Saturday, June 16

Growing Stuff

This year, I finally determined the perfect place for a vegetable garden!  Matt built a raised bed for me and I had quite a bit planted before the middle of May!  It's about 40' long and about 4' wide.  We've planted tomatoes, beans, snap peas, english peas, beets, lettuces, cucumbers, squashes, zucchinis, peppers, carrots and a few herbs.  So far things have been growing really well.  I am really happy with it and I can't wait to see how things turn out as the summer goes on.  Here are some pictures of how it looks today.

School's Out for Summer!!

Another fantastic school year has come to an end.  We are so proud of all of our accomplishments this year.

Maxwell has been homeschooled by Matt and our "babysitter", Ms. Liz.  He is able to identify all his uppercase and lowercase letters, knows their sounds, and can write most of them from memory (still working on a few lowercase letters).  He is also reading most 3-4 letter words!!  He's really excited about the summer reading program at the library so he can become a better reader.

Payton finished a super year in third grade at a new school.  The transition was perfect for him and he couldn't be happier.  He finished the year with straight A's - a personal goal he set for himself.  AND the last day of school it was announced he was elected a fourth grade student representative to the student council!  He couldn't stop smiling!

My third year teaching also finished strong.  I had a great year and was really happy with my final evaluation.

We all grew so much this year and, strangely, we're already looking forward to next year!

Monday, April 30

Maxwell on "When Jesus Comes"

Another unique view of the world from Maxwell

"When Jesus comes back from heaven, I think we should go to the beach.  We can jump waves with Jesus."

I love that he thinks of Jesus as someone who would want to spend time with him doing things he enjoys and having fun with him.  He doesn't think of Jesus as someone "above" spending time with children or someone with an agenda.  More people should think of Jesus this way.

Thursday, April 12

The Raw Deal: Four Days of Eating "Raw"

It started with just a hypothetical question; "Could you 'go raw'?"  I didn't know.  Maybe?  It really depended on how strict the "rules" were.

I did a bit of research and found that eating only raw foods was pretty strict.  You could eat as much raw fruits & vegetables as you could handle, adding in raw nuts and seeds (not roasted) - including raw peanut butter. "Eating raw" usually means you could have beans, as long as they were soaked, not cooked.  And oatmeal heated in warm water, but not boiling water.  To drink, most of the resources I used listed only water, 100% juices (preferably made yourself) and lukewarm tea. (I did cheat by having canned beans which are cooked. And store bought hummus.)

After the research, the conversation started again...could I do it?  I did want to jumpstart some weight loss.  I have a wedding I'm standing up in this June...and that looming half-marathon in October.  It couldn't hurt, right?  My friend told me then that she didn't think I'd make it three days.  Oh, don't challenge me!  I told her not only could I do the three days, but I could do four.  And then reality set it.  HA! What did I get myself into?

I scheduled my "cleanse" for during spring break.  It seemed like the easiest time as I didn't have to worry about our schedules so much.  I began on a Monday.  That first day wasn't so rough.  I took my son to the zoo where we ate a packed lunch from home and I ate salad for dinner...a normal day really.  Being a vegetarian already just one day wasn't too much of a stretch.  I did have a craving for some sweets and carbs, but I managed to not succumb to my temptations.

Day two was a bit rougher, but manageable. I did learn how to make a mean smoothie though! I realized how much I looked for "quick fixes" when I was hungry.  I was used to just grabbing some crackers or granola bars - neither of which are raw foods.  I found some comfort in celery and carrots with salt and hummus.

By this point I was eating about every hour.  Most "Raw Food Experts" will tell you to eat about 1-1.5 POUNDS of fruit and vegetables EACH throughout the day.  I wasn't meeting this goal.  I found that I felt full after eating just a few handfuls of veggies.  I did drink a lot of water though!

Day three was hard.  We had planned some activities which meant I needed to take snacks and lunch with me.  The activities were slow paced exercise and I did find myself getting a bit tired and at one point dizzy.  I realized I really needed to eat something, but once I did everything felt fine again.  As long as I was eating regularly I found that I had a lot of energy.  I was also sleeping well at night which isn't always true for me.

The fourth day was by far the hardest.  My husband and I planned an impromptu overnight trip without our boys which meant eating out all day.  Breakfast at Bob Evans was a fruit plate, minus the yogurt.  Lunch was  at a pub and was a salad with no dressing (nothing raw).  Dinner was in a tiny town where they apparently don't have vegetables other than lettuce.  We went out to dinner and I ordered a salad.  I got a HUGE bowl of lettuce.  That's it.  Just lettuce.

Overall, the "diet" wasn't too rough.  I had a lot of encouragement from my husband and friends (Thanks, Jon Lamb!).  Having the support made it easier.  The hardest part was eating meals out and having to plan ahead for meals.  And no carbs.  I would have killed someone for popcorn on day three! This would have been a LOT easier in the summer where there were more fruit and vegetables available locally.

But, the "cleanse" was more than just a physical cleanse.  It was a mental cleanse.  I now realize what I put into my body more than I have before.  I am aware that a little sweet treat just isn't worth it.  I can get the same sweet taste from an orange.  Or when I do have a treat, I'm more aware of the amount I eat.  During my four raw days I lost around six pounds.  That was pretty impressive in my opinion.  But even since my last raw day, I noticed a few of my days leaning more towards the raw foods than I would have before.  I have lost 10 pounds in about 10 days.

Will the pounds stay off? I hope so.  But more than the weight staying off, it's jump started something in my brain.  I'm aware.  I'm more conscious of my food choices.  And I actually enjoy fruits & vegetables more than before.  I just want to be able to eat them cooked once in awhile. ;)

Monday, March 19

Boys' Birthday

Once again, my kids turn another year old.  Max in January and Payton in April; but March is a much better time to celebrate!  Plus it's easier to squish them together for one party.

This year the boys chose a Star Wars theme.  It was great!  We served "Wookie Cookies" (Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies), Yoda Soda (green punch), Palpatine's Pizza, Mini Lightsabers (mini pretzel sticks), Hans' Rolos, Boba Fruit (fruit salad), "Vader Veggies" (veggie tray) as well as a few other things.  One of the best things I did was pre-scoop ice cream into cupcake liners the night before.  It made serving dessert WAY easier.

I also made this R2D2 cake out of three 9x13 pans and one 9" round.  The boys LOVED their R2D2!  Best part of the party!

We also had a Darth Vader pinata that was perfect for the kids!  Such a great party!  And I'm SO glad it's done...until next March!

Friday, March 9

Maxwell on "Lots of Girls"

Matt took the boys to movie night at Payton's school tonight.  Payton & Max sat with Payton's friends.  When I got home, this was the summary I got from Max.

"Did you have a good time tonight?"
"Yes!!  I got to see a fun movie."
"Did you sit with Payton and his friends?"
"Yes!  The girls all wanted to sit next to me."
"Oh yeah?"
"Yeah.  Lots of girls!"
"How does that make you feel?"
"Happy! It makes my heart happy.  Really happy!"

Lock up your daughters!!

Thursday, March 8

Maxwell on Praying for Future Spouses

I think this kid is just trying to give me things to post about on the blog...

One night while having a conversation with the boys about prayer, I mentioned that I pray for their future wives.  Payton was very interested in the idea of praying for people who are not in our lives yet and had lots of questions.  Maxwell, on the other hand, was silent through the whole conversation.  When Payton was satisfied with my answers to his questions, I asked Maxwell what he thought about praying for his future wife.  He had just one comment.

"Why are you praying for someone else? You already KNOW Amerie!"

He's pretty serious about marrying this girl...

Thursday, March 1

Max Gets Dressed Up

A conversation with Maxwell.

Me: Why do you have glitter on your face?
Max: I was playing with Gabby today.
Me: You and Gabby were playing with glitter?
Max:  We were playing Beauty and the Beast.
Me: Oh! Were you the Beast?
Max:  (He's getting embarrassed. I giggled.)  I wore a really handsome outfit.
Me: Really!  Tell me about it.
Max: It was white.  And had gold glitter on it. (He's giving me minimal details here.)
Me: Mm, hm.  What else?
Max: It was soft.
Me: Mm, hm.  What else?
Max: Um. Nothing.
Me: Was it a costume for boys?
Max: No.
Me: Was it a dress?
Max: Um.  I don't want to talk about it anymore.

Tuesday, February 21

Payton's Yellow Belt Ceremony Video

Payton & Max Christmas Video WWCN 2011

Payton's solo: 1:30
Max's shyness: 3:30
Amerie's love for Max: 4:15

Maxwell on Marriage

At dinner tonight regarding his best friend, Amerie who is also only 5 years old. It's only been 5 days since he's seen her.

"Ameria and I haven't planned our wedding yet. You marry someone you really like. Or even love. But we haven't planned the wedding part. After we get married, we'll get a house. And maybe we'll have kids. After we get married. And have a house. We'll have 2 kids. A boy and a girl.......(moment of silence)......I miss Ms. Liz and Amerie."

I'm in trouble.

Monday, February 13

Wait, what?

Max and I were just talking about fun things on the computer and he asked what a "blog" was.  I brought up this little blog to show him and ...HOLY SMOKES, I haven't written anything since November?  No way!  I mean, I knew it's been a long time, but I guess I didn't realize it was THAT long.

I wonder why that is.  Maybe there was nothing to share?  Nah.  My kids are funny as all get out and crazy smart (smarter than Momma sometimes even).  Maybe because our life returned to normal after Matt got back?  Really? What exactly IS normal?  I think it's because Facebook has taken over...

I have a few videos to post of fun accomplishments of Payton's.  And then I have some pictures of projects I've done around the house.  And of course, I have funny Maxwell stories.

I just hope I get it all up here and get back in the swing of posting on the blog...