Friday, February 12, 2010

Job List, Questions and Answers

Janet asked recently in the comments area what I would be doing with my time now that I’m no longer home schooling. Hmmm. Great question! I had to stop and think about it for a minute and the more I thought about it, the more I remembered the variety of things that comprise my Official Pastor’s Wife Official To Do List.

And then, because I’m all about writing about the tiniest pieces of the teensiest bits of trivial minutia of my life, I thought I would share my list with you. (You can thank me later.)

As you’ve probably already surmised, my biggest time chunk is dedicated to keeping up two blogs, which takes about 10-15 hours a week. (Between writing them and taking/editing/posting pictures for them.)

My only other regular weekly activities are teaching a Wednesday night adult class (2-3 hours prep) and preparing music/media for the Sunday morning services which takes another 3-4 hours.

Apart from that, everything else on the list below is the kind of stuff that ebbs and flows. (Now that I’m living near the ocean, I have to pull out these nautical terms occasionally so as to impress the natives!)

Here’s a Three Week Sampler of my life.

1. Attended a pastor’s dinner sponsored by the Gideons (the organization that puts Bibles in hotels).

2. Hosted a pastor's lunch in our home

3. Gave an informal piano/songwriting lesson to a church member

4. Visited and prayed with someone in the hospital before his surgery; Steve usually does that, but he was out of town.

5. Have spent about twenty hours so far, organizing a pictorial church directory, including designing the cover. (I probably have another ten hours to go on that project.)

6. Worked on Annual Business Meeting packets.

7. Will be hosting a Board Meeting dinner at our home

8. Hosted a pot luck dinner at our home for the worship team.

9. Am preparing certificates to be handed out to those who were baptized recently.

10 . Organized names for an updated Prayer Chain list for the church

11. Am giving the devotional at the overnight gathering our the Girls Ministry at our church is sponsoring.

12. Am working on a media presentation for an upcoming Sunday morning service.

13. Cooked for (and attended) a senior's luncheon held at the church.

14. Attended a viewing.

15. Did two pastoral visits with Steve.

16. Had dinner with a church family.

17. Spent several hours updating our music files—both computer based, and paper based.

18. Will be attending a day long conference about creativity in the church. (Sponsored by the church where the CF Husband is the music pastor.

The next two weeks are going to be especially interesting because we have ordered a new computer for our sound room. The current computer is about twelve years old and is not quite up to the task of handling all the multi-media/graphics tasks that we’ve been asking of it lately.

The computer is being custom built for our church by our friend, Wyatt and will also serve as my secretarial computer when I’m working at the church instead of working from home. I will no doubt be spending countless hours on it, learning all of its fun and challenging features--I am REALLY looking forward it.

So there you have it! Wasn’t that exciting?

And since that whole long post was the result of a question in the comments area, let me finish answering a few more of the questions that have been left lately.

Anonymous wrote, “Lesley Sansone (note: she is the fitness instructor I featured recently) is a wonderful instructor and her DVD’s are easy to follow.”

I have to agree with that! That picture I posted of her was taken from a DVD I actually own. I have done the workout several times and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get in better shape but doesn’t have the time, desire, or physical ability to do more demanding workouts. The DVD I bought came with an exercise band, which is a really nifty tool, and it also contains one, two, three and four mile walks all on one DVD.

Margie asked, “On your 30-day break from desserts, how much weight did you lose?”

Margie, I lost 3-4 pounds which I was pretty happy with considering that I didn’t get my exercise routine (the DVD I just referred to) going until the last week.

Lizz recommended the Biggest Loser DVD’s because they feature real people.

Lizz, that is a GREAT idea, and long overdue. I’ll keep my eyes open for them since I could use some exercise DVD variety.

And lastly (on a non-exercise subject) here's a comment that really made my day.

Jenna said, “I was just crying my eyes out after a really rough day when I read your post- thanks for cheering me up and bringing a smile to my face.”

Jenna, I am so glad to know you found a reason to smile on your tough day. I hope things are going better for you today!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Crime Against Chocolate

I will begin my post today by bravely and forthrightly answering the accusations that were hurled at me in a most hurl-y type manner yesterday, asking why in the WORLD my first dessert (after a 30-day dessert break) wasn’t chocolate.

What was I thinking? How could I have done such a thing? Why would I ever choose a non-chocolate item to break the fast? Where was my brain at the time? Who in their right mind would ever commit such a hideous, horrible, and horrendous crime against chocolate?

Actually the comments weren’t quite that spirited but there definitely was some surprise expressed that my photo of the Official First Dessert didn’t include chocolate, the most delectable of all mostly delectable substances.

Well. I have a confession to make.

My confession is that the picture I posted did not truly represent my first dessert of the day. I was just trying to foist it off as the first dessert because I didn’t want to admit that I had eaten something sweet earlier.

Yes, people, it’s true.

At 6:22 a.m. on Tuesday morning, I, Rebecca C. Smith, hereby admit to the felonious fact that I knowingly, willingly and willy-nilly-ily consumed a 40-calorie, chocolate covered graham cracker. In the morning. In the kitchen. By the sink. Gladly. And without remorse.

I admit it. I ate chocolate before 5 pm. I even ate chocolate before lunch. I am ready to stand up say publicly that I have a problem. I am addicted.

And I really did mean to tell you about it. I really did mean to confess it. Honestly! But then I got the idea of just posting the photo of my MAIN dessert of the day, hoping that it would detract attention from the chocolate imbibing that I had done earlier. (Waaay earlier in the day.)

Sigh. I just can’t keep any secrets from you at all, can I?

But please listen to what I have to say in my defense before you pass any judgmental judgments against my person.

Here’s the rest of the story . . .

Toward the end of my 30-day dessert fast, I began to be overcome with a secret worry. It was nothing that I wanted to share here in this public forum, it was nothing I even told my husband or my children about. I didn’t tell my friends and I didn’t write it in my (non-existent) personal journal.

However, the worry continued to grow. It began to consume me. It began to fill my every waking thought and my every sleeping moment. I would awaken with a start at 2:08 am and realize that this unspoken worry was waiting to taunt me from the foot of my bed.

It was not a good season of my life. It was not a restful chapter to endure. Peaceful moments were hard to come by as the worry dogged my steps and chased me through the moments that made up the hours that made up the days of my pitiful, woeful, worry-laden life.

Um. What was I talking about?

Oh yes. Why I ate chocolate early in the morning. Which had to do with worry. Which I was writing about. Which I was saying that I hadn’t told anyone about. Which is why I’m not going to tell you about it now.

Or wait. I guess I will. I mean, if I can’t share these kinds of things with my Smithellaneous friends, then who can I share them with?

Okay, so here it is. My. Worry.

I was worried that I had forgotten the taste of chocolate! I was worried that after thirty days of non-imbibing, thirty days without one little speck of chocolate in my mouth, that I would forget how to chew it. Or how to swallow it. I was afraid I would have to start re-learning chocolate appreciation from scratch. I was afraid that chocolate would not longer be my friend.

It was scary. It was unnerving. It was, well, worrisome.

And so THAT is why I crept down the stairs early on Tuesday morning and took myself over to the drawer containing our assorted items of chocolate. Would the chocolate recognize me? Would I have to reintroduce myself? Would it be awkward? Would my test buds be startled into complete shock? Would they rebel and demand a carrot stick instead? How terrible is that thought?

The only way I could find out for sure, the only way I could lay the worries to rest for good was to take three bites of that cookie.

And chew.

And swallow.

And behold, it was good.

It was very, very good.


Whew! It’s good to have that off my chest. (And on to my hips!)

Now since I’m no longer consumed with chocolate-related worries, I have been able to muster the energy and the wherewithal to share with you the NON-chocolate dessert that I had after dinner on Tuesday evening. It comes straight from the Pioneer Woman.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love any sort of dessert that is warmed, topped with ice cream. (In fact I love those desserts almost more than I love chocolate. Hard to believe, I know.) Hence, my love affair with these dumplings.

Now don’t quote me on this, but I would think that if you’re short of time—and energy—you could use canned apples instead of the peeled, chopped apples. If anyone happens to try that, let me know how it turns out.

Enjoy! These babies are better than amazing!

(Note: See post below for the recipe. I'm trying to start separating recipes out from regular posts to make the recipes easier to find later on.)

Apple Dumplings

Apple Dumplings (From the Pioneer Woman)

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 6-8

  • 2 whole Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 cans (8 Oz. Cans) Crescent Rolls
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1-½ cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • Cinnamon, To Taste
  • 1 can (12 Oz.) Mountain Dew Soda
Preparation Instructions

Peel and core apples. Cut each apple into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.

Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

First Dessert

Okay, here is the dessert that ended my 30-day break from desserts.

It's an apple dumpling, warmed in the oven, topped with vanilla ice cream.

I just barely kept myself from licking the plate.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Here is my imponderable question of the day.

Why is that when you purchase a fitness DVD to do at home, the picture on the cover always features a person who looks like this?

Is this picture supposed to somehow inspire me? Is it supposed to make me feel energized? Is it supposed to engender feelings of warmth and happiness? Hmmmm? WHAT is the purpose of that kind of photo?

And let me also ask you this imponderable question? Why is it that the workout included on the DVD unfailingly features a whole flock of other annoyingly thin ladies--in addition to Miss Twiggy on the cover? Just how is that supposed to make me feel motivated?

Why don't they put real people on the covers? Why don't they put real people in the demonstration? Real people like the model on this magazine cover?

There now. Don't you all feel better? Don't you feel inspired?

Can you see how the inspiration just oozes out of the model's face? Do you see how she is trying to burn into your brain the irrefutable truth that even the food you eat standing up contains calories? And even if you break a cookie in half before eating it, the fat grams don't fall out? And that consuming your child's leftover macaroni and cheese so it doesn't go to waste will still, um, make the macaroni go to "waist?"

These are the kinds of truths that the perfectly formed women on the covers of exercise DVDs are not capable of communicating. And that is why I believe that I may have a second career in being a fitness magazine model.

In fact, I'm quite certain that as soon as this magazine cover hits the Internet, my phone will be ringing with Fitness Modeling Offers. And if, for some odd reason, they don't think the picture on this particular cover is what they're looking for, I have more!

My own personal fashion/fitness photographer, the famous Sarah Smith, also took these photos last night.

I know beyond any doubt that you can not look at these photos and not be inspired to lose weight! And that knowledge makes me so very happy.

I am making a difference.

I am inspiring people around the world to eat healthy and get fit.

My fluffy (but happy) form on the front of fitness magazines may very well begin a revolution in the weight loss world.

It's a, um, heavy responsibility.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Snessert Land

Tomorrow is the end of my 30-day break from desserts.

What to do? What to do? Should I have something sweet before breakfast or after? Or maybe even during?

Should I have a mid morning dessert at 9 am or would it be better to wait until ten? What shall I eat that's sweet after lunch? And how soon can I legally consume my early/mid/late afternoon servings of succulent sweetness?

And oh the joys of thinking about dessert after dinner. What shall it be? Chocolate? OR chocolate?

And then we have the bedtime snessert to consider. ( A snessert is a cross between a snack and dessert. And yes, I just made that up.) What tempting things from my freezer and pantry will be calling my name? I don't know. All I can do is wait until the moment I hear their sweet voices, beckoning me ever nearer.

Oh the decisions that I will have to make on the morrow. Those agonizing, post "thirty days of being dessert-less" decisions. I hope I am up to the challenge. I hope that a month of going without dessert has not weakened me to the point where I will be unable to cope with the plethora of plentitudinous portions of pastry, puddings, and pies.

Maybe I'll set my alarm for 12:01 am and get up and have just one little ol' cookie. Or even one big 'ol cookie. Or maybe I'll just forgo the alarm altogether so that I can be fully rested for the challenging day ahead of me.

I'll keep you posted.