Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Update on my "Lifestyle Change"

Since I started reading "Made to Crave" with some other teachers at church, and changed the way I eat, hence the "lifestyle change" as opposed to a diet, I have lost 9 1/2 pounds! The Thursday before Thanksgiving I got my first "Are you losing weight?" question, and I was on cloud nine! Made my week! I told her she was the first person to notice, but I was informed that I was the topic of conversation around the water cooler. Why would I need to lose weight? While that is a compliment in itself, I do have my reasons.

One, because half the clothes in my closet haven't fit in many years and I don't want to, nor have money to, go buy new. (Of course, I mentioned to my hubby that now the other half of the closet, the big clothes, don't fit. He said big clothes still fit, just cinch up my belt!) Two, I was eating WAY too much sugar, and mostly for emotional reasons. I would reach for chocolate, or ice cream, or anything sweet I could dig up any time I was lonely, tired, or stressed. I would reward myself with sweets for making it through a hard day or to reward myself for making it through a really good day. I didn't need a reason. When I started this, the first two weeks were torture, and then not so bad. I took a bad detour after the Halloween candy came into the house, but got over that hump. And then last week was bad with anything pumpkin, pie or bread, it didn't matter. But I would catch myself and ask why I was eating it. I usually ate it anyway, but at least I asked myself why. Mostly, I just love pumpkin stuff.

But the main reason I started losing weight was because I just felt gross. I hated looking in the mirror. I was depressed getting dressed in the morning. I was upset with myself for getting this way. When I started this, I was only 3 pounds away from what I weighed when I gave birth to Cooper. Ridiculous! I gained 30 pounds with each child, and like to tell people that I only lost 20 after each. But that's not true. With Cooper I only lost 20, but with the other two, I lost all of it. I just gained 10 back in the next years from emotional eating. I want to lose 7 more. That will put me back to pre-Cade weight. I don't want to get back to pre-Cooper. I don't need that 27 year old too skinny body back. She was annoyingly skinny!

When I'm doing well on my plan, eating more vegetables, less sugar, and more water, I feel better and look better. No stomach issues, my face is clearer, and I feel more confident. I tried on a shirt yesterday that I had bought years ago a little too tight, and have never worn, and it fit! I was so excited! I'm on my last hole on my belt, and it will feel so good to go buy another one.

Don't get me wrong. It has not been easy. I told a friend that I wanted to look at the Snickers bars in the Halloween basket as an evil monster, and maybe that would stop me from eating it, but I realized I wasn't even waiting the ten seconds to have that thought. I saw it and ate it. There was no thought process. I'm getting better at it. Its really not about losing weight. Its about making wise choices and asking God for help. I really recommend "Made to Crave". Lysa makes it a spiritual journey, and that's what I need. Imagine if I was really going all in and exercising on a regular basis and asking God for help every moment of the day. I'm not trying to brag here (although I am proud of myself), I am hoping to encourage you. You can do it too!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Nacho Potato Soup Recipe

My momma asked me for this recipe. Really easy and yummy! Kind of spicy.

1 package au gratin potatoes
1 can corn, drained
1 can rotel, undrained
2 cups water
2 cups milk
2 cups cubed velveeta cheese

Combine the potatoes and sauce mix, corn, tomatoes, and water in a pot. Mix well, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add milk, cheese, cook and stir until the cheese is melted.

Next time I make it, I'll take a picture so I can pin it!

Cool God Story - Retro Style

I don't know why I was thinking today of a cool thing God did many years ago, pre-blog. So I thought I would share with you.

In 1996, I bought a used Honda Accord, and drove it many miles from Hollis, OK to Ft. Worth, TX once a week for Seminary. Later, it was driven from from Plano/Richardson to Ft. Worth more than once a week for Seminary. And it made lots of road trips in between. Many years and lots of miles on that sweet car. J and I started saving money for a new one, knowing the end was near. One Monday, our youth intern mentioned that she was selling her Toyota Camry, so J and I decided to think about it, but weren't sure we were ready to commit. What if old faithful could make it another year or two? On Tuesday, I pulled out of the driveway and realized I was leaving a trail of oil on the driveway and all the way down the street. So I drove it directly to the Firestone station down the street, dropped her off, and waited for the dreaded phone call. Maybe we really needed to consider that Camry?

Sure enough, the call came, and it was going to cost almost half of what we had saved up for a new car just to fix the old one. That didn't make any sense at all. But do we fix it and then sell it, or try to sell it broken? Do we need to try to sell it fast to get the money to buy the Camry, or just be a one car family until we can sell it? So many questions. We called Firestone back to tell them to go ahead a fix it, and guess what? The repairman asked if we were interested in selling the car! Oh, yes he did. Why, yes, we are interested in selling it. We drove up there to get my stuff out of the car and tell it goodbye. J said he prayed about it on the way, and wondered if we were making the right decision. Could we get more money selling it to someone else? And he felt God say, "I did this. I have taken care of this for you. Just rest." So we got the cash on Wednesday, and bought my Camry on Thursday. And I drove it until child number three was coming and we knew it was time to upgrade to the mini-van. Great car. Even greater God!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Gosh, I haven't blogged in a long time. I have so many things that I write in my head, but the last few weeks have been really busy getting ready for the holidays. We hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year for Jason's family, so lots of cleaning and grocery shopping had to be done. You don't think your house is really dirty until all the in laws are coming. :) They tell you not to worry about it, but I can't. So 8 of Jason's family came and stayed at our house from Sunday to Friday. It was really a lot of fun! His sister and her family flew in from Virginia and I got to finally meet my new niece, Elizabeth Marie. We opened Christmas gifts early since we won't see them then, and I can't describe the joy that Aunt Christy had when I got to buy her first baby doll and a girly outfit. So much fun!

On Monday, we went and took family pictures with the wonderful photographer Delynn Halloran. You can see her work HERE. We took pictures for more than an hour and a half, and all 5 kids did wonderfully. It was so much fun. Delynn said there are so many good ones she having a hard time narrowing them down. I can't wait to see them. She took our pictures five years ago the last time we had a family holiday at our house. There are three more kids this time around. Fun to see the family grow!

In years past with J's family, there was always some black Friday shopping going on, but I think all the kids makes us not want to give up on sleep. A few of them went to Walmart on Thursday night hours before the sales started to get something totally unrelated to Christmas shopping, and they said it was a madhouse. People weren't wanting to let them by to get to the back of the store to get what they needed. My shopping spree was to CVS to pick up some grocery items that were really on sale, but by the time I got there Thanksgiving night, they were all sold out. Crazy people. It is not worth the savings to me to give up hours of my time and sanity.

So everyone left on Friday and I crashed. We realized for the first time in I don't know how long, we had NOTHING on Saturday. So we took the boys to see the Muppet movie. I highly recommend it. It was so much fun! Then we got the Christmas boxes down, enjoyed some leftovers, and watched it rain. A wonderfully relaxing day, which we needed because the next month promises to be crazy as every December is. Baseball tournaments, basketball season starting, and all the fun Christmas activities that pack the calendar. This Thursday I'm helping to host a parent coffee at church where we'll talk about keeping Christ in your child's Christmas. I hope I learn as I prepare, and will incorporate some ideas this month to help my kids, and myself, stay focused on Christ's gifts, not the world's. After the coffee I'll try to post some for all of you. I got the tree put up tonight, probably the earliest I've ever had it up. So that will be nice to enjoy it for the whole month. We're having Christmas at our house with my family this year. Not quite as much pressure to clean! ;) I just realized rereading this that I've said "so much fun" way too much, but I'm too tired to come up with something more creative. Very thankful this season for fun times!






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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Poppy Seed Blueberry Bread

I made this bread yesterday for J to take to work his first day back and had a few requests for the recipe, so here it is. I found it somewhere a year or so ago, and don't remember where, so I can't give anyone credit, but it wasn't me.

1 package blueberry muffin mix (box kind, with canned blueberries)
1 egg
3/4 cup water
3 tbsp oil
1 to 2 tbsp poppy seeds
2 to 3 tsp grated lemon peel

1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 to 2 tbsp lemon juice

Drain and rinse blueberries from muffin mix, set aside. In a bowl, combine the muffin mix, egg, water, oil, poppy seeds and lemon peel. Fold in blueberries. Pour into two greased small loaf pans. Bake 350 for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. After it cools for a little bit, make the glaze and drizzle over the top of the bread.

I have made one big loaf, muffins and mini muffins. Just adjust the cooking time for what size pan you are making them in. ENJOY!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Hitting the Reset Button

Today is my husband's last day of his three month sabbatical. He goes back to work bright and early tomorrow morning. I am sad for him. He has thoroughly enjoyed himself. Our wonderful European adventure, lots of little trips to conferences, seeing friends, visiting some amazing churches around this country, and lots of rest and reading.

Its been really funny from my perspective. The boys and I have taken a little break too, just pulling back from church activities. Being a staff family, as much as we love going to church, its been nice to have a break from the expectations. They've still been going to Bible drill when they can, but took a break from choir. I'm not involved in any Bible studies this semester. I am still working two days a week, and I've been in worship with one or more of the kids more Sundays than not, but haven't done any WBS classes except for preschool a few times. But every time I've been to worship, I've gotten the same questions and comments, "Welcome Back!". Although very sweet, it always made me laugh. I haven't really been anywhere, but we aren't technically back yet. And then they would ask when Jason was getting back, and I would say Nov. 7th, and someone would then say "I can't believe you've been by yourself with the kids for three months!" I would explain, no, he's been home more than he's been gone. And my favorite question would then follow, "Has he gotten on your nerves being home all the time?" Not at all! I thought maybe he would, but I have really enjoyed getting to go to lunch with him without kids, getting to go to matinee movies with him, and doing some of my normal errands with him. I promised myself years ago that if he ever called and asked me to go to lunch I would drop what I was doing and go. So I've dropped a lot the past three months, and enjoyed every minute.

We had some great discussions on our Europe trip about what made us happy, our priorities and goals for our family, and different things we wanted to try. As we suspected, when we got back, life caught up with us and all those new things and goals haven't come to fruition, but it was a start. Its been like pushing a reset button. We've been able to realize when we need breaks, how to handle stress better, what are the really important things that need to be done, and how to politely say "no" sometimes to those things that aren't that important. We haven't agreed on everything, but I think we've bonded through those disagreements. I know for sure our marriage is better than it was three months ago.

I've also had people ask me when I was going to get my sabbatical. I guess they are referring to my job as mom? But J never took a sabbatical from his job as dad. Lots of baseball and football coaching going on, took the boys to Texans games, took them for donuts every Friday morning, just like always. If anything, he had more time for them, and less distractions when he was with them. Wonderful daddy.

I am so thankful to UBC for letting their pastors take a sabbatical every 5 years. I know a lot of churches don't, but they need to. Jason's dad said he's never had one in his 40+ years in the ministry, very sad. I know some people don't understand why pastors should get one. There are three reasons, in my opinion. One is that they really don't have office hours, they don't get to clock out, they are working 24/7. The phone might ring at any time. Jason has 6 AM meetings sometimes and 10 PM meetings sometimes, whenever people have time to meet with him, whenever they need him, he's there. Most people can clock out and go home from their jobs. Another reason is that pastors never get 3 day weekends like most people. There's a Sunday in there, a work day. And holidays aren't great either. Its our Christmas to be at church this year, so he will be at 3 services Christmas Eve and one on Christmas morning. And three, its really hard to have a Sabbath Day, again, Sunday is a work day. And there is life going on the other 6 days, so it is really hard to have a good day of rest for him. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. We are so thankful and blessed to be called to this ministry. Its so worth the sacrifices. And we know that God's blessings when we are obedient far out way a day off. But those are the reasons that I am in full support of pastors getting sabbaticals. He can deal with people better, including his family, now that he is rested.

I am looking forward to seeing him in the halls at church when I'm at work. Kind of a cool perk to us both working at the same place. I've known the last three months that he wasn't upstairs, and I missed him. And I am so thankful for his team that work with him. They are so excited he is coming back. It makes a wife so thankful to know that the people who work with him are loyal, supportive, and excited to work with her husband. I am praying for them all this week. It will be an adjustment for everyone. I hope everyone has had a moment to set the reset button. I am very thankful for it.