Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Surprise(s)

About two weeks ago, we had one of those weeks where it seemed like everything was falling apart around us.  We just had Indy diagnosed with diabetes and cataracts.  It broke my heart to realize she was blind.  We were hoping she just had an infection that was causing problems.  Turns out she had a double ear infection though, and we had to start giving her antibiotics to clear her ears up.  All the stuff being put in her ear has made it very hard for her to hear, so we've been dealing with a deaf and blind dog lately.  And having to start giving her shots twice a day of insulin.

And then there's Katryn, who has been having serious tooth pain lately. We could see her tooth just decaying before our eyes.  But we didn't have dental insurance and have been putting it off, unsure of what her medicaid would cover.  Finally took her to our friend Steve's dad, who's a pediatric dentist.  He determined she needed 7 caps on her molars, and 3 baby root canals to get her teeth under control.  We were shocked!  This is the girl who LOVES to brush her teeth!

I'm grateful we're able to use programs offered to help families in our situation, and Matt picks up extra hours at the movie site doing security when he can to help us make it.  He had actually been toying with the idea of taking permanent hours over there to help us become more self-reliant, and able to get off the government programs, and make ends meet a little better (but you know, right when you think you got it figured out how to make ends meet, they move the ends!).  Instead he asked his company for a much-deserved raise, since we already hardly see him when his commute is 45 minutes one way.

They gave it to him!!  Surprise number 1

We came home one evening, after taking Indy to the Vet for a glucose curve test.  This helps determine how much insulin she'll need, and how often.  We also took Katryn to the dentist again, where they knocked her out, and did all the work.  The poor girl.  She was miserable for the first few hours after waking up.  But now she's so proud of her 'new teeth!"

We came home that night and found a message on our machine, telling us that some friends stopped by and wanted to give us some gifts.  They left them in our car, so we needed to go get them out.  I went out to my car, and found this:

My car was FULL of presents for all of us, food, gift cards, cash.  So many things.  It just melted my heart, that someone would think of us and give us so much.  There was a card in there, telling us it was from the empty nesters in town who like to give gifts to a family each year, and this year it was us.  And yes, those pillows were included.  Something we desperately needed, but was one of those luxury items we were never going to buy!

That was surprise number 2.

I'm so amazed by those who give so willingly.  I dream of being able to do that.  Someday we WILL be in a position to be able to do that, and I can't wait!!  Right now we do the little bit we can.  So here I want to say publicly to those who give with no thought of receiving anything in return: THANK YOU.  You have no idea how much your little gift or donation will help someone, and they will forever remember someone who thought of them.

Santa Run

Well I did it.  I ran a 5k and I didn't die.  I also completely stopped doing my workout plan.  Who was I kidding that I would wake up early and run 3 times a week AND work out 5 times a week?!  After doing not much for the past, oh well, um forever?  I pushed through the first few weeks, and then it got cold.  And dark.  and I thought I was going to get hit by a car running in the dark.  So I stopped.  'Nuff said.  Although Heather and Amber kindly bestowed out of their totes of running clothes (notice the plural usage, they have more than one!) some brightly colored clothes for me, so I don't die.

But I still did this 5k with two of my sisters.  Heather did a really nice recap of it, so I won't bother with the whole thing.  You can read it all there.  It really made a huge difference to have someone else to run with.  I also use the term 'run' loosely.  I think my running pace is just as fast as my walking pace. . .It's ok, I'm getting there.

 Katryn stole my santa hat, so I had to improvise with a hat from my parents Christmas decorations.  It fit a lot better!

 I was pretty nervous.  I mean, a 5k is long!  Especially when the longest I've ran is 3 minutes.  Yes, you read that right.  three whole minutes.  Then I walked for 3 minutes.  Ran again, rinse, repeat. . .That was my prerace jitter face.

 The aid stations had milk and cookies! so Santa-Tryn got hooked up!

 And there we are, in the crowd of santas taking off from the starting line.  I bet it was pretty cool to be a spectator and see all those santa's running by.

 We ran the whole first lap (just over a mile). The first mile in 11 minutes.  WOW.  For a girl who's only ran 3 minutes at a time.  I was pretty proud of myself.

And slightly worried about dying still.  My lungs are NOT up to par.  Or anywhere close to par.  For the record, I don't know how Heather and Amber can talk while running.  I'm using all my lung power to keep from passing out (or puking, both of which I thought might happen).  They would ask me questions and I would gasp out 1 word answers.

 We walked 1/2 of the next lap, ran a bit, and walked a bit more, and then ran the entire last lap.  Over all, I ran WAY more than I walked!  I know, when I don't wear the Santa beard, it looks like I have chest hair.  I'm ok with that, I was struggling enough to breathe as it was.

And the Grinch came and freaked Katryn out.  He was a very lifelike Grinch, so I can understand that. (That's Amber's boyfriend holding her, since Matt was holding Martin)

Time/pace breakdown and mile splits:
Total Time-41:54
Average Pace-13:02/mile
Mile 1-11:20/mile (all running)
Mile 2-14:24/mile (half walking/half running)
Mile 3-13:19 (mostly running)
Mile 0.22 (yes the course measured long with Heather's Garmin)-13:09/mile pace (time-2:49)
227th woman across the line (out of 294)
45th in my age group (out of 55, ages 25-29)

Thanks to Amber and Heather for running with me!!  and letting me slow you done (both of them probably would have been in the top 3 of their age group, or even overall, if they hadn't ran with me!)

Friday, November 04, 2011

Halloween 2011

 Halloween Season was pretty busy here.  We went up to go see the witches at a local outdoor 'mall'.  It has a lot of little shops in their own houses, and it was lots of fun.  A lot of the stores have nice decor, and there was a fun little Christmas store, with a lot of Christmas decor.  Really gets me in the mood for Christmas!

Katryn liked running around with her cousins, Bryce and Kyla, although the witches kind of bothered her a bit.  And it was cold and WINDY that day!  Of course. . .

I thought these pumpkins were cute, makes me want to go through the wood I have for our fireplace and see if I can make some for us!

The ducks were a HUGE hit, and they were not sky at all.  Katryn resorted to holding the bread above her head and throwing pieces to them, since they stole out of her hand.

And we had a Halloween Party at Grandparent B's house.  The kids dressed up and went on a little scavenger hunt for a bag of Halloween goodies Grandma put together for them.  We have Katryn as a dragon, Bryce as a dinosaur, and Kyla as Jessie from Toy Story.

 And Martin the penguin!

 Grandma and Kiera came with a fun idea instead of a pinata.  They put some candy in balloons and blew them up.  Then the kids popped them!  Since Kyla was the oldest at the party (missed our other cousins!! Wish they could have come!) at almost 4, a pinata is just a little much.  This was perfect though, and the kids loved it, once they figured it out.

Katryn would try to pop it, holding the push pin, but would let go of both the balloon and pin when she'd try to pop it.  She eventually got it.

 Martin got in on the action a bit, picking up the spilled candy and gnawing on it.  So a fair amount of the caramel came with bite marks.

 And here's everyone in their costume! Little Claire was a bit sick, and therefore got to stay in her jammies, although her costume was a bat.

 Katryn and Kyla love hanging out with each other, and have a blast everytime.

 Then we had Grandma W's Pumpkin Party!  Complete with Mummy Dogs (They had eyes at one point, I'm not sure what happened to them. . .)

And Jack-o-Lantern Chili.

 We carved pumpkins, which was lots of fun, and it was super fast!  I remember it used to take FOREVER to carve when we used the patterns you can print out.  This year we free-handed with my mom's awesome wax pencil and it worked perfect!

 And yes. . .I'm wearing a beanie for BOTH parties.  Fall is here, you'll be luck to see me withOUT a beanie in the next few months.

And the final verdict of our pumpkins.  Katryn wanted a scary one, so I carved a happy one for Martin.

We had some fun Ghost Bowling,

And some serious tantrums.  Lack of sleep and all that good stuff.

 And here's the crew!  Katryn as a dragon, with a baby dragon, Hannah has another dragon (maybe a dinosaur. . .) Aunt AnnaJune as Princess Buttercup (her husband was The Dread Pirate Roberts), and she's holding Ben the Lion, Chloe the Ballarina (with such a cute costume) Sam the Ninja, Michelle as Rapunzel (complete with toy frying pan) and Martin the Penguin.  And Indy in the background, trying to find the perfect sunny spot.

We went Trunk-Or-Treating, which was lots of fun!  We live in a small town, with some houses spread out pretty far.  And no street-lights.  And a major highway runs straight through town.  So to keep people safe (at least that's why I assume they do it. . .) the town hosts a Trunk-Or-Treat.  We all park at the school parking lot, the kids line up on the sidewalk, the fire engine shuts down the road to traffic, and we go to town!  We walk down the sidewalk trick-or-treating from the trunks.  Lot of people dress up and sit at their trunks, with decorations.  It was lots of fun, and so nice to be done within 20 minutes, while it was still daylight.  And no one to come bug us late at night, that was awesome.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Here we go go go go! On an adventure

(in case you didn't know, that's from The Cat in The Hat tv show. . one of Katryn's favorites!)

Recently, my sisters Amber and Heather contacted me about running a race with them.  I've been wanting to start running, I've been wanting to get into shape, but I lack the motivation to do it.  And think I lack the time as well, but I'm fairly certain that's not precisely true.  I just value my sleep.  I even bought a pair of running shoes for my birthday to get me started.

Anyway, this race isn't just any race.  It's a marathon relay race!  They got it all figured out where I only have to run about 6 miles total, in increments of about 1.5 miles at a time.  That's doable. . .right?  Right?! I hope so. . .

So now I have my motivation to run.  I'm going to be doing the Couch To 5K program since I haven't ran in about, oh 15 years? give or take?  I'm not counting the 'run' I went on a few weeks ago, that was the length of 1 street.  I thought I was going to die. . . .

Anyway, so the Couch To 5K program.  It has a 9-week set schedule for you to follow that slowly lets you build up your running endurance by running for X amount of time, then walking for X amount of time.  Over the course of nine weeks it sets you up to be able to run for 30 minutes straight or a 5K, depending on how fast you are at running I suppose.

Not only have I decided to do this running program, I decided to try this fitness program out as well  (thank you Pinterest!)

Only I don't think I get the benefit of getting all those Saturday discounts from

Here's the day breakdown, if you'd like to join me on this CrAzY idea.

On monday I'll also be doing whatever the C25K program says--so for week one, I'll have a 5 minute brisk warm-up walk, then alternate 60 seconds jogging, with 90 seconds walking for a total of 20 minutes.  I'll probably break this up and do the C25K in the morning, while Matt's still home (unless I invest in a double jogging stroller) and this 5-Week Workout in the evening after the kids are in bed.

Tuesday is my rest day on C25K

Wednesday for C25K-week 1 is the same as Monday's--5 minute warmup walk, then alternate 60seconds jogging with 90seconds walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Thursday is a rest day on C25K

Friday for C25K-week 1 in the same as Monday and Tuesday.

So there you have it.  I've written it on the blog, therefore it is set in stone, right?  I'm being held accountable somewhere.  And I'm starting on Monday, Oct. 10.

Who's with me on this?  Anyone?  Bueller? Bueller?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

This Is Me Challenge #23

My friend April recently posted on her facebook that she's a new team member of a website called "This is Me Challenge".  Having never heard of the blog, I checked it out.  What fun!  And what an awesome way for someone to get their life story/history written down--especially those of us who don't use their journal or blog as often as they wish. . .{ahem. . .}

Here's the challenge: What Are Your Top Fears or Phobias?  This was my first challenge, and it was fun!!  I think it's something I'm going to try doing with Katryn.  And maybe make Matt do it too :)

They post a new challenge every Tuesday.  Hopefully I'll keep up my steam, and post every week with them.  That's the plan at least.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

it's been a while, glad I had the safety line!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Starting School

School starts on MONDAY!!  Here's what our school room looks like:

We got the family room empty of boxes and crap and laid down some old carpet a neighbor gave us a while ago, when they replaced their carpet.  It's VERY old, however, not the oldest thing in our old old house.  And it works just fine until we get around to finishing the basement (aka--when we have money to do more than just survive).

This is our daily wall, or the calender wall.  I bought these nice pocket charts at Target in their dollar section! It's perfect for our calender.  I just created the days/months/numbers in microsoft publisher.

Next to the calender, I have our 'theme pack' song, which we'll sing every morning.  Underneath is our school bus, with a letter on it to show you how it works.  Each week we're focusing on one theme pack, and one letter.  So the song is to the tune "The Wheels on The Bus" and we'll sing it "The letter on the bus says __ __ __"

Then we have our "What's the weather like outside today?" chart, and she can add a little label telling us what it's like.  Underneath it we'll show what day is today/tomorrow/yesterday.  (both printables from confessions of a homeschooler)

Next to that is 2 thermometers that we'll mark off what the temperature inside and outside is.  I need to get thermometers still. . .

And a little foam clock to practice reading the time.  We probably won't use that much yet.  I'm keeping the calender nice and simple right now, while we get used to how school is going to work for us.  As we get into a routine, I have a lot more ideas I want to add!

This is our workbox station.  There's a lot of ideas of how workboxes should work, (seriously, google 'workboxes' and look at the images) but the basic idea is a system for your child to work through the things they need to do.  I bought the file folders from the dollar section at Target, and I'm working on dividing them in half with a piece of cardboard (like the first 2 boxes are divided).  Each day I'll fill these up and Katryn can work through at her own pace.  I have a hanging tag next to it, that when she's done with a box she can take the number off and put it on the tag.  I can also add different labels, like 'snack time', 'ask mom' etc.

Here's some examples of how other workboxes work: Confessions of a Homeschooler, Homeschool Creations, 1+1+1=1

And this is our work station/desk area.  I have a pocket chart above, which has our letter caterpiller on it.  Each time we finish a letter we'll take it off the bus, and add it to the caterpiller!  I have a LARGE (12"x12") clipboard if katryn is feeling antsy, and needs to come sit on the couch to work on something, or the floor or whatever.  However, we won't get much use out of it for a while, because we're doing a lot of hands-on stuff, not much sit down and write stuff.  A little of it, but not too much yet.  

We are ready!!  I've spent a LOT of time the past few months figuring out how to make preschool work for us, planning our schedule, printing off everything (we've gone through a LOT of ink lately!) cutting, laminating, cutting again. . . .but we're ready!!  

If you want to follow along, hop on over to Katryn's Blog, where I'll be giving a week by week of everything, with the links of all the wonderful people out there who have created awesome things!

Friday, August 05, 2011

New hair-do

I got my hair cut a while back. . .like in May. . .

Didn't change too much, added a few layers, and some bangs, which I actually like!  I'm normally a bang-hater, because I don't want my hair to require effort.  I'm a lazy beast, it's true.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


We had a crazy Easter weekend.  Shocker, I know.  Every weekend seems to be crazy.  We're actually looking forward to NOT going ANYWHERE this weekend.  It's going to be nice!

We did our Egg hunt and Easter Baskets on Saturday, since Sunday was going to be crazy busy.   It was lots of fun!  Tryn was so helpful with the easter eggs. 

 She would pick one for her basket, then go find one for Martin's basket, and then one for Daddy.  All the green ones were for Dad.  

 And she filled her basket up FULL!

 Martin just liked holding the eggs.  And the dropping them.  In buckets of water.

 But he was sure happy!
 On Sunday morning, we got up early and drove up north for the blessing of Seth and Kiera's new baby girl.  And of course, didn't get any pictures of her.  She's super cute though, with lots of dark curly hair!

They had a yummy brunch for us, and then a huge easter egg hunt for the kids.  I say huge, because 1/2 the kids left before it happened, so it was mainly Katryn, Kyla, and Bryce doing the hunting.  Katryn loves to do everything Kyla does, and is like her shadow when they're together!

 She actually had so many eggs in her bag, that she was dragging it behind her!

 And it was windy, so Martin and I were making faces to keep the wind out of our eyes.

 Then we went to Grandma W's house and had ANOTHER easter egg hunt!!  Katryn was the only one hunting for eggs, and she had fun!

 Even found a pinecone (or two, or three. . .) to put in her basket.

And THEN we went had an dinner with Matt's parents, and had a birthday party for him, with his favorite cake--wacky cake.  (recipe will be on my recipe blog soon!  or if you have the World Wide Ward Cookbook--mom's best, it's in there!)