Saturday, December 26, 2009

of resolutions and new years...

Well another Christmas has come and to close out the old year and bring in the new. With the new year comes new possibilities, new plans, dreams and resolution.
Although I have never been much for publicly announcing my resolutions, I have in years past made them. I have at times even written them down and attempted to make them happen. But often times, I have done as many do, reverted back to my old habits and ways shortly after the new year.

According to "experts" it takes about 21 days to create a habit, or 30 to 40 repetitions of a behavior for that behavior to become a new habit. I have also read that you can develop a taste for a food you don't like after trying it as few as seven to as many as fourteen times.

So if these facts are true and accurate, then many of us don't repeat our desired new behavior that long into the new year for those resolutions to become our new habit. I know with myself, changing my eating habits and preferences took time to develop. I didn't wake up the first morning craving yogurt and fruit and passing the biscuits and bacon without my mouth salivating.

And the first few days I didn't have my usual morning dose of Dr Pepper weren't easy...the headache alone was enough to send me running back to Sonic for a route 44 size of my drug of choice. But after a week or so the caffeine was out of my system and I no longer had that desire for the dark brown fizzy stuff. Now, I don't know if I could finish a glass of that sweet syrup-y drink or not. Just so you know, I'm not going to try...because with anything, it can become a habit again. I haven't been delivered from my human nature yet, so I realize that the whole act of creating new habits works in reverse also.

With exercise it takes more than just a few times of pushing yourself to get up off the couch and putting on your gym shoes and pushing your body beyond what it wants to do. Even after months of repeating the behavior, there are times when I really don't want to get up and "just do it". But once you see the results of your hard work, and you know how much better you feel after the workout, your more likely to get up and repeat the behavior for the reward...not necessarily because you want to exercise, but the reward becomes the motive to propel you to repeat the action again and again...At least I find this true for me.
The way I feel after I complete a workout is what drives me even on the laziest of days to get up and move. I have so much more energy and feel more mentally alert and the endorphins kick in to lift my mood to such a level that I want to repeat this feeling again and again. It gets to the place that on a day that I can't workout for some reason or the other, I am actually upset or disappointed that I missed that workout. Along with the pleasure I get from seeing the results on my body and watching the pounds fall off and my clothing size shrinking.

I am at a point now, where I want to push beyond my current physical level and see what else my body can do. I want to change my idea of what a women of 43, 44, 45 and so on can do. I want to show my children that they don't have to become a statistic. They don't have to become over weight, under active and plagued with health problems...

Instead of trying to start my weight loss journey at the beginning of a new year, I find I do better by just picking a time and doing it. So I chose August of this past year to really get serious about my health and weight issues. So far, I have lost twenty-five pounds and feel so much better physically and mentally. I still want to lose fifteen to twenty pounds in order to reach the goal I set for myself. And to reach the goal that Wii fit said I needed to be for my height and age.

As New Years Resolutions go, I suppose mine would include continued weight loss and fitness goals. Continue to incorporate clean eating, getting more natural and pure with my food choices. Which would include adding more fresh real food, cutting out more refined sugar and flour products. But one resolution I have is to grow more of our food this year. I am planning a raised bed garden for our backyard that will provide fresh vegetables for the family. I want to find a source of fresh eggs, milk and meat. I plan to eat more locally produced foods, and rely less on the standard grocery stores. I want to help support local, small farms to help keep their lifestyle part of our culture. Since I can't have my own farm like we did a few years back, I want to help those who do, continue their way of life. Perhaps by helping them, I can come closer to living the life that I desire.

I want to continue to simplify my lifestyle. To not only rid myself of excess things, but to set aside ideas, thoughts, behaviors, habits and attitudes that no longer serve or support the lifestyle that I am seeking. I don't want to be bogged down by things that are contrary to who I am becoming and the direction I am headed. Knowing however, that a mind that is to wide open can be filled with garbage and untruth, so I will continue to hold to those truths which will never become old or outdated, but will always remain...I don't want to be led astray, down a path of deception, so I will continue to seek Him in all my ways...
My plan for this year is to start to train for a 5K. I want to run my first this year, hopefully in the spring or early summer. I know this will require more discipline of me and demand more physically from my body. I feel that I am ready for this challenge more so than I have ever been. I am ready for this next step. I am hoping that this is something that Andrew and I can do together, something that we can work toward as a couple as well as individually.

Some books that I plan to begin to reread in the coming year in order to refocus and renew my convictions and passions in these areas are:

Because it is my road map for this life and the one to come.

This one inspires me each year to plant, even at times when I have been unable to do so.

Because I need to readjust my priorities ever so often.

Because this is the way I want to live my life.

For inspiration and a reminder of how we should be eating.

There are many others I will add to that list. All of these are ones I have read before, more than once, but continue to find inspiration and something new with each reading. I have others on my shelf I will list at another time, for now, life is calling, and that is one call I want to answer!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve...

It is a beautiful sunny day in North Carolina. It is currently 51* and a very nice day so far. I have spent most of the day in the kitchen. Taking my time, enjoying the process.

I have my cornbread dressing mixed and ready to bake. I baked some blueberry muffins and pumpkin muffins. I also fixed a chocolate chip/caramel cookie bar. I am cooking sweet potatoes now to make a casserole like I made for Thanksgiving. I have a small Cajun style turkey breast to cook tomorrow and a small honey glazed ham to heat and serve. I plan to put together a sweet pea salad and have rolls. That will be the extent of our meal for tomorrow.

But we will also have nacho cheese dip, Christmas dip (cream cheese, green onion and dried beef) with crackers and chips. I will have hummus with my Stacy's Pita chips. I am the only one in the family that eats hummus, I can't imagine why, I think it is delicious, especially with roasted garlic.

Later this evening the kids and I will make a batch of cookies to leave for Santa. And I think that should do it for me and the kitchen...

Tomorrow I plan to get up and make some biscuits and bacon for breakfast so after the kids open presents they can get their bellies full and spend the long day in their pj's enjoying their loot.

Today is my dad's birthday. He is 68 years old. I have a small cake for him later today. For now, he and Lauren are getting ready to go to Aberdeen to do a bit of shopping...I can't imagine why, I would be tired of shopping, but after a couple of days, he gets restless and wants to get out of the house...I have never seen a man that loves to shop as much as he does.

Andrew is in the garage reorganizing the left over Christmas decorations and lights getting it all ready to put away in a couple of days. I usually don't leave my tree up very long after Christmas. I'm usually just ready to get it put away and move on to the next thing. I mean really, after Christmas Day the holiday is over and life goes back to normal routines. I guess that's just me.

Noah is in the living room with three dining chairs and a sheet. He made himself a tent and is in it eating popcorn and drinking orange juice. I think Megan is upstair reading a book or on the computer.

Well that is all I have for now. That is what's happening for the moment at the Thomason household. I think my sweet potatoes are done and need tending so I will post photos and Christmas info tomorrow. Hope each of you have a very merry and blessed Christmas. May God bless you and keep you through the new year to come. Just remember to always make room for Him in your life...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas time...

Yes, I know I have been neglectful of this blog lately. There has just been so much going on lately that I can't seem to discipline myself to sit down and write...I know that is no excuse...laziness is the real culprit, but I don't like to admit it. I have also been sick since last Friday.

I feel much better now, only left with a cough and congestion.

My parents are here visiting for the holidays and the weather has for the most part been bad the entire time they have been here. I am hoping before they have to head south again that it will warm up and be sunny for a few days so we can get out and actually do something while they are here.

Christmas is just a few days away and I have pretty well done my shopping. I have a couple of items to pick up and little odds and ends like stocking stuffers to get, but other than that...I am about there. I didn't stress over it this year, just let it happen. I did most of my shopping online. The kids had small lists this year, there wasn't really anything major they wanted or needed. I told them early on that this year we were downsizing and weren't going to spend like we have in years past. So the girls were really good about keeping their lists down to a manageable size. Like Megan said, there really wasn't anything they needed, because they have so much already. I am glad that at 14 she can see that and understand how blessed she is.

I want my kids to learn to enjoy what they do have and find contentment in those things. And not constantly be seeking newer and better versions of what they have. I hope they will learn that the consumerist society we live in doesn't bring happiness. That you can't find fulfillment and happiness by getting more and more...what it actually does is leave you empty, unhappy, unfulfilled and wanting more...

For Noah, he only mentioned a couple of things he wanted, and that was when he would see something advertised, then he would forget about it later. I chose things I know he likes and would go along with the things he already enjoys playing with. The other day Megan asked him what he wanted for Christmas and he said he only wanted one gift for Christmas. She asked him if he was sure that he just wanted one, and he said yes, he just wanted one...

For him, it will just be the excitement of the morning and as long as he gets a few things he can open, he will be happy.

For me, this Christmas is about being thankful for God's blessings...there are so many things to be thankful for this year. And I wanted the girls especially to realize those blessings, and appreciate them. I want them to see that there are so many people that have lost their jobs and losing their homes and that those are the big things in life. The things we have faced are minor in comparison to what some people are facing this year. I want them to see beyond their wants and see the needs of others, realizing that there are hurting people in this world and there is more to this life than satisfying our wants...

I would hope that they could learn to reach out from themselves to offer the love of God to others. Getting beyond the selfishness that this world promotes and really love others in such a way that they are willing to not only see the needs of others, but actually give of themselves to help.

Of course, if I thought about it, I am sure I could come up with a list of things that I want, or could ask for, but for the most part, there really isn't anything that I need. Of course I could use a few more clothes, considering that most of mine are getting to loose on me, but for now, until I reach my goal weight, I will manage with what I have. I would also like to get a food processor or an external hard drive to store all of my pictures on, so I can get them off my computer...but really those aren't things I just have to have right now. I am sure with time those things will find their way into my life, but for this Christmas I want to really feel the true meaning of Christmas in my heart. For so many years, I have raced around trying to "do Christmas" that I never found the joy that Christmas is really about...this year, my wish is to really experience Christmas, to be present and feel the joy of it...

Sunday, December 6, 2009


It has been a while since I blogged. Just been busy and haven't taken the time to stop and write. We have been busy getting ready for the grandparents visit. They will be heading this way tomorrow. We haven't seen them since March so we will be glad when they get here.

Here is a photo of Noah sleeping on his bean bag with his teddy. He was getting comfy, waiting for the Polar Express. But he fell asleep before it arrived!

Yesterday was our Christmas tree trimming day. We always put up our tree the first weekend in December. This year we put up two trees. Simply because we had two trees and we had the room to do it. We have had the 7ft tree for several years, but when we moved back into the city of Little Rock a couple of years ago, we moved into a smaller place and didn't have the room for the larger tree. So we bought a smaller tree. Since moving to North Carolina we have a larger place so we decided this year to put the larger tree in the living room and the smaller tree in the dining room.

This is the smaller one. When we bought it a couple of years ago, we bought all new ornaments, red and gold. When we use to use the larger tree, we had blue and silver. But after a couple of moves and Noah...a few of the ornaments got broken. So the girls went yesterday to buy some blue and silver to add to the larger tree. But like trends go, this years blue isn't the same as the blue several years ago...because of this, the ribbon we had on it no longer match and the other blue ornaments don't go with the new the tree looks pretty naked right now. I am going to have to go to Hobby Lobby this week and buy new blue ribbon and a few new blue ornaments to completely dress the tree.

Here is something that has been taking my time away from blogging. I have become obsessed with crocheting again. I haven't done much of it in a few years, but this scarf got me pumped again...

It is called the Claudia Scarf. I found it here.

I just fell in love with it. So I tried my hand at it. Only in a different weight and color. Mine is black and done in 100% cotton yarn. It is a worsted weight instead of the fingering weight the pattern uses. But I really do love it. I am working on a couple more now in different colors and weights.

At Thanksgiving I found a recipe on the Cooking Light website for a lighter version of Sweet Potato Casserole. And I have to say it was delicious. I didn't get much chance to gorge on it, because others thought it was good also and it went very quickly. Here is a link to the recipe.

I was in Fayetteville on my own doing a little shopping early one morning and decided to stop in at Goodwill, or GCF as it is called. I used to go to Goodwill weekly in Little Rock and find all kinds of bargins...Since moving here I have picked up a few items, such as a wooden bird cage that I use to decorate my front porch. I also picked up a new dehydrater and some crafting materials. I usually don't buy clothes from there, but happened by and saw this gray fleece, hooded American Eagle pullover hanging out of place on the end of a looked brand new and looked comfortable. So for a couple of bucks I bought it. It has now become my favorite thing to wear around. It is warm and fuzzy! But on this particular morning I happened upon this...

I have an eat-in kitchen area that has been pretty empty and needed a table. I looked around for one, but didn't want to pay several hundred dollars for one. Thanks to Goodwill, I didn't have to pay but $59.00! This almost new, no scratches, dings or dents, looks like I just bought it new...all we had to do was clean the cloth seats with the steam cleaner to get the coffee stains out. Now they look like new.

It fills the space perfectly. The table came with four chairs but unless I need the extra seating, I just keep two out. It is the perfect spot to sit first thing in the morning and watch the sun rise in the window. It was an awesome deal!
Believe it or not, I had just gone to the bank before going to GCF and I withdrew some cash. For some reason I chose to withdraw $60.00...I usually don't carry much cash, instead use the debit card. However, that morning I just punched in $60.00 and when I got to GCF I knew why God put it in my mind to get $60...GCF doesn't take debit cards...only cash or check. I later realized that I had written my last check at church the night or two before and hadn't put more in my checkbook. Because of the trip to the bank, I had just enough cash on me to buy the table before someone else came along and snagged it. So I am very thankful that God not only takes care of our big things, but he is concerned with the little things that make up our lives also.
On a final are Noah's latest masterpieces...I have them displayed on the wall by my desk in my creative space.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving--peace

{peaceful life by alvinokey}
(Once again the photo really had little to do with the post. I found it on the internet and I thought it seemed very peacful.)

Today I am thankful for God's many blessings in my life. He has been so very good to me. Andrew and Lauren made it in around 1:00 am. Everyone is snoozing away catching up on sleep. I am up at usual time sitting at my desk looking down onto the street. It is very foggy this morning, I can hardly see the houses up the way.

I love the quiet and peacefulness of the early morning when I sit alone in my creative space. It is my time to renew myself. I can sit here and pray, read the word, just think, surf the web, write, or work on my latest project. Sometimes I listen to music, but sometimes I just listen to silence.

This morning being Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the peace that God has given me in my life. I am thankful for the calm in my spirit, knowing that He is my Everything...In Him I can rest and know that He is looking out for me and taking care of my need. I know that He cares for the little things in my life as well as the big things. And no matter what I am facing, I can be assured that He will work it out for good.
We aren't having a traditional Thanksgiving day meal. We just want to do easy and relaxing for the day. So I have some sliced turkey for sandwiches along with salad and some light dips and salsa. I did buy some Stacy's pita chips to go with the dip. They are suppose to be a little better for you than regular chips. And because Andrew asked for some, I am doing piggy's in a blanket. We decided since they had traveled all day yesterday and were worn out from the moving, we would just take it slow and easy with no particular agenda for the day. Just a day together as a family, laughing and enjoying each others company. Making memories, as my mom always says.
I hope each of you feels as blessed and peaceful as I do on this beautiful day that God created. I will definitely rejoice and be glad in it.

May each of you have a peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving day. Enjoy the little blessings in your life, knowing that every good and perfect gift is from God above. Today is the day to express to Him thanksgiving and to show the people in your life just how much you love and appreciate them. God bless you all!

Monday, November 23, 2009

November Rain

It is a rainy Monday in November. A bit of cool in the air but certainly not the winter-y November that we have known in the past.

Yesterday we had to get up and get Andrew to the airport at an ungodly early hour. When we got home, I had hoped to get a little nap in before getting up and going the church. But Noah couldn't go back to sleep. So we were up...we made it to the 9:00am service and then home for a low key day. It was rainy and we just relaxed for most of the day. Noah ended up taking a long nap that of course kept him from going to sleep at a decent hour last night. He was awake until after midnight! Guess who else had to be awake that long...But just as usual, six o'clock rolls around and I am wide awake. So it is official, I must be getting old, turning out like my grandma, up before the chickens!

Andrew is in Little Rock helping Lauren pack and put her things into storage. They will hopefully be back here for Thanksgiving. I still don't plan a big to-do. Just the five of us. Very low key. They will be tired and wanting to rest after a busy week and
the drive back here. I will probably do some Cornish game hens, maybe a little dirty rice and a veggie. Nothing like years past. Healthy and two key words for this year.
Christmas this year will be low-key. A simple and easy affair. Minimalistic is the key word. We are going to put up our tree next Saturday, maybe a little decor on the front of the house. I do plan to do a small amount of shopping. But I don't plan to be out on Christmas eve trying to finish up, like I have in years past. We have decided to scale down this year. For most years, we go all out with the kids...stretch ourselves to
make Christmas morning a big affair...but simplifying has been the theme this year for me...downsizing...physically, emotionally, and with our possessions. So Christmas will continue that theme. Really, the kids have everything they need or want...of course, being human, there is always something else we want...a new version of this or that...the latest model of whatever...but the reality is they have more than enough already...
Getting back to basics; the true meaning of and family...simplicity and giving of ourselves as God gave of himself on that very first Christmas...

The world has become so wrapped up in commercialism of every single holiday. The business world has used every holiday as an excuse to make money...we are so programmed to buy, spend, buy, spend...hopefully with the economy being like it is this year, more people will downsize and find the true meaning of Christmas...

But first, Thanksgiving...

I am thankful for all of God's blessings...for my family, for life, health, love...I am thankful for God's mercy and His grace...I am humbled that He has blessed me in such a wonderful way...

Oh give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever. psalm 136:1

Norman Rockwell
Freedom from want...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Of Birthdays and Blessings...

Message I wrote in the sand when Andrew and I visited the Pacific Ocean

Well today was a good day. I grew another year wiser. I spent the morning with the family and cleaning up around my creative space. Doing some necessary organizing, getting ready for Lauren to come and then my parents visit in December.

We made the 11:00 service this morning and it was a great one. God is such an awesome God. His blessings are so great, above all that we can ask or think...

I got in a great workout this afternoon. I am trying to increase my stamina for longer durations so when I start running, I won't get as winded. I know that may be a strange approach, but so far it is working. I am within four pounds of the goal I set for Thanksgiving. With a week and a half to go, maybe I can lose another pound or two by then. Once I reach that goal, then I will have 15 pounds left to lose to reach my final goal. As of today, I have lost twenty pounds since August. But the aspect of it that I am most proud of is the exercise. I have really made that a priority and it is paying off. I can see a big difference. So can Andrew, so that is very encouraging. When I finished my workout today, he told me that he was very proud of me and very impressed with my exercise discipline. Although I am not doing it for accolades or recognition from someone else, it does feel good to know that my husband is noticing.

This time, I am doing this for me...because I deserve it. I deserve to feel good about myself and my accomplishments. I don't want anything to hold me back from the things I want to do in life. Although I didn't have tons of weight to lose, I was still over what I should be for my body type and my bone structure. I allowed that to hinder me from so many things. But mostly, I want to be in good physical shape so that as I get older, I can possibly avoid some of the illnesses that befall those who have extra weight on them. I also want to be physically able to run and be more active. I do have a four year old son that is very active. As the years go on, I want to be able to keep up. I have always wanted to run marathons. Losing the weight is getting me closer to that goal. Not to mention all the cute clothes I will be able to fit into! HA! HA!

Well, it is getting down to the end of the day, I am getting tired and plan on resting this evening. God forgive me for not going to church tonight. But I do plan to listen to a preaching CD and get my praise on here at home tonight.

Today, as I turned 43, I want to say how thankful I am for all of God's blessings...I am thankful for God living inside of me, guiding me daily, blessing me beyond measure. I am thankful for my family, our health, and all the things God has added unto us. There are so many blessings that I can't name them all. I am thankful...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Around the house this weekend...

This weekend Andrew was gone to the golf tournament, so the kids and I just spent our time lazing around the house just doing whatever we felt like doing. Which turned out to be--not much!

We spent some time outdoors in the sunshine. Well, Noah was playing outside and I was sitting in one of the red deck chairs reading.

Megan and I also did some crocheting. Megan is working on a throw to give to someone as a Christmas gift. I won't reveal who that someone is, I don't want to spoil the surprise.

It all started with this yarn. I had this laying around for a long time and finally decided to do something with it. I first thought I would make a scarf but when I got into it, I decided to try something else. Then I just stopped not sure what direction I was heading with it.
Saturday after Megan's art class we went to Michaels and I bought this yarn. I have been wanting to add some color to the living room and like the blue and brown together. So I started working on a throw to put on the couch.

Mister BeauxJangles was looking quite dapper on Saturday. He posed very nicely for his photo. I know he is really thinking that he would like for me to open the door and toss out some goodies.
Sadie is looking in to see what is going on inside. I think she is ready to come in for the evening. She is an early to bed, early to rise little doggie. So I think she is ready to come in and get in her bed.
And finally, after playing outside and getting a bit dirty, Noah was getting cleaned up and decided to have a little fun with the soap bubbles. He said he looked like daddy with a beard.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Today is Friday November 6. The year is 2009...

As I type this I have my feet propped up on the deck, sitting in the sunshine. There is a slight breeze blowing and the temp is 62*. I am fairly sure I got my fascination with knowing the temperature from my grandma. As long as I can remember her morning ritual consisted of walking out onto her front porch and checking the temperature. She had a big metal thermometer nailed to one of the porch post. It was rusty and you could just make out the RC Cola logo that had at one time been painted on it. She would go back into the kitchen and write on the calender what the temperature was that morning. She kept old calenders in a kitchen drawer so that one could look back and compare the temps to previous years.

I have often thought of doing this myself, since I now have that thermometer, but I suppose keeping records of day to day temperatures is no longer a necessity like it was in my grandma's time. If I want to know what the temp was on a certain day in the past, I can just go to a web site and look it up. But just for tradition sake I think I may start doing as she did. That way, one day in the distant future, my kids or grandchildren can look back with fondness on my little habit of making note of the daily temps. Sorta like carrying on a tradition...

Speaking of traditions...with the holiday's drawing near I have been again, as I always do, thinking of the traditions that we as a family keep. Moving around like we do, we don't have traditions that relation to a place or location. Like some people go to the same festival or parade every year, or eat at the same restaurant to celebrate an event. Or even go to the same pumpkin patch or Christmas tree farm each year. Since those types of things are virtually impossible for nomads like ourselves, we have to choose traditions that we can do no matter where we find ourselves.

One tradition we have is putting up our Christmas tree the first weekend in December. We usually all gather around and put on an Elvis Christmas CD and decorate the tree as a family. I am glad that Lauren will be with us to continue the tradition this year. I was afraid that she may not be here at that time. But due to her job situation she is giving up her apartment in Little Rock, putting her things in storage and moving in with us for a few months.

Thanksgiving is approaching and I am thinking about how to have a semi-traditional fare while still eating I have been searching for healthy, clean recipes that would still fall into the traditional categories. Turkey is a clean healthy meat, so I think the turkey is a safe bet. However the traditional corn bread dressing that I am so fond of isn't so clean and healthy. Veggies are clean and healthy as long as they aren't loaded down with the extra fats that we love to add to them. With all of this in mind, I am working on a Thanksgiving day menu.
However, Thanksgiving is still up in the air for now. Our original plan included us going to Tennessee to be with Andrew's family. But now Andrew will be flying to Little Rock the weekend before Thanksgiving to help Lauren move her things into storage and they will begin heading back here the day before Thanksgiving. We talked about them driving to Tennessee and us meeting them there. Having Thanksgiving and heading back here on Friday. But the trip for us would be 11 hours one way...I just can't imagine driving 11 hours on Wednesday, having Thanksgiving on Thursday and then driving 11 hours back on Friday. I am all about simplicity, and for me, that doesn't seem simple. It seems like two long tiring days with a little bit of rest and visiting in between. It just seems like to long of a trip for one day. " To much sugar for a dime", as my grandma use to say. We would also have to board the dogs from Tuesday until Saturday and at the current rate for three doggies that would be around $150 just for the dogs, add in gas for both vehicles plus the little extras of eating and snacking on the road and Thanksgiving could not only be tiring but a bit expensive as well.

The other option would be for Lauren and Andrew to drive to Tennessee and stay there for Thanksgiving and Megan, Noah and I would stay here and have Thanksgiving---alone! Boy doesn't that sound like fun! It would be the first Thanksgiving that I ever spent without family. Of course I would have two of the kids here with me, but it still seems like a lonely option.
So now, we aren't sure yet what we will be doing. If Andrew and Lauren do go to Tennessee and we stay here, then I think I will hold Thanksgiving dinner off until say Saturday or Sunday when we will all be here together. I suppose as long as were thankful, it shouldn't matter what day we celebrate it.

So with all of these thoughts in my head, traditions seem to be weighing heavily on my mind. It got me to wondering about traditions that other families share. How do each of you spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday's or other holidays? Are there special things that you do from year to year?

Since I am one for keeping records and writing down memories, several years ago I started making printed sheet of copy paper decorated with traditional Thanksgiving graphics and writing at the top of the page; This Thanksgiving I am Most Thankful for: I then record the year and the location we are having Thanksgiving. I ask that each person in attendance write on the page what they are most thankful for that year. I have some that date back to the late 1990's when we were still in Louisiana. I enjoy looking back on them and seeing who all shared in our holiday's. I haven't done it every year, although I wish I had started it sooner and had not skipped some years. But starting this year, I want to do it every year here on out...It is a wonderful thing to put into a binder and look at each Thanksgiving and remember.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Mercy--My Portion-My Provision

"Lamentations 3:22-24 (King James Version)
22 It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because
his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him."

As I awoke this morning, this scripture kept rolling around in my head. Each time I read it, I became more and more aware that God's mercy is new for me each and every morning. That He is faithful and He is my portion. He is my source of---of everything...spiritual, physical, emotional, material...He alone is my source. He is my portion and because of that my cup is full and running over. I have no other need aside from Him and His provision.

When you really grasp that concept and accept it, well, it is very liberating--freeing to know that the God of glory, the one that created EVERYTHING, is my provider--of EVERYTHING! There is nothing that I have need of that He alone cannot supply...

WOW! So why do I worry, why do I fret...Because my God, my portion, my provision, has NEVER failed me, nor will He EVER fail me!
He knows what I have need of even before I have the need...He holds my life, my future all in the palm of His very capable hands...And before I even know what to ask Him for, He, the all knowing, loving God, already has made the way, already has the answer...

He truly is my portion, my provision...and He is faithful...I am very humbled that He would be so mindful of me...

For this I am so very thankful.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

All My Marbles...

*The photo has nothing to do with this post. I was just going through some pics I have taken in the past and liked the way this one looked. It was taken at Petite Jean State Park in Arkansas*

I haven't posted much lately...I have been busy with the daily business of being a stay-at-home-homeschooling-mom. The daily chores of housekeeping, school, cooking and mothering seem to be taking more time than usual as of late. I have also been using my "spare" time exercising and looking at recipes and reading about clean eating. That has taken up a lot of my time...but I am determined that THIS time I will see it through and get into the physical shape that I have always hoped I could.

The weather has been awesome lately. Right now as I type this, the sun is shining in through the blinds and the outside temp is 52*. It looks like it is going to be a beautiful day ahead.

It is already November! I can't believe how the year has passed. My birthday is just around the corner...43, Wow! When did that happen? How did I suddenly become a woman in her 40's?

I know it didn't happen overnight...But looking back it seems like the years have just slipped away. Then one day I woke up and I was 40...Forty didn't bother me like it does some people, but it was the fact that after 40 comes 41, 42, 43 and so on. Then you wake up and your in your 50's then 60's and well...time just slips right on by...

Which makes me begin to question; how I am spending these days that God has given me? What am I doing with this life I am blessed to have? Am I getting bogged down by the daily drudge of life and allowing the problems and pressures of life to drain me of the strength and energy that I should be using productively? Am I on mission? Or have I gotten off course somewhere and somehow?

Will I look back from some future self and see where I wasted years and have regrets? My greatest fear is to get to the end of life's road and look back with regret for something I didn't do. That I would allow fear to keep me from accomplishing something I wanted to do; something I was put here to do...

I suppose this month, the month of my birth, is one of reflection and contemplation. Reflection on the past and the issues that I bring from it affects who and what I am today. Contemplation of the present and future that is out before me...

Every decision that I am making today will affect my future. Every day is a gift waiting to be unwrapped and enjoyed. So this got me to thinking about a story I once read. I looked it up on the Internet and have added a link to it below for you to read or reread if you have already read it. I think it is a story that we should read often and take to heart.

Monday, November 2, 2009


My little trick or treaters all ready for the night. Noah loves transformers and Bumble Bee is his favorite. Megan decided to be a cat, it was an easy, no cost costume...

And no, Megan is not that short, she was on her knees...LOL!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The best thing since...sliced bread!

I know that I'm usually coming late to the party... I don't usually discover things until everyone else knows about it and then suddenly I stumble upon it and think it is the grandest new thing, and when I tell people about it, I find out that it is old news...

Anyway, with that thought in mind, if you know about these already, just ignore my exuberance over them. I have always been a late bloomer anyway!

These Sandwich Thins made by Arnold are the greatest thing...well, since sliced bread. At least that how I feel about them. They are fantastic! Only 100 calories per bun...errr thingy. And with 5 grams of fiber they make the perfect little sandwich marker...

So if you haven't tried them, I highly recommend going to the store right now, or well at least next time you go shopping and get some. The only problem is they go to quickly so you might want to pick up more than one pack. I'm down to two left and getting a bit edgy about it...I don't want to go back to the store today, but I may have to have Andrew run by on his way home this evening. I was thinking of making veggie burgers for supper tonight and these are the perfect thing...

I like to lightly toast them and smear some natural peanut butter on them with just a touch of honey or better way to get some protein and fiber all in one delicious snack. Noah is eating one right now, and loves them!

If you click on the photo of the sandwich thins it will take you to the website. And you read the web address right, it does say bimbobakeriesusa! I don't know the story behind that yet, but they got a good product that is for sure.

Ohhhh...but after visiting the site I realized that they aren't available in all places...I am sorry for those of you who don't have a place to purchase them...because they really are a good thing. I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What I am Reading...

Right now I am consumed with my eating habits. I have been changing my eating patterns and the things I put into my body for a couple of months now. I have been working out at Curves and have lost about 13 pounds so far. Doesn't seem like much, but I am not looking for quick fixes, I want lasting weight loss and to be a fit and healthy person. So in order to do that I have had to clean up my eating...So with that in mind here are a couple of book related to that.

I am also reading:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hello Fall!

Weather matters:
Fall is definitely in the air this week. It has been rainy and cool. I can feel it in my bones and in my nose. My sinus' and allergies are usually the first notifications of changing weather and seasons.

I once dreaded fall because I didn't like winter with its cold weather and sunless days. Spring was always my favorite time of the beginnings, sunshine and such. But as I have gotten older, I find myself looking forward to and enjoying fall more. I have been worn down by the heat of summer and welcome the cooler days and nights. I love fall clothing; warm, soft sweaters, jackets and boots.
More weighted issues:
I joined Curves back in June of this year. But due to vacations, visitors and other summer things, I didn't commit myself completely to getting into shape. It wasn't until August, when things started to settle down and our routines got into a normal mode, that I was able to put myself completely behind the task of losing weight and getting into shape. I can understand how difficult it is for someone to take time to put into exercising and eating right. It is a job just to take time each day to workout and to figure out what to eat and what not to eat, plus taking the time to prepare the foods. It is much easier just to grab whatever and wonder drive thru's are so popular. But once you start the process, it becomes easier and easier to do. Once I started filling my body with the good stuff, I no longer had cravings for the bad stuff. I continue to crave the good foods. And once I started working out more, I don't want to miss a scheduled workout. Although I may be tired, if I push myself to workout then I feel so much more energized after the workout. I feel much better and sleep much better.
Since changing my eating habits: I gave up all carbonated drinks (Dr Pepper of course was my drug of choice). I don't eat fast foods at all. I quit eating candy and junk foods. I eat fruits and veggies, as much seafood as I can get, lean meat and chicken. I eat out of a small plate and don't get seconds. I eat more slowly, allowing my body to send me the cues that it is full. I drink lots of water and eat fewer breads, pasta and rice. I keep healthy snacks around and don't allow myself to get hungry and just grab something to satisfy the hunger. I eat purposely and deliberately. Not leaving it to chance and bad eating decisions. I try to eat as close to natural as possible. In some places that is almost impossible, but I buy local when I can. I read all labels before buying, and avoid buying anything from China...due to that, it is hard to find seafood, especially at Walmart, one of the reason I despise that store. So I shop at other grocery stores that offer USA or local sea foods. Yes, it is more expensive, which pushes my grocery budget up, but I will allow for it to avoid imported foods. I know there are somethings, such as banana's that you can't get locally, they just don't grow banana's in North Carolina, but until they do, I suppose I will have to grit my teeth and bare it.
Since I started this process, I have lost 13 pounds and dropped two dress sizes! Yeah! I have a goal that I want to reach by Thanksgiving, and another I want to reach by spring. This time I will reach that goal! I am viewing it as one of the most important jobs I have now, besides being a wife and mother, those jobs always come first. But if I am healthier and in better shape, I will feel better and be better at my other jobs.
I am much happier and am not looking so much at the end point, but I am enjoying the journey, enjoying the challenges and process along the way. I didn't get out of shape overnight, so I can't expect to get my self back in shape overnight. It is a process, and the view from here is great!
After I have lost a little more weight, I am planning to start a 5k training program. I want to run a 5k, then a 10k and eventually a half marathon and a full marathon. That is down the road a ways, but if you don't start, you will never reach that goal. One step, one day at a time. So each morning I wake up and say to myself, "Just for today, I am going to eat right and exercise."
Not only am I reaping benefits in my body, but I am also feeling the effects in my emotional well being, in my mental alertness and sharpness, and in my spiritual awareness.
So all in all, I would say that the little bit of sacrifice is well worth the effort...
Holidays and family:
The holiday's are drawing nearer. We are planning to go to Tennessee for Thanksgiving and spend a couple of days with Andrew's family. Lauren is meeting us there, then coming back with us to North Carolina for a couple of months. Mom and Dad are planning a trip up the first of December to stay with us through the Christmas holiday. We are looking forward to spending time with family after being away for sometime now.

Odds and ends:
Been doing a little crafting lately. Trying to find my creative side in the midst of day to day activities. Megan is taking an arts class and enjoying it. Noah is also being creative and doing a lot of painting. I think it must be in the air...In general life is moving along...Sometimes it seems like it is flying by much to quickly.

Blogs I am enjoying lately:

Websites I like:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cameron Antiques Day

So I had been looking forward to the Cameron Antiques Fair for some time. I kept thinking, Oh it's in October, so it should be cooler...wrong! It was hot, I was sweaty and nasty by the end of the day. I was also very tired. Again, I took Noah with me, because Andrew had something else going on...seems like that always happens when I find something I really want to do... just saying.

Anyway, so Megan, Noah and I got up early and headed to Cameron. First of all, Noah woke up on the wrong side of the bed and was in a very grouchy the day got off to a bad start. The weather gave a chance of rain, so I thought, maybe it would be cloudy...wrong again! It was sunny and very warm. So I pushed and struggled with a 75 pound stroller over the roots and sand...not to mention trying to maneuver a rather large stroller through tables that were to close together and people who don't seem to understand that you can't go between them without running over their feet. There were those who looked at me with disgust for bringing my child in a stroller. But it beats having to pack around a 45 pound child after he got tired of walking around so much. After all he is only four years old...and yes, I had to bring him along...

Maybe I was just in a bad mood from all of those things, but I really didn't enjoy it like I had hoped. I only bought a couple small things and was so exhausted when we left. But I did get a few photo's to enjoy.

Love the stars and the red watering can

Like the welcome gate, would look great in a garden

Really liked the wooden baskets, would like to have a couple, but not for the price

Lots of booths

This is where I got my star last year

Like the green chair

Noah got a Batman and Spider man...reminds me so much of my brother.
He use to have tons of these "little men" they were his favorite toys. Had to buy them for Noah.
I just like the look of this

There were all kinds of things, but the prices were a bit high. I guess I am just a bargain hunter and am pretty picky about what I spend my money on. I am not an impulsive buyer. I usually over think even the smallest of purchases. But really there wasn't anything there that I needed. I did buy a couple of turquoise blue bowls, because I love the color. I bought a handful of magazines, because I am a magazine hound and can never have enough magazines. Besides, they were only .50 cents each...couldn't pass that up.
All and all, the day was ok...I would say it was a four on a scale from 1 to 10...
On the way home we stopped in Aberdeen and ate at the Fried Green Tomatoes restaurant.
I met the owners wife while visiting a church there in Aberdeen. She told me about her husband's restaurant and I have been wanting to try it ever since.
She is a very sweet lady and I plan to go back over to the church there to visit from time to time because everyone there was just so welcoming and it felt like we had known each other forever.
We enjoyed the food and the atmosphere at the Fried Green Tomato. Looking at the menu, can you guess what I got? Okay, so I will tell you. I got a cup of Lobster and shrimp bisque and the Oyster Po' girl...surprise, surprise...when given the choice, I'll take seafood every time!

Philippe Brainos, the chef and owner asked Noah if he wanted to see the kitchen. So he took him in the kitchen to look around and meet the other cooks. Noah got a real kick out of that.
So, if your ever in Aberdeen, North Carolina be sure and give it a try. The food is good and the price is right. The fried green tomatoes are delicious!


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