Friday, March 30, 2012


Over at The Gypsy Mama, Lisa-Jo encourages us to write...for 5 minutes, with no editing, no back tracking, no over thinking. To set a timer, throw caution to the winds and try to remember what it was like to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

And so I do...using the one word prompt to inspire. Here we go:

sometimes it comes wrapped in pretty paper

an extravagant bow adorns the brightly coloured paper

or it comes tucked quietly between the card

secured in a  white envelope

sometimes it is enormous

sometimes small and simple

but sometimes it is not in packaging at all

it is not a material item

it is a word spoken or a gesture given

sometimes it is wrapped in nothing more than love

a sweet smile

a bear hug

a pat on the back

a kiss on the forehead

it cost nothing but a bit of time

time given or time received

that is a gift

Thursday, March 29, 2012

photo-a-day: march 22-28

Another week of capturing life on film....with prompts (found below). I do enjoy this exercise because it stretches my normal picture taking ideas. Here are the images I came up with this week:

before i got my dishwasher a few weeks ago, this sink was often found filled with dishes or soapy water

this was captured a week or so ago just as dawn was breaking

this is as close to an animal that we get here in our home....i don't need to feed these guys!

often breakfast for me is JUST coffee...i have a hard time eating first thing in the morning

our key to hold our keys

that's me...Ms. Kerri...providing home childcare for three little ones plus my own two little ones

this is the "trash" left over after prepping fabric for a quilt i am making "bubba"

I will be joining up with my friend, Barbie at My Freshly Brewed Life...she posts her pics on you still have a chance to join in on the fun.

Here is you prompt list         --->

Try it and then link up...I would love to see what you come up with!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

wlw: exercise

As I journey this weight loss....get healthy path, I realize that although I may be able to loose weight without exercising, I am not truly becoming healthy. Food choice is only part of the formula! Healthy living requires a full mind, body and soul transformation. I am still working on all of these and often struggle with all of them as well! 
This morning, over at Alicia's, she is posing the following questions:
  • what are you doing for exercise?
  • has it changed with the season?
  • how long and how often are you exercising?

First, I would like to say that I really wanted to join in on Alicia's "pity party" this see, I have hit a rut. I thought I got out of it last week but I was still teetering on the edge, making some poor choices both with food and with exercise...but as I read through Alicia's post, as always, she encouraged me to pull myself out of the funk I was in and to just keep pressing in. She reminded me that I am worth it...worth the fight and to not give up...that I am the one in charge of the journey, not the other way around. Thank you, my friend!!! So, with that being said, I will now answer the questions for this weeks topic!

On a perfect week...this is my routine. I am enjoying my Zumba class twice a week. It is a hard core work out for approximately 50 minutes on Monday and Thursday evenings. It makes me sweat and each week I try and give it 110%...I want to feel it when I am done! I also have had the privilege of working with my eldest daughter once a week. She is going through school right now to be a personal trainer and as part of her course she needed to have a "client" to put into practice what she would do once she is in the field. This experience has allowed me to work on my weaker parts and I am beginning to see more strength in my core as well as endurance. This program is done in three weeks and then I will need to find a replacement for the weight training I have been doing. I also walk at least 4 times a week. Especially with the warmer weather! My youngest daughter attends school just a few blocks from home and so we walk to school on the good days! Because I run a home child care program from my home, this walk usually includes me pushing a very large triple stroller filled with children! 

Did you read that comic above?....ya, that can be me! I have been known to find excuses to NOT exercise. My Zumba partner and best girl friend went away on a holiday and out of the four classes she was gone...I went once...yup, I made the excuse that I could not go alone...even though the one class I did attend was not terrible on my own. I also will make excuses with the weather when it comes to walking to the school every day..."it's too windy, it's too chilly, it looks like it might rain"  

So...NO MORE EXCUSES!! I am going to get out there and exercise because it does make me feel good...and I sleep better and I am more apt to maker healthier food choices....and the list goes on!!

What does your exercise routine look like? Do you struggle with keeping at it? Share with me...or jump over and share with Alicia @ Confessions of a Snowflake.

Monday, March 26, 2012

joy dare...counting 235-255

Joy does not simply happen to us. 
We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. 

— Henri Nouwen 
235-237. homemade cookies brought over by a friend, an unexpected lunch with a friend, a last minute pizza picnic

238-240. her "monkeying" around, the way he lines up all of his cars when he watches his favorite movie and then uses each car to "play" the part as he watches it, his quick wit

241-243. tears that fell during worship, his kiss before he leaves for work, the big, little hug before he lays down for a nap

244-246. He is the light of the world, He is the way, the truth and the life, He is the vine

247-249. a listening ear, support in the journey to becoming healthy, authenticity

250-252. thank you, i love you, i'm sorry

253-255. this song which touched my heart, this post which softened my heart, the art work of "Boo" which is heartfelt

continuing to count daily...joining Ann Voskamp and many others as they count...will you join us? 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

grace gift given

 He came to this earth do do nothing more than the will of His Father
called to the ultimate sacrifice
...The Son for our sin...His life for our lies...
He shouldered it all...He carried it to the cross
...He carried our cross...He paid the price...
...He paid our price...

"we remember our garden fall and His garden grace" ~ Ann Voskamp 

He gave Himself
...out of love...out of compassion...
He surrendered to the will of His Father humility...
a grace gift given 

...a grace gift given for us...
...freely given love to the unlovable... the undeserving...

 ...unmerited, unconditional, undeserved love... given without expectation of it being returned...  
grace...God's riches at Christ's expense...

(inspired by Ann Voskamp)

...we dug deep...
not just in the dirt but in His word
we soaked  the plants in water and ourselves in the living water
we talked about His sacrifice on the cross
about His love and His grace
and we gave thanks

Thank you God for this grace gift given to us...for us!

Friday, March 23, 2012


We are encouraged to write...from our backtracking, over-thinking or editing. Just putting pen to paper and writing not worrying if it's right or not, using a one word here I go!

it starts out 

...a quiet level...

maybe a little more than quiet

but as voices come together

the sound rises

it becomes a little harder to understand them

to distinguish one from another

some speak, some sing

then they dance and laugh

they run and jump

once in awhile there is an added scream

then a reminder to use "indoor voices"

and then the thought comes over me

when it is i that is "loud"

when a reminder is given to me

that sometimes i am a little intense

i always excuse it with passion

it's not loud when it is passionate

when words escape in a higher pitch

or at a boisterous level

when what is being said is also being felt

but how is it any different with them

they may be little but the are enthusiastic in their play

they raise their voices in joy 

they are having fun

the feel it...they share it

 full of passion

and excitement

and yes it's loud 

and that's ok!

Join Lisa-Jo at The Gypsy Mama and  write for the fun of it!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

photo-a-day: march 15-21

Picture taking is becoming a daily thing around here. Not only am I more apt to take the camera with me a get random shots of who knows what, but I am also on the look out for opportunities spurred on by the prompts of the month (you can find these prompts at the bottom of this post!) Here are the pictures I came up with from this weeks idea list!

this is my hubby's dream car...yes a!

me...sporting my dollar store shades...i loose sunglasses to often to buy them anywhere else

here at "Ms. Kerri's" we had green, craft and clothes

this is "Boo's" room with her favorite things

"Bubba" hasn't quite figured out how to sleep in this big bed...he just moved out of a toddler bed and we find him asleep in the craziest positions

my wonderful husband installed a dishwasher and surrounding cupboards a few weeks ago
we have made this area into our coffee bar

yummy! chocolate brownies! 'nuff said!

I can't wait to link up with Barbie on Friday and see what everyone else came up with!
Won't you join us!?!?!
Here is the prompts         --->

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

wlw: when the train falls off the track

This journey of weight loss and striving to be healthy is much like a train ride. We start out with lots of steam and a full speed ahead attitude. We travel in comfort, learning new recipes, exercises and tips. Sometimes we hit little bumps on the track that cause us to rethink our strategy. We take the hills in stride, sometimes with a good weight loss...other times with a bit of a gain. But what happens when we are travelling at great speed...weight is falling off fairly well and then BOOM! we fall right off the track?
This week, my friend Alicia (The Snowflake) has left our topic open and at first I wasn't really sure what to write about. But Alicia always encourages us to be real...because how else can we help each other on this winding, up and down journey? 
The last few weeks for me have been great. I had made some small changes in food choices but I also had seen my endocrinologist about my thyroid, who increased my medication. This seemed to be making quite a difference with my weight loss efforts. I had a huge weight loss at 3.6 and then last week another 2.6...I haven't seen numbers fall off me like that since the very beginning of this journey. I was thinking to myself...maybe now that my meds are in check the weight will just continue to fall off ...but i don't think that will be the case. You see, I have a bad habit of daily (sometimes more) off stepping on the scale and it doesn't like me so much this week...which in turn, I'm not liking it so much either! 
Last night and again this morning I was feeling pretty bad about it. The old thoughts came rushing back of "your not good enough", "face it, you will never lose all the weight", "you failed...AGAIN!".  
At one time in my life, I would have believed those words....and for a bit I was tempted to again, but this is not what I want anymore. When the evil one starts spitting out these lies, I have to refocus....refocus on the One who speaks nothing but truth. Sometimes the train falls off the track and I get a little bruised up in the crash, but He always helps me back up and puts me back on the track to ride again. This morning it was in the form of my daily devotion. Oh how He works in mysterious and wonderful ways!!
I opened my devotion this morning and it spoke of the three headed monster of inferiority, insecurity and inadequacy and how the evil one uses his words to take over our thoughts but God wants to destroy the monster with truth so, who are we going to believe?
"Believing the truth about who you are in Christ destroys feelings of inferiority. Believing the truth about where you are in Christ destroys feelings of insecurity. Believing the truth about what you have in Christ destroys feelings of inadequacy." ~Sharon Jaynes (Girlfriends in God)  
So what do I do when my train falls off the track? Well, after I have my own little pity party (still trying to break this step) I pray, I go to God and hand it to Him...and I believe the truth that He speaks!
"Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long" Psalm 25:5
The train may still fall off the track but how I deal with the crash is what's important!

Thank you God for placing these words in my morning time with you. I don't know why it still amazes me how impeccably timed things like these are but I am so grateful for your perfect placement of this devotion!

Monday, March 19, 2012

joy dare...counting 214-234

I strive to find joy...daily!
not just in the sunny...but in the rain
not just in the happy...but in the sad
not just in the easy...but in the hard
as I search, i learn 
joy is not an is a way of life
joy is a choice

( source )
214-216. gentle warm breezes in March, raindrops instead of snowflakes, sandals for Sunday morning

217-219. homemade cookies, pretty yellow flowers, the ring that reminds me of the day I said "I Do"

220-222. a needed nap, a time in prayer, the continual digging into this Psalm

223-225. clothes passed on, a hug to a friend in need, prayer for a friend

226-228. needing to ask for forgiveness, not just seeing but knowing the pain in her eyes as she shares a piece of her life, this song which speaks truth

229-231. the garden soil, a hand-me-down needle point pillowcase, a new dress

232-234. a favorite cup, the cup shared in remembrance, His blood shed

I will continue to count daily...joining up with Ann Voskamp and many others at A Holy Experience. Will you join...I dare you!!

Friday, March 16, 2012


Lisa-Jo says:
"Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.
We finger paint with words. We try to remember what it was like to just write without worrying if it's just right or not."
and so I write...painting a picture from the words of my heart and leaving it out to dry for the whole world to see. what will your painting look like today?

it wasn't so long ago that i held her in my arms

so small and precious

and then she grows...still precious

but not so little

she used to be so timid...shy and reserved

then that first day she headed to school 

it slowly brought her out of her shell

she once needed to be encouraged to try new things

but now she just does it

a school or church play

singing loud in front of many

an art class with strangers who soon became friends

jumping off a swing in full motion

she has no fear

or if she does she hides it well

she overcomes it 

she is courageous



Thursday, March 15, 2012

photo-a-day: march 8-14

Another week of picture taking....I love it! It has been absolutely beautiful weather here and so getting outside to capture life on film has been quite easy and with new growth and sunny days it is also very inspiring. I am linking up again with my sweet friend Barbie for week two using the prompts at the bottom of this post, for inspiration. Sometimes the word generates a very noticeable result and other times it sparks my creativity to dig for something less obvious. I am constantly searching for unique pictures to use for this challenge.
How about you? What can you come up with?

this is my "prayer closet" with a view of the front yard and street.
(i  have to admit, I took this photo last year...see the leaves on the tree?)

this is "boo", my sweet red head

you can't get any louder than children enjoying the outdoors

a fork in the road

my wonderful husband...can you see where our daughter gets the red hair?

a true sign of spring!!! 

a cloudy night and an early evening shot...i just couldn't choose which I liked better

Try it....and then link up with Barbie and check out everyone else's pictures! 

I am telling you....this is so much fun!!

This is the prompt list   --->
Go on, give it a shot!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

wlw: what I've far

( source )
For the past few weeks, the weight loss Wednesday posts have been focusing on healthy eating...breaking it up into meals and snacks and sharing recipes and ideas for those times of day. This week, Alicia the Snowflake, is giving us free reign on what we share.

When you take a journey, you are bound to learn something along the way. This journey of almost six years has been long and hard. I have had many ups and downs, failures and triumphs, but I can say with every fiber of my being that I am not going to quit this, that even when I fall off the track, I will pick myself up and dust myself off...because the one thing and the most important thing I have learned is that I am worth it!! Why? because God don't make no junk!!

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..." 
Jeremiah 1:5a
What else have I learned?

  • That although there is a medical reason for my weight issues, it doesn't give me an excuse to give up on the journey.
  • I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism after the birth of my daughter 6 years ago but until last month I had only seen my family I am under the care of a specialist and he has determined that my thyroid issues are a direct link to Hashimoto's Disease which is an autoimmune disease I developed (possibly after my miscarriage in 2005). Now my medication has been increased and I feel 100% better.  This will be an ongoing thing with monthly blood tests until my numbers are in check and then quarterly and decreasing from there but the medication is lifetime.
  • That exercise CAN be fun. I have recently found a love for exercise with my Zumba class as well as my weight training. When you find something you love, you are more apt to keep going.
  • That healthy eating does not have to be boring. I have found that experimenting with meals is not only fun but also keeps me choosing healthy food. When I limit the choices or get into ruts of cooking the same thing over and over, I find myself at some fast food joint for the variety..
  • That this journey is traveled better with a friend(s). Having support from my great friend(you know who you are)who also walks this road, who sometimes drags me out to Zumba class, who encourages and loves on me when I am feeling down, as well as my wlw friends who know this journey well and are there with advice, support and encouragement and my and dad who joined the WW program and are doing well,my littles who always say "mommy you are beautiful", my oldest daughter who is my weight trainer and pushes me to strive for better and of course my hubby who loves me just as I am but always applauds my every effort.
  • That this journey is more than just a physical one. I am learning as I read "Made to Crave" that although we are all designed by God to is not the thing we are meant to crave...God is who we were meant to crave. I am still working on this and I do fail and give into cravings of sweet or salty.
"How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God."

Psalm 84:1-2
  • That I don't have self-control but I do have God-control. When a big spread of food is in front of me, in my own power I may will overindulge but I can go to God in prayer...right then and there...and ask for strength and control to choose not just the good choices but to be content with one portion. 

I know there are many other things that I have learned along this road of ups and downs but these were the biggest for me. Speaking of big...I made up for my 1 pound gain last week by losing 3.6 pounds this week.
So this is bits of my 'bout you? 

Monday, March 12, 2012

joy dare...counting 193-213

“The practice of giving thanks...eucharisteo...this is the way we practice the presence of God, stay present to His presence, and it is always a practice of the eyes. We don't have to change what we see. Only the way we see.” ~Ann Voskamp

193-195. a new love for picture taking, an unfinished craft project just begging for completion, a pretty purple shirt on!

196-198. the crook of his arm that he wraps around my shoulders, His body for my sin, this blessing prayed over our congregation
199-201. a fresh pot of homemade vegetable soup, a brand new dishwasher, an aroma melter smelling sweet

202-204. His undeserving love He just keeps giving me, His mercy...that He doesn't just sympathize but empathizes with me...after all Jesus lived through all the temptations, trials and pain of every day life too, His forgiveness...even though I fail daily and have to fall at His feet to admit it, He still opens His arms and tells me "you are forgiven, my sweet child"

205-207. the turkey we enjoyed at a friends house, their initials on wooden blocks, a little plaque that reads "the most important things aren't things"...a wonderful reminder.

208-210. "Boo's" sweet voice as she sings praise songs, "Bubba's" laughter throughout the day, the alarm that wakes me to a fresh new day

211-213. this verse Ryan and I pray over our son "Bubba", this Psalm which I am digging into deep in my personal study as I continue striving for peace, this book which I am working my through...again!

I continue joy, in pain, in sunlight, in darkness, in day, in night, in love, in is all these moments that as I search long and hard I find joy. Not always because of the situation itself but for God's grace to pull me through. Praise His Holy name as I continue to count!
Will you count too?
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