Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Elf on the Shelf



Our Elf on the Shelf, Red, and the goodies he brought the family, including the dog!
Do you have one?  We got ours a few years back, PeeWee was 4 I think.  She and I were at Target and I saw them and somehow one got in our basket!  LOL!

Every year over Thanksgiving, our elf "Red" shows up with gifts for the kids.  Usually simple eats and drinks, maybe a new Christmas Mug.  This year because we had my parents anniversary and were out of town, the neighbors who take care of our guinea pigs set up Red.  He brought drinks and a new collar for the dog!

If you have your own Elf, you know that it travels to the North Pole every night to report on the children's behavior to Santa.  These Elves are called scout Elves.  And we are not supposed to touch them or they lose their magic.  We have had several close calls in the past, but Red has always showed up in a new location every morning. 


Yesterday, when the neighbor kids got here (they ride the bus with PeeWee, to and from school every day.), they found Red sitting on our bookshelf holding the Magic 8 Ball.  Everyone found him right away and wondered what he was asking it.  The neighbor kids LOVE this 8 ball!  O, the 5 year old neighbor boy, likes to ask the 8 ball non-yes or no questions and throw on "YES OR NO".  Like, What is Red's favorite color, yes or no?  Or where is Red going to hide tomorrow, yes or no?  When we correct him, he replies, "but I said Yes or No?"

After school, I was working on getting dinner on the table and I went into the living room to ask them something, and I saw O holding the Magic 8 Ball!  I asked him where he got it from and he said the Elf.  I scolded him, knowing full well that if PeeWee found out she would be devastated.  I asked him if he touched the Elf when he took the ball - no answer.  I explained that you are not supposed to touch the Elf, because he loses his magic when you do.  O said, "Maybe I touched him a little bit."  Gasp!  So, our Elf did not move last night.  He is still sitting with the 8 ball back in his lap.  I pray that O learns a lesson in follow rules and realizes what he did was wrong.  We will see.  

In the mean time, after the kids went home last night, PeeWee and I were talking about the incident.  She said, "Sometimes I want to punch that boy!  He doesn't listen and he doesn't get into trouble. On the bus, because he is a K5 kid, he is not supposed to go past this area and every night when he gets on he does it.  He always gives me this look too.  It makes me so mad!"  (My kids are all rule followers, and know that if they don't follow the house rules there will be consequences.  They don't understand why all families are not like that, honestly, I don't understand it either!?!?)  Anyway, last night I was at work and got a text from PeeWee saying she thinks Red heard her saying she wanted to punch O.  Poor kid.  I replied saying she should tell Red that she was mad and really didn't mean it.

Now, what to do about this Elf business!?!?  Wish us luck on getting our Elf's magic back so we can have a great Advent season and prepare our hearts for Christmas!

Off n Dog Walking,
AnnMarie


Monday, November 27, 2017

Cyber Monday...

That sounds like we are being invaded!  LOL!  So, how many of you shopped on Black Friday?  How many of you are waiting for today to get all the deals?  How many don't realize that Christmas Day is in 28 days!

Yipes!  I have barely scratched the surface of looking at my list and getting ideas.  Before we know it all the wrapping will be torn off and tossed out.  (Big deep breath!)

I woke up early today.  My little one went to bed feeling not so good.  We spent time with cousins and friends over the weekend, and she got something they had.  I hope she is well enough to go to school, but we will see.  I had her take Shaklee's Defend and Resist a few times yesterday, along with a hot bath in Epsom Salts.  I didn't put anything in her diffuser and should have.  At the beginning of November, when I felt yucky, I put in my own blend of Theives oil.  (I found a recipe on Pinterest.)  I like the Young Living blend, but didn't have any on hand.

Just wondering, how many of my readers use Essential Oils.  As a massage therapist, I have always been interested in them.  I found this great company about a year ago called Rocky Mountain Oils.  They are great!

Every January first, I sit down with the kids and we make a list of things we would like to do this year.  I put learn about Aromatherapy on my list.  I was lucky enough to find a great class in my neighborhood.  I earned continuing education credits for the class, and am wondering if I can take it again.  I really liked the class.  My teacher, Robin, is a certified Aroma therapist(?).  She earned her certificate/accreditation with Aromahead Institute (I think.)  Robin said we need to look at the way the oils are harvested and where they come from.  If you want to know if your oils are good, they should always have the latin name on the label as well as the origin of the oil.

Since then, I have been dabbling in aromatherapy.  I have pinned a bunch of "blends" I want to try.  I have been given oils from clients.  I buy some here and some there.  But I like 3 companies the best: Rocky Mountain Oils, Young Living and DoTerra.  These oils just seem fresher to me.  One of the things I learned from my class was the purity of each oil varies from company to company.  Some companies put the essential oil in a carrier oil for you.  What I noticed about these is they don't list what the proportion is.  How can I use 2 drops of Frankincense in my coconut oil if it has already been diluted?  Will the property be the same, I don't know?

I am rambling.  Sorry about that.  I guess I am sleep deprived - LOL!   With it being the holiday season, I am looking forward to buying a few Christmas Blends from Rocky Mountain Oils.  Last year, I got a set of Holiday oils with Candy Cane in it.  I ended up ordering about 5 Candy Cane blend to have for this year, just in case they didn't offer it again.  I see they do have the blend, but I need to read the label, I think they changed it up a bit.  Last year's blend smelled SOOO much like candy canes.  My house smelled tiny and fresh!  Because it is Cyber Monday, there is a deal of course.  Check them out.

And don't be surprised if I give you a scented something for Christmas this year!

Off n Walking the dog,
AnnMarie

Friday, November 24, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Anniversary 

50 years ago on November 23, 1967, (alsoThanksgiving day that year) my parents were married. Yesterday we celebrated the occasion by attending mass at their church. My son did one of the readings with one of my nephews. My sister (Sister 2) and I handed out communion, my other sister (Sister 1) and her kids sang... it was nice. 


Sister 2 put together a video for them.  She asked all of the grandchildren to answer questions about love and grandma and grandma.  It was cute.  One question was “how do you think grandma and grandpa met.”  When my kids first read this question, they all said “at a bar!”  Several of the younger ones thought maybe in college.  I didn’t know the answer, so we asked them!

Dad said he thinks mom was 8 years old when they met.  Dad was friends with one of mom’s brothers.  They started dating when mom was a freshman in high school.  He proposed when she was a junior in high school.  Then he was drafted.  He got stationed in Texas.  They decided to wait until his term was up to get married.  So they chose Thanksgiving Day, Because they were thankful he was home and out of the service!

I think I have told you about Sister 2 being a race director for a local 5k -Run for the Paws- it benefits the Forest County Humane Society and the Crandon Cross Country Team.  My whole family (pictured here) was there this year, because we took family pictures.  The lady who took them did a great job. 


Anyway... after mass we went to a restaurant for a Thanksgiving meal.  If you are wondering, Yes, I stuck to the Whole 30 plan!  There was a small salad bar so I loaded up on lettuce.  They had hard boiled eggs and black olives!  I did eat a piece of turkey and some green beans.  

We hung out at my parents for the rest of the day.  Munched on veggies and fruit in the afternoon.  I made chicken pot soup so DH and Sister 1, who is gluten free, would have something “legal” to eat.  Sister 1 loved it!  Sister In Law lived it too.  So, shout out to Jay’s Baking Me Crazy, for this great recipe.  ( I have pinned several from this site, will update as we try them!)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Off n running,

AnnMarie 


Monday, November 20, 2017

Maintain don’t Gain Challenge 

So a few weeks ago at work I saw this poster...


I grabbed a flyer on my way out the door.  What is it?  Well, let me tell you.  For $10, you weigh in during a set date (November 13-22) then you weigh out during another set date (January 1-9).  If you maintain your weigh-in weight, you will get your $10 fee back.  If you gain weight, you lose your fee. If you lose weight during the challenge, you get a portion of the losers money.  

So, I had to break one of the Whole 30 rules.  You know, the one where you don’t step on a scale for the 30 days!  At my last doctor visit, sometime in September (or was it October), the nurse weighed me at 168.  Last week, for the Maintain Don’t Gain challenge weigh-in, I logged 160.4, as my weight!  Not too bad, for a start.  

I want to get through the next 10 days of Whole 30 and see how December goes.  My DH and I are in agreement that we’d like to stick to the clean eating.  I personally would love to get back down to 135 pounds.  That is what I was in college.  Maybe I will fit back into my wedding dress for our 20th wedding anniversary in 2018!  We will see.  

As of right now, I plan to maintain in December and do this Whole 30 thing again on January 1.  Who wants to join me?  (I have a college friend that contacted me after my first Whole 30 post.  She said she was in the same place as me- borrowed books from library but never really read them or started the program.  She started on my day two, I think.  She is doing great but needs our prayers right now.  She is on a trip overseas!)

Please follow me here on my blog and let me know if you’re going to join me for Whole30 in January.  Thanks!

Off n Running,

AnnMarie 



Surgery is set




Hello readers,

Those who are here to read about my running, I am going to update you now!  As you know, I have been sidelined for awhile.  I finally did something about during this year's Cross Country season when I could not chase my kid around the course without pain or consequences!

Long story short, I went to PT, he sent me to Orthopedic Doctor.  He had some blood tests done and an MRI.  MRI showed very little wear in the joint but did pick up a torn meniscus.  The scheduler called me the next day to tell me that we can't schedule anything until the insurance approves the orders.  Last week, Thursday, I got the call it was approved!

I will be getting the tear fixed on December 21, 2017.  From what the Doc said, I would be on crutches for maybe 3 days.  So, I took off work for one week.  I don't know yet if I will be traveling anywhere for the Christmas and New Year holidays.  But, I will be home the week my kids are off of school.  That I like!  It has been too long since I have taken off to hang out with them.  I miss that.  Even though now a days, they tend to sit in their rooms and play games or watch videos on their phones...  I will get to be home with them to watch movies and play board games with them!
I was contacted today by someone in the Orthopedic office about getting in to see my Physical Therapist after the surgery.  She said that Doc usually wants you to go in 1 to 3 days post op.  I sure hope my guy is in the day after my surgery.

My goal with all of this is to be able to run again.  Not sure how far, how soon, but if I can chase my Cross Country runner around her course next fall, I will be so happy!  Shoot if I can run across the field from one side of the track to the other this Spring, without any pain or limping, I will be even happier!  So, the dreams of running again for my sanity are going to come true.  I can't wait!


Off n Dreaming of Running,

AnnMarie

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday, again!

Happy fall Sunday blog readers,

Where has the month gone?  We are already over halfway done with our Whole 30.  WOW!  And I am happy to report that I have not knowingly cheated!  I say "knowingly" because in the beginning I was not as good about reading those pesky labels.  My DH is not being as strict as I am about this round.

As you know, I am a Girl Scout leader.  In the fall, in our Council, we sell nuts and candy.  (Cookies are in January!)  I ordered a couple of items from each of the girls to boost their sales and was so excited to get my cans of Whole Cashews.  Then I read the label: Cashews, Salt, Peanut Oil.  Wait, WHAT?!?!?  Why would you put peanut oil on cashews?  Yesterday, I was at Aldi, and DH likes the Lightly Salted Almonds.  I read that label and there is peanut oil on those roasted nuts too?!?!  Who knew?  Well, know I know and sadly the can of cashews will be wrapped up for the bus drivers Christmas gift.  So, I guess that is a small win, as I won't have to decide what to get her.  😉

So, I think I told you all that DH borrowed the Whole30 book from his bus buddy.  I found a book store in my area that is sadly going out of business.  I got the last copy of the book!  Woo Hoo for me!  We gave Bus Buddy the new copy, since we are wearing the copy they borrowed us out.  I am loving everything that I have tried, except the mayo recipe.  I cannot figure out how to get it to emulsify.  I am pretty sure I added the oil too fast and now I have a jar of separated mess in my fridge.  I am going to try again, as I really want to make Deviled eggs for one of my Thanksgiving treats.

Was texting with my sister-in-law last night.  We are spending a few nights with them for Thanksgiving.  She has a son in college, a son who is a Sophomore in High School and an eighth grade daughter.  My brother, owns a farm and these kids help out AND are active in athletics and other school activities.  Add my three and we need to cook up a few feasts a day to feed this crew.  So, we laid out a meal plan.  I did tell her that DH and I are doing the Whole 30, so we will be bringing some of our own ingredients.  She suggested tacos/nacho bar for one night.  I just found this great recipe I want to try for Sweet Potato chips as your nacho chips.  If this works, I will be snacking on chips and salsa again really soon!

I love Pinterest.  For Thanksgiving, we will be going out to a restaurant to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary.  This will be our brunch/lunch time meal.  For dinner, we are all pitching in and bringing food to serve the masses.  I am going to try these stuffed mushrooms, I found them this morning on Pinterest.  I am also going to bring the Chicken Pot Pie soup I Pinned and my family LOVES!  And I will see if anyone is bringing a veggie tray.  I need to try the Ranch dressing from the Whole 30 book, so we can dip our veggies legally, if we want to.

Today is a Girl Scout meeting.  We are going to be finalizing the plans for the Winter Wonderland Brunch that is in less than 2 weeks.  Ack!  I have 8 registered girls, and I know that 2 of them are not going to be at the meeting.  We have a lot to do with so few girls in attendance.  Wish me luck.  And have a great week everyone.  Happy Thanksgiving, if I don't get time to blog again before then!  I have been thinking a lot about the new year coming and what that might look like for me and my family.  My son, needs to get a fire lit under him so he can rank up this spring before tennis and baseball season.  My oldest daughter needs to get started on her Gold Award project so that we can have it approved and work all next summer on it.  My youngest wants to earn her Bronze Award this summer before she bridges up to be a Cadet Scout.  Whew that makes me tired, but also makes me excited to see what the kids dreams are and where life will take them.  I will be having my meniscus repair surgery on December 21, 2017.  So, I hope to get on the road and actually run a bit in the new year.  We will see.

Off n Running,
AnnMarie

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The test results are in...

I am not sure how much I have shared live and how much I have plotted to share in my head!  BUT... Some time in September, I think, I FINALLY made an appointment with the Physical Therapist.  Last August, the pain in my leg/hip/knee got so bad I could hardly walk. So, I stopped running.  I thought I will give it a rest and stopped cold turkey.  I was still working my office job and sitting a lot.  I felt like and 80 year old woman getting up from that office chair.  In January, the Mother Runners at Another Mother Runner, offered a "STRIDE INTO THE NEW YEAR" program to kick start 2017.  I joined in the fun.  I got onto the facebook group and started the program.

This is a run/walk program.  I had never done that sort of program before.  I am a go out and hit the pavement hard kinda gal, usually.  Since my fall in 2014, I have learned to slow it down.  I do not have to be the fastest.  Take time and look at the scenery, is my new mind set.  The first couple of days went well, then I started running more and walking less.  My knee didn't like that at all.  I think I made it half way through the plan and stopped.  I was so disappointed.  I was really hoping to do some running this year.  I wanted to defend my age group title at the Run for the Paws in July!

As usual, life, husband stuff, kid stuff, work stuff all took over my plate.  We adopted a dog and taking her for walks has been my main form of exercise this year.  I did join Burn Bootcamp in June for a free month, but there were days when my knee was not happy about that!  Started doing a program with them again in September, and that is when I said ENOUGH ALREADY!  and call E my Physical Therapist.

I made a series of appointments with him.  He gave me some exercises and stretches.  I pulled 2 days of standing at events/work.  And by full days, I mean I worked at Petfest from 8am until 6pm and mostly stood the whole time.  Then next day, I had a 12-8 shift at my job behind the front desk, no sitting there.  Saw E the next day, and was in so much pain!  He did some testing and sent me to see the Orthopedic Doctor.

Last week I had a MRI on the knee, and could not get in to see Doc until yesterday.  E was right, Doc was right, I have a torn meniscus.  Doc said his scheduler will give me a call.  Now we wait.  My DH was not pleased with this diagnosis.  So, now we wait!  I pray that I can get it repaired before the new year.  Then I can recover and start planning my comeback.

Off n Running,
AnnMarie