Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book 61

The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais held me rapt through the entire trip of the young man's life.  So much so that I completely forgot that it was fiction, it seemed so real to me.  As I finished the book and began to read the acknowledgements, I was perplexed.  I checked the author's name, then the side of the book completely convinced that perhaps he'd mistakenly forgotten to thank the young chef he'd documented.  No-no.  It was fiction.  Wow.  The characters were so well-developed that they seemed real.  The journey was fraught with strife and I had cried at times.  I thought that this young person had overcome so much to grow into the man he'd become.  Perhaps that is the best compliment that a reader can pay a writer.  I forgot it wasn't real.  I hope the movie (released last summer) does it justice.  

Monday, December 15, 2014

Resolution 36

What do you do when you are out and you see something you think would make a good gift?  Or when you are watching T.V. and learn of a restaurant where someone else lives that you might one day go visit and want to try?  Or when you are having a conversation with someone and they give you a good book title or tip?  

I type many of these things into my phone.  In fact, I found some lists in my phone that had good ideas for Christmas.  Glad I found them now and not in JANUARY!  So I decided that I should use the list feature on my computer and compile the ideas in one spot.  Your space may still be on your phone, but I don't love my phone that much.  Your space may be in a desk drawer or on a pad of paper.  Whatever it is, get them into one spot!

Resolution 36:  Collect all of those ideas and put them in one place. 

**Side note:  Post 401.  Seriously, I have had a lot to say.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Book 60

Mr. Miracle, by my favorite author Debbie Macomber, was a fun way to get into the holiday spirit.  Loosely based on the idea from her other successful stories about Mrs. Miracle, someone special comes to help people with life and love.  I cannot wait to watch the movie on the Hallmark Channel.  I have DVR'd it, but know it will probably be Christmas week before I take the time to watch it.  If you are looking for a holiday book/movie to put you in the spirit, check out this story.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh

Ten years ago when we welcomed our third child into our family, Hero Daddy and I had a conversation regarding gift giving.  That we had SO MUCH and that there was no way we could continue at that pace for a few reasons.  One reason, we quickly discovered was that tween and teen gifts are pricey.  Another motivator for us was that our budget was going to have to spread wider while our income was being reduced (due to me staying home with our newest babe).  Finally, I loved the idea of tying our gift giving into the meaning of Christmas.  Jesus received three gifts, the boys now receive three gifts.  Gold - something they really want.  Frankincense - something to practical.  Myrrh - something to share.  You might want to know what this could look like.  It usually looks like a Lego set, a box with smaller wrapped gifts to include socks and underwear, hat or gloves, school supplies or kitchen items and a game or movie.

I have done a LOT of research over the last month because I find myself having to explain why we give our kids three gifts and why we give what we give.  I cannot find why I came to the reasons I did.  Frankincense does adorn the body and kept people from smelling at one time.  Myrrh can be mixed with wine and shared.  Of course, they shared it with Jesus while he was on the cross dying which kind of puts a damper on things.  

I guess what I just need to be comfortable with is that we made this decision motivated to do less and to tie it to the meaning of Christmas, Jesus' birth.  Yes, Santa does visit our family; he brings another desired item (once it was an electric blanket that was a huge hit!) and he fills the stocking with treats and practical items.  The Feast of St. Nicholas is also celebrated in our home.  He brings items to help us prepare for Christmas, like holiday pj's, boxers, ornaments or books about the upcoming holiday.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Books 58 & 59

I am happy to tell you that the Harlequin Romance series that I found myself sucked into has finished.  Taming the Takeover Tycoon and Reunited with the Lassiter Bride brought the saga to a conclusion.  Although these books were also written by different authors, the themes of family and living life right were present.  The characters were again very different from the previous stories helping to keep the books fresh.  As part of a series, you might find similar plots, however the authors were successful in keeping me interested.  With the final two books in this series, I find myself to be happily finished with the brainless, but satisfying, romance novels of the Lassiter Dynasty.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Resolution 35

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, every where you go..."

I'll give you that it starts looking like Christmas earlier and earlier each year.  However, now that Thanksgiving has flown on by and December is here, it truly IS beginning to look and sound like Christmas.  I have found that several things keep me sane through the holidays (wine is one of them, but not one I will be discussing in this post) and the first it to create a plan/be organized.

Some people are naturally organized all year long and flow through the holidays un-flustered.  I'd like to think that is me however, then I wake up and discover that I have been napping.  So when it comes to the holidays I make lists, lists and lists.

I list the food I need to buy and the gifts I need to get.  I list the snacks that I have purchased; both appetizer and dessert types.  I list the holiday foods my family wants to eat.  I list the ready-made meals I have in the freezer for those days I just want to be in the moment with my family and not cook.  I make a list of those I need to purchase gifts for and ideas that I have for them.  Then I make decisions and shop online for as many as them as possible.  When I venture out to purchase items that I cannot get online, I take a list so that I don't impulse shop.  If I am hosting an event, I may have three or four lists for that event to complete.  Lists make me feel like I have it all under control, even though I know that may not be true.

Resolution 35:  Make Some Lists, Check them Twice

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Book 57

While taking a break from Unbroken, I read Rare Bird:  A Memoir of Loss and Love by Anna Whiston-Donaldson.  That may seem a bit unusual that I took a break from a book that had some graphic details about death and life in a POW camp to read a book about a mother who lost a child.  However, her prose is uplifting.  Her tale is horrible:  she sent her kids out to play in the rain.  What happened next strikes fear in a mother's heart.  But more than what happened is how she is surviving, one day at a time.  What is wonderful about her story is her faith, her realness.  Her storytelling creates a feeling of not sitting alone on a couch reading a book, rather of sitting in a cozy kitchen with coffee and treats listening to a dear friend pour her heart out.  

It left me feeling a bit better equipped to help someone else who may find themselves in this horrible place.  It left me feeling a need to work on my faith.  It left me feeling inspired and humbled at the same time.