Friday, May 28, 2010

Boot Camp at Home

This was a week off from boot camp before the summer session starts.  I knew I would have to do some things on my own in order to stay in a groove with the working out.  So Monday I did a resistance cord workout from a DVD right there in my living room.  I bought the cord at Academy and it came with the DVD.  It was a 20 minute workout and my arms were pretty sore from it.  The instructor had us doing some of the same exercises that I have been doing in boot camp.  I really liked it and I am sure I will do it again.  The DVD is called Resistance Cord Workout with Tanja Djelevic and it's a Gaiam product. 

Wednesday I did a running tabata and then did some arm, ab and leg exercises.  I didn't have a stopwatch to time my 20/10 second intervals for the tabata so I just used my ipod and found a 4 minute song and watched it as it counted down.  Downside was I had to hold my ipod in my hand while I was running.

Today I wogged (walked/jogged) for 15 minutes just around a little track by my house.  Then I went to the basketball court and sprinted down the middle, did a sideways squating shuffle (that's the technical term for that exercise) across the half and then ran backwards down the long side and jogged back to starting position and did it twice on each side.  Then I did walking lunges across half court. 

I started Weight Watchers on Wednesday and so far it is going okay.  I will be weighing myself every Sunday for that.  I just wasn't doing very well with the calorie counting so I am hoping this program will help me with that. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend and stays safe!  Happy Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Taking a swimming handsome boys.

For more Wordless Wednesday fun go to Wordless

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Letter G and the Number 7

The week we were on the letter G and number 7 we celebrated St. Patricks Day. So I made four-leaf clovers out of green construction paper that they could count. We made rainbow cupcakes which I wrote about HERE and had a picnic in the park where we flew kites.

We also did a Letter G tracer page and a Number 7 tracer page which you can find HERE.  We made new playdough during this week.  I used the recipe that I posted HERE.  We sang the first 3 commandments and learned the fourth and you can find that song HERE

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Orphaned NO More 3,000 Bracelets Campaign Giveaway

As many of you know adoption can be expensive.  It's amazing how high the costs can sometimes be and yet it is so worth it!  Worth all the extra time, emotions and expenses.  There are many people who are called to adopt but like most of us simply do not have the 1,000's of dollars lying around to pay for it.  There are some grants out there for those who qualify and are lucky enough to get them and then there are tons of fundraising things that folks are doing.  This is one of them.

I do not know this family, but I learned about this campaign from my sister-in-law's blog, 4URuthie. My sister-in-law's blog is worth a look. I love reading her posts about her spiritual revelations and growth and of course getting to see what her amazingly cute kids are doing and saying is important to me too.  She bought some of these cute bracelets and gave away one on her blog.  I thought that was an amazing way to help this Mom, at Orphaned NO More, in getting the funds she needs, but also spreading the word about the campaign.  So I bought three bracelets and I am giving away one to a lucky winner and follower of my blog!

Here is the beautiful bracelet you can win!  This one is Gypsy Rose.

Here are the giveaway rules:

1.  You must follow my blog publicly.  In order to do this you simply need  to go to my blog page, scroll down to the section that says "FOLLOWERS" and click the follow button.  Then follow the directions there. 

2.  Then, please leave a comment stating that you are now a follower.  If you are already a follower, and would like an entry, then you only need to leave a comment letting me know you would like to be entered.

Those 2 are mandatory and you will not be entered unless they are completed. 

Extra Entries:

1.  Visit Orpahned NO More and leave me a comment sharing what your favorite bracelet is and receive 1 extra entry.

2.  If you order a bracelet or more than one you can have 5 extra entries per bracelet.  Leave me a comment letting me know and email me the receipt for your order to

3.  Blog about this giveaway on your site linking back to my blog and receive 3 extra entries.

This giveaway is open to all U.S. residents and will end on June 6th, 2010 at 11:59pm CST.  The winner will be chosen via a random number generator.  I did not receive any gifts or money for this giveaway. Good luck to you all!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Boot Camp Week #11

This week was not a good week for me and boot camp.  I was able to make it this morning and that is it.  On Wednesday I did wog for 2 miles.  I came home drenched with sweat, the summer weather is here!  Sweating is good though, right?!  Yuck! 

Today we completed the Spring boot camp with a physical assesment.  We did this at the beginning of boot camp, back in week one.  Back then I did a mile run/walk in 12 min and 58 sec and today I did it in 11 min and 20 sec!  I have gone from being able to do 15 pushups in 1 minute to 28, from 5 situps in a minute to 14.  I held a plank for 30 seconds in the beginning and today I held it for 1 min 20 sec!  So Ihave improved! 

At the beginning I wrote that I expected or hoped to lose 15 to 20 pounds over this period of time...that has not happened.  I do feel leaner and stronger.  The weight is still not great.  I am not going to measure myself again until the beginning of June.  I will update those numbers at that time.  I know my real struggle is with what I put in my mouth.  I think I need to make time to put together a plan for my eating.  Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who struggles with this.  I know it's not true...I just feel that way.  I suspect that I am an emotional eater...when I am sad.  I have not been trying not to be outwardly sad lately but I think that I have been trying to fight it and maybe I need to just let it go and allow myself to feel it.  I think holding it in is really not helping me to not be sad.  Does anyone else have trouble with giving themselves permission to FEEL anything but good?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Flower Cupcakes

I made some marshmallow flower cupcakes for a friend's baby shower a couple of weeks ago.  They turned out cute so I thought I would share what I did with you all.  I saw this design in my Betty Crocker Decorating Cakes and Cupcakes book.

I made chocolate cupcakes and then made a light-pink buttercream frosting to frost the top of the cupcakes.  Then I took jumbo marshmallows and using dampened kitchen shears, I cut them crosswise into 5 pieces.

Then I dipped one side of each petal into colored sugar. 

After making 5 petals for each cupcake I arranged the petals on the cupcakes, pressing down a little bit to make sure they stuck in the frosting and wouldn't fall off during the drive.

Now I had all the flower petals on but I needed a center.  What is the middle of a flower called?  A stigma?  Anyway, the book has you put a candle in each middle if it's for a birthday or a round colored candy if candles are not appropriate.  I didn't have any round candies so I just made a pink frosting that was darker than the pink frosting under the petals and used a round decorator tip to make a center. 

Here is the finished cupcakes set in their stand at the shower.  I thought they turned out rather pretty and I received lots of nice compliments on them.  Really it didn't take that long to do and it was much easier to make marshmallow flowers than to pipe them on with icing.  That's just my opinion though.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ring Dunk and Graduation Party

This Saturday we had a huge party at our church to celebrate Troy's graduation and him getting his Aggie ring.  There were lots of friends and family who came to help us celebrate and we really enjoyed seeing everyone and getting to visit.  I am so proud of my hubby!
Here's Travis manning the grill.  He did a great job!

Here's the dessert table!  Yum!

Here is a close up of the cake I made.  It was really hard to make that maroon icing! 
 I don't think it tasted very good either! 

Here is my good friend Amanda posing for a picture with me.

Here is the ring dunk set up.  The ring is in the huge bowl of jello and there is his "bib" beside it.  The matted photo is a picture of the big ring on campus and then it's signed by all the folks who helped get Troy his ring.

John tells Troy he can not use his hands and then squirts on a whole can of whipped topping...ewwww.

I don't think there was a way to do it without getting messy.

He's finally getting down to the bottom. 

I helped bring it to the center and he got it!  What a mess!

Other Ags...I don't think this was everyone though.

Almost everyone who helped Troy get his Aggie ring.

We did not have the money to get Troy an Aggie ring and all those folks chipped in to get him one.  The network of Aggies is amazing! 

Thank you everyone.  Thank you.

Wordless Wednesday

Mustache Day

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Aggie Gets His Ring!

Today we all went up to the A&M campus to get Troy's Aggie ring.  We met our good friends and Aggies, John and Tony, at the Williams Alumni Center to pick it up.  The ring was being held at a table there on the 2nd floor. 

Here is Tony, John and Troy's Aggie rings.

Gig 'Em!

There was a neat display of Aggie rings whose owners had already passed on but who had donated their rings to the school.  They had one for each graduating class all the way back to 1891!  They also had a giant ring mural that was made from pictures of Aggies with their rings!

They also had some fun interactive exhibts that the boys really enjoyed playing with.  Here are some videos they got to make of themselves being a Yell Leader. 

Troy was proud to get his Aggie Ring!  Several family members and many friends at church all pulled their resources together to pay for this ring and we are so blessed and thankful!  Tomorrow is the big Dunkin' Party where we can celebrate.  I'm really looking forward to it!

Tony, Troy and John - Whoop!

Boot Camp Week #10

This Monday I did not make it to BC so that afternoon I did a tabata with my helpful hubby timing me.  See the post Boot Camp Week #6 for an explanation of a tabata.

On Wednesday we did the whole workout in the parking lot. It's a big rectangle and so we ran the long sides with our weights held above our heads and then we did a different exercise each time we got to the short sides. Such as walking lunges with a bicep curl and then the next side we would do squat pivots. Then we ran a lap around the rectangle. Then we would go to our mats and either use the curb to do an exercise or do something on our mats. We would do 3 exercises and then do the parking lot rectangle routine. I think we did that twice. Then the next time we did exercises we stayed at the curb to do cardio. We worked all muscle groups and it was a good workout for me. All those lunges about killed me though!

Today(Friday), I was still sore from Wednesday and I was praying that we wouldn't do much with legs this morning.  We ran our intervals like usual but then we did a running tabata.  Sprint for 20 seconds/walk for 10 seconds for 4 minutes total.  Then we did lots of barbell and stretch band exercises for arms and abs.  Even doing squats and lunges with some of them.  It was a good work out.  Hopefully it will work out the soreness left over from Wednesday. 

Next week is our last week for this session and then the summer starts up the first week of June.  So I may do a Workout post the last week of May, when we have "off", but it won't be a boot camp one.  I am excited to see if I do better at the physical test at the end of this camp then I did at the beginning.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Book Review: James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

I recently finished reading the delightful children's book, James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, to my two older boys. One is four and the other is five. This is the first chapter book that we have attempted to read together and although there were some big words used (ex: martyr, exhorting and scornfully to name a few), we just plowed right through it and they both said they really enjoyed the story.

Many children's stories start with a tragic beginning from which the main character can emerge triumphant. This story is no different. We are introduced to poor James Henry Trotter in the first chapter and are quickly given his sad story of how he was a happy boy, loved by his parents, who became an orphan and went to live with two very mean aunts who treated him extremely bad.

As the story goes on we are given full understanding to just how awful these two women are to James. But then something very unusual and quite unexpected happens that changes James' life. One day, James is in the yard at his aunts' home and is approached by a weird old man who gives James a bag of tiny green things "that looked like stones or crystals, each one about the size of a grain of rice."  The old man tells James, "There's more power and magic in those things in there than in all the rest of the world put together."  Then he gives James instructions on how to mix the things with water to drink them, and then leaves. 

James is in such a hurry to get back in the house, to drink this magic that will change his life, that he trips and the bag falls and busts open, spilling the green magic things onto the ground where they sink right in and disappear!  James is upset but his aunts find him and yell at him to work.  Then the aunts notice a peach  hanging in the peach tree that has never born fruit.  While they all stand watching it, the peach begins to grow and grow.  It grows so big that it becomes the size of a small house.  This is the start of many fantastical things that James will see and experience.  The peach takes James on an amazing adventure where he meets many creatures and proves his bravery over and over. 

James Dahl uses some poetic verse in the dialogue throughout the book and it's purely whimsical and entertaining.  I enjoyed re-reading this tale as much as I enjoyed watching my children become involved with the story.  I would recommend this book to those with children and those with a child-like heart.

You can find other book reviews here:


Wordless Wednesday

My sisters, me, my mom and my grandmother on Mother's Day 2010.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My First Cookie Bouquet

I recently tried my hand at making a cookie bouquet.  I thought I would share what I did with a little tutorial, since I think it turned out pretty cute. 

I used a terra cotta pot and painted it dark brown.

I planted a box-lid of rye grass about 2 weeks ago and had my helpful, hubby cut out a circle of it to put in the pot.  I put a square of newspaper on the bottom and then filled it with dirt.  Then I put the circle of grass on top. 

I made sugar cookies in the shape of tulips using a cookie cutter and used the long cookie sucker sticks.  I had never made them before so I just kind of guessed at how to do it.  I cut out the dough and then put the stick on the cookie sheet and then put the tulip on the end of the stick where it was positioned halfway up the cookie.  then I kind of flattened it a bit on to the stick.  Then I just baked them normally.

I made the cookie bouquet as a way to display the sugar cookies that I made for a friends baby shower.  The cookies were the guest favors.  So I had a lot of cookies, I think 6 dozen.  I was making cupcakes for this shower also and I was a little overwhelmed with all I had going on.  Thank goodness for helpful friends!  When it came time for icing them I had helping hands and it went by fast.  We used a sugar cookie icing recipe which I found HERE that I love!  It is super easy to make and you can just spread it on and it smoothes itself out and hardens overnight! 

The next morning I iced on the details with regular decorators icing, it's a recipe out of a cake decorating book I have, and then waited for that to dry.  Then it was time to bag them all and tie them up with ribbon.

Then I just poked the ends of the sticks down into the grass and soil.  It was soft so it wasn't hard to do.  Here is the finished bouquet.

Here are some of the other cookies that I made.  They were baby rattles and butterflies (but I didn't take any pictures of those).

Here was the display at the shower.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Boot Camp Week #9

Well, I started off this week with a weak Monday.  I was not fully recovered from my virus on Monday, but I went anyways.  I was able to do a warm up lap and then 1 of the 3 stations she had set up to do.  It was running the length of the basketball court, squatting side step to corner and then grapevine back to where you started.  Changing sides each time.  I was on my 4th go when I suddenly felt all lightheaded, dizzy and nauseous.  So after resting a bit, I decided I should go home and take another day of rest. 

Josh and I did walk and jog (or as my friend Gail says "wog") for 2 miles on Saturday.  His little legs were sore Sunday and Monday.  I told him that is how he knows he worked his muscles good. 

Wednesday, our instructor had 10 stations set up and we did each station for 30 seconds.  We almost got through it twice.  The time it took us between transistions took longer than she expected.  She thought we might be able to get through it three times!  The stations were fun.  There was one for jumping rope, for plank bops (that is not the real name but that is what I call it), walking lunges with a tricep exercise, running with weights overhead, wall squats with weight lifting, step ups (on to a bench with weights) and there were medicine balls which we held in our knee and did one-leg crunches with them.  I know I am leaving some out but I don't want to bore ya!  I felt like it was a good workout.  I definitely like it when she does different stations.

Friday was brutal!  For me anyways.  We ran intervals like we do on most Fridays.  Then came the hard part, I think the instructor called them Push Up Planks.  Which I thought would be one exercise but no, it was just the explanation for a series of exercises.  You do 10 push ups and then a plank for 20 seconds.  Then 9 push ups and a side plank for 20 seconds.  Then 8 push ups and then plank on the other side for 20 seconds.  Then 7 push ups and a plank for 20 seconds.  And so on and so on....all the way to 1 pushup and a final plank.  So truthfully I only did 3 or 4 pushups when it got to 6 and arms just wouldn't do it.  Like I said earlier, it was brutal.  Then we did different ab exercises and arm exercises at the same time.  All in all, I am a tired girl and I have so much to do today!  Lord, give me strength!

I am going to start calorie counting again.  Starting today.  I am going to make an effort to prepare and organize my snacks so I am not just grabbing junk to eat or eating too much.  I really need to get this butt into shape!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

From here

to here

It's official, my hubby has a job!!! 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Letter F and the Number 6

During this week we talked about many f-words but we really spent time talking about fish, frogs and firemen.  We read The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister and then made our own rainbow fish. I used the template HERE to trace a fish onto construction paper and then had the boys use their glue sticks to put on the tissue paper "scales".

We took a trip to Gander Mountain, the sporting goods store, and had a F scavenger hunt. The boys found fishing items, fur(on stuffed animals), furniture, and more. There is a room, in the back of the store, in which you can practice shooting a bow and arrow. There were several men in there practicing on that day and the boys liked watching.

We looked at some pictures of the different life stages of frogs. Eggs, tadpoles and frogs. I just searched for "pictures of frog life cycle" on google and then showed them real pics of each stage. Then we made a life cycle wheel that I found HERE I showed them how to do frog jumps as an exercise. They tried to hop over then it just turned into a wrestling match. We did exercises by sixes. 6 push-ups, 6 leg-lifts, 6 frog jumps, etc...

We did several frog things over the course of the week. We sang The Little Green Frog, which I had forgotten the words to but I found it HERE and we made a little frogs using a empty toilet paper tubes, which I found HERE.

We read some books that we have about firemen and dressed up as firemen. We learned the 3rd commandment, "Do not misuse God's name" and sang all three everyday. For the song you can find it HERE.

We also talked alot about family and friends. I was amazed and blessed to hear Josh and Caleb name their family members and talk about the things they liked about each family member. So we all traced a hand and on each individuals hand I wrote, for example: "Joshua is special because..." and so on. Then everyone mentioned what they thought was special about that person and I wrote it on their paper hand. Then I cut the hands out and strung them up and hung it on our dining room light fixture. This is the only thing I managed to get a picture of during that week!

We also read some more out of James and Giant Peach and of course we did the tracer pages for the letter F and the number 6, which you can find HERE and HERE. We also did the red coloring page that is found HERE.

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