Runners Love Numbers!

Runners love numbers, in fact, I can attest to the fact that even joggers and couch potatoes, who wish to be runners, love numbers as well.  What kind of numbers do runners love?  Distance.  Time.  Calories.  Laps.  What else?  Hey, I’m a beginner, so I can’t say yet!

C25K (Couch-to-5K) has been helping make the very transition from my living room sofa to the eventual cranking out of 3.10685596 miles.  Respectable times are not promised, but that’s not the point for those of us who puff to scale a flight of stairs.

Weather and time constraints used to volunteer themselves as excuses to keep me from running, but there’s now a treadmill in my bedroom and all excuses are gone.  *Enter C25K Treadmill Version.*  Week 4 of this craziness starts today and I’m pumped!  Total time on the old tready per day during Week 1 was 30 minutes, but never fear, the actual time spent “running” was a mere 8 minutes a day.  Week 4 touts a whopping 16 minutes of run time.

While Ian (thank you, Ian), did a great job laying out the treadmill intervals for this 9-week trainer, every jogger runner wants more ways to track.  More records.  It’s just more fun!  Propped up on my treadmill book holder (who can read while they’re bouncing all over the place is something I’d like to know!) is my printed-out schedule of when to increase my speed and when to slow it down.  But we all know there’s more to keeping good records than to just mark off each day as it’s completed.  So, I invented something that I’d like to share with you: C25K Running Cards.  Now, you’re not allowed to sell them, but you can share them with your friends.

3×5 cards with all the goodies.  Feel free to share them, but don’t you dare sell them. Print your own here: C25K Treadmill Cards.

C25K Treadmill Running Card

I’m loving mine!

P.S. On the 3rd week, the workout was originally only 28 minutes long, so I re-arranged to include one more run/walk set of 1:30 each and only a 4 minute cool-down.  Do what works for you.

P.P.S. I printed my cards on my printer (of course), so you may need to make slight adjustments to make them come out to your liking on your printer.  Notice how my printer omitted the outside lines on grids.  I don’t seem to mind.  :)

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Monogram Door Hanger

Ever have one of those nights when you’ve just got to craft something?  That was me tonight.  I worked on the project for about 15 minutes before going to bed and when I tossed and turned from 2:30-3:30 this morning, I knew it was time to get up and finish it.  That never happens to me – NEVER!  So if you answered “yes” to my question above, it was a setup.  :)

“What was my project?” you ask.  It’s a wreath!  Sort of.  It’s round.  It goes on my door – so it’s a wreath, right?  You be the judge.  Either way, I’m thrilled with the outcome and pretty sure it’s a wreath since a co-blogger called hers a wreath as well and it wasn’t round in the first place.  I got my idea from Amanda over at Cut Bake Stitch – here’s a link to her lovely and economical wreath: Letter Wreath.

Here’s a picture of my finished project.  After I show it to you, I’ll tell you how I did it.

Monogram Door Hanger

Here’s what you’ll need:

– Printout of your letter you want to do – make it 7-8″

– Cardboard box (yes!)

– Scissors

– Glue – both hot and glue stick type

– Exacto knife

– Paint

– Ribbon

– A plate that is bigger than your letter

– Pencil

– Clear filament/string or any other fine threadlike material


NOTE: Cardboard is great because it accepts paint very well, it’s green because you’re recycling, and it can have the appearance of a wood grain. In regards to the wood grain aspect, when you lay out your design, do so in such a way that the ribs of the cardboard will accent your piece, not make it an eyesore.  I chose to draw mine out so that the ribs make the appearance of wood running from top to bottom and excessive paint may cause these ribs to show up even if you don’t intend for them to.

Step One: Trace around your plate on the colored side of the box (if yours doesn’t have a colored size, trace on the side that has writing, etc)

Step Two: Cut a box around your letter and glue it, face down in the center of the circle you drew, on the colored side of the box.  Let the glue dry.

Step Three: Use the Exacto knife to cut out the smallest parts of the letter first since the box is more stable at the beginning, then work your way out to cutting out the big circle.  So, I first cut out the holes on my “g,” and the skinny points and connector lines, then the “g” itself, then the circle.  You’ll need to keep any of the holes you cut out so that your letter will be complete (I’ll show you how to attach them later on).

Step Four:  Cut a small hole in the top center of your circle so you can tie the ribbon on later.

Step Five: Apply paint – I used a faux paint technique with turquoise/teal.  Amanda, who I mentioned above, used white for a great contrast against a stained wood door.

Step Six: The fun part – apply the “holes” to the letter.  1) Hot glue a filament across the space where the hole will need to hang – both vertically and horizontally.  A little movement is okay, but if it’s too much your hole will sag. 2) Glue the hole to the filament.  The best way I found to do this was to lay the hole under the filament and apply the glue to the top of the filament allowing it to wrap around the filament before attaching to the cardboard.  Here’s a picture of that – my hot glue never is pretty, but it’s functional.Image

Step Seven: Add the ribbon.  Your wreath is all done and ready to hang on your door!

What great ideas do you have for your door?  Will you use a different font?  Maybe a different design all together?  What other media can you use?  Share your results and ideas with me.  I’d love to see your photos.  You can reply here, or you can always e-mail me at

Ennis Hands

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Cheerio! A Word on Meatloaf

“Excuse me, ma’am, is that a Cheerio in my meatloaf?”  I imagine my husband asking this question as he examines the not so usual meatloaf that he usually loves.  Most meatloaf calls for bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, or croutons, but I’ve always used oatmeal.  Today, I broke the “always” rule when I ran out of oatmeal.  My cupboard was bare oatmeal, as well as all of the other before mentioned possibilities, so I improvised.  I used Cheerios!

While I crushed the substitute – Cheerios – into a coarsely ground flour, I chuckled to myself to imagine a customer’s objection to the odd ingredient in tonight’s dinner.  Just a few days ago, Guy Fieri’s show, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, aired an episode featuring the Blow Fly Inn in Gulfport, MS, where every dish is served with an enormous plastic fly.  I’m sure “fly in my food” doesn’t get many free bills in that restaurant!

So Sweetheart and our African friend seemed to enjoy the Cheerio meatloaf.  Sweetheart commented that “the Cheerios must be why it tastes so sweet this time,”  but I was quick to add that I had to also substitute ketchup for tomato sauce as well.  I would really like to have Cheerios be an acceptable backup for breadcrumbs

Family tradition has always been to make meatloaf in a cast iron skillet instead of a bread pan and we scoop it out instead of slicing it.  Try it some time!

1lb. Ground Beef

2 Large Eggs

2/3 c. crushed Cheerios – plain (or oatmeal)

1 Small Onion

1/2 c. Tomato Sauce – Divided

Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix in a medium bowl beef, eggs, Cheerios, onion, half of tomato sauce and spices with your hands (yes, your hands) in a bowl.  Dump into a 7″ or 8″ skillet and press together – slightly mounding towards the center.  Top with remaining sauce.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Scoop out to serve hot and with fresh bread and mashed potatoes!  Mmmmm!

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The trappings of lifestyle are often that; traps.  ~ Thomas Leonard

Sweetheart’s daddy gave us a good “talking to” while we were home for the weekend.  It was one of those talks where he had something on his heart that he knew we needed in our own hearts.

Our first over-the-fishing-hole trip is coming soon.  From time to time, our planning gets us “all in a dither” concerning things from flight plans right down to how to get a bath.  I’m so short-visioned that I always think we’re talking about right now.  But his lesson for us that late evening wasn’t just for this first little journey, but for a lifetime.

Oh!  I’d like to give you transcript of that whole thing – starting where we settled down Indian-style on the air mattress all the way through to the goodnights thirty minutes later, but I won’t.  I’ll give you the heart of the lesson instead.  It’s about what we take with us; no, it’s about faith and dependence on God.

“What you take with you are called your trappings,” he said.  I stopped in the very middle of his speaking to dig out a pen and scribble down the thought as it formed a play on words in my head.  I could see the literal burdens of what we carried bringing up a greater hardship than leaving them behind altogether.  “Travel light – travel far,” he confirmed what I was thinking.  Less is more, right?  Yes, that confirmed it – pack less and I’ll be just fine.  My thoughts got quiet as my short-visioned self heard the rest, “Travel light – travel far.  When you travel light with the things of the world, you can travel far with the Lord.”

Corrie ten Boom traveled far and wide with just a bag.  The disciples traveled lightly too when Jesus sent them out: “And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.  And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece… And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.” (Luke 9:3,4&6)

I can’t help but wonder how the disciples’ mission trip would have gone if they had decided not to heed the word of the Lord.  When you travel so lightly, on a trip or in a lifetime, your dependence must be in the Lord.

Are you trappings trapping you, or are you travelling freely in the provision of the Lord?


Ennis Hands

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Missionaries are my favorite kind of people.  Last Christmas, we made an anonymous gift to a missionary family and found out  later that it wasn’t as anonymous as we had thought.  In fact, the family probably never knew it was meant to be anonymous – that was lost somewhere long before the funds made it to their support statement from their mission board.  But, I digress.  The sweet immediately wife sat down and wrote a thank you note which read, “… it was humbling when we received our support and it listed your gift.”  “Humbling?” I thought, “Wonder what they meant by that…. Humbling?”  So I looked it up:


adj. hum·blerhum·blest

1. Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful.

2. Showing deferential or submissive respect: a humble apology.

3. Low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious or lowly: a humble cottage.

Checking a dictionary didn’t help much as it meant what I thought it did and didn’t seem to be the thing a gift would do to a person.

Perhaps one of the reasons I love missionaries so much is that when I grow up and finish school, I want to be one – in fact, God wants me to be one too!  This summer, we’re making our first out-of-country trip since the Lord gave us a burden to serve Him this way.  We’ve planned all of our finances so that school will be funded when we return, but we are asking friends and family to come alongside of us and help us financially with the travel expenses.  Lots of people are asking questions and responding with phone calls and reports of funds on the way and we’re thrilled!  The Lord is providing and we’re seeing Him move like never before.

We received a check today – a gift from my great-aunt.  She sends memos of family events and writes us kind notes a couple of times a year.  Along with her check came another of her handwritten notes which read:

Dear Ones,

I am happy to help you out a little, and will help any time.  May God bless and keep you safe.  Yes, I pray for you almost every day.  I am going blind from my diabetes and make a lot of mistakes when writing.  My retina doctor has been putting chemo shots in my eyes, but it isn’t helping.  Pray for me.  I love you and pray that God will keep you in His hand as you serve Him.

Aunt ****

Humbling?  Now ask me if I understand how a gift could ever be humbling.

Love always,

Ennis Hands

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