2016 Word

A new year full of promise, hope, new adventures, and dreams.

Not exactly…

Just more of the same-old, same-old.

I’m not one for keeping New Year’s resolutions. I’ll let the fitness hype go this year. But, now that we are getting settled in the new house I’ve returned to working out a bit. My youngest loves Wii dance games and I like to join him. I try not to think about how awkward my attempt at dancing (especially to some of the hip-hop songs) must appear. Sometimes I jump (not literally) on the treadmill and walk a bit. New songs on my iPod would be motivating…but every year it seems the learning curve for iTunes grows exponentially.

Progress in healthy eating of the slow and steady variety is coming along nicely too. Not out of desire for health though. Mostly to escape pain. So many foods (the stuff that actually tastes good!) aggravate my stomach or ignite my inflammation troubles. I quit trying during the move but time to get back to taking care of my health. The joints in my hands and wrist are so painful. I expected the pain but not the weakness or the crunchy gritting sound in my wrists. I’m back on my ginger now that all of the holiday travel is over so some of the discomfort is already starting to ease up a bit. Sadly, the strength doesn’t come back…I’ve learned that sad fact this year.

I wanted to choose a word this year. A point of focus. Originally, I had clarity or perceive in mind. But as I spent time meditating, praying, reflecting and remembering my reaction to this year’s trials…well, those chosen words were without meaning.

my childhood in a picture

my childhood in a picture

Fear beat me down this year. Fear brought on by rejection. My wee little black hole, you know, the one in my soul? The core center of my very self. (Please see my series on Made To Crave if you are interested). As this year’s events unfolded my black hole began to grow in strength. My deep sense of unworthiness threatened to overwhelm me as I felt discarded…again. I’ve broken down and cried many, many times since July. All of the fear from my abusive childhood returned. I felt like an unwanted little child all over again. Unloved and not even worthy of being loved.

I’m wise enough to know that I’ll never be rid of those feelings…not entirely. I’m blessed to be loved by an ever patient man. My husband is the warmth that keeps those old demons away. I should have been a pillar for him this year but he supported me instead. Only out of love for my husband did I not torch and burn a few bridges to lifeless ash. I am consumed with fear.

I do not want to be ruled by fear. I do not want to be that nearly lifeless child pleading to be loved.

My word is brave. My word terrifies me.

Let me be brave…



Sunday Journal: Butterfly Funerals, Addictions and Hello Fluffies!!!

my mother is visiting this week

my mother is visiting this week

We opened a bunch of boxes this week…and still have a ton to go. I worked with the kids in their rooms on the days I could concentrate on unpacking. Their rooms are slowly coming together. Sparkles bed was broken during the move so she just has a mattress on the floor. Her room is a bit of a mess until we can get her a bed frame. My plans for toy storage was to just use bins under the beds. Oldest’s room is coming together. We need to hang window treatments and pictures to complete his room. Middle Boy and Littlest are sharing a room and are having a grand time together. Their room is the most organized and completed other than window treatments. We did order blinds and bookshelves so hopefully by this weekend we will have their rooms in final order…if everything comes in this week.

I did have to take a break from unpacking this week due to an unexpected antihistamine addiction. I only take the medicine during ragweed season which is only about eight to ten

my Angry Bird boys

my Angry Bird boys

weeks in late summer and early fall. This week when I went off of the pills my body didn’t take it very well! My body itched like crazy for a few days. I also alternated between feeling sad and irritable. My mind was so scatter-brained that concentrating was just impossible. The day we went to purchase blinds was my worst day mentally. My poor husband was just on his own with all the decisions that evening!

My crew enjoyed a fun week with the neighborhood kids. I’m not sure why but Sparkles and her friend were just determined to save any butterflies they saw with torn wings. The two of them spent a couple of days chasing butterflies. They would carefully collect them and house them in an insect habitat. All of the wounded little butterflies ended up dying despite the great and tender care they received. So, naturally, the neighborhood kids got together and held a funeral service. They lovingly made and decorated paper coffins for each little creature and buried them by the maple tree. Sparkles has also developed a stormy friendship with one of the boys. They had a

hunting for butterflies

hunting for butterflies

bit of a scuffle when they first met but seem to be buddies now. His grandparents told me that all he talked about one evening was my sweet girl. Why do little boys show affection with aggression? I wasn’t too sure if I should feel parental pride that some little boy is smitten with my daughter or…maybe we do need a ten foot fence with razor wire.

I’m sooo not ready for the impending teenage years. Just no!

The kids and I worked for a while in the school room. We couldn’t do much without book cases but those will arrive soon. The room is ready enough for us to start back tomorrow. We’ll begin  with just the basics and history this week.

Skyping with Mrs. S...they were delighted to talk with her this week

Skyping with Mrs. S…they were delighted to talk with her this week

Hopefully we will locate our poetry books sometime soon so we can restart our weekly poetry tea time. I’m not sure about the kids but I am looking forward to getting back into routine with school. I am also going to restart my exercise time and developing healthy habits again. I let too much slip during the craziness of this move. I think I will better serve my family by taking care of my health than unpacking boxes.

This weekend my husband drove out to our former home to finish up a few projects. He also dismantled the bunny cage to bring it here. My lovely friend (you know our friendship is true and deep since she agreed to care for our two bunnies for an indefinite period of time!!!) brought the bunnies to my husband so he could bring them to our new home. We worried over how they would handle the long trip here but they made it just fine. I’m very happy to see my sweet fluffies again!

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Sophrosyne: Riding Shotgun

My thoughts while exercising

My thoughts while exercising

I’m stressed this week. I was stressed last week too. All because I do not like to drive. I would rather visit the dentist and get my teeth cleaned than drive. And that is saying a little something because I have sensitive teeth and haven’t been to the dentist in about nine years. Last week and the rest of this week I will spend two hours a day driving my boys to Lego camp. Three more days to go and it is over! Thankfully one of the trips my husband will drive for show-and-tell-day. And the-powers-that-be are doing construction on the interstate too…a little extra stress for me.

The really interesting part of this to me is that my husband loves to drive! He is a total car guy. I know what a Mustang motor sounds like because I married him! I love riding shotgun but hate the driver’s seat. So this week (and last) because I am in the driver’s seat I am really having a hard time with food…stress eating. Give me all your Little Debbie cakes!!! I need them to cope with my reality!!

Only three more days…and this will be over.
My two oldest boys are having a wonderful time at Lego Camp and so it is worth the personal turmoil and pain for me…that’s just a mother’s choice. Three. More. Days.

Anyway, I’ve recently started reading the All About Healthy Choices blog. He just issued a healthy “Creative Lifestyle Planning” challenge or weight loss challenge for eight weeks. I am always motivated when there is a challenge…I just love these kings of things. So I started the challenge today… in the middle of my need for Little Debbie cakes!!! HA!

Just for total transparency I did not meet all of the challenge requirements…I totally stress-ate today. And I over did it on the whole six ounces of water before and after a meal. It wasn’t until dinner that I decide to measure what six ounces of water looks like!!! I was downing about twelve ounces of water before and after every meal today!!! I had enough calories today from stress eating that I skipped dinner…I’m not hungry. But I totally nailed my water intake today!!!

Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow I will not stress eat! My breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are planned for tomorrow. There are no Little Debbie cakes in my house. I am ready to deal with any stress-eating that comes my way tomorrow.

I hope!


Last week I managed to exercise five out of seven days…not so bad. The first two days I got up early and had exercised and showered before the kids were out of bed. Those were good and productive days. The rest of the week I walked in the evenings with my husband or during lunch time. I like walking with my husband. Unfortunately he thinks the walking may be aggravating his hip and is going back to using the stationary bike for a while. So back to early mornings for me…hopefully. I used to be a morning person…not sure what happened to change that. Anyway to ensure that I will get up in the mornings to get my exercise in I am gong to drink a big glass of water before going to bed…that WILL get me up and out of bed in the morning!!!

I’ve concentrated on lowering my cholesterol and have been preparing meals for my entire family based on those needs. My husband started having some problems and eventually went to the doctor and discovered his B vitamins (6 & 12 I think) are low. I need less red meat but he needs more! Some of the foods I had cut back on he actually needs. I’ve gone back to making a high fiber bread for him and a separate loaf of bread for the kids. As much as I enjoy making bread I rarely eat it anymore. I used to have toast every morning but now have either a bowl of high fiber cereal or a green smoothie. I put my husbands pre-sliced loaf of bread in the freezer so it will last him all month. Homemade bread does not have all the preservatives of store-bought and will mold very quickly. The kids still get their loaf of white bread but I have started adding chia seeds, wheat germ and bran, and ground flax-seed to their bread.

I went back and read the chapter in Ellie’s book (Life’s too Short to Eat Bad Cheese) about B vitamins today. She says B vitamins need to be consumed with vitamin C (which should be combined with iron). Oi! This stuff gets complicated! So he should have his B vitamin supplement with a salad and some steak (sounds yummy to me!). I once looked into getting a vitamin supplement for us to take but gave up. There are so many choices and different brands. Also, some articles I’ve read say that vitamins are not beneficial unless your body can digest them and taking supplements is a waste of time. I just gave up on taking any supplements. Ellie pointed out in her book that I can test vitamins by placing a tablet in a little cup of white vinegar. If it dissolves within thirty minutes then the vitamin will most likely be helpful. If it has grit on top then it isn’t worth the money. She also advises liquids and capsules as better supplement choices. I’m going to test my husband’s vitamins right after this post is published. I’ll tell the kids it is a science experiment and we’ll have some fun!

My goal for the next few weeks is to get up early and exercise since my days are so much better when I do. Prepare fish once a week for dinner and have tuna with my salad a couple of times a week for lunch. So far I have about four fish recipes my family will eat. Maybe I can find one or two more to add. I also hope to stay at exercising five days a week for now and turn that into a regular habit.


Sophrosyne: A Study in Ginger

Just because I haven’t posted about my healthy living adventure doesn’t mean I gave up…just crazy busy! I even forgot to weigh-in this month!! May is already right around the corner so I will wait until then. I am expecting my numbers to be about the same as the beginning of March. However, now that my life has calmed down a bit and I no longer have daily commitments eating up my time I can and have been walking at least a half hour each day. I also plan to add some light weightlifting to my routine in a week or two.

During this past month I did an experiment with ginger. I’ve been taking ginger for a few months and I believed it was helping me with my finger and knee-joint pains. I told everyone about it. As I felt less pain I wondered if it was really due to ginger or to my new exercise and eating habits. Maybe I was delusional and had psyched myself to believe in ginger!? I was beginning to doubt myself and feared that I sounded like some sort of convert to the ginger religion. Maybe it was all in my head! So I decided to test the healing benefits of ginger and removed it from my diet.

I didn’t notice any difference the first week or so after quitting ginger. By the second week without ginger I felt the pain. I never knew how useful my pinky finger was until everything caused it pain. The inflammation in my hands became so painful that I had trouble holding a cup of tea with one hand. My knees began to ache and I became aware of a weakness within them while trying to exercise. I started having trouble with my hands and noticed a loss of strength. After two weeks without ginger I hurt so much that I took ibuprofen and wanted to cry.

I’m not crazy. I wasn’t psyching myself out. Ginger works!!! I restarted ginger this week. I know it will take time to build its effects back up in my body and begin working again. Which is why I am waiting a week or two before beginning a weight lifting routine. Ginger takes away the pain and swelling in my joints. It helps me recover the lack of strength in my knees, fingers and wrists. Ginger is now, and likely forever will be, a constant in my diet. I’ll start sharing my favorite ginger recipes with you next week. I can’t cook with it since the rest of my family despises ginger. I drink chai every day and have a lovely ginger salad dressing recipe I’ll share with you next week.

I chat on here a lot about the physical side of choosing a healthier life style. The truth is there is more spirituality involved than I write about. My friend Claire writes about the spiritual side of seeking a healthier lifestyle. She has two honest and amazing posts you should consider reading here and here.  Her honest and candid posts speak directly into my heart. She is the reason I share and write these healthy living posts.

Also, I personally believe that when God created all plants that Jesus personally kissed and blessed the ginger plant. If you run into me I will extol the blessed benefits of ginger till the day I die.


Sophrosyne [suh-fros-uh-nee] is my new word for the year (with fandabbydosy coming in a close second…love the feel of those syllables!)  I know it is March…nearly April and I should have chosen my word for the year in January. For the past few months I have toyed with the word “nourished” because I thought it filled my current need for seeking spiritual and physical…want or need. I can’t find the right word for this…loss of true harmony. Turns out there is an amazing ancient Greek word that embodies all I lack and seek…sophrosyne.

I found this word while skimming some of the works of Plato (Charmides if you want to read for yourself). In my little spare time I am reading about the influence of humanism from the ancient Greek philosophers on Thomas Aquinas and how this affected the course of the Christian church and Western history (yeah, I need a hobby). Since I am not all that clever I have to look up many words I stumble on in my readings…Anyway, one of the words I encountered was sophrosyne. A word with no clear equivalent English translation. In my quest for physical, spiritual, and mental (that one may be a lost cause!) health this word…sophrosyne…is what I seek!

Sophrosyne is expressed by an abiding awareness of one’s true worth, a healthy state of being dominated by orderly behavior leading to harmony within one’s self and with the Divine. Isn’t that an amazing word! I want to be healthy both within my spirit and within my physical being. I truly believe there is a connection in how I care for this earthy home of the Hold Spirit and my relationship with Christ. I cherish this gift of life and I believe that if I honor this gift then I will find a deeper connection with my Lord. This word expresses my belief in how to achieve this harmony.  It is a continuous process of self-knowledge and self-restraint leading to spiritual harmony.

It means eating healthy foods in healthy proportions is something to rejoice in not feel miserable about. Overindulgence (in food or things) leads to guilt and bondage (a lack of health from over-eating and an unhealthy life-style) and self-discipline (proper and healthy food and activity) points to freedom and joy. If I quit abusing this body and seek the Lord with all my heart then sophrosyne is my way of life…true harmony is mine. Perusing a healthy lifestyle is part of achieving sophrosyne.

My wibbly-wobbly posts about achieving fitness and a healthy lifestyle are now under the name of sophrosyne.

Wibbly-Wobbly: Weigh In

February 1st

February 1st

January has come and gone and I weigh three ponds less…not the five I wanted. I’m a little disappointed but not upset. I began and ended the month with a cold so I wasn’t always feeling motivated. All of my measurements are still the same so I’m not sure where the weight was lost!

Part way through the month I switched my smoothies to lunch time. I was constantly craving something “real” to eat all morning and would end up in the kitchen looking for a salty snack. On the mornings I have a good breakfast full of proteins and healthy carbohydrates I will not snack. I also changed up my smoothie a little bit. I ran out of the nut or coconut milks I usually use for the liquid so I substituted regular milk. I didn’t think it would make much of a difference in the taste. Boy, was I surprised! My smoothie was creamy…almost like a milkshake! I no longer buy the special milks anymore because I am much more satisfied with the creamier texture.

This week in Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese Ellie talks about the importance of setting good eating habits with our children. Since I have started really trying to eat healthy my kids have taken an interest too. They still love Oreos and goldfish crackers but they are also very willing to go along when I want to add healthier options to our snacks. I’m teaching them to read labels and make healthy meals. We are learning to make homemade versions of our favorite foods like pizza. I am also sharing with them the destruction of a lifetime of unhealthy habits is wrecking on my body. They can see my pinky that is beginning to change shape and how much it hurts me. We are learning together.