Sunday, October 30, 2016

My October Reading List

I've had some pretty great books to read this month.  I found a few new authors to try and some "new to me" books from some of my favorite authors.  I either get books through the local library, inter-library loan, or for free on my Kindle.  There's nothing I enjoy more than snuggling up with a good book in front of a roaring fire... but I read a lot and books can get expensive...



The Island House by Nancy Thayer-- Of course this book takes place on the island of Nantucket.  It follows one family and all of their friends through a pivotal summer that changes all of their lives.  I just love how deeply all the family relationships are outlined and the way they always ban together during tough times.


A Bend in The Road by Nicholas Sparks-- When one deputy finally puts his life back together after tragically loosing his wife in a hit and run it all threatens to fall apart as evidence arises pointing to his wife's killer.

A Bend in the Road by [Sparks, Nicholas]

While I'm Falling by Laura Moriarty-- One young struggling college student finds that her family is not always able to bail her out.  The year her parents go through their divorce is a particularly trying year for her and she finds that she often has to help them up and out rather than relying on them to always help her.   A story of an entire family trying to find their way and forge their own path in life while still hanging on to each other.


Flight Patterns by Karen White-- A family life shrouded by secrets starts to unravel with the introduction of a porcelain plate.  When Georgia is forced to go back home and face her family all in the name of tracing a rare porcelain plate family secrets are revealed that threaten to put an even bigger rift into the relationships of one volatile family.


Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks-- When one man's life is thrown into chaos he's left pondering his daughter's favorite book Tow by Two.  He learns that he's stronger than he thought and that friends crop up when you need them most.  I just loved this heartwarming story of one man's struggle to become a dad, build a business and balance his expectations with his wife's.


Rushing Waters by Danielle Steel-- When a category one hurricane hits New York City the lives of 6 people are about to change forever.  The close up look at all the struggles and trials are quite heart- wrenching.
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Saturday, October 29, 2016

October is Healthy Lung Month

I try so hard as a mom to keep my kids healthy.  Of course, that doesn't always work.  We all have bouts of illnesses from time to time.

I try really hard though to make sure my kids eat right, get lots of fresh air and exercise, and educate them about their bodies and the choices they make.   I hope that these practices will help keep us in good health.

October is healthy lung month and while I am not a doctor or a nurse I know how important healthy lungs are!  Today I am teaming up with the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance to bring you some important information about lung health.

We know how important lung health is firsthand.  When Evan was a baby he was hospitalized for RSV and for the next several years he came down with pneumonia ever winter.  We were told the RSV had weakened his lungs a bit. When Ian was younger he had a touch of sports induced asthma  and we often had inhalers around for emergency use.  Thankfully, they  have both seem to have outgrown these problems.  Asthma is often triggered by exercise, allergies, or by particles and gases that are inhaled.



Did you know that your lungs breathe in between 2,100 to 2,400 GALLONS of air each day?  That is a lot of air and when your lungs aren't up to capacity the body is missing out on vital amounts of oxygen.



While I often feel completely helpless when my children are sick I do know there are ways to help prevent illnesses and lung related diseases aren't any different.

Did you know that there are 4 main types of lung related diseases?  Did you realize that most of them are preventable?  Mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, is 100% preventable.  You can read more about Mesothelioma and how to prevent it here.

Check out this wonderful info-graphic:




To help my kids stay healthy I try to make sure we stay pretty active.  We try to get outside and hike at least once a week.  We ride bikes, kayak, and do all sorts of aerobic exercises.  Just participating in some form or aerobic exercise 2-3 times a week dramatically improves lung health.

 I always believed one of the reasons we've managed to stay a bit healthier now that we homeschool is because we get to spend so much more time outside and we're always on the go. Living in New England it's not always easy to get outside everyday but we do try to spend just 15 minutes a day outside each and every day; even in winter.  I just figured fresh air had to be better for us but I had no idea how much better!  Did you know that the air inside your home is 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outside?





We all know that eating right is also important in maintaining our health.  I try to make sure my kids eat healthy foods that are nutrient rich.  I make our salad with fresh spinach and a variety of other colorful vegetables, we pick loads of fresh strawberries and blueberries in the summer; making sure to freeze some to enjoy year round.  We drink lots of skim milk, eat farm fresh eggs, and hearty grains.  Here is a listing of 52 of the best Superfoods for health.



I may not always be able to control everything about our health but I do talk to the kids about the dangers of smoking (or even being around others who smoke!), remind them of the importance of eating right, exercising, and spending time outside.  

What do you do to help keep your kids healthy? 

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Weekly Recap: The Week We Went Trick or Treating at Great Wolf Lodge

We took this week off from our school work.  We knew we'd probably spend one day working on our science fair presentations but other than that we set our books aside for some fall family fun.  Monday we went trick or treating at the zoo and watched all the animals.  Tuesday we headed to Great Wolf Lodge New England and spent both Tuesday and Wednesday enjoying a fun mini vacation with other homeschooling family and friends.  The rest of our weekly plans were canceled when we had an unexpected injury and a bout of  illness-- always a sure sign that we all just need to rest and relax.  So we took two days to just lay around the house, watching TV and resting.


Art:  Evan and I made our own Harry Potter wands on Friday.  We found a few smooth and straight sticks, added some decorations using hot glue and then painted them.



Geography:  The boys and I played a game of Brain Quest States Game.

Math:  The boys all completed another set of pages in Multiplication games.  I was busy when Evan was working on his and was thrilled to see him complete all of the 2, 3, 5, 9 & 10's columns and rows completely on his own!

Science:  Ian made another solar powered vehicle for his report while Alec read another book on small cats.  Evan read a book called Snakes and we finished up Parrots.

We spent a day at the zoo learning about creepy crawlies and seeing which animals were still around in the fall. You can read all about our trip here.






Spelling/ Language arts:  The boys all got a 100 on their spelling tests last Friday!  What a perfect sign that we could take a mini break from our spelling work!   Evan completed another set of pages in his 100 Spelling Words book while the older two boys worked on a page in their grammar book dealing with rewriting sentences to make more sense.

Physical Education/ Health and Nutrition:  We've spent an unusual amount of time learning about health and wellness this week.  We've been having a bit of trouble with my youngest throwing up every few days to every few months.  Usually it's after complaints of being overly full so we're trying to help him learn to listen to his body and stop eating when he's full.  We're also looking at foods that may be upsetting his stomach and trying to see if there's any pattern in what he's eating on those days he gets sick.  In the meantime it's making it hard to know WHY he's getting sick and each time I prepare myself for the worse and hope that no one else "catches" it; just in case it is actually caused by a stomach bug.  It's been a pretty stressful time and we are all at a loss as to what to do for him.

Two of the boys had dental check- up this week and I was complimented a few times on how sweet and nice they were while also being assured that they are doing a great job on keeping their teeth healthy.

Ian injured his foot at Great Wolf Lodge; enough that it looks like he might loose his toenail.  We've been educating ourselves on what to do for him and helping him mange any pain he might be having.

Alec started running a fever on Thursday and we all spent a day reviewing what we do to help our bodies heal.

Family fun:  We went out to breakfast on Saturday and spent the day indoors watching movies while the rain come pouring down.  Alec, Evan and I played Old Maid over the weekend.  The boys and I spent two days at Great Wolf Lodge enjoying all of their Halloween decorations on top of the water park and obstacle course.  You can read more about it here.





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Halloween Celebrations at Great Wolf Lodge

We had a chance to enjoy an overnight stay at Great Wolf Lodge.  We've been a few times before but this time was a little extra special since we were visiting in October and got to take part in all of their fun Halloween celebrations.


We always arrive around 1 on the day of check- in since we can use the water park right away.  We spent a few hours playing in the water and going on all the slides.  It was so fun walking around and seeing all the Halloween decorations everywhere.  Even our wolf ears were bright orange this time!







We had dinner in our room and then the younger boys dressed in their costumes for some trick or treating through the hotel.  They had 6 candy stations set up throughout the lobby, shops, and arcades.
 


We enjoyed some time on the ropes course and then the boys wanted to go back to the water park and ride a few of the water slides in the dark.  At the last minute Alec decided not to join them since all the bathing suits were cold and wet.  He brought down his kindle and played games instead while the other boys rode the rides.



The tornado has cool colored flashing lights that reflect inside at night!
The next morning we played in the arcade for a bit and then headed back to the water park.









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