Monthly Archives: September 2013

Menu Plan and Goals

We are seeing temperatures in the 70s for a few days this week and probably a thunderstorm. I’m excited. Fall is finally on it’s way.

Taking advantage of the baby napping to blow some bubbles, dive into Jeff Goins' book and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Taking advantage of the baby napping to blow some bubbles, dive into Jeff Goins’ book and enjoy the beautiful weather.

It was great not having to cook this week, as we had salads for supper 5 days. In fact, it went so well we are doing in again this week.

Breakfasts:

Lunches:

Dinners:

Snacks:

  • Dried fruit and nuts
  • Fresh Fruit and Carrots
  • Banana “ice cream”

Goals:

  • Run 3 times (20-25 minutes each time)
  • Read 30 minutes a day (finish at least another book)
  • Write 5 blog posts
  • Blog schedule for October

Linking up to Menu Plan Monday

Corn Tortilla Fajita Quesadillas

We love Mexican food around here. Taco salads and quesadillas seem to be the most common “go to” meals. This recipe is a bit of a different twist on quesadillas, and those avoiding wheat can enjoy them, too. We will be adding this easy recipe for Corn Tortilla Fajita Quesadillas to the menu often.

Corn Tortilla Fajita Quesadillas

Fajita Corn Tortilla Quesadillas
 
Ingredients
  • ½ of a large bell pepper (or 1 small one), thinly sliced
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 small tomato, thinly sliced
  • ⅛ cup cilantro
  • 1 cup cheese (combination mozzarella and cheddar)
  • 1 small chicken breast, sliced
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Oil (I use expeller pressed coconut oil)
Marinade:
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • ¼ t. cumin
  • ⅛ t. onion powder
  • drop of tabasco sauce
  • salt and pepper
Optional:
  • Salsa, Sour Cream, Guacamole
Instructions
  1. Combine the marinade ingredients. Add the thinly sliced chicken and let sit for 20 minutes. Then saute until cooked through.
  2. In a skillet, saute the bell pepper, onion and jalapeno with a small amount of oil until tender. Remove from heat.
  3. Place 4 tortillas on the counter and divide the cooked vegetables, chicken, tomato, cilantro and cheese between them. Top with the remaining 4 tortillas.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Brush the skillet with oil and place quesadilla in the pan. Cook until lightly brown. Brush the uncooked side with oil and flip. Cook until tortilla is done and cheese melted.
  5. Serve with any or all of the following: salsa, sour cream or guacamole.

Recipe adapted from Better Home and Gardens

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People Pleasing

Let me be honest here. I tend to be a people pleaser, probably to an unhealthy extreme. I don’t like to mess up, I worry about how others will view me and what they will think of me. I like to be in my comfort zone.

It’s one thing to think of others and consider their feelings and it’s another thing to live your life timidly walking around, afraid of rejection, and self-conscious. It’s prideful and can be rude.

I wish I could say this is a recent issue, but no, I’ve struggled with it most of my life.

I remember once when I was 10 we were at a get together with people we hadn’t know very long. A group of girls my age were playing together when we arrived and I refused to go over and play with them. Why? I thought they were having fun together and might not want someone else. I worried about it being awkward. I worried about what I would say. It was easier to stay with my mom than make the effort to interact. Eventually my mom made me go – she got up and walked with me over to them and I had a great time. My attitude went beyond shyness and turned into stubbornness and being afraid of how I might appear. It had nothing to do with caring about the others but rather was me focused.

(See why going to Delcare was such a huge step out my my comfort zone?)

Here are some reasons living to try and please people and worried about what they think is not okay:

1. That mindset seeks the approval of men instead of God.

2. A spirit of fear isn’t from God.

3. But rather He gives a spirit of power, love, and self control.

Christ’s love isn’t conditional. His grace isn’t dependent on how someone views me.

I pray that according to the riches of His glory He may grant us to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in our inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith, that we, being rooted and grounded in love may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19

Linking up to Fellowship Fridays, The Better Mom and Essential Fridays

 

Menu Plan and Goals

2 nights away and a day back home to recover and clean is a perfect getaway when you have little kids. We headed to Branson, MO and our 2 1/2 year old had a blast on all the rides at Silver Dollar City, feeding fish, and playing miniature golf for the first time (or rather letting her ball roll down the hills and dropping it in the hole). So much fun to experience everything through her eyes.

Branson Collage

We are now ready to head into the next week. I’m keeping things extremely simple around here, it almost seems silly to post our menu. It’s a little post-vacation health kick, I suppose.

Breakfast:

Lunch:

  • Leftover Pasta Sausage Bake (Kenna)
  • Salad
  • Sweet Potatoes

Supper:

  • Pasta Sausage Bake (from freezer)
  • Salad (I told you it was real exciting. I have all the vegetables cut up and lettuce and spinach prepared. Will make for easy lunches and suppers)

Snacks:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Almonds
  • Dried Fruit

Dessert of the Week: Homemade Ice Cream (mint chocolate chip)

Goals:

  • Run 3 times
  • Read 30 minutes a day (finish at least one book)
  • Write 6 posts
  • Plan the night before
  • Finish 2 educational DVDs

Linking up to Menu Plan Monday

 

Move Past the Excuse

Excuse

There are some times in life you have legitimate reasons to give yourself slack. It’s important to remember, though, that a good reason can become a poor excuse given too much time.

This is something I’ve been going through in my life lately.

10 weeks ago my son was born. Having a newborn in the house is the perfect reason to give yourself grace and slack – you need it adjusting to a larger family, a child dependent on you for everything, and major lack of sleep. I quit setting my alarm so I could sleep a few extra minutes in the morning, I picked a select few tasks to stay on top of each day letting other things slide, my Bible study didn’t happen, and exercise was not top on the priority list.

That is fine for a time. If I continue in that fashion too long, having a baby just becomes an excuse for not doing what I should. Sure, I could keep coming up with reasons it’s okay not to try and make changes. For instance, I could say I’m going to wait until the little guy sleeps through the night (but my daughter didn’t quit waking up at least once a night until she was 17 months old).

What’s the length of time it takes for a good reason to become a poor excuse?

That can be different depending on the circumstances.

  • Are the circumstances going to change soon or are they a permanent part of your life?
  • Are there improvements in your situation?

In my case 2 months had gone past – I gave myself an adjustment period, I felt like we had a new normal.

We won’t get back to where we were immediately, but it’s important to start making baby steps. It’s a great time to remember I can’t do it on my own. I need to trust God to help me and give me the energy to get through when my eyes feel like they can’t stay open.

How to Help Move Past the Excuse:

  • Make lists
  • Make goals
  • Move forward
  • Ask God for help

I wrote out what I want to complete with exercise each week. I am going into my next Bible study intending to get up early and accomplish it. I made the decision to push myself and know what has to be completed each day to meet my goals.

At the same time, we need to remember to give ourselves grace when we mess up, sleep too long, or don’t get everything done. Some nights the baby will wake up a ridiculous amount of times, some days the kids are cranky and needy all day or last minute plans might come up.

That’s okay. It’s life. Let’s not beat ourselves up, instead let’s keep going forward as we move past the excuse.

Have there been areas of your life you have had to get rid of the excuse?

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Menu Plan and Goals

It’s not very often I have a weekend where I’m looking forward to Monday but this was one of them. What exactly we did that was so exhausting and took up a tremendous amount of time I can’t exactly say. A lot of time was spent cooking, washing mountains of dishes, preparing tickets for 370 households to mail for our local concert series association and completing a ridiculously minimal amount of housework. It all added up to going continuously from 7 each morning until 10 or 11 o’clock at night. Monday might seem relaxing this week. :-)

Kitchen prep already accomplished: Crispy soaked almonds, granola, yogurt, chicken cooked for this week’s meals, bananas dehydrated, banana muffins baked, and garbanzo beans are currently soaking to cook for hummus.

FoodCollage

Breakfasts:

  • Oat Flour Banana Muffins no added sweetener (recipe coming soon)
  • Yogurt (made in the crockpot)
  • Granola
  • Oatmeal

Lunches:

  • Spinach Omelette (I learned I have no omelette making skills)
  • Leftovers

Dinners:

Road Food:

Dessert of the Week: Chocolate Eclair Dessert (all from scratch!!!)

Goals:

  • Run 2 times
  • Write 3 posts
  • Get ready for a mini road trip
  • Read 30 minutes 4 days

Linking up to Menu Plan Monday

Birth of Our First Child

It was a cold winter day in Oklahoma. I was 11 days overdue with our first child. I wanted a natural birth if at all possible and a positive birthing experience for our first child. Delivering in our local hospital would make me have to work harder on both of those points so we chose to use a hospital 1 1/2 hours away that had midwives on staff.

We were having an unusually snowy winter for this part of the country. An Oklahoma style blizzard had come through earlier in the week and more snow was in the forecast. We were praying that when this child decided to make it’s appearance the roads would be safe.

I started the morning off with a check-up at the doctor’s office. My midwife said everything looked good and the non-stress test and ultrasound confirmed it. I was 2 centimeters dilated (only my second time to get checked this pregnancy) and let the midwife strip my membranes to see if anything would get started while we had a few days of no snow. Most things I’ve read talked about how painful and uncomfortable it is to have your membranes stripped but I didn’t experience that at all – it didn’t feel like anything. Maybe it was a sign my body was getting ready.

We drove the hour and a half back home knowing it was a very real possibility we’d be having a baby that weekend even though I was feeling no different than I’d been feeling every other week and every other day. Shaun went back to work for the afternoon and I went home and did the usual stuff around the house. Some friends came by with their two boys and strawberry ice cream and we visited until they left a little after 8. Shaun and I ate a late supper (yep, we sure did have dessert first) and watched some TV.

A little before 10 I decided bed was calling my name. I stood up off of the couch and all of a sudden I noticed I was very wet. Yes, my water broke while I was sitting and I had no idea. Shaun had to ask, “are you sure?” when I told him. :-)

Since we live so far from the hospital, and with my mother’s advice, we decided to pack our things and head that way. (Yes, I was 11 days past due and the hospital bags still weren’t completely packed.) If labored progressed slowly we could get a hotel near the hospital to stay at.

During the 1 1/2 trip the contractions started. Nothing too bad but definitely uncomfortable. I didn’t even bother timing them. We got to the hospital a little before midnight, things were still the same. By the time I got checked into triage I was at 6 1/2 centimeters. It was then things started getting a little more uncomfortable.

I walked over to my (amazing) birthing room and met the labor and delivery nurse. A bit later LeAnn, the midwife on call, came. Such a sweet person. She gave Shaun a talk about what to expect and what I might say (I can’t do this anymore) as we got closer to the end. I sat on the birthing ball a while and the contractions were hurting like crazy. We were going to see if being in the bathtub would help any, so as the nurse helped fill it up I sat on the toilet. It’s hard to describe labor pains, but it was something like your entire abdomen being tied up in the most painful knots ever. In my head, I wondered how much more I could take.

The nurse asked if I wanted to be checked again. I was at 8 centimeters and she went off to tell the midwife. More painful contractions and I thought “I can’t do this anymore!”

Guess what that meant? It was time to push. I can’t say this was fun, but I was a step closer to being done with the process. It felt like I was pushing forever. I hated that the nurse and midwife would say “you are so close” and “just a little more” and I had no idea if they were telling the truth. Was I really doing a good job? Was the end actually here” Finally, the head was crowning! I was happy because I knew it was close and it was honestly the least painful part of the pain.

3:36am on February 5th, 2011 (12 days late) the baby was born! The midwife let Shaun be the first to find out the gender of the baby – we had a girl! She was 7 pounds 3 ounces and 19 inches. One of the first thoughts that crossed my mind was “I don’t think I can ever do that again.” :-)

Kenna

After our daughter was born I was shaking from the experience but happy. I had a second degree tear that was stitched up. My midwife complimented me on how great I did and specifically how well I did pushing, especially for my first baby. She couldn’t believe I was only pushing for 15 minutes. I later told Shaun that those were the longest 15 of my life.

I was happy with how my labor and delivery went and how supportive everyone was. My decisions were respected for what I chose to do and not to do during and after delivery. Doctors didn’t second guess me, and the hospital was supportive of breastfeeding and listening to what the family wanted. Recovery went well, I was just sore for a while from the tearing. Something I was thankful to not experience with birth number two. :-)

(Read about the birth of our second child here!)

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