Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reshaping It All

I am currently reading Reshaping It All by Candace Cameron Bure and Darlene Schacht.  I've been following along with the 65 Day Reshaping It All Challenge.  I subscribed to the posts so that I have them delivered to my e-mail in-box, that way I don't miss out on anything.  Today is day 26 of the Challenge, so there is plenty of time to check it out and join in.  If I remember correctly, it only takes 21 days to make or break a habit.  The Challenge ends on July 4, Independence Day (my 12th wedding anniversary).

The site is great!  Full of inspiration, much like the book itself, "motivation for physical and spiritual fitness".  Posts have included yummy, healthy recipes (there are some of those in the book, too... from Candace's own kitchen) shared.  There have also been videos from guest contributors and interviews with Candace.

Other blog authors are following along and contributing have been giving away copies of the book.  Darlene has also had sponsors that are giving away things on the Reshaping It All Challenge site.  I recently got in on one of those giveaways.  The way to enter was to send in a picture of yourself with your copy of the Reshaping It All book.  My son/personal photographer, Wyatt, took many pictures of me before we got the one I sent in.  I had the book turned around backwards in a bunch of them.  I didn't realize it until I loaded them on the computer; he thought I meant to have it backwards, because "There was still a picture of her on the back."  Gotta love him.  So, here's the one I sent in:

There is a story behind that blue shirt.  It is just a Danskin shirt from Walmart.  I bought it on clearance for $3.  Actually, I bought two of them, one in a size large and the other a size small.  I would have preferred to  buy a medium, but they were on clearance, and those were my choices.  When I bought them, I would not wear the small out of the house, but Thomas said I should keep it.  It is my favorite color of blue, soft and comfy cotton, and a great price!  I bought them more than six months ago.  I didn't take the tag off the small until the date you see on the photo.  And I actually wore the shirt out of the house that day! 

So, the giveaway was a hoodie from Union28, an online marriage apparel store.  Oh, they have some really cool clothes!  I highly recommend checking them out.  I will be shopping there in the future!  Then  Darlene made the giveaway even sweeter, she added a copy of the book to give to a friend. 

There were lots of giveaways for people who didn't have a book, and some comments to send you to the site even said to sign up and win one for a friend, if you already had a copy.  I have a least a dozen friends I'd like to give the book to, so I did sign up for at least one, maybe two giveaways.  Then I went to sign up to win other copies of the book and I couldn't enter to win.  There were all these comments from ladies who didn't have a copy and so badly wanted one.  So, I couldn't bring myself to enter anymore of those book giveaways, but this was a "My Husband Rocks" hoodie AND a copy of the book specifically to give to a friend!  And I won!!!  Thank you Darlene and Union28!!!

So, some of you may be wondering... have you lost weight, or did you just get brave wearing the size small shirt?  Well, I did Cinch! earlier this year.  My Mom saw the book on the Rachel  Ray Show, I think, and then bought the book.  She and Dad did the 30 day diet.  Then she loaned me the book.  Thomas was doing his "Fat Boy Challenge" at work (the guys all gain weight over the holidays and then try to lose the most percentage of weight in 2 or 3 months).  So, we did the Cinch Kick Off, and we both enjoyed the food and I read the book.   We both lost weight, and I continued to use the main ideas in the book to judge when I should eat and how to balance what I was eating. 

Now Mom and Dad are doing the Food Lovers Diet.  I think they were both in place that they thought there was nothing more they could do, but the inches just seem to be melting off them.  My great-grandpa (Dad's grandpa) had a belly, and Dad was just sure his was inherited.  Well, he's losing that belly now!  I almost can't believe how lose their clothes are getting!  They haven't lost hug amounts of weight on the scales, but they are losing inches.  Mom keeps going shopping for new clothes, and keeps trying to get rid of Dad's that are falling off of him.  He had a pair of jeans on last week that looked like they were pleated, but the look was just because he had to tighten his belt so much to keep them up.  They've shared some of what they've learned from Food Lovers, too.  Anyway, to make a long story shorter, the keys are much what Candace shares with her readers in Reshaping It All, eating in moderation... and treats/desserts are okay in moderation, eating a balanced diet (plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and just making sure you're eating real food... the stuff that God created),  and exercise! 

My parents have really inspired me to get moving again.  I know I need to be a good example to my kids, but I honestly get lazy sometimes. Seeing my Mom and Dad shape up and have more energy... oh!  I want that, too!  I know I feel better and get more done when I eat right and exercise.  I really just want my clothes to fit well, to be healthy, and have lots of energy.  I'm not concerned with what my scale says... unless those numbers go back to where they were at the end of 2010, which was the heaviest I'd been since having kids!

I am loving how Candace keys in turning to God, and loving His word more than sweets.  I actually used that on lunch at work the other day.  The store was having a cook out for us, so that meant free burgers, hot dogs, chips, etc.  And my manager was saying how great the burgers were, much better than usual.  So, I'm thinking, free food, I should take advantage of that, right?!   But I had carefully packed a yummy, healthy lunch of baby spinach leaves with balsamic vinaigrette, my special recipe herbed chicken salad, and a serving of Kashi Heart to Heart whole grain crackers.  I could eat that later though....  So, I picked up a burger, no bun, topped it with a slice of tomato, grabbed some All Natural Lays Barbecue chips (cuz I'd been wanting to try them for weeks... and I didn't get a bun!).  I put another plate on top and headed out to my suv to enjoy the sunshine and some contemporary Christian music while I ate, and charge my cell phone. 

I ate the free food, (I passed on the soda, too... I had some cold homemade herbal tea in my lunch box, mmm) but I wasn't satisfied.  So, I ate my spinach "salad" and vinaigrette.  Then I wanted something sweet.  I try to keep a square of Ghirardelli dark chocolate in my purse for sweet cravings or just when you need a chocolate fix (only one per day! remember... moderation).  I don't actually have chocolate everyday anymore, but that's something I learned from Cinch!

I started to go for the chocolate, then I thought, do I really want, or need, that chocolate right now.  The answer was no, so I reached for the Bible I keep in the basket with my cds and dvds and enjoyed some honey from my Lord.  I had a book mark in Romans from something I was looking up and just opened up there are started reading.  When I was done, I didn't care about the chocolate anymore, nor any other food.  I wasn't sure if Reshaping It All was going to be all I hoped the book would be, but the further I read, the more I glean from the stories and wisdom.  I am really enjoying and learning from this book.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The King Will Make A Way

I'm so excited to share about the book, The King Will Make A Way: a story for the last days saint!  I got a PDF copy from the author, Lee Giles, before the book was published.  The kids and I read the book in two days in the beginning of this school year!  We didn't read the book so fast because the book is short (it's 187 pages), but because the story was so good we couldn't put the book/computer down.  We probably would have stayed up late and finished reading the book all in one day, but Daddy came home and wanted to use his laptop.  I knew when I skimmed the book, that we would not want to stop reading, so I waited until I knew we had time to read the book at our own pace (I didn't figure in the Daddy factor though....).

The King Will Make A Way is the story of a boy, Gabe, and his relationship with the true King of the land.  The place where he lives, they have all but forgotten the King, his rules, and the words he shared with them.  Although the story is set in an historic village, the society reminds me much of today's society, and how so many people have forgotten our true King.  The book is an allegory of the book of Revelation, so that shouldn't surprise me.

Gabe goes to see the King, and the King makes a way for him to pass by the guard and visit him.  The boy and the King develop a loving relationship, such that like friends we have, Gabe becomes like the King.  I didn't actually realize until this last year that our purpose in life is to know God.  I would have said our purpose was to share the good news, but that is only a result of knowing God.  I love that knowing the King is a theme throughout this book.

Not very far into the story, the King must not be visible or tangible for a while, but Gabe is able to continue learning about the King by reading his words on the old scrolls saved by his grandfather, and kept by his father.  Gabe can't help but share the truth and the wonderful relationship with his family and others.  Gabe grows into a young man during the course of the novel.

Gabe and the others who desire to follow the true King call themselves "servants".  I don't know many books that I've read where a group calls themselves servants, but I like that they use that name.  Gabe and his friends truly are servants, they remind me of descriptions of the early church:  serving, sharing, and spreading the good news.

There is so much excitement in this book!  There are natural disasters, evil guys, bad guys who don't want to be bad, arrests, and so much more.  I don't want to spoil someone else's reading by sharing too much.  I really like to figure out what's happening next when I read a book, and most of the time I can figure out what will happen next... not with this book!  I was constantly surprised by the turn of events.  There was a particular scene that struck me during the persecution of the servants.  I was waiting for a certain happy ending, but the King made a different way.  This in not a fairy tale, there is a lot of reality in this story.

This book had just the right amount of description.  I can't stand books that have so much detail of surroundings, or people, that I have to skim past them to move on to the actual story.  The King Will Make A Way gives just the right amount of information so that I get the basic picture of scenery and characters to know what the author had in mind, but leaves me enough room to put the finishing touches on with my own imagination.  Having the right amount of details helps the story to move along at a nice pace.

The King Will Make A Way is a book rich with vocabulary, similes, and metaphors.  Since the author is a homeschool mom herself, she has created FREE downloadable lessons to go along with the book including a Language Arts Lesson, Comprehension and Vocabulary, Unit Study Lessons, and Bible Lessons for Students.   I have only skimmed and downloaded these, but I am very excited to use them.  I purchased the paperback book after Christmas (hurray for Christmas money!) and we are going to use the book again this coming school year.

Gabe's story is one that will inspire you, make you think, and is both timely and timeless.  Wyatt was heard commenting "God will make a way" many times after reading the book.  I have to say that although this may sound like a "boy book", since the main character is a young boy who becomes a young man, Ellie loved this book, too.  We used the book as a family read aloud (though we didn't wait for Daddy, he was playing tennis).  If you are someone whose children are not exposed to death and war types of things yet, I would wait to read this book, as the author recommends the novel for teens and adults.  I highly recommend The King Will Make A Way, by Lee Giles.   I do love to read books again, but there are not many that I want to read again so soon.

You can purchase the book through The King Will Make A Way website, or  You can read more reviews here.