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Monday, February 14, 2011

Treats for my Sweeeties!

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!! I always loved Valentines day as a child. We never did much in our family, but I loved the Valentines exchange at school, it was one of my favorite events! As a homeschooler I always worried my children would feel left out(actually it was ME who felt like I was missing out!) so we've always participate in mail valentines exchange with our online support groups. They are great fun! I LOVE getting valentines from all over the U.S. and in some cases even other countries!

For the past several years we've also arranged Valentines Day parties for our local homeschool group. They are usually one of our bigger events, though this year only two other families showed. It was still fun!

This year for the first time, I made goodies for the kids and my hubby. They were surprised and enjoyed them lots! It went over so well, I think I will do something similar every year.

I TOTALLY stole the idea from THIS blog. I even used two of the recipes, though I must say hers turned out much prettier than mine. Good thing my husband or kids never saw hers so therefore had no comparison and were quite pleased and thought I was quite original and talented!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bye-Bye Facebook!

I did it, I pressed the button and it feels SO freeing! I clicked "de-activate" account on Facebook. I have struggled off and on for months or longer with the "should I or shouldn't I" be on Facebook crisis.

It's not that there is anything wrong with Facebook in and of itself really, it's just that for me it became a HUGE time eater. Not only that but while I had hundreds of "friends" on there I felt it was keeping me from maintaining those "real life" friendships I had. For instance just this week I found out on Facebook that my dear sister in-law had a surgery. I would have known that had I just picked up the phone and called her each week like I use to. But no, I was too busy posting three sentence blurbs about my workout or my dog or something else lame...

I even found out my own son had pneumonia on Facebook before he called to tell me. To top it off he was staying with me on his leave when this happened!

I in many ways felt more "connected" to my loved ones on there, especially those like my son who may be far away, but I think really in the long run it makes me less connected. Instead of long phone calls or letters I became content with the three sentence blurb.

I also started to get annoyed with so much negativity on there. So many post nothing but their negative thoughts or negative things going on in their lives whether it be their health, children, family life, whatever. There is nothing wrong with venting occasionally, but with hundreds of "friends" and half of them posting only negative items, it starts to bring you down as well.

I have also gotten into real life disagreements with people because of misunderstandings either on my end or theirs in regards to a status update comment. NOT worth it!!

I think Facebook can be a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, and stay up to date on current events, but like anything else it takes a certain amount of self control to use it in a wise and worthwhile way.

I have an addictive type personality, whether it be food issues, caffeine, Internet usage, even my health and fitness. I struggle to find balance in all these things.(hence the name of my blog: My Balancing Act) For me personally, at least for now it has to be an all or nothing decision for me. For now I choose nothing. It is zapping too much of my family, schooling and sadly even Bible time.

So, if we were "friends" on Facebook, I didn't de-friend you, I am gone from there period. I may or may not be back, but it will be many months, if ever. If you were a "fan" of my fitness page, watch for details here, I am working on a website dedicated to that, until then I may post occasional items of interest here.

I suspect I will find more time to post here now as well, whether that is good or bad, well you can decide that I suppose!

FAREWELL FACEBOOK(and good riddens! LOL )

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Rare Breed

"A Rare Breed." "A Dying Breed." "One of a Kind." These are phrases we often hear in regards to our eleven year old son, almost daily during our daily trip to the post office. Some people give him strange looks, most just look utterly surprised, many smile, and a surprisingly large amount will actually seek me out in the office to comment on my child.

What is it that he does that warrants so much attention? Actually something quite simple, but apparently not often done these days; He holds open the door for people coming in an out of the post office.

It started off with just me asking once or twice for him to run on ahead and open the door for an elderly person or someone with lots of packages. Over time, either because he started to enjoy it or because of all the attention he receives, he now always stands guard at the door during our time there, opening and closing the door into the mail box hall as well as the door to the actual post office. It really does seem it just makes him feel good to make other people if even briefly feel happy or special and the positive comments only make him more enthusiastic to do so.

I guess there are at least two lessons to be learned here. One, there is much joy to be experienced by helping others and letting them experience a moment of feeling good, and second, a positive comment to a child can really help build those character traits in children that we want to see more of. Those comments should come from mom and dad often at home, but a word of praise to a child or about a child to the child's parents, yet within hearing distance of the child can go a LONG way in developing that child's character. Those comments and words of praise are also sweet music to a mothers soul and just the encouragement she may need to keep up the hard day to day work of raising and building young boys into young men!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Tale of Two Movies(or "The Value of a Life")

I recently watched two similar yet very different movies within days of each other. They both left me thinking about each one itself as well as how there were similarities yet completely drastically different endings. (WARNING: Spoilers ahead!)

The first was Million Dollar Baby

We started off really enjoying this movie about a young lady, who it seems had a pretty difficult life, and a love for boxing. With the help and training of an at first somewhat reluctant coach/trainer, she goes on to be a champion female boxer.

This is a somewhat rags to riches story, she is eventually able to provide well for her ungrateful mother and family and seems to have it all; Success at a sport she loves, money to provide for herself and her loved ones. Life is now good.

Then a tragic accident happens, one that leaves her permanently disabled. I don't know whether this was a true story or not. I suspect not, but I honestly don't know.(more on this movie in a minute)

The next movie we watched was Joni. This movie is a true story. It is similar in that Joni was once a very active, young lady as well. It is also similar in that a tragic accident left her permanently disabled just like the young lady in the movie above.

The difference in these movies is how each responds to her situation. You would think being a major Hollywood, well known and successful production the first title would have the happy ending and be a more uplifting movie, while the less known true story would have a more tragic would think, but think again!

In the first movie the young lady decides without the use of her body, her life isn't worth living anymore. Sadly it seems many agree with her. Ridden to her hospital bed she tries to find ways to end her life. She even begs her beloved coach and seemingly only true friend and support to help her end her life.

I mean, once you've lived and experienced the glory of winning a championship who would want to live life confined to a bed? What use was there for her in this life? What reason did she have to continue going on? Apparently she or her coach never found those answers because in the end he granted her request, though he struggled on many levels with it, in the end I guess he decided that was the right thing to do.... How sad...

Joni is different. While she struggled with many of the same feelings(which one of us wouldn't!) she DID find a reason to go on! For one, her faith in Jesus, which grew and became deeper over time was a huge part of that, with her family and close friends by her side, a self worth defined by more than her body or accomplishments she has gone on to live a full and vibrant and worthy life. She has been a HUGE inspiration to many, and has reached out to help and bless others.

Is her life different than it once was? Of course! Is it less than it once was? Not a chance! Her life will obviously never be what it would have been had the accident not occurred. But it doesn't make it any less a valuable life, or one less worth living.

I personally just really had a hard time with the decisions and choices each made and the drastically different views each had of their own worth and life's worth. As a Christian I can't help but believe that it was Joni's faith in Jesus Christ that made the difference for her. I guess if you don't have an eternal perspective on life, than even the life here on earth has a different meaning and value.

If all we have is ourselves, our bodies, our money and accomplishments, I guess it would be hard to find a reason to continue on when all that is taken from us.

It does make one want to take the time and pause and evaluate where we are placing our worth and value. If you look closely you will usually see it is where we are spending most of our money or our time, energy and thoughts.

If you look closely and are honest with your self, you may find you need to do a little re-prioritizing in your own life. I know I do!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Workout in a Skirt??

I will be attending a Beachbody Coach Summit in LA this summer and am on the look out for some cute, yet modest workout clothes to take with me as there will be at least one if not more group workouts. At home where I workout alone, I just wear yoga capris and a Tee. I wanted to get something cute, but a little more modest at the same time. While I am in pretty good shape, I am not wanting to wear something that will hug all my curves if you know what I mean!

Well, the answer came from a friend and fellow Beachbody Coach at THIS site. They have several cute options from short tennis style skirts with full length shorts under them, to the design above, which is what I like. These have gotten RAVE reviews from my friend and they look comfortable to workout in while still allowing for some modesty. My only beef is the price, but if they are good quality, they will be worth it!

I wanted to share these as I know several ladies who do everything in a skirt or dress and I thought they may appreciate these as a workout option. I know I certainly would feel more comfy in these bending and stretching in front of others than I would in most of the workout gear I see out there!

I will share my full thoughts when I am able to purchase some and try them out for myself!