Saturday, January 28, 2012


William has been in ROTC this whole school year, but this past Thursday was the first time he wore his uniform. Spiffy, isn't he???

Thursday, January 26, 2012

More Grace

I'm currently reading a fascinating book called "Meals that Heal" by Perry Stone.  While I'm not totally sure I agree, yet, with the main theme, I have enjoyed all the information the book gives. It really connects many things between the Old and New Testaments. One issue it spent some time on was judging others.

I got convicted over my thoughts of Paula Dean. She recently admitted that she was diagnosis with diabetes three years ago - but did not really change her ways when it came to her cooking shows. She is now admitting to the diagnosis as she is now a spokesperson for a diabetes drug.

Looks bad, doesn't it?

And yes, I thought the worse as well...."it's all about the  money".

But the above book reminded me that the Bible clearly states we shouldn't judge others - and sometimes we shroud our judgment in our "opinion".

So.  More grace is needed.  I'm now trying to think of Mrs. Dean as being in shocked - maybe embarrassed - and probably clueless over the diabetes.  Hopefully, in the future she will share how to change her over-the-top butter-loaded meals into more health-friendly recipes.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Keeping a List...

The other day I was talking to a neighbor about books and how he now loves his e-reader (I can't remember which one he  has).  He said that when he can't sleep at night, he reads. Many times he's either finishes a book or doesn't like the one he is reading and wishes he could just pick up another - and now that he has his e-reader, he can - any book at all!
I totally understand that. But I told him the main reason I don't have an e-reader and the won't in the near future is that the ability to download any book I want at any time would be detrimental to our budget.

Yeah. I read that much.

So, I decided to keep track of how many books I really do read.  I know I list them here on the blog on a page, but I didn't put dates with the books to see exactly how many I read in a month. But this year or at least this month, I am.

So far I have completed five books and in the middle of two. (One book I'm only reading one chapter a week as it's the book my Bible study group is going through, so I want to stay on track and not get ahead.)

That's a total of seven this far - only the 19th day of January. Even if I'm able to get a good sale most books are at least $10-15 dollars. I get mine at the library for free. As in FREE. As in no money needed.

Take the Tim Tebow book (which was wonderful - highly recommend it to all - kids and adults! William loved it!) - the book is $12.99 for download.  I paid $0.

In my book that's $12.99 that stays in my pocket for other more important stuff.

Like food to feed three kids....two teens that are now getting in that "I always am hungry phase."

So. I'm keeping track of the books I read and see how much money I am saving.  I'm sure one day I'll buy an e-reader.....just not any time soon. For now it's the library.

It's free and just around the corner.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Joyful Noise

Sunday afternoon Drew, Melissa and I along with some friends went to see the new movie "Joyful Noise" starring Dolly Parton and Queen  Latifah. Overall, it was an uplifting movie with several wonderful inspiring songs.
But the story lines?  The unnecessary cussing?

Why, oh, why does Hollywood feel like it has to add a cuss word here and there - over and over again? This movie could have easily been rated "G" - and I personally think it would have brought in more movie-goers. But no. Hollywood writers and produces think that cussing and other unsavory story lines are the way to go.

But the cussing wasn't the only problem with the film.  Several story lines had great starts, but didn't really go anywhere or explain anything.  At several times it was stated that the daughter of Dolly Parton's character didn't attend her father's funeral - why?  It never really said.

"Randy" (the grandson of the Dolly Pardon's  character) just shows up to live with his grandmother, but the movie never really says how old he is (even through he dates a 16 year old in the movie) nor if he quit school or is working or getting his GED.

And don't get me started on the Queen Latifah character's story-line with her husband....

Maybe I want too much from a movie...from a story.  I don't like loose ends. I like explanations - reasonable explanations.

But the music? Very good.  In fact, I am planning on seeing which songs are for sale at itunes....but the movie? I doubt I'll be watching it again when it hits the DVDs or TV stations.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

On the 12th Day of Janurary...

On the 12th day of January - how are those New Year Resolutions going? I don't make new year resolutions, but I did sit down on the first  and wrote out a list of things that  need to be done  - some sooner than others. 

I stared off with a list of 18 things. Within a few days I did just about half of them. Okay - I'll confess. Drew did two of them.  And I have added several things....just the way to-do list go, I guess.

None of the things were earth shattering....return emails, finish the purple quilt (done), start the blue quilt (so NOT done), do something with the Christmas cards.....just normal things.

Last year I never really did anything with the Christmas cards. I just put them in a bowl on a shelf of an end table and they sat there.....all year long.... This year I was bound and determined to go through both years and put the pictures away in an album.  As I was going through a cabinet a few days ago, I realized that I had not done anything to the Christmas cards from our last Christmas in meant I had three Christmas' of cards to put away.  And I soon realized that my album is not big enough for them all....which is probably why I didn't do anything with them last year...or the year before.

But I have I come up with a solution! I will buy a nice photo box and keep them in that. Of course, that means adding "stop by Michael's" to  my to-do list....good thing there's no date of when I need to get it done!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Back to First Grade

Today I taught first grade again - thankfully, it went better than the first day in first grade in Guam. In case you didn't hear about that day - here it is.

The curriculum they use here is total opposite from the curriculum in Guam...but I'm getting use to it.  There's still one part - the phonic section - that's just confusing to me. I'm sure the teacher today will have to re-teach that lesson tomorrow -  oh, well. I did get the rest of the lessons completed.

The students today were very well behaved - much like the other first grade class I taught a few weeks ago....which is good.  I think they could actually teach some of the 8th graders I'm with a few things about behavior.....

Friday, January 6, 2012

Book Update

The last post about books I spoke of the Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman -  very good. Encouraging and challenging, as well.  Then I did read a book off my shelf by Billy Graham, The Journey.  I thought it was more of his story, but instead it went over the fundamentals and foundations of the Christian faith. I did skim through parts of it - the topics I was very familiar with, but it was a reminder of what we as Christians believe and why.

Then, I read another book that has been on my shelf for...well...years, I think, Rumors of Another World by Philip Yancy.  I have read several of his other books and this did not disappoint.  Although, I will say I thought it was a book about the fundamentals and foundations of the Christian faith (which is why I put off reading it), but surprisingly it wasn't quite written in that way. It was starting to look at things of this world - nature, people, relationship - as a pointer that there is another world for us - heaven.  Mr. Yancy also explain church history - all of it was very interesting to me.

Now I am reading a book from the library - Coming Back Stronger by Drew Brees - the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints.  I'm only a few chapters in, but I'm captivated. I love to hear and read people's personal stories  - this is going to live up to all the good recommendations I had heard about.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tim Tebow

Many years ago I heard Christian speaker Joyce Meyer asking for prayers of protection for herself - and other well known Christians. She had come across a person that admitted to not liking her  and was actively praying for her downfall. It really  made me stop and think - and pray! - for her and other well known Christians. 

This morning in my Bible reading I read Psalms 31:20: You (referring to the Lord) hide them (referring to those who take refuge in God - v.19) in the protection of Your presence; You conceal them in a shelter from the schemes of men, from quarrelsome tongues.

Over the last few months we who pay attention to professional football have heard a lot about Tim Tebow. He has gotten a lot of press about his beliefs and how he lives them. There have even been several commentators that talk of their hope for his downfall - which came to my mind as I read the above verse.  It total baffles me as to why people are so poisonous.  But yet, here in the Bible written thousands of years ago, are people who hope for the downfall of True Believers.

Most of us can't go up to Tim Tebow or other well known Christians to encrouage them, but we can pray for their protection.  It takes act-upon-act to build a strong reputation, but as we have seen in the Penn State scandal, it only takes one wrong decision to bring it all to ruin.

Please, join me in praying not only for spiritual protection for Tim Tebow, but also for others who speak out for Jesus.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Laws

In just about every state some new law starts today.  In Utah you can no longer have daily drink specials - which basically means no more happy hour....which makes me wonder two things... Does it really effect many people in Utah since most people there are Mormons who don't drink alcohol? And secondly, I wonder it this will effect Sonic and their daily half-price drink specials??? Will half-price strawberry slushies be banned??? (Are there any Sonics in Utah??? If not, you Utah-ians are missing out!)

Also, in California and Oregon you can no longer sell shark fins.  No real loss there....and  yes,  I have actually eaten shark fin soup (it was in Hong Kong about about 15 years ago - judge me not).

So, in keeping with this tradition, we are enacting new laws in our household. Drew is EXTREMELY tried of turning off lights...lights in a room where no soul is in. So. For every light left on that he or I have to turn off or tell a child to turn it off, we will be charging fifty cents to the offending party.

Had this law been enforced yesterday, we would already be $1.50 richer.

I see a new source of Starbucks money for me.