Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our Get Healthy Adventure

My sister and I have been going to the gym for 13 months, pretty regularly, like 2-5 times per week.  We even hired a trainer to kick our butts.  We altered our diet to reduce fast food, increase veggies, and even started juicing!  We journaled what we ate, tried to cut carbs out after 4pm and definitely felt better, more healthy, though a bit deprived of evening snacks!  Anyways, I am so glad that we started this journey, but to be honest...I lost some weight, gained some back and kinda did the roller coaster the end of an entire year of being conscious and exercising, I have lost 13lbs. 

I went to the doctor for a check-up, maybe there is something else going on that is making weight loss so difficult, but nope, thyroid, blood pressure, cholesterol...all great!  I'm glad, but was kinda hoping that there was a "reason" that all my effort wasn't enough. 

Around that same time, my sister kept telling my about one of her friends on Facebook...claiming she was losing weight, getting her health back and really changing her life with a product called Visalus.  I didn't have much interest...I doubted it would help "us", plus I didn't know this friend of sister was so amazed at the transformation of her friend that she bought us some shake mix to share.  We loved the taste, especially since we were trying out different protein powders in our smoothies...yuck!  This stuff tasted delicious, I figured I could at least try it.  We loved the energy we felt, the way it kicked my carb/sweets cravings, and we started to see the scale inch it's way DOWN!!!  Really?!?!  I thought it might be "in my head"...still trying to doubt this product!  We refused to tell anyone about it until we had proof!  We started our official 90 Day Challenge on November 30th....and the numbers are in!!

I have lost 11 lbs and 5.5inches, I keep thinking that I could have done better, but let's face was over the holidays and the numbers moved in the right direction!!  I should be thankful that I didn't gain, I doubt there has EVER been a holiday season that I didn't gain!!  I feel great and can't wait to get back into the routine of working out and continuing my Visalus Challenge!  First month down and 2 more to go!!! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A trip to the Art Museum

We took a day trip to the Art Museum was wonderful!  Both kids really enjoyed it.  We literally looked at EVERY piece of art in the place!  Some areas were not appropriate for the kids, nudity seems to be a fave of artists!  Some areas were downright SCARY!  There were paintings that were so beautiful, you could almost cry...I always see people just sit or stand in front on art and look at it...never been one of those types...I'm usually on-the-go, busy, and not patient enough to "just stand still" enough...gotta admit, there WAS art that required the stand-still!!   No flash photography allowed, plus I used my new little camera...not used to it yet, so pics are not the best! 

We LOVED the big colorful pieces!!!

I love bare tree pictures!  I know it's strange, but we used to drive around
the country, taking pictures of dead trees...I have lots of portraits that I
took and never hung...someday.

THIS is one of the scary ones!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Santa Came!

The kids wanted to sleep with Aunt Sissy in Blake's room, which made it hard for Santa to come!  Those kids barely slept at all, too excited!!  We told them that Santa wouldn't come if they were awake, so they doubted he would...     BUT HE DID!!!!
The kids put out cookies, milk, carrots for the reindeer, and Blake made
a special note for Santa!

Santa brought Taylor the Doggie Doo game and the pink camo tiger she
asked for! 

Santa brought Blake the wii games and Ben 10 stuff he wanted!

Blake wanted to write Santa a little note...he wrote, "MERRY CHRISTMAS.  Is
Rudolph real?"   And he wrote a check yes or no box.  Plus this year, the kids
put a little stocking up for Buddy our elf, so Santa left him a hand made
braided necklace with two little buttons on it!  A green one for Blake and a
red one for Taylor!!  We will leave it out for Buddy to wear next year!!!

Buddy's little stocking with  his present from Santa.

Playing Ben 10!

Taylor is doctoring him a shot, of course!!!
We spent a couple hours just playing with their new toys...then we got ready to go to church!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve morning, we got to sleep in!   I got the house clean, last presents wrapped, and all the appetizers made for that evening.  Aunt Sissy came over, bringing loads of presents and food.  She is the cheer-bringer!!!  She intentionally waited until the afternoon to come, because last year, the kids got in trouble for begging to open her presents all day!!  This year, I figured out how to stop that...when they opened their advent calendar, the note I put inside said, "Aunt Sissy gets to come spend the night, we will open presents at 5pm, if you DO NOT ask to open them will get extra gifts!!!"  It worked, this year, us adults, were the ones wanting to get started ahead of schedule! lol!

Taylor and I started the day off with our reindeer
ears and red noses!
We always say a prayer to thank God for the blessings that we get to give & recieve, Happy Birthday to Jesus!  Blake did the honors this year, he's such a sweet little guy.

Taylor got La La Loopsy from Aunt Sissy!

Taylor gave Bubby a Pokemon guy!

Thanking eachother for their gifts!

Blake loved his Diary of a Wimpy kid book from
Aunt Sissy!  He just wanted to read it!

Aunt Sissy always gives him Legos...his fave!

Daddy hit him in the eye while trying to open his gift!  Sorry!
Sophie got a hideous looking badger thing!

Daddy got headphones, now he can play his guitar
and we can still have some peace!  lol!
Diana gives to us constantly...always paying for
stuff, always sneaking money in my car/purse
when she knows we are strapped...we got to give
her something cool this year...a wii!!!  She can get fit
at home now!  We love Aunt Sissy!!!!

The aftermath, looks like a tornado hit!!!
 It has been the most blessed Christmas ever!

Welcome to Your New Home, Finny!!!

This summer, I bought a fish bowl at a yard sale for 25 cents.  I thought, "maybe we'll get a fish someday".  Well, here it is, 2 days before Christmas and we finally got our new addition to the family...a beautiful beta! 

We got the bowl ready the day before...the kids loved decorating it!

We made the trip to Petsmart a special event that was in our advent calendar.  We looked at bunches of little bettas, but picked the first one that we all saw anyways...he was "the one".  He wasn't scared of our finger when we touched the side of his bowl...yay! 

Blake got to carry him to the car, Taylor got to hold him on her lap for the ride home...(gotta keep it all even with TWO kiddos!!lol!)  We set him next to our bowl for a couple hours, then acclimated him to his new home!  He immediately swam around, even went into his new cave dwelling!  He seems to be right at home!

We spent a couple hours trying to come up with a name that we all liked...we narrowed it down to:  Blue Bell, Herbert, Finny, Oscar, Sushi, or Flipper!  We finally agreed on FINNY!  All day, we just kept looking at him!  We really love having a little fishy around! 

Taylor's chair is right there, ready for her viewing
pleasures!  She knows that she can't touch the
water or she'll make him sick.
Wasn't even gonna write about this morning, but decided I'd tell the whole truth...I woke up and headed for his bowl to see if he made it through the night...he looked like a goner.  I watched him for a while and it appeared that he may have passed and got stuck in one of the holes of his cave. ( I intentionally waited until "right" before Christmas, so that we could hopefully have a live fish in the bowl until at least Christmas!)  I though, oh didn't even make it to Christmas Eve....I was really bummed, like I could almost cry...not so much for the little fishy, but for all the work and effort and naming...I knew the kids already counted on him being part of the household...I called my sis to figure out what to do...go buy a new one, or just tell the truth and let them learn a sad lesson on Christmas I was thinking what to do, I walked back to the tank and there was "Finny", looking up at me, fluttering his little fins, wanting his breakfast!  YAY...he was just sleeping!  I am such a dork!!!  We all got to feed him one tiny pellet of food...he's happy and so are we!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Dance Party

This year's annual Christmas Dance party was wonderful!  It was Taylor's 1st dance in front of an audience!  Blake is used to it and does it with ease, but I wondered how Tay would do....she did awesome! 

We are ready for the show, with cards for
the teachers!!!
My little hip hopper!

Jacob, Blake, and Logan

My little Santa Baby Girl!

"YOU better watch out!!!"
Santa Clause is coming to town!!!

Her first dance class group pic!

The after party!
I cannot even tell you how emotional it was to see my little girl up there dancing for the 1st time!  I was trying to video, but bawling like a baby!  I asked Blake if he likes getting up in front of people and performing, he says, "Well, sure I do".  I asked Taylor how it felt to dance with all the parents watching...I asked if she was nervous or excited, she said that she was just "happy to dance"...I love it that they are gaining skills to be comfortable in front of and audience.

Polar Express Day

Blake got to wear his pj's to school today for Polar Express Day.  He said that he felt a little bit embarrassed to wear them!! It was the last day of school before Christmas break, they let them watch Plar Express movie, and give them a really cool experience with a booklet, cookies & hot chocolate, and a bell souvenir.  He had a great time!

Cookie Making Day

Aunt Susie came over with bundles of cookie-making supplies!  We declared this "cookie making day" !  Taylor loves baking and really anything in the kitchen.  We thought that she'd "help" with a few and then want to just go play....nope....she "helped" all day! 

We make hundreds of little sugar cookies to give away.  We take some to church, the kids parties, and especially the nursing home that we go visit each year.  We package several in each little goodie bag and deliver yummy little sugary treats!

Taylor's first time using a cookie press!  She loved it!

Drive Through Lights

Each year we make it an event to drive through Fort. Zumwalt light park.  I always add it in to our advent calendar so we can look forward to it.  We wear our pajamas.  We usually pop popcorn and make cocoa in go cups to take, but since we hadn't eaten dinner yet, we decided to hit Wendy's for dinner and lights this year!  There was a line for miles just to get in, but it's always worth it...we try to not be rushed and to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the light show. 

Both got candy canes...already sugared up here!

It's amazing how many lights are all over!

We played "who can spot Rudolph first"  Taylor won!

The lights were beautiful...but just getting to ride in the car together and listen to the kids calling out,  "oh look over here!" or  "Wow, it's Rudolph" made me feel so blessed to be able to do this together!