It has been two months since my last update post and I have had a lot of people in my family asking for new pictures.  I have also had a lot of new visitors that seem to have an interest so I thought I would update.  I will also be updating my post explaining the reasons that this drastic step was required in my life sometime in the near future.  Sorry for all of those that know all this info.


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9 Months ago my life changed.


I had Gastric Bypass surgery on December 27th of 2004.


For health reasons.


In the intervening months I have;


Gone from 285 pounds to 163 pounds.  A loss of 122 pounds.


Gone from a size 22 to a size 8.


Gone from 6 daily medications to just a handful of vitamins.


Gone from death by 30 to a long life ahead of me.


I have been given the release to attempt to get pregnant.


We have been trying to conceive again for over two months.


These are pictures of me before the surgery.


   


This is now.



 


Just two days before surgery.


 


Today.





The first is four days before surgery and the second is two days before.


 


Me now.



I am happy, healthy, and so grateful for the opportunity to experience life.


Courtney

Good Morning Xangaland!


So things are crazy.  Just finishing up getting ready for Monday.  I don’t think we will ever be finished! lol


Yesterday I went to see the two new babies in our family group.  My best friend Emily’s older sister and younger sister had their new babies exactly one week apart!  They were beautiful.


Today I am waiting to get a call. Our friends Remy and Eric should be in the hospital already.  We were told yesterday that today she would be induced so I’m waiting for the “Hey things are happening get here!” call.  I’ll let you know what happens.


It is still way too hot!  I want it to be fall and we are still in the 100’s.  I can’t wait for the cooler weather. 


I may have some new news about Ryan’s new job and a possible move by next week. *EDIT not move by next week just maybe info about it next week.  Sorry lol*  We’ll see.


I also finished another blanket for my Mother-In-Law.  Her birthday was September 12th and this was her gift.  I know it’s just a little late.  lol  Here are some pics. 



Don’t you just love the fall colors?


 


Wrapped up in a basket.



So there you go…. 


I’m coming around to visit.


Song of the day?  On Fire by Switchfoot.  I love this song.


Courtney

I spent all day today cleaning.  I cleaned until this house shined. 


It’s not as perfect as it will have to be for the party but it is at least clean so I have something to work with.  I cleaned made dinner worked in the yard and accomplished much.  I am very happy with how this day turned out.


We decided to head to Walmart and Home Depot for a few things.


I walked back in the door and the dogs had captured a pigeon, brought it in the house and killed it.


Feathers and blood everywhere…


Yeah


Guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow?

I woke up today needing to write. 


I don’t know why.


I am writing a story around my dream which most of you have read.  For those of you who haven’t and want to it’s chapters 15 and 16 in the story module on the left.  We’ll see where it goes, if anywhere. 


Today is another day of cleaning and now writing.  I can’t wait to have everything done and be able to sit back and look at my home and enjoy it! 


Song of the day? Ghost in this House by Alison Krauss because today I am.  I am living mostly in my story….


Courtney

Good Afternoon Xangaland!


Well we have the yard mostly done…. I’m not putting up pictures until we finish.  Ryan had to go back to work today so we will just be finishing things up a little at a time.  We have the Rosh Hashana banquet here next Monday so we have to get this place in tip top shape!  It looks like we’re going to have about 35 people attending so it should be a lot of fun.  We are going to sing and then eat and I know there will be a lot of noise, lot’s of laughter, there always is with this crowd.  I better warn the neighbors….. lol.


I know I haven’t updated about the retraining thing in a long time but we don’t really have anything concrete and frankly I get really tired of the military making a liar out of me.  You military wives know what I mean.  You finally tell everyone what you have been told and then it changes and that happens over and over and over until no one believes what you say anyway or they think your stupid for believing anything the military says in the first place.  (insert chuckle here please.)


In other news it is still hot here.  Right now at noon on September 26th it is 103 degrees.  Yuck!  A few weeks ago it felt like it was going to cool down and then we got a heat wave.  Oh well, the heats days are numbered!


I better go I really need to clean before someone decides to drop by.  ( It always happens when your least prepared.)


In the meantime I’ve got to show you a picture of my new outfit. (One I bought with mom when we went shopping last week.)  It just makes me laugh I love it but it is so 70’s retro!





Okay I’m out of here for the day.  I’m going to try to come around and visit you all.  I have missed reading your sites!  See you soon!


Song of the day? A Living Prayer by Alison Krauss.  I absolutely love this song!  It is so beautiful and so strong.  I want this in my life.


A Living Prayer


In this world I walk alone with no place to call my home
But there’s One who holds my hand
The rugged road through barren lands
The way is dark, the road is steep
But He’s become my eyes to see
The strength to climb, my griefs to bear
This Savior lives inside me there

In Your love I find release
A haven from my unbelief
Take my life and let me be
A living prayer my God to thee

In these trials of life I find
Another Voice inside my mind
He comforts me and bids me live
Inside the love the Father gives

In your love I find release
A haven from my unbelief
Take my life and let me be
A living prayer my God to thee
take my life and let me be
A living prayer my God to thee


Courtney

Good Morning Xangaland!


Still working in the yard today but before I go out I promised pictures. 


This is what I had in the room in place of a hutch.  My old dresser.



Here you go, the new hutch. 


Isn’t it beautiful?  Isn’t it great?  Wanna know the best part?


IT WAS FREE!


Can you believe it?



We lighted it too so here is a close up of my ambrina glass (which I collect) all lighted.



Okay off to work we go. 


Oh one more thing.  The cutest thing happened last night.  Ryan and I were unwinding watching some TV and all the sudden we heard this really quiet howling.  We look over and Gandalf is sleeping at my feet twitching and his lips are in this perfect O and he is just really quietly going oooooooooooooo.  It was so cute!


Song of the day? Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival.


Courtney

Okay today we are dropping Yoda off at the groomers and picking up a new china cabinet that my best friends grandma is GIVING to me!  Pictures to come later.  Whoo hooo. 


Then off course more yard. 


Guess what installing landscaping on bare property by yourself is not easy.


Song of the day? Deny Deny Deny by Brooks and Dunn Why?  I have no idea.  This song is awful but for some reason funny.  So it wins the lottery for the day.  lol


Courtney

Good Evening Xangaland!


Can’t stay long I’m exhausted and Ryan is worse! LOL


Well another day done in the yard.  We now have all the rock spread and the trees in.  The ground is tilled and awaiting seed and we’re starting on trellising in part of the porch. 


Funny how you can work for days and still see so little change…..  but that is how it works. 


One day soon we’ll look up and we’ll have a yard.


It will all be worth it then…


Song of the Day? Devil Went Down to Georgia by The Charlie Daniel’s Band.  Just because.


Courtney

Good Morning Xangaland!


 


Today Ryan has to go out to the base and get his stitches removed.  Then he has a bunch of paperwork to do and an interview for the retraining process.  Hopefully we will know a little more about what is going to happen soon.  We shall see.


 


I will be going shopping with my mom.  We have to attend a wedding next Saturday and I have nothing to wear that is dressy.  We have also been asked to be Derick’s Godparents, when he is born.  There will be a ceremony for that and so I need an outfit.  So I have to find a semi formal something.  Should be fun.  So no yard tomorrow.  I will let you know how things go!


 


In the mean time…….


 


Thought you might want to see the sermon Ryan and I did last night on the Sword of the Spirit.  It went really well and everyone else did an awesome job.  It was a great evening!  So this is the sermon notes obviously it’s different when Ryan is saying it to the group but I didn’t take shorthand! LOL 


Here is the picture we used for it.


 



 


THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT


 



HISTORY



The armor of God is described in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church of Ephesus.He wrote this letter between 60 and 61 A.D. while imprisoned in Rome awaiting trial.In his letter he encouraged the Ephesians to


14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— (Ephesians 6:14-18)


Most mainstream Christian views on this passage agree that Paul was looking at a Roman soldier’s uniform when writing this letter.That being the case, the sword of the Spirit he mentions is most likely a Roman spatha.A spatha is a slashing sword with a 28-inch, two-edged blade and an 8-10 inch hilt.Its design was based on the ancient Gallic long sword and was originally made of iron cast but later was made of a steel like alloy.It was used from the Augustan period (27 B.C. – 14 A.D.) to the Vegetius period (383 A.D. – 450 A.D.)The purpose of the double sided blade was to be effective in both directions of swing, so as not to have to adjust fighting stance while engaged in battle with multiple enemies.



SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SWORD


 




Nelson’s Study Bible describes the Holy Spirit (according to Ephesians 6:18) as “the giver of the Word as a sword for battle and the heavenly Assistant given to aid us in prayer and intercession until victory is won.”



When used at close range by a skilled soldier, the sword was a deadly weapon.The sword represents the Word of God, the written picture of Jesus.He is the living version of everything God wanted to say to mankind.God’s Word is a powerful weapon when it’s used under the spirit’s power and direction.



In Hebrews 4:12


 


12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


 


The Word of God is likened to a sword that is so sharp it can divide soul and spirit and even perceive our innermost thoughts and the desires of our hearts.



The Roman spatha was used not only for offensive warfare but also for defensive maneuvering.It could just as easily be used to deflect and redirect blows of the enemy.So too can the word of God be used as a defense of the saints.


15 But sanctify the Lord God[a] in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; (1 Peter 3:15)



Finally, we should always be prepared for traps and surprise attacks from the Devil.Having our “sword” always at the ready, we will always be prepared for the big and little surprises.


As in Psalms 119:110-112


 


The wicked have laid a snare for me,
         Yet I have not strayed from Your precepts.
    111 Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever,
         For they are the rejoicing of my heart.
    112 I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes
         Forever, to the very end.



Then I got up and talked about knowing your sword.


I came across the information in all of our research that when a young man was training to become a warrior he graduated from one weapon to another until he received his sword.It then became an extension of his body.All this to say a warrior does not go into battle with an untested weapon.He knows every inch and the feel of the blade as if it is part of his own body.


Since the Bible, the word of God, is our sword the only way to succeed in battle is to know it inside and out.


 


Okay so I’m outta here.  Song of the day? Nothing Compares by Third Day.


 


I’ve heard all the stories
I’ve seen all the signs
Witnessed all the glory
Tasted all that’s fine


Nothing compares to the
greatness of knowing You, Lord
Nothing compares to the
greatness of knowing You, Lord


I see all the people
Wasting all their time
Building up their riches
For a life that’s fine


I find myself just living for today
‘Cause I don’t know what
Tomorrow’s gonna bring
So no matter if I rise or fall
I’ll never be alone, oh no


 


Courtney