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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Veggie Tale Date AND National Day Dates

Good Thursday morning!

I found my pictures last night... after Mikie plugged a couple of things here and there into the computer. It was wonderful, I tell you. The Gallery has pictures of the pups, the February Paula Deen Recipe Challenge AND the March Paula Deen Recipe Challenge REVEAL!

RANDOMNESS #1 - It has been an interesting week around Faulkner Farms (circa 1842). For some reason, my panic attacks are out of control this week. All three kids have had "obstacles," and Mikie and I have been trying to help them sort things out. I've been praying for them and others I know of who are walking through valleys.

And I've been trying to live a balanced life during this week of extreme "unbalanced-ness." That means I've been eating well and exercising faithfully.

I did this because exercising causes your body to produce endorphins. And according to Wikipedia, "Endorphins ("endogenous morphine") are endogenous opioid peptides that function as neurotransmitters. They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in vertebrates during exercise, excitement, pain and consumption of spicy food and they resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being."

How about that?

The phrase "a feeling of well-being" has NEVER described me during exercise, excitement, pain or consumption of spicy food.

Never.

All of these feelings and activities end with me curling up in the fetal position and taking a nap. (I am not kidding.)

Can I just say... I think I am WITHOUT endorphins, or, at the very least, "endorphin-challenged."

Cam and I exercised five times this week. FIVE! That is always our goal, and it feels great to have completed our goal a whole day early.

On Monday and Wednesday, we walked two miles AND attended our Body Pump Class. We discussed in great detail what, if any, benefits we were obtaining from our grueling exercise regimen, and after coming up with nada on our walk this morning, on further reflection I have discovered a couple of "body improvements" from said grind.

1. I can run up three flights of stairs at church on Wednesday night and not even be the least bit winded. (I'm not running fast, mind you. Actually, it's more of a walk, but I do NOT get winded.)

2. I found ONE ab. I work on all of my abs in class, but only one has shown up. And to be honest, it isn't in an area where you expect to find normal abs. It shows up around my third or fourth rib, so it's rather high. But it is indeed an ab. (At first, I thought it was just another "roll," but upon intensive investigation, it is an ab... or a broken, protruding rib. I may need to get a second opinion from the Emergency Room later today.)

3. I have fantastic calf muscles. There. I said it, and I don't even feel bad about bragging.

Well, I feel a little bad, because if you've known me two minutes, you know it is not my nature to brag about myself. HA! Gotcha!

I'm going to keep exercising, even if I'm missing the all-important "endorphin rush." I feel it's necessary in order to maintain my one ab and my fantastic calf muscles. At 50, that's pretty much all I'm living for!

NOTE - I think I'm a little low in the adrenaline department, too. Just saying.

RANDOMNESS #2 - It is officially tornado season in Alabama. If you have lived in Alabama for even one year, you have been formally introduced to the "tornado." Almost all Alabamians have a tornado story (or two or three). I'm going to share an old one with you today and tomorrow. (Another two-parter.)

Today's story has no damage or injuries... which is how you want all of your tornado stories to end!

On a hazy, summer morning, a friend and her daughter, along with me and my two boys, went on a trip to the Birmingham Zoo. As the morning progressed, it became a gray day, but it wasn't too hot and it was enjoyable. As we were leaving the Zoo, I heard what sounded like a tornado siren. I was about to say something to my friend when I heard her tell her daughter to listen to the trumpeting elephants. Not wanting to appear ignorant, I didn't say anything. A few minutes later, we were met by people running toward the nearest exit. I stopped someone long enough to find out the details. A tornado had touched down in Jefferson County and was heading directly for the Zoo. The trumpeting elephants were in reality tornado sirens. (I KNEW IT!) We quickly decided on a plan (which was NOT to seek shelter in the Reptile House) and ran to our car. We would wait out the storm at Eastwood Mall and do a little shopping until it was over (because everyone knows tornadoes never hit malls)!

The air was still and the sky non-threatening, so we decided we had time to buy a few drinks for the kids at Western Supermarket in Mountain Brook. As my friend was purchasing the drinks from the vending machine in front of the store, James Spann told everyone to take cover immediately. The tornado was in Mountain Brook. At the same time he was speaking on the radio, I looked up as a huge black cloud started coming over the grocery store. I yelled at my friend to jump in the car, and we decided to head to Brookwood Village since the cloud was coming from the direction of Eastwood Mall (again, using the theory tornadoes never hit a mall).

Within seconds, the sky was totally black, lightening was flashing, wind was blowing and rain was pelting my windshield. In my mind, I knew we probably wouldn't make it to Brookwood, but I had no idea where else to go.

We had come to a small stretch of road with no buildings on either side when a large tree was picked up by the wind and placed on the road directly in front of us. I was able to stop the car in time, and I remember calmly telling my friend, "I can get us out of here if you will tell me exactly what to do. I don't panic and get scared. I just get stupid."

She yelled, "Turn the car around! Turn the car around!"

I again told her, "You have to tell me EXACTLY what to do. I don't panic. I just get stupid." Obviously, this time she understood.

"Turn the car to the right as far as you can and then back up until I tell you to stop," she directed. I did as I was told. All of a sudden, another tree went down and power lines exploded only inches away from the hood of our car. By this time Austin and her daughter were both screaming, but oddly enough, Josh and I sat there with our mouths hanging open. (I guess "crises stupidity" is inherited only by second children.) Over the roar of the wind, we said a prayer asking God to protect us.

My friend finally helped me get the car turned around, and we pulled into the parking lot of the first building we found... an all-glass insurance office. My friend jumped out of her side of the car and flung open the passenger door behind her yanking my 18-month old Josh out of his car seat, and ran for the building while limbs and debris flew all around. I had trouble opening my door against the enormous strength of the wind, and when I finally did get out of the car and open the passenger door behind me, I had no idea how I was going to carry two four year-olds. That problem was solved soon enough. The little girl leaped out of the car and adhered herself to my chest, and Austin did the same to my hip. It was truly a bonding experience. We finally made it to the door of the building where my friend and an insurance agent helped us to safety (if you can call an all-glass building in a tornado "safety").

The agent led our little party to a small empty office (the only place in the building with no windows) and we all huddled on the floor in the dark while the storm howled above us. The insurance agent and secretaries were down another hall listening to a portable radio. After a few minutes, my friend decided to crawl down the hall to find out where the tornado was and how much longer we would be in danger. Her little girl was naturally distraught, and didn't want her mother to leave. Her mom assured her she would be back in a moment, and if the tornado actually did hit the building, she would cover her with her own body to protect her. Austin absorbed all of this information and whispered in my ear, "Go ahead and get on top of me." Such faith in my ability to protect him was overwhelming.

Did the tornado hit the building? Was my van buried under the huge oak in the parking lot? Did trumpeting elephants fly by during our stay in the insurance office? Tune in tomorrow...

Blog Linkage - I don't have a lot of linkage to share, but what I do have is very, very good.

1. Go to eighteen25 under My Blog List and find the post entitled "Today's Guest: My Sister's Suitcase" dated February 29. I always have a green St. Patty's Day meal for our little family, but this idea was so cute. It's a whole St. Patty's Day Party (since St. Patrick's Day falls on Saturday this year). Everyone shows up in their pajamas for a St. Patrick's Day Fun Feast. Check it out!

2. Go to Confessions of a Pioneer Woman under My Blog List and read "Family Vacation" dated February 28 and "Family Vacation, Day 2" dated February 29. (I expect "Family Vacation, Day 3" to be ready anytime now.) The Pioneer Woman is vacationing in Vail, Colorado. I love living vicariously through others. (I know. I'm pathetic.)

Veggie Tale Date

There is absolutely NO reason not to date in March. None. Nada!

Family Christian Stores are having a free Veggie Tale Event this Saturday. They'll have a one day only event at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.

The first 40 kids to arrive will receive goodies including posters, balloons and stickers.

They will also be able to watch the new Veggie Tale movie release... Robin Good.

I love Veggie Tales, and I took the kids to these type of events whenever I found one in our area. Lots of fun AND it is FREE!

National Day Dates

I adore National Day Dates. They can be so random and silly... or educational and fun. Here are some dates from March 1 to March 14. Pick a few and enjoy.

March 1 - National Pig Day - Do you know someone who owns a live pig? If so, give them a call TODAY and see if you and yours can stop by for a little one-on-one time with "Charlotte." (Or serve bacon with dinner. It's up to you!)

March 1 - Peanut Butter Lovers' Day - Have a "kitchen" date tonight, and make homemade peanut butter with your little one. Go to Whole Foods Market this evening and pick a new kind of peanut butter to try and fill your container yourself!

March 3 - I Want You to be Happy Day - Plan a few small ways to make your child happy. Go to their favorite fast food restaurant for a milkshake. Leave a sucker on their pillow. Use your imagination!

March 4 - Hug a GI Day - If you don't know a GI you can personally hug, make a card together for someone overseas. Your local church will have names and addresses of young men and women in their congregation to send a homemade card. Spend as much time on artwork and wording as your child would like.

March 6 - National Frozen Food Day - This would be another "kitchen" date. Go to the grocery store with your little and pick out an entire meal using frozen foods. Even small children can help prepare these kinds of meals.

March 9 - Panic Day - Never mind. This is MY day.

March 11 - Johnny Appleseed Day - Have a "library" date with your child. Pick out a book about Johnny Appleseed. You can check it out or find a big chair in the library to enjoy reading together. When you leave, go to the grocery store and let your child pick out his/her favorite kind of apple... applesauce, apple chips, real apples, etc. to eat with dinner that evening.

March 12 - Plant a Flower Day - This is a "nursery" date. Let your child pick out the perfect flower. Then go home and plant it!

March 13 - Learn about Butterflies Day - This could be another "library" date, OR you could make a special trip to The Birmingham Zoo and spend a lot of time in the Butterfly Enclosure. (Call first to make sure it is open on this specific day.)

March 14 - National Potato Chip Day - That's right. Back to the grocery store. Let your child pick out favorite chips and dips to eat during dinner that evening... and maybe during a movie with the family afterward.

Please, please, please... date your kids during the wonderful month of March!

Have a tremendous Thursday. I'll be back in the morning with Weekend Happenings and more, more, more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you tomorrow.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

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