Thursday: Is there anything better than getting baked goods, like homemade banana bread, in the mail? I bought two loaves, one with chocolate chips and one without, in an online bake sale and had forgotten about it so it was an even sweeter surprise when it arrived! The chocolate chip (not pictured because I totally ate it all before I even thought to take one) makes a yummy breakfast, especially spread with peanut butter!
Friday: Life has been chewing me up this week. First I find out that in order to keep my job, I’m going to have to pass a test I already (barely) passed in order to get it seven years ago. Tests really stress me out, so needless to say, I’m not thrilled about this. Then on Friday, a situation arose with someone close to me that put me over the edge. I was a bit of a wreck on Friday, so I was hugely thankful for the human kindness that helped me through. While crying at work and after asking for prayers on Facebook, I received a lot of it firsthand. As the kind words and prayers poured in from these dear souls, God comforted me and gave me the strength I needed to drive to this person’s house and have a heart-to-heart. While I wouldn’t consider the situation completely resolved, it is much improved and I’m no longer constantly worrying about this person. So I’m also thankful for that!
Saturday: 11 years of wedded bliss with my soul mate, and cheap fun! We celebrated our anniversary by doing all the free stuff that comes with a $5 River Festival button and did paddle boats, kayaking (Dennis went overboard twice and gave everyone a good laugh–see pictures of that here), and saw the Marshall Tucker Band live! Not bad for $5!
Sunday: Aldi! It’s our first stop for groceries because it’s got the best deals. I remember back when we both worked for the Church of Scientology and were dirt poor, we could live off of $15 a week in groceries from Aldi! We make ten times more than we did back then, but Aldi is still a lifesaver when it comes to our tight grocery budget.
Monday: Books, magazine articles, and Weight Watchers often warns people to watch out for salads at restaurants because although they seem diet-friendly, too often they are fat bombs in disguise. Well, I’m hugely thankful for this means of eating a large portion of fat without going (too far) over my daily Points Plus allowance, thank you very much! Using lettuce and other vegetables as the base of a meal makes for a huge, satisfying plateful of food that is very little calories, so I’m totally cool with drowning it in cheese, beans, eggs, full-fat dressing, nuts, whatever strikes my fancy. If it weren’t for salads, my fat intake would come mainly from the butter in my weekly dessert indulgences, so I’m thankful for these beautiful plates of healthful, satisfying, fatty goodness!
Tuesday: checking off most of my to-do list! I have a small planner that I carry in my purse, and I leave it open at my desk at work so that I can add things to each day’s to-do list as I think of them. By the time I come home, the day is crammed with things to do and usually I just put them off until the next day, and then the next, etc. Today I started my day with a prayer of thanks for the day itself, and asked God for help in using it to its full potential. By the time I went to bed, I’d made more checkmarks than I have in a long time. I really love seeing those checkmarks!
Wednesday: Finally! I finally did a good job teaching the toddler Bible class. Not that I was bad before, but I just wasn’t comfortable and knew I could do better. I did tonight! God gets the glory here as well, because both Dennis and I prayed about it and I know He was there with me because it was so different. The children really listened, they didn’t get bored or frustrated, they were adorably polite (plenty of please and thank yous!), they participated with relish, and I think that I got through to them. Here are the cutie patooties I had in class tonight, working on building arks (the focus of the lesson tonight was Noah and the ark, although since the blocks were out, we also went into the tower of Babel a bit):
You can see how cramped we are and why I was so thankful a couple weeks ago that we’re moving to a new and bigger building at the end of the month!
Oh wait! Can I be thankful for two things on Wednesday? Because I’m also thankful that I met my 5% goal at Weight Watchers today! I’m hoping to be up to ten pounds lost by next week. (I started going eight weeks ago so I’m averaging about a pound a week.) I love Weight Watchers!
OK, your turn! Anything you’re particularly thankful for right now?
I am so thankful for this wonderful head cold that i have right now. HAHA, NOT! Ummm.. let me see, i am thankful for getting most of the garden in before it got scorching hot and that we are fu=inally going to dads on Sunday!
I LOVE your salad photos!!! UGH!
I hit my 5% this week too!! WooHoo!
I love the photos of yourself being goofy, you always make me laugh :) Happy anniversary and I’m glad you had some good, cheap fun….that’s the best kind! Just checked out those photos, Dennis flipping twice and being rescued was too funny :) I hope you do well on your work test, I’m sure you will! Congrats on the weight loss too, you’re doing awesome :) Myself, I bet you can guess what I’m thankful for….being in OK with my soldier!! Off to graduation in a few minutes…yay!! :)
Awesome job getting your 5%! And I love the pictures, especially the first one! They’re great!
I love how you celebrated your anniversary! I find the best things I do with my husband are cheap and fun, simply because we get to be together and laugh a lot.
Happy anniversary! Congrats on your weight loss! And that first picture of the post–AWESOME. It gave me a good laugh, especially because it’s totally something I would pull in front of a camera, heh heh.
I’m thankful for prayer these days–the fact that we are supposed to pray about everything and on every occasion–no thing is too big or too small. =) I’m finding great comfort in talking to God these days, and ideally my whole life will be a constant dialogue with Him.
I am thankful for having learned how to take a test or rather, how to get beyond the feeling that the test is taking me over the edge!!! And your score on the test will be much higher, too. I can guarantee it.
There are 4 key things to do… and you have to MAKE YOURSELF do them because anxiety will be pulling you to race through the test. That will definitely lower your score and will not be an accurate reflection of your ability and knowledge.
KEY #1: When you get the “Start” signal, put your hands in your lap, take a slow deep breath, let it out slowly, and do that again. This signals your body and brain that you are in control, not your anxiety. It won’t even take 1 minute but it will be effective. Remember to remind yourself to breathe deeply occasionally during the exam period, too, as anxiety propels us to breathe shallowly. And then you don’t get the oxygen that your brain needs.
KEY #2: Read every question 3 times before you choose or formulate an answer. Three times. I repeat, 3 times. You will be amazed at what you pick up in the question by the 3rd time, things that you didn’t spot or understand the 1st and 2nd times.
KEY # 3: Always look for and pay great attention to qualifying words and phrases such as “Never, Always, Best, First, Second, Last, If _______ happens then the next step is ________, etc. ” And then double check your understanding of the question as you read it the 2nd and 3rd time.
These will help you answer the question that is being asked, NOT the one that your anxiety-riddled brain thinks is the one…… which almost always isn’t the actual question. And it really doesn’t take that much longer than just flying through the questions. And after you follow the 3 times rule for a number of questions you will find that your anxiety settles down as you take control of the test.
KEY #4: Before the exam starts, confirm how much time you have for the test and plan accordingly to be half-way finished shortly before you are half-way through your alloted time. This will give you some time to go back over difficult questions that you have marked on the test or noted on a separate piece of paper. HOWEVER, do NOT change an answer once it is marked unless you are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN (after having read the question 3 times again) that the answer is incorrect. It is well known that the first answer (especially if the question was read carefully) has a greater likelihood of being correct than a changed answer.
Let us know how the test goes. I’m looking forward to hearing that you passed. I can guarantee that you will use your knowledge and ability well if you follow the guidelines. They helped me easily pass licensing exams for nursing and social work, multiple exams in classes, and comprehensive exams for two master’s degrees. It’s not that I’m smarter than anyone, it’s just that I read and understand what is being asked in the questions.
I hope it is OK that I posted this info, even though it’s not food related. But I wanted to be of help, if I could.
Liz, thank you so much for taking the time to type this out for me. OF COURSE it is SO OK that you did. My blog is no longer solely food related and even if it was, I welcome any comments you might have! The type of test I’m taking pretty much rules out me doing the first two, as it is timed and there is very little time per section, so little in fact that I’m practicing filling in circles quickly to prepare. A minute lost would be detrimental. With this test, the more circles you fill in, even if incorrect, the better. The incorrect answers are not counted against you but if you take a guess, you at least have a chance of getting more points. It is sort of like an IQ test, with sections on vocab/grammar, ability to follow directions, math, and putting things in order. I’ve taken the test three times now, as in the past I thought I might be able to become permanent if I got a higher score, so I know what to expect and I have materials to study so I can prepare. I’m studying and preparing, and that’s all I can do. The last time I took it I got a very nice score but unfortunately it is no longer on record and I have to take it again. Knowing that I have gotten a good score once gives me hope that I can repeat that. Thanks again, #3 and #4 will be quite useful.
This post makes me happy. I cracked up when I saw the first picture, and do I dare say I wanted to hug you because you look so adorable and happy. :-)
I’m also so glad to hear that you’re finally feeling comfortable with bible class…it’s not easy, esp with toddlers. God is using you greatly, as there is no better way to serve Him then to care for His little ones!
Also, CONGRATULATIONS on meeting your goal…and happy anniversary!!!
Congrats on 5% and happy anniversary! I’m sure that after working at your job for so long you will do fine on your test:-)
Thanks! Unfortunately the test has nothing to do with my job. It’s basically an IQ test and is not based on anything that I do as an employee. I don’t need to do math or even have basic grammar skills to do my job. I was pretty upset about it at first, but God has helped me to accept that this is the way it is and I can either prepare and do my best, or I can pout about it and get nowhere. I’m choosing the former.
congrats all round!!! Love this post, Veronica!
Food in the mail is awesome! Nice on the anniversary, sounds like fun!
LOVE those salads!
LOL. That first pic is why I adore you so much!