Sunday, January 31, 2010

Anne of Green Gables Movie

Anne of Green Gables Movie, 1986. Kevin Sullivan, Director.  Starring Megan Follows.

My history with this Anne movie goes all the way back to the fall of 1993.  It was parents weekend at my university.  Neither my parents nor my friend's parents were coming to campus so we visited a nearby video store and rented the whole series on vhs (remember those?!).  We holed up in her room with microwave popcorn and spent the entire weekend watching Anne grow up.

I don't think I've watched Anne since then.  And let me say that watching with your husband and children wandering around you is NOT the same!!  (Oh, Alicia how I missed you!!!)

Now about the movie.

My copy (which was a Christmas gift this year) is a double-sided DVD.  I watched the first half and found myself a little bored.  I think the pace was a little slow in the first half; the second half seemed to go quicker.  But, I don't watch a lot of movies anymore so it could have just been me not being used to sitting in one spot for so long.

I also found myself thinking 'that's not the way it is in the book' a lot.  All Anne's quirky sayings are there and her funny misadventures but often she's saying them to someone different.

The one example that stands out in my mind right now is that she doesn't tell Marilla her "life story" on the way back to Green Gables after seeing Mrs. Spencer.  She ends up telling someone else (I can't remember who) but I felt like this left out a big piece of her bonding with Marilla.  The movie made it seem like Marilla kept her because she didn't like the other woman who offered for Anne; whereas, the book felt more like Marilla had compassion on Anne because of her past and the other woman just gave her a good excuse for an emotional decision.

Naturally I cried when Matthew died.  Who doesn't?!  I really wish Montgomery had fleshed out his character a little more.  I just love Matthew.

Overall I enjoy this movie.  There are a few minor things I wish had been done differently but it's clean, wholesome fun.

Visit the L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge at Reading to Know for more reviews of works by or about L.M. Montgomery.

Living with Less Contest at Hearts at Home

I am excited to share a fun opportunity with you!

To celebrate the release of Hearts at Home’s newest book: Living With Less So Your Family Has More, by Jill and Mark Savage, the Hearts at Home blog is launching the Living with Less Contest.

Email Hearts at Home a story or money-saving tip that gives a peek into your daily experiences representing the humor, richness, or spiritual aspects of what it’s like to live with less.

Better yet, blog readers will benefit as many of the money-saving entries will be posted on the Heart’s blog throughout the month of February!

For contest details go here!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fort Wetherill on Family Fun Friday

A sunny and (relatively) warm Saturday in January makes it difficult for my family to stay indoors.  So when just such a day came a earlier this month we packed a picnic lunch, pulled on coats and gloves and headed out.

This excursion was to a new site (for us) - Fort Wetherill State Park.  The funny thing is it wasn't the site I thought it would be.  Oh well!  We still had a great time exploring the old concrete army bunkers and imagining what it was like filled with soldiers and giant guns.

Here are a few of our pictures from the day:

What does your family like to do on a sunny Saturday in January?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Anne of Avonlea and of the Island by L.M. Montgomery

After reading Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, I realized that I no longer 'love' Anne.  She's a sweet memory from my childhood of reading, and I'm certainly still fond of her, but some of the romance in her story has rubbed off for me.

But I didn't let that stop me from reading the next two books in the series: Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island!

Once again, I skimmed some of the flowery descriptions but overall I enjoyed Anne of Avonlea, which tells the story of Anne's adventures as a first year school teacher.  As someone who once held certification to teach high school social studies (and currently home schools her children) I appreciated Anne's high ideals for her students.

Her desire to control a classroom through affection and mutual respect is to be applauded.  I felt sorry for Anne when she abandoned her high ideals and eventually whipped the lone classroom troublemaker.  But I think she failed to learn the deeper lesson of the situation - that is, not all children learn the same or respond to the same discipline.

Of the three Anne books that I read I think Anne of Avonlea is my favorite.  Montgomery does a good job of developing the character of Anne in greater detail.  This book revealed Anne as a person and not just her funny misadventures.

Anne of the Island is book three in the series.  Anne spends two (or is it three) years away from Prince Edward Island at a university. 

The best thing I can say about this book is that in the end Anne and Gilbert declare their love to each other.

Harsh?  Maybe a little.  It just felt like Montgomery was bored with Anne or pressed for time so she skimmed along the surface of Anne's life from one undeveloped episode to another. 

I really wanted to learn more about Roy Gardner (Gil's rival) and how Anne won over his hoity-toity family.  I wanted Montgomery to convince me that Roy was only an embodiment of Anne's fantasies and not true love.  Unfortunately, I just didn't see it.

What have I learned by participating in this year's L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge?  

I read books differently now than I did as a teenager.  I guess I should have expected that.  I'm glad I revisited Anne, though I feel a little sad that my fondness of her has dimmed some. 

But, I am looking forward to the day I introduce Ellie to Anne.  That will be fun!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Help Haiti Earthquake Victims

Have you been following the news about the earthquake that struck Haiti?  The devastation is mind-numbing.  It also makes me want to DO something.

But what can a stay-at-home mom in Rhode Island do to help the families hurt by the Haiti earthquake?

I can help provide a relief pack filled with enough food and water to sustain a family for one week by giving $35 to Compassion International's Haiti Earthquake Response Fund.

Compassion sponsors and donors serve more than 65,000 children in Haiti. At least a third of them live in the areas that were hardest hit. Because Compassion International ministers through local churches to meet the needs of that church's neighbors, and because these church partners are respected aid workers in their communities, Compassion is uniquely positioned to assess and meet the needs of it's sponsored children quickly. 

Will you join me in providing a family with food and water for a week?  

If you have any questions about Compassion International please email me!  We've sponsored 3 children in Uganda for the last 2 years and I can't say enough good things about this organization!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I haven't read Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery for years.  In fact, I have no memory of the first or last time I read the book.  But I know I HAVE read it.

So in a way, this felt like the first time reading the adventures of Anne Shirley.  Over the years I forgot many of the details and clever sayings of Anne.

But, then again, it also felt like meeting up with an old friend.  Kind of like seeing a college pal after a lot of years and staying up all night talking and laughing.  Yeah, just like that.

In fact, I stayed up after midnight finishing Anne.  I really shouldn't have but I couldn't help myself.

Reading Anne as a grown-up, married and a mom was very different from reading her as a teenager.  I still enjoyed the book and gave a satisfied sigh at the end of it, but some of the romance was gone.

In fact, I found myself skimming a lot of the flowery, must-this-go-on-and-on descriptions that Montgomery uses for everything.  I just didn't find it helpful to my imagination.

I also surprised myself by feeling annoyed with Anne.  I'm all for daydreaming but to forget to put flour in a CAKE?!  Really?!  And the constant chattering, it's enough to wear a mom Marilla out!  (It could be that I'm transferring to Anne my frustrations with a certain 6 year old who talks non-stop and takes 30 minutes to sweep a tiny kitchen because of all his day-dreaming.)

So, while I enjoyed visiting with Anne again, and DEFINITELY plan to share her with my daughter, I won't be in a hurry to head to Green Gables again anytime in the near future.

For more reviews of Anne and other Montgomery books visit Carrie at Reading to Know.

Monday, January 25, 2010

January Weekly or Monthly Menu Plan

Let me give you my menu plan first and then I'll tell you how I've changed my planning process.

Monday - Ground Turkey Chili, Cheddar Cheese, Crackers
Tuesday - Chicken Curry, Rice
Wednesday - Ground Turkey Spaghetti, Garden Salad
Thursday - Ham, Roasted Potatoes and Carrots, Biscuits
Friday - Homemade Pepperoni Pizza, Garden Salad
Saturday - Chicken Pot Pie
Sunday - Daddy's Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Several months ago I was again thinking through my menu planning process.  And the thought occurred to me:  My husband took the exact same lunch to work every day for 10 years (ham sandwich, apple, carrots).   

Why am I making myself crazy cooking 30 different meals each month when he doesn't care about variety?!

I was also thinking about how 30 years ago moms didn't have the variety of meals that we have today.  They cooked the same 7-10 meals over and over again for a lifetime.  And nobody went crazy from food boredom.  Again I asked, why am I making myself crazy cooking a variety of different types of meals?

You know what?  I didn't have an answer to my question.  So I decided to simplify my meal plan.

I made a list of 13 different meals we enjoy eating.  Then I picked 7 meals and assigned them to a day.  The meal plan above is the result.

I've been using the same weekly menu plan all month and love it.  The recipes for each meal are all in my head so I don't have to pull out my computer or cookbook.  None of the recipes call for anything unusual or expensive so I have everything on hand and haven't spent a fortune on an ingredient I'll only use once.  Two of the recipes (chili and chicken pot pie) are easily doubled and then frozen which saves me time the following week.

It's a simple plan that helps me feed my family, not to mention the more I practice these 6 meals the better I get a cooking them!

Do you require variety or simplicity in your meal plan? 

For more meal plans visit orgjunkie!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Living with Chronic Illness and Faith

This post is part of my Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis series.

I believe:
  • God loves me.
  • God created me for a purpose.
  • God has a plan for me, which includes rheumatoid arthritis.
  • my R.A. diagnosis did not take God by surprise.
  • God can use this pain-filled disease for my best, if I allow Him to.
  • praying for healing is OK.
  • God can heal me this instant, or any instant in the last 10 years, but is choosing not to.
  • my disease is not a punishment from God.
  • God does not find joy or pleasure in my disease.
  • God can handle my "why" questions, fears, anger, and frustrations.
  • God wants me to tell Him my "why" questions, fears, anger, and frustrations.
  • when I get to Heaven I'll have a new disease-free body!
  • I may never understand the 'good' in my disease.
Do you have a chronic illness or some other overwhelming circumstance in your life today?  If you have a faith in God I recommend you also write down an "I believe" list.  I know it helps me when I feel overwhelmed.  

"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." 
 - 2 Corinthians 12:9a (NASB)

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I pretend to be one on TV. This post is intended to tell my experiences NOT to serve as medical advice. If your symptoms sound similar, please consult a physician.

Disclaimer: I have not been asked by a pharmaceutical company or any related organizations to write these posts. I have not been compensated for these posts in anyway (including money, medication, or medical treatments).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Our Home School Curriculum 2009-10

A friend and fellow home school mom recently asked me what I use for curriculum.  I can't believe I haven't blogged this before!

In a nutshell, I'm not using a packaged curriculum.  I picked up a Sonlight 1st grade teacher's guide at a used curriculum sale and tried to use it but it just didn't work for me.

So here's a very eclectic list of what we are using for William's 1st grade curriculum.  Even if you aren't a home schooler I think you will find some of these books beneficial for your kids. 


Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the 5th Day.  Apologia.

There are a number of things I like about this book: lots of photographs and illustrations, my 1st grader (with advanced reading skills) can read the lessons on his own, questions and activity suggestions in each chapter, a website where you can download 'notebook' pages for free, a website with a dozen or more (for each chapter) recommendations for video and activity websites, NO 'millions of years.'


Saxon Math 1 Kit.

We've only been using this for a month.  It's for 1st grade and I'm pleasantly surprised that Will already knows the material we're covering.  I purchased a second workbook for Ben (who turns 5 in February) and am doing the math lessons with both boys.

So far I like the step-by-step approach in the teacher's manual as well as the workbooks.  I also like the manipulatives.  Both boys are visual learners so having something in their hands helps them pay attention and focus.  Right now they really enjoy our daily 'Math Meeting.'


Mystery of History Vol. 1, Bright Ideas Press.

We are using this curriculum because Will is in a history co-op class.  I'll be honest.  Will has learned a lot from the book and class but it's not one that I'll use again.

I'm just not loving this book.  Part of the problem is that it's a little old for him; he can't read the chapters on his own.  There aren't as many illustrations and photographs as I'd like to see.  And the many of the activities recommended for Will's age have seemed silly and unrelated to the text.

This book is based on the Classical philosophy or method of home schooling which I don't think is a good fit for my family.  Again, Will has learned a lot but it's not a book I recommend.


We are using the One Year Bible as a family.  At night Joel reads the daily passage in the Old Testament then the kids and I read the New Testament passage in the morning.  Because they are still little, we do some skipping, skimming and editing as we read (example: NO reason to read about the rape of Dinah and her brothers' revenge to my 6, 5, 3 year olds!!).

We are also memorizing 1 Corinthians 13 as a family.  We memorize one verse a week.

Our goal is to develop a daily habit of Bible reading, scripture memorization and for the children to learn the basic stories of our faith.

Handwriting and Language Arts/English, are just workbooks I picked up through CBD.  They are cheap and nothing special.

I have no Reading curriculum or even a plan.  We visit our local library often and stock up on picture books, early readers, and easy chapter books.  Will devours books!  He can read a Box Car Children paperback in one day so I'm just trying to keep him stocked with lots of good books.

We also do a lot of reading aloud as a family.  Joel and Will are currently reading through the Chronicles of Narnia and I have started The Little House on the Prairie series with Ellie.

Well, that's what we're using this year for homeschool curriculum.  Do you have any recommendations I should check into for this fall?  Something you love or something you hated?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Our Daily Routine for 2010

"Failure to plan is a plan to fail." ~Unknown

I have experienced this saying entirely too many times in the last year!  In fact, I'd say this pretty well sums up most of my 2009.

For much of the year we were just "winging it" as we went through our day.
Generally, "winging it" in my house ends up with a frustrated and yelling mama, toy covered floors, arguing children and supper from a box.  It's really not a pleasant place.

That's a big part of why I stepped back from blogging last summer.  I needed to refocus and start implementing new routines.  It hasn't been easy.  In fact, November and December were less than stellar around here.  But, I have started 2010 with a renewed dedication to planning our days.

There are 3 main areas I plan for: housework, schoolwork, meals.  Like I've said before, if I don't plan these things in advance they just won't happen.  So, below is our Monday-Thursday routine (we have homeschool co-op on Friday mornings).
This is our IDEAL day.  We've never had an ideal day.  In fact, I've yet to brush the kids teeth in the morning, read with the boys after rest time, take an afternoon walk, or have kids clean up the kitchen in the evening.  I put all of those things on there because they are my goal.  My hope is that eventually this routine will become habit and we will do those things.

So, I'm sharing my schedule with you to inspire you to plan your days.  If I can do it, anyone can.  Sticking with the plan takes work but the benefits are worth the effort!

Do your write down a daily routine? 


I AM NOT SUPERMOM!!!  Please do not mistake the above routine/schedule as being perfection.  I am a work in progress just like everyone else.

(It might be helpful to know that Sam is currently 14 months, Ellie is 3 years, Ben is almost 5 years and Will is 6.5 years.  Will is in 1st grade.  Ben is "unofficially" in K4.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Habit 1: Exercise

Hello, my name is Stephanie and I am a reforming exercise hater.

Just so we are all clear, I do NOT enjoy exercise.  I've played one organized sport my entire life - T-ball in the 1st grade.  We lost every game and I hated it.  I am also one of those girls who found every possible excuse to sit out of P.E. in high school.  In college we were required to have 3 credits of physical education.  I took beginner gymnastics, bowling and water aerobics.  Notice that none of those required me to sweat.  I hate to sweat.

See?  I'm not exaggerating when I say I am a reforming exercise hater.

Why am I trying to change my exercise hating ways?
  • There is no space between my blue jeans and my skin.
  • I'm about 4 pounds below my highest pregnancy weight.
  • My "fat" jeans are t.i.g.h.t.
  • I've gained 19 pounds since Sam was born (after losing every bit of pregnancy weight thanks to nursing).
  • I turned 35 in November (Hello, Mid-life.  You are not my metabolism friend!)
  • My metabolism is currently the speed of a sloth.
  • I need stronger muscles to help protect my arthritic joints.
I think you get the idea.

What am I doing to form a habit of exercising 5 days a week?

Schedule Exercise 

I've written down a new daily routine or schedule for us.  I'm getting up at 6:30 (or close to it) Monday - Friday so I can exercise first thing in the morning.  If I don't make exercise a part of my daily routine then it will never happen.  My time will always be eaten up by other things.

Accountability Partner

My husband is waking me up at 6:30 each morning so I can exercise before starting my day with the kids.  I'll be honest.  I've yet to appreciate this particular act of love at the time it's happening.  But I am glad for the accountability.  (He's also exercising each day so we're doing this fitness thing together.)

External Goal

I've registered to run the Cox Providence Rhode Races 5K in May.  I signed up with a friend who is also forming new habits this year.  An external goal is a great way to keep me plodding along when my internal motivation falters.

If everything goes well by this time next year I will have a formed a habit of regular exercise.  I don't expect to love it but maybe I won't hate it anymore.

Are you an exercise lover or hater? 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Tale of Two Knocked Out Teeth

Once upon a time there were two brothers who liked to wrestle with each other.  We'll call them Will and Ben.

Well, one night while wrestling on the floor in the hallway, the younger brother, Ben, accidentally caught Will in the mouth with his knee.

This caused Will to start yelling and run to their Mama.  After much dramatic gesturing and wailing from Will, Mama understood that Ben had knocked out Will's front top two teeth.

Since the 6 year-old Will's teeth were already loose, Mama reacted as any normal boy's mama would.  She laughed, looked at the gaps and asked where the teeth were.

The End.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge

Carrie, one of my favorite bloggers, is hosting her 2nd Annual L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge and I'm participating!

All you have to do is read a something written by or about L.M. Montgomery, write a blog post about it, and leave a comment with your link on the post I linked to.

Not sure who L.M. Montgomery is?  You might have heard of Anne of Green Gables.  Yeah, she wrote it.

In fact, I'm headed to the library this week to pick up a copy.  I received the DVD for Christmas but have held off watching it.  I feel the need to read the book first.

Are you an "Anne-with-an-E" fan also?

Monday, January 11, 2010

That's Habit Forming!

I purchased a new notebook this week (pink cover, college rule, 5 subjects with pockets!).  Every time I look at my new pink notebook I smile.  I can't help myself.  The empty white pages are full of potential words just waiting to be written down; and that makes me happy.

That's also the way I see this new year - full of potential.  Potential for fun family field trips.  Potential for meaningful conversations with friends.  Potential for inspiring books.  And potential for growth.

As I've looked ahead at this new year, I've put together a list of areas in my life that I want to concentrate on and grow in:  fitness, faith, and family.  I guess you could say I've been making New Year's resolutions or goals for the new year.  I prefer to think of it as forming habits that will shape me into the woman I dream of becoming.

Since my desire is to form lasting habits I plan to make small changes in my current lifestyle over the course of this entire year.  I've learned that small changes are do-able where as big overhauls seldom stick around for long.  So I plan to choose one new thing each week (or two) to adjust or begin in my everyday life.

As I share my new habits with you I hope you will be inspired and motivated to also create new habits.  Then in December we can look back on the filled days of 2010 together and smile at the goals we accomplished.

Will you join me in forming new habits in 2010?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Children's Christmas Book Recommendations

What comes to mind when you think of Christmas?

Family.  Presents.  Tree.  Decorations.  Shopping.  Cookies.  The list goes on and on.

What about books?

Do books come to mind when you think of Christmas?  They do for me and I hope that one day they will for my children also.

To reach that goal, every year I purchase two or three children's books to add to our collection.  This year I brought them all out when we decorated our Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving.  I think next year I will wrap them all and open one each day (or two) to help increase everyone's anticipation and delight in the books.

Yes, I'm already thinking about next Christmas.  Which is why I'm making this list of our books and why I enjoy them.  I bet some of you are wondering what books to pick up in those after-Christmas sales.

With that in mind, here's what my family enjoys reading at Christmas:

The ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel.  Multnomah Publishers, 2004.

This book is a must have!  It is packed full of activity ideas that you can use to relate back to the meaning of Christmas.

Best to use with children 5 years old and up.

One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham.  Illustrated by Richard Jesse Watson.  Baker Books Publishing, 1994.

We've used this book in nightly our Jesse Tree activities.  A fictional character tells the Christmas Story beginning at Creation and ending at the Resurrection.  Some major events and people are grouped together so additional books and material have been helpful for our purposes.

I like how the book focuses on the big picture of Christmas.

The Gift of the Christmas Cookie by Dandi Daley Mackall.  Illustrated by Deborah Chabrian.  Zonderkidz, 2008.

Jack learns to tell the Christmas story by giving away cookies shaped like characters from the Bible.

I like how this story brings a purpose to our tradition cookie baking.  I hope to start a new tradition: read the book, bake cookies, and deliver them to our neighbors while telling the story of Jesus.

The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg.  Illustratated by James Bernardin.  Zonderkidz, 1997.

A "sweet" retelling of the invention of the candy cane.  I like how the story and illustrations include the birth and crucifixion of Jesus.  I'm hoping that when my kids see a candy cane they'll think "J is for Jesus."

I especially enjoy the illustrations which are acrylic and colored pencil.

The Little Drummer Boy.  Illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats.  Macmillan, 1968.

A classic Christmas carol set to colorful illustrations.  Each page contains vibrant colors.  I'm drawn to the non-Western feel of the illustrations, which is appropriate since the Christmas story occurred in Israel.  My favorite page contains a picture of the infant Jesus reaching his hand out of his cradle.

Read this book with your kids and you'll all be pa-rum-pum-pum-puming for the rest of the day.

The Visit of the Wise Men by Martha Jander.  Illustrations by Lin Wang.  Concordia, 2007.

Simple rhymes tell of the Wise Men's discovery of a star, their encounter with Herod, and their worship of the child Jesus.  The illustrations are full of detail and visually rich.

I especially appreciated the Christ Child being in a home and NOT a stable.

Lift the Flap Nativity by Allia Zobel Nolan.  Illustrated by Trace Moroney.  Reader's Digest, 2001.

Using Luke 2 and Matthew 2 Nolan uses simple words to tell the Christmas story so that a toddler or preschooler will understand.  And who can resist lifting all the flaps while reading the story?!

Amazingly this book has stayed in excellent condition in spite of receiving much attention from my 14 month old son.  Wish I could say them same about a few other books!

The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt.  Illustrations by Tim Jonke.  David C. Cook, 1989.

A traditional folktale describes 3 trees with dreams for their future.  All are chopped down and eventually used in ways they THOUGHT didn't fit their dreams until they realize they are being used by Jesus.

This book can be used year round but is especially fitting during Christmas and Easter.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss.  Random House, 1957.

You can't have Christmas without the Grinch? Can you?!  We LOVE reading the Grinch at my house.  My husband and I use "Grinchy" voices when we read, which my children have started imitating as they take turns pretending to be the Grinch.

Though not strictly about THE Christmas story, we enjoy reading about the Grinch's redemption each year.

Those are the Children's Christmas books currently in my personal library.  Any recommendations for books I should by next Christmas?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Review "One Day Way" by Chantel Hobbs

It's January and what could be more appropriate than to review a weight loss/ fitness/ diet book?

This book seemed appropriate for me since one of my major goals this year is to lose weight and get fit (more about that next week).  So I interestedly read The One Day Way by Chantel Hobbs.

Overall, I wouldn't say she has anything earth shattering to add to the fitness/ diet discussion.  Her advice is your basic "eat less, move more," which is the best way to go about changing your life style and fitness level.

Even though Chantel didn't offer me a magic pill or formula to lose my extra 25 pounds, she did say a few things I found motivating.
  • You can't enjoy rich food if you are indulging every day.  My personal experience supports this idea.  Did you notice how in early December all the Christmas cookies and candy tasted wonderful but the same goodies don't taste nearly as good at the end of December?  Your mouth and body became bored with all the indulgences.
  • Take a before photo wearing your best clothes, make-up on and hair done.  Who wants to look at yourself in work-out gear, no make-up and a greasy ponytail all year?!  That's not motivating at all!  I really like the idea of a picture that I won't be embarrassed to show to others.
  • Stop thinking "Bad Habits" and start thinking "Counterproductive Habits."  Isn't it funny how changing the term can change your emotions?  I have a "bad habit" of snacking after my kids go to bed.  This thinking creates guilt and a hopeless feeling.  BUT when I think that my snacking is counterproductive to my goal of getting fit I feel more in control of my choice and less guilt over that cup of hot chocolate I drank the other night.
  • Take small steps to reach your goal.  Let's face it, I'm not going to lose 25 pounds and run a 5k overnight!  But I can make 1 small change each week that will gradually reduce my weight and increase my fitness level.  For example, my change this week is to get up one hour earlier and go for a walk or use my Wii Fit.  It's not a huge change but I'm already noticing the difference in my energy and motivation levels.
Those are just a couple of small ideas I took away from The One Day Way.  Nothing "life changing" but they were enough to make me feel motivated and positive about changing my eating and exercise habits.  Isn't that what a good fitness/ diet book should do?

For more information or to purchase the book visit

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Peanut Butter and Graham Cracker Faces

Peanut Butter and Graham Cracker Faces

1 large graham cracker, in 2 pieces
1 banana, sliced
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
handful of chocolate chips

Snap the graham cracker into 2 pieces.  Spread peanut butter across the cracker.  Peel and slice banana.

Place banana slices and chocolate chips on top of the peanut butter in an creative way you want.  Enjoy!!
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