Galations 2:20-21

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly." Galations 2:20-21

Monday, June 29, 2009

Cheap Date Night

Two FREE burritos from Chipotle, coke, chips & Guacamole- $4.88
Browsing around Once Upon a Child (B got way too excited about the toys)-$0
One rented movie from the Redbox-$1
Spending the whole evening with my main man-Priceless

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Treat

Cool summer dessert I made up over the weekend. Made with a graham cracker crust, cream cheese, whipped cream, strawberry yogurt, and freshly picked strawberries from our garden on top. I chilled it in the freezer over night and it was a refreshing treat. The strawberries on top were so yummy. The best part are the leftovers!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

First Bradley Class

We had our first Bradley natural childbirth class on Monday evening. Our class is made up of 5 couples. One of the couples' due date is just days before ours, so that's kind of fun. I like our instructor. She's a wife and mother of 3 children under 7. She's informative and brings a sense of humor as well.

We started off the evening talking about what the class is all about. Here are the 12 ideals: (1) natural childbirth (2) active participation of the husband as coach (3) excellent nutrition, the foundation of a healthy pregnancy (4) avoidance of drugs during pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding unless absolutely necessary (5) training: 'Early-bird' classes, followed by weekly classes starting in the 6th month, continuing until birth (6) relaxation and NATURAL breathing (7)"tuning-in" to your body (8) immediate and continuous contact with your new baby (9) breastfeeding beginning at birth (10)consumerism and positive communication (11) parents taking responsibility for the safety of the birth place, procedures, attendants, and emergency back-up (12) parents prepared for unexpected situations such as emergency childbirth, and cesarean section.
After going through what to expect from the class we learned several exercises to start doing daily to help with labor. I like how B and I can do some of them together. We also spent a little time doing some relaxation techniques (the baby was jumping all around inside of me during that time!). At the end of the class we watched an actual childbirth video. It was of a women who was a midwife herself and had a waterbirth at home. It was very interesting, to say the least. The good thing (for me) is that you couldn't exactly see everything because of the water. I am considering having a waterbirth myself, so it was good to see. We will watch other birth videos in the classes to come as well (I hope I can handle this).

Our homework for this week is to do our daily exercises along with reading the first couple chapters of "Husband Coached Chilbirth."

I'm looking forward to the classes to come and getting to know the couples more. Most of the couples seem to be around our age having their first baby as well.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pregnancy Update

Picture of Black-Eyed Susans from our yard last year that my talented sister took

23 weeks pregnant this week(almost 24!). I'm enjoying this 2nd trimester a lot. I'm exercising and a lot more active than the first trimester. I just feel so good most of the time. I do get a random morning where I feel nauseated and I still can't do as much as my pre-pregnancy body could in day, but I feel pretty good overall. Although, I can't resist an afternoon nap if I can get one.

I really like feeling the baby move around inside me. This little one is SO active. Every time I sit down or lay down he/she starts swimming around. Last night my hubby and I had some good laughs as we were getting ready for bed. I think the baby was doing stretches, because we were watching my belly as one side pushed up like the baby was trying to get out or something. Not quick jolts like a usually feel when the baby kicks. Really weird...and my husband related to that Aliens movie. Good times...

I'm liking how clear and glowy my skin looks. My hair even seems to be working for me better these days. I don't seem to get that heartburn or indigestion everyone talks about (but maybe as the baby grows??).

I do like looking pregnant and not just bloated anymore, but one thing I really can't get over is the number on the scale these days. I am managing to keep my weight in the normal range for a pregnant woman my size, but still...seeing a number I've never seen before scares the crapola out of me. This week I weighed in at 138 lbs. Ah! Of course, it's all baby and stuff for the most part, but I just can't get over it. The number just gets higher every week and it will for the next 4 months? Will I ever be able to get back from this after the birth? I've had to consciously change the way I walk and move. I sometimes forget that I have this big belly and get confused I can't squeeze through places I could before. Or I find myself bumping into things more.

A few nights I have been woken up in the middle of the night from our little one's kicks and I start to freak out. I start thinking that this baby is going to have to come out of me at some point. How the heck is that gonna happen? Can I really do this? Am I really ready to be a mother? What if I can't hack it? All these crazy thoughts start floating through my head...
Monday we have our first Bradley class and I'm really hoping it will start taking some of my pregnancy and birth fears away.

Thank you for all the prayers of our friends and family. All three of us have managed to stay healthy thus far! We thank the Lord every day for this little blessing growing inside me. And I'm so thankful He is allowing me to be a part of this amazing experience.

Monday, June 15, 2009

EA SPORTS Active Review

My husband is a "Project Architect" for a family owned design/build firm that specializes in Christian churches. Recently he passed the exam to become LEED Certified (I'm so proud!). Among getting a few extra letters at the end of his name, he also received a bonus from work (Thank you Lord for always providing). After figuring out what our needs are and saving some of it, Byron thought we should have a little fun to celebrate his hard work and achievement.

He surprised me by purchasing EA SPORTS Active for our Nintendo Wii. We tried it out last night and it is sooo cool. We do have the Wii fit board and game, but I found it to be easy to slack off on. The Wii fit game doesn't give you a whole lot of guidance or a program for you to work with, but just lets you pick and choose the exercises you want to do. You can spend the whole time doing balance exercises and feel good about working out for 30 min. with no real results in the end. EA SPORTS Active focuses more on burning calories and getting your heart rate up with combining strength training exercises as well. You have your own personal trainer that makes a workout program for you. You are able to customize it a little if you just don't feel like running that day or some other exercise. You can also pick out the intensity of the workout you want and even what kind of music you want in the background. The graphics are pretty good too. They have you start with a 30 day challenge which includes 20 workout days and 10 rest days that they plan out for you (great feature!). I like how I am already starting to sweat in the first minute or two of the workout (which rarely even happened for me with the Wii fit game). They also go back a forth from cardio to strength training throughout the workout with little rest, which gives it a lot of variety and doesn't bore you. At the end of your workout they entice you to work out again by telling you what new exercises they will incorporate into your workout next time (like practicing your tennis skills or kickboxing). They do have feature where you can workout with another person that we have yet to try. That will be a fun thing to be able to do together. The only thing I wish they would add was an option to keep track of your weight and BMI like the Wii fit does. The game does not require you to have a Wii fit board (although they will integrate it in some exercises if you have one), which I realize is probably the purpose of more sales for the product. The other thing I don't like is that I'm 23 weeks pregnant and can't get as intense as I would like to with the workouts right now. Maybe I'll have to do a little experiment to see how long it takes me to get in shape after the birth of the baby.

So far I think this is a great game. My husband enjoyed it and is motivated to continue with the 30 day Challenge, which is great! What I really like is that we can do it together. If you have a Nintendo Wii and don't have a Wii fit board (or if you do) and are looking for some variety in your workouts BUY THIS PRODUCT. Can't wait for our workout tonight...

**Hubby, feel free to add any of your own comments/reviews on this game**

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Green Cleaning

Household cleaners are SO expensive. If you are looking for something on the safer or "greener" side, you can spend even more. I don't mind making cleaners at home, but most of them have a vinegar base that I just can't stand. I want my house to actually smell clean and not like I just spilled a gallon of vinegar on the floor after hours of hard work. Essential oils can help, but those are very expensive too.

A friend of mine introduced me to Shaklee a while ago, but for some reason I thought you had to be a member to purchase their products. Money Saving Mom is writing a series on her blog on 100 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year. She tipped me off on Shaklee's Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate. It's non-toxic, natural, doubly concentrated, and biodegradable. The 16 oz bottle makes 48 gallons of household cleaner! It has formulas for Windows and Mirrors, Degreasing, and All purpose jobs. The best part about it is that it only costs around $12 a bottle at non-member price.

Working great so far.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I loooove strawberries! And I LOVE strawberries from our garden. So sweet. No chemicals. All naturally delicious. There is nothing better.

I picked all of these just today!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

21 Weeks!

We are 21 weeks along in the pregnancy already. Halfway there! I really just can't believe it. Today was a really exciting day. Ultrasound! Byron took a half-day off of work today so we could go together. I have to say it's the most amazing thing to see your baby moving around inside of you. The spine was the first thing I noticed (pretty cool). We got to see the heart beating and the little arms and hands...and the legs and feet that were doing what they like to do (jab me in the side-haha). The appointment took really long, though-1 hour. The baby just didn't want to cooperate and was facing down for most of the time. Didn't get that great of pictures in the end, but it was still cool to see the little one who has been doing gymnastics inside of me for the past few weeks. Part of me wanted to know the gender SOOO bad, but we held strong. All in all the report and measurements all came out normal. The only thing they noted was that the baby has pretty long legs and arms and a big head, but they are all proportionate to the body....haha. Hmmmm....Maybe we'll be having a little Byron running around here after all??

Profile view (Section through Head) of our little one. Mostly head and shoulder area.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Last Night's Dinner

I'm a pretty picky eater. This whole eating less meat and more legumes thing is a bit of a challenge for me. I'm not a huge fan of beans, but I do like lentils (as of recent). I found a recipe from my More-with-Less cookbook using lentils that looked interesting-Lentil Burgers. Hhhmmm....well I decided to try it out last night. We ate these on whole wheat buns with a side salad, strawberries from the garden, and watermelon.

What I liked: Used little ingredients, quick and easy to make, tasted GREAT, and didn't stick to your gut like a regular burger.
What I didn't like: They didn't seem to actually stay together, very messy.
What I'll do different: Instead of making them into burgers, next time I will make them as a sort of sloppy joe.

Dehydrated Apples

My husband and I went to an Italian grocery store in our area this weekend. What I really like is going to their discounted produce area. They package up produce that is on its last leg into big boxes for $2.50 (no matter what is in there). My husband recently has been juicing for breakfast and this is a cheap way to juice. I have also wanted to get back into dehydrating. I got a dehydrator a couple years ago through We purchased two big boxes of apples. One for juicing (which was enough for the whole week) and one for me to dehydrate. Just make sure you wash the produce and cut off all the yucky parts.

How to Dehydrate Apples

Wash, peal (optional), and slice to 1/4ish inch (just make sure they are all the same. After that you want to soak the sliced apples in a bowl of equal parts lemon juice and water for about 10 minutes.

Evenly spread apple slices on food dehydrator trays. Do NOT overlap apples.

Every food dehydrator is different, so check your manual for drying time and temperatures. Mine doesn't have a temperature gage, so I just let it go for about 6 hours and checked it every hour after that until apples were slightly pliable.

Remove from trays and put into air tight freezer bags. Label with date and enjoy! These will last for up to 1 year.

My handsome husband with our first harvest from our strawberry patch!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Family Budget Update

Last month we decided to switch over to a cash/envelope budget system. I must say, I was a little skeptical about it. The Costco membership we got this month cut into my grocery budget, so I was a little worried that I wouldn't have enough for food. We also ran out of money for gifts pretty fast. B and I went over the finances for May over the weekend and we were pleasantly surprised.
Dave Ramsey
turned us on to the envelope system after hearing that people save an average of 12% more using it. We only have two credit cards. One for emergencies and one for everyday use. We never carried a balance on either card paying the complete bill every month. We still felt like we didn't quite have a handle on what we were spending each month. We haven't actually "cut up" our credit cards yet, but we didn't use them at ALL last month. Using this envelope system and using cash for almost everything (everything but the bills we pay through our bank online from our checking account) does work. I am excited to say we actually ended up saving 20% MORE this month! We ended up having $8 left in the grocery budget even after the Costco membership. I know I can do better next month. We ate a lot of meals "from the pantry." I was able to be creative with what I had in the freezer, fridge, and pantry. Now that I am learning how to sew, I am able to be creative and frugal by making gifts for people. It's really been great.

I can't wait to see how much we will save this month! Link

Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekend Movies

After a long 2 days of having a garage sale with my grandmother, Saturday evening my family rented The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. This movie received 13 Academy Award nominations and won 3 Oscars. However, we were surprisingly disappointed with this film. No one seemed to enjoy it. I found it to be extremely depressing. Someone always seemed to be dying and there was as constant reminder of age and getting older. My husband especially couldn't get over how inconsistent the movie was throughout. The movie was fairly long and left you feeling like "why did I just waste 2hrs and 45min of my life watching this movie." Don't waste your time with this one!

After spending the day weeding, planting flowers, and tending to the garden & yard on Sunday, my husband and I found a documentary on Hulu to watch called the Future of Food. "THE FUTURE OF FOOD offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade." WATCH THIS MOVIE! It's an eye opener....and it's free! Watch the trailer below.

The Future of Food