Monday, December 30, 2013

Moving Mountains

I believe in Jesus.  I believe in the power of prayer.  I believe that God can do anything if He wants to.  I trust Him with my life.  Although things don't always go the way I want them to, I see that God has a better plan than I do.  My faith tells me that.  So I sit back and watch the show.  God's show.  I am a lead actress in a drama.  I love my role.  God is the director and He is the best screenplay writer there is.  He says if we have faith like a mustard seed we can move mountains.  I have faith like a mustard seed and I moved a mountain yesterday.  God moved my mountain.  I just had a speck of faith like He asks.
                                         

I have trained for 6 months for a race in Orlando in 8 days.  On Thanksgiving, at the Turkey Trot, I mysteriously injured my hip.  Walking was overrated as a mode of transportation after my injury.  I wasn't able to run for several weeks.  I saw a doctor every other day until Christmas.  He got me to a point that I could put on my pants without leaning against the wall.  I started gradually running again.  I would be back to not being able to walk after running on my hip. Back to leaning on the wall to put my clothes on.  I have been a mess about my trip to Disney to run my bucket list race.  Until yesterday.  The night before last, I prayed.  Oh, I pray every day, but I made a bargain with God.  I told Him that if He would heal my hip that I would proclaim to all that He had done this great thing for me.  I prayed, I asked, and I believed.

Yesterday morning I woke up and had no pain in my hip.  I could still feel it a bit, but no pain at all.  I was able to put my pants on without leaning on the wall, and could get in and out of the car with no problem.  He healed my hip.  I told God that I wanted Him to heal my hip so that I could run my race on January 10 and 11.  He did it.  I am not surprised that He did this for me.  The Bible clearly says He can do these things.  The question is, do we have enough faith to believe He will?

I was raised in the church so sometimes reading the Bible seems like I am just running my eyes over the page to check it off a list.  I find more and more that God talks directly to me.  Like this morning.  This morning I picked up my phone and my Bible verse for today in my Daily Bible was Isaiah 40:31-"For they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall mount up with wings like eagles.  They shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint."  God was telling me that He answered my prayer although I already knew He did because my pain was gone.

Then, I was reading in Matthew today and came across Matthew chapter 8.  Matthew 8:10 says, "When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith."  
This verse is in context with the Centurion and his testimony of his great faith as Jesus was healing people. I found myself mesmerized by this chapter in Matthew.  Do I have a faith that Jesus would marvel at?  I want that kind of faith.  I feel like God healed my hip because I have faith that Jesus marveled at.  

As we ring in a new year tomorrow night, let us all aspire to have a faith that Jesus marvels at.  Thank you for reading my ramblings about what God has done for me.  I promised Him that I would make a proclamation :)

Happy New Year!
Jennifer 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A New View on New Year's Resolutions

                             happynewyear-2014_Logo
I don't like new year's resolutions.  I never have had one that I can remember.  Oh, I love to change things I don't like about myself and my life, but not via new year's.  I do like the concept of a new year, a new you, a new beginning, but it isn't really the case.  We have a new day, a new hour, a new minute, a new second, a new moment to make a change.  God gives us that.  If I want to do something different, I change right then.  The comment "I am going to start working out on January 1"  "I am going to start eating healthy January 1"  I am going to stop smoking January 1" makes me want to lay down and convulse.  What a daunting task to start something on a certain date.  December 31 is your last supper?  Your last day to be lazy?  Your last drag on a cigarette?  How depressing.  If I have a bad eating day I say, "I am going to start now to eat healthier."  That way I never fall completely off the wagon.  I may drag a leg off the wagon but never fall off.  It is much easier to start doing better now than to feel like you have set a date to start.

So, no new year's resolutions for me.  A resolution is a "pie in the sky" idea with no real measurable criteria.  A goal is better I think.  A goal set has measurable criteria.  Goals can be started anytime.  For example, I have a goal to eat less sugar starting right this moment.  I am going to go to bed tonight without any dessert.  Measurable, and in the morning I can be proud of myself for success.  You can apply this to any goal you may have for yourself.

Here is the goal I have for 2014.  I am going to spruce up my kitchen wares by purchasing a new item for my kitchen once a month for the year 2014.  Let's face it, when you have been married a while, your kitchen stuff that you got when you got married wears out and you need new.  And, you may have a few things that you always wanted but you never spent the money on.  Like a trifle bowl.
 I have always wanted one, but never spent the money on one.  One month in 2014 I am going to purchase myself a trifle bowl.  I got a head start on January.  I bought an immersion blender for myself.  I LOVE it!  I would have never bought one for myself had I not had this goal for 2014.
Product DetailsWith an immersion blender, you can blend things in a cup or bowl without having the messy cleanup of a regular blender.  You can make milkshakes, smoothies, cream corn, and a host of other things with one.

Also on my list are a set of ramekins to make mini meatloaves and pies in, a new set of quality measuring cups and spoons, a new frying pan, new dish towels, and an apple peeler and corer.

I am super excited about my goal for 2014.  My kitchen will be more fun to cook in after I spruce up the contents this year.  What are your goals for the new year?  Let me know, I am interested!  I may have to join you and make your goals mine too :)

As you are thinking about 2014, please remember to invite me to speak at your event.  I can speak on your topic or mine.  Visit my website to see the list of developed topics that I have available.  www.funthoughtsonlife.com

Subscribe to my blog so you won't miss a single update.  Enter your email at the box on the right and if you are on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click on View Web Version and then the box will appear.

Thank you for making my 2013 special.  I hope and pray that something I have said or done has given you strength for another day.

Happy New Year!
Jennifer

Friday, December 27, 2013

Training for Goofy

I signed up for the Walt Disney World Marathon last spring. I was pretty readily convinced I should sign up for Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge. It is a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. What was I thinking??  I have run no less than 14 miles on a Saturday since June. I have missed a few runs but not many. I ran the majority of the runs barefooted with the five finger sleeves. 

If you are running more than 3 miles at a time then it isn't for exercise. It is for some other reason. It may be to increase your mental stamina. It may be to purge demons from your head. It may be to socialize, or to get some time alone with your thoughts. Whatever the reason it isn't for exercise. 3 miles will be for exercise. The rest is a mission. 

I would like to share a few of my favorite moments from my training season for Goofy. 

My favorite running moment from this season is the 14.5 mile run where I got to know a friend much better. We talked about our children and she was listening to me ramble about this and that and suggested it was not right to keep these thoughts to myself. She suggested I become a motivational speaker and author. She had contacts that put me into the fast track and as you know, all this is reality now. This would not have happened had I not been training for Goofy.   Many miles have been run over the last 6 months and many of the worlds problems have been solved while pounding the pavement. 

One August Saturday, I had been up all night from an all night hockey tournament. I ran anyway. By mile 9 I was toast. One of my buddies grabbed my hand and said he was tired too and that we would share energy. It was super amazing to me how it really worked. We shared energy and both were able to finish the run. Never would have happened without training for Goofy. 

We all discovered that peanut butter and jelly uncrustables are the best training fuel on the planet.   They are even better than Gu or sport beans. One about mile 8 is perfect. Another at mile 16 is icing on the  energy cake. 

We finished a 18 mile run when one of my buddies suggested we sign up for the Loonies Midnight Marathon the next Saturday which is a marathon that starts at midnight. I said, "Wash your mouth out!!"  I was NOT running any midnight marathon. This beauty needs her rest. 

I'm not gunna sugar coat the training for this event. It has been hard. There were many times I wanted to give up and not train. It stinks to be out running for 4+ hours every Saturday. These people have made it worth it. They are some of my best friends. 
On the 23 mile training run at about mile 12 one of my buds asked me, "How are you doing?"  I said, "I am NOT having fun."  She didn't say anything but took off to catch up with some buds in front of us and yelled, "Hey Mr. Motivation!  We have one back here not having fun!"  He dropped back and gave me a pep talk I will never forget. I finished that run that day and had fun along the way thanks to my buddies. 

Today was the next to the last training run for Goofy. Today we did 10 miles and tomorrow we are doing 20 to prepare us for the back to back races at Disney. Our race is in two weeks. The training is about over and the fun will begin!  I am so excited about this adventure. 

I can't think of anyone I would rather go to Disney World and run farther than people should than the Dopey crew. We will reach the culmination of lots of hard work and determination together in Orlando Florida at the Happiest Place on Earth in two weeks. Bring it!  

Thanks for reading my blog. Please subscribe in the box at the right. If you are on a mobile device scroll to the bottom and click on view web version the. You can find te box to subscribe. Visit my website at www.funthoughtsonlife.com and don't forget to invite me to speak at your next event. 

Happy Holidays!
Jennifer


Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Only Thing That Stays the Same is that Everything Changes

As I sit in the fallout of another blessed Christmas I still reflect to the fact that not everyone has a happy holiday.  Some are alone, some are alone with people all around them.  Some are sad.  Not everyone is happy and surrounded by family like I am.  I have been very mindful of these folks this season.  Maybe these thoughts come to mind so much this year because of spending a lot of time in the nursing home with my mother in law this past month.  Maybe it is because my cousin has brought to my attention all the orphans in India who lay in cribs with shaved heads to keep their maintenance level down.  It makes me thankful for my high maintenance oldest child.  Maybe high maintenance is not such a bad thing after all.  Regardless of the reason for these things to be on my mind, I honestly am grateful for it being the day after Christmas now because maybe the light shines ever so brightly on those who are hurting now that it is over.  Jesus was born in a barn and slept in a feeding trough.  He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and yet He put Himself on the level of the animals.  I want to be like Jesus.

My mother in law has alzheimers and we have had to move her to a memory care facility this month.  We are all adjusting to this change.  Christmas is never a good time to have to make this change, but it was necessary.  People with memory issues become very jovial in general.  They don't remember anything so everything becomes a joke or a happy moment.  We were all very concerned that Christmas was not going to be as happy as usual since we are in this new phase.  My father in law brought her to my sister in law's house for dinner and gifts.  My favorite moment was one I will never forget.  My sister in law had wrapped my mother in law's gift in a bag with tissue.  She pulled the gift out of the bag and was very happy to get it.  She oohed and ahhhed over it and then she set it back down into the bag.  We moved on and others opened a gift or two and then my mother in law pulled the same gift out of the gift bag again and got so excited over it again.  She had forgotten that she already opened that gift 5 minutes ago, opened it again and it was just as exciting the second time as it was the first.  I was so warmed by her reaction a second time.  My oldest and I laughed so hard about it.  We enjoyed that second dose of joy over something so simple.  May be all learn a lesson from this story and be joyful always.

Sitting at the dinner table, we had our traditional Christmas dinner, steak and shrimp.  In looking at the shrimp, my youngest declared, "I don't eat anything red unless it is a fruit snack."

My dogs really had a tag team situation going on.  The 12 week old yorkie was the unwrapper and as soon as she would get the gift unwrapped, the maltese would carry it off for safekeeping.
 It was hilarious watching the dogs enjoy the season.  When we went to my mom's for Christmas, the dogs loved playing with my parent's dog.  It was almost more fun to watch the dogs than to open gifts.  Charlie was cracking us up by setting up residency on top of a gift.  We had to actually move him to get the gift.  He would have stayed there till dinner time.  He is like Ms. Muffet who likes a tuffet.
In other news, we were sitting comfortably in our home last night when I declared, "We need to plug the tree up."  My husband replied with, "I tried to plug it up and none of the lights light up."  What in the world?!  WHY are lights the biggest pain of Christmas??  Praise the Lord that they waiting to Christmas night to go out.  WHY are they going out??  These things make me want to wear sackcloth and tear my clothes.  Is it my imagination or were there not as many light problems when we used to string the trees every year?  Now I am faced with the heavy decisions of whether to strip the tree of the lights now before I stuff it back up in the attic or do I wait till next year and worry with it then?  

Sugar.  Today starts sugar detox.  I have had a LOT of it.  Sweets are my downfall.  I have definitely gained my holiday 5.  I quite possibly have gained a holiday 10 this year.  Last year I was at my adult smallest but felt horrible because I was not eating enough.  This year, I am more at a normal weight for me, but was unable to refuse a single piece of dessert put before me this season.  I am an all in kind of girl.  I struggle with balance.  Last year my pendulum was swung to the left, this year, swung to the right.  I am going to bring it back to balance and today starts my balance.  This morning I sit with a big jug of water.  It makes me feel full.  Sometimes when we think we are hungry we are just thirsty.  Cheers to balance, and to getting off the holiday 10.  I will succeed.  I will not diet, I will eat less and move more.  Amen.

Everything was changing this year with Christmas.  We were all nervous about the changes.  Mainly changes with my husband's side of the family with my mother in law in a facility.   The thing I was most excited about change was with my own family.  Our Christmas eve dinner this year was excellent.  I was super pumped to have my mother's dressing again.  I haven't had it in years because we have Thanksgiving at my house and I have made the dressing or my sister in law has made it.  Sometimes it is so nice to just have a taste of what things used to be like.  Eating my mom's dressing on Christmas Eve was like being home.  I loved every bite of it.  I am so thankful for my parents and for their health and my mom's ability to still cook.  Christmas day dinner was a pressure situation for me and my sister in law.  Both of our husbands wanted us to pick up the torch and make what their mother used to make for Christmas, using her recipes.  The pressure was concerning to me.  It is a lot of pressure to be expected to make a memory in a piece of cake because we all know that we can use the same recipe as someone else and it not taste the same.  Recreating Christmas memories for the boys when their mother can't is a scary task.  I was in charge of the coconut cake and my sister in law was in charge of the red velvet cake.  We showed up at the house of my sister in law and my brother in law declared that the red velvet had perished and we were on the second try.  I entered the kitchen to find my sister in law icing the second attempt.  She said the first attempt was in the trash can.  I was very nervous for all to try the coconut cake as we were nervous to try the red velvet.  The pressure was released when all were raving over both cakes.  Said they "tasted like mom's"  The only thing that remains the same is that everything changes.  The recipe is the same and the maker is different.  It all turned out great!  
Thank you for reading my Christmas ramblings.  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!  Don't wait till the new year to change something. Start today.  Subscribe to my blogs in the box at the right.  Then you won't miss a single update.  Visit my website at www.funthoughtsonlife.com

Merry Christmas from the Anglin's!


Happy Day!
Jennifer

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Children are Ruining our Lives

Every time something happens that I have to stop and go pick up someone when I am in the middle of something or clean something that the children messed up, or fix something the children destroyed or have a headache from mental anguish at the hands of the children I lovingly declare, "The children are ruining our lives!"  Sadly, in some strange and twisted way, the children ARE ruining our lives. They don't have any sort of maturity to handle normal everyday life without making a mess of things. Case in point, a stain on my son's carpet. 

Several days ago, I was painting his baseboards and had a tervis tumbler of red crystal light in there. I accidentally spilled it and had cleaned the spot but it was still pink. The Boy, who had decided to rearrange and do a mass cleaning of his room, did not like the pink stain(any other time he could have cared less) and decided he would rid himself of the stain with a half gallon of bleach. He poured the bleach directly onto the carpet and yes, indeed it did take the pink out of the carpet. But it also made a large white spot where the pink one used to be. No one knew The Boy had rid the room of the stain until the hideous strong smell of chlorox permeated the home. Upon questioning, the Anglin mom discovered that The Boy had poured bleach on his carpet. She was mortified but moved on because the deed was done. Windows raised, eventually the scent got out of the house after everyone's nose hairs were burned off. 

Yesterday, the Anglin family was going to vacuum for the pending holiday season. Upon turning on the vacuum, a rancid smell permeated the home, smelling like a cross between burned rubber and fried road kill.  The children were questioned and the Anglin mom discovered that The Boy was guilty of vacuuming up the chlorox to try to mask the odor a few days ago. He used our brand new Shark Rotator vacuum that is not a wet vac. After disassembling the vacuum it was discovered the the inside was rusted out from the moisture and bleach. 

Immediately, The Boy was placed on the naughty list and was transported to purchase the family a new vacuum. It was an expensive lesson for him but one that had to be taught. Boys are bad about tearing things up. Anything and everything needs to be torn up according to a male. 
Much in the flavor of "This hurts me worse than you."  The Anglin mom stated that this whole event pained her terribly to watch her boy pay for a new vacuum. The Boy was doubtful but it was true. It was one of the worst moments as a mom to have to teach this lesson. 
He was smiling here but not so happy. It is tough to let go of the money. 

The things learned from this situation are as follows:
Money is hard to come by so take care of what you have. 
Bleach takes the color out of everything. 
Bleach is strong and burns your nose hairs. 
When you ruin something you have to make it right. 
Ask before you do. 
A rug works better on a floor stain than bleach. 
A rug covers a bleach stain. 
Don't vacuum liquid with a regular vacuum.

The Anglin parents showed their Boy an example of God's love. We mess things up by slinging bleach all over our lives and things around us every day. Then God comes along and puts rugs to cover our sins. Some sins are covered nicely with God's rugs and no one can tell. Other sins have permanent reminders of our negligence but God still loves us and forgives us. We are able to move forward toward God because of the gift of His Son who was born to put rugs on our sins. May we all take time out of our gatherings and Santa and gifts to remember the reason for the season-Jesus. Although this may not be the exact time of His birth, it is another day to remember His miraculous birth.  I remember. And I am grateful.  

Today, the Anglin's are resting comfortably in their homes with their new vacuum and their rug that strategically covers a large bleach stain. All is right with the world again and The Boy has lived to see another day. The Anglin parents are still unclear as to whether they will survive raising the children because the children are ruining their lives.   I am sure God feels this way regularly if He will survive raising our sinful selves. 

Thanks for reading my blog. Please consider me for your next event to speak. I will make you laugh, make you cry and make you think. Visit my website at www.funthoughtsonlife.com

Merry Christmas!
Jennifer

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Everyday Extraordinary

Vacations are so exciting.  So much fun and anticipation is involved in a big event.  The big game.  The Super Bowl.  The birth of a baby.  Your wedding day.  Your anniversary.  Christmas.  Birthdays.  The fact is that these are all exciting times.  We put a lot of planning and focus into each one of these events.  Each event is one day.  One single day.  There are 365 days in a year.  If we are waiting for the vacation then we have 51 weeks of the year to be set in mundane routine.  If we are only thrilled on Christmas then we have 364 days to be mundane.  Each and every one of these big events are wonderful but I am suggesting that we can find extraordinary in our everyday lives if we open our eyes.

Have you ever just taken time to marvel at the beauty that is all around us?  Taken time to observe a child playing on a playground?  Looked at the moon with the weird rings around it like it is tonight?  These things are everyday extraordinary.  Put on a crazy hat just to feel extraordinary?

Things are there most of the time, every day, but we may be so thick in work, errands, Christmas shopping, electronics and phones that we just completely miss the extraordinary that is right in front of our faces 365 days a year.  We are waiting for the big things and miss the small things that are quite exciting if we take the time to digest their majesty.  Children are our best example of embracing everyday extraordinary.  Loving life every minute, seizing the moment, delighting in a hosepipe in the middle of summer.



Sometimes we focus so much on the problems that we have that we forget to be thankful for the problems that we don't have.  I have always heard it said that if we all were to lay our problems out on tables and were able to go around a pick a set of problems to have that we would all choose our own because they are things we know.  I believe this with every thread of my being.  I believe we have problems to help mold us into the people of character that we are.  I hope that every problem I encounter I come out on the other side a better person than I started with.

For me, a daily trip to Sonic is a beautiful thing.  An everyday Christmas, and everyday vacation, an everyday extraordinary.  When I pull in the parking lot I just feel happy.  I don't know exactly why I feel so happy there but I do.  Some days I may just get a drink.  Other days I may have a snack there, and other days it may be lunch.  Sonic puts a little extraordinary into my ordinary life.  Thus I go there every day.

 Small thing, big feeling, extraordinary.


Puppy kisses and walks down the street with my pups is another vacation for me.  This vacation happens at least 4 times per day.  I enjoy seeing Charlie skip down the sidewalk(I never knew a dog could skip but Charlie does).  I love to watch Lola learning to walk on a leash and following Charlie.  It is like a birthday party 4 times per day.  Everyday extraordinary.  I don't have to wait for my vacation to come around once a year.  I get it many times per day in my everyday extraordinary life.

It is all in the way you look at things.  Look for the silver lining in every single mundane task.  Believe it or not there is a fun part to every not fun thing there is to do.  Embrace everyday life as extraordinary.  Everyday Extraordinary.

I challenge us all to find fun in the ordinary tasks of life this week.  Let me know what you discover!  I will be waiting to hear.  This way, we don't have to wait a year or two for the big vacation, we are experiencing that kind of elation and release several times a day rather than once a year.  Sounds much better than the big waiting game, thinking if we "get through" this then we can "get to" that.  Embrace the moment and find the good in it.  It is there if we just look for it.

Planning for spring events is well underway so don't forget to have me come speak at your event.  Spots are filling up so let me know soon so you can secure your time needed.  Visit my website at www.funthoughtsonlife.com with information on how to contact me and what subjects I have already developed.

Thanks for reading my blog and embrace your everyday extraordinary!

Jennifer

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Free Tree

I am always more impressed with how little you spend on something rather than how much you spend. Nothing I own cost much because I am quite the bargain shopper. In fact, I love to dumpster dive and drive around on trash day to see what people have out by the side of the road. 

Yesterday, I found one of the greatest items I have ever found by the side of the road for free. A 10 foot prelit Christmas tree. I saw the huge box as I was driving my son to a friend's house in an affluent gated community in town. I stopped to check it out only to discover that indeed, there was a tree in the box. Amusingly, the owner of the home saw me perusing her trash so she came out. I asked her if there was anything wrong with the tree and she said no she was just tried of fooling with it. WHAT?!  Tired of fooling with it?  What does that even mean?  She rounded up her hired help and they loaded it up in my truck for me.  It seems in this particular neighborhood everything is done by hired help. No offense at all to those living in the neighborhood, for I was delighted to have their help loading the enormous box. 

I got it home and brought it in section by section, otherwise I couldn't lift it. Set it up and two strings of lights were out on it. Replaced the fuses and VIOLA!!  Free 10 foot super nice tree!!  I will be delighted to fool with this tree each year. Here is a pic of it before I replaced the fuses. 
It was too tall to get the top section on it. Next year, when I put it up in the house I will put it upstairs where the ceilings are taller. So now I have a 9 foot tree, a 10 foot tree, a 7.5 foot tree, a 7 foot slimline tree, and a 6 foot tree. The only thing I collect is trees and ornaments. I was super excited with my dumpster dive find yesterday!!

Thank you for reading my blog!  Please subscribe in the box at the right. If you are on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click on view desktop site. Then you can subscribe at the right. 

Have a wonderful evening and find something fabulous for free and tell me about it!

Jennifer 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tennessee Weather

I have lived in Tennessee all my life with the exception of 6 years I lived in Atlanta.  The weather here is hilarious.  When they predict snow we don't get it and when they don't predict it we get a lot.  It seems to me that we are more likely to get snow when the temp is 36 degrees rather than 32 degrees.  If you want to see some drama, watch a Tennessee weather forecaster when snow or ice is possible.  Nancy Van Camp and Lisa Spencer are the pictures you see when you look up drama queen in the dictionary.

I went to Walmart yesterday to get some groceries.  I got to the bread aisle and I literally could count on two hands the number of loaves there were on the entire aisle.
  I scratched my head and thought to myself, wonder what happened to the bread shipments that this aisle is so bare.  Moved on, finished my shopping and got to checkout.

Conversations in the Checkout at Walmart:

Checker:  Did you find everything you needed?
Me:  No actually I did not find a bottle of Christmas sprinkles.
Checker:  Did you look on the seasonal aisle and the baking aisle?
Me:  Yes I did.
Customer Service Manager(who just walked up):  Yes, I understand that we are out of Christmas sprinkles but our bread situation has taken precedence over the sprinkles.
Me:  Where is all the bread?
Cust. Service Manager:  Predicted ice storm wiped us out.

WHAT are they doing with the bread?  Does it melt ice?  Are people dipping their bread in their milk when it snows?  For some reason, Tennessee people raid the stores in complete panic and mayhem when snow is predicted and buy up all the bread and milk.  WHAT are they doing with it?

Hypothetical conversation in a Panicked Home in a City in Tennessee:

Children:  What is for dinner?
Mom:  Well, it is snowing out so tonight we will have our bread with a nice milk gravy poured over it.
Children:  Yum!!  I love eating bread and milk when snow is predicted!
Mom:  Well we have plenty because I bought every loaf Walmart had.  I knocked down two old women and a young man who tried to get a loaf.  But my family is all set.  Bread and milk for all.
Children:  Hooray!!

Quite a few counties in Tennessee are already calling in closed for tomorrow due to predicted ice.  No one ever accused a Tennessee county superintendent of not being proactive on the snow days.  It is amusing really.  One weather person + possibility of a flake = mayhem and complete shutdown of a Tennessee County.

Enjoy your bread and milk over the next few days.  I am sure there will be recipes erupting of bread and milk creole, fried bread and milk, broiled bread and milk, bread and milk sandwiches, bread and milk soup, bread and milk pie, and bread and milk cake.  As for me and my house, we will be having chicken enchiladas and other things that do not involve bread and milk.

If you ever don't like the weather in Tennessee, just wait till tomorrow.  Yesterday it was 78 degrees, and today it is 37 degrees.

Please consider me for your next event!  I would love to come and speak on your subject or mine.  Please visit my website at www.funthoughtsonlife.com

Thanks for reading my blog.
Jennifer

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Never Say Never-A Story of Training for a Marathon

I registered for The Goofy's Race and a Half back in the spring.  It is a race in January.  Goofy's race is at Disney World and involves running a half marathon on Saturday and running a full marathon on Sunday-back to back long races.  I registered because I believed I could do it.  In the mean time I registered for another full marathon on December 14th so I could get a "real" PR since at Disney I felt like it wouldn't be a true PR because I would be stopping along the way to take pictures.  So I wanted a real symbol of my hard work by getting a PR in my marathon in December.  The race is 3 weeks from today.

If you need a reminder of what I said about marathons after I ran my first and only then follow the link to read my blog post Journey to 26.2.  http://funthoughtsonlife.blogspot.com/2013/04/journey-to-262.html

Here is the main part of what I wanted to highlight from the previous blog post:

Not everyone is cut out to run a marathon regularly.  I personally have decided that I am a bit of a "Wham" type marathoner.  The one hit wonder.  It was on my bucket list.  Something I wanted to accomplish before I kicked the bucket.  My friend pointed out to me that the general population that has run a marathon is .5%.  I am proud to say that she and I are both in that small percentage, but I don't plan to become a regular there.  My reasoning to only do one is multifaceted.  The training was rough.  I trained by myself, not because I didn't know anyone who was training for a marathon when I was training, but because no one that was training was my pace or anywhere near it.  I had planned to run my marathon by the Jeff Galloway method which involved intervals and no one I knew at that time was interested in my methods.  So, training for 18 weeks and running for hours at a time by yourself was difficult.  I will never forget the day that I had on my running clothes when the kids got on the bus and was about to get in the shower when they got home and my son asked me, "Mom have you been running the whole time I was at school?"  The answer was yes, but I began to scratch my head and wonder what in the world I was doing.  That was plain stupid, running the entire time my kids were in school.  The fact was that 2 years ago I was slow enough that it took me that long to get my long training runs in when I got up into the 20+ miles.  But I was registered, and I am not a quitter.  So I persevered and finished my training and ran my marathon.  I ran the Country Music Marathon 2011.  I finished. 

The day of my marathon in 2011 the weather was mild then got hot for the second half.  The first 11 miles ticked away like nobody's business.  They went by so fast because I was running with the group who was running for my friend's sister with cancer.  They were a super fun group to run with and we laughed and talked and enjoyed the atmosphere so much.  Then we got to the split and on the CMM course, it goes from feast to famine.  In the first half, there is tons of crowd support, lots of bands, entertainment, distraction, you name it. As soon as you get to the split, there is nothing.  The crowd support drops off, much less bands, less entertainment, less distraction.  Some of the course is through the projects and I was a bit scared in parts of it.  It was long and lonely.  My wonderful husband met me at mile 17 and ran the rest of the race with me.  I was never so glad to see him in my life.  However, I was in so much pain and so tired that I could hardly walk, much less run.  I remember at mile 23 I stopped to use the port o potty and I literally thought I would not be able to get back up, I was stiffening up that fast.  I was able to finish that race and I was so "DONE" that I immediately turned around and went to the car after I crossed the line and got my medal.  I was beyond exhausted.  I told my husband when I got in the car that I was not going to do that again.  But no one can ever take away from me the fact that I DID run a marathon.  I am in that .5% and always will be.

Back to today, I had a 23 mile training run.  I was a nervous wreck about the run.  Let's face it, who really wants to run for 4+ hours?  It's really stupid.  Anyone who is running a marathon is doing it for reasons besides health.  It may be purging demons from your psyche, it may be for the social hour, it may be because running is cheaper than therapy.  There are many reasons people run marathons besides just these.  As you read from a previous blog post, I said I would never do another one because it wasn't fun.  

Here are some things that are different now than they were for me in 2011 with my running.  First I am a much stronger runner.  I am much faster, better, stronger.  My endurance is better, and I have been incorporating more core work and crosstraining into my regimen.  I am more relaxed.  If I miss a training run, I don't sweat it.  And I am not killing myself during the week.  So today's run was much needed as a confidence booster that I can, indeed, do it and finish strong unlike my first marathon experience.  Training with a buddy or group is totally key.  For example, I made the statement at mile something, "I am NOT having fun."  My running buddy who was next to me said nothing, but ran ahead to catch up to our other buddy who was just ahead of us.  Along the way she shouted, "Hey Mr. Motivation, we have one not having fun back here."  He immediately dropped back and started talking.  He told me that I have to take my mind off what we are doing, think about something else.  I don't remember all that he said because I was in some bad spot mentally when he was talking.  However, the point is that I scraped myself up and ran the next leg very strong.

  Something else that we discussed along the way today is that everyone feels like crap when they are running this long.  We just push through it.  For some reason this was a revelation for me.  I was delighted to know that I was not alone.  That I was supposed to feel bad after running so long.

I would have totally walked the last few miles of today's run but I didn't.  My slave driving buddies wouldn't let me.  They said I had to prove to myself that I could finish strong. 

That this part was all mind, not body.  Yes the body is tired, but I have trained hard and my body can do this.  My mind wants to stop.  At one point I was told, "Your legs and feet will not fall off during this run.  You may feel like it, but they won't."  Interestingly enough, I am resting comfortably on my couch now, I have all my limbs attached and I can actually walk just fine.  Yes I am tired, but I should be.  I ran 23.1 miles today.  No one can take the pride of my accomplishment away from me.  Now I know in 3 weeks that I can finish strong at my marathon, my legs are not going to fall off, everyone out there with me feels the same way, and I can rest later.  For now, I will be a rock star.  I can totally do this.

Now, here is a great tidbit of marathon advice:  Peanut Butter and Jelly Uncrustables are the best race fuel ever!  Try it.  We had one with about 7 miles to go and it was like salve to a tired soul.  Amen.

Never say never.  I said I would never run another marathon after my first.  I am about to run my second and third within a 4 week period.  I will gladly eat my humble pie because I am proud of myself.  


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Check out my website at www.funthoughtsonlife.com  I just updated it with video clips of my latest speaking engagement.  If you need a speaker, I am your girl.  Contact me at jennifer@funthoughtsonlife.com

Have a great rest of the day!
Jennifer


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Things that Keep Me Up at Night



I went to McDonald's last night with my running buddies for a treat after we had done our workout for the day.  One of my buddies said, "Well I don't eat at McDonald's anymore."   "Why?", I asked.  He said, "Because they don't have real food here."

Now my girlfriend and I looked at each other and scratched our heads as we noticed the ad for the McRib.  The commentary went along the lines of the fact that the McRib, although shaped somewhat like a short rack on a bun, had no bones whatsover and also was not really rib meat.  Laughter ensued, and I began scratching my head as to what exactly a boneless item such as McRib came from?  A boneless pig?  Is the pig flopped over in some mud somewhere unable to get up or function because it is boneless?  What about boneless wings?  Do they come from chickens who have bones everywhere except the wing area?  Do they just have wing meat dangling there from their shoulders?

This is something that will keep me up at night laughing.  Nothing heavy here on the blog site tonight, just a silly unrealistic point to ponder.

Have a great evening and don't forget to have me speak at your next event.  Big or small, I do them all.  But if you hire me, you may want to remember that I am Pharoah because I don't like to let the people go.  :)

Good Evening, and may all your foods have bones.
Jennifer

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Her Name Was Lola

I have realized that very few know the real story of Lola.  She is my new little yorkie that came home yesterday. She is 6 weeks old.  She loves for me to carry her around and tell her the story of when she was born.  The story of her birth is quite extraordinary.

We had a dog named Zoe who was my world.  Zoe wore clothing regularly, was almost never seen without a bow.  She was company to me as my children were growing older and didn't need me as much.  Zoe was my girl.  She needed me.  She would hug my neck every morning.  When I thought she could not get any closer to me to sleep she would scoot a little closer.  I love her.  The morning of July 26th, I took Zoe out to potty as usual.  I stooped down to pick a cucumber off the plant and she heard something and darted away.  She darted into the street and got hit by a car right in front of my house.  It was the worst day of my life.  I literally laid face down in the foyer and cried and screamed.  I held my precious Zoe until she smelled bad and I knew I had to bury her.  It was the saddest experience of my life.  

When heartache comes, God wipes your tears.  I believe He cried with me that day and days afterward.  He was sad for me.  And He was working on a plan for me.  

My best friend called me about a week after Zoe died.  She said, "I know you can't think about another dog right now but it may be the best thing for you to heal your heart.  Sophie(her yorkie) went into heat the day after Zoe died and we have been talking about it and want to breed her so that you can have a puppy if you want one."  At first I thought, oh no, I can't want another dog.  Zoe was the best dog ever.  My husband and I discussed it and decided that by the time we round up a daddy dog, breed, deliver and grow  then we would be ready to have a new puppy.  So we told my friend to breed.  Very rapidly, they located a daddy yorkie that was just the right size for Sophie.  We all met at my friend's house and put the two dogs together :)  It may sound strange to attend the conception of your new puppy but it didn't seem strange to us.  We all 5 attended the deed.  We were emotionally invested in the event.  Plus it was educational for the children.  

A week passed and we were convinced that Sophie was pregnant.  Usual symptoms of pregnancy started to develop and we were excited.  57-63 days is the general time frame for gestation for yorkies.  So I made a countdown calendar where I counted the days till the new puppy.  At 56 days, I was out running and when I got back to my car my phone was ringing.  It was my best friend and she announced that she was at work and Sophie had had the first pup while she was on the couch next to her nephew.  She asked me to rush over and check on things.  Ummmm  YES!!  I got over there in plenty of time to deliver the second two babies.  The first one was doing very well and was Kami.  She was the biggest of the pups. 
 The doc says that most times the first born is the biggest.  Second born took a bit to get out.  I helped Sophie deliver her.  When she was born, she was heaving.  I called the doc and put him on speaker telling him about the heaving.  He told me I needed to squeeze her upside down and shake her to get the mucus dislodged from her lungs.  I said, "Oh I can't do that."  He said, "I know it sounds violent, but you have to do it or the baby will die."  So I got to shakin'!  Two shakes and the pup snooted out a string of mucus and started breathing.  Her name was Lola.  She was the most precious thing I had ever seen.  
Almost two hours later, the third pup was born.  He also was heaving and I shook him right away and he was breathing well.  After the third pup was born I was able to identify that the first two were girls and the last one was a boy.  I knew that the first two were the same but was unsure if they were girls or boys.  Once the boy was born it was obvious  lol!  I had told my friend that she need not worry about how many puppies Sophie had because I would take whatever she had because she had bred her for me.  I didn't want her to have the burden of finding homes for them.  Interestingly enough, God was taking care of us and Sophie had three.  One for me, one for my friend and one for the daddy dog's family.  We could not have asked for a more perfect situation.

I wanted a girl, the daddy dog's family wanted a girl and my best friend wanted a boy.  Two girls and a boy.  Perfect.  God did good.  No extra yorkies to keep.  Just the right amount.


Sophie is the best mommy.  She has taken care of the pups like a champ.  We could not have asked for better.
Lola and Me :)

In the mean time, my best friend's sister contacted me and let me know that there was a maltese, Zoe's breed, at the pound that I needed to "go get".  That is what she told me.  "Go get him."  Sometimes you don't want to have to think about something.  Sometimes you just want someone to make it a no brainer for you.  Sometimes you just want someone to say, "Go Get Him".  I did.  And then there was Charlie.  He was perfect for us.  And he was so proud of being a big brother when his sister Lola was born.
No one will ever replace Zoe.  She was my baby.  But I thank God and my friends for giving me the gift of all that they had.  My friend didn't know what to do for me to help my sadness so she gave me all that she had.  She bred her dog so I could have a puppy.  I am eternally grateful.  My heart is healed with the gift of Charlie and Lola.  Lola came home yesterday.  My heart is full.  Amen.

Thanks so much for reading my blog.  Please remember me if you need a speaker for your next event.  Visit my website at www.funthoughtsonlife.com to contact me about your event or anything else :)  

Have a great Sunday!
Jennifer




Saturday, November 16, 2013

Elf on the Shelf as a Parenting Tool

If the Elf on the Shelf is one of the categories for achieving the illustrious title of Mom of the Year, then I am completely out of the running.  I can not keep up with some of these moms who seem to plan all year what they will do with the elf each day.  They must stay up all night staging some of the Elf feats.  I do well to move him from place to place.  In fact, at least half the time, I wake up and scramble to find a new spot because I forgot to move him before bed.  Don't get me wrong, I love seeing all the antics of the Elves around town, but I do not strive to compete.  My youngest will come home and tell of what her friend's elves have done the night before when hers somehow stayed in the same place.  "Wonder why he didn't move, Mommy?"  "Well, I suspect the elf kinda liked that spot."  (reality is that mom was tired and old and forgetful)
The Elf on the Shelf®: A Christmas Tradition (includes blue-eyed girl pixie elf)


I recently saw where one mom had created a calendar and produced it for the month of December where she outlined an antic per day for the elf.  She actually reviewed the Pinterest posts and online posts and compiled 30 days worth of her favorites into calendar form.  Good grief.  That makes me want to lay down.  I like to mix in an antic every now and then but the scavenger hunt each morning is enough for us here at the Anglin home although it is incredibly unusual to have an underachieving elf here in a home full of overachievers :)


I have found the elf to be an excellent parenting tool all through the year.  In June, when some lying was going on for random silly stuff, the elf made a surprise appearance on the top of the kitchen cabinets.  It was a one night gig for our elf but he made a huge impact on the behaviors we were trying to correct.  My youngest was shocked to see him on the cabinets in June and I promptly said, "Hmmmm.  Maybe Santa sent him to let you know you need to correct some of your behaviors."  We did not have any more trouble with her behavior :)

Another grand event where the elf showed up to correct behavior was a mastermind if I say so myself.  My youngest had pulled the wool over my eyes and I did not know she had a test that day because she told me it was the next week.  So needless to say, she did not study.  I found out from another mom in the class after she got on the bus that the test was indeed that day.  Scratching my head, I quickly devised a plan....

My youngest got off the bus, came in the house to usual conversation.  How was school, etc.  Then I said, "Why don't you run out and get the mail for me."  She bounced out to get it and came in waving a letter along with the rest of the mail.  "MOM MOM!  It is a letter from Buddy!!(our elf)  OH MY GOODNESS THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!"  She quickly ripped it open and started reading it aloud.  It read:

Dear (I leave her name out due to my blog being public),
I watch you each and every day.  I am very pleased with your behavior overall.  I was shocked and saddened that you kept the science test you had today from your parents.  It isn't like you to be that way.  I hope you will confess your deception and make it right with your parents.  I know you will do the right thing.
Love,
Buddy

In shame, she confessed what she did and I didn't have to say a word about it.  I just listened to her and she learned a big lesson from a little elf doll that shows up once a year for a month.

I challenge us all to think outside the box and use the elf on the shelf as a parenting tool.  It has been very useful to us here at the Anglin compound.  No, we may not win any awards for elf antics but I am not so sure that was the purpose originally of the elf in the first place.  The way I see it is he is fun to have around, and can be brought out when he needs to correct something big or something that has gotten out of hand.  Try it.  And email me to let me know what you did.  I would love to hear your stories!

Have a fabulous weekend!!
Jennifer