Monday, February 23, 2009

The kid has talent!

The Christmas tree

Is there anything more fun than watching your children grow up?
It's rough.
Especially those dog days of pre-school when they can talk and have no coping skills or rational thoughts.
Everything seems like such a crisis to a small child.
Going to bed, sharing toys, wearing the same thing day after day after day, learning to do homework, fist fights in church, learning to work; everything is an ordeal, at least it was at my house!

Then, they turn into teenagers.
It's rough and it isn't pleasant then either! Now it's time for their butterfly wings to unfold slowly; and watching my children learning to take those first little flights of independence was hard for me. I want to keep them safe from the world wrapped snuggly in the cocoon of our home forever. But I am not getting my way!!

Our cousin Rebekah

another cousin, Erin

I have loved (okay, not loved, tolerated sadly)watching their personalities and interests taking shape.
In the past few months Jeff has fallen in love,
with my camera.
A little inexpensive digital camera, but in Jeff's hands it sees things I never would.

Lauren and Skyler

This picture is on our fridge!! We love it.

It is so fun to watch him grow up, develop interests and talents and hopefully a lifetime hobby. I wanted to give him a little internet art show. I might just be a proud mom, but I think my kid might just have some talent!!

An almond blossom that looks like it is just hanging by itself.

love this, see the little bug?

Take a bow Jeffy! Your first photography show, I hope there's many, many more!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Byron, Top Chef and color me Green

For Valentines Day this year Byron took Scotty to Universal Studios. For the record, Scotty loved it. I stayed home because I was too, too sick. When they called me from Universal Studios the next day, I got even more sick. Look what was filming there!

The FINALS for the Top Chef summer competition between professional chefs and judges from the show. Have I mentioned that this is my FAVORITE show? In my dream world, I am a chef. I dream of whipping up some exotic dish with spices I have never heard of. I make the best chocolate everything I can imagine. I cook scallops with perfection, I am sought after and praised for my skills, talents and creativity. That's the wonderful thing about daydreaming, you can be what ever tickles your fancy. Until reality hits and slams you back into the real world. HATE that.

So anyway, I digress...Byron and Scotty were just walking around and saw the sign. Being the Mr. Nosy that he is, Byron asked what was going on. Next thing he knows, he has a wrist band and is going to be inside where the competition is, tasting the food and JUDGING it! Color me green with envy. (just make it a pretty shade please.) Scotty got to go in also, but he couldn't taste the food because he was under 13. BUT...they liked him so they set him in places and told him what to do and filmed him. Scotty's TV debut will be sometime this summer.

I guess I should mention that there were signs everywhere..."No Photography". I think if you take the pictures on your i-phone, and do it very secretively, it doesn't count because technically, it's not a camera, per se.
Do you agree?

The four finalists, narrowed down from 24. It was hard to get pictures from the front, too many guards.

When Byron told me what the competition was about, I was a little less green with envy and a little greener around the gills. Maybe it was a good thing I wasn't there. The competition was the finals and the ingredients were ORGAN meats. Like, as in, Hearts, Tongue, Stomach and something else gross. The chefs had to make a "street food" using one of the organs. Ew.
So Byron tasted everything and Scotty even took a couple of bites of Byron's stuff. (I tell you, that kid is a stud.) They LOVED the tongue tacos. (It grosses me out a bit JUST to type it....!)Byron got three helpings of the tacos so they interviewed and filmed him. The whole thing took about two hours because they had already done the cooking.

(It cracks me up how appetizing they make the food sound!)

For me, even though I think Bacon is natures' perfect food, even bacon wouldn't disguise the fact that I was eating a cow tongue. Gives me the heebie jeebies!! ew.

So, I missed my chance for Top Chef. I think I'll stick with Project Runway, it's safer than my other two favs, Survivor and Amazing Race, and no gross food is involved. ( Just measurements, which are also scary). The grass is always greener somewhere else isn't it?

PS. We love Top Chef, life stands still around our house at 7:00 on Wednesday. This year we are all rooting for Carla, who is the new background on our desktop. Thank you Jeff, now change it immediately. It's driving me crazy.

Doesn't that just make you dizzy?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Heavenly smack down...

I should know by now NEVER to brag, because sure-as-shootin', the minute I do, it's going to backfire.

Take for instance my gloating at school that I am the only one that hasn't taken a sick day in two years. AND that I haven't had a cold or flu in I don't know how long....

One week after my unwise gloating I have now taken two sick days and wished I could have taken out on a stretcher. I, and Byron, can not remember the last time I have been this sick. God heard me and shook his head..."tsk, tsk Jeni...smack!!!" I'm down for the count.

The negatives:

1. My throat hurts so bad I can't eat.
Oh wait! That's a positive.

2. I have been coughing so much I can't talk.
Oh wait again! My kids think that's a positive.

3. I can do nothing but lay on the couch and watch TV.
Shoot, it's been fun watching and sobbing over "Baby Story" and plotting how to get on "What Not to Wear".

4. I am so weak I can't cook for the fam.
Bingo!! Grandma lives in town and the fam had steak last night and I didn't do the dishes.

5. I had to take two days off work before a three day weekend.
(Having a hard time thinking that's really a negative here, they are paid)

6. I have to take cough medicine, icky stuff.
This is actually good, I can sleep in the middle of the day.

7. My tummy and sides hurt from all that hacking and coughing.
Wait! I lost an inch around my waist...who knew coughing could be an aerobic exercise!?

8. Being home in the middle of the day means I get to hear the drums of my son being beaten.
But, on the other hand, when he saw me on my death bed he stopped.
There is a heart in him after all.

9. Too sick to even go to Seminary.
More sleep!

10. Too sick to eat.
Have lost 4 pounds, what's not to love about that?

Isn't this pathetic? To show your sympathy and support, the author requests that you eat some chocolate on her behalf. She'd do it herself, but is too sick to get some and dang it! She's dieting.
Oh, and this is a testimony what hair and make-up can do for a person.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Biggest Loser and me?

If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me "You should go on 'The Biggest Loser', I'd be....well, I'd be doing something spectacular.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing to be told that? I promise that I won't post about dieting or weight loss for another month, but I had to make it really clear that I won't be applying for the show.

Truthfully, I have never seen the show until today. I watched it on Oxygen or something and was absolutely horrified by what I saw! These are the reasons I won't be joining the other chubby bunnies at 'The Ranch'.

1. I wouldn't be caught DEAD let alone ALIVE in spandex biker shorts and a sports bra on National TV. Just the thought conjures up a horrible, horrible visual, even to me.

2. When all of America becomes blind and deaf, I will allow my weight to be broadcast, on National TV. I don't have a friend good enough to tell my weight to, why in the samh%#@ would I want 40,000,000 strangers to know? And if I did, there might be a "celebrity sighting" of me... like... in some place...say... like... Disneyland. Which would totally suck because the stalker might actually say my stats out loud. And then I'd have to give autographs to my public and my life would no longer be MINE, it would belong to all of America. Why, someone might expect me to be a role model. (But I absolutely guarantee that there are NO bong pictures of me, maybe a few with a bad perm in the 70's, but no bong.)

3. When they brought me my dinner of chicken pieces the size of dice, 2 grapes, 3 brussel sprouts and a saltine, I'd be sad. No...more than sad...I'd be ticked. And then when they told me to "eat up...that's it until tomorrow morning!!!!" (14 hours later) I would probably shamelessly try to steal saltines and brussel sprouts from the other people. I have no shame, hunger trumps all feelings of good will.

4. When the sun comes up and I report for breakfast and they tell me...."Okay you can eat after you lift that chest freezer full of beef and carry it 2 miles" or "pull that Grand Piano over the course of a 1/2 marathon and then you can eat your breakfast of Tofu, prunes and 1/4 of a piece of dry toast. I might lose it, just might lose it BIG TIME. Which technically WOULD make me the biggest loser.

5. And then there's Bob. Bob. I have the sneaky feeling that Bob and I probably wouldn't get along. I would have serious problems with Bob telling me to do 100 squats with 50 lbs of wheat on each shoulder followed by 2 hours on the treadmill set at 10 and a 20% incline, then followed by 400 scrunches. When I passed out and he slapped me around to wake me up and nose-to-nose screamed at me..."Come on!! You can do it!! Believe in yourself...!! How much do you want this....Don't you want this?"

"No," I would say..."I'm outta here!!!" I admit it, I'd be a total failure, I would cut and run.

But if someone wanted to nominate me for "What not to Wear..." I'm all in.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Puttin' on my walkin' shoes....

When I look in the mirror all I see is big 'ol bags under my eyes and a double chin.
For some reason I miss the perfectly shaped eyebrows, the beautiful hazel eyes and the laugh lines born of lots of laughter
I see bags and chins.
And I hate them.
Yes, I know that hate is a very strong word but I do, I loathe them.
I can hear you screaming at me, I know, I know.

Last week I had a moment of motivation, it was a small moment, but a moment nonetheless.
I bought a pair of walking shoes last April, the day after Lauren got engaged. Somehow I lost them in the garage. After I had my small epiphany, I went to the garage, actually had to clean it a bit, but I found my walking shoes. Since then we have walked about 15 miles together. Not much, but it's something.

I have read some wonderful posts about New Years or post-baby weight loss goals. I admire these women immensely. What is wrong with me that I can't seem to catch the weight loss fever? Heaven knows I need it...but for some reason it feels like the golden ring far from my reach. I am not comfortable in my skin, I don't like buying clothes in the size jumbo but for some reason, I can not stick to a diet to save my life, (which is what a diet would probably do...)

That being said, I've been walking and trying to keep to a calorie controlled/well rounded diet. I'm writing everything down, reading labels, bought the "Calorie King" book which is my new Bible. The equation is really simple, calories in must be smaller than calories out. So far I have lost 4 pounds. Not even a drop in the bucket , is there something smaller? A molecule in the bucket?

I am walking around my neighborhood in the dark living in fear that some student will see me swinging my arms like a bad 60's movie robot. I am walking only 40 minutes each night right now, the first part is okay, the next 37 minutes is agony. My problem is my left knee which is arthritic and my right calf which cramps up on me after 1/2 mile every time I walk. Tonight both calves cramped; time for bananas (which, of course, are on the bad fruit list...).

I am inspired by your fitness and desire for healthy lifestyles. All these years I have not had a lick of motivation, and truthfully, I am not so deep that I delve into the introspection of my heart and soul and actually LOOK for inspiration and motivation. But I know it's the right thing to do. I am pushing 50 with a short stick, a very short stick and so I guess it's time.

There you have it, I have made my walking public knowledge!! Encourage me and hold me accountable. Who knows how long I'll last, but some is better than nothing right?

PS. Do you burn more or less calories if you limp?