Current Exercise and Weight Loss Goals

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Moments

I was on my way home from work Tuesday evening and stopped at Arbys for some dinner. I was waiting at the drive-thru, when I saw a man approaching from the street. He was walking very slowly and I started to get a bit nervous. After all, it was quite dark outside and I couldn't see any reason for him to be out on such a cold, dark night. He got closer and closer to the front of my car and I was getting ready to lock the doors. (Usually, I lock them once I start driving, but I hadn't that night.) He passed in front of me and walked up to the garbage can in front of me. He pushed open the flap and looked inside. Not seeing anything worthwhile, he left and headed back to the sidewalk.

I felt so sad. It was so cold out there and he was just looking for something to eat. Now, our family is currently "financially challenged", but we have enough to eat and a warm place to sleep. I don't know this man's circumstances or what brought him to Arby's trash can. But, I took a couple moments to thank Heavenly Father for all I have. I thought about giving him one of my sandwiches, but by the time I left the parking lot, he was gone and I couldn't see him anywhere. It was definitely, a "count your blessings" moment.

Today, I left the house to run to the bank and pick up a Christmas present for one of the kids. I was stopped at a traffic light and my stomach was all tied up in knots. I was just rushing and worrying. Over the radio came Nat King Cole's voice singing "Silent Night". I literally felt all the tension leave my stomach and I took a deep breath. Nat King Cole's voice is unbelievably soothing. And the song was so soft and beautiful and old-fashioned. I was grateful for the reminder of what the Christmas season is all about. A small baby who became my Savior. My errands were over quickly and the feeling of calm was fleeting (I'm back home!), but it was wonderful.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Zen Sarcasms

Jocelyn (my sister) emailed these to me. I found them very valuable and helpful. I think you will too.

1. Do not walk behind me for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.
2 The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt or a leaky tire.
3. It's always darkest before dawn , so if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.
4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
5. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.
6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
7. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
9. If at first you don't succeed...... skydiving is not for you.
10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
11. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
12. Some days you're the bug, some days you're the windshield.
13. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
14. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put back in your pocket.
15. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
16. Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
17. There are two theories to arguing with a women - Neither one works.
18. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.
19. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
20. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Don't Touch the Christmas Tree

Whatever you do.... be careful around the Christmas tree. Our Christmas tree stand died just an hour after the dishwasher on Sunday night. It was leaning precariously when our Home Teachers were over. After they left, Shane crawled under the tree and I lifted it straight up. (Yeah....that was fun!) And he pronounced the stand DEAD!

We shoved the tree into the corner against the back the wall in the corner and there it has remained. And there it WILL remain until Christmas tree stands go on sale after Christmas. (Actually, it's finally standing pretty straight now!)

What would life be like without all these little jokes?

BORING!!!!! :)

p.s. Exercise update: 3 mile RUN in 35:14 minutes
1 mile walk in under 18 minutes with hills and irritation thrown in...
lots of fun and lots of sweat!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Prepare to be Amazed (and SHOCKED)

Yes, it is true. I have accomplished an amazing feat.....

I RAN 3 miles on my treadmill on Saturday!!!!! It took 36:14 minutes. That was running at 5 mph hour on average. I did pretty well. I had to take several breaks (while gasping for air) and I my back muscles were very sore on Sunday. But, I was so proud of myself and felt so good!

FLYING PIG 10K HERE I COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Do, you recognize this sound?????

That is the sound of a dying dishwasher.....I know because I heard it Sunday night. The "HHHHHSSSSSSSSS" was the wisps of black smoke issuing forth from the edge of the dishwasher. So, I am back to doing dishes by hand. Luckily, I haven't forgotten how. But, I have a question. Does Satan have a hold on my household appliances???????

Friday, November 30, 2007

On Track

So, Mikayla woke me up to tell me goodbye before she went to the bus stop. I got up and "weighed in" and I was so happy with the numbers that I couldn't go back to sleep, even though I had another 40 minutes that I could sleep!

I got up and went down to the dreadmill (actually, Savannah didn't create that term, I saw it on a Runnersworld discussion board a couple years ago and I loved it!). I decided I would again go for a 45 minute workout, hopefully completing 3 miles.

I started out walking at a fast pace. At one point I was talking in my head and planning to put off running until I have lost 9 pounds. Within another minute I was running. The reason: it is easier to "run" 4 miles an hour than to "walk" 4 miles an hour. So, I ran awhile even though I was not planning on it. I ran at 4 mph at times. I also took the incline from 1 all the way up to 4 at times. (I made my own hills.) I finished 3.1 miles in 45:32 minutes! I'm going for 21 more 45 minute workouts by Jan 1st!

My goal is to run the Flying Pig 10K in May 2008.
My other is to hit my goal weight by July 4th, 2008!

(After another frustrating hour on the computer this morning, I finally did the right thing and hopefully fixed my "cookie" problem so I can blog again!!!!!!!! I'm so happy!!!!!)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Mother Moment

I've been getting re-motivated to lose weight and exercise. So, yesterday I headed back to the treadmill. (Jared had fallen asleep at just the right moment.) I walked for 3 miles in just over 45 minutes. Later, Savannah came downstairs and got on the "dreadmill" while I was in the laundry room. I came by with a basketful of clean clothes and got a big chuckle when I saw her. Your life just isn't complete until you see a 4-year-old little girl dressed in a dog costume (Lady, from Lady & the Tramp) walking on a treadmill. She was facing the other way and the little doggie tail was swinging back and forth. The costume comes with a big dog head that sits on top of her head, so from behind, I couldn't see her face at all and it was hilarious. She looked like a very serious dog out for her morning stroll.

Does it get any better than that?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Enrichment Night

I just have to send a big thanks out to the amazing women who planned this month's Enrichment. The presentation at each placesetting was beautiful. The dinner was DELICIOUS! The company was fabulous, as always. It was a really nice evening with lots of time for girl talk. Thank you for making me feel so loved and spoiled.


I'm so excited!!! I haven't been able to sign onto my blog in forever! My dumb computer wouldn't accept any cookies. And I ask.....why not??? I ALWAYS accept cookies!

Two days after my washing maching died, one of my dryers stopped drying!!! But, a week later, with a new heating element installed we are back in business.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Flood

Why is it that life is one step forward and one step back......Oh wait, that's supposed to be two steps forward.......Well, it feels like just one right now!! :P

I went to my craft show on Saturday and as many of you know it was just "okay". I made back my booth fee and a little bit more. Mikayla and I had a great time visiting with the other crafters. We met some really nice people! and we had fun hanging out together. I did learn a lot about craft shows and may try another later this month since I have a lot of cards ready to sell and supposedly Saturday's show was bad just because their were more crafters than shoppers!!!!

Yesterday morning I went downstairs to find the humongous pile of laundry that had accumulated as I stamped cards all last week. Let's just say that the leaning tower of Pisa (sp?) can be recreated in no time at my house!
I had promised myself (and Shane) that I would get the house back together this week including getting the laundry caught up. I virtuously began separating the clothes into their appropriate bins (organized by colors and washing temperature) and started the first load. Unfortunately, within 5 minutes the disaster occurred.

I slipped on a brand-new stream of water coming from under my washing machine. Yes, my washing machine had overflowed. The darn thing has truly passed away. It doesn't want to spin another load again. It also doesn't shut off when it has reached the appropriate water level. Let's just say I had lots of water escaping from it's designated location and heading for the floor drain near the furnace. (I've had my doubts about the wisdom of indoor plumbing for years and this just confirms them.....I mean, overflowing toilets, sinks, dishwashers, busted pipes.....who needs them?) So, all day I watched, babied, and cajoled my machine just to get a few desperately needed loads washed. (I only got 4-5 done.) This does not make a DENT in the amount of clothes I wash each week. But, I can guarantee clean underwear, socks, jeans, and t-shirts for a day at least.

Shane came home last night he declared the official time of death at 8:30. So, I have been given the assignment to search Craigslist for a new washing machine (CHEAP!) so my beloved husband can go forth with an appliance dolly and his work van and (as conquering hero) deliver a working washer to his fair maiden.......AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Beast

No, I'm not talking about Shane!!!! The Beast is my affectionate nickname for our computer in the family room. It doesn't seem like we've had it that long, but it is slow and it hates me. But, our laptop (affectionately known as the Beastie) has suddenly turned retarded. It doesn't know it can get on the internet. So, my blogging addiction has been denied for weeks! I have little energy to drag myself down to the family room and sit in a hard chair at the computer desk at 11:30 at night to write or read! Tonight, I was helping Jessica get her papers ready to submit to the National Honor Society (they've invited her to apply) and I'm up late so I thought I would explain my lack of participation in the blogging world.

My craft show is this Saturday. I have approximately 400 cards to sell. I still need to buy envelopes and make labels to attach to my baggies with an email address and phone number for re-orders. (I hope there will be re-orders.) So, besides my agonizing deprivation of the joys of a laptop computer, I have been stamping my heart out, and keeping up with the boys' soccer schedules, oh, and cleaning houses for cash! Yipee! Hope all your blogs are still as wonderful as ever. I hope to read them again after Saturday!!!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Top 10 Countdown of Why I Love My Sister Jocelyn

10. She has a naughty sense of humor.

9. She loves animals and I admire her devotion to her pets. (No, they can't be sealed in the temple to you Jocelyn!)

8. She enjoys shopping at Half Price Books as much as I do. (And spends more $ than me there! hee hee)

7. She knows that she deserves to go to the spa and hair salon every so often and be pampered!

6. She appreciates great Hibachi cuisine and took me to have some with her family the last time I was in Texas.

5. She has a beautiful singing voice. (I LOVE to sing with my sisters and mom!)

4. She listens to my "funny" stories and even laughs at them. (or at me.....whatever!)
3. She listens to my whining......more often than I care to admit.

2. She is my cheerleader. She believes in me and encourages me.

1. drum roll please......She has great taste in sisters!!!!!!! Just ask me...or Sheralyn!


Sunday, September 30, 2007

We call her Pretty Pretty Princess!

And I'll tell you why! I did her hair and we were really hustling to get it done in time! It took over an hour! While I was curling, spraying, and pinning her hair, she sat in a chair and made her royal requests.

"Mikayla, go downstairs and get my dress. Please."

"Mikayla, go downstairs and get my jewelry."

"Mikayla, go downstairs and get my shoes. Please."

Yes, your royal hiney. I mean highness! :)

AND she kept admiring her beautiful fingernails that she had done at the mall. (They really WERE gorgeous.)

Mikayla and I had a good laugh at how Princess Jessica was so demanding. Mik had her sweet revenge by bringing up macrame style jewelry while hiding the pretty silver jewelry Jess was planning on wearing. Mikayla also brought in an assortment of winter scarves to cover Jessica up a little bit more! And Jessica has promised to be Mikayla's servant when Mikayla gets ready for her first formal dance.

We three girls really had a great time getting Jess all gussied up. Her date, Zack Baker, got here a few minutes early and we still weren't done with her hair! So, he had to cool his heels in the living room for 10 minutes with Mikayla and Jared entertaining him. (Jared's nose was running! Not nice! But, kind of funny!)

I insisted on going down the stairs first (so I could watch Zack's reaction when Jessica came down). When she walked in the room he said "Wow" under his breath. It was so cute. They had a wonderful time on their date. Especially when they went to goof off in Target after their nice dinner at Johnny Carino's. At Target they tried on boots, cowboy hats, and Halloween masks! Zack told me Jessica even started riding a scooter up and down the aisles. (That story is uncorroborated.)

They stopped at the Village Green (a park) to walk around and take pictures and then stopped at UDF to have ice cream. They had a nice time seeing their friends at the dance, but the music was horrible and the dancing vulgar! Jessica and Zack are thinking a church dance will be more fun.

After the dance, they went to a friends' house (Claire) and then Zack brought her back home and we visited with them (including Mikayla) for a half hour or so. It was lots of fun for us to visit and get to hear all the fun details of their evening!

When the Mom is Sick

It's not pretty. And I don't just mean the face I see in the mirror! The house starts falling apart pretty quickly when the boss is down for the count. It started out as a bad headcold and sinus pain. Then it progressed to bad congestion and coughing. After a week it turned to a fever and stomach flu!!! It was AWFUL! But, finally this morning the fever broke. I feel weak and I'm not over it yet, but I feel much better.

Unfortunately, the house is in bad shape too. The laundry has become a complicated situation. Children ran out of socks on Thursday and Tanner actually went down to the dirty clothes in the basement to get some out of the "whites" hamper. When he came upstairs and had a "dirty" pair to wear to school. I actually said they would be fine. There are 3 baskets and a recliner full of clean clothes in my bedroom. They are unfolded, but at least clean. I'm afraid to venture down to the basement to see how high the dirty laundry pile is now.

But, I'm so proud of my family. Sometimes they didn't want to do the extra work asked of them, but Tanner watched Savannah on Thursday so I could take a nap. Mikayla went to the soccer games on Saturday to cheer for the boys since I couldn't go. (Thanks to Karlin for picking them up and taking them and bringing them home!!!!!) (Thanks also to Heather for taking my 3 middle kids for the afternoon so I could rest and thanks to Kevin and Pat for watching them in the evening!)

Mikayla then spent Saturday babysitting me and Jared. And now, she is downstairs making dinner for the family. Something else I am grateful for is my kids' caring personalities. When they would come home from school or activities, the boys would often stop in my room and check on me. "How are you feeling mom?" "Are you doing better?" "I hope you get better soon." Can you beat that?

So, after days of toast, soup, and Gatorade, I am glad to have eaten 2 real meals and I think I may actually be on the road to recovery!

I'm not including any pictures for this post. Believe me........

you don't want any!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Fried Rice

Maura's Chicken Fried Rice

2 cups uncooked white rice
4 chicken breasts, uncooked and cut into small chunks
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
4 eggs
margarine (or butter)
garlic salt
soy sauce
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
This is my "homemade" recipe, so the amounts of the last 6 ingredients can vary according to your taste.

1) Prepare rice according to package directions. Set aside. The rice can be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated if desired. Or you can use leftover rice.

2) Melt margarine (approximately 1/4 cup) in a very large non-stick skillet or wok. Add chopped onion, garlic, and chicken. Season with some soy sauce, garlic salt, a little pepper, and a little red pepper flakes.

3) After chicken is cooked through, remove from skillet and set aside. Melt more margarine (approximately 1/4 cup) and add rice. Season with garlic salt and soy sauce. Stir it often over medium heat. When nicely warmed through, add thawed peas and stir.

4) While peas and rice are cooking, in another pan scramble 4 eggs with a little milk, garlic salt, and pepper.

5) When the eggs are finished, add them to the rice mixture.

6) Add the chicken back to the rice.

7) Taste. Add additional soy sauce or garlic salt if needed. This recipe makes a huge amount of fried rice and can be halved easily for a smaller family or if you don't want a lot of leftovers.

My family and friends like this so I thought I would post it on my blog.

Monday, September 17, 2007

New Cards

Here are my 2 new creations for my craft show. The index finger on the light pink one is not included and is for display purposes only!

Happy Birthday Savannah

Yesterday, we had a really nice evening with Shane's parents as we celebrated Savannah's 4th birthday. I just had the best time watching her open her gifts and smile so big as we all sang happy birthday to her.

We had a yummy pink cake that Mikayla and I made. Here is Savannah with her new Barbie from Ron and Diane.

One of my favorite shots is one of Jessica showing Savvy how to take care of her new dolly. And of course there are we are all enjoying a little cake and ice cream!!!

There are no pictures of me as I was the photographer! Oops!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Job

I cleaned house for Jean Pace today for about 3 1/2 hours. It was tough work. I came home completely drained!!!! She is an older lady in our ward (82 years old) and needs lots of help. Hopefully, she will need help once a week on Saturdays.

Last night at Tanner's soccer practice I went walking for 30 minutes. The hills kicked my butt!!! Literally. Once again I was reminded how much more difficult it is to walk outside compared to on a treadmill. It was really nice to get my walking in during his practice since I didn't have time at home during the day.

I still plan on trying to get a job at the YMCA. We'll have to see what happens!!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Crafters Showcase

So, I was looking through the Cincinnati Enquirer in the classifieds. (I'm looking for a part-time job.) And I found an ad for a craft show put on by the Forest Park Women's Club. I was very brave and called the number in the ad. The very nice lady that answered my call told me all about the upcoming show. It's at Winton Woods High School on October 27th. She asked me what I make and I told her handmade cards. She said they sound beautiful. They have between 80 and 90 booths and the show runs from 9am to 3pm. I received my application for a booth today in the mail. I am so EXCITED!!!!! I absolutely love to make cards. If I can make some money doing what I love, I will be thrilled.

So, I am frantically "stamping my art out!" I have to buy a lot of cardstock and envelopes! I hope to have 300 to 500 cards ready to sell!

Today my plan was to make 10 cards. I finished 12 and stamped card fronts for 20 more. So, I am on my way to my first craft show. ( I feel so cool.)

Also, I got my 20 minute walk in this morning. And I ran about 7 minutes of it. I was nice and sweaty and happy when I finished.

(I love having the kids back in school. It is so much easier to get my housework done with less bodies in the house!!!! HOORAY!)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Today's Highlights

1) got up on time and walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes! Yay me!
2) got the dreaded phonecall from the school---Hunter had thrown up on the bus. Could you please come and get him?
3) got my laundry started and the dishes done fairly early today
4) had to "dismantle" the vacuum to find the puzzle piece I vacuumed up
5) made my bed, said my prayers, and read my scriptures all before 9 am (I think this is a record of some sort)

It is only 3pm. There may be more excitement to come. Most of my daily chores are done. I think I'll stamp some cards before Jared wakes us from his nap!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Most Wonderful Day of the Year

So, last night I was reading about Marjorie Hinckley and how much she loved her kids. She cried all day long on the day her kids went back to school. Well, I love my kids too and today all the kids (well four of them) are back in school. I tried, I mean I REALLY tried to work up a tear or two as the boys' bus drove away. But, I had no luck!!!! HOORAY!!!! School is back in session. Only Savannah and Jared are at home.
It's so quiet. :)

Monday, August 27, 2007


Shayleen's blog said I have been tagged. I have no idea what that means, but I want to be like Shayleen, so I will post my info just like her!

1. Mary Kay Cosmetics Consultant (I love their products!!!)
2. Sewing Machine Sales at So-Fro Fabrics in Reading, OH
3. Customer Service (on the phones) for Soft-Copy. I helped fix shipping problems for WordPerfect customers.
4. Document Preparation for Utah Geneological Society while living in Texas!

FOUR PLACES I HAVE LIVED: (What? I only get 4????)
1. Alamosa, CO
2. Mesa, AZ
3. Midvale, Sandy, and South Jordan, UT
4. Fort Worth, TX
5. Orem and Provo, UT
6. Springfield Township and Fairfield, OH
(Okay, I cheated. I listed them all.)

1. American Idol
2. The Biggest Loser
3. The Closer
4. NFL FOOTBALL (It's finally almost football season!!!!)
5. Monk
6. Psych!!!

1. Murder She Wrote
2. Simon and Simon
3. Matlock
4. Magnum, P.I.
5. Diagnosis Murder
6. JAG (Kim Whiting likes this one!)
7. Reminton Steele

1. Kirtland OH
2. Nauvoo, IL
3. Smethport, PA
4. Sanford, CO

1. A&E's Pride and Prejudice (I've watched it a dozen times at least!)
2. Ever After
3. Father of The Bride 2 (loved watching it while expecting Savannah and then Jared)
4. just about anything with Harrison Ford!

1. Mexican food!!!!!!!! (esp., at Acapulco Restaurant)
2. Garlic Chicken (at China Wok)
3. Esther Price Light Chocolates & Symphony Bars (Milk Chocolate with toffee chips of course!)
4. My Sweet & Sour chicken

1. Reading mysteries
2. Stamping Cards and Scrapbooking (I create cards and pages in my head while I'm trying to go to sleep at night)
3. Running Races (5Ks especially! Not in shape for this right now!!!)
4. Visiting with my closest friends while eating!

1. Michael's (with a coupon)
2. Hobby Lobby (when scrapbooking supplies are 50% off)
3. EBay!
4. At my friends' Stampin' Up parties (Thanks Debbie Sowards for all the great cards you teach us how to make!)
5. Half-Price Books (I cheated again.)

FOUR PEOPLE I TAG: If I knew for sure what this meant I would tag Leslie, Corrie, Jocelyn, and Heather! (and I would tag you back Shayleen! Thanks, this was fun!)

Clutter Bugs

It appears that we have Clutter Bugs living in our house. No matter what I do they show up. I swear I had the boys clean the upstairs hallway Saturday morning. But, while Shane and I were at Stake Conference Saturday night, one (or possibly more than one) Clutter Bug attacked this location. The rumor is that it was a female-3 1/2 year-old Clutter Bug, nicknamed Sa-whamma! I have seen this Clutter Bug and, let me tell you, she tears through this house at lightning speed. (Imagine the Tazmanian Devil from Looney Toons. ) Unfortunately, her cleaning up skills leave something to desire.
(Way up in the left-hand corner of this photo is a very dirty sock containing the clutter bug's foot. It appears the Clutter Bug became exhausted and collaped on some blankets around the corner. This wasn't discovered until 1 am this morning. I have left it there because you should NEVER WAKE UP A CLUTTER BUG! It's very dangerous and time-consuming.....) This hall-way photo was taken after several reminders to "clean up the puzzles and games in the hall".

Yeah, right.......

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A New Soccer Mom

So, I have entered the world of soccer! This is a whole new adventure for me. Both Tanner and Hunter are playing this season. So far, it's lots of fun! Tanner is right in the middle of this picture-heading for the ball. This is from last Saturday, during his very first soccer game. It was hot and sunny out there. And the field was HUGE! There weren't enough boys on our team that day for substitutions, so Tanner played the whole game. He was worn out by the end of it. They lost 2-1, but I was very proud of him.

He played another game Monday evening and as I watched him play he reminded me of Shane. I started thinking that Tanner probably plays just like his dad would have at that age. He is always right where the action is happening, but after taking a kick or two at the ball, he pulls back and lets someone else have a turn. (He's very polite.) And I'm over on the sidelines yelling, "Go get it Tanner! ...... Be aggressive!!! Kick it!!! .... You can do it!!!!!" Surprisingly, Tanner is not at all embarrassed by his mother and smiles at me when he's close to the sideline.

I love that I'm still his favorite mom.....

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


This is Abby. We put our dog, Shafer, down in February because he was really old and not doing well at all. I swore we would not have another dog until all the kids were potty trained and out of diapers. However, Jessica, Mikayla, Tanner, Hunter, and Savannah had other ideas. They got my mother-in-law in on the plan and she found a Yorkshire terrier for sale. Diane very graciously bought Abby for us. Abby is about 6 months old and so much fun!!!! She only weighs about 5 1/2 pounds and won't get much bigger. She loves to play tug-of-war and is learning to sit on command already. The only challenge has been house-training her. (She and Savannah are both consistently having accidents!) I have been surprised at how much I have enjoyed having a dog again. The best thing about her is she doesn't shed!!!!!!! I have to cut her hair! Her first "home haircut" was very challenging, but she looks so cute now that we can see her eyes!

Beach Towels

I just love beach towels. When I'm at the store new beach towels ALWAYS catch my eye. I love the bright blues, teals, oranges, reds, greens....all of them. I also love the designs: stripes, dolphins, palm trees, Hawaiian flowers! If I were rich my closets would be full of brand new, fluffy beach towels! I would use them year round because they are just so fun!!!!

When my kids were in swim lessons I saw a beautiful beach towel with the Disney princesses on it. Savannah and I were both drooling. I would love a Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, or even Cars towel. Almost anything Pixar! But, I'm not sure about Ratatouille. Who wants a rat on their beach towel?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Clutter-mine vs. theirs

I have decided that MY clutter is nothing when compared to the clutter left by others in my house. Now, here is my reasoning:

When "I" leave a diet Coke can on the counter, who do you think is going to throw it away??? Me, of course!!!! It may be awhile before I get to it, but I will definitely be back.

Now, when "someone else" leaves a MOUNTAIN DEW can on the counter, do you think that "someone" is going to throw it away????? NO! IT WILL BE ME!!! Unless, I nag that certain someone (and actually, this time I don't mean Shane) I will be the one to clean the counter. (It's Jessica.....)

So, as you can see, my clutter is just temporarily occupying space, but I if I find clutter left by someone else I tend to go ballistic!

I am always innocent! :)

Aren't you?


I got my first order for handmade cards! I bought this cool giraffe at "Stamp Your Art Out" on Friday and just couldn't wait to make a couple cards! Cindy Zalar liked them and now I'm making some for her.....for actual $$$$! I'm jazzed!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Finding Nemo

Okay, so I got to go on a Youth trip to Kirtland on Saturday. It was wonderful. It was so interesting, fun, and spiritual. I had a super time. Yesterday, church was easier than usual. I was in such a good mood. The kids (while not ever angels, but then neither am I) acted a little better in Sacrament Meeting. The whole day went well and I really think I was on a spiritual high from Saturday. It continued this morning....But, you probably know what is going to happen.

My favorite scene in Finding Nemo is when Marlin and Dory are down DEEP in the dark ocean and they see a pretty light. They start talking to the light and singing. Then they realize the light is attached to a horrible Anglerfish who is going to eat them. Marlin then says "Happy Feeling Gone!"

That is SUCH A GREAT LINE!!!! I tell that to Shane all the time when I have reached my absolute limit with the kids! Well, today I came crashing down from that spritual high!!!! The house was a horrible wreck. Laundry, clutter, toys, dishes, etc. were everywhere. And the kids were all hungry (so was I). This is a typical description of dinnertime at our house. Shane called right after I got the kids fed and I had to say it. "Happy Feeling Gone!"

I know that you KNOW what I'm talkin' about!!!!! :)

I'm going to bed.....

Dolphin Cards

Here is a sample of my dolphin cards. They turned out so great! You can see why I had to stay up late to play with them!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Hi. My name is Maura. And I'm stupid......

It is almost 1 am. I could have been asleep 2 hours ago. But, instead, I stayed up stamping some "dolphin" birthday cards. And then I started playing on the computer... reading blogs... looking at my favorite stamping website. What have I DONE???? What will I do when the little kids start running through the house in a few hours? I'm gonna be hating life.... Oh well.

So, now you know. I'm not as bright as Shane looks.

I'm turning off the computer....Okay, NOW I'm turning off the computer! I really mean it this time......

Well, maybe 5 more minutes.....

Monday, July 9, 2007

Scroll Down!

I learned how to add pictures!!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Sacrament Meeting Rodeo

Well, that's what I call it each week. Today was no exception. Hunter and Tanner could not sit still or stop talking for anything. I feel like I'm ropin' young calves for over an hour!!! Dirty looks and whispered threats only go so far!!!!

Shane said he could tell it was getting out of control at one point when he saw me talking to Hunter and it looked like my eyes were about to pop out of my head!! Jared wasn't cranky today, but he was so active that I wanted to scream!!!! He thinks that I am A JUNGLE GYM!!!! I spent much of the meeting trying to not flash anyone! He grabs what ever part of my shirt is accessible when he wants up or if he is losing his balance!! By the end of Sacrament meeting each week I'm hot, sweaty, cranky, and my neck is all scratched up from Jared. But, today the meeting ended early, so I took 5 minutes to sit on our bench and breathe deeply. (They never tell you in Lamaze class that you will do more deep breathing AFTER the kids are born than you ever did in labor.) Shane came to take Jared away so I could teach Sunday School. That is one of my favorite moments each Sunday!!!

Here is my exercise update:
Monday: 4 miles in 66:02 min.
Tuesday: nada
Wednesday: 5 MILES in 81:23 min.
Thursday: bad headache so no exercise (or laundry) got done
Friday: 4 miles in 66:11 min.
Saturday: 4 miles in 64:00 min.

Week total: 17 miles of walking. I'm 3 miles short for the week, but I might go down to the basement and walk a little before bed.

Here is my diet update: cream tastes really, really good.........................
Okay, so Tues, Wed, and Thurs were pretty bad. I couldn't stay out of the cookies. But, yesterday I was back on track!!!!

I have lost a little weight which is nice. But, I'm really going for consistent cardio again even if I don't lose much during this 3 week goal. I love the feeling that comes at this time in my training. I am tired and my knee joints ache a little, but it is a good sore. It reminds me that I have earned that soreness!!!! I can feel my thigh muscles coming back to life and getting firmer again. I am so excited to get running. The longest run I ever did was 9 miles. In the running world it is a big deal to run 10 miles or more. It is called (at least on joining the "2 Digit Club". I hope to "join the club" this year or next. My main running goal is to run the Thanksgiving Day 10K this year. Running it in 2005 was one of the proudest moments of my life.

Thanks everyone for all the positive comments on my exercise! It helps to know others are seeing your work and being your cheerleaders! You are great!!! I have the best family and the best friends!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Exercise Update

4 miles (walking) in 66:04 min. Sticking to my new 3 week jumpstart plan, which is 4 mile walks 5 times a week for 3 weeks! And I'm following Weight Watchers to help keep track of my food!!!!Trying to get off enough weight to be able to run without my knee aching so much.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Family Home Evening Idea

My current favorite FHE idea was supplied by Jessica (from a fireside by Glenn Unklesbay).
It's called HEADLINE NEWS.

Jessica has a spiral bound notebook that she brings to FHE for HEADLINE NEWS. She writes the date and then asks each family member (we go from youngest to oldest) to tell us what the best thing was that happened to them over the last week. Or they just tell something they enjoyed that occurred (or it can be bad news). Jessica writes down their news in the notebook and with very little work you end up with a fabulous Family Journal. It has given Jessica her own responsibility for FHE and it gives us all a chance to enjoy each others accomplishments, fun, and even commiserate when things aren't so great (like Jessica getting a tick in the woods--Blech!!!). We've celebrated school awards and Young Women accomplishments. We even celebrated when Savannah's hair was finally long enough for a ponytail!!! This week we each shared our favorite things we did in Pennsylvania. (Hunter's favorite was our was mine!)


Wow! 6 days in Pennsylvania! We had a marvelous time. We cooked over a fire a few times, went swimming in a lake, went hiking, watched movies (Star Wars), did jigsaw puzzles, and more.

One of the things I enjoyed the most was the 3 1/2 hour hike we took. We were lost..... Shane used to hike down off the mountain to camp when he was a teen. However, he just can't seem to find the easy way anymore. Last year, he took 4 of the kids and they ended up walking down a full creek for the last 45 minutes or so, trying to find their way back to camp. For that reason, Jessica and Mikayla have said they aren't hiking with Dad ever again!!!!

I bought Shane a handheld GPS for, I wasn't too afraid to hike with him this year. We had so much fun. The logging road we started out on was still not the right one. We always new where camp was, we just couldn't exactly find a simple was to get there. We hiked through brambles, down steep slopes of brush and pushed our way through dense areas of new saplings. But, I got to have one-on-one time with my son, Hunter.

It was fabulous. As many of you know, Hunter came into this world CRANKY!!! I don't know why he arrived that way, but it taught me that each baby is most definitely born with their own spirit. Hunter needed lots of instruction, I needed lots of prayer. But, he has come so far. He is absolutely delightful. Unfortunately, part of my current mothering challenge is trying to give individual attention to my kids. Hunter is always hungry. He can eat like none of my other children have at the age of 6. So, much of our conversations revolve around Hunter asking for more food. I am so busy with my "work", that I haven't taken time to enjoy Hunter's personality beyond his constant need for nourishment.

On our hike, Hunter and I often ended up at the back of our group. He was so cute. He was using my binoculars and pretending he was a Rescue Hero. When we were "lost", he kept getting on his pretend radio and called for help!!! He kept telling the other Rescue Heroes that he needed an "aerial rescue". But, they never did help us!!! At one point a plane flew over us and I joked that the Rescue Heroes were coming. Hunter "called" to them, but he said they turned their radio off. We started joking that they were the Rescue Heroes that "don't do anything" (similiar to the Pirates who don't do anything on VeggieTales!!)

The reason I enjoyed seeing Hunter's imagination at work is because at this age my kids are usually embarrassed when you "catch" them playing. He didn't care that I was watching and playing along. His smile was so sweet and I loved being his hiking buddy. I hope I can keep those images in my mind for a long time!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

This is Jessica taking over Mom's blog!! MWHAHAH!!! lol Thank you Corrie for the lyrics to the ... "Proud of You" song... unless it has a different name. And I'm glad I qualify as your hero Leslie!! I've always wanted to be someones Hero and passing my test was a great way to do it! lol
well i guess i can give back mom the computer.. she is on a deadline after all thanks to Corrie. :-D

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Good day today, but no real time to log a decent entry. Here are the highlights:


2) I walked 2.5 miles in 41:45 minutes. I am aiming for 25 minutes of cardio a day, but I really hit my stride at 1.6 mi., so I just went for it. Changed my goal to 40 minutes, but when I got to 40 I was almost to the 2.5 mile mark, so of course I kept going. My movie (Princess Diaries 2) was at a good part, but I forced myself to save the rest for tomorrow. I'm so grateful for my treadmill!!!!

5 workouts done!!!!! 12 to go!!!

Monday, June 11, 2007


The first thing I saw this morning when I opened my eyes was lots of bright pink fur..... Yes, it was a bright pink bunny in a sequined pink ballerina tutu. That could only mean one thing. Savannah was in my bed again and she had brought a friend. When Shane leaves for work at about 3 am, that is Savannah's cure to jump in bed and save his spot. Luckily, I was able to roll over and forget the bunny. When I woke up later, the bunny and Savannah were gone.

My day passed very quickly. Drove Jessica to Sharonville to practice driving for her drivers' exam tomorrow morning. Hope she passes this time.

At 5 minutes to eleven tonight, I realized I had not exercised!!!!! ARRRRGGGG!!!! So as not to disappoint all of you (and embarrass myself) I grabbed my walking shoes and headed for the basement. Hit the treadmill and walked for 26 minutes, completing 1.5 miles!!! Yea, now I can go to bed.

Oh, by the way, I found my thigh muscles......They were KILLING ME yesterday. I was SO SORE from running that mile on Saturday. I'm not sure how I made it down the stairs yesterday morning to get Jared a bottle, I was so stiff!!!!


Saturday, June 9, 2007

Runnin in the sun

Due to a little twist in my plans today, I ended up driving near the lake where I first started running. I was in workout clothes because I had planned to hit the treadmill when I got back home. On a whim, I decided to try to run around the lake. Hmmmm....WHAT WAS I THINKING????

I started out strong and died at the 1 mile mark. I ended up walking the last 6 tenths of a mile.
So, after not running for a year and a half due to my last pregnancy and childbirth, I cannot run around that blasted lake!!!!!

But, the positive news is that I ran that mile in 11 minutes. When I first started running several years ago, I couldn't even run a tenth of a mile at a time.
Thus, my great plan to run around the lake was not total failure. I see where my fitness level is. And as my dear husband pointed out, I'm not actually starting at the beginning again.

And, I accomplished my third workout towards my goal. 14 to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Ditch Paris and TAKE ME!!!!

I have 6 is potty training (badly) is addicted to is getting her drivers eats all day is still taking a bottle....and one.....hmmm....I can't think of anything challenging with Mikayla.....Oh yeah! is a night owl!!!! The dishes, the laundry, the endless questions, the meals, the clutter......!!!

Can I take Paris' place? Solitary confinement........? I saw video of a jail cell on Fox news. Paris gets her own sink and toilet????? Is this fair???? Let Paris come be a mother for 45 days and then we'll really see some tears!!!!!

Actually, she doesn't come close to deserving what I have. Can you beat those sloppy wet kisses from a 10 month old? Can you beat seeing those eyes light up when you bring home pizza? I love my kids and Paris can't have them!

I have a blog?????

I never thought I would have one. But, I have so enjoyed reading my friends' (Corrie and Leslie's) blogs that I thought I would try it out!

The first week of summer is always the best! Sleeping in, (despite all my poor neglected children scrounging for food), the smell of sunscreen, and finding wet towels everywhere. Okay, the wet towels aren't that great.

My flowers are looking great. Found my first open blossom on my red rose bush. It is beautiful. I have finally learned to stop and smell the roses. I love to stop on the way in or out of the house and admire them.

Got 2.5 miles done on the treadmill this morning in 42 minutes. I ran a little, but mostly walked it. Wish I was really running again. I look in the mirror and don't see myself. I see a chubby faced lady who is getting older. I want to feel like an athlete again. I want thigh muscles again. So, I'm working on getting 17 cardio workouts in by the end of June. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep this up even while we are on vacation. I've gotten my first two workouts done already. I have my sights set on running the 10K in downtown Cincinnati on Thanksgiving morning.

Headed for a well deserved HOT SHOWER!!!

Looking for a slice of running heaven in 2007!