Friday, March 28, 2008
Okay, so I didn't actually drink six sodas. In fact, I didn't drink any, and I didn't drink enough of anything else either, which is why I got sick, sick, sick!
I've been feeling challenged for quite some time that I need to be exercising, and I was so proud of myself that I actually did it this week. My mom got me a box of Pilates stuff for Christmas and I had another Pilates DVD, still in its shrink wrap, that I had purchased over a year ago, so on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I worked out for the first time in...well I don't even know how long. I wish I could say that I woke up at the crack of dawn to exercise, but I didn't. It was more of a mid-morning thing, and it was going pretty well; the exercise that is.
What wasn't going well was the nutrition. You know from this post that I tend to skip breakfast and sometimes even lunch. This week was no different; in fact, it was a little worse. I had my first bite of food on Monday at 3pm, Tuesday 1:30pm, and Wednesday at 11:30am. I had my water bottle with me while I exercised, but I never drank the whole thing. Oi vey! What was I thinking?
Is it any wonder that I was seriously dehydrated and nutritionally depleted by Wednesday night? Sick, sick, sick. Chills, fever, shaking, horrible body/muscle aches from head to toe, an awful never-ending headache, exhaustion, nausea, fitful sleeping....would you believe I was too weak to even sit up at my computer?!? That's sick, sick, sick!
Fortunately, when I called a friend to tell her I'd be unable to attend a meeting, she offered to bring some coconut water over. Aparently it's a perfectly natural source of potassium and electrolytes. She also brought over some Emergen-C Electro-Mix. I was truly grateful for her willingness to bring these things to me. I only called her to RSVP; I never expected that she would have exactly what I needed, and that she was on her way to the post office at that moment and would be willing to stop by my house on her way. God is so good!
After a day lying on the couch watching Flip That House & Leave it To Beaver & Remember the Titans; drinking water, orange juice, hot green tea, Zico, Emergen-C Electro-Mix, and a glass of chocolate milk for good measure; and receiving a massage from my beloved, I slept soundly and deeply and feel tremendously better today! I'm trying not to be discouraged about the exercise thing and just give up again. I'm also trying to learn from this incident and be more committed to actually eating the most important meal of the day and all the other ones too.
On a brighter note, my kids were quite dilligent in keeping the washer & dryer going with all of those piles I sorted the day before, and they've stayed on top of the folding too. They're great kids! I'm determined to get to the Christmas tree skirt on the bottom, and then I'll post an after-picture! :)
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Last week I had a horrible pain in my neck that made doing laundry impossible. This week? I don't know. I guess I needed to work up the nerve to face the enemy, but it was unavoidable after such conversations as
Me: You need to put on a white t-shirt under that sweater.
Son: I don't have any clean ones.
Son: Can I wear shorts?
Me: No, it was snowing yesterday, put on some long pants!
Son: But I don't have any clean blue jeans.
Me: What do you have?
Son: Corduroys and dress slacks.
Me: You need to have tights under your leotard before we can leave for ballet.
Daughter: I don't have any clean tights.
Me: Well then put some sweat pants or leggings over your leotard.
Daughter: They're all dirty.
Yes, it was past time. I could avoid it no longer.
This is the before picture and does not include the sheets off of the kids beds which I know need to be washed.
This is after an hour plus of sorting.
As if you care, I ended up with
- 1 X-large load of whites
- 1 X-large load of colors
- 1 X-large load of darks
- 1 X-large load of reds/pinks
- 1 large load of lights
- 1 X-large load of blue jeans
- 1 X-large load of tan pants
- 1 X-large load of red towels
- 2 X-large load of colored towels (1 not pictured; in washer)
- 1 large load of white towels
- 1 overflowing hamper of miscellaneous delicates, knits, sheets, delicate tablecloths/napkins, a Christmas tree skirt (no, I'm not kidding), and 2 car-seat covers
So to help myself from getting discouraged and overwhelmed, I purposed to have a sense of humor and an attitude of gratitude.
I am thankful for
- a door to the laundry room that closes
- an overabundance of clothing
- extra underwear
- a super-sized washer and dryer
- laundry detergent
- that I don't have to hand wash my clothes by the side of the river
- indoor plumbing
- hot water
- fabulous laundry hampers to sort the laundry (a Christmas present from dh)
- healthy kids who do such a great job getting all these clothes dirty
- that my 5 year old is finally keeping her bed dry at night! WooHoo!!!
- that nobody has had the flu and created even more laundry
- a mother who taught me how to do laundry
- that my neck doesn't hurt anymore
- physical ability to do the laundry
- a husband who doesn't complain and takes his work clothes to the dry cleaners so that I don't have to iron them (or stress about whether they're clean)
- computer friends who will leave wonderfully encouraging messages on this lame laundry post! ;)
And of course I had to philosophize about dirty laundry and the spiritual implications. I can't just do the laundry; I have to think about it too. I'd share those thoughts with you too, but that would be too deep, and my husband is already waiting for me to get off the computer and come snuggle up with him. So just think about it. Got any dirty laundry in your life that you've been avoiding? Better get to it before it begins to stink!
Thanks for humoring me! ;)
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
whistles far and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
when the world is puddle-wonderful
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
Kate L. Brown
Pussy Willow wakened
From her winter nap,
For the frolic spring breeze
On her door would tap.
“It is chilly weather
Though the sun feels good.
I will wrap up warmly,
Wear my furry hood.”
Mistress Pussy Willow
Opened wide her door.
Never had the sunshine
Seemed so bright before.
Never had the brooklet
Seemed so full of cheer:
“Good morning, Pussy Willow,
Welcome to you, dear!!”
Never guest was quainter:
Pussy came to town
In a hood of silver gray,
And a coat of brown.
Happy little children
Cried with laugh and shout,
“Spring is coming, coming,
It was a tremendous success! There were 19 children who participated from ages 3 to 12. I began the recital with a couple of public speaking tips, and then the children took turns sharing their poems and nursery rhymes. Of course, the only child who was too shy to present her poem was my own 4dd5. I was able to
Louisa May Alcott
Welcome, welcome, little stranger,
Fear no harm, and fear no danger;
We are glad to see you here,
For you sing "Sweet Spring is near."
Now the white snow melts away;
Now the flowers blossom gay:
Come dear bird and build your nest,
For we love our robin best.
Everybody had a wonderful time and are all excited to do it again next month! I'm so glad that there are other families who are willing to do this with us. As I put together the program, I looked back over the programs from previous recitals and remembered fondly all the dear children and families we loved so much in Virginia. I've missed that group of homeschoolers often since we moved here; but I'm finally beginning to feel connected to the families here. God is good!
Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song on the roof at night---
And I love the rain.
Monday, March 24, 2008
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." Romans 8:1-3
Today I am:
- Pondering what "God did." (Rom. 1:1-2)
- Rejoicing in Jesus and His victory over sin, death, and the grave. (Rom. 8:3-4)
- Thankful that I am not bound by the Law and don't have to strive to keep it in my flesh. (Rom. 8:4-5)
- Walking according to the Spirit. (Rom. 8:4)
- Setting my mind upon the things of the Spirit. (Rom. 8:5-8)
- Appreciative of the Holy Spirit of God who dwells in me so that I can walk in the Spirit.(Rom. 8:9)
- Victorious because God is giving life to this mortal body through His Spirit (Rom. 8:11)
- Grateful that I am a child of God, and His heir. (Rom. 8:14-17)
- Willing to suffer with Him. (Rom. 8:17-18)
- Groaning; waiting eagerly for my adoption, the redemption of my body. (Rom. 8:23)
- Hoping for what I do not see; waiting eagerly for it with perseverence. (Rom. 8: 24-25)
- Weak, not knowing how to pray, but confident that the Spirit Himself interceds for me according to the will of God. (Rom. 8: 26-27)
- Knowing that God causes all things to work together for my good because I love Him and am called according to His purpose. (Rom. 8:28)
- Being conformed by God to the image of His Son having been predestined, called, justified, and eagerly awaiting the time when I will be glorified. (Rom. 8:29-30)
- Confident that God is for me, that none can bring a charge against me, and that nothing can separate me from the love of Christ! (Rom. 8:31-36)
- Living as more than a conqueror through Him who loves me. (Rom. 8:37)
Friday, March 21, 2008
On Being Brought from Africa to America
'Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Our study of American History using Truthquest History has brought to our attention the story of an amazing woman of great character who endured trials which we can scarce imagine and triumphed over them.
Phyllis Wheatley was kidnapped from Western Africa when she was a girl the age of 7 or 8. As I read her story to my own children, my mother's heart ached as I considered losing my own 5, 7 & 8 year old daughters in such a tragic and evil way! Despite this horrible event, the hand of Providence was upon this young African girl and she was purchased by a Bostonian family who took compassion upon her and named her Phyllis. Phyllis proved to be a bright child, and the Wheatley family began to tutor her in reading, writing, and eventually Latin, Greek, mathematics, and most importantly, religion; unheard of in that day!
As Phyllis grew, she was greatly influenced by evangelist George Whitefield, and there is great evidence in her own writing that she accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior. Fulfilling the promise that, "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose," (Romans 8:28), God gifted Phyllis with the remarkable talent of poetry and she soon became famous as the first black American poetess.
Living in the colonies at the onset of the American Revolution, Phyllis Wheatley served as an eyewitness through her poetry. As we read of the letter and poem that she wrote to George Washington, and her audience before John Adams and other colonial leaders, I could not help but stand in awe of how God used this slave woman to break down the stereotypes that existed in her day and to impress upon the hearts of these men the truth that God has created people of all different colors who are able to learn and contribute to society, and to glorify Him. How her accomplishments impressed them, and how greatly she influenced our founding fathers, we may never know, but as I read the words which were written at the same time that she was so beautifully articulating her own words about freedom, I can't help but think that God might have used her to shine His truth into the hearts of the men who would write:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." (Declaration of Independence, 1776)
It is truly HIS story, and Phyllis Wheatley is just one of many who would be used by our Sovereign Lord to accomplish His purpose. She was truly a vessel of God's Truth! If you are not acquainted with this gifted young woman, I highly recommend that you share her story with your children, and enjoy this fabulous living book together: A Voice of Her Own: The Story of Phyllis Wheatley, Slave Poet by Katherine Lasky, illustrated by Paul Lee. You can also download a free e-book including 66 of her poems here.
It is good for us to honestly examine the ugly events in our history as well as the good, and to rejoice when we see God bring beauty from ashes! It is even better to learn from our history and remember the lesson that Phyllis Wheatley has taught us than in Jesus we are neither black or white, slave nor free, male nor female. May our own lives be a reflection of this Truth!
Grace and Peace,
Rosetta Stone has been the #1 foreign language curriculum among homeschoolers for a while -- next week they are unleashing a brand new curriculum, and you can WIN the *all new* Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3… FOR FREE!
This is a $219 program (and believe me it's worth every penny!) and the winner gets to pick from any of these 14 languages: Spanish (Spain or Latin America), English (American or British), Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Irish, Hebrew, or Russian.
This will also include a headset with microphone, and students will participate in lifelike conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program. Rosetta Stone still incorporates listening, reading and writing as well, in addition to speaking. Many homeschoolers requested grammar and vocabulary exercises, and with Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3, they're included! For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program and allow parents to easily enroll students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, and view and print reports.
To win this most excellent program -- in the language of your choice -- copy these (blue) paragraphs and post it in (or as) your next blog post -- then to enter the contest, go to the original contest page HERE: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/JenIG/501132/ and leave a comment with the link showing where you blogged about it. And please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post it. And good luck! The winner will be picked randomly on March 26, and will be notified thru the link they left to their blog pg. And if you have more than one blog, you can post them and enter those separately for more chances to win. Yay for free stuff!
Visit Betsy at The Homeschool Way for a chance to win the first three books in the Lucky Foot Stable series by JoAnn S. Dawson. Click HERE to enter.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
As those students have moved on to other places of the country, they've been fortunate to find that The Lube has followed them so that there are now 20 locations in 7 states, all with the same theme of muscle cars and motorcycles suspended from the ceiling. It's a good thing, because once you've tasted Quaker Steak's wings, none other will satisfy!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Once upon a time, filing my taxes was the most fun thing I did all year. I'm not kidding! I always enjoyed and excelled in accounting, and at what other point in the year do I get paid (in the form of a rebate) to crunch a few numbers. In 2003, just weeks after my daughter was born, I was excitedly preparing my taxes. People thought I was crazy. Perhaps it was just my own way of dealing with postpartum moodiness. ;)
Over the past couple of years, I've lost my enthusiasm for tax preparation. Life is full enough without having to gather the proper forms and set aside the time to do the paperwork. Last year was especially drudgerous with our move, owning two homes, two state income tax returns to prepare, moving expenses to calculate... I came closer to the deadline than I ever had before, but with the help of TaxAct Online, I managed to file just days before the deadline...or so I thought.
Yesterday, my dad brought over 5 letters from the IRS delivered to his house (where we lived the summer of 2006). I was indignant and exasperated as I read that they had contacted my husband's employer and had changed his filing status to single with 0 withholdings. What the heck?!? How could they do that? And why? And why hadn't our address been updated since we moved in August 2006? I figured there must be some mistake, and that we would get it resolved, but was frustrated at the thought of what it might take to do so. The last thing either of us wanted to do was to sit on hold with the IRS!
As it turns out, they claim that they never received our tax return from last year which seemed strange since we got our refund...or did we?
Since my husband came home with the news, the wheels in my head have been turning as I try to figure it all out. As I think about it, I have no remembrance of receiving the tax refund. I remember spending money (at the homeschool convention) in expectation that the refund would arrive before the credit card bill did, but I don't actually remember getting the refund. Suddenly inconsistencies like why I wasn't able to find a record of our tithe off of our refund, why the Commonwealth of Virginia had sent us notice that they could not process our state taxes because they had not received our federal 1040 (we printed a copy to send to them to resolve it), and why we'd gotten in the hole with our credit card after not carrying over a balance for years started to make sense, and I wondered how I could have not filed. The mystery plagued me until I was able to come home and check out the computer program where I read,
Would you believe I never pushed the "send" button?
So I feel like an idiot, and am ready to resign from my job as tax preparer. The one bright spot is that we should now get two refunds instead of one, provided I remember to actually submit this year's tax forms. Oi vey!
Monday, March 17, 2008
When I first saw this commercial, I loved it; especially the "we got new sweaters part." But the commercial took on new significance when it happened to me.
Well, not quite. I didn't get the opportunity to actually visit Ireland, but after years of believing I was Irish, I recently discovered that I'm actually...Scottish, or at best, "Scotch-Irish" (perhaps that explains my temper).
When I first saw this commercial, I loved it; especially the "we got new sweaters part." But the commercial took on new significance when it happened to me.
Well, not quite. I didn't get the opportunity to actually visit Ireland, but after years of believing I was Irish, I recently discovered that I'm actually...Scottish, or at best, "Scotch-Irish" (perhaps that explains my temper).
This being the first St. Patrick's Day to come since the new revelation, I find myself unsure of what to do. I thought about it, and in the end, I'm doing what I've always done. I'm decked out in green (despite the fact that I'm not Catholic), the Corned Beef is simmering on the stove awaiting cabbage, carrots, and potatoes, and I'm looking forward to watching one of my favorite Irish movies this evening with family.
Maybe instead of The Quiet Man, we'll opt for Three Cheers for the Irish where the Irish police officer's daughter secretly marries a Scotsman. Maybe there was a reason it's always been a favorite.
It may be true that I'm really Scottish, but today, I'll just pretend that I'm Irish.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
But now I have all kinds of bloggy goodness in my head that is just waiting to be spilled out, and a week ahead of me that leaves little time for blogging. Hm...we'll have to see about that.
I've just uploaded 86 pictures from our weekend, but as my headache increases and my eyes become more irritated the longer I stare at this screen, I'll just give you a taste (bu dum bump) of our weekend with this one. Anyone want to venture a guess as to where it was taken?
(oh and don't judge the lumberjack by this photo, this is "I did nothing with it and have been riding in the car all day" hair)
I hope your weekend was a fabulous as ours!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
To be able to send the kids and the puppy outside to run and play without having to bundle them up in mittens and scarves and boots first.
To open the windows and enjoy the fresh air.
It's been exciting to glimpse the first shoots of tulips and irises pushing their way through the soil and to welcome the robin redbreast once again.
This winter seemed so long and so cold, but spring-like days have come, and spring is rapidly approaching.
There hasn't been time to pull out the camera and capture some springtime pictures, but I just couldn't bear to look at my adorable kids in their snowsuits for one more day! So I pulled out this favorite from our trip to the Biltmore Estate last June. It's amazing how much the kids have grown, and I hope to have a more recent picture soon. Maybe I'll have a chance to take a few this weekend, but until then, I'll enjoy this glimpse back at last summer as I look forward to this spring. I hope you like it too!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Today's experience though, was just a little bit too much like a Twilight Zone episode for my city-girl tastes.
My husband finally called in sick to work today. It's a miracle that he took a sick day, but he needed it, and being the supportive wife that I am, as soon as I realized he was going to be home, I picked up the phone and called the hair salon to see if they had an opening. I know you would have done the same if you were me. ;)
I wasn't so sure I wanted "Rob" touching my hair unless Rob was short for Roberta, but this was my only opportunity, and "they" say men really make the best hairdressers. So I took it, all the while picturing someone from the cast of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy cutting my hair. I could not have been more wrong!
Rob greeted me warmly. His salt n' pepper hair was pulled back neatly into a pony-tail that extended to the middle of his back. He was very friendly. He listened well and critiqued my previous hair dresser's work. He promised he'd help me out.
As Rob washed my hair, the faint smell of woodsmoke lingered in the air. He chatted for a while, talked about his divorce long ago and subsequent girlfriends. I was pretty quiet. He continued to critique the horrible job my last hairdresser had done and listened to my laments about how she'd cut it crooked and how I'd attempted to even it out myself. He was very sympathetic!
The entire time he was cutting my hair, I could almost hear the sound of spurs hitting the wooden floor. He strutted around me slowly, deliberately pausing between cuts, pulling scissors from the holsters of his jeans, spinning the comb as he would a shotgun. When he pulled out the hairdryer, I actually thought it was a gun he aimed it with such precision.
All the while he chatted off and on. I learned that he's been a hairdresser for 27 years, and loves it. He loves hair. And then he went on to tell me that he also works with his father in the family business. As it turns out, he's a lumberjack. Not the kind of lumberjack who clear cuts unneccesarily, mind you. No, the type who clears out where dense growth is preventing healthy growth. They're very environmentally conscious!
He finished styling my hair and pulled out the mirror with a flourish, as if he were The Rifleman and it was his prize pistol, so that I could admire his work. And the whole time I sat there thinking about how I couldn't wait to get home and blog about him and whether I'd be able to adequately depict this experience through the letters on my keyboard.
My hairdresser is a lumberjack who has watched a few too many westerns in his day. ROFLOL! Not at all what this city girl expected!
Oh, and since I know you'll all be lamenting the lack of pictures, I just have to say, no matter how great a job he might have done on my hair (the verdict is out for a couple of days until I can play with it myself), he was unable to do anything with my face. I just couldn't allow anyone to take a picture of me at the moment, lest I lose my reputation for having great skin. I'm sure you'll understand! ;)
Saturday, March 8, 2008
I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a party! I've got a bad case of spring fever, and I'd rather be changing my banner picture from its snow theme to tulips and lily of the valley (my favorite) than getting kids ready to go sledding! One of my daughters left her boots outside, where they got frozen, and they've been thumping around in the dryer for a long time! While the soles are melting, the insides remain dry; Calgon take me away!
But that's enough of my pity party, I'm ready for The Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5minutesforMom. Have you ever read the book 5 Minutes Peace? It's about an elephant mama whose attempts to have a quiet moment or two to herself are thwarted at every turn by her adorable elephant children. With 4 kids of my own who stay home with me every day, I can certainly relate! I love my kids immensely, but every mama needs a moment to herself every now and then!
In a phase where transforming Rubbermaid containers of photos (not to mention the hundreds of photos that are stored on my hard-drive) into gorgeous scrapbook pages seems like more of a chore than a hobby, and where I can't find that box of cross-stich stuff from our move over a year and a half ago (not that I stand a chance at completing a project, I just like to start them!), blogging has become my attempt at 5 minutes peace.
Through blogging I regain my sanity five minutes (give or take) at a time, while I hop on the computer "real quick" in between Spelling Tests, Math Lessons, Diagramming Sentences, Bible study, Read-alouds, Phonics Primers, and overflowing toilets and laundry hampers (take your pick) to connect with kindred spirits all around the world. I'm sure you can relate!
So, welcome to my party! I've recently moved here from HSB where I hosted my party last year. I hope you are able to enjoy a few minutes peace while you're here. You'll find that my posts range from the deep and serious things of eternal value, to the frivilous things like American Idol. (We all have our weaknesses!) :) Feel free to linger awhile, or come back again soon! You're always welcome!
And since no party is complete without snacks, I invite you to check out this recipe for awesome Artichoke & Spinach Dip Restaurant Style (sorry it's not organic...I'm still a work in progress, but spinach & artichokes are good for you, right?). How about if I serve it with some homemade, freshly milled, whole wheat bread? :)
Oh, and every party needs prizes, right? The gals at 5MinutesforMom have lined up some terrific prizes. My favorites are....
- #67 A blog makeover by Shauna
- #45 Custom blog design by Summer (do you see a theme here)
- # 63 A $50 gift certificate to Emily Rose (I felt guilted into putting this one in my top three since I haven't managed to sew any clothes for my daughter's American Girl doll myself)
If my top three picks are already chosen, I'd love any of the following (in order of preference): 48, 54, 59, 60, 55, 33, 46, 114, 93, 79, 77, 20, 21, 70, 73, 49, 35, 24 or anything else related to pampering mom or older kids since I'm all done with the baby phase, and have four kids ages 5 to 10 1/2. Thanks!
Now that that bit of business is over, just to thank YOU for visiting and leaving a comment, I'm having a giveaway of my own. I'll be giving away 2 copies of one of my favorite books ever, A Mother's Heart by Jean Fleming. I first read this book as a young mom (not that I'm not still young mind you!), and have revisited it several times since. If you're really looking for Peace, you'll only find it at the feet of Jesus. This book will encourage you to seek Him first so that you can point your children to Him and allow His perfect peace to reign in your heart and home.
To enter my give-away, simply leave a comment sharing your favorite "Calgon take me away" activity.
Beyond blogging, I like to escape into nature, especially trees and waterfalls, and sit, and think, and listen, and pray, and...be.
Grace and Peace,
Before we know it, these girls might all be bloggy buddies too! :)
Friday, March 7, 2008
HSLDA's strategy at this point is to petition the California Supreme Court to depublish the opinion. I'll admit, I've never heard of depublishing an opinion before, but I can understand the logic behind it, because we wouldn't want this bad interpretation to be quoted in future decisions. Even if authorities in California don't enforce this decision right away, the precedent is set, it becomes part of the law, and it can be used again.
This is the petition that HSLDA has drafted. Whether you are a homeschooler or not, I encourage you to review it, pray, and sign it. James Dobson of Focus on the Family has also aired a broadcast on this issue.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
- It's important that the bowl is properly inserted into the mill, so that the flour doesn't go flying everywhere!
- Once you've grinded the flour, you should try to prevent your 5 year old from knocking it onto the floor that hasn't been scrubbed in weeks forcing you to throw away half half of it.
- It's helpful if you actually remember to add the olive oil to the dough once you've measured it out, but in case you don't, you should be grateful to discover your littlest dd playing with it since it'll remind you to add it, even after everything else has been kneaded together, rather that getting mad and scolding her for playing with the olive oil.
Despite all of our foibles, our bread still turned out quite well! I used this recipe from BChsMamaof3. I didn't have any soft white wheat berries because the co-op didn't ship them, so I used hard white instead. Also, I'm out of raw honey, so I had to use regular. I don't have a mixer with a dough hook, and I wasn't sure about the capacity of my bread machine; so I halved the recipe and used the dough cycle to mix everything (I didn't have the time/energy for hand kneading). I still got 2 loaves, but they're obviously smaller than hers. I realized I need to get some new pans; I only have 1 glass (resulted in a darker loaf) and one larger aluminum that is a hand-me-down from myChris' grandma who is now in heaven. It's probably at least 25 years old, if not older. Yep! I'd say it's time for some new ones.
Anyway, I'm excited by our first success, and look forward to future bread making endeavors. It really wasn't that difficult, and the house smelled wonderful! :)
For those of you who are searching for pro-ana resources, believe me when I say that YOU are CREATED in the image of GOD. He loves you. He has a plan and a purpose for your life that is so much greater than becoming thin. His desire is to make you beautiful from the inside out, and it's possible, because His Son died and rose again to make it so. Anything that differs from what I have said is a lie from the pit of HELL!!! I am praying for you even now!
This is one of those comments that grew into a post of its own. It started at The Learning Never Stops where Emily wrote this:
On a serious note...I would like anyone with experience in anorexia to email me or leave me a comment. It's not me, and I'll explain later, but I just wanted to know if you've personally dealt with it so I can pick your brains. (figuratively of course) Not bulimia, just anorexia. Thanks.
A) what were the symptoms.
B) what helped.
C) how old were you/she when it started?
Here is my response.
- skipping meals,
- moving food around on the plate without actually eating it,
- excessive exercise,
- obsessing about calories (especially fat calories),
- always saying you're not hungry (you're trying to convince yourself as much as others),
- lying/deceit/exagerating (about what I'd eaten or when)
- wearing baggy clothes
- complaining about being fat no matter how much weight you've lost
- unable to eat (at all) in front of others
B) What helped?
- Accoutability (friends that made me eat and got on my case when I didn't, friends who checked up on me and made sure I'd eaten)
- Knowledge (e.g. not all fat is bad for you, avocados have a lot of fat, but they're so good for you,...), although right now my knowledge that I should eat to lose weight still hasn't resulted in my actually eating...
- Freedom (having a legitimate need to eat because I was pregnant)
- Lots of Prayer and Bible Study (Ps 139- I am fearfully and wonderfully made, NT- my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit)
- Love: truly accepting that God loves me, my husband loves me, my friends love me, my family loves me. And that their love is not conditional based on my weight or dress size.
- Getting to the Root of the Issue: For many, it is an issue of control: they can't control anything else in their life, so they'll control this. For others, it's low self-esteem combined with the pressure to be perfect and stay perfect, never having been loved by someone who loved them for who they are and not what they look like. Sometimes it's peer pressure i.e. bad company corrupting good morals. In my case it was a combination of some of those things along with bad habits that become harder to break the longer they continued.
C) How old were you when it started?
I was a border-line anorexic in High School and College (and maybe I still am today). I never got to the serious point where I couldn't eat food at all (psychologically unable to even put it in my mouth, or unable to eat in front of others), and I withered away to skin and bones; but I did start starving myself and no matter how skinny I became, I still felt fat.
It started my freshman year of High School by skipping breakfast. Sophomore year I lost my "free lunch" card and was too embarrassed to go to the table (my rich friends didn't know I qualified for "free lunch") to get a new card, so I started skipping lunch too. Sometimes I wouldn't get home until after 8pm (sports, musicals, etc.), and that would be the first time I ate at all during the day. I never snacked. (My mom had no idea, she thought I was eating at school.)
In college, during my freshman/sophomore years I ate more than I'd ever eaten (3 meals a day/snacks) and gained 15lbs. When I saw pictures of myself, I began to feel fat for the first time in my life and started trying to lose weight. I started counting calories and trying to keep my fat calories lower than 1/3 of my diet. I remember being so excited about rice krispy treats because they had so little fat in them! I began to regularly eat cereal or just salad for dinner.
My junior year I started rooming with a girl who was bulimic. She was not a good influence in this area! She and I became obsessive about exercise and dieting. I started skipping meals again, or eating practically nothing for meals (raisins/sesame seeds). I worked out 5 days a week my senior year (often skipping dinner to go to aerobics class). I got such a rush from losing weight and fitting into smaller clothes, but no matter how much weight I lost, I still felt fat. It was at this time that I got a totally unhealthy goal weight/size in mind (110 lb at 5ft71/2in tall). I had friends who wore a size 1, 2, or even 0, so I felt fat in a 6/8. I wanted to be a size 2! My competitive nature mixed with my unrealistic standards could easily have become a death sentence.
After I graduated, I worked two jobs (full time desk job & waitressing evenings). I fell back into my habit of skipping breakfast again: I ate lunch, but often skipped dinner (no time to eat before starting my waitressing shift). By the time I got home I was too tired to eat (and disgusted with food from serving all night). My mom started buying me bing cherries and kiwi, so I'd eat something. Otherwise I'd just go to bed hungry. (The more often you do it, the easier it becomes. I still do it today.)
Getting married, I struggled to get back on track with eating, but it helped that myChris came home for lunch everyday. He held me accountable. I did not buy a scale! A month later, I got pregnant, and suddenly it was acceptable to eat because it was about nourishing the baby. I read the book What to Eat When You're Expecting, and learned a lot about foods that are good for you. That helped me to overcome the ideas that had begun forming in my head that food was bad and that I needed to eat less and less of it. I gained 50lbs. It fell off pretty easily after I delivered my son. Breastfeeding forced me to eat, because I was starving all the time. It also helped with weight loss. Then I was pregnant again.
For 8 1/2 years, I was either pregnant, nursing, or both. I had a great excuse to eat, so the anorexia wasn't a major factor in my life (although I still skipped breakfast regularly: old habits die hard). During this time, I was very involved in Women's Bible Study which was a source of tremendous healing!
Today, I'm struggling with the weight gain from four pregnancies and too much ice cream. I still have 110lbs stuck in my head, and at 160lbs, I'm not even close. I think my face is fat. It kills me when my size 10 jeans are tight (and yet I know that there are other who think I'm skinny). I think about dieting, but I'm afraid that my obsessive/compulsive/calorie-counting monster will attack again if I do. I still don't own a scale, and I can't imagine trying to do something like Weight Watchers where I would be so obsessed with losing weight one pound at a time. I'm too lazy to exercise.
I still skip meals (I often don't eat anything until after 2pm). I never snack. In the morning (and even at lunch) it's hard to overcome my disgust with eating. I love dinner and dessert though, and if there's dessert for breakfast, I'll eat it! I have nothing to gain anymore from skipping meals; my metabolism has pretty much shut down, and I can't lose any weight (despite the fact that I eat half the calories that I should). It would actually be to my benefit to eat more (both for energy and to increase my metabolism so that I can lose weight), but I struggle to overcome my aversion to eating breakfast and lunch, and since I've done it for so long, I don't feel hungry. I often get dehydrated too because I don't remember to drink water.
I've come a long way from my days of starving myself, but I can see evidence that I have not completely broken free from the anorexia. I am grateful that I've never actually become sick from it, which is why I call it border-line anorexia. It has always been a lingering problem, but never a life consuming one. Even in my worst days, I was still able to eat, and actually enjoyed it.
I continue to strive to make better choices with my eating. We've been eating more whole foods, and whole grains. The biggest thing to do now is to stop skipping breakfast and lunch, and to start exercising. But don't look for me at WeightWatchers anytime soon.
It saddens me when I meet white-haired women who still complain about their weight. I've always thought that by the time I get to be eighty, I don't want to care about what I eat or how much of it. I want to enjoy life without thinking about getting fat. But my 93 year old grandma still complains about how fat she is! Getting old is no promise of gaining freedom in this area! Obsession with weight is something that plagues women young and old.
I know that I am not alone in this struggle! I challenge those of you who have struggled in the past, to be bold in sharing how you were able to overcome and gain victory in this area. If you still struggle today, I would love to pray for you. I encourage you to seek help and accountability, and would highly recommend the Kay Arthur Bible Study Lord, Heal My Hurts.
Grace and Peace,
Monday, March 3, 2008
To start things off, my dear friend Chickadee is hosting a week long Birthday Bash! It's her birthday, but she's the one passing out the presents. All. Week. Long. She's a class act!
Chickadee has been one of my favorite bloggers from my early hsb days. She has captivated me with her beautiful photography and eloquent posts about life in small-town Arkansas. Having grown up as a city girl, I have delighted in the opportunity to get a peak into her seemingly idyllic Norman Rockwell life. Reading her blog is like sipping a cup of tea in a beautiful teacup; so soothing! She has forever won a place in my heart; so much so that I wonder if my comments seem a bit stalkerish at times. :) I'm not a stalker, Chickadee, (I know where you live...) I just think you're fabulous! (I hope you don't forget me when you're more famous than Pioneer Woman!) Thank you for inviting us to celebrate your birthday with you! :)
Click the button and head over right away for a chance to win a copy of Artistic Pursuits.
And lest we fall into despair when Chickadee's Birthday Bash is over, the following week, 5MinutesforMom is hosting The Ultimate Blog Party! I
Click on the button to find out how you can join the fun!
Saturday, March 1, 2008
On Saturday school, tulips, pets, college check ledgers, grammar, and whatever else came to mind on this Saturday evening
- Being a relaxed, unstructured, and flexible homeschooler sometimes means holding classes on Saturday.
- I HEART DVR.
- Chikezie- Nigerian for something well made by God...that's so cool!
- Please NO SPOILERS...I still haven't watched the women or the results show and have avoided finding out who was eliminated; you don't want to mess with me if you pop my bubble.
- Kittens are wonderful but they should not climb on counters, knock over vases of tulips, and completely shred Saturday's science project.
- If your dear husband offers to go out and buy replacement flowers for you to dissect, you should cancel your pity party and let him do it. (What are the chances I'll remember that next time? What are the chances there will be a next time?)
- Say no to baths; showers take much less time! Less time in the shower means earlier bedtime!
- My left hand plays the piano twice as slow as my right hand: always has, always will.
- No matter how inadequate my piano skills are, Anne's Theme moves something deep within my soul.
- My husband works so hard and is so faithful; I shouldn't be so critical of him!
- I have too many idiosyncracies! I need to learn to drink out of plastic cups.
- It's no fun for anyone when Daddy has to work on Sunday! The thought of it is just depressing.
- What is it about sending the kids to bed that rejuvenates the puppy and the kitten?
- You probably don't need to save your check ledger from college. And you probably didn't need to move it from Pennsylvania to Indiana to Maryland to Virgina and then back to Indiana again. It's okay to throw it out!
- It's used to not use to. I'm itching to write a grammar post, but I'm afraid I would offend too many people or give them a complex. And I'm sure I irritate all kinds of people with my random comma usage or my consistent habit of beginning sentences with And or But.
- My husband is a real trooper. How many men would sit and listen to me read this aloud and pretend to be amused as much as I?
- Trooper...Trooper Thornton...mmm St. Patrick's Day is coming, too bad I'm not Irish anymore.
- I wonder if I'll get my Valentine's Day cookies made before St. Patrick's Day?
- These random musing have gone on far too long, I've probably bored you all to tears.
Cheerio, (I may not be Irish, but I'm quite confident I'm still English!)
So what random musings are going through your mind?