Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Widow's Mite

A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.

Mark 12: 42-44

I have been wearing this necklace a lot lately. It was a "gift" from Sonlight when I purchased J's curriculum. I often think that a "gift with purchase" is a bit tacky, but this one touched me. It came in an envelope with a note from Sarita, one of the founder's (with her husband) of Sonlight. I, unfortunately, threw out the note, probably in one of my cleaning whirlwinds. But, I remember what it said.
The pendant is a "widows mite." It is an actual coin from Israel, like the coin that the widow gave in the scripture above. Sarita wrote that it is to be a reminder of the sacrifices we make each day, educating and raising our children. And, what little we think we have to give, that God blesses our gift.
So I wear the pendant as a reminder, on those days when I feel that I have so little to give, that by the simple act of giving all I have, God blesses it. I may not see that blessing. I may not even feel it in the moment, but it is there. God blesses my efforts.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Boys that read

This is a good article about How to Raise Boys Who Read. If you have a few minutes, please read it.

I agree with the premise that boys do not read much because of other media in the form of electronic devices. While we do not have a Nintendo Wii, XBox or whatever else is out there, I have seen the "pull" to computer games with my boys. Their computer and media time is very limited and I could see how too much of it could impact their desire to read.

As to "catering" to boys' tastes . . . in our own experiences, I have seen that as unnecessary. I am a firm believer that good, quality, literature is all the boys need to become engaged and develop a desire to read. I have mentioned this before, but we have read many books as a part of the Sonlight curriculum that I really was not sure that the boys would enjoy. But, these were truly quality pieces of literature, and even though, the content itself may have not drawn them in if it were in a different form, the pure quality of the literature kept them captivated. Plus, there are great, quality books out there that may be more of the genre that will keep boys interested without resorting to "Sir Fartsaolt Hunts the Booger!"

Friday, September 24, 2010

7 Quick Takes - It's Friday already????

1. Where did the week go??? Oh, yes, it was a busy week and it just flew by!
2. We have done two field trips in 7 days. First, last Friday, we went to Ft. Washington. Because it was a fort, of course, the boys loved it! I have great pictures and should write a post about it if I have time. But, for all those in the DC area: Do Not Go! The kids may think it is great, if they are young, but there was trash all over and many areas in which young children could get hurt.
And yesterday, we went to the Maryland Science Center. Fun!
3. It has been two weeks since I passed my Personal Trainer Cert. exam. Last week I sat in on a few training sessions and this week I trained a few people (with supervision). I was SOOOOOO nervous and 2 out of 3 of the sessions did not go as well as I would have liked, but the trainer who is training me said all was great. Soon I will be flying solo with my own client!
4. I will not be "tri"ing it . . . I went to register for the triathlon and it is sold out.
5. And, it looks like I will not be running a half marathon this fall. The two I wanted to run are full and another one conflicts with my hubby's work schedule. I am trying not to plan too far ahead (or get my hopes up), but I would really like to run the National Marathon in March.
6. I am not sure if those of you who read this post I wrote on homeschooling began praying for me and my one son after, but, literally, days after I wrote that post, J began to read so much better! There has been such a difference in his reading that even my husband has remarked about it! I am thankful. J's sudden leap in reading ability has decreased his resistance to school and eased some of the homeschool stress in our home.
7. And, in case you have forgotten . . . . I am giving away a "Hail Marys aren't just for football" tee. Go enter!
Check out other 7 Quick Takes at the Conversion Diary.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Celebration, a Review and a Giveaway!!

First, thanks to any and all of you that prayed for me and my exam . . . I passed! I will admit, the exam was hard and there were times while I was taking it, I wondered if I would pass, but I am now a Certified Personal Trainer. I took a computer-based version of the exam, so I got my results immediately after hitting the "submit" button, and taking a very ill placed survey! I am glad it is over and my husband and kids are too!

So, although it is late, I had promised a fun review and giveaway and here it is! I saw Mamas' Movin' with Mary on Faith and Family Live two weeks ago and was drawn in by their name and the cute t-shirt. The Mamas' are a group of friends that began walking and praying the rosary together in preparation for the Columbus half marathon in 2009. Their mission is "Strengthen your body, strengthen your soul." (I think we all should start groups like this in our hometowns too!)
Plus they designed these cute t-shirts:



I ordered one right after I saw it. It came in the mail just a few days later. It was cutely wrapped with a blue ribbon, with a one decade rosary attached; perfect to pray with on your walks/runs. I do have to say that the shirt it A LOT cuter in person than the picture on their website shows. The shirt is black with blue lettering. It is more of a fitted cut, so be prepared to order one size larger if you do not like your shirts too tight. I purchased a medium and it was a perfect fit! The cut of the shirt is flattering. And the material is an athletic-wicking material. But, it is a real nice, soft one, not like many of the scratchy race shirts I have gotten!

The day I got it, I took the shirt out for a "test-drive" and wore it to the gym while I biked. Well, it worked perfectly! It kept me cool and dry. Then, this weekend, I wore it out and about with khaki pants. The t-shirt is such a nice cut and fit that you do not have to wear it just for working out. So, I am sold on the shirt.

20% of the profits from the sales of the t-shirt go to the Run the Race Club of Columbus. Run the Race is part of the Brian Muha foundation. Run the Race works with the kids of Columbus to give them activities to participate in and to be a positive influence in the lives of children that may not have many of them.

This charity really struck me because, although I did not know Brian Muha, I was working as a Residence Director at Franciscan University when he was killed. And, from the time he was abducted, to the time of the end of the trial of the accused, I remember Brian's mother and founder of Run the Race Club, Rachel Muha, being such a true example of what holiness, Christian charity and forgiveness are meant to be.

So, to help support this great charity and to celebrate that I am now and Certified Personal Trainer though ACE, I am going to give one lucky person one of these cute t-shirts!

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment. And, in the comment answer:

What you would wear the shirt for?
Please remember, you do not need to be a blogger or have a Blogger account to enter. Just make sure you leave a way for me to contact you if you win!

For extra entries (Please leave a separate comment for any/all that you do):

1. Facebook about the giveaway. Just add a link to THIS POST to the status update about the giveaway. May be done once per day.

2. Tweet about the giveaway. Please leave a link to the tweet in the comment box. May be done once per day.

3. Blog abut the giveaway. You may do a blog post about the giveaway, or put a link to this giveaway on your side bar . . . whatever you like! May be done only once per duration of giveaway.

And since October is the month of The Holy Rosary, the giveaway will end on October 1st, 12 midnight! That way you can wear the shirt during the month!

Good Luck!

Friday, September 10, 2010

If you are reading this . . .

Before 1Pm Friday afternoon . . .

I am taking my ACE Personal Trainer Certification Exam.

Please say a prayer for me!

And check back later to see if I passed. Also, in celebration of passing, I will me posting a "Movin" giveaway!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Some homeschooling honesty

Since starting school a few weeks ago, I have blogged about it some. And since I have that lovely "linked within" at the bottom of my posts, past homeschooling posts have come up. And I noticed one thing; I have not blogged much about homeschooling since I first started. And there is a reason for that.

I will admit, I do not love homeschooling. It is not easy for me. I have never been one of those women who knew she wanted to homeschool from the moment she held a baby in her arms. I am not crafty, creative, and, unless I have the calendar opened in front of me, I do not remember who is the Saint of the day. I love to teach, but to teach my own children is not quite the same as teaching teens or adults.

Many days I struggle. A few tears are shed (by me) and I wonder how I am going to get through the year. But, I know that homeschooling is our best option. The public schools here are not very good and the local Catholic school is out of our price range.

I have shied away from talking to new homeschoolers . . . I do not say much because I do not want to ruin their enthusiasm. My enthusiasm left me within the first few months of homeschooling.

I want to make sure you know a few things:
- I LOVE being with my kids all day long
- I love the curriculum we use. It fits J's learning style and makes him excited about school , when I am not sure he would be if he were in a traditional school setting.

But, having the weight of my children's education on my shoulders entirely is stressful. J struggles with reading and writing. And, as irrational as this may be, since I am his teacher, I wonder if I am doing something "wrong". Am I teaching him enough? Am I pushing him too much? And what about the other boys? Am I spending enough time with them? Is K going to struggle the same way J is? What about A?

Yesterday I read Danielle Bean's Blog. I cried when I read it. It was so refreshing to read a blog by a seasoned homeschooler. A seasoned homeschooler who felt the EXACT SAME WAY I do. Thanks Danielle, for your honesty!

And, then there are moments that make me feel that "all is good" and I must be doing something right . . .
- When J gets that little smile of satisfaction, face glowing, after reading a story.
- When K can, finally, spell his first name after making up a silly song about it so that he can remember it!
- When J gets totally interested in all things history.

Why does homeschooling have to be so hard??

Oh, yes, I know the answer. I told J this just yesterday during his fife lesson, when he looked at me and said,
"Mommy, this is hard."

My response,

"I will let you in on a little secret. Most things worthwhile are hard."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Should I tri it??

I am thinking of doing a triathlon. A sprint triathlon. In October. My hubby wants to do it too, so it would be our first "race" together. A sprint triathlon is totally doable. .25 mile swim. 14 mile bike. 3.1 mile run.

And although I really want to do it . . . I am not sure if I should. I have never taken a swim lesson in my life. Which means that, even though I can swim freestyle, it is quite laughable. But, I got a wet suit for $3 at the thrift store this weekend, so I am all set as far as gear for the swim!

And, I am not too comfortable on a bike. Other than the last month, I have not ridden on a bike on a road since I crashed while biking down Haleakala in Maui (that was 8 years ago!). On my behalf, I have biked a good deal the last month and am getting more comfortable on a bike, but if I have to go down a hill, I am sure I will be applying pressure to the breaks the whole time. Oh, and I have a very cheap, Craigslist special, mountain bike that is in no way made for a triathalon, but it will have to do.

The run? Well, 3 miles is a breeze for me, so I am not too worried about that.

I am not concerned about time. Eventhough, I do not want to come in last, I guess I would be OK with it if I did. As long as I finish.

So, what do you all think?

Should I tri it?

Friday, September 3, 2010

7 Quick Takes - Better late than never

1. As you can tell, I am having a hard time finding time to write a blog post. See below.

2. We have been homeshooling for two weeks now. I wish I could say it has been blissfully easy. But, we have had more good days than bad and we are getting into a good routine. So far so good!

3. The date is set! Sept. 10th (this Friday). I will be taking my Personal Training exam! I have been studying harder in the last few weeks since I have registered for the exam than I had for the previous 4 months! The boys have enjoyed it since they have had afternoon movie time so that the house would be quiet and I could study. If you think of it, please say a prayer that I pass!

4. I am injured. Again. I strained my peroneal tendon. It happened because I decided to change my running route and go a new and adventuresome way. Well, unfortunately, due to the high volume of traffic, I had to hop on and off the curb and run on the grass and then hop off and back to the road. Well, at some point during all of that hopping, I strained the tendon. After a week of mild pain and fearing a heel stress fracture (since my stress fracture back in Jan, I have become a stress fracture hypochondriac!), I went to the sports Dr today and found out that it was a strained tendon. I was thrilled and told the Dr that I was so happy that it was not a stress fracture. She looked at me and said, "A strained tendon is not something to be happy about. It is pretty serious." I do know that it is, but I am prefectly OK with that!

5. I am not musically inclined . . . at all! But, this non-musically inclined mom now has to teach her eager son how to play the fife!! Thanks to some reenactors we met over the weekend, I have been able to find some great instruction books on learning the fife. Luckily the instruction book came with a companion CD so that we (J and I) can learn to match notes, etc. Hopefully, by the end of the year J and I will be able to play "Yankee Doodle."

6. We went to another re-enactment this past weekend. This one was in our hometown. The boys, as always, loved it!

7. And, I am going to have a giveaway at the end of next week!! I got mine today and I cannot wait to share one with one of you!!