Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Lord's Table

If you know me or have followed my blog for awhile you probably know that my weight has been an issue most of my life. I have been anywhere from a size 8 (senior year of high school) to a size 20.  I am an emotional eater and that encompasses sad, stressed, excited, celebratory... any of those emotions could induce unnecessary eating.  I have realized that I have been using food as a band aid to ease my pain during a sad or stressful time. I've probably gained 15-25lbs just in the last year or two.  The first few sneak up on you and you think its no big deal.  But then a few turn into ten which turns into twenty and it feels overwhelming.
When I started the study in mid-March I weighed in at 205lbs.... I hadn't weighed that much since before I had Nate (except for while pregnant - which totally does not count ;-).  Not to mention I was down to only two pairs of pants that fit (barely) and they would not fit for long if I continued on the path I was on.  Not a proud day.  I was munching off and on throughout the day.  Not on apples and healthy things but on chips and chocolate... its clearly not been working for me.
I am thankful that there are resources out there like Setting Captives Free that provide a program to address the heart of my eating issues.  The Lord's Table is 60-Day interactive course will teach you to enjoy a newfound relationship with the Lord. You will find freedom from the sin of gluttony, by learning to follow biblical and practical ways, as you daily proceed through this course. If you binge and or purge or starve or exercise to excess, we recommend the In His Image course.
I have been pretty consistent with the eating plan (with only a couple of slip ups - that Easter candy killed me!).  I have worked out a few times but not yet gotten into a regular exercise routine.  But I am hoping to start walking in the mornings once it gets nice out.  This spring weather has been wonky here in Indiana!  

However, I have not been as consistent with doing the daily devotionals.  I have good intentions when I get up in the morning but my days get away from me quickly and by the time the kids go to bed I don't feel like I have enough energy (physically or mentally) to do it in the evening.  I know that my real issue is with my heart and not with food. I am working at making it a priority to spend time in the Word and in prayer daily.  Frankly its been years since I had a regular quiet time.  Its been hit or miss for a long time now and I know its something that I desperately need in my life.  

Its been about six weeks since I started.  I have lost about 10 lbs.  While part of me wishes it was more, I know that slow and steady wins the weight-loss "race" and I know that for me the important part of this journey right now is not the number on the scale but the state of my heart.  I have a long way to go in both areas.  Its still a work in progress but I know that God is doing a good work in me every day.  

Please say a prayer for me as I continue on this journey toward a healthier life both physically and spiritually.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  -  Philippians 1:6 NASB

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Our Family Creed

I have been inspired by different products and projects that feature "family creeds" and I decided to make our own unique family creedI think I am going to frame this... what do you think? 

OUR FAMILY CREED - We desire our home to be a place where our family, friends, and guests will find faith, hope, love, peace, joy, happiness and acceptance. We will seek to create a comfortable environment that is welcoming to guests of all ages and abilities. We will exercise wisdom in what we choose to eat, read, see, and do in our home. We want to teach others to love, learn, laugh, and to work to develop their unique talents. We will be thankful for what God has blessed us with and what we can share with those that we surround ourselves with 
"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Desperate Study

For a few summers early in my motherhood journey I was blessed to be a part of a couple of book studies that were facilitated by a wonderful friend/mentor, Julie.  She has four grown sons and several grandchildren that are her shining glory.  She took us newer moms under her wing and brought us together to learn from her and from one another.  What a time of growing and learning it was.  Over the course of those summers we read Creative Correction by Lisa Whelchel, Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud, and Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl.  Each had its own lessons to teach us and I still refer back to what I learned during those studies.

But phases of life change and sometimes circles of friends change... and its been quite awhile since our last study.  There has been nothing to fill that space.  I have been longing for something to happen and I will admit there have been times when I have wanted to blame my church because my needs were not being met.  But one day I realized that what I was missing was not a program, or even a book study itself but the companionship and the camaraderie that I felt when I was a part of a group that connected.  I have been lacking consistent encouragement from other mothers.

Rather than continue to play the blame game I decided to make things happen.  I had been seeing posts and emails from SarahMae about her new book coming out ( Desperate - Hope for the Mom who Needs to Breathe) and immediately connected with the premise of the book.  I facebooked a few other moms telling them about Desperate and my desire to have a book study.  I was not sure what to expect.  Sometimes my ideas fly and others they fall flat.  But I was not alone in my need to connect and while scheduling is always interesting we settled on a day/time/place and began meeting together to fellowship and discuss the book.  
Its not the usual crowd. We have a couple girls from church, one new girl, my neighbor and one girl who was a part of the some of the summer books studies I shared about earlier.  But we all have younger kiddos (and lots of them).  If we all brought all our kids we'd have eighteen!  Unfortunately this has been a terrible winter for colds and flu so there was hardly a week when everyone could actually be there at the same time.  Regardless of attendance we always seemed to get some good conversations and discussion going (albeit a little side tracked once in awhile).

Thankful for the time we have been able to meet and share our thoughts on the book and life.  Its been a real blessing to get to know you gals better!

 Always concentrate on how far you have come, rather than how far you have left to go. The difference in how easy it seems will amaze you. - Heidi Johnson.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Few Tidbits About Special Needs Parenting

I like to find quotes on topics that I write about and today I thought I would include several.  Not all of them were written with special needs parents in mind but I have found many of them to be inspiring and encouraging on my difficult days.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”- Albert Einstein

Frankly, there are times when I flip flop between those two extremes.  Some days I bask in the glow and excitement of the smallest milestone.  And other days I slip into despair over yet another messy meal or temper tantrum.  Obviously, everyone benefits when I see each and every moment as the miracle that it is.

“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” -Dalai Lama

There are times when strangers (or even friends) ask difficult questions or make careless comments.  Its not always easy to let those things roll off my back.  Sometimes I can let things go fairly easily, while other times someone's words stick with me for days or more just eating away at my joy.

“What lies behind us & what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don't always take the time to think about it, but I have grown a lot through the experiences that I hated the most while going through them.  I am a more confident person than I was before I became a parent.  I have had to defend my children and my choices on many occasions and in different circumstances.  And it comes down to God working in me that I am able to keep going and keep growing.

 "I thank God for my handicaps, for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God." -Helen Keller

While I have not come to a place where I can be thankful for my children's handicaps I do believe that through them I have seen God's work.  He is evident in every step they take, every sign they make, every tiny bit of progress happens because of Him and I am thankful every day that He is watching over us.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Creative Cooking

After my sister's wedding reception in February we had a lot of extra pulled pork leftover.  Not one to let good pulled pork go to waste I tried to get creative so we weren't eating BBQ every day.

Here are a few meals that we tried:

pulled pork nachos (can do with bbq sauce or enchilada sauce)

we made a big pot of chili and used the pulled pork instead of ground beef

pork enchiladas

breakfast hash with eggs, potatoes and the pulled pork

BBQ pork pizza

And here are a couple of links if you want some more ideas:

6 Ways to Use Leftover Pulled Pork

Check out the comments on this post and this one for suggestions from readers.

I can find a big pork shoulder at Costco for $1.75 per pound and I'll toss that puppy in the crock pot overnight and get several meals out of it.  I am loving finding new ways to use it!  Let me know if you have any ideas!

photo source

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Spring Break - Stay-cation

Our spring break was less than exciting.  The hubs doesn't have much vacation time and since he and I are going away for our 10yr anniversary at the end of April he had none to spare for spring break.  The kids and I tried to have a little fun and get out and about a bit though.
Nate and I did a little baking...
We hung out with Darth Vader... er, I mean my nephew.  ;-)
and my adorable niece!
We went to the Children's Museum with some friends...
Hubs and I went on a date...
And there was all of Joe's birthday festivities... those are my two crazy nephews at Joe's party.  ;-)
And we had Easter celebrations with our church and family.  

Not exciting so much.  But we managed to have a good time in there.  ;-)  Now I'm counting down to our anniversary trip.  Its our first cruise!  Can't wait!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Jewelry Storage

Last fall my mom asked me to make her something to store her necklaces and other jewelry in for Christmas.  Sadly I had already gotten her a gift (have I mentioned that I'm an early shopper?).  So when her birthday came around I knew exactly what to do for her.
I was inspired by a few projects I had seen on Pinterest like these:
Sunlit Spaces has a post that shared links to 9 different jewelry storage ideas.

But in the end it was this one that inspired my mom's gift.  I was unable to find a type tray with appropriate size partitions in it but after scouring our local Goodwill for months I found a wood silverware tray that I thought would suffice nicely. 

I ModPodged scrapbook paper into each compartment for added color.  Then I used a couple different sizes of ceiling hooks and screwed them into each partition.  I used open hooks for necklaces and closed eye hooks for earrings.  Not a picture perfect project but I am pretty proud of it!  And my mom loves it!  What more could I ask for?  ;-)

Monday, April 01, 2013

Joe Cool's Birthday

On Joe's birthday we took a little trip to Chuck-E-Cheese.  Not a big deal, just us (Joe, Christine, my sis, friend, and myself) - no friends, but he had a blast! 
Nate had spent the night at my parents' house so we were able to give Joe and Christine a little more one on one attention.  They had so much fun!

But now for party details!  ;-)

Like I often do, I based Joe's birthday party theme on the items I was able to find on clearance at the Target Dollar Spot.  Months ago I found a few Snoopy themed items and I thought that would be a fun idea for Joe.  Then they sat in a closet collecting dust until a couple of weeks before his birthday when I started scouring the web for his Snoopy/Charlie Brown party.  Here are a few of my favorite links that I found:

A whole Pinterest board devoted to Charlie Brown birthday party ideas

A really cool Peanuts party (way out of our price range) great for inspiration

Squido has some good suggestions for various parts of the party:  food, games, decor, etc

This was my favorite printable link.  Great coloring pages!

I really liked a few ideas from this post on a 40th birthday party

As inspired as I was... we had Joe's party Easter afternoon and I lost momentum... so it was pretty laid back.  In the end I didn't do everything I wanted to do but it turned out fine anyway.  On the menu we had hot dogs, veggies and dip, fruit salad, peanuts, puppy chow and cake.

We had the boys do a scavenger hunt around the house to find Peanuts characters that we had taped here and there.  The boys all loved their goodie bags that included both Snoopy themed items and generic trinkets.
Clearly my cake was not fancy.  I used this tutorial to get the shape but my decorations were much simpler.  I used Jelly Beans from the kids' Easter baskets to spell Joe's name out, and used Snoopy and Woodstock figurines I bought off of Amazon.

We did play one game for the grown-ups. I printed this unfinished comic for the guests to fill in the speech bubbles themselves.  We split into two teams (guys vs girls) and the two people who didn't play were the judges.  The girls won!  Mostly we won because ours was legible and not a rambling confusing mess.  ;-)

All in all it was a good party and we had a nice visit with our families.  Joe had a great time!  Feeling blessed!

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.  -  Charles M. Schulz