Wordless Wednesday

>> Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Birthday Bushman

>> Monday, October 29, 2007

Saturday was The Bushman's 33rd birthday!

(he's smiling all stupid in the picture because he wasn't impressed that I was making a big deal out of taking pictures of him with his cake!!)

We spent a lazy day together as a family and in the evening, I made one of his favourite meals for supper -- Beefy Jalapeno Corn Bake, Salsa Rice, taco chip salad, and guacamole. YUM! For dessert, I made German Chocolate Cheesecake. Needless to say, I didn't really need to eat at all yesterday, but we went out to one of the little Chinese food joints in town for supper anyway.

You know, that restaurant is kind of a dumpy place -- the walls and ceiling are grey because they've never been cleaned and of course, smoking used to be permitted; the Formica tables are chipped; the carpet is always dirty -- but you know, they've got the friendliest staff ever and the food and prices are absolutely out of this world. I've never tasted Chinese food that was consistently as good as theirs and I love it that it's hardly any more expensive than eating at the local fast-food joints. (not that it's any healthier!!) Peanut surprised us by requesting chopsticks and eating her supper with them like she'd been doing it since birth!

Despite two birthday suppers, there was no birthday gift for Bushman this year. Well, not on Saturday, anyway. We bought a fancy new barbeque at the end of August that was to serve as my birthday present and his as well for this year. It's more than we ever thought we'd spend on a grill, but our last one was tiny and we'd had it for 10 years, replaced the burner twice, and the bottom was completely corroded already. In the last two years, he always had to barbeque in the garage instead of by the back door because if there was ever more than a gentle breeze, flames would shoot out the bottom of the stupid thing -- you know, right where the propane tank is sitting. Talk about playing with fire! Anyway, so now we've got a shiny new black and stainless steel baby that he's used all of once since. It's tough finding time to barbeque when he's home so seldom. I'm hoping next weekend when my parents come out to visit that we'll be able to do at least one meal on it.

Bushman was actually home for a nice long weekend for a change, thanks to a broken-down semi-truck. I wrote an exam on Thursday afternoon (the first one in about SEVENTEEN years!!) and he was home already by the time I got home after writing the exam and picking up my girls from two different babysitters.

Tonight or tomorrow he'll leave again. Probably only tomorrow. The shop thought his semi was fixed this morning, but he went to test-drive it and the same problem occurred. (His Jake brakes keep coming on of their own volition, in case you care, which, in case you care and didn't know, make getting anywhere in a semi-truck virtually impossible) and so he's been busy puttering around the house and yard. He drained our outdoor tap, cleaned the chimney, and now he's out buying some clips so he can hang my Christmas lights.

We'll eat an early supper today, hopefully have the evening and another night together, and then he'll take off for the rest of the week. Good thing it'll be a short week. I miss having him around when he's gone, even if I usually do manage to accomplish more than when he's home.

Dang, the shop just called and his truck is ready. Guess I'll be putting the girls to bed and falling asleep alone again.


Bits and Bytes

>> Friday, October 26, 2007

Found this article Beat a Woman? Play On; Beat a Dog? You're Gone on professional athletes and spousal vs. animal violence via Fumbling for Words. It alternately sickens and saddens me.

But this commercial makes me laugh:

I am in no way bashing McDonalds (I eat there whenever possible -- good thing the closest one is 2 hours away) or promoting Subway (which I have more often because it's only 15 minutes away), but this just caught my funny-bone. "Bedonkidonk butt" -- haha, that gets me every time!

And this one gives me hope. All skepticism regarding the motivation behind this ad campaign aside -- and you KNOW, coming from me, there's DEFINITELY bound to be some! -- this IS the message we need to send to our little girls, our teenage women, and ourselves.

We should also make sure to add though, that no one needs Dove products to achieve inner beauty either. We were beautifully created by a loving Creator and should treat our bodies and our lives with respect for His creation.

And this just gives me the warm-fuzzies:

This Blog Friend Forever award from Andrea is presented to "awesome blog owners who keep their readers excited about their posts. Their blog posts are interesting (not spammy) and worth reading and keep their subscribers looking forward to each and every post."
Thanks so much, Andrea! And thank you to everyone else who keeps coming back, even when I'm on a tirade and no one agrees with me!!


LG'08 - Week 5

>> Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tales from the ScalesI'm the same as last week again. Sigh.

I've been in a bit of a funk for the last month and I tell ya, everything is suffering as a result. I'm just not motivated to do anything. I've got an exam tomorrow afternoon that I haven't started studying for, I haven't planned and stuck to a weekly menu for the last few weeks, my bathroom hasn't been thoroughly cleaned in almost 2 weeks, the fruits and vegetables I bought on Monday are still untouched... you get the picture. I've just had a lot on my mind and I just don't know how to "let go" as The Bushman keeps telling me to. Anyway, that's enough bitching.

Some of you might be familiar with the Mika "Big Girls (You Are Beautiful)" video that's been floating around lately, and I just have to say, once again, I'm incredibly skeptical that he isn't just trying to gain popularity with a frighteningly large percentage of the population. (the pun wasn't intended, but it works). I wondered what his girlfriend or wife actually looked like and was informed by someone who seemed to have done some research about the artist and his past, that he's gay. Well, I don't know about you, but this speaks volumes to me. It's easy enough for me to SAY I see beauty when I don't actually have to DEMONSTRATE my belief. Very convenient.

Ohmystinkin'heck said about the video , "We want to be validated IN SPITE OF our weight" but "It is a reflection of our lack of self control and discipline that there are videos to validate our excessiveness. I see videos like these as a way to justify continuing in destructive behavior."

I agree. But we are in the minority. Or maybe the sadly silent majority. Years ago, gluttony was considered one of the seven deadly sins, but did you know it's actually a protected RIGHT now? Health issues aside, you can now eat your way into a protected group with all the same legal rights as the blind or the deaf. Binge-ing can now be done with the confidence that even the courts will defend our right to over-self-indulge.

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe that our outward appearance is an indication of what our hearts are like (thank goodness!) -- a woman any size can be a beautiful person -- and hopefully you all know I'm not speaking to those whose weight is a result of their health issues. But regardless of who's offended and who's not, it's getting harder and harder in our affluent society to practise self-control in ANY area of our lives, and as a result, it's becoming vitally more important. And I'm as guilty as anyone of not caring.


Wordless Wednesday: The "Help Us Name Our New Puppy" Edition

>> Tuesday, October 23, 2007

**Update, Oct. 24/07: Thanks so much for your participation and all the helpful suggestions. Bosco was my first choice and it seems the voters agreed, but Karen from Pediascribe's suggestion, "Shadow," is the only name the whole family seems to be able to agree on. So Shadow it is. Thanks, Karen!!

I know, I know, I'm bad with this whole WORDLESS thing, but I need your help. We picked up a new puppy on the weekend, but are having trouble naming him. He's a black lab/border collie cross, basically completely black (except for a few white fuzzes on his chest) and is supposedly going to be a fair-sized dog -- so we don't want any wussy-sounding names like Cookie or Schnapps!

The girls want to call him Buddy, but I think that's too boring. I'm interested in Rocky or Bosco (think Boscorelli from Third Watch) -- the girls don't like either and Bushmans' okay with Bosco, but not Rocky. Bushman suggested Hunter or Boomer, either of which I'm okay with, but again, the girls aren't impressed. Ultimately, they'll go with what we pick.


Gas Gigglefest

>> Monday, October 22, 2007

Bushman and I have our best talks in bed, after dark, after the TV's off, after the kids are in bed -- long after we ourselves should be asleep. We talk about our dreams, our fears, our goals, how we'd like to change who we are.... and then sometimes, we get into these weird, over-tired conversations that result in us giggling like a couple of idiots 12-yr old girls at a sleep-over. Anyone else do that from time to time? I highly recommend it.

It's wonderful to just laugh and laugh and laugh at really nothing in particular with your best friend. So often, we take life so seriously because we have kids, debt, stressful jobs, etc., but that's exactly WHY we need to exercise our senses of humour sometimes. I'm going to publish our conversation from late last night, in case you need some inspiration in starting your own ridiculous late-night chatter.

Of course, I'm mortified to have to admit that it all started because we'd done some lethal food combining earlier in the day and my body was producing some seriously noxious fumes once we got into bed. Usually that's his specialty, of course, but last night it was my turn. So after one particularly nasty one, I happened to shift positions in bed and well, you know how shifting covers and whatnot stirs the air about....

Bushman: Ugh, you are just ROTTEN, woman! (he tucks the covers firmly under my body, mummifying me) Keep the next one in the sarcophagus, please!!

Me: SARCOPHAGUS??!! Where the heck did you learn that word? Most simpletons would use 'grave.' Maybe 'tomb.'

Bushman: Yeah, you like that, eh? I used it right though, didn't I? Isn't that where they kept mummies? (now with a drawl) Ah'm gettin' downright learn'd, ah tell ya whut. (that's right, learn'd. Not learned.)

Me: You know what the plural of sarcophagus is? Like when there's more than one?

Bushman: I KNOW what plural means! Geez. It's sarcophagi, right? Haha, sarcophaguys....that's what I call a whole bunch of mummies. Sarcopha-guys, get it?!

This is the point where we completely dissolved into giggles. I know, you had to be there -- or drunk. Then you'd have found it hilarious, too.

Bushman: You should probably put this in your blog so that whoever reads your blog doesn't think I'm a total idiot.

Me: Oh sweetie, I think that ship has sailed. And I really don't think this conversation will help either of our causes. Plus, I don't know how I'm going to put it in there without admitting I had wicked gas.

Bushman: You mean how you tried to 'dutch oven' me?! I coulda died under there, woman!!!

Picture another 3-minute non-stop giggle and as it finally fades and we get ourselves into our comfortable, falling-asleep positions...

Bushman: Hey, did you just call me a SIMPLETON?!

Me: About 10 minutes ago. Good night, sarcophaguy. I love you.

Bushman: Sarcophaguy?! That better not mean you're about to blow again!

See what intellectuals we are? The point is, we laughed until we cried. What a great way to end the day and fall asleep.


The Selfish Pitcher

>> Thursday, October 18, 2007

Last Sunday, a representative of a Christian financial planning foundation came to speak at our church. His message sought to change our opinions of tithing; to rather feel that we were returning something borrowed than feel we were giving up something of our own.

I'm ashamed to admit that too often, the tithe is what we decrease or cut out completely when we're strapped for cash. Too often, we choose to continue our hi-speed Internet and satellite TV subscriptions instead. Because the money is ours to do what we want with, right? We EARNED it and we deserve to spend it on things that we will enjoy doing and having, dang it.

This eye-opening story was the speaker's closing illustration for Sunday's service. Though I know how I'm supposed to view my tithes and offerings, this story changed my feelings about it. With his permission, I'm sharing it now with you.

There was a potter who needed a pitcher for the milk she poured over her cereal every morning. So she measured the height of the shelves in her refrigerator and calculated the necessary dimensions for a half-gallon pitcher.

She went to her studio, chose the clay she thought best and sat at her wheel. She made a shape pleasing to her eyes—after all it was her pitcher—she put on a handle shaped to her hand and added a generous pouring lip for that was the main purpose of the pitcher.

She brushed on a glaze of colour that pleased her, fired it and was well pleased with the results—she had created a beautiful pitcher. She took it home, filled it with milk, put it in the refrigerator and went to bed.

The next morning the potter filled her bowl with cereal, opened the refrigerator, and reached for her new pitcher. The pitcher suddenly shouted, “Oh, no you don’t! Keep your hands off me.”

The potter responded, “I was just going to pour some milk on my cereal.”

“No, you’re not!” Replied the pitcher. “I worked hard to get filled with milk. I started out with no milk at all, but through hard work and careful planning, I am now full of milk. No one’s going to come along and pour out all that I’ve wanted so long to achieve! I need all this milk for myself”

“Hmmm,” pondered the potter. “I don’t think you understand the real story here. You see, I created you and I made you for the express purpose of filling you with milk so that I could pour it out each morning on my cereal. You were made to pour, not to store!”

“A nice story, but I don’t buy it,” said the pitcher. “But seeing that you are in need, and I am a generous pitcher, I will give you two tablespoons of MY MILK. That should wet the cereal nicely. EVERYTHING IN MODERATION–THAT IS WHAT I THINK!”

The potter looked deeply into the heart of the pitcher, “You’re afraid,” she said, “if you allow me to pour out the milk you will find yourself empty, then you will be poor, and I will throw you out and find another pitcher. You don’t realize that if you allow me to empty you, I will have found you to be a PRICELESS PITCHER. Then I will continue to fill you to the top over and over and over again, and we will become partners in emptying and refilling you. Perhaps, if you are willing to be emptied more completely and more often, I will find many other bowls of cereal who are longing to be drowned in the love of your giving.”

“And what if I don’t believe you and want to play it safe and just keep the milk I’ve got?” The pitcher inquired.

“You are free to make that choice,” the potter said with a sad voice. “Then I will have to make another pitcher that is willing to be my partner. I will have to set you on the back shelf of the refrigerator shelf. You can keep your milk. But after a time, your milk will go sour and your odor will keep everyone away. You will have missed the greatest job for which all pitchers are created—THE JOY OF BEING POURED OUT!


LG'08 week 4: THE REBELLION!!!!

>> Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tales From the Scales

I'm not gonna do it. You can't make me!! You can drag me kickin' an' screamin' to the bathroom, but you CANNOT make me step on the scale this week!! (Or, at least, I absolutely refuse to share the results.)

I had a BAD eating week and I KNOW I will hate myself even more than I already do if I see exactly how bad. So I'm choosing ignorance -- and better eating and exercise habits this week.


Wordless Wedne...Monday, no Tuesday. What? I'm confused.

>> Tuesday, October 16, 2007

No, this isn't our new dog, but since we don't have ours anymore, Bear, the neighbour's dog has been doing double duty, filling the void for Punkin, who's felt the loss of Whiskie almost as keenly as I have.

(I don't know about you, but somehow it's losing its special-ness if it's every day of the week. I'll be sticking with Wednesdays posted a day early.)


Winter Activity Menu Challenge

>> Monday, October 15, 2007

When Andrea first posted her ideas about combatting the "winter-time blues" I thought it was a brilliant strategy. I too have issues with winter -- it always seems so long and so dark and so depressing -- and have always claimed that if I could hibernate, I would. This year, especially if The Bushman does leave again for February and March (a decision towards which he seems to be leaning more and more each day), I'd like to implement my own Winter Activity Menu.

So here's my plan:

  1. Go back to my long-lost resolution to have company over once a week. Not necessarily for anything more than coffee in the evening, but have someone over nonetheless. Even if I don't feel that comfortable with inviting couples and families over if Bushman's gone again in February and March, I can still invite my girlfriends over, or even some of the youth girls. Actually, last winter I was going to start a regular girls nite out, but never did, so maybe I should revisit that idea as well.
  2. Two playdates a month for Peanut. She's got 2 favourite little friends from Kindergarten and I know each of the mothers enough to know which kid they belong with, but have really only spoken to one of them on a couple of occasions. I'd like to get to know them better.
  3. Leave the TV off after supper and have a games or baking night once a week. (Bonus: It's a lot easier to want to have company over for coffee if there's goodies in the freezer that I can just whip out!!)
  4. Continue with my almost-daily outdoor fun time with the girls. That's right, even when it's -25C/-14F! (as long as it's not too windy at that temp) We northerners know how to bundle up; it's not like it can't be done!!

And some general goals for myself this winter:

  1. Get myself more involved with Peanut's school functions and Parent Advisory Council. Generally, my only real adult interaction is in church on Sunday mornings and I REALLY need to get out more!!!
  2. Make a daily and weekly schedule for myself and STICK WITH IT. I can be incredibly organized, but I tell ya, I don't know why it happens, but even though I'm impressed with myself, I slip back into laziness and before I know it, my house is a toxic waste dump again and I'm weeks behind in my studying. I somehow need to get it through my head that I NEED to stay on top of things!!
  3. I've said it several times since I started blogging and I'll say it again: Go through the girls' toys and get rid of AT LEAST HALF of them. I firmly believe my girls have too many things, which is the main reason they hardly ever really play with anything. I have a large toybox that my dad made for me when I was a little girl and I used to be able to fit ALL of my toys in there, including the 2 Fisher-Price buildings I had. Of course, they make those so much bigger and bulkier than they used to, but still, only about 10% of the girls' toys actually fit in there. If I was happy with only that boxful, there's no reason the two of them can't live very happily with about twice that much.
  4. I want to create a cookbook binder that houses ALL the recipes I use (using the wonderful Recipezaar site), so that I only need ONE recipe book in the kitchen instead of 473.

That's my Activity Menu for the next 5 months or so.


It's All About The Bushman Today!

>> Sunday, October 14, 2007

1. Who is your man? The Bushman (actually, I should start calling him The Trucker. He's gone so much for work that he doesn't have time to spend in the bush anymore!!)

2. How long have you been together? As a married couple, almost 11 years.

3. How long did you date? Ten months.

4. How old is your man? He'll turn 33 on the last Saturday of this month.

5. Who eats more? Still him, I think.

6. Who said I love you first? Me. Actually, funny story: The night before we decided to officially call ourselves a couple, I told him if he'd ask me to marry him, I'd say yes. I didn't tell him I loved him though, until we'd been dating all of 5 weeks.

7. Who is taller? Definitely Bushman.

8. Who sings better? I've got more practise, so my voice is probably stronger, but he's pretty good.

9. Who is smarter? He'd probably be okay with it if I say I am.

10. Whose temper is worse? Definitely his. I get easily annoyed with little things, but I just get ticked off. When he gets mad, he's REALLY mad.

11. Who does the laundry? Me. The only thing I'll even LET him do is his own work clothes, but even that I usually do.

12. Who takes out the trash? Whoever gets sick of it piling up in the back porch first.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Bushman.

14. Who pays the bills? Me.

15. Who is better with the computer? Haha, DEFINITLY me. Bushman's virtually computer illiterate.

16. Who mows the lawn? We both do. He does the 'big' lawn with the tractor and 6' deck mower and I do around the house and various other location in the yard too tight for the tractor with the push mower. Takes me about an hour-and-a-half and him about 2 hours.

17. Who cooks dinner? I do.

18. Who drives when you are together? Depends which vehicle we're in. If we're in his truck, he drives. I drive if we're in the van unless we're driving to The Big City, then we'll trade off.

19. Who is the most stubborn? It's a toss-up. We had a very tough first year of marriage because of it, too. I'd say we're both equally good at compromising now though.

20. Who kissed who first? He started it, but I made it pretty obvious that's what I wanted!

21. Who asked out who? It was just kind of a consensus.

22. Who proposed? He did.

23. Who has more friends? Definitely The Bushman. I'm a loner and SAHM. He's a social butterfly and always has the type of job where he meets lots of people in the area.

24. Who has more siblings? Definitely him again. He's got 2 younger sisters and a younger brother; I'm an only child.

Two of my most favourite things in life -- The Bushman and sunset.



>> Thursday, October 11, 2007

Anyone know what "bluegrass" music is? I grew up with it. Cut my teeth on bluegrass vinyl LP's, as a matter of fact. (Yep, that's how old I am!) This song was written in the early 1900's by Alfred E. Brumley and has been extremely popular among gospel and bluegrass artists ever since.

Here's a version by a more current group, a more popular form of music, and though it's been shortened some to fit the slide show, it's a beautiful visual presentation of one of my favourite songs of all time. Enjoy.

I know, I know, it talks about dying and seems morose and morbid, but let's face it, it happens to the best of us. What I love about this song is the message of hope and reassurance. The focus on how life down here as we know it -- with its harshness, bitter realities, disappointments, and degenerating societies -- is only our temporary dwelling place. The things we struggle with today, the darkness we sometimes feel, the fog that sometimes hides our path... they're all a lot less meaningful and overwhelming when concentrating on life as a journey rather than a destination.

Eternity as the destination is mind-blowing, but what a comfort to know when things aren't going well here, we still have a hope for something that we can't even fathom. Someday... we'll rise above all that crap out of the miry clay. Isn't that awesome?!


In the Fog

>> Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Man, the days are getting shorter faster!! I'm SO not a fan of that! I got to walk in the semi-darkness this morning because The Bushman was actually home for night and didn't need to leave until mid-morning today. It was lonely and quiet though, with no Whiskie. It'll take a while to be okay with that.

It was also incredibly foggy. So foggy, in fact, that at the half-mile, I couldn't see the trees around our yard or the trees around the cattle farm I always walk to. I couldn't see further than two hydro poles in either direction. There's something ever so slightly unsettling about not being able to see where you're going or where you've come from even though you know the road like the back of your hand!

That's kind of how I feel right now in general. I understand not being able to see where I'm going, but why does it feel like there's nothing to fall back on either? Of course, by the time I got to the farm a mile away where I always turn around, the fog had pretty much lifted and I could see our trees again. Hopefully my personal fog will lift soon, too.

I'm sure there's a great spiritual lesson buried in that story somewhere. Whatever it was, I prayed for clarity in recognizing the path God wants for me and trusting Him to get me there even if I can't see the road ahead and don't necessarily have company along the way.


Wordless Wednesday/LG '08 - week 3

Haha, after Thanksgiving this last weekend, I'm pretty sure my scale didn't really want me to find it either!! Amazingly, maintained my weight from last week. Considering all the wonderful food and the goodies my in-laws brought with them this weekend, that definitely counts as victory!

But you know, I found a really helpful little tidbit of advice over at Bringing Healthy Back again last week. Jules writes:

I was reading an article on how to set a new habit in concrete so you stick with it and here’s the secret: You “piggyback” it with something else you already do.

Is that not incredibly simple???

One thing the article did mention that I think is really important is that they only recommend you try to change or add one habit at a time and follow through with it for an entire month. I know that sounds like change will take forever but try this: Sit down and make a list of the habits you most need to change to “bring healthy back” and see if you can even come up with 12. I couldn’t - and I have some pretty bad habits, folks! I got to #6 and struggled mightily. If you can fix those worst eating and exercise habits in a couple of months, imagine how much easier the rest of your weight loss will be?

So give it a try. Remember – give each habit a month and really stick to it. Make yourself accountable to someone if you think that will help, too and then go for it!

So the piggy-back habits I'm going to strive for in the next four weeks are these: (yes, I know, I'm only supposed to do one, but I'm going to try for two!)
  1. Set the coffee maker for a little later in the morning so that my coffee isn't ready until AFTER I've done 20 minutes on the elliptical. I also want to set my Bible on the coffee table before I go to bed so that instead of heading off to the office to sit here and blog or read blogs while everyone is still asleep, I will have my devotions and prayer time instead.

  2. Grab a piece of fruit with my slice of toast at breakfast and another one for a mid-morning snack. I alway force my girls to have a fruit for their mid-morning snack, so instead of cutting up just two apples, I'll do three.

Okay, there's probably four or five habits in there, but it's funny how they're all tied together! Those are my goals for the next 4 weeks.

Click the button to read other inspirational stories, see how others in the challenge are progressing, and most importantly, to leave some words of encouragement!


Bittersweet Thanksgiving

>> Monday, October 8, 2007

Well, we had a great visit with The Bushman's parents this weekend, even though the weather wasn't that awesome, but unfortunately, the event that will mark this weekend in my memory is losing Whiskie.

Sunday morning, she followed the van off the yard again and followed it down the road with the neighbour's dog. Usually we tie her up when we leave exactly because of this, but I was in a hurry to practise at church before everyone else got there. Bushman called her back home and apparently, she stopped and looked back, but then chose to ignore him and continued on her merry way. In the afternoon, when I went outside to go for a walk, there she was, curled up in the sunshine by the back step... covered in porcupine quills. It was every bit as bad as the first 2 times in spring. You couldn't even see her tongue or the roof of her mouth, they were just covered.

Nevertheless, her stub of a tail wagged a happy greeting, and even though she had numerous quills in her one foot that obviously made walking quite painful, she figured she was coming with me. I came inside, told The Bushman, and he came out. Prepared. I clipped the leash to Whiskie's collar and handed it to him, then I turned and went for my walk. Without her.

Goodbye, my beautiful, gentle, poor stupid dog. I'll miss you.


For My Fellow Canadians....

>> Friday, October 5, 2007


A Point for Peanut (LG'08 - Week 2)

>> Wednesday, October 3, 2007

"Mmmmmmph. Grrrrrrrr-ooommph." I struggled to demonstrate a flip on the rings of my girls' play structure. In my defense, it didn't help that with my arms extended, my butt was basically on the ground and I couldn't possibly get up any momentum as a result, but I tried nonetheless.

Peanut hadn't trusted me to 'spot' her through a full flip. She likes to hang upside down, but doesn't quite have the nerve to flip herself over. I'd promised to make sure she wouldn't hit the dirt, but she didn't trust me. Hence the need for a demonstration. (I used to be able to do it, honest!!)

Peanut laughed and said, "I can do it, cuz I'n so skinny. You're too..." she realized immediately that she was in mortal danger treading on VERY thin ice and that what was about to come out of her mouth would not be well-received.

"You little bugger!" I growled as I playfully swatted her behind. "But mom," she protested, "I wasn't going to call you fat!! You're just too.... you're just... big."

Ahhhh, the truth hurts. Even from a 5-yr old.

But hey, guess what?! I'm not as heavy as I was last week!! I've lost 1.6#!!!! Yes, after 8 weeks of sitting at 184.6, I'm down to 183! Woo-hoo!! I think the key to my success this last week was this quote from Val on the Bringing Healthy Back site:

I am currently reading a book by Gerald G. May, MD, entitled “Addiction and Grace”. On page 139, his last paragraph states: “Addiction cannot be defeated by the human will acting on its own, nor by the human will opting out and turning everything over to divine will. Instead, the power of grace flows most fully when human will chooses to act in harmony with divine will. In practical terms, this means staying in a situation, being willing to confront it as it is, remaining responsible for the choices one makes in response to it, but at the same time, turning to God’s grace, protection, and guidance as the ground for one’s choices and behavior. It is the difference between testing God by avoiding one’s own responsibilities and trusting God as one acts responsibly. Responsible human freedom thus becomes authentic spiritual surrender, and authentic spiritual surrender is nothing other than responsible human freedom. (emphasis mine) Here, in the condition of humble dignity, the power of addiction can be overcome”.

I totally took that to heart this week. I spent much more time in prayer and FORCED myself to think about how I was treating my body. That's tough when you're used to mindlessly filling it with crap!!

This week, my focus will be getting back into an exercise routine in the morning. I've been going for a 1-mile bike ride with the girls virtually every day, but the pace is not really what I'd like it to be if I'm going for serious calorie-burning. It takes us about 15 minutes, which is about what it takes me to walk the same distance when I'm by myself! Oh well, it's still fresh air (unless it's smoky or skunky!!), and a bit of exercise. Oh, and quality time with my girls, too.

But this morning, this headline caught my eye:

You can be sure I'm DEFINITELY gonna incorporate that little tip! (click on it to read the article.)


Wordless Wednesday

>> Tuesday, October 2, 2007


The Wonders of Fall

It's a beautiful morning here today. The sky is virtually clear -- a deep, rich blue -- the sun is warm, and there's a gentle little breeze. Just enough to send showers of gold and burgundy from the treetops every now and again. Punkin is outside, playing in a leaf pile we raked up earlier this morning, jumping into it from our front step. Her deep purple shirt stands out starkly against the dulling green of the lawn and dry, crunchy leaves on the the ground. Her pony-tail whips back and forth as she furiously scoops up handfuls of leaves and throws them into the air, showering herself with fall's splendor. Giggling all to herself.

I continue to watch her through the window, smiling to myself. She buries her hands in the leaves and swishes them back and forth, flinging them as far as she can, trying to scare the kittens who've come to investigate. They jump and attack the flying leaves and as Punkin repeatedly buries her hands in leaves, right down to the bottom of the pile, I can't help but think....

Man, I hope there's no dog crap under there.


Be forewarned, I'm still up on my soapbox...

>> Monday, October 1, 2007

As some of you know and as others of you have possibly gathered, I've been struggling with a lot of things lately. In the recent past, I've expressed my thoughts on 'Personal Truth' vs. Absolute Truth, Balancing Blog Personality and Real Life , and How My Eating Habits can Reflect the State of My Relationship With Christ. I guess this is the fourth instalment of "the struggle series."

Not long ago, I was part of a little debate about whether or not the earth was actually created in 6 days. I was a little shocked at how many Christians feel it's okay to decide for themselves how long it must have taken.

The Bible is the only Word of God we have. The only WORD OF GOD. The ONLY account of how it all happened. If God had told Moses "it took longer than you could ever comprehend to get things going down there," wouldn't Moses have written something to that effect? Why would he have purposely misled future generations and peoples? Would God have said 6 days if He didn't mean it?

Of course, as is inevitable in this debate, someone brought up the verses that say, "To the Lord, a thousand years is like a day and a day is like a thousand years." For once, I actually looked up those verses and interestingly, in neither case is this God talking about Himself. The first occurrence of this phrase is in Psalm 90:4, where Moses is praying. The second occurrence is Peter quoting that same prayer in 2 Peter 3:8. In both references, the author is speaking to God's patience and timelessness. It's an attempt to put into words how meaningless time is to God. Neither passage has anything to do with creation, but rather the realization that God has a completely different concept of time than humans do when it comes to keeping His promises.

Later in the debate, the subject of stars came up and how can we believe in a 'young earth theory' if the stars that we see are several hundred thousand light years away? The argument was that their light wouldn't have reached us yet if the earth is really only about 6000 years old.

What? We believe God created a man out of dust, but we don't believe that He could have created those stars that far away with their light already reaching us? Or, is it that unbelievable that our current way of measuring these distances in outer space is flawed? What if we've been calculating this incorrectly all along? Science proves itself over and over to be fraught with human error -- is it so unbelievable that we've erred in this? And for a Christian, how is the concept of a mistaken theory or calculation made by humans more unbelievable than God doing what He says He did? In my opinion, not accepting a 6-day creation by faith is, at the very least, placing doubt on the entire Word of God.

Now, my problem is not really how long it took God to create the earth. My problem is with picking and choosing which Bible passages we're going to accept at face value. The argument always comes up that Jesus uses all sorts of metaphors and parables and yes, He does. But He doesn't speak until the New Testament. In the Old Testament prophetic books where this style of communication is applied, various figures of speech are used in order to explain the principles of Godly living in a way that people would easily be able to understand. The first five books of the Old Testament are an historical account of the origin and fall of man and the origins of Israel. They are also foundational to understanding the rest of the Bible. What use would there be for figurative language in an historical narrative?

Now obviously, there are passages where it's more or less unclear what the author is saying -- possibly because we don't necessarily understand the context or to whom it was written -- and in those areas, I get how different interpretations exist. But where the wording is plain and simple?

Maybe... if God didn't create the earth in six days, the flood didn't actually destroy the WHOLE world, just the then-known world. Maybe rainbows existed before the flood; surely sunlight had shone through the raindrops before that time in history. The fact that even once it started raining, no one believed a flood was coming attests to the fact that people were not unfamiliar with rain.

Maybe... if God didn't create the earth in six days, maybe Jacob didn't really wrestle with God. There were no witnesses; maybe it was just a nightmare and he hurt his hip thrashing around in his sleep.

And maybe... if God didn't create the earth in 6 days, maybe Lot's wife didn't actually turn to a pillar of salt. There's no account of anyone licking her to make sure.

Are you catching my drift? There are so many things in the Bible that science simply can't prove and that are so completely unbelievable by human standards. We have to accept them by faith because A) we weren't there, and B) The Word of God is the only account we have of the great power He's exhibited in the past. We simply can't choose to accept some passages at face value and not others. We can't pick and choose which passages fit our idea of God.

Because maybe, just maybe, if God didn't create the earth in 6 days....

...maybe the resurrection didn't actually happen either.

I don't know about anyone else, but this is just not a direction I want to be heading.


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