Let me start this with a warning. This is liable to be quite long. I hope it is interesting, but it is, I believe, necessary for me. With this blog, I will lay the holidays to rest and reaffirm my commitment to continuing the journey.
With that said, HELLO It has been a really long holiday break and I have missed you ALL dearly!! My Christmas and New Year were fabulous!
I have often said that if God would have seen fit to give me girls, I would have learned to throw tea parties and choose the best baby dolls. However, he gave me boys so I learned to play tough. As they have gotten older and are now men, living on their own, you would think the games would change, right? Don't you believe it! The favorite game, especially for my middle boy, Alan, is wrestling. Yes, I wrestle this clown nearly every time he visits. This time his fiance was on hand to record the whole thing in pictures. Grrrrrrrr, "Lucky Me"
Now these pictures may appear at first glance to show that my son won. I would hasten to point out that #1. He is NOT a little boy any more! #2. I am NO spring chicken !! and #3. I SURVIVED!!! Considering those 3 points and the AMAZING cardio workout provided by the massacre, I say it was at LEAST a draw!!! LOL
The games didn't get much easier. A couple of days of recovery and he suggested we go outside and build a snowman. Hmmmm not an all bad idea, but there really wasn't very much snow. He assured me we would make it work, so I bundled up and off we went. The snow was too dry for snowman making, so Biceball was invented.
To play Biceball, we used the stick we had collected for an arm had the snowman making worked, as a bat. We took turns "pitching" snowballs at each other. We scored a little like golf. You received one point for every swing, low score wins, and we switched pitchers after a hit. The goal was to play nine innings. After 5, I could no longer feel my toes, the wind had come up a bit, and we were QUICKLY losing daylight. We made the agreement to quit after 6 innings and call it a game. I actually made it to the end of that inning in a tie!! THAT surprised me!! His "team" name was Camo Nation and mine was Snow globe. Here is a picture of our scoreboard.
On New Year's Eve, I "hosted" our first ever (I hope it becomes our first ANNUAL) Vision Board Making Party. If you have not heard of Vision Boards, they are a great idea. By definition, they are just a board, not a calendar, however when Alan's fiance thought of adding a calendar to the idea, we really liked it. The Vision Board is just a visual representation of your goals, your priorities. The idea is that by visually representing your goals on a display that you can see every single day, you stay more focused on those goals and more aware of what you are doing "this" for. Most generally, the board is made with pictures, slogans, encouraging phrases, or words that are cut from magazines. We got a touch more creative.
I decided that this would tie together very nicely with New Year's Eve/Day as you are looking back at what you did or did not accomplish and looking forward at what you hope to achieve with the new start. When I explained my idea to the group, everyone (even the guys) were very interested and willing to do it.
I began MY Vision Board Party by taking the gang to Wal-Mart for supplies. Each participant had at least a vague idea of where they wanted to go with their board, and we bought the supplies needed.
Then a nice supper in a favorite restaurant and we headed home to work on our "vision" for the New Year as we waited for the ball to drop. A couple of things I should point out here if you decide to use this idea, #1 Normally speaking the participants could be asked to bring their own supplies. #2. These silly things take a LOT longer to put together than you would ever, EVER think. And #3. Keep your "guest list" small. It takes a LOT of room for each person.
I was amazed at the results!! Each board came out very unique and reflected the personality of the creator. We had a blast!!!
The first thing that amazed me was Dad. He not only went along with the idea, he PARTICIPATED! I was SOO happy!!
As you can see, dad's turned out to be pretty much just a calendar. To his credit, he participated in the picking of decorations he wanted, seemed to enjoy the creation process, is inspired (always has been) by eagles, and is proud of his work. I say that is a win, win, win, win!! In Alan's words, when he saw dad's......... "Well, that just SCREAMS Maspa! .......... I guess I should explain that Maspa is what my boys have always called dad.
Kaela, Alan's fiance was the most artistic of us. She combined the traditional searching through one magazine after another with her own very capable hand and drew whatever she did not cut out.
Kaela decided to make a new picture for every month on the back of the month before. The highlights of her board are the white tags at the beginning of each week, the multicolored post it notes on each day, and the pictures in the first day or two of the month. The white tags remind her to try a new fruit or vegetable each week. She is a VERY picky eater and does not like very many freggies. Each week through the year, she will only get to remove the tag if she actually tries and finishes one whole fruit or vegetable. The post it notes are her workout or rest day for each day. She has worked out the WHOLE year!! I was awed!! She removes the Post it note ONLY if she does the work out. The pictures at the first of the month represent her monthly goal. The picture shows January and her goal is to drink more water. To represent that she has a picture of a water pitcher. Some of her other goals for a month included things like; smile more, say I love you more often, and get enough sleep.
The there was Alan. He is the only one that stayed with the truest depiction of a Vision Board and did not include a calendar.
Alan's board focuses on keeping everything in perspective. He began with two cords representing two separate paths. The beginning of one path is blank as he is not the "author" or in charge of that path. The other path, his, begins with a "Fresh Start" and a re-commitment to fueling his body with freggies and proceeds from there to graduation, his wedding day, (where the two paths join, clever, huh?) then on to finally losing his tummy, starting a career and finishing the year strong. His idea is to focus on one thing at a time, with each in order. Yes he is working out and eating right but that tummy won't be gone until some time after his wedding in August and before the years finishes. His goal is to help himself keep a better perspective on the goals by setting the year up in order, but not by an exact day or with exact numbers.
That brings us to me. As we all know, I have hung around with Elementary Education people just a bit longer than most. This is reflected in my board which is very interactive. I don't like resolutions, so I made a New Year's Focus Statement. In 2015 I am going to increase my focus on faith, finances, and fitness.
In the upper left corner of the board, beside the goal to lose 60 ponds, are two sticky note pads. The top one has Current Month written at the bottom of each page and the bottom one says year to date. If I lose a mere 5 pounds a month, I can celebrate 2015's close in wonderland!!
Below that are to hooks with dangling tags on them. They are hanging beside the goal of doing 52 push-ups with Alan. This is to represent my now renewed push-up challenge with Alan. (I'll explain later) Each time I increase the number of push-ups I am able to do, I get to change the tags to reflect the current number.
The bulls eye is where I will show the days in my "On Target" streak. To be "On Target" I have to have exercised at least 10 minutes and stayed inside ALL ranges.
The picture in the middle will change each month to show a new motivational image or slogan. On the upper right corner, I have made two miniature dry erase boards to keep track of my full bible study sessions as well as my daily devotional. Also in this area is a pocket full of paper strips numbered 1-20. Each strip corresponds to a file in a separate box. In each file are 5 affirmations. I will pick one daily, repeat it out loud to myself in front of a mirror and repeat as often as needed throughout the day.
The last section is hard to see, but has got 12 circles. Each circle represents a month. Inside the circle is the amount I will put in savings that month. Beside the circle is the total that will be in savings with that deposit. Each time I make a savings deposit, I will glue a bright shiny penny to the circle. If I dip into that savings before Christmas, I will have to remove the penny. I am hoping that the thought of the ugly spot created by ripping the penny loose will bother me enough that my OCD will not allow me to do it.
Of course we took a break at midnight to make a toast with some sparkling cider.
The boards were fun, and everyone told me repeatedly what a great idea it was and how much they enjoyed it.
Okay, I am sorry this has dragged on so long, but in my defense, you were warned. Lol! Just a couple more details and I can wrap this up.
As many of you know, Alan and I had a push up challenge for New Year's Eve. I tried. Really I did. In some ways I am proud of my efforts, but in other ways I feel like I did miss some opportunities to practice that I should have capitalized on. At any rate, I lost. I could not do them. Alan did one more than I did and stopped. We BOTH knew he could have finished.
Being the football aficionado that he is, he "threw a flag" on me for delay of game. He set me back 5 yards ( I have to pay for both of us to participate together in a 5K event of my choosing) and I will run the play again New Year's Eve 2015. I tell you what, I gotta love that boy! He allowed me to lose without being defeated and my "penalty" is some more mommy/Alan time. He definitely ROCKS!!!
I am a camera hog and during any kind of family event I am going to be running around taking pictures and seldom sharing the camera. The picture that I come away from Christmas 2014 with that makes m the proudest, has to be these family pictures that we took using the camera's timer.
First, my beautiful family.
Left to right, my oldest son Scott, his wife Tamahara, me, my baby boy, Brandon (way in the back) Dad, Kaela, Alan
Then dad stepped out to run the camera and take pictures of me and my kids. Here is the picture I asked for.
And the picture my kids wanted
In the interest of full disclosure, I had decided to just smile and let THEM be silly. At the very second dad clicked the picture, Brandon (the goofball!!) reached up unexpectedly from behind and pulled my hair!!
Now, I will close with some of the funnies I have seen over the course of the holidays that are all too true, but still good for a laugh.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!!