I'd love to know you've stopped by, so please note that the comment section is now found at the title of each post.
So back to this marriage series........
I can say that Josh and I have a pretty solid relationship, but I don't think that anyone is never in need of a maintenance check, once in a while. And we do have some barriers that keep us from being even better. We all know that marriage is a work in process and I believe that every marriage can use a tune up.
Anyway......I really found this enlightening and wanted to pass it along....There were just some key areas that hit home to me.......specifically this
Here is the truth: If you want to grow in your intimacy with your spouse…if you want your spouse to pursue you again…if you want your spouse to respect you again…if you want your spouse to find you attractive again…if you want your spouse to forgive you again…if you want your spouse to love you again like they loved you when you were first married…pray for God to change you into the person your spouse needs you to be.
I applied this to a different situation with me......not so much wanting or needing Josh to find me attractive or respect me.....but more in the sense of wanting him to think or act differently in some areas. I can honestly admit that I pray selfishly sometimes when it comes to my marriage. I pray and ask God to change Josh's heart on certain things to accommodate me and my needs/wants. I am not really asking for what will be best for our marriage or more importantly what is pleasing to God.......I am asking for what I feel will be best for me. So I want to make some changes. This piece brought to light that how and what I am praying for is great place to start.
Bottom line, Christ needs to be in the center of our marriage, ALL the time.
I think that if we treat each other with Jesus's compassion, selfless ways, true forgiveness and understanding....we can make our marriage stronger than ever.
"Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you."
~Matthew 7:7 (NIV)
Peace and love~
That is the only word that can described how I felt after last night's episode.
Who is good? Who is evil? How the heck could Ben kill John like that? *shudder*
OK, so some of the things discovered last night:
We find out/confirm that the creepy man who shows up at random places is Charles Whidmore's right hand man, so to speak. He reminds John that it was him, posing as the intern, who convinced him to take the initial flight in the first place....
We also find out that Whidmore knows exactly where the "exit" is from the island as he had his cameras and security system ready and waiting in Tunisia. (I am assuming the same desert that Ben was plopped into)
There is def. conflict unfolding between Eloise Hawkings and Ben. When she was asked if Ben was lying (back at their little get-together) she replied probably. Ben seemed a little miffed with his snarky reply to Jack about how he was the one who had to stay after with Ms. Hawkings......and then the ultimate was when Ben heard John Locke mention her name and meeting up with her.....he just snapped into murder mode. Was I the only one who felt a deep pit in your stomach in that scene? It was very disturbing to watch. Not just to see our friend John Locke get strangled, but man.......these Lost writers are getting brutal. I am still trying to shake the image of that French dude's arm getting ripped off from outta my mind.
The obvious.....Why would Ben first rescue John from suicide, but then kill him?
We confirm that the "concerned" passenger (the one who offers Jack his condolences at the airport) and the marshal who was handcuffed to Sayid were definitely meant to be on that flight as well....for the same purpose of getting to the island. They clearly were not surprised to have crashed on some island as they are found exploring what appears to be another hatch. Not to mention.....they had those boats ready on the shore? But, who would these two new characters be affiliated with?
My husband seems to think that they (this newest plane "crash") are not on "the" island as John was looking out at another island in the distance when he was standing on the beach. It could be the smaller island that Kate and Sawyer were held captive a few seasons back. Remember Ben took Sawyer to to show him that even if he did escape from his cage, there was no way off?
But it does appear that Jack, Kate and Hurley landed on the original island (and quite possibly a different time as well...., the familiar lagoon, Jin in Dharma uniform, newer VW bus??)
I wanted to shout at John to shut his mouth when he was telling Ben about Jin. Ben looked surprised to hear that Jin was still alive. His buggy eyes were more shifty than normal. (have I mentioned that Michael Emerson is a brilliant actor?)
I am still pondering my thoughts from a few weeks ago that Charles Whidmore might possibly be Daniel Faraday's father....
No real "best line of the night" with this episode, but I just loved how Hurley was nonchalant talking to John, just assuming he was another dead person from the island.
This week, I have to say......I am really LOST. I cannot figure out who has the best intentions for the island. Ben can be such a slimeball and has no real concern for human life (except his daughter Alex so far).....but Whidmore will stop at nothing to get to that island including staging plane wrecks, hot wiring a desert, and has had his share of sacrificing people.
Will the real "good guy" PLEASE stand up?
..... Or maybe they both are bad guys?
I don't know if my heart can take this......until next week.........
On to my other things this Thursday
2. I made a batch of brownies this weekend.....but a friend suggested I melted about 1/4 cup of peanut butter in the microwave and stir it in......I think I might have found my new comfort food.
(I did limit myself to only 4.....remember, I have new jeans.....sorry, I know I am repeating myself and obsessed with them......but they really did change my life!)
3. God has been extra good to us this week.......and has a hilarious way of letting us know that He can handle any/all of our finances. Quick story (if there is such a thing with me). We have extra "tight" weeks, as we pay our mortgage every other week. So the weeks that the payment goes out, leaves us with a much less amount to live on. Well, between signing up G for a driver's ed course that was $125 and catching up on a higher than normal electric bill......let's just say we had a very weak checking account balance by Tuesday.
Like He always does.......God sends along this random check to us for $50. It was an overpayment I made last month to a bill and I totally forgot about it. So I rushed to the ATM to give our balance all the help it could get. I said "thank you" to God as I put the check into the little slot. The receipt pops out and my balance is now ALOT higher than the $50 addition. I mean ALOT. So I instantly think.....WOW, God...I know You can do anything, but this is CRAZY.
.....then it took me a few minutes to realize that our state refund had been wired in....but the still crazy thing is that we only did our taxes this past Saturday. Call it lightening speed electronic tax filing technology......I'm calling it the way I see it.
I'm giving God all the glory on this one.
Wrapping up this story.......one last blessing from God......is that when I went home from the bank, I went to turn on the water and we had none. great. We've had our share of well problems, and usually they have a $1000-1500+ price tag on them. Not that anyone is in any financial situation to swallow a bill like this, but things have been extra tight around here lately. Josh basically had a vein throbbing on his head when I told him about it. I tried to remain calm and just remind him that even though we only got to see the money pending in our account, at least God gave us a head start on what we were facing. We made the dreaded call to the well people.....they showed up Wednesday morning.
It was only a fried wire in the motor. I was never so happy to see a $123.50 bill in my life. Praise Him!
So there you go.........my Three Things this Thursday. If you feel like popping on the Lost-aholic train or join in sharing three random things.......please do! The more the merrier. Leave a comment and/or leave your link here:
Peace and love~
It is said that God separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, made animals and fish......planted The Garden. He made what we needed before we were born. These are best and more powerful when eaten raw.
We are slow learners.....so God left us great clues as to what foods help what part of our body.
A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.
Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body
Avocados, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).
Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.
I want be able to wear the new jeans that changed my life for a long time........so This works for me this Wednesday.....check out other great ideas on We are THAT family's blog.
Peace and love~
OK, so let's face it......when you are wearing jeans that fit right, make your waist look small and your "butt" look perky.....nothing can bring you down.
I, like most mothers.....always put my children first, especially when it comes to clothes. For example.....H has to have certain jeans from Pac-Sun that fit his super skinny rocker frame. G needs those basketball sneakers whose price tag is comparable to our mortgage payment. You get my drift.
So when it comes to me....factoring in that my wallet is in the red after taking care of said children's wardrobes and the mother's guilt that comes with spending any money on myself....I usually hit the second hand stores or defective styles at TJMaxx these past few years.
I consider myself pretty current or "hip" as far as I can see when I compare myself to today's youth. I cannot compare myself to many fashion magazines as they either feature corporate America business/conservative styles.....where I have never worked a 9-5 job in my life.....or high fashion Hollywood garb that I cannot even afford the socks they have on.
So, I like to just shop at stores that have a more youthful appeal to them and see what works for me. I know my limits and will not try to pull off the super tight tees baring my mid-drift.....as that would bare what is referred to as the onset of a muffin top, not to mention......how comfortable is that? I prefer looser, more comfortable tops such as a nice broken in tie dye tee or a peasant style hippie shirt.
But let's get to jeans. My current wardrobe has jeans are acceptable.....they fit fine, they are just....well jeans. They are not mom jeans with stretchy waistbands fitting under my ribcage. They do not have 50% spandex in them where they look like denim Saran Wrap. They are simply normal ho hum jeans, slightly low rise (I feel suffocated with anything up high) with a little flare at the bottom. They don't make me look great......they don't make me look bad....they just are there, I guess. I never looked in the mirror and felt WOW....I feel great! I just give one last glance, make sure I don't have anything stuck in my teeth and go on my way.
Well this weekend.....after re-evaluating the important things in life......and listening to the words of wisdom from Big Mama and other fashion connoisseurs of the world.....I put my priorities in order and changed my fate.
I went out and splurged on not one.....but two....new pairs of jeans at The Gap.
At first I felt sheepish and awkward walking into the jeans department. After all....I was accustomed to flipping through a rack of miscellaneous jeans grouped by size with not many options. I was overwhelmed by all the choices......what style do I want/need? Long and lean? Comfy and curvy? Stylish and sleek? Bootcut or straight? ACK! Apparently these are options I have failed to address in my previous jean purchases.
So I sucked it up and actually went against every grain of integrity in my body, approached the sales person on the floor and asked for that four letter word.......h-e-l-p.
Of course, she was this young perky little thing.....a size 2, if that. I took a deep breath and held my head up high while I asked if she could help me choose what might work best for me in the jean department.
She bounced on over to me (did I mention she was perky?....in all areas?).....and asked what style I was looking for. I politely reminded her that was why I needed her help....I am a Gap jeans virgin and have no clue.
I felt the need to remind her that I was over 40 and these hips have birthed four children. But I also asked her to be kind when she when she suggested a size.....and that I would forgive her if she overshot the actual size number.
We narrowed it down to a low rise, wider leg style, The Essential jeans.....Ms. Perky was kind enough to use the term flattering as opposed to "these will camouflage your thicker thighs".
So I went into the dressing room.......fully expecting to be disappointed. I did, however, notice that a woman definitely was the one who designed the dressing room as there was very soft lighting. Lord knows that most dept. stores have men calling the shots with their choice of fluorescent lights that will send most woman out in tears. Well at least I have. Those suckers show every vein, dimple, roll.....*shudder*.
This dressing room was very pleasant....and soothing. Almost like a sedative before the dreaded deed of trying on clothes. I walked in with the two pairs and went for it.
To my surprise.....they went on nice....I didn't have to suck in my belly or wriggle them up like a wetsuit. The only word I can use to describe it was.....they "glided" on. Doesn't that sound so nice?
I looked in the mirror and couldn't believe how nice they fit.....I ventured out to those three way mirror dealios and positioned myself to get a "rear-view" shot. I was even more excited when I didn't see something that resembled a sausage casing.
I think I even giggled out loud in excitement. So *this* is what those women I envy when I see them strutting around in those perfect fitting jeans feel like ALL THE TIME? I have been missing out on this euphoric feeling all these years? I am pretty sure I bounced......yes, that happy little perky bounce that Little Miss Size 2 does....to the dressing booth and tried on the other
I was tempted to be like my daughter and ask the cashier if I could wear them out....but I decided that it wasn't a great idea. After all....my debut in these jeans had to be so much more spectacular than pairing them with the Native American style blanket/wool hoodie I was sporting.
The cashier asked if found everything OK....and I almost jumped over the counter to give her a hug, but I refrained and just gave her a big smile with a nod. And then she told me that this sale gave you $25 off any purchase over $75......so that was like a cherry on top. :)
I am a new woman. I have new jeans that make me feel good inside.....and make me smile. :)
So, I will wrap up this testimony of how a good fitting pair of jeans can change your life and encourage you to do the same, if you haven't already. If you have, please leave your favorite brand in my comments as I feel an addiction coming on.
.....I leave you with a quick snapshot of my glorious new jeans..... (excuse N's messy room). The photo doesn't do them much justice. I should have shot a video, because I am sure you would see a little bounce in my step. ;)
OK, so as I have mentioned.....got some shtufff going on. Nothing this crazy lady has not gotten through or cannot handle. Remember, I've got God by my side so that settles any question of who has the advantage in these dilemmas, ya know?
I have a question that I am hoping I can generate some input and opinions on and I am relying on my friends to possibly help. (that would be you....yes, *you* who is reading this right now)
So when things present themselves in life.......such as hurdles, setbacks, roadblocks........what ever you want to call them.....how do you know if it is the Enemy trying to discourage you from pressing forward (not giving up, keeping the faith, etc).....or if it is God Himself sending down His message to direct you in a different direction?
I believe that God has His hand on everything. Whether it is His direct doing or "allowing" things to happen to help shape us, bring us closer to Him.......learn and grow.
So how do you know?
Let me try to get an example....
OK.....let's just say you have a project that you are working on. Hmmm, okay, a book. Let's also say that this book is something that you feel God has placed in your heart. He graced you with the creativity and idea and then blessed you with the talent to write it. You just know there is a message you want to send out to "the world" with this book. This is a lesson that you have learned, felt passionate about and you poured it into this book. So you write this book and start the process of trying to get it published.
You do realize that you have never been exposed to the writing industry and do not have the resources such as an agent or publisher........nor, do you have a clue on where to start. You know that even with the help and expertise of an agent.....the chances of it getting any interest is very low. Kinda like the garage bands' dream of "making it big".
But you believe in this book and start to try to shop it on your own anyway.
You do get some incidences where it gets into the hands of some key people.......but it doesn't go any further. You get a standard response such as, this is a great idea, but we just are not in that market right now. (or whatever publishers would say when politely declining)
This goes on for years....you spend alot of time, money and energy promoting this book, but it never gets any further than the "sorry, we are not-interested at this time" pile. This challenging journey does tend to consume you at times and brings pain/disappointment along the way as you can imagine.
So my question is.......when do you get to the point where you just let it go? You have always trusted God and prayed that He would see this through if it was His will. You almost feel like you are "giving up" on what was placed in your heart to pursue. You cannot help but feel that the Enemy has been sitting in the sidelines laughing at your futile attempts and reminding you that this was never what God wanted you to do. What do you do when the "message" around you tells you it is time to give it up......but you still hold onto that faith, even if it is the size of a mustard seed....because you believe that God can do anything, anytime, anyway.
I often think about this:
Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'
'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.' " Luke 13:6-9
So when do you know the timeline? When is it time to cut it (the efforts) down?
I guess I hate to perceive that any roadblocks are from the Enemy.....because I hate to give him credit in anything.
...but he is real. And his job is to discourage, kick us when we are down....make us doubt God and His ability in bringing our dreams and goals to fruition.
So I would appreciate any words of wisdom.......advice......thoughts/opinions on this. And of course......I believe in the power of prayer to reveal it all too.....so if you can send some of those, that would be awesome too.
Hope this finds you all smiling and well.......it's a new week!
(**I am editing this post to add that this is just painting a picture/scenario.....it is not the "shtuff" I am going through. I have gotten a few comments and emails with great references/help in promoting a book. I actually am saving them all because I do indeed have my children's book on the back burner and this info will be very helpful for me! Thank you so much!!! So the truth is, I just used the trials of getting a book published as an example, as the burden on my heart and the roadblocks I am facing right now is just a little too complicated to explain at this time.)
BTW, I laughed when I got an email from my next door neighbor frantically asking me if I have any evaporated milk to spare. There was definitely a dire tone to it as it had a ton of "!?!?!"s in it. Now, I know we live in a great new age of technology, but.....wouldn't it get into your recipe quicker if you picked up the phone?
And speaking of modern technology.....like most of us, I do 90% of all my banking and bill paying online. I sign up for all the reminders that are possible in regards to due dates as we know my attention span is approximately 6 minutes. So I get an email from Such and Such Utility Co. with the subject line reminding me that my payment is due in 2 weeks, 1 week, 3 days......and finally I see Just Pay the Bill, Lady. But along with getting reminders......I get put on the mailing lists of anyone that I've ever shopped online with. (we won't go there) Remember.....I love being in my jammies and Google is your friend when it comes to finding free shipping and discount codes. So, I also get notices about how some of these retailers are having "The Biggest Sale of the Year"........even bigger than last week's "Biggest Sale of the Year".
I also sign up for my share of newsletters....the majority of them are either spiritual/uplifting or homeschool related.
So, I will admit that some days, I just get overwhelmed and do a quick scan on who is sending what.......I make sure there are no "You SCREWED up, Lady. Now you have a LATE fee" messages.
Then I do something that takes alot of courage.
I do clean sweep with the help of the DELETE button.
I do get a moment of anxiety when my computer asks me.........are you sure you want to delete all these messages? I get thoughts of how there might be some valuable information I am ignoring such as how I won that Australian Lottery which is so amazing as I never even entered. But they promise me that they will wire it into my bank account if I simply send them my acct information, social security and firstborn. Hmmmmmmmm, not quite buying it.
So I just squeeze my eyes shut........and commit to sending them all to the little trash can. I then ask for forgiveness to anyone who I might be sending into the bowels of my Dell's darkest pit, never to be found again.
*Where does everything go when you dump out your recycling bin, anyway?
So anyway....this morning I did my weekly "cleansing" of my inbox. Now, I sign up to receive those devotional messages as I really feel that ingesting just a little bit of God's Daily Bread is important in my daily walk. And I do feel guilty when I don't read every one....but I believe that God knows how easily I get overwhelmed when I see "You have 72 unread messages" and only 20 minutes to be on the computer before the whole house wakes up. Afterall, He did create this brain and I
Let's see if I can describe me being overwhelmed with my un-medicated ADD. Picture this:
It's like someone just pulled that knob on the pinball machine and sent that little silver ball up through the chute. It starts flying up ramps, setting off all sorts of bells and whistles and then comes the flashing light sensors. Flippers going crazy.....and then then the big TILT mechanism is activated and it's all over.
Sooooooooooo, the whole point of this.......is that I noticed that I had an one of those devotional emails that was duplicated four times. Not sure if this was a glitch in my email system.....but I wasn't taking any chances. It felt pretty apparent that I shouldn't delete this without reading it. You know how I feel that God has some pretty funny ways of sending us a message. I am pretty sure He is up on today's technology as well.
And again.....I was right. ;)
I am in a little wonky place right now with something that is weighing on my heart, let's just say that. I mentioned last week that I am experiencing some struggles and I am definitely being brought through it and with God by my side all along the way.
So without getting into all the details (which I am sure will surface soon enough).....Let's just say that what I am going through is taking a huge step of faith. The enemy is constantly at work trying to discourage us and make us feel that we are not worthy enough for a blessing. He tries to drive in negative thoughts so we don't expect the joy, peace and happiness that God promises....He wants to dissuade us.
This email contained a Scripture that spoke directly to my soul.
"…Open wide your mouth and I will fill it"~Psalm 81:10
wow......just wow is all I can say. How can nine little words have such a huge impact? Once again I am reminded on how God hears me and wants to remind me that He has it all covered.
So Lord......I am declaring today that I am here with open arms and an even more open heart for what You have in store for me and my life. I am ready to receive what You have for me. I believe You when You say "According to your faith it will be done unto you."
In Your Holy Name~
I hope I can inspire you today to remain in faith and expect the blessings that God has promised you. We serve an amazing God and He is good......all the time. :)
OK, so let me get this straight.
We start the show with Jack in the jungle.....great. Season One opening scene....a flashback.
No wait......he has a piece of paper in his hand, and is not clearly as banged up from the original crash, and he hears Hurley screaming for help.
I think it's a dream.
Nope, it never cuts to him waking up.....OK, so this must be this latest trek back to the island.....oh cool. Hurley gets rescued and Kate is alive although looks like she landed on a rock, ouch. So this is good......they are back.
Well sorta.....Sun, Sayid and now whoever else is getting introduced into this storyline is not accounted for. ( I think that guy who offered his condolences to Jack at the airport is a new Lostie)
But just when you think you have it all figured out.......(these writers are determined to get me on anxiety meds).....Jin shows up at the very end. Hurray! No.....he is in a Dharma uniform and driving a VW Bus that is in very good condition. (which btw, if anyone knows of any for sale......please contact me ASAP).
"So, when are they?"
I think I feel a nosebleed coming on again.
ok....some other good stuff and questions:
Lots of church/religion underlying tones in this episode. Doubting Thomas, Leap of Faith reference.......What "belief" was Ben referring to when he tells Jack about how everyone eventually believes. Belief in the Island? Belief in an afterlife? Belief is reincarnation?
Oh, btw..someone noted before that the carpet cleaning van had a company name on it..... Canton-Rainier......unscramble the letters: Reincarnation.
We meet Jack's grandad......is he going to play yet another role in this??? Or maybe he is just the go-between for the shoes. And I was happy to learn why Christian Sheppard was wearing those hideous white sneakers with his suit all this time.
What happened to Aaron? I am wondering if she tracked down Claire's mom and brought him to her......but that would be a heck of a bomb to drop on someone wouldn't it? "Hi, you don't really know me........but I've got something to tell you. Your daughter didn't die in the plane crash, she is on this unknown island......not sure if she is still alive. Oh, and btw, this is your grandson. She was pregnant when she took that flight. Good day mate." (putting my Australian twist on it).
So now we have this big pendulum swinging lab under a church, no doubt. Obviously, Dharma's L.A. hatch. I am guessing that Daniel was the man that Eloise was referring to when she kept saying this particular scientist figured out the "windows". Maybe that is how he is able to keep popping into different timelines of the island. Maybe that is why he tries to go back and warn Charlotte about not coming back. (referring to last week, when she said living on the island as a child, ... there was a scary man who told her never to return and that she believes it was him.)
Sayid is now in handcuffs with what appears to be a marshall......I am guessing Ben had a way of getting him arrested for something.....but why would they be bringing him to Guam?
I am still stuck on wondering about that fake fortune teller guy who gave Claire those tickets with the specific flight on it a few seasons back. We now know that Flight 815 was one of those "window" opportunities so someone needed Claire on it.
I think the last person Ben needs to "see" is Penny to kill her. He told Charles Whidmore that he would. And then that would bring it all full circle when Eloise Hawkings tells Desmond that he is not done with the island.....meaning, he would be going back to the island to get Ben. eek.
Also, Lapidus was supposed to flying the original Oceanic flight......remember? Makes sense that he was now the pilot for this flight. Like somehow in was in his fate to be connected to that island. I loved it when he said "We're not going to Guam, are we?"
How did Ben's mom teach him to read, when she died at birth? Hmmmmmmmm? (or maybe Ben is just being sacastic......or a pathological liar)
Did anyone else think that John Locke was going to jump up when Jack was putting on those shoes?
And lastly......why doesn't anyone ask any questions or persue things?!?!?!
Like no-one thought to ask Ben what the heck happened to him when he showed up all banged out? (although this might coincide with him trying to kill Penny.....hmmmmm?)
Why wouldn't Jack open the darn envelop about John's suicide right away?
Kate tells Jack to never ask about Aaron.....and he doesn't even try to get a hint?? COME ON!!!
These people are too disciplined.
phew.....I am just thankful there were no nosebleeds this week.
OK on to my other two things:
2. Am I the only person who gets this sense of domestic bliss when you have cupboards full of good treats, a fridge stocked with tons of food......and a bowl on the counter filled with fresh assorted fruit? Yesterday I went to do my "big" grocery shopping which entailed going to 4 different stores and 17+ filled to the top reusable cloth bags. I probably could have gotten it all done at one store in one hour........but I would have spent twice as much. Yes, I was mapping out which stores had the best deals, fumbling through two unorganized envelops of coupons.....but I managed to do it all for a little over $200......cash. (and that included the $38 bag of Dog Food for Moofy)
Remember, we are now on a very strict budget.
3. I was reminded just how out of shape I am. I mean......really out of shape. Weight wise....I have been lingering with this 8 pound overage for the past couple of years. I can handle that....I am tall, so I can camouflage the little "muffin top" that is starting to creep in. I know that gravity is surely taking over as my butt cheeks are about 2 inches lower than a few years ago. Bottom line is that I haven't exercise in over a year. My treadmill sits in the corner of my family room.....it makes a great coat rack. But this week, I discovered how much I desperately need to get back to running again. How you ask?
Yes.....I met a friend and we took the kids bowling Tuesday. I was very excited as I love the obnoxious shoes. I just have to block my brain about how many other people's feet have been in them and I can enjoy myself.
So we enjoy a few strings of *small* ball........AKA duckpin........bowling. We had lots of fun....my team won. I did my "in-your'face" butt wiggles when I picked up a spare (have I ever mentioned how competitive I am).
Well all I can say about "in your face" proof that I really need to start exercising again is that I woke up Wednesday morning feeling like I had a 30 pound yoke on my shoulders and my gluteus maximus muscles felt like I did 500 squats. Are you kidding me?
So there you have it.......three things this Thursday......if you want to jump in and share......or maybe just post your Lost theories/thoughts/musings........feel free to comment and/or leave your link here:
And who doesn't like getting a random package in the mail?
My "Works for Me Wednesday" tidbit today is to pass along this link to grab free samples from Walmart.com. They have many free things besides samples......trial offers, music and special savings.
I skip over most of the free trials, downloads, etc as I am into getting something tangible. You know.....something I can put my hands on. The fact that I am holding something that I didn't have to pay for, with no strings attached excites my frugal self beyond words.
They usually have about 5-6 free sample offers at any given time. And it's not too much of a pain in the butt to get them. Unlike some sites who make you go through 38 pages of surveys and questions, all while setting your email inbox up for an overload of spam within the next 24 hours (no, I do not want that body part larger, thankyouverymuch.....in fact, I do not even own that body part.....and how did requesting vitamin info bring you here?)
With Walmart samples, they only require a small section of fields to fill in such as your name/address/etc.....I always give a fake birthday (I am still hanging on to my conspiracy theory on identity theft.....and I am never over 40 years old.). I also opt to not give my follow up opinions on the product(s).
The samples really do come within the time frame they suggest.....sometimes even earlier. I like it because I usually forget about what I requested, and then feel special when a small little package arrives with my name on it......even if it is a box of two tampons. (hey, it's the little things in life, isn't it?)
I find the samples to come in handy......I usually stick them in my car because someone at any given time might complain about not being regular and I can whip out that sample of the new and improved Metamucil with no gritty aftertaste. Or when one of the kids is confident that they will die of starvation the minute we pass a McDonalds......I toss that sample bag of chocolate Chex Mix before they can finish their not so convincing whine. The trial size moisturizers come in very handy when I glance in the rear view mirror and notice how unkind this New England weather has been to my face. *shudder*
So if you are like me......and you get this little sense of joy when you get something for nothing....you might want to hop on over and sign up for a few of these offers. It might bring a little smile to your face when you least expect it.
And also check out Shannon's blog for more great "Works for Me Wednesday" tips and information. (and as of next week, there is a new host for MFMW too)
I cherish any day that I am able to "sleep in" (which btw, is waking any time after the sun rises)......I think I actually sleep better and deeper as a drift off without any anxiety of the impending scheduled siren.
This morning, I was blessed as I didn't even hear the alarm go off for Josh at that ridiculous time of 5:15AM. I did, however, get another more pleasant version of a wake-up call shortly after. Today it was a slobbering kiss (no, not my husband) that I think included a quick ear-cleaning. Sometimes it is a short quick exhale of dog breath in my face with a spray of drool.
Well, I guess I should be thankful that Mufasa wakes me up instead of stepping out of bed into a different kind of "wake-up" call.
It's kinda hard to get angry at him with his big doofy head in my face. He's got this simple look to him.....you know.....the light is on, but no-one is home.
He does looks like a vicious beast, but really is just an super-sized marshmallow. He does his job which is patrolling the circumference of our property, looking intimidating and keeping all the big bad squirrels away. Although he is still in that destructive chew anything that isn't bolted down or too heavy to drag puppy stage.......we love him and he is part of our family.
Anyway.....before I got up to let him out......he weaseled his way on the bed in Josh's spot and put his head on the pillow. He flipped on his back and gave me his best scary look. Well, I will admit.....I made a little adjustment as I pushed up his top lip, blew on his gums causing them to stick that way....and it was too funny not to snap a photo and share.
So I started laughing and then thought about how trusting, loving and faithful dogs are. Mufasa did not care that I had severe morning breath, my hair was in knots and I was sleeping in a ripped t-shirt. He wagged his little nubby tail and slapped another sloppy kiss up my nose.
Then for whatever strange reason......I started to think about God.
*I wanted to state a disclaimer that I am not implying God is like a dog by any way, shape or form. I just started to think about how society uses the saying "A dog is a man's best friend".....we have it totally wrong. It should be "God is man's best friend"
So hopefully I am not offending anyone.....I just like to bring God into my conversions and a little connection light bulb went off in my foggy head. And what can I say.....I had a great day at church yesterday, and quite honestly, I am a just a Jesus Freak.
So what I am trying to say.....is that dog's are have a fraction of the loyalty, trust and faithfulness that God has. Yes, dogs do display these traits and no one is more of an animal lover than me......but I gotta give the God we serve a shout out that He deserves here. He is one million-gajillion more of a better friend than we ever deserve to have.
We serve a God who will be by our side no matter what. He will never forsake us. He is excited for our return each and everytime. When we wander off......He will never give up on us and He will stay on our trail. We sometimes neglect Him, but He doesn't hold a grudge. He welcomes us with great big forgiving arms even when we keep screwing up and come back with *our* tails between our legs.
He doesn't care what we look like. He loves us regardless. He isn't moody and His love and compassion is never-ending.
He loves to cuddle up with us after a long day.
He loves it when we give Him the attention and praise He deserves.
So yeah.....I am babbling and again.....I hope these thoughts and ramblings are not offensive in the sense of it started out with talking about my dog and lead to comparing a dog's traits to what an amazing God we serve. I trust that God knows my heart and what I am trying to say here, even if I do get a little strange and quirky.....I guess it's my blog to ramble about whatever comes into this space I call my mind. (or whatever is left to it)....please don't send the men in the white coats.
I hope you have a great Monday......and that you might have gotten to sleep in a bit. ;)
Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
Love does not demand its own way.
Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
Lovedoes not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance.
~1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Notice how the word Love can be replaced with God?
.....and always remember who loved you first.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Peace and love~
All you need is a small jar......baby food jars work great as well as salsa jars....some colored tissue paper, glue, a paintbrush and salt.
Cut or tear up assorted colors of tissue paper (kids love to shred/cut paper, at least mine do)
Put glue in a little container and add some water to thin it out. Brush on jar. Try to cover the majority of the jar with the pieces of tissue paper. Overlapping produces pretty colors and patterns. Just don't layer too much as you want the light to shine through.
Take your brush with more glue mixture after and lightly tap down any loose edges and try to "seal" it up. Then, while glue is still wet....roll in a dish of salt. This gives your candle that extra sparkle. Allow to dry fully and pop a little votive candle in...voila!
(*I couldn't believe how pretty they looked last night when the lights were dim)
We attached a little card with the John 8:12 "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
There are a couple of other great Scriptures you could use as well (thanks, BibleGateway.com):
Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
John 12:46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
Well that's it for me, today.....
1. LOST: Yikes! Holy Nosebleeds, Batman!
*That* was a great episode.....not that any Lost episodes are not great.....but this one was exceptional. I think we actually got some answers, unless they throw us for a loop next week....which is very likely.
So yes......let's think about what I think we discovered last night....or at least the maybes.
1. I was relieved to know that Jin understood the time travel issue for the most part. Remember, last week....it caused me alot of stress and concern.
2. It is finally confirmed that Daniel's mother is Eloise. (now to figure out if she is *the* young Ellie that had the gun on Daniel a few episodes back)
3. It also confirmed yet another one of my theories that Charlotte was born on the island.
4. We also find out that many people on this show are bi (or tri) lingual.
5. Danielle definitely did not age so gracefully over those years, I mean....wow, she looked so young when she first got to the island. Then again, living alone on a savage island all those years probably does a job on ya......maybe she should have asked Richard for his moisturizing tips.
Now the questions....
1. Is Christian Shepherd Jacob?
2. Who the heck controls that black smoke monster (which I will truthfully admit, wished that wouldn't be brought back into the story line. Just a little cheeseball and unrealistic for me......because of course, everything else in this story could happen, you know)
3. Why was Charlotte and her mom allowed to leave the Dharma Initiative? And how? Did they utilize that submarine? And who is her dad and why did he stay? I still have a hunch it might be Daniel somehow. Or maybe her mom is Eloise (who obviously knows about the island)......oh, I think I am on to something, lol. That would make Daniel her brother.
4. When is Annie (Ben's friend from childhood) going to come into this story line???? She has to.
So yeah, I think that John Locke is not dead when he is off the island. Like his death was staged somehow with the newspaper obituary, the coffin scene, etc....just to get everyone together? I keep reaching for the fact that maybe that unique spider situation works into this. Remember that greedy couple who got bit by that spider whose bite puts you into a coma? Then they got buried alive. Maybe he is in that coma state which is why Ben only has a specific amount of time? Hmmmmm, maybe not.
Now I think I am getting a nose bleed from all of this........speaking of nosebleeds....my heart sank when Sawyer needed to wipe his nose!!! But who else had a big smile when Jin turned around and Sawyer
Anyway......bravo, bravo for a fantastic show!!
Oh, and did anyone else laugh out loud with this line?......"He's from Korea, I'm from Encino" ~Miles
OK, on to my two other things this Thursday.....
2. God is so good to me......I know I've said it a million times......but I will keep praising Him. I am sure I will have an entire post about it in the near future, but let's just say He replaced confusion in my heart with His Truth once again. He replaced sorrow with joy.
3. I have seen this a few times, and tears just stream down my face every time.....enjoy!:
Please please leave your link below, post a comment and join in on your Lost talk and other random things this Thursday! :)
First, Josh is insisting that I sing the song "How Great is Our God" with him one night on stage. Is he clearly insane? I cannot carry a tune if my life depended on it. If you've ever talked to me, there would be no denying this. I have a raspy voice that starts to resemble a car horn when I sing. Not sure what his intentions are........maybe he is a glutton for punishment by considering inviting me on stage only to destroy this beautiful song. Maybe he has been watching too many American Idol shows and those horrible auditions. I think the saying "Love is blind" can also be reiterated to "Love is Deaf".
I have no idea, but you will not be seeing or hearing me on stage any time soon (and you should be thankful)
But the main reason those words are on my mind....I had a rough day yesterday.
I wrote that before I went to church. I really really needed church. I know I can (and do) talk to God where and whenever I want, but I needed to be surrounded by Believers. I needed to get lost in the music during praise and worship. I will admit that I do sing at church and should probably apologize publicly for that.
But I can't help it....As soon as the music starts and I close my eyes, nothing else matters. (sorry, not even people within earshot of my singing)
This is *our* time. You know....me and God's time to catch up.
So, even on the outside when I appear to just be singing off key, I really am having my own one on one convo with God. So, I started out asking God to help direct my thoughts solely on Him.......knowing fully that He would take me where I need to be. And then I prayed for Abby again. I thought about how menial my "troubles" were compared to what this little girl has been facing every minute. I asked God to place His healing hands on that sweet child and wipe away the ugly cancer.
I finished up our private conversation thanking Him for keeping me, the kids, Josh and everyone I love healthy and safe this week......then I belted out a huge AMEN! (I might have shouted out a few "woohoos" too)
Well, today I woke up refreshed and with a new mind. Don't you just love how God has His hand out to pull up us when we fall down.....every time. And believe me.....I fall......alot. I am very clumsy as soon as I
I am so grateful that we serve such a Great God:
One who loves us no matter what.
One who reminds us that we are forgiven.
One who not only does not hold a grudge, and forgives us when we do.
One who picks us up when we fall.
One who sends the right person with the right words......at just the right time.
One who knows all things.
One who comforts, One who heals.
So....here's to a new day. A new mind.
Remember....Jesus tells us "Call My Name......and I'll be there"
I just had to post this video/song. I must have played it 25 times yesterday while I was trying turn around my thoughts and focus. It's amazing how singing, worshiping and praising Him casts all negative thoughts out and brings in peace. (it also helps put a pep in your step when cleaning your house).
*remember to pause my music......and enjoy! (oh, if you are in New England.....Third Day is playing in Worcester, Mass in March!)
I ask You for Your forgiveness as I am struggling to keep all my thoughts focused on You today. I am being selfish and impatient. Please breathe Your ways back into my life. Lee me see things through Your eyes.....Let my thoughts and actions be pleasing to You. Forgive me for trying to take control once again.
Keep my eyes focused on You so that I will please You.......instead of turning inward and trying to please myself.
I ask this in Your Holy Name~
So it didn't surprise me when I woke up to this email in my inbox. I really love Max Lucado and subscribe to his newsletter. Of course each one contains a powerful message whether it is uplifting encouragement, wisdom to apply to our daily walk.....or confirmation of the Great God we serve.
Let me backtrack by telling you about what I read prior to checking my emails.....
Sweet Abby needs our prayers more than ever today......she took a turn for the worse these past few days. And through it all, The Riggs Family continue to praise God.
"God is in control and we rejoice in the opportunity to depend on Him and observe His mercy and goodness."~Brent and Michelle Riggs
You know.....I am not so sure I could be saying those words if I were in their situation. I am being completely and boldly honest. I know that when God brings these circumstances to us, He will see us through it......but I am not that confident in myself. Which is why every night I thank God for my healthy children, husband and family. Knowing about Abby and the thousands of families going through the same heartbreaking event overwhelms me often and I find myself on my knees praying for God to perform a miracle with these little children. I know He can do it if it is His will. He has given sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf......erased cancer from bodies in a flash. There is nothing He cannot do.
Well, today's newsletter had a sentence that really struck my heart.
"One call and heaven's fleet appears. Your prayer on earth activates God's power in heaven."
Wow......how cool is that? It again confirms one of my favorite scriptures:
"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." ~Matthew 18:20
So I ask that you join me in prayer for Abby....and also remember to thank God for all the blessings He has graciously given you (us). Give your kids an extra tight hug.....don't forget to tell your family that you love them.
Peace and love~
1. OK, so let's get to Lost!
I am gonna say........I loved every single minute of it, and I called a few things. I was so proud of myself that I actually was grasping the storyline first shot. (as opposed to annoying Josh with pausing and asking him to walk me through what was going on).
So first......I totally called that Ben was behind that court order for Kate to submit blood samples. It just made sense seeing as though she would never be convinced to go back to the island unless it was a dire circumstance. She obviously does not scare or get intimidated easy. (think about all her past butt kicking)
And zip towards the end of the show......I called the whole French group being Danielle and her crew. When Jin popped in the scene, it did throw me for a loop for a minute, but then when the young girl removed her jacket and I saw that belly.....I knew it was Danielle! But how the heck is Jin going to figure out what is going on? I am getting anxiety thinking about how there is no-one to explain the time travel deal to him. *note to self, Michelle......it is just a TV show.
Now what is up with Sun? Did anyone else get nervous that she was going to hurt or take Aaron? After I saw her looking at the file and getting the gun......it made more sense that Ben is her target, but she is appearing to have a very disturbed mannerism lately.
Some other thoughts or theories to toss around.
Could Charlotte be Daniel's daughter somehow?
Oh! And I did talk about how I thought that the little baby in the opening scene of the first episode might be Miles Straum. I think Daniel confirmed that last night when Miles had the nosebleed which has been thought to be attributed to being exposed to the island's radiation for long periods of time. Miles asks Daniel about how that could be possible seeing as though he had only been on the island for a few days.......and Daniel asked, "are you sure?"
Who the heck did those boats belong to and who was shooting at John, Sawyer, Juliet? Loved when Sawyer screamed Thank you Lord.......then after the flash.......I take it back! Funny.
Does Kate know that Claire is actually Jack's half sister? I cannot remember if he told her about that.
One final thought. I hope that Sawyer's nose doesn't start bleeding.
On to my two other things this Thursday~
2. I discovered that N's gerbil died this morning. RIP Midnight.
Now I need to figure out when to tell her. We have our homeschooling science class today and I really know she is going to be upset......so I might hold off until after they leave. (the gerbil cage is downstairs in E's room, so she won't know unless she goes down there this morning.....I'll have to keep extra eyes on her and deter that from happening). I am sure she will want to bury him and have some sort of ceremony. The ceremony, I can do......the burying,...ain't gonna happen with the frozen tundra outside. So where is he gonna be laid to rest? yikes. Would it be horrible to suggest a cremation with our weekly bonfire?
3. We are planning to go to one of these indoor waterpark/resorts as a little treat when tax return comes in. I have heard it is a blast. Kids have no idea.......we want to surprise them.
Check it out.....they have quite a few:
CoCo Key Water Resorts
Guess I better get our Turbo Tax software soon.
OK, if you feel like talking about Lost or any other good things going on in your world.......please either leave a comment or post your blog's link here!
Right now, the only "curriculum" I use in the way of following a book/structured lesson is Bob Jones Math (which I bought the older edition for very cheap, $15 for everything! For the most part, an older edition of most textbooks contain all the same material, it just might have older photos) and we use Explode the Code for phonics which is fantastic.
We have a weekly Bible based science class that meets here weekly. I use Bob Jones Science and make up short lessons with a craft and snack.
We go to the library (free, free, free) once a week as well. Our local homeschooling group always has a craft day, a board game day or some type of function planned at least once a week. In fact, today we are heading over to National Day event where homeschooling families each chose a certain state, researched it and made an exhibit.
Next month N starts pottery at a local studio who offered to do a session for homeschoolers. She is very excited to join in this class of 16 with ages ranging from 5.5-12 years old. She also will be starting soccer in the spring. I guess this is why I am confused with many people's notion that homeschoolers are thought to have no social interaction. Quite the contrary.......I find myself cancelling some obligations to have some "down time" with her.
So getting back to acedemics......We subscribe to a few magazines/publications that we read throughout the week and base projects off of, such as God's World News, Answers in Genesis and National Geographic for Kids
She has a journal to practice sentence writing and we play various games for sight words, math facts and memorizes Scriptures.
We do at least one form of "art" besides our typical daily crafts such as watercolor.....clay.....mixed media style projects.
We use The Bible for basic stories, lessons and crafts. In my opinion, there is no better Book to learn from that has such an amazing history lesson to go along with it. We just finished up The Tower of Babel. N made her replication of The Tower with those foam peanut packing things (man, I hate those....but I hate to throw them in the landfill even more) Her tower resembled the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
It's nice to use a thematic approach as you can tailor your lessons as you see fit. You can stay on it for as long as their interests are peaked or until you run out of materials/ideas. We bake alot (measuring, reading, etc), research where the stories take place (geography) and do plenty of reading. Danielle's Place is great for Bible crafts as is DLTK-Kids, which also has lesson plans too.
Star Fall is awesome for phonics/learning to read.
Here are some great sites that have fun educational games and also tons of information about a variety of topics:
Highlights for Kids
National Geographic Kids
Time for Kids
These sites have great printables that are free
The Learning Planet
Time For Kids/Teacher's site
Free worksheets (phonics)
And I think these sites are totally worth the $19.99/year membership.
Oh, and one last thing.......I've mentioned The Homeschoolers Buyers Coop before.....this free membership allows you to purchase many curriculums/learning resources at discounted prices. You also can get a membership card that validates your homeschooling status, which can be used for an educator's discount at many places such as Barnes and Noble or Borders.
ChristianBook.com has tons of homeschooling books at great prices.
Another great tip is that many homeschooling groups offer book swaps or sales where you can grab used resources very inexpensive. Or you could even get super lucky and score some for free.
Those are just off the top of my head.....but I thought putting all these resources today would make a good Works for Me Wednesday post. Check out many other great ideas and tips over at Rocks In My Dryer today too. :)
Please leave a comment and add any sites that you use that would make a great addition to my list. Or maybe you have a tip to keep me more focused and organized. I could use all the help I can get!
Happy Wednesday :)
First.....N has been hitting some walls with math. We are using Bob Jones and although it's been working out pretty well so far.....she is struggling with some basic concepts and it doesn't dig deep enough into them. I have heard great things about the Math U See program. Unfortunately, I don't have the extra money to invest as it is a little pricey. So I put a "looking for" ad in our homeschooling newsletter and this awesome mama offered me not only the teachers guide/student text for N's level....but the next level up as well! YIPPEE! So now all I need to do is get the manipulative blocks and the workbook. What a blessing!
Then, on Sunday......my friend Kelly held an At Home America Open House at her home. It was really nice.....she had some cash and carry items and offered free shipping on anything from the newest catalog if you ordered that day. So she had the clearance items displayed and they were for sale on a first come/first serve basis. I quickly scanned the available items. My eyes fixed on this awesome stoneware platter that had a $10 price tag on it. So I did what any seasoned bargain-lovin consumer would do......I made a beeline and snatched it up like a dog marking it's territory. I really hope that elderly woman forgave me for stepping on her ankle. (In my defense, she kinda *was* blocking the area)
And then at the end of the party, she had a raffle....
Guess who won this awesome chip/dip set???? I have had my eyes on that beauty every time I've looked through her catalogs. If you feel like treating yourself to something new for your home..... ....check out At Home America's new line. You can grab some great sale items too. Click here.
And lastly.....I mentioned that the publication Serious Life Magazine yesterday......what I forgot to mention is how
Well, he blessed me right back and put a beautiful ad for my Christian tee business in this month's magazine.......for FREE! Praise God!
I haven't really talked much about my Little Earth Angels business here yet. I've been laying low with that CPSIA law that was hanging over the handmade community's head, but the regulations have just got postponed for a year.
And to be honest, with the current economy, I haven't been making much money with my businesses. 2008 was rough for everyone.....and I didn't have the resources to invest in advertising so of course that creates a circle (no advertising-no sales-no money for advertising) But they are my little outlet for being creative and allows me to express how much I value natural parenting techniques, saving God's world by doing what we can......and glorifying Him with little messages on children's tees. I've had Little Earth Angels for almost five years now and started an organic line, Hippie Love Child in 2007. God always finds a way to send business my way just when a bill is due or we need a few extra bucks. He's good like that. ;)
I actually am going to have a little giveaway for my 100th post which is coming up soon. So keep your eyes out for that. In the meantime.......if you feel like browsing around.....I'd love to give my blogging buddies a discount. Use BLOGGING at checkout for 15% off for the entire month of February. :)
(if you have any issues with checking out or any questions......just shoot me an email.)
Well that wraps it up for today.....I hope this finds you smiling and well.
Peace and love~
The magazine includes a lot of great content from bloggers you’ll appreciate, as well as great features, photos and other content. The magazine is owned and published by a family I have mentioned before.......remember sweet Abby who is battling leukemia? This amazing faith-filled family has seven kids, three of whom are adopted. (www.riggsfamilyblog.com).
So check it out....it's *free*, it's real....... and it's filled with Good News~!
So check it out....it's *free*, it's real....... and it's filled with Good News~!
Hope you are having a happy Monday~*~Michelle~*
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