Monday, April 28, 2008


I decided recently that I needed to shake up my exercise routine. My weight is plateau-ing, and I needed a change. So a friend (who, by the way, trains people in extreme exercise body camp thing-ies) recommended I try spinning. Ok, I thought, I can do that.

What made me think THAT was a good idea???

Hard? HARD??? Hard is an understatement. Let's just say I did an HOUR LONG class for my first spin- and it KICKED MY BUTT. (Excuse my french). I was drenched from head to toe. I went home and refused to eat anything for most of the day because, doggoneit, those calories were HARD to lose, I wasn't about to waste them on FOOD.

Then guess what? I went back for more. And more.

I've done two more classes, both 45 minutes. And I *think*- think- MAYbe- that it's getting a bit more do-able. Maybe.

And when I leave I feel like I've REALLY *done* something. It's hard, but I KNOW I'm getting a workout. And it makes me VERY careful about what I eat.

P.S.- I've also started running about 3 miles on alternate days. And I know I need to weight train, but I really HATE it. It's just SO not fun. I like to move my body, and my IBS-C gut really likes it when I do. Any ideas on what I could do to make weight training better?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Simplify three...

Here are seven random ideas of things that I do and am starting to do to keep my life simple...

1. If you are coming to my house tonight for dinner groups, know that I did the simpliest of cleaning...swept, vac'd, wiped things down with Clorox wipes (my other best friend). Done. I don't want to be too tired to spend time with friends, and they love me more than how my house looks.

2. Get rid of things you "might" need someday. Replacing them can sometimes be easier than maintaining them.

3. Keep just two more of something than people in your house. How many towels and sheets do you REALLY need? Cups and plates? It makes you stay on top of keeping things clean AND keeps your closets and drawers from piling up. Of course, use your discretion on how many to keep, especially if you entertain a lot.

4. Pretend you're moving cross-country and PURGE. Do you really want to pack and move that item? Get rid of it!

5. Say NO to a purchase for 30 days. Write it down and go back to it and see if you still need or want it. It can be a minor or major purchase.

6. If you buy something new, get rid of something old. In with a new pair of shoes, out with an old! My sister-in-law is very good about this with her purses- I get them! :o)

7. We use duvets on our beds. It's so easy to just give it a shake and voila, the bed is made!

Maybe I'll try to share more ideas each Saturday...share yours, too!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


One book I read said to list the things that complicate your life. So I did that, in random order.

*DISCLAIMER*- if you see something related to you, please don't be offended. Remember, YOU are on my values list. *big SMILE*

chores- laundry, cleaning, errands (big family=big task)
school- activities (after school/weeknights/weekends), projects, tests, homework (for not only my children, but for Larry and I)

This list may continue to grow as life happens. I will compare this list to my values list and see what I can eliminate/rearrange/take less seriously. I know we try to limit our children to only one activity at a time; only more than one if they are on school campus.

What complicates your life? Any thoughts?

Simplify two...

From zenhabits...

"Evaluate your commitments. Look at everything you’ve got going on in your life. Everything, from work to home to civic to kids’ activities to hobbies to side businesses to other projects. Think about which of these really gives you value, which ones you love doing. Which of these are in line with the 4-5 most important things you listed above? Drop those that aren’t in line with those things."

In other words- LIGHTEN UP! Get rid of something.

This one is hard. It makes us feel guilty. Read this zenarticle to help you evaluate.

So I'm looking for one thing- just one- that doesn't *fit* with my values. My first thought is about how much time I spend online. I think I need to stop reading so many blogs. Not only do I read everyone's on my sidebar, but I have a whole LIST of photography blogs I go to...EVERYday. (And I decided that the internet can complicate my life).

SO- I will eliminate HALF of the photography blogs I visit. Deleted from my favorites. I will try to visit only ONE a day from the list of the rest of them.

I don't need to look at everyone else's photos of their life. I need to spend time taking pictures of my own.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Odysseys...

(Notice that the title is plural...this is NOT a boring post about a book that most of us Cliff-Noted in high school...)

We are now a TWO Odyssey family. A '95 and a 2002. I wonder how many families in America can say that?

They also have names. The Batmobile and Grandpop.

The 2002 got its name from the plastic toy bat that my children found hidden away and forgotten in the backseat of the van. I couldn't resist- it seemed so fitting and honorable.

The '95? Well, sweet thing that it is, it looks so small and "old fashioned" next to the sleek-n-shiny Batmobile. Yet, it has a way of saying, "Hey, I'm the original, I've been around for awhile; stick with me, kid, and you may learn a thing or two". So Grandpop also seemed very fitting...and honorable.

What a difference seven years can make.

Simplify one...

Here's the first thing I've done-

Make a list of your top 4-5 important things. What’s most important to you? What do you value most? What 4-5 things do you most want to do in your life? Simplifying starts with these priorities, as you are trying to make room in your life so you have more time for these things.

1. God
2. Family
3. Friends
4. Myself
5. Giving/helping others

What are yours?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I've been thinking a lot lately about how to enjoy life...and not be so *brain* busy. To really just *be*, and that's all. I'm all for a green earth, but I'm even more into creating a green place for the Spirit to dwell...

I borrowed a book from a friend entitled Simply Your Life (it's on my Shelfari), and it's not your typical organize-your-house book. It's an organize-your-brain-and-how-you-look-at-life book. Clearing the mind-clutter that keeps you from just BEing.

Check out this website for some ways to start clearing the clutter...I'll be sharing some more of my thoughts. I like to write things down- it keeps me accountable.

Thoughts on prayer...

Ethan Powell passed away on Saturday. He was 16 months old and had fought off leukemia for 424 days.

I typed this a day ago in response to my friend's post as she pondered Ethan's death. I don't claim to know all the answers, but I do claim these as my thoughts...

I understand...a little.

Prayer is our way to talk to God. To tell Him what we think, what we need, what we want, what we're thankful for...basically, whatever we want to talk to Him about. He likes to talk with us. He wants to hear from us. He uses it to build our faith, encourage us, remind us, love us, listen to us. I know He hears me...that He listens. And just like any parent, He wants to help us, comfort us, be there for us. And I believe He CAN DO whatever He wants...but He does what we need and what's best for us and what's part of His plan that we can not see or EVER really get or understand. And really, as much as "no", or "not right now", or "never" or "maybe" or "yes, but this way" or even flat out "YES" HURTS...I want what HE WANTS for me because I trust Him enough to know that no matter WHAT I THINK, it'll NEVER BE as good as He is. (Did all that make any sense???)

I've had some yucky stuff happen in my life and sometimes I can look and realize why- sometimes I can't...YET. Or maybe I never will. But I know that I prayed through EVERY SINGLE BIT of it, and God got the glory. That's what it's really all about...Him, not me.

AND SO- LOOK at how many people gave God the glory through Ethan! LOOK at the hearts who turned to the living God and BeLIeVeD!!! And do you know the day Ethan died, the count went over 5 million prayer warriors?

I keep thinking too WHY WHY WHY, 424 days??? WHY so many health battles were WON, why not this one? WHY was Ethan here for so long? Maybe we'll never know this side of heaven...maybe we're not meant to know.

And yes, we need to look at heavenly healing as an answer to prayer...I feel like it's God's way of saying that nothing here on earth will help anymore...and that He's the Great Physician that can take away ALL pain. We are so human, we have a hard time accepting that. He understands, but He knows what's best, even when it doesn't seem that way. I prayed diligently for earthly healing for Ethan, but it wasn't meant to be.

I've already felt a difference in my life from Ethan. I pray more specifically. I get on my knees. I also am starting to recognize that it's not worth sweating the small stuff...and it's all small stuff! And that our God is REALLY awesome. He loves us SOOOO much. He's hurting for Ben and Becky, too, I know He is...

Sorry for the long post. I've been thinking too, and I miss Ethan already...