Monday, May 22, 2017

THINK ON THESE THINGS....

Sometimes it's hard to focus on the good.  Even little things can bother us and I was reminded of that Sunday at church.  Many of us are addicted to approval of others, and the only one we need approval from is God.   One place I go when I need a break from the world, housework, the computer, the phone, you name it -  is my garden.  I can sit and pull weeds for a long time.  And admire the simple beauty God created!
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil. 4:8


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1




Sunday, May 14, 2017

TO DREAM THE IMPOSSIBLE...



I've had a fascination with rocks for a long time.  My family has actually made fun of me about it.  I just love them.  They're amazing. They are handiworks of God.

The first time I ever saw the Grand Canyon at age 15 on a road trip to California with my family, I was in awe - and heartbroken that we only spent a few minutes there!  (I determined never to do that to my own kids!) I've visited the Grand Canyon a couple more times, most recently last fall when we hiked down into the canyon and up the same day.  It was hard.  It was a challenge.  Kind of  a half-marathon on steroids!  It took us 11 1/2 hours. I loved it and we had trained for it and we were with a sweet group of people from church.

BUT...I said I would never do that again UNLESS I could hike down and spend the night in the canyon.  I wanted to really enjoy the scenery, sit around, get to know it a little better, bask in it.  But there's a catch!  There's only one place to spend the night in the canyon, Phantom Ranch.  It's an old, historic place with a few cabins and dorms.  Or you can get a campsite (limited) and carry all your gear down and up with you.

I knew Phantom Ranch reservations were hard to get.  I didn't know how hard!  But I started dreaming the "Impossible dream" and planning for us to go somehow with our adult kids.  Time is of the essence.  I feel like their lives are getting busier and more adult-like all the time.  We are halfway fit physically, who knows how we'll be in a few years?

So the planning began - I had four different If-then plans.  We tried calling April 1, 2017 for April 2018 reservations, as the process goes.  We had three phone lines calling for over two hours to no avail.  We finally got the recording that all Phantom Ranch reservations were full.  I was told 100,000 people are trying to call at the same time every first day of the month.  Terribly disappointing!  I wanted to try one more time, May 1, before giving up and trying for a campsite.  My son had three phone lines dialing and I had one.  I was in disbelief 40 minutes later, when my son texted me that he was on hold and 15th in line!

We got it!  We got our second choice date!!!  So we have a reservation for one night at Phantom Ranch, along with the famous stew dinners, one year from now, the week after my youngest graduates from college.  

SUPER PUMPED!!!




Monday, May 8, 2017

ANOTHER MARATHON STORY...

Seems like I've posted so many of these through the years, but it's a special tradition for us - the OKC Memorial Marathon.  We've been doing something in it for so long, and the Hubs has only missed one year due to recovery from a crushed pelvis back in 2006.  

This year our youngest ran the half-marathon and the rest of us did the 5K.  We met him at the Finish Line and the weather was pretty nasty, but at least we escaped the rain and there were no delays in start time.  Delays are the worst!  

I also love how we can meet up with Team OC folks in a building and pray together before the race.  It's a great time to see friends and visit before the race.  

 Here we are in the building before the race about 5:30 a.m.!  Our daughter's husband was the only one not with us - he was supporting his brother who was running the full marathon.
 We met up with one of our relatives from Tipton!
 Brrr!  Let's get this show on the road!


 Here's our boy coming in at 1:37!
 Right afterwards - refueling with food in each hand and on each hip.  :0

Yummm...we went to a new breakfast place afterwards called Sunnyside Diner.  Delish!

Monday, May 1, 2017

GARDEN GRADUATION PARTY...

My niece Lauren graduated from college last week, and I was honored to be asked to host the party for the family!  My SIL did most of the work for it but when I found out she would be using a floral theme, I was excited to add some of my own goodies to it!  It was a beautiful day weather-wise, and a beautiful party, for a beautiful graduate!  


I've used these paper flowers for a lot of parties the last year, and I love them on my front door - I may just leave them up for a while.

My SIL made this pretty backdrop for the cake and gift table!


 The happy graduate!
 We ate a delicious Mexican meal with family outside on the patios.

My daughter took this from an upstairs window.  Everything's so green!

This old door has been used for a women's ministry decoration and now I have it sitting in the woods like the door to a secret garden.  :)  This is my niece (college grad) with her brother (who will graduate from high school in a month)!


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

EATING BETTER, FEELING BETTER....


For many years now, I confessed to enjoy exercise much more than eating right.  In fact, my main reason for exercise was so I could eat the way I wanted, which meant dessert.  Dessert every day, multiple times a day!  They were always around and I was always making them - especially for hungry teens.

I've not been very aware of my body and how it feels when I eat certain things and am always amazed at people who talk about it.  But I have to say since April 4, I am paying attention and feeling better!

I had noticed the past few years that I could take off a few pounds, but after a few months it would always return.  I knew eating right was the piece of the puzzle I lacked.  My pants were getting tight again and I was increasingly uncomfortable in my nice fitted clothes.

So I jumped at a free offer from a friend who has really shown self-discipline through the years in her lifestyle.  She was starting a Facebook group and offering encouragement and a 7 Day Cleanse Eating Plan.  She also sells supplements to go along with it, and although I did not do that part of it due to medication I'm already on, I have loved the eating plan!  I have learned to be creative with vegetables and tried several new recipes.  I even made a nutty cookie type thing that curbs my cookie cravings!

I followed the 7 Day Cleanse Plan religiously, and lost 4 pounds!  Since then I have lost 4 more on the maintenance plan (which is basically the same with more food choices added).  I've have splurged occasionally - have had a few bites of real desserts three times in three weeks.  The Hubs and I also pigged out on Mexican food one Saturday after working extremely hard on an outside project for my MIL.  We needed that boost!  We just don't need that kind of boost every other day.  Everything in moderation; just hope I can keep the mindset!

So today was a special day - I'm thrilled and happy to be back in the 120's!  Better than numbers on the scale, I feel good when I go to bed.  No more full stomach! I'm not sure if it's the increase in vegetables or the reduction in sugar and flour and junk foods.  Probably a little of both.

Thankful to Rita and her plan and encouragement!
"You can do anything for 7 days!"


Monday, April 17, 2017

SMALL TOWN ENJOYMENT...

This past weekend we joined my husband's family (most of them) for a weekend in the small town.  We had decided with our kids that Easter would be next weekend.  I love it when we go down there, you never know what you'll get to do!

 We worked outside on my MIL's shed and I heard the train approaching.  Trains don't come by very often, so I was excited to see this one up close and personal!  I love this picture with the grain elevator and the old barns in the background.

 Even got a wave from the conductor!

We went out to a house and land that my SIL is going to own soon and looked around.  She showed us the owl babies that are nesting in their front yard.  They were so cute and white and fluffy!  Momma owl was hooting at us from a nearby tree.  

Sunday after church we went to my BIL's house for an Easter dinner.  His wife made us feel welcome with her cutely decorated tables!  I used to do this, especially when the kids were younger.  Even though I am personally trying to go more minimal with decorating, I loved it looking so festive.  Note to self:  to make guests feel special, set a festive table!



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

THINGS I LEARNED (ABOUT MYSELF) ON THE 7 DAY RESET...





A friend of mine was promoting healthy living on Facebook and I joined her group.  She promotes good health with an eating plan and exercise, along with supplements.  She was encouraging everyone to do an April Reset, starting with a 7 Day Cleansing Diet.  I told her I would be interested in the recommended cleanse diet but nothing else.  I haven't done anything like this before!  So I'm really kind of shocked, but I've lost 4.5 pounds in 7 days!  Yes, you read that right.  4.5 pounds in 7 days!  Crazy! 


 Things I learned:

Lemon water is the worst way to start your morning, if you ask me!

I never bought a cucumber before this - but they are great with hummus!

Ezekiel bread saved me.

Rice cakes taste less like styrofoam with a tablespoon of nut butter on top.

Guacamole every day is pretty awesome!

Getting carbs for dinner ONLY IF YOU EXERCISED THAT DAY is a pretty good motivator to exercise!

Plain Greek yogurt is tolerable with 1/2 cup berries added to it.

I would rather eat almonds than fruit for my snack!

Eggs are my favorite protein choice.

Cottage cheese is pretty awesome when it's the only cheese you get.

Strangely enough, I didn't miss sugar or flour the past week!