Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Love Wii Fit

We are a family that loves to play the Wii. We like the fact that it forces us to stand up and move, and we end up laughing a lot.

A couple of weeks ago we picked up Wii Fit and I must admit that I was a bit skeptical. Some of the reviews were just okay and I couldn't decide if it would be worth the money. Well, yesterday I decided that it was definitely worth it for our family.

For those who know me, winter is not my favorite time of the year. I don't like to be cold and I am not particularly fond of all of the gray, damp days we have been experiencing. So when I saw this week's forecast which call for clouds, rain, and cold all week, I knew I would have to have a plan in order to survive life with four kids in the house. The plan would include great books to read, healthy snacks (low sugar), board games, and some way to be active inside.

It was too cold for me to go in the garage to work out yesterday, so I opted for Wii Fit thinking, at the very least, it would be fun. Well, I must tell you that I liked it a lot. A few of my muscles are actually a little sore this morning and I almost broke into a small sweat. The yoga part showed that my balance wasn't too bad, the push ups and jack knife sit ups were actually challenging, the dance moves were fun and sometimes complicated, and downhill skiing was not my best sport.

My only complaint with the Wii Fit is that whenever I step onto the board it says, "Oh." Not funny. Now I am by no means skinny, but to say 'oh' every time I step on? But that's okay, it's cloudy here today again and we're expecting rain again, but this game will bring me a little sunshine this morning. Maybe I'll even figure out how to turn off the sound when I step on to the board.

Let me see if I can get on before the kids get up and laugh at me.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Joy on the Faces

One day last week I stumbled across I Heart Faces. This week's contest theme is "Joy" and I can't resist entering a couple of my favorite photos of my favorite faces.

I took this one on Kelsey's 3rd birthday last month. The girl could not wait to open presents!

I took this picture of my sister on Thanksgiving Day. We were all outside playing with the kids and the big smile on her face says it all.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Park Day in January

Since the beginning of the year, it's been quite cold around here. Most days have been gray and damp, something I am not a big fan of. We even had a couple of days of snow last week. But there was quite a change on Friday that called for a celebration complete with a picnic. Temperatures soared near sixty degrees (almost flip flop weather) and we headed out to the park with my sister and her kids. Sometimes she just has the best ideas.

Yes, you will see snow in some of these pictures, but we didn't mind. The temperature was really quite nice and the sunshine felt warm actually. The big kid park was still covered in snow, but the little kid park was fun anyway. My teenagers joined us and we were all glad to spend some time outside with temperatures above freezing.

Oh, and Lindsay took pictures for me. It is so nice to have my own personal photographer and end up with such great pictures. Thanks, Lindsay!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Back to the Real World

Back to the real world today. The last two days have been filled with snow, hot chocolate, altered schedules, board games, and a little tv, but today, Ken has returned to work and it looks like the snow may be melting. It was a blast while it lasted.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


A cure for the winter blahs? Wide-eyed little people staring out the window waiting for enough of the white stuff so accumulate to they can go outside to play. Yep, we woke up to snow and the forecast calls for 4-6 inches of the white stuff. Now I am a bit tired of the cold weather myself, but if it's going to be this cold, having snow for a couple of days is a definite plus. Since we rarely see snow, this calls for celebration.

The kids are trying to con me into no school. Good thing it is inauguration day and our plan is different anyway; we can still have fun and learn something. Of course my favorite argument is, "All the other kids are out of school." And they are even offering to clean the whole house and play outside in lieu of school work. They are also trying to convince their dad that there is enough snow on the road to justify coming home early from work - maybe by lunchtime.

So what's a mom to do? I think I'll put on some hot chocolate, relax while they clean the house, and help them bundle up. Yep, if it's got to be cold and gray outside, snow is a pleasant interruption.

Patriotic snowflakes instead of red, white, and blue stars.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Inauguration Day

Whether Barack Obama was your candidate in the 2008 Presidential Election or not, this week he will become your president. This Tuesday will be an historic day for our country as this young black senator from Illinois becomes our new commander in chief. Looks like a party waiting to happen to me.

So on Tuesday we will have a hot dog bar at lunch time, decorate the table red, white, and blue, watch the new president take his oath of office, and listen to his speech. After lunch we'll discuss the ceremony, focusing on the speech, and have star shaped sugar cookies for dessert.

Inauguration. What does this word mean anyway? Webster's says, "the act of inducting into an office with suitable ceremonies." The word comes from the Latin in augur. According to Wikipedia, the augur was a priest and official in the classical world, especially ancient Rome and Etruria. His main role was to interpret the will of the gods by studying the flight of the birds (whether they are flying in groups/alone, what noises they make as they fly, direction of flight and what kind of birds they are), known as "taking the auspices." The ceremony and function of the augur was central to any major undertaking in Roman society--public or private--including matters of war, commerce, and religion. Basically, the augur studied the habits of the birds and was looking for a sign from the gods to indicate that their plans might succeed.

Now the ceremony we will watch on Tuesday will have nothing to do with birds, but it will mark a change of direction for our country, or at the very least, a fresh start. This much I do know, "I trust in you O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in your hands." ~ Psalm 31:14-15

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Winter Blah

After a long break, I am back to rambling.

I am not much of a winter person. I don't like to be cold and I am not fond of gray, stay inside sort of days. I am more of a flip-flop wearing, sunshine loving kind of chick. So when there are too many gray, cold, rainy days in a row, I tend to feel the blah of January and my motivation for most things seems to dwindle. Motivation to eat healthy and exercise seem to fade into the clouds and the motivation to write anything worth reading seems to elude me as well.

But winter isn't all bad and the cold does force me to stay inside and focus on the academic part of our life. I have been working with the Lindsay on writing better sentences, preparing for the SAT. Alex and I are trudging through biology and he finished a book this week. Jonathan has spent a lot of time writing a story and Kelsey has been learning to play board games. We are even reading a book out loud together most days after lunch. If it was warm and sunny outside, I am afraid we would not spend as much time on these other things. I guess there really is a season for everything.

So instead of waiting for some hugely inspirational thought to prompt me to blog, I will try to write more about our life and how we see things on a daily basis. Today I see the harshness of winter and I long for spring....counting the days. But I also see the beauty of a Saturday spent with a house full of family, noisy folks whose laughter helps me beat the blah of winter.

And thanks, Melanie for the inspiration to blog today.