Commander and I enjoy Homeschooling boys (Herogian, Hawk and Gluten), raising chickens, ducks, and dogs ( Penny and Casey), eating gluten free, surviving breast cancer, coach track and field, and loving God for every minute that He gives us to cherish our family.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy 4th of July

Hi friends,
I would like to wish each and everyone of you and your families a wonderful Independence Day celebration. We won't be doing much around here. Herogian is at boy scout camp, and the other two only want to be with a friend and his family shooting off fireworks. I'm hoping I can get some work out of Hubby and get this yard cleaned up. We had three trees cut down and we are still trying to cut up all the branches for firewood and then clear out the small stuff by binding it up to haul away. The pin oaks weren't small.

School is finally going well. We are in week 5 of 8. I'm almost done with one final project of two. The research method one shouldn't be too hard, just needs a lot of research time. The one that's almost done is a strength program of 6 weeks of lifting. Right up my alley.

Work outs have really improved this summer. Having to take Hawk to football practice at 6 a.m. and not getting home until 8:30-9, has given me time to run/walk, and then study in the car. When Gluten is home from camps, we turn around at 9 and head back out for two hours of soccer practice. More study time. :-)

Another change this summer is smoothies. We are doing protein powder mixed in fresh strawberry + any other berry, or fruit we have around. I've notice a big change in energy levels. Actually feeling full throughout the day and not wanting to snack. This has been a good change for the boys also. We are trying to develop some muscle on those twiggy arms of theirs.

This is the challenge I put out for July. If you like you can follow more of our workouts on  or . You can find and share the below on also.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

THe Garden is growing

This was last week. This week it looks even better. The beans and peas are growing along the side edges, cucumbers are up and the corn is about 5 inches tall now, radishes and two tomato plants finish out this garden. I have been enjoying the fresh spring lettuce (light green color) and spinach leaves in salads.  In the far part of the yard I threw out potatoes, they are now growing, the asparagus is done and strawberries, mulberries are ready for picking. I'm so excited.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Workouts started

Today, Happy Memorial Day!, the workouts started. Jump over to to check out the workout and exercise explanations. If you know any athletes from middle school to college or beyond that want a different plan to follow for the summer this one will help them touch on the major areas of training for speed, agility, strength and endurance.
You will also see how to make a roller to roll the kinks out.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Summer workout program week 1

Over on  I pieced week 1's workouts from the summer program. The USM athletes should be starting this next week. If you want to join us for something different, I'd like to hear that you are. Any questions about exercises, please contact me. Many exercises have multiple names.

Schools almost out. Let's get in shape this summer.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I need to talk to you

As we waited in Great Clips for haircuts, I was reading in Reader's Digest that the most feared words to hear are, "I need to talk to you."  I turned to Gluten and repeated the words.

"I need to talk to you."
His eyes bugged out and his mouth slowly opened. Then even slower, he turned toward me.
"Yep it works. You just thought about all the bad things you have done that you thought you would be in trouble for, see, it says those are the most feared words." I showed him the article. At that point he finally breathed again.

"Mom, that wasn't nice."

I did use it again later.
"Gluten, I need to talk to you." I shouted up the stairway.
"Yeah, right, you're not pulling that again on me."
"What have I asked you to do three times now, and it still isn't done?"
"Oops, I'm coming." He slunk past me down the stairs to pick up his pile of folded clothes from the laundry basket.

I think I like those words.

I'm blogging at   for workouts and other exercise related items.
Join me for some CORE and glute work today.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Homeschooling myself and everything else

We are coming to the end of our homeschooling adventure for the boys. The oldest two have been in public school for a semester. It has been okay. I only wanted to 'have it out' with a couple of teachers for pigheadedness only a couple of times. The boys made the adjustment and are doing well. It actually brought about some good things in the boys, self-responsibility for their assignments, standing up for their grades - find out how to erase an 'F' because you had the flu the day the assignment was done....

Gluten, is excited about going to high school next year and trying out for the soccer team. Hawk will be trying out for football and Herogian - Cross-Country. It will be good for them to be involved in sports. We are praying that a 250 lb. linebacker doesn't squish Hawk in his first game. Yes, he has finally made it past the 100 lb mark.

Since the boys won't be homeschooling with me anymore, I'm going to homeschool myself. I'm going back to school for my Masters in Exercise and Sports Science. I'm taking online classes through American Military University. I'll start this June with 'Methods in Research', 'Advanced Methods in Strength and Conditioning', followed by 'Advanced Physiology' and 'Nutrition in Health and Sports' starting in August. I'm so excited.

The sleeping has improved. Thank you for your prayers. I have  natural ingredients to help me sleep in pill form or in a tea. If I don't make it to sleep on my own by midnight, I get up and take something. I'm also getting a head start on the reading for my classes.

This summer will be busy, but in a way easy (I think) the boys are gone a lot with camps. I'll be able to get a lot of study time in. The mornings will have workouts for the boys at school, and I'm going to do the summer workout program I established for our track athletes to follow. I plan to get one week ahead of them so that I can adjust the program as we progress through the summer. The athletes have a certain level of fitness to reach before they come back to school next fall. No wasting time getting them in shape again. We are moving forward. If you have a middle school to college student that needs to get in general competing shape, give me a shout.

At Conference the triple jumpers placed 3rd and 4th, Long Jumping was 7th . They earned points for the team. Our 4x4 team won, a 5000m runner won, in the 400m men's we were 1st and 2nd, 3rd in 200 and 800 and 3rd in 10,000. We had other finishes that earned points for the teams - women's 9th in conference and the men 5th in conference. Not bad for our second year. We had 5 girls competing against teams with over 30, for the men we had 12 athletes where others had over 40 competitors. We have a couple of guys going to Nationals in the marathon.

Only six more broiler chickens to butcher. THis is one activity that I plan not to do again. At least not on the scale of 20 birds. I have wrung necks, chopped heads off, and used a killing cone. I now prefer the chopping block for fast action and easier to hold the birds down so they don't break a wing. Each day it is harder to do this job, but if I don't they will have a heart attack and die. I'd rather that not happen to the birds.

Have a great week. Happy Birthday to Gluten. Our youngest turns 14 Sunday. Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Drum Magazine and Insomnia

Last week I ran out of the synthetic sleep aid that I have been trying to ween off. I didn't expect to run out of them at that time. I'm still confused about being out of them, for I told myself all month at I'd cut the last five in half. Who knows what I decided when I got to those last five and was placing them in the day to day pill container. I don't know!

Thursday and Friday were two nights without anything , I was starting to feel  murderous. You might say I took it out on the chickens. I have 22 to clean and freeze and Saturday I did five. Then I worked on cutting up the branches the tree guy cut off 3 large pin oaks. Eventually the three trees will be firewood, but he is dropping them a little at a time so we can cut them all up ourselves. Bigger job than expected. Saturday night I was searching the house, still under the impression that there should be five little pills hiding from me somewhere. I did find a sleep aid in my travel kit, so I used it to help me survive. Sunday night, same thing looking all over the house for something, spending time out in the living room, frustration level at the rooftop. Monday, the doctor received a call of help, and so did the pharmacist. I needed those two people to connect for a new script to be filled.

At lunch time, I'm on the couch resading when Gluten bee bops into the room asking," Can I order the gun magazine?"
"Can I order the gun magazine, now?"
What, gun magazine?" I'm holding open a book and can't picture Gluten reading a magazine.
"You know the one I've been wanting to order for my gun." He goes into 1920's gangster stance, punches in the magazine and fires his imaginary air rifle.
I'm so tired that I get tickled as reality hits. Then I start laughing.
"What type of gun magazine did you think I wanted?" he asks.
I play imaginary drums and hit the cymbal before opening up an air magazine to read.
"OH yuck, why would I want that?" "Quit laughing!"
It is too late. I 've lost it. I can't stop.
At least laughing is good for a six pack ab. Right?

As to the insomnia, I tried some sleepy time Peppermint tea, I hate most teas, but this was drinkable, then I tried an over the counter melatonin, L-triptophan, something or another sleep aid. Commander tried these too. I'd like to use these one night and then the synthetic the next until I can get off it completely. Commander was sleeping soundly, but by 1:30 I was taking the synthetic, anything to get over that edge to fall asleep. 
Commander did say he'd help me tonight. Just let him know when I reach the edge and he'll push me on over - right out of bed onto the floor. Thanks Honey. YAWNNNNN.

Next step is to work on vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Magnesium is suppose to be good for sleep.

Hope you have a good night's rest.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring Break with snow

Today it started snowing - March 23rd. We are expecting anywhere from 8-10 inches of snow.

Commander took 2 boys with him this morning. First stop soccer game, second stop TKD testing, and then third stop - not scheduled. He stopped at a local farm supply store.  When they came home, the two boys came in saying, "They were free! They were free!" 
The story told was that a photographer would get a couple of baby chicks and ducks to use for pictures and then return them to the store when done. The store didn't want them anymore, since they are done selling birds. Commander, or Herogian mentioned that we have birds. The man handed them the box and said, "They are free!"
They came home with 3 chicks.
Our garage is overran by birds. 35 to be exact.

While the boys were out today, I had garden duty. Twenty 40# bags of dirt, put in 9 post to hold fencing around the raised garden. As I was finishing with the last screw, Hawk yelled for me to look up. It was snowing. The fencing still needed to go around it and the gate area blocked off to keep the dogs out of the new dirt. Got it done along with spreading grass seed across the front yard and part of the back. A neighbor told me this is a good time to put down seed. The snow will cover it, protecting it from the birds, water it and give it time to root as it melts off. HMMM. I looked a bit daff pushing the spreader around the yard with large snowflakes falling. As I finished, I noticed that another neighbor was also spreading grass seed.

Commander and I are logging miles for moon joggers.  the goal is to run to the moon and back this year as a group.  I think the group has 147,000+ miles already.  We have 425 of it. Woohoo. This has been a good incentive to keep moving. I'm also keeping track of our milage separately. The competitor in each of us, doesn't want to be outdone - by too much.

The sleeping improved last night. I woke up. Therefore, I was asleep.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

breaking an addiction

Part 1 - I've decided to get off a sleep aid to hopefully reduce panic attacks and anxiety caused by long term use.

It will just take the edge off, let you cross that bridge into sleep. It's not habit forming or anything, great new drug. Wanna make a bet?

In 2005 when I started anti hormonal therapy after breast cancer treatments, two of the meds I was taking caused Insomnia. So the solution was to take an anxiety drug at low dosage just at night to help me fall asleep, its suppose to be out of the system in six hours, so that's a good start on a good night's rest. Eight years later, it's time to get off the med.

I recall the first signs of a panic attack back in 2008 driving the three boys home from Oklahoma. The palpating heart, the drop of blood from the noggin, the fuzzy -'I could pass out feeling'. Thought it was blood sugar dropping. Pulled over, popped food in my mouth, concentrated on getting the boys back into the van and home we went. The only problem was that these episodes started increasing.

In the last two years, the fuzzy brain has showed up with just driving into town, or coming home from practice. Again, I thought is was blood sugar issues. I'd pull off into a neighborhood, sit for a while and suck on candy or drink my son's mountain dew; to his chagrine. Then it happened at a red light. I was waiting to turn left at a large intersection and was in the turn lane. I almost backed up and pulled over. I was only 4 miles from home. I thought I was going nuts. I started squeezing butt cheeks together, then the stomach to push blood upward. I tapped out rhythm on my thigh, steering wheel, tried to sing with the radio when i felt like jumping out of the sub (suburban) and screaming. I knew it was time to see a doctor. All through this time, I'm still taking this anxiety pill at night to sleep.

I was sent to Providence Hospital for a tilt table test. Lie down on their nice table, let them strap you on, and stay there for ten minutes; piece of cake. Then they stood the table up. One of the straps is strategically placed over the knee caps, you can't bend. Passed out in twelve minutes. Vaso Vago Syncope, blood pressure drops and you pass out. Drink gatorade and more water to keep your fluids up. Okay. Sweet and easy cure.

I keep a 32 ounce bottle of water or mixed gatorade with me at all times. I don't buy it at the store premade, I mix my own so I can tone down on the amount - don't need to drink calories and sugar all day. yet the anxiety has now surfaced. I feel it coming on at red lights, driving faster speeds on the hwy, afternoons rushing from one practice to the next. It's a game now, eat a protein bar to make it through practice, drink gatorade through practice to make it to the next scheduled event, eat there to make it home, take the back roads, and "Thank you, Lord, for boys needing driver's ed hours."

So how is all this related to an axiety pill I want to drop? Wikipedia clearified it for me. Long term effects of benzodiazepines (family of drugs) 'It was found that, after several years of chronic benzodiazepine use, a large portion of patients developed various mental and physical health problems including agoraphobia, irritable bowel syndrome, parasthesiae, INCREASED ANXIETY, and PANIC ATTACKS, which were not preexisting.  The article also stated that withdrawal from these products 'can lead to a reduction in anxiety symptoms....'  This is what I'm praying for.

Last night was the first night on 1/2 the dose. 0.5mg. I think I talked myself into keeping my eyes closed most of the night. Don't look at the clock, don't look at the clock.I felt like Smeegle and Gollum.
 Sleep behavior training suggest not taking naps during the day to improve sleep at night.  I might have to go outside and stand in the snow to keep awake. Yes, it is snowing again in Kansas.

So Day 1. I'm tired. I'm thankful that it is THursday, our easiest day. I'm thankful that this is the day that the Lord has made and He is in charge of it.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

When we are weak, God is strong

This past Saturday the USM track team traveled to Emporia for the first outdoor meet of the season. Our javelin thrower was having a rough couple of days - physically. He said he felt like he was dealing with food poisoning - upset stomach, headache, chills, no fever that he could tell. He never complained about having to go to the meet while feeling bad, he was just ready to get some marks and throw as best he could.

At the meet, he had to wait until around 4 in the afternoon before it was time for his heat of six men to throw. I told him to take it easy, get one good throw in and if he felt worse and didn't want to try the other three attempts, I'd deal with our head coach. I let him keep his outer layer of warm up shorts and long sleeve on, which would have been an issue with the head coach. I felt concerned for Michael, just like a mom for her son. It is no fun competing when you are sick. Little things like keeping a shirt on can help.

He ran back his approach and we put a shoe down to mark a suggested starting area. We didn't measure his long approach. He didn't know if he could throw from a long approach or would just use a short one. He warmed up with a couple of throws and then asked for last years PR distance. We remembered his farthest throw from last year being  around 128'. I told him I'd pray for him.

THe first guy threw and his javelin landed close to a line on the field, it ended up being about 130'. I kept my eyes on the line for when Michael threw. His went past the line. First throw 132'. He didn't believe me, so I showed him the converter on my phone. I prayed for another meter. Knowing Michael was feeling week, I asked for God to show Michael His strength through him. Second throw 135'. That's a meter. Michael was shocked. Pray throw, Pray throw. Michael's third was 138' and his 4th throw 140' 4". How's that for a record breaking day? 12 feet!

I was also doing a lot of praying at the sand pit that day. Three jumpers long jumping and then triple jumping. Maria matched her PR in the Long Jump, and then went a foot farther in the Triple then she was indoors - we still need another foot to match her PR and qualify for nationals. Trevor jumped over 20 feet in the long jump, but just short of his PR. Our third jumper - we are praying for the approach and the board to match up during competition as well as it does in warmups. 

Praying for good weather in Parkville, Tuesday 19th and then again Saturday at Baker Univ.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Snow snow snow and more

We are getting our second dump of snow in as many weeks. The boys are loving it. The older two get official snow days out of school and Gluten, well, yeah, he gets off too. I'm loving it. They don't wake up until noon, the dogs sleep, too, after breakfast. I get to do a few chores before sitting down to edit 'the book' - the one I've been writing on for the last umpteen years. It is coming together really well right now.
I've been reading a lot of Angela Hunt books - great author - she writes many of her books in present tense. The more you read present tense, the easier it is to write it. Last week I picked up a book from a different author and immediately wanted to edit the past tense to present. That is an interesting concept for me.  'Sit and set' have also been clicking into the right spots ( I think), just have a few reduntant words like 'turns' and 'stands' that the thesarus and I'll have to work out.
I'm enjoying the snow and the writing sessions.

Herogian and Gluten joined me this evening for a snow ball throwing contest. If you landed the snowball onto the clean top part of the roof, the snowball rolls down into the snow and builds before it drops off. The only problem that developed was the foot slipping out from under you when putting that much force into a light weight object. Mine split like a meteor shower and splattered the side of house, along with Hawk's bedroom window (he just happened to be napping) as I landed on my rearend. Gluten gave one a toss right over the house, then his next one sent his feet out from under him and he hit the raised garden bed edging with the back of his skull. That ended our game as we walked him into the house with a snowball held to the back of his head.

During the first snow, Herogian built a snow cave. Of course, he wanted to sleep in it. Commander and I both said,"No." We have heard to many tales of things like snow or sand collapsing on unsuspecting victims. I'm glad he listened to us, for it collasped at some point. The snow balls he placed beside it, just for that opportune time to hit his brothers, backfired. They found them and used them against him the next day - after the snowballs had frozen solid during the night. And they say paintball and air soft can be painful. Snowball fights just joined that catagory.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Still here and still kicking

THis year is really moving. When a blogging friend has to ask if I'm still here, that tells me I haven't been around EF&B lately.

This is what's been going on.
THis is the old colors in the living room. And below is the new coloring for the living room and hallway.

THis chocolate color is replacing the burnt pumkin color accent wall. Which now extends to the ceiling with thequilt "Arizona" hanging from the ceiling's edge. That was scary, climbing up to the ledge with a five step ladder - the one that says don't step on the top step. Well, I had to, to get my bum high enough to sit on the ledge before pulling my feet up there to stand.

The kitchen
was also painted flower pot red with a back splash wall added. THe picture doesn't do it justice.

This project was done by our friends at INTEXT.
THen we moved into Valentine's Day. THis is how my honey said, "I love you." A new Monstroncity of a treadmill that is quiet, speedy and will make me feel like I'm climbing Mt. Everest. A Nordic Track that almost does it all for you. It arrived this morning while I was working on his gift.

For the Commander, I'm building him a raised garden. It is in the shape of a 'C'.  It will be framed with a three foot high fence on the front and sides, a gate at the center opening and the back row will be fenced five to six feet high with chicken wire for the beans, peas and other viney plants.The back is 18 feet in length, sides 10 feet. My sweetie asked today if I could build another one to match. Music to my ears.

Today we hauled compost from the store, dirt from the lower pile in our back yard per wheelbarrow up the hill. My arms and shoulders are talking tonight.  Finishing the fence and gate will probably have to wait until this week's storm passes before I can posthole dig.
Along with the home projects, the two older boys are in public school  and doing well, now. At least the urge to strangle someone (teacher, coach) has subsided.
The USM track team is done with indoors except for two going to nationals. Not my jumpers - poo.  So we are working hard to get ready for outdoor track which starts Mid-March.
Gluten is done with futsal and practicing for spring soccer, Hubby is about to transition out of the army for good, come March.
I'm still homeschooling Gluten and babysitting a four year old bundle of happiness. AND I'm back to editing the book - which has become my favorite part of the day along with looking forward to treadmill time - I say that as I sit here eating Brach's conversation hearts.
So Michelle, I hope that catches you up. I've got to get over to yours, Julies, OkGranny and the others tonight.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

To the Moon is hosting a run to the moon. Since it is 238,000 miles (about) to the moon, they needed 500 plus runners to try and log 1000 or 2013 miles during the year 2013. Commander and I signed on as a team - Picklesnorts. We signed up for 1000 miles - splitting it between us and hopefully getting some help from the boys. So far we are on track for the 2013 miles for the year. Alright, I know, I know, this is January 2nd.  So we haven't gone too far, but we started when Beiijing celebrated 2013 New Years, so that gave us an extra day. We had the chance to workout together  on the 31st, so I counting it. We will just have to be done by the 31st of next December. We are at 37 miles.

We used mapmyrun to check the distance in our neighborhood and found that we can do a there and back route equal to 2.24 miles. This can be stretched to about 3 miles if we add in 3 more cul-de-sacs. We stopped after each lap to add another layer. By the last two laps we were doing them consecitively in sections. As the afternoon wore on the road was freezing up underneath us. The last 2 trudges up the hill to the church and back home had us shuffle stepping to keep our footing.

The next night was in our new workout room/old laundry room/ past bedroom/ retired office. We put the old vhs tv up on a wall locker and walked on the treadmill or eliptical through the first half of "Schindler's List".  I finished it the next day.

Today, I met Commander at the post gym and we did eleven miles together. To reach the 1000 mark, we each need to do about 3. 2 miles (don't quote me, I can't remember straight on this one) for the 2013 miles we have to do 5.51 miles - now you can quote me. We are in the black for milage and want to keep it that way.

So if you are up to the challenge. Check out and see if they still need runners. Or ask to sign up on the Picklesnort team. We'd love to have you.