Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Expectant Parents

I know recently I've talked about on my blog about the possibility over the next year about wanting to become pregnant. For some people they don't have to plan pregnancy, they can actually just do it and not have to really think, but that isn't the case in my situation. I really wish we could throw caution to the wind, but that isn't feasible or realistic. 

Many people know my hearts desire is to be mom, and that I love children. Some days I think I am crazy and I can't believe I would want to sacrifice my life for a child, but I think I am there. 
expectantparents-400-click

So, I was given the opportunity to read a book called "Expectant Parents, Preparing Together for Journey of Parenthood" and I love how honest this book. Every pregnancy is different, every parents journey is different, but the common thread is that you are going to have a baby and your world is going to CHANGE, dramatically. 

 Expectant Parents

While so many books focus on prenatal development and the health of the mother, which are important, this book focuses on what happens when the child arrives HOME. It offers practical advice. Babies do not come with manuals and this book provides ways for your to figure out what kind of home and family you can choose to build that is appropriate for your family. 

Not only does this book talk about your new baby, it also talks about what you need to do in your marriage. Having a baby can affect your relationship with your spouse. Imagine that? It talks about communication, preparing for your new stages as parents, how to deal with physical, emotional and spiritual changes that happen with the new arrival of a little one. 

This book is great because it touches on all areas of life and is a real handy resource. It is realistic and it doesn't make the reader have false expectations of parenthood. If you know someone who is pregnant, I recommend throwing this into the baby shower gift, they will thank you for it! This book gets 5 stars from me!


Author Info:


Suzanne Hadley Gosselin

{MORE ABOUT SUZANNE HADLEY GOSSELIN}

Suzanne Hadley Gosselin is the former editor of “Clubhouse Jr.” magazine for Focus on the Family. She is now a regular contributor to “Thriving Family” magazine and Boundless.org, and the recipient of several Evangelical Press Association awards for her writing and editorial work. Gosselin writes children’s resources for David C Cook, Zondervan and Harvest House. She is also the author of “Faithgirlz Handbook: Let Your Light Shine Through” and is currently working on the “God’s Got an Answer for That” children’s devotional and activity books to be released in January 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and biblical theology from Multnomah University. Suzanne and her husband, Kevin, who is a children’s pastor, have three children and make their home in Colorado.
Find out more about Suzanne Hadle athttp://www.suzannegosselin.com.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Happy Wednesday!!

Happ Wednesday! I'm so thankful the week is moving by swiftly. I feel like I'm getting nothing accomplished at work, but what's new? 

Last night my husband and I got takeout from this sandwhich shop called Potbellies. We also had yummy soup too! It was delicious! We watch a Christmas movie. It was called " The Christmas Ornament" and it was a Hallmark Movie.
It was a super cute movie and I even got Drew to watch it!!! :)

I also read this book by Sadie Robertson called "Live Orginal." For a teenager, Sadie has some very sound wisdom and advice to offer the world. In Live Orginal she talks about how this world can be very negative and as people we chose our emotions, feelings, we can dictate our happiness. She also talks about how difficult the modeling industry is and how our society has made women to feel they have to be a certain size in order to be beautiful. She talks about the life of being a member of the dynasty clan and how it hasn't always been fame, but work. Everything isn't perfect and Sadie make that very clear in "Live Orginal." 

I love how authentic sadie is about her faith, social media, peer pressure, Friends and self-confidence. She is trendy and just sounds like a wonderful person that I would just love to meet. She's an inspiring teenager who really is remarkable. I enjoyed reading this book and the wisdom that Beautiful seventeen year-old has to offer. I highly recommend this book. Thank you Howard Press for allowing me to review this book. I was not compensated for a positive review.




Monday, October 27, 2014

Trying to make the lemons work

If I'm really honest, I can tell you that I've been struggling a lot lately. Life has thrown a lot of lemons at me and I have had to choose whether I am going to make lemonade or throw the lemons.

Recently over the past six months, I have lost my voice several times, which resulted in a specialist appointment with the ENT. This has now led me to finding out that my vocal chords are swollen and quite inflamed. The only way to fix the inflammation and to get my vocal chords working properly because they're not closing the right way is to do speech therapy.



In normal circumstances speech therapy would be no big deal, but I am dealing with therapy, trying to figure out if we can have a baby and we have been dealing with a lot of family stress. All these things combined, have not made life easy. I bought myself a bracelet this weekend to remind myself that I can only control the things within my reach and the rest I have to trust God for. 
When life gets stressful and it often does, I journal a lot. I really, really want to run, but I am waiting to find out if running would impact my breathing and my vocal chords or if it would further damage it because I believe it would be really good to get rid of some of my stress.

I am allowing myself to be honest and say that this year hasn't been the way I imagined it would be. My body is thin, but not as strong. I can't wait to run more normally, I miss my old life in that way and I can't wait to return to normalcy. Until then, I sit here making lemonade with the lemons I have been given.

Q: how do you deal with the lemons you've been given?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

National Bullying Month

As a school social worker, I am always dealing with bullying and this topic is becoming so important to discuss because it is becoming so common in our schools. October is National Bullying Prevention Month, did you know that? 160,000 students stay home from school daily as reported by NEA due to bullying. That number is way to high. We need to do something about that. 

One way to be effective about teaching about this topic is to start teaching social skills and the values of social skills. We are becoming a society that is deficit in this area and I count on parents to start instilling these skills in their children. One of the best things you can do is to start having conversations with your children when they are young. I had the oppportunity to take a new series called the  The Principle Gang, which helps parents have conversations with their kids and teach them stories they can relate to.   

I read book one: Don't Judge A Lizard  By His Scales and book two: Wizard Lizard Rides the Subway.


Book 1: Don't Judge a Lizard By His Scales

Danny is the Wizard Lizard who really wants to be friends with Bli the Fly.  Bli's mother is nervous about this friendship between her child, Bli and Danny, the Lizard. Danny decides not to eat flies, so he can prove to Bli's mom that they can be friends and that Danny should not be judged just because other Lizards will eat flies. Bli's mother allows him to go to movie. When they arrive, they are confronted by Lousy Lizard Gang, but they don't know that Danny is with them until he stands up against them. As Danny stands up to the bullies and defends Bli and his mom, he gains respect and Bli's mother realizes she mis-judged him. This is a cute story and a learning lesson for Bli's mother too.
 




Book 2: Wizard Lizard Rides the Subway

In book two, Danny and Bli are recognized by their school counselor for their anti-bullying display. Due to their recognition they are sent to NYC to an anti-bullying conference. At the conference they are asked to share three rules for preventing bullying. While at the conference, they leave with over 100 new members who have signed up to be a part of their Principal Gang because they want to stand up against bullying. Many of the new members pledge to start up clubs in their own schools. 

Both of these books have great lessons, wonderful values on friendship, prejudices and lessons on Anti-bullying. I love the beautiful color and pictures throughout the stories, which grab a hold the attention of the reader, especially a child. I cannot wait to read these to my students.
 
Thank you PRBY the book for providing me these books for review purposes. I was not compensated for a positive review, but I enjoyed these books.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A bit of this and That

After school Wednesday, I did a little shopping, but here's the skinny... Um, I woke up at 3am and couldn't fall back asleep, so I was worried that if I went home after school, I would take a nap and then I would be toast for the evening.

So, I decided to hit JcPenny and I found a deal or two.
I managed to find Sven and Olaf for $12 a piece! 

Major score! Can't wait to put these cute friends in my office at school, they will be so fun, espically Olaf! He will be loved, I'm sure of it!  Plus, these guys are huge for $12. I was shocked they had them in stock.

I also have been looking at this yummy dessert book by Joy Wilson.
This book retails for $30 and in my opinion is worth every penny if you're looking for sugary goodness this holiday season.
Who wouldn't want these delicious Banilka sugar donuts? Or this amazing Mint Chocolate Chip Cake?
This book is filled with sweets for brunch, cookies, brownies, pies, cakes, cupcakes, icecreams and lots of how- to's. This will be the perfect gift book for the baker in your life. I can't wait to give some of these a whirl for the holidays and  also get this book for a few bakers in my life. This isn't the most healthiest book, but most sweets aren't. 😜



The Promise- Book Review

The Promise
The Promise
Mallory’s search for happiness leads her to a faraway place. There she finds heartache, betrayal—and danger.
Mallory Hammond is determined that no one will stand in the way of her goal—to save a life. She had that chance years ago, and she failed to take it, leaving her adrift and in search of the real meaning of her life. Finally, she meets a man online from a volatile corner of the world who offers her the chance to find that purpose. But she will have to leave everyone she loves behind in order to take it.
Tate Webber has loved Mallory for many years. He understands that Mallory will never be happy with him until her deepest heart’s desire is satisfied. When Mallory decides to travel across the world to fulfi ll her dreams, Tate begs her not to go but tries to give her the space she needs. Mallory embarks on her dangerous journey only to discover how swiftly and easily promises can be broken. And Mallory can only pray that she will make it out alive.
Inspired by actual events, The Promise is a riveting love story that asks the question: how far will we go for love?
My Review:
I have read two other books by  Beth Wiseman and she has never disappointed as an author. "The Promise" is no exception to her high standards and wonderful novels as a writer. The Story of Mallory grips the reader, especially as a female reader who begins to understand how different the American culture is from a Islamic society. When Mallory decides to follow her heart, despite being begged by Tate not to go to go a dangerous part of the world, Mallory won't hear of it because she needs to know, she needs to fulfill her dreams and the missing part of her heart. Mallory's story is one of compassion, reality, courage and overcoming the impossible. This book is inspiring, will put you in tears, is heartbreaking and after reading the authors notes in the end, this novel is based on actual events. Crazy! If you don't read this book, you will be missing one of the top 10 books of the year in my opinion!

About the Author:
 
Beth Wiseman is the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan series. Having sold over 1.3 million books, her novels have held spots on multiple Bestseller lists. She was the recipient of the prestigious Carol Award in 2011 and 2013. In 2013 she took home the coveted Holt Medallion. Her first book in the Land of Canaan series--"Seek Me With All Your Heart"--was selected as the 2011 Women of Faith Book of the Year. Beth lives in Texas with her family.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

What does a School Social Worker do on a day off?

Working full time now definitely has its benefits in terms of healthcare and continuity for kids. It's tiring day in and day out. I can't blog as much and I don't get things done like I used too.

I took a personal day Friday and was planning on getting my car fixed for a recall, but that didn't happen as planned. Seems like those things never do sometimes, so it's been scheduled for a later date.

What better way to go spend the day and buy therapy materials? As a person trying to get out of student loan debt, I am super careful about what I purchase for school. We want a house,kids, ect. However, we only get a $50 budget every year, which in the therapy world buys you two games, if you are lucky. 

When my husband had the day off too and the car thing didn't work out, I said lets road trip it!



So we did! Off we went to the Self- Esteem shop, which is the only shop where you can buy any product for any type of therapy. It's amazing. Cancer, grief, incareration, anger, ADHD, Bullying, mediation, women's issues, infertility, loss, changes in family, games, ect. This place is awesome!!!! Well, I walked away with a lot of items and spent over $200, out of pocket.EEKkk!!

 
I'm so excited for this book on Thotso, the thought maker. It was quite expensive and I really wasn't sure if I should buy it or not, but it's so interactive.
I also have never really found a book on thoughts and one that helps kids who don't understand why they have good ir bad thoughts, so I really thought this would be worth the $40.
Kids love games and so do I! Games make everything so fun. Many of my students have ADHD, so I'm always looking for things to help with impulse control. Several of my students are not medicated, which is completely fine, so I am always looking for alternative ways to help them stay focused in the classroom.
I'm exciting about  this book "Sitting Still Like A Frog" because I hope to be able to teach some of my wiggly students how to learn to be more mindful of their bodies. I'm excited to learn myself too! 
These are just several of the therapy supplies I was able to purchase. This is my Christmas gift to myself and I'm excited to use all of these educational tools with my students. I can't wait to continue to build my therapy supplies, I just need to find a money tree.

Q: What do you do on a day off? What kind of Christmas gifts do you give yourself?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Mason Jar- Book Review


The Mason Jar 

What if your old college roommate called, raving about a book someone sent her, calling it the most beautiful book she’s ever read? “But,” she said, “it’s about you.” The author is your college ex.
The Mason JarIn The Mason Jar, Clayton Fincannon is a Tennessee farm boy raised at the feet of his grandfather. He and his grandfather leave letters for each other in a Mason jar on his grandfather’s desk—letters of counsel and affirmation. When Clayton attends college in Southern California, he meets and falls in love with a dark debutante from Colorado. However, when an unmentioned past resurrects in her life and she leaves, Clayton is left with unanswered questions.
Clayton goes on to serve as a missionary in Africa, while he and his grandfather continue their tradition of writing letters. When Clayton returns home five years later to bury his grandfather, he searches for answers pertaining to the loss of the young woman he once loved. Little does Clayton know, the answers await him in the broken Mason jar.
A story about a girl who vanished, a former love who wrote a book about her, and a reunion they never imagined.
Written for the bruised and broken, The Mason Jar is an inspirational romance that brings hope to people who have experienced disappointment in life due to separation from loved ones. With a redemptive ending that encourages us to love again and written in the fresh, romantic tones of Nicholas Sparks, The Mason Jar interweaves the imagery of Thoreau with the adventures and climatic family struggles common to Dances with Wolves, A River Runs Through It, and Legends of the Fall.
Find out more and purchase a copy at James’ website.


My Review:
The Mason Jar reads very much like a memoir and almost reminds of a Nicholas Sparks novel, which is a high compliment in my opinion because I like a lot of his books. This book doesn't disappoint, it's a love story that will have you turning at the pages to find out what happens next. This book is told by Eden who is reading about the book that Finn had written about their time together. What is interesting is how this book is told from Finn's perspective, which is unusual as he is the guy and it isn't told from a woman's perspective, despite that it is a love story. This book is a easy read and perfect for a fall weekend book to curl up and read. I especially enjoyed the advice from Finn's grandfather scattered throughout the book, which I think is advice we could all use in our daily lives. Check out this book, you won't be disappointed. I give this a 4.5


About the Author:
James Russell Lingerfelt is the author of "The Mason Jar" and writes articles for "The Huffington Post." James connects with readers at his blog, Love Story from the Male Perspective, and divides his time between Southern California and his family's ranch in Alabama.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Two Things Tuesday- Kids

I'm so glad we've passed Monday and have skipped right on by to Tuesday! This week, will be very busy for me, but I plugging right along.

Last night I went and watched Frozen with two of my favorite little guys, Sam and Joe!
Sam is finally becoming a snuggler with me and will sit on my lap, which hasn't always been the case for him. It was so good to see my friend Tiffany and her boys last night. Besides a little popcorn, and Frozen is not a bad deal either.

Second, Drew and I are at this stage in our marriage where we are deciding if we want to start a family.we love the kids and think they are absolutely wonderful, but we are trying to pay off our student loans and that is really inhibiting us from getting anywhere in life.
While you wouldn't think that student loans would keep people from having children, the house and "American dream", it really is. We also have to talk with the doctors at the end of this month, to talk about my medication and what that would mean for me. So, if you're reading this and you have kids, know that you are really blessed. Until then, we will keep on loving other people's kids and wait until it's our turn. 

Happy Tuesday!!!

Q: Do you have kids? If not, do you want kids?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Forever Christmas- Book Review


Forever ChristmasFrom the Back of the book:

This Christmas will change Andrew Farmer’s life forever.
Andrew can’t remember the last time he spent Christmas away from work. The end of the year is crunch time for literary agents. But when your career is your life, your life starts to suffer . . . beginning with your marriage.
When a heart-wrenching accident in a Christmas Eve snowstorm jars this high-powered agent from his obsession with success, a Christmas miracle will give him a second chance at love, life, and gratitude, but only if he can put aside his own ambition and learn to appreciate each moment.
Sometimes it takes a tragedy to change a man’s life—and to teach him to treat every day as if it were his last.



 My Review: Can you believe we are already starting to see Christmas books pop up? It gets me super geeked for Christmas! I know some people aren't ready, but for those who are, well this book is one of those books that is a page turner after chapter four and is not shy of a miracle. Trust me when I say, Andrew is given a second miracle and he needed it. This book is a great reminder to all of us. We each take life for granted and do the daily grind, but this book helps stop you in your tracks and remind you what's most important in your life. If you're looking for a little Christmas miracle and need a pick me up, with a taste of some sense knocked into ya, pick up this book, you won't regret it!

Thank you Thomas Nelson for providing me a copy for review purposes.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Hardest Peace- Book Review


Kara Tippets is familiar with cancer, she knows the journey, the joys the pains and how in the midst of everyday, you have to find grace in the most difficult moments. She originally had breast cancer, came through it, relapsed and now the cancer has spread through several other places in her body. She blogs at Mundane Faithfulness and helps remind me that life is a gift each day.

The Hardest Peace PK
As a person who has never had cancer, but has been walking along side many families who have children ones with cancer, this book has shown me that in the moments of rawness, grace can be found. In the moments where life seems like it's frustrating, you could have it far worse. Kara has reminded me about what true living is all about. I am so thankful for her honesty and I value her words so much in this book. She makes you look and value what is important. She makes you look at your spouse to have the important conversations if you're not having them. She makes you want to be a better person.  If you're looking for a book to mess up your faith, make you stronger, change your life and maybe even help you ask some tough questions, this is the book. If you're looking to stay stagnant, don't bother.
 
 


{More about The Hardest Peace}

The Hardest Peace
A young mother battling cancer invites readers to embrace grace in every season of life.
Kara Tippetts knows the mundane but rich days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow.and the devastating reality of stage-four cancer.
In The Hardest Peace, she invites readers to see the grace of the everyday in all seasons of life and to live well even when the living is hard. As the thousands of readers of her blog know, Tippetts explores the hardest questions of life with rare beauty and honesty. Most of all, she draws them back to the God who is present, in the ordinary and the suffering, and shapes every life into the best story of all.
Learn more and purchase a copy at Kara’s website, Mundane Faithfulness.
Kara Tippetts

{More About Kara Tippetts}

Kara Tippetts and her husband, Jason, have four children and lead a church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Cancer is only part of Kara’s story. Her real fight is to truly live while facing a crushing reality. She blogs faithfully at mundanefaithfulness.com.
Find out more about Kara at http://mundanefaithfulness.com.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Three Things Thursday

This fall has been so busy y'all I just can't take it! When will it slow down??  Please let it slow down.. Gosh!!!!

1) Last night, I went and saw a dear sweet friend of mine and her precious daughter, Montana. It has been such a blessing to partner and join families who are battling childhood cancer! It changes your entire outlook on life. It makes you APPRECIATE everything.
2) I registered for my social work exam! Get ready for no life! I will be studying forever. 

3) This month, I celebrate a year free from seizures.

All great things to share on this fall Thursday!

Q: What is going on with you?



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

One Pot by Martha Stewart

Do you love meals that are quick and easy with not lots of pots and pans? Are you sick and tired of making the same meals? I know I am! I am tired of the same old meals and could use some new ones, so I have been super excited to get my hands on recipe books.  My latest one, I think you will love!!!  It is called ONE pot by Martha Stewart. 



Buried Beneath the Words- Book Review

Buried Beneath the Words
Buried Beneath the Words
Words! Words! Words!
Words all over the place. Accusing, blaming, and degrading words are the worst of all. After hearing those words over and over again, we begin to feel the weight of them threatening to crush the very life out of us.
Buried Beneath the Words cleverly shares a true life story about the different ways someone can end up buried beneath the weight of negative words. Then it shares a Christian course for how God’s word can revive us. By putting the advice given within these pages into practice, you will experience an awakening of the real you—the you that has been buried way too long.
My Review:
I loved this book! As a person who struggles with words, negative thought patterns, doubts and lack of confidence, this book spoke straight to my heart. As a person who encourages others daily, I realize my words aren't always positive and kind to myself. I loved this book and thought it was so helpful to how I live my daily life. It really made me realize my self talk hasn't been so kind and that I need to be more forgiving of my own mistakes. If you take the practical advice given in this book, you will find freedom from your worries, words thoughts and mistakes and find freedom. 
Betel Arnold
About the Author:BETEL ARNOLD
Betel Arnold is a Certified Christian Life Coach, her passion is to reach out to women with compassion, empathy and encouragement. She is the creator, co-producer, and co-host of Simply Talking, a local public television show addressing issues drawn from our daily lives to deeper questions that come from our personal tragedies. Betel has learned to integrate her roles as wife, mother, inspirational speaker and family advocate. It is Betel’s personal life experiences of overcoming adversity where she was able to find the inspiration and inner strength to do the impossible. She inspires others to overcome the challenges that keep us from moving forward in our lives and achieving our goals. Betel Arnold has embraced her life’s conviction to help women become all that God has called them to be.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Happy Birthday!

I am so thankful to have such a great husband who is my biggest cheerleader. This year he turns the big 29! I feel like we are getting old!

Usually the two of us celebrate in a big and special way, but we are hoping to nail down some student loan debt, purchase a house and start a family in the next year or two. So, as much as we love Birthdays, we are not doing anything big.
We celebrated in Disney this year and that was special enough! I'm so glad to have him in my life, every day with him is a dream come true.

Happy 29th Birthday to the sweetest guy I know who took me on our first date to the circus. May we celebrate a lifetime of Birthdays and memories! 
XOXO.

Q: How do you reasonably or cheaply celebrate Birthdays?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hidden in the Stars- Quilt of Love Series



Hidden in the Stars, Robin Carroll

{MORE ABOUT HIDDEN IN THE STARS}

New from Abingdon Press’ Quilts of Love series | Hidden in the Stars 
A quilt holds the secret to a killer still at large—and who his next victim will be.
Following an attack that killed her mother and stole her ability to speak, 21‑year‑old Sophia Montgomery has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother’s offer to return to their family home. Although detective Julian Frazier is working hard on the case, Sophia unknowingly frustrates him because her inability to speak thwarts her eyewitness evidence. The fact that Julian is undeniably attracted to Sophia doesn’t help either, so Julian hides his feelings as concern for a trauma victim and focuses instead on finding the killer.
Hidden in the Stars Robin Carroll Quilts of LoveLittle do they know, the clues to solving the case may be right in front of them, displayed in Sophia’s mother’s “special” quilt design. Who will realize the secret Sophia’s unwittingly been hiding in plain sight? When the truth comes to light, will Sophia find her voice again? Or will the murderer—still at large—silence her forever?

My Review:


Again, like all of the other Quilt of Love Series, this book is no exception to being awesome and a great read! Its a mystery book that will have you turning the pages, wondering why Sophia had to suffer such an awful act of violence. It isn't a cozy book like the other Quilt books, but rather a murder mystery and the mystery to find out who and why would go after Sophia and her mother? This book is brilliant. I read it within a day and it kept me up all night on a school night because I was reading it. It is worth a read! You wont be disappointed, you will be thinking about what is happening to the characters next and you will be unable to stop yourself from thinking about what is going on. I just loved this book and highly recommend it. It's a favorite book for sure! 
Robin Caroll




{MORE ABOUT ROBIN CAROLL}

Robin Caroll is the author of 22 published novels. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of 20‑plus years, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character‑filled pets at home in Little Rock, Arkansas. She gives back to the writing community by serving as conference director for ACFW. Her books have been named finalists in such contests as the Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, Bookseller’s Best, and Book of the Year.
Find out more about Robin at http://www.robincaroll.com.