Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Just Trying...

I had heard that you can supposedly make money online by taking surveys and such.  I always thought it was a scam.  I decided to look into it and just try it as an experiment; I'm curious.  I know, I know... "curiosity killed the cat."  One that I had read about that is supposedly a legitimate one is Cash Crate.

Some things I have learned so far and that you should know before doing something like this:

  1. You will not make a fortune.  Just a little extra money.
  2. Unless you are willing to give out very personal information (like signing up to be approved for a credit card) and/or buy something, it will take you some time to make money.  I do neither one.
  3. Create a e-mail address that you will only use for the surveys, etc. because your e-mail will be sent TONS of junk mail.
  4. You have to have a lot of free time.  Example, you have to earn at least $20 from Cash Crate before they will send you your first check.  I'm been working on this a little here and there for a week or two (I have a bad memory) now, and I'm not quite one-quarter of the way there yet.
  5. Remember that there is a value to your time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Great News!

So the other day, I noticed that I had to keep pulling my pants up every so often while just walking around doing my thing.  This was odd.  I decided to step on the scale... 205 pounds!!!  I'm down 15 pounds!!!  This is HUGE for me.

Have a slice of pie or a piece of cake and think of me.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thanksgiving Day Every Day

My family has a lot to thank God for this week.

Earlier this week, we spent an afternoon with grieving family and friends, followed by much needed laughter at another friend's house, and the evening ended with us doing a 360-degree turn on an icy road and ending up going backwards into a snowy ditch.  We were so lucky that nobody was hurt, not even the vehicle was hurt.  It was a steep ditch, and the vehicle could have very easily rolled.  I wasn't driving, and when I'm not driving I usually don't wear my seatbelt.  That evening though, I did; it ended up not mattering whether I had my seatbelt on or not.  During the entire 10-15 seconds, I was thinking about YY and what would happen to him if something were to happen to M and I.

When it was all over with, I climbed into the back seat with my scared toddler as we waited for help to arrive, and all I could say over and over again (the only thing keeping me somewhat calm) to God was "Thank you."

I keep replaying everything from that day in my mind.  I have never been so scared or been on such an emotional roller coaster in my life.  I'm still freaked out by all of it, but I'm slowly coping with it.  I think to myself though, why don't I thank Him every day?  That's something we all should do.  Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't.  Usually when I pray, it's when something negative is going on, not postitive, but I usually start by saying something like "Thank you for the day...." because that's all I can come up with.  This is all part of growing up and changing as an individual.

I have been doing pretty good about reading the Bible on Sundays or at least once a week.  I realize it isn't on a daily basis like I should be doing, but this is a step in the right direction.  Right?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The "E" and "M" words

The nasty little "E" word that I'm talking about is "execrise!"

I hate exercise!  Of course, if I exercised on a regular babis, I probably wouldn't look the way I do.

Today, I got my exercise though.  I didn't go on a jog or walk through the snow.  I didn't play the Wii.  I exercised and cleaned at the same time.  Have I ever mentioned that I hate cleaning?  But this wasn't just a little dusting here, a little dusting there type of cleaning.  I dusted, organized, and started taking my lovely picture frames, that I spent so much time arranging on my wall into a callage, off of my wall as well as other wonderful items I enjoy displaying on my wall.  Normally, I wouldn't even dust, and I sure as heck wouldn't take my "pretties" off my walls without good reason.  I have a good reason ("M") word... our family is moving!

We are so excited to move.  M built our house himself, and he started building it before we started dating.  It is what I like to call "a bachelor's dream."  It is a wonderful house, and we will both miss it.  Afterall, this is where we first started our life together and where YY took his first steps, but we are a growing family.  Once we have a second child, we will be completely out of room.  Therefore, we are buying a few acres of a loved ones farm.  It includes the barn and lot for future 4-H livestock, lots of grass, great neighbors, and a house that is falling apart.  Between damage from bad weather, age (it was built in 1890), and the coons living in a hole in the room, the house is going to need a lot of work, but with a little time and help from loved ones, we will get 'er fixed up and looking great!  We just have to sell our house first.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Guilty as charged

Like the title says, I am guilty as charged.  The last couple of days I cracked!

We had some cottage cheese in the fridge, but not just any kind of cottage cheese.  It was my FAVORITE brand of cottage cheese.  A brand that can't be found at every store.  It can only be found at one store because it is a store brand.  Let me tell you, it is YUMMY!  What is yummy with cottage cheese?  Cheddar cheese, pears, and chips... BBQ CHIPS are best!  Unfortunately, we didn't have BBQ chips, only plain 'ol potato chips; that is the second best option for the cottage cheese and chips combo.  Anywho, I endulged... until I ran out of chips.  Luckily, we were about out of chips.  Is it normal to want to endulge like this?  This is the reason I don't keep cottage cheese and/or chips on hand all the tiem.  I need more self-control, BUT since I'm not out of both cottage cheese and chips I won't be eating either one for a while.  Perhaps if I got myself trained to drink my bottle of water throughout the day more, then I wouldn't come home from work "starving."  I have been sipping on it a little bit at work, but I don't drink it much until evening.  Well, I guess this is part of keeping myself held accountable.

Monday, January 14, 2013

We have some pesky visitors at our house.  One visits us, not every month, but quite often.  The second visitor just NEVER leaves, or so it seems.  They stand in the shadows of the corners of the house; they have a tendency to hide from us because we forget they're there, but they are always there.  Our visitors names are Debt and Late Fee.  Luckily, Late Fee won't be visiting us in February, and Debt is thinking about leaving.

Tonight, we sat down together and used some of our cushion money to pay some bills.  We both accumulated some debt before we got married (college loans, etc.) and a little after, but after today, we are making some progress.  On our two biggest worries/debt concerns, we just paid about half of what was still owed.  Let me tell you, the feeling is AMAZING!  Granted, college loan debt is still going to be around for a while, but we can't wait to get most of it paid off.  We will have so much weight lifted off our shoulders when we get it all paid off.  If we get it paid off, maybe we could actually afford to take a weekend trip somewhere a couple times a year, be able to give more to the groups and organizations we hold dear to our heart, and give back to those who have done so much for us.  Granted using cushion money to pay some debt means there is less savings, but getting debt paid means more cushion later.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

We're going to Ireland!!!

That's ride, I said we are going to Ireland, but not for at least another 15 years.  I found an idea on Pinterest a while ago, and I thought it was a great idea.  The couple of another blog decided that every time they are intimate, they put $1 in a show box that they keep under their bed, never counting it, and for their 40th anniversary (or something like that) they were going to use the money in the shoe box for a trip together.  One night last week, M and I were watching a movie filmed in Ireland and both of us mentioned out it would be nice to go there.  M would also like to go to Sweden, and I would like to tour WWII stuff, particularly a former concentration (I like history).  I mentioned to him the idea that I saw on a blog, so we decided to do something similar to what the other couple was doing.  We picked an activity to do together (examples: eating breakfast, going for a walk, date night), and picked what to put our money in; one could use a shoe box, ice cream bucket, piggy bank, wooden box, etc.  It doesn't matter what you use as long as it's super glued, duct taped, or nailed shut so that you can't get into it to count how much money you have in there; the amount of money that's in there isn't the point, it's the time you spend together that is important.  We picked our hiding place for our designated container, which could be a safe, in a cupboard, or even in a hole in the ground.  We wrote the start date on the container, and when we plan to open it to count the money for the very first time, which we decided 15 years.  Then, we talked about how much money we are going to put into our container eve rytime we particiapte in our activity together; the couple who gave me the idea to begin put in $1, but we decided to put in random amounts.  So it could be $50, $1, or just some pocket change.  If we have enough money in 15 years, we will plan a trip to Ireland, but if we don't, we will either go somewhere different or put the money back and keep saving.

So, you may be wondering how I'm doing with the whole "diet" and "growth" thing.  Well, it is a work in progress, but I feel that it is very manageable.  I just stopped typing so I could take a moment to step on my non-digital scale; something seems weird.  (I'm just going to put this out there, but I know I won't be able to take it back) It says that I weigh 200 pounds (with my clothes on), but I weighed 220 when I was 40 weeks pregnant; you may recall that I want to lose at least those 20 pounds slowly.  I weighed myself like two days ago and it said 218, but now it reads 200.  There is no way I lost 18 pounds in two days!  The next to last time I stepped on the scale (weeks ago) it was weighing 80 pounds more than it should, I found out that the scale could be reset to 0 so that's what I did, and I weighed 220.  Anyways, I am trying not so snack but we have some Cheez-It's that I've snacked on a little.  I got a little off track over the weekend because we were busy, and I really didn't even eat much.

As far as growth goes, I have finally finished Genesis.  I'm trying to make some time on the weekend, preferably on Sunday, to spend some time reading the Bible.  I will admit that when I come across a list of somebody's ancestors, I just skip it, because I have found that it only confuses me, not to mention the fact that I can't even pronounce most of the names.  I have somebody who is going to help me keep myself on track with reading, which is good.

On the morning show New Years Day, that "expert" I previously mentioned that you should make a list of things you are thankful for each day because if you do it every day there will eventually be less stress in your life.  I may not do this every day, but here is my list of what I am grateful for today:
  • Sharing the day with my monkey and dad
  • Dad (he is a pretty good guy)
  • That I am lucky to be able to take a vacation day to go with Dad to sell cattle
  • I love my boys (M & YY)
  • Smelling like cattle because it feels like home (I know, I'm weird but I don't care)
I said "weird" so I now have to share with you something that was said the other night.  I was acting like myself the other night and M says to me, "You're kinda weird.  You know that?"  I grabbed him, acted like I was mad and said, "What did you say?  I am NOT 'kinda' weird, okay?  I AM weird!"  Did I make you smile?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!

Well, you know you're getting old when you go to bed before midnight on New Years Eve!  After M got upset when I beat him (first or second time ever) at "Cyclonopoly," he pouted a little and decided to go to bed; that was at 11:30 p.m. because he was too tirestay up later.  I was tired too, and as much as I wanted to d to stay up, I decided to go to bed.  What was the point of bringing in the new year by myself?

As far as New Years resolutions go, they were talking about resolutions and tips for keeping them on one of the morning shows today.  Two of the tips I caught were 1) keep a journal to help you hold yourself accountable and so you can reevaluate goals, etc.  (already doing that except it's a blog) and 2) eat a breakfast full of protein so that you don't get hungry as fast.  After watching that, I got around to finally eating breakfast so I fried an egg and ate some generic Grape Nuts (yes, they have generic).  The problem is, when I eat a fried egg I have to have some salt and pepper and some margarine/butter/bacon grease to fry it in; I also can't eat Grape Nuts without warming them in the microwave with milk and adding some sugar.  I can't eat Grape Nuts without sugar, yuck!  To solve my problem, I used a very small amount of bacon grease, but I need to cut back on the salt and pepper next time.  I also used less than a tablespoon of sugar for my cereal, and I didn't make quite a serving of cereal.  This breakfast has kept me satisfied this morning, until now when I started talking about food.  :)  I also filled my 36 oz. bottle with water and ice to drink on throughout the day.  I think I'm on a good start here, now I just need to get on track with the "growing" as an individual part.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Survival of the Fittest!

Well as the title of this post suggests, we survived!  I'm not talking about the end of the world, I'm talking about Christmas.  This was our first Christmas with a monkey of our own.

We celebrated Christmas four days in a row with a lack of sleep for all three of us, and now, we are paying for it.  We spent an evening with M's family, and all eight of the grandkids were there, as well as all of M's siblings that live within a short driving distance; this is something that doesn't happen very often.  It was wonderful to see everybody (almost) at the same time.  We stayed up late, playing UNO with
the kids and Grandpa.

We spent a day with my dad's family, which is always enjoyable.  My cousins, siblings, and I are all growing up; most of us are in college, graduated from college, and/or married.  Some of us live out of state, so the only time of the year that everybody is likely to be back at the same time is for Christmas.  It's great seeing everybody, but this year was difficult for me because I was busy running after a monkey, which made it more difficult to visit with everybody.

We spent literally all of Christmas Eve day with my family.  Mom and I made breakfast for everybody who wanted to come, and M even made some of his homemade cinnamon rolls.  Our little family hung out there until it was time to go to church, which is very late in the evening.  Even though he was in jammies and had been asleep for a few hours, the little man stayed awake during the entire hour-long service.  I love Christmas Eve service, but I was so tired that it was pretty pointless for me to be there; I usually don't feel that way after the service, but of course, this is the first Christmas that I had to chase around my own monkey.  It was late when we got home of course, and we had to unload everything - something I dislike very much.  After all that, we had to set out our presents for YY and leave cookies for Santa - I'm sure he didn't have enough cookies before he got to our house.  We were all so tired that we didn't even hear Santa in our house.

We had a wonderful Christmas Day.  M got to be home most of the day, a rare thing, and Monkey Man enjoyed playing with his wonderful new toys.  He got big fire truck from Grandma and Grandpa that lights up, has a siren, moves, and plays music (loves it) and a big 'ol John Deere ERTL dump truck that Santa brought for him (loves it too).

Did I mention that YY was also sick during all of this?  We almost skipped a day with family.  He is feeling better now, but it still a tired little babe.

On Wednesday, we could finally rest.  I was fortunate to get several days off from work.  Since I actually had some time to work with him on learning new skills, it is amazing how much he has learned in a week.  He has now mastered (or almost) walking, waving, standing up without giving himself a boost using a chair or something, and has even started to run a little.  I can't believe how big he's getting, and he's growing so fast.  He's also so darn cute that I can't help but kiss those squishy little cheeks.  However, I must add that he has mastered biting and hitting people when he gets mad at them, something that is bad.  I hear parents say things like, "Well, Joey learned to hit and bite from Little Johnny at daycare."  My child doesn't go to daycare.  He spends more time with adults than he does children.  Therefore, hitting and biting isn't necessarily something that children learn from each other; they simply learn by doing it because it is a natural thing.  As the parent, it is my job to correct the bad behavior; this is something we are trying to do already, but it is difficult because he's so young.  There are many things in this world that he doesn't understand yet.

Our refrigerator broke on us last week, just before the thundersnow storm hit the midwest!  We have only had it 17 months.  Fortunately, we still have the old one out in the shop that we could fall back on; the freezer on it doesn't work and the fridge is much smaller than one we have in our house now, but we managed.  Fortunately, we had the deep freezer to fall back on as well.  It just sucked when we had to put on our shows, quickly run out into the freezing cold shop to grab the things we needed from the fridge, and we had to do it all over again to put everything back.  Finally though, it is fixed.  For a while, we were afraid that we were going to have to buy a new fridge or pay $800 for a new compressor.  Thank God it turned out to be an easy fix because we didn't have the resources to do either.  I just can't get over the fact that a major appliance like a refrigerator only comes with a one-year warranty.  How ridiculous is that?!

I tried not to overindulge too much on food over Christmas, but since then, I'm doing a pretty good job with eating until I'm just satisfied.  Unfortunately, I'm snacking... A LOT!  Until we get to the store, chips is about all we have for snacks.  I take that back, we also have Christmas and Halloween candy.  My mom gave us in our stockings a few truffle chocolate squares and LINDOR Milk Chocolate candies.  Both are HEAVENLY, but I haven't ate just one in a day; I ate at least two of them plus some of the other candy we have (like Snickers Miniatures Candy) in a day.  That is bad!  So very very bad!  M isn't much for sweets, but we have both been "fighting" over them.  There are only two of the Lindor chocolates left, and Monkey and I are the only ones at home right now.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to not eat them both right now?!  I am trying to exert some willpower right now, so that M an I can each have one, at the same time, later when he is home.  Did I mention that there are also some Gummi Bears sitting on my counter, two of them?  I almost ripped them open once today.  The day isn't over, yet!
The next celebration we have to survive?  Our baby's first birthday.  I have mixed feelings about that one.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Growing and Changing

Well, lets just say long time no write!  What can I say, we've been living life, and life has been keeping us pretty busy.
Christmas is a week away, and we still have one present to buy before the weekend.  I love Christmas!  I have actually been listening to a little Christmas music, which is something I normally do only on Christmas Day.  I can't wait to watch YY see the wonderful things Mommy, Daddy, and Santa got for him.  I also look forward to Christmas Eve church service.  Each Christmas Eve, we go back and forth between which family we attend services with.  This year, we will be with my family at a lil 'ol country church in the middle of nowhere; services usually aren't done until midnight or later.  Something about that time of night leaving church is very special.  It's even better when there is a blanket of snow (not too much) on the ground and a clear starry sky.  I guess you could say that I feel more connected with our Lord than any other time of year, except for Sunrise Service on Easter morning.  It's also beautiful to drive home and see colorful Christmas lights on.  That is the one night my parents leave their lights on all night long.  This year will be very different because Santa will be coming to our house for the first time.  I will make sugar cookies to leave out for him (next year YY can help make them), and we get to start new family traditions because M and I have a child of our own.  I just wish that the time we spend with our families on the holidays didn't always go so fast.
Not only is Christmas almost here, but my baby will soon be turning a year old.  It saddens me how fast time is going.  He has grown like a weed this past year.  I hate leaving him, which doesn't happen very often, because I want to be there for every snuggle and every kiss, and I don't want to miss a single moment of it.  I have the rest of my life to do everything else, but my baby is only little once; I certainly don't want to miss out.
This is also a time of year when people make resolutions for the new year.  (Of course, we have to make it past December 21st when the world is supposedly going to end)  I have been thinking about this a lot here lately.
The last time I stepped on the scale, I weighed the same amount as I weighed when I was 40 weeks pregnant, and it shows.  That's right, I weigh 20 pounds more than I did before I was pregnant, and a week after YY was born and we came home from the hospital, I weighed 10 pounds less than I did before I was pregnant.  My coat is too tight that I can barely zip it up, my jeans and other clothes are getting tight, and the other night when I went to put my belt and buckle on for a very rare night out, I couldn't even put my buckle through the first hole in my belt.  That really hurt and struck a nerve with me.
I have never been one to count calories (that's no way to live), if I lose weight, that's great, but if I don't that's fine.  I tried not to worry about what other people thought of my weight because it doesn't matter, all that matters is what I think of myself and my weight.  If people don't like the extra amount of flab that I have, that's their problem.  I am not skinny now, nor will I ever be skinny; I don't want to be skinny.  M is very supportive of me and loves me either way; if he didn't love me the same chubby as he would a skinny me then I wouldn't have married him.  I love food, and you only have one life to live so I am going to enjoy it.  However, I need to get this under better control.  When I have lost weight (unintentionally) in the past, I eventually gained all of the weight back plus more.  That worries me.

I need to get this under better control for multiple reasons: 1) My feet, knees, etc. would feel a little better 2) To help my son learn to make good choices, like moderation, 3) I can't afford a new wardrobe or coat.

The thing is, I am a VERY picky eater and hate excercising, so going on a run every day and having a salad (something rabbits eat) for dinner and supper every day is not an option for me.  To give you an idea of how picky I am, here is pretty much everything that I will eat: hamburger, hot dogs, bacon, balogna, sausage, cheese, bread, pasta, potato, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, egg, strawberries, kiwi, lemon, lime, blueberry, corn.  That's most of what I can think of, and some of those I only like a little (the highlighted items are my favorite).  That's right folks, I'm a farm girl who doesn't like steak!  If you are from or have ever lived in the midwest, you understand that is a BIG deal around here.  I will admit that I'm a lot better than I used to be.  I am usually willing to try something new; before, I NEVER was willing to try something new.

Something I want to do is figure out why I've gained so much weight so that I can correct it, but I have to figure out ways to lose weight that are pracitical for me.  As I said in previously, eating salads every day and going for a run aren't practical for me.  I have to make changes slowly, and they have to be changes that I can stick with.  I have realized that since we have started giving YY snacks, I munch on his snack a little too if it is something I like, such as crackers.  I did it without realizing it, so now that I am aware of it I need to catch myself doing it before it goes in my mouth.  I mostly drink water.  It is rare that I drink coffee, pop, juice, alcohol, etc., but it does happen on occasion.  Maybe I should drink more water though.  I bought a huge 36 oz. Tupperware water bottle, so maybe I should make it a point to fill it up each morning and have every ounce drank before I go to bed.  M and I also don't sit down with YY for supper.  YY eats his supper, gets ready for bed, goes to bed, and M and I then eat supper, if it's ready.  Sometimes it's 9 PM before M and I eat our suppn er.  I've said this before - didn't stick to it though - maybe we need to eat supper at the same time every night, even if M isn't home from work yet.  Lets say we started eating supper at 6:30 PM, then the food would have quite a bit of time to digest before going to bed.  Who knows, I may end up feeling better when I go to bed and actually fall asleep faster.

One thing I've always believed is that you can eat anything you want, healthy or not, as long as you eat it in moderation.  However, I don't always eat things in moderation.  Sometimes, I just inhail it.

What has worked for you?

I also want to grow as an individual.  Whether it is being a better wife and providing M with more support and encouragement, being a better housekeeper (I hate cleaning), or growing as a Christian.

I am not one who goes to church every Sunday, and I probably never will be.  However, I want to learn more about our Lord.  I have developed a deep curiosity about what all is in the Bible and the religion that I was brought up with.  Recently I heard about a private organization.  I went there to check it out.  This place offers counseling, pregnancy tests, diapers, maternity clothing, etc.  You earn "money" to buy different things (diapers, etc.), and you earn the "money" by doing different things such as counseling, bringing your spouse with you, reading and reflecting on Bible verses, memorizing scriptures, reading about your child's development, attending their classes, etc.  I think it is a great program, and everything is free but has be earned.  It's not like WIC or any other government program which, in my opinion, gets too nosy and asks you questions that are frankly none of their business; my doctor actually told me to ignore what WIC tells me and just tell them what they want to here.  This private organizations program is much different.  You don't have to tell them anything that you don't want to tell them.  Part of the goal is for parents to educate themselves.  The last time I went to a  counseling session, she challenged me with things like, "If YY asked you about death, what would you tell him?"  That was something I had never thought about.  There is no, "You're right and I'm wrong" at this place.  It is filled with kind and understanding people who want to help you through whatever you may be struggling with, if anything.  I like that my counselor asked me those questions because it has given me some things to think about.  Something that I am guilty of and trying to work on is reading the Bible on a regular basis.  I started at the beginning (Genesis) a few months ago and am disappointed with myself to say that I'm not all the way through it yet.  I get on a good start reading, but then, life happens, I get busy, and forget about it for a while.  However, this is a step in the right direction for me.

Long story short, I would like to make it my goal to lose fit into my clothes again by changing my lifestyle a little to something that it doable for me, something that I can stick with forever.  I also want to grow as an individual.  I can't do this alone.  I need my family's support as well as the support from my blog.  I plan to blog about how I am doing at least once a week starting in January.  I will share with you my success and my failures; I know that I will have some of both.  However, I hope that keeping this blog updated, like a journal, will keep me on track.  Feel free to leave your suggestions and words of encouragement for me; I will be in need of both.  I know that this isn't something that is going to happen immediately, it will take me time, and some of these things I will never stop improving on.  Thank you for your support.