Sunday, April 29, 2007


Have you ever felt free? liberated? I mean like - have you ever done something that allowed you to just BE - no strings attached? I feel like that sometimes if I am creating - just for myself, without any restrictions or guidelines...I feel free in my relationship with Christ - he loves me and allows me to be FREE from death and FREE from a lot of things that entangle me...and my husband allows me to feel FREE because he loves me unconditionally...but I have found something totally unlikely for me that allows me to feel so FREE! Zumba - or a funky version of it! Here is what it is: Zumba is (taken straight from their website)
ZUMBA is a fusion of Latin and International music - dance themes creating a dynamic, exciting, effective fitness system! The routines feature aerobic/fitness interval training with a combination of fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt the body. Zumba utilizes the principals of fitness interval training and resistance training to maximize caloric output, fat burning and total body toning. It is a mixture of body sculpting movements with easy to follow dance steps. (not always so easy in my opinion - depending on who is teaching)
There are lots of versions of it - I have been taking a class very similar to this at the gym where I work out and I can't get enough! The instructor is SO great - not easy or slow though! Here is the funny part - growing up I NEVER went to any dancing type events. I never danced at weddings - nothing! I am not confident in that at all. So, the first time I go to this class - I am in shock. She has us shaking things I have never shaked in my life! The music is great - so loud and I am cracking up...looking at other people, waiting for them to laugh at me. Are they really going to do that? Here is the great part - nobody cared! There are like 60 people crammed in this room. People of all different races, ages, sizes, and colors. Some people are really good dancers and really fit, some (like me) try their best and can keep up but look a little odd, others are totally doing there own thing and have no clue - maybe they think they are following along...EVERYONE has sooo much fun! It doesn't matter what you look like or if you can move like the instructor. I was standing next to a very large older woman in the FRONT row last time and no one cared that we both looked quite funny! You just have fun and focus on yourself and it is like a big exercise party. It is so good for the woman I see in there. It is empowering! Okay - the best part is that you really burn between 700-900 calories IF you work hard! (You can tell that from wearing a heart monitor) I feel so invigorated when it is over - and ready to conquer the world! Kevin loves it because I clean like a crazy woman when I come home. How about a change from your exercising norm - try something funky and let lose!

Making Cookies

I know I am not a consistent blogger - not all all. I actually keep a running list of things I would like to blog about, but don't have time. I wanted to post some photos from this week. I don't do a lot of my own kids - or anything I think is really nice. Why? Safety and I know a LOT of people whose photos havee been stolen - two people just last week. IT is incredible.

Well, these photos are from us baking last week. For my daughter's birthday at school, we made these really cute princess sugar cookies - crowns, purses, slippers, and dresses. In the process, the girls had a flour fight. At first I said no...but then it looked so fun. Not so much fun to clean out of the hard wood floor cracks though! AND - does anyone know how to get thick flour out of hair? AFter 3 baths, we still have a LOT left!

Fashion Panic

This describes me yesterday! Some people just have no idea what I am talking about - fashion is second nature to them. I feel confident about the gym, working out, artsy things, teaching - but not shopping. It is not enjoyable - it is ulcer causing and I try to avoid it unless necessary.

My husband and I were chaperoning a high school prom-type event. I thought I would run out and pick something from this decade to wear. I don't buy many clothes - especially for myself. In fact, I don't enjoy shopping at all. I have no money and no style - so shopping is extremely stressful. Anyhow, I walk into several stores and my mind is SPINNING! I can't even tell if some of the things I am seeing are tops or skirts...honestly - they are either strapless long shirts, or skirts? Someone please help! Who can I call? I tried my sister-in-law...she didn't answer. She is thrifty and stylish. I call another friend who will be at the prom too - she gives me some ideas, but I can't figure out what exactly she is describing, plus everything is like a size 4 - not what I am. So, I start sweating, pick up somethings -WHERE ARE THE MANIKINS??? They at least can give me some ideas - show me how to put things together! I am a visual learner - is there a catalog? I try several things on - lumpy, hanging off, too much of me showing, oh I don't know, is this cute? I don't even know if these match! I end up shopping for a few hours, coming home empty handed and wearing something old anyway. It doesn't zip all the way up and I have to pull it up way too high. Yes - I know you don't care - but it feels good to ramble ...or as my friend would call it "sharing mental vomit." The positive - I don't spend much money on clothes at all! :)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

So funny!

Is it bad to steal something from someone else's blog? It may not be the best ettiquette - but what I read on my friend Marla Taviano's blog was so funny - I have to share it with others. [Marla - tell me if it bothers you that I stole your funniness:)]

How To Tell Whether or Not You Are Ready to Have Children:

1. The Mess Test:
Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Now rub your hands in the wet flowerbed and rub on the walls. Cover the stains with crayons. Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer.

2.) The Toy Test:
Obtain a 55-gallon box of Legos. (If Legos are not available, you may substitute roofing tacks or broken bottles.) Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream. (This could wake a child at night.)

3.) The Grocery Store Test:
Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them with you as you shop at the grocery store. Always keep them in sight, and pay for anything they eat or damage.

4.) The Dressing Test:
Obtain one large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff into small net bag, making sure that all arms stay inside.

5.) The Feeding Test:
Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend from ceiling with a stout cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal (such as Froot Loops or Cheerios) into the mouth of the jug while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor.

6.) The Night Test:
Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8-12 pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 8:00 pm, begin to waltz and hum with the bag until 9:00pm. Lay down your bag and set your alarm for 10pm. Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you have ever heard. Make up a dozen more and sing these, too, until 4:00am. Set alarm for 5:00am. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up for five years. Look cheerful.

7.) The Physical Test (Women):
Obtain a large beanbag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Now, remove 10 of the beans.

8.) Physical Test (Men):
Go to the nearest drugstore. Set your wallet on the counter. Ask the clerk to help himself. Now proceed to the nearest food store. Go to the head office and arrange for your paycheck to be directly deposited to the store. Purchase a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the last time.

9.) The Final Assignment:
Find a couple who already has a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training, and child's table manners. Suggest many ways they can improve. Emphasize that they should never allow their children to run riot. Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you will have all the answers.

I can't stop laughing. Whoever wrote this is a genius.

We have had a good day today. The sun was shining. I took Megan to swimming lessons for the first time. I dont' get to spend as much time alone with her since she is the second. She has always loved the water and has had no trouble going under and trying to swim since she was 1 and a half. So I thought today would be so fun - a breeze. Wouldn't you know that she cried - no screamed - while holding my neck with a death grip - for the entire 30 minutes of the lesson. I wouldn't be surprised if I had Katherine and she had done that - that is more of her personality, but I thought for sure Megan would love it! She did love the last fifteen minutes when she got to take off the VEST (I think THAT was the culprit) and could play however she wanted. Later she told me - "Mom, I cried during swimming lessons. I was so scared. I kept holding your neck with both of my hands so that I would not fall." Hmmmm...I think we will try again next week...maybe we will forego the vest!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Great day today -

Let me first show you a photo of how my creative daughter (the almost five year old) topped her pizza today! She helped me "decorate" her pizza deciding to make a pepperoni face. She actually got out cooking scissors to cut up the pepperoni into eyelash shapes...she was going to add freckles too, but ate them first! She loves to make things, draw - anything artsy. I'll post some of her drawings in the next week.

It was a beautiful, sunny day today! For me that usually means eye-ball headaches. Anyone else get those? If I am not wearing dark sunglasses, it is likely that I will have an intense headache almost immediately that doesn't go away easily...but I love the sun anyway! I actually visited a friend and they allowed me to use their studio photography lights - I've only shot with natural light or an on-camera flash - Wow - what a difference indoors! It was fun! I have always been a sucker for outdoor photography in a natural setting - just chasing kids around, letting them do what they do best and catching them in the moment, but I enjoyed the change! I also shot RAW for the first time today. The quality was incredibly better than JPEG - may have to do some research on that!

Here are five things about me you may not know:
1. I was shot in a late night toilet papering incident in high school - thought I was dying, but it was only a pellet gun we discovered after calling 9-1-1
2. My hair was shorter than many guys hair in elementary school and people always were mistaking me for a boy. In fact I was Tom Sawyer in a play down in front of the state house in 5th grade.
3. I made a basket for the wrong team when I played basketball in 7th grade
4. In Ecuador on a missions trip, I stood in both the Northern and Southern hemisphere at the same time. Did you know the toilet flushes different directions in different hemispheres?
5. When I was little, one of my most favorite things to do was to catch my dad's pop flies in the back yard. He could throw them higher than anyone else and it was so challenging to try to catch every one!
Have a great day today! My challenge to you: Think of at least one thing to thank God for right now - and think of one compliment to give someone else right now (you can call or email if they aren't around).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Just catching up

Been a little busy the last couple of weeks. Had lots to blog about - but no time! I actually made a list, but can't find it... I have been doing some graphic design and photography - just enough to keep me busy.

This ball is the first non-princessy, non- super-girly interest my almost-five-year-old daughter has had in a long time! She actually asked us for a pink basketball and a hoop. She loves to play - it is so cute. I am sure it is only a phase, but a nice distraction from everything princess! By the way, the cute ball is from target! I can't believe she will be five this month. It seems like I was just in high school and now I am 31 with a five year old! Yikes! I have been planning her first-ever friend birthday party - it is so much fun. I actually get to use my creative energy for something family related!

I don't watch the news much - but of course I have tuned in to the Virginia Tech tragedy the past two days. It is so horrible! The news is just a daily reminder of the evil in the world and keeps me grateful for my life. I am thankful for all that God has given me - I have so much more than what I need in every since of the word, and I am grateful for the hope of heaven. I will keep those people in my prayers as well as the many other suffering people in the world. Blessings to you today...


Ever heard of it? (Trichotillomania) My 2.5 year old daughter, Megan, has it. She has for a while, but I never really researched it or counted it as something "real." It is a condition that causes people to pull their hair out. Sounds like a habit doesn't it? It really has some chemical connections with the brain, etc. I feel badly for her. She gets different bald spots - and at first when the doctor told me "She might grow out of it" I thought he was crazy. What teenage girl pulls her hair out? Apparently, lots of them if they have this problem and it is really distressing for them. Anyhow, here are some pictures of her hair...we tried a crew cut so she couldn't pull...didn't work. We have taped her fingers together, had her wear a swim hat, and put gloves on her...none worked. We just pray she will grow out of it. She is still cute - even somewhat balding:). Here is a scrapbook page I did about it a few months ago. Don't get me wrong - of all the diseases a kid could have, this is certainly not the worst!

New Curtains

Okay - I just wrote a really long blog to make up for all of my not-blogging and somehow it got, I'll write "in pieces"...I finally finished the curtains for my office! The photos hanging here were matted on chipboard and sanded - and then I applied black rub-ons to the top. Got the idea from Donna Downey's book Photo Decor - (which I love by the way - has lots of fun ideas for decorating with photos). I also am so thankful for my own space to sit and be creative!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Who needs fancy toys

when kids have an imagination? I have been trying to help the kids learn to dial 9-1-1 on pretend phones in case there would ever be an emergency. They are 2.5 and almost 5. We decided to play pretend hurt and doctor and nurse. We don't have any doctor toys anymore - but the kids came up with all sorts of things. As I was laying on the floor...Megan (the 2 year old) kept pretending to pour water in my mouth and rub my head. Katherine got a drumstick and put in my mouth to take my temperature. She said I had a fever of 80 and would have to stay in the hospital for 50 days. She put on her sunglasses to look in my throat. Then she gave me her prized posession - her bear. Looking around for something else....She grabbed a cash register and scanner. She said she needed to listen to my heart "beep." So, she punched in some numbers, held the scanner to my chest and started saying "beep...beep...beep..." so creative! She also made me warm soup and wiped my brown with an apron. What fun!!! If only we could live in the moment more often and make something fun out of nothing!!


Another one of my favorite photos. Believe it or not, this is my husband and I the summer we first started dating. Kevin was going into 8th grade and I was going into 9th. He had a broken ankle; I was dressed up in some weird pippy long-stockingish style (totally spontaneous and fun!); and we were playing some Nintendo game. Funny eh? Beth if you are reading this, I think you and Dan (my cousin) were there at this time???

I don't know about you, but I love to look at old pictures and relive moments...

You knit me together...

in my mother's womb...Psalm 139. This is one of my all time favorite photos - lots of controversy behind it and stirred by it....but this is a 21 week old baby in utero having a spina bifida surgery. He is fine now, by the way. It is from 1999 - but I was reminded of it when I passed by House on TV last night.