Saturday, June 16, 2018

Buckle Up...

It's going to be a bumpy ride!
This line is extremely fitting for the kind of week we're heading into: it's VBS time with a side of Missions Conference!

Ever since I was a little girl, I couldn't wait for VBS! The screaming, the yelling, the singing, the cookies, the PENNIES, the skits, the preaching....it's five days of non-stop adrenaline rush.

It's also a reminder that as we work to reach "Our Corner" of Alabama with the gospel, there are millions "Around the World" that need to hear as well. And it's our job to see that those who have been called to go "Around the World" can get there and get busy doing that job.

As you can guess our theme this year is "Around the corner, Around the World." Super fitting!

So if I'm absent for a few days longer than I normally am, I'm running around in the madness of 500 kids, paperwork, cookies, and lots and lots of coffee. Afternoons are reserved for crashing!
Simply Gearing Up for Insanity (the good kind if there is such a thing),

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Softer Side...

My cell phone replacement came Wednesday morning and the statement on the box says it all: my life is now reconnected.

Insert a big *sigh* of relief.

In all the changes I've made over the last few months, not having a cell phone is not one I'd care to repeat. Like, ever.

And since we're on the topic of changes, here's a change I never saw coming...
He's not ours but he sort of adopted our family last week when he learned to scale the fence from his yard into ours. His family was on vacation and I'm sure it was quite lonely and quiet at his place. And even though his family is back, he comes to see us when we're outside.
Best seat in the house. Just watching the kids play in the yard.

And here I thought I had an aversion cats. This little cutie, though, knows where to come when he's needing some milk. There's usually a fresh bowl out each morning for his enjoyment.

So along with changing my dietary habits, my hair products, my furniture arrangement, my organizational skills...my entire life, basically...over these last few months; I've also apparently changed my animal preferences.

Well, at least for this little guy, which is now making me question my sanity.

Been through any changes lately? Hopefully they're not as frightening or surprising as this one.

Simply Softening,

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Phoneless Frenzy...

Let me begin by dropping this little "bombshell": I have no phone. (I hope you weren't thinking: She's pregnant. Um....no.)

This is not a joke: I seriously have no phone right now.

It didn't matter that I spent good money on a case that was supposed to keep the phone from breaking when it was dropped. It didn't even matter that my calendar, my address book, my e-mail, my shopping list...my brain was on that phone. One drop and the screen cracked in four places and went completely black.

I didn't even realize my phone was broken until it began vibrating from an incoming call. It wasn't until I pulled it out of my purse where there was nothing on my screen. It was still vibrating but nothing else.

Panic...pure panic started to set in.

I took a guess that it was my husband calling from his office and was able to borrow a dear young lady's phone to call him back....only to find out my son was having an asthma attack and my hubby needed to know where the rescue inhaler we keep in the office was located.

I know, right? This just gets better and better.

By the time I reached the Verizon store (with three kids, mind you) I was almost on the verge of hysteria. Carefully pulling out my broken phone I frantically whispered to the sales woman: Help me! I can't get to my shopping list, or make a call, or text anyone!

My dear hubby wanted to know why I didn't write down a list of what I needed at the store instead of relying on my "brain" (aka my SMARTphone). This is me...
The guessing gets old by the second trip...in the same week.

For me it feels like the world is coming to an end and I have no communication with the outside.

How in the world did we ever make it before cell phones? You know, now that I think about it, my kids will never know what it was like to have a home phone line where anyone could pick up anywhere in the house and listen to your conversation. Nor will they ever know what it was like to use a pay phone. Oh the germs!

My daughter will never be humiliated by one of her brothers announcing to the world after answering the land line: Melody, it's for you and it's a BOY!

No, I reserve that right to say that to her.

Even the way we texted back then (You know, back in the early 2000's) is archaic compared to today...
By tomorrow I should be back online and ready for action. But until then I need some advice: What would you do with no phone?

Simply Phoneless (and Feeling a Little Lost),

Monday, June 11, 2018

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders...

The Epic Purge of 2018 is at an end, and my house has never felt lighter. All bedrooms have seen some form of change whether it be a total furniture rearrangement and massive clean out (toys and clothes) in both kid's bedrooms, to simply moving out a bookshelf from the master bedroom into another room. It's amazing how open and clean everything looks and feels.

After five carloads dropped at the thrift store and amazing piles of garbage at the curb (last one going out Wednesday) it better look different.

So now I'm back to trying new recipes to broaden our horizons in the meal department. I did make a few changes...like placing the pan under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp the bacon up. And I think I would cut my own chicken tender strips from boneless, skinless chicken breasts so they would thinner. Otherwise, this was a pretty tasty meal.

Maybe because no utensils were needed. We simply used our fingers to dip and eat.

My oldest ate more than my husband. I'd say it was a success!

The recipe also includes a recipe for your own Ranch Dip, but I used the ranch in my fridge. When you go to the website and print the recipe it will include both nutrition (no carbs, 211 calories, 16 g of fat, 15 g of protein) and dip recipe.

Are you ready? It's super yummy and super easy...my favorite kind of meal.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

What You Will Need:
  • 12 chicken tenderloins (about 1.5 lb.)
  • 12 slices of bacon
What You Will Do:
  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • Wrap each chicken tightly in a piece of bacon. Stretch the bacon as you wrap. Place on a baking sheet (I lined mine with aluminum foil for easy clean up) and bake for 35-45 minutes. If you are going to place under the broiler for crispier bacon, stay closer to the 35 minute mark.
  • Stir ingredients for the dip if you want to make your own. Serve with the cooked chicken.
Thank you, Joy Filled Eats, for posting this delicious recipe. Two thumbs up!!

Now tomorrow we'll be trying Fat Head Lasagna. It looks so Yum!!

Friday, June 8, 2018

"K"raving Keto...

It's been weeks and weeks since I wrote an update on my weight-loss journey. It had been seven glorious pounds...they were gone and then they came back. Grrr...

Of course there was the two weeks where school was ending, my birthday, my son's birthday, Memorial Day...it was so hard to eat right when I was indulging in slices of White Coconut Cream Cake from Publix or trying out the Shrimp Po Boy from the local eatery. Yum!

What can I say? It was my birthday, and my scale was NOT invited to the party!

But that's all changing. It's back to working out and eating right, especially since my doctor informed me at my yearly physical last week that my blood pressure is too high. I have been required to monitor it for the next two weeks at which time she will re-evaluate. It may mean a prescription for blood pressure medicine.

Oh. Joy.

Crazy enough, while indulging in foods that weren't so good for me, I was craving the fat bombs, the grilled meats, the chocolate mug cakes that we had enjoyed before.

So here are a few of the things we've been dining on recently.

Grilled Chicken Thigh Tacos...
The Carb Counter Tortillas have a net count of 6 carbs...fantastic, considering a regular tortilla has around 25 carbs (give or take). Overall, my Carb Manager App calculates one taco at 8 total grams of carbs.

We use these special tortillas for Breakfast Wraps: basically, scrambled eggs and sausage covered in shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a taste of salsa. There's 8 grams of carbs there, too.

Then there's the Lettuce Wrapped Double Stacker...
Two grilled hamburger patties with American cheese, two pieces of bacon, a dab of mayonnaise and mustard, some pickles...all between two pieces of iceberg lettuce. This is drippy, gooey, finger-lickin' good! Be sure to have plenty of napkins around!

I also made the Fat Head Pizza this week with sausage and pepperoni and boy, was I full!

That's some good eating this week! It's good to be back.

What about you? Tried anything good this week? I'm always up for a good recipe...

Simply Salivating,

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Times A Flyin'...

Have you ever wondered what happens to the hours in the day? When you first wake up in the morning the entire day stretches before, filled with endless possibilities of what you can get accomplished. Then the evening comes and you wonder what happened to all that time. Where did it go?

I often ask this question, not just in the evening but all throughout the day. Like, while standing at the dryer folding clothes and wondering why ten different socks have no mates. 

Where did they go? Did the dryer "eat" them? 

Although I am happy to report that while doing the Epic Purge of 2018, I found most of the mates under my sons' beds and amongst the toys in my daughters closet. Needless to say we won't be needing socks any time soon

I've even heard my husband ask Where did it go? In this instance it's normally tinged with an edge of exasperation...at me...and in my defense I was cleaning up. I had no clue he just wasn't quite done using whatever it is.

But this is one questions I don't want to ask at the end of my day.

It's nice to be on break, to get things done one right after another, to enjoy the time at home; but the last thing I want to do is waste this time...and I don't want my children to squander it away either. 

I was pondering this question of Where did it go? as my children and I made our way to our local library today. Normally going to the library with three kids involves a good chunk of the day...something I'm not always a big fan of giving up. But then I remember that at the end of summer break I always regret that my children didn't read more. They're excellent readers and really do have a love for reading. 

During Sunday School this past Sunday my husband made this statement while teaching on stewarding our time: We make time for the things that are important to us. He went on to say that when we fall in love with Jesus, when serving Him becomes important to us, we have no problem in making time for Him.

Then there are verses like Redeeming the time because the days are evil (Eph. 5:16) and Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time (Col. 4:5) that remind me that my Heavenly Father doesn't want me wasting time either.

Do you find yourself asking Where did it go at the end of your day or have you found some ways that help you Redeem the time? Do share...

Sensibly Simple,

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Checkin' In...

It's Tuesday, it's late, and I'm super tired. Remember Trashing Tuesday and Summarizing Saturday? The cleaning bug is still alive and well here.

Before starting my boys' bedroom, I sat down to plan exactly how I was going to pair down the mound of toys, overflowing bins of Legos, and exploding bookshelves. Let me just add that we have enough Nerf bullets to fund an entire "war" and we can use the hundreds of army men to plan our "attack". We can literally be HQ.

The cleaning plan was simple based upon the days of this week:

  • Monday: furniture rearranged
  • Tuesday: closet
  • Wednesday: dresser/bookshelf
  • Thursday: storage under the bed
  • Friday: clean carpet, dust, wipe down walls
I'm way ahead of schedule! Monday, Tuesday, part of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are all completed! Check, check, check, and check! 

It's hard to move furniture around without cleaning and organizing as you go. Want to see a sneak peek?

Closet before...
Closet after...
The bookshelf was another eyesore in the room. There is not a before picture but the after just breathes order and cleanliness...
As for the trash at the curb...
...it's a repeat of last week. My poor, poor garbage men!

I'm still the crazy neighbor on the street...taking pictures of my trash. Now I'm off to bed, pleased that things are moving along so smoothly.

Simply Signing Off,