305 lbs. Family Time

It felt great to finish the Couch to 5K program and to run my first 5K.  The last thing I wanted to do at this point was to lose any progress I had made during the summer.  I continued to try to run three miles three days a week from home.  Once daylight savings time went into effect this became very difficult.  Not only was there less daylight everyday, the weather was not very cooperative either.  Once the leaves started falling and they became wet, it was very treacherous going.  Running at night and not being able to see made it even more dangerous.

October also brought my first grandchild!  Prior to that my pregnant daughter ended up in the hospital in the middle of the night with the flu.  I had to enter the hospital at the emergency room and then go down to the maternity ward which is at the other end of the hospital.  I was told it was half a mile.  I ran it (literally) without any problems–something I couldn’t have done that long ago.

My good friend and cheerleader, Mr. G., told me one day that I was an inspiration to him.  He bought a membership to a community center near him for his entire family and was going there almost daily to work out.  I was a bit dumbfounded and asked, “How did I inspire you?”  “By all of those texts you sent me telling me to get up off my a**,” He said.  In shock I said, “I never sent such texts.”  His reply was, “That’s how I felt every time you told me you were running.”  I never knew that my texts were perceived that way.  When I was working, I was on call 24/7.  I felt it a responsibility to let him know when I was running on the days I worked in case someone tried to get a hold of me and couldn’t.

In the middle of December I got a phone call from Mr. G., “I’ve lost 15 pounds!”  I had not, so feelings of jealousy and unkind thoughts were what went through my head.  I felt like it was my turn to be the cheerleader, so in a cheerful voice I said, “Way to go, congratulations!”

Once Thanksgiving got here, running was almost impossible.  There would be a day here and there that I could run, but nothing consistent.  I also needed to support my daughter and her husband who were first-time parents, so I let family life take over.

The community center where I took classes also changed their fee structure.  Initially you could sign up for classes and just pay to go to those classes.  Now, you were required to have a membership and all classes were included in your membership fee.  I wasn’t sure that I was willing to pay for a membership just yet.  I really, really loved running, so I really only needed a membership during the winter months that I was not able to run outside.

I knew the Commit to Get Fit program would be starting again in January, so I decided to hold out until then.  I didn’t think I would get my money’s worth out of a full-year membership, so I decided to enjoy the time I had with my family until then.

Feeling Fabulous

I wrote in a previous post how this past summer had been a stressful one.  I think most of the time we don’t realize how detrimental stress is to our health.

I spent the summer (starting in May, actually) working a part-time job away from home.  I had worked this same job from home for three years.  The company I worked for was sold, and the new owners would not allow me to work from home.  This meant a lot of changes for our household.

Just being absent from home two days out of the week meant that I had seven days of home management to cram into five.  I came up with a schedule of how to get everything done.  It was tough and often meant running late at night.

Still, there were some things that were unavoidable with my absence.  The biggest of these was missing family time with my children and grandchildren.

And then, there was my health.  I spent the summer losing two pounds, gaining two pounds, losing two pounds, and gaining two pounds.  I was not able to exercise as often or at optimal times.  Often, I was running later at night which meant trouble sleeping that night.  There were times that I just didn’t feel up to par or felt that I was not getting the nutrients my body needed.  My last visit to the dentist started out with, “Have you been clenching your teeth again?”

However, it was not a total loss.  I was forced to find more efficient ways to do things around the house.  I found an awesome system for our homeschool that is working fabulously for us.  I also had to figure out how to prepare salads in a jar and other snacks that I could take on the run.

I had absolutely no complaints about my job or the people I worked with.  In fact, it was easy money.  Still, I had to let it go.  It was not something I wanted to do.  The extra income was nice.  I loved the people and the industry I worked in.  However, it was not worth the stress it was causing at home and the time I was missing with my family.

My last day of work was November 26, and I’m already enjoying the benefits.  My home is more relaxed and less stressful, I’m spending more time with my children and grandchildren, I’m running or going to the gym six days a week, I’m drinking lots of juice, the needle on the scale is steadily going down, and I feel fabulous!

“Mom, you’re not old,

you’re only 58!” said my 8 year old to her 49 year old mother.

Learning How to Learn

 

Another Reason to #Homeschool: The Love of Learning

Education - Abu Dhabi NY University.
(Photo credit: Luca Barcellona – Calligraphy & Lettering Arts)

In general, home educators try to give their children a well-rounded education.  This can be done by teaching various subjects, going on various field trips, etc.  At the top of our list, is reading.  If a person can read, they can learn anything.  Underneath it all, I want my kids to love learning and have the desire to continue to learn throughout their lifetime. Without the love of learning, there will be no desire to do so. Without the desire to learn, one will never become a mature christian.

Unfortunately, our government schools don’t always foster this love for learning. Some of the local schools here have begun requiring homework for kindergartners. I can’t help but wonder what they do in class all day if they are now sending homework home. Those that appear to be bright are encouraged to go through testing to determine whether or not they qualify for the “gifted” program. The kids and parents are put under a lot of pressure by the school officials and told that this is a big deal. If the child misses qualifying by a few points, they are pressured to take the test again.

This is done all at the age of 5 or 6, and for many it is their first experience in a school environment. Why would any of these kids want to go back to school? Why would any of them have a positive impression of learning?

Thankfully with home education this can all be avoided. Children can be encouraged to learn at their own pace. Each student can have their own specialized program tailored just for them and not worry about being in special ed, the gifted program, or anything else. They are accepted as the beautiful individual God created them to be, while being stretched and pushed a little by their teacher who knows them better than anyone else in the world. They can actually enjoy learning and develop a desire to learn throughout their lifetime. With that, the possibilities are endless.

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Remembering a Dear Friend with Handicrafts

I like making these trivets as wedding gifts.  They are quick, easy, beautiful, and will last longer than many marriages.  Many couples register online anymore, which makes it a snap to go online and see what dishes they select.  Using that information, I can choose the two complimentary colors for the trivets.  So far, they have always been received well.

Under the guise of “there is nothing new under the sun,” I have a dear friend that showed me how to make these years ago.  Whenever I make these, I can’t help but fondly think of her.  We had a rift at one time but were able to patch things up.  I was blessed to be able to serve her and her family in her last days as she was battling cancer.  It does my soul good to know that all was well between the two of us when she passed.  That experience has made me more conscious and more deliberate of mending fences or at least doing everything I can to mend fences as misunderstandings occur.

photo

These days, handicrafts are more of a hobby than anything else.  Still, they are great skills to teach in your homeschool.  They can lead to inexpensive gifts, a customized cover or case for that gadget, or even a home business.  Who knows, it may one day become a family heirloom.

Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program – Read Your Heart Out

The Pizza Hut BOOK IT! program is now accepting registrations for the 2014-2015 school year.  Registrations close on September 1.

Read on!

Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program – Read Your Heart Out.

“I Don’t Talk in Front of a Group”

Sadness (video game)That was the response I got when I asked someone to share what they had learned at a recent conference with our small group.

First I was shocked that a grown woman (approaching 40 by my guess) would still be terrified to speak in front of a group.  Actually, I wasn’t even asking her to speak in front of a group.  This was a very casual, sit around a circle meeting where we would go over our notes and share what we learned at a recent homeschool conference.

My next response was sadness for this woman.  Sadness that she does not have the confidence to speak before people.  Sadness that she doesn’t think that any knowledge she has is worthy enough or important enough to share with her fellow homeschoolers.  Sadness that she can’t find the courage to do something she is uncomfortable with in hopes of helping someone else.

My last response was sadness for this woman’s children.  Sadness that they will never see the example or feel the pride in seeing their mother speak before a group.  Sadness that they will probably never be encouraged or even pushed to speak in front of people.  Sadness that these boys will probably do they same and when asked say, “I don’t speak in front of a group.”

This is the very reason I encourage parents, especially homeschool parents, to put their kids in activities such as spelling bees.  Spelling bees, geography bees, Bible quizzing, etc., all have a much bigger lesson than the topic at hand.  Your children can learn study skills as they study for the big day.  They will learn sportsmanship as they learn to be a good loser and to congratulate the winner.  If they are fortunate enough to be a winner, they will learn to accept their award and not be boastful.  They will also learn, gradually, to speak in front of people.

Speaking in front of a group can be terrifying for someone who is inexperienced.  However, as a homeschool parent you can begin with baby steps by giving your children little experiences that will put them in front of a small group of people.  As an adult, your child might have something important to tell the masses.  You can start preparing him now to have the courage to do so.

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Toyko Police Club

This box is from Taco Bell. You got to wonder how many people laid eyes on this before it went to print. It’s hard to believe that not one person saw the spelling error.

Don’t believe anyone that tells you how smart and sophisticated the human race is becoming. We’re not.

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How to Save Substantially (Maybe Even Free) EpiPens

EpiPens are portable epinephrine-dispensing de...
EpiPens are portable epinephrine-dispensing devices which can be used to alleviate the symptoms of severe, acute allergies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We had a situation a few weeks ago where DD’s remaining EpiPen was left in the car one evening and froze. While looking around the net to see if this ruined the effectiveness of the pen (the conclusion is yes), I found a bargain from the manufacturers of EpiPen.

I had to fill out a brief survey, and then the card came up on my screen. When it asks for your age, make sure you give them your age, not your child’s age. I could print it or have it sent to myself in a variety of matters. If you don’t print it, it will be sent to you as a .png document. This card can be used over and over through the end of 2014, so I suggest storing it on your phone so you’ll be able to find it.

I want to be clear that the pens may not be free for everyone. EpiPen is offering up to $100 off a two-pack, so if you have insurance and your co-pay is less than $100, you will get them for free. If this is not the case, you will get $100 off and pay the remainder.

We were shocked to find out that EpiPens have nearly doubled in price since the last time we bought them about two years ago. At that time, they were $239 for an EpiPen Jr. two pack. I was able to use a discount card and pay right at $200. This time around, the closest pharmacy in town is selling them for $375, and the next big pharmacy in town is selling them for $331. To think that this is emergency medication for children that we all hope we will never have to use and instead will one day throw in the trash is maddening.

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