Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I listen to Family radio every  morning on Sirus and I heard something that made so much sense, I felt the need to pass it on!


The topic was managing emotions and the Christian's battle with accepting that emotions are not sinful, the way we act and manage in response to them is the moment when we are struggling with sin.  After all, the Bible gives multiple examples of God expressing anger.  So what's up with HALT!?


If you are any of the above, HALT!  In other words, stop.  Don't respond, react or make decisions if you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired.  These are the times when the most committed of Christians find themselves doing things that displease God.  They are moments of exceptional vulnerability.  And, they can be fixed.  Eat something healthful or rehydrate.  Decompress and take your offenses to God.  Connect with someone who loves you and will pour the love of Jesus over you.  Rest.  Take positive action to fix which ever of the four you are dealing with before you move on to decision-making and reacting to your frustrations.  I thought this was so wise! 

It also occurred to me, although not part of the lesson, that one must be accountable to check themselves for the four HALT issues.  That takes a little bit of maturity.  When we are feeling hurt and angry we usually are also feeling like the victim of someone else's action.  We want to exercise our right to defend ourselves.  Speaking for myself, there have been occasions when I was so offended that I was almost driven to somehow right the situation to feel back in balance in my heart.  Of course, the truth of it is that I was angry.  Do I always HALT?  Nope.  I've never considered it in such specific terms.  Certainly, I've not consistently examined myself and put myself right before attempting to correct an offense I have experienced.  It's true, if I'm hungry, angry, lonely or tired; I'm at risk for impulsive reactions that truthfully are sinful.

Maybe you've already heard this idea, HALT!  If so, I'd challenge you think about whether or not you take that moment to hold yourself accountable.  I'm going to commit myself to this concept.  I have a theory, that if I do HALT when I should, there will be fewer times that I actually decide to take action.  More importantly, that action will not displease God.

So, hungry/angry/lonely/tired? 


Friday, April 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Weekend~

Happy happy Friday folks!  I took a vacation day and the Mr. has a three day birthday weekend planned for us.  Today we'll start off at Greenfield Village, which is one of my favorite places in the world.

This evening we'll pack up and head to Weber's Inn in Ann Arbor for dinner and to spend the night.

Tomorrow we'll drive to Marshall to bum around the antique shops and art galleries, maybe a local vineyard and then spend the night there.

On Sunday morning we'll have the AMAHZING brunch at Schueller's before we head home.

So how do ya like that?  He planned it all himself!  I just love it when he does that!
This morning I'm catching up on my housekeeping chores so I can leave without that hanging over my head and come home to a clean house on Sunday.  I absolutely hate coming home to a mess. 
Someone at work commented that my birthday seems to be at least a week every year.  It started officially last Saturday with dinner at my mom and dad's to celebrate not only my birthday but my dad's.  My actual birthday was yesterday but a few friends at work were off site so they surprised me on Wednesday with a great card and 2 bottles of wine from a local winery.  Yesterday I fell off the clean-eating bandwagon temporarily and had pizza from our local favorite, DeLuca's.  We were going to go out but I worked a little late and was a little tired so the Mr. improvised.  He also picked up a cake from a local bakery.  And yes, I ate way too much of both!  You gotta live a little on your birthday.  Of course, this morning, my gut is reminding me to climb back on that bandwagon.  Ugh! 
Last night, I'm happy to say, I slept about 10 hours straight.  This is after only 3 hours of sleep on Tuesday and Benadryl induced 6 hours on Wednesday.  So I'm well-rested despite my pizza and cake hang-over.  Lots of water and back to good eating will fix that right up and the sunshine and crisp Michigan Spring air won't hurt either. 
Off I go to do my chores and enjoy my three day birthday gift from Dean. 
Grace to you!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.
Psalm 119:148
Another almost sleepless night last night.  I fell asleep around 4, at least that's the last time I peeked at the clock.  Got up at 8 or so and was just an hour late for work.  As I was sitting in my family room in the middle of the night, I realized I was peaceful despite my awareness that the hours of sleep I needed were slipping away.  I used to toss and turn in bed but lately, I've given myself permission to get up and occupy myself for a bit.  No, it doesn't fix the insomnia but somehow, it feels less like lost time if I'm reading or even sitting in the quiet darkness with my thoughts. 
I finished loading a few dishes into the dishwasher and turned it on.  Did my nails at midnight.  Cruised around Pinterest for a bit and read a few chapters in my book.  I e mailed my boss a little after 1 a.m. to say I was obviously not getting a good night's rest and so, expect me to be a bit late.  I finally crawled back into bed and opened the bedroom window just a crack to let in some cool night air and so that I could listen to the rain.  It should have been excellent sleeping weather with the rain on the roof and the almost-warm temperatures!  I put my hand on the Mr.'s back and prayed for him. 
I daydreamed about the upcoming weekend, we're taking a three day get-away.  I had just the tiniest bit of a revelation.  I realized that I am getting better at being ok with myself.  Lots of longings and self-criticisms have gently floated away.  I don't wish for a larger house or a bigger income or even a skinnier body.  It's true!  Yes, I want a skinnier body but I don't need to have it to, well, to love myself.  I don't need new clothes every paycheck.  I can just be, where ever and however I am.  I can be.  Because whether I'm at my goal weight in a size 10 or at this weight in a size larger (wink,) I am loved exactly the same.  And my value, my worth and my perspective is anchored in that love.  The love of God that is. 
And if God looks down from heaven and sees me at 2 a.m. unable to sleep and doesn't make it happen, I guess that's ok too.  Do you remember this old song,

Lord, make me an instrument,an instrument of worship;I lift up my hands in Thy name.
Lord, make me an instrument,an instrument of worship;I lift up my hands in Thy name.
I’ll sing You a love song,a love song of worship;I lift up my hands in Thy name.
I’ll sing You a love song,a love song of worship;I lift up my hands in Thy name.
Lord, make us a symphony,a symphony of worship;we lift up our hands in Thy name.
Lord, make us a symphony,a symphony of worship;we lift up our hands in Thy name

I can be an instrument, a love song and even a symphony without eight hours of sleep.  Without the body I wish for.  Without a huge house. Even without understanding anything about anything other than I want to be just exactly what I was created to be and goodness; what joy there is in that.  I almost liked being awake and alone all night long as I thought about that.  I am, right now, perfectly whole.  I am not waiting for some something to complete me.  I am not in need of anything more than what I have. 

Yeah, sleep evaded me last night.  But my soul rested well.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Infused water~

Got a new passion, infused water!  I found a beautiful website with wonderful ideas that I want to try...every last one...http://infusedwaters.com/ingredients
I've always loved ginger so this weekend I made a pitcher with fresh ginger root and citrus fruit slices (grapefruit, lemon and lime.)  Ginger is also great for digestive health, which heaven knows I could use.  I've been careful with citrus because of my ulcer but I decided to give this a try and it's been great.  Belly is calm and I'm getting the benefit of all of that vitamin C.  Between daboyz and me, that pitcher is gone so I just threw some canteloupe, cucumber and a little bit of ginger root together.  Top it with tap water (yes, I drink tap water. Michigan has excellent tap water) and into the fridge.  In the mornings, I'm filling a water bottle and taking it to work to sip throughout the day. 
I absolutely love this idea because there are so many amazing fruit, vegetables and fresh herbs at the farmer's market that I want to try but don't always know exactly what to do with.  Well, now I know!  I figure, you can't go wrong.  If you don't like what you get, try again.  And with the mint that grows all over my back yard, I can keep myself entertained all summer.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Clean Eating Week 2

Week one of cleaning eating was successful with the focus being to add fruits and vegetables to every meal.  We ate at home every night except one when we had middle eastern food, which is clean by definition.  Although the "right" way to do this is to clear out one's kitchen pantry of all non-clean items like white flour and sugar, we haven't done that.  It's just not feasible financially and I'm not comfortable wasting the food we have purchased.  So we're slowing down our consumption of those items and using them up a bit at a time.  In other words, no, we are not 100% clean.  But the great thing is, every bit of effort toward the goal is helpful.  I made turkey tetrazzini with regular old fettuccine as opposed to whole wheat but I'm ok with that.  It used up the pasta left in the cabinet and the next time I shop, it will be whole grain.  The rest of the ingredients were whole and unprocessed. 
The Mr. is going along with the plan although he's far from sold out on the idea.  For instance, he has what I consider a problem with artificial sweeteners.  He doesn't think it's as troublesome as I do so he's not motivated to eliminate them from his diet.  He drinks quite a lot of tea and pop with that crud in it.  Daboyz and I drink water but we just can't get Dean on that particular bandwagon.  He also eats potato chips with his lunches, baked at least.  There's stuff on those ingredient lists I'm not fond of and if I'm to be truthful, chips are a big temptation to me.  I'd like to eliminate them from our cabinets but for now I'm going to have to learn self-discipline. 
When I talk about this philosophy, people are anxious to hear how we're feeling.  Do I notice immediate results?  I'm willing to share the down & dirty if you really want to know!
As I've mentioned in the past, I've had chronic headaches forever.  When I eliminated artificial sweeteners about a year ago, those disappeared.  I still have monthly hormonal headaches and this month they were as bad as always.  Time will tell if there is a long term improvement.  I was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer last summer.  With medication, it is tolerable but I still have daily pain and my diet is quite restricted.  This week I got brave after a few days of clean eating and adding ground flax seed to my diet and had chicken fajitas including the dangerous onions and green peppers.  I also had mild fresh salsa.  This would've been a no-no previously and within hours I'd have been doubled over and puking.  No problems with pain or nausea :)  That said, I will admit to having used Motrin (a super no-no) for cramps and migraine connected my cycle and by Thursday my ulcer was raging.  I also have chronic constipation (I warned you!)  I think it's the flax seed thats helping, not to mention the roughage,  but that is better too, and we'll leave it at that. 
Sunday morning I made whole wheat pancakes which I thought were very good.  Mind you, if you're looking for unprocessed and whole options that will be exactly like their white flour/sugar counterparts, you will be disappointed.  Our taste buds need to readjust a bit to these closer to nature options that make our bodies metabolize and work at optimum level.  Those processed and refined ingredients are smooth and sweet but require nothing of our bodies so they just sit in there as fat cells; providing minimal nutrition or fuel and costing maximum damage.  I'll get off my soapbox and share my pancake recipe!

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Agave

I added crushed pineapple in its own juice but any fruit would work if you like fruit in your flapjacks!

Whisk wet and dry ingredients separately the combine.  Cook them like you would any other pancake.  These are pretty filling but not dense and heavy.  I ate 2 small ones and was full.  The Mr. and Mac had two each with eggs.  Donny had one :)

As with any healthy eating plan...water water water! 

Clean eating week 2-Eliminate all fast food!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

10 unrelated statements

1.  Watkins aloe & green tea cuticle salve.  Using it nightly, love it!
2.  Hormonal headache day 2, blech.
3.  The sun is shining but...brrrrrrr.
4.  Video of first responders always makes me cry. 
5.  One more month and Mac's first semester of nursing school is complete.
6.  I order mascara online from Nordstrom's mostly for the free perfume samples.
7.  Made turkey tetrazzini this week for the first time.  Law!
8.  We've been eating clean for a week :)
9.  Flip flop weather is coming.  Ladies, please tend to your tootsies.
10. Donny likes to lay on the couch in the living room so I keep a sheet on it so it doesn't get all hairy.  He pulls the sheet off every day.  Why?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Handy Dandy!

This past Christmas, a friend at work gave me one of these handy dandy gadgets...
It's a coffee cup warmer and it works great, during the winter months it kept my cup of coffee nice and hot on my desk.  I like those overlarge coffee cups and sometimes the coffee gets cold before I finish.  It works equally well for a cup of soup. 
Last week I was in the office of another friend who got the same gift and she was not using it for coffee or soup.  She had a small ramekin with a scented wax cake, like a Scentsy in it.  Her office smelled wonderful much like mine does, only I have a $25 Scentsy warmer on my desk.  These mug warmers cost much less than that and do the same job!  Someone is very clever and it ain't me!  It seems my friend's daughter-in-law taught her this  little trick, she uses a mug warmer and places her jar candles on them instead of lighting them for their scent.  They last forever and you don't lose the last few inches in the bottom of the jar when the wick is burned away. 
I've brought my mug warmer home and it's sitting on my bathroom counter with a small jar candle on it and sure 'nuff, it works like a charm!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hello and I love you...

Hello & I love you.
That's pretty much why I'm posting today.  Would that I were bursting with spiritual wisdom and insight, certainly such as these seem in short supply these days. 
Alas, I've nothing so remarkable to share.
Apart from the obvious desire to dwell in more spiritual places, I'm not sorry for my lack of the remarkable.
I'm reminded to be thankful for no greater sorrow than long distance pain for the Boston deaths in my life this week.  A long hot shower and big glass of ice water has cured most of my ills. 
Did I tell you that I'm working on eating clean?  Yup.  I eliminated artificial sweeteners from my diet several months ago and found this also eliminated 99% of what had been chronic and daily headaches.  I stopped eating processed sweets like Oreos and take the time to bake an old fashioned batch of cookies when I've a hankering.
The teasing rays of sunshine and occasional moments when I could wear a light-weight jacket have provided that spark of ambition it always does and so last weekend I spent some time at the farmer's market buying fresh fruit and veggies to take my clean eating thoughts a bit further and all week we've been eating fresh whole foods at home.  I found a pin on Pinterest about slowly changing to clean eating and week one's change is to add fruit and vegetables to every meal.  The Mr. and daboyz are even joining me and it's downright satisfying to watch all of those goodies disappearing from the counter tops and fridge. 
The Mr. baked a couple of turkey breasts and tomorrow I'm going to use them to whip up fresh and whole food turkey tetrazini.  And of course, a big ol' salad.
Heaven knows I'd like to say this shall whittle away my extra pounds but I've decided that for now, that doesn't need to be the obsession (and frustration) it has been in the past. Nope, health will come in whatever form it will as long as I pay attention to what I eat.  And whatever that form is, I will hope to be wise enough to celebrate and be thankful for it.
I hope that this post reflects how blessedly boring life has been in our home lately.  I praise God that in this broken world,  my diet is the most interesting thing on my mind.  Lacking such loss and grief as others suffer today, allow me to blissfully say to you,
Hello and I love you.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Saturday, April 13, 2013



Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Why did you have a child?

If you have them, why did you have children?

I had them because I wanted to have the Mr.'s babies and because I wanted to give my parents and grandparents another generation.  I had them because I felt that I already loved them and needed them even before they were conceived.  What I didn't do is have them because I felt God had instructed me to add people to the world.  Happily, because God is fully aware of how much of my flesh directs my actions (especially 20+ years ago,)  the desires of my heart were still his despite my ignorance of the fact.  I guess you could say he "tricked" me into doing his will by having babies for completely selfish reasons.

I was listening to Charles Swindoll the other day and he shared God's perspective of those of us who have had babies.  He said, like Hannah, we should all approach the gift of a child as the privilege of bearing God's will for the years to come.  She wanted this child, and prayed for him with fervency...
I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27

Hannah, like so many of us, had that deep and unrelenting need to have a child.  But she understood this need so much better than I did.  It wasn't the romantic expression of love for her husband, it was a begging and desperate hope that God would allow her such an amazing role...to be the mother of someone who He would use in ways she couldn't even imagine.  In fact, having given birth she gave her sweet boy right back to the Lord.  She was satisfied with the glory of God having done this work in her body.  Goodness, I certainly wasn't thinking in those terms when I had my boys.

This perspective should greatly change the way most of us raise these precious gifts.  Are we raising our kids for our pleasure?  For theirs?  Or for the glory of God through the work they will do in the world?  When we look the other way instead of disciplining, we are participating in robbery.  We are stealing from the world the man or woman that God intentionally and purposefully placed here for a reason. When we neglect or discourage them, we squelch the flame of the Holy Spirit intended to set the world on fire.  We should be mortally terrified of failing in this sacred task.  Although many of us stand at an altar to dedicate our children back to God, I will confess here, I didn't truly grasp what this meant.  I was dedicating myself to raising my sons to serve and love Jesus.  Dedicating them to serve and lead the world during what could be the end of days?  No, that really wasn't on my mind.  In fact, I still pray that they will serve him all the way to heaven but I'm still learning to give them into his service.  To pray them into his service, indeed, to sacrifice them into his service.

Consider the mothers of the Bible.  Moses, Samuel, Jacob, Jesus...These were not stories of the joy of parenthood or of families.  These were babies born for a purpose, and this is no different than any other baby born since.

If we awakened each day and looked into the faces of our infant and thought..."It's my job to pour holiness into the world through this child," how differently would we parent? 

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Saturday, April 06, 2013

1.  Dear Saturday morning, I love you.
2.  Home & Garden Show in Novi this weekend, wonder if I can talk the Mr. into going?
3.  Speaking of the Mr., he has big plans to put a new toilet in today!
4.  Overcast and blah today.  Blah.
5.  Reading Eleanor Roosevelt's autobiography, very interesting.
6.  Ordered a "mini hipster" from Vera Bradley for vacation.
7.  Thinking 'bout making a pot of cabbage soup.
8.  Don't know if I've got allergies or a head cold but either way, I don't like it.
9.  Have you seen Argo?  Good movie.
10. Time for another cup of coffee :)

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Monday, April 01, 2013

Easter 2013

I took a few hours of vacation this morning so I could sleep in after our wonderful Easter dinner.  I'm enjoying my coffee and uploading some of the pictures of a great day.  

Susan decorating our favorite Easter cake, strawberry lemonade!


Amy, Mason & Mom

The Family: Amy, Mason, Mom, Dad, Tim, Sarah

Jay, Mac & Susan

Sarah reading Pat The Bunny to Mason....what does he think?