Category Archives: Resolutions

Scaling Down

It is Day #3, Week #2 of our attempts at weight loss.  I am trying a new plan based upon an article I recently read.  It said that if you go at least 48 consecutive hours with no/almost none carbs, then it will spur a metabolic boost that will help lose weight later in the week.

The first week I tried this, all went well until Day #3 when I made a mad dash for the donut shop, effectively undoing the progress I had made.

This second week, however, I am more focused.  I made a concious effort to buy extra no carb foods so that I could experience some variety.  Based upon our weigh-in this week, I also implemented this same strategy for both of the boys.  We are all slightly overweight….not much, but slightly.  Having to go without carbs for two days has really been an eye opening experience.  We have all seen just exactly how awful our carb intake has been. “You don’t miss it, until you no longer have it”, right?!  Well, we definately missed the carbs, but at the same time are gaining a knowledge of what is healthy and what is not.

I’ve done a considerable amount of research over the last few days.  My question was, after the two days are done, then just how many carbs (and calories) are healthy for each one of us?  Thankfully, I now have a plan to monitor for myself and the boys during the rest of the week.  I will attempt to stay at 1200 calories/180 carbs per day.  Both of the boys will be at 1970 calories/295 carbs per day. 

Preliminary results are good!  Our weights this morning revealed a 1.5 lb loss for me, 3.3 lb loss for the youngest son, and 4.6 lb loss for the eldest son.  I’m so grateful that they were able to see results, and that their “suffering” paid off!  Ok, they really didn’t SUFFER……I just realize that finally they have experienced hunger pains for the first time in forever.  Prior to this plan, they basically wanted to eat every five minutes, it seemed.  I would justify giving additional snacks because they are “growing, energetic boys”.  However, what I realize now is that they were consuming too many calories and carbs. 

We’ve never had trouble with them eating vegetables…..it’s not that they wouldn’t eat a well balanced meal.  It is just that they also wanted two helpings of meat, Texas garlic toast, sugary cereal (for breakfast AND snacks), popcorn melting in butter, ice cream, and what WAS the occasional Dr Pepper was now a “3-4 times a week Dr Pepper”.  Add that to too many hours playing video games and being stuck in the house too long and we begin to see the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle.

I don’t want a weight issue to be with them into adulthood.  I want to claim a healthy body for myself as well.  So, this is the plan, at least for now and it’s working 🙂

One interesting thing to note is that normally my weight starts small(er) in the mornings and then fluctuates 1-2 pounds within the day, ending at a higher weight in the evenings.  This is typical, I think, for most people.  However, weighing in after lunch actually showed me 1/2 lb LESS than what I weighed this morning!  Hmmmm……maybe the metabolic boost thing is working?  (despite having 3 muffins, a piece of bread, and caramel rice cakes today)

Lastly, I wanted to share one very, very low carb treat we’ve found this week.  It’s refreshing, cold, and creamy so it’s likely to stay on the weekly menu for a while!

Orange Creamsicle Dream Dessert Drink

8 oz diet orange soda

2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

1 cup of ice cubes

Mix it all in a blender and enjoy!  It makes one serving, so just add what you need to multiply according to the number of people you will be serving.  The drink’s texture is a little bit weird as the cream does not mix with the ice like most sugar laden smoothies.  However, we ate the chunks with a spoon and then when the ice broke down enough to liquify, it became a really cold wonderful creamsicle drink!

We’re having pork chops tonight…..AND summer squash……AND mashed potatoes!  I only get 1/2 a cup of potatoes so you can bet I will be slowly enjoying every bite!

Nutrition Info:  103.5 Calories, 11.1 g Fat, 0.8 g Carbohydrates, 0.6g Protein

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What’s Cookin’?

I’m still going through mounds of recipes collected but never tried.  Probably somewhere within the pile are the directions for making twenty different variations of blueberry muffins.  There’s cheesecakes, savory favorites, side dishes, and of course a thousand different kinds of breads.  Why do I always  collect the recipes, but never actually cook them?!  As a result, my self-commanded challenge this year is to cook my way through all of them.  

If the prepared recipe makes the grade, it will be included in my “Best of the Best” recipe collection and handed down to my kids.  One thing we have learned as a family is that when Grandpa was cooking his “fabtabulous” homemade biscuits, we all should have written down the recipe.  Now that he is gone, many of us lament about not having the tasty legacy to pass on. 

Hopefully, with all our favorite family foods in one book, my kids and grandkids will remember how much I love them!

Here are some recent tries that didn’t make the “A+++” grade.  They were good, but just not good enough!

Chicken Marsala (with not much chicken!)

Breakfast Pizza (the picture is green…the food was not 🙂

Lime Cilantro Pork Chops

 

Like I said, these were all good, but not the “Wow” factor our Family Cookbook requires. 

Two tasty treats that DO warrant saving are:

  Coconut Cream Pie

The crust is not homemade, but that doesn’t matter….the filling and meringue definately make up for it!  Also, this is the first time I’ve been able to use my new Kitchen Aid mixer for meringue, and it did not disappoint.  Never has mixing been so much fun and so easy!  Thank you again, my sweet and thoughtful husband, for making Valentine’s Day really special this year!

Coconut Cream Meringue Pie

2/3 c sugar, 1/4 c cornstarch, 1/4 t salt, 2 cups milk, 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten, 1 cup flaked coconut, 2 T butter or margarine, 1/2 t vanilla extract

Meringue:  3 egg whites, 6 T sugar, 1/4 t cream of tartar, 1 9″ baked pie crust, 1/2 c flaked coconut

For filling:  In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Gradually stir in milk until smooth.  Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Gradually stir 1 cup hot filling into egg yolks.  Return all to the pan, stirring constantly.  Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat; stir in chopped coconut, butter and vanilla until butter is melted.  

For meringue, in a mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy.  Add cream of tartar, beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually beat in sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time on high until stiff peaks form.  Pour filling into crust, spread with meringue sealing edges to crust.  Sprinkle with coconut.  Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes until golden brown. 

Also, this Quick Chicken Parmesan really makes the mouth water! 

Quick Chicken Parmesan

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1/3 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs

1 ounce fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 egg

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

1 garlic clove, pressed

1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes, undrained

1/3 cup pitted ripe olives, cut in half

Place each chicken breast between 2 pieces of Parchment Paper.  Flatten chicken to at least 1/4 inch thickness.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and black pepper in a bow.  In another bowl, lightly beat egg.  Dip chicken breasts in egg; coat with bread crumb mixture.  Sprinkle with any remaining bread crumbs, and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet until hot.  Add chicken breasts; cook 3-5 minutes per side or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.  Remove chicken breasts from skillet; keep warm in oven.

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in skillet.  Press garlic into skillet.  Add bell pepper; cook and stir until pepper is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and olives; stir.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Serve tomato sauce over chicken.  We also paired it with fettucini  and alfredo sauce which made for a very filling and scrumptious meal!

So…..that’s a little of what’s been cookin’ around here.  What’s going on in your kitchen?  Got any great recipes to share?  (No wait!  I’m not supposed to read any more recipes until I finish cooking through what I’ve got!  Ugh….I’m a recipe-aholic I think!  Somebody help me 😉

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As for Me and My House

Book, Chapter & Verse

Some of the last words from Joshua: “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt.  Serve the Lord!  And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.  But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  Joshua 24:14-15

If you are reading the Chronological plan, these are the words you will see today.  As I thought about them, it reminded me of how many “things” we let into our house.  Good and bad, these things affect our lives in ways we don’t often stop to…

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Acts, Chapter 2.

Verse 1

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”  Acts 2:1

There’s several things that jump out at me about this verse:  1)  The “Day of Pentecost”, 2) the words “fully come”, and 3) that they were all with “one accord”.

What was the “Day of Pentecost”?  From what I have read, it took place 50 days after the Feast of the Firsfruits.  According to J. Vernon McGee, the Feast of the Firstfruits speaks of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.   “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  But each one is his own order:  Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.  Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”  1 Corinthians 20-26 

The Passover speaks of the death of Jesus Christ:  “…For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.  Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”  1Corinthians 5:7-8

The words “fully come”, again according to Dr. McGee, could be translated to mean “fulfilled”.  The Passover was fulfilled in the death of Jesus Christ.  The Feast of Firstfruits was fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Now, the Day of Pentecost, being “fully come” (aka fulfilled) means that it represented the fulfillment of something — the birth of the church, the day the church came into existence.

So, in order to understand the timeline…..

  1. Jesus was crucified.
  2. 3 days later, He was resurrected.
  3. For 40 days, He walked upon the earth, resurrected.  (Acts 1:3)
  4. He then ascended into heaven. (Acts. 1:9)
  5. 10 more days passed.
  6. On the 50th day (Pentecost) the church was born and the Holy Spirit arrived.

  Continue reading

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Sending Me A Reminder.

At the post office yesterday, I ran into a friend whom I haven’t seen in a while.  Cindy is such a sweet person, with a wonderful family in the church we still call “home”. 

Little did I know, but Cindy has been reading my blog! Welcome Cindy 🙂

We got to talking about our kids and one of the things we have in common with our sons — seizures.  Her teenage son has had several seizures.  They are different from the type of seizures my son experiences in that my son’s are always related to fever, and his are not. 

She said something that later made me think, and served as a reminder to slow down a bit.  With all the business of our life right now, I realize that I may be putting my son at more of a risk for seizure.  She was talking about someone else that was told by a doctor to stay home if their child was tired and get him to rest.  Rest is important and the lack of it often contributes to other problems, as we all know.

So, as I was thinking about that comment, I realized that my son does show signs of weariness right before seizure episodes. His latest one happened after 10:30 p.m. and on a day that he had not had a nap.

We have been doing too much — trying to squeeze every moment out of every day, and he sometimes misses naps or stays up too late.  I know this is not good for him.

So…that being said, I appreciate the reminder, Cindy, (and God) to slow down.  I resolve to try to manage my schedule better, and see to it that Brett is a more rested child.

 As a matter of fact, it’s 10:16 a.m…….sounds like a good time for a morning nap.  Guess I’ll have to go lay down WITH him! 😉

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Filed under Attitude, Blessings, Children, Family, Febrile Seizure, Friends, God, Health, Obedience, Priorities, Resolutions, Time

Mathematical 2.

(faith   + v  + k  + sc  + p  + G  + bk  + l) = (F x 2)

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith…”

What is faith?  Why is faith so important?  Faith in Who?  Where is faith at work?  How and when did you come to understand the importance of faith?

The basis of our hope and security…the foundation of our future…the beginning of our spiritual walk with Christ  — it must be faith.

In order to begin answering our mathematical equation, we should first understand that you can’t add to something that’s not there.  The verse above said to “add to our faith”, which means that faith is the foundation of our inheritance.   Without it, we cannot know God, the things of God, nor the purpose of our life in God. 

I expect that many of you reading this today have already made a decision to accept the free gift of salvation offered by our Savior, Jesus Christ.  However, I don’t want to proceed any further without making sure.  If you have not done this, I implore you to take a moment to pause……….God is giving you another opportunity to hear the greatest of news!   Faith in God is where it all begins.

Faith starts small and simple…confessing our sin, and believing that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth to take the punishment for our sin.  Like a newborn baby drinks milk from a bottle, salvation is easy to digest (free and available), does not need chewing (no special works required), and satisfies our hunger (is permanent, filling us with the gift of life). 

From there it takes root, and starts to grow when we apply God’s Word to our lives.  At some point, we move from “milk” to “meat”.  We begin desiring more and more of God and His Word.  We crave knowledge and wisdom as only God can provide.  We read the bible, understand our purpose and calling, and live our lives in obedience to God.   The more we persevere, the more we step out of our “box”, the more we reach out to others, exhibit the characteristics of Christ, and grow our personal relationship with the Lord, the bigger our faith grows. 

Hebrews, chapter 11, defines faith as “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”   The chapter goes on to list many people in biblical times who accomplished great things for the kingdom of God.  Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses lived on the earth long ago, yet have something very much in common with today’s people —they, too, had to believe in the “unseen”.  Verse 13 says that they “all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”  If we all could just do these three things with our faith, we could surely move mountains!

A pastor once defined faith as:     

  1. Being sure God is who He says He is, and

  2. Being certain that God will do exactly what He promised He would do.

Another definition I have heard is: “Believing — no matter what the outcome or circumstance, and acting upon it.”

Faith requires action — even when you don’t like or know the outcome.  When tested through trial and affliction, faith should strengthen and grow.  A faith that stands still becomes stagnant.

If you left the earth today, what would be said of your faith?  Imagine the inscription on your tombstone, or a line in your eulogy — how would it fill these blanks?

“By faith,      (insert your name)     , when he/she was tested,        (did what?)     .

How are you exercising your faith today?  Are you regularly reading the bible?  Are  you talking to your friends, family, and neighbors about Christ?  Are you making an effort to further your relationship with God?  Do you whine and complain when God wants you to do something?  Do you rationalize or ignore your way out of the responsibilities of the “Great Commission”? 

I ask you to examine your faith today.  Look closely to see what “cracks” are in it, and allow God to make the needed repairs.  Know that “without faith, it’s impossible to please God” Hebrews 11:6, and be diligent in faith to add the next piece of our equation…

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A Bump on the Head.

I know…..you’re saying, “God Is….A Bump on the Head?”  You probably think I am losing “it”, huh?!!  Well, I probably did 🙂  Probably because tonight I received a big BANG on my forehead, compliments of a falling pizza stone!! 

I was reaching up to the top kitchen cabinet, which is above my head, and as soon as I opened the door, the stone came rolling out and landed on my forehead.  I barely even saw it coming, and then after it hit, I could not believe that it didn’t just knock me out completely?! 

To understand the frame of what was left of my mind at the time, you have to understand that the stone was large and round –15 inches in diameter, made from the finest of clay, and very heavy.  There was no escaping!

Now that I have had a few hours to regain my composure, I want to share with you why I probably needed this to happen…

For about an hour before the “rolling stone” incident (ha ha), I was engulfed in spiritual despair.  At about 5:00 p.m. tonight, as I was getting ready for choir practice, my son collapsed into his 16th febrile seizure. 

Thankfully, it was not a violent one, and only lasted about two minutes, but it came at a time when I had just been proclaiming victory over his illness.  Strangely enough, one of my first thoughts after it happened was, “I shouldn’t have blogged about it”, because my previous blog, “God Is…Holding Brett” was just written a few days before.  It was as if I had not blogged about it, then maybe he wouldn’t be having another one!!?  But….I know that’s not true.

Still…it is just so frustrating watching your son in such a helpless and fragile state….so frustrating that you can’t do anything about it…and, so frustrating that when we had gone so long without one, here it is again? 

The worst part of this, though, was my response.  How quickly we change from being publicly and spiritually victorious when things are “right”, to being defeated when things go “wrong”!  I sunk right into that frame of mind.  I turned my eyes away from God in the midst of my agony over continued seizures, and momentarily forgot to stand on my faith in Him.  (I’m sorry, Lord.) 

Now…after “regrouping” my thoughts, I realize that there are still praises to be made.  My son is still with us.  He actually was semi-conscious during this seizure, responding to several things I asked of him during the episode.  (Something new and wonderful because all of the other seizures were pretty violent and he was non-responsive.) 

My bump on the head really hurt, but is serving a purpose in reminding me of God’s hand, still holding onto Brett, taking care of him and blessing our family another time. 

I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:7-9, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.  We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…”

We have to remember that the war has already been won, and Jesus Christ is the victorious One!  Whatever the circumstance, I pray that God will allow you a “bump” on the head — just like mine, if that’s what it takes, to keep us focused on things above, instead of our problems below! 

…just don’t make fun of my bruise when you see me! (ouch!) 

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