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This and That--Sept. 5th

Monday, September 05, 2011

WOW, WOW, WOW THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for all the goodies, notes, and birthday blessings yesterday! You guys CONTINUE to amaze me EVERY day!!!!! Can't imagine not being a part of this community!!!!!!

Well, my heart is burst in TWO today!!!! Nicholas has left! emoticon It doesn't seem to get any easier for me when they leave! I just cried and hugged my almost 21 year old baby! You know they say the umbilical cord is never really cut--and that is SO true!

I'm SO proud of him! He is starting his Junior year at UWStout and this will be the first year living off campus with some friends. And this mama is trying my very hardest to make sure he is well fed! emoticon

He took 50#'s of brown rice, 25#'s of pinto beans, 25#'s of rolled oats, and 25# of Montana white wheat. His brother let him borrow his heavy duty Bosch mixer and his grain grinder, so he'll make his own buns/bread and cook beans and rice and oats to keep him well fed for the semester! And I bought 35#'s of all natural peanut butter at the Mennonite store recently and had most of it in the freezer in smaller containers--he took a 5# container of that, as well! emoticon

His youngest siblings saying good-bye:

Can you tell Sammy is a HAM for the camera! ha!

Gracie and Lady saying good-bye! Oh, and it was VERY sad when Nicholas said good-bye to our cat--they've been buds for almost 16 years!

Okay, you know I love you guys when I'm willing to share a photo with my hair messy and NO MAKEUP!!!! ha! But I was so blessed that my family wanted to make me a cake and sing Happy Birthday to me, that I'm willing to share! ha! My son insisted on taking my picture!

School starts tomorrow [I'll take a pic of my dwindling class!] so today I've made 14 loaves of bread, 10 quarts of yogurt, have given 4 haircuts and EVEN Gracie got trimmed and bathed! Putting the finishing touches on my lesson plans and then going for my 5 mile walk and doing strength training. Help me JESUS! I'm so dependent on His strength each and every moment!!!!

Have a GREAT Labor Day!!!!! {{{{love and hugs to all my dearest of friends}}}} Susan

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAL1512 9/8/2011 8:53PM

    It is such a success story for your son to leave home! It is really the result that every parent needs. Our youngest son, Ben, his friends got to leave home, but because he was disabled, he was not able to leave home. That really hurt him to be different in that way. I know it hurts, to see your children leave, but count your blessings that they are able to leave. All too often we take the "little" events for granted. You really are a good mom!

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KADULAC 9/6/2011 5:56PM

    Wow, it's great that Nate can cook for himself. I don't know if Sarah would know what to do with half of that. She would call and ask me how to fix it, or look up recipes on Sparkpeople. I know for a fact she would not have left with only 5# of peanut butter. She lives on that stuff. Again, I love your pictures. What wonderful children you have that take care of you for your birthday. emoticon

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RAINBOWMF 9/6/2011 2:46PM

    Susan I love sharing your life.

Happy Hugs with tears mixed.

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HSMOM2FOUR 9/6/2011 6:07AM

    Sounds like everyone is all set for a great school year!! That's fantastic that you were able to send all of that good food (and equipment for cooking!) with your son - what a blessing and investment in his health!!

How do you store your yogurt? I make mine 4 qts at a time... so storage really isn't an issue b/c the kids eat that in about a week.

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CHAR1970 9/5/2011 11:10PM

    You still look gorgeous, even with no makeup! You are truly an amazing woman for all you do for your family.

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BESTSUSIEYET 9/5/2011 9:42PM

    Nicholas will be a great catch for some lucky young lady ... Somewhere in the distant future!! (don't start being sad now!!) you are starting your 6th decade with flair, my friend! Happy belated Birthday! And happy start-of-school! Sounds like you'll need a rest from today's cooking! (how do you keep in your calorie range with the homemade bread?)
susie2susie hugs!!

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LUCYVT 9/5/2011 9:08PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 9/5/2011 8:32PM

    It never gets any easier. I cried when each of my oldest 4 left. You are a good mom and you look great. Your son and his friends will eat well!

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ERIECANALGAL 9/5/2011 7:54PM

    Like someone previously said,"WONDER WOMAN!!!" is what you are. emoticon

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    Hope you have a great fall. It can be hard to swnd them off to college, can't it? But I didn't even cry when Debbie got married( don't know how I managed that). Sounds like you trained your son right, all that healthy foo to cook. Pam

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GOURMETLOSER 9/5/2011 5:21PM

    A happy/sad day! You can be proud in the fact that you have given Nicholas a fine Godly upbringing, a home filled with love, a life filled with beauty. He will do fine and go far because of all you have done for him.
All that food! Wow. He will in no way starve!
There's no way you can tell that you have no makeup and besides, who needs it when you
are no less than the most beautiful woman in the world.

Wish I was your child. I'll have to be satisfied with just being your sister! LOL

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 9/5/2011 4:42PM

    I was doing okay until the picture of Mary hugging her brother good bye and then the tears came. You feel like my extended family. emoticon

You look beautiful. I honestly can't tell you don't have makeup on.

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    Susan, your blog brought great big tears to my eyes! OH HOW I HATE SAYING GOODBYE to my KIDS! *sob* emoticonSeeing the sibling hugs, well, that just did me in! If I wished I had anything different in my life (besides having my children closer to the Lord), I would wish for more of what you have in your whole foods system. It just doesn't seem possible down here where I live unless you have tons of money to put toward it, and we just don't. I was so impressed with the carload of healthy stuff that you use on a daily basis! I just love it! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEART4HOME 9/5/2011 3:39PM

    I loved your blog! It made me tear up hearing about your son. My oldest is only 13 years old and I know that it won't be long before she leaves the nest. I am doing my best to prepare her in all things womanly:-) Any advice for this momma?

School will be starting tomorrow for us too and I will also be doing hair and hair cuts tonight. Now if I can muster up the strength to workout. This detox is not fun and my body is rebelling. It just proves to me that I am in desperate need of His grace each and everyday.

Have a wonderful first day tomorrow.

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HAPPYSOUL91 9/5/2011 3:24PM

    LOL now that was a food blog! Good grief what will he do with 3 huge loaves of bread?

PS: what is UWStout...University of Wisconsin ?????

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VISUALLYRICS 9/5/2011 3:04PM

    emoticonWonder Woman!!!! emoticon

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KATHYKIM 9/5/2011 2:40PM

    Your family had so much love - it always makes me smile to read about your days. And you look GREAT in your birthday photo! Happy Belated Birthday!

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CHALLENGER15 9/5/2011 2:08PM

    Wow! What a great send-off for your son! I am so impressed with both of you!

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EJOY-EVELYN 9/5/2011 2:08PM

    I so love the joy in which your family glorifies God through your closeness!. . . From the beautiful fresh-baked bread (no one can leave while your loaves are in the oven!) right down to the farewell to the pets. Nicholas is grounded with the love of a great family. And you're beautiful, dear! -- Whatever your secret is, it's workin' for you in the fine looks department!

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JUNEAU2010 9/5/2011 1:41PM

    What a fabulous blog! I wish I had been launched at college with all those foodstuffs! AWESOME!

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SUNNY332 9/5/2011 1:33PM

    You have been busy. Loved the bread. Looks yummy. I know Nicholas will appreciate it at school.
Way to go Mom - sending him off with a little of your baked goods - all baked with your love.

How do you make your yougurt. I have been seeing receipes for making it in a crock pot. Have you every done this.

I got up early - did my Bible reading for my 90 Day Challenge (I am in Joshua now), biked 9.1 miles and then walked 2 miles which included a walk down to our lake. I posted some photos on my blog so stop by if you have time.

You really do amaze me. I don't know how you do all that you do. You inspire me to be a better person.

Hugs to you, my friend, Sunny emoticon

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BARBARASDIET 9/5/2011 1:26PM

    Wow--tons of cooking. When my son was in an apartment during school, he never cooked this much!

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Sunday, September 04, 2011

"I'm not 50, I'm 18 with 32 years experience." ha!

That sounds so old, but I probably feel better today, on my 50th birthday, than I have in 20 years! And I owe that to God's rich mercies in leading me to! If I wouldn't have lost this weight, I think I'd be SUPER depressed today!

Feeling philosophical today so I'll write down some of the things I'm pondering.

"A man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind." James Allen

In this journey of life, I need to keep cultivating my 'mental' garden and not allow one minute of neglect, because it's SO easy to allow those weed seeds to fall and grow and choke out the life that we were meant to embrace and live. This journey requires us to never give up no matter how faint we might become. And the pity is not the fall, but the not getting back up and running the race!

I just watched Chariots of Fire the other night, and I was so impressed with Eric Liddell, even when he FELL, he got back up and ran with all his heart and soul and WON the race! He could have gotten discouraged and given up because HOW could he possibly catch up to the others! But He kept going, and not only overcame the adversity, but won the race!!!!!

"You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It's hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape - especially if you've got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe you're dinner's burnt. Maybe you haven't got a job. So who am I to say, "Believe, have faith," in the face of life's realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me." If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race. " Quote from the movie

And on a personal note, I just feel SO, SO blessed by my children today! Last night the house was a mess, even though we had a partial cleaning day on Friday, but with LOTS of kids sick, it just wasn't the same; well, I went to bed feeling kind of blue for two reasons--getting up to a house that needed my attention, and TURNING 50! I told one of the boys I would probably cry myself to sleep! ha! Such a pity party! Anyway, I woke up to an immaculate house! I couldn't believe it! Then breakfast burritos [and Mary cooked me LOADS of veggies for mine--I love her desire for good health!], homemade coffee cake [that I had 3 small bites of--my oldest son made this and did a great job!], and fried potatoes [again I had a taste]. I had 381 calories and 21 grams of fat! emoticon Then all the cards! And my 5th son is making me a 'steak dinner' with homemade pound cake w/strawberries and whipped cream and homemade french bread! I feel VERY loved and extremely blessed!

Thanking God for these 50 years! Oh, I ESPECIALLY want to thank Him for my SPARKPEOPLE friends! You guys are a GIFT to me EVERY single day!!!!! I even got a CRUISE today! How amazing is that????? emoticon

All my love, Susan

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Happy Belated birthday! I'll be 50 in Dec! God bless!

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CINDYYB 9/6/2011 8:49PM

    emoticon Happy Birthday cutie!

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SAL1512 9/6/2011 7:08PM

    You look so young!
Happy Birthday!
Sally emoticon

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KADULAC 9/6/2011 6:07PM

    My mom gave me a cup with a similar saying for my birthday this year. It said, "You're not 40, you're 18 with 22 years experience." That is how I've felt lately too. I am in better health than I have been in a long time thanks to Sparkpeople and all my Spark friends. Sorry I missed your birthday. emoticon Glad you had such a great day with great helpers. emoticon

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TJHIERS 9/6/2011 9:44AM

    happy birthday to you ! have fun ! emoticon emoticon

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HSMOM2FOUR 9/6/2011 6:02AM

    Woo hooooo!! Happy happy birthday!!! 50 is going to be an AWESOME year for you -- and how could it not be when it started off with a clean house?!?! (Way to go, kids! You are blessin' the socks off your momma!!)

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THINRONNA 9/6/2011 5:56AM

    What a wonderful blog!!!! Happy Belated Birthday! You made me smile today!

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MJ7DM33 9/5/2011 5:47PM

  Happy belated birthday Susan! Your family"s love (to you and from you to them) is so beautiful!!! You are VERY loved and extremely blessed!!!

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FIVELILACS 9/5/2011 11:37AM

    Happy (belated) birthday Susan!

What a wonderful blog to read. I am inspired to work even harder to being the wife and mom the Lord has called me to be. Thank you for sharing this special occasion with us!

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SHARON-MARIE 9/5/2011 10:55AM

  Happy Belated Birthday, Susan!

I hope you had an fantastically-blessed day!


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PAULKNUTH 9/5/2011 10:20AM

    Happy Birthday!!!

My diet before SparkPeople was a failure (gained 15 pounds). I was really at a loss. I prayed for help and the next day I came across SparkPeople looking for something. That was 75 pounds ago (last November). I pray for strength when I am on the Elliptical and I get it. My success is his for without his strength I'd be a lot heavier.

Thanks for joining Lose 2 Win!!!

Comment edited on: 9/5/2011 10:21:43 AM

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MHNGJR 9/5/2011 10:14AM

    What an awesome Birthday wake - up. Go hug those kids and hubby again. So happy that you are able to celebrate "50" with JOY!

Our family birthday song is the same one that Tambi shared. Praying for a year that brings you closer to Jesus than ever before!

Birthday Blessings,

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TINAKATRINA1 9/5/2011 9:46AM

    Happy Birthday! I really love the way your family loves on you. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. You deserve every happiness! You are a true giver to all. :) emoticon

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    Here's a our version of the birthday song: A Happy Birthday to you, a happy birthday to you, may you feel Jesus near everyday of the year; a happy birthday to you, a happy birthday to you~~~~~the BEST that you've ever had.

You truly are a blessed woman!! And I'm so blessed to be able to call you my dear sister and friend. I pray you enjoy every minute of it!!!

emoticon Love you to pieces, ~Tambi

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DOROTHYBERO 9/5/2011 7:41AM

    Happy Birthday emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 9/5/2011 3:23AM

    I've never understood the bemoaning that people do about turning a year older. It beats the alternative (being dead) in many ways. My best friend died on my 39th birthday and that was only the cap on a rought decade. When I turned 40, my coworkers threw a party for me and my 40s were much happier. I turned 50 without fanfare or expectation. While I am not where I want to be in a lot of ways, I do recognize I am better off than most.

Choose the positive outlook and don't get any more hung up on your birthday # than you do the scale number.

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JIBBIE49 9/5/2011 1:01AM

    emoticonHappy Birthday, VIRGO GIRL. You are shy by nature as the Virgo child dislikes being overly stimulated and wants quiet and not loud noises. Virgo really does have a sensitive nature. That web site for the Highly Sensitive Person is Dr. Aron's work. She says about 20% of people have that nature, so they need "down time".

The Virgo child is born to a mother who isn't happy with the money the father makes. He is a good man, but rather passive. The mother is critical & overly concerned with cleanliness and the mess the child makes, so the Virgo child learns to be critical, but just to be protective of herself. "I'll get them before they get me" is how she thinks. She tries to be perfect, but finds that very stressful to keep up. Virgo is very smart and makes a good teacher, nurse, person-behind the boss, Vet, animal care-giver, editor, writer, or counselor. (Dr. Phil is a Virgo who loves to help others live life the correct way.)
Virgo gets along with Taurus, Cancer, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces. Two Virgos can get along but they often compete with each other to see who can be the most perfect.
Virgo needs to rest and "turn off her brain" as she can think to much. Her bowels are her health area most in need of concern. She needs to follow a careful diet. She can be fat, but it doesn't set well with her at all, since she HATES to be criticized so walking into a room where she knows others are looking at her doesn't help her if she feels she isn't at her best.
Her secret fear is that she won't enjoy life enough because she holds back to much. Her sister, Libra loves having friends and can always make a "New best friend forever" where Virgo holds back, always thinking "Will that person want something from me that I can't afford to give?" Be more giving of love, Virgo, since you want it so much. You can never give all of love away since it will just keep coming through you. emoticon

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CHAR1970 9/5/2011 12:10AM

    Happy Birthday! You are truly blessed!

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    Happy birthday! I 've been treated to several surprises day as my 50th birthday is Monday.

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PANSYLADY2 9/4/2011 11:46PM

    What an awesome day!! Happy birthday, gal!!

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TRUE-NESS 9/4/2011 11:40PM

    Wow! Happy 50th!!! I'm so glad that your family was able to share it with you and that they filled your love tank pass the needle!

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BRANDTSGIRL 9/4/2011 11:08PM

    Your a jewell and I hope you've been spoiled rotten!
Thanks for being my great example!

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WILDFLOWERR_ 9/4/2011 10:34PM

    emoticonHAPPY BIRTHDAY! emoticon
I LOVE CRUISING emoticon! Remember to exercise! emoticon

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ASOBFALLS 9/4/2011 9:59PM

Happy Birthday! emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Joyce emoticon Rejoice in Jesus

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ERIECANALGAL 9/4/2011 9:19PM

    Susan you have such a beautiful family. It reminds me of mine when the kids were younger. You are so lucky to have children who are so thoughtful and loving. They sure do love their Mama and we love you too! I'm glad you had a wonderful 50th {I mean 18 with 32 years experience} BIRTHDAY!!!

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MOMFAN 9/4/2011 8:58PM

    ♪♫•*¨HAPPY*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸BIRTHDAY TO YOU!.•*¨*•♫♪
♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
♪♫•*¨*•HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ ♪♫•¸¸♥ *•♫♪
¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ ♪♫••.¸¸♥ ¨*•♫♪

♫ ✿◕‿◕Ϭ
7; ♫

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JESSICA2140 9/4/2011 8:49PM

    Happy Birthday...I love it! I was just telling someone a story today, and realized that "it" had happened 15 years ago! I'm getting a whole lot of those moments lately :)

I'm going to take a page from your book and be 18 with 15 years experience! :)

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PRAIRIE-GIRL 9/4/2011 7:31PM

    Happy Birthday! May God Bless and guide you this coming year
. emoticon

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DPJAMES59 9/4/2011 7:30PM

  emoticon Happy Birthday! You are truly blessed and a blessing. Thanks for the reminders of God's blessings

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GOURMETLOSER 9/4/2011 6:44PM

    Sounds like a blessed day.....and a cruise. Some rich person must really love you!

I'm so pleased that you didn't spend it crying! May your entire year be blessed.
You are appreciated

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LUCYVT 9/4/2011 5:50PM

    have a wonderful emoticon

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IAMWINNING 9/4/2011 5:28PM

    emoticon Happy Birthday, Susan. What wonderful children you have. My Mom used to say, 'you're only as old as you think you are.' So, think of how fit and healthy you are now, and feel as young as you LOOK!

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SUECHRIS50 9/4/2011 5:20PM

    emoticonHappy Birthday Sweet girl and many more! emoticon

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PURPLELVR7 9/4/2011 5:13PM

    It is so awesome that you can enjoy the day knowing you are healthier and feel better. I felt the same way in 2010 when I turned 60 - am now 61 and it only gets better.

Hope you have a very Happy Birthday

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EJOY-EVELYN 9/4/2011 4:39PM

    You have a gift to encourage us by both your writing and your visuals. You show us God’s blessings through your celebration of life! God shines through you and in return, throws that special spark our way to light our path! I love that you find such value in the quote you feature on your SparkPage: "At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." - Albert Schweitzer. In appreciation to our friendship, I plan to honor you in my next blog. Happy Birthday, Susan!

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CHALLENGER15 9/4/2011 4:38PM

    Happy, happy birthday!

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MADAMES 9/4/2011 4:33PM

    Happy BIrthday, dear SparkFriend! You bless me with your postings and your blogs every day. Thank you!!


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TALLGUY42 9/4/2011 3:41PM

    Beautiful blog, Susan!

You are not only blessed, but a blessing as well.

I hope you have a terrific birthday!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VISUALLYRICS 9/4/2011 3:26PM

    Happy 50th Susan!!!
Oh. how the Lord must love you to give you such a delightful family ....a composition of beautiful serving hearts! Wow!!! ALL I see is His Love for you, emoticon!!!

How Amazing is the height and depth of His love for us! emoticon

I praise Him on this special day of yours. Bask in His love today with thanksgiving.

(((hugs))) ~ Laura emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 9/4/2011 3:25PM

    Happy Happy Happy Birthday! What a blessing to see fifty and to be so fit. To be surrounded by family and loved beyond words. I'm so happy for you my friend and hope the next fifty years are even better. emoticon

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    Oh, SUSAN! You are 50 but look more like 30! Isn't that just FANTASTIC!? You have added YEARS to your life, more time with your future grandchildren, and so on! This ought to be the best birthday ever! Love you, my WI friend! emoticon

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RUNNINGOMA 9/4/2011 2:22PM

    Happy Birthday! What a blessing those kids are. I will be turning 50 this year - but I only have 2 kids left at home. emoticon
And do I see a TWINS fan in your family picture? They are our favorites.
May God continue to bless you - and keep you healthy.

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JUDITH316 9/4/2011 2:16PM

    Happy Birthday Susan and may the Lord richly bless you today and always. Thanks for sharing this post, awesome blog, I love your family photo here, you have done well, stayed focused and stayed on course. I will continue to cheer you on with my support and prayers. Keep up the great work, good job! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROOTIHAUSMAN 9/4/2011 1:36PM

    Happy Birthday! I hope you continue to have a wonderful day and life. You have a lot of people in your life who care about you and are willing to give of themself for you! You must be an amazing person and I am glad you are a Sparkpeople friend! Have a great week!

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    I saw that cruise and thought the same thing, "that woman is feelin' LOVED" right now! LOL! I'm thrilled that your family came together helped your memorable start off in such a wonderful way. You must have no greater joy than to know that your children love the Lord and had put this day before Him. Congratulations on having a marvelously transforming year. Praise God for His provision. Blessing, sweet Susan!
emoticon emoticon

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My son's graduation pictures

Saturday, September 03, 2011

First off, my kiddos are feeling better today! Stephen is still not the greatest, but everyone else is up and feeling decent! Praise the LORD!!!! And thank you for all the responses on my 'resting' blog! You guys are THE emoticon

Well, I'm finally getting some pictures up from Andrew's graduation party. My girlfriend and her husband took the photos and they used many of them in the fair, so I wanted to wait until after the judging to post them. My girlfriend won BEST of SHOW in the professional photography category--it was a beautiful scene from Bayfield WI after her daughter's wedding! She is amazing!!!!

My girlfriend and me having fun in the kitchen:

Sammy--son#7 @ the graduation:

Sons # 2, 3 & 5 [Nate, Andrew and Daniel]

Andrew and his baby brother:

Andrew and Mom:

Stephen--son #6 @ graduation:

My baby boy is QUITE affectionate and my girlfriend, who only had daughters, EATS it up!!!

I decided to be CRAZY and get these silly tattoos with my kiddos! ha!

My dear, dear husband saved and bought me this lens to go on my camera! VERY, VERY nice gift--he gave it to me to say thank you for home schooling our children! I thought I would cry!!!!!

The GRADUATE with his diploma:

Daniel--son #5

Some family shots:

Well, 3 graduates down--5 to go!!!!! ha! Thanking the LORD for His rich mercies in helping me every step of this journey of life!

Hugs and much love, Susan

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITFORMYKIDS 9/7/2011 8:00AM

    what a beautiful family! God bless!

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KADULAC 9/6/2011 7:52PM

    Beautiful pictures. Congratulations to Andrew. How proud you must be of your graduated boys, and the 5 children still working hard. Congrats to you too.

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SAL1512 9/6/2011 7:11PM

    Congratulations to everyone! I am sure this was a team effort! Good job!

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    Congratulations to you and Andrew on Andrew's completion of his High School education! I'm very proud of you! Well done, sister.

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KATHYKIM 9/4/2011 9:16AM

    What a wonderful day. I LOVE the photo of Andrew and Sammy.

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DOROTHYBERO 9/4/2011 7:29AM

    Wonderful pictures and beautiful family.

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BETHJRN 9/4/2011 6:53AM

    Beautiful photos! What a wonderful family you have! Thanks for sharing. I'm glad everyone is recuperating... hope you stay healthy!

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LIGHTHOUSE23 9/4/2011 12:50AM

    Great Photos!! You have a beautiful family!

Congratulations to Andrew!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    What a fantastic family! You deserve an award for homeschooling your own kids! I'd have killed every one of ours! LOL emoticon

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CHAR1970 9/3/2011 11:16PM

    You have such a beautiful family!

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GOURMETLOSER 9/3/2011 5:13PM

    Great photos.
You have done so well, as has he. Another success story. God is faithful.
You soooo deserved that camera lens.
And those rolls, I could smell them from here and want one for my breakfast!

Enjoy your day today! (Pleased the household is on it's way to recovery.) I must get off to work but I'm thinking of you.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PANSYLADY2 9/3/2011 5:07PM

    Looks as if everyone had a great day celebrating an important milestone.After three graduates, you have the drill down . . . we wish. LOL Every child is different. Have a good Labor Day weekend. Glad everyone is feeling better.

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    What can I say Susan...what a special occasion, and for Andrew and all the family...I know you & Dennis are so prod of your family.
I deserved that special gift for the home schooling and for just being YOU!!

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SUNNY332 9/3/2011 1:51PM

    How wonderful it that! 3 down and 5 to go? You are one busy Mom. You have been very blessed.

After I read your blog on resting, I received an update on a friends blog and she talked of resting too.
Sharing a portion of that blog with you. God's timing is perfect - isn't it?

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Are you heavy laden? Burdened with a load of care? Jesus invites all to come to Him and He will give rest for your soul. His yoke is easy, His burden light. Rest in Him.

Father, thank you that we can find rest in your Son and that we don’t have to carry our burdens alone. Lord I pray for all those who have needs, who have burdens, for those whose lives are uprooted by marital problems, divorce, illness, death of a loved one, job loss, the recent hurricane…Father the list of possibilities are endless. Give them peace, give them hope, give them assurance. I thank you Lord for what you will do in their lives and praise your Holy name.

Is Andrew going away to school this fall?

Take care and do have a Super Saturday and a Very Spiritual Sunday. My DH is teaching SS tomorrow so looking forward to that. He is a great teacher.

Hugs, Sunny

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LUCYVT 9/3/2011 1:25PM

emoticon emoticon

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BETTA13 9/3/2011 12:44PM

    Graduating is exciting!! Great photos too. Thank you.

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GRACEISENUF 9/3/2011 12:28PM

    Your family life is AMAZING! I was telling my husband (just this morning) about your family...(he has already seen pictures and we both love the one with all your children and your wedding dress pic). I told him if I was a kid and needed a home I would want to grow up in your family...made him laugh.

The graduation party looks like so much fun Susan and I wish I could have grabbed one of your homemade rolls in that one pic, lol! The gardens around your house are just beautiful.



Comment edited on: 9/3/2011 12:29:43 PM

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EJOY-EVELYN 9/3/2011 12:07PM

    You are richly blessed with great friends. Glad to hear the chicken soup brought new life to your family today. Take good care of yourself as you are our very own precious gift from God . . . sharing the ideals of those things that should take priority in our life: God, family, and good friends mixed with the joy and beauty of life-long learning!

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GODZDESIGN95 9/3/2011 12:03PM

    aw shucks we gonna brag on our kids when they graduate. I did!!! beautiful.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 9/3/2011 11:55AM

    What a beautiful and fun graduation. emoticon

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IMNENA23 9/3/2011 11:52AM

    emoticonfamily! Know you're proud!

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EARTHMOM56 9/3/2011 11:41AM

    What a lovely family! You, my dear, are apparently doing a great job parenting!

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THEEXERCISER 9/3/2011 11:37AM


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WENDYSPARKS 9/3/2011 11:36AM

    Love the pictures!!!!

Wendy :) emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Tea Party/Shopping Day

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Oh, my goodness, can my friend put on a TEA PARTY! This would probably OUTMATCH any High English Tea! It was OUTSTANDING and we were so privileged to be invited! There were 4 adults and 4 little girls! Just LOVELY!!

This is her view from kitchen window:

She is a master gardener and look at this GORGEOUS orchid she is growing on her kitchen counter:

Finding our spots:

Look at these DARLING little flutes that she served sparkling grape juice in and toasted the girl's new school year.

And aren't these the CUTEST--she served fruit/yogurt in them:

So this is how the 'courses' went. First she served a LUSCIOUS [I'm getting the recipe!] black bean soup in our bowls. And passed the beautiful tray of 'tea' sandwiches: cucumber sandwiches, egg salad, pinwheels w/ham and apricot, and another little petite sandwich. These were all meticulously made and SMALL! I can't imagine how long it took her to do this! Then she cleared the bowls and brought us glass plates lined with cucumber slices and chicken salad. VERY delicious! Then she cleared those clear plates and we were left with our last plate. She served THE MOST delicious scones with lime or lemon curd and homemade whipped cream and our tea. THEN she said, now it's time for the sweets!!!! I thought the scones were the sweets! I had 1/4 of one, trying to be good! emoticon Then she brought out a PLATE of tea cookies--they were BEAUTIFUL! THEN the chocolates were passed! And finally the candied almonds!!!!! Oh, my goodness, it was SPECTACULAR!!!!! After we had our fill of food and tea, we played an old-fashioned game called 'Hide the button'. It was DELIGHTFUL with classical music playing in the background!

After the tea party, Mary and I had our monthly shopping day. Hit Penney's 80% off sale, plus I had an extra $10 off coupon. I got her 3 pairs of shorts for next summer, one of my boys a pair of shots and flip flops, and I got myself 5 summer tops, pair of shorts, and a DARLING summer sweater all at super clearance prices! I ended up spending a little over $40. VERY fun time!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEART4HOME 9/5/2011 3:42PM

    I loved those pics and it sounds like a grand time. My girls would have been in tea heaven. Thanks for sharing

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ONESPOTLEFT 9/5/2011 5:35AM

    what a blast you had with a little one who will always remember it

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PANSYLADY2 9/3/2011 5:11PM

    Sounds like a delightful day, tea and then shopping. A great girls day out.

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GRACEISENUF 9/2/2011 9:05PM

    Your friend surely went all out for that wonderful tea party. The place settings, decorations and food look spectacular.

Sounds like you and Mary had a very successful shopping trip....I love a good sale and rarely pay full price for anything. It does feel great knowing I am saving my dear husband money whenever I can. :)

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MARTHAWILL 9/2/2011 8:29PM

    I was getting hungry just reading your blog. What a special time for you and the kiddies. Awesome.

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EJOY-EVELYN 9/2/2011 4:58PM

    You have the most wonderful friends! I can't imagine having anyone in the immediate area that would go to all the preparation to hold such a beautiful event. I must confess, I knew in advance of moving to this city that I would be moving to a "casual" area and that it would not match my personal expectations in terms of enjoying a little more formality. Those words were so true. Your children are learning from the very best . . . they are so very blessed to have such beauty and grace in their life. Makes me so happy and blessed to know you and call you my dear friend.

Comment edited on: 9/2/2011 4:59:59 PM

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HAPPYSOUL91 9/2/2011 4:38PM

    Now that is an outstanding tea party, sounds just wonderful. Great sale, it really worked for you

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GODSBEST 9/2/2011 1:04PM

    It looks like you and the others had a great time !! Beautiful table and flowers.

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BRITT831 9/2/2011 8:01AM

    What a special memoryfor u to have! Thats what life is made of :o) emoticon

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CHAR1970 9/2/2011 4:41AM

    Sounds like another great day!

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PRAIRIE-GIRL 9/2/2011 12:46AM

    What a gorgeous tea! Sounds like a successful shopping trip and a great day!

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KKP4673 9/1/2011 10:06PM


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KADULAC 9/1/2011 9:48PM

    What a splendid tea. That is so beautiful. I would be hard pressed to even think about calories with all that delicious and beautifully presented food.

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JUNEAU2010 9/1/2011 8:44PM

    Congrats on the stellar shopping job after such a fabulous tea!

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CHALLENGER15 9/1/2011 8:26PM

    What a wonderful day!

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GOURMETLOSER 9/1/2011 6:42PM

    Wow! Sounds wonderful. You'll be glad everything was in tiny servings!!!! What a magnificent experience.
I love the close up of you and Mary. Two beauties from the inside out.

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JANESSMI 9/1/2011 4:57PM

    Her garden, table and food were all spectacular. The picture of you and Mary is great too.

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BETTA13 9/1/2011 4:47PM

    How lovely...the setting, the flowers, the food, and best of all the friends! What a precious memory. Thank you for sharing it w us.

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CYCLINGSANDY 9/1/2011 12:51PM

    What fun!!!

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ABETTERSOUL 9/1/2011 12:38PM

    What a wonderful time! You look great--I love the picture of you and Mary! Your friend throws a great party!

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JANETELIZABETH1 9/1/2011 11:26AM

    What a delight to read Susan....and loved all the pics too....Mmmm!!
But let me educate you a little if I may be so bold! (LOL)
A High English Tea would consist of something like beans on toast, the sandwiches of course and a (single) cake, would be rude to take more than one and a cup of tea of course. A very humble affair!
I would love to go shopping with you and find some bargains!!

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JESS0107 9/1/2011 11:21AM

    Oh my goodness!!! What a wonderful tea party!!! Makes me wish I could host one!! I'm glad that you and Mary had a wonderful time.

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    Oh, SUSAN! That last picture really took the cake! You should use that for a profile photo, in MY humble opinion! What a darling, darling family you have! emoticon

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KATHYKIM 9/1/2011 10:45AM

    Sounds like a wonderful day!

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DRAWNTHISWAY 9/1/2011 10:38AM

    Your daughter must feel so special. I wish I took monthly dates with my children. Yours always sound so fantastic. thank you for sharing your day with us!

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SUNNY332 9/1/2011 10:12AM

    I love Teas and wish I was there with you all. It looked like a lovely Tea Party. DH got me a beautiful China Tea Set several years ago and when my sister comes, she likes for me to make and serve the tea in this set.

Great buys at Pennys. I am catching the end of the season bargains too. Got a great swimsuit for a song. It is black with Hot Pink Hibiscus. It just screamed Hawaii to me. emoticon emoticon Woohoo - won't be long now.

As always, thanks for sharing. Sunny

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SHERLYN-WILL 9/1/2011 9:55AM

    I would have loved to been at that tea party! SO SPECIAL.. such memories...

share the bl. bn soup recipe PLEASE!

Mary is such a beautiful child..... she is the "PICTURE OF SWEETNESS!" Pretty is as Pretty Does my momma used to say... and she 'DOES PRETTY' with that special heart of hers!

You are making God proud the way you bring up ALL your children!

Keep the blogs coming... you are some 'calm' in my day!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 9/1/2011 9:36AM

    Too cool! emoticon

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    What a special day for you and mary. Beautiful pictures. Pam

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RAINBOWMF 9/1/2011 9:25AM

    Oh life is grand! What a wonderful day and such a talented friend, she set a lovely table and her hard worked showed.
Thank you for sharing, made me have a little morning awwwwww moment.

Hugs Mary

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TINAKATRINA1 9/1/2011 9:23AM

    Wow! Your friend is truly a hostess extraordinaire-what attention to detail! Congratulations on the bargains. Makes for really fun shopping. :)

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JOYFULMOMTO5 9/1/2011 9:13AM

    What a lovely day for two lovely ladies!! The teal color is beautiful on you! I love how your sweet Mary's face is always full of joy. You're such a good mommy!

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JERZRN 9/1/2011 9:01AM

    What a great idea! Looks beautiful and DELICIOUS!

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September 2011 Goals

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spiritual goals
1. Time with the LORD daily

2. Computer Fast day once a week

3. Focus on prayer journal/Bible time and really dive deep into the **reasons** I overeat.

Physical goals

1. Walk--I’m joining the 1500 minute challenge for the month of September so this is my goal for the month

2. T-TAPP--daily through the month of September [again another challenge that I joined]

3. Facial Flex 1x daily

4. Deep cleanse face DAILY and use moisturizer--1xdaily

5. Weight loss goal & clean eating goal: I want to lose 7#'s in September and avoid junk food. I'm on a new team [my team members are Jeanette and Margaret] and we are trying to have a 'biggest loser' contest with other teams. BTW, I'm trying to get in mid-range of normal BMI so I'm not so close to the edge. emoticon Oh, I will have a treat on my birthday! ha!

Cooking goals/Home Management goals

1. Weekly Menu Planning

2. Try 1 SparkRecipe this month

3. Pick one thing a week and organize it

Lifestyle of LEARNING goals

1. Read a book daily

2. Journaling/Blogging @ least 3 x weekly

3. Start lessons with the kiddos on Sept. 6th

4. School scheduling/planning at least 15 minutes a day. I want to work on lesson planning 15 minutes daily throughout the week.

5. Look into possibly joining 4-H club

6. Nature walks and Fall activities

Enjoy Life goals

1.Birthday celebrations It’s that time of year! ha!

My 50th birthday on the 4th:

My 2nd son’s birthday on the 10th:

And my husband’s 50th on the 25th [yes, he teases me about being his ‘old’ lady for THREE WHOLE WEEKS! ha!]

2. Make Mary’s birthday dinner! August was SO busy that we didn’t get her meal made. She is having pork chops, mashed potatoes, homemade french bread, philly cream corn and New York cheesecake! She LOVES CHEESECAKE--here is her picture from last year’s birthday:

3. Monthly shopping day w/Mary
4. My parents are coming for annual visit the end of September:


1. Focus on 4 teams a week & daily friend's feed
2. Do more reading of articles
3. Try to keep up better w/friend's blogs

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANESSMI 9/1/2011 5:02PM

    Happy Birthday to you. My daughter's and my birthday are also in September, 21st and 9th respectively.

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RAINBOWMF 9/1/2011 9:31AM

    emoticon I can't even sit and make a list like this. LOL!

Susan, you inspire me.


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MTNGRL 8/31/2011 10:04PM

    Great, you inspire me!

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KATHYKIM 8/31/2011 11:34AM

    As always, I get tired just reading your goals! Every month I say that I am going to use these to help me and I never do. I am going to steal a few ideas and start small.... emoticon

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RICKEFFEL 8/31/2011 9:42AM

    LOVE it!! Awesome goals!!

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SUNNY332 8/31/2011 8:24AM

    Great Goals. emoticon

Do have a Wonderful Wednesday. I am off to my Volunteer Job in ICU at the hospital.

Take care.... Sunny

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JSPEED4 8/31/2011 12:37AM


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ERIECANALGAL 8/31/2011 12:11AM

    Wow! That is all I can say. I don't know how you do all you do....You've got to be Wonder Woman. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUNNERGIRL60 8/30/2011 11:52PM

    AWESOME goals! If you don't mind im going to use how you set them up to help me get some awesome goals set up! I need the help! My 51 B/D is the 14. So happy birthday to all of us this month and may it be a great month!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHAR1970 8/30/2011 9:33PM

    Looks like you've got everything all ready for the start of September. Good for you!

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VON_1962 8/30/2011 9:28PM

    Awesome goals! Happy early birthday, may all your wishes come true. My hubby also teases about me being his "old lady" although there is a 6 month difference in our ages. Cheers to a great September!

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GOURMETLOSER 8/30/2011 4:28PM

    You are truly an inspiration. Hope you do as well this month as you did last month (especially with your 7lbs - no selfish motives there. LOL)
P.S. I keep forgetting to tell you how much I love your hydrangea. It is beautiful.

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JUNEAU2010 8/30/2011 1:40PM

    Fabulous! Go for it!

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TRUE-NESS 8/30/2011 12:43PM

    More great goals!!

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EJOY-EVELYN 8/30/2011 12:27PM

    You set wonderful goals! I can't say I've ever seen such a comprehensive set of goals from any of my other SparkFriends. I pretty much have mine down to 9 or 10 (and I thought that was a bit long). 8-))

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JESS0107 8/30/2011 11:16AM

    Great goals!!! And happy early Birthday!!!

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CANDY58 8/30/2011 10:44AM

    Great goals, wish I was that disciplined. Good luck and keep us updated.


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MCMOM11 8/30/2011 10:27AM

    emoticonWithout goals there is no direction, I LOVE IT, always sparkin me!!!!! emoticon
One more thing, do you see your tricep poking out of your sleeve there;) The pic with Mary;) emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/30/2011 10:29:25 AM

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STRONGERLEANER 8/30/2011 10:15AM

    Wonderful Goals!

Wishing you a beautiful month of September, especially for your birthday!

Looks like lots of birthdays and celebrations! emoticon

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DRAWNTHISWAY 8/30/2011 10:05AM

    You are such an awesome goal setter. I read blogs like yours and think "I should make goals too" then I try and I find I struggle to make the goals, or i fail to make obtainable goals. Let us know how August went. You are doing an incredible job. Having you around is an inspiring experience.

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GRACEISENUF 8/30/2011 10:03AM

    What great goals! My birthday and my hubs are in Sept. I will be 53. Feel 40 though!

Keep the pics coming, I love em!

Also thanks for reading Barbietec's blog. She received a popular blog award and I had prayed that her blog would reach, inspire and comfort many others so it is an answer to prayer....Praise the Lord!


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MINDY502 8/30/2011 10:00AM

    Love your goals for September. I just love the pictures you shared. Your little girl is such a doll I could use a hug from her ha ha she looks so lovable. Hope you have a blessed week my friend!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 8/30/2011 9:55AM

    Sounds like it is going to be a great month. Full of celebrations and fun times.

Great goals to keep it all balanced. emoticon

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    You are doing so great. My goals are small but I'm trying to get a little organized. I'm sending a check to your son this week. Best of luck with the weight loss challange. I know you won't want to let your team mates down. Pam

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