Showing posts from February, 2017

Book Review: Monster Truck by Anika Denise

Ready, set, go! The monster truck race is on in this frightfully delightful picture book. On a spooky speedway, Monster Trucks moan! Monster Trucks grumble! Monster Trucks groan! Join Frankentruck, Zombie Truck, Ghost Truck, and more as they race to the finish line. But one of these trucks isn't quite who you think. Check it out in "Monster Trucks" by Anika Denise.

So, we found this book by accident at the library. Miles picked it out and I didn't think it would be a very good book. Boy was I wrong. This book is so fun and so unexpected. The illustrations by Nate Wragg are amazing. The text in this book are so much fun that it makes you want to act it out in a way as you read it. My kids LOVED this book. Miles loved this book so much he cried when we had to take it back to the library. He wanted to read it 20 million times and then some. It's a book I highly recommend to check out.

Book Review: Fancy Nancy: Fanciest Doll in the Universe by Jane O'Connor

Fancy Nancy is back in "Fancy Nancy: Fanciest Doll in he Universe" by Jane O'Connor. Fancy Nancy's sister, JoJo, can really be a pest sometimes . . . like when she put Easter-egg dye in the kiddie pool and dunked Frenchy in it! But this time she's done something really bad, and Nancy is livid - - that's fancy for tres angry and upset. JoJo drew a tatoo on Nancy's precious doll, Marabelle Lavinia Chandelier! Even worse, it's in permanent marker. That means it will never come out! When Mom suggests a fancy doll party to make Nancy feel better, Nancy is excited to accept. But what if the doll drama isn't over?

We sure do love Fancy Nancy/Nancy Clancy in our house. She is such a fun girl to follow around in the stories. In this book it was not disappointing. Nancy learns a hard lesson about how her little sibling who is making mistakes. She learns that things are not as bad as they seem and not the end of the world. My daughter thought this book was …

Spark Challenge: Focus

In this chapter of book it talks about how making a goal helps you focus on the bigger goal in mind. To not only make a huge goal but also make little goals that go up to it. I really like this quote, "To be powerful, your goals should be aligned with your core beliefs and values. When you are clear about your values and beliefs, they are a natural part of your daily actions. Each goal and decision is rooted in them, like flowers in soil. And these values act as both an anchor to keep you grounded in what you believe and a compass that helps guide you through your adventure."

But first you have to figure out what your values and beliefs are?

What truly drives you?
My children drive me. They make me want to be a better person. A person that they are not embarrassed by someone that they love.

Is there a clash between what you really believe and what you're trying to accomplish? 
Yes, What I am trying to accomplish is someone who doesn't look like a fat disquesting person…

Book Review: Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.

"Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What do You See?" by Bill Martin Jr., is the final collaboration from this bestselling author-illustrator team. Young readers will enjoy Baby Bear's quest to find Mama, and they'll revel in identifying each of the native North American animals that appear along the way. The central focus on the special bond between mother and child makes a fitting finale to a beloved series.

My son Miles absolutely loves this series of books. He has memorized the first book that we all love and hold dear, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" So when I found this book at the library I had to pick it up for him. This last book did not disappoint us in the least. The pictures were amazing and they felt as if you could feel the fur of the animals. We loved how it includes different kind of animals that are found in the same area. Also talks about different kind of baby animals. This is a book I recommend ten times over.

Book Review: Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy by Jane O'Connor

Fancy Nancy is back in "Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy" by Jane O'Connor. Her family decides to get a dog, she's certain she can be fancier than ever. After all, a papillon - a small, delicate, fluffy dog - is the ultimate accessory. But her family wants a large, plain dog. Find out if her family got a papillon or a plain dog in this book.

We got into Fancy Nancy books by reading a Nancy Clancy book. Fancy Nancy it seems is the younger years of Nancy Clancy. In this book the pictures were adorable. Robin Preiss Glasser did a great time illustrating the amazing pictures all the way down to what Nancy had in her hair. It was amazing read about how we don't get everything we want but perhaps something better. My kids really enjoyed this story and we can't wait to read more about Fancy Nancy.

Book Review: How to Dress a Dragon by Thelma Lynne Godin

In "How to Dress a Dragon," by Thelma Lynne Godin is a charming, second-person narrative, about a little boy hero who imparts his infinite knowledge of how to dress a dragon, a task that isn't quite as easy as it may seem. With helpful hints and warnings this story is not only delightfully entertaining, but extremely endearing.

Almost everyone has heard the famous tale of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," if you have not you need to go read it. This story is a lot like that story. Though you are trying to dress a dragon. As you can imagine it is not an easy feet. Look at the cover...the underwear is the size of the kid. It's a cute story and my kids thought it was so funny. I have to say the illustrator Eric Barclay did a wonderful job on the pictures telling the story on its pages. They are simple but they tell the amazing story. I recommend this book.

Spark Challenge: Introduction

Okay, I have struggled with my weight since I was a little girl. I don't like how I look at all. I feel like I am a fat, disgusting person who can't do anything right. My husband tells me that I am beautiful and I just don't see it. I know there are many women out there who feel the way I do. There is so many different challenges out there to lose weight. So I am going to do some and show you my results.

The Spark is a 28-day program to lose weight, getting fit, and transforming your life. It's based off a website that is total free called Sparkspeople. Chris Downie, the person who started this all gives very key details on how to lose the weight and keep it off. He even wrote a book about it called, "The Spark." 
So in this challenge there is the "magic formula" which is goal-setting, behavior change, community support, positive motivation, team building, accessibility, and world-class technology. Then there is four core components which are: Focus…

Book Review: Bedtime for Mommy by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

When it's Mommy's bedtime, she begs her little girl, "Five more minutes?" But then Mommy wants another glass of water...another story...luckily this little girl is very patient! A hilarious reversal of the classic bedtime routine in which a little girl puts Mommy (and then Daddy) to bed in "Bedtime for Mommy" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. 

My kids thought this story was so funny that they had trouble calming down to listen to each page. We have all been there as parents when our kids have trouble going to bed when they should. They seem to find every excuse to stay up later and later. We try to keep calm and patient. This story is the same way the Mommy finds every excuse to stay up and not go to bed. But the little girl is in charge and tries as she might to get her Mommy to bed on time. The pictures could use more details but the author did an amazing job on portraying the hardship of getting someone to bed on time. I recommend this story for all parents to r…

Book Review: Foxy in Love by Emma Dodd

In "Foxy in Love" by Emma Dodd is a celebration of Valentine's Day, Foxy uses his magic tail to solve Emily's dilemma. Once again Foxy's friend Emily needs his help, big-time! Emily is trying to make a Valentine's Day card, and she needs Foxy to remind her of all the things that she loves most. From birthday cakes to gardens with rainbows, Foxy is able to make everything Emily loves magically appear-but sometimes he makes a mistake. Luckily Foxy can always find a good solution when things go wrong.

We all love Valentine's Day because it means we can show the ones we love that we love them. Emily is no different in "Foxy in Love." My kids were not too thrilled with the illustrations of this story but the story was sweet. They were surprised that Emily was listing all the items that she loved but no person. I liked that it was simple that my five year old could read it. But wish that the illustrations were in more detail and that Emily loved more…

Book Review: Love, Splat by Rob Scotton

It's Valentine's Day and Splat has a special valentine for a certain someone in his class. Her name is Kitten, and Splat likes her even more than fish sticks and ice cream. But Kitten doesn't seem to like him at all-she always ties his tail and pokes his belly when she sees him. And then there's Splat's rival, Spike, who also likes Kitten. Will Splat's heartful valentine win Kitten's paw in the end? Find out in "Love, Splat" by Rob Scotton.

The kids and I loved the illustrations in this book as they are not busy as the others. We love that Splat worked hard to get Kitten to notice him. Even though there was another cat sniffing her up. This book is great to read and keep my three kiddos attention really well. Recommend reading this for Valentine's Day.

Book Review: Is It Christmas Yet? by Jane Chapman

Christmas is coming, and Teddy is so excited! "Is it Christmas yet?" he asks Big Bear. "Soon," Big Bear replies. Big Bear tells him that first, there are presents to wrap, a cake to bake, a tree to decorate - so much to do! Teddy desperately wants to help Big Bear get ready, but every time he tries, he ends up making a mess. Will they ever be ready for Christmas? Find out in "Is it Christmas Yet?" by Jane Chapman. 

What little kid doesn't ask this after Halloween if it's Christmas. The closer Christmas gets the more they ask. Some even ask after New Years Eve. Every parent will agree with Big Bear as he gets upset that everything he is doing to get ready for Christmas is ruined with a little helper. The pictures are so fun and interactive. My kids really enjoyed this book because they have been there many times. They loved the bears names even more. We recommend this book to add to your Christmas list.

Book Review: The Christmas Crocodile by Bonnie Becker

On Christmas Eve, Alice Jayne finds a crocodile under the tree. The Christmas Crocodile doesn't mean to be bad, not really, but soon he is eating everything in the house, even the Christmas tree! Finds out how the Christmas Crocodile got under the tree and what it all eats in "The Christmas Crocodile" by Bonny Becker.

The pictures in this story are so funny and so action packed that it takes awhile to look at each illustration. The story was slow in parts and my kids attention span couldn't last through the whole book. Though this story had a lot of potential that could have been used by Bonny Becker as the author. I recommend reading it though because the pictures completely make the book.

Book Review: Clark the Shark Loves Christmas by Bruce Hale

Clark the Shark loves Christmas more than anyone! When Clark's class organizes a Secret Santa exchange, Clark decides to find out who will be giving him a present and forgets to get a present for his Secret Santa! What will happen on the day of the gift exchange? Will Clark learn about Christmas giving? Find out in "Clark the Shark Loves Christmas" by Bruce Hale.

This is my family's first Clark the Shark book and we were not disappointed with what we saw. It was so much fun to see a book with a sea creature as it's main character. My kids loved the illustration and how it had all different type of sea creatures. I really liked how it showed the true meaning of Christmas. Tons of kids feel the same way as Clark so they were able to learn with him through out the book. This is a book that I highly recommend reading.

Dear Betsy DeVos

Dear Betsy DeVos,
    I have been crying every night and really upset to find out that you are now the head of the Education department. I watched your trail where they were asking questions. How you had no clue about the laws for Special Education. It sadden me that those laws might be taken away. I have a beautiful, amazing, smart three year old son. My son was recently diagnosed with low functioning autism.
When Miles was born on April 30th, 2013, he was an amazing little baby. He loved being wrapped tight in blankets. He was the total opposite of his big sister in the beginning. He was super quiet and never cooed or made a single noise. He rather be left alone in a bouncer then someone interacting with him. When Miles was upset as an infant he would scream until no sound came out of his mouth. I would have to rock with him in my arms till the feet of the rocker would come up for him to calm down and nurse. While I nursed him never did he made eye contact with me. He didn't lau…

Book Review: The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman

In "The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate" by Gary Chapman, he talks about five basic love languages; Quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Dr. Gary Chapman identifies these and guides couples towards a better understanding of their unique languages of love. Learn to speak and understand your mate's love language, and in no time you will be able to effectively love and truly feel loved in return.

I have learned so much from reading this book about myself and my husband. I was able to learn so much about how he loves me and how I need love from him. It helped bring us together as a couple and reconnect more. Gary Chapman uses examples through out the book to help the reader understand each language. I recommend this to all couples.

Book Review: How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? by Jane Yolen

My son Miles, loves dinosaurs and the whole How Do Dinosaurs.... series he adores. He is often asking us to read them to him over and over again. So we had to check out from the library, "How do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas?" by Jane Yolen for Christmas.

From decorating the tree to wrapping presents, little dinosaurs love to celebrate Christmas - and everything about it. With ornaments on the branches and carolers singing at the door, the spirit of Christmas is finally here and filling the hearts of families everywhere. But when the stockings are hung on the chimney, and the cookies are left out for Santa, how can little Dinosaurs go to sleep? Children will laugh out loud as dinosaurs secretly lick candy canes, take sneaky peeks at gifts, and disrupt the traditional family feast.

My kids love this series and begs for us to read them. I love this series because they have a way to help children understand why they shouldn't do something. This book was no different. The i…

Book Review: How to Talk So Your Husband Will Listen: And Listen So Your Husband Will Talk by Rick Johnson

In "How to Talk So Your Husband will Listen and Listen So Your Husband Will Talk" by Rick Johnson is about marriage. It's no secret that men and women speak different languages. Or maybe it's just that we think we say one thing and our spouse hears something else entirely. But if good communication is one of the keys to a happy marriage, it's time to get on the same page!

I so wanted to like this book but I couldn't finish it for the life of me. It was so over the top way of thinking of helping a marriage that I couldn't get past some of his theories of women. Rick Johnson talks about how women should use sex to have their spouse do things for them. How they have to act a certain way so their spouse will listen. How it's their fault if their spouse cheats. It was so hard to listen with him treating women as objects. I do not recommend reading this book at all.

Book Review: The Animal's Santa by Jan Brett

When Big Snowshoe tells Little Snow that the animals' Santa is coming with presents for everyone, Little Snow wants to know who he is. The animals say they have never seen him. Maybe he's a badger, a moose, a polar bear, or a wolf, they tell him. But this little rabbit thinks they are just teasing him. On Christmas Eve, Big Snowshoe finds a way to see the animals' Santa in "The Animals' Santa" by Jan Brett. 

My kids loved this book with it's many beautiful illustrations in this book. Jan Brett is one of my favorite authors and she did not disappoint with this beautiful crafted children's book about animals and Christmas. The story line is amazing and kept all three of my kids amazed throughout the book. It's a book I heavily recommend to add to your bookshelf for Christmas.

Recipe: Plain Pancake Muffins

In our house, we love two things for breakfast pancakes and muffins. So I found a recipe on the internet and tweaked it to our tastebuds. My kids and husband love them and they are so simple to make. Plus side, they can be stored in the fridge or freezer. To take out as needed for an easy quick breakfast. Another side is you can make all different kinds to fit our kids taste buds and make them special for them.

Plain Pancake Muffins  (Makes about 16-18 muffins)
Ingredients 2 cups pancake mix2/3 c. milk2 eggs1/2 cup maple syrup 
Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together pancake mix, milk, eggs, and 1/2 cups of maple syrupSpray muffin tin or muffin liners with nonstick spray. Fill 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 14-15 minutes or until a toothpick, comes out clean.  They can be in the fridge in a sealed container/bag for 3-4 days. Just reheat in microwave or taster oven. For freezing: Wait till cooled for 15-20 mins. Then place them on a cookie sheet and place in a freezer for 1-2 ho…