Friday, February 29, 2008

My 100th Post!

If my calculations are correct, this is my 100th blog post. Wow. I think I'm supposed to do something super fantastic with this post, so let's see . . .


You've probably noticed me talking off and on about trying to get healthy and lose weight. I come from a family that has always struggled with weight. I was a pretty active teenager and never really struggled with weight issues until my 20s, and now it's gotten worse in my 30s.

Unfortunately, I also come from a family that deals with a lot of health issues (among those, diabetes and heart problems . . .)

SO . . . I'm taking a leap of faith and a stand for myself and my family, and I am asking all of you for your support.

For my 100th blog post I am challenging myself to lose 100 pounds. Or at least come pretty close to it. If I do it, I'll be thinner than I have been well, probably since 7th grade . . . but I will be within my healthy weight range.

I know that this is not going to be easy or fast . . . so I'm not going to give myself a 'lose by' date. I'm just going to consistently work toward it and I will update you as I go along.

Feel free to leave tips . . .and especially ENCOURAGEMENT . . . or let me know if you're going to take this journey with me!

Have a great LEAP DAY!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Getting Back on Track . . .

Thanks to Kristen - I am ready to get back on track. I'm on the path to a healthier me starting right now. I have already had lots of water today and I am ready to be healthy. I am ready to FIT in my clothes. I am ready for a lot of things.

It's not too late to make those new year's resolutions come true . . . WHO'S WITH ME????

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My newest health inspiration

I want to share a new website I found . . . well, kind of found . . . okay so it was on a link at the end of an email . . .

This is a website about my friend Kristen who is blogging about her weight loss experience and wanting to be an inspiration to others who are trying to lose weight. I was very inspired and am really happy that she is doing this. SHE LOOKS GREAT!!!

Don't you think????

I am ready to get back on track myself, thanks to her and this awesome website. Check it out - great food reviews and recipes. :-)

Have a great evening.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sad News

Larry Norman, "the father of Christian Rock", died on Sunday.

This news saddens me. I had the honor of attending one of his concerts several years ago. He was simple person with a simple, yet profound message. And he was really funny.

On his website,he posted a final message to everyone that included these words:

"I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God's hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home."

Here is a tribute video someone did of Larry - singing my favorite song, "I am a servant."

Goodbye Larry. We may mourn, but Heaven is rejoicing.


Okay - so this headline caused me to have a little bit of heart palpitations (almost as much as when I drink too many mochas from Starbucks . . .)

Luckily - it is just a marketing ploy and a closing that will only last a few hours.

Check out the story here . . .

I guess Starbucks is training their staff to better the "Starbucks experience" due to competition from places like Dunkin Donuts and McDonald's who are now offering "premium coffee" at cheaper prices.

I happen to believe that Starbucks is a lot about the atmosphere. I am not a big coffee drinker, but for some reason, I LOVE Starbucks coffee. Maybe they slip an extra addictive ingredient in it, I'm not sure. (or maybe its just the regular addictive ingredients . . . like sugar . . . and caffeine . . .)

Yes, Starbucks is expensive. And in an economic downturn - many people are likely trying to give up their Starbucks habit. I even found a blog post to help you do just that.
So . . . . tell me . . . are you addicted to Starbucks? Will you be wooed away from Starbucks by other restaurants? Will you have the jitters knowing the store is closed for a few hours, even if you know it is going to re-open a few hours later? OR do you hate Starbucks and everything it stands for??

Monday, February 25, 2008

Song of the Day

This song is from 2005, but I had never heard it. I will post a live video of the song and the lyrics below. I wanted to share it because I really needed to hear this today - so maybe you do too!

The Real Me
Foolish heart looks like we're here again
Same old game of plastic smile
Don't let anybody in
Hiding my heartache, will this glass house break
How much will they take before I'm empty
Do I let it show, does anybody know?

But you see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within
Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
Cause you see the real me

Painted on, life is behind a mask
Self-inflicted circus clown
I'm tired of the song and dance
Living a Charade, always on parade
What a mess I've made of my existence
But you love me even now
And still I see somehow

But you see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within
Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
Cause you see the real me

Wonderful, beautiful is what you see
When you look at me
You're turning the tattered fabric of my life into
A perfect tapestry
I just wanna be me

But you see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within
Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
Cause you see the real me

And you love me just as I am

Wonderful, Beautiful is what you see
When you look at me

Friday, February 22, 2008

Update on Christian vs. Christ follower

I had to post an update after my friend Barry commented on the videos I posted earlier today. I also believe you have to be careful about 'mocking' people who DO wear the 3-piece suit to church. I have no problem with people who dress up to go to church.

I have no problem with people who wear Christian t-shirts, cross necklaces, or have 400 Christian bumper stickers on their car.

What I do have a problem with is the people who have all the trappings, but don't have a relationship to go along with it. They can quote you Bible verses from Genesis to Revelation . . . but they don't know what the words mean.

God doesn't want our STUFF - he wants US. Sure, I could wear a Christian t-shirt, WWJD bracelets, a cross necklace and drive my minivan with Jesus is my co-pilot bumper sticker and not have any clue about the Grace of God. (And what bothers me most is when one of the people who obviously wants everyone to know they are a Christian, flips someone off who cuts them off in traffic, or is rude to a service worker in a restaurant or store - giving that person a very bad opinion of 'Christians'.)

People should know we are Christians by how we act and how we love. Not just how we love non-Christians, but also how we love each other. But we shouldn't love one MORE than the other. If a non-Christian walked into a church in a 3-piece suit and a Christian walked in wearing a tie-dye shirt, ripped jeans and no shoes . . . would you treat them differently, not knowing anything about their relationship with Christ?

My point is -- no human KNOWS another person's heart . . . which is why we should "Love one another." Not - love other Christians. Not - love the sinners. Love one another. Period. And if we worship Jesus while listening to U2 or Tommy Walker . . . it's still worshiping Jesus.

All of that being said . . . I do agree with Barry on his point about getting hung up on the terms "Christian" and "Christ-follower". Using a different term isn't going to change how people perceive things. I was a little disturbed by the end of each video that showed the "Christian No More" logo. Mostly because - doesn't the word Christian essentially mean Christ-follower anyway?

Okay, my rant is over. Thanks Barry for such great talking points!!

Christian vs. Christ Follower

My gorgeous husband found some really funny videos on YouTube last night and I absolutely had to share them here. They've been online since May of last year - so if you've already seen them . . . well then watch them again, they're funny!

It seems like the term "Christian" has been given such a negative connotation.

What does it mean if you're a Christian? Does it mean you dress up every Sunday and go to church? Does it mean you look down on those that don't?

An Illinois church created these videos (a parody of the Mac vs. PC ads which I looove).

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

I think these are great - and a good way to demonstrate how certain beliefs have become so skewed and that the most important part of being a "Christian" is believing in and following Jesus - not all the "stuff" that people associate with church.

What do you think about these videos?

(FYI - if you are interested in showing these at your church or youth group - there are high resolution videos available for purchase here.)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Did anyone else see the lunar eclipse last night?

I got out my camera to see if I could get any good shots -

many were blurry, but some weren't too bad!

This next one is my favorite.

And then, this is what happens when you move the camera
when you're trying to take a picture of the lunar eclipse . . .

I think eclipses are cool - and at least with a lunar eclipse, you don't have to worry about burning out your eyes.

The next total lunar eclipse will not occur until December 21, 2010. Mark your calendars. :-)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

30 Day Sex Challenge

Okay, one of my favorite blogs posted about Relevant Church's new campaign:

The 30-day Sex Challenge.

Check it out. Interesting concept.

What do you think? A good way to draw people in? Or turn people away?

PSA - Update

Yes, as Allison pointed out . . . the flu shot does not help against the Type A Influenza that is going around. I heard that several times yesterday. However, they are saying that it is still better than not having a flu shot at all, because it can still help the symptoms somewhat.

I also learned that if you get a prescription for Tamiflu when the first symptoms show up (or when you know you've been exposed) then that can help as well. So we are doing that for our younger two children, as soon as Wal-mart gets some in stock again!

I am not looking forward to all this sickness. So far, my 7 year old seems to be bouncing back a little bit and her fever is subsiding.

But - it snowed enough to actually cover things last night - so at least we have something pretty to look at while being at home, yes?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Public Service Announcement - GET A FLU SHOT

Please. Get a flu shot. And get your kids vaccinated as well.

I have a 7 year old with influenza and 2 younger kids who were exposed. It is not going to be a fun week.

Here is some information on the flu vaccine from the CDC. Read it. Do it.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why do YOU celebrate Valentine's Day?

The History channel website has an informative piece on the subject of Valentine's Day and it's origins. I read through it and I'm not really sure which story I buy into. I just know that it is nice to have a holiday that is entirely dedicated to LOVE.

That being said, I do feel that it has been commercialized a little too much. I mean - my kids have to give Valentines to everyone in their class - so by the time they are old enough to actually HAVE a real Valentine - the gesture will most likely have lost some of it's magic.

"According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.)" (from History)

Wow - one billion Valentine cards. That is a lot. That's a lot of love.

But do you see it?

When you look around - do you see a billion Valentine cards worth of love?

I'm sure that if you focus on the violence and the apathy and the negative things going on today - you won't be able to see that much love.

However, today - I am choosing to focus on the love that I do see:

The old couple holding hands as they walk down the sidewalk . . .

The man who pulls over to help a stranded person on the side of the road . . .

The unconditional loving smile of a child . . .

and a Grace that forgives even when we feel unforgiveable . . .

And of course . . . fuzzy kitties loving on each other . . .

So I am choosing to delight in the love that I see this day. By trying to make someone's day brighter, by smiling at the cranky salesperson at Wal-mart, and by giving my husband tons and tons of Valentine's kisses.

How are YOU going to celebrate this day of love?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Drama Llama!!

Today is my niece Jamie's birthday. My little (okay, not so little) Jamie is not necessarily having the best birthday as she is diabetic and she is expecting a little one soon (as you can most likely tell from the picture) - so she is in the hospital on her birthday. Not necessarily a fun way to spend your birthday - so I thought I would cheer her up by making her 'famous' on my blog. :-)


Since you're having to watch your sugar intake . . . I thought I'd give you a virtual cake!

(Image from

I just want to say that I am so proud of you Jamie. You have not had an easy life - but I see you finally becoming a woman who is sure of herself and wants to do great things. You and Sam are going to be awesome parents! I am so thankful that I get to be your aunt. You are fun, and talented, and beautiful - and don't you forget it!! :-)

And now . . . in honor of your birthday . . . Christopher Collamabus would like to recite a Llama Limerick for you.

There once was a beautiful llama
Who was friends with a lovely Mama
But they came to blows
Over eating potatoes
Then decided it was just too much drama . . .

Okay - that one was bad -- my limerick brain hasn't been used much lately.

Anyway Jamie - Happy Birthday! I hope you enjoyed your very own blog post. :-)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Funny Country Songs

I have a confession to make. I LOVE country music. I always have. Sure, people like to make jokes like, "What happens when you play a country song backwards? You get your wife back, your dog back, etc. etc. etc." However, the things I love most about country music are:
  • It's simple.
  • You can understand the words.
  • Almost everyone can relate to the message.
  • There is usually a sense of humor involved . . . and I love to laugh.

My dear husband does not share my love of country music . . . so since we've been married, I don't listen to it as much. Not because he won't LET me, but because when we're together, I want us BOTH to enjoy the time. . . not just me. I've tried (sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much) to get him to understand why I love this type of music. He does like certain artists, and I can be grateful for that.

This month, I started a new aspect of my job and I'm back to working in an office again (one of my excuses for not posting every day on my blog . . .) - and the great part about it is, I have about a 20 minute drive where I CAN LISTEN TO COUNTRY MUSIC, if I want to.

This morning, I found a 'Young Country' station that sounds like it is being run by local high school students, but the music was good - so I stuck with it through the extremely slow and icy drive (it took me 40 minutes longer today, so I got a lot of good country listening in.)

Well - there were three songs in a row that evoked significant emotion for me, so I thought I'd share them with you here.

The first one caused me to laugh out loud (or LOL for you abbreviators). The chorus goes like this:

"You say I should stay with you
That Jesus forgives you
You pray I will, but I won't
The difference is
Jesus loves you . . . I don't"

Okay, so I don't necessarily agree with the sentiment, but it caught me off guard and made me laugh. If you are interested, the song is called "I Don't" and it's by Danielle Peck. You can watch the video here.

Right after that, there was another song that was really catchy and again made me laugh. I'll copy all of the lyrics here, because they are really funny . . .

She got her daddy's tongue and temper
Sometimes her mouth could use a filter
God shook his head the day he built her
Oh, but I bet he smiled.
She loves and lives her life unruly
Tears up that dirt road up in a dualy
Dangerous, absolutely.
And in a little while...
She'll be roundin' that corner on three wheels
Ain't slowin down, yellin "Come on, jump in"
Always up to somethin, crazy got nothin' on her

Chorus:She ain't right,
she ain't right
She ain't right,
but she's just right for me

She says she wants to meet my momma
I said, I don't think you oughta
Be like mixin' oil and water
But by midnight she had
momma on the coffee table dancin'
Comin' unwound
Good God I swear,
can't take her anywhere
What's the girl gonna do next

She ain't right,
she ain't right
She ain't right,
but she's just right for me

Every once in a while
she'll give me that smile and say,
I just don't see somebody like you
lovin' somebody like me

She ain't right,
naw she ain't right
She ain't right
She ain't right,
she ain't right

She's just right,
she's just right,
She's just right for me
Mhhmmm she's just right,
she's just right.
She ain't right,
she's just right for me.

I mean seriously . . . didn't that make you laugh? I am beginning to wonder if my husband wrote that song about me . . . well, not the whole song . . . just the 'she ain't right' part. Ha ha.

Again, if you're interested, that song is by Lee Brice and the song is "She Ain't Right" and you can watch the video here.

Finally, we'll end on a serious note. I had heard about this final song, but had not had the chance to listen to it. It was very sentimental, because it made me think about my children growing up, and how their Daddy is going to handle it.

This song is called "Stealing Cinderella" and it is by Chuck Wicks.

Here's the video for you to enjoy.

I challenge all of you today to listen to some music that you can connect with - laugh, cry, and sing really loud!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Snow in China

I know I haven't done a great job of posting every day. It's been really busy - and I hope you will forgive me.

However, I wanted to bring your attention to my friend Rett's blog and her most recent post entitled "The Girl's Homeland". Rett and her husband recently adopted twin girls from China.

The orphanage where these girls lived until they were almost 2 years old has been greatly affected by the record-breaking snowstorms in China.

There is an organization that is doing what they can to help:

"LWB is a volunteer organization so 97% of all donations reach the children. Also, all donations are tax-deductible and you will receive a receipt for tax purposes. We can take donations either online or by check.

If you would like to donate online go to and click on ‘Donate’; click ‘Other’; enter your information and in the ‘Notes’ section please write ‘Yifeng Orphanage Assistance’.

To donate by check make your check payable to ‘Love Without Boundaries’ and write ‘Yifeng Orphanage Assistance’ on the Memo line. Mail your check to: Love Without Boundaries, 306 S. Bryant St., Ste. C, PMB 145, Edmond, OK, 73034."

I hope you will take the time to read Rett's blog and learn about her journey to her babies, and think about donating to help these people who helped raise these beautiful girls and continue to care for other children who are waiting for their forever families.

"Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay." -Psalm 40:17

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

As Promised . . . One Whining Wet Cat . . .

Well folks, here it is . . .

This video was taken right after Rufus completed his bath. Rufus is a very large cat - not necessarily chubby, but SOLID and long.

And have I mentioned that all of my cats have all of their claws? I think I'm going to invent a new sport called "Extreme Cat Bathing." Not sure too many people would want to attempt it.

Anyway - here is Rufus looking forlornly at his wet physique in the mirror and whining about how horrible he looks.

Monday, February 4, 2008

High on life . . . low on baths . . .

Here is the first installment in the promised funny kitty pictures . . .

The other day, I decided it was time to torture myself and my cats and give them baths. Our oldest kitty, Britney, has a very bad dry skin problem and so I got some special shampoo from the vet to try and help it. I also figured that if one cat was getting a bath, they all should.

I started out by buttering them up and giving them catnip . . .

Here is Rufus trying to do chin-ups on the cat tree.

Catnip makes you feel all powerful, ya know.

And Max was at the bottom of the tree, eyes dilated . . . snorting catnip.

And then the inevitable happens . . . after the high, comes the crash.

I had them right where I wanted them. I attempted to corral them all in the bathroom, which resulted in scratches and Britney escaping to hide underneath our bed. Figures, the one cat who needs it the most . . .

I did finally get everyone clean . . . but I didn't get pictures of everyone. Tomorrow, I'll post a live-action video of Rufus' reaction to himself after his bath . . . you won't want to miss it.

But now - I'll show you a before and after picture that is sure to get a laugh . . .

Here is Gracie before her bath, all bushy and beautiful, without a care in the world . . .

And here is Gracie after her bath . . .

Do you think she's a little ticked at me??

I did learn something from all of this though - one of the guys I work for (who is a veterinarian) told me that when you need to give cats a bath, put an old window screen in the tub with them, so that they have something to hang onto and things will go much smoother. Unfortunately for me, my skin, and the plastic shower curtain . . . I didn't get this advice until AFTER I was done. Well, at least I'll know for next time, right?

Don't forget to tune in tomorrow!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Jailbird or Fashion Disaster?

Okay - so I promised you funny cat pictures . . . but I have to put that off until tomorrow . . . because today, I must pick on my friend Ron. (FYI, Ron is Ruth's husband.)

Ron coaches Upward Basketball and also referees for the other games . . . I got some great pictures of him the other day and wanted to share them (and pick on him mercilessly) here . . .

So what do you think? Is he an escaped convict or someone seriously in need of a fashion makeover?

"Hey, Ho . . . Hey, Ho"

Wet cat pictures tomorrow . . . I promise . . .

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Stay Tuned . . .

Today was a pretty relaxing family day - we had basketball in the morning and did some grocery shopping - which was really stupid because everyone in the world was shopping for their Super Bowl parties . . . it was worse than Christmastime!

I have several posts lined up for the next few days, I just have to download some pictures to be able to do them justice.

One of them involves wet cats . . . is that enough to interest you in coming back to read tomorrow's post?

I hope so. See you then!

Friday, February 1, 2008

New Month - New Start . . .

Yes, I did pretty well at the 'posting every day thing' until the past week. Things got busy for me and I couldn't get out of bed early enough or was too tired in the evenings to post anything worth posting.

Since today is February 1st, I've decided to jump right back on the bicycle and try again. I had a long list of resolutions, and although I haven't fallen completely off - I need to put some umph back into my willpower.

So - I found a really good article about getting out of bed in the mornings WITHOUT caffeine. Check it out here.

I especially appreciated the third tip on this list, "The 10-Minute Rule. If you want to stick with a consistent wake-up time, practice the ten-minute rule. This means you commit to staying awake for at least the next ten minutes. Once you get over that initial period, the temptation to go back to bed is usually gone." I think that seems to be true with a lot of things.

When my husband FINALLY quit smoking after many many years - he learned that most cravings will go away after 3 minutes . . . so if he could find something else to focus on during that craving, he could make it. And he did. (I'm so proud of him . . . it's been TWO YEARS!!)

So that is my newest goal. When I crave BAD food, I will focus on something else until the craving subsides. When I want to get back into bed and sleep all day, I'll turn on all the lights and BLOG. :-)

Happy February!