Sunday, February 27, 2011

I shot another friend

Any day now, Megan! I can't wait to meet your beautiful baby girl!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Artwork updates

I'm trying to incorporate more of my artwork into my decorating, which is fairly easy considering how eclectic I am! :) Anything bright, colorful, happy will fit in just fine.

Recent sketches:

The hymn on this page is "Lift Up Your Hearts."

And a recent painting:

All are listed on my etsy Nest in the Sun now. :D Thank you for the encouragement I've received; it means the world to me!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Get ready for a Give-Away!

How many amazing friends can one woman have? I'm so blessed!!

Let me introduce you to Suzanne Parker, of The Joyful Chaos.

She's a fellow Mom of MSC (many small children,) a fellow homeschooler, and a REAL mama. Which means she's one of the rare ones who says it how it is, shows the mess along with the crafts, and sometimes losses it. I'm not alone, folks!! :D

Actually, Suzanne P is the gal who inspired me to open up a little, share my thoughts more, and release the fear that held me back.

For her 5-year Blogiversary, she's hosting a week of giveaways, including a $15 gift certificate off of one of my Nest in the Sun etsy items. Go to her site, and enter to win the giveaways that will kick off tomorrow!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Epic Shower

My body has hit a new level of exhaustion, so forgive the rather wordless posts. I'm tired. Worn out. When the snow melted, life started resuming... with enough energy behind it to make up for the 2+ weeks of snowed-in-ness. The idle went to full throttle and, while it's been amazing FUN stuff, I'm about to crash...and hopefully not burn. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I go so FULL force, until I hit a wall? Why am I such a black-and-white thinker? I don't know. I love my friends, and missed them, and we were all dying to get out of the house. So, instead of planning one or two (or three or four) things, I booked, and double booked, and even triple booked my days, so that we were running from place to place. The kids seem to be handling it with the kind of UMPH drive that kids have, but I'm feeling old suddenly.

Annnnnnyway, I did help co-host (my job was invites and pictures) an amazing shower for an amazing lady on Saturday. Megan, we love you!!

The pregnancy train, by due date!

Our pregnant lady of honor! Oh, Megan, you are so stinkin' cute!
The food ~ EPIC (and I don't even use that word...)
Truly, amazing. This is what happens when Cooking Club gals bring baby shower food!

Just so-oo so-oo good.

I really ~really~ wanted to make it to another friend's baby shower today, but it just wasn't happenin'. Between leaving my purse out of town, triple booking my day, and being delayed by unforeseen events, several of my plans were thwarted.

It's okay.

I'm tired.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Importance of Exercise for Children

I've mentioned before that I deal with issues in the winter. I just feel sad, folks. The sunshine is my lifeline. Crank up the light & warmth, and my mood follows right along. Direct correlation, I'm tellin' you.
Well, it's not just me. Up to 20% of people have at least a mild form, or some symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. It's a real deal.
The sunlight, and being outside, truly makes a difference.
And, I've realized, it's not just the's the exercise. When I'm inside, I'm far more likely to sit and cozy up...for a long time... read books, bake goodies and heavy meals... watch movies, all cuddled under blankets. My frisbee and trampoline-jumping days are forgotten, and the muffin top starts appearing. ;/

I realized just how much exercise, sunlight, fresh air really affects my kids, too, even if they don't vocalize it in so many words. (It's usually in the form of whining, fatigue, groans and complaining, added sibling rivalry.) During at least 3/4 of the year, we spend most of our time outdoors. Winter is hard on all of us.

Soooo, let's look at the facts:
"Increased physical activity has been associated with an increased life
expectancy and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Physical activity
produces overall physical, psychological and social benefits. Inactive children
are likely to become inactive adults. And physical activity helps with
•controlling weight
•reducing blood pressure
•raising HDL ("good")
•reducing the risk of diabetes and some kinds of cancer
•improved psychological well-being, including gaining more self-confidence
and higher self-esteem"
(It was from one of those medical sites, but I'll be darned if I lost the reference. Anywho, I believe every word of it. Exercise isn't just good for moods!)
Other benefits:
•It's good for your eyes, or so the research suggests. And why not? Seems being outside is just good for every part of our bodies.

It's even good for your brain. From The Huffington Post:

Science Daily reports that "exposure to specific bacteria in the environment,
already believed to have antidepressant qualities, could increase learning

Being outside also helps kids with ADHD. Makes sense to me.
I've tested this theory, as much as I'm able. When the kids have time to run around the house a few times, jump on the trampoline, or go for a walk BEFORE we start school, they are able to focus better. We also do a LOT of our schoolwork outside, when the weather permits. If being outside makes ME feel emotionally and physically healthier, then the same most likely holds true for others. 1+1=2 It all makes sense, folks. Let's get these kids outside!!

We practically live outside, when the temps get decent enough (I dislike being cold!!) In the spring and fall, particularly, we do ALL of our science lessons outside, hands-on. But, when I drive through the neighborhood in the afternoons and evenings, there are often no other children outside. :(

Moderate to vigorous physical activity feeds the brain with water, glucose, and oxygen, which we all need for optimal performance," says Pica. "And it gets those endorphins going, so we feel better too. That goes for both parents and kids."
People also get sick less often if they exercise regularly. You can actually fight away sickness with exercise!

I recently heard on the news that nearly 1/3 of children ages 4 to 19 eat fast food every day, and over 15% in that age group are obese. Am I the only one appalled by this? Really-- 1/3 of children eat fast-food EVERY day?! That is insane. It's a no-brainer that kids need exercise AND healthy foods. just throwing that out there. It's not enough to shove 'em out the door; we've gotta give our kids the right foods, too. I'm trying to get better about this myself, seeing as how I'm a regular cheese addict. ;)

Remember, spending time outside is GOOD FOR YOU! Yes, it's a fact. And, like most things, the more you do it, the more you want to do it. So I urge the happy and sad, depressed and anxious, childless & quiverful to get your butts out the door. Smile, breathe deeply. Enjoy. Live a little!!

I want to see more kids in my neighborhood out shooting hoops, riding scooters, playing baseball... !

I'm SO STINKIN' THANKFUL for this AMAZING weather today!! ~:)

Valentine's Crafting Party

Today we had an awesome little crafting party with some dear friends!
Have you ever seen chocolate covered fortune cookies? YUM!
Mine read, "A romantic interlude is in your future." Fred was thrilled. ;) We made these adorable candy trains. Great idea, Bridgitt!
And painted clay friendship necklaces, which Bridgitt made in advance. She is on the ball!!

I didn't actually get any pictures of the Valentine's Wind Socks we made.
Shoot. Will have to get some from her later.I love this girl! me and Bridgitt! (I'm on tippy toes!)

We found two of the little ones cozying up on the bed, reading stories. Too sweet!
I'm a big fan of David Shannon books!
Then outside playtime!! It was about 70 degrees today, which is nearly a 100 degree change from this time last week. No joke.
My sweet, sweet Man played ball with all of the boys. Good hit, Andrew!
MyBoy and Andrew are good buddies.

They spent quite a chunk of time hunting for bugs together, handling worms, and catching spiders. I'm glad my nature-lover has so many friends who share his passion.
Trampoline-jumping time!
Bridgitt and I also played Duck Duck Goose for awhile with the 7 little monkeys.
Bike riding...
{Happy Sigh}
This weather just Floats My Boat, y'all!
Some big news to announce tomorrow...! (for those of you who don't already know!)

Play Pass the Newborn

Have you ever played Pass the Newborn? It's so much fun!!! :D My Man and Niko
Below, TheArtist & Niko

Here I am cuddling Niko...

Papaw & Niko...

Niko smiling...

Mama Tracy & Niko...
Awwwwww... NIKO! Too cute!!
Friends of mine, I'm so happy that so many of you are having babies right now!
Keep up the good work!