Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Garrulous Gibberish

I'm skipping out on Wordless Wednesday this week only because I haven't touched my camera in over a week.  I wanted to take the Picture a Day challenge from someone's blog... I'm sorry I don't even remember who that was.  That challenge is still on my to-do list and I'm sure there are plenty of good photos on my camera that I could use but I feel like I'm in such a slump because I'm tired of taking pictures indoors.  I've got Spring Fever and I always get it bad this time of year.  As I hear the rain dump down by buckets outside,  it's a constant reminder that again I won't be able to get out and walk the dog... at least for now.

I have so many things on my mind that I need to get them written down before I forget.  My Notes app on my phone is full of ideas to write about but yet life happens everyday and there's never enough time to sit at my favorite spot in front of my computer and write.  That's okay.... for now.


I have officially completed 14 days of gluten free.  Very successful, I might add!  Two weeks flew by and so far my only struggle is when my kids ask for chicken nuggets for lunch.  I'm not even that crazy about chicken nuggets but as they leave one or two on their plates, it was such a habit for me to eat them so they don't go to waste.  Tsk tsk!  Such a bad habit to break as a parent!  I'm learning that my calorie intake everyday was so high because I eat after the kids, I snack while I cook and 3:00 is my worst time of the day when the kids get home and ask for a treat.  That was when I was the most tired, most unmotivated and most craving sugar.  Damn you, Oreos!   Writing down everything I eat has helped tremendously and I've cut my calorie intake by half, easily.  I'm still only down three pounds but at least my jeans still fit me better. I've passed up bread, alcohol and my favorite appetizer at two restaurants this week.  I will confess that I did a happy dance in the bathroom one of those nights.

Sugar Challenge

To make a long story short, I put my kids on a No Sugar Challenge for five days.  Such torture!  Their incentive was going to Galaxy Golf to play right after school.  They were very excited and made it through the first two days with little encouragement needed.  The third day was harder because they asked daddy for a fruit roll up while I was walking the dog and blew their efforts out of the water.  Yes, Daddy sabotaged their challenge but the kids were equally to be blamed for even asking in the first place.  They are kids, afterall and I can't fault them for that.  But I will say that those three days were wonderful!  Ellen wasn't whining over everything and the meltdowns around dinnertime were gone.... until she had that fruit roll up.  That night she had a meltdown and the kids have been fighting ever since.  Needless to say, we didn't go to Galaxy Golf.

A New Chapter?

Since I made the link to my new Marcellen Photography link, I have, all of a sudden, two events scheduled to take pictures at.  My nephew-in-law and his wife are having a wedding reception this March and my sister and her husband are renewing their wedding vows in May and they both have asked me to take pictures.  I have zero experience and no proper equipment (besides the camera) and I have no clue about what I'm doing!  They know that and that's why they've asked me.  I have to start somewhere and I'm so thankful that both of these events are informal and small, and so thankful they asked me!  I'm so excited... but with a little (okay, a lot) of panic mixed in!

This is a lot to read so I will sign off with a little conversation that my sweet little 5-year-old Ellen and I had in the car yesterday: Stephen Neven

The sky was turning gray and looking like it's going to rain...

Ellen:  Is it going to thunder?
Me:  No, we don't get thunder in the winter.  Just rain.
Ellen:  What if it does thunder?
Me:  Then we'll get a lot of rain.
Ellen:  What if we die?
Me:  Then we get to go to Heaven.
Ellen:  (very excitedly) ... and we'll get to see Koda! (our last dog who passed away)
Me:  Yeah!  Wouldn't be so bad, huh?
Ellen:  When will I die?
Me:  Not for a very very very very very very long long long long long long time, when you're old and your hair is gray and you're all wrinkly.
Ellen:  Like you?

Oh, God love her!

Second conversation, just a minute later:

We were pulling into her school parking lot and as we rounded the corner, she pointed to a window in the far side of her school and said, "That's Ms. Williams' classroom."

"Yeah?  All the way down there?" I said.

"Yeah.  She's so romantic!"

Oh the stuff these kids pick up from their Disney movies!!!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Going Gluten Free Day 7

You know, I thought I'd have a meltdown by now with so many things I can't eat.  Most of the food in my house has some form of wheat, but when I stood back and really thought about healthy food vs. junk food, I had a lot more food in my house I CAN eat.  Just like Shauna said over at Gluten Free Girl, after a while, it gets easier and then you'll get to the point where you WON'T want those old foods you used to crave.  You won't have to think so hard.  I think that's the best advice I could've gotten from the very start and encouraging.

So it's been 7 whole days since I've gone gluten free.  I have yet to have a meltdown and I have yet to be disappointed that my family is eating something I want but can't have.  Now, I'm sure that day will come and it's going to be hard.  I'm not kidding myself here, but I love to cook and bake so I'm confident that I will find some kind of recipe of the like to satisfy me.

I had made beef vegetable soup the other day.  When I went to grab my (organic) beef broth, I noticed it had wheat in it.  Yeah!  Beef broth has wheat.  I was not happy as I had extra kids in my house and my husband just got home from work and was tired, and I wanted to run to the store to buy gluten free beef broth.  Needless to say, I didn't get my soup for lunch that day but it was worth the wait for the next day's lunch.  While I was at the store, I found quinoa which is like rice but has no wheat or barley in it.  Oh I found my new-found food love!  That stuff is so good and it goes great by itself with a little bit of butter, and it also was great added in my soup.  It's a very versatile item but oh-so-expensive!!!

Ok, so they look more like cookies.  But I will say,
they are HORRIBLE the next day, even
warmed up in the microwave.  
Last night as I was eating the last of the soup, I made gluten free biscuits.  I was surprised how good they tasted.  They weren't fluffy and flaky but the taste was there and Marcella ate half of the batch.  You can get the recipe here if you're interested.  Baking gluten free, dairy free, soy free, etc is very difficult to do, I think because I don't have a clue of what I'm doing!  I know how to knead yeast dough to make a light and fluffy texture but working with wheat-free flour is a bit different.  I'm staying positive about all this because I'm taking it like a learning project.  A challenge.

How am I feeling?  Still down 3 pounds, but it's only been a week.  My jeans fit me better and I stopped craving sweets in the afternoons.  I'm not crashing on the couch as soon as I sit down and I've had a lot more patience for my kids in the evenings.  Is it a wheat thing? Probably more of a sugar thing.  My skin is healing, which is a wheat thing and I seem to be sleeping better, too.  I've had one craving so far:  chicken nuggets.  My kids eat those almost everyday and the brand that we have are my favorite.  I know they're good so it's hard for me to not take that last nugget off their plate when they're done eating.  Drinking lots of water helps and getting as much sleep as possible...which most times is almost impossible in this house!

Is there anyone out there with a diet challenge?  It's always nice to have a partner on a journey to help support each other.  Please leave a comment or contact me through email Jillzy @ columbus . rr . com 

I'd love to hear your story!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Going Gluten Free. What?!

Four days ago, my life changed.  I officially found out that I have a wheat gluten sensitivity/allergy.  I've had a suspicion for quite some time and by process of elimination, I was able to figure it out on my own, but now I know for sure.  I visited the Advanced Wellness Center and got a muscle test done by a holistic doctor.

So here's what I figured out:

Whenever I ate wheat bread, the next day my face would be broken out in acne.  I changed from wheat bread to Ezekiel bread, which is a sprout-type bread.  It helped, but I was still breaking out, especially around "that time of the month".  I got tired of feeling tired, especially in the afternoons and by dinner time, I was so unmotivated, I could care less what my family ate for dinner.

I can't lose weight.  I've been trying for four years now.  Nothing has worked and I mean nothing, to the point where I've given up and refused to try anymore.  Why bother?

Sugar - I've always had a problem with sugar but for the past year, I couldn't function without it.  I am hypoglycemic, which means my body has severe highs and lows when I eat anything with sugar.  I know that, but I continued to choose to eat sugary foods in the afternoons.  It was the only way I felt I could get through the afternoon and evenings.  By 10:30, I was falling asleep on the couch with my husband wondering if he had become boring to me.

This is no life at all!

So I hit rock bottom hard enough that I decided I was sick of myself.  I know what I need to do to gain energy and focus, lose weight and be healthy.  I just didn't want to do it anymore.  That's when I went to go get help.  If I have to pay someone to help me, even if it's to tell me what I already know, then that was good enough to kick my rear end back in gear.

So I have a gluten allergy.  What does that mean?  It means that I have a lot to learn.  I have to read the labels on everything.  I have to learn to cook more meals and shop differently.  Then only after two days, I had my first meltdown when I realized everything in my house contains wheat.  EVERYTHING!  Ok, I'm exaggerating just a little, but as hungry as I was that morning, I didn't want to eat eggs for a fifth day in a row.    I realized that I have to give up a lot of my favorite foods, even my Ezekiel bread and yes, junk food.  Not only do I have to avoid wheat, I also have to avoid soy and sugar.  Soy is in everything.  Even in my olive oil cooking spray and my coffee creamer.  Oh, my beloved coffee creamer, which by the way is one of THE worst things you can consume!  I have basically ruined myself by eating what's mostly provided for us in the grocery stores:  processed, pre-packaged and artificially man-made foods.  Foods that contain so much crap, that I've developed a hormonal imbalance, lack of weight loss and now allergies.

But I'm not to despair!

I'm not mourning over this consequence I've been presented.  I'm seeing it as a challenge.  No wonder eliminating wheat bread out of my diet wasn't enough to help heal my acne issue.  I was consuming way more wheat everyday than I realized.  Did you know that there's wheat in enriched white flour?  Soy sauce?  Creamed soups?  ALL kinds of pastas?  Because of my super lack of energy in the afternoons kept me from making a decent meal for my family, we ended up having pasta a lot more often than I ever allowed us to.  There's wheat in anything that's breaded, most creamy sauces, sprouts (yes, my beloved bread) and beer (barley).  The list goes on.

Four days have passed since I've eliminated wheat from my diet.  A friend pointed out tonight at 8:00 that I looked so awake and energetic.  It's 1:00 am and I'm not bobbing my head at the keyboard.  My stomach isn't bloated anymore and I've already lost three pounds.  My face is already clearing up and healing and I've got more focus.

So I'm not mourning over this challenge.  It's going to be difficult but I'm eager to learn because I've already seen results.  I'm so excited that I can now begin to heal.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Whining and Complaining - Ugh!

I learned rather quickly in life how negative people can suck the life out of someone.  I've learned hard lessons growing up about choosing friends, but it wasn't until I grew up was when I finally learned to pick and choose my friends wisely.  I don't hang around negative people and if I'm friends with someone who has a negative attitude, I take them in very small doses.  Eventually, I surrounded myself with only positive, happy people.

"You are who you hang with."

When I was in college and living on my own, I drove a dinky little Geo Metro.  I had no air conditioning, one radio station because I broke the antennae while washing it one day, and my tape deck played music in techno speed.  One warm summer day, I was late for work and swerving in and out of traffic just trying to gain any minute I could, I got stuck at a traffic light and immediately yelled, "come on!  [fill in the blanks here]" because the person in front of me waited too long to turn left.  I stopped, took a breather and realized,  (crap!) my windows were down.  Since it was a nice day, everyone around me had their windows down too.  Needless to say, I was a bit embarrassed.

Negative people complain and whine about anything.

Lately, I've been cooking and trying to keep our fridge stocked up with fresh produce.  Our fridge tends to get over stuffed with leftover containers and occasionally somewhat questionable veggies.  When you try to get something out, something else always falls out.  It's so easy to complain how annoying it is when you try to reach into the fridge and half of it falls out on you.  I've learned to see it as a blessing instead.

Let's complain:  LAUNDRY  

My granddaughter's face shows it all.  Laundry is scary!  This particular day took me 16 hours to complete.  I started it at 6:30 in the morning and I had just finished it up around 10:45 that night.  As you all know, laundry is hard work but no one ever seems to complain when laying their head down on a fresh, crisp pillow case at night or breathing in a freshly bleached towel when getting out of the shower.  Laundry is a blessing because that means I have clothes to wear and blankets to stay warm in.

Let's complain:  WAITING IN LINE

Oh Heaven forbid we have to wait in line!  Have you ever notice yourself getting really impatient when you have to wait 30 seconds for your food to be done in the microwave?  30 seconds.  Seconds!  We can now fast forward through commercials (thank you cable!), install high speed internet, use our Smartphones to do whatever we want, when we want, wherever we want.  Standing in line can be a blessing because it would give us a chance to share a smile, make small talk with someone, say a prayer, stop and breathe.

Let's complain:  JOB

At least you have a job.  'Nuff said.

It's so easy to whine and complain.  Just ask my kids. Try one day to find something positive in every situation you're tempted to complain about.  God only makes good days.  It's up to us to keep it that way by seeing the good in it.  God gives us flowers all the time, He paints the sky for us everyday and sends us blessings through friends and family.  It's up to us to see the good in it all!

"...give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."  Psalm 100: 4-5.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday 1/16/13

Happy Wordless Wednesday everyone!

I always get Spring fever this time of year.  I found these pictures I took last year in the Spring and Summer. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Best Sleepover Ever!

My 8-year-old daughter, Marcella had a sleepover this past weekend.  I'm not always the biggest fan of sleepovers because Ellen is not old enough to have sleepovers yet and she tends to feel left out, especially if Marcella and her friend want nothing to do with her.  I know that Ellen has to learn that she will have a sleepover someday and yada yada, but this sleepover was different.  Marcella's friend never second guessed having Ellen around and Marcella miraculously followed suit.  There were times when Marcella was going to speak up and say she didn't want Ellen to play, but when her friend automatically included her, Marcella went along and found that it wasn't so bad having her little sister hang around afterall.  Once they included Ellen in on the fun for a short time, Ellen was ready to have her own time for a while and left them alone.  I was so impressed by the way the kids behaved, I wanted to adopt this little girl!

...And because no one fought or whined or complained, I wanted to be part of the fun, too!  The girls asked to have facials done.  Ellen and I created a "spa" in the kitchen and we took care of Marcella and her friend like they were at a real spa.  We gave them warm washcloths and made a facial mask out of oatmeal and honey.  Marcella's friend allowed Ellen to take care of her and I took care of Marcella.  No one argued over that!

They even requested cucumbers with their facials.   This was all their idea!

Giving facials was way too fun, the girls continued to get along and included Ellen, too.

Ellen gets to sleep in a fort when Marcella has a sleepover.

Sleepovers are so much fun when everyone gets along.  I wish my girls would act this way all the time.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wordless Wednesday 1/9/13

Happy Wordless Wednesday everyone!  I couldn't help but post a few pics of my granddaughter.  She can sleep anywhere!

Have a great day!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I'm Happy Today

It's amazing how much the sunshine affects me.  We haven't seen the sunshine very much this past month but I didn't even really notice until now when I looked outside and realized it.  I was so busy over the holidays that I didn't even notice the sun was gone.

Today, I'm happy....

Over the past couple of months I've dodge both bullets when my family became sick and I didn't.  I'm soooooo going to regret even typing that cuz Karma is going to rear its ugly head and horn me in the butt.  When I get stressed, I tend to take a lot of deep breaths.  So many deep breaths that my stomach will start to hurt and my chest will feel like a golf ball is stuck inside.  I've had that feeling for weeks and I was so certain that I was going to be sick over the holidays.  Today, I realized that stuck-ball-in-my-chest feeling is gone.  I have no idea when it stopped...

Stress = SICK 
Lack of sleep = SICK

I didn't set my alarm for two weeks when the kids were out of school.  I slept in as long as the kids and the dog allowed me to. I snuck in my daily devotions whenever I could and I believe those were the two keys of not getting sick.  Oh, and the fact that I don't have time to be sick.  For a few days now I've set my alarm early and got my devotions in before someone woke up.  I forgot how nice the house is when I'm the only one awake.


I'm happy today because my girls are getting along.  They haven't fought, they've kept to themselves and my best friend came over to visit.  I was able to catch up with her with minimal distractions because her kids and my kids were getting along.

Today, I'm happy.

I was on the phone with the Apple store today for an hour and learned how I can copy music cd's to our Apple products.  I don't have to pay for music through iTunes because I can copy my own CD's.  I learned how to use iTunes and I saved money today.

The sun is still shining... I'm happy today.  

I pray some of my happiness rubs off on me and through this post to you as you read it.  Smile for no reason and think of at least one good thing that's happened today.... and keep going from there.

“Never say anything about yourself you do not want to come true.”  -Brian Tracy 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Wordless Wednesday 1/2/13

Happy New Year!  It FINALLY snowed!

Victor LOVES the snow!

Happy New Year!

My husband and I lit the town on fire last night by dropping the girls off at Grandma and Grandpa's house to spend the night and then went out eat.  I love call ahead seating.  When I worked in a restaurant as a teenager, call ahead seating was a big pain in my rear, but last night it worked in our favor big time!  We pulled up to Olive Garden, got a front parking spot, went inside to check in and waited about 30 seconds until they sat us.  We noticed a few groups/couples in the lobby nearby waiting to be seated and they didn't get sat until we were about ready to leave.  When dinner was over, we went home and crashed.  We barely made it to midnight.  Whoo hoo!  We rang in the near year with a bang... our heads banging into the pillow, that is.  We wouldn't have it any other way.

I worked on my latch hook project, too.  Oh boy, do I sound pathetic, or what?  Marcella got a latch hook project for Christmas and asked me to help her with it.  Because I'm a type A personality, if I started working on that, I wouldn't stop until it was done.  So I went and got my own.
Took me about 4 or 5 days to do it.

Traditions for New Year's in my family

Do you know why you're not supposed to eat chicken on New Year's Day?  Chickens scratch back when they eat.  Pigs snout forward.  So for good luck in the New Year, we eat pork and saurkraut because it symbolizes looking into the future.  We also gather up the shiniest and newest pennies we can find and place one penny under each plate, so we'll never be poor in the New Year.  This year, I'm opting for quarters.  Perhaps pennies is too meager of a goal.  Ha ha!

New Year's Resolution anyone?

I've never really been a big New Year's Resolution kinda person but it also doesn't seem the same if I don't. This year, my goals are simple:

  • Work on my Faith Journey
  • Be a happier person

I believe that if I work on just those two goals, everything else will fall into place.  This is my third year for having "being a happier person" as a resolution.  It's the easiest one to accomplish and frankly, it's much more fun.  I also would like to work on my blog this year.  My goal is to enhance my blog and write more about who I am so that my readers may connect with me more.  I also hope to read others' blogs, too.  I haven't been the most faithful in that area.

Many blessings to all of you in the New Year!  Happy New Year!
Credit: Jason