Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday Treasures

My Treasures From This Holiday Season
This is our fisher price Hanukkah set. Florida Grandma got it for the kids when Zach(12) was quite young. We bring it out each year and no matter how big the kids get they love to play with it, the gifts really open the fridge and stove do to, and when you press on the menorah the magic happens and it lights up and plays the dreidel song.
Here Ariana is lighting the candles on the 7Th night of Hanukkah. Nikolas so seriously lights the candles on the last night of Hanukkah. He is proud to be able to do this as this was the first year we let him light the candles by himself. He is such a big boy! Ariana loves her new webkin, she named him Freedom.
I have never seen a 7 yr old SO excited to get books on the last night of Hanukkah!
The Menorah always looks so beautiful to me on the last night, I love when all the candles are lit. The kids are so proud that they are able to say the prayers and light the candles without much help. They truly are my treasures!
*note our goofy wind up dreidel in the photo. It's such a silly thing but the kids want it out each year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Some Thoughts for Today

Last night Brian and I watched a movie Peaceful Warrior, based on the book The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. Based on a true story it was an uplifting movie, about an arrogant young gymnast that learned to live in moment and enjoy the journey. Of course then I started thinking. ( I do that quite often)

I woke up thinking about how this all relates in my life, and it most certainly does especially in the past few years. For one reaching goal weight, when I got there I was excited that moment on the scale, then what? When I train for a race, what happens when I get over the excitement of finishing it? The training, the healthy eating, the preparation, is really what it is all about, not only achieving the goal. The health benefit is in the getting to the goal not the number on the scale or the time it took me to finish one race. The process is what brings good health.

Of course it is great to achieve goals; however, I need to really put perspective there and be prepared, what's next. I have to set more goals beyond to not allow myself to reach that state of "Oh no" what am I going to do next! Let down with no where to do, is a sure trigger for failure. The tricky part is not focusing on that, but what I must do today, and being right here right now.

It is so easy to get wrapped up in what seems so important and must get done. Laundry and dishes and grocery shopping. Yes, it must be done. I just hope that I can get beyond that thinking and thinking about it all the time, plan better so that when I am not doing everyday tasks I can enjoy what I am doing. I have to say that over the past week, I have enjoyed my youngest child's birthday and then Hanukkah with my family. It was really nice to not pressure myself to do anything much. I played games with the kids, put together paper star wars models with my youngest, and just spent general time really relaxing. I have felt good and seems I have even managed to get more done. How does that work? Not really sure. Perhaps, the fact that I just didn't stress over what I should be doing. Amazing how that all works out.

Last night I cooked a great meal for my family and we enjoyed chatting and eating. My husband had to go back to work today, which is a bummer and I have lots of things to work on. I have finished up all my knitting projects and need to start another one. This time of the year I can't stand to not have one going. I had some deadlines of projects for gifts and then I finished up my felted yoga mat bag (which I still need to felt).

I have a huge stack of books to get to, plus I need to study. I find that having a plan for what I am going to do when, really helps. If it is all scheduled out it all gets done without too much worry and I hope to enjoy what I am doing when I am doing it.

Seems a simple task, sometimes just not as simple as it seems.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Flashback Friday

Last year at this time, Ariana was missing her two front teeth. It is a milestone for me with my kids. I think when those two upper front teeth grow in the kids get a more grown up look. This December Nikolas is missing his two front teeth. My baby is now in his more 'grown up stage'. I love my children and I am excited to see them grown and learn and also sometimes morning for my precious babies and toddlers. They have grown so fast!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday Treasures

Taking photos of the kids together is never easy. This one cracks me up because they rarely act like this(especially for photos), which is why I like this photo so much. It was nice at least for this moment they were goofing off and being nice to each other instead of....

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Piles of Latkes.....

Bring Miles of smiles..... Nikolas couldn't wait to eat his latkes tonight!!!
Happy Hanukkah to all my friends that celebrate. Zach is reading the prayers, Ariana lit the candles and then Nikolas lit the electric menorah in the front window.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mourning the burial of my cucumber patch....

It's hard to believe that just a few weeks ago, I took this photo of the kids outside on the deck, with only sweaters on. It was chilly but we were not freezing by any means. Then last weekend we get an ice storm, followed by days without power and being cold. Yesterday the snow came fast and furious. Schools were dismissed early, workers left and whatever ground was not still covered in white was certainly going to be. Including my beautiful cucumber patch. I morn the loss of my small little garden and can not wait until the sun returns so I can being a growing again. When I stepped outside this morning this is what I came out to on my front steps. The snow was up to the top of my boots (calf height) yikes.... This is my hubby's car, buried in the white stuff. No fun to clear off but finally after shoveling the back deck and the driveway we even had to clean it off too. The one thing that I can say is Nikolas LOVES the snow. We have to force him to go out the rest of the year, but when the snow comes he is out in it. He was outside today (temps in the teens) for two hours before deciding that enough is enough. He burrowed his way into the snow, in several places. You would think that we had a snow mole in our yard. I am SO glad that he likes to play outside in the snow. I love to watch how excited he gets. Helps me get through it. Still looking forward to more yummy cucumbers next year..... seems so far away!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flashback Friday

This is the first time for me to post a photo for flashback Friday. I came across this photo going through old disks of photos while snowed in today. What an eye opener. I laughed so hard remembering trying on my 'old' pants and realizing that another person could fit in there with me. After making a joke about it. Zach actually did climb in there with me. He was maybe 7 in the photo. How funny.... I hope that he always fits in those pants with me! I never want to fit in them myself!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The New Year is Coming!

I started thinking this morning after reading a post on Kristin's Raw here about New Year's Resolutions. She is having a give away and to enter you have to answer the question 'What are your New Year's Resolutions?'

For many years, I would set that resolution, like so many others to lose weight, to be healthy, you know the drill. Many of you have been there yourselves. After awhile I finally decided that I wasn't even going to set any New Year's Resolution, mostly because I failed miserably year after year. It only brought on lack of desire and confidence from being disappointed in myself for not achieving my goals. Eventually, I did achieve these goals but they really didn't have anything to do with New Year's Resolutions. About 5 years ago, I just decided that I would set small realistic goals for myself throughout the whole year. Weight loss goals, fitness goals, family goals you name it. All written in a little journal, dated when I achieved the goal. (if it was the sort you can pin point a date) You can only imagine my excitement when I could sit with my legs crossed for the first time in 10 yrs! Sounds trite I know, however, it was a really big deal to me. My list looked something like this:

  • cross my legs when sitting in a chair
  • be able to put my water bottle between my legs when driving (at the time no cup holders in the car)
  • climb a rock wall (I WAS terrified of heights, now only a bit queasy)
  • learn to swim (with my face in the water)
  • be able to buy clothes in a store that isn't for 'plus' sizes
  • run a half marathon
  • do a triathlon

That's just a few, and as you can see some goals are bigger than others; however, my confidence has increased tenfold not matter the size of my goals. I have achieved all of these goals except the last. I debated not writing it, then decided that I would because despite all odds someday I will do a little triathlon.

I continue all the time to add to this list, to make adjustments where needed and not be so ridgid with myself. I sit as I am typing cold but still drinking my green smoothie for breakfast. Why because another small goal I set for myself. As the weather started getting colder, I found myself not drinking them. Also, I found myself more tired and less goal oriented, letting things go. So my goal is to drink it anyway, even if I have to chase it with a hot cup of tea.

Even though I set goals all year long, and allow myself the flexability to change them as needed I am going to set some goals for this coming year. Here they are:

  1. I am going to continue to persue my MS in Holistic Nutrition, despite how much I am challenged to get the work done and adjust my schedule. I have proven to myself that I can learn (despite my age) and do really well in school. I hope to make good strides in getting closer to graduation this year.
  2. I am going to continue to exercise and challenge myself to reach new levels of fitness, including adding yoga on a regular basis, even if it means doing it alone at home. Add weight training, and getting myself back on my bike (when the snow is gone) and back in the pool (which I haven't swam since I left WA)
  3. I will continue to teach (mostly by example) the desire to live a healthy life, through foods and fitness to my children.
  4. I will start to plan my first 'real' garden during the winter so that I will be ready when spring comes.

There you have it. I do think that these are all reasonable goals that I can achieve this year. I am going to be setting smaller goals to reach these bigger ones. I will come back to this next year and see where I stand.

What are your goals for yourself next year? Please share I would love to hear about them....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Feeling Really Grateful for Modern Life!

This was an absolutely busy and crazy few days. I already posted briefly that we finally have power back on. Thursday night the weather started getting unpredictable. I was already a bit anxious about my oral review that I had. I also cancelled my cub scout meeting as I really didn't want any of my cubs and their families getting out in the bad weather. I had no idea what we were in for. I was happy to make it through my oral exam (which is over the phone, and grueling).The next morning we woke up and had no power. I assumed that the kids had no school because there was no answer at any of the district numbers. Brian had to go to work, and when he got there (to assure me that he was safe) he indeed called to let me know that there wasn't school and that he had made it safely to work. The kids were excited to be home for a long weekend. Little did they know what they were in for. When I got up and got outside to see what I needed to do in the driveway. Here was this HUGE branch lying across our driveway AND the neighbors as well. If Brian didn't go to work, his car would have been the crash pad for this very heavy 'branch' that fell at least 100 ft.
Despite no power the trees were actually beautiful. The branches looked like glass and crashed to the ground like it too.
With no power we moved blankets and mattress down near the fireplace. So grateful for a great neighbor that has an excess of wood and it kept up at least warmer than it was outside. After a cold night up stoking the fire Brian took a nap and Dasher was happy to cuddle up and make sure that his neck didn't get cold. That kitty is such a goof ball! We were fortunate that after a few days the power came back on just in time for us to celebrate our darling Nikolas' birthday. Happy Birthday Sweetie. My baby turned 7 today! My mother in law baked the cake and drove up with my brother in law (and a generator, arriving two hours before the power came back on). The next day my two sister' in law came over with our nieces. We got to celebrate Nikolas' birthday with lights and heat!!!!
During the outage, at least during the day I finished up two gifts for some special people in my kiddos lives...
Here's a close-up of the first one.
Then I started this second scarf. I am only about a quarter of the way done, once it got dark I couldn't see well enough to work on it. I will keep plugging away until I get it done, I hope in time!!!
Here's a close-up of this one. It's hard to tell but it's a ruffly type pattern. I really love it and want to make myself one with self-striping yarn. I think it will be really great!!! Ariana also asked me to teach her to knit, so I was excited to take the time to start to teach her a little too. I sure hope that she will continue to practice at it.
I hope that everyone is warm, dry and safe. I am so appreciate for heat and light, it is so easy to take advantage of things we have everyday!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Power is Finally ON!!

Hurray... we finally have our power! I will write more on it later.. have few photos to share too.. never been SO cold in my house..Brrrrr.. The power went out shortly after I finished my oral review/exam for my class.. so excited I checked my grade a few minutes ago.. I finished my class with a 98! wahoooo!! Then I cleaned the fridge out.. yuck!more later

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Cost of Things...

In the past few days, I have been catching up on blog reading, and of course that gets me to do a lot of thinking probably too much. I can't say exactly which post got my brain rolling first; however, those of you that know me, know once I get on a topic of thought I better get it out or it will consume me. So in order to be able to 'move on' here goes:

First I have to share this link: This is a post by a friend of mine at Studio J. The video she put on her blog has a powerful message. It blew me away. Go now. Watch and then come back here.

When I first started watching I thought... Why in the world did she put this video on here, but I kept watching because, I knew there had to be something to it and there was... if you have a daughter(or even a son) please watch. Really what is our society doing to us?

Then it led me to thinking about another blog post I read. Generally speaking I love this blog and read it regularly. So if you didn't read it, sorry I wont post it here. I mean no harm. Just have to share my own opinion as a person that is studying in the nutritional field(I am not at a mainstream school that teaches by the USDA guidelines). The writer of this blog posted a chart that she felt was appropriate MAX weight for individuals for their height. I was stunned, the writer was adament that medical charts we are used to using were basically wrong to have a range. Holy crap, her chart said that I should weigh no more than 112 lbs! for my 5' 5'' body. YIKES! I wont deny that I would like to weight less than I do now, but if my medical professional told me that I should weigh no more than that number, I would give up. (most people would get discouraged and hit the twinkie bar)For some maybe they can, for MOST they never will. Self esteem is more important than reaching number that low on a scale!

I feel that having a range, IS a better option as it is far better to weigh 150 at 5' 5'' than 265! From a professional standpoint, it is unrealistic to counsel a client/patient to this standard... hence I really started thinking after watching the video. Do we really expect EVERYONE to live to hollywood and the media's standards to be considered healthy(ie worthy). No offense, but many of those people are not healthy(even at 112lbs), they starve themselves and exercise obsessively to stay that way not to mention surgeries and all the other procedures they do to themselves. I wont say all celebreties, because perhaps there are some out there that are 'normally healthy'.

I know that I could run faster with less weight however, I really don't run to be fast, I run to clear my mind and exercise my heart. I accept this. My calling is not to be an elite runner, just a healthy one. I really hope that my daughter (or sons for that matter) or yours, do not ever feel they are not good enough because their body isn't that tiny. Truth be told we can not and will not all be that small no matter what we do, and for some it will be an obsession and become what the video link above depicts. I don't wish that wanting and pain on anyone. Life is too precious and a size 10 just isn't that big in the scheme of things. I absolutely despise this about our media, young teens are highyly affected by what they read and see.

Moving on:

With that off to my third thing. Promise its not near as deep or controversial, but still close to my heart. It's the cost of water... yes water.... I love that add (above)and they have another that says something to the effect of 'I dont need any fancy bottle and caps'.

Water bottles, they are all over the gym, they are everywhere. Water it's so important. It makes up 60 % of your body and without it, our bodies can not function, all the way down to the cellular level. (if the cells don't funtion, neither will you) so here's my point. Drink water AND be aware of how many times do you buy bottled water? Did you know that if you bought a reusable water bottle you could save as much as $1400 a year! Wow!!!

I know your next thought, but I refill the bottles until they are falling apart- well they fall apart because the plastic is breaking down, into your water! which means that you are drinking all the 'stuff' that they use to make the water bottles, at a cost to your body especially your liver, which is trying to keep your body free of toxins.

Here's a bit of info on plastic bottles with PET #1 copied from an article here: Polyethylene terephalate (PET or PETE) – Used in soft drink, juice, water, beer, mouthwash, peanut butter, salad dressing, detergent and cleaner containers. Leaches Antimony trioxide: workers exposed to antimony trioxide for long periods of time have exhibited respiratory and skin irritation; among female workers, increased incidence of menstrual problems and miscarriage; their children exhibited slower development in the first twelve months of life. The longer a liquid is left in such a container the greater the concentration of antimony released into the liquid.

I would never tell anyone to not use any plastics, but to educate yourself and make choices as to what you want. Never having any plastics would be really tough. Choose wisely. My husband called me today from work to tell me he finally understands why I choose to not reheat food in plastic containers in the microwave (along with my other plastic issues). He used a plastic knife at work to score an orange and peel it he said there was a black strip of stuff on the orange, first thought it was a worm, strangely enough it wasn't. It was the knife breaking down onto the orange. I can finally buy him some metal silverware for his lunches! Hurray! Yes, it may cost a bit more to have 'real' silverware in your lunch box, but in the long run I doubt it. Please consider reusable/washable bottles and containers to carry lunch and picnic foods. For water at home it is less expensive in the long run to put a filtration system in your house and even less to get a pur or brita filter to just fill your reusable bottles. It will decrease the landfills (please recycle) and even better why even recycle in the first place. In the matter of fact a gallon of Dasani would cost you about $8 a gallon. (This could vary depending on brand, price and location and these figured are based on $1.50 for a 20oz Dasani)We thought gas was expensive!

So I guess what I am saying is we really have to think of The true cost of things. Our emotional well being, our physical health, and our environment. What do we want for ourselves and our families now and in the future. Sometime the costs of things weighs far more than the effects on our checkbooks. Somethings are priceless we can not buy them nor replace them once they are damaged or gone. Make the best choices possible in every situation. I wish each one of you, good health and happiness.....

Namaste (the spirit in me, bows to you and respects the spirit in you)

PS. I am in a very thinking mood and yes I missed my yoga class today.