Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, September 28, 2010...

Outside my window...the sun is shining but clouds are moving in and the winds are picking up. It'll rain today, again, but praise God no hurricanes yet!

I am thinking...of my next home project - painting!

I am thankful...that my hubby made it safely to Central Florida and is working there now.

I am going...to continue painting the master bedroom. I like the look so far.

I am wearing...a brown and pink shirt, jean capris and white flip flops. Soon I'll be changing into a ratty old t-shirt and beige ready-for-the-trash capris so I can paint.

I am noticing...the paint in the rest of the house. We haven't painted the main living area except for the dining room in 5 years. It's time for some refreshing.

I am currently...painting the master bedroom and baseboards which were installed in March but never painted.

I am reading...Luke for morning devotions, just finished a second Agatha Christie mystery, and hope to get more books from the library today.

I am waiting...to finish painting the bedroom before I start my next project.

On my mind...the beautiful verses I read this morning. God speaks to us through His word in such an amazing way.

From the learning rooms...book report this week, and science projects starting soon.

I am pondering these words...‎"We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking only to learn that it is God shaking them." - Charles West

From the kitchen today...sandwiches, most probably. I've got a lot of work to do and won't be stopping to cook.

Around the house...gotta get some laundry going, then paint paint paint!

One of my favorite things...a freshly painted room. It makes the house look brand new!

A few plans for the rest of the week: library today, Awana and Cub Scouts, finish painting the master bedroom, then some ideas I have for the living room/family room/kitchen will hopefully materialize. My creative juices are flowing!

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed week.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Move It Mondays

Good Monday morning, folks! It's a bright new day (so far, it's supposed to rain this afternoon), and I have a bunch of stuff lined up. As a matter of fact, I've been to Lowe's already this morning because I'm starting a new project this week: painting the master bedroom. J said the paint looked tired, and since he's away this week for work, I decided it would be a good time to get that project done. So this is what I'm hoping today will look like:

Get bathrooms cleaned up
Start painting bedroom

The list may be short, but the day will be busy! Hope everyone has a fun, productive Monday.

Move it Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In The Lord's Path. Have a blessed week!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Observing My Senses

For Today, September 25, 2010...

I am seeing...lots of sogginess after a whole lot of rain yesterday, and it looks like we're in for more today.

I am feeling...better today than I have the last couple of days. More energized.

I am hearing...toy commercials. Have you noticed how many more toy commercials start coming on in September? It's a reminder that Christmas is just around the corner.

I am tasting...bacon. Oscar Mayer bacon. I'm normally not so brand snobbish, but I've tried other brands and nothing comes close to Oscar Mayer. And that's no bologna ;-).

I am smelling...my morning wake up brew, coffee. It's not Starbucks fancy, but it makes me feel all warm inside.

It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Great Quote to Think About

"I am sure that never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them."

George Washington

The Friday Five

Happy Friday people! School's done for the week, and now I can sit back, relax, and answer some simple trivia questions.

1. What do you really want to be when you grow up?
You mean I haven't grown up yet? LOL!! Actually, I'm exactly what I always wanted to be when I grew up: a wife, mom, and homemaker.

2. Where were you born?
I was born in the Bronx, in New York, at a hospital on St. Mary's Avenue that no longer exists. St. Francis of Assisi it was called, if I remember correctly.

3. Who were you with on September 11, 2001?
I was at work with all my co-workers, and on the phone with one of my dearest friends who called me to tell me what was going on.

4. When do you brush your teeth?
First thing in the morning. I hate morning breath :P.

5. Where is Waldo?
Oh no! You just missed him!

Have some fun at the Friday Five. God bless and have an awesome weekend.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Health-Wise Wednesdays

I'm pleased to say that this morning I weighed in at 132.4 lbs, right where I like to be. It's a pound more than last week, but that's just fine. The idea is to be healthy, not skinny.

I was driving my mother-in-law home the other day and she asked what it was that J and I were doing because we are sooo skinny. I kind of chuckled. No, we are NOT skinny. Yes, we've lost alot of weight (12 lbs for me, 23 for J) but we certainly don't look like skin and bones. The recipe for our weight loss is simple: Eat less junk. We cut out fast foods almost entirely (once in a while a pizza, but that's about it), and we've reduced our salt intake enormously. We both drink lots of water, and are careful what we snack on.

Does this mean we deprive ourselves? Not at all. As a matter of fact, we typically have ice cream for dessert everyday. Now when I say ice cream, I don't mean a huge bowl full with whipped cream, sprinkles, hot fudge and a cherry on top. I mean we have a small bowl, about 1/2 cup, after our meal. I'm against deprivation. It's harder to resist temptation when we deprive ourselves of the foods we love. I do believe in moderation. I also believe in making wise choices. There are so many options in the stores now for people who want to eat lower in fat and calories. Take ice cream for instance. I like Breyers Smooth and Dreamy, with 1/2 the fat. The velvety dark chocolate flavor is delicious, and it's only 110 calories in a 1/2 cup. Compare that to some of the other ice creams that are over 250 calories and you get the idea.

It's all about being informed and making the right choice. Yes, it means spending more time in the store checking labels and verifying nutritional values. But hey, it's my body we're talking about here. Isn't the extra work worth it?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, September 21, 2010...

Outside my window...it's sunny and breezy, another beautiful South Florida day. Thank you for this day Lord!

I am thinking...of what color to paint my bedroom. It's my hubby's idea. I like the color in our bedroom, but he says he's tired of it. Let's see what we can come up with.

I am thankful for...my online women's bible study group. I needed this so badly, and God made it happen.

I am going...to be doing a bunch of laundry today.

I am wearing...a navy blue blouse with a paisley print, white capris and white flip-flops.

I am noticing...how dark it is in the mornings now. Kind of gloomy, actually.

I am currently...trying to get more walking into my day.

I am reading...Luke for morning devotions, and I finally started reading Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie. I love those old time mysteries!

I am waiting...patiently for dessert - Blue Bell ice cream was on sale, buy one get one free, and we have chocolate chip, cookies and cream, dutch chocolate and french vanilla in the freezer. I am one happy lady!

On my mind...a missionary in Mexico who recently had emergency surgery to remove her uterus. Praise God she's home now, recovering but still very weak. I pray she heals quickly.

From the learning rooms...all kinds of division and lots of reading.

I am pondering these words..."Your self esteem (your worth) comes from Whose you are, not what you can do or how you look." - Dr. Bob Barnes.

From the kitchen today...spaghetti and meatballs, warm Italian bread, and salad.

Around the house...linens need changing, laundry needs to get done.

One of my favorite things...when my family comes home and says, "Mmm, something smells good!"

A few plans for the rest of the week...the usual. It's not a very eventful week.

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed week.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Move It Mondays

What a beautiful Monday morning! We had a lovely weekend, the humidity was low and there was a breeze blowing the entire time. It turns out that Hurricane Igor (which didn't come through our area, praise the Lord!) is the reason we have such great weather. Who would have thought! It's true, though: the hurricane is far enough off not to affect us with rain or winds, but close enough to deliver cool breezes. It's just what we've been needing after a very hot summer.

So this morning, I had cream of wheat, a banana, and coffee for breakfast. I took my son to school, wrote out my devotion for this morning's ladies group, and now I'm going to:

Fix my bed
Do floors
Fold one load of laundry
Put chicken in the oven

The house is pretty neat right now, so I don't have that much to do. I'm praying for my youngest son who seems to be coming down with a cold. He felt fine yesterday when his dad took him to see a Marlins baseball game, but felt lousy this morning going to school. I'm afraid he may have caught something in school or at the game. Hopefully he'll feel better soon.

Move it Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In The Lord's Path. Have a wonderful and blessed Monday.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Observing My Senses

For Today, September 18, 2010...

I am seeing...lots of greens and oranges around my house. The trees in our part of the country don't change color in the fall, but that doesn't stop me from changing the colors in my home!

I am feeling...overwhelming joy because I've joined an online women's bible study group that has encouraged me greatly this week. I find myself meditating on God's word throughout the day. What an amazing feeling!

I am hearing...my son sneezing and coughing. The bad part about going back to school is germs. Ugh.

I am tasting...my egg-cheese-bacon muffin. I bought a cheaper brand of bacon this week to try it out. Now I know why it's so much cheaper. :P.

I am smelling...which is a good thing, because this morning my nose was stuffed up and I wasn't smelling anything. I may be coming down with a cold myself. Double ugh.

It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Friday Five

Good Friday morning! Here's another glimpse into the mind of a 46 year old (don't worry, I'm not contagious):

1) What is your favorite mode of travel? (Car, train, plane, etc).
I don't mind riding in a car, I'm just not fond of driving LOL. I lived in NY too many years to enjoy riding in trains. Planes are great fun though. My favorite mode of travel? On foot.

2) Where is the northernmost place you've traveled? The southernmost?
Let's see, the northernmost I've ever gone is Connecticut. The furthest south I've ever been - the beautiful island of Puerto Rico.

3) What is the last place you visited for the first time?
My hubby and I went on a one day cruise to the Bahamas a few years ago, and neither of us had ever been there.

4) Of all the places you've traveled, which is your favorite?
Puerto Rico brings back a boatload of fond memories.

5) Where would you most like to travel to next?

I'd love to see Europe one day. Italy especially.

Hop on over to the Friday 5 and try out some fun questions yourself. Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

As I was driving through our town today I noticed all the trees. Where I live there are streets where it's literally a canopy of trees, and unlike the rest of the country, they stay green year round. I thought about growing up in New York and how there was very little greenery in the city; lots of tall buildings and cement sidewalks, and not much else. I'm so thankful the Lord has seen fit to put me in a place that's so green. I love the grass, the trees, the plants and flowers and natural beauty. I hope I never have to live in a mega-city again. Give me small town living any day!

Thankful Thursdays is hosted this month by Iris at Grace Alone. Have a blessed rest of your week.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Health-Wise Wednesdays

I was surprised to find I got back down to 131.4 lbs this week. I think I figured out what it is. I started walking my son to and from school each day, about 4 blocks each way. It's good exercise for us, and we get to talk and joke around during that time. However, there were a few days off from school because of holidays, and we didn't walk due to the rainy weather. I didn't realize the 30-40 minutes of walking each day made such a difference, but it does! My body quickly got accustomed to that exercise.

The other problem was that I wasn't getting enough water. I know I should drink 8 glasses per day, but I was getting in 4 or 5 and struggling to drink more. This week I've tried hard not to forget and get plenty of water in. Sure enough, my body is beginning to feel more cleansed.

Keeping healthy isn't a fad diet that ends after 6 weeks or once the goal weight is achieved. It's a lifelong journey, one I intend to stay on for the long haul!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, September 14, 2010...

Outside my window...it's sunny, hot and humid. I suspect it might rain again this afternoon. We've gotten so much rain the backyard has actually started flooding twice. Wonder how much longer this weather is gonna last.

I am thinking...about hurricane season, and the three storms that are out in the ocean, and how I pray God would steer them away from land.

I am thankful for...text messaging! I never thought I'd say that, but it's how my daughter and I communicate most.

I am going...to do some yard work this morning, before the intense heat starts. Mornings have gotten a bit cooler, temps in the upper 70's as opposed to the mid-80's, but once noon hits and we're back in the low 90's even with a breeze the heat is sweltering.

I am wearing...a white button down shirt over a red tank top, red-black-white skirt, and white flip flops. My son E told me I look very nice today. :-)

I am noticing...that even if it's hot outside, if I put out some fall colors around the house it feels cozier. Orange candles, a few (fake) pumpkins here and there, and my favorite season starts to take shape inside my home.

I am currently...behind on paperwork because I've been so busy fixing up the house.

I am reading...Matthew for morning devotions, and not much else. I got an Agatha Christie mystery from the library last week that I haven't even started yet. It's been a busy week around here.

I am waiting...till my son is home so he can get a box of fall decorations down from the attic. I don't like attics, and ours is inaccessible without the ladder. I don't like ladders, either.

On my mind...a dear lady from my old job who lost her mother this month. They were extremely close, so this is a very painful time for her. She's in my prayers.

From the learning rooms...my son is learning a new method for doing division that is so confusing even the teacher said she spent hours reviewing it before she could teach it. Why can't we just do things the easy way, like with a calculator?

I am pondering these words..."A torn up Bible is typically owned by someone who isn't." - I heard Pastor Greg Laurie say that this morning. Excellent!

From the kitchen today...steak and onions. Hubby's favorite.

Around the house...need to fold that laundry that didn't get folded yesterday. I started decorating the dining room for fall, and got carried away! I found several table centerpieces in my closet and china cabinet. I was able to add decorations to the living room, family room and kitchen. Now I just need that one box from the attic to make the transformation complete!

One of my favorite things...decorating my home and making it beautiful, comfortable and cozy for my family.

A few plans for the rest of the week...library today, Awana tomorrow, Cub scouts on Thursday, and that's as far as I have planned.

Here's a picture thought I'm sharing with you...the Barlows. The concert was amazing. Music, testimonies, and an altar call that brought teens in tears before the Lord. I was so wound up in worship I didn't want it to end. I hope we can do this again very soon.

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed week.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Move It Mondays

Good Monday morning ya'll! It's bright and sunny this morning, after ALOT of rain yesterday. There was flooding in the streets and everything. I know because I had to drive my daughter to her roommates house and say goodbye as they left to go back to school. It was great having the girls here the past two weekends, and sad to say goodbye till possibly Thanksgiving. We had an amazing weekend of worship with BarlowGirl, the night was electrifying and I know we won't forget it anytime soon. Still, I need a bit of cheering up now that my little girl is back in Central Florida for school. So, I decided this week I'd start my fall decorating. I'm going to start in the dining room, so after I:

Fix beds
Fold laundry
Clean up kitchen
Swiffer floors

I hope to:

Give dining room a good cleaning
Change table setting in dining room to fall decorations

Since autumn is my favorite season, bringing in fall decor should lift my spirits some. My joy is in knowing Jesus is with me during these times and He comforts me when I'm down. As BarlowGirl sang, I'm never alone.

Move it Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In The Lord's Path. Have a fun Monday and a blessed week.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Observing My Senses

For Today, September 11, 2010...

I am seeing...my chatterbox daughter on her bed in her jammies as she tells me all kinds of stuff. That's what moms are for - listening.

I am feeling...super excited to see BarlowGirl today. It's gonna be a great day!

I am hearing...video game music.

I am tasting...pineapple upside down cake flavored yogurt. It's really good, though I don't think it tastes like cake.

I am smelling...my clean house.

It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Friday Ten

Good Friday evening! I found this meme at My Leigh Ashley and thought it was fun, so here we go (typically it's a Wednesday meme, but Friday is my question day so I thought I'd wait till the appropriate time ;-) ):

{one} what was your first pet and how did you come up with its name?
The first pet I can remember was a huge beautiful German shepherd named Yira. I think that's the name the dog had when my dad took her over. She'd been abused by her previous owner and we took her in.

{two} do you like your ice crushed or cubed?
Definitely crushed.

{three} do you believe in love at first sight?
Not true love. I believe true love comes in time. You might like a person alot, but that isn't true love.

{four} do you have any nicknames?
My siblings used to call me Lene. Just shortened my name, really.

{five} what movie do you never get tired of watching?
Pride and Prejudice. The one with Colin Firth.

{six} how do you like your eggs cooked?
Scrambled. Or over-easy. Or hard boiled. Or in an omelet. I love eggs.

{seven} are you named after anyone in particular?
My mother had a boss who would always talk about his daughter Arlene and what a great daughter she was and all her accomplishments. My mom was so moved by the love this dad had for his daughter that she told him if she had a baby girl she'd name her Arlene. And she did.

{eight} what are three things that you would like to do that you haven’t done yet?
Visit Italy, bake bread from scratch, become a grandma.

{nine} what one thing always brightens your mood?
Some hugs and kisses from my babies.

{ten} what five things will you always find in your purse?
My wallet, a pocket size Bible, my cell phone, my camera and a pen.

If you'd like to try this meme out, visit My Leigh Ashley. Have a blessed weekend.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful Thursdays is hosted by Iris at Grace Alone this month.

I'm thankful today because my daughter is coming home again for the weekend. Typically she doesn't come home two weekends in a row, but this week she's here again for a special reason.


Our church is hosting a concert this Saturday and my daughter's best friend JB is handling all the details. JB will be graduating from college in the spring, and she's interested in doing this type of work in the future. It's been alot of work for her but I think the experience will be good. We're praying everything will run smoothly and we'll have an awesome night of worship, testimonies and fellowship. I'm soooo looking forward to this concert! Especially because I'll be there with my little girl.

Have a blessed rest of your week everyone!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Health-Wise Wednesdays

I'm happy today because I weighed in at 133.6 lbs, a bit more than last week but more suited to me I think. I don't want to get too low in my weight loss, though I'm concerned that part of the reason I've gone up 2 lbs is because I haven't gotten as much exercise as I'd like. I enjoy outdoor stuff, especially walking in the park, but the weather hasn't been in my favor. We've had lots and lots of rain everyday. The park gets flooded and muddy - not good for walking. I do still make the effort to walk the few blocks to drop off and pick up my son from school, which is helpful, but that only totals about 30 minutes a day. Hopefully once the rains calm down and the humidity drops I'll be able to spend more time outside getting the exercise and fresh air I need.

Well, that's about it for today. My daughter's coming home tomorrow for the BarlowGirl concert so I need to get a bunch of stuff finished up today. Have a blessed Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, September 7, 2010...

Outside my window...the sun is shining, drying off the excessive amount of rain we got yesterday. It was the first time I'd seen flooding in my yard. Thankfully the water has receded. That's a good thing, since we'll probably get more rain today.

I am thinking...of several things I need to get done today.

I am thankful...for the weekend visit with my daughter. She is wise beyond her years. I'm amazed the Lord would bless me with such a wonderful child.

I am going...to get as much done today as possible. Oh, and the library after school.

I am wearing...a teal shirt, jean capris, no shoes.

I am noticing...the morning temps going down slightly. I think it's because of all the rain we've been getting just about everyday. Of course once the sun comes out we're back in the low 90's, but it's a start.

I am currently...behind on my household chores. All except laundry, I'm pretty good in that department.

I am reading...the same list as last week. Hopefully I'll find something new to read at the library.

I am waiting...for Saturday. At least I'm trying to.

On my mind...BarlowGirl. This Saturday. In concert. I can't wait!

From the learning rooms...lots of reading.

I am pondering these words..."The more you pray, the more you will find to pray about." - Stormie Omartian.

From the kitchen today...boneless pork chops.

Around the house...the floors need cleaning. Desperately.

One of my favorite things...worship.

A few plans for the rest of the week...the standard library, Awana, and Cub scouts. The non-standard daughter coming home for the BarlowGirl concert this Saturday. Did I mention we're going to see BarlowGirl in concert?

Here's a picture thought I'm sharing with you...can you see it on the palm frond?

What do you mean you don't see anything? Here, let me give you a close up:

Yep, it's a little frog! With all the rain we've been getting, there are tons of them. This one is actually big for what we've been seeing. All around our house (outside, not inside) there are tiny little frogs which fascinate my son. He's constantly at the window counting them. Just yesterday afternoon he and his sister counted 10 in the front yard. Another "perk" when you live in South Florida!
Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook. Have a blessed day.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Move It Mondays

Good Monday morning! Hope everyone had a pleasant weekend. We sure did; my daughter is visiting for the long weekend. We got to see Despicable Me at the movies yesterday; we laughed alot and had a good time. She's going back to school today, so there are some things that need to get done:

Finish laundry
Bake cupcakes
Do a quick clean of the house

But for the most part, we're going to enjoy Labor day by hanging out at home and being together. It doesn't take much to make me happy; just give me my family.

Move it Mondays is hosted by Kristilea at In The Lord's Path. Have a blessed week.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Observing My Senses

For Today, September 4, 2010...

I am seeing...the sun streaming through the windows, and a patio filled with grass clippings. I'll have to go out there and clean up today.

I am feeling...great joy because my daughter is home for the Labor day weekend.

I am hearing...sports news. My son is watching Sports Center. Ugh. Like father, like son.

I am tasting...breakfast, which consisted of one scrambled egg, one sausage link, one slice of wheat toast and a cup of coffee.

I am smelling...a clean home.

It just takes a moment to observe your surroundings. Won't you join me?

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Friday Five

This week's Friday 5 is interesting - hope that doesn't spoil it for you!

1. Has anyone ever spoiled a book/movie/etc. for you?
I try not to let anyone spoil anything for me. I'm quick to say, "Don't tell me anything else!" I like to have the full experience myself.

2. Have you ever spoiled a book/movie/etc. for anyone?
I hope not. I don't recall doing it. As a matter of fact, if I've seen a movie and I'm watching it again with someone who hasn't seen it, I make it a point not to say anything even if the person asks. I just say, "Keep watching." The suspense is what makes the story exciting.

3. Are you (or were you) spoiled as a child?
Ha! I'm the oldest of 4. There was no spoiling going on in my family.

4. Do you put spoiler cuts when you discuss books/film in your journal?
No. I will say I like or dislike, maybe a quick overview, but I won't spoil a good story for myself or anyone else. It takes all the fun out of it.

5. Is there any food spoiling in your kitchen right now?
Not since I last checked. Which was yesterday.

Click on over to the Friday 5 and post some answers too; just don't spoil it for anyone!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Ever feel just a wee bit guilty about what you're thankful for? I'm feeling like that today.

I'm thankful Hurricane Earl isn't coming anywhere near the Florida coastline. I don't want a powerful category 4 hurricane coming this way. When I saw it was veering away from us I was just so thankful to the Lord who keeps us safe from the storm.

Then I saw it heading towards North Carolina/Virginia, and I felt terrible. I don't want them to get hit either! I'm hoping and praying this hurricane will stay in the ocean and just fizzle out like so many before it. Won't you join me in praying for safety for the people in the Carolinas, Virginia and up the Eastern coast? That way I won't feel so bad about it missing us in Florida.

For more Thankful Thursdays, visit Iris at Grace Alone. Have a wonderful, thankful day.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Health-Wise Wednesdays

I've done good this week. I managed to continue eating better than when we were on vacation, so that without starving myself I weighed in at 131.2 lbs this morning. It's a slight loss from last week, though not much. I've actually gone over my calorie goal almost everyday, but I've also managed to keep my salt intake lower and drink plenty of water, which I believe has made all the difference.

But today isn't about me. Today I want to give kudos to my hubby J who, unknowingly, started me eating healthier and has indirectly contributed to my weight loss. J was considerably overweight. At 5'4" tall, he should never have gotten to 201 lbs, but he did. He knew it was affecting his health: his cholesterol was high, his triglycerides were higher, he was sluggish, and he had trouble sleeping. I was very concerned, mostly because both his parents and his older brother are diabetic, and his mother suffers from high blood pressure. Whenever one of them got sick, J would get worried and try to eat a little better, but it wouldn't last for long. My hubby's problem is very simple: he loves to eat. Alot. And often. Try as I might to get him to eat less, it was impossible. I would serve him his meal, and he'd sneak in for seconds. Besides, he was eating out AND eating at his mother's house. I prayed that J would see how this was hurting him and that he needed to take better care of himself. God answered in a most unexpected way.

J started feeling more worn than usual, and decided to go in for a check-up. He figured his cholesterol must have gone down and he no longer needed medicines for it. Ha, wishful thinking. What he found out was that his blood pressure was high. The doctor put him on medication which didn't seem to agree with him. She lowered his dosage, but he still wasn't feeling right. I could tell what his problem was: anxiety. He was stressed at work, stressed about his health, and now stressed about his blood pressure. This, obviously, is a recipe for disaster.

While in Central Florida for some new store openings, the stress became too much for him and his blood pressure started climbing, enough to have him rushed to the ER. He was alone and scared about what would happen next. More medicine, more pills, and he was sent home with a new perspective and a new goal. See, all along nothing really serious had happened to him to shake him up. Now he was seeing the consequences of not taking care of his body. He realized he needed to do something, and quick.

Thankfully my sister-in-law knows a doctor who specializes in natural medicines. She was very concerned about all the medicines he was taking when all he needed was a diet adjustment. She started weaning him off the blood pressure meds and prescribed a whole different regimen for him. First off, no red meats. No citrus fruits. Breakfast would consist of whole grain cereals, oatmeal, and fruits. Meals would include clear soups, dark greens such as broccoli and spinach, chicken and fish. Then, instead of all the medications he'd been taking, she switched him to Triple Omega for his cholesterol/triglycerides, melatonin instead of Ambien for sleep, ginseng and valerian for the blood pressure, and garlic pills for all of the above. His salt intake also had to be lowered considerably.

At first he wanted no part of it. He couldn't see how any of this would help him get better; after all, he was popping all kinds of pills before and wasn't seeing any results. Still, I got tough and made him stick to it. I was after him constantly to take the medicines and check his blood pressure daily. I cooked only the foods he was supposed to eat. I started using Mrs. Dash for seasoning and eliminating as much salt as possible. And slowly but surely, he started seeing change.

The first thing he noticed was that his blood pressure went back to normal. This helped his stress level go down as well. He also saw himself losing weight (magically!!). He began exercising, too; 1/2 hour on the treadmill in the morning, another 1/2 hour in the afternoon. As the weight dropped and the melatonin kicked in, he began sleeping better, more soundly. It's amazing what a difference a good night sleep can make! His mood improved (probably because he was sleeping more) which again, helps with the blood pressure, and his cholesterol levels normalized.

This morning my J weighed in at 178 lbs. That's a 23 lb loss in about 6 months. He looks better, feels better, and is happier for it. And thanks to the changes in his diet, I've been able to lose 14 lbs as well. It's been a domino effect for us, in a very good way. I'm thankful that God gave my hubby the wake-up call he needed. I'd like him to stick around for a long time!