Thursday, March 31, 2011

All About Me

I can not even express how much I did NOT want to make this post.

This has been, by far, my hardest month. Emotionally, it has been tough; my Grandpa had surgery, Chris' Grandpa is gearing up for surgery, close friends moved away and I have struggled with my attitude a great deal as well. I know these kinds of things do and will continue to happen in life...I chose very poorly this month, and really did eat my way through the stress...giving me not the best numbers for the month!

My goal for March was to lose 15 lbs. I didn't even come close!

I have lost 2.4 lbs this month.
I have lost 58.3 lbs since Nov. 20th
I have lost 80.3 lbs since my heaviest point (6/2009)

Unfortunately, these numbers do not tell the whole story though. I started out looking really good with a 7 lb weight loss this month, and have in the last 2 1/2 weeks, gained 5 of those pounds back.

I feel like I am at a crossroad, and I have been at this crossroad before...where I have done well, but something happens and I fall off the band wagon. Normally at this point, I give up and revert back to old habits...but I know where that will lead me, and I do not want to go there; not this time! I am determined to get back to eating well and working out - starting right now with a workout (I have failed to workout for almost a week, but have only consistently worked out 1-2 times/week all month!). To help me get back on track, I am signing up for a 5k in just 7 weeks, so that I will need to train for it! I am hoping that this will help me get back on track!

If anyone knows of a (local!) treadmill that someone wants to get rid of inexpensively (but that works well!), I would be greatly appreciative!

Goal for April:
- Get back on track with eating the foods I need to fuel my body
- Get back on track with working out
- Train for my 5k
- Lose 15 lbs. in April

Now I am off to my eliptical!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"It's my new favorite therapy!"


The title is what Callie said when I brought home a free treadmill. I tried it out, but I am too heavy and the belt slips when I get on it because it is older and the motor is weak. Though it says it starts out (according to the dial) at .7 mph, Callie is able to walk on it the way she does the .1-.2 mph at gait training therapy...so we are letting her get on it each day! She is doing great! Her form on it with no support is really good! She is taking nice big 'monster steps' as she calls them, and really enjoys her time doing her 'new therapy!'

I love it when my little ones play together!

I just love watching my littles play together! I love watching Brianna, Callie and Justice being so gentle with their little sibling(s). I love hearing the chorus of "Can I please hold her next?" I love hearing their sweet words to her, singing songs, and trying to make her smile. I love their excitement when they do make her smile. I love hearing them ask me to take their pictures while all of this is going on, too! So here are the pics I took!


Monday, March 28, 2011

The final good-bye

It has been nice to spend some extra time with our friends who are moving away - but it has been a mixed blessing for my children. It has been a very slow countdown..."only 4 more days, and 3 more times to see them until they leave forever." We saw them every day for the last 3 days, and on Wednesday, which is when the countdown began. And each time the girls thought of their leaving, this is what it looked like:







They also do this each time they think about not seeing this family for a long while, possibly forever. I am giving them the week off of 'regular' school while they grieve - or rather, I keep them busy to keep their minds off of it, lol! Tomorrow we head to the dentist for Anna, then to the children's museum with Chris' mom, who happens to have the day off! Wednesday, we will head to the zoo with my sisters. Thursday, well all Thursdays are busy, lol! Friday we will be staying home, catching up on laundry and housework, menu planning for the following week, and shopping.

My girls looked at my last good-bye post, and asked me to post the correct song that they were singing. They liked the song I posted, too, though!

Justice and tools

Justice watched me take apart our friends' bed frame while helping them move...he was completely enthralled! The pictures tell the story!




Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saying Good-Bye

It is always hard to say good-bye to good friends, which is what we are doing in just a few days. The girls are very sad about losing (close) contact with this precious family as they set out on new adventures that God has for them.

I was so proud of the girls when they were singing the same song I pointed out to them and talked through the lyrics of with them after Lilly died...to hear them singing this through their tears, was very touching to me. And what a great reminder to myself as well! I love it when my children are able to teach ME spiritual truths (and it happens frequently!).



I tend to come up with songs that remind me of a time. I thought the girls came up with a great song for this time. The song that I have thought of during this week is called the Benediction. I can't find a good youtube with it, so here are the lyrics.

My friends may you grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior,
My friends may you grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

To God be the Glory, now and forever. Now and forever, Amen.
To God be the Glory, now and forever. Now and forever, amen.

I pray that tonight, if we learn from one another, may we glorify Him.
And if someday He brings us back together, may we be in His arms till then.


While we are very sad to see them go, our thoughts and prayers go with them. We enjoyed our good-bye party with them on Saturday (when we actually said, 'see you tomorrow')...with the exception of an ER trip during the party for one of the children attending...and had fun at our last get together at home church this evening. Tomorrow we will help them get their things loaded into the moving truck and get their house cleaned. This will actually be the last time that we see them.

Father, God, we thank you for this family. We pray that you would give them traveling mercies, that you would guide them in each step they take. We thank you for the provisions you have already given to them, and we pray that you would continue to provide for all of their needs. We thank you, Father, for the time that they have been here, the lessons we have had the opportunity to learn from them and the fellowship we have shared. We lift this family up to you, as they are having to say good-bye to their friends and family here, that your peace and comfort would rest on them during this time of transition.

Serenity is 5 months old!


It really does go by so fast! She has made so many changes this month. She is now very ticklish, she is using her hands more and more all the time. She loves the excitement and commotion of everyone playing around her. She is very, very social...she loves to talk and makes new sounds all the time!

She is now rolling over from tummy to back. She doesn't like to be on her back, so once she is there, she is like a turtle who is stuck, lol!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Everett Children's Museum


A big thank you to Clara for allowing us to use her camera - I forgot mine yesterday! Then she brought her camera over today so I could copy the pics off her SD card.


We had so much fun at the Children's Museum. Our friends, the Stetsons invited us to go (and offered a 2nd adult so we can get in - the museum has a very strict 6:1 child to adult ratio, even for families that we now are over) And it was a much needed distraction for my girls on a very emotional day. They had made going away cards/pages to make a book for a dear family we know that is moving away.


Justice was so funny at the museum this time...he had this look of confused bewilderment while observing all that was going on around him. He wouldn't participate until the very end. He just seemed to be taking it all in!


Callie did a great job walking! The road the children's museum is on was all torn up with road construction (and closed) so she had to walk 2 blocks just to get there. Then she walked through the museum, and then back to the van! She did a great job climbing up on things, and getting to where she wanted to go - all on her feet!


The older ones had such a great time playing with their friends, and forgetting their sorrow, if only for a little while!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Play Dough Fun!

Callie and Brianna helped me make play dough. The recipe I have included is nice because it doesn't use cream of tartar, which is typically the expensive part of making playdough! We really like the consistancy of this particular recipe, too!
When we were all done, we took the time to have a color lesson while mixing our colors and making a rainbow together. Now the girls are very happily playing with their fresh, soft, still warm dough!




Play Dough Recipe (we multiply it by 4 when we make it so there is plenty of play dough for everyone!):

•1 Cup Plain Flour
•1/4 Cup Salt
•3 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice
•2 Tablespoons of Oil
•3/4 cup of water
•Food Coloring

Directions
1.Mix the dry ingredients in a saucepan
2.Whisk in the water over low heat
3.Mix in the vinegar
4.Pour in the oil
5.Continue to mix over low heat until it forms a playdough texture
6.Split up the dough, and knead in the food color (when it’s cool enough to touch)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Piano lessons



The girls have had such a great time at piano lessons! The older 3 are taking lessons this year, and doing a great job! This week, all 3 of them graduated from their first book today and are now moving onto their 2nd!

Good job girls! I am so proud of you! Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Callie and Brianna

Callie and Brianna are a lot alike. They both have very strong opinions, and consequently, sometimes have a hard time playing nicely together.


Today has been awesome for them as far as playing together though! They have done a wonderful job, playing pretend, doing each other's hair, and playing play doh while I worked with the older ones!


Good job little ladies! I am proud of you! I love to watch my children's relationships growing and changing. It is really a blessing that all of them get along so well! I praise God for the peace and joy that normally fills our home!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is Chris' Dad's actual birthday. I thought I would take the time to just say how awesome he is!



Here is a picture I took from our living room window...he didn't say anything at all, just was out there, working on my van for me. (the van could be its own post at this point!)
He is always so quick to hold Serenity, or help with Justice in the evenings.

He has donated countless hours already to the Motor Home project! (The motor home could be several posts!)

He is very generous and giving of all his many talents and expertise!



He is funny, creative and we are so very glad he is no longer out trucking (so we get to see him more)!

Happy Birthday, Dad, we love you!

Monday, March 21, 2011

J is 21 months old today!


He has made some big changes this month! He is trying to be funny, loves to be chased, loves to chase others, is talking and loves reading books!

He loves to play with his older sisters, and enjoys giving lots of kisses to Miss Serenity.


He likes to help, mostly by putting things in the garbage, lol! (Which means we are always on the look out to make sure when we throw something away that everything on top is actually garbage, lol!)

He is such a blessing to our family!

Chicks!

Everyone was very excited to get to hold our friends' baby chicks last night!



Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandpa Shannon!

we went to Outback Steak House (Saturday), then came back home for cake & ice cream and presents.

For (Chris') Dad's birthday,
The twins made a special surprise...a piƱata! All 7 of the children (my older 5 + our niece and nephew) really enjoyed it! The twins were so proud of their project, too!




It was a very fun evening! I didn't get any good pics of Dad at his party though...so I included a pic of him teaching Ashley how to sight down a board to see if it is straight.

The Motor Home


















I am not sure if I have posted anything about the motor home. It is a big project, that tends to make progress in spurts...
It is a 1979 or 1980 (title says 1979, but the body of the cab is actually a 1980...) Dodge Free Spirit...that had a lot of water damage.

We started by looking for something that we could build on...we ripped up the carpet, and learned that the floor was soggy in places. We then ripped out the floor and sub floor, things were still soggy...eventually, we got down to the bear truck bed!

Since then, we have built the floor, put flooring down, built the over the cab bunk, and are working on getting it framed and interior walls up!



It is really exciting to see it coming together! You can see the bathroom, and where the bunks will be. The fridge (as of Friday!) is in place. The walls are all framed. We went Saturday to figure out what we will be using for the interior side of the walls. I would really love for this motor home to be ready to go for camping this summer, but we shall see...it has been a long project - and it still has a long way to go!

Chris' dad is absolutely amazing! He has done most of the work on it, both designing it and putting it together! He is so awesome to help us out with such a big project!