Personal Blog by Rhonda Crowdis Hardisty

Archive for April, 2014

Our Boys and Their Momma: Update

1907291_10201815655544666_5774646591906867224_nTime with the boys was shorter than anticipated. Their mom came to get them yesterday afternoon claiming to be taking them for ice cream, but never returned. My heart is broken as well as those of my immediate family who have poured everything they have into those sweet babies for the past two years and beyond. I knew it was coming, and yet it is still one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

I have to remind myself that I did what God wanted me to do, for as long as he allowed me to. We gave them a foundation and that was all I asked. I wanted them to start school with a firm grasp on a love for reading and education. I wanted them to have the tools necessary to be successful in their future. I wanted them to know that no matter where they are or what’s going on God love them and so does Nauna. I beleive that we accomplished all of those things and more. It was time, but it’s not easy.

10170757_10202588391764394_6098151425421643710_nThey are just as much my grandchildren as Rylann and Eythan and I know that God has a plan for them and for their mother. I pray that she will listen to that still small voice and not to the craziness of this world. I pray that she continues to love and support those boys the way that God created them to be loved. I pray that she feels the love of God surround her in every waking moment as she adjust to this new step in her life. I pray that she knows I love her and understand how hard it was for her to leave them in my care for the past two years, and how hard it was to take them back aswell. I pray that she knows I am still here when she needs me and will do anything I can to support and love her as well.

God is good, and I know that He is taking me deeper than my feet could ever wander, just as I asked Him to do.

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Hearty & Healthy: Day 2

sprouts-heartMuch better day! Lunch did not taste like weeds and I did not feel like I was starving myself. What was different?

I left the cinnamon out of my oats this morning and liked them much better.

I made salad dressing out of avocado, Greek yogurt, garlic and lemon pepper, then added it and some shredded cheddar to my romaine and broccoli slaw salad. Yum!

Almonds for morning snack, thanks to my co-worker who was saving me from the chocolate and jelly beans she usually brings to school.

After school I made a shake from apricot purée, Greek yogurt, and milk. It was very filling and satisfying. Score!

For dinner I had my daughter put chicken breasts and black beans in the crock pot this morning. It was awesome with a little cheese and a quinoa, brown rice, red rice, wild rice medley.

Very stressful day for various reasons, but after a few raisins for an evening snack I’m feeling great.

My next purchase will be Ezekiel bread! I’m dying for some toast!

Hearty & Healthy: Day 1

heart_nutSo, it’s the end of day one and I kept to just under 1500 calories and did not eat anything processed, that I know of. I had overnight oats for breakfast that were very good, but left me hungry a few hours later. So, I had an apple for a morning snack, then for lunch a spinach and kale salad with a bit of romaine and mushrooms for texture with balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. I felt like I was eating grass! I also hated the dressing. With little available at school that’s not processed, I forced myself to eat it anyway. I survived, but I will certainly use more romaine and a yogurt based dressing for lunch tomorrow. I think a lot of what I am going to find during this challenge is what I like and what I don’t like. I also expect my taste to change as I move away from things with artificial flavors and grow to love things with natural taste built-in. For other snacks I had pumpkin and sunflower seeds! Probably one of the best thing I had all day. For dinner, I made 15 bean soup in the crock pot last night and served it for dinner tonight.

Overall , it was a good day. I didn’t die from a lack of processed food, though I will say I was very tired by the time I left school at 3:30. I work 6:00 to 3:30 or 4:00 pm 5 days a week during the school year. I chalk that up to no caffeine today. Yes, I could have had caffeine, but I typically have my caffeine one of two ways; Starbucks skinny Vanilla Macchiato or a Monster energy drink. Some days I have both. Today I had neither. It may take a few days to figure out how I want to get my caffeine, if at all. I can live without it. I just may be tired until my body adjusts. Luckily, I have never been one to get a headache from lack of caffeine.

My oats and salad are now ready for tomorrow. Next on the agenda will be finding a recipe for tomorrow’s dinner. On this new venture I’m going to have to prepare the night before so that I can tell the girls what to put in the crock pot in the morning after I leave for school.

Any suggestions about lunch or caffeine intake?

Hearty & Healthy: The Back Story

I love vegetables and fruitBefore I get to the contents of my series that starts today and will cover the next 10 days in my life, I want to give you a bit of the back story.

March 16, 2013 I embarked on a journey that would take a little over 8 months and cost me 62 units of something I was happy to be without. Between March and November of last year, I lost 62 pounds!

This weight loss was necessary to take care of what my doctors called a fatty liver. Other than my liver enzymes being elevated, I was fairly healthy, and not too concerned about my doctor’s opinion. So, I attempted a half-hearted change in my food intake in late 2012 without much success and just expected my liver to correct itself. However, it did not. During this time I was also dealing with issues that lead to the need for a complete hysterectomy last summer. In order to have the hysterectomy I would need to get my liver enzymes under control or it could reduce my body’s ability to heal itself. My husbands doctor had recommended that he count calories using a free online app at So, I decided to give it a try on a Saturday morning AFTER eating a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and bacon at a local greasy spoon.

My Fitness Pal was the best things I ever did, and proved to be very effective in my weight loss journey, along with some walking and swimming, but I primarily just changed my food intake. Complications from the hysterectomy caused me to be unable to do strenuous exercise from June until late October at which point the weather was no longer cooperating with outdoor activities on a regular basis.

Since Thanksgiving week of 2013, I maintained my 62 pound loss with a 5 pound fluctuation here and there, but continued to keep it under control until the past month during which time my food obsessed husband has taken me out to eat much more often than before. This has made it very difficult to keep up the weight loss much less lose more. I have am now fluctuating with a 10 pound gain that goes up and down in a 5 pound window. I am not happy with this change since my goal is to lose another 60 pounds and then maintain that 120 pound loss for the rest of my life. So, I have begun to research whole foods and how much affect processed foods can have on your health and weight in general. I have spent the last two days purchasing a new selection of foods to cook for my family for the next few weeks and have agreed to a 10-days of real food pledge sponsored by

Over the past 4 years, I have gradually changed the food that my family eats from beef and pork to ground turkey and chicken, from 2% milk to 1%, from potatoes and white rice to brown rice and whole grains. This just seems to be the next logical step in the progression toward getting my family healthy and back to eating the things that God created for us to eat. I am not by any stretch of the imagination a vegan or vegetarian, nor do I want to be at this point. What I want is to put things in my body and the bodies of my family members that will nourish them and not cause cravings or tearing down the natural make up of our digestive systems. I don’t claim to know much about a whole foods or real foods approach, but I am willing to learn and look forward to your input along the way.


5 Minutes from the Heart: Glue

Glitter-glue-heart-preschool46:18 Start

My children are the glue that holds my family together. They bind together everything of any importance in my life. They attach so deeply that it is often difficult to let go. They add so much to life. They even add more pieces in the way of grandchildren. Those grandchildren then become the super glue. Just when you think nothing can hold on any tighter than your children, they have children of their own and you love in a way you thought was not even possible to love. Their sticky little fingers remind you of everything important in your life and how their parents filled you to overflowing. Grandchildren are the glue that binds it all together and puts the pieces into places that were never filled before.

6:23 stop.

Five Minute Friday

5 Minutes from the Heart: Paint

4660254-102038-paint-splatter-heart-vector-illustrationStart: 5:32 am

Paint is what spills out of the can as you dip in your brush if you are not oh so careful about it,

But who really cares if there are drips anyway.

It’s not about the masterpiece that you create.

It’s all about the passion that goes into the work you are creating.

It’s like writing and having your thoughts spill out all over the paper.

There will be some things that drip out that maybe you hadn’t planned,

But in the end it’s all part of the beauty of the creation.

It all has meaning.

Everything  we do has meaning to someone in some little corner of our world.

It all comes together to make something beautiful; to make someone feel what we feel.

Regardless of the spots and drips.

Regardless of the errors along the way.

It’s not about the way you paint the picture as much as how freely you move the brush.

It’s a beauty that you may not see right way, but it will speak to someone and they will see it.

They will feel it.

They will need it.

Stop: 5:37 am
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