Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WLW - week 2

Well, I want to do a quick little update. I was super excited and motivated when I posted last week. The honeymoon is over. ;-)

Eating right and avoiding sugar is not easy! Temptations are everywhere. I had some girlfriends in from out of town and we indulged in some special treats together. Then while grocery shopping yesterday I had to stop myself from buying chips and treats at every turn. I had to take a tip from Lysa Terkeurst's book Made to Crave. I kept repeating to myself: "I am made for more than this."

It is so true. I AM made for more than that. God wants to be what fills me up. He doesn't want me turning to food for every joy and every trial. I should seek Him for comfort when I am hurting, not seeking solace in ice cream.

But despite some obvious challenges this week I would like to say that I was able to make it to the gym a couple of times. Most recently I went with a gal pal and it was way more fun to workout with a buddy! Also I have been working on finding creative alternatives for some of my old junky foods. When I am really dying for something sweet I will have a small cup of sugar free pudding or a handful of almonds and a few choc chips - instead of a bowl of ice cream like I would have a couple weeks ago.

When I weighed in today I had lost 2lbs from last week. 2 down and 38 to go. ;-)

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. ~ 2 Corinthians 7:1

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Today we had Joe's kindergarten conference with his IEP team: teachers, therapists, school staff, etc.

These things are always difficult for me. No one likes to be reminded that their almost five year old is developmentally 6-12mos old. So much of it feels like its reminding us of all the things that Joe cannot do. But I really felt that his teachers and therapists care about him and did what they could to emphasize his strengths and the progress he has made.

We are planning on having Joe join the Life Skills Kindergarten class. There will be a big focus on communication and learning independence through skills like dressing and feeding himself, things like that. He will be attending full day, except for days when he has outside therapy appointments.

I am nervous but excited about this next phase. In his short life Joe has found innumerable ways to push me outside of my comfort zone. Life is not how I imagined it would be ten years ago. Or even five years ago. But in some ways it is exactly what I thought it would be. I have three beautiful kids and a loving husband, and that is something that I have always wanted. Just some things are different than expected. And that is God's plan. We take things one day at a time. Some days are good and some are a challenge from beginning to end. But every day God is with us helping us through whatever comes along.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Friday, February 24, 2012

Handwriting Woes

This picture is deceiving because Nate HATES to do his handwriting lessons. Some days he moans and groans and takes hours to do just a couple of pages. Not because its difficult, just because he doesn't like it.
I have been struggling with what I should do. Do I force him to do it? Should I add even more pages for having a bad attitude? Should I find another workbook to use? How do I make handwriting fun? Its one subject I've had trouble finding ways to liven it up.
Currently the compromise that I have come up with (that seems to be working for the moment) is this: fewer pages in the dreaded workbook, but more writing assignments worked into other subjects; like writing his bible memory verses, or having to write a few sentences about the chapter he read in a book, etc. This seems to meet my need for handwriting practice but also helping Nate to avoid something that he hates so much. He doesn't seem to mind writing so much when he feels like he has a little more freedom to be creative.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday

I have come to realize that I have fallen into a slump of apathy about my weight and my health. I have had a roller coaster ride when it comes to the ups and downs of my weight. I know I've posted about previous successes. But for awhile now I have relied on the perks of breastfeeding to help me lose the baby weight. Well, Christine is nearly two and is only nursing once a day and the weight loss perks are long gone and the scale has been telling me so for quite some time but I chose to ignore it. No more.

I'm going to be joining with Confessions of a Snowflake for her weekly Weight Loss Wednesday series. I need to find some accountability in this area and this is a good place to start. This is not just about looks, weight, clothes sizes... I

According to multiple online BMI calculators my Body Mass Index is around 31.8... well above the recommended healthy range of 18-25. I need to lose about 40lbs to get back into the healthy range.

It is a little daunting. Ok, a lot. But I know my food and physical activity choices have not been healthy for me or glorifying to God. I am not being a good steward of the body and the life that He has blessed me with. It is my responsibility to take care of myself so that I can be a better wife, mother, person.

I am not diving into any dramatic crash diets. I have a long way to go and I am going to start by making a few simple changes and go from there. I saw The No "S" Diet online and while I haven't read the book, the philosophy seems simple and easy to follow. Basically their whole thing is "no snacks, no sweets and no seconds - except on days that start with "S". I will be keeping a food journal to help keep me accountable and make myself aware of not only how much but also what I am putting into my body. I am going to force myself to get up early a few days a week and go to the gym. I am not a morning person to getting up before the sun is not easy for me. I am primarily going to focus on the treadmill and the bike until I get a little more comfortable in the gym and then I'll branch out.

Its not rocket science. I need to eat less junk and be more active. If its so simple why is it so hard to implement?

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

- Encouraging Weight Loss Resources -

Karen Ehman's website has lots of weight loss posts that are helpful and encouraging.

Lysa TerKeurst's Made to Crave website is great - as is the book which focuses on helping us to get on track to have our deepest desires satisfied with God and not food.

My husband and I have previously had success with The Lords Table - its a free study from Setting Captives Free that helps people become break away from the bonds of their unhealthy eating habits

*I am sure there are a lot of other great resources out there too. But I stuck to the ones that I know about from personal use. I'd love to hear about more - feel free to let me know if you have some suggestions! ;-)

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

~ 2 Corinthians 7:1

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I have been enjoying a lovely weekend celebrating my thirty-second birthday! On Friday night I enjoyed a fun night out with some of my girlfriends. We met at Texas Roadhouse for dinner. The wait was ridiculously long but the food was good. We had a nice combination of my different social circles. ;-) After dinner we went to see the movie This Means War (with Reese Witherspoon). It was great to spend the evening with my gals! Thanks for a fun night!

Then on Saturday night my hubby came through and put together a wonderful evening together! He was very mysterious about it all week. He would give very annoying hints that were not helpful at all! ;-) I honestly didn't have a clue what we were doing. He arranged for the kids to spend the night at my parents' house and borrowed their projector and movie screen. He cooked dinner for me (a first!) - it was a delicious dinner of marinated chicken on the grill, roasted vegetable medley and buttered rice.
After dinner we settled down for some good cuddling while we watched a couple of movies from the AFI Top 100 list. One thing on my bucket list is to watch a silent movie so I chose The General (which is number 18 on the top 100 list). We weren't sure what to expect but were pleasantly surprised by how much we liked it! It was different from what we are used to but it was very funny and kept our attention the whole hour. We enjoyed it a lot.
We followed it with Sunset Boulevard. It was an eerie story about a Hollywood has been turned recluse. It seemed Hitchcock-esque to me. Very captivating performance by Gloria Swanson. One of the best AFI movies that we've seen in awhile.

Today I got lots of well wishes from friends at church. The kids were still at my parents' so I was free to mingle and visit at church without anyone clinging to my leg or pulling my hair. ;-) Isaac and I went to lunch at the Mayberry Cafe. So cute and quaint! Its kind of an Andy Griffith Show themed restaurant. They have a down home atmosphere and grandma's cooking style food!
We got the kiddos back and laid them down for naps at home and watched a movie with Nate on the big screen. He loved it! Then dinner out with my family to celebrate my birthday and my mom's (her b-day is tomorrow).
Is it silly that almost all of our restaurant choices have been dictated by coupons? ;-) I'm on the email lists for several restaurants that send me coupons for free appetizers or desserts on my birthday. What can I say... I like free stuff! ;-)

I have enjoyed a great birthday weekend. And I am looking forward to my girlfriends from college coming to visit next weekend. I am feeling very blessed right now! So I want to spread the love by announcing TWO things!!
First is that you can use the code: BDAYSHIP on Wani's World Etsy store through the end of February and get FREE shipping on any order! Hurry up and check out the store before my birthday month is over!
Secondly, I need to announce the winner of my Valentine's Day giveaway. The randomizer has chosen Carol Wegs as the winner of The Vow movie soundtrack and some love Vow-chers! Yay! Congrats to Carol and thanks to everyone who entered the contest! Stay tuned! We'll be having more giveaways soon!

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

James 1:17 (NIV)

Friday, February 17, 2012


Recently I was given the opportunity to preview an Academy Award nominated documentary. I had never heard of it but the story drew me in.

A perennial whipping boy, in recent decades Manassas had gone so far as to sell their home games to the highest bidder, but that all changed in the spring of 2004 when Bill Courtney, a former high school football coach turned lumber salesman, volunteered to lend a hand.

When he arrived, the team consisted of 17 players, some timeworn equipment and a patch of grass masquerading as a practice field.

Focusing more on winning young men than football games, the football program nevertheless began resurrecting itself and, in 2009, features the most talented team Manassas has ever fielded; a team that seems poised to end the playoff jinx that has plagued the school since time immemorial.

A coming-of-age documentary film, Undefeated provides audiences an intimate view of an underprivileged group of teens and their inspirational coach, as they attempt to make history.

My husband and I watched it together Wednesday evening. While he is a huge football fan, I am not. I wasn't sure how into the movie I would be. I was surprised at how the personal stories of the young men on the team drew me in. I found that this was not actually a movie about football at all. Instead it is a movie about this team, the coach that taught them that "the character of a man is not measured by how he handles his wins, but by what he does with his failures". It was truly inspiring to see the effect that those coaches had on their team, and how those young men's lives were changed forever by them.

"Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable." - 1 Corinthians 9:25

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Field Trip

Last week our homeschool group took a field trip to the Indiana War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis. It started out really good, Nate was interested in the exhibits and the stories being shared about the Revolution.

We moved rather quickly from room to room so we didn't get to see a fraction of all that was there. We did find my grandfather (who was a POW in WWII) in a database of veterans. It wasn't too much after that Nate got bored. I would love to go back sometime without the tour and be able to take our time exploring the rest of the museum.

"A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." - Christopher Reeve

Psalm 27: 1,3 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise up against me, in this I will be confident.” (NKJV)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Interview & Giveaway!!

**scroll to bottom of post for giveaway info! ;-)

As you may know, I am a big fan of movies. I love to watch them, quote them, be captivated by them... while my movie tastes are broad I have a special place in my sappy heart for love stories. When I saw the trailer for The Vow I nearly cried. I told you I was sappy. Check it out:

Obviously I was easily taken in by the storyline. True love. Who doesn't love a good love story like that? But when I found out it was based on a true story, my heart skipped a beat. It completely changed the way I looked at the movie. This isn't just a cute heart-warming story made up by creative writers. This is the true story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter.

Their book shares about their unusual love story: Life as Kim and Krickitt Carpenter knew it was shattered beyond recognition on November 24, 1993, two months after their marriage, when their car was hit from behind by a fast-moving truck. A massive head injury left Krickitt in a coma for weeks.
When she finally emerged from the coma, she recognized her parents and everyone else-but she didn't know Kim. She had no idea who he was. The "Krickitt" Kim had married essentially died in the accident.
The Vow is the true tale of the reconstruction of two lives and a marriage after an event so shattering that most others would have parted ways long ago. Though it was not easy, and it tested every fiber of who they were, Kim and Krickitt fell in love all over again.

Here is an interview with Kim and Krickitt on the Today Show yesterday. And the one below is an older video of the two of them sharing about their unique story.

I was blessed to be able to do a phone interview with Kim and Krickitt today, Valentine's Day.

Wani - How do you feel about the way your story was adapted into a movie?

Kim & Krickitt - We we very happy with the way the movie turned out. We understand that there is a certain amount of artistic liberty that needed to happen but we felt that the studios (Sony and Spyglass) were very respectful of our requests. Originally the movie was supposed to be rated "R" and they were willing to make some changes to accommodate our desires for the movie, and we were willing to compromise on some things as well.
Both Channing and Rachel were very diligent in researching us, watching interviews and reading our book. They did a really good job in portraying us.

Wani -What kind of a role did your faith play in how you both handled the incredible situation you were in after the accident?

Kim - Between our two sets of parents they have celebrated over a hundred anniversaries. They set such an example of commitment and faithfulness. And I know without the Lord we would not have made it. We are strong in faith but we are weak.

Krickitt - Once I realized what had happened, that I was married to a man named Kim. I had made vows, "in sickness and in health". I knew there was no out. I would honor the commitments I had made. It wasn't easy. I started digging into and hanging onto scripture like: "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philipians 4:13 and "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28. I knew God is true to His word. And after eighteen years of marriage now we have our two children (ages 11yr and 8yr) and they are the good that has come from this.

Wani - What advice do you have for married couples going through hard times?

Krickitt - I would say: get a support system in place, find a church and get counseling, watch your wedding video. You made vows to one another before God, we need to back our words with actions. Show our kids an example of faithfulness. Find ways to focus on the good in each other instead of the bad. And forgiveness is key.

Kim -Over time people change. As the years go by and you both go through changes, keep in contact with the things that brought you together in the first place. Find ways to stay positive and compromise. If you set an example of commitment and faithfulness in your life you can effect those around you.

W - What would you like for people to take away from your story/the movie?

K&K -Marriage is hard. We take these vows: til death do us part. Sadly our society has allowed our vows to lose their meaning and our foundations to be weakened. Through all of this, our experiences, writing the book and our story being made into a record breaking movie, we are just a normal couple and we hope that our story can inspire change and bring glory to the Lord.

What a huge blessing it was to speak with Kim and Krickitt this morning. I would have liked to sit down over coffee and chat some more! They do seem like a very normal couple who, through God's help, have overcome huge obstacles. What a refreshing change from the typical movie love story that is all about sex and instant gratification. The Vow is about faithfulness and honoring our commitments and working through hard times. Thank you to the Carpenters for being willing to share their story with the world. May God bless you with many more happy years together!

And now for the fabulous Valentine's Day giveaway!! I have some promotional items for The Vow that I'd love to share with some lucky winner: The Vow movie soundtrack and some love Vow-chers (coupons) to share with your special someone. If you would like to enter to win you must comment on this post with your email address. You also have five bonus ways to enter: 1) become a follower of Wani's World. 2) "like" Wani's World blog and Etsy store on facebook. 3) "like" Kim & Krickitt Carpenter on facebook. 4) "like" The Vow book on facebook. 5) The Vow movie on facebook. For each entry you must come back here and leave a separate comment on this post telling me you have done each one.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will be open until February 19th (my b-day) and then I'll post the winner! Good Luck and Happy Valentine's Day!!

**I'm linking up to a few of these great giveaway linky posts.

1 John 4:16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Playdate Fun!

We had a very busy morning! I invited a few of our homeschooling friends over for a Valentine's playdate. We enjoyed a little craft time. The kids made "I love you this much" cards.

Then my dad come by with his train and the kids got a ride around the neighborhood. ;-) Our parties would not be near as cool without my dad and his toys!
Of course us moms had to do some visiting too.And what is a get together without some yummy food? ;-)
Thanks for the fun time!

Friday, February 10, 2012

2012 Goals update

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -- Thomas Edison

“It takes a person who is wide awake to make his dream come true.” (Roger Babson)

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” (Zig Ziglar)

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14

An underlying theme in a lot of my goals for this year seems to be "being proactive". In my life I think am realizing that I want certain things to happen but don't make the necessary effort to make them a reality and then I'm disappointed that nothing has changed. I can see this is many areas of my life now. I think it may stem from the fact that there is so much in my life that I really cannot do anything to "fix": my kids' developmental delays, my husband's sleeping problems... maybe I've gotten used to not being able to change anything and I've allowed that to keep me from doing the things that I actually do have control over.

But lately I am really working hard to my mindset. I have been stepping outside my comfort zone and stretching myself. I am trying to be deliberate about making things happen. Little things, like purposely planning playdates and having couples over for dinner. Things that I used to say "we should get together"... but we never actually would get around to it. It is my prayer that these small steps will, over time, make a larger impact on my life.

I read an article on The Importance of Knowing What You Want to Accomplish that really spoke to me. In it Joshua Becker talks about how our goals mold and shape us and the choices that we make in our lives. Toward the end of the article he asks the question:
What then, with the one life that you have to live, do you most desire to accomplish?

Honestly... in some ways I am still figuring it out. But ultimately, I want my life to glorify God, to be a devoted wife and mother, inspire those around me and I want to love my life. I believe I still have a ways to go. But I'm working on it. And that is a step in the right direction.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

I looked up the Serenity Prayer for the purpose of this post and was surprised - I had only ever heard the first four lines. I did not realize it was longer. What powerful words I have missed out on for all this time. Those are words to live by.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Coming Up...

I'm so excited about a couple opportunities that are coming up! Tonight I'm attending a screening of The Vow and on Valentine's Day I will be doing an interview with the couple that inspired the movie. How cool is that?!?

Also, I'm eager to sit down with my hubby and watch the soon to be released inner city football documentary Undefeated:

Monday, February 06, 2012

Vids of my kids...

I finally got around to uploading all the videos that have been building up on the video camera for over two years onto the computer. Nate helped me pick out one of each of the kids to share with you all.

Here is a video of Nate reading a story that he wrote. This was taken last fall.

Here is a recent video of Joe taking steps in his walker. We are so excited about the progress he has made.

Over the past few weeks Christine has taken off in the area of self feeding. She is drinking out of a straw and picking up and feeding herself bites. So cute!!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Etsy Update and Giveaway

I've recently added new items to my Etsy Store and created a facebook page for the Wani's World blog and store. I'd love to get the word out so please help me! I will be doing giveaways when I reach 25, 50 and 100 fans. Spread the word!

Those are just some samples of the fun projects I have listed on the Wani's World Etsy store right now. There are more where those came from so check it out!!