Wednesday, December 31, 2008
While spending another wonderful weekend away at the Batt cabin where we ate and snacked and feasted and then ate some more, it was the general consensus that the diet would DEFINITELY be starting in 2009. Could we just do it for our well-being? Maybe. But would it be more fun if we added a little competition and smack-talking into the mix? ALWAYS. And perhaps a little wager to really make it interesting. Ahhh, yeah. No we're talkin'.
So here's the skinny (or the soon-to-be skinny). IF you want to join me and my family in a little friendly biggest loser competition, here's what you have to do.
1. Weigh yourself on January 1st. YES. You have to step on the scale and look at it. You can choose to be in the buff or fully-clothed. Own the number. Don't be afraid.
2. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone #, and your secret number (ie. your weight). I'm banking that everyone will be honest. Seriously. We're serious. Tell the truth. I won't share the number with anyone.
3. When you email me it means that you agree to put in $20.00 to the weight loss pot. That's right. It's a guarantee that you'll participate OR try, drop out, but still put in your moo-lah for the one who goes the distance.
4. On WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15th (yes, it's tax day), at 6:00pm meet at the Barlows' home for a final weigh-in (in private, of course) and where we'll have some healthy comfort food (is that an oxymoron?). We'll calculate the % of weight loss for each individual and whoever wins gets the entire pot. [Example if someone who weighs 110 loses 10 lbs. they will have lost 9.09% whereas someone who weighs 400 lbs. at the beginning loses 40 lbs. by April 15th will have lost 10% and will win the pot.] We all know we could lose a few pounds here and there, so whether it be 10 or 40 or 100 pounds you want to lose, consider joining us.
CAN YOU DO IT?
YES YOU CAN!
We've already got 6 people confirmed, so that's already a pot of $120.00. Talk about a great refund?! I know, right?! And there's nothing off limits: exercise, healthy eating, pills, shakes, fads, and even surgery (try not to starve or purge). Just do whatever works for you. We're trying to get healthy people!
So, tell your friends.
Sleep on it.
Bite the bullet and weigh yourself tomorrow.
Then email me by midnight.
What do you have to lose?
$20 bucks and a bunch of weight :)
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Last night for family night we pulled in our honkin' garbage can/72 hr. kit to take some inventory and make a final shopping list. Last year one of our goals was to finish that preparedness-dead-chicken-around-the-neck project in 2008 and since we have only a couple more days left we needed to make a final list. [It was funny working on it and talking to the kids ambiguously about if we had to leave what we would do. EVERY time we'd mention leaving Brock would get all excited and say, "Where we go? I go get my shoes on?" Heaven forbid the kid get left at home.] So when were all done with that job and before Tyler went to peruse the ebay camping trailer section (one of his nightly rituals) I asked Tyler what other organizational projects he would like to work on for the beginning of the '09 year. He laughed at me. He didn't even know how to make up an organizational project, he said.
But, of course, I had a list of projects. One of the things I put on my list last night was to keep our 2009 Family Home Evenings more organized. We do pretty well (knock on wood, and thanks to a supportive husband) to have family night each Monday night. I really have begun to look forward to one night a week when I know we'll be home together, where the kids fight to stand up in front of the rest of us to lead the music, and when I KNOW the TV and computer and phone will be off limits for everyone. And I also know that when I'm organized enough to help the kids prepare for FHE, it goes more smoothly, so that was one of my organizational projects. I got it almost completely finished today!
We already hold a "bank night" on some FHEs where the kids get their allowance for completing their chores and we review their tithing, saving, and spending. I also knew I wanted to include in 2009 some family history FHEs to learn more about their ancestors. And I also thought that we should include some House of Order nights, or HOO nights, to work on family projects or 72 hr. kits or using our food storage or anything that would give me an excuse to work on some organizational projects. Once I looked at the calendar, spaced out bank night, HOO night, and family history nights, I added in some birthday celebrations, some holiday celebrations and finished filling in the calendar with some other gospel-centered lessons that I found in a FHE already-prepped lesson book complete with games and treat ideas (thank you, no thinking for me!) Anyway, I am totally stoked to have all 52 weeks filled in for 2009. All the lessons are easily swapped or could be combined or even post-poned until 2010. Seriously, isn't that awesome!? C'Mon! If you're a frustrated teacher who yearns for lesson-planning you probably are feelin' me about right now. I know. I'm a nerd to be so thrilled about this.
Anyway, so now I'm gonna type it all up since my kids are actually playing together (no choice since I made them turn the TV off). I love having a HOO!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Yo! VIP let’s kick it
All right stop
Collaborate and listen
We are back with a brand new edition.
Something grabs a hold of me tightly
Brocks a-grabbin’ my legs, daily and nightly
“Can I have some juice?”
“YO -- I don’t know.
Here’s your sippy cup, now go.”
To the extreme I change diapers like a vandal
One more kid to potty train’s all I can handle.
Weekly in the girls’ class that booms
But first Mackenzie, 9, needs to clean her room!
Flashy, when she moves with dope melody
Anything less than jazz is a felony.
Violin or dancin’,
You better not hate
Homework and chores- done
Or she don’t play.
If there is a problem, Yo! Sarah solves it
Check out our full year while Tyler recaps it.
Busy, Busy Barlows (x4)
Now that the ‘08 is ending
With Briggs nearly crawlin’, Sarah is pumpin’
Quick to the wean, yeah! the bottle he’s takin’
He’s eating real food, but not yet bacon.
Cuttin’ em teeth, comin’ in quick and nimble
I go crazy when I hear his simple
Cryin’ in the middle of the night
I fetch him for his momma cuz she do it right.
Rollin’ in our big white truck
Preschool for the boys is bang for our buck
The kiddies one standby, always askin’ me “why”
Do I stop? No! I just close m’eyes
Kept on pursuing to the home field
I bust a left and Brev, 5, downs the soccer hill
The game is over
Yo so I continue to 809 Bachman Avenue
Girls are hot, complainin’ ‘bout the A/C
Brock, 3, loves to ride watchin’ movies
Jealous ‘cause I’m not getting mine
Sarah with 5 kids means Tyler is denied
Reading, what Caylee learned to do
This year she turned 6, but acts more like 22
Her screams ring out like a bell
I grab my hair and Sarah says, “Hell!?”
Falling, on the carpet real fast,
Jumped in my truck, slammed on the gas,
Fighting and hitting the kids don’t stop,
We love them anyways and offer them pop.
Parents on the scene, you know what I mean?
What are we going to do when they become teens?
If there is a problem,
Yo! Sarah solves it
Check out our big year while Tyler recaps it
Busy Busy Barlows (x4)
Take heed ‘cause I’m a lyrical poet
3 boys on the scene in case you didn’t know it
Brock likes to climb and make loud sounds
Enough to put both of us in the ground
‘Cause these kids are like a super pill
You can hear, see, and feel
Healthy and happy
This is a heck of concept
We make it hype and Sarah blogs it
She posts our life just like a ninja
So many details, other bloggers say, “Man!
If her blog was a drug, I’d buy it by the gram.”
Keep our composure when 5 kids all get loose
Magnetized by a fishing trip is my juice.
If there is a problem yo Sarah solves it,
Check out our crazy year while Tyler recaps it
Merry, Merry Christmas (x4)
Yo! Sarah we can’t get out of here?
Word to your mother
Happy, Happy New Year (x4)
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I have to first and foremost thank Daniel for making this blog possible. I hate feeling incompetent and there is nothing like computer issues to humble myself. I told Daniel I hated having to use him for his computer skills. I felt like I was his cyber-pimp and he was sooo willing to answer my every freaking-out-over-my-computer phone call. And he came over twice. AND even did some at-home labor. But more than his computer talent, I have been grateful several times this month that we are friends after all these years. Daniel’s mom, Monica, came over with Daniel this past Wednesday. After they left I had a lot of time to think about all the memories I have with Daniel and Monica and their home back in the ‘hood. If I had to identify my longest relationship with a friend it would be (after my family) Daniel. Anyhow. I’m glad we reconnected after so many years . . . and not just because Daniel knows his computers (I’d feel the same if he had a profession of no consequence to me), but because he’s one of my people.
This month has been filled with the normal Christmas fluff and stuff. I thought I'd share here some of the good times so far. Just click on the mosaic and you can see the pictures closer up. Yes, I am sure you'll want to be studying them and making comments on many of them :)
Here's some pictures of our decking of the halls!
The girls also had their dance recitals. It's just one more mark that we're getting closer to Christmas when we gather for a night (or two) to watch the girls strut their stuff and [Kenzie especially] swish their hair. Ms. Lori is a saint to do this year after year and my girls LOVE them. In addition to my 2 girls, 4 of their cousins also take from Ms. Lori and every recital is like a reunion with all the friends who are also there raising another generation of dancers.
And what do we all need in the midst of the hustle and bustle? A little R&R to the Batt's cabin in Duck Creek, for sure. Right after the cousin's party we took off to spend the weekend DOING NOTHING! That's right. Despite my Christmas list being a mile long, we took the kids to play in the snow, watch movies in the home theater, and relax. On Saturday I did not even get dressed until 6pm and that was only because I showered and put on different pjs. Thanks SOO much for the invite, Jamie. Jared and Mindie are some of our bestest friends, so spending time with them and the Batt family is always an extra sweet treat.
And of course, what would this post be without a recap of the snowstorm that took over Vegas. Last Wednesday it started coming down and didn't stop until around 9pm-ish. I kept my kids inside to help me prep for my book club that I was hosting that night. Well, thank you, snowstorm, but only 2 people braved the storm to come and eat (with such small numbers we didn't really discuss the book.) Since I had gads of soup leftover, some of the extended family came over to eat and then the kids went out to play. And by kids I mean my husband and his 29 year old brother. They went to play in their trucks in parking lots and to have a snowfight and all that other juvenile, 1st snow kind of games. About 8pm I had the kids aLL ready for bed when Uncle Brandon came in asking if the kids could come out too. I was already to say no when he started saying stuff like, "You know they'll cancel school tomorrow," "This is a once in every 30 years kind of thing," and "They'll only be kids for a while, let them play before they get old." So I had a momentary argument with myself and then relented. Out to the garage we went to dress them all and once they were all snow-bibbed, booted, coated, and gloved I informed Tyler and Brandon that this play session was a guaranteed 30 minute commitment before the kids could come back in and re-dress. I swear! That would be THE worst part about living in the snow; the dressing and undressing. They had a ball and we still have our snowman on the driveway even today! (Although his shrunken head is a bit disturbing and one of his stick arms fell off.) It was pretty amazing and I am glad the kids could dress and undress and redress on Thursday when school was cancelled. (I know! How funny to cancel school for 6 inches of snow in only PART of the valley. Oh well.)
And finally, here are some of the other random photos I found on my camera when I downloaded them to the computer. I told you how much I am loving the nativity-playing that happens and it's gotten tons better since both my mom and Dodie (MIL) gave me my Christmas presents early, the Little People Nativity. I love to set them all up and let the kids' imaginations go wild (well, not too wild since we're talking about Jesus' birth and all.) And since we missed church today, last Sunday was our big Christmas outfit day. You know I love me some color-coordination, so it's nice to know once a year we can come all together and share our Christmas spirit at the same time. We also dressed up for the ward party which was a "Night in Bethlehem" theme and thanks to Grandma Dodie's stellar costume supply we were all dressed to the hilt . . . or whatever they wore back then if it wasn't a "hilt." (And yes, Brevin totally looks like a shiek or something.)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Santa needs to get his act together and finish purchasing some Christmas gifts. I'm struggling with the "keeping it equal" aspect of Christmas since my 9 yr. old has her heart on a couple of pricey things, my 6 yr. old has a mile-long list of crap, er, I mean, cheap treasures, and my baby really only needs diapers and baby food to have a merry Christmas. But, am I going to totally ruin my older kids when they put it all together that Briggs must have been a naughty boy since all he got was wipes and formula? I'm beginning to get why my dad says "I hate Christmas."
But I don't. I'm trying to remember the joy in the shopping and returning and shopping and re-returning for a better deal, etc. I'm trying not to complain that the weather has dropped to below 50 degrees here (even though it is a little nippy I can concede since it IS almost Christmas.) I'm trying not to focus on the money part that is soooo tied to Santa's plans (even though Tyler the Budget ELF reminds me constantly . . . thanks, dear) cuz his budget is going way too fast. And I'm trying to take a lot of time to remember the reason for the season. I love seeing my kids play with one of the nativity sets (okay, well, the plastic ones . . . I about bit Caylee's head off when she dropped Mary and shattered her on the tile floor last week . . . but c'mon, "What's baby Jesus gonna do without his momma?" [and yes, I yelled that at her in the heat of the moment.]) The kids were all asked to pick a service to perform during the holiday season and so far Caylee made treats to send to the people she misses most (Grandpa Bruce who's still working in California, Uncle Mike serving his mission in Virginia, and her teacher . . . whom she missed since she was at home and Mrs. McMurtrey was at her home that Tuesday night.) I'm loving every night when the kids pick one of our Christmas stories and we read it together while lying flat-bellied on the floor. I loved Kenzie's hair-flipping during the Christmas recital last night and look forward to Caylee's show tonight. I can't wait to check my mail to see what cards I get and LOVE the goodies that get dropped off (hint! hint! J/K) And did I mention how excited I am for holiday parties. Everything from the cousin party to book club to ward parties and even Tyler's work party give me something else to look forward to and keep me from thinking about my doomed laptop. Have I mentioned the laptop was a Christmas gift? Somehow there's some irony in how that Christmas gift is causing me so much stress this year.
When I start to think about my to-do list I DO get all angst-y and stress-y. Which, totally keeps me from remembering the happy spirit I am striving for. Mostly I am worried about my pictures and having access to my word-processing stuff (to print the Christmas letter and tags and cards, etc.) I would like to post some of my cute pictures of our halls all decked, but I can't get them off the 'ol laptop. And I'd really like to have everything done in an orderly fashion so I don't have to hustle and bustle unless I want to. I am hopeful that Daniel can fix all things viral and I can resume my holiday timeline. UGH, I'm off to drink some hot cocoa!
Friday, December 5, 2008
Doug told me that the same thing happened to him not too long ago and they're finding that this particular virus (which bypasses your security software) allows these pop-ups for anti-virus protection programs. When the owner of the viral computer gets fed up enough with all the pop-ups and "buys" the anti- stuff, these hackers take your credit card info and sell it and badda-bing we got us some bona fide fraud. It's a major pain and I am just hoping to get my system to the point that I can back up all my pictures on DVDs and print off some valuable docs. Yuck. I hate this stuff.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sure enough, in Southern Nevada style, the weather was glorious Friday and Saturday. (We don't have to talk about the big rain storm that was going on when I practically kicked them out of the house after lunch on Thursday. I didn't care; I had limited time to get a lot done.) Mackenzie told me she loved this campout because, and I quote, "The number one rule of camping is there are no rules. I didn't have to eat dinner last night and I could eat whatever I wanted for breakfast. Dad said he did not care!" When I reminded her how they didn't really want me on the campout since I could not follow rule number one, she said, "YEah, you are kinda the rule-maker." Like, I would have totally been screaming at the kids to stay away from the cold water." But these turkeys are right by it, and some are even in it! AGH! I'm thinking wet shoes, muddy clothes . . . I get nervous just blogging about it. (Do notice Kenzie is a good distance back . . . I wonder if she'll grow up to be a rule-maker too?! Ya think?!)
I love that Brock was such a tuckered turkey that he fell asleep, bun in hand, light on his head, right in his chair. This NEVER happens.
And here's two of my favorite turkeys celebrating their campout victory with a fresh can of Caffeine-free Mountain Dew. Ahh, the life that these turkeys lead!