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First Time Trying Zumba

From my other blog…in case you are not reading it…

The Thousand Teeth

“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.”

~Agnes De Mille

I am one of those people that can trip on my own feet, or even nothing, so trying a Zumba class sounded really intimidating. However, I made some friends yesterday at the gym and they were really encouraging about the class, so I decided to jump in there and try it.

Guys, it’s really fun! 🙂 I had no idea! It’s like a cross between bellydancing and hip hop, both of which I’ve done a little bit before with videos or kiddos teaching me. The instructor wears bells and is very perky and she didn’t mind me staring at her butt trying to figure out how she was moving.

I only lasted about 20 minutes into a thirty minute class, but some people stayed on for a second class, which seemed to be more…

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I joined a gym

To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise.
-Gene Tunney

After a month of pros & cons lists, visiting local gyms either via online tours or in person, and asking lots of people lots of questions about their exercising and health efforts, I have finally joined a gym. (I see you out there looking shocked. You may close your mouths now. 😉 )

I know it’s taken me some time, but I’m finally ready to get back on the health bandwagon. Some may be amused that I’m starting so near to the Feast of Tabernacles, but I am all about starting now that I’m ready, rather than waiting until some nebulous “perfect time” that never will come.

Fitness plans (this week and next)

  1. I’m already taking a daily walk with the dog. Started that just this week. It calms us both down and makes us happy. Win!
  2. I joined the gym. I learned the machines this morning, but there will be someone there every day, every hour they are open to answer my silly questions. This was a big deal to me. I forget how to do a lot of things (like brushing my teeth. how can you forget that? My mind is a seriously weird place.).
  3. Tomorrow I will be resting from this week’s craziness. Resting is a goodness.
  4. Sunday, I will find my FLEX, charge it, and then I might go to the gym. I forgot to ask their hours. Oh wait, they may be in the stack of papers the trainer handed me. I dumped them in my inbox and forgot about them. Hmm.
  5. Monday, I will go back to the gym and try out the circuit. It will be good because I tried the machines today and only one made me want to cry. The trainer said that was the machine everyone hates the most. Well, yay for that machine. That night I will look at my stats on the computer because they should be available by then.
  6. Tuesday I am trying out Zumba for the first time. They promised not to laugh at me. I am glad about that. I am not terribly coordinated when it comes to watching someone do something and then doing it myself. I hope I don’t hurt anyone.
  7. Wednesday, I am taking a break. My trainer said I should have a couple in there during the week to let my muscles rest.  Woo hoo! (Also, I have Bible Study Fellowship on Wednesday mornings.)
  8. Thursday, I am either doing more Zumba or the circuit again. It depends on whether I broke myself and/or others doing Zumba on Tuesday.
  9. Friday, I will go do the circuit again. I will check my stats again and I will be happy that I finished out the week. 🙂

 

Cross-posted at The Thousand Teeth
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Pinterest, Food Network, & Snacks, Oh MY!

I’ve been struggling with making lunches and snack interesting again. I’ve looked to Pinterest and Food Network and Bento Mama home pages. I’ve tried so many different things. Some, like the pizza bagels (easy peasy: toast a bagel, put it in the lunch box, add a tub of pizza sauce and a tub of shredded cheese and send to school for kids to assemble) and the Turkey/Cheese Skewers (with festive skewers ordered online) have been instant hits. Others, like the Cherry Angel Food Dump Cake (again, easy: dump one can cherry pie filling into greased 9×13 pan, dump box of angel food cake mix on top of that, dump one stick of butter on top of that. cook for 40 minutes at 350 degrees), no one loved (it fizzed in your mouth. it was disturbing).

Today I made a version of Puppy Chow that I’ve taste tested before the kids get home. It’s got chocolate and peanut butter and bits of dried fruit and random dry cereal. It has a couple substitutions for kids likes/dislikes, but I’m still thinking it won’t be a hit. Or maybe it will be. I just don’t know.

Last Week at the Blue House of Joy

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In between the arm breaking and fall festival shopping craziness, things still did get done around here.

  • I got a plastic dresser from the clearance rack at Wal-mart (bright turquoise) for Greg’s closet and got his stuff moved over and Ben’s moved down. Now they have a shared Treasure Drawer and Ben has three drawers for clothes and so does Greg. I’d show you a photo, but it’s kind of boring in there.
  • I made my lunch drawer happen, even though it wasn’t on the Official List. Nick and I had a discussion about the plastic ware and where it needed to live (my answer: Goodwill. his answer: in the kitchen) : it’s gone into the top cupboards with the regular stuff. Some of the  stuff was removed from several categories and will be making its way to Goodwill this week: mugs we didn’t care about, bowls that didn’t fit our needs, lunch drink containers that ended up not being as leak-proof as advertised.
  • A tall bookcase arrived for David’s room, so he has room for the books that came out of my room (for his age and interests). We still need to get that moved in and the top of the old shelf arrangement mounted on the wall above his dresser for his Lego creations. The old shelf may go to its forever home in the garage.
  • I have plans for the garage. Oh yes. Plans that are not fully envisioned yet. But I did start work on making it tidier for the present. (For the future, I would like to take in half the garage and make a “project” room or -even bigger dream- the whole garage and move the master bedroom over there and let each kid have his own room. Nick would like to think on these further. Poor Nick.)
  •  Last, but not least, I got my lovely, lovely, lovely electric teakettle for a feast gift from my sister-and-brother-in-law. Isn’t she gorgeous?

15 movies that have stayed with me…

When I first started this list (three or four days ago), I panicked and couldn’t think of any movies I’d seen, ever. Now I’m wishing I could do way more than 15!  So, here are a few lists:

Childhood

  1. Watcher in the Woods – Bette Davis, spooky house & trees, child possession & kidnapping, aliens, what’s not to love?
  2. The Dark Crystal – Jim Henson + Brian Froud = LOVE
  3. Back to the Future – Time travel, great music, Christopher Lloyd as a mad scientist…whee!!!
  4. Labyrinth – see number 2
  5. Time Bandits – weird, dark, British
  6. ET – alien comes and befriends a child (I am seeing a theme here, are you?)
  7. Wuthering Heights (with Laurence Olivier) – I was seriously too young for this, but hey, a ghost, a forbidden & lost & returned love, a child saved off the streets, an undying romance…
  8. Star Wars – seriously, if you don’t know Star Wars, I can’t be your friend anymore.
  9. The Goonies – pirates, bad guys, kids saving the world, underground paths to hidden treasure
  10. 2001: A Space Odyssey – aliens, sentient computers, need I say more?
  11. Oliver – MUSICAL! I have the easy piano book and I played the songs over and over and over
  12. It’s a Wonderful Life – I love and hate this movie every year.
  13. Amadeus – Oh my goodness: fantastic geniuses are real people, too!
  14. Spaceballs – I love me a good parody and this one is GOOD
  15. Drop Dead Fred – silliness. lots and lots.
  16. Bedknobs & Broomsticks – magic, music, and mischief

High School

  1. Untamed Heart – who doesn’t love this movie? (teenaged boys, probably)
  2. The Piano – a mail order bride who speaks only through her piano gets her piano taken away from her by her uncaring new spouse  runs off with the man who offers it back to her
  3. Monty Python and the Holy Grail – probably my most often quoted movie. I don’t even realize I’m doing it.
  4. Rocky Horror Picture Show – I first saw it when I was 14 and there’s no turning back after that.
  5. Benny & Joon – crazy girl falls in love with crazy boy? oh yes.
  6. Fried Green Tomatoes – crazy girl falls in love with other crazy girl and runs a cafe?  I never could decide if I liked the book or the movie better. Both had scenes that the other one didn’t have that I ADORED.
  7. The City of Lost Children – French, weird, dark. Loved it!
  8. A League of Their Own – I have been known to watch this more than once back-to-back. I don’t even like sports, but I love this movie.
  9. Lady Jane – I love a movie that can make me interested in real, actual history. This one was beautiful.
  10. Total Recall – Once I found out that there were BOOKS and STORIES like this, I went on a three month Philip K. Dick reading binge. It was awesome! I can’t believe they’re remaking it.
  11. The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen – Weird, Dark, British. Check!
  12. Dead Poets Society – I remember that we could get Mrs. Sanders off topic for an entire day in school if we mentioned this movie. It was that awesome and controversial. I just loved the idea of young men running around spouting poetry. I wanted to find me some of those.  Where were they? (Hiding from me!)
  13. Pretty Woman – Ah, who can forget the story of the prostitute in love? I have no idea what our parents were thinking letting us watch this movie, but we loved it so much!
  14. Four Weddings and A Funeral – I still love this movie. I can’t help it. British, silly, love, yup!
  15. When Harry Met Sally – I love movies that feature finding each other over and over again throughout the years. I don’t know why. I just do. This is my favorite of this kind.

College/Post College

  1. Sliding Doors – Alternate futures played out back and forth across timelines, possibly my favorite movie of all time
  2. The English Patient – again with two timelines being told at the same time, undying romance, war that is mostly off-screen
  3. Clerks – this one just says “college” to me
  4. Rebecca – Nick brought this to my attention and I love, love, love the creepiness and story.
  5. Pride and Prejudice, the six hour version – Colin Firth. Enough said.
  6. Bladerunner – I saw this when I was a child and loved it, but we watched it and read it and talked about it enough in college that that’s where my brain puts it when I’m thinking of movies.
  7. The Nightmare Before Christmas – Was this college? Or high school? No idea. Just a favorite. I sing the songs in my head a lot.
  8. You’ve Got Mail – our first internet/love movie. Whee! Love everything about it.
  9. The Long Kiss Goodnight – Love how she transforms from this perfect vision of wife/mother to this scary ninja spy lady. Love Samuel L. Jackson, too. I will watch it any time it is on.
  10. Men in Black – He’s wearing Edgar like a suit!! Ok, so that was really gross, but the rest of the movie: silliness, aliens! EEE!
  11. Dark City – Dark & weird. Really weird and really dark. Sometimes I have nightmares. I won’t say I love it. I just can’t stop thinking about it.
  12. French Kiss – French. French. French.
  13. A Room With a View – I want to crawl inside this movie and live there.
  14. The Talented Mr. Ripley – Creepy…and awesome…and creepy…and I just think about it and shiver.
  15. High Fidelity – I don’t know why I love it, but I do. I am not even a big fan of the music.

Post-Children

  1. Chocolat – French…chocolate…nostalgia for the past…mmm
  2. A.I. – Robots, kids, the future, the sadness of it all.
  3. Amelie – French (for real!), weirdness of the happiest kind
  4. Gosford Park – British, nostalgia for the past when people who had people that did things so they didn’t have to?, manners
  5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – British, I cried when it started, I don’t know why I was so excited
  6. Love, Actually – British, lots of stories to follow, LOVE
  7. Possession – British, what-if storyline, two stories to follow
  8. Wall-E – future, robots, LOVE
  9. Kate and Leopold – time travel! LOVE…the whole thing….
  10. The Lake House – time travel! LOVE…the house, the quietness, the waiting….it was just exquisite
  11. I, Robot – Robots, humans, what’s the difference?
  12. Sense and Sensibility – British, LOVE, manners, and Alan Rickman. Lots of Alan Rickman.
  13. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – weirdness, lots and lots of weirdness
  14. Til There Was You – LOVE, what-if storyline, awkward, awkward love stories
  15. My Best Friends Wedding – LOVE, silliness, lots of silliness.

After I got started, I couldn’t stop, obviously. I’m still thinking of movies that ought to be on each of those lists. Hmm…Netflix is calling my name….

The Gregory Broken Arm Story

Yesterday he was on the playground at school during recess and decided to try to skip from the first monkey bar to the fifth one. He missed and fell to the ground, landing with his right hip on top of his his right wrist. He was super embarrassed and decided not to tell his teacher or go to the nurse. (This was the same kid that didn’t want to bother anyone when he got locked in the car this summer, remember? I think God’s lesson for him this year is “SPEAK UP!!”) In fact, he came home and didn’t even mention it to me until a couple hours later, just as his Nana walked in the door to work on his words with him while I took his brothers to piano lessons. We went straight from lessons to Open House at two different schools and still he only said “My arm kind of hurts where I fell.”

After dinner he started fussing about it just a little, so I put an ace bandage on it and put him to bed. Got up this morning and it was definitely swollen, but he still wasn’t saying much about. I mean, he was acting fairly regular, just not using that arm for much. I got him ready for school and sent him in, calling the doctor as soon as their office opened. They were able to fit him in fairly soon after that, so I picked him back up from school, we had x-rays taken, then we were sent to the orthopedic doctor.

2014-09-17 11.54.50There we learned that while he will most likely not need surgery, he needed a cast with a special bend to it to encourage proper growth.

2014-09-17 12.08.48We’ll have it removed and checked every two weeks until it finally heals (maybe 6 weeks from now, the doctor thinks). The doctor said to keep him home this afternoon with the arm propped on a pillow and to send him back to school tomorrow.

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So, my kid who FINALLY has gymnastics and guitar lessons after years of wanting them now has to sit out for six weeks. I feel so bad for him!

Life goes on…

You know what? I thought I’d post more once I got out of my hectic-working-two-part-time-jobs-and-pta-president lifestyle. It turns out that I just don’t. I want to, and I mean to, but then things just go on and it doesn’t get done because it’s not on my calendar of things to do.

So what have I been doing? Here, let me show you:

lisasdailies

First I made a weekly schedule of all our extracurricular activities, then added in the housework and stuff I need to do at home, then I put it into Excel and made a handy-dandy worksheet for the fridge and my family binder.

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Then I made a template for our meals and snacks. Nick and I still work on the dinner menu together in a two week format for the fridge, but having this here one week at a time gives me a better way to figure out what snacks and lunches go best with the dinner plan we’ve already come up with.

weekly

Finally, after looking at a bajillion planners online, I realized that I wasn’t going to 100% love any of them and I’d better just make my own. So here we have it. I loved the idea of a TOP 3 for my week and I loved breaking down what I needed to do not by day, but by for what/who. My text/call/email/snail mail list is awesome, too, because I can do those things whenever I have time for them.

If you zoomed in on those pictures, you saw that I have time to clean, time to work out, time to eat… some of the schedule still needs tweaking. I forgot to put important things like laundry and Bible study time in there. But I also have time set aside for “Special Projects” which is super fun. So far “special projects” has really meant “in-depth house cleaning and reorganization.”

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If you follow me on facebook, you’ve seen this one. I cleared off my grandmother’s desk and rearranged my art (adding some new pieces and repainting frames) and added back my desk tray. I even found my label maker and labels! 🙂

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Ben & Greg’s room got the next treatment. We took down the bunk beds that were causing musical bed nights (the kids take turns sleeping with the puppy and she couldn’t be on the top bunk). Ben has a light he can reach now and he can look out the window at the pink crepe myrtle trees outside while he’s reading.

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We’re reusing the ladder as a magazine rack (though it’s moved into a different place since this was taken) for Boy Magazines (Lego, Cobblestone, Kind News, Boy Scouts, etc), and Greg has room for his side table and music stand & guitars in there as well.

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During the desk cleanout, there was also a cleanout of the Giant Filing Bag of DOOM (a queen sized-comforter bag filled with old papers and file folders). I spent a solid day and a half sorting through papers, shredding, recycling, labeling folders, and filing. I have four of these bins now living in my closet on shelves.

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Change of seasons: I do this every year, even when the house wasn’t clean. I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem like school is back until I’ve put up my fall decorations. There’s more than this, of course, as we’ve got a few things in nearly every room of the house. This is just my favorite view. 🙂

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I hesitated to post this. I’ve been feeling private lately, which may be why it took me so long to blog at all. Anyway, this is my bedroom. You would not even believe how awful it had gotten in there. My room used to be the dumping ground for everything any time anyone came over. NO MORE.

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Yes, I actually TOOK OUT a bookshelf from our bedroom. I didn’t get rid of the books. I just sorted them out into two categories: 1) appropriate for boys in the near future and 2) things the boys will probably never want to read or if they do, they have to wait til the far off future. Anyways, this made the hugest difference in my room. I really cannot explain how big a difference; it has to be seen in person. Anyway, the room looks twice as big now.

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Organized liquor cabinet. Yes, this is all some sort of scotch or whisk(e)y. It is nearly all earmarked for some special occasion or other (each of the boys turning 21, anniversaries, special whisk(ey) tastings). I made Nick move it all out of the kitchen so I could put kitchen items in the cabinet there. *gasp* I KNOW, right? Anyway, it looks much better here.

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Bins for Morning Snacks (we got notes this year from all three kids teachers that lunch is much later than usual and to PLEASE send healthy morning snacks) and Outdoor Toys that Live Indoors. A weird combination, I know. This is a temporary location at best. What I’d really like is a part of the kitchen cabinet set up as Lunch Making Central and a cabinet outside in the back for Things That Are Outdoor Related, but Shouldn’t Get Wet. But I have neither of those things at the moment, so we have bins sitting here. At least all the boxes of snack food in front of this shelving unit have a home now (scroll down for the next picture).

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This used to be the liquor cabinet. Now it stores the aforementioned Sam’s Club sized-boxes of extra snack items (yes, Ramen is an after-school snack for starving middle school boys), a few Need to Be Used Soon alcoholic beverages (that I don’t actually recognize, so maybe they’re just THAT old), oddly sized boxes of baking gear, and of course, the special-from-London chocolate I don’t want the kids to get their hands on (it really does taste better than the ones you buy here.)

What’s next on my list?

  • Moving the shelves from Ben’s closet to the front hallway closet and the bins from that closet to his closet.
  • Sorting through the last two boxes left in my closet.
  • Tidying the hallway bathroom closet.
  • Rearranging storage boxes in David’s room’s closet so stuff he needs is below and stuff he doesn’t is above.
  • Getting a second dresser for the younger kids clothing.
  • Tidying up the last bits of the garage (things get dumped there now that they’re not being dumped in our room).

Those are all small projects compared to the ones I’ve already tackled, so I’m going to do those on evenings and weekends as the year moves on.

So what’s really up next? Finishing the novel I started last year. I’m nearly there, I just have about a dozen scenes to finish and some segues to throw in between things I’ve been rearranging this week. When I need beta readers, I will tell you and if you’re interested, I’ll send it your way. 🙂

And now I’m off to do laundry. Because it’s Thursday, and regardless of the wrongness of the above (now corrected) chart, that means it’s Laundry Day.