MS_PERCEPTION's SparkPeople Blog MS_PERCEPTION's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 2018 So Far... Well, this year has not been boring. That is what I can say with absolute certainty. <BR> <BR> My daughter with mental health issues still hasn't started this new therapy we're trying with her. It should start in a week or two. I cannot wait. Some days I spend more time re-teaching her things during her homeschool time than any human should be expected to because she is so defiant (not in an obvious way...she will just refuse to try and then expect me to give her all the answers even tho... Fri, 2 Feb 2018 11:52:01 EST Day 96 Fall Challenge 2017 I'm kinda calling this the end of my fall challenge. We are in full-on winter mode here with snow on the ground and Christmas festivities all around. <BR> <BR> Here's the long and short of it. This challenge was wildly successful and a total failure. <BR> The success, if you read my previous posts, was the exercise. I am still on my streak of exercising every school day with the exception of closure of the pool or fitness center for whatever reason. I'm super proud of myself for that. <... Thu, 14 Dec 2017 13:02:27 EST Day 59 Fall Challenge 2017 Okay, all. I'm still scraping through this fall. I'm am NOT rocking it, but I will tell what I am doing right. <BR> -I have continued my exercise streak that I began back in September. EVERY weekday that the fitness center is open, I've been there. Strength training 4 days a week and using the pool 1 day a week. I feel great about that and still notice the increased strength and energy most days. <BR> -I am still participating at my local chapter of TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), att... Tue, 7 Nov 2017 12:40:10 EST Day 31 Fall Challenge 2017 Okay, a quick update on this challenge I've made for myself. I'm proud to say I have been faithful to my commitment to going to the fitness center. I have gone every weekday morning it's been open. My oldest DD has come with me too! We're enjoying the bonding and feeling better. This is our third week and I do feel better a bit. No noticeable physical changes yet, but I'm hopeful it will come in time. <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> Food has been better, for sure, but not quite what it shoul... Mon, 9 Oct 2017 15:59:38 EST Day 1 Fall Challenge 2017 I am starting over again and will be challenging myself to blog more to document my "travels" since I have been quite neglectful of my physical health in the last year or more. Man, I started the year so strong...felt great, was losing weight, but then just completely lost focus around late April. Like I was flung off a merry go round that was going too fast. <BR> <em>24</em> <BR> This has been a tough year in some ways and part of me has been VERY focused on maintaining good mental hea... Fri, 8 Sep 2017 10:08:15 EST All Back Together Again Yay! I picked up my oldest daughter from the bus this morning. She just got home from Space Camp in Alabama. I've missed her, but it was busy here while she was gone. We had our adoption anniversary on Friday, my middle daughter's regional gymnastics championship on Saturday, and my oldest's prom on Saturday night (which DH supervised as HS principal). So tonight we get to all sleep under one roof again. <BR> <BR> We celebrated our adoption anniversary with a trip to Madison, WI to le... Mon, 24 Apr 2017 12:12:33 EST Tragedy Strikes Close to Home Last week we got a call I wouldn't wish on any adoptive parent...though I didn't realize it until it happened. I was told our little ones' birth mom was unresponsive at the hospital from an apparent drug overdose. She later died. There have been many tears shed by our family this last 5 days. My husband and I have certainly shed the most by a long shot. <BR> I shared repeatedly with her that God had a good plan for her life, but she struggled to see that reality past the fog of depressi... Mon, 30 Jan 2017 20:34:55 EST Checking Off BIG To-Do List Items We've been getting our floor redone in the majority of our upstairs. All 3 upstairs bedrooms, the living room, and the hallways had to have the floors empty....with all 8 of us trying to function...with everything in boxes and totes...trying to find places to sleep as the flooring progressed...for EIGHT PEOPLE! <BR> <BR> Thank the Lord, we are now pretty much back to normal with most furniture back where it belongs and our friend from church who is doing our flooring just has one more day l... Sat, 20 Aug 2016 10:18:01 EST Off the Rails I haven't been blogging, tracking, or sparking. It has NOT helped. <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> I am going to get my head on straight here and re-examine my goals and what I'm willing to do to get there. Time to meal plan, get my schedule straight and stop trying to coast. Fri, 19 Aug 2016 00:18:50 EST So...Not Great at the Monthly Update Okay friends, I have not done well at posting progress pics or even a progress blog. <BR> <BR> Highlights since March: <BR> <BR> *We finalized adoption of out 3 little ones on April 21st!! <BR> <BR> *I have lost 4 pounds (not amazing, but it's a LOSS) <BR> <BR> *We got through birthday season here (4 within 1 month) and all went well. <BR> <BR> I'll try to resume monthly or maybe bi-monthly updates and blog about life in between. I must admit I've let many things slide to keep things ro... Thu, 19 May 2016 19:11:48 EST Missed March 1... I have a blog entry coming but March 1 came and went with a death in the family so plans changed. Maybe tomorrow... Thu, 3 Mar 2016 18:14:55 EST February 1, 2016 Let's see if I can be consistent with this. Here I am, February 1, 2016 at 193.5 pounds. <BR> <em>380</em> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I want to document my progress this year. I missed January, but that's okay. Today is a good day to begin. My youngest turns 5 today and it reminded me to mark my time and appreciate the life God has given me. My goal this month (February) is modest. I want to get out of the ... Mon, 1 Feb 2016 15:27:01 EST 2016 - Is It Vacation Time Yet? DH and I are looking ahead to do some planning for summer camping, other trips, family functions, etc. right now. <BR> <BR> For example, we had planned a certain Spring Break mini-trip and it is not going to work out, so we are changing course and finding something else. We felt this year we would really make an effort to get away (not far) for Spring Break and enjoy some family time in a relaxed setting where we could play games, go for walks, and just enjoy time together without the usu... Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:09:50 EST 2016 - January Adoption Update For those who had been following our foster/adoption story, I have big news! <BR> <BR> Last month, December 2015, our foster kids' birth parents voluntarily terminated their parental rights! We did not expect that. We knew the birth mom was ready, but birth dad was not...until he found out if he didn't and lost his case, any children born to him in the next year would also be removed. His girlfriend is pregnant, so that was the game changer. <BR> <BR> We are in an appeal period when the ... Wed, 13 Jan 2016 12:51:42 EST 2016 The Year of Growth Long time, no blog. <BR> <BR> So much to tell, so I'll save some for another time. For now I just want to get back to my blogging habit and say I am back on the exercise pattern that will help me feel better. <BR> <BR> My food choices are better, portions more reasonable, and cravings much fewer and weaker. I have been a spectacular failure at logging my food, though. I will be incorporating that back into my routines so I can achieve more success. <BR> <BR> Moderation has saved me fr... Thu, 7 Jan 2016 18:22:45 EST Easing Into It The kids are back in school for the most part. The little guy it is still doing every other school day, but he's loved it so far. I think it's a good idea how they're easing the 4K kids into the year. I know my little one is overwhelmed even though he couldn't enjoy school much more. I'm guessing that's what getting to him because he's been SUPER emotional lately. <BR> <BR> I'm taking a similar approach to my food/exercise right now since I redeveloped a minor addiction to Pepsi. I shou... Tue, 8 Sep 2015 12:06:30 EST Summer's Almost Over Where did it go?! I know most of us are asking ourselves this; not because we didn't do lots of stuff and create great memories, but most of just wish we could have a bit more of it. It goes by so quickly. The carefree days of sunshine and the fun busyness that is picnics, beach time, BBQs and more time outdoors…I'm gonna miss it. <BR> <BR> I tell ya what I'm not gonna miss: constant distraction, feeding continually hungry little mouths, explaining to little people that I am not an enter... Fri, 21 Aug 2015 13:09:17 EST Beyond Help? Not when You're a LIME!! Now, I've been on SP for several years and have been a variety of teams, but one of my current teams - The Biggest Loser Lovely Limes - have been absolutely instrumental in keeping me here on SP and reminding me that someone out there cares about me not giving up on my journey to better health. <BR> The leaders have consistently contacted me to encourage me, remind me to stay on track and let me know they are thinking about me and praying for me! That has meant more than I can say. My fello... Thu, 2 Jul 2015 11:57:04 EST Back on the Wagon (AGAIN) Yeah, so the wagon had been dragging me for a while. I was not making good choices….drinking pop almost everyday, pretty much indulging in whatever sounded good, and barely managing to maintain the pathetic weight I'd allowed myself to get back up to. <BR> <BR> The past week I've gotten my act together and I've been getting my activity level up, tracking my food 5 of the last 7 days, staying in my calories allotment, and drinking more water. I'm not saying I've got it all together, but It'... Sun, 28 Jun 2015 21:17:50 EST What's New and Not NEW: <BR> -I have been hoarse for almost a month. At first it was like a really minor cold, then just a hoarse voice, then a full-blown cold and now it is nothing more than a hoarse voice and at it's most minimal state so far. <BR> -I have this weird thing right now where even though I'm hungry, I can't eat more than a little bit or I feel like I've totally gorged and am stuffed to the point of discomfort. You would think this would help to keep my calories down and thus lead to weight loss... Mon, 13 Apr 2015 12:51:11 EST Can I Forgive Myself for the Past? Can I forgive myself for the past? How will it affect my successful journey to better health? <BR> <BR> Oh man, as I blog this for a BL challenge, I really have to reflect on where I've been and where I'm going. <BR> In 2009, I reached my goal weight and was able to maintain it for a year or so, but the weight slowly crept back on. I am now back near my highest weight. HOW did I let this happen? WHY would I do this to myself after all that hard work?! Forgive myself?! UGH. I want to sm... Sun, 29 Mar 2015 20:50:54 EST Can Someone Please Come and Clean My House?! Things have continued to keep me hopping here in the land of 6 kids. Laundry is a DAILY must-do, the grocery budget has grown tremendously as I still try to master making the appropriate size meals for our larger brood, and we're officially in birthday season here, so special treats for school and other activities are thrown in the mix. Can someone please come clean my house?! I can't seem to carve out the time to do it justice. <BR> <BR> Oh well, in other news, I participated by phone in... Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:50:54 EST Quick Praise/Share/Vent Session Yesterday was eventful. <BR> <BR> I teleconferenced in to the placement hearing for my 2 youngest foster kids. None of us knew why the judge called a court hearing rather than accepting the paperwork "as is," so I was unsure what to expect. Apparently, birth father had some objection to a placement in the past (maybe when the oldest of their kids was placed with us a month ago?) so I guess it was to have everyone come to court and say there were no objections which is exactly what happen... Sat, 14 Mar 2015 12:19:05 EST Spring 2015 Challenge Goals My top 3 goals for the Spring challenge are: <BR> <BR> 1. Exercise a minimum of 100 min/wk <BR> <BR> This one seems pretty wimpy at first glance, I know. The thing is, I need to not feel discouraged if I'm only getting 20 minutes every weekday. 20 min of ST can get me a good basic workout and same with cardio. I have to take into consideration my time limitations right now and work with where I am, so this would be an excellent habit forming amount for me. When I get this going, I kno... Wed, 11 Mar 2015 15:21:34 EST More Kids…Less Work Don't be deceived - I'm DEFINITELY not saying having more kids is less work…read on to find out what I REALLY mean. <BR> <BR> So, we've had our foster son for about 2 1/2 weeks now and he has settled in beautifully. He gets along well with my birth kids and has gotten used to our family "ways" pretty quickly. That is a HUGE blessing and didn't come easily at first! <BR> <BR> Since he was doing so well, his worker decided it was time to have his 2 younger siblings come for the weekend this... Tue, 3 Mar 2015 10:17:52 EST Valentine Get-A-Way/Business Trip DH has a work conference out of town and I came with him, leaving our kids in the care of my wonderful MIL for a few days. We are calling this our Valentine get-a-way. Since we are bringing home our foster son Friday, we'll have less opportunity for date nights since he cannot be left in the care of anyone who is not licensed as a respite provider by the state. <BR> <BR> So, we're enjoying this as a little bit of couple time…when DH is not in workshops and meetings, of course. Which means... Thu, 12 Feb 2015 09:32:16 EST Successful Weekend Visit Okay, so having an energetic 7 year old boy in the house is exhausting! LOL The visit with D this weekend went fantastically well. He liked to help with everything…chores, supper, laundry, anything. I'd no more say, "Who can help me with…?" and he yell, "Me!" It was pretty cute. He needs LOTS of attention and stimulation, but he's a doll and the kids were all HUGE helpers playing different games with him, showing him their rooms, all sorts of things. He was so at ease here, you wouldn'... Sun, 8 Feb 2015 23:17:37 EST Upcoming Weekend Visit So, here is the update I've been meaning to write since the weekend. <BR> <BR> We went down for the world's most awkward meeting and it all actually went rather smoothly. D was pretty closed off during the meeting since he was obviously overwhelmed with having everyone there…the birth parents most of all, I honestly think. Anyway, the 2 younger siblings, J & W were adorable and sweet and just rolled with it all. It was our first time meeting them, but they were very easy to visit with. ... Tue, 3 Feb 2015 21:02:07 EST So Easily Distracted Oh man, I have gotten very little "work" done today for my part-time customer service work-at-home job because I have so much I want to get done, I can't sit down and plug away at the tedious work. <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> On the upside, I've gotten most of my to-do list done today. Organized my hall closet including the games, blankets, etc. Also got to the library and bank, took in recycling, and some other small random things. <BR> <BR> Today is a net WIN. When time permits later, ... Tue, 3 Feb 2015 16:13:30 EST Putting Forth Effort Some musings from recent events… <BR> <BR> As we prepare for D to come here, it strikes the amount of effort we must expend to transition him here -- Paperwork, Requesting school records, locating and scheduling appropriate services for him, organizing our schedule around this move, coordinating schedules & plans with current foster family/CPS worker/our worker, MANY hours driving back and forth (4.5 hours one way), etc. ALL because we want what's best for him: a safe, loving home to grow ... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 10:51:49 EST Met D Today So we found out Thursday (as my previous blog mentioned) that the judge--after much deliberation--granted the change of placement for D (our soon-to-be foster son) to come live with us! <BR> <BR> That meant we made plans to go down this weekend and meet him. It was just DH and I, so we turned it into a date weekend kind of. We went out to eat, sat quietly enjoying the hot tub last night, tried out a church near D's present foster home, ate out again, and then FINALLY met him. <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 25 Jan 2015 22:39:49 EST We Find Out Thursday We got an e-mail a couple days ago letting us know the Change of Placement hearing for the oldest little boy (of the sibling group of 3) we want to foster/adopt is this coming Thursday, the 22nd. That's when the judge decides if she'll let him move all the way up here. Everyone is on board but this judge apparently can be very difficult to work with. We continue to pray that God's best is done and we'll go with that. <BR> <BR> We've already set up a visit to meet him on the 25th in antici... Sat, 17 Jan 2015 18:36:13 EST Changes Here and There It occurs to me that lately my blogs have included little information on my health and lots of information on other aspects of life. Not a bad thing, but I am trying to have some balance here. <BR> <BR> I resolved this year NOT to burden myself with "New Years Resolutions" but to think of things I would like to work on throughout the year to be more the person God intends for me to be. <BR> <BR> For my physical health: I am easing back into regular exercise with daily walking to my Leslie... Tue, 6 Jan 2015 10:14:30 EST An Important Phone Call On Monday, while in the IKEA parking lot, ready to go into the store for the first time, my cell phone rang. It was our adoption worker, so we all hung out in the car for a few minutes so I could take the call in relative quiet. She proceeded to tell me that through an unexpected set of circumstances, they are seriously considering placing the oldest child of the sibling group we are hoping to foster then adopt, in our home in the next few weeks. <BR> This is major news because we weren't... Wed, 31 Dec 2014 11:42:45 EST Getting Ready Oh, if only thinking about things would make them get done! <BR> I've been meaning to sort through and make sure I bought an even amount of gifts for my kids and double check that I have a gift for everyone else I was supposed to buy for…Ummm, yeah. Still haven't done it. The downside of buying and wrapping early. Time to get it done. Today is the day. Got to get ready so that when Christmas Eve/Christmas arrives its can be focused on the birth of Our Savior, not frantic searching or str... Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:24:14 EST Snow Much Fun to be in NW Wisconsin!! LOL…I couldn't help myself. I've spent hours shoving the last couple days due to our first snow of the season deciding to be a downfall of over a foot! My back is not in love with me right now but the driveway is done! Hallelujah! <BR> On the upside, the last 2 days have been snow days for the kids due to road conditions and snow, so we've had tons of fun (and not so fun while shoveling) family time! <BR> <BR> My wonderful son is now getting around without his crutches which is mind boggl... Tue, 11 Nov 2014 12:04:01 EST A Broken Leg and More Well, I have little time so I'll type fast and tell what I can… <BR> <BR> My son broke his tibia and fibula (both bones of the lower leg) at football practice almost 2 weeks ago and for the first week, it took over our lives. We spent the first few days in the hospital with him and then the the first few days at home were time consuming since he was unable to do much on his own. Now he's come a tremendous way toward resuming normal daily life, though still not using his leg much at all. O... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:34:20 EST Keeping Busy Adoption: There is literally NOTHING to tell on this front. We continue to submit our home study and have not heard back from any submissions recently. <BR> <BR> Kids: My kids are often on the go. The oldest is still in football and, while I enjoy watching him play, he's not a starter, so it's not as fun to watch him ride the bench. Thankfully he disclosed to DH and I that he plans to switch back to cross country next fall. Otherwise, he's made a really decent transition back to public... Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:39:41 EST Latest Adventures Well, some of you already know, but I decided to become an Independent Thirty-One Consultant. I'm pretty excited about it because I get to let people know about Thirty-One products who've never heard of it before and the more I get to share, the more I get to earn. It's a win-win! <BR> <BR> I'm actually pretty new to the products, but I already love what I have and can't wait to earn more. They make it incredibly appealing to be a hostess or consultant, that's for sure! I'm having an o... Mon, 25 Aug 2014 23:52:28 EST Wish I Had Less to Tell I'm going to keep this relatively brief but want to vent and update a bit… <BR> <BR> We were all ready to head to church this past Sunday. My DH goes out to the van and it's dead. Nothing, not even a click. We tried not to stress about it, pushed it out of the way and loaded into our other vehicle and went to church. We were supposed to take the van on our little camping trip this week but when we got home from church and tried to jump the van, it was DEAD. Long story short, we unpacked... Thu, 14 Aug 2014 11:38:59 EST We Shall See... We had our child presentation meeting for the 2 boys we're being considered for as adoptive parents and it went well. No word yet on whether it's gonna happen. The boys have a fair amount of needs and we want to make sure we are the right fit for them. We are feeling good about it but want to see how the boys feel about it and what their team thinks. <BR> <BR> The meeting wasn't the smoothest thing in the world…first off the team coming on behalf of the boys had 6 PEOPLE come (not includi... Fri, 8 Aug 2014 09:27:18 EST Proud Mama of 2 Drama Queens My beautiful daughters were in a play at school this past weekend with a company that comes in and helps schools put together summer plays. My girls did an EXCELLENT job and made me laugh and enjoy the show. I couldn't be prouder of their talent! Now if we could keep their drama limited to the stage, I'd be in great shape! LOL <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Sat, 19 Jul 2014 20:39:44 EST Looking Forward to... ..making progress. <BR> <BR> I have gotten my food more under control most days but it is still not what it should be. I'm more maintaining than anything. That'd be great if that was my aim, but it's not. I'll keep plugging away and baby stepping back to more exercise and better food choices. <BR> <BR> Also, we finally got the meeting scheduled for the Child Presentation for the 2 siblings we're being considered for. It's several weeks out still but at least we finally got a date on the... Thu, 10 Jul 2014 22:00:27 EST Impatient That's me. Mayor of Impatientville. <BR> <BR> I've been battling a mild cough and lost voice for 2 1/2 weeks with no improvement in sight. Of course, I haven't exactly been resting and trying to recuperate like I know I should. I'm Soooooo done with this. It's now just wearing me down. I don't really feel sick so it's more annoying than anything, but my throat is actually starting to hurt from the strain of talking in a whisper and trying to be hearable. Oh sure, I could try not talk... Tue, 8 Jul 2014 17:18:52 EST Taking it All in Stride So long story short, we did NOT get placement of the little guy we met about last week. It turns out they went with the other family who has no kids in the home and they felt it would be better for the little guy to get all the attention for a while. <BR> <BR> We were disappointed but not too much so since we're ultimately confident God has this all in hand. When our worker called with the news, she also had some potentially good news. The set of 2 boys we had been interested in previou... Mon, 30 Jun 2014 15:02:42 EST Presentation Meeting Today was the meeting between us, our worker and the child's worker. It went well. We got additional information, asked our questions and they said they'll let us know which family they're going to go with by Monday afternoon. <BR> <BR> DH and I decided we would accept the placement if they choose us. The child's "stuff" is stuff we feel we can deal with within our home. So now we wait. Only a few more days, though. I'll definitely keep everyone posted. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 22:31:11 EST Never Simple So this is a quick update to my most recent update… <BR> <BR> Turns out there is one other family also meeting with the child's worker for the individual child. We suspected that, but now have it confirmed from our worker. Regardless, our worker has cautioned us to not submit our home study for any other children until we see how this one plays out. She also recommended we not set up the meeting with the other childrens' worker until this first meeting has taken place also. <BR> <BR> Thi... Wed, 11 Jun 2014 09:06:45 EST When it Rains, it Pours Just a quick, but exciting update… <BR> <BR> Our worker informed us today through a few different messages that we are being seriously considered for 2 different children/siblings. One is a boy who's from our same region of the state and one is a sibling group of 2 boys who live in the southern part of the state. We set up our meeting with the worker for the single boy first (since she contacted our worker first) and then we'll go forward from there. <BR> <BR> This is pretty huge since ... Mon, 9 Jun 2014 17:32:47 EST Take Me Out to the Ballgame! My sweet hubby took DS and I to a MLB game last night. Our team, the Milwaukee Brewers were playing at the MN Twins and since we live MUCH closer to the Twins ball field, we didn't have to make it into an overnight trip or anything. Here are my DS and DH after the game. Still smiling despite the Brewer loss. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm so blessed to have these 2 handsome men in my life! We had a really good time and as we drove in... Thu, 5 Jun 2014 09:44:08 EST Almost (Unofficially) Summer! First a quick update: The Ladies' Night went very well. 4 other leaders and myself were there and had great food and conversation, lots of laughs and some serious time to know each other better. I was blessed. No new news in the adoption realm. Same stuff and all is well. My weight has stabilized and while I'm up from where I was, I am feeling much less stress and ready to focus more attention on food planning and other healthy habits after this weekend. Now... <BR> <BR> I love spring... Thu, 22 May 2014 09:44:35 EST