Monday, March 31, 2008

Book Review - Cold Tangerines

Excerpt from back book cover: "Cold Tangerines is a collection of stories about God, and about life, and about the thousands of daily ways in which an awareness of God changes and infuses everything. It offers bright and varied glimpses of hope and redemption, giving us room to breathe, to break down and break through, calling us to our best possible lives."

I joined a book challenge hosted by Sarah, over at her blog, Short Stop. The book for this particular challenge is titled 'Cold Tangerines', by Shauna Niequist. Basically, the book is set up as a series of short essays or stories, each only a few pages in length. The stories relate to experiences and happenings of the author, and how or what she learned from them. I read the book over the weekend - it was a very quick and easy read. Overall, I have to say that I really enjoyed the book. I laughed at times, I cried even was so "relatable" (I'm not even sure if that's a real word, but, that's what it was for me). Sometimes, I felt like the author had peeked into my brain and voiced feelings that I have had myself. For example, one chapter of the book is all about waiting. Shauna writes, "I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be the person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away." She continues, "And all through the waiting, here I am. My life is passing by, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin." That was a very profound thing to read, because, I truly have felt that way, too. It certainly makes you think that by waiting around, you are letting things pass you by, missing out. When, really, your life already is, you don't have to wait for anything, because it's already begun. The author's stories are about everyday things, but, she makes you see that everyday things are what it's really all about. I loved her stories about being pregnant and becoming a mother - that was something else to which I could definitely relate. She shares tales of her worldly travels. Wow! When she finished the eighth grade, her parents allowed her to travel, alone, from Chicago to Paris, where she stayed with a family friend, but went out daily to sight-see, alone! How awesome. How brave! When she was twenty, she spent a semester abroad, travelling through England, Scotland, and Ireland, with a group of students. Through her stories, she talks about her family, getting married, weddings, births, death, parties, her weight -- things that we all experience. Everyday things. As I said, the book is easy to read. You feel like you are having a conversation with a close friend (albeit a very wise and spiritual friend). She shares many things, her fears, her flaws, her discoveries, her blessings. She is insightful and it's definitely an inspirational read, that makes you want to live your life better, to be better, but also feel like it's okay when you don't always accomplish that goal. This is not my usual type of book that I read (I'm more of a chick-lit, historical fiction kind of reader, I like to read to escape to another place for awhile). But, I did get a lot out of this book and would recommend it to my friends.

Head over to Short Stop. She will be posting links to other participants who have also reviewed this book. If you decide to read the book, please come back and tell me your thoughts.

~Thanks to Sarah, for setting up and hosting the book challenge. Also, a huge thanks to Zondervan for providing us with our books. And, thank you to Shauna Niequist for a great read~


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Yummy! Yummy!

Have you tried this new flavor from General Foods International? It's called Dark Mayan Chocolate. If you haven't, run -- RUN to the store and buy some. It is so delicious! SO DELICIOUS! I'm not a big hot chocolate fan because most are too sweet or rich tasting for me (I normally drink black coffee). But, this is the perfect treat. I also love their French Vanilla Cafe. Do you have a favorite coffee or other hot drink?...


Friday, March 28, 2008

Update and 100 posts!!

It's been a few days since I posted. Here's what's been going on:

  • Baseball/softball season has started. Three of our four kids are playing, so we have practices several nights a week. Often, more than one practice is scheduled at the same time, different location - that is a pain, especially if it's a night that hubby is on duty at the firehouse. Then I feel like I'm running around like a crazy person.
  • I'm having a lower back issue. I don't think I've done anything to injure it, but, I'm having alot of pain and discomfort in my lower back and going down into my left leg. All I really want to do is lay on the heating pad.
  • Oldest son is on spring break (this week and next). He is basically vegging out at home, playing XBox Live
  • Our dog, Emma, has suddenly developed urinary incontinence. UGH! We started noticing small wet spots where she had been sleeping. Luckily, it only happens occasionally while she is sleeping, but, still, it's something that we wanted to have checked out. She went to the vet yesterday for some bloodwork and they put her on a medication for the incontinence. Apparently this is not that uncommon, especially in spayed female dogs. At her appointment, the vet asked if I thought we could "catch some of her urine" to check for a UTI. I said we could try. My oldest son (14) was with me. So, we go outside the vet's office, in the pouring rain mind you, follow her around trying to catch some of her pee in a soup ladle. Yes, they gave me a soup ladle to try and collect a urine speciman. We were not successful. And, my son was pretty humiliated to been seen following a dog around in the rain, holding a soup ladle under her privates, LOL!
  • My laundry situation is not pretty. I just can't seem to get caught up. And, I do laundry EVERY single day. The kids wear an outfit to school, come home and change into play clothes, and then if they have ball practice, they change yet again....must do something to remedy this problem.
  • I'm loving David Cook on American Idol - he should win it all in my opinion.
  • My father-in-law has just found out this week that he has prostate cancer. He went today for a bone scan. Please say a prayer that the results/prognosis are good.
  • We just joined Netflix and I am loving it. No pressure to get the movies back by a certain day. It's so easy and convenient. Movies I've watched since joining: Things We Lost in the Fire, Gone Baby Gone, Rendition, Dan in Real Life. My queue is already as long as a phone book. I think I have about 60 titles on my list so far.
  • Thanks to a recommendation from a fellow blogger, I have found a new fragrance that I love. I'm very, very picky about fragrances, most are too strong for me. This one is perfect - clean, fresh, spring-y. It's Lacoste Touch of Pink and it's wonderful. Thanks, Kricket!
  • I'm currently reading a great book called 'Cold Tangerines'. Watch for my official review of the book in a few days. I'm participating in a book challenge/review hosted by a fellow blogger.
  • I'm also reading another book called 'The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw'. It's not my usual type of reading, but, it is also very interesting.
  • I recently found this blog and have enjoyed reading it. Written by John McCain's daughter, it's a fun, fresh, informal look at the McCain family as they are on the campaign trail. I'm not trying to get into any kind of political stuff here on my blog (although I proudly consider myself a conservative republican), but, it has really given me a different look at John McCain and his family. It's nice to see the normal, everyday side of a political figure.
  • Last, but not least -- I have surpassed 100 posts! Come back soon because I'm planning a little giveaway to celebrate.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

An update for you on my hunt for Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs -- I finally found them at WalMart. YAH! Is it a bad thing that I ate 3 of them in one day? Maybe I would've been better off not finding them. Happy Easter to everyone! Here's a couple more Easter funnies for you...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Where's the eggs?

One of my favorite things about this time of year is that my all-time favorite candy is available -- the Reese's peanut butter egg. Now, I love Reese's candy in general. But, something about the "egg" is just irresistable to me. Maybe it's the shape? The "egg" seems to contain more yummy peanut butter than the original "cup". When I was a little girl, my sister (who is twelve years older than me) had a job at a nearby mom and pop grocery store. She would always come home from work with a little brown paper sack for me. In the sack, there was candy. Usually a Reese's peanut butter cup. Once in awhile, she would even bring me a whole box, full of Reese's peanut butter cups. Everyone knew that I loved them. That was "my thing". So, this year, when the stores began putting out the Easter candy, I was anxious to have my first egg of the season. But, lo and behold...I cannot find them. I've looked at WalMart, Kroger, Walgreens - with no luck. I found the little bitty miniature Reese's cups, and even the bags of mini-sized eggs. But, I want the big eggs that come six to a pack. What's up? Is there a shortage of chocolate or peanut butter that I didn't know about? Was there a problem at the Reese's factory with the assembly line for the "big eggs"? I must find some eggs! And, speaking of Reese's eggs...have you seen the commercial for them? A chocolate bunny and a jar of peanut butter facing one another, while the song 'Let's Get It On' plays. I thought that was just hilarious. Okay. I'll stop whining about my eggs now. But, don't think I'm not still out hunting for them. What about you? What's your favorite Easter candy?


Book Club Recommendation

I wanted to share this neat website with you. It's an email book club called ''. You simply choose one (or more) of the types of reading that interests you -- fiction, nonfiction, romance, mystery, science fiction, etc. -- and sign up using your email address. Every week, a book is chosen for each category. Each weekday, you are emailed a short entry from the book. If you read all five entries, you will have completed the first chapter or so of that book. If, after reading the daily emails, you are interested in that book, you can go to your local library or bookstore to finish the book on your own. However, if that particular book does not interest you, simply hit your delete key and forget about it until the next week when a new book is chosen. I joined awhile back and have found alot of good books this way. I thought this might be a fun thing to try, for those of you who are always on the lookout for a good read (like me).


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

DVD Review - Sort of...

I watched the movie 'Dan in Real Life' on DVD today. Loved it! I laughed out loud, a lot, and, even cried a couple times. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. I won't really go into details of the story, but, the majority of the movie takes place as Dan and his daughters travel back to his home where his entire family is gathered for a vacation together. There are Dan's parents, and several siblings along with all their children. It's a real full house. They were always involved in some kind of fun and games together...boys vs. girls crossword puzzle, football, playing piano and singing silly songs together, etc. And, they have an annual tradition of holding a family talent show. Everybody has to participate, getting up in front of all the others to perform some kind of act. It's a whole big production, including costumes and lights and a little "stage". It was great! That's how I'd like to imagine my family someday. We have four kids; assuming each one gets married and has children of their own, we will probably have a house-full, too. I look forward to that. I want the chaos of everyone coming back home and spending time together, playing games and having fun. I'm definately not wishing time away, because it seems like the kids grow up so fast anyway. And, I treasure this time when they are young and at home. But, looking into the future, I can see a lot of good times ahead. If you've seen the movie, let me know what you think about it - if not, then go watch it. It's a good one!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Email jokes and funnies

As you can see from my past two posts, I've got nothing much to blog about...except for these hilarious email jokes and funnies that have really cracked me up. This one is...well, priceless.

The Good Husband

Jack wakes up with a huge hangover after attending his

company's Christmas Party. Jack is not normally a drinker,

but the drinks didn't taste like alcohol at all. He didn't

even remember how he got home from the party. As bad as he

was feeling, he wondered if he did something wrong.

Jack had to force himself to open his eyes, and the first

thing he sees is a couple of aspirins next to a glass of

water on the side table. And, next to them, a single red rose!
Jack sits up and sees his clothing in front of him, all clean and pressed.
He looks

around the room and sees that it is in perfect order,

spotlessly clean. So is the rest of the house.

He takes the aspirins, cringes when he sees a huge black eye

staring back at him in the bathroom mirror. Then he notices

a note hanging on the corner of the mirror written in red

with little hearts on it and a kiss mark from his wife in


"Honey, breakfast is on the stove, I left early to get

groceries to make you your favorite dinner tonight.

I love you, darling! Love, Jillian"

He stumbles to the kitchen and sure enough, there is hot

breakfast, steaming hot coffee and the morning newspaper.

His son is also at the table, eating.

Jack asks, "Son... what happened last night?"

"Well, you came home after 3 A.M. , drunk and out of your

mind. You fell over the coffee table and broke it, and

then you puked in the hallway, and got that black eye when

you ran into the door "

Confused, he asked his son, "So, why is everything in such

perfect order and so clean? I have a rose, and breakfast is

on the table waiting for me??"

His son replies, "Oh THAT!... Mom dragged you to the bedroom,

and when she tried to take your pants off, you screamed,

"Leave me alone, I'm married!!"

Broken Coffee Table $239.99

Hot Breakfast $4.20

Two Aspirins $.38

Saying the right thing, at the right time . . PRICELESS

Friday, March 7, 2008

"Peep Show"

Thursday, March 6, 2008


In Vogue

I mentioned in this post that I was looking for the Vogue magazine issues from the spring and summer of 2007. I'm trying to find some Nordstrom ads that ran last year, to frame and hang in my daughter's room. Just thought I would share the ads that I already have...aren't they fun! We've only lived in our house for about 2.5 years, but, I've never really been happy with my daughter's room. The walls are lime green (which we loved at first, but, now, not so much). I've just about talked hubby into painting her room. We're wanting something a little more subdued than the screaming green that's in there now. And, something a little more grown-up for her, too, since she is a "tween", as she likes to call herself.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Who went home?

I'm NOT a fan of Oprah. At all. But, I couldn't resist watching her new show, The Big Give, last night. Well, actually, I recorded it and watched it this morning. I liked it. How awesome would it be to get an opportunity to change someone's life. Of course, I boo-hoo'd through each of the 'Big Give' reveals. All the stories were great and each one was deserving of the help they received. My favorite players on the show are the two guys (I can't remember their names) that helped the lady who lost her husband in the Home Depot robbery. They just seemed to really connect with her and her little girls. I loved them! So, I'm watching the show and they come to the part where each player receives their envelope -- if there is a plane ticket in your envelope, you get to stay and continue with the game. The person who receives an empty envelope, is the person who is finished and goes home. I see three or four open envelopes with plane tickets. Then....for some strange reason, my stupid DVR decided not to record the rest of the show. I totally missed seeing who lost and went home. So, can you tell me? Who went home?


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Looking for something

I'm sure this is probably a long shot, but, I'm looking for something and thought I would ask if you could help...I'm looking for some back issues of Vogue magazine (specifically from spring and summer of 2007). If you have them and would be willing to part with them, I would gladly buy them from you. The reason I want them -- there were some really cool illustrated fashion ads by Nordstrom that ran in several of last year's Vogue issues. They were around 6-8 pages. These would look so cute framed and hanging in my daughter's bedroom. I have one set, but, I think it's from a winter/fall issue. I was hoping to find the spring/summer ads to use in Shelby's room. I'm not even sure which issues they were in. I've found a few on ebay that I'm watching. Thanks!


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Movie Night

Last night, I went with a friend to see a movie. We saw 'The Other Boleyn Girl'. I was so excited to see it, since I loved the book so much. I can't say that I didn't like it, but, I felt like it was a watered-down, fast-forward version of the book. I was disappointed at how little interaction they actually showed between Anne (Natalie Portman) and Henry (Eric Bana). It never really seemed like he was in love with her at all. You just didn't get the feeling of that intense passion that they had. And, I wished they would've gotten a little deeper into Eric Bana's character. But, Natalie Portman suprised me somewhat. She pulled off Anne's character pretty well. All in all, I would recommend the movie, but, even more so, I would recommend the book. Before the movie we went and had a quick drink (strawberry margarita, yum!) and after the movie we stopped at Starbucks (White mocha caffe, yum!) so it was a fun night out. If you go see it, let me know what you think of the movie.