A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Farewell Dinner

I should completely be in bed by now. Yes, that's me. If I had my way, I would be in bed every night by 9 p.m.! 9:30, at the latest. Still getting up a couple times a night with baby boy, and I am just one of those people who needs a lot of sleep. One of those who doesn't like staying up late. Slumber parties weren't that great for me! I would rather go to bed early and wake up early. Perfect Day. = )

But, I do need a quick recap of Friday night. About three weeks ago, I got a text. A text saying that Natalie needed to tell me something. Something about her living in Lawrence. My heart sank. I knew that there was a chance my dear friend/boss might not be staying here. Her hubby graduated from law school at KU this spring, and had been job searching in Colorado. And yes, they were moving. From here to Denver. In a matter of four short weeks. Sigh. I texted back I might cry all the way through teaching BodyStep class that night at the gym.

It has been three weeks of cramming in workouts together when we can, chatting more on the phone than usual, and she even found an evening to drop by and play outside with the boys, who adore Ms. Natalie. And three weeks of trying to pretend that she isn't leaving (at least, on my part!).

Natalie and I met two+ years ago at the gym. She was just starting to teach, so we were introduced to team teach a class so that she could take over a time slot. And, a couple weeks after that, I somehow roped her into working out with me after seeing her do lateral side raises in a side plank. And the rest is history! She has taught me so much! In many areas - not just exercise! But, she was the one who encouraged me to follow the dream of getting my PT certification. Saw something in me that I didn't bring up to lots of people, because I didn't know if it was worth talking about.

And through that, we became friends. Friends who chat about weird healthy foods to try, workout routines, life, jobs, homes, husbands, and whatever comes to mind! And now my friend is moving away. Hard for me to grasp. I often see her at least five times a week, just passing through the gym, and now she won't be there! I guess some road trips to Colorado are in our near future.

There is a lot more I can say ... but she will be greatly missed. Not just by me, but by the many, many women who admire her, look up to her, and call her a dear friend. But, I know that she and her husband will love Denver and that God has some great things out there for them.

Friday night, the trainers from the gym went out to dinner at Mariscos as a bittersweet girls' night out in honor of her!

I know we're the kind of friends that will still be friends a state away, but it is still not easy to say goodbye and to see someone move away. And so while I'm homeschooling this week, teaching classes, doing laundry and other housework, prepping for youth group and Bible study ... it is kind of looming in my mind that Friday I have to say goodbye. Ugh. There are those times in life that just are not easy to face, and this is one of them.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Busy Week!

All my great intentions of writing on the blog obviously didn't come to fruition this week. Ha! Why? Well, my week was full of wonderful things, but the big reason that blogging (and other activities) went by the wayside was this:


Home schooling Jonah began this past week. Kindergarten. Yes, not an entirely "huge" step in terms of thinking big academics and subject areas ... but keeping a kindergartener busy requires a lot of my time! We often have an hour and a half at the gym in the morning, so a lot of the rest of my time is RIGHT THERE BESIDE HIM. Because, although he is flying through the beginnings of his work and his books, the activities go so fast that I don't hardly have a moment to turn the other way before it is time to give the next set of directions. Or we're sitting, absorbed in a reading lesson, on the couch together while I nurse Matthias. Yes. It has been good (and I hope to post a short video later of the boys in relation to this), but it has also eaten up the bits of free time I had! We're obviously still in the beginnings of it and working on finding our rhythm. We'll get there! (and I would like to state that I am IN AWE of those mothers and friends who homeschool multiple children. You are amazing! Someday, someday, I will be get there as well)

And of course, there is another little boy who "needs" to be working on school whilst his older brother is as well. = ) Thank goodness for little workbooks.

And, last Saturday, my sister had her baby! Mataya Joy was born late Saturday night, after a really long labor and an unplanned c-section at the end. But we're so glad she is here! I haven't been able to snuggle her near enough as I would like, but hopefully once my sister is able to drive again, she can come park at my house for afternoons while the boys get some school done and Mataya can just join in on the fun here!

So, that is that. More memories to hopefully get on here in the next couple days, and a re-cap of a fun night with some special ladies I got to get out and enjoy last night = )

Friday, August 17, 2012

Working through Defiance

Remember this tough guy???

Yeah. Well, that little guy is giving Mama some serious attitude these days! Sometimes I feel like he is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Yup. Reuben can be my little snuggler. He wants me to lay in bed by him at night and talk about our day, he gives me kisses like nobody's business, and he runs for "squeezy hugs" before I head out the door for an errand or to the gym! But ... he is also pushing, pushing, PUSHING limits. Seeing how far he can get. Seeing if he will, in fact, get in trouble if he willingly disobeys.

The other week, he was sitting at the table, gargling and gurgling away with his cup of water. And then I looked over and saw him spit some across the table. Not at anyone. Just to see how far he could do it. I told him not to do that again. No spitting water across the table. Not a minute later, the action was repeated. I took his water away. And he started crying. Not silent alligator tears, but screaming, crying, angrily wanting me to notice he was m.a.d. And then while throwing this fit, he crawled under the table, and yelled:

I don't want you to be the ruler.
I want to be the ruler!!!!

And so you have it. Life isn't so perfect for him. He is learning about authority, and joy of all joys, I get to help him learn those lessons! Ahhhhhh, it is a good thing that those lessons don't occur every hour of every day. I get those moments when he obeys right away and is sweet, but my my. He wants to see how far he can go. And figuring out discipline for him is tricky. Time Out does nothing. He is great at self entertainment, so you send him to time out, and just hear him talking to himself, or making up a story. No worries. Whereas Time Out for my social Jonah is like the ultimate form of torture!

I just told my sister today that I want to pick up a copy of a highly recommended book about birth order. I see a lot of "classic" things in Reuben for a second born, and want to do my best to parent him in a way that guides him through it (and me!) in a Godly, proactive manner, not just reactive. I often tell Eli that I think Reuben's gonna give us a run for our money! He has energy and will power to spare, and I want it channeled in the right direction = )

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back In the Saddle

So to speak ... those that know me know I love my workouts! Maybe a little too much, sometimes = ) It kind of amuses me, sometimes. I always thought of myself as very un-athletic in junior high and high school. I didn't play any sports, and the closest I got to sports was gymnastics until at some point in junior high I popped my knee out really badly. I then took to ballet - which I had done on and off throughout life up to that point - and did dance for several years. In high school, I forced myself to run some mornings early before school, mostly to keep in shape, not because I liked running! And I certainly didn't consider myself that great at it. I would sometimes run with my dad, and I remember how on our "route", there was a shortcut street, and often I would take it and walk that street, catching up to him as he ran the longer way around, and then would run the rest of the way home. My fitness level wasn't terrible, but not super amazing by any means!

And somehow in college I started the fitness craze = ) Slow, but gradually growing. I worked out at the student rec center at KU, did videos at home, and started to enjoy growing stronger and seeing results from my workouts. Did Dog Days for a couple years, started having babies and then joined my gym. For there, well, it was like a domino effect! Watched trainers, took classes, eventually trained to teach classes, eventually became a trainer myself! Whew. It has been a funny road, but I really DO enjoy working out! Sweating for me is a huge stress relief, and I feel great afterwards. And I have made so many wonderful friends along the way. Two years ago I met Natalie, and we hesistantly asked the other about maybe working out together? And oh my! I learned so much from her, but even more importantly, met someone with a heart of gold, that I am so fortunate to be able to call one of my closest friends. And we push each other. After all, what are friends, for, right?

So, with Matthias, I kept up working out throughout my pregnancy, at a pretty high intensity. I always listened to my body! But my body loved working out. And once he was born, I was actually surprised at how quickly my body was ready to get back into it, and how my muscles were like YES! let's do this! So, this summer has been about getting back into teaching classes, back into lifting and running, and enjoying the daily sweat, whether it's only a few minutes, or an hour. I have learned that with three children (one of them an infant), workouts don't always get to be as long or happen when I want ... but I don't take them for granted. A friend of mine posted on Facebook a saying about running: in essence it was a reminder not to begrudge it or take it granted. Having a God given body is a gift - and being able to enjoy exercise IS a gift! There are many people out there with limitations ... I often see a younger women taking classes at our gym. She lost most of one of her arms. I don't know how - haven't had the chance to hear her story, but she is there nonetheless. Working. Staying healthy. And (hopefully) not worrying about what others' may think! That is inspiring!

Anyway, I teach a cardio/strength class on Mondays and Tuesdays. Yesterday and today we did a great workout!

15 min agility: three times through each round; with 16 pushups in between
- Side Hops and Football Shuffles
- Out/In Squat Jumps and High Knee Jog
- Lateral Shuffles and Touch Hops
- Jump Rope and Basketball Shots
15 min kickboxing: including;
- Hooks
- Jabs
- Front Kicks
- Jumping Jacks
20 Body Weight Toning: 30/30 Seconds, 4x thru each set of exercises
1. Squat Pulses/Side Traveling Squats
2. Burpees/Plank
3. Squat Jumps/Curtsey Lunges
4. Plank Jacks/Flutter Kicks
*We ended with some side planks, crunches, nice and sweaty. My buns and quads were sore this morning, so I have a feeling I will "feel" them tomorrow as well!

I know that many of my friends are not such fitness enthusiasts as me. But I want to keep in mind - always - that our health and fitness level is a gift. Our bodies and the God-given abilities that we have with them are a gift. Let's not take them for granted, whether you're snuggling a baby, chasing a toddler, playing with a child, jogging with a friend, or hardcore lifting weights!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Matthias pretty much is the cutest baby around ... not biased, of course! He is all smiles and giggles when he is awake, loves talk baby talk to whoever he sees, and just keeps us falling more in love with him! He is starting to reach for toys, loving his little rings to chew on, falls asleep best with his pacifier in mouth and his hands around his blanky. He doesn't really like to lay on his stomach, so we're working on that! He went shopping with the boys and I at Target this evening, and rode in the Bjorn, holding onto the cart handles with me. Wish I had a picture of it!

He may not be the most amazing sleeper at night yet ... but he is still getting better, and Eli is amazing at helping during fussy times! The boys still fight over who gets to "talk" to Matthias and hold him. Reuben told me the other day he wished I would have another baby so he could have Matthias be his = ) That's the love they have for him, and it is such a blessing to see ( someone remind me of this in a few years when they are all beating up on each other and competing for attention and toys!).

 How could you resist this cuteness?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Peaches Everywhere!

Two weeks ago, I got a huge blessing. PEACHES. Lots 'o peaches! My mother-in-law knows a wonderful lady who runs an orchard. Looooooong story, but because of the drought, the peaches tasted amazing, but weren't the size/standard of normal good years. So, we got them for free. F.R.E.E. my friends! I got an enormous tubfull, thanks to my sister-in-law who actually picked them for me. I wasn't able to go at the time they had set up to go out there, but the picking was quick and easy, and Eli estimated we had at least 10-12 pounds of peaches. Glorious.

And a lot of work! Ha! What does one do with all those peaches? Well, of course we ate and ate and ate them. And used them in our smoothie obsession. And then we blanched and peeled them. Yes, a bit more of a pain since they were smaller, but worth it? Yes.

I chopped a bunch of the blanched/frozen ones, prepped it into peach pie filling, and froze it in a freezer bag in my pie pan. The thought being that now, when the urge hits, I just need to make the pie crust, slide the filling in, and bake away! I also took several cups of those same pre-prepped ones and made this deliciousness ...

PEACH JAM. Yum. Need I say more? Probably won't last too long around here = )

And then we sliced a ton, with the skin on, and froze them for smoothies. And boy, is it good like that! When they are still frozen and tossed in the blender with whatever else we have on hand, it comes out with this amazing ice cream creaminess consistency ... I have a few already! So glad I will have many more in the upcoming months!

The last day of slicing and freezing, Eli was slaving away on them while I was nursing. Finally finished! Although so worth it, we were soooooooo glad to get it done with! So blessed with those peaches!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Potty Time

Reuben has been potty trained for quite some time. I don't really remember exactly how long, but long enough, you know? Long enough to know the drill ... long enough to be able to go when he needs to go, able to hold it if we're dashing through a store, etc. You get the picture.

Except that he thinks he shouldn't have to go most of the time. It is like it is PURE TORTURE to go into the bathroom and use it. I know, I know, playing with toys or being absorbed in an activity is far more interesting than heading down the hall. But, it is almost ridiculous! One, he just likes to hold it as long as possible. Why go when you have the urge? No, he has to be dancing around, hips wriggling, feet moving, and can'tholditanylongerorImightexplode kind of thing going on. And then when we suggest he use the bathroom? We might as well be suggesting that he nail a hammer into his foot or something. "No!!!!!! I don't want to have to go use the bathroom!" No reason. Just because it is inconvenient to his little life.

The other day I had to stifle a laugh. I sent him to use the bathroom. He is grumbling down the hallway (which I can see him as he walks), stops in front of the bathroom and just lays his head against the wall by the door and W.A.I.L.S "Why does everyone always want me to use the potty all the time!!!!!!!!"

Goodness. Apparently it is like a punishment = )

But, thankfully, that is only some of the time. There are many times, like yesterday, that he hopped off his chair at the table where he was quietly eating his snack, looked at me, and peacefully stated he had to use the bathroom and to please refrain from eating his snack - he would return. And trotted off down the hall. But the head against the wall - I just had to write that one down to remember.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gone Hunting ...

Inside, that is!

Eli got a camo backpack ... and the boys latched right onto it! Daddy was super generous, and has let the boys pack around that backpack, amid other weapon-carrying bags of Daddy's as well! Yesterday, the boys wanted to be dressed in any camo shirts and shorts that they owned, put on their hats, backpacks ... filled said backpacks with their little plastic pistols and shotguns, and away they went!

Away they went ... to their room! Where they arranged bins and chairs to create a "campout". They "hiked" the hallway to visit us in the living every few minutes, and then returned to their hideout. Killing buffalo and deer along the way = )

Oh, and don't call them Jonah or Reuben! Jonah, aka, Lighting Jack, is a fierce hunter, who partners up with Torpedo Tom as they trek the house together. Every now and then, they request Sharp Shootin' Sally to fix them a snack, or stoop down to give Timbuktu a little kiss on the forehead as he kicks in his bouncy seat. Or ask Bangin' Buck (Daddy) for advice on their adventures.

It may be 100 degrees outside ... but we got some serious adventures going on in the little house anyway!