Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Recap

What can I say about 2014, it was a good year, a really good year.  It started off with my mom and brother living with us. They got their own place in April and my mom is still there just 15 minutes away, and she is happy (at least today).  Kris got a new motorcycle in January and loves to ride, and I got a new car in February that I still love (it is so cute!) I turned 38 in April and I have had no new weird medical issues this year and that is always a good thing.  I had two moles removed and tested but they were normal.  Kris turned 44 in May and has been mostly working, watching movies, and riding his motorcycle. Summer graduated first grade with all A's in June and was put into a top scoring second grade class in August. She also turned 7 in July and we celebrated with a big pool party. We traveled to Colorado for a week in July for a family reunion and did some pretty amazing things, like rent a 4x4 and travel into the mountains so high we saw snow.  I started watching a little boy in August part time and I am still doing it, luckily he is a really great kid, and I am not just saying that incase his mom reads this.  I started doing social media marketing for a facebook business in September and I still enjoy it. We took a late beach vacation before school started in August and Kris bought his second motorcycle and sold his mustang. We got a new puppy in October, Buddy, and so far he seems like he is going to be a great family dog for us.  I decided to write Summer a chapter book in October and by the end of the year I wrote 6 books. Pepper turned 3 in November and turned into a monster, wait, she has always been a monster! We had a great Thanksgiving, and an amazing Christmas. Overall this has been a really good year, I hope next year is as great as this one.

Monday, November 24, 2014

I wrote a few books

I guess I am a writer now.  Not necessarily a great writer, or even good, but I did something I never thought I would do, and not once but almost 5 times.  Why?  Summer started reading chapter books.  I was reading them with her.  I didn't like the books she was reading, one was horrible (Junie B. books constantly use wrong words on purpose like ranned instead of run) and the other book we read had second graders sneaking outside at night and breaking into people's houses.  Hmmm.  I thought to myself that I should write Summer a book she would enjoy.  I didn't really expect to do it, I have tried to write books before and that is when I realized that reading and writing books were not the same.  I did great in my english classes in school but apparently we never focused on writing!

4 1/2 books later (three of which are available on Amazon thanks to self publishing) and still going strong.  I am thinking at least 6 books in this series, maybe more, and then off to try something else.

The books all have Summer as the main character.  She gets a magical bookmark from her grandpa who is off on his own adventure.  She uses the bookmark to have adventures inside books.  The first book has all the background information, the second book takes her and a friend inside a few jungles and the third book finds her visiting fairy tales and halloween.  The 4th book is about nursery rhymes and a puppy and the 5th book will focus on turkeys and November.  The 6th book?  I am guessing December, Christmas, something around that idea, we will see.

Summer took her first book to school and everyone thinks she is famous, at least that is what she told me.  She is pretty thrilled to have a book about herself and enjoys reading them.  She read the second book and asked Kris if he knew the first astronauts to land on the moon were named Buzz and Neil and Kris and I were both impressed that she actually cared about knowing that.  I try to put a lot of little facts in the book, what better way to learn right?
I do make some money off the books, but I don't know how.  I made the books as cheap as I could to printing and Amazon even lowered that price.  Most of the books are just over $2.00.  I can't even get them any cheaper.  I have sold about 10 books and made about $8.  I have spent around $30 buying them - I had to pay shipping!  Of course I don't need 2-3 copies of each book either!  I thought about submitting them to an actual publisher but for now I am just writing them for fun and as long as Summer enjoys reading them then I am happy!

Two Turkeys

These two turkeys are my favorite girls in the whole wide world.  I realized I have made them turkey shirts for the past two years and almost didn't this year!  Don't worry, I am making them shirts, as soon as I get them one .... and they will be helping me make it.  Isn't it funny how we wear short sleeve shirts in November.  I love Las Vegas!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

How did that happen

Somehow between last winter and this winter I lost weight.  I am a little bit surprised.  Yes I have a scale and yes the number went down some, but it wasn't until I tried on my jeans that I really saw the inches, which seem like they are a lot more than the pounds.  All of my jeans are super big now, which is sad, but good.  I was starting to buy 9's and today I went and bought a size 7 in juniors even!  How in the world did that happen?

I can tell you that I did not work out, I still ate a lot sugar, I ate out more than I should, I did not drink enough water, definitely did not eat enough vegetables, and I stuffed myself on occasion.  Here is the chart that shows my changes from a year ago.  It looks like my highest weight was around 140 in 2003 (you can't see it on this chart) and now I am around 129, which is funny because my goal was 130 and I never expected to get there since I wasn't trying and I most definitely didn't expect to see 120's again, even if it is 129.

Only 10 ish pounds since my heaviest but what a difference that makes in pant sizes.  So what did I do?  All I can think of is starting shakeology around May.  I replaced my daily lunch that usually consisted of nothing healthy if anything at all with a shakeology shake.  I did not start using shakeology to lose weight, in fact when I started losing and was still not doing anything else different I was pretty surprised.  It was not a quick loss but imagine if I had actually been trying to work out too.  I wanted to do shakeology for a few reasons.  I knew I was lacking in vitamins and shakeology has a ton, the multi vitamin I was trying to take was making me sick.  I wanted more vegetables in my diet but could not figure out a way to eat them during lunch, shakeology is a full serving of vegetables, and I wanted something I could share with the girls, both of the girls will drink the shakes.

That is why I started shakeology, to replace my crap lunch with a healthy shake full of vitamins, a serving of fruit, veggies, protein and fiber, and to be able to share it with the girls so I feel like I am also giving them some vitamins.  I struggle with vegetables servings, I will be honest!

I have to say, I am a bit inspired after trying on pants today.  I mean I am still flabby around the waist but I don't think that is going to go away unless I start actually working out and that is not in my plan right now.  One day, maybe.  I really love Zumba ... so one day I will get back into some sort of workout routine.

Oh, and of course the shakes are delicious, I would not drink yucky shakes.  I make mine with 1 cup of 2% milk, a lot of ice, and a scoop of shakeology, usually strawberry, sometimes I add a banana, sometimes peanut butter.  I also like to do 1/2 scoop of vanilla and 1/2 a scoop of chocolate with the cup of milk and a lot of ice.  That taste just like a Wendy's frosty to me.  I love milkshakes, who doesn't!  I could/should put some greens in the shakes, maybe when I get more inspired to be a bit healthier.

I do have an issue with the shakes though, at least right now, after I drink it, it makes me cold and it is cold outside!  See, they aren't perfect!  Overall I am satisfied with shakeology, I think I have been drinking them for about 6 months now (and yes I skip days often) and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Busy I guess

I guess I have been too busy to blog, or I am just not sure if I want to continue blogging ... either way I have missed a lot of stuff, except the getting a new dog part.  We did a lot of fun stuff in October and November and Pepper had a birthday.  Here are some random photos from the past month to include pictures from McKee Ranch, Pumpkin Carving, Halloween Parties, Pepper's Birthday Party, Pepper's actual birth date, and photos at Floyd Lamb.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 7, 2014

25 Days

25 days ago we got Buddy.  So far we like him.  It was touch and go at first.  He had some issues doing his doggy business outside but for the past 5 days I think he finally understands.  He barks less. He likes to sit on your lap.  He can fit out the front gate.  He doesn't come back when you say come back either.  Even when you say No and stomp your foot, he still ignores you but he is young and he would rather explore I guess.

He bit Pepper on the hand.  Pepper was probably doing something to him she shouldn't have been doing.  I heard a yelp and then I heard a cry.  It wasn't a bad bite, just bad enough to hopefully teach her a lesson.  He is a little dog and will not get any bigger.  All 9.2 pounds of him is enough for us.

He does not shed.  No really.  I gave him a bath in the kitchen sink because I read online that you are suppose to give this breed a weekly or bi-weekly bath.  When I finished there was no hair in the sink and no hair in the towel I used to dry him off.  That is very strange.  He has hair, he does not have fur.  He will not make your allergies worse, not that anyone in our house has dog allergies anyway.  He is soft.  His hair is soft.

He loves rawhide.  I want to buy him a toothbrush and start brushing his teeth.  I have been buying him dental bones to help with doggie/puppy breath.  He is sort of a puppy still, 8 months old.  He was tired and I finally got a few pictures of him.  Until a dog barked outside, that perked him up for a second.  Now he is back asleep but I already uploaded and edited the photos.  I should probably brush him.  Havanese are cool dogs!

Thursday, October 23, 2014


In April my mother moved out and when she left she took her dog (a 6 year old Golden Retriever) and our dog.  Yes, my mom took Killer, a 14 year old miniature pincher that we have had since he was 3 months old.  He is actually doing well for being so old, he just doesn't do much and unfortunately the girls and I rarely paid him any attention.  I loved him to pieces until I had my own children and then he was easily replaced and forgotten.  How sad huh?  

For the past few months Summer has asked for a puppy.  She wants a dog that actually plays.  One that actually can see well and has energy.  Knowing that dogs are a lot of work and last forever, I guess unless you have a mom nice enough to take them, we knew this was going to be a long term thing.  We told Summer we would think about it.  I have really never gone long without having a dog.

One day we were discussing a new dog when I told Kris the next dog had to be really soft.  I want the dog to be able to sleep with us and not stay in a kennel because of the hair.  I want a good family dog that everyone will enjoy.  I am not saying Killer wasn't a good younger family dog because he was, but he was very barky and territorial, I know of at least 5 people he bit (nipped) in our home.  This time I wanted a dog that was more of a lap dog if possible, it had to be little, shed minimally and have a good demeanor.  Kris googled "softest dog" and found the Havanese breed.  I have never heard of this breed before but when he read the description it sounded perfect.

The Havanese is trainable and intelligent and possesses a naturally affectionate temperament, which making the breed an ideal family pet. Although a toy dog, they remain energetic and require some form of daily exercise. The breed's non-shedding coat makes it suitable for allergy sufferers, but regular grooming is necessary to keep the coat in top condition.

We googled pictures and thought they were a really cute breed.  We searched around and realized there were no Havanese dogs for sale.  Over the next two months we looked and nothing ever came up.  We did see a breeding page that would ship you a dog for around $2500 but that was a bit more then we were willing to pay.  Then one day I happened to see a 7 month old little boy for sale.  Kris and I talked about it and hesitated and finally I sent the person a text.  The rest is history, now Buddy is the newest member of our family!

The girls love him.  He is energetic, happy, friendly, playful.  He is almost (hopefully) potty trained.  He goes in the crate when we leave without any issues.  He rides to school in the car with us in the morning.  He walks on a leash.  He will not get any bigger than he is now. So far everything seems good, and he seems to fit in with our family logistics.  

I trained Killer how to sit, shake, lay, so I know how to train Buddy, I need to start soon ... as soon as I am sure he is potty trained!  I also need to take some better photos but he doesn't like to sit still, when I get on the floor with the camera he immediately wanted to come sit in my lap, so that is still coming.  In the meantime we are enjoying him and he is enjoying us.  I am so glad we finally found him.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cheeseburger Soup

Turkey Cheeseburger Soup Delish!
1 lb ground turkey
1 chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
1 zucchini
a small block of velveeta cheese
1 T (ish) bacon bits
TS bacon bacon
TS onion onion

Brown the turkey and add your seasonings.  I used tastefully simple bacon bacon and onion onion, salt and pepper and some bacon bits.  Then add the onions and cook until soft.  Add the canned diced tomatoes (I like petite), the can of chicken broth, the zucchini that I cut up into small bite size pieces, and the block of velveeta cheese.   The soup is so creamy and delicious, we all loved it!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Lake Mead Redstone Hike

Several people know about hiking at Red Rock, but I think the hiking areas around Lake Mead are so much better, especially for children who actually want to climb rocks.  These rocks at Redstone in Lake Mead are smaller yet fun and cool looking.  You can still get hurt if you aren't careful but I like how easy it is to climb around, especially for younger climbers.  We woke up this morning at 6:00 AM and we were out of the house by 6:45.  We made it to the area just around 7:45 AM and had lovely storm flooding clouds threatening our adventure (as our cell phones promptly warned us).  The clouds made the weather a bit chilly and we decided to wear the jackets that we had brought just incase, but the clouds didn't stay long.  We played around until 9:15 AM as the clouds had left and it was starting to get hot.

Pepper probably went into every single cave she saw that she could reach.  Summer was way more cautious and made sure there were no spiders, bugs, flies, ants, or anything else with four or more legs.  Both of the girls seemed to have fun wandering around and Kris and I did as well.  I like this place and I bet we go back again soon.