Monday, February 1, 2016

January 2016 Monthly Challenge!

January 1, 2016 ~ With a brand new year comes a set of brand new challenges! Since I have signed up for a couple of yearly challenges I needed something to keep my focus and keep plugging along. I love the monthly fitness challenges from Full Medal Runs and you choose the amount of miles (between 50-200 miles per month) and complete them at your pace during the month.... which means you can run or walk then you will receive the medal shown up above! (The medal is simply a motivator to keep me focused) Since I will be doing my best to motivate my mom and sister this year (along with some other friends) I choose to walk at least 50 miles for the month of January! Here's proof that I stuck to my goal! Ready..... Set..... Go!

January 1, 2016
"Celebration Run 5k"
3.11 miles
January 2, 2016
2.50 miles
January 3, 2016
1.00 mile
January 4, 2016
3.11 miles
January 5, 2016
3.20 miles
January 6, 2016
3.25 miles
January 7, 2016
5.25 miles
January 8, 2016
3.11 miles
January 9, 2016
4.8 miles
(My mother-in-law's brother-in-law passed away and we had to move his whole home back to Missouri from Illinois so she could get it ready to sell.)
January 10, 2016
2.27 miles
January 11, 2016
3.10 miles
January 12, 2016
2.50 miles
January 13, 2016
2.50 miles
January 14, 2016
2.00 miles
January 15, 2016
1.00 mile
January 16, 2016
4.57 miles
January 17, 2016
1.01 miles
January 18, 2016
1.27 miles
January 19, 2016
1.00 mile
January 20, 2016
2.68 miles
January 21, 2016
3.10 miles
January 22, 2016
3.30 miles
January 23, 2016
4.00 miles
January 24, 2016
1.00 mile
January 25, 2016
1.80 miles
January 26, 2016
2.20 miles
January 27, 2016
1.20 miles
January 27, 2016
3.10 miles
January 28, 2016
2.20 miles
January 29, 2016
3.10 miles
January 30, 2016
1.00 mile
January 31, 2016
1.00 mile

Total of  77.13 miles for January 2016! 
(27.13 miles above my 50 mile goal... Sa-weet!)

I also want to see how close I can get to the 2,016 miles by adding up my total daily Fitbit miles. So each day I have wrote down how many total miles I get in the course of a day and write it at the top of each day in my Day Planner.... For the month of January my total Fitbit miles are 151.03 miles! (Now I realize that you don't count total Fitbit miles and just the miles you actually make time to walk/jog/run. Not too shabby since you would need 168 miles per month to complete the 2,016 mile yearly challenge! I'm telling you... having a Fitbit and thinking about the walking/jogging/running that you do when you think about exercise will increase your distance for sure! Now let's see what we can do in February for our monthly challenge!

What are you waiting for? Get out there, set some goals and crush them!

Honor Everywhere 360 - A Virtual Reality Experience

January 25, 2016 ~ Honor Everywhere 360 is virtual reality experience that takes our veterans to see their memorial via Google Cardboard and a smartphone from the comfort of their homes, hospitals and/or nursing homes.

Honor Everywhere 360 is a Virtual Reality experience for Veterans not able to physically travel to see their memorials in Washington, DC. We are losing our WWII Veterans at a rate of 500 a day nationwide and sadly, most will die before they have the chance to see their memorials. The Honor Everywhere experience is free and available via an app. All you need to view the experience is Google Cardboard and a newer smart phone.   Honor Everywhere 360 is a collaboration with Central MO Honor Flight, Jaunt Studios, Google, Ghost Machine VR and Story Up Studios.

When I learned that Honor Everywhere 360 was being created I was really excited. In 2012 I had the opportunity to work with our veterans by taking a laptop, external speakers, a larger monitor and a personal wi-fi and drove to Jeff City, MO. With the help of some dedicated volunteers under the direction of Sarah Hill we were able to take Chief Master Sergent Dr. Robert Malone on a Virtual Honor Flight from the comfort of his nursing home room with family by his side. 
You can read about this Virtual Honor Flight here:
 In 2013 I had the opportunity to fly on Central Missouri Honor Flight #25 with some incredible American Heroes and some of the most dedicated, passionate and caring individuals that took care of these sweet veterans traveling on this fast paced 24 hour trip to our Nation's Capital! 
You can read about this Honor Flight here:

When Honor Everywhere 360 was almost complete I began explaining what this was to our receptionist, Nicole Ettleman and you could see her wheels turning. She wasn't sure what she could offer but she knew she wanted to be involved in this project. I have to give huge kuddos to Nicole because she did some searching on the internet to find State Veterans Nursing Homes within the United States and wanted to send letters to each of them so that hopefully we could get Honor Everywhere 360 into the hands of the employees of each of these locations to share with our veterans. After a few days and lots of color printing she mailed out 159 packages of information to these Veteran Nursing Homes. I'm really proud that she took on a project like this and wants to make sure our veterans get to see their memorials if they aren't able to go on a real Honor Flight near them. 

What can you do to help?

We are very excited to be able to get this video in the hands of wonderful volunteers willing to download this free app on their smartphone (iPhone and Android phones) and share with our veterans.  We would first like to encourage you to reach out to an Honor Flight hub near you by visiting and encourage veterans to sign up for an Honor Flight. Honor Everywhere 360 is intended for those who are unable to travel on an honor flight.  

If you have veterans unable to travel on an honor flight, then Honor Everywhere 360 would be the next best thing for them to see their memorial. We ask that you order Google Cardboard by visiting the following website: . This cardboard viewer is what makes this video come to life. It costs $23.95 and if this is something that you or your business can not afford, please let us know so that we can ship you one from a very limited supply that we have. 

The next thing you will need to do is download the free Honor Everywhere 360 App from the app store on your smartphone.  (This app is currently available for both iPhone and Android)  

Instructions to download the app.
1. On your newer version smartphone, go to the app store like Apple App Store or Google Play on Android phones.
2. Search “Jaunt VR” (This is where the Honor Everywhere video is)
3. Click on the thumbnail to download the free app.
4. After it downloads (It's best to use Wi-Fi to download the app), locate the Jaunt VR app icon on your smartphone.
5. Press the app icon. Click on the “Travel” icon and move over to “360 Documentaries”
6. “Honor Everywhere 360” will be in that selection of videos. 
Once you find it, click on “Honor 360”.
7. Turn the phone to the side and slide it into your Google Cardboard device.
8. Make sure you had headphones or ear buds plugged into your phone for the Veteran to hear the experience.
9. The video lasts about 8 minutes.
10. If you have problems downloading the app, please contact Sarah Hill at .

Once you receive your Google Cardboard and you have downloaded this app, you are ready to go! Everything should be very simple from this point and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Michele Spry at 573-864-8200 or

There is another option as we have had several calls about veterans not being able to see or hear well enough to view from a mobile device. You can also view Honor Everywhere 360 from YouTube and view on your computer and/or iPad and use your computer's cursors or your fingers to view 360 degrees while the video is playing. 

This would be great to view on a large TV for multiple veterans to see!

CT Scan Results.....

January 21, 2016 ~ As many of you know my momma was recently diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). Although they caught all of this super early, her doctor wanted to run a few more tests to see if there were anything inside her body that was flared up and needed attention so she had a CT Scan this morning.  Ashley, Pops and I went with her so we would be able to ask questions too. 

While the doctor did confirm that she in fact does have CLL her prognosis is awesome! The CT Scan showed that she does have a few swollen lymph nodes in her groin area and under her arms but nothing that was alarming or out of the ordinary for this time of year. (In fact he said we all probably have a few swollen lymph nodes as our body is always trying to fight off colds and stuff going around) He told us that momma would be just fine and luckily it's a very slow process and it won't be what kills her. He also stated if you had to have cancer this would be the kind he would want. 

So what does this mean? She will do routine blood work every 6 months and call Missouri Cancer Associates if she notices any large lymph nodes or gets really sick with fever or hospital stays. This was the news we really wanted to hear. There is nothing that she needs to do differently and he even said her walking is a good thing.... So I'm going to do my best to keep her little feet moving! Ha! 

Thank you all for the text messages, phone calls, e-mails and prayers. Cancer is something that is way to common and if you get out of this world without it then you are extremely lucky. Life is short but it's good to know that right now momma is not going anywhere soon and with an awesome support system from so many family and friends there isn't anything we can't get through.... 
Thank you all!