Thursday, January 28, 2010

Excuse me, sir, have you been taking any recreational drugs?

What that really means is, "dude, are you HIGH?!" On the ambulance, that is not a question I particularly love asking. At home one day, though, I didn't even need to ask...

I could see the evidence. Toys were strewn everywhere. The sound of thundering feet tearing through the house could be heard. Even a few branches had been broken off of my palm tree.

When I finally caught up to him, I could see it. His little eyes were dialated. He was breathing fast and hard and could barely sit still. Then and there, I knew the answer......

He had been into the catnip.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Progress Report (Weeks two and three)

Just in case any of you noticed that I didn't post anything on this last week, take heart: I did not quit. :) Last week I was pretty much in hiding due to being sick and very worn down. Posting anything just was not on my list of things to do. I also ended up moving the "official weigh in day" from Mondays to Wednesdays. I've noticed weekends are not so great, and when I first started counting points, I actually started on a Wednesday, and it went SO. MUCH. BETTER. Monday and Tuesday allow me to recoup from the weekend.

Last Wednesday I weighed in 2.6 pounds down. Yay! For the most part I drank my water, although, I'll admit, with a very sore throat, the thought of drinking anything wasn't a pleasant one. Most of my water intake was probably in the form of Theraflu. *shudder* Exercise? Hahahahahahahahaha- oh. Extending the week by two days actually allowed me to get four workouts in. Also not bad considering.

This week I am down 1.6 pounds. I'm noticing a pattern here: Week one was 3.6, week two, 2.6. week three, 1.6. Time to break the cycle. A 0.6 pound weight loss for next week just WILL NOT be acceptable. :) As far as inches lost, I have no idea what last week was, but since the last check in with you guys, I've lost a total of two and a quarter inches. Slow and steady, wins the race, right?

How would I rate the success of this week(s)? Gotta admit, I'm sticking with that 5. I'm still not mastering exercising five times a week, and I definitely need to! I also need to get back on track with drinking two FULL Nalgenes a day. I did find some great songs for my iPod, though, and good tunes are a must! Last night while I was sweating my over-sized little hiney off, I was transported away to memories of being a love-struck teenager holed up in my room... What was playing on the iPod?  The Best of Rock Ballads.  Absolutely classic.  Not exactly get-your-blood-pumping-workout-music, but great tunes, nonetheless.  What amused me more was talking to Batman and discovering that I knew more of the songs than he did!  How did that happen?!?!  I'm certain that all of those songs were more from when he was a teen than when I was.... Hmm....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Little Me Time

It's three o'clock, the dishes are done, the house is clean, the bedroom is spotless - even the bed is made! (Sad to say, on a day that I don't have "off" the bed doesn't get made before Baby leaves... By the time Batman gets up, it's time for Baby to lay down, so... yeah....). The original plan for this day off was to head to W-ville today, but, The Boy wasn't ready for travel and a day away from home yet (another story for another day... perhaps when prettier "after" pictures could be posted with the original "not-so-good-when-it-happened" pictures.) Anyway, since we didn't travel to W-ville with Batman today, I was able to accomplish all of the normal day activities. A mug of coffee poured, I ventured out to the mailbox to find:


Now I am off, mug of coffee in hand, to curl up in the rocker in said clean bedroom (kinda hard to curl up in the rocker if the extra pillows are on it when the bed isn't made...) and spend some refreshing quiet time. Just for me and God.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I've Been Slapped

Recently I came across a devotional on All You Have to Give. Fascinated by what Lori had to say about it, I opened up the excerpt she had at the bottom of her post. And I was sucked in. I'm great at starting, I'll admit it, but oh, the follow-through... It gets me every time. What makes this time different? I don't know. I do know I'll keep plugging away until I get it right.

The same day I saw it on Lori's page, I went on various sites and found my very own copy for just a couple bucks (yep, you read that right!!), including shipping. Each day I pop back over to Lori's page, open the excerpt and read the next day's (or two) devotional, while I am impatiently waiting for my own to arrive via media mail. What I read today struck such a chord with me, that I thought I'd share it with all of you. A little food for thought. While you are reading, I think I am going to go carve out some time for Him.

(Excerpt taken from The One Year Daily Grind by Sarah Arthur)


My kind relatives gave me a coffeemaker for Christmas, which is in one sense like giving a
heroin addict a syringe and in another like giving a Christian a devotional book and saying,
“Here, I know you’re gonna need this.” (Hold on, cowboys: I don’t use metaphors lightly.)
My family knows I’m addicted to caffeine, which is clear when I go without it for even
one morning. I feel foggy and crabby and get a headache by midafternoon. If I’m traveling
someplace where coffee isn’t on hand for breakfast, it’s something of a crisis until I find a
drive-through Starbucks or whatever—and then of course there’s always a long line of irritated
junkies just like me. Sad, really.

The funny thing about it is I hated coffee for a long time and couldn’t understand
why people drank the stuff. It’s the kind of thing you have to develop a taste for. It doesn’t
come naturally, but then when it’s finally part of your routine, you’ll move mountains to
get your hands on it.

Kind of like the spiritual life, when you think about it. We know it’s important to
spend time every day reading the Bible and praying, but it’s not the kind of thing that
comes easily to us at first. We have to develop a taste for it. But once we get in the habit
of it, life feels out of sorts if we go without it for any length of time. We can’t think
straight. We feel crabby and start growling at the people we love. Then when it finally
occurs to us what the problem is, we wonder, How could such a tiny ritual be so important?
And yet it is. We’re not really content again until we’ve spent some time each day
nurturing our spirits with the revitalizing presence of God.
What would happen if I got as addicted to God as I am to coffee? How can I move
heaven and earth to carve out time for him every day?
Psalm 63:1-5

Saturday, January 23, 2010

How To Tutorial

Recently, it has come to my attention that I have readers that I didn't know I had... How cool!! That got me thinking... how many more are out there that I don't know about? So, I turned to my stat counter (I had ignored it for MONTHS) and realized there are quite a few of you lurking out there... checking in, reading all of the nonsense posts that I write, and then disappearing again. There are some of you that leave me an occasional note on the sidebar, and I have to say, I love those little notes!! :) Keep 'em coming!! But, do you want to know what every blogging girl L.O.V.E.S?? I'll tell you.....



Really, I do!!

You see, when no one comments on a post (or, only a daddy, a cousin and a sister-in-law do comment), a blogging girl can feel a bit like maybe she is just talking to herself.  I'm just sayin'... Really.  So, since I see you lurking out there, I thought I'd give you a tutorial on how to leave a comment, because, just maybe, you didn't know that you COULD leave comments on the posts.  Maybe.
  • First, read the post.  That's easy.  You should have that part down by now.  
  • Next, at the bottom of the post, you should see a line that says "X people have left their two cents."  That is a link.  Click it!!  The link takes you to the little comment window.  There you can leave your comments for this blogging girl to read so she no longer feels like she's talking to herself. 
  • After you write your comment in the box, choose your identity. 
  • Last, type the letters you see in the verification box and hit the "publish your comment button."
It's as simple as that!! :)  Happy reading and commenting, everyone! :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Three Wheeler Races (or "How to Catch a Cold")

Saturday morning dawned gray, cold, and misty. And early. VERY early. Much earlier than this girl likes to get up on a Saturday morning. (I have mentioned it was early, right? Oh yeah, and cold.) Our alarms went off, I whimpered, then I whined, while Batman bounded from bed. Well, it seemed like he bounded, anyway. Grudgingly, I crawled from bed and shuffled into the littles' rooms to wake them up. With a stretch from each of them, they bounced out of their own beds and hurried to get dressed, chattering excitedly about the races to come. How these three could be so chipper was beyond me, especially since any other morning they would be just as bleary-eyed and cranky as I was. (It could have had something to do with the fact that we were called out in the middle of the night, so ambulance duty sucked about three and a half hours of my night from me, but I don't know....)

After layering on as many clothes as I could find and ensuring that the kids did the same, we were off to meet Batman's cousins one road over. All the three wheelers and snowmobiles were loaded in the trailer, so away we went - to the gas station down the road. Tanks of gas, a couple full throttles and bags of chips later, we were off again. This time ensuring that the trailer doors were secured. We made it to the next town over to meet the rest of our group, although this time we were following a "truck driver who knows where he's going." Right. Several wrong turns later, we jumped back into the lead, followed the advice of our handy dandy GPS, had to turn around once, then F.I.N.A.L.L.Y made it there... With an hour to spare. The boys unloaded their rides and got themselves registered and were off to play. They needed to see whose ride did what. Not that they didn't already know, but maybe Pennsylvania snow is different than New York's. Hey, you never know....

The races finally began, and we all watched as many snowmobiles raced and were either finished, or moved on to the next bracket. Then, it was THEIR turn.... With engines revving, the boys readied to race down the now muddy track. Batman won the first two races, giving his cousins their first strikes each. Then the cousins raced each other, so one was out... He'd been eliminated twice, so he was done. Batman and his same-named cousin were up against each other again. This time, Batman lost. Back around they went, with the end result being a tie. The crowd was in an uproar. Ties were NOT what they were there to see. By now, they were in a frenzy and ready to see someone get creamed! The announcer called Batman and cousin back around once more, and this time, the cousin won. Batman says that the cousin's two-stroke 250 something three wheeler is much nastier than his own four-stroke 350X. I just nod and pretend I get it when they start talking that language.

All the races were finished, and it was time to hand out trophies. We dutifully clapped and cheered for all the winners of the different snowmobile classes, and then, the three wheeler class was called. All of us were patting the cousin on the back and congratulating him... He had won fair and square. But then the announcer surprised us! He called both Mr. Smith and Mr. Guthrie up. There was hand shaking all around and the cousins beamed at each other, both holding their own trophy.

It was time to load up and head for home.  We'd been in the cold Pennsylvania outdoors for about seven hours.  Remember, it was COLD.  And wet.  But mostly cold.  The next day dawned to a sniffling Batman.  A couple days later, I started sniffling.  I'm pretty sure Batman thinks that the races were worth it, though.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Good timing, maybe?

So, lately, God has really been speaking to me about my place and position in our home, and my attitude towards it. I so desperately want to be a Proverbs 31 wife, mother, and child of God, but SO OFTEN feel myself falling way below the mark. Maybe some of you feel the same. I had to smile when I popped over to a friend's blog to see what she had to offer for the day, and I read about this giveaway. Knowing that this book would be encouragement in the right direction for how God has been speaking to me prompted me to immediately go sign up! Now I'm giving you guys (well, girls) the same opportunity. :) Go on over to Passionate Homemaking to see the giveaway for yourself, and sign up if you're interested.

In the meantime, I'll keep running after the prize, and continue to serve my family as an act of worship. Someday I'll get it just right. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Window With a View

Being part of a homeschooling family allows me a view into my children that unfortunately, many parents don't have. Or, at least, they don't have as much of that particular view.

Today awarded a glimpse of a variety of facets of both of the kids.

Glimpse one:

My kids get ambitious when it is a bright, cheerful day outside. Today's example, The Boy decided he wanted to rearrange his room... I mean REALLY rearrange... as in, move his bunk beds, empty the entire room, clean top to bottom and put everything back in completely different places - rearrange. So, being the opportunity grabbing mom that I am, I said, "sure! But you need to get daddy's tape measure and measure everything first, then plan out where you are going to put it!" Math class? You better believe it!

Glimpse two:

The Boy gets just as frustrated when he is moving heavy furniture as mommy does. Instinct was to jump up and help them, but I held back, remembering that, as they get older, they have to learn to do things by themselves. I waited patiently for them to come tearing into the living room and ask for assistance from mommy's muscles. The request never came. I think they are growing up.

Glimpse three:

The Girl is a planner and a list maker (not unlike mommy at all). Not only did she draw detailed plans for The Boy's new arrangements, but later she began making plans for summer vacation (already?!?). Next thing I knew, she was presenting me with a list of her plans:

1. Go camping with Bud.
2. Go swimming with Bud.
3. Ride dirt bikes with Bud.
4. Climb trees with Bud.
5. Go jumping on the trampoline with Bud.
6. Play army with Bud.
7. Have squirt gun fights with Bud.
8. Go to the woods with Bud.
9. Go to the gravel pit with Bud.
10. Water slide with Bud.

I noticed a couple things in this list. One, she plans on spending a lot of time outdoors. Hurray. Two, she seems to adore her brother. Double yay! Even better, The Boy approved of said list.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

So Tired

This week we have been on a full fledged "days" schedule, rather than me being on a days into nights schedule, while the rest of the family is on a nights schedule. Batman has been on days this week, so we've all been up early... I've even been up early enough to get my workouts in BEFORE the baby shows up! Now THAT is impressive.

BUT, sad to say, this new schedule has definitely taken it's toll. For instance, one morning The Girl groggily got up, grabbed her book for reading, and went to the recliner. A few minutes later, I rounded the corner to find her diligently reading sleeping.

Getting up at seven in the morning is rather tiring for a little girl.

Monday, January 11, 2010

At the End of Week One

It has been one week since I started counting points officially enough to share it with you guys again, and progress has been made. Not as much as I was hoping for, but it is still a good start. I will admit that I slipped.... That's right, I hopped on the scale before this morning. *sigh* What can I say, maybe I'm a scale-aholic.... Because I checked before the "official weigh in," I know that I one point (Friday) I was down five pounds. Yup, F.I.V.E. Needless to say, after this weekend, I was NOT down five. My official count is down 3.6 pounds and 1 3/4 inches. Eh. I'll take it.

I was somewhat disappointed in the amount of workouts I was able to get in, but, with the way the week went, three might not be so bad. My goal is to get five in, though. Hubby fixed the Bowflex last night, so I don't need to wait on that, and the elliptical is, of course, always available. I'd like to do three on one, two on the other. I think persistence will be key there. On an up note, I did VERY well drinking water this week! Aside from Saturday, I think I consistently went through two to two-and-a-half Nalgene's a day. EXCELLENT for me!! (Normally I drink ONE glass a day... if that. Not much of a drinker... working on changing that.) Towards the end of the week, I found my body actually craving the water. Yahoo!!

One thing I definitely will be mindful of from now on is to make sure that we do not eat or snack right before bed. Aside from obliterating my points on Saturday (road trip food will do it every time!) we ate right before we went to bed Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and I noticed huge issues there. (Almost two pounds worth... Ack.)

The handy dandy points tracker has a spot at the end where you record your weigh in, and asks "on a scale of one to ten, how would you score your success this week?" I'll give it a five.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

See You Later

No one is ever ready to say goodbye, I don't think, especially when it wasn't a planned goodbye.  I am still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that "goodbye" needed to be said at all. 

How do you say goodbye to a friend that would motivate you, straighten you out, push you, and tell it to you like it really is?  How do you say goodbye to a friend that fought for you, prayed for you, stormed Heaven's gates for you?  How do you say goodbye to a friend that held your husband accountable and who was held accountable by your husband?  I don't know... I haven't really figured it out yet.

Jim, you were an amazing person.  You were a true warrior for God.  When you set your sights on something, you ran for it, no matter what.  You always called at just the right time, with a word of encouragement or, shall we say, motivation.  You believed with us for what many would say is impossible, and you prayed daily for it, and for us.  Yesterday, someone said that everything you did and were about was over the top.  It was so true!  Your personality and presence would fill a room as soon as you walked in.  You motivated to the fullest, encouraged to the fullest, pushed to the fullest, and you definitely would never take any crap.  You'd call us up and ask if we've been doing what we are supposed to be doing - whether spiritual or physical - and just as soon as the "uh..." would come out of my mouth, your response was "don't even give me any of that!  I already know the answer already!  Get on the ball!"  I've already found myself jumping off the elliptical in a tired, panting mess, thinking, "wait til I tell Jim I actually got back on it!"  Then I remembered I can't.

If anything, your death has caused us to step it up a little, to be more serious about doing what we are supposed to, what we are called to, what is good for us, what is right, because, as this week has proved, you just never know... So, Jim, thank you for the mark that you left on my family's life.  None of us will ever be the same.  We will push a little harder, fight for what is right with a little more passion, storm Heaven's gates a little more faithfully.  I won't say goodbye, but "see you later" instead.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Desert

There are moments, days, weeks, maybe that feel like a barren desert. There are times when it seems like every single thing is crashing down around, that everything is against you. Then there are times high on the mountain top, when everything can be seen clearly. No matter what time, what season, what situation, I still cling to the knowledge and the hope that He is still God. Always in control. Holding me in the pain, carrying me through the hard times, and laughing with me through the good times.

Desert Song
(Hillsong United)


This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides
And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain

I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain

I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've received I will sow

Today I declare that I WILL bring praise. I WILL rejoice. God is still God and I will always have a reason to sing and to worship.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Well, it's that time of year again....

... You know the time... Resolutions, a time to make changes, a purging, if you will. Out with the old and in with the new. There is a bit of that going on in our household as well. Not so much "resolutions," but definitely changes being made and, I'd like to think, some purging. BUT, there will be more on that later.

Today isn't really about "in with the new," but rather a reinstating of something old. Yep, after a six month stint on birth control (gotta love those automatic ten pounds) and the holiday EATING season, I am staring an extra 15 pounds full in the face. And belly. And hips. Oh yeah, and thighs. Sigh. Stupid scale.

Time to count points again. And this guy has the right idea. At least part of it.

Last time I was counting points, using a smaller plate was actually one of the tricks I utilized. Portion control is significantly easier if your plate doesn't look empty. Batman is forever telling me to stop feeding him so much in his lunch. It's mental. I feel like I need to fill his containers. Just like most people need to fill their plate. His solution? He got me smaller containers for Christmas. :) (Ah, but that is part of that other post...) So, today I start over. Smaller plates, check.

Points counter, check. Measuring tape, check. Handy dandy points tracker that the sil/bf sent me last time I was counting, check.

A resolution? Hmm... Perhaps I should resolve to stay off the scale until next Monday morning. So far, so good. Yes, I am fully aware that it has only been an hour. Yes, I think I can do it.

Ta ta for now. I am off to see if I've lost anything by being good for breakf...... Oh. Shoot. Avoiding the scale may be harder than I thought.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

"No, Mom, I'm not.....

...tired!" were the words flowing insistently from The Beloved Boy's mouth one day shortly before Christmas. His level of rest was of great concern to me because we had an appointment at the local picture studio later that day. You know, the professional kind that makes all mothers, mothers-in-law, grandma's, grandmothers-in-law, etc. happy.... The ones that we don't do very often. I am more apt to be the type to grab our camera, have fun with the littles for a bit, then choose some great shots, print them off and frame them. Well, we won't discuss how long it had been since the littles had actually had their pictures "professionally" done, but let's just say that it had been a while.... Ok, a long while.

Outfits had been chosen, tears had been shed, I had been questioned on why a child can't wear their favorite jeans, regardless of the holes or the stains, or why not this shirt?! Why do I really need to match her?!? *Sigh.* "BECAUSE! I SAID SO!!"

Children were nestled in their beds at a reasonable hour, though not necessarily sleeping, mind you.... And visions of black eyes, missing teeth, disastrous hair and other picture-day catastrophes danced in my head. Finally, the house was quiet and all were asleep. We hoped.

When I woke up, I tiptoed out to the living room and was greeted by a big surprise! A surprise about the size and shape of an eleven year old boy informing said surprised mommy that he had been up since 4:00 am. WHAT?!?! WHY?! "I don't know, I just couldn't sleep. Don't worry mom, I'm not tired." Right. If he wasn't tired, that very pale face and raccoon eye syndrome was REALLY confusing me.

"That's nice, dear Boy, you ARE taking a nap this morning."

"But, mom-"

"No buts, Buddy... There is no way on God's green earth that you are NOT taking a nap!"

"But, mom, I-"

"Don't care. You. Are. Taking. A. Nap."

"But, mom! I can't sleep during the day!"


"But, mom-"

"Try. Now. End. Of. Discussion." And I walked out of the room. About one minute later, I returned to find this:

Nope, not tired at all. I can't imagine what I had been thinking, insisting that he take a nap. I left the room (after snapping the above picture, of course) and came back a little later to find this:

Looks like he had been tired to me! Then, I glanced at his sleeping form a little closer. On that pale cheek was a long, bright red scratch!! *sigh* How much of a nap would it take to make THAT disappear?! I think this is why we don't get them "professionally" done.