Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Trying Again

Remember last summer when I got tested for gluten sensitivity and did all that research and diet modification only to find out I didn't need to? You can read about it here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.


So, I still follow a few blogs from that adventure in eating, and entered a giveaway for a book called, "The Gluten Effect: how "innocent" wheat is ruining your health." Surprise! I won a copy of the book! I thought, what the hey, I'll do a little reading about it. It's written by two doctors. Admittedly, they are both chiropractors - and I am NOT a believer in chiropractic medicine - but I didn't know that until after I received the book. I decided to read it anyway, since both of these people did go to medical school, and know vastly more than I do about the inner workings of the human body. What I found was a very convincing scientific explanation of what is happening in my gut. They claim that many many many common conditions can be improved or cured by eliminating gluten from the diet. Let me list a few that might interest you:

-Digestive problems
-Autism, ADD, ADHD
-Irritable Bowel Syndrome
-Thyroid disorders
-Depression (really?! yes!)
-Obesity and weight gain
-Skin problems
-Memory loss

A long and spread out list, huh? At first my thought was, "Riiiiight. Blame it all on wheat." But then I started reading. And I was convinced, again. I knew I felt a little better last summer when I cut gluten out for two weeks. But the human mind forgets quickly. I've been slipping lately also with my diary intake, as in, I've been eating way too much of it, and crossing that tolerance threshold often. Last week I cut back on that, only having dairy in items that are cooked or highly processed. I know from dealing with dairy for years that I can handle it in those forms, but I don't feel better yet.

I've been chiding myself for weeks now to go off gluten again, ever since reading the book. But I questioned myself. "what about all the food in the pantry? Can't throw it out" "Gluten free food is expensive, and we live on a budget so tight you can see through it" "I'll start tomorrow, right after I eat this gloriously buttery yeast roll." Excuses, excuses.

I made the decision earlier this week to phase out the gluten again. I can't go cold turkey, mostly because my pantry and freezer are full of things that need to be eaten, and then replaced with a gluten free alternative. I've been avoiding eating gluten-y foods, but still cooking them for the others. I'm not going to make the family go gluten free (yet!! hahahahaaaaa evil laugh) although I wonder if Caleb's constipation issues would improve if he did.

Today I stopped by the local grocery store (if you can call Drug Emporium that) that carries gluten free products and picked up three different bread mixes and one pizza crust mix. My two favorite forms of gluten: bread and pizza dough (yes, also bread. I love bread, which is why this is so hard!). Tomorrow I'm going to bake at least two of those loaves of bread and compare them. I hope to get all three made, so I can do a proper taste test. I can't wait!

Also, in my quest to make my guts happier, I'm going to limit myself on (gulp) Dr. Pepper.

It'll be good. I can handle it. .................... raawwwwwrrrrrr .......................

If anyone is interested in reading the book, I'd be happy to lend it to you. Just shoot me an email or leave a comment on this post.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


So, I'm sitting at the sewing machine, maniac-ing away at a buttonhole-- which, with my new machine is so easy that I'm basically just holding the fabric flat while the machine does all the work-- and my mind starts to wander. Happens pretty regularly. Here is the order of my thoughts. Where is the dog? I haven't heard or seen her in a while. She's probably laying on the rug by the garage door, her usual spot. There's the fridge, Ooooh, it looks so black and shiny and clear of all magnets, how pretty! Then, my mind goes inside the fridge, and I take a mental inventory.. two bottles of ketchup, two grape jellys, mustard, two jars of garlic, rice milk, pizza sauce... DR. PEPPER!!!!!! MUST DRINK A DR. PEPPER RIGHT THIS INSTANT!!!!!!

And that, people, is when you know you have a problem.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

crazy hair girl

After Carly's bath earlier this week:

And then she stuck her finger in a socket! All caught on camera! I joke, I joke.

Assume Nothing

One of the most memorable lessons I learned in college was not so much of a lesson, but an illustration. On one of the first days of class my business professor, who also happened to be the dean of the business college, wrote one word on the white board.


He then drew two vertical lines down the middle of the word, separating it into three parts.

His explanation was simple. "When you assume, you make an ____ of __ and ___."

I can't even tell you how important this piece of simple advice is. The people we know, the people we think we know, the people we don't know. Making assumptions is a natural thing that our imaginations must do in times of idleness. We see things, people, situations, with only partial vision, without knowing the full story. So naturally, we assume to fill in the blanks in our minds. Not a good idea. It brings undue judgment, misunderstanding, broken relationships, embarrassment, and shame upon you and the person you assume about. So the next time you think you see something, you think you know something, how about just leave it alone?

Assume nothing.

*Of course, this absolutely does not apply to situations involving possible danger, abuse, etc. If you failed to do something proactive about that, you would need to check and see if there truly is a heart within your chest. Just sayin.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Me, as a bullet list

Edit: I have read, re-read, and re-read this post before I decided to publish it. Please know that I mean to cause no offense, hurt feelings, to "type between the lines" or convey any hidden messages in my words. It's me being honest and open. It's just me. And as you will soon find out, I'm uncomfortable with it. This was very hard for me to share, but I really felt I needed to. Couldn't tell you why.

I'm so proud that my blog has 16 followers. All of them I know personally, but all are from a different stage in my life. Some I haven't seen in years, some I just saw tonight. Some I know from college, some from childhood, some from church in another town, and others are in my daily social circle. And as different as all of those 16 (and I know there are more who read), people are, they all know different things about me, see different sides of me, have different memories of me, and think they know me. But I started thinking today, no one person in this world truly knows me. Many may think they do, and many know parts of me, and some may not know anything except what I publish here. So in honor of my followers, readers, friends, and acquaintances, here is a bullet list for you.

~ I was born in Tyler, grew up here, left here for college, married a boy from here, and said I would never come back. Then I had kids, and everything changed. Most of my family lives here, which translates to grandparents, which translates to HELP, and free babysitting. I am blessed.

~ I went to Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, AR. I went there for one year, and then got married. We moved to Austin, TX after that and I finished school at Concordia University. But I still have fond memories of that tiny little campus in the middle of a field surrounded by Arkansans who thought we were crazy for going to school so far from home.

~When I finished school in Austin, we couldn't wait to get out of that city. It is home for some people, and it isn't for some people. It wasn't for us. We moved to Fort Worth, TX, close to my mom and extended family. Both of our kids were born there, and we had a good three-ish years there. But home was still calling us, and it wasn't there either.

~ I have partial high school amnesia. Or maybe it could be called selective memory. High school was bad for me. I went to a great school and had great friends, and great activities going on, but it was hard. My family fell apart during those years and I learned the hard way how to cope with tragedy and anger. It's more than any child should have to bear, and sometimes I feel cheated out of my childhood. My siblings and I grew up too quickly and still carry the baggage from those years. I don't say this make anyone feel guilty, or to place blame. It's just part of who I am.

~ My husband is the complete polar opposite from me. Except when he is exactly like me. The necessary qualities I lack, he possesses. And what he needs, I have. There are qualities we both don't have, and there are things we both have. It's an amazing relationship with so many intricacies that no human matchmaker could ever find. And for that, I praise God. And I also thank God in advance for preparing spouses for my children in the same way. I may grumble and complain sometimes, (yes, I do that) but there is no one who completes my soul and heart like my beloved.

~ Believe it or not, I am not a very emotional person. In some ways, I can be, but mostly I have a hard time connecting with people on a level where I can share emotions. In fact, situations that call for appropriate amounts of emotion (the women know what I mean here!) make me extremely uncomfortable. I do okay in small groups with close-knit friends and prayer warriors, but in larger groups I get nervous, and almost always say something stupid, strange, or otherwise awkward. I deflect emotion by inserting humor. I'm learning to deal with this, and this process has been painful.

~ Things that make me cry are: music, happy memories that I wish I could relive, feeling judged or misunderstood. I take myself a little too seriously, and when someone tells me or insinuates that I am not good enough, it upsets me deeply. Then it just makes me angry.

~ I absolutely detest drama. I don't understand it. It's pointless and exhausting. Women are notoriously bad about this, and it makes me ashamed to be a woman sometimes. With drama comes conflict. Conflict makes me physically ill. So naturally, I avoid it.

~ I think people get a wrong impression that I am organized, put-together, and good at time management. In reality, I am a terrible housekeeper, a huge time-waster, and not very good at paying bills on time, answering phone calls or emails, or remembering to attend events that I signed up for. And since I can't work on every aspect of my life at once, I am working on the housekeeping thing. That's enough for my little brain to handle.

~ I have a very deep spiritual relationship. So deep that I can't even put it into words. I think thoughts that make so much sense to my soul, but my mouth cannot put words to them. It's like Jesus and I have our own language-- the unspoken language of understanding. And I'm realizing that as I get older and my relationship grows, it gets even deeper and even harder to explain. Which is, perhaps, God's way of keeping my heart his own. I can't share those thoughts with anyone else, so I treasure those things. Hide them in my heart. Commune with Him in the secret, quiet place that is my soul. Strange to some, maybe. But I think I know what it means to hide his word in my heart (Psalm 119:11). His word is alive, and he IS the word, so therefore, he is IN my heart. (John 1:1-2) I'm not saying that I feel like I have "arrived" spiritually. I haven't, and never will. I'm saying I know Jesus, and he dwells within my being. It is the greatest gift I've ever been given.

Hmmm. I can't really top that last one. I'm a complex person, just like you, and everyone else. I have sides, I have layers, I have a shell. I'm a paradox. I'm predictable. I'm deep. I'm stoic. I have feelings. I hide them. I'm confident. I'm insecure. I'm unpredictable. I'm of the line of Adam. A sinner, a miserable sinner. Thank you Lord for Jesus, and his redemptive sacrifice. Otherwise, I'd have no chance.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Feelbetters, Fru Fru, and Fire Trucks

You expect for your teenager to ignore you. You expect to repeat yourself when telling an adolescent boy to put his dirty clothes up for the fourth time. But when your four-year-old suddenly stops responding to you when you say his name twice, you know something ain't right.

Caleb has been struggling with allergies (haven't we all!) the last few weeks, off and on, and we've been good about giving him his Singulair, but about Wednesday of last week I noticed he wasn't hearing me when I said his name. I would say it three times and then raise my voice before he would look up from whatever he was doing. I would have been more worried except I could hear the stuffiness in his voice so I thought his ears had to be all clogged up. He's had allergies before, and sinus infections, but never had it affected his hearing. Of course, a mom's worriful mind always goes there, but in the end, poor lil dude has both ears slightly infected, and LOTS of fluid behind his ears, thus causing "Eustachian tube disruption." I just love how our pediatrician address the child and tells him big words like that. Hilarious! So in addition to his nightly chewable pill, he now gets a special nose spray with an exercise in plugging his nostrils and blowing gently to try to pop his ears open, and some antibios.

On the same day, Greg woke up with a sinus/allergy attack and has two prescriptions he's taking too. So our kitchen counter is a regular pharmacy these days!

In other news, I've been a busy sewing maniac these days and knocking out my to-do list. Last Thursday I delivered three new outfits to Sparkles, to add to a few that were already there at the store, and can you believe that all three were gone that day! Jessica texted me to tell me to keep 'em coming, so I whipped up two more and took them over today. I've got three more cut out and ready to put together. I enjoy working with Jessica at Sparkles so much!

Today we took the kids to a fire station in Tyler. It was an impromptu visit-- We weren't even sure they would let us in. Greg knocked on the door and three fire fighters came to the door (pretty quickly, since the sign on the door reads, "knock for information or emergencies") and he asked if we could show our kids the fire truck. They were enthusiastic about their "Yes!" So we went in the big garage and walked around the ladder truck and the guys showed us all the hoses and axes and ladders, and then they opened it up and let the kids climb in the seats and see the inside. They even turned on the lights (and the siren accidentally -- loud!). Caleb did NOT want to leave. I was so excited that they were so nice and accommodating for us, just a little family out for a Saturday morning of fun. I asked if they take appointments for groups, and they told us of course! So, I'll be suggesting this to my MOPS group this week, for sure!

It was a fitting outing, considering today's date.

Funny face

Happy kid in the driver seat!

It's a really big truck!

Kids driving the truck

Carly got in the truck first, surprised? No.

Funniest thing of the day: While the kids were climbing around in the truck, I asked Caleb, "Do you want to be a firefighter when you grow up so you can drive this big truck?" He answered yes, and then Carly inserted her idea, "I want to drive a pink one!" The two guys thought that was hilarious!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

New Background

So how do you like the new layout? I am such a perfectionist, and when I get an idea in my mind I can't leave it along until I get it right. Unfortunately, I don't have photoshop or much knowledge about html and such so it takes me forever and still doesn't quite live up to my own expectations. I wanted to explain a little about the header, and the title of our family blog.

The header photo is of the humongous oak tree in our back yard. I've posted pictures of it here before. I love that tree, and especially the view I get to see out my back door. It's breathtaking when I stop and look. I love nature, and seeing the beauty and power in that one piece of nature touches me. So, that's the picture.

Next, the title. Why do I switch the words family and Rice? It's because of one of my most favorite movies ever, The Sound of Music. In the scene toward the end when the von Trapp family is making their stealthy getaway, the announcer (and friend of the family) calls their names as the winners of the concert. When they don't come, he calls their name differently, saying, "The Family von Trapp!" I don't know why, but I love the way that sounds. So proper and old fashioned. So, that's the title. Not that I am particularly old-fashioned, and I'm rarely proper.. but I try.

Now, the words at the bottom. These are song lyrics by Tenth Avenue North, from the song "Strong Enough to Save." The words just grab me. He'll break open the sky to save those who cry out His name. That makes me think of a lover ripping through a barrier to run full-speed toward his beloved when she calls out his name for help. That's love, people. The One the wind and waves obey is strong enough to save you. So don't be afraid to call on the name of the Lord! Not only is he strong enough, he is willing.

So, anyway, there's my explanation of the new blog. Not that I needed to explain, but I thought it might be nice to give all 16 of my readers a small glimpse into my heart and mind.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Carly's Bed

I finished Carly's bedding over the weekend. For more pictures and details, click here.

I know it's not terribly girly or fru-fru, and I'm working on that. I've got lots of ideas for throw pillows and room decorations to make it more little-girl friendly. But the idea behind it is to grow with her, like until she leaves for college. I'm pleased with the outcome, especially with how relatively easy it was to make. Now, I've got to get back to my paying to-do list!