Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!


Today is Halloween day, but we actually celebrated it yesterday as there is no school for Rebecca and Jacob today, and our town had their trick or treat night last night. This year for Halloween, we had a Queen Elsa, Green Lantern and a Batman to take to the festivities!

First up, Jacob got to wear his costume to school on Wednesday and Thursday, as he has different teachers those two days and so 2 Halloween parties. I was a bad mom and did not get a single picture of him before school. Oops. 

Yesterday, Rebecca had to take her costume to school for an afternoon Halloween parade and class party. She had a blast, and I was able to be Mom and help out at her class party. I made jack-o-lantern mandarin orange cups to take (thanks Pinterest for the idea!). They had some crafts to do, a Halloween Bingo game to play and then some yummy snacks! She had a blast. 




Last night our community held their annual trick or treat night. We took all 3 kids. There is one main street that we go up and down and that is it. My kids are used to it and it works for us. Rebecca was very brave this year and went into the haunted yard that is elaborately decorated for Halloween. Last year, it made her cry. Because we were there right away it wasn't as scary as previous years as we passed it later and they were scaring kids and had chainsaws going off, etc.




We ended up meeting up with my brother, his wife and 2 of their children to trick or treat with. A little more than halfway done, Ben decided he was done and didn't want to walk anymore. I have a sore arm today from having to carry him. 



At the very last house, we lost Jacob for a minute, as he did not stay with us as we crossed the street to go back to the van. Thankfully, Bill ran back across the street and found him talking to a mom and crying because he lost us. It was a frightening moment. At this point, Jacob was crying, Ben was crying and we were done! We got into the van and headed off to pick up Wendy's for dinner, which is a post trick or treat tradition for our family. We might have to reconsider though as it is expensive to get food for all of us and not really get a whole lot. It was $28 for dinner. 



Overall, it was a long day that I am glad only comes once a year. The kids had fun though and that is what matters! 


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Weigh in Wednesday # 14

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::: 225.0 lbs
My weight this week is::: 224.6 lbs. I am down 0.4 lbs this week.
AND....
I have lost 11 lbs since I started!!!! 
***DOING  A HAPPY DANCE*** :) 

I wasn't sure what the weigh in would be this morning as this week has been one big ball of stress. (I promise I will explain at a later time, still trying to process everything). I have eaten way to much chocolate, way too much eating out....However, I still am down 0.4 lbs. So I guess I can be happy about that. I just need to turn to exercise or some other coping mechanism than chocolate. 

 I have hit the 11 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! 



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Noah: A Wordless Picture Book by Mark Ludy


BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A hundred years before the Great Flood, a man named Noah came home talking crazy.

God wanted him to build the biggest ship the world had ever seen. The future of humanity depended on it. How would his wife respond? What would the neighbors think? Was it even feasible?

This lavish reimagining of one of the greatest stories of all time will fascinate children and adults alike. Nuances and playful, yet meticulous in following the biblical narrative, Mark Ludy's world-class art digs deeper than the Sunday-school tale of cuddly animals, exploring Noah's relationship with his family, the natural world, God- and a formidable engineering challenge. Immerse yourself in this stunning wordless epic. Whatever your age, you'll never read this story in the same way again.

MY THOUGHTS:

I was skeptical yet excited to receive Noah: A Wordless Picture Book to review, as my 2.5 year old loves to look at pictures in books and I thought I could share this not only with him but with my other 2 children as well. Mark Ludy depicts the Biblical story of Noah in this beautifully illustrated book. According to Amazon.com, it is recommended for ages 2-18.

I will admit that as I looked through it, before I showed it to my children, I was unsure how they were going to react, as the illustrations were nothing like I thought they would be. They were more dark and intense and not as cartoonish as I imagined they would be.

As I "read" it to my children (ages 2.5, 5 and 7) I had a hard time following along the pictures and sharing the Bible story of Noah. I was disappointed in that there was not an emphasis on the taking of 2 of each kind of animal. I did like that Ludy had dinosaurs in the pictures alongside Noah and his family. Some of the pictures were very dark and depressing and in my opinion not age appropriate for younger children. The illustrations are beautifully done, but seem to be geared to an older audience.

That being said, I will be honest that my 2.5 year old and 5 year old lost interest very quickly, and my 7 year old said that the book was just okay, but she liked her Bible better.

DISCLAIMER:

This book was provided free by the publisher and Handlebar Marketing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Carving Jack-O-Lanterns

Sunday night, we let the kids carve their pumpkins and make them into jack-o-lanterns. We try to do this the weekend before Halloween so that the pumpkins don't go bad. I have had the pumpkins in our mud room for a couple of weeks as I bought them when I first saw them at Aldi's for $1.99 each!

Well Sunday night was the big night. We readied the table with lots of newspapers and set to work.



Bill and I cut the tops off, and helped the kids de-seed and de-yuckify the insides of their pumpkins. Jacob HATED putting his hand in, while Rebecca did a much better job this year than last year.




After they were de-yuckyfied, then I gave Ben a marker to draw on his and then I cut out his design. Rebecca and Jacob designed both of theirs and Bill helped Jacob cut his out, while Rebecca cut a lot of hers out by herself.




I think they turned out really cute. Rebecca wanted a movie star pumpkin and Jacob wanted a sick pumpkin. Ben's is well....his own design.



We put the jack-o-lanterns on the front porch on glass tables facing the front door, so that the kids can watch them.

Do you carve jack-o-lanterns at your house? 

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!