Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2012 Highlights Part 1

2012 was a blur of fun and challenges neither of which allowed for much blogging. I am excited to say that I blogged all the books I read for the year but for the first time in the several years that I have had this blog, little personal experience has been recorded.
Thus, I have posted the highlights from last year which I never took the time to blog about as they happened. Every picture is worth numerous stories and each one deserves a post of their own. Well, maybe next year. For now, these are just the highlights!
Savannah and I on a girls trip to Houston to see the King Tut exhibit. These 2 chicks could live in a museum!
Savannah is Aspen on Buttermilk. She is so much like me. Sports with balls are out of the question but a ball-less sport (my own made up word) has potential. She is eagerly awaiting ski school 2013.

While Savannah was in ski school my sister and I slipped away for a couple of nights over the mountain to visit my grandparents...without kids! We have not had our grandparents to ourselves since we had children. It was just like old times. And speaking of old times, look at that sweet couple up above. They are my grandparents who act like honeymooners! Aren't they awesome?

Granny Smiles, Dawn, and me.

Arch and I at the zoo just the 2 of us playing while Savannah was in school.

Here is Java chillin' in Mark's lap during "Bring Your Pet to School" day. She just laid there in the midst of rabbits, gerbils, and dogs sniffing her. Either she is the most laid back cat ever or at the age of 17 (that's 127 in human years) she has no idea where she is anyway!
My mom's famous words, "I have extra weeks in the condo that need to be used. Let's go to Disney World!" I think she actually says this every 2 months! Needless to say both kids had a blast but we missed Mark being there with us. He needs about 2 months vacation time to keep up with us.

We have taken both kids to a disney park (world or land) as infant (that wasn't really on purpose) and as toddlers. Savannah has also been at age 5 and 7. ALL AGES ARE GREAT. Savannah is now into the rides which is fun for all adults. But Archer was in awe of meeting his favorite characters (Savannah was too at that age) which is fun for adults to watch.

After being at The World for a week we headed to the beach for a week with cousins. Grandma always has to get a jammie shot.

Mark and Arch playing ans singing Country Roads, Archer's favorite.

No lie, this alligator tried to eat me! Savannah ran and I screamed but at the time alligators were Archer's favorite so he never panicked.
This takes us through September. Let's see if I get part 2 up before we ring in the new year!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Guess This Song

As I quizzed Savannah on her state abbreviations and state capitols a sweet little three year old boy echoed our words wanting so badly to participate. And then finally we said one he knew (or at least he thought he knew).

Me: Colorado
Savannah: Denver, CO
Archer: Denver!

Me: Mississippi
Savannah: Jackson, MS
Archer: Jackson!

Me: Texas
Savannah: Austin, TX
Archer: Austin!

Me: West Virgina
Archer: (interrupting with great confidence and excitement) Blue Ridge Mountains!!!

Now, here is the riddle. From this reply can you guess what Archer's favorite song is. Kathy, I know you know this song (that's your hint too!). There is also a clue in one of the other states listed above.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Book List for 2012 Part 2

To see my reading list from the first half of the year click here.

I had no idea that 3 months have passed since I posted last! I suppose it's time to wrap up my list of books read for the year.

Gladys Aylward, The Adventure of a Lifetime by Janet and Geoff Benge. This is the true story of a missionary who went to China after WWI and was there during WWII. She is Kisses From Katie on steroids! Seriously, this woman rocks. Of course Katie is young and the full story of her life has yet to unfold. Mrs. Aylward's life however was made into a movie starring Ingred Bergman.

The Reason for God, Belief in an Age of Scepticism by Timothy Keller Just when I thought I had had enough of apologetics, I picked up this book. I half expected it to regurgitate what I have already read in numerous other books but that was not the case. Many of the texts I have read on this subject concentrate on hard science, archeology, and antiquities. This book however addresses the difficult questions that skeptics ask such as, "How could a loving God allow bad things to happen?" and "What's the deal with the whole cross thing? Why did God decide Jesus had to die? Couldn't he just forgive us and move on?" Every sceptic and christian should read this book! I HIGHLY recommend it.

Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart by Laura Bush I was curious to see what this Texas native had to say about life in the white house, politics, and her husband's presidency. When she began with her childhood in west Texas I soon forgot I was reading a political book. She is close in age to my mother-in-law who grew up in a small west Texas town centered around the oil industry and has since passed away. Strangely, it felt good just to read her beginnings as if I were reading Linda's. But post-college their stories take different routes! Once we hit the White House years I was overwhelmed. The time spent in that house seems to be marked by tragedy and travel. And the travel just shows you all those in the world who are suffering and need help. I cannot imagine the burden every presidential family must feel during the time they serve. It's as if the whole world lays injustices at your feet and begs for mercy. I found myself googling charities and looking for ways I could help with every turn of page.

There were other books I read this fall but not many. We traveled quite a bit and traveling with kiddo does not allow for time to sit in read. There are so many more on my list to read and so little time to do so! Now, if I listed all the children's book I read we would have an awesome list!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

True Truth by Art Lindsley. This is a very interesting book on apologetics in a post modernism world. I was shocked to realize how much post modernism effects my own thinking though I didn't know before the source of these ideas. These ideas have inundated our culture.

The Mercy by Beverly Lewis. This was may break from the heavy reading I have been doing. If I don't get a little fluff fiction in every now and then my head will explode! I can always count on the Amish for a sweet, light-hearted, inspirational read. The Mercy is the third book in The Rose Trilogy.

The History of the Medieval World by Susan Wise Bauer. Wow. This one took me a couple of months to read mainly because I needed breaks. The text was very interesting but I could only read, "...and they stormed the city killing 10,000 that day and bashing the infants heads against rocks," so many times before you feel like the sky is falling and you must go tell the king. And in the middle ages those conquering and those being conquered changes by the minute calling for a new time of killing and infant bashing. Don't get me wrong, this book was FASCINATING and I highly recommend it but the information is overwhelming. In hind sight I wish I had jotted down on the bottom of every page the death tolls. It has to be astonishing and makes me feel very lucky to like in our current time. But at the same time it makes me realize how rare peace is (yes I know we have troops overseas but we are not currently under siege being starved to death dying by the thousands every day.) and that we should feel fortunate to have experienced it at all. This unique time of the development of Islam and Christianity in the middle ages also makes this one a must read to shed light on current events. But I suppose history always sheds light on current events and helps us to know where people are coming from in their intentions.

For the Temple by G.A. Henty. This historical fiction author is new to me but considering he wrote in the 1800's he is not really new at all. I found the story about a heroic Jewish man trying to save the temple from Roman destruction provided new insight into this time period (79AD/CE). This was not a historical figure I had heard of before but apparently is well documented. Although I do not know how historically accurate Henty's writing is. Most modern historical fiction writers will include and epilogue to let the reader know what is fact and where in the story they took liberties. Unfortunately Henty did not do this. He has written dozens of other books about historic heros from ancient times until his own modern time and every time period in between. I look forward to exploring his writing more. I did see online that he has been criticized for using racial slurs. I did not come across this in that book and I can't help but wonder if he was only writing in a politically correct way for his time period and not our own. I was surprised to find that he was considered controversial and I don't think it would be fair to judge one for not having the foresight to see what would be the political dynamic 200 years into the future. But, I am not expert and I have read only one of his works. In the future I will keep my eyes open as I read (obviously I always do this. Haha.) Oh, by the way this is another one of those where 10,000 people die on every page. Now that this book is finished I am in search of major fluff fiction!

August 29, 2012

The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers. It's a light but interesting read about a group of 2nd generation Scottish settlers in America during the 1800's. Delightful.

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers by Tracy Hogg. This was more for the 9-18 month old rather than an almost 3 year old. There was much about baby proofing and learning to walk which is a stage we have long passed. There were a few nuggets that I captured from this book however it would have been more beneficial if I had read it a couple of years ago (which is when someone recommended it to me! Oh, well. So much to read, so little time.)

Educating The Whole Hearted Child by Clay Clarkson. I am thankful that my friend Kathy recommended this book to me which I read cover to cover. However, it overwhelmed me! I have spent the last several weeks reading homeschooling books, curriculum, catalogues, discussion boards and websites. I was really trying to just nail down the basic nuts and bolts of homeschooling and then add in the details as we go. And this book if full of details, wonderful details. It's been helpful but shelved at this point until I catch my breath a bit and can pull it out and add more details into our homeschool life.

The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. Obviously I read this one once again in light of school beginning. It's funny to me how people say that classical education is overwhelming yet I came away from reading this book thinking for the first time, "I can totally do this!" Suddenly homeschooling seemed doable. Oh, well. To each his own. This just must be my style I guess.

The Case for the Real Jesus by Lee Strobel. Wow. He never disappoints in his research. This book was fascinating! He always seems to combine my favorite things; God, history, science, archeology, culture, and research. But to be honest I had never heard of many of these "cases against Christ." Now I understand so much more about where an atheist or agnostic is coming from. I know not everyone is a research nerd like me but I think you should research the faith you choose to build your life around. And if you are an atheist you are putting a lot of faith into the idea that there is no God out there when science and history prove otherwise.