Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. ~ Margaret D. Nadald

Our Father also gifted us with the nature to nurture, keen sensitivity to the Spirit, selflessness, discernment, and heroic faith. No wonder our Father placed us at the heart of the family and thus at the center of the plan of salvation. We are the Lord's secret weapon. ~ Sheri Dew

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25 January 2012

TOS Review - We Choose Virtue Cards

I'll be honest. I was really excited when I found out that we were going to review for We Choose Virtues.... and then I was a little disappointed when I got the product initially. I pulled out this tiny packet of cards and wasn't at all sure what to do with them! Over time they've become something that we actually look forward to spending time with. The package that comes is a set of cards (the size of business cards) in a plastic envelope that snaps shut. The cards themselves are high quality thick card stock, printed with bright colors, and the illustrations/design is really fun. My initial disappointment was over the fact that the cards were so small.... however, we still found great usage.

For example, there is a card that comes in that pack that suggests picking a virtue to work on for the day. I thought this was a good idea and then realized that not only was there a virtue and definition of what it is and what it isn't on the front, but that the backside extended a specific challenge for the child for that virtue. So, starting with day one I had one of my children pick a card and we would discuss it and try to work on the challenge for the day and I'd use the virtue topic throughout our day in both praise and correction. i.e. "Wow, you're being really diligent, thank you so much!" or "When we do '_______' is that showing self control?" I've really looked forward to each day and so have my children. They all get to take a turn picking a card throughout the week and eagerly await the next time they get a turn. Eventually I got smart and I grabbed a magnet that has a clip on it and my oldest now switches out the card of the day on the whiteboard that has our memorization things on it so we can actually see the virtue that we're working on so we can memorize the definition of the virtue too.

After having these cards, and not having any other connection to this company besides things other bloggers have said, I went off in search of more products from them along the lines of teaching virtues because of my experience. I think what has ended up really appealing to me is the fact that the definitions given of each of the virtues are what I want to teach my child. I enjoy that the children learn what being honest, diligent, obedient etc., is and are given examples of what it isn't in a straight forward and clear/kind way. I often find that companies or people teaching moral principles use scripture to condemn a child or focus too much on the idea that not acting in accordance with these virtues is sin. Yes, I understand that we're not perfect and that not following these guidelines is a sin, but I don't think we needs to be so negative with children and "talk them into" being good by striking fear within them. Anyway! Long story short, this product stays upbeat and is encouraging children along this path of learning moral character. I love that! I've since looked into getting larger poster of the virtues for my children as well as a chart that might help them get even more excited about this aspect of life that the are considering more closely.

I'm very happy that I got to review this product! Don't let the size fool you, this is a great addition to any home and it's portability may be even more helpful to families on the go! A quick reminder on the way to school or a lesson of some sort could make a big difference in how your children handles themselves on any given day! Every opportunity to teach our children should be seized and this is a great tool that will easily find a spot into your family's schedule!

You can purchase We Choose Virtue Cards for $19.99 from their website that can be found here.

To find out what other crew members are saying about We Choose Virtue Cards you can go here.

*As a member of the 2012 TOS Homeschool Crew I was provided a free copy of this product in exchange for my honest review of its content. I have not received any other compensation for the opinions stated here, and they were not promised a positive review.*

04 January 2012

A Little Improvement and Strength Training

So... the scale was finally nice to me today. I don't know if it said that I lost one or two pounds, but the fact that I'm not the same weight or more than I was last week was cause for much rejoicing! This weeks numbers are:

Weight: 184/183
Waist: The little slash under 37 1/4" :-)

This past week I've still been hitting the treadmill and workout out with my Mom's Into Fitness DVD in addition to swimming (which I LOVE!) I've seen more definition happening too, so while the numbers don't reflect the work I've put in, I'm wondering if it's just because my muscles are no longer in a state of atrophy :-D.

I was asked last week about strength training (I didn't forget, promise!) Strength training will keep you from injury especially if you're a runner (or attempting to be, like myself). Without it it's not a matter if but when you'll get injured, so don't overlook it! Because I'm lazy and like to get the most out of a workout without much brain power, I really enjoy the strength training portion of the Mom's Into Fitness Boot Camp 2 DVD. Like, I LOVE IT, and actually look forward to it. I don't necessarily do all my exercise at once... yesterday for instance brought a mile walk with baby in the morning, a 3 mile run in the afternoon, and I was supposed to do a video that night (but baby had other places :-D). Sometimes I can do everything at once, but it's also nice to spread things out during the day and found time here and there... also makes me feel like I'm kicking up my metabolism to help fight fat more often! So, these short videos are awesome for that!

Anyway, I definitely recommend buying Lindsay's Boot Camp video... like now... what are you waiting for? And grab two different sets of weights to do with them... you'll thank me later, promise! There are 6 levels in one DVD, the workouts are short but intense (something about mountain climbers and squat thrusts even for a minute leaves me covered in sweat!) If you can't afford the DVD at least go to her website, she has some free things and you can check YouTube.

You can also do quite a few things by using your own weight as your resistance, and minus someone telling you what to do. I picked up a triathlon magazine last year that had some great strength training tips... so check out a running magazine somewhere and I can almost guarantee you'll find tips to get stronger! Here's a link to runner's world's compilation of strength and cross training, definitely worth checking out:

Here's an article with more specifics:

and here's a video that show's some specific workouts:

My favorite triathlon book "Triathlon For Dummies" has a great section on strength training as well. It's worth flipping through (and buying!) in my opinion.

Overall my favorite strength training exercise is the plank. Love a good plank! There's something about that simple exercise that makes me feel like I'm really working hard and I can feel it working my whole body, love that!

The other thing that I wanted to mention is a phrase that I learned from my high school tennis coach: "Walking builds strength, running builds endurance." If you're not a runner and have no desire to even fake being one then so be it (although, I do recommend that you at last try... you may surprise yourself, running is a mental sport and really is cheaper than therapy :-D). Walking is a great exercise! I like to set my speed low and crank up the incline of my treadmill to get in a good burn in my legs. Just a thought!

This Saturday brings my first race post baby! My husband and I are running a 5k for charity and I'm excited! What do I think my time will be? Umm.... S L O W! *laugh* I'm not looking to break any records as I'm only 5 weeks from having the latest baby and want all my guts to continue to stay put, but it'll be fun and I can at least run the whole distance without stopping. Doesn't hurt that the company will be great! I started racing in 2010, 5 months after baby #4, and with my husband on deployment, so I was always alone with just me and my brain... it'll be nice to have the hubby to chat with :-). We'll take a picture and I'll post it with my next Weighing in Wednesday post.

How are you doing?!