Sunday, August 28, 2016

Prince Noah and the School Pirates (kids book review)






Prince Noah and the School Pirates

by Silke Schnee
ISBN: 978-0874867657
$ 13.14   (hardback)

About the book:
It’s time for young Prince Noah to go to school. The prince, who starred in the book The Prince Who Was Just Himself, may be a little slower than other students, but he has no less joy in learning. In his kingdom, children go to school on sailing ships. There is a ship for girls and one for boys. There is a ship for children with an eye patch, a ship for children with one leg, and a ship for children who are slower learners. No one knows why there are so many different ships, but it has always been that way.

Then a terrible storm drives the ships into the hands of pirates. The boys and girls realize that they will only escape if everyone does what he or she does best. Through their adventures, they learn that diversity makes us strong and that every person has something to teach us.

My thoughts:
This is a very fun book for children who have the attention span to sit and listen. There are a lot of words to this story and it reads like a storytelling session with Grandpa or Mom at bedtime. It will open up lots of questions like "why don't girls learn math" and "why is there a ship for boys and a different one for kids with one leg". Its a good opportunity for you to discuss how children and sometimes grown ups are treated differently from others and yet each person is able to participate and help with a problem in different ways.

I did try to read this book with my 2 year old but she barely has the attention span yet for a storybook unless it's very interactive. This one doesn't have a lot of rhyming text or sing song passages for her join in the story so it's didn't hold her attention. If you have a 4 year old that will sit for a fairly long story book this will be a great book to encourage thinking about situations and how we can help each other with tasks.

To see more books by Silke Schnee, click here.
To see more books by the publisher Plough, click here.

Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. No money was offered for a positive review. Thanks for reading GivingNSharing.

 Book Nook at Create With Joy That Friday Blog Hop

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Thrive by Le-Vel: What is it? (Giveaway)

For the last several months Ive been using a product called Thrive by a company called Le-Vel. I know most all of you have heard of them on Facebook but today I thought Id share a little about it and what my experience has been using it. I also thought Id post a video showing me unboxing my order and actually doing a bit of a vlog as well.

Why did I start The Thrive Experience?
* I was EXHAUSTED and my thoughts were FOGGY.
* I was afraid if I didn't get help I would have to close my in home daycare as I didn't feel (and I wasn't) that I was giving the children the care & attention they deserve and need.
* I felt like I needed to take a nap daily or else I would be out from 530 - 930 every night and then up until 2 am before I would crash again.
* Due to my weight and sedentary lifestyle that per the tests she was going to run I was likely to need to be on meds...... (this had me a bit worried since I don't have insurance.)

What was the result?
* Thrive gives me the energy, calmness, focus & participation my little ones deserve from me.
* My pain levels have eased most days - going from a 7-8 Pre-Thrive to an average of a 2-3 currently.
* I no longer feel so tired I need to sleep during the day or crash as soon as the kids leave.
* My cravings are gone! I can actually walk past donuts, soda and the hostess cupcake section! I am not drinking 3 32 oz sodas everyday saving me $3 per day just on sodas. The shake truly helps me with appetite control and cravings.
* Even though I'm not trying to lose weight - I have gone down 1-2 sizes depending on what Im wearing. I had to go shopping so my clothes weren't so baggy. Consignment Shops here I come!
* My test results came back with great results!
* My thought process is "I Can DO This!" more than "I cant or I don't feel like it." Most of all - I feel like I WANT to do things & this is an amazing feeling!
* I'm exercising most days! Wow! My support team: Gianna & Heidi (2) and I are using Lesley Sansone's Walking off the Weight videos - Mix & Match Walk Blasters: Mini Walks and Start! Walking. I'm only up to doing a 1 mile walk each morning and my 2 year olds make it through about 3/4's of a mile which I think is amazing! Without my new thought process this would not be happening!

What comes in The Thrive Experience? Watch this unboxing....


Would you like to know more & are your ready to do something positive and helpful for your body?

Are you ready to give your body the 100% Plant Based Gluten Free Premium Nutrition it deserves with No Chemicals?

If so, click the image to the right to start w your FREE account and look over the ingredients for yourself and then place your order.

Have questions? Email me HERE or would you like a ONE on ONE to learn more? You know me - I will give you my honest opinion, will make no claims and will not pressure you.

Disclaimer: I am a promoter and customer of Le-Vel and personally use their products. This review is based on my experience and no one elses. I was not asked by Le-Vel to review their products.

Linked up @
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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Helping your toddler understand language





We all know how important it is to read to our kids and often I hear from parents "you have to many books" or "she doesn't need any books - she doesn't read them." Well, I always have to bite my tongue because how is a child to learn to love reading if no one ever reads to them? How are they to learn to focus on what they are hearing and start understanding instructions, descriptions, what people are saying to them if no one reads to them?

Today's books are dedicated to the smallest readers. Baby's and Toddlers. Yes, they don't read yet - but their vocabulary is growing 7 words each day. They are learning to pay attention, to listen, to focus and proper sentence structure. Reading is important to all children regardless of their age but especially to the 0-6 year old child.

Ten Tiny Toes
by Caroline Jayne Church
ISBN: 978-0545536011
$7.73 board book

About the book:
Caroline Jayne Church brings her adorable toddler art and lovely rhymes to this joyful twist on the tried-and-true classic, HEAD, SHOULDERS, KNEES, AND TOES. From ears that wiggle to bellies that giggle, TEN TINY TOES is sure to inspire little ones as they learn to celebrate their "mouth, ears, eyes, nose, and a love that grows and grows."

My thoughts:
This adorable book is one of 2 year old Gianna's favorite books. The pictures in the book are of an adorable baby that really connected with Gianna and she will mimic the actions of the baby – one page shows him waving his arms and she will do so, another shows him touching his toes and yet another he’s  balancing on one leg. When we are finished we sing the "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" song. This would make a really cute book for a baby shower or a first birthday gift.

God Made You Just RightGod Made You Just Right
by Jill Roman Lord
ISBN: 978-0824919764
$7.99 board book

About the book: A bright and cheerful reminder that God made each of us special and unique
Here is a message that every parent will want to share with his or her child: You're brilliantly created and there s no one else like you! With easy-to-understand descriptions and simple, rhyming text, Jill Roman Lord shares the message that God created each of us in just the right way in a manner that even the youngest child will understand. Bright and engaging illustrations from Amy Wummer pair perfectly with the text and enhance the appeal of the book. Ages 2-5.

God made you very special
And I hope you know it’s true.
Your’re brilliantly created,
And there’s no one else like you!

My thoughts:
This book is for the slightly older infant or younger toddler. Gianna still hasn’t really connected with it but I don’t think it will be much longer. The story itself has quite a few more words with each page consisting of 1 long sentence that requires a little more ability to focus on the picture and comprehend what the phrase is saying. The words are a bit bigger too and unless your child is used to you using “bigger” words like brilliantly, perfect, special, blessed they may not understand them till they are closer to 3 or 3 ½. Gianna has been speaking in full sentences since she was just 2 and she regularly uses these kinds of words – but she is not yet sitting to listen to longer passages of words

This is a wonderful book that encourages and shows children that they are special to God. He took the time to plan each child and knew their purpose and needs before they were born. The images in the books are full of joy and emotion and kids can easily see the description of what the text is saying.


I personally think this book is for kids 2 ½ and up – if your child is not ready to sit and listen to lots of words it would be very easy to share the books and talk about the pictures. What is the child doing in this picture? Are they happy or sad? You can also encourage your child to act out what’s happening on that page: He made your two legs super strong (accent the words Super Strong) to RUN and JUMP and PLAY. This is an example of a sentence that you can say to your child as well as your day goes on – it’s great for interaction, practicing word combinations and helping your child understand or comprehend what you are saying.

I received a copy of each of these books to read and review on GivingNSharing. I received no money and was just asked to give my honest opinion of each book. Thanks for reading!

Mami 2 Five

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Gettin' some Zzzzz help from ZzzQuil

It happened again. About a week ago my lower back went out - Oh, you want to know where & how? You don't need to know that.... It actually hasn't happened in quite a while. I have issues with my hips not lining up correctly and when it goes out my lower spine tends to twist and my left leg drops and drags and then I trip.
Anyway, after 2 chiropractor visits (the 2nd one was wonderful & then my back went out again the next morning) and a massage visit (which was wonderful as well) I was left very sore and in a lot of pain from my ribs on down through my hips. 

About a month ago I was offered and accepted a VoxxBox for ZzzQuil and since I have occasional sleepless nights I thought why not? I try not to take any kind of sleep aid but lately it seems I've been needing it more and more as new Fibro symptoms seem to be showing up. My VoxxBox came in early this week and I decided to take one of the pills after my massage so I could sleep off the worst of the pain.

Details:
1) ZzzQuil is for the relief of occasional sleeplessness, non-habit forming, it's not for cold or the flu. 
2) ZzzQuil is only for helping you to sleep & wake up refreshed.
3) You need to make sure you have a 7-8 hour period for sleeping without interruption.
4) You should be ready to sleep within 20 minutes.

My experience:
I fell asleep after I got home from the massage therapist which is normal for me. I find sleep is the best pain reliever with my Fibromyalgia Pain and often I fall asleep for several hours until my body wakes up on its own. The end result is that usually I cannot sleep until early in the morning - anywhere from 2-4 am!

I took ZzzQuil on a weekend so I didn't have to worry about waking up with the alarm. It was Saturday that I had my massage and I slept from 630 - 9:30 in the evening. (This is common with my fibro). I knew by 2 I wasn't going to go back to sleep even though I was tired so I decided to take 1 of the pills. I took it around 2:15 and finally fell asleep around 3:30. I would of probably fallen asleep around 245 but Lily the Cat decided to start yowling at something outside about then so I had to get up, turn on the air, calm her down and shut all the windows so she would quit waking up the neighborhood. (No idea what got into her - this is a new thing lately)

I woke up about 10 am on Sunday morning. Did not feel drugged or nauseous before or after sleeping which is usually the way I feel after taking some medications particularly ones that make me sleepy. I was very impressed. I was also pain free thanks to all the sleep I got after my massage as well as the massage itself. I will definitely keep ZzzQuil for those nights I cant sleep - I love that it's not habit forming and that I wasn't nauseous or dizzy when I woke up. 

Disclaimer - I received a sample of ZzzQuil to review on GivingNSharing in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to have a positive review.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

4th of July & Old Cars

Hi everyone ~ I hope you enjoyed your 4th of July Independence Day activities! Did you have a family reunion? Go on vacation? Spend a quiet day at home wishing your dog wasn't going crazy from the fireworks (or was that your neighbors dog howling at the moon?)....

I had a quiet day. My folks came down and brought me their 2007 Pontiac Vibe Wagon. My old car wasn't a good car for hauling daycare kiddos around. I'd had it for 10 years, 2 babies and 3 school kids. It was a really really tight fit. But you know, I can't really complain - it was a wonderful car for 10 years, 2 layoffs, 8 years of craft show & Usbourne Book bookfairs, 6 years of daycare living, etc...

Is anyone looking for a nice car? It's a 2004 Olds Alero - it has a bit of a rough body although it isn't terrible. A little rust, a hole in the rear bumper from my aunt backing into it (hey - she paid off the car for me with that little one lol - I'd just been laid off so I was happy), and the 2 side front windows need to be replaced. They aren't broken just don't stay up all the time..... it's been a wonderful car over the years. If you or your hubby know how to work on cars it will continue to be a wonderful car for many years to come!

This is a picture of the car - it's a darling little 2 door 2004 Olds Alero. Just got the oil changed today, got a nice vacuuming and is ready to go to it's new home. It has some power to it but if you have a responsible teen or college student who doesn't text & drive or haul lots of little teeny boppers around it would be a good car for them....

This is Connor in the picture strutting his stuff hauling soil for our gardening activity that day....

If you are interested in a great car ~ email me @ wswpub2(at)gmail(dot)com




Monday, July 4, 2016

Menu Planning?

Please note: This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. 

How many of you actively Menu Plan? I don't. With it just being me and 1 or 2 kids at the most we just eat left overs for a couple of days, sandwiches, GF or healthy chicken nuggets and soup very occasionally. I love it - but Gianna? Not so much. She drinks the broth - forget the filling.

Recently I heard of a new Freezer Planning program called Once A Month Planning. Now, I know it's not NEW NEW but this is the first time I've really looked at the program. Really I just need a couple of meals each week and I can fill in the rest of our menu with what I have on hand. I'm always looking for snack ideas, kid friendly meals and high protein foods & snacks are a huge bonus. Keep in mind I can't have any dairy or soy so cheese and yogurts are out for me. Gianna won't eat most grains at all - no bread, no noodles except spaghetti and MacsNCheese and no veggies usually. Connor? Yeah... he'll eat apples & bananas, oatmeal, meat - but no potatoes or broccoli, he will eat corn, mixed veggies and that's about it. Life is hard..... 

Once a Month Meals is a membership based Menu Planning service where you have your choice of 9 different kinds of meals like: Paleo, Traditional, Gluten Free, Vegetarian & REAL FOOD! Lol! There's even a Baby Menu! 

They just started a new planning service called: Summer Instant Pot Mini Menu - so if you like Pressure Cooking this menu will be perfect for you! You will find delicious recipes like: Instant Pot Tender Braised Short Ribs, Buffalo Chicken, Honey Pork Chops, Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken & Marinated Steak. Sounds nummy right?

So, now that you've chosen your menu - now is the time to tell the database how many people you are feeding and then you have the option to have a shopping list created for you, prep day instructions & cooking day instructions prepared, labels and more. Another bonus to their program is that if there is something you already know wont work with ultra picky husbands kids you can swap out a meal and create your own custom menu.

Once a Month Meals planning service is $16 a month - or you can purchase a whole year at a time. If you aren't sure if you want to invest in the whole year why not just start with a month and see how it goes? It's very easy to do and I'm sure you'll love the program as much as I do!

Watch to see how I do with my new menu planning adventure. I'm actually going to use it to prepare some yummy deliciousness for the freezer for this fall. Preschool homeschooling starts up this year and it will be so nice to have a few meals in the freezer that I can pull out, pop in the crock pot or the oven and just go about our day....

Please note: I am an affiliate with Once a Month Meals and receive a small amount for each membership purchased through my affiliate link. Each little bit goes a long way toward our budget and is great appreciated. All comments and thoughts above are my own.

    Sunday, July 3, 2016

    Summer 2016 ~ planning for the fall & a prayer request

    Well, how has everything been going for you? I've been very busy lately - so busy I haven't been online a lot.

    Kids out of school & yes, they're bored. Sort of....

    Between car issues, kid struggles, me being down with a 6 week migraine and G being 2 now. Enough said - hmmmm.
    We had a 2 week period with 100 temps - but the last week has been very nice. Yesterday 7/2 it was in the high 60's!! Gasp! Tomorrow 7/4 it's supposed to be in the low 80's so it should be a fairly nice day. =D

    Anyway,

    I am in the process of setting up the first 2 weeks of preschool for Gianna. We will have 2 themes each month and thanks to my friend Cheryl's wonderful website we have lots of fun things to do & my job is MUCH easier as far as planning!

        

    We will also be participating in activities at Fontenelle Forest and Hummel Park. Both have wonderful preschool programs. Fontenelle does a awesome Art Preschool Program. Centers are set up related to a weekly topic such as birds, insects, winter animals, etc.  Kids can play with playdo, paint, build with blocks, watch the birds in their birdhouses, go for a walk throughout the forest, read stories and there are also fun art projects where you create your project using parts of nature like seeds, flower pods and more.

    Hummel Park Nature Nook is a preschool program for kiddos 3-5 approximately although older kids are welcome to join in the fun too. This program is set up on Friday mornings and moms often take picnic lunches and stay after to play in the forest or with the toys in the Nature Center which will be open till about 5 pm. Gianna & Connor loved going to the Nature Center the one time we got to go last year. Bonus: it's only $1 per child.

    My other hope is that I can get her involved in the Yoga Kids activity at the community center. We'll see how that goes....

    If you homeschool or are a in home daycare share what your plans are for very young preschoolers. Gianna will be 3 in December so we are going to play it by ear. She LOVES learning - she knows her ABC's, their sounds, recognizes their shape and can answer simple questions about them. She also knows her 123's, sings all the time and loves to do crafts or as she calls it her "artworks". LOL

    Hope you all find this to be helpful.

    PS: I won't be on as much as I used to obviously. Right now, I'm running 3 businesses, and would love to have prayer as I try to fill a spot for a new daycare child. I am down to one and really need a new family. Please pray that this new family is a great fit - all my families for the last 3 years have been christians and I can't tell you what a nice thing that is to have. Thank you!