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Showing posts from December, 2008

50 things I learned in 2008

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Julie at Mirror of Grace decided to blog on the fifty things she learned this year, and I decided to do the same. I'm sure that just like me, Julie has learned many more than 5o things this year, but these are some highlights.

1) How fast the kids grow up.
2) How easy it is to gain 15 pounds.
3) How hard it is to lose it again.
4) Why Weight Watchers says, "the meetings are the magic".
5) Who my real friends are. Again.
6) How absolutely black with depression life can get.
7) How Jesus and friends can help.
8) How limited I am in finding solutions.
9) How vast God's resources are.
10) How wise the counsel is of my true friends.
11) How betrayal can sting even when you thought it couldn't affect you that bad again.
12) How God uses a myriad of sources to heal us.
13) How fun it is to teach a class on apologetics.
14) How fun it can be to teach piano.
15) How much I love to TEACH, period.
16) The fact life really isn't worth living if you aren't going to be real.
17) People…

I woke up this morning feelin' fine

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Did the spa thing again this morning - set my alarm a little before my family woke up and went through the same routine I did last night and wow, it was great. I will set the alarm again to do the same thing before we have to leave in the morning. It's worth it. This afternoon our family went to lunch to Friendly's. We don't have it in Tampa and it's one place we really love. I was very good to myself health wise and while the rest of my family had the customary burgers and premium full fat ice cream, I had a turkey burger and a salad...and no ice cream. I was proud of myself. Tonight we went to Arabian Nights which is a horse show and it was a special one for the Christmas holidays. It was very entertaining. At this point Jordan and Savanna are at the pool til' late night and Dustin has gone back to Tampa because he has work in the morning. We did some very fun and refreshing activities today which were very needed. I did however have some stressful situations tod…

My night alone at Shingle Creek

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“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly. . . spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to
renew itself and create order.”
Susan Taylor
I spent one of the most awesome evenings I have had in a long time...with myself! I love being alone and wrote a blog about that recently. I realize my previous post stated that I was going away with my family, and I am. However there is also some time for me to renew myself personally while we're away. Oh joy!

We got here to Shingle Creek and Larry wanted to take the kids to Sea World. They all have passes but I don't. So they left immediately for the park which left me to do something alone. I ate dinner by myself (cuban) and sat there just relaxing enjoying the gorgeous outdoor surroundings here at the resort. Then after dinner settled I went to the workout room and spa. It is absolutely A-MAY-zing!!! I couldn't believe all that I got to do at this place. You can use the spa facilities even if you aren'…

Family time in Orlando

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Our family is taking two days vacation in Orlando at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. I am so ready for this especially after yesterday.
This will be a nice little break before we come back to get ready to host our New Year's Eve party here. Our house is going to be absolutely crammed with people but it's going to be so fun!
These two days I'm going to relax and enjoy my family, sleep late, work out, and enjoy the Florida sunshine. I'm sure I'll blog too, since it's one of my most enjoyable things I do!

Honesty...is such a lonely word.

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I'm a daily blogger and an honest one at that. Today was difficult until the afternoon. There's a little rule we were probably all taught as kids, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." So, nuff said there.

Thankfully part of the day was redeemable. I had a good time of fellowship at lunch with friends, then went home to get some rest, and woke up later to go to the movies with Larry & Savanna, Tom and Cathy and Michele. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
And, tomorrow's a new day...

Gearing up for the new year

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We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The bookis called Opportunity and itsfirst chapter is New Year's Day.
Edith Lovejoy Pierce
I can't believe we are just a few days away from 2008 closing out. Wow-ee. We are getting ready for our New Year's Eve party, and also looking forward to a special overnight trip as a family. So much to do in this small amount of time and we are making the most of it.
The past few days since Christmas I have been completely dedicated to getting back on program. I had blogged a few days ago about the physical problems I've had since getting back from Africa. I can't help but think that the fact that I've gained some weight has made it worse. No, it's not "the problem" but it sure doesn't help! So, I have been completely "O.P." (on program) the past two days, and walked and biked four miles yesterday and three today. Then I came home and got in the jacuzzi to t…

I Meme

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I got this meme from my friend Pastor Leanne Weber. Enjoying some time to relax and do things that don't take a lot of effort or brain power...like this meme!

i am an extremely committed person.
i want to know God more.
i have a long way to go.
i miss my family of friends in Africa.
i fear deep water and going through more pain.
i hear songs in my head all the time
i search for an answer when things don't make sense.
i wonder how God will resolve my problems.
i regret a few things but never talk about them.
i love the fact that God is bigger than my mistakes.
i forgive always but sometimes it takes time.
i ache inside when I am betrayed.
i always tell my kids how much i love them.
i try to live in the moment although it's hard at times.
i seem to be much happier when my house is clean.
i know that God loves me.
i feel alone sometimes but Michele reminds me that I'm not.
i dance whenever the opportunity presents itself.
i dream with my eyes open - wide awake - more than asleep.
i give as …

Christmas in Shrodesville

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Today Christmas started out in our home like it always does...by sleeping in! Yep, we are all night owls, and sleepers. Now that I have a middle schooler, high schooler and college kid, well...sleep is easy to come by for the parents in our house. No more "crack of dawn" stuff on Christmas morning. We all got up at about 10:30 am. Before we opened our presents we sat down at the table in the kitchen and had my famous breakfast sweet rolls. I made extra for the boys since it was Christmas day.

We went in to open presents and took our time as we always do. The highlight was Savanna's phone gift. She has been wanting a cell for the longest time and we have said no, but this was her big day. Larry put the gift (we had put it in a big box under the tree) on her lap but said, "hold on a minute...don't open it. Grandma and Grandpa wanted to be on the phone when you open this to hear your reaction." She said, "really? Is is THAT good?" He said, "yep…

Christmas Eve will find me, where the love light gleams...

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Northside staff @ communion tonight... Tonight was our traditional Christmas Eve candlelight communion, and it was a very steady stream of people for the whole three hours. It just flew by. Our Christmas communion is not a service but a time when people stop by anytime between 5-8 for personal communion and prayer. We always had people waiting to be served, except for a very few minutes where we got to sit and rest for a few quick seconds before somebody else walked in the doors. This is one of our favorite events of the year and such a special time to be with our people who have stayed in town and not traveled for Christmas. This seemed to be the year that felt the shortest, due to being so busy with the people coming in and out and having little to no time to sit for a moment. But that's the way we like it! We also had a good number of our new people there...this is really a blessing.

Communion was followed by our other family tradition of going out for a Chinese dinner. We alway…

Here we are as in olden days, happy golden days of yore...

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Today has been a day filled with Christmas preparations. We worked a full day at the office today trying to tie up loose ends. Then we went to the post office to mail some Christmas things after work and I had Larry take me for a cuban sandwich since I've been craving one for days and haven't had one. Finally this craving has subsided. (And yes, I counted it on program.)

My husband dropped me off at home after picking up the cuban and went out Christmas shopping for me. I came home and rested a bit and then started doing things in preparation for Christmas day such as setting our dinner table, and making two pumpkin pies while listening to the Holly station. I just love it...will miss it once the holidays are over. Savanna and Jordan started a fire in the fireplace on the patio and started setting up the tent. They are going to be "camping" in the backyard tonight, as Jordan did last Friday night. They are all excited about it.

I am looking forward most of all to relax…

Double duty

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Today found me working very hard to get things done by Christmas so that we can take some time off the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. That week is one of my favorites of the year because we give the staff off except for essentials (church services, bank deposits, hospitalizations, etc.) and aside from those mandatory things, after the Christmas Eve communion until New year's day, we are home with our families. If we are especially blessed then we have no emergency phone calls and that makes for just the relaxing break we need in preparation to start the year off with the amount of energy that we want to in getting ready for what we believe will be a banner year in the church.
Today I was doing multiple weeks of work which means several weeks worth of preparations in paperwork, teachings, e-magazines, yada yada. You name it, it all must be done ahead. Amongst that time we did carve out time for a nice staff lunch together. I miss being in the office with the staff b…

These wonderful things are the things we remember all through our lives...

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It was a great day with the Northside family today -- one of the days that I'll always treasure. It's over now and I have cleaned up the house once again and have opportunity to sit in the quiet out by the fire and blog about it. A blogger friend, Aaron remarked tonight, "you sure are getting your money's worth out of that fireplace!" (yep! We're loving it.) Here's a photo by the way, as I sit here, so you can get more of the effect of what I'm experiencing minus the actual heat and the crackles. :D

This morning was our Christmas program. I was really looking forward to it, especially the choir's final song -- I knew it was going to be a blockbuster that would turn the place upside down, and it was. We had a new soloist, Epi Ruiz, who was making his debut today and let me tell you the man can sing and he not only sang but he went around the sanctuary and danced and just absolutely rocked the place like nobody's business! It was awesome. We did …

Another year completed of life coaching

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Today ended our 2008 year of life coaching with the current group of women and we begin again fresh next month. Last year I hosted our December meeting at my home however with a party at our home tomorrow night I thought it was too much for me to host two events in one weekend to the degree that I like to go with things. So...

We met at First Watch this morning for brunch. I just love being with our group of women. Looking back and reflecting today on various changes over the past seven years, I stand in awe of the caliber and character of women that I am now privileged to lead. They are a true blessing and I take such joy in them.

As we start a new year of life coaching, there is opportunity for others to join the group and make the one-year commitment to be a part of it. I asked some of them today to express what life coaching means to them and why anyone should think about being a part of it, and here's what a few of them said:

Michele ~ "Life coaching is life changing. It h…

Somebody's on the job!

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Well, yesterday I reported on some deadbeats that caused a lot of grief by not doing their jobs, and the sad state of work ethic in our country. At the same time, I'm a big believer in giving kudos where they are due. When I experience good customer service, I want to shout it from the rooftops! Last night I experienced phenomenal customer service, with Littman Jewelers and one of their excellent employees named Matt.

Right before I went to Africa one day I looked down at my hand and noticed one of the diamonds was missing out of my anniversary "eternity" ring. My heart sunk. Couldn't believe it. Ugh. To make it worse, I had gotten so busy the last six months that I failed to keep up with my end of the service agreement and go (every six months like I'm supposed to) and get the ring serviced - the prongs checked and strengthened, etc. This and the fact that I wear the ring every day and work very hard with my hands might be a reason the diamond fell out. At any ra…

Ridiculous!

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News reports today have confirmed more than the remains of Caylee Anthony or the true killer of Adam Walsh. They have sadly confirmed once more the shoddy work ethic of much of America. It makes me SICK. It's bad enough that horrific crimes like this are committed in the first place. But to add insult to injury of the families involved, you have various workers who so botched up the investigations causing irrepairable harm long after the case is solved. Due to somebody's laziness, families are often victimized twice.
These aren't just current events that I'm choosing to blog about because they are current, but rather an issue that bothers me to the core and something I've blogged about many times, and that is, what in the heck is wrong with the work ethic of Americans? We can't seem to get it right whether it be investigating a murder or making sure an amusement ride is safe. Somebody is laying down on the job, or not showing up, every time you turn around.
I was…

Christmas Meme

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Got this Christmas meme from my friend Pastor Leanne Weber...perfect for this "Fun Friday"...
Egg nog or hot chocolate? Oh, DEFS hot chocolate, are you kidding me? What a non-sensical question.
Colored lights on tree or white? Both. Currently I have three Christmas trees in my house. Next year we'll add a fourth. Right now I have one tree with colored, another with white, and another with blue. Not sure about next year's yet. There's a very good reason why I have several Christmas trees, and it's actually amazingly meaningful but I'll leave it for another post.
When do you put your decorations up? The day after Thanksgiving. No, I do not shop on Black Friday. That would drive me nuts. I'm too much of a homebody and don't like crowds, believe it or not.
What is your favorite holiday dish, exluding dessert? Oh wow, so many that it pains me to declare one fav, but as far as things at our Christmas table I would have to say my husband's cherry glaze …

Later on we'll conspire...
as we dream by the fire...

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Another wonderful evening around the fireplace...oh how I'm loving this!

To re-cap my day, I got up this morning and had a writing project to do for church and thought it best that I work from home to get it done. I get much less interruption there and can bust through work faster. I am trying to get several big things done in preparation to take a little time off during Christmas week with my family. This afternoon after sipping on strong coffee all morning and working on the newsletter amongst other things, my eldest son comes in and says, "Momma, get ready and shut your computer off. You're coming with me." I said, "Son, I do have some more work to do..." and he wouldn't take no for an answer and said, "finish it tonight. You're coming with me...and I'm taking you to lunch."
I went with him to the new shopping mall in New Tampa. We went to Moe's for lunch and did some Christmas shopping for Casey and Larry. It was a nice time toge…

Voices singing let's be jolly...
deck the halls with boughs of holly!

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Tonight was our Fusion Christmas party. I decided a while back that I wanted us to do Christmas dinner. It was awesome! I was glad to have something fun tonight. My work day at the church was fine today but mid-day I went to have my yearly mammogram -- a necessary pain. I'm always afraid the machine is going to malfunction and keep me in that vice-grip like state. "What iffff....the electricity goes out in the place while I'm stuck in there are keeps me pinched in that horrific side view position?" UGH! I know, I know...unfounded fear but I can't help but think about it as I'm holding my breath staring forward,ever so ready to hear that machine click and the tech say, "okay, you're all done..." And this new "digital mammography" is supposed to be easier? Perhaps they can detect things better but I'll tell you this, you are still flattened out like an absolute pancake, feeling like you have been entrapped under a garage door. If I w…

For all of us who speak...

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Lately I have been doing a very long teaching series in my Sunday School class on apologetics. It didn't start out this way quite honestly (I only intended the series to be a few weeks long) but it has mushroomed into more and everyone seems to be just absolutely loving it. As it has progressed, I have delved into much deeper study myself of what I believe and why. I have rolled it over and over in my mind countless times, honed it, and found new ways to express it to those I teach. Some fascinating class discussions have ensued. I told them I don't know when we'll ever get off of this topic...we'll just keep it going as long as we're still riding the wave.

I was doing my devotional in My Utmost for His Highest and came across the following this week and it so powerfully described what has been happening more in me as I study to prepare. I think this is a great reminder from the author, to those of us who communicate publicly. What a challenge!

Oswald Chambers, in …

Sometimes you've just gotta look a gift horse in the mouth...

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Okey dokey folks, let me set the tone here...I'm sitting out here on the back patio on my swing, alongside my poinsettias that I planted, next to the warm glow of the fire in our new fireplace. We are really enjoying this new blessing and I'm commiting to myself that I will sit out here and relax at least a little bit each night.

Last night we were sitting out here with our church leaders around the fire and talking and Bernie started asking interesting questions of everyone -- nostalgic type stuff, and things about memories. One question he asked was, "did you ever get a gift you did not want to receive?" I instantly said, "no" because quite frankly I couldn't remember a present I didn't want to get. But upon further reflection I did realize I have received some. I thought I'd share about them here, and find out...perhaps some of you have also had the same kind of thing happen from time to time.

Have you ever had someone give you a gift that had…