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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Our Christmas trees are on their way! We are selling 620 trees this year! We are really hoping to make enough money to have a good down payment for a new house. Wish us luck!

The kids continue to grow-grow-grow and astonish us! They are amazing. I couldn't ask for cooler babies. They are exceedingly smart, witty, and athletic. They are beautiful, sweet, social...I could go on and on. I am having a hard time seeing their downfalls! Part of being a mommy...biased!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am feeling so thankful! There is so much going on right now, and sometimes I feel totally overwhelmed. College, kids, cleaning, cooking, shopping with coupons, bookkeeping for Ritterboys, Christmas trees, LAUNDRY! It all gets to me sometimes! And on top of that I am trying to make it to the gym a few times a week and doing crafts/school with the children. I sometimes wish that I didn't have to would give me 7-8 mostly uninterrupted time to get things done!

Although I feel totally overwhelmed, I am thankful to have so much. Our three children (and two dogs!) are the biggest blessing of all. I also have a wonderful husband. God has helped our business stay afloat even through the Recession, we have amazing extended family that supports and love us. I am so thankful that I am able to stay home with my children, and even more thankful that all three of them are perfectly formed, perfectly healthy, and are flourishing in every way.

When things seem hard and too much to handle, I always try to look at the wonderful gifts I am given, and to remember that "this too will pass". In a few years I will look back and laugh at all the things that I juggled now, and I will have new struggles to get through! All circumstances are temporary.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 1 of 30 day Challenge

I started my self-proclaimed 30 day challenge today. 30 days of eating as well as I possibly can to see how it affects my family and I. So far, so good. I have been a little more energetic. Not running around, but I barely got sleep last night, and I am sure I still have some toxins in my body from the yucky food. It takes a few days. I need to get back to exercising too...I've been waiting for Sonja's cough to go away, but it's been 3 weeks! She's gotta be good enough to go.

Anyways;, this is what our mealplans were for the day.

Breakfast- I made a pot of oatmeal and the kids added their own sweeteners (honey and dark brown sugar, which are much better for you than white refined sugar), they also had bananas and a little bit of my smoothie.

I had a cup of herbal tea first thing, trying to ditch the coffee (we'll see though haha!). Since I can't have just anything in the morning( borderline hypoglycemic) , I opted for a fruit and yogurt smoothie with a tablespoon of both wheat germ and ground flaxseeds (the last 2 ingredients are key to keep me from getting sick in the morning). I felt absolutely great and actually pretty full.

Snack- the kids had real fruit popsicles (not the healthiest, but they were playing outside), and milk. I had a handful of pumpkin seeds, which are SO GOOD

Lunch- We had a picnic outside. We packed PB & Jam (organic PB, which tastes sooo much better and is so much better for you! I'm hooked already!, blackberry preserves, and whole grain, no preservative actually have to refridgerate it...and it tastes really good!!). Then we also had orange slices, sliced pears, and baby carrots. The kids ate it up like crazy- they have always loved fruits, and being outside made lunch even more fun:)

Dinner- for dinner I am going to make baked salmon with rose petal potatoes (tiny little cute potatoes!) with olive oil and parmesan, and I am going to figure out another veggie to include...maybe spaghetti squash with alfredo?? Not completely sure quite yet.


Eathing Healthy, Pictures, and Updates

Today is the start of our 30 day trial of eating healthier. I went to the store last night (actually 3 stores) and got a lot of fruits and veggies (organic when it wasn't a lot more $), nuts, seeds, fish/chicken, yogurts/cottage cheese, and whole grain breads/pastas. I knew I couldn't afford to change everything overnight, but figured this was a really good start! Now I just have to figure out how to cook acorn/butternut squashes, sweet potatoes, fresh spinach, etc! I don't have a whole lot of experience with sprucing them up! I borrowed a couple of vegetable cookbooks from the library to hopefully give me some ideas. I also re-borrowed the book "Deceptively Delicious" by Jerry Seinfield's wife which entails yummy recipes that have surprising veggie ingredients in them (think brownies with spinach and mac and cheese with cauliflower). I will keep updating on our eating habit changes, and see how it benefits us.

Anyways, I cannot believe it is already November! Time just...FLIES. Everyone is doing great. The last 2 weeks of October was really rough for our family heath wise...we had chest colds and possible flus, Sonja had and still kind of is fighting off Bronciolitis. Ucky.

Everyone is growing up so quickly! Sonja started to pull herself up about 3 days ago. Just out of the blue, she could do it. She is crawling so fast now, too! She's all over the house! I have to sweep and mop the floor once or twice a day! And she still manages to get dirty! Our slate floors are rough to get dirt-free. I never really notice it until we have a crawler around- I need to tie a mophead to her and let her mop for me :-). Last night was rough...we have those once in a while. She wakes up and just doesn't want to or has trouble falling back asleep. It is very frustrating for me and hard to deal with. I have to pray for patience the whole time. Last night she woke up at midnight and it took me 2 hours to get her to finally fall back asleep. I think that she was constipated. I tried giving her a warm bath, soothing her with lotions, giving her juice and brown sugar (dark brown sugar is a natural laxative of sorts, very mild though), I was trying so hard to relax her, but in the end I just had to hold her close and not let her move. So she went to sleep at 2, and then woke up again at 5! I thought I was gonna go crazy! Luckily the second time she took her bottle and went right to sleep. Everyone slept in this morning, which was such a blessing! Sonja is a very happy baby usually, but when she is sick or uncomfortable (the last 2 weeks of October and occasionally thereafter), she is a HANDFUL. I can tell already that although she is sweet and easy going, when she isn't feeling well, she becomes very strong willed and stubborn. I just gotta keep her healthy so I don't go crazy ;). She is such a blessing to our family though. She is very much a Daddy's Girl, more than any of the other 2 were at her age. She just hears him sing or sees him sitting across the room and will just stare and smile the whole time. She LOVES him.

Xander is really turning into such a little man- no longer a toddler! He talks and talks and is such a little ham! When he is playing with toys, he always uses a high pitched voice- it's really funny! Our new discipline style (which I wrote about earlier) is really working well for him. Consistency and calmness is key for him. He absolutely loves to play football/baseball with Daddy. And with me, he loves to play a chasing game. He has m e say "I got ya where I want ya, now I'm gonna GET ya!!" and I chase him around. He could play that all day long, seriously! He also loves games like hide and seek, and even is getting into the all time famous"Max and Ruby" that Jayna ALWAYS wants to play. He is really getting into Boy stuff- fighting, guns, swords, VULTRON (Daddy's fav movie as a kid..he is so stoked that he got Jayna and Xander into it!) is so fun to watch him just be a carefree boy!

Jayna is growing up so much and so fast that I can't even believe it! Her reasoning, intelligence, character, and artistic flare just make her such a joy to have around. She is so happy to just be at home and play "max and ruby" nor hide and seek, draw/do crafts, sing songs/make up her own songs, write, read, etc. But she also loves to go places, and is really loving playing baseball with Daddy. Jason is very impressed at her athleticism, even at this young age. She doesn't like the "Tee", but prefers Daddy to pitch to her...and she does really well! She is just so well-rounded, I am excited for her. She will be able to do pretty much whatever she puts her mind to! She is such a talker and thinker- we have discussions that I never thought I'd have with a 4 year old She asks things like "Why to people die", "Why can't I see God", "What is heaven like", etc. I love it! I adore having these conversations with her, and hope that we always can talk like this.

Jason and I have been very busy as parents and business owners. We are getting ready to sell Christmas trees at the end of the month, I am keeping books of our financial side of the bus, and Jason is out on the field. It is exhausting! Throw in 3 kids, 2 dogs, and cooking/cleaning, and I have to resist working from sunup to sundown. I try to make absolutely sure that my kids get at least 2 hours of undivided time in the day, and at least an hour of family time with Daddy at night. Sometimes we don't quite get there, but I try to make sure even then that they at least help me prepare meals, we read stories, and even clean up together. The kids have their "chores" and they get a quarter a day when they complete them. They can choose to save their money to buy a toy, or use it now on a gumball machine. I am trying to teach them, even at this young age, how money works.