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Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Wrap Up

I set some goals for myself for 2010.  Let's see how I've done!

~~Finish 1 knitting project - I am knitting!  I'm making a cute red hat. It's full of holes unfortunately, but I'm getting there.  I have thought abot quitting this project and starting something new, with fewer "learning" holes, but I'll just keep going.  Brennan would really like to have the hat for outdoor recess so I'll do the best I can to fix the holes when I'm done.  About half-way there.

~~Learn All Songs in my current Piano Book - I realize it looks like a bunch of 6 year olds on the book cover, but these classical songs are not THAT easy.  I've pretty much mastered "Minuet" and "Sheep May Safely Graze" by Bach and "Ode to Joy" by Beethoven.  Maybe I'll do a video for the blog?  For now my family is a patient audience! 
~~Participate in the 52 of 52 Mom-in-the-Photo Project - Yes, I've completed 4 weeks this January!

~~Successfully Complete 12 No-Spend Weeks - I completed 1 in early January and learned a lot.  Planning another for February.

~~Refurbish 1 Piece of Furniture - Not yet but I'm thinking about it.

~~Run a 5K - Gosh, I can't believe it will be possible.  I haven't really tried yet to run so will start focusing on that once it warms up.  I have a hard time running on the treadmill.

~~Go to England - Nope we're deciding on a couple of other trips this year but are moving England to 2011.  That's OK - we've got a lot planned for this year!

~~Lose 77 Pounds - Down 5 lbs and 5 % body fat, so that's good.  Will kick this into high gear after I am no longer working.

~~Successfully Transition to a Stay-at-Home Mom - I have 6 weeks of work left.  I'm going to miss it - love the position I'm in, love the people I work with, but I'm really looking forward to the change.

Overall - very successful January!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Good Advice for 2010

My sister-in-law Donna sent this to me a few days ago.  I think it's worth sharing!

Good Advice for 2010

1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books than you did in 2009.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness..
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything..
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day..
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick.. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything..
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come..
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Polar Opposites

David came in this morning with a video that he said I just had to see.  It immediately reminded me of the Southern Hospitality (Rhoda from Birmingham) post from a few days ago about the books that she and her husband read.

As I looked at the picture of the books in her husband's pile, I laughed because I recognized a few.  If it's about business, economics, science or history, it's David's.  And while I don't read a ton of Style books like Rhoda does, the sentiment was the same.  David and I are polar opposites when it comes to what we read, for the most part.

But we both have a blog habit.  David just had to share this video that is all over his finance and economics blogs this morning.  I think it makes a lot more sense if you know that Keynes and Hayek are 19th century economists with different approaches to today's economic crisis and government's approach.  If you have questions, I'm sure David would love to answer any and all of them, in great detail.  It's a cute video, directed by the same person who directs the Ke$ha videos out now.  So there's some added street cred.

4 of 52

Here I am with Thomas at our friend Trevor's bowling birthday party on Saturday.  It was a ton of fun!  Linking up with Carin for the weekly party.

We had a lot of fun celebrating with Trevor who turned 8.

Group shot.

Brennan ready to bowl.

And, just as an aside, I wanted to share how Thomas wrapped Brennan's birthday present this year.  Our 9 year old was so proud of himself for choosing a game for his brother, paying for it himself, and wrapping it.  While we have a ton of wrapping paper, Thomas went the construction paper route.  Now I know where my tape went!

52 Weeks is a year long challenge for YOU to be in a picture once a week for 52 weeks. We are always the ones behind the camera, this is YOUR chance to get out in front and be in the pictures with your family. Your family will really enjoy having you in the picture. Now go take a picture!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

29 Gifts

Earlier this month I finished the book "29 Gifts" and I highly recommend it.  1 month after she got married, Cami Walker was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  This is her story, and how the prescription of "29 Gifts" changed her life.

I would love to share this book with you, if you are interested in reading it.  Just let me know and it's yours (first come, first serve!)

And if you'd like to know more about the 29 Gifts community, check it out here at 29gifts.org.

It's an amazing story and a great read!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

3 of 52

The boys and me at Brennan's birthday party on Saturday.

52 Weeks is a year long challenge for YOU to be in a picture once a week for 52 weeks. We are always the ones behind the camera, this is YOUR chance to get out in front and be in the pictures with our family. Your family will really enjoy having you in the picture. Now go take a picture!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Home Projects 2010

Today I am joining Amber's Friend Makin' Monday for the first time.  I read many of these posts last year from other bloggers and thought I would join in the fun this year.

Today Amber is asking about 2010 house projects.  I have a few planned, but most are contingent on some changes we may be making that aren't quite yet resolved.  Once those are resolved, I've got some ideas! 

I've talked about quite a few of my projects (mostly not house related) earlier this year.  It's nice to have project ideas instead of resolutions!  But as far as house projects go, I have a few ideas.

**I'd like to declutter and weed out the entire house.  We did some over the holidays, but there's still plenty left to do, including my clothes as I lose weight, the kids' toys, and a closet that we put items in that we're currently not using.
**Curtains in Thomas's room.  I either need to get them cleaned or replace them.
**Create a craft storage area.  I'm currently using a kitchen cabinet in our eat-in area but it's just stacks of stuff.  I need to find a good storage system for in the laundry room to store all of my craft items.
**Exterior door painting.  We have 8 exterior doors that need to be cleaned well and painted.  David bought the paint last year but we did not start this project.
**Replace the flooring in both of the boys' bathrooms.  The vinyl is getting to the point where it needs to be upgraded to tile. 

Phew!  That's quite a bit on an already busy year's agenda, but I think we can get it done.

Thanks for letting me join the group!

Happy Birthday Brennan!

Happy 8th Birthday, Brennan!

Some of your favorite things right now, in no particular order:

Chinese Food
Nintendo DS
Super Mario Bros.
Mario Kart for Wii
Writing Your Own Recipes
Grandpa's Record Player
DNA & Prehistoric Life
The Weekend

We're proud of you!
Mommy, Daddy, & Thomas

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Felt Wreath Topiary for Valentine's Day

I made a cute Valentine's Day topiary this weekend. 

I am not all that creative, but I can follow directions for a cute project!  I saw the idea here at the Idea Room. 

I bought 1/3 yard of pink felt and cut out 3" circles.  I used a coffee mug to make a cardboard template and it worked out really well.

I then folded the circles in half....

And then half again...

And then stuck a pin in the corner to adhere the felt ruffle to a styrofoam ball.  Sorry for the blurry close-ups.

I got this cute pot at the Dollar Store.  I think the topiary will work well for Valentine's Day or even Easter.

David bought a dowel rod and he and Brennan cut it for me.  I painted it quickly and attached it to the styrofoam in the pot and to the topiary ball.

Added a bow, and done.  I thought it turned out really cute.  I had not planned to work on this project, but saw the pot at the Dollar Store and decided to go ahead and do it.  I need to get some moss to cover the styrofoam in the flower pot, but otherwise it's done!

Edited to Add:  I love the Lego Necklace at Kristen's site!  Come on over to Works for Me Wednesday today for a lot of cute projects.

Brennan's 8th Birthday Party

Brennan's party was yesterday and we had a ton of fun.  This year Brennan decided to have it at the Ice Skating Rink.  We had the smaller rink to ourselves for the party.

Brennan, Daddy, and Thomas

We had a bunch of kids and adults skating.  For a lot of us, it had been awhile since we last were on the ice!

Brennan has very little fear and had a blast!

It was Justin's first or second time out.

Haley, Brennan, and Jared taking a break

Sarah applying her dance abilities out on the ice

Tom's a natural since he's recently started hockey lessons.

Tom and Thomas goofing off

Daddy enjoyed it too.  He's really good on the ice!

Now, a word about the birthday cake.  Brennan said that he wanted a "chocolate math cake" for his birthday.  Since I had no idea how to describe this to Kroger, I decided to make it.  I got a large pan and made the cake and used canned frosting.  Then made homemade buttecream icing.  Brennan drew out the math symbols that he wanted to include in his cake and I came up with the layout.

I tried to incorporate as many "8"'s in the formulas as possible.  Can you spot the math error?  This is what happens when David goes to get new tires on his car while I'm cake decorating and feeling the stress of a "chocolate math cake".  And that loop thing is a cycloid.  Just ask Brennan what a cycloid is.

The cake was actually really delicious although my frosting techniques need to be improve a little!

We normally ask that our friends don't bring gifts to our parties - we ask that they bring canned goods for our local food bank.  But I gave up on that this year.  It seems like half of the friends would end up bringing a gift too and the other half would feel bad.  So this year I didn't say a thing about it.  I think they all know that a present definitely isn't required!  But if they are anything like my kids, they enjoy picking out a little something special.  I wonder what other people do for their parties these days?

Brennan has recently gotten into his Nintendo DS and Mario Bros. was a hit!

We had a great time and thank all of our friends (and their moms and dads!) for coming out to skate and have a little math cake with us!

Happy 8th Brennan!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chick Flick Movie Club

We went to see "Leap Year" starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode last Sunday. There were 10 of us and it was a ton of fun!

Rosann, Clare, Elise, Lizelle, Robin, Nicole, Me

The movie was sweet and light-hearted which is, of course, perfect for Chick Flick Movie Club night!  Amy Adams and Ireland were beautiful in the film.  Matthew Goode wasn't too shabby either :)

Great movie to catch with the girlfriends!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The strangest thing happened last night...

Brennan and I were lying in bed last night talking and I asked him if he was excited about his birthday coming up.  When he was younger, he wasn't that into his birthday and had no interest in gifts.  Luckily, he grew out of that apathy because his birthday is a big, big deal to me.

He told me he is very, very excited about his birthday (especially because we're off school on Monday too) and he can't wait for his party on Saturday.  I said, "And I can't believe you're about to be 6!"  He said, "You mean 8."

And then my mind stopped working for a second.  That's not possible, he's going to be 6.  I was sure of it for a split second.  And then I tried to figure out how 8 was possible. 

Yes, he's in second grade, here's the photo proof of his first day, but 8???  That's not right.  OK, he was born in 2002 and yes it's 2010, but 8?

And then I tried to figure out if his older brother was really 9.5 since they're 18 months apart.  Yes, that's right.

And then it slowly dawned on me.  I believe I had my first "they grow up so fast" moments.  Everyone always says that but I hadn't really experienced the mind-altering reality of that statement before.  Yes, they're growing, but I'm pretty present in their everyday lives.  It hasn't felt like time was slipping away.  Until last night.  And it was shocking.

So yes, my baby will be 8 on Monday and I know he's still going to be with me for another 10+ years but suddenly it doesn't feel long enough.

Monday, January 11, 2010

2 of 52

Ugh.  These are not my favorite photos of myself, but here we go. 

I think David looks great in this photo!  Before we went out to see "The Blindside" Friday night.

Brennan and me playing Trouble on Sunday.

52 Weeks is a year long challenge for YOU to be in a picture once a week for 52 weeks. We are always the ones behind the camera, this is YOUR chance to get out in front and be in the pictures with our family. We are glad you are joining this challenge. More importantly your family will really enjoy having you in the picture. Now go take a picture!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pinecone Flower Wreath

This weekend we made a beautiful wreath that I had seen Emily at Remodeling This Life do before the holidays.  Because winter is so long here, it's nice to decorate a little bit for the season, and not just take all the Christmas decorations down like I normally do.  I think this was a pretty natural winter wreath that didn't scream "Santa Claus". 

Plus, it was 49cents!

The boys picked a bunch of pinecones up from these trees.

I bought a wreath at Joann's on sale for $.49 before the holidays.  I got out the glue gun and asked David to show me how to cut the pinecones so they looked like little flowers.  Here he demonstrates (thanks to Thomas for all the great photos).

Start by cutting off the end of the pinecone with a sharp gardening tool.

Then make cuts a couple of "rows" up the pinecone. 

They make a little flower!

Hot glue then on.

And hang!

I think it's really cute!  And super cheap. 

Linking to several parties this week so pop over