What are we talking about today?

Normal topics suspended for the A to Z Challenge. It's all books from April 1-30.

If you're here from the A to Z Challenge hoping I'll comment back if you comment first: Sorry to disappoint, but that probably won't happen. I work full-time and I grad school full-time, so I can't give the time to blog commenting that I would like. I'll visit after the end of the semester, I hope.

31 January 2010

Good day, sun shines!


29 January 2010

Friday Countdown

Vancouver Olympics: 14 days
Austin Marathon: 16 days
Ash Wednesday: 19 days
First Day of Spring: 50 days
The Great H.O.G.G. Race: 57 days
Easter: 65 days

28 January 2010

Heard in Journeyland, Again

I love our Journeyland group! These kids are so fun!

On Sunday morning, one of them started dancing along to their memory work songs. Not exactly dance music, but so what?

Wednesday, we walk in to the room & there are four kids hopping around in circles on one foot, and one kid sitting in his seat with a bewildered look on his face.

Seated kid: We need a teacher to make them calm down!
Me: Ta-daa! Here I am!

And then I got the kids running round in circles to burn off some of that energy. So much for calming down. Ha!

I then led them in an action song, to get them singing & transition into memory work. Which they did, but by then they were so into circling the room, that they continued walking round in a circle, which I was perfectly happy to let them do until about 7:05, when I called a halt & brought them all over to sit down. I did this on purpose to give them plenty of time to move from active & silly to seated & quiet, since we kept talking for a few minutes about nothing whatsoever before talking about prayer requests. (The teacher was late; we don't usually have time for this much stuff!)

And yet, even with that much time to settle, they were having a hard time listening to one another (and me!), so I finally pulled out the big guns: "If we can't be seated & listen, we'll just have to all sit & stare at a wall during class to practise being quiet." (We were in the movie room; they would have missed the movie if I'd had to follow through.)

That did it.

23 January 2010

Heard in Journeyland

Yes, this will be a never-ending series, for as long as I am doing anything with children!

(The children at church are collecting money for some supplies for a church in Peru.)

1st girl: I brought some money for Peru!
I: Great!
2nd girl: Me, too! I have a whole pocket in my purse full of money!
I: Wow. Did your parents give you money to make sure you had some to bring with you today?
2: Yeah, a little, but some of it was money I had saved up.
I: Good for you! That's very kind of you to give some of the money you have saved.
1: I have money saved, too! I have $16!
I: That's great! Are you saving for college? Because you should probably start.
2: I'm not saving for college. I'm saving for a car.
1: Yeah, me too.

So in our class of seven-year-olds, there are two very wise girls saving for a car. I hope their parents tell them about college. Soon.

22 January 2010

Friday Countdown

Vancouver Olympics: 21 days
Austin Marathon: 23 days
Valentine's Day: Ditto
Ash Wednesday: 26 days
First Day of Spring: 57 days
Great H.O.G.G. Race: 63 days
Easter: 72 days

16 January 2010

Behind a Computer

I've gone missing for a few days, because this has been one of those crazy-busy weeks that I have once in a while, regardless of how hard I try to avoid it.

I've spent my day today (entire day, minus one trip down to the laundry room & a few minutes eating my lunch) looking for scholarships online. And the number of essays I'm going to write in the next few weeks will probably mean that I won't be blogging much. Unless, of course, one of the essays inspires me to blog.

Happy Saturday!

11 January 2010

I'll be praying for you! (Heh, heh, heh)

DESCRIPTION: Girl praying and person stuck in thought bubble CAPTION: SHE WAS VERY LITERAL WHEN SHE KEPT SOMEONE IN HER PRAYERS


While I care a great deal about those who are in my prayers, it has never come to the point of imprisonment. Yet.

10 January 2010

One week down; 51 to go

I decided a few days ago that if my manuscript of New Year's Resolutions is to become more than a mere manuscript, I must actually review it regularly. As in, daily.

So, I read it over again this evening. The result is not quite as disenheartening as I had feared.

You see, I thought this week was pretty dismal in terms of reaching my resolutions. I thought I had made no progress at all. And for a couple of things-- notably, Bible reading & prayer, that is true. But for other things, it wasn't so bad.

I missed a run this week. So I probably won't meet my monthly mileage. But I got the others in.

I didn't cycle every day this week, because of the cold and some work activities. But I did cycle the other days, so my mileage goal for January is not lost.

I certainly didn't walk every day this week. Funny how the cold will put you off! But I did walk twice, which is twice more than last week.

I met some new people at South Plains. And probably weirded them out, because I do that. (Not on purpose!) We started Journeyland. I started a new-to-me book. All steps in the right direction.

So, it's a process. I'm not off to a horrible start. And I did begin The Bible in 90 Days tonight, 10 days later than intended.

One week down. Fifty-one to go. Bring it on.

09 January 2010

Below Freezing

So, it's the second Saturday of the the month, and if you're keeping score at home, you know that means that the West Texas Running Club-- at least, those of us with little to no sanity-- had a race today in the just-a-bit-too-cold temps.

I don't usually do a warmup. In the world of Su, that's what the first mile of the race is for. I'm a slow runner and am usually not out to prove much beyond the fact that this chubby short girl, is, in fact, marginally faster than she looks. So, I save all my running for after the airhorn blows.

Today, I warmed up. And I'm so thankful that I did; during the warmup, my face was feeling like it was on the verge of frostbite. (It wasn't; that's just how I felt.) But that meant that my face was reasonably warm already when the race began, thus saving myself that very uncomfortable feeling.

So, I went and found some other uncomfortable feelings as a substitute: My eyes were watering, hence my nose was running, and I was concerned about the snot freezing on my face. And, I went out too fast, so I made up for that by running mile two even faster. Yeah, I can be a bit dumb sometimes.

No PR for me today-- but I wasn't expecting one. And now I'm looking forward to a leisurely 10-mile easy run tomorrow. The marathon beckons.

08 January 2010

Friday Countdown

Loop the Lake 5-miler: 15 hours
Burns Supper: 17 days (yes, I am having it on the wrong day)
Vancouver Olympics: 35 days
Austin Marathon: 37 days
Valentine's Day: Ditto
Ash Wednesday: 40 days
First Day of Spring: 72 days
Great H.O.G.G. Race: 78 days
Easter: 86 days

07 January 2010

2009: Begone, already!

I hate doing end-of-year stuff. End-of-month is a challenge, but then I only have to account for 22 work days at the most. End-of-year is tiring. I have to personally hunt down every loose end, tie it up, then report to three different people about it. I'm so ready to move on from 2009 now, but I can't until I finish tying.

Anyway. It's cold in Lubbock, so I skipped my running this evening in favour of not getting frostbitten. We're having a soup potluck at work tomorrow, so I need to go chop some veggies so I can delight my coworkers with Black Bean & Sausage soup. One of my favourites.

06 January 2010

Heard in Journeyland

So, we're back to shepherding kids around for eight weeks, and we got first graders again this go-round. We've now been doing this long enough that for a lot of these kids, we 1) already had their older siblings, or 2) are friends with their parents, or 3) both. I especially like having the children of friends. It's amazing how quickly, "Do I need to speak to your mother?" works with six-year-olds.

Anyway! Tonight we were talking about the start of the church in Acts 2-3, and the teacher was explaining that the church is not a building. The kids were a bit puzzled by this, and at least one of them insisted that the church is, in fact, the building we were in. The teacher was trying to get them to think it through (or at least make good guesses)

Teacher: What do you think the church is?
Girl: A holy place to worship.
(Class: Looks puzzled)
Teacher: Do you think this building is a holy place?
(Class: Continues looking puzzled)
I: I hope not, the way you all run around & scream in here sometimes.
(Teacher: Snickers)
Girl: I do not!

Just in case you were wondering: Oh, yes, she does.

05 January 2010

Resolved: Learn something new

As previously (I think) mentioned, I've applied to university to start in the fall of 2010.

Once that starts, I probably won't be reading anything but textbooks for a few months. But until then, I'd like to expand my current reading repertoire. To this end, I have three reading-related resolutions:

1. Check out a new book from the library every month. And by "new", I mean newly-released. I'm afraid this means I'll be reading a lot of political drivel, but I will certainly do my best to do some research so I can avoid that stuff.

2. Check out (or buy) one classic every month. I'm sadly lacking in my reading of the classics, because there are only so many that you can get in school. Even one per semester, starting in 6th grade, only gets you 14 books, and I didn't get nearly that many because we got a Shakespeare play every year as well. And rightly so, but that takes my list of other books down to seven. And at least one of those (Great Expectations, if you're keeping score) I read about two chapters of, then watched the movie instead, because I hated it. I hope I have more luck with other classics than my 14-year-old self had with Great Expectations.

3. Check out (or buy) one book from The Big Read every month. Now, there may be some overlap with the classics here, but hey, I don't mind that at all. The Big Read is a result of a survey taken in the UK about 10 or so years ago (they may have updated it since then, but I have the list from 10 years ago) of people's favourite books; the top 200 made it on the list. Of the 200, I've read 31. I have several on the list marked that I'm particularly interested in reading, but out of sheer laziness, I haven't gone to the library to get any of them. So, that's about to change.

In other words, I see myself spending some time at the library in the first seven or eight months of 2009. After that, it'll have to be a reward for doing so well on my exams. :)

04 January 2010

Resolved: Cut down on stuff

So, there's a link in my sidebar to A Guy Named Dave, who got some attention toward the end of 2008 for taking on the "100 thing challenge". Basically, with a couple of exceptions, he lived with 100 personal possessions for one year.

I'm not sure what form this challenge will take for me. I can safely say that like Dave, I will not count books in my 100 things. I will probably also not count craft supplies, since I have more than 100 things right there. Both of those categories, books & craft supplies, may collectively count as one item each. I can see stuffed animals also getting its own category, which would leave me with 97 things. :)

I'll also be excluding shared things: our car & furniture, for example, do not count towards my personal 100 things. I am entertaining the thought of going through our kitchen and reducing our utensils, gadgets, etc to 100 things. And the same thing in the bathroom. But we shall see.

I'm planning to start this adventure on June 1st. Stay tuned & I'll keep you posted.

03 January 2010

Resolved: Need more miles

So, health-related resolutions (lose weight, eat better, exercise more) are consistently at the top of the U.S.'s collective resolution list, as any survey, news report, or know-it-all coworker will tell you.

I'm not resolving to lose weight. Not because I don't need it (dang holiday pounds!), but because that road only leads to frustration. So, I'm skipping the "Lose 10 pounds by spring" madness in 2010.

Nope, my fitness resolutions have a bit more, shall I say, edge:

Running: 1000 miles. I was going for this in 2009, but got distracted. Not this year, baby.

Cycling: 900 miles. I met my 2009 goal (800 miles) by 1.5 miles. On New Year's Eve. But this year, I have the sweet bike and am already equipped with cold-weather gear. Bring it on.

Walking: 350 miles. I've been doing the "Walk to Rivendell" thing for a couple of years; I made it from the Shire to Parth Galen in 2008 by counting all my fitness miles. I tried getting as far as Rivendell in 2009 (459 miles) using just my walking mileage, and didn't make it. And if you can count, you will notice that meeting my goal this year will also not get me to Rivendell, but I've decided that running & cycling get priority & walking is strictly on the side.

I also have time goals written down for any distance I might conceivably run this year. But the only ones I'm really intending to work on are my 5 and 10Ks: sub-30 minutes for the 5K & sub-1 hour for the 10K. And I'll get right on that as soon as I recover from my marathon.

02 January 2010

Resolved: See other people.

Yep, I'm part of the movie generation, no matter how much I refrain from participating, which means I love sequels. Apparently.

So! My next resolution is kind of reactive, I guess. I've probably mentioned before that I love South Plains, the congregation we are a part of. It's a loving, friendly, entertaining bunch of people who have been family to Chad & I for our entire marriage. (Yep, I went to the trouble to look it up: February 17, 2002, was the day we first set foot in South Plains. We placed membership two months later, on April 27th.)

But for all that I love South Plains, I must admit: We aren't good with strangers. There was a sketch that was popular at youth rallies when I was in high school, in which a group of Christian teens would be in a huddle singing a song about how much they loved each other, while some other teens on the outside were trying to join in, with no success. South Plains is that group, to some extent; we love each other & forget that we can let others in.

I knew this from our own entry to South Plains. I love it so much now that it's easy to forget the frustration of those first few months, but I was quite forcibly reminded of it recently by another new person, who I had overlooked for months. I had no idea, until recently, that I'd joined the ranks of those who don't see the "new" people.

So! All that to say, I've resolved to look around & meet at least one new person every Sunday. I'm sure this will lead to some embarrassment at the beginning, when I inadvertently "meet" the same person three or four times. However, I can't continue to ignore other people in this congregation that has so blessed my life. It's not right to enjoy those blessings and not pass them on.

01 January 2010

Resolved: A bunch of stuff

I'm good at goals. In fact, I'm great at goals.

And I know this, because I've had essentially the same goals for the past 10 years. See, I can hang on to a goal like nobody's business.

My list of New Year's Resolutions is currently a two-page document, but it's not quite as dramatic as all that; quite a bit of those two pages are dedicated to a game plan to actually meet some of my goals. Altogether, I have 9-ish goals for 2010. And since this blog is dedicated to, well, my life & thoughts, I'll just spend a few posts expanding on them. :) Plus, as ever, getting it out in public, even if only for a couple of people to see, makes it more "official".

So, here's the first one: Daily Bible reading

I haven't done daily Bible reading as such for a couple of years. There is a reason, albeit a dumb one; I had a great plan going, kept in pretty good rhythm, had the habit down, etc. until I started studying intently for Bible bowl a few years ago. Then I finished Bible bowl, and I got into a rhythm again, then got interrupted for another Bible class I was studying for. So, essentially, my daily Bible reading kept getting messed up for more intense Bible study. But, this past year I've done neither, and it's time for a change.

I've been waffling between going back to my old plan or trying out the "Bible in 90 Days" plan that a couple of people have mentioned online. I printed the "90 Days" bookmark today, so I guess that's the one I'm going with. :) After 90 days, which should be April 1st, I'll do something else. Or, I'll have decided that I like this plan so much that I'll do it over again.

Come back later for resolutions 2-9.

Friday Countdown

Yep, a countdown is a rather inglorious start to a year of blogging. And yet, here it is.

Anniversary: Today!!!
Loop the Lake 5-miler: 8 days
Burns Supper: 24 days (yes, I am having it on the wrong day)
Vancouver Olympics: 41 days
Austin Marathon: 43 days
Valentine's Day: Ditto
Ash Wednesday: 46 days
First Day of Spring: 79 days
Great H.O.G.G. Race: 85 days
Easter: 93 days

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