Monday, June 29, 2009

A fun day with friends!

C & J with baby girl S are not going to be able to come to our Send Off Party :( ; So they came up to Manhattan to on Saturday for a visit! Baby girl S is almost 18 months and is now growing hair! She wanted to be in my arms all day- which is a big deal! She has let me hold her before; but not all day! We ran some errands together at Best Buy, Hastings, and the mall. Then we cooled off at our apt. Baby girl S was ready to eat, so we went to Los Cocos for a wonderful dinner! The evening ended with visit to Tad's for hawaiian snow! - the first place C & J took us to for dessert almost 2 years ago!

We are so blessed to have such great friends! Though Baby girl S is truly a Daddy's girl, my send off gift was that I got to hold her all day! She even went to Matt- which again is another huge deal! C & J were some of the first people that we spent time with when we first moved to Manhattan; then they moved an hour away :( We are crossing our fingers that they are able to come and visit us in PA!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dirty, Dark eating disorder

This has been an interesting journey in my life. There is a reason for my sensitivity to unhealthy living, over indulgence, and the terrible way that the human body is portrayed on magazines all over the world. This obsession of looking perfect is just as bad as gluttony and laziness. There has to be a balance and I thought this might be the time to open up to why I have this view point. Let me be perfectly clear- I am not encouraging people to get 6 pack abs and have "perfect" bodies. Again I am talking about health! Being underweight can be just as dangerous as being overweight! I am trying to live in moderation with healthy habits, some may consider this their normal everyday life- but for others this is a daily battle.

For some reason during my 8th grade and into high school and college I began to feel like I wasn't good enough. I felt like I was fat and really had no reason to live if I couldn't get into a size 0-4! I started with not eating breakfast, then not eating lunch, and only eating dinner when we had family meals- so no one would catch on. Though when I didn't need lunch money for over a month my mom did talk to me briefly.

Since before puberty I had never gone through the experience of wishing for a chest or hips because, well they appeared before I knew what they were. I always felt "big" even though I have looked through photos and see that I was not ( I would be thrilled with my high school body right now!)

Food has always been an outlet for emotion. When I was depressed I ate, when I was happy I ate, when I was watching TV I ate, when I got in a fight with my parents I ate, when my family celebrated- we ate. There was always a fridge full of REGULAR soda growing up. It was like having our own vending machine without having to pay for it (of course my parents were the ones filling it.)

Healthy food choices were not made in our house growing up. Candy, chips, cola, chocolate were always around- and I could eat a 1/2 if not a whole thing of oreos without thinking about it. The television was and still is a challenge for me. My family did not do physical activity together; we ate at our dining room table with the living room TV in full view. After dinner we watched more TV. McDonald's was a regular stop, especially in the summer.

I was not taught to eat veggies and fruit as part of my daily diet; nor was I educated on how to cook healthy meals- but I do know how to make a mean bean dip. I calculated the calories once--you don't want to know- way too much.

Health class- what a joke! Yeah, I know the pyramid of health like the back of my hand- but was never taught how to live it in the real world....

The P.E. program at my school was actually very good. And I was active in school activities with tennis in the fall and choir/choreography all year long.

For some reason I became addicted to food, but I also became addicted to not eating! College brought even more temptation not to eat, but to stay active with martial arts. I didn't want to be fat so I didn't eat or I ate very little, or I binged! But I was killing my body with the lack of nutrition.

I would have times of binging and times of not eating. I had a friend who was actually diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and even suffered a mild heart attack due to her eating disorder. She ended up having to go to an inpatient facility out of state. She is now in recovery!

My boyfriend/fiance'/and now husband helped me through a lot of my messed up thought process. I never sought out medical treatment, and I am glad I didn't. After being married for just under a year, my husband and I went through a life changing experience. We went through an HMR program in Wichita, KS over seen by Dr.Early. If one had been diagnosed with an eating disorder, that person could not go through the program. My hubby lost 50lbs and I lost 38lbs!

Matt and I went through the program together and were successful. We kept most of our weight off and maintained our healthy weights for over 5 years. Moving to Manhattan rocked our world and we added on a few (more than a few) pounds. But with our education from our intense REAL LIFE health class we have the skills to get back down to our goals. I now understand portion control, SELF-CONTROL, healthy choices, exercise, and MODERATION. Weight Watchers has kept me accountable to healthy eating and portion control.

This dirty, dark secret held me back growing up. I still struggle with some of my thought processes when it comes to food and weight- but I have found success and life through Jesus. There were days after binging that I wanted to vomit, but there were bible verses in my head that reminded me that my body was a temple and vomiting was not going to keep my temple healthy. As a nurse I also knew what the risks of bulimia and anorexia nervosa were. I knew that I had a messed up thought process when it came to food and my flesh, but I also knew that with God's help it would not over power me and He would direct my path and bring me to health. (Yes, these verses may be taken out of context, but they kept me alive!)

I am still an emotional eater, but I am aware. I pray regularly to keep my mind and spirit on God so as to not let the thoughts of food take hold of me. I pray for self-control and try to eat regularly so that I do not bing. By the grace of God I have never forced my self to vomit after eating. There is something in my spirit that knows if I do that, I will go down a path that is not good. I have gotten as close as lifting the toilet seat and staring at it. Thankfully I prayed for strength and did not follow through with it.

I hope this gives some a different view point to food, exercise, and lifestyle. If you don't have an issue with food, GREAT! But if you do, I pray that you realize it and seek help from others or medical help. A lifestyle change starts with one step at a time. If takes time, perseverance, letting go of the past, and dealing with the present, so as to enjoy the future. Trusting in God and leaning on Him for strength is the only way I get through it!

While in College I did a paper on eating disorders and found that some (sorry I don't have the paper with me to quote it) believe anorexia nervosa is hereditary. I spoke with my mom about this. My mom had not really given me the option to take dance classes, even though in high school she was a Chiefette - the high-kicker squad for the Kansas City Chiefs before they had cheerleaders. They were a lot like what the Rockettes are. My mom has had her days of crash diets and taking pills that lack in their promises. She told me that she didn't want me to have to deal with the stresses of what dance does- well guess what I still got the thought process and my share of unhealthy diets! I am now aware of this issue in my life, I will also be watching when we have children. My hope is to live a healthy, simplistic, peaceful life for my children to see and hopefully follow. I am so blessed to have a husband who is on the same page- without his listening ear, encouraging words, and understanding of the emotional/addictive component I have to food I would not be who I am today! Thank you God, for putting this man in my life!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Continued Conversation of SUPER SIZE ME....

I realize this is an emotional issue, I have received some great comments on the post, Super Size ME!

In response to Joe and others, this is my perspective:

I agree that Spurlock uses the "Shock & Awe" to deal with the issue that you bring up- We can eat what we want....

I agree charity is another issue, but if you are gorging yourself, are you going to think of others?

The thing that worries me; is that an apple and a water bottle of tap water tends to be cheaper than a bag of chips and a regular soda. Jesus encourages healthy living and fasting; yet us as Americans tend to avoid health and over indulge. As a nurse, I am not talking perfect bodies; I am talking healthy organs and arteries!!! I will never be a swim suit super model-- but I do have an elevated HDL and have my LDL and VLDL on the low side of normal; I get regular exercise and make a point to eat more fruits/veggies versus inflammation causing high fat, high calorie, non-antioxidant foods. AND save money because we eat at home more than we go out, more money to give to others in need.....

I have always believed when Paul (I think it was Paul) said "everything is permissible, but not all is beneficial." A relationship with God helps one conduct their daily lives- including eating, fasting, exercise, words from the tongue, thoughts, towards the way they should live. Does God only love attractive people, um... NO! But he gave us life and gave it to us to live abundantly!

I think what bothers me the most on the concept of the unhealthy living and eating that is becoming an epidemic is that as a nurse I see so many people who don't take care of themselves or blame others or things on their condition. Type 2 diabetes, used to be known as "adult onset" diabetes but children/adolescents are being diagnosed with it! My guess, unhealthy eating daily and little to no exercise.

I was fortunate enough to go to schools that may of had some lower nutritious lunch lines, but activity was a daily requirement until our sophomore years. NOT all schools have PE everyday, some only have it once/week if any at all and that is in the grade schools!!! And they are being fed French fries as a veggie!!!

The thought process "it won't happen to me" drives me nuts! So many people are gearing themselves up for diabetes, hypertension (high BP), and hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) with inflammation causing high fat, high calorie foods. It's a triad, not to mention that with this triad usually comes excess fat deposits which increase one's risk of arthritis which decreases the amount of exercise one can do without pain.....

"I beat my body into submission", "You body is a temple for the Lord" -Joe, I know I should know where these are found; maybe you can help out with that :)

Sounds like the Bible knew we would have a "lazy, it's all about me" mentality in the flesh and it that it would be a daily battle to live simply and with food from the earth and not from the test tubes!

Again, this was tagged as a RANT. I love the discussion this is causing. More than anything this is a way for me to keep myself accountable and maybe just maybe get someone to think about taking a walk for even just 5 minutes today!

Am I making a claim that eating fruits and veggies along with exercise is going to keep one from getting any disease or injury? Of course not, genetics and life play a huge role; but I will say from personal experience that the recovery rate is definitely better and sometimes faster if one is in good physical, mental, and spiritual health!

Anyone for a game of hide and seek?

When the "houdini" cat cannot be located and he doesn't show up for dinner time......and you freak out because it is sooooo hot outside and this cat has issues about escaping from the house and not ever making it back to the door (meaning you find him whining less than 100 yards away) ....Where do you look?????

In the top shelves of your kitchen cabinet of course.......Now that they are empty!!! Duh?!?!?!?
NeoTech has been getting into the upper kitchen cabinets. He will also jump into the lower ones if the doors don't get completely shut. He is sooooo crazy, no wonder he fits into the family so well :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Super Size ME....

Warning, this is labeled as a RANT for a reason.... has Super Size Me as a documentary you can watch. I have always had an idea in my head, no I make a vow in print: McDonald's (and other fast food restaurants) will not run my life, or my family's life!

I do on occasion "hit" a fast food joint once a month. In the documentary Morgan Spurlock vomits after 2-3 days of eating McDonald's 3 times/day! Fast food may taste great within the first few minutes of eating it; but this turns into a sugar high, a "McBrick" in the stomach, and calories & fat added to the body which in turn causes added stress on the body.

It maddens me about school lunches! I know that I had ice cream and M&Ms for lunch in high school and I know I did not get the nutrition I needed! Why is it that our Public Schools (GOVERNMENT FUNDED) are getting the shaft when it comes to healthy food! I think everyone needs to take a look at Appleton WI alternative school!!! The "at risk" kids are getting the best food, maybe they aren't the "at risk" kids anymore when it comes to their BRAIN food!!!

Good, healthy food equals smaller waist lines and "happier" hearts! Not to mention all the other health benefits from your arteries, liver, kidneys, pancreas, skin, and the rest of the body! Super Size Me also mentions the lack of exercise the average American lacks per day! I think that is different post....

It floors me how Morgan Spurlock's liver heads to failure after eating McDonald's for a whole month!!! His doctors urge him to stop this diet because he is killing his liver, let alone all the other stresses on his body!

Am I vegan? No.
Do I "hit" a fast food joint once a month or so, yes.
Do I try to avoid fast food at all costs, yes!
Do we (Matt & I) make a point to eat 3-5 fruits/veggies per day; yes!
Do we exercise an average of 3-7 days/week; yes!

Making just one lifestyle change starts one on a path to health!

Again, I labeled this a rant for a reason.

This is something I have to tell myself when my body reacts to the addictive smell of good healthy potatoes being molested in hot oil to be turned into a Frankenstein version of itself....Sometimes I control my addiction and sometimes I eat the fries and get a "McBrick" feeling in my gut and tell myself "I am never doing that again!"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dashboard not updating certain blogs!

My blogger dashboard seems to not update certain blogs, so to Jen G forgive me for not visiting your site recently!

Compost anyone?

The house we are waiting to close on does not have a garbage disposal; but it does have a compost bin. I have never used a compost bin, but I am willing to learn, so a good ol' google search showed me this list:

I guarantee a big laugh to some of the items on the list! :)

Happy Composting!

A few other links I found:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there. Happy Father's Day to Lynn, Frank, Jim, Tim B, Tim H, Devon W, and all the other dads celebrating this day! A special happy first father's day to Joe!

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!
Thank you for your love and support throughout all these years.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

As Promised, house pictures!

Matt just sent off the paperwork to request that the seller fix a few issues that were found during the inspection. I really hope we come to an agreement, because we really love the house. The main issue we need fixed before purchasing is specifically 3 electrical outlets by water sources that are not grounded properly! Can you say -Fire hazard? Please continue to pray that all will go smoothly! :)

So I have been asked by many to see more pictures of the house. I will share with you some of my favorite spots. I cannot wait to make this house our home.

Come join us on the relaxing front porch swing!

The back yard is not too big and it is not too small, just perfect for us and Regan!
I love the landscaping of this home, it just feels like a home!
The 2 car garage door will need to be replaced at some point, but it will work for right now. I am thrilled that scraping windows will not be a daily chore in the winter time!
We may not have a master suite (1 full bath on main and 2nd floor, 1/2 bath in the basement) but the bedrooms share a bath with double vanities!
Our absolute favorite spot is the back sun porch! We cannot wait to spend time there!

I love the staircase going up to the bedrooms! I cannot wait to see kiddos running down the stairs to see what is under the Christmas tree!
Another view of the sun porch!

We cannot wait for the closing to go smoothly so we can call this place our home!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Not everything can go smoothly.....but things work out for the good!

We had such a successful trip to find a house to make a home, and inspection, signing all the loan paperwork, flights uneventful, and then we landed in KC and made a phone call to Doggy Day Care. The first sentence from the owner of doggy day care was "Did you get my message?"

Regan was running for a ball and so was another dog. Instead of getting the ball, the other dog got Regan's side. The owner of doggy day care was very professional about the situation and by our okay took Regan to the vet to the get process started.

We spoke to our vet via mobile phone while driving home from the airport. The wound would need to be cleaned out since it was a dirty wound (aka dog bite) and need stitches (instead of staples). This meant Regan would need anesthesia. GREAT.....$$$$$$$$

After arriving in Manhattan, we ran a few errands. At 3:30PM we were told the procedure was finished and Regan was recovering from the anesthesia. We were told that we would be able to pick up our puppy dog after 1730.

We picked up Regan, who was still a little "stoned" when she came home, but she seem to have recovered well. Thankfully the bill was less than the figures that were running in our heads, but still a vet bill on top of a boarding fee/doggy day care for a week was more than we had really wanted to spend on the week.

Oh- did I tell you that one of our errands was that we dropped my car off at the dealership because it has been having a funny noise for over 6 months and the air conditioner needed charged?

Well GOD is GOOD! Though we spent more money on Regan than we had planned, the car repairs were only $100! First, the "funny noise" were springs that had broken months ago but were covered by an extended warrantee by Ford! So, there were angels holding part of my car together for the last 6-9 months. I am still unsure exactly what was broken, but Matt seemed relieved that nothing bad had happened earlier with the car.

We had bonus points, so the $150 to charge the AC only cost us $100!


No if we can just keep Regan preoccupied so she doesn't scratch or bite her stitches and obtain another vet bill :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Small space furniture!

So while dreaming about the new furnishing we will purchase in the future for our home, I have looked at space saving ideas and proper furniture placement for a better flow in the room I leave you with this photo......

This is the second "corner" sink I have seen in my life. It is located at a Flaver's Restaurant in E-town. Flaver's is located in the second oldest building in E-town and was part of the underground railroad with a tunnel still located underneath the building.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

As promised: The Skillen version of House Hunters, PA!

As many of you know, we have been researching, planning, praying, and packing to plan our move to Elizabethtown, PA. One of the major objectives has been to find a house. This weekend was our last weekend to fly to PA and find a home! When we arrived we found out that 3 homes we wanted to see had already gone under contract in the last few days! We still had about 8 houses to look at come Saturday, since 2 had just been put on the market a few hours after we had arrived into E-town.

House #1: 1920s 3 bed, 2 full bath, 1 half bath, central air, hot water radiator heat, 2 car detached garage, beautiful landscaping, front porch, gas stove, older kitchen, NO master suite, Very clean, move in ready, less than 2 miles from the college. List Price 214,900

House #2- 1950s The back yard backs up to the college, Matt could WALK to work! It has a beautiful fenced garden-like backyard, window units, very bright and clean main floor/upstairs, 1 car attached garage, 2 full baths, NO master suite.

Hx of water damage in basement that has been "resolved." Bek almost had an asthma attack in the basement due to mold. We really liked the price on this home and the location, but if we put an offer on this one, we will have to have a professional clean the walk way that leads to the basement and make sure there was no more mold in the home! List Price 162,900

House #3 1978 Throw back to the 70s home. Over 4000 sqft (2006 sqft upstairs/ 2006 sqft downstairs) We dubbed this house the mansion. 2 car garage, central air, huge kitchen, huge rooms, 1 full bath & 1 half bath on main floor, basement has a bathroom, but needs plumbing finished for bathtub/shower. This house was meant for entertaining including a 4 season's room and a great neighborhood! List Price 219,900

So, which one did the Skillen couple choose to put an offer on?

House #1:

We are thrilled to be in the process of making this house our home! All the paperwork has been signed and we hope to have the inspection on Tuesday! After the inspection (we are praying it goes smoothly) we can breathe a sigh of relief and wait for the banks to do their job and make sure all the finances go smoothly for closing!

Thank you all for all your prayers!

Now we need prayers that my interview at Hershey Med. provides me with a job! I am looking forward to it!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

House found!

So we have found the house we want to own, we just finished the offer, sellers will be looking at the offer TONIGHT! Please pray they accept our offer!

I promise pictures if we get this house! :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Enjoying PA!

Well, we have arrived in PA and will be house hunting tomorrow! More to come.....

Oh, right now we are organizing Matt's office...the door says, "Dr.Matt Skillen!"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Let me fill you in on the last few weeks!

In the last few weeks we have traveled to W-town twice or so. Our first stop was to see our new niece Avery! Of course I took pictures while Matt and Avery posed! Mommy, daddy, baby, and puppy dogs are doing well!


Our first gift for baby Avery, a little box to put all her little treasures in!

My 10 yr high school reunion, all dressed up!

All the pets have their shots up to date!  Regan went with Matt early in the AM while I was sleeping, but it is more pleasant with both of us when we take the cats. 

NeoTech's favorite thing to do at the vet is hide....

Kiker likes to lie on the paperwork.

The cats are ready to travel!

Regan's new travel kennel!

The packing continues!

NeoTech wants to be packed in a box or in a kennel and get on the way to PA!


My summer purchases!

New Flip flops!!!! (on sale too!)

New book to get me organized...

And it all begins with a shiny sink!


State Soccer- Maize Girls!  Shea is the one in the neon green! GO SHEA! Waiting to hear from Shea on how the second game went to see if Maize got 3rd or 4th place in the STATE!!!


Last weekend we dropped off our dresser to Jojo and Tim at their NEW home, loaded up our last and final bit of stuff from my parents' storage shed, had lunch with my mom at Saigon (yummy local W-town restaurant, order #50 and a side of ckn spring rolls- they're the best), and then stopped at another W-town spot, the nifty nut house before heading home!

Later this week we will be house BUYING, Matt will be signing his life away at E-town College HR as well as getting insurance set up, I will be interviewing at Hershey Med for a Neonatal Intensive Care position that I am so excited about!, and then we have the final days of packing before we get our moving quote!  

Matt plans to defend his dissertation July 27th!

Please keep us in your prayers!

Monday, June 8, 2009

We finally have a parking lot with lines and no pot holes!

The first 3 photos are what I came home to one night after working until 0300 and having to park in the street.  Gotta love that fact that some cars are boxed in!


Starting the week before Memorial Day the work began.....

Now we have a new side walk and a NEW parking lot!  YEA!!!
Now we will have a nice parking lot to load up all our stuff in route to PA!