Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Menu Monday

Busy, fun, busy, tiring, rewarding, and time with family pretty much sums up the long weekend.  Although long relaxing weekends are nice, we really enjoyed our time with friends and my grandparents.  This coming weekend doesn't appear to be too relaxing either since my mom, Little Miss, and I will take a 10 hour drive to Illinois to see my cousin get married.  I will be a fun girls' trip where Little Miss gets time away from boys, but secretly I am really sad about leaving my boys.  It will be my first time away from Chubby Cheekers.  I like our family best together.  Not apart.

My menu for this week is pretty short, because I will be gone Friday-Sunday.  That means Steven is on dinner duty, and a limited cash budget for eating out.  I hope those boys don't starve!

Here's the limited menu..

Monday-Dinner on a Stick, Salad
Tuesday-Turkey Chili and Cornbread
Wednesday-Roasted Chicken, Green Beans, Sweet Potatoes
Thursday-BBQ Sandwiches, Salad, Fruit Salad
Friday-Daddy on Duty
Saturday-Daddy on Duty
Sunday-Daddy on Duty

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dashing Through the Mud

Why is it that Dashing through the snow, sounds so much better than Dashing through the mud?  Or in this case mud, rocks, sticks, and manure.

Last Saturday, Steven and I along with a group of friends and family complete the OK Warrior Dash.  I signed up for this event a long, long time before (like 9 months) and set a goal.  I wanted to finish the entire 3.1 mile obstacle run in under 50 minutes.  It is said that the average person completes the race in about an hour.  Since I wanted to be above average, I set my goal at 50 minutes.

During the actual race I was pretty irritated.  It was hot and humid and I loathe running in heat.  I get mad.  So there I was running through someone's ranch that had brush hogged a path for runners, sticks sticking up everywhere, tons of rocks, cow patties on my left and right, AND I was hot.  This made for an unhappy Amanda Torres.  However, I kept focused on moving because I had one chance to beat my goal.  I didn't want to fail.

Thankfully, our friends Jeff and Kristi started us out with a super fast pace.  It helped keep us on track the entire time.  Not to mention Steven slowed his uber fast pace down to slacker level so we could be together.  He stayed just a few feet in front of me to keep me moving.  Once we came to the first obstacle after about 1.5 miles, I was in a groove and looked forward to the next obstacle.  Until we came to a pond and I realized we would be swimming through that pond.  The pond that probably had snakes, leaches, and other creatures ready to dine on my filthy body.  Not to mention my shoes were about to be drenched making it even harder to run.

I guess I should note that I may be a bit of a diva runner.  I kept thinking, "Where is the finish and why did I sign up for this?"  You think I'm kidding?  I'm not.  I was pissy.

Then we rounded a corner and I heard the music and saw people.  Yes.  The finish was there.  I leaped over the two fire obstacles and crossed the finish line just a few steps behind Steven.  Then I tried to figure out if I beat my goal.  There was no time at the finish and Steven's watch stopped mid-race.  I would have to wait for the online results.  Fooey!

As Steven and I hung out around the finish line waiting for our friends and family, I began to feel pretty good about the race.  Then my mind played a little trick on me.  Mud caked and nasty I had a thought,  That was fun.  Really.  I thought that.  After the pain and suffering and heat and manure and mud, I realized it actually like the feeling of accomplishment more than the suffering.  I guess I'll be doing it again next year.

And for those of you wondering how nasty one can be from a race, here's a visual.

{L to R: Steven, me, Kristi, Jeff, Lindsay, Rene}

You see that tank top I'm holding up to cover up with?  It was white.  Pretty gross, huh?  

You see that guy next to me?  He's my baby daddy.  Pretty hot, huh?
He's gonna kill me ;)

And, if you're wondering if I beat my goal.  I did!  By almost 14 minutes!!!  I was shocked and excited.  Final time 36:25.  I finished 17th out of 1050 in my age group.  That was also a big shocker.  I guess all that suffering was worth it.  Hard work pays off and is worth it!  Whatever you are challenged with today, put in your hard work and reap the rewards.  There are very few things that feel better than accomplishments.  Accomplish something today!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chubby Cheekers~15 Month Edition

Well, it's been a little while since I have given you the down low on my latest adventures.  I have been mastering the skills of up.  Since I've mastered walking and running I've been searching for new skills to add to my repertoire.  One thing I have noticed is people like to take things away from me and then stick them in high places.  That's when I set my sights on a new goal. Climbing.  

At first I began with the obvious, the couch.  Once I learned how to pull myself up on the couch there really was no stopping me.  From the couch I can reach the side table where people leave their drinks. Water out of a large open cup is so much better, but I haven't quite figured out how to not pour it all over myself.

The next level of climbing I mastered was the bar stool.  Those things are more like ladders.  I can get just high enough to see what kind of goodies are on the counters, then I "Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm" Mom to pieces until she gets me what I want.

After mastering the bar stools, I moved to the kitchen chairs and table.  This, my friends, is where it's at.  Standing on that table makes me feel like I'm on stage.  Mommy, however, does the mean face and points her finger at me and says, "No, no!"  Well, guess what?  I learned how to say, "No, no!" too.  What can I say? I'm a genius.

Aside from my climbing skills I can say new words.  My favorite one is dog and woo-woo.  Everytime I see an animal I point and say, "Dog.  Woo-woo."  It's my best dog impression.  Mommy keeps saying things like, "No, Papa.  That's a cow.  Mooooo."  She sounds ridiculous.  Someone should tell her.

Daddy also taught me a new word.  Bollas.  Now when you change my diaper, I reach down and grab that thing between my legs and say, "BOLLAS!"  Daddy thinks it's really funny, but Mommy doesn't laugh as hard.  She also mentioned something to Daddy about not teaching me that stuff because I might do it at church.  Guess what?  I already did.  If those people haven't figured out how weird we are by now, surely I just showed them.  Surely!

Well, it's time for me to sign off.  I'll see you all next month!
Photo: How I ended up with two blonde boys is beyond me, but I love it.

Chubby Cheekers

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Lot of Devastation and an Insignificant Menu

It has been a rough couple of days for Oklahoma.  We have all been in the clear in our community, but fellow Oklahomans have not.  In devastating times such as these, my little mind cannot wrap around the emotions of those affected.  What attacks me the most is the thought of the children and teachers.

Tornado, fire, and lockdown drills occur twice a year and rarely do you think about really needing those drills for protection.  They become routine.  However, looking at the elementary school in Moore, OK that was leveled in minutes rips my heart out.  As a teacher, at least for elementary teachers, those kids become YOUR kids.  You, as the teacher, vs. nature, how could you keep them all together?  All safe?  All protected? I can't even imagine.  Honestly, too much thought of it shuts me down.  I just see little faces of my former students.  I pray for those who were in those classrooms, for the families, for teachers, for the community, and will look for opportunities to help serve.

As we all move forward this week, I hope we all find ways to plug in and help.  We are called to be the hands, feet, arms, legs of Jesus.  We may not all do the same thing, but together we can find ways to serve where we make up a whole body.  The most important part is to find something.  Do something.

For those of you who came searching for a menu this week, I have one.  However, insignificant it is.

Monday-Salmon with Avocado Salsa, Grilled Veggies, Brown Rice
Tuesday-BBQ Pork Chops, Ultra Crispy Potatoes, Salad
Wednesday-Fish Tacos, Chip and Salsa
Thursday-Turkey Chili and Cornbread
           Hamburgers, Fresh Cut Veggies and Dip, Fruit Salad 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tiny Dancer

Little Miss had her first event that brought out the family.  Her very first dance recital.  She looked so beautiful.  Moments like this make me so thankful for the little beauty in my life.  So much of my day is surrounded by balls, action figures, sports, bombing noises, dirt, wrestling, and tackles.  It is nice to have a day where I get to see my princess dress up.

Although the whole dance recital process is long and drawn out, looking at her made it worth it.  She had her moment to shine. Her moment where all the attention was focused on her.  Below is a pic of her at rehearsal before taking the stage. I just wanted a quick pic and she posed for me.  Nope, she wasn't in her element at all.  Who am I kidding?  She thought she was Queen Bee.


Besides her opportunity to dance on the big stage and lights, Little Miss was most excited about receiving flowers.  After the show she kept asking where her flowers were.  I guess she's watched Barbie and the Nutcracker one too many times because she thought Daddy and Grammy were going to throw flowers to her on the stage.  I felt bad that I didn't prepare her better.  She was disappointed.  Disappointed until she saw the two bouquets of flowers.  All hope was restored in Daddy and Grammy.

Little Miss was also excited to dance with her friend, Lilli.  Lilli's mom and I have known each other for a long time.  She has two precious girls and Little Miss LOVES spending time with them.  As you can tell from the pic below.

I promise she is not putting her friend in a headlock.  That's just the kind of hug she knows after hanging out with her brothers and boy cousins.  I guess I should teach her proper girl hugging techniques before she attends school next year.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lessons From a Garage Sale

On rare occasions do lesson of life hit me so hard it alters my life.  There have been moments where I have experienced so much clarity that I have been broken.  Then there are times where lessons bring me clarity and I am disgusted.  The lesson I am about to share with you is a lesson of shock.

Late Thursday night I decided to throw some items into my friend's garage sale.  I was so exhausted, but dragged myself up in the attic to pull down all the baby equipment our family has out grown.  I really thought I would just put those things in the sale, but come Friday morning I found myself searching through my bathroom for items I needed to get rid of.

After 33 years of living on this Earth, I know two things.  People are crazy, and crazy people buy crazy stuff.  With these two things in mind, I emptied out my Bath & Body Works drawer of all the half empty lotions and sprays that had been sitting there for, I kid you not, over 6 years.  

Guess what?  It all sold.  Each half empty, 6 year old bottle for $1 each.

If you think that's bad, then you really need to brace yourself.  I also put used deodorant in the garage sale.  Last year I had purchased Steven 2 Right Guard deodorants with coupons for free.  He tried both of them one time and didn't like them.  Since they were no longer new I couldn't donate them, so they just sat in our cabinet.  I couldn't bring myself to throw them away.

As I was cleaning out the cabinet, I reached in and grabbed those deodorants and chuckled.  I honestly thought, "This will be funny to see if anyone will buy these."

Guess what?  They sold!  Unfortunately, I wasn't there to see the man who purchased them.  I wish I had a time travel machine so I could go back in time and be there for that transaction.  Oh who am I kidding?  It was best I wasn't there.  I would have died laughing that someone purchased my husband's used deodorant. Hopefully there wasn't any leftover black armpit hairs!

My life lesson is this...

Never underestimate the power of a garage sale-er.  They will purchase anything.  Therefore, the seller should put anything in the sale.  Even used personal products.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

His Competitive Drive

Last Friday Little Man ran his first ever race with his best bud, Will.  Will has ran a race before, but this was Little Man's first.  It was special for me because just last year we stood on the side lines and cheered his daddy on to a personal racing best.  I'm thankful my friend Jackie invited us to run this with them.

Photo: Will and Mason about to get their run on!
{Jackie, Will, Little Man, and me before the race}

I wasn't really sure what to expect from Little Man during this race.  He has run a mile with me before, so I knew he would do just fine running the entire fun run.  What I wasn't prepared for was his internal drive to be a winner.  Holy Moly!  That kid only saw one thing.  He saw people in front of him and he wanted to beat them.  It got to the point where I was trying to slow him down.  I was beginning to worry that he was starting out too fast and wouldn't be able to run the whole race.  Uhhh, I was way wrong!  I underestimated his competitive drive.  He kept passing kids twice his age and adults.  So much for my little leisure run with my boy.  When it was time to cross the finish line, we were about 9 minutes in duration and only about 15-20 runners back.  We could see the kid who won.  That's how close he was to the winner.  I was one proud mom!  A great memory for me.  I loved seeing his drive.

Just like me, Steven underestimated Little Man too.  He decided he had enough time to pee and missed us coming through the gate.  I was bummed for that because I was counting on him taking our pic.  Thank goodness for friends who take one for you.  I cherish this photo!

Photo: Looking good!

As for the big man in my life, he did pretty well too.  He took 9th overall and 3rd in his age group crossing the finish line in 20:17.  A personal best for him.  Was he satisfied?  Nooooo.  He was mad that he didn't place first in his age group.  I can see where this is headed.  I've got two out of my three boys with unreal competitive drives.  Heaven help me if Chubby Cheekers turns out this way too. Aye, aye, aye!

I sure do love my boys!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Menu Monday

For the last few weeks I have been chasing my own tail.  Our schedules have been packed out with so much during the weekend, that the week has been catch up.  I'm sure you've noticed my absence. No?  I promise to do a better job this week.  Mainly because I have a lot to share about our family and a nasty story involving used deodorant.  Yeah, you'll want to stick around for that!

Here's my menu for the week.

Monday-Fried Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Tuesday-Whole Roasted Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Salad
Wednesday-Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole, Buttered Bread
Thursday-Turkey Chili, Cornbread, Salad
Friday-Salmon Avocado Salsa, Grilled Veggies, Brown Rice
Saturday-Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Pineapple Salsa, Brown Rice Chips
Sunday-Lentil Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Have a great week!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Menu Monday. On Tuesday. Go Figure.

Before I can even share my menu I really need to get something off my chest.  Chubby Cheekers is a ham and a half.  Yesterday afternoon I spent time with some of my former students getting ready to graduate.  As all of us 'teachers' are sharing where we are in life I look down and Chubby Cheekers is crawling on the floor like a dog, panting.

A former collauege looks at me and says, "Do you have a dog?"

Uh, no.  No dog.  I have no idea what the child was doing.  Then all of a sudden, he flops to his belly and lets one rip.  Not a little baby toot, but a grown up fart.  Embarrassing. 

Lesson learned.  Don't take your 15 month old to a Sr. Reception.  Speaking of Seniors.  Here are some of my past fourth graders...

Photo: My precious 4th graders got big!

Whew!  I feel better.  Now here's my menu.  FYI, the Torres' are hitting up a restaurant 2 times this week!  I know, don't fall over. 

Monday-Burgers, Homemade Salsa, Brown Rice Chips, Oven Baked Pickles
Tuesday-Los Cabos for a birthday party
Wednesday-Hummus Crusted Chicken and Squash, Salad
Thursday-French Lentil Soup and Grilled Cheese
Friday-Parmesan Crusted Tilapia, Brown Rice, Grilled Veggies
Saturday-Little Miss' Dance Recital...out to dinner
Sunday-Mother's Day.  My husband better be serving me up something fabulous!

Monday, May 6, 2013

I've Got Your Skin Covered! (Menu Monday tomorrow)

It's hard to believe summer is almost here.  Especially since I'm still shopping from the sweaters and cardigans in my closet.  Of course, we live in OK so tomorrow we're back in the 80's.

As I've jumped on this Arbonne train, I've realized some of the products I've been putting on my skin and my kids can actually cause more harm than good.  I'm not one to live in fear, but just as I try and feed my kids for their best benefit, I also want to make sure they are protected in all aspects of health. One thing I've learned over the course of the month is my trusty lotions and sunscreens contain ingredients that have been linked to causing cancer.  Ummmm, not interested in going there!  If it causes me to spend a little more to put  pure, safe, and beneficial products on myself and kids, then I'll do it.  Here's what's Arbonne stands for:

If this is something you think would be for your family, I have some savings for you.  After crunching numbers I've figured out a way to get my local customers the best deal on sunscreens and lotions for the month of May.  Here's the scoop...

Buy 2 sunscreens, get a lotion for FREE.

Sunscreen Options*:
ABC (Baby) Sunscreen SPF 30+ ($26)
Water Resistant (Adult) Sunscreen SPF 30  ($30)
Made In the Shade Self Tanner SPF 15 ($30)

*You can purchase two of the same thing

Free Lotion Options:
ABC (Baby) Lotion (reg. $18)
Conditioning Body Moisture (Adult) Lotion (reg. $25)

Just like Groupons, 5 people would need to buy in on this deal in order for everyone to save.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

April Detox: Final Results

April is officially over and all the participants of the detox are sharing their success stories.  Most of the stories I'm going to share with you are from the ladies I work out with M, W, and F mornings.  Keep in mind almost all of the ladies have been doing boot camp for some time now.  We all have the exercise part down. We needed a kick start on cleaner eating.  Arbonne's 30 Days to Fit was a great jump start.  Here's what the ladies had to say.

"Day 32 and still going strong.  My plan is to go 40 days before reintroducing any of the foods I've been avoiding.  Cheese, I'm looking at you!  As of Day 30, I was down 11.9 lbs. I took measurements at my belly button and two inches below on Day 1, but I wished I measured more body parts, because I know by the way my clothes fit there have been a lot of changes.  I'm shopping from the other side of the closet again.  double ear and sinus infection aside,  the detox has been an amazing experience. I have found strength I didn't know I possessed.  I have gone from a daily dessert eater, to having no craving for sugar whatsoever.  My energy level has increased, therefore, my attitude has improved, and I feel stronger in my workouts.  I am so thankful for this opportunity."


"I lost 6 lbs, but the most exciting part is that I lost TWO dress sizes and was able to push harder at every workout."


Editor's Note (that's me...heehee): This girl stepped up to run a 10k (6.2 miles) a week before the race.  The longest distance she had ever ran before was 3.1 miles.  She finished in under an hour and felt her performance was because of the detox. 

"My weight loss varies 6-8 pounds.  I feel AWESOME.  I am more toned than I think I was in high school playing 3 sports, running faster & working out harder.  Down 2 sizes."


"I lost 12 lbs and two dress sizes as well.  Feeling great and definitely sticking with some healthier food alternatives."


"Down 4 lbs and my IBS is under better control than it was with the changes my doctor recommended!  My mammoth-sized sweet tooth has gone on vacation and sweets just don't taste the same, in a good way!"


"I'm down 17 lbs and my husband 22 lbs from the detox.  I've dropped two inches and two dress sizes.  Detox was amazing!  So much energy, and of course the weight loss, but more importantly I have respect for my body now!  I appreciate the food I can eat better and no longer crave the stuff that punishes my body.  Now, I'm not saying I'll never eat pizza again.  I'm okay with 1-2 slices, but not the whole pizza!"


"After accepting my stomach would never be the same after 3 kids, I am ecstatic to say I CAN SEE MY ABS!!!  Lost 5 lbs over the course of the month I began to see my arms have definition without flexing.  Lean muscle lines make me want to throw on a sleeveless shirt.  I am no longer embarrassed to put on shorts for fear of crossing my legs which squeezed the cottage cheese out to visible.  My workouts have been easier and I even shaved off 30 seconds from my timed mile in a month.  That is huge for me!  For the last two months I hit a plateau in my running speed.  The detox helped push me passed that plateau."

-A.T.  (me)

I have had so many people say to me, "I could never do that."  I so get that statement.  That was me 2 years ago when I first heard about it.  Now being on the other side, I'm a bit mad at myself for not giving myself more credit.  The meals for the detox was all about exchanges.  Nothing too difficult. Sure, I had cranky toddler moments, but I learned a lot about my eating habits that were affecting my body in a major way.  For example, dousing my food with condiments.  I'm surprised I could even taste lettuce with the amount of ranch going on my salad.  Now it's just a little drizzle.  I've limited my portion sizes to a more normal range and I don't feel hungry.  I've also learned that eating junk makes you feel like junk.  No wonder I was so tired all the time!  It wasn't the 5 kids, it was the junk I was 'treating' myself with on a daily basis.

If you are looking for a change like these ladies had in a MONTH, let me know how I can help.  It doesn't have to be the full on detox.  One of my precious friends quit her Diet Coke habit, and switched to Mommy Crack Fizz Sticks.  Here's what she said...

"In loooooooooove with Arbonne Energy Fizz Sticks!!!"

For my friend, switching out her pop with Fizz Sticks was a huge change and it's leading her to do other crazy things!  

Now for the final showdown.  This is my friend Maria.  In a month she has lost 25 lbs.  She did not stray from the diet and posted this pic on her facebook page...

I still cannot get over her change in one month.  SAME with her sister!  Both of them noted they had tried all the quick fixes, but it wasn't until they did it the right way did they see and feel the permanent results.  So proud of all my friends at F.I.T. Boot Camp and family!