Monday, February 28, 2011

Go Girl

Let me just start by saying you're not going to believe what I'm telling you here... so you'll want to go check it out for yourself. Sorry guys, you'll either find this hilarious or disturbing!

This weekend I was introduced (and actually given) a product that I would have never dreamed into existence or thought would exist in general. Dinner conversation Saturday evening somehow find its way to this...


I think their name and tag-line will put it simply for you...

Go-Girl: Women can pee standing up with Go Girl

Uhh... yeah you read that correctly... it's a contraption to allow a women to pee when standing, or as they like to say "the feminine urination device that lets you go anywhere"!

The most hysterical part of it all is the examples the product gives for typical using needs (as labeled on the product): camping, travel, boating, concerts, and sports!

It's reusable, lovely, and is available in a beautiful shade of pink or camo.

Wow! Watch out ladies, because this revolutionary product might change your life or be a white elephant gift heading your way in the near future!!! ha ha.  GO GIRL!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Good Word

"A pail with a pinhole loses as much as the pail pushed right over. A whole life can be lost in minutes wasted, small moments missed."  

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mr. McGoo Blog

Mr. McGoo has posted one of my favorite posts ever on his blog. It's a post I believe no one should miss... check it out by clicking the following post title:

Accountability

Definition of ACCOUNTABILITY
: the quality or state of being accountable (subject to giving an account : answerable); especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions

Although sometimes regarded as a negative by some, I'm of the belief that accountability is a beautiful thing! Regardless of what facet of your life you open yourself up to be held accountable, there is freedom in not carrying the burden alone, having someone to cheer you on, and someone else to answer to that allows for a second thought about our choices.

It makes me think of these verses in Ecclesiastes 4, verses 9-12, some of my favorites:
Two are better than one,
   because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
   one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
   and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
   But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
   two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.


It's much easier to fall and make poor choices when I'm the only one making the decision or the only one I have to answer to.

Lately I'm experiencing accountability within my workout routines. As I mentioned in a post last week, The Cycle Continues, I'm prone to have good intentions but poor follow through. I lead a busy life - full time work, night school, wife, and am very involved with lots of other organizations and activities, so it's very easy for me to have an excuse for working out... and often they are "good" excuses, which makes it even harder to make the right choice. However, recently I've gained some accountability to this working out process and it definitely makes a difference!

My middle sis, you know the creative one living in Nashville with her hubby, has joined me on this workout adventure, and before we knew it, we're keeping each other accountable. In Robin's own words, "I need you to so I can be like 'GET UP, you loser, Heather's working out'!" As hilarious as that is, it's true... adding a little sister accountability and good sibling competition makes a difference. We now report to one another about our successful workouts, and question one another when we haven't been keeping up... plus who wants their sister to beat them in this?! Sure gets me up and going!


Ps. On a none related note, but related because I mentioned the creative middle sis, if you like discussions about design and are looking for new craft project ideas, follow Robin's new blog at www.keecreative.blogspot.com. Her wit, charm, and creativity will surely entertain you!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Weekend Adventures

Mr. McGoo and I had an eventful and wonderful weekend. Two nights in a row we were up past 130am, which is completely out of the norm for this old lady at heart, but I enjoyed every minute of it! It definitely helped and allowed me to function this week that I was able to complete the weekend with a long nap after church with my man on Sunday!

So what did we do to keep us up so late...

Friday - Date Night
Mr. McGoo surprised me on Valentine's Day with tickets to the Racket Club's Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, a 500 level ATP men's professional tennis tournament. I really enjoy watching professional tennis on TV, a US Open on TV could entertain me for hours if I had the time, but I have never seen a pro match played out live, especially not in my own city, even though it happens every year. It was great!

Mr. McGoo had worked his magic to get the tickets for free, which totally spoke to my frugal/don't spend money we don't have to mindset these days, and therefore it allowed me to FULLY enjoy the event without subconscious stress or guilt of money spent. We had a blast. The first match was Andy Roddick and an Australian Lleyton Hewitt. The entire place was cheering f or the TX native, Roddick, but I cheered for Hewitt. Besides being the "underdog" as far as the cheers were concerned, Hewitt also wore his had backwards, something he does for every match, and that in itself reminded me of my hubby... no worries for what is "supposed to be", just walking to his own comfortable beat. Did I mention he had nice calves too? Anyway... the men put on a great show, with Roddick barely screeching out in the 3rd set to win. After that match concluded we stayed for one set of the second match between American, Michael Russell and a South American guy who was like 6 feet 7 or something crazy . Russell is a little guy, but strong and feisty on the court. I loved watching his personally shine throughout the first set. Mr. McGoo made a good point about him, seems like he hasn't forgotten where he came from. Unfortunately, we later found out that Russell fell to the South American.


After our tennis adventures, we headed to Swanky's Taco Shop to hear a good friend of ours perform in a makeshift (really talented) band that was playing the Weezer blue album from cover to cover at the taco shop. We arrived a bit before 11pm and stayed through the end, a little past midnight. It was some rocking music and nice to visit with friends for a quick bit.


Saturday - Eventful
Saturday morning I had planned on working out before meeting a girlfriend for coffee at 915am... unfortunately this lady cannot handle a 130am bedtime and still get up the next morning in time to workout before the day begins. I guess I could have, but I would not have been pleasant to be around the rest of the day.

So the day began with breakfast and coffee at Panera Bread with a girlfriend. I then came back to do some chores around the house. Around lunch time, I went to a subcommittee meeting for The Forsaken Children and then grocery shopping there after. After visiting my not so favorite place, the grocery store, I came home to continue house chores with the hubby. We prepared dinner too and were able to relax a bit before welcoming our guests around 630pm. From then until 1130pm we enjoyed wonderful company and great conversation. It was great getting to know this couple better and I'm pretty sure we could have talked into all hours of the night had we not realized the time.

After saying goodnight to our guests and cleaning up the dishes, Mr. McGoo and I went over our Sunday School study that Mr. McGoo would be leading the next morning. He had prepped throughout the week, but wanted to run the lesson by me to get my input along the way. Finally once the morning hours had arrived, almost 130am again, we found our bed and let our heads hit the pillows for slumber.



Sunday - Rest
I love Sundays. Forget that it's the day before Monday and I think Sundays might be one of my favorite days. I know it definitely has something to do with the fact that I love my church and I love the community I have at church, specifically our Connecting Point class (Sunday School). We are blessed to be part of a special group, and Sunday mornings I look forward to being at church. This Sunday was no different, we began by heading to our Connecting Point class (called Firm Foundations), which Mr. McGoo led this week. After class we headed to what we call "big church".

Although we had great intentions of going on a walk with our furbabies and enjoying the beautiful weather, upon arriving home after church and after eating lunch, the impact of our late nights began to set in... we were exhausted. So with the help of NASCAR's Daytona 500, Mr. McGoo and I enjoyed a long nap Sunday afternoon that prepared us for the week ahead.

It was a good and adventurous weekend indeed!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Marriage Builder

I meet once a month with a special small group of women. Thanks to Mr. McGoo's suggested "name", we are now called the "Jock Strap club". Our goal in meeting once a month is to ultimately learn how to better support our husbands, to continue to become more Godly women/wives as we go, to keep one another accountable, and to have community with each other. The "support" your husbands part is where Mr. McGoo ran with the jock strap name. Considering the athletic background I come from, I think it's hilarious and ironically very fitting, so it has stuck!

Needless to say, this group is a special thing. I am so blessed, challenged, and encouraged to be a part of it... and hopefully the other ladies feel the same. The group was birthed out of one of the ladies' desire to share what she had been taught and shown by another lady, a mentor of sorts. Through that beginning we began to meet once a month... since that time we've continued to meet regularly and have completed two book studies. Hopefully our hubbies have seen fruit from this endeavor.

As a group, we read a book together, often about marriage, and come together once a month to talk about what we read, how it impacted us, where we see success and where we see failures in our own actions, responses, and experiences with our mates. It's a time of openness and honesty and the more we come together the more we realize that THIS IS REAL LIFE and this is the life we were called to lead together, not alone, but with like minded believers encouraging us along the way!

The last several months, we've been working through Larry Crabb's The Marriage Builder. Last night we were able to meet and wrap up this study. In this book, Dr. Crabb breaks his teachings up into two main parts:

  • PART I: The Goal of Marriage
    • Chapter 1: Oneness - What Is It and Why It Is Important
    • Chapter 2: Spirit Oneness - Who Meets My Needs?
    • Chapter 3: Soul Oneness - I. Manipulation or Ministry?
    • Chapter 4: Soul Oneness - II. Communication, or "What Do I Do When I'm Angry?"
    • Chapter 5: Body Oneness - Physical Pleasure with Personal Meaning
  • PART II: Building the Foundation
    • Chapter 6: Building Block 1 - GRACE
    • Chapter 7: Building Block 2 - COMMITMENT
    • Chapter 8: Building Block 3 - ACCEPTANCE

Although I read this book during my engagement with Mr. McGoo, reading it again after almost four years of marriage really brings a different and more realistic perspective to the study! The entire book has been impacting and challenging... a call for us to step up to the plate for what God desires in our marriages, rather than sitting back and doing things as the world alludes to reality - often a false reality.

Last night we specifically focused on the closing chapter to the book, ACCEPTANCE, which ultimately talks about FORGIVENESS. It was a great night of fellowship, deep discussion, and conviction of how God calls us to do things differently from what the World says.

I'll leave you with a quote from the chapter that rocked all of us when reading The Marriage Builder by Larry Crabb...
"We must reflect on the degree to which we have been forgiven. In Matthew 18:21-35, our Lord commands us to forgive each other. The theme of the passage is that forgiveness of others should flow naturally from an awareness and appreciation of how much God has forgiven us. We must never demand better treatment on grounds of what we deserve; our lives merit eternal punishment. Yet God has forgiven us and granted us eternal joy. Reflection on the sins that God has forgiven must provide context for memories of our partners' offensive behavior. Only one who appreciates God's forgiveness can truly forgive others."

Friday, February 18, 2011

TFC Blog: Mr McGoo's First Post

My Wrecked Plans: God’s Eye Opener

February 19, 2011
- by Kelly McGugan, Sports Ministries

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature,
because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16: 7 (NASB)

My plan was wrecked.


TO READ Mr. McGoo's full blog post go to: http://theforsakenchildren.org/blog/ 
or click on the blog title, "My Wrecked Plans: God's Eye Opener" above.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Cycle Continues

You've heard me say it more than once, good intentions but poor follow through... the story of my life when it comes to my regular workout routine. Ever since the departure of organized competitive athletics, staying on a regular workout routine has been a roller coaster ride for me. It's silly, really, because I love how I feel when I'm working out. In addition, along with my physical discipline, I become more disciplined in all areas of my life when working out regularly. It's crazy that this is not a normal - ALWAYS - aspect to my life.

But here we are once again... I'm on the positive side of this cycle...the workouts have begun again. This week was the official start to the routine, although I have had a few incidences of working out since the start of the new year.

So far this week has included:
  • Monday - Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred (before work)
  • Tuesday - Biggest Loser on Wii Yoga (during lunch break)
  • Wednesday - rest
  • Thursday - Biggest Loser on Wii Full Body Workout (during lunch break)
  • Friday - Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred (during lunch break)
Hopefully Saturday I'll get a "run" in at the gym and rest again on Sunday... we'll see how I do.

Surprisingly however, the Full Body Workout today on the Biggest Loser Wii was pretty intense, and it was only intermediate or beginner. This girl certainly worked up a sweat and had her heart rate up... could be that I'm out of shape, but we will not go there!

Today's workout was 2 circuits worth, 23 minutes total. A few examples of exercises were: jumping jacks, lunges, squats, side steps, planks, push ups, abdominal work, etc. A perfect addition to my lunch break, and hopefully something that will give me that extra boost of energy I need to attend class tonight.

Although I chose Bob as my trainer, here is an example of what the screen looks like during the workout if Jillian was your choice.


So the cycle continues... we'll see how I do.

Monday, February 14, 2011

He loves

Got some pink tulips from Mr. McGoo today (actually was surprised with them last night, but today is the occasion). They are beautiful and perfect! I'm so thankful to be blessed with a Godly man that loves me and cares for me! I love you, Mr. McGoo!!!! Happy Valentine's Day!

But today, as I reflect on the blessing of my mate and the amazing journey God has taken us on the past five years (this is our fifth Valentine's Day together), I am reminded that as much as Mr. McGoo loves me, he is still capable of letting me down. He's human. I'm human. We can choose to be selfish and not put the other first. Our pride is able to get in the way if we do not rely on the strength of God daily, minute by minute to put our spouse before ourselves.

However, there is someone in my life that will NEVER let me down. He's the source of my love and gives me the strength to love Mr. McGoo and people around me in a way that is outside of myself. And that love comes from Jesus Christ.

This Valentine's Day, may you reflect on the words below, as I have, and be reminded that Jesus loves you. You are NEVER too far away for His outstretched hand. He will always love. Always be faithful. He will NEVER let you down!

1 John 4:7-21
 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
 13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
   God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. 

A fitting song for today is below... "How He Loves Us" - take a few moments, watch and listen and remember today that the greatest love of all, the love of Jesus Christ is ours to hold onto today and forever!!



Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Father just words

"So High"
By Jeff Johnson


These are just words, and are not enough to contain You
Jesus just words, and can never suffice to acclaim you

Pre-Chorus
Father just words, and I have so few
I run out too fast, to speak them to you
Father just words, and I have so few
I run out too fast, to speak them to you

Chorus
You are indescribable You are beyond expression
And I run out of words for you I can't think that high
So hear my spirit groan in me
A painful sence of urgency
To tell You that you are to me, so high

These are just words, and are not enough to contain You
Jesus just words, and can never suffice to acclaim you

Chorus

You are so high, You are so high, You are so high
You are so high, You are so high, You are so high

Friday, February 11, 2011

TFC Blog: New Writers, More Posts

I have the honor of being one of a few new bloggers for The Forsaken Children (TFC) blog. Lots of things are in the works for TFC this year, but for now all I can share is that there are upgrades coming to the blog... very exciting stuff. You won't want to miss it! All of it will continue to help further the ministry God is doing through The Forsaken Children: Lasting Hope for Ethiopia.

The blog will now post more frequently, so ADD IT TO YOUR MUST READS. We should have at least weekly posts on the blog, maybe even more with a plethora of subject matters... Mr. McGoo is a new blogger for the site too!

So without further ado... here are sneak peaks to the most recent posts by Mrs. McGoo - you'll have to go to the TFC site to read the rest. Be sure to leave a comment on the TFC site if the posts lead you to a comment or two!

Small Investment: Huge Returns

February 10, 2011
“I experienced first hand that a small financial contribuiton produces large results when placed in God’s hands.” – Heather McGugan

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Proverbs 31:8-9

http://theforsakenchildren.org/small-investment-huge-returns/

God Multiplies

February 4, 2011
By Heather McGugan
Heather McGugan (a.k.a. Mr. and Mrs. McGoo) have been involved with The Forsaken Children since mid-2010. It hasn’t taken long to get them hooked – Kelly serves as Sports Ministry Intern for TFC and Heather is a board member. Although [...]

http://theforsakenchildren.org/god-multiplies/

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Something New: Spinach Chicken Alfredo

Thanks to the Slow and Savory Supper recipes that a friend shared with me from a blog she regularly reads (I would give you a link, but I do not remember the site), I was able to try a new recipe in the crock pot tonight. Enjoy... we did.

Spinach Chicken Alfredo
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 8 ounces frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 4oz can mushrooms, drained
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 T corn starch
  • 1 8 oz brick low-fat cream cheese
  • 12 oz whole wheat pasta, cooked according to package directions (store in fridge)
What To Do:
  1. Place chicken, mushrooms and spinach in a greased slow cooker. 
  2. Mix chicken broth, parmesan cheese, and spices. Pour over chicken mixture
  3. Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours.
  4. Stir in cream cheese, until smooth.
  5. Add pasta, and cook for 10 minutes or until heated through.

Oh and the Mr. and I had another first this evening... made bread in our bread maker. Mr. McGoo owned the bread maker before we were ever together, but this was the first time for us to make anything in it... only took us almost 5 years. ha!

Measuring Up?

Very fitting words I needed to hear... thought someone else might too... quoted from a blog I read...

Don't Try To Measure Up ...

It is a nasty cycle trying to measure up all day long as a wife, mother, friend, daughter, or sister ... I have given myself permission to NOT get it right all day long EVERY DAY ... There are some days when I am a really good wife, but not such a great mom.   Weeks when I am good friend, but stink as a wife and then there is the rare moment when I do a pretty good job with all the titles God has called me to be ...

It is funny when people ask, HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL ...?  Well, I really don't very often ... I am a type A personality, so organizing and check lists are my DREAMLAND, but that doesn't always work in the moment ... And I have decided to just laugh it off when things don't go my way or I lose my sanity !!!! hee hee

Give yourself permission to FAIL because it is in those moments when God can do a great work in you ... It is like you give HIM permission to mold you again into the person HE wants you to be ... ... always check in on how [you] are doing in [your] marriages and [your] relationship with the LORD ... These two relationships are the corner stones for all the rest ...

So always remember on the days when it just isn't clicking don't hold on to that feeling ... Open up your heart and let the LORD re-direct you and refine you ... It is important to feel defeated at times in our flesh ... It puts ETERNAL things in perspective ...

You are fearfully and wonderfully made according to scripture, so if the God of the Universe made you then HE can use you just the way your are !!!

... I am real, I am a mess, I am normal, I am crazy and so much more ... I just want to be a vessel for God and I know you do too, so DON'T TRY TO MEASURE UP to anyone, but the person God has called you to be ...
That last line really summed it up for me... who am I trying to be anyway? Even if I attempted to be the best wife ever (trust me, I'm far from it!!!) without God and pursuing that end for the right reasons (to minister to and love my husband, and to glorify God), it's pointless anyway. Thankfully I have a Savior and a husband that loves me for me. A reminder again that it's not about me anyway. Thank you Lord!

Phil 1:6 
"being confident of this, 
that he who began a good work in you 
will carry it on to completion 
until the day of Christ Jesus."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Memphis SNOW

SNOW. We've had it more frequently than I've ever seen in Memphis, usually not much, but it has fallen more often this year than ever before. Today I actually took the time to take some photos and video of the snow and activities. The thought and especially the sight of snow sends Memphis, TN into a frenzy.

My drive to and from work usually takes about 30 minutes.... today however, it took 1 hour, 45 minutes to make my way home and once I arrived, I was unable to pull into the driveway to the combination of the slope of the drive and the multiple inches of snow accumulated... I slid down every time I tried, so the hubby did it for me... he drove up the neighbors driveway to get up and went through the "grass" between our driveway and theirs to park in the appropriate spot. Took some photos with my phone on my way home of the view (below). Saw lots of folks slip, slide, and bump into one another on my way, but thankfully I made it safe and sound... slow and steady won the race!

2:05 pm - Collierville Town Square Area
3:35pm - Estate and Park Ave - Car on ride slid into the curb

Mr. McGoo likes the snow, I on the other hand like how it looks, but rather not have anything to do with it... I told Mr. McGoo today that when we have kiddos he'll have to be the one out playing (shouldn't be a hard stretch for him) and I'll just take some photos and make my way back into the warm house to prepare hot chocolate for their arrival back indoors. Good plan, huh?

Shot from Mr. McGoo with his clever quote from Dex: "And to think I could have been pulling a sled in this..."
5:20 pm - McGoo house snow measurement.... 3.75 inches
The furbabies enjoyed some time in the snow. Dexter loves eating it and running in it. I guess Kodi could take it or leave it. We took some videos of the boys once I got home... most will not care for these videos, mostly because I'm horrible at videography it seems and also because all of them are of our dogs enjoying the snow but I couldn't help myself since they're MY babies... enjoy if you dare.

video video
  video
  video

Now that I've completed some necessary homework, I'm enjoying the rest of the evening with my boys... McGoo style chili is on the stove thanks to Mr. McGoo, Mmmm, Mmmm (he made dinner last night too...yeah, he's a keeper). Hope this posts finds you warm and toasty tonight.

Yummy McGoo Homemade Hot Chocolate courtesy of my hubby!
On a totally unrelated note (because I'm waiting for these videos to load onto blogger)... The game show "A Minute To Win It" is on the tube... that show, although I'm entertained by it, totally stresses me out. What about you? ha!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Furbabies

Haven't shown off our furbabies in awhile and realized we had a couple new photos of our boys... so here they are in all their splendor. We love our furbabies and are thankful for them.

Ready for some warmer weather so I can be a better momma and take them on some regular walks soon. I know they'd appreciate that change of pace too!

Lazy Evening with the furbabies

Dexter and Kodi - McGoo Furbabies

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pouring on the Pounds?

A friend shared this article with me today... take a read and definitely watch the ad at the end of this post. As a "drinker", I consume more beverages than I often eat. Always a beverage nearby (water, coffee, hot chocolate, sodas, juices, etc, etc). I definitely need to do better about my choices of beverages. I love the quote in this article that says,
"It does make sense to target sugary drinks as a behavior modification and encourage people to have something else instead," she said. "It seems to be one of the easiest changes people can make in terms of the overall calories they're taking in."
Maybe this article will also assist you in making better choices in the things we put into the body God has blessed us with. And even though Paul is talking specifically about sexual purity when in this section of the Bible, I'm prone to believe that it also applies to our health...1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)- "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."


By Catherine Donaldson-Evans

An overweight man is shown drinking a bottle of soda in the morning, a sweet tea at lunch, a giant frothy iced latte in the afternoon and more soda with dinner. The number of packets of sugar in each heavily sweetened drink appears, ending with the staggering total of 93 packets gulped down that day.

But then the PSA abruptly shifts gears, going into shocker mode. An obese man, presumably the same person later in life after he has gotten diabetes, is seen riding down the street in a motorized wheelchair. Images of blackened, gangrene-infested toes and the man being resuscitated after a heart attack flash across the screen.

The jarring ad ends with the warning: "Don't drink yourself sick" and asks, "Are you pouring on the pounds?"

Is this what it takes to get through to people about the dangers of sugar-laden drinks? The New York City Health Department thinks it is.

"Too many sugar-sweetened drinks are fueling the obesity epidemic," Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said in a statement. "Obesity and the serious health consequences that result are making hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers sick or disabled. This new campaign shows how easy it is to drink a staggering amount of sugar in one day without realizing it."

The Health Department says the graphic ad intentionally tries to frighten people into curbing their consumption of over-sweetened drinks and adopting better eating habits.

Nutritionist Megan Fendt of the Gerald J. Friedman Diabetes Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center said such shock ads can have mixed results.

"Scare tactics are going to work for some people," she told AOL Health. "Other people are going to totally ignore it and shut it off."

Fendt believes the Health Department does have the right idea when it comes to raising awareness about the health hazards of overly sweetened drinks.

"It does make sense to target sugary drinks as a behavior modification and encourage people to have something else instead," she said. "It seems to be one of the easiest changes people can make in terms of the overall calories they're taking in."

But the PSA's depiction of blackened, gangrenous toes as a consequence of diabetes is questionable, since the condition is so rare.

"Those [effects] are not that common. They're usually very end-stage," Fendt said. "Those are generally in people with very, very poor control and not a lot of follow-up. It's not like you get diabetes and you wake up a day later and your toes fall off."

Heart attacks like the ones shown in the ad more frequently befall those with the disease, she said.

More than 700,000 New Yorkers currently have diabetes and more than a million suffer from a condition known as pre-diabetes, according to the Health Department. The blood-sugar illness -- which has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers -- leads to about 1,700 deaths, 2,800 amputations and 22,000 hospitalizations just in New York City alone, the news release said.

It isn't the first time the city's health officials caused a stir with a public service announcement. Last month, an AIDS ad showing explicit photos of anal cancer sparked controversy.

The diabetes campaign was launched on Monday and will run through February 22.

Check out the full PSA.

One Less - the least of these

Heard this song for the first time today. The lyrics are beautiful - be sure to listen below. Although Mr. McGoo and I have not been called to adopt (at this time or never, who knows what or when God will lead), we've been led to care for the least of these through giving financially and being fully involved physically with The Forsaken Children (TFC) ministry in Ethiopia. TFC works to care for the least of these in Ethiopia, the street children. Daily the ministry strives to care for the street children and the community around its compound, working to be the hands and feet of Christ while giving them lasting hope.

You see, too often as believers we either ignore the scriptures calling for us to do something, to care, to give, or to share our lives with someone else. Or we believe the lie that the problem is too big and my "help" would not be significant enough to matter so we stand idle. For too often I fell into the latter category - I felt the pull of what God was telling me to do, but felt trapped and insignificant in how to do so. The thing is, God has shown me over the last year and half that my "little" offering is all that He's calling me to... just like when Jesus took the small offering from the little boy of bread and fish to feed the multitude (John 6), He blessed the boys obedience and took the small amount of bread and two fish to make a whole lot! God simply wants our obedience, do our part, answer His calling, and allow Him to turn our little into what He plans.

Bring your small loaves of bread and two fish today to the Lord... whether that means answering the call to adopt one child personally, supporting someone that is on that journey, or by partnering financially (even $5 a month makes a difference) and physically with an organization like The Forsaken Children that are daily working to provide and care for the least of these... bring what you have and let God take it from there!



"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
James 1:27 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Guilty Pleasure

The hubby and I were able to visit with my brother and sister in law (Mr. McGoo's brother and his lovely wife) and our niece on Sunday evening. We learned that Mr. McGoo's brother received a jerky maker for Christmas (totally up his alley) and is now making homemade beef jerky on his own. We were able to sample some of his creations and he even sent Mr. McGoo home with a few.

During this discussion and seeing how the jerky maker simply took raw meet and heated it while pulling out all the liquid within the meat, I came to the realization that I had never really known where jerky came from or what it was made of, just something I never thought about.

I knew I had a guilty pleasure, LOVING SLIM JIM's, but I had never really thought much about the tasty treat to acknowledge what it was made of and possibly how bad it is for me... maybe that's why I never thought about it, I was afraid of the results.

Anyway, today I did a little research on my guilty pleasure. The history of the "slim jim" is actually pretty interesting... see...


Overview

Slim Jim is a convenient, one-of-a-kind snack with the intense flavor and snap that consumers love. Slim Jim's unique combination of spice and attitude is captured in its advertising, sponsorships, and promotions. Slim Jim is the No. 1 brand of meat sticks and is available in a variety of flavors of meat sticks, beef jerky, beef steak, and beef and cheese. Snap into a Slim Jim! 

History

Adolph Levis sold pickles, relishes, sausages, and other popular snacks and condiments from his basement in Philadelphia during the Great Depression. But these foods just weren't the easy, spicy treat that bar patrons craved. Levis experimented with different ways to serve sausages, culminating one day in 1928 with the development of a cured beef sausage that would curb consumers' cravings. Printed on the jars that the beef sticks were sold in was a picture of a tall, elegant man complete with top hat and cane. Levis named him "Slim Jim," and the now-famous spicy snack was born. Early advertisements for Slim Jim touted "the ready-to-eat spiced sausage treat" that was packed in cellophane and sold for a dime.




I love how the name originated. ha!

So I checked the nutrition facts on my guilty pleasure treat... turns out it's about 3.5 grams of fat and 40 calories - however, as long as I only eat one of them instead of the 4 sticks per serving size, I'm looking good on my daily values of fat, cholesterol, sodium, and carbohydrates. I'm only in trouble if I consume 4 at a time, then I'm over my limits for fat and sodium. Also, I confirmed, the slim jim is made of actual beef - it's the first ingredient listed on the nutrition label, and I learned in nutrition class that means it is the most plentiful of all ingredients listed. The only disturbing this is that the second most used ingredient is "mechanically separated chicken" - huh....

Regardless, I've introduced you to my guilty pleasure, the Slim Jim.
Eat happy, my friends. I enjoyed one today (sorry, dad, if your stash is depleting sooner than expected)!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Power of Acknowledgement

Do you ever have days, weeks, or just times in general when you're beat up by the enemy? When you feel a little overwhelmed by all the things you do? You feel like maybe it wouldn't matter if you did it or not? Or no one cares?

I get this on occasion, challenged by the enemy. And at that moment I have a choice: believe the lie and be beaten down or rebuke the lie and choose to replace the lie with the truth.

You see, Mr. McGoo and I have an interesting and busy set up and lifestyle these days - he does school full time plus is the manager for the U of Memphis men's soccer team with typical life thrown in there, and I work full time (40 hours a week) and go to nursing school at night. Although my husband regularly works very hard to assist me in household responsibilities (he's "that guy", as UFrank would call him from the jewelry commercials)... The enemy's greatest trick with me and attempt to mess with my marriage is whispering the lie to me that I do SO much, I do everything, my husband does not see, does not care, does not do, etc, etc, etc. - anyone know what I mean by this? Hear those creeping thoughts in your head?

I repeat, at that moment I have a choice: believe the lie and be beaten down or rebuke the lie and choose to replace the lie with the truth. When I'm strong enough and on guard enough to be able to do the latter, the enemy becomes silent, but when I choose to buy into the enemy's bull... I can create a negative, miserable environment around myself.

With all this in mind (kind of back history above), I was reminded last night about the POWER OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT. The power of acknowledging the things people do and have done, whether for ourselves or those around us.

Last night I was able to experience/receive the power of acknowledgment when my handsome hubby stopped his studying to ask me to come to him. I was in the middle of cooking dinner, but he told me to head that way anyway. When I got to him, a little reluctant because "I was in the middle of something", I received a wonderful hug and words I needed to hear at that moment. He told me how thankful he was for me and for all that I do for him and our furbabies (the boys, as we call them all together). In short, he acknowledged me. He acknowledged that he saw me, that he knew what I was doing and had done, and he let me know. There is power in that! It spoke to my heart and will give me the extra ability to fight off the enemies lies next time he tries to get me to believe my husband does not see, does not care, or whatever.

As I began thinking about the act of acknowledging or thanking someone else, I came to the start of the book of Philippians. Paul begins his letter to Philippi by introducing himself, defining who he was writing to, and then by acknowledging the people at Philippi. He says, (Philippians 1:3-6) "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."  What an acknowledgment, as Paul tells the people at Philippi that he sees them, thinks of them, and is thankful for them and the work they have already done! There is power in acknowledgment.

So the question is, who do you need to acknowledge today? Who do you see and can take the time to let them know by acknowledging and thanking them today for all that they do?

Now that I recognize the power of receiving such acknowledgment, I want to do better myself, working to  acknowledge and thank those around me for the work that they do. In the fast paced world in which we live, full of technology, I think we too often forget to take a moment to acknowledge one another - bless someone today by taking the extra time!