Thursday, January 31, 2008

All Aboard!

I feel today a little like the train conductor on "Polar Express", hurry hurry musn't be late. Things must be on schedule. Since the school moved Nathan to afternoon preschool, things have been off. I wasn't sure when meals needed to happen, who was going to have to be ready and by what time, etc. So I sat down and figured out what needs to happen each day, when kids need to be ready, mealtimes, when we have to be in the car to be at school on time, when the gym will work. My boys deal best when there is a set schedule, then they know what to expect. I am the same way. So today we tried it. Success! Not only were the boys and myself happier, but meals were prepared and eaten and actually cleaned up. The kids were in pajamas, read scriptures, and done family song and prayer, and were in their beds a little before 8:00! It will be closer to 7:30 tomorrow, but we had company for dinner today. It is not even 8:45 as I write this, and my house is peaceful and quiet. I may even get to bed before 10:00. This new schedule won't solve all my problems, but it should help me to be more on time, since that has been difficult as of late. I realized I have 3 large chunks of time each day. I can work out, run errands, clean house, and play with my kids. I actually have the time! I don't have to be rushed getting dinner on. I have the time scheduled for it! Okay, we'll see how long this lasts, but for now it's "All Aboard!"

Pic of the Day #8

I took this picture as Mark was washing his hands. He had just finished scraping ice and snow from around my van so it wouldn't be slick in the morning. He works so hard and does so much for us and we are so grateful for his strong leadership in our family.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Picture of the Day #6 & #7

I missed yesterday 's picture, took it but didn't post it. So here is yesterday's and todays.
I think the day should start with a smile, don't you? The boys love happy eggs in the morning. This one seems particularly full of mischief.

"What is this thing for?" I know your finger fits, son, but I don't think that will make the water come out.

For Aunt Kathy

This is just for Aunt Kathy's benefit, since you have expressed an intrest in my diet. I am doing the South Beach Diet, by Dr. Agatston. There is a book available, or a web page which is The web page can give you info, but for full access there is a fee of $5 a week, they can customize your diet and stuff. I just work from the book. That runs about $25 at bookstores or online. But the basics are in one of my older posts, titled "The Eating Plan". This is one of the few diets I have tried where I haven't been constantly hungry or have at least one bout of low blood sugar a day, or always tired. It is great for insulin issues, which a lot of our family member seem to have, either diabetes or insulin resistance.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

As Promised...

This morning's weigh-in gave me the grand total of 13 pounds! Considering the full amount I need to lose to be at my "ideal" weight (yeah right, I've had three kids.) it's a drop in the bucket, but I am immensely proud of it regardless. People have been noticing, telling Mark how good I look. A few months ago at Walmart, we passed a group of Hispanics in the produce section. They were looking at us and pointing, especially at me. Mark told me later he had heard one of the saying "Muchos Grande!" and they all laughted. He thought they were referring to the size of our family. They were talking about size alright. That was a definite low for me, so all these compliments really feel good. I am so grateful for good friends who have loved me no matter what size I am, and who are so supportive of my efforts to be healthier!

Monday, January 28, 2008


That about sums up how I have felt in the last week. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed going to the gym until my schedule went through some radical changes. Due to things out of my control, I have not been able to go at all for over a week. I noticed my energy went down, my cravings went up, and my house went caput. After spending a few days being very lazy, but seeming to be able to do anything about it, I was determined to go today. William had other ideas. He was very tired after a late night and crashed for his nap over an hour earlier than normal. I wanted to cry.

Mark had noticed I haven't been my usual self lately and commented on it this evening. I asked him if he thought it was crazy to want to go to the gym at 6:30 in the evening, with dinner in the oven and kids going nuts. He said it wasn't and that if it would make me feel better, to go and he would hold down the fort. What an angel.

I enjoyed myself immensely, which is funny since I was pushing my self hard and sweating nicely. Coming home it was like, "Well there you are, normal self, where have you been?!" I did some good thinking and reflecting there too. Thinking about my goals in life, where I want my family to be. I love "me" time.

The weight has still been coming off, albeit somewhat slowly. I'll post an update on my loss tomorrow. Thanks for all the supportive comments everyone made on my last post. I have a great family!

Picture of the Day #5

Not the most artistic picture, but I thought he was just adorable. These are some of my favorite moments, when they are sleeping they can't make messes and the house is quiet.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's raining children....

A few months ago I was approached with a unique oppertunity. The bishop wanted me released from Primary, where I had served as pianist for over 2 years. I was comfortable where I was at, quite happy at not being unduly challenged. But our ward has a problem. Our nursery consists of about 17 children, many of whom are a little needy, and our leader was very overwhelmed. She had been in there alone for a few months and was desperate for help. So I breathed in deep and accepted the challenge. I was to be in charge of singing time and being an extra pair of hands in general. It was going well, we lost 7 to Sunbeams, and the parents appreciated having consistent leaders.

But then...

They redid the relief society, taking my nursery leader as a counselor. I feel like posting a sign, "Pardon the mess, under new management." Suddenly, I am in charge. Now, total chaos is not something that frightens me. I live it every day. But we keep getting new kids as people move in and others get old enought. And these are not my children. These are someone elses little ones and they are entrusted to me for 2 hours every week. That is all the time I have to teach them gospel principals in a way they understand. I am not sure I am up to the task, although, the primary leaders and parents say I am doing a great job.

The plus side to all this is that I get to play with blocks and have snacks. And when a child acts out, I don't have to deal with it. That's when I go find the mommy.....

Picture of the Day #4

Oren had no idea I was snapping his picture, he was lost in his video game. While I hate the video games, it does make for a nice picture when he is not being a total ham for the camera. I love that my boys all got their daddy's eyelashes, so long and thick...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My Favorite New Toy!

I have been rather frustrated with my vacumm as of late. My friend brought her cheap one over after I had just vacummed and, for fun, did a once over on my rug again. There was too much dirt in the canister for my taste, considering I had just vacummed myself. So, Mark and I decided that ours was no good anymore. It didn't pull up the dirt and there was not a good filter, so it was flinging the dust in the air. We went for a drive to Walmart to see what they had. Voila! Behold.....

Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to flip it around. There it is.... a thing of beauty. Complete with a powered handheld tool thingy which will be great on the cat hair on my chair. There is even a little light that turns green when the floor is clean. I am so excited! I wanted a bagless anyway, but we had gotten talked out of it when we bought our other one. That one is 5 years old, and we are trying to decide on a good funeral for it. Poor thing.... And Oren is pleased that it is not as loud as the old one. When did they start making vacumms quieter? Thanks to Mark for paying attention to my wants and giving me such an awesome new toy!

Picture of the Day #3

Playing with my camera is a new hobby I think. This one was taken while driving, I put it behind my head and shot away. I think I got lucky!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pic of the Day #2

As I was going through previous photos of my children, I realized that Nathan has been shortchanged his moments in the spotlight of my camera. He is the typical middle child, quietly vying for our attention, leisurely wandering in the shadow of his brother's exhuberance. So, to my son: here's to you and your sweet ways. The way you loudly declare "I'm still sleeping!" every morning when I wake you for school. Your sweet giggle as you pop your head out of your shirt. How your shoes refuse to go onto the right feet. To the way you put your hand on my cheek when you want me to look at you. And your crooked smile. Here's to my angel!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ode to Chicken

Who decided that the squawking bird picking around the yard would taste good? Who thought, "if I turn it on a spit, it will stay juicy, it will taste amazing"? And the genius who made the machine that does this wonderous thing in the very grocery store that I visit regularly? Ahhhh..... the thrill of seeing it half-price at closing time, and snatching up the last one! Rotisserie chicken from the deli is one my favorite treats. But only when they mark it down before closing. Then I can savor the victory over high prices as my teeth sink into the skin over the drumstick. The meat makes appearances in many dishes over the next few days, and the bones nourish my family in the stock that I can for soup. My oven can work wonders, but sadly, cannot duplicate the taste of a good rotisserie deli chicken.

Yes, this was our dinner today. This was a good end to an easy day, my friend watched the kids while I braved the snow for both of us. So not only did I snag the last chicken, I got to spend a wonderful hour, child-free, in the grocery store thinking of the myriad of possibilities of the food before me.

What a day......

Picture of the Day #1

"Oh the weather outside is frightful....." It is snowing today, and the world is whited over. I decided to play with my camera, and liked how this picture looked. You can see the snow moving quickly past and the bare branches are patiently waiting for spring.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Our Busy Day

Our day started off with a bang this morning. Off and running to get the kids to school on time (I was late) and helped my friend decide what to wear for her husband coming home from a 4 month deployment. I did her makeup and then ran to pick kids up. (I was late). We were NOT late however to Nathan's therapy in Boise. Having been a good girl with my diet, I treated myself to a Baja Fresh grilled chicken salad for lunch. Yum. Then we went to assorted stores, picked up some pictures for William's room and a new jacket for me. Then it was off to my parent's in Caldwell to pick up my cell phone. That turned into dinner which was a blast! Steph made a yummy soup that I ate a good deal of. A very long drive home and phew! We made it through the day. I did get some funny looks from people when Oren and Nathan were running around in circles screaming in DI. Literally.

But it was a good day. When I walked into my mom's house the first thing I heard was "You look great!" That was awesome to hear! My friends here have been telling me, but family is even better. 11 pounds as of today. Gone. My pants are getting loose which is not a bad thing in my book.

I am very excited also that Steph has started a blog. I showed her my page and I think she is hooked. This is very addictive. I really should start doing that pic of the day thing. Heaven knows my kids do enough crazy things, that should get me started.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Job Possibility?

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go over to a friend's house and clean. Not just any clean, the "I'll pay you $50 to come clean for several hours." I would have gladly done it for free, but she was insistent that she was actually hiring me as house help. Okay by me, I love hanging out and sometimes it is refreshing cleaning other people's messes. Being a packrat, she finds it hard to declutter. I do keep certain things, but a random drawing a child made 2 months ago and hasn't looked at since and it looks like all the other drawings? Probably not. She thoroughly enjoyed learning how to let things go, like clothes with holes or old shoes. Lotions that were 5 or 6 years old. We got her bathroom spotless and her bedroom too. So 7 hours later I think I definetly earned the money, she has much more room in her closet and drawers, and is so excited that she wants me to come back and help with her downstairs Monday, and is talking about maybe making this a once a month thing. Apperantly I am much better at throwing things away and I am a quick yet thorough cleaner, and she likes it. I just got a kick out of it when she said I should advertise and do this in other people's homes. "HI, I have 3 kids and have issues with my own house, but please let me come organize and clean yours!" I do things like scrub baseboard corners with toothbrushes (just for that purpose :-) ) so maybe it's not a bad idea.... if I didn't have 3 kids and a house of my own to keep up with. Cakes and Piano lessons are enough right now.

I got the dresser finished. Here are pictures of the dresser and the drawer pulls.

William has a lot of fun touching the trim on the pulls. This was a dirty creamy color, with all the paint pulled off the inside of the top (it was a changing table at one point) and the front of the bottom drawer. A vast improvement...

I walked into the living room and caught Oren in this pose watching a movie. Too cute, and really shows his personality.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Home Improvements

I have been inspired lately by Melinda's list of projects and tearing out of the closet. I enjoy reading about her home renovations and although I can't tear out walls and redo the kitchen in my base house, I do have some furniture projects that have been in the works for some time. So yesterday, I turned on the space heater in the garage and went to work. William needed a dresser, and we had one that was in the garage due to Oren peeling off half the paint when it was his. I scrounged around and found a can of light blue paint that was meant for another project (also waiting forever) and decided that it would be perfect for his blue curtained room. I have not hefted my sander for a while, so it felt really good to turn it on and get to work. The drawer pulls were plain white and I wanted them to stand out, so I cut out some denim circles and decoupauged them to the top of the pulls. It turned out so cute that I just had to share it with you guys. Next on my list, turning an old vanity into a TV table, an old piano into wall art, and finishing cutting and staining new drawer fronts for my halfway-done-but- using- anyway dresser. I also have a decorative ladder that needs repainting. I am so excited that I can't wait for the weather to warm up. Thank heavens for space heaters. I will post pictures a little later, I have some trim I want to put around the denim circles to finish the pulls first.

Friday, January 18, 2008

My quiet time...

I always thought I was not much of a morning person. But since Oren was moved into morning kindergarten I have discovered that a part of me actually likes it. I get up about 1/2 hour before I get the kids up. I am able to go potty without William holding onto my legs, he has cold hands a lot and so that's not my favorite thing he does. I can pick clothes that will make me feel good, not throw on anything clean because the baby is screaming to get out of his crib. When I come out of my room, it is quiet. The children are behaving, because they are asleep. There are no suprise messes, the house looks like it did when I went to bed, it is like a fresh clean slate. Oren is a very high maintenance child, and Nathan needs lots of patience with his speech and behavioral issues as well. And William, well, he's just 15 months old and his needs just come with the territory. Although if the crackers are low enough on the pantry shelf, he knows which box they are in and helps himself.... But in the morning, I get to take some time just for me. I get to decide when the craziness starts, and I am in charge. Later my whole day can dissolve into total chaos, and it usually does, but those few minutes in the quiet before the dawn, those are all mine and I love it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

"I love my bunkbed!"

Since we have 3 boys and 2 kids rooms, that means that one child is priviledged enough to enjoy their own space. William received this high honor as a newborn so that my rocking chair could fit by his crib. He enjoyed this semblence of privacy until one day, about 8 months ago, my sister Marie and I moved the rooms around. Oren was to get this priviledge, his right as the oldest child. We moved William in with Nathan and said, what a lucky Oren!


8 months of 2 messy rooms later, we decided to reunited the brothers. Becuase they are so similar in size, and Nathan can talk, they prefer to play with each other and would usually congregate in Oren's room, where all the cool toys ended up. And my material storage closet that also housed Oren's clothing seemed to provide endless temptation to make tents out of nicely folded material.

Being wise parents, when we graduated Oren to a "big boy bed" we invested in a set of beds that had the option of stacking to make bunkbeds and had an attachable ladder. What a great way to save space, thus providing more room for play and imagination! What ecstatic children we have! How excitable! And so, the social order has turned upside down, as William again has his own room.....

William's new room. He loves the fact that his toys are in one spot. If you say, "where's your toys?" he goes straight to his room.

"We love our bunkbed!" This is probably the best their beds will look for a while. The top bunk is notoriously hard to make up.
So everyone is happy and hopefully the mess will be somewhat contained. (I wish.....)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Eating Plan...

Okay, due to the many requests for my eating plan (diet is an awful word), here it is. I am doing South Beach by Dr. Agatston. For anyone who hasn't heard about it, he is a cardiologist who got sick of high cholesterol and other assorted problems that come from it. It is great for diabetics and prediabetics, of which I am thanks to 2 bouts of gestational diabetes and being over-weight. it is not like Atkins where you count carbs and are only alloted so many. Dr. Atkins thing isn't very healthy.

The plan is to correct how your metabolism functions. To do that you do have to cut out bread, pasta, starchy veggies, cookies, etc. for 2 weeks. You eat lean meats like chicken breast, fish, lean pork and beef. Although, in the interest of our food budget I do include chicken legs because they are cheap. Lots of veggies. All varieties of lettuce; greens like spinach, mustard greens, collard greens; mushrooms; string beans; zucchini; eggplant; red cabbage, green cabbage, napa cabbage; broccolli and cauliflower; celery; tomatoes... tons of other veggies too. Lots of types of cheese. Eggs and low-fat milk. Olive and Canola oil. Nuts in small amounts. Then after two weeks you slowly start to add whole grains and fruits so you figure out which ones your body tolerates and which ones pack on the pounds.

He has you eat three meals, 2 snacks, and a dessert. You cannot feel hungry. I will look up at the clock and think, "Wow, I haven't eaten in three hours, I should have a cheesestick." I am not constantly shoving food in my face because I am not constantly craving carbs.

His book gives a whole list for each of the phases, there are three, of foods to enjoy and foods to avoid. He also gives 14 days of sample eating plans for the phases, and lots of really yummy recepies as well. The book is easy to read, tells you about the diet and why it works, and then half tells you all the fun ways you can prepare all the foods you can eat. He advocates exercise, tells you the difference between good carbs like whole grains and fiber, and the bad ones that make you fat.

Knowing that heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes all tend to run on the Danes side, this is a winner with me. I don't want to have those problems like so many of our parents and aunts/uncles have. The first couple of days are hard without bread and stuff, but I felt great knowing that I was doing something good. And I have tons more energy which is good with my kids. It would be awesome if we could all cheer each other on. If any one wants me to email the foods list for phase one, post your email or write me, and I will get that to you. Although, the book is great to have for recipes and motivation, it does run around $25.

On a different note, my mom is luckily going to be in Nampa on Tuesday, and has offered to run by the shop and pick up the phone for me. I love my family!

Friday, January 11, 2008


Oren got to take the sling off today. Let me tell you, you want to thin your hair out, put a 5 year old in a sling for 4 weeks. What a relief that is over with. Although, by some fluke happening, my cell phone is in Nampa and I am not. It fell out of my purse at the Family Dollar in the parking lot. Not realizing, I went to Oren's appointment, and afterward needed to make a phone call. Panicked, I emptied the purse, diaper bag, stroller, and much of William's side of the van which is where I put my purse usually. Nada.... So I went back to the store and scoured the parking lot, checked at the store, up and down the aisles and the front desk. I concluded rather upsettley that someone had picked it up and kept it. When I got home someone from the TANNING SALON RIGHT NEXT DOOR had called saying someone had turned in the phone and they had it at the store. Problem is, I won't be going back down to Boise until next Wednesday and I won't be able to go down the Nampa that day, it's way out of the way and I will have my friend and her little 4 week old with me. What fun. Just another day in the life of me.

But I don't mean to sound like I am whining. Stuff like this happens a lot with me and I pretty much take it in stride. Please picture me laughing as I am really just telling a funny, ironic, story about the chaos that is my life. And I want another baby..... LOL

Happily, I got on the scale today and discovered............ drumroll please............ I weigh less than 200 for the first time in at least 4 years! I know that is still a really high number, hence the new year's resolution. My eating plan is working. I put on a shirt today that is usually a little snug. Not today, it hung straight down from my chest and did not bump over my stomach! I also went shopping and found that I don't have to buy the expensive bras in 40 B, the cheap ones come in 38 B, which now fits. Sorry, this just feels so good. It's been a long time since I was this happy with myself. I want to love myself as much as Mark loves me. Imperfections and all. But it would be easier if that me was a little smaller. :-)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


What a week! Mark started us off with a bang, he decided that he felt left out by being the only one who hasn't been sick 30 times since Oren started school. So he up and got strep throat. So silly... Oren decided he wanted to be on antibiotics too, so he got an infection in his thumb from a splinter he didn't tell me about, and let the thumb fester for a while before I noticed the huge yellow pus blister some days later. Oh joy of joys.

On the plus side, I have stuck to my diet for a week and have lost of few of those pesky pounds. I have gone to the gym almost every day for a nice walk on the treadmill. Outside would be funner, but the snow is hampering me a bit.

We got a good 3 - 4 inches at today, and more expected later. They almost shut the base down, which Mark and I find hilarious.

I had a very big test of the strength of my resolutions this week. Cookies..... Chocolate Chip Cookies...

I made these scrumptious snacks for the winter recital my piano students gave this weekend. I had to smell the cookies baking, and handle them to arrange them on the platters. There was chocolate on my fingers. But did I falter? NO! I was strong. I survived and lived to tell the tale. William on the other hand....

He faltered. What a mess...

He loves his chocolate. Yummy!

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I admit, I believe very firmly in the power of a new year. The chance to start all over again, to make myself better. And to that end, I have started my resolution list.

1. To finally lose the weight that I have had since high school. I want to be able to wear my wedding ring, I don't want to have a heart attack before I am 50 like my dad, and I want to get my body ready to have more kids. (not an announcement, I just know there are more babies up there for our family.)

2.To go to the gym. Two days in a row, I am awesome. I have discovered I like the feeling when I am working out. I am actually doing something to help myself, and I am moving. Sore muscles aside, I feel great.

3. To keep my house cleaner. Every mom with young children knows the frustrations of cleaning up a mess, just to have the kids come right behind you and destroy it again, or mess with something else. Either way, a new mess is made. I have been loading the dishwasher regularly, and like Rachel, decided to start doing my dishes after meals. Like normal people. I too like waking up to a clean house.

Like every year, I say, this year will be different. This year I will stick with it. I think every Mom at some point makes the decision to do better and then we become that mom we know we should be. Keeping the house and family the way our parents did. It is like a turning point in our lives where we realize we can't be truly young anymore. Someone has to do all that needs done. We grow up. This is my year. I am that adult now.

Nathan took an impromptu nap. It was so cute. Obviously, running around a making huge messes is tiring on a little guy.