New favorite

I'm really loving this song lately - its one of my new favorites. I made a CD for Nick of some suggestions for special music (because I think special music is most effective in a church service when it fits the sermon), and included this song.

Dog training

I scheduled a meeting for Bridge Kids volunteers at my house for tonight. Normally, during a meeting like this, I would leave both dogs outside. But I realized a few days ago, that Harvey and Dakota will never learn how to behave with people if they're never around people, so I put Harvey on her leash and left them both inside. Jenni put Dakota on her leash when she got here and we started the meeting, and after the initial excitement (Harvey peed several times, of course), they both did really well. And apparently, being good makes them very tired, because they are currently sacked out and have been since almost right after everyone left.

Bridge Kids

So much for daily updates. :-) I guess I just don't have something to say every day.

We've started a bunch of new things for our Bridge Kids ministry this summer and fall - we now have a class for school-age kids, and we're implementing curriculum for the younger kids. This past Sunday was the first week of the new curriculum, and it went even better than I expected. I've scheduled a volunteer meeting for next week, so hopefully we can go over everything then.

Sometimes, doing this job, I feel very out of element. I like kids, and really do enjoy them, especially pre-school age and younger. And I can organize and administrate anything you need me to. But teaching kids, trying to figure out what they can and can't do, is hard. It helps to have a curriculum to follow, but what I'm relying on the most are those who are really good at teaching kids, to give feedback and suggestions.

Books and Babysitting

I rearranged the books on the bookshelf a few weeks ago. I like displaying them in different orientations, but I really like that they are now organized by author, and, if applicable, by series. Its really incredibly anal.

I watched Nathan for about an hour this week while Nick and Heather visited someone in the hospital. I've given up trying to stop him from sticking his tongue out for Dakota kisses, and decided to capture it on film instead.

Summer Livin'

Summer is my favorite season. Actually, to be accurate, my favorite time of the year is late spring/early summer, when the weather is warm enough to roll your windows down while you're driving, but not hot enough that you hate being outside. When its warm enough to go the beach, but the water is actually a bit cold still. When there's something going on outside every weekend - festivals, barbecues, just walks. I love it. As long as I'm not sneezing.

I've been working on ways to eat more vegetables, because its healthier and helps with the whole weight-loss thing. One of my pantry meals (you know, those recipes with ingredients that I always have on hand) is simple spaghetti. I've made it healthier by using whole wheat pasta and limiting how much I eat, but the other night I sliced zucchini and threw it in with the water as it was coming to a boil and cooking the pasta. It was really good!


I'm discovering that sometimes its really hard to find something to say every day. I could talk about work today, but that bores me. I could talk about finding out what's wrong with my car, but that's boring, too.

So, instead, check out this site: Walk Score. You plug in your address, and the site generates a score that tells you how walkable your neighborhood. Mine is a 42 out of 100 , which makes this the most walkable neighborhood I've ever lived in. Not that I would really feel comfortable walking half the places on my list.

A picture is worth...

I love quotes, and I love candid black and white photography. In fact, I'd like to find a way to incorporate more words and quotes into my home - still thinking about how to do that. I have been working for a while, though, on a project for the empty living room wall. I used birthday money to buy three frames with pretty large mats, and have written one of three quotes on each:

It is the sweet, simple things of life, which are the real ones after all. - Laura Ingalls Wilder

In the end, what affects your life most deeply are things too simple to talk about. - Nell Blain

Where thou are, that is home. - Emily Dickinson

These are the three photos I'm planning to use, though I wish I had better photos for the individual ones of Dakota and Harvey. I love, love, love the one of Harvey and Jacob.


It's been a day of firsts for me:
  • Riding the Roman Rapids at Busch Gardens (which is really just another way to say that I went to Busch Gardens this morning with Heather, Nathan, and Kelly - and rode Griffin again. In the front.
  • My first pedicure - wow, that's pampering. And apparently, I have the most ticklish feet on the planet.
  • Going to a movie by myself - I've been wanting to see No Reservations, so I did. Good movie, and a really fun treat for me. I don't know why I haven't done it before.

Weighing In

I've been having a hard time lately getting back on the wagon with losing weight. I haven't gone crazy, and for the most part, I'm still watching what I eat, but I'm not tracking it like I should, and I'm not working out. I've found, in the past, that the best way for me to lose is to literally track the points value of everything I put in my mouth. I do okay during the day at work, because my food intake is fairly simple and planned out - I eat what I take to work to eat, plus maybe a handful of pretzels from the community snack area. Its at night that I start to lose track.

I went through the food in my refrigerator and pantry and threw out some stuff that just isn't healthy, mostly things left over from the baby shower. And I finally went grocery shopping and bought a bunch of healthy options - bananas, frozen strawberries, and diet fudge bars for when I want something sweet, low-fat crackers and pretzels for when I want something salty, pudding cups for when I'm craving chocolate, things like that. Its helping.

The biggest thing I need to start doing, though, is working out again. I tried telling myself to commit to just one 15-minute walk a day with at least one of the dogs. I thought that would be a small enough goal that no matter what else was going on, I could accomplish it. But its been so crazy hot here that I can't even fathom being outside a second more than I have to. Maybe I need to start going to the Y on the way home from work.

I also started looking for diet blogs, hoping that adding them to my regular reading list might keep me motivated. Its hard to find good ones, but I found two that might have potential.
There are a lot of different blogs that I read regularly. Some belong to real-life friends, many are about decorating or organizing or other home things, and there are few that just really don't fit into any category at all. I used to use Bloglines to read them, but switched to Google Reader when I started using iGoogle. All in all, I've subscribed to 76 blogs (at least currently), though there are many on that list that are hardly, if ever, updated.

On one of these blogs, I read about a idea for your blog called an encyclopedia of me (I read about it here, it started here). The idea is that the first day in August (or whenever you start), you write about things that begin with the letter A. The next day, you write about things that begin with the letter B, the next C, and so on until you reach Z.

Its a neat idea, and one I might consider doing in the future. It did get me thinking, though - what if I were to post something here on my blog every day? If I wrote about whatever was on my mind that day, rather than waiting until I had something on my mind that I just had to write, what kind of picture would that paint of my life and the things that matter to me?

So, I've decided to try it, as an experiment, for the rest of August, starting with this post for today. Each day, I'll post about whatever I'm thinking, or doing, or planning. And we'll see what happens.