Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spaghetti Casserole

1 can spaghetti sauce
1/2 lb bacon, cooked
1 pkg fresh sliced mushrooms
1 lb hamburger, cooked with onion
oregano
6 oz spaghetti, cooked


Simmer all ingredients (except spaghetti) for 10 minutes.  Add noodles and 1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese.  Place in 9X13" pan and top with additional grated cheese.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  


Best spaghetti EVER!!!!  Can leave mushrooms out if not a family favorite.  

Monday, June 27, 2011

Update for Week 3

So I just completed week 3 of the Live the Life challenge.  I am down 8 pounds, have lost 2" off my waist, just over 3" from my hips, 2" from under my bust, and additional inches from legs and arms.  The biggest challenge again this week has been getting adequate rest (with family here and a new baby in the house), but I will be back to a more regular routine mid-week.  I was able to successfully complete all sets of my exercises this morning (I have been just a couple short of the last set last week) and feel like I am getting stronger each day.  I love that I am never really FULL, but never really hungry either.  Here's to another great week!!!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Baby Izze Update 2





Baby Izze was released to come home today!!!!  She has spent 12 days in the hospital detoxing from the birth mother's drugs.  It is SOOOOOO nice to have her at home!  She is beautiful and she is surrounded by people who love her!  She is back to her birth weight of 6 1/2 pounds, is eating well, but still having some trouble with her digestive system and her poor bottom is absolutely raw from all the toxins.  She will continue to be on morphine for another 20 days or so to assist her in releasing all the toxins that are in her little body.  She sure does love her adoptive mother Sarah and looks for her whenever she hears her voice - it is so cute!  This experience has certainly helped me to appreciate more fully having an eternal perspective and the understanding that that knowledge gives to me and my family.  I am grateful for a wonderful daughter-in-law (ALL 3 of my daughter-in-laws are amazing) and a son who have big hearts and will do anything for Izze.  We are sure looking forward to having a baby in our home again and the wonderful experiences that she will bring us.  We love all 6 of our grandchildren and are grateful for the joy that they bring to us!  Here's to a wonderful new adventure!  Welcome HOME Izzebel Cadence Mathie - we love you!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Week Two Results of 12-Week Challenge

For those of you following my Live the Life 12-week challenge - here is the 2 week result:


I had a great week last week and am down 4 more pounds!  This makes a total loss of 6 pounds after two weeks.  I have lost 1 inch off my hips and 1 inch from my waist, but have lost two inches around my rib cage!  Losses around my arms and legs too.  The biggest challenge this week was getting enough sleep.  We failed miserably, but with one son and his family evacuated from their home in Arizona due to fire (hey arrived here on Saturday night - may as well!) and another son's adopted baby still in the hospital detoxing from the birth mom's drugs - we have had an awful lot on our plates!  I am hoping we will do a bit better this week.  


Still loving the energy I am feeling and getting used to the 1 1/2 hour workout in the morning.  My body is getting stronger already and I was able to do all the push-ups today (4 sets of 12).  This is huge for me as my upper body is my weakest area.  I have been having some trouble with my left knee (I have a torn ACL), but purchased a couple of knee braces - one for exercising and one to wear all day - and this seems to be a bit better.  Looking forward to more progress as we begin week 3.  If you haven't read my other posts and want more information go to:  http://www.kristiapproved.com/ - this program rocks!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baby Izze Update

First of all, thanks so much for all the love and support!  I have amazing friends and family!  


We were hoping to bring Izze home today, but the doctor says she is still suffering from the effects of the methadone that her birth mom was on and they are starting her on morphine today to help ease the symptoms.  The good news is that she is very easily comforted, but when she is in distress gets the shakes and is moving her bowels 8+ times a day (pretty excessive).  I think it is a good sign though that she is getting the drugs out of her system.  Once things slow down a bit, the doctors will move her from morphine to phenobarbital and we will be able to bring her home.  


We were able to visit with her last night and she seemed very mellow and content.  My understanding is that there are not any long lasting effects from the methadone once we get through the first couple of weeks. She is absolutely beautiful and we are praying hard for good health after her rough start.  I have to remind myself and my "kids" that she will not remember any of this and that it is much harder for them than it is for her.  So hard to see your child suffer and not be able to "fix" things.  Sarah and Jon have been amazing and will be wonderful parents.  I have been especially impressed with Sarah's ability to be sensitive to the birth mother's feelings throughout this process.  LOVE my family!  This too shall pass....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Challenge Week One Update

For anyone who might be interested in my week one results of my Live the Life Challenge - here it is!


I am down 2 pounds (a bit disappointing not to see a bit more progress, but I am moving in the right direction!), lost an inch off my hips and have lost inches in my arms, legs and upper body (the Live the Life has you only take two measurements - waist and hips, but I carry my weight pretty evenly and wanted to be able to see the progress in every area).  The very best part is how energetic I am feeling!  :))  I have had a real problem with energy levels for the past several years and have tried all kinds of things over the years to remedy that with little success.  Clients, friends and family seem to think I am the "energizer bunny", but I have just really been pushing myself hard!  


I love that the food is pre-planned for you and that the meals stay the same for the week.  The two weeks of menus I have done so far (just started week two yesterday) have been completely different, but the food is absolutely wonderful!  


The biggest challenge for me (and my husband) is the time commitment to both the exercises and the meal prep.  We spend about 1.5 hours every morning doing weights and cardio and then have to prepare and pack all meals for the day.  Since our schedules both vary from day to day it is challenging to always be where we can microwave the food or use a blender, but we are slowly figuring out the best approach.  This is like everything else - whenever you make a huge change to your lifestyle/routine, it takes time to get it all down.  We have been getting up at 6 and will start with 5:30 beginning tomorrow to attempt to relieve the craziness of the morning routine.


Overall I am pleased with the results of the first week and looking forward to my second week!  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Our Little Izze!





My son Jonathon and his wife Sarah have been married for two years and thus far, have been unable to conceive.  This is a brief version of a very long story and how life can be wonderful and miraculous....


Sunday morning, June 12, 2011, about 8:30 Izzebel entered the world in one heck of a hurry!  The birth mom's contractions began to come about 10 minutes apart and so she woke her ride and they began the drive to the hospital.  Very quickly contractions went to one minute apart!  She told her friend that she felt the baby would arrive before they made it to the hospital and put her seat (she is riding in a little Saturn) all the way down and her legs on the dashboard of the car.  Her friend began to run red lights and take corners like they were in the Indy 500.  Arriving at the hospital the birth mom is saying she is coming NOW!  The friend ran into the hospital for help leaving her in the car.  The birth mom, hoping she could make it in, took a few steps out of the car - then quickly realized it was too late.  She climbed back in the car on her hands and knees and delivered the baby on the seat with no one at all to help her.  Her friend arrived back in time to tell her that the baby was breathing and crying - FOLLOWED by 20 nurses and doctors!!!  She is one amazing woman!!!!!!


I spent this afternoon at the hospital with my "kids", the attorney and a dear friend who is a notary.  We were there to have the birth mother sign away her rights and release the baby to Jon and Sarah.  I went so I could be a SUPPORT to my "kids".  I ended up crying right along with Sarah and the birth mom.  It was such a tender, sweet moment.  I didn't expect to get emotional myself, but there are simply no words to describe the feelings that come when someone offers a "gift" to you like that.  The gift of life, the ability to experience parenthood, the tender mercy of our Heavenly Father to grant you the opportunity.  It doesn't matter whether we share the same religious views or not - I think it is pretty hard to miss the hand of the Lord in your life when you are gifted a child.   I am astounded that the birth mom was able to put the needs of the baby above her own - what an unselfish act!


Interesting to me to be the grandparent of an "adopted" baby.  Can I just say that it doesn't matter at all HOW they come to be in your family - only that they DO come.  There is NO question in my mind that she is "ours" and was meant for Jonathon and Sarah!  I am sooooo looking forward to having her "home".  We are praying for Wednesday - stay tuned!   

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3.4 oz. package vanilla instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray cookie sheet with Pam.  Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add in pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.  Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slightly golden brown and set. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking sheet for five minutes. 

Getting VERY Personal!

PROCEED WITH CAUTION!


I have decided to be VERY brave and post something very personal about myself.  Not real sure if this is a good idea, but I think there are lots of people that will relate and perhaps be encouraged to kEEP tRYINg!!!!  I have struggled with my weight since I was about 14-years-old and my health since my early 20s. I have had every "disposable" body part removed, except my gallbladder (and I have battled with that one!).  I have been on nearly every diet under the sun and have had limited success (it initially comes off, but always comes back on with an additional 5-10 pounds).  Crazy cycle to be in!  About 10 years ago, I was at an all-time heavy and decided to really get serious about my health and weight loss (I had some very serious health issues that I had very little control over and when something in my life is out of control I usually take total control over something else!).  Hence my 2 year journey with Weight Watchers.  It took me 2 years of being very faithful, but I finally lost 80 pounds and kept it off for 9 years (with lots of determination and hard work!).  Then last year I suddenly began to gain weight at an alarming rate (and NO I was not eating my way to happiness - no bon-bons for me!).  In addition to weight gain, I had other crazy things going on physically and emotionally for no apparent reason.  My husband of 30 years suggested I go in and have my hormones checked (initially I was furious - isn't THAT every man's reason for their wife to go a bit nuts?!).  However, after doing a bit of research on the internet about hormones, I got over my mad and headed in for an appointment.  WOW was I surprised at the results of that visit!  Hormones, thyroid and adrenals had completely crashed.  I am thinking to myself - there has to be a reason for that!  No real explanation for the why (ok-age related perhaps - I am 50 after all), and I was determined to get to the root of the problem.  I discovered that there was a doctor that did "hair testing" (they cut hair from your head at the root and it gives the lab your complete health history) and set an appointment immediately.  THAT lead to the discovery of heavy metal poisoning - which started a whole new set of daily "to-dos" that included diet, supplements AND sauna treatments (we purchased our own to make it do-able).  Almost a year later I am feeling SO much better!  I feel like I am back to myself again, but that DANG weight is still being hauled around and I am SICK of it!!!!  ENTER my new challenge!


I just started the LIVE THE LIFE 12-week challenge! (http://www.kristiapproved.com/)  This is an eating plan (diet) along with an exercise program (very intense).  My husband even decided to join me on this!  (LOVE that man - he is my very biggest supporter).  We just started on Monday - (today is Wednesday) so I am not very far into it, but I will say that it has already been an interesting process.  The program has you follow a very strict meal plan and you are eating 6 times a day (every 2-3 hours).  I have a pretty crazy schedule as a realtor and eating consistently is one of my biggest challenges - however, you are eating the same meals for one week and then starting a new meal plan for the next week, etc.  I have made the commitment to be VERY strict and do everything the program tells me to do and although I am still working out a few bugs (making sure I have the food wherever I am - just in case my day takes a U-turn), it has been as rewarding as it has been challenging.  The exercise is pretty intense (if you were watching me, it doesn't really look like much), but every muscle in my body (including ones I didn't know I had) is screaming at me right now.  I have always been pretty active (competing on the trampoline, playing volleyball, and my all-time fav basketball in high school) to working out on/off most of my adult life, so I am pretty surprised at my body's "objection" to this new work-out!  I am spending nearly 90 minutes every morning between weights and cardio, which is a huge time challenge, but totally worth it!  I have found that I have a ton more energy now and am wondering if I may have been borderline hypoglycemic since the added energy began as soon as I was eating every few hours.  Although I am NOT brave enough right now to post a "before" pic - I will post as to my progress and how I am feeling once a week.  


I know that one thing I know for sure is that all good things take time and determination!  If I do nothing I should expect nothing to change.  I know that I learn new things all the time and that if we pray for direction - we should be prepared - we just might get it!  I feel grateful to be starting a new journey toward better overall health and hopefully a healthy weight.  Join me, if you dare!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chicken Salad

4 cups cooked, cubed chicken (3-4 breasts)
2 1/2 cups large uncooked pasta shells, cook and drain
2 cups red grapes
1/4 cup sliced green onion
2 cups diced celery
2 cups diced red delicious apples
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained well


Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Add 1 1/2 cups cashews and dressing.  Serves 18-20.


Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Kraft Cole Slaw dressing


Serve on a red lettuce leaf if desired.


NOTE:  Sounds like a strange combination of ingredients, but is super yummy!  We did this for a family reunion last summer and even the kids loved it!