Thursday, March 29, 2007

My Million Dollar Body

Ok...don't get excited! I do NOT have a "Million Dollar Body" but one of my "goals for 2007" was to weigh 125. MOST days I am around 129 but I'm still not to 125. So...I've got to get moving!
Let me give you some background...
One of my best friends (who lived across the street from me at my first house and who has a son 11 days younger than Will), Melissa (pictured above with me 2 summers ago...when I was REALLY skinny), moved away to Iowa 3 years ago. I was devastated. How could she? Anyway, we've remained friends (although her patience has wained from me not coming to visit her...I promise...I'll be there when it gets WARMER!).
Her husband, Robert, bought some videos from an infomercial a year ago. They came to visit us last March and he looked amazing. It was all from these videos he bought. He had such a transformation that the company really took notice of him. Last December, the company flew them to L.A. (which they paid for them to stay at the Beverly Wilshire...a dream come true for Melissa). They provided them with a business opportunity: Million Dollar Body. The company (Beach Body) had the videos but really wanted to help their clients with the whole package: accountability, exercise, and nutrition. They developed Million Dollar Body and wanted Robert & Melissa to help get the company started.
Melissa called me after their trip so excited!!! I was a little skeptical. I can't tell you how many people try to get me to do a home based business: Mary Kay, Arbonne, Kera Vita, Southern Living...I could go on and on. I guess it is my personality. Jeffrey and I decided, however, that I would not sell things to my friends.
I sweetly told Melissa I wasn't interested even before she had a chance to explain what the company was all about. weight issue kept creeping up and I saw Melissa's transformation the past couple of months. I told her how proud I was of her and she told me how the "business" was doing. She told me to "check out" what she was doing. So I did! The best part...she doesn't sell anything to her friends!!! Yippee! She coaches people to eat better and cool is that? She now coaches 800 people and is loving it!
Million Dollar Body is exactly what I was looking for: accountability ( I need that? Uh, yeah!), exercise (I was getting bored at the gym and it was hard to get there sometimes), and nutrition (the cheese fries last weekend about put me over the edge). I'm going to be a coach, too! I'm going to help people just like me achieve their goals while achieving mine at the same time...encouraging one another. AND I don't have to sell anything to my friends!!! Yippee!
Million Dollar Body is giving away $1,000,000 (hence the name) this year. For FREE, anyone (yes, that is YOU) can log in your workout for the day (walking, running, weights, or whatever) and be entered in a daily drawing of $300-$1000 PER DAY. We're working out anyway (well, some days) so we might as well get a perk!!! I've been logging in some of my workouts since January and it really is easy. I haven't been the winner but I still have many more chances. You, too, can enter by clicking on this and then where it says "Play the Million Dollar Body Game". It's REAL easy (even I figured it out!). Aren't you glad I'm not going to try to sell you anything?????

Monday, March 26, 2007

Weekend Update

These are the pictures Jake took this weekend starting on Friday morning. I think it is funny to see life through Jake's eyes. Some of these pictures I took (I'm sure you can tell which ones...well, I hope you can tell).
Here is what went on this weekend for us...PLEASE don't feel like you have to read!!!
Friday, we went to the vet for Eli's 6 month check up (so I thought). On our last visit, the doctor said we needed to come back in 6 months...I thought she said when he was 6 months. I felt like an idiot. It was good, however, that we went because Eli has a staff infection. After the office visit fee, medicine, 6 months supply of heartworm meds & flea meds, the total was...$216. I'm not kidding! I swear I spend more on that dog than myself!!!
After Eli's doctor, we went to my doctor. I still had laryngitis and was convinced I had something worse because I had spent the past week sick. The boys were with me so that is always an interesting adventure. They were very good although Jake dropped my camera and it didn't work for a day. When that was over, we went to lunch w/Joy and her boys. If you have ever experience going to lunch (at Celebrity, mind you, which is a girlie place) with 4 boys, you have a pretty good idea how it went. We apologized the whole way out of the restaurant. They weren't bad and were much better than they were 1 or 2 years ago. No spills this time (there is always a spill when those 4 get together) but they ARE boys. Then, we went over to Joy's house so the dogs (they have a new Goldendoodle who is 4 months old and is as big if not bigger than Eli) could have a "playdate". They had a great time (and so did the boys). For even more adventure (I know...I packed EVERYTHING into one day...I was tired of being sick at home!!), we took all 4 boys to Putt Putt where they hit balls at the batting cages and rode go-carts.
That night (after going to dinner at Village Grill...are you surprised?, going to Blockbuster to get Star Wars II, playing basketball in the front yard, going for a walk with the Krahls, and cleaning the upstairs), my mom came into town and my dad surprised us! We knew she was coming but didn't think he would get to come. It was a great surprise!
On Saturday, we had a late breakfast at Chick fil A and then went to Southlake to pick out carpet...yes...I am getting closer to having new carpet (for those of you who have been to my will be grateful, I'm sure, to not have to walk on the paint). After an hour at the carpet store, we headed to Town Square to shop & eat lunch at Snuffer's (no, I did not say we ate healthy this weekend). Will's game was at 3:30pm. Can I tell you how great he played? Oh, my goodness...I think it was because his friend Bryson was on the other team and there was motivation to do well. Not ready to go home quite yet, we headed to South Oak Cliff to see Jeffrey's new Carnival store. It was great!!! Since we were down south, we decided to eat dinner at Monica's in Deep Ellum...yum!!! My uncle, Shawn, Corianna, and her new fiance met us there. As if we hadn't eaten bad enough that night, I made Jake a "pre-birthday" cake (see picture...yes, that is a light saber sticking from the center of the cake). Papa had an icing "war" with the boys. I think the picture was accidentally erased with the icing all over his face. The boys thought it was pretty funny.
Yesterday, we went to church and then had lunch at Luby's. It was so good! In the afternoon, we started painting my room. I'll post pictures when it is done.
Spring Break is over. Will, Jake, and I are sad.

Weekend (through the eyes of Jake)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Funny Picture

Yes, those are his shorts on his head...

Spring Flowers?

Jeffrey wanted the boys and I to go get flowers yesterday for the pots in our backyard. Eli, of course, ate the marigolds right off the bat! Then, he got in the water when I was watering the pots. Ugh!!! Please help me!!!

Happy Engagement Anniversary!!!

Today marks the 9th year anniversary of the day we got engaged. I know...kind of funny to celebrate but it was a very special engagement.
Here is how it went down...I worked for Sports Travel and was gone a lot for the Spring Break skiers. Jeffrey was gone (as usual) in New York for his job (he worked for Arthur Anderson in Business Consulting...not accounting). We hadn't seen each other in a while. We planned to go to San Antonio on Thursday night for a little get away since we hadn't seen each other in a while. My boss was reluctant to let me off (little did I know that my dad made a call to him and told him that he REALLY needed to let me off so I could get engaged). I got home late on Wednesday night. Jeffrey wanted me to run by his apartment on the way home to mine because he said he had something there for me. I found the Ann Taylor box and opened it. It was a beautiful black dress & black sweater. So sweet! He told me it was for me to wear to my friend's wedding on Saturday.
On Thursday, I was sitting at my desk when I received a FedEx envelope. I opened it and there was a note inside. It read:

Official Change of Plans Notice!

Date: 3/19 (That is today)

Flight: 744 American Airlines

Departs DFW 5:31pm

Locator: QACUMG

E-Ticket for you.

Park at Gate!

I can't wait to see you!

Clark Kent

(PS You can still make your wedding on Saturday)

What a fun surprise, I thought. New York!!! So, I ran home to pack and drove to the airport. I flew First Class (yes, I am spoiled...but he used Frequent Flier miles...he had 1,000,000 of them!) and he met me in New York.
I said over and over how fun the surprise was and Jeffrey blew it off saying, "I had a free place to stay and free frequent flier is no big deal!"
The next morning, Jeffrey went into the office to work a while I slept in. He came to get me and we walked to get lunch at a deli. We walked to Central Park and ate on a huge rock. I ate mine and then offered to finish off Jeffrey's. He didn't eat much. Hmmm? (Little did I know what was coming up).
We started talking and he handed me a note he had written. He had written it 3 years prior (long before he knew me) at Frontier Ranch (a Young Life Camp). It was written to his wife and described all the characteristics she would have and the relationship they would have. It described us perfectly. I told him how weird it was that it described us. As I was talking, he pulled out a engagement ring. What? When did he get that?
Right then and there...on the rock in Central Park...he asked me to marry him!!!!
We spent the rest of the afternoon in a fog. We couldn't believe we were actually engaged. He told me of all the "behind the scenes" things that had gone on to pull the engagement he had flow to Houston to ask my dad for my hand, how my boss almost didn't let me go , etc...and started to make wedding plans.
That night we went to eat at Remi and saw Phantom of the Opera. We were still in a shock that we were actually going to get married.
The next morning we flew home. When we arrived at the airport, my parents and grandparents were waiting at the terminal. I was in shock! Jeffrey had told me we were going to drive to Houston to surprise them. Little did I know...they were there to surprise me!
We all went over to Jeffrey's parents' house for lunch. It was great!
So...that is the story. That is why I love this day so much! Isn't it romantic?
Ok...I'm off to clean the toilets....

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Ugly Cake Company

That is the new name of my cake "business". Don't you think that is perfect? We've established that I am NOT an artist (i.e. the mermaid cake) but my cakes taste good...REALLY good (and I'm not saying that in a braggy family has confirmed that they are REALLY good..OH, NO!...What if my family is like those families who say their kid really can SING and encourage them to try out for American Idol to which they completely embarrass themselves on national television?).
So, I've decided instead of feeling bad that my cakes are ugly, I'm going to embrace it. Yes...they are ugly...but does that matter? Isn't the taste the most important part?

Alexy & Natasha

A year and a half ago we had some special guests stay with us. It was in the church bulletin: "Host homes needed for visiting Russians". I had the weirdest inclination that we should host a couple...a calling from God, I guess.
So, we called Spoken For (a ministry that helps orphans in Penza, Russia and around the world) to tell them we would be a host home. Little did we know the experience we would never forget awaited us.
We met them late one night at DFW Airport. They had just travelled 24 hours (12 by train and 12 by air). They were exhausted...and spoke little English. We fumbled through the introduction and found out they had left 3 boys at home...the first time away from their children. Thankfully, they were used to boys...otherwise, I'm not sure they would have survived our home.
For 2 1/2 weeks they stayed with us. We would ask them what life was like in Russia and introduced them to our favorites (they liked Chick Fil A & Target). We were humbled by how "easy" our life is in comparison to theirs (she cooks ALL DAY LONG). We were also brought into check about how ABSOLUTELY frivolous the life we lead is. Wow! It has changed me forever!
The boys became especially attached to Alexy & Natasha. We were all sad when they left.
We have friends who have recently adopted a little girl from Russia, the Macdonalds. They have brought us gifts both times from Russia that Alexy & Natsha sent including Russian chocolates & the Nesting Dolls.
We got a call late last month from Alexy. He left a message saying he was going to be in Texas March 8th! He was travelling with the Broken Dancers group from Spoken For and would be here two weeks. He isn't staying with us (because we live in Oklahoma...just kidding) but Jeffrey got to go see him today at Grapevine Mills while the dancers performed. The boys and I had to stay home due to various illnesses on the home front but are hoping to get to see him before he returns to Russia.
Jeffrey took gifts for Alexy to take home. Our boys picked out gifts especially for their boys...Star Wars Light Sabers (of course) and Matchbox Cars. I picked out yummy, girlie lotions, etc. for Natasha (she is VERY girlie and loves that kind of thing...oh, she loves SHOES too! girl stuck in a boy world...we have a lot in common).Doesn't this picture look like my life????
We're hoping to go visit them in two summers. Better start making more cakes to save for that trip, too...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Families who are SICK together, STICK together?

I know that really isn't the saying but that is how our Spring Break has started. I was diagnosed with Laryngitis yesterday. That is one of the worst sicknesses for me! Doctor's orders..."Don't Talk for 3 days"...yeah, right! I am glad, however, that I don't have the flu.
Today Will got off the bus with a fever. We immediately called the doctor and they graciously fit us in. Yep...he's got strep and some wheezing in his chest. Omnicef & Xopenex for you!
Jake has a cough and a little runny nose, too. He's doing breathing treatments also.
I thought we were done with breathing treatments!
We were so excited to "Advance" to the puff (like the asthma inhalers kids have), that we accidentally threw away the nebulizer tubing. Yikes!
Jeffrey just got home with the new equipment...better start the breathing treatment marathon!
Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough.....

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Baseball Practice...with Papa!

Well, it happened. Another miracle/blessing that God granted me...My dad being able to play baseball with my boys. Papa (my dad) came into town on Monday for a short visit. When Will got off the bus, he was so excited to see Papa (although a little distracted by Eli's haircut...Will, like his mother, is not a fan of change).
When Papa was sick, I pleaded for his life with God. "Just give him some time to get to play baseball in the yard with my boys", I cried. All of these memories that "wouldn't get to be" flashed in my mind when he was sick...this was one of them.
The boys went outside to play baseball. Until a few months ago, Jeffrey would beg the boys to go throw the ball around and they never wanted to. Now they really enjoy it and both want play in the yard with us. I'm sad to say, this was prompted by a video game they enjoy called "Mario Baseball". That game taught them how to play and now they like to play. You have to gloss over the fact that they like to be Mario characters when playing. I chalk it up as creativity...anyone can be on the Astros or Rangers. Not everyone can say they are on Luigi's team?

Monday, March 12, 2007

You can see Eli's eyes!

Eli got his first haircut today!
I had no idea how expensive it was going to be!!! $41!!! Yikes!!! I may have to learn myself how to cut him. The good part is that you can see his eyes...the bad part is that he is getting lighter. I liked the brown color. Our puppy is growing!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Nesting Doll Battle?

Our friends Alexy & Natasha from Penza, Russia (who stayed with us 1 1/2 years ago for 2 1/2 weeks) sent us this beautiful Russian Nesting Doll. I've always wanted one and was so excited to get it! Little did I know how excited the boys would be to "play" with it. Hmmm? It is not a toy but that is how little boys' minds work. So, I put it in a safe place only to be brought down by me for them to "play". What did the little boys do with my beautiful nesting doll? Had a battle, of course! They battled each of the dolls against each other. Will I ever get to keep nice things nice? Reoccurring theme...My Life With Boys! I may change my blog to that name.....

Thank you, Papa!

This is the kids' Christmas present from Nana & Papa. It only took Jeffrey 3 FULL Saturdays to put it together (I'm sure he wasn't saying "thank you" during that time). So, it is up and ready to use. Last night we had the Murphys, Cookes, and Veras over for dinner (don't get excited...I didn't cook...we had pizza). The kids couldn't WAIT to play basketball together...and the adults couldn't wait to join in. Fun times!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Tom Sawyer's Island is 102

In "Disney-speak", that means that Tom Sawyer's Island is back and running. We had to close it a lot due to the lightening in the area. As if the outfit wasn't embarrassing enough, I ran into a high school friend (who was attending the Naval Academy and I had dated) while driving the raft. I felt like a complete idiot! Wranglers were never a good match for these "child bearin'" hips! And WHY were high waisted things so popular? It is NOT a good look for me all around... but it was fun!!!
Is it bad that Tour Guide Mike (the website that tells you all the ends and outs of Disney World...what to see, do, etc.) didn't mention Country Bear Jamboree OR Tom Sawyer's Island as anything remotely interesting to do? I thought they were "cool" rides. They weren't at the The Jungle Cruise level of coolness but they were right up there!

Light Saber Mishap

This is the result of a Light Saber Duel (although it was dangling by a thread for the past week or so). Life with boys is NEVER dull! The proceeds from the "Tooth Fairy" went directly to the "Disney Fund" jar this morning as soon as he work up. The boys are so excited about Disney that they save everything for the trip. It is a great lesson for them (and me).

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Geek In The Pink

Have you heard that song? Chris Richardson (no relation to us...well, at least I don't think so) sang it on American Idol. It is our new FAVORITE song (courtesy of Jason Mraz on iTunes who did it originally but we think Chris' version is better). I can't get it out of my head (and neither can the rest of my family).
We're really into American Idol in our house. Thank goodness for Tivo! We've been gone every night this week but have been able to catch all of our favorites. Will's favorites are all the ones that have gotten kicked off.
Recently, I "tried out" for the worship team at our church. That required me to spend a lot of time singing in the car to re-oil, if you will, this rusty voice. Jake asked me why I was singing those songs and I told him I was "trying out" for the worship team. He then asked, "You are trying out for American Idol? You are going to Hollywood, mom!" Will immediately panicked, "Who will take care of us if you go to American Idol?" I then explained that I was too old to be on American Idol. They were relieved.
So, we continued to practice the praise songs in the car. By the end of the 2 weeks, the boys were correcting ME when I sang the wrong words. They knew all the words to the songs and would sing them all day long. It was precious! There is nothing better than hearing your babies sing praises to God!