February 27, 2015

Gone cruisin’

Filed under: vacation — liese4 @ 9:15 am

Yes, again. We are traveling to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan Honduras on the NCL Jewel. We have grand snorkeling plans in Cozumel, a trip to some Mayan ruins in Belize and more swimming in Roatan. Plus, this is a new ship to us, so we’re looking forward to exploring, working out in the gym, sliding down the water slides, checking out the kids area and of course, trying new food! (They have a Carlo’s bakery on board! We’re booked into the Brazilian Churrasco restaurant and the Japanese Hibachi grill another night too.) There is no Internet on the ship, so we’ll be incommunicado until we get into Galveston next week.

Here are some pictures to tide you over.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! {Early}

Filed under: links,School Stuff — liese4 @ 6:06 am

Since his birthday is on Monday, you have some time to look through the links and get some fun ideas for then.

Theodor Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904. If you didn’t already know, Dr. Seuss is coming out with a new book What Pet Should I Get? His widow found the makings of the book among his things and handed it over to a publisher. Did you know that you can use Dr. Seuss books for teaching older kids? Sure, we love them for teaching reading, matching and rhyming words and phonics, but some Seuss books have deep themes and meanings and can be fun to use for a Literature study.

So, what can older kids look for? Elements of fiction for one. These are things that every story has, things like – plot, theme, character, setting, point of view and mood. Choose a book like The Lorax or The Sneetches. Give your child a notebooking sheet for theme vs. plot (like this one here) and let them go to work examining the story and looking for deeper meanings. You could assign a theme, or have them try to guess it. In The Lorax an obvious theme is don’t hurt the environment, can you find others? What about Yertle the Turtle? Can they spot the Hitler reference? The Butter Battle Book was actually pulled from library shelves because of its theme (The Cold War and the arms race.)

Don’t abandon fun things to do on this day too – who doesn’t love waking up to a breakfast of green eggs and ham?


Want more fun stuff? Give your child 6, 10, 20 or more rhyming words and have them write a story in Seuss style. A Lorax unit study here. Don’t forget art! Here is a guide to using acrylic paint to paint two Dr. Seuss characters. Need to integrate more than just reading and writing? Algebra and Dr. Seuss? Go here to find an Algebra story. Learn all about the political Dr. Seuss here, includes info. about the film, educator guide and more.

They sky is the limit, you can find ways to use these books for art, math, social studies, history, writing, reading and more.

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.
Dr. Seuss

February 26, 2015


Filed under: information — liese4 @ 9:19 am

I weighed in a day early……and……deep breath….I’m down 30 pounds since December 28th (when James and I started our new year health goals.) I was thrown off track for 2 weeks recently when a gout attack had me going to the gym less, going to the doctor and taking medication (which I am done with now.) I tried to work through the pain, but if you’ve ever had gout you know that a blanket touching the affected area can send shooting pains through your body, so doing the eliptical was no fun.

Many people have asked how we have done it. James and I are both doing different things, so I can only tell you how I’ve done it and that it works for me. First, I cut out sugar, breads, sodas, candy (I know those fall under sugar) and ate more protein, fruits, vegetables and drank more water. Secondly, I went to the gym. At first it was 2 NIA classes a week (1 hour each) and 30 min a day on the eliptical. Now it’s 4 NIA classes a week and 2 30 min sessions on the eliptical. On non-NIA days (or if I miss a class) I will do 3 30 min sessions on the eliptical. This particular machine doesn’t hurt my knee. Do I get bored of it? No, I always have an audio book or my Nook on to listen to music. I listen to contemporary Christian, Gypsy jazz, Paris jazz, Hindi Christian, heavy metal Christian, Big band, Swing and more. I have enough stations that I can mix it up 3 times a day and as a bonus the music gives me a beat to move to (which is why I switch it up, the Hindi Christian always has a very fast beat, the Paris jazz a slower one.)

I don’t count calories, I don’t count fat. I do count sugar since that will affect the insulin level and I do look at carbs since they will turn into sugar and affect the same levels. I don’t keep a food log, I used to, but it was a lot of work. My Nook has an app that keeps track of my weight and gives me motivational things and articles to read about losing weight.

Here is what I ate since Sunday, I have plain water unless it says that I drank something else.

Sun –
B – 2 egg omelette with 4 slices bacon
L – Olive Garden – tilapia with grilled shrimp, broccoli, salad, glass of wine
D – Chili and a chocolate covered cherry Greek yogurt

Mon –
B – 2 egg omelette with 3 link sausages and 1/2 avocado
snack – 4 pieces of cantaloupe
L – salad with strange vegetables in it (kale, Brussel spouts and other things that looked green but I don’t know what they were), lemon poppy dressing and pumpkin seeds on it, 3 hard boiled eggs
D – Lentil soup with yellow squash in it, Greek yogurt and handful of cashews

Tues –
B – 2 egg omelette with cheese and 1/2 avocado
L – other half of the strange salad with 1/2 avocado, bowl of lentil soup (leftover)
D – 3 chicken breast strips coated with Parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic and basil, fried in virgin olive oil, herb quinoa, cauliflower

Wed –
B – 2 egg omelette with cheese and 1/2 avocado
snack – handful of cashews
L – Saj – beef shawarma with tabouli and cabbage
D – leftover cauliflower mixed with quinoa and 1/2 avocado, coconut crunch Greek yogurt
snack – 4 cantaloupe pieces and Vitamin water.

As you can see, I like eggs. I was eating a pack of tuna every day on top of my salad (I usually have a salad for lunch) but I stopped that after the gout attack (tuna is high in purines which causes gout.) I can probably eat 1 pack of tuna a week, more than that and it won’t be fun. I usually eat fish once a week, legumes once a week, some form of meat protein every day. I drink water, lots of it. If I’m going to eat fruit, I choose fruit that has lower sugar in it – raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches. For a snack I have peanuts and cashews on hand, as well as hummus and cucumber to dip with. I love the Greek yogurt that I get, so far I haven’t found a flavor that I dislike. If I have a coffee, I will get it with lowfat milk, no whip cream and sugar free syrup.


Sun – gym 2 times (1 hour)
Mon – NIA (1 hour) gym 2 times (1 hour)
Tues – NIA (1 hour) gym once (30 min) sledding 1 hour
Wed – gym 2 times (1 hour)

I usually go to the gym 3 times a day, but if I have something going on in the afternoon, I skip it. Sometimes we add a mile by walking the mall, sometimes we add exercise by hiking, sometimes by swimming, but we get to the gym at least once every day.

So, that’s it. Oh, if I have pasta, it’s GF. I found that after going off pasta and grains I feel better and when I ate some regular pasta one night I felt bad – so I don’t eat that anymore. The GF version was okay, I just had to learn that when boiling it I had to add more water to the pot.

February 25, 2015

Yesterado, Saj, Lola coffee, snow

Filed under: Buntport,friend outing — liese4 @ 4:07 pm

This morning we went to the arts center to see Buntport’s show – Yesterado.

A tale of Colorado back in the year 1897, when women wore corsets and the Rocky Mountain News splashed the paper with headlines of tantalizing news about Denver. But first, we got the low down on how our state came to be, the people who settled here and what brought people here in the first place – GOLD!

Jess and Mitch entertained us with stories of a daring female bicyclist who

- GASP! –

tore off her corset and wore bloomers! Soapy Smith the swindler who stole from innocent bystanders and had the police by the throat.

Literally, look, the policeman is actually attached to his arm!

We heard about shovels and water rights (still a big issue here in the high mountain desert), Margaret Brown and high society and other tales from the west.

It was a very funny hour and I think it was their 2nd best show (I’m still partial to Unbeweaveable.)

After that we headed to Saj for lunch, a treat that we don’t often get. I called this – food culture, everyone got an ‘A’. Then we went to Solid Grounds and did math until Lola arrived. We had a lot to catch her up on, pictures since January, the trip that we’re going on and we gave her a folded book that said ‘Joy’. She gave us Valentine chocolates and her New Year’s card. We talked while the snow fell outside, I thought they said it was supposed to come in tonight, but it started about 12:30. We had cocoa, chai and white truffle coffees, then we went next door to the thrift store to see what they had there. I found a skirt, Hannah found snow boots and Grace found a brass apple bell. We told Lola that we’d catch up after our vacation, then we headed home to let Maisy out.

Tonight it’s youth for the girls, Hannah is coming with me and James to go mall walking, then I guess it’s a last trip to the gym for the two of us while the girls stay home. Only one more day, getting excited over here!

Look, more snow!

Quote of the day

Filed under: quotes — liese4 @ 9:15 am


February 24, 2015

A sledding day

Filed under: HS group — liese4 @ 7:13 pm

But first, I went to the NIA class in Littleton. It was very movin’ and groovin’. The teacher is different than my usual teacher, the music was like I was on a cruise (hmm….foretelling the future?) Also, I wasn’t the youngest one in there. I will be going back to that class, it was great.

I got home and we did a bit of school, then we headed to the sledding hill. There were 8 families on the hill from our group, that’s a record.

Being bundled up didn’t last long with the sun out.

Tubing races were popular.

And the hill isn’t that hard to climb back up.

The more adventurous souls went to the higher hill with a snow bump.

It was fun, but tiring.

Addie and Bethany found new uses for trash bags – the new Green sled, use it and then use it again for trash!

Random shots.

And now, an awesome video:

This one is even cooler – but it cut out some of the other stuff, so I have 2 sledding videos.

February 23, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — liese4 @ 5:06 pm

I had an awesome NIA class, helped facilitate some learning and then took Grace and Hannah to Presentation club where we heard about – cheese, Extreme Life of the Sea, Puppy Powers, New Horizons probe, history of Lego people, what is inside a computer and what do the parts do and how to make a fleece no sew pillow. I’m making lentil soup for dinner to counteract the cold outside. Maisy is flopped on the couch sighing, the girls are playing LPS and drawing and I want to take a nap.

It was a nice day.

February 22, 2015

This is not the snow

Filed under: weekend — liese4 @ 10:34 am

I was promised. 16″? How about 6″ so far? Yeah, yeah, I hear that we’re supposed to get another 3-6″ today and overnight, but that still doesn’t equal 16″. I bet people who loaded up on canned Spam and frozen veggies are wondering how to unload that stuff now. For the record, we stocked up on bacon, sausages, cinnamon rolls and tea.

The tree in the backyard.

The trees in the front yard.

The bench, a cool seat, but that’s not much snow.

Churches across the area canceled services this morning. I’m in awe of that one, I guess they don’t want people out on the roads or getting stuck at church. We have light snow falling right now, but if it continues at this rate we’re only going to add an inch or two to the total. The good news is we have enough to sled on.

We picked up Grandma and took her to lunch.

It was a nice snowy drive and Olive Garden was warm and toasty.

Green mountain is white.

It took us long enough to drive there and back that she considered it a ‘nice’ outing. Plus she got ‘real’ coffee at lunch (instead of the ‘they dragged the bean through it’ coffee at her place.)

The week – Presentation club, sledding, Buntport theater show, coffee with Lola, bath-time for Maisy, dropping Maisy at sitter’s house, packing, leaving on a jet plane, eating dinner in Kemah, CRUISE time!

I’m thankful for: snow, heaters, food in the pantry, the ability to worship at home, my fuzzy socks.

February 21, 2015


Filed under: weekend — liese4 @ 10:17 am

We didn’t get much snow overnight. We watched Harvey, and the girls had pizza. I drove to my NIA immersion class with light snow coming down. An immersion class is long, we learn the dance, take a snack break and then do the whole routine. The routine is called ‘Beautiful’ and the music and lyrics were just that. It was a great time dancing and listening to the music. Here are lyrics from If I Were Brave (Jana Stanfield/Jimmy Scott)

What would I do if I knew that I could not fail
If I believed would the wind always fill up my sail
How far would I go, what could I achieve /Trusting the hero in me

(Chorus) If I were brave I’d walk the razor’s edge
Where fools and dreamers dare to tread
Never lose faith, even when losing my way
What step would I take today if I were brave

(Channel) What would I do today if I were brave (4 times)

What if we’re all meant to do what we secretly dream
What would you ask if you knew you could have anything
Like the mighty oak sleeps in the heart of a seed
Are there miracles in you and me

(Repeat Chorus and Channel)

(Bridge) If I refuse to listen to the voice of fear
Would the voice of courage whisper in my ear

Here’s another song that reads like a prayer, I Wish You Strength (Jana Stanfield/Matt Wilder)

I wish you strength,
To rise unafraid,
Like the morning sun,
Taking on the day,
Because when you shine,
You light up the place,
So I wish you strength.

I wish you faith,
That you’ll overcome,
Whatever you face,
Until your journey’s done,
Beyond any words,
As certain as grace,
I wish you faith.

I wish you could see,
The you that I see,
There at the edge of possibility,
I pray that you will find,
All that you need.

I wish you peace,
That comes from within,
A gentle release,
Of all that might have been,
Like the stillness that waits,
Between waking and sleep,
I wish you peace.


I wish you strength,
To rise unafraid,
Like the morning sun,
Taking on the day,
Because when you shine,
You light up the place,
So I wish you strength.

I wish you faith,
I wish you peace,
I wish you strength.

Aren’t those cool? My NIA teacher is learning these songs and we’ll be dancing ‘Beautiful’ soon (right now we’re doing ‘Magic’.) When we ended the session we looked out the window and it was a blizzard. I scraped off the car as best I could and sat there for a few minutes running the defroster so I could see out of the windows. The roads weren’t bad (the plow had just been by) but I could only see a few feet in front of the car due to the swirling flakes. When I got home we ran to the store to buy some stuff (and because of the predicted snowpocalypse the shelves were pretty bare.) Back at home we made pork tacos and finished watching Harvey, then it was time for bed.

I’m thankful for: dance, music, that my girls like to watch B&W movies, snow falling, warm covers.

February 20, 2015

Bring it!

Filed under: Uncategorized — liese4 @ 11:44 am

February 19, 2015

Fish, cheese, Cafe’ 180 and shopping

Filed under: co-ops,information — liese4 @ 4:24 pm

Blizzard and Sherlock got new tanks, they are super happy about it.

Sherlock has really grown!

We have some fruit on the counter next to their tanks and they both like to attack the oranges. Midnight chooses to float and spit out the skin of the worms he eats – gross.

This morning Hannah and I went to Whole foods for a cheese co-op. I was glad that someone put this together, she has been wanting to go to their cheese class, but that is really for adults.

So, we learned that you can make cheese from just about anything you can milk; but, we usually use cow, sheep, goat or water buffalo milk to make cheese. You can also make cheese out of almond milk (and I would assume rice milk, etc.) Cheese can be hard or soft, it can be colored with mold or ash, it can be sweet or strong and every flavor in-between. Cheese came about by accident, a guy was herding his goats and had some milk in a canteen – the heat and shaking caused the milk to turn into cheese. We tasted cheese that was young (3 months aged) and cheese that was old (2 years aged.) Our cheese guy Kyle said that he had tasted some 20 year old cheese and it was good (and expensive – $90 a pound!)

France is the leader in cheese-making with over 1,500 kinds and styles of cheese. We also learned that our favorite kind of cheese, aged gouda, has tiny crystals of tyrosine, an amino acid, that are good for your brain. Now, pictures of cheese.

I had a co-op at Cafe’ 180 and shopping, but everyone was sick or made other plans, so it was just us. We had a great lunch and the cafe’ and then went by the antique stores, fish shop and thrift stores. Grace found a fish statue, Hannah found some pajama pants, Bethany found a drawing stand and Mickey tie, I found some piano books, paints, and shirt. A good haul.

I’m thankful for: my homeschool group, good food, shopping with my girls, gas in the car, a beautiful day before the storms hit.

February 18, 2015


Filed under: Lent — liese4 @ 4:12 pm

It’s Ash Wednesday today. I went to Cherry Hills and they did not do a service, weird, they have had one there for 4 years, but I guess someone decided not to do one this year. I’m not Catholic, but I like to start this season before Easter with a reminder that I am made from dust, that my sins are black, but that I am redeemed.

Genesis 3:19

“…By the sweat of your brow, you will produce food to eat
until you return to the ground,
because you were taken from it.
You are dust, and you will return to dust.”

2 Corinthians 5:17-20

…Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.

After school we went for a walk by the river.

We took Maisy with us and somehow she managed to not scare away this Merlin kestrel.

It was a beautiful day, upper 40′s, sunny and the path was nice and clear of snow.

Grace was checking out swim spots for the summer, I prefer to swim further up the river, but there a few spots where we could hang out in this section.

Plus, we know that some black crowned night herons nest around that spot, see – here is a baby from last summer.

Tonight the girls are going to youth group and we’ll be shopping, getting some things like water shoes for our trip.

I’m thankful for: a sunny day, the river, that I can walk, my goofy dog, time with nature for my girls.

February 17, 2015

Thankful Tuesday

Filed under: driving,pics,School Stuff — liese4 @ 3:43 pm

I’m thankful for my camera, which I use to take pictures of things like – snow.

I’m thankful for the library that keeps us supplied with free books and movies.


I’m thankful for my homeschool group, a group of friends that support us. I am thankful for the new medicine that the doctor ordered for my gout. I am thankful that we homeschool and that I can see learning happen!

Today we did school: volume of cones, right triangles, fractions, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, criminology, and English. Bethany drove to the library and then to Hudson gardens where we tramped around looking for birds.

We were just looking for them to take a picture, not to count.

I took some snow pics too – just because.

February 16, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — liese4 @ 12:48 pm

A good snow day. The weatherman was right, it did snow and it was a lot. Bethany was at a sleepover, so the girls and I watched the rest of The Great Dictator and then watched Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood. James and I went to the gym, he made soup for dinner and I took Bethany to the ortho.

I’m thankful for: NIA class, gout medicine, snow, homemade soup and chili and heat!

Some quotes:

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.
-Both by Maya Angelou

Believe you can and you’re halfway there.
-Theodore Roosevelt

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
-Robert Louis Stevenson

February 15, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — liese4 @ 12:24 pm

At church we were talking about another aspect of Jesus – being thankful. Jesus was thankful and did He really have to say thanks? I mean, He was/is God in human form, so He knows that He is thankful, but He prays and praises anyway. Our goal this week was to list 5 things we are thankful for every day, so if you see 5 random things pop up on here, you know why.

It started snowing (thanks!) before we picked up Grandma and continued all day. Grandma was in a good mood (thanks!) and we talked and ate super sweet brownies. Bethany got picked up for a sleepover (thanks!) and the rest of us stayed home. I had TNO that night, so James drove me there (thanks!) in the snow and then picked me up. I had food that I didn’t have to cook (thanks!) and no one else showed up, so I had some alone time.

James is working from home this week and we don’t have much outside stuff to do, so the week looks like – NIA, cheese class, shopping co-op, skating and Chinese New Year.

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