Running shoes

Getting kids to be more interested in staying active can sometimes be a challenge. Other times it just takes going shopping. Yesterday I took my kids shoe shopping. My son’s shoes don’t even come close to fitting anymore so he’s been wearing his mud boots. Ever since we read the book Running With Rachel, my daughter has fallen in love with running, and been pestering for me to get her running shoes. The stores are starting to have back to school sales or summer clearance sales which is a great time to go. Plus, we won’t have to fight the traffic and crowds next month.

We went to a shoe store in the mall. After measuring my son’s feet, we were shown to the area where size 6 boys shoes were. He tried a couple pair on but they were too tight. The clerk then showed us the men’s section. I was concerned because the men’s shoes were much more expensive than the boys. However, the clerk pointed out one pair that was on sale for just $10 in his size. My son tried them on and lo-and-behold they fit great!

They also had socks on sale. My daughter was complaining about all her socks either being too small or having holes, so I picked out a bag for her. She wanted colors but I got white. I’m tired of mismatched socks on her or spending extra time trying to find and match them. She didn’t seem too upset after explaining that to her. But now she wanted new shoes too. Not just any shoes, but running shoes. *sigh*

The clerk sized her feet and showed us the shoes for her. My daughter said she wanted running shoes and the clerk pointed out a few pair. After more discussion, we decided on one style that had 2 color choices: purple and pink. The purple were on sale but not the pink; go figure since they were the same style and size just different colors. Well, she tried on the purple ones. Then we had to go open the sock bag since she was wearing sandals today. After getting socks and shoes on we wandered around a bit to make sure they fit. My daughter has a habit of saying something fits even when it doesn’t if she has her heart set on it. But these shoes did fit fine.

At the register, the clerk overheard me asking my daughter to help pay for her shoes. She also heard me tell my son he couldn’t get fancy laces because we didn’t have any extra money right now. After she rang up our items, she said she had an extra 15% off coupon we could have. That meant between the sale prices and her coupon, I was able to get everything for the price I budgeted just for my son’s shoes!

The kids wanted to go play Frisbee at the park to try out their new shoes, but it was raining. They also said they were interested in joining the cross country running club this fall. I’m just glad they want to be more active.

Christians and the undead

I’m a bit alarmed by all the interest in the occult and undead in recent years. While there have always been a few fantasy stories about the undead, be they zombies, vampires, or other immortal beings, there seems to be a lot more mainstream interest in them recently. What’s most alarming is the number of Christians, especially young people, who are into them.

That leads me to wonder if they were properly grounded in the Bible or just Sunday-only Christians. People who go to church and have a vague belief in God and Jesus, but not deeply rooted  in their beliefs they are willing to live their life around them. Instead they mold their beliefs to their current lifestyle. Their lifestyle is center, not a Biblical worldview or even being a true Christian. Because the Bible has a clear warning against such things.

Ephesians 5:11-12 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

Galations 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

However, if you aren’t grounded in the Bible or are relying on your priest or minister to provide your only interpretation of the Bible you may not even know these verses exist since they aren’t the more common ones for sermons. I feel we spend too much time about Christ’s love and not enough time about His teachings. Yes, love is important, but it’s not all that being a Christian is about. It’s also about sacrifice and living separate from the world around you when popular culture contradicts scripture.

We are so focused on getting the church seats filled here on Earth that we forget there are also very clear things that are expected of those who will enter heaven other than love thy neighbor.  That is only part of the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus as recorded in Matthew 5-7. These were teachings by Jesus himself. Yet even these are seldom preached because *gasp*, they may offend someone and we can’t have that. They may leave and take their money with them. Yet, entering heaven to be with God should be every Christians ultimate goal in life.

Books and movies about the undead should have no place in a Christian home or life. Just because they may be well written, popular best-seller books or blockbuster movies does not make them right. Nor are they just harmless fun. Satan will make every effort to break down your faith. He is very patient and is subtle.

I recently discovered the original idea behind vampires was based upon poor understanding of natural decay processes after death before people began embalming people like they do now. Apparently in some instances, pressure from the gasses given off by organ decay will push blood and other fluids from the stomach up into the mouth. This gave the appearance that the dead corpse had drank blood. Take that with the susceptibility to superstitious beliefs of the time and you have a vampire. There’s nothing glamorous about it. Personally, I think it’s pretty gross.

We need to return to Biblical living. So what if we are mocked by the world or seen as different. Our youth need to know what’s expected of them. Yes, I’m talking about restrictions, limits, and rules, but so was the Bible! Don’t just take my word for it. Read your Bible daily for yourself.

Catch up Friday

Today is catch-up day. The kids are supposed to have completed 10 lessons in all their subjects today. I checked and they are behind in a few things so are having to double up. They got behind partly because of me. My knee has been hurting so I’ve been taking a lot of pain pills which make me sleepy. I can’t grade their work if I’m asleep and they forget to ask when I get up from a nap.

The good news is that once all the academics are done, we will do an art lesson. We didn’t do much of that last year. I’m hoping to stay more on top of things so have time for art rather than always catching up on skipped academics each week.

Last night the Poker Flats Experimental Rocket Range had an open house. We didn’t get there until about 730 and it ended at 8. However, we were still able to see a automated helicopter and learn about how scientists use them. My son asked some great questions. (Why does an object like a Frisbee or football fly straighter/better when spinning?) Then we went to the control room. That was neat. There wasn’t much in it since no launches are scheduled any time soon. But we still got to see the timing computers and the counter where the scientists put all their computers during a launch. Again, my son asked many great questions and was told about a rocketry camp to consider when he’s in high school.

We were given a LOT of helium filled balloons (5 each child). On the way home, our car looked like a clown car full of balloons. However, it gave us the opportunity to do an experiment we were told about. Observe which direction a balloon tilts when you drive around a sharp corner. Why does it go to that side? Made for a great discussion and he eventually was able to come up with the correct answer. Do you know? *Hints: gravity, centrifugal force, air density


2 weeks ago we went with relatives to Kodiak. My daughter, her cousin, and the cousin’s grandfather were originally supposed to go visit my sisters-in-law at a rural village, but due to a wildfire, we had to change plans. So we decided to go to our boat on Kodiak.

Everything got off to a good start. My son and husband drove down to Anchorage while the rest of us flew to meet them there. Then we all drove the rest of the way to Homer where we were to catch the state ferry the next morning.

The ferry was delayed several hours arriving into Homer. Then we boarded and made our way up to the lounge. Since it was a day crossing, we had decided not to get a cabin. There’s a padded play area. I chose a bench nearby and kneeled on it to crawl to the far end. Unfortunately, the bench was not properly together and it collapsed!

I fell into the bench, landing with my left knee on he concrete deck under the bench. I was trapped like that in the bench for a few minutes while my friends came over and figured out the best way to extract me without hurting me more.

After getting me out, I sat in a nearby chair while ship’s personnel came to see what help I needed. One of the other passengers we had met while waiting to board was an EMT, so he came over to help as well.

Ice and pain killers were fetched. A large foam pad was found to prop my leg up on, which was actually very comfy considering the situation.  There I stayed for the next several hours. My husband brought lunch from the cafeteria. Then the purser offered a stateroom, which I accepted so I could lie down. I was getting stiff from sitting with my leg propped up. A wheelchair was brought and we were escorted to our large room. It was the handicap room so it has 4 bunks. Good thing considering there were 6 of us traveling together.

After a nap, I was wheeled to the cafeteria for dinner. Then another trip up to the lounge to prop my let up and sit awhile. Finally we all took a nap before arriving in Kodiak.

Once in Kodiak, I was to be the first one off. They wheeled me down the elevator to a handicap van which brought me off the ship. It was now around midnight so we decided to stay in a hotel for the night and see a doctor in the morning since I didn’t think anything was broken and not life threatening to need an ambulance that night.

The next few days were spent at the doctor and hospital getting x-rays and an MRI of my knee. It wasn’t much of a vacation for me. The kids were kept busy by my husband and the other girl’s grandfather. The went for drives and he even took them on a flightseeing tour.

Turned out I was right. Nothing was broken or torn. However, it looked like the kneecap was slammed downward onto the fibia bone, causing cartilage damage. The doctor said I had all the symptoms associated with a broken knee except actual broken bone. He went on to say that is among the most painful injuries a person can have. Oh, goody, lucky me!

Then there was the flight home. First, even though we all had tickets, we were told we couldn’t board because the flight was overbooked so my kids didn’t have seats. We had to wait and see if people didn’t show up. Finally, we were told we could board since check-in was now closed.

Going through security was very painful. I was on crutches so had to do a pat down. I took a pain pill but it hadn’t taken affect yet.  I told her I had a broken knee and to be very careful. Needless to say she felt all around my brace from every direction, which hurt a lot. Then took a swab thing and ran that all around it too.

By this time everyone else had boarded. You can clearly see security from the boarding door but the clerk made an announcement paging us to hurry and board rather than simply asking if we were the people she was needing to board. That was embarrassing!

Next came the stairs. It was a combi plane which means boarding through the rear of the plane after going up some steep stairs. I was in tears from pain (and I have a very high pain tolerance) before even halfway up them. Finally once on, the flight attendant gave me a bag of ice for my knee and we were on our way.

In Anchorage, a lift truck met the plane where me and an elderly couple were taken off in wheelchairs, presumably headed for the elevator. The lift truck had some problems and the operator jerked it several times trying to lower the platform to the ground. Once inside the building, there was only 1 agent. I was left alone in that entry room stairwell area about 5-10 minutes while the couple were taken upstairs. The door to the elevator part of the terminal had no doorstop. When it was my turn, she banged the wheelchair around trying to maneuver and keep the door open at the same time.

When we get upstairs into the main terminal, I told what my next flight was and was taken to a gate. She even asked someone from Alaska Airlines to verify it was the right gate. When it came almost time to board and no one was around and the display still said Bethel instead of Fairbanks, I sent my son down to the other gates to see if we were in the wrong area. We were. They had just closed boarding for our flight! Explanations were made and we were able to board.

Turns out it was the same plane and gate as the Kodiak trip was. Why we were taken off then on again or to the wrong gate, I don’t know. I was taken down the elevator and did the entire process in reverse this time, banging my leg on the doors again.

Thankfully once we arrived in Fairbanks, those ground handlers were very gentle.

So today I have a follow up appointment with my doc here. I’m hoping for physical therapy and a chance to still go on our bicycle trip next month. It’s less than 5 weeks away now, so not sure if that will happen or not for sure.

Starting the school year early

Even though it is mid-July, we started our homeschool year this week. We are starting early this year because we are taking a month off starting in the middle of August for our trip to England. So far, it’s not going very well. My son is having trouble concentrating. However, that’s not too surprising since he often has trouble getting back to studying after a break, especially longer ones. I also hurt my knee badly 2 weeks ago so haven’t been able to get to the store for all their supplies yet. But we have enough for now to get started.

The curriculum is great! K is liking the American Story 2, except we don’t have supplies to do any of the activities yet so she’s a bit frustrated about that.

R is needing lots of review for math since we switched programs. That’s ok. He needed it anyway because the other program didn’t cover all these topics very well. The history is not a Sunrise edition. It’s still the original version so isn’t divided into nice daily lessons. Instead, there are just a list of topics and the questions. We decided to cover 2-3 topics each day, which should get him through the workbook in about 2 weeks. There are 10 history workbooks for the year, so that should be fine.

We haven’t started the science yet, but will next week. I wanted to wait to make sure all the other subjects were going well. It usually takes us a week or so to start everything so the kids aren’t overwhelmed the first week. I’ve figured out we need to do 1 lesson in each of the textbooks every week to get through the new material. I’m still trying to decide how much to do each time to finish up the physics, but have allowed 1 day each week for it.

Today is Friday, so I may dig out the art kits. I’d like to do them more frequently. It seems art and things like that always get left behind as the year goes along.