Thursday, March 2, 2017

Winter Photos

   I looked at the date that I last posted...February 2!!  Yikes!  An entire month has gone by.  Each day has been full for us though.  It has also been a month of sickness for us.  Sore throats, plugged ears, stuffy heads... Ack! I'm so tired of all of it.  At the moment, Ryder is dealing with a sore throat and stuffy head and I have plugged ears.  I am happy that it isn't flu-like stuff though. 

   An update on my stomach issues if anyone is interested...  :-)   I am still not able to eat gluten or eggs (I can eat eggs baked in something just not plain).  Gluten foods give me heartburn and a very bloated stomach. I also just feel plain old icky if I eat gluten.  I am able to eat some cheese now but I don't want to overdo it. I have lost my cravings for desserts and sweets- which is a good thing for me.  I also don't care much for bread.  However, I do not make my own bread anymore because I could not avoid eating that!  Homemade bread fresh from the oven is divine!  I don't even use sugar in my tea anymore!!!! sugar...I do use some honey though.  That's it for my sugar fix! 

   I had promised to post some of the photos that Madi and I took on her way to work during the last big storm.  I thought about posting them frequently but when those thoughts arrived it was beautiful and sunny outside and I didn't want to think about snow! Plus, I took so many pictures (500-serious) and Madi narrowed it down to 25.  I have to decide which ones I want to post.  I really don't want to post 25 pictures! :-)   So without further ado...

Thursday, February 2, 2017

From My Front Porch

   Can you believe we are in February already?  I can't believe how fast January went by.  We've been having some great winter weather for those who love the snow!  I have been taking some photos of the snow and I am putting together a post of snow pictures but today's photos are from my front porch. 

  It was a very dreary morning and it was snowing while I was taking these photos.  We are having temps in the lower 30's to upper 20's.  The weekend is set to "cool down"!  HaHa!  Our low temps will dip into the single digits!

Jeremiah and Ryder have been enjoying the snow.  They have been riding the snowmobiles in the fields and back yard.  The snowblower has been getting a work out also. 

I am starting to anticipate Spring.  I love the beauty of everything being coated in white and the fact that there aren't any bugs but I am tired of being cold all the time.  It seems that since I started my new eating regimen that I am cold more times than not.  I can only hope that it continues into summer when I am usually hot and sweaty all the time!  :-) 
Today is Groundhog's Day!  Does anyone tune into see Punxsutawney Phil?  We usually try to catch his prediction on TV.  It's just fun.  I do not wish to go to Punxsutawney (PA) to see him though.  I figure it too early, too many people and way too cold! 
Be Blessed and Have A Great Day!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Can you believe it's the end of January? What was the best day of January 2017 for you, and why?  I can't state an actual day of January but the end of January has definitely been better since I have figured out what I can eat and what I can't.  Staying clear of wheat and gluten has been a major plus for me. 

2. What sounds make up the background noise in your life?  At the moment the fan from the furnace is blowing, the radio is on in the kitchen, the dishwasher is making a quiet hum and Ryder has the TV on for some history lessons. 

3. I read on the
Power of Positivity website a list of ten things to drop from your life right now. They are-

anger outbursts, people who put you down, regret, negative self talk, being a people pleaser, the notion you need to be perfect, the past (but keep the lessons learned!), gossip and judgment, comparing yourself to others, and the word hate (focus on what you love instead)

Which thing on the list do you most need to drop? Are you trying or will you try? 
I have dropped a lot of these from my life several years back.  I'm still prone to anger though. That one is hard to keep in check for me.  I recently started to have some negative self talk though.  In the last year, I have been struggling with negative thoughts with my body image.  No I am not a youngster- I am in my early 40's.  Jeremiah has been very supportive of me and has been excellent at counter-acting my negative thoughts.  He doesn't see me the way I do.  I never cared about body image before but for some reason the last year or so has been hard for me.  I am not the skinny-minny of my youth and maybe that is catching up with me.  I know that I have a husband who loves me for me and not for what I think I should be.  I am getting better with the negative thinking and I owe a lot of that to Jerm.  I can only pray that other folks have someone in their lives who loves them through the negative. 

4. What is sacred to you?  I guess there are different ways of looking at the word sacred so I am just going to go with my first thought.  My marriage and family is sacred to me.  I can't imagine not having them.  I also keep my faith and belief in God on the sacred list. 

5. January is National Oatmeal month. Are you a fan, and if so how do you like it?  I do like some oatmeal.  I make oatmeal with butter, brown sugar and a little vanilla.  That's the way the kids like it too.  You can make oatmeal taste good and not like wallpaper paste. 

6. What feelings does twilight stir up in you?  I do not have any particular feeling stir at twilight.  Sorry but I don't have an answer for this question...

7. Something you're looking forward to next month?  My birthday is in February along with my mama's.  My little nephew's birthday is two days after mine.  He is the sweetest little guy ever!  We will celebrate his 1st birthday on my 42nd birthday!  I am 41 years and 2 days older than him.   :-)  I am so excited!  He is my only nephew so he is pretty special around here. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.
  We have been getting some snow around here lately.  I plan to do a separate post sometime soon with some pictures that I have been taking.  This photo is the Pine Tree Forest. Madi gave me her phone to shoot a few pictures of the snow while she was driving.  I ended up taking about 500 photos. She went through them and narrowed them down to 25!  Only 25!  ;-)  It was a very overcast morning so it was hard to get decent pictures. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Family Dinner!

   For those of you who have been following the updates on our Christmas present decision to have a family experience instead of gifts; here is the update. Since my brother-in-law is still dealing with the blood clot issue in his leg, we decided to do a family dinner.  We went to a little restaurant that has been around a long time but none of us have eaten there before. 

   We had a very enjoyable evening but since our family is getting bigger we were seated at a long table and it was slightly difficult to converse with everyone.  We had planned on going bowling after dinner but Jeremiah's work schedule changed and we needed to cancel going bowling.  We have decided that we would go bowling another time instead. Yay! I am not sure when we will do that though.

   I will say that the family dinner was much better than doing the family gifts.  We talked and laughed and made memories for ourselves and the kids.  I personally think that these type of evenings are better than having stuff sitting around our house.  I appreciate the creative gifts (honestly) but memories will last a lifetime.  We are all getting older and it is better to spend time together.

   As for the restaurant itself...  It isn't a place that I would recommend going to eat.  It has a casual atmosphere and our family didn't have to worry about noise or anything like that but the food wasn't the best.  I would say that half of the family liked their food and the other half was on the it's only ok side. Madi and my father-in-law ordered the same dish- hot roast beef and fries with gravy-they both said it was lukewarm and didn't taste good. I felt bad for Madi as she has recently started to try eating meat again and received an icky dish.  Boo... I had ordered a chef salad and it was huge and good. Jeremiah and Ryder each ordered a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich and fries and they were in the it's ok group. The portion sizes were giant but the taste just wasn't there.  Quality vs. Quantity-  Quality lost.  Those that ordered steaks and ribs said their orders were good.  My mother-in-law ordered some sort of pasta and shrimp dish and she said it was good also.   
Giant Nacho Plate!!

   Jeremiah ordered a plate of nachos and it was giant!  We passed the plate around the table several times and it never seemed to get smaller!  HaHa.  Madi snapped this picture of it (the only picture of the evening-my apologies)  You can see how small her thumb looks.  This was taken after the first pass around!  :-)  There was also an order of cheese sticks, jalapeƱo peppers and an onion blossom going around the table too. I didn't try any of those but was told they were really tasty. 
   Overall, the dinner was a huge success (in my mind) even if the food wasn't great.  The company was and that is all that mattered! Take the time to spend with family and friends if you have the chance and make some memories!
   Be blessed! 

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Awful Candy Experience!

   My mom, Madi and I went to a little store that makes goat cheese. My mom has been there before and she likes the cheese a lot. Madi and I tasted some of the cheese selections.  I have to say that I am not a fan.  Madi liked one of the cheeses but honestly they just tasted "goaty" to me.  I couldn't find an enjoyable taste to them. 

   Mom and Madi each bought a chocolate candy they were selling.  They were made with dark chocolate and looked so good! Mom got a cherry chocolate  drop and Madi got a vanilla chocolate drop.  When we got to the car mom popped her chocolate in, chewed a bit and got the most horrible look on her face.  She promptly opened her door and spit the chocolate out right there in the parking lot!!!!  She said she either spit it out or something else would happen!  She felt bad about it but it was nasty!  Madi decided to try hers carefully.  She took a small bite of it and got a horrible look on her face.  She didn't want to swallow her bite either.  I took a small bite of hers and it was AWFUL!  Truly awful.  I haven't tasted something so bad in a long time.  My mom thought it couldn't have been as bad as the one she had so she took the remaining third of the chocolate.  It exited her mouth also.  Yuck was the defined word to describe that awful chocolate! 

   We discovered that just because they had fancy names and looked beautiful the insides were horrible and left a bad taste in your mouth.  Life learning experience from some chocolate drops... 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I've Been Under the Weather Lately!

   Hi All!  It has been quite a long time since I updated.  As you can probably guess from the title, I have not been feeling well.  I got that blasted stomach bug that was going around our area right after first of the year.  I would guess that it was around the 3rd of January.  I had that awful sickness for 6 days.  Jeremiah and Ryder had it prior to me but it was about a 3 day virus.  I wasn't so fortunate.  Madilynne was able to avoid getting it.  I am happy she didn't experience it.  

    However, this virus was so intense for me that everything- and I mean everything- I ate gave me a terrible upset stomach with lots of pain. Madi and I started keeping a food log about what I was eating and what caused pain.  Well, Madi (aka The Food Warden) has been keeping a tight rein on what I am eating.  I am not a person who has a lot of will power otherwise I would be skinny and super fit so she is helping me make wise food choices!  ;-)  We figured out that anything with eggs, dairy, nuts and wheat were causing me issues.  I made some major changes to my diet and cut all those foods out. It seemed like I only had 5 things I could eat but I was feeling so much better.  I started taking a good probiotic and kept my eating to a minimal. OH HOW I WANTED A PIECE OF CHEESE!!!!  I like cheese almost as much as my tea.  I think not having cheese was the worst possible part of it.

   Madi and I quickly figured out a new eating plan for me focusing on what I could eat and not what I couldn't eat.  That made the process much easier.  I really wanted cheese and something chocolate.  I am not a big chocolate eater so that was surprising to me.  We went for groceries and I got a gluten-free brownie mix at Aldi's. Oh my gosh, it was so good!  The rest of the family even thought it was good.  I got over the chocolate craving and all has been good.  Madi and I have slowly introduced trigger foods back into my diet.  Nuts were the first thing to bring back without any issues. Then I really wanted cheese so I decided that if I only ate one piece of cheese or some shredded cheese on my salads I would be ok.  We tried it and I can only handle a little bit of cheese.  I don't drink any milk or anything like that.  I save the dairy for my cheese!  LOL  Eggs... well eggs are still not something I can eat.  I can handle them baked into something like the brownie but I can't eat them plain, like scrambled or an omelet.  Next is wheat/gluten...that is still a no go. I don't have any major pain if I eat something that I didn't realize has gluten in but my stomach gets upset. 

   I am hoping with a controlled diet, taking probiotics and eating some fermented foods that I will get this under control and get back to eating normally again.  I can say that I do feel better eating a better diet and not so much in the grain/bread/pasta group so that is a good thing!

   As for the rest of life, we went to visit a new creamery that opened recently for lunch.  We met my mom and step-dad, my nephew and his momma there.  Our homeschool group is going to tour the cheese making part of it next week but the idea to meet for lunch came up and we jumped on it.  It was so much fun to eat somewhere new.  I had some yummy food choices so that made it much better.  I got a chicken salad with a delicious ranch dressing.  Oh boy was it good!  The focus of the foods is to eat local, Farm to Table style. They had the local farms listed and I recognized three of the five farms.  I think that it is great that they are supporting our local community farmers.  They also had a gift shop that had some items made locally.  The prices weren't extremely high either.  Usually those kind of places have a high price point but honestly I didn't think it was too bad. I didn't feel like it broke the bank to eat there and we will definitely go back. Examples: my chicken salad was $5.50 and it was a nice sized salad. The Philly Cheese Wrap and homemade chips was $7.50 and the Cheeseburger and homemade chips was also $5.50.  I think I have those prices right.... Not a bad price overall. I can't remember the cost of the drinks though.  Madi ordered some fried cheese curds and they were pricier around $7 for the order but she really liked them.   

   Our extended family was supposed to go snow tubing as a family experience instead of Christmas gifts last Saturday.  My brother-in-law developed a blood clot in his calf muscle and as a result can't do anything physical like tubing for several weeks.  We decided to change plans and just go out to dinner.  What good is it to have a family experience and not have the whole family?  Dinner was scheduled and then my B-I-L got sick. He and his wife decided to stay home.  Dinner is now rescheduled for this Saturday!  HaHa  I personally don't mind changing the schedule because my stomach issues are getting better so I have more food choices now.  Jeremiah's family is pretty close so it's not like we won't do something else at a later date.  The restaurant that was chosen is also new to us.  I think only two family members have eaten there before so it will be another fun experience. 

   Well, I will wrap up today's post since this is getting pretty long.  I could have done this post in several different ones but I just wanted to get it typed up.  I hope it wasn't too long for you. Have a blessed day!

Monday, January 2, 2017

From My Front Porch- New Year's Version

   Happy New Year!
   Welcome to 2017!  I am not a big fan of New Year's resolutions.  Resolutions are meant to be broken....right?  I figure if I need to make some changes I should do it then and not wait for change.  However, I do understand that the new year is a great time to start some new habits or set some goals.  I have some ideas toying around in my head about some new goals but really I haven't addressed them yet.  I need to step back and really look at what is working and what isn't before I make some changes.  The new year is a good time to reflect.
   One idea that I do know that I am going to implement into my daily routine is a suggestion that was given to us at church Sunday morning.  I am going to start reading a chapter of Proverbs every day on the corresponding date.  Example: read Proverbs 12 on Jan 12, Feb 12, Mar 12, etc. Proverbs 25 on Jan 25, Feb 25, Mar 25, etc.  This isn't a new idea to me but one that I think has merit at this point in my life. Other ideas deal with our budget, healthy food and self improvement are rolling around in my brain but I am not sure what I want to do about those yet. 
   Now onto the photos from my front porch today.  Today was overcast and cold with temps I the lower to mid 30's throughout most of the day.  We experienced some freezing rain overnight into the early morning.  It was also foggy.  The rain melted a lot of the snow covering we had earlier.  That's okay though because we will get more, I am sure of that! 

      The tracks in the snow are from our golf cart.  Jeremiah and Ryder put some chains on the tires and it really goes in the snow. They need the golf cart to get wood in from the woods.  We have wood cut and ready for winter, Jerm and Ryder just like to cut wood and we have some trees that my dad had cut down earlier in the year that needed cut up.
   Well that's all for now.  Hopefully your New Year is a great one!