Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WLW: Along the Journey

Today is the last Wednesday of Lent. I set a goal of exercising every day, for 40 days to give myself a small taste of the sacrifice of Jesus' actions. Here is what I have learned through the journey...

1. Even walking for 40 mins, in 40 degree temperatures, with stinging rain beating down on you, pales in comparison to Good Friday. WOW!

2. The more you exercise in front of your children, the more they want to exercise themselves.

3. Not every friend is going to be happy for you when you tell her you lost weight.

4. My family does not feel neglected, or slighted, or love me any less just because I exercised some evenings instead of sitting down and watching a movie with them.

5. Regular exercise makes a huge difference emotionally and physically. I'm less overwhelmed, happier with my physical appearance, and exerience less chronic pain.

What have you "learned along the journey" (weight loss related or not)?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sunday, Sunday

I think I know I've shared before that I have an autoimmune disease that limits the foods I can eat without being in agonizing pain. Because we live in a smallish city, I can't always find foods in our stores that I can eat (like breakfast cereal, tortillas, etc). So, every once in a while, we venture to the great north to go to Trader Joe's.

Eli and Ruby LOVE going to Trader Joe's to find the monkey. If you haven't been before, here's the deal... you look through the store for the purple money. When you find him, you tell and employee and he/ she gives you a yummy prize. I get food I can eat, they get a prize, everyone's happy. This particular trip we also arranged it so we could have lunch at Five Guys. Yumm-O! After we got back home, we ventured to a local toy store where the Easter Bunny was visiting. While we were there, the kids got some delicious cupcakes
from my friend Aubrey. After dinner, they went to town on those cupcakes. (Here are Ruby and David; Eli scarfed his down so quickly I didn't even have time to grab the camera!)

All in all, a delicious Sunday:)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Weight Loss Thursday:)

Yesterday was crazy... so please pardon me joining the party on Thursday....

So, last week was definately a rough patch for me. I was procrastinating exercise until 8:00 or 8:30 pm, I was whining that I didn't want to do it... my poor husband.

Anyway, on Saturday night we were going to church. I decided to put on my pair of kacki pants, which I haven't worn since Lent began. I noticed that they fit a little differently, in a good way.

Sunday morning I decided to weigh my self (I have not been weighing myself regularly. I am prone to being a bit obsessive about it if I weigh myself more than one a month, one every couple of months.). So anyway, I was down FIVE pounds since Lent began. FIVE POUNDS! I could not believe it!

THAT has put some serious spring back in my step when it comes to exercising; no whining this week! Of course, I'm not looking to drop a magic number, I just want more than one pair of jeans, one pair of kackis, and one pair of shorts that fit my body. It just helped me see that what I have been doing is working, that my hard work and sacrifice is making a difference. Isn't that what we all long to know?

Now, if I could just keep myself from eating the Trader Joe's Caramel Sauce straight out of the jar during pre-school time...:)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Vietnamese Roasted Chicken

I found a new recipe on my favorite blog... okay, I'm always saying, "my favorite blog"... so many favorite blogs... How about my favorite cooking blog?! Yea, that will work. Okay, so I found a new recipe on my favorite cooking blog called Vietnamese Roasted Chicken. I didn't know about this one. I was a little afraid we were going to end up tossing it and calling a pizza, but, much to my DELIGHT, this is one of my new fav meals! Seriously, you've got to try this, like tomorrow!

Vietnamese Roasted Chicken


4-6 chicken thighs (I used boneless & was glad I did when the meat was falling apart)

1 1/2 T soy sauce (I subbed Bragg's Liquid Aminos for IC reasons)

1 1/2 T fish sauce (we had this on hand, if you don't, look in the asian sec of grocery store)

1 1/2 t white sugar

1/2 t black pepper

4 cloves chopped garlic

1 T oil


Put chicken in crock. Mix remaining ingredients and pour on top of chicken. Cook on low about 6 hours or on low 3 to 4 hours. Serve over rice. (For our family of 5, I doubled the recipe, which gave us about 7 servings.)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mommy Wars

I love reading the blog Kidnapped by Suburbia. Yes, Keli takes amazing photos, but she is also an amazing (but real) mom. Her blog today is about Mommy Wars.

Do you have those people in your life who look down on you because you breastfeed-- or because you don't? Or people who think you're an awful mom because your kids eat the plate lunch at school? Or... (fill in the blank)? Seriously, read this blog...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WLW: Lent

I grew up in the church, but never heard the concept of giving up something for Lent until I was in high school. I was an adult-- with children-- before I ever really tried it myself. I believe the concept is very well intended. Christ gave his life for us, so giving up chocolate, etc gives us a very small taste of his sacrifice. Makes sense, right?

I found giving up something for Easter entirely too passive, though, for my liking. When I was tempted, I would say, "Oh yea, I'm not eating that right now," and that was the end my friends. Last year, I heard a somewhat new take on this whole giving-something-up-for-Lent concept. ADDING something for Lent.

So that is what I have decided to do this year. This year I am exercising every day of Lent, no matter what! Fighting a sinus infection, still exercising. Exhausted from Jason being gone 14 hours a day, still exercising. NO. MATTER. WHAT.

This adding something concept has given me insight that taking away something never did. Jesus didn't just passivly say, "Hum, I'll think I'll give up my life today for all of mankind". Jesus had to make a conscious decision, minute to minute, to be betrayed, tried with defense, mocked, flogged, stripped, etc, etc, etc. This was not without tremendous pain and test of stength. Seriously, if he can do that for me, surely I can exercise every day, right?

His sacrifice also shows how much I am worth to him. Me. The person who struggles with feeling worthless, and fat, and ugly, and, and, and.... Is loved so much by Jesus, that he would have rather gone through Good Friday than to be eternally seperated from me. ME.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Zoo Much Fun: Spring Break, part 4

Several months ago I begged Jason to take at least one day off work during Spring Break so we could do something fun. Because of David's serious dislike car trips, the most fun we could think of within an hour of home was the zoo.

We got a late start, and 45 mind down the road, David was ready to get out of the car for a bit. So, we stopped at one of our all-time favorite resteraunts, Chick-fil-A! The kiddos enjoyed a great lunch and a little play time.

We started with the aquatic animals.

We found this owl at a mini gift shop. He looks just like Hedwig, so we thought it would be a great photo with Eli's Harry Potter t-shirt (especially since we were much too cheap to actually buy the owl:).

When we got to the Plains area, the kids wanted to "race a cheetah". This is kind of cool... there is a starting sound, the kids race as fast as they can, and little lights go across the top to show the speed of the cheetah. So you can see how far you were into the race when the cheetah finishes.

The plains area is in the very back of the zoo, and this, of course is where we were when the rain began!

Poor David was so warn out by this point that he slept right through being raining on. (I swear he could sleep through anything in that Moby wrap!)

We made our way back to the front and decided to go see the indoor section of the White Water Gardens.

Here Ruby is casting a spell on the orchids. Yep, they are both a little Harry Potter crazy!

Ruby stopped at the gift shop in the gardens and bought a new book, "Oh My, Oh My, Oh Butterfly" which her teachers read to the whole class the next week.

Seriously, one of my all time favorite photos!

Tasty Tuesday: Baked Potatoes.. in the Crock... yes, you can do that!

I had a day last week when I needed dinner done when I got home-- all of dinner-- not just the main course. I decided to look for crock pot potato recipes. I found lots of mashed potato recipes with lots of cream cheese, etc. Don't get me wrong, I love those, but for a Tuesday night, I wanted something... less.

I found this on I had no idea you could cook baked potatoes in the crock pot! I think this may be my new fav recipe! BTW, when I cook baked potatoes in the oven, I put EVOL and salt on the skin before baking; don't do that here-- it didn't work well.

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes





1. Stab potatoes with fork.

2. Wrap each in foil & put in crock.

3. Cover and cook on high 2 1/2 to 4 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours. *From my experience, I'd say go with the longer cooking times.

4. Do not add water.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Shudderbug Easter photos

There was a local photographer advertising on Facebook$25 sessions (with cd) with live animals. How can you say no to that? Seriously, that's cheaper than Sears.

Love this one of David. The blue blanket underneath him is "Linus". Linus goes everywhere-- no really, everywhere!

Sweet Ruby

My big guy Eli, who wasn't so sure about all the animals.

Checking out the goose, who later left his "mark" on Eli's shirt.

The soft bunny. I really wish she could have gotten a photo of David petting the bunny the first time-- total sweetness!

I love that Eli still thinks it's cool to have matching shirts with his baby brother. I think I'll capitalize on that while I can!

David broke Eli's regular glasses just days before these were taken. As hard as we tried, we could not get the new frames in time for the photos, so he had to wear his old pair.

(Sorry, side story written for my own benefit. Someday I'm going to have forgotten why he's wearing the glasses here that he got at 5yrs old!)

Our three angels:)

BC State Park: Spring Break, part 3

It has become a tradition around here, to go to Brown County State Park on St. Patrick's Day.

We start by walking the same trail and looking for treasures (here's Eli on his "Nimbus 2000").

Our goal is to reach the stream at the bottom of the trail, where the kids love to wade, throw rocks, and otherwise explore.

Oh yea, and eat sticks:)

There is a small, 3 sided shelter near the stream as well. This photo documents me FINALLY learning to use the timer on my camera!

I wondered as we were walking back up the trail why I was huffing and puffing so much. I mean last year I was pregnant for goodness sake. Then, I looked down, to see my feet and David's. Yes, I'm not carring around a 3 pound fetus in my tummy, I'm carrying around a 20 pound baby in a Moby wrap! After lunch in the shelter house, we drove a little ways to a small playground. This rip-line like device was the "hot toy" of the day. Eli and Ruby had so much fun going back and forth on this!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Eruption (Spring Break, part 2)

For Christmas, Eli received a volcano kit. When we opened it up, here is what we found...

We started by shaping the cardboard and adding the paper mache stips...

Next, we had to be patient while it dried...

Next we painted: brown for the volcano and red for the lava...

After all the paint was dry, it was time for the baking soda, vinegar, and red food coloring...

and the dinosaurs, who, I'm sorry to said, didn't survive:)

I love the photo of Ruby when it first begins to erupt. They have both seen this experiment before (Eli a few times), but it just never gets old! I'm going to miss these days when something so seemingly small can be so huge in the eyes of my children!