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Trim Healthy Mama (THM) Weekly Update and Meal Planning

Trim Healthy Mama (THM) Meal Plan

Trim Healthy Mama (THM) Meal Plan

 

Hi Friends!

This is my weekly Trim Healthy Mama (THM) weekly update and Meal planning post and video.  I have been enjoying learning more and more about Trim Healthy Mama (THM) http://www.trimhealthymama.com and the healthy benefits of following the plan.  This is an ongoing journey that I hope to make a lifelong journey into better health for me and for my family.  I am going to try and post about Trim Healthy Mama (THM) on Mondays.  Unfortunately, Sarah got her lower braces on yesterday and was feeling a little puny so I made yesterday all about her.  After all, I am a momma first!

I find that I have to do meal planning in order to stay on plan and to help stay within our food budget.  I am trying something new this week!  Usually we get carry out on Friday, but this Friday I am passing up on carry out and will be cooking at home.  I know that for some people this is not new to them, but for me it is.  We have been doing carry out Friday for as long as we have been married (almost 17.5 years) so this is a HUGE change for me!!! I’m hoping that Ritch especially will enjoy that I am cooking on Friday instead of carry out Friday.

I am struggling to make sure that I am drinking enough water.  I was doing really well with drinking water until we came back from Utah. Ever since then, it has been a struggle.  I know that I definitely need to increase my water intake so that is a goal for this week!!!

Today, I made the Giant blueberry baked pancake out of the new Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook (http://www.amazon.com/Trim-Healthy-Mama-Cookbook-Recipes/dp/1101902663) and it was really delicious.  It made a 9 x 13 pan so it will be nice to have for leftovers tomorrow morning when we are getting ready for co-op.  My words of advice here, for this recipe it said to put the ingredients except the blueberries in a blender.  Well, I already had my Ninja out so I decided to use it instead of my blender or food processor. I am wishing I had followed the directions because it was just a little too full for the Ninja.  The pancake turned out wonderful and all the ingredients were blended, but there would have been more room in the blender or food processor.  I am looking forward to making a couple new recipes out of the book this week.  I am making the Chicken Parmy and Lazy Lasagna later in the week.  I have heard absolutely wonderful reviews of both recipes so I am looking forward to trying these.

I am in the process of organizing my pantry and my kitchen to make it more Trim Healthy Mama (THM) friendly.  I have struggled some with the thought of getting rid of some of off plan items in my pantry because I keep thinking this is wasting money, however, for my health and the health of my family, it will be worth it.  I have slowly been making these changes so it will not be anything too drastic.

I have thought about posting pictures along the way, but being totally honest, I am afraid of the negative comments that may be left.  I am really praying about this and whether to step out in faith and post pictures of my journey along the way.

Here is the link to my video!  Please remember to like, comment, share the video and subscribe to our channel!!

Until next Monday,

Blessings,

Keren

Trim Healthy Mama (THM) – Monday Check-in!

I am just checking in today to let you know how things are going on Trim Healthy Mama (THM).  Last week was not a good week.  We had several things come up and I didn’t stay on plan.  I am still learning and trying to follow the plan.  I am nervous about sharing this journey with you because I am worried about what negative comments might be left for me.  I am praying that by sharing my journey, it might be a blessing to someone else and might encourage you to take this journey with me.

I tried a recipe out of the new Trim Healthy Mama cookbook a couple of weekends ago and it was a total fail.  It was totally on my end.  I was going to make the dessert before we went over to our friend’s house, but they are interested in Trim Healthy Mama too and wanted to see how easy the recipes really are.   So, I took everything with me and made the dessert at their house.  Anyway, I thought it tasted horrrible, but everyone was being really nice and said it wasn’t bad.  So, I tried Pearl’s chili recipe on Sunday and it was AMAZING!!!  Ritch and I really liked the chili, but Sarah thought it was a little too spicy.

On Saturday, we spent a couple of hours a corn maze and pumpkin patch (video and blog post coming on this adventure).  We had a ton of fun and afterwards, we went out to dinner to the Flipping Cow in Elkhart.  I was thinking as we were driving, that I was going to make sure that I ordered something that would be on plan.  However, when I ordered, I didn’t stay on plan.  I was really bummed at myself, but then decided I needed to give myself some grace and realize that I could get back on plan in three hours.

One of the many things that I am learning on this journey, is that I have to give myself some grace.  This is NOT a diet, but a lifestyle change.  I have been wanting to get healthy and lose some weight for a really long time.  I had been praying and praying seeking guidance and direction from the Lord and he placed Trim Healthy Mama (THM) in my life and I really felt like this is the journey that I am to be on.  This is going to be a journey filled with ups and downs I am sure.  I am excited to see how my life is going to change and how my whole family gets healthier!!

I know that the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan can seem really overwhelming and complicated, but it isn’t and does get easier everyday.  There is a lot of good support out there from the www.trimhealthymama.com website to Facebook and Pinterest.  Please don’t get too discouraged or allow your self to get too overwhelmed either.  Know, that I am on this same journey with you and will answer any questions you have as well as cheer you on!!!

I am enclosing the video that I shared on our Day In the Life with Keren and Sarah youtube channel.  Please feel free to check out the video and if interested, please leave a comment, subscribe to our channel and like the video!!

Please help me stay accountable and come on this journey with me!!

Blessings,

Keren

Adventures at the USS Silversides 236 Submarine Museum

 

Ritch, Sarah and I outside the USS Silversides 236 Submarine Museum

Ritch, Sarah and I outside the USS Silversides 236 Submarine Museum

This is a quote from Rick Atkinson.

This is a quote from Rick Atkinson.

Outside the USS Silversides 236 Submarine Museum

Outside the USS Silversides 236 Submarine Museum

We went on an adventure today to the USS Silversides 236 Submarine Museum in Muskegon, Michigan silversidesmuseum.org.  This is a self guided tour.  It was really interesting to be able to step on a submarine that was in battle during WWII.  It is the most famous submarine from WWII.  This submarine sank more than 30 Japanese vessels and damaged more than 14 and took down more tonnage than other surviving submarine from WWII.

I was amazed at how small all the areas were.  It was hard to believe that they only had a tiny locker to keep all of their belongings in and some of them even had to share a bed.  As we were going along the submarine, I just kept thinking how in the world did these guys not crack their heads open going from area to another.  The doorways are small are raised and if they were in a hurry, they would definitely have to be watching what they were doing.  I wasn’t in any hurry and I was nervous about hitting my head or tripping as I was going through the doorway.

We were able to see the both the forward and after torpedo rooms.  In the forward torpedo room, there were actually bunks for the crewmen that worked in that area to sleep on.  They even had a replica of the torpedo that the submarine carried in the forward torpedo room for us to see.

As we continued down the submarine, we came to the forward battery compartment.  This area contained the pantry, ward room, officers staterooms, and the ship’s office was.  One of the many interesting facts that we learned was that in the ward area, they actually performed an appendectomy.  Could you imagine having your appendix taken out in the ward area of the submarine?  I don’t think I would want to have experienced that!

Next, we saw the control room, conning tower, after battery  compartment,the forward and after engine room, the maneuvering room, and then finally the after torpedo room.  Of course, we kept having to remind my husband that he was NOT allowed to play with any of the buttons, knobs, dials, switches, levers, or wheels.  He was so excited to look at everything and it was such a temptation to touch everything.  I am glad to say, he obeyed all the rules and didn’t touch a thing.  Sarah was really good about reminding him about NOT touching things.

After leaving the submarine, we went inside to look through the museum. The information was so informative and we learned to so much.  They had a timeline of the first attacks on Pearl Harbor and pictures of the ships that were sunk in the attack.  They even had German uniforms to look at as well as what a POW might have been served if they had been taken prisoner during the war.

I’m so glad that we took the time to see the submarine and the museum. It helps to remind us how the brave men served during WWII and to also remind us that lives were lost.

We need to remember that freedom comes with a price and that price is the lives of the brave men and women that have fought for us and continue to fight for us today.

The next time you see a solider, take a minute and thank them for their service.

 

Blessings,

Keren

Jumping in to Trim Healthy Mama

 

Pizza Casserole and Green Beans

Pizza Casserole and Green Beans

So today was the first day I jumped into the Trim Healthy Mama plan www.trimhealthymama.com.  I had been reading the book and really trying to decide whether this was the right step for me.  I have really been praying about whether the Lord was directing me or not.  After much prayer, I really felt the Lord nudging me and saying now was the time to start.  So I took a deep breath and began today.

It was a good day.  I  made the Savory Protein Muffins for breakfast and they were absolutely delicious.  Sarah even tried them and really enjoyed them as well.  I was so excited because I was going to make the trimmaccino, but my Keurig quit working.  I was so disappointed, but oh well, a new Keurig will be arriving soon and then I will be able to enjoy a trimmaccino!!!

I started on my day and got busy with things around the house, when I looked up and saw that it was 1:15.  I couldn’t believe how quickly time had gone and that I wasn’t hungry.  I decided I better stop and eat some lunch.  So I had tuna salad with diced apple, celery, salt and pepper and used 0% fat Greek Yogurt for the dressing instead of mayonaise.  It was really good.  Sarah tried it and didn’t really care for, but then again, she really doesn’t like tuna.

Now it was time to clean up the kitchen and put away some laundry and continue working on our upcoming school year.  Ritch came home from work and we were talking and catching up and he asked what was for dinner.  I said that we were having Pizza Casserole and Green beans for dinner.

I started dinner and really couldn’t believe how quickly it all went together and into the oven.  We were able to sit down and enjoy our dinner and everyone really liked it.

I know it all sounds too good to be true, but today was a good day.  I do have to be honest, I am struggling with not drinking any pop.  I was a diet Pop drinker and so I have decided that I needed to step away from pop and make sure that I was drinking plenty of water.  We all know that drinking water can be a challenge.  Well, it is so much easier to drink water when you have doTERRRA Essential Oils to add to your water.  I have been enjoying adding Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime or Wild Orange to my water.

I am looking forward to this new adventure.  I know that I cannot do this alone.  I will continue to pray that the Lord will lead me on this journey and that I will have success.

Please feel free to follow me along on this journey, keep me accountable and even ask how things are going.

Have a wonderful evening,

Keren

doTERRA Essential Oils Journey

Here are just a couple of our favorite doTERRA Essential Oils.

Here are just a couple of our favorite doTERRA Essential Oils.

Good Evening Friends,

I wanted to share with you our doTERRA Essential Oils journey www.doterra.com.  We started using doTERRA Essential Oils a year ago in our home after I had attended a class and began learning about the oils. 

I was a little skeptical when the class began because I was struggling with the thought that doTERRA Essential Oils really could be safe to use and actually be as effective or even more effective than over-the-counter medications.  As the class when on I became more and more intrigued and wanted to learn more. 

We were headed to Disney World and I wanted to take a couple of oils with me to try while we gone to hopefully help us stay healthy.  After talking with Angela, I decided that I would purchase doTERRA’s On Guard Protective Blend to use to help keep any sickness away and I also purchased the Lemon oil to use in our drinking water to help remove any toxins in our bodies.  We really enjoyed using the oils and none of us got sick on our vacation.

After vacation, I was really impressed with the oils and wanted to learn more and have them in our home to use when we were not feeling well.  I ordered the Family Physician Kit because it came with the 10 essential oils that I really wanted to try.  I had just gotten the kit when Ritch came home from visiting friends in Canada.  He called me on his way home and said that he was not feeling well.  When he got home Saturday night, I began using the On Guard Protective Blend on the bottom of his feet and Breathe on his chest.  Some of you may be wondering why I would put oils on the bottom of his feet, well it is because your feet have the second largest pores in your body and I wanted to get the oils working as quickly as possible.  We continued this regimen for the rest of the weekend and by Monday he was feeling better and even went to work.  I used the On Guard Protective Blend on both Sarah’s feet and my feet to hopefully keep whatever Ritch had away from us, and guess what, it did.  Neither Sarah nor I got what Ritch had.  Now both Ritch and I were really impressed and were ready to implement using the oils full-time in our home. 

Our family has been so blessed by these oils.  They have helped us in many ways.  I also enjoy using the oils when I am cooking. They add so much flavor to some of the dishes that I make.  I am so thankful that I was introduced to the oils and that the Lord has blessed our family with these precious gifts.  All doTERRA Essential Oils are certified pure therapeutic grade so I do not have to worry about putting synthetic ingredients in our bodies.  I am so thankful that doTERRA takes the extra step and makes sure that the oils come from the region in which they are grown and even goes further by testing all the oils to be certain of the purity of each oil.  These oils are truly gifts from the Lord.  He created each and every plant that doTERRA Essential Oils come from. 

If you would like to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils please feel free to visit my website at www.mydoterra.com/myessentiallife.  

Blessings,

Keren

It’s A Girls Day Out!!

It’s a girls day out!!  We had plans for the weekend that were unexpectedly changed.  Ritch went over to Ohio to a wild game dinner, but Sarah and I stayed home.

Since Ritch was going to be gone all day, I decided that we would just spend the day together.  We started our day out at the Michiana’s Women’s Expo michianawomensshow.com at the South Bend Century Center centurycenter.org.  We had a great time walking around looking at all the different booths.  We even got our picture taken with a couple of the news personalities from WSBT-TV www.wsbt.com.  That was kinda cool.  This expo was geared towards women’s health.  One of the local hospitals was doing blood pressure checks and blood sugar tests.  There were booths to enjoy from local vendors as well.  As I was walking around, I was wishing I had known about this expo because I would have liked to have had a doTERRA Essentials Oils booth as well www.mydoterra.com/myessentiallife.  I decided that I am going to try and have a booth there next year.  Sarah was very excited about that and wanted to know if she could help out. 

After leaving the expo, Sarah and I stopped by Macri’s bakery macrisbakery.com and bought a couple of treats.  This was a special treat because we don’t get over to that part of town very often.  We also bought a treat for my mom and aunt because we wanted to share with them. 

We left Macri’s and decided it was time for lunch.  We went to Hacienda Mexican Restaurant www.haciendafiesta.com for lunch and I had a great time just listening to Sarah and laughing with her.  It was a really relaxed time and we weren’t in any hurry because Ritch was gone for the day so I could just sit and listen to all that she had to say and share.  I loved listening to her and watching her be so animated about all that she was talking about. 

After lunch, we did a little bit of shopping.  All we bought, was a pair of jeans that we got on sale for Sarah.  We looked around the store, but didn’t see anything else that we needed.  I love when Sarah is looking for clothes, she is concerned about whether they are going to be modest enough or not.  I have to admit, it blesses my heart to hear her talk about wanting to make sure that the clothes she wears are modest. 

We then went to my mom’s house because she had a few things that she needed to be done at her house.  We are so blessed to still have my mom and aunt living so close to us.  Sarah enjoys being at their house and taking care of them.  She never complains about having to do things for them.  When we got to my mom’s, Sarah asked what grandmom needed and off she went to make sure she took care of those chores right away.  The Lord has blessed her with a servant’s heart and I am so thankful for her willingness to be helpful. 

I was sad that our plans were changed, but I am so thankful for our girls day out!!  I had been praying about spending time with Sarah and the Lord had really been laying on my heart about spending quality time with Sarah and really being present and listening to what she has to share.  The Lord answered my prayers by giving us this day together.  I had a great day today.  We weren’t in any hurry and we slowed down and just enjoyed each other.  Tonight, my heart is so full with all the blessings from today.  Thank you Jesus for giving me this very special day with Sarah! 

We are definitely going to have to plan another girls day out soon!! 

Blessings,

Keren

Losing my marbles….teaching Sarah to play the game marbles

Ritch and Sarah playing the game marbles.

Ritch and Sarah playing the game marbles.

Good Evening Friends,

Losing my marbles?  Well, not me, but Sarah.  Ritch taught her to play the game marbles tonight.  Ritch made a wonderful marble game mat.  Sarah was so excited to learn how to play.  She has wanted to learn for quite awhile, but we have been so busy with other things in life that Ritch just has not had the chance to teach her. 

So tonight, the game is on.  Ritch explained how marbles worked, showed her how to line the marbles up, and they were off.  Sarah was getting frustrated because it wasn’t quite as easy as she thought it was going to be and of course her daddy won several times, which didn’t help either.

Ritch was being so encouraging and having a lot of patience with Sarah because she was getting so frustrated.  I really enjoy watching them spending time together and playing games together as well.  I love hearing them laugh together and having a good time.  There is nothing like spending time with children and being present with them and listening to what is important to them.

This is an area that I struggle in at times, because I seem to get caught up in the everyday activities and the busyness of life that goes on, that when Sarah does want to talk to me, play a game or just spend time with me, I sometimes simply say in just a minute.  Unfortunately, that minute comes and goes and I have totally forgotten that she wanted time with me.  Do you struggle in this area too?  I have really been praying about this and really feeling the Lord pressing on my heart that I need to slow down and really be present in the moment when Sarah comes to me whether it is to ask me a question or to talk, play a game or just simply wanting to spend time with me.  I need to slow down and not let these last few years fly by and wish later that I had spent the time with her that she needed.  What are some ways that you make sure that you are truly focused on your children and what is important to them in the busyness of life and the daily activities?

These next few years are going to go by so quickly and I don’t want to miss out on the important things in Sarah’s life and I certainly don’t want her to feel as though I don’t have the time for her or the things that are important to her. 

I’m looking forward to watching Ritch and Sarah play marbles and maybe, just maybe Sarah finally being able to win a game against her dad.

Blessings,

Keren

Cooking With Sarah!

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Here is the apple crisp ready to be put in the oven.

Sarah  making her apple crisp

Sarah making her apple crisp

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Sarah with finished apple crisp

Good Evening Friends,

Today was a cooking with Sarah day!!  She wanted to help prepare a meal and so she picked the menu.  Sarah wanted to make sloppy joes in the crock pot, baked beans and apple crisp.

We needed to go to the grocery store to do some shopping because I hadn’t stocked the house since we got back from vacation.  Before we went to the grocery store, we planned out the meals for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  Sarah asked if she could also cook a meal next week.  I am excited that Sarah is taking an interest in wanting to learn to cook more and spending more time in the kitchen.

After our meal planning and making our shopping list, it is off to the grocery store.  I am really trying to allow Sarah to be more involved in the grocery shopping and making sure we get the things that we need.  I think she is enjoying the new responsibility.  I have to be completely honest though in that it is really hard for me to let go and allow her to follow the list and get what we need because I am always just wanting to get in and out of the grocery store and not spending anymore time than I absolutely have to, but the Lord has been laying on my heart that I need to slow down and be more intentional with Sarah in all areas of her life and this is one area that I can slow down and allow her the responsibility of helping with the grocery shopping.  Sarah did a great job of following the list and getting all the things that we needed.

After getting home from the store, putting the groceries away, and having lunch, it was time to get the meat browned for the sloppy joes.  I had Sarah read the recipe and put all the ingredients together in the crock pot after the meat was put in.  We got the crock pot started and it wasn’t long before we began smelling our yummy sloppy joes.

A little while later, it was time to get started on the apple crisp from her Betty Crocker Cooking Basics Cookbook www.bettycrocker.com .  I had Sarah read through the recipe and gather all the ingredients together so that we could get started.  We had six apples that needed to be cored and sliced.  Again, a moment of honesty here, this is hard for me because I am used to doing things myself and of course Sarah is just learning and so she is not as fast at things as I am.  Again, I need to allow her to learn and take her time and not take over!!!  Sarah did a good job slicing the apples.  I did help her core them because she asked me to.  After getting the apples all sliced up, it was time to make the crumb topping.  This was a learning experience too because she had to cut in the butter into the topping.  She wanted to give up because she didn’t think she was doing it right.  I reassured her that she was and that she needed to continue and that she would get it.  After putting the topping on, it was time to put it in the oven.  Now all we had to do was wait for an hour for it to be done!!  Oh my goodness does it smell good as it is baking.

The sloppy joes, baked beans, and french fries are done as well as the apple crisp.  It’s time for dinner and it all looks wonderful and smells amazing!!!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. 

Blessings,

Keren

Birthday, Beach and Valentine’s Day!

Hello Friends,

It’s a birthday, beach and Valentine’s Day!

Today we are headed to the beach and the Navy Seal Museum navysealmuseum.com in Fort Pierce, Florida.  Ritch and Ed thought it would be fun to go and look at the NavySealMuseum.  They have all kinds of exhibits from different eras.  Ritch really enjoyed seeing the boats and learning about the history of the Navy Seals.  I was really looking forward to going to the beach so Marsha, Sarah and I left the guys there and walked to the beach.

It was a windy day at the beach, but it was beautiful.  The sun was out and the waves were rolling in.  I have always enjoyed being at the beach.  When we would visit my aunts in Philadelphia, we always made it a point to go to Ocean City, NJ to go to the boardwalk and take in the beach.

As we were walking along the beach looking for shells, the waves were really rolling in.  I just couldn’t help myself; I just had to put my feet in the ocean.  At first, the water was a little chilly, but it didn’t take long to get used to the water.  As I was walking along, watching the waves come on shore and even getting hit with sand when the wind blew, I thought about how Jesus told the waves to be still and they were.  How incredible it would have been to have been on that boat and saw Jesus calm the waves.

We had a great time looking for shells and we found some really pretty ones to keep.  We were hoping to find a sand dollar or two, but unfortunately, we did not.  When I was looking at all the different shells, Sarah said to me that she was amazed at God’s creativity and how God made each shell different and so beautiful.  It thrills my heart to see how Sarah is growing in walk with the Lord and appreciating His beautiful creation.

After the beach and the NavySealMuseum, we headed to Bass Pro Shops.  It was Ed’s birthday and we were celebrating his day and he wanted to go, so we went.  As we were driving, Sarah noticed that she had cut her toe on a shell and she wanted to know if I had my doTERRA essential oils with me so she could clean the cut.  I told get out the doTERRA www.mydoterra.com/myessentiallife melaleuca oil and clean her toe with that and then to put lavender on after that.  By the time we got home that evening, her toe was fine.  So thankful for our doTERRA oils to help care for my family.

Ed wanted to go to Olive Garden for his birthday and so we went and managed to beat the rush of the dinner crowd.  We had a great time on the beach, at the Navy Seal Museum and celebrating Ed’s birthday at Olive Garden.  Spending time with family is always a good time.

Well, it’s Valentine’s Day and how are we going to spend the day?  We are going to Daytona to check out the cars at the track in Daytona www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.  We bought Sarah a checkered flag and a sharpie just in case she saw a race car driver or two and was able to get their autograph.  We walked through the garage area and looked at the cars and the crews working on them. It was really fun to see.  Ritch really liked the tool boxes and kept saying that he wanted one of those.  I think Ritch really liked the tool boxes more than the cars.  After checking out the garage area, we went down to the inspection area and watched the cars go through inspection.  It was interesting because there were templates for each manufacturer and if the cars didn’t fit within the template, they had to go back to the garage and make repairs and bring the car through again.  We then went to the second area of inspection.  This is where the drivers had to come and weigh in because their weight was added to the total weight of the car.  I had no idea that the driver’s weight made a difference.  While we were watching, Sarah was able to get autographs from 17 different drivers.  It was a lot of fun to actually be that close to the drivers and cool that they would take the time to signs autographs as well.

After a long and fun day at the track, it was time to get on the road and head up to Hampton, South Carolina to visit my husband’s family.  We just stopped by for one day to visit before we headed back to Indiana.

It was a wonderful, fun filled week in Florida and South Carolina.  So thankful for God’s protection while we traveled and for getting us home safely.

We are looking forward to our next adventure whatever that may be.  But for now, it is back to the reality of snow and our routine for school. 

Blessings,

Keren

Snakes, Turtles and Alligators Oh My!!!

Good Evening Friends,

We took the pontoon boat out on an adventure to look for snakes, turtles and alligators.  The sun was shining and the temperature was about 84 degrees.  It was a little windy, but that was not going to stop us from our adventure.

We set out on our adventure and not long after starting out, there was a baby alligator sunning itself along the shore.  We turned around so that we could get a better look at it and to take its picture, but as we turned around, it made its way into the water.  It was fun to watch him watching us from the water.  We watched each other for a few seconds and then we moved on.

We continued up the river until we came to the first lock.  This was so interesting.  We pulled up and they opened the doors and we went into the lock.  Once we were in there, they began to bring in the water.  We went from 9 feet all the way up to 16 feet.  I had never been in a lock before and it was so interesting.  After we were now at the level of the water, we left the lock and continued up the river.

As we traveled up the river, we spotted four turtles along the shore line.  They were all together.  Sarah wondered if they were a family because there were two bigger turtles and two little turtles.

We then came to the second lock.  Again we drove the pontoon into the lock and had the water raise the boat up so that we could continue up the river to the main channel.  We were enjoying the locks and how they worked.

We found our way up to the main channel and found a good place to drop the anchor of the pontoon so we could have some lunch.  While we were sitting there, we saw some fish jump out of the water.  We also saw a water snake swimming along and it went underneath the pontoon.

After lunch, we continue up the main channel looking for more alligators, turtles, fish and snakes.  We saw a several more small alligators and we were really enjoying seeing those, but we wanted to see at least one really big alligator.  We saw several Osprey birds, Cameroon birds, and even a couple of spoonbill birds.  We were so happy with all the creatures we had seen.

The time was getting late and some darker clouds were starting to come in so we decided we needed to head back before it started to rain.  We had to go through the two locks again and finally just before we got back to the dock, we saw a big alligator.  It looked like it was at least six feet long.  We were all happy that we finally saw our big alligator for the day.

After we got home from out pontoon adventure, Marsha and I went to a painting class.  This was so much fun.  We painted a beach scene.  I had never done any painting before and so I was a little worried as to how my picture would turn out, but I am happy with how it did turn out.

We had such a fun day, wonder what adventure we will have tomorrow.

Blessings,

Keren