Monday, February 28, 2011

Our big backyard

.....has been so fun, well when we had some actual sunny and warmer days! The past several days we've been drowning in rain. We/or should I say "they" are loving this wide, open, flat backyard to run and play and dig in the dirt. We had a roomy yard at our old house but they mostly just stayed on the deck because the yard itself was mostly up hill. Of course we have no deck here but a long driveway at least for all the bikes and riding toys, so it all evens out just as well.

a little sword fighting.

this has nothing to do with the backyard but i found her enjoying her snack one morning on the rug here under the sink....silly girl! I just haven't done well in taking pictures lately, so I need to get back at it! Hopefully I'll be back soon with more!

and as far as the cleanse (for any of you interested) it's going. I'm on day 15, and still going strong. I'm glad I've done it, and I definitely feel I have some better habits coming out of it, but I don't think I'll be able to become completely vegan after this. Some days it feels frustrating finding things to eat. Although she has lots of recipes and I have tried some of them, alot of them use multiple ingredients and ingredients I don't have on hand. So needless to say trying to prepare food for everyone else and myself separately, well, it's just not helping my grocery budget--not to mention feels sometimes very time consuming with constantly preparing food. So I think I'll be relieved in that sense when I'm done next week.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


So I think on day 1 I mentioned sweetening with agave nectar......well, I'm seriously questioning all that now after reading a friend's blog post (she's done a 4 part series on sugar--so good!) so here is her blog, check it out!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 2-5

Well, today is Day 5 of the "cleanse" far, so good. I know one of my friends liked the idea of me updating every day. I actually thought I might do that, well, until our house has been consumed with the stomach bug all week! So now it's Saturday, all appear to be well & healthy again, and I thought I'd just update these past few days in a little synopsis.

The one thing I do like about this cleanse, and I think I said it before, is you really aren't "starving yourself." She gives so many options & choices for all your meals and snacks--that you are just basically substituting bad with good/whole food options! Even last night we had dinner and casual dessert party for a friend adopting 2 little boys. So I wondered how hard all the "food" would be for me. But I was able to find a veggie plate at the restaurant with house salad, and 3 other veggie sides. And I was very satisfied. Then instead of their "dessert" I stopped at Starbucks on the way and had my first "hot drink" in about a week of decaf latte with soy milk--no sweetener, as I was reminded that soy milk actually has a sweet taste to it anyways. And honestly I wasn't really tempted or just miserable watching them all eat their cookies, brownies, etc. So will I never eats sweets again--doubtfully, I'm sure I will. But it is good to know I do have some willpower if I really want/need to resist.

Tonight I'm going to make up a stir fry with veggies and tofu and brown rice---I haven't had tofu in years! So I'm hoping my recipe/meal with some tweaking will taste as good as when I use the chicken!

And for the grandparents, aunts/uncles out there--sorry, no new pics to update at this time. We did get some good outside time the past few days with the warmer temperatures. Maybe today--though not as warm, but at least sunny and low 50s I can try and take some and upload later this weekend. Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


So yesterday I mentioned starting this 21-day cleanse. I had wanted to try something of this sort probably a year or so ago, but wasn't really sure how to go about doing it. Now almost a year later I came across this book

so after ordering it, I thought it was a good plan and I'd give it a go! So today was Day 1. Let me preface by also saying the author mentions things such as meditation, etc. etc. (which I've totally skipped over and ignored). I just wanted a meal plan and a list of what to eat--without feeling I'm starving myself. On and off I've had some stomach issues--not as bad as some I know, but enough to cause me to be uncomfortable at times with things I'm eating. And now being in my mid-30s I am realizing (especially after baby #3) weight doesn't fall off one as quickly as it did 4-5 years ago. And I know for the most part I've lost it, but I could stand to loose a little more so my clothes just would fit better. And I exercise, but I know my "eating" plays such a role too. So my love for sugar, sweets, breads, etc. has to be put on hold--and maybe I'll feel better and jump start some better eating patterns after not having them for 21 days---or so I'm hoping! The main 5 things she says you are cutting out is...
*Sugar--not gonna lie, it's gonna be hard
*Caffeine--probably not too bad as years ago I switched my coffee to decaf, with the exception of occasional teas
*Animal products (meat, dairy, fish)--going to be interesting as well
*Gluten--oh bread!
*Alcohol--not too big of a deal since I don't have it all that often either

So today on day 1 this is what I've had, and so far so good (she has lots of recipes in her book--things I've maybe not prepared or had before, but at least lots of choices!).

Breakfast--oatmeal with blueberries and a little agave nectar and our "green Lemonade" from our juicer
AM snack--nuts and dried berries (though I'm not sure if the dried raisins, etc. are "allowed" so I may not eat them again)
Lunch--White Bean soup, hummus and raw carrots
PM snack--Apple & popcorn
Dinner--Black bean veggie burger (not bad--had some flavor to it), roasted asparagus, and a sweet potato

So all in all I feel pretty satisfied. But it's only day 1, so we'll see how the rest of the week goes!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Is.....

"Love is the expression of a relationship based on the object’s need---so the “thing” I need is HIS GRACE ALONE because I have NOTHING to offer! My great need is GRACE!"

On this Valentine's Day this quote from a sermon I listened to this weekend (Jean Larroux from Southwood Presbyterian in Huntsville, AL; sermon "Sola Gratia") has been ringing in my mind these past few days. Which I thought appropriate to share on this Valentine's Day. How thankful I am for the grace I've been given, so much undeserved indeed!

and not that I NEED these beautiful flowers I received from my very sweet husband--I'm just sharing how beautiful they are, as well as the very sweet letter he wrote with them!

We enjoyed baking these heart brownies this morning. It started off as a fun surprise morning--signs ready, plates ready for our breakfast pancakes, goodies left at their place settings on the table.....but of course some sort of nasty bug has been making it's way through our home. Last week it hit Casey pretty hard for several days--but now I was thinking the rest of us were in the clear since he seems more susceptible to these little illnesses. But then last night Reed started running a fever, no appetite, etc. At least no throwing up has occurred, just the other : ) He has been a little more active later today, but still not quite himself, and still not much of an appetite (but the girls have devoured these brownies!) And I'm enjoying them as well Ghirardelli knows how to make them for sure! I haven't quite mastered a homemade one (which I usually would rather do so I know the ingredients I'm putting in them, but at least these don't have too many, and none of the Hydrogenated oils). I'm soaking them in before I start my 21-day cleanse tomorrow--more on that later!

And the best part about today....we got to do a little of this......
It was windy....but we'll take any break in the freezing cold and snow for 20 minutes of fresh air and sunshine! And it's supposed to stay like this all week---man are we ready for spring!!
Just a little sister love---Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Look what I can do

"Cheese!" or "seezzz" as she says it!

Lately we have "found" crayons--and I have found her doing this quite often....I think she is imitating what she is watching big brother & sister doing

And playing some with playdoh--still have to watch and make sure it's not "eaten" but the few times we've played with it so far, so good!
Love dressing up in hats..and always say "bye-bye" with a wave and off pushing her babies!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Growing, growing, growing!

This sweet girl is doing just that! sigh.....she is now 18 months old!! my sweet baby is a true toddler--but she is still such a baby to me!
Though first of all I have to admit it truly is fun to enjoy this sweet (often challenging stage) with this little one. She is making me see how young she really is....but yet lately I've so appreciated & enjoyed her so much as for once having an 18 month old I'm not pregnant or caring for a newborn! First it does make her all the more "fun"! Some fun things she's been doing lately.....

*LOVES singing! She is constantly waving her little pointer finger for us to sing "this little light of mine" and pounds her little fist for another song we sing "Jesus is my firm foundation"
*discovered the word "no".....I'm not quite sure if she "gets" the meaning of it or is always using it intentionally, but it's so cute when she very nasally says a prolonged "noooooo"
*some pretend play with her babies & us---I'm guessing b/c she watches big sister do it all day long! she loves to "feed us" and feed the babies, always wants us to "kiss the baby", etc.
*climbing the stairs in our new house like a PRO! she was scared to come down at first and would cry--but ever since they got carpeted this week, she is now going going down them very easily!
*loves to "talk" on the "phone"--not just real or play ones, but most objects that are rectangle in shape are a "phone" to her as she jabbers away and says "huhwoe" and "bye-bye"
*still is occasionally wakes up during the night or early/early morning; ever since we moved a couple weeks ago she is on and off with this one. i'm sure Miss Sensitive is getting adjusted to her new environment, but boy is this wearing us out! and even if we let her "cry" she just screams up in her room til one of us gets her.
*been joining in lately in our family meal prayer time--she folds her little hands together, and it is the sweetest thing! and loves the "men" at the end! and the singing of the doxology after we pray with a long "awwmen"

Mary Etta you continue to be such a sweet blessing to our family! We sure can't imagine it without you.....we are thankful for your sweet life, praying that God has His hand upon and will draw you to Himself! So that you may never remember a day not knowing Him, and will serve Him all the days of your life!