Monday, August 27, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday #17

Sorry this is going up late. So much has been going on what with us moving and school starting next week and it has been just crazy around here. I feel like I am being pulled every which way, more so than usual that is. I've been just downright exhausted. haha. But I want to make time for today's Happy Homemaker Monday because I have missed it.



::The weather in my part of the world::
It has been hot and muggy. We did get a bit of rain today which I am uber thankful for! Hopefully it rains some more throughout the day as our A/C went out in our apartment on Friday and we've been without air for 4 days! They are coming to fix it first thing in the morning, but oh man is it hot. Especially when it's time to cook. Blech...



::On my reading pile::
Finishing up Short Straw Bride by: Karen Witemeyer







Starting: Band of Sister by: Cathy Gohlke (this is part of a blog tour so make sure to stop by my blog on September 13th!)







::On my TV::
Secret Life of an American Teenager on abc Family followed by:
Bunheads on abc Family.
I am addicted to both shows, but in particular Bunheads. Gilmore Girls is still my all time favorite TV Series, but Bunheads is definitely a close second.



::On the menu for this week’s dinner::
Monday- Spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread
Tuesday- Slow cooked crock pot chicken on a bed of creamy white rice and brocolli
Wednesday- Cheeseburger hamburger helper, buttered bread, baby carrots, mashed potatoes
Thursday- pizza take out
Friday- Pot roast with baby carrots, green beans, and potatoes with cornbread
Saturday- BBQ pork-chops, fried potatoes, cauliflower
Sunday- fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob



::Recipe I tried or want to try soon::
I have a crock-pot apple butter recipe I can't wait to try.



::Looking around the home::
Still many boxes to unpack although I have most of the apartment set up. It has been more hectic than I would've thought and while I thought I was going to have the entire apartment in order by now it just hasn't worked out that way. There has been a lot of things happening at once and oh my has it been a journey! But we're getting there. :)
Other than that I have the windows open letting in a cool breeze which feels just amazing, and I have a fan going to help cool things off a bit in here.



::What I’ve been up to lately::
Unpacking, errands, more unpacking, appointments for doctor/school, even more unpacking, trying to get some reading in, school shopping, did I mention unpacking? LOL



::On my to-do list::
Sweep and mop floors
Shampoo carpets
Unpack



::Tips/Tricks::
When your moving rather than buying newspapers or using old ones to wrap your plates in just separate them with foam plates. You can put foam plates in between them and it helps absorb any jarring much better than newspapers ever would. You can use foam bowls for your bowls depending on the sizes.



::My projects::
none at the moment, I doubt I will be able to start any projects until after I get this apartment set up and school is under way. Things have been way to busy as of late. Although I am thinking about trying to make a new template. Summer is almost over after all, and I'm ready for a template change.



::From the camera::
no pics to share at the moment



::Something fun to share::
Newspaper Nail Art



::Bible Verse/Devotional::
Proverbs 31:10-31
 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. ...

Monday, August 20, 2012

If you are seeing this blog post...

then that means there will be no Happy Homemaker Monday today. (I'm scheduling this post in advance JUST IN CASE)

I am probably up to my ears with unpacking the new place, and I WILL be back for the regular Happy Homemaker Monday next Monday. I am hoping I will be back on the blog this week, but I'm just not sure how long it is going to take me to unpack, get settled, and help the kids feel settled in a new place.
So until then if your addicted to Happy Homemaker Mondays there are lots of other great ladies who post them as well. I use to have a great big list, but some stuff got deleted on my google reader so you can go to google search and look up Happy Homemaker Mondays. I can guarantee that you will find a lot of great posts. :)

Sincerely,
Tori

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Songs That Make Us Sing - Aug 18th

Songs That Make Us Sing

I can't believe it's time already for another songs that make us sing saturday! Time is going so fast, of course I am writing this on Thursday but it's scheduled to post Sat. haha. I'm probably up to my knees in boxes and we are moving today as you read this so pray for me! I just really did not want to miss this blog hop, its so fun!
If you want to enter in the fun just head on over to these blogs and add up your link::

&

Here's my song for the week::

Fantasy - Mariah Carey


Visit the links above to link up. I'm going to link up from my phone and I will try to visit from my phone throughout the day (when I can get the chance).

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Just a lil update...

since I won't really get to post a lot this week.

Our apartment is currently covered in these:
They are everywhere and I'm starting to dream of living in a house made of boxes. I feel bombarded by them, unsettled. I like having everything homey, unpacked, comfortable, etc.

And I can't wait to get moved and unpacked. There have been a few hurdles to jump over which actually halted our packing process. The two full days we were going to devote to packing ended up being filled with errands and issues to take care of.
For one thing the fridge in our new apartment went out. Luckily we got the apartment early so we could clean and stuff.
We had to wait for maintenance to take a look at it to determine if it could be fixed or if we needed a new one. Finally they determined we need a new one (thank goodness! Sorry I'm just excited to get a brand new fridge put in the apartment). But we had to continuously run back and forth to the new complex to make sure they got the problem addressed as soon as possible since we are moving in a couple of days.
That's the bad thing about apartment complexes is sometimes you have to remind them of things so they will get on the ball. This doesn't mean they are a bad place to live or that they don't address the residents needs, it just means that there are a LOT of residents and they are dealing with a LOT of things at once. So of course it's easy to let things slip or stick something on the back burner even when you don't realize it.

So then there was a leak in the apartment which leaked and got all over carpet in our bedroom. They had to pull up all the carpet, fix the leak (which was behind the wall in the closet), use a heater to dry everything up, and now they are suppose to be putting new carpet in the bedroom. This happened the day we went there to clean, so we couldn't clean and had to leave.

Now there is an issue with the cable company not wanting to switch our cable/internet until we pay another deposit. Well I already paid a deposit so there shouldn't be another one. So I'm waiting to hear back on that. I made multiple trips to the cable company to try to figure out why the computer system would say I need to pay a second deposit? Haven't heard back yet, but I hope to SOON. I'm probably going to nag them until they get it all worked out, but I know no other way to go about it.

Then today I have been trying to get a hold of the school to find out when the preschool open house is. We went to the wrong open house, and our city is delaying preschool this year which also delays the open house. So the last open house we attended wasn't for us and we ended up wasting a trip. I received a notice for the first day of preschool along with teacher's name, but did not receive the preschool open house announcement. (and they did say there would be a separate open house for preschool when we went to the other open house for kindergarten and up. we were told to be on the lookout in the mail for our announcement date). Of course there has been no response just yet so I'm going to try my luck calling again tomorrow and if that doesn't work either I guess I'll have to make another trip to the main office Monday. Bright side: (at least by then we'll be moved)

Since we got such a head start on packing there isn't really ALL that much to do, but there is still quite a bit, and I have to admit it's a bit daunting. I am not looking forward to it and I'm procrastinating. I will just go ahead and admit it.



Then common sense kicks in and tells me if I don't get a move on I will just suffer the consequences on moving day and then I get my butt in gear. I definitely don't want to be up all night the night before trying to get things packed or try to get them all packed up the morning of. Yikes, the thought sends me into a panic.



So anyway I took a short break and decided while I was on "break" I could go ahead and give you all an update on what is going on. Here we are, even though I have to get back to work and regular chores feel free to help yourself to the freshly baked banana muffins we made. (I had to do something while procrastinating after all. LOL) I have juice, water, tea, milk, etc if you get thirsty.

I'm not sure how much time I will have to actually be online this week or over the weekend. Especially since we aren't even sure what is up with the cable company. I'm also hoping that they get a fridge in by the time we start moving all our stuff in, and hopefully there are no issues with it. I'm trying not to stress, whatever will be will be. I can't fight things I have no control over. It won't help my stress levels at all. I just have to let be and let God. I'm putting it all in God's hands and I'm just going to have to have faith.
Which if your anything like me is easier said than done. I like to be in the drivers seat, I like to be in control, I like to "fix" things when they go wrong. But what I am learning slowly but surely, is we can't always be in control. It's hard for me, but sometimes we just have to have faith. Doesn't mean by having faith that nothing will go wrong, but when things go wrong we just have to deal and keep faith rather than work ourselves into a frenzy.
So that's what I'm doing (or trying to), take it step by step.


I'm sorry if I haven't been around to follow or comment lately, I promise I will catch up no later than next week. I have missed everyone definitely. So until next time...

Sincerely,
Tori





Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy Homemaker #16




Time for another Happy Homemaker Monday. This one is going to be super short, and I'm sorry but we have just been swamped. Let's just say that I will never again pick this month to move. We have been swamped with setting up school for my son, packing, transferring bills/mail/services to the new place, buying things we need for the new place, etc. It has been one crazy ride and it still isn't over. I am excited though. It's not like we are moving out of town, but just moving to a new place is exciting. I'm ready to get in there, and get it all set up. We go sign the lease later on today and then I'm gonna set to cleaning so everything is fresh and ready when we bring in our stuff. They clean them of course but I always re-clean everything just because it makes me feel better and more comfortable.


::The weather in my part of the world::
One thing I do not like about living in Indiana is the constant weather change. I'm afraid that we are all going to come down with colds because it has been really hot and then really cold! For example we had a day that was cold and raining in the low 70s so we dressed in pants, then by afternoon it was scorching hot in the 90s, and then night time was in the mid 50s. Insane.



::On my reading pile::
Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer  (almost finished with this one it's amazing)



::On my TV::
House Hunters (HGTV)
Bunheads (abc family)
My First Place (hgtv on demand)
some shows with hubby



::On the menu for this week’s dinner::
This week is going to be easy, unhealthy food that is quick to make because we are moving at the end of the week so I'm trying to keep the dishes to a bare minimum. We have plastic plates, forks, spoons, bowls, cups, etc to make things a bit easier. I can't wait to get settled and unpacked so we can get back to regular meals next week.

Monday- baked chicken, scalloped potatoes, peas
Tuesday- corn dogs, mac and cheese
Wednesday- grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, brocolli
Thursday- take out thursday
Friday- moving day so we'll probably order a pizza
Saturday- shopping day to fill up the new fridge
Sunday- 



::Recipe I tried or want to try soon::
nothing this week. Haven't had much of a chance to search any recipes.



::Looking around the home::
Boxes everywhere I look! It's crazy!
Everyone is still asleep at the moment which is giving me a little quiet reprieve. As much as I detest early mornings I love the quiet time while knowing my loved ones are sound asleep in the other room. Hubby is off of work today and tomorrow and then Friday begins his 9 day vacation. It will be so nice having him home! Usually he has to break his vacation time up in days for appointments and such so this is the first year he is going to have more than 3 days off at once. Yay! He woulda had more, but the other days were also broken up, he gets two weeks. But I'm taking what I can get! LOL
There is definitely a different feel to this place we've called home the last year. I was sad at first to leave, but the neighbors have been extra rowdy again lately so I'm more than eager to get up and go now. I don't know how many more sleepless nights I can handle, I do have two very rowdy children to take care of without having to worry about parties that carry on upstairs until four and five in the mornings.
There's some baskets of laundry I need to pack away. They are folded, but I was too tired to get to them last night. I know shame on me.



::What I’ve been up to lately::
Packing and trying to get things ready. Been running errands to get things switched over to the new apartment like utilities, cable, etc. Not to mention we have been crazy busy trying to get my sons school situation completely smoothed out. I think it is so far, but we are waiting on more paperwork since there was a huge HUGE mix-up as to what school he would be attending. We went to an enrollment to see his classroom, meet his teacher, etc only to find out that preschool open house is later in the month.



::On my to-do list::
Packing
Cleaning out cabinets
Clean the couch and cushions



::Tips/Tricks::
You know those annoying dents that get in your carpets from furniture? You can put ice cubes in them and it will take the dents right out. Of course the ice cubes have to melt, but the moisture causes the carpet to pop back up. I think we're going to have to buy a bag of ice before we schedule our walk through.



::My projects::
Getting moved and settled is all I have going right now. Although I may make a snake bubble blower for the boys to keep them occupied. If I do and it works out I will post pics with a step by step.



::From the camera::
nothing this week



::Something fun to share::
got nothing this week



::Bible Verse/Devotional::
Isaiah 41:13
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bic Soleil Savvy Razor Review & Coupon Giveaway




I got the opportunity as a BzzAgent to try out the Bic Soleil Savvy Disposable Razor. I usually use regular disposable razors that you use once and discard, but to be honest I've been in the market for something a bit more...delicate. My skin is sensitive and I can't stand having a bunch of nicks and cuts on smooth shaved legs. Not to mention some razors I have used make me feel like instead of shaving a few minutes ago I shaved a couple days ago! I just don't get the close enough shave that I desire. So when I got the Bic Soleil Savvy Razor in the mail I couldn't wait to give it a go. The handheld razor fits perfectly in the palm of your hand, and it came with 4 disposable razor heads. It has lubricating strips with vitamin E which makes your skin feel extra smooth and moisturizes. You basically just click on the razor head and go. It's so easy, and once the razor head is on you don't need to worry about it popping off unless you push the button. That easy! Plus the refillable's actually last! They don't quickly rust like other razors I have used in the past.
The head also pivots up and down which is a really nice feature for legs especially. I love how it hydrated my skin, and it gave me such a close shave I had the need to shave much less so than often. That is a huge perk because as a mom of two young boys I'm ashamed to admit I sometimes have to just rush through shaving. Schedules, appointments, etc isn't going to wait.
The Bic Soleil Savvy razors are also sold at the many major retailers like Meijer, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, etc. So finding one to buy is more than easy which is just another huge perk. As busy as we are in the world today convenience is priority sometimes.

I have to say I was pretty impressed with the total package. I also got some coupons for the refillable razor heads so if any of you out there want some they are first come first serve. I have 4 that I can mail out. Just comment below with your name and email address and I will be in contact on where to send the coupon. If I don't have any left I will let you know also.

Bic also provided me with some fascinating shaving tips which I never knew before so I'm going to share them with you all (pics are my own inserts just for fun)




  • Shave at night-  Shaving removes dead skin cells and the superficial layer of your skin. While this process is actually healthy for your skin, it also reduces your skin's defenses for a couple of hours. If you do shave in the morning, you are more likely to expose weakened skin to external elements and your shaved skin will feel less comfortable. Shaving at night will give your skin the entire night to recover its strength and suppleness to resist irritation.
~




  • Shave clean skin-  Try not to shave any part of your body without having your skin perfectly clean. This will help prevent infection or bumps. Apply hot water or shave after showering. Warm humidity increases skin elasticity and softens your hair. Hot water actually diminishes hair toughness, which can increase blade longevity and wet hair is easier to shave.
~



  • Apply shaving cream or gel-  Once your hair is softened, the razor will glide more easily over your skin, avoiding damage. Shaving cream / gel with Aloe Vera is preferred to normal soap as it will be gentler on your skin and lift your hair. Lather the cream / gel with back and forth motions over the area you are going to shave. Leave the cream / gel on your skin two minutes before shaving.
~




  • Use a sharp blade-  Keep in mind that the duller the blade, the more irritated your skin will become. Change your blades regularly, especially if you have sensitive skin. On sensitive areas, such as bikini and underarms, shaving with a dull blade can result in red spots.
~




  • Soothe and hydrate your skin-  After shaving, the skin is both dry and irritated. Apply an alcohol-free after-shave to re-moisturize your skin and avoid the feeling of razor burn.
~



If your interested in checking out Bic you can::



 Disclaimer: As a BzzAgent I have been provided with a complimentary product mentioned above for review purposes. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Fatal Distractions Book Review




::About the book::
We can find ourselves so deep in sin that it's often hard to pull ourselves out. Whether we don't realize how deep we are in sin, or whether we just feel like we can't pull ourselves out sin can be detrimental to our spiritual growth.
This study guide will take you on a journey through six of the deadly sins: Pride, Anger, Jealousy, Gluttony, Slothfulness  and Greed. You can identify these sins in your own life and find ways to conquer them so you can grow spiritually and connect more with Christ.
This 40 minute study guide is perfect for those that don't have time to meet for long periods of time, or do not have much daily time to devote to actual study.

::My thoughts::
What really drew me to this book is the title: Fatal Distractions Conquering Destructive Temptations. Secondly I noticed the candy apple which of course was the forbidden fruit.
It is easy to get distracted from our faith, especially in today's world. There are so many temptations to lead us astray from God and while it's hard to keep rooted it is ultimately up to us to ground ourselves. That isn't to say we aren't going to slip now and again, we are only human and God knows we will make mistakes time and again. We just have to do our best.
This is a group bible study book, but I read it on my own. It is very easy to follow and gets straight to the point of things. I love how this book not only speaks plainly but cuts right to the chase. There is no homework with this bible study but there are wonderful reflections and discussion topics enclosed within. This book has sections for the group leader and the group members. It's a very simple, wonderful book to follow and if your a church group leader you will probably really benefit from this. There are step by steps for the leaders such as what chapters to read and sections to ask. The scriptures are even included in each section for you to read aloud.
I would recommend this book to church leaders, or anyone in general who wants to strengthen your spiritual progress. While you can read this book on your own I would recommend that it be read in a group by a leader. It is very beneficial to a group and you can help each other along and find yourselves delving deeper to conquer and overcome your battles with sin.
It only takes about six weeks to get through it dedicating about 40 minutes a week to complete.


::About Precept Ministries International (taken from back of the book)::
Founded in 1970 by Jack and Kay Arthur, has trained millions of people to discover God's truth for themselves. The Precepts for Life radio and television programs, hosted by Kay Arthur, reach a worldwide viewing audience of over 94 million. In addition to inductive study training workshops and thousands of small-group studies across America, PMI reaches nearly 150 countries with inductive Bible studies translated into nearly 70 languages.

This book is available in:   Paperback   Kindle   Nook   eBook   

I rated this book 5 stars on Goodreads and Amazon


Book Details:

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (December 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307729818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307729811



Disclaimer: I was provided this book for free through Waterbrook Multnomah publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. Opinions expressed are mine alone. 


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Songs That Make Us Sing Saturday ~ August 11th

Songs That Make Us Sing

I just love this song so I thought I'd share it for this week's Songs That Make Us Sing BLOG HOP.
If you want to enter in the fun just head on over to these blogs and add up your link::

&


You will hear some great songs and meet some great people. Go ahead and give the blogs a follow you won't regret it because they are just that awesome! :) Happy weekend everyone! Hope it's a good one.

I'm Burnin' For You- Blue Oyster Cult

Friday, August 10, 2012

5-hour ENERGY Review

I'm not usually a big fan of energy drinks. Mainly because I have heard they aren't safe, there's a horrible crash once they wear off, and they don't last very long. I got an invite to try out 5 hour energy so decided to look into it. 5-hour energy has been around for a long time after all. I was actually pleased about what I found out! Take a look::




  • Contains key ingredients that are available in everyday food
  • Packed with B-Vitamins and nutrients
  • Contains about as much caffeine as a cup of the leading brand premium coffee
  • Manufactured and bottled in the USA
  • Complies with the provisions of the Dietary Supplement Heath and Education Act as regulated by the FDA
  • 5-hour energy is in it's 8th year
  • Contains zero sugar
  • Contains zero herbal stimulants
  • Only has four calories


It has been crazy around our house lately. We are getting ready to move so I have been trying to juggle packing, cleaning, daily household chores in addition to chasing after my two young ones. No matter what is going on the world still turns and the normal things still have to be done. Doesn't even matter if your extremely exhausted and just want to sleep.
The other day I was having one of those days. I couldn't even sit on the couch for five minutes without starting to doze off, and when I was making my bed it was calling me in a tempting way. Then I hear my boys playing in their room and realize I can't just go back to sleep there's kids to care for and a house to clean/pack. Then I remembered earlier in the week I received a package of 5 hour energy and now would be the perfect time to give it a try.
I didn't drink it all at once, but drank about half of the berry. It had a wild berry taste that was sweet, and went down smoothly like any other regular drink. I slowly started feeling alert without feeling jittery and it was really a pleasant surprise. There was no irregular heartbeat or anything else.
I was able to zip through my chores, get some packing done, play with the boys, etc without feeling like I was going to fall over at any minute. When it started to wear off there was no crash at all. It gradually started wearing off just like any other regular day, and didn't leave me feeling extremely tired.

I love the fact that you can take it throughout the day, it doesn't make you jittery, and there is no crash and burn. I was surprised at all the good points of 5 hour energy and while I won't drink it every day it could be the perfect thing I need to give me a jolt on those especially hectic and crazy days.



The pomegranate wasn't as sweet as the berry, but still tasted okay. The taste is a bit bland on the berry and pomegranate, but not too unpleasant. I love that the bottles are little enough to fit in your purse, and they provide you with the energy you need. I didn't experience any headache or dizziness after drinking 5 hour energy shots which was a huge plus because it was something I have always been concerned about when we're talking about energy drinks/shots. I felt energized in minutes without feeling at all shaky, and I felt just like I had a full nights sleep and was fully energized. I personally did not experience any abnormal side efects or feelings after drinking these. Not to even mention there are only 4 calories and it's sugar free!
In the future when I'm having one of those drag on/exhausting days I will definitely give 5-hour ENERGY another try.

If you liked my review or thought it helpful please vote for me at the following link:
http://smiley360.com/738200.cfm

I would GREATLY appreciate it!
If you want to find out more about 5-hour ENERGY check out their website

Like 5-hour ENERGY on FACEBOOK
Follow 5-hour ENERGY on TWITTER





Disclaimer: I have been provided free samples as a smiley360 member to try in exchange for my thoughts on the products. All opinions expressed are solely my own and are 100% honest. I was not required to write a review. These are my own personal thoughts on the product. 5 hour ENERGY is NOT safe for children. Do not take 5-hour ENERGY if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you are taking medication and/or have a medical condition. Consult your doctor before use.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Z and the Magic Truck Book Review



::Taken from the back of the book (description)::
Z loves trucks. His mom and dad read him stories about trucks so he can learn all about them, and his dad takes him for truck rides, which is very exciting for little Z.
So it's a dream come true for Z when a toy truck named Trucky comes to life and takes him for a wild adventure.


::My thoughts::
I loved the story line in general. It was a magical story that boys would especially enjoy since it's all about various kinds of trucks. A little boy who loves trucks is surprised after his dad puts him to bed and he is taken on an adventure by a magical truck named Trucky. They see all kinds of trucks and Z gets to ride and drive various trucks. Soon the magical day comes to an end and Z wakes up wondering if it was all a dream or a real adventure.
My only complaint about this book is there aren't pictures on every page which would make it more appealing to the young audience this story plot would typically attract. But the small pictures of various trucks the book does show here and there are interesting, and fun to look at.
All in all I liked this book, and my 4 year old enjoyed the story. He kept asking about the pictures, and he kept asking what Z looked like since there are no pictures of Z. I think there could have been more pictures and smaller details to make this book that much better. The picture of Trucky is very endearing and my son liked it quite a bit. It's nice to see something that isn't painted or done with graphics every now and again.
Still much to my regret it is a little hard to keep young children captivated with this book so I would recommend it for ages 8-10.
Again I really liked the story concept, but it when it comes to children's books the amount of illustrations really do make the difference.


::About the author::
Susan Harris is retired and volunteers her time working with a service-related children's group. She is a mother of three and grandmother to a very curious grandson, whose fascination with trucks inspired her to write this story.



This book is available in  Paperback  &  PDF if your interested in purchasing.

You can take a peek inside this book on Amazon by clicking here  

I rated this book 3 stars on Amazon


::Book details::

  • Paperback: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc. (July 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434917894
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434917898



Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday #6

A mother duck with her babies at our local park, swimming around enjoying the day.
ADORABLE!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Snuggles' Japanese Alps Adventures Book Review


::From the back of the book::
Snuggles knows how freezing cold it can get  the Japanese Alps. Will he plan ahead to have enough time to travel to the Japanese hot springs before the bad winter storms arrive?

::My Description::
Snuggles is a baby snow monkey on a journey with his mom to the hot springs where they will survive the winter. Along the way you and your child will see breath-taking photographs (taken by the author/master photographer himself, Tim Ostermeyer) of Snuggles, his mother, and other snow monkeys as they embark on their journey.
The photos are magical, wonderfully taken, and will definitely keep a child of any age intrigued.
In addition to the photographs Snuggle's journey unfolds and your child will learn all about planning ahead, snow monkey facts, evolution, bible verses, etc.
I love how everything is put together nicely in this book without taking away from the story at hand. Your child won't feel as if your merely lecturing on facts but will follow a wonderful story line of love, planning, and faith.
There are bible verses on various pages throughout the book which gives understanding, encouragement, love, and boosts faith in children. It also relates nicely to the part of Snuggle's journey which makes it fall right in place.

::My personal thoughts::
I love how this book teaches a multitude of things at once. The photographs are just beautifully taken and will immediately capture and hold your child's attention. I have two sons age 4 and 1 1/2 and they were BOTH riveted. Even my youngest kept pointing at the pages totally intrigued.
The messages of faith, love, and God's understanding are scattered throughout which is just wonderful. Many of the verses are just perfect for a child to hear to feel that protection and love from God.
Your child will also learn interesting facts about snow monkeys, the Japanese alps, and evolution in general. It's never too early to teach our children interesting facts, and this book puts it in perfect understanding for even the youngest of scholars.
All in all I loved it, my kids loved it, and I would recommend it to anyone.
We found ourselves laughing aloud to Snuggle's silly remarks, adventures, and friends along the way. Plus my children have a new great understanding on how planning ahead makes things so much easier in life and can potentially avoid obstacles that we don't have to put ourselves through. So many great messages in such a beautiful book, I am very pleased with this read.


This book is available in Hardcover


I rated this book 5 stars on Goodreads and Amazon.


Find this book and others like it at the following websites::
www.FunAdventureWildlifeBooks.com
www.ostermeyer-photography.com

There are books such as sharing, exploring, bullying, going after dreams, planning, finding true love, etc. They all contain the most adorable baby animals, and you can even order the whole set! I'm thinking this will make a great Christmas or birthday gift!


::Book details::

  • Hardcover: 45 pages
  • Publisher: Wildlife Adventure Books (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979422876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979422874



Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, August 6, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday #15




::The weather in my part of the world::
Yesterday we got some rain and thunderstorms, but the rain was more than welcome. It has been so dry. I'm used to seeing lush green grass in the summer, and instead it's brown. Sometimes I think it looks more like fall than summer around here. It has been really hot, but not unbearable like we were having earlier in the summer. At least we don't feel like our breath is being sucked right out of us when we step outside. LOL



::On my reading pile::
Short Straw Bride

I still haven't started 50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James, I'm going to wait until after we move. I have some books to read for review and the one above is one of those. I am liking it so far though.
I have some reviews coming up this week too so stay tuned! :)



::On my TV::
Bunheads (abc family)
House Hunters (hgtv)
watching Cities of the Underworld (dvd) with hubby later tonight



::On the menu for this week’s dinner::
Monday- Goulash, cornbread (crock-pot meal)
Tuesday- Breaded Chicken, corn, loaded baked potatoes
Wednesday- Homemade cheesy nachos
Thursday- Pot roast, garlic bread (crock-pot meal)
Friday- Corned Beef & Cabbage, Rolls (crock-pot meal)
Saturday- Chicken and Dumplings, mashed potatoes, peas
Sunday- Pizza Burgers, french fries, broccoli

As you can see I am using my crock-pot a lot this week. We move next week, and there is still lots of packing for us to do. As much as we tried to stay one step ahead of things we still have quite a bit to do, but we aren't behind so it should go pretty smoothly. (I hope)



::Recipe I tried or want to try soon::
~Want to Try~
Crock-Pot Peach Cobbler
http://www.recipe4living.com/recipes/crock_pot_peach_cobbler.htm



::Looking around the home::
Breakfast dishes are sitting in the sink taunting me, and as much as I would like to wait to wash them I would rather get them caught up before lunch time. I hand-wash my dishes even though I do have a dishwasher. I don't like washing dishes in the dishwasher. I don't feel as if they get as clean. I basically use my dishwasher as a huge drying rack for my dishes. LOL
But where we are moving there is NO dishwasher so it will be back to drying my dishes on the little dish rack that sits on the counter. I will probably need to get a second one. There are 4 in our family after all, and that makes a lot of dishes. haha
I'm sitting at the kitchen table, a glass of chocolate milk beside me (you are never too old for choc. milk) and some jellied toast. There is an apple cinnamon scented candle burning on the kitchen counter which I find very relaxing.
There are boxes propped up against the wall in the corner of the living room that are awaiting me to put them together and fill them with stuff. The boys used them last night to make a series of tunnels that went from our living room to their bedrooms. It was so fun to watch them play in them and hear their little shrieks of laughter and happiness. :)



::What I’ve been up to lately::
Packing, I can't believe that we move next week! I am so excited and ready! It seems like just yesterday I was telling hubby that 4 weeks seemed like it would never get here, and I was eager to move already. LOL. It's always a little weird at first in a new place, but I really love our new apartment and I think we are all going to adjust very well. There are still lots of things to do before that so if I'm only on here sporadically that would be the reason why. Utilities have to be transferred over, I need to call the cable company, we still need a few things for the new apartment, more packing to do, etc. I will stay on top of my normal weekly posts though such as Happy Homemaker Monday, Wordless Wednesday, and Songs that Make Us Sing Saturday. You may find a post here or a review there, and I will do my best to still visit you all and comment. I do LOVE to visit other blogs.



::On my to-do list::
Dishes
Laundry
Packing
Call cable company
Sweep and mop floors
Vacuum floors



::Tips/Tricks::
Use dawn dish soap and hydrogen peroxide to get stains out of clothes. I have used this several times to get stains out of the boys clothes and generally if treated RIGHT away it will take any stain right out. Just make sure to use cold water.



::My projects::
none at the moment, more to come after we get moved and settled



::Something fun to share::
Hope you aren't getting tired of my posts from Pinterest, but there is a huge supply of great ideas on there. Just like this one, we have an old slinky that is stretched out I came across in the boys toy box the other day and this is the perfect way to use it rather than throw it away. I think it's a craft to make with the boys, and it will make a great gift for my mom who just moved into a new house and has been finding ways to decorate her yard. I'm going to use a hanger to hang it, and wind the slinky around.

Bird Feeder Made from a Slinky
http://pinterest.com/pin/492649930229833/



::From the camera::




::Bible Verse/Devotional::
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My Stubborn Heart book review



I am a big fan of romance novels, but I have to admit I have never been so captivated by one as I was by this particular novel.
From the prologue I was just immediately drawn in. I couldn't wait to find out what would happen between the characters while at the same time I didn't want the story to end!
This novel is good in so many ways, and it will easily sweep you off your feet and place you firmly inside all the action. The characters are stubborn and witty and I found myself laughing out loud more times than I could count. Aside from the main characters there are others that will just place themselves in your heart, particularly Beverly (Kate's grandma). She reminded me so much of my own grandma that I couldn't help but to love her. The characters are just completely endearing, even the rough and tumble Matt with the hard exterior.
Without gushing more about how much I loved this novel let me give you some info on it so you can see if you'd also like to read it. :)

::Taken from the back of the book::
Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When her grandmother asks her to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance.

Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man hired to renovate the house. Kate can't help being attracted to him, drawn by both his good looks and something else she can't quite put her finger on. He's clearly wounded--hiding from people, from God, and from his past. Yet Kate sets her stubborn heart on bringing him out of the dark and back into the light... whether he likes it or not. 

When the stilted, uncomfortable interactions between Kate and Matt slowly shift into something more, is God finally answering the longing of her heart? Or will Kate be required to give up more than she ever dreamed?





::More on my thoughts::
In my experience it is rare to come across a romance novel that is so captivating as this. I really didn't want to put it down, but I had to find out what was going to happen. Just when I thought I had the characters and plot all figured out I was surprised. Nothing went as I expected in this novel which made me love it that much more! Aside from how much I loved the characters and plot of the novel the faith factor is at great play here as well. No matter what Kate decides she looks to God for answers. It doesn't preach, but just shows how a Christian can carry on conversations with the Lord as well as follow the Lord's wishes. It shows that even when things don't work out how we want them too, God often has better things in store for us even without our knowledge. I loved how Kate trusted God completely even when she didn't want to follow what she felt He was trying to tell her. It's just amazing, and uplifting.
All in all I loved every single aspect in this book! There were a few characters left unexplained at the end of the book and reflecting on it later I wondered what had become of them, but it's not to the point where it would ruin the novel. I wish I could rate this novel more than 5 stars because it sure deserves it!




Would you like to read an excerpt from this novel?





My Stubborn Heart


If you think you would love this book as much as I did it's also available in the following formats::


I rated this book 5 stars on Goodreads & Amazon :)


Some more info on this book::
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Original edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764209744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764209741



DISCLAIMER: I was provided this book for free through Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. Opinions expressed are mine alone.

Songs That Make Us Sing Saturday - August 4

BON JOVI - Livin' On A Prayer

If you want to link up with Songs That Make Us Sing Saturday blog hop please visit the following (wonderful) blogs! :)

&

Songs That Make Us Sing

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

SCHOOL SUCCESS!

Oh my, the relief is pouring out of me! LOL. I'm so giddy I could just squeal.



Finally...FINALLY...my son has been placed in preschool. I decided to make another call to the woman in charge of school placement at the main school office. Finally she answered her phone, and we began the same old dance.
She kept telling me there was no record of my son in the school database, and that the only record they have is of him attending speech therapy classes which he will continue this year.
I told her again that in addition to his speech classes he is suppose to attend preschool this year as well, and how we even got a paper to prove he had been accepted.
Then she kept telling me about how they would need to assemble a meeting to find out what was going on, how it could take some time, etc.
I told her, again, I would like to explain the whole process of how we enrolled him in case that would give her a better idea of our situation. I calmly told her that this was very important to us, and I want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to make sure things are understood and taken care of.
(I will admit the whole time I said this I was trying not to grind my teeth together, that's how frustrated I was becoming)


To my surprise she allowed me to explain the process.
I told her how we went to the school enrollment at the end of the year, they tested Lucas in the preschool rooms (colors, shapes, numbers, letters, etc), reviewed his speech therapy progress, and how we filled out numerous amounts of paperwork (seriously how many forms do you have to have to write your address on and such). Then how the nurse made more copies of his shot record, and everything checked fine.
Then I proceeded to tell her how a couple weeks after enrollment we received a congratulatory paper saying our child had been accepted into preschool and to await further information on his placement, etc. The paper said if there was any delay in his placement to contact the main school office.

She listened and finally asked if she could put me hold.


After awhile of being on hold she comes back on the line with a sigh. I'm hoping it's a sigh of relief so I hold my breath praying.
"We found the problem. Your son has been placed in Title 1 preschool which is not in this office. Thus explaining why we have no record of him" she said.
I'm relieved he has been placed, but still my frustration is lingering. Why couldn't someone have told me this before? Why has it taken this long?
"Well can I talk to someone from that office? I haven't received any paperwork at all" I said.
Happily she transferred me. I am betting that during this process she was probably jumping up and down on the other line happy to be rid of this situation that was frustrating us both.

I'm transferred and in a better mood since Lucas has at least been placed in preschool. I talk to the new lady in charge who pulled up his records immediately and was very understanding at the situation. Isn't it great how when someone is polite, understanding, and pleasant it can just brighten everything?
She said the paperwork had been delayed for all students, and that all of preschool will be delayed this year in our town. The school he will be attending is suppose to stay the same, but they aren't 100% on that due to district changes. But she assured we would get our paperwork very soon.

She said he was placed in Title 1 preschool so he can continue with his general education classes as well as his speech therapy classes normally without it interrupting class. He will go to pre-k classes 3 times a week instead of 4 since he will have speech class 1 day a week. This way he can proceed normally with the other children and still attend regular pre-k classes. Then I was delightfully informed that if he continues so well in his speech progress and maintains a high learning ability he has the opportunity to be skipped ahead a grade if need be to keep him challenged. There were apparently some notes in his report that he was breezing through work for his age level so additional worksheets may be sent home to keep him a bit more challenged until that time comes. Right now I just want him to enjoy being around his peers, loving school, and just being a kid. Time just goes so quickly. In the future if he wants to move up a grade we will discuss it then, but right now I just want him to take his time and enjoy.

So now me and hubby are more than relieved. Everything is finally taken care of, and while it was a frustrating experience and they had us all mixed up we finally know what's going on now.


So now I'm awaiting paperwork on school placement, open house, etc. Which she assured me we would have by the end of next week, and if not I am more than welcome to come to the Title 1 office (which ironically is located in the main office but in a separate wing). I'm eager to get the class list and go shopping for school supplies although I am relieved that we have a bit more time to do so. I am relieved also that preschool is starting late in our town because we move in just 12 days so that gives us a bit more wiggle room on our schedules and stress levels. haha!

Well, I had better get back to my never-ending household chores. I have laundry to do, and I'm pretty sure a tornado must have swept through my living room while I typed this up as there are numerous toys strewn all about everywhere. Time to get that straightened and the toys put back in the boys room. LOL

Hope everyone has a great day!

Sincerely,
Tori

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