Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wellness Wednesday/Thankful Thursday

The two days can go together this week, because what I'm thankful about deals with my health and wellness. 

I went to the rheumatologist today. I wasn't expecting much. He only prescribes my chemo and not much else. 

I was prepared to get firm and be very blunt with how I'm feeling and how badly I want to get off the chemo.

Well, I didn't have to! After sitting and talking about how well I'm progressing, he said I can take one less pill a week. I currently take 6 pills every Friday. I will now take 5 pills on Fridays until I see the eye doc in July. Then, if everything is still ok we'll reduce some more. 

As long as things go as planned and I have no flare ups - I should be done by November - 2 years later.

It's funny because, at the beginning of the year, I said - I want to start inching off of the chemo in May. Well - I take my pills on Fridays and tomorrow is May 1!

There are fears that creep in my mind...what ifs...but this is the home stretch. I was fighting back tears in the doctor's office because the light at the end of the tunnel is becoming visible!

Of course, my right eye is insanely itchy today...which I'm guessing is allergies (it's not a symptom that I've ever had for anything serious.) I still get scared. FAITH! Gotta push that stuff out of my mind!

Psalm 30:2 Oh Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.

Psalm 103:2 Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.

Please continue to pray for my healing. Thank you all who have been such a blessing to me. Your prayers are working. God hears. I pray his blessings on each one of you as you all run through my mind right now - all of you who have loved me and prayed, and cared for me through this. I love you!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Money Monday

Well, I just checked how much debt we've paid off so far this year and it's almost $8000 in 4 months! That's $2000 a month! 

I just sit there and stare at it because I'm discouraged and keep thinking that, by staring at it, some idea will mysteriously pop into my head about how to get rid of the debt faster!

I'm trying to squeeze a few extra dollars out of the budget this month to get some pictures developed. We'll see if I can manage. 

Matt needed to go buy oil and gas for the lawn mower, the oil change was more than I budgeted for...and so on and so on.

Not that we expected any different, but when Matt took the car in for an oil change, they had a lot to say about the car.

The car is over 10 years old and we paid $2000 for it. We knew it was a junker...but apparently it's rusted underneath blah blah blah, radiator might fall on the ground...blah blah blah....It's not due for inspection until next January - so that's when I'm going to worry about it.

Until then, we need to boost up that savings account so that we're poised and ready when it's time to trash that thing! So far, out car fund has a whopping $185 in it. I know - we're big savers.

Since we're talking about money today, I must mention I was SO BUMMED I missed Dave Ramsey's Town Hall for Hope. Did anyone see it??

Oh, and last but not least. We got an estimate from a plumber on how much it'd cost to dig a shower and a sink drain in your basement (the toilet is already there.) I'm thinking $1000 or so? MAYBE $1500.

Here goes. $3850 TO DIG A COUPLE OF DRAINS???!!!!! 

Yeah right.

Does anyone have a jackhammer? 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spiritual Sunday

God Does Not Resolve

I wrote this a while back - and it's still one of my favorites. It's long though. If you have the time, I think you'll enjoy.

"I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve. . . . I used to not like God because God didn’t resolve. But that was before any of this happened."

 - Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

God is boring...

God is irrelevant...

God doesn't give a crap about me...


Bold statements, but so many can relate to at least one of them at some point in life...Do me a favor...In the above statements...can you replace the word "GOD" with "RELIGION?"

Religion is boring...

Religion is irrelevant...

Religion doesn't give a crap about me...

 

BINGO!

 

That makes sense. I've been doing a lot of evaluating and have come to the conclusion that I don't like "religion" very much. It's a bunch of rules - that may or may not be taken from the Bible that you have to follow. There's no emotion with it. Just do it and you'll go to heaven. Religion is this box...and to be accepted into religion, you have to cram yourself into the box. Twist your arm this way, turn your head that way, constrict yourself...smaller...no, even smaller...Can you still breath? Yes? Then squeeze some more.

No wonder so many people hate church, Christians, and religion. Look what it does to us. And THIS is what is supposed to representing God?

God is not this box...God is FREEDOM! You don't squeeze your self into God...You stretch your arms open wide in weightless freedom...comfort, protection, peace...

Before I go on, as a disclaimer, please don't misunderstand me. I'm not bashing the church itself...I happen to like mine and feel that there is a much needed place for them when serving the purpose God would have them serve. But, please, turn off the television. Stop using televangelists, Bible-thumping hypocrites, and holier-than-thou, church-lingo-using "Christians" to form your view of Jesus. That's not who HE is, and I know He's appalled at some of the junk going around in His name.

Let me introduce myself.

I'm Melissa.

I love Jesus.

Sometimes I use bad language.

Sometimes I freak out.

I'm anal.

I sin every single day of my life.

Sometimes, I yell at my kid too much.

I'm often tempted to gossip.

I forget to read my Bible...scratch that...sometimes I don't feel like reading it.

I get frustrated with God.

Sometimes I have doubts.

But, I love Jesus.

God has changed my life. Done miracles. Amazing things. Saved me. Touched me. Spoken to me. Lifted me up. And on and on and on.

Then why the list up there? Why can't I get it right?

I wish I had that answer. If God has spoken so clearly to me at times. Done so much to save my life and show me his face, shouldn't I have the Bible memorized...and have much better language? I suppose...

But you know what. I can ignore him, be lazy, and cranky all I want, and he's still there. Not badgering me, not pressuring me, not SCREAMING at me. But when I reach out to Him, when I AM READY, I am FREE.

Well what about all the rules? The Bible is just a bunch of standards that no one can live up to. I didn't really get this until I had my daughter, Hannah.

Hannah HATES holding my hand. She loves me and all...and when she scrapes her knee or it's time to go to bed, I'm the only one who will do...But for me to try to guide her across the street is surely a way to see a very colorful meltdown.

She wants to aimlessly dance from one sidewalk to another on her own. She knows what she's doing and what's best for her. She can handle it. She doesn't need this PARENT throwing RULES at her.

She doesn't realize that mommy sees the big picture. She doesn't have the knowledge I have. She's doesn't understand that she needs to hold my hand and follow my rules so she stays safe. So she doesn't get hurt. She doesn't understand that she may feel the pain in that moment of holding my hand because I'm restricting her....But if she sticks with me, she'll see that at the other side of the street, she's safe and can move on to so many more amazing things than she would had she not listened. She's safe. She's free. 

It's the same with God. Of course, we believe in HIM. He's the first one we need when something goes wrong. Either we get mad at HIM or we want HIM to fix our life...after we've spent all this time ignoring HIM. HERE'S THE KICKER -- WE PUT HIM IN THE BOX!

Anyway, if we do our best to stick to Jesus...Do what he tells us to do, we can't go wrong. He knows what's best for us. He sees the big picture. He sees our future. We don't get it. We can't comprehend it. All we know is that we want to flitter aimlessly across the street without holding His hand, all the while ignoring the oncoming semi that's about to wreck our life.

If we just endure the pain of holding His hand for a minute...listen, get what he's trying to say to us, we'll have MORE freedom. We'll get it. He's there to guide us. Protect us. Get us safely across the street.

Human nature has totally screwed up who God really is. We've ruined Him for those who don't know about Him yet. We've given Him a really ugly outfit.

I really dislike Christian terms: "saved" "witness" "Christian" "religion" " Praise the Lord" "You're in my prayers"....I guess they all just have a negative connotation to me. They're all over used, have lost meaning, and set people who love Jesus way above people who haven't seen Him yet.

So what are you supposed to do? If you love God (even if you're not really good at it, because none of us are) how do you show other people how awesome he is?

My answer?

Get BETTER at loving HIM.

And to love HIM

You have to love others.

And by others

I mean everyone.

Stinky

 

Rude

 

Ugly

 

Mean

 

Hurtful

 

Stealing

 

Lying

 

Cheating

 

Hateful

 

People.

 

People just like you.....and me.

 

(Included in this list are also bad drivers, tele-marketers , and bill collectors.)

 

It's really...really easy to tell someone "I'll pray for you." How about you do it? Right there? Right then. With people watching. Pray for them. And mean it. Eek...scary.

 

I always feel guilty because weird people freak me out. We were sitting outside one night with our friends and this freak-o, obviously intoxicated, 8 foot tall, shirtless, daisy duke-wearing, barefoot, long-haired 30 something guy is walking up and down the street with another guy yelling random things at people.

 

I wanted to jump in the car and hide under the steering wheel because I was so sure this guy was going to pull a gun from...well...who knows where...and shoot me in the head. Looking at my husband and my friends, conveying my thoughts, they were content staying put. 

Then they guy starts walking toward us...and I peed my pants. Well, almost. Hey - cut me some slack - he had a gun remember?

He starts talking...drunk talk...thinks he's in another town...just got here from California. Maybe they lost his luggage...which required him to borrow shorts from a 10 year old girl. But we chatted for a minute or so and then he walked away. 

I don't know that anyone else responded to him, looked at him or talked to him on his little stroll. He was drunk and weird...and almost naked.

So, let me ask, if Jesus was physically walking the earth today, would he be in church?

I'm pretty sure Jesus would be walking with that guy. And with lots of other guys like him. Maybe in the bar down the street. At some crazy party...in jail? And I don't think he'd be dragging people to the local church. I think he'd be loving on them. Just telling them they're special. And he loves them. And he wants to help them.

THAT Jesus is a lot more lovable than "RELIGIOUS JESUS."

And I am...and you are made in his image. We're supposed to do what he would do.

I'm pretty sure he'd be offering freedom.

 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Scrumptious Saturday

Ah! We're at staff retreat this weekend, and BOY ARE WE EATING! I brought my camara and really need to post some pics, but I'm feeling lazy. We're having a blast. 

Luckily, my sister Shari emailed me a recipe she feels is blog worthy; and since she's one of THE BEST cooks I know, I can't go wrong. So, enjoy fooling your children, your spouse...and possible yourself :)


Fooled 'Em Mac and Cheese

Ingredients
2 cups of cauliflower florets
1.5 c. macaroni
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. flour
1/2 c. milk
1.5 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
salt and pepper to taste

Steam the cauliflower in a vegetable steamer for about minutes, or until tender. Put in a food processor or a blender, adding a bit of water from the steaming pot, and blend to a smooth texture.

Prepare the macaroni according to manufacturer's directions. Drain.

While the macaroni is boiling, coat a large nonstick  skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the oil and then the flour whisking constantly, until a thick paste forms. Add the milk a little at a time and whisk until the mixture begins to thicken, 3-4 minutes. (Make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom.) Add about 1/2 c. of the cauliflower puree, cheese, salt and pepper if desired, and whisk until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the macaroni, and mix thoroughly. Serve immediately.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Family Friday

I'll be glad when Matt meets me up here this evening!

I never sleep well without him.

But, as I said yesterday, I miss my baby.

When I called this morning, she said one thing and burst into tears. Oh the guilt!

I guess I won't be able to talk to her much...and hopefully she won't diss me when I get home!

My little family is separated for the weekend :( but I'm looking forward to time with friends and my hubby!

On a lighter note - I JOGGED almost 2 miles on the tread mill this morning!!! HUGE feat for me!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Well, I have a lot to be thankful for today.

I'm feeling pretty good but I'm battling a cold. Going to the nutritionist has amazingly shortened the duration and severity of illnesses which is lovely.

I'm in Erie right now for work...staff and planning retreat. Some of us came up a day early to plan. Matt and the rest of the staff will come tomorrow night.

I miss my baby and REALLY hope she does ok without mom and dad. I left her my blankie and some other things to comfort her...and grandma has some tricks up her sleeve too.

Hannah said to me today "Bye mom...I hope you come back!" haha

But on to thankfulness:

I'm thankful Matt doesn't need surgery on his knees! He's been battling knee and ankle pain for 3 years. We're not totally sure what happened, but he was playing with Hannah one night and something snapped. Poor thing. We've never gotten it taken care of and it's gotten progressively worse! He wraps his knees to iron his work clothes. The other day he was walking through the living room, I heard something pop and he fell on the floor. That was it for me. I know we've been focused on my health and so much money is going to make me well again, but he can't live like this.

I made him an appointment to see the Steelers orthopedic doc. Apparently he has something called tendonopathy in both knees and one ankle. NO SURGERY which is good, but he was sent home with an Rx for a pain killer and 6 weeks of physical therapy 2-3 times per week...and no stairs.

I'm glad we have a  diagnosis and a prescription for better health. I want my baby well again.

I'm also grateful for a refreshing time away and pray that I'm able to get recharged this weekend. I pray my little baby has a great time having sleepovers with grandma! :) I miss her!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wellness Wednesday - Choosing an exercise strategy

Do you have a regular workout routine?

If not, why? I know it's hard to make it part of your routine, but once you do, it's a permanent fixture in your day.

When I workout, I MUST use a video. If not, I just don't push myself hard enough. If I do 30 minutes on our recumbent bike, I'll quit even if I've barely broken a sweat and managed to read a magazine the whole time.

I recommend finding a video with a few routines on it.

For instance, the one I use most often was made by Beach Body for the Slim in 6 program.

It has 3 routines on it, plus a stretching routine and an abs routine that are separate.

The 3 routines increase in length of time AS WELL AS intensity.

Start it Up is 25 minutes 
Ramp it Up is 47 minutes
Burn it Up is 60 minutes - I've finally worked up to this one and can now get through it without cursing at the instructor.

Now, if I'm short on time, I'll do the short video with ankle weights on to give me a challenge and a better workout.

A lot of times we kid ourselves into thinking we're working out.

Here are some tips -

You want to break a sweat. I've you're not sweating - you're not exercising. (Maybe that's just my opinion - please no hate mail from power walkers!)

At some point during your workout you shouldn't be able to have a lengthy conversation aside from one word answers. Try to maintain this level for a few minutes and work your way up to longer. You want to reach your target heart rate! Find that number here.

I don't like to put an amount of time on the length of exercise should be. It's more about effort and consistency than time. You'll build that up!

It's a GOOD thing to feel a little sore the next day. It means your building muscle. DON'T SKIP EXERCISING because your body is tired from the day before! Once you start I promise your muscles will warm up and actually feel better. No joke!

One you get used to exercising regularly, start using some resistance. I've used anything from ankle weights, to soup cans, to resistance bands. In fact, the other day, Hannah brought me 2 jars of sauce when I said I was going to exercise! You'll start to see your body change when you start using resistance. You burn more calories and build muscle tone when you do!

If you have ON DEMAND, there are a TON of workout videos on there. Start small and build up! You have a world of videos and your fingertips!!

Get moving!

...and by the way. This is my opinion and what's worked for me. Don't sue me if you die using my suggestions. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tips and Hints Tuesday - A Hot Bath

Call me crazy - but I feel like a hot bath can cure anything! Sinus pressure, an upset stomach, achy muscles, a stressful day.

At least it works for me like that.

I pulled my hamstring exercising yesterday. This morning I woke up feeling like I was fighting a cold my daughter just got over. By the end of the day I felt so weak I could barely drive home.

Luckily my sweet husband served dinner and took care of Hannah while I lay on the couch. Finally I got up to take a nice hot bath and two Ibuprofen (I don't know how to spell that word, but Hannah insists it's M-O-I-I-I).

I really feel so much better. I'm even contemplating working out, but I know Matt will have my head for that!

So, the next time you feel yucky - take a hot bath. 

It just WORKS!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Money Monday

So, lately I've been talking about how tired I am of this debt thing. It's been a difficult week and we have totally screwed up the budget, going out to eat TWICE and leaving our grocery budget down to $18 for the next 11 days....Yikes.

I can take money out of savings, but I'm not going to do it if I can help it. Today I tried to set things up for the week. I HAD to go to the store and am ASTONISHED that I've not been to Aldi's sooner...I actually got a beautiful head of cauliflower for 99 cents...I kid you not. 99 cents??? You can't even get it on sale for $2.50!! (I spent $7.50 there on fresh broccoli, cauliflower, bananas, a bag of apples, and a 3lb container of oats). So my budget it down to $10.50. 

I made egg salad.

I made homemade peanut butter granola cereal for the week. You can find the recipe here. I love it because it has honey in it - NO SUGAR. You can eat it with or without milk and add whatever you want - raisins, almonds, etc. YUMMY!

I made bread so I don't have to buy it with the $18! I've been asked by one awesome cousin how I made the bread. I'm old fashioned so I do it by hand. It's relaxing for me to knead dough, though if you have a bread machine - go for it! The recipe I use is pretty much fool proof and tastes so fluffy and delicious you'll want it every day! I've posted the recipe before, but you can find it here. It's called beginner's bread so you really can't mess it up! Amy - feel free to call me if I can help you make it!

Lastly, I made dinner tonight using one (1) large chicken breast and we all 3 ate and had a container full of leftovers. How'd I do it? - I've been asked.

Well, I cut the chicken up into small bite sized pieces..very thin...think Johnny Carinos thin. I seasoned and cooked it in a pan with some onion and removed it. 

Then I took one of those 99 cent boxes of Pasta Sides and cooked it in the pan I cooked the chicken in, only I threw in some frozen chopped spinach - anything to stretch the meal!. When that was done I added the chicken back in and made a bag of frozen green beans seasoned them and voila. There was  a decent amount of chicken in each serving too.

I'm all about fillers and things you can add to stretch a meal - starches and veggies do that - spinach, rice, beans, corn, broccoli potatoes or pasta - whatever you like. 

If you want to stretch your meat - don't make "hunks" of meat like steaks, meatloaf, or whole chicken breasts.

Think - fajitas, mini meat balls, and stir fry.

Here are some fillers I use.

Tacos - line shells or wraps with refried beans - you'll use half the meat and you'll be twice as full. (you can also add rice to taco meat). I've mentioned before that a pound of taco meat will give us 3 dinners.

Meatballs (ground meat in general - even burgers) - bread crumbs, eggs etc.

Rice - beans/spinach/broccoli

Another staple to add is SOUP. It goes a long way. Some men are cranky when it comes to soups but you can add a quarter pound of mini meat balls or 1 shredded chicken breast to keep them quiet and fill their bellies.

Beans and eggs are good and inexpensive sources of protein that you can use in meatless dishes.

Lastly - there is something to be said for eating LESS. We've tried to cut out second helpings and that helps to stretch food - not your waistline!

Spiritual Sunday - The Holy Sprit

Lately we've been really talking about the Holy Spirit around here. 

You know, it's kind of a touchy subject because people are so freaked out by the "speaking in tongues" thing.

The frustrating part about that is, being filled with the Holy Spirit is so NOT about speaking in tongues. It's about being so consumed by God that you are empowered to be who he wants you to be and do what he wants you to do.

Speaking in tongues does happen as a result of being filled with the Spirit, but do you NEED it to go to heaven? No! Is it some badge of spiritual achievement? Absolutely NOT. We're way too focused on the weirdness of it all instead of being focused on our desire to be where God wants us to be, closer to him than we can ever imagine, and EMPOWERED to do amazing thing things that are WAY beyond our imagination.

I need to be filled constantly. I need refreshed constantly. I need God to remind me I can do this - and then ENABLE me to do it. Do I seek him out enough, no.

I will say this personally speaking though. There's no way I'd be doing what I'm doing without the help of the Holy Spirit.

Since I've really dived into to following God, He's equipped me to teach myself how to play the piano, lead worship, and now my unsanctioned nickname is the JUNIOR HIGH PASTOR??? 

Am I out of my comfort zone??? BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS, YES! I really do hate that title. I'm not a pastor and I'm not a preacher. I like to think of myself as the teacher and facilitator of the junior highers. Pastor Donnie says he doesn't care what I call myself as long as I don't quit. :)

The junior high students are so eager to learn, it's easy. But, every week I'm nervous and studying so I don't have to use notes, and DESPERATE for them to have a deep and lasting relationship with Christ NOW so that when they get to high school, they have the HOLY SPIRIT helping them fight off the UGLINESS of adolescence. 

Do I deserve something special? No, because I am a useless, chocolate eating pile of poo. Without the Holy Spirit I AM NOTHING.

So, what's the point of today's blog.

Stop thinking about "tongues" and start thinking about how close you can actually get to God. He'll take care of the rest.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Well, it was a rough morning.

I did NOT get the news I was desperately hoping for from my eye doctor. Everything is the same and my pressure is slightly elevated. I know why the pressure went up a little (not high, just elevated)...I barely slept 5 hours last night...and what sleep I got was fitful because there was a very small foot in my back and hand up my nose. Lack of sleep elevates my pressure.

So, I was sad.

And then I walked to my car and from a good distance away I saw the lovely parking ticket on my windshield.

I can really complain because I've parked illegally there for years so I don't have to pay for parking and this is my first ticket. It's still worth it.

That said. The rest of the day was very good. Aside from having a very emotional and antisocial rest-of-the-morning and Hannah having some silly cold, the day was very good.

My Thankful List:

1. Hannah was a COMPLETE ANGEL at the doctor's office. AND I MEAN ANGEL. She was so good. We read Highlights magazine...Thank God for those...I think I may subscribe!
2. The weather today - GORGEOUS.
3. Hannah was very good at the office even though SOMEONE taught her that stupid filet of fish commercial jingle.
4. We got to play at the park.
5. Matt made dinner.
6. Our debt is now down too $5000.
7. We got to see our cutie Kylie in her musical and Hannah was very behaved.
8. We got to spend time with our friends and Hannah and Ky got to play together...AND Hannah was very well-behaved.
9. And - I don't know if Carrie reads this blog, but Braden ate a french fry...and not just ANY french fry...MY french fry :)

So - to sum it up...the good FAR outweighs the bad! I will keep counting on God for his healing because I know it's coming.

Thank you to those who pray for me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wellness Wednesday - Stretching

Please pray for me. 

I have an eye doctor appointment at 9:45am tomorrow and I really feel like God has healed these eyes of mine. I've never felt so confident. 

My mind keeps saying, "but what if, Melissa?" but I can't even entertain those thoughts.

I don't know how I'll feel if they aren't better - but I'm just so confident.

Please pray. I'll post tomorrow, and I just know I'll have something to be thankful about!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tips and Hints Tuesday - Cleaning the Holiday Mess!

I've been so tired since Easter and the house is a disaster.

How do you get motivated to clean up? I'd much rather sit on my butt, blog, play on the computer, and eat Teddy Grahams like I'm doing right now.

Here are some of my tips, please leave me some of yours.

1. Just get up and start. Set your timer for 15 minutes and start doing something. Tell yourself when 15 minutes is up, you can stop if you want. Chances are, once you start, you'll get into it.

2. Keep distractions out of the way. Computer off, tv off, whatever tempts you when you walk past it - keep it out of sight.

3. Talk on the phone while you clean. It makes the time fly and you can catch up with friends!

4. Find a radio show you like. That way you can clean and listen and you don't have to stop to watch.

5. Start with something quick and easy so you can feel accomplished right away!

Now, stop reading and GET MOVING :)

Money Monday - Painting

Well, we've finally made the decision to finish painting the interior of the house. Matt told me to budget for it next month, so we're going to do it May 2. I'll post pictures. It's an inexpensive way to really change things up in the house. 

I'm definitely going to spend a few extra dollars to get corner guards. Our house was built before lead paint became illegal so it needs covered up completely and I'm a little aggressive with the vacuum cleaner!

We're going with some sort of darker than neutral tan - but not too dark for the living room, hallway and our bedroom. Hannah wants pink in her room so we're going with a pale shade there.

I'm VERY excited! Since Hannah's preschool tuition is finished until next year, we'll probably use that money for the paint! Hooray!

Congrats to my brother and his wife who, as of this week, will be completely DEBT FREE! GO RICK AND DOREEN!! Congrats! (not that he ever reads my blog - he makes fun by following as "dragon slayer.")


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spiritual Sunday - Fruit of the Spirit

This about sums it up. 
Happy Easter! Remember why you're celebrating today!
video

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Scrumptious Saturday


Oh Easter Eating has begun already.

Went to my grandfather's house today for the traditional macaroni cake. DELISH!

I the proceeded to put the large basket of Easter candy in front of my fat face and stuff myself sick full of my favorite treats....Sarris Malted Milk Balls, Sarris eggs, Cadbury solid/mini cream eggs, peeps...etc...yes, I ate them ALL. I'm a hog. I still have tomorrow!

But, it was fabulous time with family and little Hannah was delightful!

Happy Easter!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Family Friday

It's a family weekend for many of us isn't it?

I'm looking forward to it, and also excited that my friend Jessica will be joining us for dinner at Matt's parents' house.

I'm nervous about how Hannah is going to behave. She just can't stand large family gatherings!

Today is a nice Family Friday. Last night Matt and I got to go on a date! (Thanks Audra!)

I had a chocolate truffle blizzard with chocolate ice cream and a squirt of peanut butter. I was in heaven. (As a side note, Carrie called me while I was EATING the aforementioned blizzard to tell me she just learned of such a thing and wanted one) Great minds think alike.

It was so nice to spend time together! We haven't had a date since before Christmas!

Today, since Matt's off, we've been hanging around here. I'm exceptionally tired and I don't know why! We're going to dye Easter eggs later and that should be fun.

What are you up to this Easter weekend?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Oh my.

Well, it's not even 7am yet and I have reasons to be thankful! 

I'm thankful, that for some unknown reason, my husband loves me and is a saint.

Last night was a crazy night, as always, with my favorite Junior High students. I got home late and had a phone call right before I pulled into the driveway.

I have this weird thing where I don't like to walk into the house on my phone. I feel like it's rude to my family, especially if I haven't seen Hannah all day. In this case I was supposed to kiss her goodnight as she was already in bed. I didn't want her to hear my voice and wonder why I wasn't coming to her...so I sat in the car.

Well, my purse spilled and I couldn't find my wallet - so I had to turn on the interior light...Get where I'm going??

So, this morning, my loving husband kisses me goodbye only to come back in two minutes later to tell me he has to open the garage. (It's loud and he doesn't like to wake Hannah up.) His battery died in his car.

I looked at him and asked if I left the lights on because I swore I turned them off....After he said it was the interior light I wanted to kick myself. I ALWAYS do that, but the battery never dies in my car from it.

I felt awful. 

I told him I'd come out and help (i.e. stand there watching and fearing the car is going to explode). Maybe that's why he told me to stay in bed, that it was okay.

He wasn't mad AT ALL. 

Of course, I had to go outside. I felt like a jerk. 

His car started right up and he was just as sweet as pie. THAT IS NOT NORMAL PEOPLE! 

I am the luckiest woman in the world. Why the HECK did he marry me? 

Must be my smokin' body. 


Ha.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wellness Wednesday - Stretching

I've always thought stretching is overrated. I'm sometimes even tempted to shut off my workout videos during the cool down because it's boring and doesn't seem to do much.

I am wrong of course.

I recently stepped up my workout routine to 60 minutes of intense cardio. It's time. It's also hard. I feel so disgusting afterward. Anyway, today I decided not to exercise to give my body a break since my muscles are so sore, but I always feel guilty taking days off.

One of the videos I use has a 15 minute stretching segment on it. I thought, so I know I did SOMETHING today, I'd try it. Hannah did it with me :)

Well, for goodness sake, why haven't I been stretching.

It felt so good and really stretched all the muscles I've been abusing. I've noticed recently that my muscles are really tight and just 15 minutes of stretching is relaxing and really helps the soreness.

So, don't forget stretching. It's good for mind and body!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tips and Hints Tuesday - Shiatsu

Don't make fun.

I'm learning a little about shiatsu massage. I stumbled upon it because you can actually learn what pressure points can help you with your ailments.

Like constipation...haha. I'm an open book people, but we've all been there.

Straining.

Concentrating.

Metamucil

Miralax

Citrucel

Fiber One

Dude, don't tell me the industries aren't thriving. PEOPLE AREN'T POOPING!

Anyhow, I can't re-find the video of this I was watching so I'm going to have to TRY to explain it.

It works. It's worked on me twice. Every time I do it, I'm in the bathroom in less than an hour. This is not going to give you diarrhea, it's going to help you go.

Straighten out your arm.

Look at where it bends, on the inside. Put your thumb at the top of that crease and massage for a couple of minutes. Do the same to the other arm.

The second pressure point:

Put your thumb on the back of your hand between your pinky and ring fingers. Slide your thumb up your arm and stop about 3 or 4 inches past where your wrist bends (on the back of your arm). Massage for a couple minutes. Do the same with the other arm.

It's a natural way to get things flowing. If you're brave, let me know if it works for you.

There you go, a blog on my favorite subject: poop :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Money Monday - Coupons and other things

Ok, am I the only freak who spends MORE money with coupons?

I think it's because I become obsessed and CANNOT pass up a good deal. When I can get Matt's granola bars for $1.50 a box! On sale AND with a coupon!!! I just can't resist the urge to over-buy.

It's quite annoying actually.

It's April 6 and I have $50 left in my grocery budget! How am I going to manage THAT one? :) I'll figure it out, I'm sure.

I must say, I'm becoming quite discouraged on our debt free trek. I'm tired of it. We're coming up on 2 years and I now know why Dave Ramsey says to make it so that you're done in two years. It's because even the biggest freaks of the programs (i.e. myself) get tired after so long. I'm SO antsy!

I also, in the last couple weeks, have FINALLY switched everything over to Quicken. I know, right? I'm into all this money stuff and I've JUST signed on to bank online (or just view my account) AND put my finances on the computer. I still don't completely trust it, but I did recently balance and everything was very easy.

I've been very old fashioned. I REALLY like pen and paper! It's not going to get destroyed when I am clumsy with my computer! Which just reminded me to save a copy and email it to Matt haha. 

It is nice, I'm slowly getting used to it! The one thing I don't like is I'm constantly messing with my budget throughout the month and I don't love the set up. I have to keep going back and forth between two windows that I can't view at the same time. 

Other than that, I'm happy.

Matt has his first review on Wednesday at work. They like him there and he's doing a great job, so we're not worried. We won't find out about his raise and bonus until June, I think...tick tick tick. I'm counting the days!!!


Side note: DID MY FURNACE JUST KICK ON???????

Spiritual Sunday

Sunday's service was so emotional to me.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on that infamous donkey and everybody worshipped him, laying down palm branches and shouting "Hosanna!" meaning "God Save Us!" they STILL had no idea who Jesus was! 

Their hopes were such that Jesus was riding through to overthrow the political powers as the Macabees (the Hanukah guys) had done years before. Then as Jesus proved that he was here to do just the opposite, some of those same people, days later, were with the crowd yelling "Crucify him!" 

It just makes my heart sick. Did we NEVER have it right? Will we never GET it right?

This Easter season is tugging at my heart strings. I'm glad about it. After so many years of trying to follow Jesus, sometimes I think the story loses its passion - and that just CAN'T happen. It's always new, it's always moving, it's timeless, and it's unfathomable, incomprehensible. (Do you want some MORE adjectives?)

We keep trying to explain the story to Hannah. Amidst the questions about whether or not the Easter bunny is coming to our house and if he's going to hide her basket (which I better start buying stuff for!) we're trying to instill that true meaning - and I believe she's getting it because she's asking questions. She wants to hear the stories about Jesus while he was here. She especially likes the one where he tells the children to come to him and all the grownups that they should be more like the little kids!

In fact, she even told her own story tonight...about Jesus - which leads me to believe she thinks I'm making MY stories up!

Her story went a bit like this.

Jesus was wearing swimming suit. He was an EXPERT swimmer and he wanted to go on a safari NOW!

So we was looking for the kids on the farm because the farm animals were good helpers. The kids were looking for him ALL night and they were hungry because someone took their food (I just told her the story about when Jesus feeds 5000). 

They saw Jesus and said "We've been looking for you all night Jesus! Someone took the food and we can take turns."

"I'll wash my hands."

"I'll get the ingredients."

"I'll stir!" 

and so on and so on and so on....

Hannah's stories continue on through the night - as long as she can avoid bedtime! It was a very funny story though - I was trying not to let her see me chuckle!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Scrumptious Saturday - Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

YUM! 

These were really yummy - and pretty easy. I'm a hog and ate 2 of them!

They are Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies.

You can find the recipe here. They are very easy and look really pretty! Oh yeah - and they TASTE stinking AWESOME!

Family Fridays

Ah, Hannah and I aren't seeing eye to eye today. I'm cranky, she's cranky, it's MISERABLE outside. What can you expect.

She's sleeping now and I'm hoping our moods will be better when she wakes up.

I think maybe we'll make some peanut butter cheesecake brownies. It's a new recipe, so maybe I'll include it for scrumptious Saturday if it's good.

Sorry I don't have anything more exciting. It's been a rough week.

...Well, it's a few hours later and it's turned out to be a nice evening. We went to the Easter Musical at church and it was really awesome. I was definitely moved by it and I'm really excited about Easter this year!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I AM CRANKY!

I am thankful for this gorgeous day.

I'm also thankful I got many things accomplished today....

I'm thankful Hannah wasn't hurt worse.

I took Hannah to the park after leaving work early. She grabs a torn apart energy drink can and cuts her finger on it. People are stinking morons. Who would leave a jagged piece of a can IN A SAND BOX!? I could punch someone. She's napping and her cut is cleaned and bandaged, but I don't know if she needs stitches. It was still bleeding after we got home and cleaned it out.

And another thing - it's also very discouraging and annoying when you put your life's energy into something and your own family has to sacrifice for it, and people knock you down. Those people can just exit my life. NO THANK YOU.

I am thankful for my life but today - I am annoyed.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wellness Wednesday - Another Update

Ah, I'm tired today. 

What a stressful month! There's just so much going on. 

I never updated last week, but according to the nutritionist, the environmental toxins are GONE and my spleen is strong! Yay!

I ran out of my Ocuclear eye vitamin and my eyes were weak again - so I got those right away.

I have to say, my hopes are up. I go to my eye doctor April 16 and I just have to say that I'm convinced my eyes are better. I'm the optimist always, but where a month ago my cataracts were growing and making my eyes very foggy - the last week or two I have seen no fog. 

I don't know. Sometimes I wonder if it's all in my head, you know? If, maybe I just want to be well SO BADLY that I can make myself think I'm better...but how can I FAKE that? Either I see foggy or I don't....Cataracts don't shrink...but I believe in a God that can shrink a little cataract and He can do much more! 

I truly believe God is using this nutritionist to finally heal this body of mine. I feel my entire system reverting back to normal if that makes ANY sense. Certain things are coming back that I DON'T love but are indicative of how my body acts when my autoimmune disease is in remission...ANXIETY. It's funny though, because I'll take it in exchange for health!

I'll keep you posted. I ask you for your prayers for this miracle that I'm believing in! 

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