10 types of people you meet at the gym

gym stereotypes

Note: I will randomly be posting funny stereotypes on my blog in between my usual “Importance Series”, “Movie Mondays”, and other usual posts.

There are many different types of people who use the gym each day. Do you recognize any of the following? Or…can you identity with anyone on this list?

The Wannabee Bodybuilder – Watches his muscles in the mirrors, flexes, grunts, makes over-exaggerated movements. Perhaps he has a too-healthy sense of self. Telltale identifiers: wears tank tops to show off his “large” muscles, too-tight of clothing to enhance his build, and walks with inflated superiority.

exercise man.jpg

The Rebellious Participant – Doesn’t think that following instructions in a group fitness class is really necessary. She does her own thing, whether it be the exercises or the stretches. She even has earbuds in and listens to her own music and avoids all instruction. The rebellious participant has always wanted to teach her own class, so she does her own thing to get into practice. Telltale identifier: deliberately ignores the instructor’s workout prompts while partaking in exercises that have nothing to do with the class she’s in.

The Crabby Growler – Complains about EVERYTHING. Don’t even attempt to cheer up the Crabby Growler. Nothing works. For him, everyday is a bad day. Telltale identifier: his trademark permanent scowl and perpetual whining.

angry guy.jpg

The Bubbly Extrovert – Likes to chat with everyone everywhere about everything. On the way to the exercise machines, on the way from the weight room, during exercise class, and everywhere in between. Telltale identifier: She exudes happiness and bears an ever-present smile while waving enthusiastically to everyone in the vicinity.

Mister Musical Machines– Moves from machine to machine, never staying on one for more than five seconds. He starts with the treadmill before moving on to the elliptical, then the recumbent bike. His favorite childhood game was musical chairs. Telltale identifier: never wipes down machines in between hopping from one to the next, and moves so fast you can’t keep track of him.

The Vulture – She has it all planned out which machine or exercise bike she wants. EVERY TIME. Her name is on it in gold lettering. Touch her machine and your life expectancy will drop dramatically. Telltale identifier: Her gaze is fixed on her machine from the doorway, and she ramrods her way through until she has staked her claim.

vulture.jpg

The Monopolizer – He thinks he owns the gym. That walkway between the ellipticals and treadmills? Yep, that’s his designated stretching place, even when the space meant for stretching is completely empty. Those weight machines in the weight room? They all belong to him. Telltale identifier: his personal belongings litter the gym, from his water bottle, gym bag, sleeping bag, and recliner. You can’t get around him, and must wait for him to move before reaching your intended destination.

Alexander Graham Bell’s great-great-great-great-great granddaughter – She CANNOT miss a call, so she makes sure she is always on the phone. And she talks loud enough so that you can have the privilege of enjoying her conversation above your own music, even when you have earbuds. Telltale identifier: she is the only one with her cell phone as an extra appendage.

The Walking Germ Spreader – He takes being generous too far and is only too happy to share his germs with everyone else via coughing and sneezing without covering his mouth. The force of his coughs and sneezes rivals the strongest of fans and you go home fearing you may have contracted some rare disease. Telltale identifier: He is constantly heard saying “It’s just allergies”.

What other stereotypes have you come across at the gym?

 

Advertisements

outside-the-box homeschool ideas

Outside-the-box

Looking for some suggestions for your homeschool students? Check out these out-of-the-box ideas:

For younger students:

Gameshow Contestant Alphabet race. Purchase magnetic alphabet letters and place them in random order on the refrigerator. Pretend to be a game show host and ask  your contestant(s) to retrieve a letter. For instance, “find the letter “S”! Your student runs to the refrigerator, and in record time, returns with the letter. Continue until all of the letters have been chosen. If they get one wrong, have them try again. My girls loved this game when they were little. They would giggle when I announced they won “a brand new car!” at the end of the game, which was really one of my husband’s toy Matchbox cars he’d collected as a youth.

Real Gameshows. Similarly, my daughters loved (and still do love) to play Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. From the time they were little, they would guess letters and try to answer questions. The familiarity of learning letters assisted them greatly as younger children. Today, my teen daughters compete with the rest of the family for the correct answers on Jeopardy and the correct puzzle solving on Wheel of Fortune.

Math Candies.  When my girls were in kindergarten and first grade, we often played math games with candies. Candies (and crackers) work well for learning adding and subtracting. And they’re tasty when you’re finished. (Just be sure not to eat the entire bag)!

Specimen Collection. My youngest daughter loves insects. In our town, we have numerous pathways and trails where we collected “specimens” for her bug collection. Enlist relatives in other states to send specimens from their area to add to collections.

different learning styles

For older students:

Attend a Naturalization Ceremony. It is amazing to watch as people proudly become new citizens of the United States. It’s an excellent example of legal immigration. To become a U.S. citizen is a privilege, and the hard work these new members of our country have put forth is an inspiration.

Attend a court hearing. Have a small claims or traffic court in your town? Call ahead and see if your teens can attend a hearing and sit in the audience. A word of caution: you will need to be discerning, as some court cases are not appropriate for children/teens.

Read the newspaper and/or news magazines. This is a great way to teach your children how the press works. Encourage them to be on the lookout for biased articles. A good reporter  will write an article in such a way that the reader cannot tell which side of the controversy the reporter is on.

Have your student write a letter to the editor. Allow your tween/teen to pick a topic that is important to them and relevant to current events. After they type the letter, they will either hand deliver or email the letter to the editor of the paper.

Novel in a year. My oldest daughter wants to be a writer, so last year for part of her English studies, she wrote a novel in full for a story she’d had percolating around in her mind. Her creativity was amazing to see.

Start a blog. My youngest daughter isn’t as fond of writing as her mom and sister are, so to encourage creative thought, she established her own blog. Every other week, I assign her a topic, which is usually picked from the headlines. On alternating weeks, the decision is up to her regarding the subject matter. She usually chooses an interesting animal or a fictional story. It not only gives teens a chance to develop opinions about important topics, but also enhances their creativity.

Woodworking and other projects. My husband and oldest daughter took on two projects: the first was to build a birdhouse for my birthday. The second was to design and build a dresser for my her room.

Sewing. My youngest daughter takes sewing and quilting classes from a dear friend who is an expert seamstress and quilter. My daughter so far has learned how to mend, sew doll clothes, and complete a quilt from start to finish. She will soon begin sewing her own clothes.

Both woodworking and sewing teach a host of useful items to students. Learning how to measure; learning the importance of sticking with a project; and how to use various machines/hand tools.

Field trips. We live in a small town, but I’m surprised at the number of places we’ve found to take field trips. For younger children, the fire station and the local bakery are favorites; for older children, the police station, court house, and historical places were hits. Don’t rule out places of employment, especially for older children. You never know what might spark an interest in them for a future vocation.

Topics of discussion. When people ask me what my favorite things about homeschooling are, “topics of discussion” is one of the things that top the list. I bring important issues to the table during breakfast or lunch, and we discuss them. It can range from current events, to issues teens deal with, eating disorders, alcohol and smoking, friends, boys, etc. There are no taboo topics, and everyone joins in the conversation. Sometimes teens can be a bit evasive, so have some quality questions in your arsenal that you can ask to get them to give their opinions. It’s also a time for them to ask questions, so be sure to make it a relaxed and laid-back environment.

One of the first things I learned as a homeschool mom was that every child has a different learning style. What works for one may not work for another. As such, being able to “add” projects to their curriculum only enhances their learning.

 

the importance of aligning our actions with our words

aligning actions

Have you ever met someone and were astounded to discover that they were a believer? Perhaps they live a life contrary to that of a Christian. Or perhaps they act flippant about Christianity in the presence of unbelievers.

To be clear at the outset: our actions are not what makes us Christians. Rather, the only way we can become a Christian is to put our full faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, believe that He died for our sins, and repent and turn from our sins. (Romans 10:9-10; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 10:13; Acts 2:38-39; Romans 6:23; 1 John 1:9, etc.)

However, actions are important. After we become Christians, our desire is (or should be) to please the One who gave His life for us. A changed life and the continual desire to become more like Jesus everyday in our actions and in our thought lives are two ways we can show our gratitude.

What are some other ways we can align our actions with our claim of Christianity?

  • Model Christlike behavior with the help of the Holy Spirit. We are all sinners. Only by His help can we achieve such things as honesty, kindness, compassion, and gentleness. Only with His help can we be sure to guard our speech.Colossians 4 6
  • Continue to grow in your walk. This can only be achieved by spending time in God’s Word, in fellowship with other believers, and spending time in praise and worship. Our goal should be that we strive to be more like Him this year than we were last year.

 

  • Give others the benefit of the doubt. This can be a tough one. In our culture, it is popular to think the worst of others without knowing anything about them. This shouldn’t be so for those of us who claim to be Christ followers.

 

  • Embrace humility. We all make mistakes. Everyone has things we struggle with no matter how long we’ve been a Christian. Be humble and own up to your mistakes and shortcomings. Seek the forgiveness of others when you have wronged them.

 

  • Practice discernment. Our society glorifies things that counteract what we read about in the Bible. We live in a culture that places a great emphasis on feelings and opinions. Those in and of themselves are not bad, but when we turn to the only Truth Meter – the Bible – we are told what we should put our focus on.

Philippians 4 8 (GOOD ONE).png

  • Show grace and mercy to others. It’s been said that those who have been shown grace are more willing to show grace to others. Haven’t we been shown much mercy and grace by our Lord? Shouldn’t we extend that to others especially when they don’t deserve it?

 

  • Love others. This can be a tough one. As I sit here typing this blog post, I can think of someone I know who is extremely difficult for me to love. However, we are commanded to love others as ourselves and to place their interests above our own. Such love for others is a testament of our love for Him.1 Corinthians 13 1

We should be different. We should be set apart. We shouldn’t blend in with everyone else, but rather we should stand out. It should be plain to others who we strive to live for. Nothing temporary. Nothing that perishes. But the One who is eternal.

May our actions align with our words. May we give no reason for someone to doubt our authenticity.

 

 

 

 

Movie Monday: The Christmas Cure

Movie Monday the Christmas cure (2).png

Sure, it’s no longer the Christmas season, but some movies are great to watch any time of the year. Case in point: The Christmas Cure.

Hallmark Christmas movies are plentiful. Some are top-notch, some are so-so, and there are a few I’ve hit the “pass button” on. The Christmas Cure is one that goes in the top-notch category.

Vanessa Turner decides to spend Christmas at home. A busy emergency room doctor in a large city, Vanessa is ready for some rest and relaxation in her small home town. She reconnects with her mom, dad, and younger brother, Kyle,  all of whom she has close relationships. She also reconnects with a man from her past – high school sweetheart, Mitch. After all these years apart, is there still chemistry between the two of them?

the Christmas cureVanessa’s dad decides to retire. He’s run the clinic, which is attached to his and his wife’s home, for a number of years. It will be difficult to walk away from a job and the patients that he loves, but he deems it’s time. Will Vanessa decide to continue her father’s practice, or will she return to a job, complete with a promotion, in the city?

There are many redeemable qualities in this movie. Vanessa’s parents, Bruce and Martha, love each other and have a happy marriage. The longevity and sincere love of their marriage is a breath of fresh air.

Dr. Bruce Turner has worked as a doctor in his clinic for numerous years. He still cares deeply about his patients and goes out of his way for them. He even makes housecalls. His daughter, Dr. Vanessa Turner, follows in his footsteps and is also a kind and caring doctor as well.

The sibling relationship between Vanessa and Kyle is endearing. They are close and back each other up when necessary. Kyle, as the klutzy younger brother, provides several instances of comic relief.

Vanessa and Mitch have an innocent love that has endured throughout their years apart.

There is nothing objectionable in The Christmas Cure, and it is suitable for the entire family. It contains humor, love, drama, and a wonderful story line interwoven through the lives of a family and a young man who they’ve taken under their wing.

I highly recommend The Christmas Cure and give it a five out of five star rating.

For a listing of movies, please see my collection of Mom-Approved Movie Listings.

 

 

when your characters become real

when characters bcm real.png

I recently started a new novel and have been developing my main characters. What do they look like? Where are they at in their faith walk? What do each of them do in the face of adversity? What scares them? Invigorates them? Upsets them? What are their hobbies? What was their upbringing like?

Characters are the funnest thing to create as a writer. We spend a lot of time thinking about our characters and putting them in seemingly impossible situations. I love writing character-driven books, and as a very visual person, it helps tremendously for me to have pictures of the characters on hand. Although, the first time I had a picture of a guy taped to my computer monitor, my husband Lon asked, “Who is that guy?”

“Oh, that’s just Zach.”

“Zach? Do we know him?”

“Well, you may not, but I do. You see, he’s the main character in McKenzie, the first book in my Montana Skies Historical Romance Series. A figment of my imagination.”

Several years ago, Hailee, the third book in that series was published.

I remember when I first began creating the characters that made the series come to life. Particularly, busybody Lucille Granger, who makes her cameo appearance in all three books.

I sat perched on the staircase in our house, watching in anticipation for my husband Lon to come home from work. He was scarcely through the front door when I began tugging on his arm, “Lon!” I exclaimed.

“Is everything ok, Pen?” After all these years of marriage, he knows about my exuberant and creative personality.

“Yes, yes, it’s fine. I can’t wait for you to meet Lucille Granger!”

“What? Lucille Granger? Do we have company?”

I shook my head and laughed while leading Lon up the stairs and into the office. When he saw me pointing for him to sit in the blue “guest” chair in the office, he nodded his head knowingly. He’d been in the blue “guest” chair many times before. Yep, it was making sense to him now – Lucille Granger wasn’t someone visiting for dinner. She was one of the secondary characters I’d developed for my Montana Skies Series.

I read with excitement the chapter where I had created Lucille’s personality. She was nosy, presumptuous, and demanding, yet she had a good heart. I had waited all day to share my newest creation with the person I love most in this world, and now that time had come. Wasting no time, I flipped through the three pages of typewritten text, complete with voice changes to further bring to life Lucille’s character.

Being the sweetheart that he is and on a quest to earn “husband points”, Lon listened as I read.

typewriter-vintage-old-vintage-typewriter-163084(2).jpg

Ahhhh…the life of a writer. There’s nothing quite like creating new characters and watching the words flow on the page. There’s nothing quite like pressing the word count button and seeing the words increase at a nice rate. When you write, you come to know your characters as if they are family members, friends, or neighbors. I thank the Lord daily that He has given me the ability to do this job. I owe every word, every paragraph, every page, and every character to Him.

Portions of this post first appeared on Author Linda Yezak’s blog at https://lindayezak.com/2011/11/30/when-your-characters-become-real/

not everything is as it seems

not everything

My husband’s friend, Mario, brings a large box of fresh oranges from his farm in Texas to our family on a regular basis. These oranges are like nothing I’ve ever tasted from the grocery store. They are sweet, juicy, fresh, and delicious.

However, by the outer appearance of this citrus that our family refers to as a “Mario Orange,” you wouldn’t think it would taste good. On the contrary, one might think it was squishy, sour, old, and moldy.

mario oranges.jpg

Obviously, we can’t judge a “Mario Orange” from its outer appearance. With its bee stings, mottled appearance, and pale color, it isn’t what it seems.

People are much the same way. Some of the nicest, kindest, most gracious people I’ve ever met would not be considered the most attractive. On the other hand, some of the most mean-spirited,  rudest, and malicious people I’ve ever met have been the most physically attractive.

There are many beautiful people who are also kind and many “homely” people who are inconsiderate. However, an important thing to remember is this:

Not everything is as it seems.

That’s why it’s important not to judge someone based on their outer appearance. Instead, we should look to important virtues, such as:

  • God-fearing
  • honest
  • kind
  • loyal
  • trustworthy
  • faithful
  • generous
  • selfless

And the list goes on.

Proverbs 31:30 tells us that Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Proverbs 31 30

What if we saw people through God’s eyes? What if we saw people as being made in His image?

1 Samuel 16 7 (2).png

Our worth does not come from appearance. Our true value does not come from how others perceive us.

If we realized this, we could see things as they really are.

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Monday: Duma

movie monday duma

Once in awhile, I come across a little-known movie that is, in my opinion, a “must-see.” Duma is such a movie.

dumaSet in South Africa in the present day, 12-year-old Xan and his father nearly run over a baby cheetah while driving home on an empty stretch of highway one evening. They take the animal back to their South African farm and raise it as a pet. Xan mentions that when you give something a name, it then becomes your friend.  After trying to decide on a name, Xan finally decides to give his new pet the name of Duma, which is “cheetah” in Swahili. It isn’t long before a wonderful friendship begins between Xan and Duma.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this movie is the portrayal of Xan’s closeknit family. Xan’s dad, Peter, is sure to teach his son all he knows about building things and taking care of a farm (which comes in handy later in the movie). Peter spends a considerable amount of time with Xan and, together, they test Duma’s speed by racing alongside the animal with a stopwatch.  There is also a strong love and devotion between Xan’s parents, even when they are in the midst of tragedy.

Duma is void of anything objectionable (there is a situation with “cultural” medicine practices, but nothing explicit); however, there are several intense scenes that will frighten younger viewers. When Xan embarks on an adventurous journey and a promise he made to his father to return Duma to the wilds where he belongs, Xan encounters the harsh elements, wild animals, a stranger, and near death due to a lack of water and food. Parents will also want to discuss Xan’s choice to leave on his own to help Duma find his way back to the wilds, rather than solicit his mom’s help.

Duma is one of those movies that I hadn’t heard much about, but that I am glad I purchased. Themes of family unity, forgiveness, loyalty, loving your neighbor, and grief all play integral roles in this movie. I highly recommend it for everyone ages 12 and over. (NOT recommended for those under 12).

For a listing of movie suggestions, followed by archived movie reviews, please see Mom Approved Movie Reviews.