Bible Dot Art – F is for Friendship

I thought I would share this with everyone. We are working on Letter F this week in tot school and this is one of the dot art pages I have created. We talked about friendship, and paired it with the story of David and Jonathon. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a good clip art of David and Jonathon – but this one makes me smile.

Click HERE to download the file.

Fit Mommy Friday

It was before the misery set in that I decided to write a Fit Friday post for the first time. And so here it is, the day I had decided to let the whole world know my fitness goals, and instead I feel like I should be curled up in bed recovering from the sicknesses and pollution in my body. Yes, that’s right, I’m sick. I honestly feel like a big rig has rolled right over top of me.

My throat feels like a furnace and is so swollen I wasn’t able to drink all of my green smoothie this morning. My abdomen hurts and is still recovering from the miscarriage. I went to the doctor today and found out I have a urinary tract infection – my first ever and hopefully last.  And I also learned I don’t have strep. My burning, swollen throat is most likely the product of me, as my husband so bluntly put it, poisoning my body with all the crap I ate in the last week. Thus my new 30 day raw challenge. For some reason when I eat crap – grains, dairy, sugar – my body seems to detox by forcing it all out of glands in my throat area. But that’s another story…

Fit Mommy Friday is post started by Got Chai? that helps us on the blog world stay accountable to our fitness goals. She provides a way to link up so we can all share in our woes or hopefully more often our successes.

One of the requirements of the post is to layout some fitness goals that you will try to meet – these could be focused around exercise, strength, nutrition, and other areas.

So without further ado, here are my Fit Mommy goals:

Rest each night for at least 8 hours, hopefully undisturbed by the little tots. And even more importantly rest this week as needed to recover from my variety of ailments.

Daily Quiet Time and Prayer: I cannot be physically healthy without spiritual health. My goal is to spend at least 15 minutes each day reading the Bible and praying.

Drink more water: This is an area I really struggle. I’m going to start by trying to drink 40 oz of water each day. I know I have water intake from smoothies and juices, so this goal will just be for straight-up water consumption.

Eat 90% raw each day: I love the way eating raw makes me feel. I love the effects on my weight, my complexion, and my energy levels. I just started a 30 day raw challenge for myself. After 30 days, I may want to reevaluate where I am, but for now my goal is 90% raw each day.

Crossfit 3 times a week: I love my local Crossfit. I love that they have an exercise plan set out for me each day. I love how challenging it is. I love that I always feels so great afterwards and know that I really accomplished something. I love that I’m getting stronger and leaner.

Exercise 1 time a week at home: Squeeze in either a travel workout or other workout from my house.

Other personal goals: Here are two other goals that I hope I can meet soon. Complete a Crossfit workout prescribed (which is where you complete the entire workout at the prescribed weight or activity level…so no scaling to make it easier), and complete 10 men’s pushup without stopping.

Buying Bulk Nuts – COUPON CODE

Yeah! A Coupon for raw food!

Let’s face it nuts can be expensive. Since we have started eating more raw nuts, in raw dishes and making nut milks, we decided ordering them bulk made more sense. After some research I found the best prices at ANUTS.Their prices have gone up slightly in the last few months, but they are still great. And the nuts we received from them were incredible. My dear husband and I were both amazed at the flavor in the almonds. There are shipping costs so we had to order quite a bit to make it worth it. Our first order included something like 20# of almonds, along with 10# sunflower seeds, and walnuts, cashews and other nuts.

Its time for us to place a new order, and just in time we received a coupon code!

Get 5% off your next order of $40 or more. Promo Code DSCG60

Good on orders placed by August 15, 2010.

Raw Food 30 Day Challenge

Petra chomping on a lettuce taco with zuchinni hummus

I’m still finishing up the Decluttering 30 day Challenge – about a week left and still lots to do and I don’t have any time at the moment to work on this; but I will keep trying to toss out more.  But my body is telling me its time to move forward to a new challenge – Raw Food. Please stay with me here, I think you can do it. And I know you can at least make incremental changes in your diet that can make a very big difference. I provided some options below.

We’ve had a few weeks here of some really poor eating. Having a miscarriage contributed to some of it, I definitely did some emotional eating. I did beleive at the time that I “deserved” that cookie. But we also had VBS this week and ate everything provided. I’ve had pasta, more cookies than I care to mention, rice, cheese and all sorts of unhealthy foods in the last few weeks. And I feel the effects. I haven’t been sick for months. Until now. I have a very swollen and sore throat. I don’t know why it is, but for some reason unhealthy foods always cause me to have a swollen throat. And its not getting better; probably because I keep eating crap.  Not to count the bloating, constipation and abdomen pain I’m still having. I really can’t stand it anymore. I’m tired and I feel gross and I know this will help.

I did a 30 day raw challenge back in the spring which I enjoyed so much it turned into a 45 day raw challenge. I had so much more energy. I felt absolutely wonderful. I want to feel that way again. Not to mention the 20lbs I lost during 2 months!

The foods you eat can have an effect on your weight, but also on your attitudes, energy levels, and your thinking. Eating raw has so many benefits. First off eating raw greatly increases your health. Many individuals are able to go off medications after switching to a raw diet. Some people have been completely healed of diseases. Eating raw is reported to increase your energy levels. Eating raw is reported to improve your complexion. Eating raw is said to take  you to your natural weight – and I really want to find my natural weight.

While our friends were here this weekend I introduced them to some of my favorite raw foods – including a chocolate mousse pie, sunflower bread, and green smoothies. I love that when you eat raw you know you are eating healthy. But even more I love eating raw because the food combinations are endless. There are so many delicious recipes that I don’t feel like I’m on any sort of diet. Even their children liked some of it…enough that they asked for some green smoothies when they got home the very next morning. And so, off Kelly went to buy a blender. You can read her post here.

Oh, and I can’t forget mentioning some of the results we had in the spring. Including getting pregnant after 5.5 years of infertility. Please be sure to check out my post on our diet changes and how it changed our life. You can see in that post how it really improved our health in many ways.

So today starts a new raw food challenge. My goal is going to eat 90% raw food each day for the next 30 days.I like doing things cold turkey. But that’s just me. I left myself a little bit of wriggle room for two reasons. First I love popcorn. But secondly, I’m not sure how my body is going to fair without any animal protein especially considering how hard I’m exercising these days. So, we will just have to wait and see. I’m not planning on eating meat, but I’m going to wait to see how my body feels. And I really want to do this for longer than 30 days, but 30 days is a good time to reevaluate where I am.

I know some of you aren’t ready for the cold turkey route, so here are some ideas for your raw food challenge:

Option 1. Prepare 1 raw food dish for each meal and let your family try it. This can be so simple. For breakfast try a raw green smoothie or just fruit, for lunch maybe a salad, lettuce taco or pate, for dinner sliced tomatoes with basil and olive oil. All very simple and very doable.

Option 2. Switch out all your snacks and your children’s snacks to raw foods. Again super easy. Fruit and nuts make the easiest snacks, especially if you are heading out and about. But you could also fix smoothies, carrot juice, raw cookies, popsicles and so much more. So many of society’s popular snacks are high in calories, preservatives, corn syrup and sugar so this option makes a great first goal for you and the family.

Option 3. Try to eat at least 75% of raw food each day. This is a lot easier than you think. You can easily eat a raw breakfast, raw lunch, have raw snacks and then eat a sensible, cooked dinner. I’ve discovered that dinner is the hardest meal for me to eat raw. So this may make it easier for anyone starting out.

If you are thinking about trying it out, link up below with Mr. Linky. I’d love to hear from you and also hear how its going. Also, I’ll be glad to help in anyway or point you to someone who can. I’ve recently added some raw links to the website that look amazing! There are some absolutely great looking desserts at Sweetly Raw, and RawMazing had an assortment of recipes I can’t wait to try.

very simple, raw cookies

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Happy Adoption Anniversary, Jasper!

Jasper on his adoption day.

It seems a fitting time to post about our son Jasper because this week marks our 1 year anniversary of Jasper’s adoption! The year has flown by and I cannot believe how much he has grown and changed. He is becoming such a sweet and caring little boy. He really wants to please us and he also does a great job sharing with his big sister. And he has excellent motor skills that are months ahead of where the mile markers say he should be.

This is how his story began.

In December 2008 I received a phone call asking us to take a 2.5 month old boy into foster care just 1 day before we were leaving to head to NC for the Christmas holidays. We were told the mother was already considering giving him up for adoption. I wasn’t sure what Thomas would say – Petra had just celebrated her 1st birthday party just a few weeks before this. So I made the call to my husband, and spent 2-3 minutes just prepping him before I landed the news on him. I was so sure I was going to need to persuade him. And I didn’t. He was more ready than I ever expected. And it was then that he told me he had spent the last week or two praying for a son.

When the caseworker brought him to our house, Thomas whisked him away. During the first 3o minutes of his life with us, Thomas held him close while I unloaded everything that came with him. In fact Thomas could not put him down. The next day we headed to NC with our new bundle of joy and surprised the rest of the family.  

My husband’s prayers were answered in a big way. Jasper’s biological mother was a very sweet young lady and she had spent years in foster care and didn’t want him to repeat it. She broke the cycle and gave him to us to adopt.

On July 23, 2009 Jasper’s adoption was finalized in front of a judge when he was 9 months old. And finally my heart had a chance to rest, knowing that both of our children were safely adopted and not going anywhere.

Jasper has been an absolute joy to parent! We have had to learn his likes and dislikes – and we were absolutely amazed at how a baby so young could be so opinionated.  He was our serious child. Everywhere he went he would just stare at the people around us and they would say, “oh, he’s so serious.” He looked at us for several months like we were complete strangers – and we were. He was whining and saying “mama” at just 4 months old. Around 6 months old he would shake his head with fury to say “no.” We did struggle. I struggled trying to get him to sleep at night, the eczema was horrible. I struggled to feed him baby food, he would scream nonstop – and I finally gave up. We struggled to find the best way to discipline him because he refused to sit in time out and spankings made him furious. Then … I found the solution to his sleeping – washing his sheets in baking soda or another homemade wash. And I found the solution to feeding him – waiting until he could pick up food on his own and feed himself (he went directly to bite-sized people food @ approx 7 mons). And we found the best way to discipline him – taking him to his room and talking to him, or leaving him there is necessary in time-out.  And that is how our life continues…finding what works best with each of our children.

Today, Jasper is an incredible child. We love him dearly. He is so easy most of the time. And we’ve learned his triggers over the last year, and we try to avoid them whenever possible or cope with them as needed. He is very independent and loves to play and climb on things. He loves gymnastics and is very strong. He is not scared of anything.  He is quite happy wandering around the house playing on his own. He LOVES cars, trucks and tractors. He doesn’t need constant attention or the limelight, but wants steady and unconditional love. He is unselfish and would share his right arm with his sister. He says only a dozen words, but understands everything we say, can follow 2-3 step directions, and can identify nearly all his letters and say his letter sounds. He is very bright. And now he loves to smile, laugh, and be silly.

Today Jasper is 1 year, 9 months, 3 weeks and 2 days old. And we love him dearly and we feel so blessed because God brought him into our lives.

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Taking a Break

I need to take a break. No, not from blogging. I love to post, but sometimes I do get too busy. This weekend was a real struggle to post. On thursday night/friday morning we had friends arrive – a family of 5 – and I had a miscarriage. So the weekend was spent recovering from the miscarriage and hosting. We had a lot of fun, but it was hard to find time to post.

Today I feel like I need to take a break from the activities. I feel like myself and my children need some good ‘ol fashion sitting at home, resting, and praying. We need a break. And I know I need to increase my focus on: 1) having my quiet time each day, and 2) being more compassionate and loving towards those around me.

Psalm 86:15 says “But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.”

I want to be like that.

We are still busy. I have work. We have VBS tonight. But there will be some time in between. And during that time, I’m going to take a few moments to rest and pray with my children. And I’m going to ponder on how my life can be more compassionate and merciful to those around me. Maybe you can join me?

The Tallahassee Museum

I’m always wary about buying annual passes, or spending too much on one thing I’m not sure we are going to use. But our annual family pass to the Tallahassee Museum has been wonderful. The museum offers a small natural habitat zoo, a farm area with animals, many picnic tables, a large playground, a cafe, and a small discovery zone. And on some days, the museum has actors at many of the historical buildings. And the staff and volunteers have always been very helpful. The first time we went we saw a solid white skunk being walked on a leash! This weekend we saw a volunteer brushing a rabbit. In both of those instances the staff have been very willing to talk to and explain their activities to the children.

There are the downsides though. The museum is small and rarely has more than one of each animal. And it seems like every time we go many of the animals are sleeping and can barely be seen, if at all.

But overall, it is a great place to spend a few hours. And it was very much worth the $60 we paid for an annual pass.  We’ve been trying to visit about once a month. And sometimes the children go more often with the nanny. This weekend I finally remembered to take my camera along…and we took our friends. Kelly also posted about the Tallahassee Museum – you can see what she thought about the Cypress trees and other things by visiting her blog Walking Home.

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