Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hoke we homa

Our kids must have pronounced Oklahoma 17 different ways as we drove up on late Friday afternoon. They were so excited that we were going somewhere that none of us had ever been before. We talked about the Oklahoma city bombings on the way and so the minute we crossed the state line Ribbit asked "where is that building that blew up?".

It also rained off and on the whole way and finally Baby Boy asked " who keeps pushing the rain button?" That made us chuckle! He also saw a smaller bulldozer on the side of the road and exclaimed " look, that digger is just the right size for me!".
Devotions with Daddy at the dinner table. I am pretty sure this is when Goober asked if we had been married for 20 years :), nope, only 8!

Getting ready to explore and catch boots!

Putting our rainboots to good use. Daddy doesn't share our love for them :) I feel like I scream " I AM FROM ALABAMA" in this picture!

We took this picture while watching our kids splash in puddles and catch bugs. When I showed it to Adam he said "look at those old people".

Daddy Daughter swinging

When we finally got to our cabin the sun was out and the weather was perfect. We went to Lake Murray State Park and rented a smaller cabin for two nights. It had two twin beds, that we pushed together to make a large one for all 3 kids to share and a pull out sofa that Adam and I tolerated :). We honestly didn't spend any daytime in the cabin, only to change out of muddy clothes or grab something out of the fridge so it being small wasn't an issue. Our closest church friends and their two kiddos rented the cabin right beside us and we enjoyed having a big yard for all the kids to share, hammocks for everyone, a fire pit and picnic tables to share and being in yelling distance of all 5 kids at all times :).

Bikes for everyone!!

Always racing each other!!!

We were probably trespassing at some point as we climbed around, up and hung from this rock tower :)

The ultimate rock climber and his pose!

The cabin was right across the road from a park with plenty of sidewalks for our kiddos to ride bikes on, really close to several nature trails and steep bike trails. We were less than a 10 minute drive from a beautiful beach, nature tower, rock tower, fishing pier, mini golf, boat dock, marina and restaurant. It was super family friendly and ideal for a weekend getaway.

Panoramic view of tower and our little monkey

Listening to Daddy read from Marley and Me

The first thing we did on Friday night was have our dinner and devotions. Then we went exploring and found this huge rock tower that the kids enjoyed climbing all over and coming up with reasons for its existence, they all agreed it was an old jail. We rode bikes, played on the playground and as the sun set we headed back to the cabin for storytime (Adam is currently reading to them from Marley and Me) and bed time. Adam and I stayed up and read some and then conked out ourselves.
Early start on our day!

This lasted all of 5 minutes. I think she liked wearing my hoodie more than anything else.

Best Daddy Ever

He was a pro at casting before too long!

The next morning we were up and ready at 6:30...right on schedule for our kids!! I made pancakes with fruit and we got dressed to go fishing. It was such a family oriented place but we were still the only ones out on the pier for a while :). We "fished" in throw your line out as far as possible, scream at the ducks in the pond, point out every turtle and ripple you see, ask a million questions about fish and then wonder why we aren't catching anything...the fish would have to be deaf.

Wooly mammoth bones!

Stairs of DOOM

Yes, Adam is squatting so he doesn't see how high up we are :)
On one of the many was a beautiful day and view!!

Next we headed over to Tucker Tower Nature reserve. We found out that it was originally built as a summer retreat for the governor of Oklahoma but it was never used in that way. Inside the nature center the kids got to feel different pelts, make butterflies, see stuffed local animals, watch hummingbirds, learn about the Indians who once lived there and see all kinds of marine life. From there we hiked up to the tower and explored it. THAT WAS NERVE-WRACKING. The tower goes straight up and is basically one long giant spiral staircase with a room and balcony on each floor. Our younger ones like to look backwards as they walk up steps and that combined with Adam's fear of heights made for an interesting and quick trip up to the top and back down. We did enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Murray from the top and learned a lot of history on the way as well.

One of the two beaches at Lake Murray

After gobbling down some snacks we changed into our swim suits and headed to the smaller beach, closer to our cabin. It had poured the night before so it was muddy and cold but the kids didn't care at all. Our friends rented a kayak and we watched them as the other kiddos played in knee deep water. They kept saying how cold they were but never got out. Then they would "accidentally" trip and before you knew it they were covered in muddy water. We headed back to the cabins after about an hour of that for clean up and lunch!!!

When we are camping with our church friends we always divide up meals. Its all together cheaper, more fun and leaves the wives with less planning and prep. That day we had sandwiches, chips and fruit....I think we ate everything the other family brought for the meal :). I was in awe as I watched all 3 of them put away two plates of food, I guess they had worked up an appetite!

After lunch Adam put up the hammocks and the kids enjoyed playing on those and doing a little hike right in between the two cabins. I took off for a quick run. I have finally been able to consistently keep my miles at 8:15-8:45, even outdoors, which for some reason being outdoors really slows me down. I got 3 miles in at 26.23 minutes and called it done. I was pouring sweat and loved that I was able to take on some of the hills around our campsite.
Watercoloring outside with momma

The little kids and I then did some painting, one of their favorite camping activities is outdoor art....I love it too since I hardly ever get to do my own thing!! Adam and Goober went off to do some trail riding with the mountain bikes and they came back COVERED IN MUD and Goober has not stopped talking about that time with his dad since!!!
Jesse and Ribbit, same age, best buds!

Baby Boy, Jesse and Ribbit

Bubbas in the hammock together

I'll wrap up the rest of our trip in a weekend post. I can't tell you how many days this one post has taken..between Gallery Nights at school, football, cheerleading, baseball, Ranger games and life we have yet to have a night at home since we got back from Hoke we homa :).

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fitness Friday-eating out tips

I thought I would put down some thoughts I have on eating out, whether that's at Zoe's kitchen (known for its healthier organic choices) or MacDonalds...(my kids personal favorite).

Tip #1-DON'T EAT OUT!! Our food budget is much better spent on groceries that contain fresh fruit, veggies and lean proteins. I cringe every time we pay at a restaurant as I think through all of the meals I could have prepared for that large sum. We honestly only eat out if its a tight time constraint or if we have been invited by others to celebrate.

Tip #2-Check out the menu ahead of time. Almost all places will have their menu posted online. If you are lucky they will even have their nutrition facts posted. I always, always have a plan before eating out. Don't let your senses overwhelm you and order something quickly that you will regret later. If you can't find the menu or calorie count order a broth based soup or salad with dressing on the side. Order fish when you can and veggies as sides instead of fries or chips.

Tip #3-Do not pay for a beverage, thus order water. This will not only fill you up but will keep you from drinking 500 calories. I try to always order lemon or lime with my water to make sure it has some flavor and it also keeps me from filling like I am missing out.

Tip #4-PACK SNACKS!!! On our last trip to Alabama (20 hour drive) there was not one meal that we ate from a fast food place. I had plenty of snacks for myself and the kids packed ahead of time. We weren't tempted because we were always full and I made sure that I packed great food with some treats as well so that we were enjoying ourselves as we passed MacDonalds, without the need to whine for french fries :). I am such a snacker anyways that I would gladly give up 3 meals a day for 6-7 larger snacks.
Eating their bagels and peanut butter sandwiches, along with superhero and barbie apple juice :)

Tip #5-Enjoy yourself. Many times you will find yourself eating out as part of a celebration and nobody wants to hear you talk about how you can't eat anything or how the food is too unhealthy to even touch :). If there is absolutely nothing great there to eat then pick something that your stomach can handle and eat it slowly, ENJOY THE HECK OUT OF THAT DOUBLE CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE...but eat it slowly so that you don't go back for seconds. I have been known to make a cookie last for 45 minutes :).

Tip #6-Fill your plate with veggies/fruits and lean protein, then add in one cheat. If you finish your meal and still want to split a dessert with your family/friends go for it. Just make sure that you aren't going to regret it in your morning routine the next day. I normally eat my meal at the restaurant, sometimes bringing home half of it and then if I am still hungry I will eat yogurt, matzah or apples with PB2 at home for dessert.

If you are honestly having trouble with not overindulging at fast food places just think about how much exercise that one double whopper is going to cost you. If its 500 calories, that is 5 miles at a 9 min mile for me to burn off. Its not worth it :) that is going to wreak havoc on my stomach and it might even keep me from my workout the next day.

So what do I enjoy at fast food places??

-Braums chunky cappuccino sugar added frozen yogurt with dark chocolate bits...YES THIS IS WORTH THE 270 calories!!! Its the only milkshake I have found that doesn't start at 400 calories and yet still taste heavenly!!

Even my students know of my love for Braums chunky cappuccino milkshakes :)
-Starbucks spinach, veggie panini

McAlisters-french onion soup or grilled chicken salad with my own dressing

Mexican places-Tortilla soup, grilled chicken fajita salad with my own dressing or a fish dish with brown rice

Subway-Turkey with lots of veggies on wheat with mustard

McDonalds--if I must, grilled chicken wrap with small yogurt parfait

Chick Fil A- Marketplace Salad with 1/2 packet of low fat berry vinaigrette.

Boston Market--Garlicky Spinach (SUPER YUM), roasted potatoes and green beans..this is their veggie plate and its very FILLING
Check out the empty garlic edamame bowl and our fresh sushi plates...YUM!!

Sushi places-brown rice if they have it, anything with spicy tuna or salmon, nothing with cream cheese. Edamame for appetizers or miso soup.

Italian places-good luck..salad with my own without cream sauce?? Olive Garden's minestrone soup and reduced calorie salad is pretty good but I haven't found any pasta or meat dishes that are super low calorie and worth it :).

Medi Cafe-Hummus with Pita, Salmon or Mahi Mahi, green beans, Lemon Orzo soup

Costa Vida-Mango Chicken Salad without the tortilla and my own dressing

We are heading out to enjoy a cabin on Lake Murray in OK this weekend with some church friends..lots of biking, hiking, fishing and FUN in our future!!

BBQ places-turkey or chicken, sauce on the side....veggies without cream, lots of butter or in a casserole.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Insert witty title here

After wasting exactly 3 minutes of my life trying to think of a witty title I gave up and instead I will ask you create one for me...dig deep.

First thing on the agenda, or at least my agenda is the Boston Marathon. I read story after story today of those who ran in the marathon yesterday and how they felt at the end. HOLY COW, I teared up as I read every one of them. One blogger I read beat her goal time by 3 minutes and cried like a baby...I so relate to that and I just cried because I actually finished. Another blogger I followed cried and cried as she read the signs of those who were out to cheer on the runners in memory of a loved one that they had lost at the bombings 2 years of those victims was a 31 year old girl who was killed as she crossed the finish line....cue the tears. Can you imagine being there to cheer on your daughter/sister/friend through this awesome goal only to lose her at the finish line. Its soooooooo inspiring. Its inspiring enough that I have been thinking all day about starting to train for another marathon this summer....maybe even trying to get my time down to 4 hours.....YIKES. The two bloggers I follow finished at 3:57:00 and 4:12:00.....I finished in 4:35:00 so I believe with enough training I COULD DO IT!!!!.

My big girl who was blessed with a bike from our neighbor who stops and chats daily while walking his dog.

My big man who earned yet another Daniel Sticker...we are on our way towards becoming mayor!

I've told you before that she gets to pick out her outfits for church, no questions asked...well this Sunday was Gold Princess Day....obviously. Oh, and we are close to picking out new flooring for the kitchen and foyer area. By close, I mean we don't like what each other likes but now we know that :).

Big Man was also blessed by a bike this weekend from church friends...oh you should hear him talk about himself on his bike...he went from a 3 year old with an attitude to a 16 year old stud. "Wook at me mommy, I not fall down and I go weally fast". "Wook mommy, I fall off and I not cry because I have muscles". "Wook Bubba, I can beat you in a race because you is slow hahahahahahah".

Another thing that interested me was how the blogger who finished under 4 talked about how she was miserable for 85% of the race and at any given moment she could have thrown up. Now, that was not my experience at all...however, there were several differences in our marathons (weather, traveling to the race site, time, all of the other competitors, stress she added by telling everyone her goal ahead of time) but I can totally relate on smaller runs. For example, just today I felt AWFUL the whole was 69 degrees outside and I was hydrated, had eaten a protein bar but for some reason felt like I could puke the whole time and pretty soon what started out as my 6 mile run turned into a 3 mile and bolt for the car run. Its encouraging to hear that everyone has their off days but powering through (when you can) is worth it. Almost every time I feel bad during a run its due to poor food choices though...blah...what an awful cycle.

Speaking of poor food choices (but so worth the company)....our double date with Uncle Tis and Aunt Micah. SUSHI SAMS ...the best ever!!! Followed by at least 1 lb of FRO YO....OH YUMMMMMMMMM!!!

Around here life is life. As we always say " you cant add chaos to chaos"......

But you can add in a weekend camping trip to Oklahoma with friends, a yardsale with neighbors, upcoming middle school parents meeting (MIDDLE SCHOOL....YIKES, we barely made it through 4th grade), end of the year parties, church huddles and oh yeah those 2 full time jobs and 3 kiddos who enjoy cheerleading, football, baseball, roller blading and biking at ALL TIMES and we are BUSY PEOPLE!!!

Meeting Ribbit for lunch and walking her back to class.

Brother/Sister lunch date at Annas....Salmon with chipotle sauce, rice and beans...YES PLEASE...we both got it and tore it up!!!! SUPER YUM!

Chris and I also share a love for calamari and this along with quesadillas (weird i know) was dinner one night.

We enjoyed having my brother, Uncle Tis here last week. He spent individual time with each kid, much of it including ice cream :) and I thought that was so sweet. He offered to pick up my kids, eat lunch with them at school and was always ready to WESTLE (wrestle).  He and I got to work out together, worship together, talk about our past, our future, look through old pictures..he even got to spend a whole day golfing with Adam....I LOVE LOVE LOVE their bromance :). There were BIG tears the day before he left and the morning of his many tears that we could only be consoled by doughnuts before church...geesh, lets just call it high fructose corn syrup therapy.

Goober cried all through our last lunch with Uncle Chris the day before and then sobbed that morning.

They only perked up as we entered our favorite local donut store and saw that they indeed had superhero, fairy and cinnamon twist donuts. Mom and Dad were able to keep it together without donuts :). However, the tears came back after church.

He still got it past all 3 goalies :)

These two ....ah, I am exhausted just looking at them. They FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT, LOVE LOVE LOVE. They weigh the same, have a lot of the same mannerisms and want to sleep together every night.

Baby Boy's sitter took this and sent it to me. HE LOVES GOING BACK TO MRS. SHEILA...she has been such a blessing to us, especially taking him back with only 6 weeks left in the school year. Every morning he wakes up and asks us when we are leaving to go to Sheilas!!!

 Countdown is still on to MAY 20th...last day of inservice. I can't wait to spend more time with kiddos, have less of a schedule and get more fresh vitamin D!!!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fitness Friday-documentation

One thing that I have found very rewarding on this health journey has been documentation.

I didn't do this from the beginning but now I wish I had. Its awesome to look back and see how far you have see goals you have reached.

There are days when the scale can be disappointing...and on those days I look back through my health planner and the goals, mileage, consistency, food dairies are the things that motivate me to keep remind myself that the scale is not in charge here.

I personally use a planner that my mom got me for Christmas to track my mileage on cardio days, my workout plans and my PRs (personal records). I use MyFitnessPal app to track my calories daily. Over time this app will chart your food and show you how you are stacking up carbs, compared to fats, compared to protein. Seeing that I was quite overdoing it on the fat portion is what encouraged me to seek out those high protein/low carb satisfying snacks and I believe its what allows me to eat 1400-1600 calories a day and still stay very full.

Another thing that I track, which may sound a little conceited is compliments that I receive. For example, my kids were invited to a swim party last weekend and for the first time EVER I swam with them and had NO WORRIES about what I looked like in my swimsuit, instead I played with them, went in the hot tub with them, slid with them and HAD FUN. THEY WERE SO EXCITED..I was the only mommy who got in. At that party one of the moms told me how inspired she was by me since I was willing to get in and play with my kids instead of stand around and talk with all the other moms...that compliment did more for me than any thing anyone could ever say about my body. Another compliment that I wrote down was from my brother. He has watched me lift weights throughout my whole journey and told me this week how proud he is of me. He noticed that I was now adding weights on to the bar instead of just lifting the bar. That pumped me up because I honestly didn't think anyone was keeping track and two-he is all about being healthy and he has inspired me beyond belief!!

I wanted to share with you my past 6 weeks of tracking so you get a sense of what my "normal" is. I love to vary things up and I love to look for ways to exercise while at the park with my kids or while they are playing a sport themselves. Exercising as a family can be super fun...especially when your kids come up with names for each birdy flap and frog jump.
Big Boy!

Week of March 8-14
walk/run circuit at Sparger Park while kids swing
Cardio/weight circuit with Debbie (around 3 miles)
Cardio-6 miles
Weights-1 hour
Cardio-5 miles
Walking-3 miles

Week of March 15-21
Set Painting --lots of squats that I wasn't expecting, and after the marathon..shheessh
1 hour walk, still sore from marathon, light bodyweight, mainly stretching
 Walking/weight circuit-about 3 miles
Running/weight circuit with Debbie, still not trying to overdo from marathon recovery-3 miles
Running/weight circuit-3 miles
Weights-1 hour
Stairs and walking, 1 hour combined, noticed IT band hurting on left leg
Keeping starbucks in business! COLD BASEBALL MORNING!!

CRYOTHERAPY=happy times for IT BAND!

Week of March 22-28 
Stairs and walking, nothing from IT BAND
Running circuit with Debbie-3 miles
Weights-1 hour
Weights -1 hour
HILT circuit, first time to sprint or do side lunges after marathon and I felt great
Stairs/Walking-1 hour combined
Cardio-6 miles, light weights

Week of March29-April 4
circuit training with running, 20 minutes on stairs
Weights-1 hour
Run/Walk circuit at Sparger Park plus 15 minutes on stairs
Weights-1 hour
Look at me mom!!
Week of April 5-April 11
Easter-NOTHING, completely resting and family time
Light circuit, still recovering from sickness, only 30 mins
Stairs-15 minutes, JCSP circuit (Jumping Jacks 40, Crunch 30, Squat 20, Push Up 10)-3 times
Weights-1 hour
Walking with Debbie (1 hour)-very upset stomach from milkshake night before :(
Cardio/Weights circuit and 15 minutes stairs
Cardio/Weights circuit and 15 minutes stairs

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My heart will sing no other name, Jesus

That song "Running to your Arms" has been in my head ever since we sang it at church on Sunday. We are currently looking for new music minister and the guy they brought in this week did an awesome job leading us before the throne. I was longing for some deep ....intense if you will, time with God...I had missed out on worship two weeks previously due to being sick and the Easter worship was led by a band and wasn't anything you could sing along this week I was in tears as we sang our hearts out. There is something so special about corporate worship. I love singing in the car and humming along during my workouts but singing beside my husband, oldest son and hundreds of other christians is powerful. One thing the visiting music pastor said was " We aren' here singing as if we don't have any problems waiting for us outside the four walls...we are here singing because we know that God is still good despite those problems and that we need to give them to him". Bam, lost it. I hate how many people confuse a relationship with Christ as a life without problems. On the other hand I hate how many christian turns on their christian voice and attitude at church and change the minute they leave. GUILTY AS CHARGED. I will say though that I have found myself being very open and vulnerable with our current family group....they know when I am happy with my husband and when I need my space :)...he is good at letting them know too :). Gotta be real right?

Our pastor delivered a very powerful sermon this weekend, one that I would have thought he would have preached on Easter Sunday. He went deep into the physical side of the Crucifixion,  so deep that at one point my stomach turned and I seriously made a mental note of how quickly I could get to a potty to heave based on which side of the aisle I chose to dart through. It was full of words like bones, fluid, blood, stabbed, flesh, tear, etc. One thing that stood out to me is that he said the word "excruciating" is based on the Latin word excruciat- ‘tormented,’ from the verb excruciare (based on crux, cruc- ‘a cross’). In other words, the torture Jesus endured couldn't be described, there wasn't any word that fit how intense it was, so they came up with the word excruciating, 

Most Sundays we let her dress herself. She comes up with some GREAT outfits!!

Sunday afternoon was spent at the fields, watching Ribbit practice and then cheer on a flag football team. She did well, showing off her "donkey kick" as her newest talent. She also loves to plop down into a split and jump on the count of 5, 6, 7, 8. She was louder and more focused this week as well...although I did notice that she is about 2 seconds behind everyone else....must get it from her momma, I'll be the first to admit that dancing doesn't come naturally or without awkward flailing. 

S U P E R, super that's what we are!!

Little man found two friends during all this and had the best time. Those boys were so sweet to him, even though they were both older. They made sure he got a turn every 3 rotations...made sure he was "allowed" to make touchdowns like they were and gave him a high 5 for anything he did! He is definitely mine and Adam's kid as anytime he would make a touchdown he would yell "Touchdown Auburn!!!" Funny thing is that while we were watching March Madness a few weeks ago, a player made a slam dunk and Baby Boy immediately clapped and yelled "Touchdown Auburn" as well :). 

Look at the hair and smile...the little guy "Jeremiah" behind him was cute as a button too! You can also see the older brother walking in the background, he was super kind to Baby Boy! TOUCHDOWN AUBURN!

They all took turns holding the ball so they could kick goals!

After cheerleading we ran to the other side of the field and watched Daddy coach Goober's flag football team. We moved Goober up to a higher age bracket so he could play with our neighbor whose dad is co-coaching with Adam. That being said, Goober is by far the smallest on his imagine when we got there this week and in Goober's words " we saw we were up against giants". However, Goober stuck with them, the fastest little thing out there, ripping off the quarterbacks flag as he searched for an open player to throw too. He was their secret weapon!! After the game they always award one player with a medal for showing a certain value for that week. This week was courtesy and the other coach was ADAMANT that Goober get it. He said that he was the only player on both teams who would say "good try" or " good job". I also heard him say to a kid who was complaining that the other team won because they were bigger, "well maybe they just wanted it more and so they tried harder"...that a boy!! Adam was reluctant to give his own kid the medal but the other coach did it and Goober was all smiles. To make his day even better the ref from the game came and found me afterwards. He said " are you Goober's mom?". I said yes, knowing that he was totally looking for a darker skinned women :) and he said " he has become my favorite player to watch..he is quick, has a great game and is kind to everyone on the field!!". GO GOOBER!!
Receiving his medal from Coach Michael, our neighbor, best friend and brother in Christ.


Its no secret that we have been dealing with awful behavior and character issues with Goober this whole year but over the past month he has really shaped up. His teacher even sent us an email telling us that he has become a new student and she is so impressed with him. We made a pretty big deal out of this and he did too :). We asked him "why the change now, what has happened or what has God revealed to you?. His response?..." I decided that I want to have a peaceful life and that I want to be mayor". Well ok then!!

From the fields we went to church for a Childrens Ministry Team Huddle. The kids got to play and eat pizza while the grownups discussed the vision for our childrens ministry and we got to be encouraged to keep pouring into our kiddos. The whole night was great but the one thing that really stuck with me was this thought about shepherding. Shepherds lead from the front- its not like American cowboys who come up behind the cows and poke and prod them into the arena. Shepherds lead from the front, never needing to push the sheep or constantly whack them...they lead by example. Are we leading from the front or are we doing such a poor job of modeling our faith that we find ourselves constantly poking, nagging, prodding, begging our kids to follow Christ?

Uncle Chris got here that night and since then LIFE has been FUN, LOUD and BUSY!!!