The Easter Bunny’s Job is Safe

The Easter Bunny’s Job is Safe

How do you sum up Easter weekend in one blog post?  There was traveling, Jesus’ resurrection, finding the boys’ lost church pants and hiding plastic eggs all over the house.  Spectacular.

On Friday I drove to Austin to visit my parents.  I took four of my kids with me, including my 22 year old son who I rarely get to spend time with.  He’s not a big conversationalist, so I brought some theology books to spark ideas.  He likes to discuss deep thoughts and God’s Word.  Me, I am more of a shallow thought girl, but desperate times call for desperate measures.  If I want him to talk with me I have to crank the doctrine dial up to 10.  It hurt my brain after about an hour, so we stopped and turned on some Mandisa.

We spent the night at my parent’s house, which is in a large retirement community.  I went for a jog early Saturday morning and was surrounded by dog walkers and golfers over age 55.  At one point there was a man on the trail behind me that had to be at least 80 years old.  He was small and a little frail looking and he was just walking along in his velour sweatsuit.  I decided to put some distance between us so I picked up the pace and jogged for a while.  When I slowed down I heard a noise behind me and there he was, right behind me still walking.  I think he had actually closed the gap.  In a minute he was passing me and I said to him, “You’re fast!”  He just kept walking as he muttered, “Nah, I’m moving kinda slow today since I’m wearing ankle weights.”

Great.  I am officially the slowest human being on the planet.

We arrived home Saturday afternoon in time for James to inform me that he wanted to do a little Easter egg hunt for the kids.  So we drove to Walmart and dug through what Easter supplies they had left.  We found some plastic eggs and got some dried fruit and candy.  I know.  Dud.

All of our kids have different tastes in snacks and some have dietary restrictions, so we always code the eggs by color.  Each child (even the adult kids) has their own color of eggs which makes it easy to be sure we know what they get and then if they find someone else’s color they just pass by and don’t say anything.

After church James filled all of the eggs and brought them to me ready to hide.  We had to do it inside since it was raining, so we sent the kids onto the porch to wait while we hid the eggs.  We had 7 eggs per child and, I am not even exaggerating here, it took us TWO HOURS.

We got so confused about the colors and where we hid them and we kept trying to go back and find the ones we had already hidden and oh my goodness it was a mess.  I asked him, “Please don’t make me do this when we have 45 grandchildren.  Let’s just hand them each $5 and leave it at that.”  James agreed.

Easter Bunnying is not our strong suit.

We actually gave up at some point and just let the chips fall where they may.  If some of the kids got less eggs than others then – oh well.  Let it be an opportunity for character development.

Then, to make it even more fun the kids could not find the eggs.  We tried to make it hard, but we may have gone a little overboard in that department.  All in all the whole egg hunt took about 4 hours and went well past dinner time.  Thankfully the kids had Reese’s Pieces and raisins to snack on.

This week begins my big round of conference travel.  I am heading to Salt Lake City this weekend to the SNAP conference.  I’m going to represent my peeps at HomeRight because I love them so.  Then next weekend I go to Chicago for the 2:1 Conference and to spread the word about my friends at Engaging Education.  Y’all know we big puffy heart their classes!

Have a good one!

5 Questions About My Weight Loss Answered

5 Questions About My Weight Loss Answered

I haven’t mentioned my health journey for a while.  I’m doing great.  I am down 81 pounds since last summer.  Believe me, no one is more surprised about that than I am.

James and I went shopping on Wednesday and since I am on a search for warm weather clothes, I tried on a few things while we were out.  He asked me, “Did you think at this point last year that you would be able to wear these sizes today?”

I surely didn’t!  In fact, I felt hopeless about it.  Then one day last summer I just stopped feeling hopeless and took charge.  Now I’m running (still a shocker to me every single time) and losing weight and not eating junk…craziness.  You can do it too; I know that for sure.

I get a lot of questions about my weight loss, so I thought I’d answer a few here.

After losing 80 pounds, I'm answering the top 5 questions I get -- The Pennington Point

1. How far do you walk/run every day?
I go between 4 and 5 miles.  I take about an hour so if I go faster I can go further.  I listen to inspirational music and pray and breathe in the outside and the time to myself.  I really look forward to it every day.  For the month of April my Facebook group is challenging each other to push ourselves for 15 minutes, so I am running for at least that long.  It’s unbelievable to me.  I share a picture every day from my morning walk on Instagram….come see!

2. What do you eat?
I eat basically protein and veggies.  I don’t eat any grains, dairy (except yogurt) or sugar (including artificial).  I wrote a post about what I eat for breakfast and lunch.

3. How do you find time for exercise with all of those kids?!Well, it can be a challenge!  In my life now I can leave my kids so it’s easy to get in some morning exercises.  But even so, I still try to get it done extra early so I can be home by the time they are up and going.  If I couldn’t leave them I would find things to do at home, like DVDs, and I would sometimes take them with me and I would just have to figure it out.  You can always try to do half an hour after the hubs gets home.

4. Can you tell me more about the Lift Caps that you take?I still am crazy about my Lift Caps!  I get a lot of questions about the caffeine in them.  I am very sensitive to caffeine and I don’t drink coffee or black tea at all.  But the Lift Caps don’t bother me.  The people that sell them explained to me that the caffeine in it is different than what’s in coffee, more purely processed.  I do have one friend that is so sensitive to caffeine that she did notice it, but she loved them so much that she makes them into half pills (by pulling them open and pouring half into an empty capsule) and takes one half pill every day with success.  I take 2 every morning and they help me so much with my energy.  But if you ever have questions the great people at Life Priority are happy to answer them for you!

5. What essential oils have you used to help you lose weight?
I have enjoyed one called Slique.  It’s for adding to your water and not only does it give great flavor, but it helps your metabolism and curbs cravings.  I also love Citrus Fresh or Lemon in my water.  They balance my acidity and taste great!  Overall though, I think the oils have helped me maintain my own emotional balance which has helped me stick to the diet and exercise routine.

I also shared a bit of my health journey HERE at Hip Homeschool Moms.  I’ll be writing there once a month about various subjects.  It’s a great site if you’re looking for some homeschool encouragement!

And if you would like to join my Facebook group for women trying to get healthy, leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook and I would love to add you!  We pray for one another, share ideas and encourage each other to stay the course.

Have a great weekend!

If Teasing Your Husband is Wrong I Don’t Wanna be Right

If Teasing Your Husband is Wrong I Don’t Wanna be Right

Today I have the burden of trying to think of ways to make a boring weekend sound interesting.  Because I doubt you really want to hear about my double nap on Saturday or the way we had to spend an hour trying to find a matching pair of shoes for Elijah before church.

I did get spend a couple of hours with Noah in his room on Friday afternoon discussing and planning the general Lego situation.  He has apparently caught the vision because on Saturday afternoon when I couldn’t locate three of the boys, I called up to their loft and they called down, “Yes ma’am, we are up here organizing Legos.”

Never underestimate the power of mom with a trash bag in her hand.

On Saturday I worked toward getting the house ready for spring/summer.  I like to change it up with the warming of the weather which means out with the piles of blankets and in with the vintage fans.  Even if the fans don’t work, it makes me feel cool just having them in the room.

James does not understand this concept.  But then, he also doesn’t understand why I like to just look around in a store where I am not planning to buy anything.  When we were first married he would panic when I would suggest that, just for fun, we would go look around in a furniture store.  He’d start to hyperventilate and say things like, “Um…we can’t buy any furniture Lisa.  We don’t have money for that!” to which I’d just keep walking toward the door and say, “I know that!  I just want to look at it.”  He never has completely adapted to this ritual.

I still like to play with him sometimes by telling him I want to pick up some vacation brochures or peruse the local car lots.  He never knows if I am serious and it keeps him on his toes.

I’ve been laying off the teasing for the past couple of weeks to be nice, since he’s in the throes of tax season.  But three more days baby, and I will be back to my normal behavior.  I can’t keep up that kind of niceness for much longer.

Now that we are days away from the end of another tax season AND the Legos are getting cleaned up, I may have to do some mock shopping to celebrate.  It’s the only reasonable thing to do.

If You Really Loved It Then It Wouldn’t Be on the Floor

If You Really Loved It Then It Wouldn’t Be on the Floor

I have apparently gotten some kind of bug.  Not the sneezing or stomach ache kind, but the kind that drives your family insane from your a constant need to organize and clean.

Today, unfortunately for my younger boys, I will be cracking the whip on the Lego situation.  I have had it up.to.here as we say in the south.  You don’t need to even show where “here” is.  It’s understood to be too high to even reach anyway.

Last week we emptied their loft bedroom of everything except the beds and gave the room a fresh coat of paint.  Then we built shelves to hold the Legos and I picked up some storage boxes at IKEA while I was in Houston.  The boys tried to convince me that it would take way too long to organize all of the Legos, but they are out of their league when it comes to convincing.  Once I get a notion in my brain to straighten something it can’t be unconvinced no matter how many car washes you offer me.  Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated.

I think they don’t want me in their room because they know that I can get a little aggressive with the trash bag.  I would never throw away a Lego (mainly because they cost more than all of my jewelry combined) but I wouldn’t think twice about tossing the cereal boxes they like to save to build tiny forts with or any craft projects.  One of my boys has a thing for using pencils that no one else wants because they are too short to go in the sharpener.  So he sharpens it with his pocket knife and does his schoolwork with these nubs.

But my motto is, “If you really loved it then it wouldn’t be on the floor.”  #TRASH

Cleaning the Lego room -- The Pennington Point

After I get that done I plan to keep the momentum going by cleaning out what used to be a study room for the kids and making it into an office for myself.  I’m not trying to hog the space, but they really never study in there. Instead they sprawl across the couch or front porch to do their work.  I can’t let a perfectly good 6′x10′ space go to waste.  Especially when I am working from a recliner in my bedroom with no desk or flat surface of any kind.  I just balance my computer on my knees while typing.  It works OK, but a desk and real chair are appealing.

Plus, if I had an office I might actually get something done besides sitting down to work then instead Googling everything that pops into my head.  I wonder about things….like the age of various celebrities or where to buy baby chicks.  I am hoping that being in a big-girl space will encourage me to focus like a real business woman.  Or at least enough to get over this cleaning bug.  Before my family has had it up.to.here with me.

Well, back to work.  Have a great weekend!

The Last Cold Front and Cheesecake

The Last Cold Front and Cheesecake

Here in Texas we are having some kind of cold front, which I am loving.  I know that in a month I will be wishing for the days to be cooler so I am pretending it’s May and enjoying the crisp breeze.  I am also enjoying my last few opportunities to wear my cold weather clothing.  Long sleeves will cause me to sweat profusely in a matter of weeks and I am having a love affair with the anthropolgie shirt I bought myself in February.  We don’t want to part.  We are soul mates.

On Saturday we cleaned the house all morning like a little army.  I barked orders and handed out supplies while the kids scrubbed and swept.  I didn’t make them wear a uniform or anything, but after each task was complete I would inspect the work.  It sounds kind of  miserable, but it was actually kind of fun.  It’s nice to work hard together to take care of our home.  In the afternoon we rested, except for two of the boys who had a Lego disaster in their room and took the whole day to get it straightened out.  Legos are the bane of my existence.

This morning I am in Houston for a quick, fun, visit with my aunt.  She had a couple of spare days and I couldn’t resist driving the 4 hours to see her.  She pampers me and tells me I’m pretty and let’s face it….I’m not getting much of that at home since we are just over a week from tax season being over.

On the good side….we are just over a week from tax season being over!  See?  I can be an optimist when pressed, although it’s not my natural gift.

Tonight my aunt and I are going to eat at The Cheesecake Factory, my favorite restaurant to which I don’t have easy access back home.  I have been saving all of my calories for this meal and, while it will probably make me ill, I plan to eat a few bites of cheesecake.  This will be my first rich food in months so I don’t know how my tummy will take it.  I may have to settle for eating just a teeny bit.

This makes me wonder if we weren’t really meant to eat 1200 calories for dessert.  Food for thought.

In the meantime my kids are home eating scrambled eggs or spaghetti, which only makes me feel 1/100th guilty.  But not enough to skip the cheesecake.

I will go home tomorrow and go back to normal old grilled chicken salads and non rich foods and probably warm weather.

The word for the week is: EMBRACE

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1L, 4Ds and 5K

1L, 4Ds and 5K

It’s been a girl themed week.

Last Thursday my 4 daughters and I went big city shopping.  It was a birthday shopping trip for my oldest daughter Grace since I was going to be gone over the weekend of her birthday.  We spent the whole day hitting everything from anthropologie to thrift stores.  The girls are now set for clothes for the rest of the warm weather season, which is a relief to me since shopping with them is a test in endurance.  Of me and my wallet.

daughters

For myself, I am on the search for t-shirts with sleeves.  Not long sleeves or 3/4 sleeves.  Just plain old short sleeves that are long enough to cover my arm flaps.  It’s a sad day when you nearly slap someone with your extra arm skin and I am trying to avoid that with sleeves and prayer.

Saturday and Sunday I went to Austin.  I ran my first 5K this weekend.  I did it with my sister….she gave it to me for my birthday and it was a double treat to get to spend the time with her.

I have never had any interest in doing any kind of running or, really, moving at all.  But after walking every morning since last July it was pretty easy.  And on a cool spring morning….almost heaven.

My first 5k

To keep the girl theme going I will be going on a photoshoot for my daughter’s 17th birthday this week.  Shopping is not her thing.  She asked for a photoshoot in the city and as an added bonus she wants to be there when the sun rises to get the best lighting.  Leave the house at 6AM….oh sure.  Because giving birth to you wasn’t enough of a sacrifice.

Next week I need to have a boy themed week.  Those are much easier.  Just dump some Legos in the living room and throw food into the middle every few hours.

Have a great April!

I Simply Can’t Stick to One Subject

I Simply Can’t Stick to One Subject

Well friends, I have officially reached code red status of exhaustion.  As much as I love to travel, it wears me out and takes me a week to recover from.  Add that to the time change recovery period and we’re talkin’ deep sleep deprivement that only a cruise or quiet beach house would cure.

I thought about trying to take a three day nap, but my life of homeschooling and OCD house cleaning doesn’t lend itself to being asleep for days at a time.  I wonder what would happen if I just closed my door and fell asleep at odd hours.  Would my children survive?  If they did, would I survive the state of the house afterward?  Would I have to notify everyone or could I just disappear?  These are the questions I ask myself in my sleepy stupor.

Last Wednesday I was just home from a quick trip to California and spent the day catching up with the kids.  I went though their school work and played games with them and generally laid on the couch while they told me stuff that was in their head.  I learned that Elijah has decided not to become a grocery store manager and now he is planning to become a hurricane chaser.  Boy, you leave for three days and all kinds of changes happen!

On Thursday I went to the city with my 2 best friends for a fabulous evening of eating on the Riverwalk and seeing “Wicked.”  No kidding…this play was so amazing I just sat there glued to every word.  I used to wish for a trip to Hawaii but I am now dreaming of a trip to New York so I can go see more of these incredible works of art and talent.  My dreams change frequently.  Wait.  I am starting to understand Elijah a little better.

Then as if all of that wasn’t enough, I went on Friday to see the new Muppet movie, which I have been waiting for since forever!  Even though I was worn out, I wouldn’t be able to call myself a true Muppet fanatic if I didn’t see their new movie on opening day.  It was so cute….I loved it.  But I’m not objective since I have a huge crush on Kermit.  He’s my kinda frog.

I took my daughter, Hope, with me to see the movie and we talked and talked and had such a good time with just the 2 of us.  I want to bottle her up and keep her in the closet ‘cuz she’s so sweet.  More impossible dreams.

We spent the weekend filling Shop24 orders and trying to stay healthy since several of the kids were getting a cold.  I kept putting essential oils all over everyone and they’re feeling better this morning.  What would I do without my Thieves?!  And lemon…oh and peppermint….I could go on and on….

This week I am getting ready to do a 5K on Sunday.  I wish I could say that I did an intense Couch to 5K training, but I really haven’t prepared.  I am doing it with my sister, so I have warned her that I will be slow and she is welcome to run ahead of me.  I doubt that 5 days of preparation will really help much.

I’m off to try my idea of disappearing and randomly falling asleep.  I’m hoping to get down to a code orange by tomorrow.

Have a great week!

Californy Here I Come

Californy Here I Come

Well,  I’m in California today so it’s gonna be hard to think of anything to say because my recliner is my writing partner and we are missing each other.

I flew out here over the weekend to attend a meeting.  I am a jet setter, didn’t I tell you that?  Yep.  I’m sure it was obvious to the airport security people when they saw my suitcase with one wheel broken that I was dragging behind me.  It’s the small things that can make or break your airport travel experience.

The Pennington Point

I’m also a mild germophobe with that perfect touch of clumsy, making me ideal to be behind in the airport security line.  Shoes off, dirty airport floor, people pushing behind me, it’s the perfect storm.  You don’t need the whole story.  Just believe me when I tell you I understand what it’s like now to be the first domino in a line.

I also don’t care for sitting shoulder to shoulder on a plane with a stranger that is coughing for three hours.  But I’m not one to complain so I just popped in my earbuds and spritzed a little Thieves in his general direction.

Since I’m gone, I thought I’d share an older post that you may have missed if you’re new here.  Sadly, it is one of my most read posts of all time.  It’s about the time my skirt fell off in the parking lot of Bed, Bath & Beyond.  Yes, really.

Enjoy your week!  Wear something green for me!

This May Not Be My Best Week

This May Not Be My Best Week

I have something I need to get off my chest.

Daylight Savings Time.  Seriously.  Why must we endure this torture?

I do not adjust well to change.  So as you may imagine, Sunday was a long day for me (therefore it was a long day for my family).  I could barely crawl out of bed in the morning.  It was tempting to get that extra sleep instead of walking, but I am determined to get a workout in every morning and I knew I would really be disappointed in myself if I didn’t.  So I arose an hour earlier than I am used to and walked and did my TTapp.

As soon as we got home from church I fell into a deep sleep.  I didn’t even warn the kids.  I just dropped onto my bed and I slept for two whole hours.  It was the deepest nap I’ve had since 1997.

True story.

One day in 1997 after my fifth child was born and I had gone without sleep for two weeks, I was a walking zombie, my mom stopped by my house.  Her plan was just to say hello, see the baby and get back to her job.  But I was so sleep deprived that I handed her the baby and said, “I have to take a nap.”  I never heard her trying to tell me that she had an appointment.  I just walked away…..straight to my bedroom and closed the door and left her with a newborn, a 14 month old, 3 year old, 5 year old and 7 year old.

Even though this may not sound unusual, I seriously think I would have done the same thing to anyone who had the misfortune of knocking on my door that day.  Hello mailman, thanks for the package, here’s my baby, I’m taking a nap.

Four hours later (but it seemed like seconds) I awoke to my mom shaking me.  She had to leave, the baby needed to eat and I had no idea where I was or what was happening.  Baby?  What baby?

Sunday’s nap was like that.  But without the part where I woke up being soaked in milk.

I am hoping not to take my typical 10 days to recover from the time change.  I don’t do well with these kinds of shifts to my sleep schedule.

In other news, I got a lot of work done on my book this weekend.  It’s been a long process since I never have more than 12.5 minutes at a time to work on it.  I have tried to convince James to send me on a cruise so I can get all of my writing done on the lido deck, but he isn’t falling for it.  He’s probably right.  There is the slightest possibility that instead of writing I would spend the whole time asleep in a lounge chair holding onto a tall cup with a tiny umbrella in it.

This coming week some of us will be at the Christian Worldview Film Festival.  There’s still time to get your tickets!  Or just show up….it’s gonna be a great opportunity to be around other families who are interested in wholesome, meaningful entertainment.

If you go and want to find me, I will be the woman dragging myself along yawning.  Or if it’s later in the afternoon, I may be in the car getting a little post-daylight-savings-time shuteye.

This may not be my best week, but I’ll do my best given the difficult circumstances.

Birthday Week

Birthday Week

I would tell you about my weekend, but it would be pretty much a reprint of last weekend.  Fill Shop24 orders, clean house, then add in some packing for my husband since he left yesterday to be gone all week.  He is taking the Bar Exam in California and it’s an intense 3 day test.  This is the grand finale of his 4.5 years in law school.  I am so excited to have my husband back after all of this.

When I write my memoirs the chapter about these past 4.5 years will be titled, “I Know I’m Married, but Where’s My Husband?!”.

So I will instead tell you about my upcoming week because it’s much more interesting.

First of all….this is my birthday.  Yes, I still like to celebrate despite being old.  If I could get away with having a princess party complete with pony rides I would do it.  My birth certificate may make it seem like I am mature, but on the inside I’m one sparkly tiara and a bowl of Captain Crunch Peanut Butter Cereal away from elementary school.

Then tomorrow is my son’s birthday.  So it’s birthday-palooza around here!

I’m gonna have a week long party.  From today until my husband gets home I will be in celebration mode.  I have many plans including a bowl of the best chocolate frozen yogurt on Wednesday night.

Why Wednesday?  I’m glad you asked.  I have had so many inquiries about using essential oils that I decided to host a class on Wednesday night.  I’ll be talking about how I got started and ways to use them; let’s end the mystery.  If you’re in the San Antonio area and want to pop by, I will be at Sweet CeCe’s at 1604 & Blanco at 7PM with some fun oils info and a 20% discount on your yogurt.  Bring on the birthday treat!

An essential oils class in San Antonio....come join us!!  -- The Pennington Point

In addition to that fun, I decided to build myself something for my birthday.  My parents sent me $100, so I decided to use it to build a jewelry holder/full length mirror in my bathroom.  The only problem is that the supplies cost double what I expected.  So I spent Sunday afternoon picking through piles of old scraps and putting some of my purchases back in my van to return.  As God is my witness I will make this project fall within the birthday money budget.

Before I get struck by lightening I will give myself the out that I bought the mirrors a few weeks ago at IKEA and those won’t fall in that amount.  But after that if I have to make hooks out of rusty farm tools I am gonna do it.  I will not exceed this money.

I promise you will be the first to see it when I am finished (hopefully later this week) and I will give you a full financial report.

Have a great week and be sure to stop by and see me on Wednesday night!