Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up, Simple Fruit Salad, New Creation Celebration, A Little Bit of My Story - Part 1

Good Tuesday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - A friend (LeAnna) asked me to post a few more Brad and Stephanie Engagement Pics, so that's what I'm gonna do.

RANDOMNESS #2 - The following is The Official Nashville List I made in the comfort of my own home before the trip:

Things To Do

Nashville Parthenon
Korean Bridge
Cheekwood Botanical Gardens
Nashville Zoo
Center of Visual Arts
Union Station Hotel
Walk 2nd Avenue North
Walk Broadway
Walk Franklin's Main Street
Elk River Dam
Lotz House Museum
Canton Plantation and Battle Field

As you can readily see, the list is MUCH bigger than what we actually accomplished, but keep in mind this was a work trip for Mikie, and while he was in meetings all day Thursday and Friday morning, I was exploring on foot near the Hotel because...

I wasn't brave enough to get lost in Nashville alone.


I said it.

I'm a big ol' chicken.

Feel free to silently judge me.

Places To Eat

The Mad Platter
Frothy Monkey Coffeehouse
Bluebird Cafe
Grilled Cheeserie
Savannah's Candy Kitchen
Arnold's Country Kitchen
The Pharmacy
Puckett's Grocery and Restaurant
Meridee's Bakery
Sweet CeCe's
Cool Cafe
55 South

Everything in BOLD shows what we actually marked off the list.

I had rolled oats with cranberries, pecans, brown sugar and steamed milk at The Frothy Monkey.

I LOVE The Frothy Monkey.

We ate burgers at The Pharmacy. The buns are homemade and the burgers are delicious. They also serve old-fashioned Phosphates and Malts.

This was one of our favorite meals.

We ate at Puckett's Grocery Store and Restaurant in Franklin, and it did not disappoint. They have a large menu and really good food. Cool atmosphere, too.

We found The Shop Around the Corner, but instead of a book store, it was just full of art and beautiful things for your home.

I liked this store just a little better than Mikie.

I wanted this tub.

This old theater in Franklin was showing Frozen at 7:00 p.m.

I'm checking the movie schedule before our next trip. I have a feeling this venue is pretty cool on the inside.

So, as you can see, we pretty much just ate our way through Nashville before heading home Friday afternoon.

And a good time was had by all.

RANDOMNESS #3 - We celebrated Mrs. Faulkner's birthday Saturday night at Red Lobster in Oxford (her pick).

We were seated right away, and that is always wonderful.

Roxie wanted a picture made of her and Josh before we left...

And we quickly took a group pic outside of the restaurant to remember the occasion.

Austin, Melia, Grandma, Grandpa, Roxie and Josh.

RANDOMNESS #4 - I've posted this before, but I think it's time to do it again. I'll be posting the next four parts (plus an update over the next three weeks), so if you or someone you love suffers from anxiety or panic disorders, please know you are not alone.

A Little Bit of My Story - Part 1

I bring up the following not for pity or sympathy as I said before, but to make it more "common" and not as taboo.

On December 16, 2006, almost one year to the day from when Josh became so ill, I had a panic attack.

I was sitting beside Mike watching Austin play basketball when my vision began to diminish in one eye. It was very apparent, very fast and immediately after my vision faded in my left eye, I felt as though every bit of energy ran out of my body... from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. I felt heaviness. I couldn't breathe. I felt as though I was watching everything around me from somewhere far, far away.

I touched Mike's knee and told him something was wrong. "What is it?" he asked, watching me. I explained as best I could what was going on, and then I told him I was going to go out of the gym and call my doctor.

He got up to walk with me, but I since I was able to move and walk and talk, I wanted to do it myself. I stayed in his sight, called my doctor and explained what I was feeling. He told me to get to a hospital immediately. He said I could possibly be having a stroke or a heart attack.

I motioned for Mike and he asked a friend to sit with Josh and Roxie for the remainder of the game. We didn't even tell them I was sick because there wasn't time, and I was afraid of what it would do to Josh. I knew he couldn't come with us in the car in case I did have a heart attack. It would be devastating to any child, but Josh was still so sick himself, we couldn't risk it. We called my Mom and she immediately went to the gym and arrived a few minutes after Austin's game was over.

Some people have asked why we didn't call an ambulance. I knew Mikie would be able to get me anywhere I needed to be faster than an ambulance. Also, I didn't want to risk the kids seeing me leave in an ambulance. Again, I was thinking it would do more damage to Josh's condition.

At the hospital, I was hooked up to all the machines and given oxygen and they took a lot of blood. After a couple of hours, the symptoms started to subside. After more and more tests, they came back into the room and said I was diabetic. My blood sugar number was 212. It was supposed to be between 70 and 100. To me, that sounded extremely high, so I felt confident they had discovered the problem. What I found out in the days to come was very frightening to say the least... and had nothing to do with diabetes.

Josh and I (along with Mikie, Austin and Roxie) had been fighting his mental illness for a year, and although there was improvement, the fight wasn't over. And now, I was about to begin a new fight of my own... a fight which continues to this day... a fight which will be much more difficult this week (April 20 through April 24) because I have chosen to discuss it and thus, it will be in the forefront of my thoughts.

I had just started the journey to understand OCD and the horribly debilitating effects it had on someone's life. Now, I was going to have to start a new journey of my own. A journey I was certain I wasn't equipped or prepared to travel... alone or with God. And once again, I was partially right. I wasn't equipped or prepared, but God was and still is.

The stories told over the next few weeks will be strictly about my panic attacks. I wish I could say they are totally under control (they are most definitely not), or I have totally overcome them (I most certainly have not). But once again, I believe being quiet and embarrassed or ashamed is not the way to go. For me or anyone else out there suffering in silence, it is just that... suffering.

Friday I will tell you the little story about how I found out diabetes wasn't the culprit causing my symptoms... and how I learned to love Diet Dr. Pepper!

New Creation Celebration

Try this party which was "created" for your immediate family. Fun, easy, inexpensive AND it teaches a Biblical truth. You can't beat that.

Bible Concept: When we love Jesus, we become joyous new creations.

Scripture Basis: 2 Corinthians 5:17


Colorful Sharpie Markers
Dull pennies
Easter Card
Plastic Eggs
Small Bowls
Paper Towels
12 Hard-Boiled Eggs
Cupcakes (see recipe)

Preparation: Make Surprise Cupcakes using the recipe below. Be sure to prepare one cupcake for each person.

Surprise Cupcakes

Prepare a box of cake mix according to the directions on the package, but do NOT bake the batter. Fill ice-cream cones half full of cake batter, then add a gumdrop. Continue to fill the cone to one inch from the top. Bake according to the directions or until golden brown. Cool and decorate with icing, shredded green coconut and tiny jelly beans.

This party is a celebration of the newness of spring, and of our hearts when we love Jesus!

Tell each person they are required to wear something "new" or "different." They can borrow something from another family member, make a new paper hat or wear a shirt backwards.

Be sure the Surprise Cupcakes are prepared. You may wish to decorate a festive party table by covering it with Easter gift wrap and setting the table with colorful paper goods. For an extra touch, fill an Easter basket with fresh flowers and place it in the center of the table. Fresh flowers colorfully accentuate the party theme of "new life."

Gather family members and warmly welcome them to the New Creation Celebration. Say: "I see you all have on something 'new.' Can you guess what each other's new item is?" Encourage family members to tell their guesses about what "new" item each person is wearing. Have each family member explain what is new and different. Then ask:

1. Does wearing something new or different make you a different person? Why or why not?

2. If people can't change themselves by what they wear, how do they change?

3. Who is the only one who can bring us new life so we truly become new creations?

Say: "Jesus is the only one who helps us become truly new creations. How does he do this? Let's see if the Bible has the answer." Choose someone to read aloud 2 Corinthians 5:17. Then ask:

4. How do you think we become changed by loving Jesus?

5. Why is there great joy in being new creations in Christ?

6. What do you think happens to show we're new creations?

Invite family members to each take a dull penny and tell ways we are like dull pennies before we love Jesus. Then drop the pennies in a bowl of vinegar and soak them for several minutes. Play the following games and activities while the pennies soak:

Egg Roll Relay - Hand a plastic egg to each person. On "go," challenge players to roll the eggs to the other end of the room in any way they desire such as with their noses or toes or hands. When they reach the opposite end of the room, players must switch eggs with another person and return to their starting places.

Eggheads - Hand each person a hard-boiled egg and a Sharpie. Have family members each draw a happy face and/or bright, happy decorations on their eggs to show the joy they have in loving Jesus. Encourage everyone to use lots of cheerful colors.

When the eggs are finished, return to the pennies. Hand each person a paper towel and scoop out a penny. Have everyone rub and polish his or her penny until it shines brilliantly. Then ask:

7. How are these shiny pennies like our lives when we love Jesus?

Say: "When we love Jesus, we become changed like new creations, just as the dull pennies became like new. We know we're new by the joy we feel inside and by the way we're able to love and accept others. There is no greater joy than the joy we have in being new creations in Christ!"

Have family members gather at the party table and help themselves to a Surprise Cupcake. Before enjoying the special treats, offer a prayer thanking God for Jesus' love and for the way we become changed when we love Him. Then explain that each Surprise Cupcake has a surprise inside to remind everyone about the way we change inside when we love Jesus. When someone discovers the hidden surprise, he or she is to say, "I'm changed inside, and I love Jesus!"

Let family members keep their shiny pennies to remind them how new and bright their lives are as a result of Jesus' love. Place the decorated eggs in a pretty basket and add a bow and a card on which you have written 2 Corinthians 5:17. Then on Easter morning, secretly place the pretty surprise on an elderly neighbor's doorstep to spread the joy your family feels in loving Christ.

Taken from Affordable Family Fun.

Simple Fruit Salad

Your favorite fruits, peeled and sliced. Strawberries, blueberries, mangos and grapes work well. Leave your berries whole.

You will also need the following:

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Wash your fruit, slice and peel.

2. Add vanilla extract to the fruit, then 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar (not granulated sugar).

3. Mix together until blended, and you have the best fruit salad ever.

NOTE - Before serving, I quickly added fresh Gala apple chunks and banana slices. It was pretty AND delicious.

Have a grand Tuesday. I'll be back Friday with Weekend Happenings, another new-to-me-so-I'll-share-it-with-you recipe, A Little Bit of Me - Part 2 and a few more Easter traditions.

Take care, and I'll talk to you the end of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda

1 comment:

  1. Love, love, love that last picture of Brad & Stephanie-you did such a wonderful job Belinda- I vote that one to go in the wedding invites. Thank you for sharing your story of panic attacks. I know you will continue to do so but thank you in advance. Andrea


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