Thursday, March 15, 2012

I'm Back in the Saddle Again

I'm jumping on the bandwagon people! I'm gonna do it! I've begun to enter the Brave New World of...

Duh duh duh Duh! duh DUH!

Crock-Pot Cooking combined with Freezer Meals!

I've been trying to eat healthier along with my 5K training. I've lost (a bit of ) weight before, and I can say that the easiest way to lose weight is to have a limb amputated. If that's not working for you, then try watching what you eat and exercising more. Like, duh.

So I've been scouring the country via Food Blogs, looking for some great recipes and ideas on how to be better prepared so that I can have healthy, tasty meals ready to go.  I've seen a lot of great ideas for freezer meals and using your crock pot.

The first up is one that I kind of just made up. I call it Chicken-Onion-Carrot -(fill in the blank with appropriate adjective here). It was really simple as it was just chicken, onions and carrots (surprising, no?). If you like those three ingredients, then you'll love this. If you don't like those ingredients, then, go eat a burger.

Bill gave it a 4/10 and ate about 1/3 of a carrot. It wasn't really his thing. (I'm sure he would have rather been eating a burger.)

Taya gave it a 10/10, but I think that's just because I made it. Although T does love chicken and carrots. And she ADORES rice. I served this with a side of yellow rice (rice cooked in the rice cooker with some chicken base - super yum!).

I made up several of these freezer meals Monday - just cut up a bunch of ingredients (we did mostly carrots and onions), add some chicken or beef (or other meats) and whatever else that goes along with that recipe.

Sorry, no pictures of the final product. I'll get better at this ... promise. 

Here's the recipe:

Chicken (enough to feed your fam)
Carrots (1-2 cups - cut up however you like them)
Onions (1 chopped into chunks - that way if someone doesn't like onions they can just take them out)
salt and pepper

Place in crock pot and cook on low for around 6-7 hours. I didn't add any water to it, and it was fine. The chicken was a little dry, but boneless, skinless chicken breast has a tendency to be dry without any added moisturizer (don't we all?), but some people (like my mom!) like their poultry dry. 

Bill's padres came over last night and finished off the rest and they really liked it, so I guess it was a half-n-half hit. Also, when they came they brought me an early birthday present!

Yippee!! I had really wanted a crock pot with one that would switch to "keep warm" when it was finished cooking.  I've got some Teriyaki chicken cooking away in it now, so stay tuned for that recipe! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Personal Trainer

"It's ok, mommy! It's like walking, only faster. Well, a little faster." This is what I heard as my little 7-year-old sweetheart started encouraging me today during my training. I have now been training for 5 weeks for the 5K, and am just now beginning Week 3 of the Couch to 5 K program (warm-up for 5 minutes, jog for 90 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, jog for 3 minutes!, walk for 3 min., repeat, cool down). I did this once in my classroom circuit and was amazed that I was able to sustain the jog for 3 minutes, but I did (not a big deal to some, ahem, many). I asked T if she wanted to come with me, and she did. It was because of her that I was able to finish today. Just as it was getting really difficult, I told her I needed help. She put her small hands on my back and began to push me along. I could go faster then. It wasn't as difficult. I didn't feel as much fatigue and discomfort. She gave me the strength I needed to continue forward.

I don't know how He does it, but I know that Heavenly Father knows what we need. He knows what is best for us. I'm so glad that we put our trust in Him 6 years ago when we decided that we wanted to adopt. We prayed (a lot!) that we would know the path He wanted us to take. We did our best to find that path, and I knew that as long as we were willing, and hoping, and trying to do our best that He would guide us. And He did - right to our little Sweet T. She is such a wonderful little girl, and we are so blessed to have her in our home.

I know that when I cross the finish line of my first 5K, my little Personal Trainer will be waiting for me, cheering me on like nobody else.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Run, Leslie! Run! has been awhile. I had forgotten what it felt like to write a blog post. Considering I haven't written anything in  several months, I probably don't have any readers. That's ok.

I have decided that I want to run a 5K. This is a big deal. It is a REALLY big deal. In school, I could never run the 1-mile run that we were supposed to do each year in P.E. I always started out running, but about 10 or 15 feet in, I had hit my wall and would start walking. I was ALWAYS the last person to cross the finish line. ALWAYS.

I was also always a chubby kid growing up. I could never sit with my knees pulled up to my chest, or make it across the monkey bars, or do a cartwheel. I have many fond memories of fantasizing about not being fat. I remember I once thought how awesome it would be to lose a bunch of weight and wear a fat suit while I was doing it, and then just show up one day - skinny. Somehow, I always thought that would show all the mean kids. Like I would somehow be getting back at them. Vengeance is mine!

So this is where I find myself, at age 31, out of shape and overweight, but none of that is new. I have now had a few sessions of Couch-to-5K (C25K), and so far, well, at least I'm not dead. I just keep telling myself over and over again - I can do this. I can do this. I can do hard things. As I'm jogging around the makeshift track I made out of desks in my tiny classroom, I'm telling myself this IS possible.

Here are the reasons I have previously believed this was NOT possible:

1. I'm out of shape.
2. I have plantar fasciitis. And heel spurs. And crooked metatarsals.
3. I'm about 100 pounds overweight. (shhhhh, that one's a secret)

I've tried to come up with other (physical) reasons why I could not do this, and there really aren't any. They are all psychological

So what am I going to do about it?

Here are the reasons that this HAS TO BE possible:

1. I'm out of shape - so what? What better way to get in shape than by DOING IT??
2. Losing weight will take care of most of my foot (feet?) problems (except take care of the fact that they are ugly, and that I have crooked bones).
3. Duh. If I want to lose weight, I have to do this.

So here I am on day 4 of C25K.

I am going to do this.

I CAN do this.

I WILL do this.

.......So I should probably get rid of the talking cookies in the background, eh?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

RT 2011: Part 2 Texas

Yeeeee-HAWWW! Here we are in Texas, the land of the free and the home of my birth. In church on Sunday a lady mentioned in her testimony that Texas was the best state. Only in Texas do you get so much state pride. In fact, when I had Texas History in school here, I thought everyone in the country took it. Our time in Austin was wonderful. We spent good, quality time with Bill's sister, Jamie and her family. Jamie's husband, Dallas is a dentist and he checked out Taya's teeth and gave her a thorough cleaning.

 I thought it was really nice of him to do that, and it was cool seeing him in action. He wore some kind of glasses while he did that….can't remember what they were called…whirly-gigs maybe? no, that's not it…opticlas? I dunno. 

Our first morning there we went to Round Rock donuts. The gods of fried-dough-drenched-in-warm-sugar-glaze has definitely given this place their blessing. I don't know if I would have even been able to say - ENOUGH! - so luckily we didn't go for a whole dozen and each got our own donut, er, donuts. The only problem was that they have no indoor seating, so we ate them outside at a concrete picnic table and it was SO HOT.

(Hmmmm, maybe the dentist pictures should come AFTER the donut pictures....)

 After that we went to IKEA. I love love love IKEA. It's probably good that they don't have one too close to us, because I would be going there all the time. I was not sure how the kids were going to do there, but they had a blast! Jamie gave them each a paper measuring tape and they went through the store measuring everything, including the arrows on the floor. I think I've convinced Bill to take me to the closest iKEA we have - in Atlanta. I think the phrase "let's go to a Braves game while we're there" really won him over. 

One night we went to Rudy's - a really great Bar-B-Q restaurant with a gas station attached (which somehow makes it that much cooler). 

(I love this picture! Andy has a FIRM hold on Taya, but she just kept on smiling!)

It was really good food that comes in a plastic tray with butcher paper. They give you several pieces of white bread with which to eat your meat, and you order sides to go with it. We got the cream(ed) corn and it was really good. It was kind of like a thin custard with some corn in it. Super rich. Super good.

We had some authentic Mexican food the next day along with some horchata, which is a refreshing, sweetened rice drink, which usually has nutmeg. Kind of like the taste of rice pudding, but without the pudding...or the rice. It's been awhile since I've had some good authentic horchata

We really enjoyed our visit with Jamie and Dallas. They have great games and we had a great time playing with them. Many memories are built around game play. 

(I have to explain this. We played a pictionary-type game. The topic was hairstyles. Bill was the artist. Can you guess what they were? 1.) braid 2.) bald 3.) spikey 4.) ponytail 5.) afro (?!) 6. crew cut or buz cut (I can't remember) 7.) bun 8.) (this is the best!) BEEHIVE!! Bill did a great job because Dallas got all of them!)

Jamie and I were talking about how the little things that people say sometimes make the biggest impression on us. I remember Dallas telling me once that his mom would go and "inspect" after he had completed a chore, and that really made an impression on me. So I do that with Taya now. I also go and check out what she has done, and I think that makes her feel a sense of accomplishment and she knows I'm going to check out what she's done, so she wants to do a great job (at least that's what I tell myself is happening).

Here are a few more pictures of our fun time in Texas:

Sweet faces!

Yes, they were praying. I just had to take the picture - they were so sweet!

Having fun destroying our bed after church.

Tug O' War

Flying kids!

Ready for the pool!

Dinner at Rudy's.

According to Dr. Dal (and my dad) lemons aren't really good for your teeth...but every once in awhile a little extra citrus never hurts anyone.


Anyone else think of Sasquatch?


 There's just something about that pose...

She slept like this the ENTIRE night one night...I guess stuffed animals make great pillows!

Taya LOVED playing with Caleb! They made many Lego masterpieces.

At the pool.

Another Lego masterpiece.

Jamie making funny faces with Andy. He would mock what she did and said. Super cute!

Waiting for Uncle Doctor Dallas! I loved this giant tooth they had as a chair!

We left Texas and headed towards Roswell, New Mexico. There was just something memorizing about the landscape. It's kind of hilly, and really pretty, in a different sort of way. There was one little town that we went through that has pecan orchards. I wish we would have stopped to get some, but we went through so quickly that I didn't realize it was be so cool.

As I was looking out the window at the cows on the side of the road and it reminded me of something my dad said once. It might have actually been his father or his grandfather who actually said it. He said that a cow can have a huge open field of the greenest, sweetest grass and on the other side of the fence is a desolate field. But if there is a hole in the fence somewhere the cow will find it and go to the other side - without the grass - just because they can (and they are stupid). I wonder how many times we go through the hole in the fence just because we can. 

We went through San Angelo (where I was born) so that I could look around the town that I grew up in. We got lots of pictures. Although it was SUPER DUPER hot, and I think Taya was kind of bored, I'm glad we went because I found out they are going to be tearing down part of one of my elementary schools pretty soon. I got to walk around it a bit and take some pictures. It was just how I remembered, but just a little bit smaller. It's funny how certain memories stick in your head about certain spaces. I was surprised that I didn't recognize more places, but it has really changed since we were there - it has been 20 years after all. 

We got shaved ice one day in Round Rock, and it came with a paper umbrella. Taya liked to wear it in her hair like a flower, and she did until it just fell apart.

Texas is THIS big!

One of the streets

The former home of the BEST pizza place EVER - Shakey's!! They had really good pizza and these round fried potatoes called Rojos. Even the ketchup was special - it seemed to have a little kick to it. This is also where my love for salad in little wooden bowls came from.

I'm standing in front of the little apartment my parents lived in when I was born. Theirs was the top, corner apartment.

Our church building.

My first grade classroom!

The house we lived in.

The Concho River

The hospital where Ben (and maybe Alli) was born.

Our favorite Mexican restaurant.

We had a GREAT time in Texas!

Next stop - Roswell, NM (with a little visit to the UFO Museum) and Arizona!