Monday, December 31, 2007

Pardon the Interruption

Sorry about the short interruption of viewing for some of you. I had a glitch that I had to work out, but I think all is good now.

Happy New year to all of you. What are your plans for ringing in the new year? Mine are the same as always. I figure I will be sound asleep by 9 PM and will see 2008 when I wake in the morning. I know, I know - I am such a party animal. Truth is unless there is something exciting going on, I just can't make myself stay awake much later than my usual bedtime, and I have never found much exciting to do on New Year's Eve. So if you have any suggestions, let me know.

See ya next year!!!!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

What a Rip Off - or Why I Don't Go to the Movies

After Thanksgiving, we promised Stephen that if he reached a given number of Accelerated Reader points before the Christmas break, we would take him to the movies. Well, he reached his goal, so yesterday afternoon we made good on our promise.

Now we are not a movie going family by any means. The last time we loaded everyone up and headed to the theater was when Cars was released. I think Brian and I have each been once since then - though not together - that would sound too much like a date. And lets not forget that I am a notoriously cheap person. So when we reach the ticket window and it costs us $24 for the 12:45 matinee, I was a little more than mildly annoyed, but hey we promised.

So we go into the 1/2 full theater and pick out 4 seats and patiently wait to be entertained. And wait. And wait. I only remember going to the movies a few times as a child, but I saw my fair share in my teen years. The way I remember it was, you saw 2 or 3 previews and then the feature started. If you arrived at the theater more than 10 minutes after the start time, you were bound to miss the opening of the movie. Not now. When the theater finally darkened, we were first shown previews, but a solid 10 minutes of commercials. Yes, paid advertising on the big screen. This was followed by previews for more movies than I could count, and finally 25 minutes after the advertised start time of the movie, we actually got to see the movie.

We watched Alvin and the Chipmunks. It was very cute and the kids really enjoyed it. They have been quoting one-liners ever since we left. However next time we decide to bribe the boy, I am going to suggest we buy a movie and stay home. At least then we can afford some popcorn to go with it...

Friday, December 28, 2007


So tomorrow is the big day we have been looking forward to for what seems like months. I guess since we ordered tickets in September, it really has been months. Brian and I, along with Kathy, will be going to see Trans Siberian Orchestra in concert. Now if you don't know who they are, don't let the name fool you. The are definitely not your traditional orchestra. With their blend of hard rocking guitars and wild violin, along with a laser show that is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, they are anything but traditional. We had the chance to see them last year, however because I am notoriously, cheap our seats left a lot to be desired. We were up so high, I literally got dizzy looking down, and the crew on the catwalk had to look up to see us, but we still enjoyed the show. I did concede that if we ever went to see them again that Brian got to pick the seats. So tomorrow we will enjoy the show from our 15th row floor seats. I know we won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Life's Hard...

Get a helmet. One thing I have learned is that life is full of hard knocks. You make mistakes and you learn from them. My only advice is don't burn too many bridges, no one wants to be stuck on an island alone and cut off from everyone. When you hurt someone, say you're sorry and mean it. When you are in the wrong, admit it. And when all else fails, just move on. There are times when nothing you can say or do will get your point across to someone who has their mind already made up.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to All

Hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas...I just wanted to share a few pictures of some of our Christmas traditions. Gift pictures will follow in a few days - maybe.

Brian's tradition is lights. He likes to think of himself as the Clark Griswold of Oppelo. He loves adding something new every year to his light display.
This is our outdoor manger scene we added a few years back. This sign in the background is this year's addition. We like to remind everyone of the real reason we celebrate.
No Christmas Eve would be complete without leaving a snack for Santa. Every year we set out cookies for the big guy. This year's fare was a 100-calorie pack because we heard that Santa was watching his weight.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How Rude

The rudeness of people will never cease to amaze me. Last night, we attended Stephen's school Christmas concert. While I understand that listening to a couple of hundred second and third graders sing Christmas carols hardly qualifies as a upscale social event, I was amazed by the amount of talking and chatting that went on among not only the kids (mostly bored teenagers drug there to see their pesky younger siblings) but the adults that were supposedly there to support their children. While I sat an listened to the singing - which was pretty good by the way - there were numerous conversations going on around me that were very distracting.

I don't know if I am just more aware of this or if it is actually becoming more prevalent, but I notice this kind of thing happening at all kinds of events where it shouldn't be the norm. I even notice it at church a lot. While someone is singing to the Lord, there are usually several conversations going on in the congregation. It was very obvious to me over the last few weeks when I left my usual seat on the front pew and sat in the back. Throughout the congregational singing, special and even preaching there were people of all ages - yes, even the "elders" of the church chatting it up. All I can say is - can't it wait until later?

While I am ranting...There are three of us here at work that profess to be on weight watchers. It has been an especially hard month since several clients have brought in goodies ranging from cookies to apple fritters, but alas the clients don't realize the temptation they put before us. However, this morning one of my fellow "weight watching" employees brought in a plate full of sweets. Have you ever felt completely sabotaged? I told her she should know better than to bring that down here. Her reply - "I had to bring some of it down here so there wouldn't be so much left at home to tempt me there." I have taken a stand - I refuse to eat it - not one bite - and I told her so. In fact, I told her that it would be even worse on her because now she had the temptation in both places. Anyway - how rude!!!!!

Tales from the Scales Update

And I am happy to say even with all the temptation of the various treats of the season, I am still maintaining. I know I didn't post last week - don't really remember why - but since my post two weeks ago, I am down one pound. Which means I am 1.5 pounds above my "comfort zone." Not to shabby. Check out the progress of others at Tales from the Scales.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Window into Stephen's World

Brian spends at least one Friday a month working at Stephen's school through a great program called WatchD.O.G.S. By doing this he has become very familiar with most of the students in not only Stephen's class but in the entire second grade. He gets to interact with them both in the classroom as well as on the playground. It has been a great experience for both Brian and Stephen. What has been great for me is hearing the stories about Stephen at school. This is a window into a part of a child's life that a lot of parents never see. What we have learned is not only is our son a great student with lots of character who follows all of the rules to a tee (wish that happened at home too), but he is a player too... Brian observed him on the playground surrounded by a group of giggling girls. He was doing his best comedy act and really had them rolling. He also has a Spanish tutor at recess. He and one of the little girls in his class walked around the playground and she was teaching him Spanish.

Truth be known he is just like his daddy. He has never met a stranger, he is totally at ease making conversation with anyone, and he loves to make other people laugh. He is the opposite of me. Not that Stephen doesn't get some traits from me as well. I am a rule follower. In school I was just like him - an overachiever who did everything by the book. I remember my college advisor looking at my transcript and commenting that I had followed the catalog of classes almost exactly for each semester. So maybe Stephen got the best of both of us - a total package so to speak.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's not about me...

I was going to complain that I am battling yet another sinus infection, but then I received a call from my mother-in-law about a little boy who has been on our prayer list for months. His name is Job and you can read all about his struggles at his Caring Bridge site. The reason she called is he is finally getting new lungs today. In fact he is in the OR as I sit here typing this now. This is the miracle that we and his family have been praying for, and it really put things in perspective. My stuffy nose doesn't seem so bad now. Keep this little boy and his family in your prayers, because his battle isn't over yet.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Party Time

It is the time of year to party, party, party. Skylar attended a birthday party on Saturday and had a blast. It was for one of the little girls in her preschool class. They held it at Sunshine Academy, a local gymnastics studio. It was a great party - they handle everything from entertaining the kids, to refreshments and cleanup. The kids were worn out when it was all over too. They got to jump on trampolines, do flips, walk the balance beam, and swing on a trapeze.

Monday night Kathy and I attended the annual Christmas banquet of one of our clients. It was held at Mike's Place, where as I have mentioned before the food is wonderful. I had a plate full of shrimp, the best green beans I have ever eaten, and Parmesan spinach...and then there was dessert. Kathy, Jenny and I split what had to be the biggest brownie I have ever seen in my life. It was at least 2 inches thick and 4 inches square. It was covered with a delicious chocolate sauce and served with a side of vanilla ice cream. Between the three of us we put a major dent in it but didn't finish it off...not that we couldn't have but it was hard to keep eating it when Jenny's husband kept reminding us how many calories it had in it. I guess I should actually thank Rodney for that but for now I will pretend to be bitter...

So with all of that said, I guess you know how my weight loss/maintenance is going. I haven't mentioned it since before Thanksgiving. It has definitely been on my mind but I guess I thought if I didn't mention it then it wasn't real...since the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I am up 2.5 pounds. I guess I should be happy that it's not more...actually it was more but I have managed to drop a little of it back off. I will be heading back over to Tales from the Scales to report in...

Monday, December 03, 2007

A State of Neglect

I feel like I have been neglecting my blog lately. Sure I have posted a few pictures but that's it. I could tell you how terribly busy I have been but the truth is I have just been really lazy. I have these really great posts all written in my head but by the time I sit down at the computer, I just don't feel like writing. So I won't even attempt to "catch-up", I will just try to do better.

Last Tuesday Brian and I played hooky from work - don't get the wrong idea - it was planned well in advance with all of the appropriate measures taken to get vacation days etc, but we just took the day off by ourselves. We sent the kids off to school and hit the road. We took a nice little drive down to Hot Springs. While we didn't do any of the traditional "Hot Springs" stuff while we were there, it was a very pleasant drive. We did a little shopping, had a wonderful lunch at Red Lobster, and then headed to Little Rock for more shopping. We managed to finish the majority of our Christmas shopping, on top of spending a day alone. I think we should plan to play hooky more often...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The "Real" Flower Girl

Here is a picture of our shy little flower girl and the bride taken at the wedding Saturday. You can tell by the look on her face she was very bashful. I don't think the had a real smile on her face in any of the pictures.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

The Flower Girl

As a young girl I always wanted to be the flower girl in a wedding, but I never had the opportunity, so a couple of months ago when a couple from church asked Skylar to be the flower girl in their wedding I just knew she would love to do it. I was wrong. Whoever came up with the idea of having young children in weddings must have had a good sense of humor. They are unpredictable at best and just downright ornery at worst.

Skylar - who used to not have a shy bone in her body - has become increasingly bashful in the past few months. In fact she is starting to remind me a lot of myself - quiet and shy until she gets to know you, then you can't shut her up. I knew things were not going to go well, when at the rehearsal all she wanted to do was cling to me, but after spending several hours around everyone in the wedding party Friday evening and Saturday morning, she finally started to loosen up.

That was until the music started, and she was supposed to head down the aisle. She dropped a total of two flower petals before stopping dead in her tracks, tearing up, and wanting momma. To minimize the fit, I headed down the aisle, took her by the hand, and tossed the flower petals myself. When we got to the front of the church she refused to stand with the rest of the girls and ended up on the front pew with me. So, I finally fulfilled my childhood dream of being the flower girl, but needless to say it was nothing as I had envisioned it.

Friday, November 16, 2007


According to Wikipedia, compassion is best described as an understanding of the emotional state of another. It goes on to say that compassion is often combined with a desire to reduce the suffering of others and to show special kindness to those who suffer. Compassion is most often shown through one's actions - much like faith in Christ. It is the actions that a Christian takes that show our faith to the rest of the world. It is easy to say that your heart goes out to the suffering of the world, but it is only true compassion when you are led to do something about it.

So how does one do something about it? It isn't always about giving money to the poor, helping the sick, or some other grand gesture. Many times it is simply listening to the heartbroken, providing a kind word or a card in a time of distress, or just letting someone know that you care. There are many suffering around us who need compassion. It's not just the hungry, the poor, the elderly and the sick. It is the mother struggling with her children, the family torn by alcoholism, the son who just can't live up to his parents' expectations. All of these people need to know that someone cares, that someone is willing to listen and help, without being judgemental of the situation. To feel loved in spite of their situation.

Isn't this really what all of us who call ourselves Christians be doing? If we are to follow Christ's example then the answer is yes. Did He not leave the example that we should forsake our own desires and act compassionately toward those who are suffering? Sometimes this means forgiving when you really don't want to or saying you are sorry over a simple misunderstanding. Sometimes it is simply admitting that you can understand a different point of view.

The life of Christ reflects for Christians the very essence of the meaning of compassion, that has inspired many Christians throughout the centuries to care for the lame, deformed, broken-hearted, sick, dying and those who are in need. Christian compassion extends even to love of one's own enemies. What better way to show your faith than to have a little compassion for those that are suffering? Show some understanding for your fellow man and you will be blessed for it. After all, didn't Christ show more compassion for us when He took our place on the cross, than we could ever show for anyone? And our acts of compassion show that love of Christ to those around us. You never know when your actions just might lead someone else to know His love.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thankful Thursday

There are so many things to be thankful for - here are just a few of mine:
  • my sweet and faithful husband
  • that I am finally almost over being sick
  • next week is Thanksgiving and I am thankful that I will get to spend some time with all of my family - so many people don't have that opportunity
  • I am off work 3 days next week
  • Brian and I have finally been able to plan a day off together - just us, no kids
  • the good Halloween candy is finally gone
  • we found a temp for while Mel is on maternity leave
  • tax class is almost over
  • Skylar got her certificate for knowing all of the books of the Bible
  • Stephen has stepped up his reading and is so close to his goal for AR points

For more Thankfulness head over to God is in control - NOT ME. I promise there are much more inspiring list there.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Challenge

So I didn't post last week due to illness. I really expected to be up this week due to the fact that the only thing being sick didn't effect was my appetite. But I have good news - I actually am down a pound. I will definitely take that. With Thanksgiving a week away I guess it is time to plan my strategy for the holidays. I really hope have decided to just maintain throughout the next six weeks. I don't expect to lose anything, and since I am starting the season right at the top of my comfort zone, my true desire is not to do any damage by gaining. It won't be easy. Good food will be more plentiful than ever, but I will try to remember that just because it is there doesn't mean I have to eat it. Check out more at Tales from the Scales...

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Adoring Fans

I was informed that my fans miss me. Well I really appreciate that. I think I am about to get over being sick. I still have a headache and a cough that rears its ugly head a little too often for my liking but I do feel much better.

All is well with the kids as well. Skylar is no longer sick and Stephen hasn't caught anything yet. We did all wait patiently in line Friday afternoon to get our flu shots. Hopefully that will prevent us all from getting that dreaded wintertime illness. If you haven't got your shot yet I highly recommend it.

Skylar is going to be the flower girl in a wedding this Saturday. We spent all weekend looking for shoes. Who knew it would be so hard to find a simple pair of white dress shoes in her size. Everywhere we went either didn't have ANYTHING in white or her size. By the time we finally got sick of looking, we settled for a pair of strappy white shoes that are almost sandals. Not what I was looking for but they will do.

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is only a week away. The kids will both be out of school for the entire week. I think I will take an extra day or two off myself, if it works into the schedule here at work. We don't have any definite plans yet. When or should I say whether we do anything with Brian's family depends on how his dad feels. He has his last chemo treatment this week. If he feels up to it we will have Thanksgiving there on Thursday at lunch. When my family will get together hasn't even been discussed yet. Somehow we always get stuck scheduling around everyone's other plans.

I would like to go to my grandmother's as well this year. I haven't been there for any holiday in years. I have finally gotten past all of my personal problems with her and it just feels like it's time to let my kids get to know her a little better. She turned 80 a couple of month's ago, so there may not be that many holiday's left to celebrate with her at all.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Missing in Action

I know I haven't posted all week, but I have a good excuse. I have been sick. I went to the doctor Monday. I have a sinus infection. Even with the meds he gave me, I don't seem to be getting over it as quickly as I would like. I guess I am getting old - not mending as fast as I used to. Anyway, just wanted to let everone know I am still alive.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday already? And on top of that it's November. Where did the time go?

This week I want to say how thankful I am that Skylar is feeling better. I am thankful that the doctor was able to see her on such short notice Monday, even insisting that we bring her Monday at 5:30 rather than waiting until Tuesday.

I am thankful for fall weather. It is finally starting to feel like summer might really be over. Soon the leaves will start to change and then fall. I know God is about to paint a beautiful picture for us all to enjoy.

I am thankful for the time off of work I had last week. It was nice to have a couple of days off with nothing planned. My favorite part was going to the library - I know I am such a nerd, but I really love to read, and God has led me to some really great books lately. I just finished the third book of the Yada Yada Prayer Group series. I really love these books so far. I can see bits of myself and my friends in several of the characters, and as I see them grow, I am often moved to tears, knowing that God has worked some of the same miracles in our lives.

I am thankful that God's word reminded me that His word never returns void. I made the decision Sunday to stop teaching in children's church. My patience and nerves had run out for dealing with behavioral problems. I had hoped to get an immediate sense of peace over the decision, but it didn't come until later when God led me to read Isaiah 55 - specifically verse 11. While it felt like everything I tried to teach in that class fell on deaf ears, God assures me that as long as I taught His word, someday something will come of it. And while that assurance hasn't led me to rethink the decision to quit teaching the class, it has given me a peace in knowing that everything I have done in there was not in vain. And with the closing of one door, God will open another. I don't yet know what God will lead me to do, but He has something planned for me.

And I almost forgot - I am very thankful that I made the last payment on my van last week and received the title in the mail this week. One less bill to pay.

For more Thankful Thursday, check out God is in Control...NOT ME.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

On the Mend...

Skylar is feeling better already. It's amazing how a couple of doses of antibiotics can change a person. I can tell she is sleeping better, and her appetite is growing as well. Even though she didn't act like she felt that bad, I can definitely tell she feels better now.

I have to thank my mom now. She was really feeling brave yesterday afternoon. She and my sister took my kids and my nephew downtown for Monsters on Main Street. I haven't heard an official count but they were expecting around 1500 kids to be trick-or-treating the downtown businesses. I couldn't get off work in time to go - since they do it before dark - so I very much appreciate my mom taking them especially since they won't be going trick-or-treating tonight. I haven't taken a picture of them in their costumes yet but I will get one of my black cat and Emperor Palpatine (of Star Wars fame) and post it soon.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketUpdate time - stayed the same. And once again I am grateful for that. I weighed in +4 on Monday morning, though that was obviously water retention or it wouldn't all be gone today. Weekends are so hard for me. I think it is mostly because I am surrounded by people that aren't in the same mindset when it comes to food. It is a lot easier when those around you are at least trying to follow the same rules. We had a fish fry at church Sunday afternoon, and it was really hard not to eat more than I did. Don't get me wrong, I did not deny myself as I should have, but quitting when I did was harder than it should have been.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Moods - Good and Bad - Are Contagious

Have you ever notices how moods are contagious? How you can start the day in a good mood, and it can be turned around by the moods of those around you? I notice this all the time and have tried to keep others from getting me down, but it is not always easy. Sometimes before I know it, negative comments from others have "infected" me, and I have a big old case of the bad mood. I have also noticed that bad moods are way more contagious than good moods. Maybe its because I see fewer cases of good moods, but they do seem harder to catch. Anyway... what to do about it? I read the following article at and it seemed to have some good tips...we will see if any of them work.

Working productively: Managing your moods at work
Most of us have emotional ups and downs at work. Some days we can't wait to get to work and other days we can't wait to go home. Our moods may be affected by a great variety of factors -- from the weather to a long commute to a personal issue or a conversation with a customer.
It's normal to experience different moods during the workday, but it's also important to know how to manage them. Recent studies have found that moods can have a strong effect on performance. Research has also shown that moods are contagious -- people can "catch" moods from each other. It will be easier to do your best at work if you are aware of your moods and know how to control them.

How moods affect your work Your moods may affect your work in many ways. Some of these may be obvious. If you're feeling low because of a problem at home, you may find it harder to get started on a challenging project. If you're overjoyed by a great performance evaluation, you may be able to accomplish even more than usual.

Your moods can also affect your work in more subtle ways, according to a recent study by Nancy Rothbard at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Steffanie Wilk at the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University. They found that:
The mood we bring to work has more effect on our performance than on mood changes caused by events in the workplace.

Both positive and negative moods can affect your performance, but positive moods are more powerful.

If you deal with customers or clients, their moods may affect your moods. All of this means that while you need to be aware of your moods all day long, it's especially important to start work in a good mood or a positive frame of mind. Why does this matter so much? A possible explanation is that your mood at the beginning of the day carries over into events that occur later and affects how you cope with them.

Managing your moods during the day The key to managing your moods during the day is to balance the "up" and "down" times. Your overall sense of well-being is determined partly by factors you can't control, including your genes and family background. So it's unrealistic to try never to have a bad mood or to stay in an upbeat mood every minute of the day. You don't have to avoid all unpleasant feelings to be happy. Just don't allow them to crowd out all the good feelings.

Be aware of and keep track of your moods. Pay attention to your moods at different times of the day and in different situations and how, if at all, they affect your work. Get feedback if you aren't sure about this. Ask a coworker you trust how your moods come across. You might also keep a notebook of your moods. Write down your four or five most noticeable mood changes during the day. This can help you identify the situations or times of day that are most challenging for you, so you can figure out how to control them.

Acknowledge your bad moods and don't allow them to affect others. Avoid blaming others for your moods. Even if you're in a bad mood, be courteous and businesslike with coworkers and customers.

Set boundaries. Take steps to avoid "catching" the bad moods of chronic complainers. Have a polite exit strategy you can use when someone starts to gripe.

Make the most of your lunch break. Whenever possible, take your lunch break. Try to make time to eat away from your work area, in a lunch area with coworkers you enjoy. Try to keep lunch time topics light and upbeat.

Connect with positive people throughout the day. Being around upbeat people makes us feel good. When we're with upbeat, optimistic people, we don't just relax mentally -- we relax physically, too.

Limit how long you hold on to a negative emotion. Daniel Goleman writes in "Emotional Intelligence" that we may not have control over when we're swept by an emotion, nor what the emotion will be. But we can control how long an emotion will last. Sometimes we need to take an active role to send the emotion away. Consider giving yourself a "two-minute warning" when a mood has gone on for too long. Give yourself two minutes more to think about the subject, then move on to something else.

Learn relaxation techniques you can do at work. Physical tension can prolong a bad mood. Keep your posture and gestures relaxed. Avoid crossing your arms or legs or clenching your fists. Try deep breathing or muscle-relaxation techniques. If your moods are caused by mental stress, you may benefit from visualization techniques, such as looking at a pleasant picture or envisioning yourself in a setting that makes you feel good.

Talk with a doctor if your moods are severe or frequent enough to affect your work. Mood swings can result from some illnesses, medications and normal biological changes. You may have a health concern that needs attention if your moods seem to be worse or last longer than other people's. If your doctor can't find a medical reason for your mood swings, you may be experiencing depression and could benefit from talking with a professional.

Most of us can't avoid occasional bad moods. You may not always be able to prevent them from occurring, but you can control how you respond to them. You can keep your moods from affecting your performance, and your overall sense of well-being, by being aware of your moods and how to manage them.

Moms Don't Know It All

Skylar is sick. She hasn't acted sick. She's not run a fever. She only has an annoying little cough that doesn't want to go away. We have been giving her allergy medicine and cough syrup, but after a week of coughing it was daddy that was convinced that she needed to go to the doctor, and now mom feels like a real heel, because guess what - she has pneumonia. I feel horrible for not taking her to the doctor sooner, but my "mom sense" kept telling me it was just a cold. She hasn't acted anything like Stephen did when he had pneumonia last spring. Granted, even the doctor was perplexed by the fact that she had not had any fever, I still feel like I should have known. But now she is on the mend, with 10 days worth of antibiotics - and she didn't even have to get a shot. Keep her in your prayers, that she has a quick recovery and is as good as new in no time.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thankful Thursday

  • I am sooooo thankful for a God that still heals, even when our faith gets weak.
  • I am thankful for a good report at Stephen's parent-teacher conference this week. Knowing that he is excelling in school and that he behaves well there - even when he doesn't at home - makes my heart smile.
  • I am thankful for Skylar feeling better today - she had a fever last night but it was gone this morning.
  • I am thankful for Skylar's teacher. Skylar is learning so much at preschool. She continues to amaze us with all of the things she remembers. Just this morning she informed me that Little Rock is our capital and Mike Beebe is our governor. More importantly she knows that the Bible is the inspired word of God, as well as many other facts about the Bible.

For more thankfulness head over to God is in Control...NOT ME! , where Crystal is guest hosting Thankful Thursday for the next few weeks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Challenge Update

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Still doing good. Well actually up 1 pound but considering I have had no exercise this week other than the 3 miles I walked Saturday, I will consider that good. I have had a sinus infection which of course makes me feel like barely moving when I have to, let alone voluntarily engaging in exercise. But I am on the mend now, so this week will be better.

I wish I had my pictures off of my camera to show you the baby shower cake that I helped decorate this weekend. I will try to share soon. Come to think of it - after "taste testing" that icing Saturday, I should be VERY thankful that the scale was only up a pound this week.

Wanna be inspired...head over to Tales from the Scales and see how everyone else did this week on the challenge.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Praise Report

Several months ago Brian's dad was diagnosed with lymphoma. At the time the doctor told him it was very treatable. After the first few rounds of chemo, they rescanned him and found that the cancer had not gotten much smaller. He has since been through several rounds of much stronger chemo and the whole family has dealt with the ill effects of the treatments. But God is of yesterday the doctors told him the cancer is now gone. You really can't ask for a better result than that, can you? He still has to undergo two more rounds of chemo, but just knowing the cancer is gone is such a relief.

Monday, October 22, 2007

2007 Race for the Cure Photos

2007 Race for the Cure

Saturday my friend Kathy, my sister Julie, and I joined with close to 50,000 other participants in the annual Susan G Koman Race for the Cure in downtown Little Rock. We were cheered on by thousands of onlookers, including my hubby Brian and my son Stephen who took part this year for the first time by registering for the Three Miles of Men. And while we didn't finish in record breaking time (right at 1 hour 15 minutes), we left feeling great about our contribution to the cause of breast cancer awareness and research.

It was amazing to see that many people turn out in support of this cause. There were so many people walking in honor or in memory of someone who has fought breast cancer. I walked in honor of both my grandmother - a nearly 20 year survivor - and my mother-in-law - a 13 year survivor. It was most inspiring to see those who are currently battling this disease out there taking it one step at a time. I saw many who showed the signs of current treatment- no hair- face masks. It really made me stop and realize how truly blessed I am to be as healthy as I am.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's Been a Week???

Has it really been a whole week since I posted? What happened. I guess life happened. It's been crazy at work with the final income tax deadline for the year passing on the 15th - sure hope everyone got their taxes filed. I don't think I mentioned it before but I am also in the middle of and income tax class for work. We had our midterm Monday...hope I did OK. It's been a long time since I have had to sit in lecture, do homework, and study for tests.

There has been some fun stuff too. Last Friday night was the Casting Crowns concert. Even though I have to say that I don't think it was nearly as good as the first time I saw them two years ago, I really enjoyed it. We had good fellowship, a great meal at Chili's, and the music and worship was a real blessing.

Saturday was a busy day too. We took the kids to Brian's company picnic. I have to say it was better than the county fair a couple of weeks ago. His company really does it up right. They have carnival games for the kids, bounce houses, mazes, bingo, door prizes, and lots of food. There were nachos, funnel cakes, sno-cones, smoked ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, chips and cookies. And it was all FREE. The kids had a wonderful time and when we left there we took them to a birthday party at Playworld. By the time we left there we were all give out.

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As for this weeks Tales from the Scales challenge...I lost a pound. Which is hard to believe since I think I had at least one bite of everything listed above - plus birthday cake. But I will take it. If I could skip the weekends I would do much better at losing/maintaining my weight. I do really well during the week when everything is on schedule. I eat lunch at the same time. I bring the same things for breakfast. It's when I am faced with too much time on my hands and too much to choose from that I tend to make the wrong choices.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Holding Steady

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So there was no change in my weight this week. I know that if I had made better choices this weekend I would have seen a slight drop, but I didn't and I will take what I got. I have been doing better at getting my water intake up. The last 2 days I have had 80+ ounces. Needless to say I have made many trips down the hall to the restroom. I have also tried to do better at excercising. I still haven't made it outside to walk, but i did dust off the seat of my stationary bike a few more times this week.

I have been reading a very interesting blog concerning weight over at girltalk. They are running a series of interviews with authors David Kotter and Dr. Jeffrey Trimark. They have a book scheduled to be published next year called Eat and Be Content. They have brought out some thought provoking ideas about overeating, discontent and sin. While I haven't read enough to know that I agree with everything they say, they have definitely given me some food for thought about the way I view food, eating, weightloss and how it relates to my spiritual life.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thankful Thursday - Better Late than Never

Ok, I am a day late, but Thankful Friday just doesn't have the same ring to it.

I am thankful for the Encouraging Word I get from KLOVE each morning in my inbox. Today it reminded me that as long as I build my life on Him my faith will grow, and then I won't be able to stop being thankful.
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your
faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with
thankfulness. Colossians 2:7, NLT

I am thankful for the conviction I felt at the altar Wednesday night. It is time for me to get back in shape...
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto
all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to
come. 1 Timothy 4:8

...I have let myself get slack in my Bible reading and just like when we stop exercising our bodies, we get out of shape, when we stop exercising in God's word, we easily slip back into old habits...mine are negativity, sarcasm, and being withdrawn from those around me.

I am thankful for friends that will hold me accountable in my reading and improving my attitude as well as for helping me to recognize the Spirit's conviction. God has really put some special people in my life and I am thankful He sent them my way.

Check out more Thankful Thursday...on Friday... at Sting My Heart.

I gotta add this after reading Heather's comment I went reading her blog and it led me to this article she wrote about pessimism. God is really good you know! That article spoke right to my heart.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tuesday Challenge

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It's amazing how well things work when you actually do them right. I stayed on track for the last week, counted my points, and tracked them daily, and I am very proud to say that I am down 3.5 pounds. That puts me back at the very top of my maintenance range.

My next goal is to get back into my exercise routine. I have let that slip a little here lately. My problem is that I absolutely loathe riding my stationary bike, but it seems to be the only routine I have been able to stick to. Now that the weather is cooling off, I hope to get outside and go walking some. At least that would shake up the routine some. I guess I could drag out my real bike so I would at least feel like I am going somewhere, but I would probably be as graceful as my friend Jenny. I haven't been on that bike since I found out I was pregnant with Stephen back in 1999.

Anyway - hope everyone else over at Tales from the Scales had a good week too.

In Other News

Brian has been going to therapy for carpal tunnel as well as lower back pain. My sister starts physical therapy today for carpal tunnel as well. This got me to thinking, as much time as I spend at my computer, it is almost inevitable that some day I will develop this as well. So for a little preventative measure, I switched my mouse to my left hand. Talk about a way to really mess with your mind. Now I am left-handed, so you wouldn't think this would be such a big deal, but it is all in what you get used to. Though I do think that being a lefty makes it easier for me to adapt because most things in this world are made for right-handed folks, it is really a struggle to retrain your mind. I challenge you to try it for a day, mostly so I won't be the only one confused about right clicks and left clicks being totally backwards.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Telling Tuesday - Once Again

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I have to tell on myself - I have not done as good this week as I had hoped. I jumped back on last week with grand hopes of losing the couple of extra pounds that had sneaked back on. Somewhere along the way, I lost focus. And not only did I not lose those pounds, but another 1.5 jumped on as well. So here I am 3.5 pounds above the top of my maintenance range. So how did I let this happen? Very simple - I stopped counting points. While I have never been able to keep a written journal of what I eat, I have been vigilant since the beginning of the year in recording my points with my bracelet. Somewhere over the course of the last 2 months or so, I stopped wearing it. I don't remember even making a conscious decision to stop, it just happened. So as of today, I am back to tracking. It is the only way for me to be accountable for every bite I eat, and it obviously has worked for me.

As for the challenge over at Tales from the Scales, they have moved their posting day from Tuesday to Wednesday, though I will continue to post here on Tuesdays and just link there on Wednesday. Be sure to check them out for lots of inspiration, information, and even some free giveaways.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Race for the Cure

I have never been big on fundraising. I'm just no good at begging people for their hard earned money. However, I do participate in a couple of big fundraisers each year. Each spring I join together with my church family and take part in the Relay for Life, which is sponsored by the American Cancer Society. And each fall I personally take part in the Race for the Cure which raises funds for breast cancer awareness and research. I am also happy to say that Brian is supporting me this year by joining the 3 Miles of Men.

There is not one person I know that has not been touched by cancer in one way or another. My grandmother and my mother-in-law both have survived breast cancer. My father-in-law is going through chemo right now to fight lymphoma. Just this year alone, we have had a close friend diagnosed with colon cancer, church family that are battling, as well as several acquaintances that have fought this horrible disease - some are still fighting, some have claimed victory, and others have lost the battle.

So, while I won't hound you for donations, I do ask that if you feel that you would like to make a donation to help find a cure for breast cancer simply click on the pink ribbon to the left or click here to go to my personal Because I Care donation page. I truly appreciate your support!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

The view from Red Bluff Drive on Petit Jean Mountain.

Visit and 5 Minutes For Momfor more Wordless Wednesdays!

Picture Perfect

Saturday afternoon the weather was absolutely perfect (one of my 3 days a year that I actually want to be outside) so we took the kids to the state park on Petit Jean Mountain. Of course I had an ulterior motive for the little trip. I wanted to get some new pictures of the kids. Of course they were way to interested in playing to want to deal with posing for mom, so I got lots of action shots of them enjoying the afternoon. I finally got a few posed shots and while Stephen is a real ham when it comes to getting in front of the camera, Skylar is a model in the making not at all into posing for mom. Some of the looks on her face when I snapped the pictures are absolutely priceless. I will post more later but here are a couple for your viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Telling Tuesday

Well I looked back through my posts and I can't believe I haven't posted anything weight related since July 31. I have been updating my chart each week but for some reason I stopped my Tuesday habit of posting about the challenge over at Tales from the Scales. As you can tell by my chart I am hanging in there. Maintenance hasn't been as hard as I expected until this past week. For some reason I haven't been able to make the best choices. I have been snacking too much and on the wrong things. There were birthday dinners and birthday cakes, stress, and emotional eating.

My Weight Chart:
Weight Chart

So I visited the challenge this week and decided to get back to posting at weekly with my Telling Tuesday post about how things are going. I seem to do much better when I am accountable to somebody other than myself - so it is your job to keep me accountable. My only goal is to stay within my 5 pound maintenance range - which as of today means losing 2 pounds, which with any luck will be gone by next weeks weigh-in. This is the last weigh-in for the May Day Challenge at Tales from the Scales - but the first week of the Look Great in 2008 Challenge. So if you have a few pounds to lose, or just need help maintaining - head on over for some inspiration and accountablility from a bunch of great gals face the same trials as we do everyday.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Random Meme

Because I am bored and have nothing better to write about...
A, B, C, D, E, F . . .
Sing play along now.
A - Age:33
B - Band listening to right now: none
C - Career future: accounting
D - Dad's name: Jerry
E - Easiest person to talk to: Brian
F - Favorite song: Amazing Grace
G - Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms: worms
H - Hometown: Morrilton
I - Instruments: clarinet
J - Job: bookkeeper
K - Kids: Stephen & Skylar
L - Longest car ride ever: Morrilton, AR to Bakersfield, CA - with Brian, my grandmother and my mother-in-law
M - Mom's name:Jettie
N - Number of jobs: 5
P - Phobia[s]: spiders
Q - Quote: I can do all things through Christ which strengthenth me. Phil 4:13
R - Reason to smile: kids
S - Song you sang last: East to West
T - Time you wake up: 5 am
U - Unknown fact about me: I don't have a spleen
V - Vegetable you hate: baby corn
W - Worst habit: rolling eyes
X - X-rays you've had: too many to count
Y - Yummy food: fried potatoes
Z - Zodiac sign: Aries

Found this meme over at The Daily Meme...go ahead and play along...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for:
  • My children getting to enjoy their grandparents. I don't tell them enough how much I appreciate them being involved in the lives of our kids. And though they get to enjoy the grand kids a little too much at times, I hope they are thankful they are involved in the kids' lives as well.
  • What Skylar is learning in preschool. She comes home everyday telling us something new. Sunday morning she just started spouting out the books of the Old Testament. She is absorbing so much.
  • Stephen's outgoing personality. He has never met a stranger and goes out of his way to talk to everyone. This fact was driven home this week when he was selected to be an ambassador at school. For the rest of the semester, he has been chosen to help out any new students that transfer into his school by showing them around and just being a friend while they get adjusted.
  • God's amazing ability to completely transform someone into a whole new creature -

    Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are
    passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2Cr 5:17
  • My loving hubby who survived another birthday.
  • Tomorrow is Friday.
  • A weekend weather forecast looks wonderful. I look forward to spending some time outdoors observing some of the many miracles of God's creation. I hope to take the kids to the park and get some pictures while we are out.
  • My friends who can always seem to make me laugh.

For more inspiring Thankful Thursday posts head over to Sting My Heart.

And a little update on the birthday present dilemma - the kids got Brian a couple of Christian tshirts at CBO. He acted a little surprised to get something, and he couldn't get mad at me since the kids bought them - right!?!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Happy Birthday

Today is my dear sweet hubby's birthday. He is 34. Now when it comes to birthdays, he has always told me not to do anything special. In fact, he once told me that throwing him a party was grounds for divorce. This year, while there is a list of things a mile long that he wants, he told me not to buy him anything. While this seemed like a great idea at the time, now that it is actually his birthday, I feel really bad for not getting him ANYTHING. I know he would gripe if I did get him something, but he would also appreciate it. So now I am torn. We are going out to eat on Friday night with the kids and some friends. He claims that is enough. So what should I do? Get him something - even though he told me not to? Or let myself off the hook? Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Great Seats

We are going to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra in December - we just bought tickets today - Row 15 on the Floor. I am so excited. We went to see them last year and it was amazing, however our seats were just above the nosebleed section. I am shall we say "thrifty" so I bought the cheap seats. I actually got dizzy we were so high up. After seeing the show, I couldn't wait to see them again from "gooder" seats. I know it will be amazing.

Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday once again and I count it a blessing to share what I am thankful for this week:

  • That God is faithful to forgive - especially when people aren't able to do the same.

  • The much needed rain we have had this week. It has been wonderful.

  • Christian writers such as Jan Karon, Stephanie Grace Whitson, Karen Kingsbury, and many others who have touched my heart with their writing.
  • Christian friends who keep me accountable, as well as listen when I just need to talk.
  • My sweet husband, who I feel closer to now than ever before.
  • Healthy children who are growing everyday - both physically and spiritually.
  • The many comments I receive here at my blog. It amazes me that people I have never met will leave such encouraging words - especially when I know there are family and friends who read that never leave a comment.

I know when I read the other posts at Sting My Heart I will think of many other things I should have listed - so go on over and check out everyone's lists.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Contented Peace and Always Wanting More

I am very content with my life right now. Things are going well and I thank God for that. But even when things aren't going the way I think they should, I know that God has a plan, and that He knows what is best for me. I know that as I come to rely more on Him, though I may not always understand the things I am going through, I will be able to endure and be content with how He sees fit to bless me.

I see people in my life though that are far from content. They aren't happy with even a single aspect of their lives. They want to change everything about themselves - from relationships to jobs to appearance - thinking that somehow that these things are the cause of their unhappiness. I see married people that seem to think if they were married to someone else everything would be better. I see single people that think if only they were married life would be complete. I have been guilty myself, thinking if I was thinner I would be happier, or if I had more money all my problems would disappear.

It seems that it is common to think that changing the outside will somehow create a sense of fulfillment on the inside. The only true way to change the inside is to turn our lives over to God. When we give ourselves over completely to Him, we change from the inside out. Our wants and desires are changed, because we want want God wants.
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 (ESV)

When we want what God wants for us, only then will He give us what our heart desires because our desires will be His. And for us to want what He wants we have to surrender to Him and give Him control of everything. It's not always easy to give up what we think we need and accept what God knows we need, but if we have any faith at all in Him, then why wouldn't we believe that He knows what is best for us.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thankful Thursday

There are so many things that I am thankful for this week. I am truly blessed.

  • In light of many things currently going on in the lives of so many couples that I know, today I am most thankful for my marriage. While Brian and I are by no means the perfect couple, we are a team. Not too long ago, I felt that we weren't as united as we should be. We talked it over. We prayed about it. Now as I look around us, I can see that we are closer than ever, and we never were that far apart. I see relationships all around us crumbling. The devil has moved right in and driven a wedge between people that are supposed to stand by each other no matter what. It is painful to watch, and I can't imagine how painful it must be for those involved. I pray often for those that have been deceived. I pray that they will realize what they are losing before it is too late, and that the wounds will be healed. I also pray that Brian and I will continue to grow closer not only to each other, but to God as well.
  • I am thankful for my nephew JD's desire to go to church.
  • I am thankful for Skylar being such a big girl at the dentist yesterday.
  • I am thankful for Stephen's reading abilities, and his desire to do well in school.
  • I am thankful for the new Casting Crowns cd. Several of the songs have really spoken to me personally.
  • I am thankful that the Lord has blessed Brian and me with jobs that allow us to provide for our kids.
  • I am thankful for God's ability to not only forgive, but to forget. As far as the east is from the west, [so] far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12
    He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.Micah 7:19
  • I am thankful that the Spirit still convicts me daily.

So what are you thankful for? I challenge each of you reading to count your blessings. You don't have to share them, but believe me when I say that sharing these here each week has been a blessing to me. When I sit and think about all of the things that I have to be thankful for my heart overflows with gratitude to God for his provision. Check out Sting My Heart for more inspirational posts, and if you do decide to write about what you are thankful for be sure to let me know - I would love to read it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

You give blondes a bad name...

After reading this article about the Miss Teen contestant's answer to the thought provoking question "Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can't locate the United States on a world map. Why do you think this is?", I truly have to question the state of education in the U.S.. This child was obviously left behind in a nation where "no child left behind" seems to be the motto. I honestly hope that it was nothing more than a bad case of nerves, but these ladies train for these events like athletes train for the Olympics, so it is hard to believe it is nothing more than a case of stage fright.

The South Carolina beauty gave this strange, grammarless response:

I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps, and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such as and I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., er, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our children.

It was bad enough reading her response, but to actually watch it was almost painful. Check it out

Friday, August 24, 2007

Great Progress

Finally, Friday is here. The first week of school is behind us and everyone seems to be working into a routine. Both kids have done well getting up in the mornings, and Skylar has made leaps and bounds of progress in getting to bed at night. She is my night owl. I think she would stay up all night if I would let her. We have dealt with crying at bedtime for so long that we thought it would never end. But Sunday night when we told her it was bedtime, she was so excited about going to school that she gave us no problems. Monday night she whined a little and wanted to watch a movie, but we told her no and she promptly fell asleep within just a few minutes. We had a little whining Tuesday night but she was asleep in record time. Wednesday night it was an hour past bedtime by the time we got home from church, and she didn't even want to bother with getting undressed before going to bed. And last night was amazing. I told her it was bedtime, and she walked straight to her room, climbed into bed, kissed me goodnight, and closed her eyes. I checked on her five minutes later and she was sound asleep. Praise the Lord...

Stephen is getting better at sharing his day with me. I have to ask a lot of questions to get any information out of him, but that's OK. He told me yesterday that they had visiting time in class. He got to visit with his new friend Amber. Amber is the daughter of a friend of mine from school. It is so neat to me that he is friends with the children of my former classmates. Sometimes going to school with him is like attending a class reunion, but I guess that is to be expected in a small town.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thankful Thursday

It's been a few weeks since I participated in Thankful Thursday. Trust me it's not that I haven't been thankful...just busy.

I am thankful for:

  • A Heavenly Father that loves me no matter what.

  • A loving husband who loves me no matter what.

  • Two beautiful, smart kids that love me even when I have to discipline them.

  • A church family that loves everyone enough to comfort when they need comforted, encourage when they need encouragement, and even confront when they need confronted.

  • Casting Crowns new cd that comes out next Tuesday - I can't wait to hear more of it.

  • Great seats for the Casting Crowns concert in October and a great group of friends to go with.

  • Skylar's new preschool. She is already learning a lot and she loves it.

For more Thankful Thursday participants or to participate go to Sting My Heart!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I'm Smart Now

Well yesterday we sent both of our kids off for their first day of school. Stephen started second grade. He seems to have lost a little of the excitement he used to have for school. When we picked him up, he wasn't gushing with information about how his day went. In the past he has always been very eager to go to school and always gave a full report about his day. Yesterday it was like pulling teeth to get anything at all out of him about his day. He said his day was fine and he had fun, but I sure hope he regains that eagerness and excitement about school.

Ready for Second Grade

On the other hand, Skylar was full of information about her day. When we picked her up she informed us the, "I'm smart now." Apparently it only took one day of school for her to get smart. She was so excited. She told us all about her new friends, she recited the Pledge of Allegiance for us (complete with something about a vacation rather than one nation) and she told us she learned the nursery rhyme Jack remember, Jack be quick...She had no problems being left at school, and when we picked her up Mrs. Cindy said the only problem she had all morning was staying in her seat. Now it is hard to imagine Skylar having a problem sitting still...we will have to work on that.

Set for Preschool

Monday, August 13, 2007

Another Answered Prayer

Well we finally got the call this morning that Skylar will be going to preschool this year. We have been praying hard about this situation since early July when we found out that she would not be going to the preschool at our kindergarten because the cost was just going to be too high. By the time we found this out, there was a waiting list for every preschool in town. We knew that if it was God's will for her to go, that he would provide a way. This morning we found out that there was one slot that opened up and she was first on the waiting list. My sister has already volunteered to pick her up each day - thank you sis!!! Now we just have to figure out how to get her to school each morning, but I know the Lord will provide a solution to that problem too.

So, next Monday morning we will drop Stephen off for his first day of second grade, and my baby girl will officially be a preschooler. Wow where do the years go??!!??

Oh - and Skylar is now a celebrity too. In yesterday's Arkansas Democrat Gazette, there was a page of pictures from the Great Arkansas Pig Out. We spent about 15 minutes there and Skylar managed to get her picture in the paper, along with her buddy from church, Ericka.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Carrot, Egg or Coffee

*This is another one of those rare forwarded emails that I thought was worth sharing - especially in light of situations facing several of my closest friends right now.*

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A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked,"What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything;they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

May we all be COFFEE BEANS.
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Monday, August 06, 2007

As Busy as I've Been...

You would think I would have more to post about. But life has been pretty boring. I kind of like it that way though. I know I still haven't reported much on vacation, but I have yet to remember to bring my pictures to work with me so that I can upload some. I hope someday to have internet service at home that is faster than snail mail.

We have a very busy schedule over the next couple of weeks. I can't believe that school will be start in just 2 weeks. We get to find out who Stephen's teacher is next Tuesday night. I don't know much about t he second grade teachers, but I do know of one that I hope he does not get. This particular teacher has been teaching forever - in fact she was my sister's second grade teacher - and no one has ever liked her, at least no one that I know of.

We are also still praying for the pre-school situation for Skylar. I would truly love for her to get into a good program this fall. We are on the waiting list, but still waiting to hear. We had hoped to send her to the one that is at the kindergarten, but at $130.00/week it is just out of our price range. I know that if it is in God's plan for her to go that something will open up, but it is hard to wait and not know.

On top of getting ready for back to school, we have revival at church all next week. That means late evenings for us. I am usually in bed by 9 and there is no way we will even be out of church by 9 each night. I may have to slip some naps in at lunch. I expect our revival to be a good one. Right now our church is growing by leaps and bounds, both in numbers and in spirit. Our evangelist is the same one we had last year, and he brought such good messages. The only problem is the heat. With 100+ temperatures predicted for next week, our poor little church will be very hot. Our a/c units just aren't big enough to cool our sanctuary in that kind of heat when you add 100+ people to the mix. My prayer is that the heat doesn't hinder anyone from getting a blessing.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


And I am give out. It was sooooo hard to get up and get ready for work yesterday morning, and it didn't get any easier today. But I do have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my time off. We had a safe and enjoyable trip, and most importantly we all had fun. Each of us got to do at least one thing that we really wanted to do. I guess I need to get to work now(there is nothing quite like the feeling of being a week behind) so I will write about all of our adventures over the next few days.

On the challenge front - I am very proud of myself. I only gained 1/2 pound over the course of our trip. I did not make the best choices (that fried catfish sure was good), but we did get a lot of exercise - I even managed to visit the gym in the hotel. I was very pleased with the results, especially since they could have been a whole lot worse.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

And We're Off

Well as you are reading this we are headed off to Tennessee for a little rest and relaxation. Wait we are traveling with two kids - guess the whole R&R thing is out. I am just glad to be off work and out of the house. I have spent the last two days at home doing laundry, cleaning, doing laundry, packing, doing laundry, refereeing the kids, and well did I mention doing laundry - who knew a family of four could dirty so much laundry. But the good thing is when we left the house EVERYTHING was clean. Unfortunately I will have to start all over when we get home.

We really have no set plans for our vacation. I always end up disappointed when I make too many plans. We either don't get to do the things we have planned, or they don't live up to my expectations. That is why I decided we would just play this whole trip by ear, which has been a challenge for me, since I tend to be a planner by nature. It's not that I don't like to be spontaneous, it's just that I like to plan my spontaneous moments...

So say a prayer for us that we have a safe trip, and that all goes as unplanned...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Challenge Update

Well I am smack dab right in the middle of my comfort zone again. Right where I want to be. I have also quit taking the prescription that I think was the culprit of the sudden gain. In fact as soon as I stopped taking it, the pounds started coming off immediately. Now I just hope being on vacation this week doesn't pack on too many pounds. I plan to make good choices, but will not deny myself a few vacation treats. I will let you know the damage next challenge update.

I am enjoying my time off so far. Of course over the weekend we had all of the usual stuff going on, so yesterday was the first day I really got to enjoy my time off. I slept in until 6:15 - go ahead and tell me how lazy I was. I spent most of the morning cleaning house. I really have a hard time enjoying doing nothing when I know there is something I really should get done, so I decided to get that out of the way first. After lunch, the kids and I went to the library - I know I am a nerd. They got some books on CD to listen to in the van, and I got a book to read by the pool. Problem is I started reading it last night, and if I am not careful I will finish it before we ever get near the pool. Today we will be packing and running last minute errands, so maybe I won't get too much reading done.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Special Night

Last night was a very special night for our family - especially for Brian, as it was his deacon ordination service. Our church and church family mean so much to us, and it is hard to put into words the way they make us feel. There were so many kind words said as our former and current pastors spoke to us and about us. Both of these men have special places in our hearts, as they have both guided us in our spiritual growth over the years. And I felt such a peace come over me as they prayed over us. I know this is not a job to be taken lightly as I have read and meditated over the scriptures Acts 6:1-6 and 1 Timothy 3:1-13 many times in the six months since Brian was set aside for ordination. It will not always be easy, but I truly feel that this is what Brian is called to do, and as long as we always seek and follow God's will in every decision that we make, then things will go according to His plan.

Bro. Robert Williams (former pastor), Bro. Arthur Harrell (deacon), Brian, Bro. Wayne Brown (current pastor), Bro. Bobby Cooper (deacon & Brian's dad)

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I missed posting last week but for sure wanted to express my thankfulness today.

  • I am very thankful that tonight is the last night of VBS.
  • I am thankful for the blessings I have received this week at VBS - even though it is a lot of hard work, there is really no feeling like seeing young children rejoicing in the Lord.
  • I am thankful that as of tomorrow at 11 am I will be off work for the next 9 days.
  • I am thankful that I am back in my comfort zone with my weight.
  • I am thankful for my new Wednesday and Friday babysitter. The kids really love spending time with their "Aunt" Regennia. She is really good with them, going above the call of duty by bathing them and getting them ready for VBS.
  • I am thankful that the Lord has blessed me with a wonderful family, a wonderful church, and a wonderful workplace. I am truly blessed in every part of my life.

Laurel is hosting Thankful Thursday today...Go run see her and get in on the Gratitude! :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

I'm Still Here

I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth. It has just been really busy the last week. We started VBS last night so this week will not be any better. I will be in a state of constant running until Friday, but then...I will be on vacation for the next nine - count them 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 - days. I can't wait to spend a few days doing nothing at home and then spend a few days in Tennessee doing nothing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Challenge Update

I had a great revelation a few weeks ago. After that my mindset was great. I continued to eat on plan and maintained just as I knew I could. Then last week happened. I continued to eat on plan except for one day (and I openly admit I blew it that day but who doesn't have a day like that on occasion?). I blamed last weeks 4 lb gain (yes you read that right 4 pounds) on water weight gain - mostly because it appeared on the scale in a matter of only two days. I figured it would go away in a couple of days (like it does every month), but as I continued to eat on plan and count every point the weight has not gone away. It has been very discouraging. I am not one to place blame where it doesn't belong but I have been doing everything by the book. The only thing that has changed is I began taking a new prescription about 2 weeks ago. I have looked up the side effects only to find the ambiguous statement - "may cause weight loss/gain." What a way to cover all your bases...

I have decided to give myself one more week and see if I can shed these pounds or at least a portion of them. If I have no results by next Tuesday, I am calling my doctor and asking for her opinion. Honestly, if it is the medicine causing this problem, it is a case of the cure being worse than the disease, because the problem we are treating is not even a real issue to my overall health.

Check out everyone else's challenge progress over at Tales from the Scales.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Jesus, Send the Rain

I have been going through a drought. Not literally. The weather has actually been rather wet for this time of year. I mean spiritually. I don't know why, but lately I haven't felt like worshiping, praising, studying, or even praying. But last night, the rain started to fall. We had an outstanding service at church last night. I had spent the whole morning service and most of the evening service sulking. I didn't want to hear the message. Then God softened my heart and I began to listen to Him. It was nothing the preacher said, nothing in the song service or the testimony service, it was the Holy Spirit moving through the sanctuary. It was just me and God. I cried out to Him at the altar and He met me there like He is always faithful to do. I got up from the altar feeling as though I was starting anew, freshly washed by the rain that only God's mercy is able to send.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I almost skipped this today, but I felt convicted to forge ahead even though I really didn't "feel like" being thankful today. I know that I should always give thanks, especially at those times when I feel the least like doing it. When I start to count my blessings, I realize just how good God is to me and inevitably it lifts my spirits.

  • I am thankful for 13 years of marriage to a wonderful man who not only loves me and our children very much, even when we don't deserve it, but he loves Christ as well.
  • I am thankful that God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that I may have everlasting life - even though I don't deserve it.
  • I am thankful once again for every time that I hear the words "I love you" from my family.
  • I am thankful for my Christian friends who love Christ and me enough to offer words of encouragement when God puts it on their hearts.
  • I am thankful for soldiers who love their country enough to fight for my freedom.

For a real blessing and more thankful Thursday lists visit Iris at Sting My Heart.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July and Anniversary

So it is time for every one's Independence Day celebrations. I hope everyone is safe and enjoys time with friends and family. It was thirteen years ago on the Fourth of July that Brian and I tied the knot. It is hard to believe it has been that long. We have been through many ups and downs, but God has brought us through it all. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband and even though we don't always see eye to eye, we have stood by each other through thick and thin (quite literally if you look at some of my before pics). I look forward to many more happy years together - I love you.

About my last post - OK I am done whining for a while. After posting, I got to thinking about how blessed I really am and felt silly complaining about my situation. I really do appreciate all of the prayers that have gone up for me. It is a blessing to know there are other Christian women out there who don't even know me that are willing to say a prayer for me. I have turned the situation over to God, and I know that I can't control anything unless I am willing to give all control over to Him.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Plea for Help

I really feel like a lot of things in my life are out of control right now. I don't feel like I have time to do anything. We always seem so rushed to get from here to there. It's always hurry, hurry, hurry. There is something planned for every waking moment. Lord, I ask that you help us step back and take the time to do the things you would have us do, and realize what can be left for another day.

On the financial front things are out of control as well. It seems like there is always more month left at the end of our money. I told Brian it was time that we sit down and really look at our spending and see where we can cut back. We have talked about it before, and said we would cut back here and there, but we have not followed through. It is time to really analyze just where our money is going. Lord, I ask that you be with us in this so that no harsh words are said and no one's feelings get hurt.

On a lighter note...

My son has turned preacher. Stephen held a revival last week at Brian's parent's house. You may remember from this previous post that they have twelve chickens. Well Stephen carried his Bible down to the chicken pen and preached to them. He read scripture, then had an alter call. According to him, five of the twelve accepted Christ and got saved. He is still praying for the other seven. I just hope he doesn't get the bright idea to try to baptize any of them. Can you imagine the feathers flying?

Challenge update - not so great this week - I am retaining water and I feel like the Pillsbury dough boy.