Little Mama On The Prairie

A life and weight-loss journey.

Earn Free Gift Cards during the Holiday Cookies Team Challenge

I have a fun way for you to get in the Holiday spirit and earn some gift cards! Swagbucks is holding a Holiday Cookies Team Challenge and they’re a lot of fun! For those of you who don’t know what Swagbucks is, it’s a website where you can earn cash back on everyday tasks you do online like shopping, answering surveys, discovering deals, and watching videos. You can even earn for searching the web!

If you’ve never tried Swagbucks before because you didn’t know where to begin, their Team Challenges are a great way to learn the ropes and earn points towards free gift cards and PayPal cash! The challenge runs from Monday, Deceber 10th to Friday, December 14th. 

Here’s how you can join the challenge and the site:

1. Click here to join the challenge and be assigned to a team.

2. In addition to earning SB, you’ll contribute to your team’s total as you complete different activities on Swagbucks.

3. Check back on the page often to see the scores and what you’ve contribute so far.

All members who participate and contribute at least 600 points to their team’s total will receive a SB bonus in the form of a SB Swag Up Shop Bonus on their next gift card!

Not only that, but if you sign up under me this month and earn 500 SB before January 1st, you’ll get a 500 SB bonus!

Members of the 1st place team will receive a 100 SB Swag Up Rebate, members of the 2nd place team will receive a 50 SB Swag Up Rebate! Which cookie team will you be on?

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Get more free gift cards for the Holidays from Swagbucks during December’s Swago with Spin & Win

The digital rewards site Swagbucks is offering big payouts during their December “Swago” promotion starting Monday, December 4th at 9am PT and running until Monday, December 11th! Swago is just like bingo, but in this case you’re filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you’re thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. Here are a few tips:

  • Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of our popular stores!
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have until 12pm PT on Monday, December 11th to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you’ll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!

The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until 11:59pm PT on Monday, December 11th to use all your spins.

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points – if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 500 SB bonus, which is enough for a $5 gift card from the retailer of your choice.

Click here right now and click “Join” to get started! If you don’t already have a Swagbucks account, you’ll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if you earn 300 SB before the first of January, you’ll get a bonus 300 SB!

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Swago: Winter Wonderland

It’s time for you to get a big SB bonus this Winter season courtesy of Swagbucks. This month’s Winter themed Swago board offers a possible 200 SB Bonus!

What is SWAGO you ask? It’s a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. When you complete a task, watch that square change colors like a twinkling Christmas light. You can then redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you’ve never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great way to learn how to use the site, and it’s a lot of fun!

Here’s what you need to know to get your 200 SB Bonus:

  • Swago will begin on Monday, January 16th at 12:01pm EST, make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Monday, January 26th at 3pm EST. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.
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I’ll be back…

Hey folks, just a note to say I’m taking a break from blogging, probably until the New Year.

I wish you all a happy and HEALTHY holiday season. Let’s all do our best to keep up with as much exercise as we’re able to cram in, and purpose to choose our foods wisely in the onslaught coming up. We don’t have to (or want to) meet back here with an additional 15 pounds in the New Year!

For anyone curious, I am still maintaining my weight, needing to find a way to make more time for exercise so it doesn’t start to creep back on me.

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Weigh-In Day

Hey friends, I still haven’t figured everything out but being on an almost fluids-only diet most of the week, thanks to the lovely sore throat that came for a visit, remembering not to just gorge on food the minute I could handle swallowing ( I was sooooo hungry) and have an exercise jam session with my kids yesterday, I did manage to get back down to 228 this week. I so wish I was confident enough to video myself exercising and the kids with me, it is that funny. Yes, me exercising looks funny AND the kids exercising is adorably funning, particularly my boys push ups. The kid already has a six pack. He just turned two. Sick.

Anyway, I’m hanging in there and hoping I can get fast enough at my new MT job that it will stop consuming every hour of every day and actually let me get other things accomplished every once in a while.



Weigh-In Day, Week 36

Holding steady with my weight this week, no loss or gain. I’m in denial right now though. I need to start tracking my food again and I just don’t want to. The undeniable truth is that summer is over, the chilly weather has set in, I’m not sweating from the moment I wake up until the moment I wake up the following morning anymore. I’m not outside every waking minute running around like a crazy person trying to accomplish more than is humanly possible during daylight hours. Well, I’m still trying to accomplish that but in a more virtual way with 5 hours of transcription work needing to be completed a day, plus photos for clients piling up and waiting to be edited, plus the usual kid/house care. But none of these things make me sweat. I have bumped up my workouts a notch this week in hopes that would help keep my metabolism moving. I think I may need to bump up some more. BUT, I also need to start being extra cautious of what I eat during the cold months. Fresh fruits and veggies I find more difficult to enjoy and I would prefer to stick to things like pot pie, mashed potatoes and cinnamon buns.

Do you have seasons that get you into more trouble than others? Recognizing this will be a huge step in helping you overcome the hurdles a particular season can bring. For me, knowing that the cold season brings with it strong cravings for creamy comfort foods and sweet hot drinks means I can make some smart plans to keep staying on track a little easier. For one, I make sure to keep the good stuff in the house (fruits, veggies etc) and keep the bad stuff out altogether or only have it around in small quantities for the occasional treat, not overdose. Did you know you can cook your potatoes in chicken stock (don’t drain it off), and some cubed low-fat cream cheese at the end and mash to make really creamy mashed potatoes that don’t have an ounce of butter or fattening cream? And they’re tasty too. If there’s one thing I can’t stand its watery bland mashed potatoes made with skim milk and a teaspoon of margarine. Gross. I’d rather give them up entirely.

Anyway, so the goal for me this week is to get back into tracking, or at the very least, being extremely aware of what I’m eating, figuring out how much more exercise my time budget can handle ( I would so LOVE to do more if I had the time), and in general, keep on keeping on.

How are you doing?


Continuing to change my world…

So to continue my thought from the other day, the one where we need to separate our ideas of weight loss from appearance and associate it with health instead, so we also need to separate personal value from physique.

Let me start with a little pep talk. You are beautiful because you are you. You are a human being, created by a God who loves the things he creates and creates all things beautiful. Your beauty has absolutely nothing to do with how you appear to your culture. You. Are. Beautiful. End of story. Well, end of this paragraph.

We’ve been taught to place our value on how we think we look or how we perceive others look at us, but there is no real value or truth in this shallow mindset. Our appearance does not and cannot dictate our value or our feeling of self-worth. We must overcome this lie straight from the mouth of Satan. If God intended our value to be placed on our appearance, what sort of cruel being would He be to place so called “ugly” people in our culture? No, I do not believe God ever intended for men to be judged by their physical appearance. Nor do I believe He intended for women to stand in front of a mirror and condemn themselves for the very things He created.

Fellow women, I challenge you to live in your bodies with confidence. Set aside the lies that hold you back from believing you are beautiful. If you need to lose weight to regain your health, begin to work at it. But do it for your health, do it as an act of worship and thankfulness in caring for the very temple of God, not for a false perception of value or beauty.

Because you are already valuable. You are already beautiful.



On changing my world…

I promised you a “real” post and here it is. Over the past months as I continue to get my weight and health in check, I have been noticing my mindset on the matter slowly evolving. I am becoming more aware at how I used to say losing weight was about getting my body to a healthy state but that my inner person was still kinda doing it for the “looks”. I am becoming increasingly aware of how little appearance really has to do with weight loss. Our culture has placed such a high value on the “perfect” body that I think we all have some brainwashing to that effect. And its not good. It is something that we all need to work at changing.

One thought that keeps coming back to me is how little the medical profession is doing to help patients realize the major health crisis that being obese really is, and motivating patients to make changes to improve their health and longevity. For instance, I have only ever been approached by ONE doctor about my weight and it was not even my doctor. At the end of my pregnancy with our son, the Resident who was filling in for my OB gave me a good talking down about getting my weight in check, especially if I was planning for more pregnancies in the future. She didn’t mince words but she wasn’t disrespectful either and I really, REALLY appreciated that talk. It hurt. But I appreciated it. All other weight related discussions with doctors have been initiated from my end.

Imagine this scenario. You walk into the doctor’s office with a massive tumour growing out of the side of your head. Think like grapefruit size. Something obvious. But you are in to see the doctor because you have a stomach issue. The doctor sees your tumour, but says nothing because you didn’t bring it up even though he knows something life-threatening may be going on in your body and just addresses your stomach issue. 3 months later you are on your deathbed because of the unchecked tumour. Please forgive my lack of medical knowledge to make this sound more realistic.

Now imagine this scenario. You walk into the doctor’s office with a massive tumour growing out of the side of your head, but you are coming in to see the doctor about a stomach issue. The doctor notices your tumour, addresses your stomach issue then brings your attention to the tumour and insists that it is looked into further. You go to all the specialists and follow-up appointments, the tumour is removed, cancer had not yet spread and you recover and live another 40 years.

Now imagine this scenario. You walk into the doctor’s office for your annual physical, a viral illness or just some regular aches and pains. Your doctor notices you are severely overweight but he just addresses the issue for which you presented yourself, at the most, casually mentions you should think about losing weight. 3 months later you die because your excessive weight has caused a severe health problem which went unchecked and bam, you’re dead.

Do you see at all where I’m going with this? Obesity is a major medical issue. It is not simply feeling bad about oneself because the jeans you wore in high school don’t fit anymore. Or you don’t look as good in that top as you thought you might. It has nothing to do with the way other people look at you when you wear a swim suit. It has everything to do with you living a full and healthy life as God intended you to and you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to do everything in your power (and you have more power than you think) to get your weight under control and become a healthy person. Not a skinny person. A healthy person. Healthy comes in all shapes and sizes but never does healthy come in obese.

To those of you who think you have 10 more pounds to lose to “look good in those jeans”, I say this in the nicest way possible, GET OVER YOURSELF. You too, change your outlook to getting your body HEALTHY, and take the focus off your appearance. Help take your daughter’s body focus off her appearance and to her overall health. Help change your niece’s, mother’s, sister’s mindset from being shallowly about physical appearance and help get women to consider their HEALTH first. A healthy body is not one that fits into a certain size or reaches an exact number on the scale but it is one that exercises, eats well to live and overlooks the stretch marks, little jiggles and other “imperfections” to live a life full, happy and healthy with confidence.

We don’t have to look like models. But the world desperately needs role models of women who are confident to live in their “imperfect” bodies and who will take care of those bodies.

And that’s all I have to say about that…for now.


*DISCLAIMER* I was in no way intending to disrespect any of my doctors or doctors in general. I just wish you would speak up and motivate your patients to lose weight if they are obese. And maybe give them a game plan so they have something to start with.



No words seem right…

What can I say? I have been feeling heartbroken for the Bosma family this week, I can only imagine how much more heartbroken they are. Friends and family back in Ontario who knew them are all hurting. Strangers are hurting. God is being trusted and rested in. God is being questioned.

I have been keeping “current” all week through the Facebook Event page that was set up called Help Find Tim Bosma. Mostly comments by strangers and friends alike on that page have been positive encouragement and an outpouring of love toward the Bosma family. But occasionally, someone will practice their “right” to free speech and throw a curve ball in the discussions. Over and over non-believers questioned the point of having a faith in a God who would “allow” things like this to happen to good people. They wondered what good all those prayers for Tim’s return did. To them, they couldn’t see God working in this situation and if He was working, He wasn’t up to any good. From outside of the family of God, it surely must look like that to some.

I myself have questioned why a little girl had to become fatherless, a loving wife to become a widow through such a horrible crime. But  I KNOW that God is good. He cannot be held responsible for man’s evil actions. He created man. And He created man with a free will to choose. He did not create puppets to just do His bidding because you cannot have a relationship with a puppet. Some people have chosen to follow His ways, to develop a close, spiritual relationship with Him as a loving father. Others have chosen to separate themselves from this kind of relationship. When man chooses to separate himself from God, how then can you blame God for the evil that then fills man’s heart?

People speak of God as though he is sitting on his throne looking down on earth saying, “hmmm, yep, I’ll ‘allow’ that man to be killed. Wait, wait, no, not that one, I won’t allow him to get hurt.” What God has allowed is for each person to make the choice of whom to serve with his life, because we all serve someone whether we’re aware of it or not.  The men who killed Tim Bosma CHOSE to separate themselves from God. No, it is not right that Tim is dead because of their choice and I believe with every fibre of my being that God himself has wept with the Bosma family in their grief and suffering over the choices of men who decided to serve evil.

But God has also rejoiced because He welcomed home one of His own children. A son who has served Him with his life, and even now through his death is reaching thousands upon thousands with the message that God is GOOD! You can see it in the strength displayed by the Bosma family. You can see it in the outpouring of love from the church body and the community. It is evident everywhere that God cares deeply for this family and that He will be the father of the fatherless and husband to the widow. He walked with them every step of the way and He will continue to walk by their side, carrying them when need be until they can be reunited with Tim in heaven.


If you’ve been touched by Tim Bosma’s life and have wondered how you could assist his family, here are two ways I know of:

If you wish to make a donation to the “In Memory of Tim Bosma” fund, there are three ways:

  1. You can make an email transfer.  Log onto your bank website and follow the instructions to send an interact e-transfer.  Email address: [email protected]
  2. Make a direct deposit: Account number: 2047-6332096
  3. Visit a TD Canada Trust bank, and ask to make a donation to the “Tim Bosma” fund

Tim’s wife Sharlene is also a consultant for Epicure Selections. Tomorrow, May 16, they will be donating $1 from the sale of all dip mixes to a fund for Sharlene and her daughter. You can order through a consultant in your area or through the website:



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Doing it all? Not really…

One question I get asked quite frequently is “How do you do it all?!” By “all”, they are referring to my life as the wife of a busy farmer, mother of 2 crazily busy toddlers (can I still call a 3-year-old a toddler?), housekeeper, student, photographer, blogger, Facebook addict, and crazy woman attempting to lose 100 lbs by working out and watching what I eat. Literally, I look down and watch each bite as it goes into my mouth. Sooo good. Sorry.

The short answer is, I don’t. And I don’t do it well. Today is a good example and I’ll get to that in a bit. So, my alarm is set to go off at 6am, from Monday through Saturday…7:30 on Sundays. Most days, I get up at 6, go to the kitchen table, open my laptop and start working on school. I was starting with devotions for a while but kept finding myself falling asleep in the middle of prayer so decided to move that to a time of day when I’d had some caffeine. Once mommy radar goes off saying the kids will be waking up within about 1/2 hour, I shut down school and go into workout mode. Our daughter usually joins me about half-way through and lets me know if I’m doing a good job or if “that doesn’t look like what the lady on TV is doing.” By the time  I’m done being humiliated by my daughter,  sonny-boy is usually awake and calling from his crib to be gotten.

Next comes breakfast which usually is accompanied by several frustrated and raised voice commands for my daughter to return to her chair and not leave it until that bowl of cereal is empty, to which she usually responds that she needs me to feed it to her. Seriously? Sonny-boy feeds himself with delight. He also feeds the walls around him, the floor and every nook and cranny of his high chair. By the time the kids and I are done breakfast and I’ve just about gotten everyone cleaned up, my husband will come in from checking the cattle and he’ll start his breakfast during which the kids crowd around him with their mouths wide open like a pair of little birdies waiting for their regurgitated worms…and as if they haven’t eaten in a week.

I won’t bore you with details of the entire day but suffice it to say from breakfast to bedtime, most of my time is either spent preparing meals and snacks, or cleaning up after them. Most days I don’t attempt to work on any of my schooling during day hours just because of all the interruptions that can and do occur. I clean the house…when there is known company coming. So if you ever show up unannounced, well, what you see is our “normal” for now.

By 9:30 or 10:00 at night the house is finally somewhat in order again and the kids are asleep so there is peace and quiet once again. Then I am usually faced with the choice of spending some much needed time with my husband…or working on school again. Unfortunately, deadlines often mean I have to spend the time with earphones jammed in as far as they go and foot positioned on the pedal (my rewind, play, fast forward button for dictations). I often work until 11:30-12:00 at night and then start again at 6am.

That brings me to today. Some days the exhaustion just catches up to me and I cannot pull myself out of bed. And I didn’t get out of it until 9:30 today. Even now, my eyes are droopy and my head feels heavy but I have a chapter due today and still have 8 dictations left to type before the end of the day. Patience is low today which, unfortunately, means I am less than gracious to the children, especially when they begin using their whiny voices and push each others buttons, which in turn pushes my buttons. I think it will be a good day for both of them to have a nap. I wish I could say its a good day for me to have a nap too but I have too much to catch up on during that peaceful time so I will hopefully get in my workout and then be able to finish several dictations so I won’t have to stay up until 2am doing those.

I. Do. Not. Do. It. All. I simply do the best I can with what our circumstances are right now, knowing that someday it will change and hopefully become a more manageable form of busy. I won’t hold out hope that it will ever be less busy. One thing I do that does help most of the time is prioritize. Right now, I have 3 main priorities in my day-to-day life, making sure my family is fed, relatively clean and mostly content, finishing my schooling on time, getting my health and weight under control to make the rest of my life a little easier to bear. So what that means is if I get nothing else accomplished in a day, I need to get my family fed, school finished, exercise in and be mindful of what I eat. That is a good and accomplished day for me. If anything else like cleaning a toilet or baking a batch of cookies happens, it’s a bonus and a miracle. I have let go of the fact that my house is not as clean as others’. I have let go of the fact that I don’t get to socialize with other young moms as much as they seem to get to. I have a few great friends who I text with throughout the week and they are my lifeline when my life feels like its going overboard with crazy. I spend a LOT of time at home.

So please, don’t ever read my blog and think, man, she has it all together, I just don’t know how she does it all. Because I really, really don’t. And I will try to keep things as real as possible on here to help keep you from getting that idea about me.