Monday, December 29, 2008

2009 Resolutions

I've been thinking about the new year's resolutions and I've come up with a few.

Last year I resolved to read the Bible through in a year. I did good until a few weeks before christmas, then I just stopped. I gave myself permission to put it off until after the holidays. So I will finish that up in January. I still want to read the bible daily, I just won't follow such a hard schedule. I find that I'm missing it and I can tell by my attitude that I haven't been reading it.

Also, the usual eat right, exercise resolutions will be there, but with a twist. A fun twist.

And then there is the matter of the upcoming move.

Let's just get to the list:
1. Read the Bible daily. Pick a book and read a chapter a day. Much more flexible and doable schedule.
2. Eat healthier. This is the fun one. I've already introduced the idea to the family and they are on board. My plan is to fix one new recipe - healthy, quick and hopefully tastey(but not guaranteed) - a week. We've chosen Tuesday. We will call it Terrifying Tuesdays or something like that. Everyone has to take at least one sincere bite. I'm already working on assembling the recipes. I've got dozens of cookbooks and I get emails and I have dozens of websites at hand. I'm choosing some vegetarian, some heart smart, some weird, some normal but made over - but all of them are to be touted as healthy and fairly easy to make. The goal is to discover new foods and to add new dishes to our regular repetiour (sp?), so we will be more apt to stay home and eat. My hope is to post the recipe, pictures and the results. Stay tuned. It starts next week! p.s. I only have 5 recipes selected so far - if you know of any really goofy good ones, let me know!
3. Exercise. I need to incorporate strength training into my routine. I don't have a plan set yet.
4. Survive the move. I need to start weeding out and throwing away junk. Gary said that we should choose one room a week to concentrate on. I think there are some rooms that would take several weeks! We have got a lot of toys, books and clothes to either sell or give away. I'm tempted to just give away.
5. Work the budget. Put the budget together so we can clearly see what we can afford for a house. We probably won't buy in Atlanta, at least not when we first get there. But we will be buying in the near future.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas at the beach!

This is what we did today, after the present opening frenzy. (try to ignore the wild gray hair) The water was brown, yucky, wild and on the cold side. And it was cloudy and windy. I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else. It was wonderful! I had a great time boogie boarding. Jake did a little and dug around in the sand. Ryan pouted the whole time. He did NOT want to be there. All he wanted to do was play the Wii. We were there for about an hour when my friend Susan came and her family and they set up a little tree. We decorated it with seaweed and beach debris.



The finished product:









Something bumped my leg twice, so I got the heck outta there!

That's me!







Wednesday, December 24, 2008

gearing up for Thursday

The boys have sorted and counted the presents under the tree, and I have been informed that Jake has 7 and Ryan has 6 (from us) - so I need to go out and rectify that situation. They did this on Saturday and pulled out their Webkins and commenced to playing with the gifts. What was I thinking buying them presents? All they need are boxes! (these are 9 year olds I'm talking about, not 3 year olds) They built structures, oil rigs to be exact, and assigned jobs to each of their Webkins. This has gone on for several days. My boys create businesses quite a bit in their play. We have also created a business of baking snickerdoodles and have named the business (which I will not reveal here, because I wouldn't want anyone to snatch it because we will surely actually create a business and need to register the name - LOL!). We also daydream about being candymakers and brainstorm different exciting candies. That's just a couple of examples.

Two large boxes from the in-laws arrived tonight, so that was big excitement. The boys have asked if they could open a present tomorrow morning. We have a tradition that we can open 1 present each on Christmas Eve. But it's usually later in the day. The boys are about to bust!

Tomorrow evening there is a candlelight service at the church. This past Sunday our church held a live nativity. I helped in the kitchen with the cookies. Right before it all began, someone came in to ask us to pray because the animals were stranded on the side of the road. The trailer had broken down. The police was with them. So we prayed. That trailer of animals showed up just when the opening hula began. (yes, this is Hawaii, so hula is a must at any and all activities)

Another tradition in our family, that I started and I'm sure I mention every year, is to make a birthday cake for Jesus. This is the celebration of his birth, so I think a birthday cake is appropriate. This year I want something different. So I have selected a gingerbread cake recipe - a heart healthy one of course. We'll see how it turns out. I'll take pictures.

As far as food goes, I'm making a breakfast "pizza" involving sausage and eggs and crescent rolls. Not at all healthy. My plan is for Christmas morning, but it may be for supper tomorrow night and pancakes for breakfast instead. We'll see. I need to poll the peeps. I have steaks to grill for Christmas supper, brown rice and green beans will round it out. During the lunch hour we will hit the beach and blow off steam. My friend Susan has invited us to join her family. She has a tradition of hauling a Christmas tree to the beach and decorating it with stuff found on the beach. And then surfing and playing in the water. and of course taking pictures to drive the mainlander friends wild with envy. LOL!

The next big thing going on is our school is putting in a new playground. Scratch that, the PTSA/parents and community is putting in the playground. The DOE tore out our awesome playground suddenly, traumatically and unexpectedly this fall the first week that school was in session. I'm sure I wrote all about it. We have raised $120,000 so far and need to raise a little bit more, but the new playground will involve cool stuff like a volcano... It's been designed by Leathers and Associates. So, the build will be January 7-11. But I'm going to help on Sunday by providing some food for 50 volunteers (it's a group of us providing the food). I guess they are part of the demolition, which looks like the demo is complete... Maybe they need to smooth out the dirt or something? Dig up old buried tires?

Our school has no budget. It's a great school, but the DOE has decided to take money from the schools instead of themselves. So, as it is, we have a half time librarian, no music, no art, no reading specialists and will lose a teacher or two next year. Because our teachers are so awesome, our school does well on the standardized tests and we are not classified as a no-child-left-behind school and do not get extra monies. We have a large military population, and the monies we get from that has been slashed, and it doesn't help that we had a very disruptive 5th grade the year before and lost a huge number of students. Good school, but big money problems and other issues.

Well, I didn't mean for this to go into a diatribe about the school situation.

If I don't get on here again until after Thursday, then Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

the unofficial Honolulu Marathon 2008 post

(I'll post for real when I get some pictures!) But in the meantime, here's a picture that a friend took of us, posted on facebook and I swiped. I'm the munchkin holding up the shirt, BTW. You may recognize Jenny from the Pokemom's Komen team just a few posts back.


This was Jenny's first marathon and I'm surprised she's smiling here. j/k She did great! I did great!

As a refresher, last year's time was 6 hours 32 minutes. This year's time was 6 hours 7 minutes! yeah baby! I shaved a whole minute per mile average off my last year time. And this with some really bad pain in one knee and both feet. But I'll get to that in my official post...

I read in the paper today that a player for the Red Sox ran it and came in at 6 hours 9 minutes. Wooosh. Did you feel my breeze as I swept past you? LOL! j/k Gotta have as much fun with it as I can. Trust me, there were 80 year olds passing me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Noah! Start building the ark!

The rain has finally stopped, but it's still cloudy. I woke up last night at 1 am and it was pouring down rain and windy. It carried on all night and all day until about 1pm. Why is this a big deal? It doesn't rain like this very often. Rain usually comes in little 1-5 minute sprinkles (with the exception of the marathon last year, thank you very much). Sure, there are harder rains, but this was bad. I've got pictures, of course...

This first picture is of the water in my back yard, coming up on the lanai. I have a concrete backyard. Don't ask me why the owners wanted so much concrete... But, to let you know, this is a covered lanai. Oh, and this is my outdoor furniture finally with the repainting done. I like the black.

This picture shows just how close to the house it got. That's our back sliding doors on the left.


This is a shot out of our front door.



This is the octopus tree on the side of the house. At least 5 large branches broke off. I had to drag them all the way around the house and out to the front.

These are all the branches out front. You can see the single string of icicles I hung, all by myself. Hee-hee. It's so redneck.



As you can see, it didn't pare down the tree a whole lot. That's it looming over the house behind the garage. We are so blessed that it didn't damage our roof or the neighbor's house.





These are the cups I set out to catch the drips from our leaking roof. Ghetto house.




This the area at the tree after my branch cleanup.



While it was raining I managed to get all my wrapping done. Yay! Now I need to scrounge up boxes for the shipping.




















Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Verdict is in...

We have been assigned to ..................................







drumroll please......................................................................













Hot-lanta!! um, Atlanta!!



He'll be working at FORSCOM (Forces Command).



Uh, I just got an email saying it's not official. Pretty much set though. Well, that's the Army for you. Why say anything if it's not a done deal?



So, has anyone lived there before or currently?? Any opinions on areas to avoid or good schools? Anything, I'll take anything! Names of good churches - I need that too. Where are good places to run or walk? Should we live in close or should we live near the train stations? Buy or rent?



Great. Now how am I supposed to wrap presents when now I want to obsess??

Monday, December 8, 2008

how's the new look?

I was digging around the blog land out there, mainly I was looking at blogs by people who read Lyn's blog - and came across some info on how to put backgrounds on your blog. Which led me to the site "the cutest blog on the block". They have some free backgrounds, and they have some things that are not free. What I have here is free. I did have another background, but it was dark and you couldn't read the text. I put the link to them on my sidebar there >>.

Cute, no? Yeah.

Gary called and left a message. I was out grocery shopping. Bummer. I also got a call that my plastic surgery surgery date was moved. Did I mention that I had a date scheduled? It was for January 6, but now it's the 14th. bummer again. In case I forgot to mention it, it's for scar repair and, uh, you know, the little bump that makes a girl just a little bit more girly and less Barbie. But maybe the date change will mean we can take a quick outer-island trip during the winter break.

But I don't have time to be goofing off like I am. I took the boys out Saturday and we went on a wild shopping spree and got all the Christmas shopping done. Well, it's never done done. But mostly done. I should be wrapping presents and boxing them up for shipping. I'm still in recovery from the shopping. The boys did really well considering the torture I put them through. I did splurge on a trip to McDonald's and an order of the mini cinnamon things.

I weighed in today and am shocked at how much I've gained!! So after the marathon, I'm getting serious again. Weight watchers has renamed their program - I've read up on some of it and don't see much change, other than terminology. No change that rocks my world. Stopping eating the junk will rock my world enough... I'd hate to see my cholesterol now.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

ants, trees and marathon

Let's start with the pleasant things... Like our tree! Having lived in Hawaii before, we knew of the housing situation - as in SMALL. So we left the non-essentials, like the fake Christmas tree. We do have a tiny Spongebob tree and a small table top tree that were supposed to suffice during our stint here. Yeah, right. This year I insisted on a real tree. Which means we had to buy a tree holder, lights and ornaments. It just has not felt like Christmas for the past 2 years - mostly due to the weather, but also due to the woeful lack of ornamentation in our house. Not that I'm a superstar designer or anything. But a tree adds that umphf.

Gary is currently in Japan, but before he left, we went to the local lot and picked us out a nice 5 1/2 footer. The 1/2 foot is a tall stalk on top, which is perfect for our star tree topper. It took us a week, but we found time and bought some cheapie ornaments and it doesn't look half bad! A little sparse, but that's okay. I actually thought it'd look tacky, but the cheapie ornaments you can find nowadays are slightly more sophisticated. The tinsil garland is still tacky, but at least the color coordinates. It's a bit breezy tonight, so it's durability is being tested.

It now proudly sits out on the back lanai, right on the other side of our sliding glass doors, so we can enjoy it inside or out. I'm glad to have it.

Now, to clean the house and get the rest of the stuff put out...
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I can't believe it's the 5th and we have not started our Christmas advent readings.
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Marathon news. I've walked my last long walk this morning. Last weekend I walked 20 miles and felt awful for several days. My shins have been in pain for a few weeks which alters how I walk which makes other body parts start aching. So my schedule called for short 3 mile walks this week and I think that has really helped with healing. today's walk was torture for the first 3.5 miles, but then I loosened up and hit my stride, finished the 10 miles and felt great all day long. (with the exception of one toe)

Tapering for real begins. And then the marathon. It's on the 14th. I'm excited for it to come. I love the energy that comes with it. All these people who have trained so hard and for so long. Everyone is full of energy and life and excitement. I'm a little bit dreading the pain that I know will come, and the port-o-potties. I still gag when I think about them. It really traumatized me!

Gary will not be here, so that makes me sad. I had a friend who was going to take the boys, same as last year, and be my en-route support person and cheerleader, but she had to go to the mainland and do a Thelma and Louise cross-country with a friend who is dying. Her husband is sweet enough to agree to keep the boys as planned. Since she is gone, the boys will be a good distraction for their son. But I don't anticipate him bringing the kids to a point somewhere on the route to cheer me on. (and carry supplies that I might need) So I don't imagine I'll have any pictures of this race. :-(

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Ants. I'm being invaded. I've seen them in the kitchen here and there for over a week now. I made fudge and merangues on Wednesday and the ants swarmed the bits that I missed in clean up. So I had to get them. I was given a local tip on what works, went to the store and immediately put out a few drops of the "bait". The ants practically stampeded to get to the stuff! And let me tell you. While I saw only 10-20 at a time before, gazillions came to get to this stuff. Where have they all been hiding? Scratch that. I don't want to know. They ran (because these ants aren't walkers, they are frenetic runners) back and forth for hours. The stampede has diminished significantly, finally, but a few are still at it. I just hope they took the poison to the nest and now the million-gazillion are D-E-A-D.

Did you ever see that movie Ants! (IIRC) I guess it was made in the late 70's early 80's. I swear, if these ants start forming words on the walls, I'm outta here.