We had a busy month! At the beginning of January, my fifth grader was assigned a couple big projects at school that were due at the end of January. She had to do a state report(Vermont) and did an American hero report as well as her regular homework such as math, reading, and spelling, assignments. ACK! In addition, she signed up for a couple choir groups this past month. She is singing in the Hope of America Choir which she will perform in May at BYU and she also signed up for the school choir, which they are learning some Disney songs to perform for the parents in a couple months! She goes to school early twice a week to practice the songs. She absolutely loves to sing! As for her research, I helped her collect resources on her American Hero project via internet. John took her to the library to get some books on her person. Her assignment was hefty! She had to not only write a report in first person about her hero, she has to do a speech (under a minute) which had to be MEMORIZED! Then she got to dress up like her hero and present her speech "Wax Museum" style for parents, students, and friends. It was way cool! They had their desks lined up in the cafeteria with a open or closed sign as well as a home made button to push. They brought props as well as dressed up as their American hero! Oh, I suppose you want to know who she picked out? Well, she chose drum roll please.... Laura Ingalls Wilder! In the past, she has read a couple of her books and loved them as well as watched the TV series Little House and the Prairie. She has enjoyed reading her biography these past couple weeks. I even learned a lot from helping her research. A couple of my favorite quotes by Laura Ingalls Wilder are the following: "It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all." She wrote a letter to a fan that said, "Remember, it is not the things you have that make you happy. It is love and kindness and helping each other and just plain being good." Laura Ingalls lived a challenging and amazing life. Life was not simple back then and she knew how to work! She went through some hard trails such as a her house burning down, loosing a child after birth, and her husband was partially paralyzed. I am so impressed that Laura was able to fulfill her dream of being a famous author at age 64! Wow, it is never too late to accomplish things in life! As for fifth grader's costume, we were so lucky to borrow some pioneer clothing (a red skirt, cream apron, red bonnet, and black lace up boots) from Aunt Marilee and Cousin Holly. Our quest was to find some cream button up shirt at some thrift store to wear as her top but we had a cream shirt in her closet that worked out perfectly. I braided her hair like Laura although it is hard to tell since her hair is still short. We are so glad to get those projects done! I am so proud of her in putting in the effort!
Is she the the cutest prairie girl? I am so glad we had the props and costume! Yay!
As for younger sister, my little first grader, she brought home a penguin stuffed animal last week. His name is Ponko. For her assignment, she had to play with him and write about it in a book. She had a lot of fun playing hide and seek with older sister and Ponko as well as playing other games. She has quite the imagination! She is such a cutie! She is an amazing reader! I just discovered yesterday that she jumped a whole level in reading. She is now on level F when she started on Level B at the beginning of the school year. I suppose reading scriptures with her has helped her sufficiently become a better reader! Her two front teeth are almost completely in. She is looking forward to her birthday in a couple months. We promised her that she could have a friend's birthday party. She has never had one yet, which surprised me because Audrey has had quite a few. My youngest daughter is very shy and has made a couple friends at school finally! She has already came up with a list of girls, cousins, and boys to invite to her birthday party.
I love her smile! She is a sweet girl and very sensitive like her parents were at her age!
I am enjoying my church calling. I am a activity day leader. I plan and do activities for a couple girls in my neighborhood. This past month we did a lesson on budgeting (we used M&M's to represent money one M&M was $20). My partner that helps me came up with some ideas and amounts to teach the kids how to budget effectively. I learned some great ideas from her and hopefully the girls understood the importance of staying within a budget and not using credit cards. I usually do the fun activities like something crafty! So this month I decided to try teaching the girls how to make friendship bracelets. It was tough! I forgot how to do them and had to practice making them a couple days before the activity. I cannot think when the last time I made a friendship bracelet. I was probably in middle school or junior high. Anyway, I found an easy method on the internet http://www.makingfriends.com/jewelry/bracelet_klutz.htm and the activity didn't go as well as I planned. I had to do a lot of one on one with each girl and the hour goes by quick! My daughter was not interested as well as my activity day leader partner's daughter. We were trying to focus on the other girls. So I did a one on with my oldest daughter after the activity to show her how to do it.
As for my weight loss goals, I wasn't very successful or 100% committed to my exercise routine last month. I didn't even go jogging due to snow storms and I was just not in the mood to freeze to death! I am not a fan of running in the cold weather but I need to change my attitude and just do it anyway! On average, I worked out maybe 3 times a week at most. So my husband and I started the dreadful cabbage diet this week. http://www.cabbage-soup-diet.com/index.php He has a lot of weight to loose as well as me! I hate the holidays because I always gain weight and it is not a couple pounds either! We decided that if we do it together, we can support each other better on our weight loss goals. We are currently on day two, which is probably the worst day! We basically eat cabbage soup all day and fresh veggies. NO FRUIT, DAIRY, GRAINS, OR MEAT! We are suffering with headaches (due to sugar withdrawals) grumpiness, and hunger, lol! Hubby and I are very determined to make it through this diet until Sunday night. It is only recommended to do it no more than seven days straight. Then start a different diet afterwards. We will probably do the South Beach Diet. We were successful on that a couple years ago. Although, the reason for quitting the diet on Sunday night is we have a super-bowl party to attend at a friend's house and more than likely be faced with a lot of junk food temptation. We will be fasting that day too due to it being fast Sunday! I suppose it will be our reward after this week to partake some of the party food but we have to get back on track on Monday with the South Beach Diet Phase One! I am so proud of myself! I ran today for the first time in a long time (a couple months since I last ran) and did some strength training yesterday. The funny thing that happened today is I got lost running in the foothills (surrounding neighborhoods) near my house. I normally take the canal trail which is a couple blocks from my house but due to snow and mud, I decided to stay on the roads. The problem with my jogging route is I kept running into dead end streets so my jogging time was 1 hour and 20 minutes instead of one hour! Duh! I was so tired and sore afterwards and starving to death! I was ready to chow down that cabbage soup! I have no idea how many miles I ran due to running in circles and there were a couple times I had to walk due to the hills being too steep and I was totally out of breath! I cannot wait to run again on Thursday and hopefully won't get lost again, lol! I miss running and enjoy the time listening to music on my iPod as well as doing some thinking while I jog. I am looking forward to making great healthy changes this month! I hope to accomplish my goals by the end of the month as well as continue to make a commitment to a healthier lifestyle!