Saturday, February 27, 2010

Flexible Fitness Fun with Faithful Friends

Pictured above is a scene from the October 2009 Yoga Retreat I had with my class.

My class meets twice a week and there are about 10 of us who have the most fun together. These ladies are some of the most committed exercisers I have ever taught in my many years of teaching classes. They are more than students. They are friends who love each other and love the Lord. We exercise together and then we pray together. It doesn’t get much better than that. I love these girls

If you have never tried Yoga I hope to try to persuade you to do so! I have done just about every kind of exercise but I think if I had to vote Yoga would be my number 1.

Yoga has been around for more than 5000 years and when most people think of Yoga they probably think about Hinduism. While it has its roots in eastern culture it is now extremely popular in our country. Yoga has so many benefits. It is great for improving strength, balance, flexibility, breathing and mental state of mind. With some active Yoga workouts it is even a cardio workout because you are using the large muscles of the body and switching quickly from one pose to the other will get the old heart to beating faster. It can be done by any gender, any age and any size.

I began experimenting with Yoga several years ago and found that it seemed to be a natural for me since I have always been pretty flexible. After teaching myself poses I begin to integrate the stretches with the cool down segment of my aerobics classes. It was a big hit and I soon begin to study it more seriously and got certified as an instructor.

I have to tell you all a funny story. One day when we were doing a Yoga class at the ROC a little lady who walked there regularly came through the building while we were having our class. She looked at us rather strangely and afterwards the director of the ROC told me that she came up to him and said, “Does your preacher know they’re doing that Hindu stuff in there?” He got a real kick out of that and couldn’t wait to tell me. I thought that was hilarious but I guess in the eyes of some it might appear to be a “cult thing.” Ever since then I have been careful to advertise our classes as Christian Yoga. Our meditation time comes at the end and it doesn’t include humming or chanting. We spend time at the end of each class either listening to Christian music or focusing on a short devotional thought. It truly is a spiritual (in a Christian way) experience.

I’d like to encourage you to try Yoga. It will benefit you in so many ways. Our class does aerobics for thirty minutes and toning and Yoga for the rest of class but you can probably find a class that is Yoga alone if you’re not into aerobics. It will strengthen your body as well as help you to manage stress.

Since February is recognized as American Heart Association month and fitness is emphasized I will close my February blog with a challenge to you to start exercising today if you haven't started already. Take a walk, go for a swim, join an aerobics class, do yoga, dance, run...............just MOVE! Your heart will be so happy.

Thanks for sharing February with me. I look forward to "MARCHing on" with you!

Get Fit, keep your Faith, tell your Family how much you love them and have lots and lots of fun!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

February - Forty Years Ago

It seems like only yesterday that I was forty. I remember the forties well. For the most part, they were good. As far as physically, I probably felt better then than I did any adult decade. I had so much energy and stamina! I still have energy and stamina, but not quite so much.

Why, you might ask, would I bring up how I felt when I was forty when I have passed that by a couple of decades? Forty is on my mind this week.

Forty years ago today I gave birth to my first child. Robert Todd Caton was still born on that day and had he lived, he would be forty years old this week. It doesn’t seem possible. I remember it as if it were yesterday.

I had a very normal, healthy, uneventful pregnancy. I felt great and the baby’s vitals were always good when I went to the doctor. When I went into labor it was a very slow, mild type of labor that lasted off and on most of the day. When I went to the hospital I wasn’t in a lot of pain but the contractions were getting closer and closer. I don’t remember much after going in and being prepped because back then they gave you medicine to “knock some of the pain.” In my case, it knocked me out. The next thing I knew I was waking up with Jerry and my mother standing over me looking rather grim. I took one look at their faces and knew something was wrong. I asked, “where is my baby?” My mother told me that the baby had died. The umbilical cord had gotten wrapped around his neck and cut off all his oxygen when he came through the birth canal. I just remember crying that I wanted my baby. They kept me sedated and I came and went in a fog. Whenever I opened my eyes my Mama or Jerry was there to comfort me. I never got to hold him, which is what everyone thought was best at the time. I did get to see him briefly when they placed him in the casket and brought it to the hospital for me to see. He looked perfectly healthy, as if he were asleep. That was all I remember of him. I didn’t get to go to the funeral because the Dr. thought I wasn’t “up to it.” They kept me pretty much out of it for several days. No one took pictures because they thought it was the best thing. In looking back, it wasn't. I think it would have been great to have pictures of my firstborn. It would have seemed more real. As it was, it has always been more like a bad dream to me than anything else. I never knew my child so the grief was very different than what it would be had I ever known him. I can still remember sitting in his nursery we had fixed up and cradling a pillow in my arms so that they would not ache so. That was the strangest thing.

It was a very hard time in my life but I have come to realize through the years, that God knows best. I think God was looking out for me during those times. I had prayed over and over during my pregnancy to not let anything be wrong with my baby. I was really paranoid that something was going to be wrong with my baby and I have always felt that God answered my prayer. I feel that my baby was not exactly right. I also feel that I was not ready to be a mother and God knew it. I needed to learn patience and it took a lot of patience to accept my loss. What should have been a nine month wait for my child turned out to be a 21 month wait as Chris was born in March 1971. I had grown to know the Lord so much better by then because I had to rely on Him to help me through my grief and I knew He had blessed me beyond measure when Chris was born.

I always tell people that as hard as it was to have lost my baby, I think of it this way: I would never have had Nick if Robert Todd had lived. I had always planned on just having two children so I would not have had Nick. I can't imagine life without Nick!! God is so good. He always finds a way to bless us and my boys have definitely been a blessing to Jerry and I!

Children are a gift from God. We should never let them forget how special they are or how much we love them. And, we should never stop thanking God for giving them to us. I have said many prayers asking God to help me to be a good parent. I'm sure I made a lot of mistakes but thankfully God has kept our family strong. Thank you God for my children and for guiding us through the years of raising them. They have turned out to be good Christian men and Jerry and I are so proud of them!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will direct your path." Proverbs 3:5

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Feeling Fortunate for Family as Friends!

I’ve told you before about my sisters and how much I love them. I even posted a picture of all of us celebrating my birthday together. Today I want to focus on just one of them. My sister Betty turns 70 years young today and I want to honor her in my writing today.

Elizabeth Jane Houchins was born on February 23, 1940 to Pete and Mayme Houchins. After the tragic death of her Daddy, her mother married Harvey Green in 1945 and little Betty was destined to become a “Green Girl” and my big sister.

The oldest of five of us, Betty has had a big influence on my life. As a little girl, she was partially a mother figure to us, helping my full-time working mother take care of us “little kids.” There were many times when I thought she was much too bossy!

After Betty married and left home to go to Germany with her military husband for a year, I can still remember missing her a lot. She came back home and I was so happy to have her home, especially since she brought my little nephew, Mark, back with her!

She had three children and unfortunately, after several years of a hard marriage, she and her husband divorced. It was during these years as a single, working mother that her strengths really shone through and I began to really appreciate her for the unique woman she is.

She is a very humble person and on many occasions has tried to tell me she isn’t very smart because she struggled some in school. I have been quick to remind her that she is one of the smartest ladies I have ever known. The way she managed her family on a really tight budget has always impressed me. She can find better bargains than anyone I know and can make a dollar go farther than it was meant to go! She was mother and father to her three children and stood her ground with them when it would have been easy to give in. Today her three adult children are shining examples of what happens when you raise your children with loving discipline and a lot of faith in God. They are all devoted to their Mom and her grandchildren adore her. She is a pillar in her church and is always there to help prepare meals for their many fellowships. She can do just about anything, from putting siding on a house to installing flooring! She is a hard working woman!

Betty is my hero. The following verses could have been written about her:

Proverbs 31:10-31 (New International Version)

10 [a] A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Happy Birthday my Sister, my Friend! I love you with all my heart!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Thank You Jesus!!! Thank You, thank You, thank You!!

We had the CT scan this morning and got the great news about an hour later. Everything looked good, to be exact it was "unremarkable." Never thought we would prefer unremarkable to remarkable but in this case it is awesome!

At least for now, no more chemotherapy, no more wearing a pump, no more not being able to taste food or having tingling sensations when you drink something cold. Praise God, my husband can go back to life as normal!

It is so hard to express what I feel tonight. Grateful seems to be an understatement! I really didn't realize how uptight I was until we got the good news today and all of a sudden it seemed like a burden was lifted and life is good again!

The whole Caton Clan went to Eddie Montgomery's Steakhouse and celebrated the good news. It is a really nice place to eat. The food is good and so is the service. But you know what? I think I could've eaten cardboard tonight and it would have tasted good!

None of us knows what tomorrow will bring, but for tonight we are basking in the warmth of the good news for the Caton family - OUR PAPA IS WELL!!!

Thank You Jesus. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. And, one more thing - Praise You too!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


My heart is overlowing this morning with LOVE!! It is Valentine’s Day and God has impressed upon my heart just how much He LOVES me and has given me so many special people to LOVE.

My four little “munchkins” just left and I just wanted to fall on my knees and thank God for giving me so much LOVE in those little packages! Jerry and I spent the evening with them last night and had a great time bowling and eating at Fazolis. They stayed all night with us and this morning we had valentine doughnuts . They were like little adults the way they all got up when we asked them to and took their showers and got ready for their parents to come and get them ready for church. They really are good kids (not perfect, who is?) which brings me to thank God for their parents, my children and daughter-in-laws who are doing a terrific job of raising them up to be well-behaved and to LOVE Jesus. I am so thankful for Chris, Cathy, Nick and Kelly and for having them to LOVE too!

Now my thoughts turn to romantic LOVE! Has God blessed me in this way? As Sarah Palin would say “You Betcha!” I am so thankful that in the summer of 1966 God steered Jerry in my direction, even if he was coming to see my sister! Now that’s a long story and it was a bumpy road for a while when his attention turned from her to me. As a matter of fact, I was really upset with him for trying to cause “World War III!” I told him several times to leave me alone, but he was persistent and I praise God for that! We have had so many wonderful years together. We’ve gotten to experience life together in so many great ways. This Valentine’s Day is more special to me because he has been battling cancer since last July and I have realized how short time really is. I have thanked God over and over for the many years we have had together and I always end my prayer with, “but please God, give us more!” God is good and I know He will bring us through this phase of our life just as He has the others.

Thank you Jesus for loving me so much. Thank you for great parents, wonderful sisters, my husband and our family, my friends, my job, my home, my church and all the other things in my life that I LOVE dearly.

I don't know about you but I am so thankful that His LOVE doesn’t depend on my deserving it!

“For God so LOVED the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life.” John 3:16


Friday, February 12, 2010


I just love to smell roses, don’t you? ‘Tis the season for roses too. I’ve never been one who asks for roses because I hate to see so much money put in something that only lasts for such a short time. (I am a tightwad!) But I do love roses growing outside. That way you can enjoy them for a long time! Some are more fragrant than others.

Fragrance is a positive word. When we hear the word we think of good smelling things like flowers, perfume, candles and good food. As I mentioned in my previous blog, I just love to smell hyacinths. Once when I was in the hospital someone sent me hyacinths and they smelled so wonderful in that small room and the fragrance even lasted a while after I took them home. During that same stay someone brought me some Chantilly perfumed lotion and I just loved to smell that too. And to this day whenever I smell hyacinths or Chantilly I have vivid memories of that particular time in my life.

This morning in my morning quiet time devotional reading this verse was used: “But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.” 2 Cor. 2:14.

The Message version of the above verse says it well:
"Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation- an aroma redolent with life."

Our lives can be a fragrance to others or they can just be an odor. I sure hope that mine is a fragrance, don’t you? The way we live our every day lives can be a sweet smell to others if we are living in His Spirit and doing the things that He commands us to do. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control emitting from our lives will create a beautiful fragrance for those we come in contact with each day. These fruits of the spirit are the products of a life that is rooted in Jesus.

I am praying I will smell good today (in more ways than one!) I hope you are a sweet fragrance to those you are around today too!

Please pray for me and let me know how I can pray specifically for you. I love you all.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February Favorites

Tonight I was thinking about how close it is to Valentine's Day and how there are so many warm & fuzzy feelings that surround the "season of love." I was thinking about flowers, candy, luscious desserts, perfume, restaurants, etc. and it promtped me to think about my Favorite things connected with Valentine's Day. I jotted some of them down beside my sudoku puzzle I was working on and I thought I would share them with you.

Favorite flower - Hyacinth (I know it's not a traditional V. Day flower but I think it is the best smelling flower around.

Favorite food - anything Italian and most any salad.

Favorite dessert - Italian Cream Cake

Favorite Restaurant - Chop House

Favorite short trip - Pigeon Forge

Favorite Perfume - Estee Lauder's Pure White Linen

Favoite Love Song - Soul & Inspiration (Righteous Bros.)

Favorite Candy - Chocolate Covered Cherries

Favorite get-away with my man - Hilton Head Island, SC

Now that I've shared some of my favorites with you I would love to hear about your favorites if you would take the time to comment or email me at I am also sharing a recipe with you and would love to have one from you.

Here's a delicious recipe that someone shared with me years ago:


Vegetable oil spray or butter (for coating the pan)
1 package devil's food cake mix
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure almond extract

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack placed in the center of the oven. Lightly coat a 13x9x2 inch baking
pan with vegetable spray or rub with a small amount of butter. Set the pan aside.

place the cake mix, cherry pie filling, eggs, and almond extract in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric
mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the mixer and using a rubber spatula scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Increase the speed of the mixer to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides of the
bowl again only if needed. The batter should be thick and well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan,
smoothing the top with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and just starts to pull away from the
sides of the pan, 30 to 35 minutes. remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack while you
prepare the glaze.

For the glaze, place the sugar, butter, and milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring
constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the
heat and stir in the chocolate chips. When the chips have melted and the glaze is smooth, pour it over the warm
cake so that it covers the entire surface. The glaze will be thin but will firm up. Cool the cake for 20 minutes
before cutting it into squares for serving.

Wow, I think I gained weight just thinking about this cake!

Enjoy your Family, Friends, Faith, and Food (and exercise to stay Fit!)

Love to all!

For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken," says the LORD, who has mercy on you. Isaiah 54:10 (New Living Translation)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fabulous Love for February

Hello friends! I hope that you have gotten off to a good week today and that you are feeling God's presence in your life to help you through any roadblocks!

I so appreciate that you are following my blog and I pray that it helps to lighten your day and encourage your spirit. If you read what I posted on my weekend blog you will remember that I mostly just posted 1st Corinthians 13, often referred to as the "love chapter." I thought this would be a great focus scripture for the whole month of February and I am hoping that it will keep us thinking on the greatest love in the world - the love of God!

Paul was addressing the church, a body of believers, when he wrote this chapter. In the previous chapter he spoke about the many differences and how each member is a significant part of the church. I love his last statement in chapter 12. He simply says: "Now I will show you the most excellent way." Then he starts chapter 13.

We see that in verses 1 - 3 that we can be doing all the right things outwardly, but if our actions are not coming from a heart filled with His love then we are just making noise (clanging cymbals!)

Whoa!!!!!! Hold on a minute! We might say, "I go to church every Sunday and Wednesday and I read my Bible and know it from front to back (people might even come to you for biblical answers!) And what about my faith? Everybody says I am a person of great faith because I stay strong in the midst of troubles and try to have a positive, godly outlook. Not to mention the amount of money I give to charities!"

But Paul says that we can be doing all of those things and more but if we are not motivated by love than it is nothing! Nothing! He's talking about the kind of love that overflows from the heart into the lives of all we come in contact with. It is a Christ-like love that even loves people who we don't think are very lovable, even our enemies, for Heaven's sake! That is heavy! It is a love that says I am no better than anyone else God has made. It's a love that does something besides sit in a pew at church, or read the Bible everyday. It is a love that says Yes, I can help with that program at church, or yes, I can help cook and serve meals for the needy, or help at the Christian Life Center or ring the bell for the Salvation Army. Yep, I guess you can say it is a servant love. He is trying to tell us that we should use the gifts God has given us to show His love to others.

I don't know about you but this makes me feel like sometimes I am a clanging cymbal too. Would you join me this "love" month and try to put our love into action? Let's read this passage everyday this month and love like we have never loved before! We can start my practicing loving the "unloveables" in our life. Let's do a good deed for someone we have a hard time loving.

There used to be a song I loved that said "Teach me how to love the way that you (Jesus) love; to pour out my life for another........... or something like that. I can't find it anywhere and I don't remember any more of the lyrics but those words I do remember, along with the tune, have stuck with me since I heard it. That is my prayer: Dear God, please teach me how to love the way that you love." Amen.

Friday, February 5, 2010

February - The Love Month!

1 Corinthians 13
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Find your real true love in Jesus! He will never break your heart!!!!

I recommend that you visit the address below. Just copy and paste it in your address bar.

More on love later. Have a fantastic weekend with your Family. Grow in your Faith. Have Fun getting Fit. Last, but not least, hold onto Jesus because his love never fails!

Love in Him!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Today was the day we have been awaiting. It's one of those days where you are not sure you want it to come or not. You do, but you don't. Today we got the results of Jerry's PET scan and for the most part it it good news.

The good news is that there are no signs of malignant tumors on any of his organs. That is wonderful news! But the bad news is that we can't say we are completely out of the woods because the scan showed a little irregular activity in the abdomen area on his left side. It is very tiny and cannot even be measured. The radiologist does not think it is cancer. It could be a number of things (which I don't really understand the medical terms for) but cancer cannot be completely ruled out.

The Dr. wants him to have another PET scan in a couple of months to see what it looks like then. He also wants to keep track of his CEA count (cancer marker numbers) as they have been a little higher than they should be for the last several months.

We have mixed emotions, but overall we feel very thankful for the good report! We are also confident Dr. Liu will watch this very carefully and get right on it if it turns out to be a cancer.

We have felt everyone's prayers and we hope they don't stop. God is so good and we know that he will be true to His word in that "all things work together for good to those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." In other words, when we keep our eyes on Him and live in His will, good things will come to us, even if it is not the good thing we think we should have.

So, for now, we are going to focus on the good part of the report and enjoy not having chemo treatments to deal with and praise the Lord for His loving presence in our lives! I pray you feel His presence in yours as well.

Your faithful following of my blog means so much to me and your comments are so encouraging. My love and prayers to you and yours.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Birthday FUN!

I had a wonderful day on my birthday yesterday. It started out really good when I read so many nice wishes sent to me on Facebook. That was really an unexpected blessing! One of my dearest friends sent me a beautiful ecard and when I got to work my little girlfriend Tracey had posted a big "Happy Birthday Frances" sign on my door and had brought me a beautiful pot of tulips. Isn't that just the sweetest thing for her to do? It was like a breath of spring and I will plant them to enjoy for years to come (hopefully.) My exercise class sang Happy Birthday to me and one of the ladies brought homemade cookies for everyone to enjoy. Now how many exercise classes do you know that serve cookies? Awesome!

At lunchtime I celebrated with my best friends who just happen to be my sisters! They bought my lunch and we had a happy time together as we always do. I love them so much! That's us "Green Girls" is the picture above.

After work I enjoyed a great visit with my son Nick and his wife Kelly and their two children Gracie and Seth. They also had my other two grandchildren with them. Gracie and Seth were so excited about the "big bag" they brought in for me and Gracie kept saying, "you're gonna love this Gran!" And she was certainly right. The gift in the bag was priceless for it was a hand-painted oval plate that Kelly had painted. It had Gran and Papa and the four "munchkins" on it. I love it and will cherish it forever! (See the picture at the top right.)

After Nick and family left my older son Chris, his wife Cathy and their sons Alex and Aaron picked us up and we all went out for supper. We had lots of fun being together and enjoyed our meal. They surprised me with a gift certificate to get a massage. I was thrilled because that is something I never give myself. I can't wait to use it!

My hubbie gave me a beautiful card and Calvin Klein's Euphoria Perfume and Lotion set. It was just what I had been wanting! He's a keeper!

By bedtime I was emotionally exhausted (in a wonderful way) and slept like a baby!

I feel blessed beyond measure to have such wonderful friends and family. If this is what getting old is all about then I've gotta tell you "it's pretty darn good!"

Tomorrow I hope (and pray) to cap my week off with a good Dr.'s report for Jerry. Please keep him in your prayers!

Until next blog, I pray you have lots and lots of FUN with your Family and Friends too!

Love y'all!