Who’s Afraid of the Ghost Train? – A Children’s Book Review

Who's Afraid of the Ghost Train? - Frank Rodgers

In Who’s Afraid of the Ghost Train? by Frank Rodgers, Robert’s imagination often gets away from him helping him create scary situations out of everyday happenings. With the help of his grandfather, he learns how to cope with his wild imagination. His friends, who are all interested in scary things, could make it even worse when they want to visit the Ghost Train, but Robert gets the chance to put his grandfather’s lessons into action. In the end, Robert is able to deal with the scare ride even better than they are. This is a very sweet story that should help children deal with their fears of imaginary monsters whether they hide in the toilet, tub, closet, or under the bed. I thought the illustrations were perfectly done. They are enough to capture a child’s attention and imagination while not being overly frightening. I personally wouldn’t recommend this book for younger toddlers or those children who have yet to exhibit such fears. However, it could be a great help in learning to cope for younger children who are beginning to worry and have nightmares about their imagination’s creations.

I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.


Feeling overwhelmed?

Believe, Obey and Endure

 

I’ve taken a lot of heart in this saying the last couple of days. The thing is… Not all days are going to be perfect. The curve balls being thrown at you can be difficult to deal with. Maybe it’s a life change, a job change, or simply a difficult toddler that’s wrecking your plan.

Right now, I’m struggling because I feel like my mind is being pulled in all directions… As far as making healthy food choices, I either feel like I want to eat #allthethings or nothing… That includes both good and bad choices. I know the feeling is temporary so I’m pushing through and remembering to take it one “bite” at a time. Whether that’s literally what’s going in my mouth or the “eat the elephant” philosophy of getting everything on my list done. Right now, that “to do” list feels like a trash heap that stuff keeps getting thrown on top of. I will overcome #feelingoverwhelmed. You can, too! <3


Mama Needs a Do-Over – A Review…

Mama Needs a Do-Over

 

I’ve spent the last two days reading the book Mama Needs a Do-Over: Simple Steps to Turning a Hard Day Around by Lisa Pennington and have a few thoughts I’d like to share…

This book isn’t necessarily what I thought of when I decided to read and review a “parenting” book. I would better classify this title as a refreshing look at parenting as part of a soul-seeking challenge of life. The author has nine children of various ages, and she birthed the last at 42. In my opinion, that makes her qualified to talk about parenting, even if you don’t agree with her style (more on that later).

The book is broken down in sections. The process they encourage helps you to tap into what makes you unique and helps you identify how those things can benefit you when working through difficult parenting seasons. I would argue that accepting the challenge and doing the work prepares you for the struggles of life in general and not just those that arise with parenting. Regardless, the author helps you to formulate your plan so you can be prepared to face encounters and approach them in a new way. She offers several suggestions, broken down by rough age categories, to “reset” the day and turn the ship around.

I found her advice practical for those of us that are dealing with the fit du jour or mountains of laundry. It’s even more helpful if you are a stay at home spouse (male or female) and sometimes resent the opportunity your partner has to leave the house. Lisa herself is a self-professed control freak and kitchen failure, but it’s easy to see that she maintains her sense of humor through her own struggles. Plus, she’s doing it all while homeschooling her children! It’s refreshing to get perspective and realize that these moments don’t last forever, and YOU ultimately control the situation by your reaction to it. You can realize that the situation provides stress as a means and opportunity for personal growth.

The author obviously holds deeply religious views. Her thoughts on “do-overs” have her beliefs sprinkled all over them. I did not find these offensive, but I’m also a believer in Christ. Someone who doesn’t have the same faith may not find her book as easily accessible as I did.

I did a little search on the author after finishing the book as she referenced her blog at The Pennington Point (Blog). My research yielded several things of note. First, the author hasn’t blogged since the spring of 2015. You can find links to deleted blog posts with a search, including one about spanking babies. I PERSONALLY don’t approach the mechanics of parenting in the same way she does and would never paddle a baby. Our soon to be 22 month old has never been paddled. She and I are going to have to agree to disagree on a lot of things involving parenting style and how “obedient” I think my child should be.  I’m not trying to raise a robot here. Two, the author is currently dealing with a crisis.  It would seem that one of her daughters has chose to approach life without the support of her family and lacks the documentation to support her identity and make a way for herself.  If you want to know what it’s all about, you can get all kinds of details by doing a quick search. Lastly, the author (currently) has a much stronger Facebook presence.  You can find her at The Pennington Point (Facebook Like Page).

I only bring it up for this reason… Yes, I am aware that the family is facing some difficulties. Yes, I realize that everyone is entitled to their views on parenting and faith. BUT…  I wanted this post to focus solely on the content of the book and not what can be found on the blog or my view on Lisa’s parenting. If you are a Christian and a parent who struggles with sometimes seeing the good in the day, this book can benefit you regardless of your personal views on the struggles they face. I think we can all benefit from finding the joy in our everyday struggles and who doesn’t need a little spontaneous game of “zoo” in their life? 🙂

I recieved a digital copy of this title for my honest review.


Let’s Learn About the Lord’s Prayer — A Children’s Book Review

Let's Learn About the Lord's Prayer

 

Catherine DeVries’ Let’s Learn About the Lord’s Prayer provides the perfect way to introduce children to God in everyday life.  I found the illustrations to be bright and cheerful.  I loved the way Emma welcomed the reader into her home.  She was able to illustrate how the prayer is used at mealtimes and teach the meaning behind the words in a more simplified way.  Closing the book with Emma teaching the Lord’s Prayer to her favorite stuffed teddy, Blueberry, is a good way to end and offers children the opportunity to practice the prayer again.

I would absolutely recommend this purchase. My own 21 month old would love this as a board book, and I know that he would enjoy looking at the pictures and listening to me read the story aloud.

I recieved an ARC in exchange for my honest review.


Fall Into Fitness… Join Us In September!

September Support Group Starts Now

 

Today is ‪#‎ThrowbackThursday‬!

This is me… In July, working out with 30K+ of my closest friends… 😉

Guess what? I’m still here… Making positive changes one day at a time and addressing my struggles as they come up, while helping others do the same. Our support community focuses on developing lifelong habits and staying healthy so we can lead the lives we choose and pursue our passions. Being healthy is possible and it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life. Making good choices doesn’t have to be complex and time consuming and neither does fitness.

Life is all about balance. If you’re ready to take a leap of faith, I’m ready to lead the way and show you what you need to do to be your best. Think you’re ready for 30 minute workouts and more food than you’ve ever eaten on a “diet” before? Seriously, though, I promise you’re not going to starve! I’ve been there before (and to TOPS, Slim-Fast, Nutri-System, Cabbage Soup, the weight loss “doctor,” etc… ‪#‎thislistismypast‬)

Are you ready for ‪#‎realtalk‬:
* Fitness and Nutrition Tips?
* Recipes & Meal Plans? ‪#‎findmeonpinterest‬ HERE
* Daily Dose of Positivity?
* Peer Encouragement?
* Accountability?
* Perspective and Experience of TWO Coaches who want to see YOU succeed?

If you’re determined and ready to make a change, I’ve got a group of rockstars you need to meet!

And if you’ve done a group before and are ready to come back, ‪#‎justdoit‬!! Things are a little different now, and you’re not going to be disappointed! We’re building a community here! <3

Like, message me, comment below, or if you’re shy, fill out the questionnaire HERE. 😀

‪#‎findyourbalance‬ ‪#‎findyourself‬ ‪#‎whynotyou‬ ‪#‎webelieveinyou‬‪#‎teamworkmakesthedreamwork‬ ‪#‎CoachSummit2015


Ask yourself why not…

Pay the Farmer to Keep You Healthy

I WAS one of those people who ate with very little thought to whether I was feeding my body nutritious food. I was reactive when it came to health issues. I was suffering from migraines and joint pain and arthritis from past injury.

All that changed when I recommitted to meeting my running goals, added in cross-training with Beachbody programs, and began drinking Shakeology.

Yes, I’m a busy mom, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse not to take care of myself. If anything, that’s even more reason to be proactive in keeping our family healthy. I couldn’t possibly ingest all the superfoods I get in Shakeology… So, it supplements the clean healthy fruits and vegetables my body needs and gives my body a protein boost and energy and cuts cravings at the same time. That’s a win/win for me. So you could ask yourself why *should* I be interested in or concerned about getting healthy, but the real question is why not?

Improving your health may not be easy, but it really is simple. If you want to hear more and are ready to take back control, message me, comment below, or fill out the questionnaire here. I’d love to connect with you.


Just keep going…

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There’s this really great book called The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. If you haven’t read it, YOU need it in your life.
 
The book perfectly illustrates and reveals how small consistent changes over time often have a big impact in our lives. This is true if your choices are positive, but it’s equally true if your choices are negative.
 
So whether you want to save money, lose weight, run further, lift more… You have to start at the beginning (where else would you start) and be consistent.
 
You can think of it like a child… Your infant didn’t go from laying in a crib to running… Why not give yourself the same grace?
 
The things you do every single day matter. If you have goals you want to reach, your decisions need to line up with them. Just stay on the path, and let your determination carry you marginally closer every day. <3

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** Gain Endurance | Improve Cardio

** Increase Energy

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Being a Beachbody Coach…

Momma and Liam playing on the swings during our work day.

I’ve been a stay at home mom to this miraculous little boy for 21 months tomorrow. Sometimes it seems like barely a day has gone by. I wouldn’t trade our time together for anything, but I remember that first year being so absorbed in him and our family that I lost who I was as a person and really didn’t take the best care of myself.

8 months ago, I committed to running the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, and 7 months ago, I became a Beachbody coach. If I had known then what I knew now, I would have sought out the opportunity sooner. I suddenly found myself surrounded with a family of people who supported and uplifted and cheered each other on. I was running toward health and fitness and business goals.

Today was a huge milestone when our family earned our biggest Beachbody paycheck to date. I’m still amazed every day that I get paid to share my experiences and help other people on their fitness journey.

Are looking for an opportunity

* to help others?
* to work from home and enjoy every second with your babies?
* to provide extra income for your family?
* to improve your own health and fitness?
* to be part of a positive and encouraging support network?

If ANY of those sound like you, let’s talk about whether coaching on Team Steel Nation is right for you!

Click below to apply today.

Apply to Become a Coach on Team Steel Nation

Photo Credit: PaigeLCro Photo​ | Paige Leigh Crossland


Waiting out the storms…

She Adjusted Her Sails

I know everyone has one of “those” days… I woke up and by some twist of fate managed to gain 7 pounds overnight! 🙁 ?#thatdoesntREALLYhappen I had a 6 mile run scheduled today, but I wanted to get in 9 miles… ? Then Liam woke up early and that plan got tossed out. ✔️ 6 miles it is! We had a great trip to the doctor, and I took little man to get a haircut… Everything’s going great, and then while I’m paying the bill… He climbs up in the window to look outside and tumbles on to the floor. I’m just going to go out on a limb and say how UNHELPFUL it is to make the parent feel bad in this situation. #thanksrandomspectator

Things can go from great to terrible in two seconds. I’m convinced parenthood was an idea conceived as a mental test of fortitude. All ideas of shopping for a card for hubby’s birthday tomorrow and getting groceries for making that pumpkin french toast went straight out the window.

As much as it killed me to listen to his screams in the moment, I know that I can’t control everything that happens to him for the rest of his life. For a control freak like me, it sometimes seem impossible to cope with that lesson. Liam has taught me a lot, but the things that stick out today… 1) Enjoy the moment… The hugs, snuggles and love because they pass quickly and toddler emotions are mercurial, to say the least. 2) You can’t control winds of life, but you can control your reaction to them… I will always try to be the port to his storm.

I am humbled and reminded that THAT is my role. I’m not here to control. My job is to comfort, support and be a safe haven for him to return to. Sometimes, that means a mental adjustment for this momma so that hurricane Liam’s emotions don’t take us both out. 😉 Whatever your “hurricane” may be, know that you’re not in the storm alone… Others are out there battling by your side. For what it’s worth, he blew his very first kiss to me today. Somehow that little action soothed my soul and made my heart full again. ❤️