Showing posts from June, 2011

In the Refiner's Fire - Something We Keep Forgetting

I realized something earlier this week.  Something that has been bugging me for a while and I haven't been able to put a finger on it.

If we have a handle on peace, joy, love and patience and all the other fruits of the Spirit given to us by our faith in Jesus Christ, why do we have so many Christian "self-help" books?

Now, don't get me wrong, I have read and enjoyed and gleaned useful information from several of them.  Some of them have helped me to figure out something I was stuck on, or was just plain wondering about.  I have even kept some of them for my shelves because I found them so useful that I want to be able to reference them later. 

I just find it really odd that we as a community, who are supposed to have all these things that the worldly world doesn't have, would need books other than the Bible to tell us what we can do to get those things.

I think the reason is this:

We are taught that we need to be patient.
We are taught that we need to be loving…

Work Home and Family - Small Changes Make Big a Difference!

We've been working on getting the to-do list around the house crossed off.

The cleaning out is going slowly, but steadily, and I'm okay with that.  Add to it that John and I had a very long talk and decided to really clean out and cut back on our possessions rather than just cleaning out.  I'm glad it's happening, and at the same time I want to fast-forward to "Done!"  I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels this way!

We also decided to tackle some projects that have been laying around for a while and not getting done.

Moving the stepping stones to a new place in the around-patio flower bed...

Rearranging the flower pots and other artifacts by our front door...

Hanging curtains in the kids' room that we've had for a month and never got around to hanging...

In the same vain, installing the curtain rods we've had for quite a while for our bedroom and never put them up (we were waiting to get new curtains, but the old rod that we'd inh…

Healthy Habits in 2011 - Coming up in July...

I hit a plateau with my weight loss these last few weeks.  The good news is that I haven't gained any weight back or any inches back.  The bad news is that I'm stuck.
For July....

I'm planning on working out 4 or 5 times each week (which is fairly easy since I'm not teaching at night right now).
I'm planning on not eating seconds at dinner and not finishing the kids' breakfasts (bad habits that I've gotten into).

We also have a few parties coming up (a relatives retirement party, an off-to-the-military party, a reception lunch after John serves at a church out of town, and a couple of delayed graduation parties), so I'm planning on skipping the cake or only have cake and some veggies/fruit depending on the time of day of the party and making some wise choices about the other food there too.  I have found that if I have a glass of water in my hand I won't eat as much because I can take a sip of water if I feel I need to "eat".  So, …

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 26th, 2011

Date Night Desert - Raspberry Cheese Cake and Hot Cocoa This photo was taken last fall, but it's still  a perfect desert for a cold, rainy "summer" day!
The last two weeks have been interesting - John got terribly sick and then we spent a week in the cold and rain camping.  Now, we're getting ready for company, a conference I'm attending in August, and then several weekend "trips" so that John can lead worship for some churches out of  the area.  We have company Wednesday this week and Monday and Tuesday next week - we're looking forwarding to visiting with friends!
What are we eating this week?
Sunday, June 26: Breakfast: Cereal and Milk Lunch: Pancakes and Sausage, Strawberries and Melon Dinner: Hamburger Gravy, Noodles, French Bread, Strawberry-Grape-Melon Salad
Monday, June 27: Breakfast: Oatmeal with Bananas Lunch: Leftovers Dinner: Pork Loin, Rice, Salad, Nectarine-Banana-Grape Salad
Tuesday, June 28: Breakfast: Oat Groats with Apples Lunch: Leftovers Dinne…

Healthy Habits in 2011 - Battling Chronic Illness

I have written before a little bit about how one of my main reasons for getting healthy is to keep these two chronic illnesses that I have in check.   One can be controlled very well through diet and exercise - and that works very well .  The other has fewer flare-ups if I eat right, exercise and get enough sleep. Sleep being the key point here.

I found out last week that I've been in a flare-up for about 12 weeks. 

This week (and for the next 3 weeks) that  means nasty-scary antibiotics, plenty of sleep and prayers that I don't have to go on something stronger and more invasive again.

I had just thought I was tired from all the end-of-semester chaos and everything else that's been going on in my life.  I totally didn't realize that the 4 1/2 -5 hours of sleep I was getting a night was not helping and that my fatigue was due to a flare-up rather than just being 'regularly tired.'

My problem is this - I don't know what my limits are anymore.

I have to re-le…

A New Why of Reaching My Cleaning Out Goal

I think clutter multiplies in my home.  Does it in yours?  I feel like I put thing away or even just set them down, come back later and the amount has doubled or tripled. * Sigh *

We're working really hard on cleaning out our home - getting rid of all that junk stuff that we just don't use or can't seem to find a home for.

I'm discovering that I keep cleaning out the same areas over and over again.  The areas that really need to be cleaned out, seem to get left behind and get more and more crowded with the things that don't have a home elsewhere.

My new goal is to look at the areas that don't get touched regularly and get rid of two things per day.

What have I gotten rid of this week:

* A hideous light-up Christmas tree topper angel that my aunt gave me
* An equally hideous doll that my aunt gave my daughter (which isn't meant to be played with either)
* A pair of matchstick blinds that I've had sitting in the corner of my bedroom for 4 years
* Recycled…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 12, 2011

The thing I love the most about summer? All the salads!  The above photo is not really salad, but includes quite a bit of it!  Yum!
We have a fairly normal week this week for summer - school, work, and a few church events.  We're enjoying the slightly slower pace of summer.   Here's what we're eating this week:
Sunday, June 12: Breakfast: Cereal and Milk Lunch: Breakfast Tacos, Grapes Dinner: Pancakes with Strawberries
Monday, June 13: Breakfast: Cinnamon Breakfast Cake, Bananas Dinner: Mixed Green Salad with Salmon, French Bread, Strawberry-Melon-Grape Salad
Tuesday, June 14:  Missy and Buddy's Baptism Anniversary! Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal Dinner:  Pan Fried Tilapia, Sweet Potato Fries, French Bread, Strawberry-Grape-Apple Salad Baptism Anniversary Desert: Gingerbread
Wednesday, June 15: Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins with Bananas Dinner: At Church: Bring Tossed Salad
Thursday, June 16: Breakfast: Oat Groats with Apples Dinner: Easy Black Bean Soup, Cornbread, Grape-Apple-Pear Salad

Healthy Habits in 2011 - John's Jumping on the Bandwagon!

One of the really fun things that is happening this summer is that John is taking the summer off from his Seminary classes.  Ideally, so that I can write on my dissertation.  In reality, since he needs a desperate break and needs to get some much-needed balance in his life.

After watching him struggle with full time and 2/3 time school and a schedule that leaves very little time for anything else, even my head aches.  His shoulders get tense, he starts craving junk food, and he feels very listless and lethargic.

One day in the last month we decided that we would work together on this goal of getting healthy.

We've always done pretty well in terms of eating meals. 
Snacking, not so much. 
Working out? I do okay. John's workout is non-existent.

We're both wearing pedometers now.
We're both keeping a food journal now.
And we're both reporting in to each other weekly about our progress now.

How cool is that? 

We've starting taking family walks again - something…

Goals - What do they really look like anyway?

As you've probably guessed from this blog, I'm very much a goals-oriented person. I make incessant to-do lists. I have daily, monthly, and yearly goals.  I love to have a very strict schedule.  I love to know what's going to happen next. 

What trips me up is that I always have more on my lists than time or my health or the general craziness of life will account for. 


It doesn't seem to matter if there is anything single thing on my do list more than sleep, eat and bathe and I will not complete it in some way, shape or form! 

Friday night, I had two baskets of laundry sitting in my living room waiting to be folded.  The same two baskets that had migrated from the laundry room to our bed, to the living room, back to our bed, to perching precariously on top of the hampers in our room, back to our bed and were back to the living room over the previous 4 days.  Buddy had dug underwear out of the baskets twice because there is none in the underwear basket in his c…

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - Birthday Parties!

One of the things I so enjoy about having children is their birthday parties!  Excitement, fun, and way too much cake and noise. Who can beat that?

Missy and Buddy turned 6 years old the beginning of May and had 17 0-6 year olds at our house for a Princess and Knight themed party.  They got to decorate crowns and shields, "rescue" a "princess" in trouble, chase each other around and eat cake and cookies. 

Since their birthday was during finals week for me, I had to leave much of the planning and doing to my Mom.  Grandma's are great and we all had a blast - especially Grandma!

My Mom and my cousin, Diane, helped make this wonderful cake - isn't it cute (and yes, I do realize that the knights and princess are a wee bit out of scale!).

I loved watching the children decorate and be creative.

And I think we're still finding these in the flower bed!

Truly, birthday parties are one of my favorite things! 
What more can I ask for?

*Note*  I'm planning on be…