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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Who could have imagined two thousand years ago that we would be sharing the message of Jesus' coming with friends all over the via an electronic web? Whatever means we use to communicate the story, it's the JOY that's at the center! In this post, I'm sharing three viral videos of the season that have given me some JOY this past week.

The first one makes me cry (for JOY!) every time I watch it:


A slightly (!) different take from The Silent Monks:


For the ubernerds among us. Take the time, if you can, to watch the whole 7 minutes. It gets better and better! The guy in the antlers!

Edited to fix first link!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SJG1953 12/13/2010 8:26PM

    These are awesome!! Merry Christmas Michelle!

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ASMPP1 12/13/2010 12:03PM


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FRANNIEDID 12/13/2010 10:29AM

    Thanks for sharing, it is good to be reminded of "The reason for the season!"

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ZELLAZM 12/13/2010 7:53AM

    Thanks, Carolyn - another good one!

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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 12/12/2010 6:05PM


Try this one, too, Michelle. Thanks for sharing the other ones. I had seen the first but not the next two.


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TRYINGHARD1948 12/11/2010 7:48PM

    Amazing! Loved it, thanks so much for sharing and isn't it a Joy to see how the future is shaping up. I love the exuberance and vitality of the young. I'm sitting here with one huge smile on my face. emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 12/11/2010 3:54PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 12/11/2010 3:29PM

    I'm afraid the first one doesn't work for me. Maybe because of the "popup" instruction in the address? What is the title of the video -- I could do a uTube search.

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NEWLIBRARIAN 12/11/2010 9:47AM


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LAURAKATE76 12/11/2010 8:44AM

    Thanks for sharing! We're having quite a snow storm here and my work called to tell me to stay home, so I've got lots of watching time! emoticon

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DDOORN 12/11/2010 8:25AM

    Wonderful share!

Thx for spreading the JOY and the SPARK of Christmas!


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Advent, Advent

Sunday, December 05, 2010

On this lovely, snow-covered second Sunday of Advent, I'm reporting on my weekend goals:

*Track and stay within ranges - did this yesterday and today. Went over a wee bit in calories today (about 3!)
*Partake in MINIMAL holiday treats when caroling - I had 3 cookies and a slice of "hefezopf" which is a sweet egg bread. About 250 calories total.
*Get in two more ST sessions to meet 3x3 challenge goal - Goal met
*Minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day - still need to get in a bit before bed tonight, but should be no problem
*Catch up on Spark blogs - Goal met
*Drink massive quantities of hot liquids to get rid of this COLD - I continue to do this one.

Last night after getting back from caroling, I took a hot bath and went to bed at 7:30. Woke up about midnight with a headache, so took a pain pill, a quick shower and went back to bed till shortly before 9 this morning. Decided to stay home from church and am still not feeling 100% but at least I'm rested.

Caroling was fun. It's always an adventure because many people are reluctant to commit to coming, then show up after all -- or not. We ended up having two good groups. The group I led had 6 singers, ranging in age from 13 to 59, and accompanied by guitar, violin and cajon. Quite an impromptu little band!

The seniors were all very grateful for our visits. I remind myself every year that we really need to take more time to visit during the year and not just at Christmas. But the Christmas visits do help to make Advent special for both the visitors AND the visitors.

Before I close:

Fitness and Health Goals for Week of Dec. 6 (Nikolaustag) - 12:

*Track food the day before as much as possible (see other goals below!)
*Stay within ranges.
*Pack my lunches on work days.
*3x3 ST challenge.
*30 minutes a day exercise, increasing cardio as I start to feel better.
*Plan for calorie buffer on Christmas market visit days.
*Watch my portions at the company Christmas party on Friday.
*2 trips to the gym.
*Neurologist appt. on Thursday.
*Remember that those cookies are for gifts, not for personal consumption. (Well, maybe one or two!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVE2RUN4LIFE 12/7/2010 10:43PM

    I hope you are feeling better soon!

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    hope you're feeling better. the caroling sounded great! good for you!

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CMPEARL 12/6/2010 2:49PM

    Hope you are feeling better!!

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BKWHITE3 12/6/2010 12:46PM

    Love caroling. Glad you were able to have enough people for 2 groups.

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FRANNIEDID 12/6/2010 9:14AM

    I love caroling! Feel better soon, I hate winter colds and such. Sounds like you are doing great, I am inspired!!

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LIGIRLATHEART 12/6/2010 9:02AM

    Thanks for inspiring me to think about my own goals.

Good luck with yours and FEEL BETTER!!


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SJG1953 12/6/2010 2:19AM

    You are doing great on your goals Michelle. I pray you are well soon. Merry Christmas.

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TRYINGHARD1948 12/5/2010 9:38PM

    All the best with the goals and with the neurologist. Have a great week, hugs.

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DDOORN 12/5/2010 8:29PM

    Great job re: goals & caroling!


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CTEMPLE 12/5/2010 5:47PM


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November Goals/December Weeklies

Friday, December 03, 2010

November goals:

I didn't post a weight loss goal. Gained a little over the course of the month.

*Log at least 1200 cardio minutes - Goal met
*Track calories 5 days a week and stay within ranges - nope
*Burn SP recommended calories (1430) through exercise each week - did this in two of four weeks
*At least two gym visits a week - Goal met
*ST at least twice a week - did three times a week as part of our team 3x3 challenge

For December:

I'm finding that I start the month out pretty well, but slack off toward month's end. Life seems to happen in those last couple of weeks of the month. I'm not sure why.

At any rate, I've decided to post weekly goals rather than monthly. At the moment, it's all I can do to take one day at a time so even a week seems daunting!

This week is almost past but I'll post a couple of goals for the weekend:
*Track and stay within ranges
*Partake in MINIMAL holiday treats when caroling tomorrow. (Practice saying, "Nein, danke...sehr nett von dir aber nein, danke...danke, nein...sind bestimmt lecker, aber nein."
*Get in two more ST sessions to meet 3x3 challenge goal.
*Minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day
*Catch up on Spark blogs
*Drink massive quantities of hot liquids to get rid of this COLD. It's putting a serious crimp in my exercise activities!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    hope you get rid of your cold soon! good luck with your december challenges, I'm sure you'll do great! I know what you mean about the "nein, danke." gotta do that here too.

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SJG1953 12/4/2010 1:53AM

    You are doing great with the goal setting. You can accomplish these one day at a time for sure. I am praying your cold is short lived. God bless you.

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CTEMPLE 12/3/2010 7:37PM

    Yes I can't wait for January!

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TRYINGHARD1948 12/3/2010 7:30PM

    It's certainly a challenging time of the year. All the very best with your goals. I hope you don't mind if I use a few of them myself.

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LIGIRLATHEART 12/3/2010 6:01PM

    I hope you feel better real soon!

I think weekly goals are more manageable ESPECIALLY this time of year.

Best to you!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 12/3/2010 3:19PM

    Sorry to hear about your cold. Drink lots of hot tea!

Whatever you are saying in German, it sounds very polite. emoticon I'm sure people will understand.

You did great on working out. I think it's good to report on our goals no matter what happens. It helps to figure out how to set attainable goals...like switching to weekly rather than monthly.

Hope your voice is okay with the singing...not worth straining it. Have fun! emoticon

BTW, I like your background decor for Christmas....it's very tasteful.

Comment edited on: 12/3/2010 3:26:47 PM

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FRANNIEDID 12/3/2010 3:17PM

    I need to do the same, I gained a few pounds last month and am trying to undo the damage. I start out really well and then something happens. Oh well, November and December are rough food wise and then the rest of the winter is hard for exercise! I am asking my family for an elliptical!

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BKWHITE3 12/3/2010 1:07PM

    emoticon sounds like good goals

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LAURAKATE76 12/3/2010 10:27AM

    sounds like a good plan, especially for this time of year. It's so easy to get off track during the holidays. Weekly goals help you focus a bit more!

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ASMPP1 12/3/2010 10:05AM

    emoticon emoticon It is a tough time of year.

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NEWLIBRARIAN 12/3/2010 9:27AM

    Sounds like you are doing well with your busy schedule and the fact that ti's the holidays and a cold as well.
I need to focus on a few things but it's hard this time of year.

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DDOORN 12/3/2010 8:54AM

    So sorry to hear about your cold! Seems to be spreading about the office here also...knock on wood it seems to be passing me by thus far!

Sounds like a reasonable plan to SPARK your way through the season ahead!


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NEWNAC304 12/3/2010 8:10AM

    It's very hard to stay on track over the Holidays. Take it one day at a time. Hope you feel better soon.

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LADYRH 12/3/2010 7:52AM

    I think November and December are great challenges for those of us who are food choice challenged. I find that posting my goals weekly keeps me on track better than monthly.
Best Wishes.

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ELLEN0407 12/3/2010 7:47AM

  i think you did well in november. this time of yr is so tough. i think your december goals are great. i wish i was so focused. happy holidays

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Attitude adjustment

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's dark and ugly outside, even though it's 3 in the afternoon.

It can't seem to decide if it wants to rain or snow.

I'm tired, even though I slept 10 hours last night.

I feel like taking a nap but, then again, I have a million other things that I could attend to this afternoon.

I'll be working out at the gym tomorrow so I could just skip it.

No one will ever know if I don't go running like I usually do on Sunday afternoons.

I did it anyway.

Thanks, SP and fellow Sparkers for helping me cultivate a "do it anyway" attitude.

For any country music fans out there, the "Anyway" song: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SE3S7VcyOPU

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHICADEE26 11/29/2010 12:13PM

    Way to go!

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CMPEARL 11/22/2010 4:47PM

    Good job Michelle! I know I've been feeling the effects of winter here in the midwest too, and it is hard to keep plugging away some days. Keep up the great work!!! emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 11/22/2010 3:26PM


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FRANNIEDID 11/22/2010 8:53AM

    We all have "those" days, good for you for running anyway!

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NEWNAC304 11/22/2010 6:24AM

    Good for you for getting out there and running, especially in that nasty weather!

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TRYINGHARD1948 11/21/2010 11:46PM

    Well done Michelle. It's such a righteous feeling when we do what we think is right.

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CHRYS13 11/21/2010 8:39PM

    Good for you! emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/21/2010 8:37PM

    Thanks for the link....I enjoyed listening to it.

I'm glad you ran anyway!

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SJG1953 11/21/2010 8:16PM

    emoticon emoticon You did a good job Michelle!

I like the "Anyway" song. Thanks for the link.

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BKWHITE3 11/21/2010 6:42PM

    Glad you were able to go for your run.

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ASMPP1 11/21/2010 5:51PM

    Good for you for following through.

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CTEMPLE 11/21/2010 5:01PM

    Dear Michelle sometimes it happens to me too that I can't make a decision and so I do it anyway, it usually works.
Claudia emoticon

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DDOORN 11/21/2010 12:36PM

    "Dark and ugly" nasty enemies of the Spark!

Kudos to you!


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JILLTBNAGART 11/21/2010 12:03PM

    I always think that at times the only thing you have the power to change is your attitude. Glad you agree with me!

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NIGHTOCUPS 11/21/2010 11:36AM

    Good job!

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KATHYK24 11/21/2010 11:33AM

    Good for you! I always feel better when I do what I least want to do and get it over with!

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Sunday this and that

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I finally got my winter tires put on yesterday --- and today it reached a high of 66 degrees?

I'm going to have a very tight couple of weeks till my next paycheck from the language school. It will include my Christmas bonus, however! Yay to that! Austerity measures are in force - more walking, living off the food that's in the house. Should be good for the waistline as well as the pocketbook!

Made a date with a friend for him to help me wallpaper and paint my hall on Friday.

Spoke to two old friends on the phone this weekend, one I haven't seen in 17 years. We've kept in touch from time to time, and now more regularly thanks to Facebook.

Went to a WONDERFUL concert on Friday with the Christian band Casting Crowns. What a super evening of music, testimony, Scripture in action. I so seldom stay out that late anymore that I've been wiped out all weekend --- but wiped out in a good way :)

I worked yesterday afternoon. I have a student/client who is moving up in his company and needs more English for his future duties. The city was really happening - Christmas decorations being put up in the train station, major union demonstration in the middle of town, Saturday shoppers. I guess I should start thinking about Christmas plans too?!

After a nap this afternoon, I got in a short run in this beautiful weather. Thought of Catherine and other Sparkers running the San Antonio marathon.

And that's that : Good week, everyone! Be blessed!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

INTERSTATEVERSE 11/21/2010 11:04AM

    sounds like you're really busy! good luck with everything!

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FRANNIEDID 11/16/2010 9:43AM

    I think we are all on a tight budget lately! Hang in there. Oh and good for you for preparing for winter, it has not quite come here yet but we are getting inklings!!!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 11/15/2010 11:24PM

    Sounds like a nice weekend. How can it be time to think of Christmas?

Thanks for thinking of me!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/15/2010 8:35AM

    Sounds like you had a great weekend. I love Casting Crowns. I bet that was a great event.

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CTEMPLE 11/14/2010 8:53PM

    Yes I know what you mean with the food, I 'm buying less and sort of leave everything run out, I'm tired of getting spoilt food. As your Winter hasn't started , our Summer hasn't either, the humidity is here but with lot of rain and no heat, very grateful for it.
Great that you're feeling good.

Comment edited on: 11/14/2010 8:59:14 PM

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ASMPP1 11/14/2010 7:48PM

    Keeping busy and enjoying yourself! emoticon

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KARENBROWN6 11/14/2010 4:42PM

    You have had a busy time. Very apt for a busy bug leader!

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