Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Diet Ball

I dropped it.

Yep. Again.

That's ok...the important thing is that I keep picking it back up, right?

So tomorrow I'm starting this. This challenge follows the basic guidelines for the Abs diet, I will just be adding spinach or kale to my smoothies (stop turning up your nose; you can't even taste it!) and eating a salad with dinner (hopefully instead of having a second helping).

I have read really good things about green smoothies. Lindsey talks about them here (I don't know Lindsey, but I love her blog!) There is also good information here and here. No, I'm not going all "raw-food" on you. Yuck! I like to cook wayyyy too much (really, probaby too much. Seriously. That's why we're where we are in this whole diet thing, people.) Just trying to be a little more healthy. I'm also hoping to rev up my immune system with the start of the school year looming. I always get sick the first few weeks of school as my immune system adjusts to living in a moldy cave for 8 hours of the day and interacting with/touching papers handled by/being in the same vicinity as a thousand snotty teenagers. That is not mean; I love teenagers. Really I do. But they can be a little snotty at times, admit it.

So, a green smoothie each day, no white sugar, no soda, a salad with dinner, and 15 minutes of activity. 30 days. We'll see!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I keep wanting to sing the Oklahoma song, except we're in Indiana. But it sort of works, right? The wind is sweeping through that's for sure, giving me the ultra hot wind-blown look as we walked in the building for Patrick's orientation.

My hubby is starting grad school. ::Sigh:: He's doing a "hybrid program" through Taylor University in Indiana, a 16-month program through which he will receive his Masters of Business Administration. He chose Taylor for several reasons:
1. He sort of wanted to go to undergrad there, but life had different ideas.
2. They have a great program that centers around a practical Christian worldview of business. That was important to him (and me) as we seek to live every area of our lives to glory of God.
3. The hybrid program is cool because he comes to Indiana twice a semester for 2-day seminars then does the rest online so it's sort of a mix between sitting in an actual class and distance learning. This is good for his learning style (Don't get me started on learning styles. I have to start teaching again in a couple weeks. Ugh. Not ready...that's my new middle name).
4. The hotel where we stay is connected to a flippin' sweet mall.

Ok, number 4 is actually why I like this program. I got to come for this trip and will be spending my free time (window) shopping, sleeping in the (flippin' sweet) hotel room (thank you,, and reading FOR PLEASURE.

I accompanied Patrick to his orientation tonight and kept having mild panic attacks everytime the lady started explaining how to submit assignments, check blackboard, and communicate with group members for projects. I DON'T WANT TO DO ASSIGNMENTS.... I DON'T WANT TO WRITE ANYMORE PAPERS... PLEASE NO MORE GROUP PROJECTS... But then the most glorious thing happened: I REMEMBERED THAT I AM NOT THE ONE IN SCHOOL!! THIS IS NOT MY ORIENTATION! I am, in fact, done with school (except the fact that my profession requires me to go to school every single day, but teaching is so much better than being a student. I'm so done with being a student.) So my panic attack subsided and I relaxed, looked at my hubby--so eager to check his backboard and take notes in class, and gave thanks that it was him and not me. (Such a supportive wife, huh.)

Well, the supportive wife did kick in, thank you very much, when Patrick dropped me off at the hotel after a delicious Mexican dinner and headed back to begin his first classes. I felt like a proud, worried mama sending off her baby on the first day of school. "Have fun! Make new friends! I'll be there when you get home!" I kept saying to him. (I also nagged him profusely about getting him a new backpack or some mechanical pencils while I am out tomorrow.)

Seriously though, I am SO proud of him for sticking to his goals and going back to school. He said he would as soon as I was done, but we always secretly feared life would just be too crazy by then. Well, life is crazy, but he is going for it anyway. Pray for us! Fall is going to be a doozy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Update on PearBudget

We are about 1 week into our attempt at a new budget system, and I think I can say that IT'S WORKING?! We are using PearBudget, which allows you to categorize your expenses as you enter in your receipts daily. I must say that having to attach a "label" to every single cent you spend really makes you think hard whether you actually want the item or not.

Last night I had a few minutes to spare before I had to be at a school meeting so I stopped by Fresh Market (we had gone to inner near by). Usually I'm so compelled to make impulse purchases at Fresh Market because everything smells so nice and is packaged so beautifully (yes, I'm a sucker for good marketing...yes, I was a marketing major and should be able to see through all the pizzazz...), but as I walked through the store I kept thinking about the $157.62 I have left in the "groceries" category for this month. Do I really want to eat it up (no pun intended) with this box of fancy tea or a pound of overpriced coffee when we already have these things at home?

Another great benefit is that Patrick and I both see where money is going. Before, he did the budgeting and I just ran most of my purchases by him, getting mad if he told me no on something. Now I can see it too as it's all laid out in neat little columns and I can better understand why he might say no at a certain point in the month, etc. Since I'm responsible for entering the receipts for the day, we sort of report to each other each night what we spent. This holds us accountable to each other as well for how we're spending our money.

The verdict for Week 1 is: so far, so good. I'll continue to report as we encounter any interesting situations.

OH! I almost forgot! PearBudget also has a blog, which has great tips for saving and budgeting! I mean good tips, doable tips. This product is really great.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I <3 Veggies.

Patrick did not like this super delicious amazing salad.

That's ok! More for me :)
Ignore the poor lighting. The salad was very pretty despite what this photo would have you think.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sabbath Compilation

To God be the glory
Great things He hath done...

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Jesus, author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

My chains are gone, I've been set free.

It's my joy to honor You.
In all I do, I honor You.

Oh the Wonderful Cross
Bids me come and die
to find that I might truly live

Shape and fashion us
in Your likeness
That the light of Christ
might be seen today
in our acts of love
and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord
and fulfill in us
all Your purposes
for Your glory.

My chains are gone, I've been set free.

It's my joy to honor You.
In all I do, I honor You.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


We have tried thousands (ok a little exaggeration) of methods for keeping up with our budget yet still somehow continuously overspend each month and cannot figure out why. This week we decided to put it all down on paper and just see exactly WHAT THE DEAL IS. Patrick printed out all of our monthly statements (we rarely use cash...this could be our problem, I know. All you Dave Ramsey folks out there can stop muttering to yourselves now.) We went through line by line and categorized EVERYTHING. This was exhausting.

Finally, we settled on a new system that will hopefully work for us in the near (VERY near) future. We decided to use PearBudget, which allows you to make as many different categories as humanly possible (ok, we even made a coffee category. We are insane, I know. That is a whole other post topic.) Then you enter your anticipated monthly income. Then, it tells you how much you are over or under budget in your plans. It then allows you to play around with the numbers (if you are over, which, of course, we were) to get things more in line. Everyday you enter any receipts, designating the category. My FAVORITE part about this program though is that it allows you to print "GoCards" which are quick little print outs of available balances in each category. Hopefully when I see that I only have $51.62 left for groceries that month I WILL ACTUALLY STOP MYSELF AND NOT SPEND $23043.87 AT THE GROCERY STORE (again, slight exaggeration but you get the point). Anyways, this is the plan-the new plan-as of this moment.

I will let you know at the end of the month how it all comes out. (Unless of course I'm extremely embarassed about my huge addiction to spending money. If you don't hear from me, you'll know what happened...)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bring It On!

The cheerleading season has begun! I'm the co-coach of JV and an assistant coach to our competition squad. Our season kicked off on Monday morning, 8 a.m., and since then I have spend many hours indian style on those blue mats watching band chants, sideline cheers being learned, elevators, straight-ups, libs, and round-off back springs, occasionally getting up my nerve to give my input, correct motions, and offer suggestions. It's throwing me back to the many days I spent on those very same mats, learning those very same cheers, and throwing the very same stunts. I AM HAVING A BLAST! Our head coach and the other assistant coach actually cheered on the squad with me so, of course, we are daily immersing ourselves in good healthy doses of nostalgia.

The funny part is I have those cheers and band chants so etched into my mind that as soon as we cut on the music, it all came flooding back.

I'm excited about the season and am sure that as it gets going, I will feel more and more comfortable in my role as a coach. I did do some assistant coaching for a high school squad during my days at W & M but have been out of it for so long that it's taken me a little while to get my groove back. Each day though, I am praying for strength, for wisdom, for opportunities to love on the girls and for relationships with the girls to be strong. As a follower of Christ my ultimate goal is to be able to share His love and the gospel with each girl who doesn't know the freeing grace of our Savior. I'm viewing this as a great opportunity to be more involved in the school and to get to know some students on a deeper level. And why not have a little fun doing it!!

Pray for me as the days have been enjoyable but long. I'm coming home exhausted (from sitting and watching? This puzzles me, but nevertheless. Perhaps mental exhaustion.) This fall will be a little crazy as I juggle school and cheerleading and having a husband going back to school. We decided to go all college-student again and spend many late nights typing away (or grading papers...that would be me.) in our local coffee shop.

This will keep us young right?? That's our hope!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Little House on... Haydon Street?

We talked to our people in Australia (we have people in Australia! How cool is that?). Patrick’s sister, her husband, and their daughter live on Kangaroo Island (YES, that is a real place!), and we will be visiting next summer. We like getting to touch base with them every once in a while on the phone. During our last conversation, Amy, my 7-year-old niece, desperately wanted to talk to me. As soon as she got on the phone, she didn’t even say hello, just launched straight into a full-on discussion of her latest favorite read, Little House on the Prairie.

“Aunt Emily, I have been reading about Laura Ingalls! Do you know her?”
“I remember reading that book! I loved it!” (my response)
“And I am watching her too on the television!” (Remember, she’s Australian, so all of this in a sweet little accent)

Then I went to school for a couple days to meet with the team of teachers with whom I work. Wes, my co-worker, commented on how long my hair has gotten since he’d seen me at the end of the school year.

“Oh, are you growing it out to put into a bun?!”
“Huh?” (my response)
“Oh, my daughter is reading Little House on the Prairie and all she talks about is growing her hair out to put into a bun like Laura.” (How cute is that?)

So apparently LHOTP is a hot topic among the seven and eight year old crowd these days. Maybe I should re-read?

This is all to say that I am feeling very prairie-ish these days. I made my own jam and pickles and canned them the other day (just to see if I could do it). Today, I am making my own yogurt in the slow-cooker (recipe from here). I also have all ingredients ready for making my own bread the minute this current store-bought loaf runs out. And I noticed, while typing this post, that my hair ACTUALLY is pulled into a (somewhat messy) bun. I have also tampered with my sewing machine a little this summer, again just to see if I could do it. A friend gave me a recipe for making my own laundry detergent, which I have yet to try. I find a crazy sense of satisfaction in mastering skills like these, even if I never use them again.

My husband thinks I’ve gone a little mad. I think I’m just getting a little smarter.