Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Sat down to start a post and all of a sudden it hit me: It's Thursday! (I'm a little bit slow. But you already know this.)

You're probably glad. . . I was going to post about our septic system. Instead, I'll just start there. . .

1. Having the septic tanks pumped this morning.
(I'm just being real here. And it WAY needed to be done.)
2. Time with a friend last night. Dinner. Coffee. Shopping. Ahhhhhh.
3. Diet DP for lunch, today. Such a treat. And YUM.
4. Parents coming back tonight. What is WITH all of this traveling? Don't they realize how much I depend on them? It's not as if anyone else will come fold my laundry or take all eight kids to lunch, forheavenssake.
5. Good walk on the treadmill this morning. And kids who download songs onto my ipod for me (even if some of them make me go, "Hmmmm.").
6. Clean house. Clean sheets and towels. At least it was all clean, yesterday, and I'm holding onto that thought.
7. Tons of clean laundry to fold (because the washer was busy with sheets and towels, yesterday). And old episodes of "Lois and Clark" to watch while I fold it. Maybe during naptime, today. I'm a sucker for super heros.
8. New season of Biggest Loser. I haven't actually gotten to sit down and watch a whole show in the first two weeks, but I love it, still.
9. Putting on smaller jeans this morning. Woo hoo. Not my SMALLEST jeans, but smallER. Which is feeling pretty great!
10. The end of a wonderful volleyball season for Daughter (#2), on Tuesday. She played well and had FUN. Such a sweet group of girls. Now on to basketball!
11. Beautiful weather. Here in Oklahoma we only have about two weeks of perfect weather every year. Here it is.
12. Fall wreath on the front door. I didn't quite make it until October 1st, but I only had time for the wreath, so far.
13. Sidewalk chalk on clearance at Wal-mart and hours of fun for my kids, yesterday.
14. $2 shirts - one for me, one for Daughter (#2) at Old Navy last night. Can't beat that!
15. New Pumpkin Muffin recipe. Only 1 WW point per muffin. Fabulous!
16. The look on the face of the septic service man when I told him that 10 people live here.
17. The anticipation of a visit, on Saturday, with some very sweet friends from my past life. You know the one - before marriage and eight kids. Can't wait to catch up with them!
18. Three weeks of Weight Watchers down. Many more to go!
19. New Sunday School class study starting this week - really looking forward to hearing my parents teach on marriage. They've had 47 years of experience! (And I love them. Did I mention they've been gone a lot, lately?)
20. Football game tomorrow night and the possibility of Son (#1) playing some for the Varsity team. He's not ready for that (as a Freshman) but it will be a BIG deal for him! (and for us!)
21. New "Cat in the Hat" show on PBS. I can get through almost three miles on the treadmill while it's on and Little Man LOVES it. He's playing on right now while I write.
22. Last but not least. . . one of our sweet sitters (precious gifts from God during the years when our troops were all little) is going to deliver her first baby today. I am so excited for her! Babies are SO exciting! God's greatest blessings. Happy for her - feeling her pain (why is it still so fresh after 3 1/2 years - ha!) - and waiting to hear of her sweet boy's arrival.

Some days I am overflowing with thankfulness! I hope you are, too, today.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Points? What points?

So it's Monday.

And I have regrets.

Somehow, in hindsight, sharing my weight loss struggles in such a raw and honest way is feeling like it may have been unwise. Is it possible to be TOO real?

Don't get me wrong! All of the sweet, encouraging comments and empathy blessed my heart! How wonderful to feel like I am not alone in this struggle.

But in the light of week three on the plan, I find myself thinking it's time to give you an update. And do I really want to do that?

I guess I could delete that first post. Move on. Not tell you how things are going. But that wouldn't be right. I wouldn't have a blog without you reading it! From your response to my first weight loss post, I'm humbled that so many of you care and can relate.

(big breath)

First two weeks, plus some, have been AMAZING. Should I tell you how much I've lost? Or is that not really the point? I don't know.

But it's going great.


Weight Watchers is SO doable. So workable. So flexible. I didn't expect that. Could it be because the last time I attempted it I had an 8 week old baby who had been a preemie and 7 other kids 11 and under (and even then it WORKED!)?


I am finding lots of great things to eat that make it easy to stay within my points each day. Quick. Simple. Healthy. When I want something. . . . I decide if it's worth it or not. Sometimes it is. More often it isn't. But either way it's the stopping and thinking that's really helping me.

Life is rushing along at a break neck speed here at the troops. I guess there is great benefit in that, as the weeks on WW are rushing by, as well. Week three will finish up on Friday and I'm hoping to hit the 5% goal. Can't believe it.

God is good.

Something has "clicked" for me and I'm not only doing well on the plan, I am enjoying it. I've only had a couple of days that I've struggled, but there is always something I CAN eat and eating healthier, more filling food has helped me feel better, have more energy AND sleep more soundly.

I want to clarify that part of my success thus far has been because of where we ARE in life here at the troops. I don't have a baby. I have lots of older kids to help out. It helps to be in the stage of life when I can get a full night's sleep most nights. When I can get older kids to take care of some things. It's where we are and for all of it's craziness, I am able to do more things like this, now, than I could in the last 15 years. I'm grateful for that. For this time of life when I have the help and situation that allows me to add "one more thing". Even if I have to drag Little Man to the meetings with me!

That's all for now.

It feels so great to be DOING something about getting to my goal instead of just getting on the scale and being bummed. I was already doing so many things RIGHT. . . this has just brought it all together and given me the encouragement and accountability that I needed.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday

The Coach called from school this afternoon. Unusual to hear from him in the middle of the day. Thought maybe something was wrong, but all seven school kids were a-ok. Whew! Between the stomach virus going around and the lice scare, any call from school makes me nervous!

He thought since football practice is over a bit sooner on Thursdays and Daughter's (#2) volleyball game was a bit later and at our school, he could catch the last of her game and bring her home (along with Son #1). Which would mean that we didn't have to go.

(Is it possible to get a degree in schedule coordination? And yes, I realize it's going to get worse!)

We have been running hither and yon for weeks, now. Rarely coming home from school and STAYING home. Many days we don't come home at all until after a game. Or two.


A free after school afternoon at home?

Ahhhhhhh. What a gift!

The girls are playing school (go figure - eight hours doesn't seem to be enough) in the sunroom.

The boys are reading their AR books outside on the trampoline with the breeze blowing and a cloudy sky overhead.

Even Little Man seems to be thrilled to be playing by himself instead of riding in the car or sitting at a game.

Dinner is already started (thought we'd be rushing in late to eat and get everyone to bed).

House is straightened and laundry done.

Every one is happy and quiet and enjoying being home.

So much to be thankful for!

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Needing to hear it.

Today the Coach and I celebrate our "courtship anniversary".

16 years ago, today, my father gave the Coach permission to win my heart.

Well. I'm celebrating it at least. Not sure the Coach even realizes what day it is. I'll go remind him here in a minute.

I didn't make the "winning my heart" part very difficult - my daddy had already done that. (you can read about it here, if you haven't, already)

For some reason this brought to mind a "list" of sorts. Things the Coach says on a regular basis. He's a Mr. Steady kind of guy, so I can count on a certain response, in a given situation. And he's a man of few words, so I usually try to listen when he DOES say something!

#1 would definitely be "I love you." No doubt about it. He told me he loved me the first time right before he asked me to marry him. And has said it many times every day, since. I never tire of hearing it.

#2 is most likely, "Where is. . . " And believe it or not, he's not usually referring to one of our kids. It's probably keys, his football hat, his whistle, a shirt, a book. . . you get the idea. I'm so happy to report that my oldest son has inherited this trait. Those two can open the door, look in the pantry, and miss the peanut butter that is right in front of them. It's an endearing quality, really. It's nice to be needed.

Following closely at #3 would be "Embrace the Chaos, Sweetie." When things get crazy and I start unraveling. . . calling him at work to tell him I have NO idea how to get everyone where they need to be on time AND get homework done AND feed kids dinner AND get them to bed early enough that the following day won't be misery for us all. . . there it is. My calm, easy going, cool, "it'll all work out", guy saves the day.

Sometimes the words are enough to make me stop, take a deep breath, and start all over.

Sometimes I need a hug to go along with it. And the promise of a date night.

I didn't know back on this day 16 years ago what life would hold for the Coach and I (and it's turned out beautifully, by the way). But maybe I did see that quality in him and know that the Lord was giving me exactly what I needed. A man who would help me handle the chaos of life with a smile, a deep laugh, and a hug.

And I'm sure the Lord knew the Coach would need me, too. To find things.

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday

1. That Daughter's (#7) stomach bug, Tuesday night, was short lived.

2. That no one else is sick. Yet. Thank you, Lord!

3. For a Hoover Steam Vac. Enough said.

4. For a husband who helps clean up the worst of messes.

5. For the entertainment of watching his face while we are cleaning up such messes. HA!

6. For Netflix online when kids are sick.

7. Everyone back in school, today.

8. Hair cut, yesterday, for me. Haircuts for all of the boys on Tuesday night.

9. My treadmill. Haven't used it in awhile - but nice to have when you are stuck in the house with a sick kid!

10. Clean house (thanks, Mom!). Love that the scheduled cleaning was right after sickness. Between the two of us, I think we disinfected and laundered EVERYTHING. Whew.

11. IgG (Immunoglobulin). Because Mom can't get sick.

12. GREAT first week on Weight Watchers! Loving it! And no, I'm not being sarcastic!

13. A found TV remote. Unfortunately it's the one we've already replaced, not one of the other two that are missing.

14. BSF. Started Tuesday. So good to be back.

15. Hummingbirds. We've had SO many at our feeder this year. They are delicate and beautiful and the kids love to watch them.

16. Little Man has learned to go potty BY HIMSELF. (do you hear the angels singing?)

17. Mom is coming home from California on Saturday! Yea! I've sure missed her. Especially during morning workouts. Her mad laundry folding skills have been missed a lot, too!

18. More time with my dad this week (see #17). I am so blessed!

19. Tomorrow is Friday! (is it just me, or has it been a LONG, EXHAUSTING week?)

20. Oatmeal for breakfast. Yum.

*Be sure and leave a comment telling me what YOU are thankful for today!

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bad Timing

Five minutes before I have to leave for car pool duty (i.e. picking up 8 kids from school) is probably not the ideal time to start a post.

But here I am.

Tuesdays changed today, for Little Man and I, as we headed back to BSF. This year is a new study - in Isaiah - and I'm really looking forward to the encouragement of regular Bible Study.

It made me think about some things.

(other than how "odd" I feel telling people with 1, 2, 3 and 4 kids that we have EIGHT)

God's Word is what it's about. It should be our food, our water, our air. Actually it IS, we just forget sometimes.

It's unbelievably comforting to me that God has a plan for all of the creation - including me and the troops. Because things are bad in the world right now. Sometimes I find worry creeping in. Not for us. I figure it is what it is. Until I think about my children and the world they may have to live in.


And motivating. Better make sure I do everything I can to get them ready, right?

(hoping this includes massive amounts of time watching "Cat in the Hat" videos on PBSkids because that's what it's all about this week for Little Man)

My other thought, today, (hey, two deep thoughts is a lot for one day!) is how precious the fellowship of other believers is. FUN to see familiar faces at BSF - women whom I have prayed for and shared with over the years. Also fun to talk to other sweet friends today whom I know love me unconditionally. Then family. . . especially when they are fellow believers, too - a fun visit from my dad this afternoon, seeing a sister-in-law at BSF, looking forward to having a nephew at the volleyball game, today. Precious. Love them all. Grateful the are so close by and share our faith.

Time is up! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Misc. Monday

Here are a few recent pictures taken around the troops.
Nothing inspiring, but it's our life.
And we love it!

First of all, this overwhelms me:

Little Man wanted to take a nap "on the Living Room floor" today. ??

Two little monkeys!

Can't believe this guy is TWELVE!

We're off to finish homework, eat dinner, and head to football AND volleyball, tonight. Sometimes we have to call on Granddad to help get everyone where they need to be and/or have someone to cheer the troops on. Whew!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Spoonful of Sugar

Mary Poppins.

My older kids watched it so many times (back when I had to put a movie in FOR them) when they were little that they hate it, now. The younger kids only get to watch it now and then. When I make them. So I can watch it, too and sing along.

It was the first DVD I bought. But I still have the VHS, too. I have the whole movie memorized. Dialogue AND all of the songs.

And every now and then, this useless information that clogs my brain comes in handy.

Like when I walk into the girls' room and blurt out the first thing that pops into my head:

"It IS rather like a bear pit, isn't it?" (said in my best Mary Poppins accent)

Now if only we could snap our fingers and watch the mess pick itself up!

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's Time.

Today I did something big.

As in "monumental proportions" big.

At least for me.

I went back to Weight Watchers.

Now, if you are one of my dear, sweet, skinny friends, you may not be interested in my struggle with my weight. I love you, anyway (just like I love the Coach - except I love him MORE), even if you are thin. I envy you (and yes I realize that's wrong). But I love you. You can skip this post.

However, you might think about something. There is, no doubt, someone in YOUR life who struggles with this like I do. How do you respond to that? Do you think (or say to others), "If they would JUST lose some weight!" followed by how they would be happier or healthier or more accepted or have a better life?

Let me tell you a secret. (and you owe me for this one because it's a painful one)

If we could "just lose the weight", we wouldn't have this problem.

If only it were that simple.

And every time you act as if it would be easy for us to be thin like you are? You make us feel like we are lesser beings. Failures. And now and then? You make it seem like we are the only ones with problems.

So here's another secret.

Everybody has struggles.

Mine? You may be able to see. You may be able to tell by how I dress, how full my face gets or how tight my clothes are that I'm stressed and eating everything in sight.

You may be able to see on the outside that I'm overwhelmed, sad, hurting, or just not dealing with life the way I should.

But here's the thing - you have struggles, too. Just because I can't see them on your "outside", I know they are there.

And may I suggest that you start with the issue of pride?

For today. . .

I got back where I need to be. Being held accountable, receiving LOTS of encouragement, being reminded every day and week what I need to be doing to stay healthy and take care of myself so I can feel better, have more energy and be the wife and mom that God has called me to be. And while I'm being brutally honest - I NEED my clothes to fit. Ha!

It won't be easy.

Good grief - writing THIS sure hasn't been.

But I'm one step closer than I was, yesterday.

For those of you who WANT to follow me on this journey - I'm going to start writing about it a bit. It will be hard. I've never really talked about this before with you all. My dad suggested another blog. But honestly? I barely have time for ONE blog. So here's what I'll do. When I write about weight loss, I'll post it just like everything else here at Mrs. Troop. But once it's posted, it will be included in a new tab/link (coming soon!) on the side. That way if you are coming by JUST to check on this part of the blog, it will be easy to find.

And if this is NOT something that is hard for you, I'm going to keep writing about the rest of the chaos here at the troops, as well. But would you do me a favor? Find someone in your life to love and encourage who struggles with their weight. Don't be condescending. Don't act as if they are inferior to you. Whatever you do, DON'T tell them to "just lose some weight". Just love them. If they are ready? I highly recommend Weight Watchers. Offer to help them with their kids or help them pay for it or go walking with them every day.

But before you do? Check your heart for pride (that's something we ALL struggle with). Realize that you have issues as well. They may not show like mine do. But we all have things we need to work on.

Here's to counting points and tracking food and weighing weekly and. . .

What WAS I thinking? :-)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday!

Actually FEELING thankful, today. Makes it a bit easier! Ha!

1. Rain. Pretty sure I'm happiest when the weather is bad. And I'm sure that says something about me that's not good, but I can deal with that.

2. Well into our third week of school and so far so good. It's a little (OK, a LOT, OK, INSANELY) crazy, but we're doing well. Thank you, Lord!

3. Healthy kids. So much going around and grateful we've gotten off to a good start. Need to get back into giving the kids their vitamins every day. As if I don't have enough to do, already!

4. First football game last Friday night - Son (#1) got to play! Really exciting. I know this probably seems goofy to those of you who aren't married to a highschool football coach (would that be ALL of you?) but BIG DEAL to have your own son playing. For this mama, too.

5. Volleyball season rolling along and so far Daughter's (#2) team is undefeated! (Kind of sad that it took me a minute to remember the word, "undefeated" - maybe it's time for coffee.)
Love watching her play and improve.

6. Francine Rivers new book, "Her Mother's Hope" on the Coach's new "Nook". I like the nook. I don't like that the Coach is usually using it.

7. Fall. Won't be long now. Once the weather cools off a bit and the trees start changing it will be time to get out the Fall decorations, the pumpkins, the pansies. Ahhhhhh. I FORCE myself to wait until October. (sigh)

8. Chili for dinner. Perfect night for it. When I told the kids at dinner last night that I was making it today I got a "YES!" from the majority. Can't do better than that!

9. Quiet. Little Man fell asleep while we were out running errands this morning. Not the best of timing (he hasn't had lunch), but we're going with it. I can hear him snoring on the couch. Love it.

10. Cereal. With milk. Pretty sure I could live on it. And pretty sure I shouldn't. But it's my favorite thing to eat. Except when Little Man takes all of the raisins in my raisin bran.

11. In spite of the craziness last night and the fact that I went to bed and left the messes - everyone got off to a good start this morning and I'm getting caught up, today. Can't always have your act together, right? Not sure I EVER have my act together, anymore - but I sure try!

Sometimes I'm overwhelmed with all of the prayer needs that come my way. I love everyone in our circle of friends and family - and there is so much need, hurt, grief, sickness. God is so good to allow us to pray for one another. To lift each other up before His throne. And best of all? He hears. He answers. And we can trust Him to care for us because of His great love. Trusting all of YOU to His loving hands, today.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's just the way it is sometimes.

Some evenings I sit and sip decaf coffee and peruse new magazines while enjoying the fact that the house is in order, the kitchen clean, the lunches (all eight of them) started, the water bottles filled, the backpacks neatly in a row (with all papers signed), the laundry folded and put away, the list for tomorrow completed, and the kids all snoozing in their beds with their clothes laid out for morning.

But tonight? Not so much.

So I'm going to set the alarm for 30 minutes earlier and go to bed.

Night all~

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Casual Dating

Most of you know (if you've read our story) that the Coach and I didn't date before we got married. I know that's an odd thing to explain. You'll just have to read about it. I think we went to lunch by ourselves after church. Once.

Even after marriage, it took us awhile to realize how important it was to spend time by ourselves now and then. We had a baby before our first anniversary. Then another baby shortly after our second anniversary. That pattern continued for quiet some time. Ha!

When the kids were all tiny, it was hard to get out by ourselves. God blessed us with a sweet sitter for our first three (who later became our sister-in-law - how fun is that?) and then our amazing sweet sister/sitters who are without a doubt responsible for any sanity that I have left. I mean that.

And we could still have "at home" dates in those days. Put the kids all to bed, go pick up Chinese food (it helped that we lived near the Asian district) and enjoy a quiet evening together. That only lasted until our kids started staying up later (pre-teen years) and there wasn't time for dinner after they were in bed!

Then came the oh-so-glorious-day when our kids were old enough to (gasp) stay by themselves! I'm still celebrating! It's a wonderful stage of life when you have babysitters that are also your older children!

So for the last couple of years (especially during football season) the Coach and I HAVE had our date night's together. We catch up on the week, talk about what's coming up. Discuss issues with the kids (they ALL have issues, you know) and just enjoy being together.

It's invaluable time that we really need these days with teens, school, sports, toddlers, and very busy lives.

Except I'm pretty sure most casual dates don't usually end up like ours do. A trip to Wal-mart and then home to the eight kids. (smile)

We've more than made up for all of the dates we "missed" before we were married. And I guarantee we enjoy these date nights much more! I LOVE time with my Coach!