Saturday, May 31, 2014

Monthly Milestones {6}


Today is my sixth time running my monthly feature where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc. and in which you can link up a post about some form of progress you are making, if you wish (see details below). I am enjoying this, and being publicly accountable (as hard as it is) will and is helping me out tremendously.  I hope you enjoy this link-up as well, will link up something inspiring and share it with others so that we can meet our goals together! :)

I know this link-up is about a week early, but I will be on vaca next weekend, so I cannot do it then.  I thought having it early would be better than having it late.  I hope you all agree. :)
Anyway, here is how I am doing so far:
 


Me, today, May 31, 2014, at 228.5 lbs.
   
  1. I've gained half a pound.  The one thing I feared has happened; I've had to share the fact that I've gained, not lost, this last month.  I know, I know - it's only half a pound.  It could be a lot worse.  I am still not happy about it.  When you want to be losing, any gain, no matter how small, is frustrating.  Hopefully, I can say differently next month, and I will keep plugging away.  Wish me luck! :)
      
  2. I've been more active!  I don't know if you can tell without directly comparing the last picture with this one, but (even though I've gained a little) I have gotten more toned.  I've been going on pretty much daily walks, and I know that's helped with my toning, sleeping and energy level.  I am loving this warm weather! :)
     
  3. I'm still working on what I can and can't eat.  I am still trying to figure out exactly what it is that is giving me IBS issues.  I have cut back severely on fried foods because they seem to bother me most.  I have found a bread that is soy-free and contains organic and natural ingredients that my body seems to tolerate really well.  I do know, though, that I cannot eat as many carbs as I'd like of any sort.  They make me hold onto weight quicker and longer than anything.  I have noticed a possible issue with corn, too.  So, I am going to be looking into corn and gluten more closely for now, and possibly dairy and peanuts/tree nuts (they are on my suspect list, too).  I am not sure that these are things I necessarily have to eliminate from my diet, but I may have to cut back on them a lot or be very picky about their source or what I combine them with.  I'll keep you posted.
  4. My niece, Lili, is doing great!  As I mentioned during the last link-up, my niece, Lili, was born with a heart valve that wouldn't close almost 3 years ago.  The doctors had hoped it would close on its own, but it has not, and she is in need of surgery to fix it.  Her surgery was on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, in Ghana, West Africa, where her parents (my brother and his wife) are missionaries, and it was a huge success.    She goes back in 2 months to make sure that her heart is shrinking back to normal size.    Continued prayers are needed in that regard.  Thank you!  To read more, please visit Patty's blog here.
     
  5. I am still working on those exciting plans for my blogs!  I've started on some of the changes, but they are slow going.  I'm adding more "alternative names and helpful links" pages on Natural and Free.  I've been able to get one up for milk and eggs, and have plans for one on shellfish/fish/seafood and one on tree nuts/peanuts.  I hope to have those pages up before I go on vaca.  I also made a page for anaphylaxis info over having the info in the side bar.  This is just the first series of changes.  Exciting times here, for sure! :)
     
  6. The boys have finished all their coursework!  My boys have finished all their required coursework and testing!  YAY!  We still have to log hours until June 6th, but otherwise, we are done!  Now we can do fun lessons and lots of PE. :)  They don't mind a bit!  I hope to get a post up soon about what this first year has taught me.  I have learned a LOT!
      
  7. Now that summer is here, I hope to post more!  I know that I haven't been around much on either blog during this school year.  I deeply regret that, but it could not be helped.  The curriculum proved to be a lot more academic than I thought, my involvement in teaching my boys was more than I'd imagined (though I didn't mind a bit), and I feel like I wasn't as prepared as I thought.  I don't blame the school at all, though.  This was definitely a "it's my first year, and I'm not quite sure what to expect" kinda thing.  I thought I knew and had prepared to do quite a bit, but I really wasn't as ready as I thought.  I didn't know what to ask, what to crop lesson plan-wise, etc. until well into the school year.  There was some lack of communication because of that, but all-in-all, MVCA and their teachers are great (though I know some disagree - it's not for everyone).  I have a greater respect for homeschool moms than ever now.  It is not for the faint of heart, at least it's not if you do it right!  My boys have come so very far this year (I'm sure due to the more advanced nature of the material - again, not that the school they went to before was bad (in fact, I think it was well above average compared to some of the horror stories I've heard from other parents at MVCA) - and due to the one-on-one nature of homeschooling), and that means more to me than anything.  I am looking forward to doing it again next year. :)
     
That's all for now, I suppose.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will link-up a post telling me all about it or even leave a comment sharing your thoughts.  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)



 

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Monthly Milestones {5}


Today is my fifth time running my monthly feature where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc. and in which you can link up a post about some form of progress you are making, if you wish (see details below). I am enjoying this, and being publicly accountable (as hard as it is) will and is helping me out tremendously.  I hope you enjoy this link-up as well, will link up something inspiring and share it with others so that we can meet our goals together! :)
Here is how I am doing so far:
 

Me as of today, May 3, 2014, at 228 lbs.
   
  1. I've lost another pound and learned some things about how my body handles certain ingredients!  This month has not been a huge change weight-wise, but I have learned a few things.  One, I have an intolerance to garlic.  This is something that I'm really sad about, but I've found that I can't even handle garlic salt or powder.  It is now on my avoid list.  I also have issues with raw onion, but seem to be able to handle onion salt and powder for now.  Since I've started to cut out garlic and raw onion, I do not notice an issue with dairy or wheat.  I am still planning on looking more closely into those, though.  I know my weight cannot handle a lot of carbs, so I feel I owe it to myself to look more into a possible gluten issue.  Also, my avoiding soy has helped a LOT, and even having a little bit makes my stomach reel and bloat.  No fun!  Definitely getting easier to avoid it.
      
  2. We've been dealing with illness.  A very nasty virus hit our house for about 2 weeks, and it finally seems to be gone or at least mostly gone.  My youngest is still recovering, and was hardest hit, including suffering a double ear infection at the same time!  Poor sweetie!  We even had a brief scare of wondering if we were dealing with appendicitis with her.  Thankfully, her blood work came back normal, and she appears to be on the mend.  We are hopeful that she'll be 100% soon.  Prayers appreciated!  Thank you! :)
  3. My extended family is in need of prayer.  My niece, Lili, was born with a heart valve that wouldn't close almost 3 years ago.  The doctors had hoped it would close on its own, but it has not, and she is in need of surgery to fix it.  Please be in prayer for my niece and my brother's family as surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, May 7, 2014.  They are missionaries in Ghana, West Africa, and it has been amazing to see how God has worked out all the details for this surgery.  To read more, please visit Patty's blog here.
     
  4. I am working on those exciting plans for my blogs!  Due to all the illness, trying to wrap up schooling and such, I've not been able to implement my plans as of yet.  I am hoping to do so by June, but we shall see! 
     
  5. End-of-school-year testing starts next week!  My boys will have some state required testing starting next week that will last off and on over the next 3 to 4 weeks.  Prayers appreciated as we work to wrap up school for the year and as they do all the required tests.  They are not the most fun for anyone!  Thanks so much! :)
     
  6. We're making headway on our To Do List!  I was able to get some projects done around the house (including sponge painting our bedroom), getting curtain ties made and other things, too!  We've even been able to nearly complete our re-roof project.  We're just waiting for the rain to stop so that we can finish it. :)  Anyway, here are some pictures of my little art projects:

Curtain tie I made for my daughter's room.



Curtain tie I made for the living room.



Sponge painting done in our bedroom.

These were all super easy, inexpensive and quick.  Gotta love that! :)  If you want more details on how I did them, feel free to email me.

 I suppose that's it for now.  How are you doing on your goals?  Hopefully well, and I hope you will link-up a post telling me all about it or even leave a comment sharing your thoughts.  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)



 

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Now It's Your Turn!



~*~*~*~
Grab A Badge!