Saturday, July 25, 2009

Aperture Smaperture

It's biting me. This photography bug. It started awhile back, but I ignored it. But it keeps biting.

Bitten too hard one day, I called gloriously groovy photography friend (you hankin' rock, by the way!). She enlightened me with talk of aperture, iso, shutter speed, image files, and all other manner of camera garble that was as clear as mud to me. So she sent me a couple of really great and informative photography books (told you she was that gal) and I'm reading. Yes, reading and learning.

It's always fun to learn something new, but the learning does something to makes me want to use my knowledge, funny how that works. So I'm practicing with my Sony camera and realizing it stinks. Yep, stinks. I guess cameras are a bit like is constantly improving and before you know it, your once Wow! camera is...uh...blah. The more I learn, the more it disappoints me. Urgh. I knew this going into this quest for knowledge...that my camera was lacking.

So, I'm ready for a new one. Problem is, quality cameras aren't cheap and so I'm praying that if this is something God wants me to pursue, he'll provide the $$$.

Now you may be asking, 'God wants you to pursue? What do you mean?' Right. Good. I'm glad you asked.

See, for a long time...years....I've had this creative drive if you will to, um, create something, anything. It began with curtains. I learned I could sew a thing or two, and made some rockin' curtains for my house several years back. (This sewing bug is biting me as well once again and I want to have another go at clothes making, but my machine gave up the ghost several months ago and has yet to be replaced. But I digress.) So next was painting, yes, aside from pretty walls, I wanted fun stuff in the kids' room. So I painted murals on the walls. Proud of it's beauty and mine own hands having done it, I called a friend to brag, ehem, talk about what I'd done. I said, "You know it seems to me that, the closer we get to God, the more we want to create." God's creative. Look around. All the variety of creatures, color and beauty. I love it. It's in me. I'm his. Thus I create.

Next was soap. A friend sent me some handmade soap. She told me how she'd started this thing and several of our other friends had jumped on the bandwagon to make soap. I refused. Nonconformist that I am, I didn't want to be another cog in the soap wheel. But as my last bar was becoming a transparent sliver, I knew I couldn't go back. Lever 2000 just wouldn't do for me anymore. So I caved and made soap. Well as with any new craft, it was fun and addictive, so I made more and more. Being overrun with soap, I sent it abroad to friends and family. This gave birth to a business.....which brings me to my next point.

I've used many of these creative tendencies of mine to make money. Our dream is for our family to work together. So we did not only soap, but a whole line of skincare. Most recently I've made cleaner and thought of just marketing that. It's natural, works great and I use it exclusively for ALL of my cleaning, even mirrors, glass and wood. So that's an option under my hat, because I want to help our family stay together, see I want a full time dad....and all day, by our side, working with us, full time dad. It's the God given desire of our hearts. So maybe the cleaner. And maybe the photography. Or maybe the?

Still biting.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Camera play with Cherish

I'm trying to learn to use a camera...the right way. I've got a lot to learn, but I'm already getting better. A good camera would really help. $$$ Cha-ching.
Cher was sitting at my computer desk trying to talk to me and I just starting shooting her (camera for taking her picture) and she is photogenic queen. Too cute.

A revelation

I like things clean. Don't particularly like to clean, but the end result makes the drudgery worth it. I live with six males, however, and this throws a curve in my desire for clean. But being the organized, training mama that I am, I make charts....chore, kitchen cleanup, zones (the house broken up into zones that each kid is responsible to keep clean on said day),etc. We have 4 such charts. So from the time Quinn could walk, I've had them cleaning. The chores go down to Thatch. But I noticed something a few weeks ago that bugged me.

Newsflash....boys don't like to clean. I know this. You know this. It's fact. But chores are chores and they have to be done and I'm sure as holly not cleaning up after everyone. No way. Over time, I've tried to come up with creative ideas to motivate the cleaning to be done to my standards. Hold up, let's have to understand, I have great kids and they dutifully do what the chart says without complaint. Nar a time...yep, no complaining. But I know (and you know) boys don't like to clean. So I hate nagging but I hear myself doing it when they've done that minimal amount just to make it sorta look clean but it's not really clean. (I see you smiling.) Back to my creative ideas, we've done games to make it fun and keep me from nagging. It's fun and it works...temporarily. But I was after their hearts. I wanted them to look at cleaning a different way.

When I was a young girl, my mom worked, a lot. She had one clean day and it was Saturdays....if she didn't work. Well, I can remember loathing the cleaning, but what was loathsome was torture when I had to do it alone. I can remember once my step-dad correcting me about dusting the wrong way, he said, If you're not gonna do it right, don't do it at all. I thought, 'Right on, I won't do it all.' Sounded good to me. I mean, after all, we're all made of the same lazy flesh, right? But therein lies the problem, our spirit wars against our flesh and where my flesh wanted to do nary a bit of cleaning (who does? I mean, be honest.) my spirit felt guilty for doing nothing to help my mom while she worked. So when I realized this, my heart changed and I genuinely wanted to clean just to bless my mom. See, when it was expected of me, I hated it, but when I felt like I was doing some thing to help and bless my mom and make her proud, it was worth it. So here we are, years later.....

A few weeks ago, before breakfast I noticed that Quinn's zone was a problem, being a kid with his head in the clouds half the time, I allow for a little of this. A little. So when I called him back to clean it better for the third time, I saw his attitude waiver. Then it all changed. I felt myself nagging, again...yuck. But next, by God's sweet grace, wisdom flowed, like a river. I told them they no longer have to clean. WHAT???!!!??? Cleaning is optional at your choosing, I say. They were taken aback. I mean, really, aback. Way back. But the result has been unexpectedly GLORIOUS. God is so good to me. Now, they want (What the? Are you kiddin'?) to clean to bless me and as a result, I'm genuinely thankful. AND, (here's the kicker) when it's not done to my standards, I do it better, myself. Wow, what a novel idea! That was what the Lord put on my heart as I nagged Quinn for the eight thousand nine hundred and twenty-first time about not cleaning good enough. He (the Lord) said, If you want it done better, do it yourself. Ouch. I thought I was supposed to teach them to be thorough, sure but not at the expense of bad attitudes and lost hearts.

It's all around great, the place gets cleaned and we are serving each other the way Jesus intended, no one's nagging (ahhhhh). Hey Quinn, pass the cleaner cloth.

Eli & limes

It's dinner time.



"E? Elijah! Can you hear me?" [He was obviously engrossed in some activity because my kids would never hear me and not, never. :)]


"Could you make some limeade for me?"


Limeade in progress, good. As is customary with my 7 year old chef, lime and/or lemon halves are stacked in neat order. As I'm stirring the sauce for our spaghetti squash, Eli comes over to discuss limes.

"Mom, if we were a big family, I'd juice like 12 or 24 limes and I could make a castle out of them."

"If?" I say, thinking perhaps he doesn't realize we are a big family.


"Honey, look around, we are a big family."

"Well, I know, but I mean, a real big know, like a BIG family."

Wonder how many kids Eli will have?



All Raw

I haven't talked about weight loss in awhile because, well, I haven't lost any in awhile. Urgh. Yep, stand still. Dead. Still. 15 lbs was all she wrote. At least I thought. Well, I mentioned last post that I sorta cheated on my all fruit day. Just sorta. So on my last rotation, I decided to be good, and sure enough I lost 2 lbs that time. But, call me greedy, I wanted to lose more than that. But as John sweetly reminds me, Have you measured? Are you still losing inches? Guess that's what I get for always saying, 'it's measurements that really matter.' Anyway, as it turns out, I was still losing inches throughout this no poundage lost process. Yay...but I have to admit, the scales were irritating me. Measuring was very encouraging, however, cuz since beginning this mad quest for weight loss, I've steadily lost 5 1/4 inches from my waist and 2 1/2 inches from my hips (I'm not a very hip-y girl, my squish mostly lies in the mid region....aka spare tire.). Of course I've lost in other places but these two areas are my main concern. So throughout stagnation valley of 15 lbs, I was still losing inches, so yay.

But I wanted more....more, I say. So John and I conversed over this. (I'm sure he cherishes the moments when we discuss my weight loss plans, but anyway...)

Me: It seems this fruit day is pivotal. I lost more after doing it right and I'm thinking there's something metabolic going on here. [Smart, aren't I?]

J: Maybe you should try going all raw for, say, a week and see if that speeds things up. [Early in our marriage, John and I ate all raw for quite a while, and he still says that's the best he's ever felt. We both lost weight. But I like to be real...I mean I like food and cooked food is, well, it's yum, that's why I'm chubby. There, I said it.]

Me: You're so smart. Okay, I'll do it 6 days and then have an off day Saturday, because I HAVE to have an off day or mentally, I'll go whizzy.

J: ~grin~

Me: Yep, and we'll juice again. You've been wanting me to juice. Sorry I don't do that more often.

-----Hugs and kisses all around.------

Disclaimer: Not all of our conversations are this grand and riveting, nor do they all end with hugs and kisses, but I DO love that man like mad fire.

So, I did it...we're on the all raw week and I am down 4 lbs. I measure/ weigh on Saturdays, but I couldn't help hopping on the scales yesterday after doing raw a few days. So my plan is to cycle in normal days next week. Here's the way it's gonna go.

All raw til Saturday, upon which day I shall slap together some culinary treat to satisfy the masses. :)

Sunday-all raw

Monday-normal (Normal=small meals, minimal bread if any, no sweets. Lots o' fruit and veggies and possibly my cottage cheese potion...more on that later)

Tuesday-all raw


Thursday-Friday-all raw

Saturday-OFF....this means, no rules. Bring on the chocolate and so forth.

After that, I dunno. We may do an all normal week or go back to the 11 day deal, that's sorta up to the scales. And tape measure, of course.

Me eating some salad...all raw.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Weight, weight don't tell me

Here's the deal with this diet I'm doing, on day 2, you eat fruit only for three meals and a sandwich for the fourth (you eat 4 meals a day, did I say that?), well that is TOUGH. I get hungry..way... so on the second rotation of it, I cheated, ate my sandwich at 10 am and ended up eating salad or something later that day. So I lost half the weight that time that I did the time before....hmmm? So on the third rotation, I, yep, cheated on that day again, now we're not talking pig out, eat what I want cheats, just food, more food. Then I decided that day was probably metabolically pivotal for success (not sure if those are real words but stay with me). I was right, yesterday I did not cheat on fruit day and I'm seeing the difference already. I'll report with my stats at the end of this rotation. Think skinny.