Saturday, December 30, 2006
(strange and fascinating book!) and it got me thinking again about how what we say, hear, and see affects us in such a profound way and that we rarely even notice when it happens. The gist of the book (the book says it much better) is that these scientists discovered that when they would talk sweetly to vials of water as they froze, the ice crystals turned out beautiful, symmetrical, and balanced. When they talked down to the water, the ice crystals turned out ugly and misshapen. When you consider that we are 70% water, think of how words must affect us! Negative self talk, road rage, and discouraging words hurt us deeply in ways we don't realize, and every word of affection, respect, and kindness helps to build us up. If we could just think before we speak and turn criticism into focused encouragement, silence mean spirited teasing, and shut the door on nasty thoughts, think of the effect we'd have on ourselves, our loved ones, and, most importantly, the new generation we are growing and parenting now! Ever since I saw this book last year I've been trying to listen to music with positive, respectful lyrics (harder to find than you'd think!), and I did work on speaking respectfully as well, but it just slipped out of my mind for a while. This year I want to really focus on giving kind, helpful, positive words, especially to those I love. So, I'll start by listing my best friends and close family and what is most wonderful about them.
And so, in alphabetical order (so I don't have to determine importance), here we go:
Abigail: My loveysweet newest niece, at three months old, was still keeping her personality mostly a secret when I saw her two months ago. I imagine she will be friendly and outgoing like her mom and sister, and will light up a room.
Dad: Unconditionally loving, focused on family, supportive, protective. Children adore him. Always driven to show his children all that he can and to teach and experience as much as possible. His motto is "Today is the best day ever, and tomorrow will be twice as good." Everyone (especially me) needs that motto.
Dan: My father in law is always concerned about the comfort and happiness of those around him.
Dani: Fearless, dives in head first into everything. Self-professed information junkie and marvelous mother. My best friend, platonic soulmate, and "twin" of 22 years succeeds at everything she does, and inspires me to go for it whenever I'm scared. She sends me encouraging text messages telling me she's proud of me and misses me and makes me feel great. She also laughs at my dumb jokes. ;-) Constantly changing, and, strangely, always changing the same way I am! We have stupid amounts of fun no matter what we're doing.
Elijah: My 8 month old nephew is the happiest child on the planet. His big beautiful smile will steal your heart. He's already friendly, intelligent, and musically inclined, and I am so thrilled that I get to watch him grow into an amazing adult!
Eric: My stepbrother's warm smile makes you feel right at home. The first thing he said to me was, "So you're my sister now!" He really does make me feel that way, and I wish he and his marvelous wife Lettie lived near us! It will be fun to see the two of them and their eventual children throughout the years and to be able to grow as a big family together.
Evey: Joy! My confident 2 year old niece will talk to anyone and I'm sure as she grows she will be surrounded by friends (and boys - she's a knockout!)
Jake: Eli's loving father and a thoughtful fiance to my dear Dani. Very intelligent and a "seeker".
Kristi: My mother in law gets excited about everything, and will strike up a conversation with anyone she comes across. Has a gift for staying in touch with people, and has many wonderful friends.
Lettie: Vibrant and fun, my sister in law is all around great. I love that she realizes how important it is to spend time with your husband and really grow your marriage before you add baby to the equation. Very down to earth.
Lindsey: Sweet and friendly, my sister in law is dedicated to being the best mother she can possibly be, which is the most noble thing I can imagine.
Matt: Thoughtful, supportive, encouraging, affectionate, my husband is never embarrassed to say I love you in front of a bunch of construction workers. An amazing nurturer, promising fledgling cook, lightning speed cleaner, and fully understands and appreciates that I will never fit the traditional "wife" mold. Patient with my constant change. Playful and silly. Does the things that everyone else wants to do but is too afraid to (direct quote from his cousin Derik). Talented artist and exceptional craftsman. Will someday be the greatest dad the world's ever known.
Mom: Oh, my mom is amazing, where do I start? Astounding mother, encouraging, always ready to help any way she can, thoughtful, anticipates the needs of others, always actively working to better herself, beautiful decorator, psychic I swear (how does she always know everything?!), hardest worker I know, strong and flexible, daring, funny, always fun to be around, intelligent deep thinker.
Nick: ENTHUSIASM!!! To my brother, everything is THE. COOLEST. THING. EVER. I love it. Amazing musical talent, wild imagination, exceedingly polite and kind.
Phil: Wholehearted interest and enthusiasm in his hobbies. My stepdad is mellow and open.
Sarah G.: Sweet sweet Sarah will do anything to help out the ones she loves. My "sister by association" is an open and warm soul with so many friends!
Sarah M.: Her joie de vivre. My glammest friend radiates excitement and fun and draws people in. The best dancer I've seen, with real star potential. An artistic soul.
Sherry: Big hearted and protective, my stepmom attracts animals and children the way sweet people seem to do.
I love you all!!!
In a large bowl, stir together:
3/4 cup of brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/2 cup of granulated sugar (organic raw is best)
1 cup low fat vanilla or plain yogurt (1 8 oz. container)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 banana (well mashed)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil (I use flax, use anything but Canola!)
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp. fat free milk or soymilk
In a medium bowl, stir together:
1 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup ground flax seed)
4 cups uncooked oats (can substitute barley for oats)
1 tsp. cinnamon (I use 1 1/2 tsp.)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, blueberries...)
1 cup chopped nuts (or whole, if you prefer big chunks like Matt does - sunflower seeds don't work well) *raw, unsalted nuts are healthiest
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix very well. Spread evenly into a 9x13 pan and bake for 30 minutes. Test doneness with a knife.
Add 1 1/2 cup fruit pulp (leftover from making juice in a juicer) and an extra cup of oats (use less dried fruit).
Use soy, almond, or rice milk and soy yogurt and another banana (instead of egg whites) to make this vegan.
Instead of fruit pulp, use blended or chopped fruit
Instead of banana, use canned pumpkin pie filling (not as healthy, but yum!).
Put in protein powder for an extra boost of vitamins and protein.
*Best not to use canned fruit - if you do, you may as well eat candy for breakfast -so much sugar!*
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
- Monday: $0
- Tuesday: $0
- Wednesday: two hot cocoas - $1.65, Walmart (my Xmas gift and a couple knitting needles) - $113.30, Target (Matt's gifts and a tide pen) - $48.29, Best Buy (rechargeable batteries) - $20.38
- Thursday: Iced tea - $1.30
- Friday:Rite Aid - (chapstick and 2 cards) - $9.63
- Sunday: Target - (lexan water bottle) - $6.42
Total = $200.97, an all time high! But I got a $227 mystery refund check in the mail, so it all balances out, right? ;-)
Friday, December 22, 2006
In one year:
- We will be homeowners.
- We will have a fully licensed and bonded successful contracting company.
- We will have a fantastic employee.
- We will have a bun in the oven.
- We will begin networking aggressively.
In two years:
- We will be Green Star certified contractors.
- We will have the extra money to hire someone to clean our house once a week.
In three years:
- We will have enough business and reliable employees for Matt to focus on the business aspect of our company and do very little hard labor.
In five years:
- We will build a LEED certified (environmentally responsible) condo building and sell it for a fortune!
- We will buy vacation property and build the perfect little cabin with our own four hands.
In ten years:
- We will expand our business to include new construction (until this point we'll mostly focus on remodels and additions) and build a Zero Energy Home neighborhood. http://www.toolbase.org/ToolbaseResources/level4CaseStudies.aspx?ContentDetailID=2469&BucketID=2&CategoryID=58
- We will open a small nonprofit apartment for low income single moms, which will also provide free seminars on finances, career planning, parenting, etc. for the residents and an in-house co-op and/or nonprofit daycare.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
They discovered he's diabetic, so a change in diet is absolutely necessary. The family wasn't thrilled about the idea of me changing their meals but now I don't care what they say, I'm cleaning out the fridge and being a militantly healthy cook because I'm not going to watch them hurt themselves anymore.
He'll hopefully be moved out of ICU today (usually they keep bypass patients for two days), so it looks like he's healing quickly. Wouldn't it be amazing if he could come home in time for Christmas? Even the day after Christmas is fine. It'd be so much nicer for everyone to celebrate at home. Regardless, today we're bringing in the little fiber optic tree and some lights to make it a little more festive.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Monday: Target - Reindeer socks for Eli - $1.07
Tuesday: Hospital - cafeteria breakfast. - $15.57
Wednesday: McDonald's - $3.22, Walmart - Flax oil etc. - $13.61
Thursday: Walmart (shame!) - 3 pairs of Knitting needles - $6.46
Friday: Ross - stocking stuffers for 3 parents (I did not buy the shoes that made my heart go pitter patter!) - $57.94
Saturday: Post Office - $12.15 to ship 3 gifts
Sunday: Greeting cards - $11.72, Target - Notebook - $1.60
Total = $123.34 - the highest yet! But still very low compared with all the temptation I had.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
Tuesday: 3 games of pool at local dive bar = $2.25
Thursday:Snacks for Matt, Dan, and I = $4.71
Sunday: Materials for a few gifts plus shipping (these gifts will be late by the way,oops) = $49.96
Total = $56.96
I still need to buy materials and make a bunch more presents. We had no money until last night soooo gifts will be late, and some people I really wanted to buy for won't be getting anything from us. I feel awful. I never ever do that. I always have every gift bought and wrapped by November. This year's just been a little weird. ;-)
Thursday, December 7, 2006
My home is:
- A short drive from the beach
- Exposed to a lot of direct sun
- Walking distance to a park
- In a safe neighborhood with at least a couple great neighbors
- A rambler with a basement
- Easy to renovate
- Perfect for entertaining
- Energy efficient
- 3 bedrooms, 1.75 baths, and space for my office
- A very open and large living room
- A view
- HUGE windows
- Good energy
- A large enough yard for a swing set, 2 fruit trees, and a vegetable and herb garden.
- A big porch
It's a tall order, I know. I have faith that God will put us somewhere wonderful though. It's time to put down roots. As Pastor Tim says, "gotta have roots before you can have fruit!" Of course he's talking about rooting yourself in faith in God but I feel like it applies to this right now. We keep getting "transplanted" from one tiny pot to another and I'm ready for a big roomy orchard, with other nice fruit trees to make friends with.
UPDATE! - We just bought our first house, and we got almost everything on the list. The only things it lacks are the basement, big porch (but the ideal place for a big deck!) and a ready space for my office - we'll have to add that on when we have enough kids to fill up both spare bedrooms, but we'll probably have moved up by then!
Monday, December 4, 2006
11/29 - $0
11/30 - $0
12/1 - $0
12/2 - Burger King (yay veggie burger!) - me $2.71, Matt $5.00
12/3 - McDonald's - me $0, Matt $2.51
Total for the week= $10.22!
I'm pretty ashamed about the fast food (we know better than to eat that junk), but not bad overall. This week we have to buy the last Christmas presents and ship them out, so it might be ugly results next Monday. I'll do my best and we'll see!