Thrive90 – Down But Not Out

I’m just popping in here briefly to update my story on my Thrive90 program. I have technically completed Phase II as tomorrow (Sunday) is a day of rest. I will weigh myself, take measurements, weigh myself, and complete the fit test in a couple of days.

But I wanted to talk about something that happened during this part of the program. During the second of the four weeks, I sprained my ankle. But, like many of us moms out there, I ignored it. Or, at least, I tried to ignore it. I wrapped it in an ace bandage, used ice and heat, and elevated it. But I continued with my exercises, sort of. And I did not go to the doctor. So the second week I didn’t work as hard because my ankle wouldn’t tolerate many of the moves. I finally decided to go to have it x-rayed. So, during my third week I had a diagnosis of a sprain with instructions to rest it. Duh!

But, instead of using this as an excuse to skip my exercises, I decided to modify the exercises so that I could still workout without bothering my ankle. That was easier said than done, but I wasn’t about to quit halfway through this program. About halfway through week four, this week, my ankle began to feel better. So I gave it my all in the last two days – boy am I a bit sore!

As a result of my injury, I do not expect to have the same kind of results that I had after the first phase. I will be content to know that I have maintained. Check back in a couple of days and I’ll have those results posted. I am looking forward to starting Phase III of Thrive90 on Monday.

Is anyone else a member of Fit Marriage? I’d love to hear from others who are doing (or have completed) the Thrive90 program.

VBS – Vacation Bible School

Last week we had our own VBS right here at home. While I know it’s typically enjoyed as a day camp type of experience, we couldn’t afford our church’s VBS this year. So we opted for Holy Heroes online version. It’s called Summer Faith Adventure and you can click on the title to find out more about it. I believe they’re offering it for another week or two. These aren’t affiliate links, I just enjoyed what the kids and I did last week, so I thought I’d share. Also, I love to be able to support small, family-owned, Christian businesses whenever I can.

Anyway… This program consisted of a daily email for the five days. In each email was a link to the day’s activities; which included video lessons, crafts, games, and snacks. There were also audio links to daily songs, a decade of the Rosary, and the Angelus. Also within the link was a pdf file of the suggested order of the day, questions for the Biblical instruction, song lyrics, recipes, and instructions for the games and crafts. For older kids, there was a section with a list of Bible passages for them to read and determine the main theme.

The message for the week centered around the Kingdom of David; both the original one and the new one established by Jesus. We discussed the the Old Testament stories of Jesse, Samuel’s anointing of David, and more. Then the children learned what Jesus did and how it mirrored or was related to the Old Testament. Throughout the course of the week, the children were introduced to the sacraments and taught how Jesus instituted them for us. They were able to see how each one came directly from the Bible.

On Monday, we discussed the “Keys of the Kingdom” and the “Master of the palace.” The children learned about the role of the master of the palace in Old Testament times and how Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven, making him the master of the palace here on earth. Our craft of the day was to make a Papal Miter, similar to the one described in the book of Exodus.

Ya never know – could be a future Pope…

Our snack that day was to take sugar cookie dough and make crowns and keys. Well, these aren’t popular cookie cutter shapes, so we did get some interesting cookies (though I forgot to to a picture of how they turned out).

On Tuesday, they made stained glass windows. One of the things they learned was that originally, stained glass windows were used to help those who couldn’t read to better understand the Bible. These windows told stories.

See the cross?

This is supposed to be a dove, but she said it looked more like a duck when she was done!

Another craft we did was a prayer book. The pdf file had a couple of pages of prayers typed out for us. All we had to do was cut them out. The kids made small booklets out of colored paper, and stapled the spines. Then they took their prayers and glued one to each page. Diva even used some fancy scissors to make hers more decorative (she is her mother’s daughter!). Then they had the option of illustrating each page. Both of them did a cover page for their book. Now they have a small-sized prayer book to help them learn and remember some prayers they may not have known before. It’s a convenient size to take anywhere!

Obviously I didn’t include everything that they did this week – this post would be way too long! But if you like what you see, hop on over to the Summer Faith Adventure and sign up for one of the remaining weeks! Did I mention that the online version is offered at no charge?

How was your Vacation Bible School this year?

* This post is being linked to Women Living Well WednesdaysBuilding Our Homes Together with Jesus, Women in the Word Wednsedays, and Thankful Thursdays.  Please click on over and see what other ladies are doing in their homes!

Thrive90 – Half Way Point

I have officially completed six of the twelve weeks of Thrive90! This means I have two more weeks of Phase Two and then four weeks of Phase Three.

Phase Two has definitely been more challenging than Phase One, but that’s a good thing. I am doing more; challenging myself. My muscles may not like it at first, but I know it’s working.

For example, in one of the new videos I had to do two sets of walking lunges. Now I had never done these before, and I had to do two sets of 20 each. The first part was ok, but it really burned toward the end of each set. The next day, I felt like my muscles were on fire! Fast forward to this week when I had to do the same thing again. They were still difficult to do toward the end, but the next day there were fewer fires to put out! Progress.

The other new thing in Phase Two is Power Yoga. Now I was a bit leary of yoga given its association with Hinduism and Buddhism. And being Catholic, I was not interested in the spiritual aspect of this form of exercise. But I remembered that either Dustin or Tony (co-creators of Thrive90 and FitMarriage) had emphasized that  they were making use of the fitness aspect of these moves only as they were Christians themselves. So I put my “pre-conceived” notions aside and gave it a try. It turned out to be a great workout! I got my heart rate up a bit, broke a sweat, and worked my whole body. Even the next day, though my muscles were still a little sore, I felt more rested than I had in a while. This has turned into one of my favorite videos to do.

** Links to  Thrive90 and FitMarriage are affiliate links.

Media and My Marriage

Continuing with Courtney’s Media Mondays, today we are discussing the role of media in our marriages. If you click on the words Media Mondays above, you will see five different ways that media can, or maybe has already, effect your marriage. They are all very important issues to be concerned about and/or watch out for in your relationship.

She discusses how the amount of time we spend online can neglect our husband’s needs. So true. I know I’ve been guilty of that.

Then there’s inappropriate relationships that can start so innocently. I know a woman whose husband started a few inappropriate relationships online; and I know how much this hurt her and her relationship. That trust is so difficult to regain. Right along with this one is the amount of inappropriate material that can so easily enter the house. Sometimes these two go hand in hand.

Though these are very real dangers, the nature of the internet is that it has many positives as well. For example, while there is so much filth out there, there is also such an opportunity to mentor and to grow.

The internet has provided a way for us to teach people we could never reach on our own. By the same token, we can also learn more than we ever could on our own. It’s a huge multiplication of the Titus 2 message! Here’s a list of things I’ve found to be extremely helpful in my marriage.

  • FitMarriage – Tony and Dustin have created some wonderful resources to help busy couples find time to get/stay fit together. Read my posts on Thrive90 to see this resource in action in my life (here and here are a couple of good ones).
  • Engaged Marriage – Dustin (from above) has his own website, where his tagline is “Don’t just stay married. Stay Engaged.” He is also the author of the ’15-Minute Marriage Makeover.’
  • One Extraordinary Marriage – Tony (from above) and his wife, Alisa, are the creators of ‘Stripped Down’ and Marriage podcasts; as well as the popular Seven Day Challenge.
  • Adding Zest to Your Nest – This site is comprised of a group of women who offer some very frank (and explicit) advice on meeting those bedroom needs.
  • Hot Holy and Humorous – Similar to Adding Zest, J (this site’s host) offers some frank and explicit advice as well.
  • Peasant Princess – This is a series of talks on the Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs). Mark Driscoll talks very openly on the marriage relationship, as designed by God, and isn’t afraid to speak the truth about how men and women have different roles in it. Each talk is approximately an hour and would make a great beginning to a ‘date night’ with your spouse. (see my post entitled Hopeful Transformations to read more about this resource in my life)
  • Sexually Confident Wife – Shannon Ethridge has a wealth of information here. You can sign up for short emails that offer one ‘Hot Tip’ each week to making your marriage better.
  • Kingdom Twindom – This blog chronicles the life – ups and downs – of one family’s marriage. The wife, the writer, has made some difficult choices and shares them on her blog. She is a wonderful example of living out her marriage vows. Some of her readers disagree. We, as Christian women, can rally around other Christian women and support their Godly decisions.

I know there are many more out there, but these are ones with which I am familiar.

Yes, there are many ways that media can drive a wedge between us and our spouses, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We can turn the tables and use it for good. Remember Joseph’s revelation to his brothers… “Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his present end…” (Genesis 50:20). God can use the internet for good through His people. Just as He saved the Israelites from starvation through the evil that befell Joseph.

Technology is here. We cannot escape it. Let’s resolve to take it back from the devil and use it for the good God wants in all our lives. Let’s let it bless our marriages with happier wives and happier husbands. Let’s bless each other as we learn from Godly women (and men) what works and what doesn’t; what God has designed, and how He has blessed this beautiful thing called marriage.

My challenge to you this week is to find a way to bless your husband (or wife) ~ at least once this week ~ via media. Please come back and let me know in the comments what you did and how it went.

* FitMarriage is an affiliate link; I am not affiliated with any of the other links.

** Some of these websites contain explicit content. While it is Christian-based, it is intended for mature audiences of married couples.

*** This post is linked to Women Living Well’s Media Mondays. Please stop by and see what other Godly women have to say about media and their marriages.

*** This post is also being linked to Building Our Homes Together with Jesus. Please head on over to see what other ladies are doing in their homes.

Media and Me

Today Courtney over at Women Living Well is beginning a series called Media Mondays. The topic this week is Media and Our Walk With God.

I will admit that there are times that I have rationalized to myself that I am walking with God while I am on the internet. How, you may ask? Well, I subscribe to faith-filled blogs; I read articles on social justice issues and their Biblical implications; and I blog about my faith (sometimes). However, as Courtney points out, there are always chimes that call my attention away from what I’m doing, or should be doing. Those chimes do come in the form of sounds, but they also (at least for me) come in the form of colors and pictures and more articles. Sometimes I can find myself following rabbit trails for hours if I allow myself.

But that’s not the only reason that my time on the internet is not really time with God. Many times, what I am reading is someone else’s opinion, explanation, or theory. Yes, many of these people are more qualified than I am to interpret certain passages; however, they are not an adequate substitute for actually reading the Bible myself. The internet is not a substitute for quiet-time or prayer-time.

I also have to think about the behavior I’m modeling for my children. If I am on the computer all day, what am I teaching them? Let’s see, I could be teaching them that:

  • the computer is more important than they are;
  • the computer is more important the God and prayer-time;
  • the computer is more interesting;
  • this is how a wife and mother is supposed to behave;
  • they are an inconvenience or a burden when they ask me to do something.

I’m sure there’s more, but I think that’s bad enough. I’ll admit that I’ve passed more than one of those messages to my children at one point or another.

While my walk with God is important for me, I also have to realize that it’s important to my family. I need to model the behavior that I want to see from them. In order for me to raise children who love God and love to serve Him, I need to demonstrate that in my own life.

So there are many things – and inherently none of them are bad. The problem lies when I let the things I do compete with and surpass the needs of my family; and more importantly, my Walk with God.

I cannot seem to get the button to work! So this post is being linked to Media Mondays. Please hop over and check out what the other ladies have to say about Media and their Walk with God.

This post is also linked to Prairie Flower Farm’s Building Our Homes Together with Jesus. Hop on over to Linda’s place and find out we’re all doing!

Sewing Lesson

I’m not a seamstress. I’ve sewn a few things, but none of them very well. I think my most ambitious project to date was a set of bloomers from Marie-Madeline Studio. There are several errors, but my daughter really likes them:

I enjoyed making it for her, but I haven’t done anything since. However, earlier this summer, Diva and I were looking through a class list for JoAnn’s Summer Camps and she decided she wanted to take a sewing class. Since I wasn’t sure I had much to teach her, I let her pick her favorite class. She selected a beginner’s quilting/applique class.

We selected her fabrics and a tote bag (on which the applique would be sewn), and I was not at all surprised when she selected pink fabrics, with a little green and sparkles.

Today was the day.  We took my sewing machine and her fabrics to JoAnn’s. She met with the instructor and the one other student, and I left. I really wanted to stay with her, but they highly encouraged parents to let the girls learn on their own.

Near the end of the class, I returned and was able to snap a few photos of her work.

Diva really enjoyed herself! She said, on the way home, that she wanted to continue to sew.  I was pleased, but now I need to learn right along with her. I am looking forward to helping her; and learning along the way.

Here’s her finished project:

I am proud of you Diva!

This post is being linked to Building Our Homes Together, Raising Homemakers, and Women Living Well Wednesdays. Be sure to head over and check them out!

Thrive90 – Phase I Done!

Over the weekend I completed Phase I of Thrive90! Yay! I was wondering if I’d make it. I seemed to start out really motivated during the first week or two, but life happened in week three and we had colds, allergic reactions, and bronchitis. My son and I were both under the weather. But I persevered and did not neglect one day of my exercises – I was grateful for the days of rest though. I did four weeks of Core Blast, HIIT Squat Walks, Strength Circuit, and Cardio. Not only am I still alive, but I am smaller than I was four weeks ago! “The proof is in the pudding,” they say.

So, here’s what I did:

  • I lost five pounds
  • My thighs are now 1 inch smaller
  • I took an inch off my hips
  • There’s one inch less around my waist
  • My arms are 1.25″ more narrow
  • My resting heart rate went from 78 bpm to 65 bpm

With respect to my SMART goals:

  • I am on track for my goal to lose 15 pounds in the three months – five per month;
  • I wanted to show improvement in three of the five fit test categories; and I showed improvement in all five! (I will still work to increase these even further during the next two Phases)
  1. Flexibility – I went from 3 inches over my toes to 5 inches
  2. Wall Squat – I went from 4 seconds to 10 seconds
  3. Static Plank – I went from 35 seconds to 40 seconds
  4. Sit-Ups – I went from zero to 4
  5. Push-Ups – I went from zero to one (It’s an improvement!)

I am thrilled to see all these positive changes happening! While I was a little disappointed in the number of pounds lost, I know that I made some eating mistakes; and I know that they’re not coming back.

My impressions of Thrive90 so far? It’s a great program! I’ve obviously seen positive results, but it’s more than that. I don’t have to drive anywhere; which saves me time. I don’t have to leave my children with strangers in a daycare; which allows me to be with them, and allows them to see me do something positive for my health. I don’t have to pay $25-75/month for a gym membership; which allows me to stay within my budget. The videos are easy to follow; and don’t have loud, obnoxious music in the background. All-in-all, the videos, the program itself, the email encouragement, and the extras, add up to a very positive experience ~ with positive results!

So, now it’s on to Phase II. I started that today with a new video called HIIT Mountain Climbers. If you recall, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. In this video we did 30 seconds of a modified Mountain Climber and then took a 60 second break. I think I had to do this about eight times. I did have to stop during the last one because I was actually getting very painful blisters in each foot. The weird thing (to me) was that I really didn’t feel it in my quads and glutes as much as I thought I would. That is, I didn’t feel it right away. But it did hit me a few hours later. Now, as I sit here, I am definitely feeling it (and my toes are still screaming too). I think I should go to sleep now so they can get some rest!

See you soon with another update. If you have a moment, would mind praying for me to keep up my motivation? I appreciate it.

* Once again, the links in this post are affiliate links in an attempt to help my family earn a little extra money. We paid upfront for the program; the opinions and results are all mine.