Showing posts from March, 2011

Healthy Habits in 2011 - 5lbs and 2 Inches Down!

Soooo, how's that weight loss thing going, huh?

I'm down 5lbs.
I'm also down 2 inches on my waist!

I have a pair of pants that have been snug for the last several years and I had to wear a belt with them to work yesterday to keep them from falling down to my hips. 

I LOVE that!
I have also been able to work out an average of 4 times per week for the last month.

I am giving that extra working out the credit for not gaining back those 5lbs since I spent last week eating a ton of junk food - cheesecake, chocolate lava cake, hot soft pretzels, ice cream, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I probably shouldn't even mention on a healthy habits entry! 

We had several events where we needed to eat desert and, of course, I didn't plan ahead and went with a basically empty stomach each time.  (Or I did like I did today and forgot a spoon to eat my yogurt with! Opps!)

That meant lots of eating things I shouldn't have.

We have loads of fruit in the house this week an…

Goals Update - March 28, 2011

Some days I really feel like I'm scaling Mount Everest or something equally daunting.

Writing a dissertation and jumping through all the hoops necessary to gain a Ph.D. degree is far, far, far harder than I ever imagined it would be.  I have been making steady progress on things and spring break was particularly productive for me.  I can't cross things off my sidebar yet because everything has to signed and sealed by the graduate officers before I can "officially" say they are done.  *sigh*  I have made good enough progress that people are impressed - and the right people too!  :)

Emotionally and physically the last few months have been difficult. 

I have been bogged down by the emotional impact of too many deaths of people who are far too young to die. 
I have been bogged down by the physical demands of working part time, going to school full time, being a wife and a mama, and a daughter and a friend.
I have given myself a goose egg on my forehead, sliced open th…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of March 27th, 2011

I think I live in a time warp.  One minute it's Thursday and then *poof* it's the following Monday!  Where, oh where, does the time go?

We've done a fantastic job of sticking to the grocery budget of $40 per week lately.  I'm very pleased with that.  We spent $37 this week and that means we have $43 for next week.  I'm confident we can do it since our house is overflowing with food  - at least that's the way it seems!  We got a lot of fruit and vegetables this week on really good deals so we're eating heavy in those areas this week.   Included in those are 2 pints each of blackberries and blueberrys, 1 lb strawberries, a melon, 2 containers of baby portobello mushrooms, a head a broccoli, a 2lb bag of salad, 6lbs of oranges and 10lbs of potatoes!   I think we're good for a while with those things!

Here's the menu:

Sunday, March 27th:
    Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
    Lunch:  Leftover BBQ Pulled Pork sandwiches, Blackberry-Strawberry-Banana Salad

Kid Funny

My Buddy loves, loves, loves dinosaurs and has talked for two-plus years now about being a paleontologist when he grows up.  My parents bought him a National Geographic DVD on dinosaur excavations for Christmas.  It was on back-order and just arrived last week. 

While watching it one evening the whole thing went something like this:

Narrator: "This 167 Million Year Old Dinosaur...."

Buddy:  "Mom!  That's older than you are!  No, wait...That's even older than Grandpa is!"

Umm, thanks, Buddy. 

I think.


What more can I ask for?

In the Refiner's Fire - God is There

Last night's Lenten sermon was exactly what I needed to hear.

I have been struggling with my faith for several years now and in that last six months or so, I've realized that I really am very, very Lutheran.

You see, the Lutheran faith has something that most other denominations of the Christian church don't have - the idea that secular and sacred intermingle and that we are simultaneously sinner and saint in one.  The idea that our salvation is handed to us by God regardless of what we do to 'deserve' it is the main pin of this philosophy.

I can't do enough to earn my salvation, no matter what I do, and I am despirately in need of God's grace and forgiveness because I am far too sinful a person.  This is where Jesus dying on the cross comes in - He is the final sacrifice for my sin, I don't have to do a thing but believe.  The "good works" piece enters in in allowing God in Christ to work through me - the good works are truly His, not mine.

Life at Our House...

These last few weeks have been hard emotionally around here.

First my cousin took her beautiful 2 1/2 year old off life support.

Then I had a 3-day-long allergic reaction between my medications and something I ate, which meant I had to cancel class and stay in bed and deal with a digestive track that was swollen beyond belief. 

Then I had to play catch-up from all the stuff I'd missed and didn't get done.

Then the kids had spring break with no daycare so we had to juggle schedules and random babysitters and too much of the neighbor child (who is a complete terror!).

Then we had a meeting with our Pastor about a lot of not-so-good-things that had been happening at our church.  We thought the meeting would have been decisive and it wasn't.  It just made us more confused.

We've been attending another church in the area and it's been wonderful, but it's not "home", which makes me feel adrift and unsupported.

Buddy lost his glasses - they're not in t…

Menu Plan Wednesday - Week of March 20th, 2011

The fabulously decadent breakfast we had on our anniversary weekend last year! Yum!
Now, I'm not putting together anything nearly as fancy as the meal above - though it sure does look good, doesn't it?  That was such a nice memory and it was so warm that weekend!  We have more SNOW today. Ugh.  I'm SO ready for spring and we had been teased for the last several days - including spring coats out over the weekend.  I know that spring is coming.  For some reason this winter has seemed far longer than normal.
So, back to the whole menu thing... what are we eating this week?
Sunday, March 20: Breakfast: Cereal and Milk Lunch: Baked Eggs, Brown Sugar Biscuit Twists, Apple-Grape-Banana Salad Dinner: Cracker Baked Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans, Apple-Grape-Banana Salad
Monday, March 21:
Breakfast: Cereal and Milk Bag Lunches: Turkey Sandwiches, Applesauce, Carrots or Tomatoes, Cookie Dinner: Spaghetti with Garlic Bread, Salad, Orange Wedges
Tuesday, March 22: Breakfast: Yogurt and B…

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things - Hot Cocoa and Marshmallows

Well, I think spring is finally starting to spring around here - we had rain today instead of snow and it's been quite warm comparatively around here (in the low to mid 40's F).  I'm hoping!

In the meantime, it still feels COLD!

One thing that I really love during cold weather is hot cocoa.

My cousin made us some homemade hot cocoa mix and homemade mint marshmallows!  YUM!  A dear friend had made me cocoa and mocha mixes for Christmas as well.  YUM again!  I LOVE IT!

I've had to work hard at not having more than one cup with 4 marshmallows per day...yes, it's that good.

Since I'm trying to loose that pesky extra weight I've had hanging around since my babies were born how many years ago now, I've found that this is the perfect afternoon 'snack'.  Perfect for when I'm not hungry, but want something or when I'm not hungry but am having a sweets craving attack.

Add in a quiet house, a warm throw, and a favorite book and I'd say that'…

Frugal Friday - Comforting the Grieving

Whew - these last two weeks have been a blur and one of the things that happened was my cousin taking her little daughter off life support and the subsequent funeral.

All of that really made me think about what we do as a family to comfort the grieving. 

We've experienced so many losses ourselves in the now 12 1/2 years we've been married - 3 grandparents, 4 uncles, 6 cousins, and numerous friends and further flung family. 

What have I appreciated during those times? What have I not appreciated? What was necessary? What was nice but ultimately not necessary? What was helpful? 

My short list of things that I really and truly appreciated and were comforted by was this:

* Thoughts
* Prayers
* Companionship

None of these things need to cost money, only time. 

Attending the funeral of the mother of some dear friends of ours and stopping, calling or emailing to see who they were was far more appreciated by the friends than the dinner we brought over (the dinner was a nice extra)…

Healthy Habits in 2011 - Weight Loss Challenge

So, me being me, I decided that I needed some outside accountability in my little weight loss journey.

When Jazzercise started their Jazz It Off! promotion this month, I decided I'd do it. 

Never mind that I hate public accountability of my very personal habits.
Never mind that I REALLY don't need a single other thing on my plate right now.  REALLY.
Never mind that in order to do that I need to add two more exercise sessions a week to my current crowded schedule.
Never mind that when I'm on a "diet" all I can think about it food - I rarely think about food when I'm not "dieting."


Last week was the first week.

I chose my weigh-in day as Thursday.

I attended 4 classes between last Tuesday and today.

I watched what I've eaten more than I have for a long time  and asked myself a lot if I was truly hungry or eating because I was bored.  Mostly the answer was "bored". 

I went to a baby shower on Saturday afternoon and ate only 1 sma…

Menu Plan, er, Tuesday - Week of March 6, 2011

The Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake I made for Thanksgiving! (Before adding the powdered sugar topping.) I just thought this looked yummy tonight...
We made a big 'stock up' run this weekend and spent $65 for a whole bunch of stuff.  We also received a large cooler full of meat - venison and bear - from my cousin who bagged two bucks and a very, very (~600lbs) large bear this year.  I'm grateful that we received some 'extras' with that - it makes it easier to 'stretch' things with fabulous gifts like that.  Don't worry, my cousin gives most of his meat to his son - who has a very low income and 4 children to feed, so we get the leftovers after he helps them and himself!  I should be easily able to stick to my budget of $15 for this next week with all the 'stuff' we have in the house presently. 
With all that, what are we eating this week?
Sunday, March 6: Breakfast: Cereal and Milk Lunch: French Bread, Cheese, Fruit Dinner: Salmon, Tortilla Chips, Mango Sals…

Prayers Please

My cousin's disabled toddler is in organ failure (liver, lungs, kidneys, and heart) and she and her husband have to decide if life support is something they want to continue.

My cousin is struggling with a belief that God is taking away her children becuase she is "a horrible person" (her words).  She burried her son in 2003.  They have no living children other than this darling little girl who is now at the end of her short life.

Please pray for the Y. family.  They need the prayers so despirately.

And go hug your children and thank God for them - whether they are healthy or not. They are ALWAYS a blessing.

Work Home and Family - Making My House a Home

So this is definitely not the best picture in the world, but it shows you one of the things that I do to make my house a home. 

This was the Valentine's Day gift I made for my children. The blue/green chain is for Buddy and the pink/purple chain is for Missy.  Each link is a printout of my "Gratefulness Journal" for that person.  Then I made them into a chain with heart-shaped links.  Yes, all 365 days of them from 2010 into a chain for each person for Valentine's Day 2011.  I have a journal for John too and made a chain for him too - a red/orange one.  And I hung them around the house, making the whole place feel festive!

Each day I write down one thing I am grateful for with each member of my family.

This goes a long way to keeping my attitude the right attitude.

I just spent a weekend with a group of women who, for the most part (like any of us) are wonderful, caring, loving women.  They spent the entire weekend complaining about their spouses and kids.  Part of …