Sunday, December 29, 2013


     I am a person who needs time alone.  It is often hard to find that time with my schedule. I work four days a week.  As part of my work week, I have two hours a day in a car alone, but I can't read, do my scrapbooking, or relax during that time.  I work the schedule that I do so that I can be home when Delainey is home.  It is important to my husband and I that we are with her as much as possible. Jim has a busy work schedule, so when he has time off, it is important for us to spend that time together, as a family and as a couple.  Finding time alone is hard.  Luckily, I have a husband who gets me and understands my need for time alone.

     This weekend, we were supposed to go to Indianapolis to spend time with family.  I made plans with a friend for Friday night, with another for Saturday morning.  We made plans as a family to go to an event to help the homeless Saturday afternoon.  And I just couldn't.  I needed to be read, to scrap, to sleep, to do whatever I wanted to do.  So I called Jim....and he encouraged me to stay home.   I canceled my plans with my friends...and they supported me.  I packed bags for the family, gave them both big kisses and hugs, and sent them on their way.  I knew that I  would miss them, but an entire weekend...alone, ahhhh!

     I did leave the house Friday to do a little shopping.  My favorite purchase has been a fold up table.  I have my scrapping things spread all over it and I scrapped whenever I wanted.  I might even get our Disney trip finished this weekend.  I stayed in my pajamas all day Saturday...even when I left the house to get a coke from McDonald's (those cokes are my biggest vice).  I planned lessons for Children's Church until Feb 5....which is a huge thing for me lately.  I watched sappy movies on tv.  I finished a book.  I went to sleep in those same pj's.  It was an amazing day!

     Today, I have to get dressed....I want to go to church.  I have a few errands to run.  But I plan on coming back home to another pair of pj's.  I plan to scrap some more, plan some more lessons, watch more sappy tv movies, read, and maybe even clean the house a little.  But I will enjoy the quiet time no matter what I do.

     When Jim and Delainey come home, I will be refreshed.  I will be ready to spend time with mind calm and focused.  I have missed them both, but I have enjoyed spending time with me.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Traditions

     I have posted before about some of our Christmas traditions.  This year, we are trying to include some more activities that are closer to home for us.  We still hope to get to the Indianapolis area to do some of our favorite things, but after almost 3 years here, it is time to be more local!

     Since we all love looking at light displays, we made our first trip to "Lights under Louisville".  It is amazing!  We went on a weekend, so we couldn't use a coupon, but it was well worth the $25 dollars for us.  We loaded up on snacks and enjoyed the sights.  There are different sections of displays in the cavern...a section for Santa, one for the manager scene, on of toys, one for Hanukkah...with appropriate music for each section.  We didn't have a long wait since we went early in the season, but even if we had to wait, it would have been worth the time!

     We are going to try to find time in our schedule to head to Charlestown, Indiana.  It isn't far from us and looks amazing.  Carriage rides, Christmas lights, ice skating, train rides, and Santa....sounds like Christmas fun to me.  Even if we do nothing but check out the lights, it sounds like it will be worth the drive (about 45 minutes for us).  I found a cute activity sheet on Pinterest with a light display scavenger hunt for us to do on the drive there as well.

     I have seen information about "Christmas at the Galt House".  It looks like fun, but it doesn't feel budget friendly by the time everything is paid for and done.  I am not sure that we will make it there this year, but it is definitely something I would like to check out in the future.  I am hoping that next year my friend Rachel and I will be able to take our girls out for a day trip!

     In our town, there is a house with a huge light display (on a very small yard).  The lights are timed to music set on a radio channel.  We have already stopped by once and I am sure that we will stop by again to watch and listen.  It is really pretty, but I would hate to live close to there...the lights are really bright.  And we are not the only ones in the area who park along the street to watch and listen.  

     We added ornament making to our tradition list as well.  If you are one of the lucky ones, this year you will get a cinnamon ornament from us to hang on your tree (and supplies are limited).  They smell good, look fun, and have been made with love by Jim, D, and myself.  With Pinterest around, there is no limit to the kinds of ornaments that we can make in the future!

     We are also doing a Jessie tree this year.  It is a fun devotional with ornaments to hang on a tree that go along with the daily Bible reading.  We have 2 Advent calenders going this year.  One is a prayer card...we choose a different family to pray for each day.  The other has activities for us to do each day.  Sadly, neither of them involve chocolate and D is not happy about that at all.  We don't do this daily because I am a slacker, but we try to get at least every other day and stay caught up that way....

  We love Christmas at our house and everything that it brings....snow, trees, lights, gifts, cards.  But we keep in mind the true reason for this season....

    "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,

             which is Christ the Lord
             And this shall be a sign unto you; you will find the babe
             wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."
                                                                           Luke 2:11-12

I hope that this Christmas season is filled with love and joy for you.  

Snow Day!

     Who doesn't remember waiting for radio stations to announce snow days when you were in school?  If the weather was really bad, school would be canceled the night before, so you could stay up late and sleep in the next morning.  Some days, I would be up and ready before school was finally called off.  I even had a snow day once in college...that was one of the best snow days!  Now, the school calls to let us know if there will be a snow day or delay.  Then, we grow up and work really doesn't allow for snow days anymore.  

     Yesterday, I did take a snow day from work and Delainey had one from school.  I have a pretty long daily commute and it starts pretty early in the morning.  I decided when the ice started covering my house that the risk of driving to work was not worth it.  After hearing horror stories of people traveling in my area, I am so glad that I stayed home.  The county that I live in actually declared a local travel advisory, basically restricting travel to emergency travel only.  My last snow measurement yesterday evening was 6 inches, with plenty of ice underneath.  

     Jim was actually scheduled off yesterday(but he was "on call" just in case he needed to be at work), so we used our snow day to have a family fun day...and it really was fun for the three of us!  After a quick emptying of the dishwasher by Delainey, I made pancakes for breakfast.  It was nice to have a quiet family breakfast during the week, that never happens for us.  D and I made some cinnamon ornaments to give as gifts, but they still needed to be decorated.  We covered the table with plastic and got out our glitter glue to have craft time.  I think that all three of us enjoyed making the ornaments sparkle.

     Delainey and I fixed a lunch of snacks...some veggies, cheese, crackers, sausage, pickles, and olives. We left them out so that we could munch throughout the day.  Jim and D went out to play for a didn't last long as D lost her sock and decided to remove her boot to fix it.  Barefoot, snow, cold...not a good combo!  They came in to warm up with some hot chocolate and a game of Yahtzee (yes, I kicked butt).   D had a little piano practice, Jim had some tv time, and I did a little reading. 

     We finished our snow day with some pizza, addressing Christmas cards, and watching "It's a Wonderful Life".    Pirate Daddy tucked Delainey into bed and Jim and I finished the day watching a movie in bed (and yes, I fell asleep before the movie usual).  It was good day for the Predmore family!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Merry Thanksgiving

     I keep seeing posts on Facebook that November is for Thanksgiving, December is for Christmas.  Don't ignore Thanksgiving by rushing Christmas.  I understand how people feel...holidays should be enjoyed and not rushed.  BUT....this year, I am one of those people.  My harvest decorations are up right now....and my Christmas decorations are slowly making their way into my home.  And I don't care...both things are making my family happy.

     Last year, we didn't even get all the decorations out of their totes.  We had a lot to be thankful for and we celebrated the true meaning of Christmas, but the holidays had a more somber tone last year.

     We had a house full of people on Thanksgiving day celebrating with us...and Jim couldn't enjoy the food because he wasn't able to swallow.  It was the day that he decided he needed to talk to the doctor about getting a feeding tube.  So, we were thankful that Jim's cancer was discovered early and was treatable, but we knew that the road just got bumpier for him.

     Each year at Christmas, Jim and I take a day for shopping and time together.  Last year, Jim was not able to shop all day.  I was tired as well.  Christmas shopping was done either online or as I was running in a store to do other errands. It wasn't the same...a big part of our tradition was missing.  I enjoy baking all sorts of Christmas cookies and treats, but when one member of your family can't eat them, it makes you feel very selfish to do it.  So I limited my baking last year...we still had our goodies, but it wasn't the same.

     We went to Indianapolis to celebrate Christmas with the boys and Jim's parents on Christmas Eve as we always do.  It was a rough trip.  Jim needed to have certain things to be comfortable and functional.  We needed to contact Santa so that he would find Delainey on Christmas morning.  We had extra things to transport to Indy.  And then....Jim's dad got sick.  Jim sent D and I to church, while everyone at home took care of his dad.  By the time church was over, the family was at the hospital with my father in law.  The bright spot of Christmas Eve was being held by two very special that I knew I would see and the other who surprised me with her presence.

     We made the painful decision to come home...leaving my father in law at the hospital.  We made arrangements for people to check in with my mother in law.  It was hard, but Jim couldn't visit the hospital with his compromised immune system.  We were on the phone with family and friends making sure that all was as good as it could have been.  My father in law recovered and came home during a snow storm, so it was a Christmas to remember, but not for wonderful reasons.

     This year, we have so much to celebrate and be thankful for...I count my blessings daily.  My fall decorations are out reminding me of all the bounty in my life.  And at the same time, my Christmas decorations are up...reminding me of the joy of the season, of a Baby that was born to save me.

     So, you an tell me that I am wrong...that I am rushing the seasons.  I am looking forward to turkey and pumpkin cheesecake.  I also looking forward to Christmas stories and hot cocoa.  My family is happy and isn't that the most important thing for both of these holidays?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Public Speaking

     I have a comfort zone...and public speaking is not part of that comfort zone at all.  In the past, I have avoided speaking to large groups.  It makes me queasy, seriously.  In the last two years, I have been pushed out of my comfort zone in so many ways.  There are things that I feel better about doing, but I am still not comfortable speaking in public.

     Anyone who knows me well, will be happy to tell you that I have no problem talking.  In fact, I am sure that there are people who wish that I would stop talking at times.  I have no problem talking in general~never have!  Talking in front of children has never been an issue for me either.  I truly feel that I am called to work with children in some sort of way, so I am very comfortable with them. Speaking in front of adults terrifies me!

     When I speak in front of adults, I feel that I am being judged.  Do I know what I am talking about?  How well am I speaking?  Am I making the points clearly?  Am I making any sense at all?  All these thoughts are going through my mind as I speak.  It makes it hard to focus on my subject matter when I am worried about how I am presenting it.  In the last two years, I have been speaking at workshops for work.  I am called a SME....subject matter expert.  I know what I do and how I do it, but I struggle with telling a room full of people about my job.  The first time I was asked to do this, I was literally sick to my stomach....I didn't think that I would make it through my talk.  Each time has gotten easier, but I still practice my talk for days before hand!

     Now, I am really being pushed out of my comfort zone.  When I am leading my section of the workshop, I have a certain subject matter to cover.  There is a workbook with all the information I have to share.  I just have to teach that information.  I have been asked to speak at church next month.  I will be writing what I am sayings...the message will be my thoughts, feelings, and words.  No pressure at all!  I am sure that the words will come to me and I will be able to write it out, but the thought of speaking my words has me shaking in my shoes.

     I don't know if I will ever be comfortable speaking in public.  I am not sure why I am being pushed out of my comfort zone in regards to public speaking.  I know that each time it has gotten easier, but it still doesn't feel natural.  Hopefully, if this "pushing" continues, I will be able to do this without the fear that I have each time.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

You are loved

     Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.  In the last 24 hours, almost 3000 people will have committed suicide.  For each person who completes a suicide, 20 more people will attempt to end their lives.  That is a lot of people.  Even greater is the the number of people left behind when they lose a loved one.
     I know so many people who have had their lives touched by suicide.  One friend has lost both parents (years apart from each other) to suicide.  She is working hard to break the cycle in her family.  She is dealing with issues in her life to make sure that her children have a healthy mom in their life.  Another friend lost her brother.  She uses her pain and grief to help others who are going through this struggle.  Yet another friend is using her grief over her brother's death to fight for her son's mental health.  When I was 14, my cousin ended his life.  He would be 50 now...I wonder what he would be like.

     If you are thinking about ending your life, please don't.  Reach out to someone.  You are loved.

     If you have lost someone and need help, reach out to someone.  You are loved.

     If things in your life are going great and you are filled with love, reach out to someone.  Your love and joy could be the love and joy that someone needs right now.  You are loved.

     For more information, please check click here:  Out of the Darkness

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My Grandparents

     I have tried to write about my grandparents before, but I never thought that I could explain what they mean to me.  Maybe because tomorrow is Grandparents Day, but I feel like I need to write about them. There are so many times that I miss them...and they have both been gone for a long time, thirteen years for Grandpa, twelve years for Grandma.  It seems like just yesterday I was sitting by the fireplace talking to them both.  I was lucky enough to live with them for several years, I just didn't realize how lucky I was at the time.

     Grandpa was a farmer.  He worked hard.  I don't remember Grandpa farming "full-time", my Uncle Warren did most of the day to day work, but he consulted and talked to Grandpa about the farm on a daily basis.  Grandpa spent his time down at the barnyard, spending time in the shop.  I am sure that important things were being done down there, but I was a pre-teen/teen-age girl at the time, farming wasn't high on my list of things to be interested in.  Grandpa was quiet, so when he spoke, I listened, we all did.  I remember so many times playing in the basement with my cousins.  We would get a little loud at times.  When we did, we would hear Grandpa's footsteps across the floor above us.  That was our cue to run to the tables and color...pretty sure we didn't ever fool him!  Grandpa smoked cigars.  My school box was always a real cigar box.  It was a treat to go pick one out each school year.  I can't smell a cigar now without thinking about him!  I don't remember Grandpa telling me that he loved me, but I know that he did.  I never felt anything but love from my Grandpa.

     Grandma was...I don't have a word to describe her, she was master of many things.  She always had a huge garden.  During the summer, we were always up early working in the garden before it got to hot.  She grew a little bit of everything (really, it was a lot of everything).  Nothing went to waste, she canned and froze all that she grew. She gave it away to others.  Grandma baked everything from scratch...rolls, cookies, cakes.  She always had cookies downstairs in the freezer (and yes, I often ate frozen cookies when I shouldn't have).  She crocheted the most beautiful (and some ugly) afghans.  I still have the one that she made me before I went to college.  I also have one that she made for me when I was in grade school.  She crocheted baby sets...afghans, booties, gloves, sweaters.  She gave them away to anyone who asked.  She gave them to her church to sell at its yearly bazaar. I cried when I realized that she had set one back for me.   Grandma was an amazing woman.  She did tell me that she loved me and I always knew that I was safe with her.

     Grandpa and Grandma were very traditional, as were many people of their generation.  When Grandpa came up for "coffee" each morning, Grandma always had a pot of coffee, along with a snack ready for him.  Breakfast was a full meal because there was a full day of work ahead for everyone.  And it was usually before dawn!  Grandma would listen to Wally Laird on the radio each morning and write the prices for corn and soy beans in a note book that sat by the phone (which was a party line phone for those of you who know what that was).  Dinner was the meal that was served during the middle of the day, and supper was the last meal of the day.  Grandpa watched the Cubs play ball on tv (and Jack Brickhouse was the announcer not that other guy everyone else talks about).  And yes, he would often talk (yell) at the team, because some things never change.  Grandma would crochet while he watched tv.  Bedtime was early because morning was too.

     I could go on and on about them.  I could tell you that Grandpa spent two weeks in Canada fishing.  When he was congested, a shot of whiskey with honey did the trick.   Everyone once in a while, they would split a beer.  I could tell you that Grandma went to "Home-Ec" once a month.  She sat in the same pew every to Ella and behind Bud and Mary Ellen.  Grandma has a ringer washer that she used because the new ones didn't clean like the old ones.  Grandpa bought her an extra one in case hers ever gave out.  I know that they are watching me...laughing that I have a daughter who is so very like me.  I was right, I don't have the words to explain how much they still mean to me.  I hope that they always knew how much I loved (and still do) them.  I am so glad that I had them as grandparents.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Be the Sunshine!

     Every time I have been to Women of Faith, there has been one speaker who seemed to be talking just to me.  One year it was Shelia Walsh telling me that no matter what, the Shepard would find me.  Last year, Mark Lowery moved me with his words, his laughter, and his song.  This year, it was Angela Thomas.  Angela is an author, a story-teller, a mother, and a wife.  I didn't know much about her before, and honestly, I haven't had much time to learn about her yet.  Her message has been playing over in her mind since Women of Faith.

     Angela told the story about watching her son's soccer game.  The team wasn't doing well and she kept trying to think of ways to encourage him.  She finally yelled, during a lull in the game, "be the sunshine"!  Not the type of encouragement that a preteen boy wants to hear in front of his entire team.  He was embarrassed, but it became a family joke at their home.  The following year, Angela told some parents about how she embarrassed her son at a game.  After this game, another parent yelled to Angela's son to "be the sunshine".  The boy was embarrassed and of course he blamed his mom.   I am assuming that he got over it since she is telling the story to a much larger audience now!

     "Be the sunshine" continues to play in my head.  In the past, I have not always been a positive person.  In fact, I would see the glass as half empty rather than half full.  It was exhausting to live life with that much negativity inside of me.  I started making changes in my life.  I started getting rid of the things that were bringing me down.  I started finding small things to be happy about.  It started to get easier to be positive.  I try to see the positive in everything that I go through.  It isn't always easy, sometimes I have struggled with finding anything positive, but eventually, I do see the silver lining in the storm clouds.  And then, I am able to focus more on the silver lining rather than the storm clouds.

     Be the sunshine, for me takes my positive attitude one step further than being positive.  Being the sunshine, to me, means sharing the light, the positive, the joy with others.  In Matthew, Jesus says:  "You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."  (Matthew 5:14-16).  I need to find ways to share the light that I have with others.  It might be a kind word, it might be sending a card or email to a friend.  It might just be a smile to a child or chatting with a stranger in the line at the grocery store.

     I don't always succeed in my quest to be the sunshine.  I am human and have moments~okay, sometimes I have entire days, in which I am a grump.  I have to find ways to get out of the grumpiness and share the light that I have.  I try to take time to pray when I cannot find my light.  I ask others to pray for me.  I take time to be alone.  I try to find the things in my life that are blessings.  I remind myself to be the sunshine, that there are others who might need whatever sunshine I can give them.

     Are you the sunshine?  Try it, someone needs the sunshine that is yours to share.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Women of Faith Weekend

     Last weekend I was able to attend a conference called "Women of Faith".  It is just what the title says...women of faith coming together in fellowship and worship.  This is the third time that I have attended and I loved it as much as the first time.  The theme of the weekend was "Believe God can do anything".  There were a variety of speakers who shared their thoughts on this theme.  Some of the speakers spoke very clearly to me.  I am still processing some of the talks.

     There was much singing.  One of my favorite groups, Third Day, performed Saturday.  Sadly, my ears were not up to a loud concert, so I found a quiet hallway and listened outside the main area.  I had company in the hall, so it was all good.  CeCe Winans sang on Friday night and I loved her performance.  I can't say that I have listened to her before, but I will be seeking her music out now.  It was beautiful!  The best music came from the crowd.  Listening to a large group of women raising their voices in praise is breath-taking.  I don't sing well, but I do make a joyful noise!

     One of the criticisms that I have heard about the event is that it has become to commercial.  The speakers all have books that they are selling.  The musicians all have cd's to sell.  Women of Faith have merchandise to sell.  I am able to overlook the selling.  Without that part of the program, ticket prices would be out of reach for most of us.  I like to look at the products, I have been know to buy things as well.  But I know what my budget for the weekend is ahead of time.  I am able to look, listen, and say no.  It doesn't bother me at all.

     My favorite part of the weekend is the fellowship with my friends.  I am able to spend time being me.  I don't worry about anything over the weekend.  I call my family to check in on them, but this is my time.  I get to spend time with other women that share my faith.  I get to hug and pray with my friends.  I get to develop new friendships and deepen existing friendships during the conference.  I get to spend time worshiping the Lord with my friends...people who understand when I have tears or need a hug.

     I am already looking forward to next year.  If you have ever thought about going, call me, we can go together!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Pack your Personality"

     Delainey had a fun assignment the first week of school.  The teacher gave each student a small sack and they each had to find 4 items that were important to them.  I think that this is a great way to get to know someone.  Tonight, she and I were having a rough night between homework, chores, and grumpiness.  I decided to "Pack My Personality" for her.

     The first item in my bag (okay, I used a plastic box) was the cross that I received on my Emmaus walk last spring.  My faith is important to me.  When I am keeping my focus on God, I am a better person.  When I spend time praying and praising, I am happy.  My faith doesn't mean that I will have a perfect life, but it puts everything in perspective.  I don't worry or fear about the future when my focus is on God.

     The second item was a figurine of a father and daughter.  It represents my family, all of them, not just Jim and Delainey.  My family includes Shane and Dylan, my mom and her husband, my brother and his children, Jim's parents, assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins, and my friends who are my chosen family.  My family gives me a sense of purpose.  They make me smile.  I know that my family is there for me and I am there for them.  They mean the world to me.

     The third item in my box was my camera.  I love pictures.  I don't have a lot of photos of my when I was younger, so I cherish the ones that I have.  I want to have photos to look at when I am old.  I want Delainey to have photos to show her children and grandchildren.  When my memories fade, I want to have a photo that might trigger a memory of my past.

     The last item in my box was a sea shell.  I love the ocean.  I feel that all is well when I am on the water.  I don't need anything fancy...just need a beach chair, an umbrella, and a good book.  The ocean is my favorite place, but I am content at most bodies of water.  There is something about the water that soothes my soul.

     That's it, that is what I would put in my sack.  Delainey told me that I could share what she took to school so, I will do that tomorrow.  What would be in your "Pack your Personality" sack?

Monday, July 22, 2013

A member of the Family

     Over the past 7 years, Delainey has been blessed by some amazing gifts from friends and family members.  Some of those gifts have made lasting memories for my little girl.  One of those gifts has become a member of our family:

This is Pink Bear.

     If I would have known seven years ago how important Pink would become, I would have taken a picture of her all nice and new with her ribbon around her neck.  She has a few years of love her in this picture. We had family pictures for our church directory a couple of years ago, and Pink was part of those photos.

     Delainey loves Pink.  She is very important to the game of Pirate Daddy (PD wants to make Pinkers and gravy, so it is important that Pink is hidden very well).  Jim and I can always tell how tired D is by how she holds Pink. Delainey has a special spot that she loves to rub when she is tired.  Pink knows all of D's secrets and won't tell anyone!  Pink waits patiently for D to come home each and every day now that she doesn't travel with us to and from school (Pink used to love car rides).  We had to stop when Pink Bear partied to much in the car!

     Yesterday, we had a big scare at bedtime.  We couldn't find Pink Bear. D was in tears, I was looking frantically for Pink.  I finally found her hiding under the couch cushions.  Pink has been grounded to the bed for now. She only travels now when we are staying over night some where.  Jim and I are afraid that Pink will wander off.  While we got to enjoy the parks of Disney, Pink hid in the dresser drawer because D was worried that someone would fall in love with Pink and keep her.  None of us want to think of our family without Pink Bear!

Photo by JMS Photography

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Getting Organized!

     At work, I know where everything belongs.  It all has a place and each day before I leave, I put it all away where it belongs.  At home, I have no organization.  It drives me nuts.  I have projects that I have started, but haven't finished.  I have books that I won't ever read laying around.  I have papers that I "should" keep.  I have magazines that I have read but are still taking up space.  It is time to conquer the clutter!  I have been searching blogs on organization.  I have been pinning away on Pinterest for ideas.  I have been asking my organized friends how they do it.

     My first step is to start purging items from the house.  I haven't gotten Jim and Delainey on board, but I will be finding one thing a day to get remove from my stuff.  If I haven't used it, wore it, or looked at it an a while, it will be going.  My friends might not like me, because they might be getting some of my "junk".  So far, I have got 3 books and a microwave chip maker in a bag for my friend Linda.  I am not sold on garage sales at this point.  The last sale that we had didn't do so well.  I might try some local garage sale groups, it will depend on what I find in the house.  My purging will probably be Goodwill's gain.

     I am also looking at ways to use the space that we have in the house better.  We have lots of cabinet space, but it is deep and not functional.  I have started in the kitchen already with some plastic drawers.  So far it seems so much better...way easier to find the plastic wrap or baggies!  I have plans, but need to start slowly so that I don't spend all our money at once!  I have some ideas for the hall closet as well.  Right now it is part linen closet, part craft closet.  I need the crafts to be set up in a better fashion.  I found a really cool idea using a shoe holder that will make things more accessible.

     I am excited to get our house organized.  I think that I will be more relaxed and less stressed.  I think that we all enjoy knowing that everything has a place and that it is in it's place.  It is going to be a process and I am sure that it will take time.  Hopefully the results will be worth while.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Parenting Fail...

     Last night was a terrible night.  It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad night, to quote one of my favorite children's book.  Delainey was in a mood and I was in no mood for her mood.  I finally was done and put myself in time out for the night.  Jim took over and I think that they had a good night.  It was one of those nights that I don't want to repeat any time soon.  I was not the parent that I want to be, the parent that Delainey needs, or the the parent that God intends me to be.

     This morning I read my devotional and one of the verses was from Isaiah:

"Yet, O Lord, You are our Father;
We are the clay and You are the Potter.
We all are the work of Your hand"
Isaiah 64:8

This became my prayer all day...that I allow Him to shape me into the parent. the person, that He wants me to become.  I spent my drive to work thinking about all the things that went wrong last night.  I spent my time thinking about ways to correct the problems that happened last night.  And I feel like I have some ideas about how to make our evenings better.

     The first thing that needs to happen is that we all need more sleep in our house.  We all get cranky when we are tired.  D has been staying up past bedtime (8 is her normal bedtime) and still going to camp at the same time each morning.  I have been staying up until 10 or 11 each night...not a late night for a person who gets to sleep until 6 or so, but I get up at "the butt crack of dawn"...3 am.  So from now on, bed time is prompt, for both of us.  Jim is another story...he has issues sleeping, so he sleeps when he can.  

     The next issue is that we both have been spending to much time with our favorite screens (tv her, computer me) when we should be spending time together.  We are leaving chores undone, which stresses me out and makes me cranky.  So, tv and computer time are going to be limited.  I plan on buying a timer for the house so that when it rings, we are done.  I have also thought of some fun activities that we can do together, rather than stare at the screens.  I am also going to make a list of things that need to be done around the house daily.  All three of us work better when we have lists in front of us, so lists it is.  

     The last thing that I realized today is that sometimes there will be bad days.  I will fail some days, it is what I learn from those failing days that will make me a better parent, a better person.  Hopefully there are more stellar days than failing days.  And even in those days that I fail, there are moments of joy...yesterday we had a wonderful dinner and enjoyed the company of each other.  I need to remember that I don't need to be perfect, I just need to be the best parent. the best person,  that I can be. 

     I am clay...and His hands are molding me each day.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Queen of Style...Not...

     Delainey has her own sense of style and I am not sure where it comes from.  She has definite ideas about what she likes and doesn't like to wear.  Skirts and dresses on on the like list, as are some jeans.  Skorts, shorts and most pants are not on the list.  Cowgirl boots, Crocs, and flip-flops are hits, shoes that tie, low cut shirts are misses.  Socks with seams, boy shorts are out, pink is in.  Shoes with heels-yes, hats-no.  It has been fun to watch her style develop over time, but I sometimes miss the days that I could pick out her clothes every day.

     I on the other hand, have no clue about style.  I usually feel like a fashion don't, but I try to be comfortable at all times.  For work, I don't have much of a choice...brown/khaki bottoms, green top.  Boring, but nice to not think about my choices at 3 am when I am getting ready.  The rest of the time, I struggle with finding clothes that I like and that look good on me.  I don't like to spend money on myself, so I tend to buy from the clearance racks.  Colors that work on me...I haven't a clue.  I know that I like my hair long, but truly, that is so I can pull it back out of my way!

     Since my surgery, I have been wearing longer skirts, and I like them.  Casual, comfortable, and cool in the heat, easy to pair with a tee shirt and one of my two pair of sandals!  When cooler weather gets here, I will be in jeans when in public, cozy pj pants at home.  Tennis shoes or my boots cover my feet.  Shoe shopping is usually torture for me, I am so not a girl sometimes!  For me, it is all about the comfort, not really about the look.

     I envy the people that always look so put together all the time.  They make it look effortless.  You know the ones...they have jeans with a cute top and the exact right jacket, and shoes that match.  I don't think that I will ever be one of those people.  I just hope that I look presentable in what I am wearing!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Life without Poise

     I don't even know where to start this post.  As a 48 year old woman, it is embarrassing to admit that I pee my pants.  Buying Poise pads is not a cool thing to do, but for the past year, I should have gotten a bulk discount.  I kept thinking that things would get better, but they didn't.  I had a conversation just under a year ago with my family doctor about my bladder issues.  I decided to wait.  Then I ended up with the flu.  And I was sick for over a month...coughing, puking, peeing for hours at a time.  It was time to see a urologist.  

     The first visit was painless, just a consultation.  The next two visits were not so much fun.  A test to see how full my bladder could get...and then to see how much it leaks.  Yea, not a fun afternoon.  And not easy to maintain any sense of dignity during the test either.  The next test was a scope just to take a look at my inner working.  And then I got the results from the doctor.  His official wording..."I have the bladder of a 67 year old woman" and I "leak like a sieve". doctor is a comedian.  Jim thought the doctor should take his show on the road.  The laughter did help with my embarrassment, but still....  
     The doctor recommended surgery.  I have never had surgery before, so I was scared.  And he recommended the mesh know the one that you see all the commercials for.  Hmmmm, what an option.  Jim did some research and we did discuss the medical issues with the doctor.  After weighing the odds, I decided that I wanted relief.  I wanted to be able to run, jump, and sneeze without the fear of wetting my pants.  

     I had surgery two weeks ago.  It went well according to the comedian, I mean doctor.  I didn't have much pain, but I was sore.  According to the nurses, my pain tolerance is pretty high.  I am still recovering slowly.  I sit on a pillow.  I am not ready to run yet and I am not supposed to do any lifting.  I go back to the doctor in three weeks.  Hopefully I will get a clean bill of health.

     So many people have been very supportive.  I have received messages from friends telling me that they have had the surgery and are so happy that they did.  I had other people tell me that a friend of their sisters cousin had it done and it was horrible.  I am choosing to look on the positive side of this surgery.  I am choosing to look forward to being normal again, to not plan my life around a bathroom.  I hope that I am able to overcome the embarrassment so that others wont' have to suffer as I did.  I hope that I can save money and not have to buy anymore Poise pads.

     If you see me playing tag or laughing hard or sneezing without crossing my know that the surgery was successful!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tending the Fire...

     I have a friend who talks about being on fire for God.  I love seeing her face when she says that she is on fire for Him~her whole face lights up.  She has gone through a lot in the past year and through it all, she has been seeking God.  I have watched her journey throughout the year and I love seeing the changes in her.  She is truly on fire!

     Over the past few months, I feel like my fire has been burning out.  It is not out, but the flames have been getting weak.  I can make all sorts of excuses why this has happened, but they are just that, excuses.  I have made choices that have caused my flame to become weaker.  I have allowed other things to suck my time away from my prayer time.  I have become engrossed in books, that while good books, are taking time from reading my "instruction manual for life"...the Bible.

     So it is time to become intentional about my prayer time again.  It is time to seek God through His Word again.  It is time to pull back from some of the distractions of life to focus on the important things.  I don't mean that I am leaving all my fun times behind, I am just prioritizing my life.  God needs to come first...I know that when I have Him first, the rest of my life falls into place the way that it should.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Beach!

     We ended our vacation at the beach.  Disney might be the happiest place on Earth, but being ocean side makes my heart happy.  I was born, and still live, in landlocked Indiana, but I am at peace near the ocean.  The sounds, smells, and sights of the water quiet my mind and soothe my soul.  I haven't been to the ocean in six has been a long six years!

     Jim found a small hotel in Ormond-by-the-Sea.  It wasn't fancy, but it was clean.  There were two beds, a small microwave and fridge, a television, a table and chairs, a bathroom, all the necessary things in a hotel room!  I am leaving out the best feature of this older, small hotel room.  It has a small balcony with a direct view of the ocean.  I was happy.

     We went for a walk on the beach...just to get our toes wet and feel the sand between our feet.  The water was cold, but beautiful.  The kids loved it.  They kept inching out farther into the water, regardless of what Jim and I said.  It wasn't long before they both "fell" in the water and were soaked.  But it was all good, we were in the ocean!  We decided that it was time to take of practical!  We got the kids showered and changed, then headed to the grocery store to stock up for the next day.  We had a quick bite of deli food and then headed out to explore the area.  We drove down the road to Daytona Beach.  We walked along the boardwalk and took in the sights.  As the rain started to roll in, we headed back to the hotel for bed!

     Friday morning, my early bird Delainey woke me up and we went for an early walk on the beach.  She and I snuck out to watch the sunrise, collect shells, and enjoy the morning.  It was an almost perfect morning!  We woke the boys up for breakfast and then it was beach time.  We loaded up on sunscreen and went out. Jim found a vendor who rents out chairs and umbrellas on the beach.  I want her job one day....sitting by the water, putting out chairs and umbrellas for tourists!  We spent a good part of the day playing in the water, having a beach picnic, and enjoying ourselves!  We decided that it was time to head in so that none of us got burnt.  We headed out for an afternoon trip!
     The kids fell asleep in the car, so Jim and I decided to head to St Augustine, FL, about an hour away.  We ended up at a lighthouse and decided to make the trip to the top!  Bryce didn't want to stop, but once he saw the lighthouse, he was good.  Delainey wanted to stop, but once she saw 219 steps, she didn't want to go.  She and I went very slowly and stopped on each landing to overcome her fear of heights.  It was awesome to finally reach the top!  Jim and I wanted to spend time walking around St Augustine, but the kids were done.  We stopped to eat on our way back to the hotel and watched a little tv to unwind for bedtime.  Jim and I had a drink to celebrate our 10th anniversary.

     Saturday morning, we packed up early, and headed down to the beach for a final walk.  I was sad, but it was a beautiful morning for a walk.  And then we drove...and drove....and drove....  Jim decided that he was going to drive until he was tired.  When we got to Louisville, he started to get sleepy, but we were only an hour away, so he kept driving.  We finally go home around 11 or so.  The kids were sleepy, but happy to see Granny and Grampy Bob at our house!  Vacation is great, but as Dorthy says "There's no place like home"!

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Parks!

     I don't know that I have the words to describe the parks at Disney, but I am going to make an attempt!

     We spent our first and last days at the Magic Kingdom.  It truly was a magical place.  My highlight of the Magic Kingdom was our lunch in Cinderella's Castle.  I was weepy watching my baby get to hug the princesses.  She was so worried that she wouldn't see them all, but they all stopped by, hugged her, and gave her an autograph.  I know that this was a meal that she will never forget.  We all enjoyed Splash Mountain...since it was already raining, we didn't mind getting even more wet!  Bryce wasn't sure about going to Enchanted Tales with Belle, until he was picked to play Beast.  He got to dance with Belle and the look on his face was priceless!  Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Monster's, Inc were all big hits with us.

     We spent our second day at Epcot.  It was hot, we were cranky, and we probably enjoyed this day the least, although we still had fun.  It was Jim's birthday, so it was very cool to hear all the cast members tell him happy birthday all day.  We missed a lot of Epcot because we were just so hot.  We loved Soarin', Turtle Talk, and The Seas with Nemo.  We spent some time in the Around the World area, but not enough.  We tried the missions with Agent P, but I don't know if it was us, the heat, or what, but we didn't enjoy the process.  I can see where it would be cool, but we just wanted to be done!  We chose to leave after our meal at the Garden Grill (great food while spinning around) because we all were cranky.  We went back to the resort and spent time at the pool which was much better for our family.

     Up next was Animal Kingdom.  We enjoyed the atmosphere, but we depended on maps to get around the park because the park is so large.  The Kilimanjaro Safari was so much fun...I want to be one of the drivers on that ride, I don't think that I would ever get tired of seeing the animals.  We all love Expedition Everest...Delainey is a Big Foot fan, so a ride about Yeti is pretty cool to her!  We left plenty on the table for us to do next time.  We left early so that we could check out Downtown Disney.  I wanted to shop and I drug the family along with me!  We got gifts for our family and a cool ornament for our Christmas tree.

     Hollywood Studios seemed like it was the hardest park to navigate.  I felt like we were walking the wrong direction so often.  There were times that we were the only ones walking down a street, which seems odd in place like Disney.  Tower of Terror was worth the trip.  Delainey saw it once on tv and she couldn't wait...until she was on the ride.  She was in tears when the ride was over, but now is ready to go again.  Luckily, we got a fastpass for Toy Story Mania, it was crazy how long the wait was for the ride and fastpasses.  It was fun and we would have liked to do it again, but the lines were crazy.  The weather caused our biggest disappointment  of the day.  Bryce was looking forward to Jedi training.  We ran through the park to get in line to make sure that we were able to a time for the kids.  When it was time, we were eager for the kids to face Darth Vador.  Just as they were ready to go out on stage, the sky opened up and it poured.  We were canceled.  We did get to get pictures taken with Darth and some Storm Troopers, but it wasn't the same.

     We missed a bunch of things that were on my lists, but we adjusted to what worked best for the four of us.  I have been told that it is best to go to Disney with a plan, but be willing to adjust the plan if needed.  We did that each day.  It just means that we need to go back in a few years to do all the things that we skipped this time!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Trip...Stage One!

     When Jim and I decided to go to Disney, we decided that we would surprise Delainey and Bryce (my nephew) with the destination.  We let them think we were going to Marco Island, FL...going as far as picking out a condo to show them.  We also decided that we would break the drive there into shorter trips since we weren't sure how the kids would travel together.  Jim was in charge of the pre and post Disney events.  My only qualification is that I needed to spend at least a day by the ocean.

     Jim planned our first stop in Chattanooga, TN.  We both looked at things to do there...the top three were Ruby Falls, Rock City, and the Incline Railway.  After much debate, research, and Facebook opinion polls, we decided to go to Ruby Falls and Rock City.  Ruby Falls was beautiful, but it was a struggle for me.  I don't like being in enclosed underground waterfall is pretty enclosed, but it was well worth my stress!  The guide that we had was great...she made everyone laugh, kept us moving, and was very informative.  The waterfall is amazing as is the journey to get there!

D and Bryce looking at the Fall.

     After we left Ruby Falls, we went to Rock City.  I had no clue what Rock City was, even after all my research.  We walked through various rock formations, garden areas, and even over a suspension bridge.  There were some cheesy areas that were fun...sculptures painted and lite up with black lights, lots of gnomes that freaked Bryce out, and fairy tale scenes that Delainey loved.  There is a spot that you can see 7 different states, although I am not sure how you can tell.  We enjoyed the trip, but since we go on hikes whenever possible, it wasn't something "special" to us.  I am glad that we did it, but don't need to do it again.

Getting ready to head into "Fat Mans Squeeze

     We left early Saturday morning with nothing planned except making it to Ocala, FL for the night.  It was a long drive, with construction traffic in Atlanta.  The kids were troopers.  When we made it to Ocala, we checked in, had a great bbq dinner, and then went swimming.  Jim took the kids down to swim while I got things ready for the the reveal.  It was hard to contain my excitement while the kids showered and got ready for bed.  We told them we had some news for them...I gave them a postcard from Mickey Mouse.  He told the kids that he couldn't wait to see them.  It took a minute for everything to sink in, but when it did, there were screams!  It was a great moment for Jim and I!
That says it all!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Vacation Time

     Jim and I decided very early in our relationship that vacations were really important to us.  Jim has great memories of trips that he took with his parents.  I don't have as many memories, but I wanted to build those for our family.  We have been blessed that we have been able to take some great vacations in the ten years of our marriage.  We have several ways of saving money on our trips, but we still have a great time.  We tend to travel to places that are "off-season".  We stay in condos or cabins where we are able to make our own meals at home.  We are car travelers rather than fliers...we like the journey just as much as the destination.

     Our first trip was our honeymoon in Key West.  It was off season, we stayed at a bed and breakfast.  We had a great time.  We will be back one day.  A couple of years later, we took the boys and rented a cabin in Gatlinburg, TN.  We had meals at the cabin and did lots of hiking. Our next big trip was Marco Island, FL.  Again, it was off season, so we had a great condo at an even better price.  We drove and it was a tight fit with both boys and D in her car seat.  It was an amazing relaxing and peaceful.  We have rented cabins in Wisconsin and Michigan as well.  All the trips have been pretty budget friendly, relaxing, and just what we needed at the time.

     This year, we went way outside our comfort zone and planed an all out Disney.  Our first step was to call Abbi at Hi Ho Vacations to make some decisions.  We knew a few things we wanted (a meal at Cinderella's castle, a meal with Winne the Pooh), so we told her and then let her do her magic.  When she got back with us, she had a wonderful trip planned....4 nights, 5 days, meals planned, room booked.  All that was left for us to do was sign our contract and send her some money!  It was so easy to let Abbi handle all the details, any time I had a question, she got an answer for me, even when we were at the parks!

     We had an incredible time at Disney!  So much so, that we are already planning our return trip (hopefully 2015).  Disney is truly a magical place...I can't begin to explain how much we loved this vacation (although I plan to try in the next few posts that I write).

Jim, Nancy, Delainey, and Bryce
entering the Magic Kingdom for the first time!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Summer fun~Predmore style!

     Delainey and I made our "Summer Fun" list for the next two months that she is not in school.  It is a pretty big list considering that Jim and I both are working and both will have surgeries during this time as well!

     We have already checked off a few things on our list....farmer's Market, play date, and park. We go to the farmer's market most Saturdays, Jim arranges his schedule so that he is able to go with us as well.  Parks and play dates will hopefully happen often.  Delainey wanted to include Kids Commons in Columbus because she loves the giant toilet and Wonder Lab in Bloomington because I have never been there.  I am hoping that we can make a trip to Indianapolis so that we can have sushi (Wild Ginger, if you have never been, check them out), visit Conner Prairie, and maybe even the zoo. 

     We have some big activities planned as well as some quiet ones.  Some are things that Jim and Delainey love to do together (fishing and movies) and others are things that she and I love to do together (crafting and reading).  Camping and hiking are some of our favorite family activities, we are so glad that we live close to a great state park for hiking!  I am pretty sure that we can count making our poster as part of our crafting time.    We are also planning some educational things here and there, but hopefully they will be fun learning times for us all (book reports~no, really I have some fun forms to use, math games, Banana-grams, and some science experiments~anyone ever put a bar of Ivory soap in a microwave?).  I don't want our brains turning into mush!

     I know that more things will happen that aren't on the list and I am looking forward to our fun filled summer!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

In Sickness and More Sickness?

     If anyone had asked me a year ago if I thought my family was healthy, I would have said yes.  Sure, we had a few illnesses, allergies, but really nothing major.  We had a family doctor, but didn't see him very often--we liked it that way.  And then, life changed....

     In October of last year, Jim was diagnosed with cancer of the tongue.  Really, who gets tongue cancer?   Jim and I both agreed not to look up all the scary stuff online.  I did pretty good with that, most of the time.  We followed the advice of Jim's doctors and Jim worked hard during his radiation treatments.  He fought through the exhaustion, the loss of appetite, the feelings of helplessness.  He fought harder than I have ever seen anyone fight before.  His doctors are amazed at the speed of his recovery.  Every time he sees them, they remark on how strong he is and how well he is doing.  Because his immune system is weak, he has to take care of himself.  He has had strep twice since treatment has stopped.  He also has been dealing with allergies and sinus infections.  He is now looking at surgery for polyps in his nasal passage sometime later this year.

     I stayed healthy during Jim's treatments, tired, but healthy.  I knew that we both couldn't be down at the same time.  But shortly after he went back to work, my body started to rebel.  I was tired, worn out, and ready to let someone else be in charge for a while.  I ended up with the flu.  It was something that I hope not to repeat anytime soon.  Then I ended up with a cough that lasted for over a month.  It took 2 rounds of antibiotics to kick it out of my body.  The cough led to bigger issues for me.  I finally went to see a urologist about my issue that many women deal with every day.  In his words I "have the plumbing of a 67 year old" at the age of 47.  I will be getting the issue fixed in June and I am so looking forward to being about to run, jump, and sneeze without worry!  I have never had allergy issues but I am now taking medication for my allergies.

     Delainey ended up with the flu as well.  I felt horrible for exposing her, but luckily, hers wasn't as severe as mine.  She bounced back quickly.  However, she is her daddy's girl in so many ways, she has developed big issues with allergies.  Southern Indiana is beautiful, but allergy issues are common here.  She is taking the same medication as Jim and I now, just a lesser dosage.  I have asked for a family discount!  And then my baby ended up with Fifth's Disease.  Most kids get this at some point and they barely know that they have it--low grade fever and a rash.  D had a high fever for a few days and a rash that seemed to last forever.  We went to the doctor the day that she told me she wanted to take a nap.    He confirmed Fifth's Disease and said that she could be tired for up to two weeks until the virus worked its way out of her.

     One of my friends remarked that my family seemed to be under a black cloud lately.  I agreed with her at first, but the more I have thought about this, the more I disagree, or I at least see the silver lining in that black cloud.    Yes, we have taken a hit healthwise this past year, but we have learned many lessons through our illnesses.  We have learned to lean on each other fully.  We have learned to ask for help when we need it.  We have learned to accept help gratefully.  We have experienced love without deserving that love.  We have strengthened our faith in God.  We have learned to put things in proper perspective.  We are able to share our experience s with others.  So, while I am ready for this chapter in our life to end, I am grateful for the lessons that we have learned.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


     This past weekend, I went on a spiritual journey, an Emmaus Walk.  I spent Thursday evening until Sunday evening without a phone and I had no clue what time it was the entire weekend.  I went alone, I didn't know any of the other women who were on the journey with me.  I spent the entire time thinking about my relationship with God.  I cried and laughed, I sang and prayed, I thought and wrote, I even got to use some glitter.  I felt the love of friends and strangers.  I made new friends.  I got to know myself better.  I got to know God better.

     I don't have the words to explain the feelings that I have about my journey.  Amazing doesn't even begin to cover the weekend, but that is all I can say.  I am still processing much of the weekend.  In the weeks ahead, I will be spending time with a dear friend (or two) and we will be taking our journeys further out into our worlds.

     I do have two things that are clinging with me from the weekend.  The first is how much my attitude affects everyone around me...especially my family.  I gave God my lack of patience.  I am sure that I will try to take it back from Him, but I need to let it go.  I see my daughter already picking up on my lack of patience, so I am trying and praying to be better, calmer, quieter.  In turn, that will make me a better wife, mother, friend.

     The other thing that is still with me is the feeling of love that I was surrounded by the entire weekend.  My purpose here is to spread that love to others, in as many ways that I can.  I want to take the love that was given to me~by friends, family, strangers, and most of all, God~and pass it on to others.  I want others to know that pure, agape love that I felt this weekend.


Saturday, April 13, 2013


     I have had a few stumbling blocks in the past couple of  months that I have allowed to become roadblocks in my path.  I am trying to get rid of these roadblocks and "confessing" them is the first step for me.  I have allowed these minor details in my life to become big excuses for staying in same old place.

     In February, I ended up with the flu.  I was pretty sick...not sure I remember when I was that sick.  I called in to work, which I don't do, I stayed in bed.  I ended up sick for most of March, with a cough that wouldn't end.  Then Delainey ended up with the flu as well...a minor case, but she was still sick.  Jim had strep throat not once but twice.  All this was just stuff, we all recovered.  I allowed it to derail my plans for becoming stronger.

     Up until all this sickness started, I had been reading my devotional and spending dedicated time with God almost every evening before bed.  While I was sick, I slept all the time and had little energy to do anything at all.  I got out of the habit.  I would read one day, but the next, I would fall asleep on the couch until I crawled into bed.  Even now, I stay up later than I should and when it is time to go to bed, I am wiped out.  My plan is to start getting ready for bed at 9 so that I can be there by 9:30 and have my quiet time from 9:30-10.  I miss this time and I feel much better when it is part of my daily routine.

     My exercise had just started to take off.  I was moving a little more each day...playing on the X-Box with D, planking each day to work on my core.  When I got sick, I developed some other issues that make exercise no fun.  I don't want to give a lot of details, but childbirth, being out of shape, and getting older are not always friendly to women.  I am seeing a doctor to work on this.  I have committed to walking 15 minutes a day, 4 times a week.  Again, I haven't done great with it, but I have a goal.  I don't want to be wiped out when we are walking around on vacation.  I don't have a choice with this!

     I have had a lot of stress at work, which had lead to lots of stress eating.  I am learning a new position  in addition to the one that I already have. It has been my choice to do this, but I am overwhelmed with learning.  My store just finished with inventory, which is amazingly stressful in the job that I do.  If the store has a good inventory, it is a great feeling.  If it is bad, a crew will come in and look at everything I have done for the previous twelve months.  Inventory is over and it turned out well, so that stress is gone for several months.  I have some training come up, so I will be learning my new position.  My excuses for stress eating are going away.  I know how to eat better, I need to just start.

     Today, I start back on my path to becoming stronger.  I have said it before, I will keep saying over and steps.  Babies don't start off running marathons, they start crawling, then one step at a time until they are confident.  I am back to the baby steps again, but I am back.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

In my mind vs reality

In my mind:

I have written at least 10 posts since my last one
I have deep cleaned my house.
I have lessons for Children's Church posted and ready until school starts.
I have menu-planned and cooked from scratch at least 4 times a week.
I have all the laundry current, including having it put away.
I have planned out a small garden for the summer.
I have mastered a new position at work.
I have written letters to my friends just to say hi.
I have lost 20 pounds.
I have been exercising daily.
I have been reading my devotional daily.
I have new hair style and color.

The reality:

I finally sat down to write tonight.
The dust gets blown off the shelves occasionally, the dishes are clean, and the vacuum cleaner still works.
I have next Sunday's lesson almost written.
We haven't gone hungry and we get a home cooked meal once or twice a week.
We all have clean clothes to wear every day.
I have friends who garden and they might be willing to share with me!
I am totally overwhelmed with that new position, but inventory is over for another year.
I text and chat with my friends on Facebook.
I haven't gained 20 pounds.
I at least think about exercising daily.
I am behind in my daily devotional, but still reading.
Same old style, same grey hair.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


"If I speak in the tongues of men and angels,
but have not love,
I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal"
1 Corinthians 13:1

     I was part of a conversation the other day about the word love.  Many of the people said that they only used the word love for their immediate family.  They feel that if you use the term to much, it loses its meaning. They have no problem telling their spouses or children that they love them (and most say it often to them), but they rarely tell others "I love you".  I think that is sad...I have enough love to go around and I want my friends to know that I love them.

     I love my husband with all my heart.  I tell him often that I love him.  I try to show him every day that I love him.  He tells me the same.  I don't remember the last time that we didn't say I love you at least once during the course of the day.  Jim and I both tell Delainey that we love her every day.  We want her to know that she is loved completely.  We tell the boys that we love them every time we talk to them.  No matter what, they are our children and we will always love them.

     I tell my family members that I love them.  Any time that I talk to my brother, we end the call with saying that we love each other.  I love my family.  We aren't perfect, in fact we have lots of flaws, but I love them all. I would say that I even love the crazy cousin in the family, but I have been told by some that I am the crazy cousin.  I am not sure about that one...

     I don't remember when I started telling my friends that I love them, but I have always loved my friends.  I can't imagine my life without my friends. I cannot imagine not telling them that I love them.  I don't say it every time I talk to them, but I say it often enough to let them know I mean it. Sometimes I tell a friend that I love them because I think that they need to hear it that day.  If you are my friend, I have probably already said that I love you, but if not, just wait, you will hear it at some point!

     I have come to realize that my job here is to show love and to give love to others.  The really cool thing about that, the more that I share my love, the more love I feel from others.  I try (and I fail often) to love people, even when I don't want to love them.  We all need love.  We all need to know that others love us, even when we don't feel lovable.

     Just know, my friends, I truly love you!  I leave you with the most important thought about love:

"This is My commandment:
 that you love one another
as I have loved you"
John 15:12

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Stronger....Month Two

     I am still taking baby steps to becoming stronger in 2013.  Rather than trying to make a bunch of big changes all at once, I making slow, gradual changes in my life.  Every three to four weeks, I plan on adding something new to my life.  January I focused on becoming stronger in my faith.  I spent time each day with a devotional, the Bible, and prayer.  I have come to look forward to that time each night.  I truly feel that my faith in God is become stronger and deeper than ever before.

     My next focus is becoming stronger through healthy eating.  I wish that I could say my body craves healthy foods.  It doesn't.  Coke, cookies, Little Debbie snack cakes, Jalapeno Cheddar Cheetos ....mmmmm!  I have found that if I cut these foods out completely, I will binge on them at some point.  I have to portion them out in moderation, which is hard.  There are some foods that I cannot have at home or I will eat them all.  It is better for me to have one ice cream at Dairy Queen than to have an entire gallon at home.  I have gotten much better, but I still have a long way to go!

     I want to eat more "real" foods.  Jim and I agree that real food is much better for all us.  We don't mind paying more for certain things if we know that they are better for our bodies.  Processed foods bother me.  Chemicals in my foods bother me.  Chemicals in my daughter's food bothers me even more.  It is hard to cook from scratch.  It takes time to plan the menu.  It takes time to grocery shop.  It takes longer to prepare the meals.  It is worth the time and effort to feed myself and my family food that is better for us.  I am getting better about making things ahead of time and freezing them for a quick meal.  Much better than going to the local fast food place.

     In the spring and summer months, my family and I make weekly trips to the local farmer's market.  The food is local.  It doesn't have chemicals added to it to make it last longer.  The meat is hormone free and we know the people who raise the cattle.  We can talk to the growers of our food.  We can ask what things are and how they should be cooked.  There is also a local whole food co-op not far from us.  There isn't a large variety (we live in a small town), but we always come away from there with something fun for us to try. I am also going to try my hand at having a small garden this summer.  How much more local can that be?  I am not promising that veggies will grow, but I am going to give it a try~my grandma would be proud of me!

     Hopefully, the steps that I am taking will make me stronger.  I am trying!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


     I started picking a word for my year two years ago.

     In 2011, I was not in a good place in many ways.  I choose "better" for my word.  I focused on taking baby steps to making my like better and it did get better.  I adjusted to our move, although it took me a long time for that.  I like to think that I became a better wife and mother.  I was able to transfer to a new job that continues to make my life better.

     Last year, my word was "healthy".  It doesn't seem like a good word for 2012 when I factor in the fact that Jim was diagnosed with cancer, but the fact that it was caught early is due to the fact that we found a family doctor that we trust.  We all saw doctors last year when things started to get bad rather than waiting until things were out of control.  We found a church to help with our spiritual health.   Again, we took baby steps to our heath last year, so it was a good word for me, just not in the way that I planned.

     This year, my word is "stronger".  I had another word planned for the year, but stronger ties all aspects of my life together, including the other word.

     Stronger in my faith.

     Stronger in my family.

     Stronger in my body.

     Stronger in my mind.

     Stronger in my talents.

     Stronger in my finances.

     Stronger in my relationships.

     Stronger in ways that I can't even imagine yet!