Monday, December 3, 2012

somewhat more normal

Well, it has been a few weeks now and I have been faithful (except yesterday) in taking all my vitamins and fish oil.  At first, I noticed that I did have more energy.  I was not sleeping all the time.  I also noticed that my mood did improve.  I did not feel so blah, so mean.  Now, I am not sure if I mentioned in the last post, but I have never felt sad.  Nope, never sad. Uninterested, yes. Sad, nope.

I also felt slightly motivated.  Not extremely motivated, but a little.  Now, this could be total coincidental, but hey, whatever it takes, right?!?

I spent the weekend in the mountains and had a wonderful time with my sister.  I love her to death, but she has issues of her own she needs to deal with.  Unfortunately, her mindset rubs off on me and now I feel about as blah as her.  Gonna pop the daily vitamin and get myself in a better mood.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Eureka! I'm depressed.

So I think I diagnosed myself while sitting in class the other day.  I am depressed.  We learned the qualifications needed to get the "medical" diagnosis of depression and I hit ALL the marks.  I thought I was, but this kinda sealed it for me.  Am I going to the doctor? Nope.  I have gone to doctors for other things and all I got was $1200 of medical bills for tests to tell me that I have irritable bowel syndrome and not celiac disease. Although I am happy it is not celiac disease!  Yeah, not going through that again.  So what are the markers you ask?  Well, my notes are temporarily MIA thanks to the rush cleaning of the house before the holiday, but from my memory they are:
Need to have one of these almost all day, everyday for at least 2 weeks??
     - depressed mood
     - anhedonia (lack of pleasure)
Well, I have the anhedonia...and I have had it for a LONG time now.  Seriously.  I used to LOVE couponing and now the thought of it annoys me.  I LOVE the holidays and decorating and shopping, the whole shabang.  This year, I couldn't be bothered.  Seriously.  I WANT to decorate and shop and bake, but I have absolutely no interest.  It is frustrating. I have no interest in ANYTHING!

This next section you have to have 4 of the listed in addition to the above.  I cannot remember all of the list, but here is what I checked off:
     - poor concentration, line of thinking (this one is really bad for me...I have no memory)
     - sleep disturbance (ya think? I cannot stay asleep for more than one sleep cycle it seems)
     - weight/appetite gain/loss - yeah, I gained about 10 lbs in 3 months and have no desire to eat
     - fatigue/loss of energy - yep, that's me...I could sleep off and on all day
     - psychomotor agitation/retardation - quick moving or slowed movement...aka clumsy

Then after all that, there is a depressive symptom spectrum. You have the above and also some of the next list (I will list what I have):
     - irritability (sorry family)
     - social withdrawl and social isolation (ummm...yeah, I love people, but lately not so much)
     - absence of positive mood (really not good since I normally am the optimist of the family)

Ok, one other thing I learned, which I found so very interesting, is that people who are depressed have different sleep cycle than "normal" people.  For instance, "normal" people go to sleep and they slowly fall into the sleep cycles and spend most of their time in REM sleep and have their heavy sleeping later in the night.  Depressed people fall quickly into the REM cycle. This give them that falling feeling, you know, when you jerk yourself awake as you are falling asleep?  You do that when you are falling through the sleep cycles fast.  Interesting, huh?  Anyway, depressed people also do their heavy sleeping early in the night and then spend the later hours more awake.  This is why some depressed people who sleep all night will then say they feel like they havent slept....they really havent had good sleep at all.

Ok, so what am I going to do about it?  Well, I think I feel depressed because I am not healthy, as in, I think I am nutrient deficient.  I did some research and here is what I came up with.  So, I take weekly injections of Enbrel and Methotrexate for the arthritis.  I am also supposed to take folic acid daily since the Methotrexate depletes it.  I do not.  One symptom of folic acid deficiency is depression.  I also would not be surprised if I was deficient in others too.  So here is what I am going to do. I am going to do a little experiment.  I pray it works!  I am going to start taking vitamins. I am taking a multivitamin (possibly 2 a day if I remember), folic acid, calcium, probiotics, and fish oil.  I am also going to try to drink more water (although today I drank more wine...hee hee).  This is it.  I put them all in a pill box and have asked my son to help me to remember to take them.  I am giving myself one month to feel a difference, even just a tiny bit.  If I feel absolutely nothing, then I will go to the doctor for an antidepressant.  I think my experiment will work though.  So today is day one.  November 22nd.  Let's pray it works!
    

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Candied Lemon peel

Ingredients:
9-12 organic lemons
2 1/4 cups organic dehydrated cane juice
4 cups filtered water

Directions:
- Peel the lemons. I actually had halved and juiced them first, but honestly it would be easier to score and peel so that most of the pith comes off easily.
- Remove any extra pith (the white stiff on the inside of the peel..it is bitter!) This can be done by using a sharp knife and scraping it off.
- Cut the peel into strips or whatever shape you want.  Since mine were already halved, I cut those halves into quarters.  All my pieces look like triangles.
- Put the pieces into 2 cups of the water and boil for about 20-30 min.
- Drain the lemon peels and set aside.
- In the saucepan, add the other 2 cups of water and 2 cups of the dehydrated cane juice.
- Heat and stir occasionally until the cane juice is melted.
- Add the peels and turn heat down so that it simmers.
- Simmer until the peels are translucent. Mine took about 45-50 min.
- Remove the peels and let cool on a plate about 10 minutes.
- Discard the liquid (or save as a simple sugar solution)
- Dreg the peels in the rest of the cane juice and store in a dry container.

This made about 1-1.5 cups of lemon candy!

Pomegranate Lemonade

This makes a gallon container worth of goodness!

Ingredients:
2 cups organic dehydrated cane juice (I normally would use 3/4 tbl of liquid stevia, but I had the "sugar" water leftover)
1 cup pomegranate juice ( I used 100% pure)
1/2 - 3/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Enough filtered water to fill to the top of the container

Directions:
Mix above and enjoy!!

No wasting here!

I scored some organic lemons today at Kroger!

Ten lemons for $2.29.  Not too bad.

I gave one to my son who sucked the juice and ate the pulp out of it.

Nine of them I juiced.  I got about 1 and 1/2 cups of juice.

Three of those I zested and froze the zest.
Those three I halved and have in the freezer for cleaning purposes.  Ya know, like scrubbing the tub with baking soda.

The remaining six I peeled the pith off and made candied lemon peels.  

I really did not want to waste the sugar water that was used for the candy so I decided to use some of the juice, added some pomegranate juice, and the sugar water and made pomegranate lemonade!

Oh and the pith and the one lemon my son ate?  I put down the disposal to freshen it up.  I literally only threw away the seeds!

DD2 came home from marching band practice and said that she could smell the lemons OUTSIDE!  I guess it is better that the house smells like lemons than something yucky!




Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A member of "The Trailblazers"

Yeah, that is what I am.

I met with my professor yesterday.  She started off by saying that I did not have the lowest grade in the class.  That was not reassuring as the lowest grade was achieved by my study partner. 

Nice, huh?

The teacher jokingly said she needed to come up with a name for us.  I said, "How about 'The Caboose' since we are bringing up the rear?"  She laughed and said no.  Then she said, "I am going to call you two "The Trailblazers" because we are going to blaze through this class and improve our grades.

This then was followed by more discussion that basically said she hopes we get Ls.  Ls are the grade right above Fs, people.  I feel so encouraged (sarcastic tone here).  The grading scale is different here in grad school. There are no A,B,C,D,F.  It is H,P,L,F.  Stupid, really.

So why did I do poorly even though I felt I understood the concepts? It all boils down to the fact that I really did not get to develop critical thinking skills needed for grad school.  Since I only have my associates degree in nursing, I missed much theory work. The program I attended was mostly clinical based.

Oh well.  I will get through this horrible class.  I am hoping for a P, but will settle for an L.  An H is out of reach now.  Boohoo. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

well, I failed.

My first exam in the hardest class has been graded and I failed.  I failed it even after the curve.  I am a bit numb about it.  I knew I did poorly, but wow, that was a bad grade!

I am allowing myself a little time tonight to reflect and go through the emotions that is normal to go through for failure then I am going to pick myself up, dust myself off, and move on.  After all, there is nothing I can do about it now, is there?

Since I am really an optimistic person at heart, I refuse to let this get me down.  It just means I needs to re-prioritize my life a bit.  Obviously I have not put school high enough on the list of priorities and if I still plan on continuing on with grad school, I must do so.  Yes, the thought has crossed my mind to quit school...this was thought before the exam too.  This means that I have to revamp my whole life and really make cuts in areas that I previously did not cut.  Things that I normally may think are super important may need to be moved to the slightly important list in my brain.  Things that I do not find important, but enjoy, may need to be forgotten about until after each semester.  Not ALL things though!  What a really crazy person I would be then if I did not have at least some pleasure in life!

This also means I need to pray.  I need to get my rear end back in church!  Of course this weekend I am unable to attend due to work, but I need to be listening to the podcasts on the weeks I cannot attend.  I need to break out my Bible and start reading.

I need to create a time schedule for things and stick to it. 

I think I will still keep the blog, even though no one reads it but me!  It is like a release for me.  A way to organize my thoughts in a sort of way. 

I also need to end this post and get started on what I just typed about!   Have a great night all!  Until next time...


Monday, September 24, 2012

Easier on than in

It really is easier to go non-toxic ON my body that IN my body. 

I am slowly switching over my cleaners (pay no attention to the new bottle of dishwasher liquid under the sink).  I am liking the no poo method of washing my hair.  I have even toyed with the idea of making my own toothpaste.  If I am not going anywhere and I am not doing much around the house (i.e. studying for HOURS on end), then I forgo the deodorant.  I do not use perfume (major headache when I do) and I do not even own a single bottle of hair styling product. 

Yeah, I would say that going non-toxic on my body isn't so bad.

Going non-toxic IN my body...well, that is another issue.  That is hard to do.  How am I to resist Little Debbie and all her delicious snacks.  Have you seen those "bat brownies" she has out for halloween?  Those are some yummy bats, I tell you. 

I am trying though.  Kinda.  You see, I have that endoscopy coming up and I want the test to have true results.  I do not want to start eating all healthy and then the results be mixed.

Yes, I am reaching.

It is so easy to reach for a small bag of chips on my way out the door for work than it is to bag some carrots and an ice pack.  I do need to do better though. Really, I do.  I feel horrible and tired most days and I know that if I just ate better I would feel better.  I am hoping that outing myself as a food slob that maybe it will encourage me to start to do better.

I guess it is good that I at least am doing better with on the body.

Babysteps, folks.  Babysteps.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

No poo now too?!?

To go along with our my non-toxic venture, I have decided to attempt to remove the toxins I put ON my body.  I already use organic soap. LOVE my soap. A friend from high school has a soap business and her soaps are all natural, even organic possibly. I just know her soaps are the best!  Check out Bodygoodies.

Ok, enough of the commercial.  But, seriously, I love her soaps and they are the only ones I use when showering.

I have also just got on the "no poo" kick.  My hair normally gets greasy fairly quick so I have trained it and usually only wash it about three times a week.  This has helped so much!  Now I have even gotten rid of the shampoo.  Late last week I gave up the shampoo.  I have now washed it without shampoo twice now and I LOVE it.

Here is what I do:  I get my hair wet.  I then have a container where I put maybe 1/8 cup of baking soda in it and mix with some water to make a paste.  I do not really measure the baking soda so it may be a little less than 1/8 cup. I have long hair (about 3/4 the length of my back) so those with short hair could really use less. I have read a tablespoon even. With the baking soda, I put a small amount onto different areas on my scalp and rub in. I make sure I get all the scalp, around the ears, etc.  I then take the rest and just spread around the hair. I then rinse it out.

Second:  I then take a wash cloth with some of my soap (currently it is a soap made from beer...and I have heard beer is good for hair, so I may order more just to use for my hair) and rub around my hair for a few seconds.  It has minimal lathering but thats okay.

Third: I have an old cup in the shower and in this I put some apple cider vinegar.  About half an inch in the cup (maybe 1/8 cup?). I dilute with water. I just fill the cup up with water and swirl to mix. I then pour over my hair and make sure it runs through the hair. 

Fourth: I then rinse my hair with some warm water and then I am done.

It is so easy!  It does take maybe a minute more in the shower.  My hair is so easy to comb through too! Since my hair is so long, I was afraid it would be too tangled and I would have to go back to the conditioner at least.  Nope, it is actually just as easy to comb through.  My hair has slightly more volume too.  It is super soft and does not feel limp.  It even looks good the second day. Normally I would have to wear my hair up the second day because the roots look a tad greasy. So far, I can wear my hair down a second day too.

It does have a slight vinegar smell to it while it is wet.  That smell does remain just a little bit after it dries too. It goes away though.  I have heard that you can add some essential oil drops to help with the smell, but I have not done that.

Hopefully I am just as enthusiastic about it in a few weeks.  I shall let you know.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

This mama is going non-toxic!

...one step at a time!

I like to take babysteps...like in "What about Bob?"  Remember that movie?  Netflix it. It is a must see.  I use that "babysteps" method so often in my life.

I digress.

Ok, so I finished watching "Chemerical" this morning. It is a documentary (can I tell you that I am a documentary JUNKIE!!!) and it is about this family that chose to remove toxic household products and toxic personal products from their home for three months.

Oh goodness, it was good.  Even the man thought it was interesting...who knew he was listening while reclined in the chair with a blanket over him and his eyes closed!

It was motivating, I tell you!

Here a few reasons I am motivated.  First off, I just added another bill to the mix so we HAVE to start sticking to a budget.  Homemade cleaners are cheap people! 

Another big reason is that in the past year, my arthritis has gotten worse, our boy was diagnosed with kidney disease, and I may soon be diagnosed with celiac disease (bloodwork is positive, awaiting the endoscopy for final diagnosis).  I think the change cannot hurt!

The plan is this.  We will continue to use the supplies we have until they run out and then replace them with the homemade ones.  This will be super cheap for us since we have LOADS of baking soda and white vinegar already on hand, thanks to my husband being a science teacher and teaching a summer workshop where he needed these items.

What is typical of me?  I got all gung ho about it and what did I do?  Spent an hour scrubbing the shower with ajax.  Hey it needed it...BAD!  My fingers are wonky feeling, but the shower is clean..AND the ajax is almost gone.  Less exposure for the kids since it is the master shower.  Gotta think positive!

Hopefully I will keep motivated with this.  First the house, second our personal items along with our food.  I think it can be done...as long as we do it in babysteps.

Monday, September 3, 2012

I can do it!

I have slacked off this past weekend.

I was supposed to be doing homework and getting caught up on all that is due for school.  I got as far as organizing my stuff.

I, instead, got caught up on laundry, cleaned up the house some, visited with friends, and even made a some good dinners.  (stuffed green peppers and chicken and dumplings...yum!)

As I was being a good wife, homemaker, and mom, I began getting more and more discouraged.  How was I going to be able to keep up with grad school when I am needed to do all this at home PLUS work a full time job, with occasional overtime?

I really was thinking this, not really praying this, but in doing so a wonderful sense of calm came over me (as I was folding the laundry!)  I got the feeling/thought "If a single mom can do it...run a household, take care of kids, work, and go to grad school, you can too".  That is absolutely right.  Single moms do it all the time and they do not always have the help of a husband and kids, if their kids are little.  I have a husband (although one with ADD who at times is like having another absentminded kid) and two kids in high school. There is NO reason I should feel like I cannot succeed at grad school.  I am sure there will be nights with very little sleep because I was catching up on laundry and preparing meals while thinking about cell mitosis and health care policies but I can do this!  I just need to get my act organized and get moving!

Please comment if you are like me, a crazed mom, with a somewhat lazy husband and kids, who is attempting grad school with a full time job...I could really, REALLY use the support!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Quinoa Spinach and Walnut Stirfry

Oh this was a pretty yummy and easy recipe! 

Although I must admit, I need practice on toasting walnuts...it took me 3 tries before I got walnuts that were not burnt to a crisp.

Ingredients
  • cup quinoa

  • tablespoon olive oil

  • teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1/2  teaspoon salt

  • cups water

  • ounces fresh baby spinach

  • cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1/2  cup walnut pieces, toasted

  • 1/2  cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  •   Basil leaves-optional

  • Prep Time - 5
  • Cook Time - 30
Instructions
  1. Place quinoa in small bowl, add water to cover, and swish to rinse. Pour into fine mesh strainer and drain well.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet. Add quinoa. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add salt and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook over medium-low until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add spinach and tomatoes. Cook over medium heat until spinach is almost wilted and tomatoes are warmed, about 1 minute. Stir in walnuts and cheese. Garnish with basil leaves.
Recipe courtesy of Health Barn USA.

Read more: http://www.relish.com/recipes/quinoa-spinach-and-walnut-stir-fry/#ixzz257gI0lKt

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Zombie Apocalypse

Yes, we are preparing.

No, we are not serious....maybe.

We joke about it, me and the man and kids, and even my sister chimes in.

But have we reached a point where we might not be joking?

It now has morphed into our friends joking with us too.

We have a bug out location.  We even have my sister's roommate labeled as the front line "bate" for us so we can getaway...(she does not know this...shhhh).

We have guns, we have bows and arrows. We even have practiced with them.

We joke when we see "the perfect" getaway car and make pretend plans to buy it.  

In the midst of our joking, we have developed a plan of sorts.

Strange.

I like it.

(and yes, I picked up a few hours of work last night...during my vacation...and I am sleep deprived...hence this post)    ;-P

I feel so bad...

As of this posting, my boys (aka "the beagle boys) are in a bus in the parking lot of the local walmart about to get their "beans" wacked. 

I feel so bad...not because of the surgery, but because every time I take the boys on a car ride it is to ultimate doom. Other than a trip to the mountains to meet their oldest human "sister" (my husband hates that I say they are also our children...which is probably why I keep on saying it!), they have only gone to the vet.

Poor things.

At least my 5 yr old girl dog will have some reprieve from their antics.  She is the ultimate lap dog.  They think pestering her is the ultimate fun!

I think when they fully recover a nice trip to a park is in order...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

School, puppies, vacation

The two kiddos at home and the man have started school this week. The boy is now a highschooler!  So far he likes his classes.  Being a typical boy that he his, he came home the first day and stated that he learned he is allergic to sperm.  Oh vey!  He meant pollen of course.  Oh and his German name is Helmut...pronounced Helmet.  He LOVES it!  LOL!

My senior girl is doing just as well.  She has not proclaimed any shocking things as her brother, but she has had me busy with fees and forms. It seems that in order for her to have an off campus lunch pass, the form needs to be notarized.  What a pain in the rear!  Now we are car shopping so that she can provide her and her brother their own transportation.  This is going to be costly, but will so much more convenient for us.  The cost for a parking pass at the HIGH SCHOOL???  $170.  For real!

You want to know what is keeping even more busy than the kids' school and my own school?
THESE PUPPIES!!!
I have to admit, I sure do like these boys, but oh goodness, it is like having a newborn in the house all over again.  They are into the sibling rivalry age right now and are trying to show who is dominant.  One show resulted in a midnight trip to the doggie ED.  No real injury...just a broken baby tooth and broken toenail.  I now walk around the house with a whistle around my neck ready to break up any "wrestling gone bad" fights.  I am hoping that getting them neutered will calm their fighting...we shall see.

On top of all this, I just discovered this morning that we have fleas.  Seriously?  We havent had them all summer and now I am having to deal with them?  Well, at least I am on vacation this week and have the time to treat. I just put that Frontline on all the dogs and not even 2 days later I see the fleas. ARGH!

And onto my vacation.  I try to take vacation the first week of the kids' school year.  I have done this every year since my almost 20 year old started kindergarten.  Some years I am only able to take the first 2-3 days off, but this year it WAS the whole week...until the boss called and needs me to come in tonight.  Luckily, I am able to only do the first half of the shift and someone else will finish the shift.  7pm-1am isnt too bad.  Then I can still be home to take the kids to school in the morning.

Things to do on my vacations?  Schoolwork, organize, canning, relaxing.  Not in any order, although I make sure I am relaxing!  LOL!

How are you spending this end of summer?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

...and these are the days of our lives

Much has happened in the life of my family since I last posted.  Although, how could it not since the last post was in April! 

Jacob continues in remission. Praise the Lord!  The protein and red blood cells in his urine continue to get lower and lower.  His next visit in November will decide if he needs to continue with the blood pressure medication.  If he stops that then the only medication he will take is his multivitamin and the fish oil!  We are beyond happy!

My girls are doing well. One quit college (I am so proud...insert sarcasm tone here) and moved to Asheville to follow her dreams of becoming a hair stylist/colorer.  Why Asheville? That is where her friends are located so she will attend a community college there...once there is an opening in the program.  UGH!  My other daughter is getting ready to start her senior year in high school. So far the only thing she is bugging me about is getting another piercing...I can handle that. 

We joined a gym!  Ok, so the sentence reads more excited that I am, but it isnt that bad.  I need to get "buff" as my 17 yo DD says.  We all need to get "buff".  Jacob likes it because they have cable tv and he can ride a bike or walk on a treadmill and watch whatever he chooses.  I like it because they have really old people there working out so I wont look like a complete idiot.  I like that there are not the "golds gym" guys walking around intimidating those of us who look fat and frumpy!  This will be an adventure for sure!!

Nothing really is new with my dear husband.  He still has not gone through his massive room of destruction and gotten it organized. THAT drives me batty!  I think I am going to start bit by bit and organize it.  He probably will not even notice it until I am close to done.

As far as me.  I am gearing up to begin my first official semester of grad school.  I am not sure if I am excited or not.  My health is pretty much the only thing that has changed.  My rheumatoid arthritis has been giving me issues but nothing too major.  I am still having GI issues.  This has been going on since the beginning of the year.  I have had a colonoscopy done. I have had specimens examined. I have been given medications and probiotics to try. I have had bloodwork drawn.  So far it was suggested it might be irritable bowel, maybe my gall bladder, but the bloodwork has now come back positive for celiac disease.  To confirm this diagnosis I now have to have an endoscopy.  UGH!  Our family has already had a diet change to a low sodium one.  Now we (ok, me) may have to start a gluten free one?  I have been reading up on it just in case this is really the diagnosis.  Oh boy, I am hoping it isnt!  The symptoms do add up though.  Anyone have some good gluten free recipes to share? 

So, overall, in the grand scheme of things, life is not too bad.  My boy is still better, I have a great marriage (Oh I forgot to mention that we celebrated our 20th anniversary this past May!), and my girls are doing well too.  Life is good and will get even better!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

wow, just wow

I had heard from several people that Europe was a dead area. Dead as in Christianity is dead in that part of the world. I didn't disbelieve it, but I did think, "How can an area that was so vibrant in their love for Christ and God be so dead now?"

Well, I was just on facebook and am blown away by something I read. A cousin of mine who lives in Europe commented on a picture on one of her friend's wall. How it got posted on my wall since I have no clue who she is is beyond me, but it did. Anyway, the picture is of a cat, a cat who apparently is sick. Not sure. What blew me away is what the friend wrote. Here it is:

"i read long ago in a science mag. that prayers really work esp. when you know someone is praying for you so i need all your amazing energy to send him. Thank you just a positive visual in your heart will do"

Wow, really? It was read in a science magazine? This was not taught to the person. This person obviously has never prayed much and probably does not even know about God. I felt so bad for her. I wonder if they know who they should pray to?

Another sad part?? The responses she got. "sending love" "sending rays of sunlight and love" and more to that extend. Wow. One person said they were sending prayers. ONE.

I am dumbfounded. I am speechless. Wow.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I knew I was eating fairly healthy....

...because the past week I have not eaten well at all and now I am sick. Sick, I tell you!

My husband was on a weight loss challenge with others at work for the past six weeks. While he ate much better than we did, we managed to eat fairly healthy too. The challenge ended last week. So did the healthy eating.

Burgers, fried chicken, pizza, pop, chocolate, pudding, you name it, if it was sweet, greasy, or whatever, we ate it.

I couldn't figure out why my stomach was all tore up. I also couldn't figure out why I had "bubble gut" and "ahem" the runs (stupid, I know). I just kept enjoying it all. Well, it has finally caught up with me.

I cannot take it anymore. Enough is enough. The first thing gone is the pop. Nope, none for me thanks. I cannot give up the chocolate, but it will now only be consumed in VERY limited quantities. I even passed up the clearance bin of Easter chocolates because I feel so horrible. The fast food is no more too. I will eat burgers and chicken sandwiches, but only if I make them myself. Pizza, well, I will have that once in awhile, but not too often.

I have gathered up the kale, carrots, apples, and oranges and plan on making some juice tonight. Back to the healthy eating!

Oh, and the husband won the weight loss challenge. 32 pounds in 6 weeks for a total of $180! Yay for him!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

American cheese.

If you read this blog, you may notice that I am on a quest for healthier foods. I opened the fridge this morning and saw an old package of American cheese and thought, "this stuff has to be processed". That glance got me started.

Yes, the cheese was processed. According to wikipedia (ok, I know they arent a reputable source, but I think they are pretty dead on with this topic), American cheese was once known as American Cheddar. Just about since its creation, it has been inferior to the known cheddar and also cheaper, but I bet it was real cheese back in the colonial days!

Also, American cheese cannot be just labeled "cheese". It must be labeled as "processed cheese" or "cheese food". Interesting. I wont go into all the details about whats in it, but some brands do use milk.

This thought train then got me thinking, "there has to be some place that makes real American cheese...and I want to try it." Well, after a quick google, I found out that the company Organic Valley will begin distributing organic, nonprocessed American cheese. If I read correctly, they are the only company that has it. The slices will even be divided by small pieces of "earth-friendly" parchment paper. I am just a bit excited. I am sure it will be costly, but still, much healthier for my family!

If anyone else knows of where I can get some real American cheese, please let me know!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My life will never be normal (I love my kids)

Well, I always kinda wondered, in back of my tiny mind, if "not your normal mama" is a good title for this blog. Yeah, I think it is...maybe. You see, I long for normalacy. I really do. I would love to have the big white house with the white picket fence out front. I would love to live in a "stepford" community, or at least experience it for a little while. I want the girly girls and the somewhat jock of a son. I think I want these things because they are something I have never experienced, even while growing up. I need to stop the dream, because it will never happen. Why, do you ask? Well, because I just am not meant to be normal, I guess. When one is discussing her canning ventures and then in the next second breaks out into singing and dancing to "apple bottom jeans and boots with the fur", I think its safe to say all hope is lost for becoming normal. I guess if I had a stroke it could occur. Like the person who had a stroke and woke up gay. It can happen.

Another reason my dream for normalacy will probably never happen. My weirdness (and my husband's weirdness) has rubbed off onto my kids. Let me just say this, I thought I was a bit strange. I have had others call me strange, eccentric, weird, etc. at times, but my kids, my kids put me to shame.

I liken myself to weird Al, you all remember him, right? I am square. I am awkward. That song, "white and nerdy"? That is me. My hippie-like sister has agreed. My kids....

I have all my kids at home right now. I am the only one awake. I have time to think as I wait for the washer to be ready to switch over loads. I have time to think as I am stalling on doing my homework. What am I thinking about? My kids...and how not normal they are. And how much I love them.

Let's start with my youngest. My baby boy. He has turned into a "bronie". Do you know what a bronie is? Google it. (ok, I will tell you. A bronie is a boy who likes my little ponies.) These ponies are not like the ones we grew up on. These ones talk like grown men, at least they did on the clip I saw. It is strange, it kinda scared me. He is also writing a novel at the young age of thirteen. A novel about zombie ponies. I have not read it yet, but it is really good I have been told. Really, really good (and this is coming from adults).

My middle one, maybe she is my normal one?!? She has stopped coloring her hair all freakish colors. It is now black. BUT, her natural hair color is really only a shade lighter than black. She only has her nose pierced (so far) She has been begging me to let her get something else pierced. I have been holding out. I want a normal kid, remember? She dresses normal. She has even begun going to youth group and is dating a respectable Christian boy from a very nice family. She is normal, right? Well, we just went to visit the college she will be attending after she graduates in 2013. Mortuary school. Yep, you read it here, folks, my almost normal child has picked the funeral science career. I am so proud. (It actually does not bother me. It pays well once you get established and you figure, there is always work...)

And then there is my oldest child. My firstborn. She is the one in college. She will be 20 this year. She is in her second year of college. She *thinks* she is going to major in anthropology. That will get her a job with benefits we are hoping. After college, she is going to spend another year at cosmetology school to get a diploma in what she REALLY wants to do. Cut and color hair. She agrees she should have a 4 yr degree because she knows she will probably not make much money with hair. Sounds somewhat normal right? Well, at almost 20 she still colors her hair freakish colors. Currently it is orchard..her most normal in awhile. She has several facial piercings...nose, eyebrow, and snakebites (know what those are?? the ones at the bottom of your lips, like a snakebite). She has no interest in looking normal. Thankfully she has decided against teaching. Can you imagine a teacher walking in with purple hair and facial piercings?? LOL!

There are some other things that make my children extremely weird, but I am not going to go into them here. I did at one time, but now am editing it out. TMI I believe.

I think the above descriptions pretty much seal in my fate as never being normal. I just reread all of it. I think this post has been pretty cathartic for me. It has given me a chance to really put things in perspective. I really do love my kids. They are good kids. They have topped me in the weirdness department though. I am learning from them (no..lol..not how to increase my weirdness factor), learning much more about acceptance. I always thought I was really accepting of the different. My reaction to my kids has really shown me how closed minded and negative I have been. How "normal" I was beginning to become (I dont know many normal parents that would be accepting of their children like this). I dont think I want to be normal. I love my kids and even though they are freaks in their own ways, they are genuinely good kids. I really think I would rather have them like this than have them act in the "normal" way that society accepts people but then be strung out on who knows what and needing rehab of some sort by the age of 20.

The end.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Another gun and the blah continues

Goodness gracious! I need to get out of this frame of mind! Too much to do and no motivation to do it. I blame my work atmostphere. Lots of junk going on there that it can make anyone depressed (and paranoid...but we shan't go into all that!) And the weather. I also blame the yucky, dreary, gloomy days. Yep, work and weather, those I blame.

So another week has passed and nothing has been done. In fact, we had take out most of the week. Hardly any real foods going on in this house! I get so mad but it is my own fault so I just need to deal with it! I did manage to get my last shamrock shake in for the year yesterday. Some people celebrate St. Patty's Day with alcohol, I celebrate with milkshakes. To each their own. I did come across a homemade version of the shamrock shake once, I should dig it out again....one of these days.

Oh, the gun. I almost forgot about the gun! It is actually a rifle. The husband's hunting rifle. He went up the road to another gun store to check out what they had and they had the one he was looking at back in January. He did not want to miss out on it a second time so he snagged it. He now has a mossberg maverick 30.06. I am excited. Now to find one for me...darn me being left handed!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

blah kind of days and a new gun!

Ever have those?

The kind of days where you just are not motivated to do anything?

I have come upon some of those days....and I really do not like them!
I have things to do! I have things to make!

But, alas, here I sit.

I did manage to go buy a pistol with the man AND get my hunting rifle on order. Ya see, I am a lefty, and my right hand just is not very good with this ol arthritis so I had to special order my rifle to use with my left hand. I am excited (although I have no idea how to use it, clean it, etc). In probably a month, I will have a .243 rifle! The man got another .38 to add to the one he has already. Now he and I (or he and the boy) can go shooting at a range soon!

An interesting conversation was overheard by my man at the gun store today. One of the workers said to another worker that if the government keeps going the way it is, he believes that they may not be able to keep many guns on their shelves. I have noticed that they do have fewer guns then they had when we went there back in January. Interesting, very interesting....

For now, I am going to relax and think about what to do this coming week to get motivated!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

lemon buttery sea scallops and spaghetti squash

I made this for dinner and it was good!! Here is the recipe!

Lemon buttery sea scallops and spaghetti squash

1 spaghetti squash
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 package (or about 10) wild caught sea scallops
Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning

-Pierce a spaghetti squash all over to avoid exploding!
-Put in an oven heated to 375 degrees for one hour.
-Remove from oven and let sit for about 15 minutes.
-While squash is sitting, melt butter in a pan.
-After butter is melted, add lemon juice and let it come to a boil.
-Add scallops to pan. When they begin to curl, turn once. (this normally only took about 3-4 minutes each side).
-When the scallops are still a little translucent in the center, remove the pan from heat. (the scallops will continue to cook some)
-While the scallops are cooking, cut the squash in half and remove the center seeds and guts. Throw them away.
-With the remaining part of the squash, take a fork and thread it onto a plate. All that will be left is the skin of the squash.
-Pour the scallops and juice over the spaghetti squash.
-Enjoy! This really only made enough for 3 of us so I would double as needed.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Secret Smoothie

I also learned this from the real foods class at church. I just made it and it got good reviews from the kiddos so it shall be posted.

Secret Smoothie

Frozen spinach
Frozen blueberries
Frozen strawberries
Milk
Maple syrup
(if any of the above is not frozen, use an ice cube or two to keep frozen)

- I did not measure the above, but I used roughly the same amount of each
(spinach, blueberries, strawberries)
- I started with maybe half cup of milk and added more as needed.
- I poured a "glug" of maple syrup (maybe 1/4 cup??)
- grab your blender and add the above and blend.
- Enjoy.
- The great thing about this recipe is that the blueberries completely take over the color of the smoothie so the kids did not know there was spinach in it until I told them!

Kombucha update: we have a winner!

So, I decided this past Monday to try again at making kombucha. I let it ferment only until Friday. I tasted it...yummy! It was fizzy; it was a little tangy; IT WAS GOOD!

So what did I do? I grabbed that gallon jug and put it in the fridge to deal with yesterday. Yep, call me Mrs. Procrastination! (Ok, I will be fair, I remember at 6:45 about it and was heading to a church function so I really didnt procrastinate...kinda)

Yesterday, I grabbed my jars and the gallon of kombucha and some cran-grape juice and got pouring. I added about an inch of juice to the bottom of quart jars and then filled the rest with kombucha (with an inch of headspace) and put a lid on and put back in the fridge.

Last night we tried it. The boy was spending the night at a friend's house so he hasnt tried it yet, but I am guessing he will like it. The man and I thought it was good. The picky baby girl described it as "delicious". Yep, we have a winner, folks!

I will be starting another batch soon enough...maybe even today!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I did it! Yep, sure did!

I started exercising. Ok, so I started only today, but at least I started right?

We have a wii and we also have wii fit. It is okay. It does make me mad how every time I step on it to get weighed it makes a grunting sound. I really dont think it means anything (I mean, it IS just a video game), but it still pisses me off! Well, the man brought home an accessory to the wii fit. Active something or other. It was clearanced down to about $10 and who doesnt love a clearance?!?

So today was the day that he made us all get up and exercise. He did it (and yelled at the tv about half of the time...I giggled). Then the boy did it and complained some, and then the baby girl tried. She complained a little, but not too much. My turn...I tried to get out of it by saying I was writing a paper, but I knew I could set aside 20 minutes to do it.

So, I started. And I yelled at the tv. The stupid digital instructor made me mad!

Did I enjoy it? Eh. It was okay. But honestly, I feel so much better, energized after the workout and a shower. Even the twinge in my back seems to feel better! I guess working out CAN be good for you ;)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Clean chocolate chip granola bars

As you may have noticed from all the ranting I have done, I am changing my family's diet. It is hard.

The truth is: We snack. We may not eat complete meals all the time, but we sure like to snack. So healthy snack recipes are a must to find.

I have been searching different sites and found a great one.
The Gracious Pantry. It is one of my new faves. Her recipes are awesome..at least they look awesome. I have only tried one and it is a keeper. I tweeked it for my liking. Here is the original recipe. Below is mine.

Chocolate chip granola bars
2 cups oats (I used the quick cook and I didnt roast them)
1 cup PB (I used the fresh grinded stuff I bought at Whole Foods)
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of applesauce (I used what I canned last fall)
1/4 cup chocolate chips (i used the milk chocolate ones I had in pantry)
1 tbl cinnamon (this doesnt add a strong taste at all)
2 tbl chia seeds (bought in bulk at Whole Foods)

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix all ingredients together. Like the original recipe, I found kneeding it much easier.
- Lay some parchment paper on a cookie sheet and press the mix on it. It ends up using about half of a regular size cookie sheet.
- Bake about 10-15 min, until the bar is golden brown. (Mine needed about 13 minutes).
- Wait about 30 minutes to cool and then cut into bars and eat 'em up!

Monday, February 20, 2012

If I could turn back time, if I could find a way....

I am hearing Cher's voice this morning as I am reflecting on the "real foods" class I attended at church yesterday.

I would LOVE to be able to turn back time and start this journey with whole foods when the kids were younger. You see, one disadvantage of having kids while you are barely out of being a kid yourself is that you just dont know what you want out out of life to be able to share it with them!

Whole foods is one item I really wish I knew about when the kids were younger. I tried, really tried, to get them healthy foods and such, but it just did not happen. At the time whole, clean foods just wasnt all the rave it is now. I did not know all about the great nutritional values. I only knew that making items from scratch at home was cheaper and healthier. Everyone was all about couponing and saving and reading "The Tightwad Gazzette". Trust me, I was all into that. Box of processed mac and cheese for a dime, yes please! And I will take 20! I look back and think of all the crap I fed my kids...yikes! I did make some items myself which made it healthier, but as we made more money, we bought more crap to eat. So sad.

Well, there is no good day to start the healthy eating like today! I just wish my oldest girl was closer to home to get the benefits of the foods too. I may try to develop a plan for her to get whole foods at college. That, we will look at over the summer when I have more time and have gotten some of the ideas under my belt here at home. For now, I will concentrate on those who still are living in this house.

I may not be able to turn back time and give my kiddos all the benefits of good foods their whole life, but I can start now. Some people dont get introduced to healthy eating until they are adults (like me!)

So, who's with me?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

cran-orange water

I got this recipe from the woman who taught the real foods class at church. I LOVE this drink! It is hard to believe that it is mostly water!

Cran-orange water

1 cup of pure 100% cranberry juice
1 tbl liquid stevia (I think next time I will use a little less)
juice of 2 oranges
enough water to bring everything to a gallon

Get a gallon container.
Pour the cranberry and OJ, and stevia into it.
Add water until it reaches the gallon point.
Mix and enjoy!

The start to a 'real foods' life

I have really been giving this real foods some thought this week (as I totally did nothing but munch on pizza and pop and cake and junk). I think we are going to go for it! I want to do it in steps though so not to shock the family or the checkbook. At the real foods class that I attended last week at church, I received a pie graph of sorts on areas to change up to have a real foods life.

One was filtered water. We do this and have been doing this for a few years now. The one thing we did not do is use the filtered water to make things with, as in drinks. I think I am going to start doing that, or at least try to. For cooking and baking and such, I am okay with using tap as I feel everything will be cooked out, ya know, all the bad stuff. For making drinks, I am going to start using the filtered water.

The next step is to switch out our sweeteners. We already have local honey in the cupboard and we have organic syrup (although I am going to need to order some more). I also have some dehydrated cane juice (aka sucanot, or rapadura) on hand. I still have some white sugar, but will use that for the kombucha and kefir. Oh and I did buy some liquid stevia today to use. Shoot! I forgot to buy some molasses! That's okay, I dont think I will need it anytime soon.

As far as meats go: we will only buy 'wild caught' fish, as opposed to 'farm raised' fish. Wild caught fish are loaded with omega 3s while farm raised tend to be higher in omega 6s (which can be linked to inflammatory responses). This is what I have learned. You dont know if the farm raised ones were all cramped in an area or not. With wild caught, these fish have the ocean at their fins and know all about keeping personal space, ya know for reasons such as pooping and all. These farm raised have no control of their personal space and can be swimming all around in other's yuckiness and who wants fish that basically could be swimming in filth? Not me...so wild caught it is for us. Also, we are going to stay away from nitrate and nitrites as much as we can. I think this is more for things like hotdogs (which have too much sodium for the boy so we dont consume) and bacon, and lunch meats. We learned about some great deals at BJs for the bacon!

Veggies/fruits: Trying to slowly ease into organics when able. So far we are going to do celery and apples as we consume lots of them and those should be bought organically anyways.

Dairy: We have not really touched on this subject yet

Oils: We are going to be using only butter (unsalted), olive oil (extra virgin for fresh things and regular ol olive oil for cooking), and coconut oil.

Breads: This is something that is in the works for us.

I think we are slowly getting there! Oh and we have already drastically reduced the amount of processed foods since the boy's kidney disease diagnosis so we really were on the way to a real foods diet!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Kombucha....vinegar??

Well, I think I failed at the first attempt of making Kombucha.

Bummer!

I was so excited to try it! I placed it in the fridge Saturday evening after running around with my baby girl. I let it chill until Sunday evening. I take out sample glasses and begin to pour. I had the family gather around for the taste test.

(I had never even tasted this stuff before. I just know it is super uber good for you and with the health issues in our family, I was just thinking, GO FOR IT!)

I take one jar out. I open it and can see the tiny fizzy goodness inside. I remove the little film on top and set aside (I do not remember what I was supposed to do with it so it just sat there). I poured a little bit into each cup.

We smelled it. "Hmmm...interesting", my husband says as the kids look to him for courage to take a sip.

We sip slowly. The kids look to me and announce that it tastes like vinegar. WHAT?!? I tried to convince them to try again. Nope. The room cleared faster than I have ever seen.

It isn't BAD tasting. Just not something I want to sit and sip from. It does have a sort of apple vinegar taste to it. I am so bummed! I have been researching what could have gone wrong. I think what I did was let it ferment too long. I did read that I can use it in place of vinegar so I am not throwing it out. I hope the SCOBY is okay. I still have some reading to do. Currently the mama SCOBY is in the fridge chilling in about 25% of the liquid. I don't want to throw "her" out and start over, but I will if need be. I will update for sure!

Now, what are some good recipes that use, oh say, a gallon of vinegar!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kombucha update

Ok, so my attempt to grow a SCOBY was successful! I started brewing a batch of Kombucha and tomorrow will be the day that I add the fruit juice. I am using the recipe from the Food Renegade. Here is the link for the recipe I used. I hope it is yummy! I will find out Saturday!

I have water kefir grains waiting for me as soon as I get well enough to go get some...I hope we like this too. My goal is to make healthy drinks so that we will stop buying pop. Keeping fingers crossed here!

Update on Saturday on our taste test!

Another CRUD?!? REALLY?!

Ok, so my head cold morphed into something else. I personally think the flu, but who knows. Tonight I am feeling a little better, but I thought that Tuesday night when I went to work...and then had to leave three hours later because I was too sick to do much. I went to the doctor and was given antibiotics (yeah I know. antibiotics dont work on the flu but I didnt think it was the flu until I went to work and another nurse mentioned it...and yes, I got the flu shot...go figure). Damn these medications I take for RA!! Seriously...three weeks of this crap!

So, here I am sitting here and whenever I attempt to do anything, I get tired and then take a nap. Of course the nurse in me (who also is in a public health rotation for school) is freaking out and wanting to scrub the house to disinfect it. It also does not help that I am currently watching the movie, Contagion, as I type this post. CRAZY! I will be neurotic by tomorrow for sure now.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

and "organize" is my word?

Goodness! This head cold has got me down! This is about day 10 of it. Because of it, I have slacked off big time in getting organized! All I have done in the past week was work and homework. I am still not caught up on all the homework that I was behind on. I still have about a chapter and a half to go and to think that I have another two chapters that I need to read this week! ARGH!

I need to get my act together and get some organizing done! Our meals are sorely lacking also because I have been sick. The man has pretty much taken care of meals, aka: take out, for most of this past week. That will change this week!

Ok, not a very organized post, but one mainly to vent! Tomorrow is another day. I will get last week's homework done and get myself a list of things to do for the week so I can be organized by the end of my workweek (Thursday morning!)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kombucha baby...I mean mama!

Yep! I got mine started. Well, I got the mama growing...I hope.

Shaye over at the The Elliott homestead introduced me to Kombucha through a few of her posts on the drink. It is supposed to be so yummy tasting. I sure hope so!

I had no way to get a mama SCOBY so I googled if there was a way to make one. Sure was! Over at FoodRenegade.com there are directions on just how to do it. Here they are

I will let you know in about a week how my mama is growing!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What you gonna grow?

(Yes, I am avoiding my homework!)

I have been thinking of what I want to grow this year in a garden. I have had many ideas...from growing a little of everything...to a lot of a few things.

I think we are going to go with a mixture. I know we want tomatoes...and lots of them! The rest is up for debate.

I have been making mental notes on the types of veggies we have been consuming. Tomatoes, peppers, onions, greens, lettuce, garlic, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, corn, green beans, sweet potatoes, potatoes, among a few others.

Sweet potatoes I can glean each fall from a local farmer. I was able to get five 5 gallon buckets full of them last year and even more if I wanted.

I started an asparagus patch in a bin last year and will put it in the ground soon. I have saved some wood for the man to make me some frames that I will grow potatoes in. As the potato plants grow up, I will add another frame and more straw or whatever is needed. I think we will grow some green stem onions also. I would like some herbs also, but I havent even begun to figure out which ones I want to grow. I think also we will grow tomatoes (roma and slicing), cucumbers, peppers (this is as far as I got. Maybe green, red, banana, jalapeno), and in cooler weather would be lettuce and greens.

Besides eating fresh, I would like to preserve our bounty also. Freezing peppers would be great. Maybe even make some jalapeno poppers! Some pickles would be nice. Since our son cannot have much sodium, making low sodium pickles would be nice for him. As far as the tomatoes, I have major plans for them! Pizza sauce, BBQ sauce, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, and just plain ol canned tomatoes for whatever.

I see a busy gardening and canning season ahead!

Kitchen organized

Well, somewhat. Even with having a cold, I got off by arse and rearranged some cabinets. The one thing I hate about moving to a new place is organizing things in cupboards. It takes me a few months to figure out what cupboards I want things. I think I am almost there. I moved around four cupboards. So far I got a high five from the man. I hope it is more user friendly than it was previously arranged. I would take a picture, but alas I am lazy, plus I have no clue where my camera is from the move.

I still have to conquer the homework, maybe in an hour.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Seriously? He shares THIS?

I have taught my kids to share.

I have taught them too well.

My boy has shared his sinus cold with me. Having a plugged up nose that still runs and is rubbed raw from tissues that are about as soft as sandpaper is not what I would call a fun time on my day off of work.

Oh and did I mention that because I am now a full time mouth breather that my lips are super chapped and burn no matter what I put on them?

I also did not inform you all that I feel like a toddler sniffling (sniffling? is that a a word?) my runny nose because it hurts too much to wipe it.

Thanks for sharing, right? Quit your whining, huh? I just got off work and have so much I need to do...but I am just going to bed and throw a big, fat phooey to the housework, homework, and organzing today.

If you need me, I will be in bed.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Back to the daily grind

School has started again for me. I really debated about going back, but after some praying and talking it over with my husband, I decided to at least go this semester. I will probably continue through the whole program, God willing.

With school, I am definately getting organized. I finally got the entrance way cleared. I am working on the kitchen now.

A new hobby I am trying to get into....deer hunting! The season is over for now, but I figure I have about 10 months to prepare! The husband and I are gun shopping now. I think we have settled on a Mossberg Maverick 30-06. Not sure what all that means, but it seems to be a decent rifle we have been told. We have not bought it yet, but we are planning on buying them soon. Fun!

How has your year started?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 goals

So ya all know my word for the year is "organize". Today I have been thinking of ways, or things, that I want to organize. I guess I was organizing my thoughts...haha. So here is what I am looking forward to in 2012.

2012 goals
1. Prepare my family for any disaster.
- This is going to be an ongoing adventure. I will be making B.O.B (bug out bags) and building my food storage supply, among other things.

2. Get healthy. The whole family, that is. I will be making more nutritious meals that the family will enjoy. I am moving away from pork and decreasing the amount of red meat we eat also.

3. Weight loss. Along with getting healthy is losing weight. My 2012 goal is to lose all my extra weight. This will be a tough one, but attainable if I keep at it. The amount I want to lose? At least 60 pounds. I have lost about 5 pounds so far. Yay me!

4. Continue with school. I have no clue if I will be in school this semester due to some mess ups with financial aid, but even if I do not continue with my current program, I will find another one to start in the fall.

5. Organize the house. I want this household to be a fine tuned machine and I want it this way quick!

6. Lower debt. Even with school, I want to work a little OT to reduce the family debt. Plus there are some major purchases I want this year.

7. Learn new skills. The major ones? hunting and fishing, along with gardening at our new place.

8. Continue to learn about God and his will for me and my family. This means starting to attend church again and reading my Bible.

Eight goals, not bad. What are yours???

Happy New Year!

Well, this year started off not like I thought it would. We went to a friend's house for a bonfire to ring in the new year. The man and I had fun, but the kids weren't thrilled. Oh well, that is part of being a kid, sometimes you just have to suffer through things.

So, at the bonfire, I snacked quite a bit. Earlier for dinner, we had french fries with tacomeat and taco cheese. Oh it was all so good, but I sooooo paid for it this morning! After eating healthy for about two weeks, this big splurge did not settle well at all. I woke up sick as a dog, as they say. I actually even vomited a little, then went to my recliner and fell back asleep. One would think I drank too much last night. I doubt a sip of champaign at midnight qualifies as too much! I could really sleep some more, but that would just be a little over the top. I cannot sleep the day away! I have to get motivated!

So, since I now have realized that my body is used to the healthy eating, I am not going to give it up. Today I am pretty much just sticking with tea and some bland foods to calm my system. Oh I feel so bad today. ick ick ick!

Today I will create a menu of the foods I will prepare for the week. Nice healthy foods. Tomorrow I will go shopping for the good foods. Yep, that is what I am going to do.

How are you starting off the new year??