Saturday, May 31, 2008

The first week of summer...

We're wrapping up our first full week of summer. It's been a good week. The end of the school year is so crazy-busy, that I don't think any of us fully realize how tired we are until we finally stop. I deliberately kept our calendar clear this week so that we could all catch up on some much needed rest. It was wonderful to sleep in every morning, eat a leisurely breakfast and have absolutely nowhere to go/be.

I like to start summer with a clean house, and since I didn't get much "spring" cleaning done, I hit it full force this week--cleaning closets and drawers, purging junk, and scrubbing baseboards and blinds. And I don't know about you, but my kids bring home SO much stuff at the end of the school year. It took an entire morning to sort/save/toss it all!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the birthday wishes on Thursday. I had a very good day! I spent the day doing lots of things I love including reading and sitting outside in the sun. It was very chilly here the first part of the week (not at all summer-like) so when the sun reappeared on Thursday, I headed straight ouside.

The girls made this cute birthday sign for me on their chalkboard.

That's a creative way to add all thirty-eight candles, huh?

John and the kids took me out for dinner that night (Texas Roadhouse, mmmmm!).

Afterwards, I talked John into a trip to Target. I wanted to spend the gift card that I won on Deidre's blog a couple of weeks ago. This is what I spent it on.

It's a salad spinner, and I am LOVING it! I went grocery shopping this morning and came home and washed/dried my lettuce, cilantro, blueberries and strawberries in it. I've wanted one forever, but I just never wanted to spend $30 extra dollars (on myself) at Target. Thank you, Deidre!!! I was thrilled to purchase it guilt-free.

John had to go to Glen Eyrie this afternoon to meet with an author who's in town for a conference. (He gets to hang out with some cool people!) Glen Eyrie is right next to Garden of the Gods, so the kids and I dropped him off and went on a little hike. Beautiful, huh?

After hiking, we strolled around the Glen Eyrie bookstore while waiting for John to finish his meeting and I took the picture that I wished I had taken last time I was there. John wrote the LIVING THE LETTERS Bible studies a couple of summers ago. So fun to see his stuff on display!

Glen Eyrie is a beautiful, beautiful place and it is the only place I've ever seen bighorn sheep. A couple of years when my mom was here visiting, I took her to Glen Eyrie and as we were leaving, we saw this herd of sheep wander up to the castle. OH my gosh!!! You cannot believe how excited I was. She took these pics for me (would you believe I didn't have my camera?) We tried again to see some today, but no such luck.

After a quick stop at Sonic (happy hour--woohoo!) we headed home. Grilled burgers for dinner (our summer Saturday night tradition), and now we're getting ready to start a movie and eat some dessert (ice cream and cherry pie!). Hope you've had a lovely weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Will Never...

I'm copying this idea from Gretchen who copied it from Boomama.

I will never...

1. Have skinny thighs. It's just not in my genes.

2. Ask my husband to drive home the "back way" over Rampart Range Road. Been there, done that (in a mini-van, no less), and thankfully lived (I wasn't so sure a few times) to tell you it was the most unpleasant experience of my life.

3. Regret time spent with my family.

4. Sing a solo in front of anyone.

5. Like eggplant. Blech.

6. Get tired of reading.

7. Forget what it feels like to have a kidney stone.

8. Go back to using a PC. I'm a Mac convert.

9. Be a perfectionist. I gave up trying a long time ago! Perfection is overrated.

10. Not be moved by beauty.

11. Wish my hair was naturally curly, even though it IS! (My CHI is my bff!)

12. Be an Auburn Tiger fan. Never. No way, Jose.

13. Not be thankful for Grace.

14. Be bilingual like Kim and Natalie. I will never be as funny as they are either. If you need to laugh today, please click on the links above.

15. Live a day without thanking God for John, Will, Sarah, and Abbey.

16. Forget the day I saw a bear.

17. Quit wondering if heaven is as beautiful as Rocky Mountain National Park.

18. Be ashamed of my tender heart.

19. Drive over a bridge without shuddering.

20. Stop laughing. My husband tells me that my laughter is his favorite sound.

*edited to add...*

21. I will never not feel weird telling people it's my birthday. But since my my husband outed me in the comments below, I'll own it. Yep, I'm thirty-eight today. Life is good.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Question of the Week

Do you recycle?

I have to say that I'm better at re-purposing than I am at recycling.

This morning, however, I set up some boxes in the garage for recycling--glass, paper, plastic, aluminum, and cardboard.

My little town doesn't make recycling very easy. They take only paper and plastic bags, but, I just realized that we drive by the BIG recycling center in Colorado Springs every single Sunday on our way to church, so I'm determined to make a trip every couple of weeks throughout the summer.

Our Daisy troop did a study on recycling earlier this month, and in anticipation of the meeting, I saved as much plastic, cardboard, paper, glass, etc, as I could. I was amazed at what my family generated in less than one week. I think that was what got me motivated.

I'm just curious how many of you recycle too.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I have some pictures!!!

Oh my word...the Thunderbirds are SO amazing. They were practicing today for AF graduation on Wednesday, and their practice is basically a free air show. I went with my friend whose husband teaches at the Air Force Academy, and she took me some crazy back-way to the stadium (she is my new BFFFFFF!!!). We were planning to just watch it from the parking lot, but the kids ran up the steps to the stadium and discovered the gates were open, so we got to watch from inside! Because they're practicing for Wednesday, they fly right over the stadium. Needless to say, we had an awesome view today! I was pretty ecstatic.

It was very cloudy today, and I learned from another friend that they do a "low show" and a "high show". Today's clouds translated into a low show. I think it was still pretty spectacular.

They're incredibly LOUD when flying overhead, hence, the name Thunderbirds. Abbey had her ears covered much of the time!

Awesome, huh? I'm convinced we live in the coolest place on earth!

I'm pretty sure we've already caught it...

The theme of our library's summer reading program this year is "Catch the Reading Bug".

I think it's safe to say we've already caught it...don't you?

Abbey has been reading since Christmas. We all love to read, and we are a BIG library family. One of our favorite things about summer is the reading program at our library. This is the first year that Abbey can complete it on her own without help from a family member, and she is super excited about it. She checked out a stack of books yesterday and is raring to go! Will and Sarah are too.

Anyone else remember Dick and Jane books? Abbey recently checked out this big collection, and had a blast reading it. It definitely took me back a few decades!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Friday, Saturday, Sunday... (I have such original titles for my posts)

Woohoo! The kids finished their last day of school on Friday, and I don't know who is happier--them or their mother!

Friday marked the end of Will's elementary education. They had a 5th grade continuation ceremony that afternoon, complete with mortar boards and a giant balloon release. Would you believe I didn't even cry?!? I usually cry almost as much on the last day of school as I do on the first day. I don't know why I didn't cry--maybe it's the crazy-cream working! :)

We're so proud of Will. He got a PE award, and was recognized for his participation in Battle of the Books. And of course, he also got his certificate of completion for 5th grade. He's a really smart kid, and has made some great friends since we moved here. He's super excited about middle school next year. I'm glad that he is, though it just doesn't seem possible that he can already be finished with elementary school!

After the ceremony, we went to get ice cream with a big group of friends. I had cake and ice cream in one afternoon. So much for the no-sugar diet. It was worth it though! YUM!

It's been a beautiful weekend. John and I got up and worked in the yard and cleaned out the garage yesterday. I don't really enjoy yardwork, but it was nice to get it done!

Yesterday afternoon, we took the kids to see Prince Caspian to celebrate the beginning of summer, AND their fantastic report cards. We went to the the brand new theater just down the road from us (brand new as in it just opened on Thursday)! Can I just say how great it is to have a nice theater nearby! Anyway, because it was opening weekend they had $1 popcorn and were giving away Vitamin Water, so we ended up spending WAY less than we normally do at the movies. I've avoided Vitamin Water until now, but was surprised that it wasn't too bad. I didn't love it, but hey, it was free, and it's better for you than soda!

After the movie, we went to Chili's for dinner! I love Chili's. I had a gift card that one of my little Daisy Girl Scouts had given me, so again, we got out of there pretty inexpensively too!

Today has been nice so far. John made blueberry scones for breakfast. He made them for the first time on Mother's Day, and he's made them every weekend since! I must say he's become quite the pastry chef! LOL!

I just came in from sitting in the sun. Oh, I *love, love, love* the sun. Earlier, the Air Force Thunderbirds were out flying in formation, practicing for the Air Force graduation this week. I think George W. is the speaker at graduation, so yeah, we'll plan on staying home that day. Traffic on the interstate basically comes to a standstill on graduation day because security is so tight getting onto the base.

The Thunderbirds are having a free air show tomorrow, and we're going to join some AF friends to watch it! I'm so excited. I'll take lots of pictures, I promise!

I'm off to make smoothies for everyone and enjoy the rest of this lazy afternoon!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Miracle in a metered pump...

Have you ever found a product that worked so well that there was NO WAY you could keep this juicy information to yourself?

I have.

And I must tell you about it.

But first, let me caution you that this is a post about PMS. If you're a male reader (I know there are a few of you, and you know who you are) continue reading at your own risk.

I am severely affected by PMS. Honestly, I think I have about 1.5 good weeks out of every month. The other 2.5 weeks are characterized by irratibility, mood swings, weepiness, weight gain, bloating, cravings, lack of energy, and a few more unpleasant symptoms. It seems that the older I get the more severe my PMS becomes.

A while ago, a friend told me about this product. Phytoprolief Balancing Cream by Arbonne.

I can sum it up for you in one word: miraculous.

When I use this stuff consistently, my PMS symptoms almost completely disappear. A couple of months ago, I realized that I wasn't feeling great and was very tired and very emotional. And then I realized that I hadn't been using my cream. I started again (twice a day from day 12-26 of my cycle) and seriously, I was a different person. John even said to me one night before dinner..."whatever you're doing, keep doing it, because it's P minus two and you're actually laughing and in a good mood". I'm telling you, this stuff works. The difference for me when I use it is night and day!

Basically, it's a natural progesterone cream, but this particular brand also has some herbs in it that are good for female stuff. (By the way, I don't sell Arbonne products). There are a variety of natural progesterone creams available, and because this one is a bit on the pricey side, I'll probably try my local health food store for a replacement when this pump runs out.

I never realized how much is affected when your hormones are out of balance. As women age, they need more progesterone to keep estrogen from dominating their systems. Did you know that the following are all symptoms of estrogen dominance? (And these are just a FEW of the many symptoms.)

Accelerated aging
Breast cancer
Breast tenderness
Decreased libido
Depression (with anxiety or agitation)
Fat gain (especially around abdomen/hips/thighs)
Foggy thinking
Fybrocystic breasts
Hair loss
Memory loss
Mood swings
Sluggish metabolism
Thyroid dysfunction (mimicking hypothyroid)
Water retention, bloating

I've been reading a fascinating book about pre-menopause. Did you know that pre-menopause can begin in women as early as mid-thirties??? Seriously, I think every woman from thirty-fifty should read this book. It is eye opening to say the least.

The book talks a ton about the importance of hormonal balance, how to find out if you're out of whack, and how restore your hormone levels to their natural balanced state using a natural progesterone cream. It has lots of information about health and nutrition and is peppered with stories of real women who've experience amazing results with natural progesterone. I'm telling you, I'm a BIG believer. If you experience any of the above symptoms that I've described, please, please read this book (I checked it out from my public library!). It has the potential to change your life, or at the very least help you feel better!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May Madness

I always forget how crazy the last week of school feels. Forget March Madness. May Madness is WAY more appropriate.


in the midst of all this craziness, I find myself with a day at home. Shhh...don't tell anyone or they might ask me to do something!

I need to finish up the laundry, clean bathrooms, and mop the kitchen floor. After I check those three things off my list, then I intend to take it easy, and I may even start one of the books on my summer reading list. Bliss.

*randomness begins here*

This morning as I was dropping the kids off at school, Abbey spotted her best little friend up ahead of us. Abbey bolted out of the van and ran to catch up with her. I saw her friend turn around and smile her sweet smile. They both hugged, then walked hand in hand up the sidewalk. Man, that just melted my heart!

This picture makes me smile.

It's the girls looking at their yearbook on the day it came home. The smiles on their faces make all the work involved in "birthing" this book totally worth it!

I was glad Kristi Yamaguchi won DWTS last night. I slept through most of it (a late-evening nap!) and woke up to see the last 10 minutes. Perfect timing. I only cared about the results, and I had NO idea I'd have to wait until 10pm!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Field Day

Today was Field Day at the kids' school. I think it is my most favorite day of the entire year.

The weather was beautiful, and I enjoyed hanging out in the sunshine with my kiddos!

Will was there too, but he doesn't think sitting with his mom or getting his picture made is so cool anymore. :(

I was at school for about 5 hours today, and I came home completely worn out. I love the sun, but it is DRAINING!

John called after we got home and asked if we wanted to go out for dinner. Ummm, okay, twist my arm. We went for mexican food...our favorite.

No one has homework tonight! I told the kids on the way to school this morning that they could tell their teachers if they assigned any homework that their mother was going to s-c-r-e-a-m! I guess the teachers didn't want to hear me because for the first time in probably 25 weeks, NO ONE has homework. Woohoo!!! We're all exhausted so we're going to watch the finale of Dancing with the Stars in a little while, then head to bed. Even me. That is if I can even make it through the show. I'm pulling for Kristi Yamaguchi...what about you?