Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wellness Wednesday #28

Hello Everyone. I just checked and it has been one whole month since I posted a Wellness Wednesday Post! I bet you all thought I "went off the wagon"! LOL You can see there has been a scarcity of posts in general and that is because actual real life takes precedence over cyber and blogging accomplishments. Though I am overwhelmed, things are okay and heading in a good direction. In order to do a better job of being a Wife and Mom, I am reorganizing my life schedule and cutting out some things, that though they were not bad, did distract me from the path that God has placed in front of me. I do plan to continue blogging and working on my health and updating my much neglected My Journey To Wholeness blog.

Today I weighed in at 316#. Disappointing. Not surprising. This seems to be a natural place to settle on my body's thermostat and I don't think I'll continue losing much if any weight without adding exercise.

Progress has been made on that front. When I was at our HMO's pharmacy I bought a pedometer to see how close I actually get to the recommended 10K steps a day. It was $10 and clips to my waste band. A small investment. Now, I just need to take it out of the package! LOL Also, I am continuing to have therapy on my left hip bursitis. It has helped some and I have more mobility but also aching in my leg and hip in different areas than before. Before going for the big C (cortisone shot), I decided to try a Dexamethasone patch and that has helped some. Unfortunately, I believe it will probably take several years to heal as the way I sit and walk is affected by the amount of fat on my body! So my goal is to have walked at least one time before I write next week. That may sound like a whimpy goal, however, I have therapy appt tomorrow and Friday and Saturday I will be going to our local home school convention.

While we were gone over Mother's Day weekend we ate several meals out. This confirmed to us that what we are doing on the home front is definitely in the right direction. Our stomachs just did not feel good eating all that chemical food!

My original goal was to be below 300# by my anniversary trip in August. I am thinking that to do this, I may have to actually diet, which because of previous "issues" I have been avoiding, but if it hits triple digit, may not be too hard. It gets too hot to cook or eat! LOL

So this is a boring post today, but I'm just jumping in and getting my feet wet. Hopefully I can come up with something more interesting next week.

And for those of you waiting for blogiversary giveaways... I'm going to the post office on Friday morning.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Songs On Sunday

Ancient Words
Michael W. Smith

Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world,
They resound with God's own heart
Oh, let the ancient words impart.

Words of life, words of hope
Give us strength, help us cope
In this world, where e'er we roam
Ancient words will guide us home.

Ancient words ever true
Changing me, and changing you.
We have come with open hearts
Oh let the ancient words impart.

Holy words of our faith
Handed down to this age.
Came to us through sacrifice
Oh heed the faithful words of Christ.

Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world.
They resound with God's own heart
Oh let the ancient words impart.

Chorus x4

We have come with open hearts
Oh let the ancient words impart

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Part of My Mother's Day Adventure

We are all still trying to catch our collective breaths after a busy 3.5 days on our getaway trip. Poor Hubby was sick. He got a respiratory flu virus that also settled in his sinuses and head so he was miserable for half the trip. He did have a lot of fun in between the misery and he enjoys photography *almost* as much as I do, so that was good for him. We had to laugh. This trip was to get away together to relax after the last five months of really hard work he has been doing training and getting hired at University of Phoenix as well as his regular job and a home student he works with 5 hours a week (who is medically unable to attend school). So, what do I see as I enter the hotel to check in... Welcome California Teacher's Association! I just cracked up. We had our getaway with a bunch of other teachers! LOL

D, Mom, A and J Mother's Day 2008

On Mother's Day we went to Mt. Lassen and then came back via McArthur-Burney Memorial State Park. While photographing the pictures in the previous post at Manzanita Lake, I met a really nice photographer named John who was using a Mamiya 4x5 (medium format film camera) and a Nikon D80 (which I use). He gave me some handy tips and then told us we would be better off to photograph Burney Falls before sunset instead of in the AM. So we thought about it and it made a really long day of driving for me, but we ended up doing that and saw him again at the falls. And I have to say that the land between the northern edge of Mt Lassen and Burney, especially near Hat Creek area, was incredibly gorgeous!!! We both felt that if money were not an issue or we could make money without being tied to a certain population base (you have to have kids to go to school!), we would move there in a heart beat! One note, if you see me putting my name and copyright on photos, it is not because I don't trust my friends and family who read here but because I have seen some of my pics ending up on other people's blogs!! So in order to protect ones that I either already use to sell or may in the future, I am putting copyright info on. Please know I trust you, my friends!

It was really tricky with the lighting. It was dark on bottom and super sunny on top. I noticed in some of the pro photos that they had difficulty with this too, so I don't feel so bad now! :o)

It was hard to decide which ones to post of my 200 or so, so I'm sharing a few. This is not the highest falls in the state but arguably one of the most beautiful. The falls and park are named after 19th century settlers Samuel Burney of South Carolina who arrived in November 1858 and John and Catherine McArthur who arrived in the 1860s.

Theodore Roosevelt enjoyed the falls so much that he decided they should be one of the wonders of the world.

There was a sign for the Pacific Crest Trail stating that Canada was 1,232 miles north. That means my Mom and I were about 1,220 miles apart on Mother's Day... well, that is if you twisted around on the Pacific Crest Trail. Probably more like 800 miles by I-5 in the car.

We hiked down to the bottom and a trail continued along Burney Creek but we did not have enough time before dark to do more.

At the bottom it reminded me of pictures I have seen of Kauai with smaller falls and rivulets and lots of bright green moss, ferns and the new spring leaves.

This isn't in the best focus, but I thought it was pretty so I posted anyway.

The falls actually drop in a bowl shape and this is taken just feet from the bottom - we did get a little spray but the wind was going the other directions so we were mostly protected.

Again, not best focus or lighting but reminded me of the song/Psalm that I wrote on there.

And then we ended the day with a beautiful sunset and a long ride back to the hotel. I was thankful though for all the blessings God gave me that day. I'll be trying to post more of my pics of Mt Lassen over the next week. Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sneak Peek

These are my SOOC (straight out of camera) shots from Manzanita Lake and Mt. Lassen, taken on Mother's Day. (I'll probably be using at least one of these for cards and enlargements, thus the copyright across the middle.) We took a LOT of shots this weekend and Hubby and I were able to practice with our polarizing filter and learning settings on our cameras, in preparations for our trip to Alaska this summer. Later this week I'll try to get some pictures of our trip posted. It was a really amazing adventure!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms and Grandmas out there! I was really blessed with a super Mom and incredible Grandmothers who taught me the things I need to know, not only to be a Mom, but a Godly woman and a person! We never get a really good picture of the two of us but this comes close, taken August 2007. Wow, we look alike here! :o) For most of my life, I have looked so much like my Daddy that it has been hard to see how much Mom and I look alike. We have the same physical mannerisms but we also look alike. I see the same thing in my girls who are identical twins, but A looks like my Mom and J looks like me but they obviously also look like each other! LOL

My life has also been blessed by some incredible women who have been mothers to me. A few of my spiritual mentors, like Dorothy Trulove, Elaine Bargen, Nancy Willert and Laura Cari, now worship at the feet of Jesus. My Aunts Grace and Marilyn have also ministered to me and played instrumental roles in my life. I mentioned also, my "English Mum", Lily, who is pictured on the right, my Mom in the center and Lily's daughter (my "English Sister"), Beverly. Mom took this photo Friday near the Mt. Baker Ski Lodge, Washington State. That's Mt. Shuksan in the background.

For many women, Mother's Day is the most difficult day of the year. I know many who avoid church services and being in public. For whatever reason, they have not been able to have their own babies and the pain can run deep. I know this pain as I was told more than once that I would "never" have children. But I learned long ago to "never say never" and to "Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding...". Above is a picture that shows how truly blessed I am. Three miracles, NO, make that FOUR, that I never dreamed would be given me! (photo July 2007 Goat Rock Beach, California) For those of you who wait and hope and pray, I ask God's peace for you, which passes all understanding. May He fill your heart and bless you!

I thank God for this man, who made being a Mommy possible! :o) During our infertility heart aches, we decided together that we would be a family regardless of whether or not we were able to have children. In time, God blessed us with three beautiful children. Thank you Honey! I love you more each day! (He is such a good sport! He is sick while we are on our family getaway and is such a trooper. He had to rescue a lost glove and slid down on the way back!)

These are pictures of my children's first experience with snow, which we found at Lassen Volcanic National Park. More pictures to follow! These are for Mom and friends to see today! A is watching the snow sprinkle from her hands.

This is J and it is a little blurry as she is in motion. My most intense child who is often in her own little world, is a delight to observe when she is dancing in joy!

Mr. D - all boy! He had a blast and would have played even harder, but his sisters protested when struck with snowballs! We're off in a moment to explore the north side of the park and perhaps Burney Falls.

God bless you Terence, Lily and Beverley as you travel back to England tomorrow. I'm sorry we couldn't come see you at Mom's, but it was wonderful to talk to you on the phone. I love you!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I Is For...

Well, it's time for the "I" post in the ABC Along and at first I thought that would be difficult but as time went on, many things came to mind.

First, I is for insects and one of my favorite insects is the bee.

This insect is called a Hummingbird Moth and the only reason I know that is because I saw one on Marguerite's blog.

My favorite insect is a Pipevine Swallowtail. This one is probably one of my top five favorites of cards I have made.

I is for Iris. Bearded Iris are new to me, as in my home state one is more likely to see Dutch or Japanese Iris. These photos were taken at High Sierra Iris Gardens near me. I really love flowers that have infinite color variations like orchids, iris and pansies. Each one is a miniature painting from God!

These iris are another one of my cards. I like to take pictures of "twins" in nature.

And this photo brought two songs to mind, first "She wore blue velvet..." Here are the lyrics. My Grandma Johnson loved Bobby Vinton. He has a lovely voice, but he has joined the ranks of those freakily artificially preserved people who though well into their senior citizen years look much younger than me, unless you get in close range! LOL The second song I thought of was Deep Purple by Donny and Marie Osmond... and excuse me, but who allowed Donny Osmond to become a grandfather?! That's just not right! :o)

I is also for Idaho. This photo was taken the summer of 1956. My Dad on the left is 10.5 years old and Grandma Johnson is holding up my Uncle Jerry who was born November 1955.

I is also for Index where my Grandma and Grandpa Johnson had a beautiful lot on the Skykomish River. We spent many happy hours and camping trips there. This is Mount Index. (scanned from a dirty slide)

I is for ice. Look at all those icy and snowy glaciers. The large volcano is Mt. Baker which is "my" mountain, seen both from my home town and my adopted home town, wherever you go. The water above is part of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands.

I is for Innsbruck, Austria, which I visited in July 1984 with my friend Jutta and her family.

We climbed a church tower and looking down we could see this. The famous Golden Roof is pictured at right.

Another view from the tower. Innsbruck is a beautiful city, though very crowded with many tourists. I would love to see it again as well as more of Austria.

Here is Friedhelm, Jutta's father, checking out a guide book. The architecture of the city is fascinating and I especially enjoyed all the arches.

And lastly, I is for Italy, which I also visited with Jutta's family in July 1984. Here Jutta and Friedhelm look out from castle ruins on a hillside.

The castle ruins from the photo above.

Every hill top seemed to be covered with a castle. This is in Sud Tirol (South Tyrol, which is northern Italy and in the Dolomite Mountains area).

It was so HOT, triple digit heat, but we did a lot of hiking. Here Renate photographs Jutta petting a horse on the side of the mountain.

Jutta, Renate and Friedhelm on the trail ahead of me.

The trail wound around the side of a hill. This is again, Jutta.

Amazing to me, is the European tradition of climbing and hiking and ending up in a restaurant out of nowhere! I never ended a hike in the mountains with a spaghetti dinner before! LOL

This is the city of Merano, Italy. We stayed near here.

The country side was beautiful. This is a zwiebel dome (onion dome) church, typical of the Tirol. This part of northern Italy used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Vineyards covered the hillsides and were planted in all different directions. In some places they looked like green quilts on the hills!

Hi Grandma and Friends!

The kids wanted to say hi (and their horses too!) to Grandma and Grandpa and "our friends"! :o) My English Mum Lily, Terence and Beverley are visiting my folks this week and sadly we couldn't be there, but I have had some fun talking to them on the phone. I really miss them. (A in pink, J in purple)
This is D when the pics were taken, wearing his "Larry Boy" shirt from Veggie Tales. His hair was getting so long that people were going to start asking if I had three girls! LOL
So, Mom gave him a hair cut and this is what we got! LOL I picked up the wrong clipper guard off the floor and gave him two swipes before I realized I was making him bald! I'm sure you can see where it is in the photo. It looks like he is covering his mouth as if to say, "Oh my goodness!" Actually he was yawning, but the photo does make a cute conclusion! :o) Fortunately his hair grows really fast and it is HOT here already so no harm in the short hair cut.