Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Cake!

Happy Memorial Day all!

I'm so thankful that we have a day we can enjoy to be with our family, and that we can feel safe and have freedom because of those that have been so selfless in serving and defending our country! But even more than that, as DH pointed out in church yesterday, I'm so thankful for the incredible sacrifice our Saviour made for us so that we can TRULY be set free from the bondage of sin AND death.

...We've been enjoying a pretty lazy day here at the Toller household--sleeping in, staying in jammies half the day, and lounging around watching food network. We finally decided to get somewhat productive tho--DH cleaned off the grill (we haven't had a propane tank since two summers ago) and I worked on a Memorial Day cake. For those that like to try new things, or are just looking for a healthy dessert alternative, I thought I'd share...

I saw a friend had recently made a rainbow layered cake and it looked SO cool, but since we're still trying to stick to a healthy eating plan, I didn't want to make a tempting cake...but then I happened across a website with a WW-friendly cake recipe and decided to give it my own twist for a Memorial Day flare:) It's not exactly SBD friendly since you use a cake mix, but it has a HEK of a lot less sugar, calories, and fat in it, so I thought it would be a nice alternative to a typical fatty dessert, yet it sounded super yummy, too!

Here's what you'll need:

2 boxes white cake mix with pudding
24 oz clear diet soda (we used diet 7up since that's one of our faves)
red and blue food coloring
16 oz. whipped topping
2 boxes fat free sugar free pudding

And here's how you do it...
1)Mix the 2 cake mixes with the soda (I wisked them together)
2)Divide batter into three seperate bowls, 1 with red food coloring, 1 with blue, and 1 as is.
3)Spray 3 round pans and bake according to cake mix directions (I baked 2 at a time because I have a small oven--I baked them at 350 for 25 minutes)
4)Let them cool before frosting (or icing, or whatever the proper term is! anyone know the diff?)
5)mix your cool whip with the pudding and frost away

voila! (sorry if my pics are huge--I've resized them, but they're still showing really large in my preview.)

Of course, I'm sure what you REALLY want to see are pics of is LUCY, so here she is enjoying her turtle pool while Daddy grilled and Mama baked:)

Monday, May 10, 2010


Last Thursday, we made one of our weekly trips to the local Subway and ended up having lunch with the owner. (She goes to our church and has become a good friend here in our new town.) We got to talking about running and such (yes, Bekah, you are right--I'm ALWAYS bringing up running into all of my conversations! lol:) and the idea of doing a triathlon came up. So, I started googling and found a triathlon just 30 minutes away in July! (When you live in a small town, it's not always easy to find races nearby, so I was very excited about this!) I also found a training program and have also sought the advice of some experienced athletes, so we got started yesterday--and we've already found a few other people who are wanting to join us! So, yesterday we did a 45 minute (8 miles) bike ride, and today we did a 20 min swim directly into a 25 minute run.

I dunno why this excites me so much, but it does! I guess there's several reasons for is that it's just so neat to me that we just moved here, and already I feel like I have so much in common with others and am getting to know people and share a common interest with them. Another is that running has become such a huge passion of mine...

I'll be the first to admit that I am NOT a great runner and certainly not very fast. I was certainly never know as being an athlete growing up (the thought is actually quite funny to me now, looking back.) It's been so good for me though to see that when you work hard at something and give God your focus, He is able to accomplish ANYthing through you! There's just something so empowering about feeling like you just can't make it any longer, but pressing ahead anyway and then being able to look back and see that yes, you really could do it. So many times, people feed us negative thoughts that say we can't do something, or we just feed those lies to ourselves. And so many times God sets a task before us and we tell ourselves, "No, I just can't do that..." but if we'll look beyond ourselves and to GOD's great plan, He gives us the strength and the ability to accomplish SO much more than we could ever imagine--and He will also give us the passion for those things.

Along those same lines, I'm reminded of a night I had about a week we were getting the house set up, I had come across several pictures of me and my dad, and my heart grew so incredibly heavy. It was as if that wound had been completely torn open, and I literally felt like my heart could not bare the pain that has come from knowing my Daddy is gone. I so badly want him to see where God has placed us, for him to hear what God is doing in our lives, and especially for him to know his precious little granddaughter-that breaks my heart more than anything.- As I was having my devotion today, I came across such a wonderful truth that has really helped my heart in regards to dealing with my Daddy's passing--it brought this thought to my mind-when you feel like you can't go on anymore, DON'T, because God wants us to learn to REST in Him. it requires NO work on our part to allow Him to FULLY work in our lives...

So what does that have to do with my tri-training? Well, as I mentioned before, we have those breakthrough moments where we realize that we CAN go further than we thought, but on the flipside, we also have those breakdown moments where we realize we just can't do it anymore...and that's when God comes in and tells us just to be still and know that He is God. And we have to do that in training, too--just about any workout program you find, you will be given "rest" days. it's so important for us to just take those moments to stop what WE are doing and our body can replenish and heal. And God wants His children to do the same thing--we have to take time to just sit at His feet and be still and realize that it's not about us, but all about what He desires to do in and through us...

Anyway, I guess I'm just really excited to be on this new journey of training for this triathlon. I just can't wait to see what God has to teach me and how He desires to grow me through this process...

I'll close with some pics DH snapped of Lucy and me this afternoon of me on my bike and her in her bike trailor/jogging stroller:)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

what a difference a week makes...

It's hard to believe that we've been in our new home for over a week now! Last Wednesday, we woke up to a house full of boxes that was quickly ambushed by the movers who had every single box out of our house in less than 30 minutes. This might sound impressive, but don't be too quick to make that assumption, because when you're moving things out that quickly, you typically don't move them out very carefully...

I could go on and on about all that went wrong that day...the truck not being large enough so DH and I had to split up so I could go on to our new home while DH stayed behind and waited for them to take the second load (which was OK since we needed to get the old rental house cleaned up) them BREAKING my piano leg, and us losing our dog (which the pastor and his wife found for us--so thankful for that!) amongst several other broken, chipped, and damaged items. I realize it's just stuff, but it's the only stuff we have, and I want to take care of it. Supposedly, the piano is getting fixed, but I have yet to hear from the repairman. Please pray that all gets worked out and that my piano will be OK. Again, I know it's just a "thing," but music is my outlet and a big part of the ministry the Lord has given to me, and I definitely can't just go out and buy another piano. I've tried not to think about it or talk about it a whole lot, but if I'm being really transparent, I will admit that it makes me really sad. At the same time, the Lord really has given me a peace that it will be OK, so I'm just trying to be patient...

Anyway, enough of the negatives, because the positives CERTAINLY outweigh them! I pulled up to the most inviting home with beautiful flowers that had been planted by a church member, and a renovated home by many other church members. The house is seriously amazing! We feel so blessed that we get to live here and that so many people gave of their time so willingly and with so much love. We certainly do feel their love and care for us already! If you are friends with me on FB, please check out my album of pic of our new home!

Our first Sunday was also wonderful--such a great time of worship! And we were so blessed to have family here to share it with us--my mom was here along with my brother, my SIL, my precious nephew, and our friend/adopted brother, Ben:)

DH is really enjoying working with the pastor and the youth pastor, and we love what a team effort it is. We feel very much at home and are so excited for what God has in store for us here.

Lucy has adjusted pretty well. She's had some days where she's REALLY been testing her limits, but part of that could be me not giving her quite as much attention as usual as I've been busy setting up the house, or maybe it's just because she's TWO! lol:) Whatever the reason, I am very excited and thankfult to say that even though our old home was full of boxes just a week ago, our new home is completely box free now! My amazing mother came and stayed several days and helped us unpack and decorate, so we are feeling very settled, and I can give Lucy more attention now...

Today we went to the national day of prayer service, had lunch with Daddy, and after her nap went for a wagon ride and then played in her pool (actually her turtle that we haven't put sand in yet:) And every day we spend LOTS of time drawing and playing with playdough--she seems to be quite artistic, and I love watching her enjoying coloring and drawing. She also likes to "help" me with the housework-drying the floors after we mop, sweeping alongside me, doing laundry, etc. She really is such a joy-I am so thankful I get to be home with her!

Anyway, just wanted to give a little (or a long!) update on the toller trio--happy weekend all!