Wednesday, September 23, 2009

See You at the Pole!

So today is "See You at the Pole" and I just love this planned time of prayer and what it represents. Started in a relatively small youth group in Texas 19 years ago, it has grown into an event by which millions of students now participate each year. How awesome is our God and our students who strive to serve Him. It is one thing to care about your fellow students and teachers, etc. but a whole different thing to gather publicly, seeking His power and omnipotence concerning your school. And to know that you are not alone in your action, that an entire world of students are doing the same thing for their own schools. What an awesome statement!

I pray that in a nation struggling right now that God is glorified more than ever. That through the actions of students, the world will see evidence of our mighty creator and know that we must put Him first before the rest will get better! I also pray that my children will know the power of prayer and that it may be evident through this exercise to them their schools and in the lives of their friends.

"Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or more are gathered together in My Name, I am there in the midst of them." -- Matthew 18: 19-20

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Flu Worries!

The flu has hit and continues diminishing the numbers of students attending school right least in the OKC area. As if missing because you don't feel good is not enough, I just heard reports that Bethany schools will not let anyone who was sick and gone from school the previous day (with any symptoms indicative of the flu) return without being cleared by a physician and with a note signed by that physician. They were not even allowed to go to their lockers and retrieve their books but lead in mass exodus from the building. can be really difficult to get into the doctor this time of does that mean that students will just continue to have to miss school until they can get in? And what about the parents that can't afford a $100 office visit just to say that their child is negative. And while I don't have to face the cost when it comes to being forced to go to the doctor, I do have to take off work in order to sit with them all day waiting to get in.

Don't get me wrong...I don't want people infected with the flu virus walking around school spreading it to my healthy children either...I guess the enormity of the situation just hit me today and beyond that comes the worry that my kids can't miss school. If they did happen to have a sick day which is not typical for them, the possibility of them being forced to get a physician clearance could possibly cause them to miss one or more additional days waiting for an opening. With both the schedules being almost entirely made up of A/P classes, that would be devastating to them as far as being able to catch up while not being there for the teaching of those assignments missed.

I also feel real sad for the doctors around are they going to accommodate this if all public schools in the area adopt this mentality? I know Caleb said there was a significant number of students out yesterday and Ashtyn had to attend "flu 101" sessions. And remembering entire schools shutting down at the end of last year does not bode well for the fact that we appear to already be approaching chaos and the flu season hasn't even truly begun. And while I am not one that worries about getting the flu...for the most stinks but you get over the same time, I also understand that when a serious flu epidemic hits, its not just about the fact that people get's about all the care givers, schools, workplaces, etc that become over-burdened and are in some cases completely closed down. I think when you hear talk about the Government being so worried about flu epidemics, it is not because they worry about us getting's that is can be crippling to society. I pray for the caregivers in this area that they are able to meet the needs of the public while keeping themselves well. And as I tell my children...wash, wash, wash your hands.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cauliflower isn't always yucky!!

Okay - so I have been feeling lately that I lack the appropriate amount of vegetables in my diet. (Whatever the appropriate amount is...who knows!! but it has to be more than once every month or so :o) I really want to eat broccoli and cauliflower but I just don't like them raw (without a ton of ranch dressing to hide the blandness) and raw veggies really make my stomach sad so I have been on a mission to find a recipe that looks and sounds good. Alas, I have found one that seems worth a try. I make squash a lot like this so I think that I could be onto something. One of my most favorite ways to cook squash/zucchini is so easy but sooo good. Just slice the squash (I like to use several smaller squash) down the middle, rub a little olive oil on it and sprinkle garlic salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese on top. Put in the oven until the cheese turns brown and the squash is soft. Oh my goodness!!!! This is so easy but soo good and healthy. I never even thought to try it on other vegetables... The recipe below also calls for parsley which probably makes it even better. Okay - so if I have enough energy after my run tonight, I am going to the store to buy the ingredients. If anyone else has good veggie recipes, please share!!!

Makes 1 serving1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) cauliflower florets2 teaspoons grated reduced-fat Parmesan cheese1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley leaves1/4 teaspoon garlic powder1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper Salt, to taste1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 425°F.In a medium bowl, combine the cauliflower, cheese, parsley, garlic powder, and pepper. Season with salt. Toss to mix. Drizzle on the oil and toss again. Transfer the mixture to a small nonstick baking dish.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, tossing once, or until lightly browned and crisp-tender. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Isn't it amazing what encouragement can do? I was thinking about this during a weekend run when an older gentleman, running as well, approached me coming from the opposite direction. For whatever reason, he gave me two thumbs up as we passed each other on the track. Now, I don't know if this guy is just naturally encouraging or if I looked as if I were about to pass out. Probably the latter, but whatever prompted him to stick those two thumbs up in the air impacted me much greater than I would have expected. You see, I was at the end of my run and I just needed to make it to the next tree (that's how I increase my stamina by using a tree located further down the track than the one I stopped at the day before). But after seeing this encouraging gesture, all of the sudden, I felt like I had just received a second wind and ended up running another 10 trees which was close to a 1/2 mile. Because I know just how done I had been at this point, it made me realize that encouragement is a powerful thing.

It also reminded me of when I was in high school and the awesome youth group I was privileged to be part of. It reminded me of the notes I received as I walked into school on mornings that I really would have rather been anywhere else. They always started with verses from the bible...ones that were meant to encourage and you know what? Those notes were my lifelines on so many occasions. If I have never thanked those special friends, please take this opportunity to consider yourselves God's hands and feet. Because that's what you were to me.

It also makes me pray that much harder for both of my teenage kids and their youth group. Like any mother, I hurt for my kids when they hurt and I want to right all the wrongs for them so they don't ever feel pain. At the same time, knowing God is using these life experiences to refine them into the man and woman He wants them to be. I think, as it is in any youth group, Satan uses the one area of encouragement or more specifically the lack thereof to weaken the spirit more so than is ever realized. I also understand that is so often the case in our personal lives as well. So many times I spend my days worrying about getting things done...tasks accomplished...deadlines met, and I miss so many opportunities to just be encouraging. What a difference just sticking my thumbs up in the air can make...but so many times, my thumbs are just too busy to care.

Encouragement doesn't have to be received in order to be given. What if we all decided that regardless of what was currently going on in our lives...we were going to encourage someone today and the next day and the next? If I could get my focus off of myself and remember that there is a much bigger picture than what I so often let myself become wrapped up in. Then the possibilities of becoming the kind of wife, mother, friend, supervisor I know I need to be seems much easier to attain. To be someone that always makes people who come in contact with you feel better about themselves for having spent a few minutes with you... Now that is a legacy to leave behind. And while getting the work on my desk done is is definitely no legacy!!

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I am starting a new chapter in my running experience, and for many reasons, that has been very hard for me. Last year I averaged 4-5 miles at least 5 times a week. With my dad becoming ill last year and being hospitalized and with me being in Tulsa, I got off schedule. Habit is a very important thing for me. I believe it probably is for most people and that is why many people start things only to fail not very far into it. Until I develop a routine and make that routine habit...I slack off. It has almost been a year now from when my dad was ill (praises for God's will in healing his body) and I am what I call a hit and miss runner now at best. For many who have known me for the past 4 or 5 years, this is just not working for me as is evident with the 2o lbs I have gained. Wow, that hurt to write.

When one works so hard and endures the pain to get to a level of activity that allows them to feel really good about the next workout or run...that is the pay off of all that hard work. And when you get to that level and then slack off (as I call it) is the most frustrating thing in the world to know you are going to have to go through it all again to get back where you need to be. To know if you had just stayed with that routine, you wouldn't be suffering right wouldn't be sucking wind as if your lungs are going to explode. That is a big reason why I have let this motivation deficit rule me for the last 8 months. BUT NO MORE!

This is one of the main reasons why I have started this blog. No one outside of my family or myself may ever read a post but it is the thought that someone is reading. It is the fact that my family sees me and knows the effort I am making and therefore there is no room to over-glorify the truth. This is my accountability.

By the way, I put in a total of 4 miles today, of which I ran 2 of the miles and then walked two. While it is not impressive, it is a start! My first goal is to run in the "Race for the Cure" 5k on Oct. 10th and while I know I may not get back to a 9 min mile by then, I will run! That is so funny that my goal is to just to get a 9 minute mile and my daughter is trying to break a 6min mile. Did I tell you she has placed 5th and 9th in her last two cross country meets. Her best time so far this year during a meet is 6:28...I think she can make her goal and she is a great inspiration to her mom right now.

Here's to another great adventure!

Friday, September 4, 2009


Well...actually posting a blog has been sorta intimidating for me. Which is silly because it truly is more for my family and myself than trying to impress the masses. My family must still continue to love me by default so what am I worried about? So here it goes...

This is coming on my absolute favorite time of the year. There is a certain freshness with Fall that is just so endearing to me. The crisp autumn air is something I long for during the hot tedious summer days and it is coming...I can feel it in my bones. With Fall comes one of my most favorite football. I am a sports kinda girl...primarily when it comes to my kids but I won't get ahead of myself. There will be many future posts detailing the joy a mother receives from being a spectator of her child. Nonetheless, there is something about college sports that just gets me excited. Pro leagues, in any sport, never quite measure up for me. I have a feeling the main difference lies between those who are still young and at the brink of experiencing the real world versus those playing to draw a paycheck. The passion just changes and that is okay, I just prefer one to the other.

Now for my OSU friends, I love you, but there is nothing like OU football season. And I am so ready!!! Even with the sad turn of events this week and the loss of our tight end for the opening game, I am still pumped about football.

It is such a fun time at our house during away OU football games. My husband has taught me enough about football to where I can really enjoy watching the plays develop and for the most part understand what the players and coaches are trying to accomplish. That being said...I have never played football so where I can understand a lot of the lingo such as "They are lined up in an I-formation"...I, by far, am no expert. The problem is, I know enough to be dangerous and that is a large problem for my sixteen year old son who has been raised on football and has played the sport for most of his life. Where I gladly admit, I can't always see the "whole picture" as my husband and son can; there is a large part of me that doesn't care. Frankly, while in the heat of watching a play unfold, I might tend to get a bit vocal about the fact that I am absolutely certain of the missed interference call or the very obvious holding that was just ignored by the officials. This of course, for whatever reason goes all over Caleb. It drives him crazy..."Mom! He barely pushed off of him." or "That was not holding, mom...geez". In the end, I am just thankful to have a wonderful family who gets to enjoy this pastime together and cheer for our favorite team or disagree about penality calls regardless if they are valid or not. Of course, Ashtyn - my almost 14 year old daughter, usually will be found on the computer or at that mall but we will keep praying that one day she will see the light and understand there is nothing better than watching Sooner football on a cool autumn day whether we're at the stadium or having a watch party at our house. I just simply love Fall and OU football!