Monday, March 26, 2012

Our Weekend - Whole 30 style

As I reflect on the last few days on Whole 30, I think Mark and I truly "embraced" our first weekend on our healthy eating plan. We took it in stride, planned, and found successes both in suspending one of our time honored Thomberg traditions, and in spending time with company.

-We knew we could not have our usual pizza delivery (plus wine) for Thomberg Family Pizza Night on Friday. In accordance, I headed to the grocery store after work with a Whole 30 spaghetti recipe in hand. I decided I needed something with tomato, since we wouldn't be having pizza sauce. We made marinara with crushed tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, spinach, spices, ground turkey, etc. We made "pasta" from spaghetti squash. The whole family gave the Whole 30 recipe a thumbs up.

-I was jones-ing for a drink when I got home. It is our habit to wrap up the work week with a glass of wine. Most weeks when walk in the door, Mark is on line at the kitchen table wrapping up his business with his glass in hand. It is our "unwind" tradition. Because we can't have alcohol, I mixed up up my own cocktail concoction of Kombucha blended/pureed with a few chunks of frozen mango. I poured it into wine glasses for effect. I don't really have a grasp of what this Kombucha beverage in a bottle is, but it is approved and supposedly good for you. Its from a mushroom, or not and fermented or something. The taste is generally non-discript.

-The H-we's came for an overnight. I asked Gretchen to bring kid friendly snacks and appetizers, along with some wine and beer (since Mark and I were abstaining and I didn't want to buy more).

-Mark and I snacked on delicisou buttery olives from Costco and fresh veggies Gretch- provided before dinner. We made hot dogs and mac n' cheese for the kids. After the adults ate grilled steak. For sides, we provided asparagus baked in the oven with olive oil, sea salt & lemon juice; and yellow and orange peppers & onions in tin foil on the grill with olive oil, vinegar & basil. We served mushrooms sauteed with ghee. (No one even notices potatoes are missing when you have two very different vegetables.)

-Mark and I drank another Kombucha cocktail concoction, and had Pierre with our meal instead of wine.

-Gretch- brought us farm fresh eggs from her aunt. We scrambled the eggs, browned ground turkey meat, sauteed bell peppers, and topped it with guacamole and/or salsa. We served sliced mangoes on the side and Ezekiel Bread with Sun butter or jelly for those who wanted it. Kids were happy. Parents were happy. Mark and I remained Whole 30 compliant.

It was fun to share our eating experiences with our friends. Everyone was satisfied, enjoyed the meals, and were comfortable.

-I made the kids air popped buttered popcorn (my favorite, my TV watching addiction) on Friday night. Instead of popcorn with our movie, I ate baby Kale (purchased in a giant bag at Costco) coated with olive oil and sea salt and baked until crisp. The kids ate popcorn again Sunday night. Mark and I were desperate for a just a little treat... a nibble.. of SOMETHING! We each had a strawberry dipped unsweetened coconut flakes along with a cup of licorice tea.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Whole 30!

Now that Mark and I are 5 days into it, I want to talk about the new diet we are doing! After reading a former co-workers blog about the method, googling, and so forth, I decided to go on the Whole 30 diet.

You see... I like to eat. I eat when I am happy. I eat when I am sad. I eat when I am angry. I eat to procrastinate. I eat to celebrate. I eat in the evening when I watch TV. I eat to avoid putting away the laundry. I think you get the picture.

For a year I breast feed twins. I ate for three, and still fell down to a really cool weight to put on a driver's license. I bought size 0 pants at Banana.

My kids are now 5. I eat some what healthy - not bad, not great. I don't excercise. You see exactly where I am going with this. As the season changed to spring overnight, I had to get the tub of MUCH LARGER SIZED Banana Republic pants (which I had never sold on the garage sale I never had after we moved to our home) out of storage.

I talked up the Whole 30 diet to Mark for a week or so. He decided to join me in my diet endeavor. I don't believe in "diets" per say. I believe in eating healthy. This diet takes the notion of "healthy" to the extreme. For 30 days you give up ALL SUGARS. That includes maple syrup and honey. For 30 days you give up ALL wheat and grain products. This includes brown rice, couscous, etc. For 30 days you give up ALL dairy. For 30 days you give up ALL alcohol. You can't eat beans, peanuts, soy, or corn. What you are left with is ALL natural and vitamin rich food.

**DISCLOSURE - I am not going to go into all the theories behind what you can and cannot eat. I personally read them, and decided it was the right approach for me. This healthy eating diet should incorporate exercise. I am NOT excercising. I realize this will effect the outcome of my results. I do wish I was exercising. Finally, I am not recommending anyone to the diet, unless you read the material and decide it is right for you.**

SO, last Sunday I shopped for our grocery needs for the diet and the week ahead. I started out at a store specializing in organic, fresh, and natural foods, then made a stop at Aldi's and Cub.

We started the Whole 30 on Monday.

Here are some of the things Mark and I ARE eating

-Vegetables, Vegetables, and MORE Vegetables (in a wide array)

-Fruit (but NOT to take the place of vegetables) in moderation

-Meat (the Whole 30 directs you toward organic meat)(you are not allowed processed meats with additional additives)


-Healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, avocado oil and ghee (which is like butter, with the dairy removed)

-Raw nuts, sunflower seeds, sunbutter (like peanut butter made out of sunflowers) in small moderation.

-Olives, dates, figs (with no sugar added) in small moderation.

-Vinegar, herbs, spices, etc.

After 30 days, the idea is that you will have cleansed your body and KICKED your bad eating habits (or addictions), in favor of more healthy habits. The idea is to gradually add back in dairy, sugar, grains and carbs on a more limited basis, and to fit your body as appropriate. The idea is that you will have become an all around more healthy eater, with a balance of vitamins, protien and healthy fats.

After 5 days, Mark and I appear to be on the right track. I think/hope we have eaten extremely well balanced/healthy meals for 5 days. Mark has endured a few "green" breakfast smoothies he would have rather have done without. (BUT he got a serving of a healthy vegetable/kale at breakfast that he would not otherwise have digested!) Everything else tastes fine. I have not been hungry.

Thurday (Day 4) I used my lunch break to go to Costco to buy MORE fresh vegetables.

I refuse to disclose what I weigh right now. The Whole 30 also directs you to stay OFF the scale for a whole 30 days. The "diet" was not designed specifically for weight loss, but loss is a healthy by-product of the healthy diet.

I will let you how I feel after 30 days!

Tonight is Thomberg Family Pizza Night. I am going to have to prepare a meal that does not include crust, pepporoni, cheese, wine and dialing Godfather's.
If you are curious, my kids are not on the Whole 30. They still eat dairy, some cereal, whole grain bread at lunch, and so forth. By default though, they are eating healthier too. The Whole 30 diet was not designed for bodies that are growing.

What do you think???

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The First Day of Spring

Today is Tuesday. It is the first day of spring.We live in Minnesota. It is March. On Sunday the temperature topped 80 degrees. These photos were taken after our Target run after church to get new sandals for the kids. The merchandise was completely picked over. Last night a thunderstorm rolled through. Today the temperature is expected to reach 69 degrees with rain predicted for this afternoon. Happy Spring Ya'all!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day

On St Patrick's Day the Thomberg's babysat our friends' 6 month old son Gavin. After John wrapped up his day of schooling and Doris got done working tax returns at her firm, they came to retrieve their 'little man. Of course we planned for them to stay for dinner.On Saturday morning I decided to play up St Patty's Day and sought out the appropriate holiday menu at my usual go-to source - Real Simple Magazine online! After a quick search, Ale-Braised corn beef brisket with traditional sides was the clear choice. While I cared for Gavin and the Twinners ran wild outside, Mark headed to Costco with our regular shopping list, plus all of necessaties for our traditional Irish meal. Everything went into the crock pot around noon, while the Harp and Guinness chilled in the fridge!

I'm not Irish, but I have red hair, I am wearing green, and I drank a few bottles of Harp.

Doris and I enjoyed a ginger cocktail with Domain de Canton liqueur. That's not Irish either. (At this point Gavin was already sound asleep in his footy jammies in the pack n' play.)

We had a grand evening on our patio in the odd and unusual 70 degree holiday heat.Doris picked us up this decadent dessert at Truffles and Tortes in Plymouth - Bailey's Irish Cream and to die for!
By the way - Marly wanted to point out her first mosquito bit of the season - ON ST PATRICK'S DAY in MARCH! That's not normal!

Happy St. Pat's to Ya'All!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Madness

The weather is CRAZY fantastic here in Minnesota. It is as if Spring Break came to us at home. We are experiencing unseasonably warm weather here.

Wednesday was a record breaking 74 degrees, which made my trigger finger itchy. I bought this bunny at Goodwill last weekend when I purged a car load of stuff. I promised Mark I wouldn't go inside Goodwill when I dropped off my donations... but I broke my promise. The temptation was too great. Yesterday the bunny got a pop of Krylon Ocean Breeze. The bunny is currently at home on our Ikea photo shelves just in time for Easter.While I was spray painting and the kids were playing with Hailey the next door neighbor girl, Mark was grilling steaks - IN MARCH!

We ate our delicious, grilled red meat on the patio table Mark pulled out from storage - IN MARCH!

The scene from our patio - IN MARCH!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

5 Year Well Child Visit

Marly and Dean had their 5 year well child visit with Dr. Whitehill at the Allina Medical Clinic in Coon Rapids last week. She has been the Twinner's doctor since our first clinic appointment on a Sunday two days after we left the hospital. Rachel drove us to the appointment that day, since Mark was working at Marco's Pizza.

Dr. Whitehill has a son who is in kindergarten and twin boys a year younger than our own. We think she is the cat's meow! I took out my camera during a period she left the room. Of course I couldn't bring myself to ask for a photo with her. For goodness sake, the woman has kids to care for, while I hang out in the exam room!
This is the first year the kids had to wear a gown. Dean thought it was ugly and didn't want his photo taken in it. Shhh... Don't tell him where mommy posted his picture!


Weight - 40 lbs (45th percentile)

Height - 43.25 inches (57th percentile)


Weight - 39 lbs (46th percentile)

Height - 41.4 inches (30th percentile)
*2 inches shorter since birth.

Marly didn't mind the gown.

The kids got their shots. They were prepared and had practiced their "brave" faces. Unfortunately, the shots were truly painful. Dean went first. He let out quite a wail. Even after the drama, Marly climbed onto the table for her turn without hesitation. She whimpered, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" over and over. They were both very good about it.

I am proud of my twins. I love our children dearly. I love the people they are becoming. I love the friendship and bond they have with each other. I love their individuality. I hope Mark and I are good parents to them....

Thursday, March 8, 2012

This and That

Last weekend the kids and I had our own Country Get-Away. We loaded up Friday after school/work and hit the road heading west on 212. Our final destination - the gym at the BL-H school in Hector to take in the Girls Lady Mustang basketball game!


  • My cousin Michelle's daughter Mikayla is a junior at BL-H (I think there is an S at the end now for Stewart) and plays on the team. The team was on a winning streak. This was a home game leading in to some sort of play offs.

  • I love my family. I love my home town/the farm. I figure the only way to keep them close at hand and close at heart is to come out when I can, and as the moment presents itself! I figure this is the only way to continue to call it "home".

  • I want the farm and family I know and love to be close at hand and close at heart for Marly and Dean in their lives, and as they grow. (Repeat above!).

Anyway, after a stop at the McDonald's drive thru in Norwood for supper and an up-planned but REQUIRED potty break at Cactus Jack's (or whatever it is now called) in Stewart*, we arrived in Hector 15 minutes after the game started. We joined up with Michelle, Aunt Jan and Uncle Sheldon, Sutton, Saxton, Sawyer, and Etc. Chad is one of the coaches for the team.

Of course my family saved us a spot in their row of the bleachers. Between periods (or WHATEVER they call them in basketball) we visited my graduation class photo from 1993 hanging in the lower level high school hall and I pointed out my locker to the Twinners. Michelle too. Naturally, my locker was alway between Dawn Macik and Brad Melberg!

The team won the game. Dean was one awesome cheerleader for the girls. Marly enjoyed herself too, but Dean particularly loves joining any activity in with his second cousins. It was a pleasant trip home and a pleasant trip down memory lane. (I am sure you can guess I did NOT play ANY sport of ANY sort in high school. There is a Competitive Speach state district trophy of some sort in the trophy case at school from teams I DID take part on. I was pretty good too....)

We spent the night at Jan and Sheldon's. The next morning we set out for Suburbia. Somehow the car was pulled in the route to Hutch right by the gravel road that leads to Yowdie's house. Yowdie (known to most as Judy) was my mom's best friend. I simply could NOT count the times spent hanging out at Yowdie's house. Her son Eric is one of my brother's best friends. In my childhood, the women would sit at the kitchen table, drink weak coffee, smoke and talk (or vice versa at our house). The kids would play and get into trouble that could have been extremely dangerous, but never was. As the single girl sibling, I went between listening to the women and playing with the boys....and back to sitting at the kitchen table with the women (where it was safer...).

I digress. I haven't seen Yowdie/Judy since my Dad's pizza party. Yowdie has had a TOUGH battle with cancer. As we neared her house Saturday morning, I questioned whether to stop. Would she think it was stange I was just dropping in unannounced and unexpected? I knew I would be welcome... but... but... would it be ackward?

Well, after a moment of reflection, I hit the gas, steered down the gravel road, and turned into her drive way. I am SOOOOOOOOOOO glad I did. It was wonderful to see her (and Rusty). I also got to be one of the first persons to hear her WONDERFUL news. She had been at the doctor the day before and discovered she is cancer free. Bless the Lord! What a HAPPY DAY. Yes - I will reiderate! I am SOOOOOOOOOO glad I stopped. Yes, I was welcome. It was one of the best moments of many wonderful moments over the weekend. No, it was NOT ackward.

The kids and I arrived home in the afternoon. While we were gone, this is what my husband was up to.

He served coffee for Caribou at the Lake Calhoun Polar Plunge. Then he was "forced" to participate with his 'Bou collegues in the actual plunge. Mark tells me it was painful, aweful and he hopes to NEVER do it again.
Way to go Honey!

*Cactus Jack's is pretty much the ONLY place to stop between Glencoe and Hector if you don't want to pee alongside a gravel road. It was too windy and a bit too nippy to help Marly and Dean pee road side. Plus, I needed to go to the bathroom too. I can go by the road side if necessary, but it was too windy and too cold for my bum too!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On the river

The Mississippi. The River. Nature.

It is right across the street from our home, on the higher tax side.

Since last spring, there has been a forclosure in the cal-de-sac at the end of our street. We are sad for the misfortune, but we have come to use this property as our own private river access. It has make shift steps (long un-maintained) down to the river bank and a stream flowing into it. We are frequent visitors of the site. Many of our river-side neighbors have steps too, but the forclusure steps have become like our own.

When we make the treck down, we feel like we have gone far, far away from it all...

...and closer to things that really matter.

Across from our bank is an island. Up from the island is the Coon Rapids Dam. Due to the man made and natural factors, the water was low when the river froze this winter, allowing us safe travel across the ice.

The river and the island provide for adventures through the changing seasons.

Nature is at hand. Civilization feels far off in the distance.

This balmy winter, we can explore the island on a Sunday afternoon.

There are downed trees to scale.

There is the perfect opportunity to spend uncomplipicated time with each other and close to God.There are treasures to discover.
There are memories to be made on The River. Our River.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Happy Birthday Marly & Dean - Round 2

Sunday we put a wrap on the Birthweek activities for Marly and Dean with a little party with Mark's family. True to birthday party menu form, I served meat in a crock pot. This time it was a pulled pork recipe from Real Simple. It will be another repeat. It was delicous. After the meal, Marly and Dean opened their gifts.

Grandma and Grandpa.

Playing with their new Leap Frog games from Pat and Kelly.

This time around I made Marlys's homemade poppy seed cake. Mark's special request.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Marly & Dean - Round 1

Happy 5th Birthday Marly and Dean. The kids turned five on Monday. Sunday before we hosted the Melberg Family for a Hello Kitty/Dino themed birthday party. I added paper plate decor to the spruce tops at the front door to welcome guests. This is the first year I let the kids pick their "theme". The truth is, we served the EXACT same menu as last year - hot turkey sandwiches, fresh berries, fish eye salad, broccoli salad, and potatoe chips. The only menu addition was punch for the kids. The hot turkey from the crock pot was a hit last year. Why mess with a good thing?

After a meal, it was time for gifts. Marly and Deans birthday attire was purchased from a seller called Fly Duds on Etsy!

The Twinners favorite gift of the party were their dino and Hello Kitty fleece tie blankets cousins Mikayla and Mariah made for them.

Cousins - Baby Charlie, Sawyer, Mikayla, Sutton, Marly, Dean, Wilson and Saxton. Our guests/my dear familyThe blue /green banner/swag over the mirrors (and on the windows in shades of pink) is made from paint chip samples from Maynards! Do It Yourself and FREE.

Chocolate cake from Jack's Bakery. Originally I asked to have Hello Kitty and a dino added to the cake at the store. Before hanging up, I asked the cost. The reply, "$57.95."

Ummmm... I don't think so! My reply, "Okay..... take off Hello Kitty and the Dinosaur photo please. Now what is the cost?" Those two items were copywrited at a price I wasn't willing to spend!

I dug threw the kids toys and found a cheaper option. The Hello Kitty is from a McDonald's Happy Meal!

I displayed the kids first year/month by month photo frames that hung in their original nursery(but have lived in the closet since our move). Next I had the kid do a coloring sheet of their theme. I plopped the "theme art" in my matted go-to Target frames, which get changed out from season to season for various displays.

"Happy Birthday to you....Happy Birthday to you"

Did everyone get enough to eat?

Happy Birthday Marly and Dean. My sweet angels. My babies.

On Monday (the day of the kids birthday) we made a repeat appearance at Jack's to pick up cupcakes for Marly and Dean's classmates. I came home early from work and we enjoyed some time together as a family, including a nature walk on the Mississippi (which we access regularly from the forclosure across the street). We were early birds at TFI Friday's in Maple Grove for a birthday dinner out, then wrapped up the evening at swimming lessons.

I am proud of our children and how they have grown!


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