Feels Like a Cheat Dip

Gluten Free/Sugar Free/Soy Free/Nut free option

THM:S dessert

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“Hi, my name is Aubree and I’m addicted to fat…”

And all of my fellow fat addicts said….”Hi Aubree”

Okay, seriously though, who doesn’t like dipping food into their favorite fattening condiment or dip at some time? I especially love it at this time of year when every weekend we seem to have Football parties or Halloween parties or family Thanksgiving, etc. Ketchup, ranch, salsa, yogurt, humus, guacamole, fruit dip, whatever I can get my hands on! Well, my fellow fat dippers, I have been making this for many months now and just haven’t found the time to publish it, but that changes today! This is recipe is still healthy as long as you don’t over-do it! It’s low-carb, goes well with fruit, and can also be used as a sugar-free ice cream. I frequently use it for dipping strawberries, but my main purpose in creating this is to freeze it to make sugar-free ice cream. Let’s face it, ice cream tops it all! My fellow THMers – this is an S dessert! This is the first Trim Healthy Mama compatible dessert that I have made over and over because it tastes like a cheat! Watch yourself though – this makes about 4-6 servings – don’t eat the whole thing in one sitting!

Ingredients:

2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream

1 cup almond milk (use cow milk if need nut free)

8 oz. 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese or Neufchâtel Cheese

2 Tbs. cocoa pwd.

1-2 scoops THM Protein Powder or THM Integral Collagen. 2 scoops makes the dip thicker. (If you like a flavored protein powder I have also used Bodylogix Chocolate Protein powder and it is on plan.)

1 tbs. vanilla extract

1 tbs. caramel extract (feel free to sub in a different extract or flavor if you don’t like caramel)

6 tbs. Truvia or THM Super Sweet(adjust to taste)

Salt to taste ( I use a few shakes)

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender, such as a Ninja or Vitamix. You can use a regular blender, but just might have to spend more time blending it. Blend until smooth. I find that if you add the Cream Cheese last it helps to keep the powders from flying up and getting caught in the top of the blender.

 

Start with the liquids and the powders.
Start with the liquids and the powders.
Add the Cream Cheese last.
Add the Cream Cheese last.

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Pour into any container for a dip and then enjoy!

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To make the ice cream: Pour the remaining dip into several freezer safe containers. I find that the Truvia containers are the perfect size! Place in the freezer, making sure they are upright and sealed properly.  I leave mine in the freezer overnight. It should be frozen within a few hours, though. Then the next day, I pack it with my lunch. It sits in the fridge for a couple hours and thaws slowly and it’s ready for me by snack time – around 9:30 or 10. Yes, I eat ice cream in the morning! You can, too!

I hope that you enjoy this great recipe as dip or ice cream and can share it with friends and family this wonderful Fall season! Try subbing in some pumpkin spice or canned pumpkin in place of cocoa and caramel and you may just have a new pumpkin favorite!

Blessings,

Aubree

“A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This, too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?”

Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

Extra Coffee Required Day #3 “That’s no fair!”

Kissy face 2013 Real life – real tears – let’s talk!

(This photo is compliments of Daniyle Weir Photography from 2 years ago – thanks Daniyle!)

Do you ever feel like you are the only one following the rules, the only one trying your best, and so many people these days don’t hold up their end of the bargain? I’ve been there, and so have my kids. You are not alone! My kids, once again, taught me a valuable lesson recently. Push aside the pile of laundry and/or toys on my couch and sit down and drink your coffee with me…

“That’s no fair!” Ethan (age 6) shouted as I gave Shawn (age 3) something different for dinner, again, because of his allergies.
“Well, actually, it’s not fair to him that he can’t eat lots of the foods that you love because of his allergies. He can’t eat our dinner tonight because of the eggs and cheese.” I stated, completely satisfied with my answer and proud of myself for handling the situation.
– well – I was wrong –
Ethan sat there grumpily eating his casserole when what he really wanted was a plain hot dog like Shawn had. I could see in his eyes that he was plotting how to get back at me somehow.
Just to thicken the plot, Shawn chimed in on this game later that day. “That’s no fair!” he shouted when Ethan happened to get to open one side of the curtains before he did.
“Actually, that’s completely fair, he opened one side, and you can open one side.” I again patted myself on the back a little too early.
“No! Not fair” Shawn stomped his foot in disgust, because he wanted to open the curtains first.
This is when I had to give myself a mommy pep talk. “Walk away, Aubree, don’t lose it – he’s a three year old – you can’t explain fairness to a three year old”. Then I decided to skip the lecture and just give out the discipline as the boys had been fighting and had several warnings already.
“Okay, you go to that room, you go to that room, no toys, you’re both in time out, and you will have to go to bed early if you can’t stop fighting.”
Ooohhhhh, if looks could kill, I would have been a goner for sure. Both boys cried and whined, “That’s not fair – he did it – I didn’t do anything!”
“Whining will not help you, but it does make you go to bed early!”

Isn’t it funny how tantrums in your children seem to bring out your own attitude that you forgot was still lurking deep inside somewhere?
What’s the first thing I do when God convicts me, when he shows me a sign and reminds me that I need to be kind, that I need to be honest, that I need to be loving? I always point out the sin or the fault of the other person. I always point out ‘who started it’ and never accept blame for my part in the argument.

“But God, it’s not fair that I have to be a good wife, a good mom, a good cook, a good housekeeper, and still be nice to whining adults who act like 2 year olds to get their own way.”
God says “I’m not talking about what everyone does, we’re talking about you right now, and your voice is sounding whiny as well. Give me back control, I will handle those other whiners in my own way – you are not in charge of handling everyone else’s attitude. It’s a good thing, because right now, you can’t even handle your own.”

“Well he started it!” I say to God – then cringe as I realize how horribly whiny I do actually sound. Wow, yet again, I realize why God is in control of things and I am not. I crave control almost as much as chocolate most days.  But then when I do have control, I don’t always handle it the right way. I sometimes mirror things I’ve heard and seen from my three year old that I thought were ridiculous when he did them. Lesson learned, again. I guess there’s one more reason that God put my little loves in my life. They teach me more than anyone else ever could, because they tend to act just like me.

I am so sorry for whining, God! Your patience is astounding!

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22

“Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time.  Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7

” For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15

Have a blessed day, guys! Please share your lessons with me that God has taught you through your children! I love hearing about them!

Aubree

Extra Coffee Required Day #2: Word power

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Ah, Spring break, that glorious time when the kids are running free and the parents are staggering into work like zombies, because the kids are driving them looney and they got even less sleep than usual. This is the perfect time to think about the power of words and how they affect all of us. So, before you ground everyone for being too noisy and take away their favorite toys because they are annoying (or was that just me?)- pour your coffee, think about how beautiful those kids are while sleeping, and ponder word power with me.

Sometimes I surprise myself with how I react to words depending on who is speaking to me. The same phrase from my 6-year-old could be majorly offensive from my husband, for instance. A joke coming from a good friend may be a major insult, but if I heard it from a random co-worker, I may think nothing of it. Here’s what happens when my son innocently asks about sensitive topics: Ethan (6 years old), had to sit and wait for me to put makeup on in the car for a few minutes one day before we went to a school event…

Ethan: Why do you have to put makeup on, mommy?

Me: I don’t have to, buddy, I just want to.

I could see him thinking about it for a minute and then he came up and peeked in the rear view mirror so that he knew I could see him.

Ethan: “Oh – it’s because you want them to think that you are pretty, right?”

>Okay freeze: if those words came out of my husband’s mouth, we would have exchanged heated, unfriendly words afterwords which may have ended with me in tears and both of us walking away – especially if it was the wrong time of the month – do you know what I’m talking about ladies? Probably something like this “THINK I’m pretty? What are you implying?” As if he were implying that my ugliness must be disguised from all the world to protect the innocent. Anyone out there who knows my husband knows that he is the sweetest person in the world and that he tells me frequently how beautiful I am, but I do tend to overreact if he stumbles on his words by accident:) The innocence of children is their saving grace some days 🙂 ! <

Me: (chuckling) Yes, buddy, that’s why.

Okay, now for the lesson to be learned here… I think that the same rules apply when we speak with our kids, especially young kids. We should adjust our language to them instead of expecting them to adapt to us. It is so hard to tell how they interpret what we say sometimes, but each child is different and part of the responsibility of parenting is figuring out the personality types of our children and how they respond to certain topics and conversation. For example, it’s important to see how they react to our words and the words of other people. Ethan has a natural wild free spirit built in him that is mostly from his father. Along with this free spirit side, he tends to not listen to correction unless he is looking me right in the eye and there is nothing shiny within close proximity, but we have to take the bad with the good, right? When Ethan is speaking with me during free time or play time, he is happy-go-lucky and eager to play and have fun. However, when he is working on something with an end goal, his competitive side comes out.  Whether it is homework, a craft, or a sport, he demands perfection of himself (and others). Fortunately and unfortunately, this trait he got from me. He gets upset if he has to erase something on his homework, which sometimes means he throws the whole thing away in a fit of rage. I have tried explaining to him that it is okay to mess up and that is what erasers are for.      He used to be convinced that he should be able to do homework without erasing anything or else he says ” I can’t do any homework ever again because I’m not smart enough.” It took a long time, a lot of “You’re doing a great job! I love your story!” and hanging everything up on the fridge to proudly display his work, before he started to believe in himself academically. On his T-ball team, he keeps score in his head, even though the coaches do not keep score and nobody gets “out” at their young age. The coaches are always encouraging, and Ethan tries to be, but he gets so mad at the other players and himself if they make mistakes or aren’t paying attention. He tells the kids on the other team when they are supposed to run when he is playing first base position. He can’t bear to see someone “not playing it right” and he often corrects his little brother at home (who barely stands over the size of the tee) when we just play for fun in the back yard.

Obviously, not all children are the same, and I am betting Shawn, my 2-year-old, will be much more laid back about competition and school work as he already is laid back about most things now: clothing optional at home, everyone in the car singing whatever song they want, his favorite activity of the day is generally during a low-key activity such as watching a TV show or listening to music.

As parents, we need to think about our words and how each child will react to them differently. I know I know, hard to do when your 2-year-old wakes you up at 4am begging to sleep with you, but let’s think this through for a minute… grab that extra cup of coffee while the kids are still sleeping – hopefully!

I know that Ethan is going to need an extra dose of encouragement when it comes to competition and homework. He criticizes himself enough for both of us and I don’t need to add to the negative thoughts in his head. I do need to build him back up when he listens to those negative thoughts and gets down on himself.

For Shawn,  he needs extra encouragement to go on the potty and will love the praise and attention afterwards, but he could care less if he plays baseball according to the rules or even finishes the game he started (two-year-olds, God love them!) I can already see the pattern. I’m going to have to remind him frequently that clothing is not optional in public, that holding mommy’s hand is not optional while crossing the road, and that throwing food at the table is still not tolerated, just like yesterday. He will most likely hear the word “no” more frequently than Ethan did even at age 2, because sometimes “no” is required regardless of the mood Shawn is in and at this stage, it’s taking more for it to sink in with Shawn than it did with Ethan. Shawn is not mentally traumatized by the word no, he just doesn’t understand how far he can push the limits yet and likes to test us frequently to see what he can get away with. It’s kind of like how we keep trying to test God.

Proverbs 18:21: “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

What are some of your experiences with word power and how it has affected you and your children?

Have a blessed day!

Aubree

 

Power of Prayer

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Shawn in the hospital with allergies/asthma June 2015

Hey guys,

Did you ever get a thought in your head that you know must have come from God because it was way too complex to be your own?

Here’s something I thought of recently that came to mind when I was discussing the frequency of prayer on social media with a friend.  After hearing some thoughts from a non-believer about how crazy it is that prayer can help people to heal, I thought about what it must look like to a non-believer. I thought about how desperately I have needed prayer at times, and it dawned on me… God does not need us to pray in order to act on our behalf! Ofcourse! God does not need us to do anything to perform miracles or to heal the sick or to breathe life into someone whom all the doctors said would never make it!  I heard something once about the power of prayer regarding innocent people who were in a horrible accident… and it really got me thinking. Some people pray for miracles, thinking that their prayer may be what turns around a situation, that they need to tell God detailed instructions about how to revive a child with cancer if God doesn’t save him. (I am speaking to myself here now 🙂 It’s not as simple as God sitting up in heaven thinking “I’d better see how many people pray for this poor child, so I know whether to save him or not” – how heartless and cold would that be? Why would God need us to pray for action, when He is all-powerful? That makes no sense. What he wants, is for us to get closer to Him, and closer to each other during hard times, regardless of the outcome.
God’s word says that we are the hands and feet of the body of Christ, right? That would mean that He wants a group of people and a community to be supportive of the family that is hurting no matter what happens. We don’t know why certain people die and certain people are healed and made new.  That’s on a need to know basis and we don’t need to know. As Christians, we trust that there is an overall reason for good and bad that it is bigger than us, and that is what drives us to hold on to our faith, to hold on to God and to each other.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to say that prayer can’t change things, because it can. It’s just more about how we respond to these situations, I believe. Many people in the bible prayed for miracles. Some saw those miracles come to pass, and others did not. My husband was in a rollover car accident awhile back that could have very easily been fatal, but he screamed “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” while he was rolling over and over. He and his friend in the car came out fine. Since that day, I can tell that his faith in God has grown leaps and bounds. It’s like a time-tested, weather warn relationship – it fits just right!

As a mother who has brought a baby/toddler to the hospital twice, seen my school age child get emergency stitches, and gone into the emergency room twice myself, I know the power of prayer on a personal level. My prayers and the prayers of my family, friends, and church family, are what kept me going through those horrible times. Without God and without prayer and faith, I don’t know how I would make it. God knows that we are weak and frail, and that we need Him. He gave us prayer for us, not for Him. If we had the power to heal ourselves without reaching out to God, there would be so many people who would have never turned to God and never been saved! There would be so many testimonies left untold, so many families left alone without support, so many lonely patients without hope. Thank God, that we need Him!

Take a look at how James tells the sick to call on the elders of the church to pray for him/her. He doesn’t say to tell the sick to stay home alone in bed and wait it out. He steers the sick toward the body of the church – the other believers – those that would comfort him/her, bring casseroles, bring hugs, bring common prayers, and come together with the common prayer for healing!

James 5:14-16 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another,that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/10-awesome-bible-verses-about-the-power-of-prayer/#ixzz3yxBIBDr7

 

Shark Week Survival Kit

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Hi,
It was a stressful week for me to begin with, so, of course…

Duh duh…duh duh…

Duh duh, duh duh, duh duh, duh duh…

Shark week! Awe man!

For any male subscribers – who are clueless right now, see the urban dictionary at this link if you do not understand: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=shark+week

Doesn’t it always seem like Shark week happens to appear on the worst possible day or time? Just when you ran out of chocolate, just when your husband had to work late and your kids had tons of sugar, just when you have no possible moment to huddle into the fetal position and hide from the crazy that awaits your day. Well, my survival kit is not going to take away all of the emotional roller coaster or the crappy side effects that come along with the visit from aunt flo. However, it will help you to deal with everything a little better and come out of this with your sanity in tact. I consider that a success!

Here’s my go to list of Shark Week Survival Kit Items that I need to make it through the week without hurting people – my family included! Some of these are sugar-free items because I am a THM follower, but if you do not have any dietary or allergy restrictions, do what you have to do – your sisters understand and pass no judgement!

Chocolat Stella Stevia sweetened dark chocolate bar – see: HERE  (or Lilly’s sugar-free chocolate bar – see: here
Skinnygirl liquid Stevia sweetener: click here and butter for Bulletproof coffee!
No Bake cookies THM approved by: Sherri Graham: http://sherigraham.com/trim-healthy-mama-fudgy-no-bake-cookies-s

iPhone, phone charger, iTunes access and ear buds for seclusion from the world
fuzzy blanket, fuzzy slippers, heating pad if necessary
Netflix and laptop or TV
PUR gum: sugar and aspartame free (have to gnaw on something 🙂
Clubbin with my Soda or GoodGirl Moonshine from THM – stay hydrated! See my recipe : http://www.lovingthejourney.org/clubbin-with-my-soda-thm-style/
peanut butter in any form
yoga pants or sweatpants

Midol or Tylenol

iron pills or iron rich foods

chick flicks to watch alone or with hubby if he dares

a good novel

That should do it! Here’s to keeping our cool (as much as possible) and getting through Shark week with our sanity in tact!

Blessings,

Aubree

 

 

Apple Grilled Chicken – THM – E


glazing on chickenAh, Fall – that lovely season of comfort foods! Okay, so it is December and more like Winter now that I have not finished this post. I promise you that I started it in October and then life got in the way! This is one of my favorites, because it’s so easy to make it suitable for all of my family’s allergies as well as THM friendly! It is Gluten free, dairy free, soy free, wheat free, and nut free!

I had to make a few tweaks compared to the average applesauce recipe to make one that is THM friendly, and this is what I came up with.

Start with a large bowl full of apples. I’d say about 15-20 depending on size.

slicing

Rinse/clean off as you wish, then use whatever method of peeling you like. One time I left all of the peels on for this recipe and we realized later that the little slivers of peels turn to jagged knife-like creatures in the crockpot so I would advise against it for your own sanity! If a few peels here and there show up, you mat not notice a difference.

I like to use this combined apple corer/peeler and you can find one similar HERE:
slicing 2

slicing 3 You should end up with ringlets of yummy apple!

Fill the crockpot 2/3 full with the apple chunks like this:

crockpot 1

Then add the rest of your ingredients:

1 Tbs. cinnamon (could use apple pie spice)

1 tsp nutmeg

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1/2 c. water

1/2 cup of Trim Healthy Mama Gentle Sweet (For those of you not familiar with the THM plan, this is a combination of stevia and erythritol ground into a powder and is a heavenly and healthy sugar substitute!) You can order your own Gentle Sweet at my affiliate link Here .

Mix all up and cook on high for 4 hours.

If the resulting applesauce is too chunky for you, you can blend it in a blender to make it smoother. My boys are picky about chunks so I had no choice – had to use the Ninja and they had to push the button! This recipe made 3 jars of cinnamon applesauce.

applesauce jars

yeah donewith rice and chickendip chicken

My helpers celebrated with me! Then we had delicious apple sauce topped grilled chicken that everyone enjoyed! My boys dipped their chicken in the applesauce. My hubby and I used it as a glaze. Do whatever suits your fancy!

Share with your family and tell me what you think!

Blessing,

Aubree

The Morning Rush

Has it been awhile since you spent time with God one on one?
Has it been awhile since you spent time with God one on one?

If there was ever a perfect example of why I needed a morning devotional time with God, it was today. The morning rush attacked me this morning, once again. Anybody else out there stressed out in the morning with all that you need to do? I hear you! I think I wake up with instant visions of my ever-growing to-do list and this is why I get preemptively stressed. Is anybody else like that? I don’t choose to be this way – but I immediately see everything that needs to be done and everything that could possibly screw it up before it happens. For this reason, I admit that I have had some days in the past that I completely skipped my morning quiet time with God because I had convinced myself that I was too busy. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but on those days, my patience is nearly non-existent. I yell at the kids and at my hubby out of anger over little things that don’t matter – I definitely do not use my “customer service smile over the phone” at work – and my co-workers probably notice that I am missing my usual ability to smile easily and handle complaints calmly.

Here’s a little peek into the start of my day this morning 1)Wake up – get coffee ASAP! 2)Spend time with God for at least 5 minutes – reading verses and praying – hopefully more like 15 minutes if I didn’t snooze too long 3)Shower and get dressed 4) wake up hubby 5) start packing lunches and getting breakfast out 6) wake up boys  – FEED all of us ASAP (we are a cranky group before we get our coffee (for me) and food!) 7) Clean up spill #1 from my 2.5 year old – thankfully this time it was an accident 8) Remind boys of the routine – again – have hubby pass out meds and give breathing treatment and vitamins – send boys to get dressed and brush teeth  while I attempt to actually do my hair today 9) make sure that daddy and boys don’t have any major wardrobe clashes then get everything done just in the nick of time – uugghhh! I forgot my ½ finished coffee – I’ll get some at work 10) Do make up on the way to work while hubby is driving – didn’t get to brush teeth once again, but I  store a travel toothbrush and toothpaste at work because this is a frequent occurrence. 11)Discuss with hubby how we are going to get our morning routine down better tomorrow – hopefully 12) Get to work with 1 minute to give hubby and boys kisses and walk in the door. 13) Try to hide the stain on my shirt that I just noticed with my ID badge strategic placement (Yes boss, if you are reading this, there is a reason my ID badge is always clipped somewhere on my shirt) 14)Get my hard-earned coffee and try to gulp down before I realize the lid is not secure 14) Proceed with spill #2 down the front of my shirt – well I don’t have to worry about that old stain anymore – the new one covers it nicely 15) Put my hair up in a pony tail that didn’t last long… 16) Thank God for the peace that He gives me that allows me to still smile and sometimes even laugh at myself because I made an effort to thank him this morning and to praise Him for my blessings instead of scrolling on Facebook like I have done so many times in the past when I get my precious alone time.

Some of you may be thinking – “well geez – you only gave God 5-15 minutes”. Yes, that’s correct, and that is all that I am able to give in the morning. However, that is not the only time that I have for God. Have you ever worked in Customer Service of any kind? Some of my deepest and most sincere prayers are silently pleading with God while I handle one more complaint. I also frequently pray while working out on my lunch break – pray that I can make it running 5 more minutes without stopping – pray that I don’t spend the whole time comparing myself to that skinny girl on the next treadmill because if I focus on Him I can remember that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Sometimes I pray while creating a post on my lunch break, such as right now. I pray that someone other than my hubby and my mother will read this so that my voice may reach to other busy working moms out there – other women who doubt their worth – other athletes who sometimes feel unmotivated or unworthy in the gym – other women who sometimes question their purpose – other parents who sometimes wonder if their kids allergies will ever get better – other cooks who sometimes wonder if it is worth all of the time and energy to prepare a homemade meal that the whole family will agree to eat – other Christians who sometimes want to hide in a cave away from the evils of this world. I hear you! I am you or have been you at some point! You know what’s going to get you through that struggle? Time with God! He may not be your best friend right now, but you still have the chance to change that! Time with God is not just one more thing on my to do list – it is what relieves the stress and the pressure of the to do list – so in a way, my time with God determines my view – not just my view of myself – my view of the world. I don’t know where I would be without my God time – but I would be a much bigger mess than I just displayed for you with the start of my day.

Let me know how you are doing with your God Time in the comments below. Feel free to email me at krautfam3@gmail.com for recommendations of good daily devotionals that can keep you on track or good hints to sneak in more God time throughout the day. Whether it’s sticky notes of verses on the bathroom mirror or on your desk at work, or a full-out prayer closet, whatever it takes!

Here’s part of my devotional today that protected me from a bad attitude and a gloomy mental state:

James 1:19: Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

Blessings,

Aubree

Loving the Journey

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When Suffering Smacks You in the Face…

When Suffering Smacks you in the Face - What can you do?
When Suffering Smacks you in the Face – What can you do?

We all dread that call from the school, the one that may leave the parent crying as much or more than the child. I still remember getting the call from my son’s school last Spring, informing me that my 5 year old at the time had fallen off the monkey bars, had landed on another child, had lost two teeth and has a large gash but they are not sure where it is on his face because there is too much blood to tell.  I am normally a calm person, but when you tell me that one of my children is in pain like this, I tend to turn into a raging lunatic / emotional basket-case / deer in headlights, which is not a good condition to be in while driving.  Thankfully, I was blessed with a husband who remains calm in crisis. He was able to go to the school, take him to get checked out, eventually get stitches in his lip, and turn the whole thing into an adventure that ended with ice cream. Don’t you wish that all  pain and suffering could be done in a day and end with ice cream?

Then there are some illnesses or struggles that creep up on us slowly, that started out small and then turned into an unbearable crisis.

This has been a rough couple of years for my family and I. We have had many hospital visits, many allergist visits, many doctor visits, many chiropractor visits and for some things, we are still praying for healing, still trusting in healing. Sometimes it was our youngest son having allergic reactions and severe asthma attacks, once I had to have surgery, and once had a horrible case of the flu, a few times, my husband threw his back out. I will admit. I have sometimes gotten to the point that I wanted to keep my family in a bubble and never come out. However,  I need to remind myself that God never promised that we would have healing the minute we ask for it. He never promised that we would even have complete healing in this life. We live in a broken world, a world with germs, with disease, with allergies, with less than ideal food options, and sometimes, honestly less than ideal finances to purchase the best food options. God did promise us that in this world we would have trouble, but also that HE HAS ALREADY OVERCOME THE WORLD!

So, as I pray for healing for myself, for my children, for my husband, and for many other loved ones off and on as all of the struggles come and go, I will trust in the Healer, trust in the one who made us. I will trust that He sees the big picture. I will trust that He knows what is best in the grand scheme of things. No, I don’t believe that God wants us to suffer, don’t misunderstand me. I do, however, believe that when suffering comes, whether in physical pain, emotional pain, in loss of a loved one, or in other ways, God can use that pain and turn it into something better. He can use it to remind us to trust in Him. He can use it to remind us that He is all we need. He can use it to change me into a better person, a more compassionate, a more loving, a more generous person.
Do you know anyone who is a spoiled brat? Do you know someone who has never had to work hard a single day in his or her life? Do you know anyone who has had life handed to them on a silver spoon? And what do you think of that person’s character? Is he or she a pleasant person to be around? I didn’t think so. Suffering comes in all forms. It can be health, it can be finances, it can be failed relationships, failed jobs or businesses, addictions. You name it, somewhere, someone has suffered through it. But if they went through it, that means it is done. That means there is an end to it, and more than likely, that person is stronger, braver, more compassionate, or has learned something from their suffering.

Let’s make a promise to each other today. Let’s promise to pull together and love on each other when we are going through suffering. Let’s not point fingers, or blame someone, or make up some lame excuse for not helping like “That’s because of their sins”. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Let those with sin, (everyone on this Earth), show compassion, band together, and help each other through our suffering, continue to pray for healing, and continue to grow stronger together.

Blessings,
Aubree

References:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Romans 5:3-4
Jesus Referring to those who wished to stone the woman caught in adultery:
When they kept on questioning him (Jesus), he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7

Getting on the Same Page

 

"So we are all in agreement here, right?"
“So we are all in agreement here, right?”

Getting on the Same Page

The human mind is a wonderful thing, but everyone has one of his or her own and each one interprets things the way it sees fit based on previous experience, genetics, levels of stress, levels of sleep, etc. Let’s take a look into how putting two or more brains together to reach a common goal can be a very messy business….

As co-workers:

I have been working with people on a daily basis and let me tell you what, it is hard to work with the general public in any capacity! Whether it is; sales, education, customer service, bagging groceries, etc., you will interact with a few crazies every now and then. The crazy people are actually not the hardest for me to handle, because I can generally not take offense to what they are saying, I can dismiss it with the thought that “Um, yeah, they’re crazy, it doesn’t matter…” What I get disturbed by is the little mistakes and mishaps and misinterpretations that occur just naturally when you work with a large number of people… the things that I cannot control. Yes, for anyone who reads my posts regularly, I think we have established that I am a control freak…moving on…

In our meetings at work we constantly strive to “get on the same page” and review and explain processes and policies and procedures over and over. While sometimes review meetings can seem boring, there are times when there are about 4 different interpretations of the same policy or procedure, so it is a good thing that we discussed it in further detail and clarified what it means. Many people in the meetings argue that we all have different viewpoints and are not going to see everything the same way. I find myself frequently reminding everyone that policies and procedures in the workplace are not optional, they are required, and if we are not all on the same page, then we need to review them and get on the same page quickly for the sake of our company. Stress levels are higher at work during busy times, of course, so we try to have these conversations during the slow times of the year. This prevents many fist fights in the break room, I’m sure!

As a spouse:

If you are married, I’m sure that you have experienced this with your spouse. My husband and I will have a “budgeting date” (that’s what we call it to fake ourselves into thinking it will be fun and not skipping out:) in which we have to “get on the same page” with our finances and it sometimes turns into heated discussions. Sometimes it is about what to spend money on, sometimes it is just about the pure math of budgeting. I have recently learned that I should not budget on only 6 hours of sleep after a long hard Monday when all I want to do is go back to sleep. I got easily offended when he wanted to double check my work after balancing the checkbook and finding something off between out bank statement and our checkbook. However, I would have probably done the same thing if he was the one balancing the checkbook. I can fully understand, a day later, that he had good intentions and just wanted to balance the budget and get things straight, but in the heat of the moment, when the chocolate had run out and the math was staring me in the face, I got so ticked I wanted to scream at him and prove him wrong. My brain then told me “hey – it must be his fault – he didn’t do his part right – I always do it right”. My heart said “Okay, let’s take a step back, he always has good intentions.” Then my brain told my heart to shut up and leave the room and I started yelling and crying and getting offended at his words and assuming ill-intentions. I know – that escalated quickly right? My husband’s face alerted me to my overreaction instantly.

If you haven’t had a discussion like this with your spouse over budgeting, perhaps it was a different weak point for you. Regardless, it ended up being my fault. I had entered a bill into our checkbook twice which made our numbers in our checkbook off by close to $250 and once we found it, I felt horrible. I am a stubborn woman, so I did not admit that it was all my fault right away. But my husband is a patient man, thank God! He did not fight me about it. He told me that he knows it is stressful for me and that it’s okay to get upset and then work through it together. I melted into a puddle before him and apologized and then went to bed shortly after. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I let my emotions get the best of me? As usual, we reconciled our differences quickly, but I can see how this could have spiraled into a horrible feud due to my stubborn attitude.

As a parent:

Do you remember hearing the phrase “Because I said so!” from your parents as an explanation as to why you are not allowed to do something? I remember this clearly and I remember thinking it was nonsense. I kept thinking “What is so wrong with you telling me the truth? I deserve an answer, for crying out loud!” Well, now I am on the other side, and I have definitely used this phrase more than once. It is so hard to explain to a 2 year old why mommy has to make dinner instead of play cars with him. It is so hard to explain to a 6 year old why sometimes we have to do homework even when we don’t want to. It is so hard to explain to both of them why mommy needs a time out now and then, too, but mommy enjoys time outs and frequently takes chocolate with her to the time out corner. Therefore, sometimes, it is much easier and much more productive to tell both of them “Because I said so” when they ask “why ?” for the 100th time about the same issue. Getting on the Same Page as your child does not always mean that they agree with you. It does mean that you have an understanding that you are the parent and they must obey the rules while in your house, even if they don’t understand the rules. This is good training for teaching them how to submit to a boss in the future. I have learned that I have to choose my battles with my kids so that they will enjoy some time with mommy and not always be fighting with mommy.

If you have a misunderstanding about anything big or small, don’t worry. You have lots of company! We cannot let these little mishaps ruin our families, our work, our relationships, etc. We need to keep reviewing, keep discussing, keep cooperating, and get past the tension until we get on the same page with each other.

Matthew 18:21-23NIV Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.”

Blessings,

Aubree

 

Guacamole – THM – S

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Hey guys,

Who else out there is a big Mexican food fan? Guacamole is one of those big comfort foods for me. I have loved a few different recipes for years but have never attempted to make up my own recipe. I have to admit, that this recipe was a team effort. My hubby and I brainstormed and tested this one several times (which was a bonus – more food for us!) He loves it with sea salt and mashing it all up with a fork, but keeping it chunky. I love it fully blended in a blender to make it nice and smooth, sometimes with cottage cheese, and always with Himalayan pink salt. Try both!

Guacamole – THM – S – Gluten free with dairy free option
2 med avocadoes
3 drops lime oil (or the juice of one or two limes if you do not have lime essential oil)
1/4c chopped onion
1/2c mild salsa
1-2tsp sea salt or Himilayan pink salt (to taste)
Optional: Add a little cottage cheese to taste for more protein and to make it a little creamier. I add this for me, but I make a dairy free option for my son with no cottage cheese and he loves it! Also a few sprigs of Cilantro make a big difference if you are a mexican food fan!

Choosing a ripe, but not too ripe Avocado can get tricky, but you will learn how they feel after a few attempts. They are slightly soft when ripe, so if you purchase them a day or two ahead of time, choose some that are still hard and need a couple of days to ripen!

Perfectly ripe Avocado!
Perfectly ripe Avocado! Slice the Avocado in half going around the pit, then pull apart. Save the pit, though – it keeps the guacamole fresher in the fridge!
Squeezing out the goodness!
Squeezing out the goodness! You don’t need a spoon, just use the skin to squeeze out the good stuff right into your blender!
All ready to blend up in the Ninja! Hiya!
All ready to blend up in the Ninja! Hiya!

If you are following the Trim Healthy Mama plan, make sure that you choose a no sugar added salsa if you are not making your own.  We like Pace mild salsa because it is Gluten free and two of us in my family have to eat Gluten free.
Mix all well either in a blender for a very creamy texture or just mashed in a bowl with a fork if you prefer it lumpy. Enjoy with veggies (we love green and yellow peppers with it), the cheese chips approved on the THM plan, or another plan approved cracker or chip for an S setting. Serves 2-3 people and try to eat it up within 1-2 days to keep it fresh!

If you are not familiar with Trim Healthy Mama and would like to find out more, please see my review at: Trim Healthy Mama: Death to Dieting and visit my affiliate link to Trim Healthy Mama found in that post.