Monday, March 18, 2013

Let's Talk- Friends, Food, and Life Changes

So I had a wonderful day today...a very dear friend of mine from Canada came by for a visit.  We got to just sit and talk for hours and it was enjoyable and soul satisfying.  There are friends you make in your life that are there for a season, and then there are friends you connect with in your soul that are there for a lifetime...and I knew from the moment we became friends that she would be dear to me for the rest of my life.  I did warn her that being friends with me is like dating Taylor Swift- you may just find yourself getting written about. ;)

I know not all of you know her personally, but enough of you know her to where I know you will want to hear about how she is doing, so I will be talking about her along with a few other random topics!

1) is Tricia doing?
I met Tricia when we were both freshmen at Zion.  She was tall, beautiful, and carried herself with such maturity.  We became very close friends and I have always admired her and her life and walk with God.  She has spiritual strength and maturity, and the simple act of sitting in a room with her leaves you feeling like you were ministered to.  She is doing great...she looks wonderful and is wearing many hats at the church she works at.  She is involved with outreach, children, and youth ministry.  She is making a great impact on the lives of many young people could pretty much drop her anywhere and she would make a difference.  It was really great seeing her and I know many of you miss her as well.

2) What does your family eat?  What is in your fridge/pantry?
Ok, this is a mix of questions I have gotten asked several times- I get asked a lot about what we eat and how I shop/what things I buy.  With the exception of the time we lived at Jeff's parent's house (where I just did whatever was easiest), we eat a very "clean" diet.  For the most part I stay away from artificial sweeteners, food dyes, and generally over processed food.  My kids drink water all day, but at dinner they are allowed one cup of milk or juice.  I generally don't buy things that have ingredients I cannot pronounce.  We eat a lot of veggies, fruits, whole grains, dairy, and meat.  The cereal I buy are kinds with only a few ingredients that I can pronounce, and I try to stick to Utz potato chips because they only have about 3 ingredients. Of course, there are exceptions.  I do not have the budget to be stringent on everything- for example, we do not eat everything organic.  I get organic milk, some organic meat, and some organic produce.  There are some processed foods I will buy on occasion, and sometimes we do order pizza.  But generally, I buy clean food and I make a lot of things from scratch.  Something I do to help with this, especially with my physical limitations, is I will fill a bunch of mason jars with the dry ingredients to things I make often, and then just write on top what wet ingredients needed to be added.  So in the morning when I want to make pancakes, I just grab the pancake mason jar and mix in the eggs and milk and a few seconds later you have homemade pancakes with very little work.  But overall, the key to making it work on a limited budget is to really plan your meals and snacks- my house is not an all you can eat, 24-hour buffet.  You eat what you are served at meal times or designated snack times.  Also, drinking water helps too- it was an adjustment for the kids, but after a couple of days it just became their normal and now they are just used to it.
These are the mason jars- there are scones, pancakes, waffles, and muffins- all I have to do is read the top where I wrote down what wet ingredients to add.

3) How do you get your kids to eat what they are served?
I don't.  What I mean is that I do not have a rule with my kids that they must eat everything on their plate.  I have come up with a set of rules that reinforce the behaviors I want for my kids.  I do not allow my kids to say "I don't like this" when they are served something...they do not have to eat what they are served, but they must say thank you and nothing negative or they get their plate taken away for 2 minutes, and then again for good if they complain again.  This is because I want them to be grateful for what they are given and I want them to have good manners if they are served something.  I do not make them eat what they do not like, however, if they want to have seconds of something then they must eat all of the food they are initially served.  So, if I serve chicken, carrots and rice, they do not have to eat the carrots but they must say thank you and then if they want more chicken, then they must first eat the carrots.  This is because I personally don't care to force them to eat what they don't like, but I will not have them filling up on one particular food group while ignoring the other.  I want them to experience well rounded eating choices.  I hope this doesn't seem harsh- I am not mean about it, but I just personally want to reinforce a sense of gratitude in my kids...making faces and complaining when you are served food is something I want to bring to their awareness as being rude.

4) How has your illness affected your daily life?
My illness has definitly affected and changed the way my daily life used to be.  I used to cook a lot more from scratch, and the meals used to be much more elaborate.  I still cook whenever I can, and I try to do nice meals, but I have had to lower the bar a bit on this one.  My meals are more simple and easier to make.  I also will use paper plates much more frequently to cut back on dishes.  I did not used to go out a lot, but now I do so even less...when the kids go to bed, I get in bed.  I don't necessarily go to sleep, but by that point in the day I need to be laying down.  I will spend more time sitting on the couch then on my feet, and everything has to be filtered through this new lens of my physical capabilities.  If we want to go somewhere or do something, we have to think about if it will be too much of a strain on me or not.  Some days I feel better than others and will try and take advantage of that, but for the most part I have had to simplify my life quite a bit.  I changed the homeschool program I was using to one that is a little less dependent on me to teach everything, and I have to stay strict about only teaching once a month at the church.  I have not figured this out yet...Jeff and I are still learning to manage life.  I do know that I am taking things a lot slower.

So great to touch base with you all again!  I am so humbled by all of your support- I am amazed at how many of you tune in each week to my ramblings, but I am glad that you do because it has been a great encouragement to me!  May you have a blessed week and I look forward to seeing you on Friday.

1 comment:

  1. Love the gratitude about the food. Once, when the kids were in their teens (and old enough to shop and drive), there was too much complaining about the dinners. So I told them I wouldn't be cooking or shopping for a month. I wrote it on the calendar and stuck to it. They, and their Dad, had to work it out. Both of them learned to shop and cook....and NOT complain about the meals! M ate lunches out while at work then ate whatever for the dinner. He was great at backing me up.