Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Couch to 5K - Week 1

It seems that most every year I think about doing a training plan to enable me to run a 5k. I first cut a training plan out of a magazine several years ago. This year I am trying it again but I am involving my kids. Last week when we went to Waterloo I was sad that Caleb didn't really want to play with the boys on the playground when they were playing tag because he just couldn't keep up. We have really been too much of couch potatoes this winter and we are all pretty out of shape. Glenn and I are both concerned for our kids to be fit because at around Caleb's age and for several years there after we both went through our fat stage. (OK, I admit, I am probably still in mine but that is something that I would love to change!) If we can help that not happen to Caleb and the girls we would love it! I want our kids to be active throughout their lives and not be sedentary.

That being said I have made my kids start the Couch to 5K with me. On Monday we did Week 1 Day 1. It was a dreary yucky day but we did it because you have to start some time and if we start on a yucky day it will make it a lot easier to do it on yucky days in the future. The running for 60 seconds was a lot harder for the kids that I thought it was going to be. Lydia actually did run more than she had to and Abigail got a bit distracted with the swings at the park. We headed out to the soccer fields and chased some Canadian Geese (nice to see them back by the way!) during part of our run. When we were done we walked the first block up the hill, raced the 300 block then walked the rest of the way home ready for our snack.

Today we did Day 2. Glenn was home this morning so he met us at the park and ran with us. Today we ran in and around the tennis courts. We had found a website with mp3 tracks to help you know when to run and when to walk. Glenn downloaded the Christian Indie Tracks one to my phone and we listened to it on speaker phone as we ran and passed it on to the next person when it was time to run again. It was a fun motivator but it was still painful. The kids were more tired this time. They are not appreciating that I am making them do this but I think that they will appreciate it more in 9 weeks when they can run for 30 minutes without stopping.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Easter is Coming

Easter is my favorite holiday of the year. We sing some of my favorite hymns like: "Christ the Lord is Risen Today," "Hallelujah, What a Savior!" "Up From the Grave He Arose," "He Lives," etc. I have so many memories of early morning services watching the sun rise over Cayuga Lake with my Seneca Community Church family then heading back to church for breakfast and then playing until Sunday School.

It is my favorite holiday because what happened that day about 2000 years ago is what gives me a reason for living - Jesus rose from the dead. He's alive!

With it being my favorite holiday though I don't often prepare for it. I remember when I was in school many of my friends were Catholic and talked about giving up chocolate for Lent. I would be asked what I gave up because they knew that I was religious but I wasn't Catholic and I never gave up anything.

Years later when we lived in Houghton some of my friends gave up stuff for Lent and I decided to try it. I don't remember exactly what I gave up - sweets, eating between meals, something like that. It was a conscious reminder that Easter was coming and I should prepare my heart and it did help me to think about what Christ had done for me more but, with it being food related, I don't know that my motivation was completely pure. I was probably hoping to drop a couple of pounds in the process.

This year as I was thinking about Easter coming and wondering when Ash Wednesday was I wanted to focus our family's attention more on the death and resurrection of Jesus. I searched online and was disappointed. I had found tons of ideas for helping my family get ready for Christmas but few for getting ready for Resurrection Sunday. I did find an idea for a Lenten Tree but I never got around to getting the stuff prepped for it but I would like to do it next year. Last week I found a book called The Very First Easter by Paul Maier at the Manlius Library. I checked it out and read it to the kids. The kids loved the illustrations and it sparked some discussion. Yesterday when I was looking at my blogreader (which I never do, I am so bad at keeping up with blogs, my own and reading others!) I saw a blog about having a purposeful Easter celebration. She recommended a couple of books including the book that we had read from the library, some recipes and a devotional for the week between Palm Sunday and Easter to do with the family. I would recommend that you check it out. We printed the devotional off (it is a pdf) and are planning on doing it as a family starting on Sunday! Would you like to join us? Print it off from the website linked above.

I am so thankful for what Christ did for me. I long for my kids to love Easter like I always have. Do you have any suggestions for making Easter meaningful for your family? I would love to hear about them!


Today on his walk to the schospital our "principal" dad gave me a call telling me that I should take the kids out and have them collect worms for our compost pile that we are wanting to start. Therefore recess today was a walk around the block rescueing worms for our compost pile. Lydia picked up most of them. Hannah and Abigail each picked up one with some coersion. I think that Caleb and I each picked up quite a few not because we like to but just so we could get done. Lydia would have picked up worms all day if she had the chance. She loves all creatures, especially those smaller than her. We covered the bottom (and part of the side) of a big margarine tub that was in our recycling bin on our walk and deposited them where we want to start our compost.

Caleb just corrected me that he likes to pick up worms (I think that he got used to it - he didn't really like it at the beginning!). Lydia is now asking if we can go out and check on our worms. She doesn't want any of them to die.

For science we are reading an old book that I got for free from a couple of weeks ago called The Mary Frances Garden Book in expectation of the time when we are past our last frost scare and can plant! We are excited to be able to be "home" for a summer WITHOUT MOVING (Lord willing!) to actually have a garden. We have only been home and not moved one summer of our whole 11 1/2 year marriage and I am pretty excited about it (obviously!).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Saturday Ladies' Brunch

On Saturday we had a ladies' brunch at my friend Michelle's house. It is hard to get to know people at church in the 20 minute coffee time between church and Sunday school on Sundays and a couple of the ladies decided we should have an informal get together to have a chance to talk. About 20 ladies came. There was lots of yummy food and we were given a list of questions that we were to ask 3 people and we were supposed to talk to people that we hadn't really talked to before. It was neat to be challenged to talk to new people and be given something to talk about/ questions to ask. The first couple were basic: “name?” “stage of life?” After that you had to think about your answers and we got a chance to talk and ask more questions related to them. The last 4 questions were: “What are you most looking forward to?” “What are you least looking forward to?” “What are you delighted that it is over?” “Something interesting (special talent, experience, etc.)” (I am going from memory so I don't know that that was how it was exactly worded.) I think that it went really well. We all got to talk to people that we probably wouldn't have without being prompted to and made some new friends and actually learned something about them.

I got to talk to four ladies, two of whom I had never really had a conversation with before. I talked with Nadine who had been a missionary in Africa for 32 years and we got to share our love of biographies and she even brought a couple of missionary biographies for me to borrow to church today. I also got to talk to Michelle who is looking forward to summer to get to spend more time with her kids. I got to talk to Hazel whose husband's job will end soon and I got to talk to Betty who has 4 kids, 4 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren who all need Jesus.

I am so thankful for this time I had to get to know these special ladies. I wish I could have talked to all of them but there wasn't enough time. I am glad Glenn watched the girls too so I could go and that I could ride with Liji and visit with her on the way too. It was a fun morning.

Friday Fun

Early in the week I got a voicemail from my brother asking for help with Malachi this Friday. He and Camy both had to work and everyone that they had asked had not been able to watch him for them. Fridays are usually light days school-wise so I called Camy the next day and told her that I'd be able to watch him at Grandma and Grandpa's house, provided they would be willing to let me watch him there while they were gone. I was sad to not get to see my Grandparents but glad to both help Russ and Camy and watch Malachi.

It turned out that my Grandpa turned his foot as they were leaving to go to the Bible Blitz in Rochester so they were not able to go. Grandma was still going to go up on Friday to help out while Grandpa was home but she got a call late on Thursday that they had enough help and she was not needed so I got to spend the day with them as well as Malachi which was so much fun. When we had gone to spend the day with them back in January while Grandma was watching Malachi we decided that we should try to do it monthly but had not done it in February so I am glad that it worked out to do it in March. It was fun to spend some unexpected time with Grandma and Grandpa. Caleb played several games of checkers with them and even beat Grandpa (much to his surprise!) We got to spend a few minutes with Russ when he brought us some pizza from Mark's for lunch then after school as well and we got to spend some time with Ehren and go to the playground with Kyle. We got to catch up with AmyJo and Camy briefly as well and Caleb even got to stay the night at Kyle's for his birthday party unexpectedly.

When I was talking to Russ he said, “Malachi is the glue that brings us all together” and I guess it was true on Friday. He is such a cutie. At 3 months he has gotten quite a bit bigger and is smiling a lot. I hope that he slept well for his mommy and daddy that night because he only took about 3 naps that were only about 15-20 minutes a piece all day.

I am thankful that I got to spend some time with some of my family members that are “so close” and yet “so far away.”

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Questions and Answers

Last night we started something new. We have been reading through the New Testament with the kids for a while. We started last year when we were challenged in church to read the Bible every day for 40 days and we haven't done it as faithfully as we'd like and we don't get to it every night but most nights we try to “do thank yous” and read a chapter. Last night we read John 12 but we also did something new. I recently requested Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt from the Onondaga County library system because I remember borrowing it from a church library some time in the past and I remember that it had a great list in the back of recommended books to read at various ages. I was wanted suggestions for books to read so I checked it out again. As I re-read it I came across and idea that her family had practiced (I think in her home growing up but don't quote me on that one) that after reading a passage from the Bible each family member was required to ask and answer a question. I thought that it was a neat idea and it would get us talking more about what we read and get everyone to pay attention because everyone has to think up a question and everyone has to listen to make sure that they can answer one question someone else asked. We introduced the idea to the kids on Monday night after reading but told them that we would do it next time which was last night. Abigail didn't really understand and couldn't come up with a question when asked but she did answer a question and I think that she will be able to come up with a question tonight. Caleb, Hannah and Lydia all asked really good questions though. “What did they want to do to that man that Jesus raised from the dead?” “Where did Jesus meet the Greeks?” “Why did they want to kill Lazarus?” I think that it is a great idea and the kids all really got into it. I am excited for our Bible reading time tonight to do it again!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring Break

Well, spring break is already over half way done. It is hard to believe. Where did it go? Well, I guess it got a late start because Glenn and I got sick at the beginning of it. We had plans for Saturday, Sunday and part of Monday but they kind of got thrown out the window when we got sick. We had disappointed kids and disappointed friends and relatives in the Rochester area and We were disappointed not to go to Northridge for church and for Vertical Worship. We had been given permission to crash our old small group on Monday night so we decided to head to Rochester anyway on Monday after Hannah had given us permission to crash at their place.

We went to Rochester via the Waterloo Outlets because Glenn needed more jeans and I always have fun "seeing what they are giving away" at Children's Place. We got to Hannah's house and got to hang out with her and Hudson and then Miranda and Levi came over and we played and made strombolis and ate them after Dave came home before small group.

It was so nice to go to small group. I have missed going to small group SO much. I know back in that video interview 11 months ago I said that the most important thing that I was looking for in a church in moving to Syracuse was small groups. Um. The church we are going to does not have small groups. We don't know what we are going to do. When Glenn and I actually had our first conversation in weeks on Saturday afternoon we discovered that small group and friends are two things that we are desperately missing and that we need. We have not decided what we are going to do about it but it is something that we have to do something about soon!

Anyway, back to small group. It was neat to see how our old group is growing, both in numbers and spiritually. There is a new couple in our small group that I had been been prompted to pray for many times while we were still at North and I had invited them to our small group last year but they were not able to come and I am so excited that they are now going to our group. Correction, our old group. sigh.... It was so nice to sit around and discuss faith, obedience, grace, mercy, and love with these people that I love so dearly and hear how they are growing and some of the exciting things and struggles that are going on and to pray together and have someone pray for me!

We spent the night at Dave and Hannah's house. In the morning on Tuesday we hung out with Hannah and Hudson. I knew Hannah at Houghton, she and Dave even came over and made us homemade mac and cheese after I had Lydia and we went to their wedding. Glenn was friends with Dave from various science classes but Hannah and I were never that close. They moved to Rochester shortly after we left so we have never actually lived there together but they are some of our favorite people in Rochester. I love talking to Hannah because she had been where I am as a wife of a medical student and a mom. I think that she had it harder though because she was going through law school at the same time and had Hudson while they were in school. (I couldn't imagine taking classes at this point on top of everything else OR having a baby!) It was good to talk to Hannah and hear how they are doing and talk about the ups and downs of parenting, medical school, residency, studying for the bar exam (she just took it at the end of February), struggling to make friends and develop a support group, etc. It was nice to bounce ideas off each other and be an encouragement to each other.

We left their place mid-afternoon after grabbing our fish tank stuff and a few other things from Eric and Rachael's garage and headed East again. Since we were going to be passing close to Russ and Camy's we gave them a call to see if we could stop in for a quick visit. We picked up some hot dogs and hamburgers and french fries at their new, beautiful Aldi that is just down the street and had a quick dinner together. I love them. It was fun to visit with them and to see Malachi - he's getting so big! We didn't stay really long because Camy still has work to do on her big paper which is the last big thing she has to do for her Master's - yeah!!

Today is Wednesday already. We slept in (or at least we were supposed to, my body decided that it needed to be up at 6:40 and wouldn't let me go back to sleep) and had fun hanging out at home and then made a trip to Salvation Army where we found Glenn a new commuter bike that has space for fenders so his clothes won't get so gross :) (I'll let you ask him how many bikes he has now, I really don't know!) The kids played outside then we had tacos for supper. (Taco Wednesday just doesn't have quite as catchy of a sound as Taco Tuesday but that is what it has been lately.) After supper we took a walk down to the Co-op to get cheap coffee. Bring your own cup refills are only 15 cents on Wednesday. I can't afford anything else at the Co-op but I do like the cheap coffee when I remember to walk down there on Wednesdays.

It sure has been nice to be on spring break. Tomorrow we are going to the Zoo and I don't know what else we will do but I should probably think about lesson plans for next week and Glenn wants to get MLC done and preview those 20 lectures or so that he'll have next week. There are other things on our "to do" lists that we should get to before real life starts again way too soon. It sure has been nice to breathe with our brains kind of turned off for a while though.

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Slow Moving Stomach Bug

WARNING: This is mostly for my record keeping. If talking about vomit makes you sick you probably don't want to read this blog :P

Two weeks ago yesterday we went to church and Lydia was super cuddly. She is normally cuddley but this time it was more than usual. She sat with us through church and then she went to Sunday School. Part way through Sunday School her teacher came to me and said "Lydia just threw up!" I ran to her, helped clean her and her Sunday School room up (thankfully it was on the concrete floor, not the rug!) while Glenn gathered the other 3 and we went home. She took a bath and a nap and felt much better.

I was hoping it was over but it was not to be.... the following Thursday night Abigail got sick and was sick most of the way through Friday (Lydia's birthday) so she was stuck inside while her siblings were out making forts and having snowball fights with all the neighborhood kids who had a snow day. By very late afternoon she was feeling better and wanted to go outside too so I took her out and she helped make a snow fort down the street.

We were all better until Monday when Caleb came in to our room in the middle of the night to tell us that he had just thrown up. "Oh no!" I thought. I asked him if it was all over his bed and he said, "No, I threw up in the toilet." I was so thankful! I asked him if he had a bucket and had him go back to bed. He spent most of the next day in bed but then felt better.

The week progressed and Glenn was studying hard for his exams that were to take place on Thursday and Friday. On Friday morning before leaving for his exam Glenn threw up in the shower. "Oh no!" He had to take his exam so I drove him there and picked him up when it was over and he spent the rest of the day in bed.

Saturday was the beginning of Spring Break!! We had made plans to go to visit my brother, sister-in-law and nephew and spend the night before heading on to Rochester to visit friends but my stomach wasn't feeling just right and we didn't want to infect Russ and Camy with any possible stomach bug so we stayed home. It was a good thing because in the middle of the night I threw up and ended up spending most of Sunday in bed. I was amazed at how quiet our apartment was with all 4 kids gone to church with Glenn!

I am feeling much better today and I am thankful it is a 24 hours or less stomach bug. We aren't exactly sure what adventures our Spring break holds but hopefully we will have some fun and the last one who hasn't been sick yet (Hannah) will not come down with the stomach bug. Stomach Bug 2010 has been much less adventurous than those that have hit us in the past but it has also taken much longer to pass through our family. Hopefully it is done but I am not holding my breath. I am so thankful that God has blessed us with such good health normally and that these little sicknesses are so few and far between!

Friday, March 05, 2010

I love that little boy

Tonight I was getting some stuff done in the kitchen after the kids had gone to bed. Caleb's room is right outside the kitchen and he could see me. I must have looked like I was thinking about something because he asked me, "Hey Mom, what are you thinking?" I was honest and I told him, "I'm glad that I don't have a baby right now." He laughed at me and asked me why. I told him that so many of my friends that are around my age are having their first babies right now and I just couldn't imagine having another baby right now. Caleb said, "Yeah, and your first baby is 9 years old!" Then he started telling me how much he loves that his parents are young. He said that in Sunday School recently his teacher had said something about Jesus dying at age 33 and that all of their parents are probably older than that. Caleb told them "My parents aren't, they are 29 and 31." He thinks that he is really special and unique and thinks that his classmates think it is neat that Caleb's parents are "so young" because, as he says, "Most of their parents are in their 40s and 50s." I don't know if that is true but he thinks that it is pretty cool that his parents are so young. It made me laugh because I feel so old lately and Glenn is probably one of the oldest in his class.

As Caleb continued talking I was really encouraged. Sometimes I feel like we are so weird and I don't know if that is a good thing or not or what the kids think about our family. He started listing all kinds of things that he thinks make us weird - the food we eat, that we homeschool, and I can't remember what all else but as he was talking about them it was clear that he was so glad that he is a part of our family and that he loves that we are the way that we are. I finished up in the kitchen and headed out and said good night. Caleb told me "Thank you for talking to me Mom." I love that kid.