Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gettin' 'er Done!

My days have been pretty busy since the kids' Thanksgiving break.  
First with planning and preparing Thanksgiving dinner, 
plus the kids being out of school.
Thanksgiving came and went,
as did their break from school,
and now I'm settling into Christmas mode!
This is my view as I write to you this morning:
This is my family room tree, complete with 1600 lights
and dozens of memories in the form of ornaments.

Today's plans (along with finishing up the laundry, cooking dinner
and cleaning the hardwood)
include putting up the parlor tree
and also decking out the rest of the house with the 
odds and ends of Christmas decor I've accumulated
over the years.

I still have to hang the stockings!  : )

I'm attempting something a little different with my outside decorating
this year and if I'm successful, I'll be posting pics later this week.
Cross your fingers for me!  ; )

I'm also trying to organize my reading list
and baking plans for the month of December.
If you recall, the kids and I read a Christmas story
With the exception of a particular story or two,
Perri has pretty much outgrown this tradition
(and this makes me very sad)
so I intend to take full advantage of the fact that
Tucker still enjoys it with me.
I'm going to attempt to type up a complete list of 
the books and stories we enjoy the most
so I can share them with you.
If you have a favorite, tell me about it!
I love adding to my list and try to find something new
to read each year.  Many nights we read two or three
shorter stories or poems.

I consider the entire time between Thanksgiving and Christmas
to be the very best part of the whole year!
I hope all of you are enjoying it as much as I am!  : )

Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's Me Again

And I want to tell you about it.

Me Again is this really terrific novel I just finished reading.
I'm always looking for well written, engaging tales and I particularly love 
discovering talented new authors. 

(I found this one thanks to Pixel of Ink
If you have a Kindle and you aren't familiar with PoI, you must check it out!
It's a great way to find deals on books, both old and new.)

And let me tell you, this Mr. Cronin....he has my full attention.
I'll be on the lookout for whatever is next from him, that's for sure.
This dude is Good.
(That's with a capital G.)
From the very first paragraph I was hooked,
thanks to not only his quirky and captivating prose
(he doesn't write at you; he speaks to you)
but also the beautifully crafted characters 
who populate this tale of second chances.

It opens on the day Jonathan Hooper awakens 
from a 6-year coma brought on by a stroke.
And even though that sounds like some pretty heavy
subject matter, fear not.
This is no dark, depressing tale.
I confess to laughing out loud more than once
within the first half-dozen pages.
I will also confess to getting a bit teary-eyed 
a time or two as well.

I just adore a writer who can manipulate me in that way!

I don't want to give away too much of the storyline,
but let it suffice to say that even when you think
you know exactly where it's leading,
you probably don't.
Much of my life has been dedicated to good reads.
I've been known to brag a little when
I have it all figured out 1/3 of the way in.
And while I'm not gonna tell you I didn't have some idea
where things were going,
I will tell you this:

Jonathan's journey is as pleasurably eye-opening for the reader
as it is for Jonathan himself,
and it's one journey you'll definitely be glad you took.

Please do give this one a try.  It's definitely worth your time,
plus 25% of the sales profit is being donated to the
American Stroke Association.

Very cool, Mr. Cronin.
Very cool, indeed.
: )

Friday, November 16, 2012

Odds and Ends, Bits and Pieces, This and That...

It seems I've been fighting a sinus headache for weeks and it isn't much fun at all.  :(  I've downed so much ibuprofen, acetaminophen and various combinations of those along with decongestants...I can practically hear my kidneys and liver begging for mercy.  I even had to cancel a dental appointment this week because I was feeling that bad.  I refuse to be sick for Thanksgiving this year, so I think I might bring out the big guns this weekend.  (I'm referring to antibiotics, folks. ;) Need to kick this now!) 
Even with the headache, it's been pretty busy. Even with the end of band competition season and football game halftime performances, as well as cheering at the final football game of the season, winter softball practices and indoor games have filled Perri's schedule.  Tucker is hard at work learning (in band class at school) and practicing (a BUNCH at home) on his new percussion set, as well as taking private drum lessons on Tuesdays after school.  Phil is working his usual hours but with the time change, it seems he leaves the house while it's still dark and then it's nearly dark again when he gets home.  I've been doing the usual stuff around the house, driving the Mom Taxi, etc.  PLUS making plans for the coming holidays, but that's the fun part!  : )  Thanksgiving (for which I will NOT be sick this year!) is just around the corner and I'm hosting.  Then comes.........CHRISTMAS!!! 
Yesterday I read to Tucker's fifth grade class.  It was Read to Me Day and I had a terrible time finding something age appropriate that I could read to them in under 30 minutes!  Ended up choosing a short story from a book titled Haunted Teachers.  Incredibly cheesy story, but they loved it!  : ) 


Last night was girls' night out for my daughters, a couple of friends and me.  We went to see the final installment in the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Part 2.  I confess to being a little disappointed in some of the special effects.  In this day and age I think it's pretty crazy that the baby is computer generated or whatever it was they did that made her appearance so...peculiar? I guess that's as good a word as any.  But I will also admit to being completely enthralled during the BIG SCENE!  (I will not elaborate further because I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but those of you who have seen it will know what I mean!)  Completely unexpected and it really made the movie!  The entire theater was so into it that there were collective gasps, oohs, aahs and then APPLAUSE!!!  : )  And quite honestly, I'm sort of expecting more.  I can't imagine Stephenie Meyer letting this story die when there are so many possibilities.  


I'd say that's about it for now.  Not much else to report for now but I will try to be back soon with a more captivating post.  Promise.  : )

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

And that's all I'm gonna say about THAT.

It's over.  Thank goodness it is, too.  I'm so very tired of the ugliness that has come with this election.  And guess what.  The rude and condescending comments, the hateful name calling, the derogatory remarks...those things were very bipartisan.  They came rolling off the tongues of people on both sides of the fence.  The most ridiculous part of it all is that none of it changes any political opinions. It only changes your opinion of the person spewing the hatred.  When is the last time that my stance on a subject was changed by rantings and ravings?  Never. 

There are two things I don't typically discuss outside of my comfort zone:  politics and religion.  (And today's post is regarding the former, not the latter.)  Like everyone else, I have my opinions.  But I'm incredibly cautious about expressing those opinions for two reasons.  One is that I do not feel that I am well enough educated on the subject of politics to be able to have the kind of conversation most are looking to have.  Typically most folks are looking for a good argument and I don't argue well.  I'm too emotional.  I do have my beliefs and convictions and if asked, I will sometimes express the right company.  But as a general rule, I avoid those situations as much as possible. 

The second reason is that I've come to discover that much of the time I simply do not want to know.  Thanks to Facebook I now know precisely what many of my friends think about the various topics that were important in this election.  I agree with some of them.  I disagree with others.  I also know that if some of them knew my opinions they would call me the same names they were calling others who were willing to put their thoughts and feelings out there for all the world to see.  Everyone claims their 'side' isn't judging or condemning...but they are.  Friendships have been altered and even lost over these topics.

There is a point to this post.  We have to live with each other, folks.  We need to understand that we aren't all the same and that's not a terrible thing.  If we disagree with something, we need to pray about it and do what we can to make a change without resorting to ugliness.  Think about it.  Those folks from THAT church (which I will not only gives them fuel for their fire) go around defending their beliefs, but they do it in such an ugly and hateful way.  I know that's an extreme case, but I could easily compare it to some of what I've seen on Facebook over the last few weeks.  A point can be made through civilized conversation, particularly when you're dealing with friends. 

I will also say that some of my Facebook friends handled it all very respectfully, offering proof that it CAN be done.  They expressed their opinions and made their stances known without degrading the opposition.  It IS possible to support your candidate or your cause without mention of the opposing viewpoint.  But hey, we all know that's not what politics in America is all about these days.  How sad. 

The one good thing to come of all this is that a passion for our country has been reignited.  That could also end up being a bad thing unless people begin to understand how to use that passion to do good rather than to fan the flames of hatred. 

Now enough of that.  It's time to move on.   


Friday, November 2, 2012

Five Years Ago Today... beautiful daughter married her handsome prince.

Happy Anniversary, Brie and Josh!

In this month of gratitude
I have to say that I'm extremely grateful
for these two and the two beautiful baby boys
they've brought into our family.  : )
How blessed we are!