Wednesday, March 27, 2013

By Friday...


So I'm not holding my breath for the next two days. But we are expecting some housing news by Friday.

Whether this is good news or bad news, I don't yet. We are just expecting news.

I texted my agent yesterday to ask him what the latest was with any of our offers. He informed me that the bank has finished their appraisal of the house that we have the primary offer on, the same house that we just barely resubmitted our contract forms for. The seller's agent is thus expecting to hear something from the bank by Friday.

This house does not match everything on my checklist. But, it is a good house. And in good shape. Aaaannndddddd the economy is starting to recover here. Which is good news for society in general. But terrible news for us right now. With the economy improving, interest rates are slowly starting to rise and the price of homes increase. I have not seen any new for sale houses posted, in the area we want, in our price range, for some time now.

So moral of this story. We are PRAYING for good news on Friday. Praying that the bank will accept our offer. Praying that we will be going under contract soon.

If, however, Friday presents itself with bad news, we will just keep trusting that Heavenly Father is hearing our prayers and answering them in a better way than we could even understand right now. And just for your information, bad news would be the bank returning our offer with a higher counter offer. We can't afford to go higher than our current offer.

So until Friday, I am trying to stay anxiously engaged and not think about it. I'm excited and nervous and anxious and scared and eager.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Pediatrician's Advice: one treat per week

A few weeks ago when I was talking to our pediatrician, he was asking about what foods Devin was eating. And for the most part, he is eating pretty much what we eat. Except when he is teething and then his diet basically consists of yogurt and crackers/ cheerios.

I asked the doctor how old Devin should be before he could eat sweets. And he said it was fine to let him try them right now. But. BUT that he should only be eating one treat per week. He told me that it is hard because once he goes to school, he will be bombarded with sugars and candy practically daily. But ideally, one sweet treat per week.

Something in my conversation with the doctor hit me pretty hard. If Devin is only allowed to have one treat per week then that means I can only have one treat per week. No sneaking chocolate chips or eating cookie dough or making single serving microwave cake after dinner. Because if I do that then in the not so distant future, Devin will be begging to eat all of those things too because he sees me eating them.

I had to stop my sweet indulgences (almost daily... even if they were in a small amounts or sugar free and low calorie). So Casey and I talked about. And he is supportive of limiting the sugar/ sugar-free foods (meaning I can't just make sugar-free treats all the time either) in our house so we can teach Devin to live healthy.

We decided our one treat per week will be on Monday nights with FHE. And if I can make the treat healthier and still have it taste just as good then I will. But if the healthy version tastes "healthy" then bring on the regular recipe. This also makes it easier to "diet" because I know that I can still eat all of the "bad" foods--just in moderation. And we decided to make an exception for holidays because life is worth celebrating. On the holiday itself, we will enjoy an additional sweet treat (be it a dessert or birthday cake or candy or etc) for the week. 

And in case you are wondering... when I'm dying to eat cookie dough, I now turn to chopped dates. They are sweet and coated in a flour of some type. Since I like the cookie dough the best and not the chocolate chips, the dates work perfect. I think it is the flour coating that I love! And if I'm just dying to have a treat in general, I have a sugar-free hard candy. One candy will last a long time and leave me feeling satisfied instead of deprived. Both of these are pretty much considered staples in our home now. (I buy the chopped dates in bulk from Winco so it is cheaper. The sugar-free candy is sold almost everywhere now, including the dollar store. I buy most of ours from the dollar store!) And... one more tip... I unfollowed all of the dessert, cookies, cakes, brownies, etc boards from pinterest. On Monday nights, I'm sure I can find a treat that we will love without having to see the temptations everyday, all the time!

So... this past week, we enjoyed Lava Cake and Vanilla Ice Cream.
And... Drumroll please... I still lost...

{-2 pounds!}

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Symbols of Easter FHE Lesson


Preparation: Cut out and color the pictures for The First Easter Bunny Story
Make hard boiled eggs then write the words Faith, Hope, Charity, Kindness, Forgiveness, Reverence, and Love with a white crayon


Opening Song: 199 He Is Risen!

Opening Prayer:

Scripture: Mosiah 16:7-9

Lesson:  Read “The First Easter Bunny” Story
   * Show the different pictures as you read the story
   * Note: this story is totally fictional! But gives some good food for thought!


Closing Prayer:

Treat: Make Resurrection Rolls (note: there are several variations of Resurrection Rolls out there. I liked this one that the roll represented the cloth and the oven was the tomb)

(while the Rolls are baking...)
Activity: Color your own Edgar Easter eggs
     Make sure you hard boil the eggs in advance and write the words on with a white crayon for a surprise as you are dying the eggs.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

The First Easter Bunny (Symbols of Easter)


This story is part of an Easter FHE lesson that we will probably have every year. Click HERE for the entire lesson outline. But in the mean time... you will need to print off the Symbols of Easter pictures then color and cut them out. On the back of mine, I placed a strip of magnet to make it a bit more interactive.

Please note: this story is completely fictional. But I love it!! It helps keep the focus on the real meaning of Easter instead of just candy, eggs, and baskets.

(Save each of the pictures below and then print them out. And if you just want the text to the story instead of a picture, it is at the bottom.)



Many, many years ago, when Jesus was living upon the earth, there was a little white bunny rabbit living in Jerusalem. He had bright blue eyes, a little pink nose, pink ears, and a fluffy white tail.
This bunny’s name was Edgar and he had seen Jesus. Edgar had listened very carefully to all of the stories Jesus told the people. When Jesus walked from town to town, Edgar hopped right along with Him. He tried to stay in the tall grass or behind trees and rocks because he was afraid of people…except Jesus. Edgar knew Jesus loved him and would never hurt him. Everywhere that Jesus went, Edgar could be seen if you knew which tree or rock to look behind.
One night Edgar was watching as Jesus knelt praying in the garden and he saw soldiers come into the garden and take Jesus to prison. Edgar was terribly upset and he ran back home, calling all of his rabbit friends to come and help.
But what could rabbits do? They couldn’t talk to anyone. They weren’t big enough to break down the walls so Jesus could get out, so the rest of the rabbits went back to the hill where they lived. But Edgar stayed by the prison. In the day time he hid behind the stones, but at night he would jump upon the high window sill to look at Jesus, chatter at Him to let Him know He had a friend.
And then one day, Edgar saw the soldiers taking Jesus away. He watched as they put a crown of thorns on His head and he saw Jesus carry a heavy cross up Calvary Hill. Edgar stayed on the hill the whole terrible day, watching while Jesus died on the cross.
The next day Edgar hopped over to the tomb where Jesus had been laid and he saw that people were putting lots of flowers next to the tomb. So Edgar ran home real fast because he wanted to get some pretty flowers to put next to the tomb too.
Just before he reached home Edgar found a basket by the side of the road and he thought, “What a nice thing to carry my flowers in.” But the basket was old and dirty so Edgar got out his glue and paint and fixed the basket up just like new. The basket was decorated in beautiful colors. Then he went out to pick the flowers, but he was too late. All the pretty flowers were gone. They had been picked by the people for Jesus.
Edgar had tears in his eyes when he turned to go back home. A pretty little red hen saw Edgar and she asked him why he was so sad.
So Edgar told Mrs. Hen what had happened. Mrs. Hen thought and thought and then she said, “I don’t have any flowers but I do have some beautiful white eggs. Perhaps you could put them in your basket for Jesus.” The tears left Edgar’s eyes and a smile came to his lips. “Thank you, thank you, Mrs. Hen. I know just what I will do.”
Edgar put the eggs in his basket and hurried home. He got out his paints again, and he painted every one of the eggs a different color. When he finished, the eggs were the same pretty colors as flowers. Then he thought, “I really should write something about Jesus on the eggs so that the people who see them will know they are for Him.”
On the first egg he wrote FAITH because that is the first thing we should all have, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
On the next egg he wrote HOPE, because that was one of the things Jesus always taught about.
On the next egg he wrote CHARITY, because Jesus had often told the people to help others.
On the fourth egg, he wrote KINDNESS, because he had heard Jesus say, “Be ye kind to one another.”
On another egg he wrote FORGIVENESS, because while Jesus was on the cross Edgar heard, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Edgar thought and thought, because there were so many words that he could use but he was almost out of eggs. The he wrote REVERENCE on another egg because he knew that was a way to show honor and respect to Jesus.
Now only one egg was left—a beautiful gold one and Edgar knew exactly the word to put on this one. He wrote the letters L-O-V-E. Love. As he put the gold egg into the basket, Edgar remembered the time Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you.”
Finally the basket was ready, but Edgar still felt something was missing. What could it be? Oh yes, Edgar found a bright ribbon to tie on the handle. Now his basket was beautiful and Edgar hoped it would be pleasing to the Lord.
Edgar had worked so long on his basket that three days had passed since the Crucifixion. It was Sunday morning when he took the basket to the tomb. When he got there he saw a woman sitting there and crying.
He quietly put his basket in front of the flowers and then he heard a little noise so he ran behind a tree. When he peeked around the tree he saw Jesus talking to the woman. Just then Jesus saw the basket. He looked toward the tree and gave Edgar a beautiful bright smile, as if to say, “Thank you.”
From that time on, this bunny has never been called Edgar again. He is now known as the Easter Bunny and he brings baskets of colorful eggs and yummy treats to help children around the world to remember of Jesus’ sweet love for us and the wonderful things he taught us. The eggs symbolize Christ’s resurrection.


Friday, March 22, 2013

A Housing Update

Wednesday was an eventful day in our home buying process. Long story short... we are still waiting and praying.

I found all of the forms and documentation required for the down payment assistance program then made an appointment to turn everything in. They city would not accept it because we are not actually under contract yet. I told him that our lender told us we had to turn it in as soon as we could.  He did, however, check to see that I had all of the correct forms and if not then I would know what to go find. Everything was there except having a contract on a house. He agreed to move our grant into priority status once we go under contract. Yeah! At least I made progress that day!! He assured me that he will be able to process our application in under 21 days instead of the normal 30-45 days. So although our grant has not been submitted, I made a huge step forward that day.

Later that day while I was making dinner, our real estate agent called me. Apparently the bank had looked at our First Offer. They neither accepted nor rejected our offer but instead wanted a new offer with the current date. My agent thought this was very strange so he called various brokers/ lenders/ other agents (I'm not sure who... But it seemed like several phone calls.) to ask what was going on and why the bank would be saying our offer was too old. The best he could figure out was that the people we are buying the house from did not date anything on the original offer. And therefore the bank wanted a current offer with dates on it. So we reprinted then signed the entire novel for our offer and gave it to our real estate agent. And now we are waiting. Again. It is like we are back to day one for the bank to begin reviewing our offer.

The only good news about waiting again is that hopefully we won't be moving right before/ during Casey's finals. We are trusting that Heavenly Father knows what He is doing and the home that is right for us will be available at the best time for us.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

30 Minute {HEALTHY} Rolls

I forgot to take a picture until after dinner :)
Hence the reason there are not many left...
The 30 minute rolls are all over pinterest. I didn't realize it but last Thanksgiving, I posted a very similar recipe for instant rolls. These things are seriously the best because they are fast and delicious and FAST. It is like having a homemade Rhode's bread dough--but in some ways even faster because you don't have to wait for these to defrost.

But they are high calorie. And my biggest weakness is hot bread. I would end up eating 2-3+ rolls straight out of the oven because they are delicious and then feel super guilty because I know how high calorie they are. I had to figure out how to lighten the recipe so I could still eat the thing I love the most and not kill my diet in the process.

And it was successful! I made them with 100% whole wheat flour. And they are both sugar free and fat free!  AND... (yes, it gets better) they are only 100 calories per roll. WHOOOO! :)

1 1/8 c. warm water (1 c. + 2 T.)
1/8 c. yeast
1/4 c. splenda
1/4 c. plain, fat free greek yogurt
1/4 c. egg beaters
1/2 t. salt
1 t. dough enhancer
1 T. gluten
3 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a cookie sheet.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water, yeast and splenda; let rest for 5-10 minutes.  (The splenda does not get super frothy or bubbly--just let it sit for the time amount.) With a dough hook, mix in yogurt, egg beaters, salt, dough enhancer, gluten and flour until combined.  (With a KitchenAide, you can only go up to speed 2 once you add flour or you will burn out the motor.) Knead with the mixer for a few minutes.

Spray hands lightly with cooking spray. (The dough is still sticky. If you add more flour, the calorie count will go up. Spraying your hands will allow you to handle the dough without adding more flour/ extra calories.) Divide the dough into 16 equal (ish) portions then roll each into balls. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet and let rest for 10 minutes.  (I placed my cookie sheet over the burner that is the heat exhaust for the oven. After about 5 minutes, I rotated the pan. This helped them rise better! You can also let them rise longer--but then they are no longer "30 minute" rolls.) 

Bake for about 9-10 minutes or until tops are lightly golden.  Spray very lightly with cooking spray right after taking out of the oven. (This will make the tops of the rolls softer. Sometimes I do this--sometimes I don't.)

Yields: 16 rolls at 100 calories each
(The regular 30 minute roll recipe makes 12 rolls. If you make these into 12 rolls, they will be slightly larger and have 135 calories each.)

Monday, March 18, 2013

I Stopped Counting Calories

This may not be the best way to loose weight for everyone. But it is working for me. I stopped counting calories. When I count calories, it turns into an absolute obsession on my part. And I end up counting and recounting calories several times a day--just to make sure that I stayed in my calorie budget. It was not working.

So I stopped.

Altogether just stopped counting calories. 
And I no longer feel like I am dieting but rather living.

I am still counting thought. Everyday I count to FIVE. 5 different servings or fruits or vegetables. And I try to eat them as close to their natural/ raw form as possible. And it works. Eating fruits and veggies everyday helps me feel fuller longer and always gives me a choice of something to eat if I'm hungry. Plus, I can easily count to 5 without it becoming an obsession.

Drum roll please...

(without counting any calories)

-2 pounds

P.S. Eating fruits and vegetables are not the only thing in my healthy lifestyle... stay tuned each week as I share a healthy tip along with my current weigh-in.

Friday, March 15, 2013

an *AMAZING* produce sale!

Fact: produce is normally expensive

Fact: you should have five servings of fruit or vegetables everyday

Fact: those two previous statements normally counter each other; it costs too much to eat healthy

Allow me to introduce you to another fact: today I bought all of the produce pictured above for $10.30. Yes. All of it. $10.30.

1 honey dew melon
1 baking potato
2 cauliflowers
2 jicamas
2 eggplants
3 red peppers
4 green peppers
4 onions
4 oranges
7 red delicious apples
7 jonagold apples

I was glancing at grocery ads today and found an amazing deal for produce at Reams in the Salt Lake Valley. Fill the white bag with a wide list of different fruits and vegetables for only $10. As much as you can stuff in, as long as it can stand up on its own, $10. (Then add $0.30 for tax.)

All of those years of playing Tetris finally paid off. Haha.

This was my strategy. Place the melon in the bottom because it was heavy and I don't want it I smoosh everything else. Then I filled it with onions, potato and peppers-- making sure to fill all the empty places with something small. When my bag was about 2/3 full, I got apples. And a ton of them because we eat them all the time! When the bag was almost full (probably most people would have stopped at this point), I balanced the cauliflower on the top and used the jicama and eggplants to keep everything balanced. And then I saw I had a few holes so I put added a few other small things.

Fact: we can afford to eat five servings of produce a day. Thank You Reams!!
(This sale runs from now until March 18, 2013. Click HERE to find a Reams near you.)

Good Luck playing PRODUCE tetris! I would love to see what all you can fit in your white paper bag! :)

9 Month Check Up

Do you see that black cord that connects to the scale? Really this picture should have been taken with Devin yanking and chewing on it. It was quite the struggle to get him to not touch it. He LOVES cords!! It was so hard to get a semi-decent picture because he would roll over back to reach for the cord super fast.


Weight: 20.31 pounds (46%)
Height: 28.5 inches (apx 70%--it was mismeasured)
Head Circumference: 17.7 inches (41%)

Devin was having a super hard time sitting still on my lap waiting for the doctor to come. And I didn't want him touching or playing with any of the office's toys or books because last time we did that, we got sick from it. So he wiggled out of my lap and started pushing the stroller all over the little room. The doctor came in when Devin was cruising and he was impressed!

Devin is healthy and normal and doing great!! 

(The only concern is that he still spits up. Daily. Multiple times a day. But he is never in pain or cries when he spits up. Babies are supposed to grow out of the spitting phase by now. But our doctor didn't want to do anything to treat it yet because it doesn't hurt Devin. So that is on a watch for his year appointment. Hopefully he stops the spitting by then!)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Devin's Data NINE months

Only a couple of days late... :)

Devin would NOT lay still to take a picture.
I finally convinced him to stay for a few seconds by letting him chew on a different domino.
He just wanted to sit up and eat the domino.

Weight: We will find out tomorrow at his check up.

Height: {ditto}

Clothing Size: it really varies depending on the brand. Generally 3-6. Some 6-9. He still fits into 0-3 pants they are just a little short. And his white Sunday shirt is 12 mon because of his neck size. (I don't think he has a chubby neck but the smaller shirts won't fit.)

Diaper Size: we just ran out of twos this past week and decided it wasn't worth it to buy more. So he is officially in 3s.

Milestones: can stand by himself for a couple of seconds and take two steps on his own, understands the word no and stops what he is doing if I use it (normally), he is still attempting to drink from a sippy cup. (He drinks from it just fine if I hold it but can't/ won't hold it himself.), he is beginning to understand object permanence (meaning if we try to hide a remote in the couch cushion or my iTouch in my pocket, he will stand on his tippy toes trying to get to the remote or try to reach in my pocket to pull out my iTouch)

Eating: he nurses about 4 times a day. He is becoming super picky. If he doesn't like something I try to feed him, he will clench his mouth shut and shake his head no. If he doesn't like something in front of him, he just drops it on the floor. Some days he only eats yogurt, scrambled eggs and veggie straws. Other days, he will eat whatever I am.

Sleeping: goes to bed about 8:30-9. Wakes up around 7 to nurse then back I bed for 2-2.5 hours. He takes a good nap in the evening sometime and a couple of short ones during the day. He will stay awake and play in the stroller for a while but normally gets drowsy and dozes while I go jogging.

Communication: says "mmm" then opens his mouth if he wants more food, I swear he has said "momma" a few times but I'm not sure if he gets it totally, comes to me and clings to me if he wants milk, if I try to nurse him when he is not hungry, he whines and won't latch on, shakes his head no if he doesn't want something

Likes: exploring anything new, playing with the dishwasher, laundry room, electric cords... you know... the forbidden stuff. Being with mommy-he seriously is my little buddy. Playing with a purple elephant car. He LOVES spoons and will take one with him almost everywhere he goes. Crossing his feet when sitting in his high chair/ shopping cart

Dislikes: waiting for milk, having his face cleaned, sitting on our laps for three hours during church!! (He super badly wants down to go crawl away and touch everything but he is such a good boy and will still sit there quietly.) He hates having his finger & toe nails trimmed!

Nicknames: Mr. Devin, Big Boy, Baby Bunny

Most Memorable Moment(s): his first haircut

Hardest Part: I thought we baby proofed our house pretty good. But everyday, he finds something else. I have to follow him constantly. And I can't do the dishes, sweep, etc when he is up because he tries to "help."

Lisa's Favorite Part: Cuddling with him and knowing that he loves me by his strong desire to be with me. And watching him learn. He is SO smart and it is amazing to see him grow! :)

Casey's Favorite Part: (I will update this later today sometime....)

{redefining success}

My current weigh in: -0 pounds

However, it has still been a successful week. I jogged 5 days last week. I would probably jog for about 1.5 miles and walk for 3.5. I have to be proud of that accomplishment!

I'm still going to weigh in because my goal ultimately is to loose weight. But I can not really control that. 

In a way I can. I choose to exercise. I choose what I eat. Those are the things that I actually have control over and therefore those are the things that I should use as a measurement for success. Did I eat healthy? Did I exercise? If I can answer yes to both of those things, then it is a successful week--even if the scale does not reflect that.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Two Blind Offers

A blind offer. Defined as: placing an offer on a home without seeing the inside of it first.

We signed another contract and placed a blind offer today. Actually two different blind offers. The pictures online look beautiful. But pictures can be deceptive. And both houses still look good from the outside. The one thing we know for sure is they are both the style of house we want. And in the neighborhood we like.

It seems absolutely crazy. But I know we can't ask Heavenly Father to bless us with the right house if we haven't done our part. So we are trusting that He knows what He is doing and everything will work out exactly as it is supposed to. It always has in the past. After all, I was blessed with the perfect teaching job for me--made some life long friends and learned some life long lessons-- and I had just about a million interviews! And then I quit my job before Casey even had one. But he has a great job that provides for our needs! I just know that everything will work out with buying our first house as well!

P.S. Today is Devin's 9 month birthday. Aaaah! I have a 3/4 year old baby/ toddler-ish. And we placed our first (and only other) offer exactly a month ago.

Monday, March 4, 2013

{-1 pound}

I feel like a yo-yo. Going up and down. I am grateful for the minus number because I really thought it would be a positive this week. So that is at least comforting. But for some reason, this is not getting any easier and I'm struggling A LOT!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

I Love How...

Devin gives the biggest smiles! And the cutest facials.


 He has to hold a spoon in his hand or he won't eat.

He has to have food he can feed himself in front of him or he won't eat what I feed him.


He can use his pincer grasp and feed himself Cheerios.


He likes eating from my silverware better than his own.


He is starting to say "mmmm" then open his mouth. (It means more.)


He says "yum, yum" if he likes what he is eating. (This is really just a sound he makes.)


He shakes his head no if he doesn't want to eat something.


He really only likes yogurt, scrambled eggs and things he can feed himself. (And maybe the food we are eating. Maybe.) And even then he has to be in the mood.


He takes his arms out of the sleeved bib when he is done.

I especially love how Devin crosses his feet in his high chair.