EJOY-EVELYN   221,997
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EJOY-EVELYN's Recent Blog Entries

Fall 5% Challenge . . . it’s a wrap!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My very first 5% challenge that began in the Fall of 2010, was the start of a great impetus to lose the last half of my desired weight loss. Thank you, Ceri, for introducing me to such a great group of people. When I look through my Spark friends, I’m amazed at how many of my friends cross over into so many of the 5% teams of the challenge. Regardless of what team you’re on, Spark people rejoice in each other’s joy, are saddened when we fine a friend in mourning, and tend to offer a kick, nudge or other appropriate form of encouragement to help us and our friends become the best we can be. I’m in awe of the incredible strength of knowledge we have to offer each other. Thank you, my friends!

Here’s an update on the goals I set for myself for the Fall challenge:

emoticon Maintain a healthy BMI (130-174) within 2-lb of goal
Goal weight with 100 lbs lost = 161.2 with a 23.1 BMI
Beginning challenge weight = 158.4 with a 22.7 BMI
Ending challenge weight = 156.6 with a 22.4 BMI

emoticon Track fitness daily

emoticon 70 minutes of daily cardio/strength training (average = 126 minutes)

emoticon Track food daily (with lots of favorites, groupings and recipes, this continues to get easier.)

emoticon Eat six or more servings of freggies daily (my average is about a dozen freggies (fruit and veggies) daily. During the week where freggies were the Living The Good Life, I averaged 28 freggies daily. WooHoo! I love a great personal challenge. )

emoticon Drink at least 12 cups of water daily (this is so easy with my natural thirst for water and I averaged 19.5 cups daily, while average nearly 22 cups during the Week One Living The Good Life water challenge.)

emoticon Satisfy 4-7 recommended levels of: calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, calcium, and sodium daily (there were a few days where I barely made four levels. Whew! Whenever possible, staying within the calorie range in the one I may have exceeded on one or two days.)

emoticon Sleep 7-9 hours a night six days a week

emoticon Earn 75% (or more) in Living The Good Life weekly challenges (while a percentage is not an appropriate measure, I only missed getting the maximum points one or possibly two days and went hog wild on the water, fiber, and freggies.)

emoticon Spend at least 15 minutes daily in the study of God’s word

emoticon Do something fun at least three times a week (I can’t help but find beauty around me in nature or in relationship with others: whether it be visiting Amnicon Falls earlier this month or celebrating the joy of Thanksgiving poolside with husband at his cousin’s condo assn)

emoticon Knit one prayer shawl (I completed two prayer shawls (Charcoal and Strawberry Pink Parfait) during this challenge and today have begun another. It’s not very often I get to make a prayer shawl with the owner in mind before beginning it: It adds a wonderful new depth to the making of it.)

I’m so thrilled with making Michael’s Black Friday yarn sale, which this year took place on the evening of Thanksgiving Day. Being in a warmer climate for a bit helps me get a better selection, as fewer people resort to the warmer skills sets in paradise. I’m happy to pay half price for 64 skeins of Homespun yarn . . . saving me over a hundred dollars. This should keep me busy for the next year or so making 16 prayer shawls and two smaller projects (perhaps lap robes).

In Summary
If I could change anything in my goals, it would be in the level of finding the BALANCE needed in all things. I don’t mind that I get a little “wacky” during some of our weekly challenges, as I know it is only temporary (and it’s fun!): It ultimately teaches us ways of better incorporating our healthy living habits . . . something that over the long haul requires balance. Through proper balance, my JOY (as chosen at myoneword.org) is also made complete. (John 16:24).

Through the study of God’s word (Matt 37-39), I learn that my faith life is a relationship within three key areas: With God, with my neighbor, and with myself. Very often, we allow ourselves to only hear about God and neighbor (about giving sacrificially). We cannot neglect ourselves! (John 10:10). Yet, in all things, we must glorify God (Col 3:17 and 1 Pet 4:11). Within the Spark Community, we learn to take care of God’s creation (ourselves) with the respect we deserve. For the time I spend here (as long as it is not in excess) I have no regret.

Are you taking the time you need to properly take care of yourself and meet your goals? The fact that you’re even here -- I hope -- means a wholeheartedly, YES!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKYCARLEY 12/5/2011 5:42PM

    I love how organized your thoughts are; at how you know specifically what your goals are. I seem to have lost that. You are a motivator. Thanks! Hugs.

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SVELTEWARRIOR 11/27/2011 8:46PM

    An inspiration as usual!!

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MJ7DM33 11/27/2011 7:19PM

  Great blog! emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 11/27/2011 9:39AM

    excellent blog, have read it 2 times.

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ZIPCONTROL 11/27/2011 7:20AM

  You are always such an inspiration ! Those are beautiful pics. Love your vivacity and vibrance. emoticon

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TEDDYBEARTEAM 11/26/2011 8:48PM

    Way to go Evelyn!! Keep up the awesome effort in support of our Teddy Bear team and for your health as well!!! Great job! Smiles Barb

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LOTUSBURGER 11/26/2011 7:44PM

    Looking GREAT!!
Love your thoughts on how it's helped.
I'm looking forward to the winter 5%!

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ESILBO 11/26/2011 7:12PM


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THETURTLEBEAR 11/26/2011 6:38PM

    Not wacky - energized! Meanwhile, love the pics, but the one by the waterfall is my favorite. I will join you in maintenance when we start Saturday. I know I can lose the last pound this week.

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HEALTHYSLIM2 11/26/2011 6:33PM

    Inspiring. Thanks for being just who you are and for sharing your JOY!
emoticon emoticon

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MOMFAN 11/26/2011 6:25PM

    What a great blog, thanks for sharing, congrats on meeting your goals!

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PCOH051610 11/26/2011 3:06PM

    You did so very well and I am very inspired by your dedication!

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MRS.PRINCIPAL 11/26/2011 2:41PM

    emoticon on meeting ALL of the goals you set for the Fall 5% challenge! Your prayer shawls are beautiful! What a great deal on yarn, now storing it is the other problem (I have a yarn storage problem too, as I buy a lot of yarn as it goes on sale). Way to keep motivating your teddy bear teams with your continued weightloss and showing such a great example in your fitness min and LTGL challenges! I am lucky to have such a positive friend as you.

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CROOKEDLETTER 11/26/2011 2:39PM

    Loved reading your recap of Fall 5%. And love the picture of you smiling beside your handwork.

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VISUALLYRICS 11/26/2011 2:34PM

    It is truly amazing to me that we have so much in common....every & I mean every goal you met I did too. I haven't met anyone who LOVE veggies/fruit like I do..or savors a good night's rest...and makes time for Jesus daily. I have upped my fitness so much in the past 3 months...which makes life more FUN!!

If it's Gym time, tennis with family or my new found plateau breaker - running - it ALL results in Energy!!

I too look for beauty in people....never been disappointed yet. emoticon

( ( Congratulations on meeting your goals!! ) )

God Bless you!!! What a rich life you live...God has blessed you so much! ~ Laura

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MAGGIE805 11/26/2011 2:32PM

    emoticon, Evelyn!!! You are an inspiration and great asset to Team Teddy. Well done, my friend.

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It’s been a delightful “Freggie” Week!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My 5% SparkTeam Challenge encouraged the teams (I’m a Teddy Bear) to a week of freggies (fruits and veggies). I made it my personal best averaging 28 freggie servings over seven days by ending on my highest ever note of 43 freggie servings while remaining within my calorie, protein, and carbohydrate recommendations. WooHoo! Speaking of protein, I seem to be doing much better reaching the 60 grams daily while in maintenance mode. During this week's 5% challenge, I do not count my legumes or beans as veggie servings.

In combination with my team “Inspired and Challenged by Joyce Meyer,” we strive to celebrate and eat new foods and recipes. Combine the two challenges, and it’s a lot of good eating for me:

1 – I found myself at the grocery store adding Brussels sprouts to a couple of my dishes. I’m not that crazy about the shape, so I shred it and make a delightful stir fry with black mustard seeds, onions, chilies, and light curry spices.

2 – I developed a black mushroom (vegetarian) Pho (Vietnamese Rice Noodle soup) that filled a large serving bowl with 14 freggies.

3 – Acorn squash was one of my recommended freggies for the week. This was an easy one to enjoy for two days.

4 – I discovered that my homemade yogurt curry (just a half serving – 4 oz) that I normally serve with steamed broccoli, cauliflower, or cashews, is also terrific when combined with three cups of beet greens with some sautéed onion. I liken this recipe to hollandaise sauce (made light and nutritious). Beets were a tremendous sale this week and nothing went to waste: I even fixed the stems of the beet greens for eating. What a great way to enjoy 4 freggies in one side dish. The first above dish with tomatoes, beet stems and pineapple represents a 10-freggie breakfast! Another day I enjoyed a beet greens breakfast with apples.

5 – This same yogurt curry went beautifully with 8 cups of shredded romaine. What a treat to up my good foods. I don’t ever recall cooking with romaine before and got the idea from dining with one of my Nepali friends who happened to stir fry some shredded romaine as a side veggie. While I intended to save half the recipe for another day, I had to go back and finish it. Yum!

6 – I have also enjoyed pomegranates this week . . . something I haven’t had for a few months.

7 – I have been enjoying a home-made pizza using the Flat Out Bread and used this week to tweak it a bit so each pizza (6 slices) contains 7 freggie servings (1 marinara sauce, 1 onion, 3 portabella mushrooms, and 2 red peppers). The center pieces definitely need a fork, Oops . . . I took a bite out before taking the photo. 8-))

Enough with the freggies! I’m now going to settle back to trying to get more like the 8-10 fruits and veggies I might normally get in any given day.

Have you been creative with your freggies?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKYCARLEY 11/15/2011 6:53PM

    Wow... until yesterday I had never heard the word 'freggie' before... now here it is again. Twice in as many days! lol

Your food always looks so wonderful. It makes me hungry.

And brussel sprouts... another God Stop moment for me today. I just got some myself today, and a new recipe with it. I had only ever eaten them boiled before, but this recipe that I got to taste test was really tasty. God seems to be promoting the sprouts to me today. :-)

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PATTYCAKE17 11/15/2011 11:54AM

    It all looks so delicious!! Where can I get the yogurt curry recipe? Freggies are where it's at!! emoticon

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SVELTEWARRIOR 11/14/2011 11:26AM

    Wow that looks so DELISH!!!

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MISSFORTE 11/14/2011 9:20AM

    Holy Cow all these look awesome

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CGDINASIA 11/14/2011 8:10AM

    WOW!!! You did an awesome job with your "freggies"! Congratulations.

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JUGE300000 11/13/2011 9:11AM


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YIWEN39 11/12/2011 8:24PM

    Your dishes all look so yummy, it's great ;-) I love veggies but I think you're right, maybe it's time to get a bit creative :-)
Feel free to share your recipes ;-)
Have a great day!
Eve emoticon

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IMIN2GENES 11/12/2011 7:24PM

    Yum! You so rock when it comes to the freggie challenge. Want to come cook for me? LOL!

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THETURTLEBEAR 11/12/2011 7:20PM

    You have the prettiest food!

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READYBETTY 11/12/2011 6:05PM

    Looks good and I bet it tasted even better.

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LISAINMS 11/12/2011 5:59PM

    Hi, I saw this on my feed and was interested in your freggies for the week. Your food looks yummy! I'm wondering how you count your freggies because we (Daisies) were instructed to count as standard half cup servings. It seems perhaps you are counting the number of freggies in the dish rather than the quantity. I make Flat Out pizzas too and I know it wouldn't hold 3-1/2 cups of freggies so I was wondering if you had 7 different freggies on there and that's what you counted. Your pizza looks delicious!

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THECRAZYMANGO 11/12/2011 4:07PM

    That's it! I am eating at your house from now on! emoticon

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MAGGIE805 11/12/2011 3:25PM

    Yum! It all looks delish. emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 11/12/2011 2:51PM

    You have made some excellent food choices

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SEWINGMAMACDS 11/12/2011 2:26PM


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CROOKEDLETTER 11/12/2011 2:22PM

    Holy Frijoles that's a heck of a lot of freggies!

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MRS.PRINCIPAL 11/12/2011 2:20PM

    If my freggies looked like this, I would eat 28 too! Way to go. What a great way to be creative with your food, looks super yummy!

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    Your food looks delicious! I'm adding you as a Spark Friend!


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PANSYLADY2 11/12/2011 12:42PM

    I Love Love Love the pictorial record of your journey. Thanks for sharing your artistry and good looking food with us.

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4MRSDAND123 11/12/2011 12:09PM

    YUM, YUM...! Reading your blog and looking at these pictures is making me hungry for MORE freggies. Good going! You are one creative cook!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MPENNE 11/12/2011 11:24AM

    Amazing photos. Makes me hungry for freggies. Thanks for sharing. I'm bookmarking this blog.

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VPOPPY01 11/12/2011 11:08AM

    emoticon Awesome job with the freggies!! I always think it's going to be much harder than it is to get my freggies in, but when I put a little effort into it, I'm amazed how much I can get in! That Pho looks amazing---I love Pho emoticon emoticon

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VISUALLYRICS 11/12/2011 10:52AM

    What Yummy & Inspiring Blog!!!! emoticon
My mouth waters....I too LOVE freggies, and my avg consumption during the 5 5 Challenge was 8/day.
I must linger here on your blog and borow some of your ideas...esp the ideas of not wasting any part of the veggie! just brilliant!

Thanks!! emoticon ~ Laura

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Gift of Love Ministry through Prayer Shawls . . .

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Love does not boast (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). I do not write this for the purpose of boasting, but to share with so many of you my labor of love in one of the ways I serve others through Christ. Several of my Spark Friends have asked me about the prayer shawls I make, so I thought this might be a good opportunity to devote one of my blogs to this topic of service.

Personal Responsibility (Part of my Spark Goals)
I believe we have a responsibility, as God’s children, to be “giving” people (2 Corinthians 9:7). The greatest command God gives us is to LOVE (Matthew 22:37-39) . . . to love God and to love others. I see faith as being an active verb. My faith must be vibrantly alive . . . a lot like the joy I experience as I celebrate life. One of the ways I celebrate the gifts I have in God is to serve in God’s ministries to the world whether I’m living in the Great Lakes Northland or SW Florida Gulf region.

About the time I was preparing for retirement, I made up my mind to join my church’s prayer shawl ministry hoping to make one prayer shawl a month. Each prayer shawl represents about 30 hours of labor (depending on how many times I pick up and start) and I was blessed to be able to complete 24 prayer shawls to my church during the first year. I’m more in line with completing one a month again. Recently, I selected yarn for making a pink-toned prayer shawl for Heide, whose family is now being affected by her diagnosis of breast cancer in Florida:

Most prayer shawls run about 30” wide and 5.5-6.5’ long. They typically serve as a shawl around the shoulders, skinny afghan when lounging on the sofa, or to keep ones legs warm when doubled (something that might serve well for someone in a wheel chair). Here’s the one completed in parfait (pink tones) with my Boyds Bear “Sparky” at rest:

The Pattern:
My friend Florence taught me the Trinity pattern . . . so named for God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The trinity pattern is a combination of K1 (K1, P1, K1 in one stitch then P3 together) repeating these four stitches with a K1 at the end. I cast on 78. Every other row is simply pearling (P78). Then it's doing these four stiches in reverse after beginning and ending with a K1 (P3, then K1, P1, K1 in one stitch). I've done so many shawls now that I no longer have to keep track of which sequence I'm doing. Sorry, but I’m not a professional pattern writer. People use different patterns and some crochet. You could probably Google: “prayer shawl patterns" for a variety of instructions. Most craft stores even have books on showing a variety of prayer shawls. In essence, I’m doing a popcorn stitch. I am also often in prayer while knitting. For example, while beginning the Trinity stitch I'm able to K1 (saying, “in the name of the Father”) P1 (saying, “Son”) K1 (saying, “and Holy Spirit”), P3 together (repeating a series of small breath prayers such as “Heal Heide’s Breast Cancer . . . Heal Carol's eyes . . . Heal Shin-Ping's Brain Tumor . . . Heal my Dad's back . . . Heal this family . . . may this family yearn for the word of God . . . may this family know your great love for them . . . may this person or family grow in the Fruit of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control, etc, etc). It’s become a glorious time to spend in prayer with my Creator. God answers all our prayers and I believe that the direct healing of my friend’s brain tumor is in direct response to the many people who have laid hands on her and prayed for her.

Our church has sponsors and memorials to a fund that allow us to buy new supplies of yarn (Lion Brand Homespun) and size 13 knitting needles (I prefer the quieter and warmer bamboo needles). I buy most of my yarn, carefully matching die lot numbers while on sale, using the 40% or 50% off coupons at the neighborhood craft store and buying in mass on the Thursday or Friday of Thanksgiving). I have more than enough yarn now to complete more than a dozen shawls or lap robes.

Community of believers:
My northland prayer shawl ministry meets one Tuesday evening a month at church, as well as one Saturday a month often at someone’s home. We bring our prayer needs together and pray together.

While in Florida, I attend the weekly Tuesday prayer group meeting to continue my work on prayer shawls. In order to “pray continually”, as told to us by the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, I like to think of prayer as an ongoing dialog with God without the physical restrictions we often place on it when in worship or more usual prayer (ie hands in the air in adoration or done when we bow, fold our hands, and close our eyes). These gatherings have also become an opportunity to break bread together or write get well wishes through cards along with the sharing of devotion, prayer, and bible verses.

Here I get to enjoy the lanai and back yard while knitting a couple of trinity-stitch lap robes for my Florida church:

Here’s a group of us knit at a Saturday brunch at Karin’s home:

Prayer Shawls are returned to the Community:
Once a month, the completed prayer shawls are hung on the communion/alter railings and prayed for during the worship service before being commissioned to represent our prayers for the person or family they are then later given to. These prayer shawls are primarily made for people in their time of suffering or at a time when these prayers can be enjoyed. One of my recent prayer shawls below (done in waterfall blues) went to one of my best friends who chronically suffers with Lupis and now carries a portable oxygen tank:

It’s a wrap:
Not only does my faith walk encourage service, but my college alma mater where I continue to serve as World Student Association Liaison, places a large emphasis on civic responsibility within our communities. I am so blessed by the many people and a loving Lord who have encouraged me and helped me choose joy when times get a little tough. Thank you for investing the time you just gave me to reading this blog. I am most grateful.

Here’s a prayer shawl made while traveling and visiting northern India in June of 2010 . . . a shawl I left with my dear host family.

I hope you find opportunities to give of yourself to your friends, loved ones, and communities. You may touch people in ways you never gave much thought to . . . through your support and encouragement, that smile you offer, or that prayer you pray.

I’m so glad we have a God who wonderfully and fearfully made us (Psalm 139:14). It is only through God that we can learn what the fullness of love is through God’s love for his children. God is love! (1 John 3:1)

“Every time you feel like doing the wrong thing and you choose to do the right thing you are growing and God is smiling!” – Joyce Meyer

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For those of you who receive a prayer shawl, know that your church family continues to pray for you. From the Amplified Bible, Numbers 6:24-26: “The Lord bless you and watch, guard, and keep you;(25) The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you; (26) The Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).” -- Amen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETLIPS 1/17/2012 5:44PM

    What a beautiful testimony and tribute. I am incredibky blessed by reading this - Thank you so much. I have to print this off.

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RONDINI2 1/14/2012 8:40AM

    Evelyn,these are so beautiful. I was shopping with my Mother in a craft store and seen the books on Prayer Shawls..I felt such a joy and love for this ministry as I looked through the books but never picked one up to try. Insecure in my ability to try & complete one. So I passed this blessing by. I've been searching for something to do with my evenings at home and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to spend time with God and give back the same way you are doing. After seeing your blog I really want to start and try this to..It is a glorious way to spread God's love and bless people. You are a beautiful example of that..Thank you and I look forward to reading more.
God bless you and I hope we can be friends..You have truely inspired me and filled my heart with joy... emoticon

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PAMAPPLE 11/6/2011 8:01PM

    I admire people who can use their knitting and sewing talents to serve the Lord and minister to those in need. God Bless You , my friend:) emoticon

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SPARKYCARLEY 10/25/2011 7:54PM

    Wow... what an awesome ministry! They are beautiful, just like you. You have a wonderful talent and gift to give in so many ways. Keep up the good work. You are indeed blessings others.


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HEALTHYBARB1 10/24/2011 3:07PM

    Evelyn- What a blessing to me that you share this special blog!! I have been at home with autoimmune issues and blessed to have the opportunity to spend time praying for those with needs in my church body and friend circles. I have never seen a prayer shawl ministry before in my area and love to crochet. I will be visiting the sight online that you shared to look for crochet patterns. I can see myself enjoying serving in this way. I will probably start doing one and see who the Lord leads me to give it to. Love to hear about a way that prayer is touching lives! Thanks for sharing!!! Smiles Barb

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IMIN2GENES 10/24/2011 2:13PM

    How wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing this story about your wonderful work. Each of those show clearly what a labor of love went into them.

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NEVERORNOW 10/23/2011 9:25PM

    These are beautiful! I've crocheted a lot of prayer shawls over the years and loved reading about your work. It's a awesome way of serving the Lord and giving to those He brings into our lives to bless. Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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4MRSDAND123 10/23/2011 3:33PM

    What a beautiful way to show God's love.


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THECRAZYMANGO 10/23/2011 10:30AM

    They are beautiful, just like you are! What a great feeling to be helping people! You have such a huge heart!

Comment edited on: 10/23/2011 10:31:20 AM

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VISUALLYRICS 10/23/2011 9:10AM

    Oh Evelyn! What a colorful display of Abba's Love for humanity! I am so touched by your obvious Love for Him and people! JOY is one of my favorite words too!
....that waterfall blues prayer shawl is breathtaking!
emoticonfor giving to others for being faithful... You took the words out of mouth when you spoke of Love & Faith being actions. Absolutely!

"Thank You Jesus for ministering to us and using us to minister Your Great Love to others that they might place their Faith in You and trust in You as their Savoir. Amen."

much love sister ~ Laura

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READYBETTY 10/23/2011 8:55AM

    The prayer shawls are beautiful! Thanks for sharing this ministry with us.

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CROOKEDLETTER 10/23/2011 8:22AM

    Lovely shawls and lovely service!

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YIWEN39 10/23/2011 6:55AM

    What a great way to give and share! Inspiring, thank you :-)
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MRS.PRINCIPAL 10/23/2011 6:46AM

    What a great way to have "me time" for this week's living the good life challenge! Your prayer shawls are beautiful!!! Such stunning colors, and they look so warm and comforting. I remember the first time I learned about dye lots....of course it came after the blanket I was making didn't match when I was done and looking at it in the sunlight....
As a crocheter, I can appreciate all the time and effort you put into these beautiful shawls. (especially since I know that knitting takes longer than crocheting). What a beautiful way to service others and honor our Lord. The time you get to spend with others making these is also a wonderful way to spend time in fellowship with others. Thanks for sharing your beautiful shawl photos.

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ESILBO 10/23/2011 12:22AM


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SVELTEWARRIOR 10/23/2011 12:09AM

    What a beautiful thing to do. You are a wonderful person. They shawls are gorgeous!

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THETURTLEBEAR 10/22/2011 11:58PM

    So beautiful - the shawls, the thoughts, and you!

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Blessed by Fellow Sparkers! . . . and a 5K Lupus Walk/Run for Hope!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Back in September, I had the opportunity to join TheCrazyMango thanks to our regional connections in the area. SparkPeople is a major influence in our lives, in that we have both lost 100 lbs. WooHoo! We celebrated with conversation, entertainment and dinner at the new Japanese Hibachi steakhouse in the area.

Today, I walked a 5K, met up with THECRAZYMANGO a second time, and met another new Sparker, VPOPPY01, up from the Twin Cities area having lost about fifty (50) lbs! They both share their before and after photos online, so I just couldn’t resist sharing them here. I’m so proud of them!

The 5K went so fast, too! And the walk along Lake Superior is truly incredible! Turns out I walked 3.1 miles in 45 minutes.

I used to walk four miles every morning for about a year or two with a couple of my partner’s classmates . . . at that time, we were walking four miles an hour at the local mall (or neighborhood, in the summertime) Mon-Fri. For health reasons, I had to begin slowing my pace, so I began taking the more scenic route to my walking, while both smelling the roses and taking a few photographs.

Here’s our 5K SparkPeople Group photo:

I didn’t think I ever had it in me to walk another 15-minute mile again, so to walk an average of a 14.5 minute mile is quite an accomplishment. WooHoo! It has so reenergized me!

Hope you’re having a great weekend and ready to meet your October goals!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMAPPLE 10/21/2011 5:22PM

    What a wonderful accomplishment! Pushing ourselves aerobically sometimes really boosts our energy levels:)

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LOTUSBURGER 10/8/2011 1:38AM

    Thats GREAT love the Before and After photos

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MADMARE 10/4/2011 4:53PM

    Congratulations to th ethree of you. Your success motivates me. Thanks for the post. emoticon

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MAGGIE805 10/3/2011 11:58AM

    Congratulations and well done, Evelyn! What an amazing achievement and I am so proud of you. emoticon

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MJ7DM33 10/2/2011 3:16PM


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HAPPYSOUL91 10/2/2011 10:55AM

    emoticon you did a 15 minute mile, that is very impressive!

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ZIPCONTROL 10/2/2011 3:09AM

  Oh... that is so lucky..to meet with other sparkers ! Awesome !

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READYBETTY 10/2/2011 12:32AM

    What an accomplishment! It is great to have friends to share it with, too.

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THETURTLEBEAR 10/1/2011 10:39PM

    What a fabulous accomplishment!

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MYLADY4 10/1/2011 9:38PM

    Whoohoo. It was a beautiful day in WI for a race.

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THECRAZYMANGO 10/1/2011 9:19PM

    It was AWESOME seeing you today! emoticon

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HEALTHYBARB1 10/1/2011 8:15PM

    Hope and 5K on the same shirt makes me smile!!! Getting healthy and helping others with their healthy just seems to go together and definitely gives HOPE!! Thanks for sharing. Wonderful that you could get together with other sparkbuddies! Love the pictures!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BOOMAC1961 10/1/2011 8:14PM

    Awesome job on your 5K, GREAT time! Thanks so much for sharing your pictures, you are all inspirations! emoticon

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VPOPPY01 10/1/2011 7:38PM

    A big emoticon on making a 15 minute mile! It's so great when we have progress like that to keep us going! It was so good to meet you and hear your story! People like you are such great motivators for people like me!

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VICTORIA_THOMAS 10/1/2011 7:12PM

    Congrats on your 5k! Also, thank you for supporting that race! I have had Lupus for 3 years and I'm so glad that great people such as yourself support the cause in helping to find a cure!

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MRS.PRINCIPAL 10/1/2011 6:30PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
You have done an awesome job on your 5K! Way to go! I know you were feeling under the weather this week, so this time is really impressive. Glad you got to meet some spark friends, that must have made the walk really fun!

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    Wonderful!! Great time on the 5k too!

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ESILBO 10/1/2011 5:46PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon YOU ARE GREAT, THANKS FOR THE PICS...


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YIWEN39 10/1/2011 5:32PM

    emoticon emoticon on your great 5K, that's an emoticon time!
And thanks for sharing all those pics with us, always happy to "meet" new Sparkies :-) Great that you had a fun and happy time together :-)
I wish you a fantastic October :-)
Eve emoticon

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VISUALLYRICS 10/1/2011 4:19PM

    Wow!! emoticon on your 5K!! Great time!
emoticon emoticon I celebrate this personal victory with YOU!! emoticon

Happy October ~ Laura

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NEWMAC2011 10/1/2011 4:03PM

    Way to go on the 5k! You all look fantastic and are an inspiration to us all.

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4MRSDAND123 10/1/2011 4:01PM

    emoticon on your 5K! You did GREAT!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon for sharing your pictures!

Comment edited on: 10/1/2011 4:01:47 PM

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Why am I in the Fall 5% Challenge?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The actual question in our 5% Pre-Challenge #3 is, “Why do you want to lose weight?” You might say I'm becoming a regular at this: This is my fifth challenge. Just as I began the Summer Challenge, on July 16, I lost my last three pounds and reached my 100-lb weight loss goal, making my last 5% Challenge my first challenge in maintenance mode.

This list is intentionally not prioritized. My reasons for having made this weight loss journey are as follows.

1) SparkPeople is EMPOWERING! Because I can! So many people proclaimed from the rooftops that, “After you turn 50, losing this much weight just isn't either feasible or possible.” Sounds like a good challenge to me! I know I can do this, but I chose to do it s-l-o-w in an attempt to help me KEEP it off. I do believe this was a wise strategy.

2) SparkPeople BREAKS BARRIERS! With early retirement around the corner, I want to be able to travel to some of the countries so many of my friends, former classmates, and school colleagues call home: Japan, Peru, and China (loves that began when I attended college in the 70’s), Taiwan, Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal (most recent university graduates, many of whom are working in this country or attending graduate school).

3) SparkPeople MOTIVATES! One of my biggest motivators was this mentality: The last thing I want to hear overseas are these words, “Look at that fat American, over there!” Let’s face it, America has become the face of obesity. I always dreamed I might perform Tai Chi in a public park in China. May 31, 2006 was the start of this journey.

4) SparkPeople INSPIRES! I want to improve my health. In the past five years, I've put the 3-pronged cane back in the closet, disconnected the sleep apnea machine, lessened the acid blocker prescribe me (in half), and lowered my heart meds to a half minimum dose. Big WooHoo!

5) SparkPeople is INCLUSIVE! I must take responsibility for a body which I ultimately believe belongs to the God of my living faith. This body is the foundation for sharing my worship, praise, and thanksgiving. I cannot do this very well as a morbidly obese person. Now is the time to be able to do, with much more ease, that which God has planned for me to do.

6) SparkPeople is INTOXICATING! Consider this yet another way of saying I’m addicted to healthy living! I love all the great SparkPoints earned for life-long learning and being active. During our last challenge, THETURTLEBEAR said it best in her blog entitled, “I discovered the dirty little secret about the 5% Challenge.” She writes, “This challenge has nothing to do with losing weight. The 5% Challenge is all about changing old habits and instilling new, healthier strategies for our lives going forward.” You may read her entire blog at:

7) SparkPeople releases CREATIVITY. One of my hobbies is photography . . . amateur photography. When I blog, I enjoy incorporating some of my creativity in taking awe-inspiring (au naturale) photographs. Last Thursday, I spent the day with my father and enjoyed taking him to Bayfield to enjoy the lakefront of Lake Superior.

8) SparkPeople builds HEALTHY HABITS. I'm excited to grow a level of fitness that I've been missing all my life, further develop my intimate relationship with God, and eat nutritionally sound meals.

9) SparkPeople REDEFINES US. Here’s my sometimes secret confession, I don't recognize myself as either of the before and after people that have become my personal testimony. All too often, I still consider myself fat. I really need to change this mind set. This 5% Challenge and my SparkFriends will hopefully help me put my mind set in perspective.

In 2006:


I've pretty much been fat or obese all my life with the exception of a brief time in the mid 70’s. It’s time for a reality check and I’m hoping this 5% challenge and monthly fitness minutes done in primarily maintenance mode is just what the doctor ordered!

I look forward to reading about your reasons for losing or maintaining weight. Let's all rock in making this the best challenge ever!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARIA_VIGS 9/22/2011 11:52AM

    Fantastic blog! Your transformation is inspiring. Cheers to your first challenge in maintenance mode!

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GLORYANDME 9/22/2011 11:10AM

    Thank you so much for posting this blog . . . It has truly inspired me. The healthy life changes you have made are so evidenced by your photos! Great job! Love the happy pic of you and your dad. See you in the Fall challenge!

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    You are making such good progress. Your reasons are inspiring.
This is my first time with the 5% challenge and the Celebrate Your Life challenge. I've been pondering what my blog will be for this assignment. It was interesting to read your blog.

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SPARKYCARLEY 9/20/2011 4:23PM

    Great blog! You are a one woman cheer leading squad for SP.


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THECRAZYMANGO 9/20/2011 12:22PM

    LOVE the blog! Thanks for writing it! emoticon

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NINJA-NED 9/20/2011 9:28AM

    you are a beautiful person.

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SVELTEWARRIOR 9/19/2011 8:28PM

    Terrific blog!

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HAPPYSOUL91 9/19/2011 5:02PM

    Very inspiring and really got me thinking about the challenge. By the way....go butterfies


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    Inspiring and looking AMAZING!! Congrats to you!! Let's Go TEDDY BEARS!!!

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MOMFAN 9/19/2011 1:13PM


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WELLNESSME09 9/19/2011 12:58PM

    You are inspiring and an amazing lady. I love reading your blogs and enjoy your photography. You have come a long ways, you should be proud!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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READYBETTY 9/19/2011 12:20PM

    You are such an inspiration!

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KATHYKIM 9/19/2011 9:29AM


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MRS.PRINCIPAL 9/19/2011 6:09AM

    These are wonderful reasons to be in the 5% challenge! Love your enthusiasm, so glad you are a teddy bear! That picture of you and your dad hugging is priceless! Ready to ROCK with you Teddy Bear!

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ZIPCONTROL 9/19/2011 3:02AM

  You are just soo inspirational !! Glad to be a Teddy Bear with you !
You just look so radiant and have just the perfect mind set. Hope to see you soon in my part of the world. Looking forward to walking around with you .

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YIWEN39 9/19/2011 2:46AM

    Great great blog, I love it :-)
Welcome to China if you want to visit :-)
emoticon emoticon

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IHAIDEN 9/19/2011 1:46AM

    Well said! emoticon

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ESILBO 9/18/2011 11:32PM


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1COUNTRY_GAL 9/18/2011 11:21PM

    You look marvelous sensational and beautiful, emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonDiana

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NEWMAC2011 9/18/2011 10:59PM

    You look fantastic! I always am awed when I see your fitness minutes posted on the team challenge. Great blog and looking forward to being on the Teddy Bear team with you again!

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PANSYLADY2 9/18/2011 10:28PM

    Thank you for writing on the "whys" and "wherefores"!! It is an inspiriting journey and one that I admire. I have about 120 pounds to lose, and after almost two years am ALMOST halfway there. Your blog has inspired me to to keep on keeping on, even though I've hit a huge pause/plateau. Bless you!

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4MRSDAND123 9/18/2011 10:23PM

    emoticon blog! Yup, let's ROCK IT! emoticon

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THETURTLEBEAR 9/18/2011 10:05PM

    You have DEFINED it! AWESOME BLOG!!! And you are just the most radiant Teddy Bear I know - love those pics!

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