Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank

Well, this post would have been SO much different this morning than it's gonna be now. LOL Starting around noon, we went into "siege mode". The Great Ant Battle of 2009 began and (hopefully) ended today. Short version? Hundreds (literally) suddenly appearing in Flicka's playroom ceiling light fixture.

So, right this minute, I am thankful for the following...

DaHubby! In so many ways! This poor man is working 40-45hrs/week this week AND is in the middle of his finals week for a full-time load of classes. Responding to my plea for help, he left work early, took me on my errands (which included a stop for ant poison), and spent what was supposed to be his studying time moving furniture and having ants crawl all over him as he played our Superman and saved the day. I can't tell you how much I love this man right now.

And, DaHubby again. He had an old high school friend mention on Facebook that she lost her wedding ring recently. I offered to tell her about our experience two summers ago to hopefully make her feel better. And, she sent back the sweetest note to DaHubby who passed it along to me about how my post and our comments were a blessing to her:

"I'm crying because I can't find mine and i think of the women that just don't want theirs it makes me angry! LOL Thanks again, i'm sending a BIG HUG for Mike to give you, he has a wonderful wife! Thanks.

Finally, I am so blessed to have a hubby that is working his bee-hind off and still managing to be available as much as possible for the kids, me, and the random household ant emergencies! LOL As someone who worked full-time night shifts and took classes 3/4 time when I was single and living alone, I honestly don't know how he's doing it. We'll be married 8 years next week and he still amazes me.

Please stop by Pam's place for more Thursday Thanks Tank.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oops - is it *really* weigh-in day?

Well, the good news? I lost a pound.

The bad news? I have discovered a *serious* problem with mindless eating.

The plan I'm following is pretty simple - 3 meals a day with whatever I choose in moderation, no snacks, no sweets, no seconds except on the weekends. The currently infuriating thing is that I've had more "fail" days and "success" days because I realize after that fact that I ate something out of "habit".

For example, last night, due to a busy and crunched finals week schedule as well as seriously worn out parents, we ate out. Without thinking, I ordered a diet soda and proceeded with my meal. SODA? Not exactly part of the plan. LOL

And, I did it the other night when I went back for just one more little scoop of taters and didn't remember until it occurred to me an hour later!

So, I'm learning a lot about my bad habits and still lost a pound but have a long way to go!

To see how others in the Sisterhood are doing, go here today.

Wordless Wednesday: Flicka's perspective of car safety

Found this when I dumped the camera memory the other day...
For more WW, go here or here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday Tip Jar

Over the past two years, I've really jumped on the recycle bandwagon. Our city does curbside every other week. Our county does the more "hazardous" stuff (tires, TV's, oil-based paints, etc.) about every other month or so.

Then, having moved into a bit of a fixer-upper, the last few years of living here we have produced some piles of construction debris.

Finally, completing and subsequently teaching the Financial Peace University classes, we've also got into the frugalness habit of reusing (and reusing again and repairing and reusing some more) instead of tossing something away.

But, some materials really strain our creativity to find a good secondary use. Until I found the Recycle This site out of the UK. I submitted a question about what to do with my old windows when we installed replacement windows and they used it as a post! And, I got some good ideas how to reuse them.

Recycle This has over 1,000 posts about nearly any type of material you can think of! LOL I dare ya' to not find something cool and/or interesting on this site!

For more Tuesday Tips, check out Blogmommas today!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thank You Dave Ramsey!

Was able to watch first half of Town Hall For Hope tonight. Took the kids with me and you would have thought I took the kids to see Disney for all their hootin' and hollerin' and clapping. LOL

"I Choose Hope & I Refuse to Participate in the Recession"
We're changing our family tree!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

What a lovely coincidence - look what we found today!

Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Back on the Wagon


Not a very nice word, is it? Not talked about much anymore either. But, many of the Catholic church's historical thinkers felt that one must conquer this earthly appetite before attempting any others. Gluttony was also tied very closely with fasting - one thing my current church does practice.

Discipline and moderation - my other two non-favorite words.

According to Thoughts Matter by Margaret Funk "...gluttony is the pattern of eating indiscriminately with no thought of how this food is feeding my spiritual life. Eating can be unreflective and even gross. The spiritual practice of eating right is mindful and deliberate."

"Gluttony is deadly when a person makes a god of the belly." source

According to a Christianity Today article, several early church notables outlined several evidences of gluttony:

1. Gorging ourselves and not savoring a reasonable amount of food.

2. Eating at any other time than the appointed hour (like snacking). For the hermit monk, this usually involved one meal at noon or later. For the monk in community, this involved eating with the community at prescribed times.

3. Anticipating eating with preoccupied, eager longing. The hermit who had his desires under control would not be checking the angle of the sun every 15 minutes.

4. Eating excessively costly foods.

5. Seeking after delicacies. These last two are especially concerned with being content with what we have (cf. Philippians 4:11).

6. Paying too much attention to food. This means it is as gluttonous to be overscrupulous about food (and how our body looks) as it is to overindulge ourselves. Inordinate concern can become idolatry of the creation.

So, due to a variety of reasons - continuing back problems, concerns about future health problems, just generally feeling icky, and a desire to be more physically and spiritually disciplined - I'm back on the wagon. The weight-loss wagon that is.

And, after reading Jennifer's post about gluttony and prayer and noticing her mention of a book she read, I got The No-S Diet book via inter-library loan recently. And, I think I've finally found a food change I can live with.

While I was very successful with a Weight Watchers derivative before, the cost and constant label reading, calculator-using, and point counting just became too mentally burdening. But, I did learn the lesson of how much a real "portion" is.

So, as seemingly commonsensical as The No-S Diet may seem to many, it's something I never learned. And, something (for once) that seems "do-able". Also, as a lifelong emotional eater and someone who fallen for the media's "you must snack" mantra for too long, this plan curbs my worst impulses right up front.

And, while I'm getting real, I've gained about 80 pounds in the last 8 years. That is really shameful considering how incredibly blessed I've been and how the last 8 years have been the happiest years (although the most tumultuous as well) that I've ever had.

I swore I wouldn't hit 40 being this overweight but that milestone has passed. So, I'm just gonna Actually, I started yesterday. But, you get the point. It's just time. There's nothing particularly special about April 20th but I'm hoping that one year from now I can look back and see some serious improvement.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank

Without a drawn out explanation, I apologize to those who look for something to be posted here regularly. It's all summed up in the following: lots of changes, lots of preschooler attitude, lots of poorly managed time, and lots of inappropriate ADD responses.

That said, I still have had an amazing and blessed week. So, with Pam's wonderful and steady example, here's what I'm thankful for this week:

We had a 350+ mile in 24 hour trip to Detroit last Friday/Saturday. Little did we know that we were driving on tires nearly ready to fail. THANK YOU LORD for getting us home safely and letting the wake-up-call flat tire happen Tuesday morning.

Thank you God for the staff at two of our local tire places. The first one - a chain I've used faithfully in the past - was professional, polite, and put a used tired on FOR FREE to get me home safely so DaHubby and I could hash out what to do and how to pay for it. The second - where DaHubby has done our previous tire business - were extremely quick and kid-friendly while selling and installing two new tires on the front of the mini-van.

Thank you Lord for awesome in-laws! I praise Your name that at 72 years old, my mother-in-law NO LONGER NEEDS GLASSES following two outpatient procedures the last 3 weeks to remove cataracts that were performed flawlessly!

That my sister-in-law who battled, fought, and won against leukemia is still CANCER FREE and returned to work full time this week!

That my other sister-in-law gave me a break this week in caring for the Vikings which resulted in a momma massage/chiro appt, a solo walk, solo grocery shopping, and a date night with DaHubby!

I praise His name that several new jobs have come into DaHubby's shop this week - which temporarily puts him on FORTY-FIVE hour weeks! He's exhausted as he is 3 weeks from completing a full-time winter semester but the bank accounts are VERY, VERY appreciative. On May 3rd, "we" are one year done with school with one year to go! HALFWAY THERE!

Thank you Lord for reminding me that You've always been my Jehovah Jireh and that despite recent financial struggles I managed to fill the van - the entire back, both middle bucket seats, and the front passenger seats - with outgrown baby gear and baby clothes to pass along to our local MOMS Club rummage fundraiser for our area's domestic violence shelter.

For finding someone at church who is willing to act as a mentor-in-faith to get me through the next few months of changes as the kids blossom into a new stage of their lives - a new season, new lessons, and kindergarten this fall.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU Lord for all You have blessed me with. Help me to manage what You've given me well and to Your glory!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - in motion

She's gonna support us in our old age with her bowling! LOL

You can see more WW here or here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Tartan Day!!

Where would we be without Americans of Scottish descent? Well, where would we be without...

9 of the 13 original governors of the colonies?

or these men of the first American cabinet:
Secretary of State - Thomas Jefferson
Secretary of the Treasury - Alexander Hamilton
Secretary of War - Henry Knox

Or John Paul (alias John Paul Jones, the founder of the U.S. Navy?

Lt Col. George Armstrong Custer, Kit Carson, or Davy Crockett?

Or food-related Scots Joseph Campbell (of Campbell's Soups) or John MacIntosh (of apple fame)

What would the late 1800's have been without General Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, or Robert E. Lee?

How 'bout Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, or Bill Gates?

Today is National Tartan Day which is North American commemoration of Scottish heritage celebrated in Canada and the USA. According to a 2006 statistic, there are roughly 6 million people of Scottish descent in the United States.

And, it is held on April 6 which the anniversary of the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was created in 1320 - which is a Scottish declaration of independence which established it as its own monarchy instead of a feudal piece of England.

So, while March 17th is reserved for the Irish, today is reserved for their neighbors to the northeast.

And, since I come by my frugalness by my heritage (LOL), I'll leave you with this:

"Take care of your pennies and your dollars will take care of themselves." and

Money is flat and was meant to be piled up."

Happy Tartan Day!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

It's all in the attitude

*deep breath*

*thinking to self* This was a REALLY good day

*then the critical voice pipes up*

But, why? What's so special about what you did today? You got NOTHING accomplished.

Hey, now wait a minute...

*thoughts come to a screeching halt*

I've spent a lifetime battling with that internal critic. You're too fat, too loud, too tall, too awkward, too slow, too different, too freaked out....blah blah blah.

So, I've tried to be positive. I've tried to be consciously thankful. But, I regularly and habitually start listening to that internal critic again.

Then, something occurred to me in a stronger, more powerful way's all about the attitude. It's all about which glasses you are looking through as you survey your circumstances. Just today has been full of choices:

ANOTHER sink of dirty dishes
hey, I had the sabbatical from housework today

Man, Pojke has just been a handful all day
Wow, Flicka was an absolute angel at Aunt Peg's house today.

Crud, I got NOTHING crossed off my to-do list today
wow, I got to sit around, visit, watch the kids play with their cousins, and watch a little TV uninterrupted.

Oh no! I forgot my purse at Aunt Peg's
how cool that Aunt Peg brought my purse to me!

Oh my goodness, I'm almost already through my gas budget 'til Wednesday
I'm so blessed to have a second car and the chance to drive around to Aunt Peg's and Grandma's today while DaHubby had class and had work.

I'm not sharing this so I sound all enlightened or holy or whatever but because it was a powerful realization today. And, by sharing, I'm hoping it'll make me more accountable to continue thinking this way.

And, hopefully, it can serve as a gentle reminder to someone who might be having a rough day. (((hugs)))