Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another little health update

Alright, I promise there is more fun stuff to come!  But, for those of you who are interested, I wanted to give you another little health update.  As it turns out, very late Sunday evening and again on Monday afternoon, I popped a few ribs out of place in my upper back right next to my spine from the horrible coughing I have been having associated with my walking pneumonia.  Actually, 4 of them to be exact.  Two of them seem to have slipped out over a period of days probably, while the other two literally popped out- I could hear them snap!  It has been some of the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced!  As I told my mom, I would rather give birth to Lion Cub again then go through this (notice I said Lion Cub's birth- NOT Rhythm's!!)!

I finally broke down and had my husband drive me to my chiropractor last night (who stayed open after hours for me) so that she could pop them back into place.  She said that in reality, my entire skeletal structure was pretty out of whack (which I knew, but dealt with) and gave me one of the harshest adjustments of my life! 

I am still in quite a bit of pain, but am hoping that it will relent soon.  My grandmother came over and picked me and the boys up today (since I am in too much pain to drive) and took us over to her house so she could help me take care of them and allow me to rest, which in all actuality, I haven't done much of through this whole sickness.  I have felt like I needed to just keep pushing through, truckin' along with my organizing and preparing for the start of our school year and essentially the entire reorganization of my life, but this whole rib thing has really side-lined me.  I can't even pick up Lion Cub.  I mean, he is a hefty little sucker, but even lifting up his booty up to change his diaper is an absolute killer.

I know there is a lesson in all of this- probably that I need start taking better care of myself and listening when my body is telling me to slow down and rest.  I'm not very good at that.  As my mom would say, this is a character building experience!

I would greatly appreciate your prayers, and like I said- happier posts are on the way!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Meal Planning Monday- July 26, 2010

Meal planning has been consuming and plaguing me lately (along with curriculum planning, but that's another story entirely!) and my honest to goodness goal is to have all of our food- meals and snacks- planned out from August through October.  Why you ask?  Lots of reasons, not the least of which are saving money and simplifying my life!

Cooking for my family always goes better when I have a well thought out planned established well in advance, so although it is a lot of work, I know it will be sooooo worth it!  And best of all- you get to benefit from it!  I am going to do my best to make my plans available to all of you along with tons of recipe links (and recipe posts), so you can hopefully simplify your first few months of school too!

Right now though, I just have this week planned (phew) and not only do I think it is going to be ubber-yummy, I also think it is going to be quite economical for my little fam!  Enjoy!


Monday- mini quiche (recipe to come! These are premade, and frozen so you can make in bulk and use again and again!)
Tuesday- scrambled eggs & whole wheat banana carrot muffins (frozen batch of batter- will share recipe also)
Wednesday- baked egg puffs (from Deceptively Delicious)
Thursday- blueberry bagels & eggs
Friday- cereal, yogurt & hard boiled eggs (this is an on-the-go day)
Saturday- oven omlet roll w/ partially whole wheat biscuits

Muffin tin Monday- carrots, yogurt, sweet pickles, cookie cutter pb&j sandwiches, pasta salad, watermelon
Tuesday- jazzed up mac & cheese (from Deceptively Delicious)
Wednesday- tortilla quiche leftovers w/ carrots
Thursday- pb&j waffle sandwiches with applesauce & cheese  (will share recipe, or really more of the method!)
Friday- tuna, ranch & spinach wraps with apples, oranges and pretzels
Saturday- pizza quesadillas w/applesauce
Sunday- loaded nachos w/pinto beans, olives, sour cream, sausage, avocado & salsa

Monday-Thai Chicken Curry over rice (recipe to come)
Tuesday- Ceasar chicken over Summer Salad (recipe to come)
Wednesday- Tortilla Quiche with side salad
Thursday- Crock Pot Carolina BBQ Pork sandwiches with Cabbage Ramen Salad 
Friday- Carolina BBQ Pork & Cabbage Ramen Salad leftovers
Saturday-  New England Pot Roast w/ potatoes, carrots & Salad (Betty Crocker)
Sunday- Shepherds Pie (Paula Deen)

Dried Fruit
Mandarin Oranges
Pretzels & Peanut Butter
Honey & Butter Toast
Parmesan Quesadillas

For more great meal plans for this week, hop on over and check out Meal Planning Monday @ OrgJunkie!

The "trial run" week

Alright- a little update first off.  Friday morning I woke up essentially feeling like I was dying and decided we were going to have to divert some of the money that would otherwise be going towards bills to get me into urgent care.  First off they took my blood pressure and the nurse though something was wrong with the machine because it read at 91/53.  She checked it again and there was very little change.  A nurse friend of mine later told me that I was 2 points away from being admitted to the hospital and I run a pretty high risk of sepsis.  Fun.  So far I have been dizzy a few times but all in all, seem to be alright.

After an x-ray and an albuteral nebulizer treatment (and lots of comments about how horrible I sounded and how terribly sick I was) the doctor finally agreed that it was, indeed, pneumonia.  So he put me on two more antibiotics to try to cover the full range of what is plaguing me and he gave me an inhaler so I can actually breathe!.  All that to say, that I am glad I finally got treated for real and my prognosis is about another two weeks of fatigue, coughing and shortness of breath, but the "gunk" should go away in the next couple of days.  Oh- and I'm not contagious!  Just in case you know me in real life you don't have to run scared!

Anyhoo!  I have been working very hard over the last few weeks to get things organized for fall (and really, for our life in general!).  I still have a bit left to do but am at a place where I think it would be smart to give it a trial run.  So, this week we will be testing out the new routine I have been working on along with a light school schedule and early-prep on almost all of our meals and snacks.  Once I get the schedule fully tweaked I will be posting it for you all to see and possibly glean from (or laugh at- whichever suits your fancy), and I will also be doing quite a few menu-planning and recipe posts, including pre-prepped breakfast and lunch ideas!  So, stay tuned!  It should be a great week!

Friday, July 23, 2010

A little bronchial pneumonia anyone?

Yup- for three weeks now I have been under the plague of bronchial pneumonia, and as of now, there is no let up in site.  As luck would have it, they cut off our insurance for my husband and myself this month, so heading in for an appointment is a pretty daunting financial burden.  I did manage to take the boys into their doctor and have him prescribe me something as well, but I have been off of the Z-Pack for 5 days now and am actually getting worse.  I have a hard time breathing and have been coughing so hard that I have pretty much completely thrown out my upper back.  Fun.  Something is going to have to give here soon though, I'm not sure I can make it through the weekend.

On a happier and probably more interesting note, however, there are some big changes happening over at my boys blogs!  Lion Cub is moving on up to join his big brother on the same blog, which has now been renamed The World According to Them.  I am really excited about this change (which is still in process as I get links changed, layouts adjusted, buttons made and so forth), and think it will make posting much more feasible since I won't be trying to keep up with both their blogs!

Also, on that same note- I am changing R-Man's online name (which I have never really fallen in love with- it's kind of... well... lame).  In light of his new drum set and his long-time passion for dance, music and banging on just about everything with just about anything, he shall hence forth be known as (drumroll please!  Haha- get it!?  Oh, I crack myself up!)...


Fitting, don't ya think?!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Shades of Morning- Review

Publisher's Summary: 

Marnie Wittier has life just where she wants it. Quiet. Peaceful. No drama. A long way away from her past. In the privacy of her home, she fills a box with slips of paper, scribbled with her regrets, sins, and sorrows. But that’s nobody else’s business. Her bookstore/coffee shop patrons, her employees, her friends from church—they all think she’s the very model of compassion and kindness.
Then Marnie’s past creeps into her present when her estranged sister dies and makes Marnie guardian of her fifteen-year-old son—a boy Marnie never knew existed. And when Emmit arrives, she discovers he has Down syndrome—and that she’s woefully unprepared to care for him. What’s worse, she has to deal with Taylor Cole, her sister’s attorney, a man Marnie once loved—and abandoned. As Emmit (and Taylor) work their way into her heart, Marnie begins to heal. But when pieces of her dismal past surface again, she must at last face the scripts of paper in her box, all the regrets and sorrows. Can she do it? Or will she run again?

My Take:

I really enjoyed this book- much more than I thought I would.  I found it to be suspenseful in a really good way and Marlo Schalesky was very skilled at not being predictable in her writing.  Just when I thought I had it all figured out, she threw in some real curve balls that were delightful for me as a reader.  I tend to pride myself on figuring out the end of the book, but she really got me with this one and I didn't have it pegged at all.  The book also carries a wonderful message about moving on from the past and not hanging on to old regrets.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fiction and characters who are very real.

You can buy this book from Amazon right here.

This book was provided by Waterbrook Press for honest review.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thank the heavens!

Alright, after about a month of Safari not working and on-going problems with blogger and firefox not liking working together, my wonderful husband was finally able to fix my Safari program!  So, assuming that I actually am able to start pulling my sorry booty out of bed earlier in the morning, and my children stay asleep, I am hoping to start posting more frequently and better quality.

But, they have to come first.  I think I have been producing less than quality work in a lot of areas of my life lately and feel that I am on the cusp of just diving in and fixing up my life.   Lately I've been in one of those re-evaluating modes that I think we all get into from time to time.  Ya know, those points in your life when you ask the big questions about who you are, what defines you, what you want your life (home, family, etc) to look and feel like- well, you get the idea.  I have been praying a lot about where God is leading me and my family in a lot of areas, and one of them is blogging.

So, I've spent hours, mostly in the wee hours of the night, examining my blog life.  Afterall, it does consume a good deal of my time and energy and has, I believe, worked it's way into the core of who I am.  I rarely look at anyhing without the blogging lense anymore- it's ingrained in me.

But then I start thinking "well, what kind of blogger am I?  How do my blogs stand out from the rest?  Is there a way to consolidate or restructure to make my blogs more applealing, useful, memorable and the like?  Why don't I have more readers/commentors?  More importantly, am I writing more for them or myself?" (ok- that was a long thought!)

Beyond that, I daily pour over my ever increasing Google Reader, staring at creative and wonderful posts by bloggers who are "better" than me, more successful, and I begin to question nearly everything about my blog.  "Maybe I should do that like them," or "possibly I should add something like she did." But then, isn't that missing the point completely?  If I try to make my blog like someone else's then it isn't really mine anymore.  A blog should, above all things, be true to who you are- your style, the way you sound, how you see the world.

While I love my blogging life, I spend a lot of time worrying over it and just not getting where I want to.  I spend a lot of time looking at other blogs, and numbers, and wishing I was more successful, more original, more whatever.  Not anymore.  While I don't feel I am supposed to give up my blog completely, I do think the Lord wants me to be more responsible and authentic.  I think He wants this blog of mine to be more of a ministry and less about popularity.  My blogging is about our life- no one elses, and it is never going to be.

So, from here forword I vow (to myself) to not post anyhing without first praying about it, and second asking myself if it is a true representation of me.  I pride myself on being transparent but I think I need to make sure I am putting as much emphasis on being authentic (which isn't necessarily the same thing) and viewing my blog as a ministry.
I can't not lie- it absolutely makes my day when I write a post that draws a lot of attention and people's interests are captivated by what I have to say.  But who wouldn't feel that way?!  However, if that is your main drive to blog then you have just turned your blog into somethig about everyone else and missed out on so many opportunities to learn about yourself.

So whether that means I have 1000 followers or 1, this blog needs to be what He wants it to be- nothing more, nothing less.  I will do my best to facilitate that.  And more over, I will not let my life be about this blog- this blog has to be about my life!  'Cause if I am failing at life, than what worthwhile do I really have to blog about?!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Today is the Day for B90Days 2!

Today is the day for the commencement of the Bible in 90 Days Challenge, Second Edition!  As I previously mentioned, I am a mentor this time around and am really excited to be able to support some other women who are embarking on this wonderful journey!

Bible in 90 Days- join in July 2010

I wanted to make sure that you all have heard about it and provide you with a few links in case you haven't.  Today is the very first day so it is definitely not too late to get involved! 

You can go here to find out more about the challenge, and here to take the plunge sign-up!

The first Twitter party is tonight at 8pm CST at #B90Days, so if you are a west-coaster like me, get dinner done early and square the kids away with something fun so you can join us for the first chat!