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Don't get too excited...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

...but I lost three pounds this past week. That means I have just 5 more pound to lose in the remaining 7 weeks of the 5% summer challenge.

How did I do it, you may ask? Tracking, exercising, accountability...you know, the "usual" Spark program. It works! But don't get too excited because these are the same three pounds that I gained during my two summer intensive courses with the birthday celebration (ice cream!) in the middle. So now I have to get down to business and lose the pounds that have been firmly entrenched for, well, for almost 2 YEARS.

This won't be easy because I have to write three term papers in the next two weeks, and when I'm hard at work studying, there's always the urge to snack. Maybe I'll skip meals and just snack on healthy things!!!

One paper is almost finished - it's a personal philosophy of teaching. Actually, it never will be "finished" because new ideas and experiences continue to influence my thoughts on a daily basis. I have five pages and they just need to be fine-tuned. The other two papers for the two different profs are basically the same assignment but I'll need to put the second one in a different format. I'm designing a preparation course for short-term missionaries. In a sense, another project that won't ever be finished...till Jesus returns!

I wanted to take a nap on this fine Sunday afternoon, and then go for a run. However, the annual festival parade is going on in our little town right now, and, although I'm not particularly close to the parade route, the sound of the marching bands may keep me awake. The valley we live in functions like an echo chamber! We're a small town, though, so the parade won't last long...nap ahoy!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VISUALLYRICS 7/29/2011 11:10AM

    Woo-woo!!!! just 5 more pounds!!!! How Sensational!
emoticonblog!!

love ya! ~ Laura

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FORMYDARLINGS 7/28/2011 6:57PM

    Michelle. Keep out of those tastey snacks, right now! I have been working hard at eliminating mindless eating and studying eating is just that. Put out those healthy foods and keep them really handy. Who wants to get up to make a snack when there are snacks right beside you? LOL Have a great summer and see you more in September. BTW, congrats on getting rid of that weight. Weight is weight, no matter where it came from. Kudos to you,

Gini

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DDOORN 7/27/2011 9:08AM

    Good for you to keep at it...!

Don

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CMPEARL 7/25/2011 9:24PM

    emoticon A loss is a loss...I try to never discount the why part LOL...good luck with the next set of pesky pounds and those papers...AUGH...just thinking about school work again makes me feel heavier (too much snacking, not enough moving!).

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FRANNIEDID 7/25/2011 5:08PM

    Yeah! Good for you. 3 lbs is 3 lbs no matter the why and wherefores. Good luck on your papers, I think healthy snacking is a good idea, especially if you know that you are probably going to snack anyway!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 7/24/2011 3:16PM

    I don't think skipping meals is smart (it is harder to snack smart when you are hungry). But perhaps dividing your meals into more frequent, smaller meals would be the ticket.

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BANDMAMAPC 7/24/2011 3:10PM

    Awesome Michelle! You rock! You know me and marching band, love them!

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NEWNAC304 7/24/2011 2:31PM

    Congrats on the 3 lost pounds! Good luck getting those papers done. I hope you enjoy your nap today. I love my Sunday afternoon naps.

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ASMPP1 7/24/2011 10:35AM

    emoticon

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RUNNINGWOLFOFMI 7/24/2011 10:07AM

    Awesome job bearing down and getting back on track ( not that I thought you got far away anyway). Good luck on the next few pounds and the papers, but I know you will get there too!

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I'm a Firecracker

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

...in the Summer 5% Challenge that starts this weekend. It's a challenge where several teams compete each other. Our united goal is to lose 5% of our weight over 8 weeks.

Wow, are the Firecrackers a lively bunch! You can really feel the motivation and the excitement as the start date approaches.

Personally, however, I've been feeling overwhelmed by all the posting going on as people prepare for the challenge. I've been reassured by one of the Firecracker leaders (thanks again, Mariean!) that I don't have to participate in all the stuff going on. The two main things are to check in with your weight and report your exercise minutes, the two factors that determine the winning team. I can do that!

After I've finished my papers and assignments for my two courses, and made a start on my integrative project, I'll have some time to play. Due dates for the papers are July 29 and August 6. Making good progress so far.

Thanks for all your support and prayers!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

INTOTHESOUTH 7/18/2011 3:05PM

    I get overwhelmed by the threads and forums every challenge. I keep up with the weigh-ins and daily challenges. I just check-in with everything else. The most important part is to realize we are here when you need us. Welcome to the team.

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NEWNAC304 7/18/2011 2:24PM

    Welcome to the Firecrackers! I'm excited that we're part of the same team. Don't feel obligated to post on our chat thread, and please don't let it overwhelm you. It seems like the message board is much busier at the beginning of the challenge. Just stop by when you can. Good luck in the challenge!

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DDOORN 7/18/2011 9:42AM

    Good for you to keep pushing and keep challenging yourself!

Don

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CMPEARL 7/17/2011 11:00AM

    Ah yes...unfortunately we have RL deadlines that take precedence over sparking! I understand how that goes! I know when I started in the spring I jumped in with both feet, but this time it's been more difficult and I haven't posted much at all. The nice thing about the challenges are that your team is there for you when you need them, and are very understanding about how much everyone can participate. Good luck with the papers and as a firecracker! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 7/16/2011 4:56PM

    We'll get through this Firecracker challenge together!

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SHARON2014 7/15/2011 10:27PM

    HI,I'm a Firecracker too -- can't wait to get started and getting to know you beter. Love your page background - I am a bookworm...trying to read all those titles on your shelf is hard!! emoticon

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JERSEYGIRL24 7/15/2011 8:56PM

    Welcome, fellow Firecracker!!!

Part of my problem in previous challenges has been feeling overwhelmed by the boards. It can be difficult to keep up, especially when there is a lot of posting. To be honest,, the level of posting varies a lot. Sometimes it is fast and furious. Other times, the boards go inexplicably quiet. I've been on another challenge with some of these teammates, and I assure you that they are absolutely wonderful!!!

Don't worry about commenting on other people's posts if you don't have time to read them. I am going to try in the least to stop by and say emoticon if nothing else almost every day. We are all here to support each other. And good luck with your work!!

Leslie

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ANGORA4 7/15/2011 7:50PM

    You're doing great! And so true, you don't need to reply to every post, you do what fits into your schedule, and your allotted time! Like everything else, do what you can, and don't sweat the rest!

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VISUALLYRICS 7/15/2011 11:46AM

    emoticonFirecracker!!!!! emoticon

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INDIANAGIRL61 7/15/2011 10:18AM

    Helloooo Firecracker!! I know what you mean about the chit chat it does seem overwhelming--at first! Trust me on this, it dies off by about the 4th week. Not that I or anyone wants it to. Right now everyone is pumped up and excited about the challenge so we're all posting then when you check in you go "OMG how can I reply to all of these posts and people?" Here's the really COOL thing: You don't have too! I mean if you want to sure stop in say just say "hi" once in a while that's fine too! you don't have to comment to all of the posts...I was on the Spring challenge that just ended and all I ever did was posted on the Challenges, posted on my weight, and I posted on the huddle wall cause I do like to cheer people on! Now this time around I'm going to be a little more active on the community thread. It's all about what you want to do!!
Good luck my friend and well wishes for your school papers too!

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SJG1953 7/15/2011 1:20AM

    Prayers going up for you Michelle. emoticon

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FRANNIEDID 7/14/2011 1:16PM

    Have fun! Sounds like a great challenge. I am a Periwinkle in the BLC summer challenge! Same sort of set up.

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MUNCHIE718 7/14/2011 8:52AM

  Welcome to the Firecrackers! emoticon

The great thing about the 5% challenges is that you can be as active on the boards as you'd like. Some folks find that chatting with the team & sharing helps them stay on track. Others aren't into that, and just want to post their weight & exercise and skip the chit-chat. Do what you need to do to make the challenge work for you. Have you ever heard the expression "Take what you can use and let the rest go by"? Think of it that way. Good luck!

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ASMPP1 7/14/2011 8:45AM

    emoticon

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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!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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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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