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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Birthday

Today was Austin's 4th birthday! It hardly seems possible that he could be four!

His dad made him a Blue's Clues cake to celebrate. Well, we bought a plain cake at Costco, and dad decorated. He did this free hand! Impressive if I may say so!


We took the cake to church so our friends and church family could share in his special day. After we came home and opened his gifts and had his favorite dinner; home made mac & cheese!

It was a good day, and the birthday boy is now tucked in bed cuddled with his favorite gift, another tiger to add to his collection, given to him by a special friend of his!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Start Them Young!

Recently my 11 year old has become very interested in Beachbody. Particularly the Insanity program and Shaun T. He has been getting up at the crack of dawn with me and trying to keep up with the workouts.

Actually he started a few weeks earlier with my One on One workouts, but he has really gotten into the Insanity Program.

I must say Beachbody's advertising is pretty darn good, as he informed me this morning he wanted "that green drink they show at the end of the workouts" (IE Shakeology).

He also gets online at least once a day a scans all the workout programs for what he wants to do next.

I love it! I have been waiting for someone to jump on board with me. I thought it would be my husband or one of the older boys, but it is the 11 year old, AND the three year old.

Yes, the three year old is in love with Tony Horton and imitates him often.

We have hard floors and use yoga mats for our workouts. The minute he sees those mats come out he starts trying to give us instructions on what to do next.

A couple of weeks ago we went to visit my brother(who went home with P90X last night by the way!) and he too has hard floors, but had a rectangular area rug on the ground. Immediately he starts trying to lead us all in a workout. It took me a moment or two to realize that he thought the rug was one big yoga mat! My brother got a huge laugh over the whole thing.

So, what is the moral to all of this? START THEM YOUNG!! If you start them young and make them think exercise and good nutrition is fun and even a "treat"(working out with mom or dad is special and if they do it ,they can have the "special treats" like protein bars and shakeology) then hopefully it will become lifelong habits.

My older boys just seem to have no real interest. They get curious but lack the commitment to follow through. The younger ones though for some reason are just naturally curious and willing. Just like with anything. Think about when you have toddlers and they are only too anxious to "help" you sweep the floor or dust the furniture. If you take the extra time to allow them the "pleasure" even though in reality it creates more work for you in the long run, it will just become a natural habit to help out in the household. Now think about your teens who perhaps you didn't encourage to "help" when they were littles. Do they help now? It's the same with exercise and eating well.

I too am guilty of not allowing my older children to help when they were little, or encourage in a healthy lifestyle. It doesn't mean they can't be encouraged to change as they get older, it just takes more work and effort on our part as parents.

So, while sometimes the little ones get in my way when I am working out, or I don't really like to share my expensive nutrition supplements, I know that I am creating lifelong healthy choices and making my work later in life much easier for me AND them!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Going INSANE!!

It was bound to happen sooner or later. I knew it would, it was only a matter of time, yet I avoided it like the plague for some reason. I finally caved in and just went with it and now have gone fully insane, with Insanity:
After doing three rounds of P90X, then spending the last several months doing some of those workouts combined with the One on One workouts, I decided it was time for a change. I had gotten great results with P90X, but was still holding on to a bit of belly flab and a little extra here and there. I also have developed some nice muscles, but need more definition.

I researched several Beachbody and other programs for months, and decided this was the one for me!

Last week I took my "fit test" and Saturday tried the bonus "Fast and Furious" workout that came with the set. This morning I did my first "official" workout and even after 3 rounds of P90X, I have to admit, it kicked my butt, BIG TIME!! I could hardly breathe when I was done, and I was soaking wet. But, I have to also admit, it was FUN!!

I will post some before pics soon, then 30 day and 60 day photos so you can follow my progress if interested. Right now my computer isn't reading my card, so I need to find a cord, then I will get pics uploaded.

I am hoping to avoid that holiday weight gain that seems to come every year. What steps are you taking? By the time New Years rolls around, I wont need to make any health or fitness resolutions, as I will already be fit(at least that's the plan, LOL :) ) and moved on to my next program!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Birthday U.S.M.C. !

Today is easy to find something to be "thankful" for, continuing on with my 25 Days of Thankfulness I am working on along with my children.

Today is the 235th birthday of the United States Marine Corps!

I am SO thankful to all of those who have served and who are currently serving and protect us and our freedoms!

I LOVED the video below I found earlier on Facebook. As a mother with a son in the Navy who is serving with the Marines as a Hospital Corpsman I feel a certain loyalty and pride towards both branches. Of course I am thankful to all who serve or have served in ANY of the branches in our military but today is devoted to those brave Marines!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY U.S.M.C!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bye-Bye Bailey


About this time last year, we lost our beloved dog, Sequoia. Some neighbor dogs that had been running loose with a pack of wild, feral dogs got into our yard and attacked him, and killed him. We were so heartbroken as we had this pet for several years, and he was very loyal and very protective.

Not to replace Sequoia, but to help ease the hurt we went and got Bailey, an older puppy. This dog was nothing but love. All he wanted was to love and be loved. We were hoping for another good watch dog. A watch dog he was not! As soon as anyone would pull into the drive way he'd run up barking, then when they'd open their car door, he'd jump in their lap and lick them to death!! He was just a sweetie. He was just as loving and affectionate towards other animals.

He really decided Austin, our youngest was his pet human. When we'd let Austin out to play, he wouldn't leave Austin's side. Wherever Austin went, Bailey was sure to follow. When we'd get home from somewhere and open the van door, he'd jump up and kiss Austin!

A little over a week ago Bailey went missing. This was very unusual for him. Our yard is totally fenced, but this dog could clear anything up to six feet, EASILY!! He would often jump out to chase our car down the road when we'd leave, but two driveways down, he'd turn around and go home. Other than that he rarely if ever left the property.

In the wee hours of the morning he went missing, I had heard what sounded like a nasty dog fight a property or two over, but didn't give it much thought as I was sure Bailey was here, safe at home. Well, ever since he went missing, I've had that fight in the back of my mind.

This morning came the dreaded call. Someone found Bailey, dead. He was just the other side of our fence, the bottom of our property. We're not sure what happened, he appears to have been dead only days, and he's been missing over a week. Best we can guess is that was indeed him we heard in the fight, and he was badly injured and struggled to get home and just didn't quite make it.

While we are heartbroken, believe it or not I do actually have a couple of things to be thankful for in this. One, I am SO thankful for the person who took the time to call(we had signs up all over town) and let us know. Even though we are now hurting, it is a sense of relief to know what happened, than to always wonder. Also, during this whole time we had several people call thinking they saw him or even had them. While none of them were him, again I am thankful for people who care enough to look for signs and scan the Internet for lost notices and call people and try to reunite missing pets with their owners.

One lady that called, even called back to let me know the dog she had that turned out not to be Bailey had been reunited with his owner. He was a special dog for a special lady. He was a companion pet to a disabled lady! I am thankful they are back together.

I hope you too, take the time to stop and look at those "LOST" signs and then keep your eyes open or if you find a lost pet, take the time to search out the owner. I know it's easier to call the pound or just ignore it, but you have no idea how much the owner and pet would be grateful for the few extra minutes of your time. You never know if you will be reuniting a special companion animal or just giving a worried family a sense of peace and resolution.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude


With Thanksgiving approaching we started a 25 Days of Thanksgiving Lapbook that we purchased from Currclick.com Each day the kids write something they are thankful for, and copy a Psalms on thankfulness.

One of my children almost daily seems thankful for food, while the other is thankful for everything from his family to MRE's. It is fun to see what they will write each day as it gives me some insight into where their hearts are and it helps them to find things to be thankful for and take the time to acknowledge how much they do have and how blessed they really are.

I was amused when one of them asked how the people of the Bible knew we would have a Thanksgiving holiday when they wrote the Psalms! I of course explained the Psalms were not written with the holiday specifically in mind.

I think writing out and acknowledging what we have to be thankful for can be a great exercise for us adults as well as our children. Perhaps I too, shall start this. Let's see, today I am thankful for my family and having my son close to home.... for now.

What about you? What are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Haiti, Hurricanes, and the Navy

I've been prayerfully trying to keep up to date with Hurricane Tomas and the effects it will have on Haiti. This poor country has already endured so much and I can't help but wonder how much more they CAN endure.

Two of my Compassion Sponsored children are in Haiti and both have suffered losses in the quake, with one still remaining homeless with her family. How is she suppose to protect herself from the hurricane while living in a tent? Even once the hurricane passes, there is still landslides and other things to worry about.

I've been trying to keep up with what's going on with updates on my Facebook page from Food for the Poor and Compassion, both places that do lots of work in Haiti. Imagine my great surprise tonite to see this update from the Navy:

U.S. Navy PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Nov. 6, 2010) Capt. Thomas Negus, right, commodore of Continuing Promise 2010, is briefed by UN officials on initial damage assessments after Hurricane Tomas impacted Haiti. Negus is commanding the humanitarian mission aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), which was diverted fr...om a scheduled Continuing Promise port visit in Suriname to assist Haiti. Air assets aboard Iwo Jima conducted aerial damage assessments as part of U.S. support to the government of Haiti in the aftermath of Tomas. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Jacqui Barker/Released) (CM)



This is such good news to me, and makes me that much more proud of my son and his choice to serve in the Navy. No, he's not on this ship, he is on a base here in CA for now, but still as a mother with a son serving and with children I care about dearly in Haiti, this just warms my heart.

GO NAVY!!!!

It Worked!!

The last time I posted, it was about a reoccurring dream I keep having about flying to Haiti, going to sleep in Haiti, yet waking up in Africa. I assumed maybe it was a hint to write the girls I sponsor in each country. I did write them all, and indeed the dreams have stopped.

Not only that, but I've been blessed twice this week with letters and photos from some of the girls. First yesterday, I got updated, new photos of Ismaline. She is the youngest and most recent of the girls we sponsored. I SO want to share them here, but my scanner is not working. I will figure something out soon. She is such a beautiful child!

Then today I got yet another letter from Betty. She is the first child we chose to sponsor two and a half years ago. She had been concerned about a drought in her country(Uganda) last I had heard from her, and this time she was so positive and hopeful and thankful. She still had plenty to eat and drink this year even though they were dealing with a terrible drought. For the first time she is doing really well with school and things just generally seem to be going well for her. It is such good news!

I can't say enough times(cause I know I say it a lot here!) but I am the one truly blessed by sponsoring these girls. I am sure our sponsorship helps them and betters their lives just a bit, but I am the one blessed to get to be a part of that and to know them and learn from their hope and faith-fullness. It has opened my eyes to the needs of those in faraway places we may not often otherwise think of. It has improved our school studies as my children are now aware of places they may not otherwise be. They learn so much, and their geography skills are quite impressive. It has opened their hearts to the needs of others, not only in faraway places like Africa but even in their own neighborhood. It has helped them(and me) to be more compassionate overall.

It certainly has taught us to be thankful for what we do have even when there are times we may feel like we are struggling. It has encouraged us to live more simply so that we have more to share with those who have even less than we do.

With the holiday season upon us all, I can't help but think what a wonderful gift the gift of COMPASSION could be. Maybe if each family member agreed to one less gift each under the tree this year that money could be used to sponsor a child? Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!