just some lines about what life is like these days... I've been side-lined by pretty deep depression.  I've mentioned before that it runs in my family.  This episode is why the blog has been neglected as of late.  I thought about writing my thoughts about depression, but then, what can I add, really?  Depression is sadness, often without a real reason, and it sucks, and I don't know how to fix it.  I can't really get more profound than that.  A loved one was concerned that I hadn't managed to turn it around, like I eventually do...and he gently prodded me to come up for air, and added these sage words "you need to snap out of it".  I was mad for a split second, the wide-eyed - mouth-falling open-mad/shocked  - I thought after all these years he would "get" it a bit more about the helplessness of depression.  But then, I remembered that it is so foreign to his even-keeled nature and that he was trying to help.  I took a minute to get un-mad and then asked him, "if a reminder to "snap out of it" was all it really took, don't you think some corporation would have packaged it all up neat and pithy and would be selling it for a mint?"  He seemed to get my point.

okay, so no profound, deep thoughts on depression.  But, I think this is what depression sounds/feels like:


Homeschool is back in full-swing.  Today, Sky dropped off Josie at school, I worked-out with P90x - kempo.  Demi and Amie had piano lessons.  Demi worked on Aleks math and then had his online Latin class.  The class is through the Biola Star program and they are using The Latin Road to English Grammar.  Amie did her Aleks math while Demi had his class and then she worked on History.  We started using Veritas Press self-paced online course this Summer.  We are finishing up Explorers to 1850.  After Latin class, I took them to their art lesson.

Meg has been really sick with a bad cold, she slept in and skipped work (horse care) and her Biology lab at college, but then got up and went to her Biology lecture.

We returned from art and I read aloud to Demi and Amie.  We are reading Rainbow Valley (Anne of Green Gables, No. 7)by L.M. Montgomery.  I wanted to read Rilla of Ingleside with them because of how wonderfully it shows the impact of World War II on the families left behind, but then I thought the book would have more pull on them if they felt like they knew the main characters first as children.  I love sharing this book with them, The Anne of Green Gables series is such a treasure.  I try to read all 8 books every year or so.  (yes there are 8 in the Anne series).   After reading two chapters, Demi worked on Science and I sat with Amie and worked on Math Mammoth with her.  Once we were done, I took Amie to her parkour classes.  Demi was free to practice his piano and work on his short story.

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we stayed for two classes today, usually I need to leave to go pick up Josie from school, but Sky picked her up today.  On the way home from parkour, I stopped and picked up some broccoli for dinner.  Amie worked on her creative writing story while I made dinner.


I made broiled pork chops, rice, broccoli and Hawaiian sweet rolls for dinner.  I have to tell you that I recently re-discovered broiling and have decided that it is the procrastinator's magic answer!  At our last house, the broiler on the oven did not work, and so I learned to live without it.  When we bought this house, the oven did not have a broiler drawer and I assumed it did not have one.  I kind of think now, after buying a brand new oven, that the old oven was probably like my new one and the main oven worked on broiler mode...kind of a slap your forehead moment... and so, I tried broiling some pork chops one day, and wow!  it was like 9 minutes on each side!  A very quick dinner for the procrastinator mom who doesn't think about dinner until it is dinner-time...

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Our wonderful neighbors are very serious about their garden, plants and trees (one of their sons is a botanist).  They hire a real arborist to trim their trees.  Sky is pretty friendly with the arborist -no he doesn't trim our trees, can't afford it, we just muddle through it ourselves... -and the arborist invited Sky to come to his house and take any firewood we want.

I love, love, love sitting by our fireplace in our dining room.  This unexpected gift is really, really appreciated.  :)


Sky and I have started watching Duck Dynasty, it is pretty entertaining and kind of in a category all its own.  I have to admit I cried when we watched the grandparents re-new their wedding vows.

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bonus photo of evil-kitty a.k.a. Oliver.  He plunks himself right down in the middle of whatever homeschool or homework we are doing.  On this day, he was very into the fish screensaver Amie found.

hope your week is moving along swimmingly, bloggy friends :)

7 Quick Takes-Homeschool graduation edition

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We have our first homeschool graduate!  We started homeschooling Meg for pre-K (in case I messed up I had an extra year to figure it out) and now, 14 years later, I am done as her primary teacher.  We had a simple dessert graduation party for her.  Dessert party = brilliant idea.  It was rather simple, we set up tables outdoors and strung lights up on the front patio and tree and then set out different desserts and coffee.  The main focus became visiting, which was such a great bonus.  I was so busy visiting and fetching chocolate mousse (Sky's homemade brilliance) that I forgot to get my camera out until it was too dark for good photos.  We had a really, really nice party.


It's Bible conference week, known at our church as The Summer Training. It's like a semester Bible class stuffed into one week.  This year we have 4 people from Russian staying with us (Meg gets to practice her Russian) and a bonus Texan. There's always a Texan in the bunch.... :p  Sooo, this week is really, really busy- lots of cooking of meals and whatnot.

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bonus photo of the wonder-labradoodle.  She's all kinds of awesome.


the kids and I attended an open house for a new parkour gym in our area.  We went, because Demi-Sky in particular is very enamored by the whole parkour concept.  Really, who wouldn't be?  Don't we all, deep-down inside wish we had some stealth, secret ninja moves?  Okay, if you don't know what parkour is, click over to this youtube video - I'm very familiar with this one, because my kids watch it over and over, it was my introduction to the concept of parkour

Assassin's Creed meets parkour on youtube


So yeah, we went to the open house, it was pretty cool and my Amie got very excited about the whole thing, she wants to take classes there.  It's called Firestorm Freerunning & Acrobatics.  Soo, besides the trampolines, climbing rope, obstacles, they had a section of climbing bars.  When I was in elementary school, I lived on the bars at recess time and my friends and I could do amazing and dangerous things on these bars. I happily climbed onto these bars and happily told my kids all about what I used to do and egged them on to try it.  {no, I did not try any of it, after the cartwheel incident of 2006, I learned the hard way that just because I think I can still do something, doesn't mean my body agrees}  I did try to do an underhand mount-thingy and couldn't get my legs past an horizontal with the floor position...sad. So, I egged my kids on to try different things, climbed around on the bars, swung my legs up onto them and did monkey-bar type swinging on them, in an attempt to engage my kids.  And then, for the next 3 days I was downing advil like was so very sad how sore that little bit of exercise made me!


Sky and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary.  We met 26 years ago at Corona del Mar beach.  For this anniversary, we went back to the beach where we met, and then had dinner at a local pizza place we used to go to all the time while we were dating in highschool.  We really had such a nice, simple evening remembering when...


I played photographer for Meg's senior photos, which is really a lot of pressure when you are not a professional.  I captured a few nice ones, I think.  Here is one- involving her favorite horse, of course...

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hope your week is a blessed one, friends!!

7 Quick Takes is hosted every Friday at Conversion Diary  :)

P90X by the numbers with photo evidence

Alternate title...ouch...

But first, I guess I should get real and "out" myself a bit.  Okay, deep goes...


Here is a photo taken Spring of 2012 that changed everything.  I actually didn't realize it was me for a second.  I saw this photo and decided that something needed to be done, and-how.  I vowed to myself that this photo would be buried and deleted from memory, hidden away even from, but here I am sharing it on the blawg.   I really, really love you, bloggy-friends!   (Actually, I did some soul-searching and realized I really appreciate inspirational weight loss blogs that show before and after pics)  crossing my fingers that the "no-pin" code will actually work.  Can you imagine the screams echoing if i signed onto pinterest one day and saw this photo being pinned all-over??

I read good things about p90x on a forum I hang out on, and decided to go for it.  In the past when I've needed to lose weight, I've done the Jenny Craig route. But frankly, it is expensive- even though I know how to streamline it to bring the cost down (and I am a lifetime member) and I just couldn't face eating the packaged food again.

P90x is advertised as an extreme fitness program- which did scare me a bit, so I decided to take a few weeks to shape up a bit with the 30Day Shred.  I am so glad I did this.  I have done the Shred before, but never stuck with it past 2 weeks- this time around, I didn't see any significant change in my fitness level until week 3- at this point the workout became easy for me and I was able to go to a higher level.  By the end of the month, I was alternating between level 2 and 3 and some days doing two workouts.


By May 20th I had lost 4lbs and I could see a difference (129lbs).  I was already pleased at how smaller I was looking, though I was still pretty bottom-heavy.  A few weeks later,  I hit the 8lb mark and could fit (barely) into my "skinny jeans".  I was really happy, but still had to wear a loose shirt to hide the muffin top being poured into my skinny jeans caused... Hey, I admit, I am a slave to fashion sometimes...

Here are my beginning stats:  This was when I began counting calories with My Fitness Pal and I began working out with the 30Day Shred video

May 7, 2012

Weight 133.5

waist: 30″ hips: 37″

June 11, 2012 my first day with p90x

Weight 125 lbs

You can read my first post on getting serious with fitness here * Homeschool mom gets busy

Homeschool Mom gets busy- My P90X adventure


I've gained and lost the same 15 or so pounds over and over again, like some cruel Groundhog's Day hoax.  I'd lose it, using an expensive pre-packaged food diet program, keep it off a year or so, and then slowly gain it back.  After a few years feeling chubby, I'd start the cycle over again.

I liked to think I was into yoga. But I wasn't really.  I liked the thought of it, but only once in my life actually sustained a daily practice - which lasted maybe 4 months.

15 or so pounds doesn't sound so bad to some of you reading, I'm sure.  But, on a small framed 5'3" person, it can make a big difference.

So, my story begins when a friend sent me a photo of myself playing photographer somewhere.

Friends, for a few seconds, I didn't realize it was me...until I recognized my red hair.  Yes, it was that bad.  In that instant I realized something needed to be done. Like yesterday.  I asked around over at a favorite online mom hangout of mine, and saw mentions of I checked it out.  I liked what I saw, and I liked the testimonials of other moms just like me...but the price caused me some hesitation at first.  I thought about it, talked to Sky about it - and then decided to go for it.  The price was actually a very motivating factor; I decide I didn't want this program to be just another fitness video I added to my dusty, unused pile of fitness videos.  After researching a bit more, getting a Beachbody coach (publishers of P90X) and asking lots of questions, I decided to spend a month working out with Jillian Michael's 30day Shred first, before tackling p90x.  I did read about people more out of shape and heavier than I doing well with p90x by just doing as much as they could, but I realized I would be more apt to quit if the program was shockingly difficult for my marshmallow / cream-puff body.

I had used the 30day Shred before, and enjoyed it (as much as you can enjoy working out!) but hadn't stuck with it more than  two weeks or so.  I decided to up my walking routine, do the 30Day Shred everyday, and begin counting/ tracking calories using My Fitness Pal.  (click over here to read my post on My Fitness Pal)

I am so glad I followed this route before ordering P90X.  I'll talk about why in my next post.  For now, I'll leave you with the relevant stats:

Pre- 30Day Shred/exercise/counting calories:

May 7, 2012

Weight 133.5

waist: 30"  hips: 37"

*not a sponsored post, I am not a Beachbody coach or affiliated with Beachbody, but I do get a very small commission from Amazon for items purchased from my links-thank you for supporting my book habit! :)