July 27, 2013

Sending a Daughter on An LDS Mission

The time is quickly approaching for my 19 year-old daughter, Becca, to leave on her mission to Santiago Chile. She speaks in church this Sunday, and then flies to Chile to begin her 18 months of service. This will be the fourth missionary I have sent out into the world. My feelings are tender.

My daughter has always been full of energy and sunshine and brightens our home. We love her and will miss her immensely! I am grateful for the year she was away at BYU as it will help ease our separation from her. But she will be missed.

It is nice to know that she understands what freedom to choose means. She did not have to serve a mission. She chose to. She was careful not to serve because everyone else was doing it, though the current excitement around the Church is contagious. In January, she got the confirmation she needed to know this is the right thing for her to do at this time in her life.

Preparing a daughter is more work than my sons. But she has been teachable as she let me guide her using my lists saved from experience preparing her brothers. She will need to be teachable as a missionary as she serves with various sister missionary companions and teaches people in a culture that is very different from Farmington, Utah. Missions are not easy both emotionally and physically. But, she is prepared.

Being part of her high school track and cross country team has taught her how to support and cheer her team on. And being a big sister has taught her how to be an example and leader. Working at a senior care facility all summer taught her how to care and lift others less fortunate than she is. So much of life's journey can prepare our youth for their missions.

I am grateful for parents who taught her about sacrifice when they served several missions leaving their children and grandchildren behind. I am grateful for pioneer ancestors who taught her how to sacrifice as well. Putting aside college, and time with family and friends is a huge sacrifice, but sacrifice brings blessings from Heaven. I have seen this.

I have faith in the words of her pioneer great-great-great grandfather, William Clayton:


"Come, come, ye Saints,
no toil nor labor fear;
but with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
'Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell
All is well! All is well!"



May she have a wonderful experience sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people in Chile! May we each discover blessings along the way as we sacrifice, lift and serve each other.

Valerie


July 25, 2013

Guilt Free Food Storage and Prepping

Just a quick note to my readers. My daughter leaves in less than a week for her mission, so I am pretty busy. But I thought I would send a few thoughts your way.

As I've looked across the internet at all of the food storage and prepping resources, I can see how extremely overwhelming all of that looks to beginners. There is way too much out there. Everybody has their own way of doing it too. Someone else's simple isn't necessarily our simple.

Personally, I just like to keep my own food storage really basic and a natural part of my grocery shopping trips. I just add a little here, a little there. I keep myself aware with my monthly food storage lists because they help me rotate what I gather. I've been creating a Food Storage Organizer Google calendar that I hope to share with others with weekly reminders of what to focus on. But hey, I'm busy. But I tell you, it's cool!

I am not a canner or great gardener like some of my amazing neighbors, though I can do those things. Maybe in my next life I will become a farmer's wife and write a blog: "Life In My Farmhouse." I have dairy milk delivered to my door. Does that count? For now, the cub scout planning phrase, KISMIF - Keep It Simple, Make It Fun works for me.

If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed starting your food storage, look at what you already have on your shelf. Build on that. You don't have to learn how to make fruit leather tomorrow. Or become the Pinterest Prepper Princess. We are busy, busy people. Women in general do a lot of guilting which isn't healthy at all. You don't have to stay up until 2 o'clock in the morning canning your peaches either. But I know some of you do. Keep it simple.

Teach your kids some skills, but don't overwhelm yourself. They are smart. I think it is great that my girls know how to bake bread. But someone else taught them. Alleluia! Thank you! Wish it had been me, but I teach them other home management skills that are valuable too. I'm okay. You're okay. Actually we are amazing.

Looking ahead, Utah grocery store case lot sales are coming in a few weeks, so I will be doing a huge inventory of what I have here at home. I like to shop at them, but I can shop year-round too. I've also been updating my price comparison list and I can see which prices have gone up at stores in my area or stayed the same since last year. That is an eye opener. So I will be sharing soon.

I am thinking about teaching some food storage classes in the fall at my local community center. An easy distance from my house. But I have to ponder that idea a bit. It is harder for me to travel to all of you as much as I want to. Family first, right?

Now I'm off to the pool for exercise. Have a great day!

Valerie
Mom of 7, grandma of 3 and a half,

July 12, 2013

Benefits of Aquatic Exercise for Neck and Back Pain


I've been taking it easy and enjoying the summer with my family. Life is wonderful! I have a new grand-daughter who we get to see everyday for a few more weeks while my son and daughter-in-law live here with us before heading out into the real world.


My daughter (#5 child) is leaving on an LDS mission (#4 missionary) to Chile in a few weeks. Preparations are moving along smoothly. I've enjoyed helping her get ready. She just got her flight plans and she is revved up.


After helping downsize my Dad's house, I have been going through all the junk around here. It took me three days to go through my youngest daughter's bedroom, but ahhhhhh! She was awesome about giving stuff away to the Deseret Industries Thrift store so another child could enjoy them. She's sentimental so she did keep her favorites. Her room is so beautiful. My teen daughter caught the bug too and has totally rearranged her room and gotten rid of junk. Love that!

Almost every day I take a dip in the neighborhood pool and that's the real reason for this post. Aquatic exercise has helped my chronic neck and back pain. My pain comes from a herniated disc in the C5 - C6 area, and a bulging disc in L5 - S1 area. I was a swimmer in high school so swimming is not new to me. My journey has been amazing, so I thought I would share.

Last year when I had pain, I had a strong spiritual impression that I should be in the pool. I tried then, but let other family needs get in the way of "Mom's needs." So after my last back spasm episode in April this year, I decided to commit myself - to aquatic therapeutic exercise.

The first week I started was while we were on a vacation in California. I decided to use the hotel pool, but ended up only using the spa and just stretching. That's about all I could do. I wasn't sure what I was doing, but I listened carefully to my body. Wherever it was tight, I gently stretched. Neck, shoulder, arms, hands, waist, pelvis, legs and ankles. Was there any place that wasn't hurting? The movement back and forth in the water was relaxing; soothing. So I did it each morning while on that trip.

The flight home was uncomfortable though, so I told my family I felt I needed to continue working. My husband and daughters are runners, so it was difficult to find time for me to go to the pool so that all of us could get our workouts done.

Eventually I made a schedule for myself so someone would be home while my youngest was still asleep. I'm a morning person, so I get in the water as early as possible. Focusing on being in the pool 6 days a week isn't easy to coordinate, but I've found that consistency is paying off.

Research
I researched goggles, and ordered the best; Kayenne goggles. I found aquatic exercises at the University of Minnesota Duluth from their course ESAT 3642 Therapeutic Exercise. I copied the exercises, cut them into cards, laminated them, hole punched, and put them on a key ring to take with me to the pool. I use a noodle instead of a belt and ball, and it works great. Find the course here and the aquatic therapeutic exercises here. I am no doctor, so I can't say what will work for you.

Videos
While researching I found great videos about everyday neck and back exercises to do even while I am driving in the car. And things about good posture while using a computer. Blogging is not helpful exercise, but it is theraputic. :-) Check out some videos from Mark PerrenJones. He has several.

Medicines and oils
I used Ibuprofen for 2 weeks to get the inflammation down. I rarely take it now, and use doTerra PastTense: Tension Blend (about $26) for tight muscles and knots in my neck and back. I have not had a migraine for over 2 months!

Books
I reviewed a book I've had for years to work on that deep down emotional pain that can lead to physical pain. It is always eye opening. I have the older version of "Feelings Buried Alive Never Die," by Karol K. Truman. Not sure what she has written in the newer version, but you can probably find at the library. I am sure there are some great aquatic therapy books, but I didn't get one. There is so much online.

Exercises
Basically, I get in the pool and tread water to warm up. I where a white runner's hat to keep the sun out of my eyes. I tuck my hair in the hat to keep it from chlorine damage. If I swim laps, I don that lovely cap. Then stretch and exercise. As far as swim strokes, I feel best doing breast stroke, back stroke, and a little freestyle. No butterfly for me. I tread water a lot too, varying how my legs are moving to help my stiff pelvic area. I am much more toned than I used to be. Muscle weighs more than fat, so I've only lost a few pounds so far.

My Beginning Aquatic Workout Schedule
Week 1: 30 min. x 6 days - stretching, treading water, Ibuprofen 2x daily
Week 2: 30 min. x 6 days - stretching, treading water, a few laps breast/back, Ibuprofen 2x daily
Week 3: 45 min. x 6 days - stretching, treading water, 4 laps breast/back/free, Ibuprofen or Bayer Back & Pain as needed
Week 4: 60 min. x 6 days - stretching, treading water, 8 to 10 laps breast/back/free, Ibuprofen or Bayer Back & Pain as needed, doTerra
and so on . . .

Finding a Pool
I mostly use the neighborhood pool as it saves time. However, I did buy a pass to the city pool so I could swim laps early in the morning if I get up. That isn't always easy in the summer when I get to bed later.

Expenses
Take a look at what a person will pay when they are in pain:

THEN -
Monthly Doctors
$150 Chiropractor visits
$150 Massage and other doctors
Total $300 (Crazy!)

NOW -
Swim Equipment Upfront Cost
$10 swim cap
$20 goggles
$0 swim suit (had)
$0 board shorts (love Xelosette from Board Short World because they last forever!)
$0 pool noodle (A long, thick one.)
$0 aquatic therapeutic exercises (copied online, see above)
Total: $30

Monthly Fees/Doctors
$20 neighborhood association pool 16x mo. or $1.25 ea.
$14 city lap pool 8x mo. or $1.75 ea.
$35 chiropractor 1x mo.
Total: $69

The results? I am mostly pain free and I finally sleep through the night again! The first time I slept through the night, I joyfully told my husband over and over again of that miracle. Then the second night came where I didn't wake to pain. Again I was astounded.

I am not completely healed by any means, but by being consistent I am on my way to a better me. Perhaps things just settled down in my neck and back. Perhaps several priesthood blessings helped. Perhaps this is only for my body.


However, as I move forward to becoming healthier, I am hopeful that I can help my body repair itself. I am a firm believer that our bodies were created to heal themselves, and that listening to promptings from our creator can assist us. Still figuring this out, but I hope by sharing I can help another person feel better. Now, I'm off to the pool to join the ladies of leisure!

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