Saturday, December 31, 2011

So, it is New Year's Eve. Any plans???? So far, mine involve getting the tree and Christmas decor put away, working on lesson plans for February, doing the dishes, laundry, and making a celebratory chocolate cheesecake (smaller one, I have different size pans ;) ). Afterall, I need it gone soon!!! LOL!!!

2012 Resolutions

  • Get healthy!! This is my biggie. I know this is probably MOST people's Resolution, but I am serious!!
  • Make my family stronger
    • Less TV
    • more Church, we need to find a church home
    • family prayer
    • more time with Isabelle individually
    • more family activities and meals

That last one ( more family activities and meals), has been hard with Matt's schedule. He works nights, so, generally, he goes to bed about 1-3 in the afternoon. His week runs Sun night to Thurs night, but he often works the weekend, too. Of course, that makes Church rough, too.

Now that Isabelle is homeschooling, it opens up new possibilities for our family. So I am looking for some help. I need ideas to make this work!! Our family needs this.

The only idea I have thus far is the make lunch our "family meal" instead of dinner. All of us at the table, talking about our day and whatnot.

In other news, this is the last weekend for Isabelle to have the opportunity to deer hunt. It is late youth in KY, so Matt and Isabelle are 2 hours away. Really hoping Isabelle gets a good shot today!! Please pray that they get home safely!!

Be safe out there tonight. Not everyone is responsible for their choices.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

 2011 has been a rough year for me. I actually just cried like a baby night before last to Matt about how badly I want this year gone. Which is a VERY unlike ME thought. I usually say never wish a moment away. You never know what the future holds. I stopped making resolutions several years ago, but this years I have several!! lol! 2012 WILL be the year my family becomes grounded and well-rounded! And I don't mean physically rounded! HAHA!!! I already have THAT down! ;)

BUT!! While we are on that subject!!! That is one of my resolutions. I have struggled with my weight since I gained 66 lbs with my first child, Isabelle. I have never been petite. I averaged 135- 140 lbs through HS, on my 5'4" frame. I was 155 when I joined the Coast Guard in 2001. It was all UPHILL from there!!!

I had BIG plans for 2011!! I started Weight Watchers and started Couch to 5k! My life got in the way. For about 3 months my world was uprooted when my marriage nearly ended. Matt and I are stronger than ever, but my heart is still mending. Matt and I joined a gym again in August, but we haven't been NEARLY enough!!! Now, with my disk issue, I am afraid to overdo it. :(

I am planning to join WW again. It helped! That and a GREAT group of friends I started a group with on Facebook. They are the BEST!!

My senior year.....I don't want nor expect to look like this ever again!!

 About 7 months pregnant with Gabriel.
Disney 2008, after 2.5 months of 2-3 days a week gym time!! 2 sizes!! THIS is where I hope to be by mid year!!

So here we go! Who is with me???????

If I lost 1 lb. each week of 2012:

By Valentine's Day I'd be 7 lbs. lighter! I'm loving it!

By St Patrick's Day I'd be 11lbs. lighter! With the luck-o-the Irish I'll make my goal.

By Easter I'd be 16 lbs. lighter! I'd be a cuter bunny.

By Memorial Day I'd be 23 lbs. lighter! Won't let it rain on my parade.

By Flag Day I'd be 25 lbs. ligher! Boy, could I wave my flag then.

By Independence Day I'd be 27 lbs. lighter! That's a neat declaration of independence from overeating!

By Labor Day I'd be 36 lbs. lighter! What a wonderful reward for all my hard work.

By Columbus Day I'd be 41 lbs. lighter! What a joy to discover what I can do.

By Halloween I'd be 44 lbs. lighter! I didn't think I had a ghost of a chance.

By Thanksgiving I'd be 47 lbs. lighter! I'd have so much to be thankful for.

By Christmas Eve I'd be 51 lbs. lighter! Talk about being merry.

By New Year's Eve I'd be 52 lbs. lighter! It's not just a new year, it's a new ME!

Amazing what one measly pound a week can accomplish! Good luck to you!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's been a week since my last post. Busy time of year!!

We've all made it through another Christmas! How was yours? Ours was pretty wonderful!! We made it to our first Candlelight service in a LONG time!! In fact, it was Isabelle's first! Strained my voice again singing, but it was worth it!!

We had Christmas Eve lunch at Logan's SH. About Gabriel's eye; he fell on one of our metal chairs! Poor baby!! His eye was nearly swollen shut Christmas morning!!


Here is our 2011 Christmas tree after Santa came!

 Gabriel got ahold of that MMCH car and I didn't know if he would open anything!!! LOL!! I actually ended up opening most of his. ;)

It was wonderful having Matt home all weekend! Having our family together is the best Christmas gift and blessing!!

In more upsetting news, I had an MRI done and read last week.

I have degenerative disk disease and 2 bulging disks in the lumber.The nurse practitioner suggested physical therapy for now, with cortisone shots being a possibility. Surgery isn't necessary or an option unless it herniates.

It started as sciatic pain in my left glute almost 2 months ago. Now it encompasses my entire left leg, hip to toes. I have numbness, tingling, and pain. I don't know if PT is the answer. I have heard that will aggravate it!? I am a bit scared, to be honest, that I may wake up one morning with my entire left side paralyzed. Please pray for me.

For those of you traveling be safe out there! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Less than a handful of shopping days before Christmas. Boy, you can tell if you try to go ANYWHERE! People tend to be rude, roads and parking lots are nuts, and general anxiety can be felt in the very air!

In my good intentions to teach Isabelle the less material side of Christmas, she has wanted to donate hygiene items to the homeless, baby care items to the Red Cross, and toys for Children how won't have such a nice Christmas! It feels wonderful to hear her talk about giving back! <3 Hope my pockets can handle it!! ;)  She even wanted to give a used book to her classmate secret Santa, in an effort to reuse and be more green. I had a hard time explaining why she needed a new gift! lol! Glad my lesson is sticking.

In other news, I go to an Orthopedic tomorrow morning to have my MRI read. My "leg" pain has been getting worse. I am afraid of the results, though I have a hunch it is a herniated disk and they will opt for surgery. Prayers, please!

On to happy things!!! First, a bit of unhappy, I have "outgrown" my embroidery machine. It just is too much trouble anymore, between the software and whatnot. For Christmas (albeit, a tad late, as in probably next week) I will be the PROUD owner of a Brother 650E!!!! Matt, my husband, is getting it for me!!! <3

LOTS more embroidering in my future! Not just clothing, but also hats, bags, jackets!!!!! I am so excited!!!

Also a bit apprehensive, since it is a LOT of machine to learn. Worrisome, since we start homeschooling in only a few weeks and I am not sure how much time we will have. I still feel blessed though!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The drama every school morning has gotten on my last nerve! SERIOUSLY! Grrr... Each morning seems to be full of arguing and my preteen being difficult (at best). Often, it's "where are your papers?" When we start Homeschooling I won't have to worry about where her tests, papers, and newsletters are! School mornings! Ugh! Only 4 more of them....Thank God!

Last night I played with a henna design on my classroom corkboard. I like it ok, but I may work out some of the details in a metallic, especially in the center.

So I have a bit of housework to do, then I will be at my sewing machine most of the next couple of days. I am itching to start painting, though!!!

I also have to look at my gift statuses. I am really trying to NOT make Christmas about gifts for Isabelle. We are working on giving back, but Christmas rushed in on us!! We have done some hygiene supplies for the homeless and toys for tots. I had plans to make cards to send to the troops. Never-mind that I didn't even get cards done to send family and friends! Oh my....Busy, busy.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oh my!! Christmas is only a week away! For the first time in YEARS I feel as is I am unprepared! It doesn't even feel like Christmas! We only just got our tree up on Friday night. The lights are pretty, but it is half naked!! LOL! Having an 18 month old running around means ornaments need to be high! I hung all of my newly acquired Disney ornaments and a couple of special ones high. Unbreakable in the middle, you can see my new silver MMH, which was a gift from my dear friend from Down Under, Jennifer. We have a skirt, but, as you can see, Gabriel removed it.
Yes, I don't have any gifts under the tree.No, I am not done shopping, and, no I do NOT have ANY wrapped!!! The best part is, I can't get motivated to get it all done! My mind is being overran by my basement project!

Have you ever been STUCK on something? Before our trip it was sewing all the kids' outfits. Now I have finally gotten nearly everything cleaned up from that! lol!!

I got the primer and paint to get started on painting!! Yay!!!! Only, I have to finish cleaning the rest of the basement. :(

I am really loving my Moroccan themed space!! Here are some fabrics I picked up! For....something...???? lol!! That's the hoarder in me again!

I also plan to hand paint some Henna designs on the walls!! Here is my beloved Henna from Disney 2010! Also some other fun designs I found online!!

Guess I SHOULD go wrap some gifts, huh...????

Saturday, December 17, 2011


We have a rather large (about 15'x18 ') open space in our basement. When we first moved into our home (2002), it was our bedroom. Stayed that way for about 6 years!! Now, though we have had plans since 2007 to turn it into a family room, it is pretty much a catch-all. Somewhere, buried under mounds of fabric (yes, I am a bit of a hoarder) weights that don't get used enough, and furniture that hasn't been touched in so long it looks like Disney Imagineers dusted it a la Haunted Mansion, is a space with potential!!

Granted, the floor was poorly tiled before we bought it and really needs to be chipped out and the walls haven't been properly painted EVER! The flooring will wait and I am on those walls like paint to a brush!! ;) None the less, I have been cleaning and sorting!! And planning! hehe!!

I have tried 3 samples on the walls. I think I finally got one I like with the last one. I don't feel that the paler colors are visible enough. Too dark would, obviously, not be too great in a basement.
All 3 on block, (L-R) pale green, med bluish teal, pale blue:

On drywall, pale blue and pale green:
Third is the winner!! The blue is a bit darker with a hint of teal.

I also bought an area rug online today as well as a Moroccan lamp!!

Somehow (lol), we plan to squeeze a schooling and sewing space out of this room, as well as a bit of a family area. Gabriel needs entertainment, after all!!

I can't wait to show you the before and after pictures!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fun day today! I took Isabelle out of public school early for some homeschool fun! With only 6 days of PS remaining, I didn't see any harm in it. After all, she was learning, but she was having FUN too!!! I am a firm believer in making education as fun as can be. I want to raise children who love learning and find that learning new things everyday is beneficial and fun. Lifelong learners, that's what I hope to see in my children as they grow up and have their own families.

  Over the past month and a half Isabelle has been working on a mini unit lapbook, "Christmas Around the World". It tied in perfectly with visiting Epcot last week, too!!

Epcot has wonderful storytellers for Christmas at each country in World Showcase. In Mexico we got to listen to Los Tres Reyes Magos, otherwise known as the Three Kings or Three Wise Men. Here they posed for a picture with Isabelle!

The last storyteller we got to see was La Belfana in Italy. It was so cute listening to Isabelle tell her "Buono Natale" as she posed for this quick picture!!

So, today I took the kids to Frazier History Museum in Louisville, KY for their Holidays Around the World. Isabelle's first "official" HS field trip!! Today, only, they had a "homeschool day" where the only groups allowed were homeschooled children. Yes, I played the system a smidge. Isabelle isn't exclusively homeschooled...yet!

This was a cute event. Although, I am sad to say we missed the homeschool choir. They had several craft activities, snacks from other countries, 12 different Christmas trees decorated for 12 countries, and a fun scavenger hunt!

We planned to tour the museum itself after the event, but Gabriel awoke from his nap and we only got to see a little. That's ok, though!! More for next time! Matt didn't get to go, since he has strep, and I know he will enjoy it next time, too!

We finished up our trip with dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and a little shopping. It was a fun day, indeed!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

To continue with yesterday's post....

 With my thoughts on making a difference in my life for the future, this year seems to be the first Christmas where I truly see how materialistic this special day has become.

 Our family truly together and enjoying the bountiful blessings He has given us, is what Christmas should be about. And so often, this time of year, we are reminded of this true meaning of Christmas, of helping other find life's blessings, of giving of ourselves to make a difference. Just as often, this message is ignored.

I am just as guilty.

I, too, want my kids to get everything on their list, to revel in beautiful twinkling lights, and delight in the mystery of Santa Claus.  Am I bad parent if I don't? To have more...What parent hasn't wished it at some point of time?

I see that wishing for tangible items isn't what is best for my children. That ONE more small package to stick under the tree isn't really necessary. Of course, you can't make children see it that way! LOL!!!

With only weeks left for the Christmas season, I plan to start instilling more Godly behavior to Isabelle.  To give back more. No, I don't expect anything in return, that's what it means to give. You see that all too often in people. They think they need something in return.

I will be praying for guidance in all of the many changes that will be coming with the new year, too. For the first time in MANY years, I have decided to write out a New Year's Resolution. That story is for another time, though.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

As I walked through Disney last week, admiring the decorations and humming along to Christmas tunes, memories of Christmases past came forefront. This was our first visit at Christmastime. Disney World at Christmas is dreamy and surreal, after all, those imagineers really know how to make things magical! I knew we were making more Christmas memories.

I find that, by February, the memories are really all you have left. The decorations have been put away, toys have been well played with (thankful the batteries have FINALLY died!), life slips back into the same dullness, and all us adults really want is Spring to come so the kids can go outside and play! lol, right!?

The Christmas air feels a bit different to me this year, though. Yes, Disney was wonderful, and I am sure this Christmas will be as well, but my heart feels different. Now, we are a loving and giving family and I have always tried to teach Isabelle what Christmas is really about, but I feel the need to really put it into action this year.

Over the past 2 months, while I have been researching homeschool for Isabelle, I have read so much material on why, how, and what to homeschool, that I have had a glimpse into many other families' lives. I see that a family that is close and bonded is strong, I see that time is precious. I think that the path our family traveled this year has brought some enlightenment to me. The research has asked me to examine myself and our family. I have forced myself to step out and see what qualities our family has.

The past few years have been very difficult on our family. Loosing Levi is more pain than any parent should ever have to bear. The grieving process has been long and hard. I miss my Angel. And many hardships have stemmed from this loss. More than I need to go into, but prayers are always appreciated.

Starting with this small assessment of our lives is a positive step to healing. One thing we cannot forget is how much we need each other. All of us. In remembering so, we need to make ourselves more available to each  member in our family. Time to put theory into practice!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hi everyone! Welcome to my blog. I hope you pull up a seat and get comfy!! Follow me through life's journey. There are a lot of things going on right now.

We just got back from our sixth family trip to Walt Disney World. It was a BLAST! Especially since  my BFF was there, whom I hadn't seen in nearly 3 years, and several other friends, including a dear friend who was vacationing with her family from Sydney, Aus. It was WONDERFUL to finally get to meet IRL. She has really been a great friend to me and listened to a LOT of whining this year! lol!!

This has been one of the two most difficult years in all my life. Many trials and tribulations have tested my faith in recent years, this was one of them. The hurdles from earlier this year are still there, but I find them easier to get across now than 6 months ago. Life is what it is. :) I can't say it will always be good or happy, but life can't ALWAYS be grand, right!?

All in all, my life is full of blessings, though. I have a warm home, a hard working husband, beautiful children, and freedom, most of the time, to live as is right and explore new fun things.

Anyway, not to overload, but welcome and bear with me as I feel my way into the world of blogging. TTFN!