Happy Holidays!

Wishing everyone a day filled with family, fun, and lots of memories.  My family is already getting lots of laughs from our Christmas card.  With four kids it is impossible to get them all to cooperate.  Gotta love my 6-year-old refusing to smile.  Guess I should have signed the card with Love from the Franks and THE GRINCH.Christmas Card 2013

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Rockin’ Body

I love this time of year with all the christmas decorations, music and family traditions.    However, with all the christmas festivities,  I find it harder to keep up with my regular work out schedule.  So for the month of December I am going to change-up my routine and have a little fun.   All those homemade holiday goodies can be hard to resist so I am hoping these fun workouts from Shaun T’s Rockin’  Body program will help me burn some extra calories. 

 I have always wanted to learn how to dance.  But I have always been too embarrassed because  I have two left feet.    Well, Rockin’ Body feels more like a dance party than a work out.  I didn’t even realize that 45 minutes had passed.  The first few days were a little challenging as I tried to learn the choreography.  If anybody could see in my front window I am sure they would laugh at me.   But now 7 days into the program I am feeling more confident.   This morning I felt like I was doing awesome. I thought for sure the judges on Dancing with the Stars would give me at least an 8 for effort and musicality.  Then my 4-year-old walked into the room and says ” Mom, that’s not even close to what Shaun T is doing.”  Gotta love kids honesty.  They have a way of bringing you back to reality.  Oh well, at least I am having fun and burned some serious calories!

 

Hungry or just bored?

No matter what I do or how many times I feed them my kids always want to be in the kitchen.  When I come home from the grocery store I have to take cover because I am attacked at the door to see what food I have purchased.  One might think it I just returned home from Toy R Us instead of the grocery store by their  reaction.    My kids are only 7, 4, 2 and 1, yet they seem to eat non-stop.  I am very afraid of what it will be like once they are in high school.

I have always filled the bottom drawer of the refrigerator with string cheese, applesauce and yogurt.  That way the kids had healthy snacks they could grab.  But lately before they have are finished eating a snack they are asking for another.  Now I am  beginning to wonder are they really hungry or just bored.  I find it rather interesting that if they are in the middle of a video game or watching a movie they can last more than an hour without eating.  But  if I turn off the tv  they are  immediately starving.  Of course I realize they are growing kids but sometimes I think they are just eating to make sure their sibling doesn’t get the last favorite snack. 

I will admit that I have a few pre-packaged foods on hand for those days that we are running out to the karate studio.  But I try to keep those at a minimum.  I thought it was time to get creative.   I found some fun snack ideas that would be easy for the kids to help me prepare that were healthy too.  This kept them busy for a little while and I didn’t have to hear “Can I have a snack?” for the hundredth time. 

 All my kids love bananas. So we dipped the bananas in yogurt then placed them in the freezer.  They thought this was the greatest idea ever. The next day we made kabobs by placing cubes of low-fat cheese and grapes on pretzel sticks.  I have learned with 3 boys in the house everything can be turned into a sword or light saber.  Half of the pretzels got broken during the sword fights.  But they were happy to eat the broken pieces. Tomorrow we will be filling waffle cones with fruit and putting yogurt on the top.  The boys are having way too much fun with these little snack projects.  Do you have a favorite snack that you make with your kids?

The Little Things

I grew up in Oklahoma. There were a lot of things I liked about it but as a junior in high school I knew that I wanted to move to a bigger city. I spent the summers in Phoenix, Arizona visiting family and I loved it. I enjoyed all the different stores and restaurants to choose from. I loved attending concerts and sporting events. It just seemed like there was always something to do in Phoenix. The weather was a big plus for me too since Oklahoma always had unpredictable weather. I didn’t like the humidity, wind, or tornadoes. Yes, Phoenix was hot but it was consistent and I loved the sun! So instead of staying in Oklahoma for my Senior year of high school I moved to Phoenix. For 15 years I called Phoenix home and I made some great memories. But 3 years ago we moved to the town my husband grew up in and I am learning to appreciate living in a smaller town again.

My husband works 4 days a week so Tuesday feels like a Monday too me. My oldest son rides the school bus then I must get my 3 younger kids dressed and out the door by 7:45 A.M. so that I can drop off my 4-year-old at preschool. I thought I had everything on track this morning. I got my oldest on the bus, made breakfast for the other three and got the kids dressed. I started loading them in the car and somehow I was leaving 5 minutes behind schedule. Of course this really isn’t a huge deal since nothing will happen if we are late to preschool. My son might miss a few minutes of gym time but he is not going to be marked tardy. As I start driving my mind wanders to how much work it will be to get all 3 kids into the classroom. My two-year-old likes to test boundaries so I must put him the stroller so that he doesn’t try to make a mad dash through the parking lot and of course my daughter is not walking yet so I have to carry her. Once we arrive in the parking lot, my four-year-old is anxious to get inside because he doesn’t want to miss anything. Just as I start to unfold the stroller one of the Mom’s I met during open house stops me and says “would you like me to wait in the car with your younger children?”  I couldn’t put the stroller away fast enough. Once I got back to the car she assured me that it does get easier.  She had 4 kids like me and her children ate just a few years older.   I was feeling frazzled this morning and this simple act of kindness from a fellow Mom really brightened my day. 

As much as I loved the big city I was always in a hurry. I would get frustrated with the traffic. I would get upset if there was a long line at the store. I took my son to the same daycare center for a year and I didn’t know any of the other parents. Now that I think about it I only knew one of our neighbors after living in our house for two years. I guess I wasn’t the only one in a hurry. Funny how things change. My friends back in Arizona always ask me if I like living in Oregon. When I say yes their next question is why. I can honestly say that one of the main reasons is because the people are so nice. Almost everyone I come in contact with will strike up a conversation. People are laid back and always seem willing to lend a hand. The story I mentioned earlier is just the most recent example. After being in a hurry for 15 years I am enjoying the slower pace, especially now that I am a parent. I realize that life goes by so fast and our children grow up quick.  It is nice to sit back and just enjoy the little things.

Confession: I might have skipped a few workouts.

As I have mentioned before, I am doing a round of P90X.  I started off strong.  During Phase 1, I was very faithful with the diet and never missed a work out.  But as many of you already know life gets busy.  I found it was easy to work out during the summer because my kids schedule was more flexible.  We didn’t have as many appointments and everything was more relaxed.  The first week of September was supposed to be my recovery week.  Don’t let the name fool you.  It does not mean a week without exercise.  You still have to do Yoga, Core Synergistics, and Kenpo.  But you do get a rest from the resistance training.

I sort of took the rest part too far.  As in I didn’t do any of the schedule workouts.  That was not my plan but I spent a weekend in Arizona to visit friends. Then when I got home my kids started school.  This of course changed up my whole schedule as we had to adjust our daily routine.  Just to make things more interesting all three boys got sick.  They needed more attention and I found myself buried in extra laundry.  I really don’t mean to sound like I am  making excuses.  That is not my intention.  As a mother of 4 children I have learned that life gets busy.  Sometimes my plans must change and that might interfere with my work out schedule.  I have to remind myself that just because I had to skip a work out doesn’t mean all my hard work is down the drain.  I had an “off” week that is okay.  I can do better this week.  The important thing is to keep training.

Tomorrow I begin week 10.  I am ready to bring it!  It is the final phase,  only  3 weeks left before this round is complete.  I can do this.  I will finish strong.

Back to school

I do believe we are the last of all our family and friends to start school. It seems that most schools are starting in August. I remember back when I was a child school always began the day after labor day and that is exactly when my kids started this year. My oldest is now a 2nd grader. He enjoyed his summer break but last week he let me know that he was ready to see his friends. I think he was getting bored and was ready to get back into a routine. He was excited to put all his new supplies in his backpack. He  was curious to see if any new kids would be on his bus this year. When he came home from school I asked how his day was and he replied “It was great, my teacher is much nicer than I thought she would be.” Sounds like we are off to a good start!

My 4-year-old started pre-school this week. He will be attending two days a week. The first morning I dropped him off many of the other students were crying and refusing to let go of their parents. He walked right in put his backpack in his cubbie and never looked back. There are times that I wonder if I should be offended that my boys are so willing to join the classroom. But then I realize I should count my blessings. I should be happy that they are eager to learn and socialize. When I picked him up from class he was excited to show me his paperwork. His teacher assured me that he had a great 1st day. I will admit I was a little worried. Not that I thought he would be scared or anything but he has a tendency to be mischievous. My only problem now is that he wants to go every day and he gets upset on the days he has to stay home.

I was so surprised at how many activities there are for my 7-year-old. I don’t remember being so busy in grade school. Don’t get me wrong I am happy that he has a busy social calendar but with 4 kids I find it harder to remember everything. Thankfully a few months ago a friend of mine introduced me to Cozi.  It has changed my life.  I enter all our important dates into an online calendar.  I thought I was organized until I realized that I was forgetting to tell my husband about important dates and activities.   Now my husband and I on the same page as he as access to the calendar right on his phone.  Cozi even sends out an email once a week to remind us of the upcoming  week’s activities.   I was so excited to learn that Cozi would pull in my son’s school calendar from the school’s website.   I am still working out a few kinks with our new schedule but I can already tell it is going to be a fun school year.  I only have one question…is it sad that most of the appointments are for my 7-year-old?  I do believe his social calendar is busier than mine!

ABC’s Of Me

Some of my friends from voiceboks are participating in an event called the ABC’s of me.  The challenge is to create an ABC list to describe all about you.   This was harder than I thought but so much fun! 

A is for Accounting- This was my career of choice before I became a  stay at home mom.

B is for Bahamas- This is where I spent my honeymoon 10 years ago in October

C is for Children- I had 3 boys decided that kept be busy enough, then a surprise… I finally got my girl!

D is for Desert- I spent 15 years in sunny Arizona and some days I miss it.

E is for Exercise-P90X is my favorite program at the moment.  Bring it!

F is for Football- I love all sports but this is my absolute favorite.

G is for General Hospital- my guilty pleasure, watch it every weekday before I go to bed

H is for Halloween- I was terrifed of Halloween as a kid.  I am still afraid of haunted houses and horror movies!

I is for Ice cream- we all scream for ice cream, my favorite flavor is Rocky Road

J is for Jungle Book- one of my favorite Disney movies

K is for Karate- I have 2 boys enrolled now. I like that it teaches respect, confidence, and self-discipline.

L is for Legos- with 3 boys  these colorful little bricks are quickly taking over my house

M is for Marathon- I have completed 4 marathons and 1 half marathon, there is just something about crossing that finish line.

N is for Netflix- thankful for the ability to instantly stream movies and tv shows on Neflix( I just cancelled Directv)

O is for Oscars- I love movies.    Yes, I even fill out the Oscar ballot and try to predict the winners.

P is for Puerto Rico- this is where my mom’s family is from.  One day I hope to visit the island.

Q is for Quiet- this is something I don’t have anymore

R is for Roller Coaster-I love to ride but it has to be an amusement park, not the portable carnival rides.

S is for Sonic- I am a big fan of Sonic happy hour and so are my kids!

T is for Traffic- this is the one thing I do not miss from the big city

U is for Urban Cowboy- one of my favorite movies, actually I love all John Travolta movies.

V is for is for Veggietales- I love these cartoons and so do my kids.

W is for Weather- Give me lots and lots of sunshine.  I love warm weather, not a fan of winter.

X is for Xerox- my first job was for a copier company that remanufactured Xerox machines

Y is for Yoga- something I am trying to learn.  So far I do not find it relaxing at all.

Z is for Zac Brown Band- I could listen to their music all day

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