12 Week Training Schedule for Half Marathon

I don't consider myself to be a runner but after watching my husband run two marathons I was inspired to give it a try.  I started running on a regular basis about 6 months ago and have come a long way but still have a long way to go.  Next week I will start 12 week training to help me prepare for the half marathon. I signed up for a half marathon in February and love that it's given me a reason to keep going and training.  I will be running the half marathon August 25th. 

I plan to follow the schedule that I have created below to help prepare me for race day. If you are interested in using it you can download your own printable version by clicking here.


Best Job in the World!

This is for all of the moms out there who are doing their best.  
Even though days can be long and hard we truly have the best job in the world!



It seems like so often our thoughts and energy are directed  towards our children. Lately I have been thinking a lot about my husband.  I am lucky to be married to my best friend and blessed to have such a wonderful relationship with him.  It's a relationship that requires 100% commitment, unselfishness, forgiveness, and trust.  When my husband and I got married almost 5 years ago we both knew that if we wanted things to last that we needed to put each other first.  We knew this but life tends to get in the way.

Sometimes, okay so really most of the time, our conversations are interrupted by children, phone calls and work leaving little quality time together as a couple.  With that said we decided it was important to make time for one another.  We decided to go on a date with each other every week. Most of the time our dates are simple and other times they are thought out and we spend some money but our goal is the same to spend quality time together.

Remember, "The most important thing you can do for your children is to love your spouse."

Here are 25 simple date ideas:
-Find a new recipe and make it together
-Go on a walk together
-Find your dream car and take it for a test drive
-Shoot some hoops together, toss a football or hit the tennis courts.
-Have dinner outside
-Watch each others favorite movies together (This may include a chick flick)
-Play video games together
-Work out together, either at the gym, a run around the block or a bike ride
-Plan your dream home together
-Give each other a back rub
-Make breakfast together and eat it in bed
-Dance, either at home to your own music or at a local center
-Bring out the board games
-Enjoy a candlelight dinner
-Recreate your first date
-Cuddle up and read together
-Play in the snow or leaves together
-Tour the area you live, try to find something you have never seen before or never knew about
-Look at the stars together
-Take a hike
-Play 20 questions (Ask fun or silly questions that both of you answer)
-Have a theme night (Mexican, Hawaiian or Sports theme, eat themed food and watch a movie that goes with the theme)
-Volunteer together or visit a retirement home
-Take a drive together

There are tons more dating ideas all over the web, these are three of my favorite sites:
The Dating Divas
Love, Actually
Nifty Date Ideas

Enjoy being with your spouse and have fun together!


TP Towers!

Okay, this little guy came up with this idea all by himself! ; )  I had just got home from grocery shopping....we stocked up on the essentials including toilet paper.  I walked in my room to find this and just had to get a picture and share with you.  Kids come up with the funnest ideas...he ended up playing for about an hour.

What creative ideas do your children come up with?


Responsibility Chart

I have a friend who shared this wonderful way she helps her daughter do the things she needs to on a daily basis.  I have a 3 year old boy and I have been searching/thinking of ways to help teach him responsibility and to try to re-enforce positive behavior.  I  put her idea to the test and we have been doing it for a month.  It has worked well and so I wanted to share it with you.

The Idea
The chart is good for 1 week with a space to check off 10 separate responsibilities each day.  (I put responsibilities that my boy needs to work on and things that he is already doing well).  At the end of each day he gets to check the boxes he has done...we do this together. 

 I expect him to do at least 6 things everyday.  If he does more than 6 he gets points, if he does less he loses points.  We add the points up at the end of each day.

We have set point values for things he wants to do. (Example: Trip to Zoo=25 points, Fishing with Dad=10, Movie =1)  When he gets enough points he can cash them in for what he wants to do or save them...he gets to pick what he uses them for. 

Why I Like this Chart
It eliminates arguments, I simply say "alright, you lost a check" and that's it.  If my little guy starts to whine I say "Your gonna lose a check" and he usually stops, if he doesn't he loses a check.  

It gives us an opportunity to evaluate at the end of each day and talk about how we can improve the next day. 

I feel like giving my little boy responsibility helps him to feel valued and needed.

It teaches the value of numbers.

The Chart
I created this chart for my boy in Photoshop using clipart from my computer and scrapbook supplies I purchased from Just So Scrappy.  If you would like to use the chart you can download the boy version here or the girl version here or just click on the image you want below. 

To help keep track of the point system and to make this whole chart seem like a "big deal" to my little guy I  secured it to a foam board and let him help me put scrapbook paper on it. (He has been watching me scrapbook and has wanted to help.)  

We glued magnets to the back of the foam board so we could hang it on the fridge.

We covered the foam board with scrapbook paper and added stickers to spell out "My Chart." We then glued two long notepads and two tiny ones to the board. The notepads on the left are where we record the things he wants to do with his points. The notepads on the right are  where we record the total amount of points he has earned. 

Other Ways to Use This Chart
I didn't laminate the chart but after a month and a half of printing out new pages each week I am going to.  

** Disclaimer**
 This hasn't solved all of our problems...I still have to put him in time-out and give him alone time.  It has helped decrease the amount of times it happens though and it has kept me from having to repeat myself a million times when it comes to the little everyday tasks like whining, picking up toys, and eating dinner.  

**Please don't feel like you have to "Go all out." My hope in sharing this is to make things easier for you.  This chart works great as a simple check off sheet, so don't feel like you have to incorporate my system to make it work.


Berry Trifle Dessert

This recipe is so delicious!  We made this for my husbands 25th birthday this year.  I hope you like it as much as we do.

You will need:
Berries, we use blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries
Angle food cake, (if you don't have this you can also use a white cake mix, bake according to package directions)
Container of cool whip
1 3.4 oz package of vanilla pudding
2 cups of cold milk (to make the pudding)

Mix pudding and chill.  Slice berries.  Layer in your favorite bowl starting with cake, then pudding then berries.  Repeat and top with cool whip. Enjoy!



Report Card Printable

My husband has been SO busy lately.  He will graduate with his BA in Industrial Hygiene this week and then in August we will head off for 4 more years of Podiatry school.  I wanted to do something little and creative to let him know how much we appreciate all of his hard work.  This is what I came up with.

 Here is a blank report card if you want to share one as well.  Just print it and fill in the blanks with whatever applies to your loved one! Enjoy! ; ) Click HERE to download the image below.



Mother of the Year Poem

Mothers day is coming up and we have been thinking a lot about our mom and the wonderful person she is.  She is an amazing women!  She wrote the words below including the poem and we wanted to share it with you!  

Feel free to print the poem off to share with the women/mothers in your life. Don't forget to print one for you...as you are wonderful too!!

You can print it by right clicking on the picture/poem below and saving it to your computer then printing it.  You can also click here.

From our mom:

Sometimes, in the complexities of life, we lose sight of this perspective and start to feel the drudgeries and heaviness of family life.  I had a friend who was having one of “those days” and she confided in me that she was feeling overwhelmed and that all the little things that she did for her small children were underappreciated.  I told her, “I know the feeling.”  I have never had a baby sit up after I have changed a diaper and say, “Thank you, my dear mother, I feel so much better now.”  After our little talk, I went home and wrote my friend a poem. I also made her a corsage to go with the poem.  This is what it said:

I really believe that we are being applauded for the little things we do each day in our families.  I believe that the things that we do, that we feel don’t even matter, do matter and that we have a Father in Heaven who has entrusted us to watch over His children and that he is grateful for each little thing we do.   I think he notices when we cut the crusts off the peanut butter sandwiches and when we choose not to lose it when no one fesses up to the mud on the floor.  I believe he is proud of when we have a nurturing moment with our children or someone in need and I believe that he allows those who also have deep concern for us in eternity to also rejoice in their posterity.  I believe that he wants us to feel His appreciation and that it is available to us as often as we need it.  This is an often untapped source of happiness and satisfaction.  Every woman should know that she is doing a good job and that Heavenly Father is proud of her efforts because He is.


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