Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Easter on the farm

April, part two.


The boys and I headed up to my parents farm for Easter.  Now and then we like to make our visits a bit longer than just the weekend so we left Biju behind (you know, so he could go to work and all) and we drove up a bit early.  The boys were thrilled that I treated them to a Happy Meal.

I went for a "run" around on of the pastures.  Dad had mowed a path but he just couldn't do anything about the terrain.  I was certain I would twist an ankle!  Aren took my photo afterward.

Aren helped Papa moving some wood to a wood pile.

Jenna and I took the older boys to a neighboring town to watch Nana walk in a parade.

Candy from the parade is a must.

My mom (far right) walking with her co-workers to form an American flag.

After the parade we stopped at the local flower shop to pick up some black flowers.  That evening we celebrated my sister's 40th birthday.

I happened to have my camera in my purse so after Easter Mass I took a photo of Father with the boys.

Papa out fishing with the grand kids.  It just isn't a visit to the farm without a little fishing!  Photo'd here is Papa with Paige and Ajay.

Ajay taught Brandon how to finger knit!

Some of the kids getting ready for their Easter-egg hunt!

After the hunt Dad and my brothers planted an apple tree.  We thought it would be the perfect time to get a photo of all 6 of us.  Dad, Mom, then youngest to oldest, Jeff, Kalinda, Matt, Shelly.

This is how I found the boys sleeping the morning we left the farm.  Comfy, right?  I'm sure Aren didn't mind Alex's knee on his head.

Special treat!  Pizza and pop, a "living room picnic" and a movie.

Almost there....but not quite.  Years ago I lost a lot of weight and had my ring re-sized.  Then I got pregnant with Aren and gained all that weight back.  Since gaining the extra weight I have not been able to take my ring off.   Now that I'm losing that weight again I thought I would be getting close to being able to remove my ring.  Nope.  Can you see how swollen my finger is?  We tried so hard (one of the diamonds is loose and we'd like to have it fixed) and the guy at the store even tried Windex and that gel hand sanitizer.  Oh well.  Just a few more pounds.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Part of April, at a glance

I apologize if I'm boring some of my readers out there - most of you are family and friends anyway so I'm sure you'll bear with me.  For the strangers who come across my blog I guess you'll just have to deal with me posting April pictures in July.  'Kay?

Here is a quick re-cap of most of April.  I'll put up a post about Easter later.

While getting ready for school one morning we saw that the light was making an awesome design on our stair case.   There was no water nearby but it looked like there was!

These are the ceramics the boys painted at a birthday party in March.  (I recently posted a photo of that party, just a day or two ago.) Alex's robot on the left, Aren's lizard that I helped him with (just guiding the brush a bit, but he did most of it and chose the colors) and Ajay's robot on the right.

We got creative at snack time one day - Ritz crackers with peanut butter, pretzels, raisins, all made to look like spiders.

Aren with some awesome shades and a straw hat.

Alex and Aren went outside and picked some pretty yellow flowers for Mama! (Note: Dandelions don't live long once plucked, even if you put them in water.)

We joined our neighbors for a cook-out.  Mr. K was even nice enough to grill my hickory black bean burgers - the grill made them taste even better!  (And Biju made sure he used separate tongs so the meat tongs weren't flipping my un-meat burgers.)

While we were grilling up front the kids were playing out back.  A swing set, a trampoline and good friends.  Ahh, Springtime.

And then there was snow. 

Aren and his train set, again.  He always likes me to take pictures of the different ways we're able to set up the track.

I taught the boys how to finger knit.  It is very quick, easy and portable.  Grab a small ball of yarn as you head out the door and the kids can stay entertained (without an electrical device) while waiting at the doctors office (or wherever).

For our last Parents as Teachers visit Miss Emily brought a "cooking" activity.  The boys got to pour, measure, mix and divide up their own trail mix.

I was a co-parent for Alex's kindergarten class.  For our Spring party, the last party of the year, we made some little treats.  I can't remember what they were really called when I found them on Pinterest but I call them little nests.  Alex enjoyed helping make the treats for his classmates.

Very Spring-like and the kids all liked them!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fixin' It Up

Do you ever see a small problem around the house and figure you want to fix it up but you let it go and let it go and next thing you know it's been over a year and the problem is still there?
A few months ago we (finally) decided to put some pulls on our cabinets and drawers.  Pulls were on our "to do" list but it didn't really bother us to not have pulls (handles).  However, while we were visiting some neighbors we saw pulls in their kitchen and we realized we wanted to bump that project to the top of the list. 
While Biju was working on that project in the kitchen he decided to patch up some of the weird holes that were there when we bought this place.  With the patched up holes came a fresh coat of paint on a couple of walls.

Measure, drill, add on the pull .... times 40  (or more, I lost count, actually!)

A couple of after shots taken by a short person.

Another pic from the view of a child.

Ajay wanted to help!

Patching and painting.

The new color was a few shades off of the old one but no worries - this new color felt fresher.

Alex wanted to help!


Photos

I'm gonna throw out a few photos from a few months ago for your viewing pleasure. 

Aren was practicing his scissor skills - love that he has his tongue out to help with his concentration.

Aren loves bell peppers!!

Ajay took this photo.  He wanted to show the regular Cheerio (on the right) compared to the Super Cheerio.

Alex helped Aren make the train track into a circle.
 
The boys went to a birthday party in March.  It was at a ceramics studio and they got to choose their ceramic piece and the colors.  Alex doesn't look thrilled but it was just because I was taking the picture.  All three enjoyed their time there!

Construction paper, glue sticks and cut up tissue paper.  Messy but fun.

Ajay likes a good salad.  I wanted to document this.

Alex learned how to use the timer function on our camera so he used it to take this pic of himself and Aren.

Aren and his thumb with Gracie.

Monday, June 9, 2014

We (pant) did it (pant, pant) !!

Lisa and I can now (proudly) say we ran our first 5k!! (We actually ran it two weeks ago.  I told Lisa I would get this post up right away and not wait a month.  It hasn't quite been a  month, so we're good, right??)
We met at the mall so we could carpool to the park.  Would be nice if we lived closer to each other!! 
8 weeks ago, we both happened to see a Groupon for a lower registration fee for the race.  I called her up and we said yeah, it's crazy, but we kinda do wanna do this!  However, by the time we tried to sign up the Groupon was sold out :(  BUT - we were lucky enough to still get in on the Early Bird fee so we went for it!

8 weeks ago, my best form of exercise was climbing onto the elliptical in our basement and going for 30 minutes.  This was good exercise but it did nothing to prepare me for the first day I hit the track and started running.  What a difference! 

8 weeks ago I was eating vegan and gluten free (along with using the elliptical) and weight was slowly coming off.  But then I decided to try MyFitmessPal (again) to count calories and this time I actually liked it!  I think the difference was I was able to use the app on our iPad and didn't have to clomp down 3 flights of stairs to log my food every time I ate.  I realized that while the food I was eating was all very healthy my portion sizes had to change.  (I'm hoping once I get to my proper weight I can stop counting calories!) 

8 weeks ago I started running AND tracking my vegan and gluten free diet and over those 8 weeks I have lost 20 lbs.  And if you add the weight that I had lost over the previous year, I'm actually down 45!! 

As for run training for the 5k, little by little I added on minutes to my "run."  Eventually, I stopped counting minutes and went for a 1 mile run.  Then 2 miles.  Then 3 miles.  I had some disappointing runs but for the most part I aimed to improve something each time I ran.  Whether it was to lessen my mile time or add on more distance I wanted to be happy I got out there and did something.

I'm still the slowest runner at the gym.  I love reading shirts (on Pinterest) that delare "I run.  I'm slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter, but I run!" or "I run slower than Internet Explorer on 90's dial up but I run."

So enough back story, let's move on to the 5k!!

The night before the run I decided to get a little crafty!  You can read more about that on our crafty blog. (Now I owe you two posts over on that blog - the crafts for the 5k and the blankets I made for the boys for Christmas.....)

The morning of the run I pin-curled my hair to the top of my head and put on a bandana in the style of "Rosie the Riveter."  I slapped some Arnica Rub on my hips and knees and figured I was good to go!


Lisa and I painted our nails to go with the color theme, and wore our crocheted wrist bands to catch more color.

A sea of mostly white at the start line. (Although you can see that some people opened their color packets early!)

Ready to RUN!(Yes, I wore tights - I was wanting to catch as much color as I could!)
The before and after collage Lisa put together from pics on her phone.
After the run covered in "gravy" - we called it "gravy" because our sweat mixed with the color powder which was made with cornstarch.  (Gross, right?)

Here is my head to toe shot.  (Honestly, I still have a few splotches of color left on my shoes, even two weeks later!)

After the 5k we went to my favorite soup place in town.  I got a vegan/gluten free sandwich and some tomato bisque.  No, the bisque wasn't vegan but man was it good!

 My bandana that helped keep the color out of my hair.

My curly hair after taking down the pin-curls.  Too bad all the big curls got washed away with my shower!
We had so much fun!  There was a bit of huffing and puffing on my part and maybe a few whines.  ("There should be more water stations!"  "Where is the next color station??"  "Aren't we done yet??")  But I must say I'm planning on doing this again next year.  In fact, Lisa has invited me to be on her team from work to run another fun-themed 5k in a couple of months.  I'm looking forward to it!