Running with the Girls

Saturday I modified my half marathon training to run a 5k with Caitlyn and Sue.  We ran the Mind Over Matter 5k to raise money and awareness to fight suicide.

It is a lovely course and incredibly important cause.

I was so proud to run with my girls.

We worked hard and all made it to the finish.  This race is one we will always have on the schedule.

Most of the time I run just for me.  Saturday we ran for others.

The Sub Might Take Over

This last year my hubby has taken over teaching science to the girls.  We did some research and he chose a book.  It works out great.  I go running or do errands or…while they cover science.  But a couple times I have been called upon to sub and it is fun.  I think I might take over science for next year.

This morning we learned about low pressure and high pressure in the weather and how it creates the basic building blocks for wind.  For example, the heat of the sun causes low pressure on the beach and the coolness of the ocean, or in our area the Great Lakes,  causes high pressure, which rushes in to even out the pressure in the low area, thus causing wind.

Our experiment involved opening up and emptying a tea bag, lighting it with a match and watching what happens. It was so cool we did it twice.

Up, up, and away!!

Yeah, it was cool…I think the sub will be taking over science class/

 

This Face

I was scrolling through pictures looking for this one

And found this one

She does not look like a happy camper.  It was sometime this weekend and she was irritated.  It looks like it was taken after our 2.5 mile run (guess she didn’t get the runners high?).  I do get tired of seeing her grumpy face, but this one cracked me up.  She came down with a cold last week after finishing up her role in Mary Poppins, but she just keeps going for the most part.

Here are a couple shots of us enjoying a Mommy Daughter date after Mary Poppins and a couple pictures from the show.

She’s a honeybee in the top photo and in the group singing in the second.

Good thing they’re cute, even when they’re mad!!!

 

Training Again

Today I ran twice.   I am training for a half marathon (13.1 miles) on May 20.  Caitlyn and Sue are logging miles for a Martian Marathon April 14.  We all needed to get some running in today.

The Martian Marathon is specifically for kids.  Each logs 25 miles before race day and then runs 1.2 miles with their group to each complete 26.2 miles or the distance of a full marathon.

Caitlyn and Sue did it last year for the first time.

I ran with each of them today (I don’t want them out there alone just yet–crossing roads and such–even if they are just side roads).

Both of my runs together only equaled 5 miles–but I got faster with each run.  I have always found after mile two I get faster and hit my groove.  Every mile I ran was faster than the one before.

This week has had some good mileage in it.  I ran to the library and back on Tuesday–6 miles in the rain, around in circles on Wednesday–3 miles, no rain, and 5 miles today with my girls–no rain.  The schedule calls for 10 miles tomorrow, but 8 or 9 is more likely…

Here are some recent pictures.

A treadmill run

Glad to be running outside again

Truth

 

Cooking From Scratch

As of late, I have been making a weekly menu.  It lists each night what I am planning for dinner.  It gets rid of the evening scramble to figure out a meal and it has streamlined grocery shopping because I can look at the list and go just once in a week to get what I need.  We end up swapping meals around a fair amount, but I am liking the bit of ease this brings to my day.

Today, I had chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles on the list.  My mom has been making homemade noodles for years.  They are thick and yummy and keep you full for hours.

I don’t make them often…but they were on the menu…and I ended up with a new helper today…Sue.

The soup itself was made using a soup starter, but the noodles were all Sue’s hard work!!  She did a great job and they turned out fantastically!

 

 

If Just For A Moment

Over the last many months, I have made some amazing new friends.  Their stories are not mine to tell, so I will keep this vague and likely short, but I have a thought.

My friends are from all over the world.  Their stories are both different and the same.  But they share, to one degree or another, a native tongue.

And I am trying to learn it.

Now please don’t think they’ve come here expecting everyone to cater to them and they will never learn English.  No, that is not the case.  They are all on their journey of learning English and most of our time together is spent using my native tongue, not theirs.

But I love them.  And I want them to know that love to the marrow of their bones.  So I am learning a phrase here or there with every visit, deliberately and intentionally.

It is good and it is fun and it is hard.  I am proud to say I could tell you two of those three adjectives in their mother tongue, but that is not my point.

My point is, they are shocked and amazed I am trying to learn their language.  I feel like my attempts are feeble, but they tell me my knowledge is growing quickly.  And it is fun to be able to catch a word here or there in their conversations around me, my joy is huge when I can remember a word when I want to use it or I get to help someone outside of my groups of friends with my little bit of knowledge.  And the laughs we have at my attempts to get my mouth to mimic the sounds that come so naturally to them.  Oh, the laughs.

It is all worth it.  It is all worth it if for just one moment I can be that American bridging the gap with their native tongue as we blend our lives together.  It is all worth it if for just one moment our hearts can meet over that shared syllable or two.

Every single day life around them is telling them they HAVE to join my world–for this moment, I want to join theirs.

Happy New Year!!

Back in the day…before hubby…there was this guy.  We made it as far as engagement…and then he dumped me via text message.  Cool, huh?  We’ll skip all the messy details and go with, it was all for the best and I learned how to say hello and Happy New Year in Chinese from the whole situation.

And today is the day I get to use that knowledge!

It is the beginning of the year of the Dog.

Caitlyn made Wonton Soup (so yummy).  I made beef broccoli (in the Instant Pot).  Sue, Patrice, and Caitlyn made a dragon. Sue and Patrice wore their outfits that grandma gave the girls years ago.

Fun was had!!!

GUNG HAY FAA CHOY!!!!

 

Watching Their Hearts

“Welcome to our world little one.  We pray that you come to know Jesus very young and never let go.”  These were my first words over each of my girls.  And that heart cry has never changed.

We have so many reasons for homeschooling, but this, their relationship with Jesus is always first and foremost.

Bible is a staple in our weekly schooling.  Each day the girls work on memorizing their Awana assigned verses, Caitlyn is in an optional discipleship group, and we have added a daily prayer time.  It is a constant but our desire is not for the girls to just do what they have to do,  but to understand they can have a personal relationship with Christ.  We don’t worship a God who created the world and then walked away, we worship a God who loves us and knows our inmost being.

Psalm 139

1 O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 
3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 
4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. 
5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 
9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 
10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.
The other day I found this envelope on my computer area.
And inside I found a jumble of pieces that made this
This heart cry is what I pray my daughters, husband, and I will have.

Bringing Focus

The past several weeks has me paying more attention to what I eat, how I spend my hours. I have been finding more focus.

I have been rejecting activities so I can complete the things I need and want to do.

In a word

A great of my clarity is about getting my daily T25 workouts, running or walking, and planning and logging my foods.

I am logging every bite and calorie and am losing nothing. I am headed to the doctor this afternoon to see if there is an underlying issues with medications. Sigh.

But the clarity also involves our homeschooling, making sure we are home to get our studies covered.

The only area I haven’t really touched is how to keep the house clean :/

Have you chosen a word for your year?

To The Young

I have a few thoughts rolling around in my head…

I was pretty sick as a kid.  It started young, about 6 weeks early.  Literally, I was a preemie.

Walking pneumonia was one of my illnesses of choice.

Eh, that’s really neither here nor there.

The big issue that affected my teen years was Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  I was diagnosed at 15 but there were symptoms much younger.  It stunk.  I was never cool in the first place and I was even less cool while using a cane in high school.

Did I mention it stunk?  The rounds of testing.  The endless steroid doses.  Back then prednisone was the only treatment.  That stunk too.

And it followed me to college.  It was a little easier there.  Those kids were much better about it.  But it still stunk.  Starting the first meds for MS and all the nasty side effects.  Feeling like I had the flu every other day.  Giving myself injections every other day.  I still have those scars 23 years later.

And amidst it all, seeing a lot of dreams go slipping through my fingers.  I had been called as a missionary as a 13-year-old.  How would that ever happen now?  I had dreams of marriage and a family.  Who would marry me now?  How could I have kids when I was too sick to take care of them?  It was so hard.

But there was just enough grace for each day.

My high school experience did not look like I wanted it to…

My college experience didn’t always look like I wanted it to…

But God was faithful.

He brought me through each.  On the path He had for me.

The MS followed me out of college and into the workforce.

I fought hard against the MS.  Fifteen hospital stays in 3 years, 2 over a month long and involved me using a walker, wheelchair, and cane until I finally learned to walk again.

And somewhere in this craziness, God brought a man that loved me.  And a doctor who specialized in MS…and in giving people their lives back.  He ended the constant hospitalizations and introduced a treatment plan that was hard, but effective.  I was so sick during that time,  but there were shoots of hope again. Between this doctor and this guy crazy enough to walk with me through the ups and downs, God gave me the confidence to continue into marriage.

And then children.

And remission.

Twelve years of remission.  Healing from the MS.

He has even redeemed my call to missions.

Life is not exactly easy or perfect, but I can tell you with confidence, that God was there through every step, or non-step, of the journey.  His hand was there through the sleepless nights of pain and vertigo.  He sat with me through the side effects of the medications that were meant to help me.  He worked through each of those doctors that looked at me, even those who had the worst bedside manner EVER.

Chronic illness is not easy and it is even harder when you are young.  It is hard to see your friends doing what you can’t.  It is hard to feel old when you just want to hang out with friends.  It is hard to be surrounded by waiting rooms full of people so much older than you…and to be afraid of your future.

It is hard.

But you don’t face it alone.  Rely on those God has put in your life. Lean hard.

And all those promises from God?  They are true.  They are yes and amen, no matter how bleak the hospital room.  No matter how clueless the doctors may be.  They are yes and amen.

I can not promise that your journey with chronic illness will lead to healing, but I do know that EVERY promise God gives you, He is faithful to fulfill.  In His time and in His way.

I know it because I have lived it.