Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Taking a Break


My life has gotten out of control lately- too many activities and not time to be on the computer.  I've decided I need to take a 2 week break.  I'll be back June 6th or there abouts :)  Happy Graduation/Memorial Day/ Beginning of Summer Everyone!!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Menu Monday-5/16

Oh My Gosh!!!!  These last few weeks have totally gotten ahead of me!  I’m so busy I can hardly see straight, and as a result, I’ve done very little tracking.  You may have noticed my blog posts aren’t as punctual either….  It is the end of the school year….  This is life Winking smile  So, as I weighed in this morning (didn’t even make it in last week to weight), and I was up a pound, I decided to set a realistic goal for the next several weeks.  You see, I need to allow myself to live life without over indulging, and without “dieting” which for me is always followed by bingeing.  This week is my son’s birthday, his graduation from 6th grade and the Enrichment Program he attends, and his party.  Next week we head out of town for my niece’s graduation, for which I am making the cake…….  along with other assorted goodies…..  Yeah……  So, my goal for the next few weeks is to focus on fruits and veggies, stay lean on the breads and starches, and be as diligent as I can when I’m NOT at one of the functions….  While we’re on vacation I’m not going to count points, but I do know from past experience that when I eat a bunch of crap I feel like crap.  So, I’m going to keep that in mind.  I’m hoping not to gain any more than 1 pound over the next 2 weigh ins.  I think that’s reasonable.  And, if this is truly going to be a lifestyle change I need to be able to live life.  After all of this is done I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled programming of counting points and loosing weight. Smile

So, here’s my plan for the week:

Monday:  Spaghetti Squash

Tuesday:  Chicken Fingers, Peas, Watermelon

Wednesday:  Shepherd’s Pie

Thursday:  Chicken Dinner in the Microwave

Friday:  Grego’s party food- pizza, nachos, s’mores, cake….  yeah.  lots of points…

Saturday:  Baked French Toast

Sunday:  Pizza Pockets/BBQ Chicken Pockets


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Singing Saturday- Thy Word

“All of us get a little bit lost in life.  Sometimes we’re lost when we’re young, sometimes we’re continually lost…  But it’s easy to lose your way, especially if life lasts a long time”….. 

Profound………  Have you ever felt lost?  Have you ever wondered where you’re going in life?  I love this, and delivered in Amy Grant Style…  Please forgive the quality of the video- it really is the best version, and I just loved what she said at the beginning Smile  Have a blessed day!


Thy Word-Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path
When I feel afraid
And think I've lost my way
Still, You're there right beside me
Nothing will I fear
As long as You are near
Please be near me to the end
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path
I will not forget
Your love for me and yet
My heart forever is wandering
Jesus by my guide
And hold me to Your side
And I will love You to the end
Nothing will I fear
As long as You are near
Please be near me to the end
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path
And a light unto my path
You're the light unto my path

Friday, May 13, 2011

Family Time Friday- National Foster Care Month

May is National Foster Care Month…  Did you miss it?  It hasn’t been well publicized by the media… but then, who wants to hear about a bunch of kids who come from broken up lives????  We’d rather see pictures of children in other countries than our own.  Ooops, I guess I got on a soap box……  Winking smile

Let me be clear:  I DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYONE IS CALLED TO FOSTER OR ADOPT CHILDREN.  And, if you’re feeling condemning guilt, remember that condemning guilt comes from the devil.  Convicting guilt, on the other hand, is another story.

If you are not called to foster or adopt, there are soooo many ways you can be involved, and help these children and/or the families that care for them.  A friend of mine (fellow foster mom) is dedicating the month of May to all things foster on her blog, Mothering in a Shoe.  She’s covering all types of subjects, I highly encourage you to read a bit on her blog Smile

Prayer is always needed.  I can’t tell you what the prayers of others have meant to me through this journey.  I have had comfort when I didn’t expect it, and have walked through the valley of the shadow of death literally feeling God’s presence.  Our family has been up against walls, and been faced with letting our daughter go, and had the peace that passes all understanding through it all because we knew we were being prayed for diligently, and we knew we were always praying God’s will above our own.  There is a prayer guide online if you’d like to hold a prayer vigil as a family or church, but just praying specific prayers for a foster family you know means the world to them.

Foster families need stuff.  And time.  If you know of a foster family and you have some gently used items, chances are, they’ll take them and either use them for themselves or pass them on to another family in their agency.  I can’t tell you how blessed we’ve been by our friends and even strangers who have donated stuff.  In the issue of time, one thing people don’t often realize is that foster children often come with many, many appointments with doctors, therapists, case workers, court dates etc which really takes time away from the home.  Foster parents are often juggling many different calendars and still faced with having their homes “CPS ready” all the time, because CPS workers can, are required to, and do make surprise visits.  This adds an extra element of stress to the already stressful situation.  If you know a foster family, consider giving them some of your time.  Either make them a meal, or offer to do some laundry, or clean up the house, or sit with the kids while they do.  What about a quick grocery trip?  Are you headed to the store?  Call that foster mom and ask if you can pick up some milk, or frozen burritos for her.  A little bit goes a LONG way in the essence of time for a foster family!

If you do feel called to foster, get involved right away.  The process is a long one, so the quicker you get started the quicker you can start fostering.  If you do not feel called to foster, please consider other ways you can support these children.  It is only right to take care of our helpless.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

GratiTuesday-School Friends

Today I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon at Gregory’s school.  Yes, we homeschool, and yes, Gregory goes to school Winking smile  He goes to an Enrichment program one day a week.  Since he’s in 6th Grade this year he’s graduating from the program next week.  It’s very bitter sweet.  He’s been there for so long, and I taught there for 3 years, so it will be very strange not to be involved with the program in some way next year.  Anyway, it was really nice to get to visit with members of the staff again, and especially nice to hang out with his class as they had a party during lunch today to celebrate.  I made a cake too Winking smile

Today I’m thankful for the friends we’ve made through the Enrichment program, and thankful to be able to be such an integral part of my kids lives Smile

Monday, May 09, 2011

Menu Monday-5/9

Ok, so you know how last week I said I wasn’t going to weigh in?  Well, I decided I better just bite the bullet and weigh in, or else I’d find some excuse not to weigh in this week.  I was up .6 pounds, which isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  Yay!  This week I’ve been back on plan, and trying to get some activity in too.  I’ll see a loss this morning for sure Winking smile  You’re only one decision away from success at any minute.  When you feel like you’ve fallen off the wagon don’t let that thought continue to drive your bad behavior.  (Yes, I’m self-talking here)

In other news I’ve got to do a week from the pantry as our grocery budget has run pretty dry….  It’s all good, though, even if our budget wasn’t dry I’d still have to do this, because we have a ton of food that needs to be eaten Winking smile

Monday:   Stuffed Zucchini, Garlic Bread

Tuesday:  Baked French Toast, Fruit Smoothies

Wednesday:  Pizzas

Thursday:  Chicken, Bacon Jalapeno Potato Salad

Friday:  Drive Thru Dinner, because we’ll be running around at dinner time

Saturday:  Chicken Dinner in the Microwave

Sunday:  Black Bean Soup

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Supper Sunday- Whole Wheat and Oat Pancakes

I’ve adapted this recipe from a recipe I found in my mixer handbook.  It’s a good way to get in some extra fiber Smile

Whole Wheat and Oat Pancakes
WW Points+= 2points per pancake, makes 30 pancakes

2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup Rolled Oats (Not the quick cooking ones)
4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
4 Eggs
2 1/2 Cups Milk (I used Whole, if you used low fat it would probably lower points)
6 Tablespoons Shortening, Melted (I like Butter Flavored Shortening, but either is good)

Combine flour, oats, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Leave on counter for about 20 minutes to allow the batter to thicken. 

I used my medium scoop from Pampered Chef to get evenly sized pancakes, and got 30 pancakes.

You can also add in mini chocolate chips, blueberries, bananas, Peanut butter, etc.  Anything that sounds good, just adjust your points Smile

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Singing Saturday- The Story of Amazing Grace

The quality of this video is not very good at all, but the quality of the message is fabulous.  Black, White, Purple, Polka Dotted, we’re all God’s Children Smile  I’m not posting the lyrics, you just need to watch the video in it’s entirety Smile

Amazing Grace- The Story

Family Time Friday- Summer Movies!

Are you looking at the summer with dread?  Wondering what in the world you’re going to do with your kids?  I know some parents look at the summer this way….  I have my kids all year because we homeschool, but I’m still looking for things to do this summer while we’re not doing school Winking smile 

For several years now we’ve participated in the Summer Movie Camp that Cinemark puts on.  It’s a fabulous deal!  You pay $5 for a season pass and watch a G or PG movie every week!  They’re usually movies that came out in the last year, but who cares?  It’s a lot of fun to watch them on the big screen and have some time out of the house Smile  If you don’t want to buy the season pass for some reason you can pay $1 per show.  I have done this in the past too, because if you check the listings for several Cinemarks in your area they will have different movies.  I’ve done the $1 thing when there were different locations or dates I wanted to attend.

So, there’s a dose of fun for your summer!  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday- National Day of Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer.  It is a national recognition of prayer.  It is a national call to prayer.  This really doesn’t happen much in our country, and it’s good that it still happens in May.  It’s good to be reminded that we are called to pray for our nation, not by our leaders, but by God.  We are called to pray for those who govern us, even if we don’t agree with the way in which they govern us.  We are called to pray that they make good decisions, and pray for their hearts to be turned to God.  We are called to pray for our national leaders, but also our state leaders, city leaders, neighborhood leaders……  Would it be fair to say we should even pray for our HOAs?  I would say yes.  Anyone who is in a position of authority over you should be prayed for.  Anyone who makes decisions that affect your community should be prayed for.

There is no shortage of things to pray for on this National Day of Prayer.

Why don’t you make a point to stop in prayer several times today?  Maybe every hour on the hour stop for just a moment and say a quick prayer……

Prayer changes things….. most often ourselves Smile

Wordless Wednesday- Somebody PLEASE Tell Me Their Laundry Room Looks Like Mine!!!


GratiTuesday-God’s Provision

My husband recently took a HUGE pay cut.  I mean a 20% pay cut.  We were already on a tight budget and this is making a VERY large dent.  As I come to grips with our new income level a couple of things are happening.  First, I have had it on my heart for a while now that we need to be giving the full 10% tithe.  We have never done this.  It isn’t because I don’t believe it’s important.  It isn’t because we’d rather not give so much money.  It isn’t because we want “stuff”.  It is truly because before the tithe became important to us we racked up our monthly bills too high to afford it.  Add to that the rising cost of gas and food and 2 extra people to take care of, and well……  So, I’ve been in prayer OFTEN about how to do the 10%.  Lord, I want to give you the full 10%, but I wrestle with how to make it happen without not paying something else.  And, I’m pretty sure God wants us to fulfill our obligations too.

So, when we found out we were going to take a 20% cut after the initial shock and fear wore off I heard from God.  He said, “Semalee, you’re going to learn to live on 80% percent of your income one way or another.  I know what’s best for you, and I will take care of you, but you need to trust me.” 

He He He He…..  God is so funny sometimes Smile

So, here we are.  I’m not going to tell you it’s going great.  But, we’ve committed to continuing with our pledge amount for the church no matter what.  We’re starting there.  And, we’re learning how to live on this amount, and working on adjusting our budget.  We’re looking at what things we can cut, and hoping that, through this process when my husband’s income is restored we can remain at this amount and sent 10% to tithe and 10% to savings as it should be.  What’s been cool, is so far we’re squeaking by.  I have a friend who is a nurse and she needed someone to watch her kids 3 days a week, and so that gives us a little extra cash that isn’t in the budget.  Michael’s been picking up extra jobs and we’re making it so far.  We have a plan to pay off our debt, but it involves our tax return, so we have to make it to next year where we’re at.

So, I’m thankful for God’s provision, and for God’s grace Smile

Monday, May 02, 2011

Menu Monday- 5/2

This week it’s time for me to confess that I’ve done terrible in the journaling department and terrible in the eating department.  I think I’ve gained a couple of pounds and, I’m not even going to weigh this week.  I’m going to go to the meeting, but not weigh.  I just know it’s bad.  I’ve struggled with PMS, stress of CPS and our meeting with them, and watching 2 extra kids and figuring out how to work that all in to my already busy schedule.  So, WW just fell off the list.  It’s a new week, though, so I am back on plan today.

With that, here’s my plan for the week:

Monday:  Tater Tot Casserole, Green Beans

Tuesday:  BBQ Chicken, Pea Salad

Wednesday:  Snack Dinner/ Leftovers

Thursday:  Pancake Supper

Friday:  Pizza- I might try my own dough again…….

Saturday:  Split Pea Soup, Rolls

Sunday:  I don’t know and I don’t care Winking smile


Sunday, May 01, 2011

Supper Sunday- Fruit Salad

I have a fruit salad that I make a lot in the summer.  It’s a regular around here and I rarely have any left….  Simple too!

Summer Fruit Salad

1 container of Strawberries, hulled and cut into bite sized pieces
4 Kiwi Fruit, sliced
2 Bananas, sliced
1/4 cup sugar (optional)

Combine all fruits in a bow.  Sprinkle sugar over and mix well.  Cover, and refrigerate for several hours before serving to give the juices time to mix with the sugars Smile