Friday, August 30, 2013

Fitness Friday -Singing " The Struggle Is Over"

It sure was a struggle. Okay, more like a fight trying to get through this squat challenge. I was fighting with myself trying not to quit. Lord knows I wanted to go sit down and I did sometimes- to catch my breath, to talk myself out of it, to sit there looking crazy at the floor like it had done something to me other than hold me up. Lol

The first two weeks didn't seem that bad, even though I was playing catch up the majority of it. I guess I was motivated and up for the challenge. However, that third week, I was like Lord help me. Why did I sign up for this? I had suprised myself though by getting up to 120 squats without taking a break but sometimes I was taking a break at 50. Just standing there. Thinking about quitting. Looking for somebody to show me some pity, looking for the hubs to say, "You can stop. You did enough." Anything to justify me quitting.

But then, Caleb starting trying to squat with me and Cate would try and join in every blue moon. Talk about setting an example. AJ never joined but every now and then I would see him looking. I kept going. I probably could have got away with quitting, though.

Well today is the last day -250 squats. I'll stop to catch my breath and complain how bad I'm hurting probably about 20 times. Maybe 15. But I can say I made it. However, I will probably never, ever, ever, EVER do this challenge again!
Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fitness Friday

I really want to give up on the squat challege. I do.

1. I'm tired.
2. My legs hurt.
3. My back hurts.
4. I just want to.

I'm just ready for it to be over. I had this moment like what in the world was I thinking!
It seems like when I get to a certain point, my whole body starts to hurt. Then I started wondering if I was doing them right and looked them up. Maybe after so many, I just started to slump and did them incorrectly or maybe that's just how it's supposed to feel. Just brutal.

Day 23-190 squats. I haven't done them yet and I really don't want to. Though, now is actually the best time since Caleb is taking a nap. I guess I'll get up in a minute. My legs are looking very toned and less jiggly. That's a plus. I'm going to try and keep it up. My motivation has dropped and I need to find it again. Well at least dropped about these.

My snack pitfall this week.

I have a problem with these. This week I had fallen victim to the fruit snacks. I see why kids go crazy for them. I need to stop. Immediately! I prayed for God to help me stop eating them while I was standing in the kitchen opening a pack. Lol. Go me.
I dozed off writing so my little moon beam is now wide open throwing pecans to POP bubbles. I'll get those squats in tonight. * Just realized I never hit the publish button* Completed my squats!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Encouragement Mix

Everyone needs a little encouragement every now and then. There are some days I think I might have needed to eat a whole basket full. The mix is simply like trail/snack mix with encouraging words tied to them. We made these last week to take to church.

We used stuff we already had - peanuts, cheerios and marshmallows.

We also bought some m&ms and added some trix cereal for color. I forgot we didn't have any raisins or I would have added those too.

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All done and ready to take to the kids' Bible study class. Of course we had to taste test them first!

Banana Nut Muffins

The other night I had a taste for banana nut muffins but didn't have a tap of baking powder. After searching for substitutes and still didn't have any of the others, I just had to wait on my muffins. So I made them yesterday. The kids really like them and we like to spread peanut butter on them too.


2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup mashed banana (2)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use non stick spray and spray muffin tin.

2. Get two bowls. One is for dry ingredients and one for wet. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in one bowl. Make a "well" in the center. Set aside.

3. In second bowl, mix milk, egg, oil, banana and walnuts. Pour mixture into "well" of dry ingredients.

4. Fold dry mixture over banana mixture just until it's moistened. Don't over mix.( unless you have a toddler helping you )

5. Spoon into muffin pans and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Ovens vary. I actually baked for about 18 minutes.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

How To Go Shopping Without Your Kids

Going to the store with all three of my children is an activity that calls for quick tricks, quick thinking and a lot of prayer. I am usually one of the ones ready to have a melt down and lay out on the floor halfway through a shopping trip. So when the rare chance comes when I actually get to go on my own, it's like a vacation. I'm outta here!

The other week, for almost one whole day, I was alone until my other half corrupted his grandma by withholding sleep, bellowing screams of catastrophic proportions, and demanding grandma to "call mama!" So for the day I had alone, I decided to go to the mall and write about it.

How to go shopping without your kids

1. Leave house in complete satisfaction that you didn't have to pack emergency clothes for you or child nor wait for anyone to find shoes or be thirtsy or hungry the minute you decide to leave.
2. Turn radio up loudest it will go without getting a noise violation and proceed to have a one woman concert.
3. Arrive at mall and wait for no one. Thank you, Jesus.
4. Walk into the mall like a BOSS. Refrain from doing celebrity wave.
5. Decide which store to visit first. Your horizons have now been opened. You will actually get to look at clothes on the rack vs. the feet hiding in them.
6. Walk into the store and realize that you're so used to buying clothes for your children that you have no idea where to go.
7. Choose section to rumble through.
8. Lady with gray hair and cane enters. Leave immediately.
9. Refrain from going to the children's section.
10. Put children's clothing item back.
11. Pick an array of clothes to try on. There's no one climbing under the door!
12. Proceed to drop half the clothes on the floor. I must be too excited.
13. Stare at self in mirror and think, "A man must have created these evil torture devices."
14. Put on dress. This looks nothing like it does on the mannequin.
15. Try to fix hair. Maybe that will help.
16. Let's try some lip gloss and eyeliner. Looks through purse to find lip gloss and crushed gold fish crackers.
17. Proceed to try on the rest of clothes. Kind of, sort of like some. Don't buy any. Exit to next store.
18. Find rack of amazing dresses and pull some. No one else is pulling any saying, Here mama.
19. Stop in shock and stare at the black mannequin next to you. Not crayon black, but one that actually appears to have a "skin tone." I suppose I've never noticed from watching the blurs of my kids "walking" in circles around the clothes racks.
20. Head to dressing room wondering why there isn't a size between medium and large.
21. Try on dress and take picture to send to hubby asking if he likes it. Surely he's not busy. Just working, that's all. Lol
22. Search for crumpled receipt in purse and pen because all of a sudden you have this great idea for a blog post on how to go shopping without kids.
23. Sit down in dressing room and start to write until you remember where you are.
24. Get dressed taking notice that you have no suprising food stains on the back of your clothes from a toddler gripping your shirt or being wrapped around your leg.
25. Check phone while leaving dressing room. Hubs likes the dress. Debates about it for a minute, then puts dress back.
26. Heads to shoe section. Oh, how I love shoes.
27. Shoes are on sale and at clearance prices! Jackpot. Let's dig in!
28. Search for size. Finds size. Looking. No. No. Ewww. Nope. No.
29. Go to the smaller shoes. Why, here are all the cute ones. Who in the world has feet this small? Anyway, no one has unstrapped their sandals and started trying on shoes.
30. Exit store. Consider binding feet. Umm, no.
31. Refrain from going into children's store. Walk quickly past.
32. Exit mall. Childfree. Nobody argued, whined, or had a meltdown to stop by the bubble gum machine. It was great. Thank you Lord. Let's go eat.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fitness Friday - Still Squatting And Maybe A 5k

Over the weekend and at the start of the week, I didn't do any squats. I just couldn't function.(sick) So once again, I played catch up. I like to think that stills counts as going through with the challenge. I mean I've been doing about 200 squats a day with a break, of course. I have managed to get to 100 without stopping. It's gotten a lot easier and I've been ready to break into my praise dance. Who would have thought?

*Our mouth and our mindsets are the quickest thing to kill our dreams, goals, vision, everything!*

5k Anyone?

There is this 5k tomorrow morning. I want to do it so bad, but I don't know if the hubs will be back home to watch the babies. It starts at 6 am, so I know dropping them off at my mother in laws at 5am just isn't going to work. That's about borderline for me too on a Saturday morning.

Of course, there will be more 5ks if I don't get to participate tomorrow. I think I'm just too excited and ready to jump in. We'll see!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Oh God, It's School Picture Time!

A time where memories are captured, relived and cringed at upon receipt of the school pictures.

Moms everywhere work extra hard to make sure clothes are carefully chosen, hair is perfectly in place, and that smile is just perfect. You even practice it.

"Show me how you're going to smile on your pictures."

You say, "Smile big!" They look like Hannibal Lecter. "Okay, smile, but don't smile that big." They look like they're about to cry.

So you give up. Just smile, child. Smile. They either smile just right or they have absolutely no idea what you want from them. You have officially confused the child.

Lord please let this child take a good picture. Especially if I have to pay up front. So you send them off praying for a good picture, but this is what goes through your head all day.

"I should have let her wear something else. I hope they don't go to recess. Please, don't pull your hair. I wonder how they're going to smile. Will he forget how to smile? Those shoes don't look that good. I hope they don't get her feet. I know they're going to rush with all the kids they have to do. Please don't do anything that involves paint, markers, or eating. I hope he doesn't mess up his shirt. We might need to do retakes."

All before they've even taken and sent the pictures home. Lord, have mercy.

And that is why I stopped buying school pictures. Okay. Well, other than the fact that they are a billion open packets of pictures from preschool to soccer shots that should have been sent to Uncle Benny in California 10 years ago that he'll likely never receive.

So I started taking my own. I know what they look like. There are no hassle wardrobe changes, and I can do as many retakes as I want. Well, until we all start getting grouchy. Oh, and I can print what I need as needed.

Though, I still want to see what the pictures look like, I really don't care as much. If they're good, they're good. If they're not, it'll be a good laugh.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fitness Friday

This is going to be a fairly short post. Despite our late night rendezvous, my computer has decided it hates me. After all the attention I gave it. I tell ya. So I'm blogging from my phone. If you have ever seen me text, you know how challenging this is for me. Like a t-Rex trying to clap. I apologize if you've commented and I haven't responded or visited your page. I'm not purposely ignoring you. I only do that to my children occasionally when they're complaining. I'm am still doing the squat challenge. I haven't given up yet. I hadn't started it when I posted it so I've been squatting every day straight to play catch up. I'm good until I get to about 47. Then my body starts getting hot and I can feel the sweat like it's about to start. So all of a sudden it's like, Whoa. I keep going though, but the next day is rough. You can feel the sting of those squats all day long, and then I have to actually function on two legs. Heard one of my favorite songs on the radio today. Switchfoot- dare you to move That's what I've been doing. Daring myself. A dare devil. Don't let fear hold you back from doing anything. You never know what you can accomplish until you accomplish it. I'm learning this along the way - in work outs and in life. So whatever you've been thinking about, no matter what it's about. Do it. I dare you. Ps. I had cookies and ice cream this week. And bacon. Oh, how I've missed them.

Toddertivities - What' My Name?

Well, I think I'm about fully recovered from the crud I've been fighting for the last couple of days. It was horrible and I was just a mess. I'm pretty sure while reading to my daughter, I told her that glaciers were little people that ate snow in the ocean. I hope she wasn't listening. So now, I can get back to regular posting starting with what Caleb's been learning during the first whole week of school. We've been working on some name activities.

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I wrote his name on a piece of construction paper and had him match the letters and glue them down.

We traced his name with noodles.

We made a name tag necklace that he proudly wore everywhere. We simply painted a piece of cardboard, put stickers on, and pulled a string through it.

We practiced tracing his name with a lot of coaching because he wouldn't let me help him. There was a lot of "Look, look, wait. Where are the dots? Stop right there. Now, go around and so on. We made it though. He did pretty good for a first try.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Very First Twist Out

First of all, I am in grieving mode because I didn't win the lottery. After the computer put me down last night (still down, blogging from phone), the phone started going crazy ( couldn't contact anybody- God wanting me to keep my winning a secret), and a random stranger walked up to me and asked if I was tired (tired of everything), I just knew God was about to make it happen. Well he did, but not for me. I guess I need to tape those student loan papers back up. Uuhhhhh.

Last week, I decided to try my very first twist out. I was getting a little bored with my hair and wanted to try something new. I didn't wash my hair before doing it but wet it with a spray bottle. I used a combination of As I Am leave in, olive oil and Cantu Shea butter.

I didn't realize how long my hair really was until now. It kind of shocked me. When I finished, I wrapped it with a scarf for the night.

That morning I rolled the ends up for about an hour and a half while I roamed the house trying to figure out how a toddler can make a mess in so little time.

This is what it looked like when I took it out. Next, I started taking it all loose with a little bit of olive oil on my hands. For some reason, it didn't occur to me that I would need to fluff, pick, pat, slick, etc, etc. I'm going to blame that on exhaustion. I was hoping it would come out something like Cate's. Just done with little or no manipulation but shorter.

Cate in two strand mini twist out.

Chunky twist out

And then there was me.

After I had finished taking it loose. I ran my hands though my hair and just stood there.


Here goes the styling. I used some Eco-styler on the edges.

Not too bad for a first try!

Thanks for reading.

Hey God, Did You Forget About Me?

Do you ever feel like there are times when God has forgotten about you?  You feel like you are doing all you can to please him but trouble seems to always find their way to your door.

  Every time you try to move forward, something happens to put you three steps back.  You read your Bible, you try to live a Christ centered life, you help others without expecting anything in return, you pay your tithes, you're building that relationship and becoming closer with God, you try to be pure of heart, you're doing everything " thus say the Lord" (Did I cover it all?) but something is always trying to stop you. You feel like you just can't get your blessing.

I feel like this sometimes but it was at it's height about two weeks ago.  It seemed like all the walls had closed in and I had nowhere to go.  I couldn't breathe. 

"Oh, God!"

"What Now!"

 "Lord why me?! 

1 Peter 4:12
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you

Though I'm not surprised, sometimes I'm like God must think I'm a bad mammajamma!

This past year everything has been flipped upside down making me more than nauseous.  Everything wants to tear up at the same time (fridge, car, microwave), family crisis popping up at every corner (drug addiction, mental illness), financial issues (This is about to be a money blog, baby!),  people calling me with their problems ( I can't save anybody), parents need things (we've been caretakers and primary financial supporters for the last 8 years).  I was like what in the devil is going on and I cried.  Now, I think I mentioned I am not a crier.  Excessive crying annoys me.  Heavily.  I'm more of the "You need to dry that up and come on.  We still got things to do." type. 

Well anyway, I was taking a glimpse of the non Christians.  You know how we do it.  Look at so and so over there.  They Ain't trying to live right, Ain't paying they tithes, Ain't Doing NOTHIN' and happy as clown.  It just looks like they don't have any problems. ( Of course, they do)

But why would they.  The enemy got them right where he wants them and I had to remember that God was likely trying to get me right where He wanted me.  Wholely and solely trusting and depending on Him.  He hasn't forsaken me.  He was and is with me the whole time even when I cried. To be honest it felt real good to cry.  That's that broken and contrite spirit.  lol.  The spirit that brings about that spiritual maturity that develops through trials.  I had to remember even through the tears, God has a plan for us. 

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God knows what's best for us even when we don't. It's a journey but it's not without it's detours and roadblocks.  These obstacles don't mean the journey's over but that we have to wait a while.  We'll get there.  He's shaping, molding, and preparing us for greatness.  Now how long that takes depends on how hard your dough is.  (I couldn't resist)

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

My husband had to remind me that although it was hard (the waiting, the being patient, the trying not to bang my head against the wall and scream)  It will all be rewarded in the end.  Your breakthrough is coming.  Your peace is coming.  Your blessing IS coming.  Be patient, be prayerful and be praising Him in the midst of it all.

John 16:33
I  have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Hold on.  Change is coming!  Remember when praises go up, blessings come down.  And if you haven't heard that, try this. 

Just throw your hands up!..........And they stay there!
* Laughter is good medicine*

Monday, August 5, 2013

Schools In - Did I Meet My Goals?

I had previously made some goals to hopefully have accomplished by the time school starts and that was Thursday.  Some were a hit and some were a miss.  So this is how it panned out.

1.  Clean out and wash the car.
We were easily able to get the car cleaned out but I had to decide if I really wanted to set myself for this washing the car experience.  A lot of helping hands washing and a lot less cleaning.  I decided to pass.  I don't think the car is happy.

2.  Set up a command center
AHHHH!  Did you scream?  It's a mess.  This is what was currently begging for attention in the hall.   It isn't that, that bad but look at all that mail. 
*For the record, I would like to state none of that belongs to me. However, God forbid I throw away that one piece he's looking for because it has a scribble of something somewhere in a corner.  I've just decided to throw it into a bin and let him sort through it whenever.
Cleaned it up a bit.  Put our bucket there for writing utensils and straightened our yarn clothesline for art.
This is the other side wall, but the bathroom splits it.  I had big dreams for this wall.  Unfortunately, when I drew my cartoon sketch picture on my paper, my wall was a lot of bigger.  So I had to adjust.   I put a pocket up for each child to put anything in that I need to sign or look at.  (Caleb would have disowned me if I left him out)  They have to check back in the morning if they have anything to pick up.  These were actually wipe off educational packets from Walmart.  They came with printed clock templates, times sheets, and writing paper so the child could put the paper in and write on the plastic instead.  They were only $2 each.  I decided to reuse them.  I can always use the templates later.    I also wanted to put a calendar on this wall solely for test days and projects but I haven't figured that out yet.

3.  Make weekday labels for the kids' clothes.
I made these Thursday during Caleb's nap time.   Card stock written on with the "poor teacher's laminator" (packing tape) and string.  We really don't have room for those big organizers with the days on them.  On Sunday we pick out all of our clothes and put a day on the hanger so we know exactly what we are wearing everyday.  This should lessen the chance of scarves with shorts and long sleeve shirts with glitter boots in 90 degree temperatures.  True story.

4.  Make a few new hair accessories for Cate.
I started on these but never got finished.  So they are still a work in progress.  Well actually not a work in progress.  I'll get to them, but it would have been nice to have matching bows on Thursday when I couldn't find one.  I couldn't find a headband or anything.  I making those too as if I have so much extra time on my hands.

5.  Finish making the rest of the napkins for the lunchboxes.
I dug through all my scrap fabric and was able to make some more.  I decided to add a different color to the backs of them and try a decorative top stitch. I need more practice but not that bad.

6.  Freezer Cooking. You can check out my freezer cooking post here.

7.  Decide on a back to school hair style for Cate and have an idea of the rest of them for the month.

This is Cate on the first day of school.  The first two days she wore her hair in these little balls.  The first full week (this one) I washed and put her hair half up and half down in two strand twists like this second picture- minus the bangs.  I'm going to re-twist at night and untwist in the mornings.
Second week hair
The last two weeks her hair will be in two strand twists and I will probably do a twist out for the last two or three days of the second week.

Our Hair Inspiration
Skai Jackson from Disney's "Jessie"

8.  Go ahead and get back on our bedtime schedule.
We almost made.  We went on time one day.  Then, we were running around and got home late another day.  Then we were 1o minutes off but close.  Then, we took my niece to the mall at the last minute looking for shoes.  Oh well, we tried.  It should be easier now that we're settling back into a routine.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fitness Friday - The Squat Challenge

So it's out again.  The squat challenge.  I've attempted it once before but think I fell off the map somewhere around day 10.  If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. 

I'm trying it again.  Only two things can happen.  I'll finish it and be proud of myself or I'll quit while leaving the jiggle in my thighs. 

I'm taking this fitness journey by the horns.

So are you in?  Drop and give me 50.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own;  you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body 
1 Corinthians 6:19-20