Faithful Finish lines week 2



Faithful-Finish-Lines-ShortI’ve been challenged by Sara to join Faithful Finish Lines for the next 7 weeks. Last week I wrote about my journey up to now.I’m not one for New Years Resolutions that is why I chose one word for the year: Grace and Faithful Finish Lines is all about that. Let me continue:

Second part of week 1:

I started a new job that I really enjoy. Since it’s still in the beginning stages I have a lot of energy. I walk on the treadmill for 15mins each day and do between 800m and 1km. That is a lot for me. From doing zero to 1km.

I’ve also seen that writing down what you eat helps a lot! Thanks for the tip.

Week 2


The challenge for week 2 was eat more fruit and vegetables.

prepped fruitThis isn’t hard for me as I LOOOVE fruit and veg. The challenge for me is that hubby loves protein-any form of it. He would leave veggies etc if he can have meat. A steak on his plate is enough to keep him satisfied. What I’ve learnt is that if I prep the fruit both of us eat more of it. I have containers with peeled fruit in the fridge so that you can just grab and go.

We also need to set a fitness goal for this month and Faithful Finish Lines has some great guidelines and tips for deciding what your goal would be.  They take you step by step and advise you. If you’re struggling with this as much as me I would really recommend that you sign up for the next challenge it is worth it!

Update on my progress:

I’m exercising more and I’ve lost 1kg.

I’m focusing on what I eat and eat less.

 

I’m planning  menu for February at the moment. Please share any tips and advice in the comments? Some great recipes?

amanda

Guest blog: Life with Lola

A big thank you to Miranda from Grace and gravy for this great post! She is our pet guest blogger for the month.
lifewithlola3

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
—Josh Billings (a.k.a. Henry Wheeler Shaw; humorist and lecturer)

It was 8 years ago this past August.

It was the summer when our lives fell apart.

The year when as a mother, I realized what it was like to carry the world of worry, guilt and shame on my shoulders.

To carry burdens that even to this day I haven’t been able to lose.

Life was going on like it always had. The busyness of summer was going full-force. The constant coming and going. The days at the pool, the nights at the baseball field, the preparations for my daughter to start kindergarten.

Right in the middle of our controlled chaos, is when our oldest daughter, a teenager at the time, came home from spending the day with friends, to tell us about a puppy that was going to be killed by a boy she knew from school, if he didn’t find a home for her.

I knew how dramatic she could be. I knew the lengths she would go to get her way, and I wondered if she was stretching the truth just to get me to cave in.

I didn’t want that mutt. Plain and Simple. I already had a puppy that I was planning to buy. In fact that weekend we were traveling to go pick out the one we wanted.

See my furbaby, I loved, died that summer. I was so devastated that I wanted another dog not only by the same breeder, but by the same mother.

In other words, I just wanted my furbaby back!

And to our surprise, our daughter let it go.

But when the weekend arrived, the world had other plans for our lives. The unthinkable happened. Our life as we knew it was shattered. For privacy of my family, I cannot go into details. All can I say is our children were victims of something so evil and not of this world. I let a monster dressed as a normal person in my front door, in my safe place, in my heart.

That was the day my world fell apart.

That was the day, as a parent I had failed.

That is the day, that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

I don’t know how to explain the hell we were experiencing. But God said it perfectly when he stated that the enemy is here to Kill, Steal and Destroy.

After that, I lost my faith in God. I was so mad, so angry. How could a God who loved us so much let my family experience such hardship? Such agony? Such pain and evil?

The next couple days were a blur, as everyone’s life continued on, but our life seemed to stop. Family was at a loss. They didn’t seem to know what to say, how to respond, or even how to feel. My children were traumatized.

Nightmares set in, appetites stopped and there was no laughter to be heard.

About that time, our daughter came to me again and said, “Mom, they are really going to kill the puppy if they can’t get rid of it today.”

I thought about it for a minute, and this is what came to my mind, I couldn’t stop the evil from happening to my family, but I could spare the life of this sweet puppy. I don’t know how to fix the brokenness that my family is feeling, but maybe I could help the puppy feel loved and wanted.

I decided at that moment that we would take in the puppy, soon to be named Lola.

That night as my two small children slept on a pallet of blankets in my bedroom floor, that sweet black and white bundle we called Lola, slept peacefully in between them. It was almost if nothing had happened, that our life was still normal, that we didn’t have this ache in our heart for just one moment.

My hubby and I stood in that doorway and watched that precious moment and those innocent children until I had to turn and walk away.

As the pain returned to my chest, and the tears started to freely flow once more, all the memories from the past several days came flooding back. I hated being in the house, I hated the smells I thought I smelled, I hated the sounds that played in my mind.

We made the decision to put our house for sale and move in with my dad before school started back for the summer. I know for that time, it was the right thing to do. I think we just needed to be with family who could make us feel secure and protected.

Since my dad lived in a different school district, I had to drive the kids to school every morning, then I would head to our house to de clutter, do yard work, or anything to keep me busy and to help get ready to sell the house. I would bring Lola with me everyday. She would walk along side of me wherever I went. She found out real quick how to get through the fence to the cow pasture, something I quickly put a stop to.

But day in and day out, it was Lola and I, alone at the house, where I would yell, cry and scream for the pain I was feeling, but she would just look at me with those big brown eyes letting me know she understood.

She understood it wasn’t her I was yelling at. Lola understood it wasn’t her fault for the tears I cried. I don’t know how, but she just understood.

I can remember how she would crawl in my lap, lick me on the face and give me nothing but a pure and innocent love.

Over the next few weeks, Lola helped each one of us move forward with our life. She was our joy when our life was dark, she was our laughter when we were filled with tears, she was our hope that somehow we would be okay.

It soon became very clear that Lola was very attached to me. But how could we not bond after all the hours we spent together, all the raw moments she shared with me, it was bound to happen at some point. I often thought to myself, how could this little puppy be making my life better? How could her presence make me believe that the storms would pass when no words anybody said to me made me feel that way.

After several months, we decided to go back home. The kids needed to be around their own things. So we packed our bags and moved from my father’s house back home. It wasn’t easy for any of us, but I think it was extremely worse for me because I carried the guilt and shame on my shoulders. The guilt I couldn’t shake, the shame of not knowing the true colors of people. But Lola was the one constant always at my side.

I slipped into a deep depression from carrying too much burden around with me. Lola would lay right beside me on the bed, or cuddle with me on the couch. That is when I realized she was my protector. She was not going to leave me. She was not going to let me go through my darkness alone. She was placed in this life for me. She was sent here to watch over me.

As I sit here and type, with tears streaming down my face, Lola is right beside me. Watching me with her big brown eyes, letting me know that she is not leaving me, she is my forever friend.

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I was thinking back to when I realized that Lola’s presence made me feel like life would get better, when nobody else could.

And then I got it.

See I was so mad at God. So angry and hurt. And people? Well, I didn’t trust anyone anymore.

God knew I wasn’t running to him for safety and love.

God knew I was running as fast as I could the other direction.

And he also knew that I would not let just anyone into my life. I had built walls. I was protecting myself from anymore hurt and shame. But a dog? Did God know that I needed someone in my corner. An angel perhaps?

At that moment it all became clear. Lola was sent for me. She was sent to show me joy, and love and how to live again. She was sent to protect me during the dark days, because they became very dark, she was sent to be my best friend. She was sent to do something no human could do, to love without restrictions, to love without judgement and to love without fear.

A love so innocent and pure. A love that we all long to know and experience. The love of God!

I have done my best through the years to give her a good life. There has been times when life got busy and I would feel like I was neglecting her, but she never let it show. There was a time when I was in full time ministry and I didn’t get to spend a lot of time at home. I missed Lola and I know she missed me, but she loved me unconditionally anyway.

Lola has traveled with us, camped with us, been a mommy to all baby kittens we have ever had.

She has a heart full of compassion. Yes, she is a dog. But yet, Lola is so much more.

I know that Lola’s time on earth is limited, just the same as any of our time is. She has developed some health issues in the past few years, that make me worried that she is going to leave me soon.

I’m not ready. But then again, are we ever ready to lose a love?

I fear the day when it’s time for her to leave me and for her soul to reach another hurting person. I know there will be a void in my heart that has only been filled by her. She filled the hole in my heart with love, but she will also leave a hole when she is gone.

Some might say, she’s just a dog. I understand your way of thinking, I really do.

But see, since Lola, my dogs have become more than just a pet.
They have become more than just an animal that when you decide you don’t want to take care of anymore, you can easily give away.

They have become my family.

Now I am an advocate for animals. I am their voice.

I support many rescues and do my part to spread the knowledge of Adopt Don’t Shop. I want the world to know that a dog is so much more than a dog, they are a friend, a companion and a protector.

I see my life turning out differently if I had not met Lola. I see myself still running from the world, my faith and my God. But my life turned out the way God had planned. Maybe not the conventional way, most would say, but God knew what he was doing.

He was able to put love and compassion back in my heart, joy and laughter back into my life, and faith and trust back into Him.

All because of my, Life with Lola.

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Today I will be thankful for all the paw prints  on my floor and the slobbery kisses on my face and the hair on my clothes. For there will come a day when there is far too much room in our bed and these days will be profoundly missed. Author Unknown

 

winter blog profile pic

Miranda, is a Crunchy, Country Mama giving her look on a Homemade Life of Homeschool, Good Eats, (Mis) Adventures, and Living Grace-Filled Everyday @GraceandGravy with a side of life! Miranda has been married to her sweet hubby for 16 years and a home school mama to 2 kiddos at home. She loves her four-legged, fur babies and they make her life complete. Miranda is passionate about Guatemala Missions, Early Farmhouse Life/Decor, and learning to be a Self-Sufficient Homesteader!

You can also find GraceandGravy on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter!

Linking up with Michelles weekly pet challenge

Day 15 Bible study notes

your turn to write
Every few days it will be your turn to write. We will recap on the previous few days’ posts and take a sneak peak into the week to come. Take out your Bible and a note book or whatever you would like to use. If you want to blog about your thoughts please link up to this post by adding your link in the comments section of this post.
So here we go:
  1. When you hear the word Grace what is the first thought that comes to mind?
  2. What does James 4:7 mean to you?
  3. How does it make you feel to know that Jesus is your savior?
  4. Can you think of someone that you need to show grace to? How will you go about it?
Until tomorrow
amanda
For a full list of posts in this series please click here.
grace

Astronomy Quiz test 2

 

  1. What is a meteorite?__________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. How does a small meteorite form? _____________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. What type of meteorite comes from the asteroids belt?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. What is a meteor? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. What is a shooting star?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. What is a meteorite?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. At what height does a meteorite usually burn out?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Saturn fact file:
    1. Diameter: __________________
    2. Mean Distance from the sun: _______________
    3. Day/Night:___________________
    4. Length of the year: ________________
    5. Temperature:_________________
    6. Satellites: _______________________
  2. Uranus fact file:
    1. Diameter: __________________
    2. Mean Distance from the sun: _______________
    3. Day/Night:___________________
    4. Length of the year: ________________
    5. Temperature:_________________
    6. Satellites: _______________________
  3. Neptune fact file:
    1. Diameter: __________________
    2. Mean Distance from the sun: _______________
    3. Day/Night:___________________
    4. Length of the year: ________________
    5. Temperature:_________________
    6. Satellites: _______________________
  4. Pluto fact file:
    1. Diameter: __________________
    2. Mean Distance from the sun: _______________
    3. Day/Night:___________________
    4. Length of the year: ________________
    5. Temperature:_________________
    6. Satellites: _______________________
  5. Moon fact file:
    1. Diameter: __________________
    2. Mean Distance from the sun: _______________
    3. Day/Night:___________________
    4. Length of the year: ________________
    5. Temperature:_________________
    6. Satellites: _______________________
  6. After what God is Uranus named? ____________
  7. After what God is Neptune named? ____________
  8. After what God is Pluto named? ____________
  9. Why does Uranus have an odd tilt? _____________
  10. How many years is it summer in Uranus? ____________
  11. How many years is it winter in Uranus? ____________
  12. How many rings does Neptune have around it? __________
  13. How many moons does Neptune have? _____________
  14. What is a comet? ________________________________
  15. What happens to a comet when it nears the sun?___________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  16. When did Edmund Halley live? __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________
  17. What is a star?______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  18. How is a star formed?_________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  19. What happens when a star burns out? ___________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  20. What is the closest star to the earth? ____________________________________________
  21. What is the closest star to the earth after the sun?_________________________________
  22. Who discovered Proxima Centauri? _____________________________________________
  23. How much does one teaspoon of white dwarf material weigh? _______________________
  24. How is a black hole formed? ___________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  25. What is a galaxy? ___________________________________________________________________________
  26. What is the Andromeda galaxy? ________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  27. Who discovered that the Universe is expanding? ___________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________
  28. Name 3 uses of satellites?

___________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Nouns

Nouns

A noun is the name of a thing or place or person.

Underline the nouns in the following sentences:

  1. Sarah goes to town every day.
  1. I enjoy walking to school.
  1. I sit at the table.
  1. We eat our food.
  1. Peter and John like to go to the movies.

Verbs

A verb is a doing word. It explains what somebody is doing.

Underline the verb in the following sentences:

  1. Sarah goes to town ever y day.
  1. I enjoy walking to school.
  1. I sit at the table.
  1. We eat our food.
  1. Peter and John likes to go to the movies.

Punctuation

Add the correct punctuation to the following sentences:

  1. I go to school
  1. He likes to read
  1. We ate bananas oranges and grapes
  1. Sarah and I like to drink orange juice
  1. Do you live here

Contractions

Write the contractions of the following

I am- I’m

You are-_____________

They are-______________

We are-___________

Adjectives

An adjective describes the noun.

Underline the adjectives.

  1. It is a beautiful day.
  1. We liked the red berries.
  1. I am wearing a blue dress.
  1. We are eating red tomatoes.
  1. John likes his new yellow car.

Prepositions

Complete by using the correct prepositions:

  1. I am sitting __________________ the table.
  1. The cat is __________ the bed.
  1. He jumped ______________- the fence.
  1. Peter is running ______________- the grass.
  1. She jumps _____________ the pool.

Back to school-back to opportunties

In the 90’s a band called The Deftones sang a song  “Back to school-back to reality.”  He explains different aspects of school life and  makes it clear that it is not what he wants.(You can read the lyrics here)

Maybe that is how you feel. School starts on Monday(for teachers) and you are not looking forward to it. You don’t know what to expect and that makes you nervous. Or you know what to expect and that drives you crazy.

What is your reality?

  • Overcrowded classes.
  • Learners that cannot read or write in Senior primary.
  • Lack of resources- maybe no water, electricity or stationary.
  • Discipline problems.

I can go on and on and on with challenges that we as teachers experience daily. You have marking to do, you have a family and extra murals keep you busy.teach2

Teaching as a profession is a calling and it takes a lot out of you. You are a professional called for this purpose. What if we can turn those challenges into opportunities?

  • Overcrowded classes – An opportunity to reach more learners. To have a bigger impact.
  • Learners that cannot read or write in Senior primary. You can be the one to finally help them overcome this barrier and one day they will come to you with a degree in hand and say ‘Thank you.”
  • Lack of resources- maybe no water, electricity or stationary. This is your chance to be innovative. You can teach learners to conserve water, electricity and stationary. Teach them that they need to look after their stationary and resources.
  • Discipline problems- this is something that is very sensitive to me and close to my heart. You can instill values on them. Show them respect and teach them manners.

challengesWe as teachers are giving people. We will give and give and give to our own disadvantage. That is why I’ve decided to make my word for the year GRACE. You cannot care and give if you do not look after yourself. Take a bath. Go for a walk. Do you hair. Take a nap.

This year I am going to have:

  • Grace with myself.
  • Grace with my family.
  • Grace with everyone at school.
  • I am going to live as close as possible to the Giver of Grace.

teacherinI feel so strong about this that I’ve written a short series about this topic. Click here for a list of topics in this series.

My hope is that you will be encouraged by this post. That you will realize that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are other teachers around you that are willing to take your hand and walk with you. We have a hashtag:  #ITouchTheFutureIteach on Twitter and Facebook. Join the movement and let us encourage each other.

You only have 197 days left to touch a young mind and heart!

Go for it-we’ll cheer you on!

 

finalemovement

 

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“Inspiration for teachershttps://sunflowersandcoffee.wordpress.com/‪#‎ITouchTheFutureITeach‬ ”@AmandaCalitz @DebbieDeJager

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Your chance to inspire us!