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Thinking about the New Year... Interested or Committed?

Thursday, December 31, 2009



This pretty well says it all. I'm not "interested" in a new lifestyle. So for the New Year, my first priority will be to be "committed" to a new lifestyle. No excuses, only results

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMBERDREAM1 1/3/2010 1:42PM

    I also love this ! I am right along with you.

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HIDDENBELLA 1/3/2010 1:14PM

    I love that!

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CINDYHOUGHTON 1/1/2010 2:24PM

    Amen! Well put isn't it?

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DAYHIKER 1/1/2010 8:46AM

    emoticonGreat short post, Junior! Let's DO IT!! emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 12/31/2009 8:55PM

    Yes, I LOVE this! Your friend, Lori

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RUSHIE73 12/31/2009 8:25PM

    LOVE IT! I am truly committed to reaching my goals. Best wishes.

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Jesus is better than Santa

Monday, December 21, 2009

I got this in an email today, and really liked it, so I decided to share it...

Jesus is Better than Santa

Santa lives at the North Pole.
JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh.
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year .
JESUS is an ever present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies.
JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited.
JESUS stands at your door and knocks.. And then enters your heart when invited.
You have to stand in line to see Santa.
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap.
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn't know your name,
all he can say is, "Hi little boy or girl, What's your name?"
JESUS knew our name before we did.
Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too.
He knows our history and future,
and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly.
JESUS has a heart full of love.
All Santa can offer is HO, HO, HO .
JESUS offers health, help and hope.
Santa says, "You better not cry" .
JESUS says, "Cast all your cares on me
for I care for you.
Santa's little helpers make toys.
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts,
repairs broken homes and builds mansions.
Santa may make you chuckle, but
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree,
JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.
It's obvious there is really no comparison.
We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.
We need to put Christ back in Christmas.


May The Lord Bless & Watch Over You & Your Loved Ones This Christmas 2009. And May He Prosper & Bless The Work Of Your Hands In The New Year.

GOD BLESS YOU!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BBLESSED624 12/31/2009 8:23PM

    Thank you that was great!

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BIKERMAMA09 12/23/2009 2:24AM

    thanks... emoticon

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MELTEAGUE 12/22/2009 10:20AM

    So true....thanks for sharing!
Have a wonderful time celebrating our Saviour's Birth!

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JILLWILSON2102 12/22/2009 10:05AM

    and blessings to you Cindy. Thank you!

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 12/22/2009 8:46AM

    Oh, Cindy, this was a precious blog! Thanks for sharing that! Jesus really IS the reason for the season! (I just think Santa's fun and silly for kids!) emoticon

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MOONWILLOW1010 12/22/2009 8:11AM

    Awesome!

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DAYHIKER 12/22/2009 5:28AM

    Thanks, Cindy! Don't think I'd seen this one before. Jesus offers salvation, peace, and joy. Santa is merely a mythological distraction from the truth that God came in the flesh to dwell among us to pay the penalty and set us free from the slave market of sin. To add a much heard quote: Wise men still seek Him!

Love & Merry Christmas hugs,
Cindy Senior emoticon

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GABBY98_80 12/21/2009 11:29PM

    emoticon

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ANNFELIX 12/21/2009 11:10PM

  It is just great to have a friend like Jesus and know that He is the reason for the season.

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MIKROS2 12/21/2009 11:04PM

    Have seen this before but it is really good. Thanks for sharing!

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A Little Bird Talk

Friday, December 18, 2009

My friend, Cindy Senior (DAYHIKER), just inspired me to write about my incredible and adorable and sometimes trying birds. There's so much to say; where do I begin?

Our birds are 5 years old. My husband saw a Quaker Parrot at a local petstore, and suddenly decided he wanted a bird. I told him that I don't like birds. Like anything he wants, he talked about it day and night. I have a cousin in Michigan who breeds Blue Hyacinth Macaws, so I gave him a call to inquire about bird ownership. He recommended, since we wanted a bird that talks, either a Double-Yellow Headed Amazon, or an African Grey. So we started reading everything we could get our hands on to learn about them, and to help make a decision as to whether we really wanted one or could handle one. Bryce wanted the African Grey, I was swinging toward the Amazon.

So... we went to the Aviary when they had babies. Oh, wonderful! They had one of each! That would give us a chance to handle and compare each of them. We came home with both. Oh, no. They told us they could live in the same cage. NOT. That only lasted a short time. They're both Parrots, but they're different kinds of parrots. So they squabbled and we didn't want anyone to get hurt, so we bought another cage. The both have big cages, which is really important. Then we bought a playstand for them to eat and play on. Then we bought one of those playstands that looks kind of like a tree. Then we bought them toys, which they can destroy in a day. (Did I mention that these are my daughter's only inheritance, because after owning and caring for the birds, we will never have another dime to our name?).

After watching the birds play, while we were still trying to come up with names that we both agreed on, we thought that the Amazon looked and acted like a little girl, and the African Grey, who was always hanging upside down and was a little ham, looked and acted like a boy. So, even before the DNA testing, we gave them their names. Cozumel (Cozzie for short) for the Amazon and Montego (Tigger for short) for the African Grey. DNA results confirmed what we already new. Cozzie's a female, and Tigger's a male.

Cozzie started talking within the first two weeks. Tigger did not start talking until he was a year old, which is normal for African Greys. After less than two years, we counted all the words that they said, and it was well over 100 words each.

Cozzie is a little sweetie, very gentle and tidy. She eats over her bowl so all the scraps fall into her bowl. She chews up toys at a slower pace than Tigger. When she talks, she kind of has that "canned noise" quality to her tone. She's a momma's girl through and through.

Tigger is a little wild boy. He's a climber, curious, adventuresome, and can take a toy apart faster than lightening speed. He prefers to dismantle toys rather than destroy them. If you ever get a knot in your shoe, send it down. There's no knot that Tigger can't untie! Tigger is not a cleanly eater. He loves to rummage through the bowl and fling anything he's not interested in. Because of this, I started saying "Tigger's a pig" every time I walked past his cage. He is very proud of the fact that he's a pig, and often tells us that he's a pig. One night my husband was doing the daily sweeping around Tigger's cage, and my husband said to me "Say it Momma". So I said "Tigger's a pig" and Tigger said "Thank you!".

One of our funniest stories, albeit a little traumatic, was one time when Tigger was screaming. Wh isolate the birds when they're needing "time out" and we call it "going to jail". They are moved to a travel cage in the guest bedroom for a few minutes. This usually does the trick, because birds like to be with their flock. Anyway, Bryce told Tigger if he didn't stop screaming, he was going to have to go to jail. We had company, and Tigger was compelled to keep the spotlight on himself, so he kept screaming. Bryce went to get him out of his cage and Tigger nailed him, which didn't make Bryce too happy. Bryce kept chasing him around his cage, to no avail. All the books we read said to never back down. So, for the first time ever, Bryce tried to follow advice he'd read which said to get a perch stick and force them to step up onto it if they're trying to bite. So Bryce was chasing him around his cage with the stick. That was the traumatic part. Tigger was scared to death and was screaming his head off, flitting all over the place. I asked Bryce to stop, but he felt that he must remain (remain????) in control. Bryce was yelling "Come on! Come on!" Right about then, Tigger back into a corner, ruffled his feathers in preparation to do battle, and yelled back "Come on!". I started laughing hysterically and said "It sounds like a bar room brawl!". All tension went out the window. Oh, and it merits noting that Tigger won the fight and remained in his cage.

Both birds sing the entire "Happy Birthday" song, only they sing "Happy Bird Day". They also sing the chorus from "We Wish You a Merry Christmas".

When we leave for work in the morning, they say "Gotta go to work. Buh-bye. Love you." (This is said in southern accent, mimicking Bryce by Tigger.) When we come in after work Tigger says "Daddy's home!" and Cozzie says "Hi birdies!".

Tigger imitates people's voices to a tee. He also makes the beep of the answering machine, a different beep from the microwave, and the sound of a can of coke opening. You know when you stick out your tongue and go "plllbbbbttt"? He does that, too. I can't figure out how he does that without lips!

Well, I think this is good enough for Chapter One. Someday I'll write more about some of their crazy antics. I hope you've enjoyed this!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CINDYHOUGHTON 12/20/2009 4:54PM

    My brother and sister-in-law raise African Greyas and a lot of others. One night she went to the bathroom which was right next to where they then housed the birds. My brother was sound asleep and she had her pants down when she heard,"Do you want to go outside?" in a hushed whisper just outside the bathroom door. She was terrified knowing she couldn't reach my brother. After some time, she finally realised it was one of the birds. One of their workers would ask that question when she needed a smoke! We have chuckled over that one for years!

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DARLENA3 12/19/2009 9:07PM

    Too cute, thanks for sharing!

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GOGOMYA 12/18/2009 8:11PM

    That was such a treat! What characters you have! I look forward to hearing oops reading the next story. I think I've given you a voice lol. But I liked reading about your birdies, it was learning something new about you! : ) I hope all is going well over the holiday season. I know it can be pretty tough to stay focused. I've been teetering myself.

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HIDDENBELLA 12/18/2009 7:20PM

    What a great blog. It made me want some birds (all but the expense part)
We just got back from a vacation and picked up the puppies from the babysitter and I'm telling you, I was SO happy to see them. These pets somehow find a way to work their way into our lives and become part of the family. Life is meant to be shared with furry or feathered companions. :o)

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 12/18/2009 3:51PM

    Cindy, you have no idea how much I needed to laugh right now. You are a GIFT and a BLESSING! I loved your blog!

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DAYHIKER 12/18/2009 3:02PM

    Oh, thanks for posting this, Cindy!! I laughed and laughed! They are so funny! And, boy, can they go through the toys! Ei yi yi!! For Scooter we get various sizes of untreated pine which I drill and Wayne cuts into shapes for me then I color them with cake icing dye and string them in various ways on various things. Scooter also loves knots and puzzles. She's really good for a macaw and thinks that "Brat" is surely a term of endearment. emoticon The Quakers are easier to make toys for because they last a LOT longer.

Neither of my boys cares much about the birds. In fact I sometimes threaten to leave the "Can Opener" (Jerry's name for her) to my older son when he's teasing me. His retort is "Crock pot!." Rotten kid. emoticon Wayne's oldest grandson (16) handles her really well so if we can keep her until he has a place of his own he would probably take her. At our age if someone came by who fell in love with her and it was mutual she might have a new home. Hard to think about though.

Looking forward to another fun post!
emoticon Cindy Senior

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What can you do for the best Christmas ever?

Monday, December 07, 2009

My husband and I don't have much extra money this year. Cutbacks and unexpected repairs have taken their toll at our house. We've had a great year despite the economy, though. But Christmas is coming, we've already spent too much money this year, and we aren't going to be able to afford a Christmas like the ones we've had in the past. Don't get me wrong, I'm not whining. I have had so many bountiful Christmas' that the memory alone will sustain me for years to come. I don't want anything and I don't need anything.

So, what will we do this year to build memories? What will keep us from being depressed on Christmas morning since we've decided not to buy gifts for each other? We've decided to do something different this year. We've picked someone that I met on SparkPeople who's had a very rough year. She, her husband and their children lost their home, due to job losses. They were forced to move to another state, live with family, and are trying to get by on one income of minimum wages. They went from plentiful to scraping by. Not due to any fault of their own. I've watched this graceful woman as she's remained upbeat, positive and finding the best in her situation. She's been the angel in their home, keeping her husband from falling apart, and teaching her children what's really important in life. She's never blamed God, but instead, has continued to thank Him every day for the blessings she still has. And in the midst of all this stress, she's been very successful at weight loss, improving her attitude and her health for her family and being an inspiration to me and many others. But the one thing that's been especially difficult for her is knowing that they have no means to provide anything for their children on Christmas. So we're sending her a gift certificate so she can go buy gifts for the kids. They will be from her and her husband to her children.

Who have you met on here that's touched your life; who has shown you how strong someone can be in the worst of times? I ask you to examine your life and determine if you have the capability to help someone who has touched your life. There is more need in the US right now than I've seen in my lifetime.

May you all have a blessed Christmas and remember that Jesus is the reason for the season!

Cindy

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOGOMYA 12/14/2009 12:25AM

    Cindy, I love you more and more my dear! I can't say anything more that hasn't already been said here. But I'm sending you hugs and well wishes all the way from NC. You are such a dear heart and I pray you continue to shine your light for His glory! emoticon

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HIDDENBELLA 12/9/2009 11:24PM

    What a wonderful blog. You are an inspiration.

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SUSAN134 12/9/2009 10:41PM

    This is such an awesome idea and illustrates the true meaning of Christmas! I bet that this will be your best Christmas ever.........you and your hubby are two very special people.

Bless you!

emoticon

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AMBERDREAM1 12/9/2009 6:45AM

    You are just too sweet ! You have a very kind, warm, loving heart ! We are all blessed to know you.

Missy

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DAYHIKER 12/8/2009 7:48AM

    I can only wholeheartedly agree with all the others have said! I think you are an awesome person! (and probably not an axe murderer! emoticon) (Inside humor, folks! emoticon) You have from almost Day 1 been one of my best and most supportive encouragers!!

Hugs & love emoticon
Senior

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BIKERMAMA09 12/7/2009 11:21PM

    Awesome Idea!
You are a beautiful person...

emoticon
Noe

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1BIGDREAM 12/7/2009 8:28PM

    You are so lovely and thoughtful! You are right, and I bet this turns out to an especially memorable Christmas because of what you have done for others!
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THEFITNUTLIFE 12/7/2009 3:55PM

    emoticon You are an Angel emoticon

Truly blessed to have found you here on Spark. Your blog is beautiful. Thank you, Cindy for showing that the Spirit of Christmas has not been lost after all. The true meaning lies in your thoughtfulness and caring.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CINDYHOUGHTON 12/7/2009 3:20PM

    I love what you are doing. I am sure you will remeber this Christmas fondly because you will and do realise not everything bought is important at this time, but more so what is given. From one Cindy to another thanks

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 12/7/2009 2:50PM

    Cindy, this is the BEST BLOG I have EVER read! I mean, the BEST! What an AWESOME way to spend Christmas! What a giving, kind, and loving thing to do! I am speachless! You have truly touched my life in a very meaningful way! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARINASOARS 12/7/2009 2:40PM

    This is what Christmas is all about. Giving. The gift we were all given was the love of God and a relationship with Him. If we keep that in mind, we can be more like Him.

That is what you are doing Cindy. You are becoming Christlike in your giving. Congratulations on descovering and sharing the true meaning of Christmas.

Karina

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JUBILADA2009 12/7/2009 2:36PM

    Beautiful idea! I'm sure that you will indeed have the best Christmas ever as you celebrate what is really important in the season. God bless you!

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Revelation Regarding the Vicious Cycle

Sunday, December 06, 2009

I wrote this to a SparkFriend yesterday, and thought I'd post it on my blog for others to read:

I read recently that when we eat unhealthy foods, first it affects our mental state. And it's not because of the guilt, but it's a chemical thing that affects our hormones. We start to feel less happy, and then less energy. When that happens, then we lose motivation to do the exercise, then the helplessness kicks in. Then we go through the hopeless, giving up stage. It's a vicious cycle, and it really has less to do with our willpower than it has to do with a chemical imbalance.

I've seen so many people on here who been going though hopelessness and depression since right around Thanksgiving. I've thought a lot about my history with dieting and food. I can see the connection. So many people around the holidays gave in to eating those traditional foods that really don't fit into a healthy eating lifestyle, but it was just for the holiday, right? Too much carbs, sweets, snacks, etc. Too much food, period. Then they're exercising waned. So many people have said in their blogs that they felt hopeless, no motivation. Look back through your own blogs and see if there was a pattern with your eating right before the times that you felt the most overwhelmed and felt like you just couldn't do this. Times where you just didn't want to keep trying. Look at the times you were full of happiness, positivity and energy. What were you eating just prior to those posts? It's amazing what I've discovered in my own.

Based on this, it's apparent to me that the eating has to come first. We have to be very strict with ourselves about what enters our mouth. I used to think that I felt good because I was making healthy choices and sticking to my plan. I thought it was all mental about feeling good because I was having control. Now I finally see it was because of how my whole body reacts to the food I feed it. My body AND my mind. There's a way deeper meaning to "garbage in, garbage out". I thought when I got depressed about the dieting it was because I had "failed" and ate something I shouldn't have and that I couldn't drudge up enough willpower to beat it. But I know now it's what I gave in to eating, what it did to my hormones. Hormones control our whole being. Bad foods disrupt those hormones. All of our hormones work in harmony with each other, and when one gets out of whack, they all get out of whack. Metabolism is one of those hormones. Food cravings and satiety are controlled by hormones. Mental state is controlled by hormones. I think I finally get it.

When we eat those foods with no nutritional value and added bad chemicals, they mess up those hormones. They effect our digestion and that makes us feel sluggish.

This should make us feel good knowing all of this. It's not that we suck at willpower. It's that no one ever taught us what some of the things we eat do to us, other than just making us gain weight.

So, starting this very minute, no garbage in. Snacks will consist of healthy foods in smart portions, foods that have nutritional value. Foods that help my body perform well.

Does any of this make sense to you? We've been trained to eat what "tastes good" and for comfort, rather that for nutrition. From the moment we started, we changed everything about how our bodies perform. The good news is that we've be trained to believe that those bad foods taste good, but it's not really true. When we get used to eating the foods that we were meant to eat for nutrition, the bad foods will become less appealling. When we do eat them, we'll finally be able to really taste them and feel the difference that eating them makes on how we feel, and we'll realize that the fat-laden, salt-laden, sugar-laden, chemical-laden and over processed foods really don't taste as good as fresh, healthy foods.

Best wishes to all my friends for their own revelations that will help them in their journey.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOGOMYA 12/9/2009 7:55PM

    Cindy, thank you so much for sharing. You've returned the favor my dear friend and motivated me. : )
emoticon

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BIKERMAMA09 12/7/2009 11:13PM

    Well said! I will save this and re-read often.
I feel like you wrote this just for me...

emoticon
Noe

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DAYHIKER 12/7/2009 12:36PM

    I just reread this, Cindy and did a copy/paste into Word to go in my SPARKPEOPLE must save file! Thanks again! I am really up against it this week...these people do not eat like us and it is going to really be a challenge so I will probably need read this again!

emoticon Cindy

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NORTHERNLADY 12/6/2009 8:51PM

    I was blown away from your blog. You said it all and so simply. Thankyou so much for your insite.

Donna

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NORTHERNLADY 12/6/2009 8:51PM

    I was blown away from your blog. You said it all and so simply. Thankyou so much for your insite.

Donna

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BERNADETTEB 12/6/2009 8:43PM

    Thanks Cindy, you've really made me think!

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MOMMA48 12/6/2009 4:56PM

    Loved your blog, Cindy! Super motivating and wonderful! Thanks for sharing!
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EJHEINRICH1 12/6/2009 2:29PM

    You go girl! And I backed you up on that friends blog comment page also.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAYHIKER 12/6/2009 12:19PM

    This is one of your best blogs, Cindy! I appreciate that you posted it. I just finished lunch: chicken, broccoli, sweet potato, a little butter, whole grain bread. I am set for the rest of this hectic, stressful day! Leaving within the hour but wanted to THANK YOU for this post!! I need to copy/paste/save it this evening.


emoticonCindy

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