30th Apr2010

Small Talk Six: Things I Try to Do Before Going to Bed

by Daenel

Today’s Small Talk Six topic is “The last 6 things you do before you close your eyes at night.”  I am not a creature of habit, in fact, I tend to always be in a state of flux but I do have a routine that I try to follow before I go to bed at night.  Notice I said try because I do not always do everything on my list every night but I try to do them all most nights.  *groan* I can hear my Yoda spouting husband muttering “No.  Try not.  Do…  or do not.  There is no try.”  Pffffft  whatev… Here’s my list:

1.  Braid or twist my hair and put on my scarf ~ gotta keep my ‘do looking good

2.  Check my blog for comments ~ Or reply to email if I have any

3.  Pee ~ Even though I know I’m gonna pop up again 5 minutes after I lie down

4.  Check my phone for messages ~ my sisters like to text me late at night and it’s usually something pretty funny

5.  Read a passage from and write in my Wisdom for Women Journal ~ this helps me to focus on something positive before I go to bed

6.  Say a prayer ~ I still say the prayer from my childhood….Now I lay me down to sleep….not because I don’t know how to pray but because I find the words comforting and sweet

Would you like to play along?  Sure you would.  It’s easy.  Simply go here to find out the topics, then answer it on your blog (you can write a list, a paragraph, use pictures, vlog, etc.), then grab the badge and link up.  Don’t forget to visit your fellow participants and leave some comment love.

Tell me, what’s your nighttime routine?

Disclosure:  I am a bookschristian.com affiliate.  If you click on the link for the Wisdom for Women Journal and purchase it through bookschristian.com, I will be compensated.  Bookschristian.com did not sponsor this post, I wrote it as part of a meme hosted by Momdot.com.


28th Apr2010

Women of Faith Wednesday: Miracles and Monkeys

by Daenel

Today’s Women of Faith Wednesday question is “Have you experienced any miracles in your life?”  Ummm, does the fact that I’m actually writing this post on a Wednesday count?

Seriously, I would have to say that my entire life has been a series of miracles.  My twin sister and I were born just after my mother was in a car accident.  My father was racing her to the hospital in the early morning hours when the police decided to stop my father for speeding by parking the police cruiser directly in front of the car.   Because of the positioning of the police car, my father had to choose between hitting the police car or crashing into a telephone pole.  He chose to hit the cruiser.

In the confusion my mother was placed in the back of a police car and my father was put in the ambulance.  A random stranger happened to be passing by and delivered my twin sister.  And 45 minutes I was delivered just outside the hospital door.  You can read the entire story and see the newspaper article by clicking here.

Now the fact that my sister and I both survived is  only part of the miracle, I’m getting ready to tell you how the monkeys fit in.  Bear with me…

My sister was born healthy but I was born with some medical issues ~ respiratory and, much later, seizures.  When I was a toddler I started having grand mal seizures.  When I was about 3 or 4 years old, my mother rushed me to the hospital after a particularly bad seizure that ended with me being strapped to the bed because the seizures were so violent.   As a result of the seizure, I was left with no memory of my family and my mother was told that the chances of me regaining my memory were slim to none.

For days my mother prayed that something, anything, would spark my memory…  Now I have to tell you, my mother is a praying woman ~ my sisters and I jokingly say that our first stop after the hospital was not home but church.

Weeks earlier, my mother had bought me a stuffed monkey that I absolutely adored.  This monkey went everywhere with me.   For some reason, my mother decided to run home and get the monkey just to see…  When she brought the monkey to the hospital room, my little fingers started to wiggle and I yelled “Boo Boo!”  God used my stuffed monkey to restore my memory and bring about healing.  Praise Him!  Soon after my memory of my mother, father and sisters was restored and I was released from the hospital with no memory problems nor have I had a seizure since then.

So now, my friends, you understand why I so firmly believe in the power of prayer and why I have mad crazy love for monkeys….

Now it’s your turn to tell me, have you ever experienced a miracle?

If you’d like to participate in Women of Faith Wednesday, simply write a post answering this week’s question and then link your post below.  Don’t forget to grab the badge and leave some comment love for your fellow participants.

Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.  This post is my entry into the Women of Faith blog hop, which is offering a book to a random winner.


26th Apr2010

Mamavation Monday

by Daenel

This week has been full of win for me.  Let’s see, I worked out every day last week and yesterday I completed my first 5K.  I didn’t run it, I walked it.  I’m still recovering from some health issues but I did it and I’m pretty darned proud of myself.  Lemme tell you, walking in “real life” is very different from walking on the treadmill.  My legs were shaking and my thighs are still feeling the burn a day later but it was worth it (the walk was to raise money for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Scranton, Pennsylvania).  At the end of the run/walk, I saw a lot of people eating bananas ~ those little blue Chiquita stickers were all over the foreheads of little kids (so cute how little people stick everything to themselves). 

I know one of the biggest goals for the Mamavation Sistas is getting enough fruits and vegetables in our diets, so I was happy when I found out about a website called Fruits and Veggies:  More Matters.  The website provides useful tools that tell you how many servings of vegetables you should have per day (did you know that it’s different for each person based on gender, age and activity level?).  There are also recipes and shopping guides, which I found to be incredibly useful…

My goals for this week are to keep working out, eat more fruits and veggies and drink more water.  Yeah, I’m still having trouble with the water… 

Anyway, I hope you all have a happy and healthy week.

Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.  This post is my entry into the Mamavation Blogging Carnival that is being sponsored by Chiquita Bananas.

26th Apr2010

Monday Mingle: Who’s a Pampered Princess?

by Daenel

Monday Mingle is hosted by Eighty MPH Mom. If you’d like to participate, simply create a short vlog in which you answer the questions and then hit up the linky. Don’t forget to grab the badge and leave some comment love for your fellow participants. Afterall, isn’t that what mingling is all about?

This week’s questions were submitted by Java with Jacki:

1.  How do you pamper yourself?
2.  Do you prepare your own taxes or have someone else do them for you?
3.  Do you sing in the shower?  Car?  If so, what do you sing?  Favorite sing~a~long songs?

Next week’s questions were submitted by Mrs. Cox’s Slice O’ Heaven and they are:

1. If had the financial ability to donate $100,000 to a charity, which would it be and why?
2. Have you given money to a panhandler before?
3. Have you ever given your time at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, etc. ?

25th Apr2010

Children’s Advocacy Center 6th Annual Moonlight Run

by Daenel

Today was the Children’s Advocacy Center 6th Annual Moonlight Run and I did it! Well, I ended up having to walk it because of some health issues but I still did it and I’m pretty darned proud of myself.

I started not to do it ~ all the way to Scranton, I kept trying to come up with excuses for why I shouldn’t do this.  My nerves were getting the best of me…  I hadn’t eaten anything since 9:30 this morning and I was starving but I was too afraid to eat.  Honestly, you’d think I was running a marathon, it was just a walk to raise money for a worthy cause….

The mission of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Scranton, Pennsylvania is to provide medical assessment and treatment of abused children, reduce the trauma of abuse and promote prevention education.  Tonight’s run was dedicated to the memory of Zachary Christopher Scott, who died as a result of abuse at the tender age of 14 months.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, so taking this walk was important to me as a mother and as a person who cares a great deal for children.  When I read the statistics, my heart breaks:

*A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds, totaling over 3 million reports every year
*Almost five children die every day as a result of child abuse.  More than three out of four are under the age of four
*90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members

Please, I beg you, if you know of a child who is being abused or if you are abusing a child, get help.  Love doesn’t hurt.

By the way, I completed the walk in 47 minutes!

Click here to see pictures from my walk…

23rd Apr2010

Fruits & Veggies More Matters

by Daenel

Ever since I started my weight loss journey in January, getting enough fruits and vegetables has been a big struggle for me.  Not because I don’t like them, but because I’m never quite sure how many fruits and vegetables I need or what really makes up a serving.  Well, now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made all of that easy for you and me to figure out with their Fruits & Veggies More Matters website.  There’s a nifty little tool on the homepage that allows you to plug in your age, sex and physical activity level and then it tells you how many servings of fruits and veggies you should eat per day.

There are also recipes and tips for integrating more fruits and vegetables into your diet.  I have started eating a bowl of oatmeal with a serving of raisins every morning for breakfast (topped with a little bit of cinnamon, it’s especially delicious).  But the one thing that I really like is the Budget Tips because it includes information about how and when to purchase fruits and vegetables so that they are budget friendly and at the peak of ripeness.

So remember, to be healthy, you have to eat healthy ~ fruits and veggies, more matters!

Update ~ Check out the sister site @ Fruits and Veggies More Matters which offers even more information, tips and recipes! (Thank you, Jill, for the information)

PS
Today is Friday, so you know what that means…  It’s time for Friday Followers:  A Celebration of Followers!  Yay!  *Confetti FallsWoo Hoo!  Friday Followers is hosted by One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades.  It’s an opportunity to find new and interesting blogs and have other people find out about your blog (and, hopefully, follow your blog).  If you’d like to participate, simply go here, grab the badge and then leave a link to your Friday Follow post on the linky.  Don’t forget to leave some comment love for the blogs you visit….

21st Apr2010

She Colors My Day

by Daenel

I remember when I was first diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer about ten years ago.  I stood in the middle of the kitchen, holding the phone, the doctor had just said “You have a little bit of cancer.  Do you have any questions?”  Before I could respond, she hung up the phone.  My head, my heart was raging.  Then it all went blank as I thought about my children.  My babies were 3 years, 4 years, 4 years and 6 years and I didn’t know what I was going to do.  Was I going to dieWould my husband be able to take care of themWhat did I want my children to know about me

For the next few days, I spent time online looking up songs that I wanted the kids to hear.  I made a list of books they should read.  I wrote down advice for when the girls reached puberty and for when my son started dating.  I wrote the story of their births.  I shared my hopes and dreams with them.  I organized their closets (bought color~coded clothes hangers, arranged their drawers from the youngest to the oldest), bought tons of shampoo and conditioner and made lists of all the products that I used for them, etc just to be sure that my babies would never feel like they had lost their mother.  I wanted to be with them always.  I wrote out lists for my husband of their favorite foods and toys and television shows.  I did what every mother does when she thinks she’s going to die, she makes sure that her babies are going to be cared for…

Through the grace of God and the skilled care of the medical staff at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (who took over my care after my primary care physician quit), I am a cancer survivior.  I was blessed to be able to watch my babies grow up.  But there are many mothers who are not so fortunate.  The She Colors My Day project began when a mother named Annette, dying from breast cancer, decided to create a keepsake for the four daughters she was leaving behind.  Her act of love inspired her friend, Cristina Carlino, founder of Project Miracle, to start the She Colors My Day movement ~ a celebration of the neverending bond between mothers and daughters.  The goal of the movement is to find a cure for cancer by benefitting the Susan G. Komen for a Cure Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s/Women’s Cancer Research Group biomarker project.

How can you help support this worthwhile project? 

*Color With Us ~ You can start by taking the first steps to coloring someone else’s day through a platform we all know well~ Facebook.  The She Colors My Day pink crayon is a Facebook application created to be shared with those we love. The pink crayon can be virtually passed around on Facebook so we can all help to create for a cure.

*Sing Along ~ The “She Colors My Day” song co-written by Cristina Carlino and Stuart Mathis for Cristina’s daughter has been recorded by multi-Grammy award winner, Amy Grant.  Download the “She Colors My Day Song” and video and help to support this organization.  A portion of net proceeds from the song supports the She Colors My Day project, benefiting Susan G. Komen for a Cure ® Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s/Women’s Cancer Research Group.

*Spread the Word ~  The ultimate goal of the “She Colors My Day” project is to support mothers and daughters and create a cure.  If you’re inspired by this project, please help me share the love by publishing a post on your blog this week that celebrates the special mother/daughter relationships in your life. 

There will also be a Twitter discussion on 10 May and I’d love for you to attend.  I also urge you to join in the conversation ~ tell your story and offer support or inspiration.

My doctor was awful and didn’t explain anything to me, in fact, the next day I received a registered letter from her stating that I had thirty days to find a new doctor (long story short but she was upset that I went to another doctor for a second opinion ~ he was the one who did my biopsy).  I would tell anyone, if you are not comfortable with your doctor or if your doctor is unsure what is wrong with you, go get a second opinion.  Even if it means upsetting your doctor, you have to take care of yourself.

21st Apr2010

Weigh~In Wednesday

by Daenel

Today is the final weigh~in of the Spring Fling weight loss competition that’s being hosted by The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. I’m sad to see this end but I’m also kind of happy. I’m sad because I’ve enjoyed interacting with my girls at Team Off the Oreos ~ they have been so fun and encouraging. The reason for the happiness? Dude, it’s a lot of pressure to report that you haven’t lost any weight when you have a team depending on you.

Last week I didn’t do anything.  I won’t recap the whole week, you can read it here if you want.  But I just needed to take time to focus on other things.  So without further ado, let’s see the numbers:

Today’s Weight: 158.9 lbs
Last Week’s Weight: 158.4 lbs

20th Apr2010

10 Little Things That Lead to a Happier, Healthier You

by Daenel

Sometimes life can get overwhelming and finding things that make us happy can become almost as important as drawing our next breath.  This may seem like a drastic statement, but imagine going through life completely unhappy and unhealthy.  Mmmmhmmm, now do you see what I mean?  Over the last year, I’ve had to find ways to make myself happy as I deal with the ups and downs that come with job hunting, parenting, being a wife and, well, just living.

As part of their “Spring Renewal” blogging program, TwitterMoms and Tropicana asked moms to share “ten things that lead to a happier, healthier you.”  If you’d like to participate, simply go here and follow the directions.  In the meantime, here are the ten things that lead to a happier, healthier me:

1.  Reading Mom’s Devotional Bible ~ Each scripture and anecdote provides me with tools to guide how I interact with my children

2.  Writing in my Women’s Wisdom Journal ~ Bible verses center me and give me positive self~affirmations to help me throughout the day

3.  Focusing on my family ~ They are the center of my world, need I say more?

4.  Daily exercise ~ Being active makes me feel focused and less stressed

5.  Eating healthy meals ~ A balanced diet keeps me from feeling blah

6.  Raising awareness about issues that mean something to me ~ Giving back to the community and supporting organizations that help women and children to better their lives are very important to me

7.  Taking time for myself ~ A happy, healthy mom is a happy, healthy family

8.  Connecting with my sisters ~ My sisters and I are all spread out across the country, so once a week I try to get them on the phone and just have a good ol’ laugh

9.  Working in my garden ~ This is a new hobby for me, and there is nothing more rewarding than planting seeds and watching something spring from the earth

10.  “Change your shoes, change your life” ~ A good friend sent me a postcard with that written across the front and I thought, Yeah, that’s true…when your feet hurt, your day is awful but when your feet are happy, you are happy

So tell me, what do you do on a regular basis that leads to a happier, healthier you?  To help support you in maintaining a happy, healthy balance, TwitterMoms and Tropicana have teamed up to offer you a special code, TWMOM-READR, to use for the Tropicana Juicy Rewards Program.  Each code is worth One Juicy Rewards point ~ that’s up to $5 in savings!  This one~time use code is valid for new accounts ONLY.  All accounts must be created and all codes entered by 7 May 2010 at 11:59 PM EST.

Disclosure:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tropicana Trop50 blogging program to be eligible to win 6 free Juicy Rewards points and a $30 gift card.  For more information, click here.

19th Apr2010

Mamavation Monday

by Daenel

Ok, keep walking…  there’s nothing to see here… Really, there is nothing to see here.  I took a break last week.  I mean I did absolutely nothing ~ no workouts, no monitoring what I ate, I didn’t bother with the water, etc.  Why?  Because I was burnt out.  I felt like I had been, ahem, eating and drinking my weight since January and I just didn’t want to think about it anymore.

This morning I woke up with a renewed dedication to meeting my weight loss goals.  I went to the gym and worked out on the treadmill ~ 3 miles and over 320 calories burned.  I was actually sweating, something I haven’t done in a long while.  I’m going to go back to monitoring my food intake, drinking my water and laying off the fast food.

For three weeks I was eating oatmeal for breakfast every day, then I switched to grits, now I’m on to Raisin Bran.  I’ve realized the older I get, the more set in my ways I become about food.  But I’m trying to make some changes, healthy changes, so I’ve been exploring new food products (a few weeks ago it was Boca Burgers ~ my kids loved ‘em).  So this week’s new product to try will be AllWhites and Better’n Eggs.  I’m particularly interested in trying them in the Mocha Cappuccino Protein Smoothie.  Seriously, how delicious does that sound?

Before I end, I’d like to say congratulations to the newest Mamavation Moms: @mentallyinked and @Rachel_L.  I’m sure they will both kick butt during this campaign.

18th Apr2010

I Did the Big Chop…Kinda~Sorta

by Daenel

I started transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair in July of last year.  I am totally enjoying the freedom and liberty that comes with natural hair.  Last week, I cut the last bit of relaxed hair off (I was so incredibly frustrated and tired of dealing with dual textured hair).  Before I cut it, I had to either braid it or twist it every night before going to bed and that was incredibly time consuming.  Now that I’ve cut off relaxed portions, I can just go to bed ~ no worries.  In the morning, I can either wash my hair or spritz it with water to “reactivate” the curls.  I am loving this…

For pictures of my hair from the beginning of my journey, go here.

17th Apr2010

Small Talk Six: There’s Something in My Eyes

by Daenel

I’m not an overly emotional person.  In fact, I’m usually the person pointing and laughing at the other poor saps who manage to get so caught up in a movie that they forget IT’S NOT REAL.  But I’m going to let you in on a little secret but only because the ladies at Momdot.com asked me to.  You see, today’s Small Talk Six topic is “6 movies that make you cry.”

The movies I selected appealed to me for a variety of reasons ~ religious, maternal, historical, etc.  If you haven’t had a chance to see them, I do recommend them, just be sure to have tissues on hand:

1.  The Passion of the Christ

2.  Losing Isaiah

3.  Steel Magnolias

4.  The Diary of Anne Frank

5.  Glory

6.  Sophie’s Choice (actually any Meryl Streep movie ~ that woman can act)

Would you like to play along?  Sure you would.  It’s easy.  Simply go here to find out the topics, then answer it on your blog (you can write a list, a paragraph, use pictures, vlog, etc.), then grab the badge and link up.  Don’t forget to visit your fellow participants and leave some comment love.

Tell me, what movies make you cry?

15th Apr2010

Women of Faith Wednesday on Thursday

by Daenel

I have accepted that I will always participate in Women of Faith Wednesday on Thursday.  LOL Really, I’m not one of those habitually late people, in fact, I usually arrive at meetings and things at least 15 minutes early.  So why I am I always late for Women of Faith?  Because I keep missing the initial question posting.  Oh, well, at least I’m participating, right?

Today’s question is “What are 10 things you wish you would have known before you became a mother?”  Hmmmm

1.  Having children would make me both weak and strong at the same time. I’m not just talking about physical strength, I’m talking emotionally.  Really how can someone so small have so much control over everything?  Just a little smile and your heart melts, no matter what that little critter has done!

2.   Taking time for myself is not a selfish act. I think many mothers believe that if they take time for themselves they are being bad mothers and neglecting their children.  Oh, no, Momma.  You were a woman (or maybe a wife) first and you need to keep those relationships and maintain that identity.  If you are happy and refreshed, your family will be happy and refreshed.

3.  Children really don’t come with instruction guides. Ok, I kinda knew that but I thought that I would “instinctively” get things after my children were born. Um, yeah, not so much.  There were times when I really had no clue why my baby was crying and no amount of swaddling~feeding~singing~ignoring could fix it.

4.  Kids learn by watching. I remember when I first started dating my husband and I met his then 8~year~old daughter and she used to freak me out because she would stare at me without saying anything.  Not.  A.  Word. I didn’t know what to do with that.  When my daughters reached her age, they did the exact same thing.  I came to realize that it wasn’t really strange, just the way that girls learn to identify with women.

5.  It’s ok to say “I don’t know.” There are times when I really don’t know the answers to questions (when my kids hit the 6th grade, I told them that was the end of my assistance with any form of math; they informed me that I hadn’t “helped” since 4th grade) and that’s ok.  My kids are fine with me not knowing the answers, it gives them the chance to look things up and then share with me.

6.  Parenting teens is the same as parenting toddlers. You spend a lot of time saying “No” and “Because I said so….”  And you may occasionally have to pop some fingers.

7.  A good sense of humor can get you through anything. On the day that my husband and I were outprocessing from the Army, my daughter decided to share her artistic talent with the U.S. Army by drawing a huge picture of herself on the living room wall.  All we could was laugh.  And scrub.  And scrub.  And scrub.

8.  Love increases with each child that you have. When I found out I was pregnant with my second child (who turned out to be twins), I worried that I wouldn’t have enough love in my heart for this child.  I mean really, how could I love any child as much as I loved the one who now possessed my heart?  My fear was not put to rest when someone who should have known better actually suggested that I couldn’t love my new child as much as my next one.  But when those babies were born ~ Oh my word!  Talk about my cup running over.

9.  Sleep is a precious commodity. I have not slept in sixteen years.  I am so tired.

10.  I can’t protect my children from every hurt. When I was pregnant with my first child, I remember thinking No one’s ever gonna hurt my kid ~ not as long as I’m walking this planet.  Then I heard “If I Could” by Regina Belle and it dawned on me that we can’t protect our children all the time.  Just as our Heavenly Father doesn’t give us every desire of our heart, we have to let our children feel disappointment sometimes.  He, in His infinite wisdom, knows that we have to walk through the rain to enjoy the sunshine…

Now it’s your turn, tell me in the comments what you would add to the list.

If you’d like to participate in Women of Faith Wednesday, simply write a post answering this week’s question and then link your post below.  Don’t forget to grab the badge and leave some comment love for your fellow participants.


14th Apr2010

Weigh~In Wednesday

by Daenel

Today is Weigh~In Wednesday!  Yay!  Yay?  Yay

So no procrastinating.

Today’s Weight:  158.4 lbs
Last Week’s Weight:  158.9 lbs

I’ve been weighing myself twice a week (Mondays and Wednesdays) and I really don’t think this is healthy.  First of all, I don’t think one day is really enough time for there to be any significant change and, second, that’s just way too much pressure.  Therefore, I’m only going to weigh myself on Wednesdays.

Also I can’t find my measuring tape, so no measurements this week….  Ah, well

So here’s to hoping my partners at Off the Oreos have had a successful and healthy week!

14th Apr2010

The Mom Renewal Project

by Daenel

I am happy to announce that I will be a contributing writer to The Mom Renewal Project created by Stacey Hoffer.  The Mom Renewal Project encourages mothers to “Recharge yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually so you can live your best life as a woman, mom and partner.”  Stacey understands that mothers need to balance their roles as mothers and wives in order to lead fulfilling lives as women.

As a contributing writer I will be encouraging women to find spiritual balance in their daily lives.  I write from a Christian perspective with a focus on God, faith and family.  I hope you’ll join me in finding balance through The Mom Renewal Project.

12th Apr2010

Monday Mingle: Blogging and Lofty Ambitions

by Daenel

Monday Mingle is hosted by Eighty MPH Mom.  If you’d like to participate, simply create a short vlog and link up to the linky.  Don’t forget to grab the badge and leave some comment love for your fellow participants.  Afterall, isn’t that what mingling is all about?

This week’s questions were submitted by Dee @ Redheaded Stepchild and Say Anything:

1.  Do you remember the first blog you started to follow?  If so, who and why did you keep going back for more?

2.  Pretend you are 16.  Being able to look ahead at your life now, what would you, at 16, have found most shocking or unexpected about the life you ended up having?

3.  As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?  What would you be now if you could do it all over again?

12th Apr2010

Mamavation Monday

by Daenel

So this was an incredible week as far as workouts go. Last week, I decided to rotate my workouts because I wasn’t seeing much change in my body and my weight loss was yo~yoing. Well, it worked!  Not only do I feel better but I can see a difference.  My pants are a little loser in the waist and that bloated feeling that’s been plaguing me for the past few weeks has disappeared.  It’s amazing what a little shift can do.  I worked out every day this week except for Saturday, I flipped it and went for a walk with my sister~in~law on Sunday.  The walk was great ~ I was able to walk up the steep hills without huffing and puffing or wanting to keel over.  That’s something I wouldn’t have been able to do four months ago.  So, go me!

The one thing I still need to get under control is my eating.  I’m an emotional eater and this week has been one big honkin cry fest filled with lots of salty foods and *gasp* sodas.  Can I tell you, job hunting in this economy can knock even the most self confident person to the ground?  But I do know that I need to lay off the high calorie, high fat count fast foods.  Friends have suggested that I give Subway a try because they have tasty sandwiches that are healthy and low in fat.  The Black Forest Ham may be the first one I try, it looks delish! 

So my goals for this week are:

*Continue with my exercise plan from last week, it seems to be working for
*Find healthier food alternatives for when I get the munchies
*Keep up with water consumption

And now for the numbers:

Today’s Weight:  157.6 lbs
Last Week’s Weight:  158.9 lbs (-1.3 lbs)
Goal Weight:  140 lbs

Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.  This post is my entry into the Mamavation Blogging Carnival that is being sponsored by Subway.

11th Apr2010

Book Review: The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller

by Daenel

Have you ever wondered about the back story of one of America’s greatest revolutionary heroes?  Then  The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller is the book for you.  It’s an irreverent look at an American hero who always seemed to be in the thick of things.

The book is a quick and easy read that follows the life of Paul Revere from the immigration of his father, Apollos, in 1716 to Revere’s death in 1818.  Miller highlights every day events in Revere’s life that propelled him into the limelight.  For example, his work as a goldsmith granted him access to key people in his community which led to his joining the influential brotherhood ~ the masons.

While not an academic book, Miller does provide nice reference material and easy to follow explanations of various characters and events that go into shaping Revere’s life and character.  As an history instructor, I can appreciate the colloquialisms in the book because it makes the story much more approachable and enjoyable for people who are not necessarily history buffs but who have an interest in sort of man~behind~the~action stories.

Disclosure:  This is a Thomas Nelson Review.  I received this book free through Booksneeze.com in exchange for a review.  I am not required to write a positive review, just an honest one.  The book is linked to bookschristian.com, of which I am an affiliate.  Should you decide to purchase the book using the provided link, I will receive compensation.  This did not influence my opinion of the book.

09th Apr2010

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

by Daenel

Hi, welcome to my blog!  I invite you to look around and make yourself at home.  Feel free to look through my photo albums, listen to some music, grab a book from my library or just wander around my blog and leave some comment love.

Introduction:

My name is Daenel and I have the research skills of a librarian, the preservation skills of an archivist, the organizational skills of a mother and the domestic skills of a Stepford Wife.  I’ve been married for fifteen years and have five children and two grandchildren.  I’ve been blogging for about 2 or 3 years and I totally love it.  Because of my job as a librarian, I’ve tried to make it a point to keep up on emerging technologies (I’m also a bit of a g33k).  I also teach American history at a local university.  I know, most people say they hate history, but I guarantee if you take my class, you’ll enjoy it.

Party Question:

If your life had a theme song, what would it be?

My answer:  I’m Every Woman by Whitney Houston and Chaka Khan because I am a little bit of everything to everyone.  And I totally enjoy my oh~my~gosh~who~did~I~forget~to~pick~up~drop~off~sign~a~permission~slip~for life!

My Drink of Choice:

Frappe alla Nutella (Nutella Milkshake) courtesy of my friend, Paula (love her, if you get a chance, try some of her recipes ~ they are incredibly easy and oh~so~delicious)

Prizes I’d like to Win:

Disney Mickey 5-in-1 Tasty Bakers by Pop Art Toaster – Makes pancakes, waffles, muffins, breads, cakes and brownies shaped like Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto.

$50 Initials, inc. gift certificate – Initials, Inc. believes “There’s only one you!” uniquely crafted for a God given purpose. Their products are inspired by this profound understanding.

MemoryMixer Digital scrapbook software on DVD for Mac/PC – Sharing Memories Made Easier. Includes tons of digital graphics to get you started! (200 backgrounds, 30 Pre-Designed albums, 1000s of Embellishments)

$100 gift certificates to Frownies.com. Frownies skin care and anti-aging patches used by women like Renee Russo and Raquel Welch and moms who want to preserve their skins youthful appearance or reverse the signs of stress on the face.

Watermelon chicBuds for your iPod, computer, MP3 or walkman. – Listening never looked so good!

Party Invitation:

Everyone is welcome to this party.  All you have to do is head over to 5 Minutes for Mom and follow the directions.  Don’t forget to grab the badge, leave a link to your post and then do some partying at your neighbor’s blog.

08th Apr2010

Women of Faith Wednesday on Thursday

by Daenel

I know today is Thursday and this blog hop is supposed to take place on Wednesday, but I just found out about it this morning so, for now, we’ll just close our eyes, say a prayer that my words will fall on soft hearts and ignore the fact that I am a day late…

Today’s Women of Faith Wednesday question is “If you could become a Women of Faith speaker, what would you talk about?”

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.  Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”  Colossians 3:20~21

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

Growing up, I never wanted children.  I played with dolls and I was content to play with other people’s children but I never had that pull to have any of my own…  I think it stemmed from a fear of not being able to protect my children from this sometimes scary world that we inhabit.

But God had other plans for me.  I became pregnant with my first child at 19 and within four years I had given birth to 3 more children (a set of twins and another singleton).  All while on the pill.  Yes, I am *that* statistic.  With each pregnancy, I became increasingly despondent.  Why was God doing this to me?  Why was He giving me all of these children that I didn’t want?  Yes, I knew there were options and I had seriously considered both abortion and adoption but quickly realized that I couldn’t do either.

My love for my children came instantly.  The moment I laid eyes on them, I knew what it meant to fall in love and to be willing to do anything for my children, to be willing to make sacrifices for my children…  But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t lost my patience with them over the years.

One day when my children were roughly 10, 12, 12 and 14 they were fighting and just driving me nuts.  I mean from the moment they woke up until I hit my breaking point around noon, they simply would not stop fighting.  Finally, I got fed up and yelled at them.  I said all sorts of horrible things:  “I don’t want to see you guys anymore!”  “I’m sick of you!”  “I can’t deal!”  I ran to my car and sped off with the intention of not returning.  Seriously, mom was running away.  About an hour or so into my drive, I pulled over to the side of the road because I heard a still small voice telling me to stop.

I started thinking about all of the craziness that was going on in the world ~ senseless murders, suicides, drug abuse, battered women, abused and neglected children, etc.  and I started to realize that the fighting of four children was really small in comparison.  My heart started to break for all that God has to see His children doing to each other on a daily basis.  And that’s when I started to reflect on Colossians 3:20~21 and John 3:16, although my children had enraged me, I had gone against God’s word by verbally assaulting them.  This wasn’t the mother that God had called me to be.  His desire was for me to be supportive, nurturing and understanding ~ not the crazy lady who had sped off in a tizzy.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and my desire is that we as mothers will look to our Heavenly Father for parental guidance in how we deal with our children.  He has set up the ultimate model ~ He gave us life, provides us with discipline when we need it, showers us with mercy and grace when we don’t deserve it and demonstrated His love by providing the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.

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