Sunday, January 15, 2012

My New and Improved Bedroom

 When we moved into our house over 11 years ago, we painted my bedroom yellow.  It remained yellow for all 11 years and showed the wear and tear of everyone of those years.  I guess it was on the bottom of my list to repaint because most people don't ever see it.
 When I found out Paul was leaving for a week, Iimmediately thought of redoing my room.  Problem was, I had fallen the day before at the gym and skinned and hurt my knee.  I couldn't even bend it.  Plus, I really had no idea what colors to paint it and I had very. little. money. for anything.
 But, I began to look around at Goodwill for a new comforter.  I thought if I could get an "inspiration" piece, I could decide on colors.  I couldn't find anything, so I began thinking maybe I wouldn't do anything to the room while he was gone.
 Wednesday morning, I woke up and my knee felt alot better.  I was able to bend it and move around much better, so I decided to search Goodwill one more time.  I told myself walking in if I didn't find anything, I was giving up the idea.
 And then I saw it.  I am a lover of quilts and I fell in love with this one.  It was the right price and I loved the colors.  GAME ON!  I ran home and started moving furniture and cleaning.  Next morning, I went to Walmart with a giftcard, and purchased all the paint.  I literally decided what colors to use while standing in front of the paint aisle at walmart.  I was unsure if I was getting the right colors and now that it was Thursday, I was unsure I could finish.
Long story short, I finished about 2am Sunday night and I LOVE the colors!  I did everything myself (with the exception of moving the bed)- paint, clean, move all the furniture and clean up.  It was a BIG job, but I do love the way it turned out.  Paul was speechless.  He could not say anything for about 30 seconds (which for him is a long time!).  He did get a hint of something different when he walked down the hall and smelled paint, but other than that, he had no idea.

I'm so glad it's done!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

My weight loss journey

I am almost embarrassed to post this photo.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I AM embarrassed to post this photo, but I will swallow my pride and post it anyway. (And the sad part is this is not even at my heaviest.  I had already lost about 30 lbs. here)

I was at my heaviest weight when I discovered I was pregnant with Emma.  Most everyone knows the story of my sky rocketing blood pressure and how zija helped lower it considerably during pregnancy.  Zija also helped keep my gestational diabetes in check.  It not only kept it in check, it just about reversed it.  By the time Emma arrived, Paul and I were big zija fans.  I could hardly wait to get on the weight management system, seeing how well it worked for Paul.

And it worked just as well for me.  From the time of Emma's birth (July) to November, I lost 50 pounds without much effort on my part.  Literally.  I took the zija products, which resulted in decreased cravings and smaller appetite.  I did not exercise and I did not eat any special foods.  The weight just fell off.

From about December to June, I did not lose anything.  I did not try to lose anything, although I was still taking the Zija, I was not working with it.  For some reason I was not motivated to do anything related to weight loss, other than the zija, and it showed on the scale.  I didn't gain anything back, yet I didn't lose anything either.

I knew I needed to start exercising, so Paul and I joined the wellness center at the beginning of July.  It was torture at first, but the zija xm+ helped so much with energy.  It didn't take long to begin enjoying going to the gym and it didn't take long to see results, both on the scale and in my stamina.

From July to December, I lost 50 more pounds, totaling 100 pounds total.  I still can't believe I've lost that much.  I follow no special diets and I can eat anything.  I have found that my tastes are changing and I want healthier choices, and less of them.

I started this weight loss journey with only one requirement:  I was not going to do anything that I could not maintain longterm.  I have been on several diets, only to lose the weight, go off the diet and put the weight (and then some) back on.  Some people can do it; I cannot.  I do not want to be on or off; I want it to be my life.

Zija is amazing.  It has given me increased energy and decreased cravings.  I feel healthy. I feel great.  I walk/run a 5K just about every day, along with 2 or 3 exercise classes a week.  I can keep up with my little children without getting breathless. For Christmas, I bought Paul and I tennis rackets and balls so we can play tennis because we both enjoy being active.  What a difference.

I still have a ways to go, but that's ok.  I've had such a great start, thanks to God and His amazing grace and the amazing moringa tree from which zija comes.  I find it very satisfying that it is something that God made that has helped so many people, not anything synthetic and man made.  How awesome is that? 

For more info on zija, check out

Christmas 2011

 Dinner at Nana and Poppy's.  I think we had 24.  We're so used to having that many that it doesn't even seem out of the ordinary.
 Emma at the little kids table.  The table originally had settings for 2- Ben and Andy and Emma was going to sit in the booster by me.  But once she saw that table, she claimed her seat and was NOT giving it up for anybody, especially not her brother.

 Emma's new rocking horse from Nana and Poppy.
 Anna and Ellie opening gifts at Nana and Poppy's.
 Our tree before we got started.  Notice the bottom 1/3 is bare.  The lights stopped working and Emma and Ben removed all the ornaments on the bottom.  Good thing it was about time to put it away.
 Emma LOVED her new shopping cart and in true girl fashion knew exactly what to do with it.
 I love this picture.  Look at her little toes.  She had just woken up and was unsure of what was going on.
 Big kids and some gifts.  Paul Jr opening his new leather bound Bible from his dad.  We all loved that Bible!
 Not sure what was going on in this picture, but Emma was not happy about it.
 Notice in the pic below that Ben is so excited about his gift and before he even closes his mouth from his elated scream, Emma has her hand on the gift, ready to take it.  Aren't kids fun??
 Super Ben
 Super Dad
Super Sam!

What a day.  We wanted to do so much because Zack was here for such a short time.  We had decided that after dinner at Nana and Poppy's, we'd come home, open gifts, play a game and then watch a movie, all the while eating "fun" snack foods.  Well, we opened the gifts, made it through 2 rounds of Twister and never even got the movie going.  We all made ourselves sick on the "fun" food, and some were even in bed by 9.  Too much of a good thing is not always a good thing.

But it was a great day and a fun weekend with the whole family together.  I'm beginning to accept the fact that this is going to happen more and more as my children grow up and move out.  It is bittersweet and almost unbelieveable that that much time has passed since Paul and I were moving out of our parents houses.

The Circle of Life.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Who would have thought?

Paul was kind of down on Friday.  The mounting pressures of two jobs plus pastoring plus being a father of 7 were catching up to him and he called me late that morning.  I could hear the frustration in his voice as he related some of his concerns to me.

"Paul.  You need to get away for a couple of days to hear from God and to clear your head" I replied to him.  He has done this several times in the past and he always comes back refreshed and reenergized.  We have a rustic, rural Christian camp about 30 minutes from our home and he usually gets away there, away from all distraction of computer and phone and family and friends.

"I know" he said, "but my schedule is so busy these next few weeks, I don't know how I could manage it."

I told him he needed to do it, and we left it at that.

An hour later I got another phone call from a very different sounding Paul.

"Remember how you said I needed to get away?"  he started with.  Hmmmm.  I wondered where this was going.  "Well, I just got a crazy phone call.  Listen to this..."

He went on to tell me that one of his closest friends had an extra ticket on a 7 day Carribean cruise.  This cruise was a "Defending Your Faith Apologetics" cruise with 21 hours of teachings from some top preachers.  His friend had bought a ticket for someone else and that someone else cancelled at the last minute and he was offering to Paul the extra ticket, as a gift.

Whaaaatt??  That was not what I meant when I said he needed to get away.  I meant rural, rustic Camp Eunice, not a plush luxiourious Carribean cruise!  I swallowed my pride and asked him what he was going to do.

"Well, I would have to leave on Sunday and I have lots of shifts at the funeral home next week plus lots of stuff for church.  What do you think I should do??"  he said.

"If it was me, I'd do whatever I had to to make it happen. How often do you get offered an all expenses paid cruise with your best friend and alot of teaching/preaching??"  I told him.

And he did it.  He talked to everyone, got everything taken care of, and left a few hours ago to drive to Galvaston TX so he can set sail tomorrow for 7 days.

This was a gift from God to my husband.  He confirmed it left and right.  He even provided spending money for Paul that didn't come out of our bank account.

My prayer is that Paul comes back refreshed and recharged and with his head clear.  I'm happy that he can go and that God has blessed him so abundantly.

Goodbye 2011.  You were a good year.  You brought many good things and many provisions of God.  You did have some hard times and some lean times.  Many lessons were learned in you, and many lessons were ignored in you.  God remained faithful every second of you.  I'm thankful to have lived through you, but I don't think I'd want to live through you again.

Hello 2012.  You are a brand new year, a brand new start.  The possibilities you hold are endless!  We don't know where we will be at the end of you, or what changes you will have wrought.  I pray that I come through you, closer to God and bringing Him much glory.

Happy New Year.

Family Pictures

 While Zack was home for a few days, we decided to snap some family pictures.  It has been many years since we've had a nice picture of the entire family.  These pictures came out nicely, I think.  My children have different opinions.  I'm not sure what was going on with Sam, Ben and Emma.  They had strange faces in every picture we snapped.
 Paul and I.  160 lbs lighter.  Woo-Hoo.
 Zachary.  Silly, strange Zachary.  My how we have missed his presence in our home.
 Paul Jr.  I think he was imitating Tebow.  Not sure however.
My seven children.  I look at this picture in amazement.  How do I have such grown up children??  Time goes so quickly!