Our Family Pic October 2008

Our Family Pic October 2008
Still smiling!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

21 years ago…

I got married on Super Bowl Sunday!

January 31st, 1988


My six lovely attendants!

Rhonda, Kami, Shari, Tonia, Joy and Marie


Tim’s handsome groomsmen!

Trent, Brent, Dean, Brian, Steve and Troy


Aren’t these two just the cutest… They still are!

Kristen Ann and Amy Michelle my sweet nieces!


Soooooo in Love!! Praise the Lord we still are!



From two to seven are family grew!



and grewscan0011

and grew


As they got bigger so did I!Our Family Picture 2008

And then I went on a lifestyle change ( more politically correct than diet and also more true at this point )

Super Bowl Sunday is very special to me and it has nothing to do with football!

Friday, January 30, 2009

A five day weekend


I was sitting here thinking I really should post something when Tyler came in and said…

Hey Mom do you realize we have a five day weekend?

That’s right we are on snow day number three!

Life has really slowed down around here for the three youngest kids and I.

Travis has still had to go to work and college.

Tadd is still at Purdue and classes still go on as usual.

Poor Tim is still on the road every day trucking. This weather just makes his job harder.

But for Tiffani, Troy , Tyler and I life is good!

We have gotten to sleep until the sun shines in our windows. I love waking up to the sun streaming in my windows. Somehow it doesn’t seem as cold! I love my flannel sheets too!

I am feeling very blessed to have a warm house and a warm bed!

Tiff has had to venture out for B-ball practice and went to a neighbors to get the next book in the series she is reading.

She has been stuck twice! Luckily not very stuck! Once in a driveway and once on the road getting over for a truck.

Luckily she knew the driver of the truck and she had her little brother along who she took in case she got stuck and they pushed her out. She has learned not to stop in the middle of a snow drift!

As I looked at my snow covered walk the other day I decided that shoveling it would be a wonderful source of exercise!

So I bundled up and headed out!

I had to trudge all over the farm looking for the snow shovel. It turns out Tim had it with him. I eventually found a shovel. A dirt shovel! But I was on a mission. I was determined to shovel that walk!


You know it takes a lot longer to shovel snow with a small dirt shovel!

I was just finishing up ( 40 minutes later )when Tim got home with the snow shovel. Isn’t that like a Murphy’s law or something! But hey, I got my workout and I accomplished something while I was at it!

And I definitely used some new muscles. My shoulders are still sore!

On the workout front. I am pleased to report that I have been faithfully doing something almost everyday, Sundays I usually take off! Exercise is still not a voluntary habit yet but I guess you could call it a forced habit!

Yesterday I decided to head back to the treadmill and bike and give Leslie Sansone a rest!

Now I haven’t been on the treadmill for a few weeks. I was disappointed to discover that after a few minutes of running I was developing a side ache.

So the first mile I ran/walked and the 2nd mile I just briskly walked. It took me almost 25 minutes to get my 2 miles in when I was doing it in under 20 minutes just a few weeks ago.

I am amazed how quickly my body got lazy! Especially since I was doing a Leslie every day. I guess they just target different areas. I want to try the treadmill again today and do a little better!

You know as long as you are doing something high impact or low impact it is better than doing nothing at all!

I just read in a magazine ( Good Housekeeping, Feb/2009 page 44, I have being doing a lot of subbing in English and it is very important to cite your sources :) ) this morning that regular activity cuts your heart attack risk by 50% and lowers the the systolic blood pressure( that is the first number) an impressive 5 pts. with just three 10 minute walks, three days a week. ( this is from an Irish study ) It also discourages the formation of blood clots and shrinks abdominal fat.

That doesn’t seem like much exercise for all the benefits it provides.

Well I am now officially in the middle of my 5 day weekend and still haven’t motivated my Helpers yet or exercised today ( I want to get busy and shrink some abdominal fat) so I better get busy!

Have a great day!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow days and Taco Soup


Today is a snow day! I love snow days! (At least until June when we have to make them up)

I always have such high hopes for snow days…

going through drawers and closets

catching up on household chores

Getting all the laundry put away

after all I have “helpers today”

Helper’s who do not share my high hopes!

They plan on sleeping in, laying around, sledding, maybe a competitive game of monopoly, hot chocolate, and watching a movie together.

They usually win but I usually get them to help me at least catch up!

I love snow days because we are all together and no one can leave. (at least for awhile)

We are also hoping that the flu is done with us!

4 out of the 7 people who live here have had a nasty flu bug in the last 48 hours!

(One of the 3 is at Purdue, Lucky you Tadd )

This has proven to be a great weight loss method for those who had the flu! But I would not recommend it!

Anyways I am also one of the 3 who hasn’t had it so I hope we are done with it!

I think that on a cold snowy day soup is always a winner!

Taco soup is my favorite! It only has 2 pts a cup.

Although I think for today we will stick with a more neutral broth and noodle soup!


1 lb ground turkey – (I now use a really lean ground beef like 93% because I am not a huge fan of ground turkey)

cook meat with chopped onions ( 1 huge or 2 medium to large)

and green peppers ( 1-2 I use 2) drain well

Then add: 5 cans beans (I use 3 cans of black beans and 2 cans of chili beans)

1–2 cans whole kernel corn (drained) ( I use my frozen)

5 cans diced tomatoes ( sometime I use 3 cans of diced and 2 cans of tomato sauce the original recipe called for stewed tomatoes but I am not a huge fan of giant tomato chunks)

add: 1 pkg taco seasoning

1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

Combine well, cook ½ hour

This recipe usually makes 17-20 cups sometimes I dump in more tomatoes (they’re free).

I freeze this in 1 cup containers.

1 cup = 2 points


Please note that I revamped this recipe by adding 2 extra cans of beans, 2 extra cans of tomatoes, and 1 can of corn. Also the original recipe just said green pepper and onions with no specification of how much.

So if you don’t want such a huge pot you could go with the original recipe and the pt value would stay the same.

This is delicious and filling. I eat it with scoops crunched up on top   7 baked scoops = 1pt

Or I eat it with my homemade chips from wraps!

This is also good to put over lettuce for a delicious taco salad!

This is yummier than it looks. It is really more tomatoey looking. It did not photograph well, too much flash?


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A box of chicken


The other day I  bought a 40 pound box of chicken breasts from Troyer’s market!

Being the strong and in shape lady that I consider myself, I hauled it out of my trunk, up my garage steps, into my house, through the laundry room and living room and finally deposited it on my kitchen table along with a few other bags of groceries! (For those of you who know my house it is really not that far I am just in a preposition mode.)

Whew! what a relief, I made it!

Then it hit me! (Not the chicken, the realization)

I had been carrying around not only one 40 pound box of chicken but 4 40pound boxes of chicken.

Now I am pretty strong but I don’t believe that I could carry 4 40lb boxes of chicken in from my car in one trip.

But I used too carry that much everywhere I went!

For the next hour and a half as I cut and cleaned the chicken, marinated some and cooked some for casseroles. (Basically I was feeling like a regular pioneer woman putting meat up for my family for the long, cold, hard, winter. Except I didn’t actually kill the chicken,pluck the chicken, butcher the chicken or even have  to deal with bones and the other really gross stuff.)

I started thinking about how I actually felt when I had all that extra weight attached to me!

It made me realize just how much effort I had to put into just the simple, normal things of day to day life.

You have heard of the term Fat and Lazy!

I don’t believe it

It is just not true!

Try doing just normal day to day tasks with an extra 100 plus pounds attached to you!

It is quite a work out! I didn’t work out then because just carrying all that weight around was a workout. Which explains why I have such big calves and leg muscles. Just carrying me around was like lifting weights every minute of the day! Which is why the perfect boot eludes me. ( that is another whole post).

Here are some for instances of things that are just normal for me now that took a lot of effort before!

Getting dressed and showered

tying my shoes

clipping my toenails

getting groceries

hauling 5 kids anywhere, 3 in car seats for years!

Shopping with friends


Getting in and out of  farm equipment

The list goes on but I think I will save that for another post too.

I was tired, but I thought it was because I was just doing normal mom and farm wife things.

Admitting this is hard for me because all those years of being fat,

I knew I was fat,

I was okay with being fat,

I was even happy!

I told myself I was normal and that by being fat it didn’t make me not the norm. I just wanted to be like every other normal person.

I realize now that as I tie my shoes, clip my toenails, workout, park in the back of Wal-marts parking lot ( well at least half back) Shower, dress, run here and there, up the stairs down the stairs, out to the barn, and I am not winded or exerted, I was not normal.

This makes me a little sad! Even slightly regretful! I think of the things i may have missed out on.

I am not a person to dwell on regrets so I will get past it! I didn’t throw those years away. I just spent them working harder and accomplishing less than I could have. They were still great years, some of the best of my life!

I get to experience things all over again that I had written off as never again or not possible. This past year I roller skated, ice skated, and  water skied.

I really didn’t miss them but now I can do them if I want.

I have the choice!

I really want to try rollerblading this summer.

You know it is funny I never really felt like I was limited. The weight came on over time so that I didn’t even realize how it made me feel.

It also came off so slowly that I didn’t realize how much more it really freed me.

Sometimes I find myself doing a normal task and I marvel how easy it is.

The more I gained (weight) the more I lost (normalcy).

The more I lost (weight) the more I gained (normalcy and health).

It is all relative!

I would still like to lose another box of chicken but I will have to do it one pound of butter at a time!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chubby Cheeks!



Yep that’s me! It seems I have always had a weight problem. But then they called it cute and chubby.


I think here I was called healthy and filled out!


I believe this is me “thinning out”  Thinning out for me didn’t last long and I didn’t get very thin! I never did get rid of my chubby cheeks!


This is probably me at one of the thinnest moments of my life and guess what? I still had chubby cheeks!

I could have posted so many more of me that weren’t near as flattering. We could have labeled them…


What a pretty face

the hair cut

New Perm

Really awkward!

But they all have one thing in common!


I have learned to accept these cheeks. It seems that there is no real good exercise for this problem!

It really doesn’t seem so bad now that I am 40 and dealing with the double chin and saggy neck syndrome!

I talked to someone in Church today that really has never had to watch what she ate and has never had a weight problem! She is in her 70’s.

She is one of the sweetest women I have ever known. She has been through her share of heart aches and tribulations over the years but she stopped me because she wanted me to know how much she admired me for being able to lose all this weight even though she has never had to deal with it herself.

I thanked her and it got me thinking that even though my weight has never been an easy thing for me to control, it is small potatoes   ( notice I compare to food ) to what she has had to deal with.

We are all given circumstances that we have to deal with every day some are harder to deal with than others!

Maybe a slow metabolism and chubby cheeks aren’t so bad!


Thursday, January 22, 2009


For the last month I have been at a plateau. I hate  really dislike plateaus!

A plateau is when you just can’t seem to see the scale go downward even when your still doing everything right.

Now I admit over Christmas I may have been a little generous with my points but all in all I did okay. At least I didn’t gain a bunch.

But since then I have really buckled down and no recordable results have been seen… until this week.

Yes that tiny little needle is finally going down or should I say not going as high. Weight loss seems to take so long!

The more weight I lose, the more I plateau. The sad thing is when you plateau the first thing you want to do is quit and go eat something bad!

I’ll show that old scale!

Don’t do it!

Just be patient keep on keeping on and eventually the needle will move! ( hopefully downward )

Plus if your exercising you may be gaining muscle and that doesn’t show up on the scale.

I have already lost inches but not actual weight!

So don’t be discouraged by the lack of instant results, just reassess, make sure your counting your food and portions correctly and keep up the good work!

Sometimes I find myself getting into a food rut by eating the same foods over and over because I like them and they are easy to count.

It might be time to just change your food up a little, this has helped me in the past.

If you can’t handle not seeing the results and it makes you discouraged don’t weigh everyday. In fact most experts will tell you only to weigh once a week!

I am way too optimistic for this because I am always sure that it will show a loss so I weigh more often than that.

That is probably why I talk to my scale!

“You have got to be kidding!“

“You Lie!”

“Are you broke?”


But today we were friends!

I was more like…



So the moral of this little tale is…

Don’t be discouraged!, Don’t give up!,

It may take a few weeks to work through a plateau but eventually you will and you and your scale will be in perfect harmony again!


Wishful thinking! Too bad I have to add the other foot!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Back to food


I was a food snob!

I didn’t like anything light, fat free, sugar free, diet, high fiber, non caffeinated, reduced calories...

I liked creamy, buttery, sweetened, double cheese, double stuffed, caffeinated, thick and rich, in a syrup, the list goes on.

I really thought if I used light, reduced fat, 1%, my recipes wouldn’t taste as good.

Most of the time when I revamp a recipe by adding the fat free soups, fat free or light sour cream, cream cheese, 2% Velveeta or fat free or light cheeses . I can’t really tell. Sometimes there is really no difference.

Sometimes I can tell but it is not huge and its is not bad, it is just a little different.

It doesn’t hurt my family to have less fat in their diet it is really so much better for them.

I feel better knowing that I am cooking healthier for my family.

Now I still can’t get them away from their soft unhealthy white bread (baby steps) but I can control small little adjustments I make to everyday recipes that they don’t even know.

Another trick I use is doubling vegetables in recipes but not the meat. This can help cut points down in a casserole in a hurry. I also may add more beans to a soup. Black beans are my favorite. This adds fiber and protein 2 things that keep you fuller and more satisfied.

Would you believe I didn’t even like beans very much before. ( I still have problems with those huge red kidney beans).

I told you about the containers I use. Now let me show you…


This is what is on my diet shelf today.

I have spaghetti, a stir fry, taco soup, mashed potatoes,  sweet potato, corn, peas,broccoli, lemon dessert, strawberry jello, strawberry pie, yogurt, Fat Free Jello pudding, light string cheese, and of course FREE cool whip.

Some of these foods I made specially for Tiff and I others are just left overs that are in portions easy to count. Some I just bought at the grocery store.

All of these foods are easy to grab and eat  ( just as easy as a bag of chips )and nothing here will make me feel guilty for eating it. This a good way to keep your portions in control too.

If I decide that what I cooked for supper is to high in points I can grab one of my meals from the shelf. If I get called into sub, lunch is easy to pack, If I am home alone with refrigerator door syndrome ( that is where you keep opening and shutting the door because you think you want to eat something ) I will grab a broccoli or jello and feel no eaters remorse.

It may take a little extra time to make up food in these containers, It may take a little extra planning, but it is worth it! Your worth it!

So that being said here is one of my all time favorite recipes…

Oh so Yummy!!



4 Cups sliced fresh strawberries

1 small box SF cook & serve vanilla pudding

2 Cups water

1 small box SF instant strawberry jello

FF Cool Whip.

Place strawberries in the bottom of a 9” glass pie pan

Mix vanilla pudding and water in a saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring often. Take off heat and add instant Strawberry jello (dry mix). Combine well.

Pour Mixture over strawberries that are in a pie plate. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Serve with a dollop of cool Whip. ¼ of pie = 1 pt.

I cut into 6 pieces and am very generous with cool whip and count it for 1 pt.

I also just make it in 6 of my individual containers so it fits on my diet shelf better.

You can tell by the pic that out of six there is only 1 left. ( I hid that one for my lunch) :)

Have a great day!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Unmotivated Monday Turn Around


I actually started this post this morning at 11:15. I wrote 2 very pathetic paragraphs about all I had planned to do and how I still hadn’t even got started yet. I was still in my warm, comfy jammies and hadn’t even exercised. ( Nope, still not a habit ).

You see Mondays for me are usually very unmotivated. I wish I could sub every Monday because I usually don’t accomplish much at home.

Last night though I had big plans; do wash, a big fantastic meal for my family, a quick house pick up, a quick trip to Troyer’s Market, enthusiastic exercise, and maybe a little time to finish my library book. Oh, and lets not forget the blog!

So at 11:22 this morning when I read over my blog and realized there was really no reason for my whinny story, no quirky antidote,  no lessoned learned and on top of everything it was oh soooooo BORING!

I decided then and there it was not to late for a turn around. I was accepting another unmotivated Monday without even really trying.

I do this a lot! It really doesn’t even occur to me sometimes. I am very accepting of my shortcomings.

But today was different. At 11:23 I decided the day was not going to be a complete wash, I could still accomplish much and I wasn’t going to blog or read until I had something to show for my day.

I exercised ( almost enthusiastically), I went to Troyers, kind of picked up my house, made a great supper ( even dessert), cleaned the frig out, fed the dog and cats, washed, dried and even folded clothes. Oh, I did shower and get dressed too. :)

It is never too late to make a complete turn around. I do it all the time with my eating and exercising. If I mess up during the day I just stop and reassess and start over. Guess what it worked for this unmotivated Monday too.

Today I said hello to someone and asked them the standard, “How are you?” Most people just answer fine and go on but he answered, “I am very Blessed”

It made me smile then and it makes me smile just thinking about it. It is an answer we can all use but how many of us actually do.

We at some point in our life made a complete turn around from the sinful nature we were born into and turned are hearts and lives to God and the shed blood of Jesus Christ our Redeemer.

If your reading this blog and you haven’t it is not to late for a complete turn around. Jesus is there for you 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week and this is the biggest blessing of all!

I realize I have been all over today in my thoughts so please bear with me!

It is still Monday!


Friday, January 16, 2009

Sisters in Sweat

A couple of days a go I was at a store when the lady behind the counter tried to sell me this HUGE chocolate bar for only $1. I have to admit it was a good deal.

I did something that surprised me. I told her,

“No thank you, I am trying to diet.”

( this is something I have always have a hard time admitting.) Why?

Probably because I think I know what the other person is thinking.

For instance:

“ and well you should”

“ it is about time”

“I don’t think it’s working”

I realize now I’m nuts! I realize now that’s the devil talking. I don’t know what that person is thinking and really does it matter?

She ended up saying, “Oh, me too!”

She went on to say how she has been dieting and exercising since Jan 1,and still no loss and she was feeling frustrated. She walks in front of the TV and still nothing.

That’s when I said,

Do you do Leslie Sansone, “Walk away the pounds”?

She said, Yes

I of course said “ ME TOO”

She reaches over and lightly touches my hand and says.

“We’re Sisters in Sweat!” Now if you have ever done the Leslie Sansone DVD”s you would know what we are talking about and find this little remark humorous. IF not just trust me it was quite cute!

I encouraged her to keep on working on her diet and eventually she will see results just keep at it and then I left. (I would have loved to talk more but there was a line behind me forming).

I don’t know if I helped her but she helped me. I have learned it is Ok to put yourself out there. I have learned this before but I am just a really slow learner in this area!

My next point for today is what I do for exercise! You all know how I love to exercise :)

I really try to mix it up some.

In the warm weather I walk outside, ride my bike and also walk/run with my friend Julie. A walk run is when you walk a few minutes then run a few minutes to get your heart rate up then your back to walking, then running, you get it. This is supposed to be helpful in getting rid of belly flab.

In the winter I try to do my walk run on a treadmill 2-3 times a week, then I follow that with a stationery bike ride lifting hand weights for 10 –15 minutes. I like this routine because I usually watch old sitcoms while I do it. Right now I have been watching the Partridge Family. The only bad thing about this exercise is I have to walk out to our rec room that is hooked onto our shop and in this cold weather I have not been very dedicated. ( it really does not take much to deter me)

So I opt for option 2,

I have 3 DVD’s of Leslie Sansone Walk away the pounds.

One is the 5 day fit walk- It has 5 different workouts 2 last 20 mins and the other 3 last 30 minutes. Some use hand weights, some don’t. I usually pick a 30 min workout and maybe follow with 10 mins of weights for my flabby arms. ( I only have 2 and 3 pound weights but is helping, I actually have little muscles)

The other is a three mile walk that takes 45 minutes. I usually only do this one once a week. ( it gets a little long)

The last one I have loaned out for someone else to try. IT has a 1 mile and a 2 mile walk.

If you can watch TV and follow along you can do this.

I usually just put on my tennies and workout in my jammies.

Basically you are walking in place in front of the TV but she also works in other exercises along with it.

Only drawback, these workouts get quite repetitive. I can tell when she giggles and says her encouraging words and calls us Sisters in sweat.

But since I have numerous workouts I spread it out through the week and I also go out to the treadmill and bike and sometimes I even use the schools fitness room. My goal is 30 minutes a day. Sometimes I have to get up at 5:30 on days I sub to get this accomplished.  ( thus the jammie workouts)

Some days I only get in the 1 mile 20 minute workouts but hey, it gets my metabolism going and something is always better then nothing.

Leslie has this little saying on the end of some of her workouts

Aren’t you glad you exercised today!

I always am!

I am just glad she doesn’t say at the start…

Aren’t you glad your exercising?

It takes me awhile to get euphoric about it!

I have bought my DVD’s from eBay , Wal-Mart and I think Target.

One came with a walk belt, some come with hand weights. Some come with nothing. It just depends on the workout. She has a bunch. Some even for Senior Citizens.

I checked the Bluffton Library They have 19 different DVD’s and 2 books by her. 12 are available now. This would be a cheap way to try her out if your interested. I think I might even pick up a different one to change things up a little.

Maybe we will all become

Sister’s in Sweat! :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Needs and Habits!


You know experts say that after you repeat something for so long it just becomes a habit.

I must be the exception. Everything I desire to become a good habit I have to work at.

Now the bad habits aren’t so hard. I still bite my nails, Read when I should be cleaning, Walk past my shoes 10 times that need to be put away and yes, I didn’t even make my bed this morning. All these things happen without even trying.

But my good habits I have to make an effort. Reading and praying are definitely getting easier to always do because they are a NEED in my life. 15 years ago when I had lots of little ones this sometimes got overlooked, my needs then were more about getting to be in the bathroom alone.

But now with a 20, 18, 17, 15, and almost 13 year old reading and praying aren’t just a habit they are a NEED!!

They were a need then too, I was just to young and tired to realize it. Pause…..( this is where I feel regret ).

Ok regret over! Today is a new day I can’t worry about the past! Today I will do better!

Okay now for the point…


I exercise usually daily and have for the last I would say at least year and 1/2 and guess what I still have to make myself.

I should be exercising now but I am stalling by blogging because I just can’t make myself do it yet!

But I will, Because I have to! Hopefully tomorrow I will wake up and it will be a habit. (Because right now it certainly does not feel like a need)

If not I will make myself exercise again tomorrow!

(I hope!)


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Odds and Ends


Yesterday I added a few links to my blog.I thought maybe I should explain them.

Hungry girl is a fun website that I signed up to get a daily email. It has lots of suggestions for products you can buy that are low in points. It also gives a lot of fun recipes of favorite foods that are made over to be more calorie friendly.

Dotti’s Weight Loss Zone is where I go to get point values and food nutrition facts for food at restaurants. Just click on the link, then click on restaurants across the top, then scroll down pass the ads and a list of restaurants should be there. I encourage you just to go there and check out some of your favorite foods at your favorite restaurants it is very eye opening.

Spark people is another website I get a daily email from. I like to read the articles. They are very informative. You can also join and keep track of what you eat and how much you exercise etc… I just like to read the articles but this website really offers a lot.

The best part is all these websites are FREE!

I have had some requests for my Chop Suey recipe. I have a tendency to add more veggies as I go but this is basically how I make it. It is also in one of the Dutch Delight Cook books ( book 2 I think) under my name. But I have revamped it to make it less points. Basically I doubled (tripled somethings) everything except the meat. I like it better this way.


1lb Chopped beef pieces ( like stew meat or roast cut up)

1lb Chopped pork pieces ( pork roast) Brown meat then add 2 cups of water and more as needed Cook for 60 minutes or till meat is tender. I usually simmer until meat starts falling apart.

Add 6-8 cups chopped celery (I add 8)

6 to 8 T soy sauce

2 to 4 cups chopped onion (I add 4)

4 T brown sugar

Simmer this until the veggies are done.

Make a thickening of 3 T Cornstarch

Add 3-4 cans of bean sprouts(drained). I add 4

2 cans of mushrooms (drained)

3 cans drained, sliced Water chestnuts.

I cook this for a few minutes so it is not so beanie sprout tasting. My mom just adds the bean sprouts, mushrooms and water chestnuts and heats it through. But I add more bean sprouts so I cook it a little longer.

Serve over rice and top with a few chow mein noodles ( if you like them, we do, but they add points so I have given them up).

1 cup of Chop Suey = 2 points.

My Mom’s recipe is wonderful even better the next day! Serve over rice I add more Soy sauce to mine on plate. I use Uncle Bens long grain white Rice in Orange box. ( the kind you cook for 20 minutes) Only 3pts per cup. I also like to serve with broccoli.

The celery, bean sprouts, mushrooms,onions and water chestnuts are all basically free foods so I have increased them from the original recipe.

This is really an easy recipe just time consuming because of all the simmering and chopping you do. Also you don’t want the meat to run out of water and burn so you have to watch it and then again with the celery and onions.

I buy my meat at a meat market and ask for beef stew meat and pork roast cut into bite size pieces that are lean ( all fat trimmed off ). I usually call ahead and order it so I can just pick it up and not have to wait.

The other day I told you I was going to make myself some personal jellos. I did, they are gone and I think I will make some more today. (oops I am getting off the subject)  I misinformed you. I told you that I get 5 servings from a box. I actually get 6 personal jellos from a box, but that is actually the big box (2 small boxes).

I hope you all have a great day!

Psalm 46:1


Monday, January 12, 2009

This one is for you Mom!


This is my Mom surrounded by her hunky grandsons.

My mom is amazing. She is, well maybe it is not appropriate to say her age but I will give you a hint she had me when she was 36 and I am 40 but her birthday isn’t until July so minus 6 months. Whew!


Besides being amazing for all the wonderful Mom things she does I have to credit her with after 38 years of trying to get me to watch my diet she finally succeeded. Granted she did it very sneakily by going through my daughter but like I always say you do what works for you!

That isn’t the only reason she is amazing though. This woman lost 50 lbs and has kept it off for almost a year now.

She has very painful arthritis and is very limited on exercise and still she managed to lose all that weight.

Mom and I make food for each other. She makes me  WW pumpkin pie and my lemon dessert. She makes Tif the No Pudge brownies and I make her Taco soup or other meals that I am already making for myself.

I definitely get the better end of the deal. She also will pick up light bread at the outlet and wraps at Meijer's. She lets me know about all the good deals on foods I like, and she is my biggest cheerleader. I think she is probably my biggest blog supporter too. So won’t she be surprised to see herself featured.

The list goes on and on. She is one of my diet buddies. Everyone needs a diet buddy. Someone who encourages you and makes dieting more fun by packing yummy 1 pt snacks when you go to town together, Will split a meal at a restaurant with or go to one of the four places you trust yourself to eat out at for the last 2 years. (Subway, Wendy’s, Banditos and Flat Top) I have been blessed with numerous diet buddies and for that I am thankful!

If you don’t have one believe me it is not hard to find someone who wants to eat better and exercise more. Also don’t forget your Mom, they are some of the best diet buddies I know.

( I hope Tiff would agree with that sometimes I think she refers to me as her diet nag! ) Oh well, Maybe when she’s 40. :)

Oops! Don’t want to forget the girls!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

All the wonderful things a wrap can do!

christmas 2008 083

These are the wraps I buy. I can only find them at Meijers in Fort Wayne and half of the time they are out of the 98% Fat Free kind. So when they have them I stock up. They freeze great, as a matter a fact they come apart better after they have been frozen!

Why do I love these wraps you may ask?

Because they have 60 calories per wrap, 1 gram of fat, and 6 grams of fiber. This translates into 0 WW points! That’s right no points!

Basically on the Weight Watchers plan the more fiber and the less fat you eat means the more actual food you get to consume. Yeah! I am all about that.

Just because they are free doesn’t mean you can eat the whole package and not count them. As with all the free food ( except your free veggies) I usually count 1/2 a point per free item unless I truly only eat 1 or 2 “free” foods a day.

So what can you do with wraps…

1.  Turkey Wrap- Turkey ( 1 serving) and lettuce w/ FF miracle whip. ( heavy on the lettuce) 1 1/2 pts

2.  Warm Turkey Wraps-Mesquite turkey w/ ff free American cheese slice, onions and red pepper slices. Heat in the microwave before eating. 2pts

3.  Breakfast wraps-Sauté onions, peppers, and mushrooms in a skillet then scramble 3 egg whites into them. You can also add a little ham and fat free cheese. heat a little and you have 2 great breakfast burritos. One for now one for later. These can also be frozen. Egg beaters also work. I just prefer the whites. 2-3 pts depending on how much cheese and ham you add. You can also add salsa

I really like to buy the Oscar Mayer mesquite turkey, honey turkey and honey ham. They are already sliced thin and 1 serving is only 1 pt. They come in a nine ounce container in the cold meat section.

4.  Enchilada Casserole


2 lb 94% ground beef

1 (1.5 oz) pkg dry enchilada sauce mix

½ c chopped onions

1 (10 ½ oz) can FF cream of mushroom soup

3/4 c water

2 Tbsp chopped green chilies

1 (16 oz) tomato sauce

8 to 10 (7 inch) 0 or 1 pt. tortilla wraps

2½ c Kraft Free shredded Cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef and onions in a skillet; drain off fat. Stir in soup, tomato sauce, seasoning, water and green chilies. Simmer 15 minutes. Grease a 9x13 inch pan. Spread a couple spoonfuls of mixture on bottom of pan (just lightly to cover bottom of pan).Place 3 tablespoons of cheese in each tortilla along with about 1 to 2 tablespoons meat mixture. Roll tightly and place in pan. Cover enchiladas with remaining meat mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and heat until cheese is melted. Cut into 12 equal servings.

They are really generous portions and you can still top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, FF Sour Cream and salsa. Serves 12 = 4.5 pt ea.

5. Personal Pizzas (really thin crust)



1 wrap-free or 1/2 pt

pizza sauce- usually free

1 serving Oscar Mayer honey ham ( I like mesquite turkey too- 1 pt

mozzarella cheese 28 grams or 1/4 cup –usually 2pts check the nutrition label most are 2 some are 3 pts

peppers, mushrooms and onions- FREE

total pizza = 3 1/2 pts

I like to do a BBQ ham and pineapple too.

**For a thicker crust Pizza use pita Bread

If you make the pizzas with a low fat round pita bread add 2pts for a 5 pt pizza.

The pita pizzas freeze well after they are baked.

6. Cinnamon chips


spray wrap with a margarine spray.

I like the Parkay spray in the blue bottle then top with cinnamon and splenda mixture. I mix some and just keep it in an old spice shaker. Cut in strips or triangles. Microwave for 1 min 15 seconds let cool and they will harden.

This is great with fruit or by itself.

**Don’t cut it, microwave for 50 secs and pretend your eating an elephant ear. This tactic worked great during to street fair! :)

7. Regular chips

Did you know most salsa is a free food?

It is the chips that kill you! Sometimes I use the baked scoops but they are still 2 pts for 14 chips.

When I need a cheap ( point ) snack ( besides broccoli ) this is what I fix.


YUM! -NO points



Tadd was trying to help me be more creative with my pics. ( At least I think he was trying to help )

Cut the wrap into 6 strips and microwave for 1 min 15 secs. Cut strips into 3 more pieces each after they are out of microwave then allow to cool and harden for a minute or two.

I realize that by posting this post I may have even a harder time finding these wraps! IF you can’t find these their are others that come close you just have to look.

Sometimes I find wraps in the frig section, these I find in the Mexican aisle and others are by the bread!

Good luck and enjoy!


Friday, January 9, 2009

It’s your choice!

Everyday we make choices. What to wear, Where to go, When to get out of bed, Exercise, Prayer, Devotions and the list goes on. We also decide what we will eat as the day goes on.

Here are some pics and point values.

I choose what I want to eat every day. But when the points are gone they are GONE and I had better quit eating!

Some days I am more about quantity and some days I’m about quality. Actually most days I am about quantity but on the rare day I am too busy to eat and have extra points I may choose a food that normally I would classify as NOT WORTH IT!

Since I wanted to practice on placing pics on the blog I have decided to illustrate what I am talking about.

By the way my Kids think I am loosing it. Now… I am taking pictures of food! What’s next?

S5030146-1  3 Oreos = 4 pts



24 Mike and Ikes = 3 pts ( someone in our house ate all the reds and pinks)


30 grams of almonds roughly 23 =  4 pts



My lunch, 1/3 cup of rice, 1/2 cup of Chop Suey and 1 cup of broccoli. This is equal to 3-4 pts. depending on how much soy sauce I actually dumped on.

I picked the big plate of food but I compromised by eating 3 almonds and 5 Mike and Ikes. You have to do what works for you. An Oreo just didn’t seem worth it.


The food in the 2 containers are = to the amount of food on the plate but for some reason I feel like I am eating more when I dump it on the plate. I think it is a mind game.

But really when you think about dieting is sort of a mind game as well! I am constantly telling myself things like…

“You’re not hungry,”

“It’s not worth it, “

“Your gonna have to run 2 miles to get rid of that.”

Yes, I talk to myself.

Big surprise!

Hey you have to do what works for you!

I believe the biggest key though is asking the Lord for help through each day. If HE knows how many hairs are on our head I am sure he cares enough to give us Grace and Strength for each day. All you have to do is ask!

I do!

WHOO HOO!!! 11 comments!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! to all those who commented on this blog yesterday! I came down this morning and checked it and Wow! was I surprised. You guys have given me the confidence ( or courage to post again today).

I have a confession to make... yesterday I checked and rechecked and checked again to see if anyone commented or checked my profile. I was almost obsessed ( Okay I admit I was obsessed with this.)

I also received some calls and encouraging emails from friends yesterday and I really appreciated that too.

Please check out Jenna's comment because she shared a quickie recipe for a fun treat that I believe is only 1 WW pt.
Jenna, correct me if I am wrong. I used to make these but have just forgot about them for awhile. Thanks for reminding me!

Thanks to my friend Pam who shared a website to make blogging more user friendly I am going to try to be more creative today or maybe tomorrow by adding a few pics to my posts.

Again thank you for your support. It really means a lot to me!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Day One Again

Well today is the day again. No matter how you did yesterday it is over so don't worry about it. Today is a new day you just have to make it through today. People have always asked me, How do you do it? I can honestly say "One day at a time." Today is a new day for me also I just have to make it through till I go to bed tonight. At some point I may just have to make it through a couple hours. 3:00 to 5:00 are always a super hungry time for me so for those few hours I have to really distract myself. Unfortunately, it is also a time that I am usually in the kitchen making supper or visiting with my kids after school who you guessed it, are snacking.
I like to keep already prepared snacks in the frig for me that are easy to grab. I love brocolli so I usually cook up a bunch and put it in individual 1 cup containers and keep it in the frig. Brocolli is a free food for me so it is a perfect snack. If I still feel the need for something sweet I can have it after the brocolli. This is also a great time to drink your water. IT is a great filler.
Two items you may want to consider buying are a kitchen scale. Mine is digital with both grams and ounces. I bought it at Target fo $30 and it is worth every penny.
Also one cup containers and lids. I went to GFS and bought the kind that a deli would put their salads in. They are very inexpensive and I use them in the dishwasher and the microwave. I think you get 50 in a pack. You will use them.
Dieting and eating healthy is expensive but you can save a lot of money by making your own ready made meals and snacks.
Last night I made Chop Suey for the family. After supper I measured 1/3 cup rice and a heaping 1/2 cup of Chop Suey in my handy little containers so now Tiff and I have 6 ready meals to eat when the hunger strikes. She took one for lunch today. At the most it is worth 3 WW points.
This morning I plan on making sugar free strawberry jello and putting it 5 seperate containers. It will only be half full. They are another free snack. When I pull them out to eat them I will dollop a little Free Cool Whip on top and it makes a snack that satisfies my sweet tooth.
A few grocery items you may want to consider buying are:
94% fat free popcorn 3-4pts a big bag depending how many cups of popped popcorn are actually in the bag
Fat Free jello chocolate pudding snacks ( in the frig section) 1 pt
I put Cool whip on these too. This snack satisfies my chocolate need.
Free cool whip no pts unless you use more than a serving
Fiber one Original Cereal ( I like to snack on it) no pts per serving
Breyer's Free ice cream 1 pt per 1/2 cup for most flavors My favorite is the french chocolate.
I also like the vanilla. Add some diet AW rootbeer to your 1/2 cup and you have a 1pt float treat.
spray on margarine You will need it for all those veggies.
Some kind o
f light bread I like Aunt Millies potato, or wheat or 5 grain the best. You can buy them at an outlet for 70 cents. Only 35 calories for a slice. You can eat 2 slices of light bread compared to one slice of regular bread,
You will notice I listed a lot of snacks and carbs because your body will be craving these. You will feel like your indulging when your still being good.
Oh one more thing The snack size plain M&Ms 2 pts per package. Eat only 1 package and make it last 1 M&M at a time.
Sorry this post got so lengthy I have so much to share.
Quick humbling story:
Yesterday I told you how it took me 3 weeks to weigh. One of the reasons is because my scale didn't go heavy enough. It topped out at 260 lbs. I had to go to Walmart and step on scales till I found one that would weigh all of me. Can you imagine me standing in the aisle trying to step on scales discreetly when no one was looking. It was humbling at the time but I wasn't ashamed. It was something I had to do that day and I did it. My weight wasn't who I was it was just the state I was in. Don't let your body size define you. Don't let the scale tell you who you are. It can only tell you how much you weigh not what is in your heart and soul. God sees you through your layers and he loves you!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Time To Get Started

The other day I was at the License Branch. When I was asked to show my Driver's License, the lady behind the counter looked at my pic then at me then at my pic and exclaimed "Have you lost like 5000 lbs or what?" I get this reaction a lot ( Well not the 5000 lb thing) Another one I have heard is " Hey where did you go? ( This one actullay happened at school when I was subbing and I actually answered " I just went to the office" I take things very literally.)or What happened to the rest of you?" By the time I left the License branch I had been asked numerous questions about how I did it by 3 of the ladies, actually for about 10 minutes I felt like I was being interviewed by a panel. (They weren't very busy)Troy my 15 year old was extremely patient even after they said he couldn't get his permit till the end of January. The next time this happens I can just give them my blog address and hopefully I will have enough posted that I won't be jotting down helpful websites and giving my life history all the time.
So if your reading this and want to lose some weight today is the day to get started. Two years ago on January 3 I only agreed to one day of trying to diet, then the next day another, and another and another. My Mom and daughter had joined Weight Watchers and I agreed to try to follow the flex points plan with them. I did this for my daughter because I didn't think she would do it herself. I established how many points I was allowed and then I figured out how to get the most food I could for the number of points I was allowed. The big thing is to write down what you eat. That might actually be a good place to start today. I am sure you will be surprised at what is on the paper at the end of the day. Make sure you know how much of everything you are eating is also. Did you know that a cereal bowl full is about 3 servings not 1? For 3 weeks I never truly committed I just went a day at a time. Then after this time I decided it was time to weigh in ( That is right I never weighed up till this point It would have probably been longer if my friend hadn't convinced me it was time so I could see how well I was doing) So today make a plan I recommend Weight Watchers even if it is for a month to get started. I actually have never attended a meeting but I read all of my daughters literature. By the way she lost over 40 lbs and has kept it off and my Mom lost 50 and has kept it off. I have a friend who counts calories and that works for her. Basically you need a food plan that makes you look at what and how much you eat. If you don't think you can do it just do it for today. We will worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.

A picture is worth 1000 words.

Wow! Now you have seen the pics. (Below keep scrolling their there,) Something I probably wouldn't have wanted to show a year or 2 ago. Mainly because that person wasn't how I saw myself. I always saw myself as ( I hate to say beautiful but definitely acceptable) I saw myself as you now see me. My husband has always made me feel beautiful. He made me feel as beautiful in 2006 as he does today. I guess I saw myself through his eyes ( or heart). Maybe that is one reason that I didn't mind being fat. Now don't get me wrong. I didn't like being fat I just simply accepted it and honestly I believe being fat has taught me a lot about myself.
You know it is funny my 12 year old who has only seen me as a fat woman looked at my before picture the other day and said,"Wow! Mom you were really fat but at the time that picture was taken but I don't remember thinking you were that fat."Out of the mouths of babes he meant that as a compliment. :) It makes me realize that those who knew me always saw the real me through the layers. Others are just beginning to see me now. Basically they are willing to look deeper and not away. Do you see with your heart or only with your eyes? You know I thought I was writing this blog to help others but I am finding it very therapeutic for myself. God is so Good!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Something New

I have never been a huge fan of News Years Resolutions. I think because for years mine should have been to lose weight and since I didn't think that would happen why resolve to do it or anything else. Last year I was really on a roll losing weight so it was a no brainer to make it my resolution. This year I have decided that after losing all this weight(I still have some more to go) I need to share my story. A story about how anyone can lose weight. Let me tell you If I can lose anyone can. I loved to eat and hated to exercise. I can honestly say I still love to eat and really don't like to exercise. As a matter a fact writing this blog is just causing me to procrastinate this morning from exercising. So I am going to try to keep this short. My resolution this year is to blog fairly regularly about my journey in life and weight loss. God has been so faithful! I always prayed that if I was suppossed to lose weight he would just let it happen. I realize now I had to do my part!