Thursday, April 28, 2011

Real Food - Series Introduction

Our family has been in need of a major overhaul in our eating habits for quite some time now. I am convicted that I have been using the excuse of not having the time to plan and prepare healthy meals for my family. I do have three small children (4 and under) but time is never the problem...It is always priorities. When I started to think about it, I asked myself why in the world I wouldn't prioritize feeding my family healthy foods. I realized that I have been in "shut down" mode when it comes to meals for a couple of different reasons.

1. How in the world do I really plan healthy meals. It is very difficult to even tell what healthy is these days.
2. The cooking role in our home has been confused because my husband is a chef and he handles all of the food prep.

Right about now most of you are thinking of how blessed and lucky I am because of number 2. I am very blessed and extremely grateful to have a chef for a husband. But, as a wife, mother, and a maker of my home, I feel convicted that I need to handle the meals at home. For so long, I thought I was blessing my husband by not really asking him to cook but just asking him to put whatever together for us for dinner. After being in the kitchen at work all day, there isn't much creative energy left. So, the "whatever" really is sometimes "whatever" and a lot of times fast food. I have so enjoyed not having to worry about dinner for so long but now is the time I need to start worrying about it. And, the bigger blessing to my husband is for him to not have to worry about dinner (at least not at home)!

I considered several different meal plan subscriptions. They just didn't appeal to me very much. Then, I ran across 100 Days of Real Food. I wondered what all the buzz about real food was...then I found out. Here begins our adventure with real food.

This is an introduction to a real food series I will be posting in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for:
-What I have learned about real food and changes I am preparing to or have made
-Theories I have about my family's eating patterns and how I think they will change
-Shopping at a whole foods store
-First week of trying a 100 Days of Real Food meal plan
-My take on Jamabalaya
and quite possibly more...

I am not a nutritionist. The information I provide in this series is strictly my personal research, experience, and opinion. You are the best judge of what is or isn't healthy for your family.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (176-200)

A little late this week. Better late than never! Here I go, continuing to count my gifts:
176. He is risen, He is risen indeed!
177. Seven wonderful years with the love of my life and the man of my dreams
178. Wonderful opportunity to wine and dine with my favorite person while celebrating #177
179. Learning to cook from scratch (some)
180. A chef for a husband but also supports me in the kitchen
181. Eating healthier (Braedon actually ate all the colors of the rainbow today)
182. The gentle guidance God gives me to get my priorities back in line
183. A few successful (full) night's of sleep by my 8.5 month old
184. The ease of research with so much information available
185. The wonderful people who babysit our children
186. Free TV waves and the antennas that pick them up
187. A husband who looks for ways to cut costs (even involving the TV)
188. Serving my family
189. Exercise
190. Water
191. Goodwill and consignment sales
192. Shopping with my hubby to learn what styles he likes to see me in
193. Hubby's patience (in #192)
194. Naps with Braedon
195. God fulfills every need
196. A new sense of the God-given authority I have over my children
197. Implementing #196 with grace
198. Braedon bringing me an empty liter water bottle and a nerf ball asking to play baseball...innovative 4 year old!
199. The plastic bat and ball we got him because of #198 and that he can actually hit some
200. Kaley's words (ockle=tickle, yeyo=yellow)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Walk for Life

The Walk for Life benefiting Cobb Pregnancy Services (CPS) was this past weekend. After seriously vicious storms on Friday night, Saturday morning was as beautiful of a morning (although wet) as it could be. Praise God! It was a very pretty 3 mile walk with georgous houses, flowers and trees. I was also blessed to be able to walk with a couple of good friends and have some good conversation.

I am very grateful for the prayers and monetary support for CPS as a result of my participating in the walk. I am honored and humbled to support a ministry that is so passionate about defending precious lives. If you are still interested in supporting this ministry there are a list of ways you can do so on their website under the "take action" tab.

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19

Monday, April 18, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (151-175)

151. The fact that I have been able to post this consistently for 7 weeks now
152. Simple life that moves slower instead of faster
152. Music that reminds me to cherish precious time
153. Our God is greater...
154. Wonderful Palm Sunday worship service at church
155. Sweet reminder that Jesus died to set me free and can overcome ANYthing I am struggling with
156. 3 mile walk with great friends to support CPS
157. Resurrection Eggs
158. Watching a friend's sweet child dancing and not being able to sit still during adult worship
159. Braedon actually danced during kid worship (still encouraging him to sing and dance)
160. Kaley wearing pink sparkly shoes with a blue dress and that they were cute enough to not worry about the colors matching
161. Weather mild enough not to run the heat or air conditioning
162. Everyone's safety during yet another severe storm (which we were out in) this past weekend
163. My bosses generosity
164. Prayer and monetary support for crisis pregnancy centers
165. The second night ever that Garrett has slept all the way through (and he is 8/12 months)
166. Sharing homemade granola bars on a few occassions and they are a big hit...recipe from kitchenstewardship
167. Braedon becoming more social (breaking out of his shell that he seems to be in everywhere else except home)
168. Kaley counting to, two, seven, eight, nine (too cute)
169. Spiritual growth
170. Ultimate Blog Party at 5minutesformom
171. Meeting new bloggers from above (now if only I had time to keep up with them)
172. Winning a prize from #170 (a custom crochet hat, not sure if I will get one for myself or for Kaley) from CaliCreations
173. People who aren't afraid to be "real", sharing, learning, and growing together
174. Garrett is constantly verbal now raising the volume level once again in our house but I wouldn't want it any other way
175. Local libraries were not closed as originally suggested by the county because of budget cuts

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rainbow Rice Party

My neices were over this weekend and we added more colored rice to the easter sensory bin. All of the kids loved playing with it and they took turns pouring rice on each other. At one point, I completely lost control of the situation and all four of them poured rice over my head. We had the silliest time but hopefully made some fun, playful memories for my children and my neices.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Butterfly Release

We purchased caterpillars this year. It was so fun watching them grow and eventually become butterflies. We kept the butterflies inside for a couple of weeks because it was not warm enough outside to let them go. The butterflies mated and then we ended up with more caterpillars. Well actually, we ended up with just one more caterpillar.

We also made a caterpillar craft and colored a picture of a butterfly.

As soon as it was warm enough we were eager to let the butterflies go but then found out my neices were coming over the next day. So, we held it off for one more day because I knew they would really enjoy it too. I am so glad the timing worked out and we got to share it with them.

The butterflies sort of hopped out of the habitat before they actually flew away. It looks like Braedon was trying to grab one of them.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (126-150)

126. Making memories with my neices
127. Children's screaming parties (as long as they take place in the bedroom with the door closed)
128. The blessing of being able to provide some positivity in an otherwise negative situation
129. Pledges for the Walk for Life that I am participating in
130. That my husband is so great about giving me a little bit of time away
131. An excited hug from a very special young lady at church today who was blessed by a mission trip to Dominican Republic last week
132. Peace from God when I focus on the things He wants me to do instead of the things I want to do
133. Coconut shrimp...yummy!
134. Three girls (6, 4, and 2) surrounding me and reading Big Thoughts for Little People
135. Free crafts on weekends at local stores
136. Dollar theater
137. We survived number 136 with five children 6yo and under
138. My husband and I make such a good team
139. Jesus is the light of the world
140. Watching the kids play at the playground
141. We are blessed to own a vehicle that eight passengers can sit in (we had seven in it this weekend)
142. Making fun and silly memories with friends and family
143. Dinner and catching up with friends we haven't seen in a while
144. My husband and I are meeting our goal of having more alone time
145. We are also meeting our goal of accomplishing tasks that just seem to never get done
146. We can still see in our kitchen despite the light being broken
147. A relaxed schedule and free time during Spring Break
148. Sunny and warm weather
149. Tea party at MOPS last week...too fun!
150. When God so obviously answers prayers and floods me with resources to encourage, inspire, and guide me

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Easter Sensory Bin

Rice and food coloring have become two of our favorite things lately. So, we decided to do different colored rice for our Easter sensory bin. We had a lot of red/pink rice leftover from our Valentine's Day bin so we used that and added a few colors. A flowered key chain, a circular pouch w/zipper, and an egg puzzle from the dollar store are the only toys in it. There also are cups, scoops and an empty baby formula container. As I am out and about I may add something else. But, they are happy to just have a rice party now. This is pretty calm play the first time I gave them the bin.

Stay tuned for the wild rainbow rice party we had when the cousins came over. Here is a sneak peak of Kaley getting the party started:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Garrett - 8 Months

I am a few days late in this post but the picture was only taken one day late. Garrett turned 8 months on April 5 and the picture was taken April 6. We have had an eventful month.

He visited the dermatologist for his eczema and got some more cream and oral anti-itch medicine. The DR called it circular eczema or nummular dermatitis. All of his spots are almost gone now. A few things culminated at about the same time so I don't know what exactly has helped...cream from dermatologist, not nursing any longer, or the weather being warm enough to turn off the heaters. Whatever has happened, his spots are clearing up finally...after 3-4 months of dealing with it.

He has allergies and ended up with a double ear infection and RAD after being all runny when the pollen count rose so quickly a couple of weeks ago. We are still doing breathing treatments once a day and he still has antibiotics for another couple of days.

At the same time he was having allergy issues he refused to nurse and my milk supply decreased rapidly. So, he has been on formula for about three weeks now. He is eating and gaining weight like crazy. He gained about 4lbs in the last month bringing him to 19lbs now. Braedon and Kaley were never chubby. They were always long and thin and didn't have any rolls or anything. Garrett on the other hand, he has rolls on his legs, a double chin, and the deep crease at his wrist where his hand meets his forearm. Yep, Garrett is my little chunky baby! :-) I am pretty sure that as soon as he becomes mobile he will start to trim down some. For now, I am fine with it.

He is also starting to cut his first tooth. It is not really a bump on his gum yet but I can feel it if I push down on the gum. Of course, he is chewing on everything.

So, when he is cranky now, I really don't know if it is his eczema, breathing, teeth, or ears. Thankfully he hasn't been too cranky lately! And really in these pictures he looks like he should never be cranky but he can go from happy and smiling like this to screaming like I am ripping his arm off in a split second.

For comparison purposes here are the links to the previous posts:
7 months
6 months
5 months
4 months
3 months
2 months
1 month

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Though this is my third year blogging, this is my first year participating in the Ultimate Blog Party. I am so excited to be part of it this year and to join the community of moms at 5minutesformoms. My name is Tina and I am so glad that you are here to visit. I can't wait to get to know you better and make friends with other bloggers. I would like to point you to this post about the name of my blog, which I think will help you get to know us a little better. I like to blog about just about everything such as family, things God is teaching me, homeschooling, and many other gifts from God. My blog is an outlet and a way to feel connected. It is an easy way to keep track of our life and share it with out of town family and friends. It is also my hope and prayer that there is some inspiration and learning that takes place for my readers. I am very happy to meet you and have truly been blessed by your visit.

Happy Ultimate Blog Party hopping!

Multitudes on Mondays (101-125)

101. Our butterflies hatched
102. Flowers in our garden to use in feeding the butterflies
103. Sweet comments from sweet friends on my blog
104. Winning another blog giveaway
105. Parent's night out ministry...AWESOME!
106. My instinct to take Garrett to the doctor
107. The kids acted well behaved at a birthday party
108. Our second installment of family time went wonderfully
109. Encourage one another and build each other up
110. Jesus ministry
111. Babies
112. Garrett's RAD was caught early and hadn't gotten too bad
113. Advice from trusted friends
114. Watching the kids play, run, and laugh
115. The power of prayer
116. Sunshine
117. Everyone was safe during a series of severe storms over the past couple of weeks
118. My Accounting skills
119. My husband's cooking skills
120. A great friend being recently engaged
121. Catching up with another great friend
122. A great friend giving Braedon a surprise from Educational Insights
123. Online recipes like this granola bar one I am getting ready to try
124. Bible app on my phone
125. Cool bible devotions on said Bible app