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Fine-tuning the Freezer Meal Marathon

Monday, October 20, 2014

If we've been friends for a while, you know that meal prep has always been my Achilles heel. I don't enjoy spending time in the kitchen. Cooking is not my fortť. Need I remind you of the cookbook I set on fire, while trying to cook and read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire simultaneously?


The pages are melted together. I keep it, as a humble reminder that reading and cooking don't mix.

Lately, you know I've made it my mission to work harder on meal prep, with menus, lists, freezer meals, snack stash at work, etc. I'm happy to say that I'm making strides. Do I love it? No. But I'm doing it and learning a lot as I go. I keep tweaking my system and thought I'd share what's working for me right now. Here is my convoluted process:

Schedule Planning/Shopping
I've learned this the hard way. Here's the deal: Randy (DH) and I are both ministers, working at the same church. While we love our jobs, let's just say that we don't do it for the money. Things are tight--always. Meal planning has been a huge help to us, nutritionally and financially. Secret bonus perk. But I have to stay on top of it. If I wait until payday to start making a menu and shopping list, it's too late. I won't have enough time to get it done. And if we don't do our big shopping trip on payday, we waste a couple of days with drive-throughs/takeout and our money and nutrition fly out the window. I need to have that menu and shopping list ready to go by payday. And Randy and I have made The Pact. One of us will go shopping ON payday. If I'm busy, he goes; that's the deal. Between us, I prefer to go myself. Randy's great about going, but has to call me approximately ten times while shopping, which kind of defeats the purpose. So, I put planning days and the shopping day on my planner. This girl does deadlines.


Meal planning goes on the schedule, like a doctor's appointment or meeting for work. It's a thing.

Meal Planning and The List
I schedule about 2-3 days to pull together a menu and shopping list. This is because I'm incredibly slow and I try to add a couple of new recipes each time. I browse through cookbooks, look online, try suggestions from friends. I use an app called Paprika for all my menu planning. I love it. I can type in recipes from my cookbooks, automatically download recipes from websites, rate and categorize them, add them to my meal plan and even generate a shopping list, if I want. I prefer using Paprika on my iPad for menus and the Groceries app on my iPhone for my shopping list. Randy has offered to make The List, but I know it would largely consist of Hamburger Helper and chicken nuggets, so I gracefully decline the offer.


Go, go Gadget Groceries!

Using the apps makes this hated job easier, so there's a little less whining on my part. I start with menu items, then add things like cleaning supplies and stuff. I give all family members a last-call to text me things they want added to The List and do a walk-through of the house, to see if I've missed anything. Then, I take a moment to feel exceptionally proud of myself, for doing something I loathe and despise.

The Dreaded Shopping Trip
I try to eat before I go; shopping while hungry is a rookie mistake. I prefer to go in the morning, when it's less crowded. If I have to go later, Audrey usually goes with me, which is helpful. My app organizes The List into categories, which makes it easier to find things. Before I get out of the car, I check to make sure I have any coupons and my reusable bags. The bags are important; here's why-- I can fit way more groceries per bag, they're easier to carry into the house and they're FUN. I intentionally bought entertaining bags. I figure if I'm doing something I'm not that crazy about, I might as we'll be slightly entertained. Plus, sometimes they cheer up the baggers. When I have everything ready, I take a deep breath, say, "For the Family!" and head into the store.


Two of my favorite bags. Gotta love Wonder Woman and Yoshi

My trip last week was a biggie, a month's worth. I had to put the top down on my car, so I could fit everything in my lil bug.


Meal Prep
The first couple of times I tried the freezer meal thing, I did meal prep in one, marathon session. That doesn't always work out for me. Most times now, I do it over a couple of days. I double up on some tried and true recipes, making two batches with one in the fridge and one in the deep freeze. I double-bag stuff, to prevent explosions/leaks and include the instructions on the bag. If she's able, Audrey helps with some of the prep. But we have a very small kitchen, so sometimes it's just better if everybody stays out of my way. Know what I mean? I put Netflix on my iPad and just get it done.


Cooking and binge watching Netflix works much better than reading

Friday night, I did something that made meal prep more fun. My BFF (Shelley with an ey) and I both tried a new recipe at the same time. We were texting each other the whole time and sending pics back and forth. It was nice, knowing someone else was in the same boat and it made cooking more fun. I think weíll try that again.


We made Tamale Pie and it was awesome.

Feel Proud
This is an important part of my process, because meal planning/prep is a big, non-scale victory for me. I stop and look in the deep freeze and fridge and I feel proud. Proud that I made myself do something I don't remotely enjoy and that I'm trying to take better care of my family. Plus, I know that Future Shelli will be extremely grateful and I want to make her life a little easier when I can.

So that's my long and convoluted update on my ongoing mission to feed my clan without losing any more of my mind. Hope you're making progress on your own personal missions too!

I will leave you with this pic of Bubba.

Some of my friends said that this is his camouflage pic. :)

Spark ON, Brave Sparker!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANDSGIRL26 10/24/2014 10:52PM

    I need to meal prep. I'm single and often don't get home until after 7:30 at night, so I need some healthy things I can pull out and just warm up. Good for you for having an attack plan! You are inspiring me!

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DIANAPOST12 10/24/2014 9:28PM

  What an awesome story. I like your ideas about fun bags. I too hate grocery shopping and I have to figure out things for a month. You have a lot of great ideas and keep on sparking! emoticon

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AMBER461 10/24/2014 7:38PM

  Very interesting blog, thanks for sharing.

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VANGO79 10/24/2014 9:54AM

    Thanks for sharing. I have tried many times to meal prep and plan and it just doesn't work out how I had hoped. After reading this its nice to know that I'm not alone.
emoticon We shall prevail!

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SIMONEKP 10/24/2014 9:16AM

    Batch cooking is a great way to maintain a healthy eating habit and save money.

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CHERIJ16 10/23/2014 11:42PM

    Very good ideas! Thanks for sharing emoticon

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PRETTYEYES668 10/23/2014 9:31PM

   
emoticon emoticon
I do freezer meals as well.It is much easier since we both work 10-12 hour days.I use onceamonthmeals.com for my recipes.They have been a life saver on more than one occasion for us and they are free.

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MRSRIGS1 10/23/2014 8:52PM

    emoticon Very organized! Your tamale pie looked delish. emoticon

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MAYBER 10/23/2014 8:51PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SOOKIE 10/23/2014 4:01PM

    Nice, you are doing so well. Thanks for sharing those apps, will be checking them out.

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WHITEANGEL4 10/23/2014 3:26PM

    Way to go. You are doing gtrat

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TANGYTANGERINE 10/23/2014 3:25PM

    Thanks for some great idea's for planning and organizing - I'm gonna check out that Paprika App right now! Keep the Spark!!

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CHERYLHURT 10/23/2014 12:08PM

  Amazing!!

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SJKENT1 10/23/2014 12:01PM

    Shel.... awesome!!


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CATHIMOMMY 10/23/2014 10:12AM

    Awesome. I used to go to Dream Dinners, but now live overseas. With many young moms here and food prices astronomical, I am going to try and make it fun b y hosting a group freezer meal session this coming month!

Any good recipes you'd like to share?
Cathimommy

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VAINVT 10/23/2014 8:11AM

  Congratulations. It is so important to me to eat healthy and satisfying meals, so I applaud you for finding a way to get past your dislike of cooking and find a reasonable way to do this.

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HMBROWN1 10/23/2014 8:11AM

    emoticon

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ONESPOTLEFT 10/23/2014 7:20AM

    you got it going on
emoticon

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IDLETYME 10/23/2014 6:35AM

    Super blog! Keep up the good work! emoticon

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THROOPER62 10/23/2014 6:05AM

    emoticon

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MRSFANCYLADY 10/23/2014 1:29AM

    emoticon You're moving in the right direction!

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SHENDERSO1 10/22/2014 8:59PM

    I really enjoyed your blog and the picture of Bubba was great! thanks for sharing!

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COFFEYANGEL 10/22/2014 8:51PM

    You know, I'm having one of THOSE days, blah & just not all that great. I stumbled on your blog & I just have to say: emoticon

In addition to the great tips & tricks you use (& so kindly shared), you also shared a much needed smile in my day & even a giggle (or 3). LOL

So, again, thanks so much for sharing & LOVE that Yoshi bag! I'm about to go hunt google to find me one! emoticon

Oh, & as for doing the things you can't stand & keeping moving forward: emoticon

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SHEENADEE 10/22/2014 7:41PM

    Fun blog! Love the picture of Bubba!

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DANIELLET96 10/22/2014 6:23PM

    VERY nice. If only I could get my husband to do the same! He does all the cooking and meal planning. Now that he is getting older, he lets me cook once in a while. I like the idea of planning everything out as we throw away a disgraceful amt of food due to not taking a list to the store emoticon

Sauces and soups make a lot of sense and I am going to encourage him to start doing this. Great tips, great blog!

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LIVEDAILY 10/22/2014 5:12PM

    I am glad you are persevering through this task, and seeing light at the end of the tunnel, too! You have a right to be proud of completing a "dreaded" task!! Love the grocery bags!! Three of my favorite things to make "big batch" (I know no other way) are: spaghetti sauce, soup, and chili. All things great to have in the coming months!

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RUDITUDI2000 10/22/2014 4:57PM

    Very inspired to get my plan together! Time to push through some barriers!

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AJB121299 10/22/2014 4:02PM

    nice

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LOLAJO54 10/22/2014 3:09PM

    great ideas and suggestions for us weak at the meal planning --which I am one.
Thank you very much --now I need to get at it ..

menu
shopping list
shopping
then preparing

wow --Hope I can do this .. I am not a cook!
lol emoticon

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MEREDITHB51 10/22/2014 2:16PM

    We got into the meal plan/shopping list habit when we had three busy kids and two working parents. If we didn't organize ourselves on the weekend, getting to the store on weekdays was just ridiculous. So Saturday morning after the gym and before shopping was our planning/list making time. The kids also liked being able to look at the meal plan and know what was for dinner on a given night. Now our kids are all in college but it's part of our established routine, and though we aren't quite as rigid about our meal plan, it saves us tons of time and cognitive energy during the week. Before long, you won't even have to think about it - you'll just do your "lists" (what we call it) automatically.

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TINAFEY72 10/22/2014 12:50PM

  emoticon

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LEMONMOUSE 10/22/2014 11:27AM

    Thanks for sharing. Meal prep can take a lot of time but is so worth it. Loved the humor too!

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STARFLOWER75 10/22/2014 11:00AM

    This is my first visit to your blog- I hope you don't mind that I'm going to add you as a friend- I really enjoy the way you write. I completely relate to your meal planning and shopping struggles. I've been experimenting with different solutions- but putting it on the schedule is one that helping me a ton too. If I don't, I spend half a week scrambling for meals before I get myself organized.


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LAILATN 10/22/2014 10:01AM

    Fantastic blog post. I'm not a good planner either. This is inspiring!

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TINY67 10/22/2014 9:48AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SCRAPPYGAMBLER 10/22/2014 9:47AM

  Wow! I like you also am not talented in the kitchen. Cooking and meal planning is not one of my strengths. You have inspired me!

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YESTERTHING 10/22/2014 7:49AM

    Wow. I think we must be related. Excellent blogwork there. I am right with ya on all of that. Trying to motivate to get back on board with the meal planning & prep. 3 of the 5 kids are out of the house now, so money's not AS tight & the plan isn't as critical as it used to be, but the benefits are hard to argue against. Thanks for the assist!

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TRYHARDER2014 10/22/2014 7:42AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KELLEYAIMSHIGH 10/22/2014 6:43AM

  Well said. Now I'm inspired.

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MAWMAW101 10/22/2014 6:35AM

    Love your blogs! emoticon emoticon

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REBESANCON 10/22/2014 5:52AM

    Love your blog! Great info and inspiration.

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BLUEJEAN99 10/22/2014 1:35AM

    emoticon emoticon

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RESCU82 10/22/2014 1:20AM

    I have several freezer meals that we keep on hand in the deep freeze for days we don't want to cook or can't cook. We pull one out the night before and let it defrost in the fridge then in the morning into the crock it goes. At supper time we have a decent meal that is no work. this works very well for us!

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MARYJEANSL 10/22/2014 12:52AM

  Picturing myself, shoulders back, head high, looking at the dreaded grocery store and saying, "For the Family!!!" before charging in......not only made me laugh, but I got a second, much bigger, laugh as I pictured my kids watching me do so. They would then haul me off to the looney bin. Still laughing... Thank you!! I needed a laugh.

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JIBBIE49 10/22/2014 12:44AM

    Hugs

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ARTJAC 10/21/2014 11:52PM

    emoticon

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ROCKYCPA 10/21/2014 10:39PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 10/21/2014 10:36PM

  I don't like to do menus either, but when one works all the time, I'm sure it is helpful.. Do tell me, what randy does. Is he a youth pastor?

Your doing well friend.

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123ELAINE456 10/21/2014 10:00PM

  Awesome Blog!!! Very informative and very entertaining. Love your Bags. Where did you get them from? I would love to have some bags like that for my new Power Chair. Keep It Up!!! WTG!!! God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Week. Good Thoughts, Prayers and Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Co
ming Your Way. Take Care Of Yourself And Stay Healthy. Great Photos. Love the Photo of Bubba too.

Comment edited on: 10/21/2014 10:02:42 PM

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CICELY360 10/21/2014 9:59PM

  good blog

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Walking Confessional

Sunday, October 05, 2014


I took my camera along on our walk Friday morning, but Iím just now getting around to posting the video. I was a little under the weather over the weekend, but doing better now. Walking is a great time for me to think, process things and sometimes, admit how Iím feeling about stuff. Letís consider this a ďwalking confessional.Ē Maybe youíll be able to relate, or maybe youíll just enjoy seeing the Halloween decorations. :)

I love walking in our neighborhood; thereís always something to see. Check out this inspiring sidewalk art we saw the other day:

It says: Joy can be yours, let your light shine and have a happy day!

And now, people are putting up their Halloween decorations, so thereís even more to see. The skeletons used to freak Bubba out, but heís over it. Look at these guys:

Coming for you!


Friendly dude


This is my absolute favorite. This family has a pack of dogs, so this just makes sense.

And the other day, we walked in the park and I took this pic, which I call Bubbaís, ďSound of MusicĒ pose.

The hills are alive, with the snorts of bulldogs!

I will leave you with this pic of some souvenirs some of my friends brought me from their recent vacation. Behold: The Wildly Noisy Wooden Thing, A Unique Kazoo and a Nose Fluteóyes, a Nose Flute.

As soon as Iím over this cold, you know I have to try these out.

I hope you see interesting things while youíre out and about this week and that you have friends who know you well enough to buy you a Nose Flute, or whatever floats your boat. In the meantime, have an awesome week!

Spark ON, Brave Sparkers!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DJSHIP46 10/20/2014 10:16AM

    You are SO organized, I am jealous!!! And yep, autumn is definitely that puppy's camo season!!!

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NANHBH 10/18/2014 12:44AM

    Your blogs always make me laugh! Love the Halloween decorations - especially the skeleton dogs.

Bubba's Sound of Music photo is priceless!

You are going to have to do a vlog of you trying out the nose flute! Very cool.
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WENDYANNE61 10/17/2014 2:21PM

    Thanks for giving me an opportunity to have a good chuckle! Yep, life would be a bed of roses if we didīnt have to put in a constant effort to move more and to eat right! Spark on!

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KALEWINE 10/13/2014 10:42PM

    I love that you had your rant (which I totally agree with), but then ended with some positivity!

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ALLYOOPCAT 10/13/2014 12:12PM

  I totally feel the same way, exactly the same way!!!!

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JANEEM2 10/10/2014 7:19AM

    love the pictures

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SJKENT1 10/10/2014 3:56AM

    Bubba... sing it out!!

Awesome!

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ROCKYCPA 10/9/2014 11:07PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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CHRIMSONFYRE 10/9/2014 11:40AM

    LOVE this blog, thanks for sharing with us!

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JUNEAU2010 10/8/2014 9:49PM

    Bubba's pic is the best! I hope you feel better. Thanks for sharing!

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KIPPER15 10/8/2014 8:45PM

    Great blog. Love Bubba's Sound of Music pose.

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WALNUTT1961 10/8/2014 4:51PM

    Yep! I'm with you! I wish it was easier and that it would stay gone. I guess it's my full time job. emoticon

Thanks for the inspiration! Lee Ann

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KLONG8 10/8/2014 11:48AM

    I have to admit that a nose flute might be a surprise to me. But somehow I think it was the perfect gift for you. Your friends know you well!!!

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REBESANCON 10/8/2014 10:40AM

    Love your blog! Bubba's Sound of Music pose is awesome.

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SEATTLE58 10/7/2014 11:32PM

    You are so cute and funny and I just love ya! I love Bubba too, so perfect for the camera. What a darling dog and walking companion. Yes, we will never give up and we'll Spark On, and have fun in the meantime! I hope to be walking again like you after my up-coming knee replacement surgery. Yep, coming up in the Winter sometime when this cortisone shot wears out, that I just got today. My 2nd one. Take care and emoticon

ps.....I'm working on getting my 20# gain off too!!

Comment edited on: 10/7/2014 11:33:21 PM

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TREYONE 10/7/2014 9:44PM

  Love the pictures of the Halloween decorations!!!! I love this time of year.....except for the impending winter months ahead!!!!!

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SPARKL3 10/7/2014 10:00AM

    emoticon I wish this were easier, but you're right; we've got great company along the way! emoticon

Spark ON!!! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/7/2014 10:01:04 AM

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JANIEWWJD 10/7/2014 12:22AM

    Loved you vlog, and I loved the pictures!!!! emoticon
By the way, your confessions are fantabulous!!!!!!

Comment edited on: 10/7/2014 12:31:13 AM

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_JODI404 10/6/2014 9:37PM

    I love your walk alongs, and your neighbors are really creative! Makes me want to pull our Halloween stuff out right now. (not really, it's bedtime).

Look at Bubba's 'Sound of Music" pose!! He is the most photogenic dog!!

I think anyone that has ever worked on losing weight wishes there was an easier way. Keep your Power of Awesome going strong!! Make as many good decisions as you can each day. Keep on keeping on and you will get there! You are on the right track.
And congrats on your exercise streak! THAT really is awesome!! There is nothing wrong with a dog walk towards those minutes. How are you averaging on your daily step count? Also, do you get 7-8 hrs sleep/night?

Hope you are feeling better! I'm fighting something back myself right now. October is just a hard time of year. I love fall, but don't love the health challenges it seems to bring.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CTURCOTTE 10/6/2014 9:35PM

    You crack me up! Yes I to wish it was a one time deal. emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 10/6/2014 8:03PM

  I am very impressed by the decorations in your neighborhood, but there sure are lots of skeletons. I love Halloween and trick-or-treating!

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LOLAJO54 10/6/2014 7:48PM

    love walking with the decorations of Halloween being put up.
glad you have great things to see and enjoy.

lol Bubba too funny.

keep walking emoticon
hope you get rid of that cold pronto!

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CHACHAOREO 10/6/2014 6:26PM

    Spark On!! emoticon

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LOVINGKATE 10/6/2014 5:18PM

  Oh my goodness such an AWESOME blog. I wish weight loss was easy too but it is not, it's hard.. I wish I love to exercise to but I don't. Oh well I guess we must JUST DO IT.
Thanks so much for sharing, by the way, my kitchen stays clean for 5 min. or less. My bathroom even less. Oh well we JUST DO IT. emoticon

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BECKYSUEK1 10/6/2014 5:01PM

    Hey Girl! I totally understand your angst here !!! I had a friend who used Almased and lost 30 lbs. on one of my frustrating days I said, please order me some of that stuff. She sat down @ my computer and ordered my first 3 cans. I love it !!! I lost ten pounds on those first 3 cans, and I had tried so hard to lose & just couldn't. The best place to find them is Lucky Vitamin. Then u go to the Almased site and they have the instructions there. We love, love, love it !!!!!!!!

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PICKIE98 10/6/2014 4:49PM

    How long does a clean bathroom last in YOUR house? Mine=five minutes.

I am TINGLING with excitement awaiting your nose flute debut!! Pleases remember to blow your nose first.. tragedy could ensue if you are not thorough!!

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VALKYR8 10/6/2014 12:36PM

    I wish weight loss was easier too. My problem is what I eat as well.

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OLDERDANDRT 10/6/2014 12:33PM

    Oh Shelli, it could have been me saying those words!! It Has been me saying those words!! I put 20 back on over the summer, but I didn't have any injuries or illness to help make it happen......I guess I was just lazy, but working on getting rid of that 20 again now, too! And like you said, it's a journey and we'll be together for a long time, and that's perfectly fine by me ( to be together, that is)!!
Love you neighborhood's dťcor for Halloween! Looks like some folks got plenty of $$ and maybe some imagination to match!!
Spark on, Shelli!! I'm with you every step of the way!! (((HUGS)))

Love and hugs to Bubba, too!! Sweet guy!!

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CHRISTINEBWD 10/6/2014 12:30PM

    Love this blog!! emoticon

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POSITIVEHOPE 10/6/2014 12:23PM

    Love your neighborhood decorations and that sound of music park. I started a 10+ min. a day streak today. It was 95F outside so I exercised inside while shopping at Walmart looking for odd items they don't carry. Covered a lot of ground in the free, cool A/C comfort of their hospitality. How can a store sell fresh onions but no garlic and overripe avocados but no lettuce? I marched around for 15 minutes looking for aluminum foil. Never found it. While looking for the foil, I went temporarily blind in one eye while passing through an entire aisle of the holiday confections. They had both Halloween costumes and Christmas trees on the shelves in different departments at the same time. Saw the very worst item in the store while waiting in the checkout line. It was an inflatable outdoor decoration of an outhouse. Bad enough. I thought it was a Halloween thing. Wrong. The door opened and there was Santa inside. I mean what kind of decoration is that for your neighbors enjoyment. So that's my gratitude for today. My neighbors didn't buy the outhouse decor. Enough of my ranting. I hope you have a wonderful week.

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HDEGMD 10/6/2014 11:59AM

  So spot on ... keep those walk/chats coming and loved the pics ..... felt like we were walking together.

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SUPERSYLPH 10/6/2014 11:21AM

    I secretly wish weight loss was easier also! That would be nice if it were a one-time thing. Lol

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TRIM180 10/6/2014 10:36AM

    emoticon emoticon confession is good for the soul

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NILLAPEPSI 10/6/2014 10:04AM

    Right on, Sister! You are so right! So, I guess we'll just be Sparkin' for a good long time.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 10/6/2014 9:26AM

    Loved it so much, I reposted to my own blog with quotes and all! You are so quotable Shelli!!

XOXOXOXOX

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EDENZMOM 10/6/2014 9:25AM

    love your walking buddy! Enjoy your walks and feel better soon :)

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TAMNIOWA 10/6/2014 9:24AM

    Your confessional spoke my thoughts exactly. My mom said, "If wishes were horses, we all would take a ride." If only we could have it easy and one time through and done. Keep the blogs and videos coming, I look forward to your humor. Love it! We are all in it together.

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NSCARNEY 10/6/2014 8:42AM

    Thanks for saying out loud what we were all thinking!
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MAWMAW101 10/6/2014 8:35AM

    emoticon
You are great!

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FUZZYBEEZ 10/6/2014 8:34AM

    Love your post. Glad we aren't in this alone, though I am like you I secretly wish once we lost it we never had to loose it again.....oh well it keeps us on our toes at least. I love Bubba by the way....he's got a cute stride while walking and is mellow compared to all the bulldogs I've ever seen...must be all that walking :) Well you inspired me yet again, so I am off to take my corgi's for a walk. Have a nice day!!!

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AZMOMXTWO 10/6/2014 7:56AM

  you are doing great and I cant wait to see the video of the new instruments thank you

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GABY1948 10/6/2014 7:49AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRISTAROSE 10/6/2014 7:30AM

    Great Vlog - Love Bubba! I can totally relate to your confessional and will never be done working at weight loss either.

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Comment edited on: 10/6/2014 7:31:37 AM

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TWEETYKC00 10/6/2014 6:52AM

    Love everything! Is Bubba going to be dressing up for Halloween?

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MARYANNSQUEST 10/6/2014 5:25AM

    Woo Hoo! I love the Sidewalk Chalk messages!
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GOANNA2 10/6/2014 5:11AM

    Nice to have you back. I love the decorations. emoticon

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KAREN-IS-HERE 10/6/2014 3:17AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JAMER123 10/6/2014 12:05AM

    Love the sidewalk chalk! Made me think of our granddaughters when they come over. Love to write on the driveway. Should tell them to do it on the walking path through our yard.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CANDOIT54 10/5/2014 11:46PM

    Love your confessional- I can totally relate. It is hard. But I loved the decorations and your video blog- you are such an inspiration to me. emoticon

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DAWNESS0404 10/5/2014 11:38PM

    Thanks for sharing the great pics! I love to walk also, it gives me time to think about whatever is on mind or just chill out and listen to my ipod and escape.

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Mandatory, Unedited hOOp Break

Sunday, September 21, 2014

It really and truly did take a solid six months to recover from the Death By Bulldog Knee Sprain. I've been walking and stuff, but it's only been within the last couple of weeks that my knee actually felt 100%. 100%! Like, I can't even tell when it's going to rain anymore. I can't even tell that it was ever injured. As optimistic as I am, I wasn't sure if that was going to happen. But lo and behold, it has.

You know what that means, don't you? This short, round, middle-aged woman will be hOOping in her backyard again! Oh yes, yes she will. What have the neighbors done for free entertainment over the past months? I must make it up to them.

Spark on, Brave Sparkers!

PS: The song I'm hooping to is, "Wonder What You're Doing for the Rest of Your Life," from Train's new album, Bulletproof Picasso, which I've pretty much been playing nonstop all week. :)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARFLOWER75 10/22/2014 11:16AM

    emoticon

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CORNERKICK 10/17/2014 6:50PM

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SJKENT1 10/5/2014 10:55PM

    Awesome. It has been so long since I've hooped.

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MAGGIGIRL 10/5/2014 8:45PM

    Wish you were my neighbour!! Looking good with the hoop! Spark on!

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DJSHIP46 10/5/2014 8:25PM

    Thanks for sharing emoticon

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JANETRIS 10/4/2014 8:22PM

    Fabulous! Congrats on your recovery too! emoticon

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ENTIRELYBEVERLY 10/1/2014 11:23PM

    You make me feel so happy watching you do your hooping again! It's hard to watch you without wanting to get up and join in the fun! I bought a hoola hoop just because of you! Now I need to get the courage up to TRY!!!

HUGS!

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THENEWKAREN 10/1/2014 8:48PM

    I got as far as buying the tubing and connectors to make like 6 to 8 hoops and it is sitting in storage. Guess I was afraid to make the hoop and try using it because I might have to admit I can't keep it moving...you have inspired me...may get the hoop made and try it soon.
Thanks for sharing!

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URBANAUDREYE 9/30/2014 7:40PM

    Just got the chance to watch this. So happy you're 100% again! Thanks for the smile I so desperately needed today.

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FITMARY 9/28/2014 12:39PM

    Very, very nice!!! No wonder the neighbors were complaining for all those weeks....
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TERRIJ7 9/28/2014 11:48AM

    Movin' in the grooove!

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PYNETREE 9/28/2014 7:47AM

    Fantastic return to hooping! Haven't lost any skills!

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JSTETSER 9/28/2014 6:55AM

    You motivate me!

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WRITERWANNAB 9/28/2014 12:34AM

    I wish you were my neighbor! Mine are perfectly nice, but rather quiet, conservative & speak only to be polite. I'd love someone to play with! emoticon

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PUGLOVER1999 9/28/2014 12:23AM

    Your video made me so happy! It was great to watch you perform; you have lucky neighbors! Glad your knee is 1005 healed, too!

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JERICHO1991 9/27/2014 10:45AM

    Thanks for the entertainment. You've gotten much better as a hoopster! Thanks for the song also. I'm adding it to my cardio playlist.

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MRSRIGS1 9/26/2014 8:28PM

    emoticon emoticon

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WENDYANNE61 9/26/2014 7:31PM

    Rusty?? Your hooping is fantabulous, Shelli! Have a fun weekend and enjoy the freedom of middle-age, I say!

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TRIM180 9/26/2014 10:38AM

    emoticon Made me smile for awhile! Joy of life! emoticon

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SHEENADEE 9/26/2014 10:37AM

    emoticon emoticon

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KIPPER15 9/26/2014 6:56AM

    emoticon Such fun.

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VALKYR8 9/25/2014 9:20AM

    Hoop on Shelli!

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FLEMIDG 9/25/2014 1:13AM

    So glad your knee is feeling so good. Good luck with that hooping. Enjoy.

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KACEYSW 9/24/2014 10:09PM

    emoticon

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SPARKLINGME176 9/24/2014 9:24PM

    emoticon to YOUR fun! emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 9/24/2014 8:46PM

  I'm so glad your knee is feeling 100% again. Hooray!

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AMBER461 9/24/2014 7:51PM

  I am that your knee is 100% better. Thanks for sharing.

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SEDONACAT 9/24/2014 2:05PM

    I'm so jealous! I can only do it a couple of times before it drops. Just don't have the moves! lol

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BEINGERIN 9/24/2014 11:45AM

    Your energy is inspiring!

Spark on!

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REBESANCON 9/24/2014 10:56AM

    You so rock! Makes me want to find a hoop! emoticon

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SUBMOM2 9/23/2014 11:36PM

    emoticon emoticon

Where to begin?!

1. So glad your knee is better!
2. Great music!
3. Fabulous routine!
4. Even the dog is having fun!
5. I'm dusting off my hula hoop right now!

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KALEWINE 9/23/2014 11:00PM

    emoticon
I'm so glad your knee is finally 100%!

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FRAN0426 9/23/2014 8:09PM

    Amazing hooping--continue to rock that hula hoop.

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AJB121299 9/23/2014 5:53PM

    nice

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NANHBH 9/23/2014 3:42PM

    So that's what happened to you! I must have missed that blog. So glad that neighbors will have their free entertainment again. They probably had to pay good money to get anything close to as entertaining as this!
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ALYEPSEN 9/23/2014 3:29PM

    You Inspire me!!! Welcome back!!

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1STBUCKETITEM 9/23/2014 3:17PM

  emoticon emoticon to Hoopsville! You truly know how to make it fun!

Looking forward to more of your creative hoop routines. emoticon

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 9/23/2014 1:17PM

    great post

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JEB03253 9/23/2014 12:37PM

    emoticon

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DISNEY4537 9/23/2014 12:09PM

    Glad your back to 100% Hoop on! emoticon emoticon

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WIO_ALISA 9/23/2014 10:52AM

    Looking great!
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MOMMY445 9/23/2014 10:49AM

    great news! go for it!

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KAWANEE 9/23/2014 10:05AM

    YOU are SO MUCH FUN!!!!! emoticon

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BECKYF3506 9/23/2014 9:39AM

    Wow--so cool! Wish I could do that. Looks like a lot of fun!

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SUCHANUT 9/23/2014 8:06AM

    Very groovy!!!!

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JENJENN7 9/23/2014 7:38AM

    That's very impressive hOOping! emoticon

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RITAROSE 9/23/2014 6:53AM

  I get a smile when I see there's a new vlog from you! My husband and I watched this together and he was amazed at you! I told him that you have done even better with that hoop! AMAZING! You make me want to go out and get one, but I know it wouldn't be easy to get that hoop to stay up! Thank you for putting a smile in our day first thing this morning!! Have a great day! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBSZOO74 9/23/2014 2:24AM

    You're emoticon and look like you're having so much fun!

Comment edited on: 9/23/2014 2:24:38 AM

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BLUEJEAN99 9/23/2014 2:00AM

    emoticon

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GRACED777 9/23/2014 1:47AM

    So glad your knee is healed! Hoop on! emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/23/2014 1:49:12 AM

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Backyard Concert

Monday, September 15, 2014

A backyard accordion concertójust what you need, to start off your Monday! Iíve been working on this song for weeks, so I thought I would share, because I think itís important for you to monitor my accordion progress. EVERYTHING awesome is SparkWorthy, right? Of course it is!

As I mention in the video, I played this song in church yesterday morning. Iím telling you; this place lets me get away with just about anything. Heh heh. If youíre curious about how we used it in the service, hereís a link to videos from the day: vimeo.com/album/3037911 . The accordion bit is the third video.

Speaking of yesterday, it was a big one. Iíve been a little quiet on Spark, because weíve been working so hard to pull things together for yesterday. It was Worship Arts Sunday, when we combine the music team with the creative arts team, and do amazing things. Even Audrey got into it, by programming some wicked cool lights. Hereís a pic of the set (made entirely with styrofoam and buckets of paint).


We will not speak of all the styrofoam fumes inhaled, during the making of this set.

Check out the abstract artwork some of my buddies made, to illustrate one of the stories.

If you don't have some artsy friends, you might want to get some. I have extra; you may borrow some of mine.

Anyway, I mention it, not to drone on and on about work (because Iím sure you grow weary of that), but because I absolutely have a Spark Point. I team-taught yesterday, which means I spent a lot of time speaking onstage. In front of everyone. It was fun. I love it; I really do. I got to tell stories and storytelling is one of my favorite things.


I bought this card for myself. Iím hanging it on my office wall, next to the poster of Miss Piggy.

Fast forward to later in the afternoon, when Iím editing all the video clips, to post online. Question for the audience: Have you ever edited video of yourselfó full-body, low-angle, close-up, high-def video? Have you ever done this when youíre massively overweight? I assure you, it is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of courage, mixed with humility. I admit that my heart sank, more than a little. For a moment, I almost forgot my Secret Power of Awesome and thought, ďHoly cow, Iím fat. I feel sorry for people, having to see that.Ē

Fortunately, I did a gut check, rebooted my Secret Power of Awesome and plowed through it. Hereís the thingóI spent years, trying to hide behind the scenes, backstage or in the tech booth. Most of the time, thatís appropriate; itís where I need to be, to get the job done. But thereís a difference between working quietly behind the scenes and hiding. I avoided public speaking, because I was embarrassed by my weight. I decided this time around, that I wasnít going to hide. I love sharing stories with people. I love giving people a chance to laugh. That is my absolute favorite thing to do, help people laugh. And guess what? I can do that, no matter what my size is. I just have to get past my pride.

So guess what? I posted the videos. I cringed a little, but I posted them. And guess what? Iíll be up on that stage next week, doing the announcements and stuff. Iím guessing I wonít be able to lose 30 pounds by then, so Iíll probably still be this size. But Iím going to take a deep breath, smile and just be myself. That doesnít mean Iím settling. Far from it! Iím not quitting. In fact, Iím getting ready to start a new 5% challenge in a few weeks and I hope to knock some poundage off before Christmas. I really want to work and be much smaller when Iím editing videos of myself speaking a year from now. I completely want to work for that. Itís just that, in the meantime, Iím not going to hide. I will be true to my calling and if that means singing onstage with an accordion, so be it.

Hope you have a fantastic week planned. I will leave you with this determined face.


Bubba says, ďSpark ON, Brave Sparkers!Ē

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CORNERKICK 10/13/2014 6:38PM

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SJKENT1 10/5/2014 10:50PM

    Yes... the secret power of awesome can sure keep us going.

Thank you for your courage and keepin' on...

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TERRIJ7 9/28/2014 11:55AM

    "Just play off your mistakes..." and keep goin'! I Love that!

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TRIM180 9/26/2014 10:53AM

    Polka fest were fun as a kid! Accordion players create happiness! emoticon emoticon

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FUZZYBEEZ 9/25/2014 10:02AM

    I know I'm a little behind, but just wanted you to know this post really hit home and brought me out of a funk I'd been in for a while now. I felt like I got to attend church with you through your video links, and it was awesome. Thank you for sharing with us all.


Now if I could just find my own "Secret Power of Awesome" I think I could conquer the world....well at least my person world :)

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MRSRIGS1 9/23/2014 7:51PM

    emoticon emoticon

P.S. Love that little face!

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WHITEANGEL4 9/22/2014 10:21PM

    Thank you for sharing and the great blog

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GOOFYSMILE 9/22/2014 7:13AM

  Great music that makes the world go around!!


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MARUKI52 9/22/2014 6:19AM

    Thank you for posting this vlog. Straight away came back memories of my Grandma playing her accordian and the song too took me way back to her Church as I remember singing that in her Church. Such lovely memories you have evoked for my by this vlog and I sincerely thank you for it. Your playing has come on leaps and bounds since I last looked at a vlog of you playing. Well done.

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WRITERWANNAB 9/21/2014 1:11AM

    I love your funny posts! You have such a great time! emoticon

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JANIEWWJD 9/21/2014 12:31AM

    Loved your blog, loved your music, and most of all; loved your dog!!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMBER461 9/20/2014 11:40PM

  Awesome thanks for sharing.

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JERICHO1991 9/20/2014 11:43AM

    Your accordian playing is getting better! That's ok if you didn't quite make it to the end as planned. Thanks for sharing.

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MAYBER 9/19/2014 8:03PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DIAMOND102 9/19/2014 12:30AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TERRIJ7 9/19/2014 12:16AM

    You are amazing!

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GOSPARK45 9/18/2014 8:39PM

    emoticon

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TREYONE 9/18/2014 7:40PM

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BOB5148 9/18/2014 11:26AM

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IFDEEVARUNS2 9/18/2014 9:46AM

    Secret Power of Awesome? I want some! Thanks, I'll take it.

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PEGGYO 9/18/2014 7:21AM

    emoticon

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CHERYLHURT 9/18/2014 6:33AM

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WENDYANNE61 9/18/2014 1:10AM

    I hear and love your voice, your attitude and your thirst for life - live it to the full, cos you canīt buy it by the dozen! Thanks for bringing a smile to my face! P.S. please stop telling yourself that you are fat - you are plump, my dear!

Comment edited on: 9/18/2014 1:17:12 AM

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SUPERSYLPH 9/17/2014 11:34PM

    That was AWESOME!

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COLOR-BLUE 9/17/2014 10:41PM

    Thank you for filling me with your JOY, this evening! That's just a perfect topper to the end of my day! Oh, by the way, you're very good on the accordion!

Blessings!

- Nancy Jean -
GA

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LIVEDAILY 9/17/2014 9:45PM

    I heard harmony...twice!! And you're getting much better at playing both parts to the songs and moving the accordion in and out!! LOVE the picture of Bubba Boy - He is looking at you with TOTAL LOVE in that sweet little face of his!!

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DEE1221 9/17/2014 7:40PM

    GREAT JOB. I'm waiting for the polka!! emoticon

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KIPPER15 9/17/2014 6:01PM

    Loved the concert!

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JSEATTLE 9/17/2014 2:05PM

  You always give me a lift. I'm taking some of your Secret Power of Awesome for myself today. Thank you for always finding the positive side to everything. Lesson learned!

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AJB121299 9/17/2014 2:04PM

    nice

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JONESEYJR55 9/17/2014 12:43PM

    "Secret Power of Awesome" You made my morning with this wonderful, magical thought! Thank you! I shall hold it in my heart and call upon it when I hit roadblocks. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CRYSTALJEM 9/17/2014 11:39AM

    Thank you for making me smile and the lovely concert. Bravo! emoticon

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DSHONEYC 9/17/2014 11:11AM

    I waited till Wednesday to check it out...it's really when I needed it! God's perfect timing. Bless you, you are emoticon

PS My favorite passage...the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Thanks!

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MISSMUFFETT101 9/17/2014 9:43AM

    Totally awesome - that was the "something fun" I needed! You are awesome...thanks for sharing

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LOSER_ZIMM 9/17/2014 9:06AM

    emoticon

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EILEEN828 9/17/2014 3:18AM

    Ye-haw girl, that was great. I had an uncle once who loved to play the concertina, a version of the accordion, so this brings back great memories! Love the tune and I love seeing the fun you have with it. You're getting good, sista. Love it. emoticon

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SUBMOM2 9/17/2014 1:55AM

    That was so fun! And you're right - if you make a mistake, just keep going!! Thanks for that friendly reminder!


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JIBBIE49 9/17/2014 1:10AM

    I loved playing my accordion when I was a child, and wish I hadn't let them discourage me and quit. Keep playing. There are some great accordion pieces on YouTube. People in Eastern Europe really appreciate the music so much more than here in America.

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BLUEJEAN99 9/17/2014 1:08AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 9/16/2014 11:37PM

  Love that doggy face! I miss my own little dog, who died recently. :-(

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LIVELYGIRL2 9/16/2014 10:04PM

  that's some stage set. Your music is improving pretty quick for just learning...

Obviously, you are AWESOME no matter what size you are. But being on stage could be a another motivation for some. It seemed like before you did a bunch of exercise, so one has to figure out if they need an extra boast with that, or eating patterns.

It's not easy.

You sure are talented and creative. Your enthusiasm is a lot of fun too.

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NANHBH 9/16/2014 9:52PM

    You DO make us laugh! Love, love, love the accordion solo.

Thanks for your honesty and for reminding me to remember my Secret Power of Awesome! I love that.

Galations 5:22 is such a great message! Your joy is infectious. And your talents are such gifts to all of us. You're a musician, a singer, an artist, a storyteller - is there anything you don't do???
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ROCKYCPA 9/16/2014 8:45PM

    emoticon javascript:void(0);

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RAINBOWMF 9/16/2014 8:39PM

    Something fun was great even if I didn't see it until Tuesday

Thank you.

Mary

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SEATTLE58 9/16/2014 7:34PM

    emoticon I love how you're smiling when you're playing and that shows just how much you're enjoying it. To think that I could've been playing the accordian even, because when my sister and I were little, a guy came out to our house and showed us how it worked and my Mom and Dad decided on a piano for us to learn instead of the accordian! I had an uncle who could play like no tomorrow and you'll probably play like him too, one day! I love it!! emoticon

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CELLA_P 9/16/2014 7:08PM

    WOW!!

Simply amazing! Thanks for sharing with us emoticon

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JRRING 9/16/2014 5:24PM

  emoticon

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LOLAJO54 9/16/2014 4:51PM

    I LOVED LOVED it!!

You are emoticon

maybe time for another walk challenge?
last time it was 30,000 steps

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PATTISTAMPS 9/16/2014 4:42PM

    YES! You can get even MORE AWESOME in the next 8 weeks! Not 30 pounds, perhaps, but as we know, every single pound is a VICTORY! Spark on, Brave Friend!

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DIANNEMT 9/16/2014 4:14PM

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Back to School - Back on Track

Friday, August 22, 2014

For me, the start of the school year feels more like New Yearís Day, than the actual New Yearís Day. Something about a fresh start and a clean slate, new pencils and all that. Back to school also means back on a regular schedule for me, and thatís not always a bad thing. Sometimes, I want to fight the clock during those early morning wake-up calls. And sometimes, itís frustrating to have to drop everything, to go pick up kids from school. But itís super easy to find the silver lining there. Early mornings mean Bubba and I can get our morning walk in sooner, so my day ends up being more productive. And this week, Iíve added strength training back into the mix. Iíd been away from it over the summer, so Iím easing back into it and it feels great. Today is Day 1230 of my exercise streak. WooHoo!


Taking Audrey to and from school is its own silver lining. She just started her Freshman year in High School, so this might be the last year or so that I take her. Soon, sheíll be driving herself. I enjoy those moments with her in the car, every day. Iíd post a first day of school pic, but I promised not to take one this year. Sigh. Remember when Audrey was in all of my vlogs and I said I was enjoying it, because I knew it wouldnít last forever? Yup, she definitely reached that point and Iím respecting her privacy. Enjoy the moments and be ready to move on to the next one, preferably without kicking and screaming.

What Bubba looks like, while Audrey is at school. ďHey lady, stop working and play with me!Ē

So, Audrey is a Freshman and Logan turned 20 this week. Big week for our house! Logan has been lamenting the loss of his youth. He thinks life is basically over, once you become an adult. I keep assuring him that heís barely begun and thereís a ton of good stuff happening now and just around the corner. He is the Eeyore to my Tigger. Look, here he was as a little guy, with our first bulldog, named Phyllis. Fast-forward to today with Manboy and his dog. (Heís oblivious to the fact that I have a blog, so he doesnít really care what I do. Iím just happy I got a picture at all. He Who Shall Not Smile.)

Proud of this hardworking, young man.

Another area Iím getting back on track with is lunches/snacks. Remember how I said I was going to start packing a stash to have at work, so I wouldnít grab something to eat on the way home, or binge-eat when I finally got home? Well, I did it. I have a little stash of healthy snacks in the fridge at work and Iíve already dipped into it once. It saved the day yesterday, when I wasnít able to get home for lunch. Next step, freeze some wraps at work and create a snack stash for the car. WORKDAY PREPPERS UNITE!

Stash, next to communion trays--occupational hazard :)

Early morning workouts-check, strength training-check, freezer meals-check, work stash-check. I think Iíll start seeing positive results on the scale in the next couple of months. As always, I remain optimistic! I hope you are too!

I will leave you with some unrelated photos, because thatís what I do. Audrey finished painting her room, so she was finally able to install a special decal that Shelley (BFF) made for her two years ago. Weíre not the quickest DIY peopleÖ Shelley makes decals for a living, so her stuff is really cool.

This is made with chalkboard vinyl, so Audrey can doodle all over it, using chalkboard markers. Sheís having a lot of fun with it.

A lot of my friends are artists; many of them are visual artists. Not only does Shelley have her own business, she has an art studio in her house. A couple of weeks ago, she invited a bunch of us over to play. We were supposed to bring our own canvas and we could use all of her paints and stuff. Audrey painted a hat box. Check it out.

Girl has skills

Visual art really isnít my thing, so instead of bringing a canvas, I brought this:

Paint by number, with the suggested look, original title--"Good Friends"

I decided to reinterpret it this way instead:

New Title: "Galaxy Cat and UniDog from Outer Space" (1 of 1)

Have a great weekend; paint outside the lines, be amazing. Spark ON, Brave Sparkers!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNOWYOGA 9/9/2014 9:46PM

    I have been away, but I always love your post Thank you!

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WIO_ALISA 9/2/2014 1:24PM

    Love you art!
I've missed reading your blogs while I've been traveling all summer. I'm going to have to catch up on what you've been up to.
Alisa

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WISHICOULDFLY 9/1/2014 11:48AM

    Shelly Thank you for the Uplifting insights and ideas. Amazing as always! emoticon

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PENOWOK 9/1/2014 8:23AM

    Love your imagination!! Logan looks so much like you!!! Audrey...a young lady now, but with a really cool room!

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EILEEN828 8/31/2014 3:39PM

    I love your blogs. Your paint by number was so cool, I laughed out loud when I first saw it. Love the free thinking in action. My son went through that transition phase also, a lot of feet dragging here but he's finally getting up to speed. Everyone walks their own path, right?

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MCJOYFUL 8/27/2014 11:15PM

    I just love your blogs! It looks like you have some pretty amazing kids. And way to go on the exercise streak! That is awesome!

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KALEWINE 8/27/2014 10:54PM

    I love your positivity! And back to routine can be great! And I agree about the beginning of a new school year being more like new year's than new year's. But then, my job runs on the school calendar, so it really is a new year.

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LORIVIOLA 8/27/2014 1:23PM

    As always, thanks for sharing your enthusiasm, joy, artwork, and of course Bubba!
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LIVIN4LISH 8/27/2014 7:40AM

    Thanks for the blog - you've helped me rethink what a melancholy time of year this year. Only one of my kids started this week, the other two start after Labor Day, so I think between then and now is a great place to get a plan in place emoticon

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MSBEKANATOR 8/27/2014 2:04AM

    Love the fresh start, even though this is the second year I have had with no first day at school...not sure my baby would want me to fly up to her college to take a first day of school pic, lol. Time seems to evaporate; wasn't it just yesterday my oldest was nervously awaiting that first day of Kindergarten?
I think the fresh starts are also why I love Mondays. It's like being given a fresh clean slate to write my week upon. Doesn't matter what happened earlier, it's a new week, lol.
Love the artwork! Let me just say awesome!!! Love your creativity, and Audrey did an amazing job. What a fun day, and what wonderful memories you are creating with her.
Have a blessed day!!

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VALKYR8 8/26/2014 8:55AM

    LOVE the artwork (especially space cat and uni dog)! LOL!

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KIPPER15 8/26/2014 6:59AM

    emoticon You are the best lift for me on a bad day! Thanks so much!

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SJKENT1 8/24/2014 10:54PM

    I love the paint by numbers kits - they are such fun. I may have to try it your way... and let the artistry flow.


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LIVEDAILY 8/24/2014 8:19PM

    LOVE Galaxy Cat and UniDog!! Woot!!

emoticon on all of your meal prep!!

emoticon on adding ST back into the mix!!

You rock!

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LADYJAJA 8/24/2014 3:48PM

  You personify free spirit! emoticon emoticon

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BABYTUXXY 8/24/2014 10:30AM

    Great blog as always!

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ROXYZMOM 8/24/2014 9:38AM

    Sounds like you have a great plan. I love the art work and the pictures of your son.
emoticon

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SUPERSYLPH 8/24/2014 8:25AM

    emoticon

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DOROTHYBERO 8/24/2014 7:24AM

    emoticon

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JANIEWWJD 8/24/2014 12:25AM

    Enjoyed your blog and enjoy your children!!! They do grow up fast!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIVINHEALTHY9 8/23/2014 9:55PM

    Enjoyed your blog, as always!

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NANHBH 8/23/2014 8:37PM

    Kids are so much fun! I never thought Audrey would get tired of the limelight. Too funny that your son thinks his life is over.

Great job on having the meals and snacks prepared. You are so organized! Looking forward to hearing your results as time goes on.
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KAREN608 8/23/2014 2:29PM

    20 and his life is over? No, just childhood. Still has lots of energy, is limber and young ideas. Youth really does seem wasted on the young.

Weird paint by number. Bet it was fun to do!
All I did was string some huge sand dollars on twine to decorate a bathroom window and remember a friend who is moving away to chase her dream of living by the sea at age 64.

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MARYJEANSL 8/23/2014 11:33AM

  They grow up so fast (sob, sob)! My beautiful dd is about to turn 21, and I can hardly stand it/believe it. Good for you for getting back into the groove so well.

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AZMOMXTWO 8/23/2014 10:35AM

  it is so sweet when they get older but it is hard also love the blog

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DJSHIP46 8/23/2014 9:37AM

    Sparking-on here... Loved your blog!!!

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123ELAINE456 8/23/2014 9:04AM

  Awesome Blog. I always Love Them. Beautiful Paintings. Love Them Too. You are doing Great with the Snacks. Keep It Up. Love the Photos. You have a very Good Looking Son. And Bubba is so very Cute and Sweet. God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Fun Week. A lot of Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!For Everyone. Take Care. And Stay Safe.

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ACCEPTHECHLNGE 8/22/2014 11:45PM

    As always, loved your blog. You are so entertaining. Good job preparing your snacks ahead of time and taking them to work. You will be successful!

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WALNUTT1961 8/22/2014 11:39PM

    Great blog! Love your prepping ideas. Great pictures and art! Happy Birthday to your son and hope Freshman year is exciting and fun for your daughter. My son is 23 and doesn't want to get caught smiling either.

Have a good sparking weekend! emoticon

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KOHINOOR2 8/22/2014 11:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LINDAK25 8/22/2014 10:24PM

    Thanks for making me smile at least. I sincerely hope I don't dream about your UniDog tonight!

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SUGAR0814 8/22/2014 10:22PM

    Love the paintings! emoticon

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JAMER123 8/22/2014 10:02PM

    emoticon Can be really fun to paint outside the lines!! emoticon

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TEXASFILLY 8/22/2014 9:57PM

    emoticon Prepping saves the day all right! I'm in batch cooking and freezing for later when things are fast-paced. emoticon to your fine son, and emoticon to sweet Audrey on her freshman year. Keep up your AWE~some progress, dear heart~ emoticon BB~ emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/22/2014 9:58:10 PM

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NASFKAB 8/22/2014 9:43PM

  awesome

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PICKIE98 8/22/2014 9:38PM

    Both of your kids have your features, but your hubster's coloring.. Logan gets more handsome every year... he will find his niche`..

I really, really , miss Audrey on Sparks.. she is the Abbott to your Costello, the Hardy to your Laurel, the Teller to your Penn!!

I really hoe she joins Sparks...

I am so happy to see your snacks are so organized and in place. You must really inspire your co-workers!! And Bubba..

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OLDERDANDRT 8/22/2014 9:10PM

    Lucky Audrey! Our kids have to wait till Mon., 8/25! hehe Nice that the early schedule will be a great thing for you and Bubba!!

Glad the freezer meals and snackies and such are working out, too!
I've told you before that Audrey is totally talented!! (She get's it from you whether you choose to admit it or not! hehe)
Sorry Audrey has decided she's too big for her pic to be in your blog, but I'm hoping that somewhere along the way over the next few years that she'll allow it!
Have a super weekend, my friend!! (((HUGS)))

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SPEDED2 8/22/2014 9:08PM

    emoticon

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SUZMANNIE 8/22/2014 9:07PM

    I like what you did with the paint by numbers. The painting they wanted you to paint looked like a Hallmark card from the 1960's. Bravo for you for packing snacks. Sometimes "willpower " comes down to being prepared.


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REGILIEH 8/22/2014 9:03PM

    emoticon

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ENTIRELYBEVERLY 8/22/2014 8:50PM

    Love all your creativity - even if YOU don't think so!

Thanks for sharing!

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LOLAJO54 8/22/2014 8:00PM

    you are ready!! emoticon



love your interpretation


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HARROWJET 8/22/2014 7:59PM

    They do grow up fast. You are wise to enjoy the precious moments when they happen.

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FELINEBETTER 8/22/2014 7:46PM

    Spark on, Spirited Girl! lol Love your blog! "Our" little Audrey is all grown up!

Well done, Shelli! emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 8/22/2014 7:04PM

    I love your blogs! Such spirit! Like you, the first day of school has always been extra wonderful for me.

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THOMS1 8/22/2014 6:47PM

    You lead such an interesting life. Have fun! emoticon

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GABY1948 8/22/2014 6:08PM

    GREAT artwork!

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1CRAZYDOG 8/22/2014 5:45PM

    Yikes! How do these kids keep getting older . . . but we DON'T! Ok . . . BWAHAHAHAA . . . moment of insanity there . . . a senior moment??? Nah.

Enjoy this year with Audrey. The moments becomeprecious and few as they get older.

Awwwwww, Bubba is going thru Audrey withdrawal. Poor guy! My Mr. Spot is going thru withdrawal, too, as DD starts back to college. What am I saying . . . so am **I** going thru withdrawal!

Well, good luck getting back into the not-the-summer-anymore-routine. It takes a it of time.



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JOYINKY 8/22/2014 5:31PM

    Planning for success--check!

Great blog, and fun. This is the first year I don't have at least "grandkid" duties related to school and I kind of miss it! It does give structure to your day and week! Oldest 4 grandkids are all driving now and cover any needs of the 5th that lives here. Two others live too far. Yes, it is in it's own way the start of a new year. Make it great!

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BEINGERIN 8/22/2014 5:28PM

    Ok...your "paint OUTSIDE the numbers" project ROCKS!

It ROCKS!

'nuff said.

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