Category Archives: just me

Weekly Wrap – Up . . . A Bit Less Busy!

So, this week was more of a regular week, no special meetings at church, etc, which was good, because as I may have said in a previous post, I’ve been dealing with some health issues that we’re trying to get regulated.

The boys and I took it very easy this week, as far as school stuff, although I did ask for daily piano practice. “The Artist is up to 50 minutes per day, and next week he goes to 55, then one hour per day the following week. Our teacher says at his level, he should be doing at least an hour per day, 5 days a week. I am at 30 minutes, as is “The Batman”.

I will leave you with the following video of the song I sang at church Sunday night a week ago, which was written by a good friend back in MI . . .

This post is being linked up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

If you’d like to write about your week and join us, please click the graphic below for the guidelines.

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Filed under just me, Music, singing, Weekly Wrap-Up

Windows 8.1 Is NOT Fun . . . Not At All!

However, it IS fun to be writing this on my brand new HP Pavillion that my husband bought me so that he could, in his words, “support my blogging and other writing”.


He also took the picture above, which I’d normally not publish, but I don’t feel like going and getting all fixed up just to type, lol!

I asked him to look for a Windows 8.1 For Dummies On Amazon, since he has a prime membership. He found that, and also found Windows 8.1 For Seniors For Dummies. The only difference is that the one for seniors has larger print, and the screen shot pictures are bigger, so yes, you guessed it, I said “get THAT one, please!”

I still don’t think I’ll EVER get the hang of Windows 8.1, and everyone I’ve asked about it says they just use the desktop and ignore the apps, but I’ll give the book a try, and see if I can manage. I am already kinda sick of things disappearing and going back to a previous screen if I move the cursor too quickly, though . . .

As always, I’d love it if you joined me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”. Just go and enter your email into the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and never miss another update! Also, I you DO enjoy “My Journeys”, please go to our Facebook page and “like” it. I’d sure appreciate it if you did! 🙂

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Reasons For Homeschooling . . .

I came across this really good article “Comparing Homeschooling vs Public Schooling: Ten Reasons For Homeschooling (A Public School Teacher Tells All)“. I think it’s well worth reading, so I wanted to share it with you.

Some of MY reasons for homeschooling are:

It is the absolute best choice for my kids. That is more important than making the best choice for ME.

My kids are not being indoctrinated with a secular worldview.

My kids have a variety of special needs, so homeschooling allows us to work at their own paces, and in the ways they each learn best.

My kids do NOT need the sort of “socialization” found in schools, whether public or private.

We are not tied to a formal schedule. We can take off days for other things as we wish to do so, and we can work school in around life, as opposed to the other way around.

I’m sure if I sat here and thought about it, I could list a whole bunch of other reasons, but these are just the ones that came to mind right now.

Whether you homeschool, or your kids are in public or private school, I hope your choice is being made solely based upon what is best for YOUR children, not based on what other people may think of your decision. It’s not their decision, it is yours. Make it count.

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Filed under Christian faith, education, encouragement, family, home education, just me, Kids, special needs education, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013

Mom’s Night Out!

Once a month, some of the moms from our church get together at a local restaurant for a little “Mom’s Night Out”. Last night, 3 of us went to a place we all enjoyed, Dion’s. Funny thing, all three of us were pretty good, and stuck to salads, like the delicious Chef Salad I chose! I got the medium size salad, knowing I would be taking about half of it home with me. It will be my supper tonight! 🙂

Our Mom’s Night Out times are so important! Even though it’s only a couple of hours out of the month, it’s a time when we can connect, talk, and just enjoy the company of other women, while our husbands stay at home and hang out with the kids! This is something I did not have back in Michigan, and I’m very grateful for it now! We’ve already scheduled our November Mom’s Night Out! 🙂

If you aren’t doing one of these every month, I encourage you to get a group going. It’s very good for we ladies to have this, and it’s good for our families, too!

As always, I’d Love it if you join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”. Just enter your email information in the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and please, do go and “like” our Facebook page here. Never miss another update!

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Filed under Albuquerque, Church, family, just me, Mesa Baptist Church, Mom's Night Out, NM, Transitions

All Along . . .

Occasionally, I am scheduled to sing special music at church. This is a song I sang in the Sunday evening service on October 13, 2013. I chose it because I thought it might be an encouragement to those who feel a need to be encouraged . . . I know this song helps me when I hear it!

Here is the video of “All Along” . . .

I hope it is an encouragement to you, as well!

As always, I would love it if you would like to join me on all of “My Journeys” . . . just go to the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog and put in your information. Never miss another update! 🙂

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Filed under All Along, Christian faith, Church, encouragement, just me, Mesa Baptist Church, singing, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013

Faith, or Lack Thereof . . .

So, Saturday evening, while sitting on the couch watching TV and crocheting on a baby gift I’m trying to get completed (so I can send it back home to our former piano teacher who just had her first baby), the left arm (or temple, not sure which it is called) on my glasses broke off. It didn’t just come unscrewed, it actually broke right off.

My glasses are extremely expensive, even AFTER the portion the insurance pays, so I, of course, became very worried (since that is one of my biggest spiritual struggles, after all). You see, I am very aware that our health spending account is just about depleted for this year. In fact, once we pay the bill to the surgeon for my recent surgery, I’m pretty sure it will be completely used up, so there is just no way to replace these glasses at this time. We are still paying off both of the surgeries my husband had in December and January.

Well, on Sunday after morning service, we went to Sam’s Club Optical. Unfortunately, the smallest replacements they had in their spare parts were too big, so they suggested we head over to Wal-Mart Optical, which we did. They DID have the correct size (yay!), and replaced the broken one, although they could not put a matching one on the right side, as the screw holding it in would not turn. They did give it to me though, along with two screws, in case it should come out later. So, while the arm on the left doesn’t match either the front of the glasses OR the arm on the right, at least my glasses will stay on my face now, so I can see, and they didn’t charge me anything at all!

The glasses may not look so great, but they will hold me until we can afford new ones now. God is good, even when we lack faith.

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Filed under Christian faith, just me

The Homeschool Mom’s Bible . . . A T.O.S. Review

Now and then, we who are members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew are given an opportunity to review something that is just for us homeschooling mamas. This is one of those times, and I feel so very fortunate to have been chosen as one of the reviewers for the KJV Homeschool Mom’s Bible, which has just recently been published to go alongside their NIV version, by Zondervan.

It was so exciting to me, that there would now be a KJV Homeschool Mom’s Bible, because, as regular readers of my blog are aware, the KJV is the only version of the Bible my family uses, or will ever use.

The Bible I received is a hard-cover, jacketed book, with 1504 pages. As you can see from the picture above, the cover is so nice looking, it almost looks like something I would do when making a scrapbook page or a card. The cool thing, for those of us who usually wind up being book jacket challenged, either losing the jacket or having it become worn and torn, is that if you DO remove the jacket, the actual cover of the book looks exactly the same as the jacket! No boring, plain cover on this one, that’s for sure! 🙂

There is a very encouraging one page foreword written by Vickie Farris, who is the wife of Homeschool Legal Defense Association founder Dr. Michael Farris. I was privileged to attend one of her sessions during the CAPE-NM convention here in Albuquerque during April of 2013. I thought her forward was well written, and spoke well to the things we, as homeschool moms, need to hear.

Along with the complete text of the Authorized King James Version of the Holy Bible, this book includes 365 daily devotions, which are short (one page) readings which are specifically targeted for homeschooling mamas, each written by Janet Tatman. Janet Tatman homeschooled her own children for over 25 years, and then joined Alpha Omega Publications as a copywriter in the company’s homeschool division. She spent much of her time there writing the Daily Focus, a daily email devotional sent to subscribers. It became so popular that it is now offered as a year-long devotional book, and has been included as part of the KJV Homeschool Mom’s Bible.

The daily devotions are spread throughout this Bible, as opposed to being all grouped together as one large section. I like that, it encourages me to read the section of the Bible that is right by whatever devotion I am looking at, even if it has nothing to do with that particular devotion. Each devotion has a scripture passage to help in directing my focus to God’s Word, and ends with a short, suggested prayer to help get me started in talking with The Lord.

The devotionals also have a “go to” format, meaning that at the bottom of each devotion’s page is a line telling me on which page in my KJV Homeschool Mom’s Bible I will need to turn to the next day when I want to read my devotional.

There is also another option that I very much like, and that is the Topical Index, which is at the end of the book. I really enjoy going through the topics, because whenever I do, I find one right away that speaks to SOMETHING I am dealing with in my life. So, not only do I have the complete text of the Authorized King James Version of the Holy Bible, but without needing to get out a second book, I also have my daily devotional, plus a topical index, telling me which devotionals go with which topics!

I feel very blessed to have been given the KJV Homeschool Mom’s Bible to review, and would encourage other ladies who are now homeschooling or who are thinking of homeschooling, to take a look at this wonderful addition to our mom toolbox! Truly, the only thing I would suggest doing differently is to have it offered in large print for those of us with tired eyes, lol!

The KJV Homeschool Mom’s Bible is available in the hard-cover edition I received for $34.99, and is also available as an e-book or in the Italian Duo-tone format.

Please click on the graphic below, if you’d like to find out what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of the Homeschool Mom’s Bible!


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As always, I would love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys”. Just go to the “sign me up” button at the top of the page, enter your email information, and never miss an update again! 🙂

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Filed under Bible study for homeschool moms, Christian faith, education, family, home education, Homeschool Mom's Bible, homeschool products, just me, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, TOS Review, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013

Changes . . . and a benefit to help a Sheriff’s Deputy!

Recently, I needed to put together a two page scrapbook layout as a sample of one of our new Close To My Heart paper packets and Workshops on the go Scrapbooking Kits, which made me really realize just how far I have come from the beginning of my bariatric journey. I chose to use the Workshops on the Go Sarita Scrapbooking Kit, because I really like both the papers and the theme. I felt the theme, although shown in the idea book as a romantic layout, also perfectly fit the changes I have gone through over the past two and a half years, and since I’ve done very little scrapbooking about myself (because I so hated pictures of me), it would be fitting to use this layout to showcase what I have done, for me and for my health.

The left side of the two page layout shows pictures of me from January, 2011, the day before my bariatric surgery.

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And this one, which is the right side of the two page layout, shows pictures of me from Christmas 2011, and May of 2012, which is when I was honored at the Centurian Awards Ceremony held at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit MI, and received my Centurian pin, given to those who have lost at least 100 pounds and/or reached a healthy BMI. I had done both! 🙂

stuff from phone 007

If you click on the pictures, you can see them bigger than they are on the blog post.

I am so pleased with the difference this has made in my health, and in my physical abilities. With four special needs children, I NEEDED to get healthier, and I have. I am no longer taking two different versions of insulin, whereas before surgery I was on a short acting insulin shot before every meal and a long acting insulin shot before bed each night. I no longer take blood pressure medication or cholesterol medication. I am no longer restricted to shopping in plus size clothing stores, having gone from a size women’s 28 down to a Misses size 12 – 14, depending upon the style and manufacturer. I have lost 157 pounds, and I intend to never, ever go back to what I was when I weighed in at 320 pounds!

Now, after years of avoiding putting pictures of myself into the scrapbooks I love to make, I want to make one documenting my own journey from before weight loss to now. Close To My Heart is going to help me do that, with the beautiful, quality products available, which are extremely easy to use for anyone. Trust me, if *I* can stamp and not mess it up, so can you, and the CTMH scrapbooking and card making products are so beautiful, I know you’ll love using them as much as I do!

While you can, of course, use the Workshops On The Go Kits exactly as they are pictured in the idea book, as you can see by what I did, they are certainly adaptable to whatever theme you want to make them into.

I would love it if you would consider me for your paper-crafting wants needs. You can go directly to my CTMH website and shop to your heart’s content! There will often be a gathering listed on the site. If you click on the link by “join one of Lori’s gatherings”, you can join that gathering to shop. Even if there is no current gathering, you can still shop directly from the site and your products will be shipped directly to you!

There is currently a gathering listed as “New Idea Book Open House”, which will be closing as of this Friday, August 30, 2013. If you’re interested in purchasing from Close To My Heart, this would be the perfect gathering for you to join, because not only will you receive the yummy August Stamp of the Month Set “A Chocolate Affair” absolutely free with your $50.00 order, this gathering is actually a benefit for Deputy Shannon Key, a Deputy with the Bernalillo County NM Sheriff’s Department, who is a deacon in our church. You can read more about his ongoing battle with brain cancer here, in a series of articles and news stories.

If you order from the current gathering (New Idea Book Open House” on my Close To My Heart Site and get your order in by this Friday afternoon (August 30, 2013), then you will also be eligible for my prize drawing. With every $25.00 (pre-shipping/tax) on your order, you will have one entry in a drawing for your choice of a set of hand-crafted by me note cards (value $25.00), a retired paper packet (value $19.95) or a retired stamp set (value varies). The winner will be drawn by one of Deputy Key’s children, and will be able to choose which prize they prefer. If you book your own online gathering with me, and date it within the next month, I will give you an additional entry and set you up with E-Zinvite, so that you can invite all of your guests via email, and you can also make it an even on your Facebook page. Your party will have its own link on my site, your guests will receive their product shipped directly to them, and you’ll receive generous hostess rewards. What a win/win for you!

I hope to hear from you very soon, and I hope many of you will want to help Deputy Key by making an order on the current gathering “New Idea Book Open House”. All of my commission from this gathering is being donated to the Deputy Shannon Key Fund to help with the many costs associated with the treatment he must undergo, and to help his family during this time. Please consider this a worthy cause, and help out by ordering from this gathering. You’ll be helping someone who is very humble and deserving of your aid, and also making yourself more able to beautifully document the “changes” in your OWN life! 🙂

As always, I would love to have you join me on all of my “journeys through life” by following my blog. To receive a notice each time there is a new post, just go to the “sign me up” button at the top right of this page, click on it and enter your email. Hope to have you join me on “my journeys”!


Filed under Bariatric Surgery, card making, changes, Close to My Heart, health, just me, scrapbooking, stamping, weight loss

I Have Just the BEST Hairstylist in Albuquerque!

I know I posted a while back, when I first found a new hairstylist finally, after moving to New Mexico, and having to give up C.J., the fantastic lady who cut and colored my hair back in Pt. Huron, MI, but I’m writing about Jody Muniz again, because she has left the salon she was working for and gone out on her own!

Jody has moved from a salon where she was an employee to a salon where she is her own boss, and it appears that she could not be happier! I know that I couldn’t be happier, because I have someone again who understands my hair, and understands what I like.

I was finally able to get in to see Jody this past Saturday, July 20, 2013, after being unable to go for the whole time I’ve been recovering from surgery on five toes, and boy, was it beyond time to go!

Here I am before . . .

Hair appt 7-20-13 001

As you can see, it’s WAY past time for a color and trim! Jody and I got right to work deciding what to do about color this time, and we decided to go with a lighter base, and stick with that from now on (probably), just changing up the accent colors that she puts in each time. That way, if I need to, I can go a little longer between appointments, because the golden blonde base will blend with any grey new growth. For the other colors as high and low lights, she used a chocolate color and a lighter blonde.

My hair has been really coming back nicely (finally) since my bariatric surgery, and as you can see, it takes a ton of foils to do the high/low lights!

Hair appt 7-20-13 006

It’s more than worth it though, for the end results! Here is an “after” picture of me, with my wonderful stylist Jody!

Hair appt 7-20-13 007

I’m so thankful to my husband . . . since I’m not yet driving after my surgery, he and the boys (all four of them!) took me to my appointment, which was at 9:30 a.m., meaning we needed to leave our house at about 8:45 a.m. (this is a BIG city, and you just never know about traffic!), and then he took the boys to McDonald’s, to get THEIR hair cut, and to a park while waiting for me to be done, about three hours later. Wasn’t that nice of him? 🙂

If you are in the Albuquerque, NM area, and want to have a wonderful, pampering, just for you time, and come out looking great, you can contact my stylist, Jody Muniz through Genesis Hair Studio, or you can contact her directly at (575)993-4972. I promise, you won’t regret it!


Filed under Albuquerque, Bariatric Surgery, hair stylist, just me, weight loss

Just So You All Will Know . . .

Here is a follow up on my new hair cut . . .


. . . because I wanted to prove that I can, in fact, style my own hair when I’ve gotten a perfect cut! 🙂


Filed under just me