Monday, July 5, 2010

Clutter, clutter everywhere

I admit that I am the world's worst housekeeper. Sadly, my children are no better and DH..... well, let's just say that if it falls around DH there it sits.

But, I am sick to death of the mess. It needs to go away!

So to this end I posted a question on the Manage Your Life forum at scrapshare asking for guidance on what to do. I need help. Ideally, that help would be someone with a magic wand to wave and make it all go away. Since that is not likely to happen and I can't ask my friends to help me out AGAIN, I must conquer this problem on my own. Hence asking for advice from my online friends who are wonderful by the way.

Now I have a list of ideas and a desire to implement them. Now I need to find the follow-through. That is where this blog is going to come in handy. It will be my gotta get it done/how far have I come journal.

First up is to rid this house of garbage. I may need to buy stock in a garbage bag company.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Well, I have been remiss in posting for a few days but I have been working my own weird little program.

Unfortunately my program did not include a sinus infection, reactive airway/asthma issues and antibiotics. Despite that I am actually down 1.2 pounds this week. Added to the 1.6 I was down last week and I am very happy with the current results on the scale.

I need to work on my portions a bit more and my food choices overall. There have been a lot of meals out and that has to stop. The garden and other things are keeping me more active but I still need to get a true exercise program in place.

So all in all, positive steps with more work to do.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sadness and a heavy heart

I do not like to use the word HATE. It is such a strong word and carries such a heavy meaning that I try really hard to keep it out of my everyday conversation.

However, I have to say that I truly and completely HATE cancer. It is such a cruel disease in whatever form it takes.

In the last two days I have learned of the passing of two very dear souls. One was a wonderful woman that I only knew through her posts on Scrapshare and the scrapbooking work she shared with us. I understand from those who knew her "in real life" that she was as warm, funny and giving in person as she was online. She fought a galant and courageous fight. Our online community held our collective breath over each of her posts in recent months, hoping for a miracle. Sadly, that miracle did not come to fruition and we lost Amy much too soon.

Today I received the news that a wonderful man who has been a pillar of our 4-H community for many, many years lost his battle with stomach cancer. This man gave hours and hours of his time to helping the youth of our county learn valuable lessons in many areas of the 4-H program. He gave of his time selflessly and without care because he knew that these children he was helping are our future. He was honored just this past November with the 4-H Distinguished Service Award at our annual Leader's Dinner.

Amy shared something a few months ago that really touched my heart and it seems even more meaningful now.
"I perceive myself having bad days all.the.time. But you know what?They're NOT bad days. They're one more day I get to spend withmy family. One more day I can tell them I love them. One more day...I can get hugs and kisses. So see, they're NOT bad days. They're BLESSED days."

Such profound words and something I will strive to remember for a lifetime.

Please hug your family and friends today. They are so important.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Determining goals

The first "Looker" challenge:

Let's Know Where We Are So We Know Where to Go.

So where am I? And where do I want to go?

I am currently a laptop/internet/TV junkie who needs to clean up her act. That is true of many parts of my life but my health/body is getting top billing right now. My weight is the highest it has ever been - 225 pounds. That is a lot to carry around on my 5'2" frame. It must change.

So where do I want to go in the next 8 weeks?

I want to set attainable goals so my desires have to be fairly simple to start. I want to improve my stamina, elevate my eating and lower my body weight. Sounds simple right? Yeah not so much. Apparently those are lofty goals. So I need to define them better.

Improve stamina - I want to be able to walk for 30 minutes at a 15 minute mile pace. That means that I should be able to walk to the kids' school and back in 30 minutes. I can't do that right now so I have to get moving.

Elevate my eating - I want to increase my fruit and vegetable intake from the one to two a day I get now to 4 to 5 a day by the end of the challenge. As this is summertime, that should not be hard, well except for the fact that the weather we are having here in the PNW is preventing me from planting my garden.

Lower my body weight - This is the biggie. This is the one that matters. This is the one that is hardest to do. So while I want to set some wild number as my goal, I must be realistic. A realistic goal for me is 1 pound a week so I am going to set my goal for 8 pounds over the next 8 weeks.

My biggest issue tends to be impulse purchases at the store. A candy bar here, a box of Mike and Ikes there, oh a stop at the deli won't hurt. So I need to plan better. A menu and shopping list before going to the store. A side benefit of that would be a savings in cash as well. Plan outings to avoid meal times or plan and pack accordingly. Summer is a busy time for our family so all of these little things will help me help myself and my family be better on track.

Sarah, one of the unofficial leaders of our merry band of girth reducers, ended her post with the following:
You'll often hear Elaine and I talk about "eating our frog" .. Mark
Twain asked if you had to eat a live frog every day, would you put it
off and spend the whole day dreading it? Or would you gulp it down at
the first opportunity so you'd have the rest of your day? EAT YOUR
So my frog is before me. For today it is getting up and getting moving. I am doing that by cleaning house to start with. No I mean literally, no figuratively. I need to clean house. Do you have any idea how many calories you can burn cleaning a filthy house like I have? There is picking up and running things to appropriate places and vacuuming and sweeping and moping to be done. Clothes folding and lifting dishes to their spots. Yep, I am going to get moving and many areas of my life are going to benefit from it. GO EAT YOUR FROG!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A new challenge

I am a bad blogger. I know it and my friends who come here occasionally looking for an update know it.

For that I apologize. I am sorry I am such a slacker.

My excuse? Life has gotten in the way. There has been so much going on in the last few months and the next few look to be just as crazy.

However, I am working on a new me and have joined a bunch of other women in a challenge that will hopefully keep me focused on that goal. We are all a bit tired of our increasing......errrr...... fluff?, girth?..... whatever word you would like to through in there and we are bent on changing it over the next 8 weeks or so. It is called "Momma was a Looker" challenge and was started when my Scrapshare buddy Elaine got together with a friend of her's and decided to do something for themselves to deal with their.... errr.....girth..... and then they invited their friends to join them. So, since I need the motivation, encouragement and support, I joined them.

My plan is to update this blog regularly over the next few weeks with info about what I am doing and how it is working. Summer is upon us and it is time for me to lower the jiggle factor a bit.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Where did the mojo go?

It is so sad.

I have lost my mojo.

I have not scrapbooked much in months. I keep saying I want to but it is all talk. I have lost that elusive excitement that gets pages done.

So if you have seen my mojo, could you please send it back home please?

Thank you. That is all.

Monday, February 1, 2010

New month

It is a new month. Where did January go?

So with the beginning of a new month upon us, it is time to reassess the goals I set out for myself for 2010.

Recap from last month:
Eating better ~ Plan meals for each week including using one new healthy recipe each week.
Exercise ~ WiiFit or WiiFitPlus 3 mornings each week, walk either on treadmill or outside 2 mornings/afternoons each week.
Increase daily water intake from nothing (now) to at least 32 ounces by the end of the month.

Financial ~ Read Dave Ramsey's TMM book when it arrives from Angie. Run analysis in Quicken and begin budget in Excel.

Family ~ January 4 - 9 ~ Find and reread Love and Logic. Encourage the use of quiet voices in the house.

House ~ Make list of cleaning goals, get caught up on Flylady emails and stay current with them, read up on the Organized Home website and work on a plan. Get and stay caught up with dishes and keep kitchen table cleared off daily.

Fun time ~ Go back and do all the 12 of 12 layouts for last year. Make the snowman earrings that are still on project list from last year. Scrapbook Christmas. Print school pictures and send out to family.

Blog about progress at least 3 days each week. Blog about one to two good things each day.

As I look back over the month I have achieved some good things and fell down on several others. I increased the amount of time I spent exercising in the first three weeks of the month but fell down a bit this last week. The sore toe that I am nursing is part of that but the other part is sheer lack of desire. As for cooking more healthy meals, I have tried but have not been as successful as I had hoped to be. This will continue to be a work in progress. I am always on the lookout for recipes that will work with my family's particular set of weird food likes/dislikes and allergies/sensitivities while still being healthy and tasting good. I have done a much better job with water intake and will continue to work on that as well.

On the financial front, we are making some positive steps in getting rid of some credit card debit and getting the budget under control. However, there are still plenty of steps to take. I have had a really hard time getting an accurate budget set up. I did receive a copy of TMM from a friend but have not had an easy time getting started reading it. That is a goal for the first half of this month, read the book!!

The rest of the goals are a work in progress. Some days are better than others in regards to the dishes. It depends some on the girls' and their schedules. Mondays are the hardest. I have done a good job of keeping up with the laundry but many other tasks continue to make me want to just go take a nap.

All in all I have made some progress but not as much as I would like. It is easy to lose sight of the big picture on a day to day basis. I will continue to work on it.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Movie Weekend

I must preface this with the fact that I am not a movie watcher. We rarely rent, go to or buy movies other than Thomas the Tank Engine.

But this weekend there was just not much to do. Oh there were plenty of tasks that we could have done but none that were so pressing that I felt the need to actually do them. After Emily's basketball game on Saturday morning, Matt took David and went to meet with some "truck people". Yeah, I don't get it either but I doubt he gets my meeting up with scrapbooking friends.

Anyhow, it was just the girls and I so we had to amuse ourselves somehow. Working on projects and cleaning held no appeal so after a trip to Wal-Mart for some essentials, we decided to make a stop at Blockbuster to rent some movies. We wandered about a bit deciding what to get and came out of the store with Fame, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, The Proposal and Julie and Julia.

Fame was full of music from my past. Jessie and I enjoyed it but Emily quickly grew bored and went to play the Wii game we also rented.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past was funny but pretty predictable. Part of it was probably not appropriate for the girls but they are good about knowing when to hide their eyes and cover their ears.

The Proposal and Julie and Julia were funny and had us laughing out loud all afternoon.

While we don't do movie weekends often, this weekend it seemed to be just the thing to do.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Creative Moments

I have been having a spurt of creativity recently. This happens sometimes. I just have moments when I have to create something. In this case, this spurt was triggered by the need to have some things to donate to a couple of fundraising auctions. I like to donate things that I have or make rather than going out and begging businesses to donate.

These jewelry pieces were made for the auction to benefit the 4-H club's Relay for Life team. It is really amazing to see how the kids have taken ownership of this great cause and put out a lot of effort for it. Last year our team raised the most money out of all the youth teams in the county. That is exciting. Our biggest fundraiser for the team is a spaghetti feed and silent auction. This year's event was last weekend. We earned over $1200 for Relay. We donated several things to the auction but I am most happy with these two pieces of jewelry.

This piece is made from findings in a set of earring findings that I picked up at Wal-mart. The little hearts and silver beads are also from Wal-mart. The blue and white beads were from my stash at home. I was really happy with how these turned out and they only took a few minutes to put together.

This piece, though hard to see in the photo, is a set of earrings and a necklace. All the glass beads, metal beads and medallion came from Wal-mart. Again, I was very pleased with how this turned out and it really took only a small amount of time to put together.

Next up I am working on some knitting. I am really happy to be creating again. I have been in a down period for a while and it is great to be coming out of it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reality Check

It is already time for a reality check.

One needs to exercise if one wants to lose weight.

Just a note to self.

Plan for tomorrow is 45 to 60 minutes of exercise. No excuses.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Stats

To work on one of those personal goals I have a joined a group challenge at my favorite scrapbooking website Scrapshare.

I have talked about this wonderful community of women often enough here that I am sure you all have figured out that we do much more there than just support each other's scrapbooking.

Many of us struggle with extra pounds so we have banded together to support each other, push each other and prop each other up while on this journey. To this end, off and on we run challenges modeled after the very popular Biggest Loser TV program. January 1st marked the beginning of the first challenge of 2010. Today marked the first "weigh in" day. There is one brave soul who is compiling all our information and figuring out who has lost the most and exercised the most on both an individual and team basis. I have 4 fun teammates to talk with through the week as well.

My initial weigh-in on New Year's Eve was right on par with what I expected it to be. Really my weight has not changed much in the last year or so. But I am determined to make a change.

This week's stats:
Down 0.6.
Exercised for ~200 minutes.

I am pretty pleased with these results because I know I did not have a stellar week but I am committed to bumping it up next week. My goal for this 6 week challenge is to be down at least 5 pounds. To achieve that, I need to spend more time playing on the Wii Fit and less time playing on the computer. We will see what the new week brings.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What a game!!

I have missed a couple of days of posting. Sorry about that. I needed to spend some time on other things and time got away.

But tonight we celebrate.

As anyone who has read much of this blog should know, this is a household full of Oregon State Beaver fans. I, in particular, watch a lot of college sports. Baseball, football, volleyball, gymnastics, and the occasional softball game. But my favorite game to watch is basketball. I love the pace, the activity and the strategy. During my childhood, the OSU football team was in the midst of 28 years of losing seasons but the men's basketball team was one of the best in the nation. We had a dynamic coach, great players and some fantastic wins. But in the years since my high school graduation, we have seen a downward spiral in OSU men's basketball. It started with the retirement of our fabulous coach and the promotion of one of the assistants. The downward fall hit an abrupt and ugly stop at rock bottom two years ago when we did not win a conference game, saw the head coach fired in the middle of the season and the seats of Gill colesium more empty than full. For diehard fans like myself, it was a bitter pill to swallow and a painful season to sit through.

Since then things have been on the upswing. OSU hired Craig Robinson, BIL of President Obama, as the new head coach. He took a ragtag and dejected group of young men and exploited their natural talent by working them hard and making them a team. The team surprised everyone by not just winning a few games but by achieving a winning record and winning a post season tournament. But there was a big hurdle the team still stumbled on. They did not manage to beat the rival school down the road. This season has started out rocky. We have had some great wins, many very close games and some heartbreaking losses. But little was as devastating as last week's loss to Seattle University. It was the worst loss that Gill Coliseum has ever seen within its walls.

But tonight, on regional TV, OSU redeemed itself. They went to McArthur Court, better known as The Pit, to take on the red hot, running, gunning, Oregon Ducks. The OSU/UO rivalry puts most college rivalries to shame in it's length and intensity. It had been 16 years since OSU had come out of The Pit with a win. Incidentally, that last win came on my 19th birthday in 1993. If you are of a mind to do some math, you can now figure out how old I really am. LOL. But back to tonight. Tonight was expected to be all about the Ducks. They had one of their best players, Terrell Brandon, back in the house to honor him by retiring his number. This was supposed to be the Ducks night to go out of The Pit with a win to commemorate the closing of the old building. This is the last Civil War that will ever be played there. Next year, we will all be watching them play in their new digs on campus.

So it was with great excitement that the Beaver fans in the crowd watched our team jump out to an 8-0 lead. It was a lead that would never be relinquished. That's right, the team that lost by 51 points on Wednesday night, rallied together and became a team that could get it done. And get it done they did. They lead wire to wire and made the final game at The Pit memorable for such a different reason than everyone, including myself, was expecting. Oh, don't get me wrong, I have faith that this team can do great things but they needed this big win to right a ship that listing dangerously. Now, with a renewed sense of self, this team can move on from losing 16 straight at The Pit with the memory of this final game in the venerable building. What an amazing end to an era.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Keeping the thoughts in my head.

I really need to learn how to keep the words in my head. I was doing better with this but had a slip up today. There is one person that has caused me to lose my resolve more than once. But it is really only one particular topic. Otherwise I find her to be a very interesting, engaging person. So clearly the problem is mine. I must overcome it. I must learn to keep my mouth or, in this case, my keyboard shut so I can keep my foot out of it.

I guess, picking up the thread of a previous post, I am an eggshell person. I still think I am right in this case but she clearly does not and the others involved in the conversation, for the most part, seem to agree with her. So I am examining my reaction to the conversation. I understand why it strikes me the way it does. It centers around an issue I am struggling with. I am sensitive to it. I know that. So the issue is to deal with it in a different way. And figure out how to stay out of her way when the subject inevitably comes up again.

Sigh. This personal growth stuff is hard.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wednesday positives and goal updates

My day was just chock full of positives and one major bummer.

I had a fun time helping in David's kindergarten class. That is where you will find me most any Wednesday morning this school year. I get to do all kinds of fun projects while I am there and I get to see how my son is doing in school. Today I cut out and glued down the colored mittens so that the teacher can hang them up as decorations in the classroom. I also separated all the Scholastic order forms so they are ready to go home tomorrow and worked on putting together the little books that the students will be using in reading groups. I also got to talk with another adult (the teacher) while the kids were out at recess, got to work with the kids a little bit and just generally enjoy spending time with little people in a completely different setting than normal.

Other positives were that I finished Professor Layton and the Curious Village on DD's DS. This is a fun little game with lots of interesting puzzles, some of them quite challenging to my underused brain. I also exercised for 50 minutes (a goal of mine for this year, to exercise more). And my very sweet and long-suffering hubby agreed to taking the girls to their 4-H meeting so I could come home and watch the basketball game. That leads to the major bummer. That game and the outcome were a major embarrassment. We lost 48-99. Sad, seriously sad. Hope a different team shows up for the Civil War on Sunday evening.

Now to look at this weeks progress on my goals:

I have been working on figuring out a budget. It is taking a lot of time. I hope that my friend comes through with the copy of Total Money Makeover that she said she would send me.

I have exercised twice so far this week. The new WiiFitPlus is fun. I have also done a better job of getting in some water each day.

I had a set back in my "don't freak out so much" parenting goal yesterday when Emily really tested the limits of my sanity but today was much better.

Fun stuff today. Tomorrow I am going to work in spending less time sitting here with the computer and more time picking up the house. Every room needs attention right now.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Struggling today

I am struggling today.

I am so angry and frustrated that I am having a hard time finding the positive and the good. I have ranted and raved to Matt. It did no good. I ranted and raved to some of my friends. It did no good. I talked to DD since what made me so angry affects her. It did no good. I am still angry.

Wait, there it is. The positive for today. I did not have to leave the house tonight to go to a meeting. I chose to stay home and watch the Orange Bowl. I would rather watch football any day than deal with these people and the issues that surround them. I will be better by next month and be back there again I am sure. For tonight I am going to enjoy my hot cocoa, crab-corn chowder and football.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy thoughts, positive actions

I am working on turning my attitude around. I have always tended to be a glass half-empty kinda girl but frankly I am tired of it. I am tired of being the one that is rubbed the wrong way. A friend on my favorite Scrapbooking website Scrapshare posted about what she called eggshell people in her life. I am afraid I am an eggshell person. When it comes to my in-laws I KNOW I am. So I am setting out to change me and my attitude.

In that effort I am looking to make each day a positive one or at least find one or two positive things that I can write/think about.

In thinking about yesterday, it was a lazy day here. We just did not do much. But neither did we just sit around watching TV. In fact, due to the fact that Miss Emily had a book she needed to read before she returned to school today, we did not have the TV on all day. That is a hugely positive thing. Because when the TV is not on, the level of noise in my house goes down exponentially. My family is loud. There is no two ways about it. We just are. I find that this is offensive to many. So in my drive to be a better parent (did you note that in my 2010 goals?), I am encouraging quiet voices in the house. This includes Matt, who sits silently until something causes him to flip his lid and yell. So where is the positive? By the end of the evening, everyone was doing a better job of talking in more normal tones and people were not sniping at each other nearly as much. So, no TV and a quieter house. Two very positive things for any one day.

Today is only half over and I already have two positives to write about. Everyone who had to be out of the house was out on time and with little yelling, frustration or anger. Even David headed to school after only one minor squabble. Then I did something I have not done in a very long time. I exercised. While the positive benefits of that are numerous all on their own, in order to exercise I also had to pick up the great room some so it was a double benefit. Yippee!! Positive steps, it is a good thing.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

January goals

In keeping with the New Year post of just a bit ago, I am organizing my thoughts so I can plan specific goals for the month of January.

Eating better ~ Plan meals for each week including using one new healthy recipe each week.
Exercise ~ WiiFit or WiiFitPlus 3 mornings each week, walk either on treadmill or outside 2 mornings/afternoons each week.
Increase daily water intake from nothing (now) to at least 32 ounces by the end of the month.

Financial ~ Read Dave Ramsey's TMM book when it arrives from Angie. Run analysis in Quicken and begin budget in Excel.

Family ~ January 4 - 9 ~ Find and reread Love and Logic. Encourage the use of quiet voices in the house.

House ~ Make list of cleaning goals, get caught up on Flylady emails and stay current with them, read up on the Organized Home website and work on a plan. Get and stay caught up with dishes and keep kitchen table cleared off daily.

Fun time ~ Go back and do all the 12 of 12 layouts for last year. Make the snowman earrings that are still on project list from last year. Scrapbook Christmas. Print school pictures and send out to family.

Blog about progress at least 3 days each week. Blog about one to two good things each day.

New Year, New Resolve

I have been a terrible blogger.

I am inconsistent and let lapses happen that go on for months at a time.

I feel bad about it because I know for a while I had friends who actually read this and I have left them hanging too often.

So it is a new year. A time to start things off as we wish for them to continue. Many have made resolutions. I don't. Resolutions always seem doomed to failure at the first slip up.

I do, however, have goals. There is not an area of my life that I do not wish to work on this year. In light of that, it seemed appropriate to revive the old blog, to dust it off and put it to use journaling and chronicling my goals and progress toward achieving them.

Health -
~Eat better - include at least one fruit and two veggies in every day
~Exercise - I have all kinds of exercise aids, a treadmill, a Wii Fit and the new one Wii Fit Plus, videos, DVDs, and the great outdoors. Now I need to put them to work. I will be taking this goal a month at a time. I know I have to start small and work up. I will post my true goals for this in another post or this one will get too long.
~Lose weight - hopefully the above two will translate to this last one.
Personality -
~Be more positive - This goal is meant to change my thinking and attitude. I know I will never be a true polyanna but I want to be more able to find the good and positive in my life because I know there is a lot there. This goal may be tweaked as we go but I am going to start out with find and write down one or two good things each day.
~Yell less - I am tired of being the one whose voice is heard above the rest all the time. I want to work toward a calmer me.
~Be a better parent - This goes with both of the ones above. I need a more positive approach to being a parent and a better way of dealing with the frustrations that come along with being the parent of a teen, a tween and a little guy all at once. To that end I am going to start by rereading Love and Logic and How to Talk so Your Kids Will Listen and Listen so Your Kids Will Talk.
~Be a better wife - Matt needs more positive attention from me and that is all I am willing to say about that. ;-o
Make more me time - scrapbook more, explore more beading, blog and journal.

Be tidier
Declutter and rid my house/life of unneccessary junk -
Create and maintain a cleaning schedule that will provide our family with a healthy, cozy home to live in.
Plan more - meals, shopping lists, schedules, etc.

Budget, budget, budget!
Make reducing debt a major focus of our spending plans
Keep current on all bills

Having written all that down, it seems like a lot but so much of it goes hand in hand that I can work on many items at once. The next post will have my specific January goals because obviously this is a list of year long goals.