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More Progress  

As to my own personal project that I started in the spring...weight loss and shaping up...

Well, I can say it's a lot slower going and harder at 60 (with all it's health limitations) than when I took off 65 lbs. at 41 (and just for the record, looked and felt great!).  Apparently, I was given the wrong plan when I began this time.  The guys at the gym who have been trying to help guide me, finally decided 2 1/2 wks. before the wedding, that I shouldn't come back until after the wedding, that I was putting on too much muscle and that was keeping the pounds from coming off like they should.  They were right and I lost 5 lbs. almost immediately.

I've only lost 15 lbs. so far, but many, many inches!  In the end, I lost enough to be able to look good for my daughter's wedding pictures, which was important to me.  At my age, any grandchildren will not be able to remember me much except by pictures, and their parent's wedding pictures I figured would be the ones that would endure.  Hence, my motivation to really do my best for the wedding.

Now that the deadline is past, I have loosened my eating a bit.  I just don't think you can live forever on raw spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and a bit of protein and be healthy, and I've been eating that since spring....yech!  I am not going crazy with it, but I'm adding a lot more veges and some other things back and experimenting with how much exercise, and which ones, will make the winning combination where I can loose the rest of the weight.  One problem I'm seeing is that now that I'm changing things up, I suddenly am back to eating 1-3 times a day instead of 6.  I keep telling myself I'll get back to it, but I haven't succeeded yet.  Foo!  LOL - It's almost 2pm and I've still not eaten ANYTHING today!!  LOL!

I had to get some clothes for the time spent up north for the wedding, and I'm really enjoying looking and feeling better in them!  Thank you Jesus!  This week I went through all my old clothes and have found I can wear lots of them.  That was encouraging.

I have another big piece of news that I'll share next time!  God bless you real good and have a fantastic day!  Hugs!

Please support this blog by shopping my PayPal store. God bless you! Digifree CraftCrave CraftCrave

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So what's new? Oh so much!  

Thank you so much for dropping by!  I hope you are having a great day!

So very much has happened here lately.

My youngest daughter was married on the 18th ... 12-13 hours away, depending on traffic!  It was my first time having a child married and my what a ride it was!

I cropped this from a photo taken by her friend Lindsey.  I don't like putting my family on line, so forgive the artsy crop!  I think it's still lovely!
"Guest book" - cards with Southern Snow (cotton) and burlap.
The professionals said they had never seen so many MAJOR things go wrong with a wedding, but I have to say it was the most joyous wedding I've ever seen!  She blew my socks off right after they were engaged ...  She's been in many weddings and simply said, I know things will go wrong.  I am not going to let it bother me.  No matter what happens, at the end of the day I'll be married and that's what matters.  The rest will just become funny anecdotes!  Little could she have known how many opportunities she would have to walk that out, but she did and beautifully!  All I can think of when I think of the wedding is that she was the happiest bride I've ever seen and her joy just filled everyone there and it was absolutely the most joyous wedding ever!
Taken by me in the 116 year old church.  Such a beautiful building!  Makes you long to worship God!
Gourmet hot chocolate favors.
Ugly ducks have been a big thing between my daughters for ages, so her sister just had to make these for her wedding.
They are safely home from their island honeymoon and settling into their "happily ever after"... now only 3-4 hrs. away.  Yeah!!!!  God has been so good to them.  I ask God's blessing on them, that He continue to be the center and focus of their individual lives and their new lives as one.  I pray He shower and enfold them with every blessing that will help them to their eternal homes in heaven with Him, and the same for all children He blesses them with in the future.  To God be the glory forever and ever amen!!

Yeah!  Wow, so many big changes!  And all while heady with the beauty of fall.  Mmmmm.  :)

Thanks for dropping by and have a great day!

Please support this blog by shopping my PayPal store. God bless you! Digifree CraftCrave CraftCrave

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Golden Autumn!  

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful fall! 

I was in the back yard with Boo just now and it was so beautiful that I took some pictures for my new instagram account.   Then I got to thinking you might like to see them too!  (If you would like to follow my instagram account, it's called, of course, lynettesphotoart.)

I'm always utterly astounded at the beauty that God fills our lives with every day, if we will just notice it! 

The brilliant teardrop shaped leaves are from our Bradford Pear Tree.  Can you believe those colors????  You can see some Ivy on the right sides and sky reflected as rich deep blue!  :)
I love that you can see the stringy green algae growing along the edge.  Bradford Pear leaves as so amazing in the fall!
This one has a Mimosa Pod and Lily Pads too.  The fluffy things are Parrots Feather.
Mmmmmmmm!  :)
Dew drops clinging to the velvety soft Lamb's Ear.
Lamb's Ear velvet!
I love how this has aged over the years, always reminding us of God's promise for our future, as long as we belong to Him through His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, and are faithful until the end.  Praise God for His grace, mercy and LOVE!  That is Mondo Grass on the right and the Weeping Cherry tree behind.  The brilliant lime green is Creeping Jenny.
I am so grateful for this!  The tree is a Twisty Baby Honey Locust and God has dressed it in rich green moss and such cool textured bark!  The little birdhouse is the spring home of an utterly charming Carolina Wren couple each year.  I love the moss and lichen that cover it each year.  In time the lichen falls off and a new coat grows in it's deer shedding their racks!
Oh yes!!!
Don't you just adore textures and colors?  So astonishingly beautiful!  Thank you God for Your uncountable blessings!
If you love to use elements like these in your digital scrapbooking, you might have noticed they aren't easy to find.  I have lots of them in kits for you in my store.  Just click the black button below or the pretty round blue one at the upper right corner of this page to go to the store.

Please support this blog by shopping my PayPal store. God bless you! Digifree CraftCrave CraftCrave

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I'm on my fifth week of this life major change for health and fitness.   God is being so good to me.  Whereas I have been barely able to function physically in daily life for years, due to illness and injury, He has given me grace in this effort.  It's really exciting seeing His hand in this.  It's shocking the things I'm being able to do!  With His help!

The main goal is of course weight loss, but many other benefits will come from that.  So, is it coming off?  Truth be told, I would have hoped for a much more impressive number than 8 lbs. in my fifth week of this radical diet change and 2 hours of hard exercise 5 days a week and walks the other 2 days.  But, it is having dramatic results.  I can wear clothes I haven't been able to wear for years...and they are BAGGY!  That is my encouragement when the scale is hateful.  After all, we all know muscle weighs more than fat, and the goal of this plan is to build muscle because that's where fast is burned.  So I shouldn't be surprised at the scale.  People are noticing and commenting and that helps too.

It's also amazing how He put wonderful people in my life in the gym.  From day one He brought several wonderful Christian men into my life there who have instructed me, encouraged me, and kept me safe.  It has made such a difference.  It wasn't easy to be an overweight white woman almost 60 years old walking into an all black gym that is normally all male, young and super ripped.  But I have been welcomed by several and I praise God for these kind men.  And they challenge me too.  I am doing things that I can't believe is possible and would never have tried on my own.  And to think my original idea was the senior center once I turned 60 (last Tuesday)!  The energy here is almost palatable!  I thank God every day for how he's helping me and these kind men.

Another blessing is for my protein drinks after workouts.  I  had bought a Ninja blender for us and each of our children a couple of years ago.  No one has complained, but ours never worked.  We even got a replacement and it wouldn't close right (required for the power to work) and burned up on my 11th use.  HUNDREDS of dollars wasted.

The good news is that we got the Bullet from our Sam's Club and it's an absolute dream!  Every day after workouts I use the large container.  I fill it half way with Baby Spinach, then some frozen assorted fruit, half a banana, 2 scoups of Met-rx protein powder and some water.  It takes about 3 seconds and it's perfect and lunch is served.  You can't even taste the spinach.  And clean up is a breeze!

Our Sam's Club is such a blessing too.  Not only the Bullet, but all the fresh fruits and veges I eat (6 meals a day).  We've found it's a LOT more expensive to eat healthy, but Sam's Club really helps.  Over time I hope that we will save money in other areas of life by eating this way.  To be honest, I really miss baked potatoes and bread - specifically those amazing fresh baked baguettes at Sam's that are $2.98 for 2.  Mmmmm.  But it's manageable.  Once I meet my goal, you are allowed a day a week to eat as you want.  But for now it's nothing processed or prepared, no salt, no sugar, no nuts or grains, all lean protein, fiber, fresh fruits and veges.  And I'm still doing my TBS of Chia Seeds daily.

If any of you are eating like this, you may notice "things" have "stopped", if you follow.  With help from my girls, we have found out that a high protein diet will do that to you, even with the crazy high amount of fiber this plan has me on.  My youngest, who's about to be married (beaming Mother), told me about a helpful answer and it's available at Walmart.  Sixteen packets for $5.  "Smooth Move organic tea".  Nuf said.

I hope this has been helpful and encouraging!  Thanks for stopping by and come back soon!

Please support this blog by shopping my PayPal store. God bless you! Digifree CraftCrave CraftCrave

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60th Birthday Extravaganza & MyFittnessPal ap  

Don't faint!  Yes, I'm actually posting!  After years of daily posts, I've been silent for a while now.  My husband wouldn't believe it, but I ran out of things to say and other things required my time.  I do so appreciate how many people are still dropping by every day.  You are so amazing!  FYI, there are still tons of freebies if you scroll back.

The reason I am posting today is to share something wonderful.  Well, now that I start, actually there's a lot of good to share and I guess I could share a bit more than I intended, just to lay the groundwork.  Yeah!  Happy things!

So, it all started at the beginning of the year.  My daughters conference called me and wanted to talk about this year's birthday being a big one for me.  I hadn't thought about it, but indeed it is.  God will have blessed me with 60 wonderful years this Tuesday, the 5th.  I can't believe it.  I truly can't believe it!  He is ever present, always loving and guiding me through this crazy life.  Through the ups He has been my joy and through the grindingly painful times He has been my everything, carrying me through and making sure it all works out for my good.  He has provided for me and forgiven my countless sins.  There is no possible way to express my gratitude for all He is and does in my life and the lives of my loved ones.

The girls wanted to know what had I always wanted to do and never got to or where had I always wanted to go and hadn't gotten to.  That stumped me.  I actually had to take a couple of days to come up with anything - I'm pretty satisfied!  Then I remembered a tiny article I saw on TV when they were growing up.  It talked of a place where all manner of parrots were free (uncaged that is, not free to take home!), and it was in a state near to us.  A couple of times I have looked for it on the internet, but not knowing it's name or exact location, to say nothing of my title as worst Googler ever, I never found it.  Don't you know that within minutes of mentioning it to the girls, they'd found it on line!  To my surprise, it was in the Smokys!  Parrot Mountain!

They left it up to me when we would have what they wanted to be my "birthday extravaganza".  August is too hot for me, so I chose the end of April when all the flowers would be blooming at Parrot Mountain.  They planned this year's time off work just for me!  They rented the most luxurious place I've ever been, an opulent cabin in the Smokys, and we spent an entire week! 

We planned our meals and brought everything with us.  This turned out to be a much better idea than just to enjoy cooking together - the drive up and down from it was so terrifying that I never once made it all the way with my eyes open!  Kudos to the girls who had no trouble with it and did all the driving!  But it was a very long drive and doing it regularly for meals would have ruined the trip. 

We had a view of 50 miles of mountains and valleys from three different decks, each giving it's own breathtaking view.  What a marvelous time!  We also had new black bear paw prints on the car every day!  It was thrilling, but I do praise God for protecting us.  Cades Cove was wonderful too. 

It was the first time we had been to the Smokys together since the time we had brought them when they were small.  It was so strange walking around Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg with them...I would look at them and see the precious little girls they were in that spot when we were there before, and also see the amazing women they grew up to be, all at the same time.  It was tremendously odd and richly blessing.

Parrot Mountain not only held a wide variety of parrots, most of which were indeed uncaged, but they had my dream bird!  I had always wanted a Moluccan Cockatoo and had never even seen one in person, much less touched or held one.  It had not crossed my mind that they might have one.  I was over the moon at the thought of actually seeing and getting to touch all those parrots.  They not only had a Moluccan Cockatoo, but he was perfect!  I was in absolute heaven holding him for three hours!  Once I found him, I missed all the other birds for not being able to part with him.  It was beyond anything I could have imagined and will always be a tremendously sparkling memory.  The entire trip was the same.  What daughters I have!  God has been so good to me!  And just for the record, this was an incredible sacrifice on their parts.  Nuf said. more THEY'RE AWESOME!!!

So, as if all that wasn't enough, my camera died while there.  They had been trying to get me to buy an iPhone for years, but I wasn't going to because of the expense.  The morning after my camera died, we were on our way somewhere when they suddenly turned into an AT&T store.  They took me in and bought me the newest phone!  They wouldn't take no for an answer and said that's why they didn't let me know they were going to do this.  So now, I have an iPhone, and it has a camera in it, so I don't need a new camera! 

All right!  Now we're up to why I began this post!  There was just so much wonderful that I ended up sharing more.  So, they showed me enough to get started with the phone before we had to part.  My daughter who lives near enough to visit continues to help me.  And here's the truly exciting part!!!!

I have been working hard on an entirely new way of eating for weight loss and an extreme exercise regime.  The eating plan is radically different and involves a lot of math keeping track of nutrients (not calories, nutrients).  I have been really struggling and feeling overwhelmed with that part, the keeping track so I can meet goals of how much each day. 

It must have been God that prompted me to look for an ap for the phone the other day.  The girls put some aps on originally (that I don't use :) - a little overwhelmed), but I hadn't done one myself.  Well, I found an ap I wanted to try and failed installing it.   She came and helped me get it installed and learn to use it and that's why I'm posting!  MyFitnessPal is astonishing!  And it's FREE! 

This ap is so easy to use!  It allows you to record everything that goes in your mouth and all your exercise, then does all the math for you!  At the end of each day you can view your overall stats and see if you got enough of each nutrient and a lot more data!  To make it even crazy better, you can just scan bar codes on your food and POOF the info is right there in the phone!  Just say how much you ate!  Then, she showed me how to enter recipes!   The ap figure the nutritional values!  The foods you frequently eat stay visible to make recording in your diary fast and easy.  The exercise part is so detailed that you can really specify exactly, down to how many reps, how much weight or minutes, etc.  You can set goals for yourself and it gives you feedback and predictions at the end of the day, like, "if you do every day like today, you'll weigh this in 5 weeks".  I could go on, but you get the idea.  IT'S FANTASTIC and has taken a mountain of stress (and failure to actually do the math) off me!  And though it's not a big number yet, I have already lost 6 lbs. in 3 wks. and so many inches I wish I'd measured before I started (but it was too depressing and I didn't).

Another thing that might bless you, is my "gym".  I don't have funds to join a gym.  I started thinking, once I turn 60 I could join the senior center and they have a weight room.  But it's across town and I'd have to wait for my birthday to start.  I also pictured the environment.  No very energizing.  As I was searching for contact info to ask them questions about how to go about using the facility, I saw something else.  There are Community Centers here.  I have "known" that, but never wondered what they were about.  I phoned and found out they had a weight room with the elliptical machine I need and it's FREE! 

It's near my house and it's not a good area.  I know God is my Protector and Provider, but it took a bit of courage to go.  Ok, a lot of courage, for many reasons.  But I have to say God has blessed me again.  They majority of people I'm meeting there are different, at least while in the weight room.  Most keep to themselves.  Some are friendly.  None have bothered me. 

There is a real atmosphere of energy there.  Every one is there to improve our health and our bodies and that's what we do.  I started taking my phone and the ear buds that came with it and I listen to praise and worship music and pray for the people there as I exercise.  Another blessing from my girls!  (The phone, with music in it and ear phones).  I am finding the atmosphere encouraging and so much better than the senior center would be.  There are several people there that I am very happy to see every day and I am grateful to God for helping me with this attempt to loose weight and feel better. 

After just four days (50 min. each) on the elliptical machine the pain in my hip and flexibility improved so much that I was able to sit cross legged on the sofa again!  I haven't been able to for years!  I know it will be a long journey, but so far God has motivated me, provided all I need to do it FREE, protected me from injury or harm and sprinkled my path with nice people.  I took 65 lbs. off when I was 41 and am happy to once again be on this journey and believe it will go well.

There's one more very happy thing happening in my life just baby girl is getting married!  God has sent a fine young man who loves her dearly and treats her like a princess.  I am so happy for them both and my heart is just about to explode with joy and praise to my God!  It is good to be able to share such wonderful times after so many at the other end of the spectrum.  I pray abundant blessings on you and your loved ones too!!!  Hugs and it was so nice seeing you again!!!

Please support this blog by shopping my PayPal store. God bless you! Digifree CraftCrave CraftCrave

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