Sunday, September 30, 2012

Gall Bladder

I couldn't let the week end without mentioning that Matt had his gall bladder taken out last Monday.  He started having problems with it the day we got back from our cruise in May...first a few attacks...and then nothing for weeks.  And then the week we moved into our new house the attacks started up with full fury.  He was put on pain meds and he couldn't eat anything without an attack...even bland oatmeal.  So this past week he had it taken out...36 years old and it was his first procedure EVER in a hospital.  And he really didn't like it, lol.  He actually did really well.  The first few days he was a bit of a zombie, but he has recovered very nicely.  I am thankful for an awesome job where he could take the whole week off.  And it's perfect timing too...Medicare season starts in 2 weeks, so he would be too busy to do this before Christmas.  Yes, not really exciting news...but I felt like I should document it.  One day we will be saying...when did you have your gall bladder out??? And now we know where to look. LOL. Have a great Sunday everybody!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Johnny Appleseed Day

Every time I have a child enter kindergarten I host a Johnny Appleseed day. And this was Judah's year.  It's a tradition around here at Reynolds Nation and it is one of my favorite days.  We invite all of our homeschooling friends and make a great day out of it. Here are a few snapshots from our day.
 The kids are making silly apple men from apples, candy and spaghetti.  The kids loved this!
 And of course we must do apple of my personal favorites for the kids.
 Here I am with the group reading to them about John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed. My boys kept on calling it Johnny seed apple
 I took this picture after we had set up for the party...I love them goofing off.  That's Bryn hiding in the behind the kids and I think Judah is officially our pirate.
 Esther and her friends working hard on their apple craft.  This is right up her alley...anything crafty.
                                                                    It was a great day!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


A friend posted this on my timeline today...and it said exactly what I have been thinking lately.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I am not a weight loss expert...far from it...but I was thinking the other day about how I could help any of you on losing those extra pounds that you want to get rid of.  From 10 pounds to beyond, I think some of my "pointers" may make a difference for you.  People ask me all the time what "diet" I am on...what am I I doing weight watchers??? And I am very honest to tell them that I literally am just eating "healthy" and exercising.  They are amazed, but are still intrigued by what I am doing.  So, I am going to give you a few of my hints that have helped me on the way.

1. I really had come to a point in my life where I knew I no longer wanted to be this heavy.  Enough was enough.  I got to the point where I was no longer active.  I was tired a lot and sluggish.  And how can I be the mom of 5 kids and be sluggish.  I needed change and I needed it now!  So, I made a decision that this was the time.
2. At first I did a lot of juicing meals to change my way of eating.  And when I ate food (which I did every day) I tried to keep it as "Raw" as possible.  Very little meat, very little dairy...just down to the basics of veggies.
3. I started to exercise immediately.  First with walking a few times a week (see if someone can join you, accountability is the key) and doing an "old-fashioned" workout video in my living room.  This was so got me moving and started building my strength and ability to workout.
4.  I removed all "junk" from my diet.  I didn't "cheat" and I didn't put myself in situations where I could.  I didn't make cookies for the kids, because I knew I couldn't handle that.  I don't believe in never eating this stuff again, but I felt like I needed to remove the "sweet tooth" from my system.  This was so important.  I took the craving out by not feeding it.  I know it may be hard in the beginning, but it was worth it.
5.  I drastically reduced my food portions.  I ate small meals often...about every 2 hours and I cut off when I ate dinner.  I eat typically at 7:30, 10:00, 12:00, 2:00 and 5:30.  I know that I needed to give my metabolism a boost...and this is how I did it.  And I no longer wanted to have that "super full" feeling.  I listened to my when I get the slightest "full" feeling, I stop.  It makes such a difference.  And now my body is so used to this that I have a growling stomach when I am hitting my next meal time.  And you should be waking up in the morning with an empty stomach.  If you are not, then you are eating too much in the evening.
6. I switched from juicing to smoothies for breakfast.  I make a shake every morning of Almond milk, spinach, ground flax, honey and blueberries.  It is superb and makes me feel great.  What a great way to start the day...with raw fruits and veggies.  Put it all in the blender and go!
7.Now, I exercise about 5-7x a week.  I run 3-4x a week and then I add other stuff.  Running has been a huge factor in how small I have been getting.  I realized that I am "literally" running my butt off.  And no it's not my favorite thing to do...especially at 5-6 in the morning when everyone else is snug in bed, but I know my body likes it and I feel the best I have in my ENTIRE life.
8. Now, I continue to eat good.  I try to do 50% raw foods every day...lean meats, but not every day...I make my own processed junkie foods (even when I have tried to eat stuff like that I instantly feel sluggish and yuck) fast foods...lots of fresh and yummy.
9.I do enjoy my treats.  Instead of eating ice cream (my all time favorite sweet) I eat frozen yogurt with nuts on top.  It is the perfect way to eat a sweet, but not overindulge with hundreds of calories.  I try to do everything in moderation.  If I go to a party, I enjoy my time there.  But it is no longer fun to's not worth the time anymore.  My focus is no longer's living this life to the fullest.  I never count calories, or fat, or carbs...I just try to eat foods that my body would like.  I retrained my body...I told it what it likes.  And it listened.
10.  I think my biggest pointer is to totally love and enjoy what you are doing.  I feel like  a new person.  I am humbled by the Lord from what he has done for me.  It is an awesome transformation.  I am blessed and am enjoying every day of this journey. 
To date: 96 pounds lost

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Find

One of the best things about moving is that you find little treasures throughout your house that you totally forgot about.  When I packed and even when I unpacked, I found great things over and over again. 
One of the my special finds is this precious book.  It is Usborne's Big Book of Farmyard Tales. I bought this so many years ago.  It is a collection of books that Usborne had in smaller bits, but then put it all together into this sweet book.  It is all about Mrs. Boot and Appletree Farm.  Each story is short and sweet and tells about the adventures found on the farm.  I still remember sitting with Bryn and having her read it to me...and since then all the kids have had their hand on it.  Well, when we moved I found it again.  And perfect time too, right.  I have a sweet kindergartner right now who is loving the stories. 
Judah is all boy.  Totally.  He doesn't like to color.  He loves to run, jump, play and sword fight (I had to put that in to be totally realistic).  And he doesn't care to be read to.  Well, coming from me...this has to change.  I am such a huge reader...and I expect all my kids to read too.  At least until they move out on their own.  And I have been successful so far.  There is always something to read here.  We visit the library frequently.  And I have a literature based curriculum.  So, as you can see there are lots of books around here.  The first day I pulled this out, Judah sat next to me but he wouldn't look at me.  He had other fish to fry elsewhere, I guess.  Well, by time I was a page or two in he was watching and next thing you know he was asking questions.  So, every day we take a few moments and read about Apple Tree Farm.  I love every minute.  And I hope he does too.  What is your favorite to read your kids?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Two Months

Two months from now...yes, two months...I will be running my first 10k!!!!  Go ahead, let out a yahoo!!! I can hear it, I promise.  Wow, it's been a long four months of training.  Lots of miles have been run during the weeks that have passed.  Never did I think I would run.  Or be a runner.  My weeks are driven by my run days.  I drag my body out of bed 3-4 days a week so I can pound my feet on the pavement.  And then come back a sweaty, dripping person.  And you know what? It is totally worth every second.  Every step. Every mile.  I love it. My body loves it. 
I am amazed how far I have come.  From a morbidly obese a much slimmer, fit woman. Yeah, I have a lot of pounds to go...but that's okay. I am on the warpath! I am finishing this race.  Amazing things are happening to me.  I have never, ever, ever felt this good.  I can't ever remember being this thin.  Or this fit!!!!  The loss of weight is just the icing on the cake.  I just love feeling really good.
So, keep me in your prayers.  I still have a lot of training ahead of me.  I have to increase my speed like crazy.  I have come so far.  Today, I had an awesome run.  I dropped my speed so much and it felt so good.  It was a great run.  What a great way to start the week, right?  WooHoo!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Slipped By...

Basically that's what happened to this week.  It truly slipped by.  I went to look at my blog and I noticed that the last time I posted was sorry.  Not sure what happened to this past week.  Nothing exciting happened, which is good for me.  Just the normal school week with the normal ins and outs that come with it.
We just finished our 4th week of school and I am quite pleased with our progress.  I think we are firmly in our groove and that makes me happy.  I am enjoying our Tapestry of Grace curriculum this year...we entered the Middle Ages and that is such a fun time of history.  This week we will be talking about Vikings and that is always fun.
I had a great running week. I ran my normal 3 days a week...ending my week with another 5 mile run.  I am enjoying our new is fun to just go out and run, rather than driving to my destination. We used to live in the woods, which doesn't work well with me and running.  I was able to drop my time again this week, so that made me happy. My 10k is in 2 months and 1 I have a lot of progress to make, but I feel up to the task.
Gosh, there isn't much more going on.  I am feeling a bit boring this week. I will be back in a day or so...I have some other posts that I am mulling over.  How was your week?  Leave a comment...give man an update :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Biking It!!!

Quick pics from the weekend.  William has been begging to go running with me.  As I train for my 10k I have run by myself...unlike my training for the 5k.  My partners either dropped out or have a different running schedule. Well, now that we moved to a regular neighborhood I have kids asking to go running with me.  Though I don't think they are ready to run a few miles, I said that they could go individually on their bike or scooter.  So, the picture above is of William and I after I ran 3 miles through our neighborhood and he was on his scooter.  I love these moments.  The longer I parent 5 kids, the more I recognize the need to spend individual time with my kids. It can be a date out, a movie in our master bedroom or something simple like this.  I woke him up quietly at 6:20 and then we were off 10 minutes later.  We had such a great time.  William is my talker, so he chatted the whole time we were out.  It felt good to be with him.  Just the two of us.
And then I snapped this on Saturday when we went to visit my best friend in our new neighborhood.  The kids are dying to be outside and on their bikes and scooters.  It's a bit hot out still here in Florida, but that's okay.  I took them anyway.  We took off for our short walk and had so much fun.  They are learning the rules of the road (which is needed, since they grew up on a dead end dirt road) and I was just loving my time with them.  It's the little things we do.  The times we spend with them...that they really enjoy!
What have you done this week with your kids?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Birthday Boy!

 This week we celebrated a birthday at the Reynolds Nation.  Caleb turned 11 years old!!! Amazing! His birthday always lands at a weird time...during hurricanes, a major accident by my mom and even the passing of Matt's dad.  Either that, or Labor Day is always the same week (or day). This year, we happened to move the week that his birthday came around.  So, we had a small party here at our house for his birthday...just family and a few friends.  Caleb was still over the moon.  Cake, presents and being the center of attention! That works for him.  The picture above shows him on his new bike...he immediately wanted to go out and ride it (which he did). And then you can see him blowing out his candles. It ended up being a great night!!!  Happy Birthday Caleb! May this be your best year yet!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Picture Says a 1000 Words

So, this is where I have been the past week.  The picture tells it all.  I will be back in the next day or so.  Just trying to take a breather for a moment and relax.  I sure need it :)