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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Arroz con Pollo

Arroz=Rice con=with Pollo=Chicken

This is your spanish lesson for today. Be sure to practice rolling your r's! =)

It sounds much more complicated than it really is. This is a staple dish. It's easy, cheap, filling and a very forgiving recipe. The recipe varies from family to family, and with that said I am sure to add lots of confusing you could use this or that kind of suggestions ;)

The basic Ingredients:
2 split chicken breasts
4 cups of Water or broth of your choice
1/4 cup of each: chopped celery, onion & carrot (Or a frozen bag of miropoix mix)
1 can of black beans
1 can of Garbanzo beans (Chick peas)
1 can of sweet whole kernel corn
2 cups of white rice
1 can of diced tomatoes (could use the kind with peppers or even just sub 1 cup of salsa)

Toppings: You can eat this nekked or top it with your fave schtuff! I top mine with sour creme, avacado slices, or sometimes salsa. I toss on some chopped cilantro for good measure.

Boil the chicken whole, or put it in the crock pot for 4-6 hours. Remove the chicken from the pot (reserve broth & miropoix) and allow to cool. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken and discard. No need for chicken bones in this dish! Shred the chicken and set aside.

Cook the 2 cups of rice in 2 cups of the reserved broth. Be sure to skim the fat off! Alternately you could cook the rice in water or fresh broth but that's just wasteful ;)

Once the rice is cooked drain the pot that you cooked your chicken in and be sure to reserve the miropoix mix and just a small bit of broth (Maybe 1/4 cup broth). Dump the chicken back into that pot, add the can of black beans and garbanzo beans, drained corn, the tomatoes and the cooked rice. Heat until warmed thru completely.
Serve with tortillas, or corn chips. Ole!

Pour Your Heart Out: Relationships

I am no good at relationships. I used to be, but the older I get the worse I am. I have less patience, less time, less desire, and even less forgiveness at times.

I have this friend. I love him dearly. We share wonderful conversations about parenting, and about our relationships with our ex-spouses. We talk about our jobs, schools, government, and on a rare occasion perhaps a little on religion. We can be two peas in a pod. We can get along so well...when we are in a good mood. If one of us starts to struggle in our own lives...we fall apart. We may not speak for weeks on end. We always seem to make up eventually and with every break-up and make-up we seem to connect less and less.

Last night I was kinda mean to my friend. I was grumpy and just not happy with the choices that I had made with my day...everyday stuff like sitting around waiting for my husband to decide what to do, and wanting to go run with my daughter only to find she had gone without me, and yada yada...I have to face the fact that I let yesterday pass me by because I didn't speak up. I didn't voice my desires to anyone and I was left behind.

I asked my friend if he wanted to hang out while I worked on a project I had been scheming in my head. He said sure. I told him I would call him when I could escape my zoo for a few hours. As my mood darkened I suddenly didn't feel like doing anything. I gave up. He told me he would call me right back after he finished eating dinner. I gave him that pathetic "Ok, I guess I will talk to you later" sad, pout voice. I figured he would know why I had the tone that I had. I knew he wouldn't call back.

An hour later he texted me and said "You know we could get together anyway (even though I wasn't in the mood for my project anymore)." I was too busy sulking and feeling sorry for myself to hear the text message. I didn't even see it until 10pm. I texted him back and said "You know you could remember to return a call every once in a while...just to shake things up a bit."

He was clearly not happy with this reply. I was being honest about my feelings, but I didn't tell him in a very effective way. Why do I do that?

Anyway he responded in the defense because clearly he doesn't realize that he does this to me frequently, and so I guess we're on the outs again. I called him early this morning and left him a voice mail. I said I was sorry for taking my grumpiness out on him. He hasn't contacted me yet. I hope he does in a few days.

What I really wish he would realize is that we take our frustrations out on each other for one reason. We trust each other to be a soft place to fall. We just haven't figured out the best method yet. I'm grumpy to him when I am sad because I *think* I know that he understands it's not him...but when I am on the receiving end...I forget just as easily that he's dumping on me because he trusts me to be there too.

Life is such a complex thing. It's too bad none of us will ever fully understand it before we pass.

I is a new day and I had better get off of this computer before I let myself be left behind again!

Today's meme is brought to you by Shell over at Things I can't say. Hop on over there and pay her a visit, if you please. Join in the Pour your Heart out fun (link above) or enjoy reading some of the other many bloggers who join in each and every Wednesday.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Post-it note Tuesday 7.27.10

Happy Tuesday! It's another Post-it Note Tuesday with Supah Mommy!
Click the post-it below if you'd like to play along!



Monday, July 26, 2010

Determining Priorities

I am working on finding my purpose during my time here on earth. In doing this I will be addressing four basic life issues over the next several days that will determine the significance, the success, and the satisfaction of my life.

The four basic life issues I will be addressing are: Defining identity, accepting responsibility, determining priorities, and choosing authority.

I am creating this process off of a sermon I recently listened to that was given by a pastor at The Promise, in Indianapolis. You can hear his sermon here if you are interested: Resolving Issues on Your Purpose.

Today I am working on determining priorities.

I've got to settle the issue of what is really important in my life. There are many things I carry very near & dear to my heart. Here are a few, not in any specific order:

Taking care of my mind, body, and soul.

Raising happy & healthy children.

Taking care of my family.

Being in an unconditionally loving and committed relationship.

Giving to my community.

Making sure my carbon footprint is as small as possible.

Teaching my children the importance of caring about their carbon footprint.

Being the best being, mother, wife/partner, friend, and worker that I can be.

Working towards my purpose.

When life gets tough, I let my morals and values go out the window. This is not to say that I do bad things. This means that when my husband and I have a disagreement I let go of the idea that I wanted to take a family walk that night. When the kids are misbehaving I decide not to work out on the treadmill. When my husband is absent I decide not to take the kids to the fair alone because he isn't there.

I have to stop letting myself give up. I have to stop giving up whenever there is a hiccup in the road. I cannot blame my husband for me not being willing to do what I want to do for our family when he isn't fully present.

One message from the sermon that I have said many times over is that If I do not decide what is important in my life someone else will decide for me. This is parenting at a very basic level. If I do not teach my children about religion someone else will. If I don't teach my children about sex, someone else will. People have even said things like "If you don't take care of your wife, someone else will."

Now, I am not sure yet how this may apply to me. It may not. I am very confident in making parenting decisions before someone else, but I'm not so sure about myself. In evaluating what was important to me for my life before I got into a serious relationship after the divorce...It was important to me that we had a healthy diet. It was important to me that we live a low digital life. I didn't want my children to be raised by TV and video games, the Internet and cell phones. I gave into all of those ideals. My partner wanted cable TV. He got it without any fuss from me beyond "I am not paying for that." He enjoyed video games. I never asked him to not play them around my children. He wanted to have high speed Internet. I got sucked in.

I gave into nearly all of these things that were important to me. I told myself that it was a compromise and that this is what couples do in a healthy relationship. Somehow I missed the place where I should have been in those decisions. I've noticed that a lot of decisions have been made that I let someone else make for me. This is an area where I need to really center my focus. Other people can only make decisions for me if I let them. I have to stop allowing that to happen, especially for the big stuff.

It is impossible to live the way I want to live if I continue to live by our world values. I have to remember what is important to me, and to stick with that.

The last part of the sermon I will touch on will be Choosing authority. This is a part that I have interpreted in a much different way than I am sure the pastor intended but it did make me take a look at where I choose authority, and where I let authority choose me. Stay tuned!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Accepting Responsibility

I am working on finding my purpose during my time here on earth. In doing this I will be addressing four basic life issues over the next several days that will determine the significance, the success, and the satisfaction of my life.

The four basic life issues I will be addressing are: Defining identity, accepting responsibility, determining priorities, and choosing authority.

I am creating this process off of a sermon I recently listened to that was given by a pastor at The Promise, in Indianapolis. You can hear his sermon here if you are interested: Resolving Issues on Your Purpose.
Today I am working on accepting responsibility. I have never lived in the idea that this is, or ever will be a perfect world. IT will never happen. This much I know. I do recognize that I seek perfection in way too many areas in life, and in very unrealistic areas at that.
I think I am good at recognizing when I want to place blame on others because I most often catch myself and in turn ask myself "What did you do that played a role in this undesirable outcome?" I'd like to decrease how frequently my instant reaction is to place blame, but at least I catch it before it comes out of my mouth!
A lot of people see themselves as a victim of circumstance. I am not one of those people. It actually amazes me how many people do not have the ability to see what role they have played in their circumstances. Some examples in my mind are:
You're bankrupt. Maybe it's because you shouldn't have purchased that brand new truck with a $400 a month payment when you knew you couldn't afford it.
You're sick with lung cancer. You knew that smoking could lead you down this path. You made a choice to not try harder to quit.  
You lost your job. Maybe you should have spent more time working and less time worrying about what other employees were or were not doing.
This is an area that I am confident I do not struggle in.
Accepting responsibility for the direction of your life. There it is. This is not to say that I do not accept how I got to where I am. I fully recognize that the issues that I face as a wife, mother, and person are a direct result of me making poor choices, or not speaking up when my spouse wanted to do something that I was dead-set against.
I need to being back my voice. I need to say "No, this is not in the best interest of my family, my children, my marriage, etc. I need to stop being a doormat to others. I really just need to let go of the idea of pleasing others ALL of the time, and continue to do it when it falls in line with my morals and values.
The next issue I need to address is my past. My past. I had a crappy childhood. That's as kindly as I can put it. I faced abandonment, abuse, neglect, rejection, and a lack of basic paternal love, in excess, during my upbringing. Sure, my parents made mistakes. A LOT of mistakes. I went out on my own at a young age, made a life for myself, and I am quite proud of the productive member of society that I became i spite of all of that. 
I cannot help what happened in my past. I can only take responsibility for my future. While I feel I'm not on the "blame it on my childhood" path, I certainly recognize the need for more responsibility of my future, and the future of my children.
One of the greatest gifts we have, no matter who or where you think the gift comes from, is the freedom of choice. It's why I am raising my children to be free thinkers.  I need to work harder and using my voice to make sure the choices I make, while not perfect, are the best possible choices for my future, given the options I may have.
We cannot control the circumstances we face in this life. We can only control how we respond to the circumstances. This is another area I need to focus on. I may not like the way something is going. The way I respond to that which I dislike needs to be in a more positive and productive manner. No one gains anything from negativity except misery.
We cannot live off of other peoples spiritual commitments. We have to foster our own spiritual paths, and we have to follow the path that our heart leads us to. I cannot become a Christian because my best friend is. My husband cannot simply be a Secular Humanist just because I am. We have to do what works for us, as an individual. This is what I have been teaching my children for 13 years. It's why we have an Atheist, and Agnostic, a believer, and a free thinker in our house. I encourage them to follow what feels right to them, and for them. For those who know me know that this goes without saying. I am confident in this area. I am comfortable with who I am and where my spiritual path is leading me today. I am also not so unbelievably naive as to say my path wont change sometime down the road.
The only issue in my immediate circle is my husband living off of my spiritual commitments instead of his own. I cannot do anything about that situation beyond encouraging him to find what is right for him, just as I have done for our children.
If you have stuck with me this long I thank you so much for your support. I hope some of the lessons I've learned from this have, in some way, helped you as well. I have a better understanding now of what areas I need to work more on when it comes to responsibility of self.
Next topic will be Determining priorities. Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Garden Update!

I haven't been giving the gardens much love lately. Life got too busy and while enjoying the garden as we harvested this morning I realized...I need to give my garden some blog love!

This is my Aiden. He loves him some 'maters. Despite his mommy referring to them as 'maters all of his life he has the most perfectly clear dialect for his fave fruity veggie. He calls them tomatoes...with such emphasis on the second Tow-may-toes it's adorable! He'll eat them right off of the plant.
These are 2 of our beds. The tomato plants have to be at least 7 feet tall. They droop over the cages so much that we purchased 9 foot stakes today to help them reach that sunlight.
The cherry tomatoes are huge this year.
The beef,asters are all doing well...
And the Roma's are in abundance!
The green peppers are twice as big as last years!
Sadly our beautiful squash plants all died. I'm not sure why, but they gifted us a lot of beautiful zucchini whilke they were here.
My 3 lettuce blend is doing good.
Even the super late green bean bushes  planted are doing well!
The Cukes are comnig in faster than we can eat them.
We have yet to eat an eggplant. These 2 are coming along nicely.
The Jalapenos are lovely, and we have a lot more than we could eat too. We're going to have to star freezing these, for sure!
Here's part of todays harvest. I think we may need to make some salsa!

Happy gardening!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Feel Good Friday Fragments {7.23.10}

It's Friday, and I want to feel good. Don't you? I found out that my friend Liz over at Eternal Lizdom is hosting Feel Good Friday this week for The Girl Next door while she enjoys herself a blogacation. I needed some "post relief" as my son calls it (on his blog) and this meme is just the ticket! It's simple, and easy. Just make a list. List 5 things that made you really happy this week. No matter how bad or boring you think your week was, I bet you can find 5 things.

Wanna feel good too? Hop on board and check out:

Onto the feely goody stuff!

1. This week was the end of my Quantum Wellness 21 day cleanse. I feel great about the entire experience. I lost some weight, my skin looks great, I'm not as anxious, and I've developed some great eating habits as proven yesterday on my 1st off the diet. I did really well, and that makes me happy!

2. I started a 21 day fitness challenge for myself on Thursday. The 21 day thing really worked well for me, so for the next 21 days I am committing to dedicate an hour each day to working out. I may have to break it up into 3-4 sessions because of my super mad cRaZy schedule, but I am on board!

3. I started day 1 of the C25K (Couch to 5k) program yesterday. I did it! I walked a brisk walk for 5 minutes at 3 mph, followed by a rotation of 60 seconds running at 5mph, and 90 seconds of walking at 3mph for 25 minutes. That makes me super happy!

4. No one has fallen ill this week, and I've been able to maintain my regular work schedule. I've been getting reports entered earlier, and that means I can dedicate more night time when it's quiet to reading, bloggin, and journaling. This makes me a happy person!

5. We added several new members to our family this week. We now have 2 Guinea pigs, and 5 fish. I am very happy to report that all of the kids have been pitching in to feed all of our critters (both dogs included), sweep up after them, clean out cages, and spend time loving on them. This makes me very happy. I love seeing responsibility in the kiddos!

While I am here I might as well join Mrs4444 at Half-past kissin' time for Friday Fragments. I love me some fragments on Friday!

Mommy's Idea

On Monday our car broke down. It's the transmission. This was not good. Nothing good can come from Monday.

Tuesday. I had no car. Staying at home without transportation is a bit torturous for me. I will admit that I had nowhere to go, and typically on Tuesdays I stay in my jammies until 2pm and never leave the house, but just the idea that I was stuck with my 2 feet and 4 kids in tow was kind of depressing.

On Wednesday we took the car to the dealership. They called at 2pm to announce the repairs were going to add up to somewhere close to $ 2,500. Good grief. Wednesday didn't pan out to be much better than Monday...or Tuesday!

On Thursday I had a customer walk up to me and say "Excuse me. Would you FETCH me these shoes in a size 9." Ohhhh lady...let me tell you!

My verbal reply? " I cannot fetch those for you. I do not work here. I'm sure the gentleman that is working in footwear would be happy to get those for you. He's the young man in the green polo with the name tag that says "insert store name here".

My mental reply? What the hell do you think I am? A dog? No, I will not FETCH you anything. I appreciate you asking if I WOULD instead of telling me I COULD, and way to end that question with a Thank you...oh didn't. Some people have a lot of nerve!

I sure hope Friday brings some funnies because Monday -Thursday kinda stunk!

Happy Friday Fragments!

Setting limits for kids

I am fascinated by parents whom complain about companies who do this or that and it's a concept that is not the best influence on our pre-teen to teen children. (This is not directed to any one specific person at all)

Really, this doesn't just apply to tween to teens, it really applies to all ages and stages of childhood. From how Fast food restaurants market kids meals to how clothing retailers market their clothing.

People don't seem to realize that we, as consumers, make the market what it is. People also seem to forget, at times, that we are also the parents.

I know I am not alone in this. I know plenty of moms who agree that it's getting out of hand.

When my toddler wants a kid’s meal I evaluate 3 things. Is it in the budget? Is this magical toy they desire something they will play with for a reasonable amount of time? How hungry are they, really. Often times we say no to the kid’s meal. The kids don't eat fries and 2 of them rarely finish a burger. Getting a couple of hamburgers and sharing some apple slices is much cheaper, healthier, and less wasteful. I tell them this. They understand. Sure my 4 y/o will give me some flack at times. He'll get over it. He always does. If it's a toy I know they really will enjoy and they are ready for a full meal and I have it in the budget, I may splurge for a kid’s meal for the toddler.

I wonder why society has lost the ability to say no. Not every time, but at least often enough to send the message that you care enough about your child to not allow them to make choices that may affect their future.

When my child had a friend tell her (in 4th grade) how good coffee was with crème and sugar it didn't take long for her to ask for some. I laughed. I asked her if she knew what coffee was. I explained to her the bean, the caffeine, the addictive nature, and the whole idea of having to add fat and sugar to it in order to make it taste good to her. I let her taste my black coffee. I told her that these are indulgences that were intended for the adult market. She knows I am not one to allow what every other parent allows. I asked her if she thought coffee was a good choice for a child whose body is still developing. She said no, and has no interest in it since.

My friend’s daughter (Age 10) recently asked to go to Forever 21 to go clothing shopping. She asked me what I thought about it. I fist asked her if there were no other retail options in her area that are geared towards girls her age. She, of course, said yes. I asked her what she thought "Forever 21" meant to her. She said that it sounded like a store for 20 something’s who wanted to look 21 yrs old, forever. I explained that just because other moms decided to let their 5th grader shop at this store, thereby making it a teen shop, doesn't mean that she has to follow suit.

I think it's absurd. That's just how I feel about it. We (society as a whole) allow our kids to sip on Starbucks, and shop at stores that we might even shop at, and we allow them to wear expensive make-up, and own undergarments from Victoria Secrets. Why?
Is there no "rite of passage" anymore? Why does an 11 year old NEED a bra or panties from Victoria Secret, really? I don't care if mom & dad have the money, or not. I don't care if it's about the "quality of the product". I just don't get it.

I tell my daughter she is welcome to buy herself whatever she chooses when she is old enough to get a job and pay for it herself. I worked hard to provide nice things for myself. I've only owned a handful of VS bras. Back in the 90's they were $40. I'm not allowing my child to feel so entitled that she has the right to have a $40 bra. That's just me.

I just feel like so many of us have forgotten that we do have a voice. We have the option to make our choice be no. If you allow your child to have these things now, what do they have to work towards? How will they value the almighty dollar? How will they learn to budget their life when they go out into the world thinking that Victoria Secret panties, at age 11, is a NEED?
This sense of entitlement scares me. I cannot help but wonder what these kids’ lives will look like when they get out on their own.

I am prepared to watch my children make lots of mistakes when they come into their own money, just as I did. They already have. Birthday money has been blown on useless toys that never were played with, and over the years the oldest 2 have learned from their choices. I hope that they will ask me to help them when they figure out that they cannot live beyond their means. Actually, if I am hoping for something I would hope that I show them enough about how life works that they make mostly good choices from the 1st paycheck.

*Disclaimer* I do not think I am some kick ass, better than others, amazing parent. We all have our struggles. I share this little rant here because I know there are other moms out there who enjoy reading topics like this from another perspective. Please don't think that I feel I am better than any other parent out there. I assure you that I have flaws. Even some of my flaws have their own flaws.

Defining identity

I am working on finding my purpose during my time here on earth. In doing this I will be addressing four basic life issues over the next several days that will determine the significance, the success, and the satisfaction of my life.

The four basic life issues I will be addressing are: Defining identity, accepting responsibility, determining priorities, and choosing authority.

I am creating this process off of a sermon I recently listened to that was given by a pastor at The Promise, in Indianapolis. You can hear his sermon here if you are interested: Resolving Issues on Your Purpose.

If there is anything I know for certain it is that I do not have a clue exactly who I am. I do know the many bits and pieces of me quite well, but I have not put the puzzle together yet.

I am this earthly creature who has great empathy for the world and it's inhabitants.

I am a wife who struggles to understand marriage, and how to be a happy wife.

I am a mother of four who will always dedicate her life, in part, to serving her children.

I am, in my opinion, one of the greatest friends a person could ever ask for.

I am creative, organized, and talented.

I am unique.

I am aware of the universe. That is to say that I am in tune with nature, the stars, and am working to be more connected to the human lives all around me.

I am a very giving spirit, almost to a fault.

I'm all about doing the right thing, even if it's not what *I* want to do.

I am selfless and trustworthy. When I say I am trustworthy I mean you can trust me to be honest, and to be fully present when you need me.

I am spiritual. I am not religious. I am not here to debate my beliefs, or lack there of.

This is where I struggle. I have allowed a lot of stress to enter my life, unknowingly, as I have tried to be what I thought other people expected me to be. Wife, mother, employed, fit & active, trendy, giving, loving, available and open. The stress from being someone I am not, at times, has been very taxing to me.

From now on I am going to focus on not letting the voices of society enter my head. I may be a wife for the next 50 years. Maybe not. One thing I have decided is that I will not stay in an unfulfilled marriage for the rest of my life because society thinks I should, or because our family thinks my children deserve it. I will only stayed married if my husband and I can learn how to serve one another in the way that we should serve one another as human beings. I have to stop hanging around in unhappy places, and right now this is a big one. If my husband cannot meet my needs, and allow me to meet his needs as a team I see no reason to bang my head against the wall until my last dying breath. I'm not going to live that kind of life for him or anyone else. Our struggles are nothing that cannot be worked out. I need to see him put the same effort into this that I have. I need consistency, and commitment from him.

There are a lot of people trying to impress images upon us of what we are supposed to be. From the media, to our friends and neighbors. It is the driving force of why many people wear what they wear, say what they say, and feel how they feel. I don't think   I have fallen to far into this trap, but I have noticed little things here and there, and have worked on modifying my behavior.

I used to wear fake nails for my monthly moms night out dinners, and to every semi-special occasion. While I enjoy the look of my bitten nails all manicured and pretty, it's not something that is important to me. I look at these jagged nails every day. If it was important to me I would work on trying to stop biting my nails so that I could have a beautiful and natural manicure. Since it is not that important I vow to only manicure my nails for the big events, like a wedding or formal dance...because you know I attend a lot of formal dance. Just kidding! In all seriousness it is things like this where I struggle, no matter how minute. I worry about judgement from others when I know that their judgement is not relevant to my life. I need to stop making others opinions a priority in my life.

Often times I look at other families and I envy. I get trapped by their definition of success. Even if I get to the day where we can afford to take our children on expensive weekend get-a-ways, to multiple concerts each year, to every newly released movie, and so on...that does not define success.

I want to impress upon my children the idea that waiting is worth it. I'm on a good start here and I do not want to ruin that! I have already showed them how waiting for your hearts desire until it goes on sale, or better yet on clearance, is worth it. They have learned that sometimes the desire for that new movie, or piece of clothing wasn't really their desire. They just wanted it because someone else had it. Once the time came to buy it they realized that the didn't really want it anymore. Don't get me wrong. We have out little indulgences. When a Twilight series movie comes to theaters I am going to take my daughter to see it the week it is released because it's something we both enjoy together, and we've looked forward to seeing it as soon as we can. When the DVR is released I will take her out to the midnight release. It's something we can enjoy together and it's something we both have a genuine interest in. When she wanted the $20 Eclipse T-shirt...she waited. She waited and we ended up being able to get her 2 T-shirts for $3 each! It was worth the wait, and she agreed.

Success is being who and what you were created to be. While I may not believe in the Christian faith, I do believe that humans create. I've not yet decided where this gift comes from, and it's not important to me right now. I know that we create our own destiny by all of the choices we make, both big and small. If I want to be successful I am going to have to work on being me. I am going to work on serving the world with the skill set that I have. I'm going to have to let go of my focus on what others have and do and reorient that energy to who I am and what I do. I do a lot for this world. I do a lot for my family. I don't do very much for myself. I need to make myself a priority too. This is my greatest challenge.

I don't have to have other persons approval to be happy. If that mom doesn't like my daughter wearing black on black, looking like a criminal scurrying in the dark alleys at night, so what! I don't care. What I care about is seeing that daughter dressed like a Gothic princess serving the universe with graciousness and kindness.I care about her happiness. Her smile would be just as beautiful with black eyeliner (when she is old enough) as it would be with pink lip gloss. Actually no, it wouldn't. Her smile with black eyeliner would be more beautiful, because it would be her!

I'm turning over a new leaf today. I am going to be happy with who I am as I travel on this journey. My hearts desire is to live a more minimalist lifestyle, and I cannot do that if I am at all focused on what other people think. I wouldn't own 90% of what I own if it were not for what other people think I need. I don't need all of this. What I need is simplicity, peace, harmony, and joy. None of these worldly possessions give me that. They take away from it.

The time that I desire is tied up in taking care of the material possessions I own.
The peace I desire is broken up with noisy belongings, and even noisier people all around me.
The simplicity that I desire is consumed by chaotic clutter that I allowed into my life.
The harmony I desire is divided by drama, and being out of sync with the universe.
The joy I desire to give and receive is intercepted by toys on the floor, and commitments, and negativity, and foolishness.

I know who I am. I know, at my core, what I am all about. It's time to find the balance of me that fits into my family so that I can find my bliss and enjoy the bliss of my loved ones as well.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 21 of 21 day cleanse

I did it, and I did it well! I made it through the entire 3 weeks, and it was a success. I decided that I did it so well that I am going to continue on this path of 21 days to change in other areas in my life.

I wasn't so sure I would finish it when I started to blog my journey. Now that I've made it, and plan to continue on this path I decided to create a seperate blog for my wellness path. I've copied all of my 21 day cleanse blogs over to that page and it will be linked at the top of my main blog.

I posted over there today as well with my last day results. You can find that post here. I just wanted to post it on the home blog as well for those whom have been following my journey. Follow me overe there to join me on my journey through the next one!

The "Goodbye 5"

I've been growing increasingly annoyed with all of the mailing lists I am on with my e-mail address. I've decided to add a new daily task to my daily checklist. I call it the "Goodbye 5".
Each afternoon when I open my e-mail and gasp at the number of e-mails waiting for me I will first unsubscribe from 5 emails before I can ready any of the "real" e-mail I wanted to receive.

Are you suffering with digital clutter? Do you find yourself avoiding e-mail simply because it's a chore to sift through the spam to get to the good stuff? Maybe you should add the Goodbye 5 to your daily checklist too.

Happy simplifying!

Pour Your Heart Out: Purpose

My good friend, Liz (Eternal Lizdom), recently shared a sermon from her pastor with me. You feel free to contact her if you'd like more information about her church, The promise!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am spiritual, not religious. Many might be shocked to know I listened to a sermon. I listen to sermon's online from time to time. I pick up a few good thoughts from some of them. This one in particular was chock full of everything I wanted and needed to hear, right now.

I'm going to be working out a series of  blog posts based off of this sermon. I hope that you enjoy the process as much as I will, and if you learn a thing or two....I think that's just awesome!

If you read last weeks Pout your Heart Out post you know that I am struggling with life. The topics that were touched on in the sermon literally covered every area of my life that needs attention. I'm excited to work through the process.

The pastor said that there are 4 basic life issues that will determine the significance, the success, and the satisfaction of your life. Those issues are Defining identity, accepting responsibility, determining priorities, and choosing authority.

I struggle in all of these areas, and while I struggle in some more than others, they are all key factors to my dissatisfaction with my life right now.

I took copious notes while listening to the sermon, and I listened to it twice for good measure. I'm going to work on one of the 4 basic life issues each night, and blog my thoughts, and plan of action every day for the next 4 days. I hope you'll check back and see what I've come up with.

If you would like to hear the sermon yourself you can find it here:

Thanks to Shell over at Things I Can't Say for hosting this meme!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 20 of 21 day cleanse

Hello day 20!!! I think I love you! The great news is that tomorrow is my last day of the cleanse! I'm almost there! The not so great news is that I really think the lack of Gluten in this cleanse has made some great improvements (I think) in my behavior, my mental abilities, and in my attentiveness...or previous lack there of.

You might be thinking "Wait, this is good news." and maybe it is, but I loves me some pasta, and bread, and crackers, and pita, and tortillas, and anything else that has gluten in it. =(

I'm going to go back on gluten for 7 days and evaluate my behavior and attention span very closely and determine how it affects me.

Tomorrow is going to be a great day!


Bfast: grits, decafe coffee

Lunch: 2 baked potatoes w/vegan butter, water

Dinner: White chili w/cornbread, pink lemonade

Post-it note Tuesday 7.20.10

Happy Tuesday! It's another Post-it Note Tuesday with Supah mommy!



Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 19 of 21 day cleanse

 Day 19. Amazing! 2 days to go. Today was a good day. Work was smooth, I ate well, I got the last of the back-to-school shopping done for clothing, and got it all on clearance to boot, and I got some reading time in!
Now, our car did break down and it’s the transmission (Boo!), but we managed to squeak in a family walk just before the rain started up and that makes me very happy!

Onto the foodings:

Bfast: PB & J on a rice cake, decafe coffee

am snack: banana

Lunch: Hummus w/corn chips, carrots, water

Dinner: Enchiladas, rice

Super simple pasta sauce

I found myself in need of some pasta sauce tonight, and everything in my pantry had sugar in it. This is, by no means, a homemade fancy sauce. It's simple, and was created out of basics we had on hand.

2 cans Italian style diced tomatoes (I presume you could chop up some maters, herbs, seasonings, and such and make this yourself instead of using canned, but I'm not that ambitious tonight.)
1 stalk of celery, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, minced (could have gone with 2)
1/4 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 TBSP Olive oil
1 small can of sliced mushrooms
1 medium green pepper, finely chopped

Saute the onion, celery, pepper, garlic, and mushrooms until the onions are translucent (2-3 mins)

Dump in the 2 cans (do not drain!), and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Serve on top of your fave pasta. I used a Gluten Free linguine tonight.

Voila. Gluten free, vegan, sugar free pasta sauce that's tasty. Enjoy!

21 day fitness challenge-for me!

I'm closing in on the last few days of my 21 day cleanse. I have decided to give this 21 day routine another go in a different area of my life. Fitness! I have not been active in nearly a year now. That's not to say I'm a couch potato. I do work outside the home, and am on my feet all day...but that's work, and I don't work up a sweat doing that (not very often, anyway)

So, starting on Thursday July 22nd I will be entering 21 days of fitness. My game plan is to get in an hour of physical activity every day. That could mean 15 minutes of Yoga in the morning, and 15 minutes of aerobics in the afternoon, and a 30 minute walk...which I hope to morph back into a run, in the evenings.

I'll post my daily progress. I'll be counting on my friends and loved ones to hold me to it!

I have more work to do this evening so I will post day 19 of the 21 day cleanse after dinner.

Love ya,

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 18 of 21 day cleanse

Good evening! It's day 18...3 days to go! Today was good. I didn't think about having a Coke once today. Yay! I'm getting excited for fair season, and trying to figure out if there is any way I can eat better than I do at fairs. We usually split one funnel cake 6 ways and one elephant ear 6 ways, so I really don't do too bad. I usually have a pork tenderloin...might see if I can get one of the heathes to split it with me this year. Haha!

I'm really proud of how well I've stuck to this. It's not been nearly as difficult as I had expected it to be. I've enjoyed this so much that I have 2-3 ideas for other areas of my life that need some cleansing. Stay tuned!

As far as food for today:


bfast: grits w/1 TBSP vegan butter, decafe coffee

lunch: a big salad, mostly veggies from our garden, SF lemonade

Dinner: Tacos de Papas w/pico de gallo and 1/2 an avacado, Gallo pinto, Water

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Life. None of it resembles me.

I had actively participated in the creation of this life - so why does it feel like none of it resembles me?
{eat, pray, love. Elizabeth Gilbert}

This is where I am. I am 35. I am a wife. I am the mother to 4 beautiful children. We own a modest home in a safe city...safer than most, anyway. We have a nice vehichle, and every one of us has nice clothing, good shoes, and we eat well. I've not been one to want for much more than that.

Sure our home is small, and we own too much. We spend more than we should, despite how frugal I am. We participate in many activities and local events. We live a "good life".

Somehow I am always left wanting more. I crave more life experience, more time, more wisdom, more substance and some higher quality substance. I'm not happy.

I'm not truly happy except when I am alone. Since I am not the type of soul whom could abandon her own children & family I sit. I sit and I stand in the very same place I've been for many, many years. I'm empty, and full of sorrow.

I have a deep longing to reconnect with myself and the world around me. I hope to do that with and through my children. I don't want to be stressed out and anxious anymore. I don't want to be content. I don't want to live with mediocrity for the rest of my life. I don't even want to live like this until my children are grown.

I don't know what to do with that. I don't know where to go from here. I just don't know what I want, nor do I know what I expect, out of life.

One thing I do know is that this...this's just not working for me. It never has, and it never will. I need change. Anyone who knows me knows that this is huge. I don't like change. I run away from change. The thing I despise the most is what I crave right now. It's what I've been craving for a very long time.

I cannot tell you how I got here. I can only tell you that I'm stuck here, and I'm trying to figure out which way to turn. My children are 4, 8, 11, and 13 years old. This does not leave me much time to sort through all of this. I'm sure I could find more time, and it's one of the things that is high on my priority list. Make time for me. Time for me to learn & grow, give & love, laugh & cry, eat & sleep, think & meditate.

Day 17 of 21 day cleanse

I don't have much to say today. Actually I do have much to say, but I'm posting a blog on that so this is just a daily check in on my cleanse.

4 days to go. I'm in the home straetch!

Weighed in today just to see what it looked like.

Day 1: 182.2
Day 7: 177.4
Day 14: 176.2
Day 17: 175.4

Bfast: 1/2 a banana & GF pancake w/water

lunch: Salad (Mixed greens topped with guacamole & pico de gallo), baked tater w/vegan butter, water.

pm snack: Hummus & corn chips, water

dinner: veggie stiry fry, decafe iced tea.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 16 of 21 day cleanse

I forgot to post day 16!

Bfast: Oatmeal with banana and 1/4 cup walnuts mixed in a 1 TBSP of twin sugar. Water.

lunch: Fried taters & corn bread, sf pink lemonade.

dinner: veg burger, crash hot pots, acorn squash, decafe tea

Friday Fragments {7.16.10}

Mommy's Idea

Happy Friday! It's time for another installment of Mrs4444's Friday fragments (linked above). Enjoy some bits and pieces of my week!


My Aunt Teresa watched the kids for me this week on Monday & Tuesday.
She saved me from having to work a few nights and this weekend. Thanks Aunt Titi!  


I worked on my day off this week. Having last week off was rough (sick kids) but wotking extra days to make up for it was rough too!


My 4 y/o starts Pre-K next month. I cannot decide if I want to do 3 days a week, or 5. I really want him to get the full experience, and don't want him missing 2 out of 5 days of teaching so he doesn't feel lost or left out, but I also don't want to give up those 3-4 hours on my day off either. Been thinking about this a lot this week.


I bought tickets for my Daughter to see Justin Beiber. I wish I had waited. We got crappy seats and I just know better seats will come available closer to the date. =(


We took a family walk on Thursday night. It was an interesting experience. I plan to take another one tonight.


Ever seen a canwhich? It looks pretty gross to me.


I am batteling an inner struggle right now, and am working up the courage to share it here. Please keep me in your thoughts while I work through the process. It's kind of a big deal. No health issues for me or anything, but it's an issue that is affecting my family.


Last weekend we painted out master bedroom and my daughters bedroom. I am really loving the new look! Next up? The kitchen! Stay tuned.


I hope you enjoyed a few bits & pieces of my week. Check back this weekend for updates on the kitchen update :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 15 of 21 day cleanse

Hello day 15! I had a bit of a Coke craving earlier but it passed within an hour. I had higher hopes that the craving would be gone by now, but at least I've been able to work through them.

A lot of my friends have had a hard time understanding why I am doing this. Many people have said "You will gain back any weight you have lost withing a week." and while that may be true, my reasoning behind doing this isn't all about weight loss.

Sure I want to get back down to a more healthy weight, but I mainly just want to be healthy. Eating more frequently and consistantly are things I've always struggled with. Making healthy choices in not only my daily diet, but also during times of stress and inconvienience are areas I also struggle in.

In every aspect of my life I see the many shades of gray except for this one. There is no gray. My eating habits are black and white. I either make completely poor choices or I made all good ones.

When I dine at a fast food restaurant becasue I've worked for 6 hours, had to run to the daycare, get the middle kids off the bus, go to a track meet, and then get back home at 730pm with a pile of work on my desk to do I choose the complete most unhealthy choice. I pick the jumbo 1/4 lb burger with mayo, and cheese, and a large fry and a super large coke. This cleanse is helping me to remember that if I have to dine on the run I really should opt for the regular sized hamburger, a side salad, and a water, or even iced tea. This is why I needed to purge my system. I needed to get all of that junk out of me, and reset my gut! that I have shared that with those who read perhaps a few of you will stop ragging on me about this and let me just make it through the next 6 days and have a little faith in me!

Todays meals:

bfast: Rice cake w/natural PB & SF Grape Jam, water to drink. NO decafe. Yay!

am treat: black decafe coffee

lunch: Quinoa supergrain gluten free spaghetti noodles tossed with 2 TBSP vegan butter and topped w/ a sprinkle of veg shreds, water.

dinner: 3 bean chili, gluten free vegan cornbread, decafe iced tea.

Family walks

It's something I've always wanted to do. It's something I've never made time for. After receiving some much needed motivation from my friend, and fellow mom blogger, Liz, I jumped up, dusted off my running shoes and asked the family if they wanted to take a walk.

I was going to walk with or without them, but was pleasantly surprised that they actually said "Yes!". They didn't realize what they were signing up for. 1/2 a mile into the walk the whining started. I did my best to not let their complaints make the walk a complete misery. We made it 1 mile and I felt great about it.

I'll probably hurt like heck tomorrow, and good luck getting them to go with me again. Ha! We'll see. Maybe they will...just maybe...and that's a very big maybe.

I was enjoying the secadas that were annoying the heck out of me the night before. It sounded much more like a nature walk in my neighborhood than I had expected. The view, however, was nothing like a nature walk.

After the 1st lap I took out my cell phone to snap some photos. Often times I don't know why I photograph the things that I do, but in this case the photos inspired me to blog.

I took about 2 dozen photos of the boys and dad walking, skipping, and running ahead of me. None of them turned out very well. I guess I should have stopped to snap the picture. My toddler had the cutest and most goofy walk ever!

I noticed that my neighbor has some really pretty flowers this year, and lots of them!

I also noticed that another neighbor seems to have moved out. We are limited to 1 trash can per household now, and sadly their trash heap smelled like decomp. Blech!

This sweet old lady has put her house up for sale. I had no idea. She held a yard sale every summer. I bought a very old and heavy mirror off of her for $3 once. She'll be missed...or at least her sales will be. :)

Our street signs really need replaced. I wonder how one goes abot replacing street signs.

My next door neighbor pulled up in his old truck that the ex-wifes got in the divorce. He leads a very interesting life. She moved out 2 years ago. Apparently he claims she quit making payments and since it was in his name he took it back. How did she get the truck if it was in his name? Interesting.
This is shameful. My friend, and neighbor 2 doors down acrossed the street had a swing in the yard that was worn down. Her hubs painted it and replaced the wood slats. I hadnt been down there to check it out. It looks great guys!

And as we walked up the drive I realized I don't think I've ever seen our garden lights lit up from the street view like this. Pretty! Note to self-Need to adjust the time an hour. We apparently forgot to do that when DST happened. Oops!

It's amazig how much you can observe in your own neighborhood in one evening walk. People moving out, houses for sale, abandoned home, home improvements, landscaping, and much much more!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 14 of 21 day cleanse

Life is to short to eat healthy, and if I stop eating healthy life is going to be even shorter.

Today is day 14. I'm 2 full weeks into the cleanse, and with 1 week to go I am growing tired of the same food day in and day out. As you may have seen from my cooking blog I have given my very best effort to find new and creative ways to make my foods during this cleanse enjoyable, and different. This gal is running out of ideas.

Today went well. I worked a double workload today so I can finally have a day off tomorrow. I plan to soak up some sweat by the pool with my chitlens, my friend and her kiddos. I hope it is enjoyable!

I was running late this mornign and choked down a quick Berry GF breakfast bar. IT was good, but very tiny! Had some decafe coffee, and water on may way to work.

For lunch I had the usual, hummus w/corn chips, carrots, and I had some ranier cherries instead of grapes today. Water to drink.

Dinner was fast and late because my 2 oldest had Cross Country runs tonight. Tofu taco bowls & guacamole. Water and decafe tea to drink. I liked it better than the bean one I made last week.

No snacks today. No particular reason...just didn't feel hungry at those times.

Have a great night. I may surprise you with a Thursdy blog tomorrow...maybe a few pool pics...but not of me! Haha!

Pour Your Heart Out: Love

My soul has a purpose, it is to love; if I do not fulfill my hearts vocation, I suffer. -St. Thomas Aquinas.

Today I pour my heart out to you, about me. Leticia. Wife. Mother. Friend.

I hate that I struggle to love myself enough. To love myself unconditionally. To love myself enough to make myself a priority.

I realize taht all of us moms experience this on some level, but I believe that mine is leaning to the extreme. I put others needs before my own. I've been burned, but I've also been on the receiving end of really wonderful experiences as well with those who I gave my trust to.

I recently learned that I apparently do not feel like I deserve happiness, a good life, peace, and all that my heart desires. This has stemmed from my childhood. As much as I hate to sound like I am placing blame here, it is what it is. My childhood was not the best, and in fact at times it looked like the worst.

I'm trying to let go of the feelings of resentment. The anger. The frustration. I'm trying to give myself things/experiences/time that makes me happy. I feel like I am tethered down, and I need to break free of that twine before I can grow much further.

I have a purpose, it is to love. Anyone who knows me...really knows me...knows that I live my life with love as much as I can. I love my family & friends, strangers I meet on the street, and even my enemies. I love them all for sharing bits and pieces of themselves with me. I need to learn to give myself that same unconditional love.

If I do not fulfill my hearts vocation, I suffer. I am. I am suffering in silence right now. I hurt. My heart aches. I long for a life with more peace, and joy. Less drama and stress. Most of all I crave for my love to be returned to me. Uninhibited.

Thanks to Shell over at Things I can't say for hosting this wonderful meme.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 13 of 21 day cleanse

Today I was good. Very good. I must have driven by a zillion golden arches during my travels for work...each of them taunting me with their liquid crack. Anyone who is a Coke addict knows what I am talking about. How do they do it? I swear along with countless others that McDs coke tastes better than a fountain anywhere else! True story.

No time for stories though. It's almost midnight and I have to get some sleep.

Here's my day, in short:

Bfast: PB & J on a rice cake, decafe coffee

am snack: banana, water

lunch: Hummus, corn chips, carrots, & grapes. Water to drink.

pm snack: 1/2 cup almonds

dinner: artichoke, mushroom, and tomato pasta.

snack: Polenta

That's all folks!

Artichoke, mushroom, and tomato pasta sauce

This is super quick and easy. I didn't take a photo of the completed dish because I am cooking with gluten free pasta these days and it's a bit tempermental, as I learned tonight. Apparently if it's left to sit in a strainer for too long it falls into pieces. Not a very pretty presentation! Thanksfully it still tasted yummy!

Here's a photo of the sauce cooking in the skillet. Mmmm...


1 TBSP Olive oil
1/4 white onion, diced
1 can whole artichoke hearts (drained)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes with liquid
1 small can of sliced mushrooms (drained)
whatever pasta you like
Parmesean cheese (if desired)


Saute the garlic and onion in the oil for 2 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and mushrooms and simmer on low until your pasta is done.
Cook your pasta according to the box directions, and if it's gluten free you apparntly have no play time on that! Haha! Drain the pasta and mix the pasta and sauce together in a serving bowl, or i the pot you boiled the pasta in. Top with cheese and fresh herbs if you like.

The sauce makes enough for 2 servings. For additional servings of sauce just double up the artichokes, and tomatoes to 2 cans.

Post-it Note Tuesday 7.13.10