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December, 2013 | Jay Floyd Fitness

Archive for December 2013

A New Year is Coming!!

A New Year is Coming!!

A New Year is Coming!!

A New Year is Coming!!

I was sitting here watching TV this morning wondering what the day had in store for me and on a couple of different channels they are running year-end recap shows.  One was running political quotes, both good and bad.  One was doing sports good plays and bad plays.  I even saw one of good TV shows and bad TV shows.  That made me think about some of the things that have happened in my life in the past year.  As the movie title goes, there was the good, the bad and the ugly.  I won’t recap everything that happened to me here because you likely aren’t that interested in my life.  You are more interested in yours.  Isn’t that the way it is though?  Many times in our minds we think “OK, enough about you, let’s talk about me!”

So, what was it about your life in the past year?  There are several things I would change if I could.  I think we all can say that.  But, overall, it was a very good year for me and our family.  The main thing for me is we were all relatively healthy.  A few stitches for me.  Some stomach bugs and fevers here and there and a couple of concussions for Carson in football, but otherwise, we were healthy.  When I hear about so many other families that have chronic illnesses or other diseases, it makes me very thankful and grateful.  I am also very grateful and thankful that our family is still together.  Our oldest son is a Senior in High School and I’m not sure how much longer we will be taking family vacations without girlfriends, fiancees, wives, kids, etc.  I just love it every single time we are able to get together as a family still, from the 18 yr old to the 6 yr old.

Our son is in the process of taking SAT and ACT tests to get ready for College and have a couple of different Colleges he is looking at possibly attending.  We are very blessed that he has options.  I just hope his test scores are good enough to get a scholarship since he was homeschooled.  We’ll see as they come in.

A New Year Is Coming!! – What Is In Store Next?

I’m sure everything will be coming up roses.  I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us this year.  Most people make New Year’s Resolutions to help them get back on track for where they want to be.  Most of those will include losing weight or breaking bad habits.  In order to break a bad habit, you really need to replace it with a good habit.  That includes eating.  NOBODY loves eating more than I do and the holidays kill me.  Thanksgiving, New Years, Christmas are all good food times for me.  I also tend to get lazy and not workout during that time.  It’s just crazy why I do that to myself.  I don’t have an answer to that question either.  It’s just something that I know I will struggle with the rest of my life and I know that so, I just do the best I can do and deal with it.

This year will bring a lot of changes around our house.  The oldest son will go off to College after spending another summer as a McCall Camp Counselor.  My Mom will likely be needing more care in the future so not sure what is going to happen there.   I am planning one trip for sure to West Africa in January with our 16 yr old son and may be going back again in February.  We also have a ski trip planned for the family in February.  I’m loving being retired and doing Real Estate for fun.  For fun means I pick and choose who I deal with and the clients I take on.  It’s a lot of fun.  I also have the opportunity now to do some project managment and engineering on a part time basis.

A New Year Is Coming!! – Get Ready!!

I am going to be sitting down in the next couple of days and making a list.  The list is going to be my goals for next year.  They are going to be spiritual, physical, emotional, financial, and every other area of my life I want to tackle.  I remember hearing someone say one time that if you don’t have a written down goal, you don’t have a goal.  So, I’m going to be setting my goals.  The other thing I am going to do is work on my dream board.  I’m going to get a board and put pictures and written down goals I want to accomplish this year.  Most people go through life with no goals at all and they just let life happen to them.  It’s time to get intentional and make things happen.

I found that working on my physical goals helps me in all other areas of my life.  When I workout, other things fall into place.  It’s a mindset we have to get into and breaking that blood/brain barrier as Tony Horton calls it is key.  We have so many great programs now to help you and with the release of P90X3 now, I’m stoked about what the future is going to hold for all of us.  CONTACT ME if you want more information on it but it’s going to ROCK!!!

Don’t let 2014 go by without being where you want to be and intentionally accomplishing some things!!

 

I Love Christmas!

I Love Christmas!

I Love Christmas!!

I Love Christmas!!

There are old cliches that people use for the Christmas season about why they love it so much.  Those include, but are not necessarily limited to, love, joy, peace, harmony, world peace, etc.  Those aren’t the reasons I love Christmas though.  Part of the reason I love Christmas reside only in my memories of being a kid.  I grew up in a family that was very close, physically and emotionally.  My Aunts on my Mother’s side lived very close to us.  One Aunt lived literally across the field and down the dirt road and my other Aunt lived only about a mile away and they were always at our house.  During the holidays, this closeness was aplified exponentially.  We would gather up at our house with the wood burning stove, Mama would cook, and we would watch Christmas specials on TV while putting up the artificial Christmas Tree loaded down with icicles.  The lights on the tree were colored lights and blinked in “random but repeating” patterns.  I remember laying under the tree and looking up through it at the ornaments, including an oversized Washington Redskins ornament my Aunt who lived near D.C. gave me when I was very young.  There was just something special about that time of year.

Our house wasn’t overly decorated.  We had a tree and a few odds and ends and that was it.  We definitely didn’t go overboard but it was the feeling of the season.  I also remember laying in the floor and playing board games and card games like rummy.  I also remember sitting on the couch one Christmas and one of my Aunts and I went through a 2 lb bag of M&Ms in one sitting…just eating and giggling.  Of course Santa would make an appearance at our house and brought practical gifts like a machete, .410 double barrelled shotgun, Space 1999 ships and stuff but he also always brought me a fireworks assortment that contained REAL bottle rockets, firecrackers, snakes, sparklers, whistlers, cone fountains, roman candles, etc.  I would put on a show every Christmas night for our family, before chasing people around with the roman candles and firecrackers.  Thankfully, nobody ever got hurt.  It was just part of the tradition.

I Love Christmas!! – The Food

Most people equate Thanksgiving to food.  For me it was Christmas.  Mama always made pies and cakes.  There was more sweet stuff than anyone could wish or hope for.  The big thing this time of year is making fun of fruit cakes, but my Mama’s fruit cake was dense and moist and just amazing.  She also made German Chocolate, Coconut, Pineapple Upside Down, and other cakes.  Then, there were the pies.  Pumpkin, Chocolate, Lemon, Coconut, Pecan, etc. were just some of what she would whip up.  Our relatives and friends would also bring desserts over.  It was absolutely amazing.

The one thing that we always did that I looked forward to was cooking hogs.  When I was young, we raised our own hogs over at my Dad’s best friend’s house.  We would kill, clean and cook them with wood every year.  We would end up cooking a couple of days before Christmas.  We typically cooked 4 to 7 hogs, depending on who we were cooking for, and it was so much fun.  The kids would run around playing “Cops and Robbers” and “Ain’t no boogers out tonight” while the hogs were cooking.  There was one year when Daddy and Mr. LaVonne decided to cook for the entire area and make some money.  We cooked in three shifts and cooked somewhere around 30 hogs that year.  We only did that once though.  They decided it was too much work.  After I grew up and went to college, we stopped raising hogs and just bought them and stopped cooking for the entire neighborhood.  I only missed one year not cooking hogs with Daddy because of work and that was the year he died of Pancreatic Cancer.  I made a promise to myself that work would never again interfere with family and things that I held important and dear.  Life is way too short not to do the things that we need to do with our families.  So, our Christmas food consists of all those great desserts along with Barbeque (vinegar based of course), slaw, fruit salad, yams, etc.  Turkey is for Thanksgiving not Christmas.

I Love Christmas! – The Decorations

As I said, we didn’t do much decorating at our house growing up.  We had a tree and some odds and ends but our little artificial tree that was loaded down with blinking lights and icicles was aMAZing.    Just staring up into that tree was incredible.  Now, Melanie decorates everything.  We have our own tradition of going camping the weekend of Thanksgiving and staying out in the swamp while the house gets an overhaul.  When we get home, Melanie has turned the house into a winter wonderland of a real Christmas Tree (which we buy before we leave and put in the stand for her), snowmen, nutcrackers, lights everywhere and when we walk into the house after camping all weekend, we just stand slackjawed at everything she has accomplished while we were gone.  We love going to the lights at the zoo and looking at all the houses decorated in our area and taking in some of the local Christmas concerts.  This year we went to The Citadel for their Christmas Candlelight service.  It was very cool seeing everything decorated and lit up.

I Love Christmas!! – The Reason for the Season

Christmas Nativity

Christmas Nativity

With everything I mentioned about Christmas, we can’t forget the reason for the Season.  It’s a Christmas Tree, not a Holiday Tree.  There are a lot of people out there who want to take Christ out of the season.  They typically don’t have a problem with the concept of an abstract “God”, but there is major problem when Jesus is brought into it.  The nativity scene drives some people absolutely bonkers.  I don’t understand why that is.  But, Jesus himself said he would be the breath of life to some and the stench of death to others.   It really should be no surprise that people want to take down the Nativity.  It seems we have bought into the lie that we have Freedom FROM Religion instead of Freedom OF Religion.  We need to get back to our roots and take to heart what Jesus said.  A lot of people want to bash Christians and that is to be expected.  They had the Saviour executed for saying the things He did.  I don’t know why we expect it to be smooth sailing for those of us who believe in Him and do our best to follow His teachings.  We seem to want to have all of the good stuff but not have to put in the work to have it and not to have to fight for what we believe in.  But, as the Grinch found out, regardless of what they try to take away as far as the Christmas Symbols we have adopted in our faith, they will never be able to stop Christmas from coming because, ….

He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!

 

 

 

Camping for Dummies

Camping for Dummies

Luke Camping

Luke Camping

I have told you before in other posts, I grew up on a farm.  I had the privilege of going to West Point for a bit and we did some outdoor overnight activities that I don’t think you could consider camping.  We did sleep outside in shelter-halves in the rain and froze but I don’t think it’s camping.  I had grown up hunting and fishing and had done things like that also but I really had no idea how to go camping.

A few years ago, the boys were pretty young and my daughter was what I would consider to be still a toddler.  I had a friend ask me if I wanted to go camping with them.  I actually owned a tent at the time I had bought at a good price a couple of years back with the intention of starting to camp with the boys but didn’t really know where to start.  So, I agreed to go with them.  The location we went to, and still go to every year, is at the top part of Lake Marion in South Carolina.  I had no idea people were allowed to camp alongside the banks of the river out there but they do.  The tradition also started that the camping weekend was the weekend after Thanksgiving.  So, we loaded up the truck that Friday morning and headed to the swamp.  When we got down there, we got on our friend’s boat (we had to make a couple of trips) and went over to our camping spot.  We got the tents and the “kitchen” all set up and then a friend went and cut some firewood.  We don’t cut live trees but find dead wood from trees that have fallen in the past.  We take a chainsaw to cut it up but, could likely find enough small stuff if we just wanted to feed the fire more often.  So, our time there is spent doing a little fishing, letting the kids shoot BB guns at targets they hang in trees (supervised of course) and just watching the fire burn.  It is a good time to turn off my mind and just relax for awhile.

It was actually pretty easy.  After that trip, I decided we were going to make that our family tradition and the kids loved it.  I invested in a coleman stove and some little propane tanks (which are useful if we ever lose power), a gas lantern, a little table and some odds and ends.

Camping for Dummies – Just do it!!

Boys Camping

Boys Camping

A few years ago, I saw a friend post on Facebook about camping.  I told him I would love to learn how to camp.  He laughed and told me, all you have to do is go set up a tent, build a fire, and you’re camping.  I thought to myself, he may be right.  It probably is just that easy.

Here is what I’d recommend if you’ve never been camping.  Go with someone who has equipment and has gone before.  They will be able to show you the ropes.  There is nothing better than going camping with friends and just hanging out in the woods and enjoying life.  Just to relax and watch a fire burn does something to recharge my batteries that nothing else can.  The kids also look forward to it.  My now 18 yr old son said it’s one of his favorite times of the year.  We all look forward to it so much and my 6 yr old loves it too.

Camping for Dummies – Starting alone

If you have never been camping and have no idea where to start, my suggestion is to get a tent and a sleeping bag, flashlights and some fold out chairs.  Really and truly, that is all you need.  You can take food with you to eat that you don’t have to cook or eat and you don’t have to build a fire.  Start in your backyard and go from there.  For us, we have a “kitchen” area with a gas stove where we cook eggs, bacon, sausage, etc. for breakfast, chicken and rice for supper and my buddy cooks grits, chili, hot dogs, etc. on a fire grate from the fire we build.  I also have a gas lantern for light.  We cut firewood from dead trees in the woods.  I don’t take heaters for the tent or cots or cushions.  We just sleep on the tent floor in sleeping bags.  You can go as rough or as convenient as you like.

Camping for Dummies – Just Do It!

The main thing is to just do it.  Every time we go I think of something else we can get that helps us out.  For instance, this past trip, I bought plastic egg carriers and put 2 dozen eggs in it so they wouldn’t get broken.  My buddy also has a carrier for bread to keep it from getting smooshed.  You can learn as you go and upgrade to make it what you want, but getting out in the woods and unplugging from society and our high tech devices for just a little while is so good for us.  Our kids are not learning the art of communication, unless it is followed by an emoticon so, it is necessary to get them out away from things and let them open up and talk.  Camping with your kids, while you can still influence them?  Priceless.