Saturday, January 30, 2010

The February Flab Off!

The February Flab-Off! That’s right! Get that flab off in February. With the end of January quickly approaching, many people are starting to resolve that their New Year’s resolutions really aren’t that important to them. I say, let’s make a new month’s resolution. In the Gilmore home, this new month’s resolution has been given the term (by me, of course). The February Flab-Off!
So, here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to plan our low-carb, healthy diet meal plan for each week. On top of that, Ev and I are each going to keep a diet journal, so we can see what we’re consuming, on a daily and weekly basis. This way we can more accurately see what bad habits we’ve accumulated and where we need to cut back.  AND…we’ll have an exercise chart! Each of us will get a gold star for every day that we do some aerobic exercise for twenty minutes or more. And we’ll have weekly weigh-ins and measurements to track our progress. Lastly, we’ll each be committing to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. In March, we’ll look at our progress and see what we need to adjust, where we failed, where we succeeded, but you can bet there will be some of that debilitating flab coming off in February.
I’ll try to post my meal plans and other resources we use here, so you can have the opportunity to use some of it too.

Friday, January 22, 2010

CoHousing - The Logical Next Step?

For a girl that makes her own soap, is a dedicated member of her CSA, is stoked about her garden this year and desires a stronger connection with her community, this cohousing thing sounds pretty good.
If you haven't heard of it, you can read more about it here. But it's basically a collaborative housing where residents design and operate their community. Most of the cohousing communities are environmentally conscience, having community gardens and the like. And it seems that most of them are run by people with similar values and lifestyle preferences on issues like religion and education. The picture above is from a cohousing community in Nevada. There are currently NONE in Indiana. But there's nice one in Michigan called Newberry Place. The other thing is, all of the residences, finances, etc. are separate, so it doesn't feel like you're living in a commune or anything, but you all contribute to the operation of the community based on your skill set.
When I first heard about it I thought, "That sounds so cool! But it would probably never work." Guess what though? It is. Similar to CSAs, this sort of endeavor to intentionally restructure our lives is catching on throughout the US.
So....who wants to start the first one in Indiana with me?!

Monday, January 18, 2010

What a Great Weekend!

We had a GREAT weekend! Saturday we were able to sleep in and have a nice breakfast together. Then we got to see the Weavers for some Ivanhoes (I cannot believe this is the first time we've done that), and Lillian and Elliot were able to play a little.
Let me just say, these guys have just gotten to really play together a couple times, and I LOVE IT! I love watching them interact with each other, even when they get frustrated because one of them took the other's book or toy. I love watching them assert their will and test the boundaries and explore how they can fit in the same tunnel and little box house. Such joy!
My family was able to come over on Saturday night for a double feature of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Star Trek along with dinner. I think it was the first time that most of the family was here together without a bunch of other people, which was incredibly nice. (Also, cannot believe this is the first time that we've done that).
Sarah was able to spend the night and we went to church and Wasabi on 82nd St for some sushi....FINALLY! We've been planning this trip for over a year, since she got back from Utah and discovered that she liked sushi. What was on the menu? Edamame, mistake roll, california roll, and a volcano roll....oh my, YUM!
Then we came home and ordered some essential oils! AND a rosemary hydrosol...if you couldn't tell by my previous soap post, I'm really excited about this hydrosol thing and my hubby is making me a soap mold this week! Yay!
Two quick things....1) My article is going to be published in Sept 2011...HA! 2) I was able to get Kent Keith (CEO of Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership) to be the speaker at our Leadership Convocation next fall. So if you're a leadership alum, let me know and I'll be sure to send you an invite to the banquet.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Coconut Milk Soap Recipe

Coconut Milk Soap
Makes 8-10 bars

3 oz lye
8 oz coconut milk
10 oz extra virgin olive oil 
7 extra virgin organic coconut oil
3 oz all natural shea butter
3 Vanilla Beans (chopped)
1/2 cup Oatmeal
Essential Oil Blend (2 parts lavender, 1 part patchouli)

**TIP: When working with milk, whether it be goat's milk or coconut milk, add the lye to the milk little by little so you don't scorch the milk as the lye reacts with it. If you scorch it, you're soap will smell like you did! So give it a little extra time.

Green Tea Soap Recipe

I've waited awhile to put this up, because I needed to make sure it would cure and turn into a good soap. And I personally think it's great! One of my friends made soap with red tea instead of water when she was making her lye solution. After reading how goat's milk soap is made, I figured I could do this recipe and the following one with coconut milk. I'm really excited about possibly making a soap where the lye solution is a hydrosol instead of another liquid. Wouldn't that be cool?!

Green Tea Soap Recipe
Makes 8-10 bars

3 oz lye
8 oz green tea
10  oz extra virgin olive oil
5 oz extra virgin organic coconut oil
5 oz palm oil
2 oz all natural jojoba oil
Green tea extract
Essential Oil Blend (5 parts rosemary, 2 parts tea tree, 2 parts spearmint)

For more info on soap making procedures, refer to this post.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

 "Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is."
- C.S. Lewis -
I re-realized something this week that I've known for a very long time. I like to be prepared! When I'm prepared, I feel more competent, ready to serve with excellence, and equipped to manage the unpredictable on the fly. However, when I'm so overwhelmed with a mound of predictable, known tasks and then you throw the unpredictable on top of that....let's just say, I don't handle it ALL! I'm sure this is confusing and frustrating for those that are close to me and work with me on a daily basis, because it makes me unpredictable.
For example, I don't usually going around with a big grin on my face telling everyone how well prepared I am for the coming week. I also don't go around saying, "Just so you know, I'm an unprepared wreck. Don't throw anything unpredictable my way." So who's to know when I'm feeling prepared and when I'm not? The only way someone knows is by my response to their requests...or even their lingering presence.
All this rambling to say, I feel prepared! I feel prepared for at least one thing this semester at work, and that is huge. I feel prepared to handle our finances appropriately for the coming year. I feel prepared for our meals for the coming week. I feel like our home is at least in some semblance of order. And I feel prepared to handle my son and his schedule for the coming month. I feel prepared to intentionally invest in my marriage, and holy cow! I'm a new woman!
I feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things. But I praise the Lord for the unpredictable and overwhelming trial of the last semester. It showed me with striking clarity the kind of woman I really am, and I am thankful for the pruning that happened so that I can bear fuller fruit within the coming year.

(DISCLAIMER: This post is NOT an open invitation to start throwing the unpredictable at me, just in case you were thinking you'd seize your opportunity. :))

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy 2010!

So, I have a confession to make. I wasn't all that excited about a new year....until today. My heart has felt a bit weighed down by feelings of inadequacy. As I thought about 2010, it was almost as if the year were looming before me like a tower that I knew I was powerless climb, or at least unable to climb well. I'm someone who is used to achieving. It's both a strength and a weakness. I'm also competitive and like being at the front of the pack. So it's difficult for me to claim responsibility without also claiming authority. It's difficult to achieve without it being the best.
However, as I processed through all of this, I'm reminded why I started blogging in the first place. Because the Lord has powerfully shown me His love, and this relationship set me free. Despite my inadequacies, I am loved! Despite my unique characteristics that I can at times become a slave to, He offers me freedom and empowerment through those same qualities lived out through His strength. And even though a tower looms and taunts me, my incompetence is an opportunity to grow in humility and courage. Because of these things, I now approach 2010 overwhelmed with HOPE! Empowered by my King -- alive, radiant and free!
2009 was another ringer of a year, but as I look at it I am amazed by God's faithfulness and sustaining hand. We started out the year living in Fort Wayne with Evan out of work. Most days, I was on the road for around  4 hours. In the midst of this hardship, we were blessed with a great church and amazing friends that encouraged, challenged and supported us. Our marriage grew stronger because it even more truly became ours, as we battled ideas and criticism and culture. My husband was an innovative provider, and I grew to appreciate and respect him more than ever. We vacationed with family in Florida and Virginia. Times of rest that were much needed! We celebrated Mothers Day and Fathers Day and THREE birthdays! On Evan's birthday we moved to Upland. I feel like we have been in this little town forever, and it's only been five months. We have a lovely little home with a yard and a hammock and a garden (hopefully). We feel safe and have found a new church home. While work has been tedious and trying this semester, I now only drive up to an hour a day! And Ev can walk to work. He's in a job that he loves working with some godly men in an environment unlike any he has been privileged to work in before. Elliot is growing and learning. And as Evan said the other day, each age that he is is my favorite. I love being his mommy.
I actually went through my 2009 calendar the other day, because I had forgotten so much of what had happened, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love for my Creator and Sustainer! I am also incredibly thankful for the support system that He has enabled me to build into my life. I have the best bunch of family and friends a girl could hope for. And if you're one of them and reading this, thank you SO much!
I've made many goals and have lots of ideas for 2010, but mostly I am looking at it full of hope. Waiting to see what God is going to do in, through, and for my family this year.

1st Haircut

So about a week ago, we took Elliot in to get his first haircut. It was a GREAT experience! He was so good and the place that we went was perfect. He got to sit in a firetruck and watch Elmo while this lady cut his hair. We, of course, have saved some of his little locks, but now, I'm really starting to think I've got to put together a scrapbook for this guy.
The best thing is that my bubby definitely knows how to take a before and after shot.




Blog Widget by LinkWithin