Saturday, May 30, 2009

Be a true follower...don't just go through the motions.....

The Motions..Matthew West

Luke 9:23

23Then he said to them all:
"If anyone would come after me,
he must deny himself and take up his cross daily

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Waiting on Little Jack...

Rachel and Rich are ready. The bags to take to the hospital have been packed for awhile now. Jack's momma and daddy have been nesting like crazy ever since they found out about him. Their doctor says he's 7lbs 3oz already and has a full head of he's using up every little space his mamma has to give him! Somethings gotta give!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

On the subject of movie popcorn...

Dick and I went to our local movie theater twice this past was kind of rainy. Located in the Highlands neighborhood, Baxter Avenue Filmworks is the kind of theater that offers first-run, foreign, and independent fare.

Dick really wanted to see, Night at the Museum-Battle of the Smithsonian. I wanted to see,
Is Anybody Out There? with Micheal Caine.. love him. We try to go before 6pm to save some money on tickets. However, as soon as we hit the door we are faced with this...

{{{{{{The concession stand}}}}}}

Since we started counting calories over a year ago we have found that a Junior or Small popcorn is all we really need and we split a large coke zero. Several times when I have ordered a Junior popcorn the concession workers eye bug out and they point to the tiny bag and say, "Do you realize how small this is ???!!" Yes I do...I ordered it! ;-)

Now compounded, we are pinching pennies...evidently, we are not the only ones. We decided on the second movie to forgo the popcorn and eat out after. Well....everyone, I mean everyone in the movie theater had popcorn and were going to town on it. Maybe I was just more aware since I wasn't eating any...but boy oh boy! Do people ever LOVE popcorn! I leaned over to Dick and said.."at our next party, we are serving POPCORN!"

Getting back to the evidently we are not the only ones pinching pennies...most of those people that were munching on popcorn had brought theirs from home! The two ladies next to me each had the large size zip-lock bags full of greasy looking of them had even reused a bag like the one above to store her homemade popcorn inside her zip-lock bag. They had bought theater cokes...didn't get to know them well enough to find out that story.

The couple in front of us had those little 100 calorie bags and cans of Pepsi One.....lots of little 100 calorie bags, she keep pulling them out of her very large purse and handing them to her husband. They might as well go ahead and pop one of those larger bags of popcorn before they come next time...way less work! (Didn't get to know them either.)

At the huge Cinemark Tinsel Town movie theater we go to, you never see people bringing their own snacks to the movie much....must be the smaller theater thingy. I did have a guy eat a huge hamburger while sitting right next to me at Tinsel Town once....that is just not right! That greasy hamburger oniony smell throws the whole theater experience way off!!! Sickening really.

It just got me to thinking about how important popcorn is to the whole movie theater experience it a conspiracy? I'm thinking not....just comfort....popcorn makes us happy and comfortable!

Meet you at the concession stand!

PS: Sissy and her family made it safely to Guangzhou...they have already eaten at Lucy's! I posted a video of Leah calling her Aunt Jennie on her blog...check it out! China has blocked Sis from posting on blogger, so she sends them to me via e-mail.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ice Cream Cones....

My sweet Kate..

Precious Leah....

Adorable Sam.....

Somehow this last week all these pictures appeared in my Gmail.

They all warmed my heart and made me smile.

Come on Jack....your cousins are waiting, ice cream is good!!

Sissy's Blog, they leave for Guangzhou tomorrow. (Which is our tonight)

Please say a prayer...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Climb every mountain!!

Or at least a hill...

This is the first hill Dick and I climb on our walk at Cherokee Park. The city closed the lane on the left for exercise. It's steeper than it looks and winds around pretty good. We walk pretty fast but bikers, runners and mothers with baby strollers breeze by us every day. Keeps us striving to do more...push ourselves out of our comfort zone.

This is the second's a doozy!!
Our goal is to jog up it.
We can jog down it no biggy....up it,
not yet....but we will.

January 2008, if you would have told me I would be walking in Cherokee Park 4 miles a day...up 3 steep winding hills....I would have said dream on!
I had trouble walking up a few steps.
Now I head for the hills instead of the food.

Climb every mountain,
forge every stream,
follow every rainbow
till you find your dream!

If you need motivation check out this Spark People Story.
Or Southern Living 7 reason reasons to get outdoors.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

"Something Heavenly"...

"Whatever your Doing"
Sanctus Real

Romans 5: 1-5
Peace and Joy
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2through whom we have gained access
by faith
into this grace in which we now stand.
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces
4perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5And hope does not disappoint us,
because God has poured out His
love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit,
whom he has given us.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day

My dad served in the Navy during World War 2, he was a fight instructor.
My son Brad served in the Navy too...Nuclear Submarine.
Dick served in the Army National Guard.
I'm so proud of them and all the men who served our great country.....America.
God Bless America
Please keep Kate in your prayers...Leah, Sis and Shawn too.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A picture says a thousand words...

Be still my heart!

Talked to Sis, Shawn and Leah through Skype a few minutes ago. Melissa is so amazing! Kate is already "communicating" with her, laughing and eating a bowl of soup with noodles. Baby steps...

Thank you for your prayers, they are certainly being felt!
Please continue to lift them up in prayer!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The bed....

Nothing quite says it like the bed.
Three years ago when Sis and I walked into our hotel room in Chongqing China.... the first thing we saw was the bed.
That's when all the paper work, waiting, more paper work, tears, and still more waiting all become a distant past.....we have a bed!!

I was so glad to get Melissa's e-mail...they made it all in one piece...thank you God and please continue to watch over them and bring comfort to our Kate...let her feel the love straight to her little heart. We know it will take time ....she is so precious to us and we ask for your help.
Please pray for the peace that passes all understanding for them.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

They are in China!!

Melissa and her family should be landing right now... 9:15pm Beijing China time.

Pray they can get some rest and get their barrings!

Completely switching day and night....whew!

Sis, Shawn, Leah and Jennie will spend the night in Beijing and then on to Xinyang City tomorrow!

Can't wait for that first blog will be a good one!

Monday, May 18, 2009


My daughter Melissa (Sissy) and my son Rich.

Eminently, will both be blessed with babies.

Rich and his wife Rachel, are waiting minute by minute for

little Jack to decide to be born......can't wait!

Melissa, Shawn, Leah and Shawn's sister Jennie left Sunday morning for China...

After spending last night in Los Angeles they will

be leaving for Beijing, traveling through Tokyo this afternoon.

They will spend one night in Beijing and then travel on to Xinyang in the

Henan Province to finally meet

I just talked to Melissa. They are waiting for their flight to Tokyo. Melissa said she feels every one's prayers. Leah did great on the 5 hour flight to Los Angeles....I'll leave the details for Sis to tell on her blog later....she feels she might be able to blog a bit tomorrow night.

Please continue to hold them up in prayer for their journey and for the Lord to prepare Kate's heart for her new family. We love her so!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy Mothers Day to all my girls!!

Happy Mothers Day to my daughter Melissa,

"daughter"-in-law Rachel and "daughter"-in-law Cheri To Melissa who was the first of our children to become a mom ......

How blessed is Leah to have you for a mom!

Leah loves you so much and wants to be just like you.....

I think that's a good idea...
you are a wonderful role model.

I love you dearly and salute you! You are an amazing Mom!

Little Kate has no idea what a great Mommy God has given her.....

Soon and very soon!!

To Cheri, you know how I feel about are my hero, Moscow Mommy!

Sam has the perfect Mom in you....dedicated, loving and sure.

You have been so sweet to your own Mom, I really admire you!

I love, love , love you and salute you! You are an amazing Mom!

To Rachel, our mommy in waiting.

June is so close and soon you will have your precious

baby boy safe in your arms.

I know without a doubt you will be a wonderful mommy.

I love you sweety and salute you! You will be an amazing Mom.

Thank you my three girls for being the best daughters any

Mom could ever hope for!


Mothers Day is always a little melancholy for me....I really try to celebrate the memory of my Mom instead of being sad she's not here.

Momma was an angel on earth..... I was blessed to have her in my life.

~~~Here's a poem about Mom that my son Rich

wrote when he was in High School. ~~~

Hug a mom!!

Looking for a few good people who have lost weight and kept it off....

I just read where Kirstie Alley gained all her weight back.... loved Kirstie when she was on the TV show Cheers...funny, funny lady. I want her to be happy. Jennie Craig should personally apologize to Kirstie. Here she is beating herself up...hate that! Who can stay on Jenny Craig forever!! Maybe Jenny, but what about the rest of us?

Where are the people who have lost weight and kept it off for the long-term? We need them to come out of the woodwork. had a great article about the 5% that have lost weight and kept it off....
The 5%…do these five things

...Make It Public
. The 5% generally don’t keep their weight loss efforts to themselves. They recruit supporters. They ask for help. They swap war stories with friends. They give and take encouragement. Often a goal buddy is involved, or at least a positive, supportive friend who holds the dieter accountable. Studies show that just by writing down or announcing your goals, you automatically increase your chances of success. Keeping a Community Journal or blog is a non-threatening, productive way to make your goals public.
Pay Attention. A permanent, healthy lifestyle is created on purpose. Planning, tracking, reading menus, asking questions, following progress reports—they’re all part of the 5% strategy of knowing what’s going on and preventing setbacks. This crowd doesn’t believe in fooling themselves or relying on chance to make things happen. Usually (if not always) aware of the foods they eat, and on the lookout for opportunities to stay active, they know that good health is no accident. Nutrition Trackers and Fitness Planners play key roles in this strategy.
Enjoy Themselves. There’s a reason that a healthy lifestyle sticks around for this small minority. They make weight loss a positive experience and have fun with it. Because they feel good about their goals and their new habits, they also feel good about themselves and what they’ve accomplished. Programs based on negative messages, dread, resignation, or criticism are doomed to disappear. Optimists are proven to reach more goals than pessimists. They also live healthier, longer lives.
Make Gradual Changes. The 5% know that permanent change is a process, not a 21-day event. Able to see what waits on the horizon, they spend time building a few small habits at a time, rather than diving into a program that’s totally incompatible with their current lifestyle. Too much too soon is like moving to a new country and expecting to adopt the new culture and language in a week. It works much better if you simply stick around and pick up a few bits and pieces at a time.
Allow Themselves To Fail. It’s a guaranteed certainty. Every one of the 5% has failed at some point along their weight loss journey. The difference is that they learned to forgive setbacks and refused to beat themselves up. Every failure is simply one step closer to ultimate success. With this outlook, and using lessons learned along the way, they kept these setbacks from turning into full-fledged disasters.

From the Biggest Loser I got this recipe from their web site that rocks! I love the idea of making meatloaf and baking it in muffin tins to control portion it!

Tara's Turkey Mini-Meatloaf

Ingredients For Meat Loaf
1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 stalk of celery, coarsely chopped
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 (20-ounce) package JENNIE-O TURKEY STORE® lean ground turkey breast
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
2 egg whites
For Topping:1/4 cup fat free and sugar free ketchup
1 tablespoon chipotle pepper adobo sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar substitute (such as Splenda® Brand)

Cooking Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In the work bowl of a food processor, combine onion, carrots and celery. Pulse until finely chopped. Add chipotle peppers and pulse until just combined.
In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey with the pepper and vegetable mixture. Add egg whites and oats; gently mix until combined.
Place about 1/3 cup of the prepared meatloaf mixture into 9 wells of a standard size muffin pan that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine all of the topping ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
Remove meat loaves from oven and spoon the topping over each meatloaf.
Return meatloaf to the oven and continue to bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until meatloaf is firm and the internal temperature registers 170°F.
Let meatloaf stand for 5 minutes before serving. Makes 9 mini loaves.

Nutritional Information per Serving:
Calories: 110
Protein: 16 g
6 g Fat:
1 g Cholesterol:
25 mg Sodium:
180 mg Saturated
Fat: 0
Fiber: Less than 1 gram

Can someone please let Kirstie Alley know it's okay,
we are human, we mess up...
a lot.
It takes only
doing something
that you are willing to do the rest of your life
to loose the weight and keep it off.
Move more...
Eat less....
Log in your food and exercise!!
Free websites

PS: Go Tara!!

PPS: This
post is so priceless from the Mary Beth Chapman

daughter Melissa and her family are leaving next week for China to gather Kate and bring her home....please say a prayer for them!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Things to keep in the fridge...

This video is Jackie Wicks from I've been following this site for a couple of months ever since I decided to lose a few more pounds and challenge myself even more. You might want to sign up for her e-mails...I did, I need all the help I can get!

This is an example of her articles...she's a young mom and wants her kids as well as herself to eat well. (If you want more videos from Jackie just click on the video and it will take you to the rest of her videos on You-Tube.)

How To Make Vegetables Taste Good: How Even The Ones You Don't Like Can Taste Extraordinary
The title of this post should read, "How to Make Vegetables You Don't Like Taste Extraordinary without Butter and Cheese but that was too long. Butter and Cheese make everything taste extraordinary. The real challenge is how to make green beans taste good without it.

I was with a friend of mine the other day and she mentioned that her two boys ate an entire plate of green beans. I can't even eat an entire plate of green beans, no matter how good they are for you. I don't like the taste.

Then, as I was eating dinner with her family, I watched exactly what she did: She placed a bowl of soy sauce next to the plate for one son and a small bowl of freshly squeezed lemon for the other. Brilliant.

She chose the condiment that they loved the most and her boys, with their new "finger" food, started dipping away. I had never thought of it. I've always dipped fresh broccoli in mustard; it tastes like you're eating hot dogs. It does! Try it and let me know if you agree. The trouble with mustard is that my daughter still likes it, but when my 5 year old decided that he didn't like mustard, there went my vegetable strategy.

My friend Laurie helped me rediscover all the ways that you can make food you don't love, taste like food you can love. Since I'm no different than my children, this was a great realization for me - what other condiments do I like so I can eat green beans and like them? I thought I'd list a few here to give us all some ideas:

- Low sodium soy sauce with wasabi: I happen to love this stuff in my sushi, but I haven't tried it on it's own. If you're allergic to wheat, stay away. My friend's 7 year old loves it.

- Ketchup: They have organic ketchup now, Heinz makes it without the corn syrup. Warning - it doesn't taste as good but if you're children don't know the difference yet, it might be perfect.

- Mustard - my favorite standby: There are so many varieties now that you can most likely find one you like. I love the standard Dijon but honey mustard might be a great dip.

- Chutney: my friend used to be addicted to this stuff. It is an acquired taste.

- Salsa - You can get some great tomatoes and just great taste in general. There are also some mild kinds without all the onions and peppers for the children.

- Fresh squeezed lemon and wasabi: my husband has a wheat allergy so he invented this. It tastes amazing and really "fresh".

- Mashed up avocado with lemon: takes a little more preparation but kids usually love avocado and you're getting a huge extra dose of vitamin C. If you have an extra 5 minutes, it's totally worth it.

- Lemon/mustard/garlic dressing: again, takes a little extra time so this isn't necessarily the best standby but you might want to try it when you're having a big sit down dinner.

- Strawberry with soy milk: mix it up in the blender and make sure you use frozen strawberries. It becomes a strawberry sauce and it's excellent with fruit.

Anybody want to share their go-to options to keep you and
your family on track with good eating?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Beautiful song by Esterlyn

Esther-Mending The Meaning...Esterlyn

Psalm 40:1-3
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Living in the present and enjoying today...

Yesterdays devotion from the book "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young...

I have loved reading this devotional, it's unusual because it's written as if Jesus were speaking to you first person. Thanks once again LeAnn from
Simply Dandy for telling about this wonderful little book!

Since Dick lost his job, God has provided. In all honesty though, there are times I get caught up in the "what if's ?" and fall into fear....I'm human and a leaky vessel. Thank goodness God understands and sends lifeboats!! Maybe you need this today too...blessings, Maree.