Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Weight Management 101

If you thought I was going to offer you tips for how to maintain your weight, I am sorry but that is not the intent today.  I realize the name is somewhat misleading;  Okay completely misleading.  However, I had to lure people here to read this somehow and everyone is worried about their weight these days so I figured I would give it a try.  I mean a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, right?  And my blog needs more traffic anyways.  So if you are looking for tips on how to lose weight, you may want to check out a different blog because you are likely to gain a few pounds simply by reading this story.  Seriously, get out of here if you don't want to gain a pound or twelve...

My actual scale reading when I stepped on it after the Breakfast Potpie dinner!

Wait... never mind all of that introduction crap about not helping you with your fitness goals,  misleading you  in an attempt to boost viewership and the threat that you might gain weight by simply glancing at this post, I've changed my mind!!! And I am a woman so I am entitled to do so.

Oh and I went ahead and put together a few quick fitness related tips, here you go:

Make fitness a priority!

Don't worry about what other people think about you.  BEST advice ever.  Do your own thing; And losing your mind, or being labeled crazy it totally okay!  Most accomplished people are labeled crazy at some point in their lives.

 You just have to do your best.  Don't try to be perfect.  Don't compare yourself to others.  Leave perfection to God and just try to be better today than you were yesterday.

Those are the best motivational posts I found during my two minute google search.  I know I wish I had my own R&D team so that I could do a more thorough job, but alas it is just me.  I am an army of one!  Now fat content and cholesterol levels aside, breakfast pot pie for dinner the other night was ahhhmazing!  Everyone loved the Breakfast Potpie and I made pancakes on the side because you know I am that AWESOME of a mother and wife! It was so good!  SO VERY GOOD.  The word good doesn't really do it justice.  It was a life altering, dining experience and it may very well revolutionize the entire potpie industry.  That is how darn "good" it was.  

However, if I had weighed myself before and after the breakfast pot pie, I am fairly certain I would weigh in a pound (or twelve) more after consuming it.  Good thing I didn't actually step on the scale during the pot pie experimentation phase!  I sure dodged that bullet!  Breakfast Pot Pie is so delicious, I must not keep it secret.  Or maybe I should so I can market the sh*t out of it and become a gazillionaire.  Decisions decisions. What to do...What to do.....

A little distraction so I have more time to ponder this dilemma:
  hahahahahahahah!  This is so very completely funny to me!  I have very little patience for people who make excuses about why they can't fit a workout into their daily schedule.  It really is a matter of prioritizing and for me fitness almost always makes the cut.  I just feel so MUCH BETTER when I get a good workout in and I really don't have time for being dead 24-hours a day!

Okay I am feeling generous today and very happy, giddy even. This generosity is probably somehow related to my body trying to process the breakfast pot pie the past couple days. Regardless, here it is! Your very own. step-by-step guide on how to create your personalized artery clogging, weight gaining, absolutely tasty, although completely unhealthy, Breakfast Potpie!

How to create a sliver of heaven here on earth, I mean a Breakfast Potpie...

Step one:  Cook the eggs, sausage and hash browns independently of one another.

Step two:  Bake the pie crust for 12 minutes 
Yes step three involves canned gravy.  Sad, but true add a can of canned sausage gravy (or if you have more hours in your day make it from scratch) and about 1/4 cup half and half to a sauce pan (or if you are tight on time like I was microwave it).  The important thing is to heat it up.

Layer the sausage, scrambled eggs and hash browns into the pie crust.  Pour the gravy sauce over the top and bake at 400 for about twenty minutes, or until bubbly around the edges, or until your smoke detector goes off alerting you to a small fire inside your oven. You know whatever happens first.

Best of luck and I hope your smoke detector is not needed!

Vern Out

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My glass is half full

Slightly blurry but too perfect to leave out of the story!
Just when I was certain my kids are not hearing a single word I say to them and I was simultaneously fairly convinced my life lessons for them were falling on deaf ears (or had become victim to selective hearing), my 3rd grader goes and proves me WRONG. Oh and she did so by dragging a bunch of disposable plastic cups home from her Valentine's Day party.  If only we got to pick which lessons they actually remember. Wouldn't that be grand!? I better share the story so it makes a little more sense...

The picture to the right is difficult to read at the bottom, but it is worth the extra effort so get out your bifocals or have someone read it for you because it is So true and So clever!

So anyhow, she was so completely tickled pink when she arrived home from school on Valentine's Day (she seriously would've put Pinkalicious to shame in that moment that is how "tickled pink" she was) regarding her safe delivery of the cups to me.  She was so excited I just didnt have the heart to say anything other than,"thank you (awkward pause) very much!" as she handed me the cups that were a sticky, dirty, nasty mess.  I cared not about the mess because I knew these cups represented a real break through.  Kara had not only heard my lesson about throwing stuff away being bad for the earth, she had also applied it perfectly.  She proudly announced that she had saved the cups from, "the dreaded garbage can at school mom!" She was basically a hero in that moment although I think she is my hero each and every day. She is such a fun loving, brave and boisterous girl. I can take her anywhere and she finds a way to fit right in and make others feel welcomed while she is at it and that my friends is a real gift from God;  She is a real gift from God!  I suppose we are just a happy little family of tree huggers out here in Nunica!! And I suppose I am okay with that!  Hug away with the trees my friends!  While I do hate stuff getting thrown away(I hate that we are a throw away society in so many ways), I honestly would have much rather she recalled my lesson about turning the lights out when she leaves a room, or perhaps picking up her dirty laundry before she leaves for school.  But she rescue plastic cups from the garbage can at school and that is okay too.  Alas we do not get to choose the information retained and applied by our children, we just get to offer them lessons and hope for the best. Sigh.  Here are the cups in all their GLORY!  Aren't they beautiful and splendid?

These cups may last longer than mankind!

Anyhow, that is all from the home front.  Tomorrow at the urging of the same daughter who proudly brought me the cups, I plan to mess with my potpie recipe and create a breakfasty version complete with pork sausage, scrambled eggs, hash browns and cheese.  I am fairly certain that it will taste delightful, but even if it is not and we eat bread and butter instead, we will all be drinking our OJ from the incredible rescued plastic cups because I am washing those cups until they literally fall apart.  We actually started a tally of how many times we use them before they disintegrate.  It is posted on the fridge.  We are on three uses and counting...The cups may actually live longer than I do and possibly the kids too because they are the nice thicker plastic ones and they are going to take a long time to break down.

PS my husband just suggested that I need to add gravy to this newly created recipe.  I can already feel my arteries clogging just thinking about tomorrow's dinner!

PPS:  Advice from a tree!

PPPS My plastic disposable glass is half full; How bout yours?

Vern Out

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bees and Beavers

Forget about the busy bees and the beavers, God is so very busy these days!  And He still has time to work on my Haiti Dream!  I just got this picture from a cousin of a friend; This particular cousin of a friend was actually at God's Littlest Angels in Haiti this past December volunteering and met Deny- like for reals!  He is the boy in the orange Under Armor shirt sitting on the ground.  She said he is a riot and that he is so much fun!

And I spoke to one of the board members at God's Littlest Angels who happens to live in none other than Grand Rapids, MI.  Both he and his wife have adopted and volunteered at the orphanage. In their humble opinion, it is a safe and controlled environment and they take great care of the volunteers.  He agrees that Deny is an amazing little boy.  Yes, he too has met him in the flesh and blood.

My heart is beating fast.  And I am so full of JOY! Dreaming, praying and loving life!

Vern Out

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I Surrender

No Chester has not killed us and there is not an ongoing appliance revolt! I am in fact still alive and for the most part doing well!  Now naming of the appliances and emptying of Chester aside, I am struggling in this game called life. And that my friends is why I have not enlightened anyone with my comical and/or ridiculous life stories recently.  To be completely honest, I am just really struggling with a situation.  I tend to be spiritual, but not necessarily religious and sometimes that means life is just HARD.  Maybe life is just hard anyways.  I think, it probably is.

If only life were as simple as the board game!

At Bible Club (Remember Bible Club is what we affectionately named our Bible Study group) last fall our focus was to become "One in a Million" (meaning one in a million is how many people God communicates directly to and we were to aspire to be  the "one").  To someone like me, that message was very daunting because I honestly am not that close to God.  I talk to him a lot while running (in my head) and I pray about things that really bother me while I fall asleep at night (also in my head).  Sometimes I do ask for his help when I am challenged by my kids and that is usually in my head too unless I cry out, "God, I could really use some help here because in case you haven't noticed things are not going well here." and that is usually after the shit has already hit the fan so to speak.  So I have limited God experience. Very limited.

So I have been struggling with a recent experience and I guess am finally ready to go public with it! You see, after Bible Club one night I had a real heart-to-heart with God (in my head still, but it was a longer conversation and I asked him to touch me in a way that would only be explainable by HIS presence so that I would feel like "one in a million"!)  Long story short, he did and I end up sponsoring Deny an orphan from Haiti, who like me suffers from hydrocephalus, and I know that this was GOD working in my life.  There are just TOO MANY coincidences in the long version of this story for it to be otherwise explained.  And so now here I am all RESTLESS again and confused.

And annoyed that's what I am.  I am annoyed with the American lifestyle (rich, selfish and materialistic) and the daily activities (soccer, swimming, watching television heaven forbid) because these things seem so trivial and unimportant.  I am frustrated with my kids because despite my attempts to teach them otherwise, they still believe that real problems involve Kindles, Pokemon cards and other material stuff.  Don't they understand that people are starving, and homeless, and suffering?  I try to explain it to them, but it is out of their realm of understanding because they live the GOOD life (a life of EXCESS) where they have more than they need and they never go to bed hungry unless they didn't finish their dinner.  Our kids are blessed and they don't even realize how good they have it.  I know they are young to understand these complexities, but still it leaves my heart heavy.

Eureka!  I might be making progress though! Tonight at dinner we were playing a fun "would you rather game" at our favorite place to eat out in Spring Lake Pruebelo (By the way this place is fabulous; You get great food and amazing prices. On Tuesdays kids eat free!  And they have $1 rootbeer floats everyday!)  So while playing this super fun game, one of the questions basically asked if you'd rather help someone else and get a little for yourself, or get a big jackpot all to yourself. And you know what!? All 3 of our kids chose to help someone out and take just a little for themselves.  This warmed my heart greatly!

Anyhow,  the other night I wasn't so lucky.  The other night the flood gates opened and I blew up like a volcano and right at the dinner table too.  I didn't say everything I wanted to say (which would be a complete repetition of this post) but I did point out that just once I would like to have them thank me for the meal I prepared instead of immediately complaining about it or refusing to eat it.  I noted that fighting with each other as they join the dinner table (which was the current issue at hand) was disrespectful and unacceptable; To fit the mood, I went ahead and addressed the issue in truly dramatic fashion.  And then I started crying, said I was too upset to eat and walked away from the dinner table.  SILENCE FOLLOWED.  And while I can't prove it, I am pretty sure quiet conversations were had about my eyebrows.

And I went into our bedroom and started running a bath so that I could run away and hide in my bath tub like I often do when confronted with bad situations and completely exhausted (both of which applied to my situation).  In an act of sheer desperation, I said out aloud, "God what should I do?" and He quickly answered, "you have to go back to dinner" not out loud, but still he answered me.  And that was not the answer I was looking for people.  I wanted to hide in the comfort of my jetted bathtub (yes I am spoiled too) and pout and throw my own little fit. I felt I deserved it.  However, after my God moment, I put on my big girl pants and my "happy" eyebrows and headed back out to the battlefield that was my dinner table.  I really do believe the quote up above "families who eat together stay together"  and I guess this story boils down to my basic and fundamental desire to have an enjoyable meal time with my family once daily. 

So coming full circle, I feel I really need to go to Haiti-God is calling me there to spread His word. "Veronica buy a ticket so you are fully committed to this crazy thing. Go to Haiti and hug Deny in person." I hear words like these in God's voice almost daily.  Crazy as it sounds, I could actually go to Haiti to volunteer at the orphanage where Deny lives. They have a real bonafide volunteer program and would welcome my service!

Now admittedly there are some complex family issues involved in this-I am super simplifying this story.  Out of respect for my family, oh and so this story doesn't become a full length novel, I will avoid the details and leave it as a somewhat crazy volunteer dream that I can't seem to forget. And I do realize it is kinda crazy, but as my friends who are adopting from Haiti have said, "thanks for supporting our crazy GOD dream".  So here it is-- my very own crazy GOD DREAM. This post is my full-length answer to the brief question, "why aren't you writing lately? It's because I am wrestling with this one A LOT and it has distracted me from writing.   It is because I can seem to get the picture of Deny in his Christmas outfit out of my head.

I will just ask for your prayers as I wrestle on with my God Dream and leave you with this final quote,

PS: At work we do weekly Grace Cards. They are a fun deck of cards and each card offers helpful life quotes or lessons on them.  The intent is to help guide you through the game of Life.  My card twice during this same time period that I have been wrestling with this crazy Haiti Dream has said, "Surrender is the key that unlocks the door to grace".  I surrender!

PPS I know I sounded like I was atop a soap box for part of this; I don't have everything figured out anymore than the next guy or gal, but I was just sharing a glimpse of the feelings and beliefs I have surrounding this.

Vern Out