My Last Weight Loss Update

Last April I went to a concert. Before the show we had a wonderful Italian dinner where someone took our picture. When I saw that picture I was shocked! “There is no way that I am that fat!” that is what I told myself. Here is that picture, remember I am in Purple.

4-2-08-at-my-heaviest

I joined Weight Watchers. I started working the plan and the weight started to come off. It was amazing learning about portion size. I would say that that was the first and most important thing I learned. Here I am today, March 4, 2009.

down-55-lbs-3-4-09-last-weight-loss-update

I am 55 pounds lighter. I still have 5 pounds I would like to lose. I also need to work on getting some tone. I hate exercise. Recently when I was in Oklahoma I got to go jean shopping. I bought 2 pairs of size 12s. When I started losing weight I was in a 20. Now I know some of you are 3,5,7,8s. but for me, size 12 is perfect, for now. While I was in Oklahoma I was lucky enough to score an appointment to get my hair done. Ali Ruhman (she is one of the Many Meadows) did a beautiful job with my fried and ruined hair. If you are Looking for a great stylist you should get ahold of her. Here is a close-up of my hair. I love it!! Thank you Ali! I wish I was close enough to always have you do it!!!

close-up-of-hair-3-4-09

I would like to express my Thanks for all of you that Encouraged Me, Supported Me, Loved Me and Prayed for Me through this process. You all are amazing!!

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Published in: on March 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm  Comments (13)  

Thursday Thought

I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless.
For if keeping the law could make us right with God,
then there was no need for Christ to Die.
-Galatians 2:21

Everyday I am blessed by His grace.
I have done nothing to deserve it.
I try not to take it for granted.
I am humbled that He takes the time to comfort me.
I am grateful that He has opened the line of communication between Hope and I.
I am amazed at the work He is doing in both of us.
Thank You Lord for the gift of Jesus.
I am sorry for the PAIN my sin has caused others including you.

Published in: on February 25, 2009 at 9:57 pm  Comments (5)  

I Have a Mentor

I have a Mentor. She lives 1,803 miles away. This makes it a little hard to get together for coffee but I know she is there if I need her.

My Mentor is a Wife, Mom, a Mimi (grandma) and a friend to many. I don’t think she realizes how much she has helped me become a more godly woman, better mother and wife and more tolerant of things I have no control over. She is Beautiful, Strong, Fun and Smart. I met her in person last August. I stayed in her home, which gave me an incredible opportunity to observe, question and follow her around.

I posted earlier in the week about some stuff that we are going through with our daughter and text messaging. While I was with my friend last August she took me to a Christian store, “The Mardels”. She showed me a book she was going to start studying with her boys. Eyes Wide Open-Avoiding the Heartbreak of Emotional Promiscuity Every night Hope and I have been reading a chapter and discussing it, in-line with scripture. This book has really touched my heart and reminded me how fragile a teenagers heart really is. I don’t really know of too many things that bring teenage girls closer to their mothers but this book is doing it for us.

robin

My Mentor is Robin Meadows. The above photo is of Robin with Dirk her husband. Their Blog is Many Meadows. I know alot of you already know her but for those of you that don’t go visit her blog.

Robin, thank you so much for your guidance, leadership, friendship, prayer and most of all your love. God has truly blessed me with you.

Published in: on February 25, 2009 at 12:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Sex and Tech

After writing my last post regarding text messaging and my teenage daughter, I started looking at research. It was quite overwhelming. I wanted to share some of the statistics I found. This survey was conducted by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. You can read the entire study here.

How many teens say they have sent/posted nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves?
~ 20% of teens overall
~ 22% of teen girls
~ 18% of teen boys

How many teens are sending or posting sexually suggestive messages?
~ 39% of all teens
~ 37% of teen girls
~ 40% of teen boys
~ 48% of teens say they have received such messages

Although most teens and young adults who send sexually
suggestive content are sending it to boyfriends/
girlfriends, others say they are sending such material to
those they want to hook up with or to someone they only
know online.

Who are these sexually suggestive messages and images being sent to?
~ 71% of teen girls and 67% of teen guys who have sent
or posted sexually suggestive content say they have
sent/posted this content to a boyfriend/girlfriend.
~ 21% of teen girls and 39% of teen boys say they have
sent such content to someone they wanted to date or
hook up with.
~ 15% of teens who have sent or posted nude/semi-nude
images of themselves say they have done so to
someone they only knew online.

How many teens and young adults say they have been shown nude/semi-nude content originally meant for someone else?
~ 38% of teen girls and 39% of teen boys say they have
had sexually suggestive text messages or emails—
originally meant for someone else—shared with
them.
~ 25% of teen girls and 33% of teen boys say they have
had nude or semi-nude images—originally meant
for someone else—shared with them.

Why do teens and young adults send or post sexually suggestive content?
~ 51% of teen girls say pressure from a guy is a reason
girls send sexy messages or images; only 18% of
teen boys cited pressure from female counterparts
as a reason.
~ 23% of teen girls and 24% of teen boys say they were
pressured by friends to send or post sexual content.
Among teens who have sent sexually suggestive content:
~ 66% of teen girls and 60% of teen boys say they did
so to be “fun or flirtatious”— their most common
reason for sending sexy content.
~ 52% of teen girls did so as a “sexy present” for their
boyfriend.
~ 44% of both teen girls and teen boys say they sent
sexually suggestive messages or images in response
to such content they received.
~ 40% of teen girls said they sent sexually suggestive
messages or images as “a joke.”
~ 34% of teen girls say they sent/posted sexually suggestive
content to “feel sexy.”
~ 12% of teen girls felt “pressured” to send sexually
suggestive messages or images.

5 TIPS TO HELP PARENTS TALK TO THEIR KIDS ABOUT SEX AND TECHNOLOGY”
1. Talk to your kids about what they are doing in cyberspace.
2. Know who your kids are communicating with.
3. Consider limitations on electronic communication.
4. Be aware of what your teens are posting publicly.
5. Set expectations.

There is so much more information in this survey. I encourage you to read it. It has great tips and easy explanations for you and your teen. I am being called by God to jump on this and not only protect my teenagers but hopefully assist other parents with these issues.

All Information in this post supplied by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 12:06 am  Comments (10)  

My Teen and Text Messaging

Don’t we all want to have the perfect life? The beautiful home, the studly husband, great kids that never fight or do anything wrong, enough money to be comfortable…You get the picture. Do you find yourself looking at other’s lives and thinking, “Boy have I got it good” or “If only I had that”? Are you the person that walks through the mall looking at other families teenagers thinking “My child will NEVER dress like that, look like that, act like that”? Have you ever had a small portion of your “perfect” world explode in your face, making you wonder where you went wrong? Tuesday was that day for me.

I received my cell phone bill online on Tuesday. I opened it up and started looking at how many minutes the 5 of us used, who text messaged the most, just did the basic review. Upon my inspection I found that my 13 year old daughter had 13,664 text messages. About that time I started thanking the Lord that I had signed up for unlimited texting. She in the past had her phone taken away for having excessive text messages. I wasn’t looking forward to talking to Craig about it but another part of me was glad for the support.

After really digging into the bill with him, we had a list of numbers that we wanted to know whose they were. We had also noticed that she was text messaging as late as 1:30 am and that it appeared that she would start receiving messages at 4:30 am. At this discovery we started to realize that this issue is more then just the number of texts that she is sending and receiving. When was she sleeping? I felt like a failure when I looked at that because I live right here with her. I still tuck her in and check on her before I go to bed.

When Hope got home on Tuesday from school she threw her backpack and stuff on her bed and came in to tell us she was home. Craig asked her to sit down and started talking to her about her text messaging. I got up and went to her room and got her phone. I rejoined the discussion and started going through her phone. (I know it is almost as bad as reading her diary. Oh Well!!) When she noticed what I was doing she told me that I was not going to like some of the stuff that I would find on her phone. Don’t you love an honest child….Boy was she right!!

I found texts that were sent to her from the 14 y/o daughter of a good friend telling Hope she had slept with 4 guys. Other texts with questions about sex. Picture texts of boys standing in a bathroom only wearing boxers really low. Boys texting Hope about loving her and stuff. Just things that are really inappropriate especially at the age of 13. I took lots of deep breaths and said my Thanks Yous to God that Hope didn’t have a camera on her phone.

After having a few long discussions with just Hope and I. I believe that she is still not sexually active. That she may be experiencing crush-love. Also she no longer has a cell phone if she ever gets it back there will be no texting on it. I am going to take her to experience the wonderful female physical with an GYN. We are starting a study together of a book that I purchased last August in Oklahoma called Eyes Wide Open-Avoiding the Heartbreak of Emotional Promiscuity. Hope is close with her Pastor and his wife and she will be seeing him for some counseling sessions. I am praying that the Village of People that I am going to be surrounding her with will help remind her that she is a blessed child of God and she needs to protect herself.

I must admit that the saddest part of this experience is the broken trust that I now have were she is concerned. I love my daughter so much but she has crossed a line with me that will forever make me cautious as to what is really going on in her life. The other sad part was calling my friend and informing her thather daughter told Hope that she had slept with 4 boys. She wasn’t surprised by what I told her and informed me that they had a pregnancy scare last week with her. That broke my heart.

My only advice is if you are going to give your kids a cell phone do one of two things… 1 get the Disney Phone which only lets you program in 4 numbers and nothing else…..2 be nosy, know who they are talking to, know what they are saying and never get them a camera phone or text messaging!! I have heard on the news a lot lately about teens taking naked pics of themselves and sending them to their friends who then send them to their friends and so on and so on.

Just remember….It can be your child. Don’t ever sit back complacently and say not my kid she/he knows better. Hope is an A student, involved in drama & youth group and aside from having her phone taken away for too many text messages, the worst thing she has ever done is have a dirty room.

Published in: on February 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm  Comments (13)