Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Painting Project: Pictures At Last

Alright, I guess the bedroom is as finished as it's going to get... for now.  I still want at least two more items for the walls, like another complimentary picture or some sort of decorative thing in a butterfly motif.  We also need closet door pulls to be installed, but they won't make or break the look.

I think the photos show the paint to be much grayer than it is in person, but this is the best I could do.  I'm sure lighting has everything to do with it.


Love the new curtains and white mini-blinds.  They brighten up the room.



This is a picture that was a birthday gift.  The color choice for the walls was based on this picture alone, and I've been waiting 6 months for the room to be painted in order to hang it.


I think Dixie feels pretty comfortable with the color choices.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What's On Your Nightstand?

Nightstand I finally feel like I have an opportunity to join in the 5 Minutes For Books' What's on Your Nightstand?  The last few weeks I've been challenging myself to add fiction into the mix of my reading.  I already try to read 10 pages of theological reading a day, although there are certain days it just doesn't get done.  Now I'm working at reading 30 pages of fiction in addition to that, so I can get some serious reading accomplished.

I have a whole bookshelf of books just waiting, practically calling my name, to be read.  I decided I need to be methodical and purposeful about reading the fiction, too, if I want to actually get these books read.

My list of what's on my nightstand is short for the month of May, but believe me when I say it's quite a hearty goal in comparison to what I've done in the past.  Here's the plan...

1.  Future Grace by John Piper (Theological) - I started this in March and hope to finish it in about a week.  It's about learning how to believe the promises of God and depending on God's grace to overcome the sin of unbelief (pride, bitterness, despondency, misplaced shame, etc.).

2.  If I Gained the World by Linda Nichols (Fiction) - I started this book a couple weeks ago, and I should be done in the next week or so.

3.  Experiencing the Spirit: The Power of Pentecost Every Day by Henry & Melvin Blackaby (Theological) - I am really looking forward to diving into this one.  I've not read much on the Holy Spirit, and I'm anxious to learn some new things.

4.  A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman (Fiction) - I'll be starting this novel as soon as I finish the other.  I am not a big fan of the romance, being much more into historical fiction.  But from the reviews I've read, I got the impression this is a good book.

5.  My Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Fiction) - This will be the next novel in line, if I get super ambitious with my fiction reading.  We'll just have to see how it goes.

So have any of you read anything interesting lately?  Leave a comment and tell me about it.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Will Not Live On Bread Alone

You may have noticed that I've been writing a lot about my health and weight-loss challenges and achievements during the last few weeks.  To be honest, I think I could have written about it even more than I have, but I just didn't want to bore you with it all.

But here's the thing.  Working at this discipline of nutrition and health is what a good portion of my life consists of right now.  It's one of the big things that God has chosen to work in me at this point in time in a way He hasn't before, and so it's what I'm going to be most apt to talk about.  And it definitely has been about discovering Liz...discovering who I am in Christ, one life lesson at a time.

So in regards to getting fit, I have to share one of the major victories I've gained.  It's all about the b-r-e-a-d.

You see, I love bread and starch and carbs.  I like to sit down with a bag of chips and munch away with nary a care in the world.  The problem is that I know it's detrimental.  I just didn't know how I was going to cut back.

Even so, I have been choosing to eat fewer servings of bread/starch for several weeks.  Do you know what I've learned?  I don't need all that starch.  I'm okay.  I won't die.  In fact, I'm content.

You know, I'm happy about that.  Happy that I'm experiencing change.  Thrilled to know I can do something I didn't think I could do.  Thankful for the Holy Spirit's power at work in me.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What I Learned This Week - Edition #6

I've been driving a mini-van since last Friday, sort of as a test drive to see if we might take it off my parents' hands.  They recently acquired it from my grandparents.  Since we're not in a position to purchase a car anytime in the near future, they thought we might be able to use it.

I never saw myself as the mini-van type.  We've had three different Neons since early on in marriage.  I had imagined if I were to upgrade my car, I really had my sites set on a Jeep Liberty or something more sporty and free-spirited.  And ya know, a girl needs somewhere to put her golf clubs... and to well... look all sporty on the road.

Anyway, on Sunday night I needed to give a young lady a ride home after church, and since we give her rides to church regularly, she is quite familiar with our declining Neon and all of its noises, quirks, and otherwise discomforts. 

This darling Jr. Higher hopped into the van and said she was surprised to see I had it and had been wondering where my car was.  Which led to the following conversation....

Me:  I never figured myself to be the minivan type, you know?  I kinda look like a soccer mom.  Whatcha think?

Girl:  Do you have kids?

Me:  (puzzled)  Uh... have you ever seen me with kids?  I mean, there are never any other kids with us when we pick you up.

Girl:  Yeah.  I just thought maybe you had OLDER kids that were grown.

Me:  (getting an incredulous look on my face) What?!?  How OLD do you think I AM?  I'm only 36!  I could be your mother but NOT old enough to have grown children.

Girl:  Oh.

Well... I think I might have to start charging her for rides from now on.  Oh, I kid.  I like her and would not do that to her. 

Unfortunately, what I learned this week is that apparently I look older than my age.  I think I would've felt better living in ignorance.  {sigh}  At least for a few more years.

*If you're interested in more What I Learned This Week, Jo-Lynne's blog is just a click away.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

The Painting Project (cont.)

The bedroom painting is finished.  Now I just need to get some stuff up on the walls and maybe some curtains, too.  I won't post any pictures until it's completely ready.  Sorry.  You'll just have to wait.  You wouldn't want to see it only half done.  Right?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Caffeinated Randomness: The Painting Project

It's Friday, and the painting of the bedroom begins.  Rich brought home the three samples of the blues we want to try and brushed them on the wall and trim to see if we can get an idea of how it might look. 

After heavy deliberation, we decided that the Pale Flowers was just too icy of a blue.  We're going with the next shade darker.

Painting has always been such a long, difficult process for us.  I do not have an eye to visualize the finished product, so choosing color is grueling.  As much as I'm tempted to try real color, we always wind up staying safe with neutral tones.  Blue will be a big leap from any color we've previously used.  It makes me nervous and excited at the same time.

Have a good Friday, everyone.

Randomness FridayIf you'd like to read more randomness, head over to Andrea's.





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Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Day Off

I'm not at work today because the power company scheduled a power outage.  I guess they're doing some work out at the road and will have the power off until early afternoon.

So instead, I'm at home being leisurely.   I slept in until 7:30, and that hardly ever happens, but it was a good thing for today because I have a sore throat.   It started feeling scratchy yesterday and only got worse.  I think it's a sinus thing, but just to be on the safe side I'm taking Airborne.

I'm taking Dixie to the vet in a little while.  She's way overdue for her shots.  It's always a little disconcerting to take our pets to the vet when we know we're late on the shots.  We wonder if they'll revoke our pet ownership because we stink as pet parents. 

We're getting ready to paint our bedroom. I should take some before and after shots for you.  I think Rich is prepping the walls today, and then he'll probably paint tomorrow.  I asked if I get to help, and he said I can.  I just have a feeling that he'll get it finished before I get home from work, and there will be nothing left for me to do.  That happened with the bathroom. 

I've chosen a light blue (Pale Flowers) for the walls and a darker blue (Summerhouse Blue) for the trim around the door, windows and closet.  Rich is picking up some samples for us to try out, and then I'll make a definite decision.  Yes, I get to make the decision because Rich is color blind. 

I better get going.  I need to dry my hair and finish getting ready for the day, and then we're off to the vet.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Almost as Good as Shrimp Ravioli

On Monday my husband upgraded our cell phones, and I am now the proud owner of one of these:


It's a Motorola Krave.  It's got a touch screen, a qwerty keyboard, and LOTS of cool features.  It even has pleasant ringtones to choose from.  I love a pleasant ringtone.  Don't you?

As great as I thought my Chocolate was, this is ten times better.  I discovered you can designate certain contacts to be put on a "favorites" list, which means I can quickly pull up a list of just the people I call the most.  My dialing just got that much simpler.

Not that I'm going to be one of those crazy text-ers or anything, but my husband decided to order me a texting plan, while he was at it.  {Thanks, honey!}  What a guy!

Remember how much I loved my Shrimp Ravioli last Saturday?  I think I love this phone almost that much.  Almost.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday: Food

toptentuesday Let's face it.  Getting skinny has never been easy, but I think it's much easier now than it was a few years ago.  We have lots of food options.

It's Top Ten Tuesday with OhAmanda, so here is a list of my Top Ten favorite items for healthier eating and low-cal snacking:

1. Fiber One Honey Clusters Cereal - This is my #1 pick for healthy eating because it just tastes good, both sweet and crunchy.  It's a great way to kick off your day, providing 51% of your daily fiber needs.  Fiber is our friend!  Definitely add some sliced banana, too.

2.  Dannon Light 'n Fit Yogurt - My favorite flavor is cherry, with coconut & pineapple coming in at a close second.

3.  Special K Multi-Grain Crackers - What a great snack when you need a little something to take the edge off your hunger.  Only 90 calories in half a serving (17 crackers).  That's quite a few crackers.

4.  Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches - It's ice cream.  Enough said.

5.  Coke Zero (Vanilla Coke Zero or Cherry Coke Zero) - If you're watching your calories, you know how precious every calorie is.  Don't waste them on a beverage.  When you've got a craving for pop, definitely go the 0 calorie route.

6.  Little Debbie 100 Calorie Marshmallow Treat - If you love Rice Krispie treats, you'll enjoy these.  They're just the right size to get a taste of this crispy, gooey treat.

7.  Little Debbie 100 Calorie Nutty Bars - The perfect snack to meet your chocolate and peanut butter craving without adding to your hips.

8.  Grapes - They're such a simple food, but they make for an easy snack or to tack on to your lunch or dinner to fit in another fruit.  It only takes 11 grapes to make a serving.

9.  I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray - This is a must if you want to cut out the fat.  I spray it on toast, veggies, and even use it to "butter" my bread when making grilled cheese.

10.  Dove Promises Dark Chocolate - I keep a bag of these small Dove bars on hand for my chocolate fix.  I allow myself one in a day, if I really need chocolate.  At only about 40 calories a square, it doesn't set me back.

For more Top Ten Tuesday, visit OhAmanda's blog.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

We Had Our Cake, And We Ate It Too

I told you that I would let you know how the weigh-in went at First Place on Saturday.  It was good.  It was REALLY good.  There was laughter and hugging, it was so good.  I lost more than 2 pounds.  Kind of a jaw dropper for me.

Oh and then...I think I gained back the 2 pounds at a surprise party that afternoon.  Yep!  I mean, that was not the intention, but we ate at an Italian restaurant.  What's a girl to do when surrounded by so much pasta?!?

I ordered Shrimp Ravioli, otherwise known as Rhapsody Of Pasta Heaven!  (Can you hear the angels singing?)  It was the most delicious Italian dish I have ever eaten, with cheese ravioli smothered in a roasted red pepper, basil and Romano cheese sauce, not to mention the shrimp.  I love shrimp.  Did I mention DELICIOUS?

I promise that it was the first real indulgence I've partaken of in 4 weeks, and honestly I did not go crazy wild with the bread, appetizers or salad.  I mean, I still have SOME self-control. 

But then this came to the table....

         Friends 009


Yes, that's birthday cake.  (Yes, it's Lightning McQueen.)

That was probably the funniest part of the meal.  The waitress took the cake to the kitchen and sliced it for us, but I'm not sure what she was thinking.  She sliced the entire cake for the number of people at the table - NINE!  Yes, NINE PIECES!  Do you know how huge they were?  About 4" x 6".  We all laughed as the plates were set in front of us, especially because half of us are watching our weight, and we each proceeded to cut our pieces in half.

Thank goodness, the waitress also provided take-home containers for the HALF none of us could eat.  Everyone was taking their leftover piece home for the husbands.  I didn't have to ask Rich twice to eat his.  He snatched that cake right up after dinner.

I doubt I'll be seeing any cake in the near future, but I'll definitely be seeing a lot of my treadmill this week.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Risen and Coming Again!

He is risen! 

     Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.  Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.  Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, but is risen! Luke 24:1-6

He is Lord!

     Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:


Revelation 19:11-16


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Friday, April 10, 2009

This Weight Loss Thing... It's a Process

The week has flown.  So much going on that there's hardly been time to think about a blog.  So we're finally together again.  Would it be okay if I talked a little about my weight loss process?  Thanks.

Today completes four weeks of filling out my food fact sheet, exercising 3-4 times a week, and reining in my calorie consumption.  Tomorrow I face another weigh-in, and I'm slightly nervous.

Last week I maintained.  Honestly, that was a disappointment.  (I'm just being real.)  I had to repeat over and over to myself, "It's not about the number.  It's not about the number.  It's not about the number!"  Oooh, such hard words to believe.

It's a battle to keep the focus on getting healthy to please the Lord and for becoming self-controlled, rather than focusing entirely on making the number on the scale go down week by week.  I know sometime in the middle of last week I began to lose my focus and found myself wanting to creep onto the scale a few times during the week... just to see what the number was looking like.  This week the desire for a shrinking number grew even more.

Another fight has gotten harder this week, and that was with the treadmill.  Although I have found that a good audiobook really helps keep me distracted (I'm listening to a book by Terri Blackstock), getting motivated to even step onto the treadmill has started to become an uphill battle.

I just couldn't get on it Wednesday, but Thursday I was able to talk myself into it.  Probably because that weigh-in is looming in the distance.  Would you laugh if I told you I yawned for about the first 15 minutes?  Uh... something is wrong with this picture.

And then what's with the whole renewed energy thing?  Where is it?  Rather than feeling energized after walking, I am pooped.  Seriously.  Should I be concerned?  Is my body chemistry in correct working order?  This one still has me puzzled.  It's been a month, and I'm still waiting for the extra energy to kick in.

So this is life as I know it right now, or at least a part of it.  I'll have to let you know my results on Saturday.

One more thing before I go.  I want to testify that God does care about our food choices and our desires to stay within boundaries, and He has been very faithful during these four weeks to help me stay on track.  The other day I was invited to eat a lovely meal with friends, but I knew I did not want to compromise my boundaries.  So I talked to the Lord about it that morning and asked Him to provide some sort of dessert that I could enjoy at that meal.  Much to my joy, there were some no sugar added desserts, and I ate my banana cream pie with thankfulness.  I know it was a gift from Him.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Birthday Wishes

toptentuesday Today is not only Top Ten Tuesday at ohamanda's, but it also happens to be the birthday of somebody very special.  My precious friend Judy is celebrating today, and in honor of her big day I wanted to do something special for her.
Judy and I go way back to the early 90's when she started attending my church, but it wasn't until 2005 that we truly started to develop a real friendship.  Since then, I've had the amazing privilege of getting to know her.
                    Pie & Praise2
I love that Judy's name is derived from the Hebrew name Judah and means "praised or admired."  I admire her for so many reasons, mostly because she reflects Jesus.  Today I want to share ten of my favorite things about Judy, in keeping with Top Ten Tuesday.  
  1. She loves the Lord with a passion, so much so that His name just rolls off her tongue.
  2. She demonstrates godly submission in her marriage.
  3. She loves on people like no one else I know.
  4. She's taught me what being merciful looks like.  The woman just never gives up on people because she believes God is always at work in people's lives.
  5. She is a student of the Word, and the woman knows how to teach.
  6. She is not afraid to "burn the midnight oil" in ministry, working late into the night and rising early in the morning.  Dependent on God's grace, she just keeps going and serving and giving. 
  7. She loves life.  I mean, she savors everything.  It is rare to hear her say that she doesn't like something.  It's always, "I love _______."  And you can fill in the blank with whatever she's eating or smelling or watching or playing at the moment.
  8. She is the best homemade, pizzeria-style pizza maker I know.  She crazy loves pizza!
  9. She drives a Jeep, which is just cool.
  10. She challenges me to go beyond my limits.  Spiritually, she encourages me to surrender daily and to trust God because He's good, even when life is hard and messy.  Physically, she's helped me become a runner, learn how to golf, and how to hit a tennis ball.  (I can only claim "hitting" the ball.  Controlling the ball is an entirely different matter.)
I thank the Lord for the gift of my friend.  I know He has made her who she is, and anything He has done in her is because she's been a willing vessel, ready to be used by Him.  I am so thankful that God placed her in my life.
Happy Birthday, Judy!  Wishing you the most special day.  I love you.

For more Top Ten Tuesday, click over and visit ohamanda.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Oh Where Is Spring?

Hmmm... Is this April or December?  Doesn't this picture just scream Spring?  Just makes you feel chipper and ready for a new week, doesn't it?

Um... not exactly.

Snow pic

This is what we woke up to in northern Indiana this morning.  Wet, slushy snow!  Looks like they're calling for more of the same tomorrow, too.  I guess I'll hold my breath for Sunday when the forecast is calling for 60 degrees.


*Photo credit

A Music Discovery

I have a dream to write songs, even just one song would make me really, really happy.  There's probably only about two people in the world who know that about me, but now I guess there will be about twenty of you that know.  I don't know why I'm incapable of coming up with a simple song, but I get a total mental block whenever I've attempted it.  It's very frustrating. 

I think of all the millions of music artists who sit down and write music all the time.  I'm musical.  I'm talented.  But the words and music just don't come.  So I just have to listen to everyone else's music until God gives me a song. 

Speaking of everyone else's music... have you all heard Kari Jobe?  I think I've seen her name out there, but I'm not real "up" on all the new music these days.  Well, let me tell you what.  She's great.  I discovered her the other day, and I am totally lovin' her.  Don't get me wrong.  No way am I ditching my pretend BFF Sara Groves by any means, but this girl Kari has got a beautiful voice.  I'm thinking if God doesn't give me a song of my own, it will be okay.  I'll just keep singing Sara's and Kari's songs.

If you're unfamiliar with her, you can check out this video I found.  The picture quality isn't great because somebody recorded off of a big screen, but it's really the song I am going for here.  Take a listen, if you like.

You Are For Me

Okay, just one more thing.  Could you all do me a favor, and come back tomorrow?  I have a special post going up for ohamanda's Top Ten Tuesday that's super important to me.  I'll see you then, bright and early Tuesday morning.

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Treadmill Boredom

I'm sure most of my readers are aware now that I'm working on getting healthy with diet and exercise.  The exercise that's easiest for me is walking on the treadmill.  That's where I'm at right now.  My activity will move outside once the weather turns warm.  For now, I remain inside.

At least one reader had commented that they get bored on the treadmill, so they'd rather not use it.  I used to feel that way too, which means there are probably others who fall into that camp as well.  So I thought I'd tell you how I keep myself occupied while I'm walking for 30-40 minutes.

To preface my suggestions, I need to mention that having a CD player, mp3 player, or a laptop is necessary in order to use my tips.  If you only have a CD player or mp3 player, you won't be able to implement all these ideas, but a couple of options is better than none.

My first choice of diversion is found at  They have a variety of TV programs, both new and old, that can be watched on the internet for free.  FREE!  You'd be surprised what's availableThey continue to add new shows all the time, too.

The next diversion option is listening to sermons.  There are websites like that have streaming audio of a variety of well-known teachers and pastors that can be downloaded onto your computer and put onto an mp3 player, if you choose.  These are free as well.

Another option would be to read.  I would choose this activity, if it didn't make me nauseous.  I've tried a couple times, but it isn't compatible with my oddball vertigo issues.  The reason I like this idea is because you can kill two birds with one stone.  Some people may find it difficult to fit reading into their schedule, so you could make your 30-minute walk a great time to read a book and increase productivity.

The last suggestion I have is to listen to audiobooks.  There are monthly club plans available online for a fee, but it's just as easy to borrow them from your local public library for free.  I am currently trying out this idea to see if it works for me.

Are there any treadmill walkers/runners who have ideas for the readers?  You may have thought of something to do that hasn't crossed my mind yet.  Feel free to share in the comments section.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Ministry of Prayer

At our church's missions conference last week we were encouraged to adopt one of our supported missionary families.  Adopting them would involve praying for them every day, keeping in contact with them by mail or email, staying informed about what's happening in their lives, and bringing any prayer needs to the pastor that he may not be aware of.  Basically, we need to get personal with them.

I have been very remiss about praying for missionaries.  I sometimes will pray for needs that are mentioned in their letters that come through the office, but not on my own during my personal daily prayer time.

As I've done a complete overhaul on my daily prayer time and have become more systematic in my approach (which I may explain at a later time), I knew I would be able to add at least one missionary to my daily prayer list.  So I decided to get involved in this "adoption" ministry.

I chose a missionary who is a single woman ministering with church planters in Australia, as well as teaching scripture classes at a local school, among various other things.  We happen to share the same first name, which is kind of cool.  I sent her an introductory email, and she has already responded. 

I'm looking forward to getting to know her and having a part in her ministry through something as basic as prayer.  I know prayer will affect not only her, but me as well as I get to share in the joy of  God working in her and through her this year.  I'm anticipating good things ahead.

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ...that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. 

Colossians 4:2-4 (NKJV)


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