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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Tornadoes

Today's thankful Thursday has a slightly somber feel.  Today I am thankful for my family's health and safety, but I cannot forget that SO many others are not as fortunate. Last night a history-making outbreak of tornadoes ripped across 5 states leaving behind a vast sea of devastation and death.  Right now the body count is about 280, but that is almost certain to rise. The clean-up and rebuilding is going to cost more money than I can fathom, and require a lot of people working together.
I am thankful that we have agencies that are already at work in helping the victims and that we are blessed to be in a country that has the resources to respond quickly to emergencies.  I'm thankful that every American citizen can do SOMETHING to help and not have to just watch the footage and feel helpless.  If we're close enough, we can lend a hand, give of our time and talents.  If we're too far away, we can contribute monetarily and/or send supplies.  And I'm thankful for the American spirit of unity that can put all bias and prejudice aside in times like this and simply reach out brother to brother.  I'm so grateful for this amazing country we have, and the citizens that make it something special.
My heart goes out to all the victims and their families, my prayers are with those who were affected by these storms (tornadoes, flooding, etc), and my hope is that we will all find some way - large or small - to be a part of the solution and bless others.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thankful Thursday Thoughts

I've decided I want to take my blog in a new direction. Oh, it's still about our new healthy and gluten-free journey, and I'll still post recipes when I find some (or make some up), but I have personal things I want to share, too.  And since it's my blog, I guess I can do whatever I want with it. ;-)

So today I want to share "Thankful Thursday" thoughts.  Last week, I was teaching my church girls (I'm a Missionettes leader) about gratitude, and about how we need to be thankful in ALL things, even when things seem bad.  Because even in the worst storm, there's always something to appreciate.  It's so easy to get bogged down in what's WRONG, that we very often overlook (or take for granted) what's RIGHT.  Our finances might be a mess, but there's food on the table every night, a roof over our heads, and laughter filling my home - so I'm blessed even when I don't know how we're going to make ends meet.  We will, somehow, I trust God to provide, and when things seem bleak, I'm learning to focus on what's GOOD.

I have amazing friends.  It seems like every time I turn around, I'm in a "club" (not a real club, but a group of ladies with a silly name who love each other and are there for each other no matter what) - I know even when I feel lonely, that all I have to do is call on my GodsGals, my CMOBsters, my God-DIVAS, my SistaChicks, or my Tres Dias sisters, and I'm gonna be okay. I have a great earthly BFF Dawn, and not to mention my heavenly best friend Jesus who will always be there for me. I have my incredible church family and the most amazing pastor I've ever met that I can count on, and a wonderful family (some by birth/marriage) that is going to love me no matter what.  Not to mention some pretty terrific kids and the world's most adorable grandson.  So HOW can I feel sorry for myself?! 

I'm also SO thankful for this new journey, this wonderful adventure of this year.  I'm seeing so many results and learning so much, and it's just FUN.  Now sometimes it feels like a roller coaster ride (and those who know me know how I feel about THOSE), but I kinda like not quite knowing which way it's gonna turn next, while still feeling safe and secure whichever way we go.  This is an exciting new way of life for us, with many ups and downs, but SO many great stories to tell along the way.  I'm thankful for the support, the knowledge, and the changes so far. I'm grateful that my family is with me all the way, and that they're feeling the difference too. 

I'm thankful for so many things, more than I could list here.  But I'm going to try, every week, to show my gratitude for my blessings, and hopefully I'll inspire others to look at the good things in their lives as well.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Recovery, it's not for wimps!

So I'm 3 days post-op now and in my imagination I'd be be-bopping through my house by now, cleaning up after the boys and the dogs and feeling fine.  It didn't exactly work out that way, as I'm sitting here in my recliner with a cool rice bag on my tummy while my family is at church without me. *sigh*  BUT I am doing better and I am getting around a bit quicker.  The little travel pillow the hospital gave me for when I have to move around has been my best friend these last few days (sorry Dawn!), followed closely by the very nice medications they prescribed me.  However I've found that the medicine works best if you take it exactly when it's time for the next dose, whether or not you think the pain is bad enough for another one.  Because by the time it is, it's too late. Oops.
Needless to say, I am sooooo not cooking right now.  I did manage to verbally teach my hubby to make my oatmeal the other day so he could bring me a bowl.  He did well!! Thursday and Friday I was thanking God that they make GF tv dinners - obviously still not the healthiest or cleanest choice, but better than nothing for my fellas while Mom was down in bed.  Last night a friend from church brought us a delicious meal, and my neighbor is making is something tonight.  Yay for not starving!! I'm slowly getting my appetite back...I didn't eat for 3 days, but this isn't a weight loss plan I recommend.
I do hope to be back on my feet again very soon.  My house is in serious need of "Mom's touch", I'm babysitting a 2 year old tomorrow AND I'm being visited by a long-time online friend whom I've never met in person.  Now I know she won't care about my house, but *I* care.  I just weirdly expected the pain to be all gone by now and my strength to have returned.  Overly optimistic? Perhaps, LOL  But I'm expecting good things, and that's a more fun way to live than to always wait for the negative, right?

Monday, April 4, 2011

GF Burritos and other things

I was so excited this weekend to finally find gluten-free tortillas! After looking for them all over I actually managed to find two different kinds from two different stores, how funny is that? The first ones I got from Fresh Market and they're made with Ivory Teff, then the other ones I got from a local health food store and they're actually brown rice tortillas - awesome!  Tonight I made burritos and I used the ivory teff ones, but I bet they would have been good either way.
GF Burritos

2 cups cooked rice (I used white because it was what I had on hand LOL)
1 lb browned ground beef - seasoned (I used cinnamon and Pampered Chef's Southwest Seasoning)
1 jar salsa (divided)
1 can refried beans
6-8 GF tortillas
2 cups Mexican style or just cheddar shredded cheese

After cooking the rice and beef, I combined them in the pot with 2 spoonfuls of salsa.  I heated the beans a little, not to hot, but just soft. I spread about 2 tbsp of the beans on a (thawed and slightly warmed) tortilla, then sprinkled some cheese on it (about two tablespoons), about a 1/4 cup of the beef/rice mixture* and then rolled it up and placed it in a greased 9x13.  Repeat with all the tortillas. Pour salsa to cover top (I didn't use the whole jar because I wanted to save some for the chips, too, but I covered them), then sprinkle remaining cheese over all that.  Then bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until gooey and just starting to brown.
I served it with chips, salsa and sour cream.  It was awesome but VERY filling, even after my 12 year old had THREE helpings and was finally full and all of us were finished, we still had  1-1/2 left over.

*I had some beef mixture leftover and I could have done two more tortillas but I was out of room in the pan and there's only 4 of us, so I just made 6 and saved the rest of it for nachos tomorrow. ;-)

Also, in case you missed it, I was a guest blogger for Bob's Red Mill this weekend.  They're doing a series this month, having guest bloggers post gluten-free casein-free recipes for Autism Awareness month. I think it's terrific that they're doing this, please give them your support! Here's my contribution: MMMmeatballs!

Finally, I just wanted to let y'all know that I'm having surgery later this week.  It's nothing serious and it's outpatient, but I'll be out of commission for a few days and probably not up for cooking or blogging again til next week.  Unless something really great happens between now and then that I just have to share LOL  Til then, be blessed and remember to make every day an adventure!