Sunday, September 30, 2007

Finally, more pictures of the house...

This weekend, my family requested that I update my house pictures. Here you go. Enjoy. Only one of the windows is entirely finished and there are still many touchups left on the posts, but you get the idea.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

bad news

Last Saturday, after a very busy and hectic weekend, I got a call from my mom at about 10:30, just after Matt walked out the door to go to Infradig's last show. She called to tell me that my uncle Richard died earlier in the evening (Sept. 22, 6:10pm). Most people ask me, "Were you close to him?" It's a complicated answer. He was my mom's older brother and I spent a lot of time with his family when I was little and we still see them at least once a year. His sons are like my older brothers, pranks and all. Some of my best memories were made in his company. My aunt Sally, his wife, was probably the aunt that I'm closest to. Both of them loved the arts. Aunt Sally plays the cello and the piano and Uncle Richard was an amazing baritone. Holidays always included Uncle Rich's booming voice, my cousin Charlie's violin, and Aunt Sally's talents on the piano. Everyone else sang along and savored every minute. My uncle Rich was also an amazing cook. He was the first person to introduce me to mojo criollo (sp?). My apologies to those of you who've never tasted it on your thanksgiving turkey. When Uncle Richard was in a room, he filled it, and yet, he was gentle enough that my children snuggled up in his lap to hear him read to them. I write this, the evening after his funeral. I'm in shock. Rich's death was so sudden. Squinting into the glare of the evening sun, a 17-year-old boy pulled out in front of Rich's motorcycle and Rich died instantly. This isn't to say, that his death was an accident as far as it concerns God's sovereignty. God took him home, regardless of how. Still, my grandparents are without their only son, my aunt is a widow, my three cousins have lost their father, and countless others of us who loved him dearly are suffering. I don't pretend to feel the depths of hurt that my mother or my grandmother feel, but when someone you love dies it's hard not to feel sucker-punched. Of course, the comfort is in knowing that Rich is in Heaven, happier than we know. We love a God who understands the pain of death, who lessened it's sting. I'll probably post more later. Right now, my benadryl is kicking my mental butt and I think I'll head to bed. Please pray for our family and sorry for the stream of consciousness blog. I'm too tired to be organized or well spoken.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

First Curves Report

Yesterday was my first weigh-in since I joined Curves at the end of May. As I said before, the weight hasn't really changed
(-.5lbs). I did lose 5.5 inches all over and I lost 1.7% of my body fat. My arm measurement gained an inch, which is interesting, because the kids have made a big deal about my "big muscles" everyday that I go to Curves. They always want to see them and they always think my biceps are a little bit bigger than they were an hour earlier. It's pretty cute. I love my little peanut gallery. Matt's been super supportive too. He's the one who has to manage pirana hour at our house while I dash out the door twice a week and he's been very encouraging and quick to compliment. All in all, this has been very good for our family. It's forced us to be more organized and it's helped to reinforce the importance of staying healthy with the kids. I don't think you have to spend the money and do Curves to accomplish that, but this has worked well for us and I'm thankful for the option.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Janie at her best ;)

Janie started doing this when Clara was tiny. She's definitely a Monahan!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

because it was cooler today...

I made a whopper of a dinner: roast beef, potatoes, gravy, peach pie. I should have made carrots too, but I ran out of time. I have been really down lately, but I was pleasantly reminded why I love to cook. It gives me such joy. I feel like what an artist feels like when they finish a beautiful painting. Beautiful, yummy goodness to eat and enjoy, because I labored in the kitchen... It's so fruitful (pardon the pun) and so rewarding to see my little brood smile with full drippy mouths.

If you're at all interested, I found a really yummy way to make roast beef. Buy a bottom round roast or a top sirloin roast (less fat) and put it in a crock pot. Pour a can of beer on it. Then top it with cracked pepper, sea salt, garlic powder, and onions. Let it slow cook all day (hi-4 or 5 hours/low-8 hours). When it's done it should be very tender. You can take the broth and shake 2T of it up in a small jar with 2T of flour. Then put it in a small pan and add more broth. Stir over low heat until thick and add salt and pepper to taste. Voila! You have easy delicious gravy. It's not so scary after all.

Oh, and here's a little, very uninteresting Curves update...
I haven't lost a pound yet, and maybe I never will. As long as I feel healthier, I won't worry about that. I do think my posture is much improved and my insomnia is almost non-existant. My clothes are fitting better and they don't feel so uncomfortable, which is a huge relief. It's hard to be chipper when your pants are riding up, know what I mean? ;) I'm also really starting to love the little high I get after a workout. I come back home ready to work and pumped about my life--funny, huh?

General update...
I'm on the warpath with discipline. Ooo that sounded so bad. I mean I'm on the offensive. I made up a bad @#! behavior chart and the kids are getting stickers for all kinds of things that I have to nag them to do: brushing teeth, washing hands, putting dishes in the sink, picking up toys, using manners, making beds, etc. They get stickers for everything on the chart, when they do it, which has been very motivating. At the end of the week, if they have "Lots of Stickers" (which is enough for them now), they get 10 pennies for allowance. One penny goes in the offering plate (which they're excited about) and 9 pennies go into their piggy banks. So far, they're really excited and in two days the behavior is much better than it was before. Way less whining, very few spankings... All in all, it feels like a whole lot of progress.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

spend your money in a way that helps the helpless

Keri posted a link to Rahab Ministries on her blog. I've never heard of it before today. Evidently, it's a ministry to women who are prostitutes and/or sex slaves in Thailand. Rahab Ministries takes them in and teaches them about Jesus, while building their job-skills and helping them to be independent. The women are taught to make jewelry and you can support the ministry by buying this jewelry (it's very inexpensive) online. Here's the address. They also sell handmade cards ($1.50/ea).