Prancercise

Prancercise

Not quite sure why I was thinking about Prancercise this morning. Perhaps it was my own giddy gate as I “pranced” around the kitchen making coffee that shook the memory loose. Mornings are my absolute FAV time of day. I’ll get up at least an hour before the rest of the family just to soak in the aloneness that’s all mine. I’ll even forfeit sleep to have these moments of quiet. It’s.the.best. I get AM adrenaline surges that literally make me go “eeeee” and make my hair stand on end. My husband, aka “the corpse”, is my exact opposite. Our kids seem to (thankfully) be a happy middle ground between our extremes.

Let’s face it… I “prance”. Esp in the mornings. Or to 80’s pop music. Or to fantastic summer breezes blowing in my windows. Basically whenever everything is right with the world and I’m overcome with energy and happiness. I “get” this Prancercising lady.

Do I prance in public? Uh… no. I guess that’s why I kinda envy the boldness of Joanna Rohrback. She’s so genuine, so true, so… herself. Looks like she could give a flying flip about what anyone else thinks. She gets to walking. She gets to listening to some music. She gets to jamming. And then she just lets herself get lost in the moment to the music. Does her movement look like everyone else’s? Not at all. But that’s ok. That’s how SHE rolls. And I TOTALLY appreciate that. I LOVE that. She is who she is and she does what she does regardless of what other people say and think of her. She put herself out there and shared from her heart, probably in hopes of encouraging others to free themselves from the shackles of what others think and to embrace their own inner beat. To get fit while having fun.

But boy, she’s been made fun of for doing so. Lots of parodies and jokes and whatnot out there bashing her for being so weird/strange.

Anytime anyone puts themselves out there, they risk the chance of being made fun of. Actually, it’s a guarantee… they WILL be made fun of or ridiculed or bashed, etc.

It’s a shame really. And with social media, people can hide behind their anonymity. They say things online that they’d NEVER say to someone’s face.

There’s def an art to learning how to let crap like that roll off your back and not let it affect your heart. I liken it to bullying. The very mental flow of a bully is this: 1) the bully feels like crap inside (for whatever reason), 2) they see someone else that’s “better” than them (or that has something good going on), 3) the bully feels even yuckier (& prob threatened), 4) so they say or do something mean in hopes of tearing that “better” person down to their level (or lower), 5) their wounded ego (temporarily) gets stroked, and 6) they (temporarily) feel better. It’s primal and requires very little thinking. But that feeling of ok-ness only lasts a for a little while. Then they have to repeat the process again in order to re-feel better about themselves. The only thing that will REALLY heal a bully is for they themselves to work on/through their issues. Bashing other people is not a permanent fix.

But anyways, back to Prancing. Joanna Rohrback is prob a truly happy person. An energetic person (obviously). And this prancing… it’s from the heart. And if I had to bet, there’s prob a LOT of other people out there that, if stripped from the cares of what others may say, they too would prance in public. Even on a fitness level, that added movement incorporated with regular walking probably does indeed burn more calories!

Though I may not “prance” in public for my exercise routine, I do genuinely appreciate Joanna’s staying true to who she is. That’s a technique we should all be learning to do in our own lives– a lofty goal we should all be attempting to achieve. It’s taking that risk and putting ourselves out there. It’s sharing our life, thoughts, experiences, successes & failures… to help others, touch other people’s lives, encourage them, and to better someone else (even if it’s just 1 person). It’s standing tall regardless of the ridicule.

For more on Prancercise, Joanna has a YouTube channel. You can also read up more about it on Wikipedia.

In closing, I hope you my reader are learning to care less about what other people are thinking about you. I hope you’re taking that risk and putting yourself out there to reach and touch other people’s lives. I hope you are learning to listen to constructive criticism but to let hurtful criticism roll off your back (and to have the wisdom to know the difference between the two). In your life, do your own form of “prancing”– be & do what you were created to be & do.

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A Whole Day Out, Didn’t Spend a Dime on Food

Yesterday was a BUSY day for us. Unusually busy. Like, we’re rarely that busy.

  1. I had to go out of town (40 min drive) to get some blood labs done.
  2. I had to nurse the baby before we left for home. So while I fed the baby, and since we had gorgeous weather (high 60’s in mid Nov!), the kids got their wiggles out at this super cool park:

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    SO fun!

  3. Ran into Aldi to get some pecans for a Thanksgiving recipe.
  4. Rushed home to meet my husband. We had to take our son to the Children’s Hospital for an outpatient appointment. He had an accident/head injury in October and needs to have a couple check-ups.
  5. And the long drive home through a crazy thunderstorm.

Basically, we were in the car all.day.long.

It would have been SO EASY to buy food and snacks for everyone while we were out.

But, with proper planning, we didn’t spend a dime on food while we were out.

 

What we did yesterday:

  1. Ate breakfast at home before leaving to get my labs taken.
  2. Packed several canteens of water and water bottles for everyone for our AM outing.
  3. During that quick stop at home for lunch, we:
    1) packed several non-messy food items for lunch & snacks: peanut butter sandwiches (no jelly), deli ham, swiss cheese, peanuts, raisins, chips, protein bars, and apples.
    2) Literally threw in the crockpot a fryer chicken, some water, and some herbs/spices.
    3) Got the rice cooker going (it automatically turns off when done).
    4) Refilled canteens and water bottles.
    5) Hubby and I grabbed a pop each, just for us.

We had plenty of food and drinks for the car ride. And when we came home from the hospital, dinner was 80% ready. I simply threw some frozen veggies on the stove, and voila, dinner was served in a jiffy.

I’m not gonna lie, that quick trip home at lunchtime was a tad crazy. But I assigned everyone with a job and we were able to get stuff done in an organized, very fast fashion.

When I menu-planned for this week, I took into account this crazy day. I knew we were going to be gone most of the day. So I specifically made sure we had quick and easy food items on hand so we could just GO.

I had the fryer chicken previously thawed and waiting in the fridge, because I looked ahead at Friday’s activities the day prior.

With proper planning, trips out do NOT need to be costly.

Sure, it would have been EASY to run through McDonald’s and buy food for everyone. But I’m telling you, with a family of 9 (well, 8, because the baby is nursing), we could easily spend $40-$50 at McDonald’s. Convenience has a price.

But with proper planning, looking ahead, and some prep work, you can save money by not eating out on those super busy days. Especially if you KNOW those super busy days are coming.

Sometimes the unexpected occurs and you can’t plan ahead and you do have to eat out. I get that.

But if you know, just be prepared. Save yourself a wad of cash. $$$

I’ve FINALLY found my focus!

As many of you have probably noticed, I haven’t updated this blog since the birth of our seventh child, a beautiful little girl: Ivy Jean (aka Miss Little Lamb). Be still my heart, she is the sweetest little surprise gift from God EVER!!! Difficult pregnancy, difficult labor and delivery, difficult start to breastfeeding, difficult getting her to sleep through the night…

BUT, I freakin’ wouldn’t change it for the world!!! She is AMAZING!!! You could offer me a trillion dollars for her and I’d never take it, I’d never let her go! I thank the Lord almighty above every day that I have her! What a blessed gift!

Even her brothers and sisters adore her. Since they’re all older now, they finally have the privilege of enjoying having a little baby in the home. We all, together: laugh with her, take turns holding her, change her diapers, give her baths, take pics and videos of her, make her smile and giggle, rejoice over her developmental milestones, burp her, rock her to sleep, cuddle with her, breathe in her sweetness… She’s precious and everyone is absolutely in love!

She was four months old, as of November 1st. *sigh*
Four months already?! Unbelievable! Going too fast!

Time, please slow down!!!

Many a time I’ve wanted to post here on the blog. But every time I would sit down to write, there was nothing there. My mind went blank. What should I say? What should I write about?

Blank-ness. (Is that a word?)

Fast-forward to just yesterday. I had a revelation in the shower. (Why is it that deep thoughts seem to happen in the bathroom. *snicker*) No but seriously, I had a line of thought run through my head absolutely out of nowhere:

Living on a dime with a part of nine!

Living on a dime with a party of nine? Hmmm… like, write about how we (a large family) live and thrive on a modest income? How we make the dollar stretch? How we save and scrimp? How we make food and possessions last? How we are frugal?

I have like a bazillion tricks up my sleeve (beyond just coupon usage and Amazon deals) on how we make things last over here. That’s something I’m very knowledgeable about, something I’ve learned very well these past 14 years, something I’m still learning, something that I could probably endlessly talk about.

When people come to me for help and advice, oftentimes it’s about how we do “it”, that is, survive life, survive in this economy, with 9 people and actually make it work.

So, I believe the Lord is leading me to make this the focus of my blog. I think my readers could benefit from taking a peek into the ins and outs of how we do things over here. Perhaps there’s something we do that would benefit someone else.

I certainly haven’t arrived. Nor am I (or will I) be the best blogger on the block about this topic. But I do believe I have something to share with people that might help them in their own lives. Maybe there’s other large (or small/medium) families out there that are struggling to make ends meet and could benefit from some of my tips? Maybe if someone could see how we do it, it would spur them on to stretch money? Maybe there’s other mom’s out there that don’t have the time to pick up a part time job to help ends meet, but they could do a thing or two to tighten the purse strings, things they’ve never thought of, that would help stretch their husband’s income?

We all bring something unique to the table. I think this is a knowledge that I’ve been blessed to learn. I believe it’s something I could bless others with.

So, if you’d like to learn how a family of nine lives on a dime (and thrives), stay tuned!!!

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Thoughts and Meditations (for birth) Part 5 (final)

#5- God will guide the midwife (or medical staff). RD will support and encourage what is best for baby and I.

a. Ex. 14:14~ The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
b. Rom. 15:13~ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

*The Lord is my strength and my shield; He will protect me.
*You direct my thoughts, Lord. You show me the way to birth my child.*Lord, You designed me a woman and You direct the way this labor should go according to Your design.
*I rest in You in the days leading up to our baby’s delivery. I rest during and in between all contractions. I am still in Your presence because I know You fight for me.
*Your plans are holy and perfect. I surrender my hopes and plans and desires to follow Your plan for this birth. You make Your presence known and guide every person facilitating this birth. You are glorified and Your name is revered.
*You fill me with joy and peace as I trust in You and continue to do so during labor. What can man do to me? You sift everything through Your perfect fingers and I trust that You will lead the midwife (or medical team). You do not overlook any detail of this labor and have it all planned perfectly. I surrender to Your plan and am protected by Your Holy Spirit against all enemy attack and distraction.

 

… in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us… Rm. 8:37

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Thoughts and Meditations (for birth) Part 4

4.  I have the Lord’s strength and will labor how God designed me to.

a. Ps. 46:1-2~ God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, thought the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.
b. Is. 40:31~ Those who hope (wait) in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
c. Ps. 28:7~ The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.
d. John 10:3-4~ The watchman opens the gate for Him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out… and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.
e. 1 Chron. 4:10~ Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

 

*God designed women to give birth; God made me a woman. God designed women to give birth; God made me capable of this.
*I hope and wait in You Lord for the perfect timing our baby will enter the world. I do not look ahead to each contraction, but am thankful for each one and focus on the strength You give me.
*You give me strength and You renew my strength when I am weak. As I labor, I will not grow weary. As I labor, I will not grow faint. Together, we soar on wings like eagles; so prevalent is Your peace within me.*My heart leaps for joy at each contraction and I give thanks to You in song. Because I trust in You, You help me. Because I trust in You, You are my shield, protector, and strong tower. My place of rest and refuge.
*You are my Shepherd. You lead and guide me beside still waters and restore my soul. This baby is Your newest little lamb. Baby listens to You and knows Your voice. You open wide the gate of my birth canal. Baby knows Your voice. And as You call to baby, Your little lamb will easily pass through my gate to enter Your world and Your arms.
*Lord, as You blessed Jabez, You have blessed me. You enlarge the territory of my cervix so baby can pass through with ease. You keep me from unnecessary harm and pain as You draw baby out.

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Thoughts and Meditations (for birth) Part 3

3. Contractions will not overwhelm me.

a. Phil. 4:6-8~ Do not be anxious about anything… And the peace of God… will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think about such things.
b. Ps. 3:3~ But You are a shield around me, O Lord; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
c. Ps. 23:1-3~ The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
d. Ps. 29:11~ The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.
e. Is. 66:9~ “Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord. “Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God.
f. Is. 26:3-4~ You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in… the Lord, is everlasting strength.
g. John 16:21~ A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born, she forgets that anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
h. Heb.12:2~ Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…
i. Gal. 5:22-23~ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.j. Is. 41:10~ So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
k. Neh. 8:10~ … the joy of the Lord is your strength.

 

*Contractions do not overwhelm me. Your strength and power in me allows my body to work according  to Your design.
*When I’m restless, You are rest. When I’m helpless, You are help. When I’m nervous, Your settle me. When I’m empty, You fill me.
*You are my oxygen, I breathe You in, I breathe You out.
*God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control. God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of peace and joy and hope.
*I thank You for each contraction, Lord, as they bring me closer to meeting this baby. I am not anxious as Your peace guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. I allow You to guide my thoughts, to think only what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
*You are a shield around me. You protect me from all thoughts that have their origin from the enemy. You have placed a hedge of protection around my heart and this baby. Through Your glory, You lift my head and uphold me with Your righteous right hand. These contractions do not overwhelm me because You guide me in paths of righteousness for Your sake and You lead me beside still waters.
*I am Your daughter and You give me strength. You bless me with Your peace.
*I do not fear because You bring the moment of our baby’s birth and sustain me through the delivery. I surrender my body to function as You created it to. Each contraction is productive as You do not close up the womb during delivery.
*My mind and thoughts are on You and You give me perfect peace. Because I trust in You, You give me an everlasting strength and I delight, am thankful for, and even enjoy each blessed contraction.*As You suffered on the cross by looking towards the joy set before You, so do I willingly surrender my body and the method You desire to bring this “joy” (this baby) into the world. When our baby is born, I will forget the pain or discomfort as I hold our little “joy” in our arms.

 

… in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us… ~Rm 8:37

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