May 31, 2008

Trying to Expand My Salad Choices, Not my Waistline

Since the whole low-carb thing has reached somewhat of a plateau, I am trying to now go more raw fruits and veggies without completely gaining back the 8lbs I've lost. I could keep going low-carb, but I don't feel that healthy eating a bunch of eggs, meat and cheeses. Over the last two days, I've been trying out some new salad options, and I'm loving them. So far, no weight gain, but I've haven't lost anymore either. Two of my favorite salads right now are grilled chicken Caesar, and then a combination of a spring mix of greens, walnuts, mild crumbled feta, and raspberry vinaigrette. Skip basically looks at me and says, "Are you enjoying your leaves and twigs." He's not so much a salad guy. Can you tell?

Here is my request...Since all of you have done such a great job giving me book titles last week (please keep em' coming), now I would love to hear some of your favorite salad recipes. If your not much of a salad person, but do know of a healthy low carb entree or side, send that my way too! I'm not ready to venture into the land of breads and starches yet, so keep that in mind. It has taken me three weeks to get over the dreams of warm Texas Roadhouse rolls filled with honey-butter, and Crispy Creme doughnuts. I'm not going back there for some time. Maybe when I reach my goal, I'll have a crouton. A girl can dream, right!
*I almost forgot to mention that this is my coolest new find. I only need 4 or 5 sprays, and that means only 5 calories. I've only tried the Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette, but when I went to their website I found many other choices. And for a bonus, they have salad recipes to go with their dressings online.

May 29, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful that our Lord answers the prayers of His children. No matter how small or insignificant they may seem when we ask, God listens and responds to each and every plea we make. Though the answer is not always answered how and when we would like, He answers and therefore I praise Him!

*I'm thankful that I have a decision about the kids education for next year, and that I have a peace in that choice. Now I'm just praying that he will provide the finances needed.

*I'm thankful for the beautiful weather we had over the Memorial Day Weekend and the fun times we shared with friends and family.

*I'm thankful that God has given me the willpower I need to keep on my diet.

*I'm thankful my sweet friend Laura is having a boy in October. She had her ultrasound yesterday and things are looking good.

*I'm thankful for the upcoming writer's conference in June. I'm not sure what to expect, but it is a first step in a commitment to pursue my dreams of writing.

*I'm thankful Skip is home safe from his trip and had a marvelous time in Georgia. Please continue to pray for his upcoming hip surgery in Houston. The date was moved to July 7th and he is really struggling with pain. I am already praying consistently for this doctor and for the entire procedure. Please continue praying for my guy, and for a quick recovery when it is over.

If you would like to share what you are thankful for this week, please go to Iris's and leave a link to your site.

May 25, 2008

My Love/Hate Relationship

Don't you hate blog posts that are too personal, and no one really cares about the subject matter of that particular person's situation when there are serious issues out there to discuss. Do you? Well, then you better read no further because this is one of those posts.

Here's the deal: I am doing a low carb diet. Yes I know they are not long term, I know once you have that one potato chip you gain 7 lbs immediately, and yes I know that it is completely unrealistic and not very healthy eating a bunch of red meat and sugar free jello. BUT and that is a big BUT (no pun intended), this diet seems to jump start my weight loss like no other diet I've done before. It would be so much healthier to go to mostly raw foods like I have done in the past, or simply cut my portion size. I can do this, but I have some serious pounds to drop and summer has already started here in CC. Long term, none of these diets are that fun. I know I could join weight watchers, but I'd really rather get a pool membership for my bored kids instead.

Okay, here is the hate part of the relationship. I hate going to Herb's burger joint (which is awesome) after church and watching everyone around me chow down on juicy burgers, stringy onion rings and crispy fries while Ms Susie Low Carb sticks to a grilled chicken salad. It was great, but my mouth was drooling over the cheeseburgers. I also hate that summer will be filled with get togethers involving sweets like homemade ice cream, cookies and sweet tea(none of that fake stuff for me). How in the world am I supposed to eat a fajita without a flour tortilla? I hate those nasty low-carb ones.

Now, for the love part of the low-carb diet. I have already dropped six pounds in two weeks and my tight clothes are starting to fit. Within another two weeks, I'll possibly be able to wear my favorite jeans and shorts again. I can also make it some what healthy with salads and grilled fish and chicken. I also found a low-carb butter pecan icecream that's not half bad.

Back to more hate: I went to see Prince Caspian the other day and couldn't have my buttered popcorn and chocolate covered almonds. The movie was great, but it could have been a 10 with my favorite treats accompanying the experience.

Is this what normal 40 year old women talk about? I'm just asking. It is a sad day that I have had to result to such drastic measures, but when the weather channel says its 84 and feels like 94 with 77% humidity, this girl has to wear a pair of shorts, not to mention the dreaded swimsuit. (Like my run-on sentence).

Okay, I'm done with this truly awful post and my kids are at a friend's house, so I'm off to do something just for me.

May 23, 2008

You Lucky Man!

I'm trying my best not to be jealous of my husband right now. He is here and having such a wonderful time checking out the Hartwell, Georgia campus of Real Life Fellowship. He said the southern hospitality is off the charts, and he has even tried boiled peanuts for the first time. Actually, I'm not jealous at all. My husband deserves to be looking at God's beauty and enjoying himself. He has had a crazy year, and he is about to have one crazy summer with his next surgery coming up soon. I just hope he doesn't decide to move us there-Ha Ha! Two moves in 7 months is quite enough for this gal.

May 22, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I can't believe it's been three weeks since my last Thankful Thursday post. I have been enjoying myself so much being back in Corpus, but I don't want to forget to take time to give thanks for all the blessings that God has given me.

* I'm thankful we were able to find a rent house for the nine months until the lease is up on OUR home. It is small, but just perfect for our family.

*I'm thankful that Skip has found such joy in his new job, and is making some wonderful friendships.

*I'm thankful to God for holding my family and I up over the last year when so many times we were about to fall apart.

*I'm thankful that my ninety-two year old Popie is still fighting the fight. He has been in the hospital for so long now, but he continues to hang in there. My daddy and step-mom have truly shown me what true sacrifice looks like as they care for my Nonie so unselfishly. Their lives have been on hold for about 2 months, and all they do is continue to trust God for strength and endurance.

*I'm thankful that my sweet niece Stephanie, who is due with her first baby in less than a month, is doing so well.

*I'm thankful that God has given me will power over the last two weeks to eat better and take care of myself. Food was definitely my comfort this past year.

*I'm thankful that God has a plan for all of us, and when we walk in obedience, he is faithful to guide and direct our paths.

Quick Prayer Requests

*Skip is traveling to RLF Hartwell, Georgia campus for several days.

*One of our dear pastor friends has been diagnosed with ALS and we are asking for prayers for him, his family and his doctors. To read more, go here.

*A close friend of mine's son has scarlet fever.
*Pray for the family of Steven Curtis Chapman for their tragic loss.

If you would like to post your own Thankful Thursday, go to Sting my Heart and leave a link to your post.

May 20, 2008

Need a Good Read

Since I have not taken much time to do one of my favorite things the last several months, I am looking forward to reading as much as I can this summer. You can help me out by giving me some ideas. I'd love to hear your favorites. It can be fiction, non-fiction or even bible study books. Share the love please!

May 19, 2008

Making Some Plans and Having Fun

I'm sure like many of you, the summer is a time you want to relax with your kids more, and make some special family memories. I have actually been doing so much of that this past year with home schooling, that my next few weeks before summer will be filled with lots of detailed planning and decision making. Home schooling allows so much freedom, but if you decide to discontinue at some time and return your children to formal schooling, you may have your hands full figuring out what to do next.

In Victoria, I felt my options were very limited with options for school, but in Corpus I have many options. I think Skip and I have decided to choose a private christian high school for our oldest. It is a very advanced curriculum and it is going to be extremely challenging for her. I know she is remarkably smart, but she is not always one to put forth a lot of effort in her studies. She has often just "got by" unless it involves her favorite subjects. We are still deciding about Seth and Annie. Seth will begin junior high and Annie is entering the third grade. I am leaning towards their previous school which I loved and so many of their friends attend. It is also a private school, but the tuition will be considerably less than the private school Ashley will attend (thanks to an awesome pastor discount). Peace of mind in taking them all to one place and picking them all up at one place sounds awesome, but it will be quite a bit more expensive. I have already felt a big enough crunch over the last year, and I don't want to be so strapped ever again.

June is already filling up with a trip to Victoria to watch my brother's twins for a few days, the She Speaks Writer's Conference, and my niece's delivery of her first baby. All of these are great things and should keep us on our toes.

Most importantly, I am prayerfully anticipating Skip's hip replacement July 1st. We know what it involves which makes it a little more tricky with making plans for the summer. I am already covering this surgery in prayer from start to recovery. Summer before last was one I never want to revisit. If you could start putting this on your prayer list I would appreciate it so much. Just in case you were wondering, he is now getting his right hip replaced (not the same one he replaced two summers ago). He has only known pain for the last 15 years or so that we've been married, and I know God can relieve it with this one. He will hopefully be able to start exercising after this. It has virtually been impossible due to the pain of even walking lately.

Posting is going to be sporadic over the next few weeks as we try to wrap up our home schooling year. We aren't only doing work and unpacking around here. Actually this last week or so we have been having some fun as well.

Beach- 2 times with kids, once with adults
Poker and Blackjack nights with Skip and kids- twice (thanks for the new poker chips-M.D.)
Overnight trip to Victoria to nieces' dance recital
Swimming with friends
Double date to movies to see Iron Man (so good!)
Attending our new church
Watching dance routines the kids have made up
Listening to my son's new music he is creating on this
Learning to text (that's all anyone does in CC) and though I'm a fast typist, it's not so easy without a keyboard
Trying to keep our beagle from howling-Uggghh! I'm sure our new neighbors love us(: Well, at least we crate her at night.
Oh, and chasing my husband around the house like we're newlyweds. At least that is what he thinks I'm doing.
Happy Monday everyone!

My nieces with their beautiful mom
My brother's twins who came for an overnight visit so the he and his wife could have some away time. I don't know how they do it with two at the same age. I only kept them up 3 hours past bedtime. What a good aunt I am!

May 13, 2008

A Day at the Beach

The kids and I began the day with a little math, a little history, and a little reading. We had every intention of completing a full day of home schooling, but ...we heard the seagulls calling us, then we felt the breezes and the waves whispering, "Come and play. You won't regret it." (I know I'm being a little silly, but we ARE right in the middle of reading Prince Caspian and this dialog seemed so appropriate.) Guess what? We didn't regret it. In fact, the waves were so huge and the wind was perfect for the kite surfers who entertained us with all their tricks. Living by the beach is so cool (except if a hurricane comes our way of course).

Here are some of the pics of our day.
Ash and Seth hanging out by the shore.
This was the look on Annie's face most of the afternoon.
Check out her ears. I finally gave in and let her get them pierced. Too cute!
Ashley said, "Finally she can really accessorize!"

There were 4 kite surfers doing all kinds of flips and tricks. I have never seen it so windy. I would have got a better shot, but my beach chair was just way too comfortable. Just kidding, it was just hard to get a shot because they go by so fast. Kite surfing looks like so much fun, and maybe one day I'll have to give it a try. Ha Ha!

Do they look like they would have rather stayed home for their grammar lessons?

May 12, 2008

One Week of True Joy

I've been back for exactly one week, and I have had a continuous smile on my face. I know that the joy has a lot to do with reconnecting with my friends, but it also has a lot to do with feeling like I'm home again. I loved growing up in Victoria, but Corpus is where Skip and I became a real independent family. We love and miss our families already, but I know our friends will be our family here. God has provided us with such a great new church, and I already see Skip rockin' and rollin' in his new position.

If you don't see me around much, I have some life to experience. We have started home schooling after a two week break, there is a beach 15 minutes away calling my name, and I still have about 10 boxes to unpack with absolutely no place to put everything. Have a fabulous week everyone!

May 7, 2008

Welcome to our New Home(At least for the next 9 months)

I should be unpacking more boxes, working on lesson plans, or soaking in a hot tub right now, but instead I am blogging. I know what your thinking...this girl has her priorities in order! Ha Ha. Here is the front of our new home. Blue is normally my least favorite color, but I think it looks precious on this little home.

This next picture is my living room and the only room I have pretty much unpacked. My mother in -law came in town yesterday to help me out. I love the laminate wood floors. It makes it so easy to move furniture in place. We only tried out a bazillion different ways until we came up with this one. Thanks Lori for your input too!Now, so you won't think I'm super woman and have my act together completely. Here is the garage full of mess I still have left to unpack. I figure I should have everything in its place right before it is time to move again in January. Remember we are renting this house for 9 months and then moving back to our home that never sold last year. Got it? Good, because I don't.

See that mattress in the background. No, I'm not making my kids sleep on the floor or anything. It is just that the girls are sharing a room, so Annie's bed is staying in storage (my garage storage that is). * I just want to send a special note of thanks to all of our family and friends who helped us move. We couldn't have done it without you!

In the midst of packing and getting ready for our move, last Saturday I helped my family and some others throw my niece Stephanie a fun baby shower. It is her first baby and we are so excited for this new blessing to arrive. Deacon will be his name and he is due in late June. Here is Steph in the middle of my girls. Ashley is 7 years younger than Steph, but almost 7 inches taller. Ashley is already 5'7'' and I don't see signs of her slowing down.

Here are all the hostesses with Stephanie. From left to right: my mom, me, my cousin Paula, my cousin Cindy(the one who owns this yummy coffee shop), Stephanie, my cousin JoNell, Steph's aunts Diana and Renae, and my aunt Connie. She received the cutest gifts for baby Deacon and we had such a great time celebrating.

Here is a picture of Ashley and Annie with my sweet mother-in-law. I can't tell you how much I love Skip's mom. She is the kind of mother-in-law everyone dreams of having. Thank you Linda!

Lastly, here is my nephew Matt (on the right)at a cast dinner right before he began filming HSM3. My sis says he is doing great and having a ball. I can't wait to see him in his first feature film.

May 5, 2008


We arrived safely and had a crew help us unload the truck in record time. I would write more about how happy and thankful I am about everything that has transpired in the last week, but I honestly have never been so exhausted in my ENTIRE life. Can't wait to catch up with every one's blogs soon! I also have lots to share about my niece's baby shower and my nephew's filming that began Saturday for HSM3.

May 1, 2008


"I will bless my people and their homes around my holy hill. And in the proper season I will send the showers they need. There will be showers of blessing. " Ezekiel 34:26 (NLT)

This verse is my verse I am claiming for what God has given me over the last 24 hours. I had some really frustrating moments of crying out to God this week for understanding as to why all the plans I was trying to make for our move kept giving me and Skip unsettledness. Sometimes, we just have to allow God to be God, and be open to His leading. It really works, and for me, never like I would think.

1. We are putting a deposit down on a rent house in Corpus today and moving on Monday!!! The sweet family is letting us rent for only 9 months and they went down just a bit so that it would fit our budget. Praise God!!!

2. With all the stress of finding a high school for Ashley, I am now seeking God's best by checking out a private Christian school that goes from kinder to 12th. They give pastor discounts too! I really feel like God opened my eyes to this new possibility that was there all along. It doesn't matter what area of town we live in by going this route.

3. This was one of those secret prayers answered. I have been wanting to buy a cute little apron for the last year, but I just never have. It seemed frivolous, but I still wanted one. When I saw one of my favorite blogs, Reluctant Entertainers had a giveaway with a book and an apron, I knew I had to enter. Guess what? I won!!! Here is what I'll be receiving in the next week or so .


If you have something thankful to share this week, please stop by Sting my Heart and leave a link.