Saturday, May 31, 2008

14 Months Old!

Yes, I realize this post is way overdue. Sorry family! I totally wasn't paying attention to the dates this week so just today finally tried to take some bunny pictures. Cory's so active now that I can't get him to stand or sit still long enough to get a decent picture! Brian came home and I got a couple more, but actually just the very first one turned out the best... too bad I had my camera set wrong so it's too grainy to blow up.

This month Cory has finally gotten some molars. One on each side of the top are growing in.

He LOVES going outside and if you say "Let's go" or "outside" he will walk right over to the door and bang on it. He's an escape artist if anyone opens the door as well. Good thing it's nice out now! And once he's out he can usually be found with a stick in one hand and a rock in the other. We have an abundance of rocks for him to choose from since they are part of the landscaping right out our front door.

We're also teaching him a bit of sign language and you have no idea how cute that is! He can say "eat", "more", "all gone"(which he also uses for all done), and we're working on "banana" since that's one of his favorite foods. It's a more complicated sign requiring you to stick up one finger and then "peel" it like it was a banana with the other hand. He'll get it pretty quick I'm sure!

Cory is also quite vocal, "telling" us stories about all kinds of things and talking to his toys. Some of the things do sound like words even. He will point at things and say "wa at" which sounds pretty close to "what's that?" The other day I was in a little shop and the lady brought out some toys for him to play with while I was looking at sewing supplies. He said "an oo" and we both looked at each other like "did he just say what we thought he did?" It sure sounded like Thank You to me! I guess a lot of it is the inflection and he seems to have that down so it sounds more like what we think he's saying.

He understands a lot of what we're saying too. For example, besides the "let's go" he will bring you a book if you ask him if he wants to read a story. He will sometimes bring you one shoe if you tell him we're going outside, and he will go to the bathroom or his bedroom if you ask him if he wants a bath or a nap (but only if he's tired!).

He's had the "in" part of stacking things down for awhile, but now he's finally figured out how to stack things on top of each other rather than just take them apart when I've stacked them up.

He'll help us when we're changing his clothes by sticking his arms out or pulling them down for his shirts. It's pretty nice actually!

So family, now you know what to expect since we'll be seeing most of you in just a few weeks time!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Book: Ruby Among Us

Please see my notes at the bottom of the review.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Ruby Among Us

(WaterBrook Press May 20, 2008)


Tina Ann Forkner


Tina Ann Forkner writes contemporary fiction that challenges and inspires. Originally from Oklahoma, she graduated with honors in English from CSU Sacramento before ultimately settling in the wide-open spaces of Wyoming where she now resides with her husband and their three children. Tina serves on the Laramie County Library Foundation Board of Directors and enjoys gardening, spending time outdoors with her family, and works as a full-time writer.


Sometimes, the key that unlocks your future lies in someone else’s past...

In Ruby Among Us, Lucy DiCamillo is safely surrounded by her books, music, and art─but none of these reclusive comforts or even the protective efforts of her grandmother, Kitty can shield her from the memory of the mother she can no longer remember. Lucy senses her grandmother holds the key, but Kitty seems as eager to hide from the past as Lucy is eager to find it.

From the streets of San Francisco and Sacramento, to the lush vineyards of the Sonoma Valley, Lucy follows the thread of memory in search for a heritage that seems long-buried with her mother, Ruby.

What she finds is enigmatic and stirring in this redemptive tale about the power of faith and mother-daughter love.


I'm going to try and be very careful how I say this. The premise of this story was really interesting to me. I like the multiple generations and searching for your history theme. That being said, the story was pretty rough.

There was a lot of foreshadowing that there was one BIG secret that Kitty had, yet when it was revealed I already knew it. She had pretty much spelled it out in the first 1/3 of the book. (which was the best 1/3 of the book in terms of the writing)

The narration changes were also pretty rocky. Switching characters and at one point she was changing the narrators point of view (from third to first) within paragraphs and even within sentences. That makes for some pretty confusing reading.

Granted, I had an advance reading copy so there were some grammatical mistakes and typos that I hope were caught before final publishing. But overall I felt like the story needed quite a bit more polishing.

It also needed an epilogue as there were 2 relationships with Lucy that were just left hanging. And I don't get the impression that there's going to be a sequel.

Overall it was a great idea, but the implementation or "story crafting" if you will, was lacking. This is the author's first novel so I'm going to say she just needs more time and feedback. And maybe some more editing help. Definitely a "check out from the library" book rather than a keeper.

If you would like to read the first chapter go HERE

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dishwashing muse

I was in a rush today to come home from mom's Bible study and get lunch for Cory together and then go meet at some friends house to eat. But Cory was still sleeping (Brian's home sick so Cory stayed home with him for nap time) so I did the dishes while I was waiting.

Crunchy Domestic Goddess is having a gathering of people who promise to take less than 5 minute showers all summer. I'm not sure I could do that every day, but I can do it most days. Especially now with my short hair.

We've never had a water shortage here that has affected me. I don't waste water willingly, but one thing that I sometimes think about is washing dishes. I leave the water running while I'm rinsing dishes to put in the dishwasher. I wonder how much more than one sink full of water I use?

That got me thinking about living without running water.

Somewhere along the way my brain wondered if the Amish have running water and how they do their dishes.

That made me think about how when people hear "Amish" they think of the lifestyle, although it is also a religion.

Then I wondered if people think the same way about Quakers, which is also a religion and a lifestyle although not nearly as extreme as the Amish.

Now, I think people can tell the Amish by their lifestyle. Can they tell me by my lifestyle? I consider myself an "honorary" Quaker having married into a half Quaker family and attending a Quaker (Friends) church while in college. I really enjoyed it and wish there was a Friends church around here.

People can tell a lot about others by their lifestyle. What does my lifestyle say about me?

We were talking this morning in mom's Bible study about how we use our money to make us happy (even when we don't realize it). What we do with our money says a lot about our lifestyle. Some of that people see (designer clothes, fancy cars, etc.) and some of it people don't, but we know what we do with it.

I want my lifestyle to say that I'm honoring God first, then others, then myself last. I wonder if it does...

What does your lifestyle say about you?

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Day of Remembrance

Please scroll down for the weekend picture post!

In my rabbit trails on the internet today I found a blog... and just spent the majority of my day reading Leslie's Journey. It's the story of a woman who is probably close to my age. She has a 2 year old son named TJ and a husband, Tyson. Last fall she had a growth removed from her sinus that turned out to be cancerous. She then had major open-head surgery to get it all out. After radiation she developed a bone infection in her forehead and they had to do another major surgery and remove her entire forehead bone. They were thinking everything was finally looking up when she developed a cough. They couldn't figure out what it was because all the tests came back negative and even though there were spots on her lungs a scope didn't show cancer. She just kept getting worse until they did a chest cavity scope and discovered the cancer was on the outside of her lungs and squeezing them. She just started chemo last week and at this point they don't know how far through her body the cancer has spread, but for the fact that it already has moved down to her lungs it doesn't look good.

So, you're wondering why I'm writing this. Well, I'll tell you. I've been thinking (and I always think deeply in the shower) about my life, and specifically my mom's Bible study group. We are roughly 30 women in our 20's and 30's on average. We all have children. I wonder what the odds are that someone or multiple someone's from our group will get cancer. It used to seem like cancer was a rarity. Now it seems that "everyone" gets it. I wonder why... but that's not the reason for this post.

It's just made me think about how much in my life I take for granted.

I don't like it when I'm trying to get something done and I get interrupted. But now I'm thankful that I have the energy and ability to get things done.

I complain that I'm tired, but really it's my own fault for not going to bed earlier (never mind if I have good reasons... once in awhile). Being tired shouldn't be an excuse for getting nothing done.

I have a husband and a son who are perfectly healthy. We can go out whenever we want and do whatever we want and not have to really worry about enough energy or catching something because one of us has a weak immune system. (other than the baby who gets everyone's cold, but that's pretty normal)

I guess all of this has been coming for awhile and this weekend I have come to the realization that I need to do something with my life.

I've been working a bit off and on with our local pregnancy center, 1st Choice, training the staff on a new software system and doing some translating of forms to Spanish. It feels good, but I'm somewhat limited due to the fact that I can't take Cory with me. I would love to be able to be a client advocate there, but it's just not practical. Besides which, some days I think it would feel like a waste of time because they tend to get clients in spurts and some days have none. What I do now I can see the results of. But it doesn't feel like a lot.

(I promise this all has a point)

I was reading another blog this weekend about a mom who lost her baby girl due to birth defects. She told of an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, which is an affiliation of photographers who donate their time to take pictures of children who are not expected to live.
I spent some time on their website and even though I'm sure they would love all the photographers to be professionals they do accept "advanced non-professional" photographers as well. I'm not sure I consider myself exactly advanced yet, but at the very least this has motivated me to (finally) get out my camera manual and start learning all the features my camera has to offer (yes, it's taken me this long Derald!). I realized that I need to take the Nikon school, but unfortunately there isn't one being offered anywhere near me until the fall. In the meantime I'm going to watch the DVD's my father-in-law sent me and see what I can learn.

And as a side note: it's amazing how much I've learned in small tips here and there just from reading other people's blogs. Some who are professional photographers and some who are dabblers like me.

I feel like this is something that I could do. I love children and as heart wrenching as I'm sure all the sessions would be. I know how much photographs can mean. We have some friends in Corvallis that lost a baby just a week after he was born. One of the few tangible things they have of him is a beautiful photo collage on their wall. I have no idea who took it or if they were part of this organization, but I know that those pictures mean more than I could express.

So where am I going with all this? I guess what I'm saying is that I'm hoping, no deciding, that I'm going to do something more with my life. We're not guaranteed tomorrow. All we have is today. Sometimes you have a little time (cancer), other times you don't (car accidents), but you have to make the most of the time you have. I'm not very good at "being" (that's Brian's boat), I'm more of a "doer". Today I'm going to start "doing". As much as I can.

And don't forget, this is Memorial Day. Thanks to all the veterans (Dad!) and current soldiers (Dawn, Charlie, and other friends) who have given their time and sometimes their lives to keep our country free. So that we can in turn make something of our lives.

The Weekender

Here's the wrap-up of what we did this weekend, complete with pictures!

Friday night my parents came down to watch Cory so we could go see Prince Caspian. Yay! It was awesome! With some great special effects, too!
We got caught on our "date" by a friend from church and her mom! Some date as we went directly to the movie and directly home due to the fact that it was showing across the river and was a 2 hour plus movie! Definitely worth it though!
I don't usually like suspenseful movies (and the first half really was), but since I already knew the good guys win it was bearable... :)

Saturday I spent most of my day making Cory some curtains! His room is on the north side, but since it's summer the sun peaks in first thing in the morning and I'm not really ready to get up at 6am (or earlier). Curtains to the rescue! And I just could not resist this adorable space fabric!

He was a bit scared of them I think because he was pointing and crying the first time I put him down. But we let him play with the fabric and he's fine now.

Saturday night my mom called and asked if we wanted to go help her pick out a puppy on Sunday... what she really wanted was for Cory to help pick out the puppy!

My parents are now the proud owners of a little girl Golden Retriever puppy. I don't know if she has a name yet... And this isn't the puppy we picked out because she laid there and slept the entire time we were there. But that did make it easy to put Cory down and let him approach her on his terms. He thought it was hilarious and was cackling up a storm!

Today was a lazy day (seriously I did not get dressed until 3pm!) and then we went to a BBQ at a friend's house for dinner. 6 boys ages 4 and under... fun times! The older boys played in the water and made a mud puddle/mud pies. The yard was tiered so it was easy to keep Cory out of it as I was kind of afraid he would fall in and I also didn't have any extra clothes with me!

This was Cory's version of helping Daddy read in bed this morning...

I hope you all had a relaxing weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Something for Them

Okay, so I know I just posted about a couple contests going on that I would love to win. But you know what? I don't really need that stuff. I have everything I really need already. I have family and friends and food and freedom. And apparently I also have a lot of F's in my vocabulary!

I digress.

Maybe you remember when I posted about my Compassion child. Well, since then some pretty cool stuff has been going on. There was a trip to Africa (Uganda actually) where some influential bloggers wrote about their trip and the kids and basically got a bunch of kids sponsored. Then last month there was a Bite Back campaign where they raised money to buy mosquito nets for as many kids as they could. At $10 a net I think they were able to buy like 1,000 nets. That's a lot of money from the blogging community!

Now there is a Compassion blog and there will be other monthly focuses on things we can do to help kids in other countries. Lest you think this is going to turn into a Compassion blog, it isn't. Well, maybe!

Right now though I just want to tell you what I'm thinking.

There are so many problems in our world. I get depressed sometimes trying to think about it. If any of you know my hubby you know he likes to talk about all the world problems. Me, I just want to stick my head in a hole and hope they all go away. It's too big for me to handle and I feel overwhelmed. I can't solve anything and it feels hopeless to even try.

However, I do know that there are a few things I can do to make a difference. Sponsoring a child through Compassion is one of them. The cool part about Compassion is that when you sign up you get a child. You are their only sponsor and they are dependent on you. You write them and they write you (see note below on writing). You can give one child food, medical care, an education, and most importantly, HOPE!

I've mentioned before that I've sponsored a child since I was in high school. I'm on to my second child now as the first one graduated!!! (how crazy is it for me at 28 to say I've had a child graduate from high school already? :) I believe with all my heart that what Compassion is doing is having an effect in our world. Maybe we won't see it for awhile, but it could be like the butterfly effect. One child's life changed may change a country, a continent, the world. You just never know!

So please, won't you consider sponsoring a child. It's $32 a month and it is SO worth it. You can click here or on that big blue button on my sidebar -->
Think about it, won't you? You can make a difference in the world!

Note: I had the opportunity to visit the Compassion headquarters in Colorado Springs back in 2000. I saw all the people working there because they believed in this mission. It was like a big family! One of the saddest things I heard while I was there though was that 80% of sponsors never write their children. Think for a second how much it means to get a personal letter in the mail. Now imagine you may only get a few in your entire life and how special those would be? You can make that difference in a child's life as well.
They do all the translating for you and you get regular letters from your child as well. Beyond the money, you can have a relationship with your child. It's awesome!

Something for Me, Something for Him

For the baby that is! Good for the Kids is having a grand re-opening of their shop and in the process giving away a $100 gift certificate! I just ordered some Nuby replacement tops for Cory's sippy cup on Monday. There are a ton of other things I would love to buy from her store! Check it out! And if there are more than 500 comments she's giving away 2 certificates!

And for me... this fun apron by Flirty Aprons that simple is giving away! I've had my eye on this one for awhile (it seems they're giving away lots of aprons!) and I could really use one since the only one I have now I made when I was in 4-H in the 4th grade! It's a bit small... :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I just read on Shaun Groves blog that this afternoon a tragedy occurred in the Steven Curtis Chapman family. One of his teenage sons was driving an SUV and hit or ran over his 5 year old sister, Maria. She died.

Please pray for the family and I'm sure especially for the boy. I can't imagine the guilt and pain he and they are going through right now.

Thanks everyone.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Book: Embrace Me

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Embrace Me


Lisa Samson

The description on the back of the book is brief:
When a "lizard woman", a self-mutilating preacher, a tattooed monk, and a sleazy lobbyist find themselves in the same North Carolina town one winter, their lives are edging precariously close to disaster... and improbably close to grace.
And it's hard to describe the book better without giving too much away other than to say that while it appears to be a story about a circus freak show, that is the most minor element. This is a story of two people's journeys, masterfully written by Lisa Samson. The story is told in segments from each of their perspectives and while at first they seem to be unconnected the plot twists that bring them together were really something!

Valentine is the "lizard woman" whose face is horribly disfigured. Her only friend is Lella, a sweet woman with no arms or legs, whom Valentine cares for. The majority of their story takes place one winter during the off season of the traveling circus.
Drew is a preacher who's done something so horrible he can't forgive himself, doesn't believe in God anymore, and is trying to escape, but keeps finding people who bring him back to God. His story is told in flashbacks as he writes it out for a Catholic priest who's befriended him.
When these two finally get together during the winter of 2008 (set slightly in the future!) hearts cannot be left untouched, even if it means pain before healing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though I didn't know what to expect from the book jacket. A good book to me is one that I can't figure out the ending and this one kept me hanging until about 2/3 of the way through. Then the way she wrapped it up was very powerful.
Next on my "to check out from the library" list will be Quaker Summer also written by Sampson since I enjoyed this one so much!

To see Embrace Me at go here.

It Occurred To Me

My poor little son Cory has been CRANKY today. Guess I'm going to have to start calling him Mr. Crankypants again. He has a cold (again) and is also getting one of his molars. Could make someone cranky I suppose.

Anyway, our friends loaned us the Veggie Tales Silly Songs DVD. Since all Cory wanted today was to be with me and I was going slightly crazy I decided we should watch a few of these. He would be entertained for about 3 songs and then want to go off and play. That's okay with me.

But the point of this post (wait, I actually have a point for once?!!!) is that while we were watching we came to this video called "I Love My Lips".

Does this remind you of anything? Maybe a couch jumping incident? I found it rather hilarious, especially since this was one of the earlier songs and way before that "incident"!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Snow in May?

No, not really! But snow is one of my all time favorite things! You might say it "brings out the kid in me". Which is why I'm posting this picture because 5 Minutes for Mom wants to see the kid in you!

I apologize for the bad quality as this is a picture taken of a picture from back in November 2004. I was in grad school and home for Thanksgiving and it snowed just for me! Especially since we weren't going to get a whole lot of snow at school in Oregon!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Scribblings

Or maybe I should call this Sunday Scramblings. What do you think?

Do any of you get to the end of the week and go, man, I had about 6 things to post about and I didn't write any of them! That would be me. So here's my go at recapping the week. And a few pictures thrown in! (I tried to do this last night actually, but my computer was being lame so I went to bed)

My poor little baby got sick Friday night. I didn't get a whole lot of sleep... for one I was up late editing pictures (see next paragraph for the reason) and then when I went to check on Cory I discovered he had puked in his bed. So we got him up, washed, changed, bed changed... and then he puked again. Repeat. About 2am I finally went to bed and he woke up again at 5. Thankfully not sick, but probably hungry. I gave him just a bit of water and his snuggly blanket had gotten washed so he could have that and go back to sleep. He let me sleep in until 8:30, which was nice, but still not nearly enough!

I decided to enter Cory in a baby model search to see if he could get on the cover of Parents magazine. Here's the link to the pictures I entered. Tell me what you think of them or if you feel really generous, "rate and recommend" them and they might at least get featured in the magazine!

Let's see... here's the start of picture randomness...

What happens when you leave boys alone at home?
Why, they make Kix trails for babies to follow around the house!

Here's Cory playing with the bottle of baby shampoo that Amber sent us. It's Burt's Bees and it smells heavenly!

I can stack up these cups and if Cory even hears me clink them together he comes quickly. If I manage to get them all stacked up before he gets there he then takes them off one at a time. With toy friend stuck in his mouth!

Walking with Grandpa
Cory's really good at pointing now and it's super cute! He also LOVES to go outside and check everything out.
Okay, so you noticed the clothing in the last few pictures. Not real warm. Well, we went from average 50 + degree days to 90+ degree days this week. Ugh! I guess summer is here with a vengeance! At least we can go to the park in the morning and evenings and not have it be too cold though!

This is my adorable son watching some neighbors move in.

In the middle of this 90 degree heat wave... we had a garage sale this weekend to raise some money for mom's Bible study (to pay for child care). We all brought stuff to Rachel's house and had a "pricing party". I hear the sale went well, but I wasn't there for that part.

Here's Jenny and Karen sorting clothes!
Our fearless leader Carisa taking a lunch break!

Oh, and here's a website I found today that I've spent a lot of time on. I found it through the Story of Stuff website. (If you haven't checked that out, please do!) It's called Skin Deep and it lists product ingredients for your toiletries (any shampoo, conditioner, lotion, sunscreen, make-up, etc.) and their possible hazards. There's some nasty stuff in some of the things we put on our skin and this stuff isn't regulated by the FDA or anything... I was mainly looking for a non-toxic sunscreen because Cory's been reacting to the water babies Coppertone sunscreen we're using. I think after looking at this I'm going to see if our local Target carries the California Baby brand. They usually scent their stuff with lavender (which I can't stand), but they do have a fragrance free option. Otherwise I might order it online.

And finally, we met with the life group couple that I mentioned in this post. They apologized and we talked about the mis-communicating and assumptions that caused this whole situation. It sounds like they're not so much into the life group thing right now so we're probably going to go with the other couple and start our own group. We went and had dinner with them tonight and just hung out. Good times!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Bane of My Existence

What may that be you ask? My sink full of dishes? My dirty bathroom? My never ending piles of laundry?

Oh no, it's much worse than that. Those things can easily be fixed by most anyone.

The bane of my existence? Shoes.

Do I dare even admit that I still own a pair of shoes from 9th grade? Yikes! But the reason I still own these shoes? They fit! It's a miracle of magnitude that is only repeated once every 5 years, give or take 3 years.

Why is this such a miracle you may ask. Well, it's like this.

I wore my mother's shoes when I was in the 2nd grade. And my mother is pretty average. I wore men's size 6 shoes when I was in the 5th grade. By the 8th grade I was wearing men's size 10. Thankfully my feet stopped growing in length at that point (and have actually regressed some), but then they decided to grow sideways. In any high end shoe store I now wear a size 10 or 10 1/2 (womens) wide. Do you know how many department stores carry this size? One. The Nordstrom Rack. Do I live anywhere near a Nordstrom Rack? NO!

Unfortunately this means that most of the time I am resigned to either paying $100+ for a basic pair of shoes or shopping at Payless repeatedly until they have a style that fits me and is comfortable. Thank heavens for Payless!

Now, I'm not going to tell you what pair of shoes I still own from 9th grade. I'll let you guess. Since I live in the northwest I bet you have a pretty good idea already!

But I will tell you some other shoes I've found along the way that have managed to fit me decently.

First, I have only worn Asics men's size 9 running shoes since high school. These are the standard that every other tennis shoe must be measured against. And here again they can only be the Gel of a certain variety. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find that comfortable variety lately so I'm wearing shoes I had before I got married. And that was in 2005!

My summer standard is a pair of platform flip flops with a black strap and bright flowers on it that I bought at JC Penneys in 2003. If these shoes ever die on me I will be heart broken!
They were really comfy when I was pregnant and my feet were all swollen, too.

Finally, there are the black leather dancing shoes I found online for $25 (!). I had to order 2 pair because I had no way of knowing exactly which size would fit right. Does anyone else have this problem? You wear 1 or even 2 sizes different depending on the brand? Or sometimes even just depending on the shoe style by that same brand? It's almost like clothes shopping - oh wait, I'm getting off topic here...
Anyway, I ordered these shoes so that I could go country dancing while I was in grad school. They're 2 inch heals with a Mary Jane style ankle strap. I adore these shoes and wish I lived close enough to a big city that I could go dancing more than once every 2 years!

Most days I'm not dancing when I look in my shoe closet. I see worn out shoes from college that I wish I could replace. But just thinking about going to the shoe store is depressing. And don't even get me started on those little ballet flats. Yes, they are adorable, yes, I wish I could wear them. But guess what! I have this lovely 2 inch scar on my left big toe knuckle from a bunionectomy in the 8th grade which makes those shoes really really uncomfortable.

So I wear my old standards and pray that someday someone will take pity on me and design a shoe for my foot that isn't a stiletto heel or in some funky "in" color that will be "out" by fall!

This post is entered in May's Write-Away contest at Scribbit.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Scrapbook Par-tay!

Hey, have y'all noticed the big pink (half missing) banner on the left side of my blog? It's been there for awhile now. In case you didn't, and don't live with a craft junkie, May is scrapbooking month! And May 3rd was actually supposed to be scrapbook day, but did I participate, well, not exactly.

But see, there's this really cool party going on over at Scrapping Servant. It's a scrapbook party, what else!

Scrapping Servant Blog Party

And I had the best intentions of getting my scrapbook out today, but sadly it didn't happen. Since it was Mom's Day we spent it with mom! But it's not her fault :) my son messed up his nap schedule and then I just wimped out. I will get on it this week though... I'm working on the spring of 2002 right now, my junior year in college!

Yes, I know I'm extremely far behind. But in the past year I have gone from 1998 to 2002! Be impressed! I also did my wedding album right before Cory was born. So, besides the album I'm working on I'm sitting here looking at 5 12x12 albums each with 30+ (double sided) pages in it dating back to roughly 5th grade. And this doesn't include my wedding album. That's a lot of pictures my friends!

So here's my question to you. What do you do with your pictures? Do you scrapbook? Just stick them in a slide-in album? Have them all in boxes? :)
And if you have all digital pics, what do you do with them? I haven't really gotten to those yet since we've only had the digital camera since 2005... and that means I have easily 4x as many pictures from the last 2 1/2 years than I did for the previous 3 years!

Well, that probably has something to do with having a baby, right? Good thing we've taught him to stay out of the kitchen or I wouldn't be able to leave my supplies out even overnight. And then I would never get anything done!

Tell me what you do with your pictures and then don't forget to go join the par-tay!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Cory's Life

This week hasn't been so fantastic in a lot of ways. However my fantabulous son Cory is always good at making me smile.

I think I've forgotten to mention in his "monthly review" that when we are reading books I can start to turn the page and he will either do it immediately or as soon as I say "turn the page, Cory" he will grab the page and turn it. It's really fun to have him be so involved in reading!

Last night some friends were over to talk about our life group situation. They have a 17 month old daughter and she walks all around. We were noticing that while they were here Cory was definitely trying to walk more. It was fun to see! When they left he wanted to go out the door, too (he always aims for the door if it's open!) so we let him and instead of getting down to crawl he continued to walk out on the sidewalk until he lost his balance.

I guess all he needed was a little friend to "compete" with!

Today we went shopping and he was charming all the little old ladies in the grocery store. That boy is a) too cute for his own good and b) very social. A deadly combination!

Here's something I found today... Check out this site on Compassion's blog and find out how you can support them during the month of May by Searching Kindly. You can also go through this portal to shop and they will get money. It's totally free to you and since Compassion is one of the few causes that I support 100% I'm asking all of you to please consider this! Thanks so much!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Book: The Warriors

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Warriors

(Bethany House April 1, 2008)


Mark Andrew Olsen


MARK ANDREW OLSEN whose novel The Assignment was a Christy Award finalist, also collaborated on bestsellers Hadassah (now the major motion picture: One Night With the King), The Hadassah Covenant, and Rescued. His last novel was the supernatural thriller The Watchers.

The son of missionaries to France, Mark is a Professional Writing graduate of Baylor University. He and his wife, Connie, live in Colorado Springs with their three children.


A failed recon mission deep in the tunnels of Afghanistan has provoked a demonic onslaught that had been brewing for centuries. The mission's sole survivor is reformed black ops assassin Dylan Hatfield, and he once again teams up with Abby Sherman, now at the helm of the Watchers, an ancient spiritual force. Uncovering and preventing a secret wave of death whispered across cyberspace and threatening to be unleash against civilization will require another level of spiritual power and expertise--the Warriors.

Journeying across the Alps of Europe through the multilayered history of warfare in the unseen world, Dylan and Abby uncover an age-old stone engraving that rouses the church's Warriors to action, placing them dead center in one of the fiercest spiritual battles of their time!

And once again they are reminded: This is all part of a vast and perpetual war, a war beyond all human conflicts, one that has engulfed heaven and earth since before the dawn of history....

Abby Sherman is headed back to Israel, where a Watcher, the Sentinel of Jerusalem, lies dying. In her last breaths the old woman tells Abby of an ancient document prophesying humanity's full-scale entry into the ongoing conflict between armies of heaven and fallen angels.

Dylan Hatfield has decided to answer a summons from his old boss and join a secret operation, its mission to reconnoiter the Afghani tunnel complex from which Osama bin Laden escaped in 2001. What he discovers sears his very soul and likely will end his life.

Abby learns of the peril facing Dylan, and she sends out a call for intercession on his behalf. Her frantic email message sets in motion a series of harrowing events, propelling the two on a new mission and quest--one where the stakes are the lives of millions!

The Warriors is packed with high-octane action, featuring exotic international locales, with characters in a clash against spiritual "principalities and powers" with eternal consequences, The Warriors is a story that will enthrall, enlighten, and engage its readers.

If that piques your interest, you can read the first chapter HERE

"Olsen, one of the better writers in this subgenre, delivers powerful, action-packed plots that delve into mystical paranormal worlds."
~Library Journal, Feb. 2008

"Olsen delivers an entertaining thriller likely to be enjoyed especially by fans of the spiritual warfare genre."

I have yet to read this book, but it appears that this again is the second in a series. I have however read Hadassah and The Hadassah Covenant (mentioned above) and found them to be fantastic, couldn't-put-em'-down reads! I'm looking forward to reading this book after I check out the first one from the library! :)

Monday, May 05, 2008


I'm so blown away right now I don't even know where to start. I just got off the phone with a girl who's in our life group from church. Let me give you a little background.

There have been 4 couples in our group this year and we've mostly been meeting on Sunday nights due to one guy's working nights during the week. The other two couples have wanted to switch to a week night because the feel like it's "too much" on Sundays with church, Sunday school, and then life group, too. But they nicely kept it on Sundays so this one couple wouldn't be left out.

Then 2 weeks ago his schedule got switched to days. Without really asking the 2 couples just decided to have our monthly potluck on a Wednesday night. And then the following week again on Wednesday, but oh wait, a new couple has been invited to join the group (they're new in town) which I don't mind, but now we're meeting at their house and he doesn't get off work until 6pm so let's meet at 6:30 (in the town across the river). Cory's bedtime is 8 and this is not going to work. But we went last week. And we had dinner and basically a "social hour".

Lately Brian and I have been feeling like we just don't fit in this group. And this maneuvering of the schedules has just left me feeling pretty bitter - which I realized at church yesterday. So I had decided that this week I was going to bring it up at the group (on Wednesday) and just say what I was feeling and that we felt like this group wasn't really what we wanted, something more than a social hour. But how do you say that without hurting someone's feelings?

Well, the phone call this morning just solved my problem. The girl who called me - she and her husband are the only ones from the "original" group of 2 years ago that we joined - said that in order to facilitate earlier bedtimes for the kids and this new guy's work schedule (he works late Mon-Wed) they would be meeting at 6 on Thursdays. It works out the best for almost everyone... except us, because Brian has tutoring at school from 6:30 to 8:30 on Thursday. She said they would only be doing it for the next month and a half because they want to reach out to this new couple and help them get to know people. And then we can "re-evaluate" after our summer break. And after she asked me how I felt and I said that well, we were kind of feeling like we wanted more out of a group she even had the gall to say "well, maybe this is God's way of saying I have something different for Brian and Krista". As if that's going to soften the blow of them basically saying "we care about arranging the schedules for everyone in the group but you".

I'm so frustrated/angry right now I'm shaking and can hardly type this. Maybe I shouldn't even post this on the off chance one of them will see it. But I just feel, I don't know, used. Like this is the story of my life. I/we're so different that we don't fit in anywhere and after awhile no one really wants to have us around.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Notes from my life

So this summer is my 10 year high school reunion. Wow. Sometimes it seems like high school wasn't that long ago (I'm not going to say it was like yesterday though) and other times it feels like so much more than 10 years. At this point it's more than a third of my life (yeah, do the math, you know how old I am) and you know the first few years don't count since you can't remember them anyway!
I'm actually kind of excited about this (okay, I'm more than a little excited). Ever since we went to Brian's reunion two summers ago I have been thinking about what mine will be like. Not nearly as cool as his since our reunion committee is a bit frazzled at the moment. Think 2 newborns, 2 weddings, and one that lives a long ways away... but I'm sure we won't care much as long as we get a chance to talk!
We had a relatively small class, 92 walked and there were a few more that didn't so we'll say about 100. And many of these kids had been together since kindergarten. So I'm hoping that a lot of people will make this a priority. Unfortunately they planned it for the 4th of July weekend. Doh! What were they thinking!
Anyways, I went to see my friend Annie yesterday since she has a 3 week old baby. The baby wasn't even due yet, but she came a little early! She's fine and really cute and I hope Annie doesn't stress too much over the reunion stuff since she's only one of two (the other has a baby too!) on the committee that actually live in Leavenworth!
Fun times!

I was up in Leavenworth yesterday, visiting the parents, and my college roommate was in town so she came over for lunch. Very cool. We went and visited great-grandma of course and then just as I was about to go home I remembered that I needed the head light changed in my car (because it was getting dark). Now realize, I'm not super smart when it comes to cars, but I can usually change my own headlight! Except that on my lovely Subaru Loyale the battery is right behind the headlight so you have to take it out to change the headlight. I want to know who engineered that! When my dad and I finally got the battery out we couldn't get the headlight out of the socket... until I realized there were directions inside the box. What a weird place to put them! And you had to leave the headlight in the housing so you had enough leverage to get the plug out. I think they must have made all these designs so difficult so people would just give up and take it into the shop thereby ensuring mechanics will always have work and always be able to look at women as dumb when it comes to cars. Ha. I outsmarted you on this on... this time!

And finally... has anyone ever tried using one of those home waxing kits? I think there must be a reason they were on sale...
I've never done waxing at all so I had no idea what I was doing... let me just say? What is the point of waxing when it doesn't get all the hairs? I'm sure I'm doing it wrong, but at this point for the amount of pain? I'll stick to shaving, thankyouverymuch!

Hope you all are having a great weekend! :)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Book: The Big Picture

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Big Picture

(NavPress Publishing Group April 15, 2008)


Jenny B. Jones

Although The Big Picture is the third book in a series about Katie Parker it can easily be read as a stand alone. Katie is a junior in high school and the foster child of the Scotts: mom with cancer, dad is a pastor, and the crazy Grandma who is the talk of the town and always dragging Katie into her mis-adventures!

Katie's life finally seems to be settling down when her mother shows up on her doorstep and decides she wants to be the mom again. When she passes all the court mandated steps Katie's world is turned upside down as she leaves In Between to return to small town Texas with her mom. Things go from bad to worse, but you'll have to read the book to find out what happens!

This was light reading, but I thoroughly enjoyed this teen fiction book. I appreciated the perspective it gives on foster kids. I never thought about how even though a home situation might be really really bad they are still the child's parents and they don't want to get them in trouble/turn them in. Foster kids are quite literally caught in between - a rather appropriate name for the town Katie's foster parents live in.

If you'd like to win my copy of The Big Picture please leave a comment with a way to contact you. I'll pick a random commenter next Thursday!