Saturday, August 30, 2014

Books that I read in August for fun

Not all the books that I have been reading have been for review. I have made several trips to our local library to check out some books to read just because.....

Here are a few that I read in August....(Disclaimer: if you click on the book pictures they will take you to the page on Can you tell that when I find an author that I like, I tend to read LOTS of their books in a row? LOL 

Have you read any good books lately?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Things on my mind: head cold, softball, etc.

This week has been draining. I have gotten a head cold and man is it taking it's toll. The Kleenex box is my constant companion as my nose is like a faucet. Wednesday I felt like I was draining down my throat, and by this morning my nose is just dripping and my eyes are watery and I have a headache. Fun times....not really!

I wore heels to work yesterday. I am trying to make a more concentrated effort to look more professional in my role as team leader. The good news is that I got several compliments on my outfit. The bad news is that my shoes gave me blisters on the back of my heels and on the big toe of my left food. I don't know if it was because I hadn't worn heels in a while, or if it was because they weren't stretched out, or if it was because I also had to wear them to the softball field as I had to leave work and go straight to the field for Rebecca's game and I forgot to bring shoes to change into.

Speaking of Rebecca's softball game....her team won. They are now 3-0. She didn't get any base hits last night, although she did hit the ball each time. She just hit them right at the fielders and they were able to get her out. But she is having fun and that is what matters.

Today was dress down day at Rebecca's school and she wanted to wear a dress. She can be such a girly girl at times.

Well I have a ton to do and my head is not making my to do list look any more appealing but I must run and get stuff done. I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Today I feel....

That is how I feel today...but I can't do that. Yesterday I felt like I was draining down my throat but my nose and ears and sinuses felt fine. I was hoping it was just allergies or stress. Well today I woke up feeling like my head was going to explode. I had a huge headache, and a stuffed up nose. Yep...I have a back to school cold. Unfortunately, I have too much to do to go back to bed, so I will have to deal. I have a busy day ahead, with work and then Rebecca has softball tonight and of course Bill has to work. It will be okay. I just have to deal.

Hope everyone else is feeling good and having a good day! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Weigh In Wednesday #5

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::: 235.0 lbs
My weight this week is::: 232.6 lbs! DOWN 2.4 lbs!  :) 

My food goal for last week was:::  Plan out my meals and snacks daily. No eating at work! No eating after 8pm. 

So yeah, that really didn't happen. I did sort of plan out my meals each day, but there were still a little snacking at night. Also there were a few days that I had a snack at work with the kiddos...including an ice cream sundae on Friday.  But since I wasn't home during the afternoons and instead was at work, there was no mindless snacking, etc. that I think helped.

My fitness goal for last week was:::  Do 3 -25 minute workouts.

So did 1 workout....I blame it on back to school/work and the fact that I was exhausted from this. I also blame it on the monthly appearance of Aunt Flo. I get exhausted the day before and the first couple days of my cycle, so I put the blame there. I will say that I went back to work last Wednesday and there is NO downtime at work. I am constantly on my feet with the kiddos and I think that helped me have the huge loss this past week. 

So, my food goal for this week is::: Focus on getting enough to drink. Drink more water! Drink 5 glasses of water each day. Take a water bottle to Rebecca's softball games so I am not tempted to buy pop. 

And my fitness goal for this week is::: Do 3 20 minute workouts. (Would like to make this a habit....)

So overall I am very pleased with my weight loss even if I didn't meet my goals. I learned from this past week that I just need to move more and eat less. Isn't that what people have said for thousands of years in order to lose weight? Just need to do it! 

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, August 26, 2014

$10 Great Dates: Connecting Love, Marriage and Fun on a Budget


Create Big Romance on a Small Budget
Tired of the usual dinner-and-a-movie dates? Looking for new ways to connect with your spouse? 

Energize your marriage by getting out of your normal routine with the help of these 52 creative date ideas. From outdoor dates to out-on-the-town dates, you and your spouse will have no trouble finding the perfect date that fits your mood--all on a $10 budget!

See for yourself how new experiences can help you bond together and nurture your relationship. Which of these will be the first of your Great Dates?

· Time Travel Great Date
· Moonlight/Sunrise Great Date
· Bucket List Great Date
· Surprise Me! Great Date

Each date includes easy preparation suggestions, tips for the date, talking points to enhance your conversations, and a Great Date takeaway. What are you waiting for?


$10 Great Dates: Connecting Love, Marriage and Fun on a Budget by Heather and Peter Larson and Claudia and David Arp is a great resource for getting ideas for cheap dates when you are tired of doing the same old, same old. The book is set up into sections that offer date ideas in the ideas of Adventure, Out of Town, At Home, The Great Outdoors, Marriage Pick-Me-Up, Romantic, Seasonal, and Unique and Unusual great date ideas. There is something for everyone. My husband and I had fun going through the book and talking about what dates would work for us and which ones we just didn't think we would enjoy. There are several that we are planning on doing in the coming months and should be a ton of fun. 

If anything this book reminded us that we need to take time to date each other and to make time to focus on our marriage and not just on the day to day life of raising our children. I like that the authors included the idea along with what needs to be done before to set up your date, what are some things to do on your date, what are some things you could talk about on your date and what you can take away from your date. It is very comprehensive and goes beyond the norm that many couples fall into. 

I also like that they include a section on achieving childcare for low cost, although we follow most of the suggestions that they have. 

I really liked this book and will be referencing it in the future, especially since my husband and I have decided that we will make it a point to have at least 2 date nights a month. I am looking forward to implementing a few of their ideas and using the book as a springboard for coming up with our own date ideas. 

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday ( 8/25/14)

Happy Monday! 

Yesterday, we spent the day doing things around the house. I did some laundry, took somethings to Goodwill to donate, got Rebecca ready for school this week, covered a couple of her school books, etc. Today, I woke up feeling very blah. I think I am dealing with some depression.....

So today, I am joining Sandra today over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for her Happy Homemaker Monday theme! 

Breakfast time, what is on the plate this morning:::: I had 2 eggs and some turkey bacon.(and a bite of brownie that I made last night!) 

On this week's to do list:::: I have decided to change this to a weekly to do list because it makes more sense to me... So this week we have: Benjamin speech therapy, work for me, work for Bill, AHG registration night for me, softball for Rebecca, laundry, cleaning desk area and kids' art area, make a shutterfly photo book before my credit for a free on runs out on Saturday, cut Jacob's hair. 

Currently reading:::: The Last Boyfriend  by Nora Roberts. This is the second book in a trilogy, and I just found out the 3rd book came out in July, so I need to reserve that one from our local library! :) 

On the TV today:::: Not much. I will probably watch some football this week, as my husband told me that college football starts this week. There are really no shows on right now that have my attention. 

The weather outside is::: . One word...HOT! It is supposed to be in the high 80s all week, with heat indexes of high 90s. And it is humid.

On the menu this week:::: I actually have some ideas of what to fix this week, but am not assigning days as I find that too our choices for this week are: 

Chili and grilled cheese
Fish sticks, broccoli, baked potatoes, carrots
Pizza and salad
Hamburgers and french fries
Hamburger helper and peas
Potatoes and sausage bake and macaroni and cheese
Baked bbq chicken, green beans, corn and carrots
Sandwiches and fruit

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will:::: rest

Favorite photo from the camera::::

Today is my brother Joe's 30th birthday. He is the one in the black shirt. This picture was taken Easter this past year. This is Joe and my dad. I don't get to see Joe very often, even though he lives 4 streets down from me. But I want to make sure he knows that I wish him a very Happy Birthday! 

Praying for:::: direction and patience.

Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating me with at the moment:::: 


Thanks Sandra for hosting! Hope everyone has a great week! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Date night and NOT so amazing....

Saturday was an extremely busy day. Bill had to work most of the day. Rebecca had a softball game (which her team won!), that she had to there by 10:30 and we didn't get home from it until 1. Then we had a quick lunch. I had Rebecca do her homework, then I had to take her to a birthday party. While she was at the birthday party, I gave the boys a bath, then I had to go back and pick her up. Bill brought home a large pizza that someone had given him, so we gave that to the kids for dinner. We decided to have an impromptu date night since we had no evening plans and we just wanted to relax. We decided to once again do a dinner and movie. 

We ordered Chinese food and I went over to our Family Video store and rented The Amazing Spider-man 2.  We really were not in the mood for anything too serious and we have enjoyed most other Marvel movies so I thought that this would be a good movie. It had just come out on DVD this past week, so I was actually surprised that the video store had any left. 

So, after I picked up our food and movie, we ate our Chinese food... egg rolls, chicken and broccoli, and sweet and sour chicken...YUMMY. Then got the kids to bed and sat down to watch our movie. 

Well.... the Chinese food that we had was much better than the movie. The Amazing Spider-man 2 was NOT amazing. In fact, we turned it off after 45 minutes because it was boring. The plot was VERY slow and the casting of the characters was just not good in my opinion. After we turned it off, I read the rest of a library book and Bill watched several episodes of "The Simpsons" during the FXX's "Every Simpson's Ever" marathon showing. 

So, even though our evening didn't go as planned, I think we both enjoyed just spending time with each other and doing things that we liked. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Healing Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter (review)

Book description: 
Emma and Lamar Miller retreat to an Amish settlement in Florida for the winter as they lead another quilting class with a new group of unlikely students. Class members discover friendship, faith, healing, and perhaps a little romance while getting to know each other over their quilting projects.

My thoughts: 
The Healing Quilt, by Wanda E. Brunstetter,  is actually book number 3 in the "Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club" series, so I thought I might have a hard time following along as I have not read the first 2. However, that was not the case. This is a great stand alone story. There were probably references I would have gotten (such as some of the relationships like Jan and Star's relationship, etc.) if I had read the first 2 but it did not take away from the story. I will admit that I loved this story. It was so real. The characters were struggling with everyday life issues that we all have had or have known someone who has had...job loss, pregnancy, being a widow, health scares, etc. Emma and Lamar are the joining and often calming factors with all the different relationships that are going on. I love that Ms. Brunstetter focused everyone around Emma and Lamar, but also let us into the other's personal thinking. The story itself is one of many different trials and tribulations all centering on letting God be in your life and finding peace and healing with your own situation. I will admit that this book made me laugh and cry and that to me is a sign of a good read. I look forward to reading others in this series. 

Disclaimer: This book was provided free of charge by the publisher and Handlebar Marketing in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Things on my mind: I have a second grader and more...

This past week has been pretty busy here in our household. Bill had a huge project due at work. I went back to work from the summer. Rebecca went back to school. Rebecca had her first fall ball softball game. Jacob had an open house at his preschool. We have just been plain busy. 

Rebecca on her first day of Second grade! 

I still cannot believe that I am the mother of a second grader. Rebecca started school on Wednesday and she is in the second grade. She loves her new teacher, who has been teaching at this school for over 20 years. She was so glad to see her friends. I am thankful that I have a daughter who loves school.

I took Jacob to his preschool open house and he loved it. He said he wishes he could play in his classroom all the time. LOL. On Wednesday, he wanted to know where Rebecca was. I said that she was at school. He then wanted to know when he got to go to school. He is so excited to start school like his sister. We are putting him in a 5 day preschool program, so that he can get adjusted to being away from me and get used to being in school. We hope around Christmas to move him  to the Pre-K program, to help with the academics. He will be 5 in October, so next school year he will be in Kindergarten. I am not too concerned about academics at this age, but I just want him to be able to handle being in a classroom with other kids and a teacher in charge who is not me.

As for me, I went back to work on Wednesday. It was a good first day back. I missed the kids that I work with. They make it worth my while! I am struggling with wanting to be there. I feel like I should be doing more, but right now this is what is available for me and I just need to accept that.

I have been doing bad at exercising daily. Wednesday I did 20 minutes on the Wii Fit and did some weight arm exercises. Thursday morning, I did not want to get up. I think not having sleep the night before due to loud thunderstorms and the nerves of the first day of school caught up with me so I didn't exercise. Last night, I also somehow pulled my calf muscle in my left leg (the opposite one that I hurt last week) and it really hurts to walk or step up or down, so may have to focus on doing some arm exercises.

Well I feel like I am behind this morning. I had a meeting at 8am for American Heritage Girls, which is similar to Girl Scouts, but is more Christian based. I am on the board for it and had a board meeting. Just got home a little bit ago, and now I feel like my schedule is out of whack! Well I should get off of here and do something....probably laundry! LOL

Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Took the kids to the park...

Tuesday was our last official day of Summer break from school for Rebecca and work for me. So to celebrate, Bill and I decided to take the kids to the park for a picnic and then to play.

They had so much fun. It is really amazing to see how grown up Benjamin is getting. He loves to go down slides and he was fascinated with the bridge on the playground. Jacob loved just running around and going down the bumpy slide. Rebecca loved climbing on the rope pyramid and her dad even joined in! Overall, it was a lovely afternoon at the park!

What is your favorite thing to do at a park? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Weigh In Wednesday #4

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::: 236.4 lbs
My weight this week is::: 235.0 lbs! A drop of 1.4 lbs!  :) 

My food goal for last week was::: I was going to eat 3 meals and 2 snacks. No eating after 8pm. 

Well I did okay on eating 3 meals and 2 snacks. I didn't do so well at the eating after 8pm thing though. There were a few nights that I had a snack around 9:30 and I think that it may have been out of boredom.... 

My fitness goal for last week was:::  Do 3 -20 minute workouts.--- 

Well the good news is that I accomplished this! YAY! The bad news is that I injured myself and was unable to do any workout Monday or Tuesday! BOO!... On Friday, I walked the kids to the park which is a 1.56 mile round trip. I also chased Benjamin on the playground so that counted too. The walk itself took me 23 minutes. On Saturday, I worked out on the Wii for a total of 40 minutes, doing the obstacle course (which can make me sweat!) and the free step game for 20 minutes. I think it was while doing the step game that I pulled something in my calf. On Sunday, I worked out on the Wii for 20 minutes, but it hurt to step on and off the Wii board because of my calf. By Sunday night, my leg hurt to go up and down steps, etc. Hubby suggested that I take Monday and Tuesday off from any leg exercising in order to let my calf heal. Thankfully it is feeling a little better today so hopefully I can get back into exercising. 

So, my food goal for this week is::: Plan out my meals and snacks daily. No eating at work! No eating after 8pm.  

And my fitness goal for this week is::: Do 3 -25 minute workouts. 

I can do this! Feels so good to finally have a lose. Now to keep up the momentum! 

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, August 19, 2014

Bears and African Cats

We have instituted something new in our family for Friday nights with the kids. Typically we will have an easy dinner--usually pizza, and then I let the kids watch a movie. Last Friday night, I rented the movie "Disneynature: Bears" for the kids to watch. Rebecca had seen it in school, when they went on a field trip to the movie theater to see it. I wasn't sure what to expect. Rebecca had been begging me to see it ever since she saw that it was out on DVD. So I decided to rent it for them to watch. 

I will say that I was impressed. It was like an animal documentary that you would see on discovery channel or a science channel like that, but without the extreme violence or mating that you so often see in animal documentaries. Bears, follows the story of Scout and Amber and their mom Sky through the first year of their life and the trials and tribulations that they face. I thought it was very well done and a wonderful way of introducing kids to nature. 

I did not know that there have been several Disneynature shows produced. Rebecca is really into lions and big cats, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they made:

I was able to go borrow African Cats from our public library. This one follows the stories of a lion pride and a cheetah mom and her cubs. It was really well done as well and Rebecca LOVED it! Benjamin even liked this one! (And I should mention that we watched this on blu-ray and the scenery is amazing!)

I have been very impressed with the quality of these nature shows and look forward to allowing my kids to watch more of them in the future as we still have many more to watch including: 

Have you ever seen any of the Disney Nature movies? Do you or your kids like nature shows? 

Disclaimer: These opinions are my own. Disney Nature has nothing to do with me or my blog. I just liked these products and thought you might too.