Friday, July 30, 2010

30 Day Challenge: Friday Updates

Well, I hope you all have had a good week meeting your challenges! I look forward to reading about them. No matter where you are in the challenge...maybe you are half way, just starting or thinking through what your challenge should be, we would LOVE an update from you. :)

Challenge 1: Time in Gods Word
Yowsers! I actually missed a couple days last weekend and I can honestly say I have no excuse other then laziness and lack of discipline. The rest of the days have been good. I have been mediating on some verses regarding strength from God so I have been reading scripture surrounding these verses.

I can do everything through him who gives me strength
Phil 4:13

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 
Colossians 1:11-12

Challenge 2: Exercise
So far this week I have my 2 days of yoga in and 1 run in. Thankfully I still have through Sunday to meet get 1 more run in!

Challenge 3: Eating healthy
So far so good again. I think I was a little short on my water one day but other then that I am doing good. It really hasn't been that tough other then craving a soda when I was at a wedding in 95 degree weather last weekend...but I was able to resist.

Challenge 4: Organization
Yahooooo! I got a lot done on this challenge this week. I cleaned the room I keep all our homeschool stuff in and went through and organized all our books. I am super excited to start making my scope and sequence for the year!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Works for me Wednesday

I've been saving plastic containers and glass jars for some time now just knowing I will find a purpose for them. Here is what I've come up with so far.

These containers hold sesame seeds, rice and mixed nuts I bought in the bulk foods section and my pancake mix that comes in a box. I use a sharpie to write any directions I may need for the product on the lid. This is a great way to reuse, reduce, recycle and it keeps your food fresh!

Do you save old containers? If so share with us how you use them!

Pssssst Abbey...share with us your post on the paint jars you did a while back. :)
Pssssst Amber...share with us your post on your drinking glasses. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cowboy and Cowgirl

 Howdy y'all!!! If these two ain't the cutest little twirps on the west side of the Rocky Mountains, I don't know a cow from a chicken. Sweet nibblets, I love these two!!!

My middle two have always been quite a pair. Like any siblings they have their fair share of fights but for the most part Lilly and Gus are like two pee's in a pod. They always have fun playing together and can do it for hours. Today they decided to dress up like a couple of cowboys. They are planning on washing the car while pretending it's their horse.

A little bit about my cowgirl: She's sweet and feisty all at the same time. She rises early with the birds and is like a ray of sunshine in our family. She loves attention and has very little patients. Like her big sister, fashion is a must. She loves to wear black because she says "all the girls who dress nice wear black." She would wear high heels everyday if we let her.

A little bit about my cowboy: This little guy is an all around boy! Though he has traded some of is rough and tumble spark for some sweet and sensitiveness. He gets his feelings hurt very easy but is (usually) quick to forgive. He is also very good about apologizing all on his own to his mama when he has been disrespectful. Up early with the birds he is NOT! Gus would sleep until lunch if I let him.

These kicks were made for running

Theirs a first time for everything right? Well at least a first time for running shoes... These are my nifty new kicks and I am uber excited about them!!! I was running in my 10 year old sketcher sports. They were meant to look sporty, not be used for sport. Thanks to a gift card from my fabulous friends the Lockwoods, I am running in comfort.

As much as I love having new kicks...I can't wait until these suckers are beat up. Cause that will mean I am a running machine. These kicks are gonna be with me as I better my best many times. As I shed the pounds. As I gain self confidence. As I converse with God. As I run a race or two, or three. As I am undone from what I've become.

I am so Thankful for my new kicks!

Friday, July 23, 2010

30 Day Challenge: Friday Updates

Days 1-4

Since it is still the am I have not done any of my challenges yet today so I will just be updating Mon-Thurs today.

Challenge 1: Time in Gods Word
Well I have met this challenge everyday so far but the first 3 days it was just enough to get my minimum and I was not putting much into, if ya know what I mean. Yesterday I read a couple chapters in Genesis. I ended with the 10 commandments. It is good to be reminded of the law God gave his people before the time of Jesus. I do want to share what I read on Tuesday night. I was laying in bed when I realized I hadn't met this challenge so I jumped out of bed, opened the bible and this is what I landed on. Note: This is the second time I've landed on this scripture when I've done it this way.
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the field yields no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.
Habakkuk 3:17-19

To me this verse like many other verses speaks to leaning on God, our strength and our joy when we are struggling or things just aren't going as we had planned. I have remembered that he is my strength but forgot the part about him being my joy too. When I have been at my weakest and I felt like I can't go on, I have looked to God to give me the strength to keep going forward. But I have gone forward without joy. I can't help but think about what that has done for my witness to those around me...bleh! It is normal for us to not always feel joy, especially when things are not going our way. But we must remember to look to God to give us joy! He is our joy and our strength!!!

Challenge 2: Exercise
Seriously exercise is now just a part of my life. It takes little effort for me to make the time to do it because I LOVE IT!!! (I only wish that will happen with my bible reading) I am only 4 days in and I have already met my goal of running twice and doing yoga twice. I have also done toning exercises for my abs and arms in addition. Today is supposed to be a rest day but I think I will do some more toning exercises. They are all low impact so my joints will still be getting a rest. (I think)

Challenge 3: Eating Healthy
So far so good! I have stuck to all the rules with the exception of 1. Rule # 5. No eating after 8pm. I feel I will need to modify this rule because I sometimes run in the evening and I don't get done until after 8pm and I need to eat a little something (usually a banana) after I run. So the modification to the rule will be No junk food or high fat foods after 8pm. Fruits and veggies will be okay. 

Much to my liking I have lost 2 lbs since Monday. While this challenge is about eating healthier not losing wait I need to lose some weight (for health reasons). I need to lose about 20lbs but would like to lose about 40lbs. But hitting that hard will come at a later challenge. For now I am just trying to change some really bad habits.

Challenge 4: Organization
Let me just say boy did my hubby hit the nail on the head with this one! I haven't done a thing for this challenge yet...I'm glad I still have 25 more days to meet it. Trust me, I've thought a ton about what i need to do. Now I just need to do it.

So how is your challenge going??? No matter where you're at in the challenge or how it is going, please give us an update by linking a post below :)


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Testing/30 Day Challenge

Just want to check and see if my link system will work before our 30 Day Challenge updates on Friday :)

Feel free to link a post to what you are doing for your current challenge.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

30 day Challenge: Round 2

This weekend has been a nice break from having a challenge to meet but I am excited to get back in it! Here are the challenges I am taking on over the next 30 Days.

Challenge 1: Time in Gods Word
I have decided to continue this challenge because I don't feel it has become habit enough for me. Same rules apply as last time.

Challenge 2: Exercise
These rules have changed. As much as I love running I know that I need to incorporate other forms of exercise in order to be completely physically fit. I have been working a lot on my endurance but really need to work on my strength and flexibility. So My new challenge will be to run 2 times a week and do yoga 2 times a week. I am going to try to do some cross training 1 day and rest 2 days in addition to this but that will not be part of my challenge. 

Challenge 3: Eating Healthier
After being challenged by my dear friend Kaitlyn on what the definition of  a diet really is and discussing things over with my husband I have decided against a drastic change and/or a crash diet. Here are the areas I will be focusing on or the rules if you will.
1. Drink more water
2. Eat smaller portions
3. Choose healthy snacks between meals
4. No Soda
5. No eating after 8pm (I will give myself grace on this if it is a special night but no more then once a week)
6. No seconds on desserts

Disclaimer: These are the rules I am starting with on this challenge. I will not remove any of these rules but depending on how it goes I might ad to them as I see needed.

Challenge 4: Organization
I was gonna go a lot more ambitious on this challenge but thankfully my Husband is here to bring me back down to earth and not bite off more then I can chew. So for this challenge I am giving myself the next 30 days to organize all our home school stuff (books, art and office supplies, ect.) and make my curriculum plan and schedule for the school year.

I do want to share one more change I am making to the challenges this time around. I have decided I will give my challenge updates on Friday only (unless I have something I really need to share). I hope the rest of you who are participating will share with us how your challenge is going on Fridays also. I plan to have a link option available so you can ad your update to my post and we can all share, encourage and inspire each other on our 30 Day Challenge journeys.

I am also super exited to share that my hubby has decided to take on his own 30 day challenge too!!! He will not be blogging about his challenge but said that I can share them with all my readers. So here they are

Clint's Challenge 1: Keep the lawn green and plush for the next 30 days

Clint's Challenge 2: No shaving for 30 days. ( I told him with this challenge that means no ____ for 30 days either. LOL)

Okay, so those are not really his challenges...but he did think they would be good ones! I will share his real challenges with ya next time :)

Happy Challenging yourself!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

30 day Challenge: DAY 30!!!!!!

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!

I am shouting it from the roof top!!! Can you hear me?!?!

30 days of reading Gods word EVERYDAY and 30 days of exercising EVERYDAY!!! Not on my own strength but through the power of Christ I have been changed. I praise God for the work He has done in me through this challenge. Like I said before, I had no idea doing this would impact my life as much as it has.

Rather then giving you the specific on how I met my challenges today I will share a little bit on how each challenged has changed me.

Challenge 1: Time in Gods Word
Over the last 30 days God has spoken to me through His word. He has given me wisdom on how to deal with being sinned against and how to deal with my own sin. He has shown me sin I did not know I had. He has taught me more about what it really means to fear Him. He has guided me on how to be a better wife and mother. He has blessed me with stories from when the world first began and comforted me by the grace he has extended to so many before me. He has blessed me through His word.

Challenge 2: Exercise
When I started this challenge is was all about physical health. Little did I know it was going to impact my spiritual health more then anything else. My time exercising has turned out to be a great time for me to meet with God. Time to talk with Him and a time to listen. God has shown me how to worship and glorify Him through caring for the body He not only created, but created just for me.  Exercise has also been a huge stress reliever for me and it feels SO good to do something for myself and by myself. As a homeschooling mom of four I NEED that time. I have also learned that my body can do things I never thought it could do and that I can preserver through the tough spots and continue to challenge myself. I am so excited for what lye's ahead!

Stay tuned cause I will start back up with another challenge next week and my BFF is working on a button that you will be able to grab for your blog to show that you are a 30 Day Challenger (and maybe some 30 day challenge completion awards too).

If you haven't taken a 30 Day Challenge yet now is the time to join us!
And we can all feel like this together

Beautiful Blogger Awards

Rachel over at Saved By Grace just gave me an award!

WOW Rachel! Thank you! You are to sweet. Rachel is my friend, a fellow homeschooling mom and my sister in Christ. I met her at Grace a few years ago. Rachel is creative, helpful and honest and I love all those things about her.

Here are the rules:

1) Add a link and note of thanks to the person giving the award
2) Pass the award on to the bloggers whose blogs you love (15 tops)
3) Share 7 things about yourself

I have decided to take a different approach to the Beautiful Bloggers Awards. I know a couple bloggers who I used to LOVE reading their blogs. Both of these bloggers use to fill there blogs with beautiful pictures and cute stories of there kids. They also blogged about their journeys with Christ be it a praise or a struggle. They shared theirs hearts, families, joys and sorrows with us through their blogs. I do so miss these ladies blogs and I hope they will share with us again soon.

Carrie at Day by Day in Grace
Amber at Under Construction

7 things about me

1) As a teen I drove a pink VW convertible (every girls dream) and I vow to one day drive one again.
2) I have never played a team sport in my entire life ( I don't like balls being thrown at me :))
3) When I was a baby I crawled out of the house while my parents were busy painting. I went up our street, crossed a busy street in Edmonds, went up another block and down a another street where a lady found me playing in her yard. I was wearing a t-shirt and had a poppy diaper. Meanwhile my parents had called the police and were frantically looking for me. My mom said that when she picked me up at the police station I was having the time of my life making all the policemen laugh.
4) I am really good at stuffing away my feelings. I think its because my childhood and teen years were so rough and it was my way of survival. Sometimes it's a blessing and other times it feels like a curse.
5) I never found out what we were having with any of our pregnancies but got exactly the sex I wanted with each one.
6) I seriously cannot wait to be a grandma. It seems like so much fun!!! If my kids don't get married and have kids until later in life it will feel like a punishment to me. LOL!
7) My favorite color had always been pink (any shade) but for my wedding I chose lavender in honor of my grandma who passed away that year.

30 day Challenge: Day 29

This one will be short sweet! Or maybe just short...

Challenge 1: Time in Gods Word
Read Exodus 17

Challenge 2: Exercise
Did Yoga and some leg work

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

30 day Challenge: Days 26-28

ONLY 2 MORE DAYS!!!!! I can't believe how fast its gone by and how much progress I have made. When I started this almost a month ago I had no idea what God had in store for me.

I am totally waffling on what to do for my next challenge but I better hurry up and decide. I know for sure I want to do some sort of food challenge. I'm just not sure what. Maybe y'all can offer your opinions and advice to help me decide (or confuse me even more). Here are the different avenues I am thinking and praying through-
Weight Watchers Points
Positives-I know it works if I stick with it cause it has in the past. I am experienced with it so I am not trying to figure out something new. It allows me to eat some of the foods others diets don't in a healthy moderation.
Negatives-Counting points is A LOT of work. I hate writing down what I eat.

Weight Watchers Core
Positive- Only eating healthy foods. No counting or writing down.
Negatives- Could be easy for me to over eat. (not good even if it is healthy foods) Going without quite a bit of food I am use to eating.

Counting Calories
Positives-Can eat all foods but forced to make healthy choices since my calorie intake will be low. A little less work than counting points but not much.
Negatives-Like points, counting calories is work.

No "crash diet" just make healthy choices
Positives-Probably the healthiest option. The best option for long term change.No counting and calculating.
Negatives- I NEED BOUNDARIES!!! This might be too easy for me to cheat.

Any helpful thoughts, advice or ideas you have for me would be greatly appreciated!!!

Now back to what this post was supposed to be about...

Challenge 1: Time in Gods Word
Over the last couple of days I read a little bit in Hebrews, The whole book of Songs of Solomon and I am now back reading in Exodus. I am going to stick in Exodus until I finish it. I do so love reading the stories I often teach about in Sunday School. Its nice to get the adult version of it :)

Challenge 2: Exercise
I found these great 10 Minute Solution videos on Netflix instant. They each have 5 10 minute segments focusing on different parts of the body. What I like about these is you can do as much or as little as you have time for. I also like them cause I need to work on strength and flexibility, not just endurance (Thanks Abbey!) On Sunday I was able to squeeze in 4 10 minute segments. (Thighs, arms, abs and buns) On Monday I just did 2 segments. (cardio to warm up the muscles and then I did power stretching). Today I kicked butt though!!! I bettered my best and did 2.5 miles. 2 of which I ran!!! Whoooo hooooo! It felt good :)I cannot believe I am saying this but...
I (heart) EXERCISE!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What I've Become

Over the last ten years I have become...
A glutton
A sluggard
Plagued with self doubt and self indulgence
My own worst enemy

As I look at those labels I have given myself all of the lies I have told myself over the years run through my mind as if they are on one of those electronic reader boards. "its not a big deal if you have another helping, food is for you to enjoy", "you are what you eat, a pile of crap",  " you're to fat to workout", "you're fine just the way you are, why change", "you're not lazy, you just have other priorities", "you have no self control and no will power", "you are weak", "you'll never change so why even try",

While running on the trail when I was camping I would listen to my I-Pod on Shuffle. At one point this song came on and as I listened to the chorus I knew exactly why God brought me to running. He brought me to running because of what I've become.
Turn me around pick me up
Undo what I've become
Bring me back to the place
Of forgiveness and grace
I need you, need your help
I can't do this myself
You're the only one who can undo
What I've become

As I listened to the words I knew that God had begun a great work in me. Through the running he is showing me that I do have strength, will power and self control. He has shown me that through Him I can do all things!!! Yes, even running!!! He is showing me that it is important to take care of myself, how to care about myself and how to do it in a way that is glorifying to him. He is showing me that he will undo what I've become.

Over the years I have tried to change, only to fail. I CANNOT do it on my strength alone. I cry out to God the words of the song, "I need you, need your help. I can't do this myself." And there He is with a loving and gentle hand. He was there all along, patiently waiting for me to reach up from the pit and ask for his help.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 1:6

30 day Challenge: Days 23-25

WOW! I can't believe I am already almost done. This is awesome! I am already thinking about what I will do for my next challenge. Here are a few of my ideas.
Eat no more than X amount of calories per day
Read a book aloud to one of my Children everyday
Not eat any food after 8pm
Exercise 4 days a week
Spend 20 minutes organizing/going through stuff in my house everyday

Challenge 1: Time in Gods Word
I have finished Proverbs! My friend Rachel is reading it too and she posted a bit about the verses like (paraphrasing here) Better to live in a dry desert or have rotten bones then to live with a quarrelsome wife. Proverbs is the book of wisdom and their are quite a few verses saying this same thing so I think I better pay attention! I often justify my behavior based on my husbands. Titus 2 talks about how we should be as Godly wives and Mothers (loving, respectful, kind...) and at NO point does it say IF...
If he is in a good mood
If he completed the "honey do" list
If he is unselfish
If he makes good decisions
If he is loving to you
We need to love and respect our husbands because God has commanded us to regardless of their behavior. Just like our husbands we will have to answer to God for our own actions. I can't help but imagine a conversation with God when I stand before him one day.

God: Amber, why were you disrespectful and unloving to your husband when...
Me: God, didn't you see how selfish he was being when he was 1/2 hour late getting home from golfing? The kids were fighting and I had dinner ready! I needed him there on time!
God: You're kidding me! How could I miss that? What a selfish jerk he is!!! You poor thing. Here is 10 jewels for your crown cause you've had to endure so much.

Ya, that's how it will be right? But that sure is how I act sometimes. Ya feel me sisters???

Challenge 2: Exercise
Well on Thursday I was able to run over a mile. Friday I could have and should have got my exercise done in the am cause I had a busy day ahead but my discipline failed me. So when I got home at 1:20 am and was completely exhausted I did push ups, sit ups and leg exercises and then put my I-pod on and danced to get my 20 minutes in. I do not intend on letting that happen again cause it sucked!!! Saturday I coordinated a wedding  all day. My plan was to get 20minutes of cardio on the dance floor baby! I did get in about 20 minutes of dancing but it was not consecutive cause I had responsibilities to attend too. However I was on my feet running around (other than using the potty 3 times) for 10 1/2 hours straight. My legs were killing me when I got home. After running over a mile and not being sore I believe I had more of a workout yesterday then any day in my challenges so far. And it was so much fun!

Friday, July 9, 2010

How it all began

I wanted to share with you all how I went from doing 20 minutes on the Wii to running 1.5 miles. First of all I wasn't planning on it for sure. I wanted to challenge myself to do something good for my health. They say exercise is good for the heart and since my Grandmother died of heart disease at 63 I know it is something I need to be careful of. In the long run I do not feel I need to workout everyday, but since it is not something I am use to fitting into my life, I wanted to be diligent about it at first and get myself to the place where I actually craved it. (I always heard people say that but had never experienced that fact I hated working out!)

So I started out doing the Wii and I liked it. I am not sure if it's because I am in a different place in my life (4 kids and homeschooling) or what, but I immediately noticed the release of stress I got from just 20 minutes of exercise. I never felt that way after exercising before. It also helped me to feel good about myself. The down side of the Wii most of the time was having my kids right there with me. So it wasn't a break. Then one weekend while away at the homeschool conference I got the opportunity to work out with my uber inspirational friend Carrie for a whole hour. A whole hour! No kids around. Just Carrie, me and a couple treadmills. It was awesome and I felt SO GOOD. So rather then the Wii I did my best to make it work for me to go to the YMCA. Checked the kids into childcare and I fell in love with the elliptical.

Family vacation time rolled around and there is no YMCA at my campgrounds so I knew I had to figure out something different. When I arrived my camping buddy Kayla told me about this great trail that her and her sister went **wogging on earlier that morning. I thought "perfect, now I know how I will get my exercise (and a break) and I hate running but I could probably wog.

So that evening off I set on the trail. Just like Kayla suggested I walked up the trail a little over a 1/2 mile and when I turned to go back I started to jog. I figured I would just do a bit and see how it goes. Much to my amazement I ran not just back to where the trail began but back to my campsite!!! I was SHOCKED and it wasn't as horrific as I thought running could be. The next day I went a little bit further and the next day a little further.

I am now running almost everyday. Some days are tougher then others and I don't always love every moment of it but God is doing a work on me. But that's for another post that is already in the works.

So that's how it all began. I leave you with the words of a famous runner whom I felt a bit like I could relate with since I never really planned on running. (can you guess who he is?)

That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road, and when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County. And I figured since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason, I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured since I'd gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured since I've gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going. 

** Wogging: Walking and jogging

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

30 day Challenge: Days 12-22

So sorry it has been so long since I've updated. Vacation and then playing catch up with everything else once I got back home so no time to blog :) I am happy to say that even though I've been busy I have still been able to meet my challenges every day!!!

Challenge 1: Time in Gods Word
All but a couple days I have read at least a couple chapters (mostly proverbs) and the other days I did the minimum by squeezing in a paragraph or two. I am still very much enjoying Proverbs. I could easily pluck out a couple verses from each chapter and paste them a round my house as constant reminders. Hopefully soon I'll squeeze in the time to share some of my favorites with you.

Challenge 2: Exercise
I am praising God for the work he has done in me in this area!!! This really deserves a whole post of its own and it will get it. Just as soon as I find the time to write it. For now I'll just say that I have far exeded my own expextations of myself on this challenge and I am now running almost everyday. WHAT? ME RUNNING?!?!? I know, I am just as shocked as you are. Never tell God what you can't do cause he is liable to show you different :) My longest run with out stopping so far is 1.5 miles. For me that is a huge victory. God is my strength!

I hope to write more later but for now LOST on Netflix is calling my name.

How is your Challenge going? Its never to late to start :)