Monday, February 18, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy!

My, oh, my, but 10 days can go by in a hurry, can't it?

I haven't had an "AT Home" day in over a week.  Whew!  Today is one of my favorite Mondays, since I am at home, and this week, most days, will be normal.  Yay!

So, what have we been up to?  Oh, LOTS!  And fair warning, this post is picture heavy!

First of all, Dale and I went on a Pastor and Wife retreat last Monday and Tuesday... in Hershey, PA!  Oh yeah!  I know, taking a chocoholic to Hershey is very dangerous, but I think I did very well.  :)  Besides, as Dale pointed out, "what happens in Hershey, stays in Hershey."  Hehehehehe.  The speaker for the conference was Dr. Marriot, president of Maranatha Baptist Bible College (Dale's Alma mater) and his wife, Miriam, also spoke to the ladies in a couple of sessions when we were separated from the guys.  It was excellent, and very refreshing!

We stayed in a Comfort Inn, and it was gorgeous.  The welcoming committee was very diligent as well.

The rooms were gorgeous, and nice and clean.

I took a fancy to this chair.  Weird, I know, but look at the next pic.

Doesn't that look like a quilting pattern?  I want to try and mimic it in some experimental quilting.  Which brings us to the next pic....

Another quilting inspiration picture (ignore my dress boots please!)

 And another.... (see what happens when I start to have quilting withdrawal???? )

Of course a good distraction is overcoming one obsession with another.

After the conference was over Tuesday around noon, we went to the Hershey "Chocolate World".  Oh come on.. it was only 3 miles from the hotel.  OF COURSE we were going to stop by!  We went on that free ride through the simulation of the factory.  Here are some very random shots.  By the way, the cows were all singing.  Oiy vey.

The beginning of the ride... the floor was on a turn table and you entered the little cars that took you through the ride.

Back side of a fake cow.  Charming, eh?

Around a corner, and there were the front of the singing cows.

Trust me, as soon as you set foot in the place, you could smell the chocolate. I think I gained about 10 lbs. just walking through the front door.

These rounds of chocolate were ground down to make cocoa powder.  I had some pics of that, but I bumped a button, changed a setting, and they all came out dark and blurry.  Pfffft.

More singing cows.  Look at the blue and white boa's.  I had to laugh at that.  Jerusha would have loved it!

Making up chocolate milk.

My personal sweetie!

We went into the shopping area after.  Now this is a SERIOUS container of syrup!

Proof we were really there.  :)

This is the main entrance to the building.

We were going to take a trolley tour of the area but it didn't leave until we had to pull out for our four hour drive home. We had studied the biography of Milton Hershey back in the fall, and I would have loved to see all the buildings in the town he founded, and hopefully a glimpse at the mansion (if it is even still there).  But alas, the meter on the babysitting was ticking, and we had to go.  Still, it was an excellent time away, and we thoroughly enjoyed it!

Wednesday was the normal round of laundry, school, and our ASL class and Bible Quiz team practice.  Then Thursday was an errand running day.  I had library books to return, some to renew, a stop at the thrift store which turned out to be very profitable as EVERYTHING was 50% off in honor of Valentine's day, and a stop at the church to set up for the Fellowship dinner on Sunday, and a stop at the grocery store... you get the idea.  

Friday we had school, chores, and then we had to be up at God's Adventure Camp by 5 for a Teen Winter Retreat.  I was helping with this one, so I had to pack... again.  This time my wardrobe was very different, as you can imagine!  We had lots of fun despite some minor injuries here and there in the camp, and some sickness.  Thankfully we managed to dodge most of it.  Benjamin did sustain some injury.  I forgot to get a picture, but his face looks like he was in a fight!  He got nailed by a elbow playing football and had a nice scrape under his eyes.  Then he got cut with a jousting stick.  Normally, the sticks have padding at each end for protection, but during the fight, the safety pad had slipped back and Benjamin got a nice joust right in the chin.  Being such a "mom", the first thing I asked, "Are your teeth okay?"  We just got done paying for braces.  Benjamin, somewhat sarcastically said, "Yeah, I'm fine, Mom, thanks."  I offered to sew up the cut, but for some reason he didn't go for it.  The cut wasn't deep at all, and just a quick wash and he was off and running again.

One of the girls in the girls' dorm was up in the night with the flu, and had to leave the next morning.  Ugh.  I'm praying none of us get it!  

There were lots of things to do, and if anyone was bored, it was their own fault!  Up in the barn there was knife throwing, a trampoline, and basketball, and Foosball, and pool, and .... well, you get the idea.

Here they had a make shift basketball game going.  The net was over the trampoline.  Hehehehehe!  Even I could dunk it if I wanted to!

Yeah, knife throwing.... Esther knife throwing.... RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

There was another pool table in the house.  Josiah, as you can see, didn't appreciate his mom stalking him with the camera for some reason.

After the basketball players left, the twins wanted to get on the trampoline.  They loved it!

Okay, I loved it too.  :P

More games in the barn.

 After supper and devotions Friday night, Mr. Greene set up a relay with tires.  Oh, the catch was they had to carry one of the girls in a big tube.

 Mr. Green (in the blue hat) and one of the other guys (not sure who it was now) carrying Esther.  They almost made it all the way back to the beginning before they dropped her.

We went on a night hike which I absolutely loved!  We did that back in November too at the Harvest Retreat, and when I heard they were going to have another one I was so excited!

Obviously, I couldn't get pictures of that, but we went tubing on Saturday, and you can get an idea of the hills in the area.  Where we hiked was a steeper, more challenging hill than what you are seeing.

This pic is looking up from where we were tubing.  We hiked up that way last November.

This is looking down from where we were tubing.  That is the horse ring and the barn, house, and cabins to the left of the picture, which are really hard to make out from this distance.

There was horse riding this time too, and Josiah (red, tan, black coat towards the back of the pack) road the trail for the first time.  He looked so relaxed and well seated, I was proud of him!  Benjamin was going to go too, but time ran out.  The way he was getting injured left and right that day, it was probably a good thing he didn't get on a horse!

Benjamin stayed for a few hours after camp to help clean up, and Mr. Greene drove him home.  Meantime, the rest of us got home, took showers, and crashed!  We were exhausted!  

Sunday was our Fellowship dinner day, and that was fun.  We planned some games in honor of Valentine's day, and everyone seemed to have a good time.  

As I said, it was a very busy week last week.  I'm looking forward to catching up here a bit this week.  Elizabeth and Josiah have been sporting sore throats and colds, but are feeling much better. I'm hoping no one else gets it.  We are hoping to be able to go see some dear friends of ours on Thursday, but if anyone else gets sick, we'll have to postpone it.

And that's the latest Buzz here at the Beehive!

Have a blessed day everyone!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fitness Friday

Okay, spread the word everyone!  I'm starting a new tradition here on the BeehiveBuzz.

Fitness Friday!

I'm hoping these posts will get everyone moving on their New Year's Delusions... um, Resolutions.  Maybe you decided, along with millions of others, that this is the year you are going to get fit.  Maybe you are already doing well, and just need some encouragement.

Fitness Fridays are designed to help encourage you through the weekend, as well in your daily endeavors for a healthier life style.  Let's be honest.  You do wonderfully through the week in keeping up good eating habits and fitness routines, but things tend to fall apart.  Anyone else in that category besides me, or am I the only weekend slacker here?

Here is what I want you to do.  Each Friday challenge yourself to DO something to help with a healthy lifestyle.  Don't just make plans and say "I want to do this and such, or try this or that...."  .   Fitness Friday is about DOING not dreaming, planning, or wanting to do something.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Try a new healthy recipe
2. Substitute a sedentary activity with something active (for example, instead of watching something with the kids, make them get up and do a Walk Away the Pounds DVD with you, or make up your own workout).
3. Do something active with the family (see above, or go for a hike, or a walk, or sledding, etc.)
4. Try a new workout DVD.
5. Make up your own circuit training workout
6. Make up your own cardio workout.
7. Do both #5 and #6.

The options are endless.  Fitness Friday is all about an proactive step in your step to a healthier living style, whether you are just starting out, or an expert.  Challenge yourself, and make it memorable so that you remember it throughout the weekend.  Let it encourage you, push you forward, invigorate your thinking about fitness.  Exercising, eating right.... it doesn't have to be boring.

Also, PLEASE post a comment.  Let's encourage each other in what we are doing!

I'll go first. :)

For Fitness Friday I want to talk about jogging.  Now don't laugh, because of the snow storm forecast for our area.  Elizabeth and I got out before it really hit, though there was some tiny little flakes and a bit of wind involved.

Here are some things to remember when you are taking up jogging.

1.Start out slowly.  Learn how to pace yourself.  I have what I call an "All Day Pace".  In other words, it is a pace I could do all day.  I use it for endurance runs, like when we do a 5K.

2.Learn to love interval training.  Seriously.  Walk three minutes, and run as hard as you can for 2 minutes.  If that is too much, then bump back the time ration a bit... maybe walk for 3 minutes and run for 1 minute.  The interval training is very effective, and good for getting that heart rate up for some major fat burning!

3. If you are planning on running regularly, make sure you have good running shoes.  Whatever money it costs, it is cheaper than getting foot problems later and having to deal with it.  I need to take my own advice on that... my sneakers are worn out so much that there is absolutely no tread on the bottom.  They've seen a lot of use over the last couple of years... running, interval training, walking, hiking, biking, you name it.  I'm the only person I know who is looking forward to a new pair of running shoes in the spring instead of an Easter dress!

4.Observe proper running form.  Keep your hands below your heart.  It's going to be pumping like crazy, and it doesn't need to have to circulate the blood to your arms, above where it is in your chest.  Keep your shoulders relaxed.  Have you ever jogged and gotten that weird pain in the shoulder?  You are getting tense, and you need to relax.  Also, remember to take long, even strides.  Find a "comfortable" breathing pattern.  I say "comfortable" but what I mean is "tolerable".  You shouldn't be breathing easy, as if you were sitting down or just standing and talking.  You should be working at it, feeling a little out of breath.  The rule of thumb is that you should be able to talk a little, but it should be difficult.

5. Plan your route.

6. DON'T plan your route.   Both #5 and #6 are useful.  Sometimes it is fun to know where you are going, where the beginning and end are, etc.  Sometimes planning a route may help you to go a little further than you thought, or a little faster (if you time your runs... I don't, but to each his own).  By NOT planning your route, you are opening up a fun, "whatever" and "wherever" type of run.  Kind of like surprising yourself.

7.  Bring water... especially if it is warm out.  In the winter, I don't bother.  But in the warmer temperatures, make sure you bring a water bottle.  I know, at first it is going to be annoying to have to carry it while running, but you'll soon get used to that, and you'll never be sorry to have it when you need it.  Sometimes a little mid-workout hydration is necessary.

8. Wear clothes you are comfortable in.  If you aren't comfortable in those tight fitting running outfits, then don't wear them.  There are no "workout wardrobe" police out there.  Personally I like a nice, loose t-shirt.  It breaths well in the summer, and I feel comfortable.  This next part is a somewhat delicate subject.... women's unmentionables, if you will. Whether you call it "full figured" or "generously endowed" or anything else, invest in a good quality running bra.  You can google them online.  Look for "high impact sports bra" or something like that.  And read the customer reviews!  Women are not usually shy about saying if such a product lived up to their expectations, and you may find that invaluable.

9. Bring music!  Or an audio book... a podcast... whatever.  Even the most dedicated runners will tell you that sometimes you hit a wall or get bored.  The best thing to do is to keep moving, and tickle your synapses with music, audio books, or a podcast.  Keeps your mind active, as well as your body.

10.  When you hit a "wall" while running (and you will at some point in your run) don't look forward.  Put your eyes down, watch immediately in front of you, and keep going.  Having something to listen to helps a lot here.  Your brain may not realize what you are capable of.  Just tell the part of the brain that says "I need to stop for a minute!" to shut up, and keep going to the end of your run.  Then you can stop, and celebrate a wonderful victory.

11.  Stretch.  Please... don't ignore that!  At the end of a run your leg muscles can get all ball up. Stretch the legs.  My lower back sometimes aches a little, so I stretch that out as well.  Waking up at 2a.m. with leg cramps is not fun.  It can also prevent that "tight" feeling later in the day that you might get after a good run.  I don't recommend stretching before you run.  Cold muscles and stretching don't usually go well together.

12. Warm up first.  Not with stretching, but walk a bit first.  You can kind of feel your joints warming up and juicing up from fluids moving as circulation starts to increase.  Then go ahead and go for a nice jog! Enjoy it!

So, there are my 12 basic steps for jogging.  Now, today Elizabeth and I decided to go out before the storm came through.  We haven't been for a good run in a while because of the weather.  As we left the house there were tiny little flakes, almost like sleet, but not quite, falling.  However, the road was still passable, so we just went ahead.

Our usual endurance route is down to the main road and back.  We don't run all of it, because we walk for a bit first.  However, what we do run is usually around 2 miles.  I've clocked it all out in the van, so I know where certain mile markers are.

We started the running a little bit earlier than we usually do.  We were both excited to be out pounding the pavement, and off we went as soon as we felt ready.  The jog up to Route 6 was fine, and I had a decent stride going.  Unbeknownst to Elizabeth, I had a trick up my sleeve.  We had planned to jog to Route 6 then either walk or do intervals on the way home.  Instead I told her not to stop as we turned, and said "Keep running back, we're doing a 5K!"  I was hoping to see her face fall in dismay so I could torture her.  However, she smiled broadly, pumped a fist, and let out a whoop.

On the way back I realized there were two things I didn't take into account when planning our impromptu 5K.  One, the wind was now AGAINST us, which wasn't too bad I guess, though getting a bit of sleet in the eyes isn't pleasant.  Also, I need to remember that Elizabeth is MUCH younger than I am, and she took off without any indication that we had already run 2 miles.

As I approached our usual stopping mark for a 5K, I had to smile.  I'd made it, and we would have a nice, long cool down time walking back to the house.  However, my dear daughter had other plans.  "Let's go up to where we started running."  Oiy.

In my most loving, maternal tone I told her that I hated her, but of course kept chugging along.  It was a good feeling to know we went above and beyond our initial goal.  The total route from our house to Route 6 and back is 4.2 miles.  As best as I can figure, we ran about 3.7 miles of it.

When we got home we did some strength training, too.  That is one of the things I knew I needed to get back on track with this winter.  I'm trying to do it at least 2 times a week,  and hoping for 3.  So, this morning, we added in a little bit after we refreshed ourselves with some water, and before we collapsed after the longer than usual run.

So, what have you done today, or this week, to help realize your goal of a healthy lifestyle?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Email Funny

Got this from Dale in my email.  I wonder how many will get the joke.  And no, honey, I'm sorry, but you still don't sound like a native.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Scrappy Throw

I made this from leftovers from the couch quilt.  The binding didn't come out very well.  I totally stink at binding, and it was thinner than I usually use, too, which didn't help.  If I had had enough of the fabric I would have made it wider, but I used up every centimeter I could!


In the main part of the quilt I used a double loopy-loop free motion quilting design.

I did a square spiral in the outer border and an orange peel type quilting in the narrow, inner border.

We've had some snow, and have been enjoying it immensely!

Have a blessed evening!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Couch Throw

I found the fabric for this quilt last summer, long before we moved.  I loved the dragonflies and butterflies in it.  It is almost an oriental type print.

Then things got very busy with packing, moving, unpacking, settling in, and general life.  I got a good start on it just before the Christmas rush, and have finally finished it!  I have a much smaller lap quilt that I posted about a little bit ago, and that is all quilted and ready to be bound.

Have a great evening!