Friday, January 24, 2014

New Year, New Us!

Well, on the new Sandals FIT 2.0 shirt it actually says, "New Year, New You Us. Which I particularly like because it's a lot easier to make positive changes when you have help!

Wow, 2014. And January is almost done already! Thought I'd share a little bit about my FIT goals for 2014. This seems to be the best place to document that. At my church, Sandals Church, in Riverside, CA we are going through a series called, FIT- again.
I really love it because it encourages us to start the year off with good habits and positive changes, and when an entire church is focused on doing this, it's always more successful. As I've written in the past about this, its not just about making new years resolutions because those have already failed by this time in the new year. It's about changing our behaviors, getting rid of poor disciplines/patterns and encouraging one another to truly make better choices and changes as a Christian: Physical, mental, emotional and Spiritual. With that in mind, it's my favorite few months in small group especially because we all work out together one time a week. Though I wish we did this the entire year, I am thankful that we get a few months of it!

Any way, a few of my goals for the year:

Physical: I signed up to run the LA marathon with Team World Vision on March 9th. As the day rapidly approaches I am feeling pretty good and praying my training will continue to go well. I am running to raise funds for clean water in Uganda. Clean water for life for one person costs $50. My goal is to raise $1310, and help provide clean water for 26 people. That is one person per mile! If you click here, you can make a tax deductible donation.

I also plan on participating in the So Cal Ragnar Relay again. I had a blast last year, and would like to run on a 12 man team.

I am not sure which other races I will be competing in, but for those of you that know me, I'm sure I'll find plenty.

Spiritual: I've joined an online bible study through the Proverbs 31 Ministries called, "Made to Crave." It is based on a book by Lysa Turkerst called, "Made to Crave."
We finished through chapter 3 this week. Its a good read, and good study. I'm enjoying it very much. I have several books lined up to keep me busy mentally and emotionally.

Emotionally: Like last year, I am committed to praying and journaling. It helps me process my thoughts and use my words a little more wisely. It also allows me for some quiet time with God.

Financial: I am so excited to announce that on March 1st we will be DEBT FREE!!!! Which will finally allow us to do well, just about whatever we want with the money we were using to pay off debt... roughly $3000 a month. Of course we will still be following the Dave Ramsey Baby Step plan... but we will finally NOT be on baby step 2 soon! On to LARGE emergency fund and investing!

Well, that about does it for now. Happy 2014 everyone. I so love the even years better than the odd... I know I'm weird.

Friday, March 22, 2013

March Book Review- The Four Seasons of Marriage

This book I came about by accident because I downloaded an app called, "Book Shout." The app provides free downloads of book for a temporary amount of time. Meaning that if you down load it before the end of the days it's free. I downloaded one book that was a Christian Living book and it started sending me emails once a week with books that the app thought I might be interested in. I now have a few books to read.

This book, "The Four Seasons of Marriage," was written by Gary Chapman. He wrote another book that I have read called, "The Five Love Languages." I his new book, he uses the four seasons we observe: winter, spring, summer and fall, to describe times of marriage. Spring and summer are the appealing seasons while winter and fall are used to describe times we encounter in marriage, but don't want to stay.

The book explains each season, and characteristics of marriages in those seasons, and then strategies to prevent fall and winter and stay in spring and summer. The book also provides questions and suggestions for bible study with the book and groups of married couples and then for couples individually.

Some of the information that stuck with me included the importance of honestly communicating with your spouse, engaging in active listening, learning how to serve your spouse the way that The Bible commands us to and how to forgive. These principals were very helpful and a great reminder of how to love our spouses. I highly recommend this book to read as an individual or as a group of couples that want to encourage each other to grow in their marriages.

February Book Review- The Total Money Makeover

Book number two for the year was written by Dave Ramsey. This book is a condensed version of the financial peace university class. It is very good, however I do not recommend just reading this book, I would recommend taking the Financial Peace University class to help apply all the principles that you can learn from the book/class. And then re-reading the book whenever you need a reminder to stay on track.

This book goes through the 7 baby steps and how to apply them. And the book provides new stories of how real couples have achieved their Total Money Makeover throughout the pages. And the back of the book also provides all the documents needed to start your Total Money Makeover.

I highly recommend this book if you are not totally bought in to taking the Financial Peace University class. Our housemate read most of the book and then took the course to start her journey to financial peace. Hope you will take a look at it too.

January Book Review Finally finished...

One of my goals this year is to read a book (non-fiction) a month. Which isn't a problem if I focus on one book at a time, but I had three going at once. Regardless, I finally FINISHED my first book. The book was called, "The Runners Complete Guide to Running." Here is my brief review:

There was a lot of sound advice in this book that I took away from the reading. Two particular workouts stuck out:

Sprint workouts are important... In order to increase your speed over a long period of time, you should complete a speed workout a week during your training. (I already knew this, but I couldn't figure out how to determine what kind of speed workout to do), for marathon training, repeat 800's is helpful. Bart Yoos suggests starting with four 800's and adding an additional 800 each week' and then tapering off at 3 weeks before your race. Whatever your goal finish time is for your marathon, should be your time for your 800. Example, if your marathon goal time is 3 hours and 45 minutes (3:45) then you should complete each 800 for this workout in 3 minutes and 45 seconds. Fool proof, and actually works.

Another workout that I liked, that should be done on rest or off days is an embedded circuit training. Many runners don't lift writs and they should. There was a very specific workout listed... 2 miles of warming up, 12 lifting exercises (mostly upper body, but a w lower body) one set, with 30 seconds of stationary bike, or jump rope between each lift and then a 2-3 mile cool down. Because I have a pretty strong weight lifting background, this was fairly easy. However, I did this workout yesterday, and my calves are killing me. Then I realized it was because of the 6 minutes (total) of jumping rope!!

There were a lot of beginner runner tips that were really helpful in the book... How to select shoes, and gear, how to prep for a race, and even a chapter on women runners.

The only disappointment was that most of the training suggestions were for a marathon. I ran a marathon a few years ago, and well, it's not for me, ... at least not right now. I was hoping to get some training advice for a half marathon. Maybe I could just taper each of the training regiments, or find another book. Overall, it was very informative. And I recommend it for beginning runners and those who are interested in marathons.

Canyon Lake Middle School


It all started last summer, when Colin and I had just finished facilitating our second Financial Peace University class at Sandals Church. We still had about $55,000 worth of debt and Kellen was about ready to start preschool in the fall. We knew that if we wanted to be able to afford preschool, and keep the debt snowball rolling, I would need to work, at least part time.

In September I started substitute teaching for the Lake Elsinore Unified School District, part time, and Kellen was in preschool Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It was a little bit of a tough transition, but Kellen eventually grew to LOVE school and would ask me to go home and get him later if I came to pick him up before 3pm. The extra income paid for preschool and extra cash to pay towards our debt.

In January, we decided to try full time preschool for Kellen, and five days a week subbing for me. At first it was a little rough (seems to be the pattern, ha ha). But Kellen seems to do better with the routine being consistent. The only real downside to preschool is that he's had 4 ear infections (thanks to germs and colds from classmates) since he started. Even that seems to be routine now!

After two months of full time subbing, I was pretty much working at Lakeside every day. Most of the days went real well, the kids are great and I have been able to spend lunch with Colin each day. Kellen's school is a mile down the road and it has been working out. We now have $32,500 left in debt; (thanks to taxes and the extra income) it is encouraging to see it go down. Towards the end of February Colin (and all the teachers in the district) received an email from the district office announcing an opening for a PE teacher at Canyon Lake Middle School. For those of you that do not know, before I had Kellen I was a full time PE teacher in the district at another middle school. The job posted online and was available for application submissions for only a week. Colin and I talked about it and decided I should apply and see what happened. I submitted my application a few days later and didn't hear anything. A few weeks later we happened to pass by the assistant superintendent of personnel at a stop light and we asked him how the process was going. He said there were over 100 applicants and they were still in the process of screening applications. At that point I figured, well, maybe this isn't what God had planned. We both realized that if I didn't get a phone call we'd just continue with our current plan. March 11th I received a phone call from the district office wanting to know if i was still interested in the position and wanted to set up an interview. I have no idea how many people were interviewed, but March 14th when I interviewed, the only other applicants I saw were males. Each interview was 15 minutes long and had 6 questions. I tried to keep each answer short and simple, but Im pretty sure I rambled on one of them. I wasn't very confident leaving, I sorta suck at interviews. :-/ I seem to freeze and forget everything I was planning on saying. I found out later that I don't think I smiled at all during the interview either (yikes).

March 20th I got one last call from the district office... "So, Mindie, are you ready to come back to work?" I was a little surprised, but super excited. I completed all the paperwork yesterday, and I start April 1st. I'm nervous. I'm the newbie and I want to do a good job. I have about a week to plan and hopefully meet with the other PE teachers and make the transition pretty smooth. These kids have had two teachers, a long term sub and plenty of other people come and go this year and I hope they will give me a chance. I will need a few days to get to know them before we jump in to our current unit, basketball.

Please keep us in your prayers...

-Wisdom- to bring my best to work each day. To prepare well, love on the kids, and be an example to them. And have FUN!
-For the students- to transition well (they have now had 3 teachers this year, and probably are eager for some routine and consistency).
-Colin and I to continue to communicate well. Two full time jobs,and one little man to take care of. And one car to travel in.
-That Jesus will be reflected in my life. That my family would still be priority over work. Prayer and guidance to balance family and full time job.
-Kellen to adjust well. It won't be much different for him. He misses the cut off for kindergarten so he will go from preschool to pre-k in September at the same school. His schedule does not change.
-Additional wisdom for our finances. This second paycheck will allow us to eliminate our debt (Lord willing) within the year... Almost 2 years ahead of schedule.

Thank you for your prayers and congratulations! I feel really loved on, and appreciated.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sandals FIT

I just realized i never posted this... yikes. Well,, they are still goals for the year, so I figured I would post it any way.

Ok, so our church started a new series last weekend that is pretty great. You can check it out for yourself at

We are talking about all around fitness for the next 50 says, mind, body and soul. Our community groups are going through a video each week and working out together and keeping each other accountable for the goals we have set. You can set up you goals on the sandals fit website, share pictures, share your story etc... I'm loving it! But, I love everything fitness any way :-)

I have set several goals for this year... Here are a few:

Read 10 non-fiction books this year... I have a few in a stack already... First up is the "Runners World magazine complete guide to running", next will be finishing Dave Ramsey's, "My a total money makeover", and I ordered a book called "Joy," by Rick Warren's wife.

Read Gods word daily, pray with Colin daily, journal weekly and pray with or for someone else daily. I set up a reading plan on and have stayed consistent with it the last 28 days. I have been using my iPad to do this. Colin and I pray together, for each other before bed, and I been praying with/for Kellen each morning on the way to school. While I pray I have recited the scripture memory verse that we work on... This past week was 2 Thessalonians 1:11... This coming week is Philippians 4:13.

My goal is to complete 10 events this year (running of some distance or obstacle course). January's run was a 10k- my first. The next race I have set up is a1/2 marathon (my 7th) with my friend Terri in February in San Dieguito. April I will compete in my first Ragnar relay, I would like to maybe try the ROC race at Del Mar again, and find a new mud run, and a few more 1/2 marathons... We will see. I like smaller races, on Saturdays so I can actually race and not worry about crowd control!

Well, time for bed.

"I pray that our God will make you fit for what he has called you to be..."
2 Thessalonians 1:11 MSG

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Current Fitness Goals

Back in June our Pastor, Matthew Brown at Sandals Church encouraged us to have goals for our life. Physical, Emotional and Spiritual goals. Well, back then I had 2 of the 3 ready...

As we approach the fall season, (First day is September 22nd!) I decided to re-evaluate/affirm my goals. Here they are...

Emotional Goal- journal at least 3 days a week (or blog) to give my poor husband a break from listening to any emotional break downs. This has really helped me to clear my thoughts and evaluate what I've been going through this year. (Moving, running, learning more about Christ, letting God lead me where I should serve, live, grow, etc).

Spiritual Goal- read the Word daily. In some way, shape or form, constantly be in God's Word. It's the only way to know what God wants for me (my life, my future, my actions, behaviors, choices, EVERYTHING). I also try to read a non-fiction book a month, I try to make the book a book about living for Christ (In word, deed, behavior)- most of them have been. I am a little behind, I think I'm on book 6 or 7 for the year. Currently I am reading a book by Charles R. Swindoll called, "The Mystery of God's Will."

Physical Goal- Stay in shape obviously. I am doing this by training for another 1/2 marathon race (#5). On Saturday, November 10th I will be running the Santa Barbara International Half Marathon.

There is a possibility of participating in a relay triathlon in October, which would then technically be my 5th 1/2 marathon and SB would be 6. We'll see if Colin and Marty are still up for the swim and bike. It would be in Canyon Lake. Recently found out about a 1/2 marathon in Temecula! Figures, it's the weekend before my SB race.

So, well, yeah, that's what's on the plate these days. I train 6 days a week. I run 3 days, and lift 3 days. I use my Les Mills Pump videos for the lifting days... 55 minutes of lifting! LOVE it!

Happy-Soon-To-Be-Fall everyone! Hoping the weather will start acting like it soon!