Natalie’s Reading – September 2009

September 30, 2009 Categories: Books , Homeschooling | Comments Off  

Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace
Betsy-Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace
Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill by Maud Hart Lovelace
Action! (Nancy Drew: All New Girl Detective #6) by “Carolyn Keene”
Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell
The Stolen Relic (Nancy Drew: All New Girl Detective #7) by “Carolyn Keene”
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Noah’s Reading – September 2009

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Zamora’s Ultimate Challenge by M.K. Scott
The 39 Clues Book 4: Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson
Bone Volume 3: Eyes of the Storm by Jeff Smith
Bone Volume 4: The Dragonslayer by Jeff Smith

Josiah’s Reading – September 2009

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The Littles and the Big Storm by John Peterson

Jonathan’s Reading – September 2009

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What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What to Do Guides for Kids) by Dawn Huebner
Garfield Spills the Beans by Jim Davis
Goblins: An UnderEarth Adventure by Royce Buckingham

Extreme Health Makeover – Week 9

September 29, 2009 Categories: Extreme Health Makeover | 2 Comments  


My week of alternating a normally restricted calorie day with a extremely restricted calorie day worked – down 2.8 more pounds. Woot!

Online shopping for the holidays

September 28, 2009 Categories: Holidays | 1 Comment  

Last year, I did almost all of our Christmas shopping online. It saved me a ton of time, and I got some really good deals, too. The best thing about doing holiday shopping on the web is that you can do it from the comfort of your home or your office, without having to fight the crowds and look for parking spaces.

Look for sites that offer daily deals. During the holiday shopping season, which starts earlier and earlier every year – usually as soon as Halloween is over – a lot of sites offer a daily special on a a high-interest item.

Don’t forget gift cards. A lot of online retailers offer gift cards, either physical cards or e-mail gift certificates. And don’t just think merchandise. For those people who are difficult to buy for, you can purchase gift cards for restaurant and movie theater chains. Who doesn’t love a night out at the movies?

For people on your list who have very particular taste, you’ll have better luck finding something online, without all the legwork required at the mall or in town. Out-of-print books, gourmet items for foodies, specialty coffee, collectibles – there are web sites devoted to the most unique of gift lists.

When it comes time to start your holiday shopping, turn on the computer instead of starting the car. You’ll save gas and time and loads of frustration.

(This is a sponsored blog post.)

Credit education is important in a horrible economy

September 27, 2009 Categories: Finances | Comments Off  

In the past year, the realities of our current economic crisis have hit home for many people, including us. In some ways, we are lucky – Kevin still has a job, we still have a home. We did lose our second income, however, and as a result, are living without a safety net. I know we’re not the only ones.

When the economy is as shaky as it is now, it is more important than ever to be informed and have a well-rounded credit education. Sites like make it easy to look at your credit reports and scores, to get advice about credit debt, and to find resources for help when things become too tough to handle.

The new credit card laws will soon go into effect, and this will help in some ways. For some people, though, it may be too late, as many credit card companies are currently scrambling to find any loophole they can to raise interest rates before the law prevents them from doing so.

The best way to keep a handle on your credit situation is to be informed – about your credit score, about your options, and about the programs that are available for help if, and when, you need it.

(This is a sponsored blog post.)

Extreme Health Makeover – Week 8

September 23, 2009 Categories: Extreme Health Makeover | Comments Off  


Okay, so I know these haven’t exactly been weekly posts. Life got very busy – and then we didn’t have meetings for two weeks. Plus, one week I gained 1.7 pounds, the next week I lost 1.5, and the next week I stayed the same. Not as much fun to post when the numbers on the scale aren’t going down!

But, our leader – and my husband – have encouraged me to concentrate on the positive changes I am seeing, so here goes:

~ I used to get extremely out of breath just walking up the stairs into the post office. Now I only get kind of out of breath.

~ I was doing 4 miles on the bike in my 20 minutes and now I’m doing 4.6 miles.

~ I feel better emotionally and I’m sleeping better.

At our meeting this week, we were supposed to bring our spouses or other support people. I totally forgot – which I felt very bad about, because from some of the things the other women have said, I have one of the most supportive husbands of the bunch!

I met with my trainer this afternoon, and we’re going to try something new with my calories: alternating a normal calorie day with a very low calorie day, every other one. Hopefully those numbers on the scale will move next week.

Here’s my current workout plan – weights 3 times a week, cardio 4 times a week:

Chest Press – 40 pounds – 3 sets of 11 reps
Pull Down – 50 pounds – 3 x 12
Shoulder Press – 30 pounds – 3 x 14
Leg Press – 100 pounds – 3 x 13
Abdominal – 60 pounds – 3 x 11

20 minutes on the bike – 4.6 miles

Featured DVD: Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana

September 22, 2009 Categories: TV on DVD | 4 Comments  

(Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana was provided to me by Click Communications for the purpose of review.)


Climb on board for fun on the high seas as three of your favorite Disney Channel shows come together in Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana – on DVD for the first time ever!

The SS Tipton embarks on a triple-length comedy crossover event when Justin wins a Teen Cruise to Hawaii – and a chance to meet London. Both Justin and Max do their best to win the heiress’s affection, while Cody tries to win concert tickets for Bailey, and Alex accuses Zack of being a prankster. Between the kids’ pranks (who turned Justin blue?!) and crazy schemes (Alex sneaks Harper on board to take her make-up science class?!), the excitement goes overboard when international superstar Hannah Montana checks in on her way to a sold-out concert in Hawaii. But when Miley Stewart loses her lucky charm anklet and her Hannah wig, are her days as the world’s biggest pop star over forever?

It’s all here in Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana with three times the fun and triple the laughs! Plus, this new full-length adventure includes exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, hilarious cast bloopers and more!

The kids were very excited to watch this – for some reason, they really love the cross-over episodes the Disney Channel does. And since we don’t get the Disney Channel, they have to wait for these shows to come out on DVD. The episodes on this disc were a huge hit with all four kids, and have already been watched twice each. :)

Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana will be available on DVD on September 22nd. The DVD special features include “Justin’s Award-Winning Essay” and behind-the-scenes footage.

Links for Friday – September 18, 2009

September 18, 2009 Categories: Books , Extreme Health Makeover , Kid Stuff , Movies , Reviews , Television , TV on DVD | Comments Off  

Today is Jonathan’s birthday – he’s turning 10. Which means that our house will be inundated with Playstation-playing boys this evening. Three extra boys, plus Natalie’s friend for a sleepover equals 8 kids in our tiny house. Kevin may run away.

I haven’t done an Extreme Health Makeover post in a couple weeks. We didn’t have a meeting on Labor Day and I had a week where I gained 1 1/2 pounds, then the next week lost 1 1/2 pounds, so no further loss so far. Workouts are going well – starting to get into a routine. Listening to the fourth Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book on audio – makes the workouts go faster.

We’re in a routine with our homeschooling, too – the kids are doing well. The boys love the Horizons Math (we switched from Saxon). Natalie’s not completely thrilled with her history, though I don’t think that’s the curriculum’s fault. She’s enjoying her science and I’m enjoying the short stories we’re reading and discussing.

Even though my web surfing time has been seriously curtailed, I still managed to save a few links to share with you all:

~ Ten Scariest Sea Creatures – and Kevin wonders why the ocean is one of my biggest phobias.

~ The Telegraph: 50 Things That Are Being Killed By the Internet

~ New trailer for New Moon – two people in this house are very excited to see it.

~ Our own Andrea of HJ has an awesome post: Why I Still Homeschool

At Books and Movies recently:

~ Literary Road Trip: Author Jennifer Bradbury
~ Book Review: The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
~ Whatcha Watchin’? Wednesday – Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Fifth Season
~ Book Review: The Twelve by William Gladstone
~ Book blogs you should be reading
~ Still time to enter my BBAW Giveaway – win one of eight books. Enter by 11:59 pm PST tonight.
~ Book Review: Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares
~ Literary Road Trip: Author Terry Davis
~ Book Review: Holly’s Inbox by Holly Denham
~ Whatcha Watchin’? Wednesday – Monk: Season 7
~ Monday’s Movie Review: District 9
~ Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner