Monday, December 31, 2012


I feel a little funny writing about this, but at the same time I wanted to simply remember this day as a motivating factor for myself and hopefully for others.  No, I’m not turning 40… yet (thankfully I still have 1 yr, 8 months  and 9 days before that happens… gee no counting here! J ) but I wanted to mark another big 40 in my life …. 40 pounds… gone!  I started this journey in early April and I gave myself 1 year to lose 60 pounds.  Even though I knew I had been seeing results over these last few months, I was still surprised to realize early this month that I was very close to reaching the 40 pound mark.  At first my goal was to make it through the holidays without gaining anything but then when I realized I was so close to such a big marker, my motivation grew and I was able to lose this last little bit and hit my 40 pound mark this past Saturday!! 

It is strange to be in this deep on my journey.  I am a different person, with different cravings and different motivations than I have ever had in my entire life. I still LOVE food, I still LOVE to cook food, I still show MY LOVE to others with food, I just don't "live to eat" anymore; rather, I try to simply "eat to live".  I still enjoy all the food I make, just much less of it.  I can also recognize now that exercise and daily life can go hand in hand. Running is something I now desire to do, always.  I am perusing a book right now titled Run Your Butt Off and one of the writers describes being “hooked on exercise” in the following way. 

“For a while – a long time, it seems – we only appreciate exercise when it is over.  We feel virtuous for having done it, and we’re glad we pushed ourselves out the door.  Whew. Check that off the day’s to-do list. But there comes a point when the actual “during” portion of exercise isn’t so bad, either.  You’re out there and you start running, and it feels much easier than you anticipated it would before you started. You feel like you’ve got a good stride going. In fact, it’s downright invigorating. It goes by quickly, and you’re sort of sorry it has to end. “

 When I began running this spring, I remember praying that I would just stick with this, stick with something that could make a difference.   The Lord graciously answered my prayers.  Now it is not a matter of sticking to it, but the simple fact that as someone who initially detested running, I now truly enjoy it.  As strange as it seems to type it, I think I can officially say … I am a runner. I am not a fast runner, I am not a long runner, but I run. The beauty is that anyone can run.  One thing I have learned over these months is that my view of who a runner is has been skewed.  I have always thought of running as this elite group of people who must be super- human in their desire, motivation and skill. What I have learned is that there is a vast gamut of runners out there.  Very definitely there are your “super-human amazing runners”, but there are also your overweight, clumsy, absolutely NOT athletic, slow runners out there and everything in between.    Another very special factor is that those who are amazing runners are extremely encouraging to those of us who definitely are not. Wow.  It has been a very sweet journey for certain.    

These last few months have also further revealed something special that I was aware of but have been blessed to experience to the fullest recently.  I am surrounded by encouraging and generous people who love me.  Family and friends who are generous with their words of love and encouragement and truly take joy in seeing you succeed.  WOW, what a treasure they are to me.  My biggest encourager has been my dear husband. God has used these last few years and in particular the last few months, to further reveal to me the depth of the man I am married to.   NEVER in all our years of marriage has he said a negative word about my weight, no matter where I have landed on the scale.  He has loved me as equally and fervently in recent years as he did almost 19 years ago when we said “I do”.   I cannot tell you the countless, (literally countless) times in the last few months that he has told me “I am so proud of you” as we kiss goodnight.  His words are true, honest and like gold to me. 

It is strange to be at a weight I haven’t seen in years.  To be in a size I haven’t worn since before Mitchell was born. This past Sunday I wore a dress, a full-fledged dress … something I haven’t done in probably 9 or so years….my girls were thrilled!  Over the years they have asked me why I don’t wear dresses and I simply had to say I didn’t feel comfortable in them.  I know I still have a bit of a journey left.  My initial goal of 60 pounds might change to 70, I don’t know.  I do suspect that these last 20 pounds will be harder than the first 40, but I am ready for the challenge.  Excel still more.


MARCH 2012

 (sorry for the crummy lighting)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Week Memories

Just a few photo memories from this last week!

 Last Saturday we had a great afternoon watching the Washington vs BSU game .... an excellent game that ended with BSU taking the victory at 28-26.
The game was fun but as usual the fellowship with our dear E family
was the sweetest and far exceeded the game!!

Traditional opening and then silly photo of Christmas Eve PJ's from Grandma Honey!

Christmas day with Grandma & Grandpa!

And some general silliness.... possibly too much Christmas sugar!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012


In some ways these 2 years have gone so quickly and at other times the moments have seemed to drag.  I cannot imagine what these last two years have been like for my Gigi. In Heaven with all its splendor, glory, and beauty and being face to face with her Savior; I can hardly wrap my mind around it.   Two years in Heaven is not even a dot on the page in the book of eternity.  To see the physical realities of the faith you treasured, what an amazing hope we have in Christ. 

We miss her, we miss them.  I know it sounds cliché, but I truly will miss them until the day I die. It is no cliché, it is reality. There really isn’t a day that goes by that in some way, somehow I don’t think of them.  We talk of her, we reminisce of her, but I still have a hard time looking at photos of her, of them. They are all around us here as it is mostly framed pictures of Papa and Gigi that grace our home.  The photos are here but I struggle to really look at them as my heart aches when I do.  You know how when you really look at a photo, the memories flood back and you are transported to where you once had been and it seems so real.  Hard to do. 

We will have Top Ramen and Garlic English Muffins tonight for dinner.  A funny memorial dinner isn’t it? Definitely not because that was all she could cook … no way!  She was an amazing cook and the consummate hostess.  We really could be having Stuffed Mushrooms, homemade pasta, Italian Chicken or steak and spaghetti with oil and vinegar salad, Manicotti or one of my favorite birthday dinners she used to make me as an adult …. Calzones!  She was a masterful cook.  No, we are having Top Ramen and Garlic English Muffins because that is what the children remember most that she made for Papa and for them.  The years they lived with us she didn’t cook much at all but Papa loved Top Ramen and Garlic English Muffins, and she loved Papa, so she made him those as often as she could in the early years of living with us.  Mitchell and Isabelle especially have memories of slipping next door to the trailer and joining Papa and Gigi for a lunch of Top Ramen and Garlic English Muffins.  Silly dinner I know, but it fits the memories and gives us a little part of Gigi for the day.
XOXOXO Gigi, I love you. 
"There is something keeping for you, which is worth the having.
Less of you resides out of Heaven now." Samuel Rutherford


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Baking

 Yesterday was a very fun day of Christmas baking with dear friends.  Jodi and I have been friends for many years, she is a treasure to me!  We met long ago in MOPS when all of our kiddos were little, Mitchell was 4, Isabelle was just 6 weeks old and her two, Alyssa and Riley were just 6 & 2!  The Lord has knit our hearts together over the years, and through the ebb and flow of life He has created a strong and deep friendship between us.  I am so grateful for the sovereign hand of the Lord intertwining our lives together as sisters in Christ and dear friends!  Years ago we did Christmas baking together but as our families got bigger and busier our baking together slid by the wayside.  I am happy to say we resurrected the tradition this year and have all intentions to reinstate the baking as an annual event … hopefully! J

We made lots of nummy stuff….  Frosted Sugar Cookies, Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies, Peanut Butter Balls, a perpetual favorite…..Rolo Turtles and our new absolute favorite … Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti from … wow those are CRAZY GOOD!


 Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
1/4 cup olive oil                1 3/4 cup flour             
3/4 cup white sugar           1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract          1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. almond extract      1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 eggs                                 1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees
- In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended.  Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs.  Combine flour, salt and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. 
- Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand
- Divide dough in half.  Form two logs (12x2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.  Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily. 
- Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown.  Remove from oven, set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees.
- Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 - 1 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet.  - Bake approximately 8-10 minutes or until dry.  Cool. 
*A couple notes- the dough is VERY wet and seems almost too wet to form into a log but it does work.  Also, we dipped ours in chocolate for extra yumminess!


Friday, December 21, 2012

A Gathering of the Who's

Izzzy-Lou Who and Shelley-Sue Who off to a Whoville Party with some nummy Who-Pop!
Much fun was had by all! 

The original recipe for the candied popcorn was found here … Fruity Kool-Aid Candied Popcorn … but I will share the Honey Who - Pop recipe with my adjustments. Since this recipe was somewhat similar to my caramel corn I knew how I wanted to adjust it.  I halved everything in the recipe except the baking soda and I didn’t use a candy thermometer.  Having made my caramel corn so often I know you simply get it to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.  We used Tropical Punch flavored Kool-Aid so the popcorn had a “fruity pebbles” flavor, but you could use any flavor you want! 
Honey Who - Pop
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup butter
1 envelope Kool-Aid any flavor
1 tsp. baking soda
15+ cups popped popcorn (I popped 3 batches of popcorn in our Whirly Pop)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Be sure to remove all of the popcorn kernels and place popcorn into a large bowl. 
Lightly grease a large turkey roaster pan or a jelly roll pan.  A turkey roaster pan with sides just makes it easier when stirring the popcorn during baking but I use both kinds of pans all the time. 
In a small bowl combine the Kool-Aid packet with 1 tsp baking soda, set aside.
In a medium size saucepan melt the sugar, corn syrup and butter over medium heat. 
Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. 
Remove from heat and stir in the Kool-Aid and baking soda mix. Stir for a solid 20 - 30 seconds until all is mixed well.  The mixture will foam but that is expected.  
Pour the hot sugar mixture over the popped popcorn. 
Work carefully but quickly and mix until well combined. 
Spread popcorn into the turkey roaster or jelly roll pan.
Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. 
Remove the popcorn and immediately spread it out onto waxed paper or foil to cool.  Break it apart into pieces as you lay it out.  Store in an airtight container to maintain crunch

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pumpkin Snowmen

I felt badly about throwing out our cute pumpkins at the end of fall so we decided to turn them into snowmen. I am NOT a crafty person but, I did a quick search and found this fun blog post and the process seemed (and was) pretty simple.  I spray painted the pumpkins we used for the body and head white and the ones we would use for the hats I spray painted black.  After I initially spray painted them white, the orange was still showing through and Chad suggested spray white primer instead of paint and that worked very well for coverage (then I remembered that the gal who did the post said something like that!).  We let them dry a day or so then we used shish kabob sticks to hold the three pumpkins together, we didn’t use any glue for stacking.  We simply stacked them up with the shish kabob sticks, hot glue gunned on the buttons for eyes, the leaf for a nose and the cranberries for the mouth.  We had to cut the leaf to the desired shape and we found that cranberries cut in half worked better also.  Isabelle ripped some material to make the scarves and wala… pumpkin snowmen!! 




Isabelle named hers "Cindy Lou Who"