Pumped for PiYo

I’ve shared with you all some of my struggles with working out.  And I have to admit….I am a sloth.  I would much rather sit on the couch watching #SharkWeek and eating bonbons than I would working out at ANYTHING!!!

But on June 26th I made a decision.  On that day i decided I would do almost ANYTHING to get healthier.  I had several reasons for getting healthier.

Reason #1:  1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  As a Christ follower, I need to realize and respect that my body is not my own.  I am a temple of the Lord Jesus.  I am also a living representation of Him.  So, if I can’t deal with the slothful slovenly body that I have now, how is someone else going to take me seriously when I tell them about Jesus?

Reason #2: I want to be around for my kids, and my grandkids, and my great grandkids.  Not only do I want to be around…but I want to be active.  I want to play with them and hang out with them and run with them, not sleep on the couch while they are outside playing catch.  And that is exactly what is happening now. 😦

Reason #3: Moment of truth – I’d love to have another baby.  But my body would never carry one right now, I’m just not healthy enough.  And if we adopted, I’d never make it through the sleepless nights.

I had these 3 reasons…and they are darn good ones.  But now what?  That’s where my friend A comes in.  I met her on facebook and we have had lots of chats about homeschooling, and being the mother to boys, and God, and a couple about being healthy.  Not that many, because quite frankly she is one of those women…you know…the skinny muscular women that look like they could slip into a bikini at any given moment and not even blink!  Yep…..she’s one of those.  But she is also incredibly sweet and amazing and I knew she did this shakeology thingy…so I asked her.  I gave her impossible parameters.  I needed a work out that was low impact because of asthma and other issues.  I really like doing yoga but hate working out period.  And I don’t even stick with the yoga long term.  And I have like NO time.  Every time the doctor said I needed to work out, I would start outlining my day and ask him when exactly I should work out!  And I couldn’t go on a crazy meal plan that I couldn’t afford and no one else would eat – because I REFUSE to make separate meals.

She gave me 2 possible work outs and let me compare them.  I even drew up a Pros and Cons sheet.  I talked to my mom (Papi was out of town) and the girls and decided I would do PiYo because even though I HATE Pilates I LOVE Yoga!  I ordered the challenge pack and waited very impatiently for my dvd’s and shake mix to come in. (I started with strawberry because I love strawberry anything.)

On July 3rd my items were in and I was so excited.  I tried one of the shakes that night!  It was very good with little after taste…which is awesome because I will use ANY excuse NOT to do this kind of thing.  My friend A had started an online accountability group for those of us taking this PiYo challenge.

Here’s where it is going to get boring….I’ll be sharing what I posted online at the accountability group – so this is basically going to be a day by day journal.  Skip to the bottom if you must. 😉

July 4 · ·

Hi everyone! I’m excited to be here! My name is Jessica. I’m 42. Mom of 6. Homeschooler. Married 15 years. I’m really excited to get into shape. I (right now) have the full support of all my family (including my moms who lives with us). I had my first shake yesterday (strawberry sea salt) for an afternoon snack. It was so filling, I almost didn’t eat dinner! Have a blessed day everyone!!!!!

July 6 ·

Quick question before i get ready for church: how do you eat all this food???? I’m really struggling to eat all the veggies and protein every day especially. Using PiYo and my calorie target is a little over 1800, so I’m shooting for 1800.  (Yes, I am still really struggling to eat all the food!!!!)

July 7 – 

I sent my measurements to my coach.  Did NOT want to take these.  And I won’t post them here.  What I will do is share the changes later.

 

July 7 · ·

Align is done. I had to modify almost everything. But I loved most of the moves. Warrior 1 and 2 have been my favorite moves for 15 + years! I’m exhausted now…but I have cheer tonight , so I need to get moving!!!!!! Oh! And redid my schedule so that I’m working out about an hour after I get up. That always has worked best for me in the past.

July 8 · ·

Define Lower Body done. That was fun! I love yoga! ijs
I had to edit to let you know. 4 of my 6 kids joined me in the workout this morning. 1 girl and my 3 boys. The other 2 girls were going around the room correcting postures. It felt like I was in a gym class!!!!

July 9 ·  ·

Define upperbody – for those of you saying it wasn’t as much of a workout – PTTHT!!!! I was sweating my hiney off, my arms are totally shaking. BUT I managed the crouching crow pushups!!! WooHoo!!!!!
I am now going to the beach…so nya nya!

July 10 · 

SWEAT confession time. I couldn’t finish it. My muscles literally collapsed, I almost fell. I only had 14 minutes left. I know that I can do this. I WILL do this. I have cheer tonight, so that’s another 2 hours of sweating my butt off. I’m looking forward to conquering SWEAT next Monday.

July 12 ·  ·

Do you hear me screaming with joy????!!!!!!
I did define lower today with NO CHAIR!!!!!! with Aunt Flo too! I had to go into childs pse a couple times in the last 5 minutes, and I found the last 5 minutes hard to do because my hands were sliding all over the place….but I DID IT!!!!! Very little modifications!!!! I have been sitting at my computer playing on facebook trying to recover because I might fall if I try to stand right now. But I am going to be on a HIGH ALL DAY LONG!
Happy dance rant over. You may go back to your regularly scheduled programming.

feeling joyful.

  July 12 ·

Bought a 750ml water bottle at GMC today for 99cents!! They had a couple of them, so i might go back and get the others. They are pretty and i can take then to the track.

July 13 ·  ·

Define upper body done. Hating working out in front of hubby. He was very encouraging today though, in going to challenge him to do sweat with me tomorrow.

July 14 ·

SWEAT done today. I’m sitting here at the computer recovering. Hubby didn’t join me today, but dd13, dd12, and ds8 did. dd13 dropped out with 12 minutes to go, I dropped out with 10 minutes to go, dd12 dropped out with me. DS8 is a BEAST! The boy completed it all and then did 50 sit ups and 50 push ups afterwards!!!!!!! He’s not even sweating very much.

And I weighed in today…..I lost 4 pounds last week. Double my goal. I can’t see it or feel it yet, but that is super encouraging. (Especially since my asthma and thyroid kicked in last night and laid me on the couch for several hours).

I CAN DO THIS. I WILL GET HEALTHIER.

What is your favorite shake recipe?
I have to say my favorite so far is strawberry powder, milk, peanut butter, and honey

July 15 ··

Define Lower Body done. I really love this workout. My legs are already somewhat strong, so doing this work out makes me FEEL strong. I really do need to get those yoga gloves though. I have to come out of so many poses because my hands are sliding!!!!

Core this morning is done! I struggled with it, having to “rest” several times. But I didn’t stop. i kept pushing – though it was not easy to figure out what my body was supposed to be doing. i think I may be doing some of the moves incorrectly, because my shoulders are sore.
Also, I know that most of you stay away from salt….but I need to make sure my balance is correct, so I added a tiny bit of salt to my water this morning. I’ll be doing that every morning to make sure that I don’t throw my body out of whack.
Have a wonderful day everyone!!!!!

Still can’t do SWEAT all the way through. But I can see while doing it where I am getting stronger. Able to extend on things I wasn’t before! And my tricep pushup is getting stronger. Instead of only going down 1 or 2 inches, I’m able to be only 2 inches from the floor!!!

CORE literally brought me to tears today. I was so frustrated with not being able to figure out what I was supposed to be doing and then when I thought I had, not feeling it in my CORE but in my arms or legs. Hubby said I was doing then right, but still.. .feeling slightly defeated today.

July 21 at 8:43am ·

Define upper body done. Can i say that I’m actually looking forward to a work out called buns? My legs are stronger than my arms!

OK. I didn’t get the work out done this morning. i had a rough evening and night last night…didn’t sleep well and just am flat exhausted. I will attempt it this afternoon before cheer tryouts if I can. On a good note…I lost another two pounds!

BUNS done! I couldn’t do everything but I LOVED that one! I would like doing that every day!

I totally have to say this. This is the only workout I’ve ever done where I am working my butt off….I mean my muscles are shaking and hurting during it. But as I go about the rest of my day I am not hurting. Yes, I get a little twinge every once in a while when I move just the right way…but I’m not crippled in pain. I LOVE it. I know I’m working hard, the muscles are working most definitely. But I’ve always stopped before because of the pain.

Core done. Ugh. Still hate it…but it didn’t make me cry this time!!

Not looking forward to working out this morning…. . I’m sore!!!LOL. But I’ll be making up my rest day in about 10 minutes.
I did notice something strange this morning and last. My mom makes breakfast for us before she heads off to work. Both days she has made bacon or sausage. Both days the greasy smell has made me slightly nauseous. And last night, egg roll turned my tummy some.
Conclusion: eating cleaner is making my body want to eat cleaner!

Sweat kind of done. I still cant get through the whole thing. Today i stopped at 13 minutes left. But what i did, i did with no modifications. On to the cheer draft, after my shower!

feeling strong.

Hubby took me on a date tonight…..for a smoothie(kind of healthy) and to target to buy yoga gloves. Cuz that’s how we roll.lol. i guess that’s what 17 years and 6 kids does to your date life.

Strength intervals was hard! 5 minutes left and i was done. I used that time to stretch my legs out. Going to do my cheer workout this afternoon.
Oh…and thank you A for the shake sample….i now know to take chocolate off my list.

Sweat done…got further into it before my legs started to buckle!!!7::50 left! Woohoo!!!! Conditioning with my cheer girls tonight too!!!

Core….ran out of steam with 6 minutes left. I didn’t eat near enough yesterday and i can tell. I have got to eat more!
In good news, i am down a total of 8 pounds. That is half my goal!!!

I’m taking a rest day today….my last one was last Tuesday and my body is killing me!!
I will be out at the track tonight for a stunt clinic, so after that while I’m waiting for football practice to be over, I’m going to walk/run the track.
Just to hold myself accountable: tomorrow will be buns and Friday will be drench. I’ll. Be at the track on Friday night walking/running as well.

BUNS done! Man that burns!!! Love it! I can already see changes in my booty. When i was in high school I was a white girl with a donkey booty. Literally. guys used to put soda cans on my hiney. It was a running joke in my 98% black high school that I had a black girls butt. Now I have an upside down heart shape – and I ain’t lovin it. I want the black girl butt again!!!!!

Doing buns today, and my greyhound decided to join me….hard to workout when a huge dog is on your mat! He so kindly left huge muddy paw prints too.

I’m really frustrated today.
I took my measurements and did a fitness test, results are after 25 days….
Weight – down 5 pounds (up 3 from last week)
Waist – down 3.5 inches
Hips – down 2 inches
Chest – down 1.5 inches (I didn’t want to go down here)
Right arm – up .5 inches
left arm – same
right thigh – up .5 inches
left thigh – up 1.5 inches
Resting Heart rate – up 4 bpm
Vertical leap – up 1.25 inches
Push ups – up 2
toe touch – down 3 more inches (still can’t touch my toes)
Ins and outs – up 5
wall squat – up 4 seconds
first hr max – down 18 bpm (shouldn’t this be going up?)
third hr max – down 28 pbm

It’s a mixed bag and I am just really upset. I can’t really see any difference in my body at all except these weird divots in my stomach and on my thighs and booty. I just wanna cry today (I’m hoping it’s just pms)

Due to unforseen family things AND running out of my thyroid medication, I went AWOL this weekend. I still don’t have my thyroid meds…but I did do Definte Lower Body this morning. no stopping and no modifications. It’s a struggle to get out of bed when I’m out of thyroid meds – so I am counting that as a win!

Had to share this…vanilla shakeology, milk, frozen cherries, low fat chocolate syrup,and ice. It was so yummy!!!!

OK….so still don’t have my thyroid meds. yesterday I worked my hiney off with my cheerleaders. I even did a very horrible cartwheel. This morning I did Upper Body define. Praying I get my thyroid soon!

I really fell off the PiYo wagon this week…not having my thyroid in combination with cheer season and school upon me just overwhelmed me. I’m praying my thyroid meds come in this weekend so that I can start back on Monday with a bang!!!! I want to pick up where I left off with Sculpt (which I haven’t tried). This weekend is insane busy….starting today! So I have no idea if I’ll be able to work out at all.

Got my thyroid meds yesterday…took first dose this morning. Will start back up tomorrow! Woohoo!

Upper body define and i am weak! I couldn’t finish it. i went back to week 3 to build back up. I’m glad i did.

I was so tired all day..i didn’t work out this morning…but i coached this evening. I’m planning on working out tomorrow morning….x my fingers i can wake up!

Buns completed….man my legs were on fire and shaking. I had to stop and shake out a couple of times but i never turned it off! I seriously love that workout!!!!!

feeling accomplished.

Taking one of chalenes tips….doing piyo moves during commercials. 40 chair squats, 20 squats, 30 sumo squats, plank, elbow plank (?), downward dog. After cheer and doing that…I’m exhausted!

25 minutes of drench and i collapsed….holy frijoles.

21 hrs ·

I took pictures today…..when holding them up against pictures from the first day…well, i started to cry. I haven’t been able to see the difference. The scale had only gone down 8 pounds…..so seeing this huge difference in the pictures…wow. it’s storming now…I’ll try to post a before/after tomorrow.

 feeling fabulous

‪#‎PiYo‬ Strength intervals done. I collapsed at 3:55 left and literally couldn’t move for a minute. But i got up and finished once i realized a body was still attached to my head!!!!

The results of all of this insanity:

1.  My before/after pics….6weekbeforeafter 6weeksbeforeafter2

 

2.  I am going to be a Beachbody coach.  I love the transformation in how I feel and the amazing support I have received…and i want to pay it forward.  As soon as I get it up and running, I’ll post the link.

I am so thankful for all the girls in my accountability group for their support…and for A for helping me through all of this!  And I look forward to the next 6 weeks of PiYo!!!!!

Traveling with the Horde Part 2

I told you about our first day of traveling on the road.  6 kids + 2 adults + 13 hours = YIKES!!!!

But I was pleasantly surprised.  And Day 2, I was pleasantly surprised as well.  We continued awarding tokens for good behavior every hour, and letting them bid their tokens in auction style for control of the game/video/radio.  Believe it or not, we only played 1 game the entire day!!!!!

We played Car Bingo.  I had pinned it from here.  It was ok.  We played twice.  Once for the original “Bingo” and once for the “Whole Card”.  It took about an hour and was a great way for the kids to practice attentiveness!

We had a wonderful day, with very little arguing.  Not did I hear, “Are we there yet?” or “He’s touching me!”  That’s a huge feat for 6 kids in one vehicle!  I was so impressed and happy.

Tennessee 2014

At about an hour from our destination, Papi decided to call the hotel and double-check the reservation (for the third time). The hotel we were staying in said that they had the rooms, but instead of 2 non smoking rooms next to each other or across from each other, they were on 2 separate floors!  Papi was upset, but I told him it would be ok, it was only a week, and we really would only be sleeping there, so it was no big deal.

We kept driving, and quickly reached our destination.  We pulled into the parking lot of a very pretty brick hotel.  Papi parked the truck and went inside.  And we waited.  And we waited.  And we waited some more.  After what seemed like forever, I told the kids to get out of the truck and we went inside.  Which was good because 2 of the 6 had to use the restroom.  I should have had a clue…..but I didn’t.  There was no restroom in the lobby.  They had to go into the manager’s office to use the restroom.  I think having all of the children in the lobby made the front desk clerk work a little faster, because we quickly had our keys to the rooms.  We separated – boys on one floor and girls on the other.  When I opened the room door I was engulfed in the smell of stale bodies and smoke.  Immediately my asthma started.  We quickly got the a/c going and I put some drops of Peppermint and Lavender oil on the unit to try to cleanse the air.  I checked the kitchenette to discover it had almost NO utensils of any kind in it.  I slipped off my shoes and immediately put them back on because the floor was sticky.  Papi called from his room and his first words were, “Is your room as bad as mine?”  I wheezed out, “Yes.”  But there wasn’t much we could do, right?

And then I used the restroom.  Oh my.  Let’s just say it was worse than some public bathrooms I’ve been in.  But the kicker was when the toilet seat came off in my hand.

What I say next will cause some of you to think I am an insufferable snob.  But I’m really not.  I grew up poor.  I know what it is to actually LIVE in a No tell Motel for a while.  But my asthma was going crazy and I couldn’t imagine my precious babies staying in this place for a minute longer, let alone an entire week.  I called Papi and told him I wanted to leave, and right away.  And he agreed because before I could barely get the words out of my mouth, he was at my hotel door and we were gone.

But now we had a huge problem.  We were in Nashville, TN.  It was Saturday evening at 6 pm…and we had nowhere to sleep for the night, let alone the week.  Papi got on his phone and I got on mine.  He was checking on the internet, and I was checking with a family I knew had been to Nashville several times for good hotel ideas.

The kids were nervous and worried.  But I wasn’t.  I knew we would be ok.  Especially if I could make it an adventure for the children.  It took a couple of hours of phone calls, but we finally did get a wonderful hotel….and it was SUCH a blessing!!!!

not only would we all be on the same floor….we would all be in the SAME ROOM!  Yes.  They had a room that slept 8!!!!!!!  I can not say enough about how wonderful the GuestHouse Suites in Nashville, TN is.  If you are ever in Nashville – please visit them.  The staff was amazing.  They handled 6 tired, cranky, kids and 2 worried parents with grace and sweetness.  We got the room for the entire week.  And they gave us a great rate because of our dire situation.

GuestHouse  Inn and Suites

 

 

To quote a different hotel chain, “They’ll leave the light on for ya’!”

Traveling with the Horde Day 1

So Papi and I got this crazy idea to have an actual VACATION instead of a Stay-cation. Crazy, right?????  After discussing it thoroughly back in February, we decided to take the kids to the ATI Bible Conference in Nashville, TN.  We paid for the conference, put money aside for travel and for food, and talked about driving all night Friday night and arriving 13 hours later in Nashville.  Yep.  Our equation was this….

1 Truck + 6 kids + 2 very tired adults + 800 miles = Fun Vacation.

Crazier, right????

Up until the week before we were leaving, I believed that was the plan.  Papi would work all day Friday, get home about 4:30 pm (a little early), we would load up the truck, pack some sandwiches, and away we would go.  I would need food for that evening and a movie to put them asleep.  We would take turns driving (let’s be honest, he would drive almost all of it) and hit there about 8 am.  Then we would wander around Nashville until check in at 3 pm.

The week before the conference, Papi and I actually talked about whether this plan would actually work.  We decided it wouldn’t.  So Papi decided we would leave about 11 pm.  The kids would sleep.  We would take turns driving (him driving almost all of it) and get to the hotel in Nashville at about 1 pm on Saturday completely exhausted.  This would take more creativity on my part, because I would need things to keep the kids occupied during the times they were awake.  So I started pinning all sorts of things on pinterest to entertain them, mainly because they weren’t allowed to bring Kindles, mp3’s, cell phones, or anything electronic.

On Tuesday, i think, Papi decided we were going to stay in a hotel in Georgia on Friday night.  The new plan (the one that actually kind of happened) was that Papi would work 1/2 day on Friday, get home around lunch.  Then we would eat lunch, pack the truck, and head to Georgia.  On Saturday we would make the rest of the journey from Georgia to Tennessee.

So Papi worked 1/2 day, and we packed up the truck….

traveling with kids

 

We finished packing early, and decided to get a head start.  Stopping at Sam’s to get gas, Walmart to stock up on goodies, and McDonald’s for lunch.  We were off!

After about an hour, we hit Yeehaw Jct.  YES, there is a place called Yeehaw Jct.  I even photographed the proof….

Yeehaw Jct

I rewarded the kids for being good.  Each of them got a poker chip.  (Yes, it was a poker chip, no we weren’t playing poker).    We traveled another hour with the kids looking at the incorrect maps I printed for them and trying to figure out where we were.  And we hit Orlando.

Orlando

And the kids each got another token.  But by now, the natives were getting restless….

Restless Natives

(No, Barbie is not picking her nose)….And I started the bidding war.  Each of them had tokens rewarded for good behavior.  Being over and above nice got extra tokens.  They were allowed to bid on picking an activity.  I think Eyes won the first one, picking to play a movie (He paid 2 tokens I think).  So we slipped in one of the Star Wars movies and had a semi quiet ride for the next couple of hours (not counting the blasters going off in the background).  Each hour the first day, each kid earned a token.  We were on a ROLL!!!!! (Bonus was I got to work on the baby blanket I’ve been crocheting for a baby that was due ANYDAY!!!!!Baby Blanket

Two hours went by, each kid had earned 2 tokens, and Barbie won the next bid, electing to play her favorite Christian CD’s for the next hour.  And we had then reached our destination…somewhere in Georgia…..

Georgia on my Mind

 

We hit the Huddle House for dinner (that was a new experience for me) and fell exhausted into bed.  Who knew that driving that far could make you exhausted when you weren’t even driving?????

Summer Schedule

I made up our summer schedule last week….I told you – I’m OCD!!!!! 2 more weeks of school and we’ll be having our Summer Jubilee!
BAM!, Barbie, and Papi are going on a 10 day mission trip in Louisiana, so they’ll miss out for the first couple of days.

Here is our summer schedule:
I’ll be up at 6 am to do my morning devotion and laundry.
At 7:30 I’ll shower and dress.
8:00 am I’ll wake up the kids and cook breakfast while they are getting ready for the day.
8:30 am Breakfast!
9:00 am we’ll discuss our plans for the day and do a 15 minute pick up of the kitchen
9:30 am – Wisdom Search
10 am – Monday Beach, Tuesday library, Wednesday Crafts, Thursday Play Dates, Friday Shopping, Saturday Park Day (obviously this is weather dependent!)
12 – lunch and a pick up
1 pm – finish any school work that needs to be worked on
1:30 I’ll be crafting while everyone else is having free time
2 pm I’ll be working on my “to do” list
3 pm Super Clean Time
4 pm I’ll be getting my computer work done while everyone else is having free time
4:30 pm Gardening
5 pm Cooking Dinner
5:30 pm Reading
6 pm Dinner
7 pm Evening Wisdom Search
7:30 pm Smarty Pants goes to bed
8 pm My time to Blog
8:30 pm Eyes, Dimples, and Kissy in bed
9 pm Hanging out with BAM! and Barbie
9:30 pm BAM! and Barbie go to bed, my time with Papi

Now, lest you think I am a drill sergeant – this is a flexible schedule. If things happen, impromptu play dates, sleeping in, we spend more time at the beach than 2 hours, well, we’ll roll with it and just pick it up where we left off!!!!!
What is YOUR summer schedule like?????

Modern Modesty: Pink and Gray

Modern Modesty 2

 

I told you I would continue posting Modest Inspirations!  This outfit was literally $3.99!!!  I got this adorable 3/4 sleeve pink striped blouse at Goodwill, and I got this grey and black striped skirt from….you guessed it, Freecycle!!!

This is more typical of what I wear on a daily basis.  At least during the winter months.  During the summer, It’s usually a t shirt. 😉

Modern Modesty: I’m wearing Pants!

Modern Modesty

I don’t usually wear pants.  But the other day I decided to wear them, so we took a picture to commemorate the event. lol  – I wanted to show you that you can dress modestly, without breaking the bank.  My entire outfit cost less than $10.

My top I got at Goodwill for $2.99.  When I tried it on, it was a tad lo-cut for my comfort.  So, I used this cute little camisole that I got several years ago on sale – I think I spent $5 on it.  And the grey pants I got from freecycle.org.

Now, I’m fairly certain that you know what Goodwill is.  We shop there a lot.  Where else can i get a grocery basket full of clothing for me and the kids for less than $50????  I look for sales all of the time.  I never, or rarely ever, purchase any clothing for full price.

Do you know what freecycle is?  It’s wonderful!  It’s a place where you can get used things that people want to get rid of, so that you can use it!  I have gotten so many things from freecycle – it’s just unbelievable!!!  Check it out for yourself!!!   https://www.freecycle.org

Do you dress modestly???  Check back often for ideas for the modern busy momma!!!!

Morning is Broken

I hate mornings.  No, I REALLY hate mornings.  It takes my brain several hours to figure out that my body is actually out of bed and moving.  But, with all of my hatred of mornings, I’ve realized that if I get up “early” than I have a better day.  I kind of figure that most of you hate mornings too.  After all, not all of us are like my little brother and Smarty Pants, bouncing out of bed to greet the morning with a loud roaring “Hello” and a huge smile.

I think I have found out how to have a good morning (for me).  Obviously you’re morning may look differently, but one thing that won’t be different is that if you have a routine and stick to it every day, your mornings will go smoother!

My alarm goes off at 5:45 am.  I turn it off, bleary eyed and then I sit up in bed.  I have found that if I don’t sit up, I go right back to sleep!  I begin to pray, praising Him is a priority.  I thank Him for things that make my life easier (think microwave, stove, COFFEE!), and I ask Him to help me be the best wife, mother, daughter, and friend that I can be.

At 6:00 am my alarm goes off again.  That’s just in case I fell asleep while praying – hey, stop laughing!  I do that all of the time!!!

I stumble to the bathroom, with my eyes still closed.  Papi is usually finishing getting ready for the day. (The man doesn’t go to sleep until way after I do and still gets up at 4:30 am.  There are moments I hate him – just kidding) I grab a bunch of dirty clothes from the hamper, my glasses, and my cell phone and stumble my way into the laundry room; clicking on lights in every room.  (That makes Papi crazy, he turns off the lights as fast as I turn them on.)  I start a load of laundry (my first of the day) and it’s just past 6 am.

After I’ve started the load of laundry (I make sure the washer and dryer are empty before I go to bed for just this reason), I grab my first cup of coffee for the day and sit down in the living room with my bible, my journal, a pen, and my cup of coffee.  I read 5 Psalms, 1 Proverb, 1 chapter from the New Testament, and a bible study (either my Sunday School lesson or one of the myriad devotions I’ve gotten hold of).  By the time I have finished that and my first cup of coffee, it’s a quarter to 7.

I put my morning devotion things away and head off to the girls room at my first attempt to wake Barbie up.  She has clearly inherited my hatred of the morning sun.  I go back to the kitchen, refill my coffee, and write all of the information on the FAQ board for the day.  Our FAQ board is a marker board on which I write the menu for the day, the weather, Prayer Requests, Cleaning Goals, the date, and any special things going on that day that might change the schedule in any way. I also switch the wet load of laundry to the dryer and start a new load.  Yay!  I’ve started my second load of laundry already!

I then go and re-shake Barbie, gently announce to the other girls that it is time to get up, and head to the boys room to get them up and moving.  And this is when the insanity starts.  By now I’ve been up for over an hour, and my brain is starting to get the idea that WE ARE UP!  I sit down at the computer to check if I have any emails that need immediate action and check our bank account for the day (just a safety precaution).    For the next half hour I am calling children to me to check if they have their morning stuff done.  Barbie needs to wake up, work in her faith journal, shower, get dressed, make her bed and start her math.  BAM! needs to do the same (except for the math part).  Kissy needs to wake up, do her morning devotion, shower, get dressed, and strip her bed (if necessary) and make her bed.  The boys all need to wake up, brush their hair and teeth, wash their faces, get dressed, make their beds, and do their morning devotions.  It is utter insanity.  All of this is done with 2 bathrooms!!! 😉

As I see that everyone is up and moving in at least a semblance of alertness, I jump into the shower and get myself ready.  I also make my own bed.  Then I head back into the kitchen.  If Nana hasn’t made breakfast yet, or if she needs help, I dive right in.  Once breakfast is ready, I call the kids to the table with an officials whistle.  It’s loud, and that way I don’t scream.  It scares Simon our greyhound to death though, so I try to make sure he is outside.  We eat our breakfast the 7 of us, as a family.  Nana leaves for work right after I jump into the shower.  After I am done eating, I read to the children as they are finishing.  At the moment we are reading The Yearling.  It’s a great book about growing up in Florida waaaaayyyyyy back in the day.  As we are studying Florida in school, I thought it was apropos.  We’ll be going from this one to books about Christian Heroes and Martyrs.

After everyone is finished eating breakfast, then we do a 15 minute pick up.  They each have chores in the kitchen, and I’m folding the clean laundry and starting my third load of the day.  Whomever doesn’t have kitchen chores that day (they take turns) helps me by putting the laundry away.  After the 15 minute pick up is done, we all congregate in the living room with our Bibles and have a quick family devotion.

Exhausted yet?  That’s when we start school!  And that’s my morning folks.  I hate them.  But I find if they go smoothly, so does our day.

So, your turn.  What does your morning look like?  Do you hate mornings as much as I do????

Hot Pink Nails

The girls were doing their nails the other day, and aren’t they sweet?  They took pictures so that I could post it on the blog!!!!

Hot Pink Nails1                          They started with some hot pink press on nails.

HotPinkNails2

Then they added some silver nail polish in a french tip style.

HotPinkNails3And then some fun black stripes.

Every time they try a new design it gets better and better.  I’ll post more as we get them! 🙂

BAM! and the rubber bands

If your house is anything like mine, you have been invaded by those little rubber bands.  They are in your laundry, in your carpet, on your floor, and all over your children’s rooms.

My kids love these little rubber bands and are constantly making things out of them, either on the loom or on their fingers.  They bring them to church to work on while I’m at choir practice…they do them while cleaning their rooms…it’s never ending!

And then I got an idea, a brilliant one, even if I do say so myself.  What if the kids donated all of those creations they’ve made to the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes?  Our church collects all year, and then fills the boxes in November and sends them out.  We would have a ton of toys to donate, even if the kids only gave away the creations they weren’t fond of. The kids thought that was a wonderful idea, and immediately filled a little basket with key chains, necklaces, headbands, bracelets, and various little animals.

The next day, BAM! used most of her rubber bands to make a cell phone holder.  No, I have no clue how she did it, and she doesn’t either – even though she’s made two of them.  But I can guarantee if your child has a loom, they can take a look at BAM!’s and make one of their own.

BAM! and the rubber bands

She wanted to donate it to the boxes, but we weren’t sure what the kids could use them for.  And then I thought, every little girl loves a purse, and this is a perfect little purse for little treasures.  I think we’re going to be giving a couple of these away. 🙂

 

Not sure what I’m talking about when I talk about Operation Christmas Child and Shoeboxes????  Go check out how to pack one of your own http://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/pack-a-shoe-box/

 

Guest Blogger, Guess Who????

SmartyPants

Mom’s name is Jesica.

My mom loves God.

God loves momy very much.

My mom ask God in her hart.

With my mom i’m pretected.

Mom reads the Bible about 2.00 hours.

We have a cute marker board that I bought at Walmart several years ago for about $30.  It’s hanging in our Breakfast room.  Every day I write on it.  I write what we’re having to eat that day, what the weather will be that day, and anything special we’re doing that day.  I also have a line that says, “Nothing to Do?”.  Underneath it I write suggestions for if the kids are bored.  The kids know that if they say, “There’s nothing to do.” or “I’m bored.”, then they will be directed to do what is on the marker board.

Smarty Pants is the worst at this.  This child believes that he can do nothing of himself, he must be entertained at all times, especially by something electronic.  If I have said no tv, no computer, and no mp3 players, then he goes insane.  A couple of days ago, the “Nothing to Do?” board said, “Write a blog post.”  Guess who said, “I’m bored.”?  That’s right, Smarty Pants.

I posted exactly what he wrote, errors in spelling and grammar and all!!! The line that touched me the most???  “With my mom i’m pretected.”  Why does that matter so much?  Because he has spent from the time of 8 months old til he was 7 bounced around from home to home, both foster and biological.  He’s never felt safe, because he never knew for sure he was staying.  He’s been kicked out of homes for throwing temper tantrums (at 2 mind you), or just because the foster parents were done.  He has always felt that it was always his fault he was being passed on, never the adults.  For him to say that I “pretect” him, well, that just makes all the trying times worth it.

I hope you enjoyed our first guest blogger!  There will be more guest bloggers soon, I hope!