Tuesday, December 31, 2013


It's January! we've made it through the delightful chaos of the holiday season. Now ready to make some resolutions for the new year. So how did it all get started?

Wikipedia says this:
The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.
The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.
In the Medieval era, the knights took the "peacock vow" at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.
At watch-night services, many Christians prepare for the year ahead by praying and making these resolutions.
The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self-improvement annually.
So I'm reflecting on the resolutions I made last year and deciding what worked and what was completely ignored, and what do I want to work on this year. This is what I decided. I need to make only a few goals to work on--focus to achieve. :) And they need to be in categories.
I came up with five categories that work best for me:
Next I thought up no more than two goals for each, and I wrote them out in detail. I read once that goals need to be specificmeasurableattainablerelevant and time-bound. The time length is already taken care of--one year, and I wrote them out in detail so that checks off my specific requirement so I need to make them relevant, measurable and attainable and I'm all set.
I'm looking forward to working on my own goals this year, and excited to see what the new year brings!

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Being able to write code is something that I believe will be a vital skill for us in the future, particularly for our children's generation. Many schools internationally are already including this in their curriculum for all children--four and up, but did you know that 90% of the children in the United States are not learning any? Might be time to add to the curriculum again, or in after school programs, where available.

You might have seen this floating around recently:

I thought it would be interesting to learn a new skill myself so I signed up at Code Academy and chose the language I wanted to learn, Java, and started. It has been a fun and addicting project. I'm currently only 20% done but I do a little each day.You also earn little badges as you hit certain points, and they are, interestingly enough, exciting to get.

Here's a screen shot of one I got:

I plan on learning as many languages as I can, why not? It's free! Have you learned to code?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Feature

Here's a few of my favorite holiday songs this year. First up Pentatonix doing The Carol of the Bells

Cloverton's Cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" with a twist

Nathan Pacheco, O Holy Night

What are you listening to during the holiday's?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Fit for the Holidays

During the holiday season, I like to add an extra work out, something simple that I don't usually do. Since there are so many get-togethers, and treats and cookies around, the extra exercise is definitely needed, for me at least. :)
I thought I'd share an example of one and it's dated for this year so you can do it too if you choose. There's a beginners version and if you work out often there's one for you too. Enjoy!

You can also do doubles: the specified amount in the morning and at night. Another idea is to break it down ie: for 12/14, do 20 in the morning and 20 at night. 

And as with any exercise, Not all exercises are suitable for everyone and this or any other exercise program may result in injury. Any user of the exercise program assumes the risk of injury resulting from performing the exercises and using the equipment suggested. To reduce risk of injury, in your case, CONSULT YOUR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL BEFORE BEGINNING THIS EXERCISE PROGRAM. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holidays at Our House

Christmas has already started and decorating has begun. We have a couple Christmas traditions that are a little bit different at our house.

1- We ask that grandparents, and aunts/uncles don't give our girls any presents. Instead we ask then to do something special together. Last year they received annual passes to the aquarium and went with their grandparents several times during the year and with their other grandparents, they went to a historical reenactment place and made seasonal crafts. They talk about these outings all the time. We choose to ask our extended family to do this for a couple reasons. First, we currently live close to both sets of grandparents and a few aunts and uncles but we might not always. I want them to build relationships now while we live close rather than be given (more!) toys. Second, I don't want my kids to become give-me monsters. Yes the holiday season is one for giving gifts to those we love but I've seen it get carried WAY out of hand, we have these guidelines in place to prevent that. We want the events remembered, not the things, placing the importance on the people around them.

2- We give our kids four gifts and a stocking. They get something they want, something they need, something to wear, & something to read. Though there's an extra 'wear' in there as a Christmas dress. :) We try to think outside the box and find gifts they will really use and enjoy. This also allows us to buy higher quality items as there's a limited amount of gifts purchased for each child.

3- I don't do Santa. I know, scrooge right? Not to me. I had older cousins who told me about Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and all that when I was around 4 and I don't even remember being all that disappointed. The reason for the season, in our house, is Christ's birth. Not Santa. So there's no elf on our shelf and the stockings are filled by mom and dad. Do our kids feel left out? No, they think it's fun to know the secret--that all adults know but most kids there age don't, and that Santa is a fun character of the holiday but think that an old man watching them would be creepy. Smart girls. :) 

We do all the other things like driving around to see the lights on houses, decorating the tree, baking cookies and gingerbread houses, parties with friends and family, and hot chocolate and jammies, reading the birth of Christ in the Bible. 

I'm looking forward to all the holiday fun and hoping for some snow! How about you? What are your family traditions?