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Friday, April 13, 2012

"Extras" at the Rec Center

Why do I work out at the Rec Center and not just at home?  Well, the obvious reason is they have a NuStep and machines I can use.  I can't really walk or jog around the block.  Well, I say I "walk" downtown and "walk" the kids to school, but while they are getting great exercise, riding my power chair doesn't exactly burn calories or tone muscles.  :)   So, to the Wellness Center I go.  But, I've discovered there are extra benefits that I wouldn't necessarily get at home.

I don't ever watch news at home.  I get my headlines from whatever pops up on my computer screen.  However, Fox News seems to be on at the wellness center much of the time.  So, I get more news than I could ever need while I'm working out.  Also, to avoid raised blood pressure from a news overload, I tend to put my MP3 player in my ears.
Although I do have music loaded on there, I don't often listen to it.  I find myself listening to sermons I have downloaded or the Bible Experience.  So, working out gives me more time with God.  :)

There are generally other people working out at the same time.  And, while I mostly keep to myself--it is hard to keep a conversation going with an MP3 player in your ear--I have started noticing how others use the machines.  And, it has inspired me to try new and different exercises.  Some have been welcome additions to my workout.  Some have been flops.  But, you never know unless you try.

So, what "extras" have you found at your gym?

Before I had TV at my house, if I planned my visit at the right time, I could watch The Price Is Right.  That was always a fun perk to my day.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Social Studies Cookies

Our daughter's fourth grade social studies class has been doing something very interesting.  They are studying all 50 states, and when they finish a region, they have a cookie party.  What fun is that to have a class time reserved for tasting cookies!!  ;)

They get to grade each others cookies (not for a classroom grade, just really for themselves).  There is already a list of what to try and make for ourselves this summer.

Cookie making is quite an adventure in this household.  Our daughter and a friend chose to make them together--and there was a lot of giggling going on while they were measuring the ingredients and rolling the cookie balls.  I was pleased to see them practicing the skills necessary to make the cookies themselves from scratch and even doing math to figure out how many cookies each classmate can have.

We did sample one last night and I have to say they are very peanut buttery.  Since I don't love peanut butter desserts, I would have to give the taste a B-, but I give them an A for cookie making effort. They seemed to have a great time and even cleaned up after themselves.  :)

I was excited they picked Ohio's Buckeyes.  It's always nice to represent a state we once lived in.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Forgiveness vs. Self Preservation

How do you teach your children the concept of forgiveness?  How do you teach them you can forgive and still take steps to protect yourself?  How do you teach about forgiveness and keep them from heading straight back into the lion's den?    How do we teach the concept of "hate the sin, but not the sinner"?  Maybe the question really is, "How do I, as a parent, protect my children and teach them to forgive those out there who hurt them?"

These questions have been running through my head for the past week and led me to the Bible for some study on forgiveness.   That is where we should always go when we have questions.  The Bible is called the Living Word for a reason.  God will lead us to the answers we need at just the right moment.

"Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors."  Matthew 6:12 (NIV)  Every time we say the Lord's Prayer, we are asking God to forgive us just like we forgive others.  OUCH!!  Is that what we really want?  Do we want God to forgive us like we forgive those in our lives?  Do we want God to hold grudges like we do sometimes?  Not forgiving only hurts you more.  Forgiving doesn't mean jumping right back into the relationship or setting yourself up to be hurt again.  Forgiving doesn't erase the consequences.  What is does do is release us from carrying the burden of a grudge.  It does relieve us of feeling like we need to "pay them back" and allowing God to be judge, not us.    It relieves us of carrying around bitterness.  Nobody really loves to be around someone who is bitter.  It is making room in our hearts for love and joy and peace.  It is recognizing that we are sinners and have received God's grace and want to pass it on.  Grace is undeserved favor.  We don't deserve God's forgiveness.  Whether we feel like it or not, we are told to forgive others.  Forgiveness is an action, not a feeling.  It is what we are commanded to do.

"In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do.  You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without forgiving others.  If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part."  Matthew 6:14-15 (Message)

How can I as a parent teach about forgiveness?  I can live it.  I can talk about how I am forgiven by God and can show through my actions that I forgive others.  I can teach by example.  How do I protect them from future hurt?  Not entirely possible.  I need to help them learn God's principles and trust that He loves them and will care for them.  I can teach them that forgiving doesn't mean forgetting (at least not to us humans) or setting yourself up to be hurt again.  God gives us the ability to learn from the past and how to better protect ourselves in the future.

We can all practice living Romans 12: 17-21: "Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone  If you've got it in you, get along with everybody.  Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do.  'I'll do the judging,' says God.  'I'll take care of it.'  Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink.  Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.  Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good."  (Message)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

National Poetry Month

I just found out April is National Poetry Month.  That got me thinking about what is my favorite poem??  Well, the only poem I know by heart is "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost.  We memorized in 6th grade and the last 3 lines stuck with me--even through my TBI.  Thanks Dad for making us learn it!

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 
Robert Frost

I find myself going to Shel Silverstein books if I want to laugh or share a funny poem with my family.  One of my favorites is:  

Draw a crazy picture
Write a nutty poem
Sing a mumble-gumble song
Whistle through your comb
Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor.
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before.

What is your favorite poem?

Monday, April 9, 2012

What Exercises Should I Do to Work My Core?

OK--I have a question for all of you.  Please send responses because I really want an answer to this question.  What exercises can I do to strengthen my core?  I am currently doing the NuStep and the Rowing machine.  I hear the rowing machine is good for core work.  What else should I be doing?  Take into consideration that I am in a wheelchair.  I do have movement of all my limbs and can do many exercises with assistance.  So, just tell me whatever comes to mind and I'll worry about whether or not I can make adaptations to make them accessible.  I've heard Pilates can be good core work.  Do you think they are adaptable?  Should I even bother trying?

Sunday, April 8, 2012