Saturday, December 7, 2013

I am a….

I used to explain what I did before…before what?  Before I did, um…nothing.  I remember being on the phone with some insurance person (or something) and they were like, "Who is your employer." or "What is your occupation."  I don't remember their words but I remember this response, "Actually I graduated and taught for 2 years and then my husband and I decided that I would stay home when we had children so now I get to stay home, I'm a mom."  I did that all.the.time.  People would ask or comment on the fact that I was home and I always had to tell them that there was something I did before I did…um…nothing.  That probably bothers some folks that I say, "nothing."  But when you first come home, that's how it feels. I've been home for 11 years and now I giggle when people ask who my employer is because I really want to say, "My husband."  Wouldn't that be awesome?  I'm going to do it sometime!  I called Caroline, "job security."  That's right, I get to do this awesome nothing for another 18 years!!!  I'd love more security, but the Lord said that right now Caroline is enough. :)  It's always funny when people try to make me feel better about it, "That's the hardest job in the world, being a Mom." I'm totally fine with saying I don't have a job and someone will inevitably comfort me by saying, "Well, you have a job, you just work in the home."  I smile.  I know, I have a job, but it's not that.  It's not a job to me…it's a joy, it's my life, it's my dream.  Teaching was a job. I loved it, but it was really hard.  This is really hard too, but it's not a job.  So, it won't hurt my feelings if you say I don't have a job.  Sometimes I eat peanut butter spoons with random chocolate that I find…on my kitchen floor…can't do that at a  job!  I do, however, know what else I might say to folks that ask me what I do….

The other night I had the privilege of taking a walk with two of my daughters.  There was a time in my life when I just needed "some time."  I'd put my shoes on, instruct everyone to stay with Daddy and I'd take a quick walk up the hill…just enjoy the quiet.  Now, when they ask I allow them and when they don't ask,   I invite them.  I am too aware that one day I'll have quiet so for now I'll take some squeaky girls.  As soon as we began up the hill they asked. "Mom, tell us a good story about when you were a little girl.  A new story."  Now, the real unfortunate end of this is that there just aren't that many good stories to tell.  I didn't come to know Jesus until I was 19 and I was a really hard teenager…one of many in my home.  Their  favorites are when Uncle Andy dropped the mirror and Poppy broke the table.  Um…not the best stories, although they are really funny…in a broken sort of way.  So, I told them about the time I wet my pants when I was 15 because my "friend" (it was my boyfriend, but we haven't had that conversation with them yet) warned me (on Alice Lane on Halloween) that if he heard a shotgun he was leaving and if I wasn't in his truck he would leave me.  Well, there were a bunch of us and we heard something and he took off!  Sally and I went running after the truck, jumped in the bed and fear ran right down our leg!  TMI?  Sorry, it's what I had at the time.  I told you, I don't have much!  They laughed and I laughed.  I remembered sweet Mrs. Hudson told me I could come into her house even if I'd wet my pants and Larry pulled a towel out of his tool box for the ride home.  And…I was sober!  So, obviously I only have PG stories for my girls.  We did talk about why I wasn't kind and why I was hard on Grandma and that I didn't know how to be kind because I didn't have the Holy Spirit and how you'll never regret being kind, but you'll always regret being mean.   They love to hear my stories.  Then there are the other stories we tell them.

Kings and spies and enemies and warriors and temples and this one group of people that just couldn't be faithful.  The One King that rescued them.  We tell that story everyday all day.  This time of year we read the story in the morning and then we read the story again at night.  Tracing Jesse's tree for all of the clues, all of the stories that point us to the One worth telling over and over and over again.  I tell the story in the morning before we find direct objects and divide with decimals.  I tell them the story when tempers flair and words shoot out like venom and burn holes in souls and no one knew it could happen so quickly.  I tell the story when the venom is mine and souls are theirs and I beg for forgiveness for being too quick to speak and too slow to listen.  I tell the story when we thumbtack headliners and talk about Providers.  I tell them the story when Goodwill has curtains and Daddy comes home early.  Then, after our bellies are full with the Provision called supper, we listen to the story again.  All day, from sun up to sun down it's the Story.  It's the best one I have.  It makes all of the other stories not so sad, not so broken, not so "now."  I've got a new Story to tell and I've got everyday to tell it.  I tell it sometimes when I smile instead of scowl.  When I sing instead of scream.  When I praise instead of curse.  I tell them the Story.  I am a Story teller.  I've only got One Story, though.  It's a good One, I thank Him for that.  It's worth telling over and over and over and over again.  I love to hear it, I'll tell you that.  I love to tell it.  That's what I do.  That's how I spend my days.  I am a Story teller, the great news is that the Story is True and it is mine, and yours if you know Jesus.  Have you heard the story?  The story of the broken girl who longed for healing and couldn't believe when she heard the story about the Man who came, left his throne and wealth and palace warm and arrived as a poor carpenter's son?  Then, He grew and became a man that broke the laws that didn't matter to keep the one's that do. He was perfect in every way the little girl wasn't and then He laid down His life to redeem that girl from her miry mess.  If that wasn't enough He introduced her to the One that made her and that One explained why she was bruised and broken and He healed her right up and continues to manage her broken parts to this very day.  That is me!  I was and am that little girl and that One is my King.  He pulled me up and out of that miry pit and put a song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to my God.  So, that's how I spend my days.  I just tell that Story all. day. long.

I Love to Tell the Story

Text: Katherine Hankey, 1834-191
        I love to tell the story 
 of unseen things above, 
 of Jesus and his glory, 
 of Jesus and his love.  
 I love to tell the story, 
 because I know 'tis true; 
 it satisfies my longings 
 as nothing else can do.  
 I love to tell the story, 
 'twill be my theme in glory, 
 to tell the old, old story 
 of Jesus and his love.

 I love to tell the story; 
 more wonderful it seems 
 than all the golden fancies 
 of all our golden dreams.  
 I love to tell the story, 
 it did so much for me; 
 and that is just the reason 
 I tell it now to thee.  

 I love to tell the story; 
 'tis pleasant to repeat 
 what seems, each time I tell it, 
 more wonderfully sweet.  
 I love to tell the story, 
 for some have never heard 
 the message of salvation 
 from God's own holy Word.  

 I love to tell the story, 
 for those who know it best 
 seem hungering and thirsting 
 to hear it like the rest.  
 And when, in scenes of glory, 
 I sing the new, new song, 
 'twill be the old, old story 
 that I have loved so long.

So, I did do something before I told Stories…but now I could do nothing else.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

If You Seek Me

So, things get lost around here…misplaced…rehomed…whatever happens they disappear.  We do, however, have only a few places where lost things can hide, so usually we find whatever the treasure is and we all rejoice in our good fortune!  Last night, however, I wasn't looking for anything.  We were doing one of our tidies (because cleaning happens less often) and I was scooting the couch cushions in and found some socks lurking between the couch and the cushion (YUCK) so I pulled those out and figured I'd have a mini treasure hunt to see what I could find.  It wasn't an incredible collection, but always a surprise!  I found a silver necklace, more socks (of course) a knitting needle, one play dog bowl, a princess plate for a tea party, a rock (which for some reason I left there) and some other random  trash (literal garbage…UGH).  My girls showed up and were like, "Yeah, Mom my necklace!"  Or, "That's where that went!"  I didn't go so far as to vacuum (because I didn't want to get carried away) but I did feel a little better knowing what was there…and where it was now.  As I was searching I thought of (I cut and pasted this so it looks funny to me, like we needed a drumroll)

Jeremiah 29:13

New International Version (NIV)
13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

I became a Christian in college and most of us didn't have much money, really we only had the money our parents gave us (and how fortunate that our parents had money to give us!) so we couldn't go to LifeWay or some Christian bookstore and purchase "inspirational" items.  Mugs or picture frames with scripture on them. So, we just scratched the verses on pictures or wrote them on index cards and miracle of miracles, the Lord wrote them on our hearts!!!  I remember we had Jeremiah 33:3 on a poster of a small child on the phone.  Funny…anyway!  I love the promise here.  You will seek me and FIND me! We won't end up on some horrible end of hide and seek with the Lord.  The sort where one of the two quits and doesn't tell the other.  Then the seeker is seeking for nothing or worse, the one hiding is hiding for a really LONG time in a dark and cramped space!  It's happened to all of us…at least those of us who were children in the 80's when those games were still played with the neighborhood kids.  No, this isn't that.  This is a promise to those of us LOOKING…we will FIND!  As I searched the couch last night, I wasn't looking for anything in particular, just looking and I found some stuff.  It's even more thrilling when you are looking for something in particular and you actually find it!  We've had lost wallets, shoes and please Heaven help the homeschool families find all of the library books!!!  We could feed a small nation (actually probably a large one) with our fines!  There is such great celebration when you find what you were looking for.  The same is true in this case.  If you are truly seeking the Lord…you will truly find Him.  The unfortunate truth is that most of us aren't seeking Him.  We're seeking His goods.  We want what He can do for us, not what He can BE for us.  Our Redeemer, or Lord of Lords, our King of Kings.  That's what we'll find.  We are moving into the Season where we all look like Seekers.  We all look like people who want to find that sweet baby who was born to bear our sin and sorrows.  We are all looking for our Savior, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in the manger…let's really look.  Let's really be seekers…the sort that find.  And when you do, when you have found the treasure that is God Almighty, don't hold back…CELEBRATE!  It's no small thing to be reconnected with the very One who bought your soul with unperishable goods…the precious blood of His Son.  Go…look…you'll find Him and you'll never be the same again!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I want to serve with my children.  I don't want to drop them off someplace to go and serve the Lord.  Something about that bothers me.  So, when the opportunity to deliver flowers arose (ha...a-rose) I decided to walk forward and pursue the opportunity.  Our church has quite a history.  Quite.  There are many Saints who have served and given and loved the Lord through First Presbyterian Augusta, and now many of them cannot join us any longer.  They are too frail, or suffer weakened immune systems, or their minds have become fuzzy and they spend their days "shut-in."  On Sunday mornings we have beautiful flowers on the altar.  They are lovely!  So, on Monday, someone comes to the church, organizes individual bouquets and delivers them to these dear Saints.  The first time we went we followed another person who has been doing this for years.  She was so very helpful and I was hoping to follow her for a few months.  We did, however, need help on other days.  So, I took the 4th Monday.  My children were nervous not knowing what to expect, honestly, so was I!  Our sweet choir director plotted my course and even printed out directions in order.  (That's right, I lack navigation technology.)  So, we made our bouquets, Julia and I, (that alone is worth it...working side by side my daughter) while Caroline drank from the water fountain (for like 45 minutes) and Anson and Ella cleaned the sanctuary for bulletins.  We got 3 vases that were arranged quite nicely for amateurs and loaded up for our adventure.  We visited 3 ladies.  Precious ladies.  I won't go into every meeting, but this is what I walked away with.  I will have some serious "me time."  Like, serious.  I will have hours, even days all to myself and from the way these ladies ushered us into their immaculate homes...I won't want it.

Mrs. Toole raised 4 boys.  When I mentioned that we had soccer that night she said, "Oh, that's so much fun!"  I muttered something about how I bet with 4 boys she probably never thought she'd have some quiet time and she said, "And now I just say, 'Lord, what should I do today?' "  She's 92, she's got "me time."  She was encouraging and no one cares if my children touch their things or even lay on the floor with their 2 year old dirty croc feet on their white walls.  In fact, they tell us to please come back when we can stay longer.  We can go to the park together.  I leave with my passel of children, they close the door and it's quiet...again.

I struggle with keeping a clean house.  Like, really struggle.  There's always dog hair and random stuff all over the place.  We pitch in and try and within a few hours...sometimes a day or two...we're back again.  Fighting entropy that's what we're doing.  This fallen, chaotic world doesn't stay clean for long when there is so much life in the home.  So. much. life.  Thank you, Lord!

There will come a time when my books will all have a place on the shelf because one day I'll say goodnight to the moon for the last time.  One day, the kitchen in the living room will become dusty and a 2 year old will be 20 years old and will be working in a big kitchen.  One day the boy's magic tricks will not litter the floor because he'll be out of here doing something awesome like translating Bibles.  My pioneer ladies will have traded their bonnets and aprons for real work clothes...hopefully aprons! I'll walk into my house and I'll know where my brush is because my girls won't have used it and neglected to put it back.  It will be quiet and orderly.  Somehow, I think that I'll hate it.  I don't know that I want all that me time.  I think I want "we time."  I want to make the most of these fleeting moments.  Even on weeks like this one when the education we are all getting is how desperately we need Jesus.  When asking for forgiveness happens far more than asking what a subjunctive conjunction is and what kind of sentence you find it in.  Amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant  only matter because, "I love, you love, he, she, it loves, we love, you love, they love" is only possible because He loved us first.

We did have an opportunity to clean today, and move some furniture around.  I know it's good to have an orderly home, I just want to be aware of how quickly it won't be so hard.  So, I took some pictures so you can see what it looks like now.   Sometimes I think about sharing how we school, but then think that probably it wouldn't be that interesting. :)  So, I just want to give a shout out to all the Mamas out there that are really stinkin' tired.  Hold what you need to do to get a little rest, but don't be too dramatic, because you've got some serious "me time" in the years to come. Serious.

 This is how I see my house most of the time.  I am in the kitchen looking through our little pass-thru.  See the pink Crocs on the table?  That crazy girl!  I think those are her dirty clothes...anyone want to join us for a meal?  HAHAHA  My desk needs to be cleaned off, but Anson and Julia cleaned theirs.  Maybe I'll give you a tour one day, mostly because I think it's fun to see what other folks do with their space, so maybe I should share.  My Julia turns 9 tomorrow and that is hard to believe.  You know what she wanted?  A slate.  Yes, a slate.  I love her.  I'll be back, sorry I've been gone so long...also I'll update you on life after the juice.   For now...I gotta hang balloons!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Day 10...Looks Like We Made It!!!

Hooray!  Day 10!  I stayed up last night making our soup (I think I mentioned that) and was so excited to come home from church and enjoy a nice WARM meal, rather than a cold drink.  It was SO worth it.  I didn't nibble a bit as I prepared lunch, which was certainly tempting!  I'll blog through the pictures! :O)  I will say that our scale broke a few days ago, or at least stopped being accurate, so Mike went out and bought a new one this morning.  It isn't digital, so the weight isn't exact, however here are the figures.
Starting weight: 164.4
Ending weight:  154 ish
I don't feel like the pictures did a very good job at showing much of a difference, maybe that's why people take those types of pictures with less clothes.  Oh well!  The other number that I'd like to share, but don't have available, is the cost.  We borrowed the juicer, which saved us $300.00.  We borrowed the high-end Breville and it was certainly key in our being able to complete this little adventure.  The trips to the store were every 2-3 days at probably $40-$60.00/ trip.  That's after the initial trip where we bought all organic and spent $120.00.  Why would I say that?  To let you know that this isn't something we want to go back on.  We wouldn't mind doing a 3 day fast in the future for a reboot, but we don't want to put ourselves in this way again.  We want this to be the starting point, not the end only to have to come back and do it again.  We will juice every morning, the children as well, and perhaps we'll juice another meal at random points, maybe the weekend.  I think the greatest advantage of completing this is just that: completing it.  I said no to Mom's homemade cookies today (although she did break off a piece and put it in my mouth...yum) and just plain do not want to overeat.  I've got most of our meals for the week planned, including snacks.  I'm finding my way in this, and hope that I'm on the way to a healthy body that can serve the Lord for a long time.  If you are considering this I would say that you should find an awesome juicer and a buddy.  Like most things, this will be easier with someone who knows what you are doing and wants you to succeed.  I had my husband and my best friend. (Note, my husband is my best friend, but also my best friend Kelli is juicing) I also think you need a goal.  Not a weight loss goal, per se, but a finish goal.  Decide (ahead of time) how long you are going to juice and what you are going to do next.  Knowing when you finish and what you have to look forward to are key in being able to press on.  Then,  do it.  Make your mind up ahead of time and just juice it! Below are a few pictures, some pertaining to juice, and others to what I was doing while juicing!

Caroline was not cleaning the bathroom, but her sister was! I love that my children are old enough to help with these tasks, and they are pretty good at it!  

For math this year we are switching gears.  Time Life put out some math books that we are using and this was a game we made up based on one of the "lessons" from the book.  It's a rendition of ski ball only the bags are marked $.25, $.50, $.75, and $1.00 so they had to keep score with money rather than points.  This is for my girls, Anson uses Saxon.  

Here's Jules hoping for $1.00 because I said I might give them the amount they scored.  At the sound of this, Anson wanted to play rather than watch!

This is my Ella.  She's in 1st grade!  When I see my house in pictures I get overwhelmed. There is stuff EVERYWHERE!   She's in the kitchen/laundry room. :)

Mr. Bigstuff!  

This was a cool and rainy day, so I said yes to hot chocolate and marshmallows.  Remember...I'm sipping on juice while they are sipping on hot chocolate!

I caught this sweet picture.  My Caroline LOVES books.  I think most 2 year olds do, but mine especially. :)


After Julia scored over $7.00 I told them they could keep $2.00 of their earnings.  Only putting myself out $6.00...which is bad math on my part!  They all bought altoids with their "earnings" mostly because they love the tins they come in.  The large tins are perfect for Legos.

Alright, back to the fast.  This is lunch today.  My other girls wanted to stay with my Mom for another round of church, so it was a smaller celebration.

This is the Acorn, Apple, Carrot soup and a simple spinach salad with strawberries, walnuts and a balsamic vinegar dressing.  I'll eat the soup a few times this week for lunch.

This was dessert.  It TOTALLY handled my sweet tooth.  Everyone agreed.  These are simple and most people have everything you need right in your pantry.  All I needed to purchase was the coconut oil, which was on my list anyway.  Alright, below are my befores and afters.  I put the skirt on, but didn't want to change my shirt, can you tell a difference?  It's OK if you can't.  I can see a small difference here, but a bigger difference in how I feel and how my clothes feel on me.  Also, I should have shut some doors...good grief! I'm such an amateur a this whole picture blog thing.  So, now you know what's lurking behind all the doors.  

YAY for Team Wessner!  We started and finished and will continue this healthy habit daily.  Here are a few things that I will take away:
1. It isn't impossible to say, "No."
2. There will always be a chance to eat, for instance at the shower, I'll get to eat that food some other time. I didn't HAVE to eat it then.
3. I should not eat until I'm sitting at the table.  No snacking while making meals.
4. My husband is the BEST!
5. The Lord may come get me whenever He wants, but I want to be able to say that I tried my best to take care of the things He gave me.  My body and my family being the biggest things.
6. Trying something new feels good.  Learning how to do something helps me remember what it's like and be kinder to my children as they learn.
7. Fasting is extremely beneficial and needs to be exercised more often in my Spiritual life.
I'm sure there are more things, but I'll leave you with that for now.  Thank you so much for checking in.  Blogging this experience helped me to stay focused and in a way it was a source of accountability.  I didn't want to post the "I just couldn't do it" story.  Because, I could...and I did.  Now, tomorrow, I'll try again.  My motivation will be to depend on Jesus, not food to make me content and to serve the Lord no matter what I do.  So, I'll keep you posted!  Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Day 8 and 9...almost there!!!

What you need to know is that sometimes when I start shaving my legs I think, "I don't really want to do this today, why did I start?  Now I have to finish."   So, that only takes a few minutes, imagine 10 days drinking every single meal and the water in between!!!  This has probably been one of the most challenging 9 days for me...mentally!  It wasn't physically hard.  The juices are good, and they fill you up and you have energy and lose weight...easy right?  Yes, but every single time you walk into the kitchen there is NO NIBBLING!  Not a date, or a walnut, or an apple or a cracker.  It's totally mental.  That's the game I've never been willing to strengthen, my mental game.

I am so very thankful that my husband did this with me, I don't know how far I would have gotten. Mike and I made a decision that we wouldn't kiss until we said, "I do."  That meant, no kissing.  We held hands and hugged...and that was it.  It was a long 6 month engagement! :)  I decided a few times that kissing probably wouldn't be a bad idea.  We were engaged after all.  We WOULD be married, right?  Mike said, "No."  I grew to love that over the 6 months.  There was an element of safety in his no because I felt like I could trust him.  I felt like if he wouldn't kiss me, his betrothed, he wouldn't kiss another during the course of our life together.  He said it and he meant it.  He also said we'll go 10 days.  So, we have.  Tomorrow we will actually be breaking our fast a little early.  A full 10 days would be Monday morning.  A few days ago I was trying to think of how I wanted to continue juicing and how I wanted to stop.  I'm a little "over it." Mike and I decided that the entire family would get juice in the morning before their breakfast.  Our juice will be our breakfast, but the children will have food in addition to juice.  Already we've seen improvement in the way they feel.  So, back to breaking the fast. I wanted to eat before I juiced again and if I was juicing Monday morning than I wouldn't be eating first.  Also, I wanted to break the fast with a nice meal.  So, I decided that Sunday lunch would be a great time.  This way Mike and I can enjoy the meal together and wake fresh Monday ready to enjoy a juice.  I have already made lunch.  I must confess that I did try a spoon of it and it is DELICIOUS!  We will be enjoying Acorn, Carrot, Apple Soup with gluten free crackers and "reese cups" for dessert.  I am so excited!  I will need to work on the meals for the rest of the week, although I did pick up one of my favorite lunches at Costco.  The microwavable quinoa and brown rice.  I add a few things to jazz it up, but it will be something that I can easily do and easily enjoy.  I will say that if you are interested in doing something like this, the Reboot website is REALLY helpful.  There are recipes and meal plans that can help you move past the reboot and into a healthier lifestyle.  So, that's the plan for tomorrow and I'm thrilled!

I will say that two days this week were really rough, in the morning, until we realized what we did wrong.  We had a beet juice both days and both days it made Mike and I especially,  feel pretty rotten and I got a good bit of reading done in the restroom.  We juiced an entire beet.  I have juiced the beet and had no trouble and juiced the leaves and had no trouble, but the shoots make us sick.  My children drank it, most of them. They were not bothered by it, other than the wretched taste, but they had less than we did.  Julia cried and after chugging mine and wanting to gag I told her to stop.  I couldn't drink much juice the rest of the day I was so afraid it would taste horrible again.  I drank my snack for lunch because watermelon and blueberries sounded better than the green juice.  We made it though the day alright, but was something else!

I found that I like the green juices with lemon, so in the future I'll keep those on hand.  I love the peach pie, as you all know, and will serve that as dessert in the future.  We'll crush ice and enjoy it!  I certainly have noticed an increase in energy.  I'm just not as slow, especially during the lull parts of the day, mid-morning and mid-afternoon.  Which is why I want to keep this up.  It's strange that it feels doable. I think after doing it for 10 days, 5 times/day, once a day seems like cake!  I look forward to trying new things and incorporating them into our everyday.  I am going to try some beet chips and work on snacks and desserts, those are the areas that really trip me up. I can plan a healthy meal, but I top it off with Moose Tracks!!!! I'm really hoping for the best with these chocolate peanut butter cups.  Also, this seems doable because I can buy this food at the grocery store.  It's not crazy stuff.  It's fresh.  Maybe I'll figure out how to eat seasonally, but for now I'm going to get past lunch.

That's another thing I would like to work on.  Sunday lunch.  One of the things I learned from Marannook is that the Sabbath is that...a Sabbath.  Every other day is leading up to it.  We prepare every single day for our day off.  I was irritated last week because I wasn't prepared and I really want to improve in that area.  I want to do this like I like it! :)  What I mean is, when I'm in the kitchen I want to be there with great joy.  This is my life.  This is my calling.  Feeding these people that God has given to me.  Being prepared so that I'm not strung out.  I want to be a better woman. I want to be the woman that God made me to be.  I look forward to the process.  I know that it won't be finished until I get to Heaven, so I want to press on and enjoy this ride.  Even if it means that I'm the only one in the kitchen. I do say I want peace and quiet right?  Perhaps I should thank the Lord for that sweet gift to prepare my heart for Sunday.  Now, I am off to read and rest my head...I've got a big day tomorrow!

Thank you for checking in!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day 7....Determination Sets In

This is a little early, but waiting until the end of the day makes bedtime later.  My children worked really hard on their school work this morning so that I could visit with my sister and cousin (and they played with their cousins) so now they are in Lego Land and Caroline is asleep and I must tell you... my feet are up!  I must also tell you that the toilet overflowed and the floor needs to be mopped, the juicer is  still in the sink from this morning and lunch for 10 people still needs to be cleared, but I made a decision to sit a minute, and then I'll work. (Probably a bad order...but it's raining!)

So, Day 7.  I was expecting a better day since yesterday and it has been.  First of all, I think the bloating was related to something else more monthly than dietary.  So, that is being resolved.  And I feel a little more empowered that I did this at a tough time of the month...a munchy time.  So, it's possible to say, "No, thank you."  (Dang it, I overloaded the I have to get up...wait...yup) It wasn't overloaded, it was not balanced so it was banging around.  I could hear my mother, "Alison!  Get in here and do this right!"  So, where was I?  Day 7.  I'm not digging drinking any longer.  I will, however, finish.  This morning I went ahead and chugged my "un-beet-able" which is, by the way, beatable.  Now I have to focus on the water.  Yesterday I only had 3 of the 5 juices for a few reasons, but wasn't insanely hungry.  I would like to mention that the plantains that I had last night are currently sitting on the kitchen table.  Renee brought them left over and I almost had 1 and stopped.  There was no real reason, other than eating them last night, that I needed one.  I think I'll put them in the freezer and when this is over pull them out and do something tasty with them.  I've never had them because they look like bananas, but I really think they'll help with my sweet tooth.  So, I see where the danger (for me) lies in little "breaks."  So, there will be no more breaking, unless I'm going to break it.  In fact, Renee brought a little dish that looked really delicious.  It had some noodles and ground turkey, squash, tomatoes...Ashley (my sister who was also here) said it was great and the children ate it, too.  Here's the thing, I bet it was good, but do I want to break this over someone's tasty leftovers?  How often do we do that?  Our standards are constantly reduced for something that isn't even that worth it.  I mean, I'm sure it was good...but I haven't eat (UGH besides that plantain) in 7 first meal is going to be BANG-A-RANG!!!  It makes me think about my life in general, especially before I was a Christian.  There was so much settling and not enough standard.  Not enough appreciation for that which was pure and beautiful.  I resort to this animalistic nature when it comes to food.  Then I don't even get the best.  I don't wait to prepare something worth eating.  So, I need to investigate some options and start working a little bit harder on meal prep.  Especially having delicious combinations on hand to ENJOY not just fill a void.

It's telling, going back to just taking what's available.  It's called settling...or not believing.  We have asked the Lord where we should serve Him, where we are best suited and are HUMBLED by what He is pointing to.  More on that some other time, but for the better part of my life I think I was scared that nothing better would come along, so I just took what was present.  Not waiting for the good stuff.  Another food analogy was that this summer we could have cookies with our lunch, but some nights the dessert was REALLY worth waiting for.  If I stuck to my rule of only one dessert/day, which is still too much dessert, then I shouldn't have had dessert, but since I wasn't self-controlled, I had them both. (Until the end of the summer)  So, the dessert, where it was still good, wasn't as special.  So, I am seeing a pattern.  If I peeled it back and back it's a trust issue.  Not trusting that God had good things for me.  Or, even being willing to wait until Heaven.  Is Heaven worth the wait?  Do I think that great things are worth waiting for?  I won't go see what I mean.

So, I think I'll probably need to have a snack this afternoon because we are going to the Chiropractor tonight, which is awesome because it's my Uncle and he should have some incredible juicing tips...and we all feel so much better when we leave!  Since it's Thursday I'm thinking about heading over to Earthfare to pick up what we'll need and then have the children eat for free, sparing me that meal preparation!  It's getting easier, but it's still nice.  So, I'm thinking I'll work in the kitchen and get that looking better and be able to work on some school stuff tonight.

That's all for now.  I would encourage folks to try this.  It reveals what we wouldn't normally see, or even want to see.  There is something good about being pushed and living to tell the story.  Even if it's pretty lame that the story that was so hard is that you drank only fresh food for 10 many people around the world would love that?

Alright, time to get back to life....I've enjoyed this little chat and I'll post more if there is more.  If not, I'll write tomorrow on DAY 8!!!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day 6...OR DAY3?

Today was just plain hard.  My eye was irritated so I couldn't wear my contacts and for some reason wearing my glasses makes me tired and cranky.  So, I could liken myself to Alexander and his terrible, horrible, no good very bad day....EXCEPT that the day was not ruined!  HOORAY!  The children had a little bit of Lego time (they tried to tell me it was Geometry....I told them I might have gone for Architecture, but not Geometry...well...maybe...) In any event!  I heard that people really struggle on their third day because of the detox and what not, well, I think today was my third day.  It's also getting difficult to drink every meal.  I did a little bit better with my water in the morning which has helped with how bloated I have felt.  I didn't do as well in the afternoon, thankfully there is tomorrow!

So, I did break the fast for a minute this evening.  I have a really neat cousin who recently got back after spending 2 years in Cameroon.  She went with the Peace Corps and tonight she had a  presentation.  She had some of the Cameroonian food, which she said she would, so I was prepared, but I have never tried plantains, and so I did.  They were very tasty and I only felt "guilty" for a minute.  Honestly, I think that's what I needed.  Just a little normalcy. It's bizarre that I almost feel ostracized because I'm not eating my food.  I make the meals for the children and clean them up and I have finally stopped trying to eat the food while I prepare it.  I'll bet I eat 4 meals/day with all of the food I eat during prep time.  Maybe a piece of chicken here, some chips there, that sweet spoon of peanut butter!  All just for no good reason.  So, that habit is just about kicked.  Tomorrow I'll have 2 of my cousins over and my sister, and I'm planning on having a few snackie type foods out, but I'm not going to break this over snacks.  A few plantains I'm not counting!  It's learning how to gather without my mouth full of food.

I think that's really it.  I don't want to carry on and on about how the day was, because it was just rather poor Ali.  Which is ridiculous because I am eating the best food in the house!  Poor me why?  Because I can't indulge?  I can't overeat or graze all day?  Nah, that's for the birds....I had power plantains and I can do this!

One silly thing that Kelli reminded me of while I was lamenting is future Ali.  Here is the back story...I have some super neat siblings.  My one sister, Ashley, is really funny...I mean super funny.  She was telling me a few months ago (after she had her 3rd high maintenance child only 18 months after her 2nd high maintenance child) that she would do things in the present in order to help herself in the future.  As in "present Ashley" would set out the diapers and wipes for the late night feeding so that "future Ashley" would have an easier time and be able to get back to sleep.  She then (in her post partpartum delirium) would thank "past Ashley."  Is that insane...and brilliant.  It's viewing being proactive as serving yourself, in a way.  So, I've been wondering what future Ali thinks about present/past Ali during this fast.  Here's what I think she might say...

Dear Past Ali,
YOU DID IT!  You didn't think you could, but you did.  You paused for a minute to chew some plantains, but you moved on!  You made a decision and stayed the course and I can't tell you how much I thank you for that.  Today, while getting dressed, I pulled the zipper right up on the skirt and it felt so nice.  I walked past the mirror and was surprised to see a little less of me...or us...whatever the case may be.  Whenever a meal is served we think about it.  We consider if we'll enjoy it for a while or if it will leave us sort of empty and lethargic.  There is a plan for snacks and treats and it's so enjoyable. It was worth the work to have some new cravings and new habits.  Not to mention a new "normal" weight range.  It will fluctuate, but it's much easier to move forward from here.  Future Present Ali is certainly more confidant and I have you, Past Ali to thank for it.  So, thank you for having self-control and for not being consumed by that which you should consume.  Life is more than that and with these new healthy habits under your (smaller)'ll have a nice long healthy one to enjoy!  Much love!
Future/Present Ali

Weird, right?  Almost like I have crazy people living in my head....well, this is actually helpful to me as I consider how disappointed I would be if I stopped.  10 days is long, but people do a lot of things for longer...things that are live in Cameroon for 2 years.  Day I come!  Bottoms up!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Good evening!  I was on my way to bed and realized I hadn't blogged yet.  I am actually enjoying the opportunity to blog regularly.  So, thanks for checking!  Today I accidentally licked Caroline's spoon (of cold oatmeal) and then spit it out. I am SO NOT eating something like that first!  Maybe warm with butter, brown sugar and fresh strawberries!  It made me question what I really eat all day.  I don't love this fast, but I am enjoying being able to stick to it.  I'm looking forward to "conquering" it, if you will. When I say I am not enjoying it it's because I do enjoy a delicious meal.  I am thinking when I bow my head in a few days, I'll really mean it.

The morning started off with a Hawaiian Sunrise.  I was surprised that it didn't knock my socks off.  It was tasty, don't get me wrong, and fresh in the morning, just very grapefruity.  I actually enjoy grapefruit, with a little sprinkle of...sugar...of course.  I even had that thought...I should sprinkle some sugar on this!  What a way to go down! :)  I didn't, I have children and they would have totally been disappointed.  I would have been too.  It made enough to feed all of us, with pretty full cups.  It was 1 pineapple, 2 peeled grapefruit, and 6 oranges.  If you are interested.  Mike really enjoyed it.  He brought some mangoes home from the store, I'm excited to see what those end up in.  So, I've got some pictures, I'll let them do the talking.  Some of them are from a few days ago...

This little gem is from Saturday.  I attended a baby shower and then needed to make supper, and juice.  I took this to let you all know that you can do it!  If I can pull it off, so can you!  This is titled, "I'll put the kids to bed if you'll do the dishes." :)

This is what the sink looks like.  I take the juicer apart right after the juice is made, but I inevitably don't have time to wash it, so I let it soak in warm water so that it doesn't get too nasty.  I clean it after every juice, that's 5 a day!

Supper.  See the green?

This was my supper. I really must get better about my water consumption. It's so hard to drink water when you've been drinking all day long.  Maybe I sip on my drinks too long and need to just guzzle them so that I can then sip my water until the next one.  I'll do that tomorrow.

It's amazing what sounds DELICIOUS.  This was what the children had.  Probably needed more greens less rice, but smelled SO GOOD!  I didn't even lick my fingers.

Anytime we are taking pictures Caroline wants hers taken.  Isn't she getting big?  She enjoyed her juice, it was watermelon crush.  They all get in line for that one.  It was good on Saturday, but I didn't add enough mint, in fact it was supposed to be basil, but the next time I made it I dumped the mint in and it was a real summer treat.  With some Sonic ice it would be top-notch. (Did you know you can buy Sonic ice?  Thanks, Jenn!)

This is Anson.  My favorite son.  He always smiles and says, "Mom, I'm your only son."  I think he might still be my favorite.  That boy loves supper!

This is today's lunch.  Green lemonade.  I only used 4 Kale leaves because they were really big, 3 handfuls of spinach, 3 celery stalks, one cucumber, an apple and a lemon.  Also, I don't think I will often take pictures of my food. How do people do that for all those food blogs.  What must their kitchen look like?  Is that why they set up outside?  So, this much food makes this much drink....

This one is rather frothy, I think I left it blowing for too long.  It filled me and I didn't eat my snack, just went straight to dinner time...another green...a new one tonight, Sweet Broccoli. It was smoother than the others, not one of Mike's faves, but I liked it alright.  As far as green goes. :)

In other news, this is what my desk looks like, in my living room.  I meant to take an after picture to show you how I have stowed all of my "stuff."  It's really growing this year.  I have a 5th, 3rd and 1st grader and I am accumulating books that I need to teach them.  They have a home now, the top of my desk still looks a little like that, but again...those of you who think you have to have a ton of space to don't.  I'll post pictures soon of the shelves that Mike built and some of my little storage solutions.  Now that I see I can put pictures on here pretty easily.

OK, this is a picture of one of my ideas that I'm digging and it's not the red thing that needs to be cleaned off.  It's the pictures hanging on the wall.  We use Classical Conversations curriculum although this is our first year not in the co-op.  The first 6 weeks is drawing and then the weeks 13-18 are studying famous artists.  This is the first year it dawned on me to use the works of the artists we'd be studying when investigating drawing/art.  So, I downloaded some prints from the internet (tried to stick to those that weren't copyrighted) and uploaded them to Wal-Mart and had them shipped to me.  Now, I want my children to put their hands on them so I slipped them in this plastic sleeve and then get this...that wall is steel apparently because I used magnets to affix them!  We pulled them down today and it was so easy!  I just want to have things out where they can see them and there really isn't much room.  So, there are 4 more on the other side of the room. I also ordered some postcards from Dover Publications that will also enhance our art study.  Each year I feel like the Lord gives me a new "subject" to be excited about and this year it is Art. 

In the morning the children either do their personal study or we read together from A Child's Story Bible.  (The one by Voss) Yesterday we were reading together about the Tabernacle.  This was fabulous because we taught Julia's class in Sunday School and she had the paper that I told her not to throw away...or so I thought.  
"Jules, go get that paper, it'll be perfect."  
Her sheepish reply, "Mom, I don't have it."  
Me: "You are the worst student ever!  I told you not to throw it away."
Her, smiling, "Well, I don't have a good place to put it, so it just ends up crapping up my desk and eventually you'll throw it away anyway, so I went ahead and did it for you."

So, we went on.  We discussed the details and the sacrifice to which my favorite son added, "You wouldn't be able to stand it, girls.  The smell of that sacrifice was like 14,000 stinky farts."  Y'all, he was totally serious.  I didn't know he was there to smell it.  Turns out that his awesome 1st grade catechism teacher (like, really an awesome teacher) had them smell what burnt hair smelled like so they could understand how fetid (that's a vocab word this week...I hope I used it right!) the sacrifice was.  That's how his 5th grade mind saw it.  So, there you have it, we say crap and Bible Time. I'm thankful for that pointed to the One who was to come.  The One that would put all the sacrifices to an end.  Now we are called to be a pleasing aroma to the Lord, not 14,000 stinky farts.  

So, that's a wrap.  Things in the digestive tract are moving slowly, but moving.  Mike and I both feel fine and are looking forward to moving into day 6 and the second, and final half of our fast.  I need to get a plan.  Even though it feels like I won't be eating a meal for a while, it'll be here before I know it and I want to have a good choice!  So, until tomorrow!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Day...4 and still going!!!

I must confess, I have quittin' blood runnin' through my veins!  I get nervous starting most things because of this unfortunate trait.  It was one of the reasons Mike hesitated in walking forward with homeschooling. His exact words, "Babe, I have no doubt that you'd do a great job.  There is one thing that concerns me."  "Lay it on me!" I replied confidently.  "You...don't...finish things, and I just don't want this to be something you don't finish."  That was so very good for me to hear and it has helped me immensely!  I pace myself and I'm aware of my capacity.  I say, very often, "I need to be realistic." Whether it's spending a dumb amount on a filter that will get the stinkin' flouride out of my water because I don't know if I'll go to the clean water well (Earthfare) enough, or whatever it is. I'm constantly thinking, "Will I really be able to keep this up."  I could not juice for 60 days.  I don't think I could juice for 11 days...but I can do this for 10.  I'm going to do this for 10.  I want to finish this because I'm excited about all of the fabulous food that God made for us that I NEVER eat.  Now, I have some ideas.  I will probably juice at breakfast when this is over, and sometimes for dessert...y'all, for real, Peach Pie is SO GOOD!  Here's what it is:
2 Peaches (pitted)
A handful fo blueberries
1 red apple
1 sweet potato
Dash of cinnamon

After a day of "Garden Variety" or "Un-Beet-Able" I'm thrilled for this sweet treat.  If you have a juicer and you've never tried's worth a trip to the store...or plugging in your juicer!  So, I'm proud of myself.  Even if I'm still feeling a little bloated.  UGH  We haven't been drinking our tea, however, and I think that may have something to do with it, so we had it tonight.  It was, actually, a very nice cup of tea and some good time with my husband. I think I can juice and have tea time!  Hooray!!!

So, other than the bloating, I feel pretty good.  Mike and I have heard that you are supposed to be so very energetic and so we're looking for it.  We don't know if we really are energetic, or if we are just supposed to be.  Either way, it's 10:13 and he's getting pineapple ready for tomorrow and I'm not about to fall over.  I do feel like I should mention that this comment is made after homeschooling 3 children and juggling a Sweet Caroline.  It's pretty nice.   What's not so nice is how often you have to go to the store. I can totally see us planting an acre of kale one day in order to do this more "realistically."  Mike, bless him, has been making the runs and I'm so glad!  We've gone a total of 3 times from the beginning until tonight.  It's intense.  So, that's the downside, but we both keep reminding ourselves that we committed to this regardless and we knew it would be sort of expensive.  The other thing is that the recipes get sort of old.  You are cycling 12 recipes around and you eat 5/day. So, tonight we (mostly he) did some research and we've got some new juices in the lineup.  We'll wake up tomorrow with the Hawaiian Sunrise which is juiced up of 2 grapefruit, 1 full pineapple and 6 med. oranges.  Then we'll try a new supper juice.  Supper is always green.  Tomorrow we'll be supping on Sweet Broccoli.  I'm sure it's as sweet as it's name! :)  Actually, we are having fun with it.  Trying new things. There are so many combinations and so many people that are juicing and they are rather helpful.  So, day 4 is great.  I did some Ali math and told Mike that after today we were halfway there and he corrected me ( only he can do) and said, "No, after a full Day 5 we are halfway there."  He's right, but sometimes I just need to do some crazy math to make things appear a little easier than they might be.  The more I say, "no," the easier this becomes.  I think that just might be another change in the future.  No coke.  No sugar until it's planned and prepared for, and that might be a never (but that's super extreme and I'm not sure how I feel about that) but realizing the things that trip me up, trip me up because I allow them to.  So, "no" might be the most powerful tool I have.  We've heard it all our lives, those of us who grew up in the 80's.  "Just say NO."  So, I reckon I will.

Now, it's bedtime.  I also know that I haven't posted my weight, I will...but there has been some loss!  YAY!!!

So, have a wonderful day, and if you think you can't, believe me....we've all got that quittin' blood.  There's other blood, ya didn't quit.  Not a drop was spared until the wrath of God was totally satisfied.  Yeah, pretty awesome, and He calls me His.  That's better that Peach Pie!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Day 3

I love to eat.  So, that hasn't changed.  There are many things that have, however.  Well, maybe not SO many.  The reality of what I am capable of.  Today we studied the Israelites and the Tabernacle and so we provided Smore's as the snack. (Since the Israelites were "camping" for 40 years) and the helper tried to pass me some chocolate and I said, "Oh, I wish I could, but..."  I didn't feel compelled to take it simply because someone offered it to me.  It's such a social thing.  Not wanting to hurt someone's feelings.  So, there is victory!  I'm thankful for that.

On a strangely related note, I saw an old friend tonight and it really impacted me.  See, this fast has helped soften my heart.  Although it isn't a "spiritual" fast, it is very much  turning into one.  I realized that I've never not eaten for this long.  I've been a believer for 16 years.  The Lord has kept me near his wounded side for 16 years and I can't bear the thought of missing a meal.  Yet, the thought of slimming down my waistline is good reason to go 10 days without eating.  Now, the difference is that I am consuming food, just not in solid form, yet tonight I was convicted and saddened at how little I value the spilled blood.  So, where did this come from?  My senior year in high school I worked at a daycare here in town.  I worked in the after-school room from 3-6:30.  I wasn't alone.  I worked with a college Sophomore named Stephen.  He knew the Lord and he was FUN!  I was so surprised during that year that being a Christian could look like the way his life looked.  He laughed and sang and was kind.  He shared the Gospel with me I'm sure, but more than anything it was his life.  Fast forward a few months after my graduation and I came to faith on January 16, 1997.  I wanted anything that had to do with Jesus.  I would go to Bible studies and weekly meetings, Sunday School and church not to mention any conference!  So, Missions conference (at the church where I am currently a member ) rolled around and several folks from my school went and I got to run into Stephen!  What a joy!  His face looked rather confused and he practically screamed, "What are you doing here!"  With great delight I answered right back, "I became a Christian!"  He was thrilled.  When I went to South Africa I received a support check from him for $73.25.  One of my teammates said he was just trying to balance his checkbook, but I knew him better than that.  He was reminding me to fix my eyes on Jesus.  I may have seen him once or twice after that, always with a sweet brother and sister friendship.  He was called to China, I wasn't, so I didn't run into him.  He's been home for 6 weeks and shared at church tonight. Isn't that crazy that I go to the church that raised him up! Anyway, seeing him reminded me that I was once lost.  Seeing a person that watched me in the wilderness and prayed for me and shared their life with me, it was humbling.  I forget, so quickly that I wasn't always here.  I didn't always memorize scripture and find solace in knowing that Jesus paid a debt He didn't owe.  I take it for granted.  I judge very quickly forgetting that it is grace that I know Him and that I recognize His voice.  It was good to see Stephen to be reminded that I was lost, and now I'm not.

So,  I'm aware, and it's good.  I'm grateful that this is doing a greater work in me than simply helping me get to a more desirable weight.  So, the third day wasn't hard, necessarily.  I asked if I seemed more grumpy than usual and Mike said, "not really."  Which I wasn't sure how to take.  I wouldn't say that I was overly grumpy, just sinful, really.  I was irritated that I had to be in the kitchen while everyone else got to play and it was Sunday and it wasn't fair...just regular toddler stuff.  We went to my mother's for the afternoon and took our juices with us and we were pretty glad for the way it worked out.  Again, learning how to do this when you aren't always home. They keep for a bit (recommended for up to 2 days, 3 is stretching it) when stored properly.  So, we had our snack at Mom's and our supper on the way to church.  Now, we are enjoying our dessert.  We were supposed to have a carrot something and I vetoed that idea because I wanted a treat. I am thankful to have a "treat." That's something I need to work on and if anyone reading this has an easy healthy treat that satisfies that treat (too bad there isn't a pronoun for treat...I keep using it) craving, please pass it on. I know I'll need some good ideas when this is over and the real part begins!  I do feel a little bloated or gassy.  I'm just being honest!  I've tried to make sure that I have plenty of water, but they say that can happen.  So, it is.  So, day 3 is supposed to be the worst which is why we started this on a Friday so we could have the weekend together to be miserable, and we weren't so much.  I will say that Mike got a pretty intense migraine yesterday that landed him in bed at 7:30 last night.  To be fair, I think the real problem was dehydration more than anything because he didn't drink a ton of water and he worked in the jungle that is our yard.  So, I think it was coming.  I'm glad he was home and could get the rest that he needed.  He feels fine today and has, of course, lost more weight than me.  He doesn't mind this either, except he was almost willing to eat a plastic french fry that my nephew was serving up!  We both agreed that we don't want anything "bad" but rather something fresh and full of flavor.  I served the children a pasta salad with sundried tomatoes, olives and feta and almost licked the spoon.

So, now it is time to find my way into bed after this 3rd day of victory.  This day of remembrance (sweet that the Lord's Supper was served today, that's a meal I won't miss...unless I'm in sin of course) of how the Lord pulled me out of the mud and mire and put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of of Praise to Him.  He can do that for you, too, ya know.  It doesn't take much.  Admit you can't do it...and that you often times don't want to, and He will rescue you, too.  Then everything that you do will be an act of gratitude to the One to whom you owe your very life.  So, if this is the life He gave me, I'd like to enjoy it...healthy style.

Thanks for checking in!  I'll talk to ya tomorrow at the end of another successful day and maybe I'll even have some pictures!

Sweet Dreams!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Day 2!

So, this isn't as hard as I thought it would be in some respect, and then in some I think, "Wow, 10 days is a good bit of time."  Here is how it's not hard.  The making of a juice.  There isn't a recipe per se with spices and ovens and timers.  You grab what you need and you dump it in.  Ta Da!  Juice.  At least with the juicer I am using.  It's a Breville of some sort.  (Some awesome sort!) So, that's what I was worried about and it's much breezier than anticipated.  The other easy part is that the taste is more than bearable.  In fact, after 10 of these, I am enjoying some of them.  Today the Sport Spice was a bit much, but I drank it and was glad when it was over.  Mike informed me that he just purchased a bunch of beets so I had better acquire a taste!  The children counted to see which one of us could drink it longer.  The coconut water was good after that.  So, those things that I thought would be really difficult, are not.  What is hard is not eating.  I sure do LOVE to eat.  I love the flavors and the textures and the escape that I get from eating.  I'll tell you what, this has been extremely revealing.  I don't necessarily eat to live.  I don't eat for my body, I eat for me.  To take a break, or treat myself, I'm sure this does not sound foreign to anyone.  So, I've seen where I need to repent of running to food rather than Jesus.  I'm not surprised, just a little sad.  I'm a social eater.  We, most of us anyway, are.  Here in America if you are invited to someone's home you ask, "What can I bring?"  Honestly, I always want to bring dessert because I'm so very disappointed when it's not there...or it's not chocolate!  People break out some sort of berry that back and bring out the REAL dessert cause' that looks an awful lot like a healthy snack!  To prove this point, I'll tell you a little story.

Once upon a time, in a world almost forgotten, there lived a young and vibrant college student with very few responsibilities, although she believed she was very busy.  She had an incredible opportunity to travel to a far and somewhat exotic continent where she would live for the summer and tell other college students about the wondrous love of Christ.  I'll skip the middle...although the middle is always the best part (OREOS!) and go to the end where this spoiled rotten, very carefree college student spent about 4 days in the Kalahari Dessert.  It was in a small village that found it strange that these Americans would use their water to wash their dishes.  The students didn't know any better and hopefully didn't do too much harm.  So, the students ate their food outside, for there were no Chick-Fil-A's in Botswana.  At last their adventure came to and end and they packed up and left for a beautiful resort type place where they were going to evaluate their summer and rest.  The first meal that this American ate was delicious, but disappointment came in the form of oranges for dessert.  She contemplated throwing the oranges at anyone or screaming at the top of her lungs.  She chose to eat the oranges and confess her sin.  She had seen the starving children of Africa...and she was to be pitied above all for her thankless and foul heart.

So, I like dessert.  However,  today I saw a side of myself that I haven't seen in a while and it was good.  I went to a baby shower.  Y'all, there was FRIED CHICKEN at this baby shower.  I brought pigs in a blanket (not food...but OH SO GOOD) and meatballs.  There was pasta salad and chips and dip and the table was just laid out beautifully.  However, thinking ahead I brought my "Garden Variety" with me and sipped on that while all others supped on the yummy goodness that is baby shower food.  I did it. I walked in and I walked out and I didn't consume a thing.  I think the victory is that I didn't think I "needed" or "deserved" the food.  I could just believe that I was doing my body a favor and I sipped my drink and chatted with those around me.  Now, if I quit before this is up, then that was completely wasted.  I'll tell you what I realized from that.  It feels good to be self-controlled.  This evening I finished cleaning the kitchen and wiped off the table rather than leaving a few things for tomorrow.  I can truly rest tomorrow.  Exercising self-control, or follow-through is a struggle.  I've seen, through this, that I can do it.  It's not just for other people that are "better" than me.  It's a fruit of the Spirit...the Spirit that I have.  So, it's been strange what I've picked up along the way...even in just two days.  I'm thankful for that.  I don't think a fast is usually about the food...especially not in this country.  There is always something else, a sneaky sin lurking hoping not to be found.  Well, as much as I hate to see my sin...I'm glad to shine a light on it and clean house!

The other hard part is simply being prepared.  It's not like just grabbing an apple so that I don't get hungry, although I will probably do that in the future. It's doing the math and figuring where I'll be and where my blood sugar will be.  I'll tell you this, I was at Wal-Mart today and wasn't prepared.  That place works my nerves when I am not hungry...I was ready to scream.  For real.  They do have self-check outs now, which is awesome since the other 2 lines that were open were flooded with folks taking advantage of tax free weekend. (Why only 2 lines, Wal-Mart? Why?)  So, that was hard, but I hit the coconut water pretty hard when I came home and then Mike juiced me a "Garden Variety." Ohhh weeee!  So, it's just not as portable as food. It will keep in the fridge, but there is no room in my fridge for anything else!  So, I'm sure I'll figure it out, but once this week starts we'll be home anyway, so that will be better.

I think that's it. It feels empowering.  The one thing that I would like to work on is a menu for when this is over. I need to start preparing my list for new meals.  I have a collection of "clean" meals, that my family likes, I just want to move forward.  This is not a "lose it fast" fix.  This is a jumpstart to a healthier life and body that I feel a little better in.

Which reminds me of the conversation I had with my best friend who started her juice fast today.  Her concern was, "Is this the beginning of yo-yo dieting."  We talked about it and felt like it doesn't have to be because this is pretty simple to incorporate.  We've tasted many different juices and can choose some favorites and can replace breakfast or any meal with a healthy jolt of veggies.  I look back on the women that I watched growing up and they usually did what everyone was doing, at least for a time.  We did lowfat, fat free, (I still remember the green Snackwell's box that was Mom's) we did fake eggs, low carbs...and it usually came back to real food.  Sensible meals with little to no white stuff.  I don't feel like there is a ton of guess work.  My uncle is a juice fan and he just goes and buys what looks good and juices it.  It's not that hard.   I don't feel like it's a matter of money or time, but my heart.  What does Ali want?  What do I think I need?  Maybe my "break" is I get to read for 15 myself!  I just need to find something to replace those old treats.  I really think that's the bottom of it.  What do I use food for?  Or does it use me?  So, I will keep on going and start doing some research because I don't want the end of this fast to be the end...but rather a beginning.

Oh, I almost forgot.  I do feel pretty good. I am hungry right now, but I need to go to bed anyway. It'll be like college, drink water and go to bed.  I haven't experienced any major discomfort or irritability that isn't connected with my flesh.  I'm excited to keep going...and right now...going to bed!

Thank you for stopping by!!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Day Uno

So, this wasn't all that bad.  It was a pretty normal day except that we drank our meals.  Mike had to make two of his before he left for work so he had his "to go" and I made mine fresh.  Or rather, Anson made mine fresh.  What is it with boys and things that plug in?  He just wanted to "play" I'm sure!  I did, however, get my meals made for me, so that was GREAT! what was the line-up? Well, I sort of charted our course (or courses...HA) so that we would have a different juice each meal.  This is how it went down:
Breakfast: Apple, carrot, lemon
Snack: 16 oz of unflavored coconut water
Lunch: A "Garden Variety" it was Kale, cucumber, parsley, and apples
Snack: "Sporty Spice" Beets, lemon, orange, celery, carrot, and basil
Supper: "Mean Green" cucumber, celery, apples, kale, ginger, lemon

I am supposed to have "dessert" but Mike isn't back from the store, and I'm actually not feeling like eating. I think I might be hungry, but I can't drink these fast.  It's strange. With most any other drink (like my favorite Coca Cola!) I can just guzzle them down, but not these.  I put them in a glass with a straw and end up sipping on them.  I don't mind the flavor of them at all, I just can't "eat" so much food so fast.  Which makes me wonder why I'm able to guzzle a Coke in a minute.  Probably because it's not real.  (Just real good! :) ) It took me an hour and a half to get the 16 oz of Coconut Water down.  It was strange.  So, day one was fine.  I heard that many people have horrible days, usually day 2 or 3 and I'm just not anticipating that.  I know that my body is in need of a reboot, but I haven't been out lately and had already started to clean things up a teeny tiny bit.  So, I'm hoping for a somewhat uneventful weekend as far as that goes.  I did tell my children today that if I seem grumpy, I'll excuse myself to my room until it passes.  I didn't need a nap (I'm not a huge napper, but I feel like I want one) and I was not groggy or ill tempered. I took the opportunity to read to my boy.  He's so great.  So, now Mike is home and we're going to top the day off with a "peach pie" there will be no flaky crust, but there are peaches so we've got that going for us!  What else, I'm finding I feel fine and don't need to eat, but I'm a constant eater.  For instance, I caught myself SEVERAL times today NOT putting my hand in my mouth.  Like handing Caroline some Mini Wheats, I'm a "one for you, 2 for Mommy" kinda gal.  That was all day.  NOT taking a spoonful of peanut butter when it was out or a Cheez-It at a friends house, or Caroline's crust...that's a lot of random food...or calories anyway that I don't "need" I just put stuff in my mouth. HOLY COW I'm a toddler!!!! That's seriously what happens.  I just wander around putting things in my  mouth.  That's the hardest part, really.  Also, my teeth feel really dirty.  Is that normal?  Like, I need to brush more often.  Hmm.  Caroline LOVES the mean green.  She kept asking for a "sip" and then it cleared things up just before bed time if you know what I mean.  The rest of the children all like the "orange" and "red" drinks, but Julia likes the green juices as well. I'm thankful because we will be incorporating this into our daily diet...somehow.

In other news...a short blog...a "blogella"

My children are like Mary Poppins' carpet bag.  They carry random stuff with them all over the place.  Every place we go.  It's books, and little animals and legos...if they can put it in their pocket, they have it with them.  I am constantly asking them to leave it "in the house."  Mostly, I insist on this because it will inevitably end up in the van and it's a mess.  Well, last night on our big night out Anson lost his altoids box. I know, right, why an altoids box?  Well, apparently you can store some pretty awesome things in this little treasure box, and when it gets lost, it's a super big downer to a 10 year old boy.  So, I humored him and walked back through Kroger and looked through all of the altoids box.  The real treasure is what was in the box...a "custom" Lego figure.  It's actually Anson as a college graduate. I promise that's what he said it was!  So, he was downtrodden and I went ahead with the speech anyway, "I hate to say it, but this is why Daddy and I ask you to keep things in blah, blah...." so we got home and put the large quantities of food away and he showered.  Well, while Mike, whom we all refer to as "Eagle Eyes" was emptying the van, he found the treasure!  Mostly, he found it because he looked for it.  Anson's little face (well, not so little anymore...he's growing up so fast) lit up.  We'd already talked about the parable of the lost sheep and how we can understand how the shepherd rejoices, how Christ rejoices, when that one lamb is found.  So, when his treasure was returned we remembered that the angels rejoice.  It's a big deal when a wandering soul finds rest in the One who left the 99 to find him.  I pray that my children know how the Lord celebrates over them.  You know who else I want to know that?  Me.  God loves me.  He thinks that I have a treasure in my fragile clay vessel.  I do, too.  His Spirit.  Leading, guiding, changing...keeping me close to the One who sought me when I was astray and using His merciful right arm pulled me back into the green pasture that is His.  There was much rejoicing over the altoid box...and much more over the truth that resonates with us all regarding that Amazing Grace that saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost and now I'm found...rejoice, my are in good company when you sing His praise!

So, back to the juice.  Mike just served up a super tasty treat!  It's peaches, blueberries, 1 apple, a sweet potato and a dash of cinnamon.

The verdict after day 1?  I'm looking forward to Day 2.  My belly already feels less bloated and I'm glad for the opportunity to change.

This is breakfast.  

This is the breakfast maker.  He was able to make 4 juices total in very little time thanks to this awesome juicer on loan!  

These are not juices. :)  They are excited to try everything and I'm thankful that they want to be in the kitchen...but were on the other side at this particular time. It gets CRAMPED!

So, we are juicing, not the children.  They made their own lunches because Caroline was with my Mom.  There's my "Garden Variety" amidst the variety!  This is lunch.

This face is sort of honest.  It wasn't horrible, but the cucumber is pretty strong.  I'm sure it's an acquired taste.

Also sort of's really not bad.

Here's my Sporty Spice for my snack.  It's weird that they are all the same size.  There is no "snack size."  I liked this one.

This is what went into supper.  This is the Mean Green.  The lemons were huge!  Even though we cut them in half it was still pretty tart, but a nice change from the Garden Variety.

Now this is TASTY!  Caroline just harassed Mike for "more, more, more" from her bed!  This is the peach pie dessert. I think we'll sip these and then call it a night.  Thanks for checking in!