Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pierced



When Little Chick turned six we told her she could get her ears pierced.  She wasn't ready.  She said maybe when she was seven she'd try.  Well something changed her mind and all of a sudden she was more than ready.  She pestered and reminded until we finally got her there:)





I was a nervous wreck.  Seriously...knots in the stomach...felt a little light headed!  I hate to see my babies in pain and I knew, I KNEW she was going to cry...





A LOT! 





Just another milestone.  Another step in her growing up.  Even now...knots in my stomach...feeling a little light headed:)





Have a blessed day.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Feed my starving children



A few weeks ago Little Chick's girl scout troop had a field trip to a local charity called Feed My Starving Children.  It's a great local organization that uses volunteers to bag ready made nutritionally perfect meals for children with severe malnutrition.   





There were four bins of food. 

1. Rice, the most widely accepted grain around the world.

2. Extruded soy nuggets, providing maximum protein at lowest cost.

3. Vitamins, minerals and a vegetarian chicken flavoring... to give growing children the critical nutritional elements they need.

4. Dehydrated vegetables for flavor and nutrition.
 

We all split up into certain jobs and worked as a team to package up hundreds of bags of food for kids all over the world.  They have it down to a science and the rhythm of the assembly line was really fun.  Music was playing, the kids were smiling and it was so rewarding. 
 

It was a really fun activity to do with Little Chick.  She did great at her job and learned that there are children that do without.  We watched a video and even got to sample the food at the end.  It tasted like a Lipton chicken flavored rice package from the store.  Pretty yummy:)





I think what impressed me the most was at the very end after every one had left, the workers went back and laid hands on the boxes and prayed over the shipments of food.  We stuck around and participated in the prayer, and it left me with such a warm fuzzy feeling. 


This wonderful organization is being the hands and feet of Jesus.  They are addressing a need.  It was an honor to be a part of that even for just an hour or two.  If you want more information on Feed My Starving Children go to http://www.fmsc.org/ for more details.





Have a blessed day.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Everybody was Kung Fu fighting



Have you seen Karate Kid yet?  This weekend we took the girls to see the new version with Will Smith's son Jaden playing the lead.  I wasn't expecting much. I was a HUGE Karate Kid lover as a youngin'. 





Ralph Macchio was soooo dreamy.  I was in his fan club, and even had an autographed head shot:)  The movie also holds special memories because my brother Jim took me.  I was eleven at the time and spending time with my older brother...was just COOL!



{I was so jealous of Elizabeth Shue...lucky girl:)}


I was really surprised at how good the remake was.  I can't believe I'm going to say this...but I think it was actually better than the original!  We were all on the edge of our seats.  The action moves were inventive and the plot was done well.  They incorporated a lot of similarities with the first one, but made it new and fresh.  The movie was filmed in China, so it gave us an interesting peek into the daily life in Beijing. 


I love any movie that plays to adults as well as children and this one fit the bill perfectly.  I would definitely watch it again even without my girls.  And then there's that wonderful feeling of leaving a movie theater on cloud nine...all because the underdog won.  Love that!  Just curious...did you have any movie crushes when you were little??





Have a blessed day.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

My happy place



There is some little chemical reaction that comes over me any time I enter a hardware store.  I am overcome by the smell...all that lumber, paint and chemicals.  Ohhh I love it!  It's just a happy place for me. 



My very first job was at True Value Hardware.  I'll never forget the day I put a dress on and marched in the store and asked for an application.  I think the manager took one look at me...in my cute little dress and hired me on the spot.  He probably thought that anyone who would go to the trouble of dressing up to fill out an application for a hardware store nonetheless...deserved the job;)





I spent hours vacuuming the store, arranging the aisles.  I was THE best cashier...uno #1.  I could count change back like no one's business.  It was a great first job.  I loved it.





Then this hunky guy came along...and when he got a job at the new Wal-Mart in town,  I of course had to follow him there;)  Ah sweet memories...good times!  What was your first job? 






Have a blesssed day.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lessons learned...soccer style



Well the end of the soccer season is Saturday!!!  Can't help but hold back a little squeal of delight.  It's been a tough year weather wise.  Every single game and practice has been either windy, cold, rainy or all the above.  So these are some of the lessons I learned over this season.


1.)  Don't bring your phone to games.  You will inevitably be drawn to the screen like a moth to a flame and miss an important part of your child's life!

2.)  Don't park near the fields.  Your car will get hit by a ball or in this case a flying frisbee and your husband may or may not get into a knock down drag out fight with a crazy person in the parking lot.


3.)  Do dress in layers.  It should go something like this...shorts, jeans, t-shirt, sweatshirt, overcoat, rain poncho, gloves...optional.  Whisky flask (ha)...just kiddin'!!


4.)  Always bring an umbrella!  Enough said.


5.)  Listen to what your child says after the game.  Big Chick said this after her team just got slaughtered, and it made me smile all the way down to my toes:)  "In my world I won that game cause I got a goal and I blocked all those balls.  I did my best."  Isn't she the coolest?!  To focus on the positive and recognize that you did your best and not worry about the "score".  I couldn't be more proud!







And finally...


6.)  Run, don't walk to your nearest Noodles and celebrate proper.  My favorite new thing on their menu is the Lemon asparagus linguine with a grilled chicken breast on the side.  Yummy:)





Have a blessed day.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Suddenly

My mom and I were talking the other day about the word Suddenly.  For some reason I can't stop thinking about it now.  When Honey's dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer...suddenly our lives were forever changed.  When Honey took that job that landed us in Minnesota 6 years ago...suddenly our paths went a different direction. 




As I was driving to soccer this weekend with the girls.  I was looking out over the sky.  We've had such thick cloud cover lately and the promise a blue sky sometimes seems bleak.  Every now and then a little sliver of it pokes through.  I'll see it...the bright blue and then the sun touches my skin and I can feel the warmth that's been hidden.  That reminder of how suddenly the clouds can part and there is a bright blue warm world up there just tied together with my suddenly thoughts. 


Even when we are going through a hard time or our circumstances change unexpectantly...God is working.  He may seem hidden.  It may feel like nothing is going on...like you've been forgotten, but in an instant it can all change.  I've heard of some painful suddenlies this past week.  My cousin lost her unborn child at 7 months along.  A friend ended a long standing relationship.  Another lost her job suddenly.  Pain comes to all of us, but just as quickly can come the comfort, warmth, answers, direction etc...that we've been waiting for and it can all happen so suddenly.  Thank you Lord for that.





Have a blessed day.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

The sitter's spell

Apparently I can be a little intimidating...to babysitters;)  A few weeks ago I went to pick up a sitter for our girls.  It was the night of the Charity fundraiser thing.  I'd never met her before, so I was a little nervous.  When I'm nervous I talk...A LOT.  Silence makes me uncomfortable and this girl was super quiet.  So somehow with my endless blabbering I ended up telling her I flunked my driver's license test when I was 16.  Within a minute or so of telling her this (and then reassuring her I was a great driver) I pulled right out in front of a truck and got honked at!  Needless to say I was slightly mortified.



{I tried to find my driver's license picture from when I was 16.  No luck.  I'm still hunting.  I've saved them all.  You would just die...laughing.  Anyway these are a few from Sat. night.}


Well Saturday Honey and I had another date night.  We went to dinner and a movie.  Driving her home afterwards there was just awkward dead silence.  We're talking crickets;)  So in my flustered state I accidentally made a wrong turn and ended up driving her into a neighborhood she didn't live in.  Instead of saying anything she just sat there.  I finally figured out my mistake and got her home, but I'm thinking am I that scary...is she afraid to talk to me or what!??  I have to admit teenagers kind of intimidate me a little too.  I think I babble because I'm trying to convince her I'm cool or something.  The thing is I still feel like the babysitter.  Sometimes I can't believe I'm the almost 40 year old adult with kids and a mortgage.  How did that happen?   





Have a blessed day.






Oh and I wanted to thank you for your awesome response to my last post.  It was so reassuring to hear a lot of you say you felt the same way.  I put my little follower free girl on my sidebar.  If any of you want her too help yourself:)  I love you girlies!
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Follower free



Wow okay here goes...deep breath in and out:)  I'm doing something crazy and to be honest a little scary. When I first started this blog I didn't have big lofty blogging dreams. I was just putting it out there, and hopefully someday someone would find my blog and it would get read. I blog for me.  Well it's grown, and I've been so thankful for that. I  love getting comments from people and getting new followers. But I've noticed that sometimes my moods can directly be tied to whether I get a new follower or lose one etc... I'm competitive by nature, not really with other people (unless you count boardgames...then watch out) but with myself.
 

I know it's silly, but if you blog you probably get it. It's really easy to get caught up in the numbers (even when you have big numbers), and to be honest I'm tired of it. I equate it with standing on a scale.  If I'm up a pound I feel deflated, if I maintain or lose some whoopee.  But this isn't my weight...it's my life.  Who wants an approval rating on that??  So with nearly 1,000 followers I've decided to take the follower box gadget OFF!  It's scary only because followers in blog world seem to equal credibility and after blogging for a year and a half my question is...will it change things?  Will people still follow along without that little box??





Don't know, but whew I feel free already:) I've had several discussions with my fellow blogging sisters (one is Miss Lemonade Makin' Mama) and it seems to be a common thread of frustration. So with that said, I don't need to know if you follow me. It doesn't really matter. I know there are several of you out there that faithfully read along and that blesses my heart tremendously. That's all I really need to know.






Have a blessed day.



Photo by Navylane
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dream Squasher



Honey and I have a made up word...dream squasher.  It's just like what it says.  Someone who stomps on your ideas and completely belittles your hopes and dreams.  Oh so not a good thing.  We made up this word because over the many years we've been married we've obviously shared a lot of dreams and ideas with each other.  Some have been great and others not so great.  For the most part we share the same enthusiasm for things.  But every now and then one of us will be guilty of being a dream squasher







Case in point.  I was just dreaming out loud the other night.  Saying wouldn't it be great if someday we could move to Maui.  You all know how much I LOVE Hawaii:)  He quickly said...well that will never happen.  Nothing like the word never to completely deflate you.  Just having it uttered into the universe seems almost sinful because well... you just never know.  Life is unpredictable at times and I tend to believe that anything is possible.  In all fairness it probably never will happen, but I kind of have a rule to never say never.  There is thing that happens in me too...when someone says never.  It makes me want it even more.  Then I start concocting all kinds of plans to make it happen.  I guess determination sets in and I want to prove that person wrong.






Our conversation made me think of other dreams I have...like staying busy creating and selling my stuff on Etsy.  My girls will both be in school full time this year.  It's crazy that the day is finally approaching.  I've always had a little bubble of fear in the back of my mind saying...what's next?  I've always tried to ignore it and to just trust that when the time came the Lord would take care of it.  And I know He will, but I still want to get in there and figure it all out.  When will I ever learn to just surrender?:)





Have a blessed day.







Okay so I added some new stuff today.  Check it out
Most items can be made with a custom saying too:) 
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Losing it



Several of you have asked me about our clean eating diet...so here goes. Back in January I was just sitting at my computer probably blogging, and Honey came in and told me about a website called bodybuilders.com. After perusing through the before and after pics I was in. WE were in. We've always loved exercise, but the eating part for us has been really hard to master.



This
pic is how I looked that day. Not bad, but definitely some pudge. I wanted to get that lean look. Didn't know if it was possible, but we were ready to try. So for the next several weeks we started a very clean diet of basically egg whites, oatmeal, chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, asparagus and cottage cheese. Needless to say that strict diet got old really quickly. But during that process Honey and I both started shedding the puffy look. The bloat was finally melting.



I
wrote down everything that went in my mouth. The goals was to eat 5 or 6 times a day. A lean protein with a good carb at every meal. No processed foods. No sugar. The cravings were out of control at first. It was awful. We were really used to eating whatever we wanted. We would have "dirty" talk about food. It was hilarious. I have to say having Honey do this with me is the ONLY way it has been successful...because I'm a weakling. I love food, especially SUGAR!




{These were at 4 weeks and 7 pounds later}


Our goal was to change our eating habits...to be healthy and in the process feel good about our bodies. I can't believe it's been 6 months now. I've lost about 6 more pounds since those pics. Honey has lost almost 20 pounds too. What used to seem impossible is now obtainable. Nothing is sweeter than that:)



(Dad's Great Green Chili)


The
days of plain sweet potatoes and a baked chicken breast are gone. We couldn't continue with that day in and day out. So I had to get creative. I really don't like cooking, but unfortunately you have to cook to eat clean. We also have our staples like Subway and have scoured every restaurant's menu to tweak it to fit into our new lifestyle. No one makes it easy. That's for sure.


I found a few cookbooks to be lifesavers. Bill Phillips, Eating for Life is a really good one. The Green chili recipe is yummy. There is also Tosca Reno's various Eat Clean cookbooks. Very inspirational.




Frittatas
are easy too. Just saute some of your favorite veggies (I use asparagus, mushrooms, and an onion potato mix) add egg whites and cook in the skillet lifting sides to seep egg mixture...cooking for 5-7 minutes. Once almost set add some low fat cheese and broil for 4-5 minutes until brown.




Then
our staple...grilled chicken/strawberry salad. We add some red onion, low fat feta cheese and a few croutons. We found a really good lite balsamic vinaigrette and voila...dinner:)



I've been sitting on these pics for a bit. I took them when we where in Hawaii. When we were on vacation we threw our healthy habits out the window...shocking I know! But isn't that what vacation is for? Anyway Honey's favorite treat meal in the world is a bowl of Cheerios with white powdered sugar donuts. He grew up eating this on a normal basis and it's his crave meal!


Well one of our kiddos...a.k.a. crumb snatchers just happened to ask him for a bite and...





WATCH OUT!!!

Oh my gosh this picture cracks me up!
That's what eating no sugar for months on end will do to you:)
All this to say that after doing good for months at a time...the two trips and my folks coming kind of derailed me a little. I've had a hard time getting back to writing stuff down. I'm treating myself a little too often and the cravings are back. I haven't really gained weight, but I feel soft. So I wrote this to remind myself of all our hard work and to remember how good it felt to eat clean.





As my favorite fitness guru Jillian Michaels would say:

"Trying is planning to Fail.

Why do you choose failure when success is an option!

Don't try - DO.

Don't tell me you can't!"






I figure if those people on her show can endure what they go through to transform their lives so can I:)





Have a blessed day.


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Sunday, June 13, 2010

In with the NEW

You know how there is that one thing that you've dreamed of for a really long time? It may be a trip to Paris or Hawaii...new camera or granite counter tops. It's just that thing that you've thought of over and over again. Well for Honey his dream came true this weekend:)






After years of wanting a black car he finally got his wish:) It was time. His old Nissan Ultima had tons of miles on it. We've had it since Big Chick was wee little. So we packed up the kiddos...said our (pretend) tearful goodbyes to the old and welcomed in the new.










Could he look any happier? I thought his face might freeze that way;) It was a glorious moment. I kind of chuckled to myself on the inside. It was so nice to see him that happy. We had the car (Hyundai Sonota) ordered in from another state, so he hadn't actually seen it in person. But it lived up to his ideal...that's always a good thing.




I hate admitting this, but for some reason I felt extremely irritable and depressed all day long. Even today I feel icky on the inside. I can't blame hormones. All I can think of is the lack of sunshine we've been having lately. I soooo feel for all my Pacific Northwest friends. Can you have SAD in the summer? Is that even possible? Or maybe it's the humidity and what it's doing to my hair that's making me down...ha;) Not sure, but I'm definitely in a funk. HATE that.





Big
chick started a 5th and 6th grade youth group at church this morning. That's weird for me. Seems like yesterday I was in youth group. That's where I met Honey. Strange. Isn't she cute in her "glasses"?? When I was growing up I used to put a frilly petticoat slip thing on my hair and pretend that I had long flowing locks. Oh the good ol' days. Did you do stuff like that too??




Have a blessed day.

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