Monday, November 24, 2014

I, James by Mike Hartner (book review)


BOOK DESCRIPTION: 

James Crofter was ripped from his family at age 11. Within a year the prince was a pauper in a foreign land. Is nature stronger than nurture? And even if it is, can James find the happiness he so richly desires?

I, James is the second book in the Eternity series. The saga will continue to span continents and time to arrive in present day North America. You can find more at: www.theeternityseries.com


MY THOUGHTS:
After reading I, Walter last year,  which was book 1 in the Eternity series,  I was looking forward to reading book 2 titled I, James by Mike Hartner. And I am pleased to say that Mr. Hartner did NOT disappoint. 

I, James follows the life of James Crofter, the son of Walter and Maria. Born a prince in the 1600s, he spent his early childhood living a life of luxury and love. Then due to a family feud, he was kidnapped and sold into slavery where he lived in his teenage years a horrible life enduring many hardships along the way. However, he never lost sight of surviving and with the help of many friends, whom he came to see as his family, he was able to plan for his escape while also thinking of how to help these friends. James had always held an interest in money, through lessons he had learned from his father and through his own observations, and he used this interest to incorporate a new era of economics in using paper currency backed by coins in the bank instead of travelling with all of your coins. This in turn was a way that he was able to help his fellow slaves after the gained their freedom. What follows was a story of James' escape from slavery, which included action, adventure, pirates, a love story and trying to live a fulfilling life while also wondering if he would ever be reunited with his parents.

I, James did not disappoint on any level. The plot was fast paced and well intertwined with the character development. The characters were all well developed and you really felt that you were right there alongside each of them. I liked that while James and Rosalind were the major characters, you really came to know the other characters that had a large impact on the story, including Sir Rupert, Captain Jose, Diego the blacksmith among others. I also like the fact that in this story, while it was James' ultimate goal to reunite with his parents, life happened and he went with it. He didn't get discouraged because these things were happening to him, rather he faced them and moved on. It became a story of survival and hope that things will work out in the end.

I, James is a wonderful, fun read. The story kept me engaged and sitting on the edge of my seat cheering James on and hoping for the best but fearing the worst may happen.  This story, as well as the first book I, Walter, could easily be made into a movie with all the action and adventure that is portrayed. I am looking forward to reading more in this series when they become available.

DISCLAIMER: 
I was sent this book through the Kate Tilton Blogging program and the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

link

Happy Homemaker Monday

Happy Monday! 

We are still in the getting Jacob better mode. Bill took him back to the ER yesterday as his fever was down but was still there. They took an x-ray and ruled out pneumonia, and said that he just has a nasty case of bronchitis that is sticking around. They gave him an inhaler to help loosen things up. This morning, he woke up with no fever so hopefully, fingers crossed, we have turned a corner. It has been a long week because of that.This week I have a TON of things to do so I thought  I would join Sandra today over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for her Happy Homemaker Monday theme in order to get my thoughts in order! :)
 






The weather outside is::::
After experiencing a snow day last week and very, very cold temperatures...today it is cloudy out and warm. It is supposed to be up in the 60s today, but we also have a high wind warning with winds from 40-70 mph. I hope we don't lose power.

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
  I haven't had anything yet. Not really hungry. Might make some eggs here in a bit. 

As I look outside my window:::
It is grey and windy out. Dreary looking really as all the snow from last week has melted leaving the ground kind of brown looking. 

Right now I am::::
   Sitting here thinking about everything I need to get done this week. 

As I look around the house::::
  The house doesn't look too bad, considering we have been dealing with sickness all week. Cupcakes are cooling in the kitchen, so there are some breakfast and other dishes in the sink. I just brought a basket of clothes up to fold. There are toys on the floor that Benjamin is playing with.

On today's to do list::::
Laundry.... I am behind on laundry...so I have at least 4 loads to do today.
In the kitchen....I need to unload and reload the dishwasher and wipe down counters
In the living room....I need to gather the blankets that Jacob has been using to wash them.
In the bedrooms....I need to make beds and do a quick tidying up.
In the bathrooms....I need to gather dirty clothes and do a general tidy up.
I also need to cut Jacob's hair as it is getting way too long on the ears and he keeps twirling it. I also have speech today for Benjamin, an eye doctor appt. for Jacob, tomorrow a Help Me Grow appointment for Benjamin, and I have 2 birthday cakes to make for Thanksgiving day....

Currently reading::::
 I just finished I, James by Mike Hartner. (Am hoping to have it's review up tonight or tomorrow). I have 2 children's Christmas books to read and review as well. 

On the TV today::::
Right now the boys are watching the new "Dora and Friends: Into the City" show. Not sure what if anything I will watch. I think that season finale of "19 Kids and Counting" is on this week. I will also make it a point to watch the Thanksgiving Charlie Brown show at some point with the kids this week. 

On the menu this week::::
Monday - Leftovers
Tuesday - Chicken patty sandwiches, fries, and fruit
Wednesday - ????
Thursday - Thanksgiving dinner
Friday - Pizza night
Saturday - Rebecca's choice for her birthday dinner
Sunday -  Thanksgiving dinner again.


What I am creating at the moment::::
Nothing at the moment....but I do have to create 2 birthday cakes this week. My niece has requested a Pokeman cake and Rebecca has requested a Spongebob cake. I also bought some items to make a couple homemade Christmas gifts. 


Favorite photo from the camera::::

Look Mom I am helping you clean! LOL


Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

This Thanksgiving let those of us who have much and those who have little gather at the welcoming table of the Lord. At this blessed feast, may rich and poor alike remember that we are called to serve on another and to walk together in God's gracious world. With thankful hearts we praise our God who like a loving parent denies us no good thing.

 From Songs of Our Hearts, Meditations of Our Souls: Prayers for Black Catholics, edited by Cecilia A. Moor, Ph.D., C. Vanessa White, D.Min., and Paul M. Marshall, S.M.

Hope everyone has a great week! 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bronchitis and a get well card

Tuesday night, while at work, I got a text from Bill saying he wasn't going to be coming to meet me at a Reconciliation meeting that we were supposed to attend for Rebecca because Jacob had just thrown up all over himself. And he had a fever....just lovely.

Well Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, Jacob threw up a few more times and had a fever. I decided to treat the fever with Motrin/ Tylenol piggy back....That night, Jacob stayed downstairs on the love seat and I was on the couch to keep an eye on him and help him.

Wednesday, I was able to keep his fever down to around 100.0 degrees, and he did not throw up at all. He had absolutely no energy and laid around all day long.



Wednesday night, we again slept downstairs and I noticed the Jacob was developing a very deep sounding cough....

This morning, Jacob woke up at 6:30 am and starting crying for his dada. I took his temperature and it was 103.7. Bill left to run to work to tell them that he had to help take Jacob to the ER, and in the meantime I got Jacob dressed and then had to get Rebecca and Benjamin up so that I could take Rebecca to school.

The diagnosis at the ER....bronchitis. Apparently Jacob is susceptible as he had pneumonia last year and that makes him more likely to have lung infections. Just great. They gave him a breathing treatment at the ER, and prescribed him an antibiotic.

I gave him the antibiotic this afternoon and we have been piggy backing the Motrin/Tylenol. About an hour ago, Jacob got up and started moving around and actually asked for dinner. He ate 3 pieces of pizza and some fruit. I hope this means that the antibiotic has started working and we are on the rebound. I am hoping that tonight Jacob can sleep in his own bed, and I can actually sleep in mine.

On a more positive note, when Rebecca came home from school today she had a surprise for her brother...a get well card she made in school. It was the sweetest gesture.



I just have to say I hate when my kids are sick! And I hope that no one else in my house gets sick!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Weigh in Wednesday # 16 AND #17

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::: 222.2 lbs
My weight this week is::: 223.4 lbs. 
I am up 1.2 lbs. :(  

November has been a very stressful month. I did weigh myself last week on Wednesday but did not get to post that day. Surprisingly today when I weighed myself I weighed the same as last week. So we will do a 2 for 1 Weigh in Wednesday. Things have been stressful around here. Bill has been extremely busy with work. Worry about Benjamin. Busyness that comes from work and kids being in school and parent teacher conferences, etc. And today Jacob is home sick from school with a fever and throwing up. It doesn't end. I have been trying to be better at eating better, but quite honestly we have been eating out some (not a ton but at least once a week) and I have been snacking more. I really need to get back on track.....

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, November 17, 2014

Snow Day Fun!

Today, the kids and I had the day off from school and work due to the snow that we got overnight. So this afternoon, after Bill took Benjamin to his speech therapy session, we decided to get everyone snow suited up and head out to play.



The kids had a ton of fun. The sun came out and it was nice being outside. Benjamin loved walking in the snow and picking it up and throwing it. He didn't like when he fell and couldn't get up. Rebecca and Jacob enjoyed throwing snowballs at Bill and I.



After we came in, I made hot chocolate for everyone, including Benjamin who doesn't seem to like it!



Overall, it was a good, snowy play day!

Snow day today

one of the trees outside our house


Last night when I went to bed, I saw that the forecast was for 3-6 inches of snow overnight for our first snowfall of the winter season...

Except it isn't winter yet. It is only November 17....

Well, I woke up at 2 am and there was barely anything on the ground....

Then I got woken up at 5:41 from our school, saying that we were on a 2 hour delay today. I looked out our window and the streets and ground were covered with snow. So I reset my alarm for 8:00 instead of 6:30 and went back to sleep.

Bill got up and left for work. I woke up again with a phone call at 7:54 am from our school that we were now closed for the day.

view from my kitchen window


I decided to get up and shower, but when I looked in Rebecca's room she was awake. I told her there was no school and she started crying. But her mood got better once I showed her outside.

Then Jacob got up and I told him there was no school. And he started crying and said "But it is Monday and I go to school on Mondays." I am so thankful that I have kids that love school.

Right now, I am trying to get some things done. I have a load of sheets in the wash and have made a to do list for the day. I hope to get a lot done on this extra day off.

Does it snow where you are? 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Weigh In Wednesday #15

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::: 224.6 lbs
My weight this week is::: 222.2 lbs. 
I am down 2.4 lbs this week!
***DOING  A HAPPY DANCE*** :) 

I have been very stressed and have gotten to the point where when I do eat, I don't eat very much. I have cut back on my chocolate snacking though so I guess that is a good thing! I am trying to make sure that I at least eat 3 meals a day, even if they are small. For example last night, I only had a chicken patty sandwich as I really wasn't all that hungry but it was something. Still need to work on drinking more water. I have been so tired this week and I think it is a combination of stress and not drinking enough. Have to change that. I want to lose the weight and keep it off, but I don't want to lose a bunch of weight because I am stressed.  

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!