Facebook – January 2011

None of you will probably read this, but I thought this would be a great way of recording my state of mind on a monthly basis.

1/1 Graffiti – Welcome to Knoxville TN. Our roads suck and so do our red traffic lights.

1/2 My year in Status – It was a hard year, but even hard years are worth living.

1/3 14 books in 2 months…not bad at all…I’m almost feeling proud of myself.

1/4 Ahhhh…peace and quiet. And the kids haven’t even gone back to school. I love 2011.

1/4 Ritalin is a miracle drug. I wonder if they make something like if for people without ADD…oh yeah, it’s called speed…where can I get some? I want to be as productive as (to remain anonymous) has been in the last week.

1/4 We enjoyed downtown Knoxville withy my kids and in-laws today. Movie at the TN Theater, dinner at Market Square, and ended if off with the Sunsphere. I guess we won’t have any regrets if we end up having to move when LG gets his dream job…I do want to go to some Civil War sites. Anyone have any favorites?

1/5 the whole family is reading b4 bed tonight…from classic scarlett letter 2 robert jordan all the way dwn to 39 clues, the tales of beatle bard and roald dahl…back to schl tomorrow…sometimes I wish we all could just read at home.

1/7 picture of Sonic smoothie – mama’s treat for doing daddy’s morning duty.

1/7 picture of local newspaper foreclosures. Sign of bad economy: 6 pages of foreclosures in KnoxNews.

1/7 Would anyone like a free dog? We got her from the shelter last year and she is house trained and great with kids. She is about 2 years old, 12 lbs. and part chihuahua. She loves to walk/jog (she runs FAST), and is great with other dogs (she prefers dogs bigger than her). We will give you her kennel also.

1/7 Just saw True Grit….wondering how it got such good reviews…I can’t hande such graphics…yuck

1/8 We are not defined by what happens to us, but prepared. (not sure who said it but it’s true)

1/9 I am grateful for a yankee superintendent who doesn’t call off school for snow until the snow is actually falling…I am hoping that my kids get to go to school tomorrow because this mom needs some quiet time. LOL

1/10 I haven’t shoveled that much lovely powder since the Winter of ’02 when we still lived in Utah. Man, I wish I could go skiing.

1/11 NNNNNOOooooo, not ANOTHER snowday!!! At least when my kids r home 4 a month at a time in the summer, we can leave the house.

1/13 its mamas night to be alone but of course I’m going to hang w my sisters at church

1/14 toasted whole wheat bread with peanut butter, bananas and marshmallow fluff washed down with a glass of 1% milk and I don’t even have any healthy food resolutions.

1/14 one of my friends just wrote “sick” as their status update and I almost hit the “like” button until I realized that could be construed as mean.

1/14 is anyone up for a girls night out tonight?

1/14 Call me old school, but I will always be a Scorpio and Pluto is still a planet.

1/15 I am writing a searchless and moral inventory…good stuff.

1/16 So so interesting. I can’t stand reading the perfect Mormon Mommy blogs nor can I stand reading the ones written by completely negative haters, but it seems that these are the kind of blogs that get read the most.

1/17 is calculating cost of living in different parts of the country…wish I could somehow get back to sunny California, but I am not sure there is room there for a conservative like me.

1/18 I must read The Scarlett Letter.

1/19 I am LOVING Steven Tyler and JLO. After last season’s fiasco with Ellen DeGeneras. I am so happy that I will be able to watch the whole American Idol season this year.

1/19 Best moment of the night on AI: the twin brother in tears. Everyone should have someone who loves that much.

1/21 I wonder if they got the idea for Diego’s awesome backpack from the original batman. However, I don’t wonder why LG likes watching the show with Caroline.

1/22 about to watch the social network. Lots of unnecessary sex scenes, and kind of documentarish..

1/23 LG’s super excited about our new weekly couple planning meeting

1/24 My congregation would like to collaborate with other churches/support organizations to provide a free carnival for local families who care for children with special needs. Would any of you like to get involved, or do you have any connections with people who would?

1/24 My little cheerleader…how did this happen..she’s the quietest one. LOL Sophia is gorgeous and I loved watching the joy on her face.

1/24 My Bella playing ball…somebody in this family was bound to do something that dad will enjoy eventually. Love you Bella. You are great on that court.

1/24 does anyone know about Spring Softball signups in fountain city or powell? Bella wants to play.

1/25 Does anyone know of any great online resources where I can get weekly healthy menus with accompanying shopping lists?

1/27 I really think that Mitt Romney could be the next Ronald Regan for US economy. C’mon people if our citizens can elect a Catholic, an undeclared Muslim..isn’t it about time we gave the Mormon a real chance?

1/27 Steven Tyler is a big old teddy bear. I just love him.

1/27 I had an epiphany yesterday. God doesn’t love any of his children less than others. It’s just that we children vary in our ability to receive his love. Whoa. This answered a philosophical question that has bothered me for years. Am I getting that wise or was I just really dumb?

1/28 If LG gets a job out of state he is gonna have to drag me away and brave some serious kicking and screaming.

1/30 hopes LG will survive church today; I’m staying home

1/30 the sounds of my man, 4 daughters and our dog outside together are music to my really stuffed up ears


Better Blogs and Christmas Cheer

I am not in a blogging mood.

I am more occupied with negotiating Christmas with my husband,
who apparently doesn’t want to buy our kids any sort of magical Christmas gift.
Can I say the man is imagination challenged
without spurring on my haters
to call me to repentance?
Do you know that the father of my children
let Santa’s cat out of the bag
three years ago?
Oh, Yes he did!!!
Our kids were 8,5, and 4.
And they now think the world of their daddy.
Because he is Santa and the tooth fairy.
But I am still struggling to forgive.
Because I believe in magic.
And Harry Potter.
But because of all the things I have been learning lately,
I will not Christmas shop until LG and I are on the same page.
Because that is what Dave Ramsey says.
And that is what the Bible says.
And who can argue with the Bible or Dave Ramsey?
And I have to say after reading the Bible just now
and hearing God’s admonition to reverence my husband,
I am feeling guilty about this whole post.
I guess I will have to repent.
Once I do I am sure that
our marriage will prevail.
One challenge at a time.
Even if everything seems to be a challenge lately.
I think Christmas should not be a challenge.
Who knew two people could be married
for 13 years
and never be on the same page?
This year if anything,
we will be on the same page.
And both of us will be happy with what is under the tree.
Even if it is only due to the generosity of others.
And hours of negotiation.
I’ve said it a million times before
is gonna be our year.
Next Christmas will bring no negotiation.
And that will be LG’s best gift to me.
The fact that he cared enough to negotiate this one.
If that makes any sense.
From now on,
we will hopefully be on the same Christmas page.
Is that just wishful thinking?
The older I get, the more I think
that life is really just one negotiation after another.
T’was the night before Christmas
and all through our house,
no raised voice was heard,
because we’re espoused.
We negotiated until our hearts
were content.
And now the wife will not overspend
and have need to repent.
But, I will have to repent about the reverencing the man.
How can I reverence Santa Claus?
Huh? Huh?
He’s fictional.
I hope your kids don’t read this blog.
Or maybe they should.
Because then my husband will have some more
little people to reverence him.
He needs that.
Since he isn’t getting it from me.
Well anyhow.
I wanted to share some better blogs.
For my loyal readers
who I have just left totally confused.
But before I do.
Really, how do you married people
agree about Christmas?
Just curious.
Did you negotiate year 1
and never argue again?
Or do you still fight about it?
I love my husband.
A lot.
I want to be on the same page.
Even if his page is to pay the bills
and give the kids as little as possible.
And mine is to make Santa magical.
There has to be a good medium.
Do you ever even think about these things?
Are all other married couples like us.
I can remember my parents always fighting over Christmas.
Mom wanted to make it magical
and dad didn’t want to go into debt.
I wonder if this is the same story in every household?
So, on with the real fun.
My friends all have it figured out.
They don’t blog about their private business,
leaving their blogs actually entertaining.
Unlike mine.
There is good reason why I am not blogging right now.
Check out Cally’s homemade gift tags.
And Lori’s movie making skills.
And Erika’s honesty.
Jeremy’s love for an awesome father, who just passed on,
and made me have a greater desire not to fight over stupid stuff.
Gina’s photography.
Jennifer’s yummy food.
Rachel’s consistent gratitude, maturity, and resilience in the midst of battling childhood cancer.
There are definitely a lot better blogs out there.
But at least many of them belong to my friends.
I am off to make a spreadsheet for my husband.
Maybe it will help if I speak his language.

Book Review: Behind Every Good Man

Behind Every Good ManBehind Every Good Man by John Bytheway

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Short and sweet book. Really, it will take you all of 20 minutes to read the whole thing.

What did I learn?
Besides the fact that I am not as good of a wife as I thought I was?

#1 And most important (which is really hard for wives to hear) You can’t change your husband.

#2 Love your husband. Just the way he is, and you might inspire him to be better.

#3 Be grateful that your husband puts up with you.

#4 Your husband is really a lot better than you give him credit for.

#5 Don’t criticize EVER. Unless he asks for it, and even then you have to deliver it in a way that seems complimentary.

#6 Men talk for information, women talk for interaction. Define your roles, needs, and communication styles and then remember them when interacting.

#7 Affirm affirm affirm and let him know you love following his lead. And make a big deal about everything that he does that you like and/or appreciate. Thank him specifically.

#8 Talk about your admiration for each other, especially in front of other people.

#9 Speak each others’ love languages.

#10 Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is, treat him as he is the man you want him to become and he will become that man.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Where Men Win Glory

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat TillmanWhere Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I remember hearing about Pat Tillman and his decision to join the army after September 11, 2001. I had no idea at the time that I was just another unassuming American being sold on a war by the US Government and the US media. I am glad that on a whim I picked this book off the new additions shelf a the library.

This book was absolutely fascinating in two ways. The first is obvious: Pat Tillman was a remarkable man. He was patriotic and tough. He was unmaterialistic, almost anti-materialistic, and that is why it wasn’t a big deal for him to walk away from his NFL contract and sign up to be a soldier. He was loyal. He stayed with his same girlfriend through high school, college, and the rest of us his cut-short life. One of my favorite parts of Pat’s story was how he gave up a 9 million dollar contract with another NFL team way before he went to war. He was loyal to the coaches and team that gave him his first chance at professional football in the 7th draft, and he wasn’t even worried that he lost millions. But, I already told you that he wasn’t materialistic. What a breathe of fresh air in today’s stuff-saturated society.

Pat is a hero to me. He’s an unlikely hero for me. He was agnostic and almost self centered. However he was smart and confident. In reading this book he wasn’t portrayed as the selfless guy that I imagined him to be, but as a high risk junkie. I am not sure if I liked that. I know that just as this book made me non-trusting of the government and news networks, I am also now untrusting of the story teller. No one man can ever write enough to really let you know a man you never met. I will tell you this, after reading about Pat Tillman’s life, I would have loved to be able to sit down with him and discuss ideas. He was a philosophy kind of guy…always testing ideas. This is why he is a hero to me. I like thinkers.

Interestingly, Pat never wanted to be paraded through the streets as the guy who believed in the war, and this is precisely the reason I chose to read his biography in the first place. In fact, Pat was disenchanted with the war. He joined to go and find Bin Laden and kill him, and Pat was pissed when his whole first tour turned into Bush’s ulterior motives of defeating Sadam Hussein and Iraq. As a naive American, I never knew that warheads were made up by our government just to use the 9/11 opportunity to defeat a country we felt was a threat. But, Iraq was never a terrorist threat like the Taliban and Al Qaeda members harbored in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Iraq just happened to be a convenient neighbor close enough to Bin Laden to rally Americans to attack. I finished this book, also pissed that I had been dooped into fighting the wrong war and upset that our government wasn’t more successful at finding every last terrorist and wiping them into oblivion.

The second facet I loved about this book is that it was a living history lesson. It was a lesson to me about world events that I was never in touch with. I learned all kinds of stuff about the middle east and our foreign affairs with them; things I am ashamed I never took the time to know before. The way that the story was written as a go between of a fascinating soldier and a fact telling story was especially effective at keeping my attention. I would never just pick up a daunting tell all of middle eastern events, but mixed in with the story of Pat Tillman, made it all the more fascinating and relevant, for this ignorant US citizen who tries to keep US politics at bay.

Good read. It is recommended by me for all kinds of people: People who like world history, US Politics, the National Football League, the US Military, war histories, the Middle East, terrorist plots, or just plain old philosophy.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Defensive Tactics

Defensive TacticsDefensive Tactics by Steve Westover

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You can buy the book for yourself HERE.

Lately in my life I have been learning about boundaries. How to set healthy ones because I am bad at it. Who knew I could read a work of fiction to help me figure out this concept of boundaries? I guess I’ve always known that fiction crosses over, but it’s always completely awe- inspiring when a work of fiction can help me with decisions I must make in my own life.

I thought that this book was just going to be another action thriller about a couple of FBI agents, but it was so much more than that. It was a perfect example of what good boundaries can do for a person who desperately needs them. It was also a great lesson that boundaries alone are not enough; an adult, just like a child, has to have unconditional love to flourish.

The three main characters, Jimmy, Paul, and Emily were all AWESOME in their own way. I loved each of them and could relate to each of them, even though they were all completely different. Jimmy was a bright and amazing guy who was in a troubled time of life. He was floundering for good reason. I am against writing spoilers, but if what happened to him, happened to me, I don’t know if I could get out of bed ever again. Paul was the perfectionist in me. He aimed to please and was a good rule keeper, but he was deep down completely insecure. Emily was every woman that we want to have depicted in a novel, smart, feminine, kind, gutsy, and more than anything, confident.

These three characters made a dynamic tale of love and friendship. My hat goes off to the author, Steve Westover, for his wonderful character development. Although the plot in the story was a bit predictable, I still really enjoyed the quick read.

Back to the boundaries. Jimmy was able to completely change his life around and tap into his under-appreciated strengths for two reasons: Paul’s healthy boundaries and un-apologetic expectations combined with Emily’s infinite and unconditional love.

This book was so much more than a private investigator story of mystery and action, it was a perfect love story. A love triangle that left everyone happy. Including this reader.

My hat is off to Steve Westover for his successful first novel.

View all my reviews

For inquiring minds or the FTC – I was given, for free, a copy of this book to review. But, to the best of my ability, I did not let this fact effect my honest evaluation and review. Even when my copy had the author’s autograph. 🙂
Go here to see what the author of Defensive Tactics thought of my review. I loved what he had to say.

Thanks Cally.

Sometimes, I just love my friends even more.
Because I remember that I love them
And real.
And humble.
And they don’t have to be perfect,
and when they don’t act perfect all the time,
it gives me permission to be myself.
I wonder why sometimes
I waste time
building friendships
with non-real people.
You know,
they are made out of cheese.
I guess this is my guest post for the week.
Because Abigail came home with lice on Tuesday.
And I have been laundering,
and mayonaising,
and RIDing,
and laundering some more,
and spraying,
and vacuuming,
and crying,
and bagging everything,
and boiling hair things.
And my brother has been in town.
Thank goodness without his kids.
I would die to give them lice
and lucky for David, he is bald,
and had a hotel room.
Did you ever read my post
(Yeah, I just made that word up.)
Congrats to me.
Therapy has worked.
I’m o.k.
to tell the whole world
that my daughter has lice.
I have arrived.
I don’t care.
Go ahead,
I dare you.
Call me
It won’t hurt.
Have a wonderful Friday.
And know that this completely imperfect person
will never EVER claim to
be anything more or less than just that.
And, yeah,
sometimes my kids don’t shower every day.
But, that’s not how they got lice,
because they’ve been doing that
for 6 years.
And they didn’t get lice
until Abigail went to middle school.
And I have my suspicions
of how she got it.

Book Review: The Seeker

Seeker, The: A NovelSeeker, The: A Novel by Ann H. Gabhart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love is everything. From the love between the two romance seeking main characters. To the man who couldn’t love a woman and found his escape in a Shaker colony. The love of a father, a brother, and a daughter. The love of strangers for soldiers on both sides of the Civil War was powerful enough to keep the meals coming, at the risk of starving a whole colony through the winter.

I loved the character Charlotte. When she ran away from her Southern Plantation to a Shaker colony, I thought she was a coward, but when she used the opportunity to better understand herself, my affections returned. Adam Wade was every girl’s dream: good-looking, rugged, and a very talented artist. The author’s descriptions of his art made the reader feel like she was looking right at each masterpiece. Who says a picture speaks more than the written word? You would have never guessed this when reading this book. Each fictional sketch took on a life of its own for me, just as each character did.

Learning about the Shakers’ beliefs was secondary to a look into the state of the nation during the Civil War. Did those Confederate soldiers really chicken out like that in that first battle? How did that get past me all these years?

The Shakers ability to love was inspiring, as was Charlotte’s love and devotion to a helpless little boy…even when his own mother was a horrendous example of motherhood. Perhaps the greatest love story of all was the freeing of beloved slaves. I get teary just thinking of the fictional characters as their faces glowed with liberty for the first time in their lives.

I can’t wait to read some more of Gabhart’s books.

View all my reviews

For Abigail…

…and anyone else who has an interest in make-up.
Even if you aren’t 11 years old.
I wear make up 3 times a month. Max.
But I was mesmorized.
Michelle Phan knows what she is doing.
And her voice is soothing.
I wonder how much she spends on her make-up
or if it is all given to the cause.


Check out her other stuff.
Lady Gaga’s Bad romance and Poker Face.

Then you can watch this spoof.
It’s funny, but you will be tempted to X it
from boredom.
But wait for the flour.
So funny.