Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

 Just stopping in for a quick second to wish all my friends a Merry Christmas!

Where has this month gone?  I feel like I've gotten nothing done, but haven't stopped running and have nothing to show for it!!!!!

Today is a mad baking day/finish crafting/rethinking up a new kid craft for fam because my crazy brain bought the wrong size dealio!!!!   Ahhhhhh..Christmas Cheer...think happy thoughts...what gets done, gets done....

So far this week:
 we were able to watch friends' kids for a few days so that they could get away (I seriously appreciate our fam being around to help us!)

my mom had ankle surgery on Wednesday (she's doing fine, just going to be a long recovery)

baking, baking, baking!!!!  I can't remember how many times I've washed my mixer bowl, but I might wear clear through the metal ;)
today is everything that I dread each year...stuff that involves boiling fingers hurt just typing that out...every year, every YEAR I burn my fingers or my arm or something!!!

On a happy note, we were able to sit down and get our first family pictures in 8 years!!!  got some great shots that are involved in gifting so kind of top secret until the 26th ;)

Here's our one cheese shot...pinterest, what have you done to me?!?  

Seriously, the last few years have been pretty taxing on much so, that I just realized one day that we lost our happy.  Sure, we laugh and smile...but that bubbley from the pit of your being joy, nope..not happenin'.   So we're making a conscious effort and I'll have to post more on this later because my quick recap has turned into a book!!!!

Have a Merry Christmas!!!  And remember that whatever you go through, there is joy in the journey...might not feel the greatest, but we have a gift, a hope, that was given to us on Christmas morning!!!  

I don't know what it is about Christmas time, the bleak winter, the money, the family..but it always seems to bring out the dark in our souls.   Well, I'm here to shout it out that we are Free--Jesus, come and bring your unspeakable joy to all that read these words!!!

My favorite all time hymn is O Come, O Come, Emannuel.  I know that I shared it last year, but this verse just reverberates all of that blah holiday whatever out of my heart!   Come thou Day Spring!!!!!  

O Come Thou Day Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Picture Time Is Here...

 ....and mommy needs a beer....

When do family pictures get easier?!?  Seriously, they're old enough..but I always end up with 60 pictures of this :
 and this:
 I'm loving Riley's "whach you talkin bout Willis" look...
 Riley!   I felt like Dave from Alvin and the Chipmunks---ALVIN!!!

 Naughty or Nice?  Obviously he's diggin the pictures as much as I was...

Then all heck broke loose...why...why?!?

Brothers that wont smile...

Throw in an old dog who only wants to lay down....

Or a little brother who yelled "Hey J, shake your boobie"...uh,'s BooTie...

This one pretty much sums up the's just them...

Bokeh...why, can you effortlessly happen when I least expect it...but when I'm actually trying to blur out the lights and cords, you're no where to be found?!?

And for crying out loud...Corey..hello...the camera is over Here!!!

Thankfully, a friend saw my plight on facebook and offered to shoot a few pics on Wednesday...pray...please pray!!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

60..well close enough...

Tomorrow will be another ginormous mile stone...60 lbs!  (today I'm just shy of it, but I know it'll be there..tomorrow, tomorrow, the sun will come out tomorrow....)

November totals:

12 lbs lost

since September, I've lost 3" from my chest, 4" from my waist, 6" from my hips (yes, 6..not a typo!), 3" off each thigh, 2" from each arm, and 1" from my neck....that's a lot of Inches!

November (took it on Sunday because I actually flung on some makeup ;))

Compared to September...

And this picture brings tears to my eyes...2 years ago February...

I still have a long road ahead.   But can I give you some encouragement?  It's just one step at a time, one good choice leads to another good choice...knocking down brick after brick that I had built up.

I'm loving the gym..who knew?!?  I'm not the prettiest workerouter, but I get it done!   In August when I hurt my knee I barely was able to walk a 45 min mile.   I'm proud to say that yesterday I killed it on the elliptical and did it in 12 min!   Jim said that he'd start thinking about working out after I was able to run faster than him...well, better start thinking because I'm closing in on ya!

I haven't been this size in like 10 yrs!  

Looking back, I wonder what in the heck took me so long?!?

Food was my hideout, my comfort, my reward...guess amount of cupcakes or brownies or whatever made any difference in our circumstances...not once, did scarfing down a sweet in a moment of frustration ever make what was so annoying disappear!

I've stopped hiding.   I've picked myself up, brushed myself off, and started living the life that I was made to live!

There is no way that I ever would have the strength to do this on my own...crazy hour long workouts..never...eating clean and portioned..nope....facing life full on...nada..definitely not this girl! 

I am constantly calling on God--Lord help me--I'm giving it all to you---Jesus please give me the strength for just 5 more pushups.   sounds silly, but you know works...Every Time!   

Also, support is crucial.   This journey is so much more than just's about becoming whole, inside and out.   Life will not magically change when that golden scale moment comes...and if you haven't grown on the inside while shrinking on the outside, you're setting yourself up to fail.

My dear friend Krystal...oh what a blessing she is in my life!  God sent her here /kept us here a little longer for a reason.   She's been there and overcame!   Her blog is so full of knowledge.  And, if you're at a point where you just don't know what to do next...seriously, she is the Best Coach!!!  Jillian Shmillian!  This girl knows how to get it done!   (Last week, she stood beside my elliptical and kept cheering me on--Go Baby! Go Baby!)   Without her pushing, I never would have branched off the treadmill---crossfit workouts--sweating, and more sweating--I actually did 15 pullups last week (assisted but still)--Yeah Baby!

so, do me a favor..she has a new blog....go show her some love :)

Grow or Die

and...if you need help getting started, or have hit a wall and just don't know what else to her!!!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

So Much To Be Thankful For...

Seriously, where does the time go? 

I feel like I'm not accomplishing Anything, yet every day seems to FLY by!!!

Because Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I'll let you in on a few of my thanks---

* Knocking on the door of 60lbs lost...for real...that's more than my 10 year old!

* Friends and Family who are so supportive...and not just in the shallow cheerleader way...pushing us to grow, keep moving, don't get discouraged!

* Bloggy Friends who, even though they have never me, are just as amazing as my real everyday life friends!!!  (Thank YOU!)

* My kiddos--3 boys can make me feel frazzled, but as I look at them...I can't help but be completely amazed that WE are raising such awesome kids!!!  

* Jim...what is there to say....he is the poster child for Loyal, Hard Working, and Everything a Great Husband Should Be!   He's been working crazy long hours for the last month..practically everyday...Friday marks the end of his project...Can't Wait to have him back home!!! (it's just not the same without him here!)

* Unexplainable..Miraculous...Provisions...God is always Faithful...always Trustworthy...always Dependable.   When the world seems to be shattering, He is Rock, my Salvation, my Everything!

*Health...we are so blessed.   I am thankful for the people that God has placed in our lives that have shown us this path of whole health!  It can be a lonely place and it's nice to have friends on the fringe ;)

* Healing...Riley got a cold a matter of hours from the first cough, the doc told us it was pneumonia!   I have never heard of someone playing and running around one day and struggling to breath the next....scared me big time!!!!  Now today, he is coughing up junk, eating, and wants to go to Grandma's!   I tell you what, the way we eat makes a huge difference---yes, today I'm making him stay low key, but who recovers from no air flow on the rt lung and barely any on the lt lung in a day?!?   A Strong kid that's for sure!!!

* Holiday meals--I've had mixed emotions about all of the celebrations this time of year brings---oh how I love Thanksgiving and Christmas meals!!!   But, I am so very thankful for family who take an interest and concern in what I "can" no, I won't be partaking in loads of stuffing and mashed potatoes and slabs of pumpkin pie with perfect homemade crusts.   I will be enjoying my alternative dishes and a small slice of my healthy version pumpkin pie (recipe coming soon!).

We really are so very truly blessed!!! Every perfect gift comes from God....even those that we don't see as a gift....most of the time the most life changing presents come in less than stellar packages!

May your Thanksgiving festivities be filled with family and friends, and only lots of good things...lots of gratitude and love beyond measure!!!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Random Thursday

Not much going on here lately---food, working out, prepping more food...schooling of course....blah, blah, blah!

Last weekend my cousin had a baby shower.   Her little peanut was born a couple of weeks ago and he's adorable!!!  Made my womb hurt...put that in there just for you Amy!!!  The cheeks on that little guy were amazing :)  I'd be doing nothing but kiss on him all day long.....

I found this pattern on pinterest a couple days before the shower....hadn't picked up yarn in ages and ended up having to get up at 5 am to finish this guy in time for the party....but I think he was a success!   The pattern was easy to understand and googling "magic loop" for crochet in the round was life changing...
Lets see, other than that and a crazy fun week night trip to Madison to hit up Trader Joe's and Whole Foods...not much else going on....

Oh, we got mail today!!!!!  Jamie was So excited bringing in this box marked Hawaii (thank you Miss Laura!)

What a treat on this dreary pre-winter day!   This coloring book about kills me with cuteness....I almost wanted to save it for later for Me to color!!!!!  I mean seriously---it's just adorable, retro-y goodness!!!!!
I'll keep talking while you oogle some of the cutest pages!

I've almost been at the gym for a month now.....4 days a week....sweating like a mad woman....believe me, there's nothing pretty about working out!  (well, unless you're a cardio queen who runs her mile in a perfect outfit without sweating a drop)
So far, results have been ehhhh....not much progress scale-wise, but I have lost 6 inches here and there.   I know that is good, but grrr....a little drop in the numbers would sure be a nice confidence booster!
I have been driving Jim crazy (as usual!)....every time I find a new muscle "line" I have to show him...don't's all been arms and clavicles so far ;)   Seriously though, once I get rid of this fluffy layer I might be pretty ripped!
And on that note....hula girls ;)   I'm thinking I might have to start saving up and give myself a trip to the islands as a goal.....
I mean, how awesome would it be to swim with a friendly lei clad dolphin?  

Have a great Thursday...almost there to the weekend!   Stay warm if your one of the lucky ones in the frozen tundra here where the flakes are flying, but thankfully nothing's sticking!  (and if you're warm and sunny where ever you are...I don't want to hear it...just kidding...I'll wait to be snarky until January!)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Rant

Can I just say something real quick...I know some of you will probably gasp and maybe some of you will never return again...but I've had enough!  

All I've seen today on facebook and bloggy land is talk about halloween and fall festival..or trunk or treat (good golly, if only you could have seen my eyes roll with that last one!)

So, here's my deal...

If you choose to let your kids participate in halloween or not, it's no skin off my nose.   

But, it's all these silly festivals that drive me UP the WALL!!!!!

Seriously, why is it any different to let your kid dress up as a princess, pirate, or cat and parade around the church parking lot playing games and collecting candy?

Is it somehow ok if it's done on church property?   I don't know....and I'm trying really hard Not to judge it...something just doesn't sit right with me about the whole deal.

Either do it or not, but what a confusing message if you finagle it justified by throwing in some Christian-ease.

I know that we are called not to be of this world, but where does the hiding our light under a bushel come in?   

Why not instead, be the coolest house on the block?  Pass out Big Candy Bars...or glow the Light that the neighborhood kids LOVE every day of the year, not just on Oct. 31.

Like I said, I don't know.  We have never participated in trunk or treat...and maybe some are great outreach opportunities.   Jim grew up without trick or treating and I grew up with we do a mix....hit a few family/friends' houses and then grab pizza.  It really isn't a huge deal in our house.   We have boundaries, no dark costumes, no blood or guts or zombies here....but they can have fun and be imaginative (they're on a regular basis wearing costumes from years ago in their everyday play).

Whatever you do, stick to your convictions...don't wishwash it into acceptance.

whew....sigh....big breath in...and now I feel better ;)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I couldn't decide between the above title or Cardi-owwww....both are pretty fitting today!!!

No pics...I'll spare you the sweat drenched shirt routine or the running shoes...just don't, just trust me ;)

Two weeks ago, I joined the local fitness center....and have lost my mind!!!

2.5 weeks, 4-5 days a week, 60-90 min of kick your behind cardio and strength training = over 6,000 calories burned!

Can you believe that?!?

I have earned Every Single one!  

Elliptical, rowing machine, weights, core circuits......sore muscles is an understatement!!!

I've graduated from walking 2 miles on the treadmill (which is a total waste of time...only burns like 300 cal) to jogging 3 miles on an elliptical (which burns closer to 800 cal!!!!).  2 months ago, I had just hurt my knee and I could barely walk a 45 min I'm doing 3 in that time (yeah, not fast..but I'll take it!!!)

Funny how now I'm a total calorie snob...not wasting my time sweating on a machine that's not going to pack a punch!!!!

Speaking of punches....ugh, I feel like I've been punched!  Yesterday I warmed up on the rowing machine...headed over to worked abs and then did a core circuit (25 sit ups, 25 squats, 25 push ups x 3) the time I got to that last set of push ups, I thought that I was going to die!!!!  Those last 15 push ups were killer..jello arms, whole body shaking...I am Going To DO it!...muttering "come on, come ON" under my breath...collapsing on the mat..only to look up and see a 20 yr old guy starring! LOL!!!  Yeah buddy..that was 75..keep on walking mister ;)

Getting stronger, faster, and just plain liking working out has given me a little head trip...first time that I did 3 miles on the ellip, I wanted to hop off the machine and go straight into Mary Katherine Galleger.....


For those of you that know me...go ahead, chuckle...oh yes I did do it!  It's my new mantra, no star stickers on charts...nope...Super Star!  Whatever it takes baby, whatever it takes!!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


It's harvest time....the shearing of the land.
Never expect to get anywhere fast.....there's always a tractor and trailer, a semi with a full load, or my favorite...a huge combine with no where to escape.   

As I was driving to the gym (yes, I said GYM!  but that will have to wait for another post), I was thinking about harvesting and what all it means.

Sure, food...

But God tells us that the harvest is plenty, yet the workers are few....a pretty accurate statement even just considering the percentage of farmers. 

Working the land is a hard life...a life of faith....pushing a dead seed into dirt....praying for rain, but not too much.....praying for sun, but not too hot....that little seed is planted with nothing but faith.

How amazing that our own life mirrors these seeds!   We put our hopes and our dreams in the fertile soil of our hearts....and eventually they grow and grow....sometimes it's not exactly the crop that we thought we planted, but usually more sweet than imaginable.   We plant seeds in others, seeds of hope, peace, healing, the farmer, we have No control over how these seeds are cared for...if they're watered or weeded....we just sprinkle the seeds with love and then God works his creation into being.
All summer long, we watch our fields grow.....perfect weather for a bountiful harvest....

Some view fall as a sad time, the advancing cold of conditions, yet even then God has a plan.....he created these seasons for a reason...both spiritual and physical. 

Embrace the harvest and the impending winter.  Rely on God and His purpose for your life in every stage.   

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lucky 13

Today is our 13th Anniversary :)

Gosh, I Love this Man!

We obviously were babies when we tied the knot.....doesn't seem real....surely doesn't feel like 13 yrs have passed!

We have grown from two crazy kids into crazy parents and finally into a fairly sane married couple!

It feels good, comfortable...but not.   We know when the other isn't really "fine"...we know what those "looks" mean....which is extremely important for this girl who can mask over everything with a shallow smile.   

He still surprises me.

He still makes me laugh until I cry.

He still loves me like crazy....and that says a lot, because I'm all types of neurotic!

Happy Anniversary Babe....may these first 13 pale in comparison to the awesomeness we will become in the next 13!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


 A bit of forewarning's post is going to be about a 110 on the sap scale....proceed at your own risk ;)

A year ago today, in fact probably to the minute, my heart was forever changed.    A dream, a love for a an area and its people, was planted in my heart....of course, the dream had already taken hold of Jim.   Now that it was in me too, we thought for we Knew..this was where we would end up....soon!  (oh, how these pictures make my heart ache!...I love these mountains!!!)

So, here I sit...having not been moved, but still dreaming, praying, growing so that in His timing we will see the fruition of things that are so great it's unimaginable!!!

Of course, today's sermon at church hit my feelings on the head....maybe even opened the wound a little....but God cannot heal what we don't, I surrender these feelings of hurt and doubt...the pain of dreams not yet fulfilled.   I see the purpose in us being here for the moment...there is work to be done in us so that we will be whole and strong for His purpose.  AND I believe to the core of my being that in order to truly appreciate something, there has to be some sweat and tears put into it!!!  

We know that in this world, the good guy doesn't always win.   This life is filled with heartache and pain, but we are not made to sit in the muck and never feel the Victory.   Keith gave this idea that once we are in Christ, we are hidden in Him---Like the picture below, we are surrounded by God's grace and sovereignty.   Yes, bad stuff (the red arrow) comes into our lives, but nothing that hasn't been filtered through God's covering.   

There were SO many great verses today, my bulletin is covered in my chicken scratch notes...every blank space filled with nuggets of wisdom.  

Romans 8:28    And we know, all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.   (this means, that yes we will have bad, but God can  mix all the bad and blah into the most precious picture)

We also go through junk so that we can be comforted...and then be able to comfort others. (2 Cor 1:3-4)   You know that when you're going through a hard patch, it's amazing to feel the comfort of someone who has walked that road before...and made it to the other side!   

With my whole heart I believe that there is a greater purpose to these light and momentary struggles.  This dream is not one that we sought out, but was placed in us by our loving Father who knows all things....He has the answers, the dates, and the time. 

So, I'm resting in that right now.   Relying, even when my heart is hurting, He has it all under control.   For such a time as this....I will be prepared even in the everyday!

God is good....all the time....God is good!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cake Anatomy

 I scoured the internet for a good scratch yellow cake recipe....lots of different types, but it's soooo hard to find a good one that's not super heavy or really mixed a couple of recipes and was actually pretty pleased with the results!

Basic Yellow Cake:

4 eggs
1 cup butter, room temp
3 cups cake flour (make your own by subing 2 Tbs corn starch for 2 Tbs of flour per cup)
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (make your own by adding a smidge of vinegar to reg milk)

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 min.  Add eggs one at a time, scrape sides of bowl.  Add vanilla.   

Sift your flour (if making your own cake flour sift it 4 or 5 times to get the corn starch fully incorporated), baking powder, and salt.

Add flour mixture, alternating with the butter milk...starting and ending with flour.

Pour batter into prepared pans (buttered with parchment paper on the bottom, then buttered on the paper).

Bake 350 for 30 min...Do Not Over Bake!!!   

***When using a large sheet cake pan (mine was 15x11), it is adviced to use a heat core deally...which means extra $$$...But, you can do the same thing with one of those flower making nails from wiltons (flat round area where you'd make your flower goes down, straight "nail" part goes up..then pour the batter around it).   These make baking a little more even....I also turned my temp down to 325 for the big pan and increased my baking time to like 55 min...just watch it!

First batch of batter made all of Lego Indiana's extra "parts":
 My coffee mugs made the perfect lego head shape, the flowered bowl for the hat, and 2 ramikins for the lego hands.   The arms in the picture below were the sides leftover from shaping the lego body.   It took 2 batches to fill my 15x11 pan.
 Crumb coat everything.   It will harden up a bit while you make your next batch of frosting.
 The easiest way to "frost" with multiple colors on a cake is to preoutline the areas with the tip of your knife.   I marked off the pant/shirt line and where I wanted the jaket to be.   (the extra height of the foot area was just a scrap piece from the arms)
 The head and hands were frosted ivory, the satchel, belt, and headband were the same brown color as the jacket with juuuust a little bit of red thrown in to offset it a bit.

Add the arms and decide that they're freakishly long (after you add the hands of course!)
 For the brim of the hat I used a small tortilla, microwaved with the edge over the side of an upside down bowl to give it the curve.  Frost and put onto the lego head.   Add the hat, frost to cover the seams.   Add your extras like headbands and belts.   Pipe in for eyes, mouth and pocket/shirt details.   The facial hair was just brown dots piped on (don't ask me why, it's just how the lego guy looks!)
For the whip, I braided yarn and made a handle from brown duct tape.

Stab him with an 8 candle and you have instant birthday happiness!!!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Are You Ready to Party?

 .....I sure wasn't!   Even after spending all day Friday getting ready and waking up at 6:30 am Saturday morning.....we still were running like crazies to get everything done on time!

Riley requested Dad's homemade pizza...mmmm  mmm  mmm!

Lego Indiana Jones was all he wanted....pretty cool, except that it's been forever and a day since  the last movie and now everything is considered "collectors"..aka Expensive!   Oh well, had to get creative for the cake (I'll post some kind of instructions later)....but I have to say, this is hands down the coolest one yet!

Corey wanted to get Riley something Captain America....and Jamie made him an Indiana Jones  "whip" from brown yarn and duck tape.
 The mask still hasn't left his face......

Well, maybe for a second when he opened Grandma, Grandpa, Duane and Crystal's present...yeah, they've been playing with it all morning.....Corey cracks me up because he sits there helping Riley put together this set and the whole time he's humming the Indiana Jones theme song...da da dadaaaaa, da da daaaaaa....

We had a full house, but it was a great party!   My Aunt Beth and Uncle Dutch were in town from Seattle.  Wow, the stories they have of their travels!   I could have sat there for days soaking it all in!   Jim's little brother David was home on leave for the week before heading off to his new base.   Then, right before we had to leave for church, Jim's middle brother John and his family pulled in from St. Louis....we thought that we'd miss them so it was really nice to sneak a few hugs and kiss the baby ;)

Of course, there was lots of cake and ice cream...thankfully all but his head is left today!

Happy Birthday Buddy!   Hope that it was one to remeber!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Eight is Super Great!

Happy Birthday Riley!

Let's see..8...what a year of great things...

Now you're completely past even a smidge of being considered a baby, or little guy (even though I keep protesting!)

You still humor me and let me kiss your soft little kisser cheeks :)

Always the dare devil....

You never stop moving...Ever..even in your sleep...

Indiana Jones and John Wayne are about the coolest guys on earth...except for your Dad.

You love math, bikes, and skateboarding.

Sports   Sports    Sports!    If it has a ball then you're gonna play it!  

I love the fact that you give your brother's a run for their money....never letting being the youngest hold you back!
You're stubborn and won't back down (I know that right now, it gives me a headache..but someday that strong will is going to serve you well!)

You love Jesus....secretly sing worship songs...until you see that I'm smiling and watching ;)

Happy Birthday Little Man!

May this year be a year of growth and firsts and nothing but good things!!!


Mom   xoxo

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wrapping Up

I thought that I'd do a quick wrap up of the week.....early...because Saturday is Riley's birthday and things will get hectic quick!

Last weekend we went to a fall festival at the camp ground where my grandparents keep their rv.   What a blast---games (which Riley cleaned house), hay rides, smores---cool temps, but perfect fall day!

The past 2 days, I've been battling a stomach thing...not really flu, just yuck....maybe my stomach has turned into Seymour....Feed Me (twinkies ;))

Yuck, I hope that whatever it is passes quickly!!!

We just finished chapters 7 and 8 in Made To Crave....the past few weeks have really hit me hard on how we as women actually view ourselves.

We are God's beautiful craftmenship...a crown jewel...princesses......and Satan wants to keep that thought smashed down in the dust!

One of the questions for group was on a scale, place an x

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o  o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
my body is flawed                                                                     my body is a gift

Where would you rate yourself?   What if that same mark was placed by someone you loved?

UGH!  That would kill me!!!  

So, here's the real question:  why is it ok for us to have these feelings about ourselves....

I had this revelation that I'm a super cheerleader---I'll encourage you until the cows come home and then some.   But....when it comes to myself, I'm a total downer.   God brought the word self-loathing to mind the other day.  Yep, pretty much sums it up....I can't take a complement without down playing  or joking....

Just something else on the list of things that I'm going to have to work through on this journey....Hopefully that question made you think about how you view yourself too.

You are beautiful, the perfect handywork of the perfect creator!  God loves you exactly where you are---But--He also loves you too much to leave you where you're at!  

Grow in Him, Learn who you are through His eyes, and run with it!!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spaghetti....Or Is It?

Yesterday was quite the poop day for me, but today is a new day and I will not let anything steal my joy!   (small group went great, God revealed some major things in my life....more on that later)

For some of you, this may officially mark the day I dived into the deep end...but, for others....maybe I'll show you how simple little changes can make a huge difference!!!

This February marks two years since we kicked pretty much all processed items to the sugar....rare breads and grains..even rarer still...potatoes (mmmmm....potatoes!)

What does a family do when their old staples involved such delicacies (maybe a better word would be deficiencies!)?   Spaghetti...oh, the way the pasta rolls on the fork...mmmmm...sopping  up sauce with your hunk of garlic bread..oh yeah.....


Why not try spaghetti squash?  A What?!?
I should have taken a  before picture (and sorry for the poor cell phone on a cloudy day pics, but it is what it is!).....basically spaghetti squash is the big yellow oblong one in the barrel of squashes ;)

Wash it...Poke it....Bake it at 350 for an hour and 15 min.

Let it cool a bit, cut it in half lengthwise, and de-seed it.   You'll probably notice that the flesh is pretty stringy.....just use your fork to help it's freaky how similar it looks like spaghetti!!!

It doesn't taste like anything...much like regular pasta.....

Homemade sauce is super easy.   When we cut out pasta, there really wasn't a reason to make it.....oh Yum!!!
We obviously have a big family....3 boys can plow through anything in about 2 seconds so here's my recipe....feel free to addlib....seriously, You Can't Mess Up Sauce!!!   Originally, I was going for a roasted tomato type deal.  But after roasting 3 lbs of tomatoes and only getting about a quarter of the container worth of sauce, I had to make it work.   Feel free to use all roma tomatoes...if they grew weren't a million dollars a pound, I sure would!!!!  BUT, they did add a nice roasty sweetness to make sure to do what you can :)

Easy Everything in the Fridge Marinara:

3lbs roma tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, not peeled

preheat oven to 400.   put your halved tomatoes on a baking sheet-cut side up, drizzle with olive oil and toss on some salt and pepper.   wrap the garlic in aluminum foil and put it on with the tomatoes.   roast for around an hour (thank you smitten kitchen for this first part!!!!!).   the tomatoes will be browning on the tops.   let cool a bit so that you can handle them without burning your fingers off.   at this point you can core and de-seed them or just take out the little core part...whatever you biggie.   I chopped mine up a bit.

while the tomatoes are cooling, saute an onion, mushrooms, and a bell pepper (if you like...or not...).

put tomatoes in the same pot as your veggies, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the tomatoes.   add your seasonings....woodman's carries a little herb pasta pack with bay leaves, basil, parsley, and thyme....but do what your family would like.   at this point, I needed more sauce I used 2 big cans of crushed tomatoes and a small can of sauce (or paste).   add probably 1/2 tsp of baking soda to cut the acidity of the tomatoes.   the roasting process really gave these a nice sweetness so that's sugar.....but, if you want go for it and add some.   we are also a spicey family so a good shake of pepper flakes, some more salt and pepper and then you're good to go!

Here's what's for dinner (and yes, all of our boys chowed down without batting an eye...but it could be that they forgot what real pasta tasted like!!!)

Yum!  And super refined carbs...ya got the good fat from olive oil....lean protien...oh, yeah...(also....that plate is a Heck of a lot of food!!!  this new plan that I'm on is killing me with how much I'm eating....more than I've ever eaten before...but it works in some bizzaro Alice in Wonderland twist!)

Let me know if you make this---go for it---you know that you want to try it!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Crying Game

I feel like as of late, all of my posts start with some form of why switch it?


what a day!

Grey drippy skies, red drippy eyes (and no, I don't have a sinus issue)

I feel like I'm on a bigger emotional roller coaster than my preteen....gak!   I'm not an outward crier (I know that some of you who know me personally think that's a load of bull...but you're special and get to see the sloppy, loud tears).

Today is a beaten down, sob fest of a day.   

Am I manic? eh, who knows ;)   I'll blame a piece of it on my diet and my body changing to a normal rhythm....but most of it, I'm squarely pointing my finger at that sneaky clump of dirt Devil!   See, so  there...I see through it...why don't ya just go take a flying leap back into that old lake of fire!

I'm refusing to fall for it.   I know who I am---a daughter of the king!  I know that Jesus sits up in heaven on his throne and everything else is underneath him..that means you, Satan.  

Through the Holy Spirit, the same Great Power that raised my Jesus from the dead, lives in me!

I can do Anything In Christ Jesus who strenthens me!

God has traveled this path before me...and even when I don't feel it, when I am weak and down trodden..He is there, holding me up, helping me, giving me just enough make it through this day.

And one day, when I look back on it all...I'm not even going to think of you and your schemes Devil, because All That I Will See Is The Glorious Way My Savior Came Through For Me!

So, with that...I'll leave you with a line from my new favorite song, Breakout by Jake Hamilton...To hell with the Devil, heaven's all I see.  Got no time for distractions when I'm living in glory....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

And..So Are The Days of My Life......

Wow....seriously, where does the time go?!?

Schooling the boys is going great this much easier than the previous years....could it possibly be because everyone can read directions on their own!!!

Small group is going fantastic!   I'm really enjoying getting to know these ladies better....still miss my sisters from Lori's group, but I know that they've got my back!!!

This weekend my friend Kim tied the knot with a super great guy!   I was honored to stand up with them as they said their I do's.......and found a fabulous dress at David's Outlet for $30! 

After losing 20 lbs, I had to have the dress taken in big time...thank you Joyce!!!!  (and thank God for safety pins...or else I would have never been able to keep the crazy thing up!)

As I uploaded this wedding pic onto facebook, ..a picture from a year and a half ago caught my'm close to 50 lbs lighter!!!
I'm totally in tears.....

When you're in the midst of such a long journey, it is really hard to see progress....really hard...

I'm not posting this to get pats on the back, matter what you go through, little steps lead to big day you feel like you're going no where fast and then the next you look back and see how far you've come.

Don't lose hope.  Don't get discouraged.   God has made us for so much more!!!!