Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How We Went to Six Flags For Free

One of the highlights of the last two years has been our trip to Six Flags.
It's been a great thing for the kids. Thanks to a dear friend Aurie, Our Good Life, for  posting about the Read to Succeed  program. We have been able to enjoy the park for the last two years.

This year the kids were taller, of course, so they got to ride more of the ride.  Gideon rode his very first roller coaster and Selah rode her very first big roller coaster. To which she LOVED!


(sorry about the shakes, we were on a wooden coaster) 

The weather was perfect. And to top things off, there were NO LINES!
There were time when the kids would stay on the ride a few times in a row.

A shout out to Six Flags for this awesome program. Reading for some of mine is a struggle but they know that they have to read a certain amount in order to get the tickets.  We love this program and we thank you for the opportunity. The memories that have been made are priceless.

(who doesn't like free tickets) 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Muddy Goals

I accomplished a goal. One that I have thought would be fun to do but the whole while knowing that I was just not fit enough, well maybe it was because I was just lazy.

Two years ago I decided that I needed to change the way my life was going. My life as in the way I was taking care of myself. Actually, I wasn't doing a great job at doing that. I was sluggish, and lazy. I didn't "feel" like doing anything so I didn't. I would try here and there to eat better knowing that if I stuck with it that it would make a difference. The key there is sticking with it. I would start diets or eating better only to fall back on the same track I was before and I wouldn't change the way I felt. 

When I saw a picture of myself 2 years ago I knew something had to change. I needed to be able to run after my kids. To have energy to do the things that God has called me to do.

Two years of hard work. I still eat things that I know are not good for me every now and then but I have come a long way in how I see food. 

Two years of working out.  I don't work out every day. Actually, this summer I have hardly worked out in the gym. I have been running here and there and staying very active with the kids and their activities, so that has helped. I can notice a difference just in my toning but I know that here soon, once we start back on a workout schedule, I will feel the way I did before.

If you asked me two years ago if I wanted to do a 5k I would have laughed at you. Let alone if you asked me to do a muddler 5k. I probably would have rolled on the floor laughing. That is if I had the energy to do that.

On August 1, I accomplished something that I never would have thought I would have done.  I completed a 5k muddler course. I didn't run the whole thing. I actually had a hard time starting out running. I think it was because we waiting so long for our heat of the race to start and by the time we started I was so hot and hungry that I got winded fast.

But, I did every obstacle. Sometimes I needed a boost but I did them never once giving up. My personal excitement comes because I went across the monkey bars and up the cargo net on my own. That is a HUGE thing for me. Not only that, but  I finished! I made it through the whole thing and FINISHED! 

As I crossed the finish line and stood there I started crying! I thank the Lord that he has helped me in my journey to better health. I give him all of the credit. I can't do this alone. I have to cry out to him for strength.
Not only that but I got to do this with my husband.

My encouraging to you who are reading this is don't give up.  The times you want to give up just keep pushing through. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Lamaze Breathing Helps When Running

I have started running, Well maybe am not a running, I am more like a fast walker that looks like she is jogging. Maybe I am pretending to jog but really fast walking.  Let's just go back to the yes, I am running.

I thought Lamaze breathing for me was over. Now that I am, ahem,  running, I realized that the Lamaze breathing is coming back to practice. UG!

When I first started running I couldn't make it a 1/2 mile before I was out of breath and had to stop.  Now I am up to a little over a mile.  But while I on the second 1/2 of the mile you should hear me.

Let me pause and ask how does one breathe in through their nose and out their mouth when running? I have tried and I feel like I am choking. Nope, not working for me. So instead I have to tell myself to breathe.  Deep breaths in and then out, and repeat. It's more like huffing and puffing and huffing and puffing. All the while looking the the finish like telling myself I can do it. I am almost finished! Huffing, puffing, don't hold my breath, huff and puff. Wait, I kind of sound like a train now.  The closer I get to the finish the more I sound like a mom in labor, and sometimes yes, there are times when  I just wanna scream.

It's not only the lungs that are crying for more air. My cows,( I have cows where calves should be) are tight. My butt is burning. The shins are stabbing and my feet are throbbing. I am not sure if that is a sign of a good run or a sign that I might need better running shoes. How about we go with the first choice, yes, a good run. But I really do need new shoes.

So for those who have had children, remember those breathing exercises. They do come in handy when you start running!
And no matter how fast or slow you are when you run, remember that you are doing more than just sitting and doing nothing.   Just keep going.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Day I Split My Shorts

We all know the before and the result pictures of working out.  The results of those who make a decision to change lifestyles and dedication to getting healthy is a wonderful thing. People who are not smiling during their start pictures are beaming ear to ear as they take another picture of the progress.  They are glowing, they look happier and so on.

What we don't see or hear about is really the actual process.
Yes, people will post about how they lift x about of weights, or ran so many miles and that is fantastic, but they don't tell you about the craziness that happens during those times.  Trust me, it's not all smiles and you don't smell like roses.

Take for example the time that I was lifting and I split my shorts!


It was leg day. Usually on leg day I try to wear pants that are not tightish. That day I totally forgot. I had bough a pair of shorts, ya know with the built in undies, and I really wanted to wear them and so I did.  They were cute and who doesn't want to look cute while sweating?

Leg day started great,  then it was time to squat. Squatting is one of my favorite exercises when it comes to weight training.  Each rep adding weights.  On the last rep, I get into squatting postion and as I go into the sitting pose I hear a rip!

NO WAY!!!!  I didn't just....... I stand back up and turn quickly to realize that yes,  yes I did just rip my shorts!  Thank the Lord for built in undies! :)

Thankfully not many people noticed and the ones that did just laughed with me!

When ones rips their shorts it's really hard to play it off but I tried. I said it was my buns of steal that I have developed since working out.  You know it's a good workout when you split your shorts.

Lessons learned that day;

1- Don't wear the cute shorts on leg day!

2- Bring an extra set of workout clothes with you!

3- I really don't have buns of steel

Sunday, June 28, 2015

We are still kickn'

We finally took a vacation!

This year we decided that we wanted to see friends that moved to Wisconsin about 1 1/2 years ago. I had seen them since they had moved but the rest of the family had not.

It was funny telling people we were going on vacation and then to see their faces when we told them we were going to Wisconsin.

We are blessed with kids who travel very well. Taking a road trip that was 12 hours long didn't freak me out. I actually looked forward to it.  That and we got a whole week with Gabriel.  I love my hard working man!

The first leg of our trip we split. We went to the Creation Museum and then the next day drove to see the horse farms and Keenland race track. Thoughts on those two trip will be in another post)

Being that we save as much as we can when we travel, it's rare that we stay in a hotel. This year, since we have saved for out trip, we were able to stop and enjoy a hotel. My kids would rather swim in the pool all day rather than leave to go on field trips.  A treat for sure.

The goal while on vacation was to rest. Mainly resting for Gabriel. Being that he works 60-70 hours a week he needed a lot of down time.   So rest he did.

A week of fun time with friends. It's what we needed.

May was super busy for us.
I just wanted to come back and let you know that we are still kickn'.

Stay tuned for posts on how we save money while on vacation.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

God Cares About Baseball Gloves

My son was in frantic mode. We had 2 hours before his game and he could not find his glove.

He knew he had it in his baseball bag but it wasn't there.
We looked high and low. He was freaking out.

I was helping him look under furniture. In the vehicle. In the garage (where he isn't supposed to be anyway), in the laundry room, their clean bedroom. No glove was to be located.  As he was running around trying to find the glove, I stop looking and realized we had not prayed about this.

I called him to the living room, we sat there together and prayed that God would show us where the glove was, I then asked another friend to pray as well.

My son walked into his bedroom looked around then said he thought that he had not looked on the top bunk, his brother's bed.  Sure enough, right there on the bed was the glove.

God answered our prayers within seconds of praying. 

How many times do we cease in praying for things? We think that the situation is to small? We don't think that we need His help.

Nothing is to small for God! He is our father! He wants us to come to him when we are in need.

God loves us so much that He even cares about baseball gloves.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Value of Team Sports

Written by Vickilynn Bowman 

As a coach and a parent, and an instructor I feel that competing in a team sport offers the most valuable lessons in life skills: learning to relate to others, and learn a sense of self value as they contribute in a joint effort to reach a goal. We all need to encourage young people to learn the skills need to to function as a team player. Once taught for their competitions, the same skills and attitudes will spill over in other areas of their lives. They will become responsible, thoughtful, contributing members of their schools, their friendships and their communities.

The question then is how do they become better team players.   An accomplished team player is one who thinks first of the good of the team.  He or she always does their best, and with a smile. They are good sports, both toward other members of their team and to other teams.  They offer help rather than criticism, encourage rather than conflict, and rejoice in the success of their team members regardless of their own personal performance.  Of course a good team player would make a commitment to the team for the period of time of preparing for a competition. They would come to practices on time, prepared for the type of practice being held.  On their own, they would take responsible care of equipment and practice on a regular basis. These requirements for becoming a good team player call for a maturity that comes with age, but also comes with training. One of the best ways to help the rest of your team become better team players is by setting a good example of how to be one.

A team player cannot be a s selfish person. A win is for the glory of the team and not for the individual. Competitors who try to win the glory for themselves generally do poorly on the team, for they end up competing against their teammates as well. They also are not generally well liked. They may be tolerated for their good scores or skills, but probably no one will go out of their way to help them be successful. What would be the point, if they only take all the credit anyway. And few rejoice in a selfish person’s success, either in the sports world or elsewhere.

In any activity the most we can expect of a person is that they try to do their best. That means they practice on their own and with the team at practices. It means that they listen to the coaches directions and attempt to follow them. They should ask the coach or teammate for help with specific problems. And it means that they practice and compete even when they do not feel like it. For the sake of the team, mild illness, which may even be a part of nervousness, should be tried to be overcome. I am not advocating forcing a child to compete if they are truly sick, however I am encouraging them to be a little tougher. This too is a characteristic that needs to be developed in the real world. Employers will not accept too many sick days. Being hot, tired, having their “monthly”, or just wanting to do another activity is not a valid excuse for missing practice, the competition, school, or work.  A part of doing your best is be prepared, and that includes taking care of yourself. This encompasses eating right, drinking enough on hot days, and getting enough sleep before a big day.

Next, I’d like to address the subject of attitudes. They too fluctuate in times of stress, heat and tiredness. A good attitude however is the most crucial characteristic of a good team player. Too many teams fail, not because of poor scores or poor skills but because of internal team conflicts. It is part of growing up that children learn to resolve conflicts before they get out of hand, and that they learn to function along with others even if they don’t care for each other.

Probably the most destructive attitude in competition is “win at all costs”.  When team members want to win more than they want to do well and have fun, the competition becomes a source of stress. Stress is the largest contributor to conflict.  Suddenly scores become too important, and people less. Team members begin losing tempers and laying blame for errors.  On occasion, tempers flare to the point where the competition is forgotten in an effort to retaliate for a failure, real or imagined, on the part of another team member. At this point the benefit of team competition is lost and parents and coaches may even question of the value of team sports entirely.  Rather than berating children for their actions, everyone, including parents, coaches and team members need to reevaluate their goals.   Yes, we do want to do well in the competition, or why spend the hours at practice. But is a trophy or rosette more important than a friendship? Will winning erase the bad impression created by lack of cooperation among the team members?  Instead, see what positive reinforcement will do between team members. Complement one another on jobs not only well done, but attempted well. Volunteer to help each other without waiting to be asked.  Don’t be petty, saying, “he didn’t say Please,” or thinking, “no one helped me.” Always remember to say please and always, always say thank you.

The other attitude that seems to cause trouble is jealousy. A team mate may be jealous of equipment, another’s performance, or just luck. This again stems from selfishness. Team mates must realize that the good fortune of another team member is also their good fortune, since it is the team’s score that counts. Team members having good fortune, whether because of their hard work, hours of practice, or extreme good luck are to remember to be grateful and not boastful of being so blessed. Probably the only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner. Remember too if you are the lucky one, the unlucky probably feels poor enough without your adding to their heartache. This is true even if the fault was not a matter of bad luck but of bad planning or poor skills. “I told you so” attitude has no place in competition, and neither does, “if onlys”. If a comment will not improve a team members performance, or help their feelings, it is better not said. If there is an unresolvable problem, save it for the coach.

There’s been a lot said about negative situations in team competitions, but the positive far outweighs the bad. From my own personal experience, team competitions helped mature me. Friendships that are built during these times tend to be lasting. Great feelings of self confidence begin with being a contributing member of a team. And the most important thing, is it’s FUN!  So smile at your teammates, you are representing your team, and you’ll feel great about yourself. Those around you will like you because you will be good company, dependable, responsible, polite, a real asset to the team.