I’ve Been Shredded.

Jillian Michaels has kicked. my. rear. Oh, yes. I’ve been hobbling around like an old lady a’groanin’ and moanin’ all day! And this is all from yesterday’s workout:)

I first began my working out adventure last May. I have never worked out. Never! I was definitely not the athletic sort back in high school. I much preferred quieter pursuits like playing my piano, reading and hanging with my best friend. Very exciting. But Ben’s health was rapidly declining last year due to severe sinus issues (and other things) and he started a crazy diet and started working out a lot and I got motivated to take care of myself! You see, you can be thin and not be in shape! I’ve had no trouble losing any baby weight after my two boys but I’ve never been in good shape. We have been gradually improving our eating habits over the past few years to include lots of fresh veggies and fruits, less processed foods and whole grain breads. There is nothing like having kids to make you want to change! But exercise is important, too!

I was SO faithful in working out from the time I decided to go for it last May. I do not go to a gym. There’s a few problems with that for me: 1. Money 2. My kids 3. I don’t know what the heck I’m doing with all those crazy machines! So, it was exercise DVDs for me! I have several Kathy Smith DVDs that I like to workout to (cheesy 80s music and all:) like a Step workout and one of my favorites, a kickboxing one!

Anyways, faithful to working out 3-4 times a week up until my back injury in January. It’s amazing how quickly you can lose all that you worked so hard for! I am starting the 30 day Shred, determined to kick myself back into gear! I’ll post from time to time and let you know how I’m coming along on my journey to a rockin’, in shape, I-want-to-live-past-50 body!! For now, I’m just trying to find the motivation to hobble off to bed:)

Bumps and Chocolate!

My poor sweet boy is sporting a nasty bump and bruise on his head tonight:( We were at the park celebrating a friend’s birthday when Samuel came running by chasing friends and tripped over a water pipe sticking out of the ground and smacked his head on the cement. It was a terrible sound and still makes me sick to think about it! He was inconsolable for 10-15 minutes and as I sat with him, holding ice on his head and trying to comfort him, several caring friends paraded by to make sure he was okay and to give advice. With phrases like, “If he vomits” or “If his eyes don’t look quite right” or “If he loses consciousness” swimming around in my head, I admit I knew some moments of panic. Ben and I watched him very closely until he went to bed and just went in to wake him up and make sure he is okay. It hurts to see your baby hurt! You can’t see in the picture but it’s a large egg under the cuts and it’s very bruised. He did fall asleep happily though with an ice pack laying on his head and lots of TLC from mommy and daddy. Who could ask for more??

The Wounded Veteran

And who, of course, can resist some fabulous chocolate cake for dessert? Since I did NOT indulge in any cupcakery cupcakes loaded with enough frosting to make 6 children slap happy, I decided to make my own sinful delight at home:) Friends, meet chocolate cake. Chocolate cake, meet my tempted friends…..

Chocolate Cake:

1 package of Devil’s Food Cake mix
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
2 TB cocoa powder
1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips

1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2-2 TB cocoa powder
3 TB granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs and cocoa powder on low until blended. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir chocolate chips into batter. Pour into greased 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.

2. Cook for 25-30 min or until done and house is filled with heavenly scent of chocolate.

3. As cake cooks, beat heavy whipping cream, sugar and cocoa powder in a chilled bowl until stiffened and thick. Spread cooled chocolate delight with equally delicious chocolate whipped cream icing. Enjoy large piece with glass of milk.

4. Work out next morning.


My boys are really into dinosaurs these days! I can’t even really remember how it started. Maybe because we got a book on dinosaurs and have a few small plastic dinosaurs but it was really fueled by a trip to the zoo last weekend to see the dinosaurs! Dinosaurs at the zoo, you ask? Yep! There is a new exhibit at our zoo with life-sized, roaring, moving dinosaurs. We thought the boys would be terrified but instead they were utterly enthralled:)

Since then, the boys have been roaring and making dinosaur claws and pretending that they are different types of dinosaurs. Samuel will ask, “What dinosaur are you, daddy?” And daddy will say something like, “Oh, I’m a…T-Rex!” And Samuel will respond, “No, you’re a stegosaurus!”

This afternoon the boys were absolutely convinced that they heard a dinosaur downstairs. It was hilarious to listen to them! It all started because of a drilling type noise on the floor below us that made a really strange sound:
Samuel, gasping, “What’s that noise?!”
Zakkai echoes gasp and question, “Wha’s dat noise?!”
Mommy: “I think someone is drilling downstairs. Probably Ivan. (our janitor).”
Samuel shakes his head, “No, mommy. That’s not right. It’s a….dinosaur!!”
Zakkai with wide eyes, “A dinosaur!”
Samuel and Zakkai talk amongst themselves for several minutes, while all is quiet downstairs on the dinosaur front. Then suddenly, we hear the noise again!
Zakkai: “It’s a T-Rex!!”
Samuel: “Yeah, mommy, that’s a really big T-Rex downstairs!”
Both boys run to the window, positive that they are going to catch a glimpse of the elusive, gigantic T-Rex that lives on the 2nd floor of our building. He’s a sneaky one!

Shhhh…don’t tell them!

I’m Tootin’ My Horn!

As I sat here and thought about all of the wonderful, usually “little” things that I accomplished this week that made me feel SO productive like running errands, babysitting, cleaning the house, entertaining guests, making several new delicious meals….(wow, I’m tired just thinking about it!) this is what came to my mind:

Motherhood is full of joy. It is also filled with pain. You are gifted with the smallest and most vulnerable of God’s creation to love and raise with wisdom and patience. It is an awesome responsibility, one that I feel privileged and terrified to have all at the same time.

Motherhood is joy because of the smiles, laughter and hugs. Chubby hands holding your own, kisses from sweet baby lips, tickles on soft, velvety skin, listening to high pitched little people voices and praying over them and watching the soft, even rise and fall of their chest as they sleep peacefully. Amazing. Your heart swells with so much love and tenderness, pride and protectiveness that it almost hurts sometimes. I would absolutely, in a heartbeat, die for my sons.

And yet, Motherhood is also filled with pain. My own mother-in-love told me this before we had children but I didn’t understand then. I do now. You love this small person so much and pour out so much of yourself into them and when they look at you defiantly and yell, “No!” or hit you or look at you with anger; you feel pain. When you have to discipline your child because you only want the best for them, you feel pain. When you make mistakes as a parent, there is incredible pain.

I don’t often feel that I have much to “toot” about myself as a mother, often focusing on my mistakes and need to “do better” and “change,” but I do know this: I love my sons with every single breath that I have, through the frustrating moments and times I want to rip my hair out to the moments where my heart melts and is a puddle around my tired, aching feet. I LOVE my children and that deep, unshakable love causes me to want to be a better person, to change and be the best example I can be for them. Being a mother has made me more selfless, more kind, a better listener, a stronger person because I have to be strong for them, more mature but most of all, it has helped me better understand the love that God has for me. I love being a mother and THAT makes me want to toot my own horn!

Crazy or Not Crazy?

We took the plunge.

February 20th, 2009 (2 years old)
Once upon a time, all was quiet on the crib front…..until one day when little Z decided to climb out of bed to play with his brother…
May 22nd, 2009 Construction in Progress (2 years 3 mos)
After much debating and praying that Z wouldn’t hurt himself again….

Daddy’s helpers (helping from afar)
We decided to take the plunge and set up the big boy bed.
Almost done. Good work, daddy!
The boys were SO excited and probably already planning their nightly parties…
All ready for bed! (7:45pm~later than usual)
Already getting to bed later than normal, we were in for a night.
Forewarning: Waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy too excited:)

I already knew before glimpsing this twinkle in his eye, that there would be a battle

Samuel in his new bed without rails!
Even if they did look sweet in their new beds…
2 hours later, they gave up

And drifted off into dreamland. Only to start all over again the next night………

Mother Clements

Do you ever have a run in with someone that you just feel was a divine meeting? It might sounds silly but I had one yesterday. I was taking a walk with the boys to a friend’s house, kind of worried about something and praying and we got stopped by these two older ladies. They were helping each other out of their car and upon spotting the boys, immediately started gushing over them! I, of course, did not mind stopping for some admiration for my boys! It always makes me feel incredibly blessed when people compliment them!

So we stopped and these two ladies started talking about how they were volunteers at Mercy Hospital two days a week and how much they loved cheering people up and making a difference. They had THE most beautiful smiles and honestly, their pure souls just shone with the light of Jesus. I could tell from only a few minutes in the conversation that they knew Him! So I commented to one of them, she was older and VERY tiny, what a gift from God it was that they were blessing others. They LIT up and nothing came out of their mouths but praises!

The tiny lady proceeds to inform me that she just had her 97th birthday! I thought I heard wrong and my mouth dropped open; very unladylike! I told her I didn’t believe her! She was incredibly beautiful, with braided white hair, smooth brown skin, blazing white teeth (had to be dentures!) and so bright-eyed! The other lady with she was her daughter and they lived together and volunteered together.

Mary Ellen, the mother, told me they call her Mother at the hospital and send her in to rooms with patients feeling discouraged or hurting and she brightens up their day with her smile. She has NO arthritis and is saving a little piece of her birthday cake, with the number 97 written on it, in her freezer to take out next year and eat on her 98th birthday. She told me to look for her on the Smucker’s show where they highlight people who turned 100.

Mary Ellen, I’ll be looking for you on tv in 3 years! I want to be just like you when I get older! Bright smiles, glowing eyes and shining with the love of Jesus! We parted and I was blessed to receive hugs and kisses from both of them and blessings over me as a mother. What a gift!

Rockin’ Wednesday!!

Guess who, with some major cheering from big brother, went potty for the first time on the toilet??!! I’ll give you ONE guess! (think: one who climbs out of bed, colors on walls and is TWO!) You’re right! This adorable little monkey randomly asked to go sit on the potty (he could possibly have been influenced by the presence of his beloved Ms ‘thalia) 🙂 He’s awfully proud and is sporting a new sticker on his chart!!

Mr. Encourager and Snuggler, a.k.a. Big Brother!

We are having a pretty fantastic day! We had a wonderful mom’s group today! I am really excited because now our wonderful Miss Athaliah (children’s pastor) is watching all of the kiddos upstairs so the moms can have mommy-time downstairs. Now we get time to do some talking, praying, encouraging and have interrupt-free conversations! (if you’re a mom, you’ll totally understand that!)

Follow a great morning with some peeing on the potty, add some sunshine and warm weather and you’ve got a Rockin’ Wednesday!! And my sis and her hubs said they might come visit over the weekend which makes me SUPER excited (can you tell we don’t get company very often??!)!!! Oh! AND the hubs (mine) is proposing his dissertation topic today!! He sauntered out of our building lookin’ pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself! We are very excited and thankful to be starting the last leg of this LOOOOONNNNNGGGGG educational journey we’ve been on.

So, how’s that for a pretty good day? Hope you’re is great, too!