Thursday, January 28, 2010

Eating Healthy

I've started eating much healthier of late. During the holidays I not only packed on several unwanted pounds but I cause a really major flare up with my reflux. I'm talkin' major pain! So I decided to take a cue from my daughter, Chandra (see her blog here!) While she has never PACKED on the weight, she did have a struggle with reflux. She changed EVERYTHING... and she has been so much better. So why not try, right?

So every day, begin with a smoothie - 3/4 cup 100% Apple juice (no sugar added!), 1/2 cup plain Fat Free Yogurt, then some frozen fruit - peaches, strawberry, blueberries and banana (and yes, I freeze the banana - 1/2 them, wrap in plastic wrap, and bag them.) I do add one packet of Truvia (a sugar substitute)... and I must say, I LOVE this drink. Around 10:30 I have a few pretzels, or a box of raisins, or a low fat granola bar, and for lunch I don't vary much... 1/2 a sliced chicken sandwich, a few baked chips and sometimes some carrots or celery... and then I have another small snack around 3.

Sound boring???? Well... maybe... but I do get to shake it up for supper!!!

I decided to stay on track I had to make a menu (another Chandra idea!) So I sat down and did a two week menu... some of the items....

Baked Salmon with Carrot fries (yes, that does say carrot!)

Homemade pizza with basil pesto, fresh mushrooms, onions and cheese (see Chandra's blog!)

Oven Fried Chicken

Stir-fry chicken and veggies

Shrimp Scampi

Herb-crusted baked Cod with sweet potato fries

Hungry yet??? Sounds good, huh?

AND... I'm only drinking water... and lots of it. And the reflux has practically gone away. I'm still finding a few things that upset it, but I just make a note to avoid them and find something different to use instead.

The best part... I've lost around 15 pounds since New Years Day!!!! That is WITHOUT exercise... so that just shows how much "bad" stuff I was putting away!!! Today, I headed back to the "YMCA".... thinkin' that it is time to get in some exercise as well.

I've spent a lot of years not eating healthy, and it has definnitely taken it's toll on my body, but I can tell you that I KNOW that God wants me to be healthy so that I can serve him to the best of my ability. And MY BEST just hasn't been good enough of late. So it is time to make a change and make it last!

And check out Chandra's blog from time to time... she's planning to add some of her yummy recipes... you might just find that you and your family enjoy eating healthy as well!!!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Joy in the Creation

Just wanted to post a couple of projects that I've had on needles since December.... finally completed! Yippee!!!

I went to a wonderful yarn store in Indy... my sister-in-law Sara is lucky enough to live a short distance from this store, and I honestly believe that I could spend all day there just looking at the yarn and touching it. However, I doubt that I could affort much, as we found one skein that was $140!!! Yes, you read that right... $140.00!!! That is grocery money, folks.

However, they did just happen to have a clearance room... and once I found that out I headed that direction. I came across some of the most amazing looking yarn, and it was originally $40. I did the math, figured out I could get it for $10, and with the urging of Sara, I brought it home. Of course, I also found a few other little goodies as well! The shawl below is what I created with that yarn... and now I'll have to purchase something to wear it with (darn the luck ;) )

At Christmas, I made the cutest little capelet for my buddy Chasity. When I finished it, I absolutley loved it. So I dived into my stash, found some really nicely colored sock yarn, and I knit another one up for me!

And I've already bought a shirt to wear with this on! ;)

Next on the needles... a pair of socks and a lace project. I've had this lace for well over a year, and I've started a couple of things and it just didn't work for me. I ran across a simple lace project so I'm gonna give it a shot!
I'm always amazed when I complete a project. I find it so rewarding to take a skein of yarn that has no shape or form, and turn it into something that is pretty and useful. I think that crafting of any type is a gift that God has given us to show us how fulfilling it is to create something. When I'm finished, I look at what I've done and I'm happy... and I think that must be only a fraction of how God felt as he created us! To think that he can take something that has no shape or form (ME!!) and turn me into something that he views as beautiful and useful for his purposes... well... I know that he must love so much more than I deserve!
Go ahead... make something, and look on what you've made... see how it makes you feel... and then know that what you feels is small in comparrison to what God feels about HIS creation... YOU!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Baahhhhhh.... Stupid Sheep......

In our Sunday School class, (Mickey and I teach 1st through 5th graders!), we've been talking about Jesus being the "Good Shepherd"... and we've been talking about sheep! If you ask my class what they are, they will yell "Stupid Sheep"... and yes, I know that "stupid" isn't a good choice of words, but it is the one they chose!

Last week we talked to them about how important it is to listen. That if you don't listen carefully, and you aren't paying attention to the details, then you can get lost. I briefly showed them a couple of items that I had brought from home when I was welcoming them, and told them how much I liked those items. Then I placed them out of sight and asked them to draw what they had seen.

It was comical to watch them, because while they remembered the shape, they couldn't add the details to what they had seen. Then I brought the items back out and asked them to take a longer look at the items because we were going to draw them again. This time some of their pictures were amazing... because they KNEW what to expect. They had heard the INSTRUCTIONS! And then we told them that the INSTRUCTIONS they need to know what God wants from them in their lives are easily available... IN THE BIBLE. And that while the instructions are there, they will only know how to use them if they LISTEN to the voice of the MASTER telling them what to do.

Tomorrow we are going to talk to them about following the RIGHT voice. That as "sheep" there are many "shepherds" trying to capture our attention... and if we don't listen to the right voice, we might get led astray!!!

To bring that point home we are going to make the cutest little lambs....

... part of the fun of our class is that we are very 'PROJECT' oriented... and the kids love it. We try and do a craft at least 3 out of 4 Sundays so that they remember!!!! Love teaching these kids... and I love what they teach me in return.


Monday, January 18, 2010

I've Been Tagged

My best sister friend Rebecca, over at Knit By God's Hand has asked me join her in a little fun.... looking back over 2009 and picking my 5 top memories.... hard to do, but here goes!

My family got together, and long with a few of my friends, were able to surprise me with a 50th birthday party! And it was actually a surprise... which NEVER happens, so it was very cool. A great way to spend a day.

Over Spring Break we took Carly and Michael and headed to Washington DC. I've always wanted to go there, and we had talked about it a few other times, but this time, we made it. It was a great trip, and we got to see so many things that I never thought I would see.

I also headed back to school in 2009... yes... at the age of 50! Who would have ever thought that was possible?! Not me, for sure. But I have a wonderfully supportive husband who is cheering me along every step of the way. Not to mention my kids and my friends.... it isn't the easiest thing I've ever done, but I am enjoying it, and I know in the end it will pay off!

How about the birth of this precious little one.... Emily Jean Rollins!!!! There aren't many children on the face of this earth that were waited for like this little one! She is having a pretty rough time right now dealing with Infantile Spasams but she is such a beautiful little girl and I count her as an additional grandbaby! Her "birth" day really was a wonderful happening for us in 2009!

Rebecca, Carly and I walked in the Arthritis Foundation's Walk for a Cure in Louisville. While I have Arthritis, we walked for my granddaughter Emma, whos has been diagnoised with JRA. She is currently in remission on medication. The day was beautiful, and who would have thought that I could walk 3 miles in a short amount of time. Loved hanging would with all of the family and friends who came to support Emma.
Now, I can guarantee that I could add more to this... but the Tag was for five .... so five it is.
Think that I'll tag....
Have fun and if you are reading and just want to join the fun, leave me a comment so I can check out your top five!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Camden!

Today we headed to Edinburgh to celebrate the birthday of our oldest grandson, Camden. It is just amazing to me that he can already be three years old! (Of course, if you ask him, he'll tell you he is six!!!) Hope you will indulge this proud Nanny as she shares a few pictures of Camden, our other grands, a few of their friends! Happy Birthday Buddy... we love you!

My daughter, Chandra and her husband, Jeff, made this cool Cars cake... great job guys!!

He was pretty excited about the whole day....

And like most kids... he couldn't wait to open his gifts!

My mom loves to get the grands musical cards... the kids love them... the parents??? Not so much!

Chandra's good friend, Maria, and her family joined us for the celebration. This is Chandra with Maria's daughter Amelia.... she is a real cutie.
Emma and Amelia found every bit of jewelry that Kailyn owns and managed to get most of it on at one time... they told me they were "going to the mall"....hmmmm....

The next thing we all knew, there was a fashion show in the making happening in the bedroom.... these little princesses were having a blast dressing up in their finest....

Then it was time to have a "dance party"... the music was turned on and Camden had his first dance with a girl... it was the cutest thing to see....

Everyone was in on the act....

It was a great day, and so much fun to watch all the kids play and to catch up with everyone. God has blessed us greatly with such a wonderful family..... thanks for allowing me to share these memories with you! Have a wonderful day in the Lord.....


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

And so it begins... AGAIN and a few thoughts on Forgiving and Forgetting

You guessed it.... Spring Semester has started, and wow, is it going to be a load!

Yesterday was my first day back, and I have three classes, plus one online class... a total of 10 credit hours. While that may not seem like much, the classes I have are going to involve a ton of reading... a lot of hands on... and I've already seen that it is going to consume much of my time. I have 6 chapters to read by tomorrow between all of these classes. (And I found out in my Anatomy / Physiology class that I will "get to" disect a sheep brain.... UGH!!!) So with that said, I guess I need to finish this post and get started!

But there is something that I am feeling very compelled to post today... so here goes....

A friend recently posted a thread on FB - "Why do people say bad girls are good and good girls are bad?"

Now, I must admit that my initial response to that was - "I've often wondered that myself".... but this morning I was convicted about something.... Who am I to judge who is good and who is bad?

There are girls our there who have made some bad choices, I was one of those girls back in the day, but did that make me a "bad girl"? Hardly, I still did things are were considered good... I did those things all the time. My CHOICES were bad, but at heart, I was not a BAD person.

I was reminded that God chose 'BAD' girls to work through (Rahab) and to use as examples of His Son's ability to grant forgiveness of sin (Mary Magdalene). And for Mary, at the very point her sins were FORGIVEN, I can guarantee that they were not FORGOTTEN by the world. But to Mary, which was more important to eternity..... yep... I hope you got it... it was being forgiven.

So I'm thinking that as we look around us, we shouldn't pretend to be Santa, marking our list either "naughty or nice", I think that we should make an effort to see everyone as a CHILD OF GOD who is loved by Him, regardless of the bad choices they have made. He longs to bring them into his arms and whisper his forgiveness to them.

I am 51 years old, and I am positive that my sins have not been forgotten.... I live with them daily, but just as I know that they are not forgotten by me, or the world, I know that they are FORGIVEN.... and I, for one, am choosing today to NOT be the one to stand in the way of someone else being able to feel God's forgiveness! I don't have a "magic 8 ball" telling me that someone has asked for God's forgiveness, and that they are now "clean".... but I do know a Father who has cleansed me, and I hope that I can somehow be used by Him in a way that will build up those "bad" girls so they will become less focused on what isn't forgotten, and more focused on being FORGIVEN!


Friday, January 8, 2010

The wonder of it all.....

So look at this face... all excited about going out into the snow... the first REAL snow of the season... could that smile get any bigger???

Maybe so! Michael was just too excited to get out and enjoy the day....

He even convinced Daddy to go out with him.... okay... Daddy was gonna shovel the drive.... but he still got whacked pretty handily with a snowball!

But... after all the preparation to go out... he lasted around 15 minutes. He came in with his little fingers freezing, and asking to just stay inside! Maybe he should have taken a cue from Carly....

Doesn't get much warmer than playing a few games of Guitar Hero to pass the time....
This morning I wondered how I ever thought that snow was a good thing as a child... then I was reminded... it meant NO SCHOOL!!! And while I might not have liked to play in the snow (although I DID play in the snow)... it meant a day filled with wonder. And I guess the older I've gotten, the more that sense of wonder has escaped me.

Maybe I just need to take a little more time to look into the eyes of a child and remember what that first snow felt like.... might make all the difference, huh?


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Let it snow... let it snow... let it snow....

As you can imagine, Southern Indiana is in a dither over the prospect of SNOW! Kids are either asking God to bring it on, or keep it away... and yes there are kids who truly don't want to have a snow day! They don't want to have to make up days later in the year.

Carly is one of those kids.... she doesn't want a snow day... she wouldn't mind a 2 hour delay, but she just doesn't want a full day out of school. Part of that is due to the fact she just isn't an outdoorsy kind of girl. She HAS gone outside to sled, or build a snowman, but I'm telling you, it is short lived. She is more like her momma... bring on the hot chocolate, a warm blanket , and a good book. Now THAT is a nice way to spend a snowy day.

But more importantly for her, this is her senior year... and she doesn't want to have her graduation pushed back! Who can blame her for that?! You see, the schools all have built in snow days, but there aren't many. And while the schools used to be able to petition the state and get a few days back at the end of the year, this just isn't a possibility anymore. So now, if they use all of their snow days, then the days must get tacked on to the end of the year.

This can seriously cause problems for those trying to plan vacations.... and for us... planning a graduation party is gonna be tough if I can't be assured of the date. And I am definitely a planner!

So while snow is great... it is pretty.... kids love it... and it is good for the ground... I would just as soon see it fall on Friday night and be off the roads by Monday! Yet, I have been reminded that there is a season for everything under heaven... and I know that while I might not find great joy in the fact that there is snow... I do find great joy in God's creation. And His seasons were created for a purpose... and while I might not enjoy this upcoming weather... there is a quiet found on a snowy morning that you just don't find at any other time. So, I will praise Him for the beauty of the snow and for the warm house that my family and I will enjoy on a cold and snowy day.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Time to Make a Change....

Have you ever had a time when you just KNEW that change was necessary... but you HATED the thought of making it?? That is where I am right now... on so MANY levels! But one huge change I have to make is in the way I eat. After reading the blog of my best sister friend, Rebecca (Knit by God's Hand), I began to do a little reflection, and I didn't like what I saw when it comes to me and my eating habits.

Now, let me tell you, this girl LOVES her food! Food for me has always been that "constant friend". Got a problem? Eat a little something. Feeling down? Eat a little more. Happy?? Eat something really good! Bad news...... well.... you get the picture?

On top of that... I LOVE to cook.... and not just cook, but BAKE!!!! I love to try new recipes... I love to make Fried Chicken for my husband because it is his favorite (and let's not forget the mashed potatoes and gravy that MUST go along with that!). I love to cook up creamy wild rice soup... the kids love it. I adore making pumpkin bread.... banana bread... cookies... pies and cakes! And the trouble with that is... when I make it, I eat it! And let's not even talk about my love for going to a restaurant and trying new things.... or digging in to a particular favorite!

And in the process of all this LOVE, I have gotten extremely overweight (yes, let's use the word obese, why not? The doctors have!) I have blood pressure issues, my cholesterol is off the charts without meds, and thanks to my love of food over the holidays, my reflux is KILLING me.

I guess if I wanted to be like the vast majority of people, I could try and find something to blame all of this on, (my past, or relationship glitches, or I'm just "built this way") but in reality, I have only myself to lay the blame on. I know that I have choices, and I often take the easiest, (and most tasty!) choice available. And I know that if I accept the blame for this (and I am!) then I have to take the steps necessary to fix the problem.

A New Year's Resolution? Nope, never can keep those. It is just time! God did not create me to be this way. He does not want me to be unhealthy. Of this I am sure. And if I want to truly be the person God would have me to be, that means I have to make some changes... both physically and spiritually.

So if you want to join me in making a change, leave me a comment.... if you have any suggestions on how to cook better and eat right let me know. If you just want to drop by and leave a word of encouragement from time to time, I would love that. And if you are going to make that change yourself and you'd like a little prayer, let me know.....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Train Up....

I love this picture.... as we sat down for our Christmas meal to pray I looked up
and there were Michael and Kailyn, holding hands for the prayer.
As our family has grown, they have taken the
"place of honor" at the bar,
or as they call them... the big chairs.
This picture reminded me of a favorite verse....
Train up a child
in the way he should go,
and when he is old
he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010 and a few leftovers from 2009

As 2009 has drawn to a close, just wanted to share a few pictures from the past week....

Michael was really in to Christmas this year.... he sat for weeks eyeing the Walmart Circular, asking for the Buzz Lightyear that he saw there.... guess the picture below says it all....
And Carly was pretty excited about the "family" gift... an Xbox 360 Elite... complete with Guitar Hero World Tour.... and our good friend Ricky was kind enough to allow her to borrow a couple of other Guitar Hero games as well... it has been a fun gift for the entire family!

Christmas Evening we had all the kids and grands here at the house... we did a "Happy Birthday Jesus Cake"..... decorated by the kids, of course....

The singing was great, and each of the kids had a candle to blow out for Jesus....

Then they sat and listened as Pappy read the story of Jesus' birth....

.... even Buzz Lightyear got in on story time....

After a full day of Christmas fun.... it didn't take long to get everyone situated for bedtime....

The week following Christmas, Mickey was off on vacation... probably not much of a vacation for him though. We had a "re-do" for a couple of our rooms. Carly moved downstairs, and we painted that room and moved all of her stuff down there on Monday and Tuesday of this week.... then we took her old room upstairs and made it into a knitting room for me.... and I LOVE it.... the whole room was centered on the border below.... see the nice little sheep on the border???? Yep... purchased because you KNIT the wool.....

I must say, the room turned out wonderful... and I know that during the week I will spend a great deal of time there as I study and knit... it is just plain cozy!!!!

And we have kept a bed in there so that we have a spare.... and we've moved the computer and printer up there as well....

I must say I am just thrilled with this room. I have a few little extras I still need to get... but that will come. I feel so blessed to have a husband who would spend his vacation days doing this for me.... he is pretty special!
As for 2010.... I welcome a new year.... I don't do resolutions... haven't for years! I just want to continue to try and live me life as the Father would have me do. There is no greater way to begin a new year than by being resolved to let Jesus' love shine through you. I know I will stumble... and I might even fall... but I also know that my Savior will be there to catch me... and pull me back up when needed. I am thankful... I am humbled by His love... and I am truly blessed.
Happy New Year....