Category Archives: Elf 4 Health

The Importance of taking pictures

Today’s challenge for Elf 4 Health is to share our expertise.  I wracked my brain and could not come up with anything.  I mean I take pictures but I’m not an expert.  I know about aperture and shutter speed.  I’ve manually set the camera but am not an expert.

I teach all day long but you could call me a Jack of all trades but a master of none.  There is nothing that I teach that stands out  that I could say I’m an expert at.  I write Individualized Education Plans and some of them have been great but I don’t think anyone would want to read about IEP’s and how to write them.  Plus the laws constantly change so what I teach you today could be different tomorrow.

Then yesterday my family’s world changed when we lost my father-in-law.  He was a great guy who played Santa every year.  He will always be Santa in my heart.  As family sat around last night, I gave my mother-in-law and sister-in-law their presents which were photo books from our big vacation in July/August.  Their were pictures of the whole family together in a happier time.  Memories were shared.

It was decided that my expertise is taking lots of pictures.  It drives people nuts but in times like these those pictures are a good remembrance of the person.

So why should you take pictures?

1.  It documents important events in your lives.

Last Christmas, Hubby started making plans for the whole family to go down to Charleston, SC for a family vacation.  We knew that my father-in-law’s health was not the best so we wanted these memories of everyone at the beach for one last time.  I probably took around 4,000 pictures at the different places we visited.  Some of the pictures are scenery and sunrises/sunsets but others are pictures of family members.  One of my favorite pictures is my father-in-law sitting on the balcony of the condo.  He looks like Wilson from Home Improvement with the bars of the railing covering his face and you can only see his hat.  Another picture I took was on our last night of the trip.  It is a picture of my mother-in-law and him kissing.  The second picture is my mother-in-law looking at me while he’s still looking at her wanting another kiss.  That picture shows me what true love is.

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2.  You never know what is going to happen in life.  

It’s great to have pictures of people who have impacted your life.  Tomorrow is never guaranteed.

3.  To document your family history.  

I love looking at pictures of family members who lived before I was born.  The boys get to see their great grandparents who lived and died before they were born.  They get to hear stories about their great grandfather who flew in a bomber during World War II.  We have pictures of him wearing his bomber jacket 50 years after he last flew.  The boys know about him and what kind of person he was.

4.  For moments like these

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Those special moments that happen once in a life time.  My father-in-law played Santa for 40 plus years.  He was at our local mall for many years and now played Santa for parties.  My father-in-law seemed to be rough at the edges but once he put his Santa suit on, he was truly Santa.  It was magical.  This picture was taken at our town’s lighting of the tree last year.  My father-in-law did not know the boys were standing there.  Even though it looks staged, this picture was totally candid and is one of my favorite pictures of them with Santa.

My words of advice though are:

1.  Don’t worry about capturing everything that you miss out on experiencing life.

2.  Don’t take the pictures and never look at them again.

3.  Sometimes the best pictures are not the staged picture where everyone says cheese.  The best pictures are the candid ones.  Our wall is covered with those candid shots that turned out the best.  They looked staged but were not.  I just captured the picture at that right moment.

4.  Share the memories with those you love and care about.

When I made the memory book, I left out writing any captions except for on one page.  I did that so people could share the memories and our family history.

Elf 4 Health – Days 4 & 5

Yesterday’s challenge was to call someone and let them know how you are grateful for them in your lives.  I called my aunt and talked to her 45 minutes.  On Wednesday, I texted one of my former students and told him how I was grateful for being one of his teachers.  He has an impact on my teaching.

Today’s challenge is to drink plenty of water.  I took one of my quart size Mason jars and drank out of it.  I ended up filling it up 3 times total for 72 ounces of water.  Guess where I spent most of the day?!?

I may drink a cup of hot tea without any sweetener and then another glass before bed today.

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Tomorrow’s challenge is to treat myself.  I’ve got to do some shopping and go to a baby shower.  During my time out, I will make sure I treat myself with something.

Elf 4 Heath – Day #3

So as I said at the end of my post, yesterday’s challenge was to unsubscribe from catalogs or emails.  I chose to unsubscribe to multiple email lists.  I did it on my work email, gmail, and road runner email accounts.  I also cleaned up my road runner and work accounts.  This really helped me feel lighter not having all those emails to wade through.

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One great website to use is unroll.me.  Unfortunately it only supports certain email services.  I could only use it for my gmail account.  It really helped me unsubscribe from that account.

 

Today’s challenge is to try a new workout.  I don’t exercise unless you count my walking around the school building.  My classroom is isolated from everyone else so if I need anything I need to walk to get it.  🙂  That’s great for getting some cardio in.

Last night I put some fast paced music on youtube (Florida Georgia Line – Cruise) and did sprints across the living room to get some cardio in.  I continued for the entire song.  Then I put on Pink’s Just Like a Pill and did some circuits of 10 reps of waist twists, toe touches, knee lifts, and jumping jacks.  Towards the end of the song, I slowed my motions down to cool down.  It wasn’t much but for me it was a small step.

This morning, I did a barre3 standing core exercise.  I plan to do a yoga video later on during the day.  This is something new to me.  I really need to get my belly area in check.  I’m short waisted so all of my extra weight seems to land there.

Elf 4 Health – Day #2

I’m finally getting to recapping yesterdays’s challenge and discussing today’s challenge.

So yesterday was meatless Monday.  It wasn’t really that hard for me.  I started the morning with a green smoothie.  There was also some protein powder in the smoothie to help keep me full.  I needed chia seeds also because all I kept thinking while I was in the dentist’s chair was how hungry I was.  Of course I couldn’t eat while they were working on my mouth.

As soon as I left the dentist’s office, I ate a Larabar that I had gotten at the grocery store.  It was a seasonal flavor – Snickerdoodle.  It was pretty yummy!

The day before I had gone out to eat at a new to us restaurant – Roma.  I had gotten a Brucshetta pizza with the intention of saving some for this challenge.  I also had some left over garlic bread which was made with olive oil instead of butter.  Since my mouth was still numb, I didn’t bite on it using my front teeth.  I folded it up and chewed with my molars.  When my dentist called me later, I told him what I did and he told me I was pretty clever.  I love that my dentist will personally call his patients after they have work done on their teeth to make sure they are doing good.  He ends his call with “Call me if you need anything.”  and he means it.

Since my mouth was still numb, I ate a banana for a snack.  I am not a banana lover so Hubby was shocked when he saw I was eating some.

Dinner was quick and easy tomato soup.  I also cut up French bread that I toasted up with a little olive oil, garlic, cheddar cheese, and basil.  We used those croutons to put in the soup instead of dipping grilled cheese sandwiches in the soup.  The boys were not fans of the soup.  The Imaginative One though loved the croutons.

Dessert was a pumpkin whoopie pie from a local farmer’s market.  Yummy!  As an evening snack, I had a yogurt parfait with granola and fresh pineapple.  So happy my meatless Monday went well!

Today’s challenge is to unsubscribe.  I don’t know how many different emails I unsubscribed from.  I also cleaned up two of my in boxes while I was at it.  It’s amazing how much lighter you feel without all that extra mess in your life.

Elf 4 Health Challenge #1

I’m so excited about the challenges.  Maybe not the burpee one but the others yes.

Funny story about the burpee challenge.  I was telling my family about this week’s challenge and my mother-in-law didn’t know what a burpee was.  She thought it was Sheldon on “The Big Bang Theory” burping pi.  So Hubby and I demonstrated what a  burpee was.  The response from both my father-in-law and mother-in-law was that I was going to hurt myself.

Anyway today’s challenge is the Meatless Monday challenge.  We are challenged to eat not meat today.  So the question was “How do I feed my meat loving husband a meatless meal?”  The answer is simple.  We are having tomato soup for supper.  He won’t complain about that and then when he gets to work, he can eat all the meat he wants away from me.

Here are some dinner or breakfast for dinner recipes from my blog that could help you decide what to have on this meatless Monday:

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal (Made in the crockpot)

French Toast (Just don’t serve meat with it.)

Mason Jar Salad

Baked Spaghetti (Minus the meat or use a meat substitute instead) – Most popular post on my blog.

Pesto Orzo Pasta Salad

Healthier Mac and Cheese

I just noticed, I need to add more meatless meals.  🙂

My menu plan for today:

Green Smoothie for breakfast

Left over Bruschetta pizza for lunch

Tomato soup with cheesy croutons for supper

Tomorrow I’ll let you know how it went.