Flabby Arms and Taco Salad

Ok, truth here. My first couple weeks of 2017 were not my favorite. I felt tired, impatient, was dragging my feet to start school with the kids, and feeling a general malaise.

There was non-stop rain. Kids and pups had been underfoot 24/7. My patience wore thin.

And then people started to get sick. Blurg!

The whole family, but especially The Hubs and I, had started a plan to eat better. We’d begun to cut out sugar, carbs and soda (Soda gets it’s own category because we are kind of addicted to Pepsi and Mountain Dew.) So my body pretty much revolted against me because I refused to give it all the things it was craving.

I had not been crushing my New Year’s goals like I envisioned. (Good thing it’s only January. There’s time to turn things around, right?)

I wish I was a glass half- full kind of girl. I tend to lean towards the half-empty crowd. I’m working on that. As I said in my previous post, God and I are working on the Worrier that is me!

As you can see, I was already in a funk. I was a prime candidate for negative thoughts and worry to take root.

But one night, a couple of weeks into the new year, God taught me a great lesson about Worry and how our thoughts are so powerful. And it all happened during the 5 minutes it took to brown hamburger meat for a taco salad.

I usually crave a quiet house because I hardly ever have one. Completing thoughts just isn’t a regular occurrence these days. I’m often grasping for simple words like “knife” and “shoe.” I just end up calling everything a “thingie” and somehow the kids and The Hubs know what I’m talking about.

But sometimes, when I do get those quiets moments, they lead to no good. You know those moments. The ones in the shower (That’s where all my most brilliant and worst thoughts occur.) or while I’m folding clothes in the garage. (And no one has figured out where I am yet.) That night my quiet moment happened while I was browning meat for taco salad.

Everyone was occupied (H had fallen asleep on the couch.) and I was happily standing at the stove browning away. As I vigorously whisked my wooden spoon, I noticed how much my arm flesh jiggled. I was taken aback and little disgusted.

“Geeze, my arms are jiggly. I really need to work on that.” Note to Self. “I’m just barely getting started on this healthy eating thing and now I have to work in an arm workout?!?  I can’t even remember the last time I walked around the block. Ugh…. I have so much to do to get healthier!! I’m never going to be able to do this.”

See what I did there? My thoughts spiraled into that deep, dark, defeated place in about 30 seconds.

I then whispered to myself, “Take it one day at a time. One meal at a time. Forget the jiggly arms, for now.”

But it didn’t end with the Jiggly Arms. Then my mind jumped to Little H.

He’d been having a tough time in Sunday School the past couple of weeks. This is not our first rodeo in having “tough days”. We’ve  had lots of “tough days” at Sunday School, Awanas, Target, you name it. But he’d been doing so much better at church. Our first week back at our church’s weekly club for kids (Awanas) was that night.

Inner monologue number two.

“What is going on now? Why won’t he just listen? We are going back to Awanas for the first time after a long break. Maybe I should talk to his teacher and let her know he’s been struggling. He’s been so tired and taking extra naps lately. Is he growing? Is he coming down with something? Should I give the teachers a heads up?”

This is 4 min. and 30 seconds into browning the meat.

I had a choice at that moment: To let the worry take over and try to fix things myself (Just like I had a choice to let the negative thoughts about my arm flesh discourage me from my eating plan.) or to not worry and take things as they came.

Don’t borrow tomorrow’s worry.

Don’t go down that road of “The Worst Is Bound To Happen.”

Maybe H will have a bad night. But maybe he won’t!

I commanded my thoughts to not assume the worst. Yes, I said Commanded. I told the Worrier in me to not try to fix something that hadn’t even broken yet.

I decided to not jump in and talk to his teacher. I just prayed that God would give him a great night or give The Hubs and I wisdom if he didn’t.

The meat was browned at this point and I was adding in the seasoning. I began to set the table and The Hubs gently woke up H and called Lily to dinner.

My mind and my thoughts are the most unruly part of me. They take me from  zero to  freaking out in about 30 seconds.

God has been challenging me to not let worry control me and take me down paths I have no business traveling.

I’m doing a Bible study called Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George. She talks about taking our thoughts captive. This is a proactive word- Captive. I am going after  and chasing down those unruly thoughts and putting them in their place. It takes effort. It takes work. And more often than not, I fail. But God is so good and His Word is so powerful.  It tells me to focus on what is true.

Philippians 4:8 Finally Brethren, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.

When I read this verse and then actually started to do what it said, I began to experience little victories in this struggle with worry. Most of what I fret over is not true and it’s definitely not lovely. And it wasn’t until I started doing this Bible study and really started to pay attention to my thoughts that I realized how much worry overwhelmed me. I’m an internalizer- big time. It so easy for me to pack those fears quietly down within me without even realizing I am doing it. I know I have so far to go; so I have to read and meditate on this verse often.

But that is how powerful God’s Word is. It sheds light on the dark places and gives us a way to be victorious, to make the right choices.

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You may ask, you got all this while standing at your stove for 5 minutes?? Well, the mind is a powerful thing!

And while my arms are still jiggling away, H did just fine that night at Awanas. He’s still five and  can give Tigger a run for his money. But he did just fine.

 

 

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What We Are Reading This Month:: November

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I must admit, I haven’t done as much reading the last couple of months as I had planned. And with all the rainy days we’ve had, you’d think I’d be curled up on the couch, sipping tea with my nose in a book. Truth is, I’ve fallen asleep every single time I’ve sat down to read. It could be 10 am or 2 in the afternoon. It doesn’t matter. And if it’s past 8:30 p.m…… well, just forget it.

So, to not have an extremely short list, I’m including what myself and the kiddos read in October as well as what we plan to read in November.

 

Jen:

I read………

a-man-called-ove-9781476738024_hrA Man Called Ove  by  Fredrik Backman     This was our book club pick for October and it was one of my favorite of this year. I was in tears in several parts. (This is good crying, though.) Love comes in all sorts of unexpected packages. This book reminded me to keep my heart open and appreciate the ones I love-now. It did have some language in it. I feel I have to mention that. For me, it didn’t distract me from the story at all, though. And I liked enough to lend it to a friend.

 

 

97c6c8cdc6b630da79d92086d1b8d44a-harry-potter-and-the-prisoner-of-azkaban-1468344278Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowlings As I mentioned in My Summer Reading List post, I’m working through the Harry Potter books. This is the one I’m currently reading.

 

 

 

I’m going to read……….

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Simply Tuesdays by Emily P. Freeman I’m just starting this one and really excited to dig into it during November

 

 

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All the Light We Cannot See by  Anthony Doerr  This is our next book club pick. Because November was too busy we pushed book club out to December and so I have a few extra weeks to tackle this book. Good thing, it’s one of the longer books we’ve chosen. I don’t much about the book; but have heard from several people that it is a really good read. Fingers crossed.

Lily:

She read………..

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Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder  We had already started reading the Little House series and were a couple of books in when Lily started her fall co-op classes. One class is reading through the whole series and doing activities to go along with each book. We are just finishing up Farmer Boy and really enjoying it.

 

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Caleb’s Story by Patricia MacLachlan

 

 

She is going to read……
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By the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

 

 

 

Henry:

harry-the-dirty-dog-book-coverHarry, the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion    There are more Harry picture books we’ve found at the Library like No Roses for Harry! and Harry by the Sea. How did I miss these books? They are absolutely wonderful!

 

 

downloadFroggy Books by Jonathan London     Okay, I’m in love with these sweet little books. There is one for every thing my little guy is experiencing. Froggy Goes to the Dentist, Froggy Plays Soccer, etc. We love these books.

 

 

And of course, there are pumpkin books. I have a list of some of my favorite pumpkin picture books here.

I added a few new favorites this year:

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Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

 

 

 

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Little Boo by Stephen Wunderli

 

 

 

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Pumpkin Town by Katie McKy

 

 

I haven’t really decided what we will read with H during November. I will pick a lot of great Thanksgiving picture books, though. If I come across an especially good one, I’ll probably post it on Instagram or Face Book page.

 

Happy Reading!

10 Years of Blogging:: Lifetime Writer

It all started in the 6th grade with a black and white marbled composition book. I started writing then and I’ve never stopped.

When I started blogging several years ago, it was just for fun. I was simply sharing life at the time. I began to blog in 2006. (I can’t even believe I’ve been doing this, though inconsistently until now, this long!) We had no kids. I had taken a year off of teaching. I was selling Party Lite candles and serving at a restaurant to earn some money. It’s fun to go back and read those old posts. Life was so different!

My next blog, Sock Monkey Tales, reflected my life as a new mom/elementary teacher. Again, it was just to document our life and have fun writing because I love to write.

Boy has life changed! My blog changed. The Hubs’ job changed. We added another kiddo to the bunch. We even have a new dog. (Okay, writing about our new dog brings up memories of our old dog,  Jackson; and it’s still a little painful, honestly.) My goal for blogging has changed in some ways.

I am still documenting my sweet and sometimes crazy life. I love to write about the things that I am passionate about: My relationship with God, The Hubs, my kiddos, relationships, books, trying to be a good wife and mom, writing and basically embracing this life of a stay at home, homeschooling mom. I want to encourage others, whether you are a mom or not, to embrace the life God has given you right now!!! It won’t be perfect; but it can be so beautiful if you see it through the eyes of a grateful spirit.

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I truly hope my little space encourages anyone who stops by. I hope you feel like, “Hey, I don’t have to be perfect and have it all together to be a boss in the mom department. ” (Or the spouse department or the friend department.)

When it comes down to it, I just love to write. I feel lucky to have a space to do just that. So, for those of you who stop by often or from time to time, thank you for reading my words. I am truly grateful.

May Goals:: When Life Gets Wonky

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It’s been a little quiet around the blog and for good reason. Life can pretty much be described by the picture above. (Which was not planned, by the way. I really found H like this with his tiny voice pleading for help.) Our life has been turned upside down and it’s very WONKY right now. Why???

We very, very, very, (I could add more here; but I won’t.) unexpectedly bought a house. The house, for a lack of a better expression, just “dropped in our laps.” We were not looking; but when the opportunity presented itself, we had to act pretty fast.

This house is a bit of a miracle and I am most definitely writing a post to share more about that in the future. It is such a surprise, though, and I think I’m still in  a bit of shock.

Moving in and of itself is stressful and puts regular life on hold. And our “new” house is not actually new. It’s an older house that needs some work done before we can move in. (Let’s just say that 1968 called and wants its light fixtures back!) We have quite a list of “to-do’s” and about 5-6 weeks to complete them.

Does the picture above make more sense now?

My last 5 weeks of school were planned out perfectly. Those plans are non-existent now. We are still doing school; but I’m giving myself grace and doing what I think is absolutely necessary and letting go of everything else. (This is hard for me!!)

We are still doing the Whole30. Remember that post here? The Whole30 is NOT easy to do while you are ripping up floors, sanding down cabinets and packing china. There is no fast food or take out. We are almost done and we are staying strong, though.

My friend, Leslie, took Lil for one whole afternoon. My in-laws took H for the same afternoon. I was able to catch up with all of my laundry. I had spent so much time at the new house that my laundry was out of control. What a blessing!!! The dirty dishes and dirty laundry don’t stop because we are remodeling a house.

Life is wonky and it’s going to get crazier. My goal is share some of this adventure with my readers. But really, my goal for this month, is just to stay sane. To be okay in the midst of the chaos. To let go of the little things. To focus on how good God has been to give us this house. To ask for help. To let people help me and not to try to do it on my own. To just keep us all fed with clean clothes. Just the basics.

Okay, I gotta go peel some crazy busy floral wallpaper off the bathroom walls now.

 

What We Are Reading This Month:: February

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I love God, my family, my friends and yes…. books. Let’s see what books we are loving and reading this month.

Little H:

One of our themes this month in Pre-K was dinosaurs and I found some really good books at the library.

514DpM0-pJL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_   How Big Were Dinosaurs? by Lita Judge

This book compares the size of dinosaurs to animals and objects kids can relate to in our world today. Loved this book.

9780778774587 Dinosaur Alphabet by David West

Warning: There are some tongue twister names in this book!

9781422219911100 Things You Should Know About T-Rex by Steve Parker

 

 

Lulu:

We are doing our first biography book report this month and Miss Lulu chose to do it on Amelia Earhart.

51Gbc-+PyAL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Who was Amelia Earhart?  by Kate Boehm Jerome and Nancy Harrison

These “Who Was” series (or as I like to call them, the Bobble Head series) are great first biography books. At just over 100 pages, they are just long enough and full of information.

Cover Abraham Lincoln by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire

These authors write such beautiful history books for children. Their illustrations are absolutely amazing as well. Lily is captivated by these books (H listens in too.) It is such a fun and easy way to teach History to little ones. Here are the other books we’ve read by these same authors:

Leif the Lucky, Columbus, Pocahontas, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and (We haven’t read this one yet; but will) Buffalo Bill.

Both:

Yes, we’ve been reading a lot of  Valentine Books this month. I’ve already posted my list of Valentine Books here.

My three faves this year (that I tend to read every  year) were Snowy Valentine, The Valentine Bears and The Biggest Kiss. (Actually The Biggest Kiss is a recent favorite.)

Jen:

art-of-hearing-heartbeats1 The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan Philipp – Sendker

I’m in the middle of this book. This is a love story between two very unlikely characters, one blind and one crippled. The story starts off as a mystery, though. A middle aged lawyer, husband and father to two grown children goes on a business trip, never to return. His daughter, years later, decides to try to find him. What she uncovers is her father’s amazing past and an amazing love story. Very interested to see how it ends.

Happy Reading!!

 

Merry Christmas!!!

Writing this blog has been one of the highlights of my year. I can’t wait to take The Accidental Domestic into 2016. Thanks to everyone who has followed along and read this past  year. I’m taking a little Christmas vacay; but I’ll see you in 2016!

Merry Christmas!!

merry christmas

Luke 2:11-14 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.