Upbeat Christian Workout Playlist

Upbeat Christian Workout Playlist

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Upbeat and Inspiring Christian Workout Playlist

For workout, house cleaning, dancing with the kids, long car trips. A Christian workout playlist you’ll love. #christianmusic #songideas #workoutsongs

In my quest to continually keep myself motivated to run/walk every morning….I try to add fresh new songs to my playlist.  Otherwise I get bored and my mind starts to wander and that leads to thoughts of sitting down and feasting on chocolate.

In case you are also weak minded and easily bored, I am sharing my new faves with you.  These links go directly to iTunes so you don’t even have to go find the songs for yourself.  How’s that for service?

1. Your Name Will Be Praised by Laura Story
2. Unashamed Of You by Chris August
3. So Long Self by Mercy Me
4. Live Through Me by Meridith Andrews
5. Beautiful Day by Jamie Grace
6. Lose Myself by Toby Mac
7. Overwhelm Me by Adie
8. Let Everything That Has Breath by Jeremy Camp
9. Constant by Francesca Batisttelli
10. Marvelous Light by Charlie Hall

That’s it….fun to run to and be encouraged.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for daily exercise motivation!

I’m Keyless

I’m Keyless

The conference this past weekend was a great family activity.  The kids especially loved seeing their friends and hanging out at the conference hotel until 2AM Saturday night playing games and singing.  I do not especially like staying up until 2 in the morning since it makes for a very grumpy mom, so I was in bed by 10:00.  Oh the joy of having kids who can drive themselves home.

We heard a lot of great speakers and ate a lot of hamburgers.  I got salad with chicken, of course, but the kids ate their weight in burgers.  For some reason they didn’t want to go home and eat leftovers when their friends were all going to Fuddrucker’s.  I agree really….the fellowship is the best part of these conferences!  But I’ve eaten enough Fuddrucker’s to last me a year.

We also had a family staying at our house so that meant people coming and going all day long.  I tried to run back and forth between home and hotel so my older kids could just enjoy the weekend.  It would have been nice to spend more time at the conference, but laundry waits for no man.  We invited different families over for meals during the weekend also, so that really kept things hopping.

On Sunday there was a church service to wrap up the conference and our whole family went, but I wasn’t feeling great so I decided to leave right after the service with the little boys and go on home, letting the rest of the family linger and say their goodbyes.

Here’s where I should tell you that I don’t carry a house key.  I really never need one because there’s always either someone at home or a pre-arranged hidden key (don’t bother looking for it….it’s a very complicated hiding process).  But I didn’t think about it yesterday so when I got home I realized I was locked out.

This is not the first time it’s happened.  And before you tell me how simple it would be for me to just GET A KEY, we have tried that.  But every time I go make myself a key something happens to it, someone borrows it, I forget it….the list of keylessness issues goes on and on.

I have thought before of getting one of those keyless entry locks, but two things stop me.  1. They cost like $100 and 2. They are ugly.

I may go back to trying to carry a house key.  But I think we can all see how that will go.

I did manage to get into the house.  I won’t tell you how, but just know it involved a metal bowl and some gardening shears.

One thing I especially loved about the weekend was that the rains brought cooler weather.  It was in the 80s all weekend which pretty much equals heaven in this part of Texas in September.  There’s nothing like a 100+ degree drought to make you glad for the teeniest bit of cool moisture.

We are looking forward to a quiet-ish week of normal-ish activity.

What do you have going on?!

A FUN Christian Workout Playlist!

A FUN Christian Workout Playlist!

I'm always looking for some new, fun music to workout to!  -- The Pennington Point

It’s about time for another workout playlist!  I don’t know about you, but I get tired of the same old songs every morning for an hour.  In other words, I am spoiled.  Can you imagine me complaining about that to the starving children of Africa?

Waaah-Waaah my ipod battery runs low so sometimes I can’t take pictures.

OK, I’m better now.  Perspective check.

Anyway, I do like me some new tunes so here are some upbeat fun ones to add to your workout list.  All of these make me wanna groove to the music.

Here you go!1. Count Your Rainbows by 1 Girl Nation (sometimes I just love a girl song)
2. Every Good Thing by The Afters (it makes you feel good)
3. Focus by Holly Starr (this slows down a little, but it’s a great message)
4. Gold by Owl City (my kids love Owl City, so I have to include it!)
5. Listen by Josh Wilson (this will preach)
6. Outta My Mind by Anthem Lights (it’s a little electric, but fun for working out)
7. The Story of Your Life by Matthew West (he always has a life message)
8. That’s How You Change the World by Newsboys (I heart Newsboys)
9. Walk on the Water by Britt Nicole (she has the sweetest sound)
10. What If We Were Real by Mandisa (My current favorite song)
11. Words by Hawk Nelson (I like to run to this one)
12. You Lead by Jamie Grace (This is a cute song…it leads me to worship)

Be sure to check out my January, February and April playlists too!

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7 Questions Answered About My Weight Loss Journey

7 Questions Answered About My Weight Loss Journey

Yesterday on Facebook I posted a before/after pic of myself since I started my weight loss journey.  I didn’t expect the outpouring of support and especially the 200+ emails and messages I got asking for more info on how I did it.

80+ pounds of weight off!  Come see how she did it!

I so wish I could reply to them all, but there’s isn’t enough time for me to do that, which makes me so sad!  You all are so special!  I am gonna try here to reply to the basic questions and fill you in as best I can.  I am sure I will miss something and I hope you will leave a comment if you have more questions and I will try to answer those as best I can.

This blogger answers some great questions about how she lost her weight!  #weightloss #diet #essentialoils

1. How did you lose the weight?
I did it the old-fashioned way….diet and exercise.
a. I have written several posts about what I am eating, but in a nutshell I am using a book called Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution.  My doctor recommended it to me and I am following it almost exactly.
b. A few weeks after I started the diet I started to exercise.  Before this, I never did any kind of exercise.  I would have told you, “I am not that kind of person.”  But it turns out that it was in me all along….or maybe God just put it there, but I do enjoy it now.  Weird, huh?

2. What are you eating?
The book describes it a lot better than I can, but I basically eat vegetables and protein.  No sugars (including artificial sweeteners, honey, etc.), no dairy (except yogurt), no carbs (pasta, bread, potatoes, rice, etc.).  It feels really strict at first, but once I got used to it I find it very enjoyable.  I do a lot of traveling and I have been able to keep it up even on the road.  Here’s a post with 7 lunch ideas!

3. What kind of exercise are you doing?
I started by just walking on my road.  Then I decided to challenge myself a little more.   I jogged, just a little at first, then longer and longer until now I run for about half of the 5 miles I go every morning.  I like it, but I needed to work on shaping my body more, so I added a workout called TTapp and I now do that about 3x a week.  And recently I started adding a few weights and other toning exercises (Who AM I?!).

4. How long did it take and how did you not lose motivation?
It took me about 6 months to lose the first 70# and 5 months to lose the last 13# and I still want to lose another 20#.  I am assuming that will take me another year, which is fine.  I feel good and am in no huge hurry.  I credit three things to my being able to stick with it.  The first is accountability….this was huge!  I told everybody I was doing it and I post every morning on Facebook and Instagram.  If I don’t post my exercise picture I will get at least 20 messages from people asking where I am.  It’s a strong motivation.  Second, getting the first few weeks under my belt started the ball rolling and I allowed myself to buy a couple of new outfits.  I love fashion so knowing I would reward myself with a few new things all along the way was a big motivation.  It’s a whole new experience to enjoy trying on clothes and that inspires me to keep going.  And last is prayer.  I am determined to turn to God first before I let myself blow it and He gives me strength every time to stay the course.

5. Can you tell me more about the supplements you are using?
I have talked a LOT about Lift Caps.  There’s a whole, long story as to how God led me to these supplements but I can’t write it all here.  I started taking them the same day that I started my diet journey, so I consider them to be a big part of my success.  They helped me get past the fatigue and moodiness that I was struggling with.  The people at the company have been a huge support and since then I have started taking some of their other products.  I use their multi-vitamin, Life Shield and I take their Vitamin C.  They are great about answering all of your questions a lot better than I can.

6. How did the essential oils help you?
Oh my goodness!  I don’t know if I would have been able to stick with it if I hadn’t had my essential oils.  They helped me when I would have cravings, when I needed an energy boost or if I was just feeling low.  I have learned so much about how the oils support the body that it has not only helped me to lose weight, but boosted my general drive for overall health and wellness.  I started drinking their NingXia Red a few months ago and that has been another huge help to my staying well and being able to keep up the lifestyle change.  My use of the oils has been woven into my journey and I am so grateful!

7. What did you do about hypothyroidism?
This, along with adrenal fatigue, is something that I have been dealing with for the past 5+ years.  It definitely plays a part in my struggles, but I think just changing my diet made it much more manageable.  I started researching how to use essential oils to improve my thyroid function which led me to use EndoFlex and Myrtle twice a day over my thyroid.  It has made a huge difference and my thyroid is testing in normal range now.  I will have it tested again in October and will let you know how that goes.

One thing that I want to add even though it wasn’t asked, is how much the diet and lifestyle change has affected my relationship with God.  The morning walk/jog has given me more time with Him each day and that has led to a deeper spiritual walk.  I have grown to trust Him more and that has added a peace to my life that is better than any weight loss or physical healing.  My friends, if I can impart that one message to you, that God is right there ready to fill all of your needs, it would be worth everything I have gone through.

I hope that helps to answer some of your questions!  Let’s keep the conversation going….what else can I share with you to help you on your own journey?  I want to be your cheerleader!

 

Let Me ‘Splain.  No, There is too Much.  Let Me Sum Up.

Let Me ‘Splain. No, There is too Much. Let Me Sum Up.

I am not going to make any attempt to tell you all about the past week of my life.  It’s frankly too much activity for one person and I am now considering applying to be on The Amazing Race, having proved to myself that I can get lost in several cities and survive.

In San Francisco last weekend I had the taxi driver from ‘H-E-double-hockey-sticks’, weaving in and out of oncoming traffic as I cried out in terror, and I lived to tell about it.  Having looked into the face of death and won, I am feeling much less intimidated by the 9 children and 450 emails that await my attention this morning.

Not to mention last Sunday being followed around Seattle at 5:30AM by a homeless man who decided I needed to hear all about how much he hates it when people stare at him.  That, for this country girl, was a bit too much.  I did think he was generally harmless, but it unnerved me enough that I got turned around and couldn’t find my way back to my hotel.  I had to kind of just keep jogging instead of trying to stop and figure it out.  Nothing says “come attack me” like standing alone in a deserted downtown staring at a tourist map.  I did eventually find it, thankfully!

Yesterday on a drive home from Houston I started feeling my body settle into travel weariness and I had to munch on Sonic ice to keep from falling asleep.  When we pulled into the driveway I asked my daughter who was with me if she minded propping me on her back and dragging me into the house.  I wasn’t sure if I could make the last 100 ft.

I am glad to report I have a couple of weeks off from traveling and plan to spend every second with my kids that didn’t get to go with me and just stare at them.  This morning I sat at the table to talk with my boys and I told Elijah, “Bring your chair over here and sit right next to me.”  He did and I kept patting his back and rubbing his shoulder when finally I just proclaimed that even though he is 11 years old, I would need him to sit in my lap for a few minutes because I missed him too much to be satisfied with just being next to him.  He begrudgingly did it.  I hugged it out then released him to go be his own person who will undoubtedly need therapy someday.

Speaking of needing therapy, my daughter Hope will likely have a lot to say to her future counselor after having seen me in my underwear yesterday.  In the middle of the mall.  We were shopping and as I reached toward a rack of clothes it happened….my skirt fell right to the floor.  It was all so quick!  I heard her gasp, felt a chill on my backside and something plopped at my feet all in the same second.  I looked down and tried to process what the gray pile of fabric was around my ankles.  Could that be my skirt?!  Yep.  I scooped it up as fast as I could then turned to my daughter to see her laughing so hard she had to walk away.  I tried to just nonchalantly move onward through the mall like nothing happened, but it kept flashing through our minds and we’d start to giggle uncontrollably.  Nothing like a little mother-daughter bonding to end the weekend.

Have a good one!

My Full Work Force and Sore Muscles

My Full Work Force and Sore Muscles

My family gave me the best gift ever for Mother’s Day…..a whole day of work, no questions asked.  They’d just do whatever I wanted.

When they offered this, I probably should have just smiled a sweet southern thank you and let them off the hook.  But I am not that kind of girl.  Oh no.  I made a to-do list the size of War and Peace.  Nothing makes this mamma happier than getting some projects done and the house squeaky clean.

MD01

But I have to back up a couple of days to last Thursday night when James and I decided to do something so out of our comfort zone that we might not survive it.  We did the first day of a 6 week program designed to tone your body.  Yes, tone.  Why we decided to do this, I have no idea.  We are not those people who walk around looking all healthy and fit and make other people swoon.  That’s just not us.  And our muscles have cried out in rebellion to the whole idea, leaving us limping and wincing every time we sit.  And you don’t even want to know what kind of howls were happening when we had to climb into our big van yesterday morning to get to church.  Getting into that thing is like climbing one of those rock walls….I always wish I had a harness for safety when I grab onto the handle and heave myself up.

Now fast forward back to Saturday morning when James got up at 6:30 to work outside with the boys because one of the things on my list was cleaning out the beds surrounding the guest house.  These beds looked like something a haunted mansion would have around its perimeter.  Scary, dead and who know what lurks beneath.  And it was only made worse by the frightening wincing noises James made every time he bent to pull a weed.  I felt a little sorry for him, but not enough to tell him to stop.

Busy people were working all over the place.  It’s times like these when having a whole passel of kids pays off.  There were children from the back field to the front porch fulfilling my every wish.  We got a ton of work done and I was so, so happy.  The porch is all clean, deck railing repaired, guest house beds all cleaned up, inside spiffy clean, some shelves rearranged, and so much more!

For fun, here’s a flashback to 4 years ago when the kids all helped me build the deck around the pool….the same deck we spent time repairing rails on this past weekend.  You can click on the picture to read that post.

MD02

Sunday we went to church then they took me out to lunch for Mother’s Day.  We only eat out once a year or so considering it costs $125+ and we have to wait an hour for a table big enough.  So that was a treat for sure!  Afterward we went home and hung out for a while then I took the best nap….oh so good!  In the evening I went for a walk with some of the kids and ended the day by watching my least favorite team get eliminated on The Amazing Race.  I can’t think of anything more perfect.

This week I have a full schedule, but since it all involves some version of not leaving Texas or flying on an airplane I am a happy camper.

Especially considering I am now safe to limp to the guest house without fear of being eaten attacked by a dead plant.

Just Keepin’ On!

Just Keepin’ On!

In the 6 years since I started blogging this is the first time I have gone a whole week without posting.  Not even when I had dental surgery the day after my grandmother passed away.  That should tell you how crazy it’s been here.

Just a few days after I got home from Salt Lake City I flew to Chicago to go to the 2:1 Conference where I was also a speaker.  That meant I needed to figure out what I was going to talk about in my session plus fill a load of Shop24 orders before I left.  So I had one of my kids make my Power Point and another one finish filling the etsy orders.  You say sweatshop; I say survival.

Somehow I made it to Chicago in mostly one piece and the conference was great.  Those are my people.  Homeschool, Christian bloggers (not to mention my peeps from Hip Homeschool Moms!).  The sessions covered everything from building your blog as a business to understanding when to get off line and live your life.  Hallelujah for a conference with a conscience!

Conference buddies

My sweet friends Heidi St. John, Connie Hughes and Jen Schmidt!

If you are following me on Instagram then you know that I spent Monday attempting to see all of Chicago in one day.  I was alone, which made it easier to just run from one place to the next without worrying about another person.  Normally I would have missed having someone to talk to, but since I had spent the past 2 weekends surrounded by hundreds of friends, I kind of enjoyed the quiet.  I saw so many places that I am seriously considering writing a pamphlet showing how I did it.

A quick trip to see Chicago!

The Chicago Theater

My first tip: Lose weight and start exercising.  ‘Cuz no way I could have done that a year ago.  I would have worn out too quickly and had to stop.  I am not exaggerating when I say I think I climbed at least 1,000 steps.  That alone would have put me into some kind of medical crisis before I started getting healthy.  I did get tired, but not as much as you would think.

A quick trip to see Chicago!

The Bean! (aka Cloud Gate)

Once I got home I had to pull out the Energizer Bunny suit and keep on going because it was one of the boys’ birthday and that couldn’t be missed.  I headed to the city with him and a couple of the other kids (they get to invite 2 siblings to join them on their b-day outing).  Unfortunately he wanted to see Captain America, which is my third time to watch that movie.  Once to preview it for the kids, again when my husband wanted to go together and now this.  I don’t even care for super hero movies, so I mostly ran in and out bringing drinks and snacks to the three kids.  I will do pretty much anything to avoid seeing people fighting.  And car chases….they make me so upset that I get sick to my stomach.  I sit there worrying about the people whose cars get crashed in the chase and if they have insurance or small children in the car.

James tries to explain to me that they aren’t real people’s cars and it’s all pretend.  But I say that if I am supposed to believe those guys are flying through the air fighting to save the world then why am I not supposed to believe someone needs that car they just smashed to pieces?  Clearly I should stick with chick flicks and cartoons.

I am gonna spend the next few days unpacking and snuggling anyone who walks past.  I missed these people.  I also have big plans to clean up the house the way only a mamma can do.  They kept it pretty neat while I was gone, but I have a need to scrub some walls and vacuum under furniture.

Then, just maybe, I will rest.  But I can’t make any promises.

Be sure to check out my Instagram!

5 Questions About My Weight Loss Answered

5 Questions About My Weight Loss Answered

I haven’t mentioned my health journey for a while.  I’m doing great.  I am down 81 pounds since last summer.  Believe me, no one is more surprised about that than I am.

James and I went shopping on Wednesday and since I am on a search for warm weather clothes, I tried on a few things while we were out.  He asked me, “Did you think at this point last year that you would be able to wear these sizes today?”

I surely didn’t!  In fact, I felt hopeless about it.  Then one day last summer I just stopped feeling hopeless and took charge.  Now I’m running (still a shocker to me every single time) and losing weight and not eating junk…craziness.  You can do it too; I know that for sure.

I get a lot of questions about my weight loss, so I thought I’d answer a few here.

After losing 80 pounds, I'm answering the top 5 questions I get -- The Pennington Point

1. How far do you walk/run every day?
I go between 4 and 5 miles.  I take about an hour so if I go faster I can go further.  I listen to inspirational music and pray and breathe in the outside and the time to myself.  I really look forward to it every day.  For the month of April my Facebook group is challenging each other to push ourselves for 15 minutes, so I am running for at least that long.  It’s unbelievable to me.  I share a picture every day from my morning walk on Instagram….come see!

2. What do you eat?
I eat basically protein and veggies.  I don’t eat any grains, dairy (except yogurt) or sugar (including artificial).  I wrote a post about what I eat for breakfast and lunch.

3. How do you find time for exercise with all of those kids?!Well, it can be a challenge!  In my life now I can leave my kids so it’s easy to get in some morning exercises.  But even so, I still try to get it done extra early so I can be home by the time they are up and going.  If I couldn’t leave them I would find things to do at home, like DVDs, and I would sometimes take them with me and I would just have to figure it out.  You can always try to do half an hour after the hubs gets home.

4. Can you tell me more about the Lift Caps that you take?I still am crazy about my Lift Caps!  I get a lot of questions about the caffeine in them.  I am very sensitive to caffeine and I don’t drink coffee or black tea at all.  But the Lift Caps don’t bother me.  The people that sell them explained to me that the caffeine in it is different than what’s in coffee, more purely processed.  I do have one friend that is so sensitive to caffeine that she did notice it, but she loved them so much that she makes them into half pills (by pulling them open and pouring half into an empty capsule) and takes one half pill every day with success.  I take 2 every morning and they help me so much with my energy.  But if you ever have questions the great people at Life Priority are happy to answer them for you!

5. What essential oils have you used to help you lose weight?
I have enjoyed one called Slique.  It’s for adding to your water and not only does it give great flavor, but it helps your metabolism and curbs cravings.  I also love Citrus Fresh or Lemon in my water.  They balance my acidity and taste great!  Overall though, I think the oils have helped me maintain my own emotional balance which has helped me stick to the diet and exercise routine.

I also shared a bit of my health journey HERE at Hip Homeschool Moms.  I’ll be writing there once a month about various subjects.  It’s a great site if you’re looking for some homeschool encouragement!

And if you would like to join my Facebook group for women trying to get healthy, leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook and I would love to add you!  We pray for one another, share ideas and encourage each other to stay the course.

Have a great weekend!

The Last Cold Front and Cheesecake

The Last Cold Front and Cheesecake

Here in Texas we are having some kind of cold front, which I am loving.  I know that in a month I will be wishing for the days to be cooler so I am pretending it’s May and enjoying the crisp breeze.  I am also enjoying my last few opportunities to wear my cold weather clothing.  Long sleeves will cause me to sweat profusely in a matter of weeks and I am having a love affair with the anthropolgie shirt I bought myself in February.  We don’t want to part.  We are soul mates.

On Saturday we cleaned the house all morning like a little army.  I barked orders and handed out supplies while the kids scrubbed and swept.  I didn’t make them wear a uniform or anything, but after each task was complete I would inspect the work.  It sounds kind of  miserable, but it was actually kind of fun.  It’s nice to work hard together to take care of our home.  In the afternoon we rested, except for two of the boys who had a Lego disaster in their room and took the whole day to get it straightened out.  Legos are the bane of my existence.

This morning I am in Houston for a quick, fun, visit with my aunt.  She had a couple of spare days and I couldn’t resist driving the 4 hours to see her.  She pampers me and tells me I’m pretty and let’s face it….I’m not getting much of that at home since we are just over a week from tax season being over.

On the good side….we are just over a week from tax season being over!  See?  I can be an optimist when pressed, although it’s not my natural gift.

Tonight my aunt and I are going to eat at The Cheesecake Factory, my favorite restaurant to which I don’t have easy access back home.  I have been saving all of my calories for this meal and, while it will probably make me ill, I plan to eat a few bites of cheesecake.  This will be my first rich food in months so I don’t know how my tummy will take it.  I may have to settle for eating just a teeny bit.

This makes me wonder if we weren’t really meant to eat 1200 calories for dessert.  Food for thought.

In the meantime my kids are home eating scrambled eggs or spaghetti, which only makes me feel 1/100th guilty.  But not enough to skip the cheesecake.

I will go home tomorrow and go back to normal old grilled chicken salads and non rich foods and probably warm weather.

The word for the week is: EMBRACE

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April Acoustic Playlist

April Acoustic Playlist

I can’t believe I let the whole month of March get past me without sharing some new tunes.  Since I listen to music when I go for my walk every morning, I am always needing something fresh to keep it interesting.

It all depends on my mood, you know?  One day I’m all TobyMac and the next I just want to chill out.  So this time I am gonna share some of my favorite acoustic songs.  In case you’re in the mood for something lighter than a full band.

 A great playlist for when you're in the mood for more mellow and simple music.  -- The Pennington Point

1. Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been by Relient K
2. Be My Escape by Relient K
3. Forgiven by Sanctus Real
4.  If We Are the Body by Casting Crowns
5. Only You by Casting Crowns
6. Praise You in This Storm by Casting Crowns
7. Where the Spirit if the Lord is by Chris Tomlin
8. Our God by Chris Tomlin
9. Stand Amazed by 33 Miles (this link goes to the album because you can only get the acoustic songs if you buy the album…but it’s good!)

I will look for more to share another time.  It isn’t easy to find really good ones.  I’d love to hear what your favorite songs are!

Be sure to check out my playlists from January & February!

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