Saturday, September 21, 2013

Your Mom goes to College Part 2, and Redbox Night

I thought I'd update my school status. My last post about school I mentioned that the class I am taking has a lot of reading with profanity in it and that sometimes we are required to read out loud in class. Well, I am happy to say that I spoke with the professor about the out loud readings and I would be changing the words if they were swear words. I was really light hearted about it, and the professor was also and now even makes a great effort to not swear in class. So, with help from above (I'm sure of it), my return to school experience is going well and is a lot of fun. As for movies, I have to say that I have been very disappointed with all these new releases at my local theater. There isn't one good movie that I want to see for a date night. Well, I guess we could watch Planes or Percy Jackson for date night, but I think we will save those for Redbox. And I am sad to report that Austenland has not been released in my neck of the woods. I wish I had a couple extra hundred dollars hanging around so that I could fly to Utah and watch it with my girls, but that's not going to happen. Needless to say, we have been checking out Redbox a lot recently. Last night we watched "Parental Guidance" with Billy Crystal, and it was hilarious and a totally fun movie. It's rated PG and is one that I would watch with all my kids. It's a really fun movie about the differences in parenting. It made fun of all the funny phrases we use today like, "Use your words," versus yelling or telling your child "No." Although there was tons of humor, the show was really touching as it focused on parents and children coming together and learning to appreciate their differences and overlook weaknesses. I loved it, and highly recommend it if you want a laugh out loud feel good movie to watch.

Monday, August 26, 2013

"Your mom goes to college" - Napolean Dynamite

My kids now have the opportunity to quote Napolean Dynamite on a daily basis as their mom now goes to college. Yep! I am going back to school after being out of the classroom setting for the past 12 years. Today was my first day of school and I was so excited I tried to take a picture of myself with my backpack on in front of a tree of our house. I was going to post it to facebook, hoping I had a big cheesy grin to join the loads of first-day-of-school posts. But for some reason I didn't think it would be as cute as the kiddo photos. Anyway, I enjoyed my first class, and being the Hermione Granger student that being our of college for 12 years has made me want to be, I was fully prepared with books and all, having already read most of the material. As excited for school as I am, I am not as excited about some of the material we are reading. We are focusing on the form and technique of main stream fiction short stories. This means we are reading short stories about everyday life, but at times, at it's ugliest. Almost all of the reading has very harsh swearing, and the main ideas or points of the stories, are down right depressing. As you know, I lead a fairly fantasy life approach to reading, so this type of material is new for me. Okay, I have read books with profanity in them before, but I try to avoid them, and I certainly don't enjoy them. Anyway, I thought reading the stories was going to be my only problem, but as class started today, the professor informed us that we would be reading aloud many of the stories in class. I immediately saw my dilemma. I have no problem changing swear words in my head when I am reading them silently, but changing them to something else when reading aloud is going to be an adventure. Today we took turns reading paragraphs from the short story. As chance would have it, I was the only reader who had a nice fat "f" bomb in the opening line. Well, of course I didn't say it, but changed it. I saw a couple of heads turn in my direction when I didn't swear, but my changing the word did not change the meaning or main point of the story, once again reiterating to me the knowledge that profanity is NOT necessary in making a story more real, or alive, or genuine. But in fact detracts from the message and purpose of the story. I'm sure I will have many other opportunities to stand for truth and justice in my class in regards to the useless need for swearing in literature. Regardless, I am really happy to be back in school. I hope all of you are well and that none of your kids are having similar experiences with profanity in their classroom environments. And if any of your kids want to use the line "Your mom goes to college!" make sure they make Kips face when saying it. (If you don't know what I'm talking about about, go watch Napolean Dynamite.)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Upside Down and The Butler

Just wanted to share a fun movie I rented the other night. It's called Upside Down staring Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess. It's a very fun and clever sci-fi romantic adventure. It's clean and fun, especially if your a fan of sci-fi. It is a little weird at times, but in a good way. Anyway, just wanted to share. In other news, we saw the Butler a couple of weekends ago. And even though the main story line was very interesting and fascinating to watch, it was crude and raunchy, with ton's of swearing. In my opinion, having the crud in it, not only was demeaning to the main message of the story, but was totally counterproductive. It was a major bummer. Looking forward to September and Austenland! I know I'll love that one!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Faerie War Cover - drum roll please . . . .

If you want to read a fun and fantastic fantasy fairy tale, read Rachel Morgan's Faerie Gaurdian series.  The third book in the series is called the Faerie War.  And here is the cover  . . . .

The fate of the faerie world is in her hands...

Title: The Faerie War
Series: Creepy Hollow, Book Three
Author: Rachel Morgan
Cover Designer: Morgan Media
Publication Date: Oct 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Here's What I Think: Brock's Weekly

Here's What I Think: Brock's Weekly: Some of you may know that my hubby writes a weeky email that captures our daily life adventures in a most amusing way.  I came across this o...

Brock's Weekly

Some of you may know that my hubby writes a weeky email that captures our daily life adventures in a most amusing way.  I came across this one again, and laughed so hard I had to share it.  Enjoy!

August 11, 2008
Dearly Beloved:
I have composed what is supposed to be a humorous tale, in Biblical prose, about our journey from Utah to Las Cruces, and am attaching it in lieu of my weekly email. The story is 'mostly true' like all my emails, but generally portrays Angie inaccurately, which if you haven't figured it out yet often happens in my emails and is kind of an inside joke. Anyway, the story is about five or six pages long. I have cut and pasted it below, in case there is problem opening the file, but it probably will be easier to read it as a Word document.
Chapter 1
In the land of the Virginians, at the residence of the government fathers, I, Brock, saw that it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence;
2  And, finding there was greater opportunity and money and prestige for me, I sought for a judicial clerkship and the right whereunto I should be declared a real attorney and administer in the office thereof; having been myself a student of the law, desiring also to be one who possessed great amounts of money and to possess a greater possibility of owning a home and paying off my student loans, which were great, and being a father of many children, and desiring to house and feed them, I moved to Las Cruces and sought my appointment unto a judicial clerkship, holding the rights belonging to the lawyers. It was conferred upon me from the Honorable Robert C. Brack and came down from the United States District Court of New Mexico.
3  And the woman said: Let us go down from the home of your father. And we went down, having left our possessions and precious things, taking nothing with us save it fit in the minivan or the green car, having sold or given away all that we possessed.
4  And it came to pass that we departed into the wilderness. And behold the children were silent as they watched movies on the portable DVD player; And I, being content, said unto the woman: Behold, this is the greatest purchase I have ever made.
5  And the woman looked up from her book and said: Though my mind be consumed with stories of romantic vampires and werewolves, yet, I confess that thou art full of wisdom and foresight and have rugged good looks.
6  And it came to pass that after many movies that my eldest child began to murmur against me and said: Are we there yet.
7  And I, knowing that the children were restless from much traveling, took my family to the place of many arches. And we beheld the arches that they were good and hiked around and took many pictures.
8 But behold, much PowerAde did we drink, and our journeying was slow, for many stops did we make.
9  And we came down by the borders, near the Four Corners, and I, being confused, missed the turn off; And the woman murmured against me and caused my children that they should murmur against me also.
10 But I, being a stiff-necked man, would not ask for directions, but continued southward upon unknown roads.
11  And it came to pass that after many hours darkness fell upon the land, and sharp lightning filled the heavens, and rain and strong winds buffeted the minivan;
12 And there was much weeping and wailing in the minivan; And the woman and her children murmured against me continually.
13  But the wilderness was uninhabited inasmuch as there was no sign of civilization anywhere; 
14  And behold, even in inhabited regions we were unable to find a place to lay our heads, for there was not room for us in the inns.
15  And it came to pass that after many hours we came upon a motel with vacancy;
16  But the woman slept not; For behold, the child of her bosom clave unto her and made a great commotion insomuch as the woman shed many tears.
17  And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Chapter 2
And it came to pass that after a few hours my eldest son said unto himself: I will arise and go unto my father that peradventure we may arrive at our new apartment early enough that I may go swimming.
2  And behold, the child said unto his father: Arise and shine forth; For why sleepest thou? Let us be up and going while it is called today; Let us go forward and not backward, courage father and on to Las Cruces.
3  And it came to pass that I arose and girded up my loins and gathered my sons for another day of driving; But behold, I found the woman and her daughter sleeping for sorrow,
4  And I said unto them: Why sleep ye? Rise and pray lest ye enter into temptation. And the woman and her daughter arose and took up their pillows and walked to breakfast.
5  And I said unto the woman: This night will I lie with thee that thou mightest conceive in thy womb and bring forth a child to bless and comfort thee when thou art old and withered;
6  But behold, the woman, being much afflicted from lack of sleep, said unto me: Not so my lord, but let us wait a little season; For behold, thy youngest son cleavest unto me continually insomuch that I sleep not neither am I able to put him down whilst the sun yet shineth in the heavens.
7  And I, beholding the woman, had compassion on her and said: Woman why weepest thou? Be comforted and know that thy womb shall yet remain barren for a little season.  
8  And it came to pass after a couple of hours we came unto the Land of Enchantment. And I beheld that the land was empty and desolate; But the woman said unto me: Behold, the land is greener than I expected.
9  And I, beholding the sage brush and the cacti that they were green, said unto the woman: Behold, the land is lush and full of vegetation, a veritable Garden of Eden, flowing with milk and honey.
10  But the woman took offense and said: Thou art cursed above all the cattle of the field, on thy belly shalt thou grovel and my feet thou shalt rub, for a pig thou art and in the dog house shalt thou remain.
11  And I stopped the car and the woman bought her children treats to help them endure the long journeying; And behold, the children rose up and praised their mother saying: Blessed art thou! Thou hast heard our pleadings and filled us with good things. For thy merciful kindness is great toward us. But behold, the treats did not cause the children to stop whining. And thus we see the unsteadiness and instability of the children of Brock.
12  And it came to pass that after many movies we arrived at the land of Las Cruces; And the woman and her children repented of their murmurings and sang a song of thanksgiving unto their father: Blessed art thou our father, for thou art good; A shield and a fortress thou art to us; Thou hast guided us through a vast and barren wasteland; While we slept, a tempest and a storm thou didst endure; Though we murmured and said, thou knowest not the way; yet thou wast faithful and guided us to a new land which, though it be desolate, we shall call our home. The tongue of this land is strange to us; But behold, we will praise thy name in Spanglish all the day of our lives.  
13  And it came to pass that the woman and her children beheld the apartment complex that it was good; And behold, they praised their father again with song.
14  But it came to pass that when the woman beheld the apartment, that it was desolate and without furniture, she was sorrowful and wept.
15  But behold, I beheld our bank account, that it was not empty, and said unto the her: Woman, why hast thy countenance fallen? Behold our bank account that it is not empty; For just a little moment shalt thou dwell in this desolate apartment; For I say unto thee that soon it shall be filled with the good things of the earth. But first, fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink, and bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
16  And the woman said unto me: I have not a cake, but a handful of vanilla wafers, and a little juice in a box; And, behold, I am about to give it to my youngest son, that we may eat it and take a nap, lest I die of exhaustion.
17  And I said unto her: Fear not, go and do as thou hast said; but give me one vanilla wafer first and let me take a drink from the juice box and after give the remainder to thy child. For, as I live, the box of vanilla wafers shall not waste, neither shall the juice box fail, before I have returned with food for thy refrigerator. And, because of thy faithfulness, thou shalt sleep on a bed this night, and be blessed in a year from now with the riches of the earth; For she that is married to an attorney is rich indeed.
18  And I departed and returned with lamps; And the woman beheld the lamps that they were just okay, and said unto me: Why didst thou not get me a bed neither didst thou gather meat for thy offspring?
19  And I said unto the woman: Target beguiled me, and I got lamps instead. Behold they were only $8.99. If thou hast need of nourishment, go up to the Albertsons and gather it thyself.
20  And the woman was wroth and went up to the Albertsons and gathered much groceries.
21  And it came to pass that after the woman had returned, I searched diligently on Craigslist to find furniture.
22  But behold, the furniture selection was sparse, and I went unto a New Mexico State University student and purchased an old metal desk, and a 1970s-looking entertainment center, and a sleep number bed; And I said unto my soul: Soul, thou hast done a mighty work this day, and thou shalt be praise by thy wife and thy children.
23 But it came to pass that when the woman beheld the desk, she scoffed, and said unto me: A fool thou art, and Craigslist shalt thou no longer use, For junk thou hast purchased, and to the dumpster shall it be returned.
25 And Brock wept.
24  But it came to pass that the woman beheld the bed that I had purchased that it was okay, and she looked with kindness upon her husband, and I was comforted.
25  And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Chapter 3
And it came to pass that on the morning of the third day, I, Brock, arose refreshed, having slept on a sleep number bed.
2  And I looked upon the apartment and perceived that it still was without furniture.
3  And now behold, I, wishing to redeem myself in the eyes of the woman, went unto Craigslist and searched for furniture in the distant land of El Paso;
4  And it came to pass that I found a family who was moving to Japan, and I contacted the family and purchased their table and chairs.
5  And the woman beheld the table and chairs that they were very good and the craftsmanship thereof was exceedingly fine, like nothing the woman had ever owned before.
6  And the woman said unto me: When thou didst buy an old rusty desk my heart failed me, and I doubted in my heart whether it was right that I had left my possessions in the land of the Virginians; But behold, I have slept soundly on a sleep number bed which thou didst purchase for $130; And behold, the 1970s-style entertainment center is a little unseemly but adequately fills the measure of its creation; And verily, verily I say unto thee that the table and chairs that thou hast purchased are exceedingly fine, and I now behold that thou art full of wisdom and foresight and have rugged good looks; For though thou didst waste $50 on a rusty old desk, which I commanded thee to throw away in the dumpster, yet thou hast redeemed thyself though the righteousness of thy purchases.
7  And I, being redeemed in the eyes of the woman, was filled with joy and rejoicing.
8  Now there is by the complex manager’s office a pool, which is called in the Spanglish tongue the Quail-Ridge-Apartment-Complex-Swimming-Pool-Man, having many palm trees.
9  In it swims almost nobody; For behold, among the residents of the Quail Ridge Apartment complex are all manner of old and impotent folk, of elderly, retired, withered, apparently filled with all manner of water related anxieties, having little inclination for swimming in the water.
10  And a certain boy was there, which had a desire to swim in the pool for at least thirty and eight hours.
11  When I saw the boy, and knew that he had been now a long time waiting, I said unto him: Matthew, wilt thou go swimming.
12  And the boy answered: Father, I have no man, to take me to the pool; For thou and they wife have been busy and unable to put me into the water.
13  And I said unto the boy: Rise, take up thy swimming toys, and walk with me to the pool. And his brother and sister and mother followed and there was much joy and rejoicing at the pool.
14  And the evening and the morning were the third day.
Chapter 4
And it came to pass on the fourth day that I, Brock, looked upon my children; And beheld that the hair of my youngest child and of my eldest had turned green, for verily there is much chlorine in the water.
2 And it came to pass that the woman, beheld the greenness of their hair, that it was like unto the lush landscape of Las Cruces; And behold, the woman shaved the head of her youngest son, that he became bald, and trimmed the hair of her only daughter, that she might have slightly shorter green hair; And it came to pass that the woman grieved as the hairs of heads of her children fell to the ground.
3  And I, Brock, beheld that the apartment, that it still felt barren and unorganized;
4  And I commanded the woman to put down her books and straighten up the apartment.
5  And it came to pass that the woman ignored me.
6 And by and by I contacted the family moving to Japan and made an offer on an exceedingly fine desk; And it came to pass that the offer was accepted; And the woman beheld my purchase and was exceedingly glad.
7  And now behold, the bank account was almost empty, and the apartment still lacked a sofa. And it came to pass that the woman said unto me: Purchase a futon, I pray thee, that when Leta or thy parents visits they might have place to lay their heads.
8  And I went down and purchased a futon, and it was red, like unto the futon we had when we lived in North Carolina; But behold, the new futon was of exceedingly fine craftsmanship, not being purchased from Walmart.
9  And the woman beheld the futon that it was good; And I looked upon the apartment that it had turned out pretty well.
10  And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Chapter 5
Now the fifth day was the first day of the week, which is treated like the seventh day, being the Sabbath.
2  And behold I, Brock, rested and got carried away writing a story about our journeying in the wilderness and our settlement in the Land of Enchantment.
3  And it came to pass that the woman read the story and beheld that it was not completely accurate and had portions that were not in good taste among polite society;
4 And it came to pass that the woman censored portions of the story and said unto me: Send, I pray thee, thy story to our family and friends in thy weekly email that they may know of our adventures; For verily, verily I say unto thee, thy story is funny and made me laugh; And though thou hast portrayed me inaccurately and kept a couple of things in the story that will embarrass me, yet I will endure it, that thou mightest have acclaim and honor in the eyes of our family and friends.
5 And it came to pass that I, Brock, sent the story in my weekly email and prepared for any responses on the morrow;
6  And the evening and the morning were the fifth day, which is technically the first day, but is treated like the seventh day.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Here's What I Think: Daddy/child camp out

Here's What I Think: Daddy/child camp out: This last Friday night, my hubby took our four kids camping with our ward.  I was left home alone not knowing what to do with myself.  I dec...

Daddy/child camp out

This last Friday night, my hubby took our four kids camping with our ward.  I was left home alone not knowing what to do with myself.  I decided I  would watch a chick flick, so I quickly put in Pride and Prejudice, the Keira Knightly version (I know, I know, it should have been the BBC version, but I wanted to do something else that night other than watch a movie, so I decided on 2 hours versus 6.) 

I fell in love with Pride and Prejudice all over again.  As I watched the credits and saw Jane Austen's name come up, I felt such a great love for her as a writer.  I was so proud of her for writing such incredible love stories that have endured for many generations, and inspired so many other writers, movies, etc., to believe in falling in love, and how wonderful and worth it it is.  I have always wanted to be a writer, and I can only hope and dream that I could have some small kind of impact on the world of reading and writing, by creating a world where falling in love is magical.  Needless to say, my girls night was going well.

After the movie I put my head phones in and listened to a book as I cleaned my entire house.  Cleaning has never been so fun and satisfying.  I was able to clean for three hours without any interruptions, moving from one room to the next, all the while listening to a great story.  I am not one for loving cleaning my house, but I can honestly say that it was very rejuvenating.  I was liking the daddy/child camp out more and more.

The next morning I ran in our stake's 5k Mormon Pioneer fun run.  I had a great run and it was fun to celebrate this special holiday in this way.  I knew the kids were still not home, so I was able to come home and shower uninterrupted, and even do some laundry.  I love my family and I love having them around, but I have decided that every once in a while it's really nice to be alone and have some "me" time and actually be productive at the same time.  I highly encourage that all families have a daddy/child camp out.  Until next time!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Boundless, by Cynthia Hand

What can I say but,  Bravo! Congratulations!  Para Bens!  Well done, Ms. Cynthia Hand!  It is so fun to read the last book in a series and be so utterly satisfied with every little, tiny detail of the story.  I loved what Cynthia Hand did with this book.
It was so well written, with every detail and chapter flowing so nicely.  I loved the pacing of every part. I was never bored or wishing the story would pick up.  A perfect attention keeper for me.
I laughed out loud each time Clara crossed and ended up in Tucker's barn.  I loved the sweet symbolism behind it.  I loved the laugh out loud jokes Clara would say to lighten the serious gloom and doom mood.  Especially loved the Star Wars joke.
I loved the relationship developments with Clara, Christian and  Angela, and the gentle way that their friendship/love was handled.  It's so fun to read a book where an author has such a clear understanding of human nature with all it's many varied ups and downs, and is able to translate that into their characters in such a careful, believable manner.
I loved the interactions with Samjeeza.  I found them insightful and I loved that Clara was such a admirable heroine, one that you want to be like.  I loved her compassion for all of the angels and humans, and her ability to feel their hope and sorrow and use those feelings for the good of others, including the angels themselves.
And most especially, I loved how Ms. Hand treated Tucker and Clara's relationship.  I felt uplifted my their sweet, pure love for each other.  Never once did I feel uncomfortable or question the purity of their relationship.  I so appreciate that, and it makes it so easy to cheer on something that you want to share with your reading buddies.  Thank you so much!
My only regret about reading this book, is that it took me so long to get to it.  I wish I had read it when it first came out, as I feel like I am the last person to get on the boat in finishing this series. Thanks again Cynthia for making reading fun and uplifting!  Can't wait to see what you do next. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Wasatch Back, reading, and more!

So life has been crazy the last couple of weeks.  I drove the kids to Utah so I could run in Utah's Ragnar relay series, Wasatch Back.  After having run once and trained twice for the DC Ragnar, I thought I would totally be fine with Wasatch Back.  Needless to say, it was a little more challenging than DC.  I had a great first run as runner 9, having a personal best run of 6 min. and 45 sec. miles for my 5k, then by midnight run took place, and since it was 11.6 miles, I wasn't so fast. I was cold, and got hypothermia, vomited, had slurred speech, and incoherent conversations.  When I finally got warm again, but still felt horrible, I really didn't care if I ever ran again.  But then I had my last run up Gaurdman's pass, of course this was after 10 hours of slowly getting better.  Okay, so it really wasn't a run, more like an extremely challenging speed walk straight up hill.  In the end, I loved the whole experience, especially since I got to spend so much time with family and friends laughing, crying, and trying to get sleep, (which didn't happen).

I read a lot of books on my trip, and here's a couple I want to shout about.  The first that I loved is called "Amethyst" by Heather Bowhay.  This book is a totally fun urban fastasy, with bits of paranormal action, and lots of fun romantic tension.  I just finished the second book called "Linked", and it did not disappoint.  It's fun to find new authors that are just awesome to read and take you on a fun journey.  Heather's 3rd book in the series comes out un August, and I will be for sure reading and writing about it.

I also read a fun mystery/sci-fi book called "Disemblance", by Shanae Branham.  It was very well written and had me on the edge of my car seat (literally) on the drive home from Utah.  I loved her writing and characters. 

The fourth of July was fun.  It started bright and early as I ran an 8k.  I have to admit I felt a little sluggish, and I think it had to do with the fact that my body was screaming, "what do you think your doing?  You need to still recover from Ragnar!!!"  I had fun, but like I said, felt sluggish and never really got into my running groove.
We had a fun breakfast at church and the kids paraded around the ward building on their bikes.  We spend the rest of the day lazing around, swimming with friends, eating way too much home made carmel popcorn, ending the night watching the fireworks from the roof of my hubby's office building.  After living in DC for a while, I wasn't expecting the fireworks to be that good in Las Cruces.  But I must say that this smallish town of 100,000 people's fireworks did not disappoint.  Well done!

June was crazy, but July has stared of well, and I live in a great country with my wonderful family and friends.  Life is good!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Getting older isn't so bad

Today I am 36 years old.  Yay!  My husband has a lot of fun going around the house telling everyone that I am the oldest person in the family.  This has my youngest son thinking that I will be the first person to pass away in our family.  Hopefully that will be many years down the road.

Anyway, my last post was about King Lear and how lame it is to get older, but I decided that aging is just part of the course.  This last week my oldest went to girls camp with our stake, and it was so fun to drive her up there with some of her friends, set up their tent, and get all their pads and sleeping bags set up.  It was fun to see how excited she was to stay there all week and be with the other amazing young women her age or older from our church.  I was jealous as I left that I wasn't staying.  I decided that next year I will just have to volunteer to help out at camp and stay for the week.

Having a daughter old enough to go to camp does reflect on my age, but at the same time, it shows that our family is growing and progressing in life, and that progression is fun and exciting to see.  So, as much as I don't like certain aspects of the aging process (gray hairs, wrinkles, giggly skin and folds), maturing is pretty cool.  Life is good, and I'm grateful for all the many adventures the last 36 years have brought.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Getting old is lame!

King Lear, by William Shakespeare

I LOVED King Lear on so many levels. First I loved the character foils, one clearly bad, and the other clearly good and loyal. I loved the fool and the loyal servant, Kent, to King Lear, and the role they both played in supporting King Lear after his two oldest daughters start treating him like he is just an old man, that they should pity, showing no respect to his office and the gifts he has bestowed upon him.

I love how Shakespeare used the theme of madness throughout the entire play, with some characters showing true madness, and others hiding their true disguises through madness. I love how Shakespeare used the role of a fool the represent the real food, and those acting foolish.

This story was also especially touching to me having witnessed recently friends and family get older and lose some of their wits, or physical ability, and to see how family or friends treat them differently, both in a condescending way, and also out of the good for the individual.

Being a parent is hard, and being a child to aging parents is a challenge also. I hope that I will be like Cordelia, Kent, Edgar, or the fool in how I treat them. Such a good play!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's about time!

 I know everyone has just been waiting for my latest book, movie, and life musing updates, so here they are.

Movies - loved Star Trek Into Darkness.  It was such a fun movie to get into, even if you aren't a big trekky, which I'm not.  It is such a character driven story, that it was so easy to get sucked in to the story line and love/hate what was happening.  I was totally surprised at what awesome acting all the actors did.

Prince of Persia - way cheesy show, produced by Disney, but had a surprisingly awesome ending, that made me like it better than I thought I would because of all the cheesy lines and acting.  It seemed like the show was trying to be a little like Pirates of the Carribean, with the funny banter throughout, but it wasn't.  However, overall it was good.

Books- Okay, I'm in love with Shakespeare.  He was a genius and I am baffled each time I read/listen to a play at what a master he was at understanding human nature in all it's variables.  Twelth Night was one of my favorite laugh out loud plays.  So fun.  Just read it, or even better, listen to it with a full cast audio book production.  It will rock your world.

Rachel Morgan- one of my new favorite authors.  I recently just read the first two books in a series called The Faerie Gaurdian and The Faerie Prince.  Very fun fantasy books with awesome writing and hilarious banter between characters, and just the right amount of romance for my liking.  Way fun.

As for life musings, I may have something to add after I finish King Lear.  My heart is breaking for Lear, and I love the loyal Kent!

Well, happy reading/watching/running/pondering, or whatever it is you do for leisure.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

"The Fiddler" by Beverly Lewis

"Fear is courage on your knees."  This quote from the book could probably be the theme for most Christian fiction novels, as it was for "The Fiddler."  Like so many Christian novels, this story is sweet, clean, and sometimes painfully predictable. However, I still enjoyed it, especially since the author uses the power and love of music as a viable character throughout the story. 
Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which is a church that is very regimental in it's standards and observance, I loved reading about the struggle some of the characters faced as they tried to decide whether or not they believed and wanted to follow the teachings of their parents, and also what they felt was okay to hold onto from the world and their teachings.  
I found the balance Amelia was searching for in her life, which as a solo violinist who tours and plays all over the world was hard for her to find, interesting.  In contrast, I loved how the Amish life presented, in it's plainness and shunning of wonderful things, like some music, was just as unbalanced as Amelia's never ending concert playing.  I loved that Amelia and Michael both were looking for something in the middle. Michael says, "Despite their vastly different backgrounds, they were better together than apart." 
This book reminded me that there is so much that is good in the world, but that certain people classify as bad, and also, that there is so much bad in the world that people classify as good.
Not the  most engaging book, but definitely a wholesome contribution to literature.

Make a difference!

I recently posted a comment on a friends facebook update about how wonderful it must be for her to feel like she is making a difference in the world.  My friends name is April Perry and the main writer of  She recently posted a "Your Children Want You!"  post, in which she talks about her feelings as a mom and how she feels that she comes up short and fails in her parenting in so many ways.  However, as she shares these thoughts, she also tells about what makes her mom wonderful and about wonderful mommy moments she has had, and all of her special experiences don't have anything to do with what size pants she wears, or the decorations around the house, or the sweet smells coming from her kitchen as a result of her amazing cooking skills.
I really appreciated her words, and the post was such a wonderful reminder of what is really important.  Mother's Day is coming, and I hope you all can read her post and realize that YOU make the mom, not the stuff around you.

Monday, May 6, 2013

13 days and counting . . .

We are on our 13th day with someone in my family having flu like symptoms.  The first child to get it had the worst of the full tobacco flavor (vomiting, high fever, and other gastrointestinal joys), while the next two have just had the high fever for the most part. I'm hoping the last one doesn't get it.

While different aspects of parenting present challenges, I find that being the best, most loving, kind, and patient mom when my kids are sick and want or need something 24/7, is not my first and foremost talent.

I find myself disengaging when I need to be most engaged, and desires of boarding a cruise ship and sailing the ocean blue, keep entering my mind.

Since being more engaged as a mother is something I have been working on, I find it interesting that I am given the opportunity to hone some of the motherly qualities that I would like to be better at, and failing miserably. 

I realize that I am getting exactly the kind of chances I need to help me develop better mothering skills, but now that I have them, I find that I don't want them. 

When all is said and done, it's really not that bad.  My life is so easy and wonderful and overflowing with blessings I can't ever number.  And the perspective I feel that I have on what is important and what is not, helps me to not freak out (well not too much) about the spilled milk, vomiting, diarrhea filled underwear, and constant bickering that seems to come with sick kids.

Talking about perspective, check out the movie "Bernie" with Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, and Shirley MacLaine.  It's a true story about a mortician in this little town of Carthage, Texas.  It documents the town's people praising Bernie as the nicest, most kind man they have ever known, and who would do anything to help you and your family.  The town's people go on and on about how much they love Bernie, played by Jack Black, while they demonize Ms. Nugent, a recent widow whom Bernie befriends out of an attempt to help her in her grieving over her husbands death, and with whom he becomes something of a lap dog.  The town's people describe Ms. Nugent as the meanest, most cantankerous, disagreeable old woman, and when they learn that she is dead at the hands of Bernie, they don't believe it at first.  Then when they find out he is guilty, they still think he is the most wonderful man and say that if they are put on the jury, they are going to acquit him. 
Is that a crazy perspective or what?

  So give me 13 days of flu, and bickering.  I'd rather have moments of disengagement, then think it's okay to murder the little old lady down the street.

As always, have a good day!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Here's What I Think: Date night at the movies - in which I review Iron ...

Here's What I Think: Date night at the movies - in which I review Iron ...: Almost 13 years ago, while my husband and I were preparing to get married, we met with our ecclesiastical leader for some council and advice...

Date night at the movies - in which I review Iron Man 3 and The Impossible

Almost 13 years ago, while my husband and I were preparing to get married, we met with our ecclesiastical leader for some council and advice, and he encouraged us to make sure that we made date night a priority in our marriage.

We have been pretty good at having a date at least 2-3 times a month.  We love to do tons of stuff, but we are easily entertained, and movie night is almost always our choice of a crazy night away from the kids.

Last night we went and saw Iron Man 3, one of the highly anticipated action packed block buster films of the summer.  The line was out the door, where we waited patiently for our chance to make a mad dash to get the perfect seats (in the middle of the theater in the middle of the row, right?).  There wasn't too much pushing and shoving, although I did ask my husband to hoist me over the railing so I could get in front of some of the slower moving movie goers.  But, it was unnecessary.  We got out perfect seats.

The movie was ok overall, but it was your typical action packed movie, with lots of buildings, cars, etc. blowing up. Nothing mind blowing, or life changing.  Not that I'm saying that each movie I see has to change my life.  I like to be entertained by comic book movies.  I think they are fun! 

But there was just a lot going on, and some of it didn't seem to fit. Like the stupid scene with a bikini swim suit competition being judge by some old grandpas, that had absolutely nothing to do with the plot.  Even though it wasn't that long, it felt like it had been thrown in the movie just for affect.  Pretty lame.  And no, it was not lame because I am feeling angst over the thought that I would not look as good in a bikini as the actors in the movie.  It was just lame because it didn't fit in the story.

It was pretty violent also, with humans who were genetically enhanced to have super human strength and power, and who were a little creepy with red eyes and over heated bodies.  I know action packed movies have violence, but this movie has been advertised on Disney Channel, making my kiddos want to see it.  It is so not a kid friendly show. 

Overall, I did like it, but I wouldn't rent it when it comes out, even to see the fifteen minutes I missed while I took a call from our babysitter in the middle of it so I could help her figure out what our youngest wanted after waking up crying for mommy.  It is a fun entertaining movie, but not very memorable.  I know I won't be thinking about it in my sleep.

But speaking of memorable movies, check out "The Impossible" with Ewan McGregor.  It's a true story about a family that was caught in the horrible Tsunami that devastated parts of Asia ten years ago.  Now that movie was awesome, even if it is quite intense with the realistic portrayal of what happened.  Very good, and will keep you thinking.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Five Book Give Away!

I just entered such a fun book give away!  It includes books by some of my favorite authors, Cynthia Hand, and Veronica Rossi.  Check it out at  Have fun!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

"Seraphina" by Rachel Hartman

This is one of my favorite fantasies that I have read this year.  I have quoted a couple of passages to show what an awesome writer Rachel Hartman is.  Here they are - "Love is not a disease...I cannot let them cut you out of me, ...I will cling to my sickness...if it is a sickness...I will hold it close to me like the sun..."
"If I could keep a single moment for all time, that would be the one.
I became the air; I was full of stars. I was the soaring spaces between the spires of the cathedral, the solemn breath of chimneys, a whispered prayer upon the winter wind. I was silence, and I was music, one clear transcendent chord rising toward Heaven. I believed, then, that I would have risen bodily into the sky but for the anchor of his hand..."
I knew from the moment I opened this book and read the first line, that I was in for a treat. This story is such a perfect blend of fantasy, adventure, philosophy, mystery, and romance. I kept looking at where I was in the book and mourned, knowing I was getting close to the end.
I don't want to even say what the story is about because it will ruin it. Just read it, and enjoy!

"Unraveling" by Elizabeth Norris

I always feel bad for writing a review for a book that I haven't actually finished.  However, I feel the reason why I didn't finish the book gives me the right to write a review.  Some may argue that I didn't give the book a fair chance, and that I can't really know what the book is about if I don't finish it, or that it might get better so stick with it.  But I don't think so with this book. This book falls under the genre of mystery/sci-fi/paranormal romance, which are all genres I enjoy.
It starts with a life and death situation where the main character, Janelle, is hit by a truck, and is unquestionably brought back to life by some supernatural power boy named Ben.  For me, this is a fun, mysterious beginning.
My beef with the story isn't so much the plot or subplots, although, I think the story could do without the ridiculous high school drama some of the characters bring, who don't even seem to be essential to the storyline.  My beef is with the language.  I feel that any writer who quotes writers such as Dickens, Dickensen, authors who had such mastery of the English language, and who wrote, in my opinion, transcendentally, uplifting and inspiring you to be better and feel proud of yourself for having read their writing, is making a mockery of literature, or being a hypocrite in a way, by having characters with such potty mouths!
I realize this is a personal preference thing, but seriously.  If these authors have inspired you to be a writer, than don't mock their literary geniuses by dropping the F bomb everywhere.  Show them you are equal to them and write as well as they do!  That may be impossible in some ways, but I think it shows a serious lack of intelligence when the best you can come up with for your characters is profanity spewing forth out of their mouths left and right. Show how smart you are as a writer by making your characters have some admirable qualities coming out of their mouths!
I know I am being dramatic about this, but I feel dumb when I read books that have stupid language.  And I ask myself, "Is this really the best I can do?  No, it's not!"
This is a harsh review. And I feel that anyone that writes a book is smart and has a lot of determination and will power to create a fun story that readers will love to lose themselves in.  I just think Elizabeth Norris is smarter than this book makes her, and that she is doing herself a disservice by ruining her story with potty mouth characters.
Some people may really relate to this type of language, but it just didn't work for me!

"Oblivian" with Tom Cruise

I loved this movie.  I new it was a futuristic story, but I was so surprised with what happened.  I loved the sci-fi elements throughout.  It wasn't predictable, and kept me guessing the entire time.  I kept asking my husband what was going on, and he would say, "I don't know.  I haven't seen this before!"  He loves when I ask him questions during movies.

I wasn't prepared for the loves scenes, and I think the movie could have done without them, but I did think the love triangle angle was really interesting and unique. 

If your into sci-fi, you'll dig this movie.

"Romeo and Juliet"

I loved and hated this story.  With the entire play fraught with dramatic irony, it was just painful at times.  Yes, I get why it is considered a great love story, but it's got some serious problems. 
What's with Romeo being considered "The Man" when he laments about Rosalind for the entire first scene?  His turn-about love sick moaning for Rosalind to intense love for Juliet, just isn't believable to me.
Also, as much as I love the characters of the nurse and the friar, they have some serious issues with concealment. If they had just been open with the parents of the "star crossed lovers", tons of drama could have been avoided.
I was surprised that I liked Juliet as much as I did.  Even though she is way too young to really understand anything about what is going on, I admired her sweet innocence and whole hearted love for Romeo, even when she knew it was going to end in her demise.
What I did love were the beautiful play on words and soliloquy's.  Shakespeare was a master with words, and it was truly enjoyable to be taken to another place through the beauty and tapestry of words.

"The Samantha Project"

"The Samantha Project" by Stephanie Karpinski

This is a really fun light sci-fi book that is totally believable.  With all the science out there concerning studying DNA and how to manipulate cells, etc. (can you tell I'm a scientist, with all my scientific eloquence?), it was totally realistic.
I loved the characters and the entire story line.  It's very well written and so evenly paced, with one event flowing so evenly and nicely to the next.  I will totally read the rest of the series.  Way fun!