Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Some Random Things

  1. It's October and that means Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Here is your friendly reminder to schedule or at least think about when you need to schedule your mammogram (if you are of the age or heath history that warrants a mammogram).  Also please consider cleaning up your diet and adding or increasing your exercise if applicable.
  2. For the last two years, in honor of this month, I (with the help of friends and family) have sewn comfort pillows and drain bag holders for mastectomy patients.  This year I have not even bought the supplies to do so!  I am regretful about this, but it is what it is.  This is a project that is very dear to my heart, and even as I type this I am inspired to go to Hobby Lobby today or another day this week and buy what I need and get to sewing.  Hmmmm.  Maybe I can…..
  3. Also in honor of this month, my friend John is holding another WOD for the Cure.  His first one was two years ago when I was recovering from my 3rd and final breast cancer-related surgery, and so I could not participate.  Sadly, I cannot participate this year either because of a previous commitment!  I am still buying a t-shirt to show my support.  Thank you John for doing this.  All proceeds will go to the Women First Resource Center here in Tupelo.  This is one of the organizations where I donate my pillows and bags.
  4. While I was running on my treadmill yesterday morning I watched some of the last of the Love Comes Softly DVD series.  I think there are eight movies in all, and I have watched all of them while running on the treadmill over the last few months.  Anyway, in yesterday's movie (I can't remember the name…..they all have the word LOVE in the titles), Clark had every single thing that you could think of going wrong in his life.  His wife had just died, his daughter almost burned down their house, he was about to lose his home and land because he was so behind on his mortgage payments, and the area was suffering from a lengthy and severe drought (which is why he was behind financially).  He and his father were trying, unsuccessfully, to dig a well to use for irrigation, and Clark just lost it.  He. Had. Had. Enough. Adversity.  His father offered this sage advice. (And I paraphrase.)
When you are overwhelmed, just do the next thing.  The next thing, the one that is right in front of you.  Just do it.  And then do the next thing.  And so on.

So that is something for us all to ponder today.  Whatever is overwhelming YOU today, just do the new thing.  Make a list if you have to, and maybe the first thing on your list needs to be PRAY.  Whatever it is, just do the next thing.  And then the next.  And so on. And remember...

"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
Colossians 3:17

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Newest Nephew

It is with great joy and happiness that I share with you the arrival of my newest nephew!  Russ, Megan, and Millie Janalee have a new baby boy in their family.  You can read all about him by clicking here.

We are going to meet Smith this afternoon, and I cannot wait to hold this precious bundle of joy!
But before that fun event, I have to do some Saturday chores. What about you?  What plans do you have for this beautiful day?  (The weather is so nice here where I live….slightly cool--fall is in the air.)

I encourage you to look around you today and make a mental (or literal) list of things that you are thankful for today.  Choose to express joy today.  Pray for someone in need.

Enjoy your Saturday!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Happy Days

Olivia is home for her short fall break, and we are all so excited! She has to go back on Sunday, so we are squeezing in all of the rest, food, and fun that we can.  We are taking off from school today, but tomorrow we plan to have a regular school day.

This week has gone by so fast!  Tuesday, Julie and Clay made the 11 hour round trip for a XC meet.  Thankfully, our two Spartans coaches each drove an 11 passenger van and took the entire team by themselves.  I was so weary from traveling--I was so thankful that Heather and David did that.  Our boys and girls teams both did fantastic!  The boys won 2nd place (coming behind the first place team by only 2 points), and our girls won 3rd place.  We also had some individual runner's awards too.  Go Spartans!

The weather is getting cooler here, and the leaves are changing on the trees. God's creation is so beautiful!

***Holiday Tip***
It's time to start thinking about your Christmas cards (if you send them).  I wanted to take the picture for our card this weekend, but the boys need haircuts.  So, I will take them during Olivia's Thanksgiving break.  I will be thinking about and planning what I want them to wear.  I may look at the cards on Shutterfly and choose my card.  Then I can match the children's clothes to the card.  Anyway, that's my goal for now.  Choose the card and plan the outfits.  I'll take the picture during Thanksgiving break and order them right away.  I should have them ready to go out by the beginning of December.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Don't Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good

I like that quote.

I first heard it this summer when I was reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and then again just a few weeks ago when my friend John shared a short lesson at our Wednesday night Bible study.
You can apply this quote to a variety of situations. It is great to set goals.  In fact, failure to dream and plan can prevent you from accomplishing anything.  But, sometimes, in striving to attain the goal (whatever that goal may be, whether large or small), we may lose sight of the joy and growth during the process, or we may give up the goal altogether if the work of attaining it is too difficult.  Or too messy.  Or too whatever.
In a small way, I am applying that quote to my day today.

Don't let perfect be the enemy of good.

I began my day "behind" because I stayed up till after midnight trying to catch up on paperwork, etc., after begin away from home for so long.  I got up just in time to make Jimmy's lunch before he left for work, and by the time I had finished my Bible study and making my plan of attack for the day, it was just minutes until 8:00, my time for everyone to start school time.

I am still in my pajamas.  It is 4:04 PM.
I have not run.
I did not read Leah's Sonlight books before she left for piano lessons with her older siblings.
I still have a load of laundry to fold.
I did not get Clay's essay lesson prepared in time to teach it to him today. 
I have not done any housework today.

But, I am not going to let this define my day.  The day is not over.  But even if it was, I can choose to dwell on what I did do today. The day has not been perfect, but the day has been good.

There is always something to be thankful for, in every day, in every situation.  Sometimes you have to look a little bit harder, but it's there.

I have good health.
I read books to my sweet 8 year old.
I am listening to this same sweet little boy chatter away about his stuffed animals riding his lego creation as I type this.  (He chatters ALL DAY LONG). 
I studied a difficult algebra lesson today and I actually understood it!  I just hope I can remember it Wednesday when I have to teach it to Clay.
I almost have supper ready to put in the oven, and I may, just may get my run in after all--while the supper is cooking--if we don't lose power because we are having storms here right now, and our power goes out every time we have bad weather…..
I got all of my other schoolwork done with my children.
I made two phone calls on my list today.

So, even though today has not been a perfect day (when is a day perfect?), it can still be good.  I am preaching to myself here!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Menu and Miles


I got home last Thursday night just in time to attend our gospel meeting at our church. (I spent a little bit of extra time at the Memphis airport visiting newsstands until I found Sports Illustrated--the issue with MSU and Ole Miss on the cover--I found them!) I was weary from traveling, but it had been so, so good to visit with Olivia, even though the visit was brief.

Friday I began my day with a 16 mile run.  Not the best idea! I ran two runs of 6 miles and 4 miles on our vacation to Utah, and none, not one mile, until Friday of last week.  It had been two weeks since my last long run, and attempting that distance after that long of a break was unwise!  I made it fine (just a little bit tired) until mile 10.  It was a struggle after that.  Leanna and I had planned to run 17, but I could not make it another step.  She finished without me.  I was sore all Friday and Saturday, but I am feeling much better today.

Here is this week's plan, and I am going to follow it!

Monday:  6 or 9 (depends on how late I stay up tonight catching up on bills, mail, etc.)
Tuesday:  6 or 9 (whichever I don't do on Monday)
Wednesday:  6
Thursday:  rest
Friday:  18
Saturday:  rest
Total:  39

I took Sam and Leah to a 2 hour birthday party this afternoon, and while they were there I shopped at Bath and Body Works, Walmart (monthly shopping), Kroger (weekly shopping), and Sam's (just a few things I did not pick up last week during my monthly shopping just a couple of hours before I left on my road trip). I was flying through those stores!

Here is the menu for the week:

Monday:  veggie burgers, slaw, baked beans
Tuesday:  rice and beans buffet
Wednesday:  Julie cooks (I think it's an Indian dish)
Thursday:  turkey meatloaves, mashed potatoes, green peas, rolls
Friday:  stir fry, rice, spring rolls
Saturday:  taco soup
Sunday:  pasta salad and fruit salad

Visit for more menu ideas.

One more thing:

What an exciting weekend for the Bulldogs!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Going or Coming?

So here's the deal.

I left home at 6:00 AM (Central time zone) with my family (minus Olivia--at college) on September 29, for a vacation to St. George, Utah.  We flew into Las Vegas (Pacific time zone) and rented a van to drive the 2 hours to St. George (Mountain time zone).  We had a wonderful time in Utah, visiting Zion National Park for two full days and Snow Canyon on two other days.  We did a variety of other fun things too. While we were there Jimmy ran the St. George Marathon.  We came back to Las Vegas on Sunday morning, worshiped with a group of Christians there, and then visited Hoover Dam. We flew home Monday, October 6 (back to Central time zone)and arrived home at 9:30 PM.  I then left Tuesday, October 7, to begin driving to Olivia's school to deliver her a car.  I stopped halfway (Eastern time zone), spent the night, and started early yesterday morning driving the rest of the way.  We have had a nice but brief visit.  She is in class right now, and I am doing her laundry.  I am flying home after lunch today.
So between Sunday and Wednesday I have been in the following states:  Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida.  I will add Tennessee to this list today.  :)

I really don't know if I am coming or going!

Here are a couple of pictures from our trip (we took over 500, I think!)

"But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more."
Psalm 71:14

Monday, October 6, 2014

Menu and Miles

Hello there!

I am planning only four meals right now.  This weekend I plan to do my major once a month shopping at Sam's and Walmart, and I will also plan the rest of my meals (loosely) for October.  

Meal 1:  salad, oven baked sweet potato and regular potato fries
Meal 2:  pasta salad, green salad, fruit
Meal 3:  taco soup (crock pot)
Meal 4:  stir fry vegetables, brown rice, baked spring rolls

I know that I list salad a lot on my menus, and sometimes with not much else, so I guess some of you are thinking, "How do they get full on salad?"  Well, my salads are more than lettuce and tomatoes.  
When I buy groceries each week, my girls and I usually chop up the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, ice berg lettuce, and sometimes bell peppers and green onions too.  I store these in the refrigerator, and it is so easy to add them to a green salad, a bowl of rice and beans, or to our pasta salad.

Here is what we choose from when making a salad each day:

iceberg lettuce
spring mix
shredded cabbage
bell peppers
green onions
sunflower seeds
pumpkin seeds
slivered almonds
dried craisins
golden raisins
black beans

So, you can get a variety of nutrition from the above ingredients, mixed and matched in different ways. I always have homemade bread (made by my resident chef, Julie!) to accompany the meal.  I also always have on hand brown rice, potatoes, or quinoa to round out the meal.

Be sure to visit for more menu inspiration.

Well I am beginning Week 5 of 14 of my current marathon training.  I did not do my long run last week because of traveling, but I plan to get my miles in this week.  :) Here they are--
9, 17, 6, 5, for a total of 37.  

Have a happy day, and let's all think before we speak today.  :)

"Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so."
James 3:10

Friday, October 3, 2014

December is Approaching

In keeping with my quest to simplify my life (and enjoy the process) I have decided to simplify my Christmas holidays.

While I LOVE wrapping paper, ribbon, tissue, and tape, I plan to buy only one roll of wrapping paper this year (red, from Hobby Lobby, as soon as they put it on sale), and to use all of the paper I have from previous years.  I also do not plan on buying any ribbon.  I have enough.  And if I run out of a particular color, I will just use a different color.

I also love buying and wrapping gifts for my husband, children, family, and friends, but this year I am putting a limit on myself.  Three gifts per person.  I tend to get "just one more tiny thing" for my children and nieces and nephews each year… I visit cute gift shops or our Celebration Village (a one-stop shopping extravaganza here in Tupelo, held for a few days at the end of October).  Limiting my purchases will also simplify my wrapping.

I got out my Christmas binder the other day.  I had already put in a divider for 2014, so the next thing I have to do is to print out a master gift list template.  (With 3 spaces beside each name!)  This is just a list of every single person that I will be giving a present to during the month of December.  It includes family, friends, teachers, hairdressers, etc. As I purchase or make each gift, I record it on the list.  I also include a column to check off when the gift is wrapped. I keep my list each year, filing it behind the appropriate year. I also keep a separate list of gift ideas (crafts, baked goods, cute things I see online or in a store).

One last thing that I am changing for this holiday season is to not have my sibling store.  It has been a good thing…..but this year I am asking my children to give handmade gifts to one another. I will help Leah and Sam plan their gifts, and assist them as needed.

I have fabric that I purchased last year for special gifts for my family…..and I never got around to even starting the project.  I plan to do it this year!

My birthday (September 16) marks 100 days to Christmas Day.  I am not sure what day it is today in the countdown, but it's not too early to at least think about your holiday plans.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Really Going To Start Blogging Again


I have a friend on Facebook (an internet, email group friend, not an "in real life friend", although I know that we would be friends in real life if we lived in the same town) who recently shared a link to this blog post.

While reading her post, I found myself agreeing with some of her points.  I have definitely gotten out of the habit of blogging for a variety of reasons.  I began this blog over six years ago, and until this summer, I have posted fairly regularly.  But this summer I got writer's block. What do I have left to say that I already have not already said? Why I am even blogging?  That, along with the fact that I feel my life getting more and more complicated rather than simpler, which is what I crave, has kept me from blogging.

From the beginning of my blog, I have purposed to keep it upbeat and positive.  Not that I don't have my share of problems or that my life is perfect, but I want to be encouraging, not depressing.  But there is always that balance.  I don't want to appear as someone who has it all together, because I certainly don't. I strive to serve a perfect God, one who created me in His image, and I try follow his commands daily.  I also fail daily.

So that's the struggle.  How to blog in a realistic, encouraging way without painting a false picture of total success.  Since I have not been able to figure that out over the last couple of months, I have just stopped writing altogether.  Now I don't want y'all to think that I am having some kind of mid-life crisis or that I am in the middle of a major personal or family catastrophe, because it's nothing like that, but I have been overwhelmed for a few months.

Parenting older teens and youngish children is challenging.  Logistically, emotionally, and even physically--even though I though parenting the newborn, toddler, and preschooler combination was physically exhausting too.  Older children require more brain cells to parent--papers to edit, relationship troubles, teams, meetings, music lessons, and practices, to coordinate, and so on.  I have repeatedly told my close friends that taking care of older children is so much harder in some ways than when they were small and my biggest tasks were changing diapers, fixing sippee cups, cleaning up endless messes, and buying groceries with small children in tow without losing my sanity.

I am so thankful that my older children are all Christians.  All of my children are precious gifts from God, and I treasure them.  Somewhere along the way I have become a slave to the tyranny of the urgent.  I am looking for ways to slow down and simplify.

I truly hope to get back to blogging on a regular basis.  I hope I have something that you want to read, and maybe getting my thoughts down on paper (or on the screen) will help me as well.

Please comment with any topics you would like me to write about.  :)

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:16-18