Sunday, April 24, 2011

Week in Review...while amped up on too much coffee

Let me start by saying I had WAY too much coffee a little while ago. We had enjoyed turkey dinner here, complete with wild mushroom rice pilaf and a green bean/carrot medley. I served up the pink cake (with lots of sprinkles, thanks to my helpers) and then began to sip coffee...I offered my parents and sister more, and helped myself to another cup, and another...yikes! Now my company has gone, the kids are playing happily with new Easter treats (flip flops, sunglasses, chalk, bubbles, etc), outside in the rain, yes the rain! I've done my usual facebook update, tidied up the house, and put Matt Maher radio on Pandora...but I'm jittery and full of restless energy! So what to do? Update the poor, neglected blog? Sure, why not!
It's been a wonderful week of school vacation. Of course we've missed hubby and NCH, as they've been helping with roofing and tiling in New Mexico all week! But my girls have been INSEPARABLE!!!! It makes my heart patter with joy to see them getting along so well! CAH had a friend over one morning, and after the friend left, CAH remarked that she would rather have playdates with her sister!! NJH has been my little helper, but it's pretty obvious he's missing the other men of the house (he sauntered up to our pastor during Wednesday night's choir practice, gave a high five and stated, "Hey dude!" He proceeded to talk our pastor's ear off during the rehearsal, commenting on the chairs, how the choir sounded, etc.)
So what have we been up to? Unfortunately, my phone isn't uploading pictures right now (or I would post pictures of our adventures)...
- changed over the clothing for all the kiddos from winter to summer,
- packed up bags and bags of clothes and dropped them off to Salvation Army,
- enjoyed some take out (a little Country Drive In, a little Moe's),
- played restaurant,
- played at the park,
- dyed eggs,
- made Easter cake,
- set and decorated the table for Easter dinner,
- shopped for Easter dinner,
- talked about the Resurrection Eggs,
- visited our canine cousin and my parents who were dogsitting and went on a hike,
- had a yummy treat at the new yogurt bar "16 Handles",
- raked the yard,
- installed new swings,
- filled the sandbox with new sand,
- had a couple playdates,
- stopped in at Starbucks on Earth Day for a free cup of coffee,
- watched "Barbie Island Princess" and "Despicable Me" and Veggie Tales "Twas the Night Before Easter",
- cleaned the basement play room (three times now),
- attended an amazing Good Friday service at church,
- celebrated Jesus' resurrection this morning at church,
- enjoyed listening to CAH and the children's choir sing at church
- spent today with my parents, my sister and her hubby and their adorable baby girl
I am just so thankful for the many blessings in my life!
Here are my favorite lines to my new favorite song, "Christ is Risen" by Matt Maher:
"O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the Light!
Our God is not dead, He's alive! He's alive!!!!"
Do you know the living God? Do you wonder why I am so excited? So full of joy? Do you want to know more? I am happy to share more with you!

Friday, April 15, 2011

P90X - It's Over!

So I know some of you are SOOOO sick of hearing me say, “Bring it, people!” and “Nothin’ to it” and “I hate it, but I love it” and others would like it if I NEVER said “P90X” again the rest of my life. But others of you are very curious to know – did it work? Did 90 days of pressing play on DVDs and working out to Tony Horton’s encouragement pay off? What kind of results did I get? Here’s the scoop…
Most people know my background…I’ve blogged about fitness and all before (I’ll see if I can link some previous blogs here…ok, so I can't but I will at some point when my techie hubby is here to help!)
Day One (in January 2011): Hubby took Day One pictures and I took the initial fit test. I won’t list all of my numbers, but here are a few: I could do ¾ of a pull up, 10 pushups, 25 in-outs (an abdominal move), flexibility (reaching to toes) +2.5 inches, and I could hold a wall squat for 10 seconds.
For the next 90 days (well, it took 100 because I was entirely out of commission with the flu for 10 days in early February!), I followed the P90X plan…it’s very organized, just look at what you are to do that day, put in the DVD, press play and “do your best, forget the rest” as trainer Tony says.
Day Ninety (April 12, 2011): Again, hubby took pictures (he did so on days 30 and 60 as well.) Here are the improvements:
¾ of a pull up then……………………4 now!
10 pushups then…………………….30 now!
25 in-outs then……………………..75 now!
10 second wall squat then…….90 second now!
+2.5 in flexibility then………………+6 in now!
I lost 3 pounds from start to finish (would have liked to have lost more, but I’m hoping some of my jiggly parts got toned!)
No changes in any measurements except: ½ inch decrease in chest and ½ inch increase in each bicep. Again, I was hoping for my waist to get tiny, but no such luck this time.
I followed the “lean” version of the program, hoping to tone up, but not get too bulky. I did not follow the meal plan very well. I started with 5 lb weights but moved up to 8lbs and actually need some heavier ones for certain moves. I did get a pullup bar (I had been going outside to use the kids’ monkey bars all winter!!) I also used pushups stands, as they took some of the strain off my wrists. I also bought a mat, as my exercise surface is usually a floor. Other that than, no equipment was needed. I did all workouts in my family room or basement.
If I were to do another round of P90X (which I will likely do next winter, as it’s great when you’re forced to workout indoors), I would try to follow the nutrition guide better and I think I would try the “regular” version of the workouts. I would also get 10 lb weights and some bands.
What are the drawbacks? The only one I could find: time. This program requires about an hour a day (90 minutes for yoga), and that was a little tough initially. I ended up changing around my day a little and was able to squeeze most workouts in after preschool drop-off and before preschool pickup.
When I got dressed in the morning, I put on my workout clothes. Much more likely that I would get up and get moving with a workout if I was already dressed and ready. Also, if I got dressed in “regular” clothes, I was less motivated to change back into workout gear.
I used the calendar from P90X to actually write in what workout I was doing each day, and I wrote this out a week ahead, so I could see what was coming.
I also used the logs P90X provides so I could track what weights I used and how many reps I could do. This was super-motivating because I wanted to do as well or better the next time. This tool was also useful to track progress.
So what's next? I started Jillian Michaels' "Ripped in 30" and I'll let you know how that goes in a month or so...
Need a visual? Here are my P90X "before and afters":
Day One -

Day Ninety -

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This is The Stuff

Are you singing it already? That catchy little Francesca Battistelli song that starts, "I lost my keys in the great unknown" and later in the song,
"This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use"
Well, I heard it on the radio this morning and I burst into tears! Why? Well, it was one of THOSE mornings in my house. Usually, we get up at 8am (I know, we're spoiled, but the bus doesn't arrive until nearly 8:45). But for whatever reason, CAH was wide awake before 7, and proceeded to wake little brother. It really isn't all that terrible, but I was ticked! The morning just got more stressful and my attitude didn't help one bit. NCH needed money to buy play tickets, so I sent him up to ask hubby. I don't know what the answer was, but the next thing I knew, 2 kids were dumping out their piggy banks and there was change ALL over the place. And the bus was about to arrive! So yes, I got even more annoyed and scolded the kids and hurried them along, and lectured the whole time about sleeping until 8 and not making messes and all kinds of not all that important stuff. We barely got to say goodbye and they were off on the bus to school. I hurried the younger two into the van and off we went to drop one at preschool. And then I heard that song...and I felt really sad that I didn't appreciate the blessings of the morning...our home, our health, one another, bubbly children who were excited to go see a play this weekend who were eager to buy their tickets, a beautiful sunny day, and the list goes on.
Lord, please help me not to "forget how big I'm blessed"!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

March Madness

This post has nothing to do with basketball and everything to do with the fact that I didn't post one tiny single blog update in the month of March! Shame, shame, what a slacker!! I will admit that it has been a tad busy around here...I'm trying to figure out the best way to give a summary of events but keep things fun and interesting...we'll see how it goes, I guess! I think what I'll do is name a household member, give a little update and then give a "heart moment" blurb:
turned 9!!! I still can't believe it, but it's true. We celebrated for days...taco salad dinner with my parents, friends from school over for a sleepover, treats in the classroom, more celebrating with canine cousin and more family, etc. His grasp of the English language is amazing and I just love his sense of humor. I can count on him to help with all kinds of tasks, including things like putting outdoor gear away in the shed (and locking it up), which certainly makes life easier for me! School, especially math, science and geography, seems to come naturally to him, if only he would have the desire to put forth effort for "extra credit" types of activities...He has been busy with piano lessons, winter rec basketball, AWANA and getting ready for the HizKidz musical next week. He is playing the part of a distracted, class clown kid named Noah. Heart moment = when he still willingly jumps into my arms for a giant hug, when he asks for "snuggle time" at night and suddenly pours forth a detailed description of his day at school. I'm definitely holding on tightly to these moments!
is that typical "made for public elementary school" kind of girl! She is flourishing in 1st grade and loves her teacher, her friends, her homework, and pretty much everything. Her reading skills just took off and she can't wait to read every night at bedtime. It's music to my ears when she asks if she can go upstairs and read for awhile! She's been busy with piano lessons (played for her school for the first time in March), AWANA, and getting ready for the HizKidz musical next week. She will be a curtain warmer, a vocal leader, a dancer and a cheerleader and she's quite excited about it! Heart moment = tough to name just one, as she's the peacemaker/deep feelings kiddo who often helps us find joy in the every day. I do remember getting an urgent prayer request from a friend one afternoon, and CAH and I sat and prayed together for a newborn baby in the NICU, undergoing all kinds of tests. She was fervent in her prayer and it touched my heart to see her so compassionate.
suddenly seems so grown up. She is actually getting excited about starting kindergarten in the fall and, just this week, is independently sounding out all kinds of words. She wants to know how to spell things and she is constantly writing words on paper. She loves when there is homework for preschool! She is a perfectionist and likes things neat and orderly. We just purchased a new-to-us van and she wondered, "Will they take the dirty van back?" I laughed and said no, we would try to sell it. She looked horrified and asked, "Who would want that dirty old one?! It's disgusting!!" She spent the next two days helping Daddy clean out the old van, vacuuming and scrubbing (and having a lot of fun!) She continues to participate in AWANA and will start rec soccer soon. Heart moment = today, she was complaining (loudly) about something. Her little brother told her that she made Jesus mad when she yelled. She immediately burst into tears, sobbing, "Mama, is it true? I don't want to make Jesus mad!!" Oh precious child!
this child makes me smile every day! He is adorable and curious and TALKATIVE! He is my baby and although he is 3 1/2, he still lets me carry him around sometimes. We took down the crib last night, after putting it to great use for over 9 years!!!! It was such a sad moment, but it's really time (sniffle, sniffle!) This child notices all kinds of details and has really gotten me to stop and smell the roses (or at least notice the birds sitting on the power lines!) He has endless questions and will not be brushed off with an "ahah" or a "yeah". He truly wants answers! He LOVES mothers...for example, when we have playdates, he requests that I walk away and leave the room so he can "talk to the mothers." For real. He loves when grownups converse with him! He cracks me up constantly, when he comments on the squirrels, "They're looking for their nuts!!!" or imitates Tony Horton on my P90X DVDs "Hook, upper cut!" or "Bring it people!" His favorite book is "Busy Timmy" and I keep finding him holding it while he sleeps. I could go on and on because I am blessed to be able to observe so many of his interactions. Really! Heart moment = every time he holds my face, looks me in the eyes and says, "I love you so much, Mommy!" *melt!*
Hubby -
Life has been super busy, but we are able to enjoy dinner just the two of us on Fridays while the Herd is at AWANA. We both look forward to this time, and sometimes we have a lot to say, other times we just cherish the peace! This week, hubby has been busy getting the old van ready to sell and getting keys and other items for the new van. Spring is around the corner, which means getting gardens and grass and pool stuff ready - oh boy!!
Me -
I'm coming to the close of P90X, yes 90 days of some pretty great workouts! Although it's been a big commitment, it's been terrific (I'll do a whole blog on this soon.) Just keeping up with cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework and shuttling kids around is quite the job at the moment. I did attend an amazing workshop this week on vocabulary. Someday I'll get back to speech therapy, but for now I am truly savoring this special time as full-time mom. What a joy!