Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Goal Setting Monday - Week 4


Boy has this been a hard past couple of weeks, and boy am I glad that there are five Mondays in this month. Of course, if I don't get this done tonight then it will be posted in the month of February instead of January, so I'd better get typing.

So, how am I doing with keeping my goal? Well, it's been so-so. My healthy eating goals have been doing great. We all have been drinking a lot of healthy smoothies, and I have been juicing and drinking a lot of water. I've kept my goal of only one cup of coffee a day, and have only drank one glass of soda when I had an upset stomach, and one glass of sweet tea. We all have been trying to eat healthier food. So, my healthy eating has been great.

My spiritual goals have continued to be half and half. I have continued to read "The Love Dare", but not been as faithful in my New Testament in 30 days. I continue to pray for my family, but not necessarily at a set devoted time every day. One bright spot is that we have started to plan for our summer ministries.

My personal and family goals have also been lacking. I have begun to plan for a vacation this year, and I do spend at least 15 min. a day talking with my wife. Spending 15 min. a day with each of my children hasn't always happened. Some days it's maybe one or two of my sons and other days it's all three, but it's been hit and miss. Family devotions have been nil.

Well, next month is another month and the monthly commitment for each of these things isn't over. Remember, even though I am setting goals weekly, they are for four different areas of my life. For each area I write goals that last a month. So, some areas I still have two or three weeks left to accomplish my goals.

This week's goals are my "home improvement inside and outside" goals. Remember I said that this is kind of like my honey-do list and I wasn't kidding. There is a lot of doing for this honey to do. Let's start setting some goals.

  1. Begin to organize the kitchen. Although you would think that the kitchen is the woman's area of the house, it's also my area. I'm the one that does the juicing, smoothie making, and do part of the cooking. I'm at least half responsible for the kitchen and I can do my part by beginning to organize it to make it more functional. But, let me be specific as to what I need to do. I'll divide it in to four weekly goals.

    1. Clean off all counter tops and put things where they should go. A minimum of stuff should be on the counter tops. Clean countertops and appliances thoroughly.

    2. Organize cabinets. They have gotten to be a mess again! They need to be cleaned out, stuff sorted and thrown away, and stuff organized so that it is more convenient.

    3. Clean out junk corner. There is one corner of our kitchen that desperately needs to be cleaned out. It has become a junk corner. Part of that cleaning out needs to be to haul our old broken down mini-freezer to the recycling place.

    4. Clean what's left. The above three things should help a lot, but there are still nooks and crannies that will still need to be cleaned and washed down. I'm thinking of our backers rack for one. All things need to be taken off of it and it needs to be cleaned well.

  2. Haul of other appliances as well as the mini-freezer listed above. We have a washer and dryer downstairs that needs to be taken away and a dish washer that is sitting on our front porch, yes I said front porch!

  3. Clean off the rest of the front porch after I get the old dish washer hauled.

  4. Pull up the rest of the carpet in the living room. A couple of months ago we pulled up all of the carpeting in our house. Unfortunately I couldn't (or really it's "I didn't" pull up the carpeting under the piano and large desk in our living room. It needs to be done.

Well, that's all for this month. That's really enough, don't you think?! Now, I'm off to link my post up with the meme Goal Planning Monday on my friend's blog - Mama Manuscripts. Just click here to check it out! Until next week - Happy Goal Setting!

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Monday, January 30, 2012

What Does The Future Hold?

Find out February 9!

Boy I've been mysterious lately haven't I? Yes, this is a really neat item that we are reviewing for the TOS Homeschool Crew. You'll have to find out my views when you read the review though. In the meantime, tomorrow, I promise, I will have the long awaited Goal Setting Monday post! I know. I know. Promises, promises! Smiley

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Missions In Action!

You know, I post these videos about once a week or so, and I don't say much about them. By the amount of hits that I get on these posts, I can tell that many people just look at the title and just scroll on by without even bothering to watch them. If you are one of those people, please stop and watch. Yes, all of these videos are about ways that you can help the needy in other countries. Some of you may think that we need to help the needy in our own country before we reach out to the poor of other nations. Some of you may think that these videos are always asking for money and most of the money goes to the organizations and not really to the people. I know from first hand experience that the great organizations that Missions In Action represents are very careful to keep overhead down and make sure that almost all (if not all)  of the money you send in goes to the children or needy folks that you are sending to. I also know that there are plenty of needy at home that need our help but, if you really think about it, don't we really have enough money to help both those here at home and those abroad? Some of you really may not have the money, or you give to other places. That's fine too, but you can pray. God loves to hear the prayers of His children. If you aren't watching these videos please watch them today. You are missing out on heartwarming stories and/or perhaps ways that you can help those that are less fortunate than you. Here are the next two videos in the series:

Episode Eleven

Episode Twelve

Saturday, January 28, 2012


No, not tires, posts. I've decided to go back in time and see what I wrote in past years on this date. I was just thinking about this post today, and, wouldn't you know it, this was originally posted way back in 2009 on this date. Here it is again. Enjoy!


Recently, due to the wonderful technology of Facebook, I have been getting back in contact with some of my high school friends. This post is dedicated to them, but I think all of you will enjoy it. The above picture was taken from our senior year book. I hope there is no copywrite!

I had to laugh today when President Obama made his comments about his girl's school closing because of snow. I had a similar experience when I first moved to TN. First let me tell you about snow in Pennsylvania. I lived in the small town of Clearfield, PA from 2nd grade until I graduated (really I grew up outside of Clearfield in the "Village of Glen Richey", but I'll save that for another post). Winters in PA began in November and lasted until around Easter and sometimes longer. I can remember when it would snow a foot or so, then have a few clear days but not above freezing, then we'd get another layer of snow, then have a few more clear days etc. etc. The snow drifts would sometimes be over my head! Of course that wasn't necessarily very high when you are nine years old, but you get the point. Do you think they ever canceled school? Never! One day I went out to go to school, stepped off of our front porch, and promptly fell down. There was a layer of ice on the sidewalk and no matter what, I couldn't get up. Mom thought I was joking until Grandpa came around the house. We lived on a small farm, and he had been down feeding the pigs. It seems he had fallen and slid all the way down the hill to the pig pen - slop buckets in hand. He promptly said "Get back in the house Tim. You're not going to school today!" Did they cancel school? Nope! Another time our bus had to go down a steep hill on a back country road. We started slipping down the hill until the bus was actually sliding sideways. Thankfully the road was not as wide as the length of the bus and the two ends of the bus got stuck in the opposite snow banks. The bus driver told us to get out and walk home, there was nothing she could do. We found out later that a local farmer came and pulled the bus out with his tractor. That is no joke! That really happened. It would never happen today!

Fast forward, twenty years, to when we first moved to Tennessee. One night it snowed and I woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground - what we would have called a "skiff" of snow in PA. After a while I heard the neighbor kids out playing so I went out to ask what was going on. They informed me that school had been called off. After I picked my jaw up off of the ground, I asked one of the parents about it. It seems that it doesn't snow enough in TN to warrant counties buying all of the snow plows, salt trucks and coal trucks that cities up north have. But, that's not all! School was called off for the rest of the week, even after it seemed the snow had all melted. I was told that on some of the back roads it was so shady that there may still be "black ice" and so they couldn't take the risk of allowing busses to drive on them. If PA would have had that same rule, we would have had to go to school all year long, and we'd still be in middle school! Ah, the good old days! I'd love to hear about some of your snow experiences when you were a kid. Write and tell me about them.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Can I Take a Week Off?

Am I allowed to take a week off from serious blog posts? I'm just tired. I have no energy to write a serious post at all. I just want to "spaz" and do things that don't make me use my brain. Is that bad? Is it bad that I haven't written my goals for the week? I'm still trying to keep my goals but I just don't want to write about it. I don't have any reviews due and I am kind of glad. I just want a break. But, I kind of want my cake and eat it too. I still want a daily post, but I just don't want to write a serious one. Oh well. I've done my duty today. A post has been written. So, I guess I've accomplished something. Does it make sense? I'll let you decide. I need to get back to my playing!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Agnomen Olympicum

Anyone know the meaning of that? I'll tell you why I ask tomorrow. And, hopefully, I'll finally have a Goal Setting post up tomorrow! Oh, and, by the way, have I ever told you that I love Vision Forum?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Goal Setting Monday will happen on...Wednesday?!?

Well, ya know, life just kind of happens. And it has happened for two days in a row. I'm not going to go full into it, but it involves kids! Need I say more?

I know of a great blogger who once or twice a week goes to a coffee place like Starbucks and writes a weeks full of blog posts and then schedules them to post on certain days. I'm just not like that. I wish I were but I'm not. I write from day to day and if life happens that I can't blog on a certain day then you get something like this.

Anyway, hopefully my Goal Setting Monday post will happen tomorrow so check in again in about 24 hours.

Monday, January 23, 2012

We Choose Virtues


Most of you know that my middle child, Joshua, was diagnosed with asperger's syndrome a couple of years ago. Asperger's is on the autism spectrum. We think that Jacob, our youngest, is on the autism spectrum as well, but has never been diagnosed. It's difficult to have an asperger's child. They look normal in every way, but they definitely aren't normal. I won't go into all of the details right now because that isn't what this post is all about. But, some of Joshua's tendencies and the way that he acts will help you to know why I think this great Product, We Choose Virtues, is perfect for him.

One of those problems that Joshua had was that he was very phobic. He used to be afraid of everything! He was afraid of the dark. He was afraid of bugs. He was afraid of dirt. He was afraid of everything! He was even afraid of getting into the car if there were bird droppings on the windshield! I remember one summer when he was very afraid of moths. Of course, moths and summer go together in a state like Tennessee. He could not even go to the restroom at night if he thought a moth had gotten in the house and had flown that way. Finally, in order to get him to feel better, I came up with the idea to name the moth. We named all moths "Martha the Moth". We would just say "Oh, that's just Martha Moth. Don't worry about her." Any extra moths flying around were Martha's family. That seemed to do the trick. It didn't happen overnight, but, for some reason, that calmed him down until he wasn't afraid anymore.

That was when I realized, that, at least with Joshua, in order to help, we needed to put a name to things. Things like moths...or...like virtues. That's why he likes We Choose Virtues so much. Because they put a name to virtues (good character traits). We received the elementary set of virtue cards. Here's how the website describes them:

There are 12 Virtues in the Early Childhood through Elementary set. They are…I am Diligent, I am Kind, I am Helpful, I am Obedient, I am Forgiving, I am Perseverant, I am Gentle, I am Patient, I am Self-Controlled, I am Content, I am Honest, and I am Attentive.


One of the products that we received was a set of twelve pocket size virtue cards in a really neat clear plastic pouch. We take one card to work on a day. Other children, I'm sure, could work on more cards per day, but, with Joshua, one card and one character trait was about all that he could handle. One of the first virtues that we talked about was forgiveness. We talked about what forgiveness was, and the dos and don'ts of the proper way to forgive and the "not so good things" to do. For example:

I am forgiving. I choose to love when others hurt me. I am not hurtful or angry and I don't stay made, gossip, or try to get even.

The card has a picture of a girl with a feather (perhaps to remind them to be gentle). Her name is "Heather Feather" - Feather is a catchphrase to help them remember to be Forgiving. All during the day, Joshua carried that card so that it was on top and could be seen through the plastic case. If I saw him having a hard time being forgiving with one of his brothers, then I would say something like "Remember Heather Feather" or "Look at your card" and that would give him a clue as to how he was acting. It's been a process but I can see it beginning to work. The catchphrases really help with him and make it stick (remember Martha Moth?). We also received a coloring book of all of the characters (like Heather Feather) for Joshua to color as an extra reminder to him about what forgiveness is all about. One of the best things that we received was a set of Bible verses with a Bible Hero or Truth that goes along with each character trait. Of course, who do you think the Bible character was for forgiveness? Jesus Christ! And the Bible verse was from Psalm 25:11. The teacher's book that we got explained a lot and gave some good ideas as to how to use the cards and other materials that you can order to go along with your family. We also got a neat evaluating chart to evaluate how everyone was doing.

We really enjoy We Choose Virtues and I have found it an excellent tool to use with Joshua. You can order all of the things that I listed above separately - the neat cards that I mentioned are only $5.99 -and they also have neat kits - like the homeschool kit with A LOT of neat stuff in it for $99.99. The items that I described above are geared for children from 3-11 but they also have youth items for kids from 12-18. Just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above to check it out. As usual other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew reviewed We Choose Virtues and you can find out what they had to say by clicking here. Happy Home Schooling!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I receive various items from We Choose Virtues in order to try out an give my honest review on this blog.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Not a Good Night!

I have a splitting headache, storms are coming (but, thankfully are expected to calm down before they finally get here), and I have a half written review due by 11am my time. I would do this if my head weren't hurting so bad!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

And the new season has begun!

I haven't taken any pictures from this year yet so I decided to post these from last year. John Allen's shooting air rifle this year and has three big matches coming up in the next couple months. Possibly resulting in a trip to the 4-H National's in Grand Island, NE. Joshua is shooting BB Gun again this year and would love to go to National's in Rogers, AR again. Both are kind of a long shot, but, who knows? Stranger things have happened! Both are doing great so far in this young season.

Friday, January 20, 2012

What are the Tinkel's Reading Right Now - A Year in Review!

I've made a goal for myself this year. I want to read two books a month. Now, I've always said that I read a lot, and I do! But, I don't always read books! I read magazines, books, articles and blogs on the internet, newspaper, the cereal box - you name it - I read it. I need to read more books, though. It seems like I'm always reading a book, or two, or three, but it just takes me forever to read one. So, I've set a goal (I'm really into goals these days - aren't I) of reading 24 book this year. Well, I'm behind already. If I'm going to read 24 book, I'm already one book behind. I need to get started quick!

After a discussion I was involved in about favorite books, I decided to reflect on what I had read and really enjoyed last year. For most of the year I was really into classics. I read a couple of Dickens novels and really liked them - Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol. I also read Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island and really enjoyed it. Last spring I began reading classics to preview for my children and appreciated The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham and Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories. My dad loved Gene Stratton Porter because he grew up in Indiana and that's where most of Porter's books take place so, I read a couple of them and loved them as well Freckles and A Girl of the Limberlost. Canadians might find it interesting that I read one of Canada's classic authors last year - W. O. Mitchell. Who Has Seen the Wind is now one of my favorite books. It's not for everyone, but I loved it. If you like Disney World and adventure, you would like The Key to the Kingdom by Jeff Dixon.That was one of my spring readings as well. I also read some religious authors - I like Andrew Murray, but some of his stuff is deep. For some reason, the Lord really helped me read and spoke to me through The Deeper Christian Life. A fantastic book. I also read a biography of Martin Luther but I don't have the book in front of me and the author slips my mind at the moment. It, as well, was a very good book. I'm sure there are some books that I'm missiong that I read. How many do I have listed though? Eleven! Well, that's almost half of my goal for this year!

But, no more time for chit-chat! I've got work to do. I need to read! What am I reading now? Well, as usual I've got two books going - Radical by David Platt and Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. Unfortunately the latter is downloaded on my phone and John Allen is also reading it for school. So, in order not to confuse the page that he is on, I have put it aside for a week or so. Perhaps I'll find another great book and start reading it. Almost all classics are free for download from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You don't even have to have a Kindle or a Nook, just download the application on your phone, other tablet, or even computer.

So, what are you reading? Leave a comment and let me know. Happy Reading!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Have You Checked out The Old Schoolhouse Magazine lately?

Have you checked out The Old Schoolhouse Magazine lately? It's all digital and it comes out every month now instead of quarterly! If you homeschool, are thinking about homeschooling, or just looking for ideas to help your public/private school kids or supplement their education, you need to check The Old Schoolhouse Magazine out today! Just click on the magazine above to find out more.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sometimes I get so mad, but I'm trying to choose to be positive!

I read a lot. I read books. I read things online.  I read magazines. I just read a lot. Often, though, the things I read will really get me aggravated. Sometimes it's something about life in general. Sometimes it's something that goes against my Christian beliefs. Sometimes it's political. However, everything I read, everything I believe, every political candidate that I look at, I try to measure against a biblical standard. I am not ashamed to call myself a follower of Christ. I believe that Jesus Christ is God's son and that God gave us His word, the Bible, for many reasons, one of them being a guide to live by. I believe what the Bible says and I really try to live by it. Very often I fail. I am not perfect by any means. But, I endeavor to live a life that is pleasing to God. I believe that the Bible teaches us how to live that life. I believe that the Bible gives us absolute rights and wrongs. That's what I believe.

I can't make anyone else believe the way that I believe. I can show them and teach them what the Bible says and allow God to work in their lives, but I cannot force them to believe in any way. All I can do is in my imperfect ways using my imperfect mind in my imperfect flesh try to please God. But, I still get aggravated when I read something that I feel goes against the God that I believe in and His word. Sometimes things make me so upset that I want to respond or debate in ways that would do no good. My wife Sarah often says "You can't argue with Pharisees". Often, though, the flesh in me wants to argue. When I do, however, it usually ends with me becoming even more aggravated.

Earlier this evening, I was about to start one of those no-win debates with someone on Facebook until something else caught my eye. It was a short video clip that refocused my attention. It made me realize once again how I need to devote my energy. It made me realize that all I need to do is continue to follow my Lord and my Savior Jesus Christ. I need to keep on loving, teaching, following His word, and listening to His still small voice. I just need to continue living for Him.

Here's the video that I'm talking about. It's nothing big. It's not very long. It probably won't affect you the way that it effected me but I pray that it makes you stop and think what life is really all about. The video is about Helen Keller, a powerful lady. I am well aware of Helen Kellers political stance and religious beliefs. This post is by no means meant as an agreement with those things. I think I've stated in this post and in previous posts what my religious beliefs are and my political leanings. This video does not bring to attention her political or religious views, but it does point out the tremendous physical obsticals she overcame and the joy in which it seems she tried to find in life. I want to have the joy of the Lord in my life no matter what circumstances I am presently in.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Goal Setting Monday - Week 3. Why is it so hard to keep spiritual goals?


Well, I failed. Oh, not with my healthy living goals, but with my spiritual goals. There have been a few that I've half kept, but mostly I failed. Why is it so hard to keep spiritual goals? Is it my mind set? Is it Satan attacking? What is it? I don't understand. I've done well with my healthy living goals. Why can't I keep my spiritual goals? I don't think the goals were too hard. Let me go over them one by one.

  1. Read the New Testament and 30 days. – Well, that's not going to happen. I suppose I could start again or just start where left off.

  2. Have a devoted time of prayer every day. – Well I do pray every day but I can't say that I've had a devoted time of prayer everyday.

  3. Continue reading through ." The Love Dare". – That is something I have done. And, even though it times it's been hard and even though I've often failed, I have tried to follow it.

  4. Make daily contact with someone that comes to Good News Mission. – That's one of my half done ones. Some days I have some days I haven't.

  5. Beginning in planning for summer ministries. – I guess this is another one that was half done. I have begun to pray about them but no planning has been done yet.

Well, a new week is upon us and as the saying goes, I can try try again. I really endeavor to be more consistent spiritually, please pray for me. Making and keeping spiritual goals, at least for me, is not easy.

As far as my healthy living goals go, I've kept those. Last week however we tried drinking smoothies. Today I started to make juices again for myself and I made smoothies for all of us. I'm still limiting myself to one cup of coffee a day, I haven't joined any sodas, and I've drunk lots of water. Although, I haven't drunk as much water as I should have. I've continued my healthy bread making, but haven't quite met my goal of exercising every day.

Well, now that I've talked about my successes and failures, it's time to move on to my new goals for this week-Family Goals. Family goals are kind of hard to pinpoint. After all, so many family goals are also spiritual goals. The two seem to bleed together sometimes. For example, one of my spiritual goals is reading through " The Love Dare". That could also be a family goal. One of the family goals that I'm going to write down could also be a spiritual goal. Oh well, I guess that is just going to be the nature of the beast. Let's get started –

  1. Spend at least 15 min. a day doing something fun with each one of my boys separately. I'm always with my kids. I take them to shooting practice. I homeschool them. I take them to church. We are always together. But, how much individual quality time do I give to each one of them? This week, I'm going to try to stop to listen and play and just be with my children.

  2. Spend at least 15 min. a day listening and talking to my wife. We've are ready made the habit of going out at least once a week by ourselves. Sometimes we actually go out more than once. When we do go out, we do talk about what's going on and I do try to listen to my wife's feelings. But what happens on the days we don't go out? Do I try to spend quality time with my wife? Do I listen to her? This week, I'm going to endeavor to spend at least 15 min. a day listening and talking – mostly listening – to her.

  3. Attempt to start family devotions once again. This is kind of been a thorn in the flesh for me. I've tried many times before but failed. Some of it is just plain disciplining myself to do it. But some of it has to do with the challenges of having one autistic  and very probably another autistic child. Another problem could very well be the age range of my children. But, really, none of those things is a good excuse. There have been many families that have autistic children have had successful devotional times. There have also been families that have children of all ages have successful devotional times together. Probably the biggest reason I have failed in this area is discipline. I can blame it on a lot of things – time, children's attention spans, etc. but that still is no excuse. It doesn't have to be very long. Just a short time of devotion and prayer. Even getting together and reading one verse and having a short prayer is better than nothing at all.

  4. Pray for each member of my family every day. Oh, I do this every day, but this needs to go with my spiritual goal that talks about a concentrated prayer time every day. I need to make a list of specific prayer items for each member of my family and pray for them every day.

  5. Begin to plan an actual vacation for my family. We have been talking about this for a long time. We do have what we call vacations, but they're not really vacations. They are usually one or two fun days that we tack on to the missions conference or something of the sort. This year, we'd like to take a real family vacation. One that isn't shared with something else. I don't know where we'll go or how we'll do it, but I want to plan a family vacation for this year. 

Well, after my failures from last week, I think those five goals had better be all for now. As I said before, some of my spiritual goals and even some of my healthy living goals also have to do with my family. How did you do this past week? Leave a comment and let me know. Don't forget, I'm also taking part in a meme called " Goal Planning Monday.". Click here if you would like to participate or to just check it out. Happy goal setting!

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hilariously Funny!

I'm not too fond of the cigarette, but other than that it is clean and, as I said in the title, hilariously funny. Enjoy!

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Video That Gives Me Hope

I shared this video on Facebook a week or so ago but I thought I would share it on my blog as well. As a parent of a child with Asperger's syndrome, I have first hand experience with a person like Scott James. This video shows that autistic children are special people.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

A Blast From the Past

My family is full of stories. My siblings and I met a very interesting life, as did my parents and their parents before them.  My brother, sister and I always said that we were going to give my mom and dad a tape recorder to record all of the stories of these to tell us.  Unfortunately that never happened. My parents are both gone now and, since my brother is also gone, it is now up to my sister and I record all of the stories  that my parents used to tell. I want my children  to know about the rich and interesting past that their ancestors had. Earlier today I was recalling a story from my childhood, and it dawned on me that I could use my blog to start recording some of the stories that I remember. So,  here's the first one.

My father was a minister and because of that we had to move around quite a bit. Fortunately for me,, we moved back to my moms old homestead to live with my grandfather was aging and  needed someone to take care of him. We lived there until I graduated from high school. Not so fortunate or my brother and sister  were both older than me. They both moved around quite a bit during their younger days. 

One of the many places we lived before moving in with Grandpa,  was a children's home. The Preble County children's home near Eaton, Ohio. No, we worked wards of the home, my parents for the superintendents. I was a toddler at the time, not even in kindergarten and it was heaven for me.. I had lots of boys and girls to play with. I remember one time when one of the older  teenage girls decided to run away with her boyfriend. Finally, after a few days, they caught up with her. When asked if you wanted to take her back, my father said, " Of course.". There wasn't any place else for her to go so my parents naturally took her back..  Unbeknownst to my mother,. the girl decided to bring some little friends back with her. LICE!

So, my mom set out to find all of the lice treatment shampoo that she could find in order to treat all of the kids and the children's home. Well, there weren't any Walmarts back then, so mom had to go to several drugstores, just to get enough medicine for everyone that she had to treat. She ended up getting two different kinds of shampoo. One shampoo  you were to leave on for 15 min.  and then wash out.  The other shampoo, you were supposed to leave on all night and then wash it out in the morning. Well, after a busy day of washing all of the kids hair, she decided to wash my hair as well.  After all, I played with all of the kids.  Since it was late, she decided to treat my head with the overnight shampoo.

All night long . I squirmed and hollered out in bed. Something was wrong.  My head didn't feel right. Finally, after couple of sleepless hours visit my yelling, mom came to see what was the matter. Finally, after looking at my head,  she gasped in horror. She had put on my head the wrong shampoo.  She had accidentally put the 15 min medicine on my head and left it on overnight.. My scalp was red as a beet. She had nearly burnt the skin off.

Yes, living at the children's home was an interesting experience.  I could tell you stories, and someday will, about eating the dog food,  or getting lost in the corn fields while following the puppies. But, those are stories for another time..

How about you? Do you have any fun stories from your childhood that you would like to share? Leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Not an emergency, but please read if you have the time.

Recently I opened an email telling me I had missed a book review for the "Triple Dog Dare" devotional by Jeremy Jones.. However, I hadn't even received the book in the mail! Unfortunately it seems the book got lost in the mail and I didn't even know that I was supposed to be reviewing it. Having been a reviewer of homeschool products and books for a couple of years, I know the expense and the effort that the companies go through to have their products reviewed. Thankfully this is a First Wild Card blog tour book and First Wild Card always has a skeleton write up that reviewers can add to if they want. Although I didn't actually review this book, I have reviewed books from this company before and all of their books that I have seen are excellent. Below is First Wild Card's write up. Please take time to check out this book or click one of the links through to the company. You won't be disappointed.



It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

Jeremy Jones

and the book:

David C. Cook (October 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


Jeremy V. Jones is an award-winning journalist who has served as senior associate editor of Breakaway magazine. He has authored several books, including Toward the Goal: The Kaka Story and The Keeper: The Tim Hoard Story. He also writes for magazines such as Clubhouse and Christianity Today. He resides with his wife and two children in Colorado.


Boys want action. They don’t want to sit around and talk—that’s for grown-ups and girls. They engage life and relationships by doing something: skateboarding, playing games or re-creating favorite movie scenes. So why should faith be any different? That’s why Jeremy V. Jones created Triple Dog Dare: One Year of Dynamic Devotions for Boys—to provide the action boys need in order to grow their faith.

The Bible is full of action. Remember how David slew Goliath, Daniel faced those lions, Paul survived a shipwreck and Jesus stood up for a woman about to be killed? God made boys to take His truth and do something with it, to man up and change the world. These action-packed devotions for boys ages 9 to 12 are filled with godly truth and bold spiritual challenges that transform time with God into the adventure of the day.

Triple Dog Dare connects God’s Word to boys’ hearts and hands with real-life scenarios and activities. Each day is filled with short Scriptures, concise biblical truth and a daily dare, all challenging them to put their faith into practice. Scripture readings from every book of the Bible open up the action-packed Word of God. Whether it’s drawing comic strips of biblical battles, dreaming up a life list of goals, making snack packs for the homeless or producing Bible-based movies, boys will go on daily dynamic experiences with God, taking faith off the page and setting it into motion. Themes cover the daily realities of pre-teen males, including bullying, peer pressure, girls, sibling rivalry, honesty and more.

These exciting devotions will inspire boys’ hearts toward godly characteristics such as integrity, generosity and kindness. Parents will appreciate watching Christ-like traits emerge as each dare is undertaken. It is a manual that will deepen boys’ friendships with Jesus as they look forward to spending time with Him every day. So if you know a boy who is up for the challenge, triple dog dare him!

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (October 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0781404576
ISBN-13: 978-0781404570

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER (Click on images to enlarge):

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Z-Guide to the Movies - No, I'm not Speaking French, but I am Talking About Something Special!


I've said it before and I'll say it again. WE LOVE BOOKS! We have book shelves lining our hallway, in our bedrooms, in my office over at the mission, in baskets, in stacks, in crates...there are books everywhere in our house. Probably too many of them, but that's a discussion for another post. We have even chosen specific curriculums because of the literature content. I don't want my kids just reading good novels, I want them understanding them as well. One such curriculum is a history curriculum that basis all of their lessons on good historical books - some fiction and some non-fiction, but all are excellent reads.

The other day, however, I remembered my school days. Every once in a while, the teacher would show a film based on whatever we were learning in class. Some were documentaries based on what we were studying, and some were just plain, old, good movies based on what were studying. That sounds like it would be fun for our kids as well. There are a lot of good movies that my kids would like to watch. Take, for example, "The Great Escape" or "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington". Those are a couple of movies that you could really learn from. Oh, I know that the kids could always read the books and I could purchase a good study guide from one company or another, but, although I encourage reading, sometimes watching historical movies can be educational and fun as well. Where, however can I find a study guide for them? Is there such a thing? Am I just doomed to watching the movie with my kids and trying to explain it?


Nope! Enter Zeezok Publishing's "Z-Guide to the Movies"! I found out about Z-Guide to the Movies when I was selected to review one of the on the TOS Homeschool Crew. We were given a choice of what movies we wanted a Z-Guide for and, when I saw that the hilarious but also historical movie "Father Goose" was on it, I put that down as my first choice. When I downloaded this High-School level movie guide, I was amazed at all of the material that it contained. It was 41 pages packed full of 10 regular activities plus two bonus activities that your high school student can complete. These activities not only teach your child about the historical period, but also, at least with my guide, taught about interpersonal relationships and honesty. And, the activities are fun! What highschool student would want to pretend that he is a coast watcher and prepare for his stay on the island where he is stationed? Or, do a word search finding words that have to do with coast watching and World War II. Not all of the activities are puzzles, however. Some are really  thought provoking. Like the activity that asks the student to watch the movie again and analyze the conversations that Mr. Eckland and Miss Freneau have and how some of there words can be hurtful. The student is then to write an honest essay about the things he says, how they have spoken hurtful words, and how they can "make their tongue an instrument of blessing rather than evil".

John Allen has had a grand time with this study. The movie is not only a plain old good movie, but gives a real example of what it was like to be a coast watcher during the second world war. We are still working through the Z-Guide and I can't wait until he gets to develop a code system to confuse the enemy or think deeply about his world view by writing about some of the decisions that the different characters made in the movie.

I am really impressed with the Z-Guide to the Movies that I received from Zeezok publishing. It really makes me want to look at the list of other guides that they have available and fit them in to our homeschool occasionally. The Z-Guides are priced at $12.99 each and for many of them you can purchase the movie as well if you don't already own it. Zeezok has many other great homeschool items that you can buy as well. Just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above to find out what they have to offer. There are Z-Guides for all age students and many of the TOS Homeschool Crew members reviewed other levels of  Z-Guides You can find out what they thought by clicking here. Happy Homeschooling!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free download of Zeezok Publishing's Z-Guide for the movie "Father Goose" in order to try out and give my honest review on my blog.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How can you help the less fortunate?

I love sponsoring a child and being involved with Compassion International. I also love the videos that Missions in Action has produced. I know these past few videos have not been about Compassion International, but about World Vision, but World Vision is another excellent organization.

Here are another two videos that highlight areas in the world where you can get involved in helping the less fortunate.

Episode 7

Episode 8

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Goal Setting Monday – Week Two!


Yep, it's Goal Setting Monday again. So, how did you do with your goals last week? Well, if you're like me, some goals went well and some goals didn't go well. Before I go on to setting some new goals, let's review how I did this past week.

  1. Drink at least one healthy real juice or smoothie a day -Yes! At the beginning of the week, I took $10 and went out searching for good vegetable and fruit bargains. Surprisingly, I was able to buy more than what I thought I would. In fact, after a whole week of juicing, I still have more vegetables left over. Trying new vegetable juices has been an interesting experience. Some I have liked and some I haven't, but it is been fun learning. Today, I took some frozen fruits that had been given to us and decided to try to make a smoothie. It was better than I thought it would be and, the recipe made a double batch. So, I made enough for the whole family. They all thought it was delicious for the first try. This week I'm looking forward to shopping for some new vegetables and fruits and try some new juices and smoothies.

  2. Limit my sodas to one or less a day – Yes! In fact, after the first day, I haven't drunk a soda since!

  3. Limit my coffee to one cup a day – Yes!

  4. Drink lots of water – Half and half. I have drunk a lot more water than usual,  but I haven't drunk the recommended amount that I should be drinking per day. 100 ounces of water is a lot!

  5. Introduce my family to drinking healthy juices and smoothies – Yes! I've already told you about the smoothie that I made this evening for the whole family. Throughout the week, I also let them taste some of the juices that I made. The boys think it's interesting, but I'm not sure that I've won over Sarah yet.

  6. Bake at least one loaf of healthy bread in the breadmaker every week – Yes! The breadmaker hasn't worked quite as well as I wanted it to. It's a little different than the last breadmaker we had and I'm having to get use to the right amount of ingredients to use.. It's been a little finicky. If I use just a little too much flour it gets clumpy and doesn't come out right. But I have managed to bake one good loaf of bread and make some homemade pizza dough.   

  7. Walk or do some sort of exercises for at least 15 min. every day – A big fat no! I'm embarrassed to say that I have failed so far in exercising. But, tomorrow is another day.

Well, 5 1/2 out of seven isn't bad. But I still have some work to do. I'm going to keep the same goals for this week and I'll update you again next Monday. Maybe not in as much detail, or these posts will go long!

Now for my Christian life and ministry goals. Last week I told you that on the second Monday of the month, I was going to talk about my Christian life goals. One of my missionary friends said that I should include my ministry goals as well. So that's what I'm doing. Really, I feel bad, because I should make my Christian life and ministry my first priority and I should have listed them in the first week. It's too late for that now, but whether or not they're listed the first week of the month I'm going to make them my first priority. Here are my Christian life and ministry goals:

  1. Read the New Testament in 30 days. I've talked about doing this a little bit on my blog but now I am stating that that is going to be my goal for this month. I've already started, but, alas, I'm already a little behind. Pray for me as I try to catch up.

  2. Have a devoted time of prayer every day. I do pray every day, but I am remiss in having a devoted  time per day that I talk to the Lord and listen to the Lord. I need to make that a priority in my life.

  3. Continue reading through "The Love Dare". Shhhh! Don't tell Sarah, that I've been reading through "The Love Dare" from the movie Fireproof. There are 40 days in this devotional and I'm on day eight. So, it would take me about another month to complete.

  4. Make daily contact with someone that comes to Good News Mission. I really do that already, because the boy next door comes the mission and is always over here to play with my boys. There is also boy down the street that comes up to play nearly every day. But, I need to be encouraging other folks that come up to the mission. I need to somehow be ministering to them, not just on Sundays and Tuesdays, but throughout the week.

  5. Begin praying and planning for our summer ministries. This summer is one of our busiest times here at Good News Mission. We have a breakfast program for the local children and we have day camps every other week. It's never too early to start planning.

Well, those are the goals that God has given me so far for my Christian life and my ministry. I'm sure as time goes by, God will reveal more goals that I should be setting for myself. But, for now, these are the ones that he is impressed upon my heart, so, these are going to be the ones that I concentrate on.

What about you? How have you been doing with your goals for the month? Leave a comment if you'd like and don't forget to pray for me as I continue to endeavor to do better in all aspects of my life.

Also, don't forget to participate in." Goal Planning Monday." It's on the blog." Mama Manuscripts." Just click here to get to it.

Happy Goal Setting!

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Toydle Toy Fort – The Rest of the Story


It never ceases to amaze me how God places things in our life, right when we need them. life is never easy in a household that has one child is autistic and another child that we think is autistic. Our teenage son, John Allen, the only one of our three children that isn't on the autism spectrum, often seems to get  "the short end of the stick". Being a teenager in and of itself is difficult without having two disabled brothers. John Allen's wishes and desires often have to Be put on the back burner because of therapies, doctor's appointments, or other things that pertain to his two younger brothers.. There is often resentment and contention in the ranks. Sarah and I are always looking for things and ways that promote unity in our household.. When we received a Toydle Toy Fort to review for the TOS Homeschool Crew, we had no idea what a blessing it would be.

I gave a brief blip about the Toydle Toy Fort a few weeks ago. You can find that  informational review  by clicking here. Everything that I said there is true. Toydle Toy Forts really are:

  • Well made in America

  • Sturdily made of quality PVC piping.

  • Easy to put up.

  • Easy to take down and store away.

  • Creative.

  • Educational

  • Guaranteed

  • Just plain fun.

but for us the Toydle Toy Fort was much more. It was something that brought our three boys together. While building the Toydle Toy Fort they learned to:

  • Work together.

  • Plan together.

  • Listen to each other's ideas.

  • Cooperate with one another.

  • Be creative together.

  • Have fun together.

  • Enjoy something other than video games.

  • Get along with one another.

Sarah and I looked on in amazement as these things were occurring. While we watched, we also learned something about each of our three sons. When given the chance. John Allen can be a good leader. Joshua is a fantastic organizer.  Jacob is fearless and thinks that he can do anything that is two big brothers can do. take a look at some of the pictures that I took while the construction was going on. I think you'll see what I mean.

Now, I'm not saying that everything has been hunky-dory since we received our Toydle Toy Fort, but it has shown us that there is hope. I'm also not saying that the same reaction will occur in every family.  But I do know one thing – no matter what your kids will have fun.. The Toydle Toy Fort has been one of the best items that we have ever reviewed.  I would recommend it for any family. It's easy to use. Really, it reminds me of a giant set of Tinker Toys but much sturdier and much better. And, one of the best things is, that it is fully guaranteed. If one of the PVC  pipes happens to break they'll replace it for free. If you happen to leave when of the connector blocks out in the rain, don't worry about it, it's guaranteed as well. As I mentioned in my previous review, that Toydle company was started by a man named Robert Brownfield. After he brought a toy home for his son and it broke 5 min. after his son opened it, Robert realized that there was a need for well-built toys. According to the Toydle website, all of the things that his company makes are hand cut or hand formed by American hands. I can testify that Toydle forts really are well made. As you can see in the slideshow above, after my boys made the fort, they invited all the kids do come to the mission to play in it. Even with all of that wear and tear, not a thing was broken. When we finally needed the room in the mission, the fort was easily taken down and stored away in the convenient bag that it came in. As I said before, I would recommend Toydle forts to anyone.

Just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above to get to the Toydle website. The forts come in two different sizes. The regular Toydle Toy Fort sells for $149 and the Big Toydle Fort sells for $229.99. Each comes with specially cut, sturdy, tubes, hand made connector blocks, clips and a handy dandy carry bag. And don't forget, everything is unconditionally guaranteed! Check them out, you won't be disappointed. Other folks from the TOS Homeschool Crew reviewed Toydle Toy Forts and you can find but they had to say by clicking here. Happy Home Educating!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a Toydle Toy Fort for free in order to try out and give my honest review on this blog.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

I'm having Olympic fever!

I'm having Olympic fever this evening. I don't know why. Maybe it's the presidential debates and the fact that Mitt Romney was the head of the Salt Lake City Olympics. Maybe because the summer Olympics are coming up in a few months. Maybe it's because shooting started today (more on that later!) and Joshua had an excellent first practice. Whatever it was that sparked this fever, it made me think of the last winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. I love everything about the Olympics. From the Opening Ceremonies to the Closing Ceremonies to everything in between. I watch as much of it as I can. I always have since I was a youngster. I just love it. One of my favorite things from the Opening Ceremonies at the Vancouver Olympics was the "Prairie Interpretation" segment. It's based on a book, "Who Has Seen the Wind" by a classic Canadian author, W. O. Mitchell. This part of the ceremony prompted me to buy the book and read it. It is a fantastic book and one that I would recommend to almost anyone. Not traditional Tinkel reading material, and some might not like it, but I thought it was excellent. Anyway, here's the video that started it all. The Olympics owns the rights to the television broadcast of the opening ceremonies, so I couldn't find the official film on YouTube, but I found this one. It's not perfect, but it's still pretty good. Here it is:

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Beautiful Princess!

Today is my wonderful wife's birthday. Happy Birthday, Honey!

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish is the Real Thing


I've said many times on my blog, that my family loves languages. Maybe it's just me that loves languages and I've just kind of passed that on to my children, but at any rate, my children seem to enjoy learning different languages. I was really excited this year to see several language curriculums listed as items that we would be reviewing. R. E. A. L. Homeschool Spanish was one of those language curriculums that I was looking forward to reviewing and I got my wish.

R. E. A. L. stands for." Relax, Enjoy, Aspire, Learn Spanish" and it is just that. It really is a curriculum that allows you to relax and enjoy learning a language. Because of the Christmas holidays, Joshua and I haven't gotten to use this program as much as we would like but when we have used it, we have enjoyed it. The main book for R. E. A. L. Homeschool Spanish is divided into 10 units that each center around a theme. For example, unit one talks about reading and the question ," How are you?". Unit two talks about colors, numbers and telling time. Each unit is then divided into smaller sections. Each section consists of a vocabulary cluster and phrases that use those vocabulary words. Students can listen to the vocabulary words and phrases by downloading an audio of authentic Spanish speakers from Mexico. Students are encouraged to make flashcards to help learn each list of 10 to 20 vocabulary words.

Now, having said that, that's about as close to a traditional Spanish curriculum that R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish gets. I'll tell you right now, that our Joshua would never do will  with a traditional Spanish curriculum. He needs more of a hands-on approach to learning. He would never do well with a." Learn a bunch of words and do a bunch of worksheets" approach. This curriculum is anything but that. Each unit comes with a multi page ideas section to help you incorporate what your child is learning into his everyday life. For example, the ideas in unit one suggest showing puppets interacting using the greetings and goodbyes, or, maybe, encouraging the child to create their own " greetings and emotions" cartoon. There are actually 13 ideas that you can pick and choose from along with the " tips to the home educator" that are also scattered throughout the text. There really is a plethora of activities that you can use to help integrate the Spanish language into your home.


But, that's not all! R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish believes in using all of your senses when learning Spanish. So far, the student has read the words, listened to them, and use them around the house. To help with the student that learns well using the tactile approach, there is also an activity book that includes pencil and paper activities. As I said before, though, these are not typical worksheet activities. They might include a crossword puzzle or matching  activity or a word search or a dialogue completion activity or something completely different. All of the activities, however, do use some sort of tactile approach.

The all around approach of R. E. A. L. Homeschool Spanish is what really sold me on their program. This is perfect for a child with a learning disability or a child  like my Joshua, who has aspergers syndrome. Or, for that matter, any child. Research says that children learn best when using all of their senses and this curriculum does just that.

R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish is recommended to be used with the whole family, beginning with elementary age children and on up. You can purchase a download for $49.95 for a hard copy for $89.95 by clicking here or on any one of the highlighted links above. Those links will take you to the website where you can download samples of this great curriculum. As usual, many other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew reviewed R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish and you can find out what they had to say by clicking here. Happy home educating.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I was sent a free download of R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish in order to try out and give an honest review on this blog.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Missions In Action - The Next Two Installments

I hope that you all have been enjoying the Missions In Action videos that I have been posting. Here are the next two videos from the Mission In Action series:

Episode 5

Episode 6

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

And the race is on!


I love politics. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not about to get into politics, but I love to watch it and follow it. I write to my congressmen and senators, and I really, really, look into the policies and leanings of the different candidates. I love to read biographies of political figures and to read books about politics. I have political apps on my phone and tablet, and candidates websites saved on my computer. I am planning a primary/presidential race study for John Allen, if not Joshua as well. I pray, study, and really think through my choices. I don't just wait for the candidate of my party to be chosen and then fall in behind him. With that being said, I love following politics!

Tonight I'm watching the Iowa caucuses on, is there anything else, FOX NEWS! And, even though it is just a caucus, and not even in my state, I am on pins and needles as to who will win. There are some candidates that I like, and some candidates that I am leery about. No, I have not made up my mind, but I'm anxious to see what happens. Anxious to see if the three or four that I am liking do well, and anxious to see how the three or four that I really am not liking fair. This isn't a political blog and I don't wish to get into an argument with any of my readers so I won't enlighten you as to whom I like and don't like. About the only thing that I will admit too is something that is pretty clear to anyone who reads my blog - I am pretty conservative.

Okay, so what is the purpose of this little rant? Well, it doesn't really matter if you agree with me politically or not, but voting and praying for our leaders is important. I love the way that our country was founded. I love our constitution and the checks and balances of our government. I really believe that our country was founded on Christian principles. I really think that fervent prayer is of utmost importance and doing your political homework and political duty is also important.

Now, I don't expect you to have the zeal that I have over following politics, but I do want to ask one thing. Will you really, really try to pray first of all, then vote in the primaries and ultimately the general election next November. And, before you do, will you make an effort to do a little studying before you vote. Now, I'm not just talking about the presidential race, here, I'm talking about your senators and congressmen and even your state and local officials.

In the weeks and months to come, I'll try to pop in and give you a heads up to some websites that you can go to for your research. For right now, you can start with my favorite site - yep, Fox News. You can find it by clicking here. Happy Voting!

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Monday, January 2, 2012

It's Goal Setting Monday!


Every Monday this year I would like to blog about goals that I'm setting from my life. On each Monday of the month I'm going to talk about different areas of my life that need improvement and the monthly goals that I'm going to set to help improve those areas.

This week I'm going to talk about setting goals for healthy living - including eating habits and exercise. The second Monday of the month is going to be devoted to my goals as a follower of Christ. At first I was going to not have this as a separate category because my Christian life is entwined in all of my life. I was just going to include those goals in my other weekly goals, but I changed my mind. I don't think that it would be a bad idea to devote a day of the month to set monthly goals regarding my walk with the Lord and then evaluating them. On the third Monday of every month I'll discuss my family goals. Finally, on the last Monday of every month, I'm going to talk about home improvement inside and outside of the house (and boy are there a lot of honey-do items that I need to catch up on). If there just happens to be a fifth Monday in any month we'll do a recap of what's happened so far. Of course, these will be monthly goals that I set and I will briefly update how I am doing in all areas every week, but each area of my life will get a specific Monday to reflect and consider what God wants me do regarding that area of my life.

The other day I found a post about goal setting on a website called Once A Month Moms. You can find it by clicking here. Okay, I know I'm not a mom, but it still had a lot of good ideas about how to set goals for yourself. It talked about breaking your goals down into small,  reasonable,  realistic, chunks. You know there are often times that I want to do everything at once. I look at all of these websites and read all of these books and I want to do it all now. But I've come to realize that doing everything at once wouldn't be good for me, my family, or our budget. Besides, I wouldn't know the first place to start. This is going to be a learning process as well as a life changing process. As I mentioned before in another post, we have already taken steps to to eat healthier and live healthier but it's come time to take it a step further since here are several areas that we are still lacking in.

Since I just got a new juicer, I was going to talk a lot about how I could change my drinking habits this week. No, not alcoholic drinking, but not drinking as many sugary soda's and things like that. Then, I signed up for Vintage Remedies' "8 Weeks of Real Foods". An eight week mini-course on turning your eating habits around and eating "real foods" instead of prepackaged, unhealthy, processed foods. Click here to get to their website to sign up.  Well, guess what the first week talked about? Drinking Habits! So, I guess God meant me to concentrate on that area first. Since we got a new breadmaker, however, I'm going to set some goals for that and throw in some exercise goals as well.

So, after that long introduction, what are my healthy eating goals for this month? Here they are:

  1. Drink at least one healthy real juice or smoothie a day.

  2. Limit my sodas to one or less a day.

  3. Limit my coffee to one cup a day (Eek! I can't believe I just said that.).

  4. Drink lots of water. Vintage Remedies says to turn your weight into ounces and then divide by two. I weigh about 200 lbs. That means I should be drinking about 100 ounces of water a day! What! I'll drown! That's 12 1/2 glasses of water if the glasses hold 8 ounces! Ah, well, they know best I'll at least try to do that. Try being the operative word.

  5. Introduce my family to drinking healthy juices and smoothies. Hopefully by the end of the month they'll be sold on them and drink more as well - maybe one a day?!?

  6. Bake at least one loaf of healthy bread in the bread maker every week. I'm looking forward to using the bread maker, so that one shouldn't be too hard. This will benefit the whole family as well.

  7. Walk or do some sort of exercise for at least 15 minutes every day.

Everything I've read says that our goals should be doable, and I think that the above goals are doable. Remember, this is a monthly thing. We have a whole month to work on them. If I find that I meet some of them ahead of schedule, I'm going to make some new ones before the month is out but I'm not going to sweat it. It may take a month for me to work up to some of these things (especially the 12 1/2 glasses of water a day!) but that's OK. I have to remember that I'm taking small steps.

So, how about you? What are your goals for the month. Leave a comment if you would like. I'd love to hear from you. I was going to start a weekly meme, but I found out that there is already a great weekly meme called "Goal Planning Monday". It's on the blog "Mama Manuscripts". I'm going to start participating. Click here if you would like to participate as well.

Happy Healthy Eating!

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