The Media Fast

I forgot to mention in my last post the other thing I need to give up for Lent, MEDIA. I admit it, I’m disgustingly addicted to my phone and to social media. I start out telling myself that I am going to do a little networking for my Damsel in Defense business, maybe even snag a few pictures to use on my Facebook page. Next thing I know, it’s hours later and I haven’t even booked a party. All I did was look at pictures of cats and get into arguments with strangers. Even worse, I ignored my kids, sending the horrible and clear message that my phone comes first. Not them, my precious gifts from God, but a piece of plastic and internet strangers. Yuck.

So starting Wednesday, I’m going offline, sort of. I will still blog, I will still do Facebook parties (I have some scheduled, and I can’t not work). I will not hang out in the groups, I will not obsessively check my news feed, I will not go to the various humor sites I enjoy. I will limit the blogging/ Facebook party, work-related stuff to 60 minutes per day. I will have a timer next to my computer.

Going a step further, the TV will stay off. Even though we don’t have cable, the TV seems to stay on all day, every day, and the noise makes it hard for me to focus. So, no PBS Kids, no Netflix, no DVDs, even the educational ones. I will somehow figure out how to keep the younger kids quiet and entertained while I’m working with the older kids, and that will be the biggest hurtle. The exception to the no TV/DVD rule is my yoga workout DVDs. I’ve made a commitment to do yoga every day, and the DVDs are helpful to me.

Saying no to media/electronics will be a real test, but I believe the blessings will be IMMENSE. More time focused on family? More time to read Scriptures? More time to write letters to far off friends and family? All good things to come out of fasting from electronics 🙂

For further reading on the subject of giving up TV/Internet, I strongly suggest you read the book “7, An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker


I’m back, kind of? Maybe?

So I’ve been working on my fit project, which I tried to turn into a blog, but ended up doing a Facebook page instead.

Lately I’ve had a few things floating around in my head and I thought, “I should write a few blog posts about this stuff!”

So, I’m not going to promise amazing, informative content seven days a week, but I would like to make blogging a habit over the month of December. Until then, I’ll post a few things here sporadically, like the art projects and food crafts we have planned over the next couple weeks, with plenty of links back to the original source (I’m not *that* creative on my own!).

Semper Gumby





Way back in the day, I was a soldier in the US Army. Thanks to my eight years in, I learned all kinds of fun little phrases like, “Clear as mud,” and, “hurry up and wait,” and, “go get me a box of grid squares.”
But the one that I realized is most appropriate for my current schedule is, “Semper Gumby,” meaning, “always flexible.”
Something I’ve discovered about myself is no matter how much I really want to get up at 5 a.m., it’s just not going to happen. So instead of beating myself up for not waking early enough to get in a workout and a personal Bible study, I moved these pieces around. Now I do my Bible study during the baby’s afternoon nap and work out at 7:30-8 p.m. The bonus to working out at night is that I shower at night and can twist my hair up so I can have curly hair the next day, plus I don’t feel as bad about taking a little longer to wake up! The best part is this makes me more consistent in accomplishing things that are important to me.

What about all those studies that say working out at night will keep you up all night or cause you to not burn as much fat since you’ve been eating all day? I’m no scientist, nor do I have time to conduct studies of such things, but I know what’s working for me (plus I believe weight loss is more about diet than exercise, and I like to exercise for the discipline of doing it consistently).


So don’t be afraid to shake things up! Turn off the TV, shut down your computer, and suddenly there’s more time to do stuff in the evening, like working out! And don’t worry about what others say the “best” time to do things, the best time, like the best exercise program, is the one you’ll stick with.




Funny Poem I Found

If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.

(This is not my poem! I found it at multiple sites throughout the web and giggled all the way through it!)

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!


Ms. Fix-It!

Sadly I didn’t get any pictures, but several months ago I had a “do as I say, not as I do” moment and threw a toy in the house, into the playroom. Well, it hit the wall and made a small hole (my boys have lots of metal cars and airplanes which are pretty heavy for their size). Of course I am a bit of procrastinator, especially when it comes to stuff I don’t know how to do (in this case, patch up a hole in the drywall), so it wasn’t until I began to seriously consider moving to a new rental within our neighborhood that I got off my tail-end and fix the hole.

A couple days ago, while the big boys were making their little wood-working project at Lowe’s (we attend every event because it’s free, and my boys are learning valuable skills in following directions, using tools, and all that other manly stuff), I wandered over to the paint area where, HOORAY, I found a patch kit. I plugged up the hole that night, and this morning I went back to get paint to cover the patch.

Considering we live in a ramshackle dump owned by a slumlord (things we did not know at the time we decided to rent this place), my not-as-pretty-as-I-hoped patch job actually matched other patches the slumlord’s brother-in-law or cousin or whoever she calls her “handy man” did before we moved in. So yay!

I’m excited that I learned a new skill! With practice (and there are other holes the slumlord didn’t fix before we moved in), I think I could get pretty good. Well, maybe not.

And now, we pray hard about the two houses we’re thinking about renting. Moving is hard, even if it is just a block over, but then again, I’m not sure I want to stay in a house where, shortly after we moved in we discovered the refrigerator didn’t work properly and instead of investing in a new refrigerator, the slumlord moved the fridge from her other rental into our house. And now, less than a year later, this one is slowly warming up, even with both the fridge and freezer set to maximum cold and the doors not being opened frequently. That’s only the tippy-top of the iceberg of everything wrong with this house, but I don’t want to list everything. I want to move, but it has to be in the Lord’s timing (and Dave kind of has to be willing to move too, boo).

Sorry for the huge gap, but we have been busy so far this summer! Between church/VBS and homeschooling, I’ve hardly had time to sleep, let alone write blog posts! But I will write more on homeschooling later (it has been a blast and I pray daily that I can convince my husband to let me do it officially next year).


I Love Early Mornings!

Just a real quick, had-to-throw-this-out-there, for over a month now I’ve been getting up at 5 a.m., reading my Bible from 5-5:30, then working out from 5:30-6. The kids aren’t allowed out of their rooms before 6, so I don’t have to help anyone with anything and I get this bonus time to myself (and it’s really productive– I don’t think I could have finished my Bible in 90 Days on schedule had I not switched to morning reading).

Recently I rediscovered my PiYo DVDs, and I’ve been thinking that since I just love it so much (and I’m certified to teach it) that maybe I’ll start teaching it somewhere (like maybe the church, since I heard a rumor that they were looking for a fitness instructor, but I don’t think I’d get paid if I taught there). Because of the super-early morning workout, I’ve found it easier to really learn the choreography.

I’m at the point where I don’t understand why more people don’t workout before anything gets in the way (early morning)!


Turbo Kick!

Real quick note, I took the eight hour Turbo Kick Instructor’s Course today, and I passed! I still have a lot of practicing to do, still need to memorize the round, and I still need to audition for a job 🙂

But I did it! I’m so excited! And tired, and I still need to jump in the shower (I love all five of my readers enough to hold off on a shower for a few minutes to share my joy!).


One Of My 30 Day Goals, Again

From November 14th to December 15th, I will not spend a dime on anything, no matter how awesome the deal. No clothes (unless they’re free!), no shoes, no toys (the kids already have a ton, and December 16th is still a long time from Christmas should I cave and buy them stuff).

Only groceries and gas, but no driving around for fun. I have two working legs, and it’s not horribly hot outside anymore, I can take the kids for walks when we’re bored (when I’m not reading to them or helping my two year old with an art project while the baby naps).

Also, not bringing stuff into my house somehow doesn’t feel like enough, so I’m committing to setting up a donation box and putting five things a day into it (5×30= 150 items no longer cluttering my house and my mind!). I just need to resist the urge to sell it (although that would help one of my 101/1001 goals of establishing an emergency fund).


Busy Day Today

My family went to an outdoor military museum this morning. There were tents set up with real gear used during the various war eras showcased. My favorite had to be the tent with the working WWII communication radios and record player. The big boys adored the M5 artillery tractor, a tracked vehicle that carried artillery pieces (cannons) and the men that operated the pieces, that we got to ride around in. We all liked learning about the other vehicles that were there, such as an M4 Sherman tank, M18 Hellcat tank destroyer, and a river boat that was used by the navy in Viet Nam.

My husband had a great time teaching the young buck manning the old rifle table all about the types the young man had displayed (including a model 1895 Krag Jorgenson that no one else had correctly identified!).

(**Pictures will be added tomorrow**).

I admit that I’m not a history buff, but I love museums, and find them to be a great tool to spark an interest in this nation’s history (or natural history, take your pick), and a great motivator to study certain subjects further when you get home. I just loved talking about what we learned today around the dinner table!

I also went to a baby shower at the local winery this afternoon for a woman in my Sunday school and women’s Bible study classes. The guests were all from the church, and I enjoyed the time spent with them outside of church.

Great weekend so far!


Wow, 6,000 words

I’m on day three of NaNoWriMo and I’m at 6,000 words, just past the 10% mark! I shifted my story, so now it’s a little more interesting to me. It will not be a best seller though, but that’s not the point of this exercise.

Even though my sister and I joke about a reference to a Family Guy sketch about settign up in Starbucks to write, today I decided that Starbucks sucks as a place to set up unless you’re cool with freezing outside because there are no seats inside.

I wrote my notes to myself for at the end of the 1001 days and for my 30th birthday (a whopping 18 months from now, ha ha!), so now I’m down to 99 things on my list. I still need to post that list. Don’t worry, I’ll get to it as soon as I’m done here.

Ugh, I’m feeling like a slug. I need to work out (there is that half-marathon next month– maybe I should train for that). Running two half-marathons is on my list.

Ok, real quick, proud mama moment, my kindergartener’s reading ability was tested and he’s reading at a second grade level! His teacher arranged for him to go to a first grade class four days a week for about an hour so he can actually be challenged. I’m so proud of my reading superstar!