Wednesday, January 28, 2009
My dad is doing much better, he was itchin' to get out of the hospital and and they released him today. The reason for all the concern was they were unsure where the blood he vomited came from. Test results showed he was no longer bleeding, which is a great thing but the best they could conclude was it was from ulcers on his esophagus. We hope this situation has resolved itself. The only problems he has now is finding foods that sit well with his stomach. I'm staying here in E-Town to help my mom out so that she can go back to work, we don't want to repeat the situation again without anyone around. Apparently he lost a lot of blood on Monday.
Calvin enjoyed riding in Grandpa's bed at the hospital and was happy that he had more energy today, this evening he ran up to his legs while he was sitting on the couch just ready to play. I am so thankful to have such a flexible little guy. Poor thing didn't get to bed until about 9:30 last night, when finally his body couldn't take it any longer he gave up and closed his eyes.
Every time I look at my sweet boy my heart is burdened to pray for another little one. Please continue to lift up Cora, you can find more out about her condition on her family's blog. She has begun her chemo treatments, so pray for her tiny body during this assault of chemicals and for her family as they watch their little girl grow weaker. Let's believe God for a miracle.
Monday, January 26, 2009
So it looks like we'll be in for a trip in the next day or so, weather permitting. I'd appreciate your prayers for my dad. Calvin and I spent last week with my parents and my dad was doing well, he had a blast playing with his grandson. I'm trying not to let my mind go to other places and focus on what is taking place right now. It's defiantly hard.
It seems like today was such a heavy day. The weather was drab and my heart was full of ache already for a few friends and this just added to the heaviness. I was reminded of Job today and just the assault of things that God allowed Satan to do to him. The loss of children, his dignity, status in the community, his health, and still he acknowledged the God who has every right to take things away. I love how God allows Job to make pleas and question him, but Job ultimately comes back to trusting in His perfect will. I am trying to allow God to teach me what it looks like to cry out "Blessed Be YOUR NAME" in all things.
Would you also join me in praying for a sweet little girl? Her name is Cora and we went to college with her parents. She was diagnosed with cancer this past week, she is 10 months old. Heartbreaking, I know. Would you pray that her parents have the strength to endure what is ahead and that God would show himself powerfully in this situation. That doctors would be amazed at how little Cora was healed. If you want to follow this situation and commit to pray for them you can find updates from a friend here or you can check Joel & Jess's blog.
Thank you for sharing my burdens.
Monday-Chili Kolaches, baked sweet potato cubes, salad
Tuesday-Lentil Barley Soup, homemade rolls, salad
Wednesday-Jamacian Pork Tenderloin, Broccoli, salad
Thursday-In honor of Kansas Day we're having Steaks, potatoes, salad & KS dirt cake
Saturday-Pancakes for breakfast, Celebrating my mom's birthday later in the day
Sunday-Omlets & Toast
It's crazy that January is almost over, where did the time go? I hope you all are staying warm today, it's certainly cold in our neck of the woods.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Brainstorm.....While we were overseas I noticed I was making the same things over and over again. This prompted me to make a list of meals I knew could make with the ingredients we could get. So I got out a piece of paper one day and started jotting down ideas. It developed into a list with several categories CHICKEN, BEEF, MEATLESS, SOUPS, SALADS. Under every category I wrote down all the recipes I knew how to make. Next I highlighted all the recipes that were quick recipes, ready in 30 minutes or less. I also noted recipes that took some time to make. I eventually typed up the list and it was hanging on my fridge, when meal planning time came I grabbed it and was ready to plan. If you are new to meal planning, I suggest you start with this step.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Monday-Healthy Burritos (lentils and Rice) w/ avocado, tomatoes, & corn
Tuesday- Company's a coming! Grilled Beef Skewers on pita w/ Tzatziki, sauce, Greek salad & pilaf. Dessert: Baked apples w/a little crisp on the top.
Wednesday- Italian Tomato Soup w/tortellini, salad, & peas
Friday- Company again! Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Glazed Carrots & Rolls. I have no idea what we'll have for dessert. Any healthy but yummy ideas?
Saturday- Muffins and Eggs for Breakfast, Sandwiches for lunch and Tostadas, Rice & Salad for dinner
Sunday- Hamburgers, Sweet potato fries, fruit. Probably popcorn for dinner.
I've got a few goals for this week as well.
1. Finish Calvin's scrapbook. I finally got his birthday pictures so I'm ready to finish the last two pages. Yippee!
2. Organize the back room. It's a mess. It's been cold back there and so we just open the door and throw stuff in. It's time to get it in order again.
3. Spend some time outside. It looks like we're in for some beautiful weather and I hope we can take advantage of it to the fullest this week.
4. Tackle my growing pile of things that need to be mended, hemmed, etc.
5. Finish my resume...more on that later.
Friday, January 16, 2009
I am counting down the hours till Marvin is back in KS. It's been a long week, Calvin has had a blast, but has also tested my patience to the fullest. (I used to think I was a patient person, but Calvin has shown me I need to grow considerably in this area.) I guess we are finishing the week as we started the week, tantrum central. Today he insisted on continuing to find things he should not be playing with....ahhhh!!! He has suddenly become super interested in outlets and "plugging" things in. Today he found a radio and tried to "plug" it into the vent. This new fascination scares me a lot. Our house is safer because I know our outlets are covered but since we aren't at home, I feel like can't take my eye off of him.
He now has 7 teeth, another one popped through this week, but I'm wondering if he is cutting his molars too, poor thing has been working on this 7th tooth for a while. Recently he has started fighting me when I brush his teeth, but I think it's because his gums are so tender. Tonight I had the bright idea to brush them with a wash cloth using my finger. Ouch, yep his chompers came right down on my finger, the teeth he has certainly work well.
It's been a fun week, but I'm ready to head home and to be back together as a family. I feel so lucky to have such a great husband and am looking forward to some family time on Sunday. Enjoy the weekend and stay warm, I'll post more on Monday.
Monday, January 12, 2009
This week is filling up with lots of things and people to see. I have enjoyed getting to take Calvin to do a few things that I did growing up. The first stop was here....
It's a great little zoo and it's free. It won't take you too long to walk through it, but it was perfect for us. Calvin loved watching the vultures and prairie dogs. They were both very active and Calvin was busy pointing at them moving. Hopefully the weather will hold up this week and let us go one more time.
This morning we headed to story time...
I was bummed they didn't still have the coolest chairs in the world (they were round and hard and spun perfectly). But they really have a great play area set up for toddlers. Calvin loved it, if it gets colder we'll have to go back.
So that's our week so far. We're looking forward to seeing some friends later on in the week, but most of all we are looking forward to Marvin returning. Saturday can't get here soon enough.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
My total this week at Dillons, Aldi and Walgreens was.....$37.03 (I have to pick up a few more things but they are little so I think we'll come out around $40, $10 under budget, sweet.)
Dozen Eggs (1.62, I was bummed I forgot them at Aldi, I think they are 1.29 there)
2 1/2 gallons Soy Milk (2.49 ea.)
Applesauce (1.29 used a .60 store coupon)
Bac N Buds (2.99, Marvin's salad staple)
Kosher Salt (1.69)
Grape Jelly (1.79)
Gallon Skim Milk (2.99)
4 lb bag grapefruit (3.00)
3.18 lb. bananas (.13 I had a store coupon for $2.00 off fruit if you bought more than 4.00)
Sunflower Seeds (1.75)
Peanuts (1.44 used .75 cellfire coupon)
Chocolate Chips (1.49)
Sweet potatoes (1.69)
Chicken Bouillon Cubes (1.09)
Iceburg Lettuce (.99)
Frozen OJ (1.25)
Crushed Pineapple (.89)
Whole Grain White Bread (1.29)
4 Cans Progresso Soup (4.00, used two .50/wyb 2 coupons, but didn't pay anything out of pocket because I used my gift card. So in our house if it money doesn't exchange hands it's free!)
I had some household stuff in the mix of this at Dillons so if my totals are off it's due to the tax. We keep household items and food separated in our budget. But I did the P & G deals, combined with coupons and esaver coupons and got some free and nearly free items along with a great deal on diapers. We are set on shampoo, soap, toothpaste, & diapers for a while. I spent $17.27 for household this week, but I'm stocked for a while so that area should be dramatically less in the coming weeks if not months.
Monday, January 05, 2009
I also did something else I have been wanting to try for a while. Last week I made yogurt in the crockpot. It was SO easy and much cheaper. I have enjoyed it every morning this week. Calvin loved it too. I'm starting to add more dairy to his diet, before he was a little bloated, gassy, and also had some nasty diapers. Hopefully we will be able to move into cow's milk soon.
Go here to find the recipe for the yogurt, you won't be sorry:
Tuesday: Simple Risotto with diced sweet potatoes, & salad
Wednesday: Baked Potatoes with broccoli & cheese sauce, loaded salads (chicken, eggs, etc.)
Friday, Saturday, Sunday visiting my parents
It's a light week as far as cooking for meals but I have several projects this week to get ready for next week. We'll be gone, Marvin's heading to KY to take a class and I'll spend the week with my parents. Here's what I would like to get done before we leave.
- Homemade granola bars
- Pumpkin Bread
- Muffins for breakfast and snacks next week
- Mini pizzas for lunch next week
- I also need to finish my Grandma's Christmas present. I'm taking all the cards she & my grandparents received for her 65th wedding anniversary and making a scrapbook for her.
I think that is totally attainable, I'm working on setting practical goals. FYI I actually got up early today, worked out and showered before Marvin left for work! I like this new routine, let's hope it sticks.
Friday, January 02, 2009
1. Getting in shape and shedding some pounds. I know it sounds cliche but It's been something I've been working on for the past couple months. I wasn't so great at trying to loose the baby weight at first, we were stuck in Turkey and I just didn't have the motivation and it took a long time to heal, so enough with the excuses, it' a year later and it's time to get on top of this.
On an encouraging note. I was very pleased to see that since Thanksgiving I had lost 4 more lbs. I hadn't even been too diligent with exercising. I'm pretty sure I've gained at least a pound over the holidays. I'm about to throw away all the rest of my candy so it's time to get serious. (Yes I will really throw it away, it's wasteful either way you look at it.)
My game plan
So my goal is to work out 6 days out of the week (5 at the bare minimum). I just ordered new Billy Bands. I absolutely love my TaeBo workouts using Billy Bands, unfortunately one snapped so I have the DVDs but they aren't too great without the bands. I am so excited about these as it's been a while since I last worked out with them. Plus they are easy to travel with. Marvin about killed me when he opened the suitcase and saw my weights nicely packed, we were supposed to be packing light. So until they arrive I'll keep doing the one Firm DVD I have an occassionally do my Paula Abdul.
I am hoping to drag myself out of bed early this year. I am NOT a morning person at all, in fact I'm a night owl, but I hope to have worked out and showered by the time Marvin leaves for work.
This spring I hope to take Calvin jogging in the mornings, I hope to jog to Marvin's work to pick up the car a few mornings a week, it'll be a nice 2 mile jog. My mother-in-law picked up a jogging stroller and I hope we can get some use out of it this spring. I used to love jogging. There is just something about feeling the air on your face and your lungs burning. I might even be inspired to run a 5 K race this spring. Whoa that may be a little too ambitious. Before the jogging begins I think I better get some new shoes, mine are over 3 years old. But that will have to wait a few months.
I have been trying to eat more veggies. Specifically I am trying to have a vegetarian lunch everyday. I'll try my best to revamp salads and to be creative in my choices. I've tired to choose healthier options when menu planning. I seriously have had to seek out new ways of cooking. For the most part everything we've tried has been great, who says eating healthy doesn't have to be delicious. I love checking out new cookbooks from the library to inspire me to keep up the new eating habits.
Also I am saying goodbye to ultra sweets. Now there is a time and place for sweets, but I love sugar. I'm trying to cut back and choose naturally sweet alternatives, of course in moderation. I heard someone say that they only have something sweet on the weekends. I think that is brilliant and I'll give it a go. Plus I LOVE fruit! I mean I love it!
Goal #2 Spend better time in the Word and journal
This past year I didn't make it through the Bible. I am disappointed in myself and lack of clearing time for the most important thing. Becoming a mom has been hard in this area and I am really trying to give God that precious time he deserves. I love reading through the Bible every year. I don't have one of those fancy schedules I just start at the beginning and read front to back. I've realized by doing this how much better, easier, and real the passages become. They are more familiar because you just read about it. Oh how I miss it. Now these years with little ones I realize I might not make it through the whole thing, but I'll allow God to decide how far I get each year. I also want to start journaling again. I love it when I do it, it's just doing it that I fail at most of the time.
Goal #3 Use the resources God give us to the fullest
I am trying to set our grocery budget at $50/week this year. Well at least while we are in the states. I'm excited for this challenge, but it's only $10 less that we usually spend so it shouldn't be too difficult.
So there they are. I'm excited for 2009 how about you?
Thursday, January 01, 2009
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I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on the past year and look ahead to 2009. To be honest 2008 was a tough year for us. It was filled with so many unexpected surprises and plenty of heartbreak. The Lord led us through some really shakey times but thankful we were standing on His rock through it all. Compared to other friends, this year was a piece of cake, but I've learned over the years that grieving is a healthy thing to do, even it is as simple as clothing (yes I did this).
It seems like February has been a tough month for us for the last 3 years. This past year was no different. After waiting for what seemed an eternity for our letters of invitations, we thought we would return back home within a week. We were crushed when we were denied visas. Through all this God really gave me the passage of Abraham and Issac as well as a song that has been an amazing encouragement. It is called Holy is the Lord by Andrew Peterson. It describes the journey of Abraham obeying God and taking his beloved son to the alter to sacrifice him. The song describes Abraham's anguish as he is asked to give up the son he waited so long for, I can't imagine the pain of that request, but the beautiful thing is that Abraham trusted that God would provide a lamb instead. The part of the song that touches my so deeply is the following:
So take me to the mountain.
I will follow where you lead.
There I'll lay the body of the boy you gave to me.
And even though you take him still I ever will obey,
But maker of this mountain please make another way.
Beautiful PAINFUL Obedience! This literally was my plea, as we were heartbroken. We didn't understand why God would place a people so deeply on our hearts and then take it away. He's the God who parts seas, heals the sick and we were left with the reality of returning to America. We grieved the loss of a team that is like a family to us, and friends, the loss of opportunities to be light to them, and the reality of their eternal destiny. I was brought to a point of having to trust the Lord for everything. I don't understand why he brought us home so early, but it as hard as it has been it's been a blessing to be a voice for a people very forgotten. We hope to return this year and are eagerly awaiting that day as our hearts are already there. In order to return there are a few hoops we must go through and one deadline looms over our heads once again. We'll continue to trust in his perfect timing and hope we make this next deadline. It's Monday so pray that we meet the requirement. Marvin's been diligent in trying to achieve this but we ultimately know it's not in our hands. Thank you for all of you who have interceding for this request.
The rest of our year was spend adjusting to America. Marvin found a job close to our house, which makes it possible to have one vehicle, Marvin rides his bike to work. There have been so many ways the Lord has literally provided for our basic needs this year. We literally started from scratch, we came home with 3 suitcases and most of that was Calvin's baby gear. We continue to be awed at how he loves us by simple things...even if it is free soap when we are almost out.
Marvin is working landscaping which has left him tired and sometimes frustrated. He hasn't been able to use his talents as he thought he would, but he is doing a great job providing for our family. I love staying at home with Calvin, it's been so fun to watch him grow up. He has changed from this little baby who depended on our every need to this little boy who wants to do everything himself, which includes feeding himself. We has quite the mess this morning when I gave him yogurt.
We have been thankful for the close proximity to family. We've been able to be at graduations, weddings, holidays that we didn't expect to be at so that has been a huge blessing in this crazy year of ours.
As I look forward to 2009 I literally don't know what it has in store for us, but I know one I know one thing: I'll be keeping my eyes focused on the Lord. Happy New Year to all my fellow bloggers, friends & blog snoopers. I'm glad you stumbled on my site. May the Lord grow your faith this coming year.