Friday, August 31, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Change

On Fridays I like to link up with Lisa-Jo and write for 5 minutes on the topic she gives. The topic for today is:



When I first read the word change I was battered with thoughts of changes that I've had in my life. I didn't want to write about it so I was tempted to write something like, "I went to the store the other day and the cashier gave me my change for a $100 all in $5 bills." Hannah did something like that for her FMF. She drew pictures of coins. :)

I know that that is not the change the really matters to me. The change that crushes me on a regular basis. That is the change that Caleb wrote about. Living in 17 different addresses = a lot of change. The hardest part of change is relationships.

The other day I got a text from a friend saying that everything was looking good with her pregnancy and her due date was in March. I rejoiced. Then I started to cry. March. I won't be here in March. I don't know where I will be in March. Another change comes for us in January. Another season of homelessness.

Oh, I am not worried about the details of that season of homelessness. God has always worked them out in the past and I know that He will again but...

The change I dislike the most is leaving people.


Want to read others' takes on change? Want to write about change yourself? Come on over, check out other's posts and write one yourself.
Five Minute Friday

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Scribbled Cry From the Past

Can I tell you how much I love it when I have dated a note I have written and find later in a book or my Bible??

Today I was reading My Utmost for His Highest quickly while on a potty break during school. Today's was good (they usually are, that is why I keep a copy in the bathroom so I can try to read it most days. TMI? Sorry.)

The thing that prompted this post was a note I had put on yesterday's page:
'03 - Oh God, how my faith needs to grow. You brought us here. You know our needs. Please help me to go through this trial of faith believing steadfastly on You - our Jehovah Jireh
"2003? What was going on in 2003?" you may ask. Let me tell you. You see, we had just moved to Houghton, NY for Glenn to finish up his undergrad degree. If you didn't know, Houghton is kind of in the middle of nowhere so there were basically no jobs to be had. He was taking a full load of science classes to get all his science requirements done in 2 years so he didn't really have time to work anyway. It's not the cheapest college tuition wise and we had no idea how we were going to be paying for things like rent and food. We went with 2 little kids and were expecting #3 (which we didn't tell anyone before we moved there - people already thought that we were crazy for going to school with 2 kids!!). God had made it clear that we were to go there. In our plans it didn't make sense because there was no way for us to provide for ourselves. We had no idea how things were going to work out and every time we asked He would say, "Trust Me." We would take a deep breath and surrender and say, "OK, Lord, I trust You" until two seconds later when we would start freaking out again wondering how He was going to do it. Again we would hear, "Trust Me."

Would He prove Himself trustworthy?? Would He really provide for us? All 5 of us? Would we go hungry? Where would money come from to pay rent? What kind of jobs could we get? How on earth is it all going to work out??

Shortly before moving I read a book, I think it was about George Mueller. I knew that I served the same God who took care of him but I really didn't know if I wanted to have as much faith as him.

On a Sunday morning soon after we moved we heard a sermon about trusting God for our daily bread. I really didn't want to hear it. I wanted a full pantry. I didn't want to wake up every morning asking God for my daily bread and trusting Him to provide it.

But, you know what? God did provide for us!! We never went hungry. God provided 4 different places for us to live over the 3 years we lived there and He always made sure that there was enough money in our bank account to cover all of the expenses. He even gave us some amazing extras during our years there that we totally didn't deserve. I think, for some reason, He just loves to bless us.

Here are some things I underlined in My Utmost all those years ago:
* Faith must be tested because it can be turned into a personal possession only through conflict.
* Believe steadfastly on Him and all you come up against will develop your faith.
* Faith is unutterable trust in God, trust which never dreams that He will not stand by us.
I'm thankful for a glimpse at my  heart's cry from 9 years ago. It is amazing to me to look back and think of all that God has done over the years since that day 9 years ago when I'm sure I cried as I wrote out that prayer. My faith in my Jehovah Jireh sure has grown. My faith has become my own through the conflicts that He has allowed. He did know and meet every one of our needs in that place that He took us to and every place that He has taken us to since. Each successive trial that He has allowed in our lives has only made me love and trust Him more. I don't need to worry about the future because He is growing in me an "unutterable trust in God, trust that never dreams that He will not stand by us."

I am so thankful for the trials that He has allowed into our lives. I am thankful also that He will always be there with us through all of the trials that are in our future. You can trust Him. Even when trusting Him doesn't make any sense at all.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.1 Peter 1:3-9 NIV

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What's Working Wednesday: Staples Easy Rebates

What's Working Wednesday is my weekly post to showcase something that is working for me or my family at the moment. It may not work for us forever and it may or may not work for you.

I got all this for $4.36 after rebates.
This post may not be relevant to everyone because you may not live near a Staples but I have gotten some really great deals through Staples over the years. (Other office supply stores offer similar deals but I have found that, for us, Staples offers the best ones.)

Back to school time is a great time to get some great deals from Staples. I especially love buying my printer paper from Staples this time of the year because almost every week there is a $1 or free after Easy Rebate deal on a ream and you can get two mail in rebates a week for them. We go through a lot of paper because we homeschool and we have a laser printer. I try to never spend more than $1 a ream so I love their paper deals!

Staples also often has great deals on paper, notebooks, pencils, crayons, etc during their back to school sales. I like to stock up during these sales to donate to local refugee kids or to set aside for Operation Christmas Child.

Today I went to Staples and picked up some stuff for us:

* 2 reams of Hammermill Copy Plus Paper - FREE after Easy Rebate and this coupon
* 4 packs of cap erasers for 1 penny each (can get up to 4 for a penny each with $5 purchase)
* 2 pencil cases for 1 penny each (can get up to 4 for a penny each with $5 purchase)
* 2 - 5 packs of Bic mechanical pencils .50 each
* 1 pack of Avery Note Tabs - FREE after Easy Rebate
* 1 - 3 pack PaperMate Infinite Lead pencils - $2 (my splurge for my use only - I like to have a pencil just for me during school that works well and I always know where it is)

After Easy Rebates I will have gotten these 12 items for $4.36 (normal retail would have been $35.10 before tax but I wouldn't have bought all of this for that price). Easy Rebates are just that - easy. All you have to do is submit the rebates online on their website and a check comes in the mail in 4-6 weeks. We have gotten a lot of free (just pay tax) stuff from Staples over the years. I am sure they probably lose money on customers like us but they offer the deals, so we don't mind benefiting from them :)

I am grateful for Staples Easy Rebates.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What's Working Wednesday: Fairs/ New York State Fair on the Cheap

What's Working Wednesday is my weekly post to showcase something that is working for me or my family at the moment. It may not work for us forever and it may or may not work for you.

The Great New York State Fair starts tomorrow. We have gone to the fair for the last three years and have always had a really great time. With the fair in mind, I thought I would share a few tips that we practice when going to fairs in general and some specific recommendations for the New York State Fair.

 First, I want to give some recommendations for going to fairs in general:

1. Bring your own water
We each own  water backpacks and we love taking them with us to the fair! They keep your hands free, are pretty easy to refill, and the weight that they add is hardly noticeable. If you don't own water backpacks at least bring your own water bottles that you can re-fill. If you must have soft drinks bring some of your own. Drinks can be a big expense at the fair.
2. Bring your own food
As long as the venue allows it (which the NYS Fair does), it saves a lot of money to bring at least one meal of food along with you and several snacks. Food that you bring with you is, most likely, going to be healthier than any food you'd find at the fair and it will allow you to put your food money towards a couple of things that you always look forward to eating at the fair instead of having to spend money on every bit of sustenance that you need for the day. (Especially if you are going to open and close the fair like we usually do!)

Next, I'd like to mention some cheap and free things that you won't want to miss that are specific to the New York State Fair:

1. Pre-Buy Tickets
Pre-sale tickets for the fair can be purchased at various places including Wegmans and Tops (even the Tops in Lowville!) for $6 but must be purchased by the day before the fair (which for this year is today!). At the gate fair tickets are $10 for everyone over 12.

2. 25 cent milk
Be sure to head over to the Dairy Products Building for your cup of chocolate or plain milk for only a quarter. We always look forward to this! While you are in the Dairy Products Building be sure to check out this year's butter sculpture.

 3. $1 Baked Potatoes
When you get hungry one inexpensive way to fill your belly is to head over to the Horticulture Building for their $1 baked potatoes. They come with sour cream, butter, and/ or cheese. While you're in the Horticulture Building be sure to check out some other great New York State products and be sure to get a sample (and maybe buy a bag or two) of the maple cotton candy. It's good stuff!

4. Free Entertainment
Be sure to check the schedule for the day you go but some things that we always look forward to are (in no particular order):
* The Circus! Yes, it isn't Barnum and Bailey or The Shriners but the circus at the fair is pretty fun. We often eat our packed lunch while sitting and watching it under the big top.
 * Bandaloni - the strolling one man band
 * The Train Exhibit
* The Agricultural Museum - watch people make soap, brooms, baskets, dulcimers, etc. Last year we enjoyed "The Tool Chest" where we learned about old tools and heard some fun stories outside and we were able to try our hand at weaving on a loom inside!
 * Horse Shows and other Livestock events
* Animals - many animals to look at and pet both at the petting zoo and in the various livestock buildings.
 * 4H Building - we've never actually made it to this building early enough to really check out all the cool stuff in it. Hopefully this year we will though.
* Animal Shows. Every year there is something different offered. 
* The fair parade.

 * Sand Sculpture. A huge sand sculpture made with 180 tons of sand is created throughout the duration of the fair. Last year's theme was 9/11 and it was pretty amazing.

* Fire Safety Show and Exhibit. As a homeschooler and a parent I love walking through this exhibit (that I don't think has really changed since I was a kid) and chatting with the kids about fire hazards and safety.

5. Cheap(er) Food
Towards the end of the night when we start getting hungry we often head to the food stands on the outskirts near the basketball courts/ wrestling mats. There you can get 4 hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries or drinks for $5. It's not the best tasting food in the world but it's relatively inexpensive.
NOTE: If fair food is your thing this year the fair is selling Best Bets Bargain Books. The coupons look a lot like the ones that used to be in the programs that you got when you entered the fair. They can be purchased for $4 before the fair and $5 at the fair. The coupons don't look like they'd be worth it to our family because we don't really buy that much fair food but check out the list of coupons available. They may save you money on things that you were going to buy anyway.
One sight you probably won't see this year due to our embarrassingly tiny amount of snowfall.
We plan to go to the The Great New York State Fair this Saturday (possibly for the last time in a long time) and we are really looking forward to it!

Monday, August 20, 2012

"A Lesson on Frustration"

Today was our first official day of school. One of my students has been chomping at the bit for weeks and I've occasionally "let" that student do a little work ahead but everyone else started today.

This year we are using My Father's World Creation to the Greeks as our base. We are excited about it because we really liked MFW Exploring Countries and Cultures last year. There was lots of intro stuff to do today.

One thing that I am looking forward to this year is using God and the History of Art. Today we covered the introduction and got to do "Lesson #1 - A Lesson on Frustration." The lesson explained how becoming an artist takes a lot of practice and how artists are often frustrated with the work that they do, never thinking that it is good enough. The lesson explained that acknowledging that frustration is just a part of being an artist will help you "be able to relax and enjoy the learning process involved in drawing, coloring and painting." The assignment for today was to draw and color a butterfly using only our mouths like Joni Eareckson Tada. It was pretty challenging and sure did make us appreciate the fact that, for most of the rest of our lessons, we'll be able to use our hands that work much better than our mouths.

Several of my students chose to draw butterflies with their hands after finishing their mouth drawings.

Reading this lesson and doing this activity made me think about my own frustration with my various jobs. The lesson told of the frustrations of various artists and their displeasure in their own work, even though others would have looked on them as masterpieces. I need to be careful not to be too critical of my own work knowing that frustration is also a part of being a wife, mom, teacher, cook, friend, writer, etc. I need to not get overwhelmed with my own frustration at my imperfect work but relax and enjoy the learning process involved in growing in all the areas that I have been called to. Funny how God can speak to me even through my kids' art lesson :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Stretch

It's silly but I think that the first thing that prompted me to start stretching was not the cross country runners I always saw stretching in the hallway in high school but a Winnie the Pooh board book I used to read to my kids all the time when they were little. In his "stoutness exercises" think that it said something like, "I stretch up, I stretch down, I eat a whole bowl of honey." Of course, I haven't really continued that routine, especially the honey part. I'm not actually a big fan of honey. 

 I know that stretching is an important thing to do but it is another one of those discipline things that I am not very good at. I have started stretching a little bit more since I started running this summer. I know that it is important, physically, to stay agile and not get injured but it is not a regular part of my routine. I talked about stretching with Glenn's uncle when he was here visiting. He is really good about doing his stretching excerises that various PT people have had him do because he wants to live an active lifestyle and he knows how important the stretches he does are. It was inspiring and challenging listening to him.

I know that stretching physically is important, though not pleasant. It is also important to stretch in other ways. I know that phases of my life when my faith, my emotions, my social skills, my frugal-ness, my creativity have had to stretch have not always been pleasant but the rewards from stretching and allowing myself to be stretched have been long lasting and I am thankful for them.

Back to Pooh - as he was doing his stretches in this little video I found I found this morning he was talking about how his stretches helped to increase his appetite. In the same way, when I have been stretched in other areas, especially my faith, my appetite for what I am ultimately striving for increases as well. Thanks, Pooh, for that little reminder of why I really stretch.

I'm linking up with the Gypsy Mama today. Come on over and join me. Write for 5 minutes yourself or just read some other great blog posts about "stretch."

Five Minute Friday

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Leave New York??

"The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father's family, and go to the land that I will show you." Genesis 12:1 NLT

National Conference was an overwhelming experience for me. Before going to it I think I was in denial of the whole residency application process and how many programs there are really out there. One of the presenters at an educational session we went to likened it to walking through an expo center full of used car salesmen fully convinced that their used car is the best. Our job was to find out which "used car," of all these great residency programs, was the right one for us to provide us for the best training to practice medicine where and how we'd like to. One of the most exciting things for me was that there are actually residencies out there with the broad spectrum training that Glenn wants. Before the conference he'd been battling between family practice and surgery (ie. procedures) and it was great to be assured that there are FP residencies that will train him to do more of the procedures that he wants to be trained in so that he can be prepared to practice either overseas or in a rural location in the US.

There are many great programs in New York but most of the full spectrum programs that he is interested in are not in New York. On the way home from the airport I came to the realization that I am going to leave New York, most likely. I have been a New York resident for all my life (with the exception of 2 years when we lived in Tennessee when we first got married). I have always known/ assumed that I would not live in New York forever. I have always planned to live overseas at some point. I never actually planned on raising kids in the US, actually. It was just a bit of a shock to my overwhelmed spirit that I am actually going to leave.

A couple days later, while doing my quiet time, I came across this verse:
"The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father's family, and go to the land that I will show you." Genesis 12:1 NLT
It was an encouraging word to me and reading it reminded me of God's faithfulness to Abraham. Abraham has always been an example to me (just ask my kids!) and I am so thankful for his obedience when God asked him to go. I know that I can trust God as I leave my "Ur," to go to that unknown place that He has for us. I know that He walks before us and He has good plans for us. I am excited to see what they are. Even if they aren't in New York :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What's Working Wednesdays: Mathematics Enhancement Programme (FREE math curriculum!)

 What's Working Wednesday is my weekly post to showcase something that is working for me or my family at the moment. It may not work for us forever and it may or may not work for you.

Several years ago I was looking for free or cheap homeschool curriculum because we had no place in our budget to buy school materials. I came across and they recommended the Mathematics Enhancement Programme from Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching. I looked into it and discovered that they offered all the teachers manuals, practice books and other resources for free on their website in PDF form. I decided it was worth a shot and printed the first year out for my oldest.

I always tell people that we started using it because it is free and have continued using it because we love it. We really do enjoy MEP and I love how it approaches math (ex. basic algebra concepts are introduced in the first week of Y1 and they have really creative ways to introduce multiplication, negative numbers, etc).

Before starting using the program you may want to know a few of things:
1. It is based out of the UK so all measurement lessons are in metric (standard units of measurement will have to be taught with other materials or just in normal life with your kids since that is probably what you are used to anyway.). I love that it teaches in metric since metric is base 10 which makes math problems so much more simple!
2. Also, since it is based out of the UK, all money math problems are in pounds and pence. I usually just have my kids write dollar signs instead of a pound signs. One thing that gets a little confusing is that we don't have 2 cent coins here in the US so you get to be creative with a few lessons in early years. It's also brought up interesting conversations about money in other countries.
3. It is designed for a classroom so not all activities are easily converted to homeschool use where there is often a much smaller class size. You can skip those activities or just get creative. One way that I have gotten around it in early grades was to have the kids use their stuffed animals as classmates. This past year Caleb had to graph his classmates' birth months and I put out of request on facebook and instead of having just 4 students in his class he had about 150 ;)
4. There is a great yahoo group with other homeschoolers using the program. I would recommend joining it as these other homeschooling parents are a great resource when you have questions since this is probably not how you were taught math.
5. You will not need much space to store it. (I did Saxon K for kindergarten for my kids and I think that it took more space to store that material, which I had to pull out all the time, than it takes to store the 6 years of math curriculum for MEP, of which I only need 4 of those 11 folders for my 4 students out at a time!)
6 years of Math curriculum in less than 12cm space!

We really love MEP and think that others will to so I want to do a little tutorial thing about how I set up MEP for my classroom.

1. Get folders with brads in the middle. These are so cheap this time of the year (a couple of the folders that we use we already had as you can see for Y4b). I bought them all in blue so blue = math in my house which makes Math folders easy to keep track of. You will need 2 of these per student, one for each semester. Here is all we need for math for this fall. As you can see it is very easily transportable.

Our Math Curriculum for the first half of the year!
 2. Print Lesson Plans.  The first couple of years we used MEP I printed these in duplex, two to a page (as you can see in Y2a's folder) but now I print them in duplex 4 to a page (as you can see in Y4b's folder). I duplex and do multiple sheets to a page to save paper, toner, and space. I hole punch them and put them in the brad section of the folder. (NOTE: a laser printer is a GREAT investment for a homeschooler). You can just look at these lesson plans on your computer if you'd prefer not to print them out. I like having paper in my hand though and a place to scribble down notes for this year and future years in the lesson plans though. I store these after one child is done with it until it is the next child's turn.
Lesson Plans 2 to a page
Lesson plans 4 to a page
3. Print Practice Book.   I print these in duplex as well but just one sheet to a page. I put these in the left hand pocket of the folder. Below are a couple of pages from Y2a's Practice Book.

3. Print an Answer Key. This is not absolutely necessary but has been helpful to me so someone else can grade the work. To make my key I printed the practice pages in duplex, 4 sheets to a page and then did the work myself. I could have gotten most of the answers by looking through the lesson plans but #1 I am a math geek and #2 I also wanted to see what the kids would be doing. Since I have been using MEP from the beginning and store the old sets I only have to do one set of answer keys a semester and I am about half way through Y6a already and school hasn't even started yet. I've been bringing it with me to work on in the car or while watching the kids during swim lessons. The kids think that it's fun catching my mistakes in the key as well. I store the key in the right hand pocket of the folder.
Key for Y2a
 4. Have fun exploring Math with your kids.

MEP Y4b ready to go for the year.
Most of my links here are to the primary curriculum materials. They also have materials for secondary math on the CIMT MEP website as well but I haven't used them yet so I am not sure if they are set up differently. There is a helpful scheme of work to help you see at a glance what will be covered throughout the year. I don't have the website memorized. To find it I always google "CIMT MEP" and it is the first link.

We really enjoy MEP and I hope you do too. If you have questions feel free to ask me or get on the MEP Homeschoolers Yahoo Group and ask there.

Monday, August 06, 2012

The Best Part of Waking Up

I was never a morning person. I like staying up late. I like sleeping in. I do NOT like to get out of bed. Especially in the winter.

I am a mom of 4 kids. I homeschool. I discovered a number of years ago that if I do not get up before my kids I get zero time to myself. I like time to myself. I also discovered that if I didn't get up before the kids I got zero time in God's Word. Time in God's Word and in prayer is so vital to me being able to live in the Spirit and not in the flesh. I need that time to feed on God's Word to help me throughout the day.

Through the baby years I discovered that as soon as the kids fell asleep I would be good for nothing. I may stay up longer but I would get nothing productive done. I knew that I needed to make a change and, though I was not naturally a morning person, I knew I had to make the sacrifice of sleep and get up before the kids for my own sanity.

It has not always been an easy choice and I have not always been successful. Winter is the hardest time. It is so dark and it is so cold outside of under the covers BUT the sacrifice has been so worth it. I am a better wife, a better mom, and I have the chance to live more purposefully.


Last spring I joined the Hello Mornings Challenge and it was so great to interact on a daily basis with other women who were on the same journey as me, with similar goals - get up, spend time with God, plan your day purposefully, and exercise. The accountability it gave me was a great boost, especially in those dark days of the early part of the year when I wanted nothing more than to stay under the covers.

There is still time to sign up for the Hello Mornings Challenge for this fall than runs from August 20 - November 16. My group is full but there is still space in other groups and I challenge you to sign up and get some accountability to help you get up, spend time in God's Word, exercise and plan your day. I am linking up today at Inspired to Action. If you need more convincing that you should get up early or ideas on how to do it or what to do hop on over here and read about some other ladies' journeys  in maximizing their mornings.

I've come to realize that the best part of waking up isn't Folgers in my cup (though, I must say, I do like coffee. I just don't drink Folgers) it is how much better my whole day goes as a result. I am not waking up scurrying around and miserable, snapping at everyone, because I have overslept. Instead, because I get up, I have time to prepare my mind, my heart, and my body for the day.

Try it. It won't be easy but it will be worth it.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Why Do I Worry About God's Bank Account?

God has entrusted some money to us and we keep it in a bank account. We try to steward it well, knowing that it isn't ours, and use it to pay our bills and buy things that we want and need.

This week we had to use some of God's money to pay for the tests that Glenn is going to have to take for school over the next couple of months. The tests are pretty expensive and when we checked our bank account before paying for them we discovered that, after paying for the tests, the amount of money in our bank account would be way lower than we can remember it being for a long time. We actually had to borrow money from one of the kids' bank accounts to cover a couple of bills that are automatically deducted from our account over the next couple of weeks.

My reaction to seeing our bank account almost zero out made me realize that I have been putting too much faith in having money in our bank account and not enough faith in God, the One who actually stores it there. We have needs and we know that God always provides for them. It is easy to trust Him when you know exactly how He is going to do it. Not so easy when you don't. There is no need to worry about us financially. We have a bit of money coming in the near future- an overdue apartment deposit refund for our apartment in Syracuse, reimbursements for things that we've paid for, and our normal disbursement but for the next 2 weeks we are on a mandatory spending freeze.

On our walk to the park for the town band concert after spending all of "our" money I had a talk with myself and reminded myself of whose bank account it really is - God's. Who put the money there? God. Who can both fill it and empty it at times and in ways that make no sense to me? God. I then started hearing Bob Weston, a missionary from Jamaica that used to visit my church when I was a child, singing in my ear, "If you know the Lord is helpin' you, what you got to worry about? If you know the Lord is helping you - why don't you sing and shout? Ohhh, glory hallelujah, praise His name. Everyday He's just the same. If you know the Lord is helpin' you, what you got to worry about?"

The next morning I read My Utmost and it was on "The Discipline of Difficulty." I guess I needed to read it. The last two sentences really stuck out: "The temptation is to face difficulties from a common-sense standpoint. The saint is hilarious when he is crushed with difficulties because the thing is so ludicrously impossible to anyone but God."

So... why do I worry about God's bank account? I don't know. It may have our name on it but it's His. I think know that I can trust Him with it. Praise His name.

"I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world." John 16:33 MSG

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

What's Working Wednesday: C25K

What's Working Wednesday is my weekly post to showcase something that is working for me or my family at the moment. It may not work for us forever and it may or may not work for you.

I have been wanting to be healthier and more physically fit for some time but it takes more than desire. It also takes discipline.

I have been inspired by many friends who have started running (maybe some of them have always run, I don't know) that have things post to their facebooks to let everyone know that they are out on a run. One of my biggest inspirations is a lady I am super proud of, my friend Kari. She has made lots of healthy life changes and recently completed a 1/2 marathon. Completing a 1/2 marathon is something I never would have imagined her doing when I shared life with her on a regular basis 13 years ago while we were in college together. I still don't know that I will ever be able to do it but I am currently working towards a 5K.

I really like the Couch to 5k plan. It is a plan designed to get you from being a couch potato to running a 5K in 9 weeks. I have started it before but have never made it all the way though. (I think I quit in the past around week 4.)

This time I am walk/ running while listening to the C25K Christian Indie podcast. Some of the music is a little slow for running but I enjoy the chance to listen to some praise music while I run. I am currently on week 7 of the couch to 5K plan and did my first 25 minute run on Tuesday. It went pretty well and I even had a lady in the passenger seat of a car that drove by applaud me on the way up my last hill. I am excited that I was able to "run" for 25 minutes straight. I could barely run two telephone poles 2 months ago!

If you'd like to try to become more physically fit I challenge you to give C25K a try. There are lots of great resources at this website: