Sunday, August 29, 2010

Getting ready for the first day!

Tomorrow is our first day of school! I spent some time tonight getting the finishing touches ready. We've got a little schedule, and I've been through my "lesson plans". It's exciting. I've also got to get up earlier...if I'm going to maintain my morning exercise routine...and so does Sophie.
I really hope that the first day will be a success (of course, there will be more pictures to come). We've got some rules, so I hope that the girls will adapt to that well. We'll be learning a lot of new concepts, so I hope they'll go with the flow. If not, that's ok...we'll keep pressing on!

I'm really excited about what we're going to learn this year! We'll be covering a lot of different things and plan to do a lot of fun things, too! Please pray for us! : )

Friday, August 27, 2010

The glove!

You see this little guy? The phrase on his little onesie says it all..."Monkey Business". That's what I call him. My little monkey (really, I actually call him my "monk, monk"). He likes to climb on me, on the couch, up on chairs, and he loves bananas.
His recent little bit of monkey business happened the other day. Let's begin with the story of "the glove". When Sophie was little, she found this big, black glove of Joe's. She put it on, and started coming at me. Well, for some reason, I wasn't expecting it, it caught me off guard, and it actually kind of startled me when she did it and I let out a little..."ahhh!". Since then, there has always been a fascination by the kids for the glove. It's kind of like a little game. Someone has the glove on, the parents go..."ahhh!" and act scared. We all laugh. Now that Isaac is starting to talk more, he's started playing "the glove" game. The other day I was sitting on the couch reading and I had the book in front of my face so I couldn't see my little guy. He came up to me, plopped a little hand on my lap, and said something I couldn't understand. I put my book down, looked down in my lap, and there was the black glove on my guy's little hand. He was saying, "tha glub!" with that cute little voice. I couldn't help but smile at this little guy. He kept walking around saying, "tha glub, tha glub!" So I thought, I've got to get my camera out for this. Can you just imagine his little mouth saying, "tha glub!"?
I love that little monkey : ).

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Meeting a Biggest Loser!

Last Thursday Mom and I were able to attend a women's ministry event at Mabel White Baptist Church in Macon, GA. I was excited about it because I knew that we were going to get to hear from a former Biggest Loser contestant and first runner-up, Julie Hadden. I thought it would be good, but I didn't realize how GREAT it would be!

Julie began by sharing about her life leading up to her auditioning to be on the show. How she had been overweight as a child and had grown up going up and down on the scales over the years. She had married, had a son and found herself in a position of being very uncomfortable with her weight. Trying out for the Biggest Loser was a big step for her.

As I was listening to her testimony, it reminded me so much of my own story. I've mentioned a lot of this before, but I grew up overweight, I had some victories in weight loss over the many years, but never stayed consistent. After having a successful weight loss at the end of my term in Thailand, I came home, got married, and within two years had our first baby. Since then, I've been struggling to get back down to that weight I want to be at. I've recently been trying (I know...I've talked about it a lot) to get to where I need to be.

Hearing Julie's testimony was just another step in my journey to weight loss. Hearing how the Lord opened the doors for her to experience weight loss, but also worked so much in her heart, helped me to see how the Lord was working in my own heart. He wants me to be committed to this weight loss, but not just to look good (which I do want to look good), but to be healthy. To be here for my children as they grow. To set a good example of health and fitness to them. To help others as they want to do the same. And to run that race!

I'm still training for it, by the way. I've finished softball for the year and I'm ready to focus on exercising to train for this moment in my life run my first race! Last week I ran for 7 minutes. Not seven minutes straight, but a total of seven. It still sounds kind of weak, but when I first started, I could barely make it 2 minutes. Progress! Thanks for all of your prayers and encouragement. It means a lot.

Here is a link to Julie's website. Go check it out! If you'd like to have Julie speak at an event in your area, there is a form on her website that you can fill out to connect to her people : ). She's very funny, sincere, and has a heart for the Lord.

May the Lord bless you on your own journey!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Meal with friends: recipe included!

Today we had some friends of ours over for lunch today. We honestly have not done well over the years with hosting people for meals in our home. We were either too tired, too busy, or we wanted to spend that little bit of free time just being together as a family. But we've realized that it's good for us to branch out when we can, and start trying to show hospitality more. This week we had a plan (another of our issues is that we tend to be spontaneous...) and I was able to plan out the meal and get with our friends on what they could bring. It was great! Honestly, I think that cleaning and cooking are so much better when you have someone to talk to and hang out with while you're doing it. That just goes to show how much I love socializing. Even things that I dread become more fun if I've got someone to talk to while I'm doing it. Anyway, back to the subject, our meal was individual meatloaves (it ended up being about 10 of them), backyard potato salad, peas, steamed cheesy mixed veggies, and rolls. Dessert...chips ahoy and fresh strawberries with whipped cream. I went for the fruit as I'm trying to stick to my no processed sugar. It was a good meal. So I wanted to pass on my recipe for backyard potato salad. It's a little different then your traditional potato salad. I also didn't have a recipe today, so I kind of just put it together based on my memory of making it in the past. So, it's not exact : ).

Backyard Potato Salad
Red potatoes (I used 4 large ones today), peeled if desired (it's good with or without the peel)
bacon (I used 3 pieces)
green onion
mayo (I used what was left of my Kraft and then went to generic...but don't use Miracle won't taste as good)
Salt to taste
Cut up and boil your potatoes until tender. While they're boiling, fry your bacon until crispy (I cooked mine in my electric skillet). Take out your bacon and put it on a paper towel. Cut up your green onion (I used 3 stalks that had about 3-4 stems on each. I also used my kitchen scissors and just cut them instead of cutting them on a cutting board with a knife) and cook the onion in the bacon grease. After it's tender (it just takes a few minutes), you can take the onion out and put it on the paper towel (you don't HAVE to do that, but I wanted to try and lower the grease content). I then wiped out the remaining bacon grease out of my pan with some paper towels. At that point, the potatoes were done. Drain them. I reduced the heat on my skillet, then put the potatoes in the there and added the onion to them. I also crumbled up the bacon and put it in there. Then I added the mayo. You can add as much or as little as you like. I did just enough (maybe 1/2 to 3/4 cup) to cover all of the potatoes when I mixed it up. I then just left the skillet on warm. You can serve this potato salad warm and it's very good. We had leftovers for supper tonight, and it was just as good cold. So you can definitely make it ahead if you'd rather have it cold. Add salt to taste.
And that's the recipe! It's easy and tasty. It's great with steak or with your traditional barbeque-type food. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lessons from a blueberry

Do you ever feel the desire to have the newest, coolest gadget? Something that friends or family around you have, you've seen it, and now you'd really like to have it? Sometimes I get that way. Joe and I have some of those little gadgets. Not a lot of them, but we do have some. I'm thankful for them, too. But what's the balance? Do we really need all the "stuff" this world has to offer? The newest phones, the newest i-pod, the most cable channels? This is a question I ask myself. I've actually been thinking about it a lot lately. Joe and I have been reading the book, "Radical" by David Platt. It's been a great challenge to me. It's making me think about all of those in this world that die each day because they don't have clean water or food. Children who die because they don't have anything to eat and my family has food in abundance. It kind of puts things into perspective. Even in having myself challenged in this way still hasn't stopped me from wanting (I dare say even coveting) the things I want. I even received an extra, unexpected financial gift the other day. My thought...use it towards that thing I want! The need: use it towards restocking our food supply that had dwindled a little. The need won out, but it wasn't easy. As I'm struggling with this, the kids and I have been having some road time and Sophie has wanted to watch Veggietales' Madame Blueberry. It's a cute little movie, so I didn't have a problem with it. The songs are kind of catchy, too. In the story, Madame Blueberry is always sad and crying because she doesn't get to have all the stuff she wants. Stuff that her friends have (she even has pictures of the stuff they have and looks at the pictures, wishing she had it) that she just has to have. She is finally able to go to the "Stuff Mart" and buy lots and lots of stuff. One song says, "happiness waits at the Stuff Mart...cause all you need is lots more stuff!" While she's on her way to trying to fill her life with more stuff, she sees the happiness of a small family that celebrates even though they have no home and all the little girl gets for her birthday is a piece of apple pie. Another little boy (well, he's actually an asparagus) only gets a ball even though he wants more. His song says, "because a thankful heart is a happy heart" and he is thankful for his dad, the time he was able to spend with him, and he says "thanks every day". Madame Blueberry pauses...she realizes what she really wants is a happy heart...because all that stuff is not satisfying. The stuff even totally wrecks her little treehouse because there's so much. Madame learns her lesson. I think I did, too. We've been listening, at Sophie's request, to Madame Blueberry over and over. It finally started sinking in. The little "stuff" that I would like to have will not make me happier. It will not fill my heart the way that love from my family, special moments with them, love of friends and the love of my Savior will.
Who says Veggietales can only teach kids?!

~God bless~

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Savannah road trip!

Last Thursday I took the kids on a little road trip to Savannah. This wasn't going to be just any road trip. We were going to get to see some good friends of mine that I was in Thailand with years ago. It's hard to describe the friendships I made while in Thailand. We were more like a close knit family, made up of many backgrounds, different ages, and personalities. I was single at the time, but I spent a lot of time with the married couples that had young children. I would babysit, hang out, I even went on vacations with some of them. We would talk about life, we would encourage one another, pray for one another, and have Bible studies together. I treasure the times that I was able to spend with them! Fast forward several years. The last time I saw the Wilson family it was the day Joe and I were married. I have been able to see the Edmonds a few times over the years, but not that often. We were able to stay with the Edmonds on this trip and hang out with them and we spent the afternoon/evening with the Wilsons on Thursday. It was great fun. The kids were as great as they ever were and the fellowship with the adults was so nice. Brought back a lot of memories of great conversations we've had in the past. I'm so thankful for the blessings of friendship!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Stand up!

This post may not be as funny to some of you as it is to me. It's kind of a family thing we do. But I couldn't resist sharing because it just makes me laugh! So here's the story...

From the time Joe and I were first dating, Joe has made it known that he was a long-time Petra fan. Joe and I have a little bit of an age gap/generation gap, but I remembered Petra. Sorry to all of you Petra fans out there, but honestly...I just didn't really care for them. It wasn't really my style of Christian music. I also have an ackward first date story in which my date asked me if I liked Petra, I said, "not really", and he proceeded to turn the Petra music in the car up louder. Oh, the memories! I told Joe that story years ago and we've always kind of laughed about it. But that hasn't stopped Joe from being loyal to the band. He knows, though, that he'll have a little groan from me when it's on.

Fast forward to the days of Sophie and Isaac. Every night when we're getting them out of the tub, we say, "stand up" so that we can put their little hooded towels on them and pull them out of the tub. Before long, Joe started singing a song to them that in my mind was a twangy southern gospel song that I thought I'd heard on the radio. Joe would say, "Stand up, take a stand for Jesus, stand up! for the whole world to see us, following Him, serving Him, fighting the fight that we know we will win...stand up!" After a while, Sophie, who loves songs, starting singing all of those lines pretty clearly. Just a few weeks ago, little Isaac chimed in with his "stan-nup!" And every time he hears the phrase, "stand up", he says it in the tune of the song. I was telling a friend of mine about this the other day. Joe then informed me that this was actually a Petra song! I couldn't believe it! We laughed about how Joe was secretly teaching our kids Petra without my knowledge! So I guess I have to give Petra a little credit and not be so hard on them. Without their song, our kids would probably not be singing about taking a stand for Jesus for the whole world to see. I'll let you judge it for yourself. Enjoy! : )

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Moving from week 2 to week 3

Another week of training down. Last week was definitely tougher than the first. I started off Monday pretty strong. I was going 3 1/2 minutes of running instead of just 3. Trying to add a little at a time. Then I had a softball game last Monday night. I had energy and felt like I did better than I have in the past. Tuesday morning rolled around and I was struggling a little. Playing softball in the heat can be a little draining. But I made it through the Tuesday morning run/walk. I had another game Tuesday night. this point these old bones and muscles were struggling a little, but I wasn't feeling too bad. Well, after a shower and hitting the hay Tuesday night, I felt like I was pretty sore. Wednesday morning I told Joe that I didn't think I could get out of the bed at 7:30 am to run. My knees were very sore as well as my back. So I rested on Wednesday and just walked my route on Thursday. I took another rest day on Friday and got up and did the run/walk on Saturday morning. I did almost 5 minutes on Saturday! I was very excited. I took another rest day today (Sunday) and hopefully I'll be ready for week 3. I have two softball games again this week, so I'm wondering if I'll have the same achy bones and muscles I had last week. My eating has been going well. I'm still trying to do the no processed sugar. I've had a few moments where I've "cheated". I had a few tastes of some things my Mom brought back from England. I also had some Sprite last week. But overall I've done so much better than I used to. I have also been drinking grapefruit juice. My friend that encouraged me to drink it said that at first she didn't like it either, but after a while, she actually craved it. I thought...I'll never get to that point! Well, I'm already starting to develop a taste for it! That's hard to believe.

My happy moment this week: trying on some dresses/clothes that didn't fit before and now they do! Now that's a great feeling! I want it to continue! Tomorrow is weigh-in day and I hope it'll be good!

God bless!