wellness wednesday

>> Wednesday, May 28, 2008

CWO's Live Well WednesdaysDown another 2.2!
Which means I get one o' these babies:

WOO-HOO!!

In terms of optimum weight loss, May 15 was maybe the wrong time of the month to start (if you know what I mean), so I'm guessing that's why my weight loss has been a little slower right off the hop, even though I've been extremely disciplined. I've only once gone above my daily points limit and I promptly subtracted them from the next day, which prompted me to go for my 6-mile walk!

That's one huge difference I'm noticing from the last time I tried WW ~ I desire to move more. I'm realizing just how lopsided my ratio of eating to activity was before. I wasn't moving NEARLY enough to warrant the calories I was consuming. And that's putting it mildly. Things I used to dread because I didn't enjoy them now have become EXTRA POINTS that I can eat later if I want to or bank to use on a lower-point day.

Another thing I'm finding this time is that meals like hotdogs, hamburgers, and the occasional helping of chips or a chocolate bar aren't taboo. Last time, I remember feeling that way. This time 'round, I've eaten everything I've made for my family. Sometimes with a few modifications, but for the most part, if we've had barbequed steak and mashed potatoes for supper, I've eaten that, too.

So... so far, so good. I'm still only two weeks in and there haven't been any obstacles, like hubby coming home with a bucket of KFC for supper, or company, but those are coming. The company, anyway. Both sets of parents will be coming out for weekend visits in June and The Bushman's parents always bring sinful stuff along. Like donuts. And cookies. And snack foods. Evil, I tell ya.

But you know, it's funny. Thinking about it now is making my mouth water and before, I KNOW my first response would have been a sigh of resignation and thoughts of having to painfully abstain while the others gorged themselves. THIS time, however, my first thought was, "Hmmm, what activities can I plan for the weekend that'll keep me moving so I can have a couple?" I'm actually EXCITED about that challenge!! So we'll see when the time comes, but so far, my attitude is good, my discipline is good, and I'm losing weight.

Woo-hoo!
Rave Girl

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tour tuesday: a walk around the block

>> Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Well, I did something I've wanted to do for a long time yesterday. I walked around the block.

And before you start laughing, remember, we live in the country.

That's a 6-mile walk out here.

It took me an hour and three-quarters, but it was actually pretty fun. And, since Tour Tuesday was rapidly approaching, I wisely chose to bring my camera along. So, are you ready? Shall we begin? I thought so.





Hope you enjoyed the tour! Visit Tour Tuesday HQ to visit some other places.
Walking 2

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long awaited visitors

>> Monday, May 26, 2008

Look who decided to finally make an appearance at our place on the weekend!!!!

The plum trees have decided that they want to be beautiful again this year after all. We were starting to wonder.

They're a bit shy, as you can see, but they'll come around. Soon both prickly little trees will be covered in flowers.

Aren't they awesome? I always love it when the plum trees start blooming. I wish I could somehow post the scent on the blog. It's incredible. Once both trees are in full bloom, the girls and I like to stand underneath, looking up, watching and listening to the billions of bees and wasps and other winged creatures that hang out there. And breathing. Huge, deep breaths with our eyes closed, taking in the deliciously sweet smell. It's a heady experience. You should try it sometime.

Japanese Cherry Blossoms

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cartographers anonymous

>> Friday, May 23, 2008

I have a total geek thing goin' on for maps. (along with dictionaries and encyclopedias ~ it's a wonder I'm not smarter!) I'm dead serious. I remember poring over maps as a pre-teen, dreaming about all the places I'd love to travel, charting my course, and then looking up each one ~ including points of interest along the way ~ in one of the three or four sets of encyclopedias we had. And, as I admitted a few days ago, I still do that. Only the Internet and Google Maps has made it so much easier!

I get this love of maps and interest in geography (and wanderlust) from my dad. He's got the biggest map collection of anyone I know. Come to think of it, he's got the biggest collections of several things I know of! The love of collecting I didn't necessarily inherit, but studying maps and reading about locales around the world? Definitely.

So you can imagine how proud I am of this:



Other than the fact that Fidget's holding up the one she's looking at so you can read the cover, this is not a posed picture. And this is ONE HOUR into her quiet time yesterday afternoon. For at least ONE FULL HOUR, she'd been 'reading' maps. She used to always take her pillow and a bunch of Fisher-Price toys into our room for quiet time on days when Peanut wasn't home, but that's SO "hello, I'm only three." Come on, she'll be four in just a couple of weeks, so it's high time she graduates to road atlases. She discovered them about a week ago, and she is rarely seen without one now.

Ahh, my little CAA/AAA advisor-to-be. If she ever decides to run away from home, at least I'll never have to worry about her being lost!

Map

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wellness wednesday

>> Wednesday, May 21, 2008

CWO's Live Well Wednesdays
** Remember, Lori's hosting us today over at her place,

Well Ladies (and gentlemen, if there happen to be any reading who care), I have decided to take this bull by the horns and make a concentrated effort to get my eating habits and weight under control.

I'm back on Weight Watchers.

Yeah, you read right. I'm not paying to attend meetings, but since I've still got all the books, pamphlets, and food point and activity point calculators from my first attempt, I figured I'd give it another shot.

I know Weight Watchers works. There's no disputing it, really. Five years ago, after 4 months of weekly weigh-in meetings, counting points, and journalling, I dropped 40 lbs. and was a mere 13 lbs from my goal weight. But then I quit going to meetings (cuz I'm extremely tight-fisted and I hated paying to lose weight!), quit counting points and journalling ~ and I quit losing weight. And then I started gaining weight! In VERY short order ~ we're talkin' only about six months here ~ I gained all but the last 10 lbs back again. And I've hovered there ever since.

So why did I quit faithfully journalling and counting points? Well, mostly I chalk it up to laziness. It's amazingly time-consuming, especially if you have to figure out how many points a certain meal has by calculating the sum of all the points for each individual ingredient. Oh, AND you have to be fairly organized and disciplined. Not my strong suit. I hated it that I kind of had to know each day ~ even before breakfast ~ what I was going to be eating for supper and even what I'd be snacking on throughout the day. I decided all that figuring and writing would never feel natural and would therefore never produce lasting results.

So why am I doing it again? Honestly? Mostly because my two real-life accountability partners are currently seriously KICKING MY BUTT in the weight loss department! And I'm somewhat competitive by nature, so it's kinda burnin' my shorts a little. But secondly ~ and far more importantly ~ because I really do desire to get this under control.
And lo and behold, for whatever reason, I'm finding it kind of fun this time. So far, anyway! (It's only been 6 days!) I don't mind counting the points, calculating and planning before breakfast, and weighing chips and pretzels before I eat them. Because this time, it's purely of my own volition. I'm not paying to be told to be disciplined ~ I'm voluntarily TAKING CONTROL.

Oh, and it doesn't hurt to see that I've lost 3.6 lbs since I started last Thursday either!!
Scrawny 2
(I know that pace won't last more than another week or so, but it sure is a great incentive to keep at it!)

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tour tuesday: the almost rainy day

>> Monday, May 19, 2008



And thus concludes this week's "tour of the skies." These were actually taken last Tuesday, when we were still dry as a bone out here. We FINALLY had rain ~ pretty much all night on Sunday ~ so that was awesome. It wasn't a heavy rain, but a good, thorough soaking. The puddles lasted almost all day today!

Click here for more Tuesday Tours.

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dear human:

>> Friday, May 16, 2008

A few toilet cleaning instructions:

1 - Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl.

2 - Pick up the cat and soothe him/her while you carry him/her towards the bathroom.

3 - In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids. You may need to stand on the lid.

4 - The cat will self-agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from the toilet; the cat is actually enjoying this.

5 - Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a "power-wash and rinse".

6 - Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people between the bathroom and the front door.

7 - Stand behind the toilet as far as you can and quickly lift both lids.

8 - The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom and run outside where he will dry him(her)self off.

9 - Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.


Thanks for your consideration,



The Dog.



Wishin' y'all some good clean fun this weekend!


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wellness wednesday: overcoming self-sabotage

>> Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Live Well WednesdaysOkay, but so now what? Now that we understand a little better how and why we do it, how do we FIGHT it?!

There's a wicked old MadTV sketch with Bob Newhart who plays a psychologist, and a patient comes in, complaining of all kinds of things and the doctor's sage advice over and over is, "Well..... STOP IT. Just STOP IT!" Wise, eh? Simple and yet so tough. How do we "just stop" self-sabotage?

1. Prayer. This is an area where I struggle the most. I have to admit, I sometimes get frustrated and annoyed when Christians talk about "just giving it to God" because, in practical terms, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??!! I think I'm finally figuring it out. I can't say that every time I'm tempted to eat something I don't need that I remember to pray and actively find something else to do, but I have had victorious moments and days in the last week. Each day this week, I've begun with prayer, including prayer for myself. That I would remember my early morning petition for self-discipline throughout the day when I'm tempted to sit here at the computer when my to do list isn't anywhere close to done, or when I'm tempted to eat and eat and eat in the afternoons while the girls are upstairs or outside for 'quiet time.'

The article I referenced in last week's post, says : "We should never forget the value of our quiet-time as a place where our fears can be confronted and overcome. It's greatly beneficial to take generous time for meditation--both to dwell on God's grace and provision for our life, and to stare our fears in the face and recognize them for the irrational apprehensions they so often are.

The author also says this is why it's important to establish our priorities and a daily schedule during our devotional time in the morning because when we resolve in prayer to spend our days in a certain way, we're responding to God's leading and not just our own impulses. "The conviction of God's call, more than any factor, strengthens our motivation and quells our fears of both failure and success."

2. Help from our friends. God's touch in our lives, including healing from our fears, so often comes through the encouragement of friends. What makes the fear of success so difficult for many is the mistaken perception that they alone suffer from it. Seek and cultivate relationships where you can be straightforward in sharing your apprehensions of success. Which is of course, what we're doing here in the blogosphere at Living Well. But as much as this place encourages me and gives me news, hints, tips, and insights, it still can't take the place of a personal, flesh-and-blood friend to walk with me, encourage me, and pray for me. The renewed strength, determination, and confidence that comes from this sort of a relationship can be remarkable.

3. Manage the benefits of success. It takes time for our minds to adapt to change, even when it is most welcome. We need to be realistic about our own adjustment process and not make sudden drastic changes, even when we've reached our goals. This is particularly true when weight loss was the goal. Part of the reason I've failed to maintain my success in the past is because once I reached my goal, I figured I didn't need to be careful anymore. WRONG!

It's certainly not wrong to enjoy the benefits of success ~ the Bible extols the value of rejoicing in our achievements and enjoying the results of our work ~ the point is simply that balance is needed. And remembering that God has created us to find our greatest joy in Him, not personal success.

4. Keep the wheels in motion. Someone reportedly once asked Albert Einstein how he was able to cope with his remarkable notoriety. He replied that he dealt with it by continuing to work and pursue new goals. He didn't dwell on his success but kept his mind actively involved in new pursuits.

The motivation of Christ is experienced most fully when our lives are in motion --not frantic, obsessive motion, but prudent, natural motion toward goals which we've prayerfully resolved Christ wants us to pursue. It's through this constant forward movement that our fears can be overcome and we can find the courage to become the person Christ has created us to be. And it's within this movement that we discover most completely and convincingly the truth of the biblical promise that in His joy is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

So we need to give our attention to using the gifts Christ has given us, and to moving toward the goals He helps us establish for ourselves. Keeping our lives in motion will allow the Lord to move us beyond our fears of success ~ even sometimes beyond our wildest dreams ~ and into those accomplishments that reflect

His best for your life.


Until next week,



PS. Here's that Newhart video clip. It's funny stuff ~ especially if you watch right to the end.

video

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tour tuesday: the yard

>> Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Heather, one of my newest bloggy friends (whom I believe I met via The Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes 4 Moms back in March ~ although I can't be certain!) has started something called Tour Tuesday. Because she's nosey and curious about how and where other bloggers live.

And since I am too, I'm playing along in hopes that more will do the same. I always feel somewhat stalkery, but I have to come clean and admit that every time a place name is mentioned on a blog I read, I check it out on Google Maps, find out how far away from my home it is, what tourist attractions, national parks, and historical monuments are in the area ~ and how much it might cost me to fly there.... you know, the usual. I absolutely love it when other bloggers, particularly ones that live in the country, post photos about their homes and neighbourhoods.

So today, I take you on a tour of my magnificent 4-acre yard. And I use the term 'magnificent' pretty loosely, especially since nothing is green around here yet, save a few patches of grass in various spots around the yard. Spring is coming very slowly this year. Oh, and we have a dog that chews EVERYTHING to bits and drags it all over the place. (he seriously even chews on the house!! And yes, he's got bones and rawhides to chew on. He just seems to like variety...) Oh, and because it's really a pretty ordinary country yard. So anyway, here you are, turning onto our driveway from the main road. (You can click any of the pictures to enlarge them for a better look. Yeah, that's a kid in the bushes in the foreground!)




And here's what I see when I come out the front door to greet you.




Here's a look from the back door out to the main road where you just came. Glad you managed to find us!







All right, well now that you're out of your car (which is covered in a thick layer of fine dust, since the roads are all gravel around here and it hasn't rained in over a month), let's take a little walk around the perimeter of the yard. Here's the view from the northwest corner of the yard. You can see our tiny little farmhouse, part of the garage on the far right, and the white, slanty well shed in between the house and garage. In the foreground is a huge flower bed that desperately needs some attention yet. And a cat. You can see the old pig barn (behind the garage) and horse barn (behind the well shed) in the distance. The camper is parked where it is for no other reason than that we don't really have a good place to put it. It wintered in the garden, but now it's on the back half of the driveway (that extends out the back side of our yard to access the adjacent field) so that we don't have to worry about mowing or tilling underneath it.

Okay, now we're going to trek to the opposite corner and look back in the direction we just came from. You can see one of the three dilapidated old barns in the foreground ~ the horse barn, which has obviously been used as a paintball target... ~ and the well shed, house, and the white garden shed on the right in the distance. This space right in front of us is generally the area that is covered in dandelions in about a month's time. I know they're weeds, but it's really quite beautiful. I love taking pictures of my girls playing with the cats amongst the bright yellow flowers.

And here we are in the northeast corner of the yard ~ seeing the second pig barn on the far left in the distance now ~ which is largely dedicated to garden. Which is entirely wasted on me, since I am the worst black thumb you could imagine. I always have a garden, however, and this year will be no different ~ except the Bushman has decided to take matters into his own hands to see if he's better at it than I am. I'm seriously keeping my fingers crossed! I'll have to put the garden in since he's still working roughly 14 hours a day for a local farmer, but his hours should slack off a little once seeding is over.

And thus concludes the tour of my yard. At the height of summer, when everything is lush and green and there are plants growing in the garden (hopefully not just the weeds!), I'll have to give this tour again. Thanks for popping by!!

So where do YOU live? Pop on over to Heather's Tour Tuesday post to add your tour to the Mr. Linky!

Farmer

PS. I'm so excited that Blogger auto-posts now!! I'm actually computer-less as of this morning and will be for a few days while it's in for servicing and perhaps an upgrade. So even though there's a post today and will be another one tomorrow, I won't be in the blogosphere. How cool is that?! Well, the auto-posting thing, anyway. I know you'll miss me desperately.

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mother's day photo shoot

>> Sunday, May 11, 2008


















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before i was a mom...

>> Friday, May 9, 2008

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on. Chewed on. Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.


Before I was a Mom,
I'd never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put him down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.



Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache,
the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.

I didn't know
I was capable of feeling so much,
until I became a Mom.

~ author unknown



Hope y'all have a...
Mother's Day Basket

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