Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Letter Update

I decided not to send out Christmas Letters this year, but decided to still do a Christmas Letter to update everyone on our lives over the last year.  But since I am not mailing cards, I decided to post it on my blog and share on Facebook.  So, hopefully most everyone will still get to see it (We may need to send a few special ones to Grandparents who do not use technology!)

So, here is our Family Update for 2013:

  • "Babysitting Computers" for IBM - will be celebrating his 20 years in the coming months
  • Moved offices, cutting his commute in half - now only 10-15 minutes long! Yeah!
  • Called as Membership Clerk for Brookwood Ward - so he is now the guy wandering around Sacrament Meeting counting all in attendance - sometimes he even has a little pink shadow following him "helping Daddy"
  • Started attending Game Night with several men (mostly in our ward) a couple times a month
  • Dealing with the loss of his Mother - Sharen Case - and planned her funeral.  We really miss her. 
  • Playing Skylanders and Disney Infinity with Emma on the X-box 360 

  • Teaching Emma's Preschool
  • Released as Primary Secretary after 5+ years
  •  Joined Weight Watchers in April - has lost over 50 lbs
  •  Going in for Carpel Tunnel Surgery two days after Christmas ... Finally!
  • We were approved to adopt again - our profile is at 

  • Turned 4
  • Completed 1st year of Preschool, and started 2nd year
  • Finished potty training! Yeah (Mom is very excited about this!)
  • Loves Pink, Purple, Cats, Hello Kitty, Unicorns, Horses, Cloths
  • Quazi, her Imaginary Friend, has moved in with us. She is also often visited by several other imaginary friends daily. 

Looking Forward to 2014
  • Visiting Disney World in May
  • Taking Adoption/Fostering classes with DHS - looking at adopting older children.
  • Emma starting Kindergarden in September

We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Weight Loss Update

Current photo - down 51 lbs

Where I was last March
Last night at my meeting, it became official. I hit my 50 lb mark. That is I have lost 51 lbs since April 29th when I started Weight Watchers.  Yeah!

It is kind of ironic to me that I hit it now, as I have gone into the diet funk!  All of a sudden, it has become harder.  I am having a more difficult time eating right, not snacking, and tracking.  Especially the tracking.

I hate Tracking what I eat.  And when I say Hate, I mean it is the last thing I want to do, and what has always been my problem with Weight Watchers before.  For the past 6 months, it has been what has worked for me.  So while I hate it, it works and has helped me to lose this weight.  And it will be what works to help me lose more.  This 50 lbs, while a lot, is just the start.  I still have a lot to go, and I am determined to keep at it.

I have now met a few mile stones on my weight loss journey:  I lost 5% of my beginning body weight, 10% of my body weight, I now weight less then my husband (silly, but important to me), I have controlled my blood sugar to the point that my Doctor took me off of one of my drugs, my knees feel better and overall I feel better. 

I also noticed today on my walk that I am walking faster.  I returned to walk at a park that I have not walked at since Spring, and I walked further in less time. It is a more demanding walk then my usual (more hills), so when I had completed a longer distance then I was doing there last Spring, and looked at my time, I was surprised to find that I had walked less then the time I use to put in there. This is a good thing, as I am preparing for a 2 week trip to Disney World next May.  In our history, Glenn has always out walked me and made me exhausted by the end of each day.  A few weeks ago we went to the zoo as a family, and I out walked Glenn.  So there has been great improvement in my health.

My next goal is that I lose 20 more lbs by our trip.  I should be able to do it (if not exceed it) as that is 29 weeks away, so less then a pound a week.  I know I can do it!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mom, I was so good!

 For the past several months Emma has been asking to take Ballet classes, just like Ruby (from Max and Ruby!)  We finally got her signed up last week, and today was her first class.  Last week we went out and found her a black leotard, pink tights and ballet shoes.  She put them on and said "Look Mom, I'm a Ballerina!" She was bummed when I told her to take them off, and that she is not allowed to wear her dance shoes at home, but happy to look forward to class.

 So we knew that Emma had one friend in class, but were excited to see that there was a second one as well.  Emma got to sit with her friend and dance next to her.  She loved her teacher, and really does wonderfully listening and following directions.

When class was over, they received a sticker with a hug and kiss from their teacher. Then Emma ran to me and said "Mom! Did you see me?  I was so good!"

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Soccer Fun

 September is a month for new beginings around here.  Emma will start school next week, as well as Ballet and today, she started Soccer!  We are blessed that a bunch of families in our stake got together a few years ago and set up a soccer league.  We have a huge field behind our Stake Center, and they got permission to use it for Soccer.  It involved children ages 4 - 12 who are all split into teams.  All the teams practice and play games at the same time at the same place.  Great for parents who have multiple kids playing. Also a great way to let Emma see if she likes.
 So today was the first practice, and Emma LOVED it.  She had a smile on her face the whole time, and was actually doing a great job.  I think it would be hilarious if Glenn and I ended up with an athlete for one of our kids. He never did sports, and I was never the most graceful of people.  But Emma may teach us to be spectators as she enters this new world.

Glenn took so great photos of the first practice, and I had a hard time limiting them (and yes, they are limited here!) So enjoy the adorableness of our little one! lol

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Labor Day Weekend of ... Labor

Our original plans for this Labor Day week was to play a day, and to clean our garage on the other.   These plans got changed when it was discovered that my parents needed some serious yard work help.  We joined Joe and Meredith at my parents house to get their yard in shape.  My parents have a good size yard on a lake.  These past few years it has become much more difficult for them to keep up on the maintenance that is required by the park they live in. 

My parents have a group of illnesses that prevent them from being very mobile.  We have reached a point where we as the children need to help take care of the parents, but not too much.  After spending the whole weekend working there (at least Joe and Meredith, Glenn and I did not go over Sunday) we are putting in place a schedule for us to help maintain the place.  Meredith and I will come over monthly (each of us 2 weeks apart) to do some general house keeping, and then monthly we will work on the yard and help keep it up. 

I think this may be good for all the kids.  Pirate Cousin and Army Man are getting old enough that helping Grandma and Grandpa with their yard will be a good learning experience.  And Emma is all over helping clean right now.  She even helped on Saturday with weeding. I think this is a good way for them to learn Service and about taking care of their family. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Last End of Summer Play Day

 As the summer draws to a close, we wanted to share one more day with Emma doing something fun.  We started our summer with Enchanted Forest, so decided to end it the same way!

We had planned to come her on Labor Day, but other plans got in the way for the whole weekend, so Glenn decided to take off Friday so we could play.  We decided not to push it, and had a lazy morning, not arriving to the park until it was lunch time. Emma insisted that we needed to lunch by the water show instead of the hamburger stand where we could sit outside. She wanted her cheese pizza and the watch the water dance. So we walked up the hill to the Water Show and got in line.  Unfortunately, they were momentarily out of pizza and asked us to come back in 10 minutes.  So, we sat in the front row by the water and enjoyed the show while we waited.
 After lunch, we headed back to the front gate to take the fairy tale trail up to the top.  Glenn decided he needed a photo of Emma and I under the arch, but we were lucky that someone came by and asked if she could get a shot of all of us.
 Next it was on to visit our favorite fairy tales.  Emma gets a little braver each time (as is evidenced by the photo of her standing in the Witches mouth), and has decided to be willing to go into the dark caverns.  However, she is still not ready to do Alice's Rabbit Hole, and has decided the Old Woman's Shoe Slide is not for her.
 I had to add this photo, as it is the first real photographic evidence I have seen that I am losing weight! Yeah!!!
 We once again got the Kiddie Ride bracelet for Emma to ride her 4 rides.  She made good use of it this time, and rode twice as many times as the cost of the bracelet. She loves these rides, and had such a blast, making new best friends (2) along the way.  She even decided at one point that she didn't need Mom & Dad any longer, as long as we could see her.
 After the park, we had a nice dinner at California Pizza Kitchen, and did some grocery shopping.  Then is was home to bed and some sleep for our tired little girl.  A fun way to end the summer.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

August Birthday's

Emma and Pirate Cousin love to cuddle
 So, August is a busy Birthday Month in my family.  Not only do I celebrate, but my Father and Sister-in-law share the same birthday on August 30th.  And then add to that, there is an Aunt, two Uncles and a cousin on my Mom's side that all have birthdays (and I may be missing someone).  So Today we gathered (just my parents and siblings & families) to celebrate the birthday's this month. Meredith and I decided we wanted an easy, lazy day.  We sat out on our deck while the kids played, and just visited and ate.  And for eating, we kept is simple!  Sandwiches, salads and chips.  No fuss, no dishes (paper plates were purchased!)  It was great.  I think all of us have been very busy this summer, and needed a lazy day, so this fit the bill.
Meredith and Joe just chilling on the deck

Dad checking out his gift from Emma

Notice that Army Man and Emma are sitting on Pirate Cousin

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Reached Another Goal!

So today I reached my most fun weight loss goal: I now weigh less then my husband!  I know this would seem silly to some, but to me it has been depressing to weigh more then my husband.  I know, we are both around the same height, and he doesn't have breasts like I do, so realistically you would think that I should weigh more.  But he is a guy, and traditionally he should weigh more.  Also, when we married, he did weigh more.

I was surprised at my WW meeting today when I lost over 6 lbs this past week.  Not really sure what I did to have such a big weight loss, but I will take it.  So now over the past 16 weeks (hard to believe I have been on this journey for 16 weeks) I have lost 34.6 lbs.  So that is an average of 2.16 lbs a week.  I am very happy with that. 

So my next goal?  I should reach it in the next few weeks.  It will be 10% of my starting body weight.  So that will be at 37 lbs down, just 2.4 lbs away.  So yes, if you just did the math, I was 370 lbs when I started.  Actually, it was a little more, and I lost over 5 lbs before starting WW, but for tracking purposes, we are comparing to my starting date.

So after my 10%, my next personal goal is to be down to 300 lbs by our trip next May.  That will only be 34 lbs in the next 9 months, so I really hope to be an over achiever, and be down much more then that.  But to reach this goal, it would be around 4 lbs a month.  Totally doable.  I also need to add in exercise. I keep telling myself that when Emma starts back up to pre-school, I will start walking during class time (when I am not teaching).  That worked well this past spring, however I did have someone to walk with then who also had a child in the same class.  That is not the case this time.  I really need to find a walking buddy come next month.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Fun Birthday

 Today was my Birthday.  Glenn and I celebrated last night with a lovely night out.  He took me to McGraths, a place he never likes to go because he does not like sea food.  We had a wonderful meal, and great conversation.  Then we headed over to the movies and watched Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters.  It was a fun movies, but the books are much better.

So for today, we had the opportunity to get together with Glenn's cousin's family.  They live in Eugene, and we do not get to see them often enough.  They were actually on their way home from an extended-family vacation in Yellowstone Park.  They stayed the night in Portland, and wanted to spend the day doing something other then being in the car all day again with 5 kids.  So, we all went to OMSI to play.
 I have to admit that we did not take all that many photo's today.  We were too busy talking!  Glenn's cousin's name is Ardel, his wife is Stacy and their kids Jessie, Paige, Andrew, Megan and Emily.  Emma fills right in between Megan and Emily in age.  We really enjoy visiting with the Wicks, and getting together.  After we arrived, Stacy took her older three to the Mummy exhibit, while we went with Ardel and the younger two to the Discovery Space for younger children.  We got there, and the three all went off to play in their own spaces.  We did eventually all end up on the lab playing with flubber and doing the craft, but that was for about 10 minutes.

 Soon the girls were hungry, and we headed outside to eat the lunches we had brought with us.  Stacy and the kids met us out there.  After lunch, Glenn and Ardel headed across the street to visit the train museum, but all the kids wanted to go back to OMSI, so Stacy and I took them to a show in the planetarium.  This was Emma's first time, and she was rather excited.  However, it was a show on the Sun, and I am not sure she was understanding it.  She did like looking at the photos however, and noticing the different look of the room.
 Eventually it was time to leave OMSI, and the kids were all hungry.  The Wick's kids all wanted to try a restaurant that they don't have in Eugene, so we headed to Chevy's on Lake Oswego to dinner.  The food was wonderful, and the company even better.
 As Chevy's is right next to the temple, we decided to head over after eating and do the Visitor's Center.  We knew that the temple was closed for cleaning, but it had been announced that the visitor's center would still have tours on Sunday's.  I mistakenly thought this meant that it was open, but I was wrong.  The Visitor's Center was only open on Sunday's! And the grounds were closed, so we could not see the temple except through the gate!

Oh well, it was still a great  day, and I enjoyed my Birthday!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Final Goodbye

 Today we said our final goodbyes to Sharen.  The funeral was lovely and it was good reconnecting with many people.  We only had a few mis-steps, which are kind of amusing:

Glenn and I first wrote the Eulogy with Sharen and Milt's wedding date August 8, 1965,  We later found a copy of the newspaper announcement showing us that it was August 13, 1966.  We corrected the Obituary, but forgot to tell Becky who was reading the Obituary at the funeral.  So she had the 5th in '65, and Gordon Smart had the 13th in '66.  Ooops!

I really should have spoken more with the member of the bishopric who was officiating.  I should have prepared him on how to say Cawood.  As it was, it brought back lots of memories of my last name being massacred before I became a Case!
 And the last was at the Cemetery.  Glenn and I forgot to tell everyone that we were meeting in the funeral home parking lot, and following the body down to the grave site.  Now, if her grave was not just a small walk down from the funeral home, this instruction would not have been needed.  As it was, everyone saw the tent, and just went on down.  Glenn and I waited to follow the body, but we ended up delaying the service when Emma fell off the curb and scrapped her knee.  She howled, and sobbed, and no one was in doubt that she hurt her knee.  She also decided that she could not walk with her bandage on, so for the next few hours, Glenn and I shared the duty of carrying her around.

Even with all of this, it really was a lovely day.  And these little things just added some good stories!