Saturday, July 3, 2010

Post Your Final Points Here!

I'm still recovering from Girls Camp 2010 and will give an update next week.

For now, please let me know what your total points were so we can crown our next winner!

Do you like only giving points once with this two week set up or do you want a mid-challenge report to see how you're doing?


Family, Country and a lot of other things.

I guess I'm a little late for the gratitude post although hopefully not too late. I have so much that I'm grateful for that it is difficult to narrow it down. Like so many of you I'm grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Yep that would be numero uno for sure.

Second to that though, would be my family, both the one I came from and the one I helped to create. See this picture below, well those cute crazy kiddos are my posterity, not to be confused with my posterior. This picture was taken on the second day of our family reunion at the end of the day; kiddos were tired, humidity was HIGH and the temp around 100 degrees and we were sweating like pigs. Needless to say it is difficult to get 12 kiddos ranging in age from 1 to 12 to all look adorable, smile and look at the camera at the same time. We got the adorable part and that's good enough for me. I love these kiddos and I love the kiddos that produced them. I have a miracle family and that is the TRUTH!

Double click photo to enlarge

Lastly tonight I'm grateful for my country. What a privilege it is to be a citizen of the United States of America. I'm grateful for those who have given their lives defending the freedoms that I enjoy. I pray that we will each be worthy of the sacrifice of so many, "Freedom is not Free". May each of you have a safe and Happy 4th as you celebrate America's birth and may God continue to bless this great country!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Whole Wheat Pancake Recipe

Several months ago I was talking with my sister-in-law when she told me she had started making pancakes for her family every morning for breakfast instead of having cereal. She explained that the cost of cereal was starting to add up and she was able to save a bit more each month just by making this change. I will admit at first I thought she was crazy and I wondered how she had time to make pancakes every morning so I put the thought aside for a few months until I came across this pancake recipe. I thought it sounded healthier than many of the cereals we were eating (even many of the "healthy"ones have quite a bit of sugar) and who doesn't want to save a bit of money every month, right? So, I decided to make the mix and give it a try for a week. The results were fantastic. The kids and hubby loved the pancakes and it really doesn't take as much time as I worried it would. Unfortunately this hasn't eliminate my need to buy cereal (we still use it as snacks for church and an occasional breakfast) but it has drastically cut down the amount we buy.

We have been having pancakes for breakfast now for about 3 months and I still love them every morning. I have mine with a little butter and applesauce on top but they are good enough to eat plain too.

The picture of the pancakes I posted has a funny story to it and shows just how much my kids like these pancakes. Ethan, my 3 year old, had finished his breakfast and gone off to play. I put two pancakes on my plate to eat when I finished cleaning up a few things. When I finished and went to eat my breakfast I found the cutest bite mark taken out of one of my pancakes. He liked them so much he came back for just one more bite. I was laughing out loud when I found it.

Okay, enough rave about these pancakes. (Can you tell I LOVE them?:-)) If you get the chance, try them yourself and see. Sorry Marci, I wish this was a Gluten free recipe:-(

Whole Wheat Pancake Mix

The Mix:
8 c. whole wheat flour (If you grind your own wheat, I grind 5 cups of wheat and it turns out about right)
1/2 c. sugar
4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. powdered milk
1 c. oil (the original recipe called for 2 c. but I found 1 was all that was necessary)
5 T. baking powder

Mix all dry ingredients, then add oil. Store in airtight container. Keep in refrigerator or freezer.

To use mix:
1 1/2 c. mix
3/4 c. water
1 egg

Beat egg and water, then add mix. Cook and serve.

One recipe makes about 8 batches and I figured out each batch has about 850 calories. I can usually get 10 4" pancakes out of a batch for 85 calories per pancake.

Recipe comes from "Bee Prepared" a Provident Living Resource

Thursday, July 1, 2010

When size doesn't matter

Like most of you, I try to add a few new cute short sleeve shirts, skirts and shorts into my summer mix every year. Mostly, my clothing shopping consists of grabbing a few items from Target and throwing them into my cart along with the detergent, paper towels, toilet paper and protein bars. With three kids in tow, I don't try on the clothes at the store. Partly because of the kids but also because I know what my Target size is and can rest assured that after one washing the clothes will fit . . . or so I thought. This year, the clothes I bought in my size were, according to a certain sister of mine, fitting rather loosely. " Huh," I thought, "this is usually my size." And she was right, the clothes were loose and it wasn't because I was significantly smaller. It was because they had changed the measurements of clothes in that size. Which leads me to this thought: don't hang your hat on vanity sizing. After all, according to this article, 0 is the new size 8!

Just do this: buy clothes that fit. If the pants are a size 14, shake off that sinking feeling because you know that somewhere out there in a store near or far, a similar item is labeled a size 2. Feel good about your body and find clothes that reinforce that feeling. Now, I think I need to go clothing shopping again.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer Goals Update

So, one of my goals this summer was to create 25 original art cards per week.  Although I only finished 14 last week, I prepped for 150 cards which takes time.  But, I'm fully confident that I will finish with a solid 50 cards by the end of this week. 

To see the cards visit my site, ArtMommy

I never knew I'd like setting goals so much!  I really feel like I can accomplish so much by setting small, acheivable goals.  Thanks, Audrey!
I'm grateful for family.
I'm grateful for a body that can still stay up for the midnight showing of Eclipse and get up in the morning and go to girls camp.

You heard it right after a week of family in town, a jam packed weekend of family reunion, and a must see midnight movie I'm headed to girls camp for three days.

Keep up the good work ladies! You are all doing so awesome and your grateful post and comments make me realize that we all still have balance in our lives which is very important.

I'll be back to get those numbers Saturday and crown our new champ!

Have a great last few days, stay strong through the weekend and be ready to start again on Monday!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Everyday Blessings

First off, Audrey, thank you for your inspired challenge idea. The last few days since you issued the challenge, I have really been pondering what it is I am truly grateful for. It has caused an entire shift in my thinking and made me more aware of how blessed I am. When I let my complaints and worries go and just focus on the amazing things around me I can't help but smile and have a better attitude about everything.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading others thoughts on gratitude and once again I sit in awe of the wonderful women that you all are. This blog makes me want to be better in all aspects of life thanks to you wonderful, amazing, inspiring ladies.

My list is long and continually growing so I have actually decided to start a gratitude journal for myself. I had one just before I got married and wrote 5 things every day. My only rule was I couldn't repeat anything.

I decided for this challenge to post my first entry here (and I will keep it to 5 in no particular order).

1. I am grateful for my husband. I don't even know where to begin when talking about him. He is the perfect match for me.

2. I am grateful for my children. They may be a bit wild and cause me more stress than I think I can handle sometimes but I still love them and appreciate all they teach me.

3. I am grateful for my parents. I never realized how much they did/do for me until I became a parent. I will forever be indebted to them.

4. I am grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is my strength and my guiding light.

5. I am grateful for all the gals from HWHL. Your examples, stories, strength and support boost me each day. Thank You!

Top Five Healthy Family Reunion Moments

1. McDonald's stops here and back. My meal of choice: a premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken & half the dressing (400 calories) and rather impressive from the golden arches. Mindy's hubby (my bro) convinced me that the movie Supersize Me was a good thing for McDonald's. That salad is the proof.

2. Making the kids hop peg leg style, walk the plank by holding plank position, balance a pirate ship on their heads for thirty seconds, suck on lemons and eat saltines. Healthy Wives know how to make healthy fun for their kiddos.

3. Just Dancing (Wii) with the Healthy Wives who can all shake their groove thang with the best of 'em.

4. Balancing lime chips with healthy veggie salsa, cookies with carrots, ice cream with fruit. And staying true to HWHL in the car snacking department: nuts, light string cheese and laughing cows, apples, grapes, hardboiled eggs, carrot sticks, water and more water.

5. Sneaking in a few laps at the pool during the adult swim minutes before the hail--yes, hail, you read correctly--pelted us all. The sky was falling!

But those were just moments. The best thing of all was being with everyone and living life to the fullest. And that was a part of every moment. For what it's worth, my two cents is this: don't obsess about food to the point where you aren't enjoying your summer reunions with family. Have your cookies and your carrots. And realize the routine will still be there waiting for you when you get home (or when everyone leaves, as the case may be).

Monday, June 28, 2010

Oklahoman Gratitude

After reading Jill's post on gratitude, I feel like the gratitude I'm feeling today, doesn't compare, but that's okay. I have a child with difficulties and understand the overwhelming joy and gratitude that can come with such a journey. But, I'm going to post this anyway.

We joined hundreds and hundreds of "supporters" (for lack of a better word) tonight. A young man from Owasso died in Afghanistan this past week from a suicide bomber. I have always had immense pride in our country and especially those who serve to protect our freedoms and constitution. If I see anyone in uniform, I always thank them. I am so grateful for the service they provide for me and my family. Today, I am grateful I live in Owasso (I usually am, but especially today). Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas(?) came down to protest the funeral. They are a strong hate group (I saw them on Dateline). It always infuriates (and I mean that in the strongest sense of the word) when protesters come to a funeral to protest. I don't care if you agree or disagree with whatever, but a funeral is the most inappropriate, disrespectful place to stage something. I was grateful that every scout troop in the Owasso/Tulsa area lined the streets with flags (including my son), that an entire parking lot was full of Patriot Guard Riders (motorcycle group), not one news channel showed any coverage of the protesters, that we had the opportunity to sit in our car for over half an hour to get out of the Walmart parking lot (where we parked), and that my community has so much love and pride for our country. I am grateful to live in America. I am grateful for those who protect this country and also give their service for the freedom of other countries. We are a great nation and I'm thankful to be part of it. Thank you to all those who are serving and have served our blessed nation!!

I am grateful for MIRACLES!

Our Miracle!
Gratitude is just the tip of the iceberg to describe my feelings for our daughter Emily. We have fought 8 long years for her to be healthy.
Thursday we went to her long term Bone Marrow Transplant clinic appointment. I made my husband come along this time since the last time we went to one of these, I thought they would say she was doing great, but no such luck. I ended up listening to talk about Chemo therapy treatments etc for the next 4 hours all by myself!
ANYWAY... This year is our MIRACLE year :) Emily is finally developing her own immune system. She is at 80% which is truly amazing. The only thing they are concerned about is her weight and height. (She is very small) If she continues as she has been she will end up being about 4' 11" on a good day. She isn't happy about being smaller then Jacqueline and Thomas but she will soon see that being small is no big deal!
Miracles really do happen in our lifetime. We just have to believe in them and know that they WILL come; in the LORDS TIME! I feel so blessed!!!
Thanks for all the gratitude posts everyone! They are a great way to start off my day on a positive note!!!

The Food Reunion, I mean Family Reunion

There is just no way of getting around having too much food at a family reunion. Keeping 10 adults and 12 children happy is no easy task. This year The QueenVee with her trusty new oven decided that a bake-a-thon would be the easiest way to keep the swarming beehive of activity to a controllable hummmm. She made more cookies than I want to even think about and topped that off with SEVERAL loaves of delectable banana bread only to be accompanied by the yummiest 12+ cartons of ice cream.

Now don't you Healthy Wives in training fret there were plenty of vegetables and fruit to be had....more than plenty, but you had to makes smart decisions. You see, even with the virtual smorgasbord board of food you could control your own portions and decide exactly what you were going to eat.

Friday and Saturday I have to say I'm pretty dang proud of myself. Good breakfast, good lunch, which meant that even if I had a yummy dinner I was not taking back all my weeks of good eating. Today was a little harder with the BEST BREAKFAST ever and Yummy Enchiladas for dinner. But I didn't feel completely out of control.

So how you may be wondering did 5 of your HWHL participants fair....well here is a photo montage just for you.
I'm just not sure what to do...which to choose....what will I do? I decided for fun we should Rochambeau to see what people choose and here is the result.

Ro, Cham, Beau......

Samantha (Dragonfly), carrot, she said she has to counter balance that she isn't exercising regularly yet due to baby still waking up on the middle of the night.

Victoria (Queen V), cookie, my biggest surprise. I guess when you make that many cookies you do have to try them.

Mindy, cookie. Well when you look that good and run that fast you can eat those every once in a while.

Melissa (Apis Melliflora), her last minute decision was the carrot but I don't think that cookie was too far behind.

Audrey, well. I like the best of both worlds and maybe eating a cookie and carrot together they cancel each other out....right, somebody throw me a line here? Just kidding. It was actually the first cookie I had all weekend.

But seriously ladies. Sometimes its time to have the cookies. Enjoy life in moderation, enjoy your hard work, your successes. That's part of being happy. Remember that this is something you need to be able to do for the rest of your life and part of that is allowing yourself to enjoy it a little. Moderation in all things. When you hit that bump, jump right up and keep going.

Now get your hand out of the cookie jar!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Way Low

Here's the low down, and I mean really low. All I ate today was 4 pieces of lettuce, and Jacobs chocolate birthday cake. It's 6:00 in the evening. Yes you are reading that right. Cake!
Cake for breakfast.
Cake for lunch.
Cake for snack.
Yummy, chocolate, gluten free cake.
I have talked about this cake before.

It is my nemesis.

My one and only true nemesis.
I can't resist it.
I love it.
It taunts me and calls to me.
It whispers things to my mind.
"Eat me" it says, "you've been so good, and you deserve it. Plus, your b**bs are getting so small, and I can fix that."
What is whispers to me isn't truth though, (well maybe a little), but the cake twists the truth. What I deserve, what we all deserve, is not a piece of cake, but a strong happy body for all of this hard work. Truthfully, I don't mind one bit that my body is shrinking slowly, even in those areas that one might feel the need to replace some day. Having small b**s is nice for running, and all my button up shirts finally fit wonderfully.
So cake, go away!
Stop teasing me and telling me lies.

About 15 minutes ago that poor cake went swimming. With shaking hands and a watering mouth, I placed the pan in the sink and filled it up with water. I had to. I couldn't stop eating it.

It's gone now, and I can return to my kitchen to prepare a healthy dinner. I promise to eat healthy for the next week. I promise to get my exercise in. I promise not to get distracted by the 14 lovely people who will be staying at my house for the next three weeks. Please help me my wonderful friends. I need you to hold me accountable. Please check up on me and make sure I am not making chocolate cake. Call me and ask me if I got my work out in, please.

Wanna know one more thing?

Since we have been keeping track of everything we have been eating, it has allowed me to see patterns that have been happening. I fumble every weekend. My husband has been out of town every week for the past 5 weeks. I have been doing awesome during the week, but every weekend he comes home for 24 hours and I fall apart with my eating. Weird huh? Anyone know why? I don't, but it happens. He's got two more weeks to go so hopefully I can figure out why I do this.
Analyze away girls!
I need to come up with a game plan.