Friday, February 26, 2010

Drive-In Night

Friday, my gmail status stated:
Looking forward to a DATE NIGHT with my handsome hubby! How he convinced me to a) go to a drive in when it was 35degrees when I left for work this morning, and b) see a SCARY movie like "The Crazies" is beyond me. I must be crazy. Looking forward to time with my man regardless!

I'm happy to report that we had a BLAST last night on our date. Yes, we did go to the drive-in, even when it was in the 30's outside. We love the drive-in, probably go a few times every summer. It's so much fun. Usually we invite a group and take our portable mini grill. We get there a bit early and crank the grill up... grill out and bring a great spread of eats and drinks to carry the group through a movie or two. This time, however, we went just the two of us, and it was really cold out. It was fun. We saw "The Crazies" and something "Paris", a movie with John Travolta. The movies didn't really matter, as long as they were mildly entertaining we would have a blast regardless. "The Crazies" was supposed to be a scary movie, but I didn't have much trouble with it (and I do NOT see scary movies).
I could handle it probably because we were at the drive-in and movies are just not as intense there as in the theater. It was an okay movie, like I said, I was mildly entertained, so that was enough for me. Mr. McGoo would be the better person to inquire about that movie, maybe he'll do a rating post on the three movies he's seen this weekend (2 with me, and 1 this afternoon with a buddy).

I was under the impression that the second movie was a romantic comedy movie, so I was excited to offset the scary movie at first with a romantic comedy. However, when John Travolta's name came across the screen, I realized it wasn't what I anticipated. That movie, whatever the name of it was, was also mildly entertaining. Ha. We simply enjoyed being together, laughing together, and snuggling close. My man covered the backseat with a ton of blankets, knowing all too well how his wife can have her teeth chattering in no time.

A great way to start a weekend. Yay for date nights!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reading Corner

With the multiple to do's as of late, my reading corner has been put on the major back burner as of late. I've missed it - reading things for pleasure, self conviction, and/or personal insight outside of mandatory school responsibilities. Although I'm a bit annoyed that I'm still only 116 pages into a 172 page book (INTERRUPTED by Jen Hatmaker - READ IT!) that I began weeks and weeks ago, I'm also cognizant that other things are more important than me finishing that book right now. It's all about priorities. And regardless if I finish "Interrupted" now or a few days later, I'm still allowing God to speak to me through that book and am open to His leading. It's all about priorities. It's about who and what is most important to me day in and day out.

In addition to my current Jen Hatmaker book, I'm also reading The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Ewww weee, this woman does NOT play. She tells it like it is and I love it. No side stepping this issue, or sugar coating it, she tells it straight! That's probably one reason I'm so interested in reading it. No fluff, just subsidence. Tell me what I need to hear, let's get to it, and oh does Dr. Laura. She's all about giving us ladies some accountability in our marriages, reminding us that two parties take part in the dance and we are responsible for our own actions and responses.

A small group of married ladies (4 of us total right now) meet twice a month or so to discuss our readings in this book and our marriages. Rather than talk about our husbands and what they do or do not do, we take a different approach. We talk about how WE, as wives, can do things differently. How can WE, as wives be better spouses, more Godly women, and more servant like in a way that represents and pursues the model of Christ. I tell ya what, it makes ya put pride at the front door, because a group like this isn't going to let you get away with something. You tell them "I reacted this way, and did this" and they'll say, "what should have you done? What would have been best for your man? What would exemplify Christ?!". Talk about conviction, because I am CERTAINLY a CONSTANT work in progress.

I'm so thankful for this group of ladies that are yearning to uphold our marriages in a world where marriages are crumbling around us. We want to find a way to be different, for our marriages to be different, and for our men to know we love them. We want to honor Christ in our marriages. With all the hustle and bustle of life, with all the things pulling you this way and that, with all the world telling you that self fulfillment and what you feel is best, I want my husband to know he matters. That beyond my Lord, my man is at the top of my list! We're a team. And the reality is, the more he knows he matters to me, the more he's going to make me feel like and know I matter to him. It's an awesome cycle of mutual love and respect - one that I want to pursue continuously, this year, next year, and 50 years from now.

So my book corner consists currently of those two reads, a little bit of each, a short chapter here and there, and I'm gaining powerful knowledge from them both. They are both challenging me and asking me if there are ways I need to change. Jen Hatmaker will challenge you, as I've stated in other posts, about what you are or are not doing for the sake of the Gospel and for the least of these. An easy, entertaining read, but she'll convict ya if you let her. Check it out! And then you have the Dr. Laura book, and if you're a lady and want to check pride at the door to see how you're doing in caring for your mate, try Dr. Laura's book out for size. If you do, I'd love to hear what you think.

I'm looking forward to the completion of this trimester, another seven weeks or so from now when I completed my A&P2 class. I'll have two to three week off of school until the next trimester begins, so the plan is to try and crank through another book during that period... maybe I'll start The Mortal Instruments series then. I hear they're great and I got them for Christmas. Something to look forward to along the way.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's going...

I'm having one of those weeks, one of those multiple weeks where the answer the question, "How's it going?" has only one response - IT'S GOING!

There is so much going on these days that at times I feel like a chicken with my head cut off. Are there enough hours in the day? From work every day of the week to school, to finding time to study, to cooking dinner, cleaning house, and desiring to get our house in order with painting and organizing and such, to finding time to just BE with my handsome husband, to spending time with friends and catching up with them after being MIA for the past few weeks, to helping friends get prepared for their wedding (SO EXCITED), to seeing friends from out of town (so glad we were able!), to attending short term missions training at church (can't wait to share about the trip), to catching up on the shows we enjoy, to wanting to actually watch the Olympics, to applying for scholarships for financial aid, to answering invitations for weddings, showers, and birthday parties, and hopefully attending a few of them, to desiring to just stop and do nothing or read for fun rather than school, to working out... the list goes on and on!

We've been busy and it doesn't look like it will life will let up for another week or so... so we're doing our best to take one day at a time and complete the task at hand. That's all we can do.

I'm not complaining, because many of the things we're "doing" are things we're so blessed and so greatful to be a part of - investing in people, continuing our education, etc - but some days, you just wish there was an opportunity to let everything stop and simply be still without a thought to the next task at hand. I'm a little concerned that maybe I'm going so fast right now I won't hear when the Lord is speaking to me. I've heard Him so clearly as of late in regards to caring for the least of these and our call as believers that I do not want to miss what He says next! But I am confident and so thankful for this -He's moving around me! He's moving in the hearts of people I care for, and even people I do not know. It's a cool thing to see and experience.

So that's me right now... a bundle of to do's and a bunch of things going on. I'm so thankful that I have a hubby that is so good to help and assist around the house along the way. I couldn't imagine if I didnt have my teammate. :)

The planned meals have been a huge help with all the craziness that has been going on. I haven't even thought about what's to eat besides looking in the morning before work and setting out the appropriate meat to thaw. I'm pumped to know that I have so many meals left and ready to go. So far I've made:
  • Poppy Seed Chicken, Garlic Bread, Green Beans, and Rice
  • Broiled Tilapia Parmesean, Italian vegetable medley, and 3 cheese garlic bread - even made that for friends to eat with us
  • Mr. McGoo made awesome Brauts with french fries
  • Red Beans and Rice, and salad
  • Pork Roast, Green Beans, and Mashed Taters
  • Cuban Sandwiches made from the left over pork roast
The following is left on the list:
  • Chili
  • Breakfast food (pancakes, eggs, etc)
  • Burgers and Fries
  • Italian Chicken, Biscuits, Pecan Vinaigrette Salad
  • Italian Chicken Pizza (using leftover meat from night before)
  • Taco Soup
  • Chicken Divan and Rice
  • Potato Soup (tonight's plan)
  • Turkey Tostadas
  • Tacos

In regards to our workout routine, I didn't post about it, but on Friday I worked out for 31minutes to The Biggest Loser on Wii. Bob kicked my butt in a 31 minute routine. It was 3 circuits of craziness. From tricep presses galore to a ton of "in plank" position exercises, my abs and shoulder were burning quicker than halfway through. It was good workout though. Since Friday I've done little but stretch and try to complete the many tasks at hand... we're back to it tomorrow am! Ready to Shred again.

"The Determination to Serve"

If our devotion is to the cause of humanity, we will be quickly defeated and broken-hearted, since we will often be confronted with a great deal of ingratitude from other people. But if we are motivated by our love for God, no amount of ingratitude will be able to hinder us from serving one another...

Once we realize that Jesus has served us even to the depths of our meagerness, our selfishness, and our sin, nothing we encounter from others will be able to exhaust our determination to serve others for His sake.
The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve . . . —Matthew 20:28

February 23, 2010
"The Determination to Serve"
By Oswald Chambers

Monday, February 22, 2010

More Ways to Make a Difference

I'm a fan of the WICKED Soundtrack. Love it. Often I can be found in my car, WICKED blaring as I make my way to or from work... singing at the top of my lungs but playing the music loud enough so I do not have to hear myself sing. One of my favorite songs is a song called "Gravity". There is a portion of the lyrics that have been hitting home lately as my eyes have been opened to the orphan crisis of the world and my responsibility as a believer! The key lyrics are:
I'm through accepting limits; 'Cuz someone says they're so; Some things I cannot change; But till I try, I'll never know!
I've been equating this same thought process with the orphan crisis of the world. It's so big. It so large. It often seems so impossible, but I'm not going to let others tell me I cannot make a difference. I'm tired of saying something is too big to try. The reality is that I serve a God bigger than I can fathom and He can handle the biggest of problems. I'm only responsible for doing what I can... and I'm going to try.

Today I give you another way YOU can make a true difference in this world. I'm tired of not making a difference, and if I can apply the "every little bit helps" philosophy as much as possible, the ripple I begin to make at some point will catch on to another, and we can change one life, one situation at a time. I love this quote by Robert F. Kennedy:
Let no one be discouraged by the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills--against misery and ignorance, injustice and violence... Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation...
It is from the numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
So with Kennedy's quote as my background and introduction, I have a way you can make a difference today with $10, $5, and/or very importantly praying. Check out the non-profit organization started by a couple from my church, The Forsaken Children. This organization works to care for, support, and minister to the street children of Ethiopia. Read up on their website to gain details, but among the MANY awesome things this organization does in Ethiopia and their amazing mission, The Forsaken Children are raising funds this month for a truck. The Kota Ganate Truck Campaign is working to raise $15,000 over the next month to pay for a rugged 4x4 pickup that will help expand the Kota Ganate project into extended markets, make it easier to obtain supplies, and allow transportation of such supplies and needed personnel. In other words, this truck can make a big difference to this particular project for The Forsaken Children.

Check out all the links I've attached and/or go straight to their website to learn more: I'm pumped about their work and look forward to hopefully partnering with them during the summer on a missions trip. Check it out!

Here is an awesome video that gives pictures that speak louder than words:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Yoga Time

Oh yeah, I felt the Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred Interval 3 this morning... felt it all over... my gluts, my abs, my legs... WOWZERS! So thankfully when I asked my hubby (who has weights & resistance training/class this afternoon) if he wanted to skip the Shred this morning and do some yoga instead for our workout, he jumped at the chance. I'd be kidding myself if I tried to make it sound like I only made that offer because I was thinking about him... the reality was, I was thinking about the aches I felt in my own body.

This morning we tackled 20 minutes worth of The Biggest Loser Wii Yoga together. A good start to the day and a good break between yesterday's interval 3 and tomorrow's interval 3 to come.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

American Idol - Top 24

Alright Idol fans... or even those that simply want a challenge... we have arrived at our top 24 group of contestants in season 9 of American Idol. This means we're getting closer to finding that top 12 once again.

With the top 12 comes the Verbal Vomit American Idol Bracket Competition and I'm asking YOU to compete! I'm warning you NOW, so you cannot come later in the game and say you did not know... American Idol brackets are coming soon!

Whether you're an avid viewer or not, this bracket is for you! You will choose each week (before the top 12 ever becomes the top 11), who stays the next round, and continue to make those decisions on the bracket until it is complete with the NEXT AMERICAN IDOL. To get an idea of what last year's bracket competition looked like, check out my past blog post. More details for the 2010 version to come soon!

Day 21 w/Jillian Michaels

Hello Interval 3 of the 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels.
Wow. I'm not sure that I'll be able to walk later today. A stretch this afternoon will be OH SO necessary! The hubby and I welcomed in Day 21 of the Shred and met the scary Interval 3. I was nervous as Jillian quickly described that even the warm-up would be more intense within this interval.

From walking/moving push ups to sumo squats to the other randomness we tackled this morning, I can definitely say I had a workout! I shredded!

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Meal Planner

Sunday I sat down and planned 10-14 days worth of meals for the coming couple of weeks. This process takes some time and work, but overall I like the outcome of such an endeavor. We not only get a good assortment of meal choices, but we also guard against going to the grocery being unproductive with our purchases. You know what I mean by that... isn't it the worst when you spend over $100 at the grocery and come home to realize that with everything you purchased, very little will make a meal for you and your family. Totally frustrating. So meal planning not only allows my hubby and I to stay on track with our budget (not eating out because we KNOW we have a meal available at home), but it also keeps me away from the dreaded grocery - - - I cannot stand that place! If I can make it where we do not have to go there again until the next pay day, I'll be golden.

Last night we tackled the ready made list of groceries to purchase that I created Sunday night with my meal planning. The hubby and I conquered each aisle together, grabbing the items demanded by the list. For a "To Do List" person like me, this was heavenly... a list to check off items as we put them in our cart.... wow, I am a dork!

Needless to say, we came away with a TON of food, but some yummy meals to look forward to. I originally plotted out the meals on a per day schedule, but I'll only follow this schedule tentatively. If we wake up one morning that chicken is scheduled for the meal that night, and beef sounds better, we'll switch it up accordingly, but AT LEAST I know I have these meals ready and waiting to be prepared. Let's see how I did.

Monday (last night - check): Poppy Seed Chicken, Garlic Bread, Green Beans, and Rice

Tuesday: Broiled Tilapia Parmesean, Italian vegetable medley, and 3 cheese garlic bread

Wednesday (Mr. McGoo night bc I have class): Brauts or Steaks - whichever he chooses

Thursday: Red Beans and Rice, and salad

Friday: Pork Roast, Green Beans, and Mashed Taters

Saturday Lunch: Cuban Sandwiches made from the left over pork roast

Saturday (Mr. McGoo night): Chili

Sunday Lunch: Breakfast food (pancakes, eggs, etc)

Sunday: Burgers and Fries

Monday: Italian Chicken, Biscuits, Pecan Vinaigrette Salad

Tuesday: Italian Chicken Pizza (using leftover meat from night before)

Wednesday (Mr. McGoo Night): Taco Soup

Thursday: Chicken Divan and Rice

Friday: Potato Soup

Saturday: Turkey Tostadas

Sunday: Tacos

Along with all these yummy meals, we purchased a larger variety of snack foods... most are good for you like celery, carrots, fruits, 100 calorie popcorn packs, etc, and of course some lunch and breakfast options for my main squeeze. As we're working out, we're trying to also eat multiple times a day to keep our metabolism up and running. Breakfast, snack. lunch, snack, dinner. So you can say the "pantry" and refrigerator are packed. Here's to hoping I do not have to go to the grocery again until March. he he!

Anyone have any other meal planning tips? My ears are open.

Day 20 w/Jillian Michaels

We completed another day/another workout this morning. And with the chill in the air, I can testify that it was HARD to get out of bed this morning! whoo.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 19 w/Jillian Michaels

As we're working to get back into the swing of things, after a week in Kansas City... we knew that one of the "swing of things" we'd need to jump back into was working out. Last week consisted of ZERO days of working out, which was understandable, however, the week prior was also a sparadic week of workouts due to my hubby and I being under the weather. So today was the day to get the job done again... we're looking forward to another dedicated week of completing our workout every day.

Today marked Day 19 on the 30 day shred... to get back into it, we started with Interval 1 this morning. We'll probably do that tomorrow also before we jump into Interval 3 on wednesday for Day 21. Let the shredding begin again.

Oh, in other related news... my middle sis was able to be in KC with us and the rest of the family this past week... one day she received a text or a phone call (can't remember exactly) from her hubby who said "I shredded today". My sis responded, "you shredded? You shredded what? Paper?"... to which my bro in law quickly informed my sister of her error, he shredded with Jillian. So in honor of my bro in law's terminology, I want to tell you today, I SHREDDED!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


The past week has been a whirlwind. Somehow we've arrived at another Saturday, seven full days away from the last time I just sat at home, until now...

Valentine's Day has snuck up on me... it's tomorrow. Can you believe it? That means we're half way through the month of February! What the heck?!

Today following a day at school and a tough lab practical exam this afternoon, I came to find THIS (pictured below) sitting on the kitchen table for me!

The card TOTALLY cracked me up... seriously, I laughed out loud. I think it was the whole "Love Train" thing and then the actual typed on the card already, "from your Sexy Hubby"... and considering the photo on the front of that card... ha ha... funny stuff. And there was even more... a bottle of my favorite pinot grigio, Season 1 of GLEE, and some other treats. Happy Valentine's Day to ME!!!

I was completely shocked and it put a big smile on my face, so Mr. McGoo said his mission was complete. Thank you, honey!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Time to Say Goodbye

This morning marks the morning I will attend my grandmother's funeral service. It's amazing how surreal that seems this morning as we get ready to leave and meet the rest of the family at the church. I'm not ready to say goodbye to her, but the reality is that she's already gone. She's already with my Jesus, seeing Him face to face. No saddness, no tears, no pain, no fears... she's got it all now! She has eternity with God!

I hope to sit down as the craziness of this week settles down and write a bit about who my grandmother was, and who she IS to me! She won't be forgotten, that's for certain. We love her. And we miss her.

For now, I leave you with Mr. McGoo's post this morning. I teared up reading it, but am so thankful for it at the same time. I look forward to sharing his words with my family after the service is done today.

I love you grandma!

Monday, February 8, 2010

I Love You!

Saturday evening, we received the saddening news that my grandmother passed away. The term I've recently heard was that she "went ahead" of us. Thankfully my grandma knows my Jesus and has now met Him face to face! So I can say, even with a heavy heart because I miss her so, I'll see her again.

I love you Grandma! Miss you!

Below are a few pictures from the past couple years...

We're trying our best to get to Kansas City to be with the family this evening, but the multiple of inches of snow in Memphis has put our timing into question. Only time will tell when the drive is possible, but we hope for it to happen soon. Visitation is on Wednesday in KC, and the funeral is Thursday.

Hard to believe I'll arrive in KC and my grandma will not be there... I'm so thankful for all the memories I have of this great woman. Love you, Grandma!

***UPDATE: We made it safely to KC, even through 10.5 hours of trecherous driving. God watched us along the way. We're happy to be near family, even during this tough time. Thank you for your prayers and kind words. Here is my uncle's blog that gives a great post about Grandma. Thanks UFrank.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

From Little Acorns...

... God grows MIGHTY BIG TREES!

I am pumped about the results of The ABC Challenge 2010! I'm sure I'm not fully aware of all the collection of coins that came out of this 30 day event, but from the few responses and reports I've received, I am confident that out of little acorns, God grows MIGHTY BIG TREES.

The ABC Challenge 2010 collected enough pocket change over the 30 day period in January to provide the funds for over 474 meals for the children in Uganda. This money will go to support the amazing work of Amazima Ministries International and share the love of Christ by filling the empty bellies of these precious children and loving on them in a big way.

How cool is that!? Pocket change for us providing 474 MEALS for children!!! Thank you to everyone that participated and truly made a difference with every $.15 they were able to collect! I know the amount given whether seemingly big or small will impact actual lives, caring for the "least of these" in a big way! I am confident that Amazima Ministries will use the money we sent to benefit the kingdom of God. Awesome stuff!

Day 18 w/Jillian Michaels

Nice! The leg ache is already into place. I will definitely need my 3pm stretch time today, that is for SURE! Today we tackled day 18 of the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and I'm feeling it! Due to my hubby being sick and myself catching some of the crud, today marked the first day back to Jillian's shred since last Thursday. I've done yoga twice since that time and also have taken two days off to get better... today I'm paying the price for those days off. I'm amazed how quickly my body forgot what it was supposed to do.

On the upside, I feel good working out again. It was tough to wake this morning, especially with the dreary and wet nature of outside, but we made it out of bed and in front of the TV for some shred.

Good stuff - hello Day 19 tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Casa in the Works

Our casa is experiencing quite a few changes as of late. We FINALLY had the wood lamanent flooring laid down that we've been in possession of for over six months. Boy has it made a VERY dramatic difference in the aesthetics of our home! We love it already!

Below are are some before and after photos showing the vast difference between the OLD and the NEW flooring. I've been really impressed how my paint colors of choice (back in May, see McGugan Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for details) compliment the new flooring very well. It seems to bring it all together. Check it out:

The new flooring goes throughout our back living room, old office (which will have a new function soon), kitchen, and mini hallway in between the kitchen, bathroom, and guest room. The project was just completed on Monday, so rearranging, repainting trim, and decorating has not begun. It's a work in progress. I believe it always will be, but we're definitely making headway into the right direction. Love it!

The other project that was completed on Sunday (completed in raw form, remember not decorated, painted, or finished at all) was the removal of a door. Our front living room had a door leading to one of our guest rooms. This guest room had another door that lead to the mini hallway near the bathroom and kitchen. We had the door to the living room removed. This project not only created more wall space for us, but it will also make a difference in the noise level experienced by the guest room and the insulation of the guest room. Very exciting.

Stay tuned as more changes will happen in the coming weeks. Paint colors to be chosen, decor to be purchased, room functions to be changed... we have some work to do, but the changes already are encouraging along the way!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Upside to Sickly

So the McGoo house is under the weather. My hubby is currently in bed, missing classes in the hope of finding a recovery from the ickyness that has plagued him since Thursday evening. This morning marked my first morning to skip working out since our new routine. I must say it made a difference that I didn't workout. I wish I had, but when I woke this morning still highly medicated on the NiQuil and Tylenol Cold & Sinus I took last night to find rest, I figured it best that I fore go the workout this morning. I hope to be back on track tomorrow.

The upside of being sickly is that regardless if we're sick or not, the LOST FINAL SEASON premier is tonight - HAPPY DAY! If you want a good preview of what's to come, go check out the last two posts by Mr. McGoo. Can't wait to see the premier... complete with a one hour recap of the seasons past and a two hour premier! I'm looking forward to saying hi to old friends, Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Hugo, and the rest of the gang. GET LOST!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Workout 17.75

The hubby is still feeling under the weather, so we thought it best to give him another day of rest while he hopefully recovers from the icky-ness. In response, this morning I stepped away from the 30 Day Shred again, waiting on my man to tackle day 18 together. Instead, I worked out on The Biggest Loser Wii game again. A 6 minute warm-up, complete with some squats... and an 18 minute yoga routine. Feels good.

I'm looking forward to tackling Jillian's Shred again tomorrow, or whenever we're able. I'm enjoying the accountability factor of posting this kind of stuff on my blog. No worries, I'll stop sharing the mini details with you once we complete the 30 Day Shred. The plan is to maybe tackle the shred again with weights the next go around, but I'll spare you the boring mini details along the way. Maybe I'll go to a weekly recap of my workout schedule, that should be enough to keep me accountable and hopefully not so much that it bores you (whoever you is). But I'll tell you this... working out HAS made a difference... physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually... it's amazing how things bleed into other aspects of your life. It's a good thing.