Friday, November 30, 2007
This picture is for Grandma and Grandpa to see. The kids and I went to get our hair cut today. D hasn't had a pro cut for about a year as I usually buzz him in hot weather then it grows out. Today he surprised me by looking through the style books while we waited and asked for a "spiker cut" (his term)! It actually looks cute but I couldn't catch it just right in a photograph. The boy has sooooo many cowlicks that this might actually end up being a good cut for him! LOL
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I do still knit. Sometimes. Between being sick, doing homeschool and working on adjusting Hubby's thyroid meds and his work stresses, this fall just has not been a great knitting time for me. I still have a couple shawls to block, including two Swallowtail Shawls, one of which, I hope to wear Saturday to women's brunch with Sonia and Pam, my scrapbooking friends.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I did make some discoveries about myself though. Even though I ate goodies, I did not pig out on them. And one morning I had a couple of homemade pecan bar cookies for breakfast, but then was full and did not eat anything else until lunch. In the past I would have had those pecan bars and then I would have eaten something else. While it's not great progress to eat pecan bars for breakfast (Hey! Bill Cosby says chocolate cake is okay!), still it is progress from where I was in the past. I am sure that I am not the only person struggling in this area. These are all baby steps, but I figure that a baby step forward is better than standing still. And standing still is better than sliding backwards!
So, my weight check post Thanksgiving is... 321! Yeah!
Now to get below 320# I have gotten this far before and can't seem to push past it. I am determined now!
That's about it for today. I have been up sick most of the night barking/croup-like symptoms, so my brain is foggy. But if you would like to read my reviews of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle or hear about the amazing way I was able to get a Vita-Mix or just peek around, please visit my other blog, My Journey To Wholeness.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
This is Amy's Big Shrug. I was really impressed with the great job she did! After seeing hers, I think I want to make one. Sometimes hubby and I watch movies on the computer as we have a 22" monitor and my shoulders get cold while the rest of me is under covers. I also like to read a lot and I think it would be nice to snuggle in then too. So, I might have to get this pattern and knit it up too!
After yarn shopping we went for coffee and treats in Fair Oaks, California which is known for its wandering chickens. It's quite common to hear roosters crowing and if you have a friend that collects roosters, you can find roosters on everything and anything while you are there! It was so nice to make new friends and meet with old...just like the Girl Scout song! :o) I don't have any local knitting friends so this really was a privilege today!
My cousin Wendy sent a birthday package and D nearly went crazy opening everything! He was so excited to get a Cars movie calendar, tin lunch box and bath towel set, along with some other neat things, which he looked at after he got over his excitement of the Cars stuff. In the second picture D is very excited. Wendy, if you knew his expressions you would know he was going ape about now with excitement! :o) Thank you for making a little boy very happy!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Here are my little Indians. Daddy was in charge of making Pilgrim hats and Indian headbands while Mommy cooked. He wasn't sure how to make a Pilgrim hat, so this is what he came up with for headbands. Notice our colorful placemats, which we made last night.
D, A and J waiting for their dinner. I decided to use paper plates this year and the kids helped me pick these out. We had these turkey plats for dinner and leaf plates for our dessert. We had apple crisp which D insisted on calling "apple crypts"! LOL Hubby and I laughed hard on that one!
Here is D with his Thanksgiving mac and cheese. The girls actually tried Mom and Dad's turkey and liked it! D said he won't want to turkey for 2000 days! That will put him about 11 or 12 I imagine...that's about right! He is my pickiest eater!
God bless you all. Those who are traveling or going shopping in the craziness tomorrow, be safe!
Here are some of the pictures the kids colored this week. The blurry spots are where I smudged their names for protection. J in particular, loves to experiment with colors. She is the one who started calling it "nicegiving" by mistake! It has kind of stuck in our household! :o)
J demonstrated that "nicegiving" spirit this morning in school. A (in the pink) got in trouble and was crying, so as I read our devotions, J reached over and put her arms around her and snuggled her. This is part of their twin-ness that pops up and surprises us from time to time. When Daddy brought the camera came out, A hugged J and posed.
Then it was an all out "hugfest" as they tackled their big brother. L to R, A, D and J. J is wearing a little fleece scarf that came on a Christmas teddy bear a few years ago! lol We can't get it away from her.
In a few minutes we will be eating our Thanksgiving feast. The grownups will have turkey and the kids will have mac and cheese. This will help us have a peaceful celebration! No mutiny from the short Pilgrims! :o)
In school this week we have been memorizing a scripture that I will leave you with:
Be joyful always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God for you, in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Theoretically eating these things are like pouring a glass of water in your car's gas tank. Trust me...I had water get into my VW's gas tank and it ruined the fuel injectors and wreaked havoc. It never ran the same! I have noticed since eating healthier that if I have some chocolate candies from the store, like candy bars or more recently some Caramel Cups that my hubby got at Safeway, I can only taste the chemical taste and I begin producing more mucous in my throat. I never noticed that before. Then I read in a Smoothie recipe book that Vitamin C and glucose (sugar) vie for the same receptors on cells. So if you are eating a lot of sugar, you might not be getting enough Vitamin C into your immune system. Sometimes when I have colds, I crave sugar. My friend Deborah said that she also read that viruses have the ability to make your body do what they need to survive, so that would make sense. Craving sugar would decrease your immunity and your cold virus will thrive! I'm not a doctor, but this does make a lot of sense so I am going to be watching this. Because of my asthma, I have to be careful in the winter with winter viruses anyway.
Okay, so if that didn't put a damper on your Thanksgiving feasting plans, maybe this will! LOL I read in Barbara Kingsolver's book that the broad breasted turkeys which are grown for Thanksgiving meals are bred to be so broad breasted that they cannot mate! Turkey growers have to extract the necessary ingredient from the Toms and artificially inseminate the hens! Left to themselves, they could not reproduce and would go extinct! I laughed and laughed when I read that. I don't know if I laughed because it was funny or because it was pathetic or because the thought of those poor ridiculous birds trying to pick their "broad breasts" up off the ground to walk painted a funny picture in my mind. All I could think was that it would make a good episode for TLC's Dirty Jobs! Okay, what can I say, I'm married to a junior high teacher! LOL
Well, what am I going to do for Thanksgiving? I'm not changing everything overnight. We did get a natural turkey and I roasted it with butter, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. It's very nummy. I made it November 8th and froze it and 6 quarts of turkey rice soup that I made with the carcass, because I didn't want to deal with it on Thanksgiving day. It's just our family anyway. Everything else will be made fresh today and tomorrow and it will be a combination of old and new ways of cooking. I'm not ready to change everything all at once and as many of you have shared, it's a good idea to take things in steps, not all at once. I bet most of you are busy preparing for tomorrow and are not reading blogs today, including mine! :o) I hope that God will bless you and your families during your celebrations and that He will protect you as you travel!
For those who are interested, I have put up my first two posts on my book review of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle on my other blog, My Journey To Wholeness. I have also added a lot of links. I haven't had a chance to peruse all the sites yet, so if you find something inappropriate please let me know. And if you have others to add, I'm all ears! (or eyes!)
As for my weigh in, I am up a pound, but I am not concerned as it is that time for me and that is usual. Now next week, I might be concerned after the pecan pie! :o)
Sunday, November 18, 2007
It began with a hauntingly beautiful flute solo of Amazing Grace and then continued with the congregation singing the hymn. I could not help it. Tears streamed down my face, but joy was in my heart! Amazing Grace always takes me back to my salvation experience at family camp when I was 11 years old. A day or so after I accepted Christ as my Savior and was baptised, I played that same tune on my own flute for the camp's talent contest (which I didn't win! lol).
A young family from our Sunday School class dedicated their 3 sweet children. A newly married couple who had come to know Christ through the love of our church family, were baptised. Special music was shared and the congregation joined in responsive reading from the Psalms. Jenny put together a great Power Point show with photos and comments from the "I am thankful for..." cards that we all filled out a couple weeks ago. The music from both worship choruses and hymns was awesome in the best sense of the word!
The "finale" was about a half hour of sharing from the church family. Some things were short and sweet, while others were moving, heart wrenching testimonies. At the end, we left the service with the Holy Spirit warming our souls. And so, I resolved to share my Thirty in November for this year. The first few are in order and then it gets random. Hopefully, I didn't miss anything/anyone important!
1. My faith and my relationship with God, who as my friend Lynette wrote in her list, is the lover of my soul!
2. My husband, who grows in faith each year and is one of the most awesome dads I have ever seen.
3. My kids, who the doctors said I would never have, but God had better plans!
4. My church, which is like a family. We're still getting to know each other, but the fit is good! :o)
5. My Mom and step Dad, who are friends and great Grandparents!
6. My best friend, Shelley, who has been through thick and thin with me. She is an integral part of our family! I love the adventures and the laughs. I love that we can work through the tears and sorrows too.
7. My friend Lynette, who is linked in #1 above. She has listened to my parenting heart aches, prayed with me and called me up to see how I was doing. And she does an awesome job as the Children's Ministry Director at church.
8. The fellowship of Believers and fiber artists at Christian Artisans. I love being a part of this cyber family, where I continually, learn, grow and receive encouragement.
9. Blogs... because I often process my life through writing.
10. My new friend Jenny and her family, that we have play dates with.
11. Ravelry, which has been a fun place to "waste" time on the Internet! :o) I have a queue of future projects here that will probably take a lifetime or two to complete.
12. My new Nikon D80 that was gifted to me this year. I love photography and this camera makes it even more fun.
13. My family that have gone on before me, passing down the torch of faith.
14. Access to good organic food and healthy foods in so many locations, close to home.
15. Sonia, another local, blogless friend, with whom I have bonded over all day scrapbooking sessions and Christmas teas.
16. The beautiful Sonoma Coast which refreshes me when I grow weary of the dusty, smoggy valley.
17. Homeschooling, which gives me more opportunity to spend time getting to know my children.
18. Amy, who I met first IRL at quilting class when she so graciously explained to this newbie what a "blog" was! The rest is history! lol She is also a beautiful woman of God with an incredible story that God has not finished writing yet.
19. Photographs by which to remember those who are far apart in distance or separated by death.
20. Computers which introduced me to a whole other world...and my husband!
21. Books...something one can never have enough of!
22. Music...which soothes this savage beast!
24. Raspberries...my favorite fruit and Strauss Family Creameries organic raspberry ice cream! Hmmmm....
25. Praying with my hubby, a gift not everyone shares with their spouse and I cherish.
26. My new self-inking stamp that I had made at Office Max with my photography information so that I don't have to write it all out on every single photo card I create! :o)
27. Abbie, my kitty, who is unique and lovable and comforts me when I am not feeling well.
28. My Bible, because by hearing the Word of God, my faith grows. I am thankful that I live in a country where it is still legal to possess the Scriptures and speak and write about them.
29. KLOVE, my local Christian, listener supported radio station.
30. Improving health...since beginning this journey, each day I have felt some small improvement!
16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
The rules are: Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the questions. They must be real places, names, things … nothing made up! If you can’t think of anything, skip it. You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question. If your name happens to start with the same letter as mine, sorry, but you can’t use my answers! So join in the fun…
My name: Theresa
Famous Singer: Tammy Wynette
Four letter word: Tape
Vehicle: Toyota Tacoma
Things in a Souvenir Shop: T-Shirt
Boy’s Name: Timothy
Girl’s Name: Tatyana
Movie Title: Titanic
Celebrity: Tanith Belbin (an icedancer...a celebrity to me!)
Pro Sports: Tennis
Fruit: Tomato (yes it is)
Reason for Being Late for Work: Tummy Ache :o)
Something You Throw Away: Tube of Toothpaste (when empty)
Things You Shout: Thief!
Cartoon Character: Thomas The Tank Engine
First my weight check in: 323#! I never thought I would be excited about that, but I am! I am down two pounds! No dieting, just eating only when hungry and mindful of what type of food is going into my body. And better than the weight loss... I was able to slip my wedding and engagement ring rings onto my left ring finger for the first time since I was pregnant with my oldest! My fingers still fluctuate too much to wear it full time (It's a fragile, vintage family set). But, I am hoping that I will be able to wear it full time by our 9th Wedding Anniversary in December.
I have been reading so much that my brain is full and spinning! :o) So I decided that some of the changes I had not made, such as going gluten free, I would hold off on until after the holidays. This will do two things: 1)I can eat moderately but guilt free several things I enjoy during the holidays without having to make two different versions (if my family doesn't want to try it gluten free). And 2) This allows me more time to research and experiment before it becomes a life change. This way if one of my "experiments" is really awful, I do have some back up options! LOL
Thank you to EVERYONE who comments or sent emails and even one phone call! :o) I so appreciate all your input. And it is very encouraging as well. Charlotte, who has a family member with Celiac Disease and Deborah who has a family member eating gluten free and Casein free, have really helped a lot. Some of their information was so good, I hope to share it here too.
Besides, losing two pounds this week, I ate two days gluten free. I have to say that I felt an underlying level of energy by the second day that I have not felt in awhile. As I stated before, I do struggle with chronic fatigue, so when a spark of energy starts up, it takes awhile before I recognize what that strange feeling is! LOL So, this idea definitely has great possibilities.
Deborah asked if I was going to add exercise to my plan and the answer is yes, as I can. My asthma is more stable right now than it has been in the last few years, so now would be a good time to start. But, I have been having insomnia and/or difficulty getting to sleep before 11 pm so have not been able to wake up early to exercise. Maybe if you feel led, you could pray about this for me. I have always enjoyed exercising, once I start and have been planning to do walking with Leslie Sansone. Maybe I should just make the kids do it with me... Homeschool PE! LOL
As I read more, I find more that I want to share. Sometimes it is more than I could put into a Wellness Wednesday post. Also, I do realize that some people do not want to know and read these things. So, I plan to continue doing Wellness Wednesday posts to check in here with my weight check and progress and occasional health/cooking/nutrition information. I will also continue blogging on a new blog: My Journey To Wholeness
I have already begun blogging there and have the start of some information links. I would love to have any of you join me over there and give me input when I write about things, because I learn a lot from you.
How are the rest of you doing on your journey? How do you plan on watching your intake/food quality over the holidays? Have you taken any unhealthy holiday food traditions and converted them? I think it would be great to hear what you have done or plan to do.
Monday, November 12, 2007
This is my gauge swatch of the smallest butterfly on the Butterfly Shawl that I am testing knitting for my Christian Artisans friend, Carissa. This swatch does not do justice to the beautiful shawl. It is a Faroese style, garter stitch shawl knit from the bottom up. There is a band of butterflies on the bottom which I am currently knitting and the middle strip up the center back has butterflies in graduated sizes. The swatch is the smallest butterfly which Carissa said is her least favorite! :o) I chose that one because it was the right size for getting gauge. I can't wait to see this all done and I plan on knitting one for myself later from some fingering weight Alpaca that I have.
This is knit in Jaggerspun Zephyr 2/18 wool/silk in the Elderberry color, using size 5 Addi Lace Turbos. I probably won't have any real good pictures to show until it is done....you know how lace is. It unfolds it's beauty at the end and especially after blocking.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
First the dreaded weight check in. I am at a stand still. Still 325#. However, that is a small miracle since this week I was "backslidden", having eaten many homemade cookies (Hubby is skilled at my Aunt Grace's chocolate chip recipe) and some candy. The cookies tasted great, but the candy doesn't even really taste that good anymore and I notice that after I eat it, I get a sore throat and tender glands and increased mucous. So, I think my body is telling me that what I have been eating is NOT good for me! LOL I am not overly concerned that it is not going down because it is also not going up! :o)
So, what to write about today? That is what I have been pondering the last couple days. My head is swimming with information since I have been reading cookbooks, websites and Animal, Vegetable, Mineral by Barbara Kingsolver. As the thoughts swirled around in my head, I knew that whatever I wrote would stand the risk of sounding like Fillmore from the Cars movie. Lightning McQueen (main character) asks Fillmore (a 60s VW Van) why he had never heard of this great organic fuel before. And in perfect Cheech and Chong voice, he answers, "It's a conspiracy, man!" LOL The truth is that some of what is wrong with our foods and eating today is a "conspiracy", or at least the direct result of a government trying to figure out what to do with excess commodity crops. This has led to a slippery slope of processed foods with high chemical content and/or highly modified "food" such as High Fructose Corn Syrup until today we cannot even recognize half of the foods that are in the grocery store as being an actual food. But there are so many notes and good points from that book that I have decided to wait until I have finished reading to summarize it.
Those who know me in real life, realize that I am rarely middle of the road and tend to be passionate one direction or another. I think black and white and truth is very important to me. I realize that sometimes this turns people off as it feels too intense and that you may not be interested in what I have to say. Another risk is that when I write what I learn, it may come across that I think I know it all. So I want to clear that now...I don't know it all, I don't pretend to know it all and I do not make judgment on you for your food choices. My learning style is to research and then share what I learn in writing. In college I was a major note taker and I still do today in church and Sunday School and when I read non-fiction books. I also enjoy writing here to share with you so that I can LEARN from YOU! I have loved the input you have left in comments and emails. It is so encouraging to know that I am not on a weight loss/health/nutrition journey alone. Thank you!
The best advice, I received from Deborah. To paraphrase her, she recommended not deciding "I will never eat this again." That leads to unending "I'll have this one last time" moments. She's right, many diets have led me down this road. Thanks Deborah for the great advice. I am on this adventure not only for my own health - as an older mom, I want to live to see my children grow up - but, also for them. I read in Kingsolver's book and heard from other sources that this generation of children is the first generation to have a shorter lifespan than their parents! I am appalled! If I start now, it should be easier for my children than them waiting until they are 40!
So, today, I thought I would ask you about some things I have been wondering about:
1. For those who are cooking gluten/wheat free, what are your favorite cookbooks, mixes, websites or other sources? What advice do you have for a newbie as far as what to avoid or what would you do differently starting out?
2. Do you have a Vitamix mixer? If so, what do you do with it besides smoothies? I understand it has excellent quality. But what makes it a better tool than say 10 regular mixers purchased over the next 25 years (which is what one VM would cost)?
3. Do you have a pressure cooker? If so, where did you buy it, what kind and what do you do with it?
4. Any organic gardeners? What books, seed sources etc do you use?
5. For a person making a life style change such as our family is making, do you have any other advice, input or suggestions as far as books, tools, appliances etc?
I also checked out The Ultimate Smoothie Book from my library and I read some interesting things that answered questions I had in mind regarding organic fruits and vegetables. She quotes a Rutger University organic food study comparing the nutrients of organically grown veggies vs commercially grown. The results are dramatic as can be witnessed in this chart which I found by googling (therefore I know nothing about the rest of the site). For instance, commercially grown spinach only has 3% of the amount of iron as organically grown. No wonder America is a country of overweight, but malnourished people! I thought I would include this information here for those of you who have been wondering... Is it really worth it to spend more? Apparently, you get what you pay for!
Honestly, I have really been feeling too overwhelmed to start making a lot more changes and I am going to listen to my body and mind and gut and continue researching and start some of the changes as I can. It is so overwhelming to think of all the things that have gluten in them that I cannot eat! The most difficult for me would be spaghetti. I have not found a gluten free alternative that is palatable!
Yesterday the kids and I went to Whole Foods Market and I did pick up some mixes of Gluten Free blends for baking, pizza, pancakes etc. I thought I would try them first to see if it was worth pursuing making my own mixes. I am very fortunate that there are many sources here to find healthy and nutritional food.
The information in itself is somewhat overwhelming. And I realized that some of the feeling I experience now is that I have not been able to get down on my knees and share with God what I am thinking and feeling, read His Word and listen for His direction in my life. Our relationship with God is the key ingredient in our over all wellness. Since I recently made the decision to put Precepts Bible study on hold while we establish a school routine with D, I have not been reading the Word as consistently. When I don't read His Word, I feel malnourished in my soul. This week I will continue to research nutrition, but I will also make the time to spend with Him, restoring our relationship.
I would love to hear what some of you are doing and what is working for you in your health journey.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Hopefully everyone remembered to turn their clocks back an hour last night so that you got to church on the right time. I don't set an alarm on Sundays and woke up naturally at 7:20AM DST. Much to hubby's chagrin, I poked him and woke him and suggested that we use our hour to get the first coat of Winnie The Pooh yellow (Disney paint) up on the kids' walls. Normally we keep our Sundays as a Sabbath, but our home improvement project had spilled over to today. One coat on before church and one after. The floor was completed on Friday and the bunk beds won't be here until next Friday, so we aren't completely done yet. While we are waiting I can hopefully get the curtains and valances finished and all the new bedding washed up and ready to go.
When we were unloading the room, we had to take out storage too and that is when I found my wedding dress. Sigh... Memories! It was the only day in my life I came even close to feeling beautiful. It is sealed in a box as I had it cleaned and preserved, but there is a window to view, so I took a peek. When I was newly engaged and looking for a gown I asked hubby if he had any opinions on a dress. His response was "Not too frou frou" and "not a lot of lace." Let me tell you, it's not easy to find a wedding dress without lace. That would be easier with today's styles but not in 1998! It was 100* in Seattle, normal for here, but not normal for there, the first time in my then 32 years that I had experienced triple digit heat in western Washington! I'll never forget the day and the fun I had with Mom and Shelley. When I put on "THE" dress, I just knew. Just like I "knew" about hubby, that he was the right one.
While I reminisced over my gown and thought about DST, I remembered Kimberly and Grandma Hopkins. I always remember Grandma when the time changes because she called non DST, "God's Time". She was always happy when we returned to God's Time. I remembered Kimberly because she is spending her extra hour with her hubby and family. Today, he is leaving for one year of deployment. Please pray for Kimberly and her five children and please pray for her husband as he literally enters "enemy territory" both physically and spiritually. Please pray also for my stepbrother Jack who is in Iraq and for all our men and women who are serving and separated from their families.
How did you spend your "extra" hour today?
Friday, November 02, 2007
"They look like piggies!" said J.
"Ooh! Is your hand in their bottom? That's gross!" said D.
"Where's the rest of their legs?" asked A.
"Why did you chop the head off Mom?" asked D.
"Where's the tail Mom?" wondered D.
"I don't like chicken Mommy," stated J.
I could hardly contain my giggles. I had to explain that it would be much nicer for the chicken and for us if we ate it when it was dead. This was said to the cries of "Oh! Poor chicken!" by all three. LOL I explained that all of our food comes from something living, either plant or animal and that it originally came from a farm.
I further explained that the cheeseburgers they love to eat come from cows. D, in boy-like fashion says, "Oh, no wonder I like cows so much. You mean they take a cow and squish him up and make a cheeseburger?"
Further questions were centered around how I knew my chicken was a "she" and not a "he", so we talked about hens and roosters.
I think it's time for a trip to the farm.
This all fit in with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, an interesting book I am currently reading about one family's experience returning to the original way of eating, i.e. eating what grew and was produced on your own land, your own neighborhood etc. I will probably share some thoughts from this on Wellness Wednesday.
One last children's chuckle. Wednesday we ate at Ruby Tuesday because we've never been there before and a new one was recently built. The girls had cheeseburgers and they came with two mini burgers on their plate. J said, "Look Mommy! They're twins!" LOL
Now, I'm off to bed. I'm exhausted. We just put laminate flooring in the kids' room tonight and tomorrow is painting day. The kids are "camping" on the living room floor. They think it's really cool!