Saturday, July 24, 2010

Reclaiming the kitchen

Today I reclaimed my kitchen. We have completed homeschooling for the year, and so I am moving out all of the educational materials from my kitchen. Before anyone gets too worked up thinking I am keeping educational materials away from my kids - it's quite the contrary, I'm relocating them into a hall closet to make the coloring pages, markers, crayons, scissors, etc, easier to access for the kids, now that they are old enough to use these items without making a mess.

By claiming my kitchen back, I feel inspired to spend some time menu planning. I'll keep you posted...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Making my comeback!

Well, here we are well into May and it's been months upon months since I've felt comfortable talking about weight loss and body image. Stress is a terrible thing - I've had sleep issues, weight gain issues, and all sorts of yuckiness that accompany the out of control feeling of way to much pressure and not enough coping mechanisms put into place.

In February, I peaked at 155lbs. Which is only 10 lbs away from my delivery weight with all of my kiddos. Ouch, for me, that's a lot of weight.

Yesterday, I jumped on the scale for a very successful weigh-in of 141lbs, which is still alot when you're 5ft 4inches.

I'm going for another 16 lbs by the end of this summer.

I have a work pool-party scheduled for Memorial day weekend (May 30th), which is pretty much my worst nightmare ever. EVER.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Beginners Sabbath School Room

I cannot take full credit for how adorable this classroom is. I only re-arranged the furniture, the fantastic paintings on the walls were there when I took the position as co-coordinator for the year. As the kids come in, they get greeted by whoever we assign as "secretary". Each child gets a name tag clipped on. I firmly believe that by calling kids by their name, we really engage them into what's going on.
This is not a drop-off class. Parents are required to attend with their children. This makes it difficult at times because parents can get a little chatty.

My little helper being silly!

The classroom chairs are arranged in a square, but the front edge has no chairs. There is a felt board on the wall, a table for props, the easel and birthday chair. The songs and lesson are written on huge cards and placed in the flip top easel. I have to continually encourage the parents to help sing.

There's a shot of the temple and the blue felt board. Notice the memory verse on the felt board. I've got to find a creative way to hang up our memory verses though-out the room.
This is such a great room to teach in. First we do a song service to warm the kids up. Then we do the routine songs - ringing bells, tick tock sticks, Bible Book song, and have opening prayer. Then we do the interactive lesson. During today's lesson, the kids clapped out their memory verse, took turns rocking their baby in the cradles, placed families up on the felt board, jumped around and "grew" to a growing song, pretended to be the "people" in the Joash story - bringing offering to the temple, and then "painting" the temple with giant paint brushes. Then we sang This Little Light of Mine, while snack was being handed out. Everyone eats their snack sitting on the floor, listening to the story of Joash (or whoever we are studying that month). Then when snack and story are over, the kids go to the round tables and do the craft that has been set out for them. The three year olds love to color, cut and paste everything in sight.
It's going to be a super fun year!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Welcoming the little ones at church

This year I am co-leading our 3 year old classroom at church. The class is scheduled to start at 10, but inevitably there are at least half of the parents that can't seem to get there until 10 minutes after class has started. Our Children and Women ministry pastor suggested that back when she taught the class years ago there was a short song service to welcome kids as they were coming into the classroom. This means that class "starts" at 10 minutes after now, to make up for the late stragglers.To create an interactive song service, I took the top 10 songs that the 3 year olds are familiar with . This in itself was a difficult task to undertake, because there are some great songs like Father Abraham, that are fun movement songs, but too long for a short song service, and there are some songs like Our God is an Awesome God that my 3 year old knows, but purely because an older sibling (or two) might have taught it to him.

Our songs are:
If You're Happy and You Know It
Head, Shoulders, Knees, Toes
This Little Light of Mine
Happy, Happy, Home
My God is to Great
I'm in the Lord's Army
Jesus Loves Me
Peace Like a River

And a few others that have slipped my mind.
The little wooden shape is hot-glued onto a craft stick. On the back of the craft stick I wrote the name of a song in black marker. I have the flower pot lined with tissue paper and then filled with marbles (left over from our old fishtank, thoroughly cleaned). The marbles make it easy to stick 4 or 5 sticks into the planter. Once there are five or so kids in the classroom, I let one child pull out a stick and we sing the song. I was nervous because this is not a drop-off class, the parents actually stay with the kids in this class. It worked out great and the kids loved singing a bit to warm up before starting the lesson.

Week 1 challenge: where did those calories come from?

I belong to Weight Watchers. I read the message boards, but I don't quite put in all of my foods lately. A big part of that is because since my husband got sick, I tend to do a LOT of comfort eating. Or I tend to think a bite here or there doesn't count. Yikes, I was really wrong on that last one - yesterday I ate 4 Oreo cookies and when I plugged the points in, it "cost" me more than my regular lunch.

Anyhow, on the WW boards, there are weekly challenges named super-cute things. Most people scroll through the board and find their "clique" and chat with them via a string of threads. I confessed to my friend, Amber, this week that I need to focus on finding more real life friends that can give me real life hugs when times are tough, versus cyber-friends. I still enjoy the cyber-friends that I have, but I need to have some balance with some face-to-face friend time, too. Does that make sense? Therefore, I read a bunch on the boards, but I don't really jump into any one group.

I get support from my Mommy-friends that have kids in my kids' classes at church (where we will be heading in about an hour). We've been issuing little challenges every once in a while. I thought I would share them here for anyone else that's interested. All of our challenges are related to health. A few weeks ago, there was a challenge put out there to take the pressure off of "the scale" and put the control back on being healthy. You'll notice the ticker is gone off my site - because the constant visual reminder that I'm not where I want to be was really weighing me down. I put the scale a way for a bit and then pulled it out again this morning. My last recorded weight some time last month was 150 pounds (my goal is to be 125, I'm 5 ft, 3in). My weight this morning is 147.2 pounds. It is what it is, and I'll still weigh every once in a while because I am an objective data kind of person, but I've gotten over the obsession of jumping on the scale every time I pee. :)

This week's challenge is directly a result of my 4 cookie Oreo binge. I wouldn't really call 4 cookies a binge, but if you knew how many points they were - I could have gorged myself on some vegetables. With no further ado - this week's challenge: watch out for sneaky calories. I plan to write down in my new health journal (aka, spiral notebook found in unpacking this week!) all of the condiments that I use this week - mayo, salad dressing, butter - etc. All those tiny things that either I add or anyone else cooking adds to the food - I'd like to research how many points I'm spending, but also the real side of food - the sodium, fat side. And come up with some healthier alternatives.

Friday, July 10, 2009

My deepest fear

I'm cleaning out some areas of our home office , tidying up and sorting through papers. I came across a crinkled paper in one of my old loose leaf notebooks from my college days in the mid-90's. I can remember the day one of my nursing teachers handed it out for worship. It makes me stop and think about my life every time I read it:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you NOT to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give permission to let other people do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our own presence automatically liberates others.

- Nelson Mandela, 1994 Inaugural Speech

Thursday, July 9, 2009

4th of July Flag Cake

Joshua saw a picture of an American Flag cake on the cover of a magazine last week and decided that we needed to make one for the 4th of July.

We used angel food cake for the cake itself.

Cool whip for the frosting.

He counted out the 50 blueberries.

And tried very hard to make 13 stripes alternating strawberries with no stawberries.