Showing posts from May, 2014

Dolphin Tale 2 movie poster

I really like feel-good movies and Dolphin Tale 2 promises to be just that. I also love movies that my children can see with me that aren't animated (love me some animation but even minions can get old!).

iPuke Sensory Fidget Chew review

With Moose it seems when we have attacked one problem behavior (usually more embarrassing than harmful), another one comes along. So as soon as we seemed to have solved the hands down the pants ordeal (by wearing non-elastic waistband pants always), he began to chew on his collars. Collar chewing is not problematic in that it harms anyone or anything...except the shirts! Those precious shirts that I'm saving for Squirt's hand-me-downs. I don't mind hand-me-downs (mostly) but I do mind nasty chewed up, twisted collars. With this comes hours of my time scouring Etsy and the internet for something to combat this with. Etsy came to my laundry's showing me the iPuke shop . Yes, you read that correctly, iPuke. I'll let Sandy, the shop owner, explain for herself. It just makes sense to go with the flow. The birth of my daughter had been 15 years in waiting. All was perfect with the pregnancy and we came home after my C-section to a changed

Life, Animated by Ron Suskind (book review)

I know I do many book reviews on here, but let me tell you this: "Life, Animated" by Ron Suskind is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. Perhaps because it is so personal to me - about Ron's son who has autism and loves Disney movies. My own son with autism loves movies and tv in general - he doesn't care who makes it. But he, too, has a vast knowledge of lines running through his head. image via Ron Suskind's website Suskind's son, Owen, used Disney movies (older, hand-drawn ones as this was mostly in the 90s) after he regressed into autism (unlike my own son who didn't regress, just stopped progressing for awhile) around age three. He used Disney to re-learn to speak, later to read (using the credits), and always to communicate with his family. Sometimes my son will use lines from movies or shows in appropriate ways but the Suskind family truly used whole scenes to develop a unique way to speak with their son. I am just amazed at the

May brings...

May Day baskets and popcorn balls kitty cuddles with Whiskers field trips to the big park (above and below) school programs the exodus of preschool Squirt with his teacher travels back to my hometown which means small town parks along the way Mother's Day at yet another small town park (above and below) field day Moose with his best friend and more field trips to the hospital field trip, not actual trip (thank You Lord!) May has been busy and summer will get busier with tball starting next week. Both boys are on the same team and it's Squirt's first year. He's not so excited about the ball and the possibility of being hit with it. Wish me luck.

last day of school 2014

Oh dear, how did it become May? Wasn't it just August and school was starting? Times seems to zip on by when you want it to at least slow a little. Today I sent my baby to his last day of preschool. *sigh* In 30 minutes, I will no longer be a mother of preschoolers. In a few hours, I will be the mother of a second grader. I am so thankful for how this school year has progressed. Each year it's difficult for me, especially with Moose. Not knowing what they learn or who they talk to or who's nice to them (who they're nice to). Just difficult for this mama, but I've prayed about this and know this is where they are supposed to be for now. And we have an amazing school system here. Teachers and paras and staff that LOVE my children. This has never seemed like a place where these are just people doing their jobs; it always has felt like my children are getting the best care. The principal always says hi to my kids and myself and makes chit chat. The secretary is so

Healthy...ish Tip

I had a revelation the other night while I was attempting to sleep (after having a few hours long nap during the day) and I really had this inkling to start writing up healthy...ish tips on this blog. I thought about starting a new blog but really, I don't want to. I love this blog and I love the people that read it (the few, the proud!). I have had quite the journey to becoming healthy...ish. What is healthy...ish? I was talking to a friend a few weeks back who was lamenting over fitness, exercise, and eating healthy. It's hard! It's hard to find time to work out, to not be frustrated when the scale doesn't match the effort, when those extra brownies/ice cream/chocolate shows up on your hips or butt or arms (wherever). I was telling her that really how I lost my weight was by living a healthy...ish lifestyle! We don't diet here. It's just not realistic for us. I'm never going to have 6-pack abs; I do have abs, I feel them under the fluff and they're

Saying Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine

I'm not an avid reader of Money Saving Mom but I do subscribe to a few of Crystal Paine's newsletters so my inbox usually has an email about how to save money or a giveaway or the like. I do scour a lot of blogs (probably too many some days) so I'd seen " Say Goodbye to Survival Mode " by Crystal Paine and had read numerous reviews. I think that title is something every mom with young kids wants to be able to say, so I was very excited at the opportunity to review this book. Paine gives you "9 simple strategies to stress less, sleep more, and restore your passion for life." I'm coming out of the really little kid stage (my youngest enters kindergarten in the fall - how can that be?) but I all too well remember the days of inward panic and stress over the tiniest things while my children were very small. I couldn't keep up with the dishes, the diapers, the laundry (still have troubles with this one...), the financial woes, the stress. I felt

no training wheels!!!

"I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises!" Psalm 34:1b

Becoming Home by Jedd Medefind (book review)

Big A and I have always talked about adopting one day. Life has come at us fast with all the moving and biological children and group home foster children that we've had in the past 6 years, so it hasn't really been a discussion topic until lately. We have several friends who have adopted or are looking to adopt, both domestically and internationally. So I wanted to read more about it and "Becoming Home" by Jedd Medefind was a really good place for me to start. image via Amazon Basically this is a really condensed version of things we can do to help the international orphan crisis. We, as Christians, are called to be involved in this through the Scripture verse James 1:27: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (NIV) What does it mean to look after widows and orphans? I didn't really learn anything new about t


Last weekend, I was all signed up, pumped, and ready to run 13.1 miles. I had put in my time - training for weeks upon weeks, working from treadmill to road, logging my longest run of 12.5 outside about a month earlier before tapering. The night before, Big A and I had dropped the kids off at his parents' farm for a sleepover with cousins. Oh boy, did grandma have her hands full with a 6 year old and three 4 year olds. It sounds like they had fun and Squirt didn't cry when we left, so that was a small victory. We talked all the way up to downtown, Lincoln, NE to grab my race packet. Then we spent some time in Old Navy exchanging one defective pair of little boy pants (2 weeks for a rip in the knee...TWO WEEKS!) and some online bought shorts that were (blessedly) too big. Chipoltle was where we ate supper - I love their burritos! I convinced Big A to try out Cherry on Top, a frozen yogurt place. Yum! They sell by the ounce and I had 3 free ounces from a coupon in the race pa

Angie Smith's "Chasing God" book giveaway WINNER

Congratulations to Teresa ! She is the winner of her very own copy of "Chasing God" by Angie Smith. She will be receiving an email from me shortly and will have 48 hours to send me her mailing address. Thanks for entering! Come back for more giveaways!

Manual to Manhood by Jonathan Catherman (book review)

I have two sons I'm raising to become men so choosing " Manual to Manhood " by Jonathan Catherman was a no-brainer for me. Besides, I wanted to learn how to tie a tie. Just kidding - we've learned this from YouTube. The skills described in "Manual to Manhood" are ones almost everyone needs to know: how to wash your hands, care for your feet, interview for a job, resign from a job, clean a bathroom, hang a picture, fold a shirt, behave during a traffic stop. I enjoyed learning (or at least reading, since I haven't put this information to the test quite yet) about these items. image from Amazon I only had two criticisms for this book. One is that there aren't enough pictures. Most young men that I know are not going to read this book cover to cover, and especially with there being so few pictures. Some of these steps needed pictures - how to shake hands, how to shave or wash your hands properly. How to tie a tie had pictures but they were prett

No Greatness Without Goodness by Randy Lewis (book review)

I thought I would enjoy this book by Randy Lewis, "No Greatness Without Goodness," simply because he has an autistic son and so do I and he's made Walgreens into a company that includes disabled people in its workforce. But it was so much more. I found myself nodding along with him when he said his son, Austin, "has taught us to celebrate the little victories." I understood. Moose finally can swing on the swings by himself and go high! I cried as they found out Austin's diagnosis for their grief that most parents go through in these situations. image via Amazon Our sons are very different (Lewis used a saying from the autism community that I'd never heard before: "if you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism.") but the protective parenting is something I completely understand. Lewis started with the idea to integrate those with disabilities into Walgreens distribution centers because he was worried for