Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Long Day

Yesterday was a challenging day for Grace.  I had an appointment with a new dentist (when Todd changed jobs, we had to change dental insurance and they didn’t take my previous dentist) and I decided to take Grace with me instead of arranging for a sitter.  If I had known that it would take THREE HOURS, I would have left her with a friend.  Not only that, but we had to listen to a woman getting a root canal cry and moan and scream for a LONG time.  Which didn’t do much to help my dislike of going to the dentist, and it actually scared Grace. 

I had planned on going home for lunch before my music class I taught starting at 12:30.  But, since we didn’t leave the dentist until 12:15, we had to rush without eating to my class.  Thankfully, I had packed a few extra snacks which helped satisfy Grace until we got home around 3:00. 

Usually, while I am teaching my high school class, Grace watches a video and entertains herself with a backpack full of books, crayons, toys, and snacks.  However, right before my class started, another teacher came in my room and removed the TV/DVD player to use for her class.  You can imagine there was a moment of protest when Barbie as Rapunzel was rudely unplugged without the merest glimmer of sympathy from my fellow teacher. 

Thankfully, Grace was quickly re-directed and stayed busy with her backpack activities.  Until the last 10 minutes of class when she loudly declared to a roomful of teenagers that she “needed to go poopie now!”  Then, when I asked her to wait a few minutes, she declared, “but the poopie is coming out of my bottom RIGHT NOW!”  I scooped her up in my arms, told my giggling students to say a prayer, and continued the rehearsal.  She did make it to the end without an accident (thank you, Lord!). 

When it was time for us to pack up and go home after a three-hour dentist appointment, no real lunch, a two-hour class, and no real naptime, she was whiny and blatantly disobeyed me a couple of times.  Walking to the car, I knew that I needed to discipline her, even though she had been great the overwhelming majority of the time.  However, I just couldn’t overlook her behavior at the end because she was worn out.  It’s really easy to justify poor behavior under difficult circumstances, and I had to remind myself that there are no exceptions for obedience.  Sometimes it’s really hard to be consistent. 

After I disciplined her, I also made sure to thank her for being sweet and obedient most of the day.  Which made her smile.  And give me a big hug.  And melt my heart.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Don’t Make Me Count To Three – Ch. 11

Welcome to the eleventh week of our book study through Ginger Plowman’s “Don’t Make Me Count To Three!”   If you didn’t read, no worries!  Just join along with us anytime.  It’s quick and easy to get caught up.

This was an excellent chapter that reminded me of my job to set the standard for obedience.  I believe that most children, with consistency, will rise to the standard that is set by the authority figure.  This is true for most students in my experience in the educational setting, and it is the same with our personal parenting.  If we allow our children to talk back, throw fits, and disobey without consistent and loving discipline, then that is the standard that we have set as parents.  If, however, we consistently apply biblical parenting strategies and do not tolerate foolish behavior, we are setting a higher standard which prepares their little hearts to eventually (Lord willing) submit to our Heavenly Father.

Once again, this concept is based on ME and MY OBEDIENCE to God’s commands.  It is quite humbling and forces me to look at my own issues and attitudes.  The first time I read this book, I expected it to be a practical, easy-to-follow, step-by-step instruction manual for biblical parenting.  In a small sense it is, because Ginger has given us many wonderful strategies to use in specific discipline situations.  However, much of my journey to become a better parent has been spent in self-examination of my own heart issues.  And that’s not always a comfortable place to be.  How beautiful and ironic it is to realize that in order to teach obedience to our children, WE must be obedient to train them diligently! 

I appreciate Ginger’s definition of complete obedience…all the way, right away, and with a happy heart.  Expecting our children to obey all the way and right away are logical and reasonable.  But obeying with a happy heart?  That is much more difficult!  I think back on all the times I disciplined Grace to obey me, but I allowed her to obey while pouting or crying.  I have now started to focus more on pleasing God with her obedience.  When she obeys without fussing, I say something like, “Thank you for obeying sweetly.  That makes God very happy.”  Then, when she does complain, we can examine her attitude and I can teach her that we obey with both our bodies and our hearts. 

This is a very difficult concept to accept because it goes against everything the world teaches us, but having a happy heart is a choice, not an emotion.  True happiness is not a result of our circumstances, it is a result of our contentment in God’s will.  It is a result of trusting God through the tough times of life and rejoicing in God’s gift of salvation.  This doesn’t mean that we don’t ever feel angry or grieved or lonely…it means we are not a slave to those feelings.  Teaching our daughter to obey with a happy heart is the first step in teaching her to live her whole life with contentment in the Lord.

There are two weeks left in this book study, and I hope that it has been as beneficial for you as it has been for me.  I feel like I have stumbled and fallen many times on my journey as a parent, but by God’s grace I am learning what I need to do.  I’d love to hear about your struggles and/or successes along your own journey!

Monday Milestones


Overall, I was pleased with my progress this week.  I didn’t quite meet my goal of working out…I worked out three days instead of four.  However, for those three sessions, I pushed myself to burn more calories than before. 

I lost three pounds this week.  That brings my total to 28 pounds in nine weeks. 

This past week up through Easter weekend, I need to get more organized with my personal meal planning.  Due to lots of extra rehearsals for The Passion combined with a booked calendar of appointments and play dates, much of my eating will be done away from home.  That means every morning I must take the time to pack what I need to eat for the day. 

I had a monthly check-up appointment at my doctor last week, and I was pleased to see my blood pressure is continuing to drop.  I’ve gone from average readings around 140/90 (pre-diet) to the most recent reading of 117/70.  I’ve never taken medications for this, so it is nice to see that this can be managed with diet and exercise.  And that’s the real reason I am doing this…to be healthier.

My first goal this week is to make sure I am eating the daily nutritional requirements of my HMR program and nothing outside the box.  This will require planning due to my busier schedule this week.  Also, my goal for exercising is to have at least three good workouts.  Hopefully after Easter, I will get back to 5-6 days per week. 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Embarrassing Moment #25,479

I could probably start a whole blog site dedicated to my life’s embarrassing moments, but it would have to be anonymous so you’d never know it was me!

However, I thought I would share something really embarrassing and slightly funny that happened after church today.  After I picked up Grace from the children’s building, we were sitting in the lobby and waiting for Todd to pull up the car.  There was a middle-aged woman standing close-by.  She was wearing a tight, flower-printed dress and had unruly, reddish hair piled in curls on her head.  Her make-up was very heavy and she had on lots of jewelry.  I swear she looked just like this:

miss hannigan 

You can see where this is going, especially given Grace’s recent fascination with the movie and soundtrack from Annie.  I noticed that Grace was staring at her, so I tried a distraction technique and asked about her Sunday School lesson.  Unfortunately, the woman noticed us and tried to get Grace’s attention by asking her name and age.  Then she pretended to reach down and “get” her.  Grace responded by squealing with delight and yelling, “Mama!  Help!  Miss Hannigan is trying to GET ME!” 

I honestly don’t remember what I said to the woman.  I know there was a lot of nervous laughter on both sides and I mumbled some sort of apology.  I could tell her feelings were hurt, and Grace didn’t make it any easier when she added, “Mama, Miss Hannigan was mean to Annie, but she was nice to me!”  

Once the woman left, we had a conversation about how movies are a way of pretending for fun and Miss Hannigan is a character, not a real person.  And she should NEVER tell someone they look like Miss Hannigan.  *sigh*


I just returned from a seven hour rehearsal for a presentation of The Passion during Easter weekend.  We spent most of the time learning and practicing the four biggest scenes, but we also had a make-up/hair/costume demonstration.  The only thing I'm missing is my shoes.  The sandals I wore the last time I was in The Passion were deemed "too modern", so I've been on the search for a new pair.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a pair of brown leather "gladiator style" sandals WITHOUT huge fake jewels and large shiny buckles?  I finally found these at Payless Shoes online, but I haven't been able to find them in stock at three local locations.  I guess I'll have to order them online and hope they arrive before the dress rehearsal.

gladiator sandal

Todd and Grace spent the day together and had fun.  It was too cold to play outside, so they went out for pizza and visited an indoor playground.  It's not often that mommy isn't around that long during the day, so Grace was glad to see me and eager to describe in detail all the fun she had with daddy!

If you are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and would like to attend The Passion, you can get tickets here.  Our goal is to present the life, death, and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ through beautiful music and drama. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Easter Cupcakes

Grace helped me bake Easter cupcakes for our Sunday School fellowship party tomorrow night.  We have a very large class, so to facilitate friendships and not get lost in the crowd, we formed small groups that meet once a month.  Tomorrow night our group is meeting in someone’s home, eating together, and playing Wii games!  Todd and I are going to make a conscious effort to play nicely control our competitive natures so we’ll be invited to the next party. 

Here’s a sample of the cupcakes Grace and I made together today:


To make this, start with a plain cupcake in a decorative baking cup.

001Use a small knife to hollow out a little bit of the middle to make room for the “basket.”

002Ice the cupcake lightly with green icing.


003Insert a piece of colored Twizzler candy as the basket handle.

007 Sprinkle with green-tinted coconut to make the grass.

008Decorate with candied bunnies and jelly beans.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

“I’m From The Future…”


This wasn’t my favorite episode of all time, but I did enjoy some great character development.  The relationship between Sayid and Ben is dark and disturbing.  We saw the parallels in their upbringings which contribute to their violent nature.  However, it seems that Sayid is always fighting his dark side while Ben seems to embrace it. 

There wasn’t much humor tonight, but Ben had a few great lines.  When Sayid said, “How did you find me?” and Ben responded simply, “I looked.”  Then when little Ben was helping Sayid escape, he said (speaking of his father), “I hated him.” In past tense.  So now we are starting to understand Ben’s hatred of the Dharma group.  It eventually leads to genocide, but I’m hoping that there are much more details to be filled in about what leads to that event. 

When Sayid had the truth serum and stated, “I’m from the future…” I totally expected him so continue by saying, “I came here in a time machine that YOU built….”  Okay, I’ve been watching too many Back To The Future reruns.

Back to LOST:  I knew that Sayid would pull the trigger on little Ben, but it was still shocking to see him murder a child.  Of course he’s not REALLY dead…at this point I’m not sure if anyone is REALLY dead on the island! 

Sawyer did his best to continue the hero role and try to save everybody.  Bless his heart.  Unfortunately for him, I’m afraid his Chief of Security status is about to come to a screeching halt.  Along with his relationship with Juliet.

The previews for next week look pretty exciting as the chaos continues on our favorite 70’s compound.  I’m hoping the next episode will have a few more laughs and a few less torture scenes, dead chickens, cold-blooded murders, burning fires, and smack-downs.  But that’s really the only reason my husband is interested in watching it with me, so I guess I’ll deal!

Bunny Nest

One of our favorite games to play outside is “explorer.”  Basically, I hide small toys in the backyard while the kids close their eyes.  Then, we go hunting for the items while singing the Dora the Explorer song, “Come on, vamanos!  Everybody let’s go!…etc.”  Sometimes we really get into it and wear our backpacks.

Anyway, today while we were searching for hidden Sonic kid’s meal toys, we found this little bunny nest.


It’s hard to tell, but I counted six or seven little babies.  They are about three inches long and so, so cute!  It was a great opportunity for me to teach them about God’s creation, mamas and babies, and what animals eat. 

We had to come inside because there is now a severe thunderstorm, and the kids were VERY worried about the bunnies’ safety during the storm.  When we prayed before naptime, Grace asked God to “help the mama bunny find the baby bunnies and get them an umbrella.” 

Works For Me – Cashbaq


In today’s world of online shopping, most people have shopped the internet at one time or another. I’m not a huge online shopper, but I do frequently check prices and take advantage of promotions and discounts for buying things on the internet rather than making a trip to the store.

I have discovered Cashbaq. This website offers cash rebates for making online purchases at many retailers. It is totally FREE to join (as a matter of fact, you will get a $5.00 credit for signing up!). The way it works is you go to the Cashbaq website. From there, click on the store you want to visit. It will show you the percentage of rebate money you will be credited (most range from 2%-10%) AND coupons and sales for that particular store. After you make your online purchase, your Cashbaq account will be credited for your rebate (it usually takes 2-6 weeks). Around the 20th of each month, Cashbaq will either send you a check or credit your Paypal account with your rebate money when your rebate balance is at least $10.

There are hundreds of retailers that are a part of this rebate program, and my favorites are: Avon, Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, Gap, Wal-Mart, Target, Coldwater Creek, Toys R Us, The Children’s Place, and Joann’s Fabrics.

There is also a referral program where you get an additional percentage of rebates when you refer friends!

Free rebates for online shopping…that definitely works for me! For more works-for-me tips, visit We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Play day

Yesterday I resumed my normal babysitting routine, and let me assure you that Grace was so ready to see our friends!  She asked me all of last week when Caleb would come back to our house. 

There was much excitement when she woke up extra early…instead of a good morning greeting, she exclaimed,  “Is Caleb here yet?!?”  Naptime wasn’t happening yesterday, either.  She couldn’t handle the fact that Caleb was under the same roof, but not actively playing with her (he actually slept). 

Here’s a picture of our dance marathon in the living room.  Caleb had some pretty good moves (including the “Twist” and “Rapper Dude”) that he taught her.


In the afternoon, we went outside and explored for dandelions.  They were very sweet to share the excitement of blowing the seeds together.

007 After they had blown all the dandelions, the hunt began for yellow flowers.


We had a long list of activities, and they stayed busy all day.  We played with toys, read books, watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, helped with laundry, played monster, played hide-and-seek, went “camping” in Grace’s princess tent, played Hungry Hippos, worked puzzles, cooked lunch, “rescued” each other as Super Heroes, and told stories. 

I’m glad that Grace has a sweet friend to play with.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Don’t Make Me Count To Three! – Ch. 10

Welcome to the tenth week of our book study through Ginger Plowman’s “Don’t Make Me Count To Three!”   If you didn’t read, no worries!  Just join along with us anytime.  It’s quick and easy to get caught up.

This chapter was a more in-depth explanation of why the rod is necessary in training children.  I am so thankful that God makes it clear in Scripture. 

The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.”  Proverbs 29:15

My favorite quote from this chapter is found on pg. 108:

To heed God’s commands in using the rod is to fully rely upon His wisdom and to faithfully trust in His counsel.”

I totally sympathize with the worldly argument about not wanting to spank our children because we “love them too much.”  Spanking is not fun and it is not easy.  I don’t enjoy inflicting pain on my daughter.  However, once again, I must examine myself and realize that those feelings are selfish.  If I REALLY want to do what is best for my child, I will obey God’s plan and trust His wisdom.  To leave my daughter to her own desires will only hurt her more in the long run. 

Ginger brought up a good point about when to start disciplining.  Children are capable of learning to obey at a very young age, well before the age of one.  The first spanking that I gave Grace was on the diaper change table when she was a few months old.  (She wouldn’t be still for me to change her diaper).  When you start requiring obedience from the very beginning, they will be more likely to grow with a spirit of submission.  Otherwise, if a parent chooses to wait to discipline until the child turns 2 or 3, it will be an uphill battle because the child will have gotten used to behaving how they please. 

I chuckled a little when Ginger was talking about hereditary sin.  How many times have we heard something like, “Well that’s just the way she is.  She’s just as stubborn as me.  She can’t help it.”  It’s true that our children are going to pick up and imitate our own sin (scary!).  However, that is no excuse.  It just means we need to be faithful and consistent to teach our children self-control over whatever is their issue (anger, whining, lying, bossiness, etc.).  And, we need to show them our repentance when we demonstrate the same sin about which we are trying to teach them self-control.

I’m going to add one more reason I often hear as an explanation of why spanking doesn’t work:  “When you hit (or spank) a child for disobeying, it teaches them to handle conflict with violence.”  My response to this would be that it’s true, IF the parent spanked out of anger with the wrong motives.  God’s plan for spanking is not an act of violence.  When done with a spirit of love and self-control, spanking simply teaches that there are consequences for disobedience.  It helps prepare their heart for submission to God’s Word.

I gained the most from this chapter on pg. 113.  My biggest challenge is to be consistent.  Sometimes I’m in the middle of cooking dinner, or getting ready to walk out the door, or shopping at Wal-Mart, or just plain tired.  Those are the times that it is hardest for me to stop what I’m doing and deal with a discipline issue.  However, when I respond to disobedience sometimes and not other times, it is not fair to our child. 

What’s cruel is for their discipline to be based on the mood, energy level, or whim of the parent…..A secure child is a child that knows his boundaries and is consistently corrected when he oversteps them.”

Ultimately, I want our child to feel secure.  Secure in what will happen if she chooses to disobey.  Secure in our love for her.  Secure in God’s love for her. 

There are only three weeks left in our book study…two chapters, and then I will spend one more week on Appendix A, B, and C.  Thanks for reading along, and I’d love to hear from you in the comments this week!

Monday Milestones


This was a strange week.  It started off great…I exercised Monday through Thursday and stuck to my eating plan.  Then, I got sick Thursday night and stayed ill most of the weekend.  Needless to say, I didn’t exercise again.  And I didn’t eat a real meal again until Sunday.

Which brings me to the lesson I learned this week:  Just because you don’t eat doesn’t mean you will lose weight.  What happens is your body shuts down and your metabolism slows, trying to conserve energy (fat).  One thing my HMR program stresses is the need to eat all the required food every day.  Their mantra is “eat more, lose more.”  Well, I didn’t eat all my required food Thursday through Saturday, so I didn’t lose any weight while I was sick.

All in all, I lost one pound this week (which I had lost by Wednesday morning).  That brings my total to 25 pounds in eight weeks. 

I have a pretty busy week lined up, so my goal is to ease back into exercising and work out at least four days.  I have a monthly check-up at my doctor on Friday morning, and I’m looking forward to weighing in and checking my blood pressure.  (I can’t believe I just typed that.)

This week I’m including a recipe for easy, healthy Pasta Primavera. 

Pasta Primavera (approx. 4 servings)

  • 1 box Ronzoni SmartTaste spaghetti
  • 1 jar Ragu Light (no sugar added)
  • 6 cups chopped veggies (I use zucchini, squash, carrots, onion, garlic, red peppers, and broccoli)
  • 1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (can leave this out to make the dish vegetarian)
  • Reduced fat Parmesan cheese

Use a nonstick cooking spray to stir-fry veggies (with a little salt and pepper) in pan about 4 minutes.  Add 1/4 c. water and quickly close lid – steam for 2-3 minutes.  Remove lid, add Ragu, season with salt and pepper, and turn down heat to simmer.  Cook and drain pasta.  For one serving, combine 1 c. pasta, 1 1/2 c. veggie mixture, 4 oz. chicken (size of your palm), and 2 T cheese. 

This satisfying portion contains 500 calories and 6 grams of fat (with chicken) or 380 calories and 4 grams of fat (without chicken).

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Today was the last day of our Spring Break.  It’s been a fun week, and I’m glad we decided to stay home this year instead of traveling.  (Although we miss our family terribly!) 

Todd and Grace stayed home today while I ran a few errands.  First I took our van to Sam’s Club to get two new tires.  They had the best deal for the tires we wanted, and it only took 45 minutes.  While they worked on the car, I walked around the store and kept thinking I was forgetting something the whole time…oh yeah…no cart, no Grace!  I did miss her, but it was nice to look at stuff without answering questions like, “What is that, Mama?” and “Can I have something to eat, Mama?” and “When are we going home, Mama?” and “Can we buy that, Mama?”

Since I was enjoying my freedom, I decided to go to Kohl’s and look around.  I received a 15% off total purchase coupon by e-mail and they were having a Super Saturday sale.  I tried on a bunch of clothes and found so many things I wanted, but I restrained myself and just bought a new bra for…drum roll please…$2.55.  I have no earthly idea why it was marked down that much.  I dug around and found it on a clearance rack.  I heart Kohl’s!

On the way home, I stopped at Wal-Mart and bought my fresh veggies for the week.  When I got home, I chopped everything up, mixed it together, and divided it into eight Tupperware bowls.  Now instead of chopping every time I cook, I just grab a bowl out of the fridge and dump it in the pan to stir-fry.  Much easier!

Todd rented the movie “Bolt”…which is HILARIOUS.  We are watching it right now and laughing hysterically at that hamster.  We’re eating supper in front of the TV tonight, and Grace is sucking on an empty corn-on-the-cob after she gobbled down every kernel.  (Just like Rachel Ray…how many times has she told that story on 30 Minute Meals?).  Good times.


Friday, March 20, 2009


Today is clean-up day.  We’ve had so much fun this week for Spring Break, and I have put off some of my routine house-cleaning.  I even went to sleep last night with dirty dishes in the sink because I was feeling under the weather.  Needless to say, it is so depressing to wake up in the morning with a messed-up kitchen. 

We had planned on a picnic today for lunch at a local park, but I’m still feeling sickly, so Todd is going to take Grace out to fly her kite and let me do a couple of things around the house and get some rest. 

We are so thankful that this has been such a fun week of time spent together as a family.  We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and it’s been great to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.  Our trees are blooming and everything is turning green again!

From the words of the great musical Carousel, “Spring is bustin’ out all over!”

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Things I Love Thursday – Suave Detangling Spray


My 4-yr-old daughter has long, thick hair.  As you can imagine, combing her hair after bath time often turns into sob-fest.  Even using shampoo products that are labeled “detangler” or “shampoo plus conditioner” have not worked for us.

This Suave detangling spray is fabulous! 

suave detangler

After she gets out of the bath, I towel-dry her hair and spray a fair amount all over her hair (about 10-15 pumps).  I use a large toothed brush to gently and easily remove all tangles.  Not only does it work well, but her hair smells so good…like granny smith apples!

This product is cheap, too.  I always pay less than $1 when I stock up during sales…coupons are in the paper at least once per month for Suave products. 

For information about more great products, visit The Diaper Diaries

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dude, you might want to fasten your seatbelt.


Tonight’s episode of LOST was riveting.  We start on the plane and get to watch Frank deftly ground the aircraft, with minimal injury to his passengers (except the poor co-pilot). 

Have you ever noticed how two people never die the same way on this show?  The writers are trying to out-do CSI episodes…tonight we saw “death by tree branch.” 

I didn’t quite understand why the Oceanic Six disappeared off the plane, separate from everyone else.  Also, is the rest of the plane in 1977?  Somehow I doubt it since the Dharma folks didn’t notice any aircrafts crashing on the island.

Ben was even more deliciously creepy tonight than normal.  “I’m going back to our island...wanna come?”  And I just gotta say…Sun, you rock.  Way to go when you bashed Ben in the head.  Although I wouldn’t want to be you when he wakes up. 

So we found out that Amy’s baby is Ethan.  If you remember, Ethan helped recruit Juliet to come on the island. [By the way, you can go to Characters of Lost on Wikipedia and get refresher courses on everybody.]

My favorite line of the night (said to Jack) was, “Based on your aptitude tests, you’ll be doing janitorial work.”  Way to stick it to him, Sawyer!  The man-drama between these two was pretty intense tonight.  Jack is having a hard time not being the one in charge, but Sawyer is doing a good job of holding the reins.  I predict that Jack will soon start rebelling and going out on his own…in effect they are trading roles.

The whole scene between Sun, Frank, and Christian was just weird.  Since he told them they have a “long journey” to find Jin, I assume that he knows how to send them back in time to 1977.  We’ll see.  One thing’s for sure…I can’t wait to see a Jack/Christian reunion.

And, alas, my husband ACCIDENTLY TURNED OFF THE DVR for the last few minutes of tonight’s episode.  It stopped where an unidentified young boy was delivering food to Sayid.  Anyone care to fill me in on how it ended?

Works For Me Wednesday – Grocery List


I keep my grocery list on my laptop.  The document stays open on my desktop so I can quickly add to the list when I think of something.  I also keep a notepad in the kitchen to quickly jot something down, then I transfer the items to my laptop when I get the chance.

On Wednesday, when the grocery ads come out, I sit down and make my weekly grocery shopping plan.  If I am shopping at two or more stores, I separate my items into different columns.  If I have a coupon, I add a star (*) in front of the item to remind myself in the store.  If an item is on sale, I add an exclamation point (!) as well. 

I also rearrange my list into the order of the aisles so my shopping trip is quick and easy.  Sometimes, if I’m having a Super-Mom moment, I’ll even pull out the coupons I know I’m using ahead of time.  When it’s time to go, I click “Print”, grab my Coupon binder, and I’m off! 

It takes a few minutes to organize my list on my computer, but it makes my shopping quicker, more organized, and cheaper.  That definitely works for me!

For more works for me tips, visit We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Today was another beautiful day in Fort Worth, Texas.  It was impossible to stay indoors, so we went to the park and rode the train.  The Forest Park Miniature Railroad is a leisurely five-mile ride through Trinity Park, along the Trinity River, and through Forest Park.  It takes about 40 minutes for the whole round trip, and it is quite relaxing. 

Grace had a blast!  The only negative thing was that everyone else in Fort Worth had the same idea that we did.  It was so crowded!  We had to wait for a while, then literally scramble to find an empty seat, squeezing all three of us onto a bench that’s about three feet wide.

But the wait was worth it!  It was hard to get good pictures because we were so cramped, but here’s a couple I managed to take with Grace on my lap.



On the way home, we stopped at Little Caesar’s and picked up a $5 pizza for Todd and Grace.  Excuse me…they are now $5.55…times are a changin’.  It’s nice to have a night off from cooking supper for them.  When we got home, I chopped up some root veggies and put them in the oven to roast.  I’ll eat them with an HMR entree for supper…I’m thinking Chicken Creole

Tonight’s a great night for TV…American Idol and The Biggest Loser!  Grace will probably go to bed early since we wore her out at the park, so I’ll get my reality TV fix for the week uninterrupted.

Another great day during Spring Break 2009!

Monday, March 16, 2009


For our first official work-free day of Spring Break, we planned a pajama movie day.  I took advantage of RedBox’s free movie Monday and rented three videos.  Todd and I laughed through “Get Smart” during Grace’s naptime, and we are watching “Horton Hears A Who” right now with Grace.  I don’t think I can convince Todd to watch “Mamma Mia” with me, so I’ll probably stay up late (if I can make it!) and watch it by myself after “Dancing With The Stars.” 

However, the weather was SO BEAUTIFUL today, that we just couldn’t stay indoors!  It was sunny, warm (70’s), with a light breeze.  Grace and I accompanied Todd to the driving range so he could hit a basket of balls.  Here’s a picture of Todd helping Grace hit with her new club:


While they played golf, I sat in my camping chair, got some sun, and read the latest issue of Cook’s Country (great recipes this month!). 

Todd spent a lot of time with Grace helping her with her grip on the golf club.  However, when left to her own, she just grabbed it however she pleased.  That’s my girl!

On the way home, Todd stopped at the gas station and bought her a Drumstick ice cream cone (her first!).  She ate the whole thing.  We had a really fun day!


Preschooler Quote of the Day

“Daddy, can you help me get the cereal out of my nose?”

To the naked eye, the cereal was not visible.  Todd closed the other nostril with his finger and told her to blow as hard as she could.  A Cheerio went flying across the room!

Don’t Make Me Count to Three – Ch. 9

Welcome to the ninth week of our book study through Ginger Plowman’s “Don’t Make Me Count To Three!”   If you didn’t read, no worries!  Just join along with us anytime.  It’s quick and easy to get caught up.

As I was reading this chapter, I found myself wanting to highlight almost every sentence.  I appreciate that there are eleven direct scripture references to back up all of her main points.  Over the years, I have found myself needing to explain and defend my belief in biblical discipline, including spanking with a rod.  I have never articulated and defended my position as well as Ginger does, however.  Other than the direct scripture references, my favorite quote from this chapter was on pg. 99-100.  When speaking of parents who say that “spanking doesn’t work”, Ginger replies,

“…in most of these cases, the parents had embraced a worldly form of spanking rather than a biblical form of chastisement.  They had used the rod without reproof.  They had punished the wrong without explaining the right, and most often they had punished in anger and with a wrong motive.”

How true!  I honestly believe that spanking done incorrectly is often worse than doing nothing at all.  Unfortunately, that type of unbiblical spanking is portrayed 99% of the time when “professionals” argue against it.  Ginger certainly didn’t mince words when she stated that to reject biblical spanking is to reject God’s Word and claim that we are wiser than God Himself.  How thankful I am that God has made His ordained plan for discipline so wise, so loving, and so clear when we search the Scriptures.

I also appreciate that Ginger spoke of traditional, worldly methods of training children.  At some point or another, I have done all of those things!  Sometimes they work for the moment, but it is not a lasting change.  When the focus is anything other than teaching and training the heart, true obedience will not take place. 

My pet peeve is #5:  Reasoning with the child.  Oh, boy.  I just can’t stand it when I hear parents trying to plead, explain, and manipulate their children into obeying.  I just want to exclaim, “Who’s the parent here???!!”  God has put us in a position of authority over our children, just like God is our Heavenly Father.  We should expect obedience, then follow through with reproof and the rod if they choose to not obey.  I think that too many parents are trying to be their child’s “best friend.”  Ironically, parents who administer biblical discipline usually have a closer and more loving relationship with their child than the parent who is always reasoning and trying to be a friend.

In closing, Ginger has given me another way to check myself after discipline.  Did it end on a positive note?  If either one of us is struggling with remaining anger or frustration at the end of discipline, perhaps I should re-evaluate my own heart and make sure that I am applying discipline correctly with good motives.  At the end, our children should feel assured that we love them enough to teach them obedience.

While much of the material in this chapter is highly debated in both the Christian and secular communities, my confidence rests in the wisdom that is revealed in Scripture.  The challenge for me is to stay consistent and ever-mindful of what I KNOW I should do!  I’ve appreciated reading your comments and e-mails over the last few weeks…it’s encouraging to know that other moms are struggling the same as me, yet also seeing the fruits of submitting to God’s plan in their children.  I’m dying to know what you thought about this week’s chapter!



Monday Milestones


This week I met my goal of exercising five days.  I also stuck to my eating plan, so I had a pretty good outcome and lost four pounds this week.  That brings my total weight loss to 24 pounds in seven weeks.  I have lots of energy throughout the day, then I crash at night.  I have NEVER been a night owl, and that trait is magnified now that I am exercising regularly. 

It’s nice to really start to notice a difference in the way my clothes fit.  I have lost at least one dress size, possibly two…it’s hard to tell, because I haven’t really tried on new clothes.  I’m trying to alter what I already own and delay buying new stuff.  Thankfully, I am able to do simple alterations myself. 

The Leukemia/Lymphoma Society called me this week and asked if I had any clothing that I would be willing to donate.  I saw it as a great opportunity to give away several things that I can’t wear anymore and that are not easy to alter (like blue jeans, sweaters, and a blazer)…you can see that I really don’t want to even keep around larger sized clothing because it’s more motivation to lose/maintain weight! 

Since it’s Spring Break, my goal this week is to exercise every day but Sunday.  I have more time, so it should be doable.  It will be more challenging to stay on my eating plan because Todd will be home all day and I must cook and prepare meals more often.  (And watch him eat stuff I can’t have!)  However, I’m determined not to let it get me off track. 

This week, I’m going to share a recipe for an easy, low-calorie/low-fat treat.  I made this to celebrate the birthday of a friend who is on a similar eating plan.  This is for a single serving:

Dessert Parfait

  • 1 Oats & Chocolate Fiber One bar, chopped
  • 1/2 c. sugar-free/fat-free pudding (I use chocolate)
  • 3-4 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 3-4 tablespoons fat-free Cool Whip Lite

Start with a pretty wine or water glass.  Sprinkle 1/2 of the Fiber One bar on the bottom.  Layer with 1/2 of the pudding, 1/2 of the strawberries and bananas, and 1/2 of the Cool Whip.  Repeat layers.  Serve immediately.

This contains approximately 275 calories and 4 grams of fat (mostly from the Fiber One bar). 

Saturday, March 14, 2009

You’ll always be in my heart…..


Unfortunately, Chick-Fil-A is a distant memory for me at this point in my diet eating plan, but here’s a glimpse into my heart and the true love that I have for waffle fries and sweet tea.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring Break!

spring break

Spring break is here!  Even though it’s a wet, rainy 38 degrees outside right now, we are excited!

Todd has the whole week off from school, and I have the whole week off from babysitting and teaching music lessons.  We’re trying to come up with a few free (or really cheap) activities to do as a family over the next several days. 

Tomorrow we’re just relaxing around the house and enjoying a day with absolutely nothing to do.  On Sunday, we have various church activities and we’re hosting guests for lunch in our home.  On Monday, we’re planning a pajama movie day with free Redbox movies and homemade popcorn…slumber party style with lots of pillows and blankets…Grace gets very excited about this!  Hopefully by Tuesday the weather will be better and we can plan an outing to the park for a picnic.  One day we’d also like to check out the Weatherford farmer’s market…we’ve heard a lot but never been.

I think that more than anything, we will enjoy just having Todd around the house with us.  It will definitely make rounds of Candy Land and Memory more interesting!  Does anyone have any other suggestions for free (or cheap) activities to do as a family?  Maybe specific to the D/FW area?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Things I Love Thursday – Fiber One Bars



My favorite quick snack is a Fiber One bar.  I am currently on a low-fat/low-calorie diet, and this product fits perfectly into my plan.  I carry one with me in my purse at all times to satisfy my hunger if I am out and about…it saves me from grabbing something unhealthy at a drive-thru! 

Each bar contains 35% of our daily fiber requirements, and most flavors are around 140 calories/4 grams fat per bar.  They are delicious!  Unlike some other skimpy, tiny bar snacks (ahem…Special K), this product is thick, chewy, and satisfying.  My favorite is the “Oats and Chocolate.”

fiber one bar

I never pay full price for this product because every week it seems that some grocery store is running a special sale.  Plus, coupons for this product are in the newspaper at least once per month.  You can also go to the Fiber One website and print off a $1 coupon!  If you shop at Sam’s Club, this product is available to buy in bulk.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

McDonalds Playground Suggestions


Once or twice a month, I take Grace to the McDonald’s playground to let her play.  Sometimes we go alone, and sometimes we meet other friends for a play date.  Based on my own experience, I follow three simple rules for a fun experience:

  1. Eat first.  I prefer Grace to eat her happy meal before going to the play equipment.  If she went back and forth between her food and the playground, she would spread her own mess to other kids who are playing, and she would pick up germs and then put them in her mouth when she came back to eat again.  Ewww!
  2. Clean up, then play.  After she’s done eating, we wash her hands and then she is good to go.  I take that opportunity to throw away the trash and clean up the table. 
  3. Save the happy meal toy for when we are ready to leave.  I do this for several reasons.  One, it keeps the toy clean (no ketchup and saliva!).  Two, it keeps the toy from getting broken or lost on the play equipment.  Three, it is a HUGE motivation for when it is time to leave.  She never gets upset when I say it’s time to go, because she is looking forward to opening the toy and playing with it in the car on the way home.

This works for me!  For more Works-For-Me-Wednesday tips, visit We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Great Coupon

Today I found a great coupon for 30% off your entire in-store purchase at Old Navy, Gap, or Banana Republic.  Plus, the store will donate 5% of your purchase price to Teach For America!

This coupon is only good for Mar. 12-15, so mark your calendars!  It’s a great way to update your wardrobe and donate to a good cause at the same time.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Don’t Make Me Count To Three! – Ch. 8

Welcome to the eighth week of our book study through Ginger Plowman’s Don’t Make Me Count To Three!   If you didn’t read, no worries!  Just join along with us anytime.  It’s quick and easy to get caught up.

This chapter dealt with verbal correction during discipline.  I love that Ginger began by challenging us to look at our own motives when administering discipline.  At some time or another, I believe that every mother has used angry words towards her children when she is embarrassed or inconvenienced by sinful behavior.  I am sad to say that I certainly have.  At times like that I am called to repent and ask forgiveness for responding in the wrong way.  The most impactful quote for me from this chapter was on pg. 86:

“If our motive is sinful, we will give reproof in a sinful way and our children will view it as a personal attack or an act of vengeance.  This may result in them becoming angry rather than repentant.”

Out of all the “angry” children I have worked with over the years as a teacher and a school counselor, I can assure you that behind every angry child, there is an angry caregiver.  One of two things usually happens…these same children will grow up and continue the cycle of verbal and/or physical abuse with their own children, or their anger and feelings of worthlessness will be turned against themselves and result in eating disorders, addictions, abusive relationships, etc.  Of course the good news is that God may choose, in His infinite mercy, to save them and help them walk a new path.  However, even if that happens, they will continue to struggle with remaining anger.

Oh, how important it is for us to examine our hearts and not be a stumbling block for our children!  And if we do respond in a way that is not honoring to God, we should confess our sin and ask forgiveness of our children.  Then, they need to see us respond in the correct way with love and self-control.  While certainly not ideal, God may choose to use our sin and repentance for good in our children’s lives rather than evil. 

The example that Ginger used on pp. 87-88 to teach our children not to interrupt was golden.  It’s definitely a work in progress in our household right now, but the concept of a child respectfully touching mom’s arm to get her attention is such a great way to train our children not to rudely interrupt.  When the mom covers her child’s hand with her own it is the perfect way to communicate, “I love you.  You are important to me.  Thank you for being patient until I can talk with you.”  Teaching a young child not to interrupt goes right along with teaching self-control, patience, and empathy for others’ needs.  Believe me, your child’s future Sunday School or classroom teacher will appreciate it!

I will close by mentioning the “Wise Words for Moms and Dads” chart that Ginger introduced on the last two pages.  I own this chart and have found it very useful.  When I first got it, I spent time in my Bible, reading all the correlating passages that Ginger has paired with the specific discipline issue.  Over time, I have added a few of my own verses that I have found to speak to an issue.  I don’t refer to it every day, but studying it has helped me be more prepared to respond with biblical reproof.  And, when a particular discipline issue keeps cropping up, I go to the chart and re-read the correlating Scripture passages to refresh myself on how best to respond.

I hope that this chapter was useful for you as well.  Next week we will begin to discuss the biblical use of the rod.  Always a hot topic in both the Christian and secular community!  I invite you to comment below on this week’s chapter.  Discuss amongst yourselves!

Monday Milestones


This was a great week for my eating plan, but a less than stellar week for exercise.  I did manage to get in two good workouts before I pulled a muscle in my neck/back area.  That put me out for a few days, but the good news is that I feel much better now and can barely feel the strained muscle.  This experience reinforced the fact that I really need to stretch out well before my workouts. 

I lost three pounds this week, which puts me at twenty pounds in six weeks. 

I usually prefer to exercise in the mornings, but my schedule has been a lot busier lately.  This week, I’m teaching music lessons at the local high school for two mornings.  For two other days I am babysitting.  I’m also in a production of The Passion during Easter weekend…we’re having lots of extra rehearsals now.  When you factor all that in with routine housework, time spent with Grace, play dates, cooking, shopping, various appointments, and church activities, I must stay very organized to get everything done, including workouts.

My milestone goal this week is to exercise five times and continue to do well on my eating plan.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Open Letter to the Creature in my Dryer

Dear Creature in my Dryer,

Why, oh why did you have to bless us with your presence today of all days?  We were already running late after losing an hour of sleep because of daylight savings.  And, we had volunteered to work in the nursery during the early service at 8:15! 

And did you find it really necessary to scare our daughter half to death?  She thought there was an animal in her closet and was screaming for us to help her!  We finally figured out the noise was coming from the laundry room and realized that you had somehow found your way through our exhaust vent and into the dryer. 

You are probably wondering why I didn’t open the dryer door and let you out.  Frankly, I was scared.  I had visions of that squirrel from Christmas Vacation jumping on me when I opened the door.  And, I didn’t even know what kind of creature you were!  Did I really want to spend the morning in the ER getting a rabies shot?

Actually, you’re pretty lucky that I didn’t turn on the dryer.  After much contemplation, I decided to just leave you alone and hope that you would find your way back outside.  It sure was pathetic to hear you scrambling around inside, though. 

Much to our relief, you had found your way out by the time we got home from church.  The clothes that were in the dryer need to be re-washed, however.  And now I can’t get the image out of my head of a creature rummaging around in my clean pajamas.  Ewww. 

I guess this situation has forced us to put a grate over our vent hole.  I’m sorry, but you are just not welcomed in our house.  Or in my dryer. 


Mrs. J

Saturday, March 7, 2009

More Dresses

I’ve been sewing up a storm for the past 24 hours, and I thought I’d post a few more pictures of my creations.

Here’s a cute purple dress with ladybugs and flowers.  I put on some ribbon and lace accents to dress it up a little.


This is a dress that I made last summer, but it turned out too big.  I made some alterations and fixed a couple of mistakes I made. 


I sewed this dress today while we watched “South Pacific.”  When I was taking these pictures, Grace was singing, “I’m gonna wash that man right outta my hair!”


Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring Dress

Grace and I went to the fabric store today to look for materials to sew a few spring dresses.  We had fun picking out the fabric, and I got some really good deals.  I found one super cute fabric on the clearance table for 99 cents per yard, and I can’t wait to make it into a dress and post pictures!  (Hopefully I’ll get it done next week). 

I bought enough fabric and sewing notions for four dresses and spent $17.53.  That comes to about $4.38 each!  Not too bad for a custom, perfectly fitted Sunday dress.  Until the weather gets consistently warm, she can put on a white sweater and wear them now!

This was Grace’s favorite fabric, so I made this dress first after dinner tonight.  It’s a pink polka dot design with cute frogs across the bottom and gingham accents on the waist and hem.


Several months ago, I ordered some new design tags to sew in my dresses.  They say “Handmade by Joanna J********”. 


Here’s Grace modeling the finished product.  She loves it!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Good News

I am happy to announce that my brother Jon is home safely from Iraq!  He arrived home in Hawaii last evening after a seven month tour.  You can read about some of the great things his unit did here.  He is now enjoying some much-anticipated family time with his precious wife and two daughters.  We are so thankful that God protected him during his time overseas.  Thanks to all the family and friends that have prayed for him over the months.  Let’s continue to pray for all the men and women that are currently serving in our military.  Blessings!

Things I Love Thursday – Diet Twist Up


My favorite drink is Diet Twist Up from Wal-Mart.  Not only is it one of the cheapest brands of soda you can buy, but it TASTES GREAT!  This drink is basically the generic form of Diet Sprite or Diet 7Up, and I happen to think that the flavor is better than either of these name brands.  At my Wal-Mart, it costs 88 cents for a 2-liter and $2.34 for a 12-pack.  There are no calories, no fat, no carbs, no caffeine, and a miniscule amount of sodium! 

Diet Twist Up

To really put this drink over the edge, add a slice of lime and a splash of cherry juice.  Enjoy!

For more great product suggestions, check out The Diaper Diaries.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

James LaFleur


Well, the only bad thing about watching tonight’s LOST episode was finding out that I have to wait TWO WEEKS for the next episode!  I mean, I’m a huge fan of Dancing With The Stars, but it’s not worth pre-empting LOST!

Tonight’s show was incredible.  Not only did we get to focus on my favorite character, Sawyer, but there were many touching moments.  Like when Daniel saw young Charlotte.  And when Sawyer asked Juliet to stay on the island.  And when Amy gave Paul’s body to Sawyer.  And when Juliet cooked dinner for Sawyer.

The jury is still out for me on a Sawyer/Juliet relationship.  I’ve seen it coming a few weeks, so it wasn’t a big surprise, but I think I prefer Jack with Juliet and Sawyer with Kate.  Especially after I saw Sawyer’s face when Kate got out of the Dharma van.  (Somebody nominate Josh Holloway for an Emmy!)  Poor Juliet is probably going to get her heart broken.

The best line of the night goes to Sawyer when he called Richard “the guy with the eyeliner.”  I am a bit confused as to why Richard didn’t pump Sawyer for more information about who he was.  He seemed content to just take Paul’s body and go back to his people. 

Here are some other questions I am pondering tonight:

  • What is the significance of that huge statue?
  • When/where is Ben going to show up?  Are Ben and John in the same “time travel zone” as Jack/Sawyer/Kate, etc.?
  • Where are Rose and Bernard?
  • Who are the “hostiles” led by Richard, and what is their purpose on the island?
  • Why was Amy able to conceive and deliver a healthy baby on the island?
  • Why was Horace drinking and blowing up trees with dynamite?

We didn’t really learn a lot of new information tonight, but it sure was fun to watch some great character development.  Feel free to comment with your own answers or theories!

Works For Me Wednesday – Dinner History


Today’s theme for Works-For-Me Wednesday is a recap of the greatest hits/tips!  I posted this back in January, and it is one of my favorites. 

I enjoy keeping a record of the dinner meals that I have cooked over the years.  For one, it’s fun to read back over the different things I have prepared and served!  Secondly, it helps me plan a better variety of things to feed my family.  I can look back and repeat things that were a success while  keeping an overall picture of the different dishes I have tried.  It keeps me from getting in a rut!









1-2-3 Jambalaya Rice French Bread Caesar Salad easy!


Burgers Baked Fries Fixins Fruit Salad Todd’s favorite


Chicken Quesadillas Spanish Rice Salsa   20 min. meal


Chef Salad Deli Meats Veggies   extra-good = homemade dressing

I’ve been keeping records for almost two years now, and I hope that one day my daughter can look back and see the meals we prepared together as she builds her own repertoire of cooking.

Notice that the author of Works-For-Me-Wednesday has changed!  You can now visit We Are THAT Family for great tips.

Play Date

Yesterday Grace and I went to a sweet friend’s home for a play date.  Mrs. Anita has been part of my life since I was a little girl, and I love that we still keep in touch.  Mrs. Anita lives in a beautiful farm house with lots of land for animals.  Grace’s favorite thing is the chicken coop!  Yesterday she found an egg in the henhouse, and was very proud to hand it to Mrs. Anita.

There were also two other sweet moms there with children, so Grace had lots of playmates.  Usually it takes her a while to warm up, but after just a minute or two, she was running around and playing with the other kids…inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs, etc…while the adults got a chance to visit and swap stories.

I am so thankful for friendships, old and new, and the joy that it brings to my life.  It’s easy to get lonely being a stay-at-home mom with one child, but days like yesterday show me the joy of fellowship.  I also truly appreciate the freedom I have to go and do fun things at my leisure instead of being a slave to the workplace.  This lifestyle is certainly not without sacrifices, but for us it is totally worth it!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Preschooler Quote of the Day

Grace and I went to Wal-Mart to grab a few groceries this afternoon.  We were standing in line behind a woman with a newborn baby.  The woman put her newborn baby (in it’s carrier) on the conveyor belt while she finished unloading her cart.  Grace said:

Mama, is that lady buying a baby?  Mama, can WE buy a baby?  PLEASE?”

Don’t Make Me Count To Three – Ch. 7

Welcome to the seventh week of our book study through Ginger Plowman’s Don’t Make Me Count To Three!   If you didn’t read, no worries!  Just join along with us anytime.  It’s quick and easy to get caught up.

This chapter was full of practical suggestions for parents to deal with manipulation.  Her theological perspective of looking at how Jesus responded to foolishness is very helpful.  Instead of getting into arguments and power struggles, Jesus cut right to the heart of the matter and avoided the trap that was being set for him.

This is easier said than done.  If Grace doesn’t want to obey, my first reaction is often to argue and/or reason with her.  When dealing with a child who is trying to “get out” of doing something they don’t want to do, that kind of response can lead to frustration and anger.  Instead, I need to go straight to the heart of the matter and call her on whatever manipulation she is using to not obey. 

This morning, Grace was bothering her friend Caleb while he was trying to read a book, even after he asked her to stop.  I disciplined her, then I told her to sit on the couch with me for a couple of minutes until he finished his book.  I could tell she wanted to get down so bad and go over to him.  She looked at me with big, sweet eyes and put her hand on my arm.  She patted my arm softly and said, “I love you, mom” while slowly sliding off the couch.  She tried to cover her disobedience with a gesture of affection.  It was a great opportunity for me to practice going right to the heart of the matter.

My focus this week is to respond wisely to Grace’s foolishness.  I should not argue or try to reason with her.   I honestly believe that getting into power struggles ultimately lessens our parental authority.

I hope that many of you will join in and comment on what particularly struck you in this week’s reading.  Even if you didn’t read, feel free to comment on the topics raised…I look forward to reading them!  Stay tuned for a post next Monday on chapter eight.

Monday Milestones


I feel like I’m settling into a pattern now with my eating plan and workouts.  I was tempted a lot this week because I cooked for two different church fellowship parties.  For our Sunday School small group party, I made roast beef melts and chocolate cheesecake brownies.  For our Sunday School breakfast this morning, I made cranberry scones, strawberry bread, and sausage/egg casserole. 

But, I’m happy (and amazed) to report, I didn’t cheat.  I truly believe that once you get beyond the first couple of weeks, it’s easier to be satisfied with lighter food.  I exercised four days, which is a little less than last week, but I was very busy and did as much as I could.  I’m hoping to go back to five or six days this week.

I had a routine check-up at my doctor and am happy to report that my blood pressure has come down quite a bit over the last six weeks to 116/70.  She was very proud of my progress and gave me the thumbs up. 

I lost three pounds this week.  That brings my total to 17 pounds in five weeks. 

A friend of mine asked me why I started the Monday Milestones post, and really it’s mostly for my own benefit…to keep me accountable.  If I know I’m going to post every Monday, it motivates me to make good choices during the week.  Another friend told me she started exercising again herself after reading my posts, and after I had a good laugh (that I could make someone want to exercise!), I realized that maybe it’s motivating to other people too.