Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What Fabric Should I use?

I have taken up a new hobby.  Quilting,  you will recall

I am supposed to learn a new quilt block, actually two, each month.  It is almost March, and I have completed one block.  I am a wee bit behind.  But what does it matter? I’m enjoying the time I do get to quilt.

I’m hoping to quilt tonight during Biggest Loser.


I day dream about sitting before my sewing machine.  Enjoying 12 Rose Tea with a hint of honey, and pretending to chat with my instructor, Amy Gibson.  I think it is a sign that I am getting older. 


I finished my Asterick block and now I am going to make the Wonky Pound Sign

Fullscreen capture 2282012 123216 PM.bmp

So what fabric do you think I should use? 1, 2, or 3?




Would anyone be interested in joining me?  The class is free.  Even though there is a forum attached to the class, I could host a link-up where you could show off your quilting each month. 

I have to warn you . . . Craftsy will lure you in (in a good way).  The Craftsy  Marketplace has some amazing patterns . . . you can even sell your patterns.  (No commission or fee to list or sell them, unlike my experience with Etsy.)  I doubt I will ever create my own quilt pattern -- as I am a sheep when it comes to craftsy things. 

Ok.  Cast your vote!  Don’t forget to enter the Joseph Joseph Rocker giveaway!  (A garlic press in case you were wondering . . . be craftsy in the kitchen!)

Monday, February 27, 2012

I Am Fat because of a Cul de Sac

Cul de sac’s are enticing.  Inviting.  They beg to be the carousel for your bike. 

There was one cul de sac in my childhood neighborhood that I never ventured down, though it was the most thrilling -- having a slight hill before you began the vortex into circular fun. 

But on a certain day that has forever left cinders in my brain, the agreeable cul de sac was void of a certain boy bully.  Or so I thought.

Daringly, I ventured down this quiescent blind alley. 

Oblivious to my thighs touching my belly, I pumped the pedals of my purple banana seat bicycle.  I felt free.  Unkempt hair flew in the breeze as I sored down the street.  I smiled at the day, relishing in this treat that only an imaginative, fat girl could enjoy. 

reviews tot school soup 084

With one dog bark, the epic movie moment shifted from its euphoric climax to a fearful dénouement. 

The boy emerged with not only his dog . . . but friends. 


Then it started. 

Words that I thought had only been reserved for the bus ride began. 

Look at the fat girl!  Ha!  I didn’t know fat girls could ride bikes.  Chase her, boy.  Bite her legs!”

Needing enough room to turn my bike, I was forced to enter the cul de sac allowing the dog access to my plump feet shod with Keds.  I could feel the pup’s hot, hungry breath on my ankles.  The dog, thinking that we were playing a friendly game of chase, failed to realize that he was being used for a weapon . . . and I was the innocent target.


I never told anyone about that day.  I quietly rode home, making sure to take a short cut.  I never ever went down that cul de sac until I met the Engineer, then some 200+ pounds of football muscle.  We would take romantic strolls through our shared neighborhood, making sure to greet every square inch of pavement so as to hold hands longer. 


The cul de sac was redeemed through those moments.  But I still have a slight fear of circular dead ends.  What is lurking at the end?

A poignant memory. 

Sandwiched between the cul de sac stories,  I take you back to sixth grade.  I walk down the long hallway of Pleasant View Elementary.  I am alone.  As if to dare me in a chicken fight, a boy named Chuck boldly walked toward me. 

“Hey Fatso.  You look like a pig.  Even though you lost weight.  You are still big.”

And I believed him.  I couldn’t speak.  I just stared at him. 

Hadn’t I lost 35 pounds over the summer?  I wore a size 6.  Could I still be fat?  Seriously?  He must have known about the stash of cookies that I ate the previous night.  When everyone was asleep I snuck into the kitchen, eating the coveted chocolate chip cookies we rationed out to my dad. 

I never had the time to accept the new girl.  The changed girl.  Because in the first week of school, though I was thin enough to appreciate the view of my rib cage and clavicles, I obviously wasn’t thin enough.  Chuck had me figured out.

I believed Chuck. 

I still find myself believing Chuck.  Or rather the enemy of my soul.  Poor Chuck was a pawn.  Just like that dog. 

Up, down, up, down.  Up. 

I’m talking about my weight.  I have had a lot of excuses.  First it was mono. . . followed by a serious bike accident during the Little 500 bike race . . . then the discovery of my PCOS . . . a pregnancy . . . hit with hypothyroidism . . . three more children . . . homeschooling . . .


There will always be an excuse.  Bullies in the form of excuses will come and they will go.  (Tweet this)

Eventually I hit rock bottom.  I became so sick of myself and my current status, rather inflation, that I gave up.  I said, “Enough.  I’m so sick of you fat belly. You get in my way and you suck the joy out of me.  All you do is crave.  Yet even when I give you what you want . . . you want more.”

I can’t ever remember of a time when my cellulose blessed me. 

I’m tired of being tired.  Tired of playing the game.  Tired of the show.  Tired of being embarrassed that I am that Granola Mom . . . yet I’m obese. 


50 pounds obese.  I said it. 

For lack of better words, it sucks. 

Before Christmas I joined Weight Watchers.  I was serious.  I didn’t know how in the world Weight Watchers would mesh with a whole foods diet, but I was certainly going to try and make it work. 

It didn’t.

The program certainly helped me during the holidays . . . to not eat too much.  But Weight Watchers doesn’t have points allotted for raw milk . . . kombucha . . . water kefir . . . sauerkraut. 

I gave up. 

I tried Spark People.   I didn’t have the time to enter my food . . . and indulge in all the activities on Spark People.  Not to mention, wade through the advertisments.

Cheeseslave began her Kettle Ball Challenge.  I jumped on board.  Finally, a whole foods blog that got me . . . I was encouraged to eat my butter and exercise.  Inches disappeared within two weeks.  Aided with the meal plans of Perfect Weight America . . . I lost 5 pounds.

I was alert. Agile.  It felt so good.  Though I remained 45 pounds overweight, I felt like America’s Next Top Model.


But I jumped the gun.  And I got injured.  Instead of working up to a strenuous exercise routine, I began working out with Tony and P90x.  There is a reason it says to consult your doctor or at least . . . pass the fitness test before you begin.

The pity party began.  The secret eating flared up.  Desperately I prayed for a lifeline, a way out of this pit.  Something to motivate me.  Even though living life to its fullest should have been enough. 

I learned about the Slique Challenge.  I could win a big, phat prize.  Most likely, I won’t.  But what if?

I don’t think that the Slique Challenge alone is going to evaporate 50 pounds of emotional baggage.  That weight has to come off by hard work.  Exercise. 

Most of all . . . a renewing of the mind.

I don’t own a banana seat bike anymore. 

No weapon formed against me shall prosper, whether it be the sting of critical words or the imaginary bite of a foolish dog.  (Tweet me)

I’ve waited many weeks.  To announce this type of wound to the world is rather daunting.  Humiliating. 


But it is also hopeful.  Perhaps you have a similar story.  Maybe just maybe by me letting the air out of my tires, will inflate you to hop on your bike and join me.  (Tweet me)

What do you think . . . 25 pounds by June?  If you would like to join me in the Slique Challenge, drop me a line . . . I’ll send  you a personal email.  If you have a story to share . . . please . . . be vulnerable.  Let’s get over the Chuck’s in our life.

Who Do You Read?

I am nosey. 

If the Engineer is looking at his phone, I always ask him, “Whatcha readin?”  Or if he is working on the home computer, I hover over his shoulder as he types an email. 

If I am sitting at a coffee shop, I steal glances to see what book is being devoured.

So, it should be no surprise that I am curious about what people read on the internet.

To be fair, here is what I read.  These are the blogs that actually come to my inbox.  Because they have a feed set up for lazy people like me.

I probably actually read more . . . because I am easily distracted.

After compiling this list . . . it is no wonder my inbox is insane.  I had no idea.

Homeschool Related

Food Blogs

IRL Friends

Bloggy Friends

Crafty Blogs

Devotional Blog

Blog Related/Business

Please don’t be offended if your blog isn’t on my list.   Many of my bloggy-friend- blogs that I read are gals that have been with me from my blog’s infancy.  They often leave comments and they directed me to their blog once upon a time. 

If you leave a comment on my blog, and your name is linked to your blog, I usually hop over to see who you are.

Because I lurk.  I stalk.  But I am often a silent reader.

Now you tell me your favorites!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Joseph Joseph Rocker Giveaway

In a few weeks I am going to be moving.  Actually all 700+ of you will be moving.  Betcha’ didn’t know that. 

Now you do. 

At least, I sincerely hope that  you will make the move with me. 

Prepare yourself for the geek talk that is about to follow:

As I understand it, when I make my switch from Blogger to Wordpress that I will be able to transfer my Feedburner subscription . . . packing  your email address with me, without having to hire a moving truck or stuff you and yours into a cardboard box.

However, I really want to cover my bases. 

Enter my new newsletter.  That thing I have been asking  you to sign up for recently. 

It looks like this:

Go ahead.  Try it out.  Nine brave people already have, as of this morning.  Thank you, ladies. 

Why sign up for my newsletter?

There are multiple reasons.  I suppose the primary one and the reason that compelled me to seek out a newsletter subscription service, is to reward those of you who subscribe. 

How will you be rewarded?

First, there will be newsletter subscriber only giveaways, which will be super easy for me to host once I switch to Wordpress

For the companies that I am an affiliate for . . . I will pass on promo codes and discounts to you.  Only the people in the newsletter will receive these coupons.  The coupons and promo codes will remain relevant to the purpose of Granola Mom 4 God.  They will reflect my values and likes!  So, if you like my blog than you will like the potential freebies in my newsletter. 

Second, I wanted to a newsletter in order to stay better connected with you.  I have heard of people losing their entire feeds when they switch from Blogger to Wordpress

Now . . . I have a kick-butt blog designer  . . . who will soon be revealed . . . and I know that she knows her business.  But if Murphy’s Law happens to be in effect on the day the transfer happens . . . I want to have done a . . . carbonite-like action on my feed. 

(If only I had been using Carbonite when our laptop died.  All those pictures lost.)

Here is an incentive.  An incentive to sign up for my newsletter.

A giveaway. 


My Google Analytics has informed me time and time again that the most frequented page on my blog is my recipe list.  I have concluded that a large number of my readers must like to cook. 

I would wager that the majority of my recipes contain garlic.


I would like to help you mine your garlic. 

Sign up for my new newsletter to win a Joseph Joseph Rocker (garlic press).  The Joseph Joseph Rocker is a fun gadget to have in the kitchen. 

I prefer it over a traditional garlic press.  It is easier to clean and contains . . . ZERO extra parts to lose.  {Ahem}


I like the smell of garlic, but I suppose it doesn’t make good perfume.  No worries!  The stainless steel absorbs and removes the garlic fragrance from your hands. 

So go lather your self with some oils

To win this Joseph Joseph Rocker, enter your name to sign up for my newsletter.  I won’t spam you and you can always unsubscribe (but I hope you never do). 

Bonus entries (please leave a comment for each entry)

  • Subscribe to my blog posts via email or reader. (Tell me that you did so).
  • Tweet this!  (I already have it filled out for you.) 
  • Jump into my circle on Google+ (and plus something while you are there)
  • Like Granola Mom 4 God on Facebook

Giveaway ends Saturday, March 3, 2012 at Midnight.  Open to US residents only, especially because yours truly is paying for this.  Have no fear . . . I will find a giveaway for those of you outside of the US.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Grit



My teeth clench.  My hand opens and closes, changing from rose to hard white.  Head feeling as if it would burst into flames.  My feet take me out of the room.  It is better that way. 

I write a letter offering my resignation.  But by the time the Engineer has returned home, it has silently retracted itself as the children and I have sprouted flour on our noses and are dangling spoons of cookie dough from our fingers. 

It seems like daily I fight the urge to wash my hands, change my clothes and walk out the door.  Leave everything behind and disappearing. 

But the residual effects on these precious gifts is what concerns me the most.  Though they alone have the ability to make me madder than a disturbed hornet nest, quite honestly I never truly want to hurt them.

I may think it.  But the grief at such thoughts and sinful tongue lashings nearly suffocate me as I beg for forgiveness from Abba. 

God, I cry.  What were you thinking?  I wasn’t supposed to have children!  Now you have blessed me with four?  And this is how I thank you?  Hurting this tender flock?  Forgive me.  I beg you to change me . . . change me from the inside out.  Quickly.  Overnight.  Please. 

I vow to wake up earlier the next day.  To dig into my Precept Upon Precept Study.  To resolve.  To follow through.  Fortitude. 



Motherhood can be hard.  And I have really struggled with it lately.  Won’t you join me regularly for some honest thoughts? Or allow me to pop into your inbox on random occasions with a special giveaway, recipe or relevant thought?  Sign up for my new newsletter.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Calling All Pencils

My sons have declared a new holiday. 

National Sharpen Your Pencil Day.


The celebration will be launched March 1st, 2012. 

Because you see, we have a lot of pencils – but they are always dull.   It is frustrating to grab a pencil to jot a quick note, only to have it scuff your paper.  Or break.  Or not even be sharpened.


Join us for National Sharpen Your Pencil Day on March 1st. (Click to Tweet)  We will provide a linky and we need you to provide some dialogue . . . some pictures . . . some kids in action looking for hidden graphite. 


In exchange we will give you some games and activities . . . and someone will win a new pencil sharpener.


Perhaps a manual pencil sharpener . . . one that ALWAYS gets the job done . . .

or an electric pencil sharpener . . . which is what is in our school room.

We look forward to seeing all of your pencils.  If you would like to be included in the March 1st blog post, please send our mom a picture of your unsharpened pencils.  (Here is her email:  thegranolamom4god at gmail dot com)


Remember:  don’t sharpen your pencils until March 1st!

Find us on Pinterest!  And don’t forget to sign up for our mom’s new newsletter! 

How to use the Neti Pot

Please don’t pick your nose is a phrase that unfortunately comes out of my mouth multiple times a day.  It is followed by, “Yea, and don’t eat your boogers.”

Instead, allow the Neti Pot to complete this action for you. 

Join me over at the Homemakers Challenge, where I show how to make saline solution for your Neti Pot. 


But the action doesn’t stop there!  See how to use the Neti Pot to help rid your nose of snot and infection!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sorting Vegetable Seeds

The grass is still yellow . . . OK . . . brown.  There is a hibernation about the land though the weather was slightly balmy today.  Uncharacteristically, Indiana  hasn’t seen much snow this winter. 


My garden still lingers in the decomposing glory of the previous summer.

(Read:  we didn’t prepare it for winter.  If you will remember, our basement pooped.). 

But sprouting must begin.  This year I am prepared. 


Last year my garden was a weed field.  Having a newborn on my hips, I lacked the manpower to manually transform the previous owner’s neglect into a harvest. 

Last year, I had some GREAT email updates telling me how to figure out my frost-free date, when to start certain sprouts, and coordinating the hardening off of the tender shoot with its entry into the good earth. 

Sadly, the emails remained on the computer.  I never put them into practice.  I didn’t want to waste ink printing them.  And searching for them in Gmail was tedious. 

Truthfully, I was lazy.


There was a L. A. T. E. start to the garden last year.  The seeds . . . remained in their packages until May?  Mel’s Mix rested untouched in a plastic tub.  The green houses empty.  My thumb was too clean. 

I have turned a new leaf.  June, my Kindle, has helped me.  I can upload all sorts of documents onto her . . . and prop her up anywhere. 


This week, I decided that June would learn about gardening.  Though I have read Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew . . . and gardened as such for 5+ years . . . I found that I have struggled with timing. 

(By the way, you can now get Square Foot Gardening on your Kindle . . . oh the joy!)

The Engineer and I have successfully created several square foot beds . . . but I lack the forethought to plan out when I should encourage green life to begin under rich compost. 


Seriously.  I see the stack of seeds and I become overwhelmed.  (Thank you PCOS and Thyroid disease.)  Dates and depths and species names blur. 

I imagine all the seeds screaming at me, “Pick me.  Pick me!”

Because I desperately want to turn the money pit into a sustainable and practical garden . . . a garden that actually helps our grocery budget . . . I decided to purchase another gardening book.

Though I have most of the contents of said book in my inbox somewhere . . . I now have all of the information in one spot. 

On June.  At my fingertips.  In one place. 

It is glorious.

There are two books.  The Gardening for Beginners takes Bartholomew’s book and condenses it.  You learn how to create Mel’s Mix (aka glorified and nutrient dense dirt), sow seeds, build a raised bed, etc.  Planting by Color takes it one step farther.  It tells you what to plant, when to sprout, when to plant, and how to plant according to the region of the country you live in. 


Like a robot . . . I am planting by color . . . when I am told to.  I don’t have to make any decisions.  Because as much as I *heart* gardening . . . the planning stage stresses me out. 

I am actually on schedule.  Today we planted kale, cauliflower, parsley, and broccoli.  I added onion, too. 


Now I have to order a few more seeds . . . namely Chinese cabbage.

What are your garden plans this year?

Previous gardening posts:

P.S.  I would love for it if you signed up for my new newsletter!!! I am stinkin’ excited to unveil this in the upcoming weeks . . . along with a new website design!  In addition to receiving my blog posts, occasionally I’ll send you a special treat or coupon in a newsletter.   Actually, there will be newsletter ONLY giveaways!


Sometimes pictures can say a thousand words. 


Perhaps they can take you on a journey a thousand miles away.


Or bring the world a thousand miles closer. 


Introducing Japan with Little Passports


Thankfully, we were allowed into the country.  I always get nervous going through Customs.  {grins} (click to tweet!)


Our luggage made it through inspection.


We enjoyed sushi.


Experienced chopsticks.


And tried to learn origami.


Extra resources:

Other countries we have traveled to:

  • Brazil
  • Japan (you are reading it silly)
  • France (March)
  • Egypt (April)

Use the code FEB10 to receive 10% off until February 28, 2012.  We have signed up for the long haul . . . and Lord willing, will be traveling to all of the countries (that our friends Sam and Sophia go)!

Save 10% on Little Passports

What country have you learned about recently?