Monday, December 12, 2011

Merry Christmas - early

Hi!  I know I haven't posted since Malissia's birthday, but I just wanted to take a minute and let everyone know how things are going.

Since my last post Ryan turned 19, Macy got married, Thanksgiving came and went, the church banquet happened and last night was the Christmas Program. 

I must admit, my church family rocks!  We had a group of 10 men and women sing Ringing of the Bells acapello and it was FABULOUS!  My only complaint is that it didn't last long enough.  Perfect pitch and tone - unbelievable.  No music was needed! 

A group of church members also put together a 1 hour version of It's a Wonderful Life.  Fantastic!  For amateurs, they did so well!  They were entertaining, the costumes and props were very professional.  It amazes me how much talent one church can hold! 

Did I mention the food?  No.  But I will!  Cookies - many, many cookies.  Amber would have thought she was in HEAVEN!  Sandwiches, chips, cake, punch and wassail!  MMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm!  You should have been there!

Last Thursday, I had some of my closest friends from work come over for some delicious chicken and sausage gumbo.  We also had potato salad, buttermilk pie and apple pie.  We were soooo stuffed when it was over it was hard to move from the table to the couch!  The comeraderie we all share is amazing.  I am truly blessed to have such wonderful women to work with.  You should be jealous!

Saturday the triplets turned one!  Happy 1st Birthday, Kael, Kolten & Kaleb!  They are the MOST adorable babies ever!  If I had to have 3 boys, I would want them to look just like these boys!  PRECIOUS!

This Thursday is the Ladies Cookie Swap and Ornament Exchange.  I am looking forward to it!  I'm baking iced sugar cookies and will probably get Malissia to bake spritz cookies.  Kirstyn won't be participating in it because she has a school function, but she'll get there as soon as she can.  We always have SO much fun - I love our ladies.  They are planning soups and salads and there will be several comical skits for our entertainment!  Can't wait.

After that, I still have the Children's Church Christmas Party Wednesday night, the Youth Christmas Party this Friday, my work Christmas Party this Saturday and the Sunday School Christmas Party Sunday morning.  Whew!  THEN it'll finally be over.  I'll be able to sit back and enjoy the rest of my Christmas - the few days that are left.

If I can scrounge up some photos of the banquet and the program, I'll post them.

Have you finished your Christmas shopping?  How shocked would you be if I confessed I haven't even begun?  I mean, I have my lists made out and I know what I'm getting, I just haven't actually GOT the gifts or wrapped them!  The tree's up, house is decorated, and I'm otherwise totally ready for the holiday.

I know what I want for Christmas, too!  Don't laugh!  It's all very worldly and materialistic!  New cookie sheets, a Kindle, a laptop, AND - (I said DON'T laugh) - Bruno Mars, Adele & Daughtry CD's!  Hilarious, no?  Well, I could probably live without the Daughtry - I don't like ALL of his music, but the others?  I'd LOVE them!  Quit laughing!  What's on your Christmas wish list?

If I don't talk to you guys before then, I hope and pray you have a VERY Merry Christmas!

K.  Bye, now.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A great time was had by all

The birthday bash was a huge success.  There was lots of food, fun and frivolity!  The cake was beautiful, the punch was delish!  The cake balls were the success of the night!  Many thanks to my friends without whom I could not have pulled this off.  Brittany made the cake, Rhonda made the cake balls, Michelle made the punch, and Daina, Lisa, Stephanie, Jamie, Rose & Sis. Hammer helped me with the food.  Corrina and Tamara are the creative ladies behind the candy buffet.  My talented and creative co-worker, Crystal and her daughters are totally responsible for the name cards they made for all the food and candy.  Great job, everyone!

A big thanks to Colby for filling all the balloons, even though he probably had more fun than he should have when he started inhaling the helium for our entertainment!

Thanks to Reba, Mom and Gerard for printing and framing the Storybook phrases for our game!  They were soooo cute!  You can see one in the photo below!

A big thanks to Jill, who not only was one of the judges (see below), but made the Sweet Sixteen banner.  She also made the crepe paper curtain, with Mom and Colby's help!  It turned out PERFECT!

Then there were the judges of the costume contest.  They were the most adorable witches ever!  What do you think?
Unfortunately I did not get a good photo of the winners of the costume contest.  Wade won for his Grinch costume.  Kirstyn won for her Fiona costume.  Everyone did such a good job.  Even Ryan came dressed as a cowboy - although I didn't get a picture.  I'll post a few of the pics I do have for your enjoyment.

To top it all off, my brother, sister-in-law and the cutest niece in the world came to the party, too!

I wish you all could have been there.  We all missed you.  You missed out on a lot of fun.  However, I am glad it's over.  I'm tired and in need of LOTS of rest.  I'll leave you with one last photo of Cinderella and her loving, devoted slave, yours truly. 

K.  Bye, now!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Sweet 16 Malissia

16 years ago I gave birth to my youngest daughter, Malissia.  After the most horrible pregnancy ever (for me, anyway), I had the worst ever labor (again, for me)!  I almost had a miscarriage at 11 weeks and had to go on bed rest for a couple of weeks.  God performed a miracle on the way to the hospital.  I had already had one miscarriage a year before and didn't think I had the strength to make it through another.  I asked God to give me strength to survive if I miscarried or to save the child.  I promised that I would raise him/her to live for Him if he spared the child's life.  He answered my prayers, but He did not give me an easy time.  I had indigestion for the rest of my pregnancy!  Not a big deal for some - but I've never had morning sickness or anything - so this was quite inconvenient for me!  Poor me!  Malissia would twist around in positions where I could not move - couldn't sit, couldn't stand - NOTHING!  She was horrible.  I knew I was in for it!  Then to top it all off - 13 HOURS of INTENSE labor pains!  It was awful.  Did I mention that she was 9 DAYS LATE?  AWFUL!

And then she was born!  She was beautiful!  7 lbs, 14 oz, a head full of blonde hair (enough for a tiny pony tail on the top of her head!), blue eyes that eventually turned green.  We named her after my great grandmother, Malissia Maxwell, and angel herself!  For all the trouble she was during pregnancy, she more than made up for it.  From the night she was born she slept from 7pm until 7am.  She always woke up and cooed and played until someone came in to check up on her.  She never cried unless she was sick.  AND - when she was sick - she had to have DADDY!  It was AWESOME, I tell you!  She loved her big sister and brother.  She loved EVERYBODY!  She was always good, smiling and well behaved.

I never had problems with her at church.  She would sit on the pew like a good little girl while her brother and sister tried to drive me insane!

She has come a long way - and she is far from perfect, but she is still my good little girl.  And so, her party is tonight and we are all excited about it.  I hope to have pics for you guys Monday or Tuesday.

I am proud of you, Malissia!  I love you bunches!  I hope you have the most wonderful birthday ever today!

K.  Bye, now!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Eve of Sweet 16

OMW!  It's almost here!  The event of the year!  Well, for us anyway!  :)  I have been planning Malissia's Sweet 16 Birthday Party for more than a year and it's finally here.  Everything is under way and we are going to the church to begin decorating tonight!  WOO-HOO!  I can't contain my enthusiasm!  YIPEE! 

Cake is ordered, food is doled out, candy is taken care of, decorations and supplies are purchased and waiting to be put together, games are set.  I have to attach the skirt to the top on Kirstyn's Fiona costume, insert the zipper and hem the skirt and sleeves.  That'll get done tonight.  I'll hand sew the trim on tomorrow after lunch.  TA-DA!  Finis!

I can't think of anything else!  It's gonna be SO MUCH FUN!  I can't wait.  I hope you get to come.  I want EVERYONE to have fun!

K.  Can't blog - I'm too excited.  Bye, now!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Things are starting to fall into place

Last night I paid for the birthday cake, brought the baker the rock candy crystals that will adorn the cake, and cut out Fiona's dress.  Now I need to ask 3 ladies to be judges, decorate Malissia's wooden letter M, find 20 picture frames, print out the questions for the game that will go in the frames, decorate and make the food.  Oh, and finish the Fiona dress!  Whew - not much, huh?  Hahaha.  It sounds worse than it is. 

I was really getting worried that I wouldn't get much done last night, I had a migraine coming on.  But 2 Excedrin Migraine's and I was all better!

I don't have any more to post today.  You guys have a great Tuesday, K?  Bye, now!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cinderella Dress

I finished the dress!  I have pictures to post!  Woo-Hoo!  Tell me what you think!  Also, I have submitted these photos to the BERNINA Halloween 2011 contest.  If you go to the website and click on projects, scroll through all the photos until you come to the Cinderella Ball Gown under StephanieB.  The front photo doesn't look like much (I didn't know how they would show up on the website) and the photos are all sideways (I did good just to get them on the site!), but they are there!  If you become a member (free), you can cast a vote between 10/25 and 10/30.  VOTE FOR ME!  Thank you for your support!  :)

The craft sale was a success from everything I could see.  We have such talented people.  Beautiful crafts galore!  And the food was delicious.  The baked goods were such a hit we had a hard time keeping the tables stocked.  Yesterday we had an afternoon service at church with a fish fry and auction afterwards.  We auction off the left over craft items to the church family.  I missed the whole day!  :(  Malissia woke up about 7:00am with diarrhea and vomiting!  Not a good Sunday at all!  She got better through the day, but is still weak and tired, but she made it to school.  Keep her in your prayers - she needs some strength.  She is playing the GAME ON diet with me this time!  If you see her, encourage her!  I know she can do this.

I've started the fourth round of GAME ON!  This round is gonna be better, I just know it.  Last round was not so good for me.  I haven't figured out why, but it doesn't matter any more.  I'm gonna shed those pounds and collect those points.  There's only one new member this time (Malissia), so there's some stiff competition out there.  We have 8 players this time.  It's gonna be a tough round, but we can do it. 

I'm going to start on the Fiona dress for Kirstyn tonight.  I've got the pattern cut out and ready to go.  I've read through the instructions and it seems to be pretty easy.  Here's hoping it is because I have too much to do on Thursday to still be sewing!  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  I've been soooo busy.  The Cinderella dress is almost complete.  All that's left is to hand sew some trim work on the top and finish the petticoat.  Then I'll be taking pictures so I can submit it to the Burda Style contest and hopefully will be able to post them on this site. 

I'm finally finished sewing for all the weddings!  Yipee!  Craft sale is this Friday!  I ran out of time to sew, so I'm kinda sad about that.  I've decided to bake.  I know I want to make several pies and a few cakes.  Maybe some loaf cakes would be good.  Soooo, tonight my oven and I have a date.  We're gonna be out together all night!  ;)

I finished the Hunger Games books.  They are delightful.  I totally recommend them to kids and adults alike!  Go out and get 'em today!  Or download them on your Kindle!  Whatever rocks your boat.

In other very important news - MY TEAM WON THE GAME ON DIET!!!!!   WOO-HOO!!!!!  However, I must admit, it was no thanks to me!  Thank goodness for Rhonda and Tori.  We barely won - by 3 points!  I was ecstatic.  I had been so disappointed that I wasn't going to play the game again (at least not on a team where I could drag anyone down).  This has boosted me up and I'm already signed up to play the next round. 

Malissia's Sweet 16 Birthday party is next Friday, the 28th.  We're soooo excited!  The cake is ordered.  The candy and all the supplies have arrived.  I've got the helium tank taken care of.  I've started getting people to help with the food.  All that's left is to DECORATE - how fun is that?  Oh, and I have to make Kirstyn a Fiona dress.  I hope Colby gets to come - he's supposed to be Shrek.  Ryan is going to get to come - I'm so excited.  Hopefully he'll get to stay the whole weekend.  He'll probably come as Chick Bowdrie, the famous Louis L'Amour Cowboy.  I'm not dressing up because I don't have time to make me a costume.  Instead, I'll just sit back and watch them all have fun and take loads of pictures.

Hope to see you guys there!

Bye, now.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


What you need to know is that me and the gals I work with are foodies!  FOOD FREAKS!  We are all about lunch.  Oh, we try to be good.  Bring a boxed lunch, sandwich supplies, left overs...but on Friday's - that's all out of the window.  And the one thing you don't mess with is our Friday lunches - which sometimes take place on Monday, or Wednesday, or whatever!  Trust me - if you mess with our lunch, we WILL talk about you behind your back.  And it WON'T be nice!  Grrr....

Aaaanyway - yesterday we went to this FABULOUS Thai restaurant in Beaumont.  Chaba.  'Nuff said.  You MUST go there.  3 of us split 2 dinners and it was plenty of food.  Delicious doesn't even begin to describe the wonderfulness that we devoured.  The delectable flavors, oh my!  OH MY!  Oh my!  Sigh...I'm afraid I'm already addicted.  Go there.  Try it out!  You will NOT be disappointed.  I promise.  Unless your wierd or something.

We frequent Cafe Del Rio, too - so much so that we call it "The Use" - short for usual.  The fajitas and fajita salad are exactly right.  Tender and delicious.  Drool now!  K.  Now clean yourself up.  Here's a napkin...go ahead, use it!  The chips are usually fresh and crisp, the salsa is yummilicious, and the grilled jalapenos are TO DIE for - no lie.  I don't lie.  Really! 

Oh, there are other places we like to go - Jason's Deli, Chili's, Olive Garden, but these places are really only for some variety. The foods good, atmosphere is fun, but we could live with 'em or without 'em.  Well, maybe not Jason's.  You get the picture.

Food.  Comfort food.  Soul food.  Fun food.  Ahhhh, that's it.  It's the fun.  And we do have fun at lunch.  You don't even want to know.  Because if you know, and if you know us, we're probably having fun about YOU!  Hahaha!  I know, I'm being facetious.  Look it up.

K.  I've babbled enough now.  Must be the hives.  Don't ask.  Bye, now!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

That's what friends are for

You read a good book and you get blamed for all the frenzy!  So NOT fair!  Amber - this one's for you!  All I did was borrow some books from Jennifer and read them.  They are called "The Hunger Games".  They are written toward teenagers, but the books are SOOOO good!  There is a bit of voilence, but no details.  A bit of romance, but very understated.  I liked them so much (I am still reading the last book, Mockingjay) that I told Amber about them.  She is SUCH a book HOG she read them in 2 days!  All of them!  And now she is addicted to them.  And supposedly it's all my fault.  Humph. 

Actually, I'm teasing.  We have such a great comeraderie here at work.  It's so much fun sharing - thoughts, books, ideas, you name it.  I have the BEST co-worker/friends ever!!!

We go out for lunch regularly.  We send emails REGULARLY.  We share...angst, sadness, frustration, giggles, laughter, memories, and day to day dribble.  How many of you out there can say the same about you and your co-workers?  Probably not many.

I am very thankful for my job, but MOSTLY for these friends of mine who keep me on my toes.  LOVE YOU GUYS!

K.  Bye, now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A lil' sewing goin' on!

Good news!  I got the lining together and the boning in.  It was easier than I thought it would be.  Even better - it fits!  Yea!  Now to review the patterns and make sure I know where I'm going with this.

I'm still trying to find someone to make the cake for Malissia's party - it might be me!  I do know how to bake, and I've taken Wilton classes, and my grandmother was a MAGNIFICENT baker herself - maker of many beautiful wedding cakes - so I know I CAN do it - I just didn't want to!  Oh well.  We'll see.

Kirstyn started working on her crafts last night while my mom finished marking the rest of the pieces to the Cinderella dress.  I'm trying to find familiar quotes from books for a quiz/game for the party!  It's not as easy as it sounds! 

Maybe more later - bye, now.

Monday, October 10, 2011

One thing at a time

I had a very successful weekend.  I finished the baby gown for Zoe - it was so pretty.  I went to JoAnns and purchased fabric to make 2 more.  One in midnight blue and one in celadon green.  I'll put them in the Craft Sale!  I think I'll change the bottoms of the dresses, though.  Instead of making them hang straight down, maybe I'll balloon and twist the bottoms.  We'll see. 

Meantime, I've ironed on the interfacing for Cinderella and I've threaded the sewing machine and serger.  We are ready to begin.  I'm going to try to get this finished before the BurdaStyle deadline.  The rest of the candy has been ordered and all the paper goods from Party City have been ordered.  MUCH easier to order online (especially with free shipping) than to waste valuable time in the store getting frustrated because they don't have the colors I'm looking for or they don't have ENOUGH of the product I need. 

Now I need to find someone to make the cake for me.  Then rent the helium tank and purchase the food.  Whew.  Thank goodness this is the last 16th Birthday party I'll be giving!

Don't forget about Craft Sale.  It'll be here before we know it - 2 WEEKS!

Bye, now.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Well folks, it's Friday and I have absolutely NOTHING to write about.  I went to see the beautiful baby Zoe last night.  Sweet, tiny baby - ADORABLE. 

I'm on track with my bonus points for Game One week 3. 

I found out that Burda Style is having a Halloween Costume Contest and I think I want to enter it!  I'm gonna try and get Malissia's dress made so I can take pictures and submit it!  1st prize is $1000, 2nd prize is $300, but the BEST prize is the Sponsor Prize - a Bernina 350E sewing/quilting machine!  Woo-Hoo!  I'll let you guys know how to vote for me later if I get it done!

Anyhow, it is Friday and I'm thankful.  Craft sale will be here in 2 WEEKS and Malissia's birthday is in 3!  Lots to do.  I hope you all have a great weekend!  Get out and enjoy the sunshine - since there seems to be little to no chance of rain!  Find the silver lining!

K.  Bye, now.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away...

What a sad time of year this can be.  Yesterday my children lost a great-grandmother.  Today my boss's father passed away.  Then I get to work and hear that Steve Jobs has passed.  So much loss - so many hurting families.  I can only pray that they know Who the Comforter is.  I am so glad that I do.

Then there is a time of rejoicing.  Zoe Maxwell was born into this wonderful world yesterday.  Mom, Crystal, is doing well.  Hopefully I will go by and see them this afternoon.  I'm still working on the dress but hope to have it finished tonight.

I hope to have more to discuss tomorrow.  See you guys then.  Bye, now.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Feelin' better

I am headache free today!  Praise the Lord!  It is so nice to be able to think straight.  I'm not sure what was worse - the headache or the medicine I took to get rid of it!  Anyway, I'm better now and that's what counts.

Today is a very sad day.  My children's great-grandmother, Wilmont Shelton, has passed away at 95 years of age.  She will be missed!  Please keep the family in your prayers.  They will be bringing her body to SE TX for funeral arrangements later this week.

It's a beautiful, crisp Wednesday morning and I wish I worked at home so I could enjoy the beautiful weather we have been having.  The humidity is expected to increase over the weekend, but otherwise it's lovely.  I love fall weather.  It makes me long for more family time.  More time in the kitchen baking and cooking, sitting down in front of a fire and just talking - no reason.  There is no greater joy and happiness than that of a family that loves together. 

I hope you all have a lovely day today.  Get outside and enjoy the weather.  Talk to someone you love today.  Start making memories NOW!  While you still have time, take it.  Utilize every moment for a good purpose.  Don't forget to give HIM the glory for all of your blessings and your trials.  After all, it's the trial that make us appreciate the blessings so much more!

Happy Fall, Ya'll!  K.  Bye, now.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blah day

This post will not be a long one - I have a headache that will NOT go away.  I went home from work with it, took it to bed with me, and woke up with it!  Grrrr....  I did not sew, did not exercise, and did not get all my water in yesterday - all because of this silly headache.  Humph!

So, I don't have anything to write about - and even if I did, I can't think straight enough to write it.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better.  K.  Bye, now.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It was a lovely weekend

The dresses were finished in time and fit just right.  The wedding was beautiful!  I hope to be able to post some pics in a few days.  It was simple, but elegant down to the last detail.  I think what I appreciated most about the wedding was they paid attention to everything that was important to them and did not go to any extremes to try to outdo other weddings.  They did not buy into the retail version of a wedding.  I loved it!  And the ice cream buffet was a hit!  Marble Slab Sweet Cream all the way!

I made my bonus points for the week and now we're beginning week 3.  I'm feeling positive about it!

Tonight my goal is to do a bit of laundry and sew up a pretty little dress for my cousin's daughter, Zoe, who is supposed to be born this Wednesday.  It's all cut out and ready to go.  Since I'm using a lace overlay on the top, I've brought it to work to hand sew the overlay to the crepe fabric so that I'll be able to use it as one piece.  It's simple enough that I hope to have it finished tonight.

My mom and step-dad came over Friday night and grilled pork chops and veggies for me so I didn't have to stop sewing to cook.  Then mom started marking all the pieces of Malissia's Cinderella gown.  Hopefully I'll get a good dent in it this weekend!

Macy's wedding shower is on the 15th.  The last shower of the year, except for her lingerie shower which I will host at my house.  I don't have a date yet. 

Craft sale is creeping up and will be here in a couple of weeks.  I've been thinking about making my pumpkin dolls, but if the baby dress goes well tonight, I might make a few of them in off white, lavender, yellow & green.  We'll see.  K.  Bye, now...

Friday, September 30, 2011


I might as well cut to the chase and let you all know that I completed Tori's top last night and it FITS!!!!!  Woo-Hoo!  Tonight I will sew on her skirt and Kirstyn's skirt, install the zippers and hem!  Done.  Thank goodness - the wedding is TOMORROW!!!  I do NOT like to be caught in these deadlines and can't believe I let myself in for this! 

Anyway, that means I'm fixing to start working on Craft Sale!  And I'll be working on Malissia's Cinderella dress here and there. 

I can't think of much else to talk about right now - too much sewing and wedding on the brain.  So that's all for today.  Hopefully Monday will give you guys more to ponder! 

Bye, now.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's that time of year again...

Hey, ya'll!  I'm feeling much better today - not that I've been ill, just down in spirit a bit.  I had a good nights rest last night and I woke up this morning and my scale whispered sweet nothings to me!  :)  I've lost another pound!  I've reached my goal for the week - if I can keep it off - or better yet, lose more!  I'm just glad for the chance to get my bonus points on Game On!

In other news, Tori's top is marked and ready to be sewn together.  I hope to have her top finished tonight - maybe more.  Since this will be the 4th top I've made, you'd think it'd go a bit faster.  Here's hoping!

I got a sneak preview of the reception area for Jayde's wedding this Saturday.  It's beautiful.  It amazes me everytime we have a wedding how creative and artistic our church family is.  It's one thing to pay to have this kind of beauty, but when you have people who can do it themselves, the floral arrangements and other design elements - I'm always amazed!

Speaking of creativity, the Craft Sale is just around the corner.  October 21 & 22!  I'm PUMPED!  FUN, FUN, FUN.  No one, and I do mean NO ONE, has more to offer.  We have hand sewn crafts, painted crafts, wood worked crafts, floral arrangements, you name it.  Holiday decor, home decor, office & lawn decor.  Gifts for you, gifts for others. 

Then there's the baked goods - OH MY!  All homemade from scratch!  Cakes - chocolate sheath cake, german chocolate, red velvet, italian cream, coconut, really the sky's the limit.  Pies - apple, pecan, almond torte, peach, BUTTERMILK, and the list goes on.  Homemade breads - dinner rolls, jalapeno bread, and Nina's FAMOUS Cinnamon Rolls.  They are made from a recipe delivered to Nina from the angels!  Trust me on this - I've had them!  There's candy - fudge, pralines, peanut brittle, divinity, caramels - you name it!  Again - HOMEMADE!  And we can't forget the salsa's, the jerky, the jams, jellies & preserves! 

And just when you think you've seen it all - we sell BBQ Dinners!  Your choice of brisket, chicken or links with generous side servings of potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw or salad, a dinner roll, dessert & iced tea!  Or for those wanting something hearty but lighter - homemade veggie beef soup with all the sides.  Adult or child portions are available and reasonably priced. 

Does life get any better than this?  I don't think so.  Food, fun, fellowship, crafts, and all for the work of the Lord!  It's the best.  I hope you guys join us!  Hope to see you all there! 

K.  Bye, now!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One down, 2 to go!

Macy's dress is finished.  It fit perfectly!  I hope to get Tori's top completed tonight after church. 

Other than that there's not too much to report today.  Sorry for the short, short blog!  Hope to have more news soon.  AND I need to get some pics posted!  Bye, now.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Things are looking up

Guess what I did last night?  SEWED!!!  I know...hard to believe.  :)  I am almost finished with Macy's dress.  I have brought it to work with me to finish up some hand sewing and mark the hemline.  My goal is to give her the dress tonight.  I have recut Tori's top and will begin on it tomorrow.  Kirstyn's top was too small, also, but the top I originally made for Tori fit her perfectly, so I am thankful I will only have to remake 1 top!  Thank you, Jesus, for that sweet respite.

My weight is up 1/2 a pound, but my inches are down!  Since the beginning of the game I have lost 2.5 inches in my waist and 2 inches in my hips.  YEA!!!  I'm going to let those results boost me over the increase in pounds. 

Kirstyn & Malissia got home last night safe and sound.  They had a good trip!  Kirstyn went shopping with her birthday money and bought some new clothes & shoes.  She bought me the MOST delicious smelling candle, I can't remember the name, something about Just Like Home.  Whatever - it still smelled wonderful!  She also bought me some fragrance items for my car.  (Is she trying to give me a hint?  JK.  I know she knows how much I love candles!)

I have finished reading The Help.  It was a WONDERFUL book.  I completely recommend it.  Be careful - there is some foul language in it.  Overall, the story was delightful.  It'll make me think twice about eating chocolate pie, that's for sure!  (You'll have to read the book to figure out what I'm talking about!)

Well, I think that's all for today!  Talk to you guys more tomorrow!  Bye, now.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Some good, some not so good

Good news - I got the jackets finished and the tops and waistbands finished.  If all would have gone according to plan all I would have left is to attach skirts, insert zippers and hem!  TaDa!  But that's not how it worked out!  One of the dresses is too small - too small to even let out the seam allowances and make it fit!  FRUSTRATING!  How does that happen?  I measured, I pinned the pattern on the girls, I made notes and cut the fabric out with all the correct measurements and changes to each piece.  AND STILL it did not fit!  Sigh....

So, tonight I will recut and sew this top in correct proportions!  At least her jacket fit perfectly.  I should be back on track after tonight.

For more frustrating news, I only lost 1/2 a pound this week.  That means no bonus points for my game!  My team will HATE me.  Boo-hoo.  On the bright side - I lost 1/2 a pound!  :) 

Does anyone realize that yesterday was 3 months until Christmas?  Just sayin'...

I hope to have more to say tomorrow.  Bye, now.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Typical frustrations

Well, as usual, last night didn't go as planned.  First of all, the bolero jacket has a collar/neckline/darts that are actually just one seam.  One of the jackets had to be widened in the back by about 2 inches and I didn't realize it would affect this seam line.  Well, it did!  So tonight I'm gonna go home and recut the front of this jacket and make that allowance.  This should allow me to finish up the jackets in a few minutes (or at least less than 1 hour!).  The other annoying problem I had was the serger.  One of the threads broke and I had to re-thread it.  Not a big deal - I've done it 100's of times.  But, oh no.  The serger decided to be cranky.  I had to re-thread about 20 time, no exaggeration!  Finally it decided to cooperate and serged beautifully.  After that I decided it was time to quit.  I was getting frustrated and didn't want to make any mistakes.

The girls are leaving today to go to Kerrville!  I know they will have tons of fun.  I hope they get a good blessing, some strength, and an abundance of Holy Ghost to bring back with them!  :)  They need it!  So do I!  Ryan called last night - he cut his hair.  He said he felt like it was too long and he was going to shape up.  Wednesday night he said he prayed through - got the victory!  He said he had some cleaning out to do - his music, his clothes, his heart.  He said his mind is made up!  I'm so thankful to God for working this out!  He said he felt like he was the old Ryan again.  The Ryan he became September of last year is gone.  God is good!  Now I need to ship his Study Bible to him.  That'll be this weekend. 

Best news of the day - IT'S FRIDAY!  WOO-HOO!  Have a good weekend - be productive, stay busy, enjoy life!  See you guys on Monday.  Bye, now.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Zumba, Childrens Church and Sewing

Tomorrow's Friday, peoples!  Yea!  Yesterday was a good day.  Work, home, church.  I did some Zumba (at home) and I'm starting to get the hang of it.  Malissia was supposed to be doing it with me, but she was actually having a hard time following the steps - AND she was really busy saying "Mom, for real - don't do that!"  She thought I was trying to be funny.  If she only knew!  Whew!

Today is gonna be a really good, really productive day.  I just know it.  For starters, the scale and I are back on talking terms.  It finally started going down again, just like I told it to!  You just have to be firm with them sometimes.  Let them know that they are NOT in charge - YOU are!  :)  I won!  This round.

I hope to finish the other 2 bolero jackets tonight.  They are quite simple and I hope doing them assembly line will increase my speed and productivity.  We'll see. 

Church was good last night!  Children's Church was very busy.  We are starting to work on crafts for the craft sale.  The children LOVE doing crafts.  We try to have a wide variety of crafts for all the different age groups.  It really is a joy to work with them.  Some are confident and some are not.  Some are overly confident!  But with a little love and encouragement, they will all participate.  Their personalities are so cute.  You have those who are wall flowers, those who love to be the center of attention (class clowns, brainiacs, impress the teacher), and those who are middle of the road.  Every Wednesday they are different.  Sometimes they are tired, sometimes they are squirmy, sometimes they are totally hyped up!  You never know what you're gonna get.  You just gotta be prepared.  I love working with them.

The Kerrville meeting is this weekend.  My girls are looking forward to it.  Malissia is going Friday afternoon and Kirstyn is going Saturday morning.  That means I'll be all alone this weekend.  WOO-HOO!  Uninterrupted sewing, here I come!  YEA!  I'll be sewing like a mad woman, only better! 

K.  I'm starting to ramble, so Bye, now!  Ya'll come back now, ya hear?  ;)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A little of this, a little of that...

Not too much to report today.  It's Wednesday, middle of the week, and time's running out.  I did ZERO sewing last night.  By the time I got home, fixed dinner, ate dinner, exercised and went to church, I didn't have the brain power left to sew.  I learned a long time ago not to sew when I'm brain tired!  I make really bad mistakes and it takes more time to fix them than if I would have left it along to begin with! 

I hope to get another jacket sewn tonight  At least to have it almost completed.  That would mean the last one could be done tomorrow night and I could sew the dresses Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

I received a wonderful voice mail message from Ryan last night.  He left a message telling me that he went to visit a church in Splendora and the services was "awesome".  His words, not mine.  He met the pastor and the assistant pastor.  He is really encouraged and excited about this.  He wanted to go to the Kerrville meeting, but couldn't due to lack of $$$.  This church has a youth rally in Conroe this weekend, and he CAN afford to go to that one.  He's really pumped up about it.  I hope he uses this opportunity to develop a firm foundation.  He is an adult now - he has to get this faith, this determination to live for God, for himself.  I can't do it for him.  Keep him in your prayers.  He still needs victory - but he is heading in the right direction.

My scale and I currently have a love/hate relationship.  I keep saying "go down" and it keeps saying "I like where I'm at right now".  It hasn't moved a bit in 2 days!  Grrrr....  Something's gotta give and it's NOT gonna be me!  I think I need to pep up my meals a bit.  They seem to be getting bland.  I've lost my focus.  It seems like I had the same problem last round - the first week.  I need to go to the grocery store and get some variables - flavorful variables.  (That's another word for protein and veggies, in case you didn't know that!).  :)

Well, for someone who didn't have a lot to say, I did write a bit.  Gotta get busy now - time's a wasting.  Bye, now.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A lot of talking...

Last night I completed 1 jacket for the wedding.  I hope to have all 3 completed before Friday.  That will give me the entire weekend to work on the top of the dresses.  They are going smoothly so far. 

Have you checked out Rhonda's new blog?  I LOVE IT! 

I'm hoping the virus is gone for good.  Kirstyn had some problems with it yesterday, but seems better today.  I DON'T WANT IT!!!

Yesterday was Amber's birthday.  She's 20 (NOT!).  We had a party for her at work and it was a lot of fun.  I am truly thankful for my besties at work.  They keep me going and make life bearable and fun.  You don't know what you're missing until you finally have a group of women to work with that makes you enjoy Monday-Friday 8-5!  If you get a chance, ask Amber about the new "word of the day" she started with Pam!  HILARIOUS! 

In other news, Breaking Dawn is becoming the daily talk at work.  We have team Jacob and team Edward.  I think it's really funny.  Pam and I loved the story before there ever was a movie!  The books were very good - entertaining - romantic.  Not realistic, at all, but dreamy and fictional.  It was a nice, light read.  The closer the new movie gets to coming out, the more "frenzy" there is about it.  It's funny to watch everyone's reaction.  I just finished reading the Shiver trilogy - it was really good although I don't like the ending of Forever.  Cole and Isabel are unfinished.  I think it needs closure.  Oh, well.  It wasn't my book to write.  I'm currently reading The Help.  The movie has great reviews from what I've heard, and Amber had the book, so she lent it to me and I really like it.  It's the kind of book that makes you think.  And for all those out there who think we haven't made any progress - read the book.  Remember or research what it really was like and compare it to today.  It's a world of difference.  Some good, some bad. 

Last of all, with Game On, I chose my good habit to be writing to an elderly person (various) in my church each day.  I've written 2 letters so far.  I really am going to enjoy this habit.  I know how much it means to me to receive a phone call, a card, or letter from someone.  Just knowing that someone thought of me and took the time to let me know about it.  I hope this new habit of mine helps others, brings them a little joy, even if only for a few minutes.  I hope that I use this opportunity as a chance to allow God to work through me.  Bro. Hammer has been talking about stepping up in our walk with God, witnessing, outreach - all things I am sadly lacking in.  I really need to let God work on me.  I need to take time out to stop and listen to what He's asking me to do.  And DO IT!  Lord, help me be obedient to Your will, not mine.  I know You have great plans for me.  Don't let me be foolish and let this selfish, prideful flesh get in the way.  It is an honor and a priviledge to do a work for God - no matter what or where that work is.  If it's working on a team feeding the hungry - so be it.  If it's helping clean the church - so be it.  If it's watching little children that are brought to church via our bus - so be it.  If it's cooking or helping someone too ill or feeble to do for themself - so be it.  His will.  Not mine.  That's what I want.  More than anything!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Busy, busy weekend

The sewing frenzy has begun!  I have finished cutting all the pattern pieces to the 3 bridesmaid dresses, ironed on the interfacing and marked all the pieces for pleats, darts, etc....  Tonight I begin!  Bridesmaid Dress Marathon!  Woo-hoo.  Bring it on.

I was able to cut out the Cinderella dress this weekend,also.  It only took me 10 hours!  10 HOURS!  600 MINUTES!  OMW!  I haven't marked any of the pieces, just cut fabric, lining, netting, crinoline, and interfacing.  Oh, and that was with a rotary blade!  I'm tired just re-thinking about it!  I think I am going to let Malissia mark the pieces for me!  :)  That ought to keep her busy for a year or two.

In other news - Ryan came home to visit for the weekend.  It was a nice visit.  I have missed him terrible.  Everytime he comes home he looks skinnier!  He went to church with me yesterday morning and last night.  It was really nice.  Last nights service was soooo good.  It's so wonderful to go to a church where the Holy Ghost is allowed to move - where man's idea of the perfect order of service is put aside to make room for His will.  God came and visited with us during song service.  It was such a sweet spirit.  Ryan was moved and went to the altar.  He prayed so good.  He did not get victory - but he will if he keeps going back to the throne of God.  If he will just believe that he is worthy by the grace of God to receive the Holy Ghost, to receive strength, power, joy, hope, love, faith...there is nothing to big for my God.  I will be praying for Ryan more and more.  I know that he has a desire to live for God, he just needs a made up mind.  He needs some deep rooted convictions and the backbone to stand up for them.  It was a step, a very important step, and I am thankful that God touched his heart again - reminded him of Who was in control.

Today begins Round 3 of Game On.  There are 14 of us playing this round.  I am excited!  I can't wait to see what happens this go around.  I hd the hardest time coming up with a bad habit to break.  Not because I am perfect, but because it needed to be something I can work on EVERY day.  I finally decided to make my bed up each morning before I leave the house.  I am really bad about making my bed up.  I get in a rush, jump out of bed and return to my room only to put on clothes before running out the front door.  It's something that I need to do and I can do.  I thought about my good habit, too.  I considered a prayer meeting with my girls (family prayer) to add to the bible studies we've been having.  However, I decided I needed to think outside the box (my house).  I am going to write a letter each day to an elderly person in our church and mail it to them.  Not necessarily the same person each day.  I think it's important that we bridge the gap between the youth and the elderly.  They paved the way for us, we owe them some respect and acknowledgement.  I need to learn to think of others.  This will be good for me and will hopefully bring joy to others. 

Is that enough for one day?  Oh, well...there's always tomorrow!  See ya!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Friday

The sewing marathon has begun!  Last week I finished fitting the wedding patterns to the bridesmaids and the birthday dress to Malissia.  I've cut out the corset to the Cinderella ball gown for the birthday and cut out the tops to the bridesmaid dresses.  I have the bolero's pinned on and ready to cut as soon as I get home.  Then to cut out the skirts and mark all my pieces.  Tomorrow is going to be crammed full of sewing bridesmaid dresses!  They have to be finished before I will allow myself to work on the birthday dress!

Kirstyn & Colby want to come to the party as Shrek & Fiona - how funny, and appropriate! - so I will probably have to work on those later.  I don't expect those to be as hard.  I have no idea what Ryan will come as - we'll discuss that this weekend when he comes home for a visit.  IF I have any time left over, I'd like to come as Jo from Little Women.  We'll see....

Tonight is the lingerie shower/bachelorette party for Jayde.  Fun, fun, fun.  I won't be staying for the night, but I'll be there for the gifts and the food (of course!).  The wedding is in 2 WEEKS!  Hard to believe it's here already.  I know they are excited.

Monday will begin Round 3 of Game On, the diet game.  I'm excited.  We have 14 ladies playing this time.  I'm trying to start a simultaneous round at work and have 5 confirmed and 1 maybe playing.  Woo-hoo!

With craft sale coming up I've decided to pull out an old craft that I haven't made in about 12 years.   My jack-o-lantern dolls.  They have a plastic jack-o-lantern head and a softly stuffed cloth body with muslin hands & feet.  They are so cute with their floppy bodies.  They can be used as a treat bag for children going trick-or-treating, or they can be used as a candy jar on a mantle, centered on a table, or on the edge of a desk at work.  They truly are adorable.  I've probably made 100 of them in the past.  I'm not sure what my baked goods are going to be yet.  I'll get that set in stone AFTER the wedding!

Happy Friday, ya'll!   See you on Monday! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm feeling Fall-ish

It's almost Fall, ya'll!  :)  I do believe that Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I really, really love Christmas but Fall has my whole heart!  I love the crisp, cool air.  The drop in humidity.  There always seems to be a "shift" in attitudes - a "perkiness", if you will. 

I don't really know what brought on this love of Fall.  Probably the hustle and bustle of Craft Sale, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and BLACK FRIDAY!!!  The baking, the crafting, the sewing, the shopping!  In addition, my children have birthdays in September, October and November! 

Kirstyn just turned 21 and is getting ready to complete her Associates degree in Elementary Education.  I am proud of her!  She is going on to get her Bachelors in Special Education.  She definitely has a calling in this field.  She is never happier than when she is around little children.

Ryan is a Senior in High School!  I am proud of him.  It hasn't been easy for him, but he has been persistant!  He has a new job working for Kubota, and he got a "new to him" car that he is ultra proud of.  I'm praying that he stays on track and gets everything in his life parallel to God's will for him.  I can see that God has been working on him, but he still has a way to go.  He's going to be a wonderful man, I can tell.

Malissia will be Sweet 16 this October!  We're having a ball - kinda.  She wants a costume party where everyone comes dressed as their favorite story book character!  She's coming as Cinderella, which is predictable for all who know her!  I started cutting out the corset to her ball gown last night!  I can't wait to get it finished.  She still doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up.  She has been talking about being a veterinarian for as long as I can remember.  The last 3 years or so she wanted to specifically be a marine biologist.  However, the last few weeks she has been considering going to college to get a basic business degree and trying to become the best homemaker, wife, mother she can when the time comes.  She has a lot of praying and fasting to do before this time comes - I pray she will let God will lead her along the path He has chosen for her.  She is very talented, artistic, creative, and bubbly.  God has His work cut out for Him!  :)

Then there's the weddings.  There have been 4 so far this year.  There are still 2 to go.  Jayde & Brandon and Macy & Daniel.  So exciting - romance in the air and all that! 

Last, but not least, is the Craft Sale!  It's in 5 weeks!  OMW!  I have 3 bridesmaid dresses and 1 ball gown to sew before Craft Sale gets here.  That doesn't include my crafts, which are going to be sewn!  AAAAUUUUGGGHHH!  What have I got myself into?  Well, the house is clean, laundry is done, bills are paid - so that leaves SEWING!  I can sew with NO GUILT!  Yea!  It's my favorite thing to do besides bake, which I will probably do, also!

So, that's about all I have for today.  I'm not talked out, by no means, but I've probably said all that any of you would be interested in.  Anything more and I'd be rambling.  Bye, now!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Game ON!

I apologize for no post yesterday - the virus has hit our household and it hasn't been pretty!  Poor Malissia!  She is on the mend now and hopefully will be back in school tomorrow!  Other than that, not too much to blog about except the Pot Luck at my house Monday evening to announce the winners of Game On Round 2.

And the winners are: Sis. Karen, Sis. Rhonda & Kirstyn!  Woo-hoo!  They each were the lucky recipients of 6 $10 gift cards to various retail stores and restaurants.  Collectively we (all 9 ladies) lost 90 lbs!  In 4 weeks!  Winners, all!  Yea!  Are you tired of my exclamation points yet?  :)

We had a wonderful time - lots of food, enchilada casserole, chicken salad sandwiches, Italian pasta salad, spinach & strawberry salad, butter beans, and I can't remember everything else.  The funniest thing was that everyone brought a dessert!  A yummy raspberry filled cake from Rao's, pumpkin cake, strawberry pie, cookies, cranberry orange bread, and more.  We sure know how to feed!  It was fun going over all the ups and downs, issues with habits, time frames for meals, what constitutes a "sanctioned" meal, weight fluctuation - the whole 9 yards.  The two main things I realized is #1 - every body is different, and #2 - everybody lost weight!  This diet works!  It's doable.  It's maintainable.  It can become a lifestyle! 

I'm looking forward to Round 3 which starts next Monday.  We have about 14 people wanting to play now, with 3 more we are trying to convince that the CAN do this - it's not too hard.  Fun, fun, fun.  We all agreed that the best part of the whole thing (other than losing weight and becoming healthier) is the communication requirement.  We are a random group of women (various ages and families) united with a common goal.  This game has given us a chance to refreshen friendships and get to know each other better.  I enjoy sending emails to my friends as much as I enjoy receiving them!  All in all, it's been a blast!  I totally recommend anyone interested in having fun, bonding with friends and losing weight buy the book - Game On Diet. 

I'm proud to be a LOSER!  :)  Tasha, I know you will enjoy that statement more than anyone else!  K.  Bye now!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Allergies - YUCK!

Today finds me sniffling, sneezing, coughing with running eyes and nose!  YUCK!  I am a posterchild for an allergy medication advertisment!  I know I'll get better, but it feels like it's going to be a long week!

On a more positive note - tonight is the potluck at my house where all the ladies who have played the 2nd round of Game On will find out which team won!  Yea!  In reality - we ALL won.  I can't wait to find out how much weight we lost collectively.  I already have my mind made up that I'm going to play round 3.  Why not?  It's doable and it's working. 

My daughters and I are continuing on in our study of Esther.  We have made it through chapter 4.  It is interesting to watch her struggle with her pride, with fear, with denial - and then to see her take a deep breath and place everything in God's hands.  It's easy for us to brush this off - we know how the story turns out.  However, I'm certain it was NOT easy at all for Esther.  Her statement about "if I die, then I die" just about broke my heart.  I don't know if I could have done it.  After all, we already know what a foolish and fickle man the king was!  I'm sure by this time she had realized this character flaw, also.  As much as we like to romanticize about how much he was smitten by her beauty and LOVED her SOOOO much, at this point in the story she had not even seen the king in 30 days.  Can you imaging being married to someone, living in the same house with them, and not seeing or hearing from them in 30 days?  He was not off fighting some war or wandering around to various lands under his rule trying to maintain order.  He was at home - living life day to day and not being bothered about where his Queen was or what she was doing.  I'm sure that he probably had chamberlains who kept him apprised of her comings and goings - but still - you would think that he would like to see her with his own eyes - touch her, talk to her, spend time with her.  Again - what a man! 

In all of this, Esther loved him.  With all of her heart, she loved him.  Only God would come before her husband.  Even after she realized that her people would perish, she did not want to bother her king.  It wasn't until she was made to realize that she, too, would perish and Mordecai chastised her with the fact that God put her as Queen for "such a time as this", that she mustered up the courage and backbone needed to go against the law of her husband and honor the law of her God.  That's really the way it should be.  I believe more women need to learn to love their husbands second only to God.  We need to learn to submit ourselves to them, to love them, encourage them, to obey them.  This is not an easy task.  It is much easier to say this (or to write this in a blog) than to actually act upon this.  But it is what God commands of us.  He is the head over us.  Our husbands should answer only to God.  We must answer to both God and our husbands.  If we are disobedient in this act, then we are violating God's commandment to us.  Is it not true that if we believe in one part of the Bible, then we should believe in EVERY part of the Bible?  We were not given the option to pick and choose which scriptures we wanted to follow.  We were given His Word to follow ALL of it!  Lord, help me to remember this and to instill this in my daughters that they will be found worthy wives.  Worthy of the love of their husbands and of God.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday mish-mash

Why is it that when we are the recipient of such beautiful weather several days in a row our bodies think we need to be punished and allergies take over?  I am MISERABLE!  Yuck.  Blah.  Ugh!  Anyone feel the same way?  I didn't want to get out of bed, didn't want to go to work, and I don't want to do anything else today.  Sad state of affairs, huh?  Poor lil' ol' me!

On the bright side of things, it is FRIDAY!  Yay!  And it's payday!  Yay!  Woo-Hoo!  I know things are going to get better!  I know I'm going to lose that 1 last pound before Monday that's keeping me from my bonus points!!!

Last night was a lazy night in our house.  I was not up to cooking, so Malissia had PB&J while I had grilled cheese - low fat cheese on whole wheat bread with the tiniest amount of Shedd's Spread.  It was a nice change of pace.  I finished the last of the Shiver books, Forever, and was not satisfied with the ending, of course!  Oh well - if I don't like the way books end I'll need to either stop reading or start writing, and it doesn't look like either of those are prospects right now!

Our Bible Study last night was short & sweet.  Malissia chose to read from the book of Esther.  I LOVE Esther.  We only read the first chapter, which, of course, doesn't mention Esther.  It gave us a chance to look at King Ahasuerus & Queen Vashti.  (Ask Malissia how to pronounce Vashti!  It's quite hilarious!)  I would not have wanted to be Queen Vashti - or Esther, for that matter!  The King was such a self centered, silly fool.  Changing Queen's on whims and emotions - what a man!  To be so powerful - to have such rule, but to have such little sense!  I realize that this was all part of God's plan, but still - the man was weak, weak, weak.  To put your Queen away because she was too modest to be flaunted around in front of your minions like this weeks K-Mart special!  What was he thinking, anyway - trying to show her off - wanting to tempt others, perhaps?  See what I have that you can't?  Really?  Grrr....  And what about those chamberlains?  Ridiculous!  Jealous men - "put her away because if you don't then our wives will be just like her!"  As if!  Who ruled their homes?  You've just got to wonder about it all!  Makes me glad I'm not God!  I'd hate to know that's all I had to work with.  A bunch of silly men.  Oh, well.  It all works out in the end. 

Lord, please don't let my daughters fall for silly men.  Let them fall head over heels with men who are totally dedicated to you - first and foremost.  Real men.  Manly men.  Men who are sure of themselves and their walk with you.  Now, I'm not talking conceited men - just men who are comfortable serving God and proud of a godly wife and who are not afraid to be the husband/father that God intended them to be.  I know they are out there - somewhere!  Lord, please let my daughters have enough sense to seek your will for this decision!  After all, that's what these Bible Studies are all about, right?  Help keep us on track and following Your will!  Thank you in advance for the blessing I know you have ready to pour out on them.  Amen!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

One small step

Today I have VERY good news.  I have been taking small steps towards weight loss and have finally reached the 10 lb loss goal!  Woo-hoo!  It has not been easy, it's actually been frustrating at times!  Just when you think you have a handle on it, BOOM - your weight shifts and you can't figure out why.  Nevertheless, I am determined to plod along at a steady pace and continue to take better care of my body.  I'm trying to pay more attention to what I put in it and keeping it moving.

This all began about 9 weeks ago when a friend of mine found a book, The Game On Diet, and read it.  She shared it with several of us and we decided to play this new "diet" game.  It has really been inspirational for all of us.  This game places partial emphasis on the diet and the rest on life changing habits.  You take everything one day at a time.  One step at a time.  The rewards are self evident - the first 4 weeks 6 of us lost a combined 45 lbs!  Amazing, no?  YES!

This game also encourages us to give up a bad habit and develop a good habit.  It has been enlightening talking with the other players about these habits and how they overcome/achieve them each day.  It gives me more goals to strive for as I continue along.  I think it works because it's doable, liveable, and we are held accountable to not only ourselves, but each other on a team.  The changing of habits has given me pause for thought - making me stop and think about the little things I need to change.  My first bad habit to give up was laying my clothes over my recliner in my room instead of hanging them or folding them and putting them away.  Here I am 9 weeks later and my recliner is still clothes free!  This time around has been keeping my car cleaned out - and so far, so good!  I know, I know - most of you would say - shouldn't you do this anyway?  For me, I know I should keep these areas clean and tidy, but time is a precious commodity for me and sometimes it's easier to let it go.  Then it builds up and gets out of control and makes me feel like I have even less time. 

The good habits I chose to work on took some thought, too.  The first game I chose to sew 20 minutes each day for ME.  Those who know me know I LOVE to sew!  However, I always sew for someone else, never for me.  By the end of game #1, I had completed a pretty, white blouse - FOR ME.  I can't wait to wear it!  This time around, I have chosen to have a Bible Study each night with my daughters.  I can already see some of the benefits of this.  I can't wait to see where it takes us as a family.  The changing of habits has probably been my favorite part of the game.  It teaches me to think about these little things each day - work a little each day on making a change for the better.  At the end of the day - I feel good! 

I can't wait to see where this takes me!  My long term goal is to lose 50 lbs.  I hope to have lost 1/2 that by Christmas - and I know I can do that based on what I've done over the last 9 weeks.  After all, I'm already 10 lbs closer to that goal!  I'm gonna make it! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Women of Courage

Why, oh why did I have to get up and out of bed this morning?  It's so beautiful and crisp outside, I just wanted to stay in bed a few extra minutes and enjoy the luxury of snuggling down under layers of sheets and blankets, with a tiny, soft, warm dog laying next to me!  Sigh - work.  Sigh - school.  Sigh - life.  That's why!  It took me so long to remember why I had to get up that I had to scramble to catch up with all I needed to do before I ever left the house!  Put dinner in the crock pot.  Water the animals.  Finish the laundry I washed last night.  Busy, busy morning. 

Poor Malissia - she wanted coffee this morning to "wake her up".  She had to settle for what the school had because she, too, had the iwanttostayinbed virus. 

Last night after church we finished reading the book of Ruth.  I have decided to begin studying the women in the bible over the next few weeks.  The girls and I have been studying modesty, pride, kindness, being a homemaker, and how to be a good wife.  I felt like this was the direction we needed to go.  Reading Ruth again gave me another chance to look at the details of a familiar story.  Naomi's subjection to her husband - no matter what the cost - and it was a great cost!  To leave her home land, her family, to go live in a foreign land full of strangers who worshipped a dead god.  The death of her husband.  Watching her sons marry women from this foreign land.  The death of her sons.  Still, she never spoke ill of her husband or her sons.  She treated her daughters-in-law with love and respect - showing them God's love.  The only bright spot in Naomi's life, the only redemption for her obedience, came in the form of a loving daughter-in-law, Ruth.  Thank God for Ruth!   God gave Ruth to Naomi, of that I have no doubt.  It reminds me of something I've always heard - when you stray from the Divine Will of God, there is hope - He can make things right.  That doesn't mean that there won't be scars, tears, heartache - but there can be joy, nonetheless!  Keep your eyes on Him!

Speaking of Ruth - what courage!  What faith and trust she had!  To leave her people and her god, to forsake the opportunity to go back to her parents and start a new life with a new husband - instead following her mother-in-law back to a land devastated by famine, to a life of poverty, back breaking work, lowliness and loneliness.  What love!  To learn to worship and love a new God - the One true, living God.  I am amazed at her trust in Naomi.  I asked Malissia last night what she would have done if she had been in Ruth's place and I told her to go lay next to Boaz, uncover his feet and wait for him to wake up.  At first she said she would because she knew she loved Boaz already.  However, when I reminded her that she did not know that Boaz loved her back, she changed her mind.  She said it would have been embarassing and humiliating - especially if Boaz woke up and was angry, or told her to leave.  Thank goodness Ruth was obedient and selfless.  What a blessing to have a loving mother-in-law, a man who loves you and can take care of you and cherish you, to know God and have His blessing in your life, to become the great-grandmother to one of the greatest earthly kings ever - David - and a direct decendent of our Savior!  WOW!  It's such a wonderful story.  Two amazing women!  Two shining examples of the type of women we can strive to become!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It feels like Monday

Isn't it funny how something other than the calendar tells us what day it SHOULD be?  Yesterday felt like a Saturday - no work, all play.  Today feels like a Monday - after all, it's the first work day of the work week!  It feels deliciously like fall.  It makes me want to start working on crafts.  The crisp, cool morning air, sunshine, blue sky dotted with puffy white clouds....  The rain we received this weekend was so welcomed!  I wish we had another day or two of it.  A soft pattering of rain drops all day and all night.  Just fast enough, just hard enough to convince the earth to soak it all in.  No run off!  We needed it so bad.  My flower bed is all withered up and turning brown.  This rain saved it.  God is so good.  He knows just what we need just when we need it.  I pray today that I can be a blessing in return to Him.  Give Him back some of the goodness He has given to me.

For those of you who don't know me so well, I should start by saying that my life pretty much exists around my God and my church family.  When I am not actively involved in a church function, I can be found at home in close proximity to my sewing machine or my oven!  Those are my two favorite "tools"!  Last week I looked up (after months of continuous sewing) and discovered I couldn't find my house!  It was somewhere under a thick layer of dust and dirt.  I told the girls that I refused to sew one stitch more until our home was completely scrubbed clean.  So...we spent a whole week "Spring" cleaning just in time for the Fall!  It's gloriously clean now!  I can get back on the band wagon, so to speak!

Just to break it all in, I baked 2 Pig cakes, 1 banana nut bundt cake, a pot of homemade veggie beef soup, a crock pot full of black eyed peas & sausage, and a bowl of rice.  Yesterday was full of yummy goodness!  Life is worth living!

Someone testified at church the other night and it has stuck with me.  They stated "What if we woke up tomorrow and all we had were the things we thanked God for today?".  That really got me to thinking...I want to make sure I thank Him for everything.  Without Him I would have nothing, would be nothing, and would have no hope.  I owe it all to Him.  When I die, if nothing else - let everyone remember that I gave Him credit for everything.  He is great and greatly to be praised.  I'm so lucky to know Him and to have a personal walk with Him.  Another person in our church stated "He gave everything for us - died on the cross - the biggest sacrifice ever.  No other sacrifice could come close.  The biggest sacrifice we could ever make for Him is to choose to serve Him - completely and totally - unselfishly and wholly.  To "lay down our life" for Him."  That's the sacrifice I choose to make.  God, please help me to make YOU my first commitment!