Friday, April 29, 2011

Building Support :)

The first couple of paragraphs are here, in case you didn't read my last blog post... 

I have physical goals, which I know I need support from others to accomplish. I have two dear friends (Dee and Valorie) who I run with once a week; they keep me running. They are a huge support to me! Thank you so much Dee and Valorie! And now, I have another great support; that is what this blog post is about... :)

After swimming just once, and realizing how extremely difficult it is for me, I fought discouragement; I almost didn't want to go back to the pool, because I didn't even have faith that I could do the triathlon (and faith is what "I do!"). So I decided to at least hope that I can, and show up at that pool a couple of times each week and give this goal my best effort.

I also decided that I needed to set myself up for success, by calling my friends to see if we can arrange times to swim together, or at least let each other know we are doing it; I figured that if they are expecting me to be there... it will be easier to get to the pool; I needed people in my corner. I didn't want to delay, so I took my wonderful daughter, Mindy, and we started immediately. What a blessing she is to me! My hope has already increased! :D Thank you Mindy! You are such a great support to me!

And, I am so happy to announce, that a friend in the blogging world (Laura) read my last post, and she literally took it into her hands to build a support team for each of us blogging friends who has fitness and nutrition goals - so we can be a support to each other! I AM TOTALLY "WOW-ED!" ( I know, I made up that word myself... a long time ago... :)

Thank you so much Laura!

So, here is a link to the post (Healthy Living for the Imperfect (and a Blog Challenge): Friday Confessional) that told me about Laura's plan.

And here is a link to Laura's Fitness Challenge.

And  here is a link to Laura's Good Health Challenge.

To any and all who would like to take the health or fitness challenge...

Yeah for you!
Welcome to the Team!!!  :D

And as my friend Sariah (who is the leader of another team I just joined... (you'll hear more about that soon) would say...

Go Team! :D

Wishing you a healthy day, week, month, year, a and LIFE! :)

Corine :D

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Finally Swimming... I'm Determined to Try A Triathlon!

I went swimming yesterday... for the first time this year.

I knew I needed work, but... wow! :o The level of exhaustion I experienced, (coupled with knowing the distance I covered compared to what I will have to swim for a tri.) told me that it's going to take even more work to prepare for this triathlon than I imagined. I was exhausted! It terrified me, to be honest!

All kinds of self defeating thoughts came into to my mind...
"I hope preparing for the swim isn't going to be even more challenging than I now anticipate. :o" After all, (I reminded myself) when my friend Valerie told me she was training for a half marathon, and asked if I wanted to train with her, I remember thinking, '13 miles. Heck yeah! I can do that!' This was before I started running... when I was quite sure that it would be no big deal. But once I started training I found out how challenging it really was. Then I began to wonder, if I could go the distance without serious injury to one of my knees. What if training for the swim portion of a tri is much harder than I think it will be? At least with running, I never had to worry about things like DYING/DROWNING!"
This afternoon, as I thought of how much work I will have to do to get ready for the swim, apprehension began to cause me to not want to go swimming again today as I had planned. it All I could think of was,
"Swimming is SHOCKINGLY HARDER than running."
And it bothered me that my thinking began to cause me to struggle to believe that I can do this;
"THIS ISN'T WHAT I 'DO'!!! I 'do' faith,"
...I quickly reminded myself.

And I knew the lack of faith I was experiencing was simply a result of focusing on obstacles and of how hard it would be to accomplish this goal, rather than focusing on my goal.

So I looked for a few positive thoughts to combat the negative ones with. I remembered that though running is a challenge for me... Each week when I run, I continue to discover that I can go farther than I did the week before. Two days ago I ran 9 miles; I only have 4 more miles to go, and I will have run the distance of the half marathon!

I realized that I needed to choose to have faith again. Though since I was fighting the negative, having faith was a stretch at the moment; so I chose to at least let myself have hope... hope that I can do this, enough to at least show up at that pool, and give myself a chance, just as I "showed up" at my friend's house for a long run every week (click here to read my blog post "Showing-Up."

I also realized that I need to focus on my goal, and on what I need to do to accomplish my goal; I need to set myself up for success! For me, I figured this might mean it's time to call my friends; it will be easier to show up at the pool if I know they are there, expecting me to be there, too. :)

I started with my daughter (I will be calling a couple of friends as well). I figured she would go with me on a moment's notice. So I invited her to come with me to go swimming, right then, at that very moment. I figured the sooner I went to that pool to prove to myself that I can get better at swimming... the better off my thoughts would be.

So I went. Immediately. And my wonderful "dolphin" daughter came with me. :D She taught me a few things which really saved me energy. I was shocked... not about how impossible it is to swim well... but to find out that a little instruction and some small changes in habits that I have, are really going to make this a whole lot More Possible than I realized. That's right. :) I still have a LOT of work/training to do; but my daughter says I am going to be a "great" swimmer. :D

I hope she is right.

I think I'll "show up" at the pool a couple of times each week. I think I'll show up for some swimming lessons, too ;), and see if my daughter is right! :)

Until tomorrow...

Corine :D

PS. I realized to day that accomplishing this goal will mean I won't be left behind my kids and husband when we go swimming long distances! :D ~ This future accomplishment will make our family time in the water SO MUCH FUNNER! I'm really quite excited!!! Maybe, I too, will be able to swim across Elsie Lake next time family members venture out to do it! ;) (No worries... there is always someone on a kayak, there and ready to take up tired swimmers if needed.) Yeah! :D I'm so excited to accomplish this goal!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

He Lives, He Loves YOU... HAPPY EASTER!

I feel incredibly blessed to live in this day and age, with running water, clean homes, technology which provides access information on any subject in a few strokes of the keyboard, a fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and so many wonderful people in the world who follow Christ, and share their blessings with others.

This is why I love blogging. :) I'm so happy, and so blessed... to have met some truly wonderful people through blogging.

One of the blogs I read told of an experience she had which helped the author (Laura) to feel the Savior's love for herself and for others. She asked her readers to share experiences of their own. So I replied in comment, then thought it might make a good blog post of my own. Here is a copy of most of my comment (plus some big additions about Easter on the end):

As for moments in which I have realized how much my father in Heaven loves me; I have two stories which immediately come to mind. One, I told of on a blog I had, then deleted. I will go and add it to my current blog now, and leave a link to it here.

Straight from Heaven

The other story is this:

For many years, I really struggled with being SO DIFFERENT than other women... never feeling like I belonged, and always wishing I was more refined, like so many other good women that I admire.

Then one day, the Holy Spirit prompted me to read the "Anne of Green Gables" series. I didn't understand why this counsel might matter, but I could not deny that it came from the lord. I read, and I LOVED THEM ALL. The reason He wanted me to read them became clear (after I began reading); this would impact me for life.

As I read, I gained a great love for "Anne with an 'e.'" And one day as I read, I could feel, DEEPLY, (as I often did) the enormous feelings of perfect love and adoration which Anne's new adopted father, Mathew, had for her. It seemed he loved her far more than the typical father does.

The vast love I felt Mathew had for Anne was overwhelming beyond description.

And then the spirit whispered into my heart and mind, telling me that what I was witnessing, experiencing, and feeling, was how my Heavenly Father feels about me. I was stunned to think that anone could love and adores me, that much!

I know He loves each of us, His children beyond both imagination and comprehension. I am in total awe over how much He loves us... how much He loves me. Consequently, feeling so loved, has influenced me to love myself, and everyone else, MORE.

Every person, no matter what their flaws, weaknesses, or struggles... no matter how much they may not measure up to another person or standard in one way or another, even if in a slew of ways - has beauty, and great value to both our Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ.

And THAT is why Christ suffered in Gethsemane, so great that he bled great drops of blood from every pore. That, is why He suffered again on the cross. That is why He gave His life... That is why He overcame death and was resurrected, so that we too can live again... because He love us, as does our Father... THAT MUCH!

I have never known a person who I did not love; I know I never will.

Should I cease to love, I will know, that I am in need of repentance, and a new perspective... and will do well to pray to see that person the way our Savior does.

In honor of our Savior I would like to share an Easter video. I hope you enjoy it! I hope you feel His love for you!!! :D

He Lives; and He Loves You...
Happy Easter Weekend!

Corine :D

Friday, April 22, 2011

Blond... and Loving it! ;)

I origially wrote and posted this in Feb of 2010, but re-posted it today... in honor of my last post, About Being "Blond... and Loving it! ;)" Which, being blond... I should let you know, the "About 'Being Blond... and Loving it! ;)'" isn't about this blog post "Blond... and Loving it!"... but is simply about being blond, and loving it! :o However, I thought you might enjoy it anyhow! ;)

I'm a home schooling mom. Normally, I am outstandingly strict about the schedule. Study time is strictly study time - no visitors, no goofing off, no chores, no facebook etc.!

But, there are rare exceptions and fluctuations with the schedule, like we had this past Wednesday. I had been working a lot (shocking, I know) - and I needed a break. So, quite out of the ordinary, I decided to boss the kids around with nothing but independent assignments, so I could go on facebook for a break! :D

The goal was to advertise this new blog of mine. I thought of the best way to go about this by considering my habits on facebook. I reflected on the fact that when I get on FB I seldom go to what I considered the "absolutely EVERY STUPID THING MENTIONED, - WASTE YOUR LIFE AWAY" feed, also known as the, "Live Feed."

I do appreciate technology and love that I can keep in touch with friends; but don't want to lose hours of my life reading what Joe writes for Suzy. (BTY- I’m also a big believer in not creating addictions of any kind… and spending too much time on anything can create an addiction.)

I want to read the things that were written to me, or to everyone (which includes me :). So I decided to post my blog advertisement in what I assumed to be the "to everybody" feed: also known as the "News Feed." (I know; I know... thus the title!)

I figured, there are a few other people like me who won't see what is in the "Live Feed." Thus the logical conclusion..., my ad must hit the "News Feed" to be seen.

(Honestly, I'm not stupid, just a bit hasty about jumping to conclusions at times, and humble enough to admit it (ha ha! So humble I HAD to point it out!:) Or maybe I'm just crazy enough to admit it! :O

Anyhow..., no matter what I did, everything I posted went onto the "Live Feed" only. I would post in one location, repost in another (yes, again, I am a blond! Augh! I hope you still believe me about the "humble but not stupid" bit. LOL).

My daughter then noticed my dilemma and came to my rescue,

"Mom, maybe it only shows up there on your account. Maybe I could get on my account to see where your post shows up."
Followed by my facebook addict, Dausen, (who is anything but blond) quickly leaping over a stool, flying across the room towards the computer, and eagerly echoing a helping hand with...
"Good idea! I'll check it out on my account, too!"
Mindy and I immediately turned to look at each other, and then simultaneously burst into laughter.

Ahh... to laugh! :)

This reminded me of an instance with Levi recently. He and I played chess together (He is 11, and played once when he was nearly 8, but just started playing again a couple of weeks ago).

Afterwards he emphasized to me how much he loves to play with me. When I asked him why, he proceeded to give a wonderful list of great qualities about me. He said things that really boosted my ego... that I am so much fun to play with, funny, cute, cheerful etc. :)

And then he got this look in his eye and added, "and, because you are such a 'good sport.'" This of course was followed by a look of, "Oh crabapples! Please don't let mom catch on to the fact that she is delightfully easy to win."

Wow! There it was... the icing on the smooth and glossy cake... the reminder that it is great fun to play games which require one to think - with a blond.

Now I know why God created blonds... so others could snow them, or win games with them when the odds would suggest a loss to be more probable in more common situations... thus multiplying the number and frequency of laughable scenarios.


God has such a sense of humor! :)

Ahh, to be in the company of a blond! :D

PS. My "blond" head has been enlightened. For all you other blonds out there, who also live life blissfully unaware of the difference between "live feed" and "news feed," here is the moment of truth you have been waiting for...

I "googled" it, and discovered that FB has certain criteria which determine the "importance" of each comment made. FB then places the "important" comments on the "News Feed."


Oh well. Such is the reasoning and life of a blond!

PS. To all you blonde's out there... Love ya! ;)

PPS. For those of you who do not know me. I really am decently smart (despite the blond moments). I'm just sure of it! After all, my 11 year old tells me so!

PPPS. One of my talents is laughing at myself. (Why, I practically live to laugh at myself! Mua.. ha..ha..ha..ha!) Of course, I do have an advantage over the average person; I had I’ve had lots of practice!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

About ~ Being Blond... and Loving It! ;)

I was once told in a job seminar workshop that "enthusiasm" is my greatest asset.  I LOVE it! :) Along with an incredible adrenaline rush, (which comes over me at the very prospect of conquering a challenge), enthusiasm, has been, and continues to be, the icing on my cake! :)

Adrenaline, and enthusiasm... that's a lot, you say?

Well, that may be true. LOL... Oh, but there is more! Oh yeah, there's SO much more! ;D

Along with adrenaline and enthusiasm, I have no shortage of my own personal supply of ... "MOMENTS." And NO... that does Not mean I am dumb! I am POSITIVELY NOT DUMB! In fact, I have a rather decent IQ, and a few of my dearest friends have frequently and insistently informed me of how incredibly SMART they think I am (seriously... I love you, Jo, Sherry, Miles, Mindy, and all the rest of you who have so sweetly, {though to no avail} strove to convince me that I am "a GENIUS!" {:D} Thank you for stroking my ego! Even if I simply... snowed you to get you to believe it. JK ~ ;D).

None the less... for a "smart" person, I go through a rather large supply of severely CLUELESS moments! :o (Could low blood sugar have anything to do with that? :o)

Some of these "clueless" moments are over small and seemingly insignificant matters... thus generating a plethora of opportunities for great hilarity. I call these "blond moments." (By the way, I even have a blog post titled Blond... and Loving It ;)!" A post in which I took a few moments to exaggerate...  revel in... and greatly enjoy... laughing in amusement over some of these moments of mine. :)

What's that? Do you wonder if I am really blond?

Why, yes... Of course I really AM blond; though it's more of a dirty, dish water blond... with a gorgeous variety of various shades of browns and even a delightfully small smiget of reds thrown into the mix; it's gorgeous, really! :) I do love my hair! :D ~ (Sorry for the braggers detour. Sort of. .. :o ~ Moving on...)

And then, there are the other "blond moments"...

The ones which are NOT over trivial matters.

The ones which have something to do with subjects of great importance or significance, and with which - it really is no laughing matter to find ones self "unawares."

It is true. I have "blond" moments, which don't induce laughter... moments when I would give almost anything to possess even the slightest inkling of "what the heck" I need to be doing! (By the way; these moments, in which I am willing to do whatever it takes... are amazing!)

But thankfully, there is more...

Oh yes, there is more!

When I feel absolutely clueless about how to accomplish a goal that I absolutely know I must accomplish, faith propels me forward; with the optimism, energy, and enthusiasm, I continue striving to tackle the task at hand. It doesn't mean I always succeed; failures are blessings too! But I continue on...

I am, after all, as destined to love life while struggling with the bigger more important challenges... as I am to laugh over insignificant moments of triviality.

My life is filled with "blond moments" in which I go to my room, and in desperation for answers... I pour out my heart in prayer to God for strength and insight; and, sometimes - I even cry.

But, there is more...

Oh yes, there is more!

Just when I feel I am having to handle more than is reasonable for anyone to be expected to handle... or that I simply can't stand NOT KNOWING how to handle such a situation (I can be such a baby!), He whispers into my heart and mind, and tells me that I can.

And then...

The tensions in my knotted up stomach slowly begin disintegrating, leaving my body with each and every tear as it streams down my face. I sigh, and exhale out even more tension. 
And I am blessed with healing...

And again filled with hope, optimism joy, FAITH...

I feel warmer and more relaxed.

It is as if He has wrapped me in His warm embrace and filled me with the power to move mountains! His power... The power TO BELIEVE.

As I sit there in awe, I know... He loves me; and He believes in me.

I know there is no challenge or hardship that I can not get through with Him by my side.

Because of Him, I can bounce back.

And I can, once again, get back to loving life.


And so a phrase for this experience has been born.

I AM "blond..."

Oh yes I am.

But do you know...

what else, I am?

Because of the faith, and the power to believe...  
a gift for which, with great awe I receive;

I am not only "blond,"

I am ALSO ~ "Loving It!"

I may not have all the answers, but I continue on with my goals... even though some of them are incredibly difficult, and sometimes seem impossible. But don't confuse that with ignorance. The truth is, I am blessed with FAITH. 

I may not have the mind of a genius (despite what many of my best friends think ;)... but I DO have optimism, and faith, to - keep. moving. forward...

Thanks to my Father in Heaven...

I am

"Blond... and Loving it! ;)"

If you want to, you can be "blond... and loving It" too! ~ I am going to make a blog button for my blog. And it will say, "Blond... and Loving it! ;)" And you can Just grab my blog button, and look at it as a daily reminder, that you can be "loving it" too (even if you are a red head or a brunet ;)!

PS. I would like to publicly thank my Heavenly Father for loving and blessing me with this gift of faith!  :)  Even though I do get lost easily...

"Blond... and Loving it! ;)"
Corine :D

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Help Them on Their Way Home ~

Formula For Helping Youth to Find Their Way Home...
April 17, 2011 Sunday afternoon 4:26 PM

Hi. I am sitting in front of the internet in my Sunday dress. Church was good. And now I am reading talks from apostles of the lord in order to further feed my spirit and give counsel to my soul regarding my responsibilities as a mother. I feel a heavy responsibility to help guide my children safely, and securely, back to our father in heaven. I was just praying to my father in heaven to know what I should do for my children. And then I read a talk which answered my prayer and enlightened me further in my quest of motherhood.

The title of the article is Help Them on Their Way Home, written by Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the first presidency.

In this article Elder Eyring speaks of the straightness of the way and narrowness of the gait that leads back to eternal life with our father in heaven. He encourages us to teach and strengthen our children (to follow Jesus Christ) while they are very young, before the age of 8. He gives examples of the importance of teaching children to pray when they need help. Many things he said in much of the talk were good review to me, but nothing that I felt I needed to take note of.

But then as I neared the end of the article, he spoke of how to help youth... (not young children, but youth, like I now have...). Suddenly, all that I had already heard so many times before didn't seem like review unworthy of taking notes. Now, I was hearing things that I currently needed to take to heart, and note, even if I already knew what was being said was true.

I knew that I was not doing ALL that he counseled us to do, and as I thought of this I remembered the cookies that I recently made while talking with my daughter. In my distracted mode of visiting, I accidentally left out the baking soda. The first batch tasted delicious, but were heavy and unattractive. Seeing this, I realized what I had done, and added baking soda to the remaining dough before baking it. The next batch consequently turned out MUCH DIFFERENT. They were lighter, fluffier, more attractive, and more enjoyable to the palate. The heavy cookies - missing just one ingredient - were the last to be picked up and eaten. I was amazed at what a difference it made to have just one ingredient missing from the recipe.

Considering this as a principle that applies to all recipes, and of the need for every ingredient..., I knew that I needed to take notes in relation to the recipe for helping youth to return home to their Father in heaven.

It is clear to me, that as a mother with sacred responsibilities, I need to make sure that I do EVERYTHING that I can, to help my children to have every ingredient in their lives, which will help them to return safely back to our father in heaven.

One of the ingredients I read in this article was the use of a program which our family is NOT YET participating in currently. This program is designed to help youth accomplish specific goals. I realize that it isn't the only path to achieving it's specific goals (there are many wonderful people in the world who accomplished these goals in some other way)... just as there are other ingredients, besides baking soda, which could have been used in the cookies to make it possible for them to be light and fluffy (baking powder and an acid like lemon juice)... but some opportunities/ingredient(s) must be there to make it possible for one to accomplish specific goals. 

One of these opportunities which God has provided to help young men to return to Him, is for the young men to take active part in the Duty to God program. Elder Eyring reminds us that this program was designed to: *Strengthen testimonies and relationships with God. *Help young men to WANT to fulfill their priesthood duties. *And strengthen relationships with parents, quorum members, and leaders.

For the young women, the Personal Progress program is there to help them to learn: *who they are, *why they are here on earth, *and what they should do to prepare to go to the temple to make sacred covenants. Young women develop personal habits of prayer, scripture study, service and journal writing. Having been through the program as a youth, I can now (over 20 years later) honestly say that this program did help me to establish these habits, thoroughly... not just for my youth, but for life. I am not always perfect at these things, but because of leaders who consistently encouraged me to do these things with diligence, I developed these habits in my youth; and they are so much a part of me that I have no doubt that these habits will stay with me forever.

Both of these inspired programs (Personal Progress and Duty to God) are there to help youth to: *SEE THEIR POTENTIAL. *DEVELOP SPIRITUAL STRENGTH; AND *LEARN what THEY SHOULD DO, AND what THEY SHOULD BE. I can also testify to the programs being successful in accomplishing these goals. I will forever be thankful for the faithful leaders of the church who guided me through the church programs I was blessed to participate in as a youth (also as an adult). The best parts of who I am today are largely because of the Personal Progress program.

I am thankful that my daughter completed the Personal Progress program (for young women). I realize that as a parent, one of the best things I can do for my sons, is encourage and inspire them to immerse themselves in the Duty to God program (for young men). They deserve to experience the blessings which come from sincere participation in this program.

In addition to these programs, this talk went on to give advice in relation to what we as parents and leaders can do to help these youth on their way home. I would like to simply quote for you, the last 5 paragraphs of his talk here on this blog.

"Of all the help we can give these young people, the greatest will be to let them feel our confidence that they are on the path home to God and that they can make it. And we do that best by going with them. Because the path is steep and sometimes rocky, they will at times feel discouraged and even stumble. They may at times become confused about their destination and wander after less eternally important goals. These inspired programs make that less likely because they will lead the young person to invite and receive the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

"The best counsel for us to give young people is that they can arrive back to Heavenly Father only as they are guided and corrected by the Spirit of God. So if we are wise, we will encourage, praise, and exemplify everything which invites the companionship of the Holy Ghost. When they share with us what they are doing and feeling, we must ourselves have qualified for the Spirit. Then they will feel in our praise and our smiles the approval of God. And should we feel the need to give corrective counsel, they will feel our love and the love of God in it, not rebuke and rejection, which can permit Satan to lead them further away.

"The example they most need from us is to do what they must do. We need to pray for the gifts of the Spirit. We need to ponder in the scriptures and in the words of living prophets. We need to make plans which are not only wishes but covenants. And then we need to keep our promises to the Lord. And we need to lift others by sharing with them the blessings of the Atonement which have come in our lives.

"And we need to exemplify in our own lives the steady and prolonged faithfulness that the Lord expects of them. As we do, we will help them feel from the Spirit an assurance that if they will persist, they will hear the words from a loving Savior and Heavenly Father: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” 4 And we who help them along the way will hear those words with joy.

"I testify that the Lord loves you and every child of God. This is His kingdom, restored with priesthood keys through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Thomas S. Monson is the Lord’s prophet today. I promise each of you, as you follow inspired direction in this, the true Church of Jesus Christ, that our youth and we who help and love them can be delivered safely to our home with Heavenly Father and the Savior to live in families and in joy forever. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

As always, the answers from the Lord are clear. The way is simple. My children, of course, have their free agency, and it is up to them to do what they must do. But of me, the Lord requires that I be mindful of making the way known to them, and that I provide for my youth (His youth) opportunities to experience these essential ingredients fully in their lives.

With this talk and guidance of the Holy Ghost, I am setting goals to make the environment in our home provide opportunities for every ingredient I can think of... back to our Father in Heaven (I may list these goals on a subsequent post in the coming week).

I feel an incredible peace with this. I know that the Lord has provided very detailed plans for His sons and daughters to return to Him. I am SO THANKFUL for His loving guidance.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Could it be that everyone who accomplishes something "jaw dropping" or "amazing," simply shows up to do a work which may not even seem possible. But they stick with it - tears and all - and eventually, all their seemingly unsuccessful efforts come together to create a beautiful piece of art?

Do you have a goal which sometimes seems impossible? I have a goal. It isn't exactly, "jaw dropping." Usually, it seems extremely possible. I know I can accomplish it. But now and then...

I am training for a half marathon, for the first time in my life. I've never been a runner (I could probably count on both hands, the # of times I have ran before last month). During the week, my workouts are small. But once each week, I go to a friend's house, and show up for a long run. Each time I run farther than ever before. One of my knees hurts. I hope I have not overdone it. I give it rest, doing much smaller workouts throughout the week, but do keep working out. A week later, I go to my friend's house for another long run - again running farther than I ever have before.

Yesterday was one of those long run days, at 8.1 miles. This time, BOTH of my knees hurt. this time, my leg muscles are sore; It hurts to walk. Behind one of my knees, is a constant and annoying tingling. I think I need a massage. I wonder if I can do more; can I keep doing this? I seriously wonder.

And yet, I know, I WILL keep on running. I am driven by a goal, and a desire to see if I can do it. I tell my husband, "next week, I don't think I'll do more. I think I may have overdone it... 6.33 miles to 8.1 may have been too much of a jump for my inexperienced knees. Perhaps I will simply run another 8.1 miles again next week."

And yet, I know I will want to do more; I might. I probably will. :o It is my goal to work up to 13 miles, so I can run a half marathon next month. I realize that this is cutting it close, but I think it is do-able.

Whether or not others may believe that I will win or lose, succeed, or fail to finish the race; I will keep running.

I only fail, if I fail to try.

No... there is no fail.

There are no failures - only people who quit before they succeed.

And I will not quit.


I do not know what heights I am capable of achieving.
Therefore, I do not know what heights I can not achieve;
And this acknowledgment, of lack of knowledge,
Propels me forward, to find out what I can achieve.

PS. I read a blog today over here today, which inspired this post. So, I leave a note of thanks to Emily (as well as a link - go check out her awesome blog!), for her beautiful writing, and fabulous way of encouraging inspiration!
 I don't know if you will ever see this, but thanks again Emily! :D

And thanks to all of you who read my blog, leave comments, and join me in finding joy in my journey!!!! :D

Yours truly,
Corine :D

PPS. The biggest lesson I have learned is that if we wait until we KNOW we can do something... to do it - we will never know. The knowing comes from doing it.   :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Active Living Again... :D

I am really enjoying life right now; I feel incredibly SPOILED! :D There are just so many current blessings in my life to be overwhelmed with gratitude over. :D

For example... My husband and I used to be really sort of health conscious and athletic together. We took evening walks together, and biked everywhere together. We were both sort of fanatical about being healthy. And though we both look back and laugh together over how obsessed and overboard we both were... I have to admit, I'm really excited to be getting some of it back!

That's right! The pendulum has swung back in the direction of healthy living. :D I'm not entirely sure how it all started, but little by little, some wonderful small changes have been gradually snowballing over the past few months.

Let's see... how did it all start? I really don't know. :o It all seems to have happened gradually and naturally, and perhaps beginning with very small things. Perhaps it began to take root this December, when I went ice skating - on real ice skates; for the first time.

But no, it wasn't that trip to the pond on ice skates that did it. I have been rollerblading consistently for a couple of years now, and that didn't do it. (Don't worry, you'll understand what I'm talking about, as soon as my fingers catch up with my thinking... ;D)

After the ice skating, I told a friend, Valerie, who has raced in marathons and triathlons that I have always wanted to do triathlons. She suggested that we workout together to prepare for the coming races this summer. And vola! I'm now training for a marathon, and soon will also be training for triathlons! :D

So far, this friend and I, as well as another friend... workout during the week on our own, and only work out together once each week; we make it our long run day. Valerie keeps me from going too far and injuring myself. (I would have overdone it and perhaps may have injured myself if it wasn't for her. :o She is a life saver!) So far, we have run as far as 6.33 miles. Monday, I hope to run around 7. We simply go a little farther each week to work our way up to the 12 mile marathon. I am so anxious to start biking and swimming, too.

Now that I am training, I have moved that beautiful old rowing machine of ours, out of storage, and into my sun room next to the weights. I also placed a boom box and pile of educational CD's which were given to me by a friend (thanks Dave!). And now, I have my own lovely little exercise room where I can workout and either listen to music, or learn about various aspects of healthy living. :) I'm totally stoked!

But here is the point of the post ~ the thing I am celebrating here...

Imagine me, just minding my own business, working out on equipment other than roller blades (which my family is accustomed to seeing me do for the past few years), or just out on my shoes (never been a runner). I don't say anything to them about getting more active; I just do it myself. Meanwhile, the family begins to ask questions; "Where are you going?" "You went running again?"

Then witnessing gradual changes in actions... Miles ran with me twice lately, and now wants new running shoes so he can run with me some more without his injured knee acting up (shoes specially made for people with knee injury issues). He has been talking about wanting to get back into cycling again, and is also now considering training for triathlons.

The kids are all going for walks, running, using the exercise equipment. The boys begged their father and I for Parkour lessons, and finally, a few days ago - we signed them up for a month. I don't know how long they will do it, but I'm glad they are getting the exercise and opportunity to experience something new, and to begin to develop their bodies in a fun way. :D

Recently, while I was rowing, one of my sons asked, "mom. which muscles does that thing build?" He was delighted to hear that it works the whole body - arms, legs, stomach, back; you name it!

BTW: I wish my camera was working, so I could take photos of the family doing these things; and then I would post them RIGHT HERE...
*Please insert imagined photos of the family members enjoying being physically active. :)
Note: The Parkour ones would be especially cool! ;)

I am LOVING watching them all get interested in taking care of themselves - without having to say anything to them about it at all. :D ~ And I am LOVING knowing, that we are on the verge of being physically active AS A FAMILY AGAIN!

I used to think about how active Miles and I used to be, and of how much we enjoyed being athletic together, mostly with cycling and hiking. Miles was into sports and athletics when he was young, and I thought it strange that none of our kids seemed interested. But now that they are watching us get back into it, they are suddenly showing great interest. And all it took was a little example and opportunity... imagine THAT! ;D

And to top off all of these wonderful health improvements, there is more! 
But this post is already long enough... more about our changes/new plans, coming soon! :D

*PS. Wait, don't leave yet! I do have one very cool thing to add to this post.

When I first started running (in March), it only took about 30-60 seconds for me to be in terrible pain and to say to myself...
"What am I doing? This is nuts! Why on earth did I decide to train for a triathlon or marathon?"
But I decided to give it a chance; no, I decided to give myself a chance. For some reason, I have always wanted to do this.

The first few runs actually consisted of walking a great deal more than running, and I am still working my way up to more vigorous training. Nothing too spectacular went on...

The cool thing though,
 is watching my body go from feeling like I'm going to die...
 ~ to feeling like my soul is singing! :D

I think a lot of experiences and opportunities in life are like this. There are often things that we want to do, which when we first start to do (and sometimes just consider doing) - which seem beyond difficult. But when we give ourselves a chance, and just try... we find out that we can do it.

I have to remind myself of this some times. That if a new goal feels impossibly difficult, I may want to - keep working on it! The beginning is the toughest part.

I know I have a lot to do to get ready for these races, but I am excited to have broken through the mental barrier of impossibility, simply by choosing to do it anyhow!

I love discovering that the impossible... is possible.

And like I was just saying... now when I run, I don't feel like dying; now when I run... I feel like my soul is singing! :D

I hope you give exercising... (or whatever it is you desire to do), a try; your soul deserves to sing, too!  ;)

Corine :D

PPS Another really exciting health development is that we finally got our Niken water filter fixed! We will also be getting a new filter for our Niken air filter and be breathing cleaner air again as well. These are two of the most wonderful pieces of healthy living tools a person could ever hope for. Seriously... they are so wonderful that I wonder if I can find and post videos about them on this blog for you to be able to see how great they are, so you can have the blessings of having them, too! :o :) I'll check on that...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Life of Peace... True to Self and God...

I am NOT perfect. I do NOT have a perfect family. But on a positive day, I DO have what I consider to be, a perfectly perfect life ~ IE. A life of peace. :) But you may have to read to the end of this post to understand why I believe this.

Since I have begun blogging...  I have found myself surprised. I know I shouldn't have been... that it was terribly presumptuous of me to think myself as unique as I used to think myself to be, (ha ha! :)) but tis true... I was surprised; and I was presumptuous. There are actually many other people like me out there! :)

In one blog that I read today, the concept of being "different" or "set apart" was the goal; these ladies chose to wear skirts to do so. I have no desire myself to give up pants, but hats off to them for doing it if it is important to them! As I read this, I realized that my "different," "odd," or "peculiar" ways of being... probably cause me to "stand out, too."

Young Women's Theme... Mormon girls age 12-18 
memorize and quote this theme weekly;
I also did this twice a week when I was a youth.
You may click on the photo to enlarge and read...
I'm really thankful for this new awareness within me - that though I probably do stand out in some ways, I am not quite as different alone in this as I supposed I was. That, though I am unique in my own way, so is everyone else. And I have the influence of many of blogs to thank for it. These are blogs from Mormons and other Christians who are no less unique or peculiar than I am. Individuals who I can associate with ENTIRELY. These are people who, like me, know who they are (see last page of circle journal)... and let others know who they are.

NOTE: (I had links to a couple of these blogs when I first posted this, but in no way want anyone to assume I think the highlighted blogs or bloggers stand out any more than the ones not highlighted - so I deleted the links.) 

The more I find other people like these, the more I realize that the world is filled with light from beautiful men and women. There are so many people who have been taught, just as I have... to get to know Christ and strive to live lives of faith in Him. Contemplating upon these things reminds me that the doctrine that I believe and live... makes me who I am. And there are thousands millions of people all over the world who believe and live just as I do, and who let their lights shine.

I am inspired by these men and women... and I hope that in some way, I will manage to do as I have always intended to do, in life, and on this bloglet my light shine (or rather, let Christ's light shine through me). I chose the light house theme for that reason - as a constant reminder to myself to let my light shine; to not be afraid to admit when I am among the minority, or to be true to myself and to God and be happy to be in the minority. I hope to be a source of light and hope to others on stormy days... and that people will know that peace and contentment come through faith in Jesus Christ... the faith that gives strength to follow His lead. If this is living in the minority, THEN SO BE IT! :)

 I know without an inkling of doubt, that He is ALWAYS there for us... and that with His help there is no challenge we can not get through...I KNOW THIS! I have had big challenges in my life; faith in Jesus Christ has given me the strength that I need to not only keep moving forward, but to have my heavy burdens lifted and made light. And, because of my relationship with Jesus Christ and the faith I have to follow Him... I too KNOW, as Joselyn so perfectly put it, "there are no unsolvable problems."

And so I leave my testimony with you today, that I know that God lives, knows, and loves - each and every one of us. I know Christ lives, knows, and loves us. And I know that as we get to know Him by learning His words, praying to the Father in His name, and by obeying His commandments - peace fills our lives no matter what our struggles.

It does not take living with perfect people... to have a life of peace.

It does not take being a perfect person... to have a life of peace.

Nor does it take riches, or a life without struggles... to have a life of peace. 

A life of peace - comes from total, undeniable, faith in the Lord; so undeniable, that one moves forward and does his best to live Christ's laws/commandments, no matter how difficult the climb, or how big the obstacles.

This, to me, is a perfect life. It isn't an easy life. The climb is often difficult and steep, it requires vigilant efforts, and constant repentance... but as I have said, so many times before; I believe the view is worth the climb!

Wishing you peace...

Corine :D

Monday, April 4, 2011

Christ-like Parenting... Christ-like Living

Hi. I'm back. I've been out of the blogging world during Spring Break. And it just ended with a fabulous Conference!

I listened to and took notes from my current favorite talk from this past weekend conference, again... I'll post the audio of it for you here, in case you want to listen to it. :D

I LOVE IT! There is so much in it; I wanted to take notes on everything! So I did. :o This is one which I will be printing (as soon as the print comes available) and adding to my home-made Parenting Manuel / 3-Ring binder. :D

In a nutshell (which does the talk no justice, if you haven't studied it yourself first... but I did, so it is good for me; :o)  I learned or was reminded of the following points:

There are things we "DO" and there are things we "Be" (are). The "to do's" we can check off our "to do" lists. But the "to be's" we can never check off our lists. These are characteristics and attributes that we must develop, and always continue developing and refining - making them a part of our very natures, or characters. These are the "to BE's" that help us to have more Christ-like behaviors.

Elder Robbins suggests that the "BE'S" begat the "DO'S." Therefore, it is his suggestion, that when a child misbehaves, it is helpful to ask ourselves what Christ-like attributes our child needs to BE... in order to be able to be able to do, the desired behavior; then teach these attributes as part of discipline.

A few Christ-like attributes were listed:

-being patient and forgiving when annoyed
-loving and being a peacemaker
-taking responsibility for one's actions, and not blaming

Of course, the list can go on and on...

How to teach these Christ-like attributes...

Remember that Discipline, comes from the word "Disciple" - Discipline = Discipleship
Doctrine and Covenants 121: 41-42 tells us what we need to BE, and how we should teach, so that we can influence/discipline (discipleship):
"by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; 42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile"
Elder Robbins reminds us that it is through discipline that our children learn of consequence; he advises us to "ask them what they learned from the mistake or misdeed."

He also suggests that we do this with the spirit. This is important to note, because it isn't the question or the preaching that really makes the impact - it is the spirit. - Brother Robbins notes that the sword changes what people DO, but the word changes what people are (BE ~ which ultimately changes what they do in the future as well as at the moment).

I also greatly appreciate the reminder that having "more challenging children" who "test me to the etth degree"  (which he so humorously refers to as "being enrolled in Parenting 505, rather than the Parenting 101 course which accompanies "sweet and obedient children"), is a blessing, because it tests, develops, and refines my own Christ-like attributes. :) (This is a very good thing. I really need this course!) :o

All I could do was nod my head in a solid YES when he asked the question, "Could it be that you need this child, as much as this child needs you?" Sigh... :O ~ LOL :D

Dealing with children who challenge our Christ-like attributes...

I have many times thought of how often children live up to, (or in sad cases, down to) our expectations of them. The way we speak to them and think of them greatly affects the way they think about themselves. In a way, then, we greatly influence a child's self identity. The word "identity" was often stated in this talk, reminding me once again of the importance of striving to see my children the way my Father in Heaven wants me to see them, so they will be encouraged to think good of themselves, thus developing healthy self identities. I wish I could properly relay my testimony and feelings about this.

Here are some important tips given for disciplining children who may challenge us...

*Condemn the sin, not the sinner.
*Never say anything (name calling... "stupid," "lazy," etc) which would label a child after a wrong doing, thus giving an identity which would lead to failure.
*Remember that the true identity of a child is based on two things; the fact that he or she is a child of God, and his or her potential to become Christ-like.
*Remember that identity has nothing to do with mistakes made, what we do for a living, or what we possess.
*Mistakes and disappointing behaviors should be viewed as temporary - not as part of identity... as "acts" not as "identity."
*To help our children to discover their true identities, and strengthen their self worth, we can compliment our children based on what their character and beliefs are... complimenting the BE'S and the DO'S together. For example, tell your child what he/she did, then state the characteristics or attributes which he IS, which preceded the action, and let him know you are proud of him for those attributes. (He gave specific examples of how to give this kind of praise in his talk.)
*Look for attributes that you study in the scriptures, and occasionally talk about them at the dinner table... "In what way were you dependable (honest?, a good friend?) today?
*Pray for the attributes/gifts that you desire to be/have.
*Heavenly Father is the perfect parent. BE THAT KIND OF PARENT.This is the best way that you can teach your children to BE the Christ-like person, having Christ-like attributes, which you desire for them.

I am encouraged to emotion by this. I feel it was written for me. There is much that I must do to be a better parent and a better person, but the way is simple, the answers are clear. I need to keep focused on these goals to develop Christ-like attributes, and keep moving forward despite the challenges along the way. It is easy to get discouraged if I am not patient, fail to keep a positive outlook, or stop focus on being loving; but if I DO these things... if I focus on BEing patient, positive, kind, and loving - With Heavenly Fathers help, I must succeed in disciplining even those who put me through Parenting 505... no matter how steep the grade! :D

Elder Lynn G. Robbins closed his talk with the most perfect encouraging hope and prayer for us all. He noted that though he primarily spoke to parents, the principles apply to everyone. Then he stated the following hopes for each and every one of us:

That our efforts to develop Christ-like attributes will be successful...

That we will have His image in our countenance...

That His attributes will be manifest in our behaviors...

"then when your children or others feel of your love, and see your behavior, it will remind them of the Savior and draw them to Him... is my prayer and testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

This is what discipline is. This is true discipleship; and I hope and pray these blessings and gifts for us all!

PS. I'm SO thankful for General Conferences!!!!

Corine :D

PS I added a few lines to my old blog post titled "The Concept of Self Government," only a few days ago... just prior to hearing this article." I may have to go back and refine my definition of "discipline" to include "discipleship" after reading this. :) I'm sure this will continue to be a work in progress...