Monday, September 30, 2013

Books 64-69

I know now that the new TV season is upon us, my reading will probably slow down some.  However, as I reloaded my Nook today, I know that reading is really part of who I am and I will always make time for it.

I finished Debbie Macomber's Navy Series the best I could.  One of the books still hasn't been sold for digital so my options are to try to purchase that one book used or go without.  Yeah, I'm going with the latter for now.  The books are not really inter-related in this series.  The first couple made mention of a couple of folks, but after that, not so much. (64-66)

I then read Debbie's very first book she sold to Harlequin.  With the amount of references to pray and having a relationship with God, I am really surprised they purchased it.  Personally, I liked it, God talk and all, though you can really see that her ability to bring a story to conclusion has improved throughout her writing years.  The title of this book is Heartsong.  

I then read The Vow, by Kim and Krickett Carpenter.  This real life story about going through a terrible accident and surviving because of their faith was very compelling.  It is a very quick read and I am looking forward to watching the Hollywood version, though I am quite aware that it doesn't demonstrate the same power of faith.  They made a pledge before God when they married each other and it took A LOT of work to stay married.  It is very inspirational and I highly recommend it. 

This afternoon, I finished the last Debbie book on my Nook, This Matter of Marriage.  It is a timeless tale of boy being in love with his ex-wife while female friend next door is tackling blind dates in hopes of marrying.  Yes, these two friends finally discover that their key to happiness is right next door, but along the way others also find love.  Sigh.

I have reloaded my Nook with several books recommended by various authors in Ladies Home Journal or friends on FB or Blogs I've read.  Debbie is safely tucked away except for Saturday evenings when I tune into the Cedar Cove television series on the Hallmark Channel. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Resolution 40 - Christmas Lists

As I looked at the calendar today, I realized that October was arriving this week.  In the olden days, before the LRHB, I always did my Christmas shopping in early October.  First, my boys have fall birthdays so I would pool the money, buy what they wanted and divvy it up between birthday and Christmas.  Also, my nieces and nephews don't live close to us and I would try to get ideas and gifts sent before the holiday rush.  Also, sometimes it takes time to come up with gift ideas for the grandparents, so I need to start early.

However, I have found in the last years, I haven't been planning ahead.  Part of that is as the boys got older, it was harder to shop for them.  Gift ideas for teens are expensive.  Part of it is that we've taken to travelling in the fall.  One would think that would make me better organized, but alas, it has not.

This is the year!  I am getting organized NOW.  You should join me!  Make a list, check it twice.  "It's beginning to look a lot like Chrismas!"

Resolution 25 - Clean out the Refrigerator

We all know that I skipped half of the summer of resolutions.  So I was actually able to do TWO last week.  I looked in the fridge one day after school as I was pulling dinner together and realized that it was really kinda needing a cleaning.  Since we had extra time on our hands (rain had cancelled the evening's activities), I started pulling out a shelf and a drawer and cleaning them.  I wiped down some of the inside.  The next night, I tackled a little bit more (again, rain).  And I finished it over the weekend.  So, break a big job down into smaller jobs and get something accomplished that will make you proud.  Crazy as it seems, I am proud!  

Resolution 39 - Fall Clothes

Yes, it is that time of year... the weather is changing here (or so they say) and I've looked through the drawers only to discover that my boy is going to be cold.  Soon.  And college boy needs some new pants, too!  So make a list of those things that you need to purchase so you can pick things up as those emails come to you about sales or free shipping.  Perhaps, the need is more urgent and you need to plan a trip to purchase a couple of items to get you on your way.

In our case, we no longer have enough underwear for LRHB to make it through the week.  And his boxers are getting to small also.  So the boxers are going to the list to shop for eventually (like new pajama pants and sweat pants) and I made a late night Target run for new underwear.  Happy Shopping!

Resolution 38 - Freezer Meals

Last month, my sweet LM organized a cooking day so that when I started work, I would have one thing taken care of... dinner.  We cooked breakfasts and dinners that day; a productive day indeed as I am just using up the final meals.  It has been such a life-saver, I am putting together a cooking day for this coming weekend to restock the freezer.

I find that we use fresh ingredients so that the meals are healthier for our families.  Everyone needs a healthier approach to last minute dinner madness, so I recommend that you too take on freezer meals.  It is far better than my old plan of having something in the freezer for those crazy days that I bought at the store pre-made.  Like potpies or lasagna.  I am making my own potpies and lasagna!  The healthier version!  Of course, not everything is "healthy".  I don't want to mislead you.  In fact, LRHB requested Tatertot casserole as one of the meals.  And it is a comfort food, surely, however, not what I'd call healthy.  Guess that's why I'm only making one!

Resolution 37 - Use the Cleaning Chart

I developed this great cleaning chart in hopes that I'd be working full-time this fall and would need a plan of action.  I am working full-time this fall!  However, I am NOT using the cleaning chart.  Why not?  Well, I forget about it.  And I love watching football.  I've also made several more trips up and down the highways to see my college kids or pick them up and take them back, etc.  However, I find that I am trying really hard to stay on top of the house, just not using my tool.  Therefore, some things keep getting done while others slip through the cracks.  SO, my resolution is to PRINT my chore chart and work with it!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

This is WHY

I took my Teen Boy all over California last August to view schools that he really, really wanted to attend.  Some fell off the list, others moved up and another trip to CA in the fall secured the choice for early acceptance.  In the end, he didn't get into those schools and ended up at a state school.  Secretly, momma was okay with that even if it meant watching her boy's dream die.  I'm honest to a fault.


On Labor Day he was biking to class when the chain came off and the brakes failed and his face met with a brick landscaping wall.  He was in surgery by lunch to repair the deep lacerations to his face.  Unfortunately, the concussion is the thing that is bringing us the most trouble as it will linger on.  for WEEKS.  But we were on the road within 25 minutes of finding out.  We took him to the ER.  We were there while he underwent surgery.  We took him home with us and watched and cared for him that night.  We took him back to campus the next day (hardest.thing.).  And we picked him up three days later to replenish his spent spirit and support him while he gave his body the time it needed to heal.  We took him back three days later for the follow-up appointment with the surgeon.  We were there:  holding him, caring for him, listening to him, feeding him, medicating him, supporting him.  Because he was only 75 minutes away from us.  This is why God put him at that school.  He knew what was coming and that we'd need to be there for him.

God has a plan.  You may not see it today, but He knows.

Another thought, we are so blessed by Him that the damage was not worse.  Thank you, Jesus, for giving us what we can handle.  You know our hearts better than we do.

60, 61, 62 and 63 All Debbie

That's right, I am still in romance-land.  I am reading and enjoying stories with happy endings.  It gets me through days that have happy endings that are harder to see.  

Let me be clear, I am very happily married.  Is he "romantic"?  Not so much so perhaps that is why I enjoy these stories.  But he loves me.  Faults and all.  I am truly blessed to have him in my world.  I am not looking for these books to fill a void.  Off the soapbox...

This is what I've discovered.  In the evenings, my little guy is motivated to read longer when I am sitting and reading alongside him.  Not the same book as him as his requirement for school is independent reading.  So I read my stuff, he reads his.  Then he finishes his reading write-up and we go off to his room to read together.  
I digress...

I've read the latest release from Debbie Macomber, Rose Harbor in Bloom, a reissue of one of her first tales, Starlight, and I've begun another one of her series, Navy.  Within that series I've read Navy Wife and Navy Brat and I've emailed the author to find out why only 5 of the 6 books in the series have been reissued.  I'm invested!

Resolution Week 35

Learn from your Mistakes...

I work in a classroom that has this resolution posted so that students remember that learning from mistakes is a great way to learn.  That it is okay to make a mistake as long as you take the experience and learn from it.  I think that it is great.

I also found out how hard that is to do firsthand this week.  I made a mistake at work.  No lives were lost.  No people were hurt.

I just erased quite a bit of justification that I had typed.  Because I am still learning how to learn from my mistake.  I don't need to explain anything to you.  Nor do you need to to me.  Just learn.

Resolution Week 34

Learn Something New...

This week I have two children starting a new school year.  This is a time to renew their passion for learning and the best way to do this is take time to learn something yourself.  This is not going out on a limb for me because I am learning new material now that I am working.  My sons have seen me take classes last winter and spring as well as this month.

But I am wondering if I let me children know through the years that I was learning something new.  Did I communicate when I was reading biographies that I was learning from other peoples examples?  When I tried a new tool in the kitchen or to grow a new plant in the garden, did I tell them I was learning something new?  Did they know that when I was going to Bible Study that I was learning more about my faith and myself?  I have been learning even if I haven't been enrolled in school.  However, I think that communicating that to your people is something we don't take the time to do.  Take the time, share something that you've learned recently with your student so they know that you know that it is hard to learn something new.

Resolution 33

Talk About Risky Behaviors

You can read this that I wrote last year.;postID=6068473249252874219;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=138;src=postname

You can read something here:

Or this blog:

But please, please, please if you do nothing else, hug your kids.  Tell them they can tell you anything.  For my friends to have lost their children breaks my heart.  One in 2011, another this past spring.   No parent should ever have to bury a child.  But they do.

Anyway, this time of year serves as a reminder to talk to my kids about the dangers of the world.  If you want help finding out how to have this discussion, please message me.  I am happy to help.

Resolution Week 30

Challenge Yourself

I challenged myself earlier in the summer, with the encouragement of Sweet LM, to run a 5K.  I've been working out and preparing.  This weekend, Saturday July 27, 2013, I will run my first 5K.  I'm not sure I am ready as we were training for a 5K in September.  But we're giving it our best try.

After the Race...
I DID IT!  I ran it SO MUCH FASTER than I have ever gone while training.  I am excited to do another one in September.  Proud moment!  Happy ME!

59 Something New...

I tried something new.  A new author and a different genre.  I read Just Desserts by Mary Daheim and it is the first book in her Bed & Breakfast Series.  Ironically, I thought I was getting a different book by a different author.  Who knew there were two mystery stories titled "Just Desserts"?  I'm not even sure where I got the title from for the OTHER book, but I did enjoy this story.  She has many more in the series and eventually I'll get there.  And I'll get to Savannah Reid, the main character in a series of books that also start with a book entitled Just Desserts.

This I know... so many books, so little time.  Any chance I can become a professional story reader when I grow up?

Princess Sophia

I love people that view all young people as lazy, self-centered and entitled.  I have a friend that is a senior in college and she embodies none of those characteristics.  I could wax poetic on her summer internship working with homeless youth or her commitment to Young Life or her family.  Instead I will tell you what I found when I clicked on FB today.  Pictures of a birthday party celebrating Princess Sophia.  It was obvious from the photos that none of the eight in attendance were celebrating their birthday and the blog below was mentioned.  So I read it.  It will break your heart and inspire you in the same moment.

They were celebrating with cards and hats and a cake, this precious young life.  People who cannot see the good among today's "young people" need to meet these young people.  Our future in their hands is bright indeed in the things that matter.


Do you follow the now infamous Duck Dynasty?

I have followed conversations about it.  I have admired shirts on proud folks who have gotten Duck Dynasty apparel.  I've met folks that know folks in the Duck Dynasty family.  However, until last night, I had not seen Duck Dynasty.  Following a family dinner around the table with my brother who was visit, we congregated in front of the TV after a day of watching football, soccer and rain, to discover that Duck Dynasty was on.  Not sure which was the most amusing:  the full-body laughing of my boys, my brother explaining it to us or my husband yelling at them to close the back of the truck!  It was so fun to kick back and enjoy the hilarity of it all.

Quack, quack, quack.  Not sure, but I am pretty sure that my husband has now put it on his DVR to record.  Everyone needs laughter in their lives so if it brings him some, fabulous!  For now, I'll do my laughing while watching Devious Maids.

3.5 Books... read on and discover what I mean

I have been back in Fools Gold, California.  It is the town that Susan Mallery sets her series in and I've just finished reading the next three books in the series.  And a cookbook that contained a short romance story as well.  That would be the .5.  I mean, the story was short.  Although I read through the titles of the recipes and even investigated a couple, I am pretty sure I won't actually be making any.  I just got the cookbook so I could read the story contained within.  And the fact that I discovered that was sheer dumb luck.  I was actually spending time in Barnes & Noble the other day, window shopping, when I saw the cookbook on the shelves.  A whole Susan Mallery display, as a matter of fact, was at the end of one of the rows.  And right on the cover of the cookbook it informed me that there was a story contained within the pages of the cookbook!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?  I confess, I didn't purchase it.  I downloaded it from the library and read the story.  It was cute.  A little forgettable compared to the tumultuous tales of the other three books release this summer.   

In case you're keeping count, I'm at 58.5 books and counting...

Moving Forward...

I cannot go back.  Well, I can and I might, but for now I am moving forward.  There is no yesterday, no tomorrow, only today.  I am taking that to heart today.

I have been decidedly absent because I'm behind.  If I cannot make up the past work, I shouldn't carry on my current work.  At least, that has been my thought process.  No more.  I will write to write because it fills my soul.  I can get out the many things I want to say.  I can share the now.  Is it a little disappointing that I may conclude this year without my 52 resolutions, yes.  However, I look at the challenges I have been facing and overcoming and I need to celebrate those.  They may have numbers attached as I go back and tie them to dates.  But at the end of the year, there will be weeks with no resolution, and I've decided that for now, I am okay with that.  I need to fill up myself, not beat up myself.  I am moving forward... come along with me!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Resolution Week 36

Be Grateful...

For whatever it is in your world right now, take time and be grateful.  If your life is hard right now, I promise you, it feels better to find something to be thankful for and honor it.  For just a moment.