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With Pen in Hand . . . .

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This is not one of those inspirational stories where you read about the person losing 100 or 200 or more pounds. True, on a 'before' and 'after' photo you would see a difference, but not the type of changes you see on 'Biggest Loser.' Nevertheless, it was not easy for me to lose the weight that I lost. I have faced same of the same challenges that we all face. I have had to make changes (permanent ones) in the way I eat and even in my outlook on life.

Now I'm down to that last 10 pounds that you read is so hard to take off. I tend to agree with that statement whole heartedly. Last year I had that same 10 pounds to lose, and it's still hanging on to me like we were best buddies!

"Eve, it's time to stop fooling yourself." It's time to make a plan and stick with it. So even though this is close to the beginning of 2012, they are NOT New Year's Resolutions. I say that because they've always been broken in the past, so I don't look at it that way. Instead these are promises to ME. Goals, true, but even more they are promises to myself and if you can't keep a promise (even to yourself) you're pretty far gone. I have pencilled them in on my calendar, just 1/2 pound loss by each and every Sunday. On May 6th I will be at my goal and I can move further if desired, or just maintain, but I WILL GET THERE!

Join me in my half pound per week challenge. If "I" can do it, I know "you" can do it. Let's get rid of 1/2 a pound a week, that's approximately 2 pounds a month. I know it will call for me to boost up what I'm already doing, adding some things, cutting out others..... it will be exciting. I'm going to look at it as a challenge against myself -- maybe I can even beat the May 6th goal and get there sooner!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PSMITH3841 12/30/2011 4:27PM

    I'm with you on this Goal...1/2lb a week IS doable (is that even a word? Why doesn't it look right?)! Count me in! emoticon

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VITCHY-VICKI 12/28/2011 7:58AM

    Good Luck kido I know you can do it
I am with you no promises but will say I will try
This year is go or bust
I will kick your butt if you kick mine
emoticon more like WE can do this together
Vicki

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ARTJAC 12/28/2011 12:36AM

    emoticoni would love to join you but i will be having back surgery early next yearso i will be out of action for a few weeks so i will keep doing the same as i am doing now until then jacque

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OLDERDANDRT 12/27/2011 7:37PM

    emoticon emoticonI'm with you! emoticon emoticon

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4_MY_LIFE 12/27/2011 1:45PM

    I don't do resolutions, the name just makes them so easy to be broken. Good luck with your goal! I know you can do it. emoticon

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The "W" in Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Although this is not truly a Christmas story about me and my children, it could easily have been -- and I loved the story enough to pass it on! emoticon

The "W" in Christmas

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience.

I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending.

Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting Season for a six year old.
For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant."

I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his Teacher. She assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the Presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot to sit down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats.

As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by
their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose
to perform their song.

Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the Holiday as
"Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly suprised by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red
sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads.

Those in the front row- center stage - held up large letters, one by one, to
spell out the title of the song.

As the class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the Letter
C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his
portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a Small,
quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down - totally
unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W".

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake.
But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly
holding her "W".

Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until
the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together.

A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen.

In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the
holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our
festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:

"C H R I S T W A S L O V E"


And, I believe, He still is. Amazed in His presence... .humbled by His love.

Again, HAVE A BLESSED CHRISTMAS SEASON!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROBBGIN 1/7/2012 1:31PM

    This was the most beautiful Christmas story that I have had the pleasure of reading. Thank you so much for sharing it!

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OLDERDANDRT 12/25/2011 11:18AM

    Love this! Thank you! Merry Christmas!

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VITCHY-VICKI 12/24/2011 8:35AM

    I have seen this story before and I still like it thanks for sharing
Jesus is the reason for the season
Vicki

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CATHRINE2010 12/24/2011 7:30AM

    This story made me cry! I was so proud of all those little boys and girls! Christ truely was all about love and we so need that reminder! Thanks for sharing and God Bless YOu and yours!

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4_MY_LIFE 12/24/2011 5:12AM

    Wonderful story! Thank you for sharing. Have a great Christmas!

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LIS193 12/23/2011 10:36PM

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story - may you have a blessed Christmas with your loved ones.
Feliz Navidad

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ARTJAC 12/23/2011 8:53PM

    fantastic emoticon

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RORYLYONS 12/23/2011 6:57PM

    How lovely..Merry Christmas! emoticon

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CTUPTON 12/23/2011 6:26PM

    I am the first to read this! It is a lovely, lovely story! Thanks for posting it. I am sure someone "up there" guided my hand to click on your blog! God is good.

Chris emoticon

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The 12-Step Program for a Healthy Lifestyle!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

AAA has a 12-step program, so perhaps it would be a good idea for living a healthy lifestyle to have a 12-step program. Something to fall back on when we get off track.

STEP 1. Drink 8 glasses of water daily. Perhaps your milk, tea and juices could count as part of the 8 glasses (8 oz. each).

STEP 2. Exercise for 30 minutes each day. This could be a workout at the gym or a brisk walk. The idea is to get out there and MOVE!

STEP 3. Watch the amount of sodium you are consuming, over 2500 mg and you will tend to be plagued with "water retention" or "water weight."

STEP 4. Total calories are important, but make sure you have balanced your nutrients correctly. If your range is 1800 to 2300 calories per day, that doesn't mean it can be made up of ice cream and cookies!

STEP 5. Healthy Lifestyle covers many aspects of your life. Personality is important, so be friendly and outgoing, smiling is actually healthy! And, it keep you from getting depressed.

STEP 6. Surround yourself with friends who are supportive. When you are around people who drag you down, you cannot maintain motivation and energy.

STEP 7. It is important to write down things going on in your life, or keep a journal. It is so easy to get off the track, and suddenly you find you are gaining instead of losing.

STEP 8. Set goals for yourself and keep track of where you are. For example if one of the temptations in your life is eating out (restaurant food tends to be high in fat and sodium) then have that as one of your goals. Only eat out once per week, and monitor the places you tend to frequent, as they are not all equal. Many restaurants now offer healthy menu's where you can see the amount of calories and fat you will consume.

STEP 9. Even if you've reached your goal, never go back to your old lifestyle! This is not a "diet" you are on, it is a new way of living. To be healthier, feel better, look better and have more energy, it is a lifestyle you need to maintain.

STEP 10. Get the proper amount of sleep. That doesn't mean 4 or 5 hours. It is important to get as close to 8 hours each night as possible. And maintain that schedule even on week-ends. It is good to keep your body in the habit of the same routine daily.

STEP 11. Watch the amount of alcohol you consume as it has loads of calories, plus it could affect your judgment about what to eat.

STEP 12. Be sure to allow "me" time for yourself, and don't forget to indulge in your favorite treats from time to time. Portion control is the main thing to watch for. A bite or two of almost anything will not hurt you, but a whole BAG of cookies will.

Good luck with the 12 steps -- and thank you, Catlady, for helping me out. This will give all of us a plan for 2012.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1COUNTRY_GAL 12/27/2011 3:40AM

    I do like this 12 step program,it sound like what I need! emoticon emoticon

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LOVEAZ 12/24/2011 5:26PM

    I sure need a 12-step program like this! Must add this as a reminder!

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OLDERDANDRT 12/23/2011 11:19AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSMAKEOVER 12/22/2011 1:02PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VITCHY-VICKI 12/22/2011 8:59AM

    Thanks for the ideas to be good next year
V

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ARTJAC 12/21/2011 9:25PM

    emoticonnow we have to stick to it

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STILLFLYIN 12/21/2011 6:16PM

    emoticon

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CATLADY52 12/21/2011 3:39PM

    STEP 12. Make sure you schedule time for YOURSELF. And don't put it off. emoticon

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Walk Through the Land of Miracles

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

emoticon It may be an ordinary walk with your pet to some people, but if you look at it through the eyes of Love and Optimism it becomes a walk through the land of miracles!

emoticon As we start our walk through the park I see a leaf slowly fluttering to the ground and I'm reminded of the miracle of the four seasons. I love autumn with the display of beautiful leaves turning color. We never really have what you'd call winter in Phoenix, so we are more of a 2-season area.

As we get near the play area I see a toddler taking their first precarious steps toward the mother, who is anxiously holding out her arms, and urging her child forward. But no, they didn't quite make it this time, and as she falls down on that greatly patted bottom of hers you see the quivering of the lips, the tears forming in the eyes, and you remember the miracle of your own children when they were young.

The next thing we came across was an elderly woman sitting on one of the benches which are scattered around the park. Amber loves the chance to sniff around a bit, so I decided to sit for a minute and chat. Perhaps that moment of friendship was the highlight of the woman's day. At the very least I learned more about one of my neighbors.

There is an old saying that "You can look around and think there is no such thing as a miracle or you can look around and know that "everything" is a miracle." I prefer the last choice!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VITCHY-VICKI 12/21/2011 8:43AM

    Nice Blog you always think of something to blog about
God's Blessings
V

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TRISTAROSE 12/21/2011 6:26AM

    Great blog and so true. I love the picture of the house .... I want to be there!

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ARTJAC 12/21/2011 1:51AM

    great story emoticon

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CATLADY52 12/20/2011 5:42PM

    So true. And yet so easy to forget. emoticon emoticon

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STILLFLYIN 12/20/2011 1:33PM

    And I agree with your choice!


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Getting the Christmas Spirit

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas time is for the children in us -- you've all got the "child" still in you somewhere, even those of you who won't admit it. But I think as an adult who never had the thrill of believing in Santa, never had the thrill of Christmas decorations and seeing gifts piled under the tree -- I think the fact that I lacked all of this as I was growing up, it made me appreciate all the Joys of Christmas even more now as an adult. I look forward to the time I can set up my tree -- from Halloween on it is all that is on my mind. emoticon

I drag out the big box containing the tree (and now it's all pre-lit, no more tangled lights to sort and worry about) -- I plan what my theme will be this year, and as soon as neighbors won't look at me funny, I hang the wreath on the door. Luckily they can't see my tree, so I can put it up as early as I please (unless we have company coming). I have one theme that is all teddy bears with maybe a few bulbs. Another theme is for when I'm feeling sophisticated and elegant. That's when I use gold, silver and crystal (makes a beautiful tree) and the other is when I use mauve & gold and lots of angels. All the themes are gorgeous and I love them all, it just depends on the mood I am in when I decorate.
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Today is the 16th and it seemed a good time to travel to the other side of Phoenix (Mesa) and see the gorgeous light display that is featured by the Mormon Church. I had lived in Mesa at one time and used to drive by and see their full-sized camels all lite up and was very impressed, but I had no idea that they had an entire visitor's center, and a garden area behind that where decorations abound aplenty! One room is devoted to nativity scenes and that alone was worth the trip. I saw a beautiful nativity set from Germany, and while I could not lift any of the statues to see if it was Hummel, I was sure it was (I happen to have the identical nativity set myself) there was Armani from Italy and also a beautiful one of Lladro. Then when you went into the garden/patio areas you saw a very large square pond, lined by trees and flowers. All was alite with purple/red/green/gold and a multi-color of lights. There were decorations that I have never seen in any other displays.

So here I am, filled with Christmas cheer and Christmas Spirit and wish all my friends could have been with me tonight so we could have poked one another and said, "Did you see "that one" and ohh'ed and ahh'ed to our hearts content.

emoticon emoticon emoticonMerry Christmas! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGARSMOM2 12/19/2011 7:50PM

  you all sound like you are in the spirt . Hope you all have a wonderful christmas and a very happy new year . . christmas used to be my all time favorite . right now seems to be gone . hope to catch it soon .. need pumped up .. sorry . your tree looks wonderful ..

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STILLFLYIN 12/18/2011 12:09PM

    Merry Christmas!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAYWEB555 12/18/2011 10:29AM

    Today is the day to decorate my tree. That has been sitting in the living room bare ! Just haven't had the energy for doing the decorating this year that I do every year. Yet, I have so much more energy than I have had since June!
Thanks for sharing about the Mormon display, did you get any pictures ? Sure would love to have joined you in your adventure ! Merry Christmas, when do you take your tree down ? My tree usually goes up the day before Thanksgiving so that it can be lite Thanksgiving evening. Then it will come down Jan 12! The out side goes up same time but will come down weather permiting ASAP Jan. 1 !!!

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VITCHY-VICKI 12/18/2011 6:54AM

    I have theme trees too this year is old fashion I use the decorations I had when I was at home for my mom didn't want them anymore but I used a White tree which now I wish I would have gotten a real one but that is how it goes plus as of now I have 140 different Nativity scene I have them all on display - I am so thankful I can enjoy Christmas just wish all my kids could be here to celebrate it with me but thank goodness for Skype so I can see my Daughter in Kuwait
emoticonMerry Christmas and thanks for the blog

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ARTJAC 12/17/2011 9:51PM

    emoticonwe have no small grandchildren now they are all grown up youngest is 11 year old boy who lives in queensland but his parents put a huge tree up

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TRISTAROSE 12/17/2011 7:25AM

    I would have loved to have been with you. My house has been decorated since Thanksgiving and my tree will be up at least until the end of January. I just love Christmas.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Merry Christmas

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4_MY_LIFE 12/17/2011 6:19AM

    I love decorating for Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving the decorations go up. Also like driving around and seeing the decorations.

Enjoy the season!

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