My little baby brother got married 2 weekends ago. I guess he's not really a "baby brother" any more. We all made the trip down to Hackleburg, Alabama for the wedding. It was such a beautiful wedding. Here's a link to photos that my "Chinese sister" took and sent to my mom (the white fluff at the bottom of every picture are hydrangeas hanging on the ends of the pews). We are waiting for the professional photographer to publish her shots soon.
As for my crew, well, we survived the trip but we discovered that our kiddos aren't the traveling kind just yet.
I've been on the hunt-down for more nutritious foods to replace our less-than-nutritious foods. And here is one that we have been more than pleased with: Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat & Milled Flax Seed Brownie Mix. This stuff is good, ya'll! It's very deceiving because the batter is really gritty if you try and lick the mixing spoon. But once they are baked these brownies are quite yummy. The mix itself has only 5 ingredients: turbinado sugar, whole wheat pastry flour, cocoa, milled flax seed, and salt. The directions call for adding oil, 2 eggs, and 1/2 stick of butter. We like to throw in about 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, too. Mm-mm, good! A scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side doesn't hurt either.
It seems like only a few weeks ago I was wondering what in the world the kids and I were going to do all summer long. Now I'm wishing our summer could be extended. Lily has begun occupational therapy and auditory therapy. And, she gets homework. Sorry, Lily. And then the co-director of the therapy center asked if Lily could be a peer model for one of their Peer Play Social Groups. It will serve as a dual purpose: help the two children with autism in the group see a "typical" child communicating and playing, and Lily will get extra language (aka auditory) therapy because she will be receiving the same therapy as the children with autism. I think it's cool that she will get to help out other children and be a role model for them. So for now all this therapy ties up 2 half days during the week. I always have to set aside at least one day for grocery shopping and restocking the cabinets and freezer. We have several doctor appointments scheduled and a family teeth cleaning appointment (should be fun!). I need to set aside time to re-organize my "school" desk to get ready for teaching 2 children, and order next year's curriculum. We have also talked about swimming, camping, biking, gardening, and traveling all within the next 2 months. I can only imagine that this summer will fly by so quickly!
I have successfully completed my 90-Day Body By Vi Challenge! I am excited to report that I have lost a total of 8.4 pounds in 90 days ~ that's about a half a pound per week, which is exactly what I was aiming for. When I first started the Challenge I was losing about 2 pounds per week, which is really awesome, except I was also noticing a milk supply reduction. So instead of doing a shake every day, I started doing a shake 3-4 days per week so that I could ensure I was getting enough calories throughout the week. I eat about 4 meals per day so I was replacing one of those meals with a shake. It has been so easy - and so yummy - to do! And what's more important, I have lost inches from my waist and hips: a total of 2 inches from my waist and 3.5 inches from my hips! Whoo-hoo! I will admit though that some of the inches from my hips is probably due to my body shifting back to normal after giving birth 4 months ago. But certainly losing 8.4 pounds of fat has made a huge difference in my measurements as well. Because I still want to lose 14 more pounds I will start another 90-day Challenge. Anyone with me?!
To all you breastfeeding moms out there, your job is about to become obsolete. Check out this story about China cloning cows that produce human breast milk. Before you get too excited about a new advancement in science, do you know what's involved in genetic engineering? Here's a clue: E. coli. Yep, good ole deadly E. coli bacteria. Maybe I'm a nut, but GMO foods scare the bee-jee-bees out of me. Just a few years ago you could hardly find GMO's on your grocery store shelves, but now it's everywhere because basics such as corn, soy, and rice are all genetically modified unless you are sure to purchase non-GMO (you might wanna put down that bag of Doritos). Do the research. It'll scare the pants off you! Another reason why I need a farm, or Jesus just needs to go ahead and return.
Oh, and while you're at it, do a bit of research on rendering plants. Find out what's in your soap (sodium tallowate, glycerin, etc.), pet food, and what producers are feeding to cattle and poultry. Yummy! I'm feeling a bit vegan these days.