Thank You For Noticing!

crying.jpgI went to the gym today and a sweet friend of mine whom I haven’t seen in a couple of months stopped me and told me she could see where I had lost weight.
I almost cried. I love her.
You see, I haven’t lost a lot of weight. I’ve lost 19 pounds. And yes, that is a lot to some but I have 71 pounds to lose!  I’ve been working my butt off for 4 months, AND I lost 17 pounds the first month.
Three months of only losing 2 pounds makes me a little sick to my stomach…. and a tiny bit dead inside.
Today’s encouragement gave me the umph I needed to keep going….
Stop and encourage someone today – whether it’s losing weight, getting fit, taking care of their kids, or just rocking day to day life with a smile on their face, somebody may need to hear that you noticed.

headshot 2Tammy Lanham uses her passions for writing, speaking, and photography to entertain and encourage moms, marriages, and entrepreneurs.  She homeschools.  She volunteers.  She’s an entrepreneur.  She sleeps – sometimes.  Oh, and she eats chocolate.

Tammy is married to Tommy Lanham – a coach, leadership training expert, instructor, motivator, and a believer in Jesus whose mission is to equip and empower entrepreneurs, leaders, and dreamers to climb to their untapped potential.

Visit Tammy’s website:  www.TammyLanham.com 
Visit Tommy’s website:     www.TommyLanham.com  

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The Stair Climber From Hell

Okay – A little over 2 weeks ago, I began a journey to being healthier.  No, I don’t sell weight loss stuff, I don’t endorse any gym equipment… heck, I don’t even LIKE working out.

Jacobs-Stair-2I started going to the gym M-F.  The first day, I walked on the treadmill 10 minutes, worked on the elliptical for 10 minutes and looked at that scary machine in the corner – the stair climber.  I saw what it did to people.  Sometimes it tried to eat people. It turned great big muscular men into sniveling, panting, weaklings.  Sure, people would start out running up those things but they soon learned. And I knew – because I watched what it did to people. I ran home trembling in fear.

The next day, I did the same on the treadmill and elliptical but got brave enough to go figure out how to turn on that stair climber.  I watched a girl run up those stairs for about 20 minutes and although she was breathing fast, she walked away alive.  Seemingly undamaged from this simple machine.  So I could do this, right??  Oh, how cocky I had become.

Rocky Balboa stepsI climbed on with the Rocky theme music thundering in my ears.  I’m gonna conquer these steps…. I can do it!  I had a goal of 1000 steps.  That should be easy, right???  The girl I watched run up those stairs did over 3000.  I started off slow and kept a steady pace.  Well – this isn’t so bad.  My knees are holding up okay, my breathing is steadily getting more labored but I’m doing it!  I look around at the people in the gym wondering if they can hear the Rocky theme playing, too?  I wonder why they’re not staring, even applauding in admiration of this great feat of strength and courage I have begun.

I begin to feel a little more winded.  A little weaker in the legs.  I had already done an entire 10 minutes on the treadmill AND 10 minutes on the elliptical so I’m already plumb exhausted, remember?  😉  I began to pant, like those strong men I had seen…  but no, no, no…. that wouldn’t happen to me, right?  I’m taking it slow and steady…  Geesh, I must have gone nearly 1000 steps by now, right?

There’s a little screen that shows how many steps you’ve gone.

I’m on #18.

I’m not kidding.

Suddenly, the Rocky theme stopped.  All of those images in my head of me victoriously dancing at the top of this machine for all the gym patrons to applaud my efforts well – kinda died.  And I became a sniveling, panting, weakling – just another victim of the stair climber from Hell.  I did make it to 100 steps but was sucking wind and thought I was going to vomit right there by the treadmill.  Rocky never vomited.

But I went home elated that I even climbed on that stupid thing.

stairsNext day, I went back.  There was a guy on the stair climber struggling – big muscular guy…. I’m sure at one point he was strong but that machine was doing it to him – turning him into a sniveling, panting weakling.  Why are these people letting this machine do this to them???  Why do they put themselves through the torture?

You won’t believe this.  That stupid stair machine called my name.  It mocked me.  It told me I could never be Rocky.  It taunted me so badly that I HAD to get on it and teach it a lesson.  I could do 100 steps again…  I did it once and survived….that’s right.

Oh, I was, once again, quite cocky.  It turned me into a sniveling, panting weakling BUT I made it to 111 first!  Oooh, I felt like I had conquered it, at least for the moment.

Each day, I added a few more steps.  Then, THEN, I was really going to teach it a lesson!  I introduced that stair machine to my husband, Tommy Lanham!  He’s the strongest, most determined man I know.  Bet you can’t take HIM you silly stair climber!

We stepped on the side-by-side machines and began to climb.  Tommy asked me to hum the music to Rocky.  I just smiled wondering if he knew that had been going on inside my head.  He knows me well.  We climbed and pushed and sweated and you know something?  That machine turned my husband into a sniveling, panting weakling, too!  What in the world!?!

stairs3Tommy began going with me to the gym – yep, TRUE LOVE right there, folks!  But I think Tommy heard that machine’s taunting, too.  I think that’s how it gets ya – sucks you right in.  We are helpless victims.

I’m proud to announce, that 2 weeks later, Tommy and I each climbed 750 steps today!  Yeah, it’s not quite my initial goal of 1000 but you know what, it’s a whole lot better than the 100 I did that first day.  I am now able to go over 2 miles on the elliptical (in about 30 minutes) and I take a weekly Body Pump class.  (FYI:  this may be TMI but I’m proud that I can now take the Body Pump class and still sit and get off the toilet without assistance the next day!)  I call that progress, folks!

And so far, that stair climber from Hell hasn’t won.  Yes, it still taunts me, but I’m still going, baby!  And I’m not stopping!

Oh yeah – I weighed in this Tuesday at 206.2.  🙂  I’ll take that.

The Difference a Week Makes

help scale
Feet on a bathroom scale – Isolated

I’ve been really pushing myself this past week. I’ve reached a point where something just clicked and I’m sick to death of being this overweight. I have never yo-yo’d with my weight, just little by little constantly gone up. With one exception…. about 5 years ago, I lost 50+ pounds and was 3 pounds from my goal weight. First time in my life I ever lost weight like that. Then I began breaking out with mysterious bumps all over my body. I ended up being treated for nearly 2 years by specialists & doctors who never did figure out the cause. 2 years later and rounds and rounds of steroids later, I found all the weight put back on plus some. And I’ve continued to gain since then….

Then I began breaking out with mysterious bumps all over my body. I ended up being treated for nearly 2 years by specialists & doctors who never did figure out the cause. 2 years later and rounds and rounds of steroids later, I found all the weight put back on plus some. And I’ve continued to gain since then….

I woke up last week miserable. I have a friend on Facebook (thanks Greg!) who is posting photographs of the scale each week. I used to do that. Why did I stop?  I got on the scale for the first time in months to find myself weighing 218 pounds. Wow – what a reality kick in the gut.

I began doing the same 7 things I did last time, including not eating past 7:30 at night, getting plenty of sleep, exercising 5x per week, tracking my food on http://www.myfitnesspal.com, and several other small lifestyle changes. I have not gone on a diet – I still eat any food I crave. I don’t go to meetings, there are no tricks. Basically, my master plan is to eat less and move more.

Today, I woke up and weighed in at 207.4. I have lost 10.6 pounds this week. I know there is a lot of water weight to account for that big of a loss but I have also worked really hard and that will not change.  I have doubled my distance on the elliptical and can climb double the amount of stairs I could a week ago. I have tons more energy, I feel healthier and stronger… now, only 60.4 pounds to go!

I am on a journey once again. I have started this journey before (since the 50+ pound loss a few years ago) and after a few days, gave up. I think part of my issue is staying accountable. That is the reason for this post – I’m telling my actual weight and what I’m doing. Other people now know. That motivates me to stay on track. Your prayers are appreciated.

What happened when that preacher’s wife wore jeans to church on Easter?

Yeah, I heard of a few goofy comments about not honoring the Lord on Easter… I told you already what I think about that. See my recent post if you missed it.

I also realized that those Easter jeans of mine were tighter than usual. What I wear to church on Sunday is not at all about honoring my Lord. BUT what I put into this temple that he blessed me with… that’s another story. How I’ve been mistreating my body is getting awful close to dishonoring the Lord. Gulp – that’s uncomfortable, isn’t it?

So I began to immerse myself in education about the body and food. I’ve watched two documentaries now (Food, Inc. and Forks Over Knives) and I recommend them both. My 7 and 10 year olds watched Forks Over Knives with me. That night when I tucked them into bed, they both said to me (separately) that they believed we needed to change out diet to include more plant based foods. I began to read The Daniel Plan and have once again begun to log my daily food intake and exercise on http://www.myfitnesspal.com regularly.

I’m discovering some new yummy tricks:

This is spinach salad.  That’s right, I said SALAD!  It’s lots of spinach, a few frozen strawberries, a frozen kiwi, frozen blackberries, 1/2 a frozen peach and apple juice.   The kids ate it like it was sherbert!   I call it “Spinach Salad Ice Cream”  🙂

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This is nothing but frozen bananas.  Nothing added – just froze bananas when they were ripe (peeled and cut into 3-4 pieces each).  Put them in the blender as we were getting ready to eat lunch to let them defrost a bit.  When we were done with lunch, I turned on the blender and this is what we got!  Frozen bananas the consistency of soft serve ice cream!

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I have a long way to go.  I weighed in at 207 pounds last Monday.  Yes, you just read that.  I told you my actual weight.  I’m not proud, it makes me sick to share it, actually.  But if I’m open and honest, it helps hold me accountable and maybe will help someone else.  I weighed in today at 202.2.  I’ve lost 4.8 pounds this week.  That’s a start.  My goal weight is 145.  I did it once before.  I got derailed by 6 months and 5 rounds of steroids (that was my initial excuse) and stayed off course for 2 years.  I’m back on the wagon, again.  Here we go!  Prayers appreciated.  Encouragement essential.  Friends needed.

 

By the way…. I’m doing this without surgery, pills, drink mixes, powders, milkshakes, etc.  I’m not bashing anybody who does!  My goal is to show that anyone can do this with the Lord’s help.  You can join myfitnesspal and see what I eat every single day and how much exercise I’m doing.  I’m also doing devotions every morning.  If I can do this, anyone can do this.

 

 

Heck, Yeah!

Well, it’s Sunday again.  And I actually stuck to my commitments this week!  We’ve received tough news regarding a family member’s health, we began the first week of homeschool co-op classes this week (I’m directing for the first time) and my husband was out of town for the week.  Want to talk about stress??  Guess when I like to eat??

I made a commitment to you last week that by this time this week, I would have chosen a 5K to compete in.  Strike that….. participate in.  🙂  I found one and I have found an amazing neighbor that’s going to do it with me.  We’ll be participating in the Race to End Homelessness at Cherokee Park in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 at 9 a.m.  For those of you interested or challenged to participate, here’s the link:

http://www.roadracerunner.com/re_122326/RacetoEndHomelessness5kRunWalk2013.html

I began walking with Chesi (my neighbor) last Sunday night.  I went with the mindset we would walk a mile around the high school track and field track.  She went thinking we would do three.  By the 6th and 7th laps, we decided 2 miles was quite the accomplishment for us and ended our evening walking 8 laps.  From then on, we decided to walk every night.  We varied our speeds, pushed ourselves and really did well.  Some nights, we had other ladies join us and some nights, I walked alone.  At this end of this very stressful week, I can tell you, I walked (or in some cases even jogged) the better part of 27 miles total for this week.  I want you to understand, I haven’t given my weight for this journey yet (I will, just not quite ready to share that yet) but believe me, if I can do this at over 200 pounds, no athletic ability and absolutely (I really mean, ABSOLUTELY) no desire to run (in fact, I hate running), then you can do this.   Did you hear me?  YOU could do this!  I’ve started and tried so many times just to fizzle out and give up.  You know what the definition of success is?  It’s falling down 8 times, getting up 9.  In my case, it’s falling down 1,822 times and getting up 1,823.

I don’t know how long I am going to stay focused on this journey but I’ve made the commitment to see it through.  I am walking daily and logging every bite that goes into my body on http://www.myfitnesspal.com  I may fail miserably next week but for today, I will do this.  I will walk, I will move more, I will make healthy food choices.  Then tomorrow, I will get up and make that same commitment again.   Am I tired?  Heck, yeah!  Is it worth it?  Heck, yeah!  I’m pumped and ready to do this!  I weigh in tomorrow morning.  *Keeping my fingers crossed.*

Makes me want to puke…

I look at myself in the mirror squeezing into very uncomfortable clothes again.  Makes me want to puke…

I pull out the 1 pair of size 20 capri’s that I kept to show where I started my weight loss journey from.  Only to pull them on and struggle to button them.  Makes me want to puke….

I sit down in front of the television at night with a bowl of ice cream.  Just because I “need” to treat myself.  Makes me want to puke…. but I still eat it.

I hate the numbers I see on the scale.  I hate telling YOU how I’ve gained it all back.  Makes me wanna….. well,

PUKE

Break the stupid mirror

Pull my hair out

SCREAM

Hide in humiliation

How did I get back here?  I sit here with tears streaming down my face as I cry out to God, “Lord, why??  Why did you let me get back in this shape again?”  Only to hear Him whispering “Why did you choose this path, Tammy?”  I was there, so close to my goal.  I blogged all about it and you all listened.  You all offered your encouragement (which I treasure to this day).  But why weren’t you there to rip that midnight snack out of my hands??  Because I locked you out.  I stopped talking about it, I stopped blogging, I stopped doing anything about it.  It was easier to be quiet about it as the pounds piled back on in humiliation.  I stopped hearing “Wow!  You look great!  How much weight have you lost?” and started imagining your thought “Wow, she’s put all that weight back on.”

So here I am again.  At another starting line.  At another crossroads.  I walked in a Diabetes challenge here in our county yesterday and it felt good.  I walked for an hour.  I sweated.  I got uncomfortable.  It felt amazing!  I had energy all day yesterday and it’s addicting.  I need to take steps, drastic ones, to get off my rear end and start truly taking care of this glorious body God gave me.  I’m not talking about “stupid-drastic.”  I’m not crash dieting, bingeing or going on a “tongue patch” diet or a “freeze your fat” diet – (those seriously exist)…  I’m talking about eating right and exercising.

So I’m signing up for a 5K.  I don’t know where but I know it needs to be soon.  I’m using the Diabetes walk yesterday as my first day of training.  Pray for me.  Pray for my family.  I plan to blog each week – it makes me accountable.  Don’t let me go silent again.  My commitment to you is that by next Sunday (hope to make that my regular blogging day) I will have narrowed down some 5K’s and be ready to sign up for one.  I also plan to walk every day so if any of you are in New Castle and want to join me, let me know!  Can’t walk with me but you want to share in this journey?  Subscribe to this blog.  I hope it helps encourage somebody, somewhere along the way.  The Lord is walking me through this journey for a reason.

Ready….

Set…..

Go!

Gotta start somewhere…… right???

I’m back – it’s been a LONG and tedious roadsomewhere but I’m here.  Two years ago, I began this weight loss journey and lost 50 pounds.  Then about a year ago, I began fighting a mysterious illness (which no one ever figured out what the heck it was) with round after round of steroids and put back on over 40 pounds over the past 12 months. I’m better now and off of almost all the medicines.  I’m tired of using that as an excuse for gaining back the weight. So, I’m back. I’ve got a lot of emotional junk on my plate right now so I’m not sure I can handle a focus on the two or three big issues in our lives along with focusing on weight loss and exercise BUT I’m going to try.  That’s all I’m promising – I’m going to try.

start

 

I’ve got my two closest weight loss guru’s helping me – Terri and Kelly.  Without them, I wouldn’t be able to even think about going down this long road again.  I started again a few days ago – on Monday, January 21st, 2013 (taking deep breaths, tears in my eyes and ashamed) at 201.2 pounds.  Two years ago, I started at 204.2 and promised I’d never get back into this position.  Well, here I am.  You’ve gotta start somewhere, right?

Anybody lose weight, put it back on and lose again to successfully keep it off?  Please share any encouragment you might have to offer.  I could use it right now.
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Sometimes I Cry – Journey Through Gaining Weight Back

I keep a journal of prayers / thoughts / rants / scriptures.  I reluctantly share an entry from today’s journal:

“Lord, I’m miserable!  I’ve gained back 1/2 of the 50 pounds I have lost.  I am miserable – my back hurts AGAIN, my knees hurt AGAIN, I am not sleeping well AGAIN – I hate this!  I am so ashamed that I don’t want my husband to touch me.  I am ashamed that I cannot wear any of my clothes. I’m ashamed that I don’t even know what size I am because I can’t bring myself to put on anything without an elastic waist.  I can’t even walk one lap at the stupid walking trail without tremendous effort and frustration.  This sucks!  I’ve been traking my food again very faithfully for the last month and working out more regularly and I’m constantly gaining – gained 4 stupid, stinking pounds in the past week.  And don’t even try to tell me muscle weighs more than fat – I’m taking measurements, nothing is shrinking, anywhere.  Crap – this is frustrating.  I feel the grip of this addiction around my throat crushing me – crushing my self-esteem – crushing my will.  I feel defeated.  God, I cry out to you for help.”

After writing this in my journal, I opened my Bible and devotion book to read God’s answer to my silly ranting:

“Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!” – Psalm 27:14

“God uses the discipline of waiting to teach us lessons we cannot learn any other way.  Waiting can be especially difficult when it seems as if everything in our lives is stuck at a red light, but He may be preparing a person or a situation so that when we proceed again He can work even more powerfully.  To us, waiting seems like a waste – or worse, it feels like things will never be right again.  When we have to wait, we shouldn’t just sit and fritter away the time.  We should pursue God with all our hearts, try to determine the reason God wants us to wait, and trust His goodness and timing because He is, after all, God.”                           -Excerpts from The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Rieghard

So, I wait.  I work out, I eat right and I wait……… and sometimes I cry.

It ain’t over, yet…

It ain’t over, yet…  🙂

Last year at this time, I was miserable.  I had so much extra weight on me.  My self esteem was suffering and I didn’t want to go through “another year” of setting the same old resolution only to get off track by mid-January and lose hope AGAIN.

This year, I was miserable because of health issues.  I’ve had a shoulder injury which has caused some excruciating pain at times and ended me up in the Emergency Room.  I’ve been sedentary since the Wednesday before Christmas and on lots of pain pills and muscle relaxers.  For about a week, I could not even wash dishes, vacuum, lift anything heavier than a fork or do laundry.  (Oh, darn, right??)  I’m realizing what a true gift my health really is.

So, here we are on New Year’s Eve, 2011.  No, I have not hit my initial goal of losing 50 pounds, in fact, over the holidays, I gained about 5 pounds and just in the past week (since the ER visit with my back) I have gained an additional 3.  I’m weighing in somewhere around 164.  So, I have a decision to make.  Do I let it get me down that I’ve gained 8-10 pounds back or do I use that as a springboard to motivate me to keep going forward with more energy and determination?  I choose the springboard.  I found this photo posted on facebook:

This is my motivation.  I haven’t made it to my goal yet but I’m not as far from it as I was this time last year.  My journey began January 18th, 2011.  It does not have an ending point, a destination of sorts.  It will be a lifelong journey for me so I’ve settled in for the long haul.  It’s not a diet.  It’s a mindset.  A lifestyle.  I know at this time of year, there’s the big fitness push, all the TV commercials, all the books on the shelves, all the talk is about getting fit and healthy, getting organized, getting out of debt, etc.  If you do choose to try and live healthier this year, I challenge you, don’t let it be a fad – do it for real this year.

 

I’m starting somewhere around 164 this year, last year I was 204.8.  Some resources I have found useful over the past year:

 

The book GOALS by Tommy Lanham – to step by step this book really helped  me set small attainable goals with a purpose… ones I can actually accomplish!  I can’t tell you what a difference this book has made in my personal journey.  It’s a short, easy read that has the potential to change your life if you let it.

 

A life coach – I have worked with a life coach through most of this journey.  It really helps me stay on track when I know that each week, I have someone asking me, “How’d you do this week?”  “Did you do your 5 workouts?”  “What do you feel you need to do this week?”  My life coach has helped me focus on what’s important and the REASONS I have to lose weight.

 

A sponsor – I have a dear friend of mine who has lost so much weight.  She understands it – she “gets it.”  She didn’t have surgery, do fad diets or starve herself.  She understands how much of an addiction this can be and howhard it is.  I can call her in the middle of Kroger with 2 boxes of HoHo’s in my cart and she will tell me to walk away… ask me how I know!!  🙂  She will be 100% honest and even though she’s 10 hours away, she will kick my butt if I don’t stick to the plan.

 

www.MyFitnessPal.com – this is a website I have been using to track my food intake, count calories and connect with others who have the same goals I have.

 

I have not been doing my devotions and reading my Bible like I should over the past few weeks.  The hustle and bustle of the holidays has gotten me off track spiritually and I really do believe that when I’m off spiritually, every other aspect of my life suffers, including the weight issue.  I’m starting off tomorrow with 3 new books.  Made to Crave, the Made to Crave devotional and The Maker’s Diet.

I’ll keep you posted on my opinion of these books.  I do want to encourage you to read, educate yourself and challenge yourself.  If you immerse yourself in information about health & wellness, you’re much more likely to stick to losing the weight and making healthier choices.

 

Brian Tracy says “You are what you think about most of the time.”  If you think about how much you miss those doughnuts or those sweets, that’s what you will focus on.  Instead, think about health, read about it, start your own blog about it, talk about it with your spouse, family members, friends.  Surround yourself with information and health and it will be a great start to this journey.

So, there you have it.  My renewed commitment to my health, my God and my blog.  🙂  If you want to receive a notification when I post a new blog (typically 2-3 times per month) then click on “Yep, I’m in, sign me up!”   Let me know if you’re on the same journey and let’s cheer each other on!  God bless you this new year!

 

I won’t go back.

I’m ashamed to admit that since October 11 (about 4 weeks ago), I have gained 5 pounds.  😦  My workouts haven’t been as intense or regular, halloween happened (thus a house full of candy) and I entertained quite a bit (a house full of yummy homemade goodies).  I am struggling with fear.  The entire time I’ve been losing this weight, my mind keeps telling me “Oh, I hope I don’t gain this back.”  I am very fearful.  So when I got on the scale on Oct. 11 and it said 153.8 (the smallest I have been since way before our wedding day 11 years ago), I thought “Okay, I’m so close!  I just hope I don’t gain it back.”  See?  My brain is setting me up for failure.  Zig Ziglar says “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are usually right.”  It’s a mind game.

Last week, I ran laps around our church gym.  I made myself chant to my steps “I won’t go back, I won’t go back, I won’t go back” for 11 laps.  I came home and read my journal and all my past blogs.  I wont’ go back.  I’m reading some of the books that had an impact on me early on in this journey.  I won’t go back.  I am journaling again and am finally starting to regain some self control.  I won’t go back.  I am haunted again by the reality that for me, this is a disease, an addiction that I must not let get the best of me.  I won’t go back.  When I walked by the candy bowl after halloween, I literally could not keep my hands out.  I would eat 12 candies before I ever realized what I was doing.  Then I would feel guilty.  Then I would want more because I felt guilty.  Do you see the crazy cycle?  I won’t go back.

So, instead of waiting until I got back down to 153.8 again to start blogging, I decided I wanted to be open and real about this struggle.  There may be someone else out there that has gained back after some loss.  Granted I am pleased that it’s only a 5 pound gain.  While 5 pounds is very hard to lose and it is devastating, it’s not nearly as heart breaking as having gained all 50 pounds back.  Oh, I won’t go back.

We got a new DVD/VHS player this week.  Ours was toast.  The VHS player (we had 2 separate machines) tried to eat our friends’ movie they let us borrow.  I finally bonked it on it’s head to see all the lights light up momentarily and then it died a forever death, never to be resurrected again.  My husband took the thing apart and finally got the movie out of it but there were pieces all over the living room floor.  I know it sounds crazy but I feel a lot like that VHS player.  I am to the point of not really working (out) all that much and when I do, I don’t put forth my best effort.  I feel like I need that bonk on the head – I’m at the point where that bonk can make all the lights come on again and I realize where I am and what I need to do to start working again before I die that forever death.  I need to be taken apart and re-assembled.  I won’t go back.  That’s why I’ve gone back to the beginning.  I’m taking small baby steps and making better choices.  I won’t go back, I won’t go back, I won’t go back….

 

 

 

Please join me on this journey – I need your encouragement.  Click on “Yep, I’m in.  Sign me up!”  to receive email updates whenever I post (and I will start blogging more regularly, about once per week).  Feel free to leave comments and suggestions!  I need them!  God bless!