Sunday, May 27, 2012

End of Week 9

I am so failing this challenge big time.  :(   But, I did lose a couple pounds this week.  Its too bad I feel like I've lost the same few pounds over and over the whole time.  Sigh...

Goals for the last week will be rough again.  We have tomorrow off school, then one last day.  (I'm already done...I took a personal day Tuesday to go watch my daughter's 8th grade graduation.)  Tuesday will be spent at the awards assembly at the elementary school in the morning, then at 8th grade graduation in the afternoon.  I'll go back to the elementary at the end of the day for the 6th grade "Clap out". 

Then Wednesday morning we'll meet my dad and the rest of the family (step mom, great aunt, brother, half-brother and sister-in-law, their 2 kids (which includes a niece I havent met yet), and sister) at Cedar Point for 2 days.  I'm so excited.  I haven't been there for probably 6 years, and my kids have never been there.  This will probably be our vacation for the summer.  We're taking most of the food, and I'm planning on plenty of water too.

That leaves Friday to get ready for the yard sale on Saturday.  Its also our school auction/raffle/bbq (our one and only fund raiser), so I'll have to work at that for a bit.  Saturday evening I'll finish getting the house ready for my grandpa's 90th b-day party which will be here next Sunday.  Oh, I also have to make all the cupcakes for that too.

Then I hope to have a little time to relax a bit.  I am taking a class the following week for 3 days at our high school, and need to take some college classes this summer, but I really hope things will slow down some.

Hope everyone has a great last week!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

99 Things

I saw this on another blog and thought it was neat.  Its funny how some things are just so different for each of us.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
unless we count rockband or marching band :)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland DisneyWORLD
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightening storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
playing the guitar (badly so far)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
next year I will do this!
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
  when my kids are sick
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon 

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
an overnight cruise from Italy to Greece

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
I live in the middle of amish country
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing 
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
No but I want to pay for someone's order in the drive thru soon
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
Not for me but with my daughter
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie 
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching - 
63. Got flowers for no reason -
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
No but just went to the Holocaust museum in Washington DC
67. Bounced a check
by accident
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
will do this when in NYC next year
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
not inside
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo
94. Had a baby
4 actually
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
 That was fun.  :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Washington DC (and end of week 8)

I'm home from DC and exhausted.  It was a most fabulous trip!  

We had to be at the middle school at 5am Wednesday morning.  Holy early wake up!  Got all the luggage tagged, buses loaded and pulled out at 6am.  Brenna and I were on the first bus, which was boys and girls.  Girls (all 8 of them) sat in the front, then chaperones, then (smelly) boys in the back, lol.  I wouldn't trade that for anything.  We had the 2 staff members who plan the trip on our bus, so we got the inside scoop to everything.  They were super informative and told us what to make sure we saw when we got to each place.  They'd also tell us stories about the places we were while we walked through or waited in line.
The first official stop (after a bathroom break and lunch in Breezewood) was Gettysburg.  I'll start out by saying that I am in no way a history buff, or even remotely interested in reading about it.  But I could have stayed several days there.  We picked up a tour guide and he told us all about the battle of Gettysburg.  We drove around as he talked, and we'd stop and get off the bus in certain places.  The first place we got out was where the first attack happened, and where General Reynolds was killed (only a few minutes after arriving there).  He pointed out the high points that the union army tried to occupy so as to keep the advantage.
We saw other significant places like Little Round Top (above), Devil's Den, Mead's farm, the peach orchard, etc.  We got to walk around the national cemetery.  This was the place Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address.  The first person buried there was a guy from Ohio.  There are over 900 graves there of unknown union soldiers.  
We had the tour guide for about 3 1/2 hours, and the time just flew by.  I hope the kids were paying attention, because I learned SO much.  History is just so much better when you can see and feel and "live" it than when you just have to read about it in a history book.
Then it was time for dinner.  We took 150 people into a really nice restaurant where we had a buffet dinner.  Yep, buffet.  This was the second one of the day. 
Bullet holes in Jennie Wade's house

After dinner we had some time to just walk around the town of Gettysburg.  We walked over to Jennie Wade's house.  She was the only civilian to be killed in the Civil War.  There are still bullet holes in the house where she was killed.  

Then came the interesting part.  We went on a ghost walk around town.  We had a guide that took us to different houses/buildings and told us of sightings there.  While we didn't get to experience anything of the paranormal, it was still interesting to hear the stories.
Time to head to the hotel for some much needed sleep.  Of course, we had to wait for the kids to get done journaling/blogging so we could take their phones and keys, so it was at least midnight until we got to bed.  Then up early to be at breakfast by 6:30.  (Yeah, there was not much sleeping on this trip.)
(Breakfast was yet another yummy buffet.  Sigh...)
We started day 2 on the bus to DC.  I think a lot of us took advantage of the 2 hour ride to get a little more sleep in.  Even though we were on charter buses, I didn't think they were all that comfortable, especially for sleeping.  I started the day with a headache, and dozed a bit on the bus, so at least I felt somewhat better by the time we got to DC.
Our first stop was the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.  We didn't have a lot of time at any of the places we stopped, so we tried to hurry to see as much as we could.  

We left the museum and headed to Arlington National Cemetery.  What an emotional experience.  We walked through the Arlington house (which was where General Lee once lived), then over to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  We saw the changing of the guards---its crazy how much they have to go through for that.  The middle school always gets to lay a wreath there.  If the kids would like to do it, they put their name in a drawing.  Four kids are chosen to do it, along with 3 alternates.  They have to dress up, and they inspect them before they're allowed to do it.  (Hence the case of sickness or inappropriate dress)  Brenna was chosen as one of the 4 this year.  They didn't go to Arlington house...they went with another teacher to get their instructions and be inspected.  Brenna said it was a little unnerving at first...they were questioned and such, but the guard ended up being really nice and chatted with them before it was time to go out.
Laying of the wreath

This was actually the most emotional part of the trip for me.  What an honor to get to lay a wreath at the tomb.  Yes, I cried.  Thankfully it was a beautiful sunny day, so I had sunglasses on.  :)  After they laid the wreath, another guard played Taps.  Amazing.
When that was done, we walked over to see where JFK and family are buried.  Then it was time to head to the next place.  On the walk back to the buses, we passed a "hearse".  There were 8 large horses carrying 3 soldiers.  They were pulling a cart with a flag-draped casket on the back.  Such a touching and personal thing to be able to witness.  (We were told they do 28-35 funerals a day there.)

The next stop on the trip was the Library of Congress.  By far the most beautiful building we were in.  I didn't get any pictures inside.  The security is pretty tight there, so I just left my camera on the bus.  We didn't have a lot of time here, so we spent most of our time looking at Thomas Jefferson's library.

WWII Memorial

Then it was off to the WWII memorial.  Every year the middle school raises money to buy wheelchairs to give to the memorial.  When they built it, they had one wheelchair that veterans could borrow.  Since then, our middle school has donated every wheelchair they have there to date.  This year we took 2, which the ranger told us was great timing because they were getting ready to order 3 more.  Such a beautiful memorial. 

It was time for dinner.  We went to yet another buffet.  They let the chaperones go first (since we seem to take so much longer to eat, lol), and when the kids were done, there was a small game room they could entertain themselves in for a bit.  Then they got their glow in the dark shirts from the ghost tour, and we were off for the lighted monument tour.
Once we were on the buses, the leaders handed out glow-necklaces.  Each bus was color coded so we could find our group easily.  (We were red)  The first stop was the Korean memorial.  As we were walking up the sidewalk, a fox ran in front of us and off the other direction.  It was funny to see wildlife like that in the city.
Korean Memorial
I've seen pictures of this memorial, and for me its just creepy.  The engraved wall is pretty cool, but the statues in the garden really just give me the creeps.

Next was the Lincoln Memorial.  Unfortunately the reflecting pool is still under reconstruction.  At our elementary school, the 6th graders have to memorize the Gettysburg Address.  Then they recite it for an unknown judge, and the winner gets to recite it at the community Memorial Day service.  When both the older girls were in 6th grade, they were chosen.  To have a picture of the speech as it is engraved is neat, but to get the full effect of just how huge it is, I took a pic with Brenna standing under it. 

We also did the tourist thing, lol.
Being a tourist :)

We walked across the street to the Vietnam Wall.  Again, I had seen pictures.  It wasn't what I expected though.  It really is a moving sight to see.  My dad's best friend was killed in Vietnam, so we really wanted to do a rubbing of his name.  We could only find 2 books there, and the page we needed was missing from both, so we found a ranger and got the location.  We were running late, but the teacher was standing behind us and said she didn't interrupt because she could tell we were there with a purpose.

Jefferson Monument

 Next we went to the Jefferson Monument.  This was the only time we got to see the White house.  (When we went to see it Friday night, it was on lock down, so we couldn't get close.)  It was neat to see it lit up across the water though.

We went from there to the FDR memorial.  This was one of my favorites.  I just liked how you had to walk through it, and the waterfall told a story of his presidency in itself.  There were also neat statues and quotes on the walls.  The only thing that I didn't like was that by now it was quite dark, and things weren't lit very well in there.  

We walked around the water to the MLK memorial.  This is brand new.  It was interesting, but I thought he looked really mad in the carving.

Then it was off to the hotel.  We stayed at a really nice hotel.  I found a sticker in the back of the closet with the prices for the rooms.  They started at $799/night!  I sure hope we got some kind of deal.  If not, I'd suggest we stay somewhere cheaper and cut the cost of the trip!  It was nice, but not that nice.  (We couldn't even lower the temp on the a/c!)
It was another late night by the time the kids were done journaling/blogging and back to their rooms.  ***Yawn***

Up early again on day 3 to be at breakfast by 6:30.  Today we started at the Capitol building.  We had tickets to the House of Representatives.  We sat in the balcony, and this is one of the few days they were actually in session.  We heard people requesting amendments, and then they finally voted on one.  There is a timer and yea/nay that shows up on the front of the balcony, and the names of all the representatives appear behind/above where the Speaker of the House sits so you can follow what is going on.  It tells you who voted how.  When we got there, there were maybe 10 people in the room.  As the voting started, there ended up being over 400 people in there.  It was very interesting to see how it all worked, even if I didn't understand what they were voting on.  Someone walked in late, and everyone started chanting, "Vote, vote, vote, vote...".  It turns out this guy is usually one of the first ones to vote, and always rushes people along so they can get done.  This day he was late and they harassed him.  :)  (No pics allowed.)
We also had tickets to the Senate, but they were closed.
We went back outside to meet our representative on the steps of the capitol to have a class picture taken.  That was kinda cool.

From there we went to the Smithsonian American History Museum.  We were late leaving the Capitol, plus we had to have lunch in the museum, so we only had an hour to look around.  Brenna really wanted to see the Star Wars stuff, but that exhibit was under reconstruction so we didn't get to see it.  It was recommended by our leaders to see the Star Spangled Banner exhibit (no pics), and I'm so glad we did.  It told the story of the first flag, and its on display there.  Very cool.

Our next stop was the Holocaust museum.  We had been closed out of that, but at the last minute they had a cancellation and could get us in.  Wow.  The museum is very well done.  Its all in chronological start on the top floor in 1933 when Hitler became chancellor, and work your way through WWII.  Some of it is really graphic.  Some is really sad.  There was a room full of shoes that were left behind in the concentration camps.  What I noticed most about that is the smell.  There were actual bunks from Auchwitz.  Just a really moving experience.

Then it was time for a little shopping.  There are many street vendors and souvenir shops on the same street as Ford's Theatre (where Lincoln was shot).  We got to see that (and the house where they took him where he died), but we didn't get to go into either. 

The National Archives was the next stop.  We had to wait in line a long time, so we had to rush through.  The only things we saw were the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution/Bill of Rights.  I'm not sure what else we would have wanted to see in there, but that was really neat to see such pieces of history.

Then it was time for the kids to have a little fun.  They charter a boat and the kids eat dinner on there and they have a dj and dance.  The chaperones got to go into town (Alexandria, VA) for dinner.  Then it was back on the bus to see the White house (on lock down) and Iwo Jima.  We didn't get to get out there, but we drove around it a couple times.  I was under the impression it was a life size memorial, so I was incredibly shocked to see just how huge it actually is.  

So there is the trip.  It went so fast.  We didn't get to do anything in depth, but at least the kids got a taste of many things.  What a great trip!

Now on to week 8.  Nothing spectacular.  TONS and tons of walking.  On Thursday we walked up and down more steps than I think I've walked the entire rest of the year so far.  My legs are sore!  Food was so so.  I did pretty well on water, as it was hot and we needed to stay hydrated.
For week 9 my plan is to do SBD phase 1.  I'm going to try to be pretty strict this week.  We'll see how it goes.  Still busy...3 more days of school for me, 6 more for the kids.
I have to take the oldest daughter for an abdominal u/s this week as well, as she's still having some health issues. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

(Are we ending week 7?)

End of the week update. 

I did better this week.  I lost a couple pounds finally.  But then I've been moving more.  Its funny how those 2 things work together.  :)
I didnt count calories.  I'm having a hard time with that, but I am still weighing and measuring most things.  I'm also watching portions.
While I didnt get any organized cardio in, I did do crunches on the ball several days, as well as an arm workout.  (The one someone posted from youtube.)

This week is going to be interesting.  I'm not going to set any real goals.  I'm leaving Wednesday at 4:45 am (yikes!) to chaperone the 8th grade trip to Washington DC.  I'm SO excited!  I've never been there, so I'm probably more excited than the kids.
We've already been warned that we'll do a TON of walking, which is good by me!  The only downside is food.  I have NO control over what we eat.  Everything is already paid for, including lunches, so it is what it is.  I can however control how much I eat of whatever it is we get.  So that is my goal.  And LOTS of water.

Hope everyone has a good week!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Just a quick post...

Tonight was the "pops" concert at my daughter's high school.  It was GREAT!  The directors do such a great job with the kids.  I learned one thing though...I'm going to be a blubbering mess when my kid is a senior.  I teared up tonight during senior recognition, and I only know a few of them personally!  Sigh...

But, even better than the concert is----> I wore a pair of pants to work today that I'm going to have to put in the donation bag.  It was really awful.  They were literally falling off all day.  I can stand with both arms at my sides and fit them in the waste of my pants.  They're really baggy everywhere, and I hope I didnt look foolish, lol. 

Ok, off to work the arms.  (Didnt have time last night...only did abs then.)

Monday, May 7, 2012


I've been reading some blogs about people doing the No Weigh May thing.  I'm wondering if I could do it too.  Its not like I've been making changes if I dont see something I like...  I'll have to think about it for a day or two...

I have another thing I could use as an indication:  I was looking through my dresser over the weekend and found an outfit I bought at least 3 years ago.  It was still in the package (I ordered it online).  I didn't even take it out because I knew it wouldn't fit.  But I was curious now, so I took it out.  And put it on...cute blue and white plaid seersucker capri pants with a blue shirt.  And they fit.  Well enough that I could consider wearing them for a short amount of time to somewhere like church or something, but not for any length of time.  The pants were still just a little snug.  (Squatting could be an issue...and since I work with kids and am on their level often, that might be a problem.)  So, I'm hoping by the end of this challenge that I can wear them comfortably for as long as I want, wherever I want.  :)

Tonight I have a meeting at the middle school at 7.  I don't really want to exercise before that because I don't want to get all sweaty.  But once I get home I want to do the arm weight exercises and crunches.  I'd really like to start C25K too, but not sure I can pull that off as well.  We'll see how long the meeting is.  I slept terribly last night and am planning on going to bed early.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

End of Week 6

Ugh!  6 weeks in and I dont have much to show for it.  (Hoping you will have another challenge through the summer when I'm hoping to have more time and energy to put into it!)  :)

Weight:  Lose 2+ lbs (I think thats what it was)  No, but I'm ok with where I am for the week...I'm about the same as last week
Nutrition: Count calories.  No.  How do you do this when you make up your own concoctions?  I can do the recipe calculator, but I dont know how many servings I get out of a lot of things.  I'd just like to know how many calories are in a cup of it or some such thing.  I did pretty well with portions though
Exercise: Do something.  Yes, I did... Not a lot, but a little.  Worked abs one night, then yesterday we went skating for a friend's daughter's birthday, then played laser tag.  So fun.  I even did better than I thought I would at skating.  (Got free passes to go another time, so hoping to do that in the next couple weeks)  Also worked arms and abs last night.
While it wasnt a great week, it wasnt as bad as some have been.

Week 7:

Weight:  lose something
NSV:  Keep my head above water
Nutrition:  Back to salads for lunch.  My aunt took my salad dressing home (she brought lunch last week) and I didnt have my favorite for the week.  I miss it!  Calories and/or portion control.
Exercise: Just do something

This week is going to be crazy.  First, my mom has been in the hospital in Columbus again since Tuesday.  She went for a check up and they kept her.  I thought I was going to go pick her up today, but she said they wouldnt release her and maybe tomorrow.  (Thats what we've heard all week)
Second, this coming week:  Monday thru Thursday is softball for someone.  Monday I have a meeting for the upcoming 8th grade trip to Washington DC (second daughter and I will be going next week).  Tuesday is the high school concert (band and choirs).  Wednesday I have a dinner for a teacher retiring from our school.  Thursday is actually open (besides softball).  Friday is another high school concert, this time the boys and girls elite choirs.  I'm already tired. 
The next week is the middle school concert on Monday, Tuesday I'll have to pack because we leave at 5:30 Wednesday morning for DC.  We'll get back early Saturday morning.

I'm SO ready for summer break!  Have a great week.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Quick Update

Thanks for all the kind and encouraging words.  I'm really sorry I havent had time to comment more to all of you.  I'm barely having time to read right now.
I did however take some advice and did crunches on the exercise ball last night.  At least it was something.  Tonight I'd like it to be something involving arms...pushups or resistance band at least.

Thanks for the nudge.  ;)