Thursday, January 31, 2008
That's what you get when you mix the ICV with King James. All those years memorizing and what do I have to show for it, but confused children. Here I thought I knew that one.
Monday, January 28, 2008
This week I'm going to tell you about an author that I discovered on her, I think, first book, Reluctant Burglar. I don't remember the exact circumstances by which I came to read it, but I remember being really pleased or surprised at how good it was. (When you offer to read and review stuff, sometimes the books can be a real downer and you just never know. The good ones, like RB, are pleasant!)
So, when I came across the offering on Armchair of the second book in the series, Reluctant Runaway, I jumped on it. And it was great also!
When the third book came around, others apparently had gotten wind of this great author because it was long gone by the time I spoke up at Armchair. Bummer. But I got to read it anyway! And it, like its predecessors, is fantastic.
If you like the romantic suspense type books, these will be up your alley. Not so scary you won't read it in front of a window (shudder), but not so lame as to make you wonder why on earth they put "suspense" in the description. Jill gives RS a good name. Her books are a mini-vacation. I stress mini, because once you start it, you'll have to finish in just a couple days. They read that fast and well. Great pace for this bibliophile.
And now for the plot:
Looting of archaeological sites is big business in a thriving art and antiquities black market. When a desperate foreign government hires Desiree Jacobs’s security company to stop the hemorrhage, she runs afoul of a deadly art-for-drugs operation. Tony Lucano risks his rising career in the FBI to dive into the international underworld after her. Before either of them can come up for air, they must navigate through a deepening murk of ruthless looters, hair-trigger DEA agents, crooked government agents, and innocent bystanders caught up in an illegal trade beyond their understanding. Even if a miracle delivers Desi and Tony from evil, will their love survive the test?
Complete with a reader’s guide, this third book in the To Catch a Thief series explores the power of hope in the darkest of circumstances.
And yes, art and antiquities might sound boring, but I assure you they are not. Now I'm starting to remember why I was nervous about the first book. Don't be. They are wonderful!
Oh, and the whole series phenomenon? While it certainly doesn't hurt to read them all and in order, it isn't necessary. (Though I've included all the links for your perusal.)
I personally think it a bad time because I'm too emotional to make a rational decision that will impact the rest of my life. On the other hand, I can't think of a more logical time to consider such a step than in the throes of the insanity of it all.
Of course this morning I have three children who spiked a fever, too. That might have a bit of an impact on my logic.
But then there is the lady I sat next to at a meeting yesterday who talked about how overwhelmed she was with her two girls and now wishes she'd had a lot more kids. That's the story I keep hearing. Which makes me hesitant to make any permanent decisions before my youngest (whomever that should be) is about 10.
Of course all those families associated with Princess's basketball team with a span of children close to 20 years with a major break between the second to last and the last....well, it makes me, um, nervous.
Not that it matters as my insurance most decidedly does not cover any sterilization procedures and I decidedly do NOT have the cash for the procedure anyway.
I'm just saying.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Anyway, see my next post. It applies.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
I always fancied myself the relaxed life giving, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, homeschooling mother of multitudes. A bakers dozen. It turns out that, instead, I am a pretty decent mother of two when said two are four years apart and other said two are off being taught by a woman who is far more gifted in patience.
I still breastfeed, but not la leche lengths of time (at least may it be so again with number 4). I cloth diapered for approximately one month out of, sheesh, how many now? 70 months.
70 months of diapers. I suppose that calculation doesn't take in to account that fact that I had two in diapers at once, long ago, so you can subtract nine of those months as duplicates...still.
I give myself grace because I potty train relatively early.
If I take my four kids to the grocery store, I can count on a migraine, a "deserved" Pepsi, much more junk in my cart and a pretty crummy attitude that may just last for hours.
If I take two, the younger two, to be exact, I actually return to the store from the parking lot if I forgot something (whereas I wouldn't recross the store BEFORE checkout if I had everyone with me), keep up a steady stream of insensible chit-chat, take time for the second horse ride and, even if someone gave me trouble, still am in a relatively decent mood when I finish.
So, though I want to be mother earth, I guess I'll settle for 21st century mother of the 'burbs.
Guess what else I discovered at the grocery store? I am still tacky enough to like that canned squirt "cheese." Mr George was sampling it today and I expected that my tastes would have changed with my adulthood like my tastes in chocolate and ice cream. Not so. I still like that raunchy stuff and when Frodo asked to go back by the sample kiosk, I did.
And then I came home (after a stop off at the library) and read this entire book, cover to cover, this afternoon/evening. Shame. I haven't done that since Charming was born. But hey, I cleaned this morning...and I read some stories to the kids tonight. (They had basketball which is the only reason I got away with it!) Loved it. Love all her stuff.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
"I read a scripture the other day that I loved: it is Psalm 51:10 and it is the Message translation: God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don't you love that! Make a fresh start in me - shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. What is this saying? It is saying, give me a fresh start, let me re-create my life, take this chaos and make it something wonderful. A Genesis week ~ that is the week that God created the entire world ~ and He did it with words. He didn't create the world with nothing ~ only with something you couldn't see. It is the same today, you don't recreate your world with nothing ~ only with something you can't see. The same thing He used in the beginning ~ words.
Chaos here: this brings another verse to my mind, Psalm 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy site, oh Lord my strength and my redeemer!"
That is my theme for the day....hopefully for my life.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I haven't checked my site meter in months, but one comment from one person I didn't recognize and I had to go see how he found me (googling AFA presidential primaries to be exact) and I rediscovered an old addiction I had. Oops.
Love site meter.
Now, must take shower. Haven't had one yet this week. (When did it come to this, I ask?)
Monday, January 21, 2008
It's new book Tuesday (or will be very soon) and here's a good one for you!
101 Cups of Water; Relief and refreshment for the tired, thirsty soul by C.D. Baker.
"C.D. Baker dips into the flowing stream of God’s love and draws out relief, refreshment, mercy, hope and sustenance for a new generation of Christ-followers. Baker’s clean, simple prose is paired with evocative, black and white photographs that will etch each truth into the reader’s memory."
People, let me tell you, this is one book that is so gut honest, you will sit up and listen to what he has to say. First, the book is beautiful and has lovely photos. The readings are practically snippets. And when/if you get to a point where you feel like such a crummy Christian that you daren't pick up a Bible because lightning might strike (kidding...but it has occurred to me) this might be a good place to start to get back on the right mental track. It is full of wonderful reminders that none of us is perfect. And with cups of appreciation, honesty, opportunity, noise, liberation, etc., there is something gooooooood in there for every day of your life.
So, pick up a cup of refreshing water--the living water that Jesus gives--and pick up 101 Cups of Water, too.
Personally, I can't resist such gut honesty. Especially when it is followed by the Truth.
Oh, and I have one to give away too, so leave a comment to let me know you'd like it and I'll draw for a winner.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Moment of silence for the gloriousness that it is to do that and eat off of it for better than two weeks without doing dishes.
Charming has literally been attached since I got home. Okay, not literally. He is now in his bed snuffling after a very traumatic cry following the attachment until sleep could no longer be avoided and waking to mommy slipping out of the room.
I keep telling him that a lot of mommies leave their babies for many hours every day, but it isn't taking. He thinks he is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
One of us is suffering, anyway.
Oh, and the reason I spoke in church today? Pro-Life Sunday. You gotta see this video (click on "Everything to Me"). I nearly made it to the end without dripping tears, but when they handed that baby over....I got all sloppy.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Speaking of Charming on my hip: the little pill thinks he is a dictator. It isn't enough that he must be on my hip all day, no, he must be on my left hip (because I trained him that way) held with my left arm holding up his lead bottom. If I dare brace my left arm with my right hand, he casts it off. If I don't obey the direction of his pushy little hand, he pushes harder and then emits a wait of discontent. One handed holding only, Mommy.
Again with Charming: my house is set up in such a way that you can't gate off the stairs very well. However we have a lot of stairs. That Charming likes to go up, but doesn't yet know how to get down (safely). So Hubs built a fence that was awesome until about 30 minutes ago. When my sneaky little 10 month old thwarted the fence by climbing UNDER the hall cabinet, BETWEEN the legs and AROUND the fence, from the back of the cabinet. Sigh. Such determination. I fear for me when he is 2...and four and sixteen.
I did a radical (for me) thing last week. I removed all of my back up jeans that I hate from my closet. I have the jeans I wear (that (check this!) are too big (spandex is a wonderful thing)) and the back up jeans. And up until last week, I had the back up back up jeans, and the back up back up back up jeans. Because you never know when you'll need 43 pair of faded jeans left over from the 90s with ratty hems and tapered legs. Because you might get pregnant and need that pair that is a little loose, or you might lose weight and need that pair that is a little tight. OR, you could go to Kohl's and pick up a pair of Sonomas for $15, that, though they are mom jeans and not too trendy, they don't scream, "Call 'What Not to Wear' Immediately!" (Unless one of you would call them for me. I'd model my 90s jeans to get that $5000 shopping spree.)
FYI, I haven't missed my jeans once yet. I'm not even sure I've cracked out the back up jeans, even.
Speaking of jeans: I bought Eldest a pair of Tony Hawk jeans at the aforementioned Kohl's. They have stovepipe legs and are that dirty brownish-bluish-blackish color that is in....or was in. I AM 32. Hubs asked if the jeans were supposed to be that color. And then he decided he is also decidedly old...even though he is only 31.
Oh, and HELLO! Target has tons of stuff marked down 75% today. If you are in to that kind of thing. Nothing like spending money to save money.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Because I won't let them destroy the house, watch TV all day, or eat crap. Hello, this isn't Christmas, it's a snow day and I have to live with ya'll tomorrow.
On the bright side of things, Charming slept 6 hours IN A ROW last night and I had the self control to put myself to bed early enough that I slept 5 hours IN A ROW so I have the mental fortitude to deal with the aforementioned bad attitudes. Take that, snow day!
Want some light, humorous, and not yet catty (as of chapter five) reading?
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Her latest, Chill Out, Josey! is no exception.
Chill Out, Josey! is the continued saga of Josey of Everything's Coming Up Josey fame, the story of an inexperienced missionary in Russia (Not that you need to have read that to enjoy this). Josey's back in Russia, but this time she is pregnant.
This book is hilarious. Laugh out loud funny. And I don't mean the quick sniff kind of laugh. Belly laughter. Maybe pregnancy is still too fresh... But for whatever reason, I liked this one even better than Josey 1.
It's a lot to pile on a couple of newlyweds. Differing views of how they should spend their first year. Differing expectations of how to spend Sunday evening. A lost job. And, gulp, an unexpected pregnancy. But pregnant! in! Russia! I nearly fell off the couch in hysteria with her descriptions of the babushkas.
You can read the first chapter here.
And Susan May Warren is hosting a fab contest here.
And, heck, why not read all my other fawning posts. You can go here or here or here.
But don't forget to buy this one, here:
Monday, January 14, 2008
I bought a new fridge today. Mine went on the fritz last Wednesday. I was in denial until yesterday when I could no longer refute the fact that no matter how cold I turned the dial, the ice won't freeze, I can store Pepsi in the freezer and it isn't an ice cube and the milk in the fridge compartment is not much better than cool.
Yes, I could call the serviceman, but this fridge has outlived my expectations by three and a half years. And he costs $75 no matter whether he can fix it or not.
So. I bought a fridge. I have spent two days looking at fridges. I have learned options that fridges have that I didn't even know I needed. I bought a fridge based on some of those options. I bought a fridge based on some consumer reports stuff. I bought a fridge based on my budget. I drove all over the stinking city trying to get the best deal. I finally decided I got a good deal.
Two hours later, I got some severe anxiety that I didn't get the best deal. Because if Hubs had gone, he would have bartered like a maniac to get the absolute best deal NO MATTER WHAT.
One must wonder why he sent me.
I don't barter.
I drive all over the city to make sure I pay the least MARKED price. I did that. By $125. And I got free next day delivery (I bartered that).
I'm sure we are talking a $50 difference. Hubs can freelance himself out by the hour for more than he would have been able to barter the guy down (which is why I went alone today) but still...
Do you barter? Do you fret about not bartering hard enough? Are you a bartering weakling? Do you want a fritzed out fridge? Do you buy bells and whistles you didn't know you wanted or needed but two days later you don't think you can live without? Would you regret not buying the bells if you think you will regret it more if you do pay for them? Do you think that retailers are in a conspiracy that none of them carry the exact same of anything so you can't compare apples to apples?
This, my friends, is why I shop clearance racks for clothes. I have buyers remorse when I bring home GUM.
Yesterday I bought a shirt at Old Navy (75% off!). Size: small. I'm practically swimming in it.
Most of the shirts I try on there are XL and they are so tight as to be indecent.
What's up with that?
I just can't figure it out. Some day's I'm a 10, some I'm a 4. You never quite know what you're gonna get.
It's a conspiracy, I tell you. A conspiracy.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Now I know how to tell time at night without looking at a clock.
Fall asleep, baby wakes (yes, they are ALWAYS concurrent) nurse baby on the left side.
Sleep. Nurse baby on the right side.
Sleep. Nurse baby on the left side.
Sleep. Nurse baby on the right and pray he doesn't know it is morning since the sun isn't up.
Play with baby. Night is over.
Child is like clockwork.
At least I know what to expect. Somehow that makes getting up with a ten month old four times a night (which, yes, translates to two in reality, but work with me here) almost tolerable.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
If it wasn't enough of an issue that we (I) couldn't find Eldest's basketball shorts or Princess's t-shirt, I also forgot the video AND still cameras. And even then all could have been right with the world if...
Nah, it was still fine. But the kids play basketball through the Upward program (which is an awesome, Christian, non-compete league). And it's flashy.
Eldest hates flashy.
The moment they turned out the lights, turned on the spazzy ball thingie and cranked up the music, Chaos-Mama started the water works.
Hubs claims it was my imagination when I heard Eldest start to cry.
But I cried for him through the flashy intro. And then I cried for him while he played. And I cried when the kid passed him the ball because he was crying.
This is why we put him in basketball. Christian, Non-compete. To get him trying.
How hard it is.
My house is covered in candy and all I really want is juice. I grab a caramel, expecting to want it, and after the first bite throw the rest away. I'm considering throwing four pounds of chocolate in the trash.
Is it the after effects of the Christmas gorge, or is it just me?
Friday, January 11, 2008
"I just ripped my sin up and underneath there was Jesus in my heart."
Gotta love that kid.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
I feel like I'm the butt of some cosmic joke. Worse, I don't get the punch line. I even felt justified in my yelling. How much can one woman take?
Strip her of her sleep, her body, her privacy. Take away her ability to breathe through her nose. Make her wake up with a dry hacking cough even when the baby manages to sleep 30 minutes in a row. Make her eyes so dry they hurt to open them...and do it right after a plague of pinkeye so she can't be sure that she doesn't have it. And toss in a crick in the back she can only attribute to lunging for the trash full of rotten food that the baby is crawling rapidly towards.
So, you might imagine that when the baby decided he didn't want a nap after dozing off at the breast, she might feel justified in screaming at God, "I suppose you think this is FUNNY! I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE AND YOU'D BETTER CATCH ON!" And a few more key phrases such as those.
It took me nearly a full minute to repent.
I might make snide comments to my kids, husband and friends (even the cash register lady at the grocery store) about being tired. But I don't scream in the face of God. There's enough Baptist left in my to know you don't do that.
Anyway, I've spent the last hour flagellating my stiff necked self as I remember that neither I nor my children are dying from cancer or any other disease. I have a bed to sleep in even if it often goes unused. And this fussy baby is a blessing that I begged God for on many sleepless nights when I could lay down in the quiet, but my sadness over having no child at all overwhelmed me to the point I thought I might curl up in a ball and die.
I figured I would confess my sins one to another again today.
May you not be the butt of some cosmic joke today. Or maybe, may you be.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Today Hubs is taking the three big kids to go play basketball.
Frodo thinks his underoos look like a basketball uniform and that he shouldn't have to put clothes on to go. Chaos-Mama informed him that we don't play basketball in our underwear.
"No, underwear is for boxing."
That's my boy.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
I know that in the Bible it says that in this life there will be many tribulations, but come on...
We just discovered that my in-law's car, that has been parked in front of our house for a few days, was hit (and run).
Our house hasn't been unoccupied since last Saturday. I've been home either sick or with sick kids since we drove in last Saturday afternoon. I didn't hear a thing.
I am so utterly annoyed. And annoyed doesn't begin to touch what Hub's parents are probably feeling right now.
Friday, January 04, 2008
CRAWL OVER TO THE TRASH CAN, PULL OUT A BANANA PEEL, AND BEGIN TO GNAW UPON IT?
Thursday, January 03, 2008
What is a Hokie, anyway? It's a term I used in middle school to describe something "backwoods." Don't answer that. I just googled it. Not that Jayhawks are much better with their made up name, but it seems cooler when it's YOUR mascot.
Here's hoping the second half is as good as the first.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Today, after the absurdly poor customer service I received after standing in the absurdly long checkout line after navigating the absurdly packed aisles in the absurdly oversized store which was absurdly understocked...well, let's just say my money spent just fine next door at Target and NEXT time I won't bother to try to spend it at Wal-Mart.
I'm not saying I'll never go back, but today tipped my scales to the dark side.
It's the small things that kill marriages, I'm serious.
But, by this evening we were back to bantering. Short bantering, but bantering, nonetheless.
We got on this role of, "That's what keeps Daddy coming back." (passive aggressive, I know) To which he would respond with, "Well, it helps, but it isn't the real reason." I worked my way through food, sparkling personality, vows, among other things when I gave up and demanded to know what DID keep him coming back, everyday, to the land of chaos (when I know how much he hates disorder in general).
He gave me the sweetest answer--one which many would not find particularly complementary--and also one I am not prone to share--not because it is indecent, because it isn't--but because someone who isn't US won't understand.
I think it is probably the nicest thing he has ever said to me.
But if I had, not yelling at my kids in the morning would have been on there.
And it would have already been broken.
But until someone helps me with the laundry and dishes and cooking, no one is allowed to complain and look pathetic because his favorite shirt is wet (and CLEAN) in the washer. Patheticism and and complaints once, maybe. I was very understanding for a good 15 minutes, but when he still just followed me around and supervised the laundry folding without helping all while looking dejected...didn't go over well.
Insert mom lecture number 14 which goes something like: I am only one person, yet I do laundry for six. I am only one person, yet I cook for six. I am only one person, and I do dishes for six. YOU went to a party last night while I stayed home so don't you DARE gripe at me about your airplane shirt!