Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Work It Out!

I think the last time I blogged about this treadmill was about 5 years ago, right before the flood. Well, she's finally out of storage and set up, ready to go. I have been practically begging Brad to make this happen for the last six months. Originally, I thought it would go above the garage. Brad had other ideas. He doesn't think his "man cave" should have exercise equipment. I was reluctant to his idea of putting it upstairs, but at this point, I just wanted it done.
The upside to having it upstairs = the view. This is what I have to look at while I'm working out.
Talk about peaceful. 

However, if I turn my head to the right, this is what I have to look at. Brad crammed all the kids' things over together to make room. I need to figure out a better solution, but it is convenient for Piper to hang out and color while I'm working out.
The other thing I have to look at, my unfinished paint job. In my defense, it was too high for me to reach without a special ladder. Brad also decided he wants the angle painted now.
So, that's on the agenda for tonight.  

I also discovered his ulterior motive for putting the treadmill where it's at, right next to the laundry room. As he said last night, "You can work out for 45 minutes and do the laundry when you're done." Um yeah, that's what I had planned too..?

This is all build up to say that I've committed to my first ever race, the Fools 5K on April 6th. I started working  out again last month and have tried to improve my diet etc. My friend, Tara, sent me a message to say she's doing the Chicago Marathon, would I do it with her? I replied, clearly, you have no concept of my athletic ability! But, it brought about the idea that maybe I should try a race? Work my way into it? Sure enough, the more I thought about it, I decided to take the plunge. Will I run the marathon with her? Not likely, but stranger things have happened :)
How about you? Are you running? Doing any races? Any tips for an amateur such as myself?!

~ Misty

Monday, January 28, 2013

Don't Judge Your Beginning to Someone Else's Middle

I've read a lot of posts lately about when the house will be clean? When you have children, whether it's one or fifteen (sometimes it feels like fifteen here) it's overwhelming. Arguments can be made about which is harder, stay at home moms or working moms? I don't think it does matter, kids make messes. A lot of messes. All the time. All day. Even when you think they are "sleeping".
I love to read other mom blogs, organizing blogs, food blogs, basically any view point of things related to the home. One of the blogs/websites I found a few years ago was the FlyLady. I instantly was hooked on her methodology. But, I only got as far as shining the sink and making the bed. I had good intentions, really I did. That brings me back to the fifteen kids. My kids had other intentions, like making messes. But, the two things that stuck were so helpful for me. I found that if I could just make sure the dishes were done at night and shine my sink, I was a step ahead in the morning and not overwhelmed, well, not as much. 
I also have made my bed EVERY morning for the last five years or so. It makes an even bigger difference for me. I love seeing that one thing I have accomplished throughout the day.
I do make a very big effort to keep our house clean and picked up. Why? Well, for starters, Brad likes it that way. He gets a little irritated when it's not. I have also noticed that when I have at least the downstairs cleaned up, the kitchen is clean when the kids come home from school, there are no piles of things cluttering up the visual space in our common area, the attitude of everyone is different. It's more calm and I can focus on them. I do stay at home, so my time structure is different from some. I'm not saying it's always like that, but it's so much easier when it is.
Now before you roll your eyes and think I'm bragging about a clean house, this is what the upstairs looks like most of the time:
The boys room - you can hardly walk in there without seriously injuring yourself by stepping on legos or some other small toy. I don't think they even know the clothes are supposed to go in the dresser. 
Anna and Piper's room. Ditto for the girls, most of the time it's a struggle to find Piper's bed.
So what's the point? Well, you have to pick your battles. I choose to focus on the main areas and let the kids take care of their own things. I do help them out from time to time, for instance, Hailey and I spent several hours cleaning and rearranging the Jack and Anderson's room. I haven't gotten to the girl's room yet. This might not be acceptable to some people, but they don't live in my home. I've figured out what works for us and I still strive to do better, but for now, it is what it is.  And the friends that I do have don't mind either. I know when they step into my home, they're not judging me, we are all in different stations in life. I read a quote somewhere, "Don't judge your beginning to someone else's middle" How perfect.
While this post kind of rambles on and on, I just want to encourage other moms that are struggling with "when" it will all be clean, do what you can, and don't forget to enjoy those little people that are making all the messes.

~ Misty

Live TV!

Hailey was chosen from her Alpha group to be on the Trivia Team representing North Cedar. Her and Brady Hoth participated in the contest against two boys from Lincoln. It was filmed live at City Hall as part of the Hotline Trivia series. The winners from each of the schools goes on to compete later. Unfortunately, they didn't win. However, she was outstanding! The entire experience was amazing to watch. We are so proud of her for competing. Hailey and Brady both worked together very well and acted like a team. I'm continually impressed with Hailey, she's so smart, kind and caring. She has exceeded our expectations in many ways. Stepping out of her comfort zone to compete in this event is one way she continues to challenge herself. If you have a chance to check it out, it's on CFU Channel 15. They will be running repeats for a while. I'm hoping it's posted on youtube later so I can have a permanent link. For now, I have these pictures to share.
This was at the beginning. All of the kids looked terrified! 
This is what they were looking at during the Trivia. All the parents and teachers were seated to the left. I'm not sure if it was harder for her or for us sitting and watching?  
It was a tie all the way to the end. Hailey and Brady did so well! Go North Cedar!!!
~ Misty

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Indoor Park

First I have to say that sometimes, when things don't work you can come across even better things. The whole blogger picture debacle that I struggled with brought me to adding an app for my phone. Now I can upload pictures from my phone straight to my blog - awesome! Which brings me to these pictures I took of Piper. It's been over 10 years since I've last gone to Indoor Park at the Rec Center.
Now I'm feeling guilty that I haven't taken Piper before. She absolutely loved it! She is always asking to go play with her "friends". Usually, her friends are at Orchard Hill Mom's Morning Out. Now she can make new friends. Although she did get run over by a little boy, I mean seriously run over and another one locked her out of the castle and wouldn't let her in.  She wants nothing to do with any of the boys there. That's fine by me. 
She does this weird squinty eye thing when I want to take her picture, not sure what that is all about. 
She was so happy there and cried a little as we left.  I'm trying to be more intentional with my children. Taking her to this place is one of those things that helps keep me focused on her and not the other bazillion things I need/should be doing. I have to remember that being with her and focusing on her IS one of the things I need/should be doing. The laundry can wait.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It's a New Year

I wonder if four months is a record for me? It's been far too long since I have last blogged. It's not that things haven't been happening that have been worthy to blog about, I just haven't taken the time. I feel like I do better with a challenge, so it's one of my New Year's Resolutions, but more about that in a minute.
I little wrap up from 2012. The kids are doing really well in school. Anderson is slowly getting the hang of reading. I've made more of an effort to work with him. I made a decision before Thanksgiving that we would not have the tv on at all during the week. I can turn it on after the kids go to bed, but no news or anything at all. It's incredible the difference this has made for us. It's much calmer now and I can be more intentional about spending time with the kids and focusing on what their needs are after they come home from school. Of course, the holiday wreaked a little havoc on that, but I think we're getting back on track now.
A few of the kids were sick before Christmas, but we're on the mend now. It's incredible it didn't hit us a little harder, I need to go knock on wood now...
We were able to host both Thanksgiving and Christmas in our home. For that, I'm incredibly grateful. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to many more years of having all our families together. This is our family picture from Christmas. You can see our little elf, Oscar, peeking out from the fireplace.
I ended up 2012 in the worst way and it's still difficult to talk or think about. We haven't shared a lot of details with the kids so this will be kind of non-descript or slight in details. I suffered a loss during Christmas and it culminated with me going to the emergency room on New Year's Eve. I got the full ambulance treatment with sirens and everything as I was transferred to Covenant (it was very bumpy!). I lost a tremendous amount of blood and had to have the procedure done that I was trying to avoid. I wasn't stable due to the blood loss, so I was admitted and after four units of fluid, I was given two blood transfusions. Needless to say, it wasn't the way I had hoped to spend my evening.
While I'm still trying to figure all of this out, I'm confident that this year will be better. It's been these last two weeks that has had me really thinking about what's important to me and how I can make the most of what I do have. I'm extremely grateful for my family and friends, that much is sure.
Which brings me to my New Year's Resolutions: 1/10/30/60. Brad told me his and they were similar in numbers, I thought that was a great way to remember them and keep it simple.
1: One blog post per week. That can be either on here or the Block Party site.
10: Ten pounds to lose!
30: Thirty books to read. I feel really good about this one. I love to read and rarely make time to actually finish a book. I am almost finished with my first one, Get Off Your Knees & Pray, by Sheila Walsh. I highly recommend it!
60: Sixty new recipes this year. I know I started the Try It Out Tuesday last year, and I think I can still use that part of it, but definitely look for some new recipes on the Block Party site!
There are other little things I want to improve on, but those are the biggies. What about you? Do you have any resolutions? Any tips for me as I venture on these? Interestingly, I think the first one will be the most difficult. I'm unfortunately notorious for letting my blogging slip when I get busy. But, it's a New Year and anything can happen!

~ Misty