Kris Mares

Just a woman trying to love Jesus and others a little bit more…

Join me for a Makeover! April 22, 2016

I’m so excited! I’ve just purchased Make Over Your Mornings and Make Over Your Evenings! These are two courses offered by Money Saving Mom – Crystal Pain. In a busy, full house like mine, routines are important. Organization is key. And, since we’ll be adding another child sometime soon (did you miss that announcement?), it’s time for me to make sure I’m starting and ending my days in a good way.

Mornings in my house are hectic. I don’t get my coffee soon enough, I end up
yelling at kids that are slower than I want them to be. Instead of sending them off to school with grace, I often send them off with a “Go, go, go don’t miss the bus!” I’d much rather send them off with a sense of calm and love and readiness for whatever the school day may hold.

At night, I’m tired from “catching up” all day and just want to crash. I end up wasting a LOT of time, leaving much on my to do list for tomorrow. Then, the cycle of starting the next day behind begins again and just continues on.

I’m ready to have a make over! I hope you will join me. I will start Make Over Your Mornings on May 1st. I will start Make Over Your Evenings on May 15th. Will you join me? I’ll be blogging about my journey and would love to hear what you learn too! Just click on the link of the course you want to take and find purchase information there! (Disclaimer: the links are affiliate links and I will receive a small “kick back” from your purchase).

Order your course (I got both for less than $20) and comment below if you are joining me!


Weight Loss Wednesday – Back to School August 31, 2011

Well, the older kids started school last week and I started school this week. That means that our family schedule just EXPLODED, well, at least that what it feels like. We are all trying to get adjusted to a new routine. For me, that means doing a better job at planning food, using my time wisely and being pretty organized.

It also means less snacking and less time at the gym. Less snacking = good news. Less gym time = bad news. I know I’ll be able to go workout on Monday and Friday mornings. Saturday mornings would work too, but I’d like to fit an evening time into the week. I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to do that yet. I’m waiting to see how things go after we’ve all been in session for a while.

Busy mornings also mean that I’ll be inclined to skip breakfast. That is not good. I need to be proactive and have mass baking days where I can make muffins galore to have on hand (they freeze really well). I also need to make sure that I pack a small snack in my school bag. The mid-morning growling can get loud and I don’t want to disturb my fellow students! I also know that if I allow myself to get overly hungry a couple of things happen – 1) I get incredibly grouchy and irritable. 2) I overeat at my next meal because I’m STARVING! Neither of those options is good.

I also need to make sure I schedule in the grocery store. Over the summer, I got into a lazy habit of just going to the store (with a list still) when the pantry and fridge got too low. Sometimes that was weekly, sometimes not for a couple of weeks. I don’t have the time to do that now. I need to pick a grocery day and go, regardless of the food level in the house. Otherwise, we’ll end up like we are now – needing milk for 2 days and not having the time/opportunity to go grocery shopping!

I also get the chance to get back to crock-pot cooking. It saves me tons of time and money too. Then “nap time” can be homework time and dinner prep time can be spent with the kids. Hopefully that will help us all transition into mommy going back to school…

Here is my goal progress:

  1. Incorporate a fresh fruit or vegetable for each meal – I’ve done about 75%.
  2. Use more seasonings to make meals more interesting – I used turmeric this week.
  3. Eat breakfast every day, cereal no more than 3 times a week – Didn’t do so hot on this one.
  4. Utilize the YMCA at least 3 times a week – I made it twice.
  5. Try at least one new recipe each week – Yep, I tried 3!
  6. Drink at least 2 big blue glasses of water a day. – I did better here, but still not great.

Here are the numbers:

  • Starting weight:  204.4
  • Initial goal weight:  150
  • Current weight:  182.6 (lost 2 lbs.)

So I’d like to know, how do you balance busy family schedules with exercise? What works for you to fit it all in one day?


What Happened to Summer? September 8, 2010

Filed under: Me — Kris @ 7:53 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I’m sitting here, listening to the sound of the shower as kids prepare for school tomorrow.  The little ones are in bed.  Racer is around somewhere.  And our family has spent zero time together today.  Where did summer go?

Now that school has started, our “schedules” are getting into full swing.  Mornings are hectic getting everyone out the door.  The littles and I have full days of homeschool, a new Tuesday playgroup, Thursday storytime and errands.  After school time is busy with homework, chores and dinner/supper preparation.  Then we eat (thankfully, together as a family) and the two older do their clean-up chores while the littles get ready for bed.  Tonight, Professor started Cub Scouts (which I highly recommend for elementary age boys) that is now a part of our schedule.  Next week, Blue starts driver’s ed classes (how did this happen?) and before we know it, the week is gone and I’m not totally sure where it went.

What happened to summer when we didn’t have anything to do and we played outside together after dinner until 8:00?  What happened to playing board games with Blue and Professor after the little ones went to bed?  What happened to a clean house because everyone had time to pitch in and help?

Where did time go?

While I thrive on schedules – I’m a total type A personality – I really do love a quite night at home where everyone is together, getting along, well rested and enjoying our family.  As schedules change, tempers flare, chaos ensues and everyone gets tired (hence the tempers).  I suppose we just need to get adjusted to that new groove that is the fall calendar.  There is always so much to look forward to!

I won’t miss the heat of summer.  I won’t miss the uncertainty, packing, moving, saying goodbyes that this last summer brought.  I won’t miss high electric bills from running air conditioners.  I won’t miss the stink of sweaty kids after playing outside for only a short time.  I won’t miss the greasiness of sunscreen.

Instead, I welcome the chance to shop for back-to-school stuff (always did love it).  I welcome the cool, crisp air that is marching band season (yep – I’m a total band geek)!  I welcome jeans, comfy (and supportive) tennis shoes with long-sleeve shirts.  I welcome bonfires, the crunch of leaves and trips to the orchard and pumpkin patch.  And yes, I welcome the start of a new tv season (since it get dark earlier).

We’ll adjust to a new schedule, new things to do, new body rhythms.  I’ll make new goals for myself (I’ll tell you all about them when I get them nailed down).  Each of us will settle into a pace that makes sense.  Yes, Racer and I will schedule carefully and make sure that our family does indeed have time to connect together; that is VERY important to us.  Yes, we will make sure that the kids all have time to just play and be.  We try hard NOT to over schedule.  We will try hard to have a date night every now and then too (maybe we’ll even sneak out tonight).

One thing that I’ve learned is that I don’t have all the answers.  I’m always looking for new ideas that will help my family function more peacefully.  So please, share with me, what are you looking forward to this fall?  What are your plans and goals?  How do you handle the busy schedules that seem to arrive this time of year?  How do you maintain quality family time when everyone is off in different directions?

Join me in saying “goodbye summer” and “Hello Fall!”


A Day in the Life September 1, 2010

Filed under: Motherhood — Kris @ 8:07 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

My days right now, look nothing like I thought they might when I was growing up.  My days are full, yet I often feel like I don’t get much accomplished.  Raising 4 kids while pregnant is hard.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids to pieces, but it’s hard work.  So, in an effort to help myself see that I really DO get something done each day, I thought I’d list out what my day is like.  And, if you get a better glimpse into me, my life, my family and how we roll (some days), that’s good too.  So, here is what we’ve done today.

Shortly before 5:30am – Professor is up and in the bathroom

5:30am – Alarm goes off, get up, wake up Blue, pop in to make sure Professor is getting ready.  He’s already dressed and has made his bed.  Remind him to get the dirty clothes in the basket.  Warm up the 2 day old coffee (I’m the only one who drinks it – 1 mug a morning – and I just can’t let a pot go to waste)

5:45am – Make pancakes for breakfast.  I made a double batch hoping for a few leftovers.  Put plates, butter and syrup on the counter for people to get what they need and eat.  Packed lunch for Racer, Blue and Professor as I was too tired to do it last night.

6:05am – Remind Professor to do “hair, teeth and deodorant” and get his school stuff together.  Ask him to feed the dogs.

6:15am – Pour Blue a glass of milk and get Professor out the door for the bus.  It came early yesterday and we didn’t want to miss it again today.

6:25am – Come inside with Girlie (she woke up and joined us waiting for the bus and looking at a HUGE spider) and watch Racer shove 3 pancakes down followed by a glass of milk.

6:30am – Tell Racer and Blue goodbye for the day, help Girlie get her breakfast, change Gorilla’s diaper and get his breakfast

6:45am – Start breakfast cleanup

7:00am – Breakfast is done, start boiling eggs for lunch, turn on cartoons for the little kids

7:15am – Sit down and check computer stuff (Facebook, email, blogs I follow, get my morning Swagbucks)

7:40am – Realize that the eggs are still on the stove!  Go in and see the pan boiled dry; turn off the burner and put cool water in the pan

7:45am – Little kids brush teeth while I get dressed (no shower today), put a load of laundry in, then get little kids dressed.

8:00-10:00am – Homeschooling; This week we are on the letter A for apple, alligator and astronaut.  We read, practiced writing Aa, did apple addition, made alligator paper bag puppets, reviewed our Adam and Eve story w/coloring pages and wrote a letter to an “A” friend.

10:00am – Outside play time!  While Girlie and Gorilla play, I hang the load of laundry on the line, try to have them “beat a rug,” load the recycling in the car, sweep out the entryway, vacuum the vent/windows in the entryway.

11:20am – Come inside and make lunch, eat clean up

11:55am – Change Gorilla’s diaper and put him down for a nap

12:00pm – Send Girlie up for “quiet time” and talk to Racer during his lunch break

12:15pm – Sit down to computer to check message boards and begin blogging

12:50pm – Go outside to get mail

12:55pm – Come inside and sit down to read the mail (I got a magazine)

1:10pm – Lay down “for a few minutes to put my feet up”

1:43pm – Wake up, realizing it’s been longer than a few minutes and I need to use the bathroom

1:44pm – Watch the clock change and think “I really need to get up,” close my eyes again

1:48pm – I REALLY need to use the bathroom!

1:55pm – Take a pack of toilet paper to the kids bathroom on my way to the kitchen to unload/load the dishwasher

2:10pm – Realize I need to change the printer ink so I can print out the recipe for tonight’s dinner

2:15pm – Sit down to print out the recipe and check FB, email while the page is loading – Hillbilly Housewife is doing maintenance and the page is going slow, update blog post

2:25pm – Gorilla is awake and Girlie is now downstairs, get off computer and get them something for a snack

2:35pm – Prep the Hamburger Pinwheels for dinner tonight and clean-up mess; mental note – next time, double the dough recipe

2:55pm – Go upstairs to check on Girlie and Gorilla playing.  She has created a “party” which means many of her toys are piled on the floor between her bed and window wall.  Mental note – when she is a teenager, NEVER let her host a party.  A mess is sure to be left.  Pick up many toys and get room slightly back in order.

3:10pm – Go outside to bring in laundry and wait for Professor to get off the bus.

3:20pm – Professor is home.  Go inside, put laundry on the bed (it’s Racer’s stuff so he’ll put it away), clean out lunchbox, sit down to update blog post (otherwise I’ll forget what I’ve done)

3:27pm – Listen to Girlie and Gorilla chase each other, talk to Professor about a carrot top he’s trying to sprout, snack he wants and homework to be done

3:29pm – BIG SIGH!  Close eyes for just a moment, deep breath and remember that one day, I’ll miss this crazy, loud chaotic after-school time

3:30pm – Go get a snack ready for Professor

3:35pm – Blue gets home from school a bit early, play tooth fairy and nurse w/Girlie while wrestling/playing jungle gym with Gorilla, remind Blue to take out the dogs

3:50pm – Check Professors homework

3:55pm – Head outside to push Gorilla in the swing, point out spiders and webs, lay in the hammock!, play friends, referee disagreements and watch the dogs so they don’t break out of the fence

4:55pm – Head inside

5:00pm – Start dinner

5:05pm – Call Racer to see if he made it to a friend’s house to help with a project

5:10pm – While listening to kids argue, decide to turn on K-LOVE for some refreshing Christian music, continue with dinner as Gorilla tries to hang from my shirt wanting “up,” Girlie wants a drink and Professor reads a Pokemon book

5:20pm – Set the table

5:30pm – Calm a crying baby and call kids to the table, pray and begin eating

5:48pm – Blue is done and leaves the table

5:49pm – Racer gets home and sits down to eat, the rest of the kids leave the table as they finish

5:56pm – I leave the table and go start bath water

6:00pm – Gorilla gets in the tub, remind Professor to go load/unload dishwasher

6:10pm – Girlie gets in the tub

6:15pm – Get Gorilla out and get his pj’s on, paged by Girlie from the tub 3 times

6:16pm – Notice the dishwasher hasnt’ been touched and track down Professor to do his chore

6:17pm – Blue asks to go to Wal-Mart for graph paper, told her no (we were just there yesterday and she knew she needed it then), gave her some small sheets that happened to be around

6:20pm – Sit down to update blog post

6:26pm – Remind Blue to feed the dogs

6:30pm – Hear Blue yelling about Gorilla throwing all the dog food she just put into the bowls out onto the floor as Professor laughs, go referee

6:33pm – Finish updating blog post as I hear Racer getting Girlie washed up in the tub, check Facebook

6:38pm – Girlie come streaking in after bath, Professor comes in to tell me his chore is done, he gets sent into the tub, continue my “computer time”

6:48pm – Ask Racer to take his turn refereeing, help Blue locate a stapler

6:54pm – Get bathroom cleaned up after Professor’s bath, give Gorilla a good night kiss and hug, check on Blue doing homework and have a discussion about algebra

7:05pm – Girlie and I clean up play/family room then read books while listening to Racer try to put Gorilla to bed (much crying is involved)

7:18pm – Racer “tags out” and I go in; Gorilla is putting up a MAJOR fight!  I sing, pat, hug, he screams, cries, kicks, fights.  He calms down.

7:40pm – I leave Gorilla’s room (he’s quiet and almost asleep) just in time to give Girlie a kiss and hug for bed.

7:43pm – Send Professor up to his room to bring down all the library books due tomorrow, sit down to update blog and Facebook with one of the best nursery workers ever

7:52pm – Go upstairs with Professor to do devotions and put him to bed, had a discussion about making friends and LOVED hearing his honest, sincere prayer

8:12pm – Came downstairs and looked for Racer and Blue, passed by Gorilla’s door and heard snoring, tried opening the door to find him asleep behind it.  I used the door to push him in enough to squeeze in, then lift him up and put him back in bed.  Gorilla slept through it all.

8:15pm – Thinking Blue is in her room and Racer fell asleep with Girlie.  Sat down and read Hebrews 12 and Genesis 40.  Hebrews 12:1-13 really hit home with me.  Genesis 40, not so much.

8:25pm – It’s quiet in the house.  I should probably do something productive, but instead, I get on the computer to update this post and just surf.  Started to read the summary of a research project I contributed thoughts/ideas too…

8:43pm – Blue comes downstairs and begins a discussion about a potential college major, how I feel about it, what she really wants to do, places she wants to visit…

8:53pm – remind Blue of the time and that she needs to pack lunch and shower still, Racer comes downstairs

8:55pm – Blue brings her library books downstairs and wants them ALL renewed, I told her to pick one

Since I’m tired and have yet to have a meaningful conversation with Racer (and this post is getting rather long), I’ll just end now.  Plus, I’m sure Racer wants the computer.  Know that I usually try to pack lunches before bed, and I may just lay on the couch, talk to Racer, watch something silly on TV and fall asleep.  I really do get quite a bit accomplished in a day and I know that one day, I’ll wake up, have no one to take care of other than me, and remember these days fondly, thanking God that we all made it through in one piece.


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