Finally Thriving, Not Just Surviving

The past 2 weeks have been long and stressful and amazing.  I was in town 10 times in those 2 weeks (either Kerrville or Rocksprings).  Karis broke her arm and we went to urgent care on Monday the 9th, Karis started school on the 10th, choir was on the 11th, we went to the orthopedic doctor on the 12th, the 14th we went to Wild Seed Farms and Robert and I had a date day (amazing day!!!!!), the 15th we went to the Alumni meeting at La Hacienda and I got my 1 year chip (and we picked up the kids), the 16th I went to AA (and Robert took Ethan to the ER that night for asthma), the 17th I went to town to get Ethan’s steroid med filled, the 18th was choir, the 19th Karis met with her partner for science fair at the library, and Friday Ethan and I went to the doc for a follow up and we got groceries.  The urgent care, ER, and doctors were not good (well, the docs and stuff were great but having to go wasn’t good), but the rest was!  And I’m really starting to feel better.  I’m having a few physical symptoms that I’m not sure about, but I’m still just taking it one day at a time.  I might go back to the doctor eventually.  It’s nothing extreme.  And tomorrow I will see my psychiatrist.  That’ll be good!  I don’t think I really need to make any changes.  I feel like things are going better and while I do have anxiety still, I don’t want to take more meds and I think it’s just something I have to live with.  I’ve learned a lot of coping skills and put those into place when I’m struggling.  Things are going well for the first time in a long time!

Tuesday we had “HAF (Home Away From) Homes.”  This is time with our gap year students (well, 3 of them).  We share with our neighbors who we love deeply.  It’s such a sweet time!

Friday was so fun.  I had an entire day with Ethan.  The appointment with the doctor went super well.  We got all of his asthma meds refilled and we’re going to focus on getting him completely stable in that area.  He got a flu shot.  Then we got donuts and got some blood work done to see what he’s allergic to.  We got groceries (I spent very little and am so proud of myself!) and we got Halloween costumes.  Then went to eat at a Chinese restaurant (Ethan’s choice).

This past weekend was so productive.

Saturday I cleaned the house nearly spotless.  It has been a long time coming!  I have just been having the kids clean it and obviously that means that things weren’t being cleaned super well. So I deep cleaned the bathrooms.  I cleaned the floors.  I cleaned and organized my bedroom (desperately needed to be done… I had piles everywhere).  I got caught up on laundry.  Washed some sheets (I need to finish that this week), and washed towels and bathroom mats.  The kids cleaned their rooms (not spotless, but good enough for now).  I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen.

After the kids cleaned, they enjoyed time with their friends and Levi enjoyed time reading fall and Halloween books that I pulled out :-).  At the end of the day we watched a movie as a family (Spiderwick Chronicles… so good!).

Sunday I did a bunch of food prep!  Mini whole wheat pumpkin banana muffins.  Homemade whole wheat bread (though it didn’t rise real well).  I made lunches for 4 days.  I bagged snacks.  Cut cantaloupe.  Cut veggies for the veggie tray.  Froze pumpkin in candy molds for smoothies.

The kids were out playing with friends this whole time.  The boys went fishing in the river.  Karis played with her friends.  I love that they have each other!

Robert worked, then he had to go pick up the camp jeep because it broke down.

At the end of the day I did a quick pick up of the house, finished the dishes, set the coffee up for the next day, signed the kids folders, and did a little bit of spot sweeping.  I went to bed exhausted and fell asleep pretty quickly!  It was so great!

I really think having all three kids in school is the best for our family.  I feel so much better mentally/emotionally.  The kids are thriving.  Karis is actually doing so much better this time.  She feels somewhat stressed, but she’s handling it very well.  I encourage her constantly and she has amazing teachers.  She’s making A’s and B’s!  A 100 in science and even an 86 in math!  This is HUGE, especially since she came in late in the school year.  Also, she’s doing well writing with her left hand since her write arm has a cast on it!

Yesterday I went to AA (always amazing!), then I had a nice lunch on the patio of Chili’s afterwards.  Then Walmart, then home!  We had dinner with friends last night.  It was so amazing!

I always get my Sonic Coke Zero with lime before AA.  And there’s a dollar there because they take up donations to pay for the fee for using the building, material, etc.  That’s my AA Big Book.  We read “How It Works” last week and this week.  It’s my favorite chapter in the book.  It tells you how to work the 12 steps.

The burger was a Smokehouse Cheeseburger.  It had a special sauce, crumbled bacon, 2 amazing onion rings, and all the veggies.  It was so amazing, and of course I love their fries.

Today I’m hosting ladies’ Bible study here.  It’s always a sweet time of fellowship.

Life is good!!  Praise God for this!!

Busy Weekend with Some Self Care Mixed In

This has been an extremely busy weekend so far!!

The kids did most of the cleaning on Friday.  I just did some touch up.  I am so thankful that they can do that because I had so much cooking and food prep to do.

We had HAF (“home away from”) Homes Friday night with some summer staff.  We had homemade carnitas, pinto beans, Spanish rice, homemade guacamole, banana pudding, and coconut oatmeal cookies.  And sweet tea and hibiscus mint tea.  So I was in the kitchen allllll afternoon and evening.  It was so fun though!

The kids helped in the kitchen (well, Karis and Ethan).

The carnitas look pretty in the Instant Pot (one of these days I’ll get around to sharing the recipe!).  We also had my favorite corn and wheat tortillas and Spanish rice made from a package (everything else was homemade… just not the rice).  Robert makes the best homemade guacamole.

The summer staff and my kids played Mario Cart for a long time after dinner!

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One thing that made me happy was when one of the summer staff told me that my home is very warm and peaceful.  I have been told that before and that is always my goal!  I want people to feel comfortable here.

That night I had a LOT of anxiety.  I’m not even sure why, I just know that I had a hard time breathing.  I have been much better since, though!

Yesterday I slept in a bit (like 8 or 8:30), then I cleaned up again.  I didn’t do the dishes on Friday and the floor was dirty, etc.  

Yesterday I made some peanut butter pies, then got things ready to have people over again.  We had a meet and greet last night for a prospective maintenance tech and his wife.  It went so well!  We all loved them!

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Then I did a ton of prep work for the week!

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I cut veggies for the week and took the grapes off the vine.

I made whole wheat pumpkin banana muffins (for the week) and pumpkin banana bread (for the meet and greet, and no one touched it…).

I had a piece of the bread and it was soooooo amazing.  I know it’s a little early for pumpkin, but I get ready for fall super early since it’s my favorite season!

My neighbor gave me a sweet gift and card yesterday.

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The candle is fall scented.  It smells amazing!  And I love the lotion and I needed some chapstick.  The little booklet that she gave me has ways to handle issues with kids including the scripture to go with it.  So cool!  This gift meant SO much to me.  I often feel like I’m annoying to others because of my anxiety so receiving a gift just encouraged me so much.

Today is going to be a nice, relaxing Self Care Sunday.

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I’m writing this blog post and another one coming up.  I’m planning to read.  Maybe take a nap.  I will do a little bit more prep including baking some bread (which I love doing), but not much else!  I might also do one load of laundry.

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This coming week is going to be pretty laid back.  Tomorrow I am having some more summer staff over for dessert and coffee (my “Fruit Group,” which is some ladies).

The kids will continue to do their reading and math every day.  I will keep up with the house by doing a load of laundry a day, having the kids do their chores, and tidying each day.  We will do one hike/nature walk this week, probably in the evening with Robert again.  It was so nice last week.

We leave on the 19th to visit my inlaws, then go to Family Camp at Glorieta in New Mexico (which is our yearly vacation)!  I am beyond excited.  I am not even that anxious about it this year because I’m not drinking anymore and I know what to expect!  It’s a very fun and relaxing week!  There will be arrow tag, hiking, mountain biking, nerf room, blacklight dodge ball, foam pit, ice cream, coffee shop, good food, putt putt golf, mountain scooters, drift trikes, 50’s night, western night, dances, a date night, white water rafting (if we can afford it, it’s an additional fee), waterfront, inflatables, naps, games, and most importantly worship!  We will also have a counselor assigned to us!  And a lot of our friends here at Camp Eagle are going too so we will get to have fun together!

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OH!  And today is 9 months sober!!!!  This is HUGE!  It feels like yesterday that I went into La Ha, but it’ll be a year before I know it.  I am so much healthier than I was.  I have grown so much over the past 9 months!

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What are your plans this week?

Any plans for a vacation soon?

Weekend Prep

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I woke up late today, but have been busy ever since.  I’m finally sitting down (at 2:30) to blog about all that I have been doing today.

The first thing I did when I woke up was have my coffee, plan my day, and spend time in the word.  Today was day 1 of the Ruth study on She Reads Truth.  This is an old study… one that I missed in the past.  I’m not a huge fan of the one that is happening right now, so I went backwards.  It is fantastic.

Then I made beds (well, I had the kids make their beds but I went behind them and straightened them because I’m a perfectionist).

Then I straightened up the house.  This didn’t take very long because I tend to keep it clean these days.  Plus, I have the kids clean up after themselves.  It helps that they are only home in the evenings and on the weekends.

Here’s what the house currently looks like:

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I updated my meal plan for the month.

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Then I started my meal prep.

First, I cut veggies for lunches and dinners.

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Then I made healthy snack muffins.

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I prepped lunches.

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I made dinners for the nights that I will be going to town.

Veggie and meat sauce

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Whole wheat penne

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Taco meat

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I ordered some items from Walmart.com that I will need this week.  Friday, I will only have to buy ground beef, produce, and dairy!  I will also be picking up some pizzas from Papa Murphy’s for Saturday (my parents will be here).

Next I will be folding and putting away my one load of laundry for the day.

We will end the night by playing games!

 

Weekend Prep, January 15th

Yesterday was great.  I spent time on my household notebook… updated our budget page, made my own daily plan page (because the daily docket that I used had quite a bit on it that didn’t apply to me), and updated my routine page (to reflect the changes that I made to my week!).

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I normally do prep on Saturdays, but Robert is working this weekend, so I decided to take the kids out to a movie and dinner yesterday.  It was a blast!  I’m so glad I did.

After the movie (Sing!), we went to Chili’s.  I had a fantastic dinner of ribs with a dry rub, steamed broccoli, salad, and a mini dessert (all for $10!).

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I went to HEB and decided to stock up on coffee because it is only $2.98 each right now!  And I got another 12 pack of La Croix and HEB Coke Zero.  I am set until next paycheck!  I shouldn’t have to buy anything else!

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I updated my variable budget log when I got home.  I think I’m going to move some grocery money over to misc because I won’t spend all of that grocery money and have some more misc things coming up.

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Since we went to town yesterday, we aren’t going to church today (I can’t afford to drive to town any more than I do… it’s about $20-25 every time).  We will go next week!

Because we were in town yesterday, I prepped for the week today!

I woke up super early and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I spent some time doing the dishes and cleaning the living area.  I also got the veggies out to wash and cut for the next two weeks (yes, they mostly last that long in containers in the fridge).

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After that, I planned my day.

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I spent time in the word and prayed in my prayer journal.

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After most of my family woke up, I got to work.

I prepped by cutting veggies (and strawberries), (Robert) made Kodiak power cakes (pancakes made with whole grains and protein… I was going to make Green Smoothie Power Cakes but their website is all messed up!), I made instant pot “boiled eggs, and I baked whole wheat bread.  I also made breakfast taco filling.

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I also pulled some banana chocolate chip power cake muffins out of the freezer for the week (they are great for on the road as snacks and a quick breakfast).

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I made homemade Greek yogurt (best batch yet… nice and thick!) during the week this time around, and we still have some homemade granola.

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The kids “cleaned” their rooms (they don’t do the best job, but I’m learning to let it go) while I prepped, and Ethan cleaned their bathroom for a $1 :-).

I organized our fridge a little bit to fit all of my prepped foods!

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Next I will do a little bit of work on my blog, clean our bathroom, clean the floors, and make my bed.  I ended up missing online AA because I was too busy.  Prepping took longer than I planned (well, I also organized the fridge and I hadn’t planned on doing that).  It’s okay.  My goal is AA in town twice a week and online AA twice a week!

I will continue working on laundry until it is caught up.

Dinner will be fish tacos and homemade coleslaw.  Looking forward to it!

Weekly Meal Plan, January 8th

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I had to make some adjustments to my meal plan for this week, so I thought I would reflect those here :-).  We are actually eating dinner in the dining hall several days this week, so I moved some of the meals that we would have had this week to later in the month.

Here is my meal planning calendar (with events) for this month and the first few days of next month:

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DH stands for dining hall.  We would have had more meals in the dining hall, but when Robert and Ethan are gone, we’re going to just have easy meals at home.  It is easier to stay home when Robert isn’t here.

This week!

Breakfasts

Lunches

  • Wraps (Joseph’s pita) or sandwiches (on sprouted bread) with creole mustard, cracked pepper turkey, Tillamook cheddar cheese, lettuce, pickles; veggies with hummus; fruit
  • Cottage cheese, boiled eggs, veggies with hummus, fruit, Triscuits, homemade Greek yogurt
  • Canned chicken noodle soup (I have a few cans from when I did THM, so might as well eat them!)
  • Leftovers

Snacks

  • Fruit
  • Veggies
  • Cheese sticks
  • Homemade Greek yogurt
  • Austin cracker sandwiches
  • Organic cheddar “frogeez”
  • Organic animal cookies
  • Central Market sea salt popcorn
  • Whole wheat Goldfish
  • Triscuits

Dinners

  • Monday: Pulled pork with homemade BBQ sauce in the instant pot, roasted veggies
  • Tuesday: Cheese enchilada stacks (corn tortillas, cheese, Old El Paso canned enchilada sauce), pinto beans in the instant pot (recipe coming soon!), brown rice
  • Wednesday: Easy Chili and cornbread
  • Thursday: Fish tacos and homemade coleslaw
  • Friday: Dining hall Chicken Alfredo, roasted broccoli, salad
  • Saturday: Dining hall beef fajitas
  • Sunday: Dining hall chicken tenders, corn, mashed potatoes, salad

Prep for the week

  • Bake muffins
  • Freeze leftover ripe bananas
  • Cut broccoli and cauliflower (still have veggies left from last week)
  • Prep lunches
  • Make homemade Greek yogurt
  • Make boiled eggs

Meal Planning Sunday, January 1st! (Two Weeks)

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Breakfasts

Lunches

  • Sandwiches on sprouted bread with Hormel natural deli meat and Tillamook cheddar, veggies and hummus, fruit
  • Cottage cheese, boiled eggs, veggies and hummus, fruit, Triscuits
  • Leftovers

Dinners

Week of January 2-8

  • Monday- Chicken and Dumplings in the Instant Pot
  • Tuesday- Pulled pork using our homemade BBQ sauce (for our summer staff that will be here)
  • Wednesday- Dining hall
  • Thursday- Dining hall
  • Friday- Pizza
  • Saturday- Pasta and homemade meat sauce (recipe coming!) and steamed broccoli
  • Sunday- Creamy cauliflower and potato soup

Week of January 9-15

  • Monday- Burrito bowls (brown rice, Instant pot pinto beans, avocado, tomato, cheese, and sour cream)
  • Tuesday- Cheese enchilada stacks (corn tortillas with shredded cheese and canned enchilada sauce) and brown rice
  • Wednesday- Easy Chili and corn bread
  • Thursday- Fish tacos
  • Friday- Pork chops (grilled) and roasted veggies
  • Saturday- Hot Dogs
  • Sunday- Roast, potatoes, and carrots in the instant pot

Snacks

  • Breakfast cookies 
  • Fruit salad
  • Veggies
  • Cheese sticks
  • Homemade Greek yogurt
  • Austin cracker sandwiches (treat!)
  • Organic cheddar “frogeez”
  • Organic animal cookies

Weekly Prep

  • Bake breakfast recipes
  • Cut veggies for lunches and snacks
  • Make fruit salad for the week
  • Bag up veggies and fruit for lunches
  • Make yogurt

Grocery Geek, December 19th

I decided to go ahead and shop for two weeks since we will be out of town when I normally grocery shop… I don’t think grocery shopping on the way home would be a good plan (we are going to my in-laws’ at Glorieta, NM).

This is how I plan for grocery shopping:

First, I meal plan based on what we have on hand.  The post with the next two weeks’ plan is here: Meal Planning Sunday, December 18th.

Then, I make a grocery list for the week (or two in this case… I ended up adding to this after I took a picture).

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From now on, grocery shopping will be done every Monday.  This time around we won’t be home Monday, which is why I shopped for two weeks.  After today’s shopping trip, I have decided to ONLY shop at HEB from now on.  I usually some items at HEB and the rest at Walmart because I didn’t know any better; but I decided that I didn’t want to go to two places today, so I only shopped at HEB.  I was very pleasantly surprised at their prices and selection!  I am sold!  Many, many of their prices are cheaper than Walmart… and the quality is SO much better!

My Day:

First, I went to Chick Fil A and got my favorite nuggets and fries.  I should have taken my lunch, but I felt like eating CFA today.  I don’t normally eat out when I go to town for AA and grocery shopping, but I had some Christmas money and decided to treat myself :-).

Then, I went to my Women’s AA.

It was ccooolllldddd (for Texas, that is).

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Then I got gas at HEB (cheapest gas in town at $1.93 per gallon) and did my grocery shopping.  My goal was $200 for 2 weeks (with $50 left for those few things that we will need between now and next pay day).  I spent $199, and that included a $10 gingerbread house :-).  I was happy with my purchases because I bought mostly whole foods (and a few easy snacks for the road).

When I got home and laid everything out, my table was FULL.  My husband laughed at me…

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Here is what I bought!

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  • 3lbs ground chuck
  • 2 1/2 pound chuck shoulder roast
  • 1 large whole chicken (5.84lbs)
  • 3lbs bone-in pork chops
  • 1 package of Oscar Meyer uncured hot dogs
  • 3 packages Hormel natural (uncured) lunch meat: salami, cracked pepper turkey, applewood smoked ham

(We already have chicken thighs, a pound of ground beef, and 2 packages of Hormel lunch meat).

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  • HEB roasted garlic hummus
  • 2 containers of Julio’s salsa
  • 1lb HEB medium cheddar
  • 10oz HEB sliced gouda (for our trip)

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  • HEB Kettle Cooked variety pack (for our trip)
  • Tortilla chips
  • 2 bags of veggie straws (one regular and one ranch)
  • 2, 12 packs of La Croix

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  • HEB Organics whole grain animal cookies
  • HEB Organics Cheddar Frogeez
  • Triscuits
  • 100% whole wheat hamburger buns
  • 100% whole wheat hot dog buns
  • 2 loaves of 100% whole wheat bread
  • 20ct Aguilar flour tortillas (these taste homemade!)

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  • 5lb bag of organic carrots
  • Bunch of bananas
  • 4 broccoli crowns
  • 3 colored bell peppers
  • Large bag (1lb) of chopped kale (to freeze for smoothies)
  • 4 pears
  • 3 zucchinis
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 2 acorn squash
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 3lb bag of gala apples
  • 1 bag of brussel sprouts
  • 1 container of leaf lettuce (locally and hydroponically grown)
  • 1 package sweet tomatoes
  • Lime juice

(We still have some apples, oranges, cut up celery, a cucumber, some tomatoes, avocados, quite a few russet potatoes, 3 sweet potatoes, several onions, and a little bit of cut up carrots and broccoli.)

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  • My beloved Coke Zero

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  • A Gingerbread house kit for the kids and their cousins while we’re in New Mexico

We will have to buy some food when we get to my in-laws, but we aren’t counting that in our grocery budget (we’ll be splitting everything among in-laws).  We’re just counting that as traveling expense (because otherwise we would be eating out).

I also bought some Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes mix with an Amazon Gift card (that I won’t count because it was as a gift).  Haha.  This should last a long time.  I cannot wait to make Banana Chocolate Chip Power Cakes!  I found out about this stuff in my HHHM group.  I ordered it right away with the gift card, then I found it at HEB today when I was there!  Next time I’ll just buy it at HEB!

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I feel like, overall, I did well!  I am picky about a few brands of things (aren’t we all), but I try to stick with HEB brand and non-organic (mostly) because it is cheapest.  The only things I bought organically were because they were close to the same price, or because that was the only way they sold the product (like the pre-packaged “frogeez” and animal cookies).

Check back for my next Grocery Geek post!  Next up, Working the Program.

Preparation for the Upcoming Week

Because week days are so busy now days, I spend lots of time on the weekends getting ready for the week ahead.

I cleaned the house Friday and we have kept up with it today.

Robert got caught up on laundry today!

I spent the afternoon prepping meals for the coming week!

I cut up lots of veggies.

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Prepped my lunches and snacks for my days in town.

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I made granola.

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I washed the jars for yogurt and made yogurt (it’s in the Instant Pot right now).

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I made Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies.  I used a recipe that I found online, but changed it a ton, so I’ll post my recipe soon.

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Robert made chili for dinner tonight :-).

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Before any of the prep work began, the boys and I played games, and Robert and I played a game!  Karis did some art on the small marker board :-).  It was a great way to start the day :-).

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Tomorrow we are going to church (yay!), buying white elephant gifts for our camp Christmas party Monday, and taking family pictures!

We have a busy week coming up with AA, camp Christmas party, doctor appointment in San Antonio, Robert will be busy Wednesday evening, and kids’ Christmas concert Thursday evening.  Next Saturday is Christmas at my parents’, then Sunday our friends are coming to stay!  Looking forward to all of it!

My 2016 Thankful Post

I have so much to be thankful for.  Life today is NOT what I imagined it to be at the beginning of the year, but I’m so thankful for the way it has turned out.

Before I get started on the things that I’m thankful for in the world, I want to say that what I am thankful for first is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Without His grace, I would be in a bad spot.  I’m so thankful for who He is and what He has taught me since I trusted in Him as an 11 year old.  I have grown to be more like Him every day, with some mountains and valleys in the process.  I have so much more to learn and so much space to fill between Him and me… One day at a time!  One moment at a time!

I’m thankful for my amazing, supportive husband.  He has been through a lot because of me (between my mental illness including bipolar 2, severe anxiety with obsessive/compulsive traits, and now my addiction).  I have been in the hospital twice for my mental illnesses and in rehab for a full month for my alcoholism.  He has held down the “fort” more times than the normal household.  I have spent so much of our money and credit because of my obsessive/compulsive behaviors.  He has had to take on a lot.  Through my stay in rehab and our experience with Family Week, our marriage has grown so much.  We have gotten in touch with our Love Languages again and have nurtured that.  We communicate better than we ever have.  He has taken leadership in areas that I’ve asked him to take leadership.  He prays for me all the time.  He is amazing, good looking, and everything a wife could hope for.

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My beautiful kids.  They are everything a mama would hope for in kids.  They have their moments, but overall, they are really good kids.  They make good choices most of the time, they love to worship, they love to play outside, they are good friends, they love to play games with me :-), and they love to bake with me.

Karis is creative, loves to read (and reads on an eighth grade level in fifth grade), is messy and disorganized (ha!), is very smart, loves “girl time” with me, bosses her brothers around, and loves Jesus.

Ethan is passionate, spends money like his mama, loves music (he has his uncle’s guitar and a keyboard that was given to us that he wants to learn), loves to worship (mostly with Shane and Shane and Needtobreathe), and LOVES old cars/jeeps/trucks.  He wants to be a mechanic and is already working towards that.

Levi is my baby.  He loves to cuddle, loves electronics and doesn’t like outside very much (but we force him out every day! ha!), loves Christmas like me, loves to play games, is very smart (he reads on a 2nd-3rd grade level in first grade), loves Star Wars, and loves to bake with his mama.

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This beautiful place that we live!  The ability to hike whenever I want, just outside our door (on 1400 acres).

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Our camp family.  There really are no words.  We are beyond blessed to be here.

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Our beautiful little home!  I love it!

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This is the view from our back porch :-).

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I love my little kitchen.

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The kitchen/dining/living is all open-concept.  It’s great for having people over.  It’s small, but it works.  We often have 10-15 people in here at once.

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This tree is one of my favorite things about this house.

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Our little Christmas tree :-).

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This is our bedroom.  Small and cozy.  Bed, books, and lamps.  Pretty quilt.  All the important stuff.

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The kids’ bathroom

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This is Levi’s new room (it was our school room…).

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This is Karis’ room.  It’s very cluttered and packed, but she loves it.  That’s all that matters!

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Ethan’s room.  Full of books, Legos, and musical instruments.

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Here is our Expedition that is now PAID OFF!!  No more car payments!!  I’m so thankful that we’re in a new place financially.  Probably the best we’ve ever been in.  Not that Robert makes a ton (because let’s face it, we’re in camp ministry), but we have a free place to live, free utilities, insurance premiums are paid for, and we get a lot of free food through the year… and now no car payment! We are getting through the next few months of me driving to town 5 days a week (2 1/2 hours of driving a day), then we’ll be able to focus on saving, then paying off credit card debt (again…).

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Our parents!  We would not be where we are without them!  My parents are always there for us when we need them!  They have a fantastic relationship with their grandkids.  They stay with them often!  In fact, when I was in La Hacienda for a month, the kids stayed with them most of that time.  I don’t know what we would have done without them!  My inlaws have helped us out in so many ways over the years… between letting us live with them (twice) and helping us out financially a few times.  They also love their grandkids and always look forward to spending time with them!  We’re headed there this Christmas and we’re all looking forward to it!

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My amazing friends, old and new!  I cannot imagine my life without my friends.  I have so many friends and I’m so blessed and lucky.  Between friends here at camp, friends that we went to church with/hung out with in Frisco, friends from our old camp, friends from old churches, and now friends from La Hacienda.  I have the best friends a girl could ask for.  I am very loved!

La Hacienda!  I would NOT be where I am today without this place.  I have grown to a whole new level from all that I learned there.  I can only imagine where I will be in my future because of La Ha and what I am learning now through AA.

My current and former counselors.  They have taught me so much over the years.  They give me a safe place to share my thoughts and heart.  I am currently doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and I just know that it’s going to change the way I see things.  I’m looking forward to continual growth in this area.

The little things… Yummy smelling seasonal candles, Christmas lights, music (Bethel, JJ Heller, Jenny and Tyler, Crowder, Shane and Shane, etc), fresh baked goods (and the ability to spend time doing the baking), books, coffee, games, my Mac and iPhone :-), Toms and boots, leggings, comfy jeans, t-shirts, flannels, my coffee mugs, Harney and Sons hot tea with raw honey, flowers,  my Bible and Bible studies, the “Big Book” (Alcoholics Anonymous), coloring books, organization, fires in our fire pit, Coke Zero, my “fake Yeti” cup, La Croix, eating mostly healthy (besides my Coke Zero), feeling beautiful and loving myself as is.

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Changing My Expectations and Setting Priorities

"Priorities" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

Well.  Here we are again.  I had all of these ideas and expectations about what life would look like now, and I’m “not measuring up.”

Robert and I talked this morning and he thinks I need to come up with a few priorities right now and make decisions about life right now (for the next 3 months) based on those priorities.

I wrote a post called Spiritual, Mental, Physical, and Emotional Health, and I had all of these lofty ideas that I could pull it all off.  Little did I know that driving every day was going to wear me out.  Lack of finances (because of driving 5 days a week to town and seeing a counselor twice a week) wins out over wanting to eat naturally and all real foods.  Plus just my love for a few things wins out (Coke Zero and pumpkin creamer).  I want to enjoy the little things for now.  I’m giving up something that has been a big part of my life for several years (alcohol), and it’s a powerful thing to give up.  I need to be satisfied with that for now.  I can re-visit wanting to eat all real foods in a few months!  I will continue eating balanced, though.  I love baking so I will eat homemade bread and homemade breakfasts.  I will continue taking my lunch to town, which means I eat healthy lunches.  I also eat healthy dinners mostly (unless we eat in the dining hall).

I will exercise as I have time.  When I have nothing in my afternoons, I’ll have time.  The times that I have lots going on in a day (like yesterday), I will be okay with the fact that I cannot exercise.  Life goes on.

My main goals are sobriety and spiritual/emotional/mental health.  They go hand in hand.  If I have all these goals that I cannot attain, I’m not taking care of my emotional/mental health.  If I exercise and don’t have time to spend time in the word, I’m not taking care of my spiritual health.  I will do the best I can as I get through a hectic 3 months.

Let’s try this again.  Here I go.  I can do this with the Lord’s help.