Monday, January 26, 2009

New Blog

I have a new devotional blog. I'm very excited about the Bible study I'm doing with bloggy friends near and far by Priscila Shirer entitled Can We Talk, and also an up and coming study I'll be doing with the church's women's group by John McArthur, Twelve Extraordinary Women. I'll be posting some of my thoughts there for the other ladies in the group to read, if they so choose, and for my own personal reflection. I'm so much better able to remember what I've learned if I write it. There might be a whole slue of them (I've got a lot to lean), so I decided to make a separate blog. If you are not doing the study, you wouldn't find them of interest.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Diet/Detox Day ?

Are you wondering what became of our diet/detox? Well, we are still juicing for breakfast and lunch, but I never could re-start the "cleansing" soups. After our dabble back into the world of solid food, the thought of pureed veggie soup just made me want to gag. I tried. I wanted to finish the 21 days, but I couldn't make myself eat that soup. I AM SICK OF SOUP! I considered eliminating the evening "meal," but that would have been coming close to starving myself. Which would not have moved me any closer to my weight loss goals. When I did start eating again, I'd gain it all back--and then some--quickly. We made it 12 days. That's pretty good, right? I'm still drinking berries and veggies, and that's sure to improve my overall health, huh? And best of all, I am totally pumped about fasting for spiritual breakthrough. I know now that I CAN do it! I'm excited to see how the Spirit will work in my heart as I participate in this discipline. After a few days, your thoughts are so much clearer.
I lost 10 pounds, and the master lost 15. As soon as the thought of soup doesn't make me retch, I will try for another 10 pounds. That will bring me within my ideal weight range, and I will be able to put the 100% successful stamp on this venture.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, January 19, 2009

Outside My Window...darkness and a slight breeze blowing

I am thinking...that it has been too long since I did "A Simple Woman's" post, and that I have a big day of cleaning tomorrow. I don't know how it happened. The house was in apple pie order on Saturday. How did it go so wrong so fast?

I am thankful new/old job of teaching online. It wasn't what I wanted, but for now, it is the only thing available, and I'm glad to be contributing a even a small amount to the household income.

From the kitchen...I am ashamed to tell you, but honesty is the best policy: fresh baked chocolate-chip cookies. Yes, we've fallen off the diet. That will be another post. We're climbing back on the horse tomorrow, though. Promise.

I am long-sleeve shirt and grey warm-ups.

I am creating...scrapbook pages. Dozens and dozens of scrapbook pages. I've worked all weekend sorting, grouping, and scrapping pictures, some as far back as Rina's homecoming. I've made a resolution to catch up, and once the backlog is cleared, to convert to all digital. I love traditional scrapbooks, but with six kids, there is no way I can keep up. I don't want the kids to be headed to college, and me not having finished their kindergarten graduation. That's where I'm headed, at this rate. I learned from making our birthmom book, digital is SO MUCH faster.

I am going...back to the natural foods store tomorrow to re-stock all of my green drinks and supplements. Letting myself run out of supplies was a major tactical error in the battle of the bulge.

I am reading...Tale of Despereaux (kid's bedtime book). Excellent read.

I am hoping...that a couple in our church will decide to buy this house. We were turned down last week for a home loan and the current owners are getting impatient to sell. While the news was disappointing, it did not take us by surprise. We simply do not have the debt to income ratio to justify (for the bank) a second mortgage--particularly in today's economy. What I dreaded most was having to move again. I also didn't know where we would go, as most rental properties are one or two bedroom. For a family our size, that won't work. The master explained the situation in prayer meeting and put out a plea for folks in the congregation to let us know if they had any information for housing possibilities. Afterwards, a couple approached us and said they would be interested in buying the house and letting us rent from them until we were ready to buy. They came on Saturday to look it over. The husband was nervous about some foundation issues, though, so I don't know if they will make an offer or not. Please hope with me that they do.

I am hearing...Cara finishing her bottle. The dryer tumbling.

One of my favorite things...chocolate-chip cookies. My body didn't need them, but my taste-buds sure enjoyed them.

Around the house...heaps of laundry. General disorder. Sleeping children. And piss ants. Sorry, but I don't know their scientific name. I grew up calling them piss ants. They are the teeny, tiny black ants, and they have invaded en masse. As soon as I track one entry and spray it with insecticide, I find them infiltrating another area of the house. The kids love to alert me to their presence because they get to say the word "piss" without getting in trouble.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...Teaching online, Cara's physical therapy, and gallons of vegetable juice.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...Alas, I'm blogging on my new computer, and I have zero picture files.
To enjoy other Simple Women visit

Saturday, January 17, 2009

They Get It

If the concept is so simple that an eight year old can explain it to a six year old, why can't the rest of the world understand? The following is a conversation I had the privilege of overhearing between Abby and our next door neighbor B:

Setting-Abby, Randy, and B are gathered around Cara's bouncy seat, taking turns making her smile. After a few giggles...
B: Is she your sister?
Abby: Yes
B: But I thought your mom said she didn't come out of her belly?
Abby: She didn't.
B: Then how is she your sister?
Abby: We adopted her, so she is my sister.
B:Oh, o.k.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


A new blog friend, Faith, is hosting a give away. To enter, you must blog about your family pet names. I think I'm actually posting after the deadline, but maybe she will show grace. I've blogged in the past about my father's penchant for nicknames, so I will focus on my kids.
K-widely addressed as 'Bubba' by his siblings. His name is a little tricky for toddler tongues, and Abby deemed it too difficult to even attempt. Abby's motto for life is, "Why trouble yourself?" 'Bubba' he became and I'm afraid he will forever remain. Whenever he is rescuing them from certain destruction [aka Ethyl (we'll get to her later)], they refer to him as 'Super Bubba.' As in, "Super Bubba, saves the day again!" Also, all my kids have F names, K's is 'Frick.'
Abigail or Abby- 'Abs-a-rooski,' 'Abera-ka-dabera,' Her super-hero name is 'Amazing Abby,' and her F name is 'Frak.'
Ian- 'Ian Bian,' 'Incredible Ian, 'Mansie' (pronounced with an /a/ as the vowel in 'caught'), 'Fester'
Marina-'Little Russian Senorita' (because she loves hot sauce, and when we brought her home, she could eat a man-size plate of enchiladas),'Ruthie Robot' (long, long story on this one. Requires a separate post), 'Marvelous Marina,' 'Fiona'
Randy-'Rando Calrecian' (We're Star Wars fans, can you tell?), 'Randy La Rue' (on account of his being our only true coonie baby, with, "a fine French nose.") He is too little to save any younger siblings, so has not been christened with his super-hero title. 'Farcus.'
Cara- 'Cara-Beara,' now this is a crazy one, and I can't even tell you where it came from, but I said it one day, and it just fit her.....wait for it......'Poodles N' Snoodles' And finally, 'Fatima of the Seven Screams.' (You'd have to be a Ray Stevens fan to get that. Fatima only appears when Cara gets off schedule. See post below.)
Me-the master and I generally call each other 'babe' face to face. He introduces me to other people as 'Jessy' or 'Jess.' I have to remind him that is not my name. He said his vows to 'Jessica K______' Never calls me 'Jessica' unless he is very, very angry with me. Lastly--and this is not a nickname for me, this is the name of my alter ego, who has on occasion taken possession of my body--Ethyl. In religious contexts, she is referred to as 'Sister Ethyl.'
J-you know him as 'the master' (not capitalized). This name is only used in blogland. When he reminds me of my dad, he is 'Donald Richard' and when he behaves entirely too much like a S______, he is referred to as 'Aunt Betty.' His alter ego is named 'Herb' or 'Pastor Herb.' Herb is married to Ethyl and together they have six kids: Frik, Frak, Fester, Fiona, Farcus and Fatima. But they are not nice people, you don't want to meet them.

Here's hoping I win the Starbuck's card. Someday--far, far in the future--I may get to use it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day Eight

We are just over one third of the way through this diet. I have lost 9 pounds, and the master is holding at 11 1/2 pounds. I'm starting to wonder if this is any cheaper than W*ight W*tchers, or not. Fresh berries and veggies are EXPENSIVE. So are the supplements and teas. And we consume them like crazy. It may come to this: our bulge or our budget?
Tami commented that by now, she would be screaming for her chocolate. I thought I would be that way, but this diet is different. I set my mind to do this diet or die trying, all the while certain I would be bed ridden by day 2. For, when it comes right down to it, we are actually participating in a kind of fast--something I never thought I could do. I am a person who LOVES food, and I felt I couldn't do without it. Of course, as humans, I realize we can't live without nourishment over time, but I thought I couldn't go a day--a meal--without eating. I got cranky, had headaches, if lunch was so much as an hour late. Long ago, I self-diagnosed myself as hypoglycemic, and I used that (flimsy) excuse for not fasting for spiritual reasons. Over the past week, I've discovered what I really am is addicted. I am addicted to food. "Hello, my name is Jessica S_____, and I'm a foodaholic." This is both a humbling and liberating experience. For the first time in my adult life, food has no hold over me. W*ight W*tchers preached this, but I understand now that I never Incorporated the idea into my belief system: food is fuel. We make it to be so many other things--comfort, entertainment, pleasure, tradition, habit, vice, love, etc.--but it is only fuel. And in reality, our bodies need very little of it.
Update of strange phenomenon: This detox is supposed to bring on strong emotions. "As your body sheds toxins it will also release negative feelings from your system." But again, I didn't look for that to happen. Sounded like a bunch of new age hocus-pocus to me. However, I must report an emotional tsunami, but not, thankfully, during waking hours. I awoke twice this week from dreams literally sobbing, my pillow soaking wet from tears. This has only happened to me once or twice in adulthood and only when I'm pregnant. (I'm not, by the way. Snip, snip, doctor took care of that.) Another night, I woke from a dream in a red-hot, completely non-sensical RAGE. Weird stuff.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Day 6 and7

This diet is different than anything I've done before. Strange, but I don't feel like eating. I was able to prepare a meal for the kids and not taste a bite or desire to. Even when I was whole-hog W*ight W*tchers, I couldn't resist the tempation of a tiny nibble.
I didn't weigh today, but yesterday I had not lost any. I tried on my "skinny jeans" this morning and they are still tight. I'm hoping they will be lose by the time we're done.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Day 4 and 5

I'm going to have to double up on diet/detox post. We were given a brand new computer (how awesome is that?!), and were having some trouble getting the router and modem working in tandem, but after several hours on the phone with technical assistance we are up and working on my 22 inch wide, flat screen monitor. Blogging never looked so good.
Following paragraph falls under the category of TOO MUCH INFORMATION, feel free to skip:
Yesterday's colonic was a slight disappointment. I was expecting to flush all these nasty toxins from my body, but it just didn't happen. I guess Thursday's beets took care of that. Or my long daily use of M*tamucil. At any rate, I have an exceptionally clean colon and lower bowel. That is good news, I guess, but also a little frustrating to pay $35 to find that out. I do think that colonics would be a great therapy for anyone who is suffering from bloating or constipation. I did feel super-d-duper clean from the waist down.
Up until tonight, the evening "cleansing" soups have also been a let down. In truth, I think the master was about to bail on the detox/diet. He said he could not make it three weeks without at least ONE meal that didn't make him gag. I decided to give a little on the ingredient rules for the soups in an effort to keep him on board. You know, short term loss, long term gain. It paid off. Our cream of spinach soup was a huge success. I cut the butter the recipe called for, and used a tablespoon of EVOO instead (still not allowed, according to the diet, but better than butter), and splurged on 1/4 cup of organic half-and-half. The funny thing is, I normally would not touch a "Spinach Soup" with a ten foot pole, but after the things we have been eating over the last few days, I found it DELICIOUS. Even a few of the kids ate it.
Total pounds lost:
The master=10 1/2

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Day 3

I've lost 6 pounds. I don't feel any lighter, but the scales don't lie. The master is down 8. The regimen is starting to become routine.
My "lunch" today was beets, celery, and spinach. The beets messed me up. Won't be juicing any more of those. They may be full of all kinds of nutrients and antioxidants, but I can't handle them. Too bad, so sad, kidneys.
My mom is here taking care of the children's meal preparation. Yeah, I know, I'm spoiled. But I really had no way of knowing how bad my caffeine withdrawals would be. The one time before that I tried to kick the habit, I had migraines. I made plans with her weeks ago to schedule a visit around the third day. This is when you are supposed to feel the crummiest. It is called the "healing crisis." I don't think we've experienced one, but I did feel more hungry. Perhaps 'hungry' isn't the right word....just wanting to chew something.
Strange phenomenon--we have a bright orange coating on our tongues. I think it is the toxins coming out of our body. The master says it usually happens around the third day of a fast, but it has always been white before.
Tomorrow--hot colonic!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Happens...

What happens when you let your highly scheduled baby get off schedule? Well, it isn't pretty, that's for sure:

Day 2

I'm most of the way through day 2. All of the truly nasty beverages have been downed. All that remains is my "cleansing" soup and a couple of mugs of tea. I'll go ahead and post, in case I am not feeling up to it after church.
The master has lost five pounds. I'm sure some of that was water weight, but it is a good start at any rate. He is pleased. The weight is coming off faster than when he does a complete fast for spiritual reasons (around two pounds a day). That makes sense, because unlike a true fast, we are still consuming nutrients, so the metabolism should not switch into starvation mode. The diet promises to shed a pound a day. I have not yet weighed. I wanted to get a weight on Monday, but we had some rainy, cold weather that I did not need to expose Cara to, so I stayed home. I was weighed a few weeks ago at the WIC office, and that was bad enough, without Christmas feasting added in. I may step on the scales tonight at church. I'm a little hesitant to. I mean, what if I haven't lost any? That would be discouraging and might tempt me to give up.
Juicing. I like it. The fresh fruit/berry juice I made this morning was DIVINE! By far the yummiest thing that has passed these lips in two days. Lunch's vegetable drink (cabbage, spinach, carrots, apple, and rosemary) wasn't quite as tasty, but again, I'm able to eat veggies for the first time in my life, my body will thank me!
This diet is supposed to give you "tons of energy." So far, I haven't experienced that, but it is still early. Actually, I feel pretty sluggish and not able to focus as well as I usually do. I'm sure that is due in part to my severance from my beloved coffee. I'm drinking green tea in the morning to take the edge off.
People on this diet report all sorts of strange healings from various chronic health problems, so I'd like to you give you any updates of that sort as we continue. Neither the master or I suffer from bad health. Unless you count his bone disease, and I don't look for him to grow a new leg in the next three weeks. He, he. But, we both noticed yesterday, and even more so today, that we look different. Seriously. We are starting to look younger. The diet promises to, "turn back the clock." But, I was taking that with a large dose of salt thinking, "Sure, anyone looks younger when they drop 20 pounds." Say what you will, but this skeptic can't help but admit: I'm staring at the same reflection I looked at five years ago.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day One

We are one day in our 21 day detox/diet. It is a pretty radical program--you may have heard it called "The M*rtha's Viny*rd Detox." Family and friends who have caught wind of our plan, have all asked us, "Why?" For obvious reasons, we need to diet. The master is at 200 pounds now, the heaviest he has been in his life. While excess weight is not healthy for anyone, it is especially taxing on the bones for someone with his condition. His dad made me promise on our wedding day, that I would not let him become obese, and I always keep my promises. For my part, I have gained the 25 pounds back that I lost two years ago in W*ight W*tchers. It crept up S-L-O-W-L-Y the first 18 months, because I really did incorporate many healthy, sensible eating habits into my life while working the plan. But when Cara was born, and I spent three weeks eating hospital food (which, why on earth, is HOSPITAL food so unhealthy?) and McDonalds, I went into a downward spiral. I've packed on 15+ pounds since June. This calls for drastic measures. I could go back to W*ight W*tchers--I loved that program, and it is an effective, healthy way to lose weight. But the master could not go to meetings with me, it is more expensive, and you have to be extremely motivated to stick with the plan for the long haul. I am just not there. I need to see results RIGHT NOW. I chose this program, because not only do you lose weight, you put your body through a total cleanse. In three weeks, I should have the same weight loss that would represent four months of point counting with WW. The master and I will not be chewing for 21 days. The idea is to let you digestive system rest, so that the body can focus on purging fat and toxins from the body. Water, fruits, herbs, teas and veggies only. No starches, carbs, meat, dairy--nothing that tastes good.
Those of you who know me, know that I hate vegetables. I don't eat them. Never have. I can't stand the texture. Well, that is not a problem, now, because everything is either juiced or pureed. Today, I've consumed more vegetables than my entire life put together--with the exception of infancy, because I'm sure my mom fed me well. I've also experienced the nastiest tastes of my life--Kubacha. It's a fermented Chinese tea. Don't go there. Ever.
Surprisingly, I have not been hungry. I thought I would be ravished, but you have to consume one of your green drinks, juices, or teas every two hours, and they either fill you up and/or are so disgusting, that your appetite is definitely suppressed.
Tomorrow we juice!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back in the Saddle...Sort Of

We are almost one week into the new year, and I am just now feeling like I've arrived. Over the last few days, I've had about a dozen blog posts bob to the the surface of my muddy brain, but they've all submerged too quickly to get them up here. I did manage to pull together a new skin.
I survived Illinois. I considered titling this post "Ill in Illinois" but that wouldn't have really been accurate when considering the entire Eight Hearts crew. They did not come down with the stomach virus until we were all crammed in the 15-passenger for the return trip. For them, I would need to name it, "Miserable in Missouri and All Points South." I on the other hand, developed a tremendous tooth ache our first night out. By the wee morning hours, I was moaning out in pain and my mouth was so swollen I couldn't talk. The next morning, the master began calling every dentist in town (for the teeny, tiny, farming community, that was 2). The first--and the only one recommended to us--was not seeing new, out-of-state patients on the eve of New Year's Eve. Go figure. The second dentist agreed to take me. Praise the Lord! It was either that, or the master was going to take me to the local veterinarian and have me put down. I'm not sure but that the local vet would have been a step up from the crude setting of my dental deliverance. Had I not been in such agony, I would never have sat down in the chair. The dentist's "office" was an old Mexican food restaurant. Five minutes later, the dentist came in told me I had a severely infected/impacted wisdom tooth. He cut it out, and sent me on my way. It still aches, but I think I'm going to make it. Since then, I too, have had the stomach virus, so I haven't had a fair shot on a full recovery.
Tomorrow I am starting a diet/detox program. I'll be blogging all about it--stay tuned!