Sunday, August 31, 2008

Yellowstone Part 2 - Road Trippin'

(Part 1 is here)

Second day out:

Go have breakfast with the bride's family and tour their beautiful remodeled home on the river bank. Catch up with tons of old friends from Clatskanie (can you pronounce that? :)

Meet Grandma and Grandpa (Brian's parents) and head north/east back through Washington. Cars become segregated as both Grandma's want to ride with Cory! Watch fields burning as we drive. You can see them for miles as it's so FLAT!

Stop in Ritzville for lunch. Get ripped off and insulted at Zip's. Whatever you do, don't eat there! The McDonald's or Arby's in the other parking lot would be a much better bet! The service was lousy and the food was way overpriced - my "chicken sandwich" was two chicken strips (like the kind you get in the frozen section of the grocery store) between a cheapy hamburger bun - for $4.00!

Continue on into Montana.

Get to hotel in Missoula to discover that it's "not what it seemed" on the internet. Note to self: Don't make reservations for a "local" hotel off the internet! Ceiling tiles falling out in the bathroom, not a single one of our rooms with a bathtub for Cory to take a bath in, sheesh!

Go out for dinner at Famous Dave's BBQ. Highly recommend it!!!

Watch some Olympics on TV - Brian and Derald go out and watch the Dark Night. Second note to self: Check the schedule and do not plan your major summer vacation to a place with no TV coverage while the Olympics are on! This was the only chance we got to watch them for a week!

End day way later than planned - we lost an hour in the time change.


Third day out (Sunday):

Get up late.

Drive some more until we get to Bozeman.

Pick up Allison and Joel at their adorable B&B.

Go grocery shopping for week's food. Buy way more food than we need and spend too much money! Try to load cars in the 5 minute torrential downpour. Get thoroughly soaked and then it stops raining!

Drive some more. Start getting excited driving into the north end of the Park!

Don't stop for picture at the main gate (sad) because I have my times all mixed up for the Sunday evening service and think we just might make it.

Get to camp ground for ACMNP services. It's 6pm. No one is there.

Find Bible obviously belonging to an ACMNP staffer. Find sermon notes. Mom reads sermon!

Find staff members at bottom of trail. Service is at 7pm, not 6.

Go check in to Mammoth Hotel and Cabins. Get our rooms straightened out and try to rush back for the service.

My friend Dan never shows up. Have left 2 messages at this point. He's support staff for the college kids who come every summer and run the Sunday services (ACMNP). He was a really good friend to me the two summers I worked in the park. I was so excited to see him again after 6 years. I left at least 4 messages on his machine, 2 with our cell phone number. I never heard from him and it was the biggest disappointment of the whole trip. We came home to find 5 messages on our home answering machine from him. :(

Taiwanese employees who have come to the service are fascinated by Cory!

Are you tired yet? We've got 6 more days to go!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sonic... For Better or For Worse?

Last night we walked down to the new Sonic in town. Those of you who have never heard of Sonic... well, I think you just heard all the Sonic fans scream!

Sonic is a drive-in fast food type restaurant that started in Oklahoma. We are only the 3rd Sonic restaurant in all of Washington state. Apparently this place has quite the reputation, such that it's been open for almost 2 weeks now and there is still a half hour wait for a spot at the drive-in! One of my husband's students works there and he tells us that people are driving over from Seattle just to eat there...

This is where Daddy forgets to tell us he's taking the picture!

I'm not sure I'd go that far, although my $2 large (which was actually huge!) lemon-berry slushy was pretty darn good.

I guess it's a good thing that although it is within walking distance of my house it's a good 3 mile walk round trip! I swear I'm not trying to counteract the fact that I also finally joined a gym yesterday!

This is how we really feel about Sonic... Cory has his mouth full!

I just wonder how the carhops are going to do on their roller skates come November when the parking lot is icy...


Now for the second part of my title.

The comic strip For Better or For Worse has finished. Today is the final new strip. The creator (animator? illustrator? what do you call these people?) has decided that she's going back to the beginning and re-doing some of the old strips, writing some individual new strips here and there, but she won't be continuing the story lines on into the future.

I know it's slightly ridiculous, but this makes me really sad! I'm the same "age" as Elizabeth and I have loved this strip for so many years...

I guess all I can say is that I'm glad she finally married Anthony!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

17 Months...

That time, it's flying by! More so this summer when we were just go, go, go. I hope it calms down a bit now that school's starting and we'll have a more consistent schedule!

My little man is 17 months old now! And talking up a storm! While on our Yellowstone trip Grandma taught him quite a few new words and since we've been home he's just kept it up. Repeating at least the first syllable of practically every word we say, or at least ones that catch his ear.
Favorite words to say are "car" (that's for you Grandpa!) and "light" although it's just mostly the "L" sound with pointing so we know what it is! He has figured out light switches too and they are quite fascinating.
He also knows all the body parts on your head and will point them out when asked, on you and on himself! He particularly likes noses... "noe"!

I think he ate too many bananas because he's not really asking for them anymore, but he will eat and beg for anything mom and dad are eating!

He has been super cranky this week and I think that's due to the fact that all four of his eye teeth are in the process of coming in. Two have poked through, but the bottom two are all mounded up and look pretty sore. I was wondering when he would get more teeth and hadn't really been paying attention and sure enough when we got home from Yellowstone the top two were just starting to poke through. I'm amazed he wasn't more cranky on the trip!

He really loves books and if you ask him to pick out a story he will go get one and then come sit in your lap. I love it!

I got out the set of stacking boxes I bought last spring and he has been having fun with them this week. He can actually stack a few up, which surprised me. He gets a little frustrated after awhile though because he'll get 2 or 3 stacked up and then trying to put on another knocks the last one off with his fingers under the box in his hand.

And finally... my poor son is cursed with his mama's wide feet and his daddy's high arches. It is impossible to find shoes for him! I'm reduced to looking for Stride Rites (them come in extra wide!) on ebay because to buy them regular price is $50 a pair! Of which he will just outgrow in another 6 months. Yikes!

Another month come and gone... next month I will try to get bunny pictures again!

Book: A Passion Redeemed

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Passion Redeemed

Revell (September 1, 2008)


Julie Lessman


Julie Lessman is a debut author who has already garnered writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She is a commercial writer for Maritz Travel, a published poet and a Golden Heart Finalist. Julie has a heart to write “Mainstream Inspirational,” reaching the 21st-century woman with compelling love stories laced with God’s precepts. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law. A Passion Most Pure was her first novel.


No man can resist her charms. Or so she thought. Charity O'Connor is a woman who gets what she wants. Her stunning beauty and flirtatious ways have always succeeded with men. Until Mitch Dennehy, that is.

Brilliant and dangerously handsome, Mitch is a no-nonsense newspaperman who wants nothing to do with her. Charity burned him once, destroying his engagement to the only woman he ever truly loved. He won't play with matches again. But Charity has a plan to turn up the heat, hoping to ignite the heart of the man she loves. And she always gets what she wants--one way or another.

Or does she? Will her best-laid schemes win his love? Or will her seductive ways drive him away forever? Book 2 in the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Redeemed will captivate your heart and stir your soul with a story of faith and redemption rising from the ashes of temptation, desire, and shame.


I have been dying to read this book since I read the first one. Julie Lessman is an amazing author when it comes to her writing and just "sucking" you in (in a good way!). I started it last night and in less than 24 hours I'm done - with all 477 pages!

However, I came away at the very end slightly disappointed. Without giving anything away let me just say that I think the ending is slightly unrealistic. There is so much pain in this book between Mitch and Charity. I guess there's a lot of pain in real life, too, but after a certain point don't you just move on? Maybe that was her point. That we can't just move on from our pain, we have to stop, forgive, and let God heal us.

At any rate, I'm still eagerly anticipating the next book in the series since I'm sure she's not done with any of these characters (and characters they are!).

If you would like to read an excerpt from A Passion Redeemed, go HERE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Little Arab Boy

My little blond Arab boy... just like his daddy!

This is an authentic Yemeni costume thanks to my friend Maggie!

Go to 5 Minutes for Mom to participate or see more Wordless Wednesday pictures.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's On Your Nightstand?

So, obviously you all know that I like to read. So much so that I've signed up to review books and have almost more than I have time for! But in my world, better a plethora of books than a drought!

There's a new site called 5 Minutes for Books which is, obviously, about all things books: reviews, giveaways, interviews with authors, and carnivals.

Their monthly carnival, which is today, is about what books you are reading right now.

What's On Your Nightstand

Here's the stack of books on my list... and this doesn't include a few I've won and haven't gotten to!

And no, they aren't usually all piled on my nightstand. Normally I have several piles going in the living room besides this one, but I stacked them all up for the picture!

Here's the brief description - starting at the bottom! (you can skip to the end if you want to, I promise I won't be offended!)


The Singer by Calvin Miller - An allegorical story about the life of Christ. One of my college professors started each class by reading from this book, unfortunately it was a 7:40 am class so I missed half the book by being late to class! We found this copy in a used book store on our honeymoon!

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi - I've read about half this book. It's incredible, but a slow read. It's written by a former literature professor from Iran about her life during the revolution and after when she tried to continue her work and was basically forced underground.

Joy for a Woman's Soul by various contemporary women speakers - One page inspirational messages that are usually right on! I've had this one for many years and continue to enjoy it.

His Thoughts Toward Me by Marie Chapian - also a daily devotional type book.

The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning - I had the opportunity to hear this man speak at chapel while I was in college. The book is good, but he's better in person. Incredible. I borrowed this from a friend awhile back so I guess I'd better hurry up and finish it!

The Inner Voice of Love by Henri Nouwen - One of my all time favorite books by my favorite philosophical writer. I was introduced to Nouwen in college through this book and it really resonates with me. I also recently finished another book by him called The Road to Daybreak about his decision to permanently join a community for severely handicapped people as an assistant or helper to them.

mom... and loving it! by hilliard and autry - I think this is pretty self explanatory... :)

My September Reader's Digest! This and Parents are the only magazines I subscribe to (I don't have time for any more although the husband says I read anything that has words on it...)

In the Shadow of Lions by Ginger Garrett - I just got this in the mail today - it's up for review in a couple of weeks so come back then to see what I have to say about it!

Lookin' Back Texas by Leanna Ellis - won from 5 Minutes for Books and haven't had a chance to read yet!

From a Distance by Tamara Alexander - I got this for a review and it came too late to read. Then I had other things to read and never got back to it. But I really want to read it since I've heard lots of good things about this author.

Twice Loved by Lori Copeland - See my review here. I read this one yesterday and it was pretty good! A fun historical chick lit book.

That's (Not Exactly) Amore by Tracey Bateman- See the review for this one here. I also read this one this weekend and really liked it. It's the third in a series, but can easily be read alone. My first introduction to this author and I really like her!

A Tendering in the Storm by Jane Kirkpatrick - I've had this from the library so long they're probably wondering if they're going to get it back! This is the second in a series about a separatist community that comes west by wagon train. I really enjoyed the first one, but it was a slow read which is probably why I'm hesitant to start this one! I do enjoy the history and this author does a fantastic job of sticking to historical details (this separatist community did exist).

The Vaccine Book by Robert W. Sears - I have a small son (in case you didn't see all the pictures!) and I found this book to be invaluable when trying to decide how and when to vaccinate him. I only wish I'd found it earlier. I feel like he writes from a fairly unbiased point of view telling how and from what each vaccine is made, what it protects from, as well as the probability and effects of the actual diseases. I would highly recommend this for all new parents!

And finally...

A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman - As soon as I finish this post I'm starting this book!!! I read the first one in this series when it came out this spring and I was hooked! This is the story of a Boston family and their daughters around the time of World War I. Extremely well written, I'm not going to be able to put it down until I'm done. So if I'm not around for a couple of days... you'll know why!

Oh, and one more that's not in my picture because I sent it to my sister-in-law to read. She gave me Tales of a Female Nomad (which I talked about here) and I loved it so much I wanted her to read it. I also emailed the author and she actually wrote me back quite promptly. If I had time to drive to Seattle before September 8th she would have met me for coffee. How cool is that!


Now... if you're still reading, what is the best book you've read this year? Mine are probably the last two in this list.

And (I think I talk too much) come back tomorrow for pictures of my wee son in an authentic Arab costume compliments of my friend Maggie!

This post is part of the 5 Minutes for Books monthly Nightstand Carnival.

Book: Twice Loved

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Twice Loved

Avon Inspire (July 22, 2008)


Lori Copeland


Lori lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband Lance. Lance and Lori have three sons, two daughter-in-laws, and five wonderful grandchildren. They are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa.

Lori began her writing career in 1982, writing for the secular book market. In 1995 after many years of writing, Lori sensed that God was calling her to use her gift of writing to honor Him. It was at that time that Lori began writing for the Christian book market. To date, she has more than 95 books published including Now And Always
and Bluebonnet Belle.


Texas, 1865 Willow Madison and her friends, Copper and Audrey taught school in neighboring Texas communities until the Yankees rode into the area and burned them out. In the midst of fear and chaos, survivors banded together to fight for what remained of their homes. Then word reached the people that the terrible war was over.

Now penniless but still hopeful, Willow vows she will take care of her friends, Copper and Audrey, and her ailing uncle, in Thunder Ridge, Texas, even if it means having to marry wealthy Silas Sterling, a man thirty years her senior. But standing in her way is handsome sawmill owner Tucker Gray, with his enticing eyes and infuriating headstrong manner—the man Willow cannot get out of her head . . . or her heart. Even though her friends beg her not to give up her dream of happiness, Willow is determined to do the right thing for those who are dearest to her. But which path does God want Willow to take: a life of duty and commitment . . . or a life of everlasting love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Twice Loved, go HERE


This book was late to me, I got it in the mail yesterday. And finished it as well. :) So you might say it was a quick read!

For me it was interesting, but pretty predictable. You know what's going to happen in the end with a few small twists thrown in. I found the fact that a town continued to live in an area called Thunder Ridge (all thunder and lightning and no rain) to be slightly improbable, but interestingly enough the author addresses that in the book. The main character, Willow, is not from the area and she asks why the people haven't moved on. The answer is that some did while others were just too stubborn - one of the main themes in the book being just how stubborn some people are!

Overall a fun read, but I liked this one better - yes, I finally read That's (Not Exactly) Amore. It's the third in a series, but a fun book where you didn't for sure know which guy she'd end up with!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Yellowstone Part 1 - First There Was A Wedding

The grand tour adventure starts here:

We made a detour before we even got started and headed south to Hermiston for some old family friend's daughter's wedding. She's about 4 years younger than me, but we were at Fox at the same time and did some evening swimming exercise. She's also a teacher so that makes it fun!

But first a stop at the rest area and Cory finds out about dandelion puffs!

The wedding was at a home with a gorgeous view. About an hour before the ceremony a crazy hail storm blew through. So when we got there the ground was white with quarter size hail stones and all the groomsmen were wet from trying to keep things from blowing away! It all worked out in the end and made for a very pleasant evening since it cooled the 95 degree temp down to the mid 70's.
Miss Bethany

Miss Rebecca

The most adorable flower girl

Ali and her dad

Second child, first daughter to get married

See, stunning setting!

Nathan and Alison

Did I mention this family has 6 children? The two bridesmaids above are younger sisters. Rebecca lives in Montana and we hung out while I was in grad school. I also got to see her last month at Creation.

And from here we met Grandma and Grandpa (Brian's parents - mine were already with us) in the morning to head for points east!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happy 30th Birthday!

To my husband and his twin sister, Allison.

Now you're officially old... just kidding! ;)

I hope you enjoy today and realize that these are the best years of your lives!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Read This!

Seriously, you should read this book: Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World

My sister-in-law bought it for me for my birthday (oops, that was in December!) and I just now got around to reading it. Darn, wish I'd started it earlier! But that's what happens when you have a pile of 10 to-be-read books with deadlines and a gift book with no strings attached...

I'm fascinated by this lady who learned two languages and just goes off and has these adventures all by herself! She says that she always gets nervous before going off on a new adventure and gets down on herself because she hasn't planned anything, but then it usually works out just fine. I wonder if that's at all related to my fear of the unknown...

Here's the excerpt off the back cover:

Tales of a Female Nomad is the story of Rita Golden Gelman, an ordinary woman who is living an extraordinary existence. At the age of forty-eight, on the verge of a divorce, Rita left an elegant life in L.A. to follow her dream of connecting with people in cultures all over the world. In 1986 she sold her possessions and became a nomad, living in a Zapotec village in Mexico, sleeping with sea lions on the Galapagos Islands, and residing everywhere from thatched huts to regal palaces in Bali. She has observed orangutans in the rain forest of Borneo, visited trance healers and dens of black magic, and cooked with women on fires all over the world. Rita’s example encourages us all to dust off our dreams and rediscover the joy, the exuberance, and the hidden spirit that so many of us bury when we become adults.

You can go here if you'd like to read the first chapter (and if that doesn't work then look for the tab that says "features")

This is my contribution (finally) to Amy's Read One Book challenge!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Book: That's (Not Exactly) Amore

I had grand intentions of reading and sewing while we were driving to and from Yellowstone this past week. Instead I did a lot of driving and only read half of one book and did a little sewing. So I had left this review until we got back hoping to have read the book, but I haven't yet. It looks like a fun quick read so if I get to it this week I'll let you know!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

That's (Not Exactly) Amore

FaithWords (August 14, 2008)


Tracey Bateman

Tracey Bateman published her first novel in 2000 and has been busy ever since. There are two other books in the Drama Queen Series, Catch A Rising Star (#1) and You Had Me At Goodbye (#2)

She learned to write by writing, and improved by listening to critique partners and editors. She has sold over 30 books in six years.
She became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers in the early months of its inception in 2000 and served as president for a year.

Tracey loves Sci-fi, Lifetime movies, and Days of Our Lives (this is out of a 21 year habit of watching, rather than enjoyment of current storylines.

She has been married to her husband Rusty for 18 years, has four kids, and lives in Lebanon, Missouri.


When Laini Sullivan lands a job designing Nick Pantalone's coffee shop, there are two problems: one, Nick's nephew Joe hates all of her ideas and two, Laini has to admit he's right--she's a disaster at design. Still, she can't risk losing the job. To compromise, Joe brings in help on the project, while Laini continues to bake the goodies that keep his customers lining up.
Their relationship is moving along, so when new guy Officer Mark Hall implies that Joe's family is tied to the mob, Laini doesn't want to believe it. But things spin out of control when she meets the family, including "the uncles," who seem to confirm Mark's suspicions. To make things worse, Nana Pantalone makes it clear Laini isn't the kind of girl she has in mind for her grandson. Laini's not sure if she should give Joe the benefit of the doubt or just set her sites on Mark and fuhgetaboutit.

If you would like to read the first chapter of That's (Not Exactly) Amore, go HERE

Saturday, August 16, 2008

We're Back - or - The Un-Vacation

We have returned from our Yellowstone trip.

2,000+ miles, one wedding, four couples (all related) and a baby!

Cory was a Champ. He survived on about one hour of nap time a day (in the car) really due to the fact that he is very social and he had both sets of grandparents around to occupy him!

I, am exhausted.

Someone kindly remind me next time I volunteer to be a tour guide that the tour guide spends most of their time thinking about the schedule? Thank you.

I guess there are two major points that were a disappointment. First that I was subconsciously expecting a repeat of some of my experiences from working in the park... but I was going back as a tourist. We saw all the major points (pictures will be forthcoming) and I had seen them all before so they weren't quite as impressive to me.

Second, and I guess more importantly, I was supposed to meet a friend there the first day and we never connected. It made me wonder for the whole week if he was avoiding me for some reason or was just out of town. Yet we had been planning on meeting for months.

Today we came home to find 5 messages from him on our home phone. I had called him I think 3 times and left our cell phone number at least twice. I know he got my messages since he referenced them.

I was again unable to reach him tonight and I think I'm going to be unsettled until I have a chance to talk to him. He was a good friend while I was working in the park and in the 8 years since. It's sad that I wasn't able to see him when we drove right through his small town.

A more upbeat and complete report of our trip will come later this week. When I have had a chance to recover!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mi Blog es Brillante!

Sweet! I love a little Spanish love! My Friend Amy said that my blog is Brillante and gave me this fancy award! Isn't it cool?

Amy and I have a little Spanish connection anyway. I "stumbled" across her blog and then discovered that she's the sister of the principal's wife where I went to school in Costa Rica. (did you follow that?) She and her sister, Leah, and their mom also write over at the Friendly Book Nook.

So, once an award is received, the rules are:

1. Put the logo on your blog.

2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.

3. Nominate at least seven other blogs.

4. Add links to those blogs on your blog.

5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

Here are my nominations...

How can you not like any blog that is named after the first line of that famous poem, Jabberwocky? T'was Brillig is one of my "daily" reads. I have to check and see if she's written something witty or just plain inspiring!

The tagline of her blog says, "Sometimes sweet, sometimes tart, but always real" and I have yet to read anything she wrote that wasn't otherwise! If you aren't already, you should really be reading Antique Mommy! (go read the story of why she calls herself that!)

Life with a little one can be challenging at times. Life with a little one with special needs can be especially challenging. But according to Tammy at Praying for Parker that makes it all the more rewarding. She shares her life with us so we can share her life with her sweetheart named Paker.

Cecily has three children. And a husband. And herself! They all provide endless blog fodder for My Chaos, My Bliss. And I love her photo story Fridays (although I can never get my act together enough to participate!)

On the other end of the spectrum is Grandma Henke. She shares memories of her life, funny stories about her grandkids (she's got a new one!) and she's writing a book!

Then there's a blog I just found recently. Heather writes at Autumn At Oak Hollow. She's fantastic! I have so many blogs in my reader already that to add a new one they really have to capture my attention with just a few posts. She did!

and finally... if you want a laugh for the day? Go visit Jim, aka Busy Dad! The chronicles of he and Fury with their legos and their dogs and their... what little boys say are sure to bring a chuckle to your day!

I think that about covers it!

Yes, I know, I'm still out of town. So if I nominated you and you haven't gotten word of it... that's because I haven't left you a comment yet! Will do as soon as I get home! Lots of love!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What's Your Personality?

Okay, I admit! I stole this from Piper!

Ever heard of the Myers-Briggs Personality test? It's one of those things that's supposed to help you figure out which of two types you are in 4 different categories:

Introverted (I) 86% Extraverted (E) 14%
Sensing (S) 82% Intuitive (N) 18%
Feeling (F) 60% Thinking (T) 40%
Judging (J) 73% Perceiving (P) 27%

I am apparently an ISFJ. I find it interesting that in college I was an ENFJ (one of whose optimum jobs is a teacher) and now I am very different.

I got the above results at Kisa and got the specific percentages. It shows that on the two that changed I'm not even close to being on the border. I wonder if I was deluding myself in college? (or now?) or if I really did swing that hard from being an extrovert to an introvert and an intuitive person to a sensing person.

The section below lists what characteristics a person like me should show. Those of you that know me in real life (or maybe just from this blog) what do you think? How far off/on is it?

You Are An ISFJ

The Nurturer

You have a strong need to belong, and you very loyal.
A good listener, you excel at helping others in practical ways.
In your spare time, you enjoy engaging your senses through art, cooking, and music.
You find it easy to be devoted to one person, who you do special things for.

In love, you express your emotions through actions.
Taking care of someone is how you love them. And you do it well!

At work, you do well in a structured environment. You complete tasks well and on time.
You would make a good interior designer, chef, or child psychologist.

How you see yourself: Competent, dependable, and detail oriented

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Boring, dominant, and stuck in a rut.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Book: The Jewel of Gresham Green

Please go to the CFBA blog for the current post about this book. We're out of town so I am not able to get the info posted here.

You can also sign up to be a book reviewer there if you're interested. And no, not all the books are quasi-historical romance or chick-lit! Those are just the types of books I prefer reading!


I own a couple of other books by Lawana Blackwell and enjoyed them. The problem with this book was that the back cover synopsis pretty much gave away most of the story. That ruined the first half of the book for me because I kept waiting for the main characters to "meet".

I was also a little disappointed at how neatly everything wrapped up in the end. And that the main character the story is named after, Jewel, didn't seem to factor in nearly as much as some of the other characters. These other characters were introduced in other books although this is a stand alone novel. It's just that there was a fun little romance with Jewel that was barely given the time of day.

Oh well, I guess I'm not the author, right?

Overall a well written story, but I have enjoyed some of her other novels more.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Painting... It Is Not Done Yet!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

This summer one of our "projects" was to paint my parent's house. I'm sure you've caught my references to it for the last few weeks.

Well, at first glance you would think we were done. The house is now tan with cream trim and a dark rust red accent along the roof. It looks nice... however I would never paint my house with two colors of trim if I had to do it! We are still working on second coats on the trim and then trying to touch up and get the lines straight where the two colors meet.

I was not too happy to have my picture taken...

Kevin, Dad, and Annika here replacing the windows.
They got all new windows all around thanks to my brother.

I am the "trim queen" because I have the straightest hand (and I'm the perfectionist). I'm not a huge fan of ladders, but funny thing about that trim, most of it is at the top of the house. Ugh.

Cory spends most of the time with Grandma... and the puppies!

And when he wears them out...
Poor Cayenne!He finds Grandma's hat to wear!

So, we're not done painting yet, but I guess it's just going to have to wait until we get back from...


Woo hoo! As you read this we're on our way, to be back in a week, I'm sure with tons of adventures!

Not to worry, I have some random things scheduled for you to read while I'm gone! ;) But be sure to come back in a week or two for the saga of our trip... all the in-laws (and out-laws) and a baby!

Go here if you would like to play Photo Story Friday!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Mamma Mia!

My mom and I went to see Mamma Mia! yesterday afternoon. It was a fun girl movie! ;)

But I have to say, when I read a few days ago on a blog that this movie ruined Pierce Brosnan for them... I really didn't get it until the very end!

Spoiler Warning: If you haven't seen this and want to you probably don't want to read the rest of this...

Have you stopped reading yet?

Okay, so Pierce Brosnan is Sam, one of three men who could possibly be Sophie's dad. She invites them all to her wedding thinking she'll just "know" which one is her dad when she meets them. She of course doesn't and since her mother doesn't know why they are there hilarity ensues. With random breaking into song because this is a musical. And while the scenery was beautiful I think the movie would have made more sense left on stage. I guess we can suspend our disbelief a little more when we see things on stage!

Anyway, it was a cute movie for the most part. A little too many sexual references for my taste, but that's Hollywood for you.

At the very end the mom and her two friends are on stage singing all dressed up in fancy sparkly clothes. They finish one song and decide to do another, talking to an audience who doesn't respond. When they start the second all three of the possible dads come out to sing with them. And they are dressed in what I can only call a cross between an Elvis suit and an ice skating costume! In teal and red no less! Brosnan's costume was v-necked to his waist and all I could think was "ew!"

Now I know why the lady said she'd never be able to watch him as 007 James Bond the same way again!

Did I also mention that I've had "Mamma Mia" and "Dancing Queen" stuck in my head ever since?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Water is His Friend!

Friday I took Cory to the waterslides in Chelan to meet up with some other moms. Unfortunately it was the one cool day in an otherwise warm week. Sad. By the time it was really warm enough to enjoy the water Cory was done. Oh well! He did enjoy the kiddy pool though and Mommy even got to go on a couple of the big kid slides!

His greatest discovery was the slide...

I can go up by myself!

I have a little problem with the sitting down part though...

Okay, Mama, whenever you're done taking pictures I'd like to go down!

He wouldn't slide down on his own, he wanted my hands to pull him down, but otherwise he thought it was great fun. We must have done this slide at least 20 times. And then I convinced him to try the bigger frog one. We did that a couple times and then had a diaper issue...

He did the frog slide again though at the pool with my mom. Before this he wouldn't even touch a slide. Now he thinks it's great and just today at our friend's house he was climbing up their Playschool slide and wanting my help to go down! Playgrounds are in danger from Cory now!