Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Weigh In Wednesday #18-23...Making up for lost time!

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 time I weighed in (Nov 19) was::: 223.4 lbs
My weight this week is::: 224.6 lbs. 
I am up 1.2 lbs. :(  


Since I started this on July 30, I am DOWN 11 pounds! 
I will take that! 

In the month of December I did weigh in each week, however, I did not get to update this blog. Which is okay, as December was way busy and filled with lots of eating out, eating treats, etc. There were a few weeks were I gained, a week where I lost and now I am at 224.6. I am okay with that and I did not gain a ton over December so I am happy with that. 

Tomorrow is the start of a new year and time to refocus on my weight loss goals. I have several resolutions in mind, that I will share tomorrow, to help me reach my goals. I am happy that I have been able to lose at least some weight since July and am looking forward to trying to reach my ultimate goal of losing 40lbs! 

Have any of you tried to lose weight this year? Are you going to be trying to lose weight in the new year? 

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, December 30, 2014

Christmas came and went....

Earlier today, my husband was complaining because I hadn't updated the blog since before Christmas...and I realized that I hadn't. With Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and then Bill having to work this weekend and I came down with some head cold thing (you don't want to hear me talk right now....) time just got away from me. But it is time to rectify that and remember what fun our family had on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Christmas Eve morning Bill had to work. As is becoming tradition, he picked up McDonald's for lunch for the kiddos before we headed out to his parents house for Christmas Eve fun. After lunch, we headed out to my in-laws to spend the afternoon and evening. We exchanged presents, including giving my in-laws their photo book of the kids which they love getting every year, and we had lots of laughs. Benjamin did great opening his own gifts and helping me open mine! We tried to get a picture of the grandkids all together for my mother in law, but Benjamin wanted NO part of it! We had beef tenderloin and fried chicken for dinner, with the wind howling outside. We were under a high wind warning and temperatures were around 60 degrees outside. We stayed at my in laws until close to 10 that night so that the winds would be able to die down, which thankfully they did; although when we got home we discovered that our outdoor lights were half blown down and our snowman decoration was blown into the neighbor's yard....

When we got back home, Santa's elves had come and left a present under the tree for each of pajamas and the "Night Before Christmas" book as is tradition. The kids left cookies and milk out for Santa and reindeer food out for the reindeer and then they were off to bed. After, I made sure they were asleep, Bill went down to the basement to wrap his presents to me and I played Santa and filled the stockings and placed gifts under the tree. Then I turned out all the lights except for the tree and watched some of the Christmas Mass from Rome by Pope Francis on TV kind of as a nod to my late Uncle Jim.

Christmas morning, the kids slept in until around 9 or so and they waited to come downstairs until Bill and I were awake. When we came down, the kids saw that Santa had come and left them full stockings, a present and donuts and cereal for breakfast. They then opened their stocking, as did Bill and I. Bill got his coal again, among other things. I will say Bill did wonderful on my stocking...I got Lindt truffles, a toothbrush, and a large Hershey chocolate bar among other things.

Then we opened the donuts up before we started opening presents, to discover that Benjamin LOVES chocolate donuts (I think he ate half a bag!) and that he does not like the powdered kind. He took one bite and put it back in the bag. LOL Then the kids got to open their Santa gift-- Rebecca was thrilled with her arts and crafts stuff, Jacob loved his frog stretchkin and Benjamin LOVED his Paw Patrol cars. Santa even brought me a Green Bay Packers hoodie and brought Bill a Monty Python dvd. After they opened their Santa gifts, we took turns opening other presents and all were well received. I received a new bottle of perfume, a journal, candles, and a breakfast sandwich maker among other things as presents.

After opening gifts, we just kind of hung out, until it was time to head to my parent's house for Christmas dinner. We again exchanged presents and spent time with my mom, dad, sister who was home from college, brother, and my married brother and his wife and their 3 children. Rebecca, Jacob and Ben had fun running around playing with their cousins. We had a nice dinner and lots of laughs.

 It was overall a blessed, great Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Blogmas 2014: Day 25: Christmas

To each one of my blog readers, may today be filled with faith, family and fun. May you have a wonderful Christmas Day with family and friends! 
Merry Christmas from our family to yours! 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Blogmas 2014: Day 23 and 24: Favorite Christmas Story and Christmas Eve

Since I missed yesterday's favorite Christmas Story and since my favorite Christmas story happens to be the Biblical account of Jesus' birth I am going to combine both Day 23 and Day 24 for today!

My favorite version of the Christmas story is:

Luke 2:1-20New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
I pray that on this Christmas Eve, we all take time to remember the true reason behind Christmas and we don't lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The kids were in their school's Christmas play

Last night, we attended the kids' school's annual all school Christmas play.

First up was the preschool classes. They go on stage first and say a little rhyme they have memorized and/or sing a song. This year, Jacob is in preschool and their class said a little poem they had learned about the birth of Jesus and then they sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. It was very sweet!

After the preschoolers do their part, then the kids in elementary and middle school get to put on their play. Each year, the music teacher puts together an "original" play based on another story idea for the kids in grades K-8. One year it was a Christmas play based loosely on "Harry Potter." This year the show was loosely based on "The Snow Queen." In the show each class usually sings 2 songs as a class, and then everyone comes together for the grand finale, where as a school they typically sing "Silent Night" and "We wish you a Merry Christmas."  It is always a nice show.

This year, Rebecca's class were flowers in a garden and Rebecca was a tulip. She had 4 lines to say. 2 were her own, and 2 were a friend's who unfortunately was out sick.

Overall, it was a very nice play and a nice night for and with the kids! We did end up having to take Benjamin as we could not find a babysitter, and he was relatively well behaved and only got loud a couple of times! Overall, he did really well. Maybe that was his Christmas present to us!

Blogmas 2014: Day 22: Day in the life

Yesterday was Day 22 in the Blogmas 2014 theme. And I was on the go from the time I got up until the time I went to sleep, so I am a day late in getting this up, but better late than never.

So here is a recap of my day:

6:20 AM-- Alarm went off, got up, took a shower and got dressed.

7:00 AM-- Got kids up, dressed, fed breakfast

7:30 AM-- Benjamin and I took Rebecca and Jacob to school-- Watched Rebecca walk up to her classroom, dropped a load of uniforms off into our school's uniform closet for others, dropped Jacob off at the Extended Care program, and then took some paperwork up to the office that the Intervention Specialist was supposed to pick up later that day.

8:00- 10:00 AM-- Benjamin and I ran to Kroger, Dollar Tree and Pat Catan's craft store to get last minute Christmas gift items that I needed

10:00 AM- 11:20AM-- Back home. I eat breakfast while Benjamin watches some cartoons. I also do last minute computer work for my job, figure out dinner, lay out clothes for Jacob and Rebecca's Christmas program later that night, answer emails.

11:20 AM- 11:45 AM-- Benjamin and I go pick up Jacob from preschool.

11:45- 12:45 PM-- Back home and made lunch for the boys and I. Boys had PB&J sandwiches. I had a sandwich with leftover bacon.

12:45 PM- 1:45 PM-- Took Benjamin in for his weekly speech therapy appointment.

1:45- 5:00 PM-- Brought Benjamin back home and dropped him off with Bill. Went to work. Thankfully we did not have very many kids and they were all picked up on time. My work closed an hour early for the Christmas play night.

5:00 - 6:00 PM-- Home long enough to get kids changed into their costume clothes (Rebecca had to wear all green and Jacob just needed to dress in nicer clothes), kids fed (dinner was hot dogs, carrots and pears--easy peasy!), did Rebecca's fingernails like I had promised her a week ago when my mom gave her a new bottle of green sparkly polish, and we left for the theater.

6:00- 8:30 PM-- At the theater, Bill took Jacob down to the preschool cookie social before the play and Benjamin and I took Rebecca up to meet up with her class. We watched a wonderful Christmas program and had a nice time.

8:30 PM - 9:15PM-- Came home and relaxed. We watched a Spongebob Christmas show as a family and then the kids started cleaning up.

9:15 PM-- I went upstairs to help Bill get Benjamin ready for bed. I laid down on our bed and the next thing I knew it was 11:15 and Bill was telling me to get up and get changed into my pajamas and to turn the light out for bed. I guess I needed the sleep.

So there you have it.... a day in MY life leading up to Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Blogmas 2014: Day 21: Favorite Christmas picture


On Christmas Eve the other night
I saw the most amazing sight,
for there beneath the Christmas tree
was Santa kneeling on his knee.
His countenance was different than
that all-familiar, jolly grin;
his head was bowed, with hand to breast, 
and slightly tucked into his vest.
For there in a nativity
was Jesus and His family, 
and as I heard him start to pray
I listened close to what he'd say.
"Lord, You know that You're the reason
I take pleasure in this season.
I don't want to take Your place, 
but just reflect Your wondrous grace.
I hope You'll help them understand
I'm just an ordinary man, 
who found a way to do Your will
by finding kids with needs to fill.
But all those centuries ago, 
there was no way for me to know
that they would make so much of me, 
and all the gifts beneath the tree.
They think I have some hidden power
granted at that midnight hour, 
but it is my love for You
inspiring the things I do.
And so when they begin to open
gifts for which they have been hoping, 
may they give You all the glory, 
for You're the One True Christmas story."
- Alda Monteschio

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Blogmas 2014: Day 20: Last minute gift ideas

I am an anal person when it comes to having everything done for Christmas BEFORE Christmas Eve. However, inevitably there is that occasion where I messed up or I forgot something, or my husband comes to me and says that he is in need of a gift for his coworker for their office gift exchange the next morning....

Enter my number one last minute gift idea.....


I know it is not the most original, but gift cards are the most practical for our life for those last minute gift ideas. I try to keep a few on hand that can be used and I sometimes have ones that I have been given as a gift that I know that I will NOT use ever, so I have no problems re-gifting those when appropriate. For example, last year Bill needed a $5 gift for work and I had a $5 gift card to Starbucks that I knew I would never use, so I gave him that to use for his gift exchange at work. 

So for us, Gift cards are the go to for last minute gift ideas. It is what works for us! 

Blogmas 2014: Day 19: Preparing for Christmas

We are in full on, let's get ready for Christmas mode here at our house. I am DONE shopping. In fact, I told Bill that I did not want to step foot into a store until after Christmas for groceries. The house is decorated. The outside of the house is decorated. We have been lighting our advent wreath at night to help us remember the reason for the season. We have been giving of our time and resources to help those less fortunate. Christmas cards were mailed (as of  yesterday! way later than I normally have them out!). But there is still a ton to do...

Here is my to-do list from now until Christmas Eve (and this is on top of all the everyday household items that need to be done because laundry doesn't care that I am getting ready for Christmas!):

  • Finish making 2 gifts
  • Finish wrapping presents (I have the kids' presents and Bill's presents all wrapped, now need to wrap everyone elses)
  • Make cookies with the kids for Santa
  • Attend Rebecca and Jacob's Christmas program
  • One more day of work before I am off for 2 weeks
  • Make a chocolate pie and an apple pie for Christmas Day dinner
  • Figure out Christmas Day lunch
  • Write thank you notes for Christmas gifts given to me by students at school
I have a lot left to do...but when all is said and done the most important thing that I can do to prepare for Christmas this year is to remember that I also need to make sure there is time to be present to my husband and kids and to enjoy this season of our lives because my kids won't be at these ages for very long. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blogmas 2014: Day 18 : Stocking Stuffer ideas

Today we are going to talk about stockings.....

I fill the stockings of the kids and Bill. This year I told Bill that HE is responsible for filling my stocking as the last few years I have filled my own and I want to be surprised this year. (We do stockings for the adults too, as one year Rebecca asked why Santa didn't leave us one....). In recent years we have included candy, treats, a cookie, a new toothbrush and toothpaste, coloring books, a new character cup, and/or a stuffed animal. This year, the boys are getting a stuffed paw patrol puppy in theirs and Rebecca is getting a stuffed Olaf from "Frozen."

I obviously don't have any pictures of the stockings from this year, but I have pictures of last years stockings...

One of the other stocking stuffer traditions in our house is that every year my husband gets "coal" in his stocking from Santa. Sometimes it is chocolate coal, sometimes it is a rock style....

Speaking of my husband, when I told him that today's post was about stocking stuffers, he said you HAVE to talk about my mom's stockings...

Every year, Bill's mom fills these ENORMOUS stockings (literally they are 3-4 feet tall) with stuff from the dollar tree, and she individually wraps each thing. Every year we get a tube of toothpaste, a toothbrush, thin mints, a soap holder, hand sanitizer, socks, a hat, a candle, generic candy, a baggie full of m&ms, and a few gag gifts. Once year, Bill got googly eyes in his....

And another year he got a set of glasses with an attached mustache...

Usually the kids get stuff that they either break or does not last or again are dollar tree toys that aren't meant to last. Honestly, I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but I wish she wouldn't do these things. We have told her over and over that she does not need to do stockings, but she doesn't listen to us. She says she will not do them, but then come Christmas there they are. I typically take all the things that we can't use or I don't want my children to have and we donate them so they don't go to a complete waste.

2019 Christmas Parade

Sunday afternoon the kids walked in our town's annual Christmas parade. Usually it is held the Sunday following Thanksgiving, however th...