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June 16, 2015

Monday - Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...
Tuesday June 16, 2015

Outside my window...
More sunshine!
We live in a city that is nicknamed The Sun City so we see a lot of it.

I am thinking...
about a summer calendar.
Summer officially begins on Sunday/Father's Day and we have already started some things since the children got out of school last week but I have a bit more thinking to do.

I am thankful...
that my Marine is almost done with training and will be heading to his duty station soon. We continue to see God at work in his life and are so grateful for the blessings that are being poured out on him right now.  Military life is not easy but it has been rich and rewarding so far for our son and we know God's plan for his life has put our boy just where he needs to be.

I am wearing...
My favorite denim capri pants and a taupe blouse today.  I am always tooling around in my brown sandals, too, this time of year.  I am not much a sneakers and socks kind of girl... which is not good if you do the Flylady plan but I love my sandals.

I am creating...
new menus and recipes to keep me on track with my eating plan.  I am still working through the Whole30/Paleo elimination plan and contemplating some more changes come July.

I am going...
out to the DMV/DPS to get my daughter her driving permit.... and to the grocery store for a big run and then home to the cool of the house while the day heats up.

I am wondering...
if I should put a sewing or crochet project together this week or clean out something instead.  I have to choose or I will get nothing done!  LOL

I am reading...
Just started these two yesterday... yes, reading more than one at a time.  I am reading one devotionally and the other in the afternoons for personal growth.

Your Sacred Yes by Susie Larson

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

I am hoping...
to have a quiet weekend for Father's Day.  Dan and I are both on the introvert side and enjoy quiet weekends but rarely get them.  We are in need of one as a family.

I am learning...
to write the Hebrew alphabet as I study with the Love God Greatly study on Psalm 119.  I am learning a new letter with each passage and practicing it.  I am also studying Korean all summer but wanted to learn the Hebrew alphabet as each letter is given in the Psalm chapter.  I pulled out my calligraphy pens.... how fun!

In my garden...
I am getting ready to turn over the soil and prep the bed for winter squash, root veggies, onions, garlic and some broccoli and maybe Brussel Sprouts.  June is when that starts... Father's Day is when the pumpkin seeds start going in.  I love an Autumn garden!  I did not do much of a summer garden but am still tweaking my herb garden so those will grow year round for me.  No pictures today... maybe in a week or so.

In my kitchen...
I am prepping more summer salads and fresh fruit.  I love all the fresh produce this time of year.  I am also cleaning and clearing stuff.  It has just exploded and needs a purge.  One thing I am going to be doing in the next week is starting the canning on the berries again.  Strawberry and blueberry jams and maybe something with peaches.  I have pulled the peaches off that tree because of the birds and hope to add a peach cobbler to one of our dessert days soon.  I am letting them ripen on the counter right now.

I made these Plantain Baked Fries this past week.... you might enjoy the recipe, too!

The fruit salad from this photo can be found here...

and that burger is all my recipe with sweet potato bun for me and regular buns for everyone else.

and a favorite breakfast lately

A favorite quote for today...

A peek into one of my days...

One of my favorite things...
Enjoying this now since I cannot have dairy anymore.
This certainly hits the spot nicely!

Post Script...

A couple of links I will be coming back to this week are:

A Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe

An Informative Little Article on the Summer Solstice and what it is from Farmer's Almanac.

13 Ways Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time

Peaches in Paradise... a tribute to Elisabeth Elliot

The Simple Woman's Daybook is the creation of The Simple Woman and there is a weekly link up for those who participate.  See more about this on her website.

June 15, 2015

Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans

Overview of this book…
Basically the author is telling her personal story of her relationship to local churches she has attended.  She shares her frustration with the theology, approach to people and the politics of those churches.  She shares it in a format that hits 7 sacraments taken from a variety of denominations.  She, in the introduction, said she did not want to write it but was pushed into telling her story.  She said that her story has not come to an end and I suspect she will write another one as she works through more of it.  Her fans will be overjoyed I suspect.  

Her story is one of becoming fed up with and leaving the church and somehow finding her way back to something she could live with.  Her story is one I see with many in the church today but it is not a new story.  Many people have, over the 2,000 year history of the church, wrestled with what the church should look like.   Something… or someone, kept drawing her back.  Here is her story of walking away and coming back.  I am just sad to say that her coming back was not really coming back in a way that felt like she was comfortable with her decisions.

My reaction…
This book troubled me from the first opening passages.  I pushed through and read hoping for some kind of Biblical resolution and there was some but the author seemed angry and unsettled throughout the entire book.  It probably would have read as less angry to me if I had not just finished Crazy Love by Francis Chan before reading this one.  Chan writes with a deep passion and love for a very flawed church but Evans seems angry and condescending toward the church. 

Before you ask if I have ever been hurt by a church I will tell you that I have been hurt very deeply by churches.  I am a pastor’s wife who has had to have conversations with my own children about why people who claim to be Christian treat each other so ugly.  I have been hurt deeply in several churches but I never left.  I did not say I did not want to leave… I just chose not to.  There were times I dragged myself out of bed on Sunday out of obedience to God and out of respect for my husband.  I take God’s word very seriously when He says that we should not forsake the assembling together in His name.  I found other groups outside of the church with Christian women who were not from our congregation in times when I found it hardest and they became my church family during those hard times.  Even in that I still sat in that chair during worship on Sunday morning.

It was troubling to me how she just kept bashing the church.  Did I agree with some of what she said?  Yes, I did… the church is in crisis and in need of change but her view of a solution is more about social and political ideology change than a real revival of God’s people or the act of true discipleship to bring others to Him.  When we look at the times in scripture when the people turn back to God it is always when God’s word is opened up, truth is preached unashamedly, and the people see who they are and repent.  Even today around the world the revivals are happening when God’s people open His word and realize who He is and what He is really saying to the church.  People are truly hungry for His word.  The leaving and rebelling happens when they are more about themselves feeling good about their sin than the church in many cases.  The message has not changed.  We cannot soften it just to make some happy.  Our goal is not to give people what they want to hear… tickling the ears.  God’s word does not return void and we should be sharing it with the world.  His word is one of the agents of change in our churches and in the world.

I think the biggest issue I had with her perspective is that I felt that she was continually questioning God, Himself, in scripture.  It continually seems that she does not see God’s word as inerrant.  She questions scripture outside of the words of Jesus as if the only parts that can be trusted are the red letters in the Bible.  That is dangerous.

I cannot and will not recommend this book because I feel it is misleading about who God is and His call upon the church.  I am truly sorry she has been hurt by the church.  She is not the first nor will she be the last.  The church is made up of sinful flawed rebellious people who are in need of constant repentance but God did ordain the establishment of the family and the church and to think you know better than God to say He did not is not something I want to be responsible for telling others to read.

This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review... you just got honest!  LOL

This book was provided by BookLook by HarperCollins Christian Publishing for this particular review.

June 09, 2015

Whole30 - Permanent Changes

The verdict is in on several foods now and I will be making a clean sweep of my kitchen and rebooting the gluten free lifestyle.  I have had adverse reactions to several things to such a degree that I do not ever want to put those things in again on purpose... (or by accident if I can avoid it)

I will no longer be able to eat:

*  Dairy in any form other than maybe yogurt is out.  I still need to do the test on that to see if my stomach tolerates it.  Ice cream was a HUGE NO!

*  Soy of ANY kind in ANY products... no soy flour, oil, beans, tofu, soy sauce... etc.  It is not a good food for me at all.  It makes me quite ill to have it even small amounts now.

*  Wheat products.... I had a very strong reaction to it yesterday and am still feeling the effects 24 hours later.

*  Nothing with nitrites or sulfites....also no MSG EVER.  I get headaches and immediate hive like responses on my skin.

*   Sugar is still a no no as a general rule and I will be finding alternatives for some occasional treats because a girl needs something chocolate every now and again.... and I can have cocoa/cacao.

I still have to test beans/lentils, oats (it will be gluten free oats), quinoa, rice, peanuts, I still have a great deal of work but at least I know some of my triggers now and can actively seek to make those changes.  I am seeking to be ready to do another Whole30 in the fall with the Autoimmune Protocol revisions.

I am not dwelling on the negative, though.  There are some awesome foods I can eat and do more regularly now.  I do feel better on the days when no allergens are in my system and the testing phase is a bit hard but it is so very profitable.

I will share more changes as I make them and a plan once I figure all of this out.  In between allergy testing I am sticking to the Whole30 safety net and trying new ways of making veggies and adding some new meats to the mix.  It is a new adventure and if you have read my blog very long you know I love a new adventure!

Until next time...



June 08, 2015

The "Do Summer" Post

School ends in 3 days.... 2 days for the teens and youngest and 3 days for Dan the Band Directing Man.

That means we need a plan.

In steps Jon Acuff and his brilliant mind with a plan tailor made just for our ever learning family.

Our children don't look forward to summer so they can play video games and sleep late.  Well, the sleeping late part might be a dream but Dan is not one to let them sleep in.  He rumbles through the house every morning with phrases like... "You're burning daylight!"  or "Never know you kids were farm bred the way you sleep in!"  He says, "If you want to sleep more go to bed earlier!"  LOL  Yep... he is a taskmaster.

Our kids look forward to uninterrupted music practice and reading books.  They look forward to time to work on projects they have been putting off because of the piles of homework.  They look forward to scout camps and youth camps and mission trips and odd jobs to earn money for band fees.  They spend time at the pool or hiking, biking, running, working out, etc... They are hard working kids.

That is not to say they are in any way perfect.... there are teen discipline issues that rear their ugly head from time to time and I am still working out the parenting on that on a daily basis.  Each one is very different from the other so they all need their own approach.  It is tiring...  no doubt, but lazy and bored, they are not.

Sure, there are the odd moments when we catch them watching a Rhett and Link or Jimmy Fallon Hashtag video on or playing a quick game of Trivia Crack with each other or a friend but they don't hang out online much.

Our youngest is the only one who ever asks to play a video game but that is because he is the only one who OWNS any... he is a Legomaniac with the video game stack to prove it.  The only problem (to him anyway) is that he plays fewer games.... almost none, really, in the summer while everyone is home to keep him company.

So, Jon Acuff.... he has a plan.... a Do Summer Plan for the whole family.

We have printed off the paperwork and now everyone has to choose something to work on specifically for 15 minute increments each day between today and September 8.  It can be anything they want to learn more about or get better at.  It can be specified music practice or reading a specific book or books.  It could be learning more about something they are interested in or working on a skill like reading or learning a language.  It could be picking up a new instrument for the summer.... in my daughter's case it could be guitar or Ukulele.  Anything they want for 15 minutes increments for 3 months until they hit 25 more more hours spent doing it or learning it or whatever...

I have decided to kick my Korean studies into high gear because I don't know if we will even have a teacher in the fall and I want to build the habit of studying on my own.  I am shooting for 30 minutes a day.  Sure, I have other goals, too, but Korean will be my timed project for the next three months.  My goal is to begin to have some light conversations with people at church to practice and to this point I am still not able to do that.  I have some vocabulary but am still bumfuzzled (yes, this is a real word) by the grammar and putting it all together.  I am about to change all of that starting today!

So, to make it official...

Specific - Learning Korean Basic Language through a variety of methods...  learning video from YouTube, Audio Language Learning on my ipod, flashcards for vocabulary, reading Korean texts, translating specific words in my Korean Bible as I learn to make those connections.

Measurable - I will be able to increase my vocabulary by at least 10 new words per week and keep track of the time spent in study.

Attainable - by using a variety of methods and practicing in 15 minute increments this should be fully attainable

Relevant - to learn to speak Korean and communicate with Korean people from our church makes this a very necessary and relevant skill to have.

Time Based - 15 minute increments for 3 full months for 25 or more hours practice should bring this skill into better use by Autumn of 2015.  At that time I will reevaluate my lessons and prepare to increase my knowledge in a new plan next semester.

Do you want to join me?

Do you have a plan for summer for you and your family?

Feel free to share with me in the comments or if you write a post about it please leave a link for me to be able to check out what you are up to, too!

Let's make this summer count!


June 06, 2015

Saturday - Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...
Saturday June 6, 2015

Outside my window...
It is getting hot out there... we have been in the mid to upper 90's all this past week.  Last night there was a bit of rain and so there is a little more green out there today with the sun high and hot.  The peach trees are full again this year and our June tree is going to need to be covered because the birds have started attacking them.  The covering will go up this afternoon or early evening or we won't have a peach to eat.

I am thinking...
about summer plans a lot today.  The children have two more days of official school and then we are on break.  This crossed my path yesterday and we will be using it for personal growth in music, reading, writing, studying God's Word, etc... 

Check out his Facebook page and video overview of the plan here.

Everyone will write their own goals and we will be growing and learning about things we love all summer.

I am thankful...
for our youth group at our church.  I am thankful that our children love going to church and spending time with other Christian teens.  I am thankful that they love praise band time, Bible study time, and fun and games with their friends in such a positive place.

I am wearing...
My favorite denim capri pants and purple girly t-shirt.  I have a sweater on because our air conditioner is running a lot more with the heat outside.  I tend to be more cold than everyone else so when they are comfy I wear a sweater and I am fine with that.

I am creating...
a schedule for my summer so that I can plug in all the things I have not had time for lately... crochet, sewing, more reading, exploring new recipes, etc... 
A girl needs her hobbies!

I am going...
through closets and drawers this next week to purge the excess.  I started reading more about this this week...

check out the TED Talk on the blog post... it is fabulous!

I am wondering...
if I should take a salad to church dinner tomorrow along with the watermelon and cookies I already have ready.  Salads are always a good veggie option for me when there might not be much more I can eat at these things.  I am still basically eating the Whole30 way with a few tests being done every few days.

I am reading...
My daughter and I are planning on reading some books together this summer.
One we decided upon today...

She is reading it in preparation for Senior English and college and I am reading it because I never finished it the first time I had it in the pile.

I am hoping...
for much more time for reading this summer... because I have a ginormous stack to work through and I want to start them all NOW!

I am learning...
I am getting ready to start a new study with the Love God Greatly girls and we will be in Psalm 119 for the summer study.  Registration starts Monday June 8th and the study begins June 15th.  It is COMPLETELY FREE!  I enjoy their Bible studies like this very much.

Check it out here...

In my garden...
We picked apricots this last week and had a Paleo Apricot Crisp last night.  The apricots are still small and bitter each year but I managed to save them from the birds better this year.  I love birds folks, but... mercy, they love my fruit trees!

Covering that peach tree today.

The Man pinning the netting fabric.

The are lovely and bigger than last year's crop!

I am still being lazy about gardening this year but have my eye on a few seeds for fall crops.  I am hoping to really focus on the fall and herb gardening this year.  I love being out digging in the dirt in the early morning hours and in the cool fall mornings especially.  It stays very warm year round here so a winter crop is possible if you have the right veggies, too.

In my kitchen...

Here is that Paleo Apricot Crisp.

A favorite quote for today...

A peek into one of my days...

Our sweet fur baby, Stormie Weather.  She is now 12 years old.  We have had her all of her life!

One of my favorite things...
My Moleskine Bullet Journal is my very favorite organizing tool!

You can learn more about their notebooks, calendars, and journals here

From the board room...

This link will also take you to this page on amazing Reading Nooks..... so dreamy!

Post Script

I have Lupus and I have been on a mission to find solutions for making me feel better through better nutrition.  I have found that the Whole30 and mostly Paleo way of living is most successful for me at this time.  Two of these links connect with that aspect of my life and the third one is just plain fun!

My Favorite Breakfast these days comes from Paleo Cajun Lady...
I make my own sausage for this from ground pork or ground chicken.

Do you like the Simple Woman's Daybook Meme?  You can find her blog here and link up each week as you share your one daybook entry.

June 02, 2015

A Birthday Menu for an 11 Year Old

We celebrated a day early because Tuesday is our weekly Day of Insanity!

Birthday Meal on the table

The Hogbake

The Trifle

Hotroot Sunsalad

Birthday Boy

Strawberry Fizz

Birthday Plate

Here is a link to someone else (Fiction Food Blog) who shared the same dishes.  
Not sure how legal it is to put the recipes up but she did so snag them here if you wish!

June 01, 2015

Whole30 - The Results

Are you ready?

I lost 8 pounds and 8 inches total in the month of May.

The other No Scale Victories include but are not limited to...

No more hot flashes
better skin
better digestion
no bloating... or very little if I do have any
less sinus and ear pressure
eating less naturally
I stop eating when I feel satiated
I realized I needed to start a multivitamin
inflammation is less and less each week
better sleep
more energy
clothes fit again

I am going to keep at it with this as my primary way of eating and I will add in a few things to see how I react but for the most part I think I am done with bread and sugar.  I will indulge with birthdays a bit but not go over the top.  My first big test is this week with my youngest's birthday.

I feel better than I have in years eating this way.  That is not to say I don't get tired or need to rest but I can tell it is making a difference.  I am adding exercise this month and will do an end of June update.  If anyone has questions about food or the process feel free to contact me or to check out the website for more.

I get my new Well Fed cookbook today.... stay tuned for more yummy as I explore more recipes this month, too.

Link it


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