Tag Archives: Fun

End of School Year Business Part 2

Phew! So, are you ready to find out what else my family and I have been up to this past month? Well, here it is! [If you havent read part 2 from yesterday, check it out here!]

 

On Memorial Day, the LBJ Library and Museum was free to the public. So, the hubs, kids, and I headed out to check it out. I didn’t really take many pictures because I was too busy reading and explaining to my younger 2 children about all that “old” stuff (from the 60s!) that they had no clue about. I know I wasn’t alive back then either, but it is crazy to me how much of that stuff was still around when I was a kid (in the 80s and 90s) but is almost unrecognizable to my children today. They were very excited to learn that my grandma still has a rotary telephone that works. They plan on calling their daddy on his cell phone next time we go up for a visit. We really have made some incredible advances in technology in recent years.

Here are a couple pictures that I did take though:

image

image

image

 

 

The other thing that kept me busy for a few days was our Beagle, Katie. About 6 weeks ago she had a random seizure that freaked me out and I took her to the vet immediately (thankfully it happened at noon). I didn’t really think to take a video at the time that it happened, so I just had to try to explain what I saw to the vet. She agreed that it sounded like a seizure and they did a few tests. All tests came back normal and I was instructed to get it on video if it happened again. Well, it did happen again, 34 days later. I was able to get it on video this time. It happened at 9:30 pm and Katie was back to normal very shortly after it was over, so I took her to the vet the next day. They watched the video and reviewed her test results from the previous visit and diagnosed her with Epileptic Seizures. No medication is required at this time because the seizures are mild and more than a month apart. If that changes, medication will probably be necessary to prevent them from occurring. Other than the seizures though, Katie is a healthy, happy dog. She loves our family and is adequately spoiled.

image

 

image

I also just completed a 6 week Early Childhood Education class with my little guy, N. The class was 2 1/2 hours on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. It focused on teaching parents how to help their preschool aged children be successful in school. Here is the breakdown of all 12 classes:

Class 1

Introduction. What should I do before my child starts kindergarten? Ready for School Checklist

project: dream catchers

 

Class 2

Social and Emotional Preparation

project: feeling faces

 

Class 3

Phonological Awareness

projects: rhyming memory game and hearts

 

Classes 4 & 5

Letter Knowledge

projects: ABC visual, ABC visual (mixed up), name book, vowels book, name tree, ABC Bingo

 

Class 6

Narrative Skills

projects: 3 little piggies, sequences, story book dice

 

Classes 7 & 8

Math Skills – Numbers, Colors, and Shapes, Math in Our World

projects: math visual, counters, number book, shapes activity, bean numbers, number Bingo

 

Class 9

Pre-Kindergarten Science – Physical Science, Life Science, Earth & Space Science, Physical Safety & Health

projects: color wheel, popping pepper, weather chart, sink or float

 

Class 10

Vocabulary Skills

project: new words dictionary

 

Class 11

Print Motivation and Fine Motor Skills, Developing Writing Skills

projects: play-doh exercises, lace-up apple

 

Class 12

Review

projects:graduation picture frames and graduation caps

 

At the end of the class we had a little party/graduation to show off all the projects that we had completed over the 6 weeks. Each of the participating parents had to get up and talk about 2 projects, the child’s favorite and the parent’s favorite. It was a fun class to take and I really enjoyed making and playing with the projects with not only N, but his older siblings as well.

Here are some pictures of my spread of projects. It really was a lot of work over that 6 week period.

image

image

image

image

My next post will be about awards ceremonies, my boys’ graduations as well as school year before and after pics.


End of the School Year Business Part 1

I wrote in my post the other day that I would share about how I have been so busy lately. Turns out that when you have kids in school, May can be as busy as November and December. Add the end of year school business to everyday life, and wow, it is a busy life for me!

So, what have I been up to?

For starters, I’ve been teaching my youngest child to read. I am using the same book I used with his older brother and sister, Tech Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann. I am so excited to be able to say that I have successfully taught all three of my children to read. My older children will sit and read for hours. My youngest doesn’t quite have the enthusiasm for reading as his older siblings (he’s like his daddy that way), but he is still very proud of his accomplishments.

Here he is reading a book for fun. I can’t even describe in the right words how happy this sight makes me!
image

 

 

I also spent a day recently with my daughter doing a couple of activities that we both enjoy: running and shopping!

We started our day out going for a run with not one, but both of our dogs. We have a 62 pound Plott Hound named Roux-B (pronounced Ruby) and an 18 pound Beagle named Katie. Now I can’t hold both leashes at the same time while running (it is a skill I have yet to master), but O wanted to bring both dogs along. She was confident that she could run and hold Katie’s leash. So, I entrusted her with our smaller dog and off we went on our run. The first route we took was 1.83 miles. After that, we dropped the little dog off and took a water and potty break before heading out for our second run of the day. That route was 1.22 miles. O did an excellent job running! At one point when she had Katie’s leash, she tripped and fell, bumping her knee and chin on the cement. I asked if she wanted me to take the leash and head back home, but she just smiled and said, “No. I’m okay. Let’s keep going.” She is such an inspiration to keep going no matter what happens. Not just in fitness, but in all areas of life.

image

 

image

Then, we went shopping. O had some money that she had saved from her birthday that she wanted to spend on new summer clothes for vacation. So, off we went to Old Navy and The Children’s Place to check out the sales. She ended up getting a total of 4 pair of shorts, 4 shirts, 2 dresses, and 1 pair of sandals.

After shopping, we went to Starbucks of some Frappuccinos (decaf for her). It was a fantastic day spent with my little girl who is growing into a fine little lady.

image

 

Next up on our schedule was the school talent show. A, my oldest, did a comedy routine with his friend. The boys made the routine up themselves and it included green whipped cream “pies”.  Here is the only picture I took as I spent the whole time trying to figure out all the 5th grade boy humor that all the other children thoroughly understood and enjoyed.

 

image

 

My daughter also participated in the Talent show. She did a hula-hoop routine that was a big hit. She stood on 1 leg and jumped during parts of it. The song she used was ‘Let it Go’ from the movie ‘Frozen’.

Here she is during her routine:

 

image

 

That is only part of what we’ve been up to lately. I don’t want this post to be too long, so I will be making this a 2 (maybe 3) parter. Stay tuned for more updates from the Payne family including a trip to an Austin museum, my classes I’ve been taking with N, our Beagle’s medical problems, and last but certainly not least: graduations.


Setting Goals

Goals are SUPER important!

At the begining of the year, my husband and I set a goal to have a larger vehicle by the end of March. He worked side jobs almost every weekend in January and February and a few in March. All of the money he made doing that work went into a savings account and on March 30, we bought a van. We paid for it outright and have no payment weighing down on us. There are a couple issues with the van, so now we have a new goal which is to save and pay for the repairs before we go on vacation.

Another goal I have in my life is to be able to run (without a walking break) for a full 10K (6.2 miles). I’ve gotten up to 2 miles non-stop a couple of times recently. The progress is slow, especially as the Texas temperatures rise, but I am working hard to achieve that 10K goal.

I just finished a group study of Beth Moore’s So Long Insecurity. In the Group Experience companion book, she writes about Paul’s ultimate goal in Philippians 3:7-14:

The apostle Paul is both the ultimate idealist and the ultimate realist. He sees so clearly the fundamental goal of all who believe in Christ: to be found in Christ, to know Him, to become like Him. In other words, to be transformed! But Paul is honest enough to note that he’s not there yet. He doesn’t dwell on what is past, but he strains with all his energy to move forward. May we share his passion and his forward vision as we seek to leave a strong legacy for those behind us.

So now, like Paul, I’ll be honest: during the time of saving for a car, we were not always diligent.  There were times that we went out to eat when we should have put that extra money in the savings account. There were times when I bought a new lipstick or nail polish or shoes when I could have put that extra money in the savings account. There have been days that I didn’t get out to do my run first thing in the morning and I didn’t fuel my body properly so my run was not as successful as I’d have liked. But I can’t dwell on those things, I have to move forward toward the goals that I have set.

There are some goals, like Paul’s goal “to be found in Christ, to know Him, to become like Him” that are life-long,  ever changing, ever evolving goals. These are goals that, while alike in theory, they are very unique to each individual and situation as they are carried out in real life.  One such goal of mine, as a mother, is to see my children grow up knowing and loving and serving the Lord Jesus. It will not forever be my role to discipline and direct them, but I will forever be responsible for setting an example as a more mature believer and as their parent.

I’ve made so many mistakes already as a mother. I will make countless more as my children grow and mature. However, I won’t let those mistakes define my years as a mother. I will continue to grow in Christ, and therefore continue to grow as a mother. I will “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

image


Workout Journal – April 4, 2014

Happy Friday!

It’s time for my weekly workout journal, so I’m just going to get right to it.

Saturday, March 29 –  I was planning on having today be a rest day because my legs were a little sore on Friday. However, after playing at the park and flying kites with the kiddos, I felt really good. So I decided to go ahead and do P90X Legs & Back.

image

Fun flying kites!

Sunday, March 30 – 2.01 miles at a pace of 10:35 minutes/mile. I had planned on doing Kenpo-X later in the day, but my husband found a van online and we went to check it out. It took longer than expected, but we bought it. Yay!

image

New van!

Afterward, my husband and I played some Frisbee Golf for 9 holes, so that was some active entertainment. The Frisbee MAY have gotten stuck in a tree for a moment or two, but we had a lot of fun together.

Monday, March 31 – P90X Kenpo-X

Tuesday, April 1 – Rest Day. I was planning on my 5 miles today, but then I found out about Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at Whole Foods. I just had to take my youngest, so that left no time for an a.m. run. My scheduled P90X workput was X-Stretch and I knew I’d want to do that one after my 5 miles, so I took the rest day that my body needed anyway. Plus, how cute is this kid?!
image

Wednesday, April 2 – I ran/walked 5.03 miles at a 10:26 min/mile pace. I ran all but the last two big uphill sections. My goal was to get it in under an 11 min/mile pace, so I am very pleased! I also did P90X X-Stretch and it felt REALLY good after that run.

Thursday, April 3 – I did 3 miles, plus 3 20-second interval sets. My total distance was 3.38 miles at an average 11:03 min/mile pace. It wasn’t my best, but I got it done. I also did P90X Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps. It’s still pretty hard for me. I’m working on increasing my wrist strength and flexibility so all those pushup variations will be a little bit easier.

Friday, April 4 – I didn’t get a run in this morning because my husband is away working so I couldn’t leave my little guy alone in the morning. I did do P90X Plyometrics though. That’s a rough one for me sometimes. I have to modify many of the moves so I don’t wreck my fragile knees, especially with all the running I’m doing now. Even with the modifications though, it’s still an intense workout!

I’d love to read what you’ve been doing this week to exercise your body. Feel free to leave a comment about it.

Have a fun and healthy weekend, friends!


I’m Back: A Whole New Look for A Whole New Me

 Welcome to my new blog!

 

It has been way too long since I have blogged, I know. So much has happened in the past 10 months. I’ll try to sum it up as briefly as possible, and then I will get into why I have started a new blog with a new name.

 

Last I blogged, I had just moved to Austin from New Orleans. It was a stressful move and my husband’s new job was not exactly as wonderful as his employers had made it seem in the interview process. We had been told that Austin was very similar to New Orleans. Not quite. Sure there’s good food, but it’s BBQ, Tex-Mex, and Breakfast Tacos rather than Po-Boys, Seafood, and Beignets. Austin is the self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World (or something like that), but New Orleans has way more (and better) live music. I had thought New Orleans drivers were bad, but Austinites are just ridiculous! Austin’s slogan is “Keep Austin Weird” (I have no idea if that is official or not). I came to the conclusion one night while out on a date with my husband that Austin is kind of like New Orleans’ nerdy little sister: it’s often just trying way too hard to be cool and it is very obvious.

But Austin is growing on me and there are some very good benefits to living here and there are a lot of things that I do like about living here. For one thing, I LOVE that our neighborhood is very multi-cultural. New Orleans is still very culturally segregated, and that really makes me so very sad. Austin also has a LOT of hills, which have been very beneficial to my running routine. I already mentioned the BBQ, Tex-Mex, and Breakfast Tacos. We have found an amazing church where my husband is now on staff as the Technical Director. It was a huge blessing for him to be able to take the job there. We have started making some amazing friends. The kids have awesome teachers at their new school and even have a few classmates/friends in the neighborhood that they play with on the weekends. And most importantly, this is where God has told us we are to be. Oh, and the Texas sky is just gorgeous at almost any point in time.

See what I mean?! Gorgeous!

See what I mean?! Gorgeous!

 

When we first moved here, I had just started on a low-dose birth control pill that the doctor had insisted was the only thing that would help my would help the hormonal problems I had been having. Against my better judgment, I started taking them because I let her degree cause me to second guess myself. It was a disaster! It fixed a couple of the physical problems (by masking them) but caused even more emotional problems. It kicked me into a major depression and I gained almost 20 pounds. I ended up quitting the BC and reading The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried. It took a while to get myself straightened out after the BC, and I’m still tweaking things a bit, but I have begun to lose some of the weight I put on as well as add back some of the muscle I lost while depressed and not working out. I have completed a Couch to 5K running plan and now I am onto a plan that will (hopefully) have me running  a 10K in under 60 minutes. I am well on my way there as I ran 4.06 (that 0.06 is important, yo!)  miles this morning with a pace of 9:48 minutes/mile. Most importantly, my emotional state is so much better! It is more steady and not so up and down like it was while on the BC and just after quitting.

 

Ok, so now onto WHY I have changed my blog name and focus:

 

Honestly, the reason I changed blogs is because God told me to. My old blog was mine, and only mine. This blog belongs to Him. You see, when I started up my old blog, I was focused primarily on the external aesthetics (mainly mine). But God wants my focus on the internal, because that’s where His focus is. He cares more about my spiritual state than my physical state. He cares more about my attitude than my performance.

This new blog is going to focus on all the areas in our lives that we need to nourish and work out. Yep, keeping our physical bodies healthy is important, but it is not more important than being spiritually healthy or having healthy relationships or being emotionally healthy or having a healthy control of our finances or… well, you get the idea. Food and fitness are just one part of a very big picture. They are just one part of my very full life, a life I would like to share with you.

My goal is to post at least twice a week. Some will be short while others will be more in-depth. I will still mainly be posting about my fitness routine and foods, but I have some other areas I’d like to blog about as well. My old blog felt very restrictive. I made it into a place where I didn’t feel I had the freedom to branch out into other areas. I’d pigeonholed myself.  Now, I will be blogging about faith, family, friends, fitness, food, and fun!