Monday, October 20, 2014

Stepped out of my comfort zone....

The past weekend, I stepped way out of my comfort zone!

If you know me, you would soon learn that I am NOT an outdoor person. I don't like sweating. I don't like outdoor stuff---camping, hiking, bugs, etc. Growing up, we never went camping or anything like that as my parents were not outdoorsmen and we lived in Columbus, Ohio, right in the middle of the city, so there wasn't a lot of opportunities to escape to nature.


This weekend, Rebecca had an American Heritage Girls camp out! And since I am the Troop Shepherd and the leader for Rebecca's group, the Tenderhearts, then that kind of meant that I HAD to attend. (I also had to attend as all the Kindergarten through 3rd grade parents had to be there with their daughters per rules.) I will admit I was NOT looking forward to it! Not only am I not an outdoors person, but the weather called for showers off and on and COLD weather!

Saturday, bright and early we were off. It was being held at the house of the Troop President as she has 5 acres of land and most of it is wooded, etc. It was perfect for a first camp out. Many of the girls who attended had never been on a camp out before.

Rebecca had never been on one before, but I will tell you, she was so excited! She had to help set up our tent. We had to set up our sleeping bags. It was camping!

Rebecca learned a lot about camping safety, camp fires and about leaving no trace but footprints when you are out in nature.

They tie-dyed shirts with red and blue dye.

They had to make hobo meals to cook on the fire for dinner. They made smores.

They went on a night trust hike where they used their senses and there were no flashlights except for the leader and the person in the very back of the line. They sang campfire songs.

Soon it was time for bed. I wasn't sure how Rebecca was going to handle sleeping in a tent, but she was more than ready. I was concerned because it was forecast to be 30 degrees or below that night. So we had multiple layers on and I grabbed our quilt from our bed to add to the warmth of the sleeping bags.

Rebecca fell right asleep. I dozed off and on here and there, but every little noise woke me up.  I finally got up around 4:30 am to find 3 other mom's sitting around the campfire so I joined them. 

At 7am, the troop president, blasted the song "Let It Go" from an outdoor radio to wake the girls up. Then we started breakfast preparations. Someone made hot chocolate on the fire. Another troop leader made monkey bread on the campfire and we had fruit.

Then we had time for another craft, before it was time to disassemble tents and head home!

Like I said, Rebecca had a blast. I will admit that I did too. It was a lot of fun and simple. Maybe I am an outdoorsy person after all. I stepped out of my comfort zone to attend this and although it was very cold, I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Today I am stepping WAY out of my comfort zone.....details soon!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 Days to a Clutter Free Life-- Days 5-12 in pictures!

October 1st, I announced that I was taking part in the 31 Days to a Clutter Free Life challenge over at Living Well Spending Less. While I haven't been able to blog about it everyday, I have been trying to keep up with it.

Some of the days, I decided to skip as I don't have an issue in those areas. Other days I skipped because I didn't have the time to really put forward the effort needed in that area. Don't worry though, even on those days I straightened up the areas. Here is a recap of how I have done in the past week:

Day 5: Books and Magazines

I listed a ton of adult books on facebook selling wall and I have already sold several. (Those not sold by the end of the month will be donated to Goodwill) I took a huge bag of books to school for a donation to the after school care program I work at. Our shelves look so much better! 

Day 6: DVDs and Video Games-- I had Dear Hubby go through the dvds and video games. He came up with a lot to get rid of. I listed over 20 on facebook selling wall and have sold several. Those not sold by the end of the month will be donated to Goodwill. 

Day 7: Toys-- This is an ongoing project that I tackled when I did the living room. I also recently have done the boys' room, but still need to do Rebecca's room. 

Day 8: Junk Drawer

Day 9: Dining Area

Day 10: Kitchen Counters

Day 11: Kitchen Cupboards-- This space is already organized as I have a very limited number of cabinets in my kitchen and thus can't breed clutter in them. 

Day 12: Pantry-- This was done when I organized the entry way as it is part of my entry way.

So there you have it...Days 5-12 DONE! I haven't been able to keep up with daily blogging with life going on, but I have been keeping up with the challenge for the most part. Now just to finish the month strong! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Weigh In Wednesday #12

In an effort to lose 40 lbs over the course of the next year (by July 28, 2015) I have decided to have a weekly accountability forum here on my blog. Every Wednesday I will be posting a "Weigh In Wednesday" post where I will post my weight taken that morning and things that I did good on the previous week, and things (goals) to work on for the next week. I think that by doing this, I can break it down into smaller goals and hopefully make myself more accountable!

First let's recap:
 My official starting weight (on July 30) was:::  235.6 lbs.
My weight last week was::: 226.6 lbs
My weight this week is::: 226.2 lbs. I am down 0.4 lbs!!!! ***DOING  A HAPPY DANCE*** :) 

I wasn't sure what my weight was going to be this week. First of all, we did end up eating out twice--once we took Jacob to McDonald's for his choice of birthday dinner and then Sunday night we got pizza as my dad bought it after Jacob's birthday party. And I had cake at Jacob's birthday party, and a piece the next day...Eating wise it hasn't been the greatest. AND since I had such a huge loss last week I wasn't sure if I would lose anything this week. BUT I did end up being down 0.4 lbs! So I am happy with that. It is still going in the right direction and that is a good thing! 

Any words of wisdom? Thoughts? Advice? 
I would love to have all the support I can get!!
If you are trying to lose weight, feel free to tag along on these posts as well! Would love some company on this weight loss journey! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mr. Shaba-daba-ding-dong

Rebecca's 2nd grade class has a class pet. His name is "Mr. Shaba-daba-ding-dong." (We call him Mr. S for short). Mr. S is a Tyrannosaurus Rex who walks and roars and has red glowing eyes. This is not surprising as Rebecca's 2nd grade teacher loves dinosaurs and in fact, each year the 2nd grade class spends most of the year doing a dinosaur project which includes researching and writing a report on a certain type of dinosaur.

Back to Mr. Shaba-daba-ding-dong. Mr. S goes home with a student every weekend to experience life with that student. Then he goes back to school on Monday with 3 pictures to show what he was up to.

This past weekend, Rebecca got to bring Mr. S. home. She was SUPER excited to bring him home. One of first things Mr. S. got to do with Rebecca was to make pizzas with her for dinner. After dinner, he watched Frozen with Rebecca and the boys for movie night.

On Saturday, Mr. S just hung around the house while I cleaned and Rebecca did some arts and crafts. She made Mr. S into a king. Later, Mr. S rode with us to McDonald's for the birthday boy's dinner choice, but he had to stay in the van as I didn't want him to get lost or left behind.

On Sunday, Mr. S got introduced to all our family who came for Jacob's birthday party. He tried to eat some cake, but we wouldn't let him.

Monday, Rebecca had to take Mr. Shaba-daba-ding-dong back to school. I hope he had a great weekend with us, as I know Rebecca LOVED having him come visit!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Jacob's birthday party

Jacob turned 5 years old on Saturday. On Sunday, we invited the grandparents and aunts and uncles over to our house for a late lunch and cake and ice cream to celebrate Jacob's birthday. The weather turned out to be great and I think a fun time was had by all. My parents, my brother and his girlfriend, my sister (who was home from college), my other brother and his wife and 2 kids, and my in-laws came.

I served sloppy joes, chips, a veggie tray and homemade applesauce. Trying to keep it simple for me. We also had cake and Neapolitan ice cream (chocolate, strawberry and vanilla) per the birthday boy's request. Jacob decided last week that he wanted "Green Lantern" on his birthday cake. Not the symbol, but the person. So I tried my best...I don't think it is my best cake ever, but the birthday boy loved it so that is what mattered!

Jacob was very blessed with presents! He got several winter outfits, a couple of pairs of pajamas, some toys, legos, playdough, etc. I think he made out! He was very gracious though and gave everyone a hug and told them thank you! Overall, I think the party was a success. Jacob said it was the best birthday party ever!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Stuck Together by Mary Connealy

From the back cover: 
When a lawman who values order gets stuck with a feisty crusader who likes to stir things up, there's going to be trouble in Texas! 

Now that she's settled in town, Tina Cahill is determined to get Broken Wheel's saloon closed for good. To that end, she pickets outside the place every afternoon. Unfortunately, so far no one has paid any attention.

Vince Yates earned the nickname "Invincible Vince" because of his reputation for letting absolutely nothing stop him. But Vince is about to face his biggest challenge yet: his past has just caught up with him. His father, mother, and the sister he didn't know he had show up in Broken Wheel without warning. His father is still a schemer. His mother is showing signs of dementia. And his surprise sister quickly falls for one of Vince's best friends. Vince suddenly has a lot of people depending on him, and Tina doesn't approve of how he's handling any of them.

With nearly every other man in town married off, Vince finds himself stuck with strong-willed Tina over and over again. Of course, Tina is the prettiest woman he's ever seen, so if he could just get her to give up her crazy causes, he might go ahead and propose. But he's got one more surprise coming his way: Tina's picketing at the saloon has revealed a dark secret that could put everyone Vince loves in danger. 

My thoughts: 

Stuck Together is the 3rd book in a series by Mary Connealy. I did not realize that when I started reading and so I was lost in the first part of the book as it jumps right into where the 2nd book leaves off. 

I will say that this was a light read. I was able to read it in a day as soon as I figured out how some of the characters worked together. I did enjoy the two main characters-- Vince and Tina and following along thier relationship. There were moments of suspense. There was moments of laughter. Overall, it was a good read. 

I would recommend reading the first 2 books in the series in order to not feel lost in the beginning of this book. But overall, I would recommend this if you want a light read for a lazy day. 

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Bethany House Publisher in exchange for an honest review.