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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I prayed for 10

About two months ago when I suffered a major reality check and began to accept how badly out of control my weight had gotten, I came up with a plan. I didn't join a gym or Weight Watchers. I didn't talk to a nutritionist or a personal trainer. I especially didn't start taking any pills. I just used the very little knowledge that I have and made some changes that I was pretty sure I could sustain for the rest of my life.
I also began setting goals. I decided that I was capable of losing 10 pounds a month. It's a nice, even number and since I needed to lose 150 that meant I could be down 120 in one measly little year, then three more months and KAPOW I would be where I needed to be. I also decided that since I would be losing weight on a monthly basis, I wouldn't weigh myself until the last day of each month.
Well, on the last day of May, I was indeed down 10 pounds for the first time in years. Needless to say, it was a fantastic day and I hit June with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and vigor. But it's been a difficult month. I always assumed that when I started exercising regularly my moods would improve, but that's just not the case. It turns out I'm just as psycho as ever!
Anyway, last week I realized that today was the last day of June. I'd like to say I doubled my exercise and cut my calorie intake in half, but that's just not the case. I kept on doing what I've been doing for two months and I prayed for 10 pounds. I prayed and prayed.
Finally, when I got up this morning I got on my knees and said one last prayer for 10 pounds. It sounded something like this:
"Father, I've been exercising and eating less. I've tried to sleep more. I've added more fruits, vegetables and water to my diet. I've even given up soda. I've done all that I can. Please make up the difference."
Then I got on the scale. (If you have more faith than I do, you probably already guessed the outcome) Any guesses?

I lost 19 pounds!!! I prayed for ten and He gave me 19! I thought I was hopeful when I was down 10!

Of course, it's still not noticeable. At least not to anyone else. And, I think most of it has come out of my boobs. Sigh. But, now I know that someday my clothes will all be too big to wear. Someday I'll be able to walk into a department store and buy clothes off the rack. Someday I'll be able to walk into that snotty Doctor's office with my head held high.
You're all invited to my house for a huge party when I drop the big 100!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nature in all her glory

I love going to Bear Lake. We went last weekend and even though it rained every day except Friday, I still had a fun time. And, thanks to the wet and cool Spring we've had, the scenery was outstanding!

This is a view of the lake from the Limber Pine trail. Gorgeous, isn't it?

There were wildflowers all over the place. These were my favorites.

Ahh, fungus. I was starting to feel like this stuff was growing between my toes. Thank goodness it finally stopped raining!

This is the Limber Pine. The sign used to say it was a couple thousand years old, but now apparently it's only 560 years old. There must be a fountain of youth flowing at its roots. Lucky duck!

This was so cool! It rained Thursday morning but then the sun came out for a little while and these big vultures came to visit. Wasn't that nice of them to put on a display just for us?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My two Mommy gems of wisdom

I went out to mow the lawn today and my next door neighbor came over to say hi. I was trying to get the kids to weed around the trees and they were being stinkers about it (in spite of the fact that they're getting paid to do it!) Anyway, my neighbor, who has one seven month old daughter, said to me: "If I had three kids like you, they would always do their work."
I smiled and nodded politely and thought to myself, I'm not a perfect mom, I'm not even a very good mom, but I have learned two very important things about being a mom:

Number One: NEVER criticize another person's parenting abilities (not even silently, in my own head) and
Number Two: NEVER say that my kid is behaving, has behaved or ever will behave better than anybody else's kid.

It's not that I'm worried about offending anyone. Not at all. What always gets me is karma. The few times that I've forgotten these two Mommy gems of wisdom I've paid for it dearly. Don't get me wrong, just like all parents I believe that my kids are wonderful and perfect, but over the years I've come to realize that a wonderful and perfect child will do what children do and a mother who assumes that her little darlings will always be obedient and will never act up at the most inconvenient (or embarrassing) moment possible is going to get kicked in the butt by karma. Hard. So, I'm not hurt or offended by what my neighbor said. Far from it. Mostly I'm just very worried for her because karma never forgets.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Root Beer Crackers

I walked into Kai's classroom yesterday to get him at the end of church and discovered his teachers giggling. When they saw me, they told Kai to tell me about his snack. He said: "We had root beer crackers!"
Root beer crackers? I looked at his teachers in confusion and with broad smiles they informed me that the snack had been SODA crackers. I'm embarrassed to admit that it took me a minute to realize that in Kai's mind, SODA translated to ROOT BEER. What a crack up!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


We've encountered a different strain of the flu at our house. This obnoxious flu variation is presumed to have existed for as long as children have, and while debilitating, it's rarely fatal. The scientific designation is WH1N3 but the more common name is: "Whine Flu". So far all three of our children have been officially confirmed as having this flu and Brian and I are showing various symptoms but haven't yet received an official diagnosis.

Symptoms include:
speaking in an unnaturally shrill voice for extended periods of time
screaming fits
crying (sobbing, weeping) for no readily apparent reason
picking fights
inability to entertain oneself
complete breakdown of the social order

Apparently children and stay-at-home moms are much more susceptible than men to "Whine Flu". This disease tends to pop up when children are forced to spend ridiculous amounts of time in their own homes, for example, Christmas break, Spring break, or Summer break.
Experts have been unable to develop a cure or vaccine and caution parents of afflicted children to avoid treatments such as grounding, time outs or road trips. Some success has been achieved with extra chores and PBS, but the only treatment that shows consistent results is regular trips to the park or swimming pool. Unfortunately, regular hand washing and coughing into your elbow won't do a darn bit of good in preventing the spread of this disease. If you or your children are showing signs of "Whine Flu", don't worry, it will pass in the Fall when school starts again. Sigh.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Chloe on a horse

I was just looking at the top picture on the right (Chloe on a horse) and it made me remember the first time we put Chloe on a pony ride. I think it was the State Fair and she was maybe 3 years old. She was so excited she couldn't hardly stand it and when she finally got on the pony she started hollering at all the bystanders:

"Look at me! I'm riding a horse! Hey Lady! Look at me! I'm riding a horse!"

All the other kids, of course, were too busy hanging on for dear life to even look at their parents, let alone shout their joy to the whole world.

I have to say, I can't think of a single experience we've had since that is a more apt summary of Chloe. She does not now and never has hidden her light under a bushel. I sincerely hope she never changes.

Bizarre Spring - 2

Oops! I just realized that I didn't ever blog about our neighbors' front yard being struck by lightning! It was the neighbor just above us on the loop (two houses down from your old house, Anna). As best we can tell, the lightning avoided all the tall things in the yard and hit this dinky pole next to this tree.

It traveled down the pole and blew up this root. There were bits of sod all the way down the street. The scary part was that they were all in the front room at the time except for the 11 year old who was out in the backyard!

Pretty impressive, eh?

Fortunately, we weren't home at the time. I think my kids would have freaked out!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bizarre Spring


10: The afternoon high today was 65 degrees.
9: The overnight low was 47 degrees.
8: Smithfield flooded. Again.
7: The neighbors' front yard got hit by lightning. Really!
6: Wearing coats to T-ball and softball games.
5: I've never seen the resevoir as full as it is now.
4: A bumper crop of mud and rocks.
3: I swear the birds are starting to gurgle.
2: We actually used our umbrellas. Well, until the neighbors' yard got hit by lightning.
1: So. Much. Rain!

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Know What You Did Last Weekend

Okay, I know what WE did last weekend; specifically Saturday. Have a look:

This is a cucumber plant with its very own trellis. Notice the lack of strangling weeds and grass? I love cucumbers but garden-fresh cucumbers are like candy. I can't wait for this baby to start producing!

This is the majority of our surviving pea plants. We actually planted six rows or so (in two different plantings) and this is about all that managed to escape the stupid cat. As soon as Brian tilled the garden, the stupid cat decided that it was his own personal litter box. He's lucky these babies are flowering or he'd find himself at the animal shelter. Ugh! There are a few strangling weeds in this area, but I figure if you can see the dirt and the vegetable plants then it's all good.

In this half of the garden we actually have peas, spinach, onions, peppers, eggplants and that lone cucumber from the first picture. They even all survived the hail and rain Saturday night! Please notice (again) the absence of strangling weeds. That garbage can in the corner is Brian's attempt at some home composting. I'm really hoping for some good compost this year. All the roundish white things are rocks. Aren't they lovely? Brian tilled the garden last fall and pulled a bunch of rocks out of the garden but when he tilled again this spring, he found a whole bunch more, including one the size of Kai's head! I've just about resigned myself to the fact that we have a vegetable/rock garden. I guess as long as the plants keep growing, we'll keep pulling rocks out of the garden. Anybody need some rocks?

This half of the garden is the piece de resistance. Saturday morning it was a jungle of grass, prickly weeds and some viney plant that is the plague of my existence. By Saturday evening it looked like this; fertile soil with peppers, cucumber, peas, onions and green beans soaking up the sun and rain. I'm so happy I could cry! We even managed to clean the house! Of course, my hands were hurting so badly that picking up my fork for dinner was Mission Impossible but hey, I need to cut back on my caloric intake anyway, right?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Graeme's 7!

I'm not going to wait as long as I did with Kai to wish my sweet Graeme a Happy Birthday! I can't believe he's seven already! It seems like just yesterday we brought him home from the hospital and were shocked at how much he slept. He barely woke up to eat and poop. I guess he was storing up for now because he never even sits still anymore!

We had a lovely McDonald's party with only a couple of friends from Graeme's class. It's not a milestone birthday so we didn't let him invite every kid he knows, but how can you open presents without at least a couple of curious onlookers?

The best thing about the party is that the McDonald's manager was very nice and let us bring in presents and cake without paying for an actual party! I had to put in this last picture because it just cracked me up.

Graeme looks completely disgusted with the cupcake in a cone that he's holding, but he actually loved it!
Anyway, a good time was had by all, especially me since I didn't have any mess to clean up afterward! Happy Birthday, little man!

Monday, June 1, 2009


What is the value of ten? I think it's all a matter of perspective. For an infant, 10 pounds can be the difference between existence and non-existence. 10 grains of sand is nothing, but 10 diamonds is a fortune. 10 french horns are great; 10 piccolos not so much.

10 gallons of gas is almost a full tank, but 10 drops of gas won't get me to the gas station. 10 cents isn't even a phone call, but 10 dollars is a nice lunch. 10 friends make me happy, 10 children make me want to cry. 10 ounces is barely more than a glass of water, but 10 ounces can be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

For me, 10 is hope.

I weighed myself the other day (admittedly it was first thing in the morning) and for the first time in YEARS that scale showed 10 pounds less. 10 WHOLE POUNDS! Now, I know that losing 10 pounds isn't going to make me thin. Heck, with 150 pounds to lose, 10 pounds isn't even noticeable. But that 10 pounds meant that something is working!

Suddenly, exercising isn't that bad. Watching my portion sizes and counting calories isn't that bad. Even eating only half of my favorite shake isn't that bad because that 10 pounds told me I CAN DO IT!

For me, 10 is everything!

Kai's 4!

Well, it's a week late, but Happy Birthday to Kai! My ten pound, bouncing baby boy is now an almost 50 pound bouncing 4 year old!

He had a FANTASTIC birthday extravaganza! On Monday morning we took the neighbor girl bowling with us and forgot to bring our camera. I was mad, too, because bowling was hilarious! If you've never bowled with small children before, you have to try it. It takes about twice as long as bowling with grownups but watching a four year old heave a bowling ball down the alley without killing anyone is well worth the extra time!
The funniest part, though, was Kai telling everyone that we weren't going bowling for his birthday. I told him that yes, bowling was for his birthday. His response was: "I'm not 4 yet, am I? Then it's not for my birthday!" Sometimes I wish I was as sure about my world as he is about his!

Later on Monday we went down to Grandma and Grandpa's house for dinner, cake and presents. We all had a great time! Kai especially loved all the presents; although he had a lot of help opening and playing with them. In fact, this last picture is the only one I could find of Kai by himself.

The best part is, now he's convinced that he's almost 5. Every day he asks us, "Am I 5 today?" and when we tell him no, his response is: "Well, when am I going to be 5?" I have to admit, I don't want him to be 5! Just stay 4, little buddy. It's all good.