Family, Friends, Fun, Health, Homeschool, Living, Parenting

Happy New Decade!

Happy New Year! Can you believe it is here? The start of a new year . . . the start of a new decade! Have you thought about it? Where were you (physically, spiritually, emotionally) in 2010? How has your life changed?

Physically, I weighed more than 100 pounds than I do today. I truly did not realize how big I was. I could not walk from the front door of my house to the street/mailbox without huffing and puffing. My oldest graduated from high school in the summer and moved to Florida in the fall. My dad passed away in June. My husband had his third joint replacement surgery in less than a year. It was definitely a year of ups and downs. It felt like the downs outweighed the ups in 2010.

Sometime after that, I decided that it was time for me to pay attention to myself and what I needed instead of devoting all of my time and energy to others. My two older children were out of high school, married, and on their own. My youngest was not school age yet, so I had the time and energy to focus on what I needed.

I started by walking. I didn’t really focus on my diet. I tried to eat “healthier,” but my focus was getting exercise. After all, we hear all of the time that to lose weight you need to eat less and move more. Eventually I tried some group exercise classes at my local community center. The best thing I got from that was a personal trainer that convinced me that I could do anything I wanted.

A friend at church introduced me to juicing. This was a big influence in changing the way I ate. Not only did juicing itself help stop the cravings, it also acted as a stepping stone to adopting healthier food choices. I decided to cut out as much highly processed food as possible. This put an end to most junk food and foods containing flour and sugar. Adopting the Bright Line Eating lifestyle was just another step from where I already was.

Most people over estimate what can be achieved in a year and under estimate what can be done in a decade.

Neil Martin

Convinced that I could accomplish anything, I signed up for a Couch to 5K program. After watching me run my first 5K, my oldest daughter started running with me and came up with the crazy idea for us to run a 5K a month. This has kept me running all year long and has led to meeting new people and some wonderful friendships.

Now, as we go into a new year and a new decade, I’m thinking about not only how my life might be different in a year, but also how my life might be different in a decade. Ten years ago if you told me I’d be starting off 2020 with a run with my running buddies, I’d tell you that you were crazy–and so were they! Today, I can’t wait to get out there!

That said, I’m excited to see what the next year and the next decade have in store! In the next decade, my youngest will be an adult. I have grandchildren that will be teenagers. Perhaps there will be more grandchildren! Will I still be running? Will I still be writing this blog? I can’t imagine how technology will change between now and then. What are your expectations for the next decade?

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11
Family, Friends, Fun, Health, Living, Parenting

Problem Solved

It certainly has been an interesting Fall. It seemed like we started by going straight from Summer to Winter. We had measurable snow on October 30th! It is very unusual for us to have snow in them on the month of October.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I was looking into fitness center memberships. The weather had caused us to cancel three of our running sessions already. It looked as if it was going to be a long, cold winter; and I didn’t have a Plan B when I was not able to go outside. Of course, weather is not always the reason for not going out.

I was having a difficult time jumping into the gym membership for one simple reason: it requires a year-long commitment. I really only need one during the winter months, so paying for something year-round was not what I needed and seemed like a waste of money. Our community center does have a 20-swipe pass that you can buy, and that is what I was leaning toward. Then came an unexpected surprise. I got a treadmill!

The thought hadn’t even crossed my mind until a “neighbor” on Nextdoor was offering one up. I was not able to get to it right away, so I thought for sure that it would be gone before I got there. However, to my surprise, I was able to snatch this one up.

I find this ironic since I gave my last treadmill away since I wasn’t using it. Once I started running and had a gym membership, I didn’t see the reason to keep it. Also, it was not made for running, so all I could do was walk on it.

This treadmill was made for running and even has pre-programmed workouts built into it. I decided to give the first workout a try yesterday. I was expecting it to be a “walk in the park” so to speak since it was the first one on the list. It was quite a bit more than I was expecting, but it was ok. It’s been a while since I’ve been on a treadmill, so it’s going to take some getting used to.

I really was torn on how to resolve this problem. I’m so excited that it has been taken care of. Not only that, Fabienne seems to be enjoying it as well.

In other news, I went to a planning meeting this last week for my 35th high school class reunion. I can’t believe it’s been that long! About 10 people attended the meeting. It was nice to see people that I hadn’t seen for quite a while. I did attend our last reunion, but it was hard to talk to everyone. Afterwards, I talked with The Boy Nextdoor and he mentioned that the “clicks” have finally gone away.

And, how are we planning to start our reunion day? With a 5K! I swear it was not my idea! The lady heading up the planning committee came to the meeting with that idea already in her head. Naturally, that’s something I’m interested in and want to help with, so I’ve jumped on that wagon. I’m designing t-shirts and finisher’s medals as we speak!

The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. Lamentations 3:25

Family, Health, Living, Parenting

Boy Goes Blind and Deaf Due to His Diet

Under the umbrella that “you are what you eat” comes a report from the UK that a teenage boy has lost his sight and hearing due to his diet.

The unidentified patient told doctors he had only eaten fries from the fish and chip shop, Pringles potato chips, white bread, slices of processed ham and sausage since elementary school,

My first thought is, what a boring diet. There are so many delicious foods out there, why would you choose to only eat these?

I was imagining an overweight boy with lots of medical issues like Type 2 diabetes, but . . .

He wasn’t taking any medication, had a normal BMI and height, and showed no visible signs of malnutrition.

This certainly is not the picture of malnutrition that is painted on our television screens every weekend..

Reports go on to say that he slowly began losing his eyesight but still did not change his diet. Doctors found a deficiency of vitamin B12 and gave him B12 shots, but in the end he now has optic nerve damage and is blind due to malnutrition. This is irreversible. This boy, who is now a man, has since dropped out of college and his mother has quit her job to take care of him.

Speaking of his mother . . . How do you live with this kind of guilt? The boy is described as a “fussy eater,” but how do you not feed your child a variety of foods starting at a young age? Are kids born fussy eaters, or do we make them by giving in to their preferences for food that tastes good but has no nutritional value?

Sadly enough, according to news reports, this boy still has not changed his diet. I’m curious as to what other damage has been done and what the long-term effects will be. I keep saying that I think we are killing ourselves with the food we eat, and this certainly seems to be an extreme case of that.

I am thankful for Bright Line Eating and the guidelines it has given me. If you cut flour and sugar out of your diet, that cuts out most of the junk food. If you look and try hard enough, you can still find some that is BLE compliant and try to find a way to get it into one of your meals, but it isn’t worth it. Once you stop eating the junk and start feeling really good, it’s easy to look at junk food, think about how it’s going to make you feel and say, “I don’t want that.” It’s sad that this boy has never experienced that.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

I Corinthians 10:31

Sources:
Teen’s junk food diet caused him to go blind, study reveals
Teenage boy goes blind after eating diet of only Pringles, white bread and fries

Education, Family, Friends, Fun, Living, Parenting

State Fair Bound

We had some very unexpected and exciting news earlier this week. Fabienne’s cake which she entered in the county fair through 4-H was selected to go to the State Fair. It was not marked on her entry card when we picked up her cake from the county fair, so it was a surprise to see her name and cake listed as a state fair entry.

We were also asked if she would write a one-page story about her project and include a photo with it in a binder. Evidently, there’s a gift certificate she could win. So, with just a few days notice, here we go! Oh, and the cake had to be repaired too! Yip, she made a unicorn cake with a gold horn and in bringing it home the tip of the horn got knocked off. The horn had been sprayed with gold, edible glitter, so we had to cover everything up except for the tip of the horn and spray it again. The horn isn’t as pointy or as long as it was, but it still looks pretty good.

Fabienne is also fighting an ear infection. So, this morning we got her paper written while she lay in bed with ear drops in her ear. I let her dictate to me what she wanted written, and I helped her by asking some questions and doing the typing. Here’s part of what she wrote:

This is my first year in cake decorating. I wanted to take cake decorating because I wanted to learn how to decorate cakes, and I like to eat cake.

I like unicorns, so I wanted to make a unicorn cake. I found a video on YouTube and I really liked the design, so I went with it. It was a unicorn cake by Rosanna Pansino.

To decorate the cake I first iced the cake with white royal icing. I used a tool to smooth the sides out, but I didn’t make it completely smooth so it would look like fur. Then I chose my icing colors which were purple, pink, blue, and yellow. I used rosettes to make a floral main.

I used fondant to make the horn and ears. I rolled out a long piece of fondant like a snake with one end thicker than the other. I then rolled it around a chopstick. I sprayed gold, edible glitter on the horn. I had to wait a few hours for it to dry before I could insert it into the cake.

For the ears, I cut teardrop shapes out of white fondant—two large and two small. The small ones I sprayed gold with edible glitter. I put the small teardrop on top of the large teardrop and put toothpicks in between the layers. I laid the ears in a bowl to let them dry to the shape I wanted.

I drew eyes using black icing to make my winking unicorn.

I am very pleased with how my cake turned out.

Family, Friends, Fun, Health, Homeschool, Living, Parenting

It’s Summer!

Yes! Summer is here! It’s my favorite time of year. What’s yours?

I feel like summer is a time to be free and enjoy the outdoors. As a school-age child, summer meant no school and lots of time to play outdoors. As a homeschool mom, it’s almost the same feeling! It’s a time to lighten up on the academics and to concentrate on being outdoors and preparing for the next school year. Planning the next school year and seeing what we’re going to be learning is always exciting.

Summer is a time of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in season. Lately we’ve had blueberries on sale in the grocery store. I love blueberries and have been able to have fresh blueberries instead of frozen with my BLE breakfast every morning.

I love going to our local farmers’ market and loading up on local produce. I take my fold-up wagon and buy what’s available–corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, eggs, fresh made bread, and the list goes on and on.

June 21st is often referred to as the “longest day of the year.” I know it’s not actually the longest day of the year since all days have 24 hours in them. However, it is the day with the most day light. That is the one drawback of summer–the days are going to start getting shorter in terms of daylight.

Our summer started with thunderstorms, a possible gustnado, and torrential downpours this morning. There were 18,000 people without electricity due to high winds and lightening strikes. There were over 25 water rescues due to flash flooding. However, tomorrow is bringing us warm, 90 degree weather. After a morning run, we are planning on being poolside!

What are your summer plans?

He made the moon for the seasons; The sun knows the place of its setting. Psalm 104:19

Family, Friends, Fun, Health, Living, Parenting

It’s Global Running Day

Today, June 5, is Global Running Day. What is Global Running Day?

Global Running Day is a worldwide celebration of running that encourages everyone to get moving. It doesn’t matter how fast you run or how far you go—what’s important is that you take part, and how you do it is up to you. Run a lap around your block, take your dog for a long walk, or call your friends for a pick-up game in the park. The important thing is that you have fun being active—and you inspire others to join you.

I’m in a group that regularly meets on Wednesday nights, so we’re having extra fun tonight. We have a photographer coming to take pictures along our route and the pizza place we meet at is having specials for us tonight. It’s a time of fun and fellowship!

There are plenty of specials online as well. Discounts on races and drawings for prizes. Fun, fun, fun!

Our local running store is asking people to post pictures of their favorite running buddies which might get you a free race entry. My two daughters are my favorite running buddies.

My two daughters are my favorite running buddies.

The important thing is to get out and have fun with the people that you love.

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and [yet] walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
I John 1:6-7

Family, Friends, Fun, Health, Living, Parenting

Self-Care

Last summer I did participate in the Couch to 5K program except that our coach also offered a 5K to 10K program.  The race we’ve traditionally run at the end of the program offers a 5K or a 10K option, so it was an easy addition to the program.  I registered for the 10K program.

I ran more miles last summer than ever before, but I made a huge mistake.  The school year before had been stressful and difficult, so I really felt like I just needed to rest and relax.  So, I decided to relax and have fun with my running.  Instead of listening to a metronome to keep my pace on track, I toyed with listening to music.  I tried different genres and different tempos, but never found a tempo to keep my pace where it should be.  I know a lot of people listen to music or podcasts while running.  It just doesn’t work for me.

I naturally want to run slow and with a long stride, so that’s what happened.  My stride got longer and I got slower which makes for more work on the body.  By the time I realized this, it was so late in the program that I decided to not try to correct it at that time.

I did complete the program and ran my first 10K!  It was a great feeling of accomplishment.  Cinderella participated in the Couch to 5K program for the first time and did a great job as well. By this time, I was the heaviest I had been for a few years.

IMG_20180908_074458848

I’ve learned that relaxation can come in the form of self-care.  That has been my focus in 2019, which is why I’ve shared with you some of the new things I’ve been doing this year–like journaling and Bright Line Eating.  Little things like this add up quickly and can give us the energy we need to do other things well.

If you’re feeling tired, exhausted, discouraged, or burned out, I encourage you to find some things that you can do regularly to take care of yourself.  Think of it as maintenance just like you would maintain your car to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.  Filling it up with gas, keeping the oil changed, keeping the tires aired up, giving it a wash and wax every now and then are all important in keeping your car running smoothly so it will perform the way you want it to.  We must do the same for ourselves, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

Family, Friends, Fun, Health, Living, Parenting

Another Four Miles on the Fourth

July’s race for 2018 was the CRMC 4-Mile run which was on Independence Day.  This is the same four-mile run we did last year, with the same course.  The money from the race goes to support a local hospital.

This year, we had more friends join us for this race.  Cinderella decided that she wanted to run this race this year as well, so she also joined us.  Why she wanted to run this race so badly, I have no idea.  I tried to remind her that race time was at 7:30 am, that it was a 40 minute drive, so we would be getting up very early.  She insisted that she still wanted to run this race.

A friend and I went together for packet pick up the day before the race.  This was her first time to run this race, so after packet pick up we went and drove the course.  At least we knew what the course was this time!

I was immediately reminded of the steep hill at the beginning of the race and the hill at the end of the race as well.

Race day morning was ugly.  All the excitement of the race had worn off, and getting up and out of bed at an unreasonable time no longer seemed fun to Cinderella.  However, she did get up and get out the door.

We were plenty early, which worked out well since my oldest daughter still had to register.  There was a playground nearby that kept Cinderella and Sofia the First occupied.

Start time was finally here, and we were off.  The sun was bearing down and felt very hot so I was trying to run wherever there was shade.  After about the first half mile Cinderella decided she couldn’t run any further.  We did some walking and I tried to encourage her to do some more running, but to no avail.  Then I tried running ahead quite a distance, but that didn’t work either.

Finally, I decided to suck it up and walk with her.  She was extremely cranky, and being around her was not pleasant.  I reminded her that I was five times her age.  At one point she asked me to let her win.  I told her not to worry, that I would let her go ahead of me across the finish line.

At the three-mile mark was a water sprinkler that felt really nice.  Shortly after that was a group of cheerleaders.  For some reason, Cinderella decided that was her cue to run; and run, she did.  She took off like a bullet and there was no reason for me to even try to keep up!  She crossed the finish line before I did, and it wasn’t because I let her win.  She was so excited to get second place in her age group!

Afterwards, we went to the same local diner as last year and had breakfast.  Seeing men in uniform was yet another reminder of the great country we live in and the sacrifices individuals and their families make every day so we can enjoy our freedoms.  Thank you to all that have served.

Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof, Leviticus 25:10

Education, Family, Health, Homeschool, Living, Parenting

My Hope is in the Lord

This past year, specifically the past school year, has been the worst year ever.  If I were a new home educator, I probably would’ve given up months ago.

Fortunately, I have 21 years of experience on my side.  I know that problems don’t have to be fixed right here and right now, and that often it takes time to see results.  I am qualified and I know I can do this, despite the fact that my family is saying the opposite.

What makes me qualified?  I love my daughter more than anyone else on this planet.  The only one that loves her more than I do is Jesus.  I will do what it takes.  I will scour the planet for the answers, find them, and put their practices into place.  Just as Jesus will leave the 99 to go after the one stray sheep, find it, and carry it home, I will do what is necessary to find what my daughter needs and see that those needs are met.

Watching a child struggle is heartbreaking.  Searching and searching for help and not finding it can be even more heartbreaking.  Thankfully, God has led us to the people we need one by one.  God is great, loving, and kind; and with Him we will succeed.

How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the LORD his God,  Psalm 146:5

Family, Friends, Fun, Health, Living, Parenting

A Sentence a Day for May 2018

As always, May was another busy month.  Once it warmed up, soccer came to an end.  Then there were graduations and Mother’s Day.  Finally, Memorial Day is often looked at as the official start of summer.

  1.  Tuesday:  It is starting to feel like summer:  80 degrees and humid.
  2. Wednesday:  We had our first tornado drill of the season tonight.
  3. Thursday:  I sweated more today than I have in a long time, and it felt really, really good.
  4. Friday:  We had about a week of spring, and now summer is here.
  5. Saturday:  Cinderella’s last soccer game was today.
  6. Sunday:  I got to spend lots of time with Liam today.
  7. Monday:  We heard a loud crash this morning and later found that it was all of my medals crashing to the floor.
  8. Tuesday:
  9. Wednesday:
  10. Thursday:  I finally broke down and turned the a/c on tonight since DH had a fire outside and I couldn’t open the windows.
  11. Friday:  I am thankful that Cinderella got to meet some new friends today.
  12. Saturday:  It was exciting for a young man to get a “robin hood” in archery this morning.
  13. Sunday, Mother’s day:  It would’ve been nice to stay home and rest, but it was a good day anyway.
  14. Monday:  Cinderella got to go to an art class this evening.
  15. Tuesday:
  16. Wednesday:  I had a good run tonight, but I think I need bigger shoes.
  17. Thursday:  This evening was the last day of our C25K program.
  18. Friday:  The Brandon Russell Flash Dash is tomorrow, and it’s supposed to be a wet one!
  19. Saturday:  We went to my nephew’s graduation party tonight–it just doesn’t seem possible.
  20. Sunday:  Cinderella got to see a high school graduation today.
  21. Monday:  The first day of ITBS for Cinderella.
  22. Tuesday:  It was fun to get together with the C25K group one last time.
  23. Wednesday:  I made it four miles tonight, but it nearly killed me.
  24. Thursday:  I am feeling pretty zapped today.
  25. Friday:  We spent the evening with the princess who keeps getting ornerier and ornerier.
  26. Saturday:  I just want one day where people do things for me instead of the other way around.
  27. Sunday:  It was a hot and miserable run at the mill today.
  28. Monday:  I ended up babysitting the grandkids this afternoon.
  29. Tuesday:
  30. Wednesday:  We had a hilly, but interesting, route with the Rock & Run group.
  31. Thursday:  It was nice not to have to go to vision therapy today, but that meant doing it on our own at home.