Fresh Steps

After several years of not posting a single thing, I think I am ready to go back to my Clappy Shoes!  Yay!  I am celebrating with my cup of coffee and a bowl of Malt o Meal honey nut clusters!  Very proper celebration I am having.

A new story. . . a new chapter. . .

Last night I had a consultation scheduled for the gym that I just joined. . .10 fitness.  That's right, $10 a month to work out on their state of the art equipment.  My intention on joining was to just have a place to run when it was cold or bad weather.  The consultation was a complimentary service that they give you when you sign up.  I got a call last week that asked me what time I would like to come in and honestly I did not really feel like I needed their consultation since I have been in a dozen gyms and worked out on all of this equipment before, but he said that he would check my BMI and I really wanted to have an accurate baseline. 

Yesterday was a gorgeous day and I thought since I had to go in for a "consultation" I would just go for a run before my "consultation" that way I got my work out in.  I show up at the gym and while I am waiting I posted "Sitting in a Chair LOL" at 10 Fitness on Facebook.  You will discover that I was not "Sitting in a Chair" for long.  Consulter aka "Muscle Head" starts off with my BMI and let me tell you that I was really shocked at my percentage of body fat!  What was most disturbing is that I just lost 20 pounds and he was telling me that over 1/3 of my body was STILL made up of fat!  That was disturbing.  Needless to say, my motivation for working out increased.  Then Muscle Head went on to say that I needed to be lifting weights if I wanted to decrease my body fat.  This is the last thing that I want to do or to hear because I love running.  It makes me feel like a million bucks when I am finished.  Weight lifting makes me hungry, tired, sore and all together Mrs. Cranky Pants. 

Muscle Head decided to show me a thing or three of what I needed to be doing as far as my work out each day.  His consultation is getting more intrusive which I boldly state that I have already ran today.  In fact, I just finished before I got here.  It was like there was muscle wax in his ears because he just plowed ahead.  He gets me on my favorite machine, the treadmill.  He proceeds to have me alternate running and sprints for 10 minutes.  I am feeling pretty good about myself because I aced the test.  I feel like he should know that I am an expert at this gym thing and he should just move on to his next client. 

"Let's move over to the weight room," Muscle Head states.  I am already feeling uncomfortable in this new location because he did not take me to the girly weight area where I am knew that my sisters would have a little pity for me.  He took me to the open aired area where all of his other Muscle Head friends were.  He grabs a 20 pound weight and has me do 5 squats and hold for 5 seconds on the last squat.  He did this a few times and then he moves me to the rowing machine where he sets the weights to 70.  He sees that my form is so bad that I look like my back may crack at any point.  He gradually moves me down to 50-well isn't he sweet?  At this time, I make several smart alec retorts like, "I actually like my body fat and I would like it to stay where it is, you must be friends with Jillian Michaels and my favorite . . . this consultation seems to be more of a deterrent to the gym."  I think he liked my statements because he decides to move me back to squats.  I knew that I had upset the gym gods when I started feeling this awful knot in my stomach.  He moves me back to the row.  I am sweating more than I have in 90 degree weather running a 5K.  I stand up and I am sure that I looked like a ghost.  He states, "let's move on over to the arm press machine."  I asked for a water break where I walked slowly over to the back of the gym to rest my head in the water tank.  I thought maybe I could shake the feeling if I moved really slowly.  Making the trek back to the arm press, I realize that I am not getting better.  I sit on the arm press where he starts telling me the correct way to position myself for bulging muscles like his.  I look at him and tell him that I am either going to barf or pass out.  He matter of factly said, "Oh it's ok, you won't be the first one this week."  He proceeds with the plan.  I state, "You do not want me to pass out or barf."  He said, "move over, I will show you how to do it."  As I am watching him, my eyes go crossed and I am sure that I was white as a ghost.  He said, "Go" and pointed to my relief - the bathroom. 

I wrap myself around the public toilet like I have never known a better BFF and I gagged my way to relief.  I know, the details. . .sorry.  I stayed in there for several minutes getting my bearings.  I go back and he continues to show me what I need to do to lost that fat.  I politely listen and watch him do the exercises that I am supposed to be doing, typing out everything he has taught me on my phone and pray that I never see this guy again.  I walk out without my dignity, but I am pretty sure my percentage of body fat has decreased. 

Today, I am sitting here with my pajamas still on and very reluctant to squat to go to the bathroom.  I think I will hold it as long as I can.  My new facebook post should state, "Sitting in a Wheelchair LOL" at home.

Until next time my friends. . . .

Dear Blog

Dear Clappy Shoes Blog,

I miss you.  Do you miss me?  We have not had much time together this year.  Why do you think that it is so difficult to make time for each other?  I know, I know.  Don't give me that guilt trip.  I am sure that we will spend more time together soon.  I have a few things to do to get things back in order and we will have an afternoon together.  How about that?  Would you like that?   You, me and a cup of coffee.  No work, none of those rascally kids running around, and some time together.  Pinky promise.  :) 


Did I Really Say Yes to That?

I am sitting on the beach kind of caught up in all of the scenery around me. There are lots of cliche things that I could make my subject line. My heading could be, something like "The Waves of Life" or possibly even "The Sands of Time" from a popular soap opera that I don't even know if it exists or not anymore. But my predominant thought right now is, "did I really say yes to that?". No, I'm not talking about my marriage! That was very naughty of you to think ;)

I guess I have been feeling a little guilty about us leaving Hansel and Gretel out on this vacation. We have felt overwhelmed by life as a married couple so we really needed to get away. However, they did get to go to their grandparents which is not exactly solitary confinement unless you count hiking, watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and getting paid big bucks for doing minimal work solitary confinement. It still feels a little off balance since I am having so much fun.

So when Hansel called me from Pet Smart to ask if he could have a mouse, I said "yes." You have to know we have six cats so I imagine it will not last long. Is that bad to say? The last time I saw a mouse near our home it was in the mouth of my cat that was about the size of our cat! I was cheering the cat on!

I do have a bad feeling that this was not my smartest move. Why do I think that this mouse is going to make the Guiness Book of World Records for longest living rodent?

Have you ever made a rash, guilt-based decision? Such are the waves of life, right? ;)

-- Clappy Shoes

Location:Santa Rosa Blvd,Fort Walton Beach,United States

My Concern

This is the email that I sent to McGuires earlier today. It is the follow-up from my last year's visit.

Last year my family and I went to the beach in Perdido Key. I was so excited to find a McGuires in Pensacola as I frequently visited the one in Destin when we traveled to the beach in years past. My husband, mom, dad, and two kids (10 year old son and 8 year old daughter) all visited your restaurant, ordered some of our favorites and were having a great time.

My son needed to use the restroom and we felt like it was ok for him to go on his own since he was ten. He came back to the table and reported that there were pictures of naked women in the restroom. We were kind of surprised at his report so my dad went to go see what he was talking about. Sure enough, the pictures were not necessarily artwork, but more what you might see in a copy of "Easy Rider."

Honestly, knowing that I had taken my son to a restaurant that exposes children to these images ruined not only my appetite, but any interest in dining at any of your restaurants ever again. In my opinion, you have great food, but pretty lousy taste in decorating your restrooms. I understand that it is a pub/bar, but you have a children's menu.

I am sitting in Destin on the beach thinking where I would like to eat on one of my last days here and honestly I would love to come to your restaurant, even if there are no pictures like the one in Pensacola, but I cannot. It's not about the food anymore, it's about the principle of it and standing up for what I feel is right for my kids. Thank you for allowing me to comment.


P.S. I promise to update this post if I get a response from them.

Prayers Caught in the Trees

Have you ever felt like your prayers were not being heard? You cry out every day the same prayer and it seems like there is no response. Not even a "no, I am not answering your prayer."

The other day, my eleven year old son walked in and had a scroll tied to some helium-filled balloons that he had received the day before. Quite curious, I asked, "What in the world are you doing?" He said, "I am sending a note to God." If you have read much about my son, you know this is a little odd because he usually just prays. He asked Christ into His life at a very young age and I sincerely thought that he knew all he had to do was to just speak to God. There are literally no strings attached, just open your heart and pray.

Being the science whiz that he is, he realized quickly that the note was too heavy to allow the balloons to get very far with the note. He decided to reduce the letter to about a sticky note size. It honestly looked like a scene out of the movie, "Up." The balloons were large and very colorful. He just had to get the right weight balance between the balloons and the note. Finally, the work was finished and the balloons were about to be sent to God so that he could get his very important note to Him.

I did not really ask what the note was about, but I thought it might be pretty important since eleven year old's very rarely take time for important things (aka baths, homework, piano practice).

A few minutes after he had stepped out of the door, a very disappointed eleven year old came back in from the cold. His balloons had gotten caught in a tree and his message was intercepted by the dead limbs on the tree. I was so sad for him to say the least.

I was sad for him for several reasons. For one, that just stinks to have a goal of getting something to someone and it not happening for whatever the reason. Another reason is that it is just somehow wrong for such a beautiful experience as sending a letter to God via balloons to get interrupted. And lastly, I know how he felt.

I have felt that my prayers were hanging in dead branches on trees many times in my life. Did I not pray hard enough or loud enough? Have I sinned so greatly that He has fingers in His ears blocking out the sound of my voice? What is going on? Where are you? Where is your hand of protection or Your voice that is supposed to be leading me?

David felt the same way in Psalm 4: 1 and 3

"1Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer. 3 Know the the Lord set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him."

We can be assured that He does hear us when we call out to Him. It says in my all time favorite Psalm, Psalm 34 "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles."

Obviously, the Lord knew my son's prayer, without the balloons making it all the way to Him. In fact, God is in my son's hear. Just sometimes it does indeed feel like the Lord is far away. When you feel like your prayers are being intercepted by a bunch of dead limbs, know that the Lord heard you. He will deliver you out of all of your troubles because He is so good and His love endures forever.

As a side note: I went to Wal Mart the next day and looked for some kind of helium balloon that was big enough to take up a big prayer on big paper. The only one I could find was a birthday balloon and I figured since it was almost Jesus's birthday that a birthday balloon might work. I left it in Hansel's room and when he found it he said, "Oh, that is perfect, that is all I really wanted to tell Him anyway."

I found the larger note that he wrote in my office today confirming the fact that Hansel just wanted to say Happy Birthday to Jesus and asked God if He could possibly heal him from this cold or fever that he has.

By the way, Caleb is at school today with no fever and really not much of a sniffle. God is good and hears you when you pray even if it feels like your prayers are caught in the dead branches of a tree in your front yard.

My Thankfulness Runs Deeply

I have a new post up at 5 Minutes for Faith. I hope you will check it out. I am sorry that I have not posted much here, but I have lots of hope that one day I will be back to regular blogging. :)

This is My Town!!

A major football rival and our town go up against each other. There is one minute left in the game and the other team is winning by three. The opponent has the ball on the five yard line and they are about to score. The announcers are casually stating the facts and then go ballistic when there is an unexpected scoop at the end. Check it out!

Putting Aside My Prison Clothes Devotional

I have a devotional up at 5 Minutes for Faith today. I am sorry, but this is the only writing that I can get to lately. I hope that it encourages you in your pursuit to look more like Christ each and every day.

Sin in My Shoe

I have a post up today titled, "Sin in My Shoe" at 5 Minutes for Faith. I hope that it encourages your heart.

The Real Facts of Life

A couple of weeks ago, Lisa Whelchel, aka Blair Warner from the "Facts of Life", came to a town really close to us. My friend, Shanna and I (pictured on the left), had both read Creative Correction, loved the book, and had to go hear her speak. Another new couple of friends from church went as well. It was really fun. We could only go that evening, even though she was speaking the next day too.

On the night that we went, she spoke mainly about her real life and time playing Blair on "The Facts of Life" and many of the obstacles she faced. She is a really neat Christian lady. I want to share the link to her website for any resources that you might need. Her older books are mainly about homeschooling and creatively correcting young children. Her later books are about raising teenagers, taking care of yourself as a mom, and the friendships of women.

I encourage you, that if you are struggling with finding good, creative Biblical ways to correct your little ones then this is the website and book for you. She will give you the real scoop on "The Facts of Life" as a mom. Enjoy!

The Kind of Flower That I Am

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.

This morning I had an opportunity to do a little jogging, listening to music and thinking. I went by one of the houses in my neighborhood and I almost gasped. Not because I was gasping for air (which could have possibly been happening too), but because I saw the most beautiful flowers.

One of my neighbors decorated their mailbox by planting Morning Glory's right beside it. It takes awhile for these flowers to shoot up to the top of the mailbox, but they were definitely there this morning in full presentation. They had such amazingly beautiful bright bluish purple petals. They were alive in all of their morning glory! I started thinking about those flowers. I think I am a lot like those Morning Glory's.

I wake up in the morning all bright and chipper (after a cup of coffee). I am ready to face the world. I feel beautiful, even if I don't look it quite yet, and I am bursting to show the world just how beautiful I am.
I am full of life and energy; just asking the world to bring it on. Now the problem with all of that is it wears off by around 3:00 when I pick up my kids from school. Then my flower changes.

The flower I change to is called an Impatient! :) It is so sad how my once lovely flower petals change into a foreboding Impatient who wants to seek shade and comfort in her bathtub. :)
I try so hard to be such a good little flower, but unfortunately I am parched by 3:00. I need the gardener to come along and give me some fertilizer and maybe some root stimulator (I think we call this caffeine). :)

I thought you might like to tell me that you identify with the way that I am or maybe we can make it goal to try to be Evening Glory's together. Have a glorious day! I'm going to pick up my kids from school now. :)

5 Minutes for Faith Post - My Daily Choices

I have a post up today at 5 Minutes for Faith titled My Daily Choices . I hope that you are encouraged by it. Many blessings!


The last few months, I have felt like I was in a corn maze. I would go one way and it was a dead end. I went another way and yet another dead end. Finally I feel like I am going in the right direction. All of this began last year when my daughter, my precious Gretel, decided she was ready for public school. I have given in reluctantly feeling that the battle was not worth it.

Last year, I worked full time and home schooled her and let me tell you that is no easy task. Since my Prince Charming and I still feel that I need to continue the full time work I knew that Gretel was going to get the shaft again. I enrolled her in school early this summer and it took all summer to realize what I really was doing. I was relinquishing control of every detail of her day. What she eats, what she hears, what she does with her friends, what she learns. . . .everything until 3:00 pm. Man, that is hard! When you go from knowing every minute detail. . . .even if they are using the bathroom enough, to not being in the know about anything.

While my heart aches, I know it is just part of the growing up process and entering a new season of the maze! The other part of the confusing journey was knowing which job to go with. Should I go back to teaching in brick and mortar, set out on a new career all together, or stick with my virtual world of teaching. The Lord provided clarity to that just this month. When I was fretting about finances earlier in the summer, my friend asked me when my last paycheck was for this year. I am on a 12 month contract and so I said August 15th. She said the Lord will show you around that time. She was right, I just found out yesterday the last piece of my full time job August 20th. The Lord was a few days late in my book! :) Right on time in his I suppose. :)

This year I am working with the Virtual School again teaching Special Education part time and another part time role that I am not sure that I can discuss just yet. Both pieces are with the Virtual School working with 1st -8th grade. Wow! What a maze of obstacles, dead ends, and waiting. The Lord was faithful once again though. He showed us the way and provided for our needs and the desires of our hearts once again.

Now to figure out how to teach Special Education and the other piece of my job while keeping my head on straight and my family from being neglected. I am sure that the Lord will be faithful to A MAZE me once again when I call out to Him.

Back Porch Writing and Waiting

This has to be the dreamiest part of my whole day. I have a glass of iced tea, my Bible, my computer and I am on the back porch/deck that my hubby built. It is the late afternoon and the cicadas are really loud. I love it!

I have had a couple of weeks off of work. It has been so good for me! I have transferred all of my work energy into my house and I have just about all of the spaces just about where I want them. The exception being my office where I really need to channel a tornado full of energy!

My job situation is in limbo this year. There is potential, but its really hard to say exactly what I will be doing in 3 months. I know that the Lord has a plan, but I don't like this lighting my path one step at a time thing! It is really hard for me. Hmmm, maybe that was part of the plan! :)

Anyway, I don't like being in limbo because I am a planner and I like to know what I am doing at all times so I can check things off of my list. Right now, my list looks something like this. . .

  1. Wait
  2. Wait
  3. Wait
  4. Wait
  5. Repent, because I am frustrated and disgusted with waiting!
  6. Wait
and on it goes! The Lord is good and He always keeps me on my toes.

Meanwhile, I will sit back, have a glass of tea on my back porch and listen to the cicadas. and oh yeah, I will wait. :)

Crazy Painting Day!

Honestly, I cannot think of another time I have taken a picture of my fingernails. On Friday, I had a French manicure, but today it looks more like a Circus Manicure.

The last few days I have painted my son's room orange and off white, repainted the bathroom blue, and refinished a piece of furniture for my bathroom.

I am smoked! I think I am in need of a bath in mineral spirits!

His Voice . . . How do you know it's God?

Last year, I became a contributing writer to an awesome website, "5 Minutes for Faith." I have a post up there today. Please check out their sister sites as well. I think you will find them really encouraging!

His Voice . . .How do you know it's God?

Many Blessings!

Rainy with a Chance of Tarballs!

This is our fifth day at Perdido Key. It has been fun to be with my family and have few obligations to fulfill. But it is definitely not the beach vacation of my dreams. We only have one more day for the weather to act right! Did you hear that clouds, go away!? I have a tan to work on. :)

No fun!

GeoTagged, [N30.31834, E87.42475]

We are in Perdido Key, Florida on vacation. Thus far, we have had one nice sunny day out of three because of the tropical storm brewing in the Caribbean. The oil spill debris is steadily getting worse. It makes me so sad. I am hoping for some divine creativity for my kid's sake.

On a sunny note, it is good to be with my mom and dad. I love that it is stress free. The only real chores are pertaining to the dishwasher and washer/dryer. We have made dinner a couple of nights and gone out to eat at McGuires (which is another post). :(

I have had time to make three bracelets and a necklace. I have a feeling I will be making a whole line of jewelry this week! :) Lots of pics to come.

5 Minutes for Faith . . . . Summertime Challenge

I have a post up at 5 Minutes for Faith today. It's titled "Summertime Challenge." I hope that you will check it out! I hope you are having a great summer!