Thursday, May 31, 2007

Time for Thankful Thursday

God is so good - He is generous, loving, and merciful. That is an awesome thing to be thankful for.

I am also thankful for the 3 weeks our daughter got to be home with us before she moved completely across the country. What a sweet visit we had!

I am thankful for the warm weather we are finally getting. I love warm weather!

I am thankful for the wonderful anniversary day I shared with my husband last weekend. He is still the one!!!

I am thankful for the Ipod I just got - I am really hoping it will help me with my flight anxiety issues as we fly to Florida this weekend.

And finally, I am thankful for my life. Even though I have my shares of problems, I wouldn't trade it for anyone else's. I am very blessed indeed!

Learn more about Thankful Thursday here.

Local Restaurant Meme

Ooh! I've been tagged again! Thank you, Kittyhox!

Here are said rules:

1. Link to name of person that tagged you. (see above.)
2. Include state and country you live in.
3. List top five favorite local restaurants.
4. Tag five other people and let them know they've been tagged!

I live in Idaho and as much as I love it here, we are not exactly known for our local restaurants. So this is a bit of a stretch but let's see what I can do!

1. Our town's Drive-In. It's very small and you can eat inside or order through the drive through. They also have some patio tables to eat at when the weather is nice. The Drive-In specializes in broasted chicken and it is to die for. Now, this is not the menu to have if you are dieting of course, but as a special reward for when you have been very, very good - it is perfect. You get 2 large pieces of broasted chicken, potato wedges with sour cream and cole slaw. It really is wonderful. It is also very handy that our very good friends own the Drive-In - we try to support them as much as possible so of course that means we HAVE to eat more broasted chicken!

2. Mongolian Barbeque. I don't think this is a chain, people who come to visit us haven't been to one before. It is amazing. You fill a bowl with all kinds of veggies, meats, egg noodles, and a variety of sauces and oils. When you get to the end of the line you hand your bowl to a man who dumps it on a HUGE wok like creation that is extremely hot. He has a large stick and works your combination around all the while squirting water on the wok. They had it back to you, with a flourish, I might add. The result is a STEAMING HOT bowl of delicious. I can never finish it and I have enough for lunch for the next couple of days. This selection is very healthy and low fat.

3. Idaho Pizza is an awesome pizza place here in our area. They have very generous portions of everything and it is a great family atmosphere.

4. The Sandbar - this is a great restaurant for special occasions. It is on the Snake River and has terrific atmosphere. The food is great too. They specialize in prime rib - after all this is ranching country!

5. The Mirage. This place is a real hole in the wall and is in a town with a population of about 75. But, you must have reservations, especially on the weekend, or you can never get in. They are famous for their prime rib. The petite selection comes out to the table looking like a small roast! It is also amazing.

Well, there I guess I did come up with 5 local restaurants. So if you are ever out to southwestern Idaho, be sure and try some of these places out!@

I am supposed to tag 5 people, but I am just going to leave that up to you. If you would like to play, jump in!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Book Review Time

Today I have two book reviews to share.

The first one is Second Calling - Finding Passion and Purpose for the Rest of Your Life by Dale Hanson Bourke.
This book is all about finding passion and purpose in your life for the time we women face when our kids are leaving and our identity as mom and wife is changing. Dale bases her book on the story of Naomi and parallels her journey with our own. Naomi had a great life and then everything that gave her identity and purpose died. And to top it all off she was in a strange land. It was exciting to read of real life examples of how God places callings on our lives and learn that sometimes He can use us the more effectively when we are at a more comfortable place in our lives when things like careers, kids, and the world aren't primary to us anymore. It is a wonderful, easy read and I highly reccomend it. I give this book:

The second book review is for Desperate Pastors' Wives by Ginger Kolbaba and Christy Scannell. This was a fun read about four pastors's wives and the struggles they face. What I didn't like about the book was that I felt it was negative about churches and how they treat their pastoral families. I know there are those types of churches out there, but I believe there are way more that are positive, loving, and generous to their pastors and wives. What I did like about the book was that it was funny and some of the situations these ladies face are very real to life. There is a sequel coming out and I will definitely read it. So I give this book:

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Little Meme

Bunnytrails tagged me to do this meme. So here goes:

1. Grab the book closest to you
2. Open it to page 161
3. Find the fifth full sentence
4. Post the text of the sentence to your blog
5. Don't search around for the coolest book you have, use the one that is really next to you.
6. Tag five people to do this meme.

The book closest to me happens to be "Second Calling, Finding Passion and Purpose for the Rest of Your Life" by Dale Hanson Bourke. However, page 161 is the end of a chapter and there were not five complete sentences. (This kind of stuff stresses me out!) So I am breaking the rules (I'm so sorry) and using page 160 instead. So the 5th full sentence on page 160 of my book is:

"When I'm in my eighties, who will I still be whispering to or sharing my dreams with?"

Isn't that a great question? I was relieved to know that women in their eighties still have dreams! I love that thought!

Okay, I am tagging these five people:
I Should Be Folding Laundry

Weigh Day Report

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I am down 1 pound this week. I lose weight so very slowly. I always say if there were a famine in the land I would be the last survivor and there would not be anybody left alive to see me when I finally got to my desired weight! How sad would that be??!!
Things to work on:
I tend to let myself go a little bit after I weigh in - thinking I will get right back on the program "tomorrow". Of course "tomorrow" doesn't come and then 2 or 3 days before Tuesday I get serious and get back on the program. I am going to work on being more consistent EVERY day.
We are leaving on vacation (I won't be reporting in next week). Oddly enough I always tend to do better on vacations. I think it's because I am busier and more conscious that I could really mess this plan up! Anyway, I hope to do good while I am gone.
I am still considering the exercise option. I keep looking at my bike hanging in the garage and wondering . . . .

Friday, May 25, 2007

Happy Anniversary My Love

I have been looking forward to writing this post so that I could share all about my most favorite person in the whole wide world - my husband.
When I was a little girl I began praying for the man I would marry someday. I don't remember where I learned to do this, but I did. All I ever wanted was to grow up, get married, and have babies. And somewhere along the line I also decided that I wanted to be married to a preacher. I now realize what an unusual desire that was for any female, let alone a young girl. Maybe it was because I read books like "Papa's Wife" and "A Man Called Peter", but I really believe that it was a calling that God was putting upon my life. Because now I believe that just as pastors are called to their vocation, pastor's wives are called too. Anyway, that was what I wanted more than anything. I even took to interviewing all the pastor's wives I knew. Those interviews should have scared me off the idea forever, but no, not me. I just tried to figure out how I could do things better. Remember, I was very young and idealistic!
The day came when I moved far away from home to go to college and taste the first flavors of freedom I had ever had. My home was very strict and I had not even been allowed to date until this time. I loved college and I made lots of friends and even though I was very homesick I knew I was where I belonged. It didn't take very long at all before I met a very charming, handsome, funny young man whom I was extremely interested in. And he was extremely interested in me. But there was a problem - he was an engineering major. A bit more time passed and I knew I had fallen hopelessly in love but I was so confused. I felt God had called me to be a PASTORS wife - not an ENGINEER'S wife. One day while sitting together in the library "studying" ;), the object of my affections asked me out of the blue what girls thought of being married to ministers. I nearly fell off my chair but I told him that I had always wanted to be a pastors wife. The relief on his face was so real as he shared with me that he had been wrestling with God for some time over being called into the ministry and God was going to win the battle! What a confirmation to my heart! He says to this day that it was at that moment that I proposed to him!
This weekend we celebrate 29 years together as husband and wife. And what a privilege it has been to be married to this man. He is kind, romantic, affectionate, generous and above all, he is a man of God. He has been the best daddy to our four daughters that there could ever be. He has taught them what kind of husband to look for and not to settle for anyone less. I know what a blessed woman I am and I love the idea of being married to this guy for the rest of my life. He is my world! I can spend hours and hours with him and never get bored. We always have something to talk about. We have learned to allow each other the freedom we need to do the things that interest us but we always come back together and complete each other.
Happy Anniversay honey! I love you and I can't wait to spend the future with you.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Time to Be Thankful

Today several thoughts come to my mind as I consider what I am thankful for:

My four sweet daughters who have grown into such lovely women. I am finding this time of my life to be so rewarding and I almost feel guilty. In spite of me, these girls have turned out to be so beautiful inside and out. They are gifted, generous, loving, and kind. They are all using their God given gifts to make a difference in this world and I couldn't be more proud of them. The empty nest is looming but I don't feel sad - I am truly enjoying watching them leave home and becoming who their dad, me and mostly God have been preparing them to be.

Contemporary Christian fiction. I just love reading so much. I would argue with anyone who says that Christian fiction is a waste of time. God inspires authors to reach into the depths of my heart and it changes me.

Knowing that I am leaving on vacation soon! We are going to Florida to spend a week the first of June and I am SO ready! I am thankful that this trip has worked out for us to take our youngest daughter to Disney World.

The ladies in my Wednesday night class. We are going through the book "Peeking Into A Box of Chocolates" - it's about the different kinds of temptations women face. It never ceases to amaze me how much I learn from these ladies - and I am supposed to be teaching them!

The three day weekend that is almost here! I am really needing a day with nothing to do!

and last but not least,

My blog. I can't begin to say how much I am enjoying this blogging thing! I can't explain it - it just brings me joy!

If you would like to participate in Thankful Thursday click here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Different Paths

It has always amazed me how brothers and sisters from the same parents can be so different. But sometimes life sends us on different journeys. I was raised in a strong Christian, very legalistic home. There were seven of us kids - and before you ask, yes, I am the oldest! And I wear that badge proudly - it was hard work to be the oldest sister of six younger siblings. Maybe that's why I am extra proud of my brothers and sisters, and maybe that's why I have so much joy in my heart as I share this particular story today.
Our dad was the head of our home and he ruled with an iron fist. We always knew we were loved, but we also knew we had to tow the line. I don't think any of us dared to cross the line, not because we knew what would be coming if we did - I don't think we really knew what would happen and we sure weren't going to risk finding out! As the oldest, I left home first and althought I wasn't there to witness what happened, I heard a lot about it. Our dad went through a time of depression, my parents marraige, although never great, grew worse, and the family dynamics changed. The younger kids felt it the most. One of my sisters, who had always been kind of a free-spirit, became very independent. She and my youngest brother were probably the most emotionally injured in the whole situation. Anyway, she developed a propensity for choosing friends who were troubled and needy and a few of them basically messed up her life. She went to college but didn't finish. She decided she wanted to travel and went to Ireland and Paris with hardly any money. She met more strange friends and fell in love with some strange guys. She picked up some bad habits. She stayed away from the family as much as she could. She developed more unhealthy relationships. And then our dad was killed in an airplane accident. And she became very angry at God. It became harder and harder to try to have a relationship with her and although the ties were never severed, we just respected each others differences and didn't have too much connection. She lived across the country with only rare, occasional visits home. About three years ago, however, she shocked us all by moving back to our hometown. No one expected it. It seemed really strange. None of us lived there anymore. But she wanted to. She met a man, got married, and of all things became pregnant. I think that shocked us the most. She was in her later 30's and no one ever imagined she would ever want to be a mother. It ended up changing her life. She gave birth to a beautiful little boy. She fell head over heels in love with this little guy. She began reconnecting and maybe it was just because we had things in common, our relationship with her began to mend. She called me last night. She is back in church again and looking to start a MOPS group in her church, the one we grew up in. She quit smoking. She can't talk enough about her little guy. She is not angry at God anymore and she has forgiven people who have hurt her. She has reconciled our dad's death. She knows she is blessed. She has come home. She has quit running. She told me she had to go back home to heal. And for the first time in her life she is happy.
I have prayed for her for so many years and felt discouraged so many times because nothing seemed to change and sometimes even looked worse. But I can see now that she had to do it her own way - it is her journey - not mine. When you love someone it is so hard to watch them make mistakes, to let them go their own way. But the heart is a funny thing. It doesn't let go. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I really love my sister.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's our last family birthday of the "birthday season" so today I am honoring our third daughter.
We were coming out of a very difficult few years of college and seminary with two young daughters. School was finally done and the life we had spent years preparing for lay before us, a bright and shiny promise of our future. We were on top of the world and could hardly wait to find out where our first pastorate was going to be. And then we arrived. I won't say where the city was, but suffice it to say that it was in an area of the country where Christians were looked upon as an oddity. We moved into a very small apartment attached to the church with a postage stamp sized yard. That first night in our new home we looked at each other and cried and wondered why we had worked so hard and so long only to be rewarded with "this". And God decided at that time to give us a gift. Very unexpectedly, I realized I was pregnant and it couldn't have happened at a better time. As I was overwhelmed with life and bordering on depression, God gave me the gift of a new life to look forward to. And how I looked forward to this baby. I sewed for her, I prepared a nursery for her, I dreamed of her, and I planned for her. And finally the time came for her to make her entrance in to our lives. We went to the hospital, my husband and I, and we labored all night long. It was a Saturday night and she finally arrived early Sunday morning, all nine pounds of her. My husband had to call the church and let them know that he wouldn't be preaching that morning and they were very sweet and understanding about it. We never did hear what they did that morning! Our little sweetie was a beauty and we named her Andrea. This labor was different than any of the other three births in that it was the most spiritual birth experience I ever had. The presence of God was so evident in our room. In fact at my six week checkup my doctor commented on it and asked me about it. He wanted to know if I had noticed it and if I knew what it was. I told him that we were Christians and that God had been with us. He kind of brushed that off, but he told me I should consider writing a book about it someday!

Andrea was a wonderful perfect baby - she never cried at all. Even though she was born big - she stopped growing and was the most petite and pretty little girl. She was definitely "all" girl and loved clothes and makeup and girl stuff right from the start. She truly was a gift from God during a difficult time in my life.

As she grew, she developed into a lovely young lady. She has always had strong convictions of right and wrong. One time at a parent teacher conference her teacher (public school) told us that Andrea had given quite a dissertation in class on why abortion was wrong. He suggested that we "help" her by teaching her to keep her thoughts to herself. Of course, we were very proud of her and did no such thing! To this day she strongly knows what she believes. When Andrea was in high school her once good friends began making poor decisions and Andrea was very lonely. We prayed and God provided a way to send her to a Christian high school where she flourished.

Today Andrea is a married young woman ready to begin her senior year of college where she is majoring in elementary education. She will be a wonderful teacher. She still loves fashion, jewelry, hair, and makeup! She wears stilletto heel everywhere - even shopping! She is definitely princess material! She is married to a fine young man whom we admire greatly. Once when Andrea was younger I was teasing her and her younger sister about who they would marry. I told them Jess would marry a math teacher and Andrea a youth pastor. Today Andrea's husband is our youth intern at our church and is seriously considering a call into youth ministry. So now she and I share a special bond as pastor's wives. She teaches the kindergarden Sunday School class in our church and all her little students love her.

God truly blessed our home with the gift of Andrea. Her dad and I enjoy watching her life as it unfolds. Her husband Jayson's birthday is only two days after hers and so I want to wish him a very Happy Birthday too! We are so blessed to have this princess in our lives. Happy Birthday Andrea!

Weight Check In

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Whoo Hoo! I'm down 2 1/4 lbs. this week. I was able to stay on the point system and did a much better job controlling binge eating. Still not walking - but I am thinking about it. My total loss for this weight challenge is 2 3/4 lbs. but my total since I began dieting last month is 9 lbs. exactly.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hearing His Voice

I was thinking this weekend about how we hear the voice of God. I mean how do we really know it is God's voice we think we hear and when do we know it is only our own voice? Part of my personality is that I am a "fixer". I want everybody to be happy and I tend to think that if I do enough "behind the scenes" work I can fix things before they turn into big problems - for me or for people I love. I think I usually know when God is speaking to me but there are times when I'm just not sure. There are times when I think if I intercede in a situation that I can head off a problem. And sometimes I even think to pray about whether I should or not. And then I'm not sure if I hear an answer or if it is only me. As I was praying about this I received an answer pretty quickly. I heard God telling me that I need to spend more time in His word so that I know Him better and that His answers will come to me through scripture more clearly. Being a follower of Christ isn't merely marked by moment in time when I invited Jesus into my heart to live. There is more, so much more. I am constantly growing every day. I learn more things, more challenges come my way, and He requires me to mature more all the time. It's really quite an exciting journey. Sometimes I make mistakes along the way. Big ones. I'm so grateful that God is not only a just God but a merciful one as well. If I received what was just - I'd be in big trouble! But out of His mercy, he gives me new beginnings every day. New opportunities to hear His voice and be obedient to Him. I'm sure I'm never going to be perfect this side of heaven, but with His patience and unending mercy I am getting a little closer each day to the plan He has for me on this earth.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I love the idea of setting aside a day a week on my blog to be thankful. Because the truth is we often let our days slip by without being intentionally thankful. Oh we think quick thoughts of thanks, but how many times do we take the time to actually express that attitude to God or even to others?
This morning I was walking around my flowerbeds, drinking my final cup of coffee before leaving for work and it occurred to me that I was just so thankful for the beauty of flowers. I am so glad that God loves beauty. He could have made everything black and white, or dull and boring, but He didn't! God loves beautiful things. And not only that, He shared his love of beauty with women. Most women love making things beautiful and having beautiful things and I believe that is a special gift from God. And it is a part of Him that He wove into our femininity. I think it is one of the ways women are most like Him. Like any other gift, it can become distorted. If beauty is our ultimate desire then it becomes something that God never intended it to be. But I also wonder if it is just as wrong to ignore, or take for granted the wonderful gift of beauty?
I thought it might be fun to share some of the beauty in my yard with you today:

I just love pansies - they are always so "happy"! I love the one that is lifting its face to the sunlight. It reminds me that I should always lift my face to the Son. Look at the one peeking out from the rocks. Maybe it is saying that even in the rough places of our lives beauty abounds.
And look at these beautiful Columbine. I think I look forward to these the most every summer. They are so delicate, but strong. And they come back year after year. It is good to be tough and resistant to the harshness of life. And it is good to remain beautiful year after year. I love the variegation in the shade of pink. It shows every shade imaginable in the same bloom. Even though we may experience different shades of emotions in our lives, oh that we may be like the Columbine and let it all combine into one beauty.

And this is my favorite flower of all:
Bleeding Hearts!
My grandmother always had Bleeding Hearts in her yard and I was so enthralled with them as a little girl. I determined that I would always have them too. I was so thrilled the other day when my daughter came home from San Diego and asked if I still had Bleeding Hearts. She said she couldn't imagine home without them! I hope my girls carry on the tradition. Bleeding Hearts make me remember that I need to be burdened for others, especially those who are in need. Our hearts should always be open and giving to those whom Jesus loves.
And look at this Peony - just bursting at it's seams - longing to be a part of this beautiful world.
Oh, that I would always be anticipating whatever it is that God has planned for me next!

Thank you for indulging me and going on a walk through my flowers. I hope that I have conveyed the thankfulness I feel in my heart towards our Creator.

If you would like to have a Thankful Thursday click here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My New Favorite Place

I used to think that retired snowbirds were kind of a funny sort. I thought it was interesting that these folks would relocate every winter to a warmer climate. I don't think they are so funny anymore. Maybe it's because I am getting closer to their age, but I prefer to think it is because I am just becoming more understanding and compassionate and sensitive to all those around me;).
Anyway, I am becoming a person who loves warm weather. I love gardening and being outside on nice warm days. So this year my husband and I decided to make an "outdoor room" that we could enjoy. I am so pleased with it.
Here I am with my four daughters, two sons-in-law, and my mom on Mother's Day. We had such a great day together. My family is God's gift to me and I enjoy them so very much!

We eventually plan to add a "living room" area to the patio. We bought one of those patio fireplaces so we can enjoy some of the cooler weather too. My husband and I (mostly my husband) poured the cement and stamped and stained the border. We had a professional come in and do the cover. It's been done for a week now and we enjoy it more all the time!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Weigh In Day

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Well. . . . this has been a rather up and down week. On Sunday morning I weighed and I was very excited - I was down 3 pounds! That is so good for me - I never lose that much in one week. But then Mother's Day on Sunday and a family birthday on Monday - I was sabotaged. On Mother's Day all my girls planned a wonderful meal of spare ribs, baked potatoes, and a fabulous chocolate cake. For our family birthday dinner last night we had a Mexican fiesta - complete with a Mexican flan cake lovingly prepared by my daughter. How can you not eat? So all this to say that when I weighed this morning, my 3 lb. loss changed to a 1/2 pound loss. But I am still encouraged because if I stick to my points this week (no holidays that I know of) I should lose that pesky 2 1/2 pounds again.
Other than the two special days, I did very well staying within my point range. And I hesitate to admit it out loud, but I did do a teensy bit of walking this week. But it's not a committment - I don't want you to think I am feeling obligated to walk everyday, it's not like that- okay? I am not saying I am a walker now - I am just saying that it was convenient to do a little bit of walking this last week. I didn't plan it - it just happened. Okay - are we straight on the exercise thing? I'm not exercising - I'm just dieting - for now. I'm just saying. Okay?
So my final loss for this first week is 1/2 pound. At least I didn't gain. Right?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I Won! and Two Book Reviews

Wow, I can't believe it - I actually won a book from Katrina's blog Callapidder Days. She has been doing the Spring Reading Thing and it has been so much fun. I won the book Bittersweet by Cathy Marie Hake. Whoo Hoo!!!

I have two more book reviews to share today for The Spring Reading Thing. The first one is:

The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Rolling by Neta Jackson
"Think of the possibilities. . ." are the words Jodi Baxter keeps hearing from the Lord. The Yada Yada books are phenomenal Christian literature and they just keep getting better and better. I am usually in tears by the end of each book and it's not because they are sad - they are so happy! I love the way Jodi Baxter talks to God and I really love the way God talks to Jodi Baxter. Neta Jackson takes black, white, asian, rich, poor, beautiful, not-so-beautiful, Christian, Jew, prisoner, poverty-stricken, old and young women who all share a hunger for Jesus and knits together a wonderful experience of love and Christian fellowship. I only know that by the end of each book I hunger to be closer to Jesus. And that's a good thing! I give this book:

My next review is for:

The Beach House by Sally John
This is a story about 4 women who were friends through high school and college and somehow their lives went in all separate directions and they lost contact with each other. Upon their 40th birthday year, one of the women is facing some deep issues in her life and suddenly longs for the friendships she once shared. On a whim she contacts the others and sets up a week long getaway for them to reconnect. They discover that they are all facing serious life issues and through their friendships with each other and re-learning to cast all their cares on Christ, they discover the peace that passes all understanding. This book was very enjoyable and to me was a combination between the Sisterchicks books and the Yada Yada books. It was fun getting to know the characters and learn to appreciate their different personalities. There is a sequel coming out and I will definitely read it too.
I give this book:
I have started to notice an unbalance between my fiction and non-fiction list - I guess I know what I'll be reading this weekend!

Random Things

I have been tagged by Mom Tu-Tu to do the 8 Random Things meme. Here are the rules I found over at her place.

Here are the rules:
1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 people and post their names.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment and tell them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

Eight Random Things About Me:

1) I LOVE LOVE LOVE Diet Dr. Pepper - it is the best ever.

2) I am absolutely terrified of snakes. Two summers ago I stumbled across a 4 1/2 foot snake all stretched out in my back yard and I have felt violated ever since. I just can't enjoy my yard like I used to - I am constantly on the look out for snakes. But weirdly enough, I can't stop myself from watching snake shows on Animal Planet and National Geographic - go figure! I probably need to see a therapist or something!

3) I don't like Sunday night church. A little strange I suppose since I am a pastor's wife and all - but maybe not so much. I am so involved in many church things and am involved in evening church activities AT LEAST two other week nights and Sunday night just seems like a nice evening to rest and relax and prepare for the upcoming week. I'm just saying.

4) I am a news addict. By the way, I just learned that the word news is an acronym for: north, east, west, and south. (How's that for random!)

5) I hate onions but I love onion rings.

6) I have never been the driver in a car accident.

7) Hawaii is my most favorite place to go ever. My husband and I went there on our 25th anniversary and it was the happiest time. I live for the day when we get to go back again. I hope it's soon!

8) I would love to own/operate a Bed and Breakfast someday. I doubt if it will ever happen but I'm collecting breakfast recipe's just in case!

I am tagging:
Lisa at jus' ramblin'
Bunny Trails
Sharon at Sit With Me Awhile
Betty at On the Journey to Victory
Marianne at M'sMnMs-Musings, Madness, and Chocolate (I love her header of M&M's)
Elizabeth at Inside Betty's Head
Annie and Flower Garden I love her header of roses!
and YOU!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Weight Loss

And so it begins. Today is the day I begin the May Day Weight Loss Challenge. I am trying to get excited about his - I really am. But I start thinking about how much weight I need to lose and how hard it will be and will I ever be able to try out that new chocolate cake recipe I just got? I have actually been doing a weight loss program on my own for about a month now and have lost 7 pounds, but I think the fun of doing this with others online sounds appealing and will help me to be accountable. So I will report my weight loss/gain every Tuesday for all of you read. And all of you, my dear readers, are to congratulate me or chastise me - which ever is appropriate! Some are posting their actual weight. You will have to forgive me, I am not up to doing that yet!

I am going to follow the Weight Watcher point program. I don't attend the meetings but I have all the books and slide guides from previous attempts, so I keep track of all my points in a little notebook. I find that writing down the things I eat helps me a lot. I never realize how much I have eaten if I don't chart it. It always amazes me how LITTLE we need to eat to keep us sustained. I also, intend to combine some of the South Beach principles, such as high fiber and low carbs into my point system. I have not made a commitment to exercise yet. I know I need to but I am not there yet. I just can't be forced into these things - I have to get there by myself!

As far as a weight loss goal, I haven't settled on a final number yet. Instead I am setting a goal of 30 pounds for now (not counting the 7 I have already lost). That will get me to a size that I will be more comfortable at and once I reach that, I will re-evaluate what I want to do. Somehow, it just seems more "do-able" if I make smaller goals. The road doesn't seem so endless, if you know what I mean.

I have attempted this so many times in my life. Once, I achieved my goal of losing 60 pounds and it was a very good time in my life. I hope to get there again.

I have come to realize that I am somewhat of a stress eater - I get stressed and I eat. But mostly I overeat just because I love good food. I love to cook and bake and I really enjoy the way food tastes. I don't have any deep underlying emotional issues I need to resolve and no matter how hard Oprah tries to convince me otherwise, it's just not so! I just love good food. And I just need to practice a little discipline. Okay, a lot of discipline - I need to keep this real don't I?

So pray for me and wish me success! I'm diving in!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Praying for Heather

It's so strange how I have never met this young lady, yet she has affected my life in such a huge way. I have been praying for her and I hope you are too. If you don't know her story click here to find out what an incredible woman of faith Heather is.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

A Fun Contest

Check this out at 5 Minutes for Mom. They are giving away great prizes for Mother's Day. Now, I never win anything so I am no threat to anyone - I won't decrease your odds if you enter - but I think it's fun anyway.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Oh, I am excited about this. I am struggling to start a diet and this sounds like just what I need. There are reward buttons for each 5 lbs. you lose - isn't that great? It starts next week so if you have been thinking about losing 5 lbs or 50 pounds - the time is now!

Nature Can be Cruel

This was a tough weekend. I have raised Yorkshire Terriers for almost 10 years, and although I have heard about this type of situation, I have never experienced it until now. It was hard and horrible. Sometimes nature is very, very cruel. Let me explain (and I will leave out the graphic details):

My daughter Andrea has always loved animals and always assisted me in the breeding and birthing of our puppies. In fact, on a couple of occasions when I had to be away from home due to emergencies, she handled the whelpings single handedly and did a great job. So when she married Jayson, they carefully chose their pets with breeding in mind. They got two Chihuahua's, a male and a female and the time came to breed. The pregnancy in her little female chihuahua, Junie, progressed very normally. Last weekend she went in to labor and I was there to observe (I thought). However, right away I noticed that Junie was not acting like a typical mother. She seemed disinterested and more or less perturbed that this was all happening to her. The first puppy came breech and got stuck in the birth canal. I finally decided to pull it because I was afraid it was going to drown. The puppy was born not breathing and I truly thought she was dead. I spent several minutes working on it and finally it started "guppy breathing" - short, shallow breaths. I gave her to Junie to see if she would clean her and Junie bared her teeth at her. I was very startled. We took her back and I gently cleaned her up and she started breathing normally. I was so relieved. Puppy #2 was coming and he was born normally. Junie took a little more interest in this one and did a half-hearted job at cleaning him up. Puppy #3 presented breech and again I had to pull him. It was too late and we couldn't revive him. He was a beautiful little puppy and it was very hard for Andrea but she was thankful for the two sweet puppies who were breathing and looking for milk. Junie struggled with them. She just couldn't seem to grasp the idea of motherhood. Andrea would hold her head and I would put the puppies up to nurse and Junie would growl. You have to understand that Junie is just the sweetest natured dog I have ever known. I was totally shocked by her attitude to her puppies. I knew if we could get her to nurse, hormones would be released that would help her become more motherly. After a couple of days Junie seemed more relaxed and began doing her duties as a mama dog. We all breathed huge sighs of relief and got back into our regular routines, instead of taking two-hour feeding shifts with Junie. Then the unthinkable happened. Andrea had been gone for a couple of hours. Before she left she watched Junie nuzzling the puppies and felt satisfied with how things looked. When she got home Junie met her at the door acting very skittish and nervous. Andrea thought maybe she just wanted outside. When she got outside Andrea noticed blood on her legs and immediately ran to the puppies. Junie had killed the female. It was so sad. Andrea, of course, was hysterical and called me. We went right over. It was just so, so sad. I bathed Junie and Jayson cleaned up the pen. Andrea was so upset and struggled to be loving to Junie. My biggest worry is that she will not be able to overcome what Junie did and not be able to love her little dog anymore. I tell her that Junie is just confused and something just hasn't clicked in her mind to tell her how to be a mama. Andrea has already made an appointment to have her spayed.

So now we have one little boy pup that needs to eat. I have a Yorkie due any day now and we are going to try to get her to be the surrogate mom. I think she will take the puppy. But until then, Andrea and Jayson have to get up every two hours and let the little guy eat and do the same all day long. They have put in some very long days!

Well, that is the horrible story of my week. We learned a lot and I know that all will be okay. Just pray with me that Andrea will be okay with Junie and that my Yorkie will be okay with mothering a chihuahua! I will be sure to post a picture of that interesting combination!