All posts by admin

Training Tuesday: Motivation

It’s definitely been a bad few weeks eating and exercise wise.  The summer schedule has me all out of whack.  Exercising in the morning is what works best for me, but in the summer when we aren’t getting up and going right away, the morning often slips by.  And as the day gets later and later my motivation gets less and less.

I loved running on the beach, but back home I run because I need exercise, not for enjoyment.  I tried P90x.  But in all honesty, I have no desire or motivation for an hour or more workout 6 days a week.  Out of all the exercises I’ve done, running was what I liked best… but when I say best its like saying I’d rather clean the toilets than scrub the shower, I don’t like either, but I hate cleaning the toilets less than I hate cleaning the shower.

So I will stick to running, but I need motivation.  A friend invited me to run a race in October.  I think that will help.  But I need to come up with a goal to get me training.  Last time my goal was simply to finish without walking.  I was very slow but achieved my goal.  So now I’m trying to decide what a realistic time goal is?

The fastest I’ve timed myself running 3 miles was 36 minutes.  (I told you I was slow!)  So that’s a 12 minute mile.   If the race is 3 months away, would it be realistic to hope to run the 5k in 30 minutes or less?  (10 minute miles)  I’m not even sure how to go about training to improve my speed.   So, all you runners out there, I need your help!  Let me know your thoughts.

Mothering Monday: The sore loser

One of my imperfect boys has recently become a really sore loser.  Video games, checkers, baseball, board games, tooth brushing… all of these have lost their appeal as things to do with this particular son because of how angry he gets when he starts losing.  (Yes I meant to include tooth brushing in there, because when you have 3 boys in a household, anything can be a competition with a winner and a loser…)

The activity starts out innocently enough… everyone is smiling and having fun.  But then maybe he gets an out and he didn’t think he should, or someone jumps his checker, or someone puts tooth paste on their toothbrush first.  You can see his anger and frustration rising until he’s yelling at everyone around him.  We send him to his room, we refuse to play with him the next time, we talk about it, we comfort him, and you think, “Ok, he gets it, this will be the last time.”  But then the next time its the same thing.

As his mom, I will admit… it is sooooo frustrating and I don’t enjoy being around him when he’s like that.  Also I get embarrassed when others see it.  (Of course I’m embarrassed because I assume they are judging me as a mom…)

But then one night, after finishing reading our family Bible story, Jeff asked if someone would pray.  Who do you think said they would?  My little sore loser.  And here’s his prayer, “God thank you for such a great day and for all the creatures you made (not sure why, but he always includes that in his prayers).  Help me to not get angry when I lose.”  And a mother’s heart melts.  My little boy knows he’s imperfect but is not content to stay that way and is pressing on to grow into a Godly man!  Love him!

I would love to say that ever since he prayed that prayer that he’s been a good sport.  But that’s not the case.  However, my heart is a little softer knowing that he does not want to do that and God is at work in him!  (And of course I’m reminded of all my short comings that God is working on in me.)

♥Becki (imperfect wife of an imperfect man, imperfect mom of 3 imperfect boys, forgiven daughter of a perfect God.)

P.S.  If you have any thoughts on how to work with a sore loser, I’d love to hear!

I love your feedback and comments and even if I don’t reply to everyone, I read them all!  Also feel free to share any post through facebook or email… I’m still new to this Blog world and figuring out how to let people know it’s here to read :-)


Friends & Family Friday: Funerals

Yesterday morning I went to my cousin, Jimmy’s funeral.  Jimmy was a cousin that I didn’t know very well – my dad was 1 of 7 kids and his siblings all had lots of kids and this was my youngest cousin on my Dad’s side, so he was not who I really talked to at reunions, weddings, funerals and such.  He was 21 and died Sunday unexpectedly and tragically when he fell into a ravine while hiking.  I can’t imagine (nor do I want to try to) my aunt’s grief and pain.  When I found out that he had died, I was shocked, saddened and then thought, “This is a bad week for me to have to go to a funeral.”


That’s right, I’m ashamed to admit that was one of my first thoughts.  Tomorrow I am leading a training retreat for the leadership team of my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group.  It might not seem like a big deal, but it is a 9 hour agenda filled with training, bonding, and planning for the upcoming year.  I try so hard to make it fun, informative, and memorable in a good way.  I still had a lot of work to do on getting ready for the retreat.  And I didn’t think it was a good time to “fit in” a funeral.  It’s strange really how my aunt’s and my cousins’ whole lives have completely changed in an instant and I get a little stressed about an “inconvenience.”  Kind of like when I get really frustrated about sitting in traffic for 45 minutes and being late  to something when the reason for the traffic was a horrific accident and a family’s life is shattered…

But I went to the funeral and am so glad I did.  I am thankful for my family, all of them, the ones I’m close to and the ones I’m not.  Because I know when it comes down to it, we are family, we love each other, we have a bond, and I know that they would all be there for me if I would ask them to.

In the past, I have skipped funerals because of my schedule, and I have regretted it.  I have not called or sent cards to offer condolences because I didn’t know what to say, and I have regretted it.  I have not visited or called someone whom I knew was going to be passing soon because I didn’t know what to say or if it would be welcome, and I regretted it.  I let me self-centeredness keep me from doing what is right and being focused on the important things.  But… I have never regretted doing any of those things when I did do them.  (Lord please help me to think of myself less and others more.)

So now, I’m sitting down to type this because as it turned out I was able to get everything ready for the retreat despite going to the funeral.  My week actually wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be and have been able to enjoy a lot of it.  I wish it could be the same for my aunt, my cousins and Jimmy.

♥Becki (imperfect wife of an imperfect man, imperfect mom of 3 imperfect boys, forgiven daughter of a perfect God.)

P.S.  I love your feedback and comments and even if I don’t reply to everyone, I read them all!  Also feel free to share any post through facebook or email… I’m still new to this Blog world and figuring out how to let people know it’s here to read :-)


Training Tuesday: Instant gratification

I would rather taste the chocolate ice cream now than pass on it and wait the 3 months to really see results in weight loss.  I get frustrated that the moment I start a new exercise routine I’m not a pro at it and then when the results aren’t in the mirror the next day I lose motivation.

I often hear that “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.”  Which may be true, but when you have to wait to be thin, than whatever you are eating is what is providing the instant gratification.  We definitely are a culture that doesn’t like to wait.  We buy everything on credit – homes, cars, food, clothes.  I can watch any movie or tv show whenever I want to.  And heck, I can even go to Target now and get all the back to school deals without waiting until the end of August!

So as I’m praying to not overeat, today I need to focus on asking God to work on my patience and self-control… which just happen to be 2 of the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and SELF CONTROL).  So I’m thinking that is definitely an area that God will strengthen me in the more and more I seek him out!

Mothering Monday: Swim lessons

Last week a friend had invited us over to her house to go swimming.   It was so nice – the kids were all in the pool, and the moms sat on the side and chatted.  At one point, I looked over at my smiling, swimming, splashing, 7-year-old Bryan having such a great time.  It reminded me of an article that I wrote 2 years ago for my MOPS newsletter.  I came across it today and thought I’d share it again…

I love summer.  I love going to baseball games (both Bryan’s and the Phillies), having barbecues, going on bike rides, heading to the beach, and spending days at the pool.  Both Bryan (5) and Cole (3) love the baby pools but cling to me for dear life in the deep water.  Swimmies, floaties, life jackets… none of these provide the security they need to relax and enjoy it.   So this year, I decided to let someone else do the teaching and signed them up for swim lessons at Ursinus.  “Our pace will be aggressive and in some cases produce tears.”  Some cases turned out to be both Bryan and Cole.

I know it’s going to be good for them.  I know that once they overcome their fear, they’ll love swimming.  I also know its important for them to know how to be safe in the water.  But that doesn’t make it easier to sit for an hour and watch them scream and cry through their lesson.  How I want to run to them, scoop them up, and rescue them from their instructor who is firmly (although very sweetly) making them do each skill.  It took all my restraint to not run to him when Cole yelled at the top of his lungs, “I want my Mommy!”  Despite how difficult it was, I remained seated, smiled and waved.

When we went home after the first night, I asked who loves them the most in the whole world.  Bryan answered, “You do Mommy.”  “Would I let someone hurt you?”  “No Mommy.”  “That’s right sweetie.  I sat on the side and watched them teach you how to swim because I know how important it is for you to learn.  I won’t let anything happen to you.  I’m right there.  Trust me.  I love you.”

As I was talking to them, I thought how that could be a conversation God was having with any of us. I think He often allows bad situations in our life, not because He doesn’t care, not because He thinks we deserve to be hurt, but because He loves us more than anything.  He sees the end result; we only see what’s happening immediately.  I see my boys in the future laughing, splashing and having fun swimming; they only see this instructor making them do something they are deathly afraid of.  Just as I say to my boys, “Trust me.  I love you.”  I’m sure God is saying to us, “Trust me.  I love you.”  The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

♥Becki (wife of an imperfect man, mom of 3 imperfect boys, forgiven daughter of a perfect God.)

P.S.  I love your feedback and comments and even if I don’t reply to everyone, I read them all!  Also feel free to share any post through facebook or email… I’m still new to this Blog world and figuring out how to let people know it’s here to read 🙂

Friends & Family Friday (On Saturday): Friends – old and new

I’m trying to be consistent about writing every Monday through Friday, but life sometimes doesn’t allow it.  Yesterday I had the perfect reason not to post about Friends & Family… instead of writing about Friends and Family, I was with Friends and Family.

The day started out babysitting a friend’s son and feeding another friend’s cat.  These are 2 of my “go to girls” when I need help so I love to be able to reciprocate and help them out too.  Do you have a network like that?  If not, I encourage you to seek it out.  These friendships developed out of spending time together because we were local and have kids the same age.  Playdates grew into swapping sitting for doctor’s appointments and such.  And eventually these women have become the type of friends that I can tell anything to and know they will still support, love and encourage me.  Love friends like that, the ones involved in your day to day.

Then, Jeff took all three of our boys to his parents for a sleepover with cousins and grandparents – and no parents.  This is always a highlight for my boys.  They love the time with grandparents.  And Jeff and I encourage it, its such an important relationship to foster and builds lifelong memories… and it means some free time for us!

So Jeff and I then went to meet an old college friend (old in how long its been since we saw her – 15 years, and not in age – younger than me!) and her husband, who we hadn’t met yet, for lunch.  We had reconnected on facebook and they were passing through in the beginning of a long drive from New York to Colorado and made time to meet with us.  This couple is not involved in our day to day, but I loved that we could sit down and talk about real life as if they were.  No awkwardness and not just idle chit chat… but real “What’s God been doing in your life and how do you feel about it” type of conversations.  They were very open, authentic and definitely felt like kindred spirits.

After lunch and a walk around the mall, Jeff and I got to go to the Phillies game together, alone, without children.  (I love my children, and being with them… but like any parents time without them is really important to Jeff and me.)  Thank you Mom for the tickets!  It took forever to get to the stadium because it was raining and rush hour and a Friday and people were going to the shore.  But that just meant more time to talk.  We passed a man standing outside waiting for a bus or something and getting drenched so Jeff stopped and gave him our umbrella.  “Thanks Poppy,” the older Asian man kept saying over and over again.  We’re not sure what Poppy means – insult? compliment?  Not sure but I think he appreciated the umbrella and then Jeff realized about 10 minutes later, “I gave away our umbrella, we are going to get wet walking to the stadium!”  So we took a detour to a CVS to buy a new umbrella before going into the game.

We got to the game and our new umbrella didn’t work quite right – oh well, we got a little wet, but didn’t melt.  The game was on a rain delay for a couple of hours so we got a chance to talk to a nice couple from Media who were also on a date night.  They had two boys 3 and 5 and unfortunately for them their babysitter was being paid by the hour unlike our babysitters who were grandparents and didn’t charge… so they weren’t real thrilled about the delay.  But it gave us a chance to talk.  Jeff and I are trying to be more intentional not just with our established relationships, but those we come in contact with.  Anyway, the game finally started and ended after midnight with a walk off home run victory for the Phillies!

Then this morning, we had a knock on the door and were visited by a good friend who has been in Africa (Botswana) for 3 years as a missionary.  She’s home for a few months and this was the first we had gotten to see her.  I had just sent a message to her asking what her schedule was like, so was thrilled to see her and 2 other friends (who live 3 minutes from us and we definitely don’t see enough of – we’ll have to fix that) at our door.  Even though my house was a mess – its been a busy week – and I wasn’t showered, no deodorant (did you read that post about deodorant?), and neither teeth nor hair were brushed, I loved that they had stopped by and visited!  I’m so glad that I’m at the point in life that I can enjoy a visit like that without worrying about what they are thinking about me!

It was a good day and a good start to today!  (Oh I didn’t even mention about the reunion earlier this week at Penn State for the fireworks.  We had connected there with some college friends who now live in Kansas.  We hadn’t seen them in 15 years either, but like our other friends, the conversations were real, authentic, and easy.)  I am so glad for all the people God has blessed me with in my life.  And if you are reading this… that includes you!

Thursday’s Thoughts on Home: Saving money

A couple of weeks ago our family of five went to see Cars 2 on opening night for $17.50 total!  That’s about $3.50 per person.  If it was 1981, that wouldn’t be so impressive, but for 30 years later in 2011, that’s a substantial savings.  How did we do it?  Living Social!

Warning: this blog post is really an unpaid commercial for some ways that I’ve found to save/earn money.  I’ve had many people ask me if these things are legit, so I thought I’d write about them.  If that doesn’t interest you, no need to read on, come back tomorrow for a post that I promise will not have any commercials!

About a month ago, there was a Living Social deal for Fandango – buy 2 tickets for $9 total.  The tickets were good for up to $14 each including Fandango’s service charge.  I purchased a deal.  I posted the deal on Facebook – I know that’s annoying to some people, but I did.  I then used the link to purchase another as my husband Jeff.  So that was 4 tickets for $18.  But then, 2 other people used the link and bought one, and when 3 people purchase through your link you get yours free.  So that was 4 tickets for $9.  Then we bought one more child ticket for $8.50 for a total of $17.50.  (Actually, we used a gift card that we had for that, so we really only spent $9.)

I also purchased a $20 Amazon gift card for $10 through Living Social.  I buy all my coffee and ebooks through Amazon.  I’ve also started using Amazon instead of itunes to purchase music.  I made the switch because I earn Amazon Gift Cards through Swag Bucks.  (You can click on the swag bucks box on the bottom of the screen to go to the site.)  Since November, I’ve earned about $175 in Amazon gift cards.  (You can also earn merchandise, pay pal gift cards, home depot gift cards, maggiano’s/chili’s/south of the border gift cards, itunes gift cards and many more.  Amazon is just the best deal so that’s the one I take.)

Basically I click on swag bucks everyday and do a couple of quick tasks that takes a total of 30 seconds which gives me 5 bucks a day.  If that was all I did, it would take me 90 days to earn a $5 gift card.  But I also use swag bucks as my search engine and I randomly (usually twice a day) get awarded swagbucks from the search.  (Advertisers pay Google when you search on their site, they also pay Swagbucks, but Swagbucks share that with us.)  So that usually ends up being another 15 bucks (at least) per day.  So add that to the original 5 and it takes about 23 days to earn a $5 gift card.  Also if you join through clicking on my link, I get swagbucks when you search too!  But then there are lots of other ways to earn bucks – I usually earn a $5 gift card every week.   There are games to play, videos to watch, stores to shop at where you earn more bucks.  They have codes to find that give you bucks, and here’s the best one: if you purchase a Groupon through the Swag Bucks site than you get 160 bucks.

Groupon is a site similar to Living Social.  Basically you sign up for your area and they offer local deals.  You purchase the deal and then have it to use when you want to.  I’ve bought a $20 Old Navy certificate for $10, 5 Redbox rentals for $3 instead of $5, 5 Blockbuster Express Rentals for $1 instead of $5, bounce passes for Bounce U, $30 at Ruby’s Diner for $15 and many more.  (Remember that each of those I also earned 160 swag bucks so just for those 5, that’s 800 swagbucks.  A $5 gift card is 450 bucks so that’s almost 2 $5 gift cards.  Here’s my referral link for Groupon if you want to sign up for them to email you deals: – I include my referral link because I get $10 Groupon bucks when someone I refer purchases a deal.

There’s some other tricks I’ve learned too, but I think that’s plenty for now.  I’m taking my advertising hat off and hanging it on the hook.  Tomorrow I promise no advertising!

Oh… wait, let me put that hat back on a second… I have a good friend who just adopted a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old boys to add to her family which already has a 7-year-old and 10-year-old boys.  She posted on her facebook page that she purchased today’s Living Social deal for picture people – I know she wants to get a new family portrait.  If 3 people buy from her link, she’ll get it for free… so here’s her link if you’d like to get today’s Picture People deal:

Ok… seriously, hat is off and hung on hook!  See you tomorrow.

Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Speeding (but not as fast as others)

The other day as we were driving, a cop pulled out with his sirens on.  We pulled over to get out of his way and were surprised to find out that we were the ones he was coming after.  Sure, we were probably speeding, but we weren’t going as fast as all the other cars.  The “nice” police officer gave us a ticket for a lesser speed so the fine would be lower and we wouldn’t get as many points.  Our 5-year-old was in the back crying because he thought the cop was going to take us to jail, and we just kept thinking, “But we weren’t going as fast  as everyone else.”

Has that ever happened to you?  Or something similar, where you got in trouble for something, but weren’t the worst offender?

If you read last Wednesday’s post, you’ll remember that I talked about not comparing ourselves to someone better so that we don’t get frustrated.  I referred to the verse, “to the degree that we have already attained” (Philippians 3:16).  Well, I still hold to that, but then I was reading Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman (I highly recommend this book!). In it, he warned about our tendency to accept or excuse our behaviors because they are better than someone else’s: At least I’m better than that person.  (I’d love to pull a quote out for you, but I can’t find the book right now – probably because of my imperfect housekeeping skills…)

I think it’s really easy to fall into that trap of self-righteousness… last week I said not to compare because there will always be someone better than us.  This week, I’ll add to that, not to compare because there will always be someone worse than us and we might start to feel puffed up and think more highly of ourselves than we should.  “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” (Romans 12:3, New Living Translation)

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have good self-esteem, rather it should be based on truth.  We can’t excuse behaviors or attitudes just because they may be better than someone else’s.  We were speeding, and we deserved the ticket regardless of what anyone else was doing.

Oh yeah, back to the Word.  I realized last week why Philippians 3:16 verse didn’t stand out to me before – I was reading it in another translation.  So I thought I’d share some of the different ones:

  • Only let us live up to what we have already attained. (New International Version)
  • Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule (New King James Version)
  • But we must hold on to the progress we have already made. (New Living Translation)
  • Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it. (The Message)

Lets keep our eyes on Christ and off each other and press on to live up to what we have already attained, to the degree that we have already attained, hold on to the progress we have already made, and stay on the right track!


Training Tuesday: Resisting food

Lifestyle areas that I’ve improved in: running/exercising, making healthier food choices, reading the Bible, praying.

Lifestyle area that I’m really struggling with right now: overeating!

What is it about food, even when I’m not hungry that makes it so hard to resist?  Flavor – yes definitely I love the taste of food.  If there is a brownie, pizza, onion ring, chocolate anything in front of me, I’m going to want to eat it whether I’m hungry or not.  But lately it’s also been nuts, fruit chews, fruit, veggies… anything!  It’s not a taste issue right now.  If food is there I’m eating it.

I also feel like the struggle is stronger since I’ve started being honest in my postings about eating and exercise.  I know the correct choices to make, but I’m not doing them.  I feel like Paul when he says, “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15) God tells me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me… and Paul ends that passage with, “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (:25) so I know I’ve got to earnestly start praying that God will strengthen me to resist!

I hope you are doing better with your eating than I am!  Let me know if you have a food / exercise / health struggle that you’d like me to pray for while I’m praying for myself.

Friends & Family Friday: Good intentions

The other day I was going through a pile of papers and found some Christmas cards that didn’t get mailed.  They were the ones that I didn’t have the addresses in my excel file so I had to hunt them down.  I emailed friends and asked for addresses, they replied, but I never went back and addressed the envelopes and mailed them.

I’m like that a lot: I’ve written many letters that were never mailed, bought many cards that were never filled out, planned on inviting people over for dinner or something and never made the call, told people I’d pray about something and never prayed.  If my intentions counted, I’d be one of the best friends ever… but since its my follow-through that matters, I know I sometimes come across as unthoughtful and disinterested.

I don’t say that to put myself down, it’s an imperfection that I’ll admit to.  But in the spirit of pressing on, I will not accept it as just who I am.  I’m trying to be more intentional with my relationships.  If you are like me, here’s some things I’ve learned to improve in this area:

1.  If someone asks me to pray for something, I do it immediately.  Either out loud with them (even if it’s on the phone) or silently.  When I read a prayer request on facebook or email, I pray immediately and respond “Praying now.” Oftentimes I’ll remember later and pray again, but even if I don’t, I’m assured that I kept my word.

2.  Sending cards – allows you to create a custom card and they will mail it directly to the recipient for you.  No more buying a card and not mailing it!  I’m sure other sites like snapfish and shutterfly does this as well.  I also like to send e-cards. has some nice Christian ones.

3.  Helping friends – I like to help friends when they need it, whether through babysitting, bringing a meal or something along those lines.  But I’ve learned that when I ask friends to let me know if they need anything, they rarely do.  So I’ve started being more specific and saying things like, “I noticed in your Caring Bridge post that your son has an appointment tomorrow, can your other son come play with us?” or “I know things have been a little hectic for you lately and I plan on bringing you a dinner this week, is Tuesday or Wednesday better?”  I have a friend that when she brings a meal, she always brings a second one to heat up another day… I want to be that kind of friend who goes above and beyond.

4.  When I am planning a girls night out or some type of party, I purposefully invite people who I know are going to be away or unavailable so they know they were thought of too.  That way if their plans change they can come.  (I used to not invite people to things that I didn’t think they could come to.  But then I realized it was better to let them say no and know they were thought of then to have them think they weren’t included.)

5.  I’m trying to pick up the phone more.  Whenever I get in the car, I think who do I need to connect with and call them.  I’m also texting more, just a quick, “Hi, I hope you’re having a great day.” to let someone know I’m thinking of them.

I don’t know if any of these tips are helpful to you, but in my process of trying to improve myself, I know this is an area I need to work on.  So I press on to be a better friend, daughter, sister, wife…

Do you have any ways that have helped you be more intentional in your relationships?  I’d love to hear them.