Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Anderson Family Reunion 2010

We had great family reunions growing up. I remember other kids hating their reunions. I always loved ours. They were huge....all of my grandpas siblings, their kids and all the grandkids (that was us). We traveled all over the western US - Yellowstone, Lake Powell, Lake Tahoe, Bryce Canyon and occasionally back to Oak City for Oak City Days. We always camped. Every year was a different place but there were traditions that remained in place: the talent show with yearly renditions of Rindercella and the Dead Kitties Song. The All Night game of Rook. The Sawdust Pool. White Elephant Gift Exchange.

They went strong for a good 20 maybe even 25 years. Then my Great Grandma Macel Anderson finally passed away several years ago when she was almost 100 years old. And the family reunions basically ended. They had been dwindling and just didn't survive after she passed away. We talked about getting just my dad's family together with his siblings and our cousins, but the interest wasn't there and I don't have the time or power to push the issue. So instead we have continued the tradition with my immediate family. For the third year in a row my parents and siblings have gathered once again to keep the fun alive. This year we went to Yankee Meadows above Parowan. It was a really nice spot with fishing, biking trails, beautiful scenery and lots of good times! Here's the recap in pics:

This is my ammunition picture. Joey gets after me when I very occasionally wash his wallet (which he leaves in his pants on the floor....hey, I'm in a hurry, I'm lucky to get anything washed. I can't empty the pockets...come on!) Anyway, a post for another day I'm sure....BUT on our first day there Joey took the dogs to the lake and was throwing the duck in the water to Kala. She was doing great, but then got tired of the game and wouldn't go get the duck. Joey didn't want to waste the $5 he had just spent on the toy, so he waded waist deep into the water to get it. Forgot his phone was in his pocket....

We put it in a bag of rice in the sun when we got back home and it has survived without any major brain damage. But still...I'm not the only one who makes dumb mistakes honey buns!

Love this picture of Kelley. She is describing how the wind lifted up the canopy and carried it clear across two campsites...

Traditional sawdust pool. The kids dive for coins and small trinkets. At OUR reunions, the adults get a shot at one too. Fun times!

Kelley and some of her loot from the sawdust pool.

Mom's haul from the white elephant gift. Now THAT is what we're talking about! In case you can't tell it's a toilet seat dedicated to Texas. It opened up to reveal even more interesting things inside. What do you want to bet that comes back next year....

At our family reunions growing up there was always this baby blue polyester pant suit. If you were lucky enough to snag i, it was like a crime if you didn't contribute it back into the white elephant gift pool. Or maybe it was so hideous that it was simply a cruel joke to bring it back every year. I wonder what ever happened to that....

I think this picture is funny. HD cameras are great except that sometimes you just get details you don't really need. The dirty buggery nose...the drool. But oh how those baby blues shine!

Maren had a blast hanging out in the spare tire. Who knew? Apparently she liked it because she started sitting up on her own within a week after this trip.

We'll end with this one. What a funny boy I have. He wore this pirate costume the entire last day. I brought it for our portion of the talent show, but he thought it was perfect camping attire. Notice the two wands he has stuck in the back of his shirt. For what I don't know! That is also a glow in the dark baseball cap he has on. What a hoot!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

About what I expected

So you have heard of "cleanses" or "detox diets" I'm sure. They usually involve uses of sometime of laxative and eating nothing but grapefruit juice and lettuce for 10 days. They are supposed to clean your body of toxins and restore life and vitality. From what I've heard they aren't really healthy for you at all, you get a severe case of the runs and grumps and your left weak and tired by the end of it. Well that sounds fun...ha!

I read something in a magazine though that got me thinking I should do a "cleanse" of sorts though. So this last 10 days I've been cutting out all processed foods, anything with preservatives, all white flours and refined sugars, all dairy (which I don't eat anyway right now, usually...) and all red meat. I tried to really limit butter and salt and used mostly olive oil when I added fat at all. I've eaten a lot of fruits and veggies, lots of chicken and rice, some eggs, beans that type of thing.

Well dang it all, you wouldn't believe the difference it has made. I have lost 4 or 5 pounds. I have been less distracted and able to focus more. Amazingly my house is cleaner and you can see more of the floor in my bedroom than you have been able to in months. My friend told me my skin was "glowing" and I feel really pretty good. I kind of hate it when you ask questions that you don't really want the answers to. It's like the whole dairy thing with Maren. Dang it all I didn't want it to WORK when I cut out the dairy, but it did.

Of course I knew it WOULD work - this whole nutrition thing. But I guess I didn't expect to see such a pronounced difference. It's like with the weight loss. Twice in the last year and a half I have trained for a triathlon for 5 or 6 weeks at a time. I was working out three times a week at least and lost maybe a pound or two the whole time. And here I was able to loose two or three times that amount it less than half the time just by limiting my calorie intake and eating healthier. Do you have any idea what this means???? It means I have to change my eating habits for good if I want to improve my health and well being. Not only has it helped with physical health (I mean who doesn't want to loose weight!), but apparently I'm more focused and in a positive frame of mind when I eat better too. ((((Sigh)))))

I mean it is good. But there are things that are a little sad. First of all, when I'm eating like this it can be a little difficult to keep my calories up to where they need to be. I've tried to keep them around 1600 a day, which is pretty moderate for someone my size, but you have to remember I'm also nursing Maren still, so I have to be careful not to go TOO low. But it was kind of hard. Whole grains and veggies just don't pack the calorie punch that crackers and canned chili do. There were a few days where I had to sneak a few cookies in at the end of the day just to get my calories up for the day. (You can see I'm not very good at keeping inner commitments sometimes... ha ha!)

There's also this kind of persistent hunger you have to get used to. It's not bad, not like my stomach is growling or anything. But most days I was a little hungry for most of the day. And food just isn't nearly as fun anymore. I mean, you can still make really good stuff with lots of goodies from the garden. But as yummy as that type of food doesn't elicit the same type of excitement for me as say cheese enchiladas or carmel popcorn. And it's hard to focus on the yummy aspect of it when your dissecting your dinner for the purpose of making sure each calories is recorded in your food journal. And when you do sneak a big bowl of tends to just make you sick instead of happy. And you break out the next day.

So here's the verdict. I think you should try it. You might just like it. I will continue it I think, but won't feel guilty about cheating a little and having a steak for date night or something. It is a little addictive...this weight loss thing. I think the first 5 pounds is probably the easiest. I have about 10-15 more to get to my ideal goal. It's quite satisfying though to see actually progress, so the drawbacks are worth it I think.

AAAND....I think I need to try something like this with Tyler. Oh boy...If you don't know Tyler is...well he's just Tyler. But about every other minute of our life I think he might have serious issues. He is one passionate, dramatic little boy. But I've wondered for a long time if improved nutrition for him might not really help improve his behavior. We do eat better than a lot of people I think. I try really hard at the daycare to do fresh, homemade stuff. But we have our share of crackers, mac and cheese and the occasional chicken nugget. And so one of these days I'm going to gear up and go head to head with the monster and see if it doesn't help him out a little also.

Wish me luck on that one please...

Monday, July 5, 2010

A blessing and a curse

For those of you don't know, I run a daycare out of my home. With a helper here I am licensed for 15 kids. Kelley and Tyler are old enough that they don't count, so technically I can have 17 kids here at a time. So this summer we are FULL at the daycare. I have as many kids as I can have. They are not all here all the time, but we are BUSY. Which is good. It's very helpful as we try to pay off our debt, make improvements to the house/yard and not have to live so much paycheck to paycheck. It's a wonderful HUGE blessing.

But my life is a mess. My house is a mess. My bedroom is BEYOND a mess - it's more like a massive tornado shoved into the tiny space that we sleep in. My bathrooms only get scrubbed down when we have company coming or the grossness just can't be ignored anymore. My files for the daycare are...well, they aren't really files. They are kind of a mass of papers waiting to be filed and then I have to make sure I even have everything, which I probably don't.

My desk is covered with papers, probably several bills that I could pay if I could find them...(((sighhh)))

This happens every time. When I get more kids, even though I have more help (my employees are here more) I get further and further behind. I just have to keep telling step forward, 3 steps back, but eventually maybe forward progress will happen...maybe?

Don't get me wrong. My life is good. Just busy and parts of it are overwhelming. I just keep repeating the mantra: Do what you can do...

With that, here's a list of blog posts I'd like to write sometime.

On hair dye and fake nails
Boys and their toys
Anderson Family Reunion
Garden Update
I am a if my knee would stop hurting

But right now, it's off to clean my room. And when I say clean my room I really mean make tiny dents in the massive mess that inhabits it :) Good night.