EJOY-EVELYN   230,725
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EJOY-EVELYN's Recent Blog Entries

The 5% Winter Challenge: It’s a wrap!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Here were my goals for the 5% Winter Challenge:

emoticon 1) Maintain a healthy BMI (130-174) by maintaining my goal of 161 lbs.
emoticon 2) Track fitness daily.
emoticon 3) Average 70 minutes (or more) of daily cardio and strength training.
emoticon 4) Track food daily.
emoticon 5) Eat six or more servings of freggies daily.
emoticon 6) Drink at least 12 cups of water daily.
emoticon 7) Satisfy 4-7 recommended levels of: calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, calcium, and sodium daily.
emoticon 8) Sleep 7-9 hours a night six days a week.
emoticon 9) Actively participate (6-7 x wk) in Living The Good Life weekly healthy habit challenges.
emoticon 10) Spend at least 15 minutes daily in the study of God’s word.
emoticon 11) Do something fun at least three times a week
emoticon 12) Knit two prayer shawls.

For my next 5% challenge, I will incorporate the above goals into my Fabulous Five goals for Achieving Balance: 1) Faith, 2) Family and Friends, 3) Food, 4) Fitness, and 5) Fun.

Today, I celebrate my SparkFriends! Thank you, thank you, thank you! It means so much to me to know you are an active part of my SparkJourney and living the good life! So many of you bless my SparkPages with your praises, gratitude, and prayer needs. God smiles broadly on you!

It’s so grand when the opportunity comes up where we can break bread with fellow SparkFriends. Yesterday, Savannah (THECRAZYMANGO) and I celebrated the Eve of the Chinese New Year, The Year of the Dragon:



I’d like to leave my SparkFriends with a health tip from today’s Dr Oz show regarding SLEEP. The more sleep deprived you are, the lousier your metabolism is. Dr Oz says, ‘If you do nothing else differently but increase your sleep from 7 hours to 8 hours a night, you could lose up to 14 lbs a year.’ Here’s four suggestions to help improve your sleep:

1) Set your alarm clock to go to sleep (at least 7.5 hours before you have to get up).
2) Supplement your diet with calcium and magnesium.
3) Tame your tummy with antacids (ie silent reflux may be pulling you out of sleep). Take for 7 days 30 minutes before sleep.
4) Sip a combo tea with valerian root and passion flower

Happy New Year, my friends! It’s never too late to write your goals. A future blog I have in my heart to share reflects how we set God-honoring goals.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 1/27/2012 1:34PM

    Congratulations! Just LOOK at all those happy little red "goal met" icons!

Celebrating a great 5% challenge with you! Hard to believe its already over...I like your 5 "F"s and may just adopt them myself, giving credit where credit is due, of course!

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SPARKYCARLEY 1/24/2012 9:19PM

    Sleep was something that I gave up on 20 years ago; until about 6 months ago. My PDOC put me on meds that actually work. Wow... who knew there was such a concept! Anyway, one of the two I'm on also helps me sleep. He lets me play with the dosage (within a small range) and depending on how much I take I get 7-9 hours of straight through sleep! Wow! I'm ready to bow at this mans feet! lol Except I hate sleeping in late in the AM. It makes me feel like I'm lazy and unproductive. I like being a morning person. Problem is I'm also a night hawk. Seems breaking 20 years of bad sleep habits is harder to do than I thought. But I do like getting a full nights sleep for a change!

I love your goals. I really need to get myself that organized and write down my own. You're doing so well. Keep up the good work! Hugs.

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 1/24/2012 12:45PM

    I don't know what I'm doing right these days because nothing has really changed! But for the last week, I've slept like a log for a week and a half, and I've been one to need Melatonin or even Ambien at times! Praise God, whatever it is! emoticon

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CANDOK1260 1/24/2012 12:31PM

    great tips thanks

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TERESA159 1/24/2012 10:39AM

    You listed out your goals and then you met them all! Great determination! Congrats on doing so well.
I love meeting fellow Sparkers!

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ZIPCONTROL 1/24/2012 8:45AM

  You are my hero !! Well done !

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CROOKEDLETTER 1/24/2012 8:15AM

    Congrats on meeting all those goals.

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MAMASUDS 1/24/2012 5:20AM

    Way to go! You have always been such an encouragement to me. Thank you!
I look forward to reading your goal-setting blog.
I saw Dr. Oz on the Today show with his sleep tips. The best thing I have found for my sleep lately is my aerobic class on Monday nights. My fitbit lets me know how much sleep I am actually getting compared to how many times I roll over and get up during the night. Monday nights I sleep sound. After doing 75 minutes of aerobics last night, I slept so soundly that I only rolled over once during the night. Wow! For someone with restless legs that is amazing!
Thankful for you today!

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MOMFAN 1/24/2012 2:56AM

    emoticon

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THECRAZYMANGO 1/23/2012 11:38PM

    Thanks for the great time! I really enjoyed seeing you! So glad we postponed it to Sunday!

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MARTHAWILL 1/23/2012 9:08PM

    Wow- I envy those fitness minutes. Well done Evelyn. Thanks for being the inspiration that you are.
emoticon

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THETURTLEBEAR 1/23/2012 7:22PM

    Thanks Evelyn! I've got that sleep thing nailed down. It's what I do best!
emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 1/23/2012 7:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GLORYANDME 1/23/2012 7:06PM

    Wow you and Savannah look marvelous! How fun to meet up with a spark friend! So glad that I have had the pleasure of being on team teddy with you . . . you set the bar high with your minutes! emoticon emoticon

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MRS.PRINCIPAL 1/23/2012 6:48PM

    You have continued to ROCK and set a great example for the Teddy Bear team! So glad to share another 5% challenge with you. You continue to motivate me with your ability to get in so many daily fitness min and meet so many daily goals that you consistently track! How wonderful that you are doing so well in maintenance mode! emoticon

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4MRSDAND123 1/23/2012 6:40PM

    emoticon 100% emoticon
P.S. That's a great pix of you and Savannah.
P.S.S. I'm looking forward to your future blogs.

emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/23/2012 6:41:08 PM

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IOWAGRAMMA 1/23/2012 6:21PM

    Wonderful that you have been able to acheive so much! Well done! Jeannie

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VISUALLYRICS 1/23/2012 6:21PM

    Just Look at you - Progress Maker!!! emoticon
How right you are! emoticon si so very vital..... I avg between 7-8 hours/night....Saturday I got 9! I felt emoticon!! I have learned the hard way how important rest is.

I have also learned that staying up too late & still sleeping 8 hours can be harmful.... I tried that one time.... Lol! I stayed up til 1 am ( I was reading a good book/couldn't put it down...) and slept til 9 am the next morning....I dragged through the next day.

Here's to a healthy night's sleep! ~ Laura emoticon

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RUFFIT 1/23/2012 5:59PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ESILBO 1/23/2012 5:50PM

    AWESOME, EVELYN...YOU ARE A MASTER IN WHAT YOU DO...YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION, AS ALWAYS...
LOVE
LISE

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IAFARMERWIFE 1/23/2012 5:27PM

    emoticon

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MISSFORTE 1/23/2012 5:27PM

    Love this , look at you , you were able to check off ALL your goals met! How incredible!

thank you for the sleep tips as I am lucky if I get 4 hours!

Keep going you are great, keep spreading the Spark my friend!

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Achieving Balance . . . Ugly Duckling to Swan

Friday, January 20, 2012

This blog cheerfully concludes a week-long SparkTeam challenge to share an element of my weight-loss journey (now 100+ lbs) with my friends and team mates. I chose to feature how faith, family, friends, food, fitness, and fun play significant roles in my life.

My faith tells me that God doesn’t make mistakes in creation. We are made in his image and he has a unique plan and purpose, as well. For that, I am in awe of the beautiful diversity that surrounds me.



For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

What we do with that which God created is another story. Caution: Some of you will not understand this poor thinking of mine, while I suspect many of you will. I must confess that I have been overwhelmed by some of the beautiful compliments I have heard from people. You have truly touched my heart with your loving words!

I was such a DORK growing up. My self-image was unbelievably poor: I knew several people in several cliques, but for the most part, I was part of The Outcast Clique. Dork is defined as: American/Canadian slang for a quirky, silly and/or stupid, socially inept person, or one who is out of touch with contemporary trends. Right up to sharing a border with Canada and often wearing the same ole’ school dress many times a week, I often felt I qualified for ALL these definitions. Blah, blah, blah . . . I’ll not bore you further with the sad details. This would probably require years of therapy. Nevertheless, I had “major” self-esteem issues growing up, most likely tied to being overweight 98-99% of my life.







Please, however, do not confuse this incredibly lousy self-image with the joyful, happy, and confident person I am much of the time. In these areas, my living faith have become my best therapy. Regardless of how I look, I know my value within the Kingdom. I can be the proverbial “happy fat person.” My heart and mind have been awakened to that which is truly important, and I learned that who we are should not be tied to how we look (no matter how glamorized the media may promote a particular image).

Through life-long learning, we continue to learn and re-learn what is important in life. No matter what our age, we are forever being influence by the people and research around us. Thank goodness! For example, I once remember a child asking if their passing parakeet would be in heaven and Momma answered, “if you want to see Chippie in heaven, you will most certainly see her.”

Be strong, be focused, and stay the course for healthy living, and your body will say “thank you” over and over again. Do not be discouraged by what one or two weeks on the scale may have to offer you. Here’s my official before and after photo, along with a terrific rainbow that blessed my path as I was leaving Ashland.





God's covenant with Noah: "Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." (Genesis 9:16)

“Beauty really is deeper than what the eye sees.” – JR Martinez (Dancing with the Stars mirror-ball trophy winner of Nov 2011)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMFAN 1/21/2012 8:34PM

    You are an amazing testimony! Thanks for sharing!

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SPARKYCARLEY 1/21/2012 7:43PM

    It's so nice to see that God has changed so much for you from the time you were a kid. It's my story too... I was an outcast, shy, scared, awkward. Now God has changed my heart, and I'm turning into someone that I like, that others like; but mostly someone that He likes. And it feels awesome to be here. I'm looking forward to more growth.

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OLDERDANDRT 1/21/2012 4:51PM

    You are blessed and are such a blessing!!! emoticon

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NORTHWOODSMOM8 1/21/2012 3:20PM

    Oh, Evelyn, WHAT a BEAUTIFUL blog, and a MOST precious, gracious, loving and BE-YOU-tiful friend!!!!! I love you so much!!!!! Huge hugs, Susan

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 1/21/2012 8:38AM

    THis blog is FANTASTIC! Thank you for sharing your heart and your life with others! It is such an inspiration! So glad we're sparkfriends! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ZELLAZM 1/21/2012 8:15AM

    How did I get unsubscribed from your blogs? I'm so glad I "found" this one - thank you for sharing your inspiring story - from a fellow former dork who now knows she's "fearfully and wonderfully made."

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PANSYLADY2 1/21/2012 12:57AM

    An awesome journey! God's grace is evident and His love shines through you. Blessings!

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RONDINI2 1/21/2012 12:01AM

    Absolutely beautiful blog...What an amazing and inspiratinal person you are! Congrats on all you've done...and where you have come...I am always anxious to see whats next...
emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon
Rhonda

Comment edited on: 1/21/2012 12:03:05 AM

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ZUMBAGIRL6 1/20/2012 9:34PM

  You are such an inspiration to all of us!! Congrats on your weight loss success!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THETURTLEBEAR 1/20/2012 8:36PM

    You look beautiful in ALL your pics, my friend! Just different variations! Great message today -
emoticon

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KERLIN26 1/20/2012 7:46PM

  You're amazing!

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MTULLY 1/20/2012 7:39PM

    You are such an inspiration!

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VISUALLYRICS 1/20/2012 7:33PM

    God made a Beauty when He made you! emoticon emoticon

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MRS.PRINCIPAL 1/20/2012 7:26PM

    Yay for dorks who grow up beautiful! (I am a card carrying member of this club!) You have such beauty in your life to celebrate!

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Achieving Balance . . . Day Six

Thursday, January 19, 2012

FAITH: We peeled, cut, made crusts, and assembled apple pies for both a community dinner and fund raiser. Our missions leader here is working the convection oven.



FAMILY: I spent the day with my Dad today. Here we dined at Maggies in Bayfield and enjoyed their Lake Superior Trout (blackened) with rice, black beans, salsa, and a sweet potato fries appetizer.



FRIENDS: My friend taught me how to make Egg Curry. What a treat to get a new Indian recipe. I have entered the recipe at recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=1828283




FOOD: During some of our Living The Good Life challenges, I enjoy getting a little creative. I was craving my potato salad, but since red potatoes didn’t count for the purpose of our freggie (fruits and veggies) challenge I decided to make my own faux potato salad using cauliflower. Potato salad it is not, but I liked it. As told earlier, I’m a fiend for only having original art on my walls . . . the artist that did this painting is a friend who graduated in the Art Therapy graduate program at my alma mater. Here's the link: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=1906543




FITNESS: In addition to the diversity I’ve added this month with two of Coach Nicole’s workouts: Official (online) January Jumpstart Team and the 28-Day BootCamp DVD, I enjoy Tai Chi (Qigong) . . . my favorite VHS version literally died in the VCR (so sad). I now occasionally workout with Francesco and Daisy Garripoli.



FUN: On the way home, I can’t seem to resist the draw of Amnicon Falls, where I can enjoy a piece of God’s great universe. I never seem to tire of the sound of a beautiful waterfall that dynamically changes with the temperatures. Today was 0F and with windchill factors {{burrrr}}, let’s just say I took my coat off for only a minute. What a great creator we have!



“You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it.” (Psalm 65:9)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMFAN 1/21/2012 11:30PM

    You blogs show so much joy!

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LADYBUG1107 1/20/2012 8:30PM

    Great day

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READYBETTY 1/20/2012 8:08PM

    What a lovely day! The picture of your dad is so good. What a great smile he has!

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THETURTLEBEAR 1/20/2012 8:05PM

    That's an interesting idea with the cauliflower. I think I will try that!

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OLDERDANDRT 1/20/2012 11:41AM

    Another great blog! I, too would love to have your recipe for the faux potato salad! I love cauliflower and imagine your recipe would be super yummy!!!
Wow, don't know if I could have taken my coat off just for a pic, but as usual, you look so very chic!! Great top! In a great color, too! emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 1/20/2012 11:03AM

    I just LOVE Your picture blogs! thank you for sharing them! emoticon

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WIZKEY 1/19/2012 11:09PM

    I would love to see your recipe for the faux potato salad. it sounds yummy!!

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VISUALLYRICS 1/19/2012 10:18PM

    What a GREAT emoticon BLOG!!
I love your faux potato dish, and that painting is gorgeous!!!
emoticon for sharing the Egg Curry recipe....how neat! I'm trying it soon.

You, my friend shine with our Maker's Joy!! ~ emoticon Laura

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MRS.PRINCIPAL 1/19/2012 10:14PM

    I can see the joy in your life! Keep it up! You look great in green by the way!

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Achieving Balance . . . Day Five

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

FAITH Yesterday, God’s children shared God’s word, discussed the annual report, and cut mittens for a community in need.



“I needed clothes and you clothed me . . . “(Matt 25:36a)

FAMILY: I’m really pushing my luck in getting my husband to join me for another photo (after our church directory photos yesterday (done only every five years or so). Lately, he’s been wanting a sweat suit and all the ones left at Sam’s Club were 2X, so I went down to Walmart and bought us both suits. He likes! I’m relatively low maintenance when it comes to hair, make-up (I can still march in place putting on eye shadow) and clothes (my average price per piece falls well below $10). My outfit was on the super sale rack: the britches were size 12-14 and the only matching top was an 8-10. It fit! My first size 8! Lovin' the non-scale victory (NSV) -- WooHoo!



FRIENDS: I took this photo while several of my 5% team mates were visiting Ecuador earlier this month. How fun was this catch?



FITNESS: I walked a 14-minute mile for the Lupus 5K this summer joining fellow Sparkers TheCrazyMango and VPoppy:



FOOD: NorthwoodsMom8 introduced me to a slowcooker recipe for peanut clusters that I knew would make the perfect table favor to give my husband’s classmates during our Christmas lunch. They were a hit! And I ended up keeping only a few servings that fit within my nutritional ranges quite nicely: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=1907211




FUN: I love to watch the odometer on the car roll over to all one digit. I just couldn’t resist this lucky 7 number that I earned last week. I should soon be reaching level 19 with only one last trophy remaining. (Happy, happy -- one SparkPoint incentive goes off the table)



Hope you’re having a great Spark Day! WooHoo! -- only two more blogs left in this challenging challenge.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKYCARLEY 1/19/2012 2:14PM

    God's holy number... 7!
Peanut clusters in the slow cooker, huh?! Sounds really yummy! I only ever thought of slow cookers for soup, stew, chili or a roast beef. lol I guess ya learn somethin' new every day!

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NORTHWOODSMOM8 1/18/2012 7:37PM

    I LOVE the picture of your 77,777!!!!!! WOW! EVELYN, you're my hero!!!!!!! {{{{love you, sweetheart!}}}} P.S. Those peanut clusters were a RED flag food for me! YIKES!!!! Good to know for next Christmas! Package 'em up and get 'em OUT!!!!! emoticon

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MRS.PRINCIPAL 1/18/2012 6:50PM

    Cute new sweat suit!Congrats on the size 8! WHOO HOOO! I am betting a 10-12 pants would have fit too. Love all the photos! They really show the joy in your life. Way to go on your spark points!

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ZUMBAGIRL6 1/18/2012 5:53PM

  You look awesome!! love your pics!!

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WELLNESSME09 1/18/2012 5:37PM

    Great blog, and love your photos. emoticon
You both look awesome!

emoticon on all your achievements. emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 1/18/2012 4:48PM

    What a FANTASTIC BLOG! And I have sinned, because I am wickedly jealous that you get to be with Susan, and I can't! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 1/18/2012 4:39PM

    Great blog! You do a great job of bargain clothes buying. You always look so chic! Have a great day, dear!!

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MISSFORTE 1/18/2012 3:57PM

    Congrats! love your suits! We are about the same sizes I really want my size 8's to fit again right now 10-12's I 'll get there!

Great blog as always

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THETURTLEBEAR 1/18/2012 3:57PM

    Big congrats on all your wonderful activities and accomplishments!

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4MRSDAND123 1/18/2012 3:52PM

    emoticon Great picture!

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VISUALLYRICS 1/18/2012 3:44PM

    emoticon on the 14 minute mile! ...and size 8!! How Wonderful!
...yes, I hit all my family members also at Christmas time with Susan's choc. covered peanut clusters...Lol!! emoticon

I am going to try to squeeze in a 10 min run before Youth tonight! emoticon ....we shall see.

emoticon Laura

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Achieving Balance . . . Day Four

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

FAITH: Today is Church Directory Photo Day at my church. Here’s the photo we last took for this directory:



FAMILY: Here’s a little Florida family time at Fisherman’s Village. Hubby’s cousin is in the middle.



FRIENDS: Last night, I enjoyed Moo Shu served at the China Inn where I was able to take the remaining three servings of my entrée home for later enjoyment. What a fun evening filled with good food and lots of laughter!



FOOD: HealthyBarb1 and I are planning a picnic when her fitness minutes take her to my region of the universe. Communing with nature through picnics are incredible experiences. I enjoy picnic tables year round . . . this one is in front of a replica of the first home in Ashland; followed by a campground in Washburn; then patio outside CMO at UW-Superior. Mother nature’s beauty is God’s blessing to those who enjoy the vast diversity our four seasons offer:







FITNESS: I have the 28-Day Bootcamp DVD by our very own Coach Nicole and am now incorporating a new set of routines in my fitness program. While I zip through the minutes (for the sake of my fellow Teddy Bears), many of the minutes I do, are relatively lazy or fun minutes with Tai Chi, dancing, and more leisurely walking in the woods (with a camera, naturally) or functional walking to the market.



FUN: I’m a tree hugger! My Uncle Art (the artist) was well known for his painting of nature the white of his birch trees were the white of the canvas (and not paint). These birch trees were just off a path along Lake Superior.



"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water,” (Jeremiah 17:7a)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORTHWOODSMOM8 1/18/2012 7:34PM

    WOW--what a difference in your church directory!!!!!! And I LOVE that red against the snow! You look beautiful!!!!!

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OLDERDANDRT 1/18/2012 4:46PM

    Great pics! Great blog! I hope to learn some TaiChi some day. Keep up the great work!

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HS1056 1/18/2012 12:50PM

  Great photos! You tell a great story with your pictures, Evelyn. So beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing!

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RONDINI2 1/17/2012 11:03PM

    I love checking out your blogs..they make me smile. Thanks.
You look so happy and beautiful...

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SVELTEWARRIOR 1/17/2012 10:34PM

    wonderful blog!!!

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SPARKYCARLEY 1/17/2012 9:33PM

    I love your blogs and all the beautiful photos you post. You look great. Hugs.

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IMIN2GENES 1/17/2012 9:26PM

    You look fabulous my friend! I love the pic of you and the birches. Just lovely!
Chris

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4MRSDAND123 1/17/2012 7:58PM

    Wonderful blog!

Comment edited on: 1/17/2012 7:58:56 PM

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ZUMBAGIRL6 1/17/2012 5:42PM

  Your pics are beautiful!!

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CROOKEDLETTER 1/17/2012 5:04PM

    Enjoy all your mellow and not so mellow workouts.

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WENDYSPARKS 1/17/2012 4:04PM

    Nice pictures!!

Wendy emoticon

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VISUALLYRICS 1/17/2012 3:08PM

    I love the birch trees photo of you!! ...Wow!! all that snow....here in Texas we don't see much accumulation.... how pretty! emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 1/17/2012 3:02PM

    You look beautiful! emoticon

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NORTHWOODSMOM8 1/17/2012 2:58PM

    Oh, Evelyn, I'm SO enjoying your pictorials!!!!! Love you!

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TERESA159 1/17/2012 2:51PM

    That's you in the first picture?? No way! You have definitely changed a lot in the last year! Good for you. And I love picnic tables in the snow too.

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THETURTLEBEAR 1/17/2012 2:48PM

    And if there is any question about whether or not you've changed...just see that directory pic. But regardless you were as radiant and beautiful then, as now.

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MTULLY 1/17/2012 2:47PM

    Love your pics, especially the one with you and the birch tree. Stunning!

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