Sunday, July 22, 2012

Allow Me to Introduce...

 ...Second Lieutenant (2nd Lt) Steffen!

Jared saying a few words after he was commissioned.

The commissioning ceremony was nice and simple. Jared and one other cadet were commissioned outside on Central Campus at Iowa State University.  

Jared during the oath of commissioning

 I was so proud of Jared as I watched him take the oath. The last 5 years have been crazy, hard, fun, name it, we have experienced the feeling. But it was all worth it to be standing there watching him make this new commitment, start this new chapter.

Boppa, Gramma, Jared, Tina and Emma

After the ceremony the cadre had a small reception for Jared and his fellow cadet. There was cake (that Emma and I chose to avoid) and some slushy pineapple drink that Emma and I had and loved.

Friday was a great day, followed by a great weekend which I will post more about after getting some much needed sleep.

I hope everyone's weekend was wonderful as well!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rain, Rain - Don't Go Away!

We got rain today!!! We got 3 inches of rain in less then an hour.

I think the last time it rained was at the end of June, so almost 4 weeks ago. Everyone's grass has died and gardens are starting to look a bit parched.

But the biggest concern is for the farmers. They have really needed the rain. I am not sure if today's rain will end up being to little, too late, but I hope it was enough to get them by a bit longer.

We tried to take advantage of it by bringing as many containers outside to catch the rain as possible.

(Jared and Emma actually did all the work)

The small, but raging river in the back corner of the yard

Emma with her painted on pants.

The sand in the sandbox is finally soft enough to play with.

Yeah Mud!

Can you see Jared? He's camouflaged... Gortex rocks by the way. 

Calling all buckets!

It finally got to much for us so we came in. 

We are so glad to have gotten rain that we won't complain much about the 65 mph wind gusts that came with it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Buffalo Ranch Tour

On Friday, Emma, Jared, Gramma, Boppa, and I headed to Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch for a tour and to possible purchase some meat.

It turned out to be the one day that we got rain in the last weeks, though no one complained because everyone, especially the farmers, desperately needs the rain.

Anyway, the tour started with some interesting facts about buffalo (bison is the scientific name for buffalo and they are in fact the same animal), as well as a show and tell of some cool buffalo artifacts.

Really, really old bison skull.

Drum made from the hide of a buffalo

Rain, rain, please, PLEASE stay. 

A quick stop to climb on the rocks that had been deposited during the ice age.


As we were leaving, I said, "Bye, buffalo, eat ya later!" It was a groaner, but everyone thought it was funny- especially Emma.

We purchased some jerky and some steak to try and everyone loved the jerky. We also got a strip of twice smoked meat that had been dried- Emma and I devoured it. Nom Nom!

The steak was pretty tasty as well, though I wasn't feeling really well last night when I cooked it up so I didn't really eat much of it. I am looking forward to eating the left overs for dinner tonight though :0)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

And the Exercise Begins

I started exercising today.

It's about time really. I had enjoyed the 30 days of walking that I had done in April, but once I had started working, I was SOOO tired that I had stopped my daily walking.

There have been plenty of days where we have...


chased doggies

chased bubbles

played balance on Da's homemade see saw thing

played sonic ball

raced (in her underwear)

and other things, but no regular exercise.

That changed today.

This morning was Circuit Day 1, this is what Emma and I did:
Walk for 2-3 minutes
10 Sit-ups
10 Push ups
10 Lunges
10 Squats
(I was also suppose to be 10 body rows but it requires equipment that we are currently trying to decide if we want to invest in).
Walk for another 2-3 minutes.

I only did one round today, but eventually I will work up to doing 3 rounds. Once I am doing that, I will add different exercises in as well.

Tomorrow is Interval Day. I will walk/jog for 30 minutes. Emma may go with me, but she may choose to stay home. It's her call.

Have a good day!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Our Whole30- What's for Breakfast

For the last 11 days, Emma and I have been following the Whole30 eating plan as a way to restart our taste buds and bodies. The idea behind the Whole30 program is to eat whole, natural foods.

I already mentioned a bit about all this (herehere, and here), but to recap-we eat meat, veggies, fruit and healthy fats.

We are avoiding gluten and dairy (which isn't anything new for us), as well as all grains, legumes, added sugar (fruit is fine), and most things processed.

Our favorite foods to eat are- eggs, lamb, salmon, and ground meat; sugar snap peas, tomatoes, avocado (which is a healthy fat), carrots and spinach (mostly in scrambled eggs); any fruit makes us happy; and we get our healthy fats from olives/olive oil, avocados, coconut milk/oil, and some nuts (Emma and Jared LOVE pistachios).

Here is what Emma and I had for breakfast this morning.

Emma's Breakfast
Almond pancakes, scrambled eggs with spinach, tomatoes, blueberries 
(and she had a carrot or two while the food was cooking)

A shot glass is useful for some many non-alcoholic things. We also serve coconut milk in a shot glass for a quick fat fix. 

Emma really loves these pancakes. She eats them plain, but I have plans to make some coconut butter soon for her to spread on them.

My breakfast
Scrambled eggs with spinach, tomatoes, 1/4 avocado. 

"This is what it looks like to be Well Fed"
(I just got my Well Fed cookbook in the mail and the back cover features an empty plate and the above saying- I like it)

As far as the Whole30 goes, I am a bit more relaxed with the rules for Emma then for myself. I didn't have the pancakes because they have honey as an ingredient. Honey is a natural form of sugar, yes, but it is added sugar nonetheless. I think next time I might make them with sugar free applesauce instead and then I can eat them as well :0)

So we have been gluten and dairy free for almost 4 months now, grain/dairy/legume/sugar free for about 11 days.

In the last 4 months I have lost about 25 pounds, dropped 2-3 pants sizes and 1 shirt size, I have lost most of the little bumps I have had on the backs of my arms for as long as I can remember, I don't feel bloated all the time, I have lots of energy, my muscles are starting to show again, and I am sleeping better.

In the last 4 months, Emma has grown an inch, stopped her crazy farts, sleeps more restfully, and overall feels better, though it's harder to tell with her.

One reason we know she feels better is for the simple fact that when Gramma offers her a nibble of a cookie or brownie, Emma says no. We haven't really asked her about it, but we are pretty sure it's because she knows that she feels better now that she isn't eating stuff like that.

So, while I know that the next 30 days (technically 19 days) will be tough at times, I am really looking forward to all the great things I will discover about feeling well and eating well.

Have a great Wednesday!