Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World

The title of my blog is based on a new book that I have had the opportunity to read. As a social worker, this book has given me a lot of good insight on children and the homes they are raised in our culture. It has also given me great insight on parenting and a Christian worldview on how to raise children in a society that has different standards then when I was growing up.

 Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World written by Jilly Rigby contains so many good chapters and would be great for the soon-to-be-mom or the worn out mother. Men would like this book too, but I think it appeals more to women. 


One of the chapters I enjoyed is titled " Stress Purpose, Not Performance." This chapter is about how parents need to be careful how they direct their child in achieving or having the attitude of the child being the best they can be for God. What is your purpose for pushing your child to be the best? Is it pure or is their a motive behind it? This chapter gives many specific examples of what not to do and examples of how to help figure out your child's weakness's or strengths. 

Examples: Expand your child's worldview, expose them to good books, spend time outdoors, encourage children to try many activities, involve them in arts/crafts, support their interests and many more.. 

This chapter talked about the dangers of perfectionism and how it can lead children down a path of destruction. This particular chapter spoke volumes to me, especially since I can sometimes have a perfectionist mindset and I have always been an achiever, so I can really relate to this chapter.

Here are some other chapter titles in this book :

Coach; Don't Cheerlead
Set Boundaries without building walls
Use Discipline, not punishment
Teach Gratefulness, not greediness

If you're looking for a parenting book that is in touch with this generation of kids, I would highly recommend picking up "Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World."

"I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books, for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own." 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Celebrating our Anniversary in Magical Way!

Drew and I have been married 3 years! It's crazy to me when I think about it. Next year, will be my 10 year high school reunion!!! What happened?? Where did time go?

We were lucky to be able to spend our Anniversary at Disney World and we decided to celebrate in style! 

 After not being able to go to the Magic Kingdom the first night, I was so ready to get in the bus line and see that Castle!!! 

 This photo is not Photoshopped at all.. Isn't it beautiful?? It was such a perfect day! The weather was cool enough and I couldn't believe how great of a picture this turned out to be. You never know with people using your iphone or camera.. We've had some real dozzies of pictures! 

We spent a good deal of time in Magic Kingdom before heading to Epcot for dinner!
We even bumped into two of my favorite characters who did not want to stand by Drew for the picture. Dale actually told Drew to go.. HA! Chip said I had a pretty face! 

 We then headed back to our hotel to get changed and to head off to dinner. We ate at Garden Grill, which is this really neat restaurant that every so slowly has a moving floor. The floor slowly spins you around in a circle. Disney has their own huge garden in the Land of Living. Many of the food in the Garden Grill Restaurant is grown in their garden.

We had never eaten at Garden Grill, but decided to try it out on our Anniversary. We had a great time and ran into a bunch of characters.. They were quite funny!! The food was delicious. My personal favorites were the rolls with honey maple syrup and their fresh salad. YUM!!
Chip insisted on dancing with me! What a goofball!! We got some good pictures of him and I dancing.. It was quite a memorial moment, actually! You would think I would be embarrassed, but it was really sweet!

We headed back to Magic Kingdom for their awesome fireworks and castle show. You will never be disappointed by their fireworks. I always cry, every single time! It never got old. During the entire trip, I cried every-time I saw "Wishes." It was a magical evening for sure! I will not forget this special day!!

How do you celebrate your special moments? Anniversaries? Birthdays? Where is your special or favorite place to go?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The running diaries..

Since I've been on vacation for what seems like forever, (I'm not complaining) I needed to get off my butt, start running and training for Double Dare Dumbo.. Our 6 mile run Saturday completely stunk! It would have been better to just to stay out the couch.. Really, I'm not just saying that. Probably didn't help that we were running in high 80 degree temps with high humidity..

 Sunday we got our 5 mile walk in.. The back to back training killed me on Monday. I had to recover, which has probably inflamed my laryngitis.. UGH..

However, I still did Yoga Monday and I could feel it in my hips for sure.. I did some Pigeon and felt them stretch out! 

I went on a run Tuesday and killed it!  My first run was four seconds from a PR!


I was pretty proud of that first mile and feeling  good until about mile 2 when I had to stop for a full minute to stretch my hamstrings and knees.. It made me rather grumpy, but I kept going and was pleased with my overall time..

Ps. I totally have been in love with running in skirts now. I don't chafe nearly as bad with the heat and sweat.. They are fantastic. I just picked up another one the other day. I can't wait to sport it! 

Speaking of watches, I'm looking for a new one or at least something that tracks calories burned! 

These are my requirements!
- Must show calories burned.
- Must show heart rate
- Must not have one of those crazy chest bands.
- Can have GPS. Doesn't need to...

Thoughts? What do you use? How much does something like this cost?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I was super excited to have the opportunity to read "Greater" by Steven Furtick. My husband read "Sun Stand Still" and loved that book, so I knew this would be a great read.

Of course, this book did not disappoint.

This book inspires the reader to propel to a different level of faith, discover dreams bigger than yourself and to discover a different sense of purpose that beyond money, popularity, fame or anything else that is worldly. 

Pastor Steven tells the story of Elisha from the Old Testament as he utilizes it to show us a place where we start and how we can begin a new life in faith. Elisha's story in the premise for this book. Life changing lesson of obedience that connect you to your past life, practicing faith and learning.

Greater: Dream Bigger. Start Smaller. Ignite God's Vision for Your Life.
This book is about how God is using the readers life to bring one to the next step. God communicates to each person differently, especially how he reveals each step to the greater life. However, you don't have to wait to live the "Greater" life, but instead start living it right. The journey to greatest is the suffering and road blocks we encounter on the way. Each of these road blocks are not wasted, but an opportunity to see the Glory of God in places we didn't know existed.

I recommend this book to anyone wanting to take a leap of faith and seeking to live the "greater" life.

 I think this book would be great to read as a Bible Study. It has a discussion/ group questions in the back of the book.

Returning to the Mitten after a Magical Vacation

I've been dreading this post for sometime, it's probably the reason why a week after vacation, I'm finally posting. I miss all of you guys and reading what you've been up to this summer. I'm back now and you can expect regular posts.

My husband and I were on a weight loss journey, which earned a trip to Disney World. You may remember me having a goal to lose a certain amount of weight and then we could head to Walt Disney World. I lost between 12-14 pounds depending on the day.. I think my husband lost 2.. Either way, we don't really need a reason to go our favorite place in the whole wide world... I have several days to unpack for you, so let's start with day 1!

We left Grand Rapids on a direct flight straight to Orlando! Direct flights are the best. 

                              Upon arrival to Orlando, we had to greet a few characters. 

Then it was down to Magical Express, the Disney Transportation System. It is the second largest transportation system in the world, which is CRAZY!!! I always know I'm in Disney when we get on the Magical Express and see this sign greet us!!

We checked into our resort and immediately were off to Downtown Disney for dinner. We  ate at Planet Hollywood. We hit a few shops and took a bus to Poloynesian.

 Usually, we head to Magic Kingdom, but I decided not to get us a park ticket for the first night because it feels like a waste of $$

Polynesian resort is a beautiful hawaiian themed resort. I would love to stay their one day. We heard it was a great place to see Magic Kingdom fireworks and it turned out to be an awesome spot.

Before the fireworks, we saw the nigh-time water pageant show, which I had never heard of. My husband is on the Disney Boards a lot and found this little hidden gem. All of the floats have music synchronized to the lights on the floats. So cool!!

Then it was time for fireworks! If you ask me, Disney has the best fireworks in the world! They are truly magical. It was great to see them from another spot and they did not disappoint.

Our first night in Walt Disney World was truly a magical evening. Disney never disappoints! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Great Outdoors

Over the past week, I have had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time in the outdoors. Drew's family tradition is to go camping the week of the 4th of July! We always have a blast, eat lots of good food, make smores, play games and catch some sun!

Photo: Perfect night for a campfire. #happy4thweek

The campfire is one of my favorite things about camping. I love sitting around the campfire with our family and friends, while goofing off, laughing and cracking jokes. We always have a great time and the kids love it too.

Photo: Being silly by the campfire

The thing i hate about camping: MOSQUITOES!!!!

Photo: Storytime at the campfire with Sarah

This is panoramic shot of the group and myself reading books with the girls! They love story time!! I love just hanging out and that makes camping so relaxing!

Of course, I did lots of reading during our camping vacation! I have read several books, so start looking for some book reviews.

Question: Do you like to go camping?

Here is a review of a book I read during our camping trip!

This story starts off with the reader finding out that Elliot has cheated on his wife, Ivy. Already, I'm feeling a wide range of emotions for Ivy. Put in her position, I would have left to gain some perspective too.

As the story unfolds, we see a woman who makes unwise decisions, followed by a resentful attitude towards her marriage, which is understandable. However, Elliott will surprise you. This character has redeemed himself and clearly wanted his marriage to work. He went after Ivy and you'll have to read the story to see if she goes back to him.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Here comes the BRIDE

On Saturday, my brother-in-law got married. Drew was excited to be in his brothers wedding and we couldn't be more thrilled to welcome Alicia in our family. 

I took so many pictures, but I wanted to post a few of my favorites!! 

Storm Grandparents

Simmon Grandparents

The beautiful stain glass in the chapel.

All five of us!

The Kiss!!

Our table assignments!

Vegetarian Lasagna 

The Two of Us! 

Letting off Chinese Lanterns! They were so pretty in the sky!

This day was so SPECIAL! I took a lot of pictures, but these are the highlights from the day! We are so thankful and cannot wait to see how Jason and Alicia grow as a couple! What a wonderful day full of memories and laughter. This post could be pages long, but I wanted to keep it short and with lots of pictures.

Question: What is the coolest memory you have from a wedding?