Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Megan tagged me, and I'm not very good at thinking of good answers for this stuff but I'm going to try!

1. My joys
-cliche, I know, but my husband and kids. Love them!
-being in the habit of daily Bible reading
-good hair days (they're rare)

2. My fears
-heart problems
-something happening to Alif or my kids
-nights alone (thankfully rare)

3. My goals
-overcome my weight problem/bad eating
-do a good job teaching my kids - spiritually and academically
-become a better homemaker

4. My current obsessions/collections
-Rainbow Chip frosting
-dirty dishes
-sewing & craft ideas

5. Random surprising facts about me
-I am kind of OCD. Like, if I were to dry off in a different way than usual I'd have to start all over, for example
-There is a rip in the sheet I am currently using, and every time my toe pushes it and it rips a little I think, "Oh no, Alif's going to think I tooted." I only kept these sheets in case we have more kids but am using it right now because I failed to wash the other two sets in time.
-I replicated my very favorite restaurant meal last week and I cannot wait to blog about it.

I tag:
Crunchy Christian Mom
Whoever else hasn't already been tagged.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I'm a Homemaker

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday. It was my first visit, so I went into a little side office at first and got all registered, like you would at a hospital. Ms. Registrar asked me a series of questions, mostly verifying what I had already written on my new patient paperwork. A few minutes in she asked, "what do you do?" I said, "I'm a homemaker." I was instantly convicted and answered the rest of her questions with many thoughts in my mind.

What does it really mean to be a homemaker? Here are some definitions I like:
home: An environment offering security and happiness. A valued place regarded as a refuge or place of origin. The place where something is discovered, founded, developed, or promoted; a source. To the center or heart of something. To be guided to a target automatically. To move or lead toward a goal.
make: To bring into existence by shaping or changing material, combining parts, etc. To produce; cause to exist or happen; bring about. To put in the proper condition or state, as for use; fix; prepare.

It's no surprise that a good homemaker shapes a place where things are discovered; that she puts her home into the proper condition for security and happiness. It's not a big revelation that a homemaker produces an environment where her husband and children move toward their goals.

I just needed a reminder.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sugar Attack Part 5: Diary of a Sugar Fast

8:52 am I really, really want some cereal with sugar. It was a long night last night. A neighbor had a DJ yelling into a microphone until after 11:30, and shortly after that stopped Canaan woke up. He was feverish so I gave him some Motrin and brought him to bed with me, where he tossed and turned and nursed all night long. I didn't get out of bed until 8:20 this morning. Surely some very sweet cereal would fix my mood, right? Ha!

10:17 am I'm making bean, green chiles, cheddar cheese omelettes for breakfast. I had a thought - ooh, ice cream! I'll get some ice cream - oh, wait - no. I feel like I'm thinking about sugar double-time today since I can't have it, but maybe I actually think about it this much normally?

10:25 am Maaan, I really want some hot tea. We don't even have any tea bags. I checked the mango in the freezer to see if it has sugar - it doesn't! YES!

12:35 pm I had an orange with breakfast too, and it was very sweet but didn't satisfy my sweet tooth. I feel like Eve in the garden - God has given me so many wonderfully delicious and nutritious foods to eat and I am fixating on what is destructive. I remember the first year we did a tv-turnoff for the month of August, I kept a journal. The first few days were so awfully hard for me that I wrote in that journal quite a lot. Then we got into a new routine and it just wasn't that big a deal. I hope the same happens with this sugar fast.

1:32 pm Ate two boiled eggs for lunch. Also tried a little experiment - plain (no sugar) yogurt with 100% grape juice mixed in as a sweetener. Not so good. REALLY could go for a big bowl of cereal with lots of sugar.

Monday 9:07 am Sugar wins. I did not survive my sugar fast. I was outwitted, outplayed, outlasted. It started when Alif left for a few minutes and I scarfed down a bowl of cereal with sugar. When he came home I told him I went off my sugar fast and he said, "at least you made it half a day!" Then I ate sour gummy worms, which we bought at the gas station while buying a newspaper, and then that night I drank a Strawberry Fanta with my fast-food dinner and also had not one but TWO root beer floats after dinner. Sigh. We'll try again next week.

I think part of the problem is that yesterday was a long, boring, slow day. We couldn't go to church in the morning and so that threw things off, and then the rest of the day was just spent puttering around doing nothing. Not a good day for a sugar fast. I think I will pick the busiest day of this next week and do it then.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sugar Attack Part 4

So I know, obviously, that eating less sugar will be good for my health, and that continuing on in my sugar-laden ways will be destructive. Now what?? I thought a lot about how to cut back on sugar. Should I just tell myself no candy? Dessert only at gatherings? One spoon instead of two in my tea? Cold-turkey? I was thinking and praying about this one day when the answer felt clear: a sugar fast. One day a week, at first, I will do a sugar fast. My first one is tomorrow (Sunday).
What's not allowed:
candy, cake, ice cream, anything overtly sugary
soda or other sugary drinks
tea with sugar and creamer
canned or frozen fruit with sugar
cereal or hot cereal (too much temptation to lay on the sugar)

What is allowed, besides the obvious proteins, veggies etc.:
fresh fruit
tea with milk
whole-grain bread

Now, these lists aren't based on my nutritional prowess but on my personal knowledge of how my body works. I know that the foods in the no-go list are temptations for me, that I am likely to binge on them. I don't think I will go crazy with the fresh fruit or drink too many cups of tea sweetened only with milk.

So two questions: anyone wanna join me? And also, is there anything obvious missing from my not-allowed list? Wait, one more question. Any great ideas on sweet substitutes? Not like fake sugar but snacks that will be fulfilling without being sweet.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I know, it's all about me, me me.

Sorry these most recent posts are completely self-promotional. But while I'm at it, will you grab that button in the right-hand column and put it on your blog so that people will join us for the Inside Out series? Thank you, friends!!

And about weaning

Here's a sassy option for toddlers who have no intentions of weaning anytime soon. ;-)

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Want to show people how easy and safe breastfeeding really is? No worries about harmful chemicals when Mama's the preferred feeding method! Come check out my new cafepress shop!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sugar Attack Part 3

I have kind of been dreading this next installment: the dangers of sugar. Part of me wants and needs to know exactly how bad this stuff is for me but the other part of me would like to just keep enjoying it and not worry about its destructive effects. Also, I don't want to come across completely doom and gloom. I think, though, that if I'm going to effectively fight this war against sugar, I have to be totally honest with myself about what it is that I'm fighting against. So here goes, a roundup of information detailing how sugar affects our systems:
depresses the immune system
leads to cardiovascular disease, asthma, mood swings, personality changes, mental illness, nervous disorders, gallstones, arthritis
tooth decay
digestive diseases
toxemia during pregnancy
blood clots and strokes
messes up the mineral balance in the body
premature aging
weakens eyesight
yeast infections
varicose veins
food allergies
interferes with absorption of protein
kidney stones
liver damage
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Oy. I cannot go on. If you need to know more about this stuff, you can check the references on this site: or just google dangers of sugar and you'll find a vast array of scary stuff.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Let all of Heaven Rejoice!

We went to the batting cages tonight for Graham's team's practice. I even got in there and hit some balls, can you believe that? Also Caris saw a little girl about her age who's the sister of a boy on Graham's team and wondered if she would like to play. I reminded her of a little girl who had come and asked her if she'd like to play when we were at a playground near the beach, and then guess what? Caris walked right over there and asked if this little girl would like to play! I was so proud of her. My big boys are so shy so watching Caris' relatively outgoing self amazes me.

After practice Alif took the big boys to go watch our niece's championship baseball game, and Caris, Canaan & I headed over to pick up some dinner. On our way Caris asked why God only had one son and no daughters. I told her that He has lots of daughters and that I am one of them, and that if she loves God then she can be one too. She's been asking questions about this for months but tonight she pressed on. We talked again about what it means to be a Christian: that we love God, that we know that the only way we can live with him forever in Heaven is to believe that his son Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sins. That he rose again and lives in Heaven. That we want to obey God and do what he asks us to do. She understood it all and when I asked her if she would like to pray about this she said she would. She repeated after me and afterward I told her that she is now God's daughter! I said, "You know what, honey? The Bible tells us that when we become a Christian, like you just did, that all of heaven has a big, big party!" She said, "They must know I'm about to turn five!" LOL I said, "No, they are just very excited that you love God. And you know what else? You have the holy spirit living inside of you now, and he promises to never, ever leave you no matter what!" She said, in all of her childlike wisdom, "We should see if Malachi and Graham want that too." :*) I assured her they already had prayed like she had and told her how important it is that she tells people around her how much Jesus loves them so that they can know him too.

I am so blessed! I am so happy for her!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Sugar Attack Part 2

Though it may seem obvious, I wrote out a list of the benefits of cutting way back on my sugar intake:
weight loss
reduced health risks
more energy
fewer (or no?) panic attacks
better mood
better immune system
healthier kids
pride in my diet
money saved
more stamina
better breastmilk
avoid binging

What reasons do you have for reducing your sugar intake?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Summer Lovin'

A year or so ago, my friend Susan recommended Egermeier's Bible Story Book. I went online and bought an antique version from eBay and as soon as it arrived, I started reading it to the kids. We all enjoyed it, but the pages were so brittle that I didn't want to handle it too much.

Then my Mom brought over this new version of the same book! HOORAY! It has all the same stories and illustrations but is nice and sturdy.

As our school year winds down, I'm thinking of what we'll do over the summer. Awana will officially be over for the summer as of tomorrow night, and of all our studies, Bible is my top priority with the kids. Egermeier's came to mind, and so I gave each child a notebook and a fresh box of crayons. We wrote the title of the first story and its Scriptural reference at the top of the first page, and as I read the kids colored along in their notebook. By the end of summer they'll each have an illustrated Bible story book that they created on their own, and hopefully the multi-sensory approach will help cement the stories (and the meanings behind them!) in their hearts and minds.

Graham's review: "How did you come up with such a great idea??"

Friday, May 02, 2008

Sugar Attack Part 1

Ta-daaaa! Our first installment of Inside Out will focus on that sweet, awful stuff that has plagued me for years: sugar. I can't get enough of it, and as time goes on you will see how serious I am about that.

My parents fed us a healthy diet. My Mom cooked well-rounded meals pretty much every night, and we ate at the table as a family. We had ice cream after our dinner sometimes (almost always with wheat germ on top) and once in a while they'd let us ride our bikes over to 7-11 and pick out a candy. We rarely ate fast food, though we did go out to pizza lots of Fridays with our neighbors, and I was allowed to drink root beer on those occasions. What I'm saying is that we weren't fed a bunch of junk, but we weren't stringently denied sweets, either.

When I went to high school there was much freedom of food choice at lunchtime. Freshmen & sophomores were required to stay on campus for lunch, but there were lots of options in the cafeteria. Do you think that Lynette & I stayed in the cafeteria and ate salads or sandwiches? Would that we had, but we instead chose each day: one soda, one bag of chips, two candy bars. We took them in to the gym and laughed hysterically as we ate our nutritious lunch. I'm sorry, Mom. Once in a while we would get on a health kick and get taco salads from the cafeteria. Ok, that makes even me laugh to think about it. Even funnier though, we would eat outside and as soon as our tight little tummies felt full we'd pile dirt on so that we wouldn't keep eating just for the pure yumminess of it. Hey, at least we had some self-control. Let's not forget the times that we would also get donuts from the gym during zero period and also the times we would scrounge for change and then rollerblade over to Circle K for as much candy as we could afford.

After high school I was a mature college student and employee. I got my own apartment and lived on Corn Pops. I was thin as can be and the owner of the restaurant where I worked would pinch my side and say, "you too skinny, take home some calamari from mama. Go eat, gain weight." A couple years went by and I got a real job at a desk. My coworker Barb & I would go out to lunch and eat reasonable things like sandwiches and side salads. About once a week we'd load up on candy and gum or get a big chocolatey dessert. Not too horribly bad, I guess.

Then I got married and had kids and became a stay at home mom, and the kitchen was (is) available all day every day. Oh, my friends, it's gotten really bad. I have gained over 70 pounds since I met my sweet husband. I binge on sugary stuff like candy, fruit snacks, cereal and when I am eating stuff like this, I just seem to have no stop mechanism. I don't get full or tired of the sweetness of it all. Embarrassingly enough, I will now admit to you what I ate yesterday. It was a particularly horrible day. The kids and I went to Target and I loaded up on snacks. I was embarrassed even buying this stuff! We came home and I ate: one pint of dulce de leche ice cream, almost a whole package of swedish fish, several packets of fruit snacks, four pop tarts and a handful of gummi bears. It took me a few hours to consume all of that and of course I wasn't hungry the rest of the day. So basically, I ate nothing but sugar and a little wedge of watermelon all day. This is so not ok.

Now you have it. My history of sugar consumption. Tell me where you stand - are you a health nut and never, ever, ever eat refined sugar? Do you eat well most of the time and allow yourself treats? (How often and what type?) Do you eat sweets every day? Do you consume large quantities like I do?