Monday, March 26, 2012

And God Spoke...

I went home for a tiny portion of Spring Break, last week. I had to work most of the week, but I got off Friday, so Thursday night we traveled to North Arkansas to see my parents. I LOVE it up there. The rolling hills, the springs, tiny water and LOADS of memories from my childhood.

It was a fun, relaxing weekend. I enjoyed my mom's cooking. I enjoyed
seeing family. It was fun hanging out with my sister. I had a good time.

Yet, I was tired.

It was a tiring week, leading up to my mini break. Work has been crazy lately. A lot of new things going on at church. (Good things, but I am kept hopping.) It was an emotional week for my daughter and that was tough. (There were some tears.) My son had a friend over and when he wasn't busy, he was always asking to do something. (Wish I had his energy. I had it once, but I am not sure where it has gone...) Family situations that leave you drained. Frustration over little things build. Add not feeling good because of the allergies and...I AM TIRED.

Yet, somehow, even when you have a relaxing break, doing something you really want to do, with the people you love the most, you can end up exhausted. Sometimes I think we should plan a break, a day of napping after ever vacation. Now, that would be AWESOME!!!

As it was, as we were heading out of town, starting the journey home I was melancholy. I wasn't ready for the next day of church activities and then a new work week. I was sad to leave my family again. I just was tired. I was already worrying about the week ahead. I was having trouble seeing my blessings and getting out of my "me" pity party.

And then a little further down the road, I saw this...

God said "hello."

All of a sudden my weariness was lost in the beauty of His artwork that night. I was still tired, but I knew that if He can create something beautiful for the whole world to see in an instant, He can certainly give me strength to follow His plan for me the next few days.

Sometimes I need to be reminded that not everything is about me. Sometimes God has to show me the bigger picture. I was blessed with a masterpiece.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Yummy Pico de gallo...

A few years ago the hubby and I went to a church fellowship. A friend of mine made some pico de gallo, that Kevin LOVED. I asked for the recipe and she very happily shared it with me.

Since I am going "gluten free" and all, anything involving the produce section, mixed with one of my favorite food groups, "MEXICAN FOOD," gets bumped to the top of my recipe list. We had Mexican at home the other night. And I topped off my taco salad with a little pico de gallo.

Can I just say "YUMMY?!!!"

Rachael's Pico de gallo

3 large tomatoes diced
1 large onion diced
2 tbs of diced jalapenos
1/2 cup fresh cilantro diced
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs white vinegar

Mix all ingredients together in large container until well blended.
Let set for at least 6 hours.


For those wanting to have "Mexican Night" gluten free, Old El Paso Taco sauce, taco seasoning packets and corn taco shells are gluten free. Kraft cheese is also gluten free or they will list it on the package if it is not.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

My New Adventure with "Gluten"

This year I tried to do several things differently. I wouldn't really call them "New Year's Resolutions," because I really don't like that word anymore. Sadly, I associate it with failure. No, I have tried hard to make "life changes."

Some are trivial, some are meaningful, spiritual and some are just for my health. My diet is one of them. I started out the year, thinking once again that I needed to lose weight, I needed to exercise, I needed to get healthy. However, since nothing worked for me in the past, I proceeded to do a little research for a new plan to tackle my weight issues, something super duper fun and extraordinary, where you lose an obscene amount of fat in little time.

I hate to tell you this, friends, but I really truly don't think that kind of plan really exists. Weight loss comes with WORK. You have to give up the bad stuff and get to moving. Have I done it yet? No, 'cause somewhere along the way, I got a little sidetracked. I found this book;

and realized that her story matched mine. My health issues, my problems with foods, the pain and frustration... I am there. For the first time, I thought I might have an answer to the "nervous stomach," "the problems that still existed after gallbladder removal," "the allergies," etc...etc...etc...

I didn't go to the doctor, but decided to just give the "gluten free" thing a try, just to see if any of my problems went away. And they did.

Am I pain free 100% of the time? No.
Am I experiencing total freedom to eat anything I want? No.
Are all my tummy troubles totally gone? No.
Do I feel better? YES!!!

It has made a difference. In fact I think it is just a work in progress. I think my tummy troubles will never go away 100% because I am still a nervous person, I still have high stress in my life at times, I am still learning what thousands of products have "Gluten" in them, and I risk contamination every time I put a fork in my mouth.

It is not easy. In fact just the other day I craved something so bad, and even found the gluten free version in this book;

but our little town didn't have it in the store. Shopping has become a whole new adventure. No longer am I able to just run to the store. I have to check labels, make lists of brands, plan ahead. Eating out is even harder. The bread basket is no longer my friend. I am limited to what I can even eat at restaurants. Always having a backup plan is a must. Some days I want to give up.

But then I realize how much better I feel overall. I love that I can now eat a meal without pain. I get to enjoy a snack without having to run to the ladies room 30 min later. I feel better overall. I even lost 10 pounds.

I am calling this stage in my life "My Adventure with Gluten" because that is what it adventure. It is a roller coaster ride of good, bad and sometimes even ugly. I have had to give up some of my favorite BREAD. However, I have learned that I LOVE Wendy's chili. I have found substitutes for some bread and pasta cravings, but overall have found that I can live without them. It is hard, but I can.

Overall, it has taught me not to just run to the kitchen when the stress comes. (I am a stress eater!!!) I can't eat a lot of the junk that is easy to grab. Although, I have found just enough junk food items to keep me sane. :)

Most important, I have found myself crying to the Lord even more, whether in joy or frustration, it doesn't matter... I just know He is there. I am so thankful He is on this journey with me. I could not do this alone.

So, if you see me ramble about gluten or post a "gluten free" recipe, you will know why. That is just where I am right now. I am on this crazy ride. Truthfully, it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. God is good.

If you want to know more about gluten, let me know, I will share what I know so far.
If you want to just be a pal and pray for me, then "THANKS!" I need all I can get.
If you are going through the same adventure, I would love any advice you can send my way.

Hope you have a GREAT weekend!

"Be strong in the GRACE that is Christ Jesus!!!" 2 Timothy 2:1

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What is there to write about?

I am still around...

I have read, commented a little, but have had little time to write. But yet, there really hasn't been much to write about.

I could tell you about my son. My son who is a normal 13 year old boy who can't stay still, doesn't listen very well and doesn't have a lot of common since right now. I really think it is the age. When he is not around the other "head in the clouds" 13 year old boys, he is pretty smart, a hard worker and a pretty AWESOME young man, if I do say so myself. BUT, let another adolescent male near him and all common since ru
shes out the window.

He twisted, rolled, sprained, whatever you want to call it to his ankle last Friday at school. Ask me how... It wasn't in football, it wasn't in track, it wasn't playing basketball at church. No, it was from playing football at recess. Now I don't have a problem with him playing football at recess, because it keeps him and all the other boys his age out of trouble, but when your mom tells you over and over to wear your ball shoes to play at recess and then you wear your sanuks instead, well what to you expect?

My daughter, who is the dreamer of the family OFTEN becomes obsessed with things. I will hear her listening to the SAME song over and over and over. She will watch the same movie over and over and over. She will read the same book over and over and over as well. It is not bad, keeps her out of trouble, but I will often find myself humming the theme songs to her favorite movies, characters from her favorite books and musicals will invade my dreams. Her obsessions will become mine, against my w

Her latest?

Yep. I sing the songs in my sleep these days.


One of my favorite authors is Francine Rivers. I am reading this book right now.

Can I just say "WOW!"? She has this gift of making some of my favorite people from the Bible come to life in a way I have never seen them before. I am on Jonathan right now. I have never really thought of his viewpoint of Saul and David till reading this book. It has made me want to go read the story of him in the Bible again. That is a good thing.

I recommend this book.


I have lost ten pounds, without really trying. A month and a half ago I went on a gluten free diet. It has not been easy. GLUTEN IS IN EVERYTHING. I have had to give up a lot of my favorite foods. BUT, it has made a difference.

I have had tummy troubles for a while. I thought when I got my gallbladder removed that some of that would improve, and it did, BUT I have still had problems. After I would eat my tummy would hurt. I would have an upset stomach a lot. And a whole lot of other issues that can be found on a list of symptoms for gluten intolerance. So I decided to cut it out of my diet. It has been a work in progress. Did you know that gluten is in makeup and lotions and other things that have nothing to do with food

? I am still learning.

BUT, I do feel better. I can tell a difference. And I can tell immediately when gluten has managed to cross my path. I have had to become a picky eater and sometimes it is not fun, but if it makes me feel better, then it is totally worth it. And I can't complain about the 10 pounds either!!! :)

Everyone seems to love a good super hero these days. My kiddos are not the exception. Although I think Spiderman will always be one of their faves, they have branched out. They like the Green Lantern, Captain America, Batman...
But, I think I have a new favorite as well:

The kids, hubby and I watched it over the weekend.
I think I have a crush on Thor. :)

Did I tell you my son is in track?
I still can't believe he loves to run. Just typing the word wears me out.
Hoping his ankle heals fast.

Did I tell you that Kayla is 3rd chair in the HIGH SCHOOL BAND? My ninth grader has more musical talent in her little pinkie than I can even imagine having. She takes after dad.

Did I tell you...?
I will save the rest of my ramble for another day, when I don't have much to write.

Well, I don't know much else. Just staying busy with kids, work, church, you name it. But I do know this, that God shows me He is real and there for me daily. So when my life gets crazy busy, I know He is driving along with me, and that makes me smile.

Hope you are having a good week!