Showing posts from July, 2011

AUGUST CHALLENGE: 31 Days of....


So I completed the 31 day July challenge of exercising every day. I did not know going in if I would be able to complete it or not, but I did. I exercised at least 20 minutes every day of July, with most days being closer to 40 minutes. I will tell you that by the end of July, it felt natural for me to exercise and I found I couldn't find excuses NOT to. That is what is the good thing!!!

But there was a bad thing....although I exercised every day, I also seemed to be eating more. Probably because I was hungry from the extra calories that I was burning with the exercise (and I was stressed) which leads to more eating. And I wasn't eating well. I was eating TONS and TONS of junk food. I gained about 7 lbs over the month...EEEEKKKKK!!!!!! I probably would have gained more if I hadn't been exercising.
So I am going to work on chan…

31 day exercise challenge: days 28-29

I did exercise on the 28th (my birthday) and the 29th.

Day 28--- I did 45 minutes on the Wii Fit plus. I have found that if I modify the free step game to include leg lifts and weights it gives me a great workout.

Day 29---I really DID NOT want to exercise today. I have been so tired from not sleeping well at night since it has been so hot. Hower I DID exercise for 32 minutes on the Wii. I felt better after I exercised and need to remember this feeling.

A couple more days to go. I can do this!

In my mailbox...

I have a hobby.
I like to sign up for freebies and coupons that come in the mail because it adds some excitement to mail time. I do not sign up for every freebie or coupon that I come across as I feel that is wasteful and I don't need things in my house if I am not going to use them. So I only sign up for ones that I feel would be of use to my family.

It has been a while! I haven't been faithful at posting what I have gotten free in the mail...mainly because we moved and things were crazy! But I am back to doing this and am hoping to do this at least once every two weeks if not every week....

In the last few weeks, here is what I have gotten:

---bacardi t-shirt (this makes a great workout shirt)
---Various magazines ---Prayer Walk book --Why God Won't Go Away book ---Luvs coupon ---FULL SIZE Downy Unstoppables (from Vocalpoint) (this smells SOOOOO good)
---FULL SIZE box of Kashi pita crisps with coupons ---$5 check for summer fun (won from Wrigleys) ---Coupon for a free small smooth…

Looky what I won.....

I won a giveaway! I won a giveaway! (*HAPPY DANCE*)
Over the last few weeks, I have been exploring the fabulous blogging world and have discovered a LOT of new to me blogs that are great!
One of these blogs is Shawn's Sharings.
Run by Shawn, a stay at home mom, Shawn's Sharings offers Shawn's perspective of life and she offers information about things that may pertain to your life. She offers product reviews, giveaways, and tidbits into her personal life. It is a great blog!

Recently I entered one of her giveaways and I WON!!!!! Look what came in the mail today.....

The new Chicken Soup for the Soul: Country Music book! I love the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and I love country music,
so this book is sure to be a favorite of mine! I can't wait to start reading it!
Thanks again to Shawn at Shawn's Sharings for the great giveaway!  Go check out her blog if you get a chance!!

5 Question Friday

1. Vow renewal ceremonies-yay or nay?

I would say yay! I believe that there is a time for vow renewal. My parents renewed their vows for their 25th wedding anniversary. However that being said, I do NOT believe that a couple needs to renew their vows every year. That is just overkill for me.

2. What sound/s annoy you the most?

Fingernails on the chalkboard. Enough said.

3. If you had to pick, would you have only all boys, or only all girls for kids?

If I had to pick, I would say that I like a mix. There is an argument for both. In my personal experience, Rebecca has been much easier to raise. She was an easy baby and her demeanor now is easy going. However, Jacob is an adventure. Each day is different and he has an amazing personality. I honestly would not want to have to pick.

4. Do you believe in alternative medicine?

I believe that there is a place for alternative medicine along side traditional medicine. So, yes I believe in alternative medicine.

5. Would you take a family member…

Happy birthday to me and where do I go from here?

Today is my 32nd birthday. As I look at my life, there are some things that I am happy about. I love my husband. I love my children. They are the reason I do what I do. I have a job that I love and that allows me to contribute financially (for 9 months out of the year at least) and to spend time with the kiddos.

However, I am not happy with myself. There are many aspects of my life that I am not happy about. I don't know that I have ever put them down on paper (or on my blog!). Why? Am I scared that if I put them in black and white that that makes them more real? Because they are real. They are real stressors and things that I DON'T LIKE!!!!

These things are:
My weightOur financesStressFirst off there is my weight.

With this comes my addiction to sweets and carbs, especially sweet carbs. In the last 2 weeks I have gained 5 pounds, mainly because I have been eating a TON of junk. I am at 229 lbs!!!!! My husband even commented today that I have been eating a LOT of junk the las…

31 Day exercise challenge: Days 26 and 27

Just a quick update to my exercise challenge:

Day 26--I did 45 minutes on the Wii Fit Plus....and FINALLY got through the obstacle course! YAY! Go me!

Day 27-- We took the kids to the county fair. I spent 2 hours walking around pushing a stroller, mostly uphill as most of the fairgrounds is very hilly. And it was VERY HOT! So that was my exercise for the day. Because in my opinion not all exercise has to be situps, pushups, etc.  And even though I am not looking at my eating this month, I did pretty good at the fair. I had a turkey blt croissant, pickle, and water for lunch. And then I had a funnel cake. But that was it, it could have been much worse eating.

Today, is my birthday and I am planning on exercising, as well as thinking about what I want my goals to be for the next year....

What I have been reading....

One of my goals for 2011 was to make time to read more. Over the last couple weeks, I have read a LOT of books. I have been reading:

What have you been reading lately?

Menu Plan Monday

Here is what we are eating this week:

Marinated chicken, fresh green beans, baked potato

Italian sausage and peppers and pasta

Grilled cheese, fruit salad

hot dogs, veggies


BBQ pork in crockpot, Waffle Fries, carrots

Dinner Out for my birthday

For more great menu plans visit

31 Day Exercise Challenge: Catching up...Days 21-25

Oops...kind of let time get away from me. Now before you think I have given up on my challenge...fear not.

I HAVE BEEN EXERCISING. Just been busy and haven't gotten around to blogging about it....

Sorry :(  Please forgive me?

Okay, now that my apology is out of the is the breakdown for what I have done the last 5 days....

Day 21: I did some unconventional exercises. It was so hot that we slept in the living room, meaning after I put the kids to bed, I went into our tiny kitchen and did lots of old school exercises....step-ups (using Rebecca's stool that she uses to reach the faucet), leg lifts, arm curls, crunches, sit-ups, etc. I worked for 22 minutes steady.

Day 22: Did 40 minutes on the Wii Fit

Day 23: Did 20 minutes on Wii Sports playing tennis and baseball by myself (this makes for a great arm workout), then did 25 minutes on tennis and bowling on Wii Sports playing with/against my dear hubby

Day 24: Did 40 minutes on the Wii Fit, including the obstacle course g…

31 Day Exercise challenge: Days 19 and 20

Is is HOT, HOT, HOT where you are? It is here. We are seeing temperatures upwards of 97 degrees with heat indexes close to 110 or so. That makes it HOT! So hot that tonight we are sleeping in our living room, since the first floor has a/c and the upstairs does not.

But even with the kiddos getting to bed on the mattress on the floor and in the pack n play, I STILL managed to exercise tonight.

But first let's back up to last 19....I did exercise. I warmed up with some tennis on the Wii and then did some Wii Fit exercises. Overall I exercised for 37 minutes! Yay!

Tonight, I put the kids into their makeshift beds, then I turned the lights off and turned the Wii on. I did 47 minutes on it! Yahoo! I am still going strong.

One thing I am not doing strong on is my eating habits...I am planning my challenge for August and I am 99.9% sure it is going to have to do with eliminating junk food from my diet....(more on that later)

Well I am off to bed. I hope that if it is hot …

31 Day exercise challenge: Day 18

Can I just say that I love our Wii??

Last night, for day 18 of my challenge, I decided to do some more work on the Wii. I did 10 minutes of tennis on Wii Sports, which we borrowed from my brother, as a warm-up. Then I did 15 minutes on the Wii Fit doing the hula-hoop game, the mushroom math game, and the expert biking game. Then I did 30 minutes of the free step game while I watched the Cleveland Indians game.

The Wii makes it so easy for me to exercise.

In other news, I had a doctors appointment yesterday as well. (This was a 6 month evaluation for my depression medication). I have gained weight (which is NOT good) and am now at 224 according to their scale. Ummm....I haven't been that large in a while. I NEED, and WANT to get this weight off. I just have to come up with a good plan.

Menu Plan for the week

Here is what we are eating this week:

Quesedillas, baked potato, salad

Lasagna, salad, corn

Sweet and Sour Chicken over rice, macaroni and cheese

Hot italian sausage, peppers and pasta

Cheeseburger macaroni and leftovers

Beer battered fish, mac and cheese, and veggies


For more great menu ideas please visit:

31 day exercise challenge: days 15, 16 and 17

So I have gotten behind....on blogging...NOT on exercising! :) I have been exercising (rather unconventionally) the last 3 days but I just haven't had a chance to blog about it...until now....

Day 15.... I did about 1.5 hours playing on Wii Sports. I love the arm workout that I got playing tennis and bowling. I think I finally figured out how to do the tennis one!

Day 16.... Well this was mine and Dear Hubby's 6th Wedding Anniversary....Bill had to work in the morning but we were able to spend a lot of the afternoon together.

First, we took the kids to my parents' house and they watched them so Bill and I could have some alone time. Then we went for an early Roosters. (I know not the most romantic place, but it is more our style.) After some yummy wings, we went Bowling for 2 HOURS!! (This is where the exercise comes in). I will admit that I got my butt beat, and I have the bets to pay off (more on that for Day 17) but it was fun and great exercise for my arm…

6 years ago today.....

I vowed in front of God, family and friends to Love, Honor, and Cherish My best friend for Life Through sickness and health, For Richer and for poorer, In good times and in bad times, till death do us part.

If I had known what adventures (both good and bad) that the next 6 years would through at us, there is no doubt in my mind that I would do it all again.
There is no one that I would want by my side through this craziness that we call life.

So.... Happy 6th Anniversary to my Dear Husband Bill!
May we enjoy many, many, many more years to come!

31 Day exercise challenge: Day 14--productive day

Today I feel so good. It seemed like I had a very productive day, which is a good thing. If I can stay busy and make progress on some things then it is a good day.

Today, I worked at my school job for 3.25 hours and my boss and I got so much decluttering, organizing and cleaning done. I am counting it toward exercise a little, as we were moving tables, filing cabinets, chairs, etc. Yay!

This afternoon, my boss's girls came over to play with Rebecca while she was doing an interview for an open position in our program. The girls got along great and while they were playing and Jacob was napping, I was able to get my household journal completed and get my letter to the collection agency written. YAY!

For dinner tonight, I ate mostly healthy (we won't talk about the rest of the day!). I made Caribbean jerk baked chicken, salad and corn, and it was YUMMY!!! During dinner, Bill and I made some decisions about the health and diet of our family (more on that in another post coming soon…

31 Day Exercise Challenge: Day 13--using housework

Today I had a to-do list that I wanted needed to get done. It was a bunch of little-ish type projects that I had been putting off.

One of the things that I had on my list was to mop the living room, dining room, kitchen, mud room and downstairs bathroom.

Tonight I decided to use this housework as part of my 20 minutes of exercise today. Believe me, I worked up a sweat. Between scrubbing parts of the floor on my hands and knees, to just mopping all the floors (the entire house is either linoleum or hardwood floors), I am tired. It took me 22 minutes to do all of the floor on the first floor. The floor needed mopped badly. Since my lovely, handsome son loves to throw his milk cups and his food when he is done or he does not want it anymore, there was definitely a great need to have it mopped well. (Truth be told, I could probably mop it daily...).

So I decided that that would be part of my exercise, and so that I didn't feel so guilty about using this non-traditional means of exe…

Book Review: Why God Won't Go Away

Since I have a bachelors of arts degree with a major in theology, I was looking forward to reading about a rebuttal to the new atheists that I have been hearing a lot about. Well, I was given the chance, as I was sent Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? by Alister McGrath.

Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? begins with an introduction to Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, the four "Horsemen" or leaders of the new Atheism movement. McGrath does a good job of describing what each one's beliefs are and where they stand. I enjoyed this section as I was aware of "New Atheism," however I did not really understand it.

Following this introduction to the New Atheists, McGrath offers a discussion about what atheism is and they the new atheism is really anti-theism. In other words, McGrath argues that new theism is really against all religion in general. The New Atheists believe th…

Wednesday's to-do list--UPDATED

I seem to have no energy today. However, I have a LOT of little things that I want to get done, that I have been putting on the back burner. Well as I was blog hopping this morning, I came across a post by Mysti over at Digging Out From Our Mess, who was challenging herself to a "Just Do It" day.

What is a "Just do it" day...well it is a day where you challenge yourself to do some things that you have put off for various reasons and that are bugging you....I know I have several things that I have been putting off, but not anymore. Today is MY "Just do it" day!

So on my to-do list today is:
Mop the kitchen, dining room, and living room floor---Update: DONEPut my household journal together (has been sitting unfinished since we moved over a month ago)---UPDATE: DONEbalance checkbook against last 2 bank statements---UPDATE: DoneWrite blog review post for book that I finished 3 weeks ago---UPDATE: Doneclean off the desk area that is to the right of the compute…

Book Review: Prayer Walk

In my quest to exercise for the next 31 days, I was intrigued when I had the opportunity to read and review a book that encompasses both your exercise life and your spiritual life.

In PrayerWalk: Becoming a Woman of Prayer, Strength, and Discipline by Janet Holm McHenry, the author talks about how she started and uses her prayer walk routine to help her get over her depression and lethargy from being overweight. McHenry uses deepening her spiritual relationship with God as a major part of her discipline. She talks about her personal journey, why she began to prayer walk, how it changed her relationships with herself and with others, her challenges and encouragement to start your own prayer walk.

Her book also includes a study guide if you would like to lead a group of prayer walkers, as well as a guide of how to organize a community prayer walk. She also includes a 30 day prayer walk challenge, where she offers a prayer focus, fitness challenge, and a place for notes each day.

I wa…

31 day exercise challenge: Day 12---the Wii Fit is my friend

I love the fact that I can exercise and catch up on the shows that I have on the dvr. I don't have many favorite shows, but it seems like the shows that I do like to watch come on at the wrong time for me to watch them. For example, I love the show 19 Kids and Counting, however it comes on at 9:00 pm. This mom is putting Jacob to bed at 9pm and trying to get Rebecca in the bath so she can be in bed around 9:30. So the fact that we have the dvr is great.

I love the fact that the Wii Fit Plus  has exercises that I can do while I catch up on these shows. The activity that I like to do the most while watching my shows is the aerobic free step game. I set it up for 30 minutes and then I start it and go from there. I am able to then switch it back to the tv and watch my shows while I exercise.

Tonight I did 30 minutes on the aerobic free step game and caught up on the latest episode of

So for day 12 of my 31 day exercise challenge I met my goal.

I also made a decision today: If I mee…

Books I have been reading

One of my goals for 2011 was to read more books. I wanted to read at least 26 books this year, which averaged out to a little more than 2 books a month.

Well this is one goal that I have had 100% success at. I have reviewed some of the books that I have read on here, but in reality I have read more than I have time to review.

I want to share with you just a few of the books that I have read for pleasure, rather than for reviewing purposes.

In the past month, I have read:

What books have you read recently, just for pleasure?

31 Day exercise challenge: Day 11

Just a quick update that yes I did exercise today.

I did 27 minutes on the Wii Fit.

It is hard for me to get motivated to do this and I am struggling, but so far I have done exercise everyday.

Menu Plan Monday

Here is what we will be eating this week:

Monday: Beer battered fish, long grain wild rice, green beans

Tuesday: Taco salad, macaroni and cheese (for the kiddos)

Wednesday: grilled ham and cheese, carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers

Thursday: Cheeseburgers, veggies , fruit

Friday: Caribbean Jerk chicken, baked potato, corn, smiley tator tots

Saturday: dinner out?? This is our 6th Wedding anniversary....

Sunday: Cheeseburger macaroni (bumped from last week), leftovers

For more great menu ideas visit:

31 Day Exercise Challenge: Days 9 and 10

Yes I did exercise yesterday. No I did not blog about it. I was way too tired last night.

But I did exercise. I didn't do 20 minutes continuous, but I did more than 20 minutes total. I walked around Walmart carrying a sleeping Jacob for at least 20 minutes or more. And let me tell you my shoulders are sore from carrying him; he is HEAVY! And I made sure to do the stairs here at least 5 or 6 times. I also walked a lot yesterday morning. So even though it wasn't to a dvd, I feel I did do at least 20 minutes of extra exercise that I normally didn't do.

Today, I worked out on the Wii Fit for about 45 minutes (I think it was 43 minutes). I did the free ride biking game, the hula hoop game and the advanced step game. It was fun!

On another note, I think I am PMSing or something, because I have been snapping at Bill and the kids, and I have been STARVING all day and wanting CHOCOLATE and SWEETS!!!! Not a good thing, but a definite sign of PMS. Ugghhh....

But looking at the brig…

2011 GOALS: Midyear Update

On December 31, 2010, I made a list of my goals for 2011. Now, here we are...July...a little over 7 months later...time to look and see where I am and what I need to work on still....

Lose 20 lbs. --- Right now I am at 218lbs :( and I would love to be below 200. I was at 199 on the day of our wedding (2005) and I would LOVE to be there again. I had so much more energy then. To do this I plan on: exercising 20+ minutes a day Monday- Friday. During the winter, I will do this after the kids are in bed (9pm) and then shower before bed. When warmer weather comes, I will reevaluate this and see about doing more outside. I will begin by doing 20+ minutes on the Wii Fit. I will work on drinking more water. I drink way too much soda and need to focus on getting healthier.I am now up to 220. I have been down to 209 then Igained it all back due to stress eating. I am working on exercising and will add eating better and cutting out soda in the 2nd half of this year.Read 26+ books th…

31 Day Exercise Challenge: Day 8---SO MAD RIGHT NOW

Before you read any further....I DID exercise today. That is NOT what I am mad about.

Today, I exercised on the Wii Fit, doing the Free Step game, but adding my own weights to it. It was a workout and I did it for 30 minutes. I also watched Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition that I had on our dvr.

That was the good thing.

Now on to the bad thing. The BAD thing that made me SO MAD!!!!! I cannot tell you how mad I am at myself right now. I am so ANGRY at myself.

What made me so mad, you might ask?

Well, I weighed myself on the Wii tonight. I hadn't weighed myself on the Wii since May 1. I have been weighing in the last 2 weeks on my scale in the bathroom and I knew that I had gained some weight. Well, let's just say that the Wii has a way of awakening you to the seriousness of the issue and to the overall weight that you have gained or lost since the last time you weighed in....

So in May I weighed in. Tonight I weighed in again. 2 months later.....

I GAINED 13.4 lbs!!!!! …

5 Question Friday---Get to know me better!

One of the things I like to read about online is other people's lives. Who are they? What makes them tick? Why do they write about the things they do? One of the things that I have seen on some of the blogs that I frequent is a link to the Five Question Friday blog hop, sponsored by My Little Life . This week I have decided to join in.....
1. Do you think cursive writing is overrated? (Schools in Indiana have now voted to take teaching cursive writing out of their curriculum.)

As a former K-2 teacher, I do not think cursive is overrated. I love seeing the different handwriting styles of my former students. That being said, I know why some school districts are taking it out of the curriculum due to the increase in use of computers and bad handwriting by some students. I do not think it is overrated and if my daughter's school decides to take it out of the curriculum, then I WILL teach her cursive at home. It is a skill that needs to be learned in my opinion.

2. Do you still use …

31 Day Exercise Challenge: Day 7

Today was a lazy kind of day. Not really good, not really bad. Jacob has been cranky all day long. And I have been depressed. I am thinking that it is because of my diet. But I am reluctant to change my diet now as I am trying to get into the habit of exercising for this month. And I am trying to not change too much at once so that I fail....maybe my challenge for August will involve my diet....

Back to the challenge at hand though....

Today was Day 7.

I did exercise today.

 I did the 3 mile walk on the Leslie Sansone: Walk Off 10 Pounds  DVD. I do okay through the first mile, but by 2.75 miles I am sweating and feeling it.

I will say this it is a good workout to start with though and it does get your heart rate up. It lasts about 40 minutes or so total including warm up and cool-down.

I cannot believe I have exercised for 7 days in a row. It feels REALLY GOOD to have accomplished that! And I feel good after I exercise. So it is win-win!

How are you doing on your challenge?

31 Day Exercise Challenge: Day 6--Richard Simmons and tanktops

I think I have this exercise thing figured out. I think I have figured out that during the summer at least, while it is HOT upstairs in our house (the main floor has a/c, but due to an older hot water style heating system no place for vents upstairs) I will be exercising at night and then showering and then going to bed. I hope that the shower cools me off....

So that is what I have done. I DID exercise tonight. I was able to FINISH the Richard Simmons' DVD but it was hard. I was sweating and it did get my heart rate up so I think for me it is a GREAT workout!

Now off the subject of exercising:

 I have been thinking the last couple days that Rebecca needed some more tank tops. She only has a couple and it has been HOT here lately. I was also thinking that I would like to get Jacob another tank top outfit. I was wondering how we were going to afford to buy these things, since I have not been working and our checking account balance is really, really low.

Well, prayers were answered…

31 Day Exercise Challenge: Day 5

I almost didn't exercise today....almost being the key word there. I have had a busy day...

Took Rebecca, Jacob and my brother Josh to a friends house this morning for a play date. I did walk there (about .25 mile one way) and back, so that was good. Then I skipped having McDonald's for lunch and instead had a banana and some Irish bread that I made. Then I went to a meat packing plant with my mom and sister that also has a store associated with it. I am trying to find a place to buy meat cheaper than Kroger. My mom, knowing that we had almost no money in our account, bought us some hamburger patties, ribs, a pork roast and some smiley potatoes for the kids! Thanks Mom!! :)

After coming home, I had to clean up the house and start laundry and get dinner together. As soon as the dinner dishes were done, my phone rang and it was a friend wanting to know if my hubby was available to go play softball on her hubbies team as they needed some more players or they would have to forfei…

31 Day Exercise Challenge: Day 4

I did find time to exercise today. I was going to get up early this morning and workout as I knew that we were going to be gone all day going to my in laws for lunch and then to my parents' house for dinner for the 4th of July.....However, I decided to sleep in a little this morning and instead snuck in a workout right before we left. Bill decided to go running, and I decided to work out on the Wii.

I did 22 minutes on the Wii Fit Plus game, the free step game. I did that while the kids watched cartoons.

All in all, exercise wise it was a good day. However, I ate way TOO much of bad food so have to work hard this week to do better. But at least I DID get my exercise in, so I am still on track 4 days in.

How are you doing?

4th of July and Menu Plan

First of all, I would like to wish everyone a HAPPY 4th OF JULY!!!!
Now on to our menu plan for the coming week:

Monday: Cookout food---hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken, chips, etc. Tuesday: shredded bbq chicken sandwiches (crockpot), corn, sliced tomatoes, fruit Wednesday: fish, macaroni and cheese, peas Thursday: italian chicken, potatoes and green beans Friday: hot dogs, baked beans, fruit Saturday: cheeseburger macaroni and peas Sunday: Ribs in the crockpot, and something on the side????
For more great menu ideas, please visit