Friday, July 29, 2011


Intense, challenging, dark, complex, intriguing, different.. that's the words I would use to describe my latest book club selection.
In a way, I loved it.
In another way, it disturbed me.
The entire thing is written from a 5 year old boy's perspective and this is no ordinary kid.
There is beauty in the way he views the world, his world. I found myself laying awake at night hearing the phrases from the first chapters repeating themselves over and over in my head.
There was one section of it that had me in such complete suspense I had to remind myself to relax my muscles and breathe!
I enjoyed the journey I was on as I read and felt the author was simply brilliant in her delivery.
Overall I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something beyond the norm to read to challenge the mind and broaden perspectives.
This is a book you will not soon forget.

Monday, July 18, 2011

THE slide

My son.. a 7 year old.. went down the slide..

umm.. let me try that again..

THE slide!

We went to Whitewater Bay yesterday for a day of fun with friends and the very first thing the little new-by wanted to do was go down the biggest, scariest slide at the whole park -the one you couldn't PAY his momma to do!

It looks like this --->
the white one in which your body actually comes up off the slide for awhile and leaves you floating until you meet the slide again

The Whitewater Bay website describes it like this --->Mega-Wedgie
Challenge the 277-foot long speed slide that features a breathtaking 64-foot free fall into the cool water below.

So what do you suppose did he say when he stood up at the bottom of that crazy thing?

"WHOOO!! I'm gonna go ride the green one now!"

Which is described like this --->Acapulco Cliff Dive
Hold on to your heart as you race down this monster, high-speed “free-fall” slide.

Oh, Heaven help me.

The Diva however, is like her Momma.. a little bit of excitement goes a long way :)


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Joy over Happiness

Life is not fleeting moments of happiness and scattered sorrows.. it has to mean so much more than that.
When is the last time you felt happy, like really happy? Can you figure out what it was about that moment that gave you that feeling?
Is happiness our goal? How do we get there? How do we stay there?
I believe that feeling is an emotion that stems from our amount of contentment with our lives.
If this is true then happiness is always within our own hands.
We blame others because we believe our happiness depends on events, outcomes, and the world around us. When things are easy, when things are going well.. then we are "happy."
But the true test of a person is finding that happiness amidst pain.. when everything is going wrong. It's being content when you don't get your way. It's knowing that God is in control all along and no matter what happens God is never surprised.
Happiness may be fleeting.. but the JOY of the Lord is our strength!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Paris Wife

Based on Ernest Hemingway himself, this book is written as a fictional memoir of sorts of his first wife, his true love, Hadley.
It is an interesting story with sad, desperate tones and lots of ups and downs. I found it rather depressing in that beautiful tragic love story kind of way.
I am looking forward to the movie though I'm not sure that it can do the book justice. The author's descriptions and portrayal of emotions really drew me in to the story and it has such depth. I'm afraid will be lost on the big screen. We shall see. It will be fun to gather up my book club gals to go see it anyway!
Even though I hated Hemingway as I turned the pages, it did create a desire in me to read all of his works. I checked Kindle prices however, and they are rather inflated due to the attention this book has gotten I'm sure. Perhaps I will visit the library instead. What an ancient idea, right.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A fave quote from my fave show :)

In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth.. at least that's what they say. He created the birds of the air and the beasts of the field, and he looked at his creation and he saw that it was good. And then God created man.. and it's been downhill ever since.

The story goes on to say that God created man in his own image.. but there's not much proof of that. After all God made the sun, and the moon, and the stars.. and all man makes is trouble.

And when man finds himself in trouble, which is most of time, he turns to something bigger than himself.. to love or fate or religion.. to make sense of it all..

Doctors know more about the human body now than at any other point in our history. But the miracle of life itself, why people live and die.. why they hurt, or get hurt is still a mystery.

We want to know the reason, the secret, the answer at the back of the book.. because the thought of our being all alone down here is just too much for us to bear.

But at the end of the day, the fact that we show up for each other, in spite of our differences, no matter what we believe.. is reason enough.. to keep believing.
-Grey's Anatomy

(I love this show because even though its full of (so very) lost people wandering around making mistakes and hurting each other, I like to think they believe in more than they realize and I love how they always end up leaning on each other. :)


the world called Friendship

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly 
not born until they arrive.
- Anais Nin

This quote doesn't seem like that big of deal but I was contemplating it recently. I am amazed at how much my social circle has grown in the past 5 years. I've heard that you can't have too many friends, but is this true? Some people say that you can't be friends with everyone or you won't be a friend to anyone. Maybe this is true? How do you balance that?

As new people are added to my life, I feel my world grow a little larger. I have found that these new people don't always "mesh" with my personality necessarily. Some aren't the type who I would seek out a relationship with but maybe we are put together by chance.. by circumstances.. by mutual friends. In my experience, these are the people who lead me to grow the most.. who I learn a lot from. More people definitely complicates things, but it also enriches your life in ways that you may not even realize.

I truly believe that God puts people in our lives. It may be "for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.." but how do we know if we don't open ourselves up to it? It's okay to have favorites.. Lord knows I have mine :) but I think you also have to love people just as they are and not compare them to your other friends. What good would it be for all our friends to be exactly the same? We need the variety to keep us balanced! And we can't hold them to higher standards than we hold ourselves. We judge others by their actions but ourselves by our intentions. How fair is that? Everyone is going to let you down at some point.. going thru conflicts & resolutions.. forgiveness.. that's what builds a deeper, more meaningful relationship. If you give up on a person you miss out on so much!

I think this quote from the amazing Audrey Hepburn sums it up best..

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

I think you can hold on to the people that have been there all along and still let new people in. I believe that the more love we give away, the more we have to give. I believe you have to be OPEN to new people, new experiences to really live! I think there is so much that God offers us that we miss out on because it's out of our "comfort zone." I believe that our life on earth is all about people and you should never push anyone away or test their devotion. What are we here for if not to lessen the burden of others! I think if you change your mentality from who is there for me to who can I be there for a whole new world opens up to you.. and that world is called real Friendship.. ever heard of it?


Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

If you want a quick, easy read, this is the book for you. You can actually watch the short movie on youtube now, but I felt the book was better. A German soldier's son is the narrator of this heart-wrenching tale. This was a book club selection that I probably wouldn't have picked up on my own but I'm glad I did. Great book and worth the small amount of time it takes to read it.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Momma-Jakey day

Since the Firefighter is at the station and the Diva is at a birthday bash, I get to spend some Q.T. with the Superhero. So far we've fought back tears together after dropping sister off, returned home to snuggle on the couch, played with his Barrel of Monkeys (in which he made up all new games with), watched several episodes of Power Rangers and had our special mutual favorite lunch - tomato soup & grill-cheeses (which of course his is a boy-cheese he says :) Now we've cleaned up the kitchen and settled back in our covers on the couch to rewatch The Neverending Story. Though I have a lot of chores to do, I plan to thoroughly enjoy this special day with my son. He's been calling this "a special Momma-Jakey day" which just melts my heart of course.. as does pretty much everything he says and does. There's something so special about the mother-son relationship isn't there?


Shaving down.. a long day

Spent the day in the city again. Up at the crack of dawn and 2 hours on the road, the 4 of us, in time to get the Firefighter to his mma gym for his private lessons and the morning class. After we dropped him off the kids & I enjoyed breakfast at I-Hop and then headed to Target. We got our "shoppin-britches" on and found birthday gifts for five friends. We had fun pouring through the toy isles contemplating what each friend might like to receive. I found a row of classic toys and was lost in nostalgia for a bit. The original toy phone with its opening eyes and rotary dial, the sock monkey, the toy piano, the wind up radio that played Farmer in the Dell as little pictures floated across the screen.. they all brought back memories of my childhood. I also found Squinkies, erasers, journals, push-lead pencils, etc to fill my Treasure Chest for my classroom as well as cute little animal clocks and a magnetic calendar set for centers. I bought an adorable Corduroy bear for students to read the books to and a Barrel of Monkeys for inside recess. And that's just the beginning! The kids had to drag me out of the school stuff finally and get us back on task. (Is it normal for school supplies to be so exciting to a person?!) We all fought against the things we desired and refocused on who we were buying for instead. We had a good talk about managing spending and when we paid out using every bit of the cash I had in my wallet, the Superhero pointed out what a good job we'd done.
Next we picked up Daddy & they dropped me off at my doctor office. I got my new nice lady nurse which I was pleased about and it made the visit so much more bearable. When I mentioned the soreness after eating she took my splint and said she would "shave it down" for me so there'd be less getting in the way.  When I put it back in I couldn't believe the difference. She explained that my tongue had much more room now and I would be able to enunciate better as well.  She was right. Dr. Talley came in and we discussed what would be phase 2 of treatment- the weaning off stage. I won't get to that for another three months, but it's nice to know it's getting close. At that time we'll re-evalute and if I'm doing well I will begin the long, slow, methodical process of adjusting to being out of the splint in the daytime. I will still wear my night-time splint. If necessary, I will then be in phase 3 of orthodontics to change my bite to fit where my jaw joint can stay in place. All of this is overwhelming to think about so I try not to. Who wants to hear as an adult who spent 7 years of her young life in braces that she will have to be in them again?
Hours later we made it home and to our chiropractor. Now that I'm in a healed state with my tmj I can seek other treatments for the side effects of it like the neck and back pain from misalignments. I will now be doing weekly visits. This was so very extremely painful -another thing I don't really want to talk about.
We then decided to order pizza and watch the movie I chose from Netflix, The Neverending Story, a childhood favorite. I made it thru the movie before the muscle relaxer & Natural Calm ended the day for me.
Final thoughts:
So much packed into one day.
I'm so not looking forward to adjusting to not wearing the splint during the school year..
um, Ouch
I love my family :)


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Just the Beginning

This is a secluded little area a few miles outside of town. The kids are standing where we just dug up a huge tree. I drove this crazy backhoe thing.. and then I quickly went back to trimming branches from firewood and  piling it up. We definitely have enough to last all winter now. We spent a few hours hard at work today out on this beautiful little stretch of land that we are happy to call our own. And then we spent the afternoon relaxing at the water park! :) It was a great day.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Not ready to leave..

The decision has been made. I do feel at peace with it now. Just another biggie on the list lately. Isn't it funny how those kinds of options come in waves? Maybe it's just to remind me that I chose this. This is what I want. I'll need to try to remember that when I'm right in the thick of it. Why do we choose the hard things? For me, it's what I feel God's purpose in my life really is. I try to be obedient. But it's also what my heart wanted. I know God brings people into our lives for a reason. I don't feel like it's time to let them go just yet. Maybe one day things will change, but when you feel so at home in a place, it's hard to imagine that you'll ever leave.


30 Days to Understanding the Bible

Ever felt frustrated with trying to read the Bible? Maybe you set your New Year's Resolution and quickly found that from starting in...