Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Introducing Landon Paul Fischer

I've been wanting to get to this for awhile! I guess I'd forgotten how much time a baby takes up. Especially a gassy one.  Even now, I am pecking with one hand while nursing this sweet boy.

I have been composing this post in my head for quite some time. I planned to talk about the days leading up to, the birth, and the weeks following. But, words aren't really necessary, I've decided. Not sure why the picture quality diminished once I uploaded the movie; I apologize for that.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Divine Mind Changing

It's no secret that I do not love being pregnant. (I've met a few women who say they love it and I pretty much want to punch them in the face when they say that, but I just smile and nod.)  Pregnancy is a means to an end for me.  And I look forward to that end all the way through.  The beginning is rough, the end is rough, and the middle, well, it's really small.  But I am big by then, so there is plenty to complain about even when I am not ill or physically uncomfortable.

So now I've reached the "end".  38 weeks plus 1 day.  This is my fifth pregnancy.  At this stage I have been the same with each one - miserable.  It's not just the physical discomfort, which there is plenty of, but I simply cannot seem to focus on any of my responsibilities and/or commitments.  All I can think about is how sick of being pregnant I am, and the longing I have to hold my new baby.  At this point, I pretty much don't want to see anyone outside of my family until I actually have a baby outside of my body.  Which isn't really practical, since I do have places to go and things to do.  I get tired of the questions.  I get tired of talking about my due date, which still seems light years away. I also get frustrated to hear of other moms giving birth, some who were due after myself.  It's a hard time to be content and happy.  And of course I feel guilty about that for a whole host of reasons, but that's for a different post.

So, last week, or the week before - I'm starting to lose track of time - I was feeling pretty good. I mean, for some reason the sciatic nerve pain I had been dealing with for months had settled down and physically, I was feeling better than I had been.  I was sleeping better and had more energy.  I was thinking, I can make it through this, and even made myself a list of things I could accomplish before the baby came.  Like goals.  Like, this baby can take it's time because I have things to do. Silly me.

Then came THE HEADACHE.  This headache lasted a week+ and nothing would touch it.  Along with that came back the serious heartburn.  The headache took away any motivation I had, because I couldn't function.  And I wasn't very fun for my kids to be around because even their regular talking level was more than I could bear.  On Tuesday night, things were at their worst.  Thankfully, Matt was home that night, and he graciously told me to hide out behind closed doors and he would take care of the children.  I couldn't sleep and so I googled headaches in 38th week. There's the preeclampsia scare. I've never ever had any complications with my pregnancies, they just suck.  Always headaches and nausea and heartburn and all that fun stuff.  And very healthy babies.  For that I am thankful, but I knew I was fine.  Even so, I couldn't block out the noise through the door and so I decided to go to the grocery store to check my blood pressure.  Honestly, I was actually hoping it would be high so I could go to the hospital and they could make this baby come out.  But my blood pressure is great.  And, my doctor was there buying groceries!  And she was like, your blood pressure is great! Yeah, I know.  She wasn't concerned about my headache, but she did sympathize.

I should point out that my last three pregnancies have ended with induced labors due to very good scheduling excuses.  Like, baby's due date is Christmas.  Or, doctor is scheduled to be out of town.  These are good, right?  So, I have a history of knowing when I get to have my babies.  This is different.  I have no excuses this time.  The uncertainty is killing me.

So I get home from the grocery store (just after I know the kids will all be in bed).  I am feeling a bit better, just having had some quiet (I spent an hour and half out, most of it just sitting in an empty deli). Chat with Matt a bit and we head to bed at 10.  I notice some serious, abnormal pain in my lower back on the way up the stairs. That stirred some excitement.  I lie there awake and when my stomach starts to grumble at 11, I get out of bed and head to the couch.  My normal "can't sleep" routine is to eat cereal and facebook a bit or catch up on blogs I follow.  Then the contractions started!  After an hour of contractions, I started trying to time them.  I was thinking, this could be it!  But they were very mild and frequent. Always less than 5 minutes apart.  That was confusing.  Eventually, they spread further apart and even got stronger.  I got more excited.  I kept thinking, should I wake Matt up?  Should I call my mom and tell her she should come over?  But, since this is only the second time I'm experiencing "natural" labor, I am so reluctant to do anything.  The first time, with my oldest, I was sent home from the hospital after like 10 hours of laboring at home and thinking "this pain can't get any worse" and told I was dilated "a dimple".  That particular labor lasted 42 hours, and my second child and first induction was blissful and short, so you can see why I was happy to have good excuses for induction on numbers 3 and 4!

But back to Tuesday night, I didn't wake anyone, and fell asleep on the couch (obviously they weren't painful enough) and the contractions went away.  I was sad they went away.  But I woke up Wednesday full of excitement, just sure that it meant things were going to be happening!  I told Matt he better get his sub lined up!  Then all day Wednesday, that would be YESTERDAY, my excitement waned and I became more and more disappointed, discouraged, and eventually just bitter.  If it was hard for me to focus on my responsibilities before, when I was just anxious to have a baby, it was 100% harder after I thought I was getting ready to have one and then didn't.  That, plus a night with very little sleep.

Well, I made it through the day. I spent a lot of wasted time reading about how to make yourself go into labor.  All things I've read before. (At least one post really made me laugh.) By the time I got the kids to bed, I knew this baby was nowhere near arrival and so I better find a way to snap out of it. Two weeks is a long time to be a bitter zombie mom.  I crawled around the living room floor picking up toys and debris until I could see all the carpet.  I swept dirt clods from someone's shoes off the dining room floor.  Just seeing the floor always makes me feel better.  Kids were in bed and I was watching a movie and eating in peace while waiting for husband to get home from a late meeting.  It was peaceful, at least.  Went to bed at 9:40 and fell asleep by 10.

Then I woke up this morning!  I thought, that is really odd, I slept all the way through the night, didn't even get up to pee?!  This hasn't happened in months.  Then I began my internal grumbling with God and praying, as I do daily, that this baby would come early. This lasted 20-30 minutes until I hear Matt turn the shower off.  Then I turn on the lamp and sit up to read my devotion.  And this is how it starts:

Title: Your Will Be Done
"Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." --Matthew 6:10
(immediately, I know I am going to be convicted! I can't even continue on for several seconds...)
"God knows what will best minister to His gracious designs.  He ordains all things according to the counsel of His will, and that counsel never errs. Let us adoringly consent that it shall be so, desiring no alterations...."

I think that is enough for you to understand what I was facing.  I love God.  I really do!  He often has to smack me in the face like this.  But I am so thankful for it.

Even though it is hard, sometimes, to change my frame of mind, I know that is what is required.  It won't happen naturally every time, sometimes I have to make that decision.  I needed to realize what a gift it was to have slept through the night!  And now, what a gift it is that the sun is shining on me!  I changed my attitude this morning and I am grateful I was able to.  Because I had a pleasant morning with my kids, and we made french toast together, instead of cereal.  And there wasn't any arguing or bickering or crying!  And, the headache was gone!

So, I am TRYING to be patient about this baby.  At least, I am praying for patience now, in addition to praying for it to come early!  And praying the headache stays away, because that is really a mind changer!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Discerning the voice of God (has that been used before? it sounds so familiar...)

Tonight I am not sleeping.  This is not by choice.  I want to say it's good practice for when baby arrives.  The problem is, my body cannot physically handle the lack of sleep right now.

So why am I awake?  I haven't figured it out yet.

I feel God must really be trying to get something through to me.  I just wish it could be more clear RIGHT NOW.  My brain is jumping all over the place.

Some things weighing heavily on my mind tonight include:

  • my children - how can I be the best mama possible to them and spur them on to love like Jesus? and how can I teach them responsibility in our home while maintaining a positive attitude of love and a cool, calm temper?
  • pregnancy/new baby - please, please, please come early so I can be out of physical pain and discomfort! it's been a long time since there's been an infant in our routines.  will everything fall to pieces?
  • MOPS leaders in Alaska - how can I best support them and remain balanced in order to meet the needs of my family?
  • MOPS moms - how can I put into practice this exciting new calling God has put into my heart? (mentorship)
  • my online course for certification renewal - can't I just get it done already?!  there are so many other things I need/want to be doing with my time.  my heart is just not in it, but it is a roadblock to other activities that I need and want to be doing and the only way past is to get it done.
  • the poor/orphans - for some reason God keeps bringing them to me, and my compassion is so great that I feel like I will nearly explode with anger that I am forced to keep reading about them/seeing pictures and be able to do nothing.  My heart hurts.  I am sick with guilt.  I have no peace.  God, please, I need you to be more specific in this area.  What am I to do?!
Thanks for letting me share my head tonight.  

This is my quiet, secret place. (not so secret, I know. but it feels secret right now in the pitch black of my living room at 2:44 am)

Sometimes the only way to have peace is to empty it completely.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trying to express my feelings of gratitude for sunny days, which breathe life into me.

Is it possible to express how beautiful your earth when the sun shines upon it? Your glory displayed in the majestic mountains, the peaceful waters, the vibrant palette of colors splashed across the canvas of your creation...

When I feel the warmth of the sun beating down on me, it is like a tangible feeling of the warmth of your Son embracing me.  I am so very grateful for a beautiful day.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A long story, but I have to get it off my chest.

Being positive does not always come easy.  Especially this week.

This week started on Monday.
Matt got work hauling dirt for the day for a church friend. 

I was supposed to see the chiropractor last week, but was unable to get in due to holiday closure and our annual garage sale.  So I decided this was a quick task I could take care of with all the kids in tow.  They could watch a movie in the car for 10 minutes and I could continue on the path to pain free.

I made the appointment with an hour and ten minutes to get the kids ready and get there.  It was plenty of time.  When there was just 15 minutes until I needed to be driving away, Matt called and said I needed to do a favor for his parents, who were on their way to Anchorage for a medical procedure.  They needed a hotel reservation, unexpectedly.  Thus commenced the search for a hotel that was not too full, too expensive, or too far from the hospital. 

Time is ticking and my stress level is rising.  Meanwhile, while I am on the computer and the phone I am repeatedly asking my kids to just get in the car.  I don’t know if it’s like this for everyone, but if I am doing something other than getting in the car myself, my kids to not usually end up in the car.  More frantic, more stressed, I am finally heading out to the car, for sure late at this point.  I hate being late.

Maggie is standing in her kennel, where she used to stay when we left the house.  I could have easily shut the door.  But I made her come outside, thinking she would appreciate not being cooped up on a decent day.  I get in the car and Montana is not there.  I lay on the horn three times for several seconds.  Angry, stressed.

She’s finally in the car and I proceed to tear out of the driveway, which is littered with so many things it’s like an obstacle course (Cotton candy trailer, dumpster, 16 ft trailer…bikes, helmets, hoses), like a madwoman. 

Next thing is a thump-clunk, a howl-scream and I see Maggie running off in the direction of the back yard.  I curse.  I throw the car in park and jump out to find her.  As I walk and cry and try to breathe, I call the chiropractor to say I won’t be there. 

She is by the rock, sitting but hurt.  I cannot see the injury, other than she is not putting her front leg down.  I am a frantic mess, crying, hugging her, saying I’m so sorry over and over.  I begin to carry her to the car.  I have to stop at the deck to catch my breath.  The kids have not realized what has happened.

When I get her in the car, the older two quickly become upset.  There is blood on my arm, so that makes it worse.  We are all crying on the way to the vet.  I try to call Matt several times, but he cannot hear his phone in the big truck.  There’s no gaining control over my emotions, but I remember feeling thankful that she is conscious and her injuries do not appear life-threatening.  I think how devastated Matt and the kids would be if she died and I think about how mad Matt will be with me for hitting her.

We get to the vet and I try to regain some composure, but I can’t keep from crying while the vet examines her.  I did this.  It is my fault.  I hit our dog with my vehicle.

We leave her there and wait for a call.  Matt finally calls me back.  The kids cannot stop crying.  I am trying to get them to calm down because she is now in good care and she will be fine.  This is what I tell them.  Meanwhile, I can’t stop being upset because it is all my fault.  I keep replaying everything in my mind and all the things I could have done differently to avoid this accident.  I still can’t keep from replaying the entire scene in my mind.

The vet finally calls and I am told we need to get her to a surgeon in Anchorage right away.  I begin calling Matt, but of course he doesn’t hear the phone.  It is an urgent matter, the longer we wait, the lesser the chance for successful repair, which is still uncertain.  I just keep calling until he finally sees because the vet is waiting for me to call back and there is nothing I can do in the meantime.  Matt gets to his own vehicle, gets Maggie, and heads to Anchorage. 

Of course, all the while, we are thinking about money.  What will this cost?  There’s not even a question of whether or not we can afford it.  We cannot.  No matter the cost.  We will go further into debt.  And it turns out the cost will be around $4000.  A lot of money.  For a dog.  One more future vacation, gone.  Five more years with snot-crusted furniture.  More orphans and homeless that we cannot help.  The list goes on.  And it doesn’t cross my mind to do anything other than what it takes to save the dog in the best possible way.  What does cross my mind is how we went to so much trouble and spent a good deal of money to get her just one year ago.  And how this summer we spent the money to get her spayed.  And how would I ever face the kids to tell them Maggie wouldn’t be coming home?

And while I may not be 100% happy about pet-ownership, she has become part of our family.  Watching Matt and the kids with her makes me happy we have her.  And she is entertaining.  And even though she can be quite naughty, she is never mean.  And she wants to be friends with every man, child, and creature who comes along.  And I find myself missing her company when I am home alone and she is not here.

So that’s it.  I know people are thinking these thoughts, because I have thought them about others and now, about myself.  And this whole week has been rainy, and gloomy, and tear-soaked.  And I keep reminding myself that I have so many friends struggling with so much more – illnesses, surgeries with painful recoveries, loved ones with cancer, loved ones lost.  But that just makes me feel worse, because I can’t seem to stop feeling sorry for myself and I know what a terrible person that makes me.

I keep trying to see the positive that will come from this.  I know God often uses our trials to help us be more understanding and able to comfort others when they go through the same.  And right now that is the only thing I can come up with.  Because I used to be the person thinking “it’s just a dog”.  But now I know, it’s not.
Look how happy they are to finally have a dog.
Even I can't help but baby the cute puppy.

First time I found Hallie asleep with her.
Maggie and Hallie love each other.
Carson loves Maggie.

Ollie reads a book about boxers while waiting for her to come home from surgery.
She is fragile and must be kept still.
Ollie is happy to have his buddy home.
The girls made get well cards.

The kids take turns keeping her company in her confined area.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


So this morning, at about 4:40 am, I had just crawled back into bed to try to conquer my insomnia when I hear this awful moaning-type noise outside.  I listen to it for a few seconds before saying to Matt, "what is that?!" He's like, "a moose?"  I said "NO, that's not a moose."  At which point we both jump up and look out the window just in time to see a brown bear cub running across our lawn.  Matt then proceeds to find his gun and bullets (stored in separate locations that we can't remember) and heads outside to scare them off.  I'm inside, half dressed, watching to see if any other bears make themselves visible.  Matt motions that he hears one just down a path at the edge of our lawn.  He fires a shot and sees a second cub take a detour around our lawn, heading the direction of the first.  He walks around the house and fires a couple more shots in hopes they will run far, far away and never come back.  When he comes back in, he says that he believes he heard the mama on the other side of the property, in the direction the first cub was headed when he ran by.

This is not our first experience with a bear on our property.  At Murwood, we were lucky enough to have one visit our deck.  And we have seen evidence of bears in our "neighborhood" last spring and this.  But somehow, actually seeing it on your lawn really heightens the awareness and ramps up the fear factor.  I am always looking and listening to the woods.  I feel nervous to let the kids outside.

This fear of living, basically, makes me angry.  We shouldn't have to feel trapped inside.  And I think we are much happier when we aren't aware of the dangers lurking around us.  I grew up in very small Alaskan communities and we lived in the outdoors.  We played in the woods all year round.  As a teen and college aged student, I hiked and/or camped with a friend or two most the days I wasn't working.  I don't ever remember giving a thought to bears at all.  We certainly never had a gun or bear spray with us.  Maybe this was unwise, but we were happy, had a great time, enjoyed God's great outdoors, and never had any incidents.

Over the last decade, I have often thought about fear.  And how it seems to have increased over time and/or with age.  Does this have to do with having kids?  I honestly do not know the answer to this.  But it bothers me that I am now afraid of things that I didn't used to be afraid of.  Such as swimming in the ocean.  I have always had an irrational fear of sharks, but that didn't stop me from spending time in the Pacific in Hawaii and California while in high school and college.  Now I would rather keep my feet firmly in the sand with just the surf washing over them.  Or how about skydiving.  It has always been a dream of mine.  I have not yet accomplished this goal.  But now when I think of it I experience a twinge of fear, rather than the "I'm invincible" excitement I used to feel.  These are just a couple of examples.

I am not a worrier.  I generally don't worry about my kids and their safety and lots of things that others feel I should worry about.  I am not saying I am right or wrong in this either.  But, for some reason, now that I have grown up and seen bears up close with my own eyes and read accounts of bear attacks, I must now constantly fight a fear of "what if?"

David knew about fear too.  God uses his words in Psalm 91 to remind me to trust in Him and he will protect me.  He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.(1) You will not fear the terror of the night. (5) "Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name." (14)  

I must also trust Him to protect my children.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Beautiful Things

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

Lyrics to "Beautiful Things" by Gungor

This song has been on my mind, my heart, my ipod for days and days now.  I love it.  What is interesting is that, in the past, if I had listened to this song, I might have been very sad, listening through tears, but clinging to the words with hope, that God could make something beautiful out of me.

You see, I have been in a deep pit of depression.  Even with Jesus in my heart, I found myself in a dark, lonely place.  And after many failed attempts to “get out there” to try to connect with other moms of young children, I came to believe every other mom already had all the friends she needed, and my personality just wouldn’t allow me to jump into an established group of friends.  So I isolated myself further.

God, in his mercy, decided to save me from my own self-pity and self-loathing, and that dark place.   He gave me MOPS.  I never got to experience MOPS as just an attendee.  But as I looked into this ministry, I realized the opportunity it provides for moms to connect could have saved me from the pain and loneliness I had endured.  I was determined to provide this opportunity for other moms, because I knew there had to be others like me in this community.

God used MOPS to change my life.  Not as a mom, but as a leader.  I discovered my true joy was not going to come in the form of a BFF with the same aged kids and the same hobbies and the same parenting views (which is what I desperately wanted).  But my true joy came when I looked beyond myself, and served God by serving others.

So I listen to this song with a smile on my face, and tears of joy welling up.  Because I am so, so thankful God made me new and made a beautiful thing out of me.

It has been my privilege and my honor to serve you in College Heights MOPS.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Change, Part 2

You are so right, Contessa, it is time to continue. Thank you for that little kick in the booty! Sometimes I have so much in my head and I know I can't write it all. So, I have been trying to figure out exactly what I want to say about change, what should be said about the changes that prompted this post, and how to say it best so that the reader doesn't click the dreaded x after the first paragraph!

Towards the end of the MOPS year, we (leadership) always start thinking about the following year and there are always changes to be dealt with. Pretty normal. So I was confident as I prepared to "coach" my team through change. And then I learned of some more changes that will be taking place in this ministry that is a big part of my life.

I'll give you a personal example. I've been living in the same community for a long time. Much longer than I anticipated living somewhere as an adult, when I was a youth. The thought of moving is quite exciting to me. Certainly not the packing and unpacking part, but starting fresh somewhere new and experiencing another part of God's great earth is a thrilling idea. I just love to travel and want to see and experience this entire world. Living in Alaska on a teacher's salary for a family of 7 can make you pretty "stuck". Before you start spreading any rumors, there is no moving in our near future that we can see. But that would be a huge change. A change that many would hate but, to me, sounds exciting.

On the other hand, some changes are harder for me to accept. Such as opening up my blog after 17 days away from it and finding everything different. Or when an organization I have been involved with for several years decide to change their terminology. Why? I thought it was all working pretty well the way it was!

The truth is, when I wanted to start writing about "change", I didn't know what changes were going to take place (other than having a baby!). But I knew changes were coming and I wasn't sure how I felt about it. Fearful would probably be the most accurate word. And if you are wondering just what I am referring to, it is MOPS, because, next to my family, MOPS has been the biggest and most important thing in my life since becoming an adult. There's too much history to tell there, but oh, how I wish I could! If you want to learn more, you can find snippets on this blog by typing in the word MOPS in the search bar. I've tried to tag them all...

Back to the changes....I knew I was having a baby and I knew I wanted to be able focus more on this precious gift when he/she arrives. Really, truly enjoy and savor all it. (In case you haven't guessed, I am trying to convince myself to be done having babies.) But MOPS holds a big part of my heart and I wasn't willing to just let it disappear. There are a small group of committed leaders ready to go for next year and I couldn't just drop them. Not only that, but this community is FULL of young mothers of preschoolers looking to connect with other moms. When I see them, I see myself 5,6,7 years ago and the dark, lonely place I was in. Unfortunately, there is no interest in leadership from within my church. So, a bit reluctantly, I committed to Coordinate again. I was so thankful for a precious mom/leader/friend on my team who said she is willing to help in whatever capacity I would like, as an assistant coordinator.

But God was still nagging me and I knew in my heart that something was not right with the plans I was making. It was at this point that He planted the idea in my mind of the possibility of MOPS not ending, but moving. I began to pray about this scenario. I had to process the idea of "letting go" of MOPS, essentially. But it has never been about me, it has always been about God and he gave me a peace about this idea so quickly. I approach my friend about this idea God has placed in my heart and it is no surprise that she has already considered this scenario. I just love the way God works. :) Now there were two of us praying. In the meantime, it becomes very clear to me that MOPS is supposed to end at my church, regardless of whether another church is ready and willing to take it on. So I make that call. It was still hard to make and I dragged my feet for more days than I should have...

But as soon as I did, the peace and joy that comes with knowing I am within the will of God just washed over me. It's such a good feeling. And almost immediately God started showing me why I needed this change and some ideas of what I will be focusing on (for the short term, anyways).

We are still praying for another church in this community to be ready to support a MOPS group. And if God provides a church, then I will still be involved for at least a year to help with a smooth transition (assuming the coordinator wants that ;). And I have no intention of quitting my Field Leadership anytime soon. I have such a passion for this ministry and the way it can change lives. And I love being a part of something greater than myself in my own little world. God really uses MOPS to change lives. He used it to change me. For the better, I might add!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Just click on that title if you need to hear that song like I did.

Okay, seriously, people, I have been working up this post since last Tuesday. For starters, I apologize for my absence. One of my goals for the year was to write at least one post per month and I failed! While I managed to get some in there during my terrible morning sickness stage, March just got away from me. My husband commented to me the other day, "I haven't seen any blog posts lately." To which I replied, "can you give me a prompt?" :)

Anyways, it wasn't long after that little conversation that life provided it's own prompt and that is really what my writing is all about. So, I came to my blog and titled my post "Changes". And it sat there. For almost a week. Because I really couldn't work up what I wanted to say about change. And all the while that silly song has been stuck in my head! Especially on the nights that I forget to take something to help me sleep. So tonight I decided I had to write something or just write it off. And it started with a change to the title.

And here's what really prompted this post. How we respond to change.

Most of us probably (as mature adults) face change with some excitement and some trepidation. And most of us, if we honestly consider the issue, lean more strongly towards one side of the pendulum or the other. We relish change or we abhor it. And then many of us, when we consider the issue of change more deeply, would say there are some areas of our life that change is okay and good and then there are other areas of our life that we really don't want to see any change in. This is all sounding a bit wishy washy isn't it?

Unfortunately, this is going to have to be continued! I have got to get to bed, but I determined that I would post at least something in this post that started in my mind almost a week ago. I apologize for the fragmentation, but I decided it was tonight or never....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dear Receptionist at the Doctor's Office,

I don't know you. But we've been seeing each other for almost 10 years now. I used to think you were super-nice and I never had any anxiety about coming in or calling. But over the last few years I've sensed a change. I get a negative vibe from you. Your niceness does not seem genuine and I actually feel despised by you. I don't look forward to coming in anymore and I get anxious when I have to call. I don't like to be disliked. I don't know why you would dislike me. But my feeling is that you despise me for my kids being on Denali Kid Care and my having more babies.

My husband is a teacher. I believe it is a noble profession. He has all kinds of degrees and training. And he is brilliant. He could do ANYthing he wanted and make more income. But he believes in what he is doing. My husband has a strong moral character and a conviction about what he does. Kids are not going to skate through his class and students and parents often come back and thank him for his efforts. Recently, a former high school student wrote my husband, thanking him profusely, and telling him he didn't know how he would have turned out if my husband hadn't kept him on the right track in school. He said all the young couples he and his wife went to school with are partying or constantly in trouble with the law for illegal substance abuse. This feedback keeps him going. He personally invests himself in his students.

We believe in a big family. We love our children. We agreed from the beginning that you can't wait on perfect circumstances or financial situations to have children. God has always provided. Part of that provision is Denali Kid Care. It is a sad thing that a teacher with tenure can still qualify for for state health assistance. Not all public teachers are great, but I would say most that I know go into the profession because they feel called to it. They put in more hours and effort than they are financially compensated for. Their families sacrifice. As a product of one such teacher, I would know.

So, dear Receptionist, whether or not you are really thinking that, I hope that you aren't judging people for having kids when they "can't afford them". I promise I'll stop having kids one of these days and maybe someday my husband will get paid enough that we don't qualify for Denali. But as long as we do, I need to take advantage of it.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

sick of being sick.

I just need to vent a little. This is a hard time for me. It's quite silly, but I just really did not expect to be hit so hard with morning sickness this time around. With Carson I was so sick and each successive pregnancy has been a little better. So, I really wasn't expecting this. I am just worthless around here. My poor kids! I went from feeding them these ultra healthy meals and trading the breakfast cereal for eggs and oatmeal to making them eat cereal for every meal. Matt has been gone to negotiating meetings almost every night. The worst time of day is when I need to figure out dinner. The counters are all covered with dishes. The dishwasher is full. The smell of food cooking makes me sick. The end.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Well, things have gotten progressively worse over the last several days! I could now be the poster child for the Junk Food Challenge, as I've pretty much gone 180* with my eating! I have managed to get over the guilt because the alternative is to be sick all the time and starve altogether and also let my family go hungry. We will get through this trying time. I just hope I am able to go back to eating healthy again without much struggle. Right now, everything that I was eating and everything that I should be eating makes me want to gag when I think about it. I also have no energy to cook and a killer headache that ruins everything.

It's unfortunate, I was hoping this pregnancy would be different. I had dreams about working out all the way through and eating right and not gaining much weight at all. Then my life would just go on post-partum, I could enjoy my baby and not worry about getting back in shape. Ha! What's happened in the past is I've been so sick in the beginning that I have to stop working out, then I am too exhausted to get back into it and of course I just eat whatever I can at first and then whatever I want later. Makes for a lot of work to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans!

So, it's time for me to go to bed and get some rest, but I don't want to, because I am really dreading the morning!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Bun in the Oven and the End of My Challenge

So, I was pretty certain I was pregnant when I started my challenge. I felt fantastic up until day 23 and then the all day nausea set in. I have been working out with increasing intensity 6 days a week throughout this challenge. Five of those workouts take place at 5:15 am. On day 23, after working out, I was so nauseated I didn't know what to do because the quick and easy things to eat are definitely not whole30 approved. In my past pregnancies, I practically lived on cereal. I was thinking that maybe the foods I had eliminated were going to keep me from experiencing morning sickness, because I have read so many stories of primal/paleo women who don't. So that was an exciting thought. But no. I now have the nausea, the headaches, the exhaustion, everything. So I have to figure out how to keep myself from being sick without eating all the carbs that I crave.

Today's lunch.

I have been pretty much living on eggs the last few days. It's one of the few things that appeal to me. This morning I ate a small bowl of rice chex before working out and then went on with my regular routine of working out, showering, getting ready - before making the eggs. And since my challenge is over, I cooked them in butter and added my conventional bacon! Yum! It worked well and I managed to have a great workout still and not feel like I am going to pass out with nausea afterward. So, I guess I will allow myself this grain "cheat" until this nausea goes away!

Update on our dinners the last few nights. The turkey chili went over great with the kids. Matt didn't care for it as much. I liked it, but not as well as beef chili. The kids were surprised when I told them there was squash in it! The curry pork was a fail in my family's book. I love curry. They don't. But I didn't love the pork. Too dry. Tonight was my favorite, beef vegetable soup. I could live on this stuff. I don't know if I would ever get sick of it. :)

Here's some challenge stats for you:
weight lost in 23 days - 8 pounds
inches lost - 2 on belly, 1.5 on hips

Here's some baby stats: baby number 5 due September 2012!

ps - Some people just can't stand not knowing if a baby is "planned" or not, especially once you get past number 3. I think it's an inappropriate question, really, unless it is coming from a very close friend. Whether or not we planned this baby, God certainly did! But yes, this is something we wanted. The anticipation is almost unbearable! We are thrilled!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kindness and Respect

It's time to take a detour from my food challenge and talk about parenting a bit. And my darling children. Oh, how I love them! Carson will be 9 in two weeks! Hallie turned 5 last month. Montana is solid 7 and Ollie is approaching 3. They are the greatest gifts I could have ever been blessed with.

In the "early days" of parenting, when I had 3 preschoolers at home, I felt like it was all I could do to survive. I did my best to discipline and teach appropriate behavior. But mainly we worked on daily routine and right and wrong.

Over these last couple of years I have had a chance to breathe and reflect and consider what it is I really want to "teach" my children. What do I want to model? What kind of legacy do I want to leave? And what is it I want my children to take into their hearts and into the world?

And it really boils down to two things. Kindness and respect. These are what I value above all else. I pray daily with and for my kids for God to help them to be kind and respectful. Now, so far, they aren't always exemplifying these values at home. But we are all working on it together. I hope that they are just so exhausted from being so kind and respectful out in the world that sometimes they let their human weakness take over at home. :)

Also, perfect behavior is not important to me. I want my children to obey me out of love and respect. But they are kids, not robots. I do not expect them to be perfect and I don't spank them every time they mess up.

I believe having a thick skin is important and being able to be teased in love is essential. We are a family who laughs with each other and at ourselves. And you can often tell you are loved by a Fischer if we tease you. But I am teaching my children the difference between teasing and mocking, laughing with and laughing at. I hope they are learning to differentiate between appropriate times to tease and laugh and inappropriate times.

So here is what I want to say to you. If you know my kids, if you spend any kind of time with any of them at all, and you witness unkindness or disrespect, call them out on it. I cannot tolerate my children being rude, sassy, or bossy to adults. I cannot tolerate my children excluding other children, or being mean to their peers in any way. And, if you witness my children being respectful or extraordinarily kind, praise them! And PLEASE let me know as well, so I can be encouraged too. Parenting is tough work and I think we could all use a little more encouragement.

"Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel." Proverbs 11:17

"Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect authority." 1 Peter 2:17

Whole30 Day 21

This is the turkey and yam hash I made last night. It was yummy! I tasted it and then worried that the husband wouldn't care for it. But his comment was: "if this is healthy then I want to eat healthy!" There wasn't enough to satisfy him because he loved it so much.

Tonight's dinner also turned out very good. But let me just say, I am not a salmon lover. I have not found a way of preparing salmon that keeps me coming back for more. I eat it because it's free and we have a freezer full. And because I know it is healthy. I enjoyed the yellow squash much more than the salmon.
The sun has stopped shining and today I was feeling really cruddy. Headache, general yucky feeling, no energy. I tried to take a nap, and lay in bed for a full hour, but I don't think I slept much. I was hoping to wake up refreshed and re-energized, but nope. I sure hope tomorrow is better, because when I feel this way, all I want to do it medicate with chocolate.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's Day 20! (and a meal plan)

I don't know what happened over the last couple days, but I feel like I got my vitality back. On Friday I struggled. I wanted to quit. Matt and I had no kids for the night and a gift card to St. Elias. The craving and thoughts of all kind of sweets kicked in. I wanted pizza. I wanted beer. I wanted chocolate! But I was strong and resisted that urge. When we got home from Carson's game, I opted to make some baked bars with almond flour and dates. The dates were the only sweetener. Even though it may not be best to find a "legal" way to get past that craving, still, I did stay legal and managed to hang in. Then on Saturday I stuck with my usual Sat. morning routine of about 6 cups of coffee over the course of 3 hours and I ate 2 of those bars for my breakfast around 8. Then I went to Zumba at 10 and I was feeling great. I went about my day and never got hungry again. I finally decided to eat again at 5, when I was feeding Oliver dinner. I felt fabulous all day and never felt hunger or thought about food. It happened again today when I didn't feel hungry for breakfast and had my coffee with coconut oil instead and waited until lunch to eat. This makes me really happy because, not only do I feel great, but food is not on my mind. I am not wondering what I am going to eat and when I can eat next. I love not feeling hungry and not wishing I could eat something I shouldn't. And I love being able to see things and watch people eat things (i.e. doughnuts at church) and not wish I was eating one too. Not compelled at all. Not missing what I should not have. Big happy face.

So, here is this week's meal plan. Since I made the turkey last week (the best thing I could have done), I have been enjoying homemade stock and turkey soup. I am getting adventurous again with some new recipes this week, so I hope my family doesn't rebel! :)

Wednesday: turkey pumpkin chili (I'm going to use frozen squash because I have some)
Thursday: beef vegetable soup
Friday: salsa chicken (I never ended up making this, with all the leftover turkey, and it's sort of serving as my backup meal right now)
Saturday: I will be gone this night and so I will probably let the fam eat pizza as a treat. I am thinking a nice yummy steak will be just the ticket for me on this special night. :)

So, fyi, Saturday will be day 26 and I am actually considering ending my challenge on this day. I will be celebrating the 40th birthday of a very dear friend that evening. I plan to stick to Whole30 as much as possible, but thus far I have not had to face the challenge of eating out during this challenge. On this day I will be having dinner out and then breakfast and lunch the next day. I am afraid it will be difficult to avoid butter. I also plan to make her some coconut bars that contain some honey (I do not use stevia. Ever.). For the sake of happiness and not feeling deprived, I may just end my challenge a few days early and enjoy the blessing of friendship. Either way, I will certainly let you all know what happens! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Oh, and it's Day 18.

Yes, I am getting worn out with this. I am not as excited to show you my food anymore. There are no changes happening with lunches and breakfasts, and dinners have had a few less-than-satisfactory results. I am still hanging in, but definitely counting the days until this challenge is over. Not so I can start eating unhealthy stuff, but so I don't have to wonder what to eat when I am hungry between meals. Hopefully I will be able to reintroduce cheese without any issues. And then, when I need a snack I can go back to eating my salami and cheese - because even though salami is a processed meat, I still feel it is a better choice to snack on than cookies or crackers and, I like it. I can cook with butter. And consume bacon again.

And hopefully, I will continue to do an awesome job making meal plans each week and feeding my entire family healthier, not just me. Being on this challenge has really made it easier to bring the whole family in to healthier eating, because there is no more junk in this house. I know I don't do well with temptation. Hopefully, I will be able to go back to eating a very small portion of dark chocolate now and then and occasionally bake a Primal treat using honey or maple, and almond flour without losing complete control of how much of these sweets I eat.

Hopefully, I will take the time and effort to make myself a salad for lunch or cook up a quick stir fry. Rather than just eating an apple with almond butter and cheese and salami for lunch!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Days 13 & 14

For some reason I have not been motivated to update yesterday or today. Tomorrow is my halfway mark and I feel as if I have lost some of my unction. :( All day today I felt the need to snack, which was frustrating and annoying, especially since my snacks are so limited. Then tonight my dinner wasn't very satisfying. I was very hungry shortly after. I don't want to be so negative on here, so maybe that is why I have been avoiding it.

I will say the eggplant recipe was good! I wouldn't rank it among my favorite meals, but I did go back for seconds. Unfortunately, the rest of the fam didn't care for it much and so after they all ate a little, I allowed them to eat pb&h sandwiches AND cereal! Totally opposite of what I am trying to accomplish here! Oh well, you can't win them all. Overall, the kids have played along quite well and been little troopers about the whole thing.

I'll be eating leftovers for awhile!

I did make one delicious discovery yesterday when I was actually craving chocolate, of all things! (My cravings for sweet have almost vanished, so I was surprised it had surfaced.) I decided to mix cocoa powder and nothing else into the cream from the top of a refrigerated can of coconut milk. Oh my goodness! It didn't even need to be sweetened, just creamy, chocolaty goodness. The texture was sort of between a mousse and a pudding. YUM!

I'm really hoping my mood and attitude improves and goes back to the way I was feeling last week. Maybe it's because we have had multiple nightime visits from numerous kids the last few nights. It's starting to take it's toll and I'm feeling worn down.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 12 - Meal Planning Day

Tonight we are having the beef stew I had planned on having last night. Last night I made the chicken soup I intended for tonight. I think I'm allowed to do that, right? ;)

Here is this week's meal plan!

Monday: Eggplant/Ground Beef Marinara recipe (this popped up on Maria Mind Body Health's facebook page and then I just happened to notice eggplant on sale, so I thought, how fortuitous, we will all try something new this week! Eggplant!)
Tuesday: Orange Ginger Stir Fry Chicken
Wednesday: Slow Cooked Pork Roast (I have another recipe I usually use, but wanted to try something new!)
Thursday: Turkey? (I really want to make a turkey so I can get some snacking meat in my fridge, but if I just can't accomplish it, we will probably have salmon.)
Friday: Salsa Chicken (another slow cooker recipe - chicken covered in salsa)
Saturday: salad or leftovers (kids will be out of town with grandparents)

Not sure about Sunday yet!

I would like to note how fantastic I feel, physically, how positive my mood has been, and how much easier this challenge has been so far than I expected! I have never done anything this extreme (meaning, 30 days with not even a little niblet or taste of dark chocolate). I didn't have much faith in myself, really. But the reason I keep denying myself whenever I am tempted is because of you, whoever you are, reading this blog. I've gone public with my goal and because of that, I intend to see it through. Thanks for hanging in with me!

Day 11

Saturday mornings are a bit special for me. Usually, it is the only day of the week I don't have to be "on task" first thing. So I like to be lazy. I usually get out of bed between 6:30 and 7:00 (whereas on weekdays I am up by 5:15). I like to make coffee and sit and drink it for a couple hours while messing around on the computer, sometimes just playing card games. If I get hungry, I try to eat something easy. I make the kids fend for themselves with cereal or toast on Saturday, but the rest of the week they get pretty healthy breakfasts. So today I cooked a sausage patty around 8 and then at 10 I made the most delicious omelet. (The way Matt's dad taught me when we lived there for 9 months.)

Two eggs + ingredients of choosing. Mine: mushrooms, onions, cilantro, pickled pepper rings. Mixed together and cooked like so.


Today, for the first time on this challenge, I encountered an "oh no! I don't have anything legal to eat!" situation. I was taking the kids to the pool right after feeding them lunch. I had depleted all of my greens and leftovers! I grabbed trail mix for the car and stopped by the store to try to find some deli meat I could legally consume on the challenge. That was definitely a challenge in itself! I ended up getting some meat that didn't say "sugar" on the label, but it did have some type of "-ose" ingredient in it. It was the best I could do and I knew I needed some protein before several hours of swimming. It tasted disgusting, by the way. Super salty!

Here is the delicious soup I made for dinner using the leftovers from roast chicken night.

And here is how gorgeous it was outside today, even though it was -20 degrees and the view from my bonus room window.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 10 - 1/3 of challenge down!

Today the sun was shining and it was glorious. It gave me energy to clean the bonus room that still had confetti on the floor from New Years and puzzles and games dumped everywhere from when Ollie sneaked up on Day 2 of trying to nap without a pacifier and wreaked that havoc.

But this evening I found myself being more tempted than usual to just have a little taste of the snack mix I had made for the kids - it just looks oh, so delicious! (Almond slices, coconut chips, and rice chex held together with a heated honey and butter mixture). I was able to be strong, but I was feeling deprived. I am usually pretty thankful when bedtime rolls around and I know I've made it through another day.

Lunch was good. It consisted of leftover salmon on a bed of spinach with avocado and cilantro, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.

The meat loaf dinner was delicious. Really, really yummy! I did not snap a photo. The kids all scarfed it! I can't believe how fast our family can go through 3 lbs of meat!

Here are the general ingredients I used last night. (I never make it the same twice.)
  • 2 lbs ground moose
  • 1 lb country sausage
  • almond flour
  • 2-3 tbsp tomato paste
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • italian seasoning
  • marjoram
  • carrots, mushrooms, onions - finely chopped in a food processor
Normally I would include an egg, but I had used the last of them that morning without thinking about dinner. It wasn't missed. I pressed the mixture into a 13x9 pan and it cooked in half the time. For the kids, I mixed ketchup and honey to dip or spread on top.

And there you have it. I will have to put my thinking cap on today to come up with next weeks' meal plan!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 9

You know how you have everything planned and it's supposed to go just so and then something is thrown at you that you weren't planning on and it just causes everything to go askew? Yeah, that was this evening. The day started out fine. But I had my meal planned based on my day's schedule and then last night Matt told me I was going to have to take the kids to practice AND stay there the whole time. I had planned on roasting my chicken and vegetables WHILE they were at practice and I would have a lovely meal ready for them upon their arrival. Uh, no. I knew I would never have time to do it. And there was no plan B. There are no quickie meals (unless you already have one planned and prepped) in Whole30. So I threw the chicken in the crockpot before I left this morning and prepped the veggies. I was gone the entire day (which was planned until the practice, which I was supposed to be home for). Thus, the chicken was overcooked and dry and of course I still had to figure out the quickest way to cook the veggies once I walked in the door at 6:20. Ack! They ended up getting boiled/steamed in the broth/runoff from the chicken. Overall, the meal was fine. But my anxiety level today was through the roof. (I also did a lot of driving in yucky weather/road conditions with Ollie either crying or trying to tell me something I couldn't understand and getting frustrated.) I guess I am not so flexible. Ahhhh. Breathe, the day is over. ps - All I really want is a big slab of dark chocolate right now.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I believe this is day 8?

I was cold all morning and I did not feel like having the salad I had planned on. I wanted something warm. I was really tempted to roast a sweet potato, but I had planned on those for dinner and I knew that would be overdoing the carbs. (Plus, as it turned out, there would not have been enough for both!) I ended up sauteing zucchini, onions, mushrooms, spinach, and cashews in olive oil and sea salt. It was delicious! But I was a little concerned with the lack of protein and possibly getting hungry again really soon.

The chipotle lime salmon for dinner was equally delicious! (But I did end up using Fiesta Chili powder in place of the chipotle.)

The whole family enjoying this Whole30 approved meal!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming...

First of all, pause the song by Needtobreathe on the left hand side of the page and then listen to this song by JJ Heller.

When I am having a rough day, I tend to return to this song. I haven't really listened to it in a year. This time of year - post Christmas - always hits me hard. I am faced with the fact that it is a very long time until Summer, when I can get out and ENJOY the outdoors. The kids are starting to go crazy as well. This week I started feeling sorry for myself. I have really had a fabulous year but I let this selfishness and self-absorbtion sneak up on me. Why? Because I let myself go dry. Because I wasn't standing guard. Because Satan uses the dark every year to stop the work Christ is doing in and through me.

So, today I renew my vow to look outward and not inward. I am praying for God to show me where and who to love. I am praying He will keep me so busy loving that I will not notice the dark, cold, or how long I have to wait for summer.

A passage that I have come back to time and time again for guidance and reassurance is Isaiah 58:8-14. This passage has meant a lot to me over the last four years, as it prompted healing and huge changes in my life. Sometimes when I find myself in a place of "down and out" or in a funk, I return to this passage searching for hope or joy or instruction or anything to move me forward.

Here's what stood out today - and some parts that stand out every time.

8 - Your healing will come quickly. (I need quick healing, Lord!)

9 - Stop oppressing the helpless and stop making false accusations and spreading vicious rumors! (I usually get past this verse quickly because I have a major dislike for gossip, having been the object of it many times in the past, and am quite vigilant against it. But today, it was painfully convicting. I have not oppressed anyone that I am aware of, nor have I spread any vicious rumors, but I have participated in what I would consider gossip twice within the last week! I must remain strong in my convictions against this.)

10 - Help those in trouble. (Always praying for God to guide me to them. In general this is where my passion for MOPS comes in, because I was in some serious trouble as a mother of preschoolers and I think many moms out there are struggling.)

Then my favorite part: still verse 10 - Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as day. (I have a lot of darkness around me. LITERALLY! I recognize when I am a light in the darkness. I need that back.)

13 - Honor the Lord in everything you do, and don't follow your own desires. If you do this, the Lord will be your delight. (Yes, yes, yes!)

Scriptures taken from the New Living Translation.

If you are someone who prays, I can always use it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Week 1 Down!

I've made it through one week of the Whole30 Challenge! Today I was starving at five, which is or is close to when we usually try to eat dinner. But Carson (the almost 9 year old) has started basketball and Matt (the husband/dad) is coaching. They had practice which caused dinner to be at 6:45! So late! The afternoons have been harder to figure out what to eat when I actually feel hunger. Under normal circumstances I would run for the salami and cheese, but they are not legal on this challenge. So I had a boiled egg, 1 tbsp coconut oil, and coffee with coconut milk in it.

Then I was fine until dinner. The coconut chicken strips were AMAZING! But it isn't too surprising that I loved them since I do love coconut. I did over cook them and in the future I will try not to cook them as long. It is so hard to tell when meat is done when you can't cut into it! The family all loved it and scarfed it down! Along with the cauliflower with clarified butter. The meal was incredibly filling and satisfying with all that protein and healthy fat.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

This Week's Meal Plan

Monday: beef vegetable soup (I chose this for this day because I can make a lot and I am bringing dinner to a new momma!)
Thursday: roast chicken and vegetables
Friday: meatloaf
Saturday: beef stew
Sunday: chicken soup (with leftovers and homemade stock, of course!)

The linked recipes are new recipes I've never tried, so I'll let you know how they turn out! The others are all in my head I've made them so often. If you want to try and need further guidance, feel free to comment and I will share how I make them.

Also, when the meal just lists a main meat dish, I usually prepare one or two veggie sides and since my family still consumes grains, I will make a rice or potato side. The rest of the family put their beef veggie soup over egg noodles, because that is a Fischer tradition handed down through the generations. :)

Breakfast plans involve eggs and sausage! If I get bored of that, I will have to figure something else out. If I get motivated, I might cut up veggies to have omlett or skillet type breakfast with my eggs and sausage. ;)

Lunches and snacks will always consist of leftovers, big ass salads, fruit (limited), nuts, seeds, coconut and coconut oil.

It's going to be a great Whole30 week!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day Five and Still Alive!

My workout today consisted of: lifting a bbq grill up onto a porch, dragging a gigantic Christmas tree halfway across the yard, and walking up a very looooong and fairly steep hill 5 or 6 times. (this was in snow for those of you lucky enough to live places where it doesn't do that)

breakfast: sausage egg bake
snack: trail mix, satsuma mandarin
lunch: leftover turkey soup (turkey, carrots, celery, seasonings in homemade stock)
snack: I also made coconut butter today! YUM YUM YUM! mixed some freshly made coconut butter, which is quite runny when first made, with almond butter and dipped apple slices in it.

*admission - when I poured in my tomato sauce (because I was out of paste), I glanced at the can after and saw that there is sugar in it! I had no idea there would be sugar in my organic tomato sauce. I just assumed tomato sauce always consisted of tomatoes and whatever preservative they used in canning. bummer. Whole30 fail!

But it was delicious!

I put my turkey on a bed of lettuce topped with avocado and cilantro. I let the kids put theirs in tortillas with sour cream and shredded cheese. Hallie was the only one who didn't love it.

Making Homemade Stock

Friday turned out great. I am feeling great! I am missing my scale more than my sweets!

I boiled the turkey and got my stock and enough meat for 3 meals! I've been making my own stock since we moved into this house in October of 2010. I LOVE IT. I know it's healthy. I save lots of money on broth. I am getting the most out of the food I buy.

Here is a link to a great instructional on how to make stock!

I should have taken a picture of the carcass before I boiled it, but I am just getting the hang of remembering to do these things!

Here are the bowls where I separated as much good meat as I could from everything else after the turkey carcass had boiled for several hours.

Here is the stock once all that stuff was pulled out, but before being strained.
Here are my beautiful jars of strained stock! (I kept enough out for a big batch of soup that night.) Homemade stock is so much yummier than store bought!

And here's a little picture of my salad lunch on Friday. YUM.
One last note about Friday. I had a girlfriend date and I knew I didn't want to have to face temptation and have to say no to all my favorite things involving sweetness or dairy. So we met at a billiards hall and enjoyed "playing" billiards while visiting and catching up. It was a really good time. We were both pretty terrible at billiards (me more so) but we were doing something other than eating while we caught up, which was really nice. I didn't think about food once.