Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June's Goals - How Did I Do?

At the beginning of the month, I decided to set some goals for myself.  Now that the month is through, wanna know how I did?  {I gave myself a grade for each one.}
1. Quiet Time/Bible Reading Every Day.  - A-ish
I had quiet time with the Lord everyday except one.  It was the first Sunday of the month and since we were going to church, I was going to count that as my quiet time... BUT then I realized that I would get out of the rhythm and decided to do it, even on Sundays.

2. Work Out 6x a Week.   - A+
Thanks to the T25 calendar, and me being a rule follower, I was able to work out 6 days a week!  I finished my 1st round of T25 and I'm back at it for round 2!

3. No Social Media Between 7-9pm Everyday.  B
This was the most eye-opening goal I made for myself. I kept grabbing my phone and checking out Instagram, Facebook, etc and then realizing the time and quickly putting my phone down.  In fact, I realized that I needed wanted to completely put my phone away for those 2 hours. Did I do that all the time?  No, but I'm making effort to put it away more often and focus on what is going on with my family instead.

4. One Sweet/Dessert Per Day.   - C
Yeah.  This one was hard.  {Especially when I was PMSing!} BUT it was a thought in the back of my mind all month long.  If I wanted something sweet at 11am I thought, "Is this really the one sweet thing you want today?".  It did deter me a lot of times, and I DID cut back on my sugar intake a bit, but I have a LONG way to go.  LOL!

So looking back, I think I am going to continue with these goals, and hopefully bring my grades up on the last 2!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mean Mom's Guide To Raising Great Kids {book review}

Joanne Kraft came and spoke at my mom2mom group a couple of months ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her. Maybe it was because she had moved from California to Franklin, TN four years ago, or maybe it was the funny stories she told, or maybe it was because she reminded me that I NEED to be a mean mom at times with my children. By the way, a mean mom, isn't the mom that you will call Child Protective Services on, it's the mom who's kids say to her, "Mom, your so mean!" because she is setting boundaries and upholding the rules.
I bought both her books and started with The Mean Moms Guide to Raising Great Kids. One chapter into it I realized that I would be re-reading this, highlighting and underlining a bunch of things that I want to remember and put into practice. It is full of practical advise and biblical wisdom. She gives insight from her personal experiences and also includes stories from other mean moms as well.
I liked this book so much that I'm joining a book study on it next month! I give it 5 stars!
Her other book is Just Too Busy: Taking your Family on a Radical Sabbatical which I will be starting soon!
Here's the links to the other books I've read/reviewed this year:
(13) Into the Deep - Colleen Cole
(12) Fancy Pants - Cathy Marie Hake
(11) The Antelope in the Living Room - Melanie Shankle
(10) Beyond a Doubt - Colleen Coble
(9) And the Shofar Blew - Francine Rivers
(8) The Power of Blessing - David Timms
(7) Emily Ever After - Anne Dayton & May Vanderbilt
(6) Without A Trace - Colleen Coble
(5) Sparkly Green Earrings - Melanie Shankle
(4) Take Four - Karen Kingsbury
(3) The Lipstick Gospel - Stephanie May Wilson
(2) A Little Salty to Cut The Sweet - Sophie Hudson
(1) She's Gonna Blow - Julie Ann Barnhill
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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Week #26 {2015}

Whhhaaaatttt? Week 26? How is this year half way over?!?!  Wasn't I just freezing and sick at Christmas time?
Anywho, Sunday was Father's Day and I'm not sure who was more excited, Chris or the kids. 
They gave him a bunch of munchie snacks and Dylan made him an I Love You sign from Legos.
We played hookie from church and headed to the pool.
I finished another book!
Monday morning I did Payton's hair for their first day of VBS.
While Dylan and Payton were gone, Rylan "played" Skylanders by lining all the players up.
Big man bought a new Lego set and put this dragon together in less than an hour.
Tuesday Rylan was hard at work while eating "gapes frozen" {frozen grapes} just like daddy was doing.
Then it was time to pull all the toys out of the toy box.
Dylan has been walking to McDonalds a lot lately with his buddies. So while he was at taekwondo we took the littles to get ice cream cones there.
Ry, watching for daddy to get home from picking up Dylan from TKD class.
12:30 am Wednesday morning I was wide awake because a storm was literally sitting over our house for 3 hours. I love lightning and thunder but at that moment, I would rather have been sleeping.
More of the Skylanders line up.
And sweet kisses.
Thursday we pulled out some Froot Loops for some color sorting, stacking and a tiny bit of sharing.
Picking up the kids from VBS.
I was very impressed with the drop off and pick up process. Each morning the kids got a new numbered wristband and I got their matching tag #. At pick up, they were walked to my car by an adult who checked the tag numbers to make sure the kids were mine. It was a great system1
Pool time!
Then we ate some yummy S'mores.
Friday morning, I had this snuggle bear in my lap for quiet time.
And it was the last day for VBS.  Ry and I had fun waiting in the carpool line.
Both kids had a great time, making friends, memorizing bible verses, and learning about God!
Wanna know what happens if you leave your phone in a hot car for an hour? 
{I've never seen this before}
I finished another GREAT book.
This has been a favorite of mine lately {for Payton and Rylan too!}.
Plain yogurt drizzled with honey and sprinkled with shredded coconut. This was a post dinner snack.  Yum!
Bedtime snuggles.
Rylan falls asleep almost completely covered up {and he wakes up all sweaty}!
And Lately I've been tucking in Payton and Isabelle {her name changed AGAIN} into bed.
Saturday morning I woke up to this.
He had crawled into our bed at 3:15 am and quickly fell back asleep.  Then laughed out loud while he was asleep {I wonder what he was dreaming about?!}.
Chris got to enjoy another rain while mowing the lawn.  He said it actually feels good and cools him off a bit!
The littles played babies for a bit.
And Ry came downstairs with his hat like this.
The boys went to the market and Payton and I had some girl time.  She wanted to play Monopoly Crazy Cash {fun game!}.
We ended the week watching a family movie.  Can't believe 2015 is halfway over!
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Friday, June 26, 2015

T25 Round #2

I finished the entire 10 weeks of the T25 program 2 Saturdays ago... and I didn't post anything because I was bummed. I was having a "fat day" thanks to some water retention {knowwhatImean?}. Plus I didn't see all the results that I was hoping for. That being said, I really do LOVE the T25 program.  Here are my random thoughts about my experience:

(1) They say health is 20% fitness and 80% nutrition, and I didn't change my eating habits at all. In fact they got worse with the kids being home for summer. We are always eating some type of snack/treat/dessert, and my kids are constantly hungry all. the. time.

(2) T25 is easy to stick with. I have gotten into the routine of doing the workouts in the morning, but you can fit 25 minutes {plus a 2-3 minute cool down} somewhere in your day.  {side note:  Fridays are Double Days where you do 2 workouts. I do one, take a loooooooooong break for a few hours and then do the other.}  I followed the program schedule exactly, only missing the 1 day that I had the flu, but made it up that weekend.

(3) I sweat like a pig which makes me feel like I've done something right.

(4) I DID reduce my resting heart rate 8 points from 76 {average} to 68 {good}, which is awesome!

(5) I can see a HUGE difference in my fitness. Aerobically, I can {mostly} keep up with the workouts. I can do more {girl} push ups than I could at the start. I can hold a V-Sit the whole time {which the first time I tried it, it was a joke!}.

(6) I feel stronger.

(7) I see more muscle tone and definition.

I enjoyed doing T25 so much that I have started Round #2 with the program.  This time around, I am doing week #1 of Alpha then week #1 of Beta, followed by Alpha week #2 then Beta week #2, etc.  I have made a conscious effort to eat better, and have tried to cut back to one sweet/treat a day {see my Goals for June}.

Oh and by the way - I thought going back to the beginning would be a little bit easier...and I was wrong.  It's still totally kicking my butt.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Buffalo Pretzels {recipe}

Buffalo pretzels, oh how I love thee.  If I'm not careful I can eat the whole bag in one day.
When I found a recipe to MAKE my own, I was on board!
Dylan was my sous chef and he mixed everything together.
We spread them out on a pan {and kept stealing bites - they were yummy!}.
When they were done baking we stole some MORE bites . . . but I wouldn't recommend doing that.  The texture was weird, almost as if they were stale. So we let them cool and they crisped right up!
Final verdict?  They were awesome, and super easy to throw together!  A perfect snack to make with kids!

Oh and as a note - when we made them the first time we {mistakenly} used Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce.  Make sure you use the Frank's Red Hot Original Sauce . . . It was MUCH better for these!

Buffalo Pretzels
{original recipe from Amy's Cooking Adventures}

8 cups pretzel sticks
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons Frank's Red Hot Original Sauce {not buffalo wing sauce!}
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon celery salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Whisk together the butter, buffalo sauce, ranch seasoning, worcestershire sauce and celery salt in a large bowl.  Pour in pretzels and stir to coat.  Pour pretzels onto a baking sheet lined with foil.

Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool. Eat to your hearts content!
Linking up at:  Momfessionals

Monday, June 22, 2015

Into the Deep {book review}

I'm really enjoying this series. She is pulling in things from the previous books, tying it into the current storyline. Multiple times I thought, "Oh yeah! I remember that...." and "Oh, that explains that!". Can't wait to get the next book - only 2 left in the series! I give this one 4 stars!

Have you read any of Coble's books?
Here's the links to the other books I've read/reviewed this year:
Fancy Pants - Cathy Marie Hake
The Antelope in the Living Room - Melanie Shankle
Beyond a Doubt - Colleen Coble
And the Shofar Blew - Francine Rivers
The Power of Blessing - David Timms
Emily Ever After - Anne Dayton & May Vanderbilt
Without A Trace - Colleen Coble
Sparkly Green Earrings - Melanie Shankle
Take Four - Karen Kingsbury
The Lipstick Gospel - Stephanie May Wilson
She's Gonna Blow - Julie Ann Barnhill
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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Week #25 {2015}

On Sunday this kid made me giggle-snort when he came to me asking for a snack holding the bottle of dressing and a container of salad. 
That late afternoon we hit up the pool,
with daddy which is always extra fun!
I was sitting on the couch talking with Chris when this big guy came over, sat next to me, and put his arm over my shoulder. He's so rad!
Monday morning came and I found Ry like this.
Then Tuesday morning I found him here again. I'm gonna miss this when he learns to sleep in his bed all night long.
We got to the pool around 10-ish and it was awesome because we were the only ones there for awhile.
We left about 1pm and tagged along with Chris to Nashville and dropped him off at a meeting because it was a mile away from...
Trader Joe's! I bought 2 "new-to-me" products, Pretzel Bagles and
Speculoos Cookies.
And yes we sampled both in the car as we waited for Chris' loan signing to finish. The Pretzel Bagels are awesome straight from the bag. {We've not tried them any other way yet.} And the Speculoos Cookies are very similar to Biscoff cookies just not as sweet and not as greasy. I'll be buying both again!
Wednesday we headed to the Splash Pad that just opened a few weeks ago.
The kids were done after about 15 minutes and headed to the adjoining park to play.
Early Thursday morning I was folding laundry when Ry woke up and saw me. He got mad that I was folding his clothes so I gave him the rest and he folded them all by himself. See his stack he did???
Then we went to the Super Hero Party that afternoon.
Dylan is ALWAYS hungry right before bed. I looked over and saw him snacking on shredded carrots. Crazy {but awesome!} boy.
Friday while at my favorite store, Walmart {that was complete sarcasm by the way, I despise going there but it has the cheapest prices for certain things and it is right by my house}, Ry decided to hide in the Charmin.
Dylan had a birthday party to go to that night. I tried to stay awake to pick him up at 9:30pm but failed miserably...and it turned out to be a super late nap. LOL!
Saturday I had my IF:Table group in the morning and we ended the night watching Shrek 2!
Then right before bed Dylan was doing this: