Monthly Archives: November 2014

Splash of Green

Disclosure:  Giggles and Grimaces did not receive any compensation for this post and am not responsible for prize fulfillment.

My children are currently trying to measure the snow.  This is amazing to me.  It has been years since we have had snow stay this early.  Ski resorts are opening early.  Everything this white.

It helps feel more in the holiday spirit.  I am ready for the warmth of family and good food on Thanksgiving and then on to Christmas.

How would you like to add a beautiful wreath, head over to Queen of Savings to enter her giveaway for a 20 inch wreath.

Forest Fresh 20" Classic Wreath from Giveaway

Hosted by: Queen of Savings, Tammie’s Reviews Giveaways & More, Green Grandma, Golden State Mom & Here we go again, ready?


Careful—grandpa may want to steal the ribbon to make a swanky Christmas vest! Our Classic Christmas wreath adds a distinctive touch of holiday elegance to the traditional red and green theme with its ornately embossed red bow and berries. Alive with the evergreen scent of the Cascade forests, the Classic wreath will brighten any place you call home for the holidays.

Prize: 20″ Christmas Classic Wreath

Dates: 11/19-12/3

Open to: US Residents 18+

Enter to win using the widget below. Good luck!


The Redesign

As you know, I have been trying over and over to get myself sorted out to exercise eat better.  It is finally beginning to come together.

The exercise part has always been easiest for me.  I started doing PiYo 6 days a week.  I love to hate that workout.  It pushes me, it has me drenched in sweat and I hurt afterward, but I can do it.  And I am seeing improvement in my form and strength. I was able to do several side planks today without falling over.  2 1/2 weeks ago I tried to do one, fell and landed on some stuff.  I ended up with big bruises and scrapes.  Today I did them almost no problem.

I’ve also been walking and running.  Last week I did 2 miles straight.  Today I did 3/4 of a mile very easily.  I stopped only because I had other things I needed to do.  I’m getting there and it feels great.

2014-11-19 21.07.35

I still don’t know what to do for my eating, but I’ll work on figuring that out.  The last few days I feel like I have made some progress.  Minus the piece of brownie I had tonight.  I’m hoping I can make changes bit by bit.

As of yesterday, I have lost 4 lbs in the last month and 6 1/2 inches on my waist.  My jeans fit noticeably better today.

Yesterday, I looked at a magnet a very close doctor friend of mine had given me.  She has tried to help me over and over to work on getting healthier.  Her picture is directly in my line of sight when I open the fridge, so I decided to put her to work.  I made a little speech bubble like they show in the cartoons that said, “have you drank water today” and put it over her.  Then I decided my fridge could serve up even more encouragement.  I added things like, has the treadmill seen you lately? Eat carrots instead of chocolate.  Is PiYo done?  Grab some fruit.  Shop healthy.

2014-11-19 21.51.22

*Please excuse the magnets on top of my friends.  It is important to protect for safety reasons where they are exactly.

I am hoping these in your face reminders will keep me on the straight and narrow.

How do you keep yourself on track when getting healthy?  I’d love to hear all your tips and tricks.

I am hoping each and every one of those notes will keep me on the straight and narrow.

A Splash of Homeschool Cute

2014-11-18 09.52.29

Patrice does her first Phonics work with Caitlyn.  She has started book A of Explode the Code

2014-11-18 09.52.44 2014-11-18 10.18.46-1 2014-11-18 11.11.31

And kitties came to school today

2014-11-18 11.24.37

A Favorite Song

This is a test, but I might as well share a favorite with you, right?

The Hills Are Alive

With the sound of verses.

Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name [Jesus] under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.  Acts 4:12

The girls and I had a spur of the moment road trip today.  We drove about 100 miles to spend some time with my best friend of 30 years.  I found out via Facebook she was going to be “near” me and I wasn’t going to miss that opportunity.

We did math before we left and now the girls are practicing their verses for AWANA (Bible Club).

Caitlyn practiced with me.  That verse up there? She didn’t know a single word of it today, but I know by Sunday she’ll have it and the three others she needs/wants to say.

Sue was practicing with her little sister until Patrice yelled, “Know why your popcorn is stinky?  I tooted on it!!”  For some odd reason she was the only one laughing after that.  (Though I will definitely be laughing when I tell daddy about it later!)

For some reason, Sue joined Caitlyn and I after that.  She is currently working on:

But the Angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.”  Luke 2:10-11

Victory is hers.

2014-11-17 16.04.12 2014-11-17 16.04.07 2014-11-17 16.04.09

Now that is a dance before the Lord.

A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words

2014-11-16 12.25.20 2014-11-16 12.25.07

And these two are worth a million.  Sue said, “mommy, can I eat this warhead?”  “Sure, if you can stand it, you can eat it.”  This was her priceless face.

The warhead is now floating in a cup of water and has lost all it’s color except one dot.  It looks like a floating eye.




Turning the Tables

Okay, here is a TMI post.  Read or don’t read.  You’ve been warned.

As I have mentioned, I am exercising and trying to figure out my eating like crazy.  My typical day includes 90 days of exercise.  I start with PiYo in the morning and then in the evening hit the treadmill.  I watch Disney movies (what??  I like them) and walk.  Well, most of the time.  Last Tuesday I RAN two miles on the treadmill.  I was watching Mulan.  I walked .18 of a mile then threw a shirt over the treadmill display and decided to run until they got to the part where the “soldiers” were singing about wishing they had worked harder in gym class.  That is, at my pace, two miles into the movie!!!!!  I am telling you what.  That run still makes me  smile.

Thursday night I watched Aladdin and logged 1 mile running.  There wasn’t quite as much in me that night.

Today I ventured outside.  I was so excited to try and pound out a mile or two.  Two bad I took the route that starts with a steep and then long hill, running into the wind.  I made it half a mile and had to slow down to a walk.  And coughed for a couple hours afterward.  I guess that cold last week is still hanging around.

I want to run 5K again, 3.1 miles, so bad I can taste it.  My goal is at least a 5K to celebrate my 40th birthday.

There is a wonderful beauty in the irony that will hold.

On my 20th birthday, I had been sick with Multiple Sclerosis for five years and was taking the first medication to ever show promise in giving a person more times in remission, but not necessarily better long term outcomes.

By my thirtieth birthday, I had done 15 hospital stays over a two year period, including learning how to walk again–twice after the MS yanked that freedom from me.  I was, by that birthday, into the second year of doing pulse IV steroid doses every 3 weeks just to try and be mobile.  We had to plan my meds around my wedding in hopes I would make it through the ceremony and honeymoon without the wheelchair.  I love my wedding pictures,  but hate the moon face I had thanks to those medications.

Thankfully, I went into remission, we had Caitlyn, then we had Sue, and finally Patrice.  I ended up being one of the very blessed people who experienced remission during and after pregnancy…and ever since.

Roughly four years ago, I ran my first step.  Then started doing 5Ks, a 10K and ran the five miles across the Mackinaw Bridge on Labor Day 3 years ago.

Unfortunately, the high doses of a particular medication I took for the Bipolar caused extreme muscle weakness.  I stopped running and lost my confidence entirely by May 2012.  Exercise and strength have been missing ever since…until about a month ago.  A friend of mine and my dear cousin, along with a host of other people had been encouraging me to keep trying.  And I finally started again.  It didn’t go well at all.  So I went back to walking and started doing PiYo.  I am now a little over a month into those Beachbody workouts and I feel so much stronger.  I am back to craving exercise, it makes me feel good no matter what the scale or Bipolar tell me.

2014-10-21 13.03.42

I’m seeing the start of weight and inches lost.  Here’s the TMI:  I have lost 6.5 inches around my hips and an inch in one leg.  And remember those steroid doses?  They gave me the gift of a rotten layer of fat over my ribs.  I hate that fat.  Maybe more than any other jiggles on my body.  But this week, I realized, I can no longer pinch the fat there!!!  There is still a lot there–40 pounds to lose–but progress is good.

I love that I am taking off that Ab weight.  The MS left that horrible junk, but now I am showing the MS who is boss by exercising, living, and doing.

So instead of those battles with MS during those other decades?  This decade, I am going to celebrate strength and sticking it to the MS.  I’m going to take my strength and work and run with it!!

When I Was Little

2014-11-13 09.09.54

I grew up further north than we currently live.  I remember snow on Halloween (man my legs were cold the year I was wearing a majorette costume!) and more snow 3 days before my birthday in middle of May.

Of course, there were years with less, when the snow came later, but more often than not, there was snow in November, toward the end of the month.

Down here?  Much less.

So imagine my surprise yesterday when the girls started screaming that it was snowing outside.  It was suddenly time to dig out the heavier winter coats.  Ah.  And time for the 45 minute dressing session to go outside for 10 minutes began.

All too soon for me.

I was really shocked when Caitlyn came in with a snowball.  Yes, folks there was enough for her to make a fair sized snowball to shove down her mother’s shirt.  Silly girl.  It got her one scream, and one snowball shoved down her shirt and smushed all over.

We had more flurries today.  One child was singing, “snow, snow, go away.”  Two were much more loudly singing, “snow, snow, stay, stay, stay.”

I kicked them all outside to play in the snow mixed with fall leaves.

If all else fails, make sure at least mama is happy!


I Love Them

I have been in love with words as long as I can remember.  They teach me things, entertain me, enrapture me.

My mom says I started reading early.  I don’t remember a day without a book.

In school, once a week we had sixth graders come into our second grade class.  We would each be given a time to read our book to the older student so they could help us as we went through the book.  Our assignment was to take a book home the night before and practice it so we were ready for our reading buddy.  I always forgot.  So, when I thought my teacher wasn’t looking, I would grab one off the shelf and read it to the big kid.

No biggie.  The book was easy peasy.

Too bad my teacher didn’t see it quite as I did.  She kept telling my mom, you have to have her bring a book home.  She needs to pick it from this area and practice it the night before.  My mom mentioned it a time or two, but she said, “I can’t punish her for knowing how to read really well.”

I grew up to earn an English and Journalism Degree.  I knew I had to do something with words.

I need those words.  I need to feed my soul with them.  I wish that were easier with kids around…

Here is my current pile to be read and that doesn’t include what is on the kindle or kindle app.

2014-11-13 22.27.07

And there are all those wonderful, beautiful books on my Amazon wishlist (hint hint family, I have a wishlist specifically for books).

I love them.  And now, my friend is out there writing for books, so I of course have to get that one (downloaded it today–Clash of the Couples–you should head over to her blog for the link to purchase it on Amazon!!  Now, go now!!)

Books, books, books.  They make me awfully happy.

I’d write more about there perfection, but I have to go read my cousins’ draft of a book she is collaborating on!!!

When I Wrote

A couple days ago I wrote about how friendship had always been hard for me.  It was from my heart or at least what my mind has always told me.  It wasn’t to garner pity.  It was primarily an affirmation of a friendship I held dear.

But something else came from that post.  I received an outpouring of people refuting the lies I have believed concerning how people view me in friendship.  It wasn’t anything like I thought.  People came “forward” they didn’t run from my friendship.

I was so blessed by every single comment, like on my post, and words of truth.  Thank you.

Please know my original post was not written to discount friendships in my life.  I just honestly didn’t know I had so many.  I always assumed that most of the people I consider a friend do not hold in the same regard.  I pictured myself as a desperate woman people put up with, not as a friend.

It would seem I have been wrong for a very long time! And for once, being wrong has been a very good thing.  I am hoping my mind and heart will let me soak in this new perspective and move forward with confidence and love.

2014-11-12 13.19.30

Thank you again to each and every one of you.