Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Night Dinners

    Whatever happened to Sunday night dinner's?  You know what I'm talking about, salad, hot and fresh homemade dinner rolls, roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed pea's and fudge ribbon cake for dessert. 

    Well, maybe you don't know what I mean, but at least you have an idea of why I've struggled with a weight problem!  Ha!

  This week I decided to bring back the official Sunday dinner.

   We dined on  New England Style Roast Beef, double stuffed  baked potatoes and zucchini.

New England Roast Beef
Chuck Roast
1/2 cup of horseradish
1 cup of water
salt and pepper to taste

 Heat oven to 325.  Place roast in 9x13.  Spread horseradish over roast.
  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  Top with one cup of water.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake 2 hours

     I have to admit after cooking I felt a little like:

   You know, with my mad couponing skills and now homemade Sunday dinners, I just might be the total package.  Ha!

Blessings to you and yours!

Gratitude List:

12.  Precious kids.  Last Tuesday I wasn't feeling well and my kids were SO sweet.  Noelle started the morning by coming into my room and asking me if there was anything she could do for me.  Christian followed up by asking if I would like a cup of coffee or tea.  Gracie wanted to know if she should make breakfast for everyone (she's only 7, so I said no).  What sweet kids I have!

13.  Blue skies.

14.  Strong hands.

15.  Hugs and kisses.

16.  A new book, A Thousand Gifts.

17.  Text messages from my mom.

18.  Laughter.

19.  Cousins playing dress-up.

20.  Lower numbers on the scale.

21.  Flickering candles.

22.  Brownies and ice cream.

23.  My friend, the Lumberjack's Wife, and her sweet plug for my blog.  My stat's doubled in one day!  Return the favor and go check out her blog- she's hilarious!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Couponing and Such

    Couponing.  This word simply makes me shudder.  I want to be a good steward, and quite frankly, I always like to have extra money.  Last weekend I attended a Women's Conference and learned about this magical thing called couponing, now to be honest I did not realize that couponing is actually an intense part time job.  I assumed couponing meant you clipped a few coupons in the local Sunday paper and you actually remembered to use them while grocery shopping.  Apparently I was wrong.

  Couponing is intense, and you have to be strategic, and not an impulse shopper.  Hummm...already seeing some red flags.  Well, this week I spent an hour and half, on two different day's, checking out couponing websites and whatnot. Guess how many online coupons I printed?  Yep, you guessed it- NONE!  I'm a bit of a researcher and a bit of a skeptic.  Can I really save money, neurotically couponing or will I end up purchasing a bunch of processed junk I wouldn't normally buy?  Humm...  Can I really save money if my husband likes to eat fairly gourmet food and I like to buy lots of fresh fruits and vegetables?

  I wrestled with this idea all week.  The lady that led the class has a family of eight and spends around $200.00 a month on groceries!  Insane!  We spend....well, significantly more.  I did a little research, and if I couponed and spent $200.00 a month on groceries, and saved the rest of the money I usually spend on groceries for a year, my family of five could go on a trip to Maui for 14 days, including hotel, airfare, car rental and $1500.00 spending cash.  Humm...couponing is sounding slightly better, slightly. 

Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

   So, here's what I'm going to do.  I going to "attempt" to start couponing, but I am not going to change the way we eat.  If I save any money, I will put  the extra cash I save in our saving account.  Hopefully this time next year we'll be taking a sweet vacation or at the very least I'll have a sweet new wardrobe.  I'll let you know what happens.
    In the mean time I'm going to be dreaming of:

Ritz Carlton Kapalua


Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

      Here are a few sites you might want to checkout if you plan to start couponing:

Blessings to you and yours!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

There's Fat and It's Tuesday #3

   Well, I have bad news today, I gained one pound this week.  It's shameful, I know.  Here's the tragic story of how my weight loss went astray.

     1.  Tuesday started out like any ordinary day, I woke-up, had a 400 calorie breakfast, and went to work.  The day progressed swimmingly, and I stayed within 1600 calories.

    2.  Wednesday started well, I had a 400 calorie breakfast.  Around lunch time things started to get sticky, you see, I was having lunch with a friend at a popular Mom and Pop restaurant.  My plan was to stick with a Cobb salad and have my dressing on the side.  This plan would have been great, as Cobb salad, in itself, is a healthy choice.  You do need to request your salad dressing on the side, as you can quickly consume too many calories worth of salad dressing, and who wants to do that!  Well,  my resolve to have a salad failed miserably and I ended up consuming a delicious mushroom burger, sans the bun.  This too would have been fine, if I had not topped off my burger with delicious homemade fries.  Yum! 

   3.  Thursday started in failure, I met a friend for breakfast.  Folks, this is never a good plan, restaurants are not low calorie factories.

   4.  Friday I consumed four, four hundred calorie meals.  Woo hoo!  Finally!

   5.  Saturday started well, but I attended a Women's Conference and blew my calorie goals by having a pumpkin scone for breakfast and eating the lunch at the conference.  Ladies and gents, don't waste calories on mayo and cream cheese.  It's not worth it!

   6.  Sunday I stayed within my calorie limit.

   7.  Monday I woke up and weighed myself, I had gained exactly one pound.  Bummer!  I weighed myself three more times, just to make sure, and I still had gained one pound.  Bummer, again!

   Lesson learned, stay away from restaurants and Starbucks, they are the enemy.  So far this week (Monday and Tuesday) I have stayed within my calorie limit.  I also prepared my weekly menu ahead of time and make sure to stock up on the groceries I needed.  I know that I need to plan ahead and prep meals so I don't cheat!  So far I am coming in 5th place in our "Biggest Loser" competition.   I need to pick up my A-game!

   On a side note, I developed pictures for the first time in years this week.  Take a look at some of these doozies:


It's frightening, my arms are WAY bigger than Sandy's.

   The funny thing about these pictures is that I deleted the one's that were the most horrific!  Sandy hadn't seen our vacation pictures for quite a while and his comment was, "Hon, I don't remember you having such big arms."  Good thing love is blind.  :)  (Note to Taylor:  It's okay.)

Last week.  (Not sure I'm lovin' the brown hair.)

Blessings to you and yours!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gratitude Week 4

   Psalm 66:1
"Shout joyfully to God, all the earth;
 Sing the glory of His name; 
 Make His praise glorious.
Say to God, "How awesome are Your works!"

       We serve an awesome God.  Life gets crazy, but isn't it such a blessing that we are His!  Today my post will be short and sweet- just my gratitude list.

1.  Sitting in church with my family, and holding crayons for my littlest while she colors.  This season of mommyhood is rushing by, and I just want to push the pause button. 

2.  Shopping with my oldest.  I love our conversation and how she asks my opinion on her fashion and make-up.  (Now, she doesn't always use my opinion but at least she asks.)

3.  I'm grateful for new neighbors and the words Grace spoke upon meeting them. 
           Grace:  "I've been praying for you since I was a little girl.  I've been praying for a friend in my neighborhood."
     Melt my mommy heart.  I'm not sure our new neighbors are Christians and they may now deem us the weird neighbors, but I am so grateful to have a little girl that lets her "light" shine.

4.  My son.  Christian is a ton of fun and I am grateful he still asks me to tuck him in and pray with him.  I fear these days will pass to soon.

5.  Sweet friends who read my blog and encourage me.  I love you guys!

6.  Good, predictable books.

7.  A cup of peppermint tea and my bible.

8.  Good conversation and breakfast with a friend.

9.  No snow!  Yeah!  Rain~boo!  (Oops, this is a grateful list not a complaining list).

10.  The sound of belly laughs coming from Christian and Grace.  Sometimes these two kids can seem a little loud and crazy, but the joy they have playing together.  Grace prays for her "best friend" Christian.

11.  Committing to having a family night every Sunday.  

Blessings to you and yours!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I hate developing pictures!

  Does anyone else struggle with actually developing the pictures they take?  I take ALOT of pictures and I rarely, if ever, develop my pictures.  Sure, I download em', upload em', resize em', but they just don't get developed.   Well, today was D-Day, D for develop picture day.

    I decided to develop the pictures we had taken on a family vacation to Disney World in May of 2009.  I've been meaning to get these pictures developed for quite some time- I even keep my souvenir photo album on a table in my living room.  Often people visit us and pick up the photo album and start thumbing through it, they quickly notice it doesn't have any photo's, it's just a prop. 

  I began the process of developing my pictures by downloading my memory card to my computer.  I started at 8:15pm, the download finished up around 9:45.  Nuts, just nuts!  Then I hop (or click) over to the Costco site, and need to setup a user account.  I get my user account, and need to redown load all the pictures I want to develop.  So, here I am at 11:00pm, my pictures are downloaded and will be available for pick-up tomorrow. 

  I've learned a lesson today, I need to develop my pictures at least every six months or plan on never developing them at all! I also should have popped my memory card into my computer and downloaded the pictures only to Costco, not to my computer.  Live and learn, live and learn.

Blessings to you and yours!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Facts and Opinions

 Alright friends, I was hoping to have created some fantastic display of my decorating genius for your viewing pleasure today.   The problem, lies in the fact, that I am not a decorating genius, so instead, I will wow you with a random list of facts:

1.  I cried tonight while watching American Idol.  I think, it is possible,  that I may need therapy.

2.  My husband requested that I dye my artificial blond locks brown.  Hummm....he says he wants me to have the same hair color as when we met.   I, however, am certain he is hoping to reduce the hair maintenance budget.  Someone should tell him I've started noticing a few gray invaders, and I do not plan to grow old gracefully. 

3.  Sandy is color blind.  This color blindness issue rears its ugly head when I get my hair done.  If I come home with blond locks he asks, "why'd you dye your hair gray?" Today I came home with brown locks and he says, "why'd you leave your hair blond?  There's just no winning, when your man is color blind.

4.  Fun fact, in our early marriage I used to mess with Sandy and his color blind self.  He would routinely ask me if his clothes were color coordinated, now usually I told him the truth, but on occasion (if I was annoyed) I would tell a white lie and let him go to work dressed all funky.  The silent, passive aggressive satisfaction I felt.  Just so you know, I have greatly matured and no longer play this game, well at least not often.

5.  I cheated on my "lifestyle change" (i.e. diet) and had a mushroom burger without a bun and fries.  Yum! Pretty sure my meal was over 400 calories, but I planned to skip dinner.  Like all good plans it failed, because Sandy surprised me by making dinner.  I may have to seriously consider an enema before our next weigh in.

6.  Grace, our sweet little pumpkin, got caught cheating on her spelling test this week.  Her excuse, "Sometimes I copy off other peoples' papers, sometimes I don't."  Is this a fair defense?

7. I have not cooked a decent meal for my family this week, sort of feeling like a loser mom.  Good thing tomorrow is Thursday (a.k.a. Pizza Thursday), I won't cook again but my kids will think I am the bomb  digity.  I might even spring for orange soda.

8.  The picture at the top of this post has nothing to do with anything, except our 15th wedding anniversary is coming up and I am dreaming of a tropical second honeymoon.  Dreaming is probably all I'll do, but a girl can wish.  Well, and plan, and buy a new swimsuit, and purchase travel insurance and rent a car.  Just kidding!

   That's it for tonight!

Blessings to you and yours!

Monday, January 17, 2011

There's Fat and It's Tuesday

    Here's the low down on my diet progress: 

1.  I only had Chocolate Stuffed French Toast once this week- it was fantastic.
Flat Belly Family Diet Cookbook

2.  I had no desire gnaw off any of my friends arms, however, I did consider eating paint chips. 

3.  My good friend, Shelly, will no longer give me daily updates on her weight loss.  She feels that because we are in competition to win $$$ for weight loss we should only update each other on Monday's when the whole group gives their weekly weight loss updates.  Whatever Shell.  Whatever. (Note to Shelly:   Remember I have pictures from Junior High and Mexico.  I'm just saying.....I'll use them if I have too).

4.  I did not lose the most weight this week.  Bummer.

5.  After two enema's and a shot of syrup of ipecac, I lost 3 pounds.

6.  I'm just kidding about #5.  Sheez people, take a joke, I lost weight the old fashion way, eat right and don't exercise.

7.  I ate 4 cookies to celebrate my weight loss.  Do you think this maybe counter productive? 

8.  All four cookies were Flat Belly Diet friendly...still, not sure I should have had four.  I was only supposed to have 3, but these cookies were molasses, and molasses cookies are my FAVORITE.  I probably won't make them again anytime soon, as my self control is weak.

9.  I went roller skating to counter act the cookies.  I skated around the rink approximately 3.75 times.  I'm sure this workout burned a HUGE amount of calories.  :)

   All in all, a good week, only 21 pounds to go!  Here  are a few pic's of our roller skating adventure for your viewing pleasure:

The girlies

The boyz

Momma K and the one footed skater.  (You'd have to be there to understand.)

Renae and I.  I think I might be saying "Wow, I need sweepy bangs for this giant forehead of mine."

More of the boyz.

Grace losing the limbo.

    I'm sure my amazing photography skills are making you think, "Man, she should definitely quit her day job, her photo's are amazing."  Ha!

Blessings to you and yours!

Graditude Week 3-


   My kids are one of the greatest blessing in life.  Now, don't get me wrong they yell, scream, have major meltdowns and often mistake me for an ATM, but the majority of the time they are quite sweet.  Take for example last night, Grace and Christain watched  Prince Caspian, one of the movies in the Chronicles of Narnia series.   This is the conversation that ensued:

*Names have been changed.
     Grace:  "I know why Jane doesn't make Jesus her boss." 

     Me:  "Why?"

     Grace:  "Well, in the movie the beast (Aslan the lion) is supposed to be like Jesus."

     Me:  "Yes."

     Grace:  "Jane wants to be the beast (Aslan/Jesus), and no one can be Jesus-that's why she has trouble making Jesus her boss.  Jane's trying to be Jesus, instead of making Him her boss."

   Wow!  Out of the mouth of babes!  Grace's conversation made me think about my walk with God.  Do I get busy trying to be Jesus, instead of following Him?  Do I run ahead and want to lead the way, instead of seeing what direction He is taking and following His steps?  Do I really want Him to be the Boss, or am I trying to be the boss?

   I'm going to ponder these thoughts today.  I want to live a life pleasing to the Lord.  I want to follow Him and make Him boss of my life.  I want to stand still and see where He is working so I can join Him where  He wants me.

Blessings to you and yours!

16.  The words, "mom, will you tuck me in".

17.  Bible studies with friends.

18.  Good books.

19.  Quiet times.

20.  Sharing struggles over lunch.

21.  Prayers of a friend.

22.  A balmly 40+ degrees in the Northwest.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Valentine Themed Mantel


    I love decorating my mantel.  Sandy, being fully aware of this, informed me that my mantel decor needed to be free this week.  Okay, I'll be honest, I may have came home with the candle display and frame this week, but that was on Monday.   He didn't give the "keep it free" rules until Friday, so technically the whole mantel set-up is free.  Right?

    This week my mantel is very sentimental, albeit hooky.

     The crochet doilies are from one of my grandma's.   I received the doilies as a gift for my 18th birthday, but had never used them.  (I think there are rules about doilies- you must be at least thirty three and three quarters to accessorize with them.)  Anyways, the flower garland is from my wedding 14 years ago.  I thought, due to the Valentine theme of my mantel, the garland should make an appearance.


These sweet crocheted hearts were made by my grandma. 

 The little satin pillow was carried by the ring bear at our wedding. 


The Shabby Nest
Blessings to you and yours!

Valentine's Day

       Valentine's Day is just around the corner and I'm in the mood to celebrate.  Usually, I do not care for Valentine's Day, and I chalk it up as another Hallmark holiday.  You see, Valentine's Day is two days after my birthday, so often the two holidays are lumped  together.  But today I got to thinking (when I'm thinking I can get a bit sentimental) about  generations of love in my family.

Old love.  My Great Grandma and Grandpa.

Old Love.  Gramps and Grandma Hunt.

Young love.  My hot hubby and I.

    Valentine's Day isn't about the flowers you get, the heart shaped box of chocolate or the reservations made at your favorite restaurant.  It's about the love you share with your family, it's about generations of love before you.  Love is not made up of material things and pleasant feelings.  True love is built on the foundation of Christ, it is about commitment to God first and then each other.  It's a willingness to journey through the rough patches, never giving up on each other and never taking your eyes off the Lord. 
    This year I may get chocolates.  I may get flowers.  I may even get to go out to dinner.  These things are pleasant enough, but the real gift this Valentine's Day is the blessing of having a husband who loves God and leads our family. 
    You may be reading this post and think, "her cup is sure half full", but the truth is Sandy and I have weathered through very difficult seasons, and questioned if this whole marriage deal was worth it.  I think here, on the other side of crazy, the journey is sweeter because we chose to do the tough things.    

Blessings to You and Yours!