Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 56 for P90X

Ok, so I've told most of you that I've been doing P90X this year. Well, we have reached our "60 Day" mark, which is really day 56, but anyways, I took my measurements today. I am not sure I want to publish my numbers, but I will tell you my gains and losses:

Weight: Minus 7.6 pounds
BF %: Minus 4
Chest: Minus 1.25 inches
Waist: Minus 1.5 inches
Hips: Minus 1.25 inches
R Thigh: Minus .25 inches
L Thigh: Minus .25 inches
R Bicep: Minus .25 inches
L Bicep: Minus .5 inches

Inches Lost: 5.25 inches
Body Fat Lost: 8 Pounds

And we're only 2/3 of the way done with the program. I am not sure if Matt wants me to post his numbers or not, but I'll post his total gains:
Weight: +6 pounds
Inches gained: 5.625 inches (or 5 5/8 inches)
It is really funny, because it seems like my losses are his gains. And that is in a really good way :)

I'm so happy. I feel great, I'm starting to look great, and I don't know, I just think that this was one of the best things Matt and I have ever done.

Here are pictures from day 1, day 30, and day 60. Enjoy! Don't mind the hair, I just woke up in both the 30 day and the 60 day. There's a big difference, isn't there?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Life

Okie, dokie. I know that I haven't been posting much on here lately. I feel like I've been doing a lot. I've been having a great couple weeks, that's for sure. Once I finished up with the Daycare right before Valentine's Day, I have had a lot more time on my hands. Which really just means that I have time to do more homework and housework. It is amazing how much those extra hours really help. I need to get started on my next 75 hours in the 5th grade classroom. Maybe I'll contact my cooperating teacher and set up for sometime next week.
I only have 12 days until I leave for England. That's right, if you didn't catch it before, Peggy and I are going to visit Mom for spring break. I'm sooooooo excited. I've been reading up on my Rick Steve's London, which has so many great ideas on things and places to see. There are self guided tours of lots of places. I'm looking forward to exploring the city. Last time I was there, I only had a couple days, and I was at the whim of the girls I was with. They didn't want to do a whole lot, so we didn't really see much. We saw a couple things, but mainly just ate out at expensive restaurants.
I'm planning on keeping up my workout schedule while I'm in London. And my diet, as well. I think I know what kinds of things I can eat, even while eating out. And I'm hoping to do some grocery shopping and make dinner at Mom's place some of the nights. I think she would enjoy a home cooked meal once in a while, don't you think? I know she works late a lot of nights, and it would be nice to be able to eat in.
Other than that, just staying busy with homework. There are so many things that I need to get done this week. I have a 4 page research paper for my Child and the Family class due next Tuesday. I have a group presentation (15-20 min) for my Reading to Learn across the Curriculum. I have a midterm test for my classroom management class next Wednesday. And I have a presentation on the Caldecott award for my Children's Literature class next Thursday. Oh, so much. And so little time. I guess I should get started on it, huh? First order of business today, though, is to do my workout. Then eat lunch. Then get started on homework. I'm hoping to knock a big chunk of it out today, so I can finish up tomorrow, and then not have to really worry about it for a bit.

Ok, I'll talk to you guys later.

PS. This week is the 8th week I've been doing my fitness program. At the end of the week (really on Wednesday) I'm going to take my measurements and pictures. I'm thinking of posting my before pictures and my 60 day pictures, so you guys can see how much I've progressed. What you ya'll think? I'm excited, because I'm not even done with the program and I've seen tremendous results!

PSS. I think I need a haircut. I put this headband on when I went to workout and I feel like a flashback to the 60s or early 70s. What do you think?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy birthday Kate

Today is my youngest sister's 25th birthday. It is so hard to believe! I mean, it isn't like she's THAT much younger than me, but still. Now all the Helm siblings are over 25. I'm really glad that I got to go over to her house today for lunch. Kate's friends brought lunch over to her house, the kids got to play, and we got to visit. It was a good time. It was so funny watching Parker and Preston try to blow out the candles. :)

I did really well today, even though I was tempted to eat the yummy looking pudding-cake. But I resisted, and I'm glad I did. I've been doing really well with my diet, and I'm proud of myself. Recently I've been doing really great with my fitness program, diet program, and general health. Once I got over the stomach flu, I felt great. I'm taking a supplement that is helping me burn fat, and I really believe that it is working. It gives me a little extra energy, as well, which makes me not want to eat as much. This week, I lost 1% body fat, and 2% body weight. I would have to say that I'm making vast improvements. The best part is I had a great dream last night. I looked and felt great in my dream. I couldn't believe my new body. And when I woke up, I realized that my body looks almost the same in real life as it did in my dream.

Well, I'm supposed to go to class here pretty soon, so hopefully this video uploads.
{OK, I gotta run to class, so I'll try to upload the video tonight after class}

[Update] Let's try this again :)


Monday, February 16, 2009


So, I told Kate that I wanted her to interview me. I was curious to see what kinds of questions she wanted to know, especially since I think she knows me so well. Here they are:

How long do you hope to live?
As long as possible. Once I hit my 25th birthday, I had this feeling that I was entering the second quarter of my life. But, wouldn't it be cool if it was really the second quinter of my life (I made that word up. I guess that would mean divided into fifths, instead of fourths. Hey, its my blog, I can make up words if I want). I'm doing everything possible to make that happen. I've committed myself to eating healthy, exercising, and generally living a healthy lifestyle. :)

What is one of your talents?
Taking tests. I'm not kidding. Give me a good multiple choice test, and I guarantee that I'll do extremely well. Even the most challenging tests (which I find multiple choice tests usually pretty easy) I don't have a problem with. I'll give you an example. That Praxis II test I just took? Most people I have talked to about it say that it is a very challenging test. Well, I scored in the top 15% of all people who have ever taken the test. Seriously!

Tell me who outside of your parents has had the greatest influence on who you are today.
I would have to say Matthew Emerson. Meeting him changed my life. I'm a completely different person now. Thank goodness. I really like the person I am today. I look at the world completely differently. I think things through before I make a decision. I feel like I really CAN do anything if I put my mind to it. He believes in me, and I can't ask for anything more than that.

What time of day is your absolute favorite?
I would have to say morning, just as the world starts to wake up. I like watching the sun rise and the sky change colors. When the birds start singing to each other. There's something about the way it smells outside that is amazing. It is sometimes hard to wake up early to see it, but it is so worth it when I do.

Do you collect anything? What?
Let's see, I would have to say that I collect magnets. From all over the world. I probably have 20 or 30 magnets covering my fridge. That's pretty much the only souvenir that I bother getting when I go somewhere new. And Matt always gets me a magnet when he goes somewhere without me. I can look at my fridge and see all the places I've been. It is pretty neat.

Thanks for the great questions, Kate!!


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Just got off the phone with Matt

{My Brother} and for those of you who didn't know, they finished up their show in Tuscon and are heading out today. They are planning on taking back roads back up to Idaho, enjoying the trip a little, at least where it is warm. Hopefully they take a lot of pictures of the ghost towns and Indian camp sites they want to see. It was so good to talk to him. I always have a good conversation with him. He's a good brother (thank you Matt!) They did ok at the show, with the economy and all, I guess as well as can be expected. I'm glad.

Anyways, thought my siblings would like to know.

Love you guys!


Friday, February 13, 2009


So, I got my score back for my Praxis II test, and out of 200, I got 193! I needed 143 to pass. And today was my last day teaching at the preschool. I still have to make up some hours for the 3 hours I missed. It went really well. Matt came with me and helped me to teach the kids about cycling and bicycles. Matt got to see me in action, got to see the 101s in action, and has gained a new appreciation for teachers. Especially of young children. I'm gonna miss those kids, that is for sure. They were so cute today! It was "Valentine's Day" for them, and they got to give eachother candy. So much fun! They even gave me a couple Valentine's. Not like I can eat the candy, or anything.

Oh, and did I mention my plans for Spring Break? It might just include a long trip across the ocean :) Yes, that's right. I don't know if Mom knows yet or not, but I'm going to London for Spring Break! I'm so excited.

Anyways, that's about it for now.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sick, sick, sick

Ok, so Sunday, I told Kate I would watch the boys for her while she went to church. They had been throwing up and had diarrhea off and on for the past day. I didn't mind; they were acting pretty normal and we had a great time. I can't imagine that that 3 1/2 hours that I spent with them was enough to pass on the germs and get me sick on Monday, but that seems to have happened. Yesterday morning, I woke up with a tummy ache. Since it was going to be my first day teaching the class on my own for a whole week, I chalked it up to nervousness. I went to school, taught my lesson (on snowboarding, which went fantastically, btw) and felt all right for most of the day, until about 1:30. I was on my way home, and my tummy started gurgling. I was talking to Kate all the way home. I got home, went to the bathroom, then made myself lunch. Big mistake. I ended up violently throwing that up hours later. I have body aches, chills, nausea, diarrhea, head ache, you name it, I've got it. Why am I up at 5:20 am, do you ask? Well, Matt still has to get up and go to work, regardless of how he feels. Did I mention that at around 11pm he started to feel pretty badly too? He got up several times during the night. I don't think he has thrown up yet, but I'm sure it is coming. So, since it is his duty day, he has to be at work early. And then wait to go to "Sick Call" which probably starts at 8:30am. He'll stand in line, feeling miserable, finally get seen by a corpsman, and it is up in the air whether he'll be able to come home and rest or not. I hope they give him "SIQ" or "Sick in Quarters" which means he'll be able to come home and rest with me. That would be great, I think.

So, I don't think I'm going into school today. I've already exposed those kids to my germs, unfortunately, but they don't need to be exposed any more than they already have. I'm going to have to make up the 3 hours I'm missing, and I'm putting my lead teacher in a bind. And that means they will only have 2 people in there, which is going to be rough. I just don't think I can do it. Not today. Hopefully, I'll be feeling better by tomorrow. I feel really guilty that I won't be there.

Anyways, I'm going to rest now. I am going to call my lead teacher at 6:30am to let her know that for sure I'm not going to be there.

Talk to you guys later, wish me luck on getting better.


Saturday, February 7, 2009


Ok, so for a class, called "The Child and the Family" I have to do something called a genogram. It looks like a family tree but with the males as squares and females as circles. I'm trying to get all the information I can about both sides of my family as well as my husband's family. So far, that's what is turning out to be the most difficult. This project forces me to ask the tough questions about birth, death, and divorce. The main reason we're doing this is to force us to look at our families and recognize inter-generational patterns. So far, I'm having fun finding out all this information. I'm starting with My Grandparents' generation, and going down from there, to my cousins and their kids and siblings and kids. I'm learning the names of cousins and their kids, and I think that is great. Thanks so far to all those who have helped me out. If anyone has any information for me that could help, that would be awesome. I am fuzzy about Aunt JoAnn's family (on Dad's side), with mainly Jim's wife's name and kids. Also, with Uncle Andy's grandchildren. Like Tammy's kids, Bill's kids, and I forgot about Uncle Andy's two step-children. What were their names? Tom and Dennis Skaggs. And their kids too. Does anyone have this info for me? I was able to use Beth's info from Family tree, and that filled in a bunch of gaps for me. When I'm done with the project, I plan on making copies for everyone in the family and sending it out, just so everyone can see. I think since I have to do the work anyways, people might as well benefit.

Also, for those on my husband's side, I would appreciate any information you could give me as far as names and dates. That would be awesome. You can just email me at if you wish.

Oh, yeah, and if anyone could include the "cause of death" that would be cool, as well as any serious diseases that could be important.

I appreciate anyone's help that can give it to me. This is turning out to be a huge "tree" if for nothing else but the simple fact that 10 children and 16 grandchildren take up a lot of space. Then add everyone else....

Oh, and I'm also doing committed relationships, so names and birth dates would be good for those types of things. You know who you are :)

Thanks a lot, guys. I couldn't do this without you!


Monday, February 2, 2009

Snow at Mom's?

Ok, so I was checking the weather report for tomorrow, and I stumbled across this news story Crazy. I wonder if Mom is "snowed in"? I hope you're ok, Mom. I love you, and I wish some of that snow would make its way back over here to VA where we would really enjoy it!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wow, would I like to see Mom?

Boy, would I! I just don't think it is possible. I need to spend my spring break here finishing my hours with the public school. I still have not gotten my placement is kind of frustrating. As a reminder, I have to complete 150 hours in a classroom this semester. 75 of those hours I am completing at the preschool/daycare on campus. Then the remaining 75 hours are done at a public school with older students. I put in my placement request when I signed up for the class back in November or December. Now it is already February, and I still have not been placed. I still have 2 weeks left at the daycare/preschool, but time is running out. I want to knock these hours out so I don't have to worry about them at the end of the semester. It is just hard when I don't have a lot of control over it. There's really nothing I can do....

So, let me tell you about my week at the Preschool/daycare. Monday was pretty uneventful, nothing too crazy. The kids were acting pretty normal for a Monday. They all missed their Daddies and Mommies. Then Tuesday, the funniest thing happened. Well, not so much funny as, well, you judge...
We had just come in from outside, and the kids were putting their coats away. There was a basket of books they could choose from to look at before circle time. Most of the kids were in the circle, choosing a book. Well, there's one particular book that one boy "Z" really likes. Unfortunately, "L" had the book and was looking at it. "L" was sitting on the ground and Z tried to take it from him. All I saw was Z start crying. Hysterically. I let him sit on my lap during circle time b/c he would not be comforted. Then, while everyone was listening to the story and being quiet, he said "L bit my peepee!" What?? The head teacher and I looked at eachother. Neither one of us had seen it. "I need a bandaid." Z said. Wow. I'm not equipped to handle this. The head teacher took him eventually into the bathroom and I think she ended up giving him a bandaid just so he would be comforted. He stopped crying immediately, which leads me to believe he wasn't really hurt. Holy Cow! How do you not laugh about that? The head teacher took L aside and talked to him about not biting people and being kind to our friends. Then, during snack, one little boy, B, turns around, looks at us, and says "Z has a bandaid on his penis." I had to bite my cheek to not laugh. How funny! These 3-year-olds are so dramatic sometimes.

Anyways, Wednesday was my first day teaching a lesson by myself. I was so nervous. But it turned out well. I talked about seals, read a story about a little seal, and it went all right. Then we did center time, and the centers worked out fairly well. The center I was in charge of (I came up with all 3 centers for the day) was "Sink or Float?" I had two bowls, one with freshwater, one with saltwater. We put on our scientist coats and glasses and predicted whether various objects would sink or float. We tried the objects in both the seawater and the fresh water. I brought raw eggs, and unfortunately, I didn't use enough salt in the saltwater. Raw eggs are supposed to sink in fresh water and float in seawater. I was a little disappointed that it didn't turn out :( The other two centers went really well-the art center was sponge art. The kids decorated a seal with paint on sponges. And the other one was a fishing game with a stick fishing pole and a magnet, with fish and paperclips.

Thursday was my second day teaching, and we talked about Moose. I taught them some moose songs, such as:
I have antlers and a nose
I have hooves for toes
and I stand about 10 feet tall
I'm in the mud up to my knees
just a chewin' on the leaves
I'm a moose, I'm a moose
Hear me call!

They liked that one. I had a moose puppet that helped me out. It was fun. My center that day didn't go so well. It was supposed to be a matching game, but the kids were distracted. The art center went extremely well, though. I stole Jill's idea from her Christmas cards, and I traced one little boy's hands, made 14 copies, and then used them for antlers. The kids traced their foot, cut it out, and used it for a nose. Then there were googly eyes, and paint for decoration. They had a lot of fun with it. The third center, the kids were engaged the whole time. I had put various letters into a grid, and they had to find the letter M's. Then there was another paper with pictures that started with M as well as others. They had to find the pictures that started with M. Overall, a successful day.

Then came Friday. Since Ground Hog Day is on Monday, we decided to talk about groundhogs on Friday. I told the kids a story about a groundhog, we played around with shadows, and I think the kids liked it. Our centers were fun, too. One group played "Cover Up" with animals from the week. This game has a bunch of pictures that the kids cover up with, in this case, Apple Jacks. Then, when each picture is drawn, they eat that Apple Jack. The center I was in charge of was playing more with shadows and shadow puppets. We went into a darkened room, used a flashlight and some puppets, and explored shadows. For the most part, the kids liked it.

Ok, so that was my week. Next week my co-teacher is teaching the whole week, and then it will be my turn. I'm still undecided about what to do for a unit. I was thinking either famous artists, or winter sports. But I can't come up with 5 winter sports (I don't think Curling has any literature books...) I can only think of skiing/snowboarding, ice skating, football (since we just had the SuperBowl), maybe Basketball, since March Madness is coming up? I dunno, help me out here, guys. And if you have any recommendations for books to read to them about sports, that would be great, too. I was thinking, since my Friday is Valentine's Day, we'll decorate bags for our art lesson on Thursday. Then, the bags can be in each child's "Cubby" and they can leave the cards and candy out there. It might help alleviate some of the problems we might have on Valentine's day.

Ok, this turned into an extremely long post. I hope everyone who is doing the Health Challenge with me is working hard and setting goals and meeting them!

Love you all,