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Coincidence?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I just finished course #2. Yes, I decided to take it and it was definitely the right decision. Thank you for the prayer support. I know God is always speaking to us - but we need help with the hearing sometimes!

It was a course on the Principles of Teaching but it was far more than just a foundations course. The class was small, the instructor not just an expert and experienced, but amazingly transparent and accessible. I learned so much about teaching and learning. I know it will really impact my work and ministry - still so much to process after a week of intensive study. And I still have to write my final projects for BOTH courses, so I'm going to leave up the books background on my Spark page for awhile.

The other "coincidence" took place on my birthday on the 5th. I knew I wouldn't be able to do much celebrating. (The BIG celebration will take place when I finally get my diploma - if all goes well, in December!) But the staff at the school where I'm studying had already planned a little ice cream party for that day. After the full day of classes, we all built our own sundaies, then gathered in the garden for fellowship and a short devotion from the school director. He announced that it was my birthday, too, so I got lots of well wishes. Isn't it cool how God plans these "coincidences" to let us know he's thinking of us?

We're the apples of his eye!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRANNIEDID 7/12/2011 4:45PM

    I am so sorry I missed your birthday, it sounds like you had a good one. Congratulations on the course, I love it when a teacher really impacts you!

Happy belated Birthday! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SJG1953 7/12/2011 2:45AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Happy Belated Birthday Michelle!! Indeed, God does know what is going on in our lives. We are the apple of His eye for sure. Like you said, we have to listen to what God is saying to us. God bless you.

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KATHYKIM 7/11/2011 9:58AM

    Happy Belated Birthday!
emoticon

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NEWLIBRARIAN 7/11/2011 8:36AM

    Happy Birthday and Happy Writing.

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FIT4HISGLORY 7/11/2011 6:30AM

    Happy birthday, dear Zella! Happy birthday to you! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/11/2011 6:31:47 AM

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CTEMPLE 7/11/2011 2:46AM

    Happy Birthday Dear Michelle! There's nothing better than a good teacher, only they should be allowed to teach!
Claudia

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ANGORA4 7/10/2011 9:48PM

    Amazing!

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ASMPP1 7/10/2011 8:41PM

    emoticon emoticon Happy belated Birthday!

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RUNNINGWOLFOFMI 7/10/2011 6:02PM

    Happy Belated Birthday!!

Way to keep driving forward to that diploma! It will come quicker then you realize :^)

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PLAINJANELLEN 7/10/2011 3:36PM

    Wishing you a rather late HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DLG0505 7/10/2011 3:26PM

    Sorry I missed your birthday! You need to do like I do and announce it to the whole world a week ahead so they have time to get my presents bought!

So glad to see your class went great for you!

It is amazing how God works sometimes isn't it?

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SPARKLES 7/10/2011 1:49PM

    Happy Belated Birthday!! :)

Ya know what's wierder than that? I DREAMED about that the other night. Yep. I was at some kind of gathering, & it was my birthday, & somebody announced it & I got a lot of birthday wishes. MY birthday isn't until November.... hmmmm

So glad you got the well wishes for real! :)

Jenn emoticon

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NEWNAC304 7/10/2011 12:18PM

    Happy Belated Birthday!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 7/10/2011 12:11PM

    Happy birthday!
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BANDMAMAPC 7/10/2011 10:43AM

    Why didn't you say anything that it was your birthday after independence day? You are being so sneaky! Happy Belated Birthday Michelle! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIGIRLATHEART 7/10/2011 9:20AM

    emoticon

Happy, happy Birthday to you, Michelle!

Your course work sounds very interesting. (I was a teacher long ago - and I think my son may be headed in a similar direction as you.)

Good luck with your final papers! You continue to inspire on many levels. I am grateful to have you as my SparkFriend.

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Decisions, Decisions

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Finished the classes for one of my summer courses on Tuesday. It was one of the best classes I've taken so far - lots of interesting information about learning theories, teaching methods, planning courses. Now I have to work on the portfolio project that has to be turned in at the end of the month.

In looking over the syllabus for the class that starts tomorrow, I realized that we'll be covering a lot of the same material (but in English with an American professor) and that the final project for this second course is similar to what I have to do for the first course. So I have to decide if I'm going to audit this course or take it for credit. I won't go into all the pros and cons. Just have to make a decision by tomorrow. Prayers appreciated that I make the best possible decision!

I had a good talk with my advisor for my practical project and we had a good brainstorming session about what kind of project it should be. I was really encouraged by the support he gave me.

Yesterday, I ran the 7K Frauenlauf in a very slow 54:43. I was OK with that, although it was a little slower than my last attempt at the distance a couple of years ago. The only irritating thing was the sound of the Nordic walking sticks clicking behind me threatening to overtake me, the "runner"! A couple of them did. Of course, they were about 20 years my junior and extremely well-trained. No prize socks this time because there were three other runners in my age group, two of whom were MUCH faster than I was. That's OK, too, even though the competitive Michelle was a little irked.

More importantly, the race brought me to the conclusion that I've been overtraining. I need to run longer and slower in training if I want to build endurance and then the speed will come. I definitely need to be more specific in my training before I try another race. I think I have a faster time in me. I have to confess that I've been more concerned with the short-term goals: just getting out there and getting in some cardio minutes. Again, consistency hasn't been the best.

Anybody want to be my personal trainer? There's a 10 K coming up in September that's supposed to be a good, well-organized race with a nice course.

Kinda homesick for the USA this weekend - Happy Fourth of July!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VISUALLYRICS 7/8/2011 3:55PM

    emoticonthoughts, and emoticonBlog!!!
emoticonon your race, 7K Frauenlauf!!

Where are you from? ...you mentioned missing the USA? =)

.....my DH is in the process of training for a 5K...he ran one 2 weeks ago....with an avg. 8 min mile....he hopes for a 7 min mile coming up in September! I am so beside myself with Excitement as I cheer for him!! He is getting FIT at last! I am so happy!

have a Blessed weekend! ~ Laura

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KATHYKIM 7/8/2011 10:19AM

    Congrats on your 7k! emoticon I, too, am know increasing my distance while maintaing the same speed. I'll increase my speed when I can consistently run the distance. I think the Spark 10k plan is a good start for your training!

Since I am just catching up on some of my Sparking, I'm sure you have made the right decision regarding your class.


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FRANNIEDID 7/5/2011 2:23PM

    Woo Hoo on finishing your class, and you will make the right choice on the other one so go for it!

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ASMPP1 7/4/2011 9:55AM

    emoticon

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RURAL3 7/4/2011 9:11AM

    Praying for you to make the right choice Michelle. I know you will. I think it is a big accomplishment to even do races after we reach a certain age. Keep up the good work. I am rooting for you. emoticon emoticon

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JANETELIZABETH1 7/4/2011 2:06AM

    Good for you competing Michelle. I don't know too much about the pros & cons of that type of training but my son is a runner. He is due to do a 26 mile marathon in October and another one came up a few weeks ago, I asked if he was going to do that, he said no...he didn't want to peak too soon. So sounds like the over training is right.

Praying you're led to make the right decision re your study work...I know you work so hard trying to balance all those things.
Happy 4th July to you today my friend...and tomorrow is a special day for you too I know. (I'll be back on that one!!)

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CTEMPLE 7/3/2011 11:25PM

    Maybe a race is not that relevant but general fitness and consistency are.
Claudia

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ANGORA4 7/3/2011 2:11PM

    Wow! I like your plan, more distance, more endurance, then add more speed. Sounds like a plan!

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BANDMAMAPC 7/3/2011 11:03AM

    Michelle,
You are the most intelligent person I know. Don't overthink it too much. Go with your gut feeling, it is always the right one. Being homesick is always tough, especially now. I'll be thinking of you when the fireworks start tomorrow. I'll be out with my family and helping out with the marching band.

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NEWNAC304 7/3/2011 9:50AM

    Good luck making the decision. I know you'll do what's best for you.

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DDOORN 7/3/2011 9:45AM

    Whew...! Couldn't imagine running such distances...! Great job!

Sticking to my cycling thank you...! Hoping to nail around 50 miles today!

Don

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So!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I had a so-so week. I didn't track my food on two days and I know I went over with some evening snacking going on. I exercised every day, got in my ST three times, did pretty well on sleep, but a lot of my cardio was just walking to and from the train station. It still counts as exercise, but I didn't get the intensity I need for training for this Saturday's race.

Today has been another one of those on-again, off-again days. SO, I'm about to get out there and get in a good run and then I WILL finish tracking for today. It won't be pretty and neither will tomorrow's weigh-in, but it could have been worse.

Two more days of intensive class #1, then I'll have a little bit of a breather before the next class starts on Monday, July 4. It has been a great week as far as that goes - good teacher, good material, good class discussions and team work. I have a presentation to do on Tuesday, last day of class, with a partner. A bit nervous about that - always more so in German than when I speak in English. But it's only 15 minutes and my partner is great, SO I know it will be OK.

Encouraged by RAYLINSTEPHENS blog post, and feeling like I need a little summer boost to get to goal range by the end of August. SO, I joined a challenge group, the Summer 5% challenge. Hoping to be a part of the Firecracker team. SO, if you're interested, sign up!
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=50696


Looking forward to a good, possibly even great week!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLFAITHWALKR 6/30/2011 11:15PM

    It sounds to me as if you're doing great.
emoticon

Hard to believe all of that is not enough . . .

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NEWLIBRARIAN 6/29/2011 8:44AM

    Hey you can do it.
I love the reading glasses pic by the way
So scholarly!

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ASMPP1 6/28/2011 3:44PM

    emoticon

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FRANNIEDID 6/27/2011 10:26AM

    Good luck Michelle!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 6/27/2011 6:44AM

    I read LInda's blog too and happened to join the Firecracker team too. Hope they put us on the same team!

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SJG1953 6/27/2011 1:45AM

    emoticon Michelle!

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DLG0505 6/27/2011 12:56AM

    I need to check in more often! I keep missing the challenges and stuff.

I know you will get right back on track - you are our fearless leader after all! And like Runningwolf says - there's a big difference between being busy and lazy. You're busy - I'm lazy!

Glad to hear you will get a bit of a breather between classes. You deserve it!



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RUNNINGWOLFOFMI 6/26/2011 9:58PM

    Just remember it is never how far off the track you get that really matters; it is you reason for falling off and whether you care or not. Obviously you have been busy, not lazy and you are determined to get back on the track! So you don't even need to worry for a second! You have been doing great! Keep it up!

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RUNNINGWOLFOFMI 6/26/2011 9:51PM

    Just remember it is never how far off the track you get that really matters; it is you reason for falling off and whether you care or not. Obviously you have been busy, not lazy and you are determined to get back on the track! So you don't even need to worry for a second! You have been doing great! Keep it up!

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CMPEARL 6/26/2011 9:49PM

    Firecrackers, huh? Well you know as a sparkfriend I'm so happy you joined a summer challenge BUT as a Cloverleaf I say game on... and may the best team win ;D

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DDOORN 6/26/2011 7:59PM

    Need to get back to tracking again...having a tough time lately.

Don

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CTEMPLE 6/26/2011 7:47PM

    Good luck with the challenge dear Michelle, and yes we have on and off days its' life. You'll feel better when your break comes.
I joined the challenge thanks for the info!
Claudia

Comment edited on: 6/26/2011 7:55:20 PM

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TRYINGHARD1948 6/26/2011 7:03PM

    emoticon

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Thinking Cap

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's time to put on my thinking cap again and I've modified my Spark page decor accordingly.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Tomorrow I go back to school for the first of two summer intensive courses, almost back to back. The first one is in Teaching for the Church Context (in German with a Swiss prof) and the second is Principles of Teaching (with a visiting prof from the US - yay!) So if you don't see me around much, that's why! I will be buried in books. Here I am channeling John Lennon in my new reading glasses that I got for 2 at the German equivalent of a dollar store:



By the time I finish, it will have taken me almost 10 years to finish this degree, a Master's in Educational Ministries. I really wanted to finish this year! And fortunately the Akademie is going to let me pay the rest of my tuition in installments. Otherwise, raising the finances would have delayed my finish even more. I'll have my coursework finished with these two classes, then will need to do a "integrative project," that takes the place of a thesis in this program. Not sure where or what that will be yet. Finally, exams in October.
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I turn 60 in a couple of weeks and will get to celebrate with my classmates (all of them a bit younger, I expect) during the coffee break during one of the courses.
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My other birthday celebration will be a 7K "Frauenlauf" women's run on July 2. My last race in this age group! Old friends will remember that I won a pair of socks in this run a couple of years ago when I finished 3rd in my group (out of 3!) Aren't they bootiful?!



I'm up to running an hour at a time now, with walking breaks about every 5 minutes la Galloway. I need to keep training hard this week (great way to beat the study stress!) and will ease off the week before the race to conserve energy for the run. I'm hoping that a couple of my Nordic walking buddies will join me on the 2nd.
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Doing well on my June goals of tracking consistently and looking forward to doing the happy dance tomorrow after my weigh-in. Stay tuned to your status feeds!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VIVIANJ5 6/22/2011 2:09AM

    Way to go, Michelle! I love the new look, really highlights the silvery hair and the bootiful blue eyes! And though I knew you were a little older than me (from what you had said; I never would have guessed), I had no idea you were pushing 60!! Amazing...I sincerely hope to be as active and motivated and healthy as you are when I get there...

Take care, my friend!

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ANGORA4 6/21/2011 11:00PM

    Woo hoo! emoticon

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CTEMPLE 6/20/2011 3:25AM

    60! you don't look it.That will be me in 2 years time!
Great that you're doing well with running, you're my hero!
Claudia

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SJG1953 6/20/2011 3:17AM

    What beautiful blue eyes you have Michelle! And those socks are the best! Congratulations on reaching your goals. You are an AWESOME person! God has truly blessed you! Praying that all works out as planned. Hugs, Shirley

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DDOORN 6/19/2011 9:16PM

    Kudos to pushing yourself on ALL fronts, physical and intellectual!

Although I used to be quite the bookworm I have to admit to allowing the 'net to swallow up my reading time over the years. I only read when on vacation now.

Don

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ASMPP1 6/19/2011 7:50PM

    Congrats on your degree! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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RUNNINGWOLFOFMI 6/19/2011 6:13PM

    Congratualtions on finishing your degree and giving back to those around you with the subject being ministries! It doesn't matter when you reach bliss in a certain aspect of life, rather just the fact that you achieved it is POWERful!

Great job on your runs as well and accomplishing your fitness goals for the month! You are doing so well!

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CMPEARL 6/19/2011 5:49PM

    LOVE all the new looks. I know you will do fabulous in school and in training for the race! emoticon

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FIT4HISGLORY 6/19/2011 3:02PM

    Love the look, Zella! And yes, I do remember you winning those socks! You continue to inspire me with your tenacity! We ARE unstoppable...by His grace alone!

Karen

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KATHYKIM 6/19/2011 2:33PM

    Congratulations on your upcoming degree and race. You should be very proud!


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FRANNIEDID 6/19/2011 2:14PM

    Love the books and congratulations on all your hard work. Keep us posted, you will inspire me to get my master's even though I am in my mid 50s. It is never too late!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 6/19/2011 1:37PM

    What lovely blue eyes you have!

Way to go with the running.
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NEWNAC304 6/19/2011 12:55PM

    I wish you the best in your studies.

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BANDMAMAPC 6/19/2011 12:22PM

    Love those specs! So studious looking. You are definitely a go getter person. No matter how much or how long it will take you to your goal, amazing! The socks are a hoot!

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Yoohoo, SP!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

I'm waiting for my trophies, please! It's June 2! emoticon

A month ago, I posted that I hoped to be Ms. Consistency for the month of May. I set up some streaks on my page but SP hasn't gotten around to notifying us of our progress yet. If you're like me, you kinda look forward to those little icons and awards that they send. Some people never grow up, do we!?

So, I'm patting myself on the back for tracking food and exercise daily in May. That doesn't mean I stayed within my ranges every day but I tracked probably 95% of what I ate, striving for progress not perfection. Managed to lose 3.3 pounds. I also walked A LOT in addition to my more intense runs and Nordic walking workouts, including a 10K benefit walk. I've been doing without the car as much as possible, even went 10 days without using it at all. And another factor that has contributed to the progress has been ditching the TV except for two events - the royal wedding and a German national team soccer match.

On June 9, I celebrate one year of daily exercise. Not my longest streak, but approaching it.

My goals for June - more of the same, and I've also got an eye on running a 7K race on July 2 which means I'm in training!

I'm also going to prayerfully add another goal. I've been cocooning and need to start reaching out and (re-)building some of the IRL relationships that have gone unattended over the past months. That means a daily phone call, card, visit, or email to a friend or family member.

Thanks to Mr. Consistency - Great is HIS faithfulness! - for helping me to develop my consistency over the past month in the areas of eating and exercise. Wanting to access that for other areas, too, in the months ahead.

Edit: Thanks, SP, you didn't let me down!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLFAITHWALKR 6/19/2011 12:11AM

    On June 9, I celebrate one year of daily exercise.

WOW that is AWESOME! An inspiration for me to imitate.

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CHRYS13 6/11/2011 8:04AM

    Wow....one year of daily exercise! Terrific!! emoticon

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MKACILLAS 6/8/2011 2:35PM

    Good Blog and Congrats for 4 years of sparking and exercise! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VIVIANJ5 6/8/2011 12:54PM

    I love this post! And the reminder of how important consistency is to our ongoing efforts...I've been following my own plan about 80-90%, but I know that is what is keeping me back. Need to recommit, and get back to working it, and losing it!

Take care, Michelle!

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MRSLATTING 6/6/2011 5:13PM

    emoticon So awesome!!!!!!!!

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SJG1953 6/6/2011 12:47AM

    emoticon Job Michelle!!

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KATHYKIM 6/4/2011 5:37PM

    Great job!


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ASMPP1 6/3/2011 5:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CMPEARL 6/3/2011 4:19PM

    I love my spark trophies and the 'likes' that my friends leave for me emoticon emoticon Here's to a wonderful June!!! emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 6/3/2011 9:16AM

    Kudos to consistency! Keep Sparking On! :-)

Don

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TRYINGHARD1948 6/3/2011 1:50AM

    WooHoo, you are certainly doing it Michelle. emoticon emoticon

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CTEMPLE 6/2/2011 10:21PM

    You're my hero: one year of daily exercise!!!
Claudia emoticon

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FRANNIEDID 6/2/2011 4:38PM

    Woo Hoo!!!!! Way to go!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 6/2/2011 10:25AM

    emoticon Just in case SP doesn't get them out this month! Congratulations on your exercise consistency!!! That is totally AWESOME!!

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LIGIRLATHEART 6/2/2011 9:56AM

    You have made great strides in building good habits -- you inspire me!

Your "added" goal is one that I completely relate to. I tend to prefer my "own" company as it is, BUT, I also need to reconnect and rebuild. I will join you in that effort!

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JOJOSZENT 6/2/2011 9:14AM

    Hehe, nope, I'll never grow up.

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