Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. ~ Margaret D. Nadald

Our Father also gifted us with the nature to nurture, keen sensitivity to the Spirit, selflessness, discernment, and heroic faith. No wonder our Father placed us at the heart of the family and thus at the center of the plan of salvation. We are the Lord's secret weapon. ~ Sheri Dew


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23 December 2010

Family Friday: Chapter 1, part 1

Today begins my chapter by chapter review of Stand for the Family, written by Family Watch International president, Sharon Slater. (I actually wrote this a few weeks ago, and then my husband was home a few Friday's in a row and threw off my plans. Yes, better writers would have written in advance and set posts to publish automatically, but I'm not such a person, and hey... I had fun with my husband being around, so I can't really apologize for the time I took off, but I will thank you for coming back!)

When told, "Hey, Cherie, there's this book that I really think you should read," I'm a happy recipient and set out to learn something new and/or reaffirm why I have chosen a particular stance on a given subject. Herein lies a few thoughts that have ensued since picking up this book, and a big thanks to my friend Courtney for not only bringing this to my attention, but for giving me my very own copy. (I love the computer, but being able to highlight on paper makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!)



Chapter 1: Witnessing the Assault at the International Level
I think the first thing that stood out to me about this chapter is that I was reading about a typical stay-at-home mom. While the idea of soccer practice for multiple children and public schools are not on my to-do list (and hopefully will never be, not because it's bad, but because the mere thought of running around doing those things gives me ulcers), I could actually relate to this woman. While I don't know her, I'm going to take a little liberty and refer to Mrs. Sharon Slater as "Sharon" from here on out, because I think we'd be good friends if we should happen to meet. So, from Sharon's experiences, I was able to relearn a fact that I know and is near and dear to my very existence.... one person can make a difference.
Now, I don't say this to be cliche. For example, while you may not agree with me, and may never read anything from me again because I say/type funny things, I have an odd fascination with Hitler. It's been fascinating to me, even from a very young age, that this one man was able to be so influential as to be able to enact such amazing atrocities. How could good, loving, kind people be able to be turned against one another because of one person?? It's truly remarkable. Don't get me wrong, I think he did horrible things and I in no way have a love for this man, but I do believe that we need to wake up and realize that one person can change the tides of any situation and do so for good or for bad... don't be lulled into thinking that one little law, or policy can't affect you!
Okay, to leave you with good feelings, people like William Tyndale (who translated the bible into English while in exile and was eventually killed for doing so, but left the world saying, "Lord, open the king of England's eyes."), and Joseph Smith (the man who restored the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was persecuted and eventually killed for his beliefs), and even strange little John Adams (a fierce proponent of the Declaration of Independence and freedom despite the repercussions it may attract from England... and no, he wasn't killed for his stance, but he did die on 4 July, the same day as Thomas Jefferson, and something like 50 years from the signing of the Declaration, if I remember correctly), all did amazingly strong things that have undoubtedly left an impact of great proportions.

Anyway! I began to recall the huge difference that one person can make, and I really want to impress upon you... as you sit there feeling tiny, probably overwhelmed, and contemplating the 20 loads of laundry that need to yet be done, that you, YOU, can make a HUGE difference. But you have to do something... you have to take a step!

My friend Sharon, (yep, that's what I'll call her, it sounds nice, right?), took a step to go attend a UN meeting in Geneva, knew very little about what was going on except that the family was under attack, and she went. Without mincing words, her statement on page one of this book caught my attention:
"I had my first glimpse of the calculated, organized, worldwide assault on the family and witnessed for myself the destructive forces that are affecting our nation and the world as a whole."
I'm sorry, but no one can make a statement like this and not have me perk my ears. I don't care who you are or what you're talking about, a statement worded like this increases my curiosity so greatly that I will research for hours just trying to figure out how you could say something so bold!
I could literally see Sharon observing UN delegations as she watched groups go into small rooms to discuss a document that needed to be agreed upon by all members, and her confusion as not enough copies of the document in question were provide for the delegates let alone a place for them to sit. Additionally, I could see "radical feminists" (defined as those who "espouse a militant, anti-patriarchal ideology that men oppress women and who work to legalize abortion, and to promote lesbian, transgender and homosexual rights, among other things),* and nongovernmental organizations (NGO's), taking up spots at the table, despite their status to just observe delegations, and forcefully voicing their opinions. Strangely, I could also see the workings of those running these meetings intentionally creating these groups so that poorer/undeveloped nations did not have enough delegates to have a presence in each room.
I saw this all the more when Sharon describes a delegate, later identified as being from the Vatican, who made a request that respect for religious diversity be added to the document and was countered with attacks, laughs and the admonishment that it wasn't "necessary or appropriate" to include respect for religion in the document. While this delegate could not find how to support her suggestion by using UN language, Sharon knew where the information was and was able to slip it to the Vatican delegate who was then able to stand for her position! Sharon's response? It's one we all can learn from... simply she "just happened to be in the right place at the right time, with the right tool..."

Now, here is where I have to stop and think. Here is where I took up the cause of making my name known to my representatives, and have dared to step beyond what I'm comfortable and familiar with. This statement made me ask myself.... "have I prepared myself with the tools to help?" "do I actively seek opportunities that will help promote what I proclaim to be of importance?"

I think the most surprising thing that I read in this chapter was about the peer pressure that happens at these delegations. This same Vatican delegate was in another room being pressed to stop opposing an amendment to the document that would remove all the law against homosexuality throughout the world. She held out for a long time because she could feel the support of Sharon and her friend, but eventually she gave in because this document would have to go through a whole other revision in NY later and there would be more delegates able to lend support.

Sadly, and maybe most important for all of us wives and mothers to think about, Sharon wonders, "If more people had been there to give her moral support, she may not have caved in."



*Be patient. If you are wondering what's so wrong with a certain portion or all of this definition, we'll get there. Promise!

22 December 2010

A Preface

I last wrote about how I was going to lead you through the chapters of the book Stand for the Family. Since then, I've worked out how this is going to work, and have also come upon many scriptures in my daily studies that have given me even more perspective, hope, and desire to stand up against the evils around us.

It's important for you to know that the family is the most crucial part of our existence here on earth. Whether you are examining this fact from a religious point of view, or you simply just feel that's it's right, there is overwhelming societal pure fact/research based advantages to supporting the traditional family. I will not be posting information based how I feel about the family. I am not trying to rouse you to action based on emotions or simply what I think. What I am trying to do is to give you reason to research and take an analytical approach to what you may already feel to be correct.

Please also note, that while I'm always up for a good discussion, I will not invite or stand for any attacks/emotion based comments from readers. I will be providing research for my statements and I ask that you afford me that same respect. Additionally, I know what the opposing side to my stance has to say already, so no need to waste your time. I spent most of my life on said team, I know the arguments firsthand because I said and believed them myself. So, before you cry discrimination or bigotry know that I rallied for the other side of my stance, and even now have many close friends who are on that side.... and I love them dearly.

Now what you've all been waiting for! My posts will start this Friday in honor of what I'm going to call "Family Friday." So, each week you can count on a post here that will start detailing the Stand for the Family book by chapter, as well as during and after I've finished posting on the book I'll post about legislation, how you can contact your representatives, and what you need to be aware of in your communities. We may even find some fun things for you to do just to strengthen your family in general. Sound fun? I'm excited!

In the meantime, and after I care for the crying/sick baby, I'll write a post about the scriptures that I've come across and some other things I'm looking forward to doing in the New Year. Maybe you'll join me!

15 December 2010

Taking A Stand

My absence from writing here can be explained very easily... I've been busy learning :-). I find myself in a position where I could stop for a few minutes and explain what I'm delving into... or I could just read so more. Well, as I'm sure you've gathered, reading has been winning out (as well as getting a concussion, welcoming my husband home after he was gone most of the year, visiting family in WA for a few weeks, my husband going back to his lovely 10-14 hour days, etc.), but it's time for me to share what I have learned!
I have to be honest with you. What I have been learning is life changing. In fact, it is so important for me to share with you that I've actually had a little anxiety over how I was going to present this information. I've realized that I've become even more proactive about the family as of late, and there are definitely forces at work that are not happy about that. Regardless, and perhaps even because of this, I need to present information to help you do the same.
The family is truly the backbone of our society. I know you know this! I doubt anyone reading this feels otherwise. In fact, I know that most of you are stay at home moms, even homeschooling moms. Sisters, if we believe that what we're doing is the most important work on the earth, I'm asking you now to join me in preserving this work! I have spent hours contemplating, reading, calling Senators, and signing petitions. I have felt heart ache and some despair, only to have the words come clearly in my mind "those that be with us are more than they that be with them." So, I'm asking you to join the cause of the family. Our rights and God's way is in danger and needs you, yes you, to stand up and be heard.
Over the next few weeks I'll be running you through the information provided by Family Watch International. Here we'll deal with hard issues and things that are at works in our country and around the world that are placing the family under attack. Please read these posts. Please choose knowledge over ignorance. We are here for a purpose and it's important that we stand up for truth and righteousness. Evil can only prevail if good people allow it to.
Please pray for the family unit. You can also go here:http://www.standforthefamily.org/sff/ and read some things for yourself from my source. Additionally, there's a petition on the site that is called the "I Stand for the Family" International petition. I would ask you to go and read what the petition is for and if you agree with it, please sign and pass on the information to all that you know. The book I'll be posting from is called Stand for the Family, written by Sharon Slater. I would highly recommend getting a copy yourself, but am happy to share the information that I know so that you too can be enlightened and take a stand for YOUR family and YOUR right to be a mother that is being challenged everyday far beyond what's happening within the walls of your home.

14 September 2010

Food... again :-)

You know how I have some strong/"strange" thoughts on food? Well Misfitcygnet not only put them into words for me, but she added in resources! Do I love her? Why yes, yes I do. Go, read, now... you'll thank me later! http://www.misfitcygnet.com/

11 September 2010

Happy Moment!

My son, who just turned 5 in June, has been telling me lately things like "Mom, I just love Jesus," followed by reasons why he does. I literally have been praying that he will always feel this way. He's making connections about everything lately, which has been wonderful... although, always makes you think twice about what you're doing because he notices EVERYTHING... and today's moment that made me smile was with the scriptures.

My kids have built and rearrange things in the backyard to their hearts desires, and I just don't ask questions :-) (Perhaps I shouldn't allow the 8 cement pavers going up a 2x4 in the small and only tree in the yard.... but it's so fun to see them be so creative!) Anyway, I was making lunch this afternoon and my son comes in with a long stick to which he'd fashioned a yoyo and tells me, "Mom, I'm just like the guy in the scriptures! I go out and get things for my family, and I broke my bow, but that's okay, I'll make another one!" So I replied, "You make a great Nephi!" And he tells me, "That's right, I'm Nephi, from the scriptures. I just love the scriptures, I love learning all about them!" I thought this was especially great since we've been reading in Alma lately, which doesn't so much as even reference this incident.

Am I beaming yet?? They really do listen, don't kid yourself. Even my 2 year old walks around singing songs in Latin thanks to Song School Latin. These little sponges are just SOAKING everything in, and to have my older sons focus and connections be all about the gospel? What a thankful heart I have right now!

09 September 2010

Keeping Score, Time and Why They're Bugging Me :-)

Not really ranting here, so don't worry... just confused.

For starters, a couple weeks ago a man from my husband's squadron came by to put together my kids bunk beds. My husband has been gone since April and this guy got here in July, so we've never met and he knows nothing about us.... and in 2 minutes I was reminded so clearly why I don't get out much. The dialogue went something like this:

Him: So, are you making a list of things for your husband to do when he gets home?
Me: Nope, you and my parents (they had planned a quick trip to help me situate things) are getting all the stuff I need finished!
Him: No, I mean your list of things he has to do to make up for being gone and leaving you with the kids.
Me: I'll just be happy to have him home.
Him: Well I know, but he should like have to do all the diapers, cleaning, and take over so you can go on vacation for a few weeks.

What's sad is that this guy is married and has a couple kids... I'm pretty sure that I can guess what happens around his place after he gets home from an assignment! Unfortunately, I hear these types of statements a lot. What's confusing to me is why I should "punish" my husband for being away doing his job. He's been in the military for 9 years, this isn't anything new, I know what I signed up for, and his job provides for our family and I get to not only stay home but get supported in any and every endeavor my little heart and crazy head comes up with. Plus, despite insane days when everyone starts the day screaming and crying and mom's brain is about to explode... like today!... it's a privilege to raise my children and having my husband literally by my side while I do it is a way better gift then leaving everyone so I can go be alone. Keeping score makes me sick. I'm in a partnership with my husband and we each have our roles in our family that are supported regardless of geography.

My second item of confusion stems from a bit of frustration over time. I know I do stuff! However, today as I've been making baby food, shampooing couches, sweeping my patio, and striving to finish moving in before my husband gets home... almost in vain so it seems... I was finding myself annoyed that no one taught me how to keep a home! Sure I can clean everything and make it sparkly, but not in an entirety like I want. While I know some of you out there don't care for books like Laddie *cough* my mind rushed back to the description of their home and how they functioned as a family. The mom in that story had her stuff together! Yes, it's a story, but women before our time for the most part really had their stuff together (and yes, June Cleaver is my hero!) What happened! I'm getting rid of "things" in my home because clutter makes me nervous, but I SO don't have my act together! Once upon a time I'd like to say that at least my living room and kitchen were presentable even with a gaggle of small kids, but nowadays it goes from lovely to disaster in 2.5 seconds flat, and always minutes later someone shows up unexpectedly at the door! People see me as a strong, confident person, who's rarely shaken.... all it takes is my home in visual chaos and I'm a wreck! (Now you know my kryptonite :-D). Anyway, so I'm confused as to why I can't keep up with things the way I want. Yes, my kids help out. Yes, I'm taking the time to teach them what to do. Yes, they're little and it's okay to have messes... yah, that phrase still causes me to cringe/convulse when applied to my home... so not acceptable! Women before our time had way more back breaking labor (like more than take the clothes to the washer, add soap and push the button), and yet they not only had the pride of running their home but they stayed on top of it in ways that I've yet to master AND accomplished a lot more tasks. What gives??

05 September 2010

No Impact Woman... -ish Update

So, I wrote this post yesterday but made it publish today so ya'll would think that I'm a better blogger than I actually am, but I'm so excited with my experiment that I have to take a minute and write an update!

As last night was quickly approaching I was getting kind of nervous about my new endeavor. After all, there was so much that I had to do! (As if that's different from any other day?) But I decided that I was going to do this, so that was it, it must be at least attempted! My kids had a late night on Friday talking to dad, were up early Saturday, and didn't take quiet time, so they all crashed around 5:30. There was still some light coming into their room so I was able to read scriptures to them without too much eye strain and without having to light a candle. Then my evening really began:

Knowing that I had only so many daylight hours proved to be a HUGE blessing to me! I absolutely recommend you give this experiment a try in your own home. It's amazing how your priorities and desires get a good shake down when there's literally a tangible deterrent to trying to run faster than you should. For me, I knew that I had to make laundry soap. So, to avoid having to do that by candlelight, which would be doable but not ideal, I had to not waste any daylight and get right to it! I didn't have the greatest visibility because my kitchen gets darker before the rest of the house, but I got it finished and had a greater sense of accomplishment then I ever had before. From there I looked at my clothes drying racks that I really wanted to put together, but then I had to tell myself that in order to do that I would be taking time away from getting my candles situated and night lights in before dark and as I wouldn't be doing laundry today (Sunday) it could wait. After getting all of my new light sources in place I needed to feed the baby who was now awake for some odd reason. Then after getting him to bed I went to my own room, lit some tea lights in little metal lanterns I bought at Ikea a few years ago (I'm sure I never thought at the time I'd be using them like this!), and opened a book of essays by Wallace Stegner on the West. I was so relaxed! And I know why...

I literally thought to myself this morning that there are so many illnesses that could probably be reversed just by more and better sleep. Disagree with me if you will, but as I know there are many mom's reading this who are like me.... how many nights do you/have you stayed up into the wee wee hours of the morning doing something?? Be it household work, reading, a craft project, whatever! There's always something that must be done. I'm am absolutely guilty of this as I can't tell you how many hours of sleep I've foregone in order to get something finished. (Waking up with babies is totally different). Anyway, I know that bodies don't run well on inadequate nutrition and lack of movement and I'm pretty good about humoring those, but I also know that bodies need rest just as well and I'm pretty bad at following that need. There's so much to do after all! The moral of this paragraph? Bodies shut down, get sick, or attack themselves when they're not taken care of correctly, and inadequate sleep (yah, sleep, as in when our bodies get the chance to recuperate?) is absolutely going to take us down that road.

I laid in bed last night ready to sleep hours earlier than ever before. The only reason I didn't do so right away is that I had to wait for it to get a little bit darker so that the chickens would be "ready for bed" and I could go out and shut the door to their coop. From there I came in and was able to just relax and fall asleep! There was no to do list running through my head, there were no options to "go and get one more thing done," it was night and I was ready to retire. This has never happened! I always go to bed with regrets. Last night I had a concrete knowledge that there was nothing I could do until morning and I was able to let everything go! This is why I recommend this experiment for you. I know you're like me. I know there are nights when you're so tired but you find yourself in front of one screen or another telling yourself you're tired, but you spend hours doing what is sometimes kind of useful (reading through inspiring blogs etc.), but you're nowhere near recharged in the morning.... and this vicious cycle continues... and finds ice cream and cookies for companions.... and a favorite show... and a new project.... you know what I'm saying :-).

I've also gained an appreciation for the light that I never had before. There are only so many daylight hours and how you use them absolutely matters when all you have is a meager amount of light after the sun has gone to bed. In only using candle light the idea that God rested on the 7th day came to mind. My eyes have been more open to the fact that we can only do so much, and if God rested, so can I! Not only that, but he wants me to! I need to work harder during the day on needful things, and then retire at night just as the sun/Son retires.

So, the blessing I've found is multiple fold as I've learned to appreciate what I have, to cherish my body's needs, and to ultimately say goodbye to things that didn't need to be in my life because I literally don't have the time for them anymore!

A few things:
-You'll be amazed at how many times you unconsciously want to "flip a switch." I had to get my laundry stuff from the garage (which was pitch black dark) and had to catch myself. Same thing with my laundry room, but what was funny about that particular room is that I could actually see reasonably as it was, but I'm so used to adding even more light that I just automatically reach for the switch. I'll be happy to break that habit and even to see the financial savings from not being so dependent on adding light to places unnecessarily.

-The nightlights I picked up are from Walmart. Here they were about $3.50 for 2 and are a green/blue flat screen surface. They're put out by GE and are called Electroluminescent Night Lights. They were a great find and worked wonderfully! From the package: "This energy-efficient, electroluminescent nightlight operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using just pennies worth of electricity per year! The technology uses a lighting material that is cool to the touch, and there are no bulbs to replace. It provides a bright and uniform light across its entire surface and is easy on the eyes."

-I'm looking into more lighting options. My ultimate desire is to get beeswax... from my research that's the best candle to burn, but I'm still looking into pricing. We looked around the internet a lot last year but again... something about nausea and moving kept us from getting as serious as we wanted to. I LOVE the West Ladies that put out "how to" movies through Franklin Springs Media called "Homestead Blessings." Their candle-making episode inspired us and I highly recommend it! The candles I'll be making this week are soy... I'll look into the toxicity of those. I also want to get kerosene lamps because they give more light, don't melt and I think they'd be great as the winter approaches and we're looking to be up a little bit longer then sunset (within reason of course.) That coupled with the fireplace, some cold nights, reading as a family, hot chocolate, soups, warm baked goods.... are you catching the vision! I'm excited. However, as the husband has been out of town he's not quite so sold on my visions, but he'll get there when he sees it in action! Who wouldn't want a candle lit dinner every night and kids in bed when the sun goes down?


No Impact Woman... -ish

I'm pretty sure that I wrote a quick post one day after I watched No Impact Man, but here's a recap. There is a writer in New York who decided that he'd try to live "no impact" for one year. The rules for all of this were pretty complex, and a lot of what he was able to do was largely because he lived in a large city like New York, but I thought it was compelling. They used bikes for transportation, bought nothing new, turned off their power (6 months in), were only allowed food grow within a certain radius, used cloth diapers, did their clothes washing in the bathtub... you get the idea!
My wonderful husband also watched it later and we "compared notes" afterwards. The one thing that we both thought we'd like to try was not using power after dark (namely lights, cause we do live in the desert and I personally don't know of anyone that sleeps well while they're sweating :-D). Anyway! Something I read yesterday sparked some interest in my mind to revisit this interest of ours. I'm fairly certain that I was reading over at http://beingamotherwhoknows.blogspot.com/ because there's something very satisfying about reading my thoughts come out of someone else's head (if you haven't been over to her site, go, now, don't wait! She is able to form complete sentences unlike moi at the moment, it's worth your time!) Okay, again, anyway, I was reminded of the notion that we have so many more waking hours then our predecessors, often doing a whole lot of nothing if we're really honest with ourselves... sorry catching up on tv and pop culture is considered nothing in my book.... so in that regard electricity isn't so much a blessing. ***However, making bread in my oven for a set period of time at a set heat in the middle of the day with the a/c on is totally okay in my book!***

In trying to find a proper balance between the old and the new I'm going to take the plunge and try to keep lights off after dark. We're thankfully blessed with some large skylights in the living room where we normally are, so that helps during the day, but at night I'm going candle powered (well, probably save Thursday's when colloquium meets here). I bought some taper candles for the dinner table and have a large candle making set that my mom bought me for my birthday last year that I haven't been able to play with yet... something about being ridiculously nauseous and moving, I don't know! So, despite the fact that it would be way more fun to do with the hubby, I'm making a point to make a few candles next week! In the meantime I have a bunch of tea lights in our storage stuff that I'm sure would love some love!

I also purchased some drying racks today for my laundry. I had a wonderful clothesline when we lived in TX, but am not quite so lucky here in NM. While I can run my line across the pillars for my patio, the sun doesn't hit that area at all, so "bleaching" diapers is out. I suppose it'd be good for other things, like darks, but that's a project in and of itself. In the meantime I'm trying to give my dryer a break (as well as my power bill and the wear and tear put on our clothes), and I'm hoping that I have enough energy to keep it going!

So, I'll be reading tonight by the candle light and hoping to calm myself to sleep in good old fashioned Little House on the Prairie style! (With the option of lights in case of emergency). Oh, and to be fair, I picked up some small night lights that stay on and cool for 24hrs that will go in hallways/bathrooms while using minimal power "pennies a year." I figured that'd probably be the best compromise seeing as how I have a bunch of little kids at my house who probably shouldn't be playing with fire or having to light a candle for a nighttime run to the bathroom.

In other "no impact ish-ness," we still cloth diaper, make our own laundry soap, have a garden, have chickens, support organic farms whenever possible, and try to keep driving to a minimum. I would ABSOLUTELY ride a bike everywhere if I could, or a horse, or walk, or... Yah, still dreaming of not having to rely so heavily on "stuff." I don't like the feeling of knowing that "I have to" go get something in order to function. At least my children know where the food comes from and have an understanding of the earth to a certain degree. I think the further we are from nature the less able we are to understand how our specific actions impacts those around us. It's almost like our ability to empathize gets diminished. More on that later!

04 September 2010

And Where Were You Looking?

I took my children on a walk last night around our neighborhood and had a couple "ah hah" moments. Granted, my "ah hah" moments aren't anything new, more like seeing an experience in a different context that relates to something else I've been thinking about, but I felt like it was blog worthy.
I have a 3 year old daughter (4 in a couple weeks), who has, with all the persistence in the world and on her own prompting, learned to ride her brother's bike. She decided to take said bike on our walk last night, and while I tried to sway her into taking her scooter, ultimately the bike came (even after she had a couple nasty spills close to our home just minutes before leaving). I tell you this because I observed some interesting things as I watched my two older children but especially her. Collectively, I watched them sway, I watched a few more pretty bad falls, and I watched them go in directions that they thought were right, but were ultimately wrong because they didn't know the way we were going.
After my daughter fell hard twice within about 10 feet (still surprisingly getting back on without any prompting from me but crying a little and a bit scraped up), I asked her where she was looking. What wasn't surprising was her answer, "I was looking at the street." Well, I'm sure you know where this is going, she was consistently falling into the street. And whenever each of my children swayed or veered off course it was because something had caught their eye and they no longer were looking forward.
I love the picture at the top here.... while I don't think they're considered a gaggle since they're ducks, it shows exactly how I feel about my "gaggle" and often how we look when out in public! Anyway, the best advice I gave my daughter last night was to look at her brother. He was in front of her, and as long as she was looking at him and not at the silly middle school kids running amuck and being goofey, or in the street, she stayed right on track. Interestingly enough, I also noticed that when my older son would look back at me he would start running off the sidewalk as well. From this it reminded me that we always have to be moving forward. We have to leave the past in the past, and keep our eyes focused ahead or else we aren't going to make it!
My last little thought came from my two sons that I pushed in the stroller who were watching my older children. Every move that the older kids made was observed and cataloged by them!

I know we were just out for a little evening exercise/fun, but what I came back with were life lessons. My little ones are absolutely looking to my older children for cues on how to act and where to go... and my older children, without a focus, will head into pathways that will be hard and painful... which ultimately will be unfulfilling because they won't be where they want to be in the end (how's that for a run-on sentence?).

So, where are we looking? Are we following our older brother and learning how to walk straight down the road? Are we consciously choosing to look at and take in the things around us even though we know that the only outcome is falling? And who is following us?

02 September 2010

So Much on My Mind!

Well fans... and those I've lost from my lack of posting :-). Here's the inevitable "I'm sorry for not writing, I will try to do better." Honestly, I have wanted to write, there's so much on my mind! I'm just suffering from the lack of hours in the day and too few braincells in my head. Life is somewhat getting back to normal with the newest addition being 6 months now and sleeping through the night, but getting here without a spouse and with 3 other children under 5, hasn't been without its challenges. Needless to say I've been behind in every facet of my life and am doing my best to crawl to the top of my game again... which is where I hope to be when hubby comes home next month so I can be there 100% for him as he transitions back into family life.

Anyway! A few quick thoughts/updates then I have to prepare the house for tonight's colloquium... more on that later! My mind has been so full of thoughts on parenting, motherhood, and self improvement that I can hardly unravel all of the things that are on my mind. Hopefully time and taking the opportunity to write here will help iron them all out sooner or later and perhaps help you as well.

As for my goals that I have had since I was a consistent blogger: I ran the 5k I had signed up for in 33 minutes, and then completed my very first triathlon in under 2 hours. I'm an addict now! It doesn't hurt that it's also gotten me in great shape and that I weigh less now then when I got pregnant last year! I'm planning to do another one in December and am sending out my training plan to others in my area. Should be fun!

I also was asked to join a Ragnar Relay team and there was one extra slot left after me, so guess who's husband has agreed to take on a physically grueling challenge with his crazy wife?? I LOVE MY HUSBAND! He can literally run circles around me and despite being deployed still runs at least 5 or more miles everyday, but that he's willing to train for this relay with me is pure love! The race is with a 12 person team that covers 202 miles from Prescott, AZ to Mesa, AZ. Oh, and there's only two women and we refuse to be the weakest links, so I have to up my game for that too! Just as a side note, you may want to pray for our next child because his/her mom is determined to run this race at the end of Feb even if she's pregnant... so they may want to hold off coming until after the race or else be prepared for a bumpy first trimester!

So, as for everything else that's been on my mind... that's more tricky! I've been a big proponent of womanhood, and the joys of being a wife and mother (yes, the title and position of wife trumps that of mother in my home because my relationship with my husband teaches my children more about everything than anything that I can sit down and tell them about). In accordance with my beliefs I like to read other blogs from women that share a similar goal for their families: exaltation. How we get to this goal and our efforts to fend off the world in order to get there can feel so complex sometimes! I love the opening of minds and willingness to see past ignorance that these women take the time to write about. While I share their views, I'm not quite as diligent at writing my thoughts. What wonderful reads! I'm glad to be raising an army of truth and righteousness alongside such strong women! I look forward to their posts and love the thoughts and questions they provoke within me that allow me to take ideas and request to the Lord so that I can better prepare my children for the days ahead. Anyway! I must tend to another load of laundry (I'm almost organized! Only took me 10 months :-D), but take a minute to peruse my blog list to the right here and see if there is something there that will help you to put down the idols and light mindedness this world has to offer and take up the strength and power that can only come from God and being in tune with His plan!

19 August 2010

AWESOME New Cloth Diapers!


Whether you use cloth diapers now or have contemplated it ever, there's always a question on your mind as to what works best. Well, I am here to tell you that I have found an amazing new option! I've been ordering my diapers from BabyEcoMart.com because they have customer service and prices that are so competitive that they are always my number 1 choice for diapering needs. Recently I've been able to try out BabyEcoMarts's own creation, the Doopsy One Size Pocket and their Doopsy Insert! Let me just say, that the folks down there have met and exceeded my expectations! I'm seriously looking at selling my current stock so I can just have these! Their absorbency can't be beat even after just one initial washing (which you cloth diaperer's out there know is amazing since most inserts take some time to really start working optimally), and while I didn't understand why it was so great to have a layer of PUL on the insert itself, I loved the extra peace of mind and leak protection it gave.... not to mention they're super cute!
Right now BabyEcoMart is having their End of Summer SUPER SALE with their DOOPSY line starting at just $11.96 a diaper. So HURRY go check these out!!!

And... if you're not a cloth diaperer yet, you should seriously think about it. My husband wasn't so sure about the switch, but with disposable liners (abt $6 for 100) and pocket diapers like the Doopsy which are just as easy to take off and on as a disposable diaper, he's so happy with the money we no longer spend (with 3 in diapers it was $150 a month in addition to wipes, and just recently I took a trip and spent $40 for just diapers for 2 kids... boo!) and the large amounts of trash we no longer produce! Cloth diapers truly are an investment! STOP LITERALLY THROWING YOUR MONEY AWAY!

06 July 2010

Children's Scripture Curriculum


My friend Courtney, that you can spy on here, is a homeschooling mom and fellow crazy person... I think the latter part has more to do with the fact that she tolerates spending time with me and would also like to complete an Ironman triathlon, I can also thank her for my obsession with crazy looking shoes, but I digress.... She showed me her Discover the Scriptures Products for LDS Homeschool and now I am the proud owner of the Old Testament curriculum (thanks to digital downloads it's already here and ready to use) and am super excited to start our Old Testament Stories over again! We're 3 stories from the end and I had planned to go through the book again from the beginning since we're still in the OT in Gospel Doctrine, but I'm even more excited about this accompanying curriculum since I know that my kids will get that much more out of their reading. Granted I do ask questions regularly to help my children with comprehension, but this helps me focus a bit better and gives me ideas on how to enhance the experience through activities as well. Go check out their sample pages! They even have programs for younger (1st-3rd grade) and older kids (4th-7th grade) so as your kids age the content and ability levels are adjusted. They are a little pricey in my opinion, but until I can figure out something this creative to make on my own (which probably isn't likely without help from my hubby.... my brain just doesn't think like this), I love that buying these is an option!

04 July 2010

King David WAS good....

Our lesson in church today was on King David. More specifically 2 Samuel Chapters 11-12, and then we didn't get to Psalms 51 (his repentance), but I'll leave that there for you so you can look it up if you so desire.

We've probably all heard the David and Goliath story, and from there we've probably all heard the story of King David's inappropriate relationship with Bathsheba that then led to the murder of her husband.

The lesson that we were given today was about the latter story, however, our instructor reminded us of what King David had done/who he was before this incident. I don't know about you, but my mind kind of goes from Goliath (where David is really strong in the Lord) to Bathsheba (where David all of the sudden makes a bunch of really big mistakes and then ends up bringing condemnation down upon himself). How often do we consider where he was in the middle of all of this? And how can learning from his example be beneficial in our lives?

King David WAS a really good king! One of the best really. He was the first to unite the 12 tribes, built temples, helped Saul's family, won wars against the heathens in the area, established Jerusalem. He was truly doing the bidding of his Heavenly Father, and as such, was highly favored of the Lord. How do you get to the Bathsheba incident from this high of a place????

Here's where the visual aid of wrapping a single string around your wrists and trying to break it comes in. If you were to wrap a few strings around your wrists you would be able to break it easily. A few more wraps and it'd be difficult, but doable. Wrap many strings around your wrists, and now you're in trouble. So to it is with sin. Little by little we are susceptible to Satan's enticings and as we give in, he binds us to him. Scary stuff! I know where I want to be bound, and it's no where near that guy!

In David's case he really shouldn't have been on top of his house when he saw Bathsheba, his place was with his army, but he decided that they were winning.... so why should he go? So, he's shirking his duties and just home being idle. Then he sees Bathsheba, has a thought (which would have been easy to repent of at this point), but then he decides to "pull up a chair" and entertain that thought. Then he acts on it. Then she gets pregnant. Uriah, her husband, is a good guy so David is having troubles getting him to come home to be with his wife, so he sends him somewhere that he knows he'll get killed.... yah, he's not doing so hot with the decision making at this point. You get the picture. You can't cover a mole hill with more dirt. If you're trying to hide it all you end up doing is making it bigger and more visible!

I've mentioned before how much more blaring my faults are when I'm parenting solo. It's not as bad as it sounds really. I spend time thinking about what I need to do in order to be a good parent and really that ends up being a mental discussion about what needs to happen in our environment and in me to have a better relationship with Heavenly Father and to share that with my children. I know I need EVERY ounce of spiritual help and direction I can possibly get. So, sitting in church today brought to mind a blogpost that I read this last week on playing cards over at being a mother who knows. We have face cards in the house, but I don't play with them and I've maybe seen them 3 or 4 times in the last 6 years and that wasn't even to do anything with them. I remember hearing that we shouldn't have face cards, we never did growing up, but we've had some since being married and I didn't think much of it. After reading her post it reminded me that having those cards in my house may not be a big deal to other people.... they're just a tiny deck of cards after all!.... but having them in my house period is keeping the spirit from fully descending on me and my home the way I not only want, but the way that I desperately need it too!

David started out great. I don't know that I have ever been at the place he was spiritually, and yet he fell. What a HUGE reminder of how diligent we need to be at getting rid of the little things in our lives that are keeping us from having the full power of the spirit as our companion. We need to do our duties, quickly replace thoughts that aren't in line with our morals and values, be in constant communication with our Heavenly Father, and never be idle. We have to stay in control, there is no other option, especially as mothers! Even when we're doing well we can't stop moving forward and doing better! Let's determine to examine our lives and do a little better everyday about removing the things in our lives that are keeping us bound. As we celebrate our freedom as a nation, let us also pledge to find personal freedom!

03 July 2010

It's ON!

So, I've taken some leaps lately. (Oh, by the way... we are still schooling and I have kid thoughts and pictures to share, but they're just a little more labor intensive, so they'll have to wait for a moment when I don't have one foot in bed, sorry... fluff for now!)

I've officially taken the steps to get all my duckies in a row and will be: Running a 5k 31 July. Doing a sprint Triathlon 7 Aug. Riding a 25 Mile Bike Race 25 Sept. :-)

If you've been reading you know that I haven't been doing the swim training that I've needed to since I figured that I couldn't figure out the logistics for the August Tri... so I've just done the bike/run/strength training. Haha, yah, now I'm getting a little antsy. I know I can finish the swim, but I'm sure I'd like to finish it stronger than I will, plus I need to give an estimated time for finishing, which means I need to actually go swim the lengths. Yah, that should be interesting!

Oh, and I'm taking a good little road trip through UT and AZ for about 10 days right before the race(s). Needless to say my bike and jogger stroller are coming with and I'm trying to make preparations to have all my food made myself before we go and make plans to still cook/eat well while at the hotel and visiting family.... I seriously started to consider not going! Trying to keep up with everything while away from my little hobbit hole, I mean home, is the most stressful part of all!

Well, to make matters a little easier I do plan to soothe my soul by buying a pair of Vibrams. Barefoot running just makes sense! Here's a youtube clip for you:


And just for funsies, here's my new love:


They're funky yet cute! Here's to some fun runs in July and August! Looking for more fun stuff to do and hoping that my son gets his swimming down this year so he can start doing triathlon's too!

01 July 2010

A Quick Post....

So, I know I've been absent, and for that I'm sorry! I promise to catch up, lots on my mind lately! My parents came to visit for my son's birthday last week and I'm SO BEHIND. It was fun though :-)

In any case, I had to write a quick post so that I could share my praises of www.delicious-monster.com. If you're not a Mac user, well, you'll want to be after you see this program! I've been in the process trying to get all our books and videos catalogued (can you say nightmare), and I'm literally about halfway done with both after only having this program since late this afternoon. YOU CAN SCAN BARCODES!! How cool is that?! My kids think it's the neatest thing to here a beep, have the computer say the name of the item being scanned, and then watch it appear on my virtual bookshelf completely with a picture they recognize that gets filled in a very fun way. You can also type in ISBN's or your book, attach a photo if it doesn't have one automatically, it picks up all of your iTunes stuff and catalogues it, you can add toys, music, games, clothes, plus it links into amazon so you can buy or sell there... and... you can "check out items" to people and a due date gets automatically added to your iCal so you don't forget about an item you lent to so and so. It's awesome!

I'm kicking myself for not getting this earlier. My good friend over at gentleartofchaos.blogspot.com/ told me about it last year during a fun "let's go check out the school supply store outing" (don't laugh, you know you get excited over the smell of pencils too!). I told my husband about it, we left it at that. So, single me who buys lots of gifts for herself because somehow that makes everything better, came home from the bookstore for the 2nd time this week and thought I'd look up delicious books.

You actually download the program and get to try it out (at which point you WILL be completely enamored), then you buy the license. So, go try it!!

17 June 2010

Homemade Soft Pretzels


So, when I find a website that interests me I tend to spend some time snooping around. I bet you can't guess where I found this recipe...... yep! You're smart :-) The Confessions of a Homeschooler blog I bragged about yesterday had a recipe section I had to check out. Found a super easy looking recipe for soft pretzels. Had to try it. Made it today. LOVED it! Seriously, they tasted like the ones from the mall, but I know what's in these! They were, in fact, super easy. I'm still trying to figure out the climate here, so I had forgotten that sometimes I have to use way less flour than the minimum a recipe calls for. I was getting a little worried that they wouldn't turn out as the dough was a bit dry, but they were great anyway! I can't wait to try them with garlic/parmesan and dipped in marinara! ***As a side note: I ran out of wheat flour so mine were half white half wheat.***

16 June 2010

Oh My! Homeschooling Activities for Littles!

I just stumbled onto confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com... oh my, oh my! I'm in love! My ultimate goals for learning with my kids is that things are fun for them so that they're always wanting to love and explore new things and that we grow closer together as a family. What better way to do that then by playing! I specifically looked at her letter learning stuff, yah... click on this and tell me that you don't want make just about everything on the page! My kids will LOVE these ideas.... and since I'm pretty lame when it comes to imaginative things, I'm especially excited that everything is all laid out! Have fun!

15 June 2010

Homemade Granola Bars (and other good eats)!

I just finished my first batch of homemade granola bars. It's seriously so easy! I used the recipe found on www.joyfulabode.com I'm sure some of you clever people out there can make them even healthier, but I had fun! I didn't use peanuts, just made the granola base with oats, sunflower seeds and wheat germ ******Just as a side note, if you do decide to make these and use peanuts PLEASE don't take them to church or pretty much anywhere else with you! So many people have severe peanut allergies and it's upsetting to me that I have friends who at least once a month have to leave church and are in bed for hours trying to get over an allergic reaction. Not cool! Leave anything containing peanuts at home, if you MUST take food with you to church or in public try to choose a more benign food****** I mixed in dried cranberries and pressed almonds into the top. I'm waiting for them to dry now and am very excited!

Food Networks Alton Brown has one here that looks good too. It's similar, but requires oven time whereas the one above (after toasting the base ingredients) does not.

I'll have to keep looking for the other one that I stumbled on and wanted to try.

Anyway, I've also found myself very much addicted to banana chips, but as I like to have a little more control over my food and I hate paying for preservatives, I went searching for recipe and found this. Simple, I know, but I often have to see what other people did to make it work for me.

Lastly, if you're looking for healthy snacks to make, my Living on a Dime newsletter had a link to a free 40 healthy snack recipe e-book. I found this fun and am excited to try the baked version of fried zucchini, gummy candy, and a trail mix that uses banana chips, hazelnuts, and has vanilla flavor via vanilla pudding.

Okay, no really, this one is the last thing I'll post. I really enjoy going to eatbetteramerica.com. They have lots of "healthified" foods and give you a nutritional rundown too. Gotta love that!

Happy eating!

Running Info...


Why yes! I did in fact thoroughly enjoy my run today, thanks for asking! I even got that treadmill up to 6 point something and had a grand ol' time! I won't be competitively running anytime soon, or perhaps ever, but it's fun to test what I can do. Makes me happy! Anywho, I stumbled on MarathonRookie.com and wanted to make sure that I shared it with you. It has plans and information for any type of running (5K's, 10 K's, half marathons, etc), plus weight training and nutrition info, it really is an AMAZING site. Check it out!

14 June 2010

Tri Week 3

I'm pretty glad this week is over! It seems like the first and fourth weeks of my husband being gone are especially hard, and that kind of runs into my training.... but I'm still happy to be training! It's harder to get going and a bit on the mentally grueling side to get through since I'm super tired, but I've been plugging along :-). I only missed one day (which I shouldn't have), I excused myself since I wasn't feeling so great, but I'm sure if it was a run and not a bike I would have found a little more strength to muddle through. It is what it is! Here's this weeks' schedule:

Day 1: 20 minute run
Day 2: rest
Day 3: 45 minute bike
Day 4: 24 minute run
Day 5: 20 minute bike (that I didn't do)
Day 6: Sunday Rest
Day 7: 45 minute bike

I'm excited that tomorrow is another run day! My runs are longer than what the schedule requires... I always add at least a 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down... sometimes I just run a little extra for funsies :-) Who knew I'd like running so much? My new best friend Courtney that just moved here (and homeschools and wants to do an Ironman too!), has run a marathon and has a friend trying to talk her into doing one in Idaho next June. Barring being pregnant (and even then, depending on how far along), I'm totally thinking about making a road trip to run it too!

Here's to week 4! .... Feel free to join me.... I don't just post my schedule for me :-)

07 June 2010

Jorgensen-ville


Well, specific pictures of the kiddies doing activities and whatnot are located on our private blog.... you'll have to contact me to see those.... but here are the chicken's we play with! We've had them since they were 2 week old balls of fluff, they're quite the ladies now. We have a Silver laced Wyandotte (Lacey), a Golden Sex-link (Goldie), and a Dark Cornish, who has yet to be named... sad, I know, but it took me a while to even think of ones for the others and they aren't even that original!

Here's our garden too. I had a nice zucchini on the plant closest to you, seems to have miraculously disappeared and no one knows where it went despite all the broken leaves laying around it! *laugh* Oh well, things are growing well otherwise and I'm impressed by how things have taken off! They had a shakey start, but with good pruning and lots of water everyday I'm surprised by the growth. This was our first garden, so it's been more of an experiment. Next year we start seeds in plastic cups earlier than this year, we make sure to lay out top soil and moisture control soil onto the area before tilling, and if dad isn't deployed he'll be taking leave so that I don't have to hurriedly get things into the ground while baby and others are crying, oh! And we fence everything in! I had some awesome corn growing in the back area behind the tomatoes... turns out the chickens thought they were awesome too!


And lastly there's Nigel, resident feline, who just came back home last week, after living with my parents over the last
year whilst I moved twice, lived in 3 different states, and traveled through 9 states with 3 kids and then pregnant, I know.... you wish you could be me :-D


Water, water everywhere, and you need more to drink!

Okay, side note, you know your kid is a military kid when he walks up to you and says "Mommy, I need to hydrate." Which also brings me to the point, which you're welcome to use as well, that my child speaks other languages.... he speaks Latter-day Saint, homeschooler, and military. So there you go, my kid is a linguist and yours probably is too!

Anyway! I can pretty much bet that you're dehydrated! I know I am. I broke down and bought a scale this week. I just wanted to get a cheap one to track my weight for funsies, but I ended up buying one that measures your body fat and hydration level. I thought it was important to know those extra numbers and worth $10 more than a basic one. Once home I got to wondering what level of hydration I should be shooting for and how much I should be drinking each day. I try to be conscious of my water intake, but let's face it, most days it's a struggle for me to remember to eat. I try for an 8 glass minimum, but know I need more. Well, I found an awesome article that breaks things down the way a nerd like me likes to see things:

A good estimate is to take your body weight in pounds and divide that number in half. That gives you the number of ounces of water per day that you need to drink. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink at least 80 ounces of water per day. If you exercise you should drink another eight ounce glass of water for every 20 minutes you are active. If you drink alcohol, you should drink at least an equal amount of water. When you are traveling on an airplane, it is good to drink eight ounces of water for every hour you are on board the plane. If you live in an arid climate, you should add another two servings per day. As you can see, your daily need for water can add up to quite a lot.

Twenty percent of your water need will come from the foods you eat. The rest of your water need should come from the beverages you drink. Water is the best choice. Sodas have a lot of sugar in them, so if you drink sodas, you may take in more calories than you need. Herbal teas that aren't diuretic are fine. Sports drinks contain electrolytes and may be beneficial, just look out for added sugar and calories that you don't need. Juices are good because they have vitamins and nutrients.

Caffeinated beverages will also add to your daily water need. Even though caffeine is a diuretic, if you regularly consume caffeine, your body will regulate itself to that diuretic effect.

I think it's also pretty safe to say that if you're nursing you should be adding more to that number as well. Interesting huh? Like everything else, each person needs a different amount, so I hope you know what you need now and will do your best to achieve it! Water is so important to our bodies! It seriously regulates every part of us and a lack of it can cause some major issues within us. Happy Watering!



Tri Week 2

We'll pretend that I didn't have people over for dinner last night and ate my share of a homemade carrot cake furnished by Satan, I mean a good friend :-)

This week went well! I usually do a bit more varied physical things on top of the 'requirements' but since I write this on day 7 sometimes I forget what isn't written on the huge white board that dictates my life. In any case, week 2's schedule, according to my board, went as follows:

Day 1: 20 minute run
Day 2: rest
Day 3: 40 minute bike, 10 minute run
Day 4: 22 minute run
Day 5: mom's into fitness weeks 3&4
Day 6: Sunday rest
Day 7: 40 minute bike

This week was the first brick! It was kind of thrilling actually. In case you're wondering, it is very aptly named... however, ironically you could also call this workout (going from a long bike straight into a run), jelly! It was a slow start for me to get my bearings (3.0), but by the end I was running at 4.7 and wishing it wasn't over. I'm excited for week 3!

I'll make another post about other activities that I do because it's mainly participation in the kids physical fitness, and that deserves an explanation. Oh, and I have some thoughts about water to throw out, so I know you're excited to look for that! *laugh*

As for eating.... we aren't big meat eaters around Jorgensen Manor, shocking I know! We probably would eat a little bit more if we could track the source and diet of the animals, but we haven't gotten that far yet. So, protein is a little more thought out here especially because I'm a nursing mom, who's also exercising hard, and taking care of the family solo. I CRAVE protein! My solution is a mixture of things. High on my list is peanut butter, I LOVE Maranatha organic peanut butter, we've tried lots of peanut butter and are just concerned with what's in it... well, I gave this one a shot because it was the only one at the commissary one day and I will never buy anything else if I can help it, it's that good! (Nathan also really likes the Dark Chocolate Almond stuff... this site has things pricey, but our commissary is way cheaper than what's advertised, and we pick up the chocolate stuff at Walmart). Anyway, I like a tablespoon of that after workouts as well as during the day when I find myself needing some energy. I also like a glass of organic milk. Beans and rice are nice. And fish suits my fancy... well, unless it's farmed, then I kind of gag it down if at all. Cottage cheese is a lovely addition to every fridge. And no one can beat the incredible edible egg and it's many different disguises. Hardboiled and scrambled work well around here.

I'm also a big fan of smoothies. We have one just about everyday. Seriously, I can't think of an easier way to add a bunch of different fruits and veggies, yogurt, probiotics, flax seed, wheat germ and whatever else you want, into your diet. We buy a bunch of frozen fruit, and thanks to a friends advice buy and freeze our own when it makes sense, and in about 2 seconds we have a fabulous drink/snack/meal.

I'll also post some recipe's that I like to make. Food is a necessary part of life, but I don't like having to think about it quite so much! Do you have any favorite quick go to meals that are simple and healthy?

05 June 2010

Making Fitness Work For Mom!

As I conquered (yes, conquered) my workout this morning I began thinking of my 5 readers out there who may benefit from my journey! It seems like my intensity and endurance for beating myself up, I mean exercising, gets amped with each passing year... read "each pregnancy." Kids take a lot out of you and leave you with extra pounds and fatigue in exchange... it's a good thing they're cute!
My husband has always been supportive of me, but let's face it, having little kids at home, especially unpredictable nursing babies, or being pregnant and only having hubby home and available to tend kids at the hour I can barely take a step with wanting to toss my cookies, doesn't help the fitness level that much! Anyway, as I am also often a single mom for long periods of time I had to figure out how I was going to get my body back and better after each baby with no help from anyone else.

While I have a state of the art gym at my disposal to use for free, I also have a 15 week old, a 2 year old. a 3 year old and a 4 year :-)

As for tri training I rely heavily on my road bike set up on a fluid wind trainer
so that I ca
n train indoors at any hour of the day. I often set it up in the living room, turn on Biggest Loser and go for a spin! This is usually in the morning and the kids, on their own, do sit-ups, jumping jacks, run in place or stretch while I'm riding. I also use a treadmill that I was able to borrow from a friend. It's crowing my room, but worth every inch of space that's lost. I'm working on making our garage into gym, but until then, my room serves that function. Which works out because the only tv in our home is in my room (without tv channels), but is connected to the internet so I can watch netflix or movies.... that tv will travel to garage when everything is set up as well.

My other trick is that I have an AWESOME collection of workout videos. I had to buckle down and realize that my dream of spending an hour or more in the gym was only going to end with
infrequent, if done at all, workouts. I.e. I was gaining fat and not doing so hot in the carido department because I was waiting to go to the gym. So, I took matters in my own hands and purchased some treasures that I've done before kids get up, while they're up, right after they go to bed, whenever! The idea here is that I can be consistent, get a great workout, and not have to rely on anyone but myself.

-Mom's into fitness I found to shake up my pregnancy workout. I love that these are broken down by trimester, so I looked forward to a whole new workout each 3 months as opposed to doing the same
video for the whole 9 months (which is what I was doing before). The
one I bought also included a postnatal boot camp DVD which I was very eager to get to and LOVE. Lindsay Brin's commentary can be annoying (sorry if you ever read this Lindsay, it's not personal!), but the workouts are WONDERFUL. The Boot Camp disk that I'm on right now allows you to customize your workout and are fairly short and to the point while leaving you sweating and feeling accomplished. Her mantra is that you can get in better shape after having kids then before, and I believe that with all my heart! She's also very focused on your core health and wants to build your ab wall before addressing
the superficial... read fat that we all want to be rid of. That's the way to do it! Her videos are great for everyone, check her out! These also add in strength training/weight workouts.

-10 Minute Solutions: I picked these up last year and love to do them, but have feelings of disgust and hatred while I'm doing them. *laugh* I know, that really makes you want to pick them up now huh! The workouts are just that good... you trudge through them wanting to kill the woman on the screen, but at the end you want to give yourself and her a great big
hug! These are both customizable, do one 10 minute workout, 3 of your choice, or the whole thing. Each 10 minute segment is a full workout complete with warm up and cool down.
10 Minute Solution: Hot Body Boot Camp (I hate and love her the most)



More to come later on this subject I'm sure! I just wanted to give you some idea of how fitness with children can work. It's SO important for us to be healthy and strong.... we have a VERY demanding job and have to be ready for anything. We want more kids so it's important for me to make sure that my body is able to handle doing that, taking care of my current kids, and being hot for my husband. Okay, the last one is a little vain, but in the end it's just going to be me and him and while he loves who I am as a person it doesn't hurt to give him something nice to look at too! He deserves it!

03 June 2010

LOVED this!

Click to make bigger, and enjoy :-)

01 June 2010

Tri Week 1

Week 1 is over and has been sprinkled with success... and failure :-). I had myself all geared up and ready to start strong and then realized that I was going to AZ for the weekend. No problem, I'll just move my rest days (which should be days 2 & 6) to the weekend and bike the day I leave and the day I get home. And I should mention that I already tweaked my schedule so that those rests days fall on Tuesday and Sunday, since I don't train on Sunday's.

Success: Ate really well, even kept a food journal, for the first part of the week and
exercised everyday... even looked forward to it! I pushed through the fatigue of the day and looked excitedly at my treadmill every time I passed it knowing that the two of us had a date!




Failure: Come Friday I was so tired that doing a 20 minute bike was not going to happen,
I just wanted to get in the car and get the drive over with. Then the weekend I ate out (fairly healthily, but still), had
a bunch of sugar, needed Pepsi to keep myself up on the drives, you get the picture! I felt TERRIBLE! Talk about being sick to your stomach. I'm so happy to be home and am not going any
where anytime soon! As for exercise I was supposed to do a 35 minute ride last night, and that didn't happen... so, time to detox from the junk in my body and start week #2!

Week 1's schedule:
Monday: Mom's into fitness Boot Camp workout weeks 3&4.
Tuesday: 20 minute run, ab work
Wednesday: 35 minute bike
Thursday: 20 minute run
Friday: [should have been 20 minute bike]
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Rest
Monday: [should have been 35 minute bike]


21 May 2010

Memorization


I think the brain is amazing! I'm always in awe of what my little sponges, I mean children, can absorb! In my effort to keep track of the things I'd like to introduce my children to as well as remember what we've already tried memorizing, I found this great system on the Simply Charlotte Mason website.

I think memorization is a great thing! I'm not talking about drilling scriptures or famous quotes for hours in military fashion, or stating math facts until your brain explodes... I'm talking about a subtle introduction to good things that will stay with you child forever.

This system allows you to create a little 3x5 box that holds the things you'd like to memorize that are of various lengths (for our family it's things like the articles of faith, scriptures, good quotes, the proclamation on the family, hymns, etc.) From there you take the first card and simply read it twice a day. You then continue to read it twice a day for as long as it takes your family to recite what's on the card. From here there are little dividers in the box with days of the week, odd/even, and the numbers 1-31. As cards get placed further back in the box you end up not only learning a new memorization, but you continue to recite ones you've already learned at least once a month! Go check it out! There's even a pdf file that you can print out for all your tabs!

What's important for me here, despite my lack of "structure", is that we are able to review things that we've learned as well as expose ourselves to more great statements that will become a part of who we are. There has been numerous occasions in my life, and even on a day to day basis where I'll recall a scripture or lyrics to a hymn or song that have governed how I've acted in a particular situations. By making memorization an important but not threatening/stressful experience in my home, I'm hoping that my children too will be able to employ the good things in their minds against situations that require additional inspiration!

Posts to Come....

Just in case you're curious about the inner workings of the "special" brain that I call mine, I wanted to assure you that I have plans to tell you more in the near future! I've already written out titles and little tidbits to remind myself of the "wonderful jewels" that I would like to write about. The benefit of doing such a thing when it's midday and I'm somewhat lucid is that it gives me direction of my intentions when I find myself up in the middle of the night with baby and am running on few brain cells! So, I look forward to sharing more with you in the wee hours of the quiet, quiet morning. For now kids, housework, school, (and everything else you can think of) calls my name... and I wouldn't have it any other way.... but I am looking forward to posting later! Although, I'm going to have to learn how to balance my writing with my blog-stalking because time to kill in the middle of the night is my favorite time to spy on other moms and collect ideas! Oh the dilemma of my life!! *laugh*

Triathlon Revisted



I wanted to write about this topic at some point, but since tomorrow is "Day 1" of my training schedule, today seemed like a good day to start!

I wrote awhile back about my goal to do a Triathlon this December. I've researched up and down, am armed with my Triathlon for Dummies Book, and spent time planning exactly how I was going to do this with kids in tow. I had everything figured out and even found a race in August that I was all psyched to be prepared for.... and then life happened! I was told that Mr. Wonderful (aka, my awesome, supportive, fabulous, husband!) would be gone for a month. Okay, no big deal... I'll just get my cardio stuff set up and I'll get in pool time when he gets back. Well, then we find out he'll be back shortly then gone for a little over four months! Okay, fine (small melt down as I try to figure out how in the world to meet my goal). Then I decide to still do it.... then I realize that baby is too unpredictable to get in training outside my house and that having
babysitters here and in the place I plan to race 2-3 hours away and staying overnight etc. was just not something that I am up for right now!

The plan now is to run my training program as outlined (and give you updates at weeks end to keep myself in check), as if I were competing August, but not actually go out there. Then train at a higher standard for the December 11th Polar Bear as planned. Who knows, with family in AZ I might be able to get in some race exposure there too in the meantime!

Anyway, I'll train for the biking portion on my wind trainer, the running on the treadmill an awesome friend lent me, get in my general cardio via workout videos, strength train with weights and gutting my house :-), and eventually work swimming into my schedule when I know I can leave baby with someone and know he won't be cranky while I'm gone! My weaknesses are more on the running and biking side of things, so while I know swimming is necessary for the overall conditioning aspect of what I'm planning, I feel confident that I can hit the water and catch up quickly there when I can.

My biggest causes of concern right now are 1) making sure that I stick to the training schedule and don't allow myself to back down because I'm tired (I know this sounds counterproductive to what people generally say, but I've found that for me, taking time to sleep or just relax and thereby giving myself permission not to do something... say, clean... just drives me batty later and it's better if I just stay up and do the work I have in mind! I actually sleep better when I finally get there!), and 2) Getting proper nutrition. I've been pregnant of nursing for the bulk of the last 6 years, and am currently nursing.... so I want to make sure that I'm getting enough to support me and baby to ensure that I can keep up with my goals and continue this hobby of mine, and not run myself into the ground!


Gutting The House

While I don't care to be a single mom, it's a job that I am asked to take on often. In response, I've noticed that over the years I've developed some coping mechanisms. When Mr. Wonderful would work crazy shifts I would stay up for HOURS cleaning, creating English lesson's for my Korean students and rearranging the room I used for a classroom, and worked for hours on my own school work.... despite having a little baby and later being pregnant as well.

Last year I drove over 55+ hours with 3 kids 3 and under through 7 states, as well as moved from Utah to Texas by myself and unpacked my whole house singlehandedly in 4 days! (Which seems all the more funny now as I sit in my house that isn't all the way unpacked or organized and I had the help of my husband for a few months this time... granted I was super pregnant when we first got into our house here in mid-December and now have a newborn, but still!)

Well, now that baby is 3 months old and semi-nice to me (aka not always having to be in the Maya Wrap for me to do something productive... other than holding or feeding him that is), the stuff I've been itching to do over the last month since being a single mom and only being able to do partially, is now coming out in full force. Operation "Gut The House" is now in effect!

~Seasonal Clothes: This is actually a first for me! Who knew? I have a secret hate of clothes, they're everywhere! My husband has been the same size for the last 15 years and was single with a career and extra cash to spend for 3 years before we got married.... so we (*cough* HE), have a lot of clothing! So, after moving every year for the past 6 years I am finally faced with unpacking EVERY box and finding a home for everything and there is just not enough room! We have a t-shirt collection that can't be rivaled! Solution?? Shh... don't tell anyone! I pulled out the shirts that are actually worn and stuck the rest into a huge plastic storage box. Then I actually pulled out clothes from hubby's closet and the kids that were winter-ish... yah, we live in New Mexico, no need for anything long-sleeved or resembling anything to keep warm, and they met the same fate. My garage and closet are very happy!

**How to keep things Organized in the garage... look to Emilie Barnes! Thanks to my reading of the Duggars book last month I figured out a system that makes sense to my severe mental issues and have subsequently bought the book Survival for Busy Women. Talk about something that makes complete sense! By using 3x5 cards and writing out the contents of every box, highlighting, and keeping storage boxes numbered, you always know where everything is! I've also decided to make this work for keeping track of our books, movies, and other items that I'd like to have a record of should anything happen to the house and we need to put in an insurance claim and re-buy (i.e. electronic info., cloth diapers, school stuff, furniture)... complete with photos).

~Toys: Most of our toys are educational, but there are still too many! I've moved our play kitchen to the garage and all it's food items! The kids like to play with it, but it's a menace to pick up pieces and I'd rather have that mess out of doors. I've also bagged up toys into large ziplock bags and have them nicely tucked away in plastic storage containers (which can be found easily thanks to a note card box that states it's contents). Rotating toys has never been easier or more fun! I'm actually going to be adding more to the boxes. I don't know what the magic number is, but still feel like there's too many toys in the house. The kids are great about creatively using what they have, but I think we'll enjoy playtime all the more with less to put away at the end!

~School Supplies: Again, inventorying what we have is fabuloso! So, that was the first step. From there, the kids each have their own pencil boxes that have colored pencils in them. I know that there are other mediums that would suit little hands better, i.e. crayons, but colored pencils don't create as much of a mess so I'm more inclined to let the kids have free access to them! We also have a 3 drawer plastic thing (from Walmart/Target) that I repurposed as a place for coloring books and paper and placed in my laundry room where the kids can grab what they need. I also created little boxes that I keep their writing books, math stuff, and things we'd like to work on (something from Happy Phonics, Now, I'm Reading Books, etc.). Having a place for everything and knowing what you have is a HUGE way to stay sane while homeschooling. It's way more fun to be able to see what you have so you can actually use it!

~Clutter: Clutter makes me nervous! I'm also going through and trying to give away/garage sale, or pack away anything that's just taking up space! I'm convinced that most things I hate looking at, cleaning around, or trying to find a home for, just don't need to be cluttering my mind! So, while I hate single parenthood, I sure do embrace it when it comes to simplifying the house! Hubby won't be able to see what I'm putting into the 'discard' pile, but just like the clothes (that I'm so POSITIVE he couldn't tell me what's missing.... although when he came home for a few days he did realize it looked like there wasn't anything left in his closet! *laugh*....) if there was something he wanted I could pull it out of the garage easily. I have big smiles looking around the room and enjoy the simplicity!

I hope you have fun gutting your house and find yourself taking less care of stuff and more time with the people in your life!

Feel free to add your organization tricks too! Or coping mechanisms :-)