Monday, March 31, 2014


If you might recall at the beginning of March I gave myself a new monthly challenge. It consisted of giving up sugar. I gave up: desserts, no snacking after dinner, no sweet drinks and pretty much any other refined sugars. My dilemma was deciding if I would indulge in the many birthday activities we had this month. Then Sean said "you make the rules!" and I was like "heck yea I make the rules!". So I allowed myself to indulge in cake at the three birthday parties we celebrated this month.....oh and the retirement cake that Rich brought here with him. Excuse me, the MASSIVE birthday cake he brought here. Ugh. BUT, even with these few treats I managed to drop six pounds this month. It was nice to see the scale go down every week instead of going up like it's been doing all winter. Another four pounds and I'll be at my happy "everything fits" weight so I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing.

So my new challenge for the month of April is to continue with the sugar free month (and there is only one birthday in April so woohoo!). I'm also going to start wearing the FitBit again and get 10,000 steps each day for the entire month. I took the FitBit off for the month of March and it's been very freeing. I felt like it was a ball and chain and I would try way too hard to get steps in and then feel disappointed when I didn't reach my daily goal. It became stressful. This month I sat on the couch and read a book every day (What Alice Forgot was an interesting read....recommended) without feeling like I should be up and moving to get in my steps. Relaxing and removing the stresses of the day worked this month, but I need to get my hiney moving again. It's warming up nicely outside and the kids and I are running around and bouncing on the trampoline (which counts on the FitBit as steps) so it's time to get monitoring again.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


It's been an eventful week around here. My father-in-law officially retired yesterday. Congratulations Rich! He's been living 13 hours away from his house for two years now, driving up to visit us nearly every weekend. It's so natural for him to be here and very strange to think of him going home. I'm super excited for him though. I know it's been a long and trying two years. Living in a travel trailer for two years away from home and his spouse. Randi has been here for the week and they are to take off with the travel trailer for home soon. Well that was the plan anyways.

Rich's pickup truck decided to wait until the very last trip here to act up. They thought it was a transmission issue at first but when the engine started smoking and using gallons of antifreeze they pinpointed the intake manifold as the culprit. He was able to limp to our house yesterday after his last week of work. Sean found the intake manifold on Amazon (pretty sure they carry everything) and it was Prime so it was sitting on our doorstep two days later. So that's what the boys are going to be doing this weekend along with shopping for a new truck to get them home. Neither feel comfortable with the old truck doing the job. I think we'll be selling it for them once they mail us the title. So it's been an adventure figuring out how they'll get home. I hope they are able to find the right truck around here.

It's a good thing he's retired now and doesn't have to be anywhere by a certain time.

In the mean time Randi and I have been having fun with the kids and doing a lot of shopping. She's a fellow thrift store junkie so it's nice to have a partner in crime. We've hit the two closest stores and made out like bandits. Fun times!

Another bonus to having grandparents in the house? Sean and I were able to escape for a much needed date night last night. We decided on P.F.Changs. Sean had been there for a few times for work lunches but I'd never been. What a treat! It was so good. I got the Orange Peel Shrimp and it was divine. They gave me so much I get to enjoy it again for lunch today. It was a treat to get out and much appreciated. Thanks Granny Randi and Papa Rich!

Friday, March 21, 2014


Yesterday I had to run into town to return some DVD's to the library and we stopped at Target to get the kids their shampoo. It's spring break and we don't have anything to do so we wandered through Target. Naturally the kids spotted the toy section and pleaded with me to go look at toys. I told them we can go look at toys but they need to understand we are not buying any toys today. We enter the first isle and Greta picks up some green monster doll and declares "I want THIS!" She clutches it tight and keeps pleading "Please Mom, she's so beautiful I NEED her!" Uh, what part of "we're not buying any toys" did you not understand? I said "Nope, put her back."

She then starts crying. Loud crying with tears running down her face. She continues to do this through the next isle where Wesley finds the Lego's. This would be the same Star War Lego's that he's currently playing on the Wii. He was totally awe struck that there are toys that match the game he's playing. He picks up the Lego box and starts excitedly twirling in the isle. That's when his head smashes into the metal display shelf. He grabs his ear and proceeds to start crying.

So, in total disbelief, I stand there watching my two kids cry in the toy isle at Target and I wonder WHY DO I TAKE THEM ANYWHERE?

Seriously. I'm completely burnt out and I've only had them home for 4 days. I'm officially scared of summer.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Full House

We had a full house this past weekend. My sister Betsy, brother in law Blake and the boys visited and my parents and Rich were also here. It was nice getting the cousins together to play. They are all getting to the age where they enjoy rough housing together.....and you throw my father in there and it's a whole bunch of rowdy kids. There was some epic hide and seek happening. It was fun.

We celebrated little Bennett's birthday while they were here. He turns three the end of the month. He's sure a cutie and growing up fast.

Since we had so many babysitters present, the ladies all decided it was our chance to go out shopping. We got some quality shopping time and found some excellent spring clothing deals. The kids need a whole spring and summer wardrobe so it's nice to get a few pieces out of the way. We went to Jason's Deli (my favorite) for lunch. Yum!

My sister and Mom.
Spring break is in full swing and my kids are pretty bored. Luckily it's decent weather so we've been outside a fair bit. I took them to the movie theater yesterday to see Mr. Peabody and Sherman. It was a fast paced, well done movie. There were some scary moments and a little content that was too much for Greta (the discussion about removing entrails in ancient Egypt had her clutching to my arm). Wesley LOVED it on the other hand! He said it was soo good it brought tears to his eyes. Haha! That's a six year old for ya.

That is all that's happening around these parts. I've got a few more days to sleep in and then it's back to normal until school's out for the summer.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Jumping Beans

What I predict we'll be doing most of our spring break.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fur and Feathers

Usually my favorite season is Fall. I love the changing leaves and the crisp cool evenings. But I'm changing it all up this year. SPRING is my favorite season from this point on. The bulb flowers pushing their way through the dirt, the fat buds on the trees waiting for that perfect moment to erupt, the robins returning and my kids running around screaming (outside for a change). It's so nice to be on the fast rack to spring as this has been the longest winter in the history of all winters. Ever.

It's like the animals know too. The horses are already shedding their fuzzy winter coats. I let them out to run in the back yard this past weekend. They ran like crazy, kicking up their heels. It brought a smile to my face.

I'm happy to say I've kept Dym alive for another winter. The twice daily rations of soaked beet pulp, rations of high protein feed and oodles of alfalfa seemed to do the trick. She's sleek and shiny. Not fat but not too thin either. I wish she was a fat as her offspring but Nubians never seem to get as rolly polly as Boers. This is the year I'm fencing in the walnut grove for the goats (I think I said that last year but the deck took precedence). I can't wait to see her out there grazing under the shade of the walnut trees with her offspring.  I'll think they are all excited to get out of the corral.

On a sad note, last week I lost my oldest animal. Simon, the cockatiel, passed away from what I can only guess is old age. I got her back in 1997 while I was still in high school. She's been with me through most of my big life, wedding, all the moves and babies. When I got her I so desperately wanted a male bird because they can be taught to sing and talk. Hence the name Simon. He turned into a she. Therefore I got another cockatiel in the college dorms.....Luigi. Who turned out to be another female. My third attempt at getting a male was after college in our first house not far from here. I succeeded in getting a male that time and named him Waldo. He and Luigi paired up and hatched a lone egg, another girl named Ingot. Two more males were added over the years, Duncan and Eddy, both of whom wooed Simon. They all live in a giant 4 foot by 6 foot parrot cage upstairs. The boy tiels are all upstairs singing as I write's never quiet in my house (I like it that way). We've lost Luigi last year and now Simon....down to four. She was 17 years old.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Nails, Parties and Pies

I just got off the trampoline with Greta so I could come inside and write a blog post. I haven't written anything in over a week, which is sort of unheard of in the last 6.5 years. I can't believe I've been blogging for that long. Crazy right? It's pretty difficult to drag myself inside on a day like this. 75 degrees and no wind. I was just lying out there on the trampoline soaking up the sun while Miss Greta jumped wildly around me. What a beautiful day.

It's been an interesting week. My little car decided to leave me with a flat tire while I was picking up Greta from my parent's house. I swear I pick up more nails than any other person I know. Sean tried to patch it but the hole was so big that even two plugs wouldn't work. Yet another reason I wish I had a SPARE TIRE. Grumble grumble grumble. I had to go buy my second tire for the car in 15K miles. Aren't tires supposed to last longer than that?

I got to be chauffeur Mom in the truck for a few days. Transporting two kids around in a single cab truck along with backpacks, library books and groceries was not enjoyable......but it was doable. Even as tiny as my car is I am grateful to have it back in working order. Greta loved riding around in the truck, I think she was sorry to see it go (don't worry, I turned off the airbags).

Saturday evening we got invited to the birthday party of Sean's old college roommate. Another old roommate was there as well. It's been 11 years since we last saw them. It was enjoyable catching up and seeing our kids all play together. We aren't exactly the most social people so yay for a night out being social!

Greta was invited to her very first birthday party this weekend and oh was she excited. They had a rack of prom dresses, high heels, costume jewelry, boas and purses for all the girls to dress up in. That along with a bounce house made for one very fun afternoon for a certain little 4 year old.

We can't forget to mention Happy Birthday to my father-in-law. We got to celebrate Rich's birthday last night before he left to head back to his temporary home. He's only got three more weeks before he retires and heads home to New Mexico. We'll miss not seeing him regularly, that's for sure. I knew he liked coconut so I made him a coconut cream pie (I'm a coconut fan too). It was delish (if I do say so myself). Happy Birthday Rich!

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Hello March! I love March. It's a "lead in" month. A month where little shoots of green grass poke through the winter crust of soil. A month that leads in to Spring. It might be nasty out there but there is hope I tell you. Hope. Right now there is freezing rain falling, coating every surface in a slick glaze of ice. We have snow in the immediate forecast and several bitterly cold nights ahead. But since it's officially March there is hope.

I decided I need a new challenge for March. I thought about doing a 10,000 step a day challenge with the Fitbit, where I have to get 10K steps a day every day of the month but I thought I'd hold off on that challenge until next month. This month I'm going sugar free. No refined sugars, no artificial sugars, nada. Now I'm not going all crazy or anything, if there is a little added sugar in a product I'm letting it slide....6 grams and under is my rule for the month. So added sugar in marinara sauce, that's ok. Fruit is ok. I thought it would be a good way to get back on track for the spring and summer months. Now this doesn't mean I'm dooming the kids to a sugar free March. It just means I keep food stocked in the house that I won't have a problem saying no to. For instance, ice cream. It's easy to say no to ice cream and that's something the kids and hubby love. And to test my resolve, today I made the kids some cupcakes. So far so good. I got this.

For an activity challenge I had the hubby show me the next routine on the BowFlex. I've been doing the first routine outlined in the manual for about a year and a half now. It was time to switch it up, work some new muscles. So four times a week I am doing the new workout and it's a nice change. I'm starting out with some really light weights and working up to the heavy ones. It's amazing how quickly results can be seen with resistance training. I'm a believer.

I will report back with how my two challenges went this month.

Are you going to challenge yourself for the month of March?