Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Post Turkey Day Catch Up

-The older I get the less I like in my coffee.  I've never understood those who request it "black" but I'm getting there.  I'm down to one spoon of Splenda no creamer.

-I'm feeling loads better with each day.  So much so, I'm toying with the idea of working out again.  I've been on an "I feel like junk" hiatus.  The medication mixed with the no gluten no dairy diet is finally helping.  My bruising is gone, and my hair is growing back and sticking straight up (think little red troll from the 90's after being shook).  The best part is that my joint pain is remarkably better after a couple months.  Now that the doctors have the ulcers under control I am very hopeful.

-I tried Quinoa for the first time yesterday.  It's a gluten free grain and I made a custard with it (think rice pudding or bread pudding).  Drizzled with a touch of syrup it's pretty tasty!  I'm getting better by the day coming up with options.  I seriously tweaked the recipe make it dairy free too and was concerned it wouldn't come out but it did.  YAY!

-Ever heard of carpet squares?  I know you're probably thinking of doctors offices or business settings.  There's a new product at Home Depot called Simply Seamless and it's a twist carpet square with the padding attached.  When we bought our home we purchased it at a ridiculous price, in part, because the flooring needed replaced.  We chose to have it cleaned professionally twice to buy us some time.  Obviously it's a large financial investment, but it's also a lot of work.  We are going to have to remove the current carpet and then bleach and seal the sub-flooring before installing something new.  Needless to say, it's a tad overwhelming.  So when my mom and I were wandering Home Depot the other day and saw this:
I prefer the color on the left

That's 4 tiles

lay the tile down and it is virtually seamless!
I was intrigued!  The padding is attached.  We could empty one room at a time and treat the sub-flooring and then install the carpet tiles as we can afford it without moving out of our downstairs.  The biggest draw??  As a mother of 5 with 2 dogs, if there is an accident, vomit, or just wear, pull up the tile and replace it with a new one.  No fuss, no grossness hanging out forever, just clean flooring.  It seems like a great idea for a basement where kids and dogs run and play.  There are 172 reviews on the website  and 98% of them raving about the ease of installation and how great it looks and feels.  I even like the idea of checkered tiles in the kids' rooms.  How cute is this:
A pic a customer posted in their review
I love the idea of having an affordable attractive option that we could do as we can afford it vs taking out credit for new wall to wall carpet.  What do you think?

-After having a week off of school, I am having a hard time getting back to the grind.  Monday morning Jared got up with the kids and did school with them giving me another day.  Reason number 982838477586386287346 he's my favorite. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thank The Man

Today the kids and I have been hanging out.

We made cookies and listened to my "holiday" play list on the stereo.  We are preparing to put up the Christmas tree and decor.  I was too tired last night but am eager to get to it today.

While I was tooling about working and singing, I kept thinking how blessed we are.  Our beautiful home that is warm when it cool outside and cool when it's warm outside.  All 5 of these little people who call me mom.  Tanner working diligently making cookies while Elijah does the dishes.  Anneliese and Graham playing with the dogs and Brennan at youth group.  This busy blessed life is all possible because of our hard working Daddy.

Since I was thinking about just how wonderful he is, I decided to text him.

I said, "Thank you for the wonderful life you provide for us.  I love you."

He responded immediately with deep gratitude.  I couldn't help but think I must not tell him often enough.  I want him to know how thankful and grateful we are for the life he provides.  It is my mission to remind him regularly of just how content and thankful we are .

Here's my challenge to you, If Jared was needing to hear that your husband probably is too. 

Thank him.  Thank him for paying for everything, or most everything, or half of everything.  Even if you pay for everything, thank him for being supportive and faithful and a good husband/father.   Regardless, you are not doing it alone and it would be oh so much harder if we were.  If your spouse is anything like mine, he doesn't expect it or demand it.  He is doing what he feels called to, what his responsibilities demand. 

What a blessing you could be to him, and encouragement, to simply say, "I recognize your hard work and understand what life would be without your efforts and I'm so very thankful that you provide for us."

Thank the man!

Thank you Jared.  Thank you for being a man of integrity that works so very hard to provide for your family.  We are safe and protected because of the kind of man you are.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Give Me Jesus

Today marked the 3rd day in 10 that I was doubled over begging to meet Jesus due to severe abdominal pain.  This morning's episode last 2.5 hours and landed me in the Urgent Care begging for relief.

When I went in last Thursday they said the pain is due to gastritis and severe peptic ulcers.  I was told to stop eating dairy.  For those of you keeping track at home, that's no gluten and no dairy.  So I can pretty much eat air, oh and peanut butter :) 

I have an abdominal ultrasound scheduled for 7:45 am on Friday.  So while you are all shopping I'll be having my insides examined.  Then next week I have an upper GI scope as well as an appointment with a specialist.

I'm ready to be done with this.  The pain I've had the last two times is so severe I cry which scares my kids.  This morning I was on the verge of vomiting due to the severity of the pain.

I was given a prescription for a antacid liquid this morning and it seems to take the edge off.  I'm so very thankful for that. 

So, while tomorrow is typically a day of food, I'm facing a day of bland food and rice crispy treats for dessert.  I have decided that this whole experience will finally break my food habit/issue.  I have had a strong relationship with food since I was a teen and now that it's turned on me, it's time to cut away all that baggage.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for a faithful God who can use even the most painful of circumstances for His good.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Polka Dot Polka Dot Run Into Your Gloria Gloria

My little girl has become obsessed with Madagascar.  She has watched all three at least a dozen times each.  We rented the 3rd on Red box and she mourned when we had to return it and still asks us to "go get mine movie back please."

I don't know how much more of "Polka Dot Polka Dot Afro" I can handle.

This last week or two I have had Reign Forever by Hillsong flowing through my brain.  I would say "stuck" but I love it and who doesn't want to wake up singing "Oh, I run into your arms, I run into your arms.  The riches of your love, will always be enough.  Nothing compares to your embrace, Light of the World forever reign!"

Unfortunately, this Madagascar brain washing has removed my beautiful song of worship and replaced it with this

Why you ask?  How is this possible?

2 things

1.  The rotund hippo on all three movies is named Gloria and I have been listening to David Schwimmer say,  "Gloria" hundreds of times a day.

2.  I'm a child of the 80's and these songs are permanently embedded into my memory even if I haven't heard them in 20 years.  I literally sang this to my daughter word for word while dancing and tickling her. 

Lord help me....

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What?! 2 Posts in a Month?? Wha hoo!

-We had our Thanksgiving meal last night at church.  I was really pleased at how many came.  We had pretty much every chair spoken for and tons of food.  All in all a great success!  We are so thankful to you all!  You are a blessing to our family and always seem to show us love and encouragement when we need it the most.  Thank you!

-I am looking to sell my beloved Grand Caravan and replace it with an older, 03-04, (read cheap, yet dependable without ridiculous mileage) Suburban.  Yes, that van.  No worries, it will look like new before we actually list it.  We want to have a vehicle that allows our boys not to have their knees to their ears and still have space for groceries without vehicle debt (or at least very little).  If you know of such a suburban or know someone who'd be interested in our van or someone who wants to trade such a suburban for my van let me know! :) 

-We are taking all of next week off of school. PAR-TAY!!!  I'm very excited and ready for a break.  I always look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas for our wonderful breaks to sleep in and wear pj's all day and do a whole lotta nothing.  YAY!  The only real difference from our normal routine is the "whole lotta nothing" but still, YAY!

-Go to church.  Please.  First of all, its biblical Hebrews 10:25.  Second, it's an encouragement to everyone there and it will be an encouragement to you as well.  You under estimate what simply showing up does for all those involved.  You are loved and missed.  Come on Sunday and you'll see.

-I've been gluten free for about 6 weeks.  It ain't so bad.  Seeing sweet Raygen M. handle it with grace makes me feel pretty foolish for my private temper tantrums.  I have been illness free since I've been eating this way.  That's a pretty big deal and I'm thankful for it!

-Everyone (seemingly) on Facebook has been participating in a month of Thanksgiving name things daily that they are thankful for.  I'm going to sum it up in a bullet point.  Ready...Set...Go...  I am thankful for a gracious God who loves me in spite of myself, I am thankful for a gracious husband and children who do the same.  Without those I would be a very angry, lost, hopeless shell of a woman.  Thank you Lord for your Son, and for my beloved family that has taught me what unconditional love truly is.  God is good.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Random Post is Better Than No Post :)

-While my candidate did not win, I will support and pray for President Obama.  It is important that we remember:

"We are not moving anywhere. This nation, with all of its imperfections, is the greatest, most free nation on the planet. Whatever the outcome, we will pray for our President (Romans 13), honor him with our words and actions (I Peter 2), obey him (Titus 3), and continue to speak God's truth which leads to true freedom (John 8). Willing to join us?"
                              -Micah Gellatt, Facebook status after the election was called.  Couldn't have said it better. We will be known by our love.

New Living Translation (NLT) John 13:35
35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

-This whole Gluten Free thing is a frustrating beast.  I have learned to wash my hands constantly.  Cooking for a gluten eating family has been cross contaminating pretty much every thing I'm eating.  I've also learned not to eat anything I haven't prepared myself.  I ordered a GF pizza at the Sprint Center and while it tasted amazing, I suffered for it later.  They tried, but it was cross contaminated some how.  My vitamins have gluten in them and I didn't realize it until about a week ago.  IT'S EVERYWHERE!  The learning curve is high but I'm getting it.

My Favorite lunch:
4 corn tortillas (220 cals)
1/3 cup shredded cheese (110 cals)
3 oz of Aldi canned chx (120 cals)
Salsa and a touch of sour cream (60 cals)

I put two tortillas in a metal pan, add the chicken and cheese and then top with the remaining tortillas.  Bake at 415 for about 10 minutes and then flip and cook another 5.  Gluten free and super yummy and not high calorie.  I'm finding it's hard to find gluten free that isn't high in calories.  I'm working on making the two meld better.

-I want to skip the Holidays if that's OK with you.  I'm super thankful and I love Jesus, but I really want to sleep through the eating part.  Food has too close a tie to my emotions and this season is going to be really frustrating.  I can't help but think that this whole thing is a way God plans to break that tie once a for all.  Honestly, if that is the result of all this, there are worse things.  God is good.

-I ran into a stationary metal post with my van.  Yup, I got skilzzzz.  In my defense, I was backing out of a very steep driveway and couldn't see it.  The fact that I was on the phone with Jared means absolutely nothing.  Isn't it pretty???  I'm in the process of getting bids.  Normally I would just say, whatever...it's just a car.  But this scratch is to the meal and it will rust, so I went ahead and turned it in.  Hopefully we won't be without it too long.  Thankfully we have two vans (I'm pretty sure I just heard Jared cringe from the church.  Poor guy doesn't love driving a van).

Monday, November 5, 2012

Santa is ALIVE

I have been a terrible blogger.  Please accept my apologies and adorable story about our girl.

Jared and I never planned to encourage our children to believe in Santa.  It wasn't an issue with the first four.  In fact, until Brennan was 4 he referred to the rotund, rosy cheeked, cookie thief as "The Christmas Man."

My mom, of course, was sure this was illegal.  She really struggled with the fact that we didn't encourage them to believe.  By the time we had boy number 3 I think she gave up. 

We have always told the kids that Santa is a tradition and a lot of small children believe him to be real and it is not our responsibility to prove otherwise.  To my knowledge, they have not crushed the hopes and dreams of any sweet believing peers.

Until last week...

Anneliese, frustrated and indignant, came to me and proclaimed, "SANTA IS ALIVE!"

Umm what??

After some questioning I discovered that the boys told her "Santa isn't real."  She informed them that he in fact is real, he is alive and doing well.  After all, she has seen him. 

Yesterday Jared started asking her questions about Santa.  She told him "hims has deers, and Hims leaves pesents for kids unner da tree" (sic)

We asked her if he left presents for good kids.  She nodded.  We asked if he left presents for bad kids and she said, "no they naughty."

Just for fun we asked about our boys specifically.  According to Anneliese Graham and Brennan are the only ones getting presents this year. 

She had us cracking up!  Too funny.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

This Post is Gluten Free

Hellloooo Blogland!

How have you been?

Me?  Well I've been a bit of a sick mess honestly.

That's a big part of my lack of blogging.  My life has had a bit of a turn over in the last couple weeks.  I've dealt with some health issues off and on for a while and after going to an Endocrinologist we think we finally have a diagnosis. 

I was convinced I had a thyroid disorder, hence the Endo appt.  After giving the doctor my list of symptoms she simply said, you sound like you have Celiac sprue, or Celiac disease.

Umm, no I don't. 

I know others with this and I'm not like them. 

Without getting into too much gory detail, I don't have the two tell tale signs of Celiac

I do however deal with, abdominal pain and ulcers in duodenum (small intestine).  The abdominal pain has been so severe in the past that an ER visit was seriously considered since I thought I was dying.  I have hair loss, fatigue, joint pain, bloating and other bowel issues along with bruising all over, depression, headaches and anxiety. Let alone the fact that I catch every cold, flu, sniffle, etc.  I can't seem to stay well for more than a weeks time.

She drew a ton of lab and I went home very confused and little scared honestly.  Doesn't eating Gluten Free mean I will never have a hot cinnamon roll again?  Or my homemade rolls, or stuffing, or cookies, or or or or or.

I came up with a list as long as the Mississippi, all things I will never enjoy again!  I decided to read all I could find on the internet because I was sure she was wrong.  Unfortunately, everything I read only proved I really didn't know that much about it. 

My doc put me on a Gluten free diet and told me that I would start to feel better within a couple weeks.  At first I didn't feel better at all and was sure it was all for nothing. 

Sure enough, within about a 3 weeks time my tummy issues have almost completely resolved.  My joint pain is still there but she said it would take the longest to go.  I'm so thankful for the turnaround and am eager to see if I continue to improve. 

Next I've got to decide whether or not to have the kids tested.  Brennan has some symptoms and seems to have an obvious reaction to a lot of foods.  Plus the fact that he can't seem to gain any weight makes him an obvious candidate.  After getting really sick on some Sam's club pizza today, he actually asked me if he could try Gluten free to see if he would feel better.

I am so thankful for such supportive friends!  Jane, Alisa, and Dana have made this  so much easier and I'm blessed beyond measure to have you all in my life.  Today Gluten free pizza crusts were delivered to my front door from "a friend."  Well thank you friend!  Last night Alisa brought me some GF flour to try and I made delish pumpkin muffins today.  Alisa encouraged me to work on GF cakes so I could offer them for Celiacs wanting a custom cake.

God is good!