Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thank's For Coming

This weekend our focus is on the sacrifice of our Saviour, Jesus, for the purpose of saving our lives for eternity. We don't always show it, but we're so thankful that He's paid our debt for us. We're trying to do better - spending more time talking with Him, and listening for His voice. We're seeing Him answer our prayers in so many ways lately and just wanted to say, "Thank's for coming, Lord. Thank You so much for coming the first time - and we can't wait to see You come again soon!"

Friday, March 21, 2008

10 Tappers Gearing Up

As of now, there are 9 of you out there that are taking this fitness challenge with me. Yay me and you!! We now have a Yahoo Group going for support and camaraderie. There are several of you that I expect to hear from still... ;0) You know who you are... no more excuses.

It will be an exciting couple of months. I'm giddy about kicking this plateau to the curb.

Next on the to do list are those dreaded "before" photos. It's OK - they'll need SOMETHING for my publicity later... ;0)

Stay tuned for progress reports.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Can You Take It???

So – tell me… how are you feeling about your body and fitness almost a full quarter into this year that you vowed to finally get in shape and lose that weight?

That bad, huh?
Yeah… I’ve been on a bit of a plateau myself, lately. You may have been noticing that that runner wasn’t moving much on my ticker at the right… I didn’t have the courage to move her BACKWARDS! I was below 200 for a day or two and then back above and up and down between 200 and 205-ish for almost 6 weeks. It was pretty discouraging.

But – I kept at the exercise and portion control and FINALLY, in the last 3 days, I’m losing again. But – I’m only losing weight – NOT inches! Well – not any significant inches. I weighed and measured tonight and I’m down 3.2 pounds, but I’ve only had a net 1-inch loss since 1 month ago. I lost another .25 on my bust, .5 on my waist, 1 inch on my lower abs, .25 off each arm, and the rest stayed the same or fluxed up a quarter of an inch or so. For all that work to only lose 1 inch in a month is not making my trips to the elliptical that inspiring. I just keep telling myself the inches must be coming off in places I can’t measure – like my “back hump”.

Something needs to shake up this body of mine if I’m going to meet my 40th birthday goal, and I’d like to inspire you to shake up yours as well! So I have a challenge for you. This is going to be a pretty long post… but hang in there for me…

Two days ago I received an e-mail from regarding the T-Tapp 60-Day Challenge contest. If you've never heard of Teresa Tapp you need to check out the website - seriously... just go do it! There are a buncha testimonials, before and after stories and photos, demos and “try before you buy” downloads. She's a very knowledgeable lady and has gotten lots of public praise and recognition in books (written by others) and fitness and other magazines for her fantastic viewpoint on fitness and how to get there fast (and really...easily). This is the lady the super models use to get them back in Victoria’s Secret runway shape 6 weeks after they have a baby… I have used her exercise system before and seen it work remarkably fast to reduce inches and rev up my metabolism. Even after I quit doing the workouts (because company came to visit and I didn’t want to exercise in front of them in my living room…) I continued to lose inches for 3 more weeks. In fact – at the end of those 3 weeks I was the “smallest” I’ve been since I started having babies almost 11 years ago. Right now I’m almost 5 pounds from that weight. I know they say losing the baby weight is tough – but 11 years is ridiculous don’t you think??? (I’m working to get the rest of this “baby weight” off before my first baby reaches age 11 in mid July… That’s 21 more pounds to my "pre-pregnancy(s) weight.)

In 2006, ABC television did a 1-month challenge just doing the T-Tapp 15-Minute Basic Workout Plus routine every other day. The average loss was 1 clothing size!! EVERY OTHER day for 15 minutes!! Can you DO that???

Here’s the deal. The 60-Day Challenge contest begins on April 11 and ends June 11. That’s just over 3 weeks away. You don’t HAVE to enter the official contest – but I’d like you to at least PRETEND that you’re entering the contest and do all of the “before, during and after” photos and measurements as requested – following the contest rules that are at this link. You don’t have to share them with me or anyone else (unless you’d like to) but you should take them for your own motivation. It’s really helpful to have photos to compare – as you lose slowly it’s hard to really SEE it in the mirror sometimes. Photos give you that perspective you need for encouragement. Of course, looser clothing is motivating as well...

You don’t have to be morbidly obese (like I was) to qualify for this contest/challenge – you can just get healthier, or firm up too. Believe me…you can’t help but firm up. You’ll notice a difference FAST. With Teresa's workouts you can even "spot reduce" (that mythical weightloss dream...) This is open to older folks that have more difficulty moving, men and young people as well. (Note that Teresa has developed workouts for those needing rehabilitation after injury, and those with limited range of motion due to arthritis, back and knee troubles, and just plain gettin’ old. In addition to the “chair” and “broom support” workouts, there are closed captioned and deaf interpreter workouts also.)

I wanted to add a note about her technique - In the workouts I have used, there is NO annoying music to grow quickly sick of, NO running or jumping up and down (you’d be amazed at how arm movement can get that ticker pumping) NO free or hand weights required to kick it up a notch, and NO skimpy or thong workout-wear visible. (Sorry if that was going to be your motivation, guys…) It doesn’t require a huge amount of floor space for running or jumping around either.

Here’s the reason I’m going to do this: I figure – what have I got to lose? I’m down 54.5 pounds and know I’m going to finish well – ain no way I’m turning back now – even though you’ve seen me eating dessert or truffles now and then… Again – all things in moderation. I’m going to use these 60 days to do something different. I’ll be cutting out my weight machine workouts at the gym and only doing the T-Tapp workouts and then some time on the elliptical or treadmill after for 20-30 or more minutes. (You could walk outdoors or in a mall if you don’t have access to an elliptical or treadmill. Spring is here and being outside will be pleasant again. This is the weather you’ve been putting your exercise off for!!!) I’ve been going to the gym 4 or 5 days a week and I figure I’ll cut back to 3 or 4 day there instead – doing my T-Tapp in the comfort of my own home.

I’m ordering my workouts later today. I’m getting the Total System DVD which includes Total Workout instructional videos, the 15-minute Basic Plus workout and the Total Workout without the instructions at the regular pace. PLUS the CRT Cellulite Reduction and Skin Tightening System, brush and instructional DVD. I’m anxious to try CRT brushing… they say those that have just had babies or lost a lot of weight notice a difference in sagging skin as well as cellulite removal. I’m hoping it works on those that just had babies 10+ years ago… :0) There are numerous other bonuses that come with this package that I’m not listing. The retail value of this package is $330 – but right now it’s being offered for $145. BUT if you purchase Teresa’s book, Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes, for $16.95 you can utilize the one purchase 30% off coupon and get the works for $126.45 including shipping WHEN YOUR ORDER BY PHONE. You must order by phone to use the coupon instantly. That’s why I have to wait until later today… since it’s too late tonight or early this morning. The company (Better Body Basics) is in Safety Harbor, Florida, so watch for the business hours in the Eastern Daylight time zone.
(Note after I ordered: I've learned that business hours are 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. EDT and my total was $126.45)

OK. If you’re still awake… What do you think??? Are you with me??? Don’t make me do this alone – you can DO this! Don’t let the big price tag scare you either – you can get the 15 Minute Basic Plus Workout for $39.95 plus $8 flat shipping. There are other workouts available for a lot less also – I just want the whole kit and caboodle this time. I have many supplemental videotapes and know what I like already. My original workout VHS is worn out too.

So let me know – I want you to be successful and feel better – and FAST :0)

Pray about it and then write, call or comment and tell me you’re climbing aboard my motivation train. I’ll be your biggest cheerleader :0)

Note to self: Now you’ve written all this down and you’re accountable for it… yikes!
PS - I totally forgot to mention this part! When I did this system before and lost all those inches... I WASN'T DIETING! Just more aware of what I was eating but nothing like I'm doing now... But the workout revved my metabolism SO MUCH that I was still losing weight and still eating pizza and ice cream. You really can seriously do this...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Worth the Full Thousand Words

What needs to be said...?

Seriously... (typed in my best 'Meredith Grey')

I don't even know how much this outfit was... I just knew that she HAD to have it... I think it must be the cutest one in the last 5 years and 9 months that she's been around... (HOLY CRACKERS!!! 3 months to her birthday... oy...)

Anywho - it's from "Children's Place outlet" and comes in a few different colors. I'm so proud to have added the sweater to the ensem by myself - meaning it wasn't on the mannequin model - AND changed out the displayed pink shirt (slightly off) for the white one. You should know that the shirt has sequins and pearls around the neckline and the skirt is a full circle with a pink crinoline and pink sequins in the middle of some of the daisys.

Oh, that they carried it in my size... (sigh) Several mom's that saw it commented on how cute she looked and wished the same for their size as well. I quickly advised them not to mention it - lest her matching pink and white embroidered headband snap in two.

This photo was taken on the first day of our homeschool Co-Op classes and she's taking "Fitness in the Faith" - thus the dirty sneakers... Before we left that morning, I told her, "be careful... you don't want to hurt someones feelings by being all flitty in your new outfit... How would you feel if you went to a party and everyone had on their princess gowns and you were wearing jeans??"

She replied, "I might feel a little sad..." (accompanied by a hair flip while glancing sideways into the mirror)

Help us all...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Random Nonsense

Another set of those questions to answer...
If you read them, you need to answer them too! Comment me with a link to your answers :0)

1. If your doctor told you TODAY that you were pregnant, what would you say? "I'd like a second opinion...I'm too busy for another baby!"

2. When was the last time you flew in a plane? MLK Weekend - From San Antonio to DFW to scrap with my Scruds Sharon, Brook and Stacie :0)

3. What did the last text message you sent say? "Wish I could"

4. What features do you find most attractive in the opposite sex? Smile, sense of humor & other shallow stuff...

5. What is a goal you would like to accomplish in the near future? Lose the rest of this weight

6. Shoe size? 10 again. Was a little bigger 52 pounds ago...

7. Been to Mexico? Been close...1,500 feet from the border.

8. When is the last time you had a massage? About a month or so ago. Not the fun kind - the therapeutic kind.

9. What was the last TV show you watched? The Office (online)

10. What are your plans for the weekend? Watching Steel Magnolias. (My annual Easter Movie) Serving brunch for the extended fam and kicking back with my babie's daddy.

11. If your significant other asked you to marry them TODAY what would you say? Do you have any kids?

12. What is in the back seat of your car right now? 2 booster seats, a doll, some dirty socks, jumper cables, a cooler bag, crayons, school books and trash.

13. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? Sleeping.

14. If you could marry any celebrity today who would it be? I thought I WAS married to a celebrity?? (wonder if he'll read this on his phone... ;0) (editors note: he DID, but couldn't get the phone to let him "comment". I think he's now set my blog as his "home page" :0)

15. Have you ever been to a strip club? No...

16. What is the best ice cream flavor? Publix Premium Mint Chocolate Chip (or B&J Creme Brulee)

17. What is the last sporting event you watched? Wicket. Ever heard of it?

18. Ever go camping? Sure have. I take EVERYTHING with me - heaters, drawers, queen sized bed, carpet, microwave, TV, and that's TENT camping... :0)

19. Last phone call? A wrong number :0)

20. Are you allergic to anything? I think so... I think it's pollen

21. What is one thing you have learned about life recently? Nobody told me we were supposed to learn anything...

22. What do you do at work? EVERYTHING

23. What is your mom's name? Lee (edit: whoops...thought it said "middle" name. Mom is Donna)

24. Ever cried for no reason? Nope. There's always a reason - sometimes that reason is called hormones...

25. Can you do the Crank Dat dance? Nope. No interest... do you know what the lyrics MEAN???

26. What is your favorite color to wear? Pink

27. What is the longest plane ride you have ever been on? From California to Florida

28. What is the longest road trip you have ever taken? Moving from Tennessee to California

29. What are your turn-offs? Perio Breath, BO, Braggers, Negative mopey people that feel sorry for themselves and figure everyone else should too.

30. What was your last alcoholic beverage? Let's go with vanilla coke - there's alcohol in vanilla...

31. What are you craving right now? Seriously? Chocolate... always chocolate...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Margie Lee!

Today is my youngest cousin's birthday. Margie Lee (middle name after my mother's middle name and first name for her mother's (Margaret) twin sister Marjorie - who named her daughter after her her twin sister Margaret... Margie is also named after our grandmother - Marjorie...who has a sister named... any guesses??? Let's just say family reunions are quite interesting...)

Anyway - Margie is 24 today. You probably remember I've asked you to pray for Margie. Just before Christmas they started investigating some breathing problems and coughing bouts and just after the New Year, she was told she had non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and she began chemo in February.

I am very happy to report, as of a PET scan last week, all of the smaller tumors-- (right mediastinal and small intestines) are GONE! The large mediastinal mass on her left lung is still there but much smaller, and is now considered a residual tumor since it is not growing anymore. My aunt Margaret says, "It is melting just like the wicked witch of the west."

I really appreciate your prayers for Margie and ask that they would continue. I'm hoping to spend a good bunch of time up in her area this summer sometime. It would be great to get my kids back in "the lake" again. I don't think Michaela has actually ever been IN the lake. We'll hafta fix that...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hot Dogs Here - Step Right Up!

Anyone for a game of Wicket?

"What's Wicket?", you say?

It's a game my kids made up as they started to become Cricket fans. They got all excited about inventing their own game and wanted to invite their grandparents over to watch them play.

And what's a ball game without concessions?
Jacob was convinced that we needed a concession stand, so I helped them come up with a menu, which covered everything from nachos, dogs and burgers, to tater tots, salads, a variety of ice cream bars and drinks. Jacob set the prices and ran the stand. I was the short order cook and daddy delivered the food. I had picked up some little food baskets at Target last summer - those were fun to serve in. Zachary and Michaela didn't do much...they just partook...
Since it wasn't fair to ask the grandparents to fork over their hard earned cash, we loaned them our math manipulative money (but Jacob put out a tip jar that said "real money only" on it :0)
It was great practice for them to learn how much money was needed for something and how to make change.

And there were lessons in sportsman/womanship too. We learned that Michaela can clean their clocks when it comes to running... She looked like Forrest Gump out there! What an incredible runner! We'll be entering her in the Little Olympics this spring, for sure.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Black Bean & Mango Southwestern Relish

Several have asked for my recipe - so I'm sharing. How odd is that??? I "invented" this while looking for a home substitute for the Chili's Quesadilla Explosion Salad (my favorite!)

The photo isn't exactly correct - I forgot the black olives in this batch. It's nice to have it written down now :0)

Black Bean and Mango Southwestern Relish

  • 1 can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup Corn, use frozen rinsed in hot water to thaw
  • 1 ripe Mango, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can Black Olives, drained and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped (use amount to your taste)
  • 1/2 Orange or Yellow Bell Pepper (orange looks prettier with the yellow mango and corn)
  • 1/2 bunch Cilantro, rinse and chop fine
  • Juice of 1 medium Lime
  • 1/2 package of Salad Jazz - Chili Lime seasoning
Mix it all together and serve over salad greens mixed with the other half of the cilantro leaves. Top with Southwestern tortilla salad strips, fajita chicken strips, and Serrano Pepper Ranch dressing.
It's amazingly tasty, and low in calories!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's a What-tal?

A Fractal.

Never heard of it before I started homeschooling my kids... In fact, never heard of it until a month or so ago when the opportunity to take a field trip to the local university math department was offered.
Just in case you're clueless too - according to the web, a fractal is a geometric pattern or rule that approximately repeats itself at smaller and smaller scales as you zoom in closer and closer to it. (huh?) You can download a free program for playing with fractals here.

"Fractals are pretty and interesting". Sara, a Homeschooling mom. (Good thing I don't live in California, ay?)

The most recognized of fractals is the Mandelbrot Set - named for Frenchman, Benoit Mandelbrot, a Harvard mathematician, who is considered the founder of fractal geometry and who was, incidentally, homeschooled from the age of 12 on, by his uncle. Below is a zoomed-out view of the basic Mandelbrot Set.
And here is Jacob's version of the Mandelbrot Set - he did some zooming and color changing with the Chaos Pro program and then printed.
As an interesting side note - as I was researching fractals, I discovered that the homeschool movement was actually pioneered by Dr. Raymond & Dorothy Moore, of the Seventh-Day Adventist church. I had no idea! Those denim jumper sewing, Birkenstock shoe and patchouli oil wearing, homemade yogurt making, goat shaving, wading pool in the living room birthing "hippies" were part of a later movement. Please forgive and take no offence if you wear a denim jumper you've sewn yourself, or Birkenstock shoes and patchouli oil. Or if you make and eat your own homemade yogurt from milk you got from your shaved goat and birth your babies in a wading pool in your living room, (while your other 12 children watch and take photos or make sketches...) America is still free - for the moment.

And since I've stepped way over the line already... if you haven't heard about the recent ruling against all homeschooling families in California, by the California Court of Appeal, stating you must have teaching credentials to be able to school your children at home, and parents have no constitutional right to homeschool their own children, please go here and sign this petition. (excuse the run on...) You don't have to be a homeschooling family or a member of the Home School Legal Defense Association to sign. It scares the you-know-what outta me to think of all the parental freedoms that are at stake here.

I found some of this information here, at Conservapedia ("the trustworthy encyclopedia") Never heard of that before either...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Just 5 minutes

OK - It's been a long time since I've done a good bloggy update. Time is just really of a premium around here lately. But RIGHT NOW I'm giving myself permission to do a quick update - just taking 5 minutes to do it (excuse any tiepoes pleese...)

Weight wise - I'm not losing any - but still working out. It's time to change up the routine, maybe cut down a bit on the elliptical. I've been doing around 45 minutes to an hour each time - so today I only did 15 and then on to the weights. I'm up to 25 "crunches" (???) on the vertical chair. MAN - is that ever tough! Try it sometime... I can't believe I can do 25 with this body, ravaged by the battle of pregnancy thrice times... I was glad to read that this is one of the most effective exercises, though.

I haven't scrapped much, but yesterday I put together a quick coupon book for my friend Grateful. She's waging her 6th battle right now - which will come to an end on April 3rd by planned section. We gave her a little surprise Baby Shower at the end of our monthly Homeschool Mom's meeting last night. I don't want it to sound like I just did the coupon book at the last second...but, truly I did. (Note to self: this deadline thing is a real issue I need to hand over to the Lord...)

As a result - the front of the coupon book isn't as nice as it could be - you really can't see the rub on words "Gifts of" very well at all. I already have ideas for improving it. For starters - make it a vertical cover rather than horizontal, and add a stripe of coordinating paper to put the "gifts of" part on. But, I wanted to share it anyhow and tell you a bit about the coupons, just in case you ever want to make your own (which is a fairly simple thing to do). With this being Grateful's (not her real name in case you haven't caught on to that yet...) sixth (and I'll repeat, 6th in case you thought I was kidding...) baby, we, being the other homeschooling mom's in her circle of friends, thought that gifts of love and time would be more appreciated than "stuff". "Stuff" begats itself anyhow - you don't need to buy it... So I made up several different coupons on the printer, punched holes in them and then the ladies could covertly sign one (or more) and I was easily able to add them to the coupon book just before we gave it to Grateful. And she was, as you can clearly see, Grateful. Try not to notice that the cover appears to be upside down. Always check orientation twice and glue once... Shoot - checking once would have done in this case!
Some of the coupons I made up were for:
  • Watching the other kids while she and hubby went out for a few hours (with the new wee one)
  • Home Cooked dinner delivered to their home an hour prior to dinner time
  • Three hours of help around the house
  • Three hours of watching the kids at their house
  • Taxi service and supervision for the other kids on a homeschool field trip
  • Playdate for any 3 (of her choice) kids
  • Market Trip, just call or email a list for delivery.
  • And the most sacrificial gift - a night out with the girls. We are so willing to take one for the team!
  • I also had some "blank" coupons where someone could just write on the lines what they wanted to give.

The book itself is really easy. All of the directions for a coupon book are in a previous post here on the blog.

Well. That's my five minutes. In all actuality... it was 85 minutes... So NOW you know why I can't post as often as I'd like too... But I'll try to slip you another one tomorrow... I got lot of pictures I'd like to share with you.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Typical March Day in Teckus

It's a lion - March has come in like a lion here in Teckus... (Michaela speak for Texas.)

Days ago it was in the 80's and the sweaters were ready for a final wash to be put away for the next year. When I went to bed last night (at about 2:00 a.m.) the temps were in the 60's - and apparently dropping fast. By 9 a.m when I was leaving the gym the wind was whipping something fierce and the temps had dropped 25 degrees since 4 a.m.

So we're staying inside... snuggled close to the space heater in our schoolroom/office. Even the dog knows what's important!

But just because it's cold and windy outside doesn't mean you can't still be a princess inside. Attitude is everything...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

20 Years Ago Today

Can't believe it's been so long in such a short time - but 20 years ago, on March 1st of 1988, my babies' daddy asked me to marry him. Well - sort of...

Of course, he wasn't my babies' daddy then...wouldn't be for another 9 years - and he only mostly asked me to marry him.

We'd been dating just short of three months and we were sitting in my parent's driveway "talking" and waiting for my dad to flash the porch lights again... and it went something like this:

Him: If I asked you to marry me, what would you say?

Me: I'd say yes!

Him: Well, will you then?

Not the exact words, but pretty darn close...

So that was 20 years. Whoosh!

And now to shift gears - a couple of photos for those of you that have been bugging me. I really haven't lost any weight in the last month - actually bounced back up a few pounds and I'm finally under 200 again, but I have lost more than 6 inches as of a week and a half ago. I haven't measured this week yet. If it's a dramatic change you'll hear from me. I don't care how much I weigh as long as the inches keep coming off!!!
I got a new hair cut too - it's pretty short in the back - even shaved a bit. And I put some "spring" highlights back in there. Just couldn't resist. Still no gray...but I'm on the lookout and will tell you as soon as I spot some!
Another cool thing that happened: my gym has asked me to be on their "Wall of Fame" for consistent effort and results. I need to type up my little bio and story and give them my before and after photos. That's part of the reason for the little photo shoot it was a fairly decent hair day. You really hafta take advantage of those.
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