Monthly Archives: November 2011

Family Fitness Weeks 3 and 4

I bet you thought we fell off the wagon didn’t you?! Ha! I could see where you might think that since I didn’t post last week’s goals. And, being a fitness thing it wouldn’t be all that crazy to think someone fell off the wagon.

But we did not! YAY! We are still at it; I just didn’t have time to get the post done last week. So, here is where we are at.

We have broken the TV habit! And my house has never been quieter!! It used to be that the TV was on whenever someone was home. Most of the time no one was even watching it; it was background noise. Which is the last thing we need in this house:)! We are good in the noise department. We all have a couple shows we really like and we do still watch them, but now it’s about turning on the TV to see that particular show instead of turning it on and surfing until we settle for something. I know, we were lame. But guess what we have gained from this broken habit?

  1. We are spending more time together! Since we all have different interests we would go to different rooms to watch what we wanted. Without the TV drawing us apart, we actually hang out together. Which leads to….
  2. We have laughed a LOT! This family of mine is funny. I mean like pop-coming-out-your-nose-at-the-table funny. I think it might actually count as exercise…definitely an ab workout.
  3. We are going outside more. Middle Son brought his bow and arrows back out from under the bed where they had been stashed for months. He set up a target in the backyard {I really hope this is legal!! But if he misses, he will just hit my shed and I haven’t lost any windows yet.} and they go out about once a day to shoot. Or they rake leaves, kick the soccer ball around, shoot hoops, you get the idea.
  4. We have WAY more time in every day! It’s amazing how quickly you can get sucked into watching 3 hours of TV in an evening. You think you’ll just sit down a minute and watch a show. Next thing you know hours have passed and you haven’t moved! Or maybe I’m the only one that has happened to:)?!
  5. We have some jugglers in our house! A skill that has been honed when the TV is off. And they have only broken a couple things in the process.

Breaking the TV habit has been awesome! And not nearly as painful as I expected. We’ve also become much better at reading food labels. It’s not at all uncommon to have someone say, “Do you realize how much sodium there is in….” Everyone is paying more attention. We didn’t have a goal of drastically changing our eating habits, but arming ourselves with information is making a difference in what we choose. Probably the biggest change has been in serving sizes. It’s amazing to read the label and find out exactly how much is considered a serving. It definitely makes you think twice. And that is a good thing!

For this past week, our goals were similar to previous weeks. The idea is that we keep doing these things and then add something each week. Here’s what they were:

Me – No fast food, 6 glasses of water per day and cut down to 3 sodas a day. I’m pleased to say – No Fast Food! Yay! It really is just a matter of planning, when I don’t take my lunch to work or have a meeting right after, it’s easy to just grab fast food. Better planning pays off. I am also happy to report….drum roll please….I only had three sodas a day all but one day! That’s big for me:). When I set this goal I asked the boys if 1 Route 44 from Sonic counted as just one soda? They didn’t fall for it. I didn’t actually count my glasses of water every day, but I know I drank more than 6. I am always drinking something and if it isn’t soda, it’s probably water.

Hubby – no food after 7 pm and cut down to two sodas per day. He had a great week! He hasn’t eaten after 7 pm since we started this. When he sets his mind to something – watch out! And he stuck to two sodas a day all but one day. Not bad at all!

Oldest Son – drink eight glasses of water per day. He totally didn’t keep track?(. But when we touched base he reported that he had to pee all the time this week! Ya, I know, that’s more than you wanted to know. But, I think it means he might have succeeded at this one:).

Middle Son – stick to eating at meal time and a snack after school only. He went about 50/50 on this one. His appetite is rather insatiable these days – he’s in a bit of a growth spurt! Yay for growth spurts!

Youngest Son – cut out Pringles at lunch in addition to eating a protein, fruit or veggie and milk for lunch every day. He gave in to the Pringle craving once this week. I guess that’s better than daily. But he was successful on the rest of his lunch plan. Small victories!

We all still struggle to fit in the 7 + hours of sleep per night. Turning off the TV has helped, but it’s still a struggle. We have continued to try serving a vegetable with every meal and this week will be having two courses at our meals with 5 minute in between! Should be interesting.

For our family project we looked at trans fats this week and learned more about what foods contain trans fats – it’s in a LOT of food, even cereals! Our family activity is getting postponed until tomorrow since Hubby had to be out of town unexpectedly, so I will share that later in the week.

I have to say so far, so good on this Family Fitness journey. We are definitely taking the tortoise approach, but I think it will pay off in the long run. Stay tuned for more!

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Thankful Thursday – Aunts

These women are special. One is my Mom and the others are my aunts.
They are awesome ladies! True women of faith. And I am so thankful for them.
They are each so unique and yet so much alike. And I see pieces of each of them in myself.

Myra is funny; such a dry sense of humor.

Marlene has the gift of hospitatlity; I always feel loved and appreciated around her.

Nola’s laugh is contageous; she doesn’t take life too seriously.

Vel is so creative; she makes it all look so easy.

And Mom, she’s Mom! And I love her.

I love them all!

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I Might Be A Morning Person…

It’s strange. I haven’t thought of myself as a morning person. I have spent a lot of years staying up really late. Sometimes because I have something to do and sometimes just because I can. I remember in college, my preference was to stay up late because you had to get it done. Waking up early, may not be early enough. You could always stay up later. Fortunately, I didn’t pull many all-nighters; my major didn’t require it.

Then when I started having babies, I often found it easier to just stay up than to sleep for a couple hours until a baby woke up for a feeding. It was not at all uncommon to fall asleep in the chair with a baby in my arms {And if we are being honest – I was usually drooling on their head. Sorry boys!}

These days I have to stay up late to make sure teenagers come home by curfew. It kind of kills me. We’ve worked out a system. I set the alarm on my phone for 5 minutes past curfew. When they get home, they come in and turn off the alarm. They miss curfew, the alarm wakes me up. And then I don’t have to worry about them lying in a ditch somewhere while I sleep happily. {On a side note, we don’t have ditches where we live. I don’t know why I worry about them lying in a ditch somewhere. I think it’s leftover from my childhood. I can hear my mother saying, “We didn’t know if you were laying in a ditch somewhere or what! You could at least have the courtesy to let us know where you are. I worried myself sick!” Of course, I’m confident those comments would have been directed at one of my brothers. I’m sure I never worried my mother sick!} Even with our system, I don’t sleep well ’til all my boys are home.

But with the end of daylight savings time this fall {or maybe it is the beginning? I can never remember when it is beginning or ending. I don’t know what the real time is!} my clock has been off. By about 7 o’clock every evening I’m done in. I can hardly keep my eyes open and dream of going to bed. I just can’t bring myself to. After all, only old people go to bed at 7 pm {Sorry to my friend Deborah who goes to bed at 7 pm, but is definitely not old!} I feel like I’m wasting precious time if I just sleep. There is so much to do; writing, crafting, college scholarship applications, papers to proof, a house to clean. It just seems like a lost opportunity to go to bed early. So, I’ve split the difference and gone to be by 10:30 the last two nights. And then I can wake up earlier. Today I woke at 5:40 am! I actually got in the shower before the guys and their hour-long routine. I either get in at 5:45 or I’m relegated to waiting until 7 am! That makes it really hard to get to work on time.

So today I showered first – at 5:45. I got myself all ready to go, did a few dishes, made myself some breakfast and read some online newspapers. It was very strange. Good strange. Kind of like I pictured life could be. The boys thought it was weird. And maybe a little bad too since I made them empty the dishwasher before they left shortly after 7. I felt so productive and not rushed! And I even got to work EARLY! That NEVER happens to me. I kind of like this newfound time of the day.

Except.

It’s 1:30, nearing the end of my lunch hour, and I can’t keep my eyes open. Not…one…more…. second…..

I would make a bed under my desk, but I understand that’s frowned upon. {Yes, the issue has come up before!} I guess I’ll do a lap around the building and hope the brisk air wakes me. Otherwise, I’ll have to shut the door, post a Do Not Disturb sign, and hope my fairy godmother finishes the piles of work I have to do today!

Wish me luck!

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They Think I’m Organized!

We were talking last night, the boys and I, about a new volunteer position I am stepping into. We were talking about what it takes to manage this kind of project and who I might ask to co-chair with me – it’s too big of a  job for just one person. I don’t remember the exact sequence of the conversation, but the real point is, all the boys looked at me in disbelief when I said, “You think I’m organized?”

They had a look of total confusion on their faces.

I wasn’t sure what this meant. Are they horrified that I might think I’m organized? Have I had a stroke and begun speaking jibberish without realizing it?

And then Oldest Son said, “You are borderline anal retentive!”

{SMILE}

I’m not smiling because I want to be called anal retentive. But I have a deep-seeded perception that I’m disorganized. I love spreadsheets and systems! I like things just so. I love organization! But I don’t always think of myself as organized. Like I told my boys, none of my brothers would describe me that way. They knew me way back when. When I was a bit of a slob – when it comes to my room anyway.

It got me thinking about how we can change as adults. It ties in to the DiSC profile I talked about last week. Looking at what you come by naturally and what is a learned tendency. With three boys and a full-time job I have had to be organized. I don’t have the luxury of being disorganized at this point in my life. I have to manage the schedules of all the family members. Making sure jerseys are ordered, science fair projects are done, audition music is recorded, and cap and gown are ordered. It takes organization to make all the things happen that I’m responsible for every day. And that is just at home. I have a job that requires me to manage a lot of different projects simultaneously.

So by necessity, I have become organized. And my brothers, who haven’t lived with me for as long as 30 years, probably still see me as that messy teenager. Thank goodness we all have the opportunity to change!

So yes, they think I’m organized. And they think I’m crazy for smiling when called anal retentive. It almost spurred a Facebook post boy Oldest Son. {Ya, that happens frequently when I have a blonde moment. And I’m ok with that. It’s well deserved.}

 The term anal-retentive (also anally retentive), commonly abbreviated to anal,[1] is used conversationally to describe a person who pays such attention to detail that the obsession becomes an annoyance to others, and can be carried out to the detriment of the anal-retentive person. The term derives from Freudian psychoanalysis. People who are said to be anal-retentive usually suffer from obsessive–compulsive personality disorder[citation needed].
 
Although, upon further consideration. I am clearly not anal retentive! Right?
 

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Moral Compass

I saw a post on Facebook recently with a speech attributed to Ben Stein. I don’t know for sure that he actually said it all – the end had all the markings of a chain email. But I did appreciate the point being made. I struggle with the way religion, and specifically Christianity, is being pushed out. There has been a continuous progression in my lifetime to “separate church and state”, but somewhere along the way this has been translated to “remove all signs of Christianity from our society.” I understood the intention of the separation of church and state to be prohibiting us from mandating one state religion; that it cannot be proclaimed that all Americans must be Christians. And thank goodness for that! When we mandate what people must believe we become something so drastically different, something I don’t want to be a part of. But I don’t believe it is intended to mean that people may not express their own faith in public. That we must cleanse our society of all signs of Christianity. Is that not mandating atheism? How different is it to force one religion or banish religious practice?

Being “politically correct” which is code for appeasing the most sensitive individuals ensuring no one is ever made to feel slightly uncomfortable has become the norm. We as a society have stepped aside and let a small minority dictate what is offensive, what could be misinterpreted. We have watched as things like the Father Son Cake Bake become the Manly Cake Bake to insure that no child feels uncomfortable that they don’t have a father or their father is not a part of their life. The intent may be good, I certainly don’t want a child feeling ostracized because of the choices his parents made. But is this not diminishing the role of fathers in a boy’s life? Does it not minimize the importance of having a father if we are always careful to note that not everyone has one? When we work so hard to make those without a father feel “normal” and minimize the deficit this causes in their life, are we not minimizing the importance of all fathers?

Likewise, when we remove the standard by which we judge right and wrong, our moral compass, should we not be prepared for a new sense of right and wrong? I grew up with the Ten Commandments as that compass. That along with the whole of the Bible is what I base my morality upon. If those tenants become unacceptable in our society what replaces them. Look at the laws of our country and how closely they mirror the Ten Commandments. No killing, no stealing, and no lying are the first that come to mind. If not for the religious basis, then why do we have these rules? Why not  just say  anything goes? Why not let each person judge what is a fair way to be treated?

I fear that as a society we have lost our moral compass. Or possibly we have changed our true north – that by which we set our compass. I would argue our culture’s true north has been moved to our own centers. It has become about what will make me feel good, not cause me stress or angst. The goal has become to not make anyone uncomfortable, to make everything OK. In our haste to not offend, we lose sight of the fact that there truly is right and wrong. There are things that are not negotiable. And sometimes life is hard and unfair. There will be times when we screw up and we have to answer for our actions, we cannot make the pain go away by changing the rules. We make the pain go away by pushing through it, by learning from our mistakes, repenting for our wrongs, asking forgiveness of those we have hurt and doing better. When we work so hard to protect others from discomfort, we also shelter them from the opportunity to grow and learn and do better.

Where does our future lie as a people? At what point will we begin to take personal responsibility for our actions? When will we realize that in trying to make everything OK, nothing matters? When we let go of what matters only chaos remains.

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Filed under The State of Affairs

Friday

It’s Friday! Are you super excited? I am. This has been a long week and I’m ready to get some things done at home!

Like writing, cleaning, crafting and catching up with friends! So much fun.

Amazing how a couple days without work can make such a difference – and I love my work! I think its the change of pace a weekend provides.

I hope you have a fabulous weekend! Spend it doing something that feedsyour soul.

And you could pop on over to my photo blog where I’m posting today about a recent creative project I finished. 

Yes, FINISHED!

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Thankful Thursday – Brothers

I’m thankful for brothers. I am blessed with three older brothers. Though they made me crazy plenty during my growing up years, I’m so grateful to have them. They made me strong – physically and mentally. Our family teases. A lot. And tho it made me crazy sometimes, it also made lots of great memories. I spent a lot of years trying to keep up with the boys. It sometimes led to disastrous results. Like when I cut my head open trying to jump between beds and landing head first on the iron frame. But they also paved the way for me with our parents. (Some might say – wore the down!) And as adults, they have offered me advice, supported me as a parent and become my friends. They are each so different and fill different spots in my heart.  I am a lucky little sister!

Middle Brother and Oldest Brother trying to steal the entire cream pie!

Youngest Brother in full beard – it comes and goes:).

Incidentally, my boys remind me so much of my brothers; Oldest Son and Middle Brother, Middle Son and Oldest Brother and Youngest Son and Youngest Brother. The resemblance in uncanny!

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Filed under Family, Legacy, Thankful