Welcome! Thank you for joining me as I blog my 'weigh' to a healthier me. I pray I will be of encouragement to you to reach your goals! Please feel welcome to become a follower - I'd love the encouragement. If you add me to your blog roll, please let me know so I can reciprocate.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week.. what week is this?

I'm losing count.  What week is this?  Week 47, is that right?

I remember back in January when I first decided to make taking care of myself a priority and in that vien begin this blog I was so gung ho.  I was all about it.  This was it.  In order to do anything else well in life I knew that I needed to take the time to see to my own well-being.
I joined SparkPeople.  I tracked my food and water intake.  I educated myself on good nutrition.  I began to exercise.  Will-power was nothing I even had to think about; I was 'in the zone'!

Well here I am at week 47 and am I still 'in the zone'?  Still?  I've derailed from aforementioned zone often enough to make a pretty pattern on my boarding pass.  At this moment, I'm somewhat in.  Better last week, but not bad this.
I weighed in this morning and I lost a little more.  I lost weight quickly in the first 4 months, then it started slowing to a snails pace.  At first it was just my body doing it's thing, but then it was due to my lack luster effort.  I'd pick it up some weeks and then be a slug the next.
At my best, I had lost 42 pounds.  I'm now at 39.6 pounds lost.

I'm not sure why I lose momentum.  I certainly do not want to put this weight on again, that's for sure.  I was discouraged due to giving it my all and not seeing results.  I wasn't discouraged from lack of speed, it's a life change, not a race.  So why does this happen to me?  It has been the case with me my whole life.  Why?
I tried seeing a Christian counselor several months back with this being one of my big issues I wanted to work out and be done with.  But after a few months, I was leaving the sessions knowing more about her family than what she was hearing about mine and often I felt judged and discouraged by her - so that was that.  It was worth a try, right?  I remember when I specifically brought this topic up and asked her why I can't seem to stick with it - why do I always go back to my unhealthy ways.  She told me to, "Go home and read up on it and tell her next time what I found out."  I did just that with the main point that 'experts' make being that there is an unresolved issue that the obese person knows about that causes this.  I told her, but that's the thing, I don't know.  And that was the end of that.  She offered me nothing!

So why?  Why do I struggle to stay with this when I know it is for the best.  Why could I face what can typically be a huge challenge like Thanksgiving and get through it without a single struggle and then another plain old day I just crumble?

Anyone hear me on this?  Can anyone relate?

Well here's the thing, I'm not quitting.  I'm not giving in.  Week 47, or whatever it is, will not be the last for me.  I want to lose 50 pounds, if I could lose even more, great; but 50 is a must.  There's no race, no time limit.  I want to get that weight off and keep it off. 
I feel like I do many things well.  Good even; but nothing great.  I want to succeed at this.  I need to succeed at this.

I'm not trying to be hard on myself, just honest and real.  This is where I am at week 47.

Here are my goals this week:
Sign in to SparkPeople every morning.
Track my food, even when it isn't all good.
Drink 6 glasses of water a day.
NOT give up!!!

It's time to get my nightly cup of tea.  Good night friends!

PS ~ My 5 year old son chose a slip of paper from the 6 entries into "I AM THANKFUL" who stuck with the challenge.  I'm heading over to verify that they made 26 entries.  I'll announce the winner tomorrow.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

'Thankful' participant check-in

Ok gals, for all of you who signed on to join me in my "I AM THANKFUL" challenge, I'll be starting to review your blogs to see if you had decided to participate all the way through, or if the season just got to busy for you.
I will post the winner at the beginning of next week.

I want to say a big 'THANK YOU' to all who participated.  It was such a blessing to read your posts and they truly lifted my spirits and helped remind me of other gifts in my life that I may sometimes take for granted.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already here!
I swear the older I get the faster time flies.
This month I started a challenge called "I AM THANKFUL" where each appreciative participant was to post something that they were thankful for each day. (or, double up on a day or two when life just got too hectic)
Today is the last post for this challenge and today I am thankful for having people to love and people who love me back.  I am so blessed to have family and friends who I truly adore and I am secure in their love for me.  Talk about something that is priceless!!!
I am also thankful that I totally rocked my Thanksgiving eating!!!
I decided to skip sticking the cinnamon buns to my buns our usual holiday cinnamon buns and instead had some egg beaters and a turkey sausage for breakfast.  I ate a crunchy sweet cortland apple on my way to my in-laws so that I wouldn't have to struggle to resist the appetizers once there.  Then at dinner, I stuck to my plan and had 60% veggies, 20% protien and 20% carbs and washed it down with seltzer water.  But then... then it was time for my 'achilles heel' part of the day... dessert.  Any you know what?  I had one small sliver of pumpkin pie.  That's it!  Not even any whipped cream! Woo hoooo... Ok, but that still left dinner (as I didn't pig out at lunch, I was hungry come 6pm).  I had a little more of the egg beater dish I had made in the morning with another turkey sausage.  Then, let's face it, I needed a sweet to top it off with.  So this is where I fell apart, right?  No way chicas!  I had a fat free sugar free jello for a wopping 10 calories!  I think I'm stretching out my arm giving myself a pat on the back!  I stayed within my calorie range - on THANKSGIVING!!!  This was huge for me!!

How was your Thanksgiving?  I hope it was great!! But remember, even if you struggled, it was just one day, no worries!!  We all have off days but we get to start fresh with each sun rise, and that is something we can all be thankful for!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful - 24

Happy 'Thanksgiving Eve' to you all!!  (as my boys have been wishing everyone today)

Today I am thankful for friends.  Friends for my children and husband and myself.
Friends can come in and out of our lives for just a season, or sometimes, people are so blessed to have a life-long bff.  (Did I seriously just abreviate?  I hate that!)
Today a friend of mine came over with her children for a playdate.  I'm so thankful for our friends the "A"s.  My husband and I are friends with the parents and both of our children are friends with their two children.  It's so wonderful to have friendships like this!!  And we are blessed to have more than one 'family of friends'.

Can I be piggy and toss in another entry for today's 'thankful' posting?  Sure I can!  We can never be too thankful.  I am also thankful that according to my scale this morning (I know, it's not weigh-in day) I have lost 2 of the 3 pounds I had put on!  Woo hoo!!

For those who don't sign in tomorrow - 'HAPPY THANKSGIVING' to you and yours!!!  I hope you have a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful 23

Today I am thankful for modern conveniences.

I just gathered up some dark clothes and put them in the washer.  As I was trudging down stairs with them I thought about how I hate to fold and put away laundry.  But then I reminded myself that I was looking at it all wrong.
Instead of focusing on the folding and putting away, I need to be mindful that I'm not hauling it all into the back yard to rub against a scrub board.  Then instead of hanging clothes in this cold air (love line-dried clothes, but not so much in the cold) I just turn to my right and put them into the dryer.
Seriously, it's a blessing.  So much time saved not to mention my back being saved.

Almost a year ago now our dishwasher broke.  And guess what... It still is.  It can not be fixed actually.  Most of the time it bothers my husband more than me that we don't have a working dishwasher; not because he does the dishes mind you.  He just hates that he can't just go right out and buy another one.  But I remind him that it's a luxery and not a neccesity.

So I'm thankful for moder conveniences, but glad that I'm not enslaved to them.

On a healthy note...
Had a great food day yesterday (1420 and my max is 1570) and today is also looking good (as of 3:00pm 580 calories)!!  I rediscovered an old breakfast friend, multigrain Cheerios.  I've also been getting my water intake back up to parr.  Still feeling super tired though!  Been running up each morning to visit with my aunt and then I feel like I'm trying (unsucessfully) to play catch up the rest of the day.  Not complaining, I'm happy to be there with her!!  Goodness though, I'm dragging.

Any good fixes for the afternoon slump?

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Thanksgiving Plan, Weekly Update and Thankful post

Sorry I  missed posting yesterday, we were so busy. We had a great family day!!
So for yesterday, I am thankful for days that are clear so that we can just spend it together doing fun family activities as opposed to continuing on the busy treadmill of projects and errands.

So I said that I was determined to get myself back on track.
So far today.. It's going well!!
I had to run out the door this morning so I ate a SpecialK bar (90 calories).  Knowing that I was going to be running up to visit my aunt in the hospital and running in and out of a few stores I also knew that I was going to need some snacks to hold me over until lunch.  I packed an apple (81 calories) and a light cheese stick (50 calories).  I also brought my water bottle and gulped down 16 ounces.
For lunch I had an Arnold sandwich thin with turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomatoe and mustard (231 calories)  with a cup of grapes (60).  In the early afternoon I needed (wanted) a little snack so I had a sugar-free Jello cup (10 calories).  So at 3:00 pm, I've had 523 calories.  Not bad!  My calorie range per SparkPeople should be between 1200 and 1500.  I am planning some yummy cod for dinner that I picked up on sale yesterday.  (I love sales!!)
My goal this week is to be on track with my food and water.  I'm not worrying about exercise or anything else at the moment.  I know Thursday will be tough, but that's ok.  Here's my plan:
1. I'll be making my Impossible Egg Pie for breakfast.  A generous serving is less than 200 calories, plus it's healthy, yummy and filling.
2.  Skip appetizers except for raw veggies. I'll put in my ear plugs so I don't hear any melted cheese concauctions call my name.
3. Try to serve myself vegetables prior to turkey, potatoes, stuffing...  I'll have some of whatever I want, but my plate will be divided into sections. 60% veggies, 20% protien and 20% startch.  I could go stricter, but no one wants to be around me if I've skipper my beloved carbs!!
4. Beverages: I will be bringing a bottle of flavored seltzer water with me and I'll skip soda, egg nog and wine. (Not a big sacrifice to skip alcohol - not a big fan, and it puts me to sleep)
5. Dessert: Ahh... Well here's the plan.  I'll have a little of whatever I want.  When it comes to pie, it will be a sliver; cookies = 1, etc..  I'll limit myself to 3 things.  That's plenty and yet I'll still have indulged.

Ok, that's the plan and I feel that it is totally reasonable!!  I also don't think that I'll feel even the least bit deprived.  I want to stay within my calorie range; and it will be ok to got to the limit (which is technically 1570).  What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Today I am thankful for my good health.  I was up at the hospital visiting my aunt again today (please pray for my sweet Aunt Helen) and as I held her hand while she winced in pain as the nurse changed her dressings I was ever so mindful of my good health.  Heven knows that the way I've treated my body over the years that I do not deserve to be so healthy, but by the grace of God, I am.  So thank you Lord that I have legs that take me where I need to go, eyes that see your beautiful creation (not as good as they used to), ears that hear the laughter of my children, a voice to sing your praises (a joyful noise to you, noise to everyone else), a heart that beats true, arms that can give those I love a hug..... I am so thankful!! amen.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Game Plan ~ Thankful day 20

Today I am thankful for sleep.  I am so in need of some zzz's right now.
I'm thankful to have a warm comfortable bed on this chilly night.

Tomorrow I will be going food shopping.  I need to whip my cupboards and fridge back into shape.  I will go with list in hand and a firm game plan in mind.  I will aproach each isle with offensive game play tactics and wont be tackled by the high fat/calories, low nutrition foods that will try to get me out of bounds again.
What are some healthy staples that you always buy when you shop (aside from fruits and veggies which are a given)?

Hope you all have a great night's sleep!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Back up and running - Thankful still

I didn't forget to post, I had computer troubles but the hubs got me back up and running.  Thanks hun!!

For yesterdays 'Thankful' posts, I am thankful that I do not have a job.
WHAT?  you may ask.  Haven't you been asking us to pray for a job for you?  Did you get a bump on the head? you may be wondering.  Yes, I have been seeking, applying and praying.  But I was thinking yesterday about how I don't think that it's a mistake that I do not have a job at this time.
Over the last few months we have had my uncle pass away.  My sister-in-law's dad passed away.  Two wonderful ladies from church have went to be with the Lord.  My older son needed to have oral surgery.  My younger son needed to have tests, and then follow-up regarding his hearing.  I've had to have special meetings at school for one of my boys (who is doing wonderful!).  Now my poor aunt (the one whose husband just died) fell and broke her hip two weeks ago and is in the hospital for hip surgery and now heart troubles. 
Do you see? 
If I were working outside of the home, I would not be able to visit my family during these end times.  I would not have been able to offer my help to others who are going through these tough times.  I would be having a hard time getting my boys to their doctor's appointments and being there for themm as they heal.  I would struggle to get to the school appointments and volunteering opportunities and even more importantly, then being able to be at home to give them the extra help that they need.  Not to mention the extra time to just enjoy them - they grow so fast. The years are flying by.
Thank you Lord that you know what is best.  Please help me to be content in your will and the wisdom to know when I need to try harder and persevere, and when I need to just rest in your timing.

Now for todays 'I'm Thankful'
Today I am thankful for the yummy 'diet' hot chocolate I just enjoyed.  It's Swiss Miss 'diet' hc that I had with a little peppermint mocha lite creamer.  YUMMMMM!!!

Still struggling here.. I'm bound and determined to get myself back on the right track!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Still Hard ~ Thankful 17

Not a great day again today.
No exercise, no tracking.  Food consumption, not too bad - but could be/should be better.
I'm keeping at it!!!

Today I am thankful for the internet.  Ok ok, in so many ways it is not good for us.  But at this time of year when my mind goes to buying gifts for my boys and nieces and nephew, I'm glad I can go to a Black Friday site and scan the deals so I know where/when I'm going next Friday to make the most of the money I have to spend.  And can I just stress - next FRIDAY.  It saddens me to see that so many stores (at least hear in the North East) are opening on Thanksgiving day!!  There may be a few workers who are cool with it, but you know darn well that there are others (maybe most of them) who would rather be home with their families.  I wont shop on Thanksgiving, regardless of the deals on principal.  There really should be a few days of the year where the majority of folks can have the day off. (obviously hospitals and pharmacies.. police and fire stations, etc. need to stay open.)

off to bed...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Better day ~ Thankful

Today was better.  Not great, but better.
I did track (mostly.. got lazy) and my eating was pretty good.  I was not able to get any exercise in.  I have lots to do this week (visit my aunt who just had hip surgery, volunteer in my son's Kindergarten class, have yearly mamogram, etc..) and by the late afternoon I'm just too tired.  I know it's a circle and that if I were to exercise I would have more energy.

Today I am thankful ('I AM THANKFUL' Challenge) for having plenty of food to eat.  Too much actually.  I know there are those even within our own country who do not have enough nutritious food to eat each day.  Lord, thank you that you provide for us with good nutritious food. Please help us to be mindful of those who do not and to give as though giving unto you to our local food pantries and other organizations that help feed your children. amen.

Just a reminder for those who are sharing in the 'Thankful' challenge: don't forget to post your thankful posts each day. It's ok to catch up and post a few things for which you're thankful.  I really am finding that I am uplifted by counting my blessings and reading about yours.  How about you?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Week 47 ~ Thankful for a new week

I can anylize and rationalize til' the cows come home but the plain truth is that I have been doing terrible.

Where has all of my motivation, will power and determination gone?

Last January when I started this journey I jumped in with both feet and dropped 20 pounds in no time.  Then things slowed down, which is to be expected, but I kept up the good fight and I had lost a total of 42 pounds.  I didn't weigh in today so I don't know where I am at currently, but I feel like I've put a pound or two back on.

I do not want to go back to my old ways (eating without and limitations and zero exercise save for getting up to make another trip to the fridge).  I don't want to gain weight back (42 pounds is a lot of weight!).  I don't want to be exhausted all the time again (it's amazing the energy you gain when you lose the equivalent to a preschooler).

I need a little elecrtic shock colar that will buzz me when I head back into the kitchen for the 5th time and that will get me moving when I don't feel like sweating.  Ok, maybe I don't  want to get zapped literally - but I do need to stop slipping back into my old ways!!

Maggie had posted on her blog asking if anyone wanted to 'buckle down' with her.  Get back to what worked in the beginning.  It just so happens that her sucessful beginning started with SparkPeople, same as me.
I will sign on tomorrow.  I will track my food.  I wont try to pile on a bunch of expectations.  I'll take it slow and be gentle on myself, but not give myself excuses!
There is no reason I should not have a loss this week. (but I guess I'll have to weigh in tomorrow so I will know my starting point)  If I'm not posting next Monday about a loss, please feel welcome to give me a virtual slap of reality.  Enough!  I can do this and I am worth the time and effort!!

"I AM THANKFUL" Challenge ~ Day 15
Today I am thankful for music.  I love all kinds; oldies (30's, 40's, 50's, some 60's), country, show tunes, classical, big band, Christian contemporary, gospel, etc..  I'm always amazed at how a song can take me back to a particular memory (like when I hear 'Tainted Love' I'm back on a dance floor in a little pub in England where I went with two friends after graduation high school), or a certain feeling ("It's A Great Day To Be Alive" from Travis Tritt always puts me in a good mood).  Music is so powerful!
If I need to get my but in gear and get some cleaning done, I pop in some big band.  If I want to prepare myself before beginning my quiet time there's nothing like a worship CD.  When I'm crafting I like oldies or show tunes (I guess they make me feel creative).
I LOVE music!!  In my CD player in the kitchen right now I have Amy Grant's Christmas CD (her 1st I think).  What's in your CD player?

Have a great week folks!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful ~ hee hee hee

"I AM THANKFUL" Challenge ~ Day 14

Today I am thankful for laughter!
I love to laugh!! I love to make people laugh!  I love to hear people laughing!!  It's one of the best sounds in the world!
Isn't there a quote that goes, a day without laughter is a day wasted..?  Love that!
I am actually somewhat known for my laugh.  It's loud, nothing feminine or delicate about it.  If I find something truly funny, I throw back my head and laugh with abandon.  I've been known to not breath for a rediculous amount of time and there have been occassions where tears do not just stream down my face but literally leap from my eyes.  I've had sore cheeks and aching ribs and it's wonderful!

I don't know how I would have gotten through the hardest things I've gone through in life without laughter.  My sister closest in age to me wrote my mother's eulogy and in it one of the things she said my mum had left as her legacy is the gift of laughter.  She had passed it down to all of her children and specifically gave us the gift of being able to laugh at ourselves.  Not taking ourselves too seriously.  Thanks Mum!!

I hope you've all had a laugh today!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thankful ~ Celebrate!

"I AM THANKFUL" Challenge ~ Day 13

Today I am thankful for celebrations of all kinds!

Today we celebrated my oldest sister's 50th  BIG birthday!  Most of my family was there, even those from up north. Ahya. There was cake and presents and the whole nine yards.
We caught up, laughed, ate, laughed, opened gifts, LAUGHED!!  My family is BIG on laughter in case you didn't catch that.  I am so thankful for my family and thinking today of my sister espeically (another post).  I was thrilled to celebrate the day God gifted us with her!!

But celebrations aren't just for big momentous occassions like a milestone birthday.  Writing that, it's making me think about how often we don't want to celebrate turning another year older.  Rather than thinking of aging, couldn't we just think of it as taking one day a year to celebrate someone's life? Life is a gift and worth celebrating!!
But there are other things to celebrate.  Things other than birthdays, wedding anniversaries, graduations, etc..  Celebrate a good report card to show your kids that you recognize their hard work, the beginning or completion of a home project, getting rid of your cast or crutches, welcoming a new member to a group, and something we here can all relate to ~ a scale or non-scale victory!  We should celebrate milestones on our healthy journey.  Reaching our first weight loss goal.  Fitting into those old jeans you never thought you'd get on yourself again.  Hey, somedays it's a victory to get through the week (or day) without raiding the baking cupboard!!  For me, I will be singing a major halleluja chorus when I can walk up to a ride without any fear that I won't be able to buckle a belt and have to miss out on a great memory with my kids.

So make time to celebrate!!!
Thank you Lord for every good and perfect gift is from you!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankful ~ Day 12

"I AM THANKFUL" Challenge - Day 12

Today I am thankful for hot showers!!

It's been a very long day!  Go go go both outside of the home and in.
Meetings, lots of errands, cooking, baking and taking care of the kids all while doing the before mentioned activities.  There's nothing like finishing the day with a piping (read scalding) hot shower!!

I know it's bad for my skin and that I really have no business saying, "I really don't know where I get this dry sking from.  Must be hereditary." when I know that I am partially to blame by turning myself into a lobster daily.  But man, I so enjoy a good hot shower.  It totally relaxes me.

Well now this relaxed gal is time for bed as tomorrow promises to be another busy one.
Thank you Lord for the small things!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful ~ Day 10 & 11

Well ladies, I have to say that what I'm thankful for for Day 10, is for my readers/follwers and that you'll forgive me for not being able to post yesterday.  But seriously, I am thankful for all of you and for all of your support and encouragement!  It means more than I can express!!  And I am in need of your encouragement as I feel as though I've gone off of the tracks this week. My eating has been terrible and I have not gotten in nearly enough exercise.  I have GOT to snap out of this!!!

Day 11 ~ Today I am thankful for being able to visit with one of my nieces.  I can't believe she is grown up and in college now - crazy!  Time goes so fast!!  Today my husband picked her up from college (thanks hon) and brought her to spend the night with us.  We had a great time chatting and.. well, eating. ugh!  We had one of our silly moments where we laughed so hard niether of us could make a sound and turned to see my husband and older son staring at us like we were nuts; which of course only made us laugh harder.  I'm so thankful to be able to spend this time with her!!!

I hope you've all been feeling uplifted focusing on your blessings!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thankful ~ Day 9

"I AM THANKFUL" Challenge ~ Day 9

Today I am thankful for the 40+ pounds I have lost.

I picked my younger son up yesterday (not something I do too much these days as he is now 5) and couldn't beleive just how heavy 54 pounds is!  Now I know I didn't lose the equivalent of my child, but not too far off.
It amazes me to think I used to walk around with that as part of me.  I can barely climb a couple of stairs and carry my son, how did I do all that I did with those extra lbs?
I NEVER want those pounds back!!

Thank you Lord for helping me lose this weight.  By your grace I'd like to lose at least another 20 pounds.  Please help me to get on track and stay there.  And please help on my blog buds who are also looking to live healthier.  Amen.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Week 46 & Thankful day 8

Have you tried FiberOne strawberry yogurt?  Yummmm!!
It's only 50 calories, has 5 grams of fiber and seriously tastes great!!
Once for a dessert, my husband and I each had one of their keylime yogurts and topped it with a bag (we split a 100 calorie pack bag) of crushed LornaDoons. It was like having guilt free keylime pie!

I've added some toning exercises to my repetoire; mainly focusing on abs.  I'd like to do more arm work but I have injured my right elbow somehow.  Just when it starts to feel better, whamo, I reach for something or over-extend it and it's back to square one. My husband thinks it's Tennis Elbow, which I find such a funny name considering less than 5% of the cases are actually caused by playing tennis.
In any case, havent been able to do much arm toning, and the abs don't exactly look like Jillian Michaels, but it's less Jello like than in previous times.

I'm up a 1/2 a pound this week.  Frustrating... I need to get my but in gear!  Seriously!!! I did have some NSV this week though in the form of compliments. Those always feel good.  But what didn't feel good was how I felt when I attended a Pampered Chef show with my niece who was the consultant.  Everyone was nice, the show went terrific, but at one point as I stood drying a cutting board I noticed that I was the largest woman there. I soooo know that I should not be comparing myself to any person for any reason, but I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that I noticed and it felt lousy.  I know I've done great. 42 pounds down is nothing to be discouraged about.  But I was really... well.. disappointed in myself.  I should have lost more at this point in time.  Also, I feel.. frumpy.  I don't want to be a frump.  I need to start reminding myself that 'its' time' to take care of myself.  Not in a selfish way.  But if I don't feel good, it will reflect in all I do.

Rather than continue down this road and ultimately beat up on myself, I'll turn my thoughts to what I am thankful for today.
Today I am thankful for my cork board.  What??  Yes.  I have a little cork board in my office/craft room where I have quite the eclectic array of items posted.  I have a tiny piece of art work I did that I like.  There's a little article from one of our church newsletters about our last women's event.  There are several Bible verses up there; some are hand written, some are on pass-it-on cards, others typed out on nice paper, but all very meaningful.  There's a prayer card/support envelope for friends of ours who are missionaries in Senegal - I have this up to remember to pray for them and as a reminder to trust that some day God will enable us to give financially to their mission.  There's a drawing my older son made me for Mother's Day last year.  And then there are the occassional items that come and go such as contact information for new ladies who join our church so I can pray for them and make sure they are notified of all of the opportunities we have for the women to fellowship, worship and grow in the Lord.  Its a simple thing this board. But I am thankful for it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thankful ~ 7

"I AM THANKFUL" Challenge ~ Day 7

Today I am thankful for my husband.

One day while I was at work I recieved an email from a friend.  The subject heading was, "Have I got a man for you!"  I let out a "OH no!" and a coworker called over the wall, "What's up?"  I told her about the email heading and she headed over.
The message was short, telling me how she and another friend had been talking after I had left the prior evening and they wanted me and the other gals husband's friend (follow that?) to meet.  I stood up to file some papers while my coworker read the email.  As I filed she said aloud while typing, "Sounds great. Send."
The rest as the say, is history.
Our full story would take a very long time to type out and you'd all be snoozing before you'd get to the end, but it's a great story!!
This winter will be our 10 year wedding anniversary!
My husband is not perfect, no on is.  He is however a good provider, a good dad, a hard worder, a good man of God, fiercely  protective of me, great at surprises, is willing to watch Jane Austin and PBS Masterpiece Classics shows with me, does a great evil Dr. Duffenschmirtz impersonation (gotta have kids to get that reference) and loves me a lot.
I am blessed!
Thank you Lord for blessing me with a great husband!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thankful ~ Day 6

"I AM THANKFUL" Challenge ~ Day 6

Today I am thankful to have a roof over our heads... Litterally.

Last spring we had terrible rains here in New England and lots of people suffered great damage to their homes.  We began seeing ugly yellow streaks across our ceilings; first in the kitchen, then the boys room and so on.  My husband climbed up in the rain to see if there were any quick fixes to be had, but alas, it was no good.  We needed a new roof.
Our purse has not been overflowing these days and we knew we didn't have the extra $$$ kicking around so we looked up to heaven and asked how we were going to put on a new roof.  God answered.

My brother who is now a pastor up in Maine had been in construction in his younger days and has never completely stopped being a carpenter at heart, heard what was going on so he told us to just tell him when, and he'd be down.

Day 1 ~ My accountant husband climbed up onto our roof and began stripping it. (so stinkin proud of him)
Day 2 ~ My brother arrived.  The two of them finished stripping the roof and began roofing.
Day 3 ~ Big bro and the hubs worked all day and into early evening.
Day 4 ~ Big bro joined my hubby for a few more hours before heading back up north.
Day 5 ~ The hubs worked up there by himself like a trooper.
Day 6 ~ Men from church showed up with tools in hand.  The women from church showed up with food to feed everyone.  Before the end of the day, the roof was finished!!
Day 7 ~ It rained!  I kid you not!!  And my poor exhausted husband rested his beaten up body.

With everyone's help, the new roof was put on for about 1/3 of the cost of hiring someone to come and do it for us.  Plus, without asking for it, we were given help paying for the supplies.
How could we ever get a new roof on?  With God (and the kindness, generosity and selflessness of His people) all things are possible!!

After this rainy week and the cold winds which remind us that snow is just around the corner, I am mighty thankful for our roof and all of those who made it possible!!!
My bro in the front and hubby in the back.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thankful ~ Day 5

"I AM THANKFUL" Challenge ~ Day 5

Today I am thankful for tea.
Nothing fancy.  None of that green or herbal stuff.
Nope.  Black tea.  Maybe a nice English breakfast tea.
Piping hot with milk and half a sugar.
First thing in the am and before bed.  Who am I kidding, one in the afternoon too usually.
A hot cupa (as the Brits call it) is like a warm hug.  It's comforting and familiar and has on many occassions prevented me from scouring the cupboards for a guilt ladden sweet treat.

This English (and wee bit Irish) American girl loves her some tea!!

Thank you Lord for the little things that bring us enjoyment!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful ~ Day 4

"I AM THANKFUL" Challenge ~ Day 4 (click here to join)

As I sat down to type today's post I had something in mind to write about for which I am thankful.  But as I signed in, it became clear to me (like being hit over the head with a lightsaber... a plastic lightsaber, but a lightsaber none the less) that what I wanted to give thanks for today are my two little men.

God has blessed us with two beautiful boys whom I absolutely adore!!!

Our 8 year old is a heart with legs!  You would be hard pressed to find a boy of this age who is as loving, sweet, kind, considerate, generous and compassionate as our Jack. 
When he was 4 we had chosen a tag off of the Salvation Army giving tree at his school.  We got home I explained to him what the program was all about and why we were buying a toy for this boy. He was thrilled later that day to go buy "Noah" a toy.  The next day when we were writing out his letter for Santa, he suddenly ran away to his room.  I was completely perplexed.. what kid runs away from writing their letter to Santa?  He came back down the hall with his piggy bank.  He told me to write in his letter that he would leave his piggy bank in a special place so Santa could take his money to get extra toys for the boys and girls who don't have as much as he does, and that he could bring him less so other kids could get more toys.  Four years old people!!!
Last Spring one day as he got home from school he said, "Wati till you see Mum!!!" It was reportcard day!  We sat on the couch together and he watched me as I read it through front and back.  I read out each wonderful grade and glowing comments.  When done, I put it down and gave him a big hug and told him how proud I was of him for always trying his best and doing so well.  He said, "I feel like I could cry."  "Why?" I asked, afraid I somehow didn't express how thrilled I was with him well enough.  He said, "Because I've made you so happy and I'm just so proud of myself!!"  melt melt melt....
My little sweetheart is also funny and very smart!  Just so proud of him!!!

Our 4 year old is in a word, 'entertaining'.  We have family members, church family, friends and neighbors that all look forward to 'Billy stories'.  This boy is a hoot!!  Sometimes funny, sometimes charming, frequently mischievous; this little guy could keep a comedian in fresh material on a daily basis.
Frequently on Sunday mornings I head to his Sunday school room to pick him up and bring him back to the sanctuary as we're singing the closing song.  A few Sundays ago I did just this thing, and as I looked up at the over-head screen and sang with the band, I began to hear laughing behind me.  Slow at first, just a few giggles, but then it built and built.  As I turned to see what they were laughing at, I saw my son beside me playing air guitar and dancing for all he was worth rockin' it out to "God of Wonders". (Note: Our church is extremely child friendly - no one minds such things. I know at other churches this might upset some folks, but not at our church. People were coming up after service to thank him for making their day.)
In August I brought him to school for his Kindergarten screening.  As he was being brought back to me by one of the teachers, I could see the teacher was in stitches.  I thought to myself, "Oh no... what's he done?"  She said, "I love this kid!  I asked him if he likes to be called William or Billy.  He said, Billy because he's called William when he's been fresh."
I could share tons more stories, but most of a 5 year old boys antics have to do with.. well, bodily functions. (you moms with boys are giving large nods right now as you're reading)  If you want to know more of his escapades, go to my other blog that has plenty of his stories.
Along with his antics, my little charmer is very affectionate, loving and smart!! His smile melts my heart!!

I am so blessed with my little men.  My cup runeth over!! (or more likely has been tipped over by my rambunctious little fellas)

Thank you Lord for the gift of these boys that you have entrusted to us!!!
Mummy loves you Jack & Billy!!!!!!

Blog Hop Thursday

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

THANKFUL ~ day 3

"I AM THANKFUL" Challenge ~ Day 3 (still time to join!)

Today I am thankful for my husbands job!

Based on voting yesterday, it was sketchy there for a while if his job would be safe or if he'd need to polish off his resume. (no, he's not a politician)  Thankfully, it looks like he will still have a job going forward.
I was taking a prayer tip from Priscilla Shirer going into this who taught in our last DVD led Bible Study to ask the Lord for what you want but then she says, 'That (what she asked for) Lord, or even better.' because the Lord can do 'exceedingly abuntant beyond what we ask'.
Thank you Lord for providing for us, we love you!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thankful - Day 2

"I AM THANKFUL" Challenge ~ Day 2

Today I am so thankful that my son's oral surgery went well!!

He was such a brave little man all morning even checking the clock regularly and saying more than once, "Is it time yet? I'm ready to do this!"
Then the time came and we were called out back to the surgical room.  He went charging in with excitement usually reserved for one approaching an all you can eat ice cream bar!  Unfortunately, his enthusiasm was squelched by the undetected metal bar that was protruding from the bottom side of the chair that assaulted his right knee.  The twinkle in his eye went from that of happiness to get things moving to tears spilling over as he gripped his knee and rocked.
Thankfully, Dad came prepared with a kids joke book and had him back to a smile in no time whilst Mom was rolling her eyes.
The nurse and doctor came in next and told us it was time to make our exit to the waiting room and that they would take good care of our boy.  As reassuring as that was, the yell we heard once we reached the waiting room burst our bubble.
Thankfully the procedure did not take long and we were escorted back to the recovery area where our gauze drooling son asked, "Why does Dad have two heads?  And Mum, you have four eyes!"  A few more post anesthesia anecdotes and the doctor came by to give us an update.
The good news is that he was able to pull the two top baby teeth, remove the two 'extra' teeth that were up in the gum and that the adult teeth are unharmed and healthy!! Thank you Lord!!!  We now have to pray that the adult teeth will come out on their own as the procedure to force them out is... well, let's not go there.  I'll be praying for the best.

Thank you God for going before us this day and working all things together for our good and Your glory!!!  And thank you for a strong husband who was able to carry our 8 year old boy all the way out to the car!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

"I AM THANKFUL" Challenge

Count your blessings, name them one by one,

Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

I have decided that from now until Thanksgiving day I want to post every day about something for which I am thankful and I'd like to invite you all to join me!

Are you ready to take the "I AM THANKFUL" challenge?

First, I want to let you know that I would like to encourage everyone to take the time to give thanks daily for all of the blessings in your life.  However, if you'd like to be entered into the official 'challenge' and be eligible to win the prize I have listed at the end of this post, then you will need to follow the bellow instructions.

1. Become a follower of my blog.
2. Send me a message or post a comment letting me know that you will be participating and make sure to leave your blog address.
3. Copy the below image to your side bar and link it back to my blog.
4. Post about the challenge and begin sharing your blessings!

When you stop to think about it, there are millions of things we could post!!  There are the obvious things that we're so thankful for such as our families and our health, but don't forget the things that we take for granted every day like indoor plumbing and political commercials.  Ok, just making sure you were still with me! However we can be thankful that we live in a country where we get to vote!! (ok, that's enough of politics!)
I can't wait to hear how each participant feels at the end of this challenge.  I can only imagine how good we'll all feel when despite what each day may bring, we've taken time all month to focus on our blessings!!
*Please feel welcome to join up until Nov. 5th.

Now it's prize time. 
A few years ago my friend Michelle ran a crafting challenge blog and called me to asked me to make a mini-book of some sort for her challenge.  I came up with the mini-book pictured here.  The theme is obviously, Thanksgiving.  I chose to use this book to write in holiday family favorite recipes, but it could be used for pictures or to write notes about what you're thankful for!!  The winner's mini book will not look exactly like the one pictured, but it will be along the same idea.  I'll also throw in a Special K Chocolate and Pretzel bar that I posted about yesterday.  Maybe another goody will sneak in too.

I will write down the names of everyone who enters the challenge.  Then the weekend after Thanksgiving I'll pull a name.  I will then go to their blog to make sure they participated all month, and if so, we'll have a winner!

Ok friends, I hope this helps us all get into a thankful state of mind!

And let me not go any further before saying, I am thankful for all of you!!!

November goals and Week 45

Happy November everyone!!

As this month was approaching I was feeling as though I'm in need of something fresh.  No, I'm not typing this with a wink. I mean that I feel as though my blog is stale and that the multitude (ok, 3 or 4) of regular readers may be ready for something new.

This being the month of Thanksgiving, I am going to write about something I am thankful for every day leading up to the holiday otherwise known as 'turkey day'.  Heavens knows that I have much to be thankful for, big and small, and so I will be writing of all of the blessings for which I am truly thankful!

'I Am Thankful For..' Day 1:
Today I will write of that for which I am most thankful (please note, going forward I will not be writing in any order), my Lord and Savior, Jesus.
I am so thankful for Jesus and my faith in Him as it's as much a part of me as my heart, or lungs.  He is a part of all that I do, say, think.  I am of course, not perfect, but even when I fall short, I turn to Him for reproof and restoration.
In good times I know to whom all credit should go (every good and perfect gift is from above) and in bad times He gives guidance, wisdom and comfort as no other (the peace that passes all understanding).
I could truly write pages and pages on why I am thankful for my faith, but I will summarize with this statement:  He is everything to me!  Thank you Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Would you like to join me in my "I Am Thankful" challenge?  Look for a post later today!!

Last week was a stressful one.  Stress if part of each of our every day lives though, is it not?  It's all in how we handle it.  I must be honest and confess that for one day I lost it.  By the next day, I was able to allow God's peace to comfort me.  It's not that His peace wasnt there the day before, but rather that I didn't allow it in. (dope!)
I only got in 5 miles of exercise.  But that is better than no exercise so I wont beat myself up over that.  Water, sleep and eating were all... so-so.  Not bad one day, not good the next. 
I've been in such a slump over the last few months.  I don't want to be slumpish any more.  I want to pull it together folks!  My "It's Time" has fallen away from time for me and I'm backsliding into putting me and what is good for my wellbeing into last place once again.  Why do I do this?  Do I find this a 'safe' place to be?  Does putting myself last mean that I don't have to expect much of myself? Hmmm... Makes one think.

Surprisingly, I lost .2 pounds this week.  It's a loss - I'll take it!!  But honestly, not so sure I deserved a loss at all.  Just keepin' it real.

My goals for today: (Because sometimes, that's how we need to roll. Day by day.)

1. Drink at least 4 - 8 oz glasses of water.
2. Exercise for at least 1 mile. (yippee I did 2 miles!)
3. Track and eat within my caloric/fat/protien/carb ranges.
4. Get my quiet time in (time reading God's word and praying)
5. Get to bed by no later than 11:15 pm.

Ultimately, my goals for the month:
1. Post about something I am thankful for each day!!
2. Get my quiet time in at least 5 times per week.
3. Lose 4 pounds (totally realistic!)
4. Exercise at least 3 days a week.
5. Do something nice for myself once a week. Doesn't have to be anything big.

Have a great week everyone!!