Friday, October 24, 2014

Overwhelmed...

Completely overwhelmed right now. It is on days like today that you realize on one hand how completely and totally you love your child and want to protect them and on the other hand, how difficult it is to be a parent who wants what is best for your child knowing that you possibly face a long road ahead. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

God Gave Us Angels by Lisa Tawn Bergren (Kids book review)


FROM THE BACK COVER: 

“What do angels do all day, Papa?”
 
When Papa finds Little Cub looking for angels, it gives him a chance to tell his beloved child about those that may be in their midst, even when they can’t be seen.  Exploring their exhilarating Arctic world as they talk, Papa lovingly answers all of Little Cub’s questions about angels—and as usual, she has a lot. She wants to know what they do, how they look, how they guard God’s loved ones, and best of all, how they serve the Creator of the world.  
 
“God really created angels to serve him more than us, Little Cub.
They love him and would do anything for him.”
 
This uplifting tale will encourage young hearts by exploring the glory and design of God’s messengers, while turning toward him with praise. 

MY THOUGHTS: 

I have enjoyed other books in this series by Lisa Tawn Bergren. I love that the author can explain things in a Biblical Christian perspective so I had high hopes for this book. I wasn't disappointed. The illustrations in God Gave Us Angels are adorable and the text is written in a way that the baby cub is asking questions about Angels to her papa bear; Some of the questions included why the angels have halos, what do angels do all day, why it seems like God does not always give us angels to protect us, etc. 

This book is advertised to be appropriate for children 3-7.  I read it to my 7 year old and my 5 year old. My 5 year old loved the illustrations and the use of the bears, because polar bears are his favorite. My 7 year old was able to read the text easily and enjoyed reading it to her two younger brothers. 

One thing that did catch me off guard about this book is that my 7 year old asked some thought provoking questions as we were reading which led me to two points that I found disappointing in the story. The story is written from a Christian perspective, however, there is a discrepancy in how Papa Bear answers 2 of his little cub's question and how a Catholic would answer. One of the questions Little Cub asks is "Will we get to be angels when we die?" Papa Bear answers no and says that angels were created separately from humans by God and that we will see them in Heaven but will not become them. Well, Rebecca wanted to know then why we call her brother Travis who was stillborn, her and her brothers' guardian angel. I had to explain that we don't always agree with everything that we read, and that in our household we believe that are ancestors are our guardian angels and we believe that God's love allows them to become angels. Our beliefs on that subject are just different from the authors. I also did not agree with Papa Bear's answer to whether we should pray to the angels. Papa Bear answers no, that we should only pray to God.  As a Catholic, we are taught that we can and should pray to our Guardian Angel to ask for protection and shelter in times of need. I reminded Rebecca and Jacob of this and also reminded them that just because we don't agree with the author on these two points that the book is still full of useful information of learning about angels. It helped lead me to remind my children that OUR family believes in Catholicism and others may believe in Christ and Christianity, but they have different beliefs in how we worship. 

Overall, I was happy with the book in that it is age appropriate and appeals to my children, even if it did not 100% agree with our family's Catholic beliefs. 

DISCLAIMER: I received this book free from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Weigh In Wednesday #13

In an effort to lose 40 lbs over the course of the next year (by July 28, 2015) I have decided to have a weekly accountability forum here on my blog. Every Wednesday I will be posting a "Weigh In Wednesday" post where I will post my weight taken that morning and things that I did good on the previous week, and things (goals) to work on for the next week. I think that by doing this, I can break it down into smaller goals and hopefully make myself more accountable!


First let's recap:
 My official starting weight (on July 30) was:::  235.6 lbs.
My weight last week was::: 226.2 lbs
My weight this week is::: 225.0 lbs. I am down 1.2 lbs this week.
AND....
I have lost 10.6 lbs since I started!!!! 
***DOING  A HAPPY DANCE*** :) 

I felt pretty good going into my weigh in this morning. I noticed yesterday that my jeans that I had just washed and dried, seemed looser on me than normal! So that is a good thing. I wasn't sure what my weight was going to be as I didn't pay that close of attention to eating as I would have liked this week, with camping and having McDonald's on Sunday night when I was too tired to cook but I also noticed that I am more conscious of how much I am eating and I don't usually pig out like I used to. I will admit that yesterday I did have several little mini candy bars, but that is not an every day thing. I was completely stressed out and it just happened. Another thing I really need to work on it getting more water. I am exhausted at the end of the day and I think that not drinking enough water is one of the culprits; so I will try this week to drink more water. 

Overall, I am extremely happy this week. I have hit the 10 lbs lost mark and that is GREAT for me! Slow and steady wins the race! 

Any words of wisdom? Thoughts? Advice? 
I would love to have all the support I can get!!
If you are trying to lose weight, feel free to tag along on these posts as well! Would love some company on this weight loss journey! 



Monday, October 20, 2014

Stepped out of my comfort zone....

The past weekend, I stepped way out of my comfort zone!

If you know me, you would soon learn that I am NOT an outdoor person. I don't like sweating. I don't like outdoor stuff---camping, hiking, bugs, etc. Growing up, we never went camping or anything like that as my parents were not outdoorsmen and we lived in Columbus, Ohio, right in the middle of the city, so there wasn't a lot of opportunities to escape to nature.

Well.....

This weekend, Rebecca had an American Heritage Girls camp out! And since I am the Troop Shepherd and the leader for Rebecca's group, the Tenderhearts, then that kind of meant that I HAD to attend. (I also had to attend as all the Kindergarten through 3rd grade parents had to be there with their daughters per rules.) I will admit I was NOT looking forward to it! Not only am I not an outdoors person, but the weather called for showers off and on and COLD weather!

Saturday, bright and early we were off. It was being held at the house of the Troop President as she has 5 acres of land and most of it is wooded, etc. It was perfect for a first camp out. Many of the girls who attended had never been on a camp out before.

Rebecca had never been on one before, but I will tell you, she was so excited! She had to help set up our tent. We had to set up our sleeping bags. It was camping!



Rebecca learned a lot about camping safety, camp fires and about leaving no trace but footprints when you are out in nature.

They tie-dyed shirts with red and blue dye.


They had to make hobo meals to cook on the fire for dinner. They made smores.



They went on a night trust hike where they used their senses and there were no flashlights except for the leader and the person in the very back of the line. They sang campfire songs.

Soon it was time for bed. I wasn't sure how Rebecca was going to handle sleeping in a tent, but she was more than ready. I was concerned because it was forecast to be 30 degrees or below that night. So we had multiple layers on and I grabbed our quilt from our bed to add to the warmth of the sleeping bags.


Rebecca fell right asleep. I dozed off and on here and there, but every little noise woke me up.  I finally got up around 4:30 am to find 3 other mom's sitting around the campfire so I joined them. 


At 7am, the troop president, blasted the song "Let It Go" from an outdoor radio to wake the girls up. Then we started breakfast preparations. Someone made hot chocolate on the fire. Another troop leader made monkey bread on the campfire and we had fruit.


Then we had time for another craft, before it was time to disassemble tents and head home!


Like I said, Rebecca had a blast. I will admit that I did too. It was a lot of fun and simple. Maybe I am an outdoorsy person after all. I stepped out of my comfort zone to attend this and although it was very cold, I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Stepping....

Today I am stepping WAY out of my comfort zone.....details soon!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 Days to a Clutter Free Life-- Days 5-12 in pictures!

October 1st, I announced that I was taking part in the 31 Days to a Clutter Free Life challenge over at Living Well Spending Less. While I haven't been able to blog about it everyday, I have been trying to keep up with it.


Some of the days, I decided to skip as I don't have an issue in those areas. Other days I skipped because I didn't have the time to really put forward the effort needed in that area. Don't worry though, even on those days I straightened up the areas. Here is a recap of how I have done in the past week:

Day 5: Books and Magazines



I listed a ton of adult books on facebook selling wall and I have already sold several. (Those not sold by the end of the month will be donated to Goodwill) I took a huge bag of books to school for a donation to the after school care program I work at. Our shelves look so much better! 

Day 6: DVDs and Video Games-- I had Dear Hubby go through the dvds and video games. He came up with a lot to get rid of. I listed over 20 on facebook selling wall and have sold several. Those not sold by the end of the month will be donated to Goodwill. 

Day 7: Toys-- This is an ongoing project that I tackled when I did the living room. I also recently have done the boys' room, but still need to do Rebecca's room. 

Day 8: Junk Drawer


Day 9: Dining Area



Day 10: Kitchen Counters


Day 11: Kitchen Cupboards-- This space is already organized as I have a very limited number of cabinets in my kitchen and thus can't breed clutter in them. 

Day 12: Pantry-- This was done when I organized the entry way as it is part of my entry way.

So there you have it...Days 5-12 DONE! I haven't been able to keep up with daily blogging with life going on, but I have been keeping up with the challenge for the most part. Now just to finish the month strong! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Weigh In Wednesday #12

In an effort to lose 40 lbs over the course of the next year (by July 28, 2015) I have decided to have a weekly accountability forum here on my blog. Every Wednesday I will be posting a "Weigh In Wednesday" post where I will post my weight taken that morning and things that I did good on the previous week, and things (goals) to work on for the next week. I think that by doing this, I can break it down into smaller goals and hopefully make myself more accountable!


First let's recap:
 My official starting weight (on July 30) was:::  235.6 lbs.
My weight last week was::: 226.6 lbs
My weight this week is::: 226.2 lbs. I am down 0.4 lbs!!!! ***DOING  A HAPPY DANCE*** :) 

I wasn't sure what my weight was going to be this week. First of all, we did end up eating out twice--once we took Jacob to McDonald's for his choice of birthday dinner and then Sunday night we got pizza as my dad bought it after Jacob's birthday party. And I had cake at Jacob's birthday party, and a piece the next day...Eating wise it hasn't been the greatest. AND since I had such a huge loss last week I wasn't sure if I would lose anything this week. BUT I did end up being down 0.4 lbs! So I am happy with that. It is still going in the right direction and that is a good thing! 

Any words of wisdom? Thoughts? Advice? 
I would love to have all the support I can get!!
If you are trying to lose weight, feel free to tag along on these posts as well! Would love some company on this weight loss journey!