Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Adventures of Emily part 3

Day 136: My mission of observation and sabotage is going better than we anticipated. As my body grows acclimated to this new environment, I can feel my strength growing. A key component of my observation tactic is to take full advantage of meal times. My captors foolishly lift me to a higher elevation while they administer the nectar. Though initially I can only focus on the delicious food, as I become less starved, I utilize every muscle in my body to gain a 360 degree observational area. This activity greatly displeases my jailer (indeed she cries out as if in pain), but I doubt she can fully comprehend the significance of my endeavors. Please annotate our manuals so that our trainees can be sure to follow my lead in this area.

Jason's Sermons

Christ is the Rock




The Lord's Supper: Past, Present, and Future

Feed on Food that Endures to Eternal Life


Whole30 and Insanity Day 2

Well we survived Insanity this morning but I know that I am nowhere near the intensity that I need to be at to benefit maximally from the program. The issue is twofold: I am nursing. Nursing + jumping = PAIN. Also I am just plain out of shape.

So the Whole30 meal plan of the day:

Breakfast: Egg scramble (eggs, onions, broccoli)
Snack: Almonds and raisins, Grassfed jerky
Lunch: Uncured sausage, onions and cabbage
Dinner: Sauteed zucchini with the crockpot leftovers (beef, onion, tomato, garlic) seasoned with Italian seasoning

Monday, July 30, 2012

Getting It Together

So today we started the official changes outlined here:

Jason picked up the Insanity DVDs from a craigslist seller yesterday, and we did the fit test this morning.

I was planning to start the Whole30 eating plan August 1st, but I figured I might as well start on a Monday! Breakfast this morning was a coconut milk smoothie and coffee with coconut milk in it. Coconut milk is nothing like half and half but loads better than black coffee.

So we woke up before the kids this morning, exercised, did family worship, and ate according to the Whole30 plan. Now to get to the FlyLady/housekeeping goals... not my favorite but necessary.

One final note, we did get on the scale (scary!) but we won't do it again for a full month. I'll let you know how it goes.

Edit: Food for Day 1:

Breakfast: Coconut milk smoothie (milk, ice, protein powder)
Snack: Sliced almonds with raisins
Lunch: Grassfed beef hamburger with chopped cucumber and grape tomatoes
Dinner: Crockpot -> stew beef (grassfed), tomatoes, onions, and garlic

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Thankful for Free Resources

I'm teaching children's church this summer with ages ranging from Emily at 4 months to Alex at 7 year old. We're using The Big Picture Story Bible and a free curriculum found here. You have to search for The Big Picture Story Bible as there is no other link to the full series.

Not only is the curriculum well done, but the generosity of its author to present it free online allows people around the globe to benefit. I am so thankful for free printable resources, and the ability to teach our children through them.

Sunday Hymn 7/29/12

This is our family's hymn of the month; we were introduced to it at Pear Orchard, and it's become one of our favorites:


All my life I had a longing
For a drink from some clear spring,
That I hoped would quench the burning
Of the thirst I felt within.


Hallelujah! He has found me
Whom my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies all my longings,
Through His blood I now am saved.

Feeding on the husks around me,
Till my strength was almost gone,
Longed my soul for something better,
Only still to hunger on.


Poor I was, and sought for riches,
Something that would satisfy,
But the dust I gathered round me
Only mocked my soul’s sad cry.


Well of water, ever springing,
Bread of life so rich and free,
Untold wealth that never faileth,
My Redeemer is to me

Friday, July 27, 2012

Whole30 Meal Idea: Sausage and Green Beans

One of the challenges of eating clean is providing food that works for the needs of the whole family. I tend to be easy to cook for; I simply cook what I like to eat or whatever I'm in the mood for that day. The kids are not especially picky, but they do have strong opinions about what they eat.

Last week, I hit a home run with an extremely simple idea. I browned uncured sausage until it was nearly done; then I added a full bag of frozen french cut green beans to the same skillet. By the time the beans were ready, they had taken on a wonderful flavor from the sausage. I served the sausage and green beans over roasted Yukon gold potatoes to the kiddos. I did use some awesome olive oil Mom brought back from Italy on the potatoes. There's nothing like fresh olive oil!

For the perfectly Whole30 version, you could serve it with onions and cabbage, riced cauliflower, or on top of a fresh green salad.

The dish harkens back to a favorite dish from our time in China: Gan Bian Su Ji Dou. Maybe next time I fix it for Jason and me I'll bring the Sichuan heat!

The Adventures of Emily Part 2

Day 132: As I may have related before, I believe that my captors may be deploying a deep psy ops campaign against me. They insist on leaving me in the dark for hours at time; I must admit that my strength occasionally fails, and I fall asleep. Upon waking however, I find myself terrified and cry out at the dark. My captors then administer a wondrous nectar to me. I cannot lie; I am addicted to this foodstuff. It must be laced with psychotropic substances as I immediately calm down as I imbibe and early on I found myself often falling back to sleep while I drank it. More data is required before I make any conclusions as to the goal of this campaign. I will report again soon.

The Adventures of Emily Part 1

I'm going to post my stories going forward regarding Emily's travails in this great, wide world, and sometime I may go back in time, but for now you can read about how it all got started here.

It’s been 122 days since my abrupt awakening in this cold, forsaken world. In many ways my training has prepared me well. I take great pleasure in tormenting my captors with the myriad of skills at my disposal. Just this morning, the shorter one arrived at my cage wearing dark clothing. Silly being. Within 15 minutes, the entire top was soaked with my regurgitations. I graduated top of the class in that skill as you may recall. Indeed I can hardly feel sorry for the wretch. My great pleasure in anticipating the results led to my presenting an enormous grin just moments before my act of sabotage. She had been fully warned yet still she feebly attempted to utilize a small blanket to stem the tide. Amusing indeed.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What a FULL Day!

Today started early as Jason took Mom, Lonnie, and Matthew to the airport, and I hauled the rest of the crew over to Hoodland Lutheran to drop Alex and Lauren off for VBS. Olivia and I danced and played away the morning, which was good because the day really ramped up from there.

After we picked up Lauren and Alex from VBS, we went over to a friend's house to have a picnic lunch, jumped on the trampoline, swam in the pool, and generally had a great time. Jason chopped wood for the first time, making his hands super raw. Emily enjoyed napping in shade. However, I wasn't paying attention to the time and had to rush home to work.

Tonight the kids had a VBS skit and concert followed by an ice cream social. The whole family went and played. I really enjoyed meeting the pastor of the Lutheran church and his wife, who are celebrating 50 years of marriage this weekend! We also met the pastor of Next Church and his wife, and we look forward to getting to know them and their girls.

We have started to get a sense of the community of Christians that are here on the mountain, and we praise the Lord for the love and welcome that we've received!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Men throwing "like girls"

This cracked me up for whatever reason :)

Making Some Changes

My talents lie in creating, planning, and not so much in execution, so here I am at the age of 32 with many, many areas of my life that need improvement. Accountability is a key component of my successes. I don't know if I was born that way or trained to it by school report cards, but regardless of the reasons why, I seem to be unable to sustain changes in my life on my own. The internet is providing many resources to help me grow in areas of current weakness.

Starting August 1st, I'll be doing a Whole30. I've eaten this way off and on for a couple of years. I've never been dairy-free for a month though, so I'll have to get creative on that front. I'll be sharing some of my meal planning efforts as well. I have a good friend on-board with me, so she'll get all the nitty gritty details that may not make it to the public sphere. :)

I just signed up for a Hello Mornings group, an accountability group to help motivate me to spend time reading the Bible in the morning before the kids get up. I've been following Inspired to Action for a few years but I've never joined up. 

I read Mark's Daily Apple for inspirational stories of people changing their diets and lives for the better through food and exercise

I've been getting FlyLady emails for YEARS, as in 8 or more years, but I've never been consistent in following her plans. Since we'll be opening our home up more often, I am hoping to establish a better cleaning routine going forward.

Jason and I did p90X together before I was pregnant with Emily and before my dad passed away last year. Doing it together was great because usually one of us wanted to do the workout, even if the other didn't. Eventually the results were enticing enough to keep us on track. I don't think that I have time to do p90X these days; Emily is still very tiny. But I'm going to incorporate some of this workout into my life.

So that's where I am at. May the Lord bless my plans and efforts!


Something about having people over to our house spurs a massive cleaning campaign like no other. Thus, our house is sparkly and clean once again. Mom, Lonnie, and my cousin Matthew flew in yesterday. The kids are thrilled as Matthew, though 17, is "one of them." He's big enough that they can do things they're only allowed to do with adults, but he's young enough to be really fun. :)

Here's Matthew with Lauren and Olivia enjoying some pizza:

We're so glad they've all come, and we hope to show them a little taste of Oregon!


Lonnie sent this picture over. That's a cute date you've got there, Matthew!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Homemaking for Girls

Or for their slobby moms. :) I'll be checking this out!

homegrown mom

Sunday HYMN

Matt Redman has been writing great worship songs for a while. This morning I've had 10,000 Reasons in my head. May you ever worship HIM with heart, soul, and song!

"10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)"

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

[Chorus x2]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
Lord, I'll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
I'll worship Your holy name

Friday, July 20, 2012

I love the smell of Legos in the Morning

This is the view that greeted me this morning:

We had a HUGE storm last night, and the fog is covering up our mountain view out back. I think it's lovely. However, I am even more thrilled about this view:

Duplo blocks are so easy for little fingers, and I don't have to worry about the baby being around. Emily and Olivia were being entertained by Alex's creations while their thrilled mom enjoyed being able to brew some coffee in peace. Hurray for Legos!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Living in the shadow of Mt. Hood

We live in a beautiful part of the world. I often think that when people spend all day living in artificially lit boxes, whether at work or at home, it's so easy to get stressed out. Inside a box, it's easy to believe that everything depends on your effort. You can attempt to control the world around you when it's limited to 4 square walls.

Ah, but when you take a step outside, your perspective changes! The sky is limitless, there is no ceiling 8 feet above your head. The rowdy kids don't seem quite so loud when they're playing in the yard. The trees remind you that life exists beyond your immediate concerns. The wind rustles the leaves on the tree branches, and it's clear: You are not responsible for the whole world, or even your own family. We are given work sufficient for the day. We are called to be faithful to do it. 

So much stress comes from trying to be everything, to control or change those around us, but ultimately the world beyond our door reminds us that our life is but a part of a grander story. And we, praise the Lord, are not the Author, nor the Hero, but instead the loved and the redeemed

Let's get this thing started

Here we are, a month into our new life in Oregon. I want to share all that we're up to with our family and friends spread out all over the globe. So here we go!

Today was Lauren's birthday. She and Alex went to Sandy Assembly of God's VBS. They are using the wonderful curriculum from AiG. And the kids have had the wonderful time that a large church can provide. I think they've been spoiled by our fabulous church in Mississippi, Pear Orchard, but any taste of home is welcome these days. Jason picked up the kids and took them to McDonald's for lunch. We had cupcakes and opened presents. It was a great day to celebrate the birth of my oldest daughter.