Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Life in pictures...

 We had a very nice evening at open mic @ Union 50 on a cold night that kept the crowd small :)
 The kids in ChA are now drawing Europe, Russia, Asia... doesn't Noah looked thrilled ;)  I continue to spend several hours a week prepping lessons for Latin.  Really...I'm loving it.  It's been really good for my brain to review all of the subjects we are covering and to dive into how Latin sentences work. A lot of work...a lot of mental reward.  
Oh, and when we play the countries of the world game, I now tie with the kids which is...a huge accomplishment for me. ;) haha
 She says she's not good a drawing maps... ummmm.... compared to whom...?
 Finally cold enough to make snow at Perfect North for boarding...Gi and I went tubing :)

 In her "Snow gear" as she calls the snow clothes she and daddy got on their date together. :D  Considering how small she is...they may last a surprisingly long while.
 I've turned into a total escape room junky...we haul people to them whenever we can convince someone to go with us... :D  So there is your warning if you come to Indy to see us. ;)

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

pilfering paintings...

We did it!  We stole the Mona Lisa painting in under sixty minutes. :D  This was some seriously entertaining fun.  We booked an Escape Room adventure last minute and while it's set up for ten people...Luke and I figured we would be slightly better off working just the two of us (even if we didn't get out) both being slightly controlling, or dominate, or type A or whatever people are calling it these days.  It's hard to review the adventure without spoiling it...we ended up stuck in the first room way too long...but were too stubborn to call in for any clues (you get three free clues if you ask).  We ended up not asking for any clues but the guy watching/listening to us would post nudges on a screen on the wall if he felt like it might help.  Or at one point typed..."don't look for the key right now" because that would waste too much time and we wouldn't find it anyway.  Some of them were just reminders of the clues we had already was like the Nancy Drew game when you call Ned and he repeats himself different ways trying to be helpful. :D ha  It actually helped me because Luke was finding things and reading them aloud and I wasn't going back to read them again since we were pressed for time.  We are totally going to do this again...5 stars :D

We couldn't take any pictures in the room documenting here... :)

We got it... Busted out of there with 45 seconds left on the clock.  All that time wasted reading everything twice in room one really clicked the last steps for my brain and we wiggled out of a tight spot through the door.  I'm not sure when we'll be paid the million dollars we were promised...I forgot to ask about payment arrangements ;)
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Sunday, January 17, 2016

re-claiming spaces...

In the new year I've reclaimed two spaces in the house.  I remember my mom using that term "reclaim the surface or reclaim the space".  In her definition , it's when a room gets filled with clutter (and in our house bikes and snow boards) until finally it's reaches an insanity point that needs attention.  The laundry area downstairs was such an area as well as the office upstairs.  Here is the workout area...the office is up next.  Aren't you so lucky to get a tour... :D

The rowing machine has been nice for casual cardio, I also have a very cheap stair stepper back under the weights.  I use the rowing machine much more often.
 Luke installed a bar for me!  I've been using a chair with some good barre videos which was fine, but if there is a shortage of space, putting up a bar is very streamlined and I think changes this whole space to being way cooler looking.  The big mirror was $79 from TJ Maxx which I thought was a pretty fair price for a a huge mirror.  If you flip off the lights and just have twinkle lights or a candle burning, it's like a little retreat space now. :D  Edging the puzzle pieces of foam have kept them from drifting completely so that is fixed.  We had to edge with two pieces of duck tape so it would wrap all the way under and hold better.  I would order the foam again if I had to choose-I got a few extra in case one of them gets a hole in it which seemed inevitable.  
 When I'm tired during a hard part of a barre workout video...I glance over at these hanging medals and remind myself that I don't have to bike fifty miles or run through a cold creek and should stop whining ;) haha it works...sometimes.
 Willem and the boys have used this mat and the swing a lot!  While it's annoying that they are in my space I've whittled out of the's nice seeing them smiling so big while not looking at a screen.  I've kept up with laundry way better since fixing up this space because I'm down there more and am prompted to throw in a load of towels. :)

 I tried a salmon salad recipe with rocket greens that was supposed to be super light and good for me...the buttermilk dressing was bland and I didn't like it all that much.  So I just added what I would to make crab cakes and saved it with butter and olive oil.  No longer "light" but it tasted WAY better.   I have my basic recipes for fish cakes, pasta...salad...and soup that I fall back to most days with variations here and there.  I'm becoming more and more fine with that.  :D
 I did add spinach to the turkey noodle soup before it got slimy...because I'm an overachiever like that! yes! :D score: spinach freshness 5 : me 1. I need to start buying it frozen.
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Monday, January 11, 2016

hiking around in pictures...

Luke and I continue to train for our upcoming Spring hike despite the weather.  To be honest...I sometimes don't want to go out in the cold but am always glad when we do.  I don't want to hibernate like a bear all winter and this has helped us get out and breath some fresh air this time of year.  Some pictures of our last venture since my glove had (I happily discovered) one of those heated fiber tips and I could snap a few pictures without taking them off. :D
 This picture taken purely by accident...kind of crazy this is where I'm at and Jenny was flying south toward the equator... ice everywhere!
 made it two miles to the coffee shop picture!  As requested by Amber :)
 We lined our jeans with thermal leggings and wore Wright socks which are a double layer.  That with a couple layers under our jackets and we survived the 12 degree weather pretty well.
 Our water hoses completely froze solid...
 Turning our surroundings into a ski lodge... :D
 We both have been hiking in trail running shoes...which are light weight and not as restrictive but if you are carrying a heavy pack, they don't prevent twisting an ankle on uneven terrain...or say...a sheet of ice...which we were trekking on most of the time this night in particular.  So caution is key and not taking any surface for granted is part of the hike.  We have under 30 pound packs so are taking the risk of not wearing boots up the ankle.  These were shockingly warm on the hike even though the top of mine are vented.  I kept waiting for the cold to set in since my hands started to freeze, but my feet were fine.  Maybe they were more out of the wind.  It was so cold there was no slush so our feet never got wet which was key.
 Luke likes the speed cross and I prefer the Mission trail shoe but both are Salomon brand.  The mission shoes have a wider toe box which I prefer so I don't bang up my toes.  If my toes touch the front of my shoes I about go that's the story on that. :)   Trail shoes have a sturdy base on them and don't twist or bend as much as our typical running shoes do that are minimalist.  It's needed with the added weight though and I'm getting used to it.   
 Crazy night out on the town as it got dark.  It was fun seeing people's reactions to us outside in the weather... with packs and poles :D  glad to be of some entertainment. :)
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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

ramping up for the new year...

I've got some fun new things on the horizon mentally and physically for the new year: whoooohooo.... !

I think resolutions are fun, but as I've seen when I had an active gym membership...the parking lot goes from jam packed to somewhat normal by mid January.  Even though perfection is impossible, it's always good to have the reminder of the new year to take a look at things; to discern if there are areas that could use some lifestyle tweaks.  It's like the seasons...things do naturally go in cycles and there are seasons of waking up and renewal.

For my brain: I'm most excited about a class that starts mid January from Liberty University's online program.  I've wanted to finish my bachelors (I finished my associates) for awhile, but didn't want to just finish it with no direction on what I wanted to do with it.  I think I've finally found what I'm passionate about and what justifies the expense of classes (part time classes are not cheap!).  I'm starting off slow because I'm still rather buried under a pile of Latin work tutoring Noah's class.  I've started plowing through some of the reading for my first class in Apologetics and I LOVE it.  I had to take a placement test for math and I LOVED it. haha  I've always loved school.  It wakes my brain up and makes me feel alive.  My hope is to finish my degree in counseling and use it in partnership with a Christian counseling service part time...But I'm open to however God works it's purpose into me life.  I'm very passionate about helping people in the arena of addiction and bondage to things and feel very invigorated and like I'm arming myself for battle when I read and research about it.

Physically, I'm going off sugar again.  I made it 9 months last year before taking a break the last quarter and felt so much better mentally and physically.  I always allow for treats with sugar on trips, when eating out with Luke or friends and for birthdays/holiday gatherings.  I also allow myself to try things if someone asks me to so I don't end up in awkward situations of declining a forkful of something kindly offered. :)  Basically it's choosing one thing at celebrations and not downing sugar all day at home when my energy drops.  I use honey as a sweetener and love the flavor of it now so I won't be too depraved. :)

Luke and I have been enjoying connecting while practice hiking around our block in the evening with our backpacks on.  I'm really looking forward to the Grand Canyon in the spring.  We hike all the way to a coffee shop sometimes about a mile+ away and it's super funny to hike on in and order a drink with all our gear on.  People try to act like there is nothing out of the know, because culture is so much better at that kind of thing these days...but eventually someone will ask what in the world we are doing loaded down like pack mules. haha

I've claimed an area of the basement for workouts when I'm stuck at home and don't want to go running or bike.  I'm all about variety.  I get board really easily.  My gym membership is on hold since I'm not training for anything and don't need the pool.  I invested in a rowing machine which oddly feels similar to swimming when I get into a rhythmic groove.  Luke hung a swing for me as well for stretching that has been really fun.  I'll keep you updated on what works and doesn't in the basement workout area.  It's been a fun little project.  The foam puzzle piece floor is extremely insulating and I plan to tape the outer edge with a  black boarder so it doesn't come apart under little feet.   I have a  lot of organizing to do in the back storage area so it's more tranquil feeling and hope to hang a mirror on the wall to check that my back is straight etc.  As you can see, the boys like the area too. :)
 Twinkle lights :D
 Luke checking the weight limit on the swing for me ;)
 I'm glad it didn't fall while he was in this pose trying it out ;) ;)
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Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas morning in pictures...

We got bunny!  This picture is a few days before Christmas up in my closet trying to hide the little thing.  We got her on Craigslist so she already had the name Willow.  She's so cute-huge eyes and little ears. :)
 making traditional german sweet bread with prune/apricot filling for Caleb per the Schafer side tradition.  We made WAY too much filling on accident.  I now have a freezer full of the stuff.

 Adrian made a mini braided roll :)

 When the kids went to bed...we put on eye protection and had an all out Nerf Gun war against the boys.  We're not sure who won but Laura and I had prime position at the bottom of the basement steps.

 Little Sim Ray couldn't smile any bigger holding a bunny :)

 And then the Lego build off commenced!  We had a big promotional gift card from Amazon burning a whole in our pockets and went a bit Lego crazy.  We had a race going which I finished most definitely last.  My first Lego set and it was a doozy of a starting point.  I was building my set for six full hours strong with breaks to change diapers and get a drink only.  We took the four older boys to a Christmas show as their main gift this year and then decided on the Lego expert challenge as their one and only gift under the tree.  

We are going to try something new next year by celebrating Saint Nicholas on December 6th, which we just learned is actually the day originally set aside to remember him...kind of like Saint Patricks day.  The two holidays were so close together that they were combined and we like the idea of pulling them apart again and making the whole month of December more festive and fun.  Stockings set out are traditionally filled with oranges or chocolate gold coins in memory of gold balls and gold coins Saint Nicolas gave to children in need.  I'm brain storming what else we could do early December- we've done the Shoe Box project before and the kids loved getting little things to fill them up for kids overseas.  They have to be mailed early too so it would line up with the 6th of December.  Let me know what traditions your families do that have worked well! :D  
 This picture is the last set of bags for the roof of my French Restaurant at like 8:30pm...and I'm close to having bags under my eyes from all the concentration.  They boys kept encouraging me to keep going and were so impressed that I could build Legos at all.  They didn't think I had it in me I guess :D
 The prize.... and the boys saying "these are the glory days!"
 Legos took their best selling toy in history place under our tree as the only gifts...oh, and a bunny-don't forget Willow the bunny.
Merry Christmas!

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