Archive for April, 2010

Updates… :)

I had a SWEEEEEEEET friend tell me tonight that she was looking for updates on my blog from previous post topics! 🙂  I LOVE it that someone was wondering how my new adventures were going! 😉    I have one word for how my new adventures are going…. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRREAT! 😉  (In the words of the famous Tony the Tiger!)   We’ve been venturing into more new and exciting foods with my girls and I’ve been making the purees I mentioned in the last post and HIDING them in things, and the girls haven’t even noticed!  I’d say that is success!! 🙂    Last week I made the mac and cheese recipe from Jessica Seinfeld’s book “Deceptively Delicious” with whole wheat pasta, low-fat cheeses, and (HIDDEN) butternut squash puree… I got rave reviews, even from the neighbor boy who stayed over for dinner and had no idea what he’d just eaten!!!  😀   They gobbled everything up and never blinked an eye!  I of course served it with other veggies too, because the amount of puree added into the entrée can’t be a full vegetable serving or the taste would be too obvious and ruin the “fun”! 🙂   We’ve also tried banana bread (with hidden cauliflower), the girls loved that!  I on the other hand, was not so much a fan… I prefer my old standby recipe full of fatty oils and butter and white flour and sugar… BUT… that recipe will have to remain just that, a standby!  If the kids like the new and improved, I am good!   The pancake recipe with sweet potato went over really well too, they gobbled them up without asking any questions! 🙂   The only one who asks is the hubby, but only because he KNOWS! 😉  He comes to the table asking “so what did ya hide in this meal???” 🙂   Gotta love it! 😉
I can’t say enough good about this puree idea… you just roast or steam the veggie of choice, puree it in a blender or food processor (I used a blender because that is all I have, but I fully intend on getting a food processor, I think that will be MUCH easier!!!) then divide it into 1/2 cup serving sizes (which is most frequently used).  I choose to store the purees in sandwich sized plastic baggies and freeze them, then when thawing time comes, I just put the frozen baggie in a bowl of hot water in the sink and within about 5 minutes, we have ready to use puree! 🙂   Couldn’t be easier!  (Well, unless the magic fairies came and did it for me, but I don’t see that happening, since they NEVER show up to clean my house, I doubt they’ll come do my puree making! 😉 )

Tonight we had a delicious menu that didn’t include purees, but did include two new foods to see our table top!   We had grilled chicken (wonderfully prepared by the hubs grill-master himself), baked sweet potato fries (um, YUM!), pan seared asparagus and watermelon!  The girls had never had sweet potato fries OR asparagus before and really liked them both!  I am just SO proud of my girls for doing so well on this venture of ours!  They are willing, (of course after a couple of weeks of coaxing) to try new things and they usually end up liking them!  HOORAY!!!   Ainsley told me tonight that she wants asparagus in her lunch everyday!  LOL   I am now a true believer in making kids try things, and then try, try again! 🙂  (Maybe not in the same sitting, but in the next couple of days!  It’s working!!!)  Granted, there are things they don’t like, Chloe is not a fan of the sweet potatoes… she did eat one or two of the fries tonight, but that is not her favorite thing, and that is ok!  As long as she tries it, I am fine, and she did eat the other veggie option, so our bases were covered!  I think that is key, making sure there is something they will eat, that way you don’t try fighting  a losing battle! 🙂  I’d rather lose the battle than clean “the battle” up off of the floor because it really just disgusted them too much to keep it down! 😉    And please let me re-iterate here… these are my chicken nugget loving- french fry eating- the more processed and fried food choices the better-children we are talking about here… not children that are used to all the colors of the rainbow appearing on their dinner table plate… it has taken time and effort on everyone’s part, but the road is less bumpy these days, smooth and steady wins the race eh?! 🙂

Another venture we began recently is gathering around ALL together as a complete family and reading our newest book called “the Jesus Storybook Bible” each night before bed.  The kids are really enjoying it and are learning so much from the descriptive stories we read!  It is always so exciting to teach our kids about Jesus, the information they retain is amazing and even helpful to their little lives, even at these young ages!!  They know right from wrong, and occasionally try to follow that! 😉   LOL  We call Paige our “little sponge”!  Boy does that girl soak up the knowledge!  You can watch her face and know just by the look she has that she is “processing” and retaining things!  It’s amazing to see her at work!    And she really remembers!  Mike was quizzing the girls on the stories we’ve read thus far, and she remembers a lot of surprising details!   (Especially about Jacob’s first wife Leah and how she was a princess in God’s eyes!  We NEVER miss a princess story in this house!!!)    This is a great reader for the kids, as well as the parents! 😉  Thank you SO very much to our dear, sweet, and special 😉 friend Lisa for recommending this read to us, we love it!!  AND ours came with audio cd’s that can be listened to in the car, our girls are always anxious to hear them!!   This purchase was definitely WELL worth the money spent and I highly recommend it! 🙂   (Maybe even BEFORE you purchase the “deceptively delicious” book! 😉 )

During our story time, a song came to mind… yes it’s a children’s song, but one I remember well (actually mostly from teen group days, not childhood days!)

        • Happiness is to know the Savior,
          Living a life within His favor,
          Having a change in my behavior,
          Happiness is the Lord.
          Happiness is a new creation,
          Jesus and me in close relation,
          Having a part in His salvation,
          Happiness is the Lord.

          Real joy is mine, no matter if teardrops start;
          I’ve found the secret, it’s Jesus in my heart!

          Happiness is to be forgiven,
          Living a life that’s worth the living,
          Taking a trip that leads to Heaven,
          Happiness is the Lord,
          Happiness is the Lord,
          Happiness is the Lord!

It’s really true, my greatest happiness comes when the Lord is involved! 🙂

I’m just sure there was more I planned to ramble on about tonight, but alas, I cannot think of anything more!  You know this IS Monday after all!   (And yes, I did have to think for a minute to figure out this was ONLY Monday!  YIKES!)  Mike and I were talking the other night about how we vote to add in another Friday night to the week… there is no better time of the week than Friday night if you ask me!  We usually make it our family night, have a fun dinner (maybe even OUT!) then a family movie or activity…  not much better than some good family time! 😀   And then, to top it all off, you get to sleep in the next morning!!!  (Or, if you have early risers that don’t respond well to being knocked back out for a couple of hours with a large mallet,  at least there is usually nowhere to have to be the next morning!)  🙂    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh  BUT, this is Monday, so we won’t dwell on all of that right now!  We’ll just focus on this wonderful week ahead and the promising weather for tomorrow in the lovely Kalamazoo region! 🙂     I hope you all have a super week! Hey, just go ahead and plan for it to be a super week!!!  😀

Thanks for visiting!

Come in-laugh much-visit often


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Boy, I was all excited about this here blog of mine and then look at me, I didn’t write for DAYS! 🙂  Oh well… I was kind of busy.  My dad was in the hospital for 3 1/2 days trying to scare the gravy out of me.   He was diagnosed with pneumonia, but also had a really  high fever (for an older person) which we think caused him to hallucinate and become very agitated!  He was NOT the dad I knew there for a couple of days!  They also had him heavily medicated for the first while which made it hard for him to know up from down.   Praise the Lord, he is doing MUCH better and was able to go home today!  I had so many wonderful friends come to my aid and pray for him and our family!  Without them, it may not have gone quite so well!  So thank you, all of you!  I truly have the greatest friends, and I am increasingly  thankful for you all!!!  ❤

Well, back to the here and now… I wanted to write about “current topics”, things that are going on in my life and things that are going on around me.  One thing that seems to be ALWAYS going around is some sort of diet.  The new thing to do, the newest food to avoid like the plague,  the newest pills to pop, the newest workout (including those great glove accessories that if you wear you are sure to lose an extra 1000 lbs on top of your already guaranteed 2000!) 😉  Everyone and their brother has heard of “yo-yo dieting” we’ve all done it and failed miserably.    Why is that?  Why can’t we find something that works for us?  WithOUT going under a knife is the way I prefer! 🙂   (Although that is an amazing thing for a lot of people, I am not knocking gastric bypass surgery, just hoping I never have to take the route!!!)   Anyway, I think it’s not as hard as I once thought it was… being healthy and (possibly) loosing some weight along the way, that is! 🙂

My main goal in making changes in our house, wasn’t even initially to lose weight” it’s to make sure I am being healthy and most importantly, that my children are healthy!  I am the only chance they have at this point, I am responsible for the first (lotta) years of their lives, and if I fail them, they can look back and blame me… it WILL be my fault as their mother, the one who prepared their meals and told them what they could or could not have.  The one who chooses what foods enter the doors of this house!   I watched an episode of Dr Phil recently on obese children (I RARELY watch this show, but noticed the topic and decided to tune in.)  It really was a wake up call to me!   We as parents have the opportunity to mold our children’s health and quite possibly their entire future right now!   I am teaching my girls what is healthy and what they should or should not eat, I am molding their tastes… there are studies out there that show if you offer a particular food to a small child enough times that he or she will eventually learn to tolerate and possibly even like the food!!!   Trust you me, I KNOW all about finicky eaters!  I have one that will gag at the sight of a disgusting food, we’ve learned that the hard way! 😉  However, our kids are made to take at least one bite and really try it.  I do NOT make my children “finish their plates” I don’t think that is ever a good idea, in my opinion it teaches them to finish the food whether or not they are still hungry, which can lead to over eating and a misunderstanding of what being full really means.  We’ve had a LOT of new things on our plates over the past couple of weeks, veggies galore!!!  I think I’ve served three different kinds of squash over the last week and two of them Paige and Chloe had no part of liking… however when I put the butternut squash on the table tonight and only called it “a yummy new vegetable” they ate it up and loved it!  Sometimes an association is all the problem is… they THINK they don’t like it… they won’t even give it a real try!  We are learning, trial and error it is for us.  We are making progress though, if Paige can choke it down, anyone can!!! 😀  Would you believe there were times I served a meal at our house and didn’t even have a vegetable?  I mean sure maybe a bag of frozen corn, or a can of green beans here or there, but rarely a thought out, cooked from a recipe veggie!!  I was always more focused on my “fancy” meat dish, or my glorious potato concoction! 🙂  I’ve switched my focus, we have a lean meat of some sort, one to two veggies, and a fruit.   Occasionally a whole grain added in there, but we usually cover those earlier in the day with sandwiches or breakfast items.   It’s really not a hard concept, just a missed and often forgotten one.

I learned a rule of sorts from a friend of mine, it’s called “OPH”!  I think it’s a great rule and can really help out in “times of need” 🙂  At home, I am really strict with what I bring into the house… NO junk, all whole grains, lots of veggies, fruits, lower sugar items (ie, natural peanut butter (NEVER thought I could do that!!!) unsweetened applesauce, low-fat natural dairy products etc…) however when we are out or at Other People’s Houses “OPH” we can stray a bit from the “norm” of at home life.  Maybe have that steak or that ice cream we’ve been really wanting!   It’s also helpful, because I don’t want my kids to be rude when we are at someone’s house.  And say “well you can’t eat that, you’ll be dead by tomorrow for sure” 🙂  It’s also kind of a crutch in the process!  I know from experience, if you feel completely deprived of something you are much more apt to cave and fail at your goal!  This allows for some leeway, but with limitations, which are very necessary in this process!   The ultimate satisfaction in this all is that feeling you have at the end of the day, when you are in bed, ready to go to sleep at night and can honestly say to yourself you didn’t over-indulge, you made healthy choices, and you are “doing the body good” 🙂

That brings me to what I believe is the second step in this process… “over indulge?” 🙂   Now that we’ve switched to healthier choices, it’s now onto portion control!  Even though I’ve prepared a healthy meal and placed it before my starving eyes (oh, and stomach!) I need to realize when I am full… seems like that would be a normal part of eating doesn’t it?  Well I think for most people it isn’t!!!  We eat until the food is gone, because that is what we were served or at times just because it is there.  Restaurants these days,  serve WAY too much food for one sitting, (which I usually enjoy because that can mean leftovers!!! :))  We are just accustomed to eating too much in a sitting.   One thing I’ve learned is to eat off or a small plate, or a salad size plate.  We got (GORGEOUS) new dishes for Christmas from my momma and daddy and I RARELY get the large ones out of the cupboard… we use the smaller ones!  Less room to fill up and less “feel the need” to eat! 🙂  I really think it helps!!

I am certainly NO expert in this area, just a “sister trying to make it in da hood!” 🙂   It’s just a subject I am on fire about right now and REALLY want to stay on top of… I have bigger things to worry about than me… I have three kiddos that are depending on me to give them the best start I can!    (And YES!  I DO need to worry about me too, I need to be able to be here to raise them, but you know what I mean!!! :))

The next step in my journey at hand is movement.  We try to go for regular walks and are trying to make it a more frequent and regular thing!  What is more peaceful than being out on the open country road, with your sweet family, taking a walk in the glorious warmth and gorgeous sunlight anyway???  I can’t think of much!  It’s some of the greatest family time we’ve had recently!  And it gets us ALL involved in moving.  Sometimes we can all walk, other time we’ll let the kiddos take their bikes.  Shaking it up a bit and “keepin’ it real” 😉    I am also interested in starting a “biggest loser competition” locally.  I’ve talked with some friends of mine and have some interest, I just have to figure out how to work things and where to start… I think having partners and encouragement along the way is a “secret weapon”!  I think we’d all do better to stay accountable to others and know they’ll know if I’m not being good!!! 🙂   If anyone has any suggestions or interest in this endeavor, feel free to comment, all suggestions welcome!! 🙂

Another thing I am starting and VERY excited about is from a book by Jessica Seinfeld called “deceptively delicious”.  You make all kinds of different purees from all kinds of fruits and vegetables.  Then when you make a recipe you can sneak veggies in without the kids (and possibly even the husband)  knowing!!  How cool is that?!? 🙂  My kids can ALWAYS use an extra helping of good for you, make you stronger, and grow like Popeye, serving of veggies on their plate, and hiding them sounds like fun to me!! 🙂   An example that comes to mind is a homemade macaroni and cheese recipe that she has in the book… you make the mac and cheese (with whole grain noodles and low-fat cheeses, skim milk and healthy things like that) but then you add in some butternut squash puree.. just enough so that the taste of the squash is NOT what you taste, its just hidden in there!  She makes sure to always use a veggie that won’t discolor your dish and cause suspicion!  The picture looks TOTALLY delicious and I am TOTALLY going to be trying this book out on the fam this next week!!!  I already made my grocery list full of new and exciting veggies to puree.    You can puree as much or as little of a particular veggie as you want and then freeze them in individual servings until you are ready to make the dish that calls for that one.   This is an upcoming experiment that I will be sure to keep you posted on as I try new things out!  I am THRILLED about it!  If you’ve never heard of this book, I HIGHLY recommend it, she has a lot of good ideas, from one mom to another! 🙂    There is even a brownie recipe in there with spinach in it!  Now, I have the QUEEN of brownies at my house (Paige!  Along with the king… MIKE!)  we’ll see if we can get that passed them!   She even has good tips on how to make the dish work it’s magic, like with the brownies, you don’t want to serve them warm, you want them too cool completely, otherwise the spinach taste is not totally covered!   I’ll keep you updated, as I plan to try lots of her ideas next week!  (I’ll be having a puree making party soon!!! :D)  LOL

Well, I guess that is all the rambling I’ll do for one night about this!  It’s easy for me to talk about, because it’s so exciting for me right now!  I feel like it is such a simple concept, can I just keep it up?!?  I think so! 🙂  And now I’ll have blog readers to know what is going on and know if I’m not doing my part! 🙂    (And hopefully a biggest looser group to have a good time with soon too!) 🙂

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to leave your comments and suggestions! 🙂

Come in-laugh much-visit often

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Well, I took the plunge!  Aren’t you proud??? 🙂  I’ve really been wanting to create a blog for quite some time now.  I feel like it will be a great outlet from my being stuck in my “girlville” all day without much adult communication!  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my little girlies, they are the best!  And they give me some of my best conversation!  But this is a way to venture out into new things, new topics, get feedback and just plain chat when the time is best for you!  (Better than the phone, when maybe you or I are busy and don’t have a chance… I seem to lag on phone calls these days… not catching up with my friends nearly as often as I would like to!)
I am so excited!  I feel like this is going to be SO great!  I hope it is!  I have SO many things I would like to write about, “hot topics” of motherhood, recipes, diet, life, new and exciting things… on and on it goes!  Most anyone who knows me, knows I am a TOTAL people person, I LOVE people!  I am all about meeting new people and I will pretty much talk to anyone breathing! 😉   Whether you are in the grocery store line behind me, at one of my kids events, or having just pulled out in front of me with your car (at that point, you probably don’t want to hear what I am saying to you though!) 🙂  I will probably ramble often (like now) but that is how I talk, just ask my husband Mike!  I try to say something and my mom brain just travels a million miles a minute and I am off on something else and have totally forgotten what I was talking about in the first place.  However typing it out to share will be an advantage, I can re-read and fix things! 🙂 I am not very good with grammar or spelling (thank goodness for spell check!), so you will probably notice LOTS of errors… please forgive me, my grammar teacher moved to Pensacola several years ago and left me alone to figure things out by myself.. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE WOMAN!! 😉  However, I do have an excellent husband who took over the job all those years ago, he keeps me straight!  (Well, tries his best!) ❤  He has really encouraged me to try this blogging thing out and brainstormed names for my new blog.  I wanted it to be special and about ME! 🙂   I hope he doesn’t regret helping me out… this will be yet another internet thing I will probably be addicted to!

My first internet addiction is facebook, as most of you reading this probably already KNOW! 🙂  I LOVE my facebook and am on it often!  It has thus far been my connection to the “outside world”.  (Yes, I make it sound like I am locked in a deep dark dungeon for most of my life and never see the light of day… couldn’t be farther from the truth, but my kids only take so much of my babbling before they go find their barbies and play!)   I LOVE being able to catch up with people I knew years ago, like from school, yes it has been YEARS now since I was in school… 😦   As well as getting to see what everyone is up to for the day, whether they live across town or across the country!   Facebook is the world’s greatest invention (close behind electricity and running water of course!) 😉  Yes, I crack myself up sometimes! 😀  I can’t help it!

I have tons of things I want to talk about and get fun feedback on… I hope you are ALL interested and can help! 😉  LOL I look forward to seeing lots of responses and just having a GRAND time!   Thank you so all those who encouraged me along the way to start blogging (through your own blogs!) and those who helped me think of a name… I am pretty happy with the one I came up with, it sums me up in a lot of ways! 😉  I refer to my house as girlville all the time!  My hubby is so outnumbered in our home and will NEVER be able to catch up… we have 5 to his 1 if you count our girl doggy Isabelly! 😉   But , he loves it, so no complaints there! 🙂

See you soon!

Come in-laugh much-visit often

The new saying I just ordered for my house from “uppercase living”!

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