Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's Swimsuit Season!!

Yay! Well, or maybe not. I started out this year great guns doing South Beach and working out but got derailed with a detox program (yes, mentioned before) that in the long run is going to help me to not get sick so often but in the short term has caused me to get terribly out of shape. But since I'm feeling about 1000x's better than I have in months I'm ready to get back in the saddle and start working out again. Now, if you don't like working out you can skip this one, *but* I did find an incredibly helpful article on the mechanics of exercising and actually seeing results. I knew that using weights helped to speed up your metabolism by burning more calories (even when you're sleeping) than fat but it was kind of like yeah, I know that blah, blah, blah. But she tells you *how* much more it revs up your metabolism and that you can eat about 15% more without gaining weight, you sleep better, it helps to fight stress and depression and is just a good all around happy mood booster. I think not looking hideous in a bathing suit is probably all the happy mood booster I'll need...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

She's a Runner!!!

Deciding to put Chloe in public school last year was such a hard decision but the spot that we were in with my health issues just made it necessary. And while I don't think that staying in public school is what she's going to do it has been great for several reasons. One of the biggest is that they push her farther than I've ever thought of. I don't know if any of you have noticed (wink) but we've babied Chloe a bit. Not on purpose it's just that her personality has made it seem like she needed to be babied. Now I'm not saying that she needs a drill sargeant because that would crush her but she does need to be pushed/encouraged. Could we make that a word? Like pushcouraged? It might take a while before that one's in Webster. But back to the story. Last year her whole school (actually probably every public school in the state of TN) did a mile run that was timed. They keep records of this so that you can read and article on MSN later on how out of shape or how in shape our kids are.

Last year Chloe came in dead last out of all of the kindergarten classes. She was teased and called a slowpoke by some of the other kids and came home devastated. And as sensitive and wonderful as Chloe is, she's also wonderfully stubborn. I think a switch clicked in her last year that said 'that will *never* happen again. Last year I didn't go to watch her thinking it wasn't a huge big deal but boy was I wrong! So I went today, determined to cheer her on. I thought she'd probably run some and walk some and be really tired so I decided to walk/run along side her to keep her spirit up. I could not have been more wrong! At the beginning she was in the last two because the other kids took off really fast but some of them pooped out pretty quickly. Chloe kept an even pace and ran and ran and ran. It actually showed me how out of shape I am because I had to stop running and walk. She kept saying "Mommy, I'm going to run the same as you" and I had to tell her "no, keep running, I'll catch up"! How embarrassing! She even sprinted at the very end and ran a whole mile in under 12 minutes! There were other kids that ran it faster, of course, but I couldn't have been more proud of her. She said that she was proud of herself too.
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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Busy, Busy Week

The week started out with Travis, Amanda, and I attending an awards banquet for the top 10 students in each high school in our county. At least it was supposed to be the top 10; some schools had the top 12 or 15 but Amanda's little school had the top 3. We had a nice dinner and were fortunate enough to be at the table that was released to go to the buffet quickly. Some poor people that sat in the middle of the room hadn't even gotten their food by the time we were done with dessert. I guess you can't complain about free food but it seems like there should be a better way of doing things. Then after dinner was the announcements of all the top students, their awards and accomplishments. And not to be cynical or anything but *yikes* was that boring. All of these kids had the same GPA, were in the same clubs, they all helped little old ladies across the street, found the cure for cancer and solved world hunger. OK, I made that last one up. I do think it's great that they recognize the kids and I got teary eyed at one point thinking of Amanda and everything that we've been through, the things she's accomplished and the doors that God has opened for her. I'm just really proud of her. Ooh, and if you think of it say a prayer for her on Monday because she has a job interview at our hair salon for a receptionist position. I'd love it if she gets that job- and so would she.

Thursday I chaperoned a field trip for Chloe's class to the zoo. I learned several years ago chaperoning Trav's class (when he was a middle school teacher) to Busch Gardens that a chaperone isn't there to have fun. You're there to make sure that *they* have fun. And stay in line, and get to the bathroom, and don't get lost, and get their lunch...etc. *But* it meant so much to Chloe having me there. If she squeezed my hand and looked up adoringly at me once, she did it a thousand times. She only let go of my hand once the whole time we were there and I think it's just because she forgot. I did have a great time being with her and I met some other moms from her class and one wants to get together for coffee sometime. It was a great day.

Today was a great day too. Halle woke up with a pretty high fever yesterday morning so I couldn't take her to church today. She seemed fine though and after Travis and Chloe got home we had a quick lunch and then headed out to the park to fly the girls kites. Chloe did a great job and ran like crazy to get her kite up in the air. Halle ran too but refused any manner of help repeatedly and with huge temper tantrums so she had what Travis referred to as a "ground kite". She finally gave up and decided to play on the playground and then we played on the big rocks (at Jim Warren park). The weather was perfect at just around 70 degrees. It would have been helpful if there had been more wind but we still had a great time.

I love being able to hang out with my family on the weekends and am so thankful that Travis isn't working at HD anymore. *And* if Amanda gets the new job she'll have Sundays off...yes, we're really praying. And I'm looking forward to this new week and everything that God is going to do.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Hey (slight pause) oh sorry, I just had a hundred thoughts and they all exploded against each other like fireworks". - Travis

Friday, April 11, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Mom, I need to call the DMV and make and appointment so I can get my 18 year old Driver License. That way I can drive at 2am with 8 people in my car". - Amanda

Thoughts and Looking Forward

I am feeling so incredibly wonderful today! For the last month and a half-ish I've been on a heavy duty detox program and have absolutely felt awful for that whole time. But in the last couple of days I've noticed that I have energy again and I feel much more normal. I was starting to wonder if I ever would. So I took a walk with Halle yesterday. I'm trying to not overdo it which is totally my MO but I walked for a while and then let Halle play and then walked some more. We also went to check out the skate park since I've heard a lot about it and Amanda hangs out there sometimes with her friends. I pushed Halle up the ramps and down the ramps in the stroller- she totally loved it. It was so nice to be outside and not be bundled up and I guess if it hadn't been so windy I would have been hot since it was close to 80. I can't imagine what the temperature is like in FL or what it will be like when we get there.

And speaking of FL (which I probably will be for a while), we have the most amazing treat in store for us. Shane and Angie have a time share in Destin, I think. But they also have the opportunity to trade for staying in other places. Well, they've decided to trade they're points for all of us to stay in either this resort or this one at Disney. So we'll be able to stay for two nights in a beautiful resort on the Disney property. I'm rooting for Saratoga because I think it looks nicer and the pool is incredible but I'll be happy either way. And speaking of Angie...

I (finally) started her fabric cubes. I got the fabric swatches from the Land of Nod and it just so happens that they're perfect 4 inch squares, which is exactly the size that I need fabric to be for the fabric cubes I'm making. I hadn't thought of it before when I asked for the swatch, I just wanted to see if I could coordinate with it and get the colors right for the painting(s) I'm doing. So I thought, "hmmm, I guess I could use the actual fabric that they sent me for the cubes". Which seems kind of chintzy but if I don't use it then it will just be wasted- anyway. I started embroidering her first initial and a little butterfly and flower for one side of the cube. I carefully marked out four inches and drew on what I wanted to embroider and set to work embroidering my little heart out. But I didn't take into account the half inch allowance that I'm supposed to leave for actually sewing the thing together. Sigh. So I'll probably make it a half inch bigger since I don't want to re-do it. But then that means that I can't use the samples they sent me. This is why I don't sew more. Well, that and the fact that I can hardly cut or sew straight. I'd love to show you guys pictures of what I've done because it really is cute but my camera is totally and forever broken. Maybe Amanda will let me borrow hers...

Oh and speaking of a painting for the baby...

I'm thinking of either a silhouette type (butterflies, grass, flowers) with a pink background or a set of four square pictures still silouhettes but with a pink background and a green background. But I don't know how much wall space they have, etc. I'll have to keep you posted on that.

Now I'm going to clean some closets and get ready to take Amanda to lunch. I've decided to be very deliberate in maintaining my relationship with her. When they're teenagers it's so easy (especially when you're distracted with smaller kids) to just let them go and do their thing because that's what they want to do but if I want to have a relationship with my daughter we *have* to make time to do something together. So we're going to Chick-Fil-A. It's not elaborate or earth shattering but it's still very important.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Lots of News!

I have been sidetracked lately. Nope, it's true. I thought that doing the freedom in Christ class was going to be time consuming and it hasn't been time consuming in actual time I'm spending reading or with my mentor but it's more that I'm just focused on other things. I'm not feeling like myself so much lately. Usually when you do FIC you go through book one with a mentor and it takes a minimum of 10 weeks. There are 5 classes and 10 mentor sessions- in theory. In reality you have to deal with your schedule and your mentors schedule and kids, sickness, etc. So we really should be done with the first book but I probably have 3 weeks left. But in doing the first book some things came to light that my mentor though that we should deal with now rather than waiting until the end of book two so really, wow, I'm kind of tired mentally and spiritually and feel like taking a little breather. So, on with the news...

Amanda will be 18 (seriously!) in 22 days. Yes, it's hard to believe and not hard to believe at the same time. You mom's with little ones can hardly imagine, I'm sure, but trust me it's not as incredibly horrible as you might imagine. All of the stages prepare you for the stage when they're mostly grown up. And the advantage of having one kid that is so much older than the others makes me want to cherish every single day with all of them. It makes it harder that Amanda pretty much wants to do, um, nothing with me (not that she doesn't like me, she just mostly likes her friends better right now) but I enjoy the time we do spend together.

And in more Amanda news- drumroll please- it looks like she's going to be the valedictorian of her class! I hadn't really been telling anyone thinking that "something" could happen. But she'd really just have to stop going to school and fail her last two classes in order for it to not happen but she has straight A's right now so I'm pretty sure that she's it and that she'll be giving a speech on her graduation day. I'm so proud-sniff, sniff.

In Chloe news- Earlier this year I applied for a school of choice that is on a balanced calendar. Balanced is also known as year round education. She won't really be going year round it's just that during the hottest months of the year when summer drags on forever, she'll be in school and then in October when the weather is beautiful she'll have 3 weeks off and then again in the spring. Pretty smart, huh? Anyway, getting in is pretty difficult but she was accepted- probably because she's 25% Cuban. They actually look at ethnicity as a determining factor to get into the school. Funny since it's frowned upon in every other instance...but moving on. I *really* want her to go to the homeschool academy at our church but unless God makes a way we just can't do that so this is a nice second choice.

And...we're going to FL in May!!! By the time we go at the end of May it will have been 2 years and 5 months since Trav has been. He hasn't seen his brothers or grandparents or aunts and uncles or his little nephew Cameron (who will turn two in April). So we're pretty excited. Of course, there are *lots* of people to split our time with but we've narrowed it down to 3 people that we'll actually stay with during the 10 days we're there. It will probably be exhausting but we're all very excited. We're hoping for a theme park excursion since it's been nearly 8 years since we've been to one. And having moved from central FL it's just been a huge adjustment for us. When we lived there we went to Disney *a lot*. Amanda actually went on her first trip when she was 13 days old and lost her umbilical cord there- um kind of yucky but definitely unique. And when Trav and I got married we had year passes to Busch Gardens and Sea World. It was It was kind of hard to adjust to being fun free here. Seriously, we saw it that way. So anyway, nothing is concrete except for staying with my brother, Trav's brother Shane, and Trav's parents and going to the beach. I want to go to Sanibel Island which is a little far to drive but it's the best place to get shells that I know of and I know that Chloe will *love* it. We also want to have a birthday party at the beach for Chloe with all of her little cousins but we'll just have to see what we can work out. There's also shopping in Ellenton, St. Armand's circle, and John's Pass. Then there are the places you've all seen in pictures before, Lake Mirror in Lakeland, Lake Morton in Lakeland, and downtown Lakeland. There's I'm excited in case you can't tell.

And does anybody wanna see pics of my new niece?