Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Women's Wellness Wednesdays: What are YOU craving today?

I remember those evenings, when all the children were finally in bed, my husband was working the night shift so he was not home, and I was sitting on my couch in front of my TV.....exhausted.
It would hit me.
A bowl of ice cream sounds really nice right now!!
Or, how about that bag of pretzels?
Gonna wash it down with a Diet Root Beer.

When I changed up my diet over a year ago, I noticed something remarkable.
I gradually stopped craving sweets.
Sweets like anything chocolate, breads (which are almost all carbohydrate and are changed into sugar in your body for energy), diet soda, juices, cookies, desserts, etc.
I cut out desserts and sweet treats and ice cream and dairy, and I noticed that I didn't think about those kinds of foods, didn't have the afternoon crashes of energy, and pretty soon could walk past the dessert table at church functions without even thinking about it.

Recently, I came across some really helpful information:

(click on the above image to see it larger)

We were indeed designed by God to crave things.
But I don't believe it was his intention that we crave food.
When we CRAVE something to eat, there is usually something off balance in our body.
Cravings are an internal mechanism wired into our bodies to alert us to something necessary that we are missing.
God intended that we crave HIM.
Lysa Terkeurst, in her book Made to Crave, said:

"Yes, we were made to crave - long for, want greatly, desire eagerly, and beg for - God.
Only God.
But Satan wants to do everything possible to replace our craving for God with something else.
Here's what the Bible says about this:
'Do not love the world or anything in the world.  
If anyone loves the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes
and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father
but from the world.  1 John 2:12-16'"

What a revelation for me to realize that the Devil uses our physical cravings to distract us from the One true source of all I need.
My sense of comfort, my desire to "reward" myself,  my lonliness, or boredom, or frustration.....all should be taken to the Lord.
I should be looking to Him to meet those needs in my life!

Another helpful article on physical cravings and the source of those can be found here:

When I walked away from those sweets and dairy products, I had to replace it with something else.
Something healthy, nutritious, better balanced.
And guess what?!
Those are the things I still look forward to and.....crave, if you will

In her book, Lysa also said:
"Cravings.  Are they a curse or a blessing?
The answer to that depends on what we're craving.  
And what we're craving will always depend on whatever we're consuming......
the object of our desire or
 God and his truth."

What are you craving today?
Mashed potatoes with gravy?
Macaroni and cheese?
Ice cream?
Chocolate chip cookies?
Chocolate chips?

Are you REALLY hungry,
or do you eat an unhealthy amount of those things causing an imbalance in nutrients and minerals
in your body that keep you satisfied and full of energy all day?

Or do you.....
"....As newborn babes, desire (crave) the sincere word of God
that you may grow thereby..."
1 Peter 2:2


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Terrific Tuesday: Pumpkin Patch 2012

Every year for the last 9 years (give or take a year) we have visited the Pumpkin Patch in October!
This year was no exception.
We invited dear, long-time friends to go with us, and it turned into a sort
of homeschool group outing.
We always have a great time, but this year was especially fun!!
(Warning:  Lots of pictures ahead!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Terrific Tuesday! Texas State Fair 2012

We have to be really creative and do a lot of planning when it comes to fun family outings on a budget.
One way I have found to be so helpful is to just start looking around early for great deals.
The Texas State Fair is an amazing event to participate in, but it's not cheap.
You could so easily drop $1000 or more in a day there on just admission, rides, fair food, and the purchase of one Vitamix offered at a "Special Fair Price" of only $449!"

Fortunately for those of us with large families, there are Canned Food Drive Wednesdays!
Bring in 3 cans of food per person and admission is only $2 per person.
We happened to snag 5 free tickets from a couple different sources, so our total cost on admission was only $6 for 9 of us (a savings of over $100 on the price of regular admission!)

We carried our lunch and snacks in and prepped the children that we wouldn't be buying the overly priced fair food.  I bought a ton of prepackaged junk food that we don't normally buy so it would all be a big treat for them.  I ended up with FIFTY little snack bags and 15 sandwiches.  We brought home 5 sandwiches.
We also carried in drinks as well.

My mother-in-law was able to go with us this year (since she just retired a couple weeks ago!!), and she gave each of the children $5 spending money.  I saw that either go towards french fries or pooled together for one ride.
I always plan out the free shows we want to see so we are in the right place at the right time.
It's always a bummer when you want to see the dogs perform at 11am, but you're way on the other side of the park!!
The weather was beautiful, and we all had such a great time this year!!

Waiting to see the dog tricks!! 

Displays in the Creative Arts Building

Couldn't believe I was seeing this beautiful "Mrs. Beasley" Doll. 
 I loved mine to her death! 

This beautiful doll was AH-mazing!! 

Another really fun show!

 We were waiting for a trained bird to fly out of the car at the very top of the ferris wheel to soar down to the stage here.

This was a person wearing this spectacular tree costume.
He had lots of fun scaring people!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Type 1 Update: Parenting a tweenager with T1!

Let me just state at the outset here that I'm about to do some serious venting.
I'm not gonna sugar-coat......raising a healthy, care-free child is a challenge!
Raising a medically fragile child, who looks otherwise very healthy and happy, presents a whole new set of challenges on top of the normal, every-day challenges.

Our second daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in February of 2009.
She was not quite 9 years old.
She is now 12.5 years old.
After her initial diagnosis, her A1C's were in the 7 - 7.5% range.
Last week her A1C was 9.9%.
For those unfamiliar with how those numbers translate, we are working towards blood sugar numbers in the 80-150 range.
With an A1C of basically 10%, her blood sugar numbers are averaging around 275.
That presents a higher risk of long term complications related to uncontrolled blood sugar.
Makes a Mama worry.

Clearly, we've been struggling to keep her blood sugar numbers under control.
Her endocrinologist just sat in his chair with our charts in his hands and a baffled look on his face.
There is no pattern.
No rhyme nor reason when you see it on paper.
Her ratios are so tight right now......1:4 and 1:3 for meals.
She takes 24 units of Lantus at both breakfast and bedtime.
And we're STILL running an A1C of 9.9%
Can you say.......mind-NUMBING!

But I do have an explanation.
We are not just forgetting that this disease must be monitored every moment of the day.
We know that she MUST check her blood sugar at the very least 4 times a day.
Before every meal.  Every time.
And before bedtime.....every. single. night.
Never a "free" night.
It's relentless.  Brutal sometimes.
It's hard to be a kid when you really can't be.
You really can't have that extra piece of cake at your friend's birthday party.
Not without another shot of insulin.
Every.single. morsel that goes in her mouth must be accounted for.
No casual grazing through the afternoon.
No free samples while you're shopping at Costco.
No snatching that extra cookie on your way out the back door.
Not without proof of that that shows up in a very high blood sugar reading later on requiring extra insulin, lots of water, and complaining from your Mom.
Every. single. time.

And what if you don't really know exactly how many carbs on your plate?
It's sometimes hard to know many carbs are in that piece of pizza, but when you add some chips and grapes to the plate......
It's just easier to guess.....
Unless you're 12.5 years old and not a good guesser.
High blood sugar again.
Pretty soon......with all the guessing, not bothering to check before you eat but just medicating for what is on your plate, stuffing a handful of chocolate chips in your mouth at 3 in the afternoon,
and voila.......your A1C is 9.9%

So I asked some advice of our endocrinologist.
I asked him how to parent that.
Should I discipline for breaking protocol?  Not following the rules?
When you're trying to train your tweenager to be more responsible, more independent, do you take away privileges when you see her not checking her blood sugars before meals?
Should I holler at her when I see her sneaking a handful of something between meals without medicating?
I don't know what it's like to live with a terminal disease that demands maintenance every. single. day.
I don't want her to loathe and hate this.
I don't want her to miss out on being a kid.
I do want her to accept it and be responsible and to WANT to have the best quality of life possible.
I want to see her just do what she needs to do.

His advice was wise and, I thought, very kind.
He suggested being supportive and to take a "coaching" approach.
Be a cheerleader of sorts.
Offer to just be with her when she does her shots.
Ask her if she needs help with counting her carbs.
Don't be negative, but be positive.
Some 12 year olds are more in tune to things and their "responsibility gene" (as he called it) has kicked in.
Clearly, ours has not yet.
I have found that our child really WANTS to please us and have good numbers.
She just does better with a companion right now.
She does NOT bristle when we gently remind her.
She generally does NOT complain......about anything related to her every day diabetic care.
She has always had a wonderfully sweet heart and delightful sense of humor.
She's just not quite ready to be on her own yet.

But don't we all do better when someone helps carry the load?
I don't know how I would cope with all I've been given without that Divine Presence to help me.

  • He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
    He sendeth more strength when the labors increase,
    To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
    To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

    • His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
      His power no boundary known unto men,
      For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
      He giveth and giveth and giveth again.

  • When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
    When our strength has failed ere the day is half-done,
    When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
    Our Father's full giving is only begun.

  • Source:

    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    Monday Fundays are now......Terrific Tuesdays!!!

    If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you're familiar with the term "Monday Funday."

    If you're haven't, say you've recently stumbled across my blog, and you're interested in why we created this fun homeschooling here.

    This year, I had to switch our schedule around a little bit to accomodate the English class my older girls are taking away from our home.
    The class is from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm, so we really wouldn't have time to do a whole lot until nearly 2:00 pm.
    Rush hour in the local big cities starts around 3:30 or 4:00 pm, and we wouldn't have a happy chauffer (Daddy) if we waited that late in the day.
    I talked with my husband about this mini-dilemma, and he agreed to switch his part-time job day from Tuesday to Monday, leaving Tuesday as his bonefide, guaranteed day off.

    So now, we enjoy our field trips and fun days on Tuesdays......hence, the name.....Terrific Tuesdays.
    Our first fun outing Tuesday for the new school year came two weeks ago.
    We headed out to one of our very favorite places that never seems to tire my children, the Dallas Zoo.
    It was a beautiful day and our youngest was so excited to see the "giraff-es."
    Daddy always promises to get them all giant ice cream cones when we go, and the tradition continued on this visit as well.