Friday, November 30, 2012

7 Quick Takes

1. The Detox is over!!
I really wish I had the desire to blog right now. But I don't. So, the three week Reset gets a little mention here. Bottom line: It was great. I feel great. I am 9 lbs lighter. And my eating habits have totally changed. I am thoroughly convinced now that I need to keep wheat and some of the more processed grains out of my diet for good. And I need to keep my meat consumption in check. I am, by no means, becoming a vegetarian, but I am limiting my meats to just a couple of meals a week.


  My son and I are running this race together this weekend. I am trying to forget about the fact that I have not run further than 3 miles in about 5 months . . . But, I am so excited about this and I am planning on making it FUN! I am going to wear a silly sparkly red running skirt and maybe even a Christmas hat. (I have to take advantage of this opportunity and do it now before my son gets to the age where things like that embarrass him). I am bringing my camera on the run and plan on taking lots of photos while we are running. Why do a race like this if you cannot make it fun, right??

3. Grand Illumination
Since we will be in Williamsburg for the race, we will be heading to Grand Illumination at Colonial Williamsburg that same night. I cannot wait!! It is the opening celebration of the Christmas season and one of my favorite things to see.

4. Running Update
I have been limping along for months and it is hard for me to believe that I was in good enough shape just this year to pull off a marathon and three half marathons. I am continually reminded by my PT that I am getting older and things are not as easy for me as they once were (I want to fire him! And I may just do so.)

Long story short: Physical Therapy has helped a little, but a $17 yoga video cleared up my muscle issues in a week!! And, after going to a running store to try out new shoes, I have realized that my orthotics are totally worn out and needed to be replaced, oh about the time I started to have all the problems!! New orthotics have been ordered. I am running without too much pain so far and I hope to continue!

5. Merry Christmas??
Have you heard this song by Third Day? Please watch this video.

Maybe it is just me because I want to adopt,but . . .
do you cry when you hear this song too???

6.  St. Andrew Novena starts today!

In case you did not see my post yesterday . . .

Thanks Joyfilled Family for the beautiful card!
7. Some Little Flower Orphan Cuteness
I would not mind if Santa snuck them under our tree!
Have a great weekend everyone!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

St. Andrew Novena Starts tomorrow!!

This is one of my most favorite prayers!  The boys and I have made St. Andrew Chaplets and have had to make more because I love to give these to others!

This is a very special prayer and I haev read of many special prayers answered through this Novena.

Won't you join our family?

The St. Andrew/Christmas Novena
Say 15 times a day from St. Andrew’s Day (30 November), ending on Christmas Eve
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

(It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew, on November 30th, until Christmas will obtain what is asked.)

[Imprimatur: +MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York, New York, February 6, 1897.]

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Those who do not know history . . .

 . . . you know the rest of that statement.

But, I seriously think our family will be OK.  WE love history and are blessed to live in a very, history rich area. 
At Little Round Top

My oldest is studying the Civil War right now.  When I was a kid, I LOVED learning about the Civil War and I dreamed of living in an Old Plantation style farm house in the countryside of Virgina someday.  My favorite movie was Gone with the Wind. So, I wanted to encourage my son in his fascination with the Civil War.  We have been watching the Ken Burn's series on the Civil War.  If you have not seen it, get it from your library.  It is incredible.
Seminary Ridge. The site where the Confederate troops were Day 2 and 3.

So, since the Friday after Thanksgiving was a beautiful day here, we decided to go to Gettysburg.  We had a great day there.  Once there, we bought a 90 min driving tour CD.  And headed along the battle trail.  It was fascinating and very sad all at the same time.  As we stood on Little Round Top or on the wall that the Union was behind the day of Pickett's Charge, I could not help but be sad about the fact that THOUSANDS of men died where we were standing.  Even my oldest son said, "Mom, I used to think going into battle would be cool.  I do not think that anymore."
View of Devil's Den  from Little Round Top.

But, even with that thought in our minds, we had a beautiful day there.  The weather was perfect, Gettysburg is beautiful, and there is something special about walking where so many great men (on both sides) fought for their rights, or the right to preserve the Union or to free slaves.  There were so many different reasons men fought in that war  . . .

We saw the ground near the seminary where the first day of battle occurred . . .

We drove where the Confederate troops were encamped . . .


We walked up Big Round Top . . .


And toured Little Round Top . . .
We saw Culp's Hill . . .

We saw reminders that these grounds were the site of a great battle . . .

And we stood where the Union lines held back Pickett's Charge . . .
Fr Corby, chaplain, gives conditional absolution to a whole infantry before battle.


By the time we had finished the tour is was DARK and time to head home.  The boys begged us to come back again.  I am sure we will . . .

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I am hitting the Reset button

For the past several months I have felt "off."  I have been eating well, but not as great as I could.  Because I had not been running (notice the tense used . . . that is for another post), and my PT took away pretty much all high intensity exercise, I had fallen into a exercise funk.  I had been tired most of the time and I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee more than once a day. 

I knew I needed a change.  I knew I needed a detox.  My hubby and I have done different detoxes over the years.  All different in some way or the other.  The one that we have done the most is one where you do not eat for a week. Yes, for a whole week you only take supplements and the most disgusting drinks you could imagine. But, you did feel great when you were done.  We have only done that one once since our kids were born and it was hard.  There is no way I can cook for a family and not eat myself.

I came upon the Beachbody Ultimate Reset through a friend who had done it.  I researched it and was impressed.  It is a 21 day detox, broken up into 3, 7-day phases.  During each phase you take different supplements.  You eat 3 regular meals a day, slowly going from a regular, clean diet to a vegan diet, consisting of mainly fruits and vegetables. You are given a menu plan and recipe for each day.

I am on day 15 of the detox and I feel great.  I have been sleeping better, waking up with more energy and eating so much better.  I have loved the new recipes. I have made some for my family too and they even like them. Squash soup made with coconut milk. Endamame and corn succotash. Lemon Pepper Kale.  Roasted root vegetable medley.  YUMMY.  I have not felt hungry at all while on the detox.

Some nice side effects of the detox so far:

- I am off of coffee!  This, I thought, would take a minor miracle, but it only took the detox and a little resolve on my part.

- I have really realized when I am hungry and when I only think I am hungry.  I noticed during the first week that there were many times I thought I was hungry, and I would have normally started eating, but because I was on the detox I could not.  Instead, I grabbed a big glass of water.  After a few days, that "feeling" of hunger just went away. 

- I have a whole arsenal of new recipes that I love.

- I have lost 7 lbs to date.

There are only a few things I do not like about the Reset.  First, the cost.  It is pricey.  But, all detoxes that are worth it are, in my opinion.  Second, you may not do any intense exercise; only walking and yoga.  I understand that, after all you are doing a detox and putting extra stress on your body is not really wise during that time, but I do miss running and going to the gym.

And the last thing I do not like about the detox . . .  I will still be doing it on Thanksgiving and my husband's birthday!  So, no turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie for me!  I knew, when I chose when to start the detox that that would happen and I am OK with it, but it may be tough on Thursday!

Other than that, I give it two thumbs up!  I will let ya'll know how it ends up!

I now finished the detox two weeks ago.  The whole experience was great.  I weigh 9 lbs less and feel great.  I am keeping up with the eating style.   I eat very little meat now and only eat wheat on special occasions (think, birthdays!).

The hardest part of the detox was week 3 for me.  The first few days of that week, I felt very hungry.  But. I stuck to the plan and went onto the Ultimate Reset Support Group Facebook pages to get me through the week without giving up.  And I am so glad I did.

Will I keep this new eating style up? YES!  I have had too many days (on vacation) where eating veggies all day long and preparing whole foods was not always possible and those days I did not feel as good. If I have more than a 1/2 cup of coffee, I feel sick.  If I eat bread, I feel bloated.  It is easier to listen to my body now to know exactly what it needs.

I am so happy I took this 3 week journey!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Renaissance Festival

One of the bigger outings we did while my husband was away for work was heading to the Renaissance festival.  The boys have been begging to go all fall and the weather and our schedule finally cooperated.  We decided to go to an early mass one Sunday and then head directly to the "Ren Fen" as it is called here.
We had never been to the Ren Fen and it was quite the experience!  Since we went early, it was not too crowded when we got there, but there were SO MANY people dressed in costume.  We walked around and then decided to make a plan to figure out what shows we should attend.  My boys, in their usual fashion, chose shows that involved knights, weapons and horses; which meant we would spend most of our time at the Jousting Arena.   We watched the Knight School and learned all about Knight armour and he different styles of Jousting. We watched a Jousting tournament and ate Turkey legs.  And the boys learned all about how to fight with their new swords (purchased that day but put away for Christmas . . . they have been asking for swords for a long time!)
Jousting tornament
The day was a lot of fun, but by the time the Jousting tournament was over, the Festival was getting very packed.  As we tried to wade through the crowd to find new and fun attractions, my resolve waned and I told the boys it was time to go.  There were just too many people around and it was getting harder and harder to make sure that the boys stayed right with me.  So we headed home and went to Cold Stone for a special treat!
All in all, it was a fun experience.  Maybe we will go again next year!


K learning the "Look, there is a . . . " move to beat your opponent!

Fun at the Fire Department

One of the weekends in October, our local Fire Department had a Fire Awareness Open House.  K's Cub Scout Den met there for an Den activity.  I took all the boys and they had so much fun!!

A game where that had to shoot the water through the "windows"

A big smile while taking a Den picture
K getting to ride in the front seat of the Fire Truck!

Pumpkin Patch

While my husband was away, the boys and I went on many adventures.  One glorious Saturday, we headed to a Pumpkin Patch!  Here are some photos from the day.

Run for the Little Flowers local meet up

I  have been a total blog slacker lately!!  Between being busy and just not having a strong desire to blog, I have not been in this space much the last month.  But, I do need to catch up with posting, at least, some pictures of the last two months so that my family can see all the pictures.
These are the pictures from our local Run for the Little Flowers 5K meet up.  It was a perfect morning. The sun was shining and the weather was great for an late Fall October morning.  That day was such a blessing for me.  I loved being surrounded by my boys and friends while remembering those children around the world that are orphaned.

Thank you again to everyone who did so much for those precious children!