New Lily

9 Simple Tips for Making Smoothies (Juicing Too)

Some of my favorite add-ins are basil or mint leaves....

Some of my favorite add-ins are basil or mint leaves….

I love my Vitamix.  I feel so fortunate that we decided to “bite the bullet” and buy one when my husband was diagnosed with cancer some years back.  It’s been worth every dime (or dollar…or hundreds of dollars…but whatever). As long as we have a little fruit in the house, some greens, and maybe yogurt or kefir, we can make great smoothies almost everyday. I would say we do the smoothie thing about 4-5 days a week.  I love handing #5 (Annie) a smoothie as she heads out the door. She’s 17 and drives so she has access to junk food if she wants it.  I feel good about loading her up with a tall glass of greens and fruit, knowing at least she has started the day right. The rest of my younger kids stay home for school, and smoothies are a quick way to start the day (clean-up is another topic altogether). [Read more…]

Skip the Beans with this Paleo Chili Recipe!

Ever since my husband’s cancer diagnosis 2 years ago, I have been searching for good nutritional changes for our entire family.  I have yet to settle on one…but the Paleo diet has intrigued me ever since I first heard of it (mainly because it seems to make sense to me). I am a believer in less carbs and more protein, but I don’t like the idea of avoiding fruit (I eat it all the time and who can say no to kids who want to eat fruit?).  Anyway, the Paleo diet encourages fruit and also seems to fit well into my family’s lifestyle.  I recently came across this chili recipe on (great website, too), and wanted to try it.  So I am going to… Tonight!  Do you have any good Paleo recipes?

Looks great with all those veggies on top!

Looks great with all those veggies on top….and the beans will likely not be missed!











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Cancer: One Year Later…

Graduation 2013

Graduation 2012

We are very grateful.  One year ago today, my husband James finished chemotherapy and radiation for Stage IV head and neck cancer. The treatment was brutal. Essentially, 7.5 weeks of radiation and the mouth and throat don’t mix. Last Friday, my husband had his PET scan to determine if there were any active cancer cells. Thanks be to God, his scans were clear.  As of right now, he continues to be in remission. We are all so very thankful.

What a long year it has been.  There were very few surprises for us regarding the treatments. The doctors were very honest and upfront with James about what was going to happen. There was no effort to sugarcoat anything.  They told him when things were going to get bad, when they were going to get really bad, and when they were going to approach the unbearable. Unfortunately, their predictions were very accurate. [Read more…]

2013 New Year’s Resolutions

My family’s experience with cancer last year has a lot to do with this year’s New Year’s resolutions….

Happy New Year!  I hope and pray that 2013 will be a wonderful year for all.  That is what I hoped and prayed for last year as well.  In fact, last year at this time I had no idea what was looming just around the bend.  I didn’t know that in less than two months time my husband of 24 years would be diagnosed with stage IV cancer.  I didn’t know that it would be a year of visits to the doctor’s office and to the hospital…to the chemotherapy infusion room and the radiation oncology facility.  What a difference a year makes. [Read more…]

After a Diagnosis of Cancer, We are Left Feeling… Hopeful

James and me after the birth of our 9th child, Sam.

Quote of the Week: Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

On February 29th my husband, James, was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer of his throat. I suppose there was some point in my life when I wondered what it would be like to hear the words from a doctor that someone I loved had cancer. But, I never thought it would be my husband, 48 years old and healthy, the father of 9. [Read more…]