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This and That--11-13-11

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I had THE best morning yesterday organizing for Christmas!!!! I've wanted to do this for years! Having everything ready--all the wrapping paper, ribbons, together; craft box ready to go for working with the kids--this was my favorite one to organize; my Christmas letter/cards, addresses, etc. in an accessible spot, and my decorative wire ribbon and wooden spool to help make ribbons together. SOOOOO ready to start Christmas fun. One of our goals this year is decorative and creative packaging. I'm so excited to have the younger ones help with this! I'm going to wrap quite a few packages with either white or brown paper and then have them decorate with 'coloring pictures', raffia and natural greens/berries, etc. We have SO much ready to go. I bought quite a few 'junky' looking greeneries at the thrift store for next to nothing. Took my wire clippers and nipped into nice little workable pieces and you've got some GREAT stuff for decorating packages!



Today, I'm hoping to get my Christmas letter written, and our family picture ordered. I'm just so excited for the season--my ABSOLUTE favorite time of the year!



SKIDEE recently shared on one of my blogs about allowing herself 1 hour a week to splurge! Jo [my Sparkfriend] says that she takes that one hour a week to eat WHATEVER she wants--cheeseburger/fries, etc.] and then eats clean/healthy for 6 days and 23 hours beyond her 1 hour splurge! I LOVED it! I was AMAZED, as this was my first week of trying it, that my splurge totally took away any desire to continue eating unhealthy or liberally!. It might not work for everyone, but for me [and not trying to be a glutton], it really was nice.



Yesterday, Mary went with me on my walk--she rode her bike while I walked. We saw some REALLY fun things that we wished we could gather and take home, so after we got home, we got the car [and Sammy!] and went for a nature walk--drove to the site and then walked around] and collected pine cones, tree clippings with the COOLEST red berries for decorating, and some other treasures. OUR greatest find???? Well, let's just say that you know this city girl is COMPLETELY 'country-fied' when she finds the foot [about 3 inches of it] of a wild rabbit on the road and is ECSTATIC thinking of what she can do with it for her trapper son's Christmas package. I'm thinking of either making a Christmas ornament out of it or a gift tag. emoticon



Ever wonder if you're a small frame, medium frame or large framed person. Well, I recently found out that I'm at the highest range of a 'small frame' and more the range of a 'medium-framed' person. So even though I'm only 5'1, my best weight is 117-129. That was good to know since I won't be trying to get to 100#'s anytime soon! hahahaha I did actually graduate from high school at 95#'s



My dh left today for a business trip--a week in Texas so my week is going to be filled with a few extra activities with girlfriends. Monday night is the Mom's Homeschooling event, Tuesday is Bible study with my girlfriend, Wednesday I'm having two friends over for coffee/dessert for belated birthdays, and Thursday evening I'm having dinner with my sister-in-law. PLUS, lessons, exercising, and normal household things. BUSY week for me! I don't normally do this much socializing! emoticon



Well, off to start my day! {{{{Love and hugs to you all}}}}

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWIMLOVER 11/14/2011 9:03AM

  I love this blog! Susan, Thank You so much for sharing it with us! Have A Great Week In The LORD! emoticon

GOD BLESS!
Louise

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 11/14/2011 5:42AM

    People say I'm organized, but you have me beat with the Christmas wrap and letter. Good luck with the rabbit's foot. (Pun intended) LOL

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JSPEED4 11/14/2011 1:41AM

    The one hour a week sounds like a good limit.

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ERIECANALGAL 11/13/2011 10:48PM

    Wow you sure are organized. Wish was like that!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAC-6582 11/13/2011 9:58PM

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing.

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TERRIJ7 11/13/2011 7:07PM

    Thanks for the nice blog--now I'm in the mood for Christmas! I've been working on a few projects, but haven't done any organizing yet--this is motivating me to move in that direction!


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KADULAC 11/13/2011 7:03PM

    That sounds like such a fun way to decorate. I may have to try that hour of splurge. I could see myself trying to figure out what to do with that rabbit's foot. My biggest decision would be whether to give it to hubby or daughter. emoticon

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SUNNY332 11/13/2011 6:29PM

    Several years ago at Christmas, we wrapped all of the packages in brown wrapping paper and then I drew dark brown ginger bread men and women to attach to the packages. The boys and I decorated the men and women to look like the people the gifts were going to. It was great fun. For ab example, My dad's ginger man had a fishing pole with a fish on it and wore a fishing hat with lures hanging off of it. It was probably one of my most memorable times and I am so glad the boys and I did that.

I had to laugh about the rabbit's foot. Yes, city girl, you are definitely countryfied & almost a redneck like me....

Love you, Sunny

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JUNEAU2010 11/13/2011 6:20PM

    Have a fantastic week!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/13/2011 5:57PM

    Oh wow, I wonder how close your hubby is to where I live. emoticon

I love the idea of splurging for one hour. Last night hubby took me to dinner and I had such a blast and no guilt. I even had a scoop of vanilla ice cream. emoticon

Ya'll are gonna have such a blast decorating your presents. I can't wait to see some of ya'lls artwork.

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TTLEELEE 11/13/2011 4:53PM

    I love coordinating the gift wrapping. It becomes decoration for the holidays until it is opened. You have such great ideas. I love your free (and frugal) spirit about the whole activity. I have so many great memories of preparing for Christmas with my Mom. Thanks for helping me bring them to the front of my mind for enjoying.

Happy Harvest Days! emoticon emoticon

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GOURMETLOSER 11/13/2011 3:17PM

    You make it all sound like so much fun. I must get on to doing a few CHristmassy things myself.

Enjoy your wrapping and decorating. I know you will.

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GOSPELCLOWN 11/13/2011 10:47AM

    I'm not so excited about the holiday season so quickly approaching, but make it sound fun.
I've started cross stitching a Bible bookmark for my sis in law, so I AM trying to get into the spirit of the season.

I like the splurge idea. I read a book and think I've robbed from the time-to-do-chores bank!

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Once in a lifetime

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My kids are SOOOOOO funny!!!!



Off for a busy day! Have a good one!

Love ya, Susan

Here are some of the boys involved in the picture above! hahahaha

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACENFAITH 11/14/2011 12:00PM

    emoticon

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CGDINASIA 11/14/2011 8:11AM

    How cool!

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RSSSLHB 11/13/2011 6:05AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ANYVAR54 11/12/2011 11:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KADULAC 11/12/2011 10:30PM

    How cleaver. What patience that must have taken to wait for just the right second.

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BLACK-PRINCESS 11/12/2011 6:59PM

    emoticon

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 11/12/2011 6:54PM

    emoticon

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GOURMETLOSER 11/12/2011 3:55PM

    Very clever emoticon

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D-ABBY 11/12/2011 3:39PM

    That is too cool. Thanks for sharing. Smart boys.

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BRANDTSGIRL 11/12/2011 1:35PM

    emoticon

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SAL1512 11/12/2011 1:02PM

    Fun! Fun! Fun! What will the "boys" be up to next?!?

Sally emoticon

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PANSYLADY2 11/12/2011 12:38PM

    Amazing. Good thing you had all that help. LOL

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FITNFUNJEN 11/12/2011 11:13AM

    emoticon

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PURPLELVR7 11/12/2011 10:51AM

    love it, it truly is once in a lifetime

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SUNNY332 11/12/2011 10:18AM

    Love it and yes, it was once in a lifetime.

Hope you enjoyed your night out with DH.

Sunny

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EJOY-EVELYN 11/12/2011 9:49AM

    Precious! I admit to giving a thought to see this on the clock and now feel accomplished thanks to your blog.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/12/2011 9:43AM

    emoticon

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SAISHA100CJ 11/12/2011 9:36AM

    Fantastic! Love it!

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NANCYBOAT 11/12/2011 9:35AM

    Love it!

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'Tis the season...

Friday, November 11, 2011

This is Mary's creation with the gourd we bought from the Mennonite store. Don't think it will last until Thanksgiving though. We have ALL kinds of crafts planned for the month, and are having our dearest friends and their daughter and her 'serious' boyfriend for Thanksgiving dinner. This was a Martha Stewart idea. BTW, the turkey 'sandwiches' that we made yesterday was a borrowed idea. Not my original creation! emoticon








Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken w/2% cojack cheese, 2.1 oz of fresh whole wheat bread out of the oven w/4g of butter [YES, I'm from Wisconsin and I use butter! emoticon] for 370 calories, 31 carbs, 12g fat, and 35g protein! Mmmmmm! emoticon

recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=1399704
Here is my bread recipe. I weighed the WHOLE clump which was 168 oz. and then all I have to do is measure each piece of bread by oz. and put it in my tracker! SO easy! So a nice thick slice of fresh bread w/ butter cost me 160 calories and 6 grams of fat. SOOOO worth it! BTW, if you've made whole wheat bread before, but didn't use freshly ground wheat berries, then you're in for a REAL treat when you try it! Nothing like it! All the nutrients and OILS that must be refined out in order to give the flours a longer shelf life are STILL in the freshly ground flour. I've been grinding wheat for over 21 years and I highly recommend the investment.

www.pleasanthillgrain.com/index.aspx
#Nutrimill


Get to go to the 'big city' this afternoon/evening for an extended date with my dh! Woooohooo! Have a WONDERFUL Friday! Love and hugs, Susan

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONESPOTLEFT 11/13/2011 7:02AM

    what a treasure in your daughter's smile, a true blessing

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D-ABBY 11/12/2011 12:00AM

    Your daughter has the greatest smile. Wonder where she gets that from? emoticon

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MJ7DM33 11/11/2011 9:29PM

  Thanks for the bread recipe! Great pics! emoticon

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KADULAC 11/11/2011 8:16PM

    What a beautiful decoration Mary made. Have fun with your hubby.

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JUNEAU2010 11/11/2011 5:29PM

    Hope you had a great date! :)

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ANYVAR54 11/11/2011 4:30PM

    I love your daughter's creativity. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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GOURMETLOSER 11/11/2011 2:35PM

    Mary is so artistic. She must get it from her mother! The chicken salsa looks great and I love fresh homemade bread.
Enjoy your date!

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SAL1512 11/11/2011 1:34PM

    The gourd was just lovely! Your daughter's smile made it even better!

And you are so right about freshly ground flour! I have a Vita Mix to grind my wheat berries. I should have bought it when I first got married. I waited until I had the money when the kids had started school. I do not know how I did without for so long.

Sally emoticon

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BLACK-PRINCESS 11/11/2011 12:56PM

    I love fresh bread. emoticon pics

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PANSYLADY2 11/11/2011 10:59AM

    Haven't made fresh bread since we sold the restaurant! Yours sounds delicious, though.

Mary's decoration is so cute. It may last if kept cook, but at any rate, the gourd can be replaced and she will still have the decoration.

Have a wonderful weekend.
MJ

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/11/2011 10:31AM

    You make me wanna get a loaf rising. emoticon emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 11/11/2011 8:53AM

    Adorable gourd! What a talented girl Mary is! Have a great weekend! See you when I get back from Austin! emoticon

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SUNNY332 11/11/2011 8:35AM

    How many loaves of Bread does your recipe make? I did print our the recipe. Thanks so much!

We are going to order a mill and some wheat berries as soon as we use up the flour we currently have. I was just wondering what kind of wheat berries you get and how do you store them?

Do have a lovely time with DH. Tell Mary she did good with her gourd. She is very creative.

Take care and sorry for all of the questions...

Sunny



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ABETTERSOUL 11/11/2011 8:28AM

    Have a wonderful time with your hubby! Mary is so cute, she did a great job on her craft!

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SMARTCOOKIE518 11/11/2011 8:26AM

   
Mary did such a professional job, I would BUY THAT !!
I have to say, it took a few seconds to really even look at the flowers and gourd because I was mesmerized by her beautiful face and beaming smile !!!!!!

blessings, Cookie emoticon

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SWIMLOVER 11/11/2011 8:18AM

  Love the pictures! Mary is a beautiful young lady! I love her smile! Have a Great Date with your wonderful husband! Have a Wonderful Weekend with your Precious Family!
GOD BLESS!
Louise

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MINDY502 11/11/2011 8:12AM

    Well for one thing your daughter just outshines her little gourd ha ha she is so cute!! But the gourd is very cute too. That soup looks tasty also will have to give it a try and the bread sounds wonderful. Never made my own and may have to try that one of these days. I use butter too always have and always will ha ha. Have a wonderful afternoon with your DH and a wonderful weekend!

emoticon

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SKIDEE 11/11/2011 8:11AM

    The craft project is adorable...nicely done!! And the recipes sound amazing. Which grain mill did you buy? I have a tendency to buy these appliances and then not use them, so I doubt I can convince my dh that this would be a good thing to do, especially since I haven't made bread in years.

Do you use a bread maker then, or do it the old fashioned way? Jo

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Fun w/the kiddos

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Yesterday we had a fun time making our lunch. Made PBJ's on our homemade w.w. bread and cut in circles. Then we decorated the bread with eyes, nose, gobbly thingy, legs and feathers [using carrots, apples, and frosting w/sprinkles], added cheese, craisins, and crackers to little paper liners and they had a FUN lunch!










And then I had some pizza dough left over Friday night so I stuck it in the freezer, and thawed it for lunch. I made a garlic pizza [Martha Stewart recipe] so I could clear some room in my freezer. I had 1 piece of garlic pizza, a dish of my vegetable soup, and a 1/2 banana--329 calories, 6 grams of fat and 9 grams of protein], and it was SOOOOO yummy! Oh, and extra special because I used a smaller plate.



As for my vegetable soup, I wanted to tell you how I made it--I made it when I was away for 10 days on the computer break, and then stuck small containers in the freezer for later. I had some veggies I needed to use up in the fridge so I added them to a pot of water: broccoli, celery, carrots…and then I added potatoes, onion, bay leaves and let this boil until veggies were soft. Then I strained the veggies. Brought the broth to boil, and added potatoes, celery, onion, carrot and simmered until soft. Then I blended the veggies I had strained and added that back to the broth and simmered veggies. Next I had some squash in the freezer [already cooked and mashed] so I added that to the soup, along with 2 cups of brown rice [uncooked] and simmered this until rice was done. Then I added tomatoes that I had in the freezer [from the garden] and canned green beans and frozen corn. I also added salt, basil, and parsley and red pepper to taste. OMW, it's the best soup, and so filling and low calorie and NO fat!!!! emoticon I just found this picture, and thought I should have added beans too! That will be for next time!



"We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are." Adelle Davis

Blessings to you all! Love, Susan

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETMAGNOLIA2 11/12/2011 7:31AM

    Your soup sounds like my kind of meal! CUTE idea with the kid's fun lunch!

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GOURMETLOSER 11/11/2011 1:30AM

    It all looks so awesome!

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EJOY-EVELYN 11/10/2011 11:23PM

    You're wonderfully creative with a couple of my favorite topics: food and family. I made some new freggies creations this week and now am blessed with happy, happy dances while watching the kids on campus practice for Cultural Night. Wish you were here to enjoy our event.

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D-ABBY 11/10/2011 11:18PM

    That's one cool turkey there. I remember those fun times with the kids. emoticon

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SAL1512 11/10/2011 11:02PM

    We share something in common. I love to clear out the freezer and make soups, sometimes stew! It tastes yummy and makes room in my freezer and refrigerator at the same time. Glad you had fun with the kiddos!
emoticon

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ANYVAR54 11/10/2011 8:27PM

    YUMMY!!!

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JEANIECOLLEEN 11/10/2011 7:09PM

    Great idea and looks like fun! emoticon

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KADULAC 11/10/2011 4:55PM

    It's so much fun to "play" with our food. It all looks yummy. emoticon

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BLACK-PRINCESS 11/10/2011 1:30PM

    food looks emoticon

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SWIMLOVER 11/10/2011 11:48AM

  Your pictures are just Great! You are such a Great MOM and a
Great Homeschooling MOM! You have such a precious family!
GOD BLESS!
Louise

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JESS0107 11/10/2011 11:47AM

    That was too cute with the sandwiches!! I'm sure that your children just loved it. The vegetable soup looks delicious!!

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 11/10/2011 10:36AM

    Is there ever a day that you're NOT creative? I mean, that turkey is fantastic, not to mention those precious kids of yours faces! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/10/2011 10:31AM

    How fun. Those are SO cute! emoticon

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KMICHA 11/10/2011 10:23AM

    How fun! I love the sandwiches! Great Idea! Your soup sounds yummy! perfect for a chilly day as we are having here! Enjoy your day, Susan! emoticon

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MOMWANTSNOWAIST 11/10/2011 9:39AM

    LOVE the kids'sandwich creations & their SMILES~ Thanks for including the photos!! And you have me ready for soup for lunch now! My hubby makes a veggie soup similar to yours & it helps with the low cals! Thank you Susan for letting us have a peek into your day with the kiddoes!!!!

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TRACEYROCK 11/10/2011 9:39AM

    What a great way to get your kids excited about eating their veggies! So cute.

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SUNNY332 11/10/2011 8:42AM

    Very creative and looks like the kids had fun.

Do have a GREAT day today.

I am off to see Dad today. He is home and we have hired a nurse to help Sis take care of him.
God is Good all of the time!!!

Sunny



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PANSYLADY2 11/10/2011 8:36AM

    Sounds really good! Wanna come and be my personal chef?? emoticon


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DESERT_BIRD 11/10/2011 8:14AM

    I love this. Thank you for the soup recipe. It looks yummy.

emoticon

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NANCYBOAT 11/10/2011 8:05AM

    Love your kids plates - bet they did too!

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Scales were friendly! :-)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Well, the scales were friendly this morning! Have lost [the same #'s] 3#'s since starting the November challenge! Very thankful! Also I've done strength training for 9 days in a row! VERY happy! I've decided to break down my walks to a 2 mile before our lessons, and 3 miles after lunch. That's been working well.



Today I get my hair cut and get to shop at the consignment shop. Yesterday, I did my weekly errands in town, and went to the 'hospital' thrift store [the proceeds go to the hospital] and found a REALLY nice lined winter jacket for Mary [playing in the snow, not for town] for $3. And we also got a few Christmas decorations. One of the gals at the thrift store, who is a friend of mine, asked if I would be interested in volunteering. The PERK--1/2 price on everything at the thrift store! emoticon I might volunteer 1-2 times a month. I would enjoy being around these ladies, and to get things for great prices is a real bonus!



I was asked by the local homeschooling support group to speak at this Monday night's MOM's night out. They want me to speak about teaching multiple children. So I'll be working on that these next few days.



This morning I had THE BEST breakfast! I took my dark chocolate vitatop muffin and heated it for a few seconds in the microwave. Weighed 4 oz. of my homemade yogurt sweetened w/stevia w/1/2 oz of cocoa roasted almonds I made the other day--and crumbled my muffin on top, with a 1/2 banana on the side! OMW, was it DE-LI-CIOUS! Seriously, I almost felt GUILTY--like I was eating a dessert for breakfast! ha! I had ALL that for 308 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 11 grams of protein! Woooohoooo! emoticon



Have a GREAT Hump day everyone! All my love, Susan

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKIDEE 11/10/2011 5:41PM

    The breakfast sounds great, but did it keep you from getting hungry? I'm afraid it would just make me want more.

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DIANAOR1 11/10/2011 2:58PM

    emoticon Sounds like things you are on the right track... emoticon

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SWIMLOVER 11/10/2011 11:55AM

  You are doing just emoticon
GOD BLESS!
Louise

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JLPARKHURST 11/10/2011 7:09AM

    emoticon emoticon

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GOURMETLOSER 11/10/2011 5:43AM

    The volunteering sounds like a wonderful opportunity. The talk also. Hope it goes well.

Blessings
Margaret

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EBEAMS 11/10/2011 5:17AM

    Good bye 3 pounds ... Hello Retail Therapy opportunity ... and wow, that breakfast sounds divine! Keep up the great work ... You are doing emoticon!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/10/2011 1:43AM

    emoticon What a full and blessed life Susan. You ROCK! emoticon

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EJOY-EVELYN 11/10/2011 1:00AM

    What a beautiful mix of activities . . . volunteerism, speaking engagement (sharing your gift), and good nutrition. May God continue to grant you wise use of your gifts.

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SAL1512 11/9/2011 10:24PM

    Happy hump day to you too!
emoticon

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 11/9/2011 10:14PM

    congrats on the weight loss and the homeschooling honor being asked to speak. Your meal sounds wonderful!

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ANYVAR54 11/9/2011 9:50PM

    I love thrift stores, and you are doing so much. Congratulations on progress. And I always enjoy getting to know another Christian sister. Ravyna

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JUNEAU2010 11/9/2011 9:29PM

    Congrats on half off and volunteering! Very cool!

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SUNNY332 11/9/2011 5:30PM

    You will enjoy the volunteer work. I volunteer at the hospital every Wedesday. The first and the third in ICU and the second and the 4th in Pain Management (where I was working when I retired) so it is nice to see the Gals and the Docs occasionally. I do miss them but I am getting used to being retired.

We make our own bread now so vita tops are out for me but I did have a nice slice of whole wheat bread with Organic Peanut Butter and a Banana for breakfast today and it was yummy.

TTYL! Do have a good week!!

Sunny





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J0ETTE 11/9/2011 4:12PM

    I love having breakfasts (or any meal) like that. Those are the ones I say "smile" at me. :)

How do you make the cocoa roasted almonds? That would be awesome to make... And stop buying the 100 calorie pack ones I do buy.

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BLACK-PRINCESS 11/9/2011 4:04PM

    emoticon on weightloss & emoticon blog

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REBELBLITZ 11/9/2011 2:16PM

    What fun thrifting is! I know you will have great fun in the resale shop and you will get first peek at the bargains.

Congratulations on your weight loss. You will have to add some of the clothes that you no longer fit into to your new job inventory. Then you can get more skinny clothes for the "new you". Win/Win

I love thrifting.

emoticon

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KADULAC 11/9/2011 1:46PM

    Sounds like you are having a lot of fun and staying busy. Congratulations on the weight loss. emoticon

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PANSYLADY2 11/9/2011 1:36PM

    Congratulations on losing three pounds!! And breakfast sounds yummy!! Wish I were there. Snowed here this morning 2+ inches, but the ground is warm still so it's turning into slush and melting. Kinda sloppy driving. We've now had our "Squaw Winter" so we can get our "Indian Summer" anytime. Love you, gal!


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ABETTERSOUL 11/9/2011 11:49AM

    emoticon on the 3 pound loss! The thrift store volunteering sounds fun...I bet you will enjoy that! Enjoy your walks! emoticon

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JESS0107 11/9/2011 11:47AM

    emoticon on the weight loss!! That just means that the scale can hang around the house for that much longer!! I hope you have a good day today getting your hair cut and going shopping!!

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BESTSUSIEYET 11/9/2011 11:45AM

    I do the Vitatop with sweetened greek yogurt for dessert! Like the idea of adding slivered almonds. We feel like we're indulging in a warm brownie dessert!! Costco didn't have them on Monday -- I might have to order online. Costco was cheaper last time I looked, though.
Have a great day -- I know you'll be a blessing to the Homeschooling group! But be careful about adding another commitment to your schedule (even if you'd get a discount!). You are One Busy Lady!!

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MINDY502 11/9/2011 11:19AM

    Way to go on the weight loss!! Sounds like you had a great day of shopping. You will do awesome on speaking, I can only imagine. I love your writing and I think you have a gift for sharing. Breakfast sounded yummy does sound like a desert ha ha. Have a great week!

emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 11/9/2011 11:13AM

    Susan, your blogs just give me a great big emoticon and I love reading them! You will do emoticonspeaking on what you do so well, and that is emoticonabout the thrift store! emoticon

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