Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Those of you who know me in non-bloggy life know that I was born in October, but three years ago today, I was born again. Thank you Jesus!

The ways my life has changed are literally incalculable. I've birthed two more children. My marriage has gone from wishing-I-could-leave-every-day to learning-how-to-love-every-day. I have a church family that's wonderful and that has supported us. I've watched my husband come to faith. I've watched friends come to faith. We've gotten much better control of our finances and paid off a ton of debt. We've received blessing after blessing for our small obediences.

God is good, all the time.

Three years ago today, I was sitting in a room with a couple of thousand people at Mary Kay's annual seminar in Dallas. It was thoroughly boring, and I started thinking about other things. For about 5 weeks I'd been attending a small group with my friend Stef that I'd met in MK, where she introduced me to the Rowells. I came in seeking hard after God, not sure I'd find anything. There was a moment of surrender in that seminar room where I was literally alone with Jesus and I just sort of said, "OK, I'm not really sure about this whole thing, but I WANT to believe in You, so if You're real, let's do this." Man I'm eloquent. ;)

The friend whose wedding I just attended? Met in MK. Laura's testimony started the whole search. While I was seeking, I never forgot that she said "He is big enough to let you seek". John added, "and He's big enough to let you find".

Such blessings. Today I'm thankful to my Jesus, and thankful for His hands and feet in the form of Stef, John and Ginger, Laura, and countless others. To God be the glory!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe

Yesterday I posted about the chocolate zucchini bread thatMichelle posted, and how I changed it to a more friendly recipe. Here's the recipe as I modified it:

3/4 c. honey (will probably use agave nectar next time for lighter flavor and lower glycemic index)
3 T. flax meal and 1/2 c. boiling water (this replaces three eggs)
2/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c. coconut oil
1 T. vanilla
2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour, ground halfway between bread and pastry
1/4 c. raw cocoa powder
1/3 c. raw carob powder
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. gluten (makes it fluffier using all that whole wheat)
1/4 t. baking powder
2 1/2 c. grated zucchini.

Mix it up, slap it into two loaf pans, and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Now it's a nice vegan bread (if you use agave).

Nutrition wise, we're looking at: 123 cals per slice,
5.5 g fat (and all mediun chain fatty acids and omega 3's, can't beat that),
0 mg cholesterol
165 mg sodium
37 g carbs
7 g fiber
6 g protein

The original had: 137 calories
4g fat (trace sat fat)
26 mg cholesterol
165 mg sodium
23 g carbohydrate
1g fiber
3g protein

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my Window...not a great day, high of 95 and isolated t-storms. Ick.

I am thinking...that it's going to be a l-o-n-g week since the Music Man has band camp. Sigh, our summer is officially over.

I am thankful "new" car that we bought from our pastor. Woohoo, I can get out with the kiddos again once in a while!

From the kitchen...a chocolate/carob zucchini bread that I've made healthier than the "healthy" version posted here

I am creating...a schedule to keep up my workouts during marching band season.

I am going...insane? Did I say it's going to be a long week?

I am wearing...around the house clothes

I am reading...Come Away My Beloved, Traveling Mercies

I am hoping...that this week goes by fast so that ElleBee will get here!

I am hearing...the Look Alike's soft breaths

Around the house...I need to clean bathrooms and mop, but we're in good shape otherwise!

One of my favorite things...anticipating my new fitness videos and heart rate monitor.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...gym and grocery store today, getting the kids out of the house on tomorrow, gym Wednesday (Pilates reformer, woohoo), SOMETHING Thursday since he'll be gone 7 am-10 pm, Friday will be one quick gym trip, and ElleBee will be here Saturday! WOOHOO!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you... My family came to visit for a bit while headed up north, and my brother took this picture of the Firecracker Princess.

Go see Peggy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


When I was younger, I had a deep and abiding love for quotations. I cannot find at present the exact quote or its author, but a favorite of mine when I was a came counselor was (paraphrased):

When I was ten, I shouted, "ME"!
When I was twenty, I exclaimed, "ME and Mozart".
When I was thirty, I said, "Mozart and me".
When I was forty, I simply whsipered, "Mozart".

Now, I've never been a Mozart fan, just not my thing. But I'm a fan of Jesus. And doesn't this just sound like a progression of how we come to God and how He comes to rule our lives?

Monday, July 21, 2008

I can't edit!

So while I've tried unsuccessfully THREE TIMES, I'll post here:

Sorry the SWD pic is so large. I can't edit.

Disregard the ickiness in the high chair, the Music Man had, *ahem* cleaned up after lunch. I can't EDIT.

And seriously, go see Peggy, she's making some amazing cookies this week. I CAN'T EDIT!

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...

Outside my's still dark, and a cardinal just flew up into my tree. He's really striking against the green foliage.

I am thinking...that we may buy a second vehicle from our pastor this week, and what a blessing it would be to get the kids out of the house myself for the first time since April of 2007.

I am thankful family's visit this weekend from Ohio, and a really powerful time of worship yesterday.

From the produce is rotting toooooo fast! Hang on watermelon, hold on peaches, I'll freeze you!

I am creating...time to teach the Firecracker Princess to read using this book.

I am the gym a couple of times today, this is my last week to do it before the Music Man starts his fall schedule!

I am wearing...gym clothes, of course.

I am reading...My Utmost for His Highest, Wickett's Remedy

I am hoping...that SOMETHING in my garden will grow, so far NOTHING buy one solitary tomato!

I am hearing...the Chubby Cheeked Monster eating his cereal in the background, the hum of the AC

Around the house...things are actually pretty tidy since we cleaned quite a bit for my family's visit. Need to keep it up with guests in two weeks!

One of my favorite friends, they are just fantastic and continue to surprise me.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... hit the gym a few times, perhaps buy a second (and VERY second-hand) car, small group, Music Man does three half-days with the band.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...The Music Man put the Look Alike in the high chair to entertain her for a bit, and decided to showcase her adorableness yet again.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I found my previously lost weight

On my four month old, she weighs 18 lbs. Behold the joyous rolls:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fight the Frump--Gym Style

So we all know that I've been living, uhm, spending a great deal of time, at the gym lately. While at the gym, I've seen some decidedly frumpy things. Today's frump fighting will be about how NOT to be frump-tastic at the gym.

1. Wear something that isn't sloppy.
You can't help but carry yourself differently in some fody-skimming clothes rather than your ratty old sweat pants. And let's face it, it's much safer wearing something close-fitting than something tent-like. Ever get the leg of your pants stuck in a spin bike and try (unsuccessfully) to keep yourself from flying over the handlebars? Yeah. Be careful with that one.

I'm not saying you need to spend a ton of money on new gym clothes. I myself just got a ridiculous deal at Kohl's, where they had gym pants and gym capris on sale for 90% off. I bought six pair between $2.60 and $3.20 each. Other great sources for gym clothes are TJ Maxx and Marshalls, they have a good selection at half price or less. But something you like because it fits well and makes you feel good, that's more than half the battle.

2. Drink enough water.
In addition to keeping yourself hydrated while engaging in your hellacious workout, you'll also have the opportunity to rawk something other than your one-gallon jug of Deer Park. While I fully value thriftiness, and am a huge proponent of proper hydration, seriously. Unless you're at the gym for several hours on end, you just don't need that thing. You wouldn't believe how many people I see doing this! A nice Sigg or Kleen Kanteen will do.

3. Use a workout towel and clean your equipment after you use it.
Because, while I'm not a germaphone by any means, it's still common courtesy not to sweat all over stuff everyone has to use and leave it there. And being the "she doesn't clean up" pariah is sooo frumpy!

4. Try a new class.
I know people who have never taken a class at the gym, and you know what? I was that girl. Now I'm a class ADDICT! I work hard, make my body do new and challenging stuff, have people to commiserate with, laugh with, chat with. It serves everyone well. If you hate it, you get to say you survived the class. If you love it, you just discovered a new way to make your workouts more fun!

5. Smile and be confident!
Everyone is there to get in or stay in shape. They generally like being there. So smile already! Wearing something slightly less than cute like, say, your high school softball t-shirt and old yoga pants? No problem, a smile makes up for a multitude of sins. And really, who wouldn't walk with a little swagger after surviving cardio kickboxing? Seriously?

Be fab at the gym and so will I. You'll know me by the cute workout clothes and smile, so smile back and let me know that you fought the frump!

Now go see Fussy to fight the frump in other areas of your fabulous life!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook--July 7th


Outside my Window...Raining cats and dogs.

I am thinking...that my precious Laura's wedding is this Saturday, woohoo!

I am thankful for...for a husband who is as committed to my health and fitness goals as I am, even when he has to cook dinner, lose sleep, and be with the kids most of the day.

From the kitchen...salmon and asparagus stir fry with quinoa, a big green salad, and watermelon

I am creating...time in my day for devotions (yes, again)

I am Laura's wedding on Saturday, hopefully in a dress that fits well!

I am wearing...gym clothes; black t-shirt, grey sweat capris, pink and silver pumas

I am reading...Wickett's Remedy

I am hoping...that it doesn't rain on Laura's big day, that my dentist appointment goes well.

I am hearing... thunder, and my kids singing "Rain, Rain, Go Away"

Around the house...the Music Man has been cleaning and organizing, so things are in pretty good shape.

One of my favorite things...losing 4% body fat last month!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...Ay, 4 hours at the gym today and a dentist appointment, just 2.5 tomorrow, Wednesday is easy with three, Thursday is busy busy busy with gym, lessons, and group, Friday is the gym, lessons, and rehearsal dinner, and Saturday is the gym and THE WEDDING!

Yeah, I have no new pictures this week. It's been a little crazy and I'm on the laptop, where the pics are on the desktop.

Now to see Peggy!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Dreaming of the Mountaintop

Lately I've been having really powerful dreams, and I know that God is speaking through them. I don't quite know what they mean, but I need to be recording them better so that when His work is revealed, I can look back and see what He meant.

The night before last, it was this scene: I went to a friend's house (not a friend from my real life, just a random stand-in friend) and was there with her when her mom came in. Her mom said she'd sold her soul to the devil (literally) and owed him some money. She owed him $100 but only had $13.25, and he was to be at the door at any moment. She was casual about not having his money, and decided it was so not a big deal that one of us, meaning myself or my friend, would hand it to him while she was upstairs getting ready. Now, even as someone who isn't as strong a believer as I'd like to be, I knew that my friend wasn't mature enough to resist the enemy, so I said I'd do it. Before I knew it, there he was. Someone else opened the heavy door, leaving only the glass between pure evil and my frail human body.

He was disgusting. Putrid. Radiated hatred and malice and sheer horror. And he was staring right at me, almost through me.

Did you ever have a conversation with hell itself? Because I did. He was so mad at me (I'm not sure if it was because I call myself a Christ-follower or because I didn't have all the money he wanted) that he started shooting blue lightening from his fingertips at me. Soon it was coming at me from all of his form, like some sort of wicked aura. And do you know what I did?

I cried out to my Jesus in the words of a Hillsong United song I learned at the Rowells:

"You are my Shield, my Strength, my Portion, Deliverer,
My Shelter, Strong Tower, my very present help in time of need."

And an invisible, literally shield-shaped cover came over me. And I laughed in the face of hell. Because he knows my Jesus too, and knows that no matter what happens to me, it's not in his hands.

Then I woke up, and I've been kicking this dream around in my head for a few days. Today in church, it hit me. He made me to stand against the rusty gates of hell, to rattle them in defiance, and to stand firm. I must not be moved.

I have not been living as a warrior, and it brought me to a place of repentance. The hounds of heaven have pursued me relentlessly, my Father's voice calling. The prodigal has come home.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Random Stuff Swirling Around In My Head

Today I came home from my solitary hour at the gym and decided to try on some old clothes. I'm ecstatic to report that the jeans I was when the Firecracker Princess was 8 mos old (after six months of Weight Watchers) now zip. I'm probably 5 lbs away from them fitting super comfortably, but I could probably accomplish that in the next week or two.

Yesterday we went to the Rowells for the Fourth, and it was a good time. I took the kids in the pool (!), we had a bbq, and it was generally just chill. The best part? My kids, who have decided that they're morning people, have decided to start rising between 6 and 7 am. Not so today, they were so beat after the festivities that they slept until 8:15. Woohoo!

And finally, I know that shouldn't come as a surprise to me, but it does. I don't listen to secular music; I haven't for a little over three years now. I've been taking all these classes at the gym because that's the only way I can keep motivated, and the music is KILLING me. It's all about sex, adultery, and murder. I realize that I sound like an old woman, but this is really disturbing.

But you know what's worse? I actually know some of the songs. I haven't listened to that sort of stuff for several years now, but somehow they get stuck in my head. "I kissed a girl and I liked it?", um, yeah. I'm sure that does not belong in my brain. It's just a strong reminder to guard my heart and mind more closely.

Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (NASB)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

July check-in

A month ago today, I went and had a body composition test, and the results were not pretty. I weighed 181 lbs and had a body fat percentage of 39.3%. I've been hitting it hard at the gym (1-3 hours a day, 6 days a week, averaging 14 hours) and eating really well. I upped my protein consumption significantly, though I am hovering around 25% instead of the 40% that was suggested. I will say I DO feel much better eating more protein because I have the beginnings of some blood sugar issues.

So for the total of the month: I lost 10.2 lbs. My body fat went from 39.3% to 35.3%, which means that I didn't lose any muscle this month, only fat (woohoo, thanks weight training). I'm excited to get myself into the recommended body fat range in the next three months (being 20-28% for my age range). Yay, I feel victorious.

Back to the gym tomorrow.

This is what I want to be like:

in open fields of wild flowers
she breathes the air and flies away
she thanks her Jesus for the daises and the roses
in no simple language
someday she'll understand the meaning of it all
He's more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
as close a heartbeat or a song on her lips
someday she'll trust Him and learn how to see Him
someday He'll call her and she will come running
and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and she'll pray

i want to fall in love with You

sitting silent wearing sunday best
the sermon echoes through the walls
a great salvation through it calls to the people
who stare into nowhere, and can't feel the chains on their souls

He's more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
as close a heartbeat or a song on our lips
someday we'll trust Him and learn how to see Him
someday He'll call us and we will come running
and fall in his arms and the tears will fall down and we'll pray

i want to fall in love with You

it seems too easy to call You "Savior"
not close enough to call You "God"
so as i sit and think of words i can mention
to show my devotion

i want to fall in love with You

my heart beats for You

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The moment of Truth

*Body and weight talk, please avoid if it's a trigger for you*

So I broke down and bought a scale. As someone who was eating disordered for several years, I haven't really felt safe having one before now, but I'm really working hard toward a goal and the gym scale is never calibrated. In two weeks it went from 1.5 pounds too low to three pounds off. I know, I weighed a dumbbell.

So tomorrow my new scale with bioelectrical impedence comes (to gauge body fat). It will be exactly one month since I measured at a horrible 39.3%, so a good 71 pounds of fat. Yikes. Anyhow, so I can't wait to see where I end up tomorrow. My trainer said I could lose .5 lbs of fat and gain 1.5 lbs of muscle (conservatively) per month, and I can't wait to compare my progress from month one to two. I'm FINALLY seeing a bit of progress, so while I'm not happy with where I am, I'm only six pounds away from my prepregnancy weight with the Firecracker Princess. When I get there, I'll only be about thirty pounds away from my final goal weight, which would be fan-freaking-tastic.

Which brings me to again. I uploaded my second picture, and I was overwhelmingly voted "not bad", which is significantly better than "repulsive". But interestingly, I went from "bright" to "dull". So apparently attractiveness is inversely proportional to intelligence. I think I'd rather be smart than pretty, so apparently I'm on the right track. ;)

So that's all for today. And here's the promised (but not good) picture of the new hair. I was gross from the gym, but it's all I have right now.