I decided to start writing at another spot. My friend recently suggested I write devotions with a horse theme. Which got me thinking. I thought it would be a great idea to start a fresh blog. I plan to write some devotions, post pictures, share journal entries, and some of this and that from life here on the ranch. I really do hope you will visit with me and follow along at my new place.
Several months ago I fell of my horse and it was a real eye opener for me as to just how out of shape I was. I had maybe 15 extra pounds on and very little muscle. I had very sore aching joints all the time. Constant headaches and stomach aches. I just got so busy with everything that I had way to many excuses and exercise really sat at the bottom of the pile of things to do. You know right next to ironing!! I seemed to think that working out had something to do with just looking good in a bikini. I had forgotten about the real reason for exercise and that is for overall health, strength, endurance and energy. You know that extra special umph or vibrance to life.
I would not suggest falling off a horse, but sometimes I guess we need a little jump start to get us going. So far I have been able to keep it up. And what keep it up means to me might not look the same to someone else. When I started this journey it began with much prayer, fasting and a Whole30 back in November. When I finished the Whole30 I kept to clean eating and lots of fresh air and exercise, which got me through the holidays for the first time ever not gaining weight.
And so here I am in February just checking in with myself to see where I am at.
I was doing quite a bit of trail running in December and January but I have tapered off that since I was just experiencing way to much hip and joint pain. So I have cut down on running and have found other types of workouts that are not quite so hard on the joints.
I have been sticking with IF which is Intermittent Fasting. I think this is such a great tool for maintaining weight. I really like the FAST5 approach. The basics of it is really just giving your body to time rest and digest your food. For the FAST5 you pick a 5 hour window in which you do all your eating like 12-5 ....I get pretty close to this. I like to not eat anything after 6 or 7pm and I don't start eating until 12 the next day. It has done wonders for all my stomach upsets. I don't count calories and I don't like to weigh myself. I really think when you eat healthy and strive to be active you don't have to do this sort of micro managing with your body.
This was my workout today I found it on the internet. I pulled out the BOSU. The BOSU is like half an exercise ball on a black flat disc. It is a fun piece of equipment to have you can really boost up your workouts with it. Especially if you workout at home and you do not have a lot of room to move around. My workouts lately revolve around the words Change it Up! everyday I do something different. The most important thing is to get your body moving everyday. No excuses. You can find so many workouts on the internet they are all over Instagram and Pinterest. That you really could do a new workout everyday if you wanted.
(image of google images....)
I have been taking this whole being healthy thing one day at a time. Some days I feel like I do really great and other days I see that I still have things I need to work on. I am really looking forward to checking back in here in a few months to see where I am at. I think the most important thing to do is to Keep it up! Keep making healthy choices and keep your body moving. I think we should never make excuses as to why we shouldn't be healthy. Who cares about how we look in a bikini. We should care more about how our bodies feel. We should always pick the healthiest choice available and never settle for less. So everyday we can live a life that is us being the Best we can Be!! You can make it as complicated as you want but I try to keep it simple. All you have to do is the best you can and God will meet you where you are at!
The LORD bless you, and keep you; The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.
I have 2 left so it's not to late if you are interested they are 10$ each and 100% of the proceeds go to the Jesus Mission. You can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
With love in the air I decided to decorate, give me a pack of pink and red cardstock, some scissors, and jute twine. Stand back and watch me get fancy!!
We had a chilly touch of winter here in Southern California so everyone is hanging out around the fireplace.
Hope it is warm and toasty wherever you find yourself this week~
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
Winter here has been very warm and very dry. It has not really seemed like winter at all. That was until today. It looks like winter has decided to sneak out just for a little bit. Our skies are cloudy and the air has a little bit of a chill to it. The horses are feeling frisky from the cool air. The weather forecast says rain, but I will believe that when I see it.
Here are some snapshots of life from our little ranch. These are all iphone 4S photos. I really need to make a date with my actual camera and work on my photography. But you know what I have this long to do list in my head of I should do this or I should be doing that. And honestly I have just been trying to do a lot of enjoying life around here. Enjoying spending time with my son who will be starting college so soon. Enjoying my daughter who is just growing like a weed. Enjoying my son and his silly puppy that has just as much quirky character as him. Enjoying the horses and how beautiful they are. Enjoying my husband and his new job that does not have him traveling any more. Sometimes it is good to have goals to look forward to, and sometimes it is good to just enjoy life while it is happening.
The little worries which we meet each day
May lie as stumbling blocks across our way
Or we make them stepping stones to be
Of grace, O Lord to Thee…
Wishing you a February filled with stepping stones….
I stumbled on a blog called the Nesting Place and really fell in love with a little event a few blogs are having this year it is called the Unword of The Year 2014
I am a day behind this but I thought I would share...basically the idea is you claim a word for the year and this word would be something that you are actually rejecting or something that you are not.
It is a word that you are going to claim as not belonging to you.
Words are powerful and how we use them towards ourselves and others shape who we are and who we become. The worst part about unwords in particular is they can even become a hindrance in our Christian walk. These are the words that we often use to describe ourselves that are just not true. Sometimes the word can even be an area of growth that we are struggling with.
My word for 2014 is Unforgiving. That last few months I have been dealing with a few wrongs against me from other people. And I had not realized that I had been harboring a spirit of being unforgiving until my husband brought up one of the people I had an issue with and I literally started shouting in a rage. I am Italian so I am sure you can see wild hand gestures and maybe even a shaking fist in the air added to the theatrics of the event.
My husband was shocked by my anger and corrected me in a most loving way that was much needed. I soon realized I had some bitterness taking root and honestly I was very glad God had brought it to my attention. Even if my outward behavior spoke differently. As hard as it was to see this ugliness towards these people I had seemed to embrace and let take root, I was glad to get a glimpse of this area in my life that needs some work. It is important that we deal with ourselves in areas where we need growth. Sometimes even if we don't want to or feel like it, there are times in life that we need a long look in the mirror. If not to be aware of what we are doing then maybe even more importantly to remember who we are.
So this year I look forward to really focusing on Forgiveness knowing that this is the person I truly am, and turning circumstances over to God rather than keeping them in my pot to stew on. And I will be throwing the Unforgiving business out the window because that is just not who God created me to be...
If you like to journal, feel free to join me in the Unword of 2014. I will be tucking this word into my journal as a reminder to seek out forgiveness and I will be leaning on the Lord for the strength to do so.
And just remember We are Forgiven in Christ Jesus so while we might discover some things about ourselves along our journey we need not walk around with sour faces and a spirit of condemnation. Our burdens we hand over to the Lord, our confidence is not found in ourselves it is found in Christ Jesus. "Be confident in this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will preform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
and lastly here is some of the Word taken from Ephesians 2 that I found really encouraging I hope you find it encouraging as well...
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.All of us also lived among them at one time,gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
I really liked this picture that I borrowed from the Nesting Place and its so true... If your on the wrong path get off!! Need to make some changes in your life? There is no time better than right Now!
What changes are you making in your life in 2014 please share I would love to hear.
Thankfully back in November I decided to make a bunch of changes in my life and I was able to dodge having to make any resolutions this year. Everyday I am trying to make good choices and establish healthy habits for myself. If anything this year my hope is really to take all these changes I made and get so used to them that they just become habitual and I will no longer need to think about making the right choices it will just happen. So instead of grabbing cookies I will grab a piece of fruit instead. And instead of fooling around on facebook I will pick up my bible and study and write.
I have been trying to be really consistent with my journal writing everyday. I have been keeping everything in there from bible studies to a food diary and even an exercise log. It is amazing to see what you are doing written on paper in front of you. I highly recommend it. It is a really helpful tool when you are trying to make changes you can see more clearly where your having trouble. But then you can also turn it around and see where you are doing good.
I think in 2014 one thing I would like to do is to get to know myself better so here is a list of my favorites here in January. I think a great way to get to know yourself is to look at the things that you like and love. So below you will find a list of some of things I <3 right now. And I will of course leave you with some pictures of life around this little ranch.
I hope your resolutions are going well for you so far and I hope you reach above and beyond what you dream for this year.
My husbands butternut squash soup ( I eat this like every day for lunch:)
Horse back riding in the afternoon with my kids
Anthropologie Vanilla perfume because I love smelling like a cupcake
My clay heart necklace that I made, I wear it everyday
Trail running it makes me feel like a kid again
Saturday morning hikes with my husband I look forward to this all week long.
Doing any sort of art or sewing with my daughter.
Janette Oke books and movies
Grande Decaf Americano at Starbucks (black no room for cream)
The new banana bread recipe I found (will share it later)
My skinny cord jeans and gray workout T shirt I wear these way to often!
Paleo Banana Bread Recipe
2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup raw virgin coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
3 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
bake at 160 C they suggest a loaf pan but I use a square pan instead. I cook it until it just starts to brown a little on the edges and top.
I also like to add 1/4 cup of enjoy life mini chocolate chips they are grain and dairy free. You can get them at any health food store. I love this treat no added sugar, no grain, no nuts, no dairy and surprisingly it is quite sweet. Great with a warm cup of coffee. I like it best after it has chilled in the fridge.
I am also selling these clay heart necklaces in my shop. They are 10$ and 100% of the proceeds go to the Jesus Mission www.jesusmission.in This special place in India takes in orphans and helps widows. So if you know a sweetheart that needs something special or you would like something special for yourself check these out. It really is a gift that gives back and a very sweet token to wear near your heart to remember and pray for those in need.
It's amazing to see how much the kids and our ranch has grown over this year!! We probably could have squeezed the Alpacas in the picture, but then I figured I was really pushing my luck as it is trying to get 5 people, 3 horses, and 2 dogs looking in the same direction.
I am not sure if this counts as little changes or big changes...My son for Christmas asked the dreaded question, can I get a puppy? We shockingly said yes. You see our middle son does not ride horses and since our other 2 children have horses and he doesn't we decided to grant his Christmas wish. He has agreed to take good care of it and handle all of the responsibilities as well as help pay for it. The only thing I asked was that he would go to the local animal shelter first and look and see the dogs there that needed homes before he went out and bought a puppy. And he did but this turned out to be a bigger mistake for me as you will see in a moment. My son spent some time with several dogs but unfortunately all the medium sized dogs were pit bulls and they all had restrictions on them. Things like can't be with other pets, not good around children. But I was so glad that he did try to make that work. I thought it showed real maturity in his decision making.
I on the other hand lacked maturity and was immediately love smitten with a little Chihuahua that had been repeatedly brought back to the pound. She seemed to have such a nice personality my daughter and I could not figure out why she was there. Well I learned a few things about animal shelters. They are not always upfront. They also do not always provide good care to their animals.
We brought her home and we all felt really good about it. She is an older dog she gets along really well with our dogs, and surprisingly she does not bark at all, she is quiet as a mouse.
I brought her right to the vet the next day to get her checked out to see what this little girl's story is. She is about 8 years old, and the Vet gave us some not very good news. Apparently she has a heart murmur. We were sad to hear this but also shocked as to why the Animal Shelter did not inform us of this? We weren't sure what to do at this point. The Vet went on and on about expensive treatments and seeing a cardiologist and I got really stressed out, I thought wow maybe we will have to bring her back to the pound and maybe that is why see keeps ending up back there. The Vet suggested treatments that were in the thousands of dollars.
But after talking to family and friends we made the decision that she would stay with us and we won't do any expensive testing and procedures we will just let her be. She is not showing and signs or symptoms at this time. We will love on her and take good care of her and I think this is a good option, rather then send her back to the pound where her days are numbered anyways. You never know what the future holds, her little ticker might hang on. She also has very dirty teeth but the Vet did not recommend putting her under to clean them because of her heart, so we are brushing frequently in hopes to break up all the plaque built up on them. And then she also has bad knees on her back legs they slip out of socket but again she is not having any problems with them at this time. You can really see that this is the result of bad breeding. And I definitely need to get a second opinion on her we were not happy with how our other dog Lucy's surgery went so we had planned on finding a new Veterinarian anyways.
It is a wonderful thing though to see her sitting in the sun next to the window sleeping on top of the couch. Instead of in a wire pen on a cement floor with 3 other dogs. And it sure does bring a lot of Joy to our family. Oh and I almost forgot her name is Bella she came with that name so we will keep that for her.
That being said Liam is still getting a puppy so expect some cute and cuddly photos soon. Our Ranch is going to be bursting at the seams!!
another little change…
My Bedroom was a hot mess!! We have this older bed set that barely fits in our room. And every night I have to squeeze next to the wall to get into bed, and ugh it just felt messy, cramped, and cluttered.
So much so I don't even let friends go in there or even see it!!
It was time for some change. I cleaned out my clothes donated a bunch of stuff and I was able to take out that huge dresser freeing up some much needed space.
I got some very inexpensive dressers at Ikea that I was able to put right inside my closet.
So I did not lose much storage space but I gained some very nice uncluttered space in my bedroom.
I decided to take my bed and center it in the wall. And then I had enough room to put a table on either side of the bed. Now I have room for my clock and a lamp and my books. Just amazing what a little change can do!
Well here is the after picture. I also uncluttered the wall as well and changed what I hung up. I got some inexpensive frames printed out our Christmas photos and hung those up.
What do you think?? I love it, I can't believe how different the room feels. Sometimes just a few little changes can make such a huge difference. I am no longer embarrassed by my bedroom and I have a nice little uncluttered retreat to sneak off to and read, or blog. I feel like I should be inviting people over and leaving the door open HAHAHA!
Well that should just about get you all caught up around here…I am off to go and get caught up on your blogs I hope you are staying dry and warm and enjoying your winter so far...
From our Family to yours have a Very Merry Christmas!!
I am loving December. It has been very cool here so we are getting a splash of winter. The other day when I went outside in the morning to go for a run it was 37 degrees. I could pretend I was back in Canada. I was even able to pull out my big wool sweater that says Canada and has a maple leaf on it.
Now if only I had some Tim Hortons coffee.
So here's a what we have been up to in a nutshell...
We had a great Thanksgiving with just our family, Adrian made a BBQ turkey this year. We have gone on some great hikes, Noah took his SAT, we found our Christmas tree, I made apple butter in the crockpot for the first time (which I am now completely addicted to! I can't get enough of it!!), Homeschooling, and well we have just been enjoying the end of fall here as we get ready for a Southern California winter.
We have also had the opportunity to volunteer several times this month. We volunteered with Homeless Connect and with Angel Tree. Both are great ways to serve people in our community in a way that makes a big difference in their lives.
I have also been having fun with the my Pre~K class at church on Sundays we have been busy the last few weeks making Christmas Ornaments and this past week we decorated a Gingerbread House. It was so funny to watch them decorate it. They had a very hard time picking up a candy and sticking it on the house. It seemed to go straight toward their mouths before it went in the direction of house. They had to use their will power to get the candies on there! That is exactly how I feel when you put a plate of cookies in front of me Ha!!
There are some great devotionals for this month with the bible app from You Version. I am not advertising this I just thought I would share with you haha even though I sound like an ad.
If you haven't tried out this app on your smart phone, ipad, or android device, you might want to check it out. I do love just reading my regular leather bound bible that is all highlighted and written in, but the new bible apps they have are really great as well. And you can find lots of great study tools on them. I really enjoy the studies from She Reads Truth you can find a link for them at the top of my blog. But I encourage you to try them out to freshen up your studies. I think I will still reach for my favorite bible often. But I really do enjoy the way the apps have enriched my time spent in the word.
There is a Japanese Proverb that says
One kind word can warm someone for 3 months of winter.
May your December be filled with the giving and receiving of many kind words