July 28, 2012

Go Team USA! Did you watch the opening ceremony for the Olympics?




I took this picture and am pretty proud of the fact that the Olympic swim trials took place right here in Omaha, Nebraska. 

We sat up all evening watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony in London. It's a historic moment and we had our girls watch it with us. 

God save the Queen! Loved hearing the children sing that song. My ancestors are from Wales which reflects my former maiden name which is now my middle name. (Yes, when Don and I were married I made my maiden name my official middle name since I didn't actually have a middle name.) My Aunt on my Dad's side of the family belongs to the Mayflower Society and well...I don't think I have to explain that it means my ancestors came over on the Mayflower. 

Then there is the first country that entered the stadium: GREECE. (Yes, I'm half Greek) My mother was born and raised in Greece. I had grandparents over there, great aunts and uncles, two uncles, two aunts, and five cousins in Thessaloniki as well as Kavala, Greece.) So...I get a little excited when I see that Greece is the first country to enter the stadium!!! 

Back to the Queen...I loved the James Bond entrance. I thought that was kick ass!!! It made me smile. For a second there I really believed that the Queen had parachuted her way into the Olympic Opening Ceremony.  

Now I wasn't all that sure about Team USA's outfits...but I am proud of Team USA and proud of my country. I hope we win lots of medals. My first reaction to our uniforms was that we didn't look like we were from the USA at all. It made me think of the Chronicles of Narnia. Go figure!? I didn't think they were all that modern either. When I found out they were Ralph-Lauren-made-in-China uniforms all I could think of was, "Isn't everything made in China any more?" That's a pretty sad truth of it and it won't change I don't think with all the money that the United States owes China but I digress. 

Then this morning I woke up and discovered that NBC had done a horrible thing to all Americans. I am very disgruntled with NBC as a result of their huge error! They completely omitted the terrorist Victim Tribute from the opening ceremony so that we could watch Ryan Seacrest's interview of Michael Phelps. I am so incredibly upset by this. NBC does not deserve to cover the Olympics - at all.

Our family paid $2.50 to swim. Can you believe it? I'm still kinda in shock!


Thanks to anonymous donors of $100K our public pool cost in Omaha has been reduced for the rest of the summer AND the pools plan to stay open longer this year!!!

I can afford to take my kids swimming every single day if I want too!!! Whooo-Hooo!!!

The price at the pool we go to was $4.00 for adults and $3.00 for kids. I still cannot believe it only cost us $2.50 to go swimming yesterday!!!

Well, you know what I'll be doing every single day until school starts AND on the weekends until the holiday is over. That's right, there are 4 pools in town that plan to stay open until the holiday this year.

I'm thinking of taking what we would have normally spent to take the kids swimming and writing up an extra check for our local homeless shelter. That's one way to pay-it-forward.

July 26, 2012

Your Misery Comes from You

Thinking about what you're thinking about is very valuable because Satan usually deceives people into thinking that the source of their misery or trouble is something other than what is really is. He wants them to think they are unhappy due to what is going on around them (their circumstances), but the misery is actually due to what is going on inside them (their thoughts). ~Joyce Meyer

Miserable People

When a person is full of wrong thoughts he is miserable, and I have learned from personal experience that when someone is miserable, he usually ends up making others miserable also. ~Joyce Meyer

July 25, 2012

Bring on the Rain!





It hasn't rained in a very long time here in Omaha. We could use the rain. I think we may get some rain. We're under a severe thunderstorm watch until midnight. I hope it rains!

Walls You Build Yourself


I am not powerless over myself, and the way I act and react. This is, in itself, a power that can work miracles in changing the attitudes of others. 

July 24, 2012

Glick Gloss


Glick Gloss = Lip Gloss (According to Kinsley) I never bothered to correct her because I think it's so darn cute! :)

Thinking Positively

Today was a good day.

I took the kiddos to the pool and they swam like crazy. We like to hit the pool about every other day or so. This year I have a tan. The sun on my skin makes me happy.

Kinsley and I have the freckles over the nose. Don and Fiona do not have the freckles over the nose. Fiona has that deep dark Greek tan going on.

Fiona and Kinsley are all over the pool. I never thought I'd get to this stage where I could let them loose at the pool and not have to worry about them drowning. It's AWESOME.

It's a good feeling knowing that your kids can jump off the high dive and swim on their own. No more flotation devices!!! They still enjoy using their goggles but tend to put them on and take them off willy nilly.

I read something today that made me very happy. "Well, I don't know God's plan, but I know He loves me. Whatever He does will be good, and I'll be blessed."

I am working on my stinkin' thinkin' and can feel it leaving me. The more I dig into the Word and the more I pray the better I feel about everything. I can sense my attitude changing about so many things.

I read something else today that got me thinking about what I don't want to be. I don't want to be THAT person.

Here's a snippet from the book:

Even a person who is really positive won't have everything work out the way he would like it to all the time. But the positive person can go ahead and decide to enjoy himself no matter what happens. The negative person never enjoys anything.

A negative person is no fun to be with. He brings a gloomy overcast to every project. There is a "heaviness" about him. He is a complainer, a murmurer and a faultfinder. No matter how many good things are going on, he always seems to spot the one thing that could be a potential problem.


Then the book goes on to say the following:

If you are a negative person, don't feel condemned! Condemnation is negative. I'm sharing these things so you can recognize your problem with being negative and begin to trust God to restore you, not to get you to become negative about your negativism.

The pathway to freedom begins when we face the problem without making excuses for it. I'm sure that if you are a negative person there is a reason for it--there always is. But remember, as a Christian, according to the Bible, you are a new person now.


I still have my moments but the nice part is that I feel compelled to change that about myself. I don't want to be THAT person. I don't like being around THOSE people.

"If things don't turn out the way I want them to, I'll survive, because Jesus lives in me. It may be hard for a while, but I trust the Lord. I believe that in the end everything will work out for the best."

"This is facing facts, having a ready mind and still being positive. This is balance."

I'm really enjoying this book. It is making me think about a lot of things. One other thing I keep telling myself that has been bringing me a lot of peace lately is this: It's none of my business what other people think of me.

"Well, I don't know God's plan, but I know He loves me. Whatever He does will be good, and I'll be blessed."

Today was a really good day.

July 23, 2012

Titanium

Good Work Kinsley!







Instructor Comments:
Good job Kinsley! Keep working on swimming all the way to the other end! :)

Level 4 Skills Kinsley Aced: 
  • Headfirst entry from the side in a compact position (in water at least 9 feet deep) 
  • Headfirst entry from the side in a stride position (in water at least 9 feet deep)
  • Feet first surface dive, submerging completely
  • Survival swimming, 30 seconds (in deep water)
  • Front crawl open turn 
  • Backstroke open turn
  • Push off in a stream lined position on back and begin flutter kicking, 3-5 body lengths
  • Push off in a streamlined body position on back and begin dolphin kicking, 3-5 body lengths
  • Safety Topics 
  • Exit Skills Assessment #1 
  • Exist Skills Assessment #2 
Level 4 Skills Kinsley needs to Practice: 
  • Swim under water, 3-5 body lengths
  • Tread water using 2 different kicks (modified scissors, modified breaststroke, or rotary) 2 minutes
  • Front Crawl, 25 yards 
  • Breaststroke, 15 yards
  • Elementary backstroke, 25 yards 
  • Back crawl, 15 yards 
  • Sidestroke, 15 yards


Good Work Fiona!



Instructor Comments: 
Fiona, you've made so much improvement! Keep working on swimming all the way without touching the wall! :) 

Level 4 Skills Fiona Aced: 
  • Headfirst entry from the side in a compact position (in water at least 9 feet deep) 
  • Headfirst entry from the side in a stride position (in water at least 9 feet deep) 
  • Swim under water, 3-5 body lengths
  • Feet first surface dive, submerging completely
  • Survival swimming, 30 seconds (in deep water) 
  • Front crawl open turn 
  • Backstroke open turn
  • Breaststroke, 15 yards
  • Push off in a stream lined position on back and begin flutter kicking, 3-5 body lengths
  • Push off in a stream lined position on back and begin dolphin kicking, 3-5 body lengths
  • Sidestroke, 15 yards
  • Safety Topics
  • Exit Skills Assessment #1 
  • Exit Skills Assessment #2
Level 4 Skills Fiona needs to Practice: 
  • Tread water using 2 different kicks (modified scissors, modified breaststroke, or rotary) 2 minutes
  • Front crawl, 25 yards 
  • Elementary backstroke, 25 yards 
  • Back crawl, 15 yards



Over the River and through the Woods




Fiona and Kinsley's list of things to do at Grandma's and Grandpa's house:

Make cookies
Paint nails
Color
Bump a balloon
Kick ball
Run through sprinkler
Play dolls
Ping pong x2
Read
Relax
Water guns
Chalk
Water balloons
Bubbles
Visit Grandma Kay Kay

They also had:

Caramel corn
Roasted chicken
Parsley potatoes
Cucumbers
Watermelon
Milk

When we picked them up Saturday afternoon they had passed out in the van on the way home. I’m pretty sure Fiona and Kinsley have the best Grandparents in the whole world.

July 19, 2012

My Wish List


Now this would put a pep in my step! :) 


I could use some of these lock laces. :)


I could totally settle for these if they felt like Asics Gels! :) 

July 17, 2012

10 On Tues: Swimming


Kinsley was trying to be artistic. ♥


Ahhhhhhhh ♥


Fiona 8 ♥ Kinsley 6 :)


Go Kinsley! Go Kinsley! :)


Fiona wanted to do the jump together. ♥


Splish Splash ♥


Hang on Mom! ♥


Fiona was the photographer ♥


OOpsies ♥


Cheese! ♥


I said Cheese! ♥


For the LOVE of Sisters! ♥

July 16, 2012

July 15, 2012

Smug Complacency


Complacency is an enemy, easy to recognize in others but difficult to admit in ourselves. It is rarely listed among the major human faults, yet it can hinder us in every form of personal growth.

Complacency simply means being sure we're right, taking it for granted that our view couldn't possibly be wrong. It means judging others by what we think is right. It blocks out understanding and kindness, and justifies qualities in ourselves that we wouldn't find tolerable in other people. Smug complacency is often at the root of family dissension.

Smug complacency also destroys friendships.

Joyce Meyer's Battlefield of the Mind


I finished reading Joyce Meyer's Conflict FREE Living day before yesterday. It was a very good read. I decided to pace myself and read a chapter a day so it could sink in. I passed it on to my husband who plans to read it, too. Now it's time for me to get going on this one: Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind. I've had this one for awhile. In fact, I have many books in my house that I have not read yet. My goal is to read them all one book at a time. 

Introduction

How can we express the importance of our thoughts sufficiently in order to convey the true meaning of Proverbs 23:7: For as he [a person] thinks in his heart, so is he...?

The longer I serve God and study His word, the more I realize the importance of thoughts and words. On a fairly regular basis, I find the Holy Spirit leading me to study in these areas. 

I have said, and I believe it is true, that as long as we are on this earth we will need to study in the areas of thoughts and words. No matter how much we know in any area, there are always new things to learn, and things we have previously learned that we need to be refreshed in.

What does Proverbs 23:7 really mean? The King James Version says, ...As he [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he.... Another translation states, "As a man thinks in his heart, so does he become." 

The mind is the leader or forerunner of all actions. Romans 8:5 makes it clear: For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. 

Our actions are a direct result of our thoughts. If we have a negative mind, we will have a negative life. If, on the other hand, we renew our mind according to God's Word, we will, as Romans 12:2 promises, prove out in our experience "the good and acceptable and perfect will of God" for our lives. 

I have divided this book into three main parts. This first part deals with the importance of thoughts. I want to establish firmly in your heart forever that you need to begin to think about what you are thinking about. 

So many people's problems are rooted in thinking patterns that actually produce the problems they experience in their lives. Satan offers wrong thinking to everyone, but we do not have to accept his offer. Learn what types of thinking are acceptable to the Holy Spirit and what types are not acceptable. 

Second Corinthians 10:4,5 clearly indicates that we must know the Word of God well enough to be able to compare what is in our mind with what is in the mind of God; any thought that attempts to exalt itself above the Word of God we are to cast down and bring into captivity to Jesus Christ.

I pray that this book will help you do that. 

The mind is the battlefield. It is a vital necessity that we line up our thoughts with God's thoughts. This is a process that will take time and study. 

Don't ever give up, because little by little you are changing. The more you change your mind for the better, the more your life will also change for the better. When you begin to see God's good plan for you in your thinking, you will begin to walk in it. 

For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasoning and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). ~2 Corinthians 10:4,5

I am EXCITED to read this book!!! 

July 8, 2012

Love = God's Love In Us

The Strife-Killing Facets of Love:

First Corinthians 13 tells us what love looks like: "Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

"Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fade-less under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Lover never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]" (vv. 4-8).

Love is like a sparkling diamond; it has many facets, including:
Love Unleashes Great Spiritual Power:

Before Paul talks about the facets and fruit of love, he says, "If I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired of God's love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

"And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God's love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody).

"Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God's love in me), I gain nothing" (1 Cor. 13:1-3).

According to this passage, if we don't walk in love, all our efforts to serve God and demonstrate His power will be fruitless. Love is the greatest power in the world. It makes life worth living. It sets us free from the Law. "And so faith, hope, love abide . . . but the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor. 13:13). Paul instructs us that love is the "more excellent way" to live (1 Cor. 12:31). He prayed that "your love may abound . . . may display itself" (Phil. 1:9). Without love, we "gain nothing" (1 Cor. 13:3).

If we love aggressively, we will resist strife every time. Satan knows this, so he wants to keep us from walking in love. He knows that if we develop our love walk, we will be dangerous to the kingdom of darkness. It is quite easy, because of the nature of the flesh, for us to become selfish and self-centered. But with God's help and a willing heart, we can enjoy harmonious and conflict-free relationships that manifest the true spirit of love.

Have a "Holy Determination":


Strife comes like a raging storm and leaves destruction everywhere it is permitted to go. But you can defeat it by holding fast to that which is good. Grasp the importance of peace and love. They are essential to a life of victory, power, and blessing. If you want to experience those things, let a holy determination rise up within you to walk in peace and to walk in love. Determine to hold on to your peace and to love aggressively~and then stand back and see what God does in you and through you.

Since Christ is in us, the seed for an unselfish nature is already in us, but we must choose to develop it.

H/T: Conflict Free Living by Joyce Meyer

We must also wear the shoes of peace


The Warfare of Peace:

When trouble comes, our first temptation is to get upset, speak out of our emotions, and start trying first one thing and then another in the hopes of finding something that will work and turn the situation around. All of these are unacceptable behaviors for the believer who is walking in faith. None of them will bring victory. Jesus gave us peace. It is our inheritance. The devil regularly attempts to steal it, but peace is ours, and we must hold on to it. (See Exodus 14:14)

As believers, we are seated "in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6, NKJV). The word seated refers to rest, and the words rest and peace are equivalent to one another. The Book of Hebrews teaches us to enter the rest of God and cease from the weariness and pain of human labor. (See Hebrews 4:3, 10-11) This peace is available to us~and has been since Jesus came, died for us, was resurrected from the dead, and ascended on high.

Peace is available, but we are encouraged to "enter" it. We enter the peace of God by believing His Word and by trusting in Him instead of in ourselves or someone else. We actually do spiritual warfare while we rest. Paul told the Philippians, "And do not [for a moment] be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness] will be a clear sign (proof and seal) to them of [their impending] destruction, but [a sure token and evidence] of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God" (Phil. 1:28).

The word constancy here refers to being the same~stable and consistent. Our constancy is a sign to the enemy of his impending destruction. Our rest in peace and joy during the devil's attack literally defeats him. He cannot handle believers who know how to "hold their peace." Our consistency is also an outward sign that we are trusting God, and our trust moves Him to deliver us.

We benefit when we defeat the devil, but Jesus also benefits. It gives Him glory when we operate according to His Word. He is able to bless us with our inheritance in Him. Talking about the promises of God is encouraging, but possessing them is much better. We read in Psalm 94:12-13, "Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law, that You may give him power to keep himself calm in the days of adversity, until the [inevitable] pit of corruption is dug for the wicked."

God's plan is to work in our lives to bring us to the place where we can keep ourselves at rest during times of adversity. The prophet Isaiah wrote, "Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

"Behold, all they who are enraged and inflamed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; they who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you but shall not find them; they who war against you shall be as nothing, as nothing at all.

"For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; I am the Lord, Who says to you, Fear not; I will help you! Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you, says the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make you to be a new, sharp, threshing instrument which has teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and beat them small, and shall make the hills like chaff.

"You shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the tempest or whirlwind shall scatter them. And you shall rejoice in the Lord, you shall glory in the Holy One of Israel" (Isa. 41:10-16).

Here is my paraphrase of these verses: "Don't be afraid of anything. Do not allow anything to get you upset. Don't start looking all around you at the circumstances; don't start worrying. Remain peaceful; I am your God. I will help you; I will hold you up. [When we feel like we are going to cave in, we have His promise to hold us up!]

"All those in strife against you, those who come at you with a spirit of contention and war, shall end up as nothing. So hold your peace. As you hold your peace, I can work because it shows that you are trusting Me.

"I am doing a new thing in you during these trying times. I am turning you into a new, sharp, threshing machine that will mow down the enemy. Your reward will be glory and joy."

The next time something or someone threatens to steal your peace, don't give in. Instead, release God's power by holding on to your inheritance and trusting that He will take care of the situation for you.

Always remember to wear your shoes of peace when you go into battle. (See Ephesians 6.)

H/T: Conflict Free Living by Joyce Meyer

July 7, 2012

He made me into a polished arrow


He made me into a polished arrow. (Isaiah 49:2)

Nearly all of God's jewels are crystallized tears.

Conflict is not necessarily an indication that someone is wrong. Difficulties may just arise. Sometimes people simply disagree.

The mind grows by what it feeds on. ~Josiah G. Holland

What's so important about being right? Why do we complicate our lives and aggravate our difficulties by insisting our views be accepted?

Why don't I just Let Go and Let God?

I will try to apply Easy Does It to every incident that might increase the tension and cause an explosion. I will try to realize that an exchange of hostile words will not help me to find the serenity I want.

Why should I react to criticism and accusation, justified or not? What can I gain by heated denials and irrational discussions? In a neurotic environment, anything can start a row. I need not take part in it; I will ignore it~cheerfully if I can. This is an excellent technique for avoiding dissension. Our calm unconcern may make so-and-so uneasy enough to make him think seriously about finding common sense.

To withdraw from an argument may not make you the winner, but what you have saved is your own dignity and grace.

July 6, 2012

C25K Week 1 Day 5

I can feel my butt getting smaller. :)

I almost forgot Day 3 because of the 4th of July but then remembered it before Uncle Brian came over and decided to hop on the treadmill and knock it out the park. It's all good.

Yesterday was a resting day and today was Day 5 only the time changed just a tad bit. Instead of walking for 5 minutes, jogging for 2, and walking for 5...I jogged for 3 minutes.

I do workout for at least 30 minutes with my improvising and that seems to work out. It's a hard core workout for me because I am jogging at 5 mph every time I'm set to run. So far it seems to be working out and I seem to be making it through.

Running a song and walking a song and then walking up an incline is building up my endurance.

Now the instructions say that I'm supposed to rest for the next 2 days. So that's what I'll do...rest.

Here's how it went down this week

Monday
C25K = 12 min & 90 calories burned
T-Time = 18 min & 175 calories burned

Wednesday
C25K = 12 min & 87 calories burned
T-Time = 18 min & 166 calories burned

Friday (That's today)
C25K = 13 min & 101 calories burned
T-Time = 17 min & 170 calories burned

Not too shabby for my first week.

The tops of my calves are feeling it and the tops of my legs right underneath my butt is feeling it. It makes me feel like my butt is getting smaller. Whoo-Hoo!!!

Until next time...Happy C25K!!! :)

July 5, 2012

Firework



Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?


Do you ever feel already buried deep? 
Six feet under screams, but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there's still a chance for you
'Cause there's a spark in you?


You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July


Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go, oh, oh, oh
As you shoot across the sky


Baby you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go, oh, oh, oh
You're gonna leave 'em falling down


You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow


Maybe you're the reason why all the doors are closed 
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightening bolt, your heart will blow
And when it's time, you'll know


You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine 
Just own the night like the 4th of July 


Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go, oh, oh, oh
As you shoot across the sky


Baby you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go, oh, oh, oh
You're gonna leave 'em falling down


Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It's always been inside of you, you, you
And now it's time to let it through


'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what your worth
Make 'em go, oh, oh, oh
As you shoot across the sky


Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go, oh, oh, oh
You're gonna leave 'em falling down


Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon