Saturday, December 31, 2016

Keeping Up With...Goals (Jan Fitness Goals)

Last year I did 40 goals for the year and while I enjoyed the challenge I honestly found it overwhelming sometimes.  I also got discouraged when I realized I couldn't hit a goal because things had changed.  So this year I'm doing monthly goals in two categories - Fitness and Family.  I'll post the goals at the beginning of the month then update them at the end of the month.  Hope you enjoy reading about them!!

My fitness goals last year were pretty good, they are easy to make and keep track of.  They are measurable (classes attended, pounds/inches lost, etc).  A lot of the goals this year will be the same from month to month.  And some will change each month.  My goal is to come up with at least five goals for every month.
I am going to pick a main goal or theme for each month of the year.  January my main fitness goal will be to learn as much about Barre classes as possible and establish my own weekly Barre class.  Since I start teaching a class on Jan 6th for the first time this goal is fairly obvious this month.

Here are my specific goals for Jan:
1.  Join Pure Barre for the month and attend a minimum of 3 classes per week (13 classes for the month)
2.  Do my baseline measurements and lose 1 inch from my body (any area & can be combined)
3.  Do my baseline weigh in and lose 2 pounds per week (8 pounds for the month)
4.  Learn 1 new Zumba song each week to bring to my classes (4 songs for the month)
5.  Log my meals for 6 days each week and be under my daily calorie goal (24 days for the month)
I think this will be a very good start to my year if I can do all of these goals.  Check back in a few days for my family goals for January and then again at the end of January for the recap of how I did with these.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 12/23 - 12/29)

Friday (12/23) Christmas Eve Eve!!  Daniel has been looking forward to this day for like a month.  He has been insistent that we go out looking at lights on this night.  But first our day started with some fun at home, board games, video games and Daniel and Dad went swimming together.  Then we headed to our church for Christmas services.  I volunteered in childcare for the first service then we all attended second service.  It was a beautiful service, the band did fantastic with the music.  And it was fun to have AJ and Daniel in church with us, they are normally in childcare.

After church, we headed out on Daniel's big adventure to see Christmas lights.  Our "elf" had left a scavenger hunt for the boys and we all had a blast finding everything on the list.  We spent over two hours in the car together driving around and looking at people's houses.  Some of my favorite memories will be Zak dancing like crazy to Trans Siberian Orchestra, Daniel excitedly pointing out everything he could see and AJ being so excited to find our list item "Winnie the Pooh."  We also went to two different houses with lights set to music.  It was such an amazing family night!!
 Saturday (12/24) Merry Christmas Eve!  We started our day finishing a few things around the house that we needed to do.  I finished addressing and mailed our Christmas cards (better late than never!) and we did some cleaning.  Then we iced and decorated our brownies to bring to Uncle Carl's and Aunt Sarah's later today.  We also played a little and relaxed, knowing we had a busy and late night ahead of us.

We headed over to Carl & Sarah's in the afternoon and the cousins all ran off to play together while the adults got some time to catch up.  We enjoyed an awesome feast of the seven fishes cooked by Carl, while the kids enjoyed pasta and cookies.  The kids all got their gifts and loved them.  Vincent was excited to sit in his new chair from us and Isabelle loved her new Barbie & Calico Critters.  AJ loved his Minecraft movie maker & made about 5 movies while we were there.  Daniel and Zak enjoyed making creations with their new Bunchems set.  Fun night for everyone!!

We got home and sprinkled our reindeer food in the yard, said Goodbye to our elf  Doctor Donkey and headed to bed.  The boys forgot to leave out milk & cookies & I didn't wake them up to remind them.  Adrian and I got started on the rest of our wrapping and finished up around 1am.  We had a small drink and snack and headed up to bed knowing we would probably have an early morning.
Sunday (12/25) Merry Christmas!!  We were right, we did have an early morning, Zak was up at 5:30 and there was no putting him back to sleep.  Daniel woke up about 15 minutes later so the 4 of us headed downstairs.  We then spent close to 2 hours trying to keep them occupied and let AJ sleep a little.  It wasn't easy, but we managed & at 7:30 everyone charged into AJ's room to wake him up and open presents!
 We had huge piles this year because we had gifts from Santa, each other, my parents, Adrian's parents, my brother & Adrian's sister.  It was a lot to get through and there were a lot of distractions, but we opened everything and managed to keep the kids controlled enough to see everything.  They were so excited for all of their new stuff!
Piles - Before
Piles - After
After we finished opening, we spent the rest of the day playing.  We opened almost everything, played with almost everything and ate a lot of junk.  Adrian and I both were able to sneak in a nap so we could function for the day.  We video chatted with my parents and also called my in-laws, brother and grandfather so while it stinks that we weren't together, at least we got to chat for a bit.  We celebrated Jesus' birthday with a prayer from Daniel and an Oreo ice cream cake.  Then we finished up with a movie night watching "Piggie Tales" (the Angry Birds pigs) and an early bedtime for all of us!

Monday (12/26) started late after we all slept in, yay!!  We spent the day relaxing and chilling out as a family which was great.  We played our new games (including Minecraft the card game, Castle Panic, King of Tokyo & Mario chess), played with our new toys and played some video games.  I also took advantage of Adrian being home to get a few things crossed off my to do list.  We finished up with home made pizza for dinner.  It was a nice relaxing day and I'm hoping the next week of break will be just as relaxing!
Tuesday (12/27) we slept in again!  I'm loving this break but a week from today I'm sure I'm going to be hurting.  We had a lazy morning at home today with some TV and video games.  Then after lunch our friends Michael & Daniel came over to play.  The boys enjoyed playing together, including spending about an hour outside in our yard, while Katie and I enjoyed catching up.  Love play dates like this!!  The night ended with a game of Pete the Cat the board game and an early bed time especially for Daniel who spiked a fever tonight.

Wednesday (12/28) started as yesterday ended, with a sick Daniel.  He has a fever and is not feeling well.  He woke me up around 6am, was up for like an hour then went back to sleep for like 2 hours.  Too bad the other two woke up so I had to stay up.  Yawn.  We had a relaxing day of TV, video games and board games so that Daniel could rest and recuperate.  He seems much better as the day is going on.
Thursday (12/29) started late again with everyone sleeping in.  We hung out and played and got a few things done around the house before our friends arrived to play in the afternoon.  We had three boys over who have become friends with our three boys.  AJ first met Brooks last year, they are in the same class.  Then we realized that they had two other boys, similar in age to Daniel and Zak.  So now we have giant playdates where all six boys play together.  It's fun for them, a little stressful for the adults.  They took turns playing video games on the TV in the living room and fighting zombies with Nerf guns in the rest of the house.  It was a fun afternoon & we were all exhausted tonight!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Keeping Up With...My Fab 40! - Nov & Dec review

Somehow two months flew by again without an update on my goals for the year.  If you are reading my weekly recaps, you have seen how busy we are so you're probably not surprised that I haven't had time to update.  I again went back and forth about doing two separate posts but I feel like it's better if I just do one.  I'm hoping I remember everything I did in November and I pretty much know what we have planned for these last few days of December so I don't think anything is going to change.
Here's how I'm doing after the full 12 months.  I have broken them down into three categories (on-going, one time and finished) so it's easier for me to update.  The goals are in black and my current month comments are in red.  I'm going to do another post in the next few days about my thoughts on this as a whole as well as my plans for next year.

1.  Lose 40 pounds - one for each year - Lost 17 of the 40 lbs as of my last weigh in 2 weeks ago.  I'm sure I've gained some back but I'm not really worrying about that right now.
2.  Read 12 books - I was so close last year! - Read 13 books this year, finishing "Ain't I A Women" in November and "The Andy Cohen Diaries" in Dec.  I'm about halfway through "Little Women" and about a quarter of the way through "James & the Giant Peach" so I'm hoping to get a jump on next year's reading goal.
3.  Go on 12 dates with Adrian - Went on 14 dates this year.  In November we went out to dinner and then appliance shopping which wasn't the most exciting date but we still made it fun.  We had a date scheduled in December but he got stuck working so we had to cancel.
4.  Get rid of 12 bags of stuff - I got rid of 1 more bag in November making the total 14 bags for the year.  We also threw out about a bag's worth of toys as we started to clear out the play room & we still have a lot more to do.
5.  Take 1 picture every day for the year - Up to date on this 363 of 366.  You can see them here.  I have no doubt I will finish this in the next 3 days.
6.  Go on 2 special dates with AJ - Went on 2 out of 2 this year.
7.  Go on 2 special dates with Daniel -
Went on 2 out of 2 this year.
8.  Go on 2 special dates with Zak - Went on 1 out of 2.  Zak and I never got to do our second date, although we have a lot of time alone together while the big boys are at school and Dad is at work.
 9.  Do a 365 day exercise streak - I ended the second try at this streak with 206 days.  I opted not to start again, maybe next year.
10.  Finish the 30 Day Shred - Did 0 days of 30 - Fail on this one.
11.  Attend one class each week that isn't mine - Did this 24 weeks out of 52.  I slacked off on this big time this year because I was teaching so many classes.  And then in Dec when they slowed down I was overwhelmed with life & Christmas coming quick.
12.  Teach an average of 5 classes each week -
Did this 45 weeks out of 52.  I easily was over 5 classes each week in Nov (except Thanksgiving week).  Then I slowed down a little in December but still hit 5 classes for most of the weeks.  
13.  Menu plan and prep our dinners each week - Did this 41 weeks out of 52.  I planned every week in November and December.  They may not always have been big, glamorous meals, but I had a plan for each night.  This is a must for next year.
14.  Go to church every Sunday - Did this 38 weeks out of 52.  This has become a routine for us and we are thankful.  Will be continuing next year for sure.
15.  Do one blog post each week - I did 11 posts in Nov & 6 so far in Dec, easily one per week.  This will be number 7 for Dec and I will also publish my week in review blog before the end of the year.  I'm hoping to get a year in review blog done too.
16.  Pay off our Best Buy card and not incur any new debt - The Best Buy card is payed off!!  We bought the new car so that counts as new debt and we invested in a costly (not insurance covered) therapy for AJ so that also created some new debt.  We also bought a new stove and deep freeze for even more new debt.  I would consider this a fail except these were all things we needed and we have a plan for paying it all off and I feel good about where we are.
17.  Have a family board game night once per month - Did this 12 out of 12 months
18.  Have a family movie night once per month
- Did this 12 out of 12 months (Inside Out, Charlie Brown Valentine's special, Justice League Frost Fight, Big Hero 6, Star Wars, Avengers, Pokemon movie, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, The Angry Birds Movie, Zootopia, multiple Christmas movies)
19.  Have a family video game night once per month - Did this 12 out of 12 months
20.  Go to 4 Zumba jams this year - Went to my 3 out of 4 and I loved every minute of them! 
21.  Make one homemade breakfast for us each month - I did not do this again in either November or December.  I slacked on this one big time.

One Time

22.  Go zip lining - Fail.  Mostly because for my height I'm too heavy to go to a lot of places.
23.  Go on a family hike in Hocking Hills - Fail.  We were just very busy this year and this never got on our calendar.
24.  Host an alcohol exchange with my girl friends - Fail.  Same as above, no time and not a high priority.  I did attend a cookie exchange which was a lot of fun.
25.  Power wash and stain our play set - Fail.
26.  Renovate our downstairs bathroom - Fail, but only because our whole budget for this went towards the debt that I spoke about above.

27.  Conquer the Lynd's corn maze in the fall - Done!  We loved this year's theme of American Revolutionary War Spies
28.  Renew our Zoombeezi Bay passes and go at least once every other week over the summer - I renewed our passes this summer and we went four times this summer.  We had planned to go to Boo at the Zoo but it rained so we couldn't go.
29.  Go to Dollywood - We will not be doing this one.  We decided between the heat, the cost and the fact that there was more than enough to do in TN we would not invest in this on our recent trip to TN.  It will stay on the bucket list for another year.   
30.  Go on a family trip to Tennessee - Done!!
31.  See 2 movies that aren't animated - Done!!  I've actually seen 3 - "Star Wars:  The Force Awakens," "Ant Man" & "Avengers:  Age of Ultron" 
32.  Go on family camping trip - Done!  NJ was a camping trip and we survived 8 nights in the tent.  We went on another weekend camping trip here in Ohio in October.
33.  Go on a family trip to NJ - Done!!  You can read part 1 and part 2 of the recap and part 3 should be up this week.  Spoiler Alert - It was an amazing week, we had a blast!! 
34.  Go to Six Flags Great Adventure - Done!  I rode El Toro & The Joker, I was a happy ride warrior. 
35.  Do something special to celebrate mine & Adrian's 10 year wedding anniversary - We bought a new car.  :)  We also had a very nice date night where we bought new dishes and went back to Carrabba's, the restaurant we went to for our first date.  We were hoping to do something a little bigger, but 3 vacations & a new car in the same year seems like enough.
36.  Go on a family trip to Dallas - Done!  You can read about it here, here, here and here.
37.  Get 1 fitness certification - Done!!  Got Silver Sneakers Classic, Silver Sneakers Circuit, Zumba Gold and Barre Connect.  Went above & beyond on this goal.
38.  Go to the doctor for routine check up and tests - Done!  Did my physical, pap, blood work & mammogram in March.  Everything looks great, I'm supposed to keep doing what I'm doing!
39.  Tour Dallas Cowboys stadium - Done, sort of.  It was actually closed for the guided tours while we were there.  But we drove around it, took some pictures & went in the Pro Shop.  I'm considering it done.
40.  Go to Six Flags Over Texas - Done!  Also hit Six Flags St Louis, loved that park

Friday, December 23, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 12/16 - 12/22)

Friday (12/16) was the last day of school before winter break and everyone had class parties!!  We were rushing around to get out in the morning with everything we needed (teacher gifts, snacks, lunches, books, etc).  We got out early and got Zak to preschool early only to realize that he didn't have his shoes on.  Oops!!  Thankfully his teacher let him hang with no shoes until I came back for his party.

I started my day in Daniel's class for a holiday brunch party.  We had delicious food, played holiday bingo, made 2 crafts and had a great time!  Then I went to Zak's class for his holiday party where we celebrated Jesus' birthday with some fun games, snacks, a story and gifts for the kids.  I was very fun!!  AJ had a spelling bee and choir concert in the morning at school and then I went to his holiday party in the afternoon.  We had some yummy snacks, played holiday bingo & pin the nose on the snowman and had some fun conversations.  I'm so thankful I was able to go to all three parties today!  That was a scheduling miracle for sure.

After that full day, everyone was pretty hopped up when we got home so we had a chill night of watching TV and video games.  AJ also had soccer, where he continues to be the only player in the class.  He is learning so much, it's like a personal lesson.  We also were excited to see that our elf left us a star shooter to add to our yard decorations (tomorrow when it's much warmer).

Saturday (12/17) started with everything being covered in ice.  Adrian and AJ braved the roads and went to Brain Balance and then to a special Boy Scout meeting so that AJ could earn his first badge, his Bobcat badge.  He was very excited to finally earn it & will receive it at the awards assembly in Jan.

When they got home, I headed out to an afternoon with some friends.  We had a wine party cookie exchange.  We ate a lot of yummy cookies & snacks, had a lot of fun conversations, laughed a lot and drank plenty of wine.  It's always so nice to just relax for a few hours with girl friends, especially in the middle of the holiday craziness.  Plus I walked away with a gorgeous plate of Christmas cookies.
We finished our rainy day by setting up our star shower and then making Grinch popcorn together.  It didn't come out as good as it looked, but it still tasted pretty good.  We cuddled up on the sofas and enjoyed our popcorn while watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."  It was a nice end to a fairly relaxing day.

Sunday (12/18) started out very rough.  We could not get up and get moving plus Adrian got called into work for a problem they were having.  We finally made it out the door to the second service for church, although we missed helping pack food to send to Haiti.  The rest of the day, Adrian was largely stuck working so he did that while the boys played & I worked around the house.  It wasn't the Sunday we had planned, but we made it work.

Monday (12/19) Adrian had to head to work so it was me with all three kids all day long.  I'm trying to come up with things for us to do to keep us busy all day everyday for the next two weeks.  I have a feeling that will be much easier after we get a visit from Santa Sat night.  Today we put together the gingerbread house that they got yesterday.  It went WAY better than I thought it would go.  There was no fighting, very little eating & the house came out pretty good.  Hope it stands up for the next week!
Adrian came home a little early this afternoon so I could go teach my Zumba class and not have to drag the boys with me to childcare.  They stayed home playing WiiFit while I taught so everyone got a nice workout and burned off some energy (plus we got some time apart - yay!)  After dinner, we did our project for today, corn flake wreaths.  I was excited that Dad got to help with this one since he got the night off from work!  Here are the finished products:
Top Row - AJ & Zak, Bottom Row - Daniel, Mom & Dad
Tuesday (12/20) I asked the boys what they wanted to do and  they said they just wanted to stay home and play.  So that's what we did.  I think they are really enjoying not having much of a schedule this week and just being lazy around the house.  We did make the snowman sugar cookies from our elf and got started on some of our homework and Boy Scouts work for the break.  I told them the more they do this week, the less they will have to do next week when they have their new toys.  AJ had Brain Balance tonight so all of the guys went there and I did a marathon food shopping for the next 2 weeks so I don't have to go again before they all go back to school.

Wednesday (12/21) was a very busy day for us!  I had to teach two classes and the boys had to come with me and go to childcare.  We also had a few small errands to run.  We finished up the day with a fun family night.  We went out to dinner at Rusty Bucket since they have free kids meals and great food.  Then we headed out to Alum Creek for the Fantasy of Lights.  It was beautiful to drive through!!  They had multiple displays in lights, mostly of Santa and his reindeer.  It took us about 30 minutes to drive through the whole thing.  Thank you to for the free admission!  We finished up with a stop to see the house in Gahanna with the lights set to music.  It was a late night, but so much fun!!


Thursday (12/22) started with Daniel's friend coming over to play for the morning.  His mom dropped him off along with donuts for all of us and Starbucks for me.  That's the makings of a great play date in my eyes!!  The four boys played together wonderfully for almost 3 hours while I got a bunch of stuff done, including two full loads of laundry.  Adrian got home from work a little early, although then he had to work from home.  At night we had to split up for the last of our scheduled activities for this year.  AJ had Brain Balance so Zak and I took him there while Adrian took Daniel to a basketball clinic for their new basketball league.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Catch Up Post)

So it's been a few weeks since I did a workout recap.  I am not going to recap what I've done every day since then, but I wanted to share what's going on and why I stopped posting.  I'll start with the short answer first, I honestly just got very busy and haven't had time to post about my workouts.  Adrian has been working a ton so I've been really busy keeping up with the boys.

First I want to update on my exercise streak.  My mini-goal was 200 days and I hit that on Nov 25th.  I kept going after that and then I got the stomach bug that was going thru my house so my streak ended on Dec 2nd with 206 days.  Same as the last time it ended, I debated what to do.  Should I start over?  Should I take some time off?  What should the next goal be?  I decided that since December is such a busy month for us, especially with Adrian working overtime, that I would take a break.  I may start another streak in Jan, but I'm taking December off except for teaching.

Another thing that went into my thought process was that I was let go from one of the gyms I was teaching at.  They decided to redo their group fitness program and let most of the current instructors go.  It has actually turned out to be the best decision for my family since I was teaching there 2 nights & Sat mornings.  The boys have been very busy (and will continue to be busy) at those times so it has been nice to have me home.  But since this reduced the number of classes I was teaching, it also forces me to have to work out on my own on those days for my exercise streak.

With reducing my class load down to only 4 or 5 classes starting in the new year, I have decided to leave it low instead of pursuing more classes to add.  I really want to focus on working out for myself instead of teaching, something I haven't done much of in the past 2 years.  I really want to lose 20-30 more pounds and tone up as well (hopefully losing more inches) so that will be my focus for the next year.  I'm really excited for this & will start with a month of Pure Barre classes in Jan to kick this off and also to learn more about Barre since I'll start teaching it in Jan.  I also want to make muscle conditioning at the Y a priority class to get to since I have the license to teach it but have not gotten a class together.  I may not teach it weekly, but would like to be available as a sub.

Finally, I've been thinking about these weekly posts.  They tend to be my last priority for the week, often leaving me to recap two or three or more weeks in one post.  I've decided to stop doing the weekly workout post.  I am also rethinking how I did my goals last year and find doing year long goals very overwhelming.  So I think I'm going to do monthly goals next year and one post each month about them.  I will have both fitness and personal goals each month so I will probably do two posts, one about each area.  I will continue doing my weekly meal plan each week, starting again in Jan.  And I will continue doing my weekly family recap, I enjoy having that to look back on.

So that's what's been going on with me fitness wise.  Lots of changes!  But I believe they are all for the better.  At first I wasn't sure about them, but now that I've had some distance I believe they are great changes for me and my family.  And I'm looking forward to the upcoming year!!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 12/9 - 12/15)

Friday (12/9) started off much like the theme of last week...with a sick kid.  Daniel said his stomach hurt so he stayed home from school.  I'm honestly not sure if he was sick and I honestly don't care.  With our track record I wasn't going to chance sending him to school.  Plus Adrian was home since he worked until 4 in the morning so I didn't have to change anything, I took the other 2 boys to school then went and taught an awesome Zumba class.  Zak was so excited that it had snowed and stuck overnight.  If I ever get annoyed with snow again, I will remember his childlike innocence & excitement this morning over a light dusting.
After school, I took AJ to soccer.  He continues to be the only kid in his class and he is loving it.  He's doing really well practicing all of the skills they are teaching him, we're so happy with the programs at Lil Kickers!  And after dinner, we finished off the night with some board games and then TV time for me and Adrian when the boys went to bed.

Saturday (12/10) was the first Saturday morning I have had off from teaching Zumba in years.  It was very nice to be around all day today.  I took all three boys to AJ's Brain Balance appointment while Adrian went to a coaches meeting for Crossover basketball.  He's going to coach both AJ and Daniel this season.  In the afternoon, Adrian went out to finish his Christmas shopping and took the boys to shop for me as well.  I did a bunch of things around the house including finishing my Christmas shopping online, starting my Christmas cards & making our annual picture calendar.  After dinner, the boys helped me make cupcakes for church tomorrow and we played games and watched the Toy Story Christmas special.
Sunday (12/11) started with all five of us sleeping in and then heading to church as a family.  After service we headed up to Polaris to go see Santa at Cabela's.  The boys enjoyed visiting with Santa and getting their picture taken together.  Then AJ met his Webelos den for a picture with them and Santa as well.  It was a nice treat to get to do that too.

After we finished with Santa we headed up the street to get bottomless fries at Red Robin (Yumm!)  With our bellies full of burgers, fries and shakes, we headed home to decorate our second Christmas tree upstairs and get a few things done around the house.  We finished up the night by watching our church Children's Ministry Christmas program.  Only Zak wanted to participate this year, although after seeing it AJ said he wished he had done it.  It was a very cute program and all of the kids did a great job!
Monday (12/12) started our last week of school before winter break.  The boys are very excited to have two full weeks off with very few commitments, and I'm not going to lie I am looking forward to it too.  I dropped them all off at school and then went and ran a ton of errands, including doing all of my food shopping for my Christmas baking.  Other than that it was a pretty typical day of school, work, homework and TV.  After the past two weeks of sickness and schedule changes, I will take a normal day!!

Tuesday (12/13) I got Zak to school and went into school with AJ and Daniel.  I was supposed to volunteer in both classrooms, but due to a schedule conflict I wasn't able to stay in Daniel's class.  So I spent the full two hours in AJ's class helping with a huge project his teacher is working on.  It is time consuming and monotonous, but will be worth it in the end.  The best part was that AJ was SO excited to have me there.  He kept looking over to where I was sitting and smiling.  It was really fun!

While I was in the school, our first snow fall of the season started.  It snowed all afternoon and we got about 3 inches.  The boys were SO excited!  It was really pretty to watch it fall all day & it was light and puffy and looked awesome on all the trees, especially those with Christmas lights.  And bonus, the roads were cleared really quickly.  But there was enough snow and ice that Boy Scouts was cancelled so the boys had a night off to hang out at home.

Wednesday (12/14) was a pretty typical day of work and school for all of us.  I did have to drive to the other side of town to pick up a gift certificate that I won for the local drive thru light display.  I'm so excited to do this, I've been wanting to do it for years and we haven't made it.  Now we just have to pick a night to go.  We finished up our day with Daniel and Zak having soccer and AJ playing with another older brother while all the young ones had their class. 
Daniel also brought home his Christmas present for the family and insisted I open it tonight.  He made a new ornament for our tree and is very proud of it.  He hung it up right in the front of the tree so everyone can see it.
Thursday (12/15) was another typical day for us.  I dropped everyone off at school and ran the last of my errands for the week, including getting a much overdue hair cut.  After I picked Zak up, he and I pretty much baked for the rest of the day since we needed to get most of our cookies done by tomorrow.  AJ had Brain Balance at night and the other boys went as well so I was able to get about an hour to myself to focus on baking.  I love when Zak helps, but sometimes it takes slightly longer when I have "help."  I also made Grinch fruit kabobs for Daniel's class party tomorrow.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 12/2 - 12/8)

Friday (12/2) is kind of a blur for me.  I woke up at about 3am with a horrible stomach bug.  Thankfully Adrian was able to work from home and help me get everyone to school.  I found a sub for my Zumba class and crawled back into bed.  I spent most of the day in bed sleeping and watching Beverly Hills, 90210 reruns.  I came downstairs to spend a little bit of time with the boys and hear about their days at school.  Adrian took a break from working to bring AJ to his first soccer class of this session.  He is the only kid in his class and he did awesome.  It's like private soccer lessons for him!  And he loved it, can't wait to go back next Friday!
Saturday (12/3) was pretty much the best day ever for the boys, especially AJ and Daniel.  It started with an afternoon play date at their friends' house.  All three went over to play with Brooks, Yared & Simon.  I'm so thankfully for this family, my boys love the boys & the parents are wonderful!!  It could have been a date afternoon for Adrian and I but he had to work all day so I got stuff done around the house while he worked.  And I finished Gilmore Girls.  Those last 4 words...OMG!

After I picked them up from their play date, AJ and Daniel had a quick stop at home for a snack and a drink before heading out to Engineering for Kids for their Pokemon/Minecraft event.  They were there for two hours and able to play Pixelmon while also learning about Math and Engineering.  They had a blast and are hoping to go back again soon.  Adrian and I were supposed to have a date night after they got home from this event, but again he was still working (he literally worked over 12 hours!) so we cancelled our sitter and I had an early night.
Sunday (12/4) started with more schedule changes (this is apparently the theme for our December).  Adrian had to get up and start working right away and AJ was struck down with the stomach virus that has been going through our house.  So we skipped church, cancelled the rest of our day (we were supposed to go see "A Suessified Christmas Carole," go to Red Robin for lunch & go meet Santa) and settled in for a day of relaxing and recuperating.  We will reschedule Red Robin & Santa, but unfortunately we're going to miss the play this year.  We did some cleaning, internet Christmas shopping and finished setting up our second tree.  We also got our new stockings so we hung them by the chimney with car.  While it wasn't the day we had planned, it was still a pretty good day.

Monday (12/5) started with another sick kid.  Zak threw up overnight so he had to miss school for the day.  He actually seemed fine all day, just a little tired.  We had a relaxing day at home playing & watching TV while he recuperated. 

Tuesday (12/6) another day, another sick kid.  This time it was AJ who was hit with the stomach bug in the middle of the night.  Seriously, why do these things only hit in the middle of the night???  He missed school for the day which also cancelled my plans to be in the school all morning helping with the Holiday Shop.  He seemed better by lunch time but we made sure to relax and hydrate all day so this thing didn't linger.  Also around lunch time the bug hit Adrian.  Thankfully one that didn't hit during the night!!  It was a very rough day though because he was sick, still needed to work a bunch & I was exhausted since I was up since 3am with AJ.  I crashed hard soon after I put the boys to bed.

Wednesday (12/7) everyone is finally healthy!!  And everyone went where they needed to go today, yay!!  The boys all went to school and I taught both of my classes and had a great evaluation from the YMCA.  Adrian went to work for another marathon day.  Then in the evening, Zak had his Christmas program for preschool.  He and his classmates did such a great job!!  They were all adorable singing and dancing.  Zak was very nervous, especially since he couldn't find us in the audience.  He didn't sing too much, but he did all the hand movements.  We were very proud of him!!
Thursday (12/8) was another normal day, although I am feeling like I have a head cold.  I'm ignoring it and hoping it goes away.  Zak got to enjoy a pajama and movie day at school today and he was so excited to wear his pajamas to school.  I ran a ton of errands while the boys were at school and am almost done my Christmas shopping, yay.  Tonight AJ and Daniel kicked off their basketball season with Crossover Basketball evaluations.  They both said they had a great time, although neither one made a basket.  Adrian was supposed to be there as well but he ended up working for nearly 24 hours straight.  I'm glad this General Assembly is over tonight, but I know he still has a lot of work to do!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 12/5 - 12/11)

Well last week didn't go anything as planned.  We have had a stomach virus come through the house so a lot of our cooking was pushed back, especially since I was the one sick on Friday and Saturday.  Adrian also worked over 70 hours last week so that meant a lot of extra work for the kids and house on me.  That also pushed back some of the cooking for the week.  Thankfully I was able to freeze my broth and turkey so they are good to go this week.  And everything else was either frozen or non perishable so I have very little shopping to do this week.

The other thing that didn't go as planned was our new appliance delivery.  On Tuesday we were supposed to get our new deep freeze and stove delivered.  They were very late delivering (over an hour after our 4 hour window) and then they only had the stove.  After nearly an hour on the phone with customer service the next day I found out the freezer is on back order and I won't be able to get it until after Christmas.  I was really frustrated, although them giving me a $150 credit made me feel slightly better.  I'm choosing to focus on the good, that I have a new stove with 4 working burners and a convection oven.  We've been experimenting on it this week and are in love!
Our meal plan is pretty easy this week, mostly carry overs from last week.  And then we got a great Cyber Monday deal on a Hello Fresh box for this week.  We have used this service before and love the food, but it is just a little out of our price range.  However with the deal it was perfect and since we have an extra busy week we will use it this week.  I'm not sure how the weekend will play out.  We are hoping to reschedule our family trip to Red Robin that we had to cancel today since AJ is sick.  We are also hoping to get to Wild Lights but that depends on the weather and Adrian's work schedule.  I'm planning on a Hello Fresh meal for one day and leftovers or out for the other.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Pesto Shrimp over linguine - with my homemade pesto frozen from this summer
Tuesday - Turkey Soup - to use up all of the rest of the frozen leftover turkey meat and broth
Wednesday - Pork Loin with Saurkraut
Thursday - Hello Fresh meal
Friday - Hello Fresh meal
Saturday - Hello Fresh meal or out
Sunday - Hello Fresh meal or out

Water Flavor - Mango (yay for them being on sale right now!)

Food Prep - I have everything bought for the whole week and most of it is ready to just dump into the pot or the crock pot.  It should be a fairly easy week.  I also have fruit cleaned and cut and ready to eat for snacks, veggies prepped for salads for lunches and hard boiled eggs for snacks or lunches.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 11/25 - 12/1)

Friday (11/25) we continued our lazy Thanksgiving break.  We did peel ourselves off the couch long enough to decorate our Christmas tree and put up all of the inside decorations.  We started on the outside ones and will finish those up this weekend.  I also did some internet Black Friday shopping for Christmas presents.  Other than that we just hung out together, watching TV, playing games and eating Thanksgiving leftovers.
Saturday (11/26) we continued our lazy Thanksgiving break.  We played video games & board games, watched the OSU/Michigan game (nearly avoiding heart attacks!) and ate more leftovers.  We finished up our day with family video game night and watching Frosty Returns.  This do nothing break has been glorious and I kind of don't want it to end!
Sunday (11/27) was our last day of our lazy Thanksgiving break.  We all got up and got dressed and actually left the house today...we all went to church together.  After church we spent the day doing all the work we should have done all week, but were too busy being lazy.  We finished putting up our outdoor decorations, got ourselves ready for the week and watched some football.  It has been an amazing 5 days of very little work and I couldn't be more content that I am right now.  But all good things must come to an end and it's back to our normal routine tomorrow.  Hoping it's not too painful!
Monday (11/28) we had to get back to our normal routine.  It was really rough to get up in the morning for all of us.  Zak had lots of tears.  Adrian got called into work before 6am.  We barely made it to school on time.  The boys all seemed to enjoy being back to school and our routine.  We were super excited that the cold temps are disappeared again and we got to walk home from school this afternoon.  Zak stopped to play in our leaf pile.
Tuesday (11/29) started early when Daniel woke up at 3am with a fever.  He was so upset that he had to miss school today.  He has been working really hard trying to get perfect attendance this quarter.  And I was supposed to be in both his & AJ's classes today as the guest reader.  Thankfully I rescheduled that for Thursday and by lunch time he seemed better.  He even walked back and forth to pick up AJ since the weather is still gorgeous.  While Daniel was relaxing this morning, he sneezed & lost another tooth!  The tooth fairy sure is busy this week!
Wednesday (11/30) was another rough morning getting out on time.  I really hate that the breaks set us so far off our routine.  And they are just going to keep coming in the next few months between holidays and snow days.  After school Zak and Daniel started their next session of soccer.  This is the first one for Daniel and he loved it!  He did great, scored 2 goals and had a fantastic time.  I'm so excited that all three boys are playing soccer this session.  We had a bit of a rough night after that because Zak got sick on the car ride home.  So there was lots of cleaning and cuddling going on.  Thankfully he seems to be OK but we'll be keeping him home from school tomorrow just in case.

Thursday (12/1) started with AJ waking up and losing a tooth!  This is the third tooth in a week in our house, this Tooth Fairy is tired!  Zak stayed home from school after last night although he seems fine.  Adrian was able to work from home in the morning so I could still go in and volunteer in the other boys' class rooms.  I read to both classes and helped AJ's teacher with a big project she is working on.  I had a great time in the school as I always do.
Then after multiple schedule changes & multiple fits by the little people who live in my house, we headed to family literacy night at AJ and Daniel's school.  It was a Winter Wonderland theme this year and they had lots of snow themed activities throughout the school.  The boys loved showing off their decorated class rooms, visiting the igloo, meeting Santa & winning a new book each.  Plus we got Krispy Kreme donuts and hot chocolate, yay!  For me, it wasn't quite as fun as Pete the Cat night last year, but the boys loved it so that's what's important.