Friday, June 13, 2014

Frenzied!

I do not know if is the spring weather or that my youngest quickly approaching 4, or that I am a year away from 40, but I am antsy. That is an understatement.

My mind is in a creative, entrepreneurial frenzy. I can't stop thinking, my heart is racing almost as quickly. I have blog ideas, business ideas, plots and plans stewing bubbling away, all day and all night. Obviously I can't do them all, but how to narrow them down? How do I take all this creative energy and passion and channel it into a productive, practical lifestyle and make a living while doing it? I am sure that I don't know!

I think I am a bit addicted to the dream, passion, planning part of the whole thing. Turning those dreams, plans and goals into reality is another story. I am hoping that because my baby years are now over, I will be able to turn that around. Begin turning my plans into reality.

I think I am on my way. I have been taking some online classes, free ones that complement my kids' learning, but I am taking steps. This summer I will be taking my first business class. I am applying for a business license and doing market research. I know of all kinds of ways that I can spend money. But I am making myself slow down and think it through. It is hard to be still and slow and thoughtful, when my whole self is thrilling with frenetic energy. I hardly know what to do with myself.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Whole 30: Day 27 Check In

EEE! Today, I am wearing a pair of jeans that I haven't been able to button up for over a year. Well over a year. EEEK!
And it was grocery shopping day and we bought Whole 30 compliant groceries. And a food processor to make my life a whole lot easier. I figure that it will pay for itself in a week or two if we count up my hours saved.
When we finish our 30, we are going to take a few days and reintroduce dairy and a bit of wheat, according to the schedule, and see how we feel. It is my birthday next Saturday and I am going to have Black Forrest cake. We also let the children each pick a grocery item and my eldest chose lasagna fixings. So I think we will have lasagna on my birthday as well. I should feel really wonderful. Or not.
But other than that we will be still eating mostly Whole 30 compliant. I think I will be doing a complete 30 days again. I don't think that I am ready to navigate my food without the Whole 30 safety net. I also think that I ate too much fruit this time and didn't give myself the proper chance to slay the sugar dragon.
Easter should be interesting! We will be travelling, and there is the whole Easter candy thing. I do love me some Mini Eggs!

Friday, April 04, 2014

Whole 30: Day 26 Check in

Well, I have not made any photo worthy meals today. And I am not 'feeling it' today. To be honest, I am beyond exhausted. In the last week I have slept very little. Last night I was in bed for 11 hours! Weirdly, I feel the worst today that I have all month. Between pms, lack of sleep, an extremely sore neck, foggy brain and a tummy that is not sure if it is getting the kids' tummy flu or not, I feel crappy.
The last thing I wanted to do this morning was to get up and have to cook breakfast. Give me a flippin' bowl of cereal already! I don't even really like cereal. But I made a quick omelette, but I ate it with a banana, bell pepper, water and a cup of tea.
I had more fruit and eggs for lunch. I know I am not supposed to eat a bunch of fruit. I feel like I cheated today. It is grocery day and my choices were limited, but I could have chosen some broccoli like I did yesterday. 
When my husband got home from work, I had a good cry. "I hate this. I though I would feel better by now, but I feel like crap. I am sick of feeling tired and having a sore head. And I am sick and tired of cooking all freaking day!" (after 20 some days of no migraines, I am on day 4 of this one.)
Anyhoo. Tomorrow is a new day. I ate some cashews while waiting for the kids' dinner (pizza) to cook. Between that and getting out with the family for a bit, I am feeling better. About everything. Plus, Brent helps with the cooking and groceries on the weekend. So YAY!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Whole 30 Day 24

Well, we are almost at the finish line and I am pretty sure that, come day 30, we will not be stopping completely.
I am conflicted. I know I am not ready to stop yet, my body needs more time to heal and my psychological connections to food are not healed yet either. I am still craving sugar most days. Especially when I am not getting enough sleep. I am, however, happy to report that I am no longer starving between meals and in the evenings. By 4:30, I am pretty hungry, so we are eating earlier that usual and occasionally I will have a handful of almonds and a cup of tea to give myself some extra time.
My conflict comes because it is my birthday next weekend. And the whole time I have been following the Whole 30, I have been looking forward to Black Forrest birthday cake! I think I will have my cake and then go back on for another month.
Today I had an amazing lunch. Brent made meatballs for dinner last night, and I knew that I wanted a souvlaki inspired wrap. Since pitas are verboten on the Whole 30, I bought some butter lettuce. The gorgeous round leaves are perfect for making a wrap. Last night I made some Whole 30 and paleo compliant tzatziki. My husband tasted it and declared me a culinary genius. I don't know about that, but it is pretty tasty.
If you want to know more about the Whole 30, Check out the book! It Starts with Food (amazon affiliate link)

 

Paleo Tzatziki
1 can of coconut milk (not carton)(or cup of greek yogurt if not eating paleo or Whole 30)
2 cloves of garlic
fresh dill
half a lemon
1 cup of shredded cucumber

1. Take only the cream from the coconut milk. Refrigerate overnight and it should separate.
2. Add the juice from half a lemon
3. Crush and chop the garlic, add to the cream
4. Add fresh dill to taste. (or about a tsp of dried)
5. Salt and pepper to tast
6. Stir in cucumber.
7. Refrigerate for at least a few hours, it is best eaten cold. If using yogurt, it tends to separate a bit, just stir it up again. You can squeeze some of the liquid out of the cucumber to reduce the separation. If using coconut cream, the dip will thicken in the fridge. You can stir in a bit more lemon juice before serving to make it deliciously creamy.
This should keep for a couple of days in the fridge.
MightyMorphinMama whole 30 paleo tzatziki

I even had this tzatziki for breakfast, on top of these salmon patties. Excuse the children's plate!
MightyMorphinMama whole 30 paleo tzatziki salmon patties


Monday, March 17, 2014

Whole 30 check in, day 8

Doing a Whole 30 is a bit complicated with a house full of kids.
We have 6 children including 2 teenagers with their own income, who keep bringing junk food and such into the house. We didn't do a purge, so there are a number of tempting things like milk, cheese and peanut butter still in the house and being consumed by the kids on a daily basis. I am freaking out today, because I licked peanut butter off of my finger while making my kid a sandwich.
Do I need to start over???
We wanted to do a whole family Whole 30, but it was really stressful for the kids, so we are slowly introducing new foods and reducing the old ones and eliminating sugar. (I hope to wean them off the peanut butter by mixing it in ever decreasing amounts with almond butter)
Anyway, we are doing well, eating well and feeling okay. I have had some high energy days, unheard of for me, and I have had some really foggy, tired, sore days, like yesterday. We did have a lovely, long walk with the kids yesterday and saw the first Canada goose of the spring at the lake. Zed was 'observing and wondering,' he kept saying. And it was my husband's idea, so even better. He is really inspired to keep going, so that is an even bigger bonus. For the first few days, I felt like I was having to be a crutch for him, ensuring that he had lots of on plan food to eat, teaching him. But after a medical scare on Thursday and a cheaty look at the scale, he has taken the reigns for himself. Reading, prepping food, drinking coffee black. The whole 9 yards.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Uncle

My heart is so very full today. My newsfeed is full of photos and loving remembrances of a very special man in my life, my Uncle Oliver. He and my Auntie Joyce were like grandparents to me and my sisters, as our grandparents lived far away and Auntie and Uncle lived just around the corner. Uncle was always up for teasing and tickling when we were small and board games and jokes as we were older. Their home was filled with love and grandkids. Now they are finally reunited in heaven with many other of those who are precious to us, I know that Auntie is snuggling our Kalila and baby Grace each day and they are walking with their parents by a heavenly ocean. My heart aches for my dear cousins and their children and grandchildren, as well as for Uncle Oliver's dear wife who was his travel companion and friend and love and took such lovely care of him. I love you and miss you Uncle. And I love you, my sweet cousins. Your love, your close family ties, your philanthropy, your faith are all the greatest testimony of the lives of your parents and grandparents, Joyce and Oliver. I can't wait to see you all soon and share our memories.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Whole 30

This blog has always been about becoming the woman God wants me to be. About growth and change and appreciation and gratitude and the hard stuff and the joy. We have been doing the Saddleback church's Transformation study at church; we have been working on the Total Money Makeover, also at church; in my group of home educating friends, we have been working through The Twelve Steps: A Spiritual Journey; and my doctor had spoken to me in the fall about changing just one thing at a time in my physical health, as well as taking the time to do things that fulfill me as a person. Change is most definitely in the air.
I feel a bit like a cliché. I am almost 39 and looking at my life as a whole and wanting to live more deliberately, squeezing all the joy out that I can and to live beyond fear. But I think those are good things. I have been a stay at home mom for most of the last 20 years. Living out my purpose in my home. It is past time to push myself into being the best version of myself. And it is time to start expanding the boundaries of my life and reaching out to others more.
Anyhoo. One of the things that I am doing for my physical health is the Whole 30 program. 30 days of no sugar, no dairy, no grains or legumes. Just whole, nutrition dense foods. Meat, veg, fruit, seeds and nuts. My husband and I really needed to set the reset button on our food intake. Our sugar addictions were through the roof, we have both put on weight in the last couple years and I have never been so tired in my life. Exhaustion, headaches and muscle pain have been my constant companions for so long that I can't remember life before them.
So I am eliminating all the inflammatory foods, cutting out all sugar to stop the cravings, and hoping to see some change and at least see what foods are irritating me.
I am excited and afraid. Afraid of failure. Can I do this? Afraid of success. What will that mean? That I can't have any of my favourite things any more? Doomed to a life without cheese and chocolate?? I know that is silly. I am just making a choice. A choice to go without certain foods for a period of time, to see how that affects my body, my energy, my mood. The only thing I have to lose is pounds, pain and weariness. I don't HAVE to do anything. I get to choose. When the month is over, I will make more choices. And each day I will choose. What will I eat, how will I move, will I be thankful, will I be joyful? Choices.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

New Year, New Gifts

01.09.2014

I have a tendency to worry, to pessimism. I suffer with anxiety. I forget about my blessings and concentrate on hard circumstances or difficult people and personalities. Sometimes I get stuck and life happens to me. I forget that I have the power to choose. To move. To act. To speak. I feel full of anger and blame.
Then God reminds me. Through a bible verse. A facebook status. A blog post. A friend. A book.

I am reminded that I choose. I choose my reactions. My attitude. I can choose joy. I can choose peace. I can choose right. And God and love. I can choose to love with my entire soul and being. I can love beyond myself, with God's all-encompassing love. I can have joy in all my circumstances. I can choose to give my worry to God and let him hold me up. I can choose to live courageously. Move through fear and into victory. or defeat. And not fear defeat.

My word for this year is choose. I need to remember to choose each day.

Gratitude reminds me of this. I can be grateful in spite of trials and I can be grateful in my trials and for them as well. I can can definitely show gratitude for all the gifts I am given each day. In choosing gratitude, I choose abundant life.

I choose.

1000 gifts:
1. 3 days with no puking from anyone. After a month of sickies.
2. That I figured out why my toddler was so grumpy and miserable and couldn't stand the sound of my voice. He has an earache, and also a gift, a doctor's appointment tomorrow.
3. A lovely chinook.
4. A fairly productive day under our belts.
5. Meat in the freezer, so that I can make dinner.
6. An epiphany in a loved one about himself and the ones he loves.
7. That God doesn't need me to do his job. And that he keeps reminding me of this. Even when I keep trying to do it.
8. Patient friends.
9. A new experience. Getting paid to teach!
10. A teenager who still loves to listen to Adventures in Odyssey.
11. A job for my eldest.
12. A lovely discussion with my 5 year old about the map in my bible. He told me how that he loves to pretend that he is in a ship, on any map he sees. He goes on adventures, sailing around islands, landing in places where he delivers things, talks with the people, sees things and then he gets back in his boat and goes somewhere else. 

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Mission Impossible

June 5, 2013

Wee Sunshine brought me a letter from the Melissa and Doug mailbox. It was the secret mission letter, so I pretended to open it with him. Zed wanted to come and be a part of the secret mission so I told them that the secret mission was to find 4 orange items in the house. Orange is Sunshine's favourite colour.

They quickly came back with 4 orange items and a map. They wanted another mission. Find 6 blue items was the next mission. When they  came back with their blue items and tallied them for me, they wanted yet another mission. My bed was now piled high with their treasures, so I knew what the next mission had to be. Put all the blue and orange items away.

Zed immediately rebutted with, "I do not choose to accept that mission, Mom." and off he went.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Playtime.

I was weary today, and didn't really feel like doing anything, never mind playing make believe while I was trying to cook. But my almost 8 year old Girly and her 2.5 year old Sunny sidekick were in costume and knocking at the kitchen entrance, pretending to be trick or treaters. What was I supposed to do?


I grudgingly answered the door and handed out pretend treats, then retreated back to the stove. Seconds later, they arrived at the other side of the kitchen, knocking at the entrance. So over I went, 'pretending' to be a grumpy person, irritated at trick or treaters. My sweet kids giggled. By the third knock at the door, I was ready to enter their make believe.

Each knock was answered by a different character. There was the funny woman with the accent, the giant who was relieved the kids weren't there to play tricks on him and had a treasure chest of candy to share. There was the 'gangsta', the little old lady, and the sheltered princess who had never eaten candy or been trick or treating.

She was invited along for the fun, dressed as what else, but a princess. She was well loved by the Halloweeners and ended up having her first sleepover complete with movies and soda!

Imaginary play is not something that I think of myself as doing well. I am often way to immersed in the drudgery of the real world to allow myself to be caught up in their play. But we had fun, even if it was soon interrupted by dinner. And my daughter was so pleased to be my playmate.

PS: These photos are wishful thinking. We do not have green grass yet. We finally got rid of the snow in the last week! These shots are from last spring, boy have my sweeties grown!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Weary

As I step outside, I am rendered momentarily blind by the dazzling light, reflected off of the fresh snow. The sky so stunningly blue, I can barely look at it. I quickly grab my shades off of my head (where they act as a headband for my unruly mop of hair) and plunk them on my nose, instantly releasing a sigh of relief.
Oh, glorious sunshine. Spring in the North! I don't know that the sun is ever as bright, anywhere else on earth.
Even that spring sunshine is barely making a dent in the bone-deep weariness that has overtaken me. Winter has been long. By Halloween, we had cold and snow. Then more and more and more snow. Then, we had a gorgeous February, the world was alive with hope of the end. But it was a false, temporal hope. March roared in like a lion and he keeps rearing his ugly head.
Yesterday was very emotional, something shattered my dented hope, and I reacted with volatile anger, rather than grace. I am defeated and ashamed. I feel powerless in my situation and have lost my perspective. But these are just feelings. Feelings that are temporary. My hope is not in the temporal, but in the eternal. There is a pinhole in the shroud of my weariness, and through it I can glimpse hope. Glorious hope. Redemption, forgiveness, the relinquishing of my burdens to one far better equipped to carry them. And he wants to. Carry my burdens, I mean. He tells me so, over and over again. I can be thick-headed at times. (Usually.) But I can hear him still. "Let me carry that for you. My shoulders are strong. Come on, give it up! What are you going to do with that garbage, it is weighing you down. You can't live in my freedom, rest in my grace, rise on my wings while carrying that stuff. My daughter! Give me your worries, your shame, your fear. Let me release you of their shackles so you can get on with the important stuff. Living out my love. Sharing of grace. Peaceful rest. Victorious, fearless, abundant life!"
I am trying to let go. Trying to breath deeply, release the tight pain in my face and neck and shoulders. I am trying so hard!
That isn't how it works though, is it. It isn't in the trying. Striving is just another way of hanging on. Doing it myself...
It is in surrender.
So I need to learn to surrender. What does that look like? I can't envision it right now. Oh God, show me!


Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blessed am I.

February 17, 2013

37. Eternity. Pastor B was speaking from 1 Peter 4 today, and talking about eternity. My heart did a little lurch. I thought of how, as a parent and as a person, if I have goals set in eternity,  does that change what I am doing each day? Yes! It should! I need that perspective shift. May it be so.

38. Pastor B and his heart for people. He never comes across as pretentious or judgey. He leads with the hearts of the people in his. As Christ does.

39. My mother-in-law sitting in church with us this morning. Pink in her cheeks and a smile on her lips. Thank you God!

40. My oldest son asking for his one-on-one time with me. Can't wait to spend some time with him, that is all about him.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

I am blessed.

About a year ago, a friend introduced me to Ann Voskamp's 1000 Gifts, a challenge to recognize and celebrate all of God's gifts in your life. I recorded 20 gifts and then kind of kept putting off the writing of my gifts. ahh, procrastination, my nemesis...
Anyhoo...
Here are my gifts today:

21. A little girl who is so very thrilled to spend tonight with her Daddy.
22. A husband, who is such an amazing father that he recognizes the need to treat his daughter as a princess, to take her to the Daddy/Daughter Ball, and to even fill her request to get a tie that matches her dress.
23. A daughter who notices things like 'men should wear a tie that matches their date's dress'
24. A wee boy who yells, "HUG!" as Daddy is putting him to bed for his nap, and then he wraps his wee, darling arms around my neck, squeezing me in the most precious embrace.
24. Teenagers who still laugh and wrestle with their Dad and want their mama to hug them and rub their backs.
25. My husband's job where he is off work at 2:30pm, the same time the teens are done school.
26. 2 afternoons this week, spent sitting in the living room, in the sun, chatting with my teenaged boys and their father, while the younger siblings drifted in and out, gifting us with cuddles and their play.
27. Peaceful littles during our homeschool/Classical Conversations morning. Last week they were chaotic, so it was an extra gift.
28. Lovely, Christian, praying and also home educating friends.
29. My mother-in-law was fine, even though she had a missed bleed after her angiogram
30. Listening to and marvelling at my 2 year old's developing speech. super sweet!
31. My husband teaching our four year old to count higher.
32. Knowing that there are 3 more days in our weekend!
33. The joy and fear of learning new choir music for our Easter choir. I don't think I found one right note on Tuesday, but the music and fellowship are gorgeous and I know that it will all come together!
34. The encouragement I have already found in our studying of 1 Peter. The challenge too!
35. Our home. I have felt discouraged and frustrated at the mess it is currently in. But it is ours. And we are healthy and strong and able to clean and improve it! And we have lots of time this weekend too.
36. The inventiveness and creativity of my eldest son. And the time my husband took to help him bring his creation to life, in metal! They welded a DNA model for B's bio class. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Little Lie

January, 2013
2! How fun is 2?
My baby is 2 and a bit and has been making me laugh so much lately. Yesterday I was reading an article about preschoolers and lying. A group of researchers was conducting experiments with children and lying. They were shocked to find out that 30% of the 2 year olds would lie. It had previously been thought that they were not cognitively mature enough to lie.
Well apparently 2 year olds can lie. I have proof! This morning, my wonderful father-in-law rescued me by bringing my keys, after my husband accidentally took them to work with him. He also brought doughnuts for the kids. Sweet torture for mom, but I let the grandparents do some spoiling if they want.
Anyhoo... There was a doughnut sitting on the counter after the kids each ate one. I went upstairs for a minute and came back down to see many wee bites had been taken out of it. Sunshine was in the kitchen, so I asked him who had eaten the doughnut.
"Oohdah!" he said. Which is how he says his big brother's name. Someone else called out that Sunshine had eaten it.
"Sunshine, did you eat the doughnut?"
He sheepishly grinned at me, tilted his head to the side and sighed resignedly, "Mmmhmmm."

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The post in which I whine...

Today is one of those days. One in which I know that the only way I will get through is by the grace and strength I find in my God. One that started way too early with a little boy who had wet his bed. Then he wet his bed again. Then he wet my bed. Then my toddler wet through his diaper, all over his bed.
I knew by the second wet bed that there was little hope of getting enough rest to rid myself of the headache that has been sitting above my right eyeball for 13 days. Or for the flu that has been making me ache and moan for 5 days or so, to leave. I laid in bed, next to the wet, wee boy and the giant wet spot, praying, "God, please let us all sleep just a wee bit more. Please. Sleep."
The little boy, who kept wetting the bed, also has the flu (as does Daddy). He is feverish and whiny, extremely whiny. My newly preteen boy, has a newly minted attitude problem to go with his new potty humour fetish. So our school day has been full of whining and eye rolling and arm folding. (and a few inappropriate body part references...)

Brent called from work, right in the middle of the chaos. After making a few sympathetic noises, he made the little chuckle that I know means that he is very thankful to be at work, and not dealing with the chaos. I whimpered through the phone, "Please come and save me..."
Brent laughed and said, "If I am coming home, I am bringing my man cold with me."
I had to laugh. I know what that means. He goes to bed until he feels better and I still deal with the rest. Funny only because we both know it to be true.

Don't get me wrong, he is an awesome partner and co-parent. He has been trying really hard to let me rest and feel better, he took over all weekend. He is a very active parent, he shares in the cooking, shopping and cleaning. Usually. And he can suck it up and work hard, even when he is very sick. But if he gets sick and has the luxury of being home, well, we don't see him again until he is well. He is smart like that. If only we were all so smart as to get man colds. Instead of lingering martyr/mother illnesses, which stick around because either we can't get enough rest to get well, or they keep getting passed back and forth between us and our boogery faced children.

Silly mama. I think that as soon as I finish the 5 loads of bedding I have to wash today, I will curl up with one of my sickies (and my freshly laundered duvet) and take a nap.

PS: It is not all bad. My previously bickering and whining children, took over the iPad to finish their memory work while I was on the phone and are now all sitting together watching some Brain Pop and getting along while I hide type. And I barely feel guilty, because it is educational.
Now to go make some KD for lunch, which I won't feel guilty about either. My husband picked that and a bunch of fruit and yogurt up (all favourites) for us this week, to make things easier for me!

eek!

As I was typing that, I heard the telltale, "click, click, click," of the ignitor on my gas stove. I ran downstairs to find the 2 year old, ripping open a box of KD and trying to start the stove. Apparently he was not content to wait for me to feed him.

Now that I wrote all that down, I feel surprisingly better. Ready to go and cope with the rest of the day. I think I will let the kids do their UB David and I'll B Jonathan Bible studies on the computers this afternoon, while hopefully the 2 small kids nap and I rest. Maybe I will even get out the tea things and the poetry and art books for a tea time with them. Maybe...