Favorite "Meditation of My Heart"

Call unto me,

and I will answer thee,

and shew thee great and mighty things,

which thou knowest not. --Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Little Bit Forty: Days 23 & 24

The last two days have gone quickly as they always do thanks to teaching in Branson last night and taking Grace to flight ground school in Bolivar tonight. Plus trying to do the usual stuff like run errands, emergency grocery shopping when 3 gallons of milk don't last 30 hours, and get finished with my usual work and home appointments and paperwork.

Today I had to go into the post office since one of my packages was being shipped overnight.  As I stood in line, a cute little girl was chatting with everyone in the line.  An older gentleman asked her how old she was and she clasp both her hands together and twisted her body as though she was suddenly shy and thinking.  After a moment she said quietly, "Well, I'm a little bit 4."  Her dad chipped in that she had just turned 4 in January so she hasn't been four very long.  The whole line giggled and I tried not to laugh the loudest, but I could really identify with this little girl.  She had just had a whole comfortable year of being three and she could do everything that was expected of a three year old.  However, now she was in the strange world of 4 year olds and she already knew that she hadn't mastered all the 4 year old skills yet.  I can so understand how she feels.  I had 39 mastered and 40 just kind of slipped up on me...so for today, if anyone were brave enough to ask my age, then my answer would be, "Well, I'm a little bit 40."

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

40: Day 22

Today was weigh in day...I went and said the pledge, sang the songs and lost 3 3/4 pounds.  It has to be more next week, because this is a lot of work for that minimal of a loss.

Then I had planned to be in the office the rest of the day, but my kids and the CPA had other plans for me.  I taxi-ed; I waited for kids; I wrote checks; I mailed checks and my bank account is significantly lighter.  I really dislike all the payroll taxes, fees and hassels, but I'm thankful for a good CPA who keeps it organized and legal.

Monday, January 28, 2013

40: Day 21

Not the productive day that I planned.  Lots of interuptions and truly lived up to "Monday's reputation".  Enough said.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

40: Day 20

Just a thought: Half way through my 40 days of trying out 40, and I am hungry. However, I am also starting to feel more energetic from getting the right foods.

I still feel like life is just not as balanced as I had hoped for when I started the 40 day journey. In the next 20 days, I REALLY want to focus on getting office work done between 9 and 5 so I can fully focus on family and fun after 5.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

40: Day 19

I'm almost half way in my 40 day journey to 40 and so far I'm not impressed.  Nothing has really changed from 39 except I've been given this terrible label of "non-youth".  Now I'm just a kid to people in their mid-60's and above.  To my kids, I'm ancient.  My 9 year old David asked me last week if Christmas lights had been invented when I was his age!  Errr! 

I have enjoyed the weight loss even though I really can't tell I've lost anything yet so I guess I like the idea of losing weight and getting healthier.  I have not enjoyed the diet.  I keep telling myself that its not about what I can't have to eat, but rather its about what I don't want to eat so I can be healthier.  So far myself is not real impressed with what I'm self-advising.  However, I continue.

Today was a long day with daddy away at a tournament.  I took the boys to run errands with me, but otherwise we had a quiet day of movies, reading, naps and such.  I helped  Grace list some purses on eBay and listed some old homeschooling books that I had missed in my last clean out.

Then this evening when Ed got home and after the smaller ones bedtimes, we ran to get groceries with Grace and Corrine in charge for an hour.  I am simply amazed how fast these kids can consume 3 gallons of milk, but tonight we were completely out.

I'm hoping for a good nights rest since most of the kids are over their colds now and should sleep through the night.

Friday, January 25, 2013

40: Day 18

I have kids with stuffy noses, sore throats, antibiotics and fussy attitudes all around.  Today I was loading up to run errands and got the call that Matt was not feeling well at school.  I really thought he was on the mend but maybe he was just feeling extra tired so I started my errands by going to get him.  The twins are feeling much better, but they are still extra tired.  When I finished errands this afternoon, the twins and Matt insisted that they were well enough to come along.  We got home exhausted and then the fussing and arguing and fighting started...I thought I was going to need a referee shirt.  From 2pm to 4pm, the boys were at their rare worst and taking me down with them.  I finally offered them one more outing errand, if they would be good, and things started improving and I got another errand checked off my list...definitely a win-win!
Notice my helper peeking over the back seat.

Community Responsibility:  The kids and I did catch-up today in this category and delivered a number of goodies to people in our community.  We delivered 40 non-spill cups each filled with hot cocoa packets and candy and a thank you note to our police station and fire house.  Then we delivered about 40 new under garments to go to a recovery program in Cambodia.  Plus we took Teen Challenge about 40 small toiletry items for their clients.  Finally, we took donations of pet food and kits to make pet treats to our local no kill animal welfare group

Health/Fitness:  I'm starting to think I may not lose much this week.  I am going to need to find some regular exercise that fits into the chaos.  Hubby and I got to eat dinner out again tonight.  It was so nice and we went to Ruby Tuesdays again so it is easy to stick to my diet.

Spirituality: Not much reading today.  Lots of hold, hugging and trying to un-fuss, fussy kids.

Wisdom:  Matt really enjoyed the trip to the police station.  It does good for him to see our family doing good for the helpers in our community.  And no, I didn't let him go in the fire station because he is sick and second he might not want to leave!  Matt is crazy for fire trucks and wants to grow up and be a fire man or a bus driver. I'm going to need to be sure that we do more activities like this together.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

40: Day 16-17

Wednesday and Thursday were really busy with travel to teach and then to Grace's flight lesson.  The class I was teaching ended Wednesday so I had lots of papers to grade in addition to all the usual activities of life in our house.

Sticking to my diet, but it has been tough.  I treated Grace and her friend to pizza after flight lesson on Thursday and it was hard to stick to my salad.  However, I still haven't had a chance to exercise and I'm worried my weight loss will slow down if I don't find a time to get some extra exercises in my days.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Turning 40 with me....Sadly

The 40th Anniversary of Roe V Wade.  Is anyone as shocked as I am that abortion is still a popular "option" FORTY YEARS later?  During my lifetime there have been many advancements in reproductive health, but yet abortion continues.  Currently 137 abortions per hour in the US...24 hours a day...7 days a week...365 days a year. 

Those who are regular readers of my blog, know that each year I write a special blog for Roe V Wade's Anniversary.  Previous blogs are The Perfect Boy and 52 Million Kids Who Can't Change the World.  This year I've decided to write from my own personal experiences and hurts from 17 years ago when I was pregnant with Grace.  I want to give advice on how to care for a friend facing an unplanned pregnancy and what not to do.  So here is my advice....


Its been 17 years, but I can still be brought to tears by the good and bad memories of how friends and family cared for me during my unplanned pregnancy with my oldest daughter Grace.  I have always been a strong, independent person, but facing a pregnancy as a single person brought out crippling fears and irrational concerns.  To realize that I was about to be ultimately responsible for feeding, nurturing, supervising, financial supporting another person was overwhelming.  To realize that person would depend on me for their every need 24 hours a day/7days a week for several years was exhausting. To know that I would mold this person's self-esteem, character and world views was humbling.  After all what made me qualified, and knowing that I could harm this child if I wasn't perfect...and who can be...was frightening.  Plus the stresses that I was adding on myself by feeling that I had already messed up...the timing wasn't right, the relationship wasn't right....I had barely started the parenting journey and I couldn't help but feel that I had already failed in several areas.  Yet I hid these feeling and fears.  My emotions were a field of landmines and few people knew.

Here are a few suggestions for how to help a friend in a situation like I faced and for how not to help.

One of my favorite memories, being invited
out to the theatre at 7 months pregnant.
A few DO NOT's:

Don't make jokes about my past failures.  My least favorite, "You can't even keep the plant in your office alive."  

Don't comment or ask me about the birth father or our relationship.  If the mother wants you to know, she'll tell you and some days she may not even know where that relationship is or isn't going.  My least favorite, "I thought he really loved you.  Where is he now?"  I felt like I had been kicked in the chest twice; once by the birth father and now by this friend.

Don't ask me how I'm going to do "it".  My list of "it" is longer than yours.  You may be thinking of affording child care.  I may be thinking of affording to finish school, the cost of diapers, the lack of sleep and the child care!  If you know of resources that might lighten the load I'm carrying, don't tell me about it over dinner where the reminder of stress can ruin the enjoyment of eating out with a friend.  Please get me a brochure or send me a web site link, but let me digest the options in my own time, privately.

Some please DO's:

Tell me I'm going to be a great mom and why.  Be genuine.  I'm your friend and surely I have one redeeming quality that you would want in a parent.  Let me know that my new small family will be awesome because I am awesome.

Remind me that I make good choices.  Remind me that pregnancy can be unplanned and a surprise, but a baby is never a mistake.

Call me, email me, write me and remind me frequently that you care about me and want me to take the best care of me and my baby.  If you are the type that likes such things, offer to attend those awkward prenatal classes and mom-to-be fairs with me.  If those aren't your cup of tea, invite me on a walk or a picnic, or bring me a healthy snack basket with yogurt and fresh fruits.

Ask me about when my next doctor visit is and check on me after that appointment.  Let me know that you're thinking and/or praying for me.

Send a practical gift after the baby is here.  Moms (and dads, if they are involved) facing unplanned pregnancies are usually tight on funds.  Gift cards, diapers, and cash are all very usable.  An infant can live a good life with a few outfits, but life without diapers, laundry soap, and quarters for the laundromat can quickly become overwhelming.

The best gift may be your time.  Offer to help write thank you notes, pickup/wash laundry, make dinner, drop by a frozen meal, clean house or babysit.  Please don't just do this once after the baby is born.  Remember, as a single mom, I just started a long marathon and I'll appreciate your help as much or more when my infant becomes a toddler. 

If my child is being adopted, then help me fill my days in the months after the adoption.  Remember me with a note or small gift in my child's honor on their birthday and a quick note of support on Mother's Day will mean so much.  You won't be reminding me because I'll always remember, but I will feel loved because you remember too.

40: Day 15

Look at this picture of Jon from today. Isn't he just too cute?  Amber did his hair like this today, I really like it.  Based on the smiles that Jon was giving me while I was taking his picture, I think he likes it too.

Okay a quick summary of my day:

Community Responsibility:  Grace and I took a donation of new baby items/supplies to a local pregnancy care center in remembrance of Rowe V. Wade's Anniversary today.

Health/Fitness:  Yes, today was my 2nd weekly weigh in. I lost 4 1/4 pounds bringing my 2 week total to 14 pounds lost. I have been really hungry this past week and this is getting tougher.  I'm going to need to step it up this week and start exercising.

Spirituality: Lots of reading, but still very far behind on my planned schedule.  I'm thinking a modified schedule may be needed.

Wisdom:  I really don't like controlling every item that I ingest, but I need to improve my health.  I miss processed food, but I know they are not compatible with my goals.  I dislike singing with older ladies about weight loss.  However, I am seeing changes.  In other words, it works.

This evening I made my mom's version of Aunt Treva's tuna fish salad.  My mom used to make it for me when I was trimming weight in high school and she said Treva made it for her and her friends when they were dieting.  All I know is it is delicious and satisfying.

Tuna Salad
2 oz tuna
2-3 diced radishes
2 sliced green onions
1 stalk of celery
2 T light mayo

and I didn't have it today, but I like fresh cilantro in the mix too.

Monday, January 21, 2013

40: Day 14

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Inauguration Day and tomorrow is the 40th Anniversary of Rowe V. Wade.  That is a lot of things to reflect on in such a short time.  I cannot think of any advice more fitting than the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

Today was Ed's day off so he visited the doctor in the morning and then we took 7 of the kids to the dentist this afternoon for check ups.  Based on the attention given our bus, I dare say the dentist office doesn't have too many families arrive by bus!  However, good check-ups all around.  We got home and I made my own version of low calorie/low fat stuffed mushrooms and meat balls with pasta.  It was delicious and one of the more satisfying tasting foods that I've ate in about 2 weeks.

Stuffed Mushrooms (my version)
16-20 mushroom caps (washed)
2 low fat string cheese sticks cut in 8-10 pieces each

Mix together:
1 box Savory herb Stove Top dressing, dry
1 egg
2 t. Italian seasoning
1 T of grated Parmesan cheese (1/2 in mix and 1/2 as topping)

Put 1/4" deep of low sodium chicken broth in the bottom of a glass baking dish.  Place a piece of cheese in each mushroom cap and top with a teaspoon or two of the stuffing mix.  Then sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. By my calculations, these are 20-30 calories each.

I added some of the chopped mushroom stems to the left over Stove Top mixture.  Then I mashed the stuffing into 1/4 cup measuring cup as a mold and turned onto a sprayed baking dish.  I baked them at 350 for 15-20 minutes too. (I saved this for a side with another meal.)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

40: Day 13

We got behind schedule getting ready for church so I ended up at home with 5 of the kids, but it was probably for the best because Nate's congestion just kept getting worse all day.  He definitely did not need to be out in the cold morning air.  However,  I really missed getting to go to worship service.  Ed gave me a good summary of the sermon, but it is still not the same.

Then this afternoon David was so tired that it became obvious that he had stayed up late playing the DS game that he had rented for the weekend.  I finally got him to lay down for a nap with me, before he got in anymore trouble.  We curled up around 2:00pm and slept almost 3 hours!  I didn't think either of us was that tired!  However, it was so nice to curl up with David since he usually insists that he is too old to be "babied".  I have no doubt that he soon will be too big, but this afternoon was great as he curled up next to me and let me rub his back.

Dinner was the usual "diet special".  Tonight it was salmon with dill, lemon and capers wrapped in foil and grilled.  When Ed realized capers only had 5 calories per tablespoon, he went a bit overboard with them, but the flavor of the salmon was much better than I had expected.  I added brown rice and stewed "free veggies" to fill out my plate.  I'm really missing pizza, tacos, enchiladas, meatloaf, toast...the list is actually very long.

  • Then tonight was grocery shopping as the kids had managed to knock out 3 gallons of milk since Friday and this Thursday is David's day to bring snacks to school.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

40: Day 12

No napping this Saturday.  We were up by 6am to make chili for the underwater poker games today at Calypso scuba.  Of course, the twins got up to "help" me.

Then  Grace and I spent the rest of the morning at Calypso and ate some great chili that people had prepared for the chili competition.  Then we did some shopping and headed home. 

The TV station was there, and Grace was on the news tonight.
I got home and sat down to answered a few emails, read some kids some books, and soon it was time to get ready for Ed and I to go out....together...alone!  Grace had agreed to babysit and we weren't going to give her a chance to change her mind!  After dinner out, we picked up the movie "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" at the video rental and came home to watch it with the older kids. 

I am really missing the extra carbs that this diet cut out, but I'm sticking to it.  On another note, I did finally get Ed and Corrine's hair cut today.  It seems like it has been impossible to get this done when we are all here and I have time to clean up the mess.  Ed's hair was really getting long this time so I'm glad we had time.

Friday, January 18, 2013

40: Day 11

Today was napping, errands and cooking.  That pretty much summarizes my jet set lifestyle today.  I went back to bed after getting the kids and Ed off to school this morning. Then I ran exciting errands like getting an oil change and tire rotation.  Finally, I turned a refrigerator full of leftovers into a lasagna bake, an alfredo chicken bake, green chili chicken enchiladas, and of course...a new diet veggie soup.

Everyone ate really well tonight from the variety of choices except David who got Daddy to make him eggs.  However, my goal of getting leftovers used was definitely met.  Then while Ed and Grace went to see The Hobbit again, I worked on catching up on cards and letters while the older kids watched a movie.

Yet another day of the diet followed, but I am missing eating whatever carbs that I want. Well, excuse me; I have a cutie on my lap who wants to cuddle.  Goodnight!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

40: Day 10

Well, its been 10 days and so far I haven't accomplished most of what I had planned to do for 40.  However, today I was able to do an extra that I didn't think would fit in the budget.  I found bras on sale and underwear so I was able to buy 40 total to give to United to Rescue for their work in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  I was so excited an I'll hopefully be delivering those to their local office next week.  It was such fun finding this sale and knowing that these women would know that the body of Christ worldwide is welcoming them and caring about them.

Then the next fun part of my day was taking Grace to her flight lesson today.  She has such a love of aviation that it is obviously God given.  It was so great to take her to dinner after her lesson and hear her recall every detail of her lesson.  She has some great ideas for her possible Summer adventures and they all involve service to others.  The whole afternoon was such a great time together today.  All my kids have great big tender hearts, but when they keep those hearts pure and tender for God's direction and purpose into their late teens it is simply beautiful.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

40: Day 9

I just found out today that friends of ours who are awesome cooks are FINALLY opening another restuarant after almost a decade...AND I'm on this diet!  Errrr!  Well, I'm setting my weight loss goal to get to reward myself with dinner. 

The restuarant is open every other weekend in Springfield.  It is named Sorella's Table. If you are looking for an awesome dinner out, I can guarantee that they can provide a meal that will exceed your expectations.  Remember that you must make a reservation. 

Today I taught in Branson as usual.  I stuck to my diet despite traveling thanks to Subway.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

40: Day 8

Well, today was my first weigh in at TOPS.  Corrine wanted to go with me and she loved it.  She thought the songs were cool and said its better than Grandma's Weight Watchers meetings.  (Makes me thankful that I never went to Grandma's group!)  So yes, we weighed in, sang songs, had a program and said the emotional eating pledge....but I lost 9 3/4 pounds!  Yes, I'm pleased, but oh how I hate the emotional eating pledge and the dieting songs!  Just my opinion, but emotional eating is what happens to bad cooks.  I over eat because my food tastes awesome and I know where other awesome tasting food is for sale!

This afternoon I prepared to teach class tomorrow and worked on paperwork for the office and home.  The day just flew by, but I made an African Harvest Stew and modified it to be more tasty.  Then I topped it with a chopped up left over fish fillet and 1/3 c of rice from yesterday.  The stew recipe is below.  It is intended for fresh veggies, but I used canned, drained and water rinsed veggies.  I substituted one can for 1 cup.  The original stew recipe is in blue and my add-in are in green.

African Harvest Stew
1 cup okra
1 cup carrots
1 cup zucchini
1 cup sweet corn
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup water but I used 1 can of low sodium beef broth
1 t thyme
1/4 t red pepper flakes
2 cups shredded cabbage, fresh
5 sliced mushrooms
1 more can diced tomatoes
1 T chili powder
1 t. cumin
2 T diced dried onion
1/2 t lemon pepper
1 clove garlic
1/4 t celery salt

Cooked until the cabbage was soft.  I toped with yesterday's fish and rice leftovers.

Monday, January 14, 2013

40: Day 6 & 7

Day 6 is a simple report...sick....I think I caught an achy, flue bug at the doctor's office.

Day 7 is pretty simple too...still sick, but now just very tired and sore.  I was very glad to have Angela and Amber helping today.  I don't think I would have gotten anything finished today without them.

I have a lot to catch up on for turning 40, for work and for home. I was able to do some catch up on written work and home management this afternoon.

Tonight I'm having my favorite tilapia recipe for dinner.  It is super healthy and has great flavor!

 Baked Tilapia
  • 4 (4 ounce)  tilapia fillets (thawed)
Mixed together the following and shake over tilapia:
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • Add a little garlic salt (optional)
Spray glass pan with cooking spray.  Add fish with the seasoning mix to a 375 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes (or until done cooking).  I serve over rice cooked in lemon tea with a side of steamed broccoli with lemon pepper seasoning.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

40: Day 5

Okay, today is probably not a model day of being 40....95 maybe, but not 40!  After my busy, long day yesterday, I was really, very tired and not feeling very well.  I started my morning planning to write a report for work so I get my laptop and sat down in my favorite chair with my recently re-washed favorite quilt (remember pre-birthday entry).  While the kids finished their breakfast and started watching cartoons, I started typing, then napping, then typing, then napping...well, more napping than typing.  Soon it was lunch and I hadn't ate breakfast! 

The girls had been entertaining Nate all morning and David had cleaned the living room.  I was pretty sure this was some dream.  After lunch I made some phone calls, did some reading, and fell asleep with Matt on my lap asleep.  Then I went back to reading when Matt woke me up when he got up.  Then Mark curled up and napped and so did I again! Then Luke joined Mark and I.  When I woke up, I was trapped under two adorable sleeping boys.

Hubby was in Kansas this weekend for debate. The weather and deteriorating road conditions were really worrying me so I was greatly relieved when he got home around 10:30pm.

Summary of Day 4:

Community Responsibility:  None unless we count not going in public when I'm not feeling well.

Health/Fitness:  I ate less than my diet allows and really did not miss the food. I definitely didn't exercise.  It was about the most low impact day that I've had in months!  (Thank you kids!  I LOVED  it!)
Spirituality:  Lots of reading, but still very far behind on my planned schedule.
Wisdom:  Rest is a great thing!

40: Day 4

This entry will be really short.  Drove all day long.  At 7:30pm tonight, I was at 270 and Manchester Road.  Yeah, wrong side of the state for that time of evening (unless I'm going to StL for the weekend...I wasn't.)  I finally got home at 1:30am on day 5 of being 40. 

Not much balance to life today, but I listened to some great audio books and speakers for the 12 hours of drive time between stops.  And despite thinking I was still very hungry, I stuck to the diet.  I better lose 100 pounds this week!...Joking....at least 50 ;)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

40: Day 3

This morning I got the kids started on their day and as soon as the buses had left, I "enjoyed" my high fiber cereal, banana and hot tea.  Then I went back to bed!  After a 2 1/2 hour nap, I headed to Joplin for a doctor appointment.  Yes, you read that right, by noon today, all I had really done was ate high fiber, took a nap and went to the doctor!  Oh yeah...(dripping with sarcasm) 40 is rocking!

I got back to the office in time to solidify tomorrow's schedule, make phone calls and eat a nonfat yogurt.

I headed back to Joplin to get my nails done and Grace had to come along because of her flight lesson this afternoon.  Then I finally got a grilled chicken sandwich in Carthage...just before I starved.   We picked up another student for class tonight.  Then got the call that the weather was too bad to go up today so we had extra time.  So finding ourselves with 2 free hours, we stopped at my parents to visit.  Then on to Bolivar for ground school.  I usually use the kids' class time to work on my work, but I brought the wrong SD card tonight so I'm catching up the blog instead.

Community Responsibility:  While I could argue that helping two teens get their flight training is community, I think that is stretching it since one of those teens is my daughter. 

Health/Fitness:  Following my diet still, despite extreme hunger.  My blood pressure was high today so that added more encouragement to keep working on being healthy.  Unfortunately, no exercise again today.

Spirituality:  Praying about some personal growth from realizing that if I have truly forgiven someone, then I would be praying for their betterment, rather than just having an absence of anger or dislike.  I realize this is the next step in seeing people the way that God does.  I've been "re-reading" The Hiding Place in an audio book and several quotes from Corrie and her sister have really convicted me to be motivated to love my past offenders, especially through prayer. 

 “Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way . . .
God can give us the perfect way.”-Corrie Ten Boom

Very little Bible reading progress today...I'm going to have a lot this weekend! 
Wisdom:  I must take better care of my schedule next week.  Tonight, I will be home at midnight and leave around 3am to get to jobs in mid-Missouri tomorrow.  The income is important, but sleep is necessary to be safe driving and at my best.

40: Day 2

Today was a long day and I was very tired all day.  I hope the tiredness is not from turning 40, if it is, then I should have planned 40 days of sleep!

This morning was spent at home preparing to go teach in Branson tonight and getting a new Internet provider connected for my office.  I was so tired that I fell asleep answering emails and the Internet tech woke me up needing more instructions...talk about embarrassing!  Then I set some appointments, went to the Post Office and got home in time for a home study update.  Don't get excited about the home study, it is NOT an announcement, but merely the hoops our family jumps through to get every child's full citizenship and their permanent place in our family.  Finally, after an extended holiday break, I was on the road to Branson to teach an MBA class.  I was running behind on time so my mom was nice enough to meet me with a sandwich on the South side of Springfield. 

I finally got home, checked email and my head finally hit the pillow at 1:36am on Day 3 of being 40.

Summary of Day 2
Community Responsibility:  For today, I'm counting teaching as a community responsibility.  I know its not a volunteer position, but I try to put a lot of extra information, encouragement and care into my "work".  I truly enjoy teaching and specifically enjoy seeing students change their lives and create opportunities for themselves.  Each class teaches and challenges me in new ways.  Many of the students become lifelong connections, resources and friends.

Health/Fitness:   I was very hungry before each meal today, BUT I stuck to my diet.  I did not get exercise in today.
Spirituality:  I'm still behind on my ambitious Bible reading schedule, but I'm making progress.

Wisdom:   If I had known that my week was going to continue to get busier then I would have scheduled more sleep this morning, but after some exercise!  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

40: DAY 1

Hello Day #1 of being 40! (Now if only I was actually that excited about it!) 

Feeling a bit beat up by 40 this evening.

A busy day of work and appointments!  So it was fairly typical.  Hubby had taken me out on Friday night so Grace and I went to supper together at Del Rio this evening so I could have Fajitas that are diet friendly.  Then after my meeting the kids had cake waiting for me.  (Matt unfortunately had fallen asleep early on the floor so we saved him a piece of cake for tomorrow.)

Community Responsibility: 

This evening was an advisory council meeting.  Its a group that I was first appointed to before the first meeting on October 21, 2009.  As I sat in another meeting without a quorum, and we reviewed the same items needing done as in 2009, I just felt defeated!  This group is responsible to improving lives for real people with real issues.  The fact that nothing has been accomplished by the group in 3 years has it on my list of things that I may not continue to carry into my new decade.


So I went to my first TOPS meeting this morning to kick off the day.  TOPS stands for Taking Off Pounds Sensibly.  Oh my was it strange!  They have a pledge that assumes I'm an emotional eater.  I'm not...I just LOVE great tasting foods!  I can cook well and I appreciate great cooks and great food!  They have weight loss songs...yes, SONGS to well known tunes!  I thought I'd die as many got out their songbooks!  The members were old! Not that I'm sensitive to age today...I felt older just being there...NOT a good thing to feel OLDER on my birthday.  However, on the positive and less weird side.  They were welcoming and friendly.  The group seems to be very tight knit.  There are people there losing weight!  So I'm doing my 40 days as planned!  I'm going to weekly meetings; I'll pledge; I'll sing & I'll probably feel old in that group too, BUT maybe I'll lose weight too.

Then this afternoon I had a doctor appointment to just seal the deal that I'm old.  However, we also figured frightenly embarrassing things like BMI and that I'll be as old as those other ladies at my meeting this morning by the time I get to my goals (see wisdom).  Not a very uplifting experience.  Even made better by a follow-up scheduled for Thursday.


Well, on my first day of reading the Bible through and Genesis has so far proven to be too big of a chunck for today, especially with so much work to do at the office.  (But I'm not complaining, the extra work is great.)  So I'll keep reading and see if I can't get caught up in a few days.


I have set some goals for the next 40 days like reading the Bible through, getting boxes of diapers donated to Children of the Promise, and being more involved in my community.  However, for weight loss goals, I'm not sitting a number goal.  I haven't lived by the number on the scale in years and I don't plan to again. 
So my weight loss goals are as follows:
1.  Be able to wear my wedding ring again comfortably.  (With my arthritic hands, my weight may need to be lower than when I stopped wearing it to get it back on, but I'm going to try.)

2.  Be able to travel with my crutches on short trips such as in and out of a doctor office, library, or friends' homes.  (But no stupid excessive stuff that causes falls and injuries.)

3.  To be able to reduce and potentially eliminate my high blood pressure medicine and to avoid further health damage.

4.  To buy and wear clothing that are not in a plus size store.

5.  To have more energy, more endurance and more strength than I did for most of my thirties!

On to day 2 of turning 40 tomorrow....

Monday, January 7, 2013

Eating & Cleaning

Well tomorrow is the day; my first day of being forty.  Techically, I was born near midnight so I have most of tomorrow to be 39, but even that won't keep 40 away for long. 

So tonight I ordered my favorite pizza and snuggled up with my favorite coffee drink....both of which will not be on the new diet.  As I enjoyed these final indulgences, they felt a bit like a last meal!  However, I'm ignoring that feeling.

18 Commercial loads, but for my Aunt Treva's sake
I did not wash clothes on Old Christmas! 
See what happens when I skip a day!! (or two)!

We got behind on laundry over the holidays.  So today, Angela stripped all the bedding and extra blankets and coats from the closets and gathered all the dirty laundry. We went to the laundromat, and 18 commercial washer loads and $60 later, our laundry was caught up for a few minutes.

Jon's tummy has been hurting all day.  So after he was in bed tonight, Jon started yelling "Mom!".  I put him in the rocking chair with me and wrapped him in my newly clean and fresh school house quilt.  Within seconds, he threw up violently all over me, my hair, my favorite chair and the once clean quilt.  What a way to wrap up a decade! 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Reading the Bible Through in 40 Days

As you know, as part of the process of turning 40, I'm going to read my Bible though in 40 days.  Some  people have emailed me asking what the schedule will look like because they are considering joining me.

So below is my proposed schedule:

Day 1:  Genesis  (50 chapters)
Day 2:  Exodus  (40 chapters)
Day 3:  Leviticus (27 chapters)
Day 4:  Numbers (36 chapters)
Day 5: Deuteronomy (34 chapters)
Day 6:  Joshua (24 chapters)
Day 7: Judges & Ruth (25 chapters)
Day 8:  I Samuel (31 chapters)
Day 9:  II Samuel (24 chapters)
Day 10:  I Kings (22 chapters)
Day 11:  II Kings (25 chapters)
Day 12:  I Chronicles (29 chapters)
Day 13:  II Chronicles (36 chapters)
Day 14:  Ezra, Nehemiah & Esther (33 chapters)
Day 15: Job (42 chapters)
Day 16:  Psalms 1-50
Day 17:  Psalms 51-100
Day 18:  Psalms 101-150
Day 19:  Proverbs (31 chapters)
Day 20:  Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon & Isaiah 1-26 (46 Chapters)
Day 21:  Isaiah 27-66
Day 22:  Jeremiah (52 chapters)
Day 23:  Lamentations & Ezekiel (53 chapters)
Day 24:  Daniel, Hosea, Joel & Amos (38 chapters)
Day 25:  Obadiah, Jonah, Micah,Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi (41 chapters)
Day 26:  Matthew  (28 chapters)
Day 27:  Mark  (16 chapters)
Day 28:  Luke (24 chapters)
Day 29:  John (21 chapters)
Day 30:  Acts  (28 chapters)
Day 31:  Romans (16 chapters)
Day 32:  I & II Corinthians (29 chapters)
Day 33:  Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians & Colossians (20 chapters)
Day 34:   I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus (21 chapters)
Day 35:  Philemon, Hebrews, James (19 chapters)
Day 36:  I & II Peter, I, II & III John & Jude  (16 chapters)
Day 37:  Revelations (22 chapters)
Day 38:  SICK DAY or Make-up Day
Day 39:  SICK DAY or Make-up Day
Day 40: SICK DAY or Make-up Day

Friday, January 4, 2013

Nasty, True Rumors

There is this trend going on among my fellow classmates of 1991 that I don't approve of at all!  I've expressed my displeasure, my disappointment and my reasons why it is not the right time.  However, there is a nasty, true rumor that I'll soon be following the crowd.  Since death and extreme denial are my only other options....alas, soon I have no choice.  Rumor has it that most of my classmates have or will soon turn 40....maybe 2 score sounds better? No.... Maybe 4 decades? Not!....40 years old?  Just might as well just say "old".

I've never been good with aging.  Turning 23 was a bit of a crisis for me.  So was turning 25, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33...well, you get the idea.  Forty is especially hard for me because I remember my parents turning 40 and they were old!  They were my boring, out of touch, always responsible, old parents.  I wanted younger parents so bad.  I was a Freshman in high school and I thought these things!  Now folks, think about this, I have no hope...my youngest are 4 years old.  They will remember me turning 50!  FIFTY FOLKS!  I can barely admit that I might soon be FORTY.  Can you imagine how out of touch they will think I am?!

This is about how old I am in my mind..
not EXACTLY reality.
So I've been thinking about how to minimize the age of 40 and maximize the experience of being 40...I'm not jumping out of a plane, or bungee diving...but I'm going to turn 40 MY WAY!  No one is going to rush me into it.  I've decided that I need 40 days to adjust.  I am giving all my friends and acquaintances NOTICE that as of January 8th, I will start the 40 day process of turning 40.  I figure it took me a long time to get here so why dive right in!

For 40 days, I plan to do some things that I've always wanted to do to be my idea of the PERFECTLY WELL ROUNDED 40 year old.  I've always thought of 40 years old to be secure enough to now be generous and responsible in their community.  The perfect 40 year old is healthy with controlled weight and good exercise habits AND this is NOT me, but I'm going to try it for 40 days.  Lastly a 40 year old ought to know the Bible well.  We have had 40 years to use and misuse it.  I've always wanted to read the Bible through and I've come close, but never completed it in one run.  I will do it in 40 days.  Lastly, 40 year olds ought to have developed wisdom, discernment and restraint in an effort to encourage others.

I've discussed this with friends and I will blog my daily activities as I spend 40 days turning 40.  I will blog in four categories each day.

Community Responsibility

Now, my kids, my hubby and several thoughtful people want to know what I want for gifts this year.  I have thought hard about wants and needs and realized that I am blessed.  I thought about various others, individuals and groups, that I could help with true needs and I've decided that I'd like size 1, 2 and especially size 3 disposable diapers sent to the Children of the Promise orphanage/crisis nursery for my birthday.  I have pre-paid shipping and customs from Florida to Haiti.  During my celebration, you can ship from sites like Wal-Mart.com right to the airport hanger in Florida for less than a dollar.  Then my donation will carry your package the rest of the way to Haiti.  Please let me know if you send a box as I want to track how many boxes and thank you for your generous present.  The address is at the bottom of this blog entry.

You may wonder why not cloth diapers?  Disposable diapers are essential to stopping the spread of infections, worms, bacteria, virus like cholera and protecting the health of Haiti's most fragile infants and the orphanage laundry workers.  It is not like here in the USA where we can fully and safely sanitize cloth diapers.  Limits on clean hot water, man power, petro to run the generator; all are factors which make disposable diapers best for the most susceptible infants with HIV, sickle cell, malnourishment, etc.  I want to give some infants in need the best chance for their survival in a country where the much improved 2012 infant mortality rate is 52.44 per 1000 live births.  (BTW-The USA is 6 per 1000.)

Size 3 is the most needed size as it can
cover other sizes in a pinch

How to send 440 diapers for less
than $60

Shipping address for Diaper Packages:
Bud and Jan Bonnema
Agape Flights CAP–11952
100 Airport Ave 
Venice, FL 34285

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Orangina Toasts & 2013

Not everyone can party until midnight, especially in our family.  This year the remaining party guests were Grace and Corrine and us.  David almost made it, but sleep grabbed him at 11pm when he laid down on our bed  to play his Nintendo DS.  However, in a surprise move, I -the mom- made it to midnight without a nap...well, until New Year's afternoon. 

We watched Netfix movies until midnight only to find out that one was deleted from Netfix streaming at midnight while we were mid-movie.  So unless I want to go rent it, I'll just assume that Anna & the King, ends like the King & I.

At midnight we used coffee mugs and a mason jar to toast in the new year with Orangina.  This past year, the kids broke all my fluted cups/goblets, but when toasting with Orangina, I'm not sure there is a very formal standard.   Oh, but the girls were impressed that daddy was sharing his French soda.

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.--IITimothy 2:22