What’s happening to our teenagers-an opinion on the increased suicide numbers in the US with teenage girls

When I was growing up it was instilled in me that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words would never hurt me” and I used that phrase A LOT when I was a kid. As I got older this phrase became the phrase “actions speak louder than words”, which both hold a lot of truth. Granted yes there were things people said that hurt my feelings BUT they weren’t permanent or everlasting wounds that caused physical scars.  Yes I struggled with mean harsh words from bullies as everyone does at some point in their life.  As I got older I learned that a lot of what people would say about me or to me that was mean and nasty was out of jealousy or because they were unhappy with their lives. I struggled with my appearance at times because of these mean words about how I looked, but I also had family behind me reassuring me that those words weren’t true and just because I matured different then others didn’t make me weird it was just the way God made me. But because of my tiny stature it put a target on my back for those girls that were jealous because I was smaller than them. But it made me stronger like Christina Aguilera sang oh so well 🎵’cause if it wasnt for all that you tried to do, I wouldn’t know just how capable I am to pull through so I want to say thank you cause it makes me that much stronger, makes me work a little bit harder, it makes me that much wiser, so thanks for making me a FIGHTER!”🎵 and that it did. Image result for thanks for making me a fighter
I fight for everything, for what I believe in, for all I have and everything I want in life.  Some could say that it’s the part of me that likes to prove people wrong when I’m told I can’t do that or no, I call it life molding me to fight for everything above. All the cruel words thrown my way when in school and when I was a kid made me stronger. It showed me the true colors of people who were around me and people in general. My parents and family instilled in me to let things roll off your back. Someone elses negative opinion of you doesn’t matter because you know the truth and you are better than those who tear others down. Where did those life lessons go though? When did we throw the phrase sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me out? And why? It is a childish phrase but a truthful phrase. Words yes can hurt, they can hurt like hell when directed towards you especially by people that you would trust with every ounce of your every being. But why are we teaching kids that they can destroy you and define you? Why aren’t we teaching kids that when people hurt you like that, instead of turning those hurtful words into physical hurt on yourself to remember the above phrase. To look at yourself and say”NO! I’m not a freak just because I havent developed like the other girls. No Im not a weird because I believe something you don’t. No Im not a loser because Im not “popular” or have a boyfriend or am a jock.” Why are we teaching kids its ok to dwell on the negative things people throw at them? I personally believe the problem is the website myself and you are currently on or you were just at to get to this page(Facebook). Social media has destroyed our youth. Not just with thinking they need technology in their hands at all times, but also because they get on things like fb and instagram and see their classmates posing for selfies with this make up that is absolutely flawless and they look like they just walked out of a vogue photo shoot, and then you have girls who weren’t blessed with those characteristics because God made them different or they dont want to starve themselves to look like that. They see their classmates hanging out together at parties in pictures and they are at home wondering why they werent invited. Or they go on these sites and get bullied for something they posted or a picture they posted that others feel the need to criticize. Social media is DESTORYING SOCIETY everyone feels the need to bully everyone just because their standards arent being met, your just not pretty enough, skinny enough, tall enough, cool enough, so we are going to throw rocks at you. So you have all this technology and social media in front of your kids and with that they…WE ALL have lost the art of face to face communication. These kids that keep having electronics shoved in their faces to keep them busy arent being taught the proper way to communicate or the proper way to tell someone that something is going on.  They go on social media and put on a facade to make everyone think they are ok when really these teens could be battling serious demons, but nobodies taught them how to tell someone whats going on. Suicide rates among teenage girls between the ages of 15-19 are at an all time high in the last 40 years, according to the latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Suicide rates doubled among teenage girls and grew by more than 30 percent for teenage boys in this age group between ’07-’15. “The latest data comes at a time when social media and shows like Netflix 13 reasons why(which revolves around a high school student who took her own life and two weeks later her crush finds a box of cassettes recorded by her as to the 13 reasons why she committed suicide) are under fire for potentially correlating to a spike in the number of suicide related searches last spring, according to a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine” -www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-08-04/suicide-rates-for-teenage-girls-hit-all-time-high-in-40-years
This is an epidemic that needs WAY more attention than it’s getting. We need to be teaching our children how to deal with bullying, to not put themselves in positions that could lead them to being raped (one of the 13 reasons this girl in this show killed herself) or if it does happen to tell someone, WE NEED TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO COMMUNICATE! NOT through their social media but face to face to either you as the parent or to someone they trust that can get them the help they need. We also need to teach our children TO STOP BULLYING! It’s never been ok. I saw a post at the beginning of this month that I believe every single parent should do with their children before school starts or even just randomly over the course of the year or summer. A mother had her child squeeze an entire tube of tooth paste out onto a plate. Once the tube was empty she told her child to put all the tooth paste back in the tube. As you can imagine this child freaked out about how is she supposed to do that its impossible. Once said child chilled out mom looked at her and said “remember this moment when you are about to say something mean about someone either to a friend or to that persons face.”
Amy explained to her daughter about the importance of kindness to a tween with only a tube of toothpaste and a plate
The moral? Once words are said you can’t take them back. I’ve been saying this for two years, not on social media but to some people in my life who decided to use words to try to destroy me. Once words are said you cant take them back. You can apologize till your blue in the face, but you cant take back what you said. Did what was said to me destroy me? No, did it damage me? Yes, but I refuse to let it control my life. I learned from it and it made me stronger because I’m not letting it control me. We need to teach those skills. To teach that yes words are like weapons they do wound sometimes, but we need to learn to not let those words define who we are, if we do let them define us it should be for the better we should come out on top of them. We need to teach them that your probably going to be called a bitch, a prude, a slut every name in the book and you know what? That’s ok, well no it’s not but its going to be ok because you know the truth, and these people will not ALWAYS be in your life everyday. You will graduate and you will move on to bigger and better things and have better people who come into your life. Those people who feel the need to tear you down need to be taken with a grain of salt and you need to learn from those people and let it define you as a stronger person that is willing to fight for what she has and what she wants. Become fighter! Become stronger! Dont become a statistic in the suicide rates, it’s a permanent solution to a problem that can be solved. Speak up. If you’ve been bullied and its dragging you down and you cant get through it on your own(which is ok there is nothing wrong with asking for help) speak up. If you were assaulted, tell someone don’t carry that burden by yourself, and dont think your broken and can never be loved because you can. Theres someone out there that will see your damage and say “its ok, that doesn’t define you, that’s not who YOU are. You are a beautiful human being that deserves to be loved and I love you”….girls hes out there, you may get a couple of duds and POS’ but somewhere out there there is someone who is going to love you no matter what has happened to you. Dont let your past control your future, dont let some caddy teenage girls or immature boys make you think you’re not worth living. God put you here for a reason, and if he isn’t the one to take you out of this world your ment to stay…he has such big plans for us all…stay awhile see what your could be😚
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And Parents, talk with your kids. Sit down and have a true conversation, yes you may get into some incredibly uncomfortable conversations/situations but those uncomfortable moments I myself think are worth it if it means keeping my kids above ground with me.  They need you, especially in the teenage years, that’s when they need your guidance the most.  Don’t let society get a hold of them and make them believe that they should keep quiet and deal with things on their own, that’s not how problems get resolved.  Don’t just raise them to become fighters, show them how to be fighters by fighting for them.  Image result for thanks for making me a fighter

 

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Raising your son the way you deem fit

In a world full of “gender neutral” “feminism” pushing, “participation trophy” giving and de-masculinizing societies, one would believe that raising a respectful, proud to wear blue, tough, hard-working boy/man would be difficult.  That may be for some, but not in this house.
Many who know me really well know I’m not one to follow “the norm”, whatever the hell that is.  And actually I’ve never conformed to what society “expects”.  I’ve ALWAYS been the one to buck the system and rebel so I could be who I really was.  I’ve never followed a specific fashion trend, I’ve always done whatever I liked and what worked for me.  My husband is not any different.  So do you think raising children would be any different for us?

Growing up there were values I was taught, some yes as a girl that needed to be followed, like no we don’t put our skirts over our heads so everyone can see your underwear and you act lady like in public, not like a wild animal and idiot.  But for some reason, I have my ideas as to why, a lot of the values I was taught as a child aren’t taught much anymore.  For starters I don’t remember everyone getting participation trophies for EVERYTHING.  Maybe when we were younger when you first start out in sports but you sure didn’t get a trophy for it, it was a piece of paper or a ribbon that had your name on it and the sport you participated in if that.  Or the other thing that I don’t remember hearing a whole lot about and maybe that was because I was a kid, was “your kid is being played more than mine” crap.  Really? So lets look at this “lets give everyone a trophy!” scenario.

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By coaches, schools, teams whatever just handing a spot on the team because you showed up and oh here’s a trophy too for playing is not teaching anyone ANYTHING! The only thing it is teaching these kids is you’ll have everything handed to you basically on a silver platter your entire life. Well for those of us who live in the real world, not in a fantasy land in our mama’s basement, we know the only way to get things you need and may want in life you have to actually work for it!  This concept is becoming less and less normal it seems all the time, which is incredibly sad because it’s just creating humans who feel entitled to everything when in reality you’re not entitled to crap.  I don’t care who you are or what your last name is, nothing and nobody is entitled to anything.636023431796650056-1996807318_participation-trophy-l

A part of me feels like a lot of these kids who get everything they want is out of parental guilt. Guilt for not always being there like maybe they want to.  I know not everyone can make a sacrifice like I did to be there for their kids.  I gave up my entire career in the vet field so I could be there for my kids and watch them grow up, but in return I miss the hell out of working in the vet field and I also work part-time in a job that I have to psych myself up for everyday.  But being able to watch my kids grow up and be there for them when they need me out weights the longing for the vet field ten fold.  But like I said I know not everyone or every parent can do that or even have that option.  So to make up for that void maybe they think they need to hand everything to their kids.  In all honesty what are your kids going to remember more, that really nice toy or the fun they had with you?  It may seem logical to give them everything they want when you can’t be there with them, but I promise the time you do spend with them they will remember a lot longer than that toy.  When I was growing up I didn’t see my dad that much, he worked a lot and some late nights most of my childhood and wasn’t always able to be at my sporting events or theater shows, but the ones he was at and the time we spent together when he was off of work resonate a lot more in my memory then a toy him and my mom may have bought me.  You can’t buy love, you can’t hand your kids everything and expect a genuine love.  Yea they love you because your their parents, but making memories with them instead of throwing an inanimate object at them is going to last longer and affect their well-being as adults.ef18a8e73f657b535fcb68a492551449
Yes our son gets a portion of what he wants, but he also works for it and it’s not just handed to him or he pays for it himself with the money he’s earned.  Yep you read that right, he earns it!  He does chores every single day-dishes, cleans cat boxes, feeds the animals, cleans the toilet-hey if the kid is gonna pee all over it he can take responsibility for not being able to get it in the bowl, which I know the kid can aim cause he can hit a damn pop can with a bb gun at 12 feet, so he can clean the toilet maybe he’ll learn then to actually pee in the toilet. There is absolutely NOTHING WRONG with children doing chores to EARN either money so they can buy their own stuff, which I’ve noticed they take better care of it that way, or you buy it and say this is for doing this for me the other day or for the last week.
Harvard conducted a long running study about children doing and being given chores and it came back that they are more successful as adults when they have chores as children.  Here is one of the many articles on this study: https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/2015/12/08/research-indicates-sparing-chores-spoils-children-and-their-future-selves/ZLvMznpC5btmHtNRXXhNFJ/story.html
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This study doesn’t surprise me in the least bit.  If you teach your kids to do the crap jobs they are more willing to do them when they are adults.  Good work ethic, hard-working work ethic, dedicated work ethic is so sought after but extremely hard to find because God for bid someone should get dirty or actually do the job requirements that are asked of them.  Everyone is more worried about what everyone thinks and “OMG I can’t do that job, that’s gross, that cuts in to my party time with my friends or my time on the beach, what would my friends think?”  who gives a shit!?  It’s money to pay the bills and get you what you want instead of relying on mommy and daddy, right?!  There’s a big difference between lack of work ethic because your spoiled, lazy and believe everyone should cater to you and your needs and wants than someone’s work ethic being crap because they are burnt out from their job or just fed up with the B.S.  One you didn’t give a damn to begin with, the other you’ve been used and abused and pushed beyond your limits at your job but at least you still show up and work.  Then there’s the moment in that child’s life when they do enter the real world and they HAVE to get a job but after their interview they get this “I’m sorry, your qualifications just don’t meet what we need or are looking for.” then what happens?  If not prepared for that answer their entire world could fall apart because for the first time in their lives they were told NO! It really is ok to say no to your kids, I promise they won’t die.  They may throw the worlds biggest fit when you tell them no as a small child, which they are a child they do that, but when they do that as an adult it’s not appeasing or acceptable.  That reflects on you as a parent and I don’t know many parents out there that like to be told or hear “you messed up and failed somewhere along the lines for your adult child to act like that.”
I was taught life had disappointment early.  “Nope, sorry you are just not good enough to be on that certain gymnastics team.” OUCH, can we say crushed?  You bet, did I cry?  Oh hell yea I bawled! I put so much work and time in to trying to get on that team and just ended up coming up short. BUT after I fell apart and beat myself up I didn’t let that deter me, that meant I needed to work that much harder until the next try outs so that I could get on that team.  Learning from our disappointments is the only way we as humans grow and learn to either do better next time and focus in on what needs to be fixed to make us better and strive for our set goals.  We need to stop worrying about hurting everyone’s feelings! No not everyone can play football, basketball, baseball, not everyone can be a cheerleader, gymnast, swimmer, runner.  Not everyone is meant to play sports, there are other things out there that kids can do and be apart of a “team” setting if they aren’t sports oriented.  Quit making such a big deal out of your kid not being played like everyone else.  If we continue with the “you showed up for try outs your on the team” what do you expect?  The players who can actually play and get the team a win are going to be played, not the players who just stand there or can’t throw/hit/kick the ball.  When you get in the real world feelings don’t matter.  Your boss isn’t gonna give a damn if he/she is hurting your feelings at the moment they are chewing your butt for screwing up, all they care about at that moment is the potential money you have lost them or the bad reputation you may have just caused .

Next, why is gender such a big damn deal?  A girl/woman can grow a baby inside HER body and give life to that human and feed that human with her own body.  She is in fact a pregnant WOMAN.  A man can not grow a baby inside of HIM and give birth to that baby or feed that baby with his own body.  He can participate in the making of that human and even if need be, raise that child on his own by giving formula and love. That’s about it there is no growing of said child within a mans body, despite the fact that many women would probably love to trade positions with a man at around 6 months or earlier and let them do the rest, it can not be done.  Sorry but without a man, for obvious reasons whether he is there participating physically or it’s from a tube, and without a woman for obvious reasons, the two separate entities need each other to reproduce……it doesn’t get anymore cut and dry then that.  So why have we tried to undo that!?

Since when has it been wrong to go to the store and go to the “boy” toy section to buy a boy toy for a boy or buy boy clothes for a boy or the same with girls?  Now you have toy companies and clothing companies saying they are going to get rid of their so-called labels of boys toys/clothes or girls toys/clothes.  When I go to the store to buy clothes for my kids I do in fact head to the girls section for my daughter and the boys section for my son, same with their toys that’s never going to change.  We are doing all of this just so we don’t “offend” anyone, yep once again everybody needs to stop being so damn offended by everything and just chill the hell out!  No body is targeting anyone and their “feelings” by having a girls section or a boys section, stop trying to carry your high school drama Bull$#&* into adulthood, cause really that’s what this is, and for some reason we are catering to it, when in all actuality 3/4 of us don’t need it or want it there’s enough drama in adulthood these issues really shouldn’t be one of them.
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My next question is when did a man being “masculine” or “gentlemanly” become sexist, chauvinistic and offensive?  Men are supposed to be “strong”.  When they are in relationships they are supposed to be a good portion of the back bone.  Now I’m not saying that makes women weak by any means, no there’s still women who are strong and sometimes they are the majority of the backbone of the family which is AWESOME! There are also woman out there that I know are doing it on their own and are independent or are even carrying some guy they are with who has decided to have him a sugar momma, to those women I say KUDDOS! Your carrying a lot on your shoulders. But in at least my relationship and I’m sure many others, I can only stay strong for so long before I eventually break, even the strongest of women break at some point and need a shoulder to cry on.  I personally would rather be held in my husbands strong arms and fall apart, then fall apart by myself.  There’s NOTHING WRONG with a guy being masculine and there’s damn sure NOTHING WRONG with a man being a gentleman to women.  Holding a door open, helping you out of the car, paying for dinner, calling you “ma’am” all signs of RESPECT!  For YEARS men have been doing these things for women, it doesn’t mean they think you are weak, it means they have respect for you as a woman and a human being.

Isn’t that what everyone is “fighting/marching” about?  Respect.  Respect for women, respect for our bodies, our choices, our freedoms.  When did all those things that men used to do and some men still do today become signs of disrespect, sexism and chauvinism?  Yep I am fully aware there are sexist, chauvinistic pigs out there, but for those men I truly believe they weren’t given any home training and that’s their parents fault, plus they need to grow up and no that doesn’t excuse their behavior by any means.  But, it’s ok to be a guy and be masculine, what’s NOT ok is trying to push every guy into being feminine or feminists.  It’s not ok to push, pressure or harass men or ANYONE to be someone they aren’t or don’t want to be just so they fit into what “society expects” and so they are PC friendly.  Honestly that crap is only convenient when it’s on societies terms.  “We are going to have a pride march, BUT if your gay and Jewish you’re not welcome.”  or ” We are having a women’s march, BUT if you show the smallest support for anti-abortion/pro-life your not welcomed and you can’t march with us.”  A bit warped, hypocritical and a double standard if you ask me.

So I guess my long drawn out point is in a world that is SO messed up on moral values, work values and human values for some it could be extremely hard to raise a respectful, masculine, gentlemanly, hard-working, blue wearing,  boy/man.  But if you stick with wanting to raise your boys to support and embrace every single one of those qualities, you truly can.  It may be a bit of a battle with society and schools, but that doesn’t mean you give up.  They are YOUR children, nobody else’s.  Society didn’t carry that child for 9 months and give birth to them and neither did the schools or churches you need to do what you deem fit for your sons.  Because in this house our son has and will be taught that no you’re not going to make every team you try out for or be the best at every sport or adventure you set out on.  Yes, if you work extra hard and actually try you may get a trophy or ribbon that you deserve.  No, real men don’t HAVE to wear pink.  And yes you treat ALL women with respect.  We don’t hit them, we don’t call them bad names, if anything you should place her on a pedestal and open doors for her and pay for dinner and call her ma’am, until they give you a reason not to and even then you have no excuse to hit them, bad mouth her or treat her like an animal.  You give everyone respect no matter who they are because everyone deserves basic human respect.  So as a mother of a son I deserve the right for “society” to respect my wishes and how I want my son to contribute to society and if that means he pisses some women off along the way by calling them ma’am and placing them on a pedestal then so be it, they aren’t worth his time if that’s the case. I’m not ashamed or scared to raise my son that way or my daughter to look at a man or like a man who has those values.  I don’t care what others think or how they think I should raise my children.  Nobody is going to instill any other values in my children then what I think they need or should have.  And for all the other parents out there who are trying to raise their boys as hard working, dirty handed, tough, proud to wear blue, G.I Joe playing, women respecting boys/men I say kudos to you!  Keep it up! Don’t give up! You keep raising that boy that way, we need more of them and momma’s raising their girls to appreciate men like that kudos to you too!  We need more girls/women like that in this crazy world.  It’s ok to keep some things old school.

Kid safe muffin mix

If there are any of you our there that are like I am I love muffin mix, frosting, cake batter, cookie dough and naturally I’ve passed that love on to my kids.  I make frosting for cakes and they are right under me asking for a spoon full of it.  Same with cake batter, muffin mix and cookie dough, but with a lot of those recipes once you put that egg in your heightening your chances of getting salmonella.   I’ve done it for years and never thought twice about it until I had kids.  Isn’t it amazing how those little babies can completely change your thought process on things you did yourself?  I didn’t put too much thought behind them getting sick from those things because I never did until my we discovered that my son has somewhat of a sensitive stomach.  So the way I prep certain things and let him eat has changed and I have to put more thought in to it then maybe most parent’s do.

My kids love muffins for breakfast or a quick snack.  They are really honestly pretty easy to make, if you’re not making them from scratch, and not only are the muffins themselves pretty tasty that muffin mix is awesome for a quick sweet tooth fix.  Usually what happens is either I get a sweet tooth kick and make the muffin mix or one of the kids will say they want something sweet or want muffins.  Well we all know in our house if mom has to make batter for something, she usually makes extra because almost all of us has to have a spoonful or at the very least a small bowl of it.  There are some muffin mixes out there that just call for milk, those are ideal and awesome because they are easy for one and second they are safe for the kiddos to eat that mix without having to make any adjustments to the ingredients.  But there are also still those mixes out there that require an egg or egg white.  Now I’m sure I’m not the first to come up with this idea or the first to do it, but when I buy mixes that require an egg this is how I make my muffin mix so it’s kid friendly and not only that if you do make actual muffins with them they are really dense, moist and seem fluffier.

I decided to try this way of making muffins one night when the kids said they wanted muffins for breakfast the next day.  We are in serious need of some groceries so I wasn’t sure I could pull it off.  I looked in the fridge and we were out of eggs, which this mix asked for.  So I pulled out my food substitution book I have and looked up things I may have that would cover the egg aspect of the recipe.  Sure enough I did!  The book said to substitute one egg you can use 1/4 of a cup of bananas.  I was a little worried that the muffins may end up tasting like bananas instead of blueberry but was willing to try it out.  So I dumped the box of powdered mix and dumped it in a bowl, added milk which the box said to add 1/4 cup but I put in a 1/3 of cup to add a little more liquid to the mix so it wouldn’t be so thick since I wasn’t adding an egg.  I cut up and smashed a banana up and put 1/4 a cup of the smashed banana in the mix, mixed it up and took a bite, not bad.

Yes you could taste the banana in the batter but it wasn’t an overwhelming taste.  My daughter wanted some and she took a huge bit and went on her merry way.  Then my son wanted a bite.  I was a little leary about giving him a bite because he’s not a huge banana fan, but let’s try it out.  He took a big bite, looked at me for a minute and gave a thumbs up and ran off to do his thing.  SWEET! a recipe that I can make and the kids can eat all the batter if they want and I got approval from both.
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Once everyone had their bite of mix, I greased up a muffin tin and add 2 tablespoons of the batter in each individual tin.  Heated the oven to 400 degrees and placed the muffins in the oven for 15 minutes.  Pulled them out once they had finished and let them cool.  Once they had cooled I had to try one warm with butter and they are AMAZING! No banana taste, tastes just like a blueberry muffin should and like I said it was moist and very dense.  Honestly I think they taste better than when you make them with an egg.  And once again I got a thumbs up from both kiddos so that’s a deal maker right there!  Enjoy these delicious little pieces of heaven in your mouth!

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Kid Approved and safe Muffins
1 box Jiff muffin mix(flavor of your choice)
1/3 cup of milk
1/4 banana
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a muffin tin with either butter, olive oil, extra virgin olive oil or an oil of your choice.  Put 2 tablespoons of batter in each individual tin and place in oven for 12-15 minutes, times vary for each oven.  Let cool and enjoy!  Makes about 4-5 muffins.

Enjoying time with them and to myself

Sundays are a wonderful day at my house.  It’s the one day a week that I get to sleep in past 6 am.  It’s the day that I wake up with the cutest little chubby cheeks looking at me and smiling with her Shirley Temple curls glistening in the morning sunlight that is peeking in through the window, that is to me the worlds greatest way to wake up.  Once we can no longer sit still for cuddles we roll out of bed and head downstairs and rally the rest of the troops for breakfast.  While they eat breakfast and watch their morning cartoons, it’s time for this mom to have some peace to herself.  I will go out on the front porch and drink my coffee while just relaxing and listening to birds chirp, watch the squirrels run around the yard trying to find food and the bunnies attempting to get into my garden (which I have locked down like Fort Knox from those little brats).  Its my 10 minutes of calming, to prepare me for a day of playing referee between the kids and tackling any projects that we may have.  I like to take a few minutes to just breathe and enjoy myself, I feel like I’m a better mother because it helps me keep my cool longer throughout the day and my patience isn’t shot within the first hour of separating the two little monsters from each other.  It also gives me a chance to enjoy my coffee quietly.
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I love coffee.  Anyway you make it the odds of me drinking it are high. I do have favorites that I enjoy over others and like the occasional latte but for the most part I like my coffee black.  The first time I tried black coffee I was in the second grade, so like 8, and my soccer coach would give us sips of it when we were freezing.  She would always bring her big thermos of coffee but it never crossed her mind that she should bring a thermos of hot chocolate too for her players.  So you had all these 8 year olds running around the soccer field all hyped up on coffee, haha no wonder we had so much energy to play 3 games in a tournament and not get tired.  I started drinking it a lot more when I had our son.  The whole not sleeping at night thing and attempting to function during the day wasn’t working for me.  He ended up bottle feeding because of some issues with nursing so I didn’t have to worry about drinking too much.  When I started working for the vet clinic it was like my staple.  I drank a mug in the morning and afternoon, so when I became pregnant with our daughter cutting back to 8oz a day wasn’t really an option.  After a week of trying to drink just 8oz a day I kicked the habit completely and took up drinking tea, which is another drink I enjoy.  Once she was born and I went back to work I started to drink a small cup in the morning before work.  After 6 months of nursing and not having enough milk coming in I weaned her off of nursing then I could hit the coffee drinking full boar again, YAY!   But there is nothing like a good cup of coffee in the morning on my porch.  It’s like it makes the day so much better.  Then at night when the kiddos are in bed, drinking a glass of wine on the porch watching the sun go down, so relaxing.

I’ve had to start taking up these relaxing behaviors with all the stresses that I’ve been dealing with lately.  I’ve noticed it really helps.  Yoga I’ve learned is amazing at relieving stress from the day and even helps you heal mentally, plus great for weight loss.  I feel like keeping your mind clear before you go to bed helps your mind rest giving you a chance to fall asleep faster and get a better nights sleep, which we all know how important that is.  I’ve learned over the years, at least since I had our son, that everyone needs to take time for themselves especially women.  We seem to be the glue that keeps everything together and the one who keeps everything running smoothly.  We are usually the ones staying up late straightening up the house after the kids go to bed, getting lunches ready for school the next day, doing the laundry and everything else that goes into being a mother, a wife and a home owner.  Sometimes we just need to take a few moments for us or our fuses seem to get shorter quicker if we don’t, or mine does anyway.  I get so tired and run down when I don’t take a little time for just me.  When I put all I have into the kids, my husband, the house and all the chores that goes with it I get so worn out and just want to sleep.  So with Johnny being back in school we have a bit more structured schedule and I seem to take more time for me.  At first I felt guilty leaving the kids at the table eating breakfast and going on the porch to drink my coffee, cause really I could sit at the table with them and drink it, but when they didn’t seem to care either way I figured why not take that 10 minutes to me?  I spend almost every waking minute with them on Sundays already, 10 minutes to start the day off right wouldn’t hurt.  So far it hasn’t, if anything it has helped, like I said earlier it helps me clear my mind and prepare for what the kids or even life may throw at me for the day.  I can stay calm longer and the yelling has cut back DRAMATICALLY.  So always remember to take time for you.

The other thing I love about Sundays is the quality time I get with the kids.  Our daughter loves books, mostly just to look at, but when she’s in the mood to be read to I am the last person to deny her of it.  Usually on Sundays she will find one of her Disney Princess books, carry it out on to the porch hand it to me and smile.  So her and I will sit and read her book while her brother pops in and out of the porch to catch a quick look at the pictures.  We will play outside, if the mosquitoes aren’t bad and the weather is decent.  They will help dad and I around the house with chores and every once and while when I get a fire lit under my butt we will paint, color or whatever else we can find to do with crafts.  It’s time that I cherish with them.  They grow up so fast so every opportunity that I get to make memories with them I do.  Being the mom that I strive to be I want to give those memories to my kids so when they get older they don’t look back and see bad, or wonder why I did certain things or didn’t.  Don’t forget to spend some time with that special guy in your life too.  He has to deal with all the perks to being a parent too.  Whether he is a hard working bread winner or a stay at home dad that has a thousand projects brewing at once, they work hard too at keeping this family going and needs your love and time too.  My husband and I will take about 30 minutes to an hour at least 4 nights out of the week to spend time with each other once the kids are asleep.  When grandma and grandpa are around we usually pawn the kids off on them and take a date night, which by the way doesn’t have to be the normal dinner and movie either (I’ll get into those ideas on another post.)
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There’s really nothing better then spending time with your loved ones and even with yourself.  You only get one chance to make beautiful memories and be the best you that you can be.  So take time for you, for your sanity, take time with those you love, your health and mental state needs it just as much as theirs does.  LIVE FOR TODAY MY FRIENDS!

Preperation is more than half the battle

In the last 8 months I have learned a lot about the foods that I put into my body, my husband’s body and kids bodies. When we put junk into our bodies there is usually no good out come from it.  I personally feel very tired and just all around blah.  Don’t want to play with the kids just want to lay on the couch and veg out while watching one of the many shows I record or have become addicted to on Netflix.  The kids I’ve noticed are kind of the same way.  If I feed Jemma a donut for breakfast, for the rest of the day it’s like she just wants to veg on the couch with me.  That’s not a good habit.  But when she eats toast with almond butter, or some scrambled eggs she seems to want to do more and is hell bent on getting outside.  Johnny on the other hand you can feed that child anything and he’s still going 110 mph, plus I think a lot of our bodies are a little more resilient to that junk when we are young.  So now that I’ve observed what these foods will do to myself and my family I had to start to teach myself to prep for the week.  I started having to prep for a couple of days at a time instead of a weeks worth because we would end up with wasted leftovers and my fridge couldn’t hold all my prepping.  With my rollercoaster of being on top of eating healthy and eating like crap for the past three months a light finally came on that I shut off somewhere in the last few months and reminded me that preparing meals really wasn’t half of the battle, it’s a lot closer to “the battle”.

It is proven that staying healthy or attempting to lose weight revolves around 80% of what you eat.  The other 20% is exercise.  When I wouldn’t take the time either one day out of the week to prep meals or take the night before to prep the meals for the next day I eat like crap and so does the rest of the family.  I would get up in the morning and make breakfast for everyone and have it waiting for them when they got out of bed.  I’d leave for work and have a healthy start going for me.  I’d either bring a protein bar to work so I could have a snack or I’d bring Almonds and some Craisins to munch on.  Then I’d get home and have to make lunch.  I wouldn’t feel like putting effort into something like a salad topped with shrimp, or grill some chicken breast or salmon.  So I’d end up eating something that wasn’t as healthy like oven baked chicken nuggets and french fries, which would put me over on my carb intake for the day.  Or I’d throw a can of soup in the microwave, which is loaded with so much sodium I’d feel like crap after I’d get done eating it.  Dinner would be healthier again because I had time to think about what I was going to make and feel more like cooking.  So with school in full swing I have to get Johnny’s lunches ready almost every night before I go to bed anyway, he’s a very picky eater and rarely will eat hot lunch, I thought to myself why not get back into the groove of prepping our meals and not only that do some bed time yoga while I was at it.  Last night after the kids were in bed, I slipped out of the middle of them in the bed and went downstairs to tackle my new nightly mission.  I pulled out all my ingredients for what I was going to make for today and a little more for a couple other days if I had time to get around to it.
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I follow the 21 day fix program when it come to portion control.  I learned so much from this program on portion control, lost 20 pounds with it and LOVE the program.  So it is my fail safe when I need help staying on top of portion control, because it’s not always about what you eat but about how much.  I could make the healthiest meal in the world, but if I over eat while I’m eating it, it defeats the purpose.  Just because your eating healthy doesn’t give you a free ride to stuff yourself till your about to explode.  That was a really hard habit to break, especially being a mom of children who have leftovers and I hate wasting food.  But the following containers are what I follow for portion control.
Green and purple – 1 cup of Veggies and Fruit. Red- 3/4 cup of proteins. Yellow – 1/2 cup of carbs.  Blue – 1/4 cup of healthy fats (ex. avocados, cheese) Orange – 3 tablespoons of seeds and dressings.
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So all that you see in the picture above is a mixture of breakfast and mid-morning snack, lunch and an afternoon snack and dinner.  I didn’t picture the water but water is a BIG deal too!

Everything that is in the picture and will be used for food for today and maybe some other days this week:
* 2 chicken breasts
* 1 pound of extra small shrimp(a bag)
* 1 can of dark red kidney beans
* 1 can of black beans
* 1 can of chili beans
* 1 can of whole kernel corn
* 1 container of steel cut Quaker Oats oat meal
* 1 large container of strawberries
* 1 large container of blackberries
* 1 bundle of Asparagus
* 1 medium sized bag of shredded cheddar
* 1 bag of whole wheat tortillas
* 1 box of Skinny Girl popcorn(love these for portion control)
* 1 bag of pretzel chips
* 1 jar of almond butter
* 1 Jar of caramel almond butter
* 1 large container of Noosa yogurt-honey
* 1 bag of 3 romaine lettuce
* 1 bag of Craisins strawberry
* 1 bag of dried cranberries
* 1 bag of lightly salted almonds
* 4 peaches
* Almond Milk reduced sugar(supposed to be unsweetened but every once in a while I like to switch them up)
* 1 bottle Olive Garden Italian dressing Light
* 1 bottle of lemon Juice
* 1 bag of baby carrots
* 1 container of cherry tomatoes
* 1 dozen hard boilde eggs
* 1 container of GMC Total Lean Lean Shake Vanilla protien powder.
* 1 container of mushrooms
* 1 ziploc baggy of onions-fresh from the garden
* MANY cucumbers from my garden
* 1 jar of ND made honey – wonderful for a natural sweetner
* 1 Avocado
* 1 container of Low fat cream cheese

I started with breakfast.  I made enough oatmeal for 4 mornings.
First Morning- Oatmeal with 1/2 a tablespoon of almond butter and 1/2 a tablespoon of caramel almond butter. Drizzle honey on top and cinnamon.  Mix it together and throw it in the fridge.
Second Morning- Oatmeal with blackberries.  Mash blackberries up, mix in with oatmeal and honey and place that in the fridge.
Third Morning – Oatmeal with Strawberries and bananas.  Mash Strawberries and bananas, mix together in bowl with oatmeal and some honey, cover and set in fridge.
Fourth Morning- Oatmeal with Peaches.  Skin and cut peaches, mash them up real well mix with honey and oatmeal cover and place in fridge.  Once you go to eat any of these drop a tablespoon of protein powder or greek vanilla yogurt (or in my case honey Austrian yogurt) in with the oatmeal, after you heat, for a touch more sweetness.
Fifth Morning- 1 yellow container of Kashi Go Lean Toasted Berry Crisp with 8 oz of almond milk.
Sixth Morning- 1 slice of Wheat toast with a Tablespoon of almond butter and 1 scrambled egg.
Seventh Morning- This is usually Sunday, so we have either pancakes and eggs or oatmeal or pancakes eggs and sausage or bacon.  I would use 1 red container of eggs, 2 sausage or bacon links and 1/2 pancake. Or 1 yellow container of oatmeal with fruit or almond butter.  These are all wonderful breakfast ideas that I like to go back to often and will keep you full for up to 3-4 hours.  If you would like more recipes or breakfast ideas that are healthy head on over to Beach Body’s website and check out more wonderful breakfast choices
http://www.teambeachbody.com/teambeachbodyblog/tag/breakfasts

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Next was Lunch.  I’m really big on salads.  I love them because you can do so many different things with them.  You can make strawberry salads with almonds and cheese chunks. You can top them with pulled pork and BBQ sauce (delicious!). The possibilities with lettuce salads are never ending.  If you want to be adventurous try some they feature on the Beach Body website
http://www.teambeachbody.com/teambeachbodyblog/tag/salads

I stuck with one of my go to favorites.  Lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, chives, mushrooms, and 1 hard boiled egg and some shredded cheddar and slivered almonds. Then sautéed some shrimp in lemon juice, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and 2 drops of soy sauce.  Measured everything out and put it in some containers that are easy to grab and throw into a bowl and top with your favorite dressing. Resized_20160829_102056

Then for a random snack or side dish later this week I took about 2 of the 17 cucumbers I picked the other day out of the garden and 1 of the onions, sliced them up sprinkled a little bit of salt and pepper.  Then when we are ready(I pick it up from the store)  I will take some plain greek yogurt and vinegar and a tablespoon of mayo in with it all and make a refreshing cucumber salad. Resized_20160829_101908

Then for another snack or lunch idea I made some cucumber cream cheese and blackberry cream cheese wraps.  I took some chopped cucumbers and cream cheese and placed in a bowl mixed together and spread on a tortilla and put in a container and placed in the fridge with the other wrap I made, cream cheese and mashed blackberries with some honey rolled in a tortilla.
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I could’ve taken the chicken and placed it in the crock pot over night and it would have been ready for tonight’s dinner, but I like my grill……a lot.  So I placed the chicken in the fridge to unthaw instead.  I took 2 large chicken breasts out so that I can split one with John tonight and grill the other one for a grilled chicken salad tomorrow or grilled chicken avocado wrap.  Then I will take cut up carrots, onions and mushrooms drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper in tin foil and grill until tender.
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Lastly I put a few snacks together.  I like almonds, craisins-strawberry and dried cranberries.  Another really good snack that I like is pretzels with almond butter.  There are many different snacks that are out there.  Beach Body has some great ideas that taste great and those that I haven’t had look amazing.
http://www.teambeachbody.com/teambeachbodyblog/tag/snacks
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Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t have to be really expensive either.  There are so many amazing recipes out there for healthy eating and living a healthy life style.  You have this one body why not treat it with a little respect and love it deserves.  If you take care of it it will take care of you.  Stay healthy and enjoy this wonderful life that God has given us!

Setting a schedule

Hello Everyone.  For my first post as blogger with more rhyme for my reason I am going to talk about that one thing that will be or already has started for our kids……School.


I have many mixed emotions about this year.  Little man starts kindergarten which is a big step.  He’ll be there all day, no naps, there every day not just 4, it’s a totally different scene from preschool.  I’m excited but a little bummed.  Excited to not have to play referee all day between him and his sister.  But bummed because he is a big helper when he is home. He’s always helping me keep an eye on his sister, with some persuasion I can get help with house work, and he is usually helping me decide what to make for dinner.  It’s hard that they spend more time with your kids then you do, but I guess I could always home school.  I don’t have the patience for home school though.  So there is a couple of different emotions there just with his dad and I though, he is absolutely ecstatic to be starting.  We started prepping about 2 weeks ago.  The ideas him and I came up with have worked so well there have been mornings he is getting up before me or his alarm.  If you need some ideas here is what we came up with.

3 weeks before school.  The National Sleep foundation recommends that children aged 3-5 get 11-13 hours of sleep each night. Children aged 6-13 need 9-11 hours.  The best rule of thumb is the younger the age the more hours, example a 3 year old should get 13 hours of sleep or a 6 year old should get about 11 hours of sleep.  Click the link to head over to the National Sleep Foundations website to find out more about children and sleep  https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/children-and-sleep
So for our routine we decide what time his final bedtime for the year would be.  His dad and I came up with 8:30 is a good time for him when he is getting up at 6:45.   We wanted to ease him into going to bed that early so three weeks before school is supposed to start we started getting him ready for bed at 9:30pm.  No more watching TV before bed, he gets to read a few chapters out of the new series we have decided to read, The Magic Tree House books and then its lights out.  In the morning he started by getting up at 8am that week.  I didn’t want him just getting up and sitting around so I made him a chart that he could follow for his new morning routine.  Once all of that was done then he could watch TV.

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2 weeks before school.  We bumped him down to 9pm and up at 7:30am.  Since he has so much down time still I made him another chart, except this one is a chore chart.  He is 6 years old so he can start doing some chores and get an allowance.
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1 week before school. He is now bumped down to 8:30pm for bed time.  We start getting ready at 8pm though so that lights are out at 8:30.  He is getting up at 7am.  This morning he was up and out of bed before me at 6:30.  I couldn’t believe it.  But it is working so well he is falling asleep within 5 minutes of lights out and he’s getting plenty of sleep and mom is getting some her time without any kids interrupting her show…WONDERFUL!  win win for everyone.

For more ideas on how to get your kiddo on a great sleep schedule for their age check out a few of these links from pinterest:

Back To School Sleep Routines: 5 Tips To Get Back on Track

http://lifehacker.com/when-your-child-should-go-to-bed-based-on-age-and-wake-1729319068

And for some morning routine ideas and tips check out these links from pinterest:

Helping kids get ready for school quicker in the morning (stress free)

Tips for making your Morning and After School Routines a Breeze!

Back to School-Chore Charts for Before and After School

So along with getting on schedule there is all the things we’ve been doing to prepare him for the big day.  Picking out what he is going to eat for breakfast the morning of, what he is going to wear and this week we are going to pick out what he is going to take for his first day of school lunch.  Which brings up an entirely different ball game.

School lunch for Johnny is a constant battle.  I try to send certain things with him and he either wont eat them or even try them to see if he likes them.  Feeding Johnny in general is a battle.  It’s a constant war with his dad and I wanting him to eat something other than pizza, pizza rolls, taco’s, hot dogs, spaghetti, mac n cheese, cinnamon toast, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, peanut butter and jelly wrap and just about an all around carb diet.  No wonder he has so much energy.  I’ve been able to sneak veggies in to him in the spaghetti sauce a few times with out him noticing and some black beans mashed into his taco but I’m still working on the other meals and getting veggies into those.  He has recently taken a liking to ham so that’s a plus.  Anyway I wanted to find a few different ideas for lunches for picky eaters and I found a ton!  I went through one menu and picked out enough meals for this picky kid to last about a months worth of school lunches! Plus he said he is willing to try everyone that I have written down.  YAY!  Now each night before bed I’ll have him pick a main dish and two sides.  For the sites to ideas for picky eaters follow these links from pinterest:

School Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

30+ School Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

30 days of lunchbox recipes: No Repeats!

http://www.cookingclassy.com/2015/08/five-fun-ways-to-make-pbj/

For those of you who have children that will eat anything you put in front of them, like my daughter, here are some fun ideas I found while on pinterest for fun lunches for kids:

http://www.whatlisacooks.com/no-sandwich-lunches/

5 School Lunch Ideas to Make Your Kids Smile!

AND a link to some healthy snacks, because that’s mostly all that’s allowed in this house anymore, for after school at home or on the bus:

50+ Healthy Snacks On the Go for Kids!

I hope some of these websites help you with organizing to get the kids to school on time and make your life a little less stressful and a give you more time for you!

To follow my constant pinning fun on the world of pinterest just click the link   https://www.pinterest.com/jrhopkins3/.

HAPPY BACK TO SCHOOL PREPPING MY FRIENDS!

 

 

Peanut butter VS Almond butter

Really a post about the difference between peanut butter and almond butter?  Kind of, it’s my lead into this post 🙂

I used to love peanut butter, I would eat it on bananas, Oreo’s, toast, straight off the spoon, it was pretty much a staple in my diet.  But the other day I threw it in one of my shakes and honestly had to choke the shake down.  Once it was down I just sat there and felt like I was going to barf.  Ugh I just couldn’t stand the taste, it was awful.  It tasted like peanuts just swimming in oil.  :-S   Around December I made the decision to start eating healthier.  We have cut back drastically on the amount of meals I made by throwing them in the oven.  We have started eating leaner hamburger not just buying the cheapest, which holds like 20% fat.  We have drawers full of fruits and vegetables and Jemma and I started eating Almond butter.  It’s so good, and not as buttery tasting like peanut butter.  To add to the yummy goodness of the almond butter they now make caramel almond butter, it’s like a party in your mouth.  It’s so good, I could eat it by the spoonfuls and if Jemma could reach it she’d probably eat the entire jar in one sitting. So ever since I started eating the almond butter I just can’t do peanut butter, not even the natural stuff.  It just doesn’t taste right to me anymore.

It amazes me at how much my taste buds have changed.  Before I wanted cookies that were just loaded with butter because they would melt in my mouth, ok I still like those, but I don’t feel the need to eat a bunch of them in one sitting.  What lead me to the change in diet was one day I walked by the mirror in Jemma’s room and was absolutely disgusted.  I couldn’t believe that I had let myself get that big, that was the biggest I had ever gotten.  Being a tiny girl, then a very skinny teenager, and average woman when I was 19-20 I wasn’t taking this “chubby” look well.  The whole spare tire thing wasn’t cute in the least bit.  So that’s when I said no more.  I texted a friend that I knew was a huge fitness guru and was a fitness coach and talked to her about 21 day Fix.  If it worked for her, if she liked it and if she had heard anything else that was good about it.  She said it helped her to get back on track when she would fall off the wagon a little by going back to portion control and getting back into working out.  I went online and did some research and was really liking what I was seeing.  I made the jump, a couple of days after Christmas I jumped on beachbody.com and ordered my 21 day fix kit.  When it came in January I was a little nervous but I did it and loved it!  I would sit down every Sunday and figure out the meals for the week and I would stick to those meals for the week.  I would work out in the beginning every day during the first three week cycle.  During the second one I only worked out about 4 days a week, but I was still seeing results because I was watching what I was eating.  This entire process has been a learning experience.

The first thing I learned was how many calories I should be taking in for my height.  Then how much water intake I should be taking in every day.  It started with 82oz a day.  I’ve always been a big water drinker, but when you have to try to strive for a certain amount of ounces a day it seemed to be more challenging.  I started to learn different ways to spruce up my water so I wouldn’t get so bored with it.  That’s been a huge life saver for me.  Before I eat a meal I will drink either 8oz or 16oz, an entire water bottle, then eat.  Drinking the water before a meal would fill me up and I wouldn’t eat as much.  I drink a 16oz bottle after I would drink one of my shakes and be golden for about 3 hours if not longer.  Next thing I learned is I seriously needed to slow down when I ate.  Yes there are things I needed to get done but I needed to take the time to actually chew my food well and not inhale it while I ate.  So I taught myself to slow down when I chew, and also take some sips of water in between each bite.  Another way of filling me up faster. I always knew you were supposed to eat at least 5 meals a day, breakfast-snack-lunch-snack-dinner.  So I started to do that too.  That was harder to get used to, I felt like I was eating all the flipping time.  Next was what I was eating.  We needed to get rid of the freezer full of that processed crap and start getting fresher foods.  I cleaned out the freezer of junk over a matter of about 10 days and filled it with lean meat, sea food and a few favorites of the kids.  The fridge has an entire drawer dedicated to fruits, one for veggies, cheese and some lean sandwich meats.  We have a bunch of eggs, I’ve had to get 5 dozen eggs a few times because we’ve been going through them so fast.  I eat wheat bread, and for salad dressings it is strictly Italian or raspberry vinaigrette.  Now that a large portion of the junk is gone and replaced with healthy food, it’s rare that you will find anything other than that in our house.  My next really difficult task was learning portion control.  The program sends little containers that you use to measure your portions properly for each food group.  There is green for veggies which equals a cup, purple for fruit which equals a cup, yellow for carbs and is 1/2 cup, red for protein and is 3/4 cup, blue for healthy fats like cheese and avocados, and lastly orange for seeds and dressings.  I am allowed to have 3 greens, 2 purples, 2 yellows, 4 reds, 1 blue and 1 orange.  Planning meals for the day and week based on that was difficult at first but I’ve gotten really good at it.  After the 3rd cycle on 21 day I didn’t really need the containers anymore, I was really good at eye balling it and being right on.  I was a little bit hungrier at first, but as my stomach shrank there have been days where I can’t finish it all.

Since I started 21 day fix I have lost 20 pounds and am still working toward my goal weight, which I am about 15 pounds from.  I’m 3 pounds away from where I was when I got married and got pregnant and I feel great!  I have more energy to play with the kids and get things done.  I feel healthier, I can always tell when I’ve eaten like crap or too many carbs.  I feel sick, like I’m going to throw up and like all I want to do is sleep.  That was another huge reason I wanted to lose weight and start eating healthier.  I’d come home from work, eat and right away I’d want to take a nap.  I still take them from time to time but I don’t take them every day like I used to.  I always say I’m tired and would like to take a nap but I usually end up doing something like dishes, laundry or putzin in the garden or yard.  The exercise aspect has kind of been set on the back burner this summer though.  With all the yard work that we’ve been doing I’ve felt like that’s been a good work out for me all by its self.  I’ve been working on moving landscaping rocks around, that is a leg and arm day let me tell ya.  Then with all the other lifting I’ve been doing and keeping my garden weed free and fighting with keeping everything separated, that’s a work out and I also walk to work almost every day except maybe when it rains.  I also learned that exercise is actually only 20% of loosing weight the other 80% is what you’re putting in your body.  That doesn’t excuse me not working out, I just haven’t taken the time to do so.  John and I both want to start lifting together, maybe after the kids go to bed and then I’ll do yoga before I go to bed to relax and destress. I discovered yoga through this and absolutely love it! It relieves so much stress and loosens up the muscles so well, it’s great to do before bed for me.  When we went on our vacation to Alabama I was really afraid I was going to derail.  I did veer off track a little with a few restaurants that we don’t have up North but for the most part I stayed right on point.  It’s awesome how aware I am of what’s going in to my body now.  I won’t eat a lot of greasy foods because I know what it will do to me, I don’t eat a lot of junk and whatever junk I do eat I’ve learned to eat in moderation.  You can’t deprive yourself completely from your vices or when you do actually eat them you’ll over eat.  So every once in a while I will get a small carton of ice cream, or eat a rice crispy treat, or for birthdays eat a small piece of cake.  I can’t give up cake or frosting, that’s just not an option, so I taught myself to do it in moderation instead of eating an entire bowl of frosting.  It’s been a great experience and I’ve even thought about becoming a beachbody coach because I love feeling healthy and would love to share it with others like I do with John, who has lost about 30 pounds since we started eating healthier.  It’s great to feel healthy, have energy and give your body the love it deserves.  We get just this one body, taking care of it is so important and for me it’s one of the most important parts of me so I can be here for my kids longer and teach them that eating healthy can taste good and be great for you too! Not only that when you look good you feel better about yourself, self-esteem is a hard thing to have when you don’t feel like you look decent.  My self esteem has gone up so much since I’ve lost 20 pounds and there’s really no stopping me now 🙂
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Happy Independence Day

July 4th the day that our nation became free.  The day that the nation adopted the Declaration of Independence in 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American Colonies regarded themselves as a new nation and were no longer apart of the British Empire.

Yesterday our family hung out, played outside, relaxed, grilled out and just had a fun day celebrating our independence.  Before we shot off fireworks God sent a beautiful little storm so that shooting off fireworks would be safer, plus we needed the moisture really bad.  I have to ask this quick question though.  Besides me posting it above does everyone know why we celebrate our Independence.  Do some just celebrate because that’s what we’ve been doing for years and no one has taught them any different?

I was taught all about the Declaration of Independence in school and why our country was free, I’m hoping they still teach this, but honestly at that time I didn’t really care. But as I got older I remembered that our Independence wasn’t just about that night on July 4th 1776 its so much more.  When I was growing up the 4th was all about camping, being on the river and blowing up things.  I love shooting off fireworks, it’s one of the greatest ways to blow off some steam or just for fun, it probably doesn’t help I’m a bit of a pyro.  Anyway, I think that’s what a lot of people think of on the 4th.  BBQ’s, camping, fireworks, family get together’s all things that just about everyone I know does on the 4th.  But on our day of Independence I hope many took a moment to think of those who are still over seas fighting, those families that were at home celebrating with out their loved ones because they are fighting for your freedom.  Remember why you are free, and all the freedoms you have.  Those freedoms weren’t really free.  So many have lost their lives, their limbs, their mental stability all so that we can do whatever we really want to do and yet some of these freedoms are being taken away from us right under our noses while we sleep.
Gun rights, freedom of speech and so many other laws being put into effect that take our right and ability to do whatever we want away and limit us.  Say a prayer for that soldier today that might be sitting in a fox hole in the desert heat waiting for the enemy to walk by and take him out before he is taken out.  For the soldiers that are over seas and having to celebrate the Independence that they are fighting for while they are there, really they have a bigger reason if not more of reason to celebrate than us.  Pray for their families that they still enjoyed their 4th, and that they will some day soon get to see their loved ones come home.  Pray for our country, for the leaders that are making all these decisions, some of which I believe are destroying us.  Pray that they do what is right for the American people.  Pray that we will have someone put in office this next term that will build this country back up instead of tearing it down.  Let’s pray God is let back into this country like he once was.  President Jefferson once said “A country that fears its government is tyranny, a government that fears it’s country is liberty.”  We need to have that back in this country and fight for our freedom here at home and not just at enemy lines I fear.

So yesterday I hope everyone enjoyed their independence and freedoms that so many around the world don’t have.  I for one enjoyed every minute of my freedom and will continue to until it is stripped of me and I know my family is going to do the same. We made it through another 4th of July without any injuries and the kids had a blast watching dad shoot off fireworks and hold some roman candles and sparklers.  We look forward to many more and we thank God for the freedom we have.  I trust God will watch over our family and keep us safe and help the soldiers keep us safe from the enemies from over seas coming to our front door.  I just pray that God will be let back into this country before the enemy is our country.

God Bless America! I hope everyone had a safe and Happy Independence Day!

 

You can never be too safe

The other day as I was outside with the kids and the neighbor kids when this champagne colored suburban pulls up in front of the yard.  I’d never seen this vehicle before and I know almost every vehicle in the town and who it belongs to, and this was out-of-place.  At the time I paid no attention to the license plate so there were no bells and whistles that went off when they probably should-be.  There was a lady in the front passenger seat, a male driving and this other guy gets out of the back seat.  He’s got a tattoo on the side of his neck and all over his arms, they aren’t the most charming pieces of ink work either.
I am the last person to judge when it comes to tattoos.  I have 4 of them and want about a million more and my husband has one entire sleeve, a partially completed sleeve, and has one covering his back.  Both of my parents have ink work including my stepmom, so does my brother some of my cousins and about the majority of my friends.  So no they don’t bother me and I don’t instantaneously think “thug” when I see someone sporting some ink work. However when you have a flat billed hat that is cocked to the side and your pants are being held up by a belt around your butt and your boxers are showing and you say “hey there are you the lady of the house that cleans?” and sound like one of the characters in Boys in the Hood THAT’S when I think thug.
He approached me with a bottle of cleaning solution in his hand.  RED FLAG.  The last time I saw someone driving around “selling” cleaning products was when we were living in town and that night on the news they had a segment about someone going around scamming people to let them come in the house to show them the product and how well it takes stains out of your carpet and a certain percent of the profit goes to their college tuition.  Then later when you would leave your house they would come in and rob you.  I couldn’t go and get my husband because he was in town getting a few groceries and his meds, so it looks like it’s time for me to step up my game followed by trying to remember which gun cabinet the pistol was in.

He starts to attempt to sell me this product by telling me that women were the ones who designed the bottle and tested the new ingredients to take stains out of your carpet and that he gets $100 to his college tuition if I buy a Kirby vacuum.  “Is there a stain in your carpet in your house that you’d like me to take out?”
My first thought was how do you know I even have carpet in my house, followed by good try buddy you may be able to fool the other morons out here but my husband has trained me well “nope.”  was all I said.  Then he tried even harder to convince me and asked me a bunch of questions.  I stayed quiet until he decided to shut up.  I said “no thank you, I can’t afford a Kirby vaccum right now and I’m not interested in whatever else you are selling.”  Then he proceeds to tell me about their payment options for the vaccum and if I let him show me how well the vaccum works and the other cleaning product I get to have the cleaning product for free.  Again I tell him no and thank you have a nice day.
So he gets into the suburban and they start to drive away.  This is when I notice that the tag is a Oregon tag. NOW there are bells, whistles, red flags and anything else you can think of that would alert you to a bad situation and  make me wonder even more where the pistol is.  We are seriously 45 miles from any of the biggest cities followed by 20 miles from any other town, what in the world is someone from Oregon doing in a town of 100 people “selling” cleaning products?  Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?
I call my husband.  He answers and the first words out of my mouth are “When are you going to be home?”  he tells me he’s getting ready to leave now and then asks why.  I told him and he said that I needed to go and get the pistol and take the kids with me.  I was already on my way to get it when I called him, again my husband has trained me well.  Of course my husband took the dog for a ride, if they would’ve seen a pitbull sitting in my yard they may have thought twice about approaching me.  Only problem with that scenario is the damn dog would probably greet them like she hasn’t seen anyone in weeks so she wouldn’t have exactly been intimidating.  Anyway, I go in and get the pistol while the kids are chilling in the livingroom.  Check to see if the clip is full and if there’s one in the chamber, put the safety on and plant that thing behind my back in my belt.  I just had a bad feeling about these people in the pit of my stomach and not having my husband around to protect me, it was time for mama bear to be unlocked from her cage and on alert.

We went back outside and I stayed on very high alert the entire time.  I told the kids to help me keep an eye out for that vehicle.  If they see it driving slowly down our street again or the street on the other side of our land they needed to let me know immediately.  They made a game out of it like they were spies, which is ok because it shows that I didn’t scare them by asking that.  My husband had gotten home about 15 minutes later and I felt safer again, but that pistol stayed in my belt until we went inside for the night I wasn’t quite ready to lock mama bear up yet.  They drove by one more time after he was home and turned around right in front of our house.  I stood there with my husband watching them and had my hand on that pistol the entire time, ready to pull that sucker out at anytime just in case.

At one time in my life I would’ve never thought twice about that situation at all.  The Boys in the Hood appearance wouldn’t have made me wonder, the out-of-state plates out in the middle of nowhere, none of that would’ve said there was anything wrong with that picture.  But then I met my husband and he has taught me so much about situations like that and that I need to constantly be aware.  Before I would’ve probably let them in and been like Free hey yea I love free!  Now, hell no.  If I didn’t call you to come out here you’re not coming in my house.  Even then, if my husbands not home and they were supposed to come out I’m leary about letting them in.  If I do, my stun gun is on one hip and the pistol is on the other.  We are living in a world were women and children are targets.  Obviously this is nothing new, but it’s becoming more and more of a big deal in this state.  With all the crime happening here and all the riff raff coming from these bigger cities all around the US it’s even more important to pay attention to your surroundings at all times.  If your shopping by yourself and walking to your car by yourself put the phone down and be aware of your surroundings.  The cars next to you, the cars in the row over, is there someone in those cars?  If there are have your phone in your hand with 911 already dialed and your finger hovering over send while walking to your car.  Or in my case take that stun gun out have it on and your thumb hovering over that button so if someone wants to try to mess with me they will have 10 million volts shot through their body.  Hey buddy if you want to lose all control over your bodily functions attempt to mess with me.  There’s no such thing as being too careful when it comes to your safety.

I have a friend that lives out in the country and one day she came home and her house had been hit.  Since that happened she has gotten her concealed carry and she carries her pistol with her everywhere.  It’s not stupid, it’s one of the smartest things a person can do is protect yourself at all times.  Even being out in the boonies doesn’t guarantee safety, sometimes they are the biggest places hit.  Nobody around for witnesses and a lot of people expect it less.  Not in our house, we are always prepared for someone who shouldn’t be there.  We lock every door into our house, every car is locked and there are other security measures in place.  Hitting our house would just be stupid.  The nice thing about our neighbors though is we kind of look out for each other.  If there is a vehicle there that we haven’t seen before and it’s suspicious we call one another.  When my cousin was staying at our house while we were in Alabama our neighbor called to make sure she was supposed to be there.  That’s one good thing about living in a small town, some of us stick together.

So ladies always be aware of your surroundings and always find ways to keep yourself safe, whether it’s getting your concealed carry and having that thing on you at all times or getting a stun gun.  It may be your life some day, or worse your kids that you need to protect from the sick individuals that have the luxury of walking around in this free country.  You truly can never be too safe.

 

Good Habits to start now

The other day my husband was out washing his car, in case you don’t know my husband has a love affair with his vehicles.  I’m ok with it, I’d rather he does that then have a love affair with the bar.  I know where he is, I know what he’s doing and I know he’s not out with some floosy trying to destroy my marriage.  People must think it drives me crazy because they ask me all the time “doesn’t that bug you?” Nope, like I said I’d rather he does that then go to the bar.  Anyway, when he was done washing his car he washed the 4 wheeler.  He’s also really big on maintaining everything, hey if you don’t keep things maintained you have to continually replace them and we don’t have that kind of money.  So if he wants to wash the lawn mower I don’t care as long as I don’t have to buy a new one.
Once he was done our son asked why dad always washes his car, my car, the truck, the 4 wheeler and the lawn mower.  I giggled and told him he doesn’t wash the lawn mower he just rinses it off when we are done mowing, it keeps pullies and belts cleaner instead of getting tore up from having grass and other junk on it.  Then I told him that your cars look nicer when you wash them.  They shine and rust less if you get the elements from the road and environment off of them.  This must have made something spark in his brain, because the next day he asks me where some soap is.  I told him there was dish soap in the kitchen and bath soap in the bathroom pick which ever.  When he started to run for the house to get the soap I stopped him in his tracks.  “What are you up to?”  He stuttered a little like he was going to do something he shouldn’t so again I asked him what he was going to do with the soap.  “Mom, I have to wash my truck.  There’s sand inside of it and it’s dusty and isn’t shiny.”  Hahaha, that’s my boy.  I let him run in and get the soap and I got him a bucket.  He wanted me to show him how to turn on the hose, so I showed him and asked him if he wanted help.  “Mom, I’ve watched dad do this like 90 20 million times.” haha ok whatever 90 20 million means but apparently he’s got this.  He picks up the hose and rinses off the truck.  He grabs the rag my husband used the other day drops it in his bucket then pulls it out and starts washing his truck.  Our daughter apparently thought this looked fun too and wanted in on it.  So I got a rag for her too and she started helping her brother wash their truck together.

As I was sitting there watching them wash their truck, I had this vision of when they start driving and washing their vehicles when they get older.  They both watch dad wash his vehicles all the time and sometimes even want to help.  Hopefully we can instill in them that if you take good care of your vehicle it will last you longer than if you just drive it and don’t wash it, check fluids, check tires all the fun stuff that goes with having a vehicle.  Then this bright idea pops up, they sort of have a vehicle now.  Granted it’s made up of mostly plastic and the tires aren’t real, but maybe if we show him how to check the air in the tires on his bike and how to check his chain on his bike that could carry on to when he’s older and he will know he needs to take better care of his vehicles.  my husband showed him how to check the air in his tires and how to put air in it, how much I think will come when he’s older and understands it better.  I told him it’s a good habit to get into with washing his vehicles and making sure the chain on his bike is as greased up as it should be and the tires have enough air every time he gets on it.  He agreed and then he said “I’m going to wash my truck every week.  I don’t want it to rust and I want it to last so my sister can drive it when she’s big enough.”  Smart thinking buddy.  I just wish that kind of clean ambition would be projected towards his room…….