Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday's Fave Five #6


Friday's Fave Five is hosted by Living to Tell the Story. It's a great way for me to stay on the positive side, and remember both the big and little blessings in life.

1. Firefly slept through the night!
**singing a note of praise**
He slept more than through the night. He slept 9(!) hours. You better believe I slept that 9 hours, too. :)

2. SPRING BREAK!
Grasshopper only goes to preschool 3 days a week, 2 1/2 hours a day. (That's when the boys aren't sick, or we weren't up all through the night. In actuality, we average making it 2 days a week, on a good one). Between everything that it takes(before, during, and after), it's amazing how much time that takes out of the day, and how much guilt that causes me when we weren't able to make it. It's been a relaxing week. Even when I didn't get the most sleep, I didn't have to rush around. It's been GREAT!


3. Getting yard work done.
We have a lot we need to do in our yard. Although we still have a long way to go, it's coming along at a much faster rate than it has in awhile. That makes me happy!

4. This BEAUTIFUL weather!
It has definitely helped motivate us with the yard work.

5. Grasshopper's imagination!
It has just went through the ROOF lately(for him!). I'd love to take credit for it, but I can't. One of his latest favorites is to grab a clump of dried grass(where there's an end sticking out of each side of his hand), and say, "Moo, it's a cow". The first time he did it, he showed me the other empty hand balled up, and told me it was a horse. He walked his "animals" around the yard for awhile. He stayed SO far behind for SO long that when we see these little improvements, it makes our day. He has did a great deal of imaginative play lately, and brought great humor to our lives. ;)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What's on My Nightstand

What's On Your Nightstand

What's on Your Nightstand is hosted each month by 5 Minutes for Books.


Since last month's post, I've posted thoughts on:

Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books by Tony Reinke

The Beautiful Wife by Sandy Ralya (This was actually partial thoughts. I'm still studying in it. Great book!)

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen

Blue Moon Promise by Colleen Coble

Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth

More Beauty, Less Beast by Debora Coty

A Love That Multiplies by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar

Stand By Me by Neta Jackson

Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

I did a combined post with quick thoughts on:
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie(The book and movie)
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Growing Up Ziglar by Julie Norman Ziglar
(Most of those were "did not finish" books).

I also read:

By the Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia Goyer, but that review won't go up until April 6th. I liked it, though!

This month, I plan on reading:



Moonblood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

I can't even tell you how excited I was to pull this one out of my mailbox. I'm reading it right now. I was actually in the midst of re-reading Moonblood, but I can't keep myself away from Moonblood long enough to finish it!



The Selection by Kiera Cass

Due to a late night and early morning with the boys(not by choice), I'm already almost finished with this one, and I just got it yesterday. It was a better choice for those "trying to stay awake" hours than Moonblood. I need a bit more concentration for those books! I really like The Selection, though! It's a very quiet, fun kind of read.



Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

I already regret the decision to take this one on for review! I haven't read very far in it, but there is lots of profanity, including the "f" word. "sigh" I will try my best to make sure my thoughts about the book are NOT based on the profanity, though. I know that kind of thing doesn't bother everyone as much as it does me. ;)



The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

I've heard GREAT things about this book so far.



Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

This one has been recommended by several people, so I picked it for one of my non-fiction reads this month.



Need You Now by Beth Wiseman

I don't read much Amish fiction these days, so when I saw that Beth Wiseman had decided to write a "regular" fiction book, I knew I wanted to read it! My cover is different than this one, though.



Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings

This one is a contemporary re-telling of the book of Ruth. I don't really care for Biblical fiction where the names are the same, but details are left up to the author. I'm uncomfortable with it. I do love re-tellings, though, when the names and settings are changed.



The Girl in Blue by P.G. Wodehouse

This one is for April's Bookclub pick.

Reading to Know - Book Club



Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

I'm hoping to squeeze this one in, too, since Wodehouse's books are pretty short.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Quick Thoughts on a Few Books

I'm attempting to play a little bit of catch-up today!


Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

I read Peter Pan back in January. I've learned that I'm not a Peter Pan fan. I don't recall ever watching the Disney version, but I was still surprised as I read the book! It was darker than I expected. You can definitely tell that it was intended more for a boy audience(I'm not saying girls won't enjoy it, because plenty do). The dark part didn't bother me, though. It wasn't that dark.

I just didn't get it. I do understand the whole "holding on to childhood" thing. At least part of it. I know I didn't understand everything, because there were parts I was just flat-out confused! The "kiss"?!?!? Is that a childhood symbol of some sort. Again, I didn't get it.

I didn't like Peter. At all! He's mean, arrogant, and abusive. He doesn't remember things. The other boys are scared of him, and go along with absolute craziness just to keep him happy.

*Peter Pan fans: Please don't let my dislike of him offend you. I still respect all the fans out there! ;)

Content:

"A**" is used several times. There was a great deal of killing and just in general "boy" stuff. There's also one line that might be a little inappropriate with today's meaning of a certain word. At least for young children, especially very conservative families, I'd recommend reading this book first before handing it over. I'm not saying don't hand it over, just make sure you're comfortable with it.




Peter Pan (Movie)

I tried to watch this movie several times! I didn't like it at all. I probably got halfway through it. I thought the acting was horrible. Most of the actors and actresses grated on my nerves. The movie is narrated by a woman, which annoyed me. Why not have a man, since Barrie was a man? The books read like he's sitting in front of a group of children telling a story. I don't know why the movie wouldn't want to do the same thing. I know movies always change a great deal from the books, but it annoyed me what they changed in this movie. I just didn't like it at all!




Peter and the Starcatchers by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry

This is a re-telling of Peter Pan. Actually, I think this book, the first one in the series, is a re-telling of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. I'm not positive on that, though. I tried reading Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, and realized there was no sense torturing myself.
I got about halfway through Peter and the Starcatchers before deciding to give up for now. I don't hate it. I'm just not excited about it, and I've had a hard time making myself pick it up to finish. I had planned on reading a set of books each month for the Classics Double Challenge, and this book set has greatly hindered my progress. There's just too many other books I'm really excited about reading! I DO plan on coming back to this one someday.

Content:

Remember, I didn't finish it, but "Da**" is used a few times by the halfway point. I want to jump on my soapbox at this point, but I'll refrain. This is supposed to be a young reader series, though.



Growing Up Ziglar by Julie Ziglar Norman

I gave up at about the halfway point on this book, too. Based on this post, I know it looks like I give up on a lot of books, but I really don't!
When it comes to Non-Fiction, I find it really distracting when the author and I completely disagree on certain Biblical teachings that I believe are crystal clear. That is the case with this book. I almost never completely agree with everything an author says. The world is full of various opinions. It usually doesn't bother me. It really depends on what the book is trying to teach. I am pretty open-minded on most things. :)
So, I'm not telling you not to read this book or that I hated it or anything. There were just books sitting on my shelf that I think I will get more out of. It probably didn't help matters that I had never heard of Zig Ziglar or his daughter. If you know of them, you will probably enjoy it more.

Stand By Me by Neta Jackson



Thomas Nelson (March 13, 2012) 400 pages

Description from Amazon:

Sometimes the person you most need is the one least like you.

Kathryn Davies is a bright young woman form a prominent Phoenix family. But after making a leap of faith at a Christian music fest, dropping out of med school, and moving to inner city Chicago, her family all but disowns her.

When Kat discovers SouledOut Community Church, she longs to become a part of the multicultural church family. But her tendency to immediately say whatever she's thinking steps on the toes of nearly everyone she meets-especially Avis Douglass.

Avis has a strong faith, is the principal of one of Chicago's highest performing elementary schools, and is a founding member of SouledOut. But the country's economic downturn has thrown both her and her husband's jobs in question. And Avis hasn't heard from her youngest daughter in months-an estrangement that gnaws at her every day. Where is God in this?

Kat's flamboyant zeal for living a "radical" Christian life is a stark contrast to Avis's more reserved faith. But in God's timing, the two women discover they need each other in ways neither of them expected.

My Thoughts:

I've heard of the Yada Yada books, but I've never read any of them. Apparently, there are several different series, all revolving around the same Prayer Group. Stand by Me is the first book in the new series, Souled Out Sisters. The Yada Yada Prayer Group is still going strong, and it looks like some of the same characters are still around, but with some new ones added in, too.

Religion also plays a huge part in this book, so if you don't care to read "preachy" books, you might not care for this series. I don't mind them at all, so I very much enjoyed the little lessons throughout! Reading this book actually came at a great time! I feel like maybe this book was placed in my path for a reason.

Some of y'all may remember my picture with "our" deer from an earlier post. We don't own the field behind our house. We own(borrowed from God) the acre we're on, but we've always got to mostly enjoy the surrounding land. Well, not anymore. A couple of guys(who also do not own the land) have let us know they are hunting "our" deer, and they have already set up video cameras in the field. RIGHT BEHIND OUR HOUSE! I was furious. WHY would someone pick a house with two babies to hunt behind?! I'm also upset that my little private corner of the world is no longer private. Stand by Me gave me a much needed lesson. It's one that I've already learned and know, but sometimes it's easy to forget to apply lessons learned to a new situation. I don't see the big picture. Good may come of this situation. There's no sense in me throwing a fit, and getting mad. I have to pray, and trust that everything will turn out fine.

I always read fiction for entertainment. I save non-fiction for those areas that need improvement. But, when a fiction book gives me much needed lesson, I consider it icing on the cake.

Avis and Kat are the leading ladies of Stand by Me. To be honest, I found both of them a bit annoying. About halfway through, I realized....they're real. I'm sure simply on my blog, I annoy most of you, at least at times. If someone were to write a book about me, I guarantee you would be annoyed by me frequently! So, Jackson has done a wonderful job of creating real, imperfect characters who struggle just like the rest of us.

Overall, Stand by Me was a fun read that I greatly enjoyed. As much as I'd love to play catch up and read all the other books, I have to admit that there's so many, I find it a little bit intimidating to attempt reading ALL of them. I was never lost in this one, though. I imagine I could pick up any of them, and I would still enjoy it!

*A huge thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers and B&B Media Group for my review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Love That Multiplies by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar


Howard Books (June 7, 2011) 288 pages

My Thoughts:

The Duggar family gives great inspiration to me! They simply make me want to be a better person, and raise the standard of living I feel I should be living. I like watching their show. At the moment, it's the only show I DVR and actually watch. Surprisingly, we have a great deal of the same beliefs. There's also plenty that we disagree about. While we DO share the same beliefs about birth control pills, we do NOT share the same beliefs concerning having as many children as our bodies allow us. I don't judge them! I actually very much respect that they've made this decision AND they're sticking with it. I know it has to be hard on them at times. As far as religious beliefs, we're pretty close. I think Baptist is about as close to my "religion" as one can get. In some ways, they're more conservative, and in others I'm more conservative. I connect with them, though! They bring humor and encouragement to my life.

A great deal of A Love That Multiplies is basicly repeating what has been on the shows. I haven't watched every single episode, but I recognized a good bit of the reading from the shows I have saw. I didn't see any of the episodes concerning Josie, so it was all mostly new information for me. As most of you know, Grasshopper was born extremely premature, weighing 1 pound, 8 ounces. I got very emotional while reading about little Josie, because we've been there. It was the hardest thing I've ever been through in my life at this point, and Grasshopper was my first. I can't imagine going through that tough time with 18 other children at home!

There is other information besides what has been on shows, though. They have listed quite a few reference materials they use as a family. I'm thinking if it works so well for them, I need to give them a try! I have tons of things highlighted, so I can reference back often.

A Love That Multiplies was a fun, quick read. I received the encouragement that I was hoping for, and I enjoyed reading more about them.

**A huge thanks to Howard Books for my review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Spring Reading Thing 2012



Spring Reading Thing is hosted by Katrina @ Callapidder Days.

As much as I used to dislike planning my reading, I've grown to appreciate having a list.

I realize I probably won't get through ALL of these. I hope to, though. They are in addition to my "What's on My Nightstand" books, so we'll see. They are also all books that are already on my shelves.(oops....two exceptions are from my church library).

Non-Fiction:




Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth

I'm desperate for sleep. I NEED sleep! Excluding month 3/4 (I think), when Firefly actually slept through the night, I think I can count on one hand(I might need both if I think hard enough) the number of times I've actually slept through the night in the past 11 months. :P I'm not completely deprived, but I can feel it catching up with me in every part of my body.




War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles by Paul David Tripp

I've heard good things about this author, so I really want to give this one a try.



Friendship: Handle With Care by Jane McWhorter

I admire this sweet lady with all my heart, and have all the respect in the world for her! We also go to the same church. :) I'm wanting to make my way through ALL of her books eventually(I've already read a few).




She Hath Done What She Could by Jane McWhorter




Special Delivery: A Course in Letter-Writing by Jane McWhorter

I bought this one recently, and Ms. Jane signed it for me. :)



Fiction:



East by Edith Pattou



Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George



The Frontiersman's Daughter by Laura Frantz



Alabama Brides by Sandra Robbins

I really, really hope I can make it through all of these!