Did that really just happen?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

This Christmas Day started off really great.  And it ended even better.

First of all, Lena was hilarious the whole day.  She loved everything.  Our Christmas morning starts off by the kids coming into our room and climbing up into our bed to empty the stockings that we leave filled by their beds.  This is my absolute favorite part of the morning.  Lena was so cute sticking her entire arm down into that big stocking to get out her stuff.  She was so excited.  There's just nothing like watching a baby's first real Christmas when their little faces light up from excitement because they have no idea what's going on but they know they like it.  I'm sad that part is over now.

Then we all run into the living room to see what Santa (they know it's us) left and to open gifts.  Fun stuff, yada yada yada.

Then we all get dressed and ready for the day and head to Mimi's house in Headland for breakfast.  Only this year we had to move it across the street to Jason's sister's house because his other sister (who lives at Mimi's) was sick. :(

Then we head to Grandnonna's house for lunch.

So we're opening presents at my mom's and we always go youngest to oldest.  We start opening the ones from my sister, bro-in-law and niece, and I notice the gifts are a little...well...not the usual gifts they like to give.  I know that this has been a really great year for them financially, and I'm noticing that these gifts are like $10 or less...maybe.  At first when the kids were opening, I just thought that maybe they were trying to be nice and get us inexpensive gifts so we wouldn't feel bad for not getting them really expensive ones, but by the time it got around to my mom (remember, youngest to oldest) I realized that we're all getting these really janky tools.

Ok, before it sounds like I'm being ungrateful, please realize this is not something that bothered me, but just something that I noticed.  So they "forgot" they had another bag of gifts in the car after all the opening was done and they brought it in and passed out one more box for everyone to open.  They said we all (me, Jason, Jessi, Eli, my mom, my dad, and my brother) had to open at the same time.  I'm thinking, aw how sweet, they got us all something really nice like a gift card or cash, what a smooth little trick with the janky tools.  Nuh-uh...



I couldn't help but immediately remember the list that Jason and I made and prayed over about a year ago of things that we are believing God for.  Glory be to God, we have been able to scratch off many of the things on that list this year.  Today we got to scratch off a big one.  Disneyworld.  We actually had some extra money come into our hands this month and we immediately talked about using it for Disney, but we prayed about it and really felt the Lord showing us something different we needed to do with it.  We knew the most important thing was to obey God and trust that He would take care of Disneyworld for us at the right time.

We got in the truck to come home and I just looked at Jason and said, "Did that really just happen?"  It still feels like a dream.  I'm so thankful for God's goodness and His love for us!

Thank you Scott, Sandy, and Lauren!  We're all goin' to Disney!!!


December 16, 2010, 4:07pm (cst)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

So I glanced out the back door to see what J & E were up to...



Saturday, December 11, 2010

So I took Jessi to a birthday party today, and after we left, we stopped by Captain D's for some fried pickles before we ran a few errands.  I turned the wrong way leaving there, and so I just turned around in the parking lot next to it, which was Hooters.  Jessi asked me why we had never been there before and so I told her that the girls that work there just don't dress appropriately, and it would be uncomfortable for all of us.

She understood, and then said, "Why don't they just wear owl costumes? Because that would be appropriate."


O' Organized Christmas Tree

Thursday, December 9, 2010

So, today, Jessi took care of Lena and breakfast so that I could sleep a little longer.  I'm so thankful for her! She really is a great help to me.  When I got up and came into the living room, all the Christmas tree ornaments that were on the tree were on the floor.  She said they were a mess and that she needed to re-organize them.


Got Her!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

I have no words! Click on the picture for her sweet post...



Sunday, December 5, 2010

So, I know this is probably wrong, but I can't help it...

Lena Isabella Cullen Sanders
So I found this picture just now, and I'm wondering if you can add redeye...


Our Christmas Tree

Saturday, December 4, 2010

One of my favorite family Christmas traditions happened today.  We got our Christmas tree!  We went to the Brown Dog Christmas Tree Farm in Arlington, GA.  I can't really explain it, but there's just something about spending the time together picking out your Christmas tree that just makes it special.  I love walking all over the farm, searching for that perfect tree that we all love.

They have this beautiful brown dog, hence the name, that is so sweet and lets all the kids pet him and take their picture with him.  Lena LOVED that dog.  She screamed as we were walking past him because we weren't stopping to let her go see him.  Once we realized what she was screaming about, we stopped, and she was SO beside herself.  It was hilarious.  I wish I had video of the whole thing.

When we were deciding on the tree, Jason convinced me that the one we picked would fit, and that he could just trim it up a little if it didn't.  This is after the trimming...

Notice how the top is smooshed into the ceiling?  He said I could just put a bow up at the top and you wouldn't even notice.  I guess my angel will just have to go in the middle somewhere?  Ah well, it's beautiful and I love it!  Not bad for $36!  Another thing I love about the Brown Dog Christmas Tree Farm!  Maybe I'll get it decorated before Christmas!  Honestly, I don't even care what our tree looks like, because we are making memories that will be there forever.  We might not remember all the new decorations or lights we put up, but we will always remember going to get that tree together every year.

And yes, the date stamp on all the pics I took today annoys me too, but I just can't get it off!

On a side note, I was able to comfortably carry my camera around, thanks to my friend Nicole, who made this super cute point and shoot wrist strap.

I don't actually have a point and shoot camera, but I wanted to try one out anyway and it really worked out great for me!  It was very comfy and easy to hold even though my camera is a good bit bigger than a point and shoot.  I recommend it for sure, even if you don't have a point and shoot camera!


Every Girl Needs a Pony

Friday, December 3, 2010

So today was crazy. I don't know if it was me or just a weird day for my kids, but there was yelling. I'm just gonna be honest. It took all of the Jesus in me not to pick up J & E by the throat. I didn't. Just had thoughts of it. Thankfully my hubby came home early and I was able to get away to run a few errands.

One of my errands involved a situation in which my insurance company almost cost me over $500. Wanna hear about it? If not, just skip down to the paragraph before the picture.  But I'll try to make it short. A few weeks ago we were at Kohls and Eli slung the door open to get out, like I've said a million times NOT to do, and hit the brand new red cadillac mini suv next to us. No dent, but about an inch long deep scratch. It definitely took the paint off. I had to leave a note.

Well, she called me up and said her hubby looked at it and they were going to need it fixed. Ok, no problem. I told her to take it to a repair shop owned by a friend of my family and she did. She called me and told me the amount and it was something over $500. So, I called my insurance company and they said an adjuster would be calling me to get some info. So this lady calls from the insurance company, but didn't seem to be an adjuster. She asked me a few questions about the incident, asked me who to make the check to and where to send it, then asked for the lady's phone number who needed the repair. I answered her questions and told her to make the check out to the repair shop and send it straight to them. She said no problem and there was nothing further for me to do. Awesome. Taken care of.

So this morning the repair shop calls me up and says the job is done and asked me what I wanted to do about the payment. I told them the insurance company was sending them a check and gave them the phone number to call the insurance company to find out what the deal was. They called me back and said the insurance company said they mailed the check directly to me on Monday the 28th. That was 4 days ago. I hadn't checked my mail in a couple days so I figured it was in the mailbox and since I knew the repair shop people personally, I asked them to go ahead and let them be on their way with their vehicle and that if I didn't have the check I would just pay them myself and deposit the check when I got it. No biggie.

Something just didn't seem right though. I called my insurance company myself and they said they would check and call me back. So I get to the repair shop to write them a check and I'm chatting with them about how weird this all is. They told me the guy that picked up the car/truck/whatever had his checkbook in hand when he came to get it. Interesting. They of course told him I was taking care of it since they had already spoken to me and knew the situation, so he put his checkbook away and left. Well while I'm sitting there talking with them about all of this, my insurance company calls me and it just so happens that they sent the check TO THE LADY WHOSE CAR IS BEING REPAIRED.


My repair shop friends told me not to worry, and they would just wait to hear from me while I got it all straightened out. Thank God for favor. I called the lady up and left her a detailed message to call me back. She called me about 5 minutes later and said that she already received the check and she thought it was weird that the repair shop told her it was taken care of.  So they knew they had the check before they picked up the car.


I am however very unhappy with my insurance company. Am I not the customer here? Did I not tell them where to send the check? And if they decided they needed to send it elsewhere shouldn't they have called me to let me know?

That was way long and the END of that story.  I'm not talking about it anymore because it stresses me out.

At this point I still had several more errands to run, but the hubby called and said he had to go back to work, so I had to stop and go straight home. He got home around 6ish, so I finally got to go finish my errands.  Enough business talk.  LOOK what we got Lena for Christmas! She's gonna LOVE THIS!

All the while still thinking almost every moment of my friends in China.  I can't wait to see Lily!

And I'll end on that note. 


Step by Step

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Yes, I am blogging at 6:18 AM.  Our dear friends are on their way to China as I write this.  I've been singing "Step by Step" by NKOTB since the wee hours of the morning.  Thanks Anna:)  This has literally been a step-by-step process for these guys, and they are finally taking the last steps to get to this baby girl.  Lily doesn't even know it yet, but one of the BEST things that will ever happen to her is happening right now.  My heart is leaping with excitement for all of them!  God has worked things out so perfectly...

Isn't she beautiful???

Please pray for all of them over the next 16 days!  They are on the most challenging, exciting, joyful, and life-changing adventure of their lives...


Sunday, November 28, 2010

This has been such an amazing day! Worship this morning was awesome, and Dayne really brought the Word! All I can say is WOW. If you missed it, get the cd!



This was Jason's birthday gift from the kids, for those of you who didn't catch this on facebook...
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Happy Holiday

Friday, November 26, 2010

I have to say, this has been one of the most enjoyable Thanksgivings I have ever had. I don't know if it's because I'm just so thankful to have my hubby home for more than 1 day, or the fact that we didn't have to go shuffling the kids around everywhere, but I have loved every minute of it!

We went to Headland on Wednesday night to have dinner with my Mama's aunts and cousins.  Total of 35 people.  We really enjoyed seeing everyone and spending some time with them, and the kids had a blast running all over the place with their cousins.  It was a great night.

We had Thanksgiving at our house this year. My Mama came over early and we cooked together, which I loved, Jessi and Eli were sneaking random bites here and there, and Lena was just so excited and literally running all over the house the whole time. It's like she knew it was Thanksgiving. Then my dad, brother, sister, and niece came over. I only had 2 cooking mishaps, but I don't even care!  It's Thanksgiving!

1st mishap: The Pumpkin Pies.
I cooked them first so I could get them out of the way and the oven free for the sweet potatoes, Jason's mashed potato bake, and the turkey. I didn't get started until 7am, so I was in a bit of a bind with the clock. I really needed the oven before the pies were done, so I just took them out early and ended up having to put them back in while we ate for a lot longer. But they turned out great anyway, so it was good.

Mishap #2: The Turkey
Yes, the turkey. After all the "no baggie" drama, I actually found the baggie while I was trussing the turkey. Now, what all that other junk was that I pulled out the night before, I don't know. I'm just glad I found it before I baked the turkey.  I seasoned that baby and in the oven she went. After the amount of time I thought was right, I inserted the thermometer into the meaty part of the thigh to be sure it was completely done, and it read 190, which was actually about 30 degrees higher than I wanted, so I took her out and let her rest while we finished up.

Beautiful right?  I thought she was PERFECT!  But when I started carving (that's why she's on a towel btw), the breast was fine, but the legs and thighs were NOT.  I still have no idea why.  I guess I need a new thermometer, because it really did read 190 at the thigh, and it was not touching the bone.  So, I had to put her back in the oven and we had to wait a little while longer for her to cook.  But it turned out okay.

We sat at the table and ate, and just enjoyed the rest of the day doing nothing but sitting around.  Then, my Mama stayed home with Lena while she napped, and me, Jason, Jessi, and Eli went to the movies to see Tangled.  It was really cute.  We ended up sitting with my aunt and cousins and their kids (the ones we saw Wednesday night) who happened to be there too!

When we got home, Jacque, the lady who half raised me and was my godmother, was there!  I was so glad to see her on Thanksgiving!  I usually don't get to see her because she always has big plans with her family.  We talked about black Friday sales and I thought about joining her at 4am this morning.  HA!  I am SO not a fan of early morning black Friday shopping.  I usually make sure we have everything we need before Thanksgiving so I don't have to leave the house that day for ANYTHING.  But she brought some sale papers over and I looked through them and saw a few things that were on the kids' Christmas lists, so I told her I would call her if I decided to go.  Well, 4am came, and there was NO WAY I was getting out of the bed for shopping.  I did get up around 8am and decided to get ready and go see if there was anything left.

It really wasn't bad at all!  I found several of the things I went for, which were the main things on our list for the kids, got great deals on them, and not once did anyone try to fight me!  Traffic was no biggie either because I just went a different route.  Did I mention I did NOT have to get up at 4am and still got the deals I wanted?

Now, it's time to start getting things ready for Christmas!  I absolutely LOVE this time of year!

Oh yeah, and tomorrow is Saturday!  Which means I get to have my hubby home for 2 more days!  I'm so excited!  I don't even know what to think!   I am SO THANKFUL!


First Time for Everything!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ok, so we're having Thanksgiving at my home, which I am VERY excited about! I absolutely LOVE being the hostess of any event! I can't really explain why, but it just makes me happy. Mama is coming over in the morning to cook with me and Jason. I'm SO ready! My Granny always made such a big deal about Thanksgiving. We were always in the kitchen with her from early in the morning until about noon when everything finally came together and was ready to serve. I will never have a single Thanksgiving that I do not think of her. She's why I love this holiday SO MUCH!

So I'm preparing for all the cooking that's taking place in my kitchen tomorrow, and that starts tonight with brining my turkey. I was so excited to see that our new Publix carries fresh turkeys! Yay! I've been waiting for this moment ALL DAY! So I open up this guy and prepare to take out the innards in the cute little baggie they always come in, and LO, NO BAGGIE. Gross. WHAT am I supposed to do??? I certainly am NOT sticking my hand in there. Oh. My. Goodness. This fresh turkey has fresh innards. EWWWWWWWW!

I know that maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but EWWWWWWW! Gag reflex is definitely kicking in. I call for Jason to come hand me a spoon so I at least can scoop out whatever is left in there after I pulled out something unrecognizable and gross. I hate this kind of stuff. The excitement over the fresh turkey and the brining is GONE. But I did it. I got them all out. I think. I HOPE. Now, for the brining! Maybe I'll be over the trauma by the morning.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving!


To All My Following Friends:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ok, so here's the deal-e-o. I had a major crash with my blog last week and so, at a complete loss for how to fix it all, I just created another blog, kendalljo. I eventually figured it all out (with some help), but I ended up with 2 blogs and just couldn't decide which one I liked. I changed the url for The Proper Pinky to theproperpinky.blogspot instead of kendalljo.blogspot, but then that was confusing and I lost several subscribers. I actually like kendalljo better, so I changed the url back and deleted the new blog.

The bottom line is, everything is exactly the same as it was before, except I changed The Proper Pinky name to kendalljo. So I hope this actually puts things back to normal. Sorry for the confusion everyone! Thanks for sticking with me:)

ps. I have my blog backed up this time...


Mama is Always Right

Friday, November 19, 2010

I am so thankful for my Mama. She always knows exactly how to jack me up and tell me how to feel when I'm flippin' out and having a stupid pity party. She has this wonderful "snap-me-out-of-it" gift, and it works every time. I was feeling so sorry for myself today thinking that nobody understood me and that nobody even cared about how I was feeling, and blah. blah. blah. Ridiculous, I know. I have so many wonderful friends that really do love me and show it ALL THE TIME, and here I am, being stupid. Letting little things hurt my feelings. Here's the problem with that...


It really doesn't matter how people feel about me, what they do for me, how they love me, or even IF they love me. THAT'S NONE OF MY BUSINESS. What matters is that I love them unconditionally, NO MATTER WHAT. The enemy is so stinkin' crafty when it comes to this area of my life. He knows that he can't shake me in most any other area, but when it comes to relationships, he knows just what buttons to push. It's a battle for me, but I assure you it's a battle that I WIN. I refuse to let him rob me of being a blessing to the people I love the most just because he plants little emotional thoughts in my head when I'm stressed out and the most vulnerable.

I've made a lot of mistakes where this goes and I have given in to these emotions, but I always have to keep moving forward and trusting in Him. He loves me and that is more than enough for me. It is so unfair to put that load on anyone because even the VERY BEST of friends can't carry all of that. Only Jesus can.

I am so thankful for my Mama. She always helps me put things in perspective. I pray that I will always be that kind of Mama for my babies.


I Can Handle This

Monday, November 15, 2010

This has been probably THE MOST STRESSFUL WEEK AND WEEKEND OF MY LIFE.  We have been going through a lot of changes in pretty much every nook and cranny of our life.  I know that God is moving us into greater things.  I can feel it.  I feel it in the pit of my stomach, and I feel it in my spirit.  God is BIG and He has BIG PLANS for us!

With big plans comes big change.  We are definitely being stretched to say the least.  The amazing thing is, I feel ZERO dread about ANYTHING that we have to do right now.  I won't frighten you with my "To do" list (believe me...it would definitely frighten you), I'll just say we are very busy, but I believe that God gives us the grace and ability to do ALL that He has called us to do right now.  And I believe that we are in exactly the right place at the right time doing exactly the RIGHT things.  I have an undeniable peace about all of that.

But even with all of this new stretching going on, it all just fades into the background because my heart can only think about one thing right now.  One of my youth girls.  Things are very difficult for her right now, and I know she has had a tough day today.  I haven't been able to stop thinking about her all day and all night.  This sweet girl is under so much stress, and I just want her to be ok.  Praying for her...


Little Things

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I am working on making this blog pleasing to the eyes, and I think it's coming along.  I still have a lot of tweaks to make, but I think it will get there eventually.  It would be awesome if I had all the time in the world to just sit here and play with my blog, but not in this house.  I just have to settle for a few minutes (or seconds)  here and there.  So if things look a little blurry, I KNOW, I just haven't had time to fix it.  I am usually working on my blog during the day, whenever I can manage to get past my home page without having to stop again (so thankful for my laptop!), or the wee hours of the night when everyone is in bed.  Honestly, I don't even know how any of my blog posts make any sense.  You have NO IDEA how many times I get interrupted.  I mean, it seriously took me forever just to write this, and I'm not even sure what it says because I literally haven't been able to read through it JUST ONCE without interruption, so I'm just going to post it and hope for the best!  Maybe I'll get to read it tonight after everyone is in the bed.  But you know, I just can't get upset about these little things, because they are just not that important when it compares to being able to be with my interrupting beautiful children all the time.  I really do love the life God has blessed me with!


I made something!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

So, I made a t-shirt scarf! Two of my good friends made one and it looked like something I could actually do, so there you go. This is the probably the only crafty thing I have ever done, so you most likely may never see a post like this again on my blog. I used this tutorial that Nicole and Leasa posted on their blogs. It was super easy and my daughter enjoyed helping with mine so much she's already making her own. I made mine for game day. Crimson, white, and 2 shades of grey...Roll Tide!



Thursday, November 4, 2010

God is so good to me. I don't know if this happens like this to anyone else, but most of the time, I don't realize God has answered my prayer until I'm knee deep in the thing that I prayed for.

Last night I was lying in bed thinking, and I had one of those "AHA!" moments. A few months ago, I was drawn to Proverbs 31. I read it over and over several times, and I just had this longing to be that woman. I wasn't discouraged by the fact that I don't know how to sew or do most of the things that she did, but I remember praying for God to show me what I could do to be that woman for my family. If it meant that I needed to learn how to sew, then ok, I'll learn how to sew. But I really just prayed for Him to give me insight and wisdom, and to show me what to do according to the gifts and talents He has given me, and I remember praying for Him to bring opportunities my way that would put me in that place.

For years, I have wanted to do something that would contribute financially to our home, and I KNOW God has called me to be at home with my children, so I have searched through many options, but nothing ever seemed like the right thing. A couple of months ago, the Lord literally brought an awesome opportunity to me. I love organizing and doing paperwork (I love working on our budget and paying bills), and when I was offered to do a paperwork job for a local judge that I knew personally, I knew it was right, and it comes with a GOOD monthly paycheck. I recognized that this was from God immediately, and I'm so thankful for it.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a Thirty-One Gifts party and had a great time. A party full of totes, bags, and purses, all for the sake of ORGANIZING. Cuteness. I knew Gina, the consultant, personally from a mom's group that I'm in, and she talked about where the name Thirty-One Gifts came from...Proverbs 31. This should have been my "AHA!" moment, but nope. I never even thought about it. The next week, I just had this sudden urge to be a consultant for Thirty-One Gifts, just for the fun of it. I had SO many other things going on in my life, and I just needed something that was fun and just for me. There is nothing more enjoyable to me than cute organizing stuff. Honestly. So, I called Gina and signed up. I knew it was right, but I didn't understand why it was such a quick and easy decision for me. Until last night.

I was lying in my bed thinking, and I had that "AHA!" moment. This is EXACTLY what I prayed for! God brought into my life opportunities that allow me to contribute financially to my family, that are perfectly suited to my gifts and talents, and just to show off, one of those opportunities is named after the very scripture that I prayed!

You can't make this stuff up. God is just TOO good!



Thursday, October 28, 2010

Me: "I'll be with you in a minute, Jessi. I'm only one Mommy. I can only do one thing at a time."

Jessi: "But WHY can't you just put on your super stretchy arms so you can just reach over here and help me?"

Yeah...I got nothin'.


Something New!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I am now an independent consultant for Thirty-One Gifts! I've been thinking about it for several weeks now, and I finally decided to go ahead and do it. Yes, I know how busy I am already, and that is EXACTLY why I am doing this. I NEED A BREAK! I need something that's JUST FOR ME. Something that gives me a reason to get out of the house once in a while BY MYSELF. And, I could use some extra money for Christmas and stuff.

I LOVE bags and purses and totes and luggage and all that fun, cute stuff. When If I go to a store that has these things, I completely lose track of time looking at them. It's just something I enjoy. It's fun for me. So, I know this will be just the right thing for me right now.

Also, I need hostesses to get started! Please let me know if you would be willing to host a party for me! Hostesses get free stuff! If you can't host, you can just order straight from my website, and you don't have to wait for a party. These products are super cute and you can have them monogrammed too! Here is a direct link to my website. Enjoy!




Saturday, October 23, 2010

This week has been SO MUCH BETTER. Except for the fact that my hubby is now like one of the kids where food is concerned. "What can I eat for breakfast?", "What can I eat for lunch?", "What's for dinner?". *SIGH* Sometimes I wish I could look at everyone and say, "No further questions", or "I'm not taking any questions at this time". I mean really. It's quite enough that I have to come up with a plan for dinner, but now I have to have a plan for EVERY SINGLE THING HE EATS. He's so pitiful grazing around the kitchen looking at all the whole, basic ingredients that make delicious meals and snacks like he has no idea what to do with them. He doesn't know what to do without having ready-to-eat crap at his fingertips.

I have to admit, it is more difficult to figure out what to eat when you're hungry. Especially when you have to eat something every 2 hours or so to gain weight. I know he'll be able to do it on his own soon though. He really hasn't had a lot of time to get educated on eating right, where I've been studying it for years. I actually tried to make this transition to healthy eating as a lifestyle about 6 years ago and was successful for a while, but you just can't do it on your own, and I was the only one that wanted to, so eventually we went back to eating crap. Not as bad as before, because there were just some things I refused to settle on, like Vegenaise (instead of nasty mayo), Organic milk, whole wheat, etc, but bad enough to make this diet such a feat.

When you decide to make a lifestyle change instead of going on a temporary diet, it's just easier. Those things that are harmful to your body are just not an option to you anymore. You learn what things are good for your body and those are just the things you choose. You want to know more and more about food and nutrition because you realize that the more you know, the better off you really are and the better you feel for it. You feel better physically and emotionally. I also think that when you choose to eat the things that God designed for your body to eat and be healthy, you are surrendering that part of your life to Him. Who better to surrender your body to than its own Creator?

I'm doing this with him because I'm with him no matter what. And like I said before, this isn't something you can do on your own, and he needs this, so I'm going to be right there beside him.

And by the way, I've lost 11 pounds. The sad thing about that is, I don't think anyone can tell. That's pretty bad, but oh well, 19 more to go!



Thursday, October 21, 2010

I have to give thanks to my dear friend, Nicole, for being a blog design pro! I don't know how you find the links you do girl, but I am loving the look of my blog! AND I don't feel so rejected anymore since I now have my little "followers" section on display so people can actually FOLLOW ME. And I just thought no one was interested. (even though about 600 of my 621 blog hits are probably just me, checking to see if my blog is still there)

Hey this is 3 shout outs in a row...maybe you should blog about blogs or something.

Love you girl!


Follow Up

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We went back to Dr. C yesterday to discuss the plan. His test results showed that this is most likely an immune system issue that is causing his thyroid to overproduce. The plan is basically to remain on the diet, along with the right supplements, which may need to be adjusted as we go along. When he last saw the endocrinologist, he wanted to remove Jason's thyroid via radioactive iodine, which for us, is the last possible option. He wanted to do this within the month, which is not enough time to see a change through his diet. The reason for this is because he just needs to come off the medication he is currently on, and there is no other medication for hyperthyroidism. Dr. C wants him to do his plan for 4-6 months. After 4 months he will (under the endocrinologist's care) come off the medication to see how his thyroid reacts. We will go from there. 4-6 months is a lot better than 2-3 weeks for me!

There is a 20 to 30 percent chance of remission from this. We are believing that he is in that 20 to 30 percent. We believe that he is healed and we are going to do everything we know to do. We know that God is our healer!

This has been one of the most stressful weeks we have had in a long time. Jason did not take the diet thing very well at first. He has never had to think about anything he eats in his entire life. He was pretty bummed. I was very excited about the diet because it was something we could do. So many people are sick and they don't really have any options in the natural. I was stoked that we could do something and that it would change our eating habits for the good. But when Jason is bummed, I am too, so that was stressing me, along with completely restocking our food supply and planning all new totally different meals and snacks like crazy. It has just been a lot. But it is getting easier, and Jason is totally fine with it now. I think he just needed a few days to process and realize that I COULD in fact make him good food that would FILL HIM UP and help him gain weight.

I won't bore you with all the reasons why he can't have certain foods, but they are legit. Just in case anyone is curious, this is what we were given last week (1st appointment):

                         Healthy Food Choices for Healthy Thyroid

When possible Organic and free range 
Baked, broiled or poached
Chicken, turkey, wild game, and cold water-caught in the wild fish:  salmon, halibut, mahi-mahi etc
Beef, pork, lamb
Shell fish: shrimp, lobster.
Meats with sodium nitrate: lunchmeats, bacon, cured, smoke or dried meat
Plain yogurt, plain kefir, butter, eggs
All other dairy products: Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, flavored yogurt, flavored Kefir, ice cream
Fresh or frozen
Raw or steamed
Vegetables, dried beans, lentils, legumes
Limit sweet corn, soy products
Can vegetables, creamed vegetables, casseroles
Do not eat these raw: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, turnips, mustard greens.
Fruit or fruit juice
All fruits
100% juice without sugar
Juice with sugar
*Gluten free...
Buckwheat, brown rice, quinoa.  Limit: millet, millet-flax seed
Whole wheat and white flour products: bread, tortillas, pasta, crackers, etc
Raw (not roasted in oil): pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds Limit: almonds, pine-nuts, peanuts, walnuts
Processed/dry roasted nuts
cold pressed olive oil, grape seed oil, flaxseed oil, organic butter
Margarine, shortening, processed and hydrogenated oils, mayonnaise, spreads
Stevia, raw honey, 100% maple syrup, 100% blackstrap molasses, agave
All forms of sugar, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, rice syrup, date sugar, evaporated cane juice
All spices, hummus, small amount of sea salt or veggie salt
Salty foods, junk food, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, Processed foods
64oz distilled or reversed osmosis water, caffeine free herbal tea
City water or bottled water containing chlorine or fluoride, coffee, tea, soda, fruit juice with sugar added

If you're still with me, here is the list we got today to be added to that one:

Low-Iodine Restrictions
  • Iodized salt, sea salt (noniodized salt may be used)
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, cream, yogurt, ice cream, butter)
  • Eggs (specifically egg yolks; egg whites may be used)
  • Seafood (both fresh and salt-water fish; shellfish; seaweed; kelp)
  • Foods that contain the additives carrageenan, agar-agar, algin, or alginates
  • Cured and corned foods (ham, corned beef, sausage, luncheon meats, sauerkraut, pickles)
  • Bread products that contain iodate dough conditioners (breads from small bakeries are sometimes safe; better to bake it yourself from scratch)
  • Foods and medications that contain red food dyes (specifically, FD&C Red Dye #3; consult your physician about discontinuing or substituting for any red-colored medicines)
  • Chocolate (because of the milk content; dark or pareve chocolate is fine)
  • Molasses
  • Soy products (soy sauce, soy milk, tofu, soy burgers, etc.
Additional Guidelines
  • Avoid restaurant foods, since there's no reliable way to determine what's in your food.
  • Use unsalted matzos (unleavened crackers made only of flour and water) or unsalted tortillas instead of bread.
  • Noniodized salt may be used as desired
  • Read ingredient lists of prepared or packaged foods carefully.
  • Do not take multivitamins, since most contain iodine.
  • Use olive oil as a condiment or in cooking instead of butter or margarine; nondairy or pareve margarine may also be used.
  • Prepare low-iodine meals in advance and freeze them for easy use later.
  • Food prepared from any fresh meats, fresh poultry, fresh or frozen vegetables, and fresh fruits should be fine for this diet, provided that you do not add any of the "to avoid" ingredients listed.  The diet is easiest when food is prepared from basic ingredients.

After being completely overwhelmed with all of this, I did my own research and discovered that A LOT of these are geared toward hypothyroidism, which is the opposite of what we're dealing with, so A LOT of these things are actually beneficial to him right now.  I know a lot of this is repetitive, but just so you know what I'm going through, here's what I found in a book by Dr. Colbert, who is a HIGHLY trusted source of mine (the short version):

Don't eat these with hypothyroidism (me)
Do eat these with hyperthyroidism (him):
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Sweet corn
  • Millet
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Soybeans

Don't eat these with hyperthyroidism:
  • Ocean fish
  • Shellfish
  • Dairy products
  • Kelp and other forms of seaweed
  • Onions
  • Asparagus



Life is Good!

Friday, October 15, 2010

So, this week has been WAY different than I planned. This week has been the most bizarre mix of awesome and awful, all at once.

Last Friday:
*My husband got a bad report from the doctor about his thyroid. We wanted to know what his other options were, so we made an appointment with a wellness doctor for Monday.
*I got a sweet surprise on my front doorstep. A MacBook Pro!
*It was Wei Xu's Macbook Pro.
*Had to put it back in the box.

*We held an auction fundraiser for our youth, and 5 of them showed up to help. FIVE.
*We raised a good amount of money for them!
*Alabama lost. Not only did they lose, they were awful the WHOLE ENTIRE GAME.
*Had my favorite pizza during the game! I thought they were closed but I called just in time!
*Got out of the house for a bit for ice cream! Well, it actually turned into fries & milkshakes. I had a pregnant chick with me.

*Got another job that I'll be doing from home! I'll get an actual paycheck for this one!
*Had to pick up food for our small group, which was not my plan. I wanted to cook something, but I didn't expect the job thing to happen on Sunday afternoon, so I seriously ran out of time.
*Found a great deal on rotisserie chicken at Publix! Family deal that came with EVERYTHING! It was delish.
*First small group meeting. We had a great time with a great group!

*Went to the wellness doctor with my hubby. We won't know everything that's involved until he gets his bloodwork from the "bad report doctor". But he went ahead and started him on a special diet for a healthy thyroid. It's very extreme and comes with lots of supplements.
*I'm doing the diet with him
*Realized I would need to get rid of almost all of my freezer meals and half my pantry.
*I'm very excited about this new way of eating, but the hubs, not so much yet. When he's bummed, I am too.

*Food research continues. I'm studying more than I did in school. It's exhausting.
*Was able to give my freezer meals to a dear friend!
*Hungry. Haven't been to the store yet, so I'm sending all the food that we CAN eat with Jason to work.
*Also, Lena went from really fast to TURBO speed and is trying to destroy our home while I'm studying recipes, planning meals & snacks, making lists, etc.
*Eli is asking me for cheese EVERY FIVE MINUTES. You know, to make sure I don't actually get to have a complete thought.

*More studying
*MY brand new MacBook Pro finally arrives! With accident insurance! For those of you who don't know, I dropped my last MacBook after only having it for 4 months and totaled it, and there was nothing they could do because Apple doesn't cover accidents. Of any kind. Awesome, right?
*Hubby calls & says he's on his way to pick us up for church just as I turn it on. GAH!
*The detoxing from this diet HIT ME HARD during church. I felt like crap.
*Got home & had to do laundry, so I decided to set up my Blackberry Desktop Manager & finally update my Blackberry software. I've been waiting to do it on my computer b/c the last time I did it over the wireless network, it jacked up all my stuff.
*Software update took FOREVER. Then failed. Twice. I was too tired to stay up and try it again so I started it up and went to bed.

*Got about 4 hours of sleep.
*Checked on my Blackberry. Failed again. Took out the battery. Failed again. Then an error message popped up and my phone was completely frozen. I went to Verizon right when they opened because I don't have a landline. Girl had my phone for about 5 seconds when she said, "So do you want your new phone sent to...?" Um, ok. So I have an old phone at home which she had listed so she activated it for me until my new one comes. I get home & can't find the charger ANYWHERE. So I have a phone, but it's dead.
*Coincidentally, the phone company was supposed to be coming to put in a landline today for my new job because I have to have a fax machine. They never showed.
*My only way of communicating is Twitter & Facebook.
*Another great meeting with Next! Next is the new young adult group that we're leading at church. We're very excited about this! Honestly, this really brightened my not so great day.

Friday! (Today)
*I'm finally blogging again!
*Lena is tearing all the tissues she pulled out of the box into tiny pieces on the living room floor & I don't even care.
*It's taking forever to write this blog because Lena keeps trying to put everything in the trash & Eli is already asking for cheese.
*Just stopped again to take a band-aid out of Lena's mouth.
*Hopefully I'll get my new Blackberry and the phone people will come today.
*We have NO FOOD in this house! Get ready Publix!

Also, we have several dear friends with a lot going on, so our hearts have been heavy for them this week. It's just been a crazy week. I'm so glad I decided to take this week off from school because I probably would have been a zombie by now.

Life is good folks! We face challenges sometimes, but we always get up and move forward!


The Torture

Sunday, October 10, 2010

So I open up my "brand new" MacBook Pro, and there are fingerprints on the screen. I thought that was weird. I press the power button and instead of startup assistant starting, I get the box requesting my password. My password? NO. Wei Xu's password. Apparently, I have Wei Xu's MacBook Pro.


Awesome. So how torturous is that? To get all the way to the point of pressing the "on" button on your BRAND NEW MacBook Pro, and then having to put it back in the box and wait for the actual brand new one to arrive.

Not cool.



Friday, October 8, 2010

THIS just arrived on my front doorstep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the day that the Lord has made! I am rejoicing!!! EEK! *SQUEAL*


Just a Few Things

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Concerning Lena:
Lena has kind of been along for the ride of homeschooling. Meaning, I had no idea what her schedule was until about a week ago when I decided to relax a little. Poor baby. She was not very happy a lot of the time and INTO EVERYTHING. She wasn't napping well AT ALL, and it seemed her naps were getting shorter and nighttime sleep was getting shorter too. Something just wasn't right. Then it dawned on me. She has no schedule. How did that happen? Doesn't matter. Needed fixing. ASAP.

Concerning our schedule:
Ok. Just because I've relaxed a little doesn't mean I completely threw our schedule out the window. We still have a tentative one that we may or may not stick to, but it really does help me to have some kind of time line to go by. Plus, it helps me keep Lena on track, which is really the most important thing for all of us at this point. When she's rested and happy, life is just better for everyone. So, just in case anyone's curious, here is our routine. I say routine, because everything pretty much happens in this order, but the times may change a little...on a normal day.

7:00-quiet time for Mommy (Yesss)
8:30-morning devotion
9:00-playtime/exercise, shower
10:00-Daily chores (for the kids) Mwahahaha...
Just kidding:) I do help some
1:00-finish up school/free time
2:30-nap/outside play
4:30-snack/ask a million questions about dinner until Daddy gets home
7:30-family prayer

Concerning The Firm:
I rocked that Wave today!

All across the living room floor.

I think my balance is off a smidge. My butt and legs still hurt pretty bad, but I'm sure that's a good thing. Also, I definitely wore the wrong undergarments for lunging and squatting mixed with cardio. Yep, I think that pretty much covers it.

Concerning Eli Iron Man:
I'm pretty sure Eli is in there somewhere, but there's a small version of Iron Man living here at the moment. Eli has been wanting a transformer suit for the longest time and has been faithfully saving up his hard earned money for it. I decided this might be a good time to get it since there's a larger selection in the stores this month. Instead, we found Iron Man. He has muscles. And a mask. And he's totally awesome. He's so awesome that he joined us for breakfast. He only took a break for a birthday party we went to and as soon as we walked in the door, in goes Eli, out comes Iron Man. I think his bright redness might be pink by the end of the month.

Concerning fingernails:
I'm actually putting "fingernail and toenail clipping" on my calendar for next month. I don't know what it is about this task, but I JUST CAN'T REMEMBER to do it! I always end up catching it when we're on our way somewhere or after they're all asleep. I don't mean their fingernails and toenails are a little long. I mean they're CLAWS. With DIRT UNDER THEM. It's bad. I'm just waiting for someone to notice and call DHR on me.

That is all for today. I'm going to go cut some fingernails. And toenails.



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

So in my post yesterday I mentioned how I was back to exercising finally. Yesterday I went for a walk with my friend Tara. We meet every Monday morning for a LONG walk, a little over 3 miles. I look forward to it every week! We haven't been in a few weeks and I could tell it. But today, I started my Firm Wave workout again, and OH. MY. GAH. My butt hurts already. Those "Firm" ladies are serious. I don't even want to think about what getting up in the morning is going to feel like. Onward still!


What do you believe?

How many times have you said or done something you regret? Something you needed forgiveness for? Something you needed compassion for? Something you needed mercy for? I've heard many people say that they have no regrets.

Well, I do.

There are so many times I've said the wrong thing, or done the wrong thing, and immediately or eventually regretted it. I've needed forgiveness, compassion, and mercy more times than I can count. Not just from God, but from people. I want and NEED these things almost everyday, so why would I even think about not giving them? The Word says clearly that God is not mocked, and whatever a man sows, that is what he'll reap.

I love the Word! I'm so thankful that God already has a plan for us to be free from the guilt of regret. If we can find it in the Word, we can certainly have it!

This was a scripture in my devotion this morning: And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.

I want to be useful, helpful, kind, tenderhearted, compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted, forgiving READILY AND FREELY. Do people who have hurt me deserve that? No. Do I deserve that? NO. Thank God we don't get what we deserve. We get what we believe for. I believe the Word! I believe that if Ephesians 4:32 says for me to "become" all those things, then that's what I choose to become. THAT is God's plan for my life. Seeing something in His Word, and then believing it.


Back to Normal

Monday, October 4, 2010

First of all, I am finally getting to watch some tv again! I love watching tv and movies, but the past month has been so crazy for me. I've found myself MANY days just noticing at 1 or 2 o'clock that I haven't eaten or sat down since I got out of bed. Thankfully, this phase is over!

School is going really well, and we're all finally in a groove. It isn't nearly as stressful or time consuming as it was the first few weeks. It took me awhile to just relax a little and enjoy the benefits of being at home. Like NOT getting up at the crack of dawn. If I were carting them to school every morning, I know I would be wishing for more time to get up and moving, so why in the world would I get up at 6am everyday? Yep, I was doing that. Not anymore! We are going to start school when we start school. One of the best things about homeschooling is not being bound by time, so if we want to go outside and play first, or go to the park in the morning, that's what we'll do. This has been one of the hardest things for me to surrender to, but it has been so much better on all of us.

Exercising is back! All of the above was giving me no time for exercise. I love exercise. I crave it. I don't do it nearly enough, and I'm always wanting to. So now, I'll be able to exercise everyday. No more excuses, and I'm very excited about that!

Also, I'm very excited about October! We're taking a break from school all of next week, and I've already got lots of fun stuff on the calendar for us! It's going to be a very fun month!

I've started a bit of freezer cooking. I have to say, the first time I read about someone freezer cooking, I thought it was INSANE. I was just fine to plan about a week or two ahead, but that was as far as I was going. I'm not sure what happened, but the more I read about it, the more interested I was. Curiosity just got the best of me, so I tried it. I'm starting out slow. I'm sure at some point I will join the crazies that cook 60 meals in 2 days, but I'm not there yet. I do have about 15 meals in the freezer and about 4-6 more will be added to that this week, so I feel like a rockstar. It feels great knowing there's a month's worth of NOT COOKING in my freezer, and it was super easy!

That's almost everything bouncing around in my head at the moment.
Happy Fall!


Things Everyone Should Know...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

If there is an infant living in your home, don't eat the last banana.

If there is an infant living in your home, don't drink the last cup of milk.

If you get the infant out of the high chair, for heaven's sake PLEASE clean it up. It's nice to approach a clean highchair with a screaming hungry baby, instead of teasing her into thinking she's going in, only to be angered further when she has to be put down for the highchair to be scrubbed for 10 minutes because now the food is all stuck and junk. A quick wipedown before, or immediately after removing her from the highchair will do the trick. 10 seconds. No crying. Really.

Rant over :)


Baby Love

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I had to rock Lena to sleep tonight. I usually just lay her down awake, but tonight I just needed to feel her still, little sleeping body pressed up against mine. I needed to hear her heavy, sound asleep breathing in my ear. When I hear that sound, I think about all the things she did that day, and how exhausted she must be from it. She's learning so much so fast and going full speed. I needed to feel and smell her sweet baby breath on my cheek. I needed to give her that last big squeeze before I laid her into her bed, and kiss her chubby little cheeks and lips and forehead and cheeks again with all my might. I can't believe she's already 14 months old and walking. I remember these moments with Jessi and Eli, and wish them back all the time. I know I can never get them back, and it makes my heart ache, but I still have a few of them left.

I just needed to feel her sleep.


Clean Up

Monday, September 27, 2010

"Hey kids, clean up Lena's room a little.  Doesn't have to be perfect, just clear the floor so I can vacuum."

Of all the times for my camera battery to be dead.  So glad I have a camera on my phone!


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