, our chickens are all baby chickens).

I couldn't see it and was about to come back inside and ask Champ where exactly it was that he saw it, when I decided to look into a cardboard box (one that we brought the baby chicks home in) and there I saw the snake. (Right now we are keeping the chicks on the back porch until they are bigger.)

I ran inside and grabbed my camera and took these pictures.

I used my zoom lens so 1) it is not as big as it looks in the picture and 2) I wasn't as close as it looks (probably closer than I should have been if it is a Copperhead). I don't care for snakes, but knowing that they are beneficial I leave them alone (except when they get too close for comfort - this one is on my back porch).

I immediately e-mailed the pics to my DH at work and called him. From the pics, he too believes it is a Copperhead. Also, I will do whatever it takes to keep my kids safe (even overcome my personal preferences and fears.) I ran outside and put a large plastic tote over the box with the snake in it (I don't want it to go under the porch or the chicken pen and bite the kids - they play on the porch a lot). I called animal control and the office is closed because today is local election day. :o(

I have looked online and this snake has all the tell-tell marks...1) head is larger than the neck, 2) copper colored head, 3) tan and brown hourglass markings.

With Cub Scouts a few months ago we went to the local University and a Professor spoke to the kids about reptiles. He had several kinds, he even had a Copperhead (under glass and lock and key) and then he had a non-venomous snake that was often confused with the Copperhead. I am kicking my self in the rear for not remembering the differences between the two. (I remember thinking how difficult it was for me to tell the difference with him right there pointing them out.)

I am not an expert, but I really think this is a Copperhead. I guess he will have to stay under the tote until tomorrow and I will contact animal control again. Maybe they can tell me if it is a Copperhead or other non-threatening snake. Will I be able to sleep tonight?

Completed Project

Here is the completed Easter outfit that I made for one of my best friend's son. I smocked the sailboat insert (more info here) and then made the long-all (fully lined). The long-all was from the pattern 'Will' by Collars, Etc. (modified). It also had a shirt with matching piping (also 'Will' by Collars, Etc.).

It was fun to make.

Here are some basket liners that I made for both of her boys. She found a cute 'bucket' type white basket, but wasn't pleased with the liner (with the eyelet lace it looked to 'girly' even though they were in blue & white and green & white gingham).

So she and her boys picked out some Easter fabric and I made the lining for the baskets and embroidered their names on their basket liners.



The original basket liner tied. I decided to make the new ones to button (maybe a little less 'girly' still).

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