When peanut butter and jelly was more important than family or Jesus

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I guess I kind of took a little unintentional bloggy break last week.  Here’s a little bit of what we’ve been doing lately!

Apple picking. And then some more apple picking. And a little more apple picking. Talk about a love hate relationship! Our offer still stands! It looks like you have about 4 days until we get our first freeze and so you are welcome to come pick as many as you can! We have both Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious and they are both scrumptious!


We got to see Holly last weekend. For the second weekend in a row! Now that’s awesome! Her, Caleb and Molly played a little soccer.



While Angel watched from the tire swing!


Last week the kid’s teachers put up a bulletin board about being thankful. Most of the kids put “Family,” “Jesus,” “Mom,” or “Dad”.

My son put: “I am thankful for God lets us have peanut butter and jelly sometimes.”


Thankfully he put the “sometimes” on there. I wouldn’t want anyone to think I let him have peanut butter and jelly every meal day!

Wasn’t life grand when it was all about the peanut butter and jelly?

Life has also been grand for Patrick and I as we continue our journey towards optimal health! After 6 weeks I’m down 12 pounds and over 16 inches (haven’t measured in awhile). I’ve gone from a size 12-14 to a size 8. But SO much more important than that is the life I feel that I’ve gotten back. Fatigue and that whole feeling of overwhelmtion (depression?) gone. Cravings gone! Crazy energy! And we are learning to eat real, pure, truly good foods!

Like this pizza.


The crust is made with egg, cream cheese, parmesan cheese and seasonings. For reals, it was SO good! We’ll never go back to “regular” pizza again.

My amazing husband is down 20 pounds and at least 5 inches just on his waist after 5 weeks.  His acid reflux, ulcer and stomach issues are gone. And seriously he doesn’t stop.

He has so much stinkin’ energy he built this kennel inside our garage yesterday in just a few hours.


And then it goes outside to their kennel. Puppies are not happy. But mama is!


And even more good news. Our grocery bill is almost cut in half every week. I used to spent $175-200 a week. On crap. The past 6 weeks we’ve spent $75-100 a week! (Pat had some extra things that weren’t groceries which got us to $116.) Yes I still give my kids peanut butter and jelly. And sometimes even the mac-n-cheese devil. But we are all taking steps towards eating real food. And loving it!


We have officially gone free-range. Well not “we”, but the chickens have. The black birds are staying put and so now every morning  open the gate for them to wander the farm, even when we aren’t here.  They like to come into the garage when we are home. They also like to come up on the back deck.


And to the front porch. Every day we are home, I hear one in particular coming up all the way to the door, clucking away, like I’m supposed to let her in or something. I love my girls and can’t wait to get more! : )


 Last week was also a big day for our Angel girl. She got to change her earrings! She’s been counting down the days and weeks (and asking non-stop) since getting them pierced.  And now we allow her to change them once a week and she’s so excited. She can even take them out by herself and this morning she got one in by herself! She took this picture yesterday, hoping it would help her get one in. : )


I’m hoping that with this new-found energy I’ll finally get our “extra” room sorted and organized. It’s where we’ve put everything we don’t know what to do with, and all of the extra stuff from Mom and Dad’s house.

This was a picture they had hanging at their house. We just realized the other day when we were looking at it that it’s a cowgirl. A cowgirl with red hair. And the horse looks just like Gracie. I don’t know if they got it because it reminded them of Angel, but we definitely plan to keep it for her and hope she’ll cherish it as much as we do.


As September makes way for October, we look forward to the beauty of fall, Angel’s birthday at the end of the month, and a visit from Aunt Nellie! We are thankful beyond words for the love of our Heavenly Father who sustains us through each and every day. We are thankful beyond words for being given the opportunity to find optimal health.

My friend Erin gave me this daily devotional that sits on my desk at work. I love it so much. And I especially love the wisdom of this day.


No matter where you are at in your life, no matter what He is calling you too, and no matter how inadequate you may feel… He chose you, shaped you and prepared you to make a difference in the world!


Firsts and lasts

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Last night was my last shift with Ask A Nurse. They had a little going away party for me on Tuesday. Man, I’m going to miss these amazing people.


The spread. Best cooks in America, right here at Ask A Nurse!


My best bud Erin. She has been my rock (other than Jesus of course). She is the funniest person I’ve ever met in my life. And she tells me to quit buying goats (so she’s kinda like my sister! ; )). God knew I would need her for so many reasons. One example being the first night back to work after Mom and Dad died. I had went on my break and automatically went to text Mom. Because it was what I did on every break.  Realizing that I could no longer do this, I had the worst meltdown ever. She was working that night and she took care of me and sent me home.  Even though I won’t see her at work, I know that we’ll be friends for life. I’m pretty sure she’s going to help us butcher chickens next time. HAHAHA.


My friend Amy. She’s had the kiddos over to her house to play and she makes the most amazing furniture and décor. She’s otherwise known as Fancified Designs on Facebook (you should follow her!).


One of my many surrogate Mamas, Jackie. There aren’t enough words to describe how amazing this lady is! So thankful for her!


The other call reps. LaRae, Tonya and Corinne. We are missing one – Candice – who just moved to NE. Amazing ladies.


Audrey. Not only my co-worker and friend, but now my neighbor! Yeah!! We live about a mile from them now. Another one of my surrogate Mamas – so thankful for her encouragement and support the past year.


I could take a picture with every one of these amazing ladies and write a mile long post. In the pink – that’s Bev. She always brings me stuff for the kids. She has been an amazing surrogate Mom and Grama.


I know I’ve already talked about my time at Ask A Nurse. But again, I cannot say enough about what a generous, caring group of people this is.


Susan and Monte – the best supervisors I’ve ever had! (For reals.)

While I’m going to miss this fine group of people, I’m not going to miss working nights and weekends!


For my first weekend as a non-weekend worker, we are heading up to the Cities to spend time with Holly and Timothy.

(Don’t even think about stealing our chickens. Our guard dog is ferocious. For reals.)

We are also going to get to see my uncle Pat (my mom’s brother), aunt Vivian, and some of my cousins. That will be great!

And we might do a little shopping. Maybe. Perhaps.

It will also be our last little road trip before the kiddos start school and I start my regular schedule at my new job.


Last night when I got home at 12:30 am, I was welcomed by this:


Woo hoo!! Today is my first day on the Better Body System. I contemplated whether or not to wait to start after our weekend trip. But I so badly need to get healthy. And I still get to eat anyway (healthy real food), so hopefully it won’t be too tough.

Starting the BBS today, also means that this is the last day (actually yesterday) of feeling like crud. Sure I might feel a little icky the first few days as I detox, although a lot of people on the system don’t have any negative side effects from the detox. So we shall see. Either way, it’ll be worth it to get healthy. I’m so ready for a total health transformation!

I’ve really struggled the past year with “what’s the point.”  Considering that fact that God numbers or days and will take us when He wills it. In the blink of an eye we will be gone. Does it really matter than, what I eat or how healthy I am?

I know that sounds silly – but that has been my logic. And even after committing to the Better Body System last week, I’ve struggled with it.

But God has been faithful to speak to me. The past three days – these have been the verses of the day I read through Bible Gateway:

Today: If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:8

Yesterday: Do you know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Day Before Yesterday: For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:13

For reals??

So yes, God does number our days. But the days we do have here on earth, we are to honor Him and honor the bodies He has given us. I’ve definitely not been doing that.

But today is the last day of saying, “who cares,” and “it doesn’t matter.”  And it’s the first day of doing what’s right for me, my body, and my family!


This is the last post the I use “for reals” as many times as I have. For reals.


It’s like I had a baby

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It’s official.

I could have just popped a baby out of me.

Because I weigh only 8 pounds less then I did after I gave birth to Caleb.

Except I haven’t popped a baby out of me.

I don’t know what’s worse.

40 pounds of extra weight or giving birth to a big-headed Caleb.


Anyway, as you may know, I’ve used my parent’s sudden death as an excuse to eat all the ice cream and soda and whatever else my little heart desires.
And over a year later, I continue to justify the food choices I make.
Woe is me.
Let’s snarf down an extra large Baja Blast Mt Dew, 2 tacos and some fiesta potatoes for good measure.

And the only exercise I’ve done in the past year is… well, I can’t really think of any.

Unless you count walking to the concession stand at the movie to get a refill of popcorn.

So what’s my point?

My point is that I’ve finally found something that is going to help me find total transformation!

And I’m so excited!

It’s called Yoli and when my friend Lisa started sharing about it on Facebook, I thought for sure she’d gone off the deep end.

But after a week she’d lost 6 pounds and lots of inches and was talking about total health transformation.
Not just a fad diet that won’t last.

Because you see it’s not just about the weight.

I know how to lose the weight.
Remember, I lost 30+ pounds three years ago.
And kept it off.

But even with the weight loss I was still on antidepressants.

{Which there’s nothing wrong with. If you need them. I may have needed them temporarily but not for the long haul. I believe it was just a way to mask my symptoms of my body being out of wack and putting crappy food in it to make it even more out of wack.}

I was still drinking a gallon a coke a day.

Ok, maybe not that much, but still, I was drinking pop and not eating healthy.

But since I was exercising and counting calories, I was losing pounds and keeping them off.

But my body obviously wasn’t healthy.

And so that’s why Yoli is so different.
It really is about total health transformation.
Real food. Nothing artificial.
A life change.
With an amazing support system and real life tools and encouragement to go along with it.

And I am so ready!

I don’t have any “before and after” to show you.


But stay tuned. There’s no turning back now!


What God used to heal Caleb

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As you may know, last July/August, Caleb started having pretty severe allergy and asthma symptoms. He had RSV as a baby and so every Fall he’d get the croup. He was also allergic to egg. We got him retested earlier this year because we thought he had outgrown his egg allergy.  Turns out he had which was great, but unfortunately he had acquired different allergies – cat, dog, pollen, ragweed and dust! His dust, pollen and ragweed were pretty severe according to the test and we certainly could attest to that considering the horrible late summer/fall we had last year.  The doctor also suspected he had asthma, which again we kind of suspected.

Poor guy struggled so much. Partly because we weren’t very consistent with giving him his meds. But also because we just couldn’t seem to get the right combination to keep it under control. The allergy doctor told us one thing and then we’d bring him to acute care or the ER when he had a bad attack and they would tell us another thing. So finally in April or May I think, we met with our family doctor and went through all his history, symptoms, meds and the plan of action going forward.

That plan included two steroids, a nasal spray and zyrtec every day. We also got a RX for a nebulizer so we’d have that when the daily meds weren’t keeping up.

During the last really bad attack he had, I came across something on Facebook about Frankincense helping asthma. Turns out I had some Frankincense, given to me by a good friend about two years ago when I was struggling with whether or not to go on anti-depressants.  And I just so happened to find it the day before, while unpacking.  I knew it certainly wouldn’t hurt him, so decided to give him some.

The next day he was 100x better. Now granted he was also taking his steroids and we had done a few neb treatments. So I didn’t really know what was helping him or if it was a combination.

We decided to continue to give it to him though. Thinking about putting all those meds into my little guy was really disheartening for me. Yes, I am so thankful for our doctor and modern medicine, however I also know that sometimes there are alternative and more natural options available.

With the help of our friends who had given us the Frankincense, we got some information on what to give for allergies. So we also started giving him Lavender every. After a week or so, he still had absolutely no symptoms. I knew that the essential oils were helping because when he was on all those meds before he would still have symptoms sometimes.  We started to wean him off all the meds and after about two weeks he was strictly on the essential oils.

I shared the success we had with my friends at work, and a few others, but honestly I still wasn’t convinced. Perhaps the meds we had been giving to him were still in his system. But day after day, week after week, we stuck with the essential oil only regime – a drop or two of Frankincense on the chest and forehead, a drop or two of Lavender on the back of his neck and I’d have him inhale them a little too. (And recently we also started using Peppermint for his allergies, he likes the smell of that one better. : ))

We are now towards the end of July and we’ve been using the oils for Caleb’s allergies and asthma for about 6 weeks or so.

Absolutely no symptoms.

He’s been exposed to more dust in the past 6 weeks, then probably his entire life, mainly because of our move to the farm. In the past I couldn’t vacuum if Caleb was home. If I did, even if he came in the house for a few minutes, he would have a horrible reaction. Since being on the oils, I’ve vacuumed with him IN the house and he’s had absolutely no reaction.

He’s been exposed to cats – in the past he would have a bad reaction – this time around he had no reaction what-so-ever.

He’s been exposed to second hand smoke – in the past this would trigger a bad cough and sometimes a bad reaction with his asthma – this time around, he coughed just once right before bed. I gave him a little more oil and when he woke up in the morning he was perfectly fine.

I’ve been counting the days to ragweed season – I know it’s coming up soon. That was what really affected him badly last year and what we believe started his asthma. And of course we are ready to use his prescription meds as we need to. But if the last 6+ weeks are an indication of how the essential oils are helping his asthma and allergies, I hoping and praying it won’t be an issue this year.

We are so thankful the Lord and our friends who introduced us to essential oils. The oils that we use are through Young Living – and they aren’t just the run of the mill oils you can buy anywhere. Which I believe is why they work.

Oh ya, I’ve also been off my anti-depressants for over 6 weeks. I have more energy than I can remember ever having, and I’m back on a journey to lose weight – 3 lbs this past week! Woo hoo!  I believe mostly because of the essential oils and other Young Living products we’ve been using .

(I’ll share more about my journey another time. Kind of like Caleb’s success, I’ve wanted to make sure this was the real deal before I said anything. )