Saturday, July 31, 2010
I am seeing...another beautiful South Florida day. I live in the best state in the union.
I am feeling...a bit surprised that this month is over. July went by so fast! Summer will be over before we know it, and then my favorite season will begin: autumn.
I am hearing...my son singing. No other sound brings me the same kind of joy.
I am tasting...a banana. Just under-ripe, the way I like them.
I am smelling...Palmolive dishwashing detergent. I finished doing some dishes a few minutes ago.
It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?
Friday, July 30, 2010
1. Which of your country's leaders (past or present) would you like to have a chance to sit down and talk to?
George Washington. What a period in history to have lived through, and what an adventure to be the new nation's first president. Was he scared? How strong was his faith? What kind of challenges did he face? I can't imagine a more exciting time.
2. What job would you never want to have to do?
Pest extermination. Rats and mice in particular. Just the thought of it makes me shiver.
3. How many kids do you have and what are their ages? If you don't have kids, do you think you want any down the road? If so, how many?
I have 3 wonderful blessings: a son who is 23 years old, a daughter who is 20 years old, and my youngest son is 10 years old. Each of them is precious. If I could have more I would. Maybe we can adopt one day, if the Lord sees fit.
4. Did you have a "blankie" or a favorite stuffed animal? What is it/what does it look like?
My mom says I had a blankie with lots of frills along the edge, but I don't remember it. I do remember a squeeze poodle I had, which was about 12" tall, that I loved very much. Don't know what ever happened to it, either.
5. What is your favorite flower?
I love all kinds of flowers, but my favorites have always been roses.
What about you? I'd love to read your Friday 5's! Hope everyone has a pleasant and enjoyable weekend. God bless.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
1. I'm thankful that I have a Father who loves to bless me.
2. I'm thankful that we'll be going on a paid vacation that we didn't think would happen.
3. I'm thankful because I stopped at Payless to get some beach sandals for my son, and was able to get 5 pairs of sandals for myself for less than $20. You don't find bargains like that everyday!
4. I'm thankful because my son progressed to level 2 in his swimming lessons after just 2 weeks. This child begged NOT to get swimming lessons, told me he hated going swimming and had no interest in it. Now he can float, swim forward crawl, backstroke, and is learning the elementary backstroke (looks like a frog in water). Tomorrow is Safety Friday, where the kids learn how to save a lifeguard. I'm looking forward to my son learning as much as he can and getting the exercise he needs.
5. I'm thankful because this second round of swimming lessons is FREE!! I was not aware when I signed him up for the next session that I'd filled out the form for the "Commissioner's Kids". The town commissioner put aside money in the budget for summer programs, and anyone who filled out the specific form (again, I had no idea I'd filled out this form) would get their swim lessons paid for by the commission. Another totally unexpected blessing! I actually went into the office to pay for his classes, and was surprised to find out they were already paid for. Praise the Lord for His generosity!
6. I'm thankful that the fly infestation in our backyard is G-O-N-E gone. Yesterday we cut back a bunch of palm fronds that were rotting, and J took them to the dump today. I scrubbed the patio afterwards, since it was full of dirt and debris. Today I've checked several times, and there are NO FLIES. At. All. It was alot of hard work, and my allergies are acting up a bit, but not seeing flies out there brings a huge sigh of relief.
Now mind, all this has happened within the last week. Can anyone shout out a big Hallelujah?! God wants to bless us. He enjoys bringing us joy. And what does He want in return? He even tells us that:
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
This morning I weighed in at 133.6 lbs. At first I was concerned; then I figured, this might not be such a bad thing. I'm going on vacation in a couple weeks, and I tend to overindulge when I'm not at home. If I weight 133 lbs. and gain a couple more, I won't be so upset. Of course I don't want to lose too much weight, but I don't want to stress over it either.
One thing I want to make perfectly clear: I am not ON a diet. I am learning to adjust my diet to foods that are healthful and that will give me energy and strength rather than foods that make me feel sluggish and tired. As a culture we are obsessed with dieting, and in finding ways to lose weight. There are all sorts of tools available: milk shakes and cookies that replace meals, boxed meals that are pre-measured, weight loss groups, and books galore. These work for some people, but many find that it only works while they stick to the program; once off the program, the weight comes back on. That's because, instead of learning to eat a proper diet, we are way too focused on dieting just to get thin.
I'm not knocking these tools. They work for many people, especially those whose weight has gone out of control and drastic measures are called for. But I believe what we need is to learn to eat properly from the start, so that even these tools can be weaned off of. No one wants to eat diet foods forever. I know. I tried the milkshake diet many times. I'd lose a few pounds, but get sick of drinking the shakes. I'd quit them, and gain the weight right back. I also tried the boxed foods. Have you seen how much sodium is in these?! I wouldn't call any of them a healthy choice.
I'm amazed at how much more obesity is found in America, compared to other countries around the world. It isn't that people in other countries don't eat; but most Europeans don't eat convenience foods. They learn to prepare fresh, healthy meals at a young age. They shop at local fruit and vegetable stands rather than mega-marts so there's less temptation to buy unnecessary foods. The culture is very different from ours; they eat to live, whereas Americans seem to live to eat. Just drive down any street in America and count how many fast food places there are.
Our outlook on food needs to change. Food is a necessity, that's true. It's enjoyable too, because God not only provided food for sustenance but He made it tasty and with pleasant aromas. But it can't be what we live for. We need to stop turning to food for comfort and turn to it for nutrition. When the focus is on nourishing our bodies rather than indulging them, we feel stronger and better about ourselves. Diet should not be how you lose weight; it needs to be how you eat to live.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Outside my window...the sun is blaring but my flowers are happy because I just finished watering them.
I am thinking...of all the sandals I got at Payless yesterday. Five pairs for $19 total. Just in time for vacation! I got $2 brown flip flops, $3 skinny strap sandals (3 pair in white, pink and teal) and $8 white braid flip flops that are pretty enough to wear with a skirt.
I am thankful...for God leading me to the perfect store with the perfect sale.
I am going...to take a shower when I finish this daybook entry. It's really hot outside!
I am wearing...a grey tank top, ratty old grey capris and no shoes. I just got in from doing yardwork, okay?
I am remembering...friends from my old job. Spoke to one of them yesterday. It's nice to hear from them every so often.
I am currently...sitting under the ceiling fan in my daughter's bedroom, trying to cool off.
I am reading...Ezekiel for morning devotions, and still reading Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage.
I am waiting...patiently for the next two weeks to go by so we can go on vacation!!!
On my mind...my flowers. I hope my oldest son remembers to water them. It's so hot out everyday that I have to water them daily, sometimes twice a day so they don't dry out.
From the learning rooms...E is reading one hour per day on his own. That's about it.
I am pondering these words..."Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship." - Romans 12:1.
From the kitchen today...homemade lasagna. Soooo delicious!
Around the house...I think I have things under control. I would like to get everything done before we leave on vacation, but thankfully I should have enough time (famous last words).
One of my favorite things...playing board games with my family. We laugh and have such a good time.
A few plans for the rest of the week...E is still taking swim lessons; he advanced to level 2 which is a big accomplishment for a child who absolutely did NOT want to learn how to swim. I also would like to start a packing list of sorts, to make sure we don't forget anything on our trip. We're all so excited!
No picture thought this week; I may post pictures of my son swimming later on this week if I have a chance.
Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. God bless.
Monday, July 26, 2010
1 - Made and ate breakfast (fruit smoothie for J, eggs and bacon for the rest of us) and had Bible time with E
2 - Took E to swim lessons
3 - Raked and cleaned up in backyard, except for patio
4 - Got 2 loads of laundry in the wash
5 - Started lunch (ham steak, rice with pigeon peas)
6 - Fixed beds
After lunch, I hope to accomplish the second part of my list:
1 - Clean patio and patio furniture
2 - Water plants
3 - Go shopping for sandals or beach shoes for E
4 - Play board game with my son
5 - Maybe rest after a full day? Let's hope so!
I hope everyone has a blessed Monday and a smooth, joyful week. Move It Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In The Lord's Path. God bless.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Ah, but my God wants to bless me and bless me and bless me! My husband J told me he would have to cover for one of his co-workers who would be going on vacation. This co-worker lives in Central Florida. Since E isn't in school in the summer, I told him it would be nice if all of us could go, that way J wouldn't be alone and we could have a mini-vacation. J said he'd see what could be worked out. Sure enough, the second week of August we will be spending, not at a hotel but, at a RESORT directly across the street from Seaworld, paid for by my husband's company! Is that not totally AWESOME?!?! This resort has 3 swimming pools, spa, fitness room, video arcade, and the rooms are spectacular! We are soooo excited! My only sadness is that my oldest son won't be joining us; he has to work and we'll be gone for just over a week. My daughter will be joining us, though. Her classes end Aug 6 and we'll be in Orlando Aug 8. It'll be quality time we get to spend with our college girl, who has been telling me lately she misses us dreadfully.
Once again God has shown me how He blesses me even when I'm not expecting Him to. Trust me, this is no coincidence; it's a God-incident. I feel so undeserving, yet so grateful for His love and generosity. I thank my Lord and praise Him again and again.
I am seeing...the sun shining brightly through the kitchen and dining room windows. Tropical Storm Bonnie came through yesterday with rain and winds, but you wouldn't know it today. Just a regular South Florida day.
I am feeling...energized and ready to start my day.
I am hearing...the morning cartoons.
I am tasting...Chocolate Cheerios and coffee. Sweet!
I am smelling...a clean home.
It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?
Friday, July 23, 2010
1) What's your favorite magazine?
I'm not a big magazine reader, but if I had to choose I'd probably say Better Homes and Gardens. I like getting ideas to make my home cozier.
2) What book are you currently reading?
Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage by Lee and Leslie Strobel. Lee Strobel is the author of The Case for Christ, and if you've ever read it you know he is an amazing writer. The book I'm reading relates the struggles Lee and his wife experienced when she became a Christian while he was an atheist. Real eye-opening experiences.
3) What's the worst book you ever read?
Wuthering Heights. The story is very dark and foreboding. Not to my taste.
4) What makes a book perfect for you?
It should teach me something. Even if it isn't written specifically as a teaching tool, I want to put it down knowing my life has changed for the better because of having read it.
5) If you could buy any book right now, which one would it be?
The Complete Collection of Sherlock Holmes. I've been reading Sherlock Holmes since my teenage years. I could read these books over and over and not get tired of them.
So, why don't you head on over to the Friday 5 and pick some questions for yourself? You might be surprised at your own answers! Have a safe (and hopefully storm free!) weekend. God bless.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I've mentioned in the past that I actually attend 2 churches in our area, one a contemporary Christian church, the other a more traditional Baptist church. The contemporary is the first church I attended when I was saved. God led me there, I believe, because it was what I needed at the time. This church is excellent for new believers; the teachings are Bible based but not so difficult that someone off the street can't understand it. They're always looking for ways to get people involved in ministries, even though they don't have a building of their own. The ministries are simple enough to get people jumpstarted, especially people like me who are introverts and have trouble reaching out.
I began attending the Baptist church about 2 years ago. The contemporary, as I mentioned, has no facility of their own. We meet in a local high school (previously we met at a local movie theater). This means that there is a limited amount of resources, specifically for the children. The contemporary offers children's ministry on Sundays, and that's it. I found out from another lady at the contemporary church that a Baptist church in our area had Awana on Wednesdays, and we decided to try it out. I would drop E off at Awana, then go to Bible study. I cannot begin to describe how much I've enjoyed Wednesday night Bible study! I have learned, been convicted, and been encouraged to study the Word more. My son has also benefitted greatly from Awana; he has gained a stronger faith as he studies God's word, and remembers Bible verses, something that's hard on a child with dyslexia.
So I was attending a contemporary church on Sundays and a traditional church on Wednesdays. My daughter, on the other hand, preferred the traditional church because the teaching is deeper. She complained that the messages at the contemporary church were fine for new believers, but she needed something with more "meat" (how often do you hear 18 year olds talk like that?). I wasn't completely sold at first, but her best friend was playing guitar during worship one Sunday and I went to hear and cheer her on. I had always believed I wouldn't like a traditional church because it would be too much like the church I'd grown up in: rigid and stuffy and judgmental. I found this not to be the case. While traditional, this Baptist church (independent, not Southern Baptist) is also modern. They use the Kidmo and Discipleland curriculum for the childrens Sunday school, filled with cartoons and simple ways to learn and memorize Scripture. The music is also a mix of hymns and contemporary worship songs, which suprisingly I enjoy very much.
At the same time, there were changes going on in the contemporary church that weren't to my liking. The worship was my main concern. When we'd started going to the contemporary church, the worship was mostly songs by David Crowder and Chris Tomlin. The band consisted of 5-6 people, and it was so moving there were times I couldn't hold back the tears. I always made sure I got there early for worship. As time went on, however, it started turning into a production, almost resembling a concert. Flashing lights, smoke machines, and harder rock songs began blaring from the stage. I began sitting farther and farther away, because the smoke machines made me cough and gag (not a good combination when worshipping the Lord). Then, there would be a pause in the worship set for announcements and to give people a chance to fill out a connection card. During this time, the band would play secular rock music, which I found offensive. I know most of the congregation loves it; this church is unique in our community in that the main demographic is 18-35 year olds. I, on the other hand, was feeling more and more uncomfortable. Maybe I'm a bit old-fashioned, but I believe there's a time and place for everything, and Sunday church service is not the place for secular music. A couple weeks ago I actually waited until worship was almost over before I went inside, something that I would never have done before. It was a bit of a wake-up call.
In the contemporary church I was also leading a woman's small group and teaching in children's ministry. After having taken the Strengthfinder test I know my spiritual gifts are teaching and learning, and I have a strong desire to teach. I knew also that this was an opportunity to share what I was learning, whether in my personal study or at the Baptist church. What I found, though, was that most of the attendees wanted small group study to be easy. These were either young profesional women who had a job and were too "busy" to spend a lot of time preparing for small groups, young teens in school who had too much homework to also have to do alot of studying, or moms with jobs who had too much on their plates to add a study time to their schedules. While this wasn't true of all the women, I did find many of them would come to small groups having read nothing of that week's study, unable to participate because they had no clue what we were talking about, or making comments that had nothing to do with the topic at hand. I also became discouraged at the fact that I'd have over 20 women sign up for a small group but less than 10 would show up. Preparing for small groups was something I took very seriously; I'd do my own more profound study that took time, even when I was working full-time, so that I could do an effective job of teaching, and yet there were times when no one would show up. I sensed that many in this church like the easy going atmosphere and want to stay where they are, but I know if I want to grow I need to be challenged, and I wasn't getting that.
Now, this is something I've been praying for, not something that has just come up. Other things that I won't go into began changing, and I was sensing that I needed to make a decision. Would I stay at the contemporary church even if issues with worship and other things were disturbing to me, or would I go to the traditional church where I felt the Holy Spirit convicting me and my faith strengthening? Sounds like an easy choice, doesn't it? But for me it wasn't. I didn't want this to be MY decision; I wanted it to come from the Lord. So I prayed and asked for guidance, choosing to continue attending both churches until God pointed out the direction He wanted me to go. I finally got my answer yesterday.
The contemporary church had branched out to another city north of us in the next county, and begun a satellite church at another high school. Technically, it isn't far from me, but it definitely wasn't as close as the location I was attending which was practically in my backyard. The second location, which started meeting in February, has been doing very well, averaging 125 people each Sunday. We would have about 900 people meeting at the first location, in 2 services. It was an arrangement that seemed to be working very well. Then, all servants were called to a special meeting yesterday to discuss changes that were happening in the church. No one knew what these changes were. Turns out, due to circumstances beyond the church's control, the contract for the first location has been terminated, and the church will only be meeting at this location for 3 more weeks. The church has made the decision to move all services to the new location. This was a surprise, especially to me.
When I told my daughter about the meeting, we discussed what might be going on. She made the comment that possibly one of the locations would shut down, though believing it to be the 2nd location. She even asked what I would do if the location I attended was shut down. I said I would not move to the farther location, especially if I have the traditional church so close by. I asked God to reveal His will for us with this meeting, and He did. I admit I was still feeling a bit unsure last night after having heard all the pastor had to say. I knew what the church was doing was the right thing for them, and I believe God is guiding this church where He wants them to be, in a city that is very unchurched. I also had to accept that what God wants for this contemporary church, is not what He wants for me. He has answered my prayer, and now that I've had time to meditate on it I can do nothing but thank and praise my God for His love and faithfulness in showing me what He wants for me. Thank You Jesus!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Well, I'm on the losing track again. I weighed in at 133.8 lbs. this morning. I think the problem is I'm not eating my meals as I should because I'm running around so much. I've missed some morning and even afternoon snacks because I'm here, there and everywhere. Unfortunately that isn't changing yet: I've got to run to Costco this morning to get my tires rotated. I tell ya, I should be allowed to put my car down as a dependent on my income tax form. It requires as much care as any of my kids!
Nothing beats a home cooked meal. Fast food may be convenient, but let's be honest, it's not tasty. The food is loaded with salt and MSG which is why people go back for more, but I've found that if I stop eating it for awhile, when I try it again it tastes awful. The benefit of a home cooked meal is that it's prepared to our individual liking. I can make it spicier, smokier, crunchier, however I want. I can add more or less salt, or pepper, or sugar, according to what my body needs and what my family prefers. There's just one question: is it really healthier?
I can say that yes, my home cooked food is definitely healthier than anything McD's or BK can dish out. But healthier doesn't necessarily mean healthy. Just because it's better doesn't mean it's good. So how to figure out if the food I'm eating is in fact as nutritious as I think it is? MyFitnessPal.com has become the answer.
MyFitnessPal.com is a website similar to WeightWatchers except for the fact that it's absolutely free. You can go and find all kinds of foods and their nutritional facts, so that at a glance you can see calories, fat, sodium, vitamins, etc for any food. Recently they added a great option: my recipes. Here you can create a recipe box with your favorite recipes, and as the ingredients are added the program figures out the nutritional value of each item, the nutritional value for the entire recipe, and even for individual portions. It's a fantastic tool if you're trying to eat a more balanced and healthy diet because you can see the numbers and adjust your recipe accordingly, something that can't be done when eating out.
I was surprised to see how much lower in fat and calories my meals are than what is served in most restaurants (yay!), but also how much more sodium we were eating than I originally believed (boo!!). Not a problem, though. Since I can see what each item's nutritional value is, I can make changes to my recipes, like switching over to no salt added veggies or substituting other spices (like salt-free Mrs. Dash) for salt. The result: My meals are better than they were before, though my family doesn't notice the difference. Flavor-wise the change is minimal if at all; health-wise, it's better for all of us.
If you haven't tried it, go ahead and pull out a favorite recipe, then look up the nutritional value for each item. Like me, you may be pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised, but that's all part of learning to eat wisely.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Outside my window...the clouds begin to separate and a blue sky is peeking out. It's gonna be another hot and humid day.
I am thinking...of my son, and his extreme fear of the diving board.
I am thankful...that my little boy has learned to swim, better than others in his class, despite his fear and doubt of his own abilities.
I am going...to take my car for an oil change in just a little while.
I am wearing...my pj's for now. I'll be changing in a few minutes.
I am remembering...or at least trying to remember where I put the last receipt from the car mechanic. I think it's in my accordion folder.
I am currently...so busy running around doing errands that I barely have time to get my home chores done. So much for my life as a princess!
I am reading...Lamentations for morning devotions, and Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage by Lee and Leslie Strobel. Excellent book.
I am waiting...for my son's breakfast to be ready so I can wake him up.
On my mind...all the stuff I need to get done but I'm behind on.
From the learning rooms...still haven't done anything but some reading. It's summer vacation, okay?
I am pondering these words..."When a man's wife becomes a Christian...Suddenly she has a love elationship with someone he can't even see...All he knows is that she's in love with somebody else, and he is jealous." - Linda Davis, How to be the Happy Wife of an Unsaved Husband.
From the kitchen today...I've got london broil in one crock pot and pinto beans in another. Bright and early, so it'll be ready before noon.
Around the house...are you ready? I have to change the bedsheets and wash bedding, wash towels, do regular laundry. Both bathrooms need to be cleaned, and the floors need mopping. Area rugs need vacuuming as well. Dusting in the family room. Yeah, I've got my work cut out for me, but I won't be home this morning. Ugh!
One of my favorite things...my car. Although it's given me some headaches lately, it's 9 years old and has been very reliable. I can understand it needing repairs after all these years; previous to this year the only repair it had ever gotten was a solenoid that was replaced. Other than that, it's worked like a charm.
A few plans for the rest of the week...we have a church meeting tomorrow, something important, and all those who serve are to attend. I'm anxious to find out what it's about. My son's Cub Scout troop has ice skating this week, and Sunday is beach day - a birthday party for one of the little cousins who's turning 4. Plus daily swim lessons, and all the rest of my usual days. My life is not one of leisure, but it is one of pleasure.
Here is a picture thought I'm sharing...and was able to download this week!
I found this Love plaque at Big Lots for just $5! I forgot to take a before picture, but this is a bridge above the kitchen sink that visually connects the cabinets on both sides. It had nothing on it and looked very plain. I like that this plaque has all the colors I love, and I was able to hang it using Command strips so no wood was harmed in the hanging of this artwork! LOL!! It gives the kitchen a warmth that was lacking before.
Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed week.
Monday, July 19, 2010
I was up at 6:00 this morning so I could get ready and have my egg-bacon-cheese-muffin breakfast before going to the mechanics with my son E. Yes, the car was leaking water, AGAIN. Turns out the brand new radiator had issues and needed to be replaced. We didn't get back home till 11:00am, at which time I had to start cooking so I could have lunch ready before J got home. I worked a bit in the backyard - just a bit, because I'd barely gotten outdoors when it began raining. My hubby got some parts he needed to repair the treadmill, so I was out in the garage with him for over an hour working on it. After that I got cleaned up and took E to the pool park for his swim lesson. Then we came home, had dinner, and I went back out to finish up some yardwork before taking my shower. Basically, it's the first time today that I've sat down, but I can say I kept busy and active this Monday, first day of what looks to be an eventful week. Stay tuned!
Move it Mondays is hosted by Kristilea over at In The Lord's Path. Hope everyone has a blessed week.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I am seeing...a box of gourmet chocolate chunk cookies from Costco. I don't usually buy these, but I had a coupon. I treated myself to one yesterday. They are SOOOO good!
I am feeling...old. It's my baby sister's 37th birthday today. What a way to be reminded of how quickly time flies.
I am hearing...cartoons. And the whirr of the refrigerator motor.
I am tasting...my favorite morning breakfast. That multi-grain english muffin is so much tastier than the plain one.
I am smelling...chocolate chip Eggos. My oldest son loves them. I love the smell of fresh baked goods they leave in the kitchen.
It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?
Friday, July 16, 2010
1. What is your favorite piece of clothing and how does it make you feel?
I have some really cool skirts, A-line which are my favorite, and one in particular is a taupe color with peach, melon, and brown polka dots. It's a fun skirt I picked up really cheap at Marshalls. Right now it makes me feel super thin, since it's about 2 sizes too big on me after my weight loss.
2. What was the most expensive article of clothing you ever bought?
Probably something for a wedding that I wore once or twice. I'll never do that again. Too wasteful, IMO.
3. What is a current fashion trend you think looks horrible?
Jeans that hang down so low there's underwear showing (if there's any being worn to show). Why would anyone think this is attractive?!?!
4. What decade do you think had the best clothes?
I guess I'm a bit partial to the '80's clothing, since that's what I wore as a teenager. I absolutely hate '60's hippie and '70's disco outfits. I like color, but not loud designs.
5. If your friends/family could throw away a single piece of your clothing, which do you think it would be and why?
I've never had anyone tell me an article of my clothing was offensive! If anything, I think they might toss my shoes because I buy most of them at Payless and my hubby's family says Payless shoes make feet stink. I don't seem to have this problem but it bothers my m-i-l and her sisters, so I'd say probably that.
Hope my answers provided some insight, or laughter, or something more than a yawn! Have a fun Friday and a blessed weekend.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Maintenance is the word now, and I'm doing well so far at maintaining my weight. I checked in this morning, and I'm 134.6 lbs, a little over what I was last week and still in the 134-135 range, which is good for me. I'm pleased that I've been eating better, enjoying what I eat (very important both for losing and maintaining weight loss), and feeling energetic. That's what matters most. Of course, getting multiple compliments at church this Sunday didn't hurt one bit ;-).
Ever meet one of those people who eat and eat and eat and never put on any weight? Yep, that was me. It's funny how I find old classmates on Facebook, and the first thing they tell me is, "I remember you, you were the girl that was always eating!" I'd sit at the lunch table with my friends, clean my plate, then eat everyone else's leftovers. Whenever one of the girls was dieting, I'd have a picnic. I'd eat breakfast every morning, easily eat 3-4 lunches, and always had seconds at dinner. Not to mention the snacking I did in between: cookies, candy, chocolate, you name it. Yet at graduation I weighed all of 103 lbs. At 5'4", that's pretty slim. Let's face it, I had the good life. I knew it, and I milked it for all it was worth.
That, obviously, didn't last forever. It lasted till my first child was born. I gained quite a bit of weight (45 lbs), and lost most, but not all of it. By the time my second child was born, I was able to get down to 127 lbs but not much lower. Now, I'm not saying that at that point I was overweight. But I did notice that staying thin became a bit harder. I still ate more than most people, and with 2 toddlers and a full-time job I had plenty of exercise. Yet try as I might, I couldn't get down to the 120 lbs I wanted to weigh. That was new territory for me.
As a teenager I was very self-conscious about my weight. I know that sounds crazy, but I was afraid I was so skinny I looked anorexic. I tried everything to gain weight: milk shakes, vitamins, lots of sweets, but I burned it faster than I ate it. My mom and many others told me not to worry, it would all catch up with me soon enough. I couldn't imagine it happening, though. I'd been a heavy eater with no consequences all my life, and I was sure that would be true always.
As my children got older and I was running after them less and less, the weight began to pile on more and more. I began adjusting my eating a bit; no more seconds after dinner, and less snacking between meals. It was a big deal for me, who'd never dieted a day in my life, but I had to face the fact: my metabolism was changing, and I needed to change with it. That's one of the issues I've noticed with people who, like me, had an active teen life but in later years become more sedentary. An active person can eat more and not put on any pounds. Someone sitting behind a desk all day, however, needs to realize more than just their activity level needs to change.
No one wants to get older, but we do. No one likes to change their habits, but we must. As we get older, our bodies, our metabolisms, change. Our activities change, and therefore our activity levels do too. I convinced myself for a long time that I could eat more than the average person because I always had. Once I accepted the fact that my body was not the same as it was when I was 16 years old, I was more willing to make the adjustments necessary to live healthier. That's the first step: admitting that changes are needed to get back on track.
This is true in our spiritual lives as well. We begin our walk with God with much enthusiasm, reading, learning, growing, then comes a time when we need to step it up. We need involvement. We need to get deeper into the Word. We need to allow God to challenge us. But we stall. Why? Because it's hard to accept change. It's easier to stay where we are, content with just knowing that Jesus loves us and died for our sins. Even though we know that isn't enough, we hesitate to go forward. We receive the talents from our Master, but we're afraid to invest them (Matthew 25:14-30). Yet the truth is, when we admit that changes need to be made, and we accept God's work in our lives, we feel better, healthier, stronger and more energetic in our spiritual lives.
My son has taught me that lesson this week. He started swimming lessons with huge tears in his eyes. He told me he didn't see the need to learn how to swim; he's played in pools and at the beach without having to swim, why couldn't he just stay the way he was? As his mom, though, I know this is important for him. We live in South Florida. Most of the parties he gets invited to are pool parties, and he's the kid at the shallow end of the pool holding on to the edge for fear of getting in too deep. He's afraid of going too far into the ocean because he doesn't know if he'll be able to get back to shore. To remedy this, he has to learn to swim. Yes, it means stepping out of his comfort zone and daring to try. The first day was scary, and the second day was even scarier. But by the end of lesson 2 he started to feel more sure of himself. He realized his instructor wasn't about to let him drown. He saw his mommy sitting nearby, watching his every move. He knows Jesus is always with him. And he began to trust. I'm confident if he keeps at it, he'll master swimming. I'm also confident that if he gives up or doesn't try, he'll never reach his full potential.
I need to be willing to do the same. To step out and step into the roles God has prepared for me. To make changes in my life so that I look more like Jesus. To reach out to others in love. It's not always in my nature to do these things. But if I'm ready to admit that my physical metabolism is changing, I also have to admit that my spiritual metabolism changes, and I need to make adjustments to it, not stay stagnant in the same place all my life, but be on the move so I can be spiritually fit. How about you?
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Outside my window...is proof we're in the Sunshine State. That is some powerful sunshine! It's hot out there, too - hot and muggy. I hope we start getting some cooler breezes soon.
I am thinking...about a verse God pointed out to me this morning, and about one of my daughter's friends who is in the hospital. His liver is inflammed and his white blood cell count is high, but doctors haven't figured out why.
I am thankful...for my God, who never leaves me nor forsakes me, who is constantly in my face whether to encourage or discipline me. I need that. Alot.
I am going...to be taking my son to swim classes for the next 2 weeks.
I am wearing...are you ready? A grey tank top, light blue capris, and pink flip-flops. Can you tell I'm not going anywhere right now? LOL!
I am remembering...my high school friends. They got together and posted a picture on Facebook. That brought back a flood of memories.
I am currently...enjoying my new scrapbooking station. I got one page done on Sunday, and finished another page that I'd started but couldn't figure out how to embellish it. The best part: clean up takes seconds!
I am reading...Jeremiah for morning devotions, and I finished Having a Mary Spirit, which is an awesome study guide. Now looking for my next personal study material.
I am waiting...to hear from my daughter about DB and what the doctors have found out, if anything.
On my mind...getting back to my SOAP devotions.
From the learning rooms...we really haven't been doing anything. We watch movies every night, which is fun, but we need to get reading again.
I am pondering these words..."And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." - Jeremiah 29:13.
From the kitchen today...steak and onions. One of J's favorites.
Around the house...I need to clean the patio again. We found more flies accumulating after all the rain we got last week, and J figured out it's from the coconut palms. Apparently there is sap or milk or something oozing from the coconuts that can't be reached, and when it rains it drips onto the patio, which in turn brings the flies. If I scrub down the patio and the furniture they go away. So I'm scrubbin'. Other than that, finish up some laundry and clean bathrooms.
One of my favorite things...getting all my chores done early so I can enjoy my evenings.
A few plans for the rest of the week...library today to return some books, and swim lessons everyday. Hopefully E will learn to float before his 2 weeks are done!
Here is a picture thought I'm sharing...actually, I have a picture all lined up but Blogger isn't cooperating with me. I tried 3 times and it wouldn't upload. I'll have to try again later.
Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed week.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Hopefully I'll get everything accomplished today. Of course, man plans but God commands; whatever He sees fit for today, I'm there.
Hope everyone has a blessed week. Move it Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In The Lord's Path. Let's get moving!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Here's a view from the bench towards the house.
I am seeing...the sun shining brightly through the windows. An indicator that it's a good day to clean the patio after all the rain.
I am feeling...refreshed after a good night's sleep.
I am hearing...cartoons. My oldest son is off to school, and hubby has gone to work. It's just E and me this morning.
I am tasting...pancakes and sausages. I decided to splurge on our favorite breakfast today.
I am smelling...the sweet smells of my home. I'm getting ready to smell the sweet smells of outdoors. What a blessed life!
It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?
Friday, July 9, 2010
My only problem is, I don't have the luxury of a scrapbooking room. Whenever I scrapbook it's in the dining room, so that I can spread my materials out on the table. I didn't have a whole lot of supplies, so I kept them in a couple of boxes: a plastic container with all my tools, stickers, ribbons, etc, and a wicker basket for my albums and papers. Unfortunately it wasn't very organized. Every time I sat down to do a page, I'd have to rummage through my plastic container looking for scissors, tape, punches, or any number of tools I needed. It was also a hassle getting all the papers out, going through them, trying to figure out what paper would look nicest against the colors in the pictures. It got to the point that I dreaded doing any scrapbooking because the set up, preparation, and clean up took longer than the actual page. I would think about it, then shake my head and walk away. I knew I needed to get my supplies organized, but I just kept putting it off.
Then my kid sister sent me two boxes chock full of scrapbooking supplies. One box had just paper and cardstock - some of the most beautiful designs and a wide variety of colors. The other box had papers as well; plus ribbons in all shapes and sizes, different types of fasteners, pens, pencils, paints, rubber stamps, you name it, it was there. I was in scrapbooking heaven! Or at least I was, till I went to the dining room to put everything away. There was no place to put anything! This is how my scrapbooking corner ended up looking:
Now, anyone who knows me, knows I absolutely hate clutter. I can't stand to see things thrown around. I actually feel as though I can't breathe if things aren't where they need to be. So you can just imagine what this bunch of boxes was doing for my nerves! I had to get this organized, and quick.
I had been to Big Lots and noticed that they had some large tower sized containers that would work well for my supplies, but I wasn't sure the $18 they were charging was a fair price, so I decided to shop around. First I tried Bed, Bath and Beyond. The cheapest item I found was a 3 drawer plastic filing cabinet on clearance for $27.99. Everything else was $35 and up. No thanks. I knew better than to try The Container Store. I know they have everything, just not at the price I'm looking for. Walmart has no selection; they only have storage bins, which was exactly what I was trying to get away from. I finally found this at Target:
It's 12X12, which is perfect for my papers and larger cardstock. The price: $11.99, and this was the last one they had. I decided the storage tower at Big Lots was a great deal after all, so I bought one:
This thing is great!!! It has 4 narrow drawers and 3 deep drawers. It's not as wide as the first container (which is now purched on top of the tower), but I was able to get all my 8 1/2X11 cardstock in the first drawer. The second drawer has all my pens, pencils, tape, glue, that sort of stuff. Drawer number 3 contains appliques, fasteners and rubber stamps, and drawer #4 has alphabet letters of all kinds: stickers, cardboard, pins, etc. Then in the first deep drawer I have all my larger tools, such as scissors, punches, and cutters. The second deep drawer has all my ribbons. The last drawer has stickers, cut-outs and stencils.
I can't believe how accessible everything is now! Why didn't I think of this sooner? Oh well, never mind that. I still have the large plastic bin but it's only about a quarter full with items that don't fit in the tower. I also kept the wicker basket to keep albums in. My next project is getting all my photographs in order so I can begin scrapbooking again. Now I can forget about the nightmare of set up and focus on just being creative. I love being organized!
1. Is your favorite beach at the lake or ocean?
Definitely the ocean. I've been to lakes and they don't come close. I've only been to the Atlantic Ocean but I absolutely love it.
2. Do you wear a life jacket when you go swimming?
Nope. I never go in deep enough to make one necessary. I did make the children wear one when they were younger.
3. Do you enjoy water sports, such as skiing and boating?
Never done any of them. I'm not a big daredevil that tries stuff like that.
4. Do you ever think about the animals that live in the water when you are swimming?
Yes - especially when we were in Naples, Florida. The fish are swimming along, and the water is so crystal clear you can see them swim by. They are so beautiful.
5. Do you like to just lay in the sun or do you want to play in the water as well?
I enjoy the entire experience. The warmth of the sun, the smell of the sand and salt water, the coolness of the ocean, watching the seagulls fly over against the blue sky and hearing the waves as they bring shells to the shore, it's a smorgasbord for the senses.
If you want to join in, visit the Friday Five. Have a blessed weekend.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Today when I weighed myself, I breathed a little sigh of relief. I weighed in at 134.2 lbs, 0.8 lbs less than last week. The sigh of relief wasn't because I'd lost weight, it was because I'd gained some back.
I had a sinus infection last week, for which my doctor prescribed antibiotics. She wisely told me to have a yogurt with my medicine to help my stomach, since Augmentin is such a strong medication and tends to irritate the stomach. I had no stomach issues the entire week. However, I also had no appetite. I was having no snacks other than the yogurts, and was barely finishing my meals. This may sound like a good thing when dieting, but actually, it isn't.
I'd reached my goal weight of 135 lbs. last week. I like the way I look at 135; not overweight, but also not too thin. Contrary to what our culture teaches, being too thin isn't attractive. Losing too much weight is as unhealthy as gaining too much - in some cases even more so, since fat isn't the only thing lost when we don't get enough nutrition. Iron levels go down, vitamin deficiencies cause all kinds of problems, and energy levels disappear. So imagine my concern when, half way through the week, I found myself weighing 133.9 lbs! I was losing too much weight because the antibiotic was eliminating my appetite. I had to do something fast.
First off, I made sure I ate all my meals. It was especially hard in the mornings, since I'd have my medicine with yogurt, then breakfast. But I knew it was important to eat. Next, I kept my physical levels lower. Thankfully we had rain everyday so I couldn't go walking, though I had so many errands I felt like I was always on the run. I made sure I rested, since the body needs rest to recuperate and I needed to exercise less so as not to burn too many calories.
In the end, I still lost some weight but not as much as I would have had I not been monitoring myself. It's important to listen to our bodies and respond to our needs. Knowing what is right for your body is necessary to stay healthy. After all, that's what it's really about. It isn't about looks or the numbers on the scale. It's about being the healthiest we can be.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Outside my window...is another slightly cloudy, slightly sunny day, which will probably turn into a rainy afternoon. It has rained everyday since July started, and it doesn't look like it's gonna let up just yet.
I am thinking...about Sunday and training the teachers in the new Sunday school curriculum.
I am thankful...for the over $300 worth of scrapbooking supplies I received in the mail last week. Thanks sis!
I am going...to return the shoes my hubby J bought yesterday. After getting home he realized they'd given him 2 right shoes. Not very useful if you can only wear one shoe at a time.
I am wearing...a lime green t-shirt, light blue capris, and pink flip-flops. I've got stuff to do around the house, so dressing up is unnecessary right now.
I am remembering...my friend who just had surgery to have some cancer removed. Such a lively and energetic woman, she's feeling a bit down right now. She's in my prayers all the time.
I am currently...planning out my busy day.
I am reading...Jeremiah for morning devotions, and the last chapter of Having a Mary Spirit.
I am waiting...till tomorrow to go visit my friend. She had her surgery on Friday, got back home on Sunday, but I have so many errands to run and things to get done around the house I'm gonna wait to see her tomorrow.
On my mind...what book I'll be reading when I finish Having a Mary Spirit.
From the learning rooms...we've been taking it really slow, since I was sick last week with a sinus infection and we've been in and out of the house almost everyday despite the rain. Hopefully we'll get some reading done this week.
I am pondering these words..."We have ample evidence that the Lord is able to guide." - Elisabeth Elliot.
From the kitchen today...baked chicken and stuffing, and corn on the cob.
Around the house...laundry needs to get done, bathrooms need to be cleaned, floors need to be swept.
One of my favorite things...scrapbooking! And now I have a ton of supplies to work with!
A few plans for the rest of the week...I hope to get some containers so I can separate and organize all my old and new scrapbooking supplies. It'll be easier to work with my supplies if they're in order.
Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. God bless.
Monday, July 5, 2010
My hubby J was looking for some running shoes. He uses the treadmill quite a bit, both at home and at the gym, and he also runs in the park. He's lost 22 lbs and is trying hard to lose about another 10 to get to his goal weight. Problem is, the sneakers he was using weren't the best for running and he was suffering from knee pain. So we went to the Nike outlet store and found a few pairs he liked. After trying on a couple, he decided on some red and white ones with silver trim which he said were very comfortable, like walking barefoot. The salesman packed everything, got him his shoes, and we left the store to walk around the mall. As we were passing the Gap Outlet, I suddenly remembered I had 2 Banana Republic gift certificates! Yay!!
You're probably thinking, "She remembered 2 Banana Republic gift certificates when she passed the Gap?" Let me explain. My daughter got some gift certificates for Christmas, 2 for Gap stores and 2 for Banana Republic. We went to the mall so she could redeem her certificates at both stores. We went to Gap first, and she found a couple of shirts, but nothing more. Turns out most of the clothes she liked were too big. Then we went to Banana Republic, which is just a few stores down. There she found nothing she liked. The style of clothes is different from what she wears, and the sizes always seemed to be wrong, since nothing she tried on fit. Eventually she used the Gap certificates, but couldn't ever find anything at Banana Republic she liked, so she gave the gift certificates to me. I'd put them in my wallet and forgot all about them till I saw the Gap store. Get it now?
So I was looking for some capris which I love in the summer, but all they had were long pants or shorts. Then I looked for dresses, but all the dresses were short and too young looking. I'm not an old woman but I'm also not a 20-something, nor do I intend to dress like one. I did find a few shirts that were on sale, 50% off, that I wanted to try on. Then I saw a grey pencil skirt that was simple yet classic, which is how I like to dress. It was the only one left, and it was a size 2, way too small for me. Or so I thought. I picked it up and immediately thought, "This is NOT a size 2." I compared it to a size 6 skirt and it was just a tiny bit smaller. I think the skirt is labeled wrong and should be a size 4. I decided to try it on, and it fit perfectly! I was so happy, because my one grey skirt which I totally love is now too big on me, and my other grey skirt had a bit of a mishap in the dryer - the zipper is partially melted. This skirt is a lovely dark grey so it goes with everything, fits beautifully, and while I normally wouldn't pay $29.99 for a skirt, I had the gift certificate so it was not a problem. I got a couple of shirts as well, and was happy as I left the store with my new items.
After that we went to the food court and had Burger King, which I haven't eaten in awhile. Usually if I eat at a fast food court I'll have Subway, but it was closed for remodeling. Since J and E both wanted BK I decided I'd have the same. Big mistake. Two hours later and I feel like I have a brick in my stomach. It's incredible how our bodies begin to adjust when we stop eating fast food. My tummy isn't too happy that I filled it up with so much fat and salt. Lesson learned.
After that we walked around the mall some more, then came home. J was putting on his new shoes to try them out. He got the right shoe on, then went to get the left shoe on, only to find the salesman had given him 2 right shoes! At first I just sat there with my mouth wide open. Then the 2 of us started laughing. He was a bit disappointed because he couldn't wear his new shoes (except for one at a time!). I guess this calls for another trip to the outlet mall.
That won't be today, though. J has gone off to work (he had the morning off because of the July 4th weekend) and the rain has started. But you can be sure of one thing - this shopping adventure isn't over yet!
I had alot of things planned for today, like laundry, bathrooms, floors, but I just got a call from J to get ready because he's taking us to a huge outlet mall here in S. Florida. Hmm, let's see, a day of cleaning house or a nice relaxing walk in the mall? Not a tough decision at all! I'm off to get ready, and maybe this afternoon I can tackle some of the stuff on my to-do list. There are some interruptions in our Monday that are welcome ones!
Move it Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In The Lord's Path. Hope everyone has a blessed Monday and a great week.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
I am seeing...the sun trying really hard to shine through a very cloudy sky. It rained alot yesterday (shortly after I'd started painting the patio furniture :P) and it's supposed to rain all week. No plant watering for awhile.
I am feeling...so much better now that the antibiotic is killing the sinus infection and I can sleep. Hopefully with all the rain the heat levels will lower and the air will clean up. That should help all us allergy sufferers.
I am hearing...the ceiling fan whirr, and cartoons in the distance.
I am tasting...my morning coffee.
I am smelling...bacon, a staple on Saturday mornings.
It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?
Friday, July 2, 2010
1. What do you love about Summer?
The sunshine, no school, the beach, walks in the park, vacations, the list goes on and on.
2. How many times you had a fun on summer?
I always have fun in the summer. There's so much to do.
3. What mostly you like to do during summer time?
I love spending the days with my youngest son. The two older ones have summer classes, but the little guy and I love finding fun activities to keep us busy.
4. Do you like the place where you live?
Duh! I live in South Florida. What's not to love?
5. If you have given a chance, do you want to live in a tropical country?
I feel like I already live in a tropical country! I don't think I'd trade Florida for any place. I truly love living here.
Join in the fun at The Friday Five. Have a blessed Friday.
This month Thankful Thursdays is hosted by Lynn at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. God bless.