Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lisa's Logbook - January 28

1 - Innovation for Endurance 30 Day Challenge (30 days of activity - today is Day 28)
2 - The vehicles are giving us trouble - 2/3 are inoperable right now. And the other one is having some battery issues.
3 - Perfecting my karate form WITH POWER, and also the other things we need to know for our test in one month
1 - Weigh-in Wednesday showed 11.6 lbs down in 3 weeks
2 - Finally got the Regency Ball portraits displayed! Not exactly how I wanted, but at least they're up instead of in a stack in the hutch, right?
3 -  Finished the Daniel Fast!

1 - Making denim Christmas stockings - I've cut out six of them.
2 - Getting my Mixbook album done for 2010
3 - getting at least one of my finished books e-published for Kindle

From the Library: A whole SLEW of books - see my post on Mirkwood Reflections.
On My KindleCraving God: A 21-Day Devotional Challenge by Lysa Terkeurst
Netflix: finished up the second season of Parenthood
Theater: One for the Money (based on Evanovich's book) - liked it!

Recipes: I made some good chili and Suzy made some delicious cornbread. I think it was so good because we used butter in it instead of oil like my other recipe calls for.
What's New: Bought David a cell phone since he's gone so much lately. Got a great deal on a Net10 phone at Kmart. He has 4 months of service and after that, he'll be on his own with paying for it.

Serendipity: The poems composed by my writing class were quite good, on the whole!
Obsession: PINTEREST! (I swore I wouldn't get sucked in. But now, I don't remember why. It's so wonderful! lol)
Fun Times: Book club was wonderful! Two days later, I got together with two good friends for dinner and a DVD and some discussion. :-) And last night, I got together with 7 other ladies for a movie and dinner out. When it rains, it pours!

Anticipating: Sister Weekend!
Writing Progress: oh, never mind. :-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Daniel Fast Report

Today is the last day of my three-week-long Daniel Fast. You can read my longer post explaining it here, but basically the fast entails eating only vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts and drinking only water. No sweeteners are allowed on this fast. No yeast either, though I was a bit looser with that interpretation.

Giving up caffeine was not as difficult as I thought. Usually I drink 2-3 cups of coffee a day and most days I also have a can of Diet Coke. The only other beverage I usually drink is water. I went cold turkey on the caffeine - just stopped drinking it on Day 1. That day was fine. Day 2 I had a headache, though not debilitating. The rest of the 1st week, I suffered from some fatigue. But after that I was fine. I drank a lot of water during the fast and in the mornings when I normally would have had coffee, I replaced it with hot water with a lemon slice. I found that I missed having the warm mug to hand since it's so cold out. Probably in summer, I would have been fine without that.

What did I eat?

Breakfast every day was a piece of Ezekiel bread (sprouted whole grain) with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter (no sugar) and a tablespoon or so of natural fruit jam (again, no sugar).  Ezekiel bread does have yeast, but this was pretty much the only yeast I consumed.

Lunch and dinner I ate something separate from the rest of the family. This took a lot of extra time for me because my kids usually make the meals and I didn't think it was really fair to ask them to make something separate for me.

Common meals for me were oven-fried sweet potato strips, soups (canned and homemade), whole grain pasta with spaghetti sauce (no sugar), brown rice with veggies and chili. A couple times I had corn tortillas with refried beans and salsa. I only had one stinker of a meal - some expensive wild rice/odd grains mix.

Some special situations included dining out a couple times, hanging out with friends, and book club.

Book Club is known for its deliciously abundant potluck, especially the desserts. I brought something I knew I could eat (vegetarian chili and a big fruit salad) and another friend mentioned she'd have something I could eat (couscous with veggies). I only ate one other thing there and it was a bit of a departure from the Daniel fast - whole wheat scones. They had no sugar, but I did eat lemon curd on them.

I took the kids to lunch one day at Wendy's when we were running errands. I had a boring lunch of plain baked potato and plain salad. If I had been a TEENSY bit more prepared, I could have brought along some salsa to adorn the potato. I never bothered to find any dressings that would work on the fast, though there are some. I just ate all my greens plain the whole time, with one exception.

Friends wanted to go out to dinner during the middle of the fast. They knew I was participating but I didn't want to miss out on a relationship-building time in order to stick to the fast strictly. We went for Thai food. I had vegetarian pineapple fried rice. Since I didn't cook it, I was not sure what was in it, but I asked for no eggs and no meat. The rice was white, which was again a bit of a departure, but it was so far from what I would normally order when dining out, that I thought it was a good compromise. I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day.

Hanging out with friends one night to watch a movie presented another challenge. Usually these evenings involve chocolate! LOL They made kettle corn, which I declined. I brought grapes and natural potato chips, which were good munchies. I also brought hummus and some whole grain crackers (Kashi) but we didn't even need those.

Along with the fast I participated in the 30 Day Nissan Innovation for Endurance Challenge which included 3 strength training workouts and 3 cardio workouts each week.

And the weight loss report? I lost 11.6 lbs in 3 weeks!

I plan to go out to eat on Wednesday!! And have something TASTY with CHEESE! And a Diet Coke! And some COFFEE with FLAVORED CREAMER! :-) :-)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lisa's Logbook - January 20

1 - Innovation for Endurance 30 Day Challenge (30 days of activity - today is Day 20)
2 - Doing the Daniel Fast for 3 weeks (am on Day 17)
3 - Perfecting my karate form WITH POWER
1 - Weigh-in Wednesday showed 8.2 lbs down in two weeks
2 - Got the Brit Lit essays and the Wordsmith book reviews graded and returned
3 - Sorted through all the upstairs books and have a huge pile of books to get rid of.
1 - Getting rid of those books! lol

2 - Finding a deal on a new laptop
3 - Helped the girls clean up their room - wow, THAT was a project!

From the Library: The Art of Reading DVD course (The Great Courses) - I am halfway through listening to the 24 lectures.
On My Kindle:  one of the Lord John books by Diana Gabaldon (borrowed from the library!)
Netflix: a little Parenthood (one while I was on the treadmill!)
Redbox: Cowboys and Aliens (Liked it! Especially Daniel Craig in cowboy gear!), and Midnight in Paris (sweet movie!)
Recipes: Made myself some vegetable rice soup with a couple cans of vegetable broth, some leftover brown rice and some leftover stirfry veggies - YUMMY! I have enough left for one more meal.
What's New: a couple medium size bowls that are painted like my really large Italian ones

Serendipity: Suzy and James had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with their dear friends who moved to Texas a year and a half ago. They were in heaven!
Difficult Decision: Had to decide whether or not to hold the high school essay writing class since I only had about half the target enrollment. Waffled on it for days. Finally decided to cancel it.
Fun Times: went out for Thai food with friends on the spur of the moment. First time eating Thai and I ate vegetarian pineapple fried rice. (Because it was white rice, it was not QUITE in line with the Daniel fast, but I thought it was better to go and enjoy my friends than to stay home and eat my legalistic food. :-)
Anticipating: BOOK CLUB! This month is Persuasion!
Writing Progress: Disappointed to report there is no writing progress. I'm not Superwoman, you know! :-)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Daniel Fast

So for some reason I felt like I needed to do something drastic this month with my eating. December consisted of feast after feast. And the scale reflected it. The book I've been reading on prayer has made me think more and more about my faith as a living breathing way to relate to God. But I don't want to give you the wrong impression. I'm doing this fast to be healthier. The spiritual benefits are present, but this is incidental.

A cleanse was my first thought, but I've never done it and didn't really know where to start or if it would do what I wanted. I'd heard about the Daniel fast and it just felt like the right thing to do.

Basically it's eating like Daniel did in Babylonian captivity when he didn't want to eat the foods from the king's table. I assume the foods were mostly non-kosher. But he said he and the other Hebrew boys would eat vegetables and water and be healthier than the rest of the captives. The word used for vegetables evidently means foods grown from seed, which would include all fruits, all vegetables and all grains.

So that's basically the limits of the Daniel fast - fruits, veggies, whole grains, and only water to drink. No sweeteners, no meat, no dairy, no eggs, no added chemicals. NO CAFFEINE. lol 

I have followed it rather closely. The main exception is that I've included some yeast that is not allowed in the strictest interpretation of the Daniel Fast. I also have done my best to read labels but I don't want it to become A Huge Thing.

I'm anticipating a few questions, so here are my answers to those. If you have other questions, let me know.

So what have I been eating? 
For breakfast every day, I have 1 slice of toasted Ezekiel bread with natural peanut butter and all-fruit jam.
My other meals are mostly soups or rice and beans or whole grain pasta with tomato sauce. I make a big batch of whatever it is and eat it until it's gone. I only had one unpalatable meal thus far. I eat several fruits every day and a couple veggies at each meal. Also sweet potatoes! YUM!

I found a few snacks that have worked well for me - a certain rice crisp chip I found at Meijer that has no sugar (most snacks have sugar! even when you wouldn't expect it), popcorn made with olive oil and sea salt, rice crackers. I like to have crunchy snacks. When I need something sweet, I go for fruit. I've treated myself to some fruits I don't often buy out of season, like blueberries. And for some reason, Meijer has had blackberries (in pints?) 2 for $1 for a couple months.

Am I hungry all the time? 
No. Believe it or not, that's a NO! In fact tonight, I worked through dinner and I wasn't starving. I just skipped it. I never skipped meals before.

How hard was it to go off caffeine?
The first day was no problem. The next several days were harder - headache and fatigue. But now I'm good. I drink hot water with lemon in the AM because I like having the warm mug. I am not sleeping any more than I was before either - still about 6 hours a night during the week.

And I've already lost almost 8 pounds in the 12 days I've been doing the fast! Admittedly, I have also upped my exercise. I'm following the Nissan Innovation for Endurance 30 Day Challenge - 3 strength training sessions and 3 cardio sessions per week.

I plan to fast for 21 days total, so I will finish on January 24th. Just 9 more days.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lisa's Logbook - January 13

Decided to do the logbook on Fridays this year. So I wrote it on Friday. But I forgot to post it on Friday! LOL

1 - Innovation for Endurance 30 Day Challenge (30 days of activity)
2 - Doing the Daniel Fast for 3 weeks (am on Day 10; will post separately about it)
3 - Vehicle broke down - Bob needs to fix. I need to be flexible.
1 - Weigh-in Wednesday showed 6.8 lbs down in one week
2 - No cheating at all on the Daniel Fast
3 - Did my first run since August! And it was lovely outside - upper 40's, sunny, no wind!
1 - Deep-cleaning the house one room at a time - have only made it through the kitchen. LOL
2 - Decluttering - why is that so HARD?
3 - Selling some items online - check my facebook album

From the Library: V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton
Entertainment: a little Parenthood on Netflix - mostly I've been reading at night

Recipes: Did you know you can microwave popcorn in a brown lunch bag? EASY. YUMMY.
What's New: new fingerless gloves (which I use almost daily in the winter since I do so much typing and my house is rather chilly)

Serendipity: Van broke down 2.5  miles from writing class. Called my friend and she picked us up and took us there. Then needed a ride from writing class to karate and one of my students' moms volunteered. Very kind of her!
Fun Times: a little short on those this week
Anticipating: seeing Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with friends if we can; maybe the Van Halen concert in February?! (Anyone wanna go with me? Bob won't.)
Writing Progress: Helped Suzy with some of her editing. None of my own yet. :-( Maybe this weekend?

Lisa's Logbook - December 19

Realized I had a partially done logbook that I never posted. So here it is. A flashback to mid-December.

Outside: partly cloudy and 46

Wearing: jeans, Browncoats tee, pink hoodie

Tunes: Christmas music

Kids Are: Working on their lessons

Hubby Is: at work

Something Yummy: lemon bars!

Blessings: time with extended family

Reading: Just finished The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon (liked it better than I thought I would!), working on my second go-through of A Praying Life by Paul Miller. Also in the middle of The Count of Monte Cristo (abridged) by Alexandre Dumas (for Brit Lit class)

Watching: I can't remember watching anything since book club last Saturday. Maybe an episode of Parenthood? But mostly I've been reading instead. 

Considering: changing up the logbook again, for the New Year....

Working On: Christmas preparations

Accomplishments: so many loose ends and details had to come together last week

Looking Forward To: seeing the new Sherlock Holmes movie, seeing the kids open their gifts, to Christmas Eve service

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Look Ahead at January

This week we head back to the lesson sheets after taking off two full weeks for Christmas. We worked up until December 23.

I have done monthly lesson sheets for my kids for a couple years now. Even for Suzy (age 9), it works well for us. They like crossing off their work in each little square. (For a pic of the lesson sheets, go to the end of this post.)

Why do I do it this way?
They can work ahead if they want to (though they almost never do). It's once-a-month planning for me (which streamlines things). A lot of their work is independent, so they can work on their own anyway.

They don't have to accomplish their work in any certain order, other than I do tell them what to start with - mainly because we have to schedule computer time and mom-time for some of the work.

So, here's what's going to be happening this month:

Bible -This month our hymn is "He Keeps Me Singing" by Luther Bridges. We will also review 6-8 previously learned hymns or choruses each week. Our Bible study will cover Elijah and the book of James. 

Math - David will pick back up in Algebra 2, which he is doing on his own with Teaching Textbooks; I aim for him to spend 90 minutes on it each day. Emily will be doing over some lessons as well as doing some remedial work; she also does 90 minutes. (Math is her difficult subject.) James and Suzy will be working in their Teaching Textbooks math - James does 60 minutes a day in TT6 and Suzy does 45 minutes in TT4.

Literature - David and Emily are both reading The Count of Monte Cristo (abridged version) and writing chapter summaries as they go along. James will be reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Reading - 
Suzy is doing some work in Phonics Pathways Pyramid (multi-syllable words) and also Reading Reflex. We are going to be done with Pyramid this month and I will move her into some real books after that.

Language Arts - We will all be working on editing our National Novel Writing Month novels. I am going to have each child spend 30 minutes a day working on that. Everyone will write in their communication journals once a week. Typing, penmanship and spelling fill up James and Suzy's schedules, while Emily and David work on grammar and typing.

Science - David is working his way through an free online physics curriculum, supplemented with Khan Academy videos. Emily is teaching Considering God's Creation to the younger two (a real challenge for everyone!) and this month they will be working on plants (photosynthesis, parts of a plant, fungus, trees).

History - David and Emily are studying the modern age, guided by the Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start The Fire". They are going year by year to understand the events mentioned in the song. This month they will cover 1959-1961. They are creating a presentation to explain the names and events. James and Suzy are not doing History this month. EDITED: James and Suzy (along with Emily) are attending a once-a-week Michigan History class which will last 12 weeks.

Other - David will also continue with his ACT prep course through Kaplan. His practice scores look good. He'll likely take the test in April. I've got to figure out those details.

David is also going to be very busy with Robotics for this rest of this month. He is participating in First Robotics Competition with a local high school's team and they will be working on their 'bot 6 days a week. (5 evenings for 2.5 hours each night and Saturday all day)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Lisa's Logbook - January 6

Changing up the blog for the New Year.  2012 promises to be a blessing!

1 - Innovation for Endurance 30 Day Challenge (30 days of activity)
2 - giving up caffeine for 3 weeks
1 - bought my ticket for the April homeschool conference in CINCINNATI!
2 - cleaned out my food cupboards
3 - Learned my new karate form
1- Deep-cleaning the house one room at a time
2 - January lesson sheet
3 - Grading essays

Books at hand: Persuasion by Jane Austen (for book club) and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (for Brit Lit) - Also, I won THREE Austen fiction books by modern authors!
On my Kindle: At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson (Highly recommend!)
Entertainment: Parenthood, Limitless, Just Dance 3

Recipes: Amish Friendship Bread - my friend Laura gave me a starter and it's time to BAKE!
What's New: a dietary adventure I am on - will share details NEXT week, after I have a few more days under my belt (HA! Under my belt! LOL)

Serendipity: Found a lovely large green enamel bowl at the thrift store - no chips, even. Also today was sunny and warm! More like April than January.
Fun Times: Dinner out with the homeschool leaders - had STEAK and LOVED it! And Sweet potato fries - yummmmy!
Anticipating: seeing Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with friends
Motivation: List making is usually my motivation.
Writing Progress: none yet, going to be editing next week. Do or die!