Sabotage! Day 2

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A few weeks ago, in early February, I was checking out the Chick-Fil-A (where Drew got his job) on Facebook … and they had this post about “sign up your company to win free breakfast”.  And so, I signed up our pharmacy (this particular CFA knows us – they have helped with Blood Drives we’ve hosted, held meetings in our classroom, etc).

And today, with my boss in my office, I was working on learning about some new stuff I will soon be taking on (project manager of our synchronized pharmacy plan, if you must know … exciting stuff! ha!), and I got a call from the pharmacy side to come up front.  Usually that means they have had a rush and need back-up.  As I arrived, 2 women were in the waiting area, and everyone was staring AT ME.  It was a crew from Chick-Fil-A with FREE BREAKFAST for us!!!  Needless to say, I was the hero of the morning!  :)

That’s all great … except Chicken Minis are NOT “on plan” for a real Trim Healthy Mama diet!  :(

But being the non-stressed-out-about-this kind of person that I am, I had 3 chicken minis with NO GUILT!  ;)

The rest of the day was a challenge too as we had a baby shower for one of our employees during lunch, but since the theme was “football game snacks” there was plenty of meat/protein options to eat:  meatballs in tomato sauce, summer sausage and cheese (courtesy of ME!), a veggie tray, and some fresh fruit.  I might have had a FEW nacho chips.

But you know what?!  It’s ok.  I’ve been drinking ONLY water or stevia-flavored beverages, and I’ve definitely cut down on sugar.  I managed to pass on the cupcakes that were served.  THAT was hard!!!!!!  I long for the day when I don’t even crave that kind of stuff any more.  I can’t imagine ……….

For dinner, we had lasagna – major CARB load – but it was a low sugar meal.  No garlic bread for me and I was sadly too lazy to cut up a sald.  And for dessert I had an Oikos 0-0-0 Greek yogurt – no sugar, just stevia.

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While this probably isn’t the route to LOSE a ton of weight any time soon, I am feeling somewhat like I’m achieving my mini-goal of cutting down on sugar and moving towards a healthier life-style.

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Posted in healthy home, THM | 2 Comments

Day One.

Most people decide to start on a diet on a Monday … or maybe the first day of the month …

But I’ve decided that TODAY, Wednesday, February 25, 2015 is my first day of a new “healthy” life-style.  After starts-and-stops over and over, trying Weight Watchers (while my husband was deployed to Iraq = BAD IDEA!!), Jenny Craig, and possibly Nutri-system once a long time ago – then Atkins and who knows what other scheme – I’m ready to just get healthy.

I’m older now … As my husband says, we aren’t trying to be attractive any more (as in model-skinny and air-brushed perfect), but we don’t want to be repulsive either!  I am thankful my husband loves me right now, at the weight I am.  But I know we could both benefit from losing a few pounds!  And NOT have to buy new wardrobes because we are expanding!!!  ;)

BUT most of all, and I *mean it* with all my being:  I want to be healthy.  I want to end my struggle with high triglycerides and the whole horrific cycle of metabolic syndrome.  I want to ease into menopause when my time comes (if that’s even possible?!!) and most of all, I want to have ENERGY again.

Trim Healthy Mama offers that … and more … with a Christian viewpoint … and promises that it is easy for busy moms (and women of all seasons of life).

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It is a BIG book (600+ pages, I skimmed some of them!) and it isn’t cheap (I got mine for $28 on amazon – best deal I could find – hardly any USED copies out there).  BUT if I can change my bad eating habits and get control of my diet, it will be worth every penny.  IF I fail, well, that will be my huge loss in other ways.  :(

So, I’m going from this:

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(bye bye, sweet, sweet sugar!!)

to

stuff like this:

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Water, stevia-sweetened “sweets” (no aspertame – it is NOT “on plan”), and a lot of YUMMY FOOD that will make me (supposedly) not miss the life I lived before when a great breakfast meant a pop-tart and coffee and my favorite lunch was a 3 Muskateers bar and a Diet Coke.

Oh, and bye to bread and pasta and white rice for now … although there are a few sneaky ways to PRETEND you are eating breads and rice and pasta!!  ;) Hopefully they will prove satisfying.

I have yet to take a “before” picture … but perhaps I won’t share that until I hit “after” anyway because I know I don’t look so great right now.

Besides, if I fail, there will be no evidence on the internet of my “before”!  ;)  (not that I plan to fail … I just know me – I get excited about something and then soon get tired of it!)

SO, what can I eat?? – Here’s my menu today (and it should get MUCH better over time as I figure out how to cook “on plan”, plus my husband is working late tonight so I don’t have to cook dinner!)

Breakfast – an egg fried in REAL BUTTER, a piece of bacon, and a slice of American cheese (not the best option, “processed” foods are to be avoided even though they fulfill plan requirements) – and here’s where I’m a rebel:  I put them on an English muffin (not really an “on plan” food even though it is low in fat, carbs, and sugar content).

Lunch – a half-salad from Wendy’s with chicken and bacon on it (the SW salad?) with no dressing because they were so busy, and I hated to even ask for Ranch (an on-plan item).  They had swirled just a bit of BBQ sauce (not on-plan) on top so I made that last through the whole salad.

Snack – an apple and some almonds

Dinner – Progresso LIGHT rot roast/veggie soup (1 serving) with extra green beans tossed in, with a rye crisp (on-plan food and I love these!!) with a piece of spreadable Aldi-brand “Laughing Cow” cheese … and a cup of Oikos TRIPLE ZERO mixed berry Greek yogurt (from Sam’s Club) which was the BEST thing I ate all day!

Tonight I may have a little snack before bed … but I am SO not hungry right now!

I’ve also started drinking flavored-water (stevia-sweetened) … but what I should be drinking are the on-plan teas and cleansing drinks.  I may get to that yet.  One day, one step at a time.

I’m no TRIM HEALTHY MAMA model today, that’s for sure.  BUT I cut out a whole lotta sugar today … and I am FULL.

This diet is supposed to be EASY – but of course, I over-complicate things.  Always.  There’re meals that are “S” for satisfying and meals that are “E” for energizing … and I have NO IDEA what my meals were today!!!!  I just bought some of the stuff they recommend to eat at Aldi and Walmart last night – and took off today.  The way you combine foods is apparently the key to losing weight, otherwise, you just get healthy but might stay the same weight (or not lose as much).

My goal – I even hate to state it – is to lose 15-20 lbs (that doesn’t sound like much – but it is the SAME 15-20+ lbs I’ve wanted to lose for over 10 years now!!!)!

OH – and my BIGGEST motivator right now is my annual check-up coming up in April.  I will have my triglycerides checked, and I want them to be NORMAL!!!!  No threats of “statin drugs or I may die of a stroke” discussions with my doctor this time, God willing.

This all sounds very reasonable today … I can do this!!  In two weeks, here’s hoping I am still feeling this way!  And in 2 months that I’ve adapted a new way of looking at food – as my friend, not something that will continue to drag me down or disturb my health.

PS  I’m also taking a few supplments as of today:  magnesium, calcium + D3, and potassium … plus Biotin just because it is good for your hair & nails.  :)

Anyone else know anything about THM??  Or had any experience with it?

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Posted in healthy home, THM | 2 Comments

Today’s Good News

So, my son went to his first-ever job interview today …

He came home a little discouraged – there were 5 people at the interview, the others seemed to be college kids or older.  This job location is across the street from one of the main entrances to the University of Arkansas …

BUT we had prayed about it … We knew if he was supposed to get a job, this job, that God would provide.  Just as He did with Daniel’s job in December of 2012, just as He did with my job this past October.

And this afternoon, the call came (thank goodness, they called SOONER rather than later!):  a job offer!!  :)  Happy son, happy parents.

So, I wanted to call my parents and share the good news right away.

My dad answered the phone and I said I had good news – Drew had just gotten a job AT MY FAVORITE PLACE!!

And my dad says, “Wal-mart?”   He doesn’t know me any more.  ;)

So, my son got a job at CHICK-FIL-A!  He starts his orientation on Monday afternoon.  I love that he will be working at Chick-Fil-A because they are closed on Sundays … and I prefer the atmosphere there over some of the other places he might have applied.   And of course, I love the food!

Wow.  God continues to provide.

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Posted in Drew, provision | 4 Comments

Another Day, Another Dollar (Spent)

Well, it’s been “one of those weeks”!

For one thing, we were minus one vehicle all week (turned in my van to a mechanic last Saturday with promises to have it ready for pick up on Monday …. but as you may know in my life things usually don’t work out like they are supposed to!).  Thankfully, our son can drive so he participated in the drop-dad-off-pick-dad-up rotation as well this week.  I was having flashbacks to when we first moved to Arkansas and I was basically a taxi driver all day for a while, dropping off and picking up people all over town – to include our neighbors!!

Last week Dan’s car got brakes … this week my van got a new rear wheel something-or-other-to-do-with-wheel-bearings and 2 tires (long story but neglected wheel bearings warp tires … and the other tire was unable to be patched from a construction-staple puncture).

There were trips to the dentist … and the realization that our dental insurance really isn’t THAT great.

Then there was the snow … that shut down school for 2 days, but Daniel and I had to keep working.  These are the times when I am thankful we live “in town” where the roads are cleared for us.  Granted I’d trade it all to be snowed in somewhere in the country with a cozy fire and a good book, some hot chocolate and my family.

Thankfully we got our tax refund already … and we were able to pay for everything without getting into more debt!!!  THANK YOU, Lord!  As well as throw a chunk of money on a credit card balance.  And Dan is working overtime tonight, tomorrow, and on Sunday evening.

None of that is very fun … and I’m not one to suffer 100%.  And so, we decided to get  *one* family splurge to cheer me/us up:

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Hello, 42 inch flat screen TV!  We really didn’t think we “needed” a new TV because “Old Bertha” was still working fine, even though the built-in DVD player had died a long time ago … but then we saw how much the price had gone on TVs at Sam’s Club the other night, and we decided to go for it.   NOW we’re ready for the upcoming baseball season … it was getting so that neither Daniel nor I could see the scores on the old TV screen any more!

We’ve had Old Bertha since 2005 – one of the last “big” things we bought before Daniel left active duty, and she bares the scars of being moved across the miles not-so-gently:

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She’ll be recycled at the Goodwill this weekend.  Who knows, she may still have a few good TV shows in her for someone else??!

PS  Say a prayer for my son – he has a JOB INTERVIEW tomorrow (Saturday) morning …. at one of my favorite places (can you guess where??!!).

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Posted in every day life, Family, provision, winter | 3 Comments

Valentine’s-Schmalentine’s

Would you be too shocked if I said Valentine’s Day isn’t my FAVORITE day on the calendar?!  I mean, I get my kids and hubby the obligatory card and maybe some candy … and they might – or might NOT – get me something … but otherwise, forced, over-priced displays of love aren’t really our thing.  Maybe I’m just guarding my heart because my husband has never been one to send flowers or do sentimental things on an obligatory basis.  Or maybe I’m just not a romantic?!  I dunno.  I’m just kindda glad it’s over again this year … the next holiday I dread will be here before I know it:  Mother’s Day.  Bah humbug.

I am thankful for the LOVE that is displayed each day in my family in a far more practical way.  For example, I’m alone tonight because my husband is working a 12-hour overnight shift at the hospital.  It’s the only way we can get the extra dollars to pay for the new brakes and calipers we got for his car this past week … and now we’ve exchanged his car for my van, which is spending a few days in the shop as well (no idea WHAT the problem is other than it is rumbling terrible somewhere underneath – somewhere towards the middle/back of the vehicle??!  And the faster I drive, the louder the rumbling … I’m guessing it isn’t a good thing!)

Oh, and lest you think I’m looking for sympathy, my husband did take me out to dinner Friday night at Chili’s, beating the crowds of today, which was perhaps a far less crowded, unhurried way to spend a date night anyway!  And we spent a few moments at Big Lots and Goodwill afterwards.

Then today I got new bedding at Dollar General (50% off all housewares coupon!!) … and it is pretty nice (not quite Egyptian cotton, highest thread count) considering the source.  So for under $40 I got a new comforter/2 shams set, a queen sheet set, and 2 extra pillow cases – cause we LOVE pillows!   Oh, and we got the kids new pillows as well since theirs are flat as pancakes.  (Just realizing NOW I need new bedside lamp shades as the burgundy isn’t working any more!!!)

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Annie-Belle is our hopeless romantic and hasn’t been jaded by the harsh realities or commercialism of life – and she thoroughly *loves* Valentine’s Day (and all holidays and special occasions).  Thankfully, her basketball coaches (a married couple) put on a big-deal luncheon for the team today – the girls were all dressed up, each given a rose, ate a fancy meal, and heard a devotional about Christian love vs. worldly love.

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Mimsy too loves holidays and special days … and though she didn’t go anywhere special today, she wanted to dress up in Valentine’s attire.  She definitely is our “Funny Valentine”:

 

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Maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t so bad after all??!!  ;)

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Posted in Annie-Belle, decorating, MiMi, Valentine's | Leave a comment

HAPPY HOMEMAKER! 2/9/2015

HHM

I may not be a full-time homemaker any more, but I’m still seemingly the PRIMARY home-keeper!!!  :)  I am attempting to assign my kids more and more responsibilities, but the bulk of the management of home still falls on me.  And that’s just fine by me.  I feel a responsibility to keep my home neat and running – to keep everyone fed and clothed!  :)

Today I’m at work but taking a little break to join Sandra for HHMonday.

The weather outside is::::

Sunny – 40°F … High of 51 expected today.  What crazy, beautiful weather we’ve been having lately!!

On the breakfast plate this morning::::

I actually made myself oatmeal this morning … Granted, we are out of Poptarts!!

As I look outside my window:::

Well, I’m at work (shhhhhhhh!!) and I don’t HAVE a window in my office.  Recently, I came across a website showcasing “mood panels” – they are kind of like those boxy-flourescent light fixtures but show the sky or sunshine or whatever you might like to see above you!  Think I can talk my boss into installing some of these in my office??!

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Right now I am::::

Taking a little break from the piles of papers I need to go through this morning … and sipping my 2nd cup of coffee.

As I look around the house::::

We did a quick clean-up of the house yesterday before bed – to include my daughter wiping down the bathrooms and little daughter cleaning up ALL her little toys that tend to get underfoot … and I must say it is TERRIFIC to get up and not face a mess on a Monday morning.  I will go home at lunch and be able to just eat my sandwich or whatever I make IN PEACE because my surroundings will not be in chaos.

On today’s to do list::::

My work to-do list is pretty boring and kind of undecipherable if you don’t know what my job is all about:   ERL management, go through the Stop-Hold Report, log CMNs … Yeh, see, not too exciting!!

Our usual Monday night Bible study is canceled this week as our teacher’s father-in-law has passed away and the memorial is today.  I’m actually kind of excited to have a quiet evening AT HOME!!

Currently reading::::

Trim Healthy Mama.  I finally broke down and bought the book … I wasn’t willing to pay $30+ for it; but it was hard to find a used copy (and my library doesn’t carry it).  So, I splurged and bought the cheapest version I could find on amazon, which was still $28.  HOPEFULLY it is very worth it!!  So far, I’m like it because the authors have already sited a name I’m very familiar with back from my very early infertility days when I was realizing that I was probably insulin resistant.   I’m talking about Diana Schwarzbein, an endocrinologist, I think, came up with the Schwarzbein Principle:

The Schwarzbein Principle is a holistic guide to achieving lasting weight loss, normalizing metabolism and maintaining ideal body composition through lifestyle and nutrition. By bringing the internal systems into balance, the Schwarzbein program has been proven to: reverse type II diabetes; free people from food cravings for chocolate, caffeine and sugar; cure depression and mood swings; and reduce body fat while building lean tissue.

On the TV today::::

NOTHING!  Curious George did have a Valentine’s Day special on this morning at 7 a.m. so I let MiMi watch it before I sent her off to her babysitter.

On the menu this week::::

We are definitely eating out of the pantry/freezer this week – at least until Thursday (Daniel’s pay day).

I will be using what I have:  ground beef, chicken breasts, potatoes, onions, cheese, lettuce, beans, etc etc.  I do plan to start eating more the “Trim Healthy Mama” way once I read the book … so that will involve a little more planning ahead.

Favorite photo from the camera::::

Princesses (MiMi and my babysitter’s daughter) ready for a birthday party on Friday afternoon:

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Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

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PRAYER REQUESTS:

My friend Jen had her bone marrow transplant last week – right now her “blasts” are at zero, which I think is a good thing.  The graft is taking!!  She’s still in the hospital for another week or two.  Thankfully she is out of ICU.

My kids’ teacher (Mr. Howdy-Howdy, who greeted students each day of school) who had a stroke/heart attack a few weeks ago is in a rehab center.  He’s lost use of one side of this brain – it is the speech side, so he is having to re-learn everything in a visual manner.  It’s an interesting process, and thankfully, he may make some-what of a recovery, at least enough to go home one day – but not for a while.

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Posted in Happy Homemaker | 2 Comments

Happiness.

70 degrees in NW Arkansas today … what a crazy contrast from last winter:

LAST WINTER:

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THIS WINTER:

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Today was one of many days of over 65°F temperatures in January and February!!  We haven’t seen more than just a hint of a snowflake so far.  I will be honest in saying while I am not a big fan of winter and cold, I do want to feel like I’ve actually experienced the season!!  Just ONE snow day would be AWESOME!!!

But life goes on … I guess it has been nice to be comfortably outside so often these last few weeks.  My husband’s old Buick has no heat, so I’m sure he is thankful to not freeze to death each morning on his way to work … It’s the little things you have to remember to be thankful for?!

Such as little princesses going to princess birthday parties:

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(this is MiMi with our babysitter’s daughter)

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Sometimes I get a little frustrated with the ordinary.  While I am so incredibly thankful for my job, I’ve been finding myself daydreaming about being HOME during work hours.  I find my thoughts dwelling on “why is everything SO HARD?!” sometimes.  I guess that’s why JOY is a choice.  :-/  The struggle is real, yes; but I try to SPEAK JOY so that my brain might believe it, playing mind games with myself:  if you fake it, you will make it!!

In being “real” though, I can’t help but tell you IT ISN’T ALWAYS THAT EASY!!

Recently my husband was craving some good, old-fashioned preaching (another struggle/dilemma we are in right now – not ready to share on the blog:  church), he was listening to BBN radio!  Wow, what a blast from MY past – BBN was our “go-to” Christian station back in the 1980’s before “Christian radio” was the norm.  Now Daniel sometimes listens to it on BNN.com.  ANYHOO ….

Daniel and I like to listen to Ravi Zacharias, which is why we went there in the first place, but afterward, they were featuring a re-run sermon from a long time ago:  Ron Comfort, speaking in a chapel service sometime in the early 1990’s.  Anyway, I was kind of coming and going through the living room, half-listening – but I heard Dr Comfort make this statement that stopped me and still lingers in my brain:

If you are unhappy right now, you are out of God’s will.   

At first, I was mad (which equals NOT HAPPY?!?!!!!) … and I adamantly disagreed!

I’ve always heard that there is a difference between JOY and “happiness”.  You choose JOY – but you aren’t always happy.  I mean, was Corrie ten Boom HAPPY every day in her concentration camp?  Was Joseph (of the Bible) happy when he was unjustly imprisoned??  Are martyrs who are burning at the stake happy??  Was Martin Luther happy about being pursued because Catholics wanted to KILL HIM??  And I could go on … Was Jesus HAPPY about going to the cross?!?

I don’t know.  Maybe they were able to make the best of their circumstances because they knew they were in the midst of God’s perfect plan (especially Jesus, of course!!) …

But I think I figured out that the reason I was so mad at this statement by Dr. Comfort was that I’m not always HAPPY … and I like to think that I’m on a path that is guided by God.  I am still in this dilemma over what all has been results of our choices and/or God’s will these last few years that has made our life less-than-easy right now, here in wanna-be-properous, material-and-success-drive America.  Some days I am NOT happy that I have to go to work, that my husband is in a job that is below his experience – that he works 50-60 hours just to pay the normal bills, that I don’t always like this church we go to, that we have to worry each day if one of our vehicles will fail, and on it goes.  :-/

OF COURSE I know incredibly blessed I am – OF COURSE I know we’ve been miraculously provided for on more than one occasion … but compared to the “American ideal” and quite honestly my own comfort levels, I would rather be a little further ahead at this point in life when instead we are actually far behind.  I thank God for the things He gives us:  3 kids when once upon a time our diagnosis was “infertility” … a house when not so recently we lived in a duplex … 3 cars – granted all very old, very worn-out – but very convenient (when they are all running! ha!).   So many conveniences … so why do I want MORE???

Maybe I’m not so much unhappy as I am UNSATISFIED because believe me, I am INCREDIBLY thankful that we’re doing as well as we are right now!!   6 months of unemployment, my husband having a serious accident, and being taken care of when you can’t take care of yourself makes a person EXTREMELY aware of how vulnerable and needy we can get to be.  It makes you thankful for any crumb given to you … and overwhelmingly humble for every extravagance.

My blog isn’t the one you go to when you want to see amazing talent, learn how to save money and budget well, or be a great Christian wife or mother.  This is my outlet for the daily struggle … at least the one I have.

The Christian life is meant meant to live joyfully, gratefully … and per God’s promise ABUNDANTLY!!!!!  (John chapter 10)  I guess that’s why the Apostle Paul said he DIED to himself DAILY.  It’s a daily choice.  Joy?  Happiness?  Contentment??  Call it what you will …. I think it is kind of all the SAME THING!

And to live joyfully, happily, contentedly, one must daily surrender the negative, brooding thoughts that fill one’s head.  I suppose that comes easier to some than to others.  Paul said we are what we dwell on:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Phil 4:8)

Perhaps happiness IS a “mind game” …  ?!!

In any case, perhaps Dr. Comfort was right:  God wants us to be happy/content/joyful – not miserable/ungrateful/bitter … we just have to CHOOSE to be those things.  Daily. (and for me, sometimes HOURLY!)

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Posted in Devotional Thoughts, provision, Random Thoughts, winter | 2 Comments

What is Certain?

Hello, Little Neglected Blog,6bda67d6ae7aa47ea93a491a4878f041

Just because I haven’t been writing doesn’t mean I haven’t been THINKING!!  :)

In the stillness and occasional boredom of my little office, I have a lot of conversations with myself!  In many ways, a quiet office is a blessing to an introvert … in other ways, I probably need to get out more!

Today I was reminded of the saying that 2 things are certain:   death and taxes.  I’m thankful I’m not dead yet … nor has death touched our family in quite a few years – other than acquaintances and family members of friends.  BUT taxes have to get done.

And tonight, I tackled them!

One thing that even our taxes reflect is God’s gracious provision for us.  I do our taxes on the same website each year – for probably the last 5 years at least, if not more.  The history of our taxes tell our tale:  our income for 2012 was painfully, incredibly low (- which meant a decent refund in any case)!!  But the full story is the provision that isn’t written down on that tax website but instead in my little prayer journal of the way God blessed during the almost 6 months of unemployment:  a trickling in of $10 or $20 here and there – and sometimes a surprise of far more than that!  Of this I am certain:  We have some amazing friends and family who took care of us when we were at our lowest… and we have an amazing God, too!

2013 showed a significant increase in income … because even though Daniel didn’t land a job worthy of his experience, anything more than we had in 2012 seemed like a million dollars!!  I can’t compare it to our far past of more prosperous days, but God provided in His own way and time.  Of this I am certain:  God doesn’t always give us material abundance … but He always gives us enough.

This year, with adding my job in October (and Dan’s promotion in March), our income has had a slight boost.  And just in the nick of time:  by November, we wouldn’t have been able to go on living like we were with me just staying home.  Of this I am certain:  God’s ways aren’t always our ways and His time isn’t always ours … but His ways are good and His timing is perfect.

That said, next year proves to offer even more hope for an adequate income to cover all our needs and perhaps work our way out of some of our debt.  We won’t be living “high on the hog” by any means … not for a while, not ever, maybe.  BUT of this I am certain:  It’s all under God’s complete control!

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Posted in provision | 1 Comment

Daybook – 1/28/2015

simple-woman-daybook-small FOR TODAY

Outside my window…
It was 70 degrees here today!!  It is hard to fathom that in the Northeast, they are experiencing such a horrific blizzard right now!  It feels like Springtime here.
I am thinking…
of how tired I am … but how even MORE tired my husband must be.  He worked until midnight on Monday, then last night was late as we were given tickets to a college basketball game, and tonight he is again working until midnight.  We’re thankful for the extra hours … but I know it can take a toll on him.  THANKFUL for a husband who works hard and tries his best to take care of us.
I am thankful…
for employment.  2 years ago TODAY, Daniel started his orientation to his current job after a stint of unemployment (and a severely broken leg!!).   While this isn’t his dream job, he likes it well enough … and it has potential.  SO MUCH has happened in the last 2 years … we’ve moved our stuff around more times than I care to think about!  And Dan’s already moved up one grade level in his organization.  After being pretty far down at the bottom, it has been great to experience UPWARD mobility!!  Even if it wasn’t as far up as we’d like to have gone!  (all in God’s time!)
In the kitchen…
there’s a big mess.  I haven’t washed pans or pots in days … UGH!  I don’t always run them through the dishwasher, but this time, I just might.
As far as cooking … we are making do with what’s in the pantry and freezer right now.  AND we’ve had enough.   Tomorrow I need to figure out something to do with a cabbage I have.  It shouldn’t be too hard – I have several yummy cabbage casserole type recipes.
I am wearing…
what I wore to work … but thankfully, things at work are very casual.  :)  Yet another aspect I love about my job!!
I am creating…
plans … in my head.  That’s as creative as it gets right now.
I am going…
to bed early, God willing.
Miriam is taking an ill-timed nap … but she too is exhausted.
I am wondering…
what will happen with the weather this weekend.  Temps are supposed to cool down … but we’ve already been through this a few times this winter and so far, nothing major.  Not that I’m expecting a blizzard, but I just wonder if we’ll truly get more winter or not!
I am reading…
a quaint book about Dewey, a library cat in Spencer, Iowa in the mid-1980s.  It is actually Daniel’s mom’s book as she grew up sort of in the area of Spencer (Northwestern Iowa).  Anyway, it’s a look into rural, Iowa farm life during the time of a farming crisis in the area … and a little stray cat that gave a community a good reminder to remain resilient.
I am hoping…
quite frankly, the thing I am most hopeful for is that my laundry that I washed this past weekend will eventually get folded and put away!!!  *sigh*  My son folded one basket – but there are 2 more to go.  :-/
I am looking forward to…
nothing.  Ha.  There is NOTHING to look forward to right now!!!  No weekend sleeping-in (I work 8:30 to 1), no trips in the near future, no big holidays, no nothing.  :-O
I am learning…
to be PATIENT.  I was talking to my husband about something pretty serious that I want to do … and he said it could happen in a few years.  BUT I WANT IT TO HAPPEN NOW.  And he reminded me of several times when I wanted something (a new car, for example, back in the day when we could afford one!) … and he made me wait until the right time.  I got what I wanted, just not WHEN I wanted it.  Seems to be the theme of my life!!
Around the house…
It is QUIET.  The big kids are at AWANA; Miriam conked out on the couch so I stayed home with her.  Daniel is at work.  I LOVE IT (the quiet, not that Dan has to work)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am pondering…
I have recently been doing some therapeutic writing – just about the last few years – more just our financial story.  I’m wondering if there was anything we could have done differently – not to regret but as a lesson for our future.  Also, I’m chronicling God’s gracious and abundant provision during this time.  While we certainly aren’t where I’d like to be financially, if I’ve learned anything, it is that GOD WILL PROVIDE ALL MY NEED!!
(I plan to edit the 22 pages I typed and maybe share them eventually, if God allows me to, because it is part of our testimony.)
A favorite quote for today…
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One of my favorite things…
time alone.
A few plans for the rest of the week:
work, work, work (that’s for Thursday, Friday and 4 1/2 hours on Saturday) … and somewhere in there I need to go grocery shopping.
A peek into my day…
this was actually from last night.  My boss has season tickets to the Razorbacks basketball games.  He gave me his tickets (2) for Tuesday night’s game against the Tennessee Volunteers!  Unfortunately, the game started at 8 p.m. which meant we didn’t get home until 10:45 pm.  NOT prudent – but a fun time even know we’d suffer for it later.
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There were a few of us wearing ORANGE in the arena.  The game was pretty exciting – and close the entire time … but the Razorbacks won in the end 69-64.  (That’s ok because Tennessee beat the Razorbacks a few weeks ago at home!!)
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Posted in day book | 3 Comments

Hausfrau Housekeeping

This weekend wasn’t that exciting … but that’s ok!  Sometimes we can’t just have FUN FUN FUN like we did last weekend during our Goodwill Hopping spree!  ;)

The weather here in NW Arkansas was GORGEOUS!!  It was up to 57°F and maybe warmer on Saturday.  While seeing pictures of snow and hearing of a BLIZZARD about to hit the Northeastern states (a storm that kept me from meeting my bloggy-friend – and Mary & Martha THIRD IN THE COMPANY IN SALES consultant –  Rebecca today at her conference nearby – but she had to rush back home to Maine before the airports shut down), it seems kind of surreal that we are feeling like it is SPRING.  This is certainly a huge contrast to our first NWA winter last year around this time:  13 snow days and some bitter cold temperatures!

Alas, the responsibilities of being home-renters caught up to us on Saturday.  We gathered our whole family for some good, old-fashioned WORK in the yard!  In this case, raking leaves in the backyard and cleaning up some in the front.  It’s not that we have a lot of trees in our back yard (a few) but our house seems to be the gathering place where leaves to come to die.  :-/

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Since we live “in the city” now, we are supposed to bag our yard waste for the city’s composting site.  This requires special bags (not too expensive but at $1.75/5, it adds up!).  The city does pick up our yard waste as a part of our trash pick-up service.  (I do miss just burning leaves or shoveling them into the woods like we used to be able to do when we lived in Missouri!)

As you can see, we are going to give the “sanitation engineers” a work out!  That’s over 30 bags of leaves!!

 

 

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Speaking of work out, it’s a wonder that Dan or I were able to move this morning!!

Also, I made a yummy recipe for our Sunday lunch today that I thought I’d share (it is a “keeper” for our family):

KFC-Like “Baked” Chicken

3-4 Chicken Breasts

1/2 tsp salt

1 T seasoned salt (Lawry’s)

3/4 tsp pepper

1 c. flour

2 tsp paprika

Place raw chicken breasts in a bowl of milk.  Let soak for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut 1/2 stick of butter into a few pieces and place in a 9×13 pan.  Melt the butter in the preheating oven (I actually just melted it in the microwave).  Spread the melted butter to cover the bottom of the pan COMPLETELY.  Make sure there are no dry spots.

In a big ziploc bag (or bowl), mix the remaining ingredients.  Then, coat each piece of chicken with the mixture.

Place each piece of chicken in the pan.

Cook for 20 min.  Turn each piece of chicken and continue baking for 20 min (or until chicken is cooked through).

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The meat was very juicy and the coating on the chicken was flavorful … and more healthy than fried chicken with skin on the meat.

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Posted in Family, home, Housekeeping, winter | 2 Comments