Friday, June 29, 2012

Dallas, Texas, Here He Comes!

Jackson received his mission call today! It came early in the day while he was working. I tried calling him but his phone wasn't working so I drove by his work to tell him his call was waiting for him at home. We invited the fam over for pizza and ice cream and to hear the big news. First, we all guessed where we thought he would go. Noah, my 8-year-old guessed Texas! I think we were all surprised; I really thought he would to to South America. My sister- -in law got video of him opening the call so I'll post it when she sends it to me tomorrow.

So as far as the contest goes- we said that immediate family (parents/siblings) were not eligible so the next closest is- Elise J, Jack's friend from his BYU freshman ward, who guessed that he would go to Texas! I think she guessed via Facebook and he has already notified her that she is the big winner! So Elise J, please send me your address and we will get your package in the mail soon! I promise you it will have Mike and Ikes (Jack's favorite candy), probably some other candy, something Batman related, and a bunch of other fun stuff!
 It was fun to see where everyone guessed that he would go. Most people guessed foreign- everything from Korea to Australia. I think this will be great for him and he is somewhat relieved to be staying in the US. I am kind of relieved too although from what I hear, Texas is kind of it's own culture anyway!

Some details- Dallas TX mission includes a little part of Western Arkansas and some of Southern Oklahoma, plus greater Dallas area and a big chunk surrounding it. The current mission president is the son of Ben's (Jack's dad) MTC president, who was also my teacher for at least religion class that I took at BYU, including missionary prep class. Jack has a great uncle who lives in Dallas with his family and both of Ben's maternal grandparents are from Oklahoma. So, kind of interesting! Neither Jack nor any of my kids have ever been to TX, other than the airport, and I have never been there either. My sister Annie and her family live in TX also, although not in the Dallas, TX mission. Maybe I will see if the old 80's show "Dallas" is on Netflix!!

We had a fun night hanging out with the family and then my sis in law and I took Jack to my new favorite fro yo place in Lexington. Jack is set to report to the MTC on October 3rd. I am relieved that we get a few more months with him! 

Thanks to everyone who submitted a guess for our little contest, it was fun and now all the wondering is over!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Where in the World Will Jackson Go On His Mission?!

   My lovely son Jackson has just officially submitted his papers to serve a full-time 2-year mission for our church- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We're very excited for him, and maybe a little nervous too! We expect him to receive his call within the next 2 weeks or so. We've been working hard to get Jack ready for this with several doctor and dental appointments, interviews, and paperwork. Jack has been working hard to prepare spiritually and I'm really proud of him- he's a great example to me and the younger kids in our family! Jack graduated HS last year and will turn 19 next month. He attended BYU for 3 semesters this past year and took lots of general academic classes as well as studying the Book of Mormon (the actual book, not the musical :), and other religious classes and taking a Missionary Prep class. He has been really faithful in his scripture study, journal writing, and church attendance. I think he is excited about this next adventure in his life, and having the chance to serve and grow as a person. In my humble opinion he is about as prepared as I think anyone can be to serve a mission!

  So, I thought it would be fun to have a little contest for anyone who is interested to guess where in the world Jack will get sent on his mission! The winner will receive a small prize package made up of some of Jackson's favorite things. If you are not familiar with the LDS mission program (LDS is an acronym nickname which stands for "Latter-Day Saints;" members of our church are also commonly referred to as "Mormons"), missionaries are sent all over the world to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are interested in hearing it, and to do service in both the church and the community. Not all countries have LDS missions but many do. Once he gets his calling he will find out where he is going and when he will report to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT (where BYU is located) to get further training and possibly learn a language if called to a mission with a language other than English.

If you'd like to enter the contest, you may respond in the comments of this post, or email me (Elisabeth) your guess as to where Jack will get his mission call ( If you guess a country be sure to guess a specific country, not "South America" or "Europe." If you think he'll stay in the United States, you should guess a specific state. If more than one person guesses the correct country or state, I will put the names into a hat and do a draw. You have until we receive the call in the mail to guess, and I will post the answer and the winner as soon as we find out. This contest is only open to the United States- because I can't really afford expensive overseas postage- nothing personal!!

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

(I just finished reading The Hunger Games-can you tell?!)

hint #1- Jack studied Spanish in Middle and High School
hint #2- His father served in the US in Montana
hint #3- His Grandfather served in Korea
hint #4- Jack himself has never been out of the continental United States (so far)
hint #5- These hints don't really mean anything, he could go anywhere regardless of any of this information!

Friday, June 08, 2012

My Super Yummy Treat Smoothie

Here is the recipe for my really yummy dessert smoothie-

1/4-1/2 C milk or unsweetened coconut milk
1 T protein powder
1/4-1/2 C vanilla frozen yogurt (there are fat free versions that are good)
1 ripe frozen banana (peel banana and break into 3-4 pieces and freeze for 1-2 hours)
1 T natural peanut butter
1 handful semi sweet chocolate chips

Mix in a blender and enjoy! (occasionally!)

Strawberry Carrot Breakfast Smoothie

Last week I was drinking this smoothie every morning and I love it! Here are the ingredients:

1/4-1/2 Cup carrot juice  (the carrot juice I use is from Whole Foods and I like it because it is processed with the carrot pulp too, so you are getting the fiber not just the juice of the carrot. That brand has like 800% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin A! It is also organic and the only ingredients are carrots so I liked it a lot)

a handful of frozen strawberries
1/4-1/2 Cup of plain yogurt
1 ripe banana
2 T protein powder
1 t flax seed oil (I started adding 1 t of this to my morning smoothie every morning just because it's supposed to be good for you. It is a fat though so that's why I only use one tsp- one tablespoon is about 100 calories).
handful of baby spinach leaves

Blend in a blender. Sometimes I added just a little splash of another kind of juice too. After a few days of drinking this, I started mixing it up and adding a handful of raw spinach which was great- you couldn't really taste the spinach at all!

Mango-Coconut Smoothie

This is one of my favorite smoothies from my book:

1 piece mango (about 4 oz- I used frozen mango from Trader Joe's so I just did a small handful)
juice of 1 lime
2 tsp brown sugar (not really necessary)
1/4 Cup cold unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbsp protein powder
1/2 Cup cold apple juice
1-2 Tbsp shredded coconut

Blend in a blender and drink. According to the book this smoothie is full of minerals- magnesium, iron, sodium, and selenium, as well as plant protein. It's really yummy!

Day 7

Sorry it's taken me so long to finish this! So, I went and weighed myself the morning after the last day and the final result was that I had lost about 2 lbs. I was hoping for more but then again I guess they say that it's healthy to lose 1-2 lbs a week so it's fine. I think I also lost 1-2 inches off of my waist measurement.

It's been two weeks since I finished this and I've been trying really hard to eat healthier since then. I've been eating a lot more fruits and vegetables, still drinking a protein smoothie in the morning, not eating any red meat, cut out most dairy except for yogurt and still trying to exercise at least 5 days/ week. I've also been trying to drink a lot of water still but 6 quarts is pretty hard for me- I'm probably averaging more like 4 quarts if I'm lucky.
 My frustration is that in the last 2 weeks I haven't lost any more weight, so obviously even though I'm eating healthy food and feel good I am still eating too many calories. I think what I have to learn is that even if stuff is healthy you can still eat too many calories of it.

For instance, I've been making a smoothie every morning but I'm not following the recipes in the book and I'm probably making them too big, so they are more like 400-500 calories instead of around 300 like the ones in the book. Also, I've been eating almond butter with apples as a snack but that is still a high fat, high calorie food so I should probably cut it out, or cut it way back. Same with avocados- good for you but if you're trying to actually lose weight you should probably eat them in only very small amounts. I've also been drinking treat smoothies (I'll share the recipe), which are super yummy but high calorie too so I've probably had too many of those in the last 2 weeks. Even though they are healthy for a treat- THEY ARE STILL A TREAT! So they should be more rare.

So, I think what I am going to do is try to do another week this coming week but maybe change it to two smoothies a day and then salad for dinner so I don't get too bored. Plus even though some of the veggie smoothies were better than I thought they would be, overall I'm not totally sold on liquified vegetables!!

 I'm going to do a couple of posts and share some of my favorite smoothie recipes with you and give you some links to some of the healthy recipes I've made in the last few weeks. I'm not going to post another photo until I get to a more noticeable amount of actual pounds lost!

Stats as of right now:

129 lbs
waist- 31 inches

I think all of the rest of my measurements are the same. I'll keep you posted.