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

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Getting closer...to "tell all"

I have promised a "tell all" blog post when I have lost 1/2 of the weight that I need to loose.  Well folks, we are close...VERY close....like...only a 1/2 pound more to lose... CLOSE!

So I thought I'd share my weight gain story before I share my weigh loss story.

Two months before I started losing weight:
I realized that even I did not have enough kids to
hide my weight problem in photos.
I knew I HAD to lose weight!

When I was in my twenties, I exercised and followed a vegetarian diet.  Then I married a man who expected meat at meals, and I gained a little weight.  Then I had a child, and I gained a little weight.  Then I had a job with a lot of stress, and I gained a little weight.  Then arthritis started making exercise painful, and I gained a little weight.   
Then 3 years ago, we had a child with a life threatening heart condition.  A few months later, we added 4 children to our family after the earthquake in Haiti, which brought us to a total of 10 awesome children.  My round the clock schedule, my lack of personal time, and my need for energy made food the “go to” for a pick me up.  I snacked in the car to stay awake.  I snacked at midnight when I was tube feeding our son.  I needed my next “food fix” to keep going...or so I thought, and I gained a lot of weight.
I wanted to lose weight, but I did nothing until January when I faced my 40th birthday.  I was depressed and disappointed with myself.  I decided it was time to make serious changes to improve my health.  On my birthday, I went to my first TOPS meeting.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Grace decided it was time to runaway.  She just couldn't take isolated country living, limited internet and constant sibling "companionship" anymore.  However, since she does not have a driver's license, she had to have me runway with her!  She was hoping to head into Ava for free internet at McDonald's, but I had a better idea.

We started with a stop at Henson's Gas Station in Champion, MO for some gas. (If you haven't been to Champion, you must check out their news.  Its a favorite web site of mine.) Grace had not been to Henson's and asked if they took debit card.  They were polite and did not laugh, but I did!  Then Grace was bewildered by the 40+ year old gas pumps so Betty Henson came and personally taught Grace how to pump gas.  (I couldn't believe Betty remembered my first name after all these years!  Its been over 30 years!)

Then we took the dirt roads to Assumption Abbey.  Grace had never been there and Fr. Paul took time to give her a tour and tell her about their daily lives.  She was impressed with their self-sufficiency, devotion to worship and hospitality.  The monks start their days at 3:15am and have worship 7 times a day.  They are very self-sufficient and even sew their own clothes.  The monks make and sell fruitcakes 6 days a week and they ship these fruitcakes around the world.  This is their 25th year of making fruitcakes, but when I was a child, they made blocks.  The Abbey offers a quiet retreat for contemplation and prayer. 

 We also stopped at the creek on Abbey property and enjoyed the beauty and quiet.  However, when I saw their posted signs, I think they need to sell these signs too. 

Finally, we headed to Rockbridge Trout Ranch for the afternoon.  This is one of my favorite places, but I've never brought any of our kids here with me so now my getaway is no longer a secret.  The Grist Mill is a great place to soak up the great views and enjoy some beverages (and per Grace's request....free internet).  The temperature was only 70 degrees with a light breeze so it was a perfect day for this outing.    It was a great day to runaway!  I'm glad Grace thought of it.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Summer Days in the Country

"What do you do at the farm?"

 So many people have asked me this question and they assume that our "city" kids must be bored.  However, so far except for a few rainy days, the kids have been delighted with country living....the creek, catching critters, visiting Cousin Carl's farm, playing casting games with the fishing pole, going to town to Ava Drug, and building tents inside the house are their favorite activities so far. 

Ava Drug's Soda Fountain is a favorite treat.

David and Vanessa with a critter.

We still have lots to do and we are quickly running out of Summer Days to fit it all into on this visit.  The kids seem to think that this might be a good place to visit every Summer so maybe we'll just take another walk and save some of the other activities for next Summer.