June 29, 2012


We have had two months dedicated to parents.  I have been a horrible daughter lately regarding cards.  So in atonement, I will provide links from the "distant" past, when I posted tributes to different family members.

Very Belated Mother's Day tributes:
My Mom:  http://www.tandemingtroll.blogspot.com/2008/12/tribute-to-my-mom.html
My Mother-In-Law: http://www.tandemingtroll.blogspot.com/2009/08/tribute-series-resumed-momma-sue.html
My Step Mother-In-Law:  http://www.tandemingtroll.blogspot.com/2008/12/new-beginnings-tributes.html  (note:  I feel that I need to do a better job on her tribute, so look for new, improved post).

Belated Father's Day tributes:
My Dads:  http://www.tandemingtroll.blogspot.com/2008/12/another-tribute-my-two-dads.html
My Father-In-Law and Step-Father-In-Law:  http://www.tandemingtroll.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-two-dads-redux-in-laws.html

I think I have said this before, but I am SO blessed to have them all.

"God sets the lonely in families
    he leads forth the prisoners with singing;"

Psalm 68:6
(thanks to www.biblegateway.com for helping me find this passage)

June 12, 2012

Changes in Wash Day

A new era has begun in the Overtoom house.  The girls have stepped up in chore duties by washing, drying and folding their clothes all by themselves!  The boys also sort their own clothes and help me wash them.

One of my goals as a mom is that my kids will graduate from high school knowing how to manage money, create a budge, organize a house and keep it clean and do laundry.  So when the kids were about five years old, I had them start helping out with laundry by teaching them how to fold clothes.  It would begin by me laying out each item of clothing on the floor and showing them how to fold the clothes, how to match socks (I folded them) and how to put them away.  We would pile all the clean laundry on my bed, sort it by owner, and those who were older would fold on their own while I helped the novice in-between folding the adult clothes.  I would make it fun by telling stories.  Their favorite story was one I made up about Jesus and His Father's final planning session before sending Jesus to be conceived in Mary's womb.  I made it funny by pretending that Jesus got confused into thinking he would fit the superhero mold, complete with wearing a blue jumpsuit with red underwear over it and a cape flying behind him.  They would laugh through their chore and I would secretly be telling them that God's plans are far better than any superhero story (though I must admit that "The Avengers" was really good) and involve incredible humility.

They have all achieved the rank of folding masters and prefer to fold in their rooms, where they don't have to share space on my bed, which had become a source of sniping that kept interrupting my stories and making me grumpy.  The latest argument in the laundry processing was who would sort the clothes.  You see, some of my kids make sure their clothes are turned right side out, their underwear is removed from the pants, both pants legs are right-side out, and their socks are pulled out of the ball that they become when removing them from sweaty feet.  Others don't really care much about those "pointless details."  I have tried to convince the offenders in the past by giving them lifetime clothes-sorter status so that they know what it is like to turn 50 items of clothing right-side out and remove dirty underwear from pants (gross!), but the lesson, apparently, was too subtle for them to learn.  Several months ago, a veteran homeschooling mom suggested that I teach the kids to do their own laundry as early as practical as a way of incrementally giving them more responsibility.   My initial concern was that we would have tons more laundry and that our water bill would skyrocket.  I also wondered how many clothes would be ruined from improper sorting as part of my job as laundress was to catch any sorting errors.  One day, while listening to my oldest complain about having to sort the boys clothes ("They are GROSS mom;  and SMELLY!"), I casually suggested that maybe the girls do their own laundry.  She loved the idea.  The experiment began.

Now, the girls have their own dirty clothes bin in their room and the boys have their bin.  I am keeper of the extra bins.  On Mondays, the girls sort their clothes, wash them and hang them to dry, as the oldest has shot up to be a mere inch shorter than me and can reach the clothesline with no trouble at all.  The boys have another day to do wash which, so far, has been when one of them says, "Mom, I don't have any Sunday clothes for church today."  Okay, we need to pick a day for them, too.  The girls love the responsibility and seeing the girls doing their own laundry  has piqued the boys interest in learning how to put soap and fabric softener in the washer.  Poor John is not quite tall enough to see where to put everything, but he will set the washer settings and turn it on.  My diabolical plan to foist more duties onto my kids has worked!  BWAHAHA!  I wonder if they will ever catch on to me? More importantly, will I forget how to do these things?  :-D.

June 2, 2012

Game On! Three Month results


That is how many pounds I have lost as of today in the three months since playing the game.  At the end of the last game which ended Wednesday, I was actually two pounds heavier.  A combination of fatigue, Memorial Day weekend and a complete breakdown of "won'tpower" led to my demise.   I had two nights of insomnia and one late night knitting project to complete for a class I was taking.  With the late nights,  I was having difficulty getting up early enough to exercise, which is getting imperative as the days are reaching the 110 range.  So not only was I missing points for sleep, but I was also missing them for exercise, a double-whammy.  There were so many activities going on that week and weekend that I missed meals and gorged more than I should have.  So on Wednesday morning, the final weigh in, I wasn't surprised that I hadn't lost the needed weight.  I spent Wednesday in a bit of a funk, wondering what had happened and having no  desire to do any more Game On! competitions and basically feeling sorry for myself, even though I had lost 21 pounds.  The Minnesota ladies also seemed to have lost their enthusiasm, or maybe we all just needed a bit of a break.

Thursday, I am still in the middle of my old eating habits when I decide to do what Toby Mac recommends  and "get back up (It's never too late to get back up again.  One day, you're gonna shine again;  you maybe knocked down but not out forever...)."  I went back to the book to see what they said about solo games.  They didn't recommend it and said that it was a bad idea because part of the success of weight loss is having accountability and the "co-opetition" aspect of the game.  I decided to ignore them and started a new game yesterday.  Eric is my accountability person, checking my points on a daily basis.  My new habit that I will be continuing is to drink 4 liters of water because summers in Arizona require it and my bad habit that I am kicking is to stay off the computer from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. unless I have to do something for church or school or a project for my family.  Today is my habits day off.  As soon as my daughter gives me the $20 she owes me, I will put it in a "Game On!" envelope and keep it for the four weeks.  At the end, if I don't lose 7 pounds, that money will be given away, either to charity or to something my kids or husband want.  If I lose the weight, I get to buy myself a new outfit or at least a new pair of pants or a belt.

So Friday, I got up early and went out for a 20+ minute interval run and I started back on my regular eating plan, which is what I am calling the eating plan outlined by Game On!.  It was  a bit difficult, but I made it through, knowing that I would be taking a meal off for dinner--Denver Omelettes with bacon rather than ham and half a slice of buttered bread.  Immediately afterward, the hubby and I went out to see The Avengers and I ate popcorn for a while and had a few sips of diet soda.  Part of the popcorn was my 100 free calories, though I am pretty sure that I exceeded the 100 calorie limit.

I got on the scale this morning and-lo!-two pounds had magically dropped from my body .  Or maybe the scale is playing mind games with me.  It loves to do that.  Or my body got some relief from my "dieting ways" as the personal trainer who developed the game said, and now feels that it is safe to drop weight when my eating habits change back for the better.  This is something I read during one of my insomnia nights.  The reason he put in the day off was so that the body wouldn't go into "fasting mode" and reduce your metabolism to conserve energy and because everyone needs a day of rest.  I think everyone occasionally also needs a week of rest, whether it is from activities, from learning, from exercise or from dieting.  This, of course, was God's plan from the beginning, which means that it is good and right.  Therefore, I am not ashamed that I listened to my body and took a break, even if it made me "look bad" in terms of the competition.  And in the future, I will always take up to five days off in between  competitions to rest up and prepare for the next battle of the bulge. If anyone wants to join me, let me know in comments section.

Game On!