Tuesday, September 4, 2018

We had an Ark Encounter

Labor Day weekend was this past weekend so about a month ago when we were looking ahead at the calendar (if you know us, you know what a complete SHOCK this is) Hubby thought we should go to Maggie Valley. Why? Because some people he knew went and said how much they loved it. I was ambivalent. We'd had the same "I love that place/it's my favorite city" reaction from people when we went to New Orleans a couple years ago and we were less than impressed. Different strokes for different folks (or Stokes, as it were). Anyhow, my brain kicked in and I realized that Kenny's birthday was just a couple days after Labor Day so we ought to go someplace he REALLY wanted to go: the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, KY. So Friday we packed up the car and we moved to Beverly...well, we packed up the car and drove to Kentucky, actually. I really watch too much TV.

Saturday found us driving up to the gates and parking about a mile away from the Ark. When you think life-size ark, you really have no clue. Even a mile away, that thing looked massive.


So we get on the Ark-tram and it takes us to the ark.
Dang. That's really all I can say!

 

Once inside, you forget that you are in a replicated boat. It just feels like a building. But there are a lot of displays and videos and such throughout. We could have spent more time there but...Labor Day=people. And people? Don't got much sense. We found out later that there were 6000 others at the Ark with us. The bulk of them acted like that they were completely unaware that there were other people in the room and would stop suddenly, wander around, and/or change direction all without looking first. It was bizarre and it was a lot to deal with CONSTANTLY. We'd lose one group and then find ourselves in the midst of another.

Anyhow, our feet felt like we walked the walk and after driving up from Georgia the day before my body did, too. We went to the 4D theater thinking that might give us some time to refresh and regroup, but, no. We decided to call it a day but before we left the grounds I took a picture of Hubby standing in front of the ark to give some perspective. H-U-G-E. How Noah and his sons built that is beyond the scope of my mind.

 

So,  we got some lunch and went back to the hotel where I took a needed nap and Hubby watched the Bulldogs.

The next day we headed down the interstate and checked out the Creation Museum (also from the Answers in Genesis people). Again, it was insanely beautiful and well-done and also packed full of people who had not practiced their company manners in awhile.

I'd love to go back to both places when we have more time (and there were less people to contend with). The Ark Encounter has plans for additions to their campus that I'm interested in seeing the results of. We saw a huge amphitheater that was going up and some of the other plans.

Definitely would like a do-over. BUT I'm glad we went. It was fun to be able to jump in the car and go somewhere (thanks to Meg being able to watch the fur-babies). For most of our married life there were always kid or church (or kid and church) obligations. We'd watch others take off on adventures while we held down the fort. So now we're taking advantage of this time in our lives to have a few of our own!


Monday, September 3, 2018

Catching up...again

Welcome to 2018, blog-o-mine! In my head, it's been a few short months since I checked in, but cream of cheddar, it's actually been three years! What the heck? So...quick update:

K3...Kenny graduated from Point University with a degree in Music-production emphasis married a beautiful, funny, smart young lady named Shaniqua. They have the most adorable 6-month old baby and live nearby. Kenny works as a video production technician and Shaniqua is an attendance secretary.

Lorie...Lorie graduated from American University with a dual major in International Studies and Economics. She lives in DC and works for a nonprofit.

Meagan...Meg was accepted into a nursing program at one of our state universities. She recently became engaged to her Prince Charming. They are looking at a fall 2020 wedding.

Johanna...JoJo spent two months this summer interning with Mision Caribe in Honduras. She is now in Ecuador for a semester abroad. She is working on a dual major in International Relations and Spanish. She'll begin her senior year next semester thanks to good AP scores and Dual Enrollment classes.

Hubby...Ken is working on his second master's degree. This one is in IT through the University of Liverpool.

Me...I'm not doing much of anything. How sad. I've got no children at home (with the exception of Meg on weekends), no studies, no volunteer work, and no church family, but I feel like I'm busier than ever. How'd that happen? Dang. Gotta work on that.

Maybe, just maybe I can use this blog to work that out.

PS...in case you are wondering. No, I'm not still eating the Daniel Plan way and yes, I'm getting as big as a house, thank you very much and no, not going to do the Daniel Plan again.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Daniel Plan TTTC...Day 3 and Day 4


The turkey meatloaf on day 2 was not bad. Forgot when I menu planned about the bread I usually put in meatloaf. So I guess technically I actually made flavored meat and not meatloaf. We made broccoli and cauliflower as sides. Meg and I took a quick 1-mile walk in the neighborhood. Go us.

Day 3

Thursday I stayed in bed 15 minutes longer than I should have and paid greatly for that poor choice. Dinner yesterday beef stew (I'm used the purple potatoes...nothing like spooning up gray potatoes!!!) that I put in the crockpot since it was Daniel Plan night and I wanted to workout after work. The girls had also had about enough with the breakfast smoothies so I’d told them I'd make eggs and bacon. I put the turkey bacon in the oven while I started chopping vegetables. So there I am in the kitchen, checking out the clock, chopping vegetables, keeping one eye on the turkey bacon in the oven and realizing that I still need to pack my gym clothes AND my lunch and that there is no time to make eggs. I'm about to start in on a MAJOR pity party when Meg stumbled into the kitchen and said, "Bacon!" grabbed a piece and then stumbled into the bathroom. Johanna then popped around the corner with a surprised look on her face and said, "Mom! You made bacon! How sweet!" ... so I started giggling and instantly my attitude totally changed. I still had to pack my gym clothes and my lunch but then I was doing it with a chuckle. I let the girls know that I didn't have time for eggs, grab a banana for my breakfast and out the door I went.

Surprisingly, after I ate my banana and a handful of almonds I wasn’t hungry until almost 1 pm! I had a wonky moment with my salad at lunch when a piece of lettuce got caught on the edge of my bowl and when it sprung free, it splurted a drop of balsamic vinaigrette into my eye! Not pleasant!

I did bring my clothes with me but once I found out Meg was going to go home, I chose to instead of working out, going to the church and doing some much needed cleaning and organizing of the SKC room.

The second session for the Daniel Plan group study went well. Thirteen of us plus Johanna and Gloria in the other room. Lots of laughs and sharing, which I love. I know I need to work on eating according to the Daniel Plate and I need to be more determined at carrying out my exercise plan.

 

Day 3

Breakfast: banana

Mid-morning snack: almonds

Lunch: mixed green salad with grilled chicken, sunflower seeds and homemade balsamic vinaigrette

Dinner: Beef stew

 

Day 4

Breakfast: Smoothie (1/2 cup water blended with big handful of kale and spinach, scoop of protein powder, cup of raspberries/strawberries/blueberries/blackberries, banana, almond milk)

Lunch: Beef stew

Dinner: Dr. Hyman’s Walnut-Basil Pesto Chicken. Not sure about the veggies. Zucchini or asparagus.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The re-start of the same adventure...Daniel Plan TTTC


Here I go…AGAIN. I’m going through the Daniel Plan group study for my third time. The first time I blogged about it, it was just the Daniel Plan. Second time was Daniel Plan Part Deux. This adventure I shall name Daniel Plan TTTC (third time’s the charm).

It’s not that the Daniel Plan doesn’t work. It does. But it doesn’t work if you don’t do it. I do fairly well during the study time and 40 days of eating but afterward, when I don’t have the boundaries set up, that’s when the yucky eating sneaks in. So having a plan for keeping on the Plan after the boundaries of the group study and 40 days are over is what’s going to make it or break it for me.

We met for the first of the six group studies last Thursday. We had 8 people show up and I had emails from people who forgot, had a bad day, didn’t want to get out in the yucky, cold, drizzly mess that was last Thursday. I think we’ll have 12-14 people involved, which will make for some lively discussions.

My family started our 40 days yesterday. I needed time to get the pantry in order and to grocery shop and time had just passed me by in the weeks leading up to the first session. Meg and I worked a miracle at the house and threw away a LOT of expired stuff and bagged up a lot of non-DP (not Daniel Plan okay) foods to take to the church to give away. Let’s just say that after 1.5 days of the detox (first 10 days are no gluten, no dairy, no sugar, no caffeine on top of the regular whole foods/no processed/no artificial sweetener foods Daniel Plan thing), I’m over it. Sorry. That’s a pretty cruddy attitude but I am. At the very least I’m ready to not be on the detox because this girl is HUNGRY!! I know that I’m not doing well with eating according to the Daniel Plan Plate (50% non-starchy vegetables, 25% lean protein, 25% starchy veggie/whole grain and a low-glycemic fruit) and that’s probably my biggest problem and the reason why I’m so blasted hungry. So I’ll work on that and see if that helps keep me full.

Day 1

Breakfast: Smoothie: raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, banana, a couple handfuls of spinach/kale, a cup of coconut water, scoop of protein powder.

Mid-morning snack: almonds

Lunch: salad of mixed greens with grilled chicken, homemade balsamic vinaigrette

Dinner: Salsa chicken (chicken breast baked with homemade taco seasoning and salsa) and corn (no non-starchy veggie…bad!)

Snack: air-popped popcorn

Exercise: Week 4, Day 1 of Couch to 5K plan. 5min warmup walk, 3 min jog, 90 sec recovery walk, 5 min jog, 2.5 min recovery walk, 3 min jog, 90 sec recovery walk, 5 min jog, 5 min cooldown walk.

Day 2

Breakfast: Smoothie: Jamba Juice Green Fusion smoothie mix (and, dang it, I didn’t read the ingredients this morning and just found out that it has stinkin’ sugar in it! So much for the shortcut!) with coconut water, protein powder and 1 T of Chia seed

Mid-morning snack: organic mixed nuts

Lunch: Turkey wraps (turkey wrapped in romaine lettuce with some mustard), apple

Dinner: Meatloaf made with ground turkey, broccoli and not sure what else

Exercise: not sure

 

How long until I can eat my lunch?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The start of a new adventure


So I’ve been pretty quiet on the blogging front these days. Some because I don’t think about it. Some because I’m a little embarrassed about not sticking to the Daniel Plan. Some because I don’t have much to write about. However, yesterday I embarked (that’s a serious word, “embarked.” Makes you know something major is about to be announced.) on a new adventure. I’m calling it “the great smoothie experiment.” As of right now, not sure how long this experiment will last.

Background: Meg’s been having aches and pains now for, well, it seems like forever. We’ve moved up the chain of command, medically-speaking, but can’t get her seen by a pediatric rheumatologist until March. So until then, we are trying some home remedies. Her drum major coach thought getting more greens in her diet wouldn’t hurt so we are trying some green smoothies. We decided to try this adventure together since I need to get back to eating better and since I get up before her, I said I’d be in charge of being Smoothie Maker. She looked up some different recipes and we decided on one that we thought might not taste too disgusting bad. We went to the store and picked up our supplies.

Monday: Monday’s green smoothie was made from 1 frozen banana, 5 frozen strawberries, 1/3 honeycrisp apple, 2 handfuls of baby kale/baby spinach combo, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 cup of coconut wate and ½ of a lime wedge. It blended up into a delicate green color. It tasted…okay. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever tasted but I’m certainly not gonna jump out of bed and bounce into the kitchen because I can’t WAIT to drink this smoothie! There was a bit of a bitter taste that I figure came from the lime rind. Apparently I was supposed to peel the lime, but that bit of info didn’t get communicated to me. One problem we ran into was that Meg looked up the recipe but didn’t forward the link to me, so I kinda put it together based on our conversation. Got a laugh out of Meg when we figured out what happened. However, it did keep me pretty full. I had a handful of almonds mid-morning, but that was more because I had the munchies and was trying to keep myself away from the chocolate jar.

Tuesday: Found out that Meg isn’t a big fan of the banana. Who knew?! So this morning I attempted a non-banana smoothie. Today’s not-so-green smoothie was made up of 2 handfuls of baby kale/baby spinach, 5 frozen strawberries, about a ½ cup of frozen blueberries, 1 scoop of protein powder and 1 cup of coconut water. It blended into a pretty purple color. It was, well, tart. I think I needed some apple or something in there to help it out. Again, not the worst thing in the world, but I won’t make it again, especially since I was hungry by 8:30. L

I’ve been looking up smoothie recipes and think I’ll add chia seed or flax to tomorrow’s smoothie to see if I can get to lunch without being hungry.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Whaaaaaaaaaat?!




How did this happen again?! Well, I know how this happened again, I didn’t double-check that the bottom part was screwed onto the blender tightly. Of course, I wasn’t the one who took the blender out of the dishwasher, assembled it incorrectly and put it in the stand so that it looked like it was ready to use, so…

So! I was late to work because it takes a bit of time to clean up 12 oz of spilled almond milk.

Oh, Monday, is this really how we want to start this week off?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Competition Day!

Today was the first marching band competition of the season. Last night we thought it might be Meagan's "nemesis triangle" (Power Ranger speak). We've been seeing a chiropractor for her IT band Syndrome issue for a while now. Lately he's been working more on her shoulder than her leg. It seems that the short repetitive motions during the fast parts of the set cause issues. The muscles bunch up and cause a lot of pain. When I got to the practice field last night, Meg was sitting out in tears. I didn't know what to do except to try to call her down so that she could possibly be less tense (which I thought COULDN'T be good for her shoulder). I hated not being able to make things right and I hated knowing that SHE knows that she may lose her drum major position because her injuries hurt the band. I didn't know what I would be walking into when I got to the competition today.

The band left Conyers after practice and eating lunch at the high school. I had to get some things done at the house and at church to get ready for worship tomorrow, so I left at 2. (I wanted to get going at 1:30 but time management is really not my thing.) When I got to the competition, the band was at the warmup field which just happened to be right by the place I parked...which is a good thing since I'm pretty much directionally challenged as well. I had visions of wandering around the campus never finding the band until AFTER they performed! Meg had her arm in a sling and seemed to be in a fairly good mood. Apparently they reconfigured some things so that Meg being one arm down wouldn't throw them off too much.

Jo is dead-center in photo with Meg in her sling on the podium.
My actual favorite part is the Field Crew member who is supporting
the podium but looks like he's peeking at the duet!!
I found the rest of the field crew and shortly afterward found myself watching the band perform while I kept my eye both on Meg and on Jo while reminding myself to breath. I don't know how the drum majors did at being a team, but Meg looked really confident. I know she was hurting but I couldn't tell from her face...although she did rub her opposite shoulder after they got done. Hope she hasn't hurt that one now!

The awards will be in about an hour. I really hope they did well, both as a band and as drum majors.

On another band note, Jo did really well with her duet. She was so worried that she could mess it up.

I'm so very proud of my kids.