Wednesday, April 30, 2014

On the Healthy Side of the Tracks

 Dear hubs and I have been taking a careful look at a lot of the food that is in our home lately.  Hubs is training for hist 1st triathlon and I'm still trying to lose baby weight from Madeline, so it seems like we're headed to the healthier side of the tracks.  The only down fall is the impact it has been having on our budget, so you can imagine my excitement today when I saw an article titled "20 Ways to Build A Whole Foods Kitchen on a Half-Price Budget." This one article lead me to all sorts of different articles and information that can help keep us on a healthy track but not kill our monthly grocery budget.

One of the things I found interesting in the Whole Foods article was that it ways build your weekly menu AFTER you grocery shop.  I don't know about y'all, but I do the exact opposite!  But the article makes sense - grocery shop and get value-priced produce and items, then plan your menu.  Why plan on making zucchini that may be at its highest price when asparagus is on sale?  So it looks like I might be changing my menu-planning style! 

So today, I just wanted to share some of the links that I've found in hopes that it might help you as well.  But, I also want to know what some of your tips are on how you and your family eat healthy.  How do you use fresh vegetables?  Do you freeze a lot of fresh foods?  Are you a member of a co-op?  I want to know it all!  Tell me how you and your family eat nutrient-rich foods on a budget.  

Here are some helpful links:
20 Ways to Build a Whole Food Kitchen on a Half-Priced Budget
Weekly Food Prep to Keep You on Budget
Eating by the Seasons
Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen
Month-by-Month Guide to Seasonal Produce
Seasonal Produce Recipe Guide

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Summer Fun List

With summer right around the corner, I always love putting together a 
Summer Fun List!

If you've never done a Summer Fun List, it is a great way to explore your town, or just get outside and have fun, especially as a family.  We've done this the past several years and love marking things off our list.  So here are the fun things we want to do this summer! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Its Thankful Thursday!!!

Today I'm thankful for doctor's and healthcare professionals that help us feel better!

My poor family seems to be so sick lately.

There's Madeline.  Poor baby girl had a urinary tract infection at only 5 months old, which lead us to do testing and find out that she has grade 2 bilateral urinary reflux in her kidneys.

Then Emmalee got a stomach bug about 6 weeks ago, then she gave it to Madeline.  Then we were healthy.

Then they both got snotty noses and congested, but we took care of that too.

Then Emmalee got another stomach bug two weeks ago; then gave it to Madeline and she was sick last week; then Madeline gave it to our Daddy who is STILL sick.

Then on Friday I took Emmalee in for her 3 year well-check, only to discover that she has a double ear infection, but has never complained or said her ears hurt at all!  So mom-fail!

But through it all, our doctor's and healthcare professionals have helped us feel better and get well.  I'm so thankful for a doctor who knew that a 5 month old should not have a UTI, and insisted that we perform tests and "dig deeper" into what was going on or we would not have found the reflux.  I'm thankful for a great pediatric urologist that got us in quickly to see him and was so great with our daughter, and actually explained this condition to us in a way we could understand.

So if you are a doctor, a nurse, a caretaker, or anyone in the health care industry...

Thank you!!!

Thank you for what you do and the difference you make!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Prayer Life

Beth Moore tweeted something this morning that really got me thinking:

"Some things just flat-out aren't going to happen if we don't get our tails up and pray with faith, courage, passion, and confidence.  As the saying goes, we can't keep doing the same thing the same way and expect something different. Let's press in to a new level of prayer."

I literally reread this tweet over and over and over again.  She might as well just have put @awilliams0720 in the beginning and spoke these words straight to me because I NEEDED to hear this!  For some reason I guess it's never occurred to me that praying for the same thing in the same way over and over again, but expecting different results could be a "problem area" in my prayer life.  Then, the question came to mind "What is my prayer life even like?"

Let me completely pen and transparent here:  I pray, I believe in prayer, but do I have a prayer "life"?  What does a prayer LIFE look like?  Sadly, when I begin to actually dwell on it and ponder my prayer "life" I just see the occasional "bless this food" and "Lord help me to..." kind of prayers.  So if this is my prayer LIFE, why would I EVER expect for things to be different in my life?  

On the flip side, I did get a glimpse of what a true prayer life if like about 3 months.  Brant had applied for a new job.  One that would have moved our family to a different state, and one that he desperately wanted.  He got pretty far into the interview process and it really looked as if we could be moving.  From the day of his first interview and for the next month, I felt like we both immersed ourselves (morning, noon and night) into prayer for the Lord's will to happen - not our's.  It seemed that when our whole future was up in the air, a peace that passes all understanding still prevailed.  I remember telling Brant one day that I was feeling a peace and presence in my life that I simply could not understand.  It was incredible.  

And now, I look back on that few months and wonder what happened?  And sadly, I know what happened. 

I stopped.

I stopped immersing my life in prayer. I stopped seeking His will and praying for His will.  I went back to "my" normal.  

But I don't want my normal anymore.  I want my normal to be a life that seeks His way everyday; a life that runs after Him; a life that moves only toward Him.  

So today is the beginning of a new adventure - one that uses Him as my guide and uses His lamp to light my path.  I want to pray with courage, and passion, and confidence that He will do great things.  He is the author and perfecter of my life, so I will cover every inch of my life and prayer and seek the Holy Spirit who lives within me.  This is what I want!  This is a prayer life!  This is what I will start TODAY!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday, Emmalee Caroline


Emmalee Caroline,
You are 3 years old today, and I simply cannot believe it.  It's hard to remember what life was like before you. You made all me dreams of being a momma come true just 3 short years ago, and life has only gotten sweeter.  

You have the sweetest spirit and love people unconditionally, especially your baby sister.  She is the first thing you usually ask for in the mornings and you're always telling me and daddy that you "want to keep her."  You love playing tea party with her and are always wanting to hug her, and kiss her, and help feed her and help burp want to be involved in everything. 

You are so funny.  You constantly make me, your daddy, and your sister laugh.  You love to sing and are always making up songs for everything.  Sometimes I think you sing more than you speak.  You are so smart and incredibly inquisitive.  You ask some of the most deep questions and have a wonderful memory.  You like order - you're always wanting to know "the plan" and what is going to happen.  You are not a fan of bedtime, but still love taking baths or anything involving water.  You are a ball of energy that is constantly on the go.  You love the outdoors and playing pretend. 

Your favorite food is spaghetti.  Two days ago I asked you if you wanted to go out to dinner for your birthday or for momma to cook, and you said you wanted momma to cook.   When I asked you what you wanted me to cook, you quickly asked for spaghetti & meatballs, even though we just had it last week.  You were thrilled when I told you "yes!"  You also like most vegetables:  squash, broccoli. green beans, carrots, and tomatoes.  You like cheese, peanuts, vanilla wafers, and anything sweet.

More than anything, you fill our home with laughter and liveliness.  The Lord made you so special and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you.  Remember that your mommy and daddy are always so proud you, and love you more than you will ever know.

Happy birthday sweet baby girl; I love you!