Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hi!  Merry Christmas!  I have missed blogging so much but I have to tell you...SO much has happened since my last post!  We moved!  After 11 years in the Independence area, we moved to the Derby, KS area on December 5th!  Kris started working at the Derby Walmart Store in September, and we had been living apart for 3 days in a row each week since then.  We feel so very blessed to all be together again.  We are leasing a home in Rose Hill, KS, and we really like it so far! We are praying that our home in Independence sells soon!  The kids are adjusting, and mama is working on that too...I miss my best friends...but I know God has a plan for this move!  I just wanted to pop in and share some of our Christmastime pictures, and say Hi...and Merry Christmas!


Monday, September 03, 2012

Her children arise and call her blessed...

I think my children must arise and call me cranky most days...ha!  Is that the joyous life God has planned for me?  Probably not.  I have been reading through Proverbs 31, just over and over, to try and become the mom and wife I am supposed to be.  Today I was reading in the footnotes of my study Bible, and read this definition for blessed: One who enjoys happy circumstances and from whom joy radiates to others.  Sometimes I feel guilty for being happy, almost as if someone who would rather I be miserable is in the room with me, someone who secretly wishes for failure, drama and chaos.  I know who that person is...the enemy of my soul.  I need to realize that the lover of my soul, God, wants me to be blessed, to enjoy happy circumstances, to enjoy the blessings that HE has given me!  And probably just as much as he wants me to enjoy it, he wants me to share that joy with others, to let others see his light, his hope, his peace, and JOY that he brings!

Lord, will you please help me with this today?  I beg you to just fill up my heart for these children and this husband!  I beg you to give me energy, enthusiasm, and most of all a love and joy that spills out to my family and friends.  Please Lord, I trust you with this today.  Amen.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

It's September!

This morning I am thankful for September, and the rest of the "ber" months, as my sister says!  There are just a million things I look forward to this time of year, pumpkins, candles, bonfires, football, falling leaves, apple cider...I could go on and on!  I just love it!  Autumn fills me with a new energy for homemaking, nesting, and mama-ing!  I think it's the promise of cooler temperatures, snuggly kids, and family time together that just brings so much JOY!

I have been meaning to update on my health, but every time I sit down to write about it I become discouraged, and discouragement is one of the enemy's greatest weapons, so I have been avoiding it.  I had a small "bump" in the road with my health and weightloss.  I had been noticing a lump on my belly, just to the lower right side of my belly button.  It seemed to be getting larger, so I talked to my doctor about it.  She ordered an x-ray, but didn't see anything abnormal in them.  Two months later I visited her again, after losing my first 20 pounds, and she said it was more noticable, and seemed larger to her.  She ordered a CT scan, and the results revealed a "small" hernia that was about 3 cm, that had already allowed a large amount of tissue to escape.  She referred me to a surgeon, and on August 6th I had outpatient surgery to correct it.  When I woke up from surgery I was shocked at the size of incision to correct my "small" hernia.  She said it was much larger than she initially thought, and the hernia opened up through my rectus abdominus muscle, and she had never seen anything like it before.  I think I slept for two whole days after surgery, and had a lot of pain.  I have been slowly getting back to normal, and the swelling from the surgery is just now down.  I am ready to get started again on my healthy living plan, but I feel like I have lost so much ground. I am determined, however, not to give up!  I need to go grocery shopping for some healthy foods again, and just get myself up in the mornings to begin walking again...I CAN still do this!  I just wanted to share this here, because I want to always remember the journey, even the "bumps" along the road!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rainy Day Christmas Music...

We have had rainy days for the past two days...THANK YOU LORD! We were needing rain so badly, our town has been in water conservation/warning status for a few weeks, and it's just felt stressful. I am so thankful to be able to turn on the faucet and get clean, fresh water, and I can't imagine living in a country or situation without it. We are so blessed. Anyway, it's been cloudy, cooler, and rainy, so after church this morning I slipped into comfy clothes, put a pot of white chicken chili on the stove, and turned on my "Christmas Guitar" cd. It's Christmas music, with just guitar, and sounds from nature...I love it. It sounds like something wonderful but doesn't scream "pressures of the holidays"...I love it...did I mention I love it? Anyway, we are just hanging out this afternoon, it's snuggly and I feel so blessed to be home, surrounded by kiddos (we have an extra Evan today!), even though our house is a disaster and Kris is not here with us, it's a blessed day!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Front Porch Face Lift!

I have been working hard this morning on our front porch!  The weather has been so much cooler that it has had me in the nesting and sprucing up mode!  I started painting last night, and finished everything up today while Claire was napping and Asher rode his bike around me in circles (ha!) I am really excited with how everything turned out.  I am still looking for a few more garage sale finds to finish it off, but I am excited about the changes I was able to make with just the cost of spray paint and some inexpensive cushions from Walmart!  Meme got this set for us as an anniversary gift.  It was cast aside of their flea market by the owner, and she offered to buy it.  It was a little rusty and a crusty greenish color, but I dusted it off and gave it a new coat of glossy black Color Place spray paint.  I picked the cushions up for around $6 for 4 of them, and thought the red might add a burst of color. 

I also cleaned up our old park bench.  Kris and I have had this old thing since we bought our very first home in 1999.  We bought it new, but it has been dragged to 6 different houses, sometimes exposed to rain and snow, and it has survived!  The cast iron was orginally a weathered green, but I thought it might look nice in black...because that's my answer to spray paint (ha!) I covered all the wood parts up with newspapers and painter's tape, and sprayed the iron black.  Next I took all of the paper off and put several coats of redwood stain that we had leftover from our swingset on the wood parts. I was so happy about how it came out!

I also painted up a pot with our house number on it.  I have seen these on Pinterest and just loved how they looked but couldn't figure out how to add the numbers without buying them in vinyl or hand painting them...but I had a brainstorm (which doesn't happen to often to me anymore) and decided to stick on scrapbook stickers and spray paint over them.  Before the paint was completely dry, I removed the stickers with tweezers to reveal the previously cream color of the flower pot! I was excited to finally have a house number flower pot!

Hope you've enjoyed our front porch!

First Day of 7th Grade!

Today is Katie's first day of 7th grade...I can hardly believe it!  Eight short years ago we sent our precious little sweet pea to the Bible School in her tiny navy blue and green plaid uniform for kindergarten, and now she is taller than I am!  She is beautiful inside and out, and we are so proud of the young woman she is becoming!  We love you Katie!  Welcome to Junior High!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Can I just share some of the blessings that are going on in our home right. this. minute?  Claire is in Asher's room dancing her little heart out to "Rise and Shine (and give God the Glory, Glory)" and I just heard her and Asher giggling like crazy down there!  We have electricity...for the air conditioner, and it's supposed to be 109 degrees today.  My beautiful , beautiful girl is hugging me as I type...right. now.  She just woke up.  I had coffee and read my Bible this morning.  My sweet boy came down from his fun room just to ask if I could "hold him" right back.  I got my kiss, hug, shakey-shakey and "shiggle" from my life is good...I am so incredibly blessed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


This morning I am so thankful for so many things...temperatures in the 70's this morning for my walk, kids sleeping in just a little longer than usual, Kris's legs getting better, a ripe tomato waiting for me on the vine this morning, mourning doves singing, our home, Kris's job, Katie being at camp this week (I think she was needing a break from us more than we were needing a  break from her pre-teen-age-ness), for some much needed spiritual growth and renewal that Kris and I are hoping and praying for, for the Lego house that Asher and I have been working on in the dining room, and last but not least...for coffee!  Thank you LORD, for everything you have given us!

Monday, July 09, 2012

true joy

things that bring me true joy:
  • seeing Claire take her first steps (finally!)
  • listening to Asher tell us what "love" means...his definition, "love is when you're happy when you're with someone" (he is amazing.)
  • listening to Katie sing at the top of her lungs when she thinks we're not listening
  • clean laundry
  • a 10 degree drop in the hot summer temperatures
  • coffee
  • finishing a good walk with sweaty clothes (really.)
  • when Kris gives me a random kiss on the back of my neck while I'm doing dishes
  • watching Asher and Claire become close siblings (they truly love each other.)
  • listening to k-love or kxoj online
  • my good girlfriends~Crystal, Charisse, Sabrina, Stephanie, Pam, Emmalee, love these ladies!
  • feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit in our home...that's truly the best joy in the world...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Just a closer walk with thee...

Walking...I've been doing a lot of that...sometimes 4 miles a day...and I can feel the effects of it.  I feel so much better, physically and mentally.  Even though my walks are benefitting me, they are not the "walks" that I am really needing to take.  The walks that I crave this morning, the ones I am desperate for are ones with my heavenly father.  I have to admit that I've been really distant with him lately...just kind of coasting along...praying sometimes...sometimes not.  Praising sometimes...sometimes not.  Giving/Loving sometimes...sometimes not.  I don't like it.  I just want Jesus.  There is nothing in this world that can satisfy my soul except him.  No amount of exercise, weight loss, compliments, financial security---nothing can fill this hole in me like he can.  His presence, his peace, his certainty can fill this need in me, if only I will let him in.  So...right here in this post...I want to ask him, to invite him, to beg him to come and be with live inside my very being.

Dear Jesus, Thank you so much for all of the amazing blessings in my life, I know that every good gift comes you, my children, my husband, my family and are the giver of these...thank you so much.  Lord, I need you.  It's so simple, I just need you in my heart, in my life...not just as a part, but as a whole...take all of me, Lord, please.  I don't want to keep treading water to stay alive, I want to be alive in you, Lord...please...please just fill me with you, Lord.  I am begging for your presence.  Please just help me through this life, be with me every step.  Lord, I invite you, I give you permission to just have my life.  I want a closer walk with you, close that I can feel you holding on to me.  Please Lord, please.  In your precious name I pray, Amen.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ok...time to GET IT TOGETHER...

I have been struggling so much with my eating and exercise during the past week.  I just let myself have some "treats" and it has gotten out of hand, and I haven't exercised for a few days.  I have been fighting a head cold/allergies/sinus stuff and just haven't been motivated to jump out of bed and go early in the morning like I had been.  I have got to get it back together first thing in the morning.  My plan is to just leave my Sparkpeople webpage open in a window on the computer all day, so I can enter every bite that goes in my mouth.  I was doing this so religiously at first, and I have just slacked off and I can definitely tell.  I need the accountability and structure.  I can do this...I know I can...I just have to get back on my feet, dust myself off and keep going!

We have had a good weekend.  Yesterday we went to a friend's birthday party and swimming at our water park/pool.  The kids had fun, Claire loved it!  She just loves the water.  Asher had a lot of fun playing with his friend, Evan, and my friend Charisse and I were able to visit and catch up.   Kris had to work today, so we made him a yummy lunch and the kids gave him his "Daddy Day" presents during his lunch break, they were so excited for him to come home!  They gave him two Coleman lanterns that we picked up at a garage sale.  He loves old Coleman stuff, lanterns, heaters, thermos', etc. so he was thrilled with our thrifty gift!  I "helped" the kids make a little card to go on the lantern, it says, "You light up our Life, Daddy! We love you!  Happy Father's Day!"

 We tried to take a family picture before Kris went back to work, but it didn't work out too well...ha!

Oh--and one more thing for today--today marks 7 years of blogging for me!  My first entry was on June 17, 2005, isn't that the craziest thing?  There have been times when my blog entries were so few and far between, but I am so glad I have kept it going!  It is amazing to look back at my old posts and have PROOF of God working in our's just overwhelming to see all He has done for us!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summertime means Watertime!

We visited Meme and Papa's this weekend, and met up with my sister and her kiddos! The kids had so much fun playing together and swimming. We went to the new splash pad, and the kids loved it too! They were all so tired by the time we got home, but it was a nice weekend!

Katie lounging in the pool!

 Asher is armed with a water gun, and he's not afraid to use it!

 Can you believe Katie stood under these buckets on purpose?

Reese hanging out in the pool!

Reagan and her sweet toothless grin!

Katie and Rylee had a lot of fun together!

Oh my goodness...can I hit the "reset" button?

I ate too much today...way too much...ugh.  I haven't done very well during the past few days anyway, but today I feel like I really blew it.  Cookies.  Milk Shake.  Pulled Pork.  Curly Q fries.  Barbeque Sauce.  Coke.  Onion Strings.  RESET.  REFOCUS.  PRAY.  BREATHE.  It's OK.  Tomorrow is a new day...I can do this.  I can make excellent choices tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.  And all of this is since I hit the 20 pounds lost mark last week...why?  Lord, please help me...please help me forgive myself and MOVE ON.  I can do this.  I can do this.  I can do this.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

A Note + a teeny bit of coffee + a haircut = WEIGHTLOSS!

I am so, so, so excited to report that this morning when I stepped onto the scale, I saw beautiful numbers!  I currently weigh 19.2 pounds less than I did on May 2, 2012!  Almost 20...can you believe it? 


My title is kind of funny, but I think those things really did mentally help me this past week.  My sister wrote me a note, that said this:

"Hey there!  I just wanted to send you a little note to let you know how awesome I think you are for sticking with your healthy living plan!  I know it is not easy to break bad habits and to make time for exercising but you are doing it!  And doing it so well!  I am super proud of you!  You are making changes that are benefitting your whole family and I wanted you to know that I am happy for you!  Love you!  Love, Crystal"
This note was such an encouragement to me, it just made my whole day!  I try and read it every day for motivation! 

I had planned on going 1 month without coffee, just to kind of test the waters, and see how I did without it.  It felt horrible at first, and I just didn't think I could make it without it, but my coffee cravings slowly got less intense.  It wasn't just the caffeine, as any coffee drinker can tell you, it's the smell of it brewing, the way a full mug of hot coffee feels in your hands, the early morning quietness, and that first sip...oh my!  Anyhoo...I did it, I made it an entire month without coffee!  I decided to brew just a little bit the other day, and it was so, so, good and I didn't feel guilty, in fact, I felt liberated almost, that I could have coffee when I wanted it, without the guilt, without feeling like I had to have it every single day or I couldn't move.  I seem to have a lot more energy on the days I have been having it, mostly just because it makes me HAPPY! 

Oh, and one more thing that has contributed to my weight loss...a haircut!  There must have been a pound of hair lying on the ground afterward!  Ha!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Japanese Stack-Up Dinner

We had this for a Sunday School get-together once, and it was really good!  It has kind of an interesting
combination of flavors!  I couldn't find a picture of it, but wanted to save the recipe!  It's kind of fun to
encourage everyone to try ALL of the layers, and see what they think!


Read more about it at,1826,155168-225201,00.html
Content Copyright © 2012 - All rights reserved.
3 c. Minute rice
Chow mein noodles
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or chopped
Celery, chopped
Green onion, chopped
1 can crushed pineapple (or fresh pineapple is even better!)
Slivered Almonds
Flaked coconut
1 lb.  cheddar cheese, shredded

Chicken gravy
1 (32 oz.) chicken broth
3 cans cream of chicken soup

Prepare gravy. Serve buffet style in preceding order, putting hot gravy on last to melt cheese. Fun for dinner parties.

Friday, June 01, 2012

weight loss (or gain)

I forgot to update in my last post about my weight loss journey.  I'm still going, just slowly...I did gain two pounds this week (I just KNOW it was that trout and hushpuppies--ha!) but I am hopeful that I can get back to losing this week.  I only logged a couple of days on Sparkpeople last week, and I can definately tell the difference.  I also didn't have my normal exercise routine last week, so this week will be better, I just know it!

It's Friday, and it's SUMMERTIME!

I couldn't be happier that it's Friday this week!  I worked in the church this week, and between answering the phone with loud kiddos in the background, and Asher running all over the place in his "fast runnin' shoes" I am pooped!  I have gotten so used to my homemaking routine, so used to the comfort of being at home, that I had started to take it for granted.  I will be so very happy to be back to a routine next week.  I am so very very blessed to be able to be at home with my kids.  God is so good to allow this for us!  We do have a busy week coming up, Katie is starting softball, and Asher is starting "Blast ball" for the month of June.  We have 4 or 5 games a week for the month of June.  It should be exciting!

Katie's garden is growing!  We have three big tomatoes growing and one new little addition, a green pepper!  Katie has done a great job with checking on them every day.  We are excited to make salsa!  I've been collecting recipes to try.

We had a really nice Memorial Day weekend.  We stayed at home, and tried a bunch of new healthy recipes.  We also had one "unhealthy" meal of fried trout (from our awesome fisherman brother-in-law, Michael) and homemade hushpuppies, and I have to tell was so incredibly delicious!  One of our other favorite foods that we tried was grilling chicken with a dry rub on was so good!  We have always marinated in an oil based marinade, so this was a little healthier option for us.

I got the Slip-n-Slide out for the kids on Monday, and they loved it!  Claire was kind enough to give me a funny faced pose while sitting in the water!  This is the face she makes all of the time, and it totally cracks us up!  She loved the water, and wasn't afraid to get right in the sprinkler part!  Asher never did quite get the "sliding" part of it, but he sure had a good time playing in the water!  Katie hurt her knee again with a bike wreck, so she didn't slide today...I think she felt like she was too big...which makes me sad.  She is really growing up.  She would rather just watch, and listen to her ipod.  She still listens to Christian music (most of the time) and still loves to listen to "Adventures in Oddessy" every day, and lately she's been watching Disney channel shows a lot.  The kids are all growing so fast, makes me feel the need to cherish each day!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Slow and steady wins the race?

I must be a turtle...ha!  I lost one pound...and it's ok!  I will do better this week.  I need to work on cutting back on the unhealthy fats and sodium, and concentrate on getting my calories from healthy foods.  I can do this!  I know that I can!  I have the best cheerleader, and HE is patient and kind, and will give me help in my time of need. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Three Weeks!

Three weeks ago tonight I decided to change my life, and I am doing it!  Slowly.  Ha!  I have had a little bit of trouble yesterday and today with my eating.  I am kind of a creature of habit, so when I find a routine that's comfortable and I (kind-of) know what I am doing, I like to stick with it.  The past two days have been busy and I've not been home very much, so I have struggled with food and exercise.  Tomorrow I should be back on track!  I weigh in the morning, so we'll see how that goes!  I am going to do this, slowly, but surely!

Katie's last day of 6th grade is tomorrow.  This school year has gone by so quickly.  It doesn't seem that long ago that we dressed her in her little uniform to go to kindergarten and now there is only one more day of those plaid uniforms.  I added a few pictures of her through the years...she was and still is so beautiful and sweet!  We love you Sweet Pea, and we are so proud of the young woman you are becoming!

Katie in her cap and gown, graduating from Kindergarten!

Katie on the first day of 1st grade!

Katie on the first day of 3rd grade!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

One day at a time...

I have been taking this weight loss journey one day at at time...that's all I can handle.  When I start to think about how far I have to go, I get completely overwhelmed.  It seems so slow going, and I've been so tired.  I think I am going to make an appointment to see my doctor just to check my blood pressure and see if there is anything else I can do to feel a little better.  I have been so grumpy.  I want my coffee.  I want ice cream.  I want sweet and sour chicken and crab rangoon...ugh.  I have been recording every single bite of food or drink that goes into my mouth on  I have exercised 15 out of the last 17 days, for at least 30 minutes, plus did all of the cooking, cleaning, diapering, waking up at night with babies, and a 2 day garage sale...seems like I should have burned a zillion calories.  When I weighed in on Thursday, I had only lost 2 more pounds...and every day since then the scale says I have gained those two pounds back.  I am discouraged tonight.  Maybe I will feel better in the morning...I really hope so.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The weekend...

I wanted to write a quick post to update my progress.  I am still plugging along.  We went to Grove to spend the weekend with Kris's parents, so my eating was really different and a little difficult to record on Sparkpeople.  I went over a few of my goals both days, but I am ok!  I went for a short walk (but with a few Oklahoma hills) Sunday morning (1.10 mile), and it was really beautiful seeing Grand Lake so early in the morning as I walked.  I went for my regular walk (2 miles) this morning so I am getting back on track!   I feel like I have hit a couple of bumps in the road emotionally in the past few days (partly due to yucky ol' pms) but  I am working on the realization that I will have to go through this every single month until menopause, so I should kind of get used to it.  I am also realizing that there are going to be situations when things go wrong, when life is goal is to keep things in perspective, and to keep being healthy.  There is no reason to abandon the healthy stuff when bad things happen...keeping my body on the right track will hopefully help me handle the situation better.

We had a really good weekend with Kris's family.  We helped Meme plant flowers and do a little bit of sprucing up around the pool.  Kris and the kids went swimming...the water was still so cold, but they loved it!  Asher got to spend a little one on one time with Meme, helping her in the kitchen.  She told me that he was just so sweet and helpful, made this mama proud.  Katie hung out with Megan,  and they had a great time swimming, watching the Disney channel and just hanging out together.  Claire did a little better sleeping this time, she really has a hard time sleeping when we're away from home.  She had fun being spoiled by Megan and Meme, and really seemed to enjoy exploring all of Meme's pretty home decor...ha!  We had a nice time, just being together.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Week 2--I'm comin' for YOU!

Today is the first day of Week 2 of my journey!  I am so excited!  I can't believe I've made it this far!  Last night I went grocery shopping and SURVIVED! Ha!  I was so nervous about how seeing all of the foods I used to eat would affect me, but I made it!  I bought a lot of things for healthy meals and snacks for everyone.  I am still just so motivated and feel amazing about this! official numbers...are you ready for this?  I am not ready to share my starting weight, because well, it's just terrible...but one week ago I weighed in 11.8 pounds heavier than this morning! WOOHOO!  I am just tickled pink! I know that I won't lose as much this week as the first week, but I am going to just keep walking, eating, and praying!  Week're goin' down!


P.S.  I have been trying to "jog" about 50 yards at a time during my walk...probably walking 100-150 yards, jogging 50, walking, jogging, etc.  I am almost DYING after those little bursts of jogging...but like Jillian says, "Unless You Puke, Faint or Die, Keep Going!"

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

What I've learned this week...

Last Wednesday night I made a decision to change my life, and I can honestly say that I am on my way!  I've been eating right and exercising for 7 days!  I know that doesn't sound like too many, but for me, this is HUGE!  I have never stuck with something for this long and felt good about it.  I've always felt deprived or more depressed and quit within a few days.  Something is different this time, something has changed, and I am so happy and thankful! my list...what I've learned this week...

1.  This chubby girl needs some good exercise capri's for my daily walk...ouchie...need to order some soon, any recommendations?
2.  There is an all-over-my-body-tingly feeling after my walk...and I like it. :)
3.  I can create/make good choices, even if there are no good choices available.
4.  I CAN live without coffee (hip-hip-hooray!)
5.  I CAN live without ice cream every day!
6.  I feel so much better being tired after a day of being healthy than being tired after a day of hurting myself with food.
7.  I have the best, most amazing cheerleaders...Kris has been such an encouragement to me, and my Lord...oh...He is just the best!  So thankful for Kris, and so very, very thankful for my Jesus!

Oh, and one more thing...I have lost 9.5 pounds!  Yay!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

I am a daughter of the Most High God!

I am feeling some changes already since trying to get healthy!  Isn't that amazing?  It's only been 6 days, but I feel so much better already.  I am still a little tired in the afternoon and evening, but that seems to be improving too!  I feel like my skin is looking better, and I am feeling a lot less "puffy".  I am not sure if this has anything to do with anything, but I am feeling differently about my depression.  I think that I have self-medicated my depression with food for so many years that I am a little more sensitive or emotional.  I don't feel more depressed, though, I actually feel like that is better.  I think since I was pregnant with Claire my depression has worsened to the point of "not" feeling anything sometimes when I would normally have an emotional response.  I've changed a lot this week.  I know that it seems like a short time, but the days have been so long for me.  I've done a lot of thinking this week, about where I want to go on this journey, about how I am going to get there, and I think the most important thing I've been trying to concentrate on is this:

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Our Sunday...

Kris had to work today, and I have to confess, the kids and I missed church this morning for no good we went to the park in our town early this morning and had the whole place to ourselves.  My "plan" was to have "church" on a blanket in the park.  Katie brought her ipod so that we could listen to some praise music by Chris Tomlin, and I had planned on telling a Bible story---but a turtle stopped by for a visit and all concentration on my Bible story was lost and noone wanted to listen to praise music when all of the zoo animals were singing their morning songs!  So we decided to just enjoy the morning and everything God had created.  It was so pretty this morning, just beautiful sunshine and a warm breeze. 

The little turtle is much more interesting than Mama's version of "The Woman at the Well" Ha!

 My pretty girl!

My handsome boy!

I loved the way the sunlight was shining through Katie's curls!

Claire and I, she wasn't in the mood to have her picture taken today...she just wanted to get down and play!

Asher checking out the Caiman at the zoo.

The tortoise were out of their barn today, all three were walking around--the kids got a real kick out of this!

Other than my temporary pity party because I am in *serious* need of coffee and ice cream, we have had a pretty good day.  I am still working so hard at making good food choices, but it's difficult when we haven't been able to go grocery shopping yet.  I did get plenty of exercise at the park, we walked so much, up and down hills, all over the place!  Tomorrow Kris begins his days off, and I couldn't be happier, I miss him so very much on these long days.  It's amazing how much he helps with the kids when he's helps so much!  I think tonight after we get the kids to bed we are going to catch up on our favorite show...Castle...can't wait to snuggle up to Kris and just rest a little bit!


Um...I am struggling right now.  This is Kris's 3rd day of work (he works 12 hour shifts) and normally I am just pooped from having the kids by myself by his 3rd day, but I feel more tired, agitated and discouraged than usual.  I wonder if the reason that I can feel these things so much more is because I'm not stuffing them down with food?  Ice cream can heal every hurt, every disappointment, right?  Normally I would be sitting at the computer with what looked like an iced tea or cup of water, but what was secretly an ice cream and milk float (and sometimes I would have a refill).  Today I am not, today I really do have my water cup, and my cheerleader...I can get through this.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

My biggest cheerleader!

I have been thinking a lot about this healthy living business...and I DO mean A's been constantly in the forefront of my mind for these past few days.  I have prayed about it, looked for recipes, talked to people about it, thought about every single thing I've put in my mouth. I have to say that honestly I have been pretty wiped out by late afternoon/early evening, both physically and mentally.  I think there are probably a lot of reasons, lack of caffeine, total change of what is going into my body, maybe the exercise and over-thinking everything.  Yesterday and today I felt just a *tiny* bit discouraged by evening time but I have not given into temptation to eat like I usually do when I feel this way.  I have to confess there were some times when I would have a bowl of ice cream with the family after dinner, and then have another couple of scoops after everyone went to bed.  I feel so good about these changes I have made, and I just need to remind myself that I have the best, most amazing cheerleader on my heavenly father!  I can't imagine Jesus in a cheerleading uniform, but I can see him waving pom-poms or palm branches for me...saying, " I love you---just keep going---you can do this!" Isn't that the most incredible thing?  He loves me.  He loves me.  He loves ME! 

I wanted to share a picture of what I tried for dinner tonight.  We were planning to have chicken fajitas, and normally I marinate the chicken in the oil/water/seasoning mixture, then pour all of that into the pan to cook, and top it with cheddar, sour cream, and salsa in a fajita size or soft taco size flour tortilla.  Today I decided to step out of my comfort zone and change it up quite a bit.  Tonight I marinated the chicken in water/seasonings, and then cooked the chicken and peppers and onions in olive oil.  I used lettuce leaves as my shell, and topped them with fresh salsa, plain Greek yogurt, and less than 1/2 serving of 2% Mexican cheese blend.  It was SO good!  I am just stinkin' excited about how good these were!  (Please excuse my 1990's dishes...I've had them since I was 16, and I just can't bear to part with them!  My mom bought me 16 (yes sixteen---you read that right) place settings of this Corelle Forever Yours pattern, and it stayed in my hope chest from 1990-ish until 1998 when I got married!)

Anyway, I am still hopeful, and normally I've already kind of fallen off the wagon by this stage.  I feel like my energy will increase when my body gets used to these changes. Speaking of changes, today I got on my bike, with the babies in the trailer and rode up and down my street a couple times (just to make sure I wouldn't drop dead or crash into something-it's been so long!) I also went for a walk tonight, because I hadn't gotten in my walk this morning.  I even jogged a few yards here and there (because it was dark, and I was sure noone would see me...ha!)  I know I just need to keep going and listening to my cheerleader!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Just keep going! has been a busy day so far, and it's not over!  This morning I got Katie up and off to school, and Kris off to work.  I didn't have any breakfast until my friend Stephanie came over.  She fixed me the most yummy green was so good!  I took a quick picture of the ingredients before she put it all together.  It's rice milk, whey protein powder, blueberries, banana, and lots and lots of baby spinach.  I know the spinach sounds gross, but honestly, you can't even taste was so good.  I added ice to mine, because I just like things super cold.  I had a little leftover and froze it for an afternoon snack.

After we had our smoothies we went for a quick 20 minute walk.  I have to say that it's much easier to take my walk without kids than with them...getting them all drinks, sunscreened, and bathroomed before going anywhere wears me out!  After that we all headed out for Katie's track and field day.  She got first place in her relay race!  She didn't do so hot in the sack race...I think because she's so tall the sack barely comes over her knees...ha!  After that the school hosted a picnic with hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, cookies and first out-of-home challenge.  I decided the best thing might be to just eat a grilled hamburger patty by itself, no bun, cheese, chips, or cookies, and I have to tell you, it was really yummy!  I have hope...that even in places where I do not have my own food choices, I can still do this!  I just have to keep going!  I saw a quote on pinterest from Happy Little Art that really kind of motivated me and I wanted to share it here:

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Put one foot in front of the other...

I just finished my walk for this morning...yay me!  I walked for 30 minutes at a moderate's a start!  I feel good that I got that in this morning!  My legs are twitching...ha...they are wondering what the heck is going on this early in the morning!  One of my bad habits that I want to change is my morning coffee routine.  Morning coffee on it's own doesn't sound too unhealthy, but I usually skip breakfast (and sometimes even lunch) because I drink it all morning, with french vanilla creamer.  Sometimes I'll have 2 cups, sometimes 3 or 4, I know that having breakfast and a huge glass of water would be much better. So...I am going to try and have a little breakfast now...blueberry/banana honey bunches of oats cereal with milk and my big glass of ice water and I am going to read Romans, chapter 12.  I am excited and ready for this change in my life!

My, water, Bible, and medication!

Update:  I wanted to update on how we are doing today.  We are just starting with some small changes with our food, to use up the groceries we have before buying more whole foods because we are on a really tight budget.  Today I've had my cereal with milk for breakfast, a slice of oat bran bread with 1/4 serving of Nutella for a morning snack, Turkey Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich on oat bran bread with miracle whip (bad-I know) for lunch.  I made a huge salad for dinner looks so very good! 

Just one more quick update:  The salad was so good, and I am encouraged that I CAN do this!  Katie and I played catch in the back yard for quite a while, and I did a little bit of yard work, so I've stayed pretty active all day.   I actually felt pretty good all day until this evening, and I think I have just ran out of gas for the day...pretty sure it's time for bed.  I really want to keep journaling this, today seemed like a pretty long day, just thinking about healthy choices all day, and doing all of the things I usually do.  I felt more positive though, than I have in a long time...I have to keep telling myself that I am WORTH this, and God wants me to keep going!  He is my biggest cheerleader!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Tonight is the night!

Kris and I sat down together this afternoon and made a list of things we need to do to get healthy and lose weight.  Kris has about 70 pounds to lose and I have 100+ pounds to lose.  We decided that tonight is going to be our last night as big people.  When we go to bed tonight (before 10 pm) we will be starting our new life.  I know that sounds cheesy and dramatic, but we are determined to change our lives...starting right now.  We have to do this for our children, our grandchildren, and each other, but most of all for ourselves.  We want our lives to glow with the love of Christ, but so much of our light is hidden behind layers of fat, insecurity, and depression.  I don't want to live this way any longer.  I want to be free!  I feel like there are so many more ways that I could serve and give if I weren't paralized by this fat. I feel like there is a happy, enthusiastic, cheerful, kind, generous person inside of me who wants out of this body--this prison--that I have created.  I have to do and now.

I wanted to share our list:

1.  Read the Bible EVERY DAY.
2.  Go to bed by 10pm or earlier.
3.  Both get our exercise in before the kids get up.
4.  Water-drink it.
5.  Make eating breakfast every day a priority.
6.  Take our vitamins every day.
7.  Blog about it...the good and the bad.
8.  Eat whole foods as much as possible, avoiding chemicals and artificial ingredients.
9.  Find ways to fit in small bits of exercise each day, playing with kids, gardening, yard work.

And (boldly) I would like to share our official "Before" picture as a couple that we took this evening, and a photo that Katie took of Claire and I on Sunday before church. We will be adding "During" pictures as we go along...we can do this...I know we can!

I wanted to add that today would have been my Grandma's 99th birthday if she were here today.  I miss you so much Grandma!  Maybe this little nudge to get healthy is heaven-sent from her.  Love you, Grandma, so very much.

Monday, April 23, 2012


We celebrated Katie and Asher's birthdays this past week!  Just wanted to post a few pictures!

 Asher had a little birthday lunch on his actual birthday, with his friends Evan and Sadee!  We had his favorite meal, corndogs and corn! Ha!

 He was excited to get a "Cars" Wal-Mart truck---just like Daddy's work!  It's hard for me to believe my sweet baby boy is 4 years old...time has gone by so quickly!

 On Katie's birthday, we had a little ocean cake, and she was so excited to get a "Soul Surfer" tee and devotional book!  She loved that movie!  We went out to eat at El Pueblito and had a tiny shopping trip to Cato to get a few things for her.
 Look at this pretty girl...I am amazed at how she is growing up!

Asher finishing up the ocean punch at Katie's party with friends!

 Katie with her ocean cake!
Katie had some girl friends over to watch Soul Surfer and celebrate her birthday.  I think they had a fun time, and Katie was excited to have all of them here. 

I just feel so very blessed to have these two (and Claire too!)...God sure has blessed us!  We could never have imagined how our family would grow like it has...we are amazed every day that we have THREE kids!  God's love and timing is perfect, and we just feel overwhelmed with the love He has for us!  Thank you, Lord, for all of the blessings in our life!