Sortafunnylady

My quirky views on life, love and parenthood!

Archive for the tag “communities”

Improve My Lifestyle


I thought I was doing the smart thing by working to get a desk job. Unfortunately my rear does not agree. Have you ever heard of the secretary spread? Well, I’ve got it and it’s not pretty. My doctor has informed me that I live a sedentary lifestyle. What’s that you might say? Well, there are lots of definitions out there but the main one is that I sit too much and I the things I like to do don’t require much movement.

My “sitting disease” has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and premature death. So I am working on being more active. Now I’m not talking about running a marathon or scaling a mountain but goals are always a good thing. I am going to start with baby steps and work to build up my stamina.

Here are a few suggestions I am working on that I wanted to share:

Get NEAT (thermogenesis): Things that I can do in my seat at work. 10 minutes an hour this can include stretching, turning, and bending. The idea behind this activities is to raise your core temp and to burn calories.

Take Breaks: We all have obligations and activities that monopolize our time. However, taking a break every hour or so and getting up and moving around can be helpful.  Walking around or stretching for a few minutes can help re-energize the body.

If she can do it I can!

TV Watchers: I still enjoy watching TV but instead of just sitting on the couch I try to add time to stretch, use my stationary bike, do resistance exercises, and alternate with other activities that keep my body moving.

Parking: When I go to a store I park farther away. Ever little bit counts.

Going Up: It may take longer but, if you are able use the stairs rather than the elevator when you are in your doctors offices and other buildings you are doing errands in.

Communication: When at work many tend to use email, voice-mail, im, and so many other forms of communication that are preferred for our busy lives. Unfortunately we lose face to face human interaction and many of us just sit on our butts. So, the next time you need to talk to a colleague take a minute and go and talk to them. You get up, you move your body, and you get the opportunity to interact with someone else. The moments add up and make a difference.

Date Night: My husband and I like to go out for date night; however, most of the time it is going out to eat and then coming home and watching a movie or crashing. So we are working on mixing it up. Finding things that are less about food and more about just spending time together and still being active. Some things to try…go to a museum, a park, take a hike, go for a bike ride, or go dancing,  find activities in the community. Many times there is food but you’re not just sitting. Remember date night is about spending quality time with your partner and having fun.

Vacation: What do you like to do on vacation? Go camping, relax on a beach somewhere, or go to a spa? Well, for my family we enjoy camping to which can be pretty active. Other things we like to do is visit family, or go to the big city to see the sights. With a family fun and education is a big part of the draw for us. Do research ahead of time and you can find a ton of things to do no matter where you are headed. By the time your vacation is over you may need to go home just to rest! Now that’s the sign of a great vacation!

You can Do it!

Swimming: I have always enjoyed swimming but, I have not had a membership anywhere for a while. The house we just moved into has a pool, so for the first time in my life I don’t have to go anywhere to go swimming. The pool has been a lot of work but I have so enjoyed getting to go in whenever I feel like it. It’s not huge but the kids and I have had  lots of fun. It gets me in the sun for some needed vitamin D and the water provides a fun workout. Just playing with the kids can wear me out, my favorite time is doing laps when it is quite and I can hear the wind blow and the bird chirp. Swimming is a great way to get my body moving and it has a much lower impact on my joints. So for chubby girls like myself swimming is much more doable than running is. If you can handle getting into a swimsuit then you can do amazing things! Swimming is great for increasing your stamina and improving your cardiovascular system. Look at your local gyms, and community centers many of them have water aerobics and other water activities you can get involved in. Try it and let me know what you think!

New Habits: No matter where I am I am working on making new habits. This may include getting up early to exercise before I go to work. Even doing household chores is not a bad way to start just to get you moving. Taking breaks at work is focused on moving around and not just grabbing something to eat and drink. Being more active is helping me to set a better example for my kids. When I get home we go for a bike ride. Well, they go for a bike ride and I keep up by going walking. It it another way I am getting out of the house and making strides. Increasing your movement and watching what you eat can make a big impact on your life.

I’m not looking to get skinny I just want to be comfortable in my own body and be healthy!

Plus God willing I am baby bound.

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What do we need in church….Grace


The past few weeks have been difficult for me. I felt that there had been an injustice done. Now of all places this was happening at church. Not just any church, but my church. I did not take this well!  On Sunday, in the crowd I put on the smile and was polite. I minded my P’s and Q’s just like my Mama taught me. Inside and in private I was screaming “This is NOT happening!”.

I have to admit and apologize that I was swept up in taking the injustice personally. I ranted, my face turned red, my blood pressure when up, my poor husband, mother and friend had to hear all about it. This is a perfect example of me making a MOUNTAIN out of a mole hill!

After the first week I thought I had talked through it and was ok. Then on Sunday a comment was made that through me into a tizzy!

On Wednesday we had a meeting to discuss concerns and to provide solutions. Before the meeting you would think I was preparing for battle. I prayed, I vented, I wrote notes on things I wanted to cover and I went in with a chip on my shoulder. Hopefully it was not to big that anyone would notice.  I arrived to a nice size group. I won’t go into details about the meeting but let me tell you. I didn’t have to yell, or get angry, and apparently we as adults came to some positive solutions. So I left feeling like I needed to eat a HUGE humble pie!

You know what I learned…is that I let Satan play me for the fool I was! I let my emotions control the situation and I relied way to heavily on anger! This has not happened in quite sometime. I thought I had moved on, but apparently I still have some lessons to learn.

One thing I have learned, yet again. The Church is made up of people. It doesn’t matter what church you go to they are all made up of people. Not saints but sinners! We all come with baggage and imperfections. I needed to be reminded that God has given me grace and I need to give it to those around me.

by mudpreacher.org

Summer Break… Are You Ready?


As the school year comes to a close I begin to think about the summer. Summer break always feels like it takes forever to get here and then when it does it goes by in a flash.

Between the sleep overs, picnics, BBQ’s, and camps some days it seems just as busy as the school year. So much for a break! So here are a few tips to keep you from going crazy and you kids from saying “I’m bored”.

Swap kids

As adults with kids if you don’t already, work at making friends with other adults that have children. This may be single parents or even other couples. But one thing as a parent is that we all need a break from time to time. So develop friendships (we all need those) and work with people who you trust to swap kids. This may be for an evening for a dinner out, or another family is just planning on having fun.

Free activities – local and regional activities

– Go for a hike

– Check out your local library

– Visit your local parks

– Go for a swim

– Play in your sprinkler

– Birdwatching

– Read

– Bike riding

– Take a tour – a variety of businesses have free tours that are fun

– Get involved in your church

– send your kids to vacation bible school in your area

– play board games or card games

– climb a tree

– go Geocaching

Low cost activities

– Go fishing

– Visit a museum

– Concerts in the park

– Work on art and craft projects

– Have a water balloon fight

– go to the beach

– paint ball

– visit a local university

– go roller skating or roller blading

– miniature golf

– go to a fair

– check out websites for your state

Coupons and Discounts

– check out Facebook for local businesses and activities

– visit websites for coupons

There are tons of things to do you just have to be proactive and get involved. So I encourage you to get into your community and start living this summer!

Top News Story: Stupid Mothers


This news story ticked me off! No only is this mother young, but apparently she is doing drugs and drinking. She is only 19! Where are her parents? Isn’t this a great example of not communicating very well with your child.

Mother drives off with baby on the roof

Thank God that the baby was OK. Thank God that the car seat did its job! Thank God for people who pay attention and the cops that did their jobs.

I am not saying that young parents are the problem. However, when you are young I know from experience that your emotions can be a major influence.

It is pretty apparent that this young woman is pretty self absorbed and should have thought twice before becoming a parent.

Food for thought: If a woman is going to become a mother maybe a parenting class should be taken. Young parents and most first time mothers are clueless about the responsibility that it takes to care for a child. Alcohol and drugs have no place in motherhood.

It is interesting to me that there are so many women out there that have no business becoming parents and yet have several. And yet there are so many couples out there that are unable to have children. Which seems fair? Neither. Unfortunately life is not fair, I have learned that as I have gotten older.

But to recap where does this young girl get off putting her child in danger that way?

I hope she gets the full measure of her punishment.

Doesn’t this look like the face of a responsible mother!

Touchy Subjects


Premarital sex is a touchy subject. Especially when you are a Christian, a parent, a wife, and you deal with the youth. I know that many parents wholeheartedly believe in abstinence, I agree it is very important. Growing up in a Christian home it was taught that you waited until you got married before you had sex. Unfortunately, for many parents if sex is a touchy subject, your children will not come to you when they have questions. This lack of communication causes your children to go look for answers elsewhere, or not at all. Being naive is so dangerous for our kids and doesn’t solve any problems.

So, I have a few suggestions to the parents of teenagers, boys and girls alike. I know that my kids are not at that age yet but I have already been asked questions from teens.

 Get over Yourself

I think that parents hate talking about sex because it makes them uncomfortable. Get Over It! You are not going to do anyone any good if you can’t face the fact that your baby is growing up. This is part of being a parent and it is your job to be the go to person. This topic is not about you, but you need to be willing to answer your child’s questions. Take it slow but spell things out.

Be Honest

Please do not use the birds and the bees. You need to use actual body parts by their names such as a vagina or penis. This is not a Johnson or other crude words to describe your body. If you don’t know the answer be honest about that too. We all have horror stories about how our friends, family and even parents told us what sex was. Like “when you eat a watermelon seed it grows a baby in your tummy”. Whatever the story is make sure that it is not absurd. Your children don’t usually understand metaphors and will take you literally. So be careful what you say. If your child approaches you and says they have questions, you may need to take a few moments to compose yourself in what you are going to tell them. Don’t dismiss them or avoid the conversation, it needs to happen! And please don’t leave it to our school system to educate your kids on sex.

Fess up if You made Mistakes

We know we’re not saints! Most of us have made mistakes in one way or another. Don’t try to hide it, you will eventually be found out. When your children learn that you lied to them, then understand that your credibility is shot. So if you made a mistake that’s ok. You don’t have to go into detail; but, don’t think you are going to hide it from your kids. We all want to protect our children from making the same mistakes that we did. Understand that when you can face the fact that you made mistakes, then when your kids do it it’s not quite so hard to forgive them.

Answer questions using medical terminology

Again, use medical terminology that is easy to understand. One suggestion to parents is do your research ahead of time. There are many books and sites out there that can help you talk to your kids about sex.

Tactics

Don’t try to use fear or guilt to try to keep your kids from having sex. I think it is important to educate our kids. What is God’s purpose for sex? What is the importance of sex? What is the importance of finding the right person? What is love? Open communication is so important. Now, I know this is difficult. Our kids treat us like we know nothing and act like they are not listening. Even when they don’t act like they are listening they are. It is your job to educate and talk to them, even if you have to say it a 100 times.

Protection

How do we protect our kids? We arm them. We arm them with knowledge and with the skills to handle life situations. If we treat them like babies then we are setting them up for failure.  When you say the words “No matter what, you can talk to me” it is your actions not your words that will make that statement true. So when crap happens if you tend to get mad first and start yelling I will tell you that your child will not come to you when they really mess up. So be prepared and you may need to start working on your own issues before you deal with your children.

Dating

In each household the matter of dating is different. If you want them to wait I understand that; however, you might want to let your kids have some input. Talk about options such as group dates and having friends over at your house. Just because you tell them NO doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to like someone. If you don’t give them an opportunity to talk, without you judging then, you are just going to be left out of the loop. You are going to make keeping secrets a must. Now doesn’t that seem like a recipe for disaster?

Listen

I know that as parents we have strong feelings and ideas about lots of stuff. Make sure that before you start going off on your soap box, you pause. Listen to what your child has to say. I would recommend that you have a one on one conversation and not do this in public. I would also suggest that you not try to use humor to lighten the mood. Sometimes it can come off really bad. Give your child an opportunity to talk to you about whatever is on their mind and really listen. Each child is different so what worked on one will not necessarily work on the next. As we learned in school “you have two ears and one mouth, so you need to listen twice as hard as you talk”.

 Forgive

When they make mistakes forgive them, and yourself. Our children will make decisions even after we have given them all the tools. I am not saying that I condone premarital sex, but I do realize that everyone makes mistakes and no matter how hurt we are our child is responsible to God for their decisions. We don’t have to understand why but they are still our children and it is our job to love them.

Communicate

Above all, keep the communication alive and flowing between you and your children. Do not be so set in your ways that they can’t come to you. Educate your child not only about sex, pregnancy and STD’s but also about people. Many young people do not fully understand that others will take advantage of their need for approval and love. They do not understand that there are those out there who know all the right things to say just to get them into bed. This is not only for the girls out there but also our boys.  You have to pick your battles but it is so important that we keep arming our kids so they can make good decisions even when we are not there.

Now I know that there are those out there who will disagree with my statements and that is OK. I still look forward to you comments.

Hometown Heroes: Emergency Medical Personnel


If you have experienced this you can appreciate it…

You wake up slowly, you’re dazed, with blood trickling down your brow and you taste it in your mouth. You try to move, everything hurts! Just blinking your eyes takes more energy than you have. After a few minutes you become aware of the sounds around you, the blinker blinking, the wind gently blowing, and the crunching sound of the glass around you as you shift your weight.  What you also notice, is that you are upside down. As the waves of nausea pass over you, you struggle to contain the panic inside. You know you have to get out!

The first battle, is to undo the seat belt and with swollen tingling hands this task takes forever.  After the first few tries you pause in frustration. Through the haze you hear someone trying to talk to you…. “Hang on, help is coming. Don’t move!” At that moment you freeze and your head continues to pound. Taking deep breaths to calm your nerves never seemed like such punishment before. Soon you hear sirens getting louder as they approach.

When the ambulance, fire truck, and police arrive there is instantly commotion. Through the echos of doors slamming and people talking your head begins to buzz with all the noise.  You hear footsteps rhythmically pounding over the pavement, crunching through the glass and debris until you see big boots and a uniform kneeling, and then a face. That wonderful moment when you no longer feel alone.  You are still scared, but God has granted your request and help is here. He introduces himself  “Hi my name is Shane, I am with the fire department and I am here to help you”. As he begins to assess the situation a team of firefighters work to get you out of the car and on to a back board.

Once on the backboard they strap you down! Your head is strapped down, along with your waist and feet. It is so uncomfortable! You can’t move, or shift or anything! Of course that’s the point, but you feel so helpless and so ugly. You face is puffy, and between the blood, snot, and tears you feel like a mess! Once on the backboard they graciously pass you over to the ambulance crew. Who once again introduce themselves “Hi my name is Mel and this is my partner Shaun, we are with D.P. ambulance and are here to help you”!After introductions they begin to ask you questions. During that time they assess your airway, breathing and circulation. Then  you get loaded into the ambulance and begin your journey to the hospital.

Between, the movement of the ambulance, the sound of the siren, and the questions you begin to feel relief but reality also sinks in. You were just in a car accident and were injured! As he continues to check you for injuries he also puts in an iv for fluids. Breathing is not helping at this point and the nausea starts in again. You hope that you make is to the hospital before you puke in the ambulance! No such luck, what was in your stomach comes hurling up! Through the chunks you apologize “I’m so sorry…”! The paramedic remains calm and reassuring “It’s ok, this isn’t the first time”. It’s a good thing, you would feel embarrassed but it’s to late for that. Your hair is matted, and your still pounding head remains strapped to the headboard. The blood that was once dripping is now crusted to your face, and the makeup you dared to wear is now mostly gone and the leftover bits are smeared all over your face. What a pretty site.

It doesn’t seem to matter! He continues his small talk in a reassuring tone. In those short scary moments you have developed a bond! In one of the worst moments in your life someone was there and helped you and is telling you everything is going to be OK, and you believe them!

Once you arrive at the hospital they unload you and begin to tell the staff there a myriad of numbers, which apparently are your vitals. Once they get you settled in with the nurses they say goodbye, do some paper work and are called away to another emergency to do the same process all over again.

Though this is one of the worst days of your life…it is just another day at work for them!

Here they come to save the day!

Those that work on an ambulance are worth their weight in gold! They like other emergency services are highly trained and are so important to our communities.  Like any organization there are different levels of training and requirements. Two types of personnel are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) and Paramedics.

No matter what your title I just want to say “Thank You” to emergency medical personnel. The jobs that you do are so very important to our communities and not acknowledged enough.

Job Search


Many of us have faced loosing a job or having a friend or  family member who has. The problem is once you loose your job how do you get an new one? The process to find work is not the same as it was even 10 years ago. Remember when pounding the payment was the sure fire way to get your name out there and get hired? It’s not the case as much anymore.

Today, we use online searches and lists to look for work. It may be Monster, Careerbuilder, or Indeed, for job searches. Even newspapers are providing information on their website. Unfortunately, with legitamet job postings there are also many scams and start your own business cons out there. So you still have to be careful. In addition to looking at the normal sites you may also want to look at not for profit companies for job opportunities.

Even when you find a job listing and you go through all the work of creating your cover letter and sending it in with your resume many times you never even get a call back. There are so many people looking for work that businesses can be choosy and non-responsive. If you notice that you are not getting call backs maybe it would help to make a few changes. On many sites they offer to review your resume and make it better. If that doesn’t work have you thought about volunteering? I know if sounds strange but it can be a great way to get your foot in the door.

Many types of companies use volunteers including the Red Cross, Fire Departments, Police Departments, and many other organizations.  Before you think about volunteering somewhere identify what you are passionate about. Then start looking for volunteer opportunities that match your passions.

Some of the benefits of volunteering include getting your foot in the door, networking with others, and developing relationships with those in the company or organization.  Volunteering in some organizations may only be a couple times a month. You can work around your schedule and look at speeding up the process of getting hired. Now this process still takes time; but if you are patient and you get in it can change your life! Being a volunteer not only helps the company or organization  and your community but also has an impact on you.

Check out volunteer opportunities in your area and see how it can improve your chances of a paying job in the future.

Hometown Heroes: Firefighters


When you say “Hometown Hero” many of us first think about our military personnel who are serving their country through deployment or at home. I can not say “Thank You” enough for the job they do and the sacrifices that they make. I know that the whole family sacrifices in ways that many of us never see. So for your courage, honor and diligence and sacrifice, Thank You!

On a different level I am talking about heroes in our communities. Individuals who willingly raise their hands and say “pick me” to help those in our community.  They may just look like one of us out of uniform but they make sacrifices for us as well. Over the next several weeks I want to take the time to recognize and highlight our hometown heroes!

The first set of hometown heroes I would like to recognize are our firefighters. Now, I am not a firefighter. So if a building is burning, I will be running outside and calling for help! Hopefully with clothes on!! Unlike me, first responders (Firefighters, Cops, EMT’s, etc.) come running when chaos ensues. This may be in the form of your house on fire, a car accident or so many other calls they receive. No matter when tragedy happens they’re ready! This means that they are available and come to our rescue 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year!

Now, how do I know this? Well, first  I have been in a car accident, and second my husband happens to be a firefighter.  So on a personal note I have had the privilege of having them rescue me! I can tell you first hand that (in general,we all have our bad days) they are positive, patient and funny people! They see us at our worst… smeared makeup, crying, in pain, embarrassed, drunk, high, naked, and everything in between!

As the wife of a firefighter I can also tell you that they make sacrifices. They may be hungry, thirst, tired, or sore but they will be there!  If there is a fire they don’t just put it out, they also stay there for hours, making sure there are no hotspots, and they also do a lot of  cleanup. It may be someone’s birthday, or a holiday, or date night, if they are needed they respond! As a first responder plans can be difficult to make because things can change in a moment.  If you are a wife, girlfriend, parent, or their child there are sacrifices that are made as well. You are forgiving, patient, supportive, understanding and resilient.  Some people ask “Why do you do it”? For those anal planners out there it may not make any sense. For othes it makes perfect sense! Over the years I have asked my husband that very same question and his response has been “…because it is so rewarding”! He gets to help people at their worst moments and gets to help them, even if it’sjust for a short time.

So how much do we really know about our firefighters?

In the United States in each state; more specifically our counties, cities and towns we have firefighters. In big cities such as New York City, Denver, Seattle, and Miami, firefighters have a large community presence and are paid. However; in smaller communities we also have firefighters but they serve the entire county not just our town. For example our local fire district is run by the county and they provide service for an area that is 330 square miles. Not only do these departments cover large areas many times whole departments are volunteers. This means that depending on the area, firefighters may receive a small stipend (a few hundred dollars a year) or a small amount per shift (much less than minimum wage). According to the National Volunteer Fire Council  there are about one million firefighters working each year and 73% of those are volunteers.  So how many of us would be willing to give our time, and ourselves to a stressful job, with long hours, and not much pay?

So the next time you start rambling on about how firefighters get paid to sit on their rump think about it… They are willing to risk their life for yours 24/7/365!

Are you willing to make that sacrifice? 

So, if I haven’t already stated this I am very thankful for firefighters and their families! I am proud to be the wife of a firefighter, and a friend of many firefighters both paid and volunteers alike!For without them the next time I have an emergency who would I call, Ghostbusters? I don’t think so!

Be sure you don’t forget to say thank you and let them know you appreciate each and every one of them! If you are really brave and think you can do it…talk to your local fire district and see if they take volunteers and how to apply! I DARE YOU!

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