Archive for July, 2010

July 28th, 2010

Wordless Wednesday – Water Slide!

THE Water Slide

This isn’t a great photo, but this is the water slide at the Hilton Fallsview in Niagara Falls.  Alex had such a great time on this slide!

July 27th, 2010

What’s in the Bible #3 – REVIEW

What is it?

In What’s In the Bible #3, Wanderin’ in the Desert, Buck Denver and his cast of friends take us through the next three books of the Bible—Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy—helping kids understand how these books fit in with Genesis and Exodus to make up the Pentateuch and to set the stage for the trials and victories of God’s people. The question “Did this stuff really happen?” is also answered.

From the man who made vegetables talk (and sing and dance and tell Bible stories) comes this third release in the engaging new series that walks kids through the entire Bible! Each DVD is filled with an entertaining cast of characters who bring the most powerful Bible stories to life using humor, creative storytelling, and fun songs. Join VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer on a wild and zany journey and see the world’s most amazing book come to life.

What do we think?

We were invited to review Wanderin’ in the Desert by Tyndale House Publishers for the What’s In the Bible Blog Tour.  I was really excited because I had seen the first two DVDs in the series in our local bookstore and considered getting them, but the boys never seemed to be all that excited about them.  I wish I had purchased them!  These would have been a perfect addition to our homeschool curriculum last year.  There is so much great information packed in each episode there AND the boys loved them!  Alex watched Wanderin’ in the Desert three times in a row and I found myself watching it when the boys weren’t even home!  I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, so there are still many things that I’m learning.  I think the What’s In the Bible series would be a great resource for new believers, too!

We’re on our official summer break from homeschooling, but I can see many opportunities to use these DVDs in our curriculum.  When it’s complete, there will be 13 DVDs to cover the entire Bible, so there will be a lot of material!  Each DVD is broken up into smaller episodes and includes a song or two that can be watched without searching the episodes to find it.  For this particular DVD, I think we would use it first to do a study on the word “holy.”  This is one thing that Alex pulled out of this episode.  There is more than one meaning and this was something I had totally missed — until I watched the DVD!  Since there is sure to be a lot of discussion surrounding each of the DVDs, as there already has been, we will probably use these as part of our family worship time and not as part of our structured school day.

There is something new for everyone in our family to learn from the What’s In the Bible series and I’m looking forward to the upcoming episodes!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of What’s In the Bible #3, Wanderin’ in the Desert, as well as the first two DVDs in the series, from Tyndale House Publishers for our review.  My review is my own opinion and the opinion of my family.  You may have a different opinion.
July 21st, 2010

Wordless Wednesday – The Lake


This is the lake in my hometown.  I’ve spent many summers swimming in the water and many winters skating on the ice.  My mom remembers when one family moved their house across the frozen lake one winter.  Crazy!

July 16th, 2010


Duo Bento

I’ve mentioned before that we’re really trying to make better food choices around our house.  One way that I’ve found to make things more fun is by making bento lunches for the boys now and then.  There are so many amazingly creative bento makers out there that I’m a little embarrassed to even show my simple attempts here.  Seriously, go search for “bento” on Flickr and prepare to be blown away by the results.

As much as I love all things bento, there is one thing that has always bugged me about the fun little accessories you can get to make your lunches even more adorable – they’re nearly all made of plastic.  I was so thrilled when I found LunchBots!  They are made entirely of food-safe stainless steel, which is not only healthier, but a breeze to clean!  The great people at LunchBots sent us the Uno (no divider) and the Duo (divided in half) to use and both have been through the dishwasher many times.  They’ve always come out looking brand new.


I’m really impressed by the lids on our LunchBots.  They obviously spent some effort to get these just right, and I think they have done it.  The lids are snug enough to safely keep the food inside without fear that lunch will spill all over the inside of a backpack, but they are also easy enough to remove that Declan, who is two, can take the lid off without any difficulty.  They are not made to be water-tight, so if you’re including a salad dressing or some kind of dip, I would make sure you put that in a separate sealed container that is made to contain liquids.

All in all, I love our LunchBots!  As we get ready for back-to-school here, I’m trying to decide which other containers I should add to our collection.  LunchBots also have a both a smaller container, the Pico, and a larger container, the Eco, that would be well-suited for toddler snacks at pre-school and adult lunches.  Head on over to LunchBots and check them all out!

July 13th, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


July 12th, 2010

Road Trip Mini-Vacation

Last week was our annual trip to Pennsylvania to visit my family.  I say “visit” because a trip to see family isn’t really a vacation.  There are always a ton of people to see, naps to be missed, and bedtimes that slip.  By the end of the week, I’ve found that our tempers are short and we need a vacation from our trip.  Hoping to avoid that this year, we decided to take a mini-vacation during our visit.  We packed up the boys and headed to Niagara Falls, Ontario, for an overnight stay.

Maid of the Mist

It’s less than two hours from where I grew up to the Falls, so I’ve been there many times.  One thing I never got to experience growing up was staying in a hotel that overlooks the Falls.  I thought it might be too expensive for our budget this time, too, but I searched the internet and was pleasantly surprised by the number of affordable packages right now.  We decided to go with the Family Fun package at the Hilton Fallsview.  It included the room, but also a voucher for $40 to Macaroni Grill (the first in Ontario) and breakfast at their amazing buffet the next morning for all four of us.  Plus, the Hilton has an indoor pool with a great water slide!

I can’t say enough about how wonderful our experience at this hotel was.  The staff were all genuinely friendly and knowledgeable and the facilities were first rate.  Chris, the gentleman that handled our check-in, even accommodated Alex’s request for a room as high up in the tower as possible.  We were on the 42nd floor, which made both Alex and Declan very happy.  Here are some views from our room:

View of the Falls from Hilton Fallsview

View of the Falls from Hilton Fallsview

The view at night is just as spectacular, but I wasn’t able to get any really good shots without a tripod.  They light up the water at night with different colored lights and it’s beautiful!  There are also fireworks displays on several nights and, in July and August, they do fireworks every Wednesday as well.

It was uncharacteristically hot the day we were there, so we didn’t do as many outside activities as we thought we might.  The room and facilities were well-suited for this, though.  We had two bedrooms, each with its own television.  There was also a fireplace in the room, but we decided against trying it out, even though the boys were VERY interested.  We spent a lot of time in the pool and I think my husband and Alex went down that water slide about 30 times.  Alex described the hotel as luxurious and I would have to agree.  The beds were so comfortable and the pillows were nice and fluffy.  We were sad to leave after only one night, but it was a great experience.  If you are planning a trip to Niagara Falls, I highly recommend the Hilton Fallsview!

July 1st, 2010

Buzzed Driving IS Drunk Driving

The Fourth of July holiday is probably the biggest celebration of the summer.  We finally have warm weather, everyone is out of school, and nearly everyone has the day off – a perfect day for a party!  The day often ends with fireworks and the mad dash on the roads to get back home.  With so many people driving on the Fourth, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and The Ad Council want to remind us all that buzzed driving IS drunk driving.

If you plan to drink while celebrating this holiday, make sure you have a plan in place BEFORE you go out.

  • Designate a driver for the evening.  The designated driver should not be the least drunk person in your group.  The designated driver just shouldn’t drink alcoholic beverages that night.
  • If no one in your group wants to step up as DD for the night, make sure you have the number of a local cab company already programmed into your phone.  Don’t take the chance that you’ll remember it or have quick access to a phone book while you’re out.

If you don’t plan to drink this weekend, please keep your eyes open for others who are.  If you see someone that has likely had one too many drinks to drive safely, take their keys and get them home another way.  Sure, they might get upset with you, but that’s so much better than losing a friend.

Be responsible this holiday weekend.  Plan ahead and don’t drive if you are impaired.  Call 9-1-1 if you see someone on the road who should not be driving.  Remember, buzzed driving IS drunk driving!

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