Saturday, July 30, 2011

Time for the Tooth Fairy Again

Charlotte lost her other top tooth. She had been working on it all day. Finally at bedtime I worked on it a bit with a piece of dental floss. I had it almost out and Charlotte did the final honors. She is one excited girl.

Jenn - Posted from my iPhone

Friday, July 29, 2011

Camp Papa and Cici: Installment 2

Let's see. I haven't talked to the boy too much. When I have, he has been distracted and not very informative.

Tuesday he played golf with Papa. That night he had a sleepover at Aunt Sherri's with Zander.

Wednesday he went swimming with Aunt Sherri and Zander.

Thursday he went to Old Salem with Papa and Cici. I think they had the gunsmith look at a Civil War era gun, but I'm not sure of the details. I know they did a tour and had sugar cake from the bakery.

Friday was a lazy day.  They stayed home and according to Cici, "Rehm probably had too much screen time." He got to have ice cream and only ice cream for lunch. He thought that was awesome. I don't know if they went to video store for ice cream or somewhere else.  Tonight was obviously dinner out from the picture below that my Aunt Tracy sent me. After dinner they (not sure who all this includes) were all going on a Ghost Tour.

Yeah, I'd say he's having a good time.

Jenn - Posted from my iPhone

The Latest in Locker Accessories

After swim lessons Charlotte thought this would be a fun way to entertain herself while her sisters changed clothes.

Not wanting to be left out, they decided to join her.

Jenn - Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Who Knew it Was so Easy: Egg Drop Soup

I saw this recipe recently at Kingdom Twindom and thought I have to make that! So today I made it for lunch for myself.  I really think my girls will like it and they will probably be having the leftovers for dinner tonight along with this favorite Asian dish.  The Egg Drop Soup is super easy and took maybe 15 minutes to make.  The slowest part was waiting for it to boil.

Egg Drop Soup (from Kingdom Twindom)
2 or 3 green onions chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 cups chicken broth (homemade if you have it, canned if you don't)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 eggs beaten well

Heat the oil in a sauce pan.  Add green onions and saute until wilted and starting to stick to the pan.  Stir in rice vinegar to un-stick the onions (de-glaze the pan).  Add stock and soy sauce.  Bring to a boil.  Once the soup is at a roiling boil, drizzle the egg into the pot while stirring.  Serve. 

I love how quick and easy this was and so flavorful.  I will definitely be making it regularly.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Camp Papa and Cici: Installment 1

Rehm left Saturday for Camp Papa and Cici.  The experience started off with him getting to fly to NC by himself.  He was so excited. 

It has been so much fun to talk to him and my parents and hear about his experience.  He's been there a total of 48 hours and I think eaten out six times so far.  He has already hit all of his NC favorites (including Bo Jangles, Olympic, and El Maguey). I had bets on him already going to Krispy Kreme and the video store for ice cream but they haven't done either of those yet.

Saturday he got to fly solo.  Sunday he got to go to the movies.  Today he has spend the entire day shopping with Cici.

I've already warned them that he has to be able to get all of his new stuff home with him.  I had to laugh when he called to ask if it was OK for him to get a sport coat.  He then told me it was $2, apparently they found a really good sale.  Yeah, I was just fine with that.

I called this afternoon and talked to my Dad.  He started a story with, "I know you are going to hear about this so I'd better go ahead and tell you."  Of course, I could not imagine what had happened that would be prefaced in such a way.  He went on to tell me that they were unpacking a bird feeder that Cici gave Papa for Christmas.  This is a very special bird feeder in that you can shock those pesky squirrels that always try to eat all the bird seed.  It doesn't injure the squirrels, just gives them enough of a shock to make them think twice about eating bird seed.

My engineering brained son asked how the bird feeder worked.  Papa explained how the squirrel has to be touching multiple points on the feeder.  Rehm placed both hands on.  Then Papa said you would press the button on the remote.  Rehm said, "Do it!"  So Papa did.  Yep it shocks a boy enough to make him not want birdseed, either.  I thought this was the funniest thing ever.  Actually, is still makes me laugh every time I think about it.  Does that make me a bad mother?

My Dad went on to tell me that after the bird feeder incident Rehm was telling them that he had tried putting the charger end that plugs into his DS in his mouth while it was plugged into an outlet.  Apparently he did this five or six times and it made his tongue tingle which he thought was pretty neat.  Gives me flashbacks to 9-volt batteries... He decided maybe it wasn't a good idea when he started getting a headache from doing this.  I wonder how many brain cells he fried in this little experiment.  And I wonder why I am just now hearing about it.

Rehm is having a blast.  I think he is enjoying being the only Maniac and getting to do such big kid stuff.  I'm not sure though if he is having more fun or my parents.  They really seem to be enjoying having him there.

Tomorrow he and Papa are playing golf.

I'm going to have one spoiled boy when he gets home.

PS.  Cici, send me some pictures please.

Monday, July 18, 2011

An interesting way to pick a slushy flavor

After grocery shopping today I took the girls to Sonic for "Happy Times." Eliza Claire chose a Blue Coconut slushy. She then told us the reason she chose that flavor was because....




It turns her poop green!

Ah, the bizarre logic of a five year old.

Jenn - Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Bible in 90 Days: Halfway

I have now read half of the Bible.  I am halfway done.  Wow! 

The last week of reading has been very tedious for me.  We have been reading Psalms and Proverbs.  I know most people love these two books.  I, however, do not love one of them and the other, in my opinion, is not meant to be read in large chunks.  My real dislike is for Psalms. 

I think my problem with Psalms is my dyslexia.  I find all poetry difficult to read and Psalms especially so.  I have to focus so much on the actual task of reading because the poetry flows so differently that I start seeing words wrong.  One example came when I kept reading "a round of applause" as "a  round of applesauce."  The first time, I thought it was strange but chalked the wording up to poetic liscense.  The second time around I realized I must be missing something and looked a bit closer.  Yep, "applause" made much more sense.  The other mix-up I remember was reading "immortal" as "immoral," Yeah, that one I caught the first time because the verse was completely contradictory when I thought it said something like "the righteous will be immoral."  This word mix-up problem happened several times in Psalms and made the reading especially tedious.  It made it hard to focus on what was being reveled because so much effort was required just to read the words correctly.

Honestly, I've never liked Psalms, so finding it difficult this time is no surprise.  Here is an interesting aside.  Do you know that until my mid twentys I thought Psalm 23 started off saying "The LORD is my shepherd I shall not want."  Not, "The LORD is my shepherd.  I shall not want."  I know those look the same but that silly little "." in there makes a world of difference.  I always thought the Psalmist was saying he did not want God, which given the rest of the Psalm makes no sense at all and thus caused much confusion for me.  I now get that the psalmist is saying because God is his shepherd he wants for nothing.  Totally changed the Psalm for me. Totally.  See why I don't like the Psalms?  I just don't get them.

Proverbs is a book I really do like.  It is very straight forward and sensible.  What I haven't liked this week is reading it in a big chunk.  It is very hard to really take in all of the wisdom imparted in Proverbs in two or three sittings.  I will definitely spend more time re-reading Proverbs in smaller bits after I finish the Bible in 90 Days.

Part of the problem this week stemmed from the books we had to read, but I think I am also having a problem with complacency.  Reading the Bible in 90 Days is no longer a new and daunting challenge.  I've learned I am capable of doing it and that has taken some of the excitement and novelty out the process.

Some days my Bible reading now seems like folding the laundry, just another chore I have to do. And on those days, I am very tempted to put my reading off to the next day or to only do part of it.  So far, I have resisted that temptation and have kept up because I know if I get behind things will only get more difficult. I really hope that now that we are past Psalms and Proverbs I will find the reading more engrossing and enjoyable and the chore-like feeling will fade. 

I have been posting my daily progress to Facebook to help keep me accountable to doing my reading.  I do have to say that it felt good to post "Day 46 of B90Days complete, 44 more days to go" and have the days read be higher than the days left.  I can do this.  I will do this.  

I am glad I have taken on this process. In the end, I know I won't feel like it was a chore but a blessing God has given me.  I know I will not be the same person when I finish this process that I was when I started.  I know God has specific things He wants me to learn from His word and this exercise.  Now, I just have to stick to it and listen.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Story of a Tooth

Charlotte's top front teeth have been wiggly for six months. But not wiggly enough to pull.

Sunday our friends gave us cupcakes decorated like pies. They were adorable they had M&M "fruit" and then frosting to make the crust. The cupcakes had been refrigerated to keep the frosting from melting on the drive home.

Charlotte bit into hers and immediately exclaimed, "Ouch, my tooth!". Apparently the M&Ms on the cupcake had gotten pretty hard due to the refrigeration. Charlotte's gum was bleeding and her tooth was much loser, but still not pullable.

Yesterday I noticed her gum was really bruised I honestly thought she was being over dramatic about the M&M incident. I was wrong.

Today we went for an ortho consult. She needs a palette extender but not quite yet. She needs to lose her top front teeth and her six year old molars need to finish coming in. She will be eight in two months and her six year old molars are still not all the way in. We are very late with teeth related milestones around here.

While there the ortho asked her to wiggle her tooth. Then he asked her to push until it hurt she was still clueless as to what he was up to. Finally he took matters in his own hands and pulled her lose tooth. She now thinks he is the greatest. She will happily go back to see him again.

And that my friends is how Charlotte looses teeth.

Jenn - Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A New Approach to Eating

I've been trying for 5 years to loose my twin weight. I've tried several different things in that time all with various degrees of success.  No matter what I've tried I have not been able to lose the last 20 to 30 pounds.  I have tried doing it myself with just watching what I eat.  I have tried Weight Watchers multiple times.  I have tried Alli.  I have tried exercising.  I have tried ignoring it and doing nothing.

Finally after no success with any of the above mentioned plans I decided to try something different.  I decided to try Slow Carb.  It is the eating plan from the book The Four Hour Body

Now, if you go look up the book on Amazon you are going to immediately think that it sounds crazy, wacky even. And you are going to think the guy who wrote it must be certifiable.  I thought exactly the same thing.  The book kept showing up in the top 100 list on Amazon.  I kept reading the description and thinking, I just want to read this to see what it could possibly say, it sounds crazy - it's got to be an entertaining read.  Finally I broke down and bought it.  After reading about half of the book I still stand by my original thoughts that the guy who wrote it is crazy and there is a lot in the book that seems way out there to me.  But I kept coming back to the diet - even though on initial reading I thought it was crazy too.

Finally, since nothing else was working I decided I had nothing to lose and decided to try the Slow Carb diet for a day.  After a day, I decided to try it for a week.  At the end of week one I had lost five pounds.  At that point I decided to try for a complete month.  After two months, I've lost 16 pounds.  The most success I've had since having the twins five years ago.  I want to lose at least that much more and then who knows.

So what is the Slow Carb diet?  It is really very simple.  Six days out of the week you eat only protein, legumes and veggies. Since everyone asks, that really does mean no fruit, no starches like potatoes, and no dairy.  It also means very little artificial sweetener.  On day seven you eat anything you want.  Yes, I eat beans three times a day.  Yes, even for breakfast.  Yes, I only have at most one Diet Coke a day and many weeks none.  On my cheat day, Michael calls it my Jubilee Day, I truly eat whatever I want.  So far that consists of mostly pizza, cheese and chips.

After two months, I've found that I have a different relationship with food.  I'm not constantly trying to figure out what sounds good or thinking about the next thing I want to eat.  I'm not trying to figure out how many points I've eaten or how many I have left.  Food is no longer interesting to me, except on Jubilee Day.  This has stopped a lot of snacking or eating out of boredom or when stressed, etc.

I've also found that six days out of seven I eat much healthier than I ever have.  I now go out of my way to have veggies!  Those of you who know me know just how amazing that is for me. Food is no longer about what sounds/tastes good but is now simple about what is available that is on my eating plan. My parents just visited for two weeks and my Mom commented more than once about how crazy it was to see what was on my plate. 

The down side is that I don't really enjoy cooking anymore as it is now much less interesting.  This is a bummer for me as I love to cook but have no desire to now that food is just about not being hungry.  My family is missing all of the fresh baked bread and getting tired of chili.

Is this a magic combination of food?  Nope.  Do I think everyone should eat this way?  Nope.  Do I think it is better than any other plan out there? Nope.  At the end of the day, it is just another way to limit the calories you eat each day.  And right now, it is the way that is actually working for me. 

I have no idea how long I will continue to eat this way but for now I love the results, and by that I mean all of them, not just the weight loss.


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Sharing My Faith

In blogging about reading The Bible in 90 Days, I realize I have a hard time sharing my faith, especially in such a public way.  I had a really hard time hitting publish on my last post on the subject.  Why?  Fear that I would offend or alienate someone.

I know we are not all going to agree on all topics, and especially not on religion.  I was taught that politics and religion were personal topics and not ones that we necessarily discussed in passing conversation.   

It is easy to discuss religion with my church friends.  We are all starting from a common place.  It is harder to put my beliefs out for the masses.  Yeah, I know only a handful of people read Mayhem Mania, but still its out there for anyone to see.  Kind of the equivalent of wearing a "Christian and Proud" T-shirt or something.

I've seen alienating religion, I want no part of it.  I've also seen, "pat yourself on the back for showing up" religion, I want no part of it, either.  So where does that leave me?  Somewhere in the middle, where we are called to strive to be the best Christians we can be, to search for God's will in our lives, and continue to grow in our relationship with God.

I believe that God is real.  I believe in Jesus Christ.  I believe He is my savior.  I believe without Him I am nothing.  I believe that God has a purpose for my life.  I believe He is involved in my life daily.  I believe that God is merciful and full of grace.  I believe that we all mess up.  We are not perfect.  We are not deserving of God.  But He chooses us, anyway.  Loves us, anyway.  Protects us, anyway.  As long as we ask Him to do so. Just because I believe these things does not mean I assume everyone else believes as I do. 

If our beleifs differ, I'm not going to try to change your mind.  I'm not going to tell you your wrong.  I'm not going to bring up my beliefs in every conversation we have.  I'm not going to defriend you on Facebook. 

I am going to talk about how God works in my life when it naturally comes up in conversation.  I am going to pray for you when things aren't going your way.  I am going to happily debate religious topics with you if you are interested.  I am going to admit I don't have all the answers.  I am going to continue to blog about my faith. 

My beliefs are my own.  If you don't share them, that is your personal choice.  I'm OK with that.  I hope that my faith in God will not keep you from reading Mayhem Mania or hanging out with me in real life.  But if it does, I'll be OK with that, too.


Sunday, July 03, 2011

The Bible in 90 Days: One Month Down, Two to Go

I've been doing The Bible in 90 Days plan for 36 days and am currently on day 34.  It is a good thing I started two days before the rest of the church or I would be behind and stressed out.  As it is, Rehm's two week bout with pneumonia only cost me two days of reading, so I'm not behind.

The last week or so has been spent learning about the kings of Israel and Judah. For the most part, they have not followed God's laws.  And the ones who have, have not done so completely.  The thing that repeats over and over is God telling them to not worship the gods of the other people living around them.  Time and again the kings start setting up alters to other gods.  Even the good kings don't seem to ever completely wipe out the alters dedicated to the others.  They might spruce up the temple and knock down some idols but they don't completely get rid of it all.

The stories of the kings are repeated at least twice.  At least I've read them twice so far.  I suspect I will be reading about some of them in more detail at least once more.  I have to assume that these stories are important since they are repeated.  So what am I supposed to take from this?

What are my worldly idols?  What are the things in my life that take me away from my relationship with God?   What am I doing to remove those things from my life?  These are not fun questions.  Honestly, I haven't spent the time I should dwelling on them.  I think, I'm afraid I won't like all of the answers if I really look.

The other thing that I have been wrestling with since starting The Bible in 90 Days is how do Christians live differently than non-Christians without being cliquish, condescending, judgmental, and off-putting to others?

God repeatedly tells the Israelites that they are supposed to live differently than the people around them.  They are to follow the laws God gave them.  They are not supposed to take on the values and gods of the nations living around them.  He also tells them to welcome others in as long as they are following His laws.

How does this look today?  How do you respectfully live as a Christian? How do you live your faith to the fullest while not alienating those who do not share your beliefs?  What does that look like?  How do we do that as a church or as an individual?

So far, reading the Bible in 90 days seems to be generating  more questions than answers.  I guess it is a good thing I've only read 38% so far.  I'm hoping for a lot of answers in the other 62%.