Monday, June 30, 2014

Meeting Shrek

Every summer our local theater organization puts on a family musical with typically 7-9 showtimes. Last year they performed "Music Man." Last year was the first year I attended one of the showings. I took my mom and Rebecca to see it as one of my closest friends and Benjamin's Godparents were in it. I wasn't sure what to expect as it was a cast of community members and I remember shows growing up that were done by community theaters and they stunk. Well I was pleasantly surprised at how good the show was and the talent of people in our community.

Well this summer, they are performing "Shrek the Musical." On Saturday, there was a meet and greet with the Shrek cast, along with cookies, balloons and some performances of some of the songs that the cast sings. We took the kids down to meet Shrek and to see Benjamin's Godmother who is playing Princess Fiona.
Benjamin and Jacob did not want to get anywhere near Shrek, while Rebecca was skeptical but decided to do it.

During the singing of the couple of songs that we stayed to watch, the boys were enthralled and seemed to love it. The kids enjoyed the morning...they got to have cookies and they each got a Shrek pencil and a Shrek bookmark. It was a fun way to spend a Saturday morning!

Does your community have a community theater? 
What was the last play that you saw?

Friday, June 27, 2014

What have I been up to?

Well obviously not blogging! LOL

I have been up to a lot and been very busy actually. Let's see if I can remember everything that I have been doing...

Last Friday night, Rebecca was supposed to have her first tournament game.On our way there, I got a text that it was cancelled due to rain in the area. After coming home and feeding the kids, I decided to take the kids to our local "Relay for Life" event. I am part of a team that was participating. As I was heading there, I got a text from my hubby saying that he didn't want us to go as he had a bad feeling about us going..... Well we went and about 15 minutes after we got there we were caught in a torrential downpour of rain. The kids were soaked to the bone and crying and I was soaked. We were able to get back to the tent but we were all dripping wet. We stood under the tent for probably half an hour or so, until my mom offered to take us in her van back to our van. She was parked kind of close to the tent so I said yes. It finally started slowing down rain, as we were getting ready to leave. It was definitely NOT fun.

Saturday and Sunday, we had Rebecca's softball tournament games. Her team won their first game on Saturday, and lost their second game. After the second game, we went to dinner with my in-laws and my parents who had come to watch her play. Sunday morning we had to have her at the softball fields by 8am for warm ups. Thankfully my sister came to watch the boys because there was a possibility that she would have had to play 5 games on Sunday. The first game they won. The next game at 1:30 they lost so her team was eliminated. Her team came in 4th in the tournament. Overall it was a successful softball season and Rebecca learned a lot.

Monday, Benjamin woke up bright and early crying and with a fever. Over the course of the day, I did the Motrin/Tylenol treatment to keep his fever down, but it wasn't helping and he threw up twice. That evening, I took him to Urgent Care where they diagnosed him with an ear infection in each ear. Just great. I guess you can get ear infections with ear tubes....the doctor said he thought that rain water from getting drenched on Friday night collected in Ben's ears and that caused the infections.

As Benjamin and I were leaving Urgent Care to come home, it started pouring torrentially. Over the course of Monday night through Wednesday night our area got over 7 inches of rain. There was widespread flooding in our area. We did not have any immediate flooding, although we did get some water in one half our our basement.

In between the rain showers, there really wasn't much to do as it was too hot and humid to do anything outside and I didn't feel like doing much of anything inside. So I ended up reading a lot for pleasure.

Thursday morning the kids and I went to the grocery stores....we went to Walmart, Aldi and Kroger. I am hoping to make the groceries last for over a week. When we came home, my sister came over to watch Rebecca and Jacob as I had to take Benjamin to a make-up speech therapist appointment that he missed on Monday when he was sick.

Today, I had a tutoring session this morning with a girl that I have tutored the last 3 summers. She is entering the 6th grade in the fall. We are both having loads of fun with the common core mathematics that she is working on. NOT! Right now I should be folding laundry, but I really don't want to. Rebecca is playing on the Wii, Benjamin is snuggling with me, Jacob is playing with a drawing toy and Bill is napping on the couch. It is just a relaxed Friday afternoon.

I hope everyone has had a great week! Hopefully I can keep caught up with blogging and not wait another week to post.

What have you been up to this week? 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Softball League Runner-ups

Wednesday night was Rebecca's last regular season softball game. This weekend, they have their league tournament. Then softball will be over until the fall (not that I am ready for a break or Bill got her signed up for fall ball tonight while at her game.

Back to her last game. Her team won by 21 runs.. final score was 32-11. It was great. Rebecca got a base hit which was nice. She is the second youngest on the team and there are times that it shows. But she loves softball and loves playing it and being with the other girls.

After the game, the league awarded the team their second place in the league trophy. Each team member also got a smaller trophy. Rebecca was ecstatic because she had never received a trophy before.

Thankfully, the rain and storms held off until after they were done with the game and the trophy presentation. The team was having a pizza party picnic after the game to celebrate, but the boys and I came home since there was a huge storm coming in. Bill and Rebecca actually left the party early too as Rebecca didn't like being out in the storm.

All in all it was a great softball season for Rebecca. I hope that she and her team does well in the tournaments.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

thinkThin bars giveaway WINNER announced....

The winner of the thinkThin bars giveaway is:  
The salted caramel sounds fantastic!


Thanks everyone for entering! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Had a lovely Father's Day.....

After a very busy Saturday, yesterday was more laid back and relaxed. It was a very nice Father's Day. We went to church, where we were almost late...but didn't do to bad considering we didn't get up until 9:15 and church starts at 10. 

After mass, we decided to meet my dad and my brother at Bob Evans, and I said I would treat them to breakfast for Father's Day. Breakfast was yummy! I had blueberry pancakes, topped with strawberries and blueberries and whipped cream and a side of real bacon! YUM!!!!

After breakfast, we came back home and just relaxed around the house. The kids gave Bill his Father's Day present--- an over sized beach towel-- which he can use at our community pool if/when we go and maybe for a trip that we might be going on. Bill insisted that I take a nap, so I did. After I got up, we decided to go out for dinner and have a picnic. We ended up getting Wendy's and taking it to our local Children's Garden to enjoy a picnic.

It was a great relaxing evening. A great way to show Bill that he is a wonderful Father to our kids and that I appreciate him. 

How was your Father's Day? How was your weekend? 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Vacation Bible School and Graduation cakes

This week we have been busy, busy, busy. Rebecca and Jacob attended our church's Vacation Bible School or as the school is now calling it "Catholic Kidz Kamp" Sunday night through Thursday night. Rebecca missed Wednesday night because of a softball game, but did the other nights (actually she skipped softball Thursday to go and be part of the end of the week performance). Most of the nights, Bill had to work so it was just Benjamin and I. We took advantage of it. We went to Walmart one night to take something back, Kmart one night to look for pjs and a swimsuit (which we found neither) and my mom stopped by one night.
Jacob did really well for it being his first dose of "school". He would leave me in the sign in line and find his group and sit down and wait for his name tag. I heard from a few of the volunteers that he did really well. :)
Last night, they had their end of the week performance, where they perform songs and dances that they have learned throughout the week. They were really cute. Jacob spent a lot of his time turned around watching the other kids and saying hi to his sister. LOL I am just glad that they both had a blast.

Tonight, I am glad that Catholic Kidz Kamp is over though as I had to make 2 graduation cakes for my sister. Yes I told her that I would make her 2. Her favorite cake flavors are red velvet and funfetti. So I made her a small red velvet cake with her college logo on it, and I made a large funfetti cake for her high school graduation cake. I hope that she likes them.

Tomorrow I need to run the cakes out to my parents house in the morning. Then we have softball, and then Mary's graduation party. Should be another busy day.....

Hope everyone has a great weekend! (Don't forget to enter my thinkThin bars giveaway!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What I have been up to...

Time is flying by. The last couple weeks of May and these first couple weeks of June have been BUSY, BUSY, BUSY! I thought once school let out that things would slow down but not so much. Here are a few things that I have been up to...

Rebecca and Jacob are/were playing sports. Jacob's last soccer game was a couple of Saturdays ago. Rebecca has another week and a half of softball season before we get a break.

Look who has decided to finally start climbing steps. We were at my sister-in-laws house for a family reunion and Benjamin decided to just start climbing the steps by himself. When he isn't climbing steps, he has started having speech therapy sessions once a week. We are supposed to be working with him on signs, but honestly he is fighting us on it a lot and it is frustrating to me. 

We attended a family reunion at my sister in laws house. My brother in law comes to visit once a year from Indiana and we get everyone together. It was a fun evening. This was the first year that the kids all played together. (There is Rebecca, Jacob, Benjamin and 3 other cousins (one is older--14) but the other 2 are Rebecca and Jacob's age.) I always feel out of place at the reunions, as we are the only ones who have more than 1 child and we live our lives with different priorities, but it is important to spend time with the family. 

On Sunday June 1, I went to my sister's high school graduation. I was a junior in high school when she was born. It made me feel old that she is graduated and just turned 18. The graduation ceremony was nice. It was very hot outside and I got a bad sunburn on my back, despite putting on sunscreen. The only downside was right after this picture was taken a fight broke out behind us and there were at least 2 people charged with assault as a result. 

Then on Tuesday June 3, it was Rebecca's last day of 1st grade. Where has time gone? Seriously didn't she just start in Pre-K? She was looking forward to the last day of school, but she also didn't want it to end.  

The same day as her last day of school, was also my brother's eighth grade graduation from the same school. I was a junior in college when he was born. It was a nice ceremony as well, as they had it in conjunction with the last all school mass. 

With summer break officially on us, we have been still be quite busy. And there have been a few afternoons that the boys have crashed on the couch/chairs asleep. 

One of the highlights of this week has been Jacob and Rebecca attending our church's vacation bible school. I wasn't sure how Jacob would do, but he has done great. When I take him and drop him off he leaves me in line to sign him in and he goes and finds his group and sits down and has a blast. When I come back to pick him up, he cries because he doesn't want to leave. 

So overall, these last few weeks have been crazy busy with LOTS going on. Add in a job interview that was a complete waste of time, and my hubby's work schedule then it gets even crazier. But it is our life and I am trying to enjoy every day with it's ups and downs and everything in between. 

How is your June going? 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Plain Faith by Irene and Ora Jay Eash (book review)

Plain Faith: A True Story of Tragedy, Loss and Leaving the Amish
Book Description: 

This is the true story of Ora-Jay and Irene Eash, Amish farmers from northwest Montana whose lives changed in an instant when a semi-truck struck the family buggy, killing their two young daughters.
After the accident, the couple turned to their Amish community for comfort, but they remained haunted by the thought that they might not see their girls again in heaven. Would their deeds be good enough? Eventually Ora-Jay and Irene learned that grace—not works—was enough to ensure their place in eternity. But with that knowledge came the realization that they could no longer live in an Amish community that didn’t share this precious belief. Could they sever their connection to the Amish family they loved?
This is the story of their journey to the hope that is heaven, a hope stronger than the loss of children, family, and a way of life. Fans of Amish fiction will appreciate such a real-life look into the Amish community, co-written by bestselling author Tricia Goyer, and readers of all kinds will resonate with this tale of courage, resilience, and the redemption found in the grace of Jesus.
My thoughts: 
Here in my town we see many Amish daily, whether they are riding down the main road in their horse and buggies, or they are shopping at Aldi and Walmart. I have always been fascinated in the Amish way of life. There have been an influx in Amish programming on TV, primarily following Amish who have left the faith. I have always wondered about the dynamics of living in an Amish community and what happens if you find that you can't. Plain Faith by Irene and Ora Jay Eash is a wonderful read and touches on this particular subject. 
After losing their young daughters in a buggy accident, Ora Jay and Irene Eash begin to question their Amish faith and begin to seek a more one-on-one relationship with God. This development eventually leads them to leave the Amish life and face the consequences that that holds. I found it very revealing the process that the couple went through and I felt that I gained a better understanding of what it meant to be an Amish person within the community. I feel that I have a better understanding of the Amish work based communal faith versus Christianity's personal faith. I applaud the Eashes for listening to God and following their hearts so that they can live in the way that they felt that God was calling them to live. For each of us, that is our way of life and how we should strive to live. 
This was a very heartwarming, entertaining and educational book wrapped into one. I highly recommend it. 
I was sent a copy of this book by Book Look Bloggers program and the publisher Zondervan in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. 

Autumn in Carthage by Christopher Zenos (book review)

Autumn in Carthage

About the book:
Nathan Price is a college professor with crippling impairments, seeking escape from his prison of necessity. One day, in a package of seventeenth-century documents from Salem Village, he stumbles across a letter by his best friend, Jamie, who had disappeared six months before. The document is dated 1692‹the height of the Witch Trials. The only potential lead: a single mention of Carthage, a tiny town in the Wisconsin northern highland.
The mystery catapults Nathan from Chicago to the Wisconsin wilderness. There, he meets Alanna, heir to an astonishing Mittel-European legacy of power and sacrifice. In her, and in the gentle townsfolk of Carthage, Nathan finds the refuge for which he has long yearned. But Simon, the town elder, is driven by demons of his own, and may well be entangled in Jamie¹s disappearance and that of several Carthaginians. As darkness stretches toward Alanna, Nathan may have no choice but to risk it allÅ 
Moving from the grimness of Chicago¹s South Side to the Wisconsin hinterlands to seventeenth-century Salem, this is a story of love, of sacrifice, of terrible passions‹and of two wounded souls quietly reaching for the deep peace of sanctuary.
My thoughts:
Autumn in Carthage by Christopher Zenos,  follows the travels of Nathan Price as he embarks on a quest to find his friend who has seemingling vanished into thin air. This is a story of time travel interspersed in real life. We are talking about the time of the Salem witch trials and modern day. I found that the story unfolded rather slowly but without the typical fancifulness of time travel scenarios. There is a lot to take in with this story, including taking into account Nathan's mental illness, which is a prominent theme throughout the story.
I will say that I liked the second half of the story better than the first, mainly because that was where I felt the meat of the story was. I felt that the first half of the story moved rather slowly and was difficult for me to get into....
Overall, this was a good read. Not great, but not bad either.
Disclaimer: I was provided a free print copy of this book from The Cadence Group on behalf of the author in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, June 9, 2014

thinkThin Bars (Review) and GIVEAWAY!!!!

Recently I was contacted to see if I wanted to review the new thinkThin bars! Of course I said yes. Life has been crazy busy and it has been hard for me to find time to eat great meals, or even eat at all. I thought that these would be great to grab and go....And boy did they NOT disappoint!

From High Protein bars that are certified gluten-free to Crunch Mixed Nuts bars made from non-GMO ingredients, thinkThin believes in using high-quality ingredients that provide a good source of protein. thinkThin embraces Weight Wellness®, the balance of physical and emotional well being, and has been recognized by Fitness Magazine with a “Healthy Food Award.”

I received a box with lots of different varieties of thinkThin bars to try! In the box, I received...

These varieties included:

Lean and Protein: Cinnamon Bun White Chocolate, Chunky Chocolate Peanut, Chocolate Almond Brownie, Honey Drizzle Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel
At only 150 calories, thinkThin Lean Protein & Fiber bars deliver the perfect balance of 10g of protein and 5g of fiber to give you energy, and help keep you full and satisfied. Made with 100% non-GMO ingredients in decadent flavors, these new bars are also low in sugar and gluten-free … making them deliciously guilt-free.
Crunch Mixed Nuts: Chocolate Dipped Mixed Nuts, Chocolate Coconut Mixed Nuts, Caramel Chocolate Dipped Mixed Nuts
High Protein: Creamy Peanut Butter, Chunky Peanut Butter, Brownie Crunch
Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!
I immediately decided to have one as I realized I had not eaten lunch, and I had to dash off to work for a few hours. So I decided to try the thinkThin Lean Protein and Fiber Bar in the Salted Caramel flavor. 
I thought it was really yummy tasting. I loved the chocolate coating and the inside was super yummy and not bland tasting. It actually had a nice, yummy flavor. And best of all it gave me energy to make it through my short work shift without feeling ravenous.
I have since tried many of the other flavors that I was sent to try and I can say that they are all yummy. My husband has even tried a few and he likes them as well. I find that they are great to have when you are on the go like I am. They are great to throw in your purse or diaper bag for those days where eating a real meal just isn't happening.
To find out more about thinkThin feel free to visit them on the official thinkThin page, facebook, pinterest, and twitter
Want to try thinkThin bars for yourself?
The wonderful folks at thinkThin have offered up a prize package just like I received to one of my lucky readers. (USA readers only!)
To enter, just leave me a comment and let me know which variety you would like to try.
Contest ends at Midnight EST on Monday June 16, 2014. Contest open to USA readers only. Winner will be emailed and MUST respond within 48 hours or new winner will be picked.
Disclaimer: thinkThin provided me with bars to try and a gift card. All opinions are my own.

Monday, June 2, 2014

So behind....

I am so behind on posting on this here blog, it is not even funny. So much has been going on....

My sister graduated high school on Sunday. Tomorrow is the last day of 1st grade for Rebecca. I have a job interview on Thursday. Work has been crazy busy. Saturday was the last day of soccer for Jacob. Rebecca is keeping us busy playing softball. Bill's work schedule is super duper crazy. I am gearing up for Relay for Life. I have at least 3 books that I have read that I need to post reviews for. I have a product review and giveaway that I need to post. So many posts to do and so little time.

Hopefully, I will be able to get some of them written and posted this week. Life is crazy right now....

How is your life right now? Crazy? Calm? In between?