Monday, January 31, 2011

January Review

Apparently, it's a common thing to review progress made on New Year's Resolutions.
So, here goes.

Our word of the year: Healthy

Healthy body, mind, and spirit, all around, that seems to be our common theme.

1. Read the Bible - With regard to a higher mind and spirit, I'm following my friend's blog study of the Message bible. I'm proud to say we've finished the first two books, Genesis and Exodus. I saw her write on her list of books read so far this year, Genesis by Moses. Loved it! And am totally putting that in my entry to the Brownsburg Winter Reading Program!

2. Go back to Choir - This one falls on more healthy spirit, using my God-given gifts to bring Glory to God. I'm thrilled to be back in the church choir, though I've only made it to practice twice this year due to illness and weather. Progress.

3. Join a Gym - Yup, I did it. I joined the Connection Pointe Christian Church gym. I've also made it to 4 Yoga Classes. I haven't actually worked out In the Gym. The first time I tried, I thought there was Child Care, and there wasn't. So...but there is for Yoga class. I even talked my sister into coming with me last week. We had a good time, even though our Warrior pose looks more like a surfer, and pigeon pose kills my hips. Obviously I need it. I'm doing my Wii Fit at home couple times a week too, so that's progress. I've lost 8 pounds already!

4. Take a Photography Class - Blessedly with everything else that's been going on, my teacher, aka Daddy, isn't a nazi. No must-get-done-immediately homework assignments or anything. Low Stress. We exchange emails on occasion, and I've only just started chapter 2 in my book...still reviewing my how to load my Card. I did enter Pioneer Woman's most recent photo contest on flowers, I didn't realize I could enter every day, so I only submitted these. I didn't make the cut, but I figure being brave enough to put my stuff out there is Progress. I'm thinking now I might make a watermark...any suggestions?

5. Get boys healthy - This one is going to take a while. This month, we got Sam into the Developmental Pediatrician, and they basically said ok, we'll see you in 6 months, unless the results are bad from his next swallow study in March/April. We got Chris in to be assessed by a social worker in Child Psych for his behavioral issues. I also took a Biblical Parenting seminar, and am now less convinced that Chris has some sort of Behavioral syndrome, that he's got Justified Anger and that we can't get on the right page. Chris also followed up with Urology for the bladder spasms, the basically blew us off, see you in 6 months. On one hand, hooray for him being healthy enough to require care, on the other I feel like we're just sitting tight until we do the MACE. So, we're kind of in a holding pattern with both boys. At least they are eating and sleeping a bit better.

Blue Popcorn

We got a treat last week from our Bin People, Blue Popcorn. It was advertised as having a thinner hull, thus easier on the system. I thought that would be Perfect for Chris, since he LOVES popcorn, but it doesn't love him, the blown kernals tend to irritate his sensitive colon.

Plus it came in Colors. ;)

So I cooked it at home. I've never Popped Popcorn on the stove at home before. I can remember my parents making it on the stove when I was young, mostly the Jiffy Pop. So I had to look it up how to cook it.

First I put 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan with 1/4 cup of kernals. The website told me to put a couple kernals in and when they popped put in the rest. When I did, they blew up so fast (I think it was too hot) that it burned. Ever tried to put That down the garbage disposal? I think it was popping even after I threw cold water on it. There were a couple kernals that didn't burn, and they were pretty. Tasty too. ;)

So I tried again: 1 Tablespoon of oil and a 1/4 cup of kernals. When my 3 kernals popped, I pulled it off the heat to add the mass. Then reapplied to eat, constantly shaking the skillet so as to not let it burn. As I was doing this, I totally had visions of my parents standing by the stove making us popcorn, so that Must be the right way.

That worked So Much Better! This time it didn't burn, and turned out quite nice. I added a little sugar and salt to it, not enough for Kettle Corn, but just a hint for flavor because really, just the popcorn and canola make it taste so Light.

And the Boys loved it. I got maybe a cupful, and the boys Downed the rest!

A perfect addition to movie night (and our dinner).

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mass Hysteria at the Children's Museum

Yesterday the boys and I hit the Children's Museum with 5 other moms and their kids. All totaled there were 6 moms and 15 kids. Yipes.
But it was all Butler Band friends and Band Babies, some we hadn't seen in a While, and that made it all good.

1. Chris griped the whole morning about wanting to see the Dinosaurs. So when we arrived he and his friend Emily got dressed up as Dinosaurs (note sign right behind him that suggests Pretend to Be a Dinosaur) and got serious about nest guarding.

2. ROAR!!! is Dinosaur for I Love You.

3. Chris and Emily quite proud of themselves, not for completing the puzzle, no, but for finding it already done.

4. Sam Digs dinosaurs too.

5. Sam meets some new little girlfriends, Katelyn and Adelyn. He gives them some pointers on how to be dainty and sweet.

6. The Kids Table. Yes the "Big Kids" had their own table. Thank Goodness. And Chris ate!

7. Of course my boys have to stop at the Barbie office first. Sam's favorite part was the phone!

8. Sam and Sarah walking down the runway...hysterical to the "I'm a Barbie Girl" song playing in the background.

9. Chris Mat - Newest Fashion Photographer

10. Yes, my boys are Real Boys. They play Barbies. Though Chris made a point to tell us "I'm Ten. (I'm Ken.)"

Of course there was lots more Cuteness, but my camera battery died. Snarf.

Cara Cara Study

This week the Bin people sent us a new kind of orange, one I'd never tried.

Cara Cara Oranges.

Imagine my surprise when I opened them up and found this pretty pinkish red inside.

Almost like a grapefruit in appearance, but the size of a small orange, and so tasty.
Sweet fruit. And So Juicy.

A Scrumptious Breakfast!

One Word

I was listening to the radio yesterday, KLOVE, and the DJ Lisa was joking that New Year's Resolutions are so passe. This year their group is promoting One Word. They are Choosing One Word to be their Goal for the year, one word to encompass all their goals.

I've been contemplating what One Word covers all those bases for me. I have been going over all my New Year's Goals and what do they all have in common. Finally it came to me.


Healthy Family. Healthy Body. Healthy Mind. Healthy Spirit. Healthy Soul.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Visit to the Eiteljorg

One of the boys new favorite places is the Eiteljorg Museum, or the Cowboys and Indians museum as we've been calling it. They love it, and so do I. Plus it's just about the only kid friendly museum in town open on Mondays, which is one of our days off.

We went there yesterday with a few friends, and had a great time. Here's a Top Ten list of some of my favorite pictures.

1. Sam checks out some of the art with Emelie...and Likes it!

2. A Sculpture study - This was neat for the preschoolers to identify elements within the wooden sculpture like: the fox, swimming fish, a person's hand and a smiling baby.

3. Totem Time - Emilie helps the bigger kids build a Totem pole and lift it up.

4. Shay-erella - My boys clean up the model sod house while poor pouty Shay sits in the fireplace.

5. A Dulcimer Duet - The boys give us a dulcimer concert, I love their love of Music.

6. Giddy'up - The boys get Back in the Saddle.

7. Stagecoach Sam - Sam plays a mean game of Peek-a-boo from the old Stagecoach.

8. Chinese Storeowners - Chris and Bryn get all dolled up in their Chinese silks and pretend to be drug store owners from the 1870s in South Dakota. Chris tries figuring out the abacus, which I think he just liked for the noise it made, and Bryn is selling her 'fresh' (and by that I mean Plastic) vegetables. ;)

9. Big Fish - Emilie catches a couple boys by the Big Fish.

10. Baby Liam - We can't call him that for much longer as he approaches his big birthday soon, but he makes a very good pitiful poor teething baby face, and I just love this picture of him.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Carla's Candids

A friend of mine has opened her own photography business, Carla's Candids. This week she's offering a contest.

Yeah, I have no shame, would love to learn how to take pictures like this, and if you're reading and in Texas or come spring, Upstate NY, or just want to check out her stuff, you should go to Carla's!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy!

A collage I made for my Dad, who is the biggest fan of all things COLTS I know...culminated in grandkids constantly and lovingly supplied with Colts garb.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

HVAC progress with a side of pretty pipe

I hate HVAC. Hate it.

Eric has been working on doing all the heating and air conditioning. All. By. Himself. I'm mad that he's been doing it all alone. I'm mad he's not done. He keeps running out of pieces, meaning he has to get them from Lowe's, or the original guy he ordered from, which takes a week, or from some other supplier. It's been Taking FOREVER. So Frustrating.
But at least we're making progress. Slowly...instead of being 80% done for a month and a half, we seem to be in the 90s. Eric has almost finished the Trunk Lines.

On the up side, "The Guys" started the plumbing last week using PVC pipe. This week they started the PEX tubing. I could be all knowledgeable and informed about PEX tubing, but I'm not. Let's just say it's better than copper pipe because it's plasticky and bendy.

And Pretty.

This is our Manifold. Our PEX plumbing home base. It has pretty little labels, that say EXACTLY where which tubes go where. No more having to run outside and turn off the plumbing in the event of some plumbing diaster, just simply run downstairs and turn off the switch.

This makes me happy.

Where the washer and dryer are going to go...looking almost homey, and Real.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bright Big Window

My Dad gave me some suggestions considering the problems I had with our Christmas cards this year. He said, "When shooting the boys against a bright background, aim the camera at something back in the room, at the same distance, hold the shutter half-way down so the camera reads the low light, swing back around and shoot. Now the boys will be clear, although the snowy scene outside will be washed out.
Or click back to auto , get the flash to pop up then swing around to the bright background and use fill-flash to get both the boys and the scene."
This afternoon, as my back and hip were in blinding pain and Chris wouldn't let me sleep. Sam slept, and woke up 20 minutes after Chris finally surrendured. So I had Sam in a good mood, so I decided to play with him in front of the Back Window per Daddy's suggestions.

I started with the regular base mode, and worked with the flash. I tried to put Sam off center as per an earlier suggestion, but Sam didn't want to be off center.

Once I got the timing down, it got a bit easier.

But Sam didn't want to be in the center, or off center. He wanted to be Behind the Camera. Or in it.

Hard to catch a moving Target.

So we moved to one who was a Bit more Obedient.

Too bad Fina was so nervous at Mommy telling her to sit by the window, she has this poor terrified pooch look. She usually is forced to sit there only when she comes inside with wet or dirty feet so she can be cleaned off. But she's still pretty cute.

There'll be more time for Practice another day, when I don't have shooting pain down my leg, and I'm a little less worried about getting Stuck on the floor. At least I have plenty of photogenic material around the house, my Inspiration!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Difficult Indeed

Irony: Chris nearly got a Time Out this evening and would Not go to bed because he wanted to read my copy of "Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Child Approach."

I am only on Chapter three of this book my mental health coach recommended (from the hotline). It's Good. The method has a lot of emphasis on Positive Reinforcement. And they discuss how not only can help the Intense Difficult child, but any kid. We've been trying to focus more on the Positives. There was a moment last week where he Volunteered to clean his room...we thought Oh My! Where is my Child? It didn't last. I need to finish this book!
But it looks like someone is trying to finish it first.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Go Dawgs!


Santa brought us all tickets to see our Butler Bulldogs play Youngstown State this past Sunday. It was a good game, we won. Unfortunately tip was 2 p.m. Naptime. That left the boys in rather snippy moods for the second half. But they both had a great time playing down on the Hinkle Fieldhouse floor. When we asked Chris, his favorite part of the game, he replied, "When the clock hit 0.0 and I could go down and play with my Butler Ball."

On a side note, the other day Chris was drinking from his Colts cup that Opa got him, and he pointed to the letters..."C-O-L-T-S. That spells BUTLER!"

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Getting Closer

We had visitors tonight, college friends with their kids Samantha and Phineas. We haven't seen them in just over a year. The kids personalities have changed, for us parents it was just like old times. We won't go so long between visits again! It's funny how it gets confusing between our Sam and their Sam. Their Samantha was a ham for the camera, with all her boys. And Chris adds another girl to his harem.

My Dad's most recent photography assignment. Get Closer. So I did. Finn and I did a little tummy time, and this was my favorite.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Feeling 12

My new year's resolution to join a gym has proven a little bit harder than I originally intended. I wanted to join a gym. But I didn't want to go alone.
So I went Monday morning with my friend Ems to take the boys to the Pilates class at the church that was advertised with child care, only they didn't have it when we got there. They only had it twice in a week, but the facility was clean and nice. I debated going elsewhere but when I researched other places, they were lots more expensive, and I would still have to pay child care over and above.
And I don't want to go alone. I want to have someone with me to talk to, laugh with. I had a couple friends show interest, but no one could accompany me. So Wednesday night, I wanted to go to their Yoga class. But I really didn't want to go by myself. I was surprised at how I got nervous walking up there, All By Myself. Well, not Alone, I had the boys. But they went willingly into their corresponding playrooms.
I did too, and I was a bit proud of myself that I did, I went By Myself!
I realize how silly it sounds. I feel like I'm back in middle school. But there's some comfort in not making a fool out of yourself alone. And I didn't recognize a soul inside. But I was OK. Fine even. Had a Good Time. I worked up a nice sweat, stretched in great ways I haven't done in a While. Smiles were exchanged with my neighbors, and the teacher said a prayer afterwards. I didn't exactly fit in, but I might..eventually.
The funniest was that my sweatpants kept falling down, and I was hiking them up the whole time. Note to self: stretchy waistband not a tie. I kept looking around at what the other girls were wearing. I felt like a teenager, what are the Cool Kids wearing?
Initially I felt out of place, it seemed like a sea of women who knew exactly what they were doing. I wasn't as bendy as the gals that surrounded me, but I wasn't alone in needing some easier modifications. And that was comforting, that I wasn't alone. Is it crazy that I don't want to do this alone? I know there's gals out there, big girls that want to change their health situation like I do, but it's kind of hard to take this step alone, and especially when we're so physically unprepared, aka out of shape. I'm really Blessed that even though I don't have someone going with me, I have lots of Cheerleaders routing for me and supporting from afar. That makes it easier.
The boys had such a great time, Chris cried monster tantrums when it was time to go. That could've been because his friends Bryn and Shay were there too. I take it as a sign to go back, so I'm going to, This Morning. And I'm going to join. Whether or not I have cohorts in crime.
I can do this!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Happy Memories.

Sad Memories.

You should have been there.

Where were you?


I shouldn't be. Then again, maybe I should.

Not Hate.
Never Hate.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday Drivers

Chris decided that since the snow was gone, and it was sunny, today would be a fine day to take his Purple Car out for a spin. He didn't care it was only 39 degrees outside; I guess that's warmer than it has been. He actually was a pretty good driver, only going off road every couple seconds. He did get the hang of it...eventually.

Can't wait until Spring!