Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fall Challenge on Women Living Well Blog

Courtney over at Women Living Well is holding a "Making Your Home a Haven" Fall challenge and has invited me to join up.  

Each Monday in October, she will be issuing a challenge for the week - a small, simple thing to do to make your home more relaxing for yourself and your family.  Since Fall is always such a busy time, and we can all use a little more relaxation in our lives, I think this is a wonderful idea.  Feel free to join me.  You can find all the details here:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

School Morning Tips

Mornings are tough sometimes at our house.  Trying to get 2 children up out of bed, dressed, fed and ready for school on time can be a challenge.  But there are a few things we do to make our life a little easier.

1)  Clothes Organizer
Each child has a Monday - Friday clothes organizer in their closet.  On Sunday afternoons, I take the time to pick out 5 outfits for each, keeping in mind P.E. days (no skirts) and the weather.  That way after breakfast, we just get the clothes for that day and don't have to think about what to wear.

2)  Lunch/Related Arts Magnetic Board
 A few days before the new month starts, the school sends out a lunch calendar.  We sit down and go over it together day by day.  The kids each tell me if they want to buy or pack for a particular day.  I use a pink crayon and star the days Julie wants to buy and put a half-x in pink on the days she packs.  I use a blue crayon for David.  Then on Sunday afternoons, I have the kids update our magnetic board with their lunch choices for the week.  On school mornings I just have to look on the board to see who I need to pack a lunch for.  Our handy board also tells which related arts they are going to.  That way we can be sure to have tennis shoes on for P.E. day and library books in book bags for library day.

(note:  Lots of people like to pack lunches at night.  That is fine and would be a good time-saver as well, but I find that I am too tired at night to do that.  For me, it's just as easy to pack them in the morning.)

3)  Routine Chart
My house in the mornings is very routine oriented.  The kids know they wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed and do bathroom stuff.  I take care of the breakfasts (pop-tarts all around) and I expect them to take care of the rest.  In order to do that, they have to know what to expect.  I posted a "Morning Routine" chart in the kid's bathroom so they know what order to do things in.  I used pictures as well as words since David can't really read yet.  They follow the chart and get it all done.

4)  Alarm Clock
This year we decided Julie was old enough to use her own alarm clock.  So now, she wakes up all by herself! (Still have to wake up David though :).

Those are just a some things we have discovered that make our life easier.  How about you?  Got any getting ready tips?

I'm linking this up to Works for Me Wednesday on We are that Family.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Buried with Christ

Last month, we got to have a truly wonderful experience.  We got to witness our child get baptized. 

As a 5 year old Julie asked Jesus to be her Lord and Savior.  I know a lot of people make these professions as a child and later in life wonder if it was real.  With her, I don't wonder.  She doesn't make hasty decisions.  I was there with her when she prayed.  And I truly believe that she was sincere and is a born-again Christian now.

At our church, most people get baptized as soon as they become Christians.  My child is different.  As I said, she doesn't make hasty decisions.  It took 2 years of thinking about it, watching others get baptized and learning what baptism means before she made the decision to "go public" and be baptized.

We are so proud of her and so thrilled to see her up there.  She was a little tenative at first until she discovered the that water was warm, like a bath.  After that she was OK.  And when it was all over, she had the biggest smile on her face.

All ready to go.
Presenting her to the church.
Asking her "What confession do you bring to these waters?"
"Buried with Christ..."
"Raised to walk in newness of life."
All done and super excited!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Sneeze: Let's Do Lunch

Are you a blogger? Have you heard of Book Sneeze?  You can request new, FREE books from there in exchange for your review of them.

My most recent book from Book Sneeze was Let's Do Lunch by Roger Troy Wilson.  This book was originally published in 2003, but has been updated and republished in 2009.

Let's Do Lunch is basically a diet book.  I'm not a big fan of diets, but the subtitle to this caught my attention: "Eating all the CALORIES and CARBS you want to lost weight!"  You know how they say "If it seems too good to be true, it usually is."  I wanted to see if this was one of those cases.

The book starts out with the author sharing his personal story of how he ate everything in sight as a child and quickly became obese.  As an adult, he tried every fad diet out there only to fail miserably.  One day he discovered by accident that he really liked frozen grapes so he started eating them every night instead of his usual junk food.  He ate pounds of grapes every night, yet he still lost weight.  This lead to making other changes in his diet and he eventually lost 230 lbs.  He decided to share his weight loss secrets with the world.

There are several good things about this book.

1)  The author states that he doesn't make a cent on the sale of the book.  100% of the proceeds go to charity.  I'm taking him on his word for that one.

2)  He stresses that eating a healthy diet is the key to weight loss.  I agree with that.  Diet is 75%, exercise 25%.

However, I have a few issues with his plan.

1)  He states on the cover that you can eat "all the calories and carbs that you want" and still lose weight.  According to the diet he lays out, this should really read: "Eat all the calories and carbs that are on my plan and still lose weight."  His plan excludes potatoes, pasta and rice and highly recommends fruit - lots of it.  Now I understand that potatoes, and pasta can be fattening, I'm not arguing with that.  I just think his subtitle is misleading and not entirely honest. 

2)  I really don't think rice is fattening.  Over half the world survives on this food and that half of the world is not suffering from an obesity epidemic like we are.

3)  His other big premise is that you must eat your biggest meal of the day at lunchtime (hence the title of the book).  His logic is that you have more time to burn it off if you eat it at lunch.  Logically I can see where he is going.  But I've read several studies about this and there is no conclusive evidence that food consumed later in the day turns into fat any faster than food consumed earlier.  It's a steady rate kind of thing whether you are sleeping or awake.  So, I'm going to continue to eat my biggest meal in the evening until I have proof otherwise.

My conclusion is that this diet plan is not for me.  I can't argue that he found success on it and you might too, but I don't see enough merit in it to change my eating patterns.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

CSN Valance Review

I have to admit it, I have huge respect for those of you who can update your blog daily. I can't. I kept thinking that when both kids got in school, I would have tons of time to blog, but I don't. So I'm forgiving myself for not posting daily and giving myself permission to just post when I can. What does that mean to you? That when I say I'll post something "tomorrow" (like I did in this post), just don't believe me.  "Tomorrow" in blogland just means "the next day that I get to post."  Got it?

For the review... In my earlier CSN review post, I mentioned that I got 2 things as a preferred blogger.  The rubbed oil bronze chandelier was one of them.  A new valance for my bathroom was the other.

Last May I decided to paint my bathroom.  I chose dark purple - yes, you heard me, dark purple.  I don't have an official paint name for it because I color-matched it to my washcloth.  And let me tell you, they did an awesome job with the color-matching.  When I hold that washcloth up, it just disappears, it's so close in color.  And I LOVE IT!!  (The color that is, not the washcloth :)).

This is my beautiful purple.

My purple bathroom and green bedroom were both based on my purple/green plaid shower curtain that I love.  So, in light of that, here is my favorite part of my walls. (What, you mean I'm the only weird one that has a favorite section of wall?)

See that?  The purple and green together right there in the entrance?  That's my favorite part.  Seeing those two walls together.


To get on with the review...

I had painted all this in May and had been looking for a window valance to match for quite a while.  I saw this one on CSN's extensive Home Decor site.  Keep in mind, it's light green with a chocolate stripe.  My bathroom doesn't have any chocolate (in fact I'm allergic to chocolate - really... you can pick your jaw up now).  My bathroom has purple.  But I thought it might match, so I got it.

What do you think?

I think it looks awesome!!!  I love it!!  It came very quickly and I didn't even have to iron it (definitely a plus in my book).  I just opened the package and hung it.  So, two thumbs up for CSN's window valance.