Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Starting Friday Feb. 1st, 2013- Feb. 8, 2013

Please note that our family is half vegetarian. Three of my daughters and myself do not eat meat or fish.

* you can find the recipes and the grocery list to much of this meal plan on 100 Days Of Real Food's facebook page.

Friday, Feb 1st:

Breakfast: Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes -with Pure Maple Syrup- sliced pear

 *If you live near us- I look forward to going to Leane and Michael's Sugarbush Mapel Syrup Festival in Salem, Indiana soon where we can buy local Maple Syrup!

Lunch: Egg Salad on Triscuits, with apple and cheddar squares

Dinner: Fish, steamed green beans, and sweet potatoes- Vegetarians will be having a salad as well with homemade ranch

Saturday, Feb. 2nd:

Breakfast: Granola Cereral- with blueberries- not sure if this will be homemade or if I will be looking to buy one. Mark will be with the kids as I will be SCRAPBOOKING ;)

Lunch: PB&J On whole wheat bread with apples and grapes.

Dinner: Vegetarian Fajitas on whole wheat torts with Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, and cilantro

Sunday, Feb 3rd:

Breakfast: Oatmeal flavored with honey, cinnamon, and topped with raisins.

Lunch: Egg Salad on toasted whole wheat bread with sliced apples and grapes.

Dinner: slow cooker chicken and mashed potatoes. Vegetarian Option: Veggie Quesadillas- BOTH with a salad that has sunflower seeds.

Monday, Feb 4th 2013:

Breakfast: Cereal, Milk, Blueberries

Lunch: Fruit smoothie, pb on celery, and popcorn

Dinner: Left over slow cooked chicken, whole wheat Mac and Cheese, and veggies

Tuesday, Feb. 5th 2013:

Breakfast: Oatmeal- bananas

Lunch: Chicken Torts- veggie torts- celery and pear

Dinner: Jambalaya- with shrimp for meat eaters

Wednesday, Feb. 6th, 2013

Breakfast: W.W. (whole wheat) Banana pancakes (thawed out)- Maple Syrup, and orange slices

Lunch: PB&J on W.W., with raisins and sliced apples.

Dinner: BIG salads- with chicken, eggs, beans, and homemade ranch.

Thursday, Feb. 7th, 2013

Breakfast: Fruit Smoothie, W.W. toast with butter and all fruit spread.

Lunch: Grilled Cheddar Cheese on W.W., popcorn, and oranges

Dinner: W.W. Alfredo with homemade sauce, broccoli

Friday, Feb 8th, 2013

Breakfast: W.W. Crepes, with cantaloupe

Lunch: Yogurt and alittle honey, with banana bread and grapes

Dinner: Baked potatoes, fish for meat eaters, mixed frozen veggies.

*We don't have a "snack" time typically- yet, I plan to pack the kids some larabars that I plan to homemake to take to church for their snack. I also plan to use the popcorn maker and make homemade popcorn as a snack and have some W.W. pretzels on hand.

Keeping it Real

OK- If you know me at all, you know that I am an OPEN book! My husband on the other hand is closed like Ft Knox! SO, there will be none of his personal info on this! Per him! MY starting point of this program is going to include measurements and weigh in's! DON'T JUDGE! I would add a photo but really, I am not sure you want to see me in this condition! hehe! Our children are not overweight. (PTL!) We did a great job of putting them to bed before we opened the cookie jar. Not so much as to protect them, but more so that we did not have to share!

The 100 Days Of Real Food challenge was not written for weight loss. It was written for healthier, smarter, food choices to be made. I believe that the writer of that blog, Lisa, stated that she had loss 5lbs in her journey, but that she was not overweight to begin with! There are however many responses to her challenge that state people had been losing weight. WOOHOO! We are hoping that we get to say the same!

We plan to start here- getting our food to not be chemicals, yet, to actually be eating REAL food! THEN, IF we do not see the results that we need to get into a healthier weight zone, we will tweak our eating plans.

As far as starting points: JAN. 29, 2013
I found this guide to measuring yourself from: Taking Measurements

Taking Measurements

Taking your body measurements is an excellent way to keep track of your changing shape as you get fitter. Body weight by itself is not a good indicator of improved fitness. This is because when you burn fat and increase your muscle mass, you may weigh a bit more even though your body is getting tighter and smaller. This is due to the high density of muscle tissue compared to fat.

What Exactly Should You Measure?

Body Measurements
The most common measurements include the circumference of your chest, biceps, waist, hips and thighs. Sometimes the neck, forearm and calf are also measured.
Chest: Measure around the largest part of your chest.
Biceps: Measure midway between the top of your shoulder and elbow.
Waist: Measure at the narrowest point, approximately one inch above your belly button. No cheating! Don't pull in your belly or stick it out.
Hips: Measure your hips around the largest part of your buttocks with your heels together.
Thigh: Thighs are measured separately. Stand with your legs slightly apart. Measure your upper leg where the circumference is largest.

So, I am:
Chest: 44.5
Biceps: 12
Waist: 40.5
Hips: 44.5
Thigh: L-26, R-25.5

SO, I weigh 170. That's all folks!

My Cheat Sheet- sites I plan to use over the next few months!

Raw Brownies


This is looking good!

 I am searching around and finding sites that are going to make the next 100 days a bit

yummier! I plan to post a few of these sites here as my own personal cheat sheet!

chocolate larabars

How about these from http://realfoodrealdeals.com/snacks-desserts-gf/

I keep hearing about these larabars- I suppose we will find out how good they are ourselves soon!
Real Food Real Deals looks like she has a lot of other great ideas on her site as well!

Then over at My Whole Food Life- she is doing a sugar free challenge

 Red Velvet Donuts

She has many dessert ideas and more on her site: http://mywholefoodlife.com/2013/01/29/healthy-red-velvet-donuts/

These sites and of course 100 Days of Real Food will be great tools over the next few months for our family :)

I am meal planning and will post details soon!! THREE MORE DAYS TILL GO TIME!


Fresh Starts: Jan 28, 2013

I have cleaned out our fridge and plan to start our journey with 100 days of real food on Feb 1st. You can learn more about this at www.100daysofrealfood.com - I am hoping to help Mark and I get rid of  the extra pounds that we have found and to get our family healthier. I also hope to see improvements in our good cholesterol levels ;) I do not have bad cholesterol- by the grace of God- but hubby needs some improvements with his numbers. As we prepare our hearts, home, grocery list, budgets, etc. I am praying for wisdom in feeding our family better. It will be tough to feed a family of 8, on one modest income, in a way that promotes good health. We have challenges ahead like church snacks, ball game snacks, birthday parties, etc to address. We have lots of children, busy all over the place, but the goal is to show them that for 100 days we can do it!! Then we can add back in the stuff that should be extras- occasionally. I am going to need to get a lot of healthy, plan approved, things ready so that when we hit these moments, my children will hopefully feel good about our choices for the next 100 days. This is one of our favorite snacks at the time:


However, we will need to sub raisins for the chocolate chips!

I plan to post pics of our healthier meals- budget and meal plans- and updates on how we are doing with the changes.
I am hoping to feed our family of 8 on $600/month. That is increasing our food amount by $150.00 a month. We have no garden right now and that is something that I will also blog about as we get our garden plans going. It will be such a help to healthier eating! We do have chickens for backyard eggs- so that is a homesteading start! Our oldest is in a boarding school- so he will not always be counted in meal numbers. Many meals will be just for 7. Either way though- it will be tight! I am hoping that with creativity in the meal planning that we can do it! I will try to do mostly organics- but I am not sure if we will make the 100% switch to them. The important thing will be to begin by cutting out the highly processed foods that we are used to having!

I hope that you will enjoy watching and maybe even be encouraged by what happens in our home over the next 100 days!
If you feel led to pray that we make it- please do!

Monday, January 17, 2011

January Cherry Pickin'

What is Cherry Pickin'? You ask.
In the coupon world- it is going out to get the best deals for you from the store sales... so here is what I have gotten this week:

These two pics are of RITE AID cherry pickin' I started off with 6 toilet papers for $1.00, then I got $6 in UP Rewards, they are $1 off your next purchase coupons, so, that makes my TP- FREE! I then took the rewards back in and applied $3 to my Viactive chews and got back another $3 in rewards. I applied $1 of that to my facial tissue and got back yet another $1UPR. ALL of the school/office supplies were marked $1.99 and get a $2 reward. They were not ringing up correctly, so, they just zeroed them out for me and they were all FREE! Somewhere in that mix she took some money off the Viactives and anyhoot...So, I still have $4 in rewards to use thenext time I shop! That makes all of the TP below and everything up top $2 out of my pocket, SWEET Cherries!
OK- To the right of the TP is my Walgreens cherry pickin' 8 storage bags @ .99cents = $8, 1 therma care @ 2.50 - $1 coup AND then a $2.50 RR = FREE (coup that prints for next purchase.) 2 Lysols for $7 - $2 in coups + $2 in RR = $1.50 each, a snickers for .49cents, a pack of sharpies for .99cents, Joint Juice for $10 - $1 coup +$10RR, 3 Carefree pantiliners @ .99cents - $1.50 in coups-- Either way, I paid $1.06+$12.25+$.42 a total of $13.73 and I still have $4.50 left in RR- making out of pocket $9.23

Then there is .16 pillsbury and .75 campbells soup at Meijers
FREE Toothpaste at Krogers
.87 snuggles, .47 sauces and FREE yogurt at Walmart!
That was all apart of sweet Cherry Pickin'!
So- since it was so sweet, I had to go out for more...
I'll update soon!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nolan Mark Sweetman- Our Angel

I obviously am not much of a blogger, since my last post was in Feb.
I suppose it has become much easier to Facebook... Yet, this is an online journal type of activity and at this moment it is a good tool.
I went to the doctor on November 19th, my husband's birthday, to have a regular OB check up. I was four months pregnant, 16 weeks and 3 days to be exact. The baby's heart had stopped beating. I had gone in telling my doctor that I had not felt the baby and was worried because I knew I had at least felt flutters or something by this point in time. She stated that we would have an ultrasound and make sure, sure enough, it was gone. The baby had died. So, the next step was to choose to destroy and "abort" the baby or deliver the baby. We choose to deliver the baby in hopes to know what the baby was and to also see if why the baby died could be determined.
We went in, around 9PM, and they put a cream on my cervix to get my labor going. I actually progressed well. Sometimes it takes 48 hours plus to deliver this early and by 10:30 on the 20th I was ready (something we prayed for.) They stated that my placenta may not deliver easily and suggested an epidural in case the doctor needed to pull, tug, etc. When I laid back down after the epidural, typical Leah Sweetman delivery, the baby was there. The nurse delivered our little boy. The doctor came in and they took the cord from around his neck as it was twisted and wrapped four times. The cord had actually cut into his skin. They stated they had never seen one so young, so tangled. He was from the tip of my fingers to the palm of my hand. He was complete with fingers, toes, eyes that were opened, a sweet little mouth. He was obviously a boy, he had the cutest little legs and you could see his muscles and know his built was just like his daddy's. Mark and I held him, sang to him, prayed over him and kissed him. We named him Nolan Mark, a name we had pre-picked when we found out we were pregnant. We took pictures of him and yet do not desire to share them. Although to us he was as complete as he ever will be here in this place, I suppose we fear others may not understand as they look at a baby that small. I do not want to feel as though I need to explain his beauty because we know he for sure was beautiful. The children saw his photo, a photo where Mark was holding him in his hand. They all kissed it as we prayed at his burial. He was buried at the foot of Mark's mother's grave, she had just passed away from cancer. We took a blanket there, sat on it and read God's word together and listened to the song Better Is One Day. It is true, like God's word says, "Better is one day in your courts, than a thousand elsewhere." Nolan will never know the pain of this place. I praise God for that. Yet, I will never know Nolan in this life. I have to wait for eternity. I wonder how he will be, if he will be a baby, a boy, or a man. I wonder if he will know I am his mother there. I wonder if we will know who our family is there or if we will all just be related as children of God. Maybe it is prideful to desire him to know me. Yet, I pray I can one day know him. We are doing well. We have a sense of peace through the pain. I am empty now and confused. Nolan was a surprise pregnancy and we were both in a bit of shock to learn of him. Yet, now I just want the empty gone and I desire to be pregnant and have that 5th child that became apart of us and our dream. Many, especially family, were not too thrilled about our pregnancy. They however do not know what it became to us. Or maybe it is that they know how painful this child rearing can be. We know all too well how to love is to hurt. Thank God that love is worth it and it is the greatest of all from God. I wish Nolan was where he belonged, inside of me, his heart still beating, sucking his thumb as he grows into the 8 lb Sweetman baby he was dreamed to be. I wish I could tuck him into his room with his brother, knowing that those two boys just 2 years apart from one another would grow up being best friends, playmates, the cause of a few bruises to one another. There are many things I wish that will never be...so, I just pray. I pray that all of my children claim Jesus as their Lord and personal savior. I pray that this life will be so small in comparison to an eternity together in Heaven. Heaven is now a sweeter dream because Nolan is there. He was a gift to behold. The Lord gave and HE took away. I am sure he has his reasons and maybe one day I will understand them. Until then I know We Will Remember The Works Of His Hands (a song from church today, a reminder of the beauty!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Reminded of Lent

My friend Marcy reminded me, via her blog, that TODAY is Ash Wednesday! I am growing in my walk with God and this has been on my heart and mind -- yet I had not taken the time to look up when Lent season began. Today I was with a friend and had mentioned the need to look it up and see when Easter was (the Holy Spirit is so good!)
So, thank goodness for the good in Facebook that had me looking at Marcy's beautiful blog reminder. http://locustpointeacademy.blogspot.com/2010/02/focusing-on-lent.html
I have since stayed up and began planning our lent season. I printed a great calendar from
I also plan to limit the TV time and computer time we us as a family and spend more time in HIS word and doing HIS work.
I am going to ask my children to give up something and replace that time serving and being the BODY of Jesus. Ideas I have is using our prayer journals, adopting an elderly person from a nursing home, taking food to shelters, cooking a meal for someone each week, making cards, etc.
I also plan to make a paper mache Easter egg and leave a slit in it for the kids to write a love note to a family member each day and then on Easter we will open it and read the notes together. The direction for doing that are on the childrens ministry webste when you print the calendar.
I have been doing the Lord's Table course through www.Settingcaptivesfree.com and have been blessed through this study to be able to reconize the gift of the Holy Spirit more in my life. I menion this because I am so thankful that God did not let me miss another day of this Lent season. It was on my mind, in my heart and I am thankful that I get to focus more on HIM and plan to stay more in tune with my fathers plan.
Please pray that this season is special to my children, husband and myself and pray that God brings us closer to HIM through this time. I too will pray for you and as Marcy is doing on her blog--please give us as a family any special request so that we can write them in our journals and lift you and yours up in our prayer time.